Wednesday, December 31, 2003

My unlikely 2004 predictions

Britney Spears will gain 150 pounds, take to wearing muu muus on stage, and demand to be respected for her talent. Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera sets a record for most body piercing before dying tragically when all the piercings are simultaneously ripped from her body in a tragic giant electro-magnet accident.

Osama bin Laden will be convert to Kabbalah and record a duet with Madonna that will debut at #1 in France.

PETA will boycott Orkin pest control as cockroach mass murderers and call for a U.N. tribunal to try the "Orkin Man" for crimes against bug-manity. (OK, so not all these predictions are unlikely).

Hillary Clinton will decide to take a hard line against all terrorist supporting countries in her new book "It Takes a Nuke".

George Bush will win 47 states in the election after Howard Dean admits he has no idea about foreign policy. OK, Dean won't admit that, but the electorate will realize it and Bush will still win 47 states.

Major League Baseball players will realize their contracts have gotten out of control and are harming the game. The union will threaten to strike if their demand is not met to restructure their contract to limit the money their players can receive - and the Palestinian Authority will condemn suicide bombings.

I will land a job as a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. My witty writings will gain the attention of a high profile producer who will use my articles for a new TV series that will be the most watched premier ever. The contract will make me rich, but after the first 6 episodes the writing will become shoddy and cliche leading to a cancellation after the first season. Reruns will live on and become a cult classic.

Back again

I'm back from my vacation.

We had a great time after we got over our sicknesses. After Christmas Honeybun and I went to Phoenix to see my father's wedding. We met family I hadn't seen in 20 years.

I also hadn't been in Phoenix since 1991. I know everything changes, but wow! The neighborhood I grew up in is hardly recognizable. The biggest change I saw with the size of the city. I'm amazed at how much it has grown - while taking for granted the immense growth in the Denver metro area where I live now.

Phoenix is still a great city. I'd live there again if it weren't so damn hot in July and August.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Warm fuzzies

Well it's Christmas day and the rituals are nearly complete. We got up early and unwrapped all our gifts and stocking stuffers (all in our pajamas). My in-laws really know how to bring out the excitement of Christmas. Its contagious.

After the gifts was the traditional (for us) breakfast of egg casserole (with green chili and sausage) and cinnamon rolls. Mmmm...cinnamon rolls.

Now there is nothing left but waiting for the weight gain. Ahhh, I love Christmas.

Honeybun is still nauseous with flu like symptoms, my head is still a snot factory. But its CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Ya gotta be kidding me

So we're here in warm - 60 something - Las Cruces. The Luminarios are around the in-laws place waiting to be lit at sundown. Christmas eve dinner is being prepared.

And wouldn't you know it, Honeybun and I are both sick. She is feeling like she wants to throw up everything she has eaten in the last 6 months. I'm feeling like my head is one big snot factory...wait a sec (snooooorrrrrt). Ah better for a little while.

It's been a year since I've had a vacation, and I'm sick. Great.

Well at least we are with family. Merry Christmas everyone.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Vacation

Well, probably won't blog much for the next two weeks or so. I'm going on vacation with Honeybun to Las Cruces, NM for Christmas. After that, we will head over to Phoenix, AZ to see my father's wedding.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Zero-tolerance = Zero-intelligence

Birmingham, Alabama Clay-Chalkville High sophmore Ysatis Jones has been suspended from school and told she must attend an alternative school for a month for commiting a "major drug offense". She took Motrin for menstrual cramps.

Attending the alternative school would put Jones, an A-B student, in classes with children who committed offenses such as battery, arson and possessing illegal drugs.

Proving once again that people who cannot use critical thinking skills should not be given the responsibility of educating children.

When are parents going to fire the public schools?

Should it pay to be stupid?

CNN reports:
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) -- The wife of a hockey fan who crashed his car after drinking too much at a Minnesota Wild game has sued the team, saying her husband shouldn't have been served so much alcohol.

Whoever owns the property he crashed into should sue the wife for allowing her husband to drive.

Cynthia Tucker is a moron

In Cynthia Tucker's current column she criticizes conservatives, specifically James Dobson of Focus on the Family for condemning gay marriage but not complaining loudly enough about shows like The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.

She tries to make the case that gay marriage should be approved because James Dobson has not forcefully criticized The Bachelorette.

What she ignores is that Focus on the Family does not approve of shows like The Bachelorette. Boundless.org, a site affiliated with Focus on the Family specifically criticized Married by America - another reality show that tried to introduce couples so they would get married. While I did not find a specific reference from Focus on the Family on The Bachelorette, it wasn't hard to figure what the view of Focus is on these types of shows.

Then she ignores the entire purpose of Focus on the Family - to preserve families. Even a cursory glance at Focus on the Family's website leads one to believe that they support in depth preparation before entering into marriage. Even without a specific condemnation of that particular show, it seems obvious that James Dobson would not approve of making a life time vow merely for the purpose of trying to generate one night of ratings for a TV network.

Her conclusion is wrong. Conservatives are concerned about shows like The Bachelorette. They degrade marriage into a passing entertainment. It sends the message that you can change the channel when the marriage gets old.

Cynthia's case for gay marriage is based on the fact that she doesn't like James Dobson. In the end, that just isn't convincing. The irony is that James Dobson would disapprove of The Bachelorette just as much as she does.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

We need school vouchers

It's official, teacher's unions do not care about children. But then, we already knew that. The latest evidence comes from Washington.
When the Seattle Times requested information about teachers and coaches accused of sexual misconduct from Bellevue School district, the school worked with the union to destroy the information.

Sickening really. Now, I'm fully aware that people make false allegations. Too many times, a false allegation alone can ruin lives. In those cases, the school must publicly clear the accused and punish the false accuser. But to be complicit in hiding the guilty is abhorrent. The newspaper obtained an email from Sharon Howard, an attorney for the school district, that said:

"There is no reason we would ever want to drag current or former employees through public attention to such matters - even those who were found to have committed misconduct,"

This is why we need school vouchers so tax payers can afford private schools. When public schools show such complete disregard for children, it is time to take back control of our children's education and safety.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Don't trust the U.N.

After my last post, I had to check into some facts. Over and over, Democrats are crying for the U.N. to take over in Iraq. I don't understand why they would want to deny freedom to Iraq.

The U.N. is NOT an organization that represents freedom or democracy. Of the 191 member nations, only 85 have democratic governments. The 106 others are dictatorships or one-party governments. 48 or complete dictatorships.

The U.N. believes a dictatorship is just as righteous as a democracy. Last year, the United States was voted off the U.N. Human Rights Commission and replaced with terrorist supporting Libya.

The U.N. does not allow Taiwan (a democratic nation of 23 million people) to join. NewsMax.com documents all this.

I find it scary that Democrats have more faith in a totalitarian supporting organization that it does in our own republic. I said the Democrats want to deny freedom to Iraq. What other explanation could there be?

We got him

Saddam Hussein was capture by U.S. Army forces. Quickly, there was a backlash. Howard Dean claimed that America is not safer? He may as well have claimed the sky is not blue.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said he did not support the death penalty for Hussein. Surely there comes a point when a person's evil justifies taking that person's life. For Kofi Annan, hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of murders (not to mention rapes and tortures) does not rise to that level.

Please God, never let the U.N. become the global government it wants to be.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Story time

Paul Harvey told this story a few years ago. Honeybun laughs at me when I try to tell it. I cannot get through it without welling up. Here is an inferior retelling:

Sarah remembers living in an orphanage. During Christmas some groups would come by to give the children gifts. One year, Sarah received a Christmas card that was covered with felt. She opened it up and read the greeting, “God loves you, you are a special person. Merry Christmas from the San Jose Fire Department.”

Sarah kept the card and anytime she felt lonely, she would pull out the card, rub the felt and read the greeting. She read the card so often, the felt rubbed off eventually wore off. But every time she read it, she knew she was special.

Later Sarah was adopted. Her mother took her to the nursing home during Christmas to visit the residents. Each year she would see the residents participate in the activities except for one man who would sit and scowl at the celebration.

