Monday, December 23, 2013

Ice Storm aftermath

As you may have heard, parts of the Great Lakes region was hit with an ice storm Saturday night into Sunday.  At 6:00 am Sunday we lost power, and 28 hours later (as I write this) we don't have it back yet.

Fortunately for us, I was one of those tinfoilers who thought Y2K was going to be a disaster, and so we added a woodstove for heat and kerosene lamps for light, and major food storage in our basement, and now all that prepping has paid off, as we are warm, well fed, and well lit.  The water and gas service are still on, so we can still shower and flush.  The kids, however, are a little stir-crazy, and I think I am a little as well.

So, I packed up my laptop and drove in to the office today, and I threw a couple of gas cans in my trunk so I can run the generator my friend Paul Townsend is lending me for a couple of hours to re-freeze my freezers.  Now, my laptop is charged, and I can use it to charge all our phones so we can stay connected a little bit, although cell service is spotty at best.

This may impact our Christmas plans, as we were scheduled to host it for my wife's side of the family, but we may have to go there if the power doesn't come back on.  We'll have to see.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Trade of the off-season, so far

Wow.  Just wow.  Prince Fielder and cash for Ian Kinsler.  I never would have thought that any team would take Fielder and his contract but I'm sure glad someone was, as it was an albatross around the Tigers financial neck, and would have continued to impact the team negatively going forward.

That deal should never have been made at the time.  I postulated a 2-year, 20 to 30 mil deal back then because he was the best bat available at the time, and Victor Martinez had just shredded his knee, but there were probably other options internally that might have been better long-term for them.  Fielder biggest asset is his ability to hit home runs.  But it seems he only does this during the regular season and only if something important isn't on the line.  He now has a proven track record of playoff disappearance (batting average under .200 career, and a handful of RBI), and when the Tigers needed him to step up and carry more of the offensive load late this season because of Miguel Cabrera's injuries, he was unable to do it.  He is Rob Deer with more drama and a bigger paycheck.

This trade brings up some interesting possibilities both offensively and defensively.  Kinsler probably takes Austin Jackson's leadoff spot which is probably a good thing for all concerned.  Cabrera probably stays in the third slot, as you want baseballs best hitter to get that potential extra at-bat every game.  Right now Martinez moves to cleanup, but wait to see what happens now with the opening in left field.  A left handed power-hitting outfielder would look really good there, and V-Mart in the 5-hole worked pretty well this past season.  Jackson then joins Iglesias, and Avila in the bottom half of the order.

The most common defensive scenario has Cabrera moving back to first base, which would probably bring top prospect Nick Castellanos up to third base, with Iglesias and Kinsler rounding out the infield.  Another scenario has Cabrera staying at third, Martinez moving to first, and someone else DH'ing.  Castellanos probably goes to left field in this case.  A third scenario has Cabrera at first, Jhonny Peralta at third, and Castellanos either at Triple-A or in left field, and Martinez staying at DH.

As well as Miggy did at third, for his long-term good he needs to go back to first base, where he will take much less of a physical pounding.  It's better for him and better for the team if he does so.  Then, it depends on Castellanos' ability to hit major league pitching.  If they think he can hit above .270 with some pop he needs to be in the majors, either at third or in the outfield - preferably at third.  If they don't think he can hit at that level, then another year or two of Peralta at third is not a bad or expensive option while Castellanos gets more time to learn to hit at this level.  I don't want Martinez as a defensive regular.  His role is "see ball, hit ball".  Part time fill in at first or emergency catcher - fine.  But his biggest value to the team is his bat.

So now, the biggest holes in the roster are where they have always been; left field and the bullpen.  But now, their ability to fill those holes effectively has been greatly enhanced.

Dave Dombrowski again shows why he is the best GM in baseball.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Gloating tonight

Watched the Michigan State - Michigan game today. I believe the technical term for what we saw there today was "Beatdown". -49 yards rushing. No that is not a misprint. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

No World Series for Motown

Now that this season is over, a couple of Detroit Tigers thoughts. 

