Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hypocrisy, Thy Name is Democrat - Part II

Dean Barnett over at gives us another look at the amazing hypocrisy of the folks who have a donkey for a mascot. The leader of the Democratic underground, the number one leftist blogger, and a force credited as a major help in winning the Congress for the Dems has this to say about how he selects guest writers for the front page of his blog:

I won't pay any heed to physical attributes (sex, race, etc). In the blog world, the writing -- and how it fits in my vision for the site -- is everything.

Gosh, maybe Kos should have provided a friend of the court brief in the various college admissions cases of the years. Or does he just agree that we, as a nation, have now made enough progress that we no longer need special set asides for various folks. That would be a great help to me. I have lost millions of dollars in military contracts over the years to minority set asides.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Jihadists, Islamofascists, Islamists - Whatever You Call Them, They Will Not Go Peacefully

Hezbollah should be providing the entire world with a wake-up call. They do not intend to be denied power. Like Al-Qaeda, the various Palestinian factions, and other similar groups in Europe, Africa, Asia, and here, they have absolutely no concept of morality, ethics, social compact, rules of law, or human decency. There surely must be some historic examples of other societies who were this ruthless, but Attila the Hun, the Mongols, and the Nazis all seemed to at least understand that the stuff you do to others might come back to be used against you.

Given the barbarity of their actions, why do so many continue in their unrealistic belief that there is a way to mollify these animals. Where can we find the evidence where these groups have signed a treaty and then lived up to it. One is reminded of the Russians, but even with the horrors of the pogroms and the gulags, one always sensed that the Russians could be dealt with at some level. Yes, we were concerned that they might try a nuclear first strike. But it just never seemed really likely.

Is that the case today? Do liberals here and in Europe think that Iran's statements are just a bunch of bluff and blunder? Does anyone believe that their hatred for Jews would even be mollified if all Israeli Jews moved to America? Not a chance. These people are fighting for beliefs that we can no longer even contemplate.

We need to wake up before the greatest Nation and civilizing force in history is brought to its knees by an inferior and uncivil horde.

For more on this subject see the excellent post by Hugh Hewitt's guest columnist, Dean Barnett.

Illegal Immigrants Broke the Law - That's All We Need to Know!!

The most common argument for sending all illegal immigrants back where they came from (or at least all Spanish Speaking ones), is the "rule of law" argument. If we fail to uphold the laws of the land, then there will be no respect for those laws. This is most commonly said in the context of the immigrants who have broken one law not respecting other laws. Sometimes, though rarely, it is also applied to the rest of the population.

I have argued elsewhere that this is not a particularly good argument because of the legal concept of "acting in reliance." In short, due to 20 years of lack of enforcement, undocumented workers have acted in ways to build their lives, that were we to suddenly strictly enforce the law, the harm to them would be substantial.

However, I can now add three additional legal defenses that should forever end this debate point.

1. Prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutors commonly decide not to press charges for dozens of different reasons. In the case of illegal entry or overstaying a visa the reasons could include a plea bargain, overcrowded facilities, no other criminal record and clear civic contribution, child care or spousal support for legal citizens that would end upon deportation, and many others.

2. Judicial discretion. Judges are able to take into consideration a wide variety of mitigating circumstances in determining sentencing for all crimes including murder. Lack of other criminal record, no community benefit to penalty, implication of others of greater value in the crime, etc.

3. Pardons. Presidents, governors, and judges, at a minimum, have the ability to pardon very nasty criminals for past acts (Clinton pardoned some real nasty folks.) Pardon can be issued for a reason or for no reason at all. We already have something like this for illegals who serve in the military.

In addition, we could change the law to include new penalties other than deportation. While deportation may seem like a fitting penalty, it needn't be the only one. I'm sure at one time death seemed like the only fitting penalty for taking a life. Now, some murderers are out after 7 years or never serve a day because of temporary insanity.

Therefore, I would propose a fine of $5000.00 and 2000 hours of community service.

Who Talks More - Women or Men?

There is a theory in the news business that "Dog Bights Man" is not a headline worthy of any reporter. So then, how is it possible that this headline Women 'talk three times as much as men'... possibly make the DrudgeReport and the Daily Mail.

This is obvious and well known without any new study being done. I believe, but will not take the time to confirm, that Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus proposed this almost exact difference. The idea was that men use up all their words during the work day, and then head into their cave at night, while the wife still has 1000's of words left to share.

The real proof is in e-mails. I know a couple of men in my life who almost make it a game to see how few words they can use to respond to incoming e-mails. Yes, no, OK, are all common responses from these types. The best was a simple "o," as in Oh! These same men can spin a quick 1000 words or so on sports, politics, and other such subjects. But, unless they are fully engaged, they are the definition of "men of few words."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Fear of Illegal Immigrants, Undocumented Workers, and Aliens

Just up at "What Are You Afraid Of?"

