Tuesday, November 28

In Passing

LINDA JOAN SIDDERS, 52, of Lawrenceville died Saturday (11/11/2006). The body was cremated. No service is planned; Tim Stewart Funeral Home, Lawrenceville.
On my trips to work I sometimes would take occasion to stop at a Kroger along the way to pick up some things for breaks or lunch. I've been doing this for years and at one point I began to encounter a Kroger front-end supervisor with a pleasing disposition who helped me at the self-serve checkouts. She began to recognize me and would call me "hun" as people in the South are wont to do. I knew her name from her name tag but don't ever remember introducing myself. Her bright smile and cheerful attitude distinguished her from the ranks of her fellow associates and her demeanor seemed to brighten the store. Most of the time, as I'm accustomed to do with any of my shopping, I simply found what I wanted, paid and left. But there were times she'd bend my ear to talk about her husband, who worked in that store as well, or some other small talk of the day.

I'm not much into small talk. I'm not much into talk at all. I don't like being on the phone and prefer to communicate by e-mail or other impersonal means. Conversation requires interaction, giving attention, really considering what the other person is talking about. There are times when I'm genuinely interested in the other person and there are times when I'm interested but trying not to be. Sometimes it's hard for me to know how far someone else will allow me into their life or how far I should go.

I didn't know much about Joan Sidders. She seemed to like working at Kroger; enjoying the company of customers and fellow employees alike. Most working stiffs are always looking for more money, going from job to job, but maybe she found there a kind of satisfaction in the relationships worth more than the money. I didn't know anything of her take on God or spirituality. It's one of those areas that's sometimes the hardest to get to know about someone. Now that I think back on it, I don't know but that I may have been impressed to speak with her about Jesus, but I guess the circumstances just didn't seem right at the time. In any event, I didn't and I regret it, if only because I suspected that there may have been the harmony of Christ between us as evidenced by her infectiously enjoyable personality.

And so as I entered the store this morning on my way to work I found a large poster near the front door with her picture on it and a blurb about a memorial for her this Saturday at the store. The notice of her passing caught me off-guard. She was a familiar face I'll miss and the strange thing is that I can't adequately explain it. She wasn't a relative and there was no special friendship or relationship, but the tie that bound was humanity. I guess it just causes me to think about the people I come in contact with, even the incidental grocery store clerk. Who do I know and how do I really know someone? I'll take another opportunity, in passing.

Nov. 28th Blogworthy

MANCHESTER – Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.
Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a "different set of rules" may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message.
Great idea. Protect the country by demolishing it. I enjoy so much these Republicans with their "conservative" ideas. Problem is there ain't much decent left to conserve.




John Russo has been a victim of identity theft. So when he was asked to fork over a photo ID just to be seated at an IHOP pancake restaurant, he flipped. "'You want my license? I'm going for pancakes, I'm not buying the Hope diamond,' and they refused to seat us," Russo said, recounting his experience this week at the Quincy IHOP.... [He] said a security guard at the restaurant had "at least 40" licenses in hand when he arrived to eat.
A small problem with one store employee going off half cocked, maybe, but consider the fact that 40 people thought so little of their personal information and privacy as to exchange it for a meal...at an IHOP, no less. It took one individual to take a stand against it. One day it may not be so easy.

Friday, November 24

Biting the hand that feeds

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Separatists, unite!

That was the pitch last weekend by neo-Confederates, New England free-staters, Hawaiian nationalists, and a clutch of other dissenters who want out of the United States.

The First North American Secessionist Convention, billed as the first national gathering of secessionists since the Civil War, included an eclectic mix of conservatives, liberals, libertarians, left-wing Green Party zealots, and right-wing Christian activists.

The bearded, denim-vested representative of the Alaskan Independence Party sat next to the United Texas Republic man in his gray suit and red tie, just across from the blond pony-tailed representative of Cascadia (better known as Oregon, Washington and British Columbia).

They joined folks from such disparate groups as the League of the South, the Confederate Legion, the Free State Project, Christian Exodus, Free Hawaii, the Alliance for Democracy, the Abbeville Institute, and the Center for Democracy and the Constitution.

All agreed on one thing: their disdain for "the empire" of modern America. The latter-day separatists inveighed against government intrusion, the influence of corporations, and the loss of individual freedoms. They castigated the Patriot Act, the war in Iraq, and corruption in Congress.

