Thursday, November 20, 2008

Last Post (For a While)

I almost titled it just "Last Post," but that just ain't gonna happen. I'll have to vent eventually. But this will be the last post you see here, and on 11-29-08, this blog will disappear entirely.

It's like this: I need to make some major changes in my life. For some of those changes, it would be helpful if I didn't have quite so much name recognition, so to speak. So I'm going to delete my two existing blogs and start over later, with another user name, e-mail address, and blog.

I hesitated to do this for the longest time, because a lot of links are going to go dead, and a lot of work up in smoke. But even though I know I won't be able to totally erase my blogospheric footprint, I think the greater level of anonymity will prove useful. Plus, I just need some time away from the internet. I need some time to accomplish some things and MAKE SOME MONEY (If anyone has something to do that you think I could do, now is the time to say so!). I won't even be commenting.

I'll resurface sometime early next year, I think. I'll republish some of the most informative old posts, perhaps with a little re-writing. I'm open to suggestions on which old posts to do that with.

Like I said, I'll leave this up 'til the 29th. If you're interested (and you're not in a position to throw a monkey wrench into the works), e-mail me and ask to be notified when the new blog is up.

When I do resurface, I'd appreciate it if those who know my secret identity didn't mention my name.

In the meantime, this is it.

The Way of the Nuge

More from Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto, emphasis mine:
A wise man once said that if you want peace, prepare for war. If you would be so kind as to indulge Gunny Sgt. Nuge briefly while I slightly modify this otherwise brilliant statement: if you truly want peace, give the ***holes of the world a 2,000-pound, laser-guided bomb for lunch. Lasting peace can only be achieved through the application of relentless and superior fire power. No Rodney King, we cannot all just get along.

Good people are nearly fed up with negative, dangerous ******** like you, and I say it's time to drop the proverbial hammer. Straighten up, or deal with our righteous wrath. No more tolerance for evil choices. I wage war against evil in my life, and I say it's about time America goes full on crush. Each morning I bown down on bended knee in reverence to the Almighty and offer a humble prayer for good bombing weather. Let us all pray for good bombing weather. The history of man is one of warfare, not peace. Read that again. Now that may upset the leftover delusional peaceniks out there, but a quick study of history will tell you that warfare is mankind's modus operandi; always has been, always will be. This is reality and I deal in reality, not utopian superlatives. Doped up, logic-challenged peaceniks and their foggy ideologies are dangerous. "Give peace a chance" will get you killed. John Lennon was wrong. Imagine that.
To my mind, the two biggest ingredients in peace are 1) being entirely too dangerous and unproductive to mess with, and 2) not messing with others. The second is harder to achieve when you are the world's biggest market and overall economic power (hard as that may be to believe right now); it is hard not to inadvertently mess with someone's world when your hiccups make it quake. But the first should never be abandoned; it is the biggest part of the Swiss recipe for peace and it has served them well for a very long time now.

One of the most dangerous parts of the coming Obama administration will be, in my opinion, if he keeps to his promise to dramatically cut military spending and work toward nuclear disarmament (either whole or partial). If he actually does this, I think it likely that it will produce less peace, not more.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whatever the **** They Want

"Heck," of course. Were you wondering?
I believe I can see what's coming. The California Supreme Court has agreed to take up cases against the recently-passed ban on homosexual marriage in California. As the article states:
All three cases claim the ban abridges the civil rights of a vulnerable minority group.
My understanding is that California already has laws in place allowing civil unions, which allow homosexuals basically all the rights and privileges of marriage--just not the word "married." It seems hard to dispute, then, that the plaintiffs in these cases are arguing that their civil rights are somehow violated when other people have the right not to call them "married."

Personally, I pretty much take it for granted that no true "right" comes at the expense of someone else's "right."

At any rate, I think what's coming is that the California supremes will rule in favor of the plaintiffs, and, having overturned the previous effort by the California voters to outlaw homosexual marriage, and then having overturned the constitutional amendment they passed, will have effectively declared the authority of the California Supreme Court to do whatever the heck it wants, with the voters having no recourse whatsoever.

You gotta wonder why they bother having a legislature and a governor out there. Or, for that matter, a voting booth. L'etat, c'est le California Supreme Court.

