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Showing posts from November, 2009

Race Driven History

I remember an elementary education very different from that taught today. Take the Thanksgiving Holiday for example. In my school Pilgrims were the good guys. The Indians that joined them at a table in the woods for a wonderful turkey dinner were happy and friendly Indians. The Pilgrims and the Indians were the best of buddies despite their differences.  Hah!  In schools today they are taught that the Pilgrims were bigoted scoundrels who thought the only good Indian was a dead one, and they sure as hell wouldn't invite one to dinner. 

As it turns out, today's version is closest to being correct. We know now that the Pilgrims considered themselves SUPERIOR beings and thought the Indians were ignorant, dirty, heathen savages. Indians were hardly considered human. 

Skip forward 100 years or so to the 1700's.  America by this time has  welcomed  more immigrants, many of whom were looking for adventure but more were running from poverty, the English King, or religious intoleranc…

Dithering While Troops Die

I really intended to keep quiet. I thought our President has gathered enough criticism on everything he has done, so why add to the pile. Why? Because our President doesn't listen to anyone and I am frustrated. 

We are fighting a war without declaring it a war, and without a uniformed enemy. The enemy is sprinkled indiscrimately around the world, with most of the serious troublemakers located in the middle east. These criminal murderers have no government, territory, bordered land, geographical separation, or uniforms. The only thing they, the terrorists, have in common is the Not-So-Peaceful Religion of Islam.There are no armies, naval power, air forces, or heavy land weapons. They have no leader, and in general terms they are not very bright.

The enemy is however, smarter than we are. They have forced us to fight the only kind of war they can generate. By resorting to terrorism as a weapon of war, they have negated 90% of our technologically superior military weaponry. We have sp…

Understanding Liberal Democrats

I have several good friends who believe in liberal politics - and I fail to understand why. To me, with my vague understanding of liberalism, they are searching for a perpetual motion machine - yet it's been proven that there is no such thing and never will be. So what are they really expecting from their liberal politics?

An off the cuff answer is that liberals are looking for a free lunch, and like perpetual motion, it just can't happen.

Tax payers send money to the government. The government deducts their expenses and then sends the money back to the people to pay for projects and programs the government thinks the people need. We know from experience that a group that sets it's own pay and benefits will to expand. The cost of adding staff is free to the seated politicians and allows them to reduce their work by delegating it. The overall result increases the size and costs of government. To pay for these additional costs, tax payers like you and me  must pay more to the…

Health Care - The Manic Approach

Are you up to your eyeballs with opinions on health care? I certainly am. It's time to make some decisions and get this matter established on a realistic road. The 2,000 page monstrosity cobbled by Democrats and Republicans is complicated beyond the point of usefulness. There have been too many political fingers in the pie. Personally, I don't think people like Barney Frank, Thomas Dodd, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are capable of writing health related legislation, or even understanding our national health care problems. It is inconceivable to me that Barbara Boxer, Lorretta Sanchez, and John Murtha can cast a vote that decides on a vast new health care system. In addition to my concern over the  competancy and motivations of these politically biased people, I keep returning to the fundamental question; is our federal government capable of managing such a huge and critical part of our lives?

The alternative isn't all that compelling either. The system is now at least parti…

Too Sensitive For Our Own Good

For some reason I am especially disgusted. Down low in the mouth. Why? Because I finally decided that Political Correctness is for the birds, that's why. In a perverse sort of way PC is threatening our way of life and I don't like it. I don't have to, right?  In elementary school I was the red headed, four eyed kid with a temper and a bad attitude. The other kids called me the sun burned Irishman, carrot-top, the freakled freak, and worse. My friends were Ray Rierson (the frozen Norwegian), Wyman Carlson (the dumb Swede), Billy Craven (the snooty rich kid), Punky North (the world's stupidist ox) and Solly Solomon (the big nose kid). The nick names may not have been PC but everyone had such a handle and no one even thought about lawsuits. Times have changed. People have become very sensitive about how they are labeled, and in many respects, it's a good change. 

