Sunday, December 18, 2005

Work happens

I have been gone for a bit due to travel, holiday, and work things. I have found some things worth looking at. So here is some categorized speed blogs for your consideration. Many are old but still worth reading.


More eminent domain abuse in FL.

Federal courts decide that Social Security payments may be garnished for ancient student loan defaults. I am really split on this one, particularly since I will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in Social Security taxes and expect to never get a dime back. But if Social Security is a "minimum standard of living" how can we subtract from it due to 40 year old sins? I am not old enough to have 40 year old sins but I hope that the sins of my 20s don't follow me into my 70s.

The iron lady, Maggie Thatcher is hospitalized. I have seen no followup but pray that she will recover and live on for decades more to pass her wisdom on.

Federal marshals shot dead a guy who turned out to be just a manic depressive off his meds. While I mourn for his family and friends I have seen no evidence that I would have wanted the marshals to do anything different.

A great piece on Rocky Flats... interesting to all, really interesting to me given that my house is about 5 miles as the crow flies from the place in question.

Other politics:

Global warming is finally proved with record low temperatures throughout the northern hemisphere?????

Apparently, in politically correct Europe (Italy in this case), calling a foreigner a "dirty negro" is not always a racist slur. I am pretty politically incorrect about these sorts of things but this one makes my head spin. To be fair, the people being called "dirty negroes" were Columbian women, presumably not black although the article isn't specific about that. Personally, I think that this is clearly racist, regardless of where it occurred but simply being a racist asshole shouldn't be illegal. In this case the Italians (or should I say WOPs?) in question punched the "dirty negroes". This should be illegal and doubly so because a bunch of men punched a bunch of women which offends my sense of chivalry, honor, and general moral and societal fabric. Go read it and tell me you aren't offended both by the actions of the men and the ruling of the court.

Scott at Powerline attended the White House Hanukkah party.

Babs can't spell.

Dry Bones hits another home run, both on the humor front and on the very sober front of the seriousness of Israeli politics.


Don Ho is recovering from a stem cell procedure to attempt to get rid of his heart arythmia. Not being a big Don Ho fan, this article is interesting for two reasons. First, it is not legal in the US and a very rich US citizen is undergoing it. Second, if you read into the article it is another example of the viability of the use of ADULT stem cell procedures. It isn't illegal here because it involves embryonic stem cells, which as far as I can tell have yet to cure one person of anything.

"Don did not take stem cells from a fetus. He doesn't believe in that," he said. "He took blood from his own body and re-injected that into his heart."

Massive jellyfish invade Japan. This is a case where a picture is worth a thousand words. I have seen jellys even bigger than the one pictured but for those of you who have never been diving in the Pacific, check out the pic even if you don't have time for the article.

Diane Carman of the Denver Post doesn't get why serious Christians are offended by "Holiday Trees". Let me make the matter really simple. We are a nation of laws, but those laws were drafted by Christians. They protect your right to worship as you see fit but they don't protect you, commercially, to insult 80+ percent of the population that shops in your neighborhood. I get Christmas cards from Jewish and agnostic friends every year. I have even been known to get them from devout atheists. I send out a few "Happy Hanukkah" cards every year. I have been known to put a Hanukkah light set in my window, and am considering doing it again this year. Diversity and freedom of religion are a big part of what made this country great. But it is the Christmas season and I don't want "Happy Holidays" as a response to my "Merry Christmas" in the stores. It is offensive. A reply of "Happy Hanukkah" would be perfectly acceptable and a "Happy Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas to you" would potentially get me a life long friend. "Holiday Trees" don't exist as the only religious tradition with December trees is Christmas. The Salvation Army is a Christian organization, but like most American Christian charitable organizations, it's good works are not limited to those who share their faith. Excluding the bell ringers from your doorstep is a really good way to make sure I don't shop at your store during the Christmas season in particular, and the rest of the year in general. The only major retailer that I have not spent money with (and I have spent a ton) this season is the one who did just that. This is America and for most of us that means Christmas is soon to be upon us. You don't have to celebrate it to appreciate that most of us do. If somebody gives you a hard time about not celebrating it in this country I will be one of the first to step up and support you. I am not alone, in fact I am the typical American on this topic. Be happy for me that I am happy in this season, and the Easter season, even if it is meaningless to you and in return I will support to my death your right to worship something different than I do or to not worship anything at all. That is what makes America. It is not secularism, which is killing Europe. What makes America great is that the majority (Christians) and the minorities (Jews, Buddhists, Diests, agnostics and the rest) have traditionally respected each others customs and religious heritage and worked together to build a nation bigger and stronger than any one heritage.


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