Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ

I've been meaning to do a review of this outstanding compilation of articles. But our assistant pastor beat me to the punch and did a way better job than I could ever do. So let me just give you a couple of paragraph intro. Then if you're interested, you can read the rest of the review here.

In the eleven years I have been married I have read many Christian books on dating, marriage, relationships and sexual intimacy. Several of them have been mixtures of psychology and theology at best. Others were solidly ground in scriptural. Sex and the Supremacy of Christ falls into the latter category. In fact, it is unlike any book that I have ever read on the topic of sex.

If you're single, check it out. If you're engaged, check it out. If you're married, check it out. You'll not be able to count on all your fingers and toes the things that you will learn regarding the theology of sex. The bottom line: everything is for God's glory, including sex. Piper, Dever, Mahaney and the other authors do a superb job at explaining how this all pans out in scripture.

Trends - Baby Boom Wealth Transfer

The baby boom's leading edge is turning 60 this year. That means roughly speaking, 1,000,000 more adults will turn 60 each year than has been the case prior to the baby boom. Now, of course, this has been true of this age group for 60 years. They have been impacting schools, politics, consumer spending, and much more as they have moved through the age groups like a pig in a python.

One need not be a prophet to predict that the coming dramatic increase in us old people will result in great business opportunities in health care, leisure living, and golf clubs. However, there is a little talked about impact that may be the biggest headline of all.

The baby boom's parents are just about to transfer the biggest stack of wealth in the history of the world to their kids. With the USA's current average life expectancy at 79 or so, at least one parent of most baby boomers are still alive and trying like crazy to spend their money on themselves.

What will be the impact of this wealth transfer to this huge population bulge? Will they be even more hedonistic than now, lavishly spending the money on themselves? Will they become philanthropic, believing that they can secure a place in heaven by spending some of their money on others less fortunate? Will they merely accumulate more bucks in preparation for handing down an even greater largess to the smaller X gen that follows?

How the boomers deal with this mountain of dough will have enormous impact on the US and World economy over the next 10 years. Getting a handle on that trend and its effects may greatly impact your own personal fortune. What do you think the effect will be?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Writers Write - And Read

Part two in my promised set of resources on How to Write to Get Published. As with so many things, most writers are born, not made. Those who are likely to have the discipline to actually complete articles and books are those who so love to write that their spouses, kids, and friends have to pry their hands off the keyboard to get them to go and play at any other games. If you fall into that category, you don't need any advice from this blog on how to get something written. You may still need help getting into a publishable form, and finding someone to pay you for it, but that will be another post on another day.

For those who have good ideas, are good at story telling, or have something they think needs saying, but don't meet the born-to-write description above, here is what you need to get started: YOU HAVE TO START WRITING. You don't need lessons, classes, or author's clubs. You need to just write a few paragraphs or a few pages on things you know and/or care about. Then you need to do it again...and again...and again.

After you've done this for a few weeks or months, and you actually like doing it, have someone you trust read what you are writing. You want to know from them whether the material is interesting, whether is keeps their attention, and whether the style, grammar, punctuation, and such is reasonably acceptable. After analyzing a bit of this type of critiquing, you may now be ready to take that class, read articles and books about writing, or join an author's club.

P.S. One fantastic way to get started writing is to start a blog. Its totally free. Just click the little blogger button at the top of the page, and you can have your own blog in about 20 minutes. (I don't make a penny from that advice.)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Writing For Publication

Just about everybody thinks they have one great novel or one great thought that is worth sharing with the world. Very, very few ever write even a paragraph that they submit for publication. Because many of my friends and associates know I have a fair list of published works in my resume, they sometimes ask advice about how to get their material published. Actually, some ask how to get it written, then should they actually write anything ....

Popular novelist and fellow blogger Robin Lee provides an advanced writing tip on her blog that has inspired me to begin posting from time-to-time on creative writing and getting published. Today's tip is to pick up a copy of Stephen King's On Writing.