Just Because It Can Be Said, Doesn't Mean It Should Be Said

There's nothing like the holidays and getting together with relatives to start a few hundred conversations about the relatives that aren't there. . . Not gossip, mind you. . . Uplifting discussions of how their lives are going, and every-one's positive opinions about them.

From time-to-time, however, there is the odd relative who is not doing that well. Opinions are many and varied as to how this person or that one might improve their circumstances, if only .....
Sometimes there is even consensus on a clear cut solution. With such a coming together however on one sure-fire fix for the subject's future, there is left to the group the question of how to communicate the message to the missing relative.

Certainly this dilemma is not reserved for Thanksgiving day. Personally, I might reach conclusions almost daily on how my wife, children, employees, or friends might dramatically alter their behavior to better suit my opinion of how their life should be lived. You might be surprised, dear reader, to learn that I am often willing to share my view.

In discussing such a situation the other day, the words in the title of this post popped into my head. I'm pretty sure someone has said this way before me, but it didn't come up on Google.
For what it's worth, we decided not to share our brilliant idea for this person with her. A small victory.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

If A Lie Is Big Enough and Repeated Often Enough . . .

Have we forgotten the words?

As we approach this Thanksgiving holiday, please take time to enjoy the verses of two traditional American songs, the Thanksgiving Hymn and the Thanksgiving Prayer. They affirm the gratitude of a people for their God.

The copies we are sharing here did not come from a church hymnal. They were transcribed from a songbook distributed in our public school systems in the year 1945. This book was in every literate home in the United States at that time, and was called I Hear America Singing, or more formally Twice 55 Community Songbook.

The assertion that our nation ever intended to separate our devotion to God from our public spaces and our public life is a blatant lie. Our philosophy of reliance on divine guidance motivated the founding fathers, permeates the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, and is inscribed on our original monuments and government buildings.

The worthy gentlemen who drafted the Constitution only intended that membership in a particular religious denomination must never be made a prerequisite for holding public office, and that citizens should never be forced to subscribe to a specific denomination. They were still mindful of the bitter religious strife between Catholics and Protestants in England, and wanted to ensure that the new republic got started on a more ecumenical footing.

The insidious erosion of our patriotic traditions and our national identity must not be permitted to continue. Every thinking American must stand against the revision of our historical records and the activism of judges who would destroy the ideological foundations of our liberty.

But at this time of joyful harvest and quiet prayer, just savor the words of these two beloved hymns of gratitude.

The Thanksgiving Hymn


The Thanksgiving Prayer

© Nancy K. Matthis

Please see more at
American Daughter Media Center
HT to Norma

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Science 3 - Pictures You Will Never Forget - Send Them to a Teenage Girl

With this kind of imagry available, how can folks continue to abort babies in the womb. Imagine the outcry if we aborted one of those elephants as seen above. Go here for other pictures of puppies, horses, and dolphins in the womb. Absolutely fascinating.

Science 2 - Playstation 3 Says It Can Help in Fight To Cure Cancer

This is a startling claim, but totally true. The best way to build a supercomputer is to array 1000's or even 1,000,000's of computers together to combine their computing capability. This is already being done with PC's in an attempt to find other life in the Universe. The new Playstation will be especially good at being so combined with its fellows to do massive computing:

Sony Computer Entertainment says that when Cure@PLAYSTATION 3 is launched, PS3 owners can register their machines with Stanford, download specially designed software and leave their machines online to process data when they're not playing.

It's modeled after existing programs in which personal computers process high-volume data for signs of extraterrestrial life and other tasks. PCs already contribute to the Stanford medical research program.

Sony said data processing time can be up to 20 times faster with a global network of PS3s, which are fitted with advanced Cell processors that can perform billions of calculations per second.

The rest of the article is here.

Science 1 - Homosexual Animals = Homesexuality is Natural

One argument used by those who think homosexual behavior is normal, therefore moral, therefore society should embrace it, is that we can see clear evidence of homosexual behavior in other members of the animal kingdom. Here is an teaser for a longer opinion piece that devestates that argument.

" I soon learned what Benjamin Franklin meant when he described the eagle as a bird of "bad moral character." With two eaglets in the nest and not enough food to go around, mamma allows the weakest eaglet to die. She then cannibalizes the dead eaglet and feeds it to the survivor. Was this natural or unnatural? Is this moral animal behavior that we should emulate? How do we know? ....

How do we know, indeed? I can think of quite a few behaviors of my pet dog that would also fit this argement. Shouldn't we at least aspire to better behavior than our pets?

