Of Tax Cuts and Terror

Opinion Journal: A transcript of our interview with Rudy Giuliani


I'll try to be as brief as I am capable of, maybe three or four minutes. These are the 12 commitments that I have made, and I think I can summarize these into two things that I believe the next election is going to be about, and the next presidency is going to be about. It's going to be about how we approach terrorism and how we approach the economy--meaning the international economy and domestic. I don't think that the two things are separate any longer. In the old days, when you said "approaching the economy," you meant domestic issue. I think now you mean a foreign policy issue.

I think the big distinction and the big choice the American people are going to get to make in November 2008 is: Do we remain on offense or do we go back on defense? Do we go forward with a more--let's call it a more sophisticated being on offense against terrorism, which builds on the successes and the failures of the past (like you always do with any war or major endeavor)--or do we go back to the 1990s, which was essentially the period of time in which we minimized Islamic terrorism, didn't recognize its existence at the level in which it really existed, and dealt with it in a kind of sporadic way--sometimes we would respond, sometimes we wouldn't respond. We never really recognized the full dimension of it. Wrong then, but at least arguably excusable then, because maybe some people didn't see it at that point. You could make this argument going back to Nixon, and maybe even Johnson--the end of the Johnson administration--that the presidents should have seen the Islamic threat and terrorist threat.

Comment: I'm still hopeful on McCain, but Rudy Giuliani's views on economics and law reflect my views. The OpinionJournal's summary is here


Farfour 'murdered' by Jews ...

Note: Image capture from YouTube!

Farfour ("Arabic butterfly"), the Palestinian Mickey Mouse substitute who called on young viewers to preach the supremacy of Islam, the hatred of Israel and the United States and the support for resistance (a Palestinian euphemism for terrorism), was 'beaten to death' in his series ending episode this week.

Hamas TV Kills Off Mickey Mouse Double


In the final skit, "Farfour" was killed by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour's land. At one point, the mouse called the Israeli a "terrorist."

"Farfour was martyred while defending his land," said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed "by the killers of children," she added.

Hamas Militants Hide Behind Mickey


“You and I are laying the foundation for a world led by Islamists,” Farfour squeaked on a recent episode of the show, which is titled, “Tomorrow’s Pioneers. We will return the Islamic community to its former greatness, and liberate Jerusalem, God willing, liberate Iraq, God willing, and liberate all the countries of the Muslims invaded by the murderers.”

Comment: And you thought our television was trash! Updated with CNN reporting

Modern Martyrs in Turkey

A Letter to the Global Church from The Protestant Church of Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey)


The young men got guns, knives, ropes and towels ready for their final act of service to Allah. They knew there would be a lot of blood. They arrived around 10 o’clock, and apparently the Bible study began. Reportedly, after Necati read a chapter from the Bible the assault began. The boys tied Ugur, Necati, and Tilmann’s hands and feet to chairs. They then brutally tortured our brothers for almost three hours and then slit their throats.
In an act that hit front pages in the largest newspapers in Turkey, Susanne Geske in a television interview expressed her forgiveness. She did not want revenge, she told reporters. “Oh God, forgive them for they know not what they do,” she said, wholeheartedly agreeing with the words of Christ on Calvary (Luke 23:34).

Comment: I urge you to read the entire article!

Do you know what this is?

Vintage Computers Come Out of the Closet in Core Memory

Core Memory: A Visual Survey of Vintage Computers

Comment: Haddon Heights Baptist school had a Model II of one of these. They used it for student scheduling. I used it for visitation tracking (1980).


This is weird!

Wikipedia notes death of Benoit's wife before body found


Benoit's page on Wikipedia, a reference site that allows users to add and edit information, was updated at 12:01 a.m. Monday, about 14 hours before authorities say the bodies were found. The reason he missed a match Saturday night was "stemming from the death of his wife Nancy," it said.

WIKI: Chris Benoit

From Wiki article:

Early reports of Nancy Benoit's death
Wikinews has news related to:
Death of Nancy Benoit rumour posted on Wikipedia hours prior to body being found

Initially reported on Wikinews, FOXNews.com later reported that news of Nancy Benoit's death was posted on Wikipedia half a day before the police discovered the bodies. The posting reads: “Chris Benoit was replaced by Johnny Nitro for the ECW Championship match at Vengeance, as Benoit was not there due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy.” The phrase "stemming from the death of his wife Nancy" was added to the English Wikipedia's "Chris Benoit" article at 12:01 a.m. EDT on June 25, whereas the Fayette County police reportedly discovered the bodies of the Benoit family at 2:30 p.m. EDT (14 hours, 29 minutes later). The IP address of the editor was traced to Stamford, Connecticut, which is also the location of WWE headquarters.

Ubuntu Linux on Dell Laptop

Check this out ...

Ubuntu on Two New Inspirons

Inspiron 1420N

Ubuntu Linux

Comment: I've put Suse 9.2 Linux on 2 PCs (still have one of them). Linux is a great operating system. Nice to see that Dell supports open source!

Hyper-Calvinism defined

Challies: Hyper-Calvinism: A Brief Definition

Comment: a good read. I've regarded hyper-Calvinism as the teaching that precludes evangelism. This is basically the sum of what Phil Johnson states.