You see, I think King might be the best writer of our generation. I don't tend to read his fictional works any more, because I don't find them uplifting or beneficial to my Christian walk. However, before I cared as much about those things, I read pretty much everything he ever wrote.

His special skill are scene setting and making you care passionately about his characters (before he kills them off.) He has a wonderful sense of humor that underlies almost everything he writes.

But, as a favor to the also rans, he as penned the best book on how to write and get published I have ever read, and I've got quite a few in my library. So, if you are so inclined, start by reading On Writing.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Truth About UFO's

I don't pretend to even have an opinion about whether there is life beyond earth, or whether any other civilization has or is trying to visit us for good or harm. However, our neighbors to the north seem to feel they know the truth:

On September 25, 2005, in a startling speech at the University of Toronto that caught the attention of mainstream newspapers and magazines, Paul Hellyer, Canada’s Defence Minister from 1963-67 under Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prime Minister Lester Pearson, publicly stated: "UFOs, are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head."

Mr. Hellyer went on to say, "I'm so concerned about what the consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war, that I just think I had to say something."

Hellyer revealed, "The secrecy involved in all matters pertaining to the Roswell incident was unparalled. The classification was, from the outset, above top secret, so the vast majority of U.S. officials and politicians, let alone a mere allied minister of defence, were never in-the-loop."

Hellyer warned, "The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning. He stated, "The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide."

Do you suppose there is any chance we could use the Aliens to take out Iran and North Korea?

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Speeches by Past Presidents

Every day for is a good day to remember to be thankful. So, while the Thanksgiving holiday is well past, it shouldn't be too late to post Thanksgiving day proclomations by past presidents.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness":

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; … and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

George Washington, Oct. 3, 1789


The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.

I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore if, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

Abraham Lincoln, Oct. 3, 1863

God has greatly blessed us as a nation in the year now drawing to a close. The earth has yielded an abundant harvest in most parts of our country. The fruits of industry have been of unexampled quantity and value. Both capital and labor have enjoyed an exceptional prosperity.

Assurances of peace, at home and abroad, have been strengthened and enlarged. Progress has been made in provision against preventable disasters from flood and pestilence. Enlightenment has grown apace in new revelations of scientific truth and in diffusion of knowledge. Educational opportunities have steadily enlarged. Enduring advances have been gained in the protection of the public health. Childhood is measurably more secure. New experience and new knowledge in many fields have been recorded, from which a deeper wisdom may grow. We should accept these blessings with resolution to devote them to service of Almighty God.

Herbert Hoover, Nov. 5, 1929


Our beloved country is free and strong. Our moral and physical defenses against the forces of threatened aggression are mounting daily in magnitude and effectiveness.

In the interest of our own future, we are sending succor at increasing pace to those peoples abroad who are bravely defending their homes and their precious liberties against annihilation.

We have not lost our faith in the spiritual dignity of man, our proud belief in the right of all people to live out their lives in freedom and with equal treatment. The love of democracy still burns brightly in our hearts.

Let us ask the Divine Blessing on our decision and determination to protect our way of life against the forces of evil and slavery which seek in these days to encompass us.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Nov. 8, 1941

It would be wonderful if the leadership of the left in the US could understand the cause around which our country was built. It would be a step in the right direction if they were even able to call evil "evil" as did their great hero, FDR.

For Men - How to Write a Love Letter

The LA Times, the paper I hate to love. I have been so close to stopping my subscription over their bias and some of their bad taste, but today they got it right, two times! The first was an article in column one about a new program hitting it big in evangelical churches. Called Letters From Dad, it is a program designed to teach men to write love letters to their wives and daughters.

Most men aren't very good at this, or haven't tried since they were dating. I just might provide a few ideas on this in the next few weeks, but if you want to learn more about the curriculum that is already being offered by the founder of Letters From Dad, you will find all about it here.