Even before the question is asked, my personal belief is that homosexuals come to their orientation in various ways, some genetic, some chemical/biological, some environmental/emotional. This is also true for folks who prefer sex with little kids. The fact that the orientation stems from some reason that is difficult to cure does not in any way make the behavior ok.

One opinion piece the other day asked whether we should be asking homosexuals to give up any hope of sexual intimacy during their lifetimes if that is the only way they can express it. This argument fails the same way. Society has to ask many folks to give up some kinds of really cool stuff they'd like to do, if the consequences are detrimental to the rest of us.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Turning 50

I mention this fellow blogger so often that one might suspect that she's paying me for the advertising. She doesn't. However Norma has a handful of blogs, and has just added a new one for those of us who have entered the age category associated with wisdom.

It has been 8+ years since my friends gathered to give gifts tied with black ribbon, but I do remember that passage more than most. You see, I had an Epiphany. Up until that birthday I simply counted the total number of years God has given me on this earth. Starting at 50 I looked at it the other way. How many years are left.

The good news was that because of good genes, I could easily live into my eighties and be in decent physical and mental health. So I decided to assume 35 years to go. It was an exciting revelation, because it really meant enough time for an entire career...assuming I wanted a new career.

For instance, it could mean retiring and getting involved in some type of charitable activity full-time. It could mean writing for a living instead of making water bottles. The idea opened up a vast panoply of possibilities. Instead of dreading the future, I was filled with hope and expectations.

Eight + years later, I still have 28 years of potential, according to my personal actuarial table. Such an idea continues to be very motivating.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Difference Between Old Europe and U.S.

Other than the belief in God, do you think there is anything that 86% of the US population would agree on? I'm not even sure you could get those kinds of numbers on 2+2=4. However:

Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain, 86 per cent of people believed humans were contributing to climate change, and 45 percent thought it would be a threat to them and their families within their lifetimes.

More than two-thirds said they would either strongly or somewhat support restrictions on their behaviour, but only a minority were prepared to make significant financial sacrifices to eliminate the threat of global warming.

My first thought is that this has to be a badly flawed poll. But if it is even close, it suggests that our kin in the old world are easily persuaded, and incapable of skeptical thought. WOW!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

1950's Nostalgia

Went to a '50's party the other night. There were lots of white t-shirts, black leather jackets, poodle skirts, and at least one bee hive hair doo. There were at least two elvis's, plenty of DA's, and more than a few mouths full of bubble gum. These are some of the obvious things. Here were some of the other things that came to mind that night.

No one ever throws a '70's party. Or a '60's party. Or and '80's party. I don't really know anyone who is nostalgic for any of those other era's. I know that I had a great time in all of them, but I was less than thrilled by the cultural aspects of all of them, especially 1966-1975 or so.

We wore taps on our shoes, both boys and girls. I suspect it started as a way to make soles last longer, but shuffled down the halls at school, and thought we were very cool.

Pea Coats were the favorite for winter. But to really be cool, you had to have combat boots.

We spent hours playing a pinball baseball machine. It was a nickle a game. We would build up dozens of free games. So a nickle went a long way.

Baseball cards were for trading and playing games of chance. They came free with a similar size piece of chewing gum.

No boy ever went up to a girl he didn't know or only knew a little bit and asked her to do anything. He passed a note or spoke to someone who would let her know that he was interested. In fact, more often than not, the girl let the boy know of her interest through that same grapevine first.

We smoked grapevines.

At dances, which we had lots of, boys danced with girls, and sometimes girls danced with girls. No boys ever danced with another boy, and no one ever, ever danced alone.

Boys and girls touched each other when they danced, and while it was often pretty exciting to dance with a new girl that way, it wasn't sexual.

The Prom was a very big deal. But not nearly as expensive as today. No thought that there would be any post prom party at a hotel.

What else?

Work Hard to Play Hard - '80's Mantra

Giving advice to one of my teenagers yesterday. This particular young man has looks, charm, smarts, and loves Jesus. He lacks a work ethic. He has play down really well. Now, I suppose he isn't the only 16 year-old within the reach of this blog to suffer from a lack of fire in the belly when it comes time to do homework and such. So, there may be a few of you who would like to offer up some advice on the subject.

We are trying incentives and disincentives with some success. But yesterday I was reminded of a mantra that was oft repeated in the 70's. The young executives could be heard to declare: "I work hard to play hard!" I was among those who had this attitude.

I can't find any scripture to back up this premise. God does use sports as analogies, and we know that Jesus went to parties, not to mention all those week-long celebrations in the Old Testament, so play is part of God's plan.

Clearly, we don't get to play if we don't work. And I continue to look forward to my times of play, especially vacations. I have even been known to counsel some of my all-work-no-play friends in the importance of taking serious time off.

