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Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Thoughts on June Primary
With the June Primary less than a month away, you would expect that the political mud would to be slinging to and fro on the airwaves of every television and radio station in the State. However, with the exception of the gubernatorial race in the Democrat Primary there is silence. It is almost as if this is either a stealth election where the advantage is to the most grassroots organization that a candidate can muster or we are in such a state of secure incumbent districts that there are just no competitive electoral races in our area. Maybe it is a strange combination of both.
Since Democrats have more reason to get to the polls and make a choice for governor, it would seem that the two measures on the ballot both stand a good chance of passage. Both advocate the Democrat axioms of more indebtedness and taxation.
The first initiative is Proposition 81. This bond measure is for library construction and renovation. It offers the promise of increased literacy in exchange for 1.2 billion dollars in taxpayer money. This measure assumes that brick and mortar libraries like those thirty years ago will be the same for the next thirty years. Do you really believe that the library of 1976 will be unchanged by the year 2036? Dream on!
The next measure (Proposition 82) is the universal pre-school initiative that will be paid for by the wealthiest Californians. This scheme is being projected to generate 2.1 billion dollars annually in an economic vacuum. It is called a voluntary program for all four year olds. Yeah, sure! Compulsory for taxpayers now, compulsory for children later.
There are two fallacies with this initiative. First, those paying the tax get no benefit from this confiscatory initiative. Those who are taxed would likely never turn their four year olds over to the State. Secondly, there is no proof that there is any lasting benefit to children by taking pre-school. In fact, a recent study done at UC Davis proved that any benefit that could be had from pre-school was gone by third grade. I’m not going to say that no children would benefit from pre-school but the expectations attached to this program are exaggerated.
One fault with this type of hype is that advocates of a measure can claim anything they want without repercussions because ballot arguments are not legally binding. They can be well intentioned or bald-faced liars and they are safe from any recriminations for their claims. In the final analysis, those supporting or opposing a measure are both unelected and unaccountable to the voters. Let the voters beware!
Monday, May 08, 2006
Ray Sutton Coming to Elk Grove
Ray R Sutton was one of many young lions on the theological frontiers of Christian Reconstruction in the 1980’s. He was part of the Tyler Texas group of prolific writers put together by Gary North. Sutton was not one of the core leaders of the group, which included David Chilton, Greg Bahnsen and others, but his contributions were significant.
Sutton’s book, That You May Prosper, was important to much of the later writing of the group in Tyler. In this book Sutton analyzed the biblical covenant model and went light-years beyond the work of Meredith G. Kline.
In the intervening years, Sutton has only published one book. His spiritual journey from Presbyterian minister to Bishop in the Reformed Episcopal Church has not been a public one. It can be assumed that some of his views have been modified during this period by his life experiences but he remains theologically conservative.
Sutton has apparently channeled the heat of his fiery days in Tyler and directed it into light for the larger church. He is a lead representative and spokesman for the Reformed Episcopal Church. For many years he has been involved in the theological training of the RE seminaries. Since involving himself in the RE, he has also received his doctorate from Oxford.
He will be speaking in Elk Grove, CA on Saturday, May 20th on the Uniqueness of Christianity. I invite you to hear his presentation. Best of all, he has three scheduled times during his presentation for questions and answers. It would be worth it just for the Q & A periods. (Plus the location is two doors down from one of the best microbreweries on the West Coast.)
Click here for details.
That You May Prosper.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Imagine there’s no Hillary
One of the stupidest songs ever recorded has to be Imagine by John Lenin. It is a ballad about the creatures finally ridding themselves of the implications of the Creator and setting up a “Worker’s Paradise” on earth.
Only people running from the Cross of Jesus Christ seem to relate to this song. Like the proverbial vampires with no soul doomed to live in eternal darkness, the fans of Imagine have a common bond of despair in this life and no hope of anything better in the life to come.
In the midst of the generation that gave us Imagine, is a shrill voice screaming for attention. A woman with no core values, only pompous words designed for the itching ears of her immediate audience. Yes, it’s the junior Senator from New York State, madam carpetbagger herself, Hillary Clinton.
Hillary, the woman who would be President in 2008, has tried to explain her humble path to a political life. According to an article in Newsday, Hillary had other ambitions but due to her lack of physical ability, intelligence and a hostile men’s world, she ended up going to law school to find her path in the world.
According to the Newsday account, Senator Clinton first imagined herself becoming an Olympic Athlete but she couldn’t run fast enough. Then she tried to visualize herself becoming an astronaut but NASA said they don’t take girls. Then she dreamed of the medical field but she got “woozy” at the sight of suffering (except for unborn children being dismembered on the altar of choice which is the blessed sacrament of Liberalism). Mrs. Clinton also pictured herself as a mathematician or a scientist but she didn’t have the grades. As a last result she opted for law school.