She asked her mother why the man didn’t participate. Sarah’s mother didn’t know. The next year Sarah was thinking of the man and remember how the Christmas card made her feel. She got some paper, glue and scissors. She cut some felt and pasted it to the front. Inside she wrote, “God loves you, you are a special person. Merry Christmas, love, Sarah.”

When they went to the nursing home, the man was sitting in his chair. Sarah walked up to him and gave him the card. The man looked at the card, opened it, and read the greeting. Then he looked at Sarah and said “Thank you.” That year instead of sitting alone, he sat Sarah on his lap and sang carols with everyone else. It was the first time Sarah saw him smile.

When they were leaving, Sarah asked her mother what the man did before he retired. Her mother said, “He was a fireman in the San Jose Fire Department.”

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Like, schools should teach kids to read....er sum junk

The December 8, 2003 issue of People magazine has a story about former NBA star Kevin Johnson. (Side note - my brush with fame was meeting Kevin Johnson right after he was traded to Phoenix when he came into the restaurant I worked in.)

Kevin Johnson was concerned with the failing Sacramento High School in California. People says the high school was "plagued by plummeting test scores, student apathy and a deteriorating campus." Only 20% of students could read at grade level. His solution was to raise $7 million through his foundation St. Hope and convert the campus into a charter school.

Who could be against a philanthropist wanting to spend millions to educate inner city kids? Public educators. Johnson's biggest opponent was The Sacramento City Teachers Association. A major reason was their objection to the school being run by St. Hope - a faith based organization.

Some people claim that religion leads to ignorance. It turns out Secularism led to ignorance at Sacramento High and "educators" would rather see kids condemned to a life without education than see them learn to read and perhaps hear about faith in the process.

Monday, December 08, 2003

To proofread or not to proofread

Like a fellow blogger of mine that shall remain nameless (but is linked to from this site), I am lazy. Therefore, I do not proofread with anything that resembles attention-to-detail*.

It has come to my attention that I spelled "especially" wrong in my previous post. As a show of my rebel attitude, I refuse to correct it.

(*This is an example of why resumes cannot be trusted. In the opening paragraph of mine, I claim to have great attention-to-detail as a strength. Honeybun always laughs at that one.)

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Office parties

Tonight I'm going to a party hosted by a co-worker. These things are always touchy. You want to go and enjoy yourself, but you pray no one gets really drunk and does something stupid - espicially yourself. Since I can't drink anymore, I'm not as worried about me doing something idiotic in front of my boss or his wife.

We'll see if anyone else does anything embarrassing. We can only hope :)

UPDATE:
The party went well. No one got slobbering drunk and no teddy bears were subject to being thrown up on. The host did get himself engaged though. Good for him.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Why vouchers are needed

Amanda Stiles, a sophmore at Parkway High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, has been expelled for one year for having Advil in her purse. Amanda's purse was searched after another student reported her for smoking at school. The teacher did not find cigarettes or a lighter, but did find the Advil.

The Board Superintendent claimed the school system is following a state law that requires a one-year expulsion and being consistent in the system's "zero-tolerance" policy.

So another group of presumably competent educators has sacrificed good judgement on the altar of zero-tolerance.

The parents say they cannot afford private school. The result of this horribly short-sighted decision is a young girl described as an "average" student is being denied the opportunity to be educated. Considering the poor judgement the board used, she probably isn't any worse off.

Not by, of, or for...

A denver judge has ruled that Colorado's school voucher program is unconstitutional. Poor kids cannot use vouchers to escape shoddy public schools to get a better education.

Judge Meyer wrote, "I see no way to interpret the voucher program statute in a way that does not run afoul of the principle of local control."

The voucher program is designed to allow parents with children in failing schools to attend private schools of their choice. In other words, its for districts that have chosen not to excercise the local control they have.

This is just another example of courts thwarting the will of the people. The suggested constitutional conflict is a thinly veiled attempt to rule by judicial fiat. Again.

Oppenents of the voucher plan claim it will undermine public education by siphoning off students and the tax dollars they bring. This is a bald faced lie. It will actually give more money per student to each district. The money put towards the voucher is less than the money paid to the district to educate the student. The district keeps the difference between what it would have received fo the student to attend the public school and what is put toward the voucher. Sounds great for the students remaining at the school.

But the oppenents aren't really interested in educating students. They would rather keep the status quo where parents have no control over the way their children are indoctrinated.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Lord of the Rings count down

13 days.....tick, tick, tick, tick.

Ahh...It's good to be dead

George Harrison, Johhny and June Cash, and Warren Zevon (who was he?) all have something in common. They are all dead and all received multiple Grammy nominations this year.

If your career needs a boost - go ahead and die. Problem is, you can only do it once.

For your inner geek..

I liked this comic.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Really, he was a nice guy

Nathaniel Jones died this past week after fighting with police. The 350+ pound man was high on cocaine and PCP when he fought with police. The video shows Jones advance on a retreating police officer, swing at him, then grab him.

Jones' family is calling for an independent investigation. His grandmother said, "Skipper [Jones] was just a good old, fat jolly fella. He wasn't violent."

Right.

His aunt Diane Payton said, "Everyone he met, that he touched, loved him. He was never mean."

I'm sure the policeman felt that Jones was the nicest guy to every assualt him. Still, I doubt that the policeman he "touched" felt very much love.

The police are in a catch-22. This man made choices that led to his own death and the police are blamed. Because he died while committing, a crime the police are racist. If the police did not respond, people would claim more racism for not protecting the black community.

It would be nice to see some integrity from the activists. Stop defending thugs and criminals as the innocent victims.

The Cincinnati Post believes that the public will receive an honest answer on whether or not the officers reacted appropriately according to their editorial.

The real question is whether or not the activists will accept any other answer than one that condemns the police. I doubt it when people like as Kweisi Mfume already claim the police behavior was "well outside the norm for subduing an unarmed suspect.''

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Our 6th Anniversary

Saturday the 29th was our sixth wedding anniversary. It was pretty low key in general. Our big outting was to go to The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant.

The night there started a bit rocky. We had reservations for 9:30 but didn't get seated until after 10:00. Then they gave us drinking water in dirty glasses. Ugh. At that point, we were getting quite disappointed. We called for the manager and told him about it. He promised to turn things around right away, and he did.

A four-course dinner is at least a two hour experience. Our waiter did a great job and the food was outstanding. Honeybun absolutely loved the desert: a chocolate sauce to dip bananas, strawberries, and cakes.

The surprise of the night was when we got the bill. The manager covered the dinner. We paid only a few bucks for the drinks (and of course a nice tip).

So, if there is a one near you and you have a special night coming up, go to The Melting Pot.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Thanksgiving a celebration of faith?

Capitalism Magazine published an article they summarized as follows:
Summary: Thanksgiving, a uniquely American holiday, celebrates man's productive ability. It is not a day of national guilt or a religious festival. This holiday is designed to celebrate, not faith and charity, but thought and production.

To say that Thanksgiving is not about faith or charity is to ignore the obvious. The name of the holiday inherently has religious implications. After all the Puritans we call The Pilgrims did not give thanks to man's productive ability but to God. In fact, Governor Bradford declared the pilgrims second day of Thanksgiving in 1623 because of an answer to prayer. The pilgrims had been through a severe drought and gathered to pray for ran - rain fell the following day.

This last week The History Channel ran a program on the history of Thanksgiving. The program described how the earliest Thanksgiving observances started in New England (of course commemorating the Pilgrims first Thanksgiving). Back to its earliest roots before President Lincoln declared in a holiday, Thanksgiving observances had a strong connection to charity.

The article claims that it is an insult to hard working people to believe in God's blessings. That view ignores that our we do not control everything that happens to us (though we are responsible for how we react to it). Christians ascribe some of those things as blessings from God. Our hard work from those blessing results in bounty such as Thanksgiving feasts.