"Reform is useless. Rebellion and revolution are useless," said Kirkpatrick Sale, a New York author who organized the session. "What is left? Secession."

And that is exactly all that is left, in my estimation. Yes, it's been attempted before and his Imperial Majesty Abe brought the South into subjugation. Well, this is one deconstructed Southron who understands where the "nation" is going and doesn't want to go down with it.

When the government goes bankrupt, and it's only a question of when not whether, people will turn against it. It doesn't matter if they're Democrat or Republican, people will rise up. Look at the public uproar over the ineptitude and lack of provision the central government demonstrated toward Hurricane Katrina victims and you'll realize just a small portion of what's to come when the money crashes. And having looked to Government for bread, on the very first scarcity they will turn and bite the hand that fed them. - Edmund Burke

It's time now to plan for secession for those areas of the country which want real Constitutional government.

Wednesday, November 22

Out of sight, out of mind

It was announced that...

WASHINGTON (AP) - Nearly all air travelers entering the U.S. will be required to show passports beginning Jan. 23, including returning Americans and people from Canada and other nations in the Western Hemisphere.

The date was disclosed Tuesday by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in an interview with The Associated Press. The Homeland Security Department plans to announce the change on Wednesday.

The department had been expected to institute the passport requirement for air travelers around the beginning of the year. Setting the date on Jan. 23 pushes the start past the holiday season.
No problem, right? I mean, we've got to keep track of who wants to enter the country and protect the borders. After all, if you're a citizen it's OK to leave the country, for now, just don't go too far...
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) -- Air and water travelers from abroad aren't the only people who will need passports next year - deep-sea anglers who go more than 60 miles from shore will, too.
Too difficult to tell US fishermen apart from Haitian boat people, I guess. Does nobody but me see the irony in our Mexican "border security" and the ridiculous idea of requiring offshore fishermen to have passports?

As an aside...
One "well-known" resident who had never noticed that his birth certificate had his last name but no first name - only the words "baby boy," Coleman said. He said that man's application had to wait on an official, updated birth certificate from Baton Rouge. All members of a family will be required to have a passport - including infants.
I can just see some South Louisiana families who've fished offshore all their lives and never imagined this.

It's really central government's further move toward tracking every citizen. Next month, helmets with transponders for Amish carriage drivers

Thank a soldier

The caption reads:

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt, of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical group at Balad, Iraq, cradles a young girl as they both sleep in the hospital. The girl's entire family was executed by insurgents; the killers shot her in the head as well. The girl received treatment at the U.S. military hospital in Balad, but cries and moans often. According to the nurses at the facility, Gebhardt is the only one who can calm down the girl, so he has spent the last several nights holding her while they both sleep in a chair.

My dispute with the politicians who've sent our military to Iraq stops short of the troops themselves who do their job, especially those like MSGT Gebhardt who go beyond their stated mission.

God bless the soldiers and thank them this Thanksgiving for what they do.

Tuesday, November 21

Happy Birthday FOIA

On this date in 1973 Congress overrode President Ford's veto and passed the Freedom of Information Act. It's been because of this act that information of just the tip of the central government's treachery has been evident. Troublesome still is the loophole that...

...agencies may withhold information pursuant to nine exemptions and three exclusions contained in the statute. The FOIA applies only to federal agencies and does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies.
I read and hear about information released because of this act and yet I think, "What is the government still hiding?"

Nevertheless, thank God and the FOIA we have access to some of what's going on in government.

