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Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
Is it time for the other shoe to drop? I have the same feeling now that I did prior to the terrorist attacks in September of 2001 and the election of 2004.
Our politicians are spinning their wheels on petty and stupid stuff. The media and the pundits are salivating over the politics of an obscure Florida congressman who already resigned as the result of something he did three years ago. The only question is who has been sitting on this for three years and decided to make it public just in time to try and influence the election. (So where is Dan Rather?)
The time just seems ripe for one of two things to happen, either some other scandal is sitting in the can just waiting for the right time to interject it into the public discourse as we near the election or something will hit us via the war on terror. Either way the result will be the exposure of the lack of seriousness and substance of the Democrat Party.
The Democrats are overplaying the Mark Foley scandal. The double standard that they are employing is transparent to all but the most ill informed votes. Every election cycle they have been trying this tactic since the infamous and equally mythological “October Surprise” conspiracy. They can’t win on policy or by offering a positive alternative. Scandal is their path to victory ever since they ran Richard Nixon out of Washington. Often they have successfully employed this tactic. Newt Gingrich and Trent Lot have been among their successful targets.
In recent years, they have overplayed their hand when utilizing this tactic and the political “blow-back” has energized the Republican base more than their own folks. This appears to be happening again.
This distraction from the Global War on Terror could easily be swept aside by aggressive acts of terror between now and the election. Only one party is trying to be serious about the threat to our nation while the other cares only about creating civil rights for terrorists. The overseas allies of the Democrats often exhibit poor judgment when trying to influence the results of U.S. elections.
People vote their pocketbooks and safety. Republican control of both Houses of Congress has been a boost to both of these issues. Coupled with the power of incumbency, I think all the talk of Democrats taking control of either the House or Senate is hollow propaganda to give their base hope and discourage Republicans from turning-out on election day.
My admonition is to be prepared, the Democrats and their allies have at least one more dirty trick yet to be unveiled. Look for their strategy to boomerang and benefit Republicans.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Several months ago, I was talking on the telephone to my sister about her child rearing experience. She said that her one regret was that she didn’t have a room in her house that was dedicated for her children to play with their friends.
This seemed like good advice to me so I decided to follow her recommendation. I decided to convert part of the garage into such a room. Like many homes, we have a “three-car garage”. If our garage could really hold three cars this would be no big deal, but the garage size is really more like my wife’s car plus a golf cart.
Anyway, I was able to carve-out an area about 10 x 14 to make into a room. I have been working on nights and weekends to make this room a reality. Thus far I have had to move lighting, jack hammer floors to move drain lines, relocate water pipes, roto-hammer wedge anchors and take one trip to the emergency room for stitches. The room in now framed and my plumbing wall is close to completion.
To get to this point has taken much longer than I had anticipated, but with no one to help me except my energetic two-year-old son, I think that I’ve done ok. Yes, I get to do this project and baby-sit at the same time. When he’s asleep I have to quit working. This is one reason that my progress has been slow. (I also have spent a few weekends playing in my new Jeep, a subject of a future blog.)
I have several obstacles yet to overcome but I can see the end point approaching. My remaining tasks are electrical, drywall (including tape and texture) and floor coverings.
Most of my tools for this project have been cordless, battery operated tools that my wife bought me about two years ago. Considering it’s been 30 years since my last woodshop class, I think I’m doing ok.
The one aspect of this project that I might actually hire a contractor to do is the tape and texturing. While the theory of this is simple it seems as much art as science to get consistency in the final result.
I look forward to getting this room completed. So far it has been a relatively inexpensive way to spend some quality time with my son doing “guy things”.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Salem Communications has issued a Press Release concerning Eric Hogue.
The Short version is that Hogue is moving to another Salem station and will be broadcast in the afternoon on KFIA in Sacramento and a Salem station in San Francisco. It is hoped that this will be similar format with larger audience. Best wishes to Eric.
There is no word on what happens to Hogue’s time slot at KTKZ.
See Criag DeLuz blog for copy of press release.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Salem Dumps Hogue, KTKZ Sale to Follow?
There is a story circulating that KTKZ talker Eric Hogue is on the chopping block. His program is slated to be cancelled in September by some bean counters at Salem Communications. Salem would rather substitute some nationally syndicated talker to save some money.
I would like to address this idea from two aspects of the radio business.
First is the FCC license. If Salem cancels Hogue, in my estimation they have violated the Prime Directive of broadcasting which is to serve the public good. Hogue has done much to promote KTKZ and inform their audience. Hogue is the only program in the broadcast area that covers local politics from an informed perspective.
Only Tom Sullivan at KFBK comes close but Tom doesn’t understand Conservatives or the inner workings of the Republican Party. In addition, Tom doesn’t care to learn. Tom has no interest in “getting under the hood” and seeing how the Legislature really operates.
As someone who has worked at the Capitol and in radio, I have come to appreciate Eric’s insight in this area. It took him a few years to get through the learning curve after arriving here from Ohio but he has mastered his subject matter well.