But how does that finally work out in my advice to this teen. I don't think I want it to be quite so do the one to get the other. Hard work can be an end in itself (another cliche), but that can be a trap of another kind. Work should be done as if it was for God, Himself. That is Biblical. But on the days when we need motivation, because the work doesn't inspire, what might those motivations be.

I'll leave this one open ended for now. I'd love to hear from you.

Check Out Your Vocab Skills

You've been doing the Reader's Digest Vocabulary Helps for 20 years. Here's a chance to see if it has been effective. I guess I missed talisman.

Your Vocabulary Score: A-

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

HT to Norma

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Definition of Hypocracy has to be "Democrat"

Who do you suppose give more money and time to charity? Democrats who are always talking about needing to help those less fortunate, or Republicans who are saying charity should come from the heart. Republicans, those right wing bigots, Bible-thumping numbskulls, who can't get it through their thick skulls that God isn't in charge, even give more blood than the Dems.

This will be my second time to site the work of Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks. He earlier reported, and I pointed out, that liberals have fewer children than conservatives. Thus they are contributing to their own decline.

He has written a book on this new topic titled "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism" (Basic Books, $26), which is due for release Nov. 24. In it he says:

"For too long, liberals have been claiming they are the most virtuous members of American society. Although they usually give less to charity, they have nevertheless lambasted conservatives for their callousness in the face of social injustice."
For a longer review go here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ask a Ten-Year-Old

I asked a ten-year-old a few years back, whether he liked gravy. Had no idea what it was. Tonight I may have topped that one. I asked my current son of that age about matchbook covers. Same answer. He said he knew what a match box was, and when he thought about it for a while, he had seen matchbooks.

How many of you remember the ads in comic books to sell matchbooks to local merchants. I actually sent away for the kit and made a few calls. Nobody bit. I think I was ten at the time.

Evolution - A Treasure Trove of Pro and Con

I have argued in this place previously that if evolution was so darn obvious and devoid of serious problems - to the point where many of its adherents trust it more than most Christians trust God - why do polls consistently show that less than 50% of Americans don't think it is the basis of life? And one would think that if the arguments for evolution were so compelling, and with the complete bias in textbooks, college courses, and government operated museum, not to mention mass media treating it like fact, wouldn't one expect almost everyone to be convinced.

Well, it turns out that even some folks with names other than Bubba and Billy Jean just can't get past some of the BIG holes in the "theory" of evolution. In fact, some highly edumicated folks have taken a really hard look at both sides and, gee-golly darn, bought into the crazy notion that God created it all. And unsurprisingly, some of these PhD's and JD's and Drs. and DD's, and such don't even need their own scientific theory to compete with Darwinism. They just know in their knower that it was God and not random chance.

Well, if there are those among my readers who would like to take a little journey into some very intellectual discussions on this subject, I am going to point you to three places that are just about the best I have seen in short, fairly easy-to-read, articles. Then in the next weeks, I hope to get around to taking a few of these arguments and blowing them to pieces right in front of your very eyes. Yes! Step Right Up! Right here in a blog called the Truth About Everything.

Now lest you think I really think I know everything, and am thus less than humble, please know that I just love knowledge and am a real skeptic at heart. I have been arguing the issues on this subject for decades, and try to read everything I can to stay abreast of the debate. But, I'm sure some of my arguments have one or two holes in them.

To the chase. My friend and sometimes debate competitor on this subject, Michael Shermer, has published a book which was excerpted recently in Scientific American. The Book is Titled Why Darwin Matters. I have not read the entire book, so can't recommend it at this time, other than to say Michael's books are always worth the read, even though he is rarely right.

The article is from a chapter in his book, "Darwin on the Right." The biggest error in the article is seen right from the start when evangelicals, creationists, and Republicans are all lumped together. While evangelicals are more likely to be creationists and Republican, they may be these things for lots of disparate reasons, and not the rather stereotypical reasons Shermer alludes to. Having said that, the article is short and very worth the read.

Many letters to the editor followed the Shermer article, unsurprisingly, and the letters selected here are astonishingly good, well reasoned, and often offer new ideas on the subject. You can read these letters without reading the article, but it does make sense to do the one before the other.

Then Scientific American points you to another article, "15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense," by John Rennie. This is as succinct a presentation of Creationist arguments and counters that you are going to find. My intent is to respond to these one or so at-a-time in the next weeks, but read them now. Send me your own rebuttals. Or agree with Mr. Rennie.

Good reading. Total time to digest all of it. Maybe an hour.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Insults to Die For

A few samples of a marvelous post, and a humerous blog.