Read the full article. As for me, I'm a TULIP guy. But I don't believe in double predestination and I believe in heralding the gospel to all.

Is socialized medicine better?

Who's Really 'Sicko': In Canada, dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week. Humans can wait two to three years.


Lindsay McCreith, would have had to wait for four months just to get an MRI, and then months more to see a neurologist for his malignant brain tumor.
In Britain, the Department of Health recently acknowledged that one in eight patients wait more than a year for surgery.
France's system failed so spectacularly in the summer heat of 2003 that 13,000 people died, largely of dehydration.
... government-run health systems have turned out to be less than utopian. The stories are the same: dirty hospitals, poor standards and difficulty accessing modern drugs and tests.

Comment: I had to wait just a week to get an MRI on my back!


The trouble with engagement rings


.... the "tradition" of the diamond engagement ring is newer than you might think. ... But it wasn't until the late 19th century, after the discovery of mines in South Africa drove the price of diamonds down, that Americans regularly began to give (or receive) diamond engagement rings. (Before that, some betrothed women got thimbles instead of rings.)
By 1965, 80 percent of American women had diamond engagement rings. The ring had become a requisite element of betrothal—as well as a very visible demonstration of status. Along the way, the diamond industry's guidelines for the "customary" cost of a ring doubled from one month's salary to two months' salary.
It may seem curious that feminism has made inroads on many retrograde customs—name-changing, for example—but not on the practice of giving engagement rings. Part of the reason the ring has persisted and thrived is clearly its role in what Thorstein Veblen called the economy of "conspicuous consumption." Part of the reason could be that many young women, raised in a realm of relative equality, never think rigorously about the traditions handed down to them.

Comment: I think it is a good tradition, but the so-called industry guideline of 2 months's salary is ridiculous! Consider earlier post: Diamond Hype

Doit for Mac OS X



Do It is a small application to manage categorized to do lists. Each to do item can be linked with a file on your computer, a URL, such as the address of a website, or a contact from your address book. The linked item can be opened directly from the Do It window. To do items can also include notes, priorities and deadlines, which can be set as reminders in iCal.

Comment: Profitable shareware for the MAC.


Dying computer skills

The top 10 dead (or dying) computer skills

I have three of them: Cobol, Cold Fusion, C. Plus I have one not mentioned: MVS JCL.

Hopefully retirement arrives before my skills are no longer needed!

Miniature engines

Saying ‘Small Block’ and Really Meaning It

Saying ‘Small Block’ and Really Meaning It
Published: June 24, 2007
For engine modelers, the urge to scale back does not stop with miniaturization; it also extends to historical accuracy.


The piston of Mr. Luhrs’s itsy-bitsy engine rides in a cylinder whose bore is just 1/8-inch across. The engine’s stroke — the distance that the piston travels up and down inside the cylinder — is only 5/32 of an inch. The spark plug? You could lay seven of them across the face of a dime and still see F.D.R. peeking through.

Pierz native Stumpf promoted

Minnesotan named Wells Fargo CEO


SAN FRANCISCO -- Banking and financial services company Wells Fargo & Co. today named John G. Stumpf, its president and chief operating officer, as chief executive effective immediately.

Stumpf, 53, a native of Pierz, Minn., will retain the title of president. He replaces Dick Kovacevich, who will remain chairman. Kovacevich plans to remain with the company no later than the end of next year, when he will be 65.

"I appreciate the confidence the board has placed in me and I look forward to working with all of our team as 'one Wells Fargo' to continue building a culture of collaboration that, instinctively and naturally, puts what is best for the customer first and then exceeds customer expectations," Stumpf said in a news release.

Comment: Long awaited and expected. NYTimes reports

Which card - debit or credit?

The 15-minute tip: debit or credit?

Comment: We never use a debit card for most of the reasons stated in this tip.

Happy Birthday ATM

ATMs Celebrate 40th Birthday


Although cash machines have a long pedigree -- one version was set up in New York in 1939 -- the first recognizably modern one was placed outside the Barclays PLC branch in Enfield, a north London suburb, on June 27, 1967.

Comments: I'm pretty sure that I never even saw an ATM until the mid-70's. When Kathee and I were newlyweds, remote banking was done by pneumatic tubes in drive through banking.

Marine Corps Tough!

Still tough at 72!

Ex-Marine, 72, fights off pickpocket


Bill Barnes says he was scratching off a losing $2 lottery ticket inside a gas station when he felt a hand slip into his front-left pants pocket, where he had $300 in cash.

He immediately grabbed the person's wrist with his left hand and started throwing punches with his right, landing six or seven blows before a store manager intervened.

"I guess he thought I was an easy mark," Barnes, 72, told The Grand Rapids Press for a story Tuesday.

He's anything but an easy mark: Barnes served in the Marines, was an accomplished Golden Gloves boxer and retired after 20 years as an iron worker.

Comment: Marine, boxer, iron worker! The kid had no chance!


Another surrender to culture!

Simpsons to Teach Theology, Boost Attendance


The Church of England is getting help from the Simpsons to provide a more relevant way of teaching children about theology and to give a boost to dwindling congregations.