A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy. - James Madison

Monday, November 20

Burn 'em...burn 'em all

Emer O'Shea knew something was wrong the minute she picked up her daughter from Franklin Elementary School. The third-grader was normally very perky upon seeing her mother and new baby sister, but this time she glanced at her mother without indicating what was wrong, except to say that the school's social worker had visited the class. But Emer soon heard from another parent about what had happened in her daughter's class that day, and she was both stunned and mortified. The next day her young daughter finally opened up with a question that would baffle most parents of an 8-year-old child, "Mommy, is it possible for a man to have an operation to become a woman?"
Tell me all about the anecdotal cases of the "good" public schools and the "good" teachers in them. For every one of those there's three or four cases like this. Public schools are indoctrination mills, suitable for the elimination of any trace of the republic and Constitution that was, dumbing down the next generation to keep them from thinking for themselves and programming them to be good citizens of mother government. In addition to sex change operations, gay/lesbian approbation and proper condom usage there's other wonderful subjects such as "Cathy Has Two Mommies" and "The Proper Care And Disposal Of Drug Paraphernalia".
Emer had enough. She decided to pull her daughter out of the Newton Public Schools and, at great expense, send her to a private school. (Mr. Young again responded "No" when I asked if the school department would be paying for the child's private school tuition). A few days later, she walked into the Franklin office once again, this time with her now fourth-grade daughter and infant baby to inform the principal and secretary that her child would no longer be attending Franklin School. "Good," Mrs. Marchand allegedly responded, in the presence of Emer, the secretary, a teacher and Emer's daughter. The principal then turned and walked away. Think of that. Think real hard.
The Southern Baptists almost had the courage to take a similar stand to pull out. Homeschoolers threaten the system by being "left behind" in spite of government attempts to corral all of Amerika's youth into the brown shirt brigade.

A mass exodus from these indoctrination centers by following the woman's lead would be in order. Here's hoping multiplied others have had enough.

Sunday, November 19

WANTED: Someone to cheat fate

It is the stuff of nightmares and, until now, Hollywood thrillers. A huge asteroid is on a catastrophic collision course with Earth and mankind is poised to go the way of the dinosaurs.

To save the day, Nasa now plans to go where only Bruce Willis has gone before. The US space agency is drawing up plans to land an astronaut on an asteroid hurtling through space at more than 30,000 mph. It wants to know whether humans could master techniques needed to deflect such a doomsday object when it is eventually identified. The proposals are at an early stage, and a spacecraft needed just to send an astronaut that far into space exists only on the drawing board, but they are deadly serious. A smallish asteroid called Apophis has already been identified as a possible threat to Earth in 2036.

Some asteriod is on its way to earth at 30K mph and these scientific clowns want to find a Bruce Willis to stop it. When will some learn?

There comes a time when we're powerless to keep something from happening, when it's time to give up. There's no shame in doing so. Just...give up. Let it annihilate us, if that's what God wants to happen. Oh, but then NASA is a government agency and we can have confidence in government to get the job done... In 2036, you might want to buy a telescope and fire up the grill to watch the asteriod as it approaches.

Saturday, November 18

The future queen

Just for the record I have two particular reasons Hillary Rodham shouldn't be President of the United States; for that matter, nor any woman.

Legal reason:

Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution reads as follows (my bold personal pronouns for emphasis)... The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:...Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

It's clear from the text that the architects of the Constitution intended the President to be a man, not a woman. And these three pronoun references aren't the only ones in Article II.

There would be some, I'm sure, who would want to bend the language of the Constitution to reflect a 21st century, gender neutral interpretation, but this won't do. The words stand as they are from a clear patriarchal view. Yes, the Constitution was written under a more male dominated, male driven society. And I reply, "So what?" I point to the current condition of Western society which feminist culture has so degenerately manipulated. Some things that have changed since the days of our country's founding have been confused with progress.

Will the wording of Article II stop a woman like Hillary Rodham from running for President or being elected to the office? No, but then we only have ourselves to blame for that eventuality. We've stopped reading or living under the Constitution a long time ago. If she should be elected, and at this point in the political time-line I think it a good possibility, we will have gotten what we deserve, because...

Biblical Reason:

The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.-Isaiah 3:9-15

"A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint."-1 Timothy 2:11-14

...in terms of the Biblical role of women, it would be a disgrace to have a woman in such a place of authority, to say nothing of this particular woman. The very thought that San Fran Nan is to become the House Speaker serves as an added reminder of the reproach this nation has become.

Christians like myself see the transformation in American society occurring and plainly recognize the decadence. In this descent, God won't countenance the evil that the nation engages and should this continue without turning back His favor and protection will continue to be removed.

Some said that Hurricane Katrina was God's judgment upon New Orleans or the nation altogether. Hillary becoming President will be our own doing and another act of defiance against a Holy God.

Wednesday, November 15

A greater life

Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were released after being held captive for two weeks by the self proclaimed "Holy Jihad Brigades".

Centanni claimed at the time that, "We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint… It was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns, and we didn't know what the hell was going on."