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
Winston Churchill

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about."
Winston Churchill

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
Moses Hadas

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."
Abraham Lincoln

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
Groucho Marx

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring a friend... if you have one."
George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second...if there is one."
Winston Churchill, in response

"I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here."
Stephen Bishop

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."
Irvin S. Cobb

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."
Paul Keating

"He had delusions of adequacy."
Walter Kerr

Drinking Your Lunch - Major Cultural Change

In a time long ago, a time before MAD, and a time when expense accounts were a tax benefit, many, many executives had hard liquor at lunch. I was among them. My first and only boss (after college) would regularly take me and others to lunch. We would consume a dinner-sized meal and at least a double (he Scotch, me Bourbon.) Weighing all of 125 in those days, I would go back to work and be incabable of doing anything of value for the next two hours. Man! How things have changed.

I was reminded of this today, because I hit Jack in the Box for one of their Mint Milk Shakes. The tall version was only $.50 more, so I bought it. A half hour later, I had almost zero interest in doing my tasks at work. Taking a nap would have hit the spot. Man! How things have changed.

Why Do They Come?

You may or may not know that I can see who visits me. Not in great detail, but I can at least see where my visitors have come from. The number one reason folks visit is an article I wrote a while back on Christian Discipline. Now while I would certainly recommend the article (humbly, of course), it isn't the quality of the article that brings folks. It is the subject. And, it isn't that hundreds of people are trying to learn more about Christian discipline. It is actually kind of the opposite. I am getting a 3rd position ranking on Google precisely because there isn't much written on the subject. I get high rankings and lots of visitors based on some of my book reviews of Randy Alcorn, also.

I have written some very substantial articles on Christian apologetics, prayer, and dark chocolate. But lots of writers talk about such things. Thus the rankings are lower. I do get the occasional visitor on dark chocolate, but never on prayer.

So, check out some of the hundreds of articles that are in the archives. I can assure you that there are things that will be life changing on parenting, marriage, and even sex. Maybe one of these days I'll create a table of contents to make it easier to find subjects that are still meaningful today.

Monday, November 13, 2006

How Many Ducks Can Land in Your Lake

We used to live in a townhouse complex, and in the center of the grounds, there was a very nice lake. The entire subdivision was built on an old MGM back lot, so this particular lake had been a lake, a river, and even an ocean depending on what the movie-maker might need that day.

Anyway, one day a new sign showed up on the side of our lake. It proclaimed that our lake could only house 5 ducks. We thought this made certain sense, in that there is an issue with duck poop and such. Only later did we start to contemplate the important legal maxim - good laws are those that can be enforced. So, we wondered, how would this law be enforced.

We pictured a flock of feather friends flying overhead and sending out a scout to check out our lake. Upon returning, he signals that five members, and only five can head on down. Naaa, that couldn't be it.

So then we thought maybe they were expecting the local population around the lake to be the enforcers. But we suspected there might be other ordinances against using ordinance to reduce the duck population and increase the duck meat supply in our freezer.

So maybe we were to merely scare away or capture any extra ducks. We were unclear as to how to capture a duck, or what to do with those captured to ensure they wouldn't just head on back. Same issue with scaring them. They hit the clouds for a few minutes until things calm down and then head back to the swimming hole. And how do you scare all but five?

And then, what about swans? We had some. Do they count?

Do any of you have a clue as to how to enforce this law? Does it remind you at all of the issues surrounding illegal immigration?

Prepare Filibusters and Vetoes - Don't Forget Parliamentary Moves

We are beginning to see where the Dems really want to go. Amazing that they are putting it right out there. The ACLU wants us to give Habeas Corpus rights to enemy combatants and disrupt our ability to wire tap incoming terrorist phone calls to their contacts in the US. The Unions and Hillary want to get us going on National Health Insurance. Planned Parenthood is got their snout in the feedbag, saying they should get much more money for their abortion mills at the expense of those who would promote abstinence. These are agenda items that are over and above the get-out-of-Iraq crowd that thinks they should get their way... and the sooner the better.

There will be talking heads who will complain if we use the filibuster and say that we were against it before we were for it. They will do this full-well knowing that our objection was only for the purpose of filibustering Supreme Court and Federal Appeals Ct justices. It was never suggested that the rules be changed regarding legislation. So dust off the filibuster. We will need it.

George Bush hasn't been able to find anything to veto, so he may need to review the rules on this. He will need the veto. Just say no to more abortion spending, nationalized health care, and other such garbage.

The Dems are much better than our guys at parliamentary maneuvers, and are willing to do really nasty moves to keep our stuff from coming to a vote. Lets not be pantywaists this time around. I'm not suggesting that we be obstructionist. But we do need our folks to be tough, tough, TOUGH, and insist on getting our agenda through in trade for the other folks getting some of their hopes met.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Truth About Personal Financial Planning

One of my favorite Bloggers, Norma, sets out thirteen bits of advice with regard to creating a secure financial future for you and your family. It is well worth taking a look at. In fact, you may want to print it out and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Or you might prefer my list of 13.