Comment: Try preaching the gospel!

Who drinks water? Who owns the zebra?

Although this is not new, today I came across this mindbender. It's not that difficult to solve if you create a spreadsheet grid that enables quick changes. When I solved, I color coded links (like the Japanese / Parliament cells were blue). Start with what is known (eg: The Norwegian lives in the first house) and deduce possibilities. See the Wiki on the bottom of this post for the full article with the solution.


  1. Who drinks water?
  2. Who owns the zebra?


  1. There are five houses.
  2. The Englishman lives in the red house.
  3. The Spaniard owns the dog.
  4. Coffee is drunk in the green house.
  5. The Ukrainian drinks tea.
  6. The green house is immediately to the right of the ivory house.
  7. The Old Gold smoker owns snails.
  8. Kools are smoked in the yellow house.
  9. Milk is drunk in the middle house.
  10. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
  11. The man who smokes Chesterfields lives in the house next to the man with the fox.
  12. Kools are smoked in the house next to the house where the horse is kept.
  13. The Lucky Strike smoker drinks orange juice.
  14. The Japanese smokes Parliaments.
  15. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.

In the interest of clarity, it must be added that each of the five houses is painted a different color, and their inhabitants are of different national extractions, own different pets, drink different beverages and smoke different brands of American cigarettes. One other thing: In statement 6, right means your right.

Zebra Puzzle

Comment: Being that these multi-ethnic neighbors all smoked, and that this was first printed in 1962, I'm pretty sure they all died of cancer!

A failure with a thousand fathers

Opinion Journal: Who Killed Palestine?


Palestine has always been a notional place, a field of dreams belonging only to those who know how to keep it. Israelis have held on to their state because they were able to develop the political, military and economic institutions that a state requires to survive, beginning with its monopoly on the use of legitimate force. In its nearly 14 years as an autonomous entity, the PA has succeeded in none of that, despite being on the receiving end of unprecedented international goodwill and largesse.
But what the experience of an unoccupied Gaza Strip has shown is the Palestinians' unfitness for political sovereignty. There are no Jewish settlers to blame for Gaza's plight anymore, no Israeli soldiers to be filmed demolishing Palestinian homes. The Israeli right, which came to detest Mr. Sharon for pulling out of the Strip, might reconsider its view of the man and the deed. Nothing has so completely soured the world on the idea of a Palestinian state as the experience of it.
But the dream that was Palestine is finally dead.

Comment: I for one, hoped for a Palestinian state. It will not be formed by thugs, terrorists, and murderers!

More from MelissaData

Comprehensive U.S. Address Lookup

Comment: Note the three mapping options when an address is verified: Google, Yahoo, & Microsoft Visual Earth. Pic is aerial of 4th Baptist in Plymouth. When I looked up my own address, the correct ages on the residents of my home were displayed. Very impressive.

Challies: What Proceeds from the Heart

Challies: What Proceeds from the Heart

Comment: Interesting book review and chart. Cf 1 Samuel 16:7, "But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”"


GrandCentral - One Number That Will Ring All Your Phones


One Number That Will Ring All Your Phones

State of the Art
One Number That Will Ring All Your Phones
Published: March 15, 2007
A new service called GrandCentral can unify your cellphone with phones at work and home and perform many other tricks.

Comment: I saw this in the NYTimes back in March but wasn't that interested in it. But then it was featured in Newsweek. And then today the news that Google is buying GrandCentral.

My interest is piqued.

What do you think? Valuable or not?

IP Address Location Lookup

Pretty cool free tool to find location of an IP address

IP Address Location Lookup

Other free lookups from melissadata.com

Last survivor of Iwo Jima flag raising dies

Last survivor of Iwo Jima flag raising dies in Edina, MN


Lindberg spent decades explaining that it was his patrol, not the one captured in the famous photograph by Joe Rosenthal, that raised the first flag over the island.

In the late morning of Feb. 23, 1945, Lindberg fired his flame-thrower into enemy pillboxes at the base of Mount Suribachi and then joined five other Marines fighting their way to the top. He was awarded the Silver Star for bravery.

"Two of our men found this big, long pipe there," he said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2003. "We tied the flag to it, took it to the highest spot we could find and we raised it.

"Down below, the troops started to cheer, the ship's whistles went off, it was just something that you would never forget," he said. "It didn't last too long, because the enemy started coming out of the caves."

The moment was captured by Sgt. Lou Lowery, a photographer from the Corps' Leatherneck magazine. It was the first time a foreign flag flew on Japanese soil, according to the book "Flags of Our Fathers," by James Bradley with Ron Powers. Bradley's father, Navy Corpsman John Bradley, was one of the men in the famous photo of the second flag-raising.

Three of the men in the first raising never saw their photos. They were among the 5,931 Marines killed on the island.


  1. There were 2 flag raisings on Iwo. The 2nd is the more famous.
  2. Essential reading: Flags of Our Fathers. Kathee's family is connected because John Bradley operated a funeral parlor in Antigo Wisconsin and both of her parents funerals were through that establishment. John Bradley's son James, the author, is a contemporary of Kathee's and known by Kathee's family.
  3. Image of first flag raising from grunt.com

I'm privileged to know many Marines, and they are fine men!