1. The biggest weakness this team had is what really cost them in the end - the Bullpen. They tried to patch it all season, but this is THE BIGGEST offseason reclamation project. 

2.  Prince Fielder is ARod with a better personality. You will never win with him in your playoff lineup.  He has not played or hit well enough to deserve the contract he got. Time to admit your mistake and move on. 

3. Miguel Cabrera. On one leg he outperformed Fielder, Jackson, Avila, and Peralta. His case for MVP was only strengthened by his injury. What a disappointment for him to have a scintillating season derailed by injuries. 

4. Jim Leyland. Managed his butt off all season. His detractors are flat wrong about him. His biggest strength and fault is his loyalty to his players and coaches. He needs to let Lloyd McClendon go.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

To all the Washington power brokers currently squabbling over fiscal issues

It is no service to the people of this nation to continue a course that will lead to their ruin.  Neither side has any proposals, nor any idea how to solve the financial problems we are facing.  Neither side will admit that there are no easy solutions.  Neither side will admit to the pain and suffering that will be necessary to truly fix the problem.  Both sides continue to listen to academics whose pretty theories have gotten us into the gargantuan mess we are in, and cannot seem to engage the brains God gave them to realize that the academics are wrong.  Neither side is willing to pay the political price that national survival requires.

Obama, Reid, and the democrats will probably win this fight.  Spending the country into oblivion will continue with only lip service toward actually solving the problems.  And all the lemmings who voted for more of the same will eventually get what is coming to them - ruin.  Ruin that will make the Great Depression look like a frat party.  There will be no FDR to steal money to spend on Hoover Dam and the CCC - there won't be any money to steal, and nobody in the world will take our debt.  There won't be any fuel because Obama has shut down all the mines, wells, and pipelines to make his green friends happy. 

That is what this fiscal battle is about in Washington.  And nobody there has the foresight or the guts to do what is necessary to fix the problem.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Tigers Musings

  1. As I write this the Tigers "magic number" to clinch the division is 2, and Cleveland is five back with six to play, so it would seem that the boys from Motown will be winning the division for the third year in a row.  Note to team:  you have bigger fish to fry - no champagne showers until you win the World Series.  A celebratory toast would be fine, perhaps a fine cigar of celebration, because being a division winner is certainly an accomplishment.  But you have been here before, and you have three playoff series to win before you can really celebrate.  Then you have to work on sustained excellence.  We'll talk about that later.
  2. Here's hoping that the injured Miguel Cabrera doesn't end up looking like the injured Alex Rodriguez did last year - a hobbled shell of a player that hindered more than helped.  I know there is no suitable replacement for him, but his performance has tailed off so significantly the last month that he isn't even a "normal" player.
  3. Justin Verlander starting Game 1 of the Playoffs.  Please - not this season.  Max Schertzer deserves that honor more, and Anibal Sanchez should start Game 2 before Verlander.  Game 3 for Verlander.

Friday, August 23, 2013

"I'm Ready for Hilliary"

Seen on bumper sticker last night. 

Friends, nobody has any cause to look down on or sneer at Detroit any more. Why?  Because the whole country is willing to do to itself what Detroit did - elect corrupt and incompetent leaders who drive us to insolvency and collapse. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Range Day with The Shekel

Well, it was more like half a day, but I recently got to spend some time with my friend Aaron from The Shekel Blog indulging in some high-velocity lead stress therapy.  The link will take you to Aaron's report, where he talks about his new M&P 40c, his 9x18 pistols from Czechoslovakia and Poland, and his new .300 AAC-based AR.

Me - I brought my trusty Springfield XD9sc, which is my carry gun, and which needed the waistband lint blown out of it.

I also brought my own CZ-82, unintentionally synchronizing with Aaron and his CZ, so we were both trying out range commands in Russian in honor of the 9mm Makarov round.  Well, Aaron actually knew the Russian words, I just used a very bad Russian accent. Boris Badenov would not have approved.

