Archive for August, 2007

Spread the Word

I just finished reading this story. It’s about “Camp 22”, a modern day concentration camp in North Korea that makes Auschwitz look like a church bake sale. There isn’t much more I can say about it, just go read it, it’s complete with photos from Google Earth and testimonials of eye-witness accounts.

When you’re done reading the story, help spread the word by digging the story here.

A Little Less “Unelectable”

Just an FYI, yesterday the Minnesota Republicrat Party held it’s straw poll and Ron Paul came in third at 19%. He was beaten by Fred Thompson (write-in) at 21% and Mitt Romney at 20%.

Paul beat out McCain and Giuliani, long considered to be in the top three.

Man it would be nice if we could actually get a freedom lover into the White House for a change!

Missing the Whole Picture

Among the buzz today is a statement Bush made yesterday about Democracy in Japan and Germany after World War II. In an effort to bolster his argument that what he’s doing in Iraq is the right thing, he stated (accurately) that there were a lot of naysayers that didn’t believe that Japan and Germany could be democratized after WWII. They were.

Of course he left out a very important fact that made democracy possible in Japan and Germany. In order for it to work, the U.S. Occupation Government in both countries had to ban the largest obstacle to Democracy in both cases. In Germany (which democratically elected the Nazi government), Nazism had to be outlawed. In Japan, emperor worship had to be outlawed. If it remained, the people would simply have voted the emperor back into power and brought back the status quo.

So what does the occupation government in Iraq have to ban in order for Democracy to work? Islam. Is that going to happen? Most definitely not. If they could get over the PC reaction back home, they would still have to deal with over a billion non-Iraqi Muslims that would react very negatively, and would see it as the religious war that Bush claims not to be fighting.

It was easy to ban Japanese emperor worship, as all adherents were in Japan. However, most Muslims do NOT live in Iraq.

If you bring Democracy to Iraq, it will be no different than democracy in the Palestinian territories, which voted overwhelmingly for Hamas to take power; or Turkey, which has had several elections overturned by the secular military. Absent that safeguard, Iraq will only devolve into a mullahocracy.

Excuse Me If I Don’t Believe You

Yesterday, Chairman Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Mexican President Felipe Calderon met in Quebec to discuss the “Security and Prosperity Partnership.” There have been several such meetings over the course of Bush’s administration, but this one marked the first time when he was blatantly asked if it was a scheme to create a North American Union similar to the European Union. An unnamed Fox News reporter asked:

“As you three leaders meet here, there are a growing number of people in each of your countries who have expressed concern about the Security and Prosperity Partnership. This is addressed to all three of you. Can you say today that this is not a prelude to a North American Union, similar to a European Union? Are there plans to build some kind of superhighway connecting all three countries? And do you believe all of these theories about a possible erosion of national identity stem from a lack of transparency from this partnership?”

Of course you wouldn’t expect Bush, or anyone else in the know, to answer honestly, especially when it is a very unpopular plan and also would make him guilty of Treason and Conspiracy to commit Treason. Instead, he dodged the question and mocked the questioner.

“We represent three great nations. We each respect each other’s sovereignty. You know, there are some who would like to frighten our fellow citizens into believing that relations between us are harmful for our respective peoples. I just believe they’re wrong. I believe it’s in our interest to trade; I believe it’s in our interest to dialogue; I believe it’s in our interest to work out common problems for the good of our people.

“And I’m amused by some of the speculation, some of the old – you can call them political scare tactics. If you’ve been in politics as long as I have, you get used to that kind of technique where you lay out a conspiracy and then force people to try to prove it doesn’t exist. That’s just the way some people operate. I’m here representing my nation. I feel strongly that the United States is a force for good, and I feel strongly that by working with our neighbors we can a stronger force for good.

“So I appreciate that question. I’m amused by the difference between what actually takes place in the meetings and what some are trying to say takes place. It’s quite comical, actually, when you realize the difference between reality and what some people are talking on TV about.”

The problem is that they are following the same course that the EU began over 50 years ago. They’re just doing it more quickly, and much more quietly.

It also explains why Bush is so reluctant to enforce any real immigration reform. What’s the point of trying to deport 12 million people when they will be free to return legally in a few years anyhow?

There are already several of these Unions being built, including the already mentioned European Union, the African Union, the Asia Cooperation Dialogue, and the Union of South American Nations. It would actually be a shock if there wasn’t a North American Union in the works!

What I’ve been up to

Writing has been very difficult to do lately. I am home for a 10-week leave of absence to take care of my 4½ month old son now that my wife is back at work. I am 4 weeks down and have 6 left.

I was warned not to make any plans on getting things done during the leave, as taking care of him would be more time consuming than I believed. So far that has been mostly true. I am able to get some things done while he takes naps, but it’s hard to do anything that can’t be put down and walked away from at a moment’s notice.