Its amazing that someone would be able to ignore the facts and say that Thanksgiving is not a celebration of faith or charity. It is significant that this uniquely American holiday has such strong roots as a celebration of faith and expressions of charity.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

My Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving we will spend at home with family and friends. Honeybun has done a wonderful job of planning, cleaning, and preparing for about 10 other guests.

We'll be having a wonderful dinner of turkey, ham, twice baked potatoes, green bean casserole, bread rolls, and all kinds of pies & even cheesecake.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving

It should be a Happy Thanksgiving

Since 1970 Native American activists have designated Thanksgiving Day as a national day of mourning. In an online article date 7/14/98, Russell Peters - President of the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribal Council - said, "It was not appropriate for the native people to feast in thanksgiving; instead we decided to fast and show by contrast our way of remembering our history."

It's sad that a man who enjoys the freedoms and blessings of the richest, most powerful nation on Earth can think of nothing to be thankful for on this holiday and must mourn the loss of a culture he never knew.

When people criticize events such as the national day of mourning as being part of anti-American movement, there is reason to believe they are right. Strangely enough, it is Mr. Peters himself who confirms it:
"In recent years, [the National Day of Mourning has] been orchestrated by a group calling themselves the United American Indians of New England. This group has tenuous ties to any of the local tribes, and is composed primarily of non-Indians. (emphasis added).

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Higher education isn't educational

One of the employee's I supervise is attending school at Metropolitan State College of Denver - locally referred to as Denver Metro.

She is a biology major but is required to take a history course as a general education requirement. The course she is taking is called American Civilization. The course description of the class says, "American Civilization is an entry-level American history course designed to trace the roots of contemporary America."

Sounds like a good course and its intents probably are. Unfortunately, professors have their own agendas. The instructor of this class assigned Michael Moore's book "Downsize This". Michael Moore is as liberal as they come. The idea that his book is a "text book" is laughable. Not only is it biased, I really can't find a meaningful connection between a course on American History and a criticism of corporate America.

If that isn't bad enough, the student told me today that her classed was canceled so they could complete an assignment to - get this - go find a tree, sit next to it and get in touch with herself.

Really, a history class has turned into an indoctrination of New Age spirituality.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Those who don't learn from The History Channel...

This week our cable provider added channels to our service (along with a price increase of course). But they finally added my favorite channel - The History Channel.

Ya, I'm a weirdo. I love history and THC is great. No real point here other than watching it last night was the highlight of the day after working 14 hours.

Friday, November 21, 2003

What to do for fun

Board games have made a resurgence. Last month Hasbro declared larger than expected earnings because of increased sales in board and card games. Overall, game sales increased 84 percent in 2003. Unplugged entertainment seems to do well in recessionary times.

Last year, the 20th anniversary Trivial Pursuit game was the best selling game of the year. Cranium is also a top seller. So, just in time for Christmas, here is a list of Jason's recommendations:

Cranium - Great variety game. All our friends like it.
Remote Possibilities - also a fun party game because I'm great at it.
Kill Doctor Lucky - a fun "pre-mystery" game. Like Clue but you committ the murder. More fun than murder sounds...and cheap too.
The Very Clever Pipe Game - Another Cheapass Game. Play cards to connect section of pipes. A quick fun strategy game.
Dungeons & Dragons - Yes, it's a roleplaying game. You need about 4 other people to play it. Find some normal people interested in Lord of the Rings type adventures and you'll have some fun.
Pocket Farkel - a quick dice game. All about luck and guts. Very addictive.
Empire Builder - a train game. You have to build your track and deliver goods across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The game board changes everytime.

These are games that my family enjoys. So turn off the TV and Playstation II for a while and enjoy the company of your family and friends.

But I don't feel jingoistic

Tom Brokaw accepted an award from the National Press Club on Wednesday for being on TV for a long time to read news stories written by other reporters.

During his speech he said, "Radio stations have become instantly jingoistic and savagely critical of any questions raised about the decisions leading up to, for example, the war on Iraq...motivated not by ideological or intellectual passions, but instead by the raw commercial possibilities of creating mob mentality."

The old, they-really-don't-believe-their-views argument. By extension, we can only believe those with sincere views are the major network news hosts. To me, it sounds like someone is upset with sinking ratings as viewers continue the abandon old oligopoly media. The blogging revolution is only the continuance of what started with talk radio. We are tired of information being controlled by the likes of Tom Brokaw.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Heroes

Rush Limbaugh returned to hosting his radio show yesterday after completing a 5 week drug rehabilitation program.

Today a judge refused to dimiss obstruction of justice and insider trading against Martha Stewart. Her trial is expected to start in January.

Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch was searched by police today, apparently related to new allegations of child molestation.

All three have legions of devoted fans. They all have their flaws. They all show that people only have farther to fall when you put them on a pedestal.

Friday, November 14, 2003

The most important day

Not much to write about today except...

Tomorrow is my birthday. I'm taking the day off from work and spending it with my family. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

This guy is sick

Ted Rall wrote a column yesterday once again trying to push the notion that the war in Iraq is about oil. He ignores that if the war was about Iraqi oil, the United States would have kept it in 1991 when we had it.

He writes his column in a truly dispicable way, writing a recruiting
letter for terrorists. In the letter he justifies ("regretfully")
killing our military members. On Veteran's Day, he said our military
men and women served because that was the only way they could
afford "university" or they were too poor and uneducated to
understand they were pawns for Dick Cheney.

The silver lining is that this liberal thinking will surely lead to
the re-election of George Bush.

Wearing the pants in the house

New York Magazine ran an article on the problems that develop in a marriage when the wife is the main or sole breadwinner.

Is the problem that men are threatened? The article actually emphasizes the changes in the wives attitudes toward their non-succeeding husbands. Women are attracted to achievement. The stay-at-home man is just not attractive to women. As a result, the article points out, the spousal sexual relationship suffers.

One woman said:
“He was the best sex I ever had.” But that was long ago. “We fight instead,” she says. “We’re embroiled in some weird combat. It’s like Lysistrata. I tell him, ‘Your business is going to have to get better faster.’ Until then, I’m withholding.”

The article interviews a number of divorced women. These women were not divorced because their husbands left after being threatened by their success. They were divorced because the wives lost respect for their husbands.

Let's face it. Men and women are different. Men want nuturers women who can take care of the emotional needs. Women are attracted to achievement. Those who can reverse those roles are the exception, not the rule.

Maggie Gallagher says:
"The sexual truth is that women (unless they're lesbians) are attracted to men. And masculinity is not like femininity. It is a performance. It has to be won -- and it can be lost."

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Veteran's Day

Today is the day the United States honors its veterans of military service. Yesterday was the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

Thanks to all those others who served and to those who still serve. Stay safe.

Semper Fidelis.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Persecuting...um prosecuting a hero.

Lt. Col. Allen West seems to be a hero. The Lt. Col. fired a handgun near an Iraqi prisoner's head while interrogating the prisoner who had refused to talk. The prisoner then confessed to a conspiracy to ambush American troops and named his co-conspirators who were arrested before the ambush could be sprung. The prisoner was not injured.

American lives were saved. Great, right? Well now the Army says Lt. Col West's actions were assault on the prisoner. Lt. Col. West now he faces a court martial.

This is why terrorists think America is soft. Bureaucrats value the comfort of our enemies above the lives of our troops. War is a nasty business. Scaring a prisoner into talking, especially when he is left uninjured is not a war crime.

Army prosecutors are sending a message to our enemies. Your secrets are safe from us. We are too soft to find them out. When someone is brave enough to scare one of you, we will punish him for it.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Slut and proud of it

Pop singer Christina Aguilera is defending her reputation for sleeping around and dressing in slutty clothing.

She says,
"I see a lot of double standards in society, Men can do things and women can do the same things yet get criticized for it, labeled for it -- they are just constantly put down for things that men can do so freely and so openly and get almost praised for"

She also wrote a song about it:
Can't Hold Us Down
I don't understand why it's okay
The guy can get away with it & the girl gets named
All my ladies come together and make a change
Start a new beginning for us everybody sing


Her argument is false. She makes two errors. She assumes that men are praised for sleeping around and she assumes that men and women are the same.