I also went a little old-school with my Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver, too.  4-inch heavy barrel for those interested, with the original grips.
Aaron mentioned the FAST Drill we were doing, and which in absolute terms I sucked, but I did a lot better than I thought I would.  I really lost time at the mag change, and picking up the front sight on the first round.  Areas to work on, certainly.  And let's not talk about the mag change on the CZ, except to say that the mag release is a definate weak point of this design, both in its stiff and gritty movement, and in the design of the grips around it.  I may have to attempt a detail strip to see if that can't be smoothed up a little.

I did get a few cylinders full through the revolver before we moved down to the 100 yard line for some musketry (as Aaron put it).  We each pulled out our new beauties, his an AR in .300 AAC and mine a Sig 556R in 7.62x39.  This picture isn't mine, but I neglected to take pictures of it so I filched this one off the internet.  Mine has Midwest Industries iron sights on it, though - for some reason Sig includes a chinzy red dot scope with this rifle instead of their excellent diopter sights which are included on other 550-based rifles.

I had this rifle out a few weeks ago but didn't get to do much beyond function tests at 25 yards, and some test shots at 50 yards just to see what happened.  So today was the first test at real rifle distances.  Everything was shooting off the paper high initially, and I found that the AR-style sight tool I have is slightly smaller than standard size and doesn't fit the Sig.  It was made for the Tech-Sights on my 10/22, and which is not standard AR size.  So I had to improvise for my elevation adjustments, which seem to have worked since the rifle is now just a little high at 100 yards.  Another session or two and I'll have this thing dialed in.

A couple of observations about this rifle.  First is that it is a nice shooter that doesn't beat up you at all.  It's not a mild recoiler like the AR, but it's pretty easy to handle nevertheless.  Second, this thing completely outclasses my AK.  They have very similar operation, but the Swiss have certainly refined it and made it better in every way. I really like this rifle. From what I am reading, this rifle is really showing the true potential in the 7.62x39 round, and with good glass will hit effectively out to 500 yards.  It would be nice to see some decently priced US made brass-cased ammo in this caliber.  The East-bloc stuff can be pretty inconsistent in its quality and consistency.  I suppose it won't happen though - the AK's can't really tell and there aren't enough of the 556R's in circulation yet to make it worthwhile.  I guess you can get Lapua, but that's pretty spendy.

Still, for what I bought this rifle for, there is more than enough good ammo available.

About this time our stomachs were telling us it was time to pack up and go, so we went into Williamston and had lunch at a local diner - a nice sandwich, chips, and drink type of place.

Sorry it took so long for me to post this, Aaron, but it was great to see and shoot with you again!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chicago: Yeah, that oughta work.

From an article in the Chicago Sun-Times(full article here)

Cops knocking on doors of potential shooters, victims
Working from a list of people deemed most likely to become shooters or victims, a Chicago Police commander is expected to start knocking on their doors Friday and deliver letters warning them not to commit any violent crimes.

The “custom notifications” are a pilot program in the Austin District on the West Side. Austin District Cmdr. Barbara West plans to deliver letters to 20 people on a so-called “heat list,” officials said.
Wow.  Just Wow.  Who comes up with this stuff?  A couple of comments I have read about this program were spot-on:

"How many of these functionally illiterate gang-bangers will even be able to read these letters?"

"The U.N. has had great success with their sternly worded letters to rogue regimes all over the world, haven't they?"

Saturday, July 06, 2013

A Mid-Season Tigers Post

Looking just at numbers, you would think everything is fine here, but the Tigers are a strange hot-and-cold team that often disappears in the late innings, and too often they have lost games they should have won because they couldn't score runs late.

The Big 3 of Jackson, Cabrera, and Fielder continue to perform well (Cabrera at his usual MVP level), Jhonny Peralta has been a nice surprise so far, and Victor Martinez seems to be finding himself after missing last season and getting off to a slow start this year.  Alex Avila needs to start hitting, period.  Sub-.200 just doesn't cut it on a team built to go deep in the playoffs, no matter how good you are defensively - just ask Brandon Inge about that.

