Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
The Catholic Church has a lot going on lately. For one thing, it's got a television mini-series this month. It looks like quite an involved production. I'm looking forward to watching "Catholicism" on PBS, which is a noble film-making effort that traces the history of the church. But wait, there's more.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Monday, November 07, 2011
I remember when President Nixon claimed “executive privilege” over information relating to the Watergate scandal and refused to answer questions about the eighteen minutes gone missing from Oval Office tapes, among other negative situations.
The MSM was practically hysterical with outrage. Dan Rather, that bastion of journalistic integrity, led the media hordes in demanding an explanation. The chorus of feverish indignation was everywhere—in the newspaper headlines, on television news, in Congress. After months of non-stop media coverage, the beleaguered Nixon was forced to resign from office.
How times have changed.
Today we have a president invoking executive privilege by refusing to release documents that have been subpoenaed by House of Representatives Republicans in an investigation of the Solyndra scandal, which wasted over half a billion dollars of taxpayer money. The President of the United States is “not expected to comply,” according to The Hill.
You’d think that might be a big story, wouldn’t you? So, what are today’s headlines?
Well, let’s see. On Google News, the top story is that Michael Jackson’s doctor has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter, a decision evidently so vital to our national interest that it leads the news. Another woman has stepped forward to accuse Herman Cain of sexual harassment, a predictable development that must have enormous influence on the urgent issues of our day. Justin Bieber will take a paternity test--gee, that’s a load off my mind. An asteroid will pass close to Earth tomorrow. Stocks are up a bit. Obama would beat a GOP opponent, according to an NBC poll, which reminds me why I watch cable news.
Solyndra? Hmmm. Nope, don’t see it. Let’s enter it as a search word, shall we? Ah yes, here we go. There’s a link to NY Times Paul Krugman calling Solyndra “a victim of success.” Even for Krugman, that’s a stretch. There is also news on the Solyndra inventory items being sold at auction and articles decrying “Solar Under Siege.”
I see nothing further about the president refusing to produce subpoenaed documents. What a surprise.
But wait! At the very bottom of the page of search results, there’s a link to a poll showing 63% of Americans think the . should comply with the House requestWell, duh.
Wasn’t this going to be “the most open and transparent” administration in history? Good luck with that. I, for one, am waiting for next year with great “hope” that a gigantic “change” is coming on Election Day.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
I'm currently reading a book that a coworker loaned to me. He is a spiritual guy, and often when he finds a book that touches his soul, he asks me to read it, too, so we can talk about it.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
We all have our favorites among the many different people who cross our paths as we journey through life. At the top of my list is Bill Huse.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
According to the schedule, we’ve only got about 87 more debates to go (or so it seems).
I have a lot of questions about the debates. Why are MSM anchors hosting these disasters? Those chuckleheads aren’t going to ask any decent questions. Why are the candidates lunging at each other’s jugular veins? Why aren’t they presenting a united front by focusing on President Obama’s failures as a leader? There’s enough material on that topic alone for a few hundred debates.
Why are the candidates instead talking about apples, oranges, and gardeners? Why aren’t they talking about jobs, the economy, jobs, unemployment, jobs, the deficit, jobs, the debt, jobs, border security, jobs, national security, and did I mention jobs? Why aren’t they concentrating on that looming national catastrophe, Obamacare?
Watching the Republican debates is kind of like watching an Obama speech or press conference. You find yourself brimming with multiplying questions but hearing no real answers. You get bored with listening and shut off the television. You hope it doesn’t happen again—but you know it will.
I think I’ll try tuning out until the 2012 general election results. There’s no debate about the fact that those will be well worth watching.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Sunday, October 09, 2011
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Neutrinos, tiny particles of universal matter, have shaken up the scientific world. In one recent experiment, neutrinos seemed to move faster than the speed of light.
As one might imagine, this has world scientists in a bit of a tizzy. For all the tired memes about established religion being stodgy and unwilling to accept new ideas, nobody can dig in on traditional dogma like a scientist defending the status quo.
For example, take the declaration that "the science is settled" regarding global warming. That statement in itself is anti-scientific, and no true scientist would say such a thing. Science is never settled. Remember when Pluto was a planet? There are always new discoveries to be made. If you believe in settled science, you may as well throw in for the tooth fairy.
