Thursday, May 31, 2007

I Told You So

I told you so. In two previous posts, here and here, I pointed out the trend in which Americans believe they don't have to follow the rules. This "you're not the boss of me" mentality permiates nearly every segment of our society, proven even more by the latest stunt: an American knowingly and defiantly boarded an international flight after having been diagnosed with an "extensively drug resistant tuberculosis or XDR-TB." He was told not to fly. He was told NOT to travel abroad, but hey: "The rules don't apply to me!"

Andrew Speaker, a personal injury lawyer (aka "ambulance chaser") is currently under quarantine at a Denver medical center after having traveled to Greece to get married; he and his wife then travelled to Italy for their honeymoon. Health officials in North America and Europe are now trying to track down about 80 passengers who sat near him on the two trans-Atlantic flights

I hope they find those 80 passengers...then put them, along with little Andrew (who obviously didn't get enough spankings as a kid), in a pit and give all the passengers a 1" diameter dowel rod. At the whistle, they begin whaling on Andrew, until (a) Andrew is beaten unconscious or (b) their arms get tired! Then, maybe, if there is a "next time," Andy will learn to obey the rules.

One of Andrew Speaker's former neighbors, one Pam Hood said: "He's a great guy. Gregarious...He's a wonderful guy. Just a very, very pleasant man." Well, guess what, Pam. He's better than you and me--the rules of consideration for the safety and well-being of your fellow man DON'T APPLY TO HIM.

Fox News story here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

"How have the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!..." --2 Samuel 1:25
Three years ago, we spent our Memorial Day weekend/week in Washington, DC. The World War II memorial was dedicated that same weekend; we visited Mount Vernon, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam and Korean War memorials. We spent some time at the National Archives. On our way home, we stopped at Atietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, MD. ¹

As we visited each of these national monuments, I was in awe of the sacrifices the men and women who founded and fought for this country had made; I am still amazed at the insight and wisdom of the founding fathers as they laid the foundations for this great country we call The United States of America. And I am humbled by the fact that many lives were and are still being given for the privileges we enjoy. This is STILL the best, the GREATEST country on the face of the earth! I am proud to be an American, especially on this day when we pause and consider the price that has been paid for our freedoms. To those who serve in our military and to their families...THANK YOU!

As I think about those great Americans of the past, I am also saddened by the actions and apparent attitudes of our current day lawmakers/national leaders. I don't see the same love of country and fellow man. I see greed and deceit, and it makes me very sad and angry. Lawmakers are more interested in being re-elected than doing the "right thing." Consequently, we get "bridges to nowhere" to the tune of $450 million dollars. We have millions of dollars in low interest loans being doled out under the Terrorist Relief Act to businesses like Dunkin' Donuts in Essex Junction, VA. (The owner claimed the 9/11 attacks affected his business). Medicaid spends millions of dollars on Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs...all at taxpayers expense and all under the "watchful eye" of our dedicated lawmakers (heavy sarcasm). Rather than being men and women of integrity and honesty, we get "public servants" that give us lines such as: "I never inhaled" or "That depends on what the definition of 'is' is" or "This is not amnesty." A far cry from the days of men like Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln.

Today, I am grateful there are still men and women that believe in America. They serve in our military, selflessly giving their time away from home and families, and sometimes giving their lives.

Thank God for "mighty men" (and women).

¹The bloodiest one-day battle in American history, 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of savage combat on September 17, 1862.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

How Did We Get Here?

How in the world did we get to this point? I'm talking about the place where we sue anyone and everybody for our own mistakes? I like the Louis Cardinals; have ever since I saw them play in the Astrodome in the early seventies. I saw them play again in the eighties when the roster included Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee and Terry Pendleton. I don't follow them as closely these days, but I did take note when pitcher John Hancock died recently. One news story stated:

...the 29-year pitcher had a blood content of nearly twice the legal limit for alcohol in his system when he crashed into the back of the tow truck. He was also speeding, using a cell phone and wasn't wearing a seat belt, Police Chief Joe Mokwa said after the accident. Marijuana also was found in the SUV.
People make mistakes and there are consequences for those mistakes. I guess John Hancock's father doesn't understand those facts. He is suing the manager of the restaurant that sold alcohol to his son. He is also suing the owner of the tow truck that Hancock ran into. He is also suing the tow truck driver. He is also suing the driver of the car who had his car stall on the interstate.

I'm currently reading John Stossel's Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity available at Wal-Mart for about $10. Stossel does a great job of documenting the idiocy within our society. Topics such as Big Business (most of them don't rip us off), gasoline prices (the price of gas is actually a bargin when you consider many of us are willing to pay the equivalent of $9 per gallon for bottled water), taxes (most of us really have no idea what we pay--i.e. the government takes--in taxes), and politicians ("often busybodies who want to force their preferences on us").