Thankfully, Delmon Young and his brutal defense is gone this year.  Andy Dirks has played a solid left field in his place.  Torii Hunter has solidified right field, while Austin Jackson continues to be one of the best center fielders in baseball.  A lot of the hits and errors from last year have been turned into outs this year because of this crew, with Matt Tuiasosopo filling in ably in left against left-handed pitching.  Glad to see him coming off the DL today.  I agree with Jim Leyland - Avisail Garcia needs a lot more at-bats in Toledo rather than riding the pine in Detroit.

At the beginning of spring training, who would have thought that:
  1. Rick Porcello would not only be in the rotation, but be one of the most consistent pitchers on the staff.  Except for a couple of bad outings, he has been steady and solid - just what you want from your fifth starter.
  2. Justin Verlander would be scuffling and trying to find himself.  And he's still 9-5, and if he hits his stride, could win 20 again.
  3. Max Schertzer would be lights out and undefeated on the season.  Last year after the All-Star break he seemed to finally get himself consistently at a high level, and that has carried over to this season.  Better than Verlander at this point, and should start the All-Star game this year.
  4. Doug Fister would struggle as much as he has.  Thought he would be much better than this, but the lack of run support has seemed to bite him as much as anyone on the staff. 
  5. Jose Valverde would have ever been seen in Detroit again.
We all saw the bullpen issues coming, and it will be a continuing source of nervousness for the rest of the season unless some of those prospects we have on the farm go for a good closer before the trade deadline.  There isn't a lot of help out there though, so what we have may be all we get.  Thankfully, the Jose Valverde experiment seems to be over, although he did accept assignment to Toledo, so he could still get back.  I hope not - he just doesn't seem to have it any more.

A lot of people think Jim Leyland is the biggest problem with this team, but honestly I don't see it.  I remember people were critical of Sparky Anderson when he managed here, too. Sparky was one of the best of all time and got flamed a whole lot in Detroit.  I'm not saying Leyland is in Sparky's league, but he sure is getting the same treatment.  But people were wrong about Sparky and they are just as wrong about Leyland.

Zimmerman is guilty because...

I had no particular desire to post about George Zimmerman today, or any other day for that matter.  I have not actively sought out news about him, but you can hardly miss the headlines, and occasionally I stumble across something about him in articles I am reading for other reasons.  Such was the case today, when I was reading a talk radio summary published on  They were talking about how Michael Savage has passed Rush Limbaugh in listenership this week because of the high number of internet listeners he has.  Then they talked about Savage's conclusion that Zimmerman is guilty because his gun had the safety off and a round in the chamber, and therefore Zimmerman was out looking for a violent confrontation.

It is this kind of willful ignorance that keeps me from taking Michael Savage seriously.  Honestly, I want to, because I love his passion and the unconventional viewpoints he takes on the issues of the day.  But I also see him make careless and uninformed mistakes that shade him toward the crackpot side of the spectrum for me.  So let's explore Dr. Savage's conclusion.

By all accounts, the pistol that Zimmerman used was a KelTec PF-9.  Here's a picture of one:

From the KelTec Website:
The PF-9 is a semi-automatic, locked breech pistol, chambered for the 9mm Luger cartridge. It has been developed from our highly successful P-11 and P-3AT pistols with maximum concealability in mind. The PF-9 has a single stack magazine holding 7 rounds. It is one of the lightest and flattest 9 mm ever made. Firing mechanism is Double-Action Only with an automatic hammer block safety.
A cursory look at this picture gives us the first indication of Dr. Savage's ignorance.  There is no external safety anywhere on this gun!  For those reading this that don't know anything about firearms, that little tab above the center of the grip, where you might think a safety would be, is the slide release lever, which automatically holds the slide open when you have fired the last round, or can be manually engaged if necessary. You have to push it down to release the slide from the locked position.  The hammer block safety mentioned in the description is an internal safety which only releases when the trigger is pulled a specific distance, and is there to keep the gun from going off if it is dropped.  So there was no safety there for Zimmerman to turn off, because the gun wasn't made with one.