Now she gets to impose her version of Lenin’s utopia on the rest of us. She too will feel our pain because she will be the cause of it. Thus proving that Those who can work, those who can’t pass laws to get even.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Republicans: Heat and Light
While there is little hope that the majority of Republicans in Congress will see the light, there are signs that they are at least beginning to feel the heat. Some are at last beginning to act as if Hugh Hewitt’s warning in Painting the Map Red has been heard in the halls of power.
Following the return this week from the Easter Recess, the Senate has started to move several languishing judicial nominees to a vote and allocated more money for border security. Congress is trying to get more energy production under way and once again is looking to end the “Death Tax”.
Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope that the GOP can turn things around. Their best advantage is the incompetence of the Democrats. As long as Democrats are motivated by hatred of President Bush and opposing every Republican idea without offering any of their own they are a doomed party. They have nothing to offer but fear itself. Doom and despair don’t win elections.
Republicans need to give their base an incentive to vote or many will just stay home this year. It looks like this reality is provoking some politicians to take action to energize the base. If Republicans would start acting like the majority party then they would make gains in this off year election.
Unfortunately, senators like McCain and the Northeastern liberal Republicans are the worst enemies of Republican victory in 2006. My hope is that if Republicans can do well enough this year, these Senators will no longer be able to hold the rest of their party hostage to their stupid socialist ideology.
Meanwhile, President Bush is making hopeful changes in the White House. The realities of illegal immigration are being brought to his attention. He seems to be getting closer to making borders more secure before implementing amnesty for illegals that are already here. His personnel changes in the White House seem like good moves.
The most discordant sign has been Republican efforts to try to blame oil companies for the high costs of gasoline instead of the Democrats for their obstructionist policies and idiotic environmental regulations.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Bugs in Internet Explorer 7
I downloaded Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 yesterday. Some bugs were encountered quite soon after installation.
First, I am using MSN Messenger to manage a Hotmail account. My computer at work keeps asking me if I want to install Windows Messenger every time I check my e-mail. This never happened until I installed IE 7.
Secondly and more importantly, I can’t get links on some websites to function. I tried to make my son a doctor appointment today but was unable to do it because IE 7 could not navigate on the Kaiser website.
In the first screen shot, you will see ranges of the alphabet that are clickable in previous versions of IE but will not function using IE 7.
To get to this screen go http://www.kp.org
Click on A Member
Select your Region select Northern California and click continue
From pulldown menu go to Locate our services and select Facility Directory
In the second screen shot, the departments should be links to another page but they also will not work. This example can be reached by selecting Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center.
When these issued are resolved I will be sure to let my readers know the fix is available.
In Hotmail, when I select Print View, the window that it brings-up does not have a print incon on the menu. I found that pressing Control and P key simultaneously will bring-up this print menu.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Microsoft Office Kills Windows XP Professional x64
Just when I though that I had conquered all the pitfalls and perils of my 64-bit Windows XP Professional, I found the mother of all incompatibilities. Microsoft Office will not run on Microsoft’s cutting edge XP Operation System!
Let me explain. My computer is running Office 2003 with the basic office suite of programs and it runs just fine, but on Friday I tried to install my Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Frontpage off of my Office 2000 CDs. This attempt at installation ended in completed disaster. My computer failed to respond properly after the installation went bad. So just like Microsoft has trained me to do, I rebooted my computer. Oops! I got the error that my Registry is corrupt and I needed to repair it.Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
This message is worse that the dread blue screen of death. Thankfully, I used my wife’s computer and went to work on the Knowledgebase at Microsoft. I found a five page procedure to follow to restore the registry. Basically you need a coordinated attack using the XP installation disk, Microsoft’s handy support article and a floppy drive.
1 Delete Corrupted Registry
First boot to Repair screen using the XP installation disk. Next run batch file created by cutting and pasting text file from Knowledgebase article to floppy disk. Run text as batch file per instructions.
2 Restore Original Registries
Then reboot into Safe Mode. Copy and rename back-up copies of Registry files from Restore Point to temporary location. This puts computer back to condition at original OS installation.
3 Restore Previous Good Restore Point
Run second batch file created on the floppy per instructions. Now computer can see existing Restore Points.
4 Restore Point
Then reboot into safe Mode. Select System Restore to select previous Restore Point.
Then reboot normally. You will probably be prompted to register your copy of Windows prior to successfully booting the computer.