It's no longer acceptable to call a Negro anything but Black, Jews can't be called Sheenies or Hy…

An Extra Sad Funeral

Just returned from a funeral. Young girl named Lisa. First Syracuse College year. Eating disorder. Heart stopped. Found in her school apartment. Catholic service in Huntington Beach. Beautiful church. Fine soloist. Sanctuary filled. Mostly local high school mates. Priest very welcoming to all religions present.

Lisa's mom member of Fountain Valley Kiwanis Club where I was a member for many years and President three or four years ago. Didn't know Lisa's mom very well - but did know her to be a very nice person and anxious to help in our Fountain Valley community. Losing her bright and pretty daughter so young must be just terrible.

I looked at the dates. 1988 to 2009. 21 short years. Thinking about that left me a bit guilty. Is it natural to wonder why I have been granted so many years and she so few?


My how the pundits tittle and roar. The mighty Oprah may decide to close her tv door. Everyone may (sob, sob), cry now. Actually the old girl with the minor weight problem is a very talented, very smart, and I suspect, a very nice person. She has delighted the tube for some 25 years and deserves to fish with a bobber for a while. Afterwhich (I predict) she will return to the public eye and everyone will say "good for you" and clap and be happy again.

Is Anything Worth Protecting

We have attached importance to national borders. They geographically define America and since 1776 we, as a nation, have asked our government to protect those borders and every thing and everyone within. We have collectively joined to defend our nation against political interference, physical trespassing, and military attack. My question is: what are we protecting?

On the face of it the question is easy to answer. We are protecting America. Okay, but just what precisely does that mean? Our political system is unique and one of our basic assets. That would qualify. Our population requires laws, enforcement, and a judicial system. That too would qualify. Our historical traditions of honesty, integrity, charity,  and providing public education for our children would all qualify.  Our societys' work ethic, promotion of a free market,  and individual enterprise, and etc. This kind of list could go on and on, and can only partially describe the America we are pledged to defend.   

For 23…

At What Point Does Conflict Become "War"?

A while back nations declared WAR and armies took the field to battle it out. The American Civil War was perhaps the last WAR that soldiers (Union) lined up in a row to shoot at soldiers (Confederate) lined up in a row to shoot back. Amazing. I can't think of anything as stupid as that!

During World War One the troops were just a bit further apart and there were trenches to offer a little protection. By the time World War II came along there had been a huge technology leap forward, the world had industrialized, long range weapons and airpower helped to increase the size of the battleground.

For some reason the declaring of WAR stopped in it's tracks.

Korea became a "Police Action". Exactly how was it different? 

Next, we went to Viet Nam as "Advisors" which was an obvious sham.  We stayed and fought in Viet Nam for many years - but WAR was never declared. 

And in neither case, Korea or Viet Nam, did we win the "what-ever-it-was".

In Korea a line wa…

Sarah Palin - Someday

When McCain chose her for his running mate I knew the Republicans were doomed. McCain had a long record of dubious politics and was not a strong candidtate to start with. Sarah Palin just didn't cut the mustard as a candidate for Vice President. Right from the start everyone knew she did not have the moxie to replace the elderly McCain should he have health problems.

To my surprise Sarah turned out to be something of a bright light in the Republican camp.  She stood out because no one else did. She spoke the Conservative story and saved McCain's candidacy from disaster. Despite all the negatives - they almost won! 

Sarah Palin spoke plainly and talked common sense, valued American traditions and promoted Conservative principles. She was demonized and hated from the get-go by the mean spirited liberal Democrat crowd, who got out their famous attack squad and zeroed in on Sarah Palin and her family with a vengence. The liberal media immediately fell into lock-step and biased repo…

Communist Engineering Is Alive & Well


I was  reading about one of France's bullet trains the other day. Don't those guys spend more time mashing grapes than engineering? The French government may be broke - but the trains run on time, and they are faster than the Bell X-1 Rocket Ship. 

Then I turned the page and saw the picture above. Wow! I could put my 2500 sq. ft. home inside this thing with ease. How did they put this aerial Titanic together.  Communism fell did it not?  If the Russians are in such a leadership turmoil, and the U.S.S.R. is coming apart at the seams (like we are told), then where do they get the talent and science and manpower skills to build a behemoth like this? Surely they must borrow from someone else? No sir. They tell me it's not so. This little kite is a home grown, one of a kind, flying monster built by Russians for Russians.