1. Be born into a wealthy family. The older the money the better. Your parents and their siblings will, if they earn the wealth in their lifetime, tend to hang on to it until the pass away. By that time you are too old to really enjoy it. It is better if your grandparents' generation created the dough. It is best if they put the money into a trust that pays off a bunch in your 20's with the rest much later.

2. Marry money. If you are a guy, find a wife who is a Daddy's girl. It is way easier to get the down payment and other helps if Dad is trying to help out his favorite. If you are a woman, it is better to marry a guy who already has the money. Parents are far less inclined to give their money to their boys while they are young enough to earn it.

3. Marry a double pensioner. Or become a government employee sometime in your life. My folks taught me this one. I haven't done it yet, but I'm still thinking I might. If you get max Social Security, it is about $2700 a month now. You can live on that if you have to, but imagine if you were getting a teachers pension of even another $1000 or so. In most school districts you only have to work for 5 years to get that pension.

4. Never ever get divorced. Well, I suppose if you divorce one of those super rich folks, you could end up with potential future security. For the most part, divorce destroys the wealth of both parties. It is worse for the woman if her earning capacity is less. However, splitting assets works against both parties.

5. Don't have children unless you do #6. Some estimates are that each child will cost you $500,000 or more. If they go to an ivy league or top notch private college, they can cost that much in 5 years. The senior year of high school commonly costs more than the first year of college. Then there's the wedding!!

6. If you must have children, take a page from our forefathers. Breed them to be income producers. My 10 year-old is in his 6th year of piano lessons. I have asked his instructor to teach son Robert how to teach piano. By the time he is 12 I hope to have him earning $25 an hour or so ($50,000 a year) teaching other kids. At 18 he should be able to put himself through college.

7. If you must have kids, part II. Create a super money machine. Instead of piano, start them with boxing or golf lessons at 4. Have the child doggedly pursue this sport to the exclusion of much else in life. Then when they are a world champion, the first thing they will do with their millions is buy you a nice house, or a vacation home.

8. If you must have kids, part III. Become a talent manager. All kids are cute in their own way. There are many, many ways for them to become stars before they are even five. My neighbor's grandchild just hit pay dirt with a national retail chain. His picture is everywhere. He's 3. Yes, it is hard work for you, the parent. You have to drive them around to the auditions,

9. Choose your employment carefully when you are young. Only work for companies that are growing like crazy and that have a great stock plan. One of my uncles worked for IBM. A close friend worked for a major food maker. Both made more money on the stock then from their paycheck. Sure, you might pick an Enron, but you might pick the next Walmart.

10. Become a politician. This will help in many, many ways. First, many political jobs come with pensions. This might allow you to have two or three pensions. SS + a government pension from teaching or some such + a congressman's pension. This is called triple dipping.

In addition, you will have the income from the political post without giving up your day job. The door will also be open to paid speaking gigs, book publishing, and seats on boards of directors. All of this without having to resort to illegal activities.

11. Out earn your spending habits. Sure, I know that the "trusted" financial guru's all tell you to spend less than you earn. But what is the challenge in that? Become a big spender. Then you will be working extra hard to make sure you can make the payments.

12. Don't tithe or give to charity. If you care at all about keeping up with the neighbors and getting as many toys as they have, you can't give anything away. Sure, there is a nice tax advantage, but you're still going to be giving at least 70% real money after taxes. If you're making $100,000 a year and give 10%, that's $7000 per year after taxes. You can almost pay for two weeks in Hawaii with that. If you invest that $7000 in an IRA at 10% return, you will be a millionaire in no time.

13. Be lucky. Corollary - don't be unlucky. All of my sage advice can be turned to ruin if your child comes in 2nd in the national college tennis championships. There just isn't much money in being 2nd.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What a Difference 24 Hours Makes

And I don't mean the TV show. So, I have reason to be slightly less optimistic since the Senate is teetering towards Democratic control. I have mixed feelings regarding Rummy. I think he may have been the greatest Sect. of Defense in history. However, new blood my bring new ideas. The Baker commission effect is also in play. The next 30 days may be more politically interesting than the last 30.

Here is more optimism:

Someone is going to get credit for increasing the minimum wage. I hate the minimum wage, but with California heading towards $1.25 higher than the national rate, we need the playing field leveled. This could be the Republican "reason" for getting it done pre Pelosi.

I am a fan of No Child Left Behind. It will now clearly be re-upped. The question is whether the Dems will mess it up by reducing accountability.

Pelosi says she will fully implement the 911 Commission Report. Hats off to her for that. I suspect that when the cost is counted, very little will change, but there is nothing wrong with revisiting this important issue 4 years later.