Ark: "acts of random kindness"

Just Say Noah: Evan Almighty's appalling effort to pander to religious moviegoers


Evan Almighty, a drab retelling of the Noah story as a comic ecofable, is Hollywood's latest and—with a $200 million budget—most expensive pander at the Christian market. Ever since the success of The Passion of the Christ in 2004, studios have been hurling money at Christian directors in hopes they can recapture that Jesus mojo.
You might argue that making a comedy about Noah's ark—one of the Bible's grimmest stories—is a bit like making a sex farce about the Rwandan genocide.
But Evan Almighty also strips away anything Christian (or Jewish) about the story and replaces it with a message of universal hokum. God's entire instruction to his flock? Practice "acts of random kindness." (Look at the initial letters of that phrase.) That's not religion or even morality. It's a coffee mug slogan.
never thought I'd hear myself say this, but Evan Almighty makes me miss The Passion. It was a sadistic, horrifying movie, about a bloody and terrifying book. But Mel Gibson captured the sense of the story, the ideas of suffering and sacrifice that undergird Christianity.

Comment: What I don't get is why some Christians are falling all over themselves to endorse this film! Salon review: God forbid Steve Carell should keep pouring his comic talents into brain-dead heart-warmers like this

Twin Cities Navy namesake to be decommissioned

USS Minneapolis-St. Paul is being decommissioned


... the fast attack nuclear submarine USS Minneapolis-St. Paul is being decommissioned Friday. After 23 years of service, Friday’s ceremony is a scheduled and routine inactivation for the submarine ...

Nancy finishes Mom's WW2 Quilt

Quilt started during WWII connects family to past


Cleone Peet was part of a wartime quilting bee, a pastime she shared with other women whose husbands were serving in World War II.

She cut the yellow squares and floral print triangles and pieced them together as she waited for her husband to return to their Michigan home.

Life interrupted her work, and the pieces were stored away in a cedar chest.

More than six decades later, her daughter Nancy Gilbert connected her mother's past to the family's future by finishing the yellow and green quilt Peet had begun in 1943.

"I wanted my children and grandchildren to see something that honored the family," she said. "When your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren wrap themselves in these quilts, they are surrounded by the love and warmth of generations past."

The affection Peet and Gilbert share for quilting fuels what experts estimate is a $3.3 billion industry in the United States. About 27.7 million Americans quilt, according to Quilter's Newsletter Magazine.

Gilbert, 61, has always loved to sew. She still uses a silver thimble her grandmother gave her when she was in junior high school.

She studied home economics at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio and taught herself to quilt. Children and a career as a corporate account manager for American Airlines diverted her attention for several years.

Then a friend talked Gilbert into joining a "quilt of the month" club, and that's when her mother remembered the pieces stored in the chest.

"I opened my mouth in awe the minute I saw them," Gilbert said.

Within six months Gilbert had finished the quilt and given it to her mother.

For her mother's 85th birthday, Gilbert crafted a family tree quilt with digital images of seven generations screened onto material.

"The genealogy my daughter does keeps us all connected to where we came from," Peet said.

Comment: My Mother and my Sister. In light of news this week that the first born has higher IQ's than the second, I attest to this!


Winner of '57 Plymouth does not survive either!

Winner of Buried Belvedere Died in 1979

Update on the buried 1957 Plymouth Belvedere - the winner (of the water soaked, rusted hulk) died 28 years ago. Lesson: James 4:14, "whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." See earlier post: Rust Destroys


TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The winner of a rusted 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that was unearthed last week from a leaky vault in died in 1979, and the ownership of the car will pass to his closest living relatives.

When the car was buried in 1957, more than 800 people submitted guesses on what Tulsa's population—which was around 250,000 in 1957—would be in 2007. Guesses ranged from zero to 2 billion, but Raymond E. Humbertson's guess of 384,743 was only slightly off the official U.S. Census count of 382,457.

Tulsa officials announced Friday that Humbertson had won the two-door hardtop Belvedere that drew international attention when it was pulled from the vault on June 15.

His nephew, Donald Humbertson of Woodbridge, Va., said that Raymond Humbertson died of cancer at age 57 and his wife, Margaret Humbertson, died in 1988. Raymond and Margaret Humbertson had no children, their nephew said.

NYTimes reporting

Unusual messages on Church signs

The Signs of the Times

Comment: This was my favorite. Follow link for 7 more.


  1. Roger (at USMC AT (Annual Training) at Fort McCoy WI, called me at 3. He had been "in the field" all week working from 4 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. They have today and tomorrow off. Next week he said he would be at Volt Field just a little East of Fort McCoy.
  2. I mowed today. One of our trees has a dead limb and I called Sheldon (my Deacon @ church who happens to be a tree surgeon) who will remove it this week.
  3. Worship tomorrow at 4th. Pastor Levy preaching in the AM. Sheldon in the evening.
  4. Kathee and I continue in II Samuel

Grandson of a slave

Ray Robinson (b 1919) dropped by to see me today. We split a diet Coke and chatted.