Men are not universally praised for promiscuity. They get labeled with names like womanizer, skirt chaser, or lecher (maybe she should expand her circle of influence).

The second point is that men and women are not the same. Perhaps there is not as strong a condemnation of men as women. That is because of the respect our society has for women. Women have long been thought to be able to control their more base instincts better than men. Women are assumed to be more monogamous than men. In times gone by, women required men to give up their promiscuous ways by committing to marriage. This respect for women was the basis for all of Western society for millennia.

Now Christina wants to turn that upside down. I don't understand how women giving up the power they had in society gives them more respect. Ask any man if he respects a woman who jumps in the sack on the first date. I remember a conversation I had with another man a few years ago. He said, "Sure I'll have sex with a woman on the first date. I won't respect her, but I'll have sex with her."

Why we should not send our daughters to war

The book on Jessica Lynch's story of her capture will be released Tuesday. The book confirms what many suspected all along. Jessica Lynch was raped by her captors.

There are many horrors of war. Why do we insist on sacrificing the femininty and dignity of our wives and daugters? We do not send our women to war out of respect for them. For centuries we did what we could to keep them out of war because of that respect.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Shopping days

Only 9 shopping days left until my birthday.

Censorship or not?

CBS has decided not to air a mini-series about Ronald and Nancy Reagan. This is not a decision about censorship.

Many people point to free speech issues as a reason this should be shown. The error in reasoning here is that slander was never intended to be protected by the First Amendment.

People would not be offended by an unflattering presentation of the Reagans if the depiction was true. The problem is that the writers admitted to including dialogue that the Reagans never said (they do claim they have a basis for including it - whatever that means). They even go so far as to claim that Ronald Reagan suffered from Alzheimer's disease while in office despite proof to the contrary.

Dissent is protected by the first amendment and is a principle of this country. Let's hope libel and slander aren't included in those principles.

At least CBS got a clue.

Judicial tryanny

The judicial branch has once again flaunted its tyranny. Within minutes of President Bush signing into law a ban on partial-birth abortion, a federal judge has issued a restraining order preventing the ban from being enforced on four doctors. The ACLU (once again on the wrong side of civility and liberty) represented the doctors.

Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean warned the ban would "chill the practice of medicine and endanger the health of countless women."

Someone please explain how a baby can endanger a woman's life when it is delivered out of the womb and only the head remains in the birth canal?

Even former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop (not a conservative thinker) says that partial-birth abortion is never necessary.

Do these guys know what they are talking about?

MSNBC published an AP article claiming that a survey shows 44% of people asked will vote against President Bush in 2004 compared with 38% who say they will vote for him.

That sounds bad, but the story looks more like biased reporting. A recent poll shows President Bush's approval rating at 53%. Historically, only JFK and George H.W. Bush's ratings were above 50% at this point in their presidency.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Ah man! Raisins?

Remember when you were trick-or-treating as a kid? There was always one old lady who would put "healthy" treats like small boxes of raisins in your bag (I usually had a pillow case and envied those kids who had the plastic pumpkin with the handle).

It turns out that some of those treats can be worse for kids because they still have sugar and stick to teeth longer than chocolate does.

So there. Just give out the chocolate. Or Sweetarts. (mmm. Sweetarts.)

Poetic Justice

A group of more than 20 Catholic High School girls beat a man who exposed himself to a girl shortly after school let out. He was confronted by some of the girls and then ran down the block where he was stopped by two other men.

At that point, the group of girls caught up and beat the tar out of him.

Ahhh, its great to see the media report some good news every once in a while.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Hospitals make people sick

Julia Gorin has a great article about medicine on FoxNews.com.
She says:
"God bless Western medicine for all the breakthroughs--the vaccinations, the transplants, the emergency life-saving procedures and cutting-edge modern miracles. But these days its practitioners perform best for those on the brink of death, and that's where you'd better be when you come to these people, or they'll bring you there."

Ain't that the truth. Ask me about a little gall bladder trouble turning into a life threatening extended stay in the hospital.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Hold your breath

Everyone, hold your breath. Don't breath out you CO2 emitter. We may as well go to such measures for all the good the solutions environmentalists propose.

Reuters writer, Alister Doyle, laments global warming in his article. He admits the Kyoto treaty would not do anything significant. He seems to think we need to go with an aggressive solution that could cost up to $18,000,000,000,000,000. That is 18 quadrillion. Supposedly, that will only take 4.5 percent of the worldwide GDP. He doesn't say that the U.S. will surely bear the brunt of that.

So lets look at "dangerous" gases for a minute. The EPA says that electrical utilities emit 14 million tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) per year. That sounds bad.

Then I found out that Mt. Pinatubo volcano injected 17 megatons of SO2 into that atmosphere in one day. That is only one day of one eruption.

We can stop all emissions tomorrow and not come close to what a single volcano would emit in one day. It would be taking a thimble of water out of a lake and expecting a drop in the water level. Yet environmentalists insist that we need to stop driving our cars.

Sad Fish

Sunday brought us a sad moment. Our angel fish died. It was the last of the fish I gave to Honeybun as a Christmas present eight years ago - that's 8. This was the most durable fish I have ever seen. It survived excessive heat, and multiple shocks of temperature and new water.

Have fun in fish-heaven little fish :)

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Happy Fish

A researcher has found Flouxetine (the active ingredient in Prozac) in fish in a lake near Dallas, TX.

He is worried about pharmecueticals escaping into the environment but has concluded this particular issue may lead to happy fish. Good for us, improving the environment.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Daylight Stupid Time

This weekend marks the annual ritual of falling back and going back to Standard Time for six months. This is the dumbest thing Americans do.

We really aren't saving any time. There are still 24 hours in a day. Well, 25 this coming Sunday, but that doesn't count.

It's time to end Daylight Savings Time!

California 1 - Spammers 5,123,457,857,494

Today California won its first judgement against spammers. A court fined P&W Marketing $2 million for sending spam.

Its really only a moral victory. I had over 20 spam messages in my inbox this morning. I say its time to cane spammers.

Christians-traitors?

Here is a headline from Yahoo! Op/Ed news section:

BOYKIN'S BIZARRE BELIEFS GIVE AID AND COMFORT TO THE ENEMY
By Cynthia Tucker

Ms. Tucker apparently believes that Christian beliefs are treasonous.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Selective Constitutional Rights

I am alarmed at the continued debate over General Boykin's comments. James Carroll of the Boston Globe criticizes Boykin's religious beliefs, "Boykin's remarks can only inflame Arab perceptions." He concludes by saying: "In the 21st century, exclusivist religion, no matter how ''mainstream'' and no matter how muted the anathemas that follow from its absolutes, is a sure way to religious war."

Never mind that after 200 years, this country has not started a religious war. Carroll's point seems to be that General Boykin should not state his religious beliefs because it offends others and they may attack us for those beliefs.

This point is ridiculous. This country was founded through war to protect the right to practice religion freely (among other reasons). This is one of the rights that was important enough to fight for. Now our media expects us to give it up so as not to offend Islamicist.

He also infers the solution is to reject Christianity. Since Christianity is exclusivist and that philosophy only leads to war, then - following the logic - we must reject Christianity if we want to avoid a war with Islamicist.

Why is it Christians must give up their faith? The Islamicist surely won't. Again we are in the position of rejecting our right to worship freely. People quote the saying that they are willing to die to protect other's rights to free speech. Journalists are willing to go to jail to protect their rights under freedom of the press. Why are they so willing to deny the right to freely practice our religious beliefs?

General Boykin was right

The amazing controversy over General Boykin's comments continue. As mentioned previously, one of the comments he made was this one:
"Why are terrorists out to destroy the United States? They're after us because we're a Christian nation."

Was he wrong? The evidence says he wasn't. The most recent Osama bin Laden tape quotes bin Laden as urging a holy war against American "crusaders" (a reference to the European Crusades in the early part of the last millennium.)