Been There

Substitute "politicians" for "customers" in this cartoon, and you begin to understand one of the temptations I face daily.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One of the Times I Don't Entirely Agree with Mr. Buchanan

Mr. Buchanan favors--for understandable reasons--approving some loans for the U.S. auto industry. I don't, for the simple reason that I don't think that any loaned amount will be enough until the underlying problems are addressed. Mr. Buchanan addresses one of them here:
...the most magnificent industry, the auto industry that was the pride of America and envy of the world, we surrender to predator-traders from Asia and Europe, lest we violate the tenets of some 19th-century ideological scribblers that the old Republicans considered the apogee of British stupidity.

Nancy Pelosi is talking about tying loans to a restructuring of the industry. But Congress is not competent to do that.

What needs to be restructured is the U.S. tax-and-trade regime.

Dump globalism. Instruct Japan, Canada, Korea, Germany and China that if they wish to sell cars here, they will assemble them here and produce the parts here. And we shall have the same free access to and same share of their auto market as they have of ours.

To accomplish this, use the same import quotas and tariffs Ronald Reagan used to save the steel industry and Harley-Davidson.

Reciprocal trade. Even Democrats like FDR used to practice it.
The more I learn about this subject, the more I am constantly gobsmacked by people who don't quite seem to get it. They are continually harping about how other nations will "retaliate" without quite understanding that they have already attacked, so to speak. Our nation-competitors--that is what they are--already rig their home playing fields against us. It's not a question of "retaliation," it's a question of self-defense. In far too many instances, we've unilaterally disarmed in the trade wars. As Phyllis Schlafly said in her column:
(McCain) repeatedly reminded voters that he is the "biggest free-trader" they'll ever meet, a line that may resonate with a few libertarian think tanks but is a poke in the eye to blue-collar guys whose jobs have gone overseas to Chinese working for 30 cents an hour.

McCain could have called for a level playing field for international trade, such as by changing the discriminatory trade agreements that allow foreign countries to replace their tariffs with a value added tax of a comparable percentage, or by repudiating the World Trade Organization, which has ruled against the United States in 40 out of 47 cases. But he didn't.

McCain did a lot of railing against earmarks (not a big issue with the voters), but he didn't criticize the political action committee contributions and high-paid lobbyists who promote policies that advantage the multinationals at the expense of manufacturing jobs and small business.
Personally, I think the Fair Tax is the best solution to our trade problems. Instituting that might be the best solution to the auto industry's woes. But if I can't get that, I'll settle for the judicious use of some tariffs.

The other big issue that needs to be addressed is government interference on the side of big labor, resulting in wildly unsustainable labor contracts for the Big Three. In a market where government was not acting on big labor's behalf, labor costs would look a lot more like they do in the South, and the Big Three would be a lot more competitive.

We've got to address those issues first. And I haven't even mentioned that the Constitution doesn't, not anywhere I can find, anyway, give the Federal government the authority to loan money to private businesses.

So, yeah, I disagree with Mr. Buchanan on this one. It does occasionally happen.

Another One From the Nuge

The quote is from Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto:
Because of September 11, we have all been exposed to the ugly underbelly of the Muslim faith. Killing people or dying in the name of Allah is beyond bizarre to anyone with a love of mankind and respect for the sanctity of life. Blowing yourself up to please your god is difficult for the Western mind to process. Western values and mores are polar opposite those held by Muslims who worship death in return for forty or so virgins in the afterlife. That's some weird voodoo there, Achmed. If they worship death and want to bring harm to America or our friends and allies, we should give them death they could have never imagined. I support a rain of fire. We must do whatever is necessary to protect America and western culture. We are in a religious-culture war with radical Muslims who want to destroy our way of life. Let us grind our enemies underfoot. Let there be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. The world should not stay bound and gagged.
Oh, I know. Some of you out there think that's kind of extreme. I sometimes think that a lot of people in the blogosphere tend to be around degreed people and professional people all the time. Some of y'all just might not quite realize how many construction guys, truck drivers, machinists, welders, military guys, etc., think just like this.

A whole bunch, that's how many.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Grandmaster," My Fat, Pale Tuckus

Every so often I make the mistake of following the link back to the Google search that lead to a hit on one of my old posts. This morning, I found a couple of search results that reminded me of something--something that many readers will no doubt find trivial--that has burned me up for a long time: people that will just make something up and sell it to the public as something it's not.