  1. Ray was born in Alabama. His grandfather was a slave. His surname is the name of the slave-owner.
  2. He was raised in a Christian home.
  3. He volunteered for the Army in 1940 and served in Italy in WWII as a forward artillery observer.
  4. After the war, he worked on the Sunset Limited as a Porter and then later on the San Francisco Chief from Chicago to San Francisco.
  5. He later worked for the US Portal Service
  6. Ray is a former neighbor and a brother in Christ
  7. It was good to fellowship with him this morning


Microsoft: "Ubuntu is perfect!"

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!


Yesterday, for a brief shining moment, you and 10,000 or so other people could and did download Ubuntu Linux from a link on that page

Comment: Maybe they know something that we all should know - like Linux is a solid, compact, secure operating system that will run even on a 486!

What's a "Freegan"?

Not Buying It


Freegans are scavengers of the developed world, living off consumer waste in an effort to minimize their support of corporations and their impact on the planet, and to distance themselves from what they see as out-of-control consumerism. They forage through supermarket trash and eat the slightly bruised produce or just-expired canned goods that are routinely thrown out, and negotiate gifts of surplus food from sympathetic stores and restaurants.

They dress in castoff clothes and furnish their homes with items found on the street; at freecycle.org, where users post unwanted items; and at so-called freemeets, flea markets where no money is exchanged. Some claim to hold themselves to rigorous standards. “If a person chooses to live an ethical lifestyle it’s not enough to be vegan, they need to absent themselves from capitalism,” said Adam Weissman, 29, who started freegan.info four years ago and is the movement’s de facto spokesman.

Wiki: Freeganism


Freeganism is an anticonsumerism lifestyle where people employ alternative strategies for living based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed."

Comment: I've heard this called Dumpster Diving

Classes of Legalists

Classes of Legalists

Church Gossip

Myrtle, the church gossip, and self-appointed monitor of the church's morals, kept sticking her nose into other people's business.

Several members did not approve of her extra curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.

She made a mistake, however, when she accused George, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town's only bar one afternoon. She emphatically told George (and several others) that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing.

George, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn't explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing.

Later that evening, George quietly parked his pickup truck in front of Myrtle's house...walked home...and left it there all night.

Comment: From one of Kathee's coworkers. Image from http://www.nicktarr.com


Vintage postcard from Alto Michigan

I found this cool vintage (from 1908!) postcard of McEwen Lake in Alto Michigan. My Mom and Dad grew up in Alto and I've been to this lake many times in my youth. My first experiences water skiing were here behind Uncle Jim's boat.

I bought it today and am sending to my Mother!

Ten Reasons We Believe the Bible

Ten Reasons We Believe the Bible

Comment: Good read from the Pulpit Magazine

Scientists simulate jet colliding with World Trade Center

Video simulates 9/11 attacks

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A computer simulation of the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, posted on the Web site YouTube by Purdue University researchers, shows how hijacked planes crashed through the twin towers, stripping fireproofing materials from the steel columns and eventually leading to their collapse.

The 3-D animation, part of a Purdue study that took two and a half years to complete, will hopefully help engineers design safer buildings, researchers said.

Sun spots and climate change

Read the sunspots


Climate stability has never been a feature of planet Earth. The only constant about climate is change; it changes continually and, at times, quite rapidly. Many times in the past, temperatures were far higher than today, and occasionally, temperatures were colder. As recently as 6,000 years ago, it was about 3C warmer than now. Ten thousand years ago, while the world was coming out of the thou-sand-year-long "Younger Dryas" cold episode, temperatures rose as much as 6C in a decade -- 100 times faster than the past century's 0.6C warming that has so upset environmentalists.

Comment: Sane article. Part 28 of a series. See links in article to previous!

Political spoiler?

Bloomberg's Politics: A post-partisan savior, or just another spoiler?


Independents who have made a splash have done so by adopting an issue ignored by the existing parties. Lincoln and the early GOP had slavery, while even the mercurial Ross Perot had the federal budget deficit. Mr. Bloomberg's plea for post-partisan "managerial competence" won't soon have voters marching in the streets. He has been a competent mayor, and he has taken political risks in particular to push education reform. But his popularity also owes no small part to the 2003 Bush tax cuts that have floated the city's financial markets and revenues--something he himself doesn't seem to understand, or give credit to.

Mr. Bloomberg has been quoted as saying that he wouldn't run unless he could win. We hope he means it. He's rich enough to afford the race, but a candidate for the nation's highest office should have more on his agenda than competence, and should have reason to believe he'd be more than a political spoiler.

Comment: Good read from the Opinion Journal.


Hideous steel toed woman's shoes

Rachel had to order steel toed shoes for her factory audit next week. We are making fun of them!


Crowd attacks, kills man at Juneteenth festival


The driver had stopped to check on the little girl at the entrance to an apartment complex when a group of men attacked him, authorities said. The passenger, David Rivas Morales, 40, got out to try to help the driver, but the crowd turned on him, said police Commander Harold Piatt.

Morales was beaten to death by as many as 20 men and left lying in a parking lot, Piatt said. A preliminary autopsy listed blunt force trauma as the cause of death.