So, tell me. Why are the Generals comments so offensive? According to MSNBC and the LA Times, the truth is wrong.

Friday, October 17, 2003

The Christian bashers are still at it

General Boykin is still being attacked for having Christian beliefs. MSNBC published this indictment, "Despite repeated questions at a Pentagon press conference, [Secretary of Defense, Donald] Rumsfeld declined to condemn Boykin's statements or to say whether he would take any action."

Notice the inference. According to the wording, Donald Rumsfeld should be expected to take some action against General Boykin - apparently for the General stating his Christian based beliefs in a Christian church to a Christian audience.

Now the not so Reverend Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State has jumped in to criticize General Boykin. This should once and for all discredit the so-called reverend. If he really was for separation of Church and State, he would criticize news agencies for attacking religious speech made in a church. Instead he criticized the General (again, for making religious speech in a church.)

Clearly, Barry Lynn is a liar. He is more concerned with limiting freedom of religion than in separating Church and State.

But I don't feel rich

A new study says that taller people will earn about $789 per inch annually more than their shorter counterparts.

So at 6'2" I should be earning about $2,200 more than my shorter counter parts. It doesn't seem to be happening.

I wonder what I'm doing wrong? Maybe I should stand on my tiptoes.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

You can't say that in church...

Yesterday MSNBC broke the unbelievably controversial (please note sarcasm) story that a Christian actually believes Christian teachings.

It seems General William Boykin committed the unforgivable sin (to the secular world) of relating his religious beliefs to current events. General Boykin said he believes George W. Bush is in office "because God put him there for a time such as this."
One of his most egregious statements seems to be, "Why are terrorists out to destroy the United States? They're after us because we're a Christian nation."

In response NBC News military analyst Bill Arkin said, "I think that it is not only at odds with what the president believes, but it is a dangerous, extreme and pernicious view that really has no place."

So let me get this straight. In a country that has a Constitutional Amendment protecting the right to freely practice one's religion, General Boykin's religious view of the world has no place?

Stunning.

It seems Mr. Arkin and his ilk believe in selective Constitutional enforcement. That is we must defend freedom of the press to the death, but freedom of religion? Apparently not so important for Arkin.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

No corruption here

Kelly Huston, the place kick holder for the University of Nebraska football team was suspended for one game for punching a University of Missouri fan after last Saturday's game.

It is difficult to figure out if the University of Nebraska believes Huston did anything wrong. The Cornhuskers coach said, "I truly believe that Kellen did not instigate the situation and that he was simply reacting to what he saw as a dangerous situation coming right at him."

The athletic director followed up with, "I would never claim that hitting someone is appropriate, but I was not standing in Kellen Huston's shoes on Saturday night."

So what is it? It sounds like the "I didn't kick your dog...besides, it bit me" defense. In this case, Huston shouldn't hit a fan, but the fan deserved it according to Nebraska. Typical.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

To floss or not to floss

The pendulum has swung. Women showing off their thong underwear above their low-rise pants is out of fashion according to some New York designers.

So what is in style? Panty lines. Yep, old-fashioned panties whose lines can be seen through clothes.

So get rid of the thongs and bring on the granny panties.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Columbus - bad, Human sacrifice - good?

Denver seems to be the epicenter of Columbus Day protests. Every year now its the same thing,
"Columbus committed genocide", "Columbus was a rapist". Even the Denver Post allows its writer's to publish factually incorrect stories in saying that Columbus was arrested for allegations of brutality. He was sent back to Spain in chains (probably for disappointment in lack of gold coming back for the New World) but was released with apologies from the King and Queen of Spain.

The bias against Columbus is amazing. It really does come down to hate of Western culture.

The Spaniards did come as conquerors. This was not unique in world history. True, the natives in Latin America were wiped out. Partly due to conquest, partly due to other reasons including disease.

MSN's Encarta considers this a tragedy because of Latin America's cultural signficance. I suppose the human sacrifice practiced at the time should have been saved. Here is Encarta's description Aztec religious practice:

"The sacrificial rituals were elaborate in form, calculated according to the stars to please specific gods at specific times. A victim would ascend the steps of the pyramid. At the top, a priest would stretch the victim across a stone altar and cut out the victim’s heart. The priest would hold the heart aloft to the god being honored and then fling it into a sacred fire while it was still beating. Often many victims were killed at once. In 1487, according to legend, Aztec priests sacrificed more than 80,000 prisoners of war at the dedication of the reconstructed temple of the sun god in Tenochtitl├ín."

OK, if we are going to judge Columbus by today's standards, let's judge the culture's he supposedly is responsible for destroying by today's standards.

You mean you want the whole game?

Today I was working and therefore could not watch the Yankees/Red Sox game on TV. So I tuned in the radio at work.

Great. I can listen and stay up on the action. Up until about the 5th inning. Then KLZ (I'm naming names here) decided that they would switch to the Nebraska/Missouri college football game (like people in Denver care about Nebraska).

Now I understand they may have contractual obligations to air the Nebraska game - but if you are going to stop broadcasting an event in the middle of the game, don't start!

And why is no other station iin Denver broadcasting the baseball playoffs then? Sheesh.

Once upon a time, one could tune in a webcast of baseball games. Now MLB makes you pay for it. The NFL does the same thing. If I'm gonna pay, you better at least give me pictures. Why do you pay for a webcast but the same advertising pays for the radio broadcast to a local market?

Friday, October 10, 2003

Rush to judgement

Rush Limbaugh admitted to being addicted to pain killers today.

Is what Rush did wrong? Yes. Does it make him a hypocrit? No.

See, the difference between this and other national figures is that Rush admitted, not denied his problem. We did not hear him say, "I am not addicted to prescription drugs" or even "Well, that depends on what the meaning of 'addicted' is".

On a personal level, I can relate to Rush having to live with chronic pain. Three years ago I was hospitalized for Pancreatic Necrosis - life threatening and very painful ailment. I was prescribed the pain killer Dilauded by IV. After weeks on the drug I became addicted without even realizing it. When the IV was taken off I went through physical withdrawal symptoms.

That doesn't mean the pain was gone though. For the next few months, I still had great pain from the ongoing condition. Mentally, it becomes very depressing waking up after weeks of pain knowing that it will still be there for the forseeable future.

Thankfully, my wife watched out for me. When I went back to the hospital for another surgery, she made sure that I had limited access to Dilauded as well as monitoring the amount of other pain killers (Percoset) I was given.

Rush Limbaugh has sought help. Of course the political vultures are circling. They are saying that because Rush is not perfect he should not be a political commentator. That is a formula for the destruction of civilization.

When critics say that imperfect people (which we all are) cannot say we should aspire to living to a high standard, then the critics are advocating no standards.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

From the Halls...

10 years ago today, I was (honorably) discharged from the United States Marine Corps. Whew, 10 years go by quick. My memories of those four years on active duty are as vivid as if they were yesterday.

Humping (hiking for you civilian types) on Camp Pendleton during basic training. Getting "bent"....a lot. Singing the Marine Corps Hymn on the steps of the base Chapel the weekend before graduation.

Partying at the Days Inn in Pensacola, Florida where I attended "A" school. Also, giving the company mascot, Sam, a bath (the smelliest dog...ever.)

....Getting to Guam, working in the communications center - spending Christmas on the ops floor. Drinking rum and Coke in the beer garden in front of the barracks with "Woody", Mike, "Ding Dong", and Navy guys like Lee and "Opie" while smart people like "Chief" watched us make idiots of ourselves. Going to the Dallas Club and The Citizen with "Gabby". Woody low crawling down the hallway (rough night). My friends throwing the biggest party for me when I left the island.

...Getting to Cherry Piont, NC shortly after Gabby. Realizing I hadn't escaped the humidity. Spending Christmas alone in the barracks (that one sucked). Playing Super Nintendo Hockey and drinking with "Burl" until we couldn't see the TV screen. Watching Gabby fall asleep after two beers. Driving to Greenville to see Hootie and the Blowfish at The Attic. Dragging a very drunk Rick up to his apartment: "Q-E-D is Q-E-D". Yes Rick, it is.
And discovering the funniest joke ever:
Rick goes into a bar.
He comes out
...and doesn't have a ride home.