The article provided a few good examples, and if you are now or are willing to sign up at the LA Times, you can read the whole thing for yourself. The article, published on Thanksgiving day, starts out this way:

Learning to Write Their Love
# Men in church workshops express themselves, word by painstaking word, in an unlikely medium: the humble letter.

By Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer

McKINNEY, Texas — After 26 years of marriage, Charles Batson says his wife means everything to him. He just wishes he knew how to tell her.

"We're always going in a million different directions and when we talk, it's almost like a text message: Hey, I love you. Gotta go." That's not enough, he said. Not for the way he feels.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Baby Boom Wealth Transfer Effect - You Really Do Care About This

Baby Boom Wealth Transfer

The baby boom’s leading edge is turning 60 this year. That means roughly speaking, 1,000,000 more adults will turn 60 each year than has been the case prior to the baby boom. Now, of course, this has been true of this age group for 60 years. They have been impacting schools, politics, consumer spending, and much more as they have moved through the age groups like a pig in a python.

One need not be a prophet to predict that the coming dramatic increase in us old people will result in great business opportunities in health care, leisure living, and golf clubs. However, there is a little talked about impact that may be the biggest headline of all.

The baby boom’s parents are just about to transfer the biggest stack of wealth in the history of the world to their kids. With the USA’s current average life expectancy at 79 or so, at least one parent of most baby boomers are still alive and trying like crazy to spend their money on themselves.

What will be the impact of this wealth transfer to this huge population bulge. Will they be even more hedonistic than now, lavishly spending the money on themselves? Will they become philanthropic, believing that they can secure a place in heaven by spending some of their money on others less fortunate? Will they merely accumulate more bucks in preparation for handing down an even greater largess to the smaller X gen that follows?

How the boomers deal with this mountain of dough will have enormous impact on the US and World economy over the next 10 years. Getting a handle on that trend and its effects may greatly impact your own personal fortune. What do you think the effect will be?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Iran - What, Me Worry?

Should you be concerned about Iran's nuke capability. I trust Bush and the gang, but I sometimes have a hard time imagining North Korea or Iran having any real method of delivering a consequential strike against America. Having just seen Little Red Hen, I don't want to add to the cry of alarm about Iran, but when a level headed guy like Newt Gingrich is concerned, I get concerned.

The threat posed to the national security of the United States by Iran was likened only to the one posed by Nazi Germany in the 1930s, by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who suggested Tehran could be planning for a pre-emptive nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack on America that would turn a third or more of the country "back to a 19th century level of development."

Gingrich made the stunning statements, which echo warning of other congressional leaders and national security experts, in testimony before a subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last week.

For the rest of the story

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Gasoline Prices Drop Like A Rock

Wouldn't it be refreshing to see that headline at the New York Times, Washington Post, or LA Times. Not a chance. How about this sub: "Lower gas prices likely to stimulate economy just as we head into Christmas." Then the lead sentance: "Joe Smith says he is spending $25 a week less than he was just 3 weeks ago, and he is looking to spend it all on his family this Christmas." Dream sequence ends.

More Hollywood - Why Are Stars Uber Liberals?

If you have ever wondered why it is that almost the whole of the Hollywood crowd is leaning so left, Pat Boone says he has found the answer. If you don't plan to go read the short column to get the answer, I'll give you a hint. Self-absorbed narcissists is just the beginning. Another great article from World Net Daily.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Chicken Little 3D Review

Chicken Little is a fine movie. Works for all ages, although much of the patter will be far above the heads of youngsters and teens. The digital 3D effect is as good, but not any better than the old red/green approach. The producers did not overuse the effect with objects constantly jumping out at the audience. In fact, for this viewer, the 3D eventually became background.

There is, as with most Disney efforts, a good moral tale. One wonders, however, if Disney had read some of the critics who claimed that the stories are never about Dads. In this case, Dad and Son are the story. And the theme concerns their relationship of trust and the son's need for unconditional love.

See it in 3D if you can, but see it for sure.