Imagine, the tiny little neutrino, causing all this fuss. Just more proof that, by its very nature, science will always be full of surprises.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
|I received the story below in an e-mail message today, and whether it's truth or fiction, I thought it was so timely that it's worth posting:|
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan"..
All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A....
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Could not be any simpler than that.
Remember, there is a test coming up. The 2012 elections.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Friday, September 09, 2011
Southern California had a massive electrical power failure yesterday at 3:40 p.m. As I stood with my evacuated colleagues outside our office building, word spread within a few minutes that the blackout extended from Orange County to Ensenada, Mexico, and from Yuma, Arizona to Coronado Island.
Friday, September 02, 2011
There’s a new patio surrounding my home since the start of summer. As much as my resultant diminished budget will allow, I’ve socialized with friends, gone to lunch and dinner, been to a few movies. I’ve enjoyed the outdoors, read half a dozen books and cleaned out one closet (five more to go), so I feel reasonably productive. Today would have been my 39th wedding anniversary, so I also feel correspondingly old.
The end of summer always brings a unique wistfulness and an awareness of time passing. The calendar is propelling us towards the holiday season, which concludes with the start of a new year. We’ll all be another year older, perhaps wiser, and already anticipating the arrival of next summer—whatever joys or sorrows it may bring.
Thursday, September 01, 2011
- Forrest Gump
President Obama is often touted by his ever-diminishing hoard of admirers as intellectually brilliant. Personally, I have never noticed any evidence of his purportedly awesome brain power, perhaps underscoring the fact that I’m too ignorant and stupid to appreciate his greatness. (Obama would certainly think so.) However, an increasing number of reasonably intelligent observers are voicing doubts about how truly smart the current president really is.
Think about it. Here is a man who doggedly insists and appears totally convinced that he has improved the economy. “Sunburned,” the story of a bankrupt solar panel company, tells a different tale. Here was a trendy green jobs operation that should have been roaring hot, buttressed by Obama loan guarantees (read “your tax dollars”), but it went down and took over one thousand American jobs with it. And that’s just a random sample from the Obamanomics files.
Now that his island resort vacation has concluded, Obama is itching to present his “urgent” jobs message. Always forgetting that he is not the king, only the president, Obama invited himself to address a joint session of Congress on a night he knew full well the constitutionally co-equal legislative branch of government would find inconvenient. Congress declined, so the president’s “major” speech (aren’t they all?) was rescheduled to football night.
Oh, what to watch on the evening of September 8? Rarely are Americans faced with such a challenging decision.
Watching the president, one must be prepared to hear a number of stock phrases rearranged for current impact. Obama will talk about “corporate jets” (without mentioning Air Force One), “fat cats” (with no reference to his 2008 campaign contributors), “a balanced approach,” “problems inherited,” and “obstructionists in Congress.” He’ll take credit for killing Osama bin Laden (again) and probably for lessening Hurricane Irene’s impact (is the planet healing yet?). And he’ll be supremely confident that on the night he speaks, the entire country will be sitting on the edge of their sofas, holding their collective breath in anticipation, ignoring the pretzels on the coffee table, gripping beer cans in hand.
He’ll be right about that last part, except the overwhelming majority of American TV viewers won't be in that hyper-attentive pose until his speech is over and they're watching the Saints-Packers game. It now appears that the president has been rescued by the NFL and NBC from conflicting with the kick-off. He will instead step all over the pre-game coverage. Now I ask you, is that smart?
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
This week, our cosmic reminder took the form of a rare earthquake rattling the U.S.A.’s eastern coast. Now, being a California resident for more than thirty years, I understand that earthquakes are scary episodes—especially the first experience of one. But the panicked reactions depicted in photos from Washington D.C. to New York almost crossed the line from drama into comedy. I mean, really, people. It was an earthquake, not the Second Coming. And just think, it only measured 5.8 in severity. Pace yourselves. As anyone living in Japan can tell you, things can get much worse.
Who would have thought it, but this might be time for East Coasters to look into some basic earthquake preparedness drills. Running outdoors, where falling debris might be hurtling in your direction, is not the best course of action. And standing next to a damaged high-rise building, staring up at broken glass windows, is a definite no-no.