While visiting the KelTec website, I also looked at the pictures and descriptions of all their pistols to see if any of them did in fact have an external safety.  There are three listed that do, two of which have barrel lengths in excess of nine inches and are not concealable with anything less than a trench coat, and one which is a .22 Magnum - not even close the the caliber (9mm Luger) that police say was used in the shooting.  The three other pistols manufactured by KelTec do not have external safeties.

It should be noted that many of the most popular carry pistols today do not have external safeties.  So again, applying Dr. Savage's logic, thousands upon thousands of Americans are out on the streets every day looking to have a violent encounter because they bought a pistol that has no external safety.  That's like saying a gun is an assault rifle because it's painted black.  It is utter foolishness.

Dr. Savage then goes further into ignorance by concluding that carrying your gun with a round in the chamber means you are looking for a violent confrontation.  If this is true, then a very large percentage of people who carry a pistol, either openly or concealed (which includes police officers, by the way), are actually looking for a violent confrontation every day.  Why?  Because they consider it normal to carry their weapon with a round in the chamber, and would consider any other method foolish.  They take steps to carry it that way safely (they aren't stupid, after all), but they know that if you need that pistol, you are going to need it immediately, and even the second it would take to rack the slide to chamber a round could mean the difference between going home or going to the morgue.  That is the simple choice.  But Dr. Savage would label them all as looking for trouble every time they carry their gun with a round in the chamber.  That conclusion doesn't pass the sniff test either, Doc.

I don't know if Zimmerman is guilty or not.  From the little I have heard and read of the trial, the case is pretty weak, but that remains for the jury to decide.  I do know that Zimmerman was colossally stupid in the way he handled himself in the first few weeks after the shooting, and brought a lot more trouble onto himself than he had to.  He should have lawyered up and shut up.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

From the Mackinac Policy Conference: Jeb Bush and Mark Schauer

I'm not there at the conference, but hearing news reports and interviews, so here are some thoughts:

1. Jeb Bush.  This guy seriously thinks he has a shot at the Presidency in '16?  And Republicans think so too?  If they really believe that then they will lose again.  This guy is like Joan Rivers - popping up in the public eye every now and again to try and recapture past attention, but all Joan and Jeb get are yawns and channel changes.

2. Mark Schauer.  This guy is a Democrat running for Governor, a 1-term congressman from Michigan's 7th District, who was defeated by Tim Walberg.  I heard him talking to Paul W. Smith this morning.

Michigan, if you elect this guy or anyone like him, you are fools.  He is Jenny Granholm without the visual appeal.  He will be a return to the meddlesome, pandering, head-in-sand governance that ran this state into the ground during the Granholm administration. 

Make no mistake - I'm not a huge fan of Rick Snyder and didn't vote for him in the primary or the general, but he has made some tough decisions that no other politician has been willing to touch to point this state in the right direction financially.  Do you think Schauer would let those changes stand?  Not a chance.  His Big Labor buddies would have their sweetheart deals all back in place in a heartbeat, and Michigan would resume its downward slide.

Mr. Schauer, on the other hand, seems to think that governments, who can't run cities, counties, states, or countries efficiently, productively, and in the black, are the perfect ones to tell businesses how to run themselves.  In doing this, he shows a fundamental lack of economic knowledge that disqualifies him completely from being dog-catcher, let alone Governor.  All he is is another controlling personality who can't keep from minding other people's business.

I've got an ideal for you Mr. Schauer.  If you're such a talented and resourceful runner of businesses, why don't you become a business consultant?  Companies can hire you to either tell them how to run themselves, or at least ask for your recommendations.  Then you can be judged by the success or failure of your ideas, and your continued employment would depend on those successes.  But you wouldn't be around to shove your failed economic model down our throats like your predecessor Jenny did.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Atheists: Religion a "virus" that must be "cured"

Reading a letter this morning from a Christian ministry that we support, and it was relating a portion of an interview on the BBC between atheist Daniel Dennet and host Stephen Sackur:

SACKUR:  It seems to me you posit the idea that religions are evolving.  That, in essence, they're evolving in a way which is going to leave them extinct.  They are no longer necessary or useful for human beings.  Am I right?