Chapter seven-The Lawsuit Racket is exceptionally good as Stossel points out how lawsuits, especially malpractice and product liability lawsuits, have actually deprived us of safer products, actually hurt more people than have been helped, taken away our choices, and decreased safety by creating meaningless "safety" warnings. "Lawyers make millions by telling juries, 'The accident wouldn't have happened if my client had been properly warned!' Cringing companies respond by putting warnings on everything"(pg 172). Consider the following "warning labels" that were obviously the result of some insane lawsuit:

  • A hair dryer comes with the instruction-- "Never use while sleeping."
  • Birthday candles warn--"Do not use the wax as earplugs."
  • A power drill label states--"No intented for use as a dental drill."

If this stuff weren't true, the book would almost be funny. As it is, it's a pretty sad commentary on our country and the greed and stupidity that drives it. I'll ask again: How in the world did we get to this point?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Stuff

Quoteable Quote
Saw this quote today. In light of some of today's "music," I couldn't agree more. Anything too stupid to be said is sung. -Voltaire

Friday Photo

Gas prices in the Tulsa area range from $3.09 to $3.29 per gallon. I passed this Shell station the other day on the way home from work. I commented to the guy that I carpool with: "I guess if you have to ask the can't afford it."

Illegal vs "Undocumented"

Sometimes the pro-illegal immigration side just floors me with their "logic." Andres Ayala Jr., D-Bridgeport (website) is one of several lawmakers in the Connecticut House of Representatives (I wonder how many people they actually REPRESENT) that recently pushed a bill through that would give in-state tuition to the children of illegals. Read the article here. (Special thanks to for the link)

At the end of the referenced article, Rep. Ayala, who identifies himself as "latino," states: "I don't think that anyone is legal or illegal,...People are here without documents. They're undocumented." Who does this idiot think he's fooling?! Using his line/level of reasoning, if I'm caught shoplifting, my defense could simply be: "I'm not stealing, I just haven't paid for it yet!" I guess if we cease calling people "illegal" they will cease BEING ILLEGAL! To quote Jerry Seinfeld: "It's not a lie as long as you believe it's true."

flickr: Friday Photo Group

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I'm Not Votin' for This


What do these three men have in common? Just in case you don't recognize them, they are (left to right): Joseph Smith, Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney and they are, for lack of a better label, "Mormons."

Smith is the "founder" of the Mormon church, aka The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Glenn Beck is a radio talk show host; he also has a "news" show on CNN.
Mitt Romney is one of SEVERAL Republican presidential hopefuls.

Smith claimed to have been given direct revelation from God, via an angel named Moroni. Under Moroni's inspiration, Smith wrote "another testament of Jesus Christ"-The Book of Mormon; he also wrote "The Pearl of Great Price" and "Doctrines and Covenants", all of which are said to be of equal value or importance as the Bible. Mormons also wear special undergarments or "holy underwear" that "remind[s] members of the church that they have chosen to be obedient to the commandments of the Lord." (Source).

I'm sure I'll be accused of being biased or unfair in my assessment, but this whole "mormon thing" sounds kinda silly to me. I think Joseph Smith pulled a fast one. I think Glenn Beck is funny on the radio; I don't like his TV show. Mitt Romney wants to be president, but I just can't bring myself to vote for someone that could fall for something this silly. A radio host is one thing, but President? Naw. I need a President that can't be suckered.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Time Stands Still

When you're away from home on vactaion, etc., do you get the feeling that time stands still? I spent last week at my parents house in Florida. I know, it's tough, but someone has to do it. They live in a little town is in the panhandle, about an hour east of Pensacola, and about 45 minutes north of Destin. The town is pretty small; my mom was raised there and my grandparents were founding members of the church my parents attend. The whole time I was there, it was like -- "when I get back home, I'll just pick up where I left off." Doesn't work that way, does it?

Actually, it was a very busy and tiring week; I went to visit my dad who is very ill and to do some things around the house that my parents are no longer physically able to do. It was a good time of just visiting, reminiscing, etc. And after I got the "yard" (2.5 acres!) mowed and trimmed and pressured washed the entire house, I have to admit, the place looked really good.

I wish I'd had time to do some other things around the house, but I only had a week. One of the things I'd really like to have done was clean out the barn. My dad is a PACKRAT with a capital "P!" He saves anything and everything. Nothing gets thrown away. "I might need that someday" or "I'm saving it for parts." He has FOUR old riding lawnmowers (click the photo on the left for a better view) in that barn, none of which will start; two are the same model--none of them identical in make or model to the current working mower (number five)...but he's "saving them for parts." Right.