I have no issue with lowering the interest percent on student loans. Maybe the Republicans could add a rider that Universities receiving Federal Aid of any kind need to have at least one conservative on the faculty.

You already know my feelings on immigration reform.

Now...Is there any chance that we could trade a few important Republican agenda items for support on these issues.

Health care needs reforming ... BADLY! Social Security needs reforming ... REALLY BADLY!!
With a divided government, maybe compromise can be reached. It would be nice to see Bush really stick to his guns like Reagan, even while giving something to the Dems.

Seems unlikely that we will move towards smaller government, lowered taxes, or less regulation of business. But maybe these could be trading pieces.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Great Political Night in America - One Big Exception

Sure, I'm an optimist. The headline tomorrow will be that Nancy is the new leader of the House. That is really, really bad news. However:

Republicans will hold the Senate
Marriage definition wins everywhere (except maybe Az)
Deadlock in government isn't always a bad thing
The President and his Sect of Defense will have to rethink the plan. (I am a lonely voice who thinks they know what they are doing, but it never hurts to have your back up against the wall. Tends to stimulate the gray matter)
Stock market will probably love this
Republicans will have to think like losers instead of winners. Much needed
Maybe somebody will convince Bush that communication is needed
Something will be done about immigration reform (I know most of my friends won't like this, but I'm a lonely voice on this one who believes we need a plan for the millions who aren't going home.)

All-in-all, a pretty good night.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Where To On Energy

A frequent visitor, Kathy, asks whether I am in favor of alternate sources of energy. The answer is both simple and very complex. I believe in the market. If the market is left alone it will almost always do the right thing. I will make my conservative friends a bit nervous by saying that I think government may need to not only protect its citizens from invaders outside our boarders, but from those who would destroy our environment to make a dime. However, to the extent that government wields that sword, they need to move slowly and cautiously.

For the latest on global warming, head over to Mike William's latest post on the subject. I can't improve on his analysis or his sources. I believe we should be developing every possible source of energy, and the cleaner the better. And we should be seeking to conserve as much as possible. However, these efforts will happen with the market. If the smart guys who run energy companies and buy energy futures believe that oil is running out or falling out of favor, they will absolutely start putting their money into options that SELL and that are available. The market is "intelligent."

But if there is plenty of oil, and if folks keep buying all the makers can make, then smart owners of energy businesses will continue to put their efforts into oil. Simple.

The complexity comes in with the long development curve for many alternatives. Due to this long curve, there is also a whole lot of money needed to get to a new approach before there is a payoff. Should government have a hand in that investment? Maybe. That is a much harder question.

Where should we be spending the most money. Batteries. No matter what we do, we need storage. The government has been paying for storage of energy for over a century. Dams and the lakes behind them are just that. If solar power, electric cars, or hydrogen based systems are to ever have a chance, we will need much better batteries.

More another day.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Celebrity Look Alikes

For the last year or so I commonly hear Shirly Temple in my grandaughter's voice. Her Mom found a site that has confirmed that Maddie is a Shirly Temple stunt double.
So I wanted to try this on my own mug. Most folks who mistake me for anyone of import are inclined to suggest I look like a couple of the most murderous and treacherous role player in moviedom, Anothony Hopkins or James Woods

So here is the first comparison

So now its time to vote. Which do you think your fearless blogger resembles most. Or do you have another name to add. Someone who plays nice people would be a plus.

Star Quarterback

A star is born. Of course, the sports writer might be biased. The mighty Steelers of the local flag football league won their first game after 4 defeats. It was clear to this writer that the big difference was Robert Kirk playing both halves at quarterback.

Used sparingly in his previous outings, it was clear that this young player was poised at all times and possessed leadership skills. As he has shown at center in BBall and catcher in baseball, he has a real sense of the whole field of play, and makes very few mental errors.

Whoops! Fact Check Changes Things

There may be others in my almost two years of blogging, but I surely made an error in my post on George Bush the other day. It is true that a loss of 20 seats or so in the house will be better than most two term presidents in their 6th year midterms since the Civil War. It is not true that his stats would be better than FDR, Reagen, or Clinton. Clinton did very well in his 6th year, but was battling back from his disastrous results in '92 and '94. Reagan also did well in year 6. But FDR was the big winner in year 6, even though he had control of both houses already.

On average since WWII, the party in power loses 25 seats in all midterms. If Bush manages to only lose the 12-15 predicted by many, it will be one more big notch in his legacy belt.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Spending $100 Plus on a New Item - Read This

Until about three years ago, if you wanted to buy a new vacuum cleaner, you might ask your friend for advice, your housekeeper, or just head off to the store and trust the minimum wage clerk who started yesterday. That has all changed, and in a way so dramatic that it might be one of the biggest stories of the decade. If the internet is about information, product reviews are the future of marketing.