Can Hollywood Make It ALL Back in the 4th Quarter

If the Movie business was a football game, Hollywood has about 6 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, down 20. They seem to have the line size needed to bring in the points. The final score might depend on whether the fans got out of the habit of showing up during the first 10 months when the product was just plain ugly.

We're off to see the "new" 3D offering, Chicken Little, this afternoon. I'll report later. I love 3D, and have spent many hours and dollars at various IMAX theaters and Disney parks enjoying the effects. This is supposed to be the future of 3D, and should be transferrable to our home screens. I suspect they will milk it for a few years before offering it at home.

We are very excited about The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, coming December 8. Everything points to this this being a huge blockbuster. Christians will be out in force. Those who read the book as children will want to see it, even if they didn't know it was about Jesus. Then there will be the word of mouth. Early reviews say that it is stunningly beautiful and very well done.

Harry Potter is already hitting big. Not my cup of tea, but it will help pile up points. Pride and Prejudice probably won't do $200 million, but it will get my $10 one of these weekends.

Then the two minute drill will see King Kong release a week before Christmas. Early hints are that this could be the biggest film of the year, although Lion will have 2 extra weeks to put points on the board for actual 2005 revenues.

Why do we care? It is a major industry, and a major source of our cultural communication of points of view, morality, and lifestyle.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Prognotication - Future Gazing - Naval Contemplation

Call it what you will, from time-to-time I will provide my own special take on what the future holds. I promise not to rehash anybody else's stuff. This will all be original, and probably way off base. Here's the first one.


According to Wired Magazine, Americans now live in twice as much square footage per person as the did 50 years ago. This last month saw the introduction of 4 new ways to watch TV. Movie attendance is down. Home delivery of Pizza and Chow Mien is up.

I've been in the bicycle industry for 34 years. Parents aren't buying bikes for kids anymore. They're buying electronic games.

My wife and I like to go out, just the two of us, every Friday night. Choices, even in LA, are: restaurant, movie, play. She says to me last Friday: "Why don't we just do on demand using our 85" TV with theatre equal surround sound. (I have been accused of exaggeration once or twice.) But, you can now buy a projector for $2500 that will pretty much cover your wall with fantastic clarity and depth. Sound systems for under $1000 are phenomenal. And you don't have to worry about cell phones going off or folks talking through the whole thing.

If the TV and the game console don't have it, the computer does. By two years from now, it will all be the same thing anyway.

SO! Question? How will folks never leaving their house effect our lives?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Why Democrats Don't Deserve Power

Bush lied, soldiers died. From Howard Dean to Jimmy Carter, the rant keeps up. If you are an honest Democrat, please read this article and tell me the difference between what you read there and what Bush did.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Dennis Praqer - Questions to Ask Moderate Muslims

If you just love Dennis like I love Dennis, I have given a short version of his article in today's LA Times. If you want to read the details, go to Http:// You will have to register if you are not already.

Five questions non-Muslims would like answered
By Dennis Prager, Dennis Prager's nationally syndicated radio show is heard daily in Los Angeles on KRLA-AM (870). He may be contacted through his website:

THE RIOTING IN France by primarily Muslim youths and the hotel bombings in Jordan are the latest events to prompt sincere questions that law-abiding Muslims need to answer for Islam's sake, as well as for the sake of worried non-Muslims.

Here are five of them:

(1) Why are you so quiet?

There are a billion Muslims in the world. How is it possible that essentially none have demonstrated against evils perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Islam?

(2) Why are none of the Palestinian terrorists Christian?

If Israeli occupation is the reason for Muslim terror in Israel, why do no Christian Palestinians engage in terror?

(3) Why is only one of the 47 Muslim-majority countries a free country?

(4) Why are so many atrocities committed and threatened by Muslims in the name of Islam?

Young girls in Indonesia were recently beheaded by Muslim murderers. Last year, Muslims — in the name of Islam — murdered hundreds of schoolchildren in Russia.