DENNETT:  Well, first of all, even if they're no longer necessary or useful, they might not go extinct.  The common cold is not necessary or useful; it's not going extinct, is it?

SACKUR: Richard Dawkins talks of religion in a way -- to think of it almost like a virus.

DENNETT: That's why I used that example.  There are lots of symbiotes, lots of parasites and viruses and bacteria that thrive on us and other species, and some of them are very useful to us.  We couldn't live without them.  The flora in our guts, for instance.  We couldn't digest our food without it.  Some are just along for the ride, they don't hurt.  And a few of them -- a small minority -- are really harmful. They're bad for us.

SACKUR: And in that sense, in the intellectual sense, in the idea sense, religion is bad for us, and therefore we need a cure.  Is that what you're saying?

DENNETT:  A cure... yes, yes indeed, I think a lot of people are really afflicted by their religion, and I would love to see them cured.

And just for reference, here is a quote from Richard Dawkins in 2006 to which they are perhaps referring:  "Let me explain why; when it comes to children, I think of religion as a dangerous virus.  It's a virus which is transmitted partly through teachers and clergy, but also down the generations from parent to child to grandchild.  Children are especially vulnerable to infection by the virus of religion."

So, let me get this straight - these leading atheist leaders are the bright, shining pathway to a glorious future of humanity, and anyone who gets in their way is a virus that needs a good shot of the penicillin of atheism to cure them (or kill them off).

Before we get too caught up in the wonderfulness of atheism and it's potential to bring humanity to a new and brighter future, let me remind my readers of the history of atheism in the last century or so:

  • Soviet Union (Lenin, Stalin, and their successors)
  • Nazi Germany (Adolph Hitler)
  • Facist Italy (Benito Mussolini)
  • Red China (Chairman Mao)
  • Cambodia (Pol Pot)
  • Viet Nam (Ho Chi Minh)
  • North Korea (three generations of Kim)
  • Cuba (the Castro's, not to mention Che Guevara, who is dead)
  • A host of other lesser lights like Ceausescu, Amin, Chavez, and Mugabe.
What is the common thread of these regimes?  Atheism.  Most are Marxist, but some have their own "denominations" of atheism.  We should ask the hundreds of millions of people murdered by these regimes if atheism was a shining path to the future for them.  Ask them if they would recommend these atheistic systems for a society looking to improve itself.  Ask them if atheism improved their lives.  Friends, we know the answer to those questions - those atheists brought nothing but slavery, misery, poverty, and death.  That is the end of atheism in all it's forms.

Frankly, you see where the current crop are going in the dismissive way that Dawkins and Dennett look at religion and religious people.  They are a problem to be gotten rid of.  Re-educated if possible, but gotten rid of as an infestation like they were a bunch of termites.  We see the characteristic thinking of all those on my list in these these men - willing to kill those who don't think like they do.  And make no mistake - if they are in power they will kill you if you don't convert to their atheism.

Now, the atheists will take my remarks here and point to the religious wars of history and say "see - you're just as bad!"  Take Jillian Becker, atheist and contributor to The Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, who wrote in 2012:  "Has anything caused as much human suffering as religion?  You might say disease, but religion itself is a disease, of the human race and of individual minds.  Persecution, war, torture, terror, bodily pain, mental anguish, profound misery, wasted lives are the chief products of religion."

Ms. Becker - I answer emphatically: YES - ATHEISM!  See my list above for examples.

Have there been religious wars?  Yes, absolutely. Atheists like to point to the Crusades as a major case in point, and the standard line is that the Christians made war on the muslims for religious reasons.  Well, the truth is, the Crusades were a response to the Islamic expansions into Southern and Eastern Europe, and to the slaughter of Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land (after many years of peaceful co-existence).  Many myths have been promulgated over the last century as to the reasons for the Crusades, which we are now finding to be false.  Myths like a population explosion in Europe and needing more land for all those children, or non-firstborn sons who would not inherit family lands being the ones to go on the Crusade, or even that it was as much against the Jews as it was against the muslims.