We did buy a vacuum cleaner a few weeks ago. We have probably been buying one every two or three years, on average. Either we are hard on them, or they are just cheap. We generally spend $150-$200. This time I did my research.

As I do in any web based search (which I use for everything from cures to what ailes us to where to find a new bottle cap for a sports bottle we are designing) I just started googling key words that I thought might get me some info. As you might imagine there were plenty of web sites that gave information about literally hundreds of brands, models, and styles. Some of these were put up by the companies, themselves. Others were put up by sites designed to help you find great pricing. Finally there were sites that purported to offer unbiased reviews by either professionals or just plain folks.

I ended up at a most unusual place, but I shouldn't have been surprised. I had been here before. This site has more experience than anyone with consumer reviews, and their expertise in their primary product, books, is even more valuable in the consumer product area. It is unlikely that understood that their greatest eventual value would be reviews of vacuum cleaners, but that might be the very thing that gives them lasting power.

I first used to purchase a digital camera for my wife. The reviews are from folks that know almost nothing and some who know a bunch. But taken together, I was able to select a camera that was not only dependable, easy to use, and good at its primary function, but appropriate for my Pam's needs. And it worked. I can say without hesitation that this camera is the best we've owned (and we've had several.) It's a Canon PowerShot SD600, and the reviews were overwhelmingly favorable.

So, back to the vacuum cleaner. At our house, we all have use for the beast. Each of us is responsible for some part of the vacuuming job. Pam and BJ both have alergies, so that was an issue. So I ended up back at After a bit of research, the choice of consumers was clear. And once again the result has been excellent. Every expert in this house is a fan of our new Bissell Cleanview Revolution Delux model #3596. It even has a light that tells you when the carpet is dirty or clean. (How does it do that???)

With Christmas coming we are all going to be buying items like these for our loved ones. I'm suggesting that you use for your reviews. Personally, I also try to reward them with the business, too. But, we did buy the vacuum at Target.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Energized Republican Base

If it is one thing I don't want to be, its part of a bandwagon. It is even worse if the reason is all about emotion. But up until Tuesday, I was totally bored with this political season. Oh sure, the idea of Democrats running house committes or picking judges was pretty awful to contemplate. And I like Bush, so I didn't want him hamstrung by Democrat control of either house. But, I admit to being worn out by the process.

Then John Kerry did his miracle. And we all know he meant it. His liberal buddies know he meant it, because they feel the same way. The liberal press knows he meant it, because they are doing everything they can to avoid covering the gaff in any meaningful way.

Drop over to Hugh Hewitt and check out the almost amazing additions to bringing out the Republican base, and none of these were at the hands of Republican tricksters. They are all Democrats doing what Democrats do. Check out the Univeristy President posing with her student at a Holloween party at her home. The student is dressed as a suicide bomber and is acting out hostage killings. Check out a famous lib journalist calling the current US Army the most murderous of all time, and then, like Kerry, say he didn't say it.

Please visit the Hugh Hewitt Website. Mention it in your own blog, pass along the pictures in an e-mail to your list. We need to keep these people out of power. They are hopelessly out of touch, and may get your family killed.

Real Goal of Global Warming Politicians? Of Course - New Tax Source

The Brits are in the lead on one more way to fleece their constituants. They want to put a tax on every product that contributes to carbon emissions/global warming. This makes huge sense. When you get so much concensus on an issue about which it is almost impossible to be so certain, figure the politicos have other purposes in the back of their minds. Let me see:

1. More control over our lives
2. Scare folks into voting for them instead of the other guy
3. Keep our minds off of issues that might actually matter, like Islamofacism.
4. New source of taxes

Why I Like George Bush

Can you name another war in history that has accomplished so much with so few casualties as the Iraq/Afghanistan/War on Terror? Sure it has had high dollar costs, but never fail to consider how those costs benefit our troop readiness and improve our military capabilities in equipment, tactics, etc.
Korea is back to six party talks. Even the LA Times admitted today it was due to Bush strategy of cutting of banking to Korea.
Economy CANNOT be better. If it gets better, inflation goes nuts, productivity goes in the toilet, and we head to recession. Even Hubert Humphrey agreed that 4.5 unemployment is full employment. And the economy is doing this well in spite of dot com burst, 9/11, Enron and other scandals, 1990 recession, and war.
Defecit has already been cut in half, 3 years ahead of plan by president.
Fantastic judicial choices.

I could go on, but here is a really amazing fact. Even if Republicans lose 20 seat in House and 7 in Senate, thereby losing control of both, Bush will have done better in his 6-year midterm than almost any two-term president in history. Better than Reagan, Clinton, Roosevelt, etc.

As he has said of himself - misunderestimated. He just needs to stop saying "ta" instead of "to." Has anyone told him that?