The little girl, 3 or 4 years old, was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Crowd Kills Man After Car Hits Child

Bloomberg's creationalism bigotry

Bloomberg's Bigotry

Mr. Bloomberg's freewheeling question-and-answer session was peppered with the kind of provocative, blunt talk that could appeal to some voters while alienating others. "It's probably because of our bad educational system, but the percentage of people who believe in creationalism is really scary for a country that's going to have to compete in a world where science and medicine require a better understanding," he said in one such foray.


The AP notes that the Newton papers, according to the exhibition's curator, "complicate the idea that science is diametrically opposed to religion." No kidding. When Bloomberg endorses that idea, is he really expressing a devotion to science, or just a fashionable urban prejudice against serious Christians?

Comment: Illustrates anti-supernaturalism bias!


Minneapolis subprime woes

Subprime storm winds will keep blowing


Home foreclosures in Minneapolis doubled in 2006 and are on pace to double again this year. The number of vacant buildings is rising in working-class neighborhoods with high levels of subprime loans. Some families are simply walking away from once-secure homes.

"People are upside down; they owe more than their house is worth," says Glennis Ter Wisscha, deputy director of Neighborhood Housing Services of Minneapolis, who counsels borrowers. Homeowners "can make it at the (initial) teaser rate, but the adjusted rate is going to go up $400, $800, $1,000 a month."

Comment: See the foreclosure map posted earlier this week. People should go to jail for pushing ARM mortgages on people!

Sortable report: 500 Top foreclosure zip codes. MN zip 55411 is the worst in Minnesota! Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, & Cleveland high on the list!

The "marriage that never was" is!

Joe Kennedy's First Marriage: Still On


The most controversial "marriage that never was" in recent U.S. political history is back. Sources tell TIME that the Vatican has reversed the annulment of Joseph P. Kennedy II's marriage to Sheila Rauch. The annulment had been granted in secrecy by the Catholic Church after the couple's 1991 no-fault civil divorce. Rauch found out about the de-sanctification of their marriage only in 1996, after Kennedy had been wedded to his former Congressional aide, Beth Kelly, for three years. The annulment was the subject of Rauch's 1997 book Shattered Faith, which lambasted her ex-husband and was severely critical of the Catholic Church's proceedings, which made the marriage (which had produced twin boys) null and void in the eyes of the church. Rauch argued that Kennedy was able to unilaterally "cancel" nearly 12 years of marriage because of his clan's influence in the church. Kennedy argued at the time that the annulment was the right thing to do in religious terms.

Comment: Sheila Rauch is face of the Catholic annulment hypocrisy!

Hillary spoofs "Sopranos" Finale

To announce the winner of her campaign song contest, Hillary Clinton takes Tony's seat in the diner. She orders for the table. With a special appearance by Bill Clinton. Where's Chelsea? Parallel parking.

Better colors w Safari browser

Safari ushers in better browser colors


Unlike the prevailing browsers on the Internet--Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox--the Apple browser supports different ways of encoding images that can mean richer, deeper colors. With the beta version of Safari now on Windows, Mac OS X users aren't the only ones who'll be able to see the difference.

However, Apple won't keep that edge for long. Mozilla's forthcoming Firefox 3 browser, due to ship in beta form this July, likely will include support for richer color, said Vlad Vukicevic, a technical leader at Mozilla and a photo enthusiast.

Comment: I have IE 7, Firefox 2, and Safari on my old Dell home laptop. In order of preference ...

  1. Firefox
  2. Safari
  3. IE 7 (last place ... never use it!)

My untrained eye has not noticed better colors.

Church Covenants and Alcohol

The World From Our Window: Church Covenants and Alcohol - Utter Ludicrousy

Comment: a good read! I personally don't agree that the "abstain clause" in Baptist church covenants is ludicrous! This article - Christianity and alcohol - provides three Christian positions:

  1. Moderation
  2. Abstention
  3. Prohibition

Abortion: legitimizing illegitimacy?

Illegitimacy has risen despite--indeed, because of--legal abortion


From the beginning of the abortion debate, those favoring abortion have pointed to the social costs of "unwanted" children who simply won't get the attention of "wanted" ones. But there is a trade-off that has long been neglected. Abortion may eliminate "unwanted" children, but it increases out-of-wedlock births and single parenthood. Unfortunately, the social consequences of illegitimacy dominated.

Children born after liberalized abortion rules have suffered a series of problems from problems at school to more crime. The saddest fact is that it is the most vulnerable in society, poor blacks, who have suffered the most from these changes.

Liberalized abortion might have made life easier for many, but like sex itself sometimes, it has had many unintended consequences.

Comment: Hebrews 13:4, "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge"

The Clipboard hack

Ever use Edit+Copy or Edit+Cut or [CTRL]+C (for pasting elsewhere)?

Beware: This copied data is stored in clipboard and is accessible from the net by a combination of Javascripts and ASP.

Try this:

  1. Copy any text by Edit+Copy or Edit+Cut or [CTRL]+C or [CTRL]+X
  2. Click this Link
  3. You will see the text you copied on the screen which was accessed by that web page.

To avoid this shocking problem:

  1. Goto Internet Options, Security, Click on the Internet Icon
  2. Click Custom Level, and Change the settings under the active scripting options. (illustration below)

Full details here!