Next thing you know Iraq will be building Rolex watches and Cadillacs.

Fire & Brimstone

One hundred years ago, on the water dimpled plains of Minnesota, religion was a big deal. The farmer milked his cows morning and night but otherwise did no work on the sabbath. His family dressed in their best clothes, the kids put on shoes and mom wore a hat, and they all piled into the wagon to clip clop their way to church.

Church was a small white building with a steeple above the entry doors. It held about forty parishoners seated on uncomfortable wooden benches or pews. In front of the pews on left there was an elevated stage with a podium fronted by a wooden structure that went down to the floor. This construction was the pulpit and was where the preacher stood when addressing the parishoners. Behind the preacher on the raised platform and to the right were three short pews. Each one could seat about six people. This was where the choir sat in their floor length maroon robes. Opposite the choir and directly behind the preacher's pulpit was the organ, and sitting there was …

Dawn Rises - Morning Breaks - Night Falls

The Boy Scouts of America

A couple of years ago, maybe 65 or so, I was a Cub Scout. Even earned a few badges. Never did move on to Boy Scouts - but did join the Sea Scouts when I was about 13. My tour of duty only lasted about a year. An old rich guy named Milbanks from Flintridge had a slick wooden sail boat that he made available to the Sea Scouts couple of times each summer. He kept it in Newport Harbor at the Sea Scout Base, and gave sailing lessons to Sea Scouts from all over Southern California. The boat was a beauty. Long, low, narrow and fast. Probably about 36 to 40 ft. long. Slept six as I recall. The cabin was all fine varnished woods and excellent craftsmanship. For rebel city kids my age a day cruise with Milbanks was an adventure into the unknown. Okay, so much for my exposure to Boy Scouts.

The years have passed by and the Boy Scouts has changed, but much is the same. It's still a great way to learn about nature, living in a tent, and to work together as part of a gr…

A.I.S.S. Opening Doors

Acheivement Institute of Scientific Studies

I met Paul Riordan many years ago. Paul is a retired educator.  Throughout his long career as a teacher he went the extra mile for his students, and when he retired he had a plan in mind to continue his efforts to enable poor but brilliant young students to pursue a scientific college or university education.

It was Pauls good fortune to teach at in areas where families were often very poor.  Most of the parents could not afford to send their children off to school after high school - regardless of how smart and talented they were.  Paul knew how to help students deal with this roadblock.

He founded A.I.S.S. as a 501 c (3) foundation for the purpose of assisting poor but smart academic scholars in furthering their academic careers in science and mathematics. A.I.S.S. provides no scholarships. The focus is on gaining admission and ongoing support from the finest advanced school for their particular area of studies.

A.I.S.S.  Provides:

*  Educa…

Dr, Albert Schweitzer

During the 20th century missionaries were looked upon as religious people whose job was to spread Christianity. This was thought to be a good thing. What's wrong with trying to bring enlightenment to non-Christian people?

Now, at the start of the 21st century, missionaries in our history are looked upon as not politically correct. Once they were considered to have personally sacrificed for the benefit of  heathens, but now they are considered to have been pushy evangelical Christians trying to convert everyone in sight. Hey, this can't be right!

Dr. Albert Schweitzer was a hero of mine. He was one of the first "green" philosophers I learned about in school. Dr. Schweitzer had a clinic somewhere in deep dark Africa among a community of backward tribal people.  He was a Medical Doctor and able to provide a level of health care for them.  He was also an accomplished organist able to play the complex classical music of the day, and a profoundly well educated man. But hi…

Health Care Phooey

The furor over a national health care system is sad. Good people are on both sides of the arguement. If the present system is to be fixed to provide health care for everyone, it is the government that will have to manipulate the rules and regulations to make it possible. If the present system is to be trashed completely and replaced with a brand new government directed health care plan, it will also require the government to design new rules and regulations. Anyway you cut it, the government must be involved.

Some of us would like to reduce the impact of government, keep government as small as necessary to carry out existing responsibilities, and to return to honest and fiscally responsible representation. Those on this side of the arguement are usually in favor of fair but limited welfare programs and adequate military defenses.