This procedure to recover the Registry also works with 32-bit versions of XP.
I went looking on Microsoft’s website for an explanation why my computer died. It was then that I discovered
Note Microsoft Office 2000 has not been tested on any 64-bit versions of Windows operating systems.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Bush’s Wasted Meeting with Hu
Having lived through the shame of the Clinton administration and becoming a father a few years ago, I know that there are several different ways to parse the words “I’m sorry.” They range from “I’m sorry, please forgive me, it was all my fault” to “I’m only sorry that I got caught.”
I think the President meant I’m sorry for this breach of protocol. But I think Bush should have qualified the apology to say something about our nation being stronger for allowing differences of opinion. Suppose he said, “President Hu, we honor freedom of speech even when we might disagree with what is said. Unlike your government we won’t torture and kill this dissenter as a lesson to others.”
I think that President Bush missed a golden opportunity to call for
· releasing religious and political prisoners
· ceasing forced sterilization and abortion
· stopping the harvesting of organs from prisoners for use in transplants
· ending subsidies of Chinese currency to falsely prop-up their trade balance
· halting the proliferation of arms to Iran, North Korea and other nations
· suspending saber rattling and intimidation of Taiwan
· lifting government restrictions on the Internet
The meeting with Hu seems like a wasted opportunity to reign-in the tyranny of the Chinese government.
Christianity & Religion • Global War on Terror • News & Politics • Permalink
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Jerry Doyle Show
I have been indulging myself lately by watching the DVDs of Babylon 5. I have wanted the DVDs for a long time but I was unwilling to pay the $79.95 price per season. Now however, my local Sam’s Club is selling them for $40 per season. This is a much more realistic number for my budget.
So far I have made it through Season Three. I finally have many of the plotline questions resolved that I never understood before. During the original series run, I managed to see about 90 percent of the episodes but missed a few subtle story elements. (For more on Babylon 5 see the Lurker’s Guide.)
One of the main characters in the Babylon 5 series was Michael Garibaldi who was played by Jerry Doyle. Doyle looks similar to Bruce Willis during his Die Hard movie days. Doyle has an amazing resume and is currently a talk show host.
I first heard Doyle’s show as a filler on KFBK when Mark Williams was on vacation. His show format reminds me of Laura Ingraham and is carried by the same network.
I would describe him as less of a hardcore Republican than Hugh Hewitt but worth a listen. I listen to his show noon to 3 pm via the Internet.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Musing on Immigration
The hot topic in the news lately has been immigration. Some call them “undocumented” while others prefer “illegal” to describe the wave of invaders coming across the Southern Border of the United States.
This issue is full of more pitfalls for Republicans who have allowed themselves to be defined by those hoping to cultivate political support from these potential voters. Many have let themselves be falsely identified as bigots and racists for wanting to uphold current immigration laws. Other Republicans are so traumatized by this stigma hanging over them that they are running along side of the McCain express to nowhere.
On the other hand, there is a segment of this group that are regular voters for the Democrats. There is much voter fraud in our system especially by illegals; just ask B-1 Bob Dornan. Democrats control the system and have no intention of fixing a rigged system that benefits them both on Election Day and every ten years in the census.
We need a political leader to find a realistic balance between protecting our national interests of security and this mass of humanity that is already here. Unfortunately, President Bush is back to his pre-9/11 position on the issue, while the Senate Republicans and all of the Democrats are playing politics with peoples lives and the security of our nation. The goal of this current round of talk on immigration reform is just an elaborate ruse to stakeout election year territory.
Michael Savage is correct that it is about borders, language and culture but he is not the right messenger to convince the masses. Savage is good at confrontation but persuasion is not his leading attribute.
Both Huge Hewitt and Rush Limbaugh have been bringing out different and insightful comments on this issue.
Hewitt advocates building a real wall along the border and patrolling it to keep illegals out. It would cut down on the rate of illegal immigration.
Limbaugh says make them all legal but don’t give them the right to vote if they entered illegally. If that is too hot to handle he suggested just barring illegals from voting right now. His point is that the Democrats (and some Republicans) don’t really care about fixing immigration; they are just positioning themselves to get votes from these people.
I have had dealings with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (mostly before it was taken over by the Department of Homeland Security) and the system is broke. It needs to be reinvented from scratch. It may have been state-of-the-art in the 1930’s but it is based on an unworkable and obsolete paradigm of information processing.
In addition, the artificial quotas mandated by Congress on who can come here only make the problem worse. The numbers of people allowed to enter each year are too low to make it worthwhile for people to follow our rules for getting here. Immigration policy is the only part of the government that mandates quotas on race, religion and national origin. The role of the State Department in the immigration process also adds many layers and delays to this cumbersome process.