(5) Why do countries governed by religious Muslims persecute other religions?

Hundreds of millions of non-Muslims want honest answers to these questions, even if the only answer you offer is, "Yes, we have real problems in Islam." Such an acknowledgment is infinitely better — for you and for the world — than dismissing us as anti-Muslim.

We await your response.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Love and Marriage Go Together Like . . .

Seems like there's a lot of weddings going on. For all the talk about folks living together, singleness as a lifestyle, and such, most folks seem to want to get hitched.

Those that walk down the aisle in front of their friends and relatives tend to make a few solemn vows. Then a few weeks, months, or years later, Pooof! Those vows are kind of last weeks news.

I was reminded of this in my own life a few weeks ago. Didja know that I am married to a woman who is the closest thing God has ever created to perfection in a wife? Its true! But even so, there are moments or days or even strings of a few days when we don't get along...uh....perfectly.

Now, maybe its just me, or maybe you'll feel me on this, at those times I don't want to do loving things for my wife. For example, I try to keep a stock of greeting cards in my desk drawer at the office. Then, from time-to-time, I pull one out and write a nice paragraph or two expressing my feelings, and send it off. BUT, during those "times" when there is a strain in our relationship, I have been known to pull one of those cards out of the drawer, stare at it for a few minute, even start to write something, and then put it away.

A couple of weeks ago, God spanked me good on this. My mood, my attitude, my little hurt feelings, or my bad day should never be an excuse for not letting my wife know that she is the light of my life.

Recommitment is something those of us in Fundamentalist churches know a lot about. I suspect many who go to the alter to recommit, do so with great intentions, only to see those intentions whither away and die. I'm recommitted to let my wife know every single day in some very special way how incredibly special she is to me.

Like the wedding vows, I have no publicly stated my vow in front of friends, relatives, and even strangers. If you'd like to make a similar vow to your spouse, you are welcome to use the comment section.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Darwinism Explained So Even You Will Understand It

In an effort to give full equal time to the supporters of Darwinism, the link is here provided to what Fox news headlines as "Behind the Controversy: How Evolution Works." If you think that interspeciel change is possible through mutation check out this article to see if represents your point of view. If you think that God did it, I think you find this article pretty amusing: Here is a sample:

How whales took to water

Using evolution as their guide and knowing how natural selection works, biologists knew that the transition of early whales from land to water occurred in a series of predictable steps. The evolution of the blowhole, for example, might have happened in the following way.

Random mutations resulted in at least one whale having its nostrils placed farther back on its head. Those animals with this adaptation would have been better suited to a marine lifestyle, since they would not have had to completely surface to breathe. Such animals would have been more successful and had more offspring. In later generations, more mutations occurred, moving the nose farther back on the head.

Other body parts of early whales also changed. Front legs became flippers. Back legs disappeared. Their bodies became more streamlined and they developed tail flukes to better propel themselves through water.

Really, really. Go read the whole thing.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Truth About Stupid Prices for "Art"

I know there is a marketing lesson here, but I can't quite figure out what it is. This sculpture sold for $23.8 Million. At auction, no less. I'm not some old fuddy duddy who doesn't appreciate modern art or things that are unusual. My favorite artists include Escher.

I know there are some outstanding marketers who are reading this blog. Help me out here. Why? If we can get the secret, maybe we can replicate it.

Oil Prices - Part 2

You have to love this story about a guy drilling oil in Appalachia. Some of the wells only produce a couple of barrels a day. If your interested in the details of this subject read his story

Bill Daugherty runs one of the larger companies, NGAS Resources Inc., which was recently ranked the third fastest growing small business in the United States by Fortune magazine.

"We're risk takers as individuals -- how else would you describe people who like to look down 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) into the ground and see what's there?" Daugherty said.

"What you don't see are the wildcat guys with boots and hats and a cigar. We use technology like computer graphics and we monitor gas flows from our wells by satellite and we maximize production by projecting trends in individual wells. It's a very scientific business but it's also a lot of fun."