Sorry Rick.

Those guys are still the best.

Semper Fi

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

There aren't words for this one

On July 1st of this year. Jonathan Russell took a gun to where he was employed and killed three people before killing himself after shooting at police.

The employer, Modine Manufacturing settled worker's compensation claims for the family of the victims. Now for the sick part.

The murderer's mother, Nina Tichelkamp-Russell, has filed a claim to get compensated for her son's death since he died at his place of work.

This woman certainly did not care that her son was a murderer who ruined families. Its should be shameful that this woman believes her murdering son is a quick way to make a buck.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Idiots of the Day

I heard about this on the radio so did a quick Google search to find out if people really believe it. They do.

Apparently the sky is falling because there is supposedly a hidden swastika in the Department of Homeland Security logo.

Someone had to work really hard to "highlight" the swastika in the logo. Its obvious that someone created the swastika in the logo rather than merely highlighting it.

Its amazing what some Chicken Littles are willing to believe.

Irony of the Day

Timothy Treadwell, a founder of a Grizzly Bear protection group, and his companion were killed Monday after being mauled by bears.

Man, first Roy Horn (of Siegfried & Roy fame) is attacked by one of his tigers and now Timothy Treadwell. Its enough to make you think that large, wild, predator animals aren't safe to handle. Who'da thought?

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

You can't say that on TV

Rush Limbaugh is in the hot seat for making supposedly racists comments about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Now Presidential candidates Wesley Clark and Howard Dean say that Rush Limbaugh should be fired for "hateful and ignorant speech." The NAACP says it was "bigoted and ignorant".

Thankfully the NAACP is not the voice of all "people of color" as they want to believe. Just because the lefties say it was racist doesn't make it so. Now they want someone fired over what they claim is racist.

Isn't that a dangerous precedent? That's a very disturbing thought. Losing your job because someone else decides you made a racist comment.

Actually what I find most alarming is that Presidential candidates are calling for punishment of someone's speech. Doesn't that show how much they value our rights? Their stance seems to contradict other statements they have made. Wesley Clark has said he is "concerned about the effect of the war on terrorism on civil liberties" and Howard Dean claims that President Bush has "a reckless disregard for our civil liberties" because of the Patriot Act.

I guess their civil liberties are important but Rush Limbaugh's aren't.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Why won't they buy it?

American Public: Hello?

Direct Marketing Association: Hi, we're using property and services you pay for to try and sell you things you don't want.

AP: I thought I told you I don't want you to call me anymore.

DMA: Sure you do. A federal judge even said so today. Didn't you read the news? We're just using our, um, freedom of speech - yeah that's a good one. We'll go with that.

AP: No, I'm sure I don't want you to call me anymore.

DMA: Now you are just being un-American. You don't want to put millions of people out of jobs or prohibit our freedom of speech (or stop us from ripping you off)?

AP: What was that last one?

DMA: Nothing....um, uh just saying its our God given right to call people who have already told us they don't want to be hassled during dinner.

AP: I don't think it is. I mean if you already know I don't want to be called, how is that violating your freedom? I'm not saying you can't call people. Only people who have gone through a due process to say they do not want sales calls at home.

DMA: Because it doesn't allow us to rip you off

AP: What was that?

DMA: I mean, how do you know you don't want our product if you haven't heard what it is?

AP: I know I don't want salespeople to call me. Besides, I pay for my telephone service. What give you the right to hijack it? I don't go to your house and commandeer your pickup to deliver goods you probably don't want to buy do I?

DMA: No you don't...but now that you mention it that's a good idea.

AP: What?

DMA: Nevermind....just have the keys for your truck ready when I stop by tomorrow, I have something I need to pickup to bring over.

AP: Wait, I don't want you to use my truck.

DMA: Sorry, its a free speech issue. See you then.

AP: but.....

(dial tone...boooooop)

Marketing: You stink...you really do

Rightguard has a deodorant out with a gimmick called the powerstripe. The powerstripe is a section in the middle of the deodorant that gives extra "protection".

So, if the powerstripe works better than regular deodorant, why don't they make the whole stick out of the powerstripe stuff?

Really, they are saying that non-powerstripe stuff doesn't work as well as the powerstripe. So why do they put the other stuff in there?

Saturday, September 20, 2003

The best gift basket in the world

Presenters at the Emmy awards don't get paid for their appearances on the show. It's good to see these people so appreciate their peers, they are willing forego a paycheck for their work.

Don't despair for them though. As a small token of gratitude, the presenters at this year's Emmy awards will receive a gift basket worth $30,000.

Wow, $30,000 worth of products for the effort they make in reading introductions like, "And the award for outstanding chimpanzee in an animated documentary goes to..."

Friday, September 19, 2003

The importance of marriage

Marriage is in the news again. According to this article, the last U.S. census found that the number of opposite sex cohabitating couples are increasing from 3 million in 1990 to 4.9 million in 2000.

I've heard a lot of people say "we don't need a marriage certificate to love each other". The article quotes a number of people saying essentially the same thing.

The problem with that thought is love=commitment. Statistics show it. Couples who live together before marriage are 50% likely split up compared with only 20% of those who do not cohabitate before marriage.

Reviewing other statistics about 80% of cohabitating couples break up with in 5 years.

OK, my wife and I lived together before we married. Thankfully we are in the 20% that made it past that significant 5 year mark.

Survivor is back

The newest installment of Survivor premiered last night. The first cast off was Nicole the massage therapist. THE MASSAGE THERAPIST. Could she have played any worse? Good looking and able to give massages. She should have been able to stay until they formed the jury at least.

My favorite part was Ruppert who stole the other tribes shoes at the beginning. Too bad they didn't show that tribes reaction to the theft.

Does anyone else think that Ruppert looks like Hagrid?

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Fun message

A friend sent this to me in email:

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

The joyful reunion

Honeybun got back this morning from visiting her family in New Mexico. She was a basket case from the flight. It's good to have her back. I don't have to sleep alone now. (Cats on the bed don't count as company.)

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Don't make me tell your father

Coming down hard on computer crime, Judge Debra Freeman ordered Adrian Lamo to live with his parents while awaiting charges on hacking into the New York Times computer network.

That's a good one. I suppose if he wants to act like a kid, the judge is going to treat him like one.

Update:
The judge has ordered him to stay with his parents because he is a transient. I guess this is the easiest way to find him.

SUV owners relieved:

Tourists are now big threats to the environment according to Conservation International (an unbiased group if ever I heard of one).

So stay home! Don't go to developing countries because even though they need your money, you are hurting mother earth.

I need to go hug a tree.

Remembering why I got married.

Earlier this week my wife (henceforth: Honeybun) went to New Mexico to visit her sister and help decorate a new baby room. Her sister is expecting her first child in about 5 months.

So that leaves me at home with the dog, and two cats - one being a 3 month old kitten, the other is crotchy, overweight and short tempered. Put all three in the same room and you have minutes of entertainment. That is how long it takes the crotchy one to go hide under the bed, and the kitten to start climbing the furniture to get away from the black lab who apparently doesn't want to do anything else but inhale her.

Honeybun will get back next Wednesday. The only bright spot is that gives me a whole Sunday of football. My survival pick this week: Tampa Bay over Carolina.

When she is gone I realize how much I love being married to her. Actually, I realize it when she is here too. It's just that I mope about it more when she is gone.

Today I got the information package from the university I'm checking out for grad school. It really is time to create some more career opportunities.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

(please don't) Call me?

Dave Barry has apparently made life very hard for the American Teleservices Association, a telemarketing trade group.

Dave Barry asked his readers to call the ATA and tell the group what they think about telemarketing. A radio report I heard today said the ATA was getting so many calls, they stopped answering the phones.

Which river?