Now comes news that...

Palestinian terror groups and security organizations in the Gaza Strip received $2 million from a U.S. source in exchange for the release of Fox News employees Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, who were kidnapped here last summer, a senior leader of one of the groups suspected of the abductions told WND.

The terror leader, from the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, said his organization's share of the money was used to purchase weapons, which he said would be utilized "to hit the Zionists."
It's been said that to make an exchange, to strike a deal, there has to be a willing seller and an interested buyer. Aside from the illegalities of giving money to terror groups, some interested buyer put a price of two million dollars on the lives of these journalists and the willing terrorists made an exchange. But maybe it was more than just a deal.

It seemed to me at the time that had Centanni and Wiig been men of faith they would've considered the life and death choice given to them a little differently. Proverbs 23:23 states that we should buy the truth and sell it not. Christians suffer persecution and are martyred for the sake of the Gospel all over the world, without a dollar being offered for their lives, because they've bought something which is beyond the reach of money. The choice of Christ leads to things more precious than gold.

Tuesday, November 14

Infanticide and babies are beside the point

Reading the transcripts of the oral arguments in the Gonzalez v. Carhart and Gonzalez v. Planned Parenthood cases, which are the Supreme Court challenges to the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, may have been masochistic but I wanted to get a better view of the arguments to find out for myself how the court might rule. A portion of the Gonzalez v. Carhart exchange I found interesting is below...

JUSTICE STEVENS: Is there a single word in the (Congressional) findings that refers to a viable fetus? It maybe refers to a nonviable fetus.
GENERAL CLEMENT: I don't think there is, Justice Stevens, but I wouldn't find that at all remarkable in a statute that applies and bans certain procedures without regard to whether the procedure is applied to a viable or non-viable fetus and when Congress does make specific findings that the procedure it's banning would have the effect of preventing a lethal act on a fetus just inches from being born. It's
not -

JUSTICE STEVENS: May I interrupt?
GENERAL CLEMENT: Sure.
JUSTICE STEVENS: It's requiring that the lethal act be performed prior to any part of the delivery, because there is no doubt there will be a lethal act. The only issue is when it may be performed.
GENERAL CLEMENT: The issue is whether -
JUSTICE STEVENS: Yes.
GENERAL CLEMENT: Yes. Because the issue is whether it's going to be performed in (utero) -
JUSTICE STEVENS: Whether the feet are more than halfway out, and some of these fetuses I understand in the procedure, are only four or five inches long. They are very different from fully formed babies.
GENERAL CLEMENT: Justice Stevens, again, you're right.
JUSTICE SCALIA: When it's halfway out, I guess you can call it either a child or a fetus.
GENERAL CLEMENT: I think you could use either terminology, Justice Scalia. My point is, nothing turns on the terminology. I mean, the terminology that Congress chose to use is a living fetus. I think the point, though, is that when fetal demise is induced in utero, whatever else you think about that procedure that is classically an abortion, as it has been always understood. But when fetal demise is induced when the, when the living fetus is over halfway outside of the womb, then I think Congress -
JUSTICE STEVENS: Wouldn't the fetus be -- I think it suffer a demise in seconds anyway.
GENERAL CLEMENT: Well it may be seconds, it may be hours; it depends on -- because even a pre -
JUSTICE STEVENS: Do you not agree that it has no chance of surviving, in most cases?
GENERAL CLEMENT: If we are talking about previability then by definition chances are it won't survive.
JUSTICE STEVENS: Yes, that's right.
GENERAL CLEMENT: But again, I don't think that, you know, that anything in this act -
JUSTICE STEVENS: Congress has made the judgment that it is far preferable to ensure that fetal demise takes place before any delivery begins. That's the big issue.
GENERAL CLEMENT: Well, I'm not sure if it's whether, that's a fair, that's a fair summary. I mean, you know, the line isn't that fetal demise has to be done before any delivery begins, but the basic point of this statute is to draw a bright line between a procedure that induces fetal demise in utero and one where the lethal act occurs when the child or the fetus, whichever you want to call it, is more than halfway outside of the mother's womb.
JUSTICE SCALIA: Would it, would it be lawful or would it be infanticide to deliver the fetus entirely and just let it expire without any attempt to keep it alive?
GENERAL CLEMENT: Well, in the post-viability context it would clearly be, it would clearly be infanticide. I think in the pre-viability context, if you have a complete delivery but the child isn't going to survive, I don't think it would be infanticide to necessarily let the child expire -
JUSTICE GINSBURG: Mr. -
GENERAL CLEMENT: But I do think by contrast if somebody tried to, with the fetus, you know, perfectly alive and in the hours that it might have to live, if somebody came in and ripped its head open, I think we'd call that murder, and in fact Congress passed another statute -
JUSTICE GINSBURG: General Clement, that's not what this case is about, because I think you have recognized, quite appropriately, that we're not talking about whether any fetus will be preserved by this legislation. The only question that you are raising is whether Congress can ban a certain method of performing an abortion. So anything about infanticide, babies, all that, is just beside the point because what this bans is a method of abortion. It doesn't preserve any fetus because you just do it inside the womb instead of outside.
It is for this reason, the question hinges on banning methods not preserving life, that I think this case and abolishing the atrocity of abortion itself is lost to the cause of life in the SCOTUS. My impression is that the ruling on these cases will strike down the ban 5 to 4 with Justice Kennedy being the pivotal vote.