One thing I have been working on is doing a family tree. My uncle (by marriage) has been doing a family tree for many years, for both his side and my aunt’s (and thus my dad’s). He gave me everything he had, which gave me enough to get some really interesting stuff off of ancestry.com. I was able to track back through my father’s side to the year 1263, which I think is pretty amazing. Of course it’s not guaranteed 100% accurate, but it’s the best I’ll ever get.

I was also able to find many “Famous relatives” through my dad’s mother’s side. It turns out that my dad and the current President Bush are 11th cousins. I am also related to: Gerald Ford, Millard Fillmore (the 13th President), George Eastman (of Eastman Kodak), Frank Lloyd Wright, Ellen Wilson (Woodrow’s First lady), Emily Dickenson, Angelica Van Buren (Martin’s daughter-in-law and First Lady), Elizabeth Monroe (James’ First Lady), T.S. Eliot, Richard Bennett (Former Canadian Prime Minister), Chester A. Arthur (21st President), Barbara Bush, Norman Rockwell, Oliver and William Winchester (of the Gun company), Jane Austen, Bette Davis, and several others that I hadn’t heard of.

I canceled my subscription to Ancestry before the trial period was over, but plan to pay for a month when I get everything put together that I can find on my family, including my mom’s side, and my wife’s family. Or maybe I can get the same kind of information with a free trial in my wife’s name.

I also read through John MacArthur’s The Truth War, which is a very good book based mostly on the Book of Jude. It discusses the necessity of battling for truth in the realm of Christianity, and discusses many ages-old heresies that have plagued the Church since the beginning. He doesn’t name many modern-day names, but he makes it clear who we need to avoid as being false teachers and false prophets. I would highly recommend the book!

I am currently about a third of the way through The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism by Christopher Horner. It is also a great book, exposing the complete fraud that is the Global Warming cause. He also makes the case that everything that the Greens accuse “skeptics” of doing, they are guilty of themselves. Even though I’m only a third of the way through it, I would also recommend this book as well.

And with that I hear my son waking up. Until next time!

Dead Sea Saves Boy

From Arutz Sheva:

A massive manhunt and rescue operation ended in joy around midnight between Thursday and Friday, after a missing child was found alive, floating in the Dead Sea. The high salt and mineral content of the water, while extremely dangerous to ingest, kept the child afloat.

I found this really interesting having been to the Dead Sea. What I found most perplexing when I was there was the effects of the sun. I spent two weeks working on an archaeological dig at Qumran. The first day I was there, I whipped out a big bottle of sun screen, as I knew I was going to be in the sun all day, protected only by a simple tent over the actual dig area. I was told right away to put it away, I wouldn’t need it, and not to bother. Over the course of the two weeks, I never put sunscreen on, and I came home whiter than I was when I left. It turns out the extra 1300 feet of atmosphere (2000 actually, as I live at about 700 feet above sea level) was enough to virtually eliminate the effects of the sun.

Surely that also was a major help to this boy, as if he had been in the ocean I would assume the sun would have baked him pretty badly. Being that far below sea level, he was able to escape some harsh sun burn.

Bridge Terrorism

The word ‘terrorism’ has been thrown around a little in regards to yesterday’s bridge collapse.

Let me just say if it was a terrorist attack, it was done by some pretty stupid terrorists. With one lane in each direction, it wasn’t a very good target. There would have been much better bridges to hit in the Twin Cities metro.

No, this one was definitely structural failure.

35W Collapse

About 75 minutes ago, the 35W bridge over the Mississippi river collapsed. Quite bizarre! I’ve driven across that bridge hundreds of times.

Hopefully the casualty rate is minimal, it was at the tail end of the rush hour, and was under construction so a lot of people would have been taking alternate routes.

So far I no no one who was there. I hope it stays that way.

No More Apple?

Wow, I thought Apple was supposed to be known for having simple to use products and top-notch technical support. I guess that’s all an act.

Back in January, I sprung for a new Mac Mini. I got the $800 model with the faster processor, bigger hard drive, and a few other goodies. I had been hoping to use it, among other things, as a print server because the Windows machine that would otherwise do the job if often booted into Linux (the machine is dual boot).

I’ve had a few headaches over the months getting this thing to work properly as a print server. Somehow, I get it working, and it does the job. Then I’ll shut the machine down to play with it in the living room, since they make great media center computers. When I bring it back in the office and hook everything back up, the print server deal goes down and I can’t print from any other computer.

So today I thought I’d call Apple’s “wonderful” tech support gurus and see what it is that is causing this thing to be so finicky. It turns out they are unwilling to help me unless I buy a three year extended support plan for $149. I told the guy I’d give them $10 to answer this one question, but I am not giving them $149, especially since chances are very likely I’ll never call again needing anything.

So this may be my first – and last – Macintosh computer.