OK, I haven't been writing much lately. I've been sick this past week. The big news in Colorado right now is West Nile virus. No, I didn't get that. I had something I like to call South Platte River virus. Basically I had a fever for a few days and the sniffles. My voice still sounds all congested.

I'll see if I can't get back in the saddle with my musings.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Promising Stem Cell Research

The debate on stem cell research is centering on harvesting stem cells from human embryo's. It turns out the most promising research is coming from adult stem cells. Brazilian researchers have taken stem cells from patients' bone marrow and injected into their hearts to repair damage patients on heart transplant lists. Four of the five patients tested were successful enough to be removed from the lists.

Maggie Gallagher has a great view on this. Research ought to be going to the most promising area of research, not the most controversial.

The end of summer

The unofficial end of summer has come and gone. My wife and I celebrated by going to the Taste of Colorado on Sunday. Apparently the idea is to showcase the most expensive food in the world (not the best food mind you - just the most expensive). A thin strip of steak (or something they called steak) costs 5 bucks. A soft drink was a mere $2.50 - apparently a "gourmet" Coke. We managed to get out of the festival without buying any junk that we didn't needs. That's something.

Now that summer is over. Maybe gas prices will go back down to a point where multi-year financing at the pump is unneccessary. Whatever happened to the engine of the future that would run on chicken fat right off the stove? Yeah, I know I'm being absurd. Who cooks enough at home any more? Everyone would have to go to KFC to fuel up their cars. "A bucket of white meat and fill up the tank please."

Saturday, August 30, 2003

The war against boys

Yep, it's true. Society doesn't like boys. It's provable too. USA Today knows it. Just look at studies in education.
Now 56% of college freshmen are women. 76% of National Honor Society members are girls.
USA Today mentions a major factor in this imbalance. Boys learn differently than girls (surprise! boys and girls are different) and curricula are now designed more for the manner is which girls learn. Result, girls are doing better at the expense of boys.

Educators don't want to do anything about it though. USA Today pointed out, "Female education researchers...questioned whether helping boys would mean hurting girls." In fact, when the question is raised, advocates for girls cry foul. Jacequline Woods claims that " the implicit solution sounds disturbingly close to advocating rolling back gains for girls to address our concerns about boys." Her statement acknowledges there is no calls to roll back gains for girls. Those who are concerned are just "close" to it. Her statements show a disturbing lack of concern for a problem that will effect all of society, even women when there are fewer qualified mates. Intelligent, responsible people know that dragging one group down does not elevate another.

My solution? Single sex classrooms. Separate boys and girls. Then each can taught in the manner in which they learn best without having to compromise to accommodate the other sex. An added advantage is neither boys or girls are distracted by trying to impress the other. It really is win/win.

Society needs to stop penalizing boys of today because others in prior years had an advantage. So what if men have quickly slipping edge in federal math and science scores?

Society has changed. Women now have a historically unprecedented choice in careers. Men won't have that choice if we don't educate them as boys.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Madonna still kicking around

The social decay that is MTV marches on. Last night the MTV Music Awards show stopper was Madonna giving an onstage kiss to Britney Spears. Great.

At this point, I'm not sure why this is such a big deal. There have been plenty of lesbian kisses on TV. Madonna published her sex book over ten years ago. What is the significance? I suppose it may be that as rich as booth Britney and Madonna are, they will still do anything for money and a little public attention.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Terrorist friendly media

Why is the media so friendly to terrorists. In reading today's Reuters' story about Israel killing a Palestinian terrorist, the recap recent events leads one to think Israel broke the cease fire. Amazing how they can state the facts but still mislead:

"Islamic militants renounced a seven-week-old truce a week ago after Israel assassinated Hamas's second-ranking political leader, Ismail Abu Shanab, by destroying his car with a missile. That followed a suicide bombing that killed 21 in Jerusalem."

Reuters reports the events, but not chrnologically. The result is to make Israel look like the rogue state. So this is the real order of events:

1. Terrorist kills 21 Israelis. Notice Reuters does not mention that 21 Israeli civilians were killed. Just that "21" were killed. Whatever that means.

2. Israel retaliates by killing a terrorist leader. Notice Reuters paints him as a "political leader".

3. The terrorists renounce the cease-fire. Notice again, Reuters calls them "militants". How are they militants when they target civilians? Their bombings have no military connection.

Beware when you read an article. They may state the facts, but not present them accurately.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Colors

If you haven't noticed, I have updated my layout today. It took hours and hours of design, and code writing. OK, I installed a new template and figured out how to add my own colors. Ingenius.

Roy's Rock

I disagree with Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and his supporters. I understand where his frustration comes from though. Our right to freely practice our religion has come under attack. The majority of the country believes in God, yet suits are filed to prohibit children from saying the pledge of allegiance because it acknowledges God. Student led prayer is now against the law.

The Roy Moore does not have the authority to arbitrarily decide which laws to follow and which to ignore. That leads to anarchy. I agree with the position Judge Moore's two options were to follow the judgement of the higher court, or to resign in protest. Ignoring the law as interpreted by a higher court undermines his own authority as Chief Justice when he makes a ruling.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

The Cable Conundrum

Finally, someone on the national level has put out the idea I’ve been thinking of for years. USA Today has weighed in on the issue of cable companies not allowing their customers to choose which channels they want to buy. Today nearly every basic cable package includes MTV and ESPN whether or not you actually want to watch either channel. Don’t like the debauchery MTV tells young people is normal? Tough. If you want FoxNews you have to pay for MTV as well. Like Discovery Channel but hate sports? Bite the bullet because you are paying for ESPN even if you don’t know a field goal (NFL) from a field goal (NBA).

Now USA Today brings this issue to light. Why can’t we pay for and get only the channels we want? Can you imagine going to the store and wanting to get a Coke, only to be told you have to buy a Sprite, Dr. Pepper, and a Vanilla Coke as well? Cable does it to you every month. They are saying, since we sell the channels together, you are getting more channels at less cost. So really, you are saving money.

Don’t forget a law of economics. You are not saving money you spend. When you spend $40, you have not just saved $20 – even though the item may be on sale from $60. That $40 is gone. Add that to the fact that you may not even want some of the products you just bought for $40. Cable is exactly like this. You won’t use half the channels you are paying for in the current system.

Fine, I’ll pay more per channel. I’ll still spend less money in the long run giving me a better value. So what is the better value for the consumer? 40 Channels for 40 dollars (most of which will never be viewed), or 15 Channels for $20.00 - all of which are viewed sometime during the month?

Friday, August 22, 2003

AP joining the terrorists

I first found this at littlegreenfootballs.com who tracks terrorism at his blog.

AP published this photograph picturing three Palestinian terrorists (four counting the AP photographer) planting a bomb. Look at the caption. Notice how AP generously avoids the term terrorist when talking about the bombings which specifically target children as young as 5 months old.

Is it wrong to hate the rich?

Two debutantes, Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie, are starring in an upcoming series The Simple Life. The premise is the two rich girls leave their life of luxury to work on a farm for five weeks. MSN's article provides a number of quotes from the women that are none too flattering.

Here is a sample:
Paris on proper rural attire: "We don't have, like, farm clothes. We just sort of, we just wore our own clothes, and I don't know. It was cute."

Nicole on higher education: "I went to University of Arizona and I stopped going there because I went there for two years. I felt like I experienced the college life, or whatever, but I know ... I'm over it."

Clearly these two women are morons - probably because of, rather than in spite of, their fortunes. A life of every want being met does not develop the self-reliance one needs to lead a meaningful life. Is it fair these two manufactured idiots will have hundreds of millions at their disposal? No it isn't fair these two can buy $1,500.00 bags for their dogs. It also isn't fair they don't have the necessary tools to find happiness in their lives either. Life isn't fair.

Yes they are spoiled little rich girls. The thing to remember is you really can't judge your happiness by the material possessions of others. Right now my biggest want is a $3000 camera set. These two could by it and not make any adjustment in their spending while I would have to save for at least a year.