For the rest of the story

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gasoline, Oil, Home Heating Oil - Prices

I don't pretend to be an expert, but I do have a good memory of some things.

I remember the US oil industry collapsing a few years back when oil hit $12 a barrel. Wildcatters, equipment suppliers, bankers all went under. It is pretty hard to get folks to put their money up to drill new wells, manufacture equipment, or create infrastructure when there is no way to project what they can sell the end product for.

I remember the cost of gas in the 50's at $.20 a gallon. I also remember cokes for $.05 in a glass bottle from a machine, and candy bars for $.05. Seems like $2.50 for gasoline with $.60 of that for taxes is pretty much in line.

I remember my economics classes in college where we were taught about supply lines. I live that reality every day. Right now the cost of oil is down as is natural gas, gasoline, and home heating oil. But plastics keep going up. That's because the raw material is carried to the plants by trucks and trains over roads and railroads, and those are still not fully back in operation in the South. Gas and oil travels through pipelines, not so much over rail and road, so those commodities are able to move through the supply chain again.

Moreover, the price of things is not merely determined by the supply of the basic raw material, but also by circumstances at each level of sale. It is possible to have plenty of oil, but not even refining capacity. Therefore, oil prices are down, but refined products are still expensive.

Or you could have plenty of oil and gasoline, but the tanker truck drivers could go on strike. That would still make the supply problematic, and cause costs to go up at the pump. So far we've only discussed the supply side of the equation.

What if there was plenty of the commodity, but a substantial increase in demand. Lets say they found out that riding buses and trains caused cancer. Silly, I know, but just for fun. Now those riders would be getting into cars. The supply would be rapidly diminished with no excess refining capacity to quickly increase supply. Costs would go up.


To the extent that they can get away with it, they do. That is good business. However, they always have to be wary of the competition dropping their price and gaining market share. So they keep their finger on the trigger to drop prices if the competition looks like they are making a move to the low side.

Having said that, if there are real shortages or threats of shortages, almost any business owner will try to make hay while the sun shines. It is not illegal to maximize profits, even if it exploits someone else's troubles. It is only illegal to do so through collusion or fraud, or if the exploitation becomes extraordinary.

There are plenty of greedy people out there, but the greedy consumers sure like to lap up cheap commodities even if the wildcatters or farm families struggle. It cuts both ways.

The Truth About Iraq

I have stayed out of this fray in this place for the most part. However, I just can't stay silent and watch a man of great character, our President, continue to be vilified by the press and the democrats over and over. The cheap shots, lies, distortions just pile up day after day. Go herefor a comprehensive read that details what really happened in the lead up to the war. Follow closely each step, including quotes from all involved. I think you will see who the truth tellers are.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Pirates Attack Cruise Liner

I love cruising. My concern has always been the weather. But now:

The crew of a luxury cruise ship used a sonic weapon that blasts earsplitting noise in a directed beam while being attacked by a gang of pirates off Africa this weekend, the cruise line said Monday.

So cruise ships have anti-terror weapons on board. Never knew that. We live in a pretty unusual world. The whole story.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Democrats Committing Suicide - Not a Pretty Sight

There has to be a death wish going on among Democratic leadership.

1. Columnist Rosa Brooks in the LA Times today adds her name to the list of those who claim we are torturing Al Qaeda top brass that we capture. Not one shred of evidence exists to support that claim. We are keeping these high value prisoners in secret locations, that much we can assume to be true. Why is that a problem. Should we house them someplace in Santa Monica and tell the world they are there. I don't think so.

One wonders why the Left is go gleeful over this outing of super sensitive information that can only harm our effort against international terrorism.

She goes on to compare our treatment of some of the most horrific practitioners of death ever to walk the earth to the treatment of political prisoners at the hands of the communists during the cold war (and now in Cuba and China.) Can someone explain to me how that is morally equivalent.