Comment: Wow! A Windows engineer at work sent this to me. Note to self - "don't cut a password, a CC #, or other sensitive data!"

Checked at home with Safari and Firefox. These browsers would not pass clipboard data to the hacking website.


"To Kill A Mockingbird"

Alabama town uses "Mockingbird" to learn from past


MONROEVILLE, Alabama (Reuters) - When Harper Lee wrote "To Kill A Mockingbird" she could not have known it would be hailed as a classic, much less that it would shape the way her hometown viewed its past.

Lee's novel has put Monroeville, Alabama, on the map and acted as a magnet for tourists. It has also stimulated debate in the town about the legacy of racial segregation that prevailed in the south until the 1960s.

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird (film)

Monroeville, Alabama

Comment: One of favorite books! Book is better than the movie, but the movie is great!

A war on memory

A war on memory


An attack on religious symbolism has been waged for several years now on a barren hilltop in California. A simple cross to honor fallen soldiers is simply too much for militant ‘separationists,’ who seem intent on disassembling this country’s Christian past.

Commentary by USAToday's Michael Medved

Let them grow Hemp!

ND farmers suing DEA over right to grow hemp


Two North Dakota farmers who want to grow hemp are filing a federal lawsuit today to challenge the Drug Enforcement Administration's ban on the plant that is the same species that produces marijuana.

Hemp can be imported from Canada, Europe and China, but growing hemp in the USA is illegal, the DEA says.

"Hemp is marijuana," DEA spokesman Garrison Courtney says. "There's no distinguishing feature between marijuana and hemp."

Lawyers for the farmers say the Controlled Substances Act, which governs illegal drugs, makes a specific exception for hemp, a non-drug version of the marijuana plant. They are seeking a court ruling that says the federal authorities cannot arrest the North Dakota farmers for growing hemp.

The federal government used to encourage farmers to grow what is known as "industrial hemp," says attorney Joseph Sandler in Washington, D.C., who is representing the farmers. Hemp plants have a low concentration of the psychoactive chemical that gives marijuana users a high, he said.

Comment: Hemp is not marijuana! The Hemp Industries Association (HIA). Comment on the image: from the Wiki article.

History's greatest scientist ... was religious!

Papers show Isaac Newton's religious side


Three-century-old manuscripts by Isaac Newton calculating the exact date of the apocalypse, detailing the precise dimensions of the ancient temple in Jerusalem and interpreting passages of the Bible -- exhibited this week for the first time -- lay bare the little-known religious intensity of a man many consider history's greatest scientist.

Newton, who died 280 years ago, is known for laying much of the groundwork for modern physics, astronomy, math and optics. But in a new Jerusalem exhibit, he appears as a scholar of deep faith who also found time to write on Jewish law -- even penning a few phrases in careful Hebrew letters -- and combing the Old Testament's Book of Daniel for clues about the world's end.


In another document, Newton interpreted biblical prophecies to mean that the Jews would return to the Holy Land before the world ends. The end of days will see "the ruin of the wicked nations, the end of weeping and of all troubles, the return of the Jews captivity and their setting up a flourishing and everlasting Kingdom," he posited.

Links of interest:

  1. Exhibit: Newton's Secrets
  2. Isaac Newton's manuscripts on apocalypse, Solomon's temple to be exhibited for first time at Hebrew U
  3. the Apocalypse and 2060 A.D.
  4. Wiki: Isaac Newton
  5. Isaac Newton's Secret Musings
  6. The Newton Project

From the Newton Project:

Although Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is best known for his theory of universal gravitation and discovery of calculus, his interests were much broader than is usually appreciated. In addition to his celebrated natural philosophical writings and mathematical works, Newton also wrote many theological texts ...

Comment: Matthew 25:13, "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming."

Snarled traffic alert - Zig Ziglar

Downtown traffic snarls expected near Target Center on Wednesday


That advice comes as thousands of extra vehicles on highways leading into downtown Minneapolis and on streets near Target Center could create significant traffic delays and parking problems for morning commuters.


More than 15,000 people have bought tickets for “Get Motivated,” which includes keynote speaker and author Zig Ziglar, former Secretary of State General Colin Powell, comedian Bill Cosby, financial guru Suze Orman, ABC-TV “20/20” host John Stossel along with Jeff Taylor, founder of Monster.com, and Tom Hopkins, an expert on maximizing sales achievements.

Comment: Having been caught in this snarl before (driving down I-394 into downtown ... and waiting for up to half an hour in halted traffic / leaving downtown even worse!), Kathee and I have alternate plans that avoid the freeway.

SharperIron: Justice and Mercy

Justice and Mercy - or Why I Am a Christian

Excellent read!

Legal David and Goliath

The Great American Pants Suit


When attorney Roy Pearson filed suit demanding $67 million from the Chung family, whose Washington dry cleaners had mishandled his pair of trousers, he must have felt he was sitting pretty. Menacing a merchant who's annoyed you with terrifyingly high legal penalties--that's the way to show who wears the pants, right?