Salem has severely handicapped Hogue by not giving him the bandwidth necessary to compete in this market. KTKZ AM & FM are the weakest signals in the broadcast area. When tuning on the AM side I have to search between Radio Disney and Air America to find the station. It is difficult to get either KTKZ station indoors anywhere in the broadcast area. I cannot get their signal at all at my Elk Grove home. If Salem got Hogue on a station with some broadcast power, KTKZ would be second or third in the market.
Not only have I seen the Arbitron ratings but I was a participant in the Spring sampling period. In the Sacramento market, KSFO from San Francisco has better numbers than KTKZ and their signal is often better.
Secondly, Salem may not be making much money on Hogue’s time slot but they need to look at the Larry King model used by Mutual Broadcasting. King was what retailers call a “loss leader.” King was not profitable by himself but Mutual required that stations carrying King also carry other programming by Mutual. As a package Mutual was able to make money by this arrangement.
Hogue has done something similar for KTKZ with sponsors. Hogue has done well enough for sponsors on his show that they are willing advertisers on other programming at the station. Spots cut by the team at KTKZ are often heard on other stations in the Sacramento market.
The revenue hit that KTKZ will take if they follow through on plans to cut Hogue will be tremendous. Not only will they loose the Hogue show revenue but the Friday night high school sports will disappear also. Sponsors of the Hogue show are also the backbone of advertisers for other programming like Hugh Hewitt.
One can’t help but wonder if killing local programming is a prelude to selling the radio station to someone with a different format in mind. This decision is not a formula for long term viability at KTKZ.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
John Mark Karr: Liar and Lunatic?
OK. I’m cynical. I don’t believe that John Mark Karr had anything to do with the death of JonBenet Ramsey.
Yes, he’s a freak and a pervert. He admits that much and it seems to agree with his reputation but I think his confession is just an extreme stunt by an emotionally disturbed person. Where is the evidence? We all know that the police withhold information that only the killer would know so if he did it, what did the police withhold? He can’t seem to put forth a story that has enough detail to withstand scrutiny. If he wants credit for the crime then connect the dots.
It is clear that he is lying; the real question is whether he is making a preemptive strike to discredit himself as a viable suspect or he’s just a nut. So is he a liar or a clever criminal?
Most criminals are stupid and they get caught. If he was really that clever he could never admit to the crime.
I submit that being stuck in the third-world is very unpleasant and Mr. Karr thinks that he has a clever way to be brought back to the USA. Once no charges are filed, he will then be free to prey upon our children.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
NASA Seeks Its Roots
NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration) has lost its way and is returning to its roots in search of direction.
On the same day two disturbing stories appeared.
First, NASA has managed to loose the original films of man’s first landing on the Moon. The government has begun to search its vast archives of warehoused material to see if the films are hidden away somewhere. (Rumor has it that they are also keeping an eye out for the lost Ark.)
Secondly, many rocket parts have been quietly disappearing from museums and other places housing relics from the Apollo Program. Why? Because engineers at NASA want to copy fuel valves and other gizmos for use in rocket designs for the new push for the Moon and then Mars. Based mostly on 1950’s era technology, these systems used in antique rockets are going to be the backbone of 21st Century space exploration.
Gene Roddenberry would probably find the irony quite funny. So much for the newer is better axiom of American society.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Israel Looses-Unilateral Surrender
“When you gonna wake-up and strengthen the things that remain?” –Bob Dylan
Israel has failed in its war against terrorists in Lebanon. As a result, Iran and Syria have been emboldened to project even more power in the Middle East.
This will result in more terrorist attacks in Israel and Europe. Radical Islam has proven that it is in this for the long haul. The West continues to slumber. As the spiritual darkness of the West grows, so does its peril. The Sword of Islam is poised to judge the West for its rejection of biblical truth. We have exchanged the Truth for a lie and our god is our own belly.
The cease-fire brokered by the United Nations will not hold (for long.) It does however increase the likelihood of a more regional war. Israel better get their political act together or next time they may very well find themselves swimming for Cypress.
Like the United States, Israel is entering a period where no one in public office has been involved in a military victory. That generation is fading and the result is a distorted view of the world in which men are incapable of called any belief or act of man “evil”. This “enlightened” view of mankind will be the death of millions in the near future.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Israel continues its halfhearted war against Iranian sponsored terrorists. Their Prime Minister would make the French proud. He is looking for every excuse to surrender instead of fight. He is conducting this war with all the principle that John Kerry tried to bring to the White House in 2004. It begs the question of whether removal of the spine is a requirement to hold elective office in the West.
Syria and Iran should both be hit hard by both Israel and the United States.
George Bush, like his father, has run away from his commitment to do what he promised. Bush #1 promised “no new taxes” while his son promised the “bring the terrorists to justice or justice to the terrorists.”