My feeling right now is a pox on both parties.
Lastly, the strawman that gets beat-up by both Republicans and Democrats is the cry to go after employers of illegals. Anybody that says this is ignorant and has never signed the front of a paycheck.
If you apply for a job in this country and have the necessary documents required by the Form I-9 then I have to hire you. As a practical matter, it is illegal for me not to hire you ever if I suspect your documents are bogus. There is no government-authorized mechanism to verify if you are really a citizen. In fact you don’t need to show me a Social Security Card to meet the requirements on the Form I-9!
As an employer, I can get very limited information from the Social Security Administration on a pass/fail basis with no explanation why they don’t like a Social Security Number. I get a letter from them ever year telling me one fourth on our employees have bad numbers but the same letter emphasizes that it is illegal to fire someone that you think might have phony papers. Their letter makes it clear that this is a matter directly between the Social Security administration and the employee. The government reserves all power in this area for themselves.
Without the means to verify the legitimacy of potential employees, no enforcement on the hiring practices of employers is warranted. Last year, only three employers in the entire country were prosecuted for hiring illegals!
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Apple Sends OS X to Boot Camp
Apple Computer has released a software patch titled “Boot Camp” that will allow an Apple with Intel processor to dual boot to either their OS X or Microsoft Windows XP. Apple won’t support the “Boot Camp” software or the XP installation on their computers.
Why Apple thinks this would encourage PC users to switch to their overpriced computers is unclear. The articles that I read also does not state whether you will need to get proprietary drivers to make Windows XP run on your Apple.
A more detailed article can be found at C-Net.
It is unclear whether there are architectural differences between the Intel Pentium family of processors and those being utilized by Apple that could affect the performance of Windows XP on the Apple platform.
In previous generations of Microsoft Operating Systems based on Windows NT, Microsoft supported RISC microprocessors such as MIPS, Alpha and Apple’s Power PC. This was discontinued many years ago.
Last time, Microsoft modified their OS to run on the Apple platform and this time Apple has modified their platform to run Microsoft’s OS.
It is fun to watch the love/hate relationship that Apple has had with Microsoft over the years. If Microsoft hadn’t bailed-out Apple a few years back Apple’s music download and iPod empire would never had been possible and Windows Vista would never have been created.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Having grown up watching kids show like the Banana Splits and a myriad of productions from Sid and Marty Croft, I have my memories of children’s television in a more innocent age. As a father I now get to go through this phase of growing up with my seventeen month old son.
Until recently, all he wanted to do was hit every button on the TV and the assortment of remote controls that he could get his hands on. However, he has become mesmerized by an export from Down Under called The Wiggles.
The Wiggles is a fast paced show with short segments that is on the Disney Channel at 6 AM. Miraculously, it is presented commercial free. My son will sit in the rocking chair and watch every frame to the exclusion of almost all else. There are five main characters plus a few in costumes that are regulars on the show.
After watching for a few weeks, you will notice segments from various shows being reused. It is a unique mixture of silliness and mayhem with some good messages like drink water and eat vegetable soup.
I went hunting for their website and found it at http://www.thewiggles.com. Amazingly enough, they are doing four shows this month at Arco Arena on April 19 & 20. Ticket prices range from $15 to $30. If your youngster is under six then this is the show for you.
The Wiggles is a welcome upgrade from PeeWee Herman and Barney the Purple Reptile.
Friday, March 31, 2006
Army Bans Body Armor
At a time when the Army is getting hammered by the American media for the war in Iraq, the Army has provided more ammo to its detractors. The Army in its infinite wisdom has declared that no body armor that has been privately purchased by soldiers will be allowed.
In the wake of years of reports of soldiers lacking body armor when they were sent into battle and private efforts to buy this armor for soldiers that lacked this equipment, this announcement is ill advised.
While I understand the concerns that have prompted this decision, the way it was done is a public relations disaster. Some body armor that has been commercially sold to law enforcement agencies is junk. It would not even stop a good pellet gun let alone small arms fire or a direct shot from a rifle. The Army has decided that this risk is not worth it.
I think the Army should try a different tactic. They should give the manufacturers the chance to get their body armor certified via live fire testing. It would have to meet minimum standards or be banned. Only armor that passes would be an acceptable alternative.