Still what I have, they can't buy - a spouse who I love and returns my commitment to her. It may sound cliche, but I know I'm richer. These two brats do prove the adage. Money can't buy happiness, er sum junk.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

USA - Where most of the men are men...and some of the women are too

Our society routinely tells little girls they can be anything they want to be, but should there be a limit on that? Do we need women acting like men? The latest example is boxing.

Christy Martin is coming out of retirement to fight Laila Ali. During their first press conference, the two boxers got into an onstage scuffle like Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis (and others). I don't understand the desire to masculinize women. How does it help society to turn women into entertainment fighters? It robs women of the mystery of femininity when you turn them into inferior versions of men.

Yes, I said it. Women will never compete effectively with men in the boxing ring or any other athletic (not performance) sport. As a result, their athletic performance is inferior to men.

Women have many wonderful gifts. Their creativity, intellect and femininity should be emphasized - not suborned.

Meanwhile, the neutering of the U.S. male continues. People are trying to convince men they can be just like women. Stay-at-home Dad's are they new cultural phenomena. Do women really want their husbands to be the nurturer? I doubt it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Integrity in Corporate America

I was reading an article about John Mack the CEO of CSFB (a very large bank) in the September 1 issue of Fortune magazine. Mr. Mack was brought into the company to turn it around after a series of bad business decisions and corporate scandals.

The article shows him as being an ethical man, seemingly rare in today's evironment of regulatory investigations. He is directing employees to cooperate fully with investigators. When an issue comes up that may be of interest to regulatory agencies, he is proactive in notifying them of any problems. He has been able to get top executives to actually give up hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed cash payments - a marked contrast to other firms that are giving executives over priced salary packages.

That is all well and good, but you know what makes this man qualified to be an ethical leader? It turns out he has been married to one woman for 30 years. Doesn't this indicate how important a person's family life is when judging his character? If he can keep his commitments to his wife, surely he is much more likely to keep his promises to coworkers, employees, and shareholders.

The tragedy of diversity

In my professional life, I have had the unpleasant experience of dealing with diversity issues in the last few days.

Where I work is truly a diverse workplace. The problem with "diversity" is that it focuses on people's differences. Supposedly celebrating diversity only keeps people with common goals seperated by constantly suggesting we do not have common ground.

I'm reminded of the last winter Olympics in Utah. The U.S. won a gold in the 2 person female bobsled event. As I was watching the gold medal ceremony I was briefly happy the U.S. won. That is until the NBC announcer informed me that it was the first bobsled medal for an African-American. In one split second I went from viewing that person as an American the whole country could celebrate to a black woman. Phrases like "A good role model for black children" infer that she is not a good role model for children of other ethical backgrounds. Isn't it great we have a media that further divides us when we have the opportunity to be most united?

Betterment

I went to the local community college open house this evening to check out check out some possible career moves. I have been really hooked on the idea of pursuing digital photography lately. I realize the $3000 worth of camera equipment and a new computer is a bit out of reach at this point. I think I'm going to shelve that idea and go after something a bit more realistic but just as interesting to me.

I seem to have an apptitude for things in the computer realm. Tomorrow I'm going to call a couple universities and check out their Master's programs. I think network security is going to be the next (or current) big opportunity in the industry so we'll check that out.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Madonna

Aren't people tired of Madonna? Gap now has her doing a very high profile ad campaign. You've probably seen her doing a commercial singing a wierd mix of her newest single "Hollywood" to the tune of one of her first singles "Get Into the Groove" but with new lyrics about Gap jeans interspersed with rapping by Missy Elliot.

I'm sure she is getting paid a load of money and some market research somewhere indicates the spot will be a big hit. But doesn't that music scream 80's? Is this suppose to be a retro look? Certainly the music doesn't make you think of being current with the times. I hear that music and think parachute pants (no, I never owned a pair; I wasn't that cool).

NYC=Northwest

Looking at today's Reuter's headline you would think that the city of New York was the only place hit by the power outage. Reading the story you may revise that belief to include a small part of Canada. Barely a mention of any other cities affected. Reuters bends over backwards to provide quotes lauding New Yorkers on their ability to get by without electricty and air conditioning (and apparently ATMs).

Here are the top three headlines I pulled up on Yahoo news:
New York Gets Power Back After Massive Outages
Libya Takes Blame for Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103
New York City Bounces Back from Massive Blackout

This media infatuation with NYC is getting old.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Stupid headline of the year

Here it is - without a doubt the most idiotic headline and news item of the year.

"ATMs Down in Areas Hit by Power Outage"
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Large automatic teller machine networks in areas affected by the power outage in the Northeast on Thursday were shut down, making it impossible for most retail customers in those areas to withdraw their money.

You have gotta be kidding me. Really? ATMs don't work without power? We can rest easy knowing that the press is there to discover these otherwise unknown facts.

Next week be on the look out for more headlines like "The Sky is Blue" and "The Sun Rises in the East."

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Life changes

I must be going through my 30-something crisis. I have gotten to the point where I want to do something for a living that I enjoy. Anyone know where I can get $10,000 worth of digital photographic equipment for free? Huh? Didn't think so.

I was reading a book on being self employed. The author Kenn Oberrecht made a great point. He said that many people considering their own business fear they lack self-motivation and self-discipline. These people still must have these qualities to hold a regular job, get to work on time, and meet family obligations. Great food for thought.

Now I just need some direction. I want to be a photographer, work with computers (which you can do in photography) and be a writer (blogging anyone?) Of course I'm not good enough at any of them to make a living out it. Maybe I should do something about that.

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The scratch on my nose from the new kitten is getting better. She is still a terror though. Its amazing how annoying and aggressive a 2 lb kitten can be when she decides she wants to share the cereal in my bowl.

Very partison groups

The NAACP is once again showing they are more concerned with a political movement than social causes. Even democrats believe a judicial nominee should be approved because she applies the law.

The 45 Democrat Senators in Washington D.C. apparently can't abide having anyone with that level of integrity. They are expected to filibuster.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Rumble in the house

I look like I've been beat up. First my eyelid is swollen from a sty (uck). Then this morning I'm playing with the new kitten by waving a string. She jumps, misses the string and scratches the tip of my nose. You gotta be kidding me! Now my wife is afraid that people will think she is beating me up ;)

The biggest news in Colorado is the recall election in California. At least Arnold's entry has taken some of the focus off the Kobe bryant case here. I think we are Kobe-overloaded. I suppose that illustrates the dangers of making moral heroes out of sports stars.

Todays big manufactured Kobe story is a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll disucssing how black America is more likely to think Kobe is innocent than white America. Thanks to the media for helping to further the racial divide. Perhaps next week we'll find out how various breeds of dogs feel about the case.

On to other stuff. My take on the implosion of the Episcopalian church. Lileks really got it right. He said:
"This story has irritated me from the start, and it has nothing to do with Rev. Robinson's sexual orientation. The guy left his wife and kids to go do the hokey-pokey with someone else"

The Episcopalians really have some issues. I don't really understand the we're-Christians-but-don't-believe-in-the-Bible mentality. Come on, choose an ethical standard. The Bible and follow-your-heart morals are not compatible. Its also strange that a supposedly Christian Bishop would have such a fundamental misunderstanding of marriage.

Lileks brought up an argument I have heard some make. A homosexual should leave a marriage because they don't want to live a lie. Assuming most of these people took the standard marriage vows, I'm curious where they think they said "I will be physically attracted exclusively to my spouse". Marriage isn't about physical attraction.

It's about commitment. A candidate to be a Christian Bishop certainly should be required to follow that principle.


Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Speaking of California

Arnold has thrown his hat in the ring. Surprising but not shocking. With no qualifications other than a brand name, he will probably win the election. The real question is: is there anyone who can save the state from bankruptcy?

Chaos theory.

My house this morning: a new kitten attacking my toes, a 105 lb black lab trying to inhale her, and visiting relatives packing to leave. This is chaos. For a moment, I thought I woke up in California.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

The first post of my new blog. I'll be posting about culture, a little politics, some religion and some personal anecdotes.