I'm speaking of martial arts here. In the Northeastern part of Oklahoma alone, I can think of at least three different instructors who either claim grossly inflated credentials to which they have no legitimate claim, or who have created their own "martial art" out of the techniques they've accumulated from various other instructors and what they've learned out of books and videotapes--but give the public the erroneous impression that those "martial arts" have a background extending beyond five years ago.

You would not believe the number of "jeet kune do grandmasters" whom neither Dan Inosanto nor Bruce Lee would recognize. You would not believe the number of "kenpo" systems created solely so the creator can declare himself a "grandmaster." You would not believe the number of "traditional" Japanese martial arts whose lineage can't be traced back past the current "grandmaster."

And yet all of these people will take money for instructing you.

Just beware when you're looking for martial arts instruction, willya? A surprising number of people will either mislead you or flat-out lie to you.

Senator Inhofe Saith...

As regards the Mother of All Bailouts:
I have learned a long time ago. When they come up and say this has to be done and has to be done immediately, there is no other way of doing it, you have to sit back and take a deep breath and nine times out of 10 they are not telling the truth.
Politicians not telling the truth. Who woulda thunk it...

Sunday School Lesson:Embrace Duty

These are the notes I took with me into our Sunday School Class Lifegroup at Calvary Baptist Church on Sunday the 16th. Scripture quotes are from the NET Bible. Anything in bold is quoted directly from Lifeway material.
The title of today's lesson is, "Embrace Duty." I found that interesting. I have run across many people in life who will grudgingly carry out their duties, and many who will run from their duties, but very few who will embrace their duties. Why do you suppose that is? Have you ever felt more like running from your duties than embracing them? What would make you feel that way?

13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 13:2 So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment 13:3 (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation, 13:4 for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be in fear, for it does not bear the sword in vain. It is God’s servant to administer retribution on the wrongdoer. 13:5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities but also because of your conscience. 13:6 For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants devoted to governing. 13:7 Pay everyone what is owed: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
I can't tell you the number of times that people have quoted this passage to me as proof that whatever government does, we are supposed to put up with it. Everytime I hear that, I can't help but think of one of the images I've seen from the time of the American Revolution, a kind of seal, like a state seal, that said, "Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." Many of the founders of our country--on at least one occasion, no less than Benjamin Franklin--said that God had aided us in our revolution. And that brings up the question: if all authority is there by God's appointment, presumably that means that a successful revolution or change of government is also by God's appointment. How do you know when you're on the right side of God's will?

What does it mean here for a person to resist the authorities?

What does it say here that authority is for?

Why does it say here that you pay taxes? There are some people--I won't name the political party--who say that all taxation is basically institutionalized theft. What does this passage say to that point of view?

If you had to make your decision based on this passage, is it possible for government to collect taxes for purposes that are not legitimate governmental purposes? How would you determine from Scripture what government's legitimate role is? Is it possible for a divinely instituted government to overtax its people?

How do you show respect and honor? At the time Paul was writing this, to the best of my recollection, the Roman emperor Caligula was not long gone from the scene. This man was one of the most debauched rulers in human history. Many people, even at the time, thought that he was quite insane, or at least hopelessly perverted. How do you show respect and honor when the people occupying public office appear to be completely corrupt or twisted?

What's the difference between submitting to authorities and unconditionally obeying them?

13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 13:9 For the commandments, “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,” (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
How many people in here are debt-free? How many people wish they were debt-free? Do you think that this verse is even talking about money? What else might it be talking about?

How do you go about loving a neighbor who was clearly not smart enough to vote the way you thought he ought to?

13:11 And do this because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. 13:12 The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. 13:13 Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy. 13:14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to arouse its desires.
I told my mother the other day that I only knew one thing for sure about the time of Jesus' return: that it is now about two thousand years nearer than when Paul wrote. What does it mean when Paul says that the day is near, and yet two millennia have passed?

This is hardly the only place in the New Testament where believers are told not to indulge in certain things. Why did the New Testament writers warn so often about avoiding these things? Wouldn't you think that Christians would just naturally and willingly avoid carousing, drunkenness, sexual immorality and sensuality, discord and jealousy? Isn't that your experience?

How would a person go about making provision for the flesh? How do you avoid that? What do you do when you are around people who are making provision for their flesh?
Those interested in more on the subject of government and Scripture may enjoy this old post by Evil Conservative.