But let's say all the myths are actually true.  Let's say that it was everything that standard history says it was, and more.  Let me then ask this question:  has this mindset continued through to today?  Do we see Christian armies plundering and pillaging and laying seige and taking over? Let's expand it and ask the same question about Buddhist or Jewish or even Scientologist armies doing that?  Have we seen that over the last hundred years?  200?  300?  (and if you say George W. Bush I'm going to smack you because you know that isn't true!)

One could say that in a sense Stephen Sackur was right when he said that religions are evolving - at least some of them are.  Evolving to the point were they are more interested in establishing and maintaining peaceful relationships with other countries and even other religions than they are conquering and ruling over them.  But somehow this is a bad thing in the eyes of atheists.  It's a virus that has to be cured.

I have tried to use neutral terms such as "religion", or give a list of religions as examples, rather than to focus on one specific religion.  However, I think Jesus has something to say on this issue:
"For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
(Luke 6:43-45)
If we are honest, I think we have to look at the world and at history, and judge the fruit of these different systems.  Which ones have produced good fruit?  Which ones have produced bad fruit?

On the whole, I don't think there is any question where the atheists fall on that scale.

Ultimately, this argument is about truth.  Is there such a thing as truth?  If so who or what defines it?  And where does your truth lead you, in terms of how you view the world and the people in it?

Where do you think atheism lands in that discussion?  What fruit has it produced?  Has it evolved to the better?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Boston Massacre

The big media outlets seem to be dubbing last weeks bombing at the Boston Marathon "The Boston Massacre". I have to say that while the term massacre may possibly be technically correct, the real Boston Massacre was about free men defending themselves from a tyrannical government, not attempting to slaughter innocents.

This is why I have a problem with the term Boston Massacre being applied to this event. It somehow equates an act of murder by two cowards with heroic resistance to tyranny.

Frankly, I see no equivalence whatsoever.

"Marathon Bombing" is a much better term.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Another Detroit sports legend hangs 'em up.

First it was Steve Yzerman.  Then Nicklas Lidstrom.

Now, it's Jason Hanson.

Hanson announced his retirement today after 21 seasons as the placekicker for the Detroit Lions.  Hanson was a model of consistency and excellence on a team that has had little of either in the last 30 years.

Here is the Detroit News article on his decision and his career.

Thanks, Jason, for your class and for being the one Lion you could always count on.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Behind the scenes of John 3:16

This is from a somewhat surprising source - a movie review of "Olympus has Fallen" on by Drew Zahn, entitled "How could a loving God create hell?  Original here

A pivotal scene in the film, however, prompted me – as it will many in its audience – to ask a question of significance: “What would I do if I were in that one character’s shoes?”
My answer to the question led me further to an epiphany about God, about Christ and about the creation of a place none of us would ever wish to truly ponder, a place called “hell.”
In this pivotal scene – and I surrender no spoiler in discussing it in these terms – the president of the United States is threatened with the prospect of watching his son be tortured or killed. The movie’s villain hopes plying the president’s love for his son will extract from the commander-in-chief a code that can be used to wreak mass destruction on a global scale. The choice threatened: to watch his son be tortured or watch the world burn.
What a brutal choice for a father to face.