Yesterday’s earthquake serves as a stark reminder that we are not in control. Nature is vastly powerful, and we are often at its mercy. No matter how calm and uneventful our lives may seem, it’s best to be prepared for a disaster, be it natural or manmade. We have no idea what tomorrow will bring—or the rest of today, for that matter. As any Californian can confirm, it’s a good idea to have a few extra gallons of drinking water, some canned soup, and a couple jars of peanut butter in the house at all times. Don’t let your prescriptions run too low. Keep batteries in the flashlights. Stash a change of clothes and a pair of track shoes in the trunk of your car.
Do all this for peace of mind, if nothing else. Then, the next time life shocks you—as eventually, it will—at least you’ll be semi-prepared.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
It’s difficult to argue with Prager’s position. The Ten Commandments set a very high bar for human awareness, behavior, and social interaction, and logic will tell any thinking person that, if followed, they are a recipe for a peaceful world. Read them, with Prager’s insightful commentary on modern examples, and see if you aren’t compelled to agree.
When the influence of the Ten Commandments is absent from any society or civilization, what is the end result? Some tragic examples from the last century are Nazism, Communism and, currently, Islamism. The vast number of people who have suffered and died under these cruel regimes is incalculable.
A popular radio host and author, Prager is also a noted Hebrew scholar and teacher—quite an accomplished fellow. But he makes his case for the power of the Ten Commandments in plain language for anyone of any philosophy to read, learn from, and live by while in pursuit of a better world.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Watching the presidential debate last night certainly helped me to narrow my choices for the Republican candidate. By the end of the debate, I had reached the following conclusions:
Who’s a No-Go?
The former senator from He made quite a show of complaining he wasn’t getting enough air time, is a crybaby. although I think he was getting more than he deserved. Santorum is almost invisible in the polls. He couldn’t even get elected senator the last time he ran. What makes him think he can be president? Santorum lets people know when they’re getting under his skin. Since we already have a Whiner-in-Chief, Santorum needs to get over himself and move on.
The former Speaker of the House wants to be president, but he takes umbrage at questions about why his campaign staff walked out on him. If you want to lead the country, you should be able to lead your employees first. Questions about why you can’t are fair and reasonable and deserve an honest and respectful answer. I don’t care how many fun facts and creative scenarios he can toss out in a split second. We already have an “I’m never wrong” president. Gingrich is too pompous for the job.
I just wish he would go away. Please. Paul is like an eccentric, rambling uncle taking over the spare room. He makes John McCain look young, dynamic--and conservative. The anti-military Paul is sucking valuable airtime from the other candidates who actually have a chance, and he’s delusional if he thinks he will ever be president. Stop the madness and go home to .
Remember Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment to never speak ill of a fellow Republican? Evidently Pawlenty doesn’t. With the rich mother lode of topics to address on why Obama should not be president and he should, Pawlenty chooses instead to attack a fellow candidate in the midst of the debate. That was bad judgment, and we already have too much of that in the . With his petty nonsense, Pawlenty proved he is not presidential timber.
I like the congresswoman from Minnesota, but I want a candidate who can win. Bachmann embroiders her answers too much and has to backtrack too often. And she says too much that has nothing to do with being president. Did anyone really need to hear her private views on “submission”? That can of worms is going to be a recurring issue, especially with MSM nipping at her heels about it. It was totally avoidable if she had just kept quiet. What will fall out of her mouth next? Bachmann should stand by for a cabinet post (treasury secretary?) and bow out for now.
The former governor seemed lost in the sauce. I’m not sure what Huntsman is doing in the presidential race to begin with, and he didn't impress me last night. Sorry, Governor, there isn’t much else to say.
Who’s a Possibility?
The former governor has learned a lot since 2008. He’s smoother, quicker on his feet, and more informed. But Romney still sounds canned and carefully rehearsed. He picks his way through every response as if afraid an unexpected verbal bomb will detonate. However, his business and executive experience are his ticket, and I’ll vote for him if he is the candidate.
It may not be practical of me, but I liked Cain the best. He has the business credentials the country needs, common sense, straightforwardness, and a sense of humor as an added bonus. He's also got many weak spots, but I think he’s sharp enough to learn fast. He's undoubtedly a long shot, but I’d vote for Cain in a heartbeat.
No, he wasn’t in last night’s debate, but now that he’s announced he’s running, I’m looking forward to hearing what he has to say.