Blanket announcements like the one that the Army has made are the type of things that bureaucracies decree not organizations looking-out for the safety of their employees.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Abdul Rahman Highlights Afghanistan’s Darkside
Abdul Rahman is on trial for his life. His crime is believing in Jesus. Like most Middle East countries, it is illegal to convert to Christianity. The punishment is death. This type of thing happens all the time in that part of the world. Normally, those that don’t recant their faith will be executed and have their children taken from them to be raised as Muslims.
What makes this case unique is that it is actually being covered in the mainstream media. Why? Because this is Afghanistan and the media is trying to show that President Bush is wrong for prosecuting the Global War on Terror. Their interest is embarrassing the President not advocating religious freedom.
Mr. Rahman is being offered a chance to avoid the trial if he can prove he is mentally incapacitated. It is unclear whether he actually has an opportunity for input in this decision or if the government will make such a declaration just to avoid the international embarrassment this has caused to the Afghan government.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Music Downloads #2
This is a follow-up to my previous post on music downloads.
Because my original music purchase was on a Tuesday, I was given a free download. I decided to get Petra’s Never Say Die and Washes Whiter Than. This was offered as two albums on one CD. I downloaded the songs and it looked like everything was there until I hit the play button. Oops! More malfunctions. Once again the song names did not match the tracks. This time however all the tracks were there, they were just labeled incorrectly. The song titles started with Never Say Die but the actual tracks started with Washes Whiter Than. At least they were in the correct order once you figured out what they had done.
I sent Connect another e-mail. Instead of promising to fix their mistakes they simply sent me a code to get yet another free download. I didn’t really want another download but I used it yesterday. I got a best of Jerry Reed mostly cause he’s a likeable guy and I like to collect humorous music like Ray Stevens, Gary S Paxton and Paul Shanklin. So now I Got the Gold Mine while Connect continues to give others the shaft.
Connect just impresses me as a lackadaisical subsidiary of a mega corporation. I expected more professionalism from Sony.
In summary, I have twelve of nineteen tracks from DeGarmo and Key Band’s No Turning Back, two albums (18 tracks) worth of Petra that are labeled incorrectly, twenty old songs from Jerry Reed and after a week my credit card still has not been charged.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Resources for Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick has two documents that are attributed to him which survive to this day.
The first document written by Patrick is a letter of excommunication. Patrick excommunicates a slave trader that is a member of another diocese who keeps kidnapping and murdering members of his flock.
The second document written by Patrick is a defense of false charges against him. These false charges are related to the fallout of the letter of excommunication. The document is Patrick’s testimony of his conversion to Christianity and his walk in the faith. It is called The Confession of Saint Patrick. My copy is published by Triumph Books in Liguori, Missouri.
For a good overview of these events and others in Patrick’s life you can purchase a movie called Saint Patrick: The Irish Legend. This is a great film for young and old. It stars Patrick Bergin and Luke Griffin. Believe it or not, it’s produced by the same folks that brought us the Power Rangers. How’s that for useless movie trivia.
For the best book on Patrick and his impact on the West read How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. This book covers the period from the Fall of the Roman Empire to Medieval Europe. You can read how the movement started by Patrick brought the light to Europe that extinguished the “Dark Ages.”
The other writing that is either by Patrick or more likely his followers is commonly known as
The Breastplate of Saint Patrick or The Deer’s Cry.
I arise today through a mighty strength,
the invocation of the Trinity,
through belief in the Three-ness,
through confession of the One-ness
towards the Creator.
I arise today through the strength of Christ’s Birth with His Baptism,
through the strength of His Crucifixion with His Burial
through the strength of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom.
I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
in obedience of Angels,
in the service of the Archangels,
in hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
in prayers of Patriarchs,
in predictions of Prophets,
in preachings of Apostles,
in faiths of Confessors,
in innocence of Holy Virgins,
in deeds of righteous men.
I arise today, through the strength of Heaven:
light of Sun,
brilliance of Moon,
splendour of Fire,
speed of Lightning,
swiftness of Wind,
depth of Sea,
stability of Earth,
firmness of Rock.
I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me:
against snares of devils, against temptations of vices,
against inclinations of nature, against everyone who shall
wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.
I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils):
against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose
my body and my soul,
against incantations of false prophets,
against black laws of heathenry,
against false laws of heretics,
against craft of idolatry,
against spells of witches, smiths, and wizards,
against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.
Christ to shield me today
against poisonings, against burnings,
against drownings, against woundings,
So there come to me an abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie down, Christ where I sit down, Christ where I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today through a mighty strength,
the invocation of the Trinity,
through belief in the Three-ness,
through confession of the One-ness
towards the Creator.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of Christ.
May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.
I would love to hear this poem set to music.
The Celtic Saints by Courtney Davis