2. Meanwhile Democratic leadership is ok with the oreoing (new word) of a black conservative running for Governor. Is it only obvious to me that this is not only racially despicable with regard to the candidate getting pelted, but suggests that there is something basically inferior about thinking like a white person.

3. CNN today, in covering the riots in Paris, seems to be looking for every excuse to justify this lawless, anarchistic behavior. The poor "youth" don't have jobs, and feel powerless in a society that hasn't done much to make them feel loved in France. They would probably be getting better treatment if they had a way to kick back some Franks for oil contracts.

4. LA Times entertainment page (aka Editorial page), says this today:

Just the slant, ma'am. Don't bother me with the facts. That seems to be the mantra for right-wing talk and "news" shows on cable TV and the radio.

Oh really! But that's not all folks. They then compare folks like Fox news and the lineup on talk radio to Michael Moore. Sure, we have a couple of odd balls, but the broad brush is just one more example of the Times living on another planet.

If the Dems think this is the way to win back the congress, let them go for it. If it works, pity the nation.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Jimmy Carter Past Due for Retirement from the Public Scene

I'm reminded of aged ball players who keep playing even as their stats decline until they are remembered for their declining years rather than their triumphant ones. A new favorite blogger friend says Jimmy Carter was her favorite president. I've heard some say he was their favorite past president. But over the past few years he has become a terrible witness for Jesus. Sniping at sitting presidents is not very nice. Comparing Christian Fundamentalists to Islamic Extremists, as he did on Larry King this week, is reprehensible.

He has destroyed any vestige of respect I may have had for him by his strident Lefty positions on everything. Get off the stage, Jimmy.

For an interesting take on his new book go here.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Dark Chocolate Could Save Your Life

Study after study are proving that dark chocolate is one of the best foods you can eat. And gosh, it tastes good, too. Let's see, brussle sprouts or chocolate? beets or chocolate?

Don't take my word for it. Yale University Says it:

OCTOBER 20, 2005 -- HERSHEY, Pa. -- Eating dark chocolate can result in short-term improvements in arterial function and blood pressure, according to a new study conducted at Yale University's Prevention Research Center and funded by The Hershey Co. here.

"This is the latest study to suggest a link between dark chocolate, which contains natural flavanol antioxidants, and health benefits," said Dr. David Katz, associate professor of public health at Yale, and director of the Prevention Research Center, who conducted the study. "The dark chocolate tested in this trial improved blood pressure and arterial function. This clearly suggests that dark chocolate isn't just good; it's good for you."

Two servings a day. That is the prescription from Dr. Kirk.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Donkey Party Has Lost Its Collective Mind

According to a new book by Peter Schweizer's, "Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy:"

* House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi proclaims her support for unions, yet the luxury resort, the vineyard and the restaurants she partly owns are strictly non-union.

* Noam Chomsky has made a reputation for calling America a police state and branding the Pentagon "the most hideous institution on earth," yet his entire academic career, writes Schweizer, has been subsidized by the U.S. military.

* George Soros, who advocates steep inheritance taxes to promote fairer income distribution, hides his investments in trusts and exotic overseas locales to reduce his own tax liability.

* Michael Moore relentlessly exposes those who fail to meet his standards of racial fairness and equality. So, of the 134 producers, editors, cinematographers, composers, and production coordinators Moore has hired to work on his many movies, how many do you think were black? The correct answer is "1"


Jimmy Carter is trying to sell a new book. Do you think getting attention for that book has anything to do with his claims today that:

The Bush Administration's prewar claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction were "manipulated, at least" to mislead the American people,

Harry Reid Shutting Down the Senate

Do you think that this stunt was designed to take the attention away from the amazing announcements of the last week by the Bush administration, wherein they have put forth at least three brand new initiatives on subjects important to the American people? Tax Reform, border security, and the Bird Flu plan. Where are the Democrats ideas or even counter proposals?

The Dems think they have Bush on the run. Never misunderestimate "W"