The more liberal citizerns among us would like the government to be a large as necessary to expand the amount of government intrusion in free market capitali…

Kiwanis Club of Santa Ana

I have been a happy member of Kiwanis since 1993, and a member of the Santa Ana Kiwanis Club since 2008.  Presently I am on the Board of Directors and have recently been appointed to be Chairman of the Strike Gold For Kids project, our primary money raising event scheduled for August 14th 2010.  The Santa Ana Kiwanis Club sponsors many programs that benefit our community, especially children and young people.  It is a great pleasure for me to be involved. The club meets at noon on Wednesdays at the Santa Ana Ebell Club and more information is available at

Sometimes It's Smart To Be Patient

Most of the time I get frustrated with my liberal friends. I can't get it through my head that individuals should learn to rely on government to provide entitlements for them. There are way too many families that have been dependent on welfare for several generations. The situation is a ridiculous political and social failure. What happened to the idea that people should work for their food and benefits, families should save for the future, and acceptance of welfare was a last resort and not a way of life. Of course there are those in our society that can not provide for themselves. That's another matter entirely. Wage earners must share the responsibility for their welfare -but people able to work should do so. American workers are taxed and their money is given to the politicians who subtract their management costs and spend the balance as they wish. A small portion does end up (as it should) helping the people that can not provide for themselves, but a larger amount is spen…

Waiting For God

This is a picture of a tragedy in the making. On the left is David Pickels. At his side is his son Shane. David, 44 years old, is dying of cancer. When it was first discovered the doctors said he was at Stage 5 -  the worst and last stage before a person dies. Anyone so diagnosed usually has only a few weeks left.

David has lasted for a few months. A golf ball size tumor was found somewhere in his intestinal tract. The doctors removed as much as they could. They found more than they could remove.  A few weeks passed before they discovered another tumor located near the center of his brain. Again, they removed as much as they could.

The both tumors are now back and the doctors advise no further surgical attempt to remove them.  David does not want to give up.

A regime on chemotherapy and radiation has begun in an attempt to shrink the tumors or at least slow their growth in order to prolong his life. David is using morphine and other types of pain relief medicines to keep himself as com…

Conversation About Important Things

Went to the local Starbucks this morning. Sat in the sun and watched the customers come and go. Couple of men I knew from other mornings in the sun sat at my table and, as we often do, began discussing retirement. Somehow, from that subject someone asked "what is the most important thing a person should do while alive?" After tossing the question around for a while, it was decided that human beings generally believe they are superior to all other forms of life, and as such, the most important challenge is to be here to see tomorrow's sun rise. This we interpreted as "self preservation" and by stretching a bit we felt this included procreation to preserve our species and so forth. The conversation skipped ahead to the "gap" between rich and poor. I know, it was a big skip.

The "gap", we concluded, was necessary to motivate human beings to better themselves. It provides a goal to aspire to, and while discussing this, we came to realize that …

Fort Hood Shootings


It appears that Major Hassan was the only shooter. So far 13 are dead and about 31 have been wounded. Since most handguns don't shoot that many bullets without reloading, it seems logical that he may have had enough time between shots to stop and reload? No one rushed him. Apparently he opened a door to a room containing over 100 people, knelt near the threshold, and fired with a gun in each hand. Someone reported that he was a bit disheveled and that he shouted the standard Muslim "God is good. God is great" as he randomly shot 44 innocent people. Question: Terrorist or just crazy?

Government Art / N.E.A. / Censorship

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It bothers me that my tax dollars are used to fund artwork that I find worthless. As soon as a conversation starts on this topic, so does the matter of censorship. They go hand in hand. Americans are protected by laws that forbid censorship, yet there are many instances in our society where censorship is applied. This would seem to indicate that there is room for exceptions. We are not to yell fire in a crowded theater. We are not to travel nude on a bus. And etc. Isn't that a level of censorship? When something is called artwork the question become is it properly labeled.

Art is, as they say, in the eyes of the beholder. One man's artwork is another man's trash. The National Endowment for the Arts (N.E.A.) has labeled many repulsive items as art, and they continue to give away my tax money (and yours) to support the artists that make this (in my opinion) junk.  I don't like it!

There are many excellent artists that produce wonderful conventional artworks, (Robert…