Using clinical terms in these arguments such as "fetal demise" only obfuscates the reality. These are children's lives being talked about but there is little significance in that any more. How some can use the "bright line" of exiting the birth canal as a distinguishing factor to determine how or whether a child dies is beyond me.

It may be that Bush and the congress actually did a disservice to the pro-life cause by passing Partial-Birth Ban legislation in the first place because it assumes and validates previous Supreme Court rulings on the matter of abortion as its precedent. It appears to me to have given false hope to those Christian conservatives so keen on stemming the tide of abortion with the added delusion that Bush was a man of his word. Now in the waning months of his lame duckness Bush has nothing more to prove to conservatives. And his two SCOTUS appointments won't have made a difference.

*UPDATE*

Apparently the "bright line" is becoming dimmer as we speak. See what the Anglicans think.

Friday, November 10

Math is hard





Thursday, November 9

A picture dictionary


Bitch: 2 a : a lewd or immoral woman b : a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman -- sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse

Nothing significantly pithy. Nothing particularly insightful. Just a picture to go with the definition of a word, in case anyone may not have ever seen one.

Tuesday, November 7

My vote

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." - John Quincy Adams

People generally don't vote principle anymore. Oh, many think they do, or they'll defend their vote as one grounded in principle with little realization of the foundation of their principles. Most will vote this candidate or that without a knowledge of the person's principles, let alone their real motivation for running for office. We've got such a media driven society that it's easy to obfuscate the voters. Most become convinced by the MSM and the MCC (Monopolistic Campaign Candidates) there are only two choices.

The choice of one person over another better reflects a one set of principles, even if a candidate doesn't embody all desireable principles, then we're better off with the "lesser of evils", as the saying goes. The choice between Republicans and Democrats, as I see it, is essentially a choice between how rapidly we run off into the abyss because both pursue power uber alles without regard for the constraints of law or principle.

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines "vote" as: 1 a : a usually formal expression of opinion or will in response to a proposed decision; especially : one given as an indication of approval or disapproval of a proposal, motion, or candidate for office (bold my addition). I won't participate in a sham. I choose not to approve or disapprove the choices given because running off the cliff is running off the cliff, and that, in an informal way, expresses my opinion.

Monday, November 6

Dead men do tell...

News came of Saddam Hussein's conviction and death sentence. One man convicted of multiple murders. As Pres. Bush sees it..."Saddam Hussein's trial is a milestone in the Iraqi people's efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law – it's a major achievement for Iraq's young democracy and its constitutional government."

I don't think so. Compared to what the US has precipitated in Iraq, we might begin to understand who the tyrant really is...A new study asserts that roughly 600,000 Iraqis have died from violence since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, a figure many times higher than any previous estimate. The article goes on to state "Human Rights Watch has estimated Saddam Hussein's regime killed 250,000 to 290,000 people over 20 years." More than twice as many Iraqis lost their lives because of our intervention.

Lest anyone think the US has a leg of moral authority to stand on, there's one more telling body count. I didn't think we had any constitutional or moral authority to invade Iraq and the opinions of those who hail Hussein's death sentence are misguided when the US forgets its own tyrannical atrocities since 1973.