Yet what would I, the father of sons and daughters, do in this character’s place? What would I say to my son if he were placed upon the terrorist’s torture block, knowing that negotiating for my son’s life would mean surrendering the lives of millions?
I sat in the parking lot after the film and pondered the question.
Yet it didn’t take long for me to come to an answer. Perhaps my answer would be different in the heat of the moment. I don’t pretend to think I’d have this clarity when my son’s screams were ringing in my ears, but in the stillness of a darkened car in a darkened parking lot, the answer came to me.
What would I say to my son?
“My son,” I heard myself saying, “I love you, and I’m sorry, but remember John 3:16. I am the father, and you are my son, and I love you.”
John 3:16: “For [the Father] so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son …”
The answer settled in my soul – painful, agonizing, but right in my heart. I would not spare my son if it meant the death of millions of other sons.
But I can tell you this much: With the sound of my son’s agony resounding in my mind, I would remember every blow, every howl, every scream. And if I somehow made it out of that situation alive, president or no, if I caught that terrorist who tortured my son, no law, no badge, no gun, no force on earth would shield that man from the full measure of my wrath, burning and heaped down upon his head for all eternity.
And with that thought, I suddenly understood hell.
For the Father did seek to save the world, and the price was the brutal torture and death of His Son at the hands of men.
If God is a God of love, and He loves His Son, then we men, above all, have sound and good reason to fear the Father’s eternal wrath. It could not be otherwise and God to be a God of love.
And in that fury, that imagined rage I felt for briefest moment, I asked myself, what would satisfy my wrath? What would stay this father’s hand from a vengeance most fierce and horrible?
One thing. Only one thing. If my son, somehow brought back to life, were to say to me, “It’s OK, Dad. This one is with me. I forgive him.”
Then, and only then, would that man escape my wrath.
According to Scripture, we are the torturers, the terrorists, the brutal slayers of the Son of God, and the Father’s wrath is in store for us. Not just for those that lived in Jesus’ day, but for the whole of humanity.
Yet so magnificent is the love of Christ for his enemies that He said, “Father, forgive them.”
Somehow, Christ, come back to life, is willing to say to His Father, “It’s OK, Dad. This one is with me. I forgive him.”
The question is, of course, are you with the Son? Have you placed your only hope of salvation in His intercession on your behalf before His Father? Or do you persist in torturing Him?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

One great big reason "The Sequester" should happen

From The Washington Post:  Sequester might ground lawmakers

Forget threats of furloughed workers or reduced security at embassies.
Here’s what might be the most powerful incentive yet for members of Congress to come up with a deal to avert the sequester: the head of the Air Force today warned that the spending cuts that will go into effect March 1 could cause the military to eliminate those lovely miljet flights that lawmakers enjoy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Suzanna Hupp testifies again before Congress

Yesterday, Suzanna Hupp testified before Congress on the effects of gun control laws.  This testimony is as moving today as it was in the early 90's when she did it the first time, telling Congress her firsthand account of the Luby's Massacre where the gunman killed both her parents.

I link to the Website of Jews for the Protection of Firearms Ownership, which has conveniently put videos of both testimonies together for your viewing.

I'm probably preaching to the choir, but perhaps someone will stumble across this blog and see these videos of the true impact of gun control and understand how evil and despicable it is to take the right to self defense away from free men and women.

Perhaps even Colorado Rep. Joe Salazar will see this testimony and realize that his idea of women who are about to be raped would be better served by blowing whistles than blowing the brains out of their attacker is perhaps...silly.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Dear Sen. Feinstein

Setting aside for a moment the fact the Bill of Rights is about rights, not needs, this gentleman answers the question quite directly from his own experience:

A Jew Without a Gun, by Robert J Avrech

Not that the Congress will listen to actual, you know, logic and reason.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tiananmen Square Survivor reacts to Obama Gun Restrictions

Well, if folks won't believe me when I talk about what the 2nd Amendment means, maybe they'll listen to this gentleman, who has some up-close and personal experience with tyrannical government - Red China.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Musical Interlude #1

This is terrific!

And this one too!


New Arrest in the War on Terror

A teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, the Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

‘”Al-Gebra is a problem for us,” the Attorney General said. “They derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.” They use secret code names like ‘X’ and ‘Y’ and refer to themselves as “unknowns”, but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.

As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, ‘There are 3 sides to every triangle’.

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Obama said, “If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have given us more fingers and toes.” White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the President. It is believed that the Nobel Prize for Physics will follow.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Republicans Cave

Why do we even differentiate between Republicans and Democrats any more?  They are all the same.  There isn't a dime's worth of difference between them, as evidenced by their total collapse in passing the bills to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff".

There is no principle in the Republican party any more.  They have given the President everything he wanted, and will drive us even more deeply into financial ruin.  Why does the Republican party exist any more - they only do the bidding of the Democrats.  Even when they had the majority, they couldn't do anything with it.  Except be Democrats.