Sometimes, I really do wish time could stand still. My dad is very sick; he has cancer and other physical problems on top of that. I wish he had more time, but I don't think he does. Time just keeps on--it never stands still--for anyone. No matter where you are.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Windle's Rock Shop Visit

Alex (my youngest) and I went to Windle's Rock Shop Bartlesville this morning. Our visit was part of a science class assignment. Windle's is a fascinating place, full of all kinds of rocks, fossils, and mineral samples, as well as quite an assortment of jewelry and coins, some very rare. They had some actual denarius coins from 30 AD. We thought that was pretty neat to think that someone that had actually seen or spoken to Jesus may have held some of those coins. We ended up buying a piece of sheen obsidian from Mexico, which is volcanic glass. Tammy Ross, a very friendly and knowledgable salesperson, told us that the Aztecs used the sheen obsidian to make arrowheads and blades.

After leaving Windle's, we ate lunch at Murphy's Steakhouse, also in Bartlesville. Murphy's has been around since the mid 1940's--I think. They are known for their "hot hamburger" which is a hamburger patty, covered with homemade french fries, all smothered in brown gravy. Mmmm-good! We settled for cheeseburgers and fries which I thought were good. Alex was unimpressed, but what does he know...he's just a kid!.

On an unrelated note, I can't help but comment on this (click on the image to the right a for larger view.)

I received an email today from which stated: "Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with free shipping." Could someone please explain to me what Mexico's victory over French forces in 1862 has to do with me buying a Bible or "Christian book" and getting it sent to my house for free??!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Idiot Lawyer, My Dad, Friday Photos

Idiot Lawyer
Roy L. Pearson Jr. is an administrative law judge in Washington DC that apparently has a conscience the size of a pea! This guy is a JERK! Seems Judge Pearson dropped off some dry cleaning at his local cleaners back in May 2005. When he went to pick up his laundry, he discovered a pair of suit pants was missing. Pearson demanded the owners of the dry cleaning business--Korean immigrants, Jin Nam Chung, Ki Chung and their son, Soo Chung--replace the suit at the full price of $1000. Several days later, the pants were found, so the owners refused to pay. Although the inseam of the pants matched his measurements AND the ticket on the pants matched his receipt, Pearson claimed the pants were not his. He has filed a lawsuit against the owners to the tune of...are you ready?...$65 MILLION!!! You can read the entire, STUPID story here.

My Dad
My dad and I have never really been close. Maybe it's the difference in our ages...who knows. There was a lot of arguing and yelling growing up. He didn't like the way I dressed, my friends, the way I wore my hair (I think I'm paying for that one now--my hair is getting VERY thin to the point I wear it in a "burr." I'm tired of fighting it.) Funny, I've had similiar discussions with my own children, but none to the extent my dad and I did. I made a vow to myself that I wouldn't talk to my kids the way my dad did, that I wouldn't "exasperate" (see Ephesians 6:4) them the way he did me. I've done OK, I guess. Ryon, Alex and I seem to get along pretty well.

In recent years, my Dad and I have been trying a little harder to get along. He and my Mother live about 800 miles away, so we don't see each other very often, but we talk on the phone from time to time. He is 76 years old...and he has cancer. He was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma around 1998. From what I read and understand, there is no cure for NHL. Dad has fought it back into remission twice, but his body has suffered the effects of the cancer as well as the sometimes aggressive treatments. Recently, he contracted a virus/infection that got into his kidneys and brain. There was some permanent damage to the kidneys; he was hospitalized for approximately two months. Shortly after his release, he had a blood clot in one of his lungs and spent another week in hospital. This have been a very rough year for him--and my Mom.

I'm heading out Sunday after I teach my School School class to spend the week with them. Dad's already got some "chores" lined up for me to do; he walks with a cane now and can't do the outdoor work he used to do. In fact, this is the first year since 1965 he has not planted a garden. For him, that's big deal. I'm looking forward to the time to just sit and visit--to mend some fences and make some memories before the inevitable occurs. He told me when I was talking to him on his 70th birthday: "The Bible says I get 'three-score and ten years', so I guess any time I live beyond that is a pretty good deal." I guess that's not a bad way of looking at it. My Dad knows the Lord; loves His Word. That is comforting to know. I'd appreciate any prayers for safe travel--and say a prayer for my Dad while you're at it.

Friday Photos

Alex is our youngest son. He is our inquisitive child--which can be aggrivating some times. One thing he has going for him, he got his mother's looks.

I'm still playing with this "photography thing." This is my first attempt at shooting "foliage"; it had just quit raining and I took this shot in our front yard. We have some yellow irises planted in the back yard. You can see those on my Flickr page here.

flickr: Friday Photo Group