It all began two years ago when Mr. Pearson walked into Custom Cleaners, a Northeast D.C. establishment owned by Jin Chung, Soo Chung and Ki Chung. He laid down $10.50 to have a pair of pants altered. The results dissatisfied him: The job wasn't finished on time, and he says the pants he was given were someone else's, which the Chungs deny. He demanded $1,150 for a new suit; the Chungs demurred. So it was off to court, with the claimed damages subject to alterations, in an expansive direction.


The Chungs offered Pearson $12,000, which he turned down. The family says the suit has run through their savings in legal fees and harmed their credit, to say nothing of their peace of mind; they've even considered returning to their native Korea, which they left in 1992.

But what really gave legs to the story was this: while his lawsuit was afoot, attorney Pearson himself was overcoming a two-year spell of unemployment to win appointment as an administrative law judge in D.C. So don't dismiss him as just some random bully with a law license. For those in our nation's capital, he represents the majestic face of the law itself.

The lost trousers that landed dry cleaners with a law suit

Comment: The "everyman's" nightmare: a frivolous lawsuit that sucks one dry financially and emotionally. I pray for justice in DC!

Depriving workers of the secret union ballot

Card Tricks: Harry Reid hopes to help unions deprive workers of their right to vote


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided to hold a vote this Wednesday on perhaps the most unpopular element of the Democratic agenda. The Employee Free Choice Act has already passed the House, but now it faces real hurdles in the Senate because, contrary to the name, it undermines workplace democracy.

Under the so-called card-check bill, a company would no longer have the right to demand a secret-ballot election to certify a union, thus stripping 140 million American workers of the right to decide in private whether to organize.

Republican senators, except possibly Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, are uniformly opposed to the idea. "We went to the secret ballot in the early 1800s in this country for a darn good reason: If somebody's looking over your shoulder, your ballot doesn't mean much," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says, noting fears of intimidation by unions should the bill pass.

Comment: The Democrat's attempt to muscle workers to satisfy a narrow constituency! Read it and weep!


Aggravating the gasoline supply

Ethanol focus forces oil industry to cut expansion


A push from Congress and the White House for huge increases in biofuels, such as ethanol, is prompting the oil industry to scale back its plans for refinery expansions. That could keep gasoline prices high, possibly for years to come.

With President Bush calling for a 20 percent drop in gasoline use and the Senate now debating legislation for huge increases in ethanol production, oil companies see growing uncertainty about future gasoline demand and little need to expand refineries or build new ones.

Oil industry executives no longer believe there will be the demand for gasoline over the next decade to warrant the billions of dollars in refinery expansions - as much as 10 percent increase in new refining capacity - they anticipated as recently as a year ago.

Comment: Illustrates the law of unintended consequences!

Crescent Moon Bakery

Kathee and I took a drive this afternoon over to the Crescent Moon Bakery. North Minneapolis is a true cross cultural zone in Minnesota. On Central there are Vietnamese restaurants, Indian restaurants, and Afghanee restaurants. Further North in Columbia Heights there is a Jerusalem market! The residents have learned to co-exist! The Crescent Moon is Arabic. Al Jazeera is displayed on a large flat screen monitor in the restaurant. English is spoken but not often heard.

Address: 2339 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis

The Crescent Moon is a combination bakery, grocery, and restaurant. We've eaten there before and it is very good. Today's trip (it actually wasn't our destination - we were wandering) was to buy dried fruit. Today I bought dried white mulberries and dried plums.

Mulberries are an excellent snack ... so tasty. Kathee is not that fond of them. More for me! The dried fruit we bought today are products of Pakistan.

Built on mud

A History of Problems

Jefferson Memorial's Signs of Sinking Raise Fresh Alarms


The big problem seems to be a section of the sea wall that is breaking from the memorial's plaza and settling into the Tidal Basin. The "ring road" along the memorial's circumference also seems to be shifting, officials say.

Such movement is an alarming -- and chronic -- problem at the Jefferson Memorial, which was built in the late 1930s and early 1940s atop pilings and caissons sunk into an artificial mud flat that is about 100 feet deep. Engineers have been struggling for decades to keep everything firmed up.

Father's Day 2007

We celebrated Father's Day last night. Roger marinated and grilled chicken and veggie kabobs. Kathee made red potatoes. Roger left at 6:30 a.m. for 2 weeks of Marine Corp reserves @ Fort McCoy, WI. He paused briefly for me to snap this photo.

Today's activities: Church at 4th this morning. We are planning on going to Victory Baptist with my Brother and Sister-in-Law tonight.

Dr Bauder preached from the book of Jude this morning on "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (v 3). It was an excellent exposition of the entire book.


Rust destroys

A ’57 Plymouth Is Unearthed, and It’s Rusty


A concrete vault encasing a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere buried a half-century ago may have been built to withstand a nuclear attack but it couldn't beat back the natural onslaught of moisture.

At a Friday ceremony complete with a couple of drum rolls, crews removed a multilayered protective wrapping caked with red mud, revealing a vintage vehicle that was covered in rust and wouldn't crank.

There were a few bright spots, literally: shiny chrome was still visible around the doors and front fender, and workers were able to put air in the tires.

Other Links:

Tulsa’s Big Dig: A ’57 Plymouth Is the Prize


Lesson: Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."