Measured responses are BS. Overwhelming force must be used. It is the only language these 7th century barbarians understand. Diplomacy only buys time for evil men to amass arms to attack their neighbors at a time of their choosing.
We use the words that we are at war but we have yet to act like we really are.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Kings Extort Arena Sales Tax
Yesterday, amongst much fanfare, it was announced that a group of local politicians had gone toe-to-toe with the owners of the Sacramento Kings and after much vigorous negotiation they gave the Kings ownership everything they had demanded. Then these same politicians declared victory for all concerned parties. This rather “French” version of victory disguised as complete and unconditional surrender is in the form of a quarter percent sales tax. It has been argued that this new 1.2 billion dollar tax will bring millions in new business to the Sacramento area.
This is nuts. If I offered you ten cents for every dollar that you gave me, you would rightly conclude that I either was insane or perpetuating some type of fraud.
That is unless you hold elected office. Then you would proclaim my virtue for giving you a dollar in additional taxes and then being grateful for the ten cent return on my tax dollar that I have been promised at some future date. If I go along with this scheme then I am called enlightened and community minded. And if I dare to call it a fraud and a money grab to cover-up some of the looming debt crisis that is built into the system supported by these local government politicians then I am selfish and anti-community.
Let’s look at the facts.
○ This tax is projected to result in more than double the amount of money required to build this project.
○ This over taxation serves two purposes: first it attempts to get around the law that a sales tax that is earmarked for a dedicated purpose requires a two-thirds majority of voter approval and secondly spreading more money around various cities within Sacramento County is a way to deal with shortfalls in revenue that have been papered over by developer fees.
○ Neither the City, County nor anyone else acquires any ownership percentage of the Kings. The taxpayers are only buying a very expensive building that will never pay for itself.
○ There is no land that is currently owned either by the Kings or local government on which to put the new arena. The rail yards are in limbo and may not be the ideal spot for this project. Everyone knows that the rail yards are a toxic waste zone and there are still many unresolved issues.
○ In the final analysis, all the sales tax money will go into the general fund of Sacramento County. The County will then spend it as they see fit.
○ If voters approve the tax and the Kings leave Sacramento after the November election, the tax will still be collected, even if the arena is never built!
This last point is important. Once the tax is authorized it will be collected. How it is spent is up to the Board of Supervisors.
Remember when Al Davis was looking to move the Raiders from Los Angeles back to the northern part of California and Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna got an authorization to raise fifty million dollars? Well the Raiders went back to Oakland and not Sacramento. So what happened to the fifty million dollars earmarked for the Raiders? The city of Sacramento quietly spent every last dime on other projects.
This sales tax is a one-way street. Once you head down this road you can never stop or turn around.
My preference is for the sales tax to fail. However, if there is to be a true stadium tax then let that be the sole purpose of the tax. Go for the supermajority approval. My other condition for building a new arena is that our community acquires some reasonable percentage in the ownership of the Kings in exchange for buying a new arena. .
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Israel At War
Thanks to Israel for opening up a front on the terrorists next door. Iran and their pawns need a good spanking. It is time you retook some of the land that you unilaterally abandoned to the Palistinians.
I just hope that the United States is providing some assistance to your efforts.
Read Yoni’s Blog at http://yoni.townhall.com
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
But They Were Such Good Kids
Children are often regarded as a blessing from the Lord. But for some, they are a curse and a shame. I have two instances that are currently being played-out in the lives of people with whom I am acquainted.
The family situations of these two children are very different. One family consists of a single mom; the other is husband and wife in a stable marriage. One child was raised in church while the one with a single mom has probably never heard a sermon.
Both children are in rebellion against their parents and society in general. Both under performed in school and want to party and be with their friends. Both are found in the bowels of MySpace.com. Text messaging on cell phones is their link to their friends. Abusing alcohol and sexual promiscuity are important components of social interaction.
Both children are financially irresponsible and are aided by others in perpetuating their behavior. One of these children is underage and is living at his girlfriend’s house with the blessing of her parents. What tales of his home-life he has told to them is not known but can easily be imagined. They are enabling his rebellion and re-enforcing bad behavior. The other child has credit cards; a sympathetic mother and a sugar daddy, professional athlete, that help her persist in irresponsible behavior.
Both children have broken the hearts of their parents. The hardest thing the parents have to struggle with is cutting-off their children while still hoping for repentance and enlightenment. Their desire is to have a restored relationship with their offspring.
Neither child was raised with an appreciation for the church or its teachings. This includes of course the Ten Commandments. The fifth of these is
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Notice the part about long life as a promise of obeying God’s and their parent’s instruction. I’m sure that Rushdoony would argue that this is a two way street but when children willfully violate the instruction of parents, Scripture and civil law it is clear they are without excuse and will reap what the sew.
Many years ago, I was instructing the brother of one of these children in the Lord’s Prayer. He was ten years old at the time and raised in a “Bible Believing” Baptist church and never knew that Jesus has instructed that when your pray you should say
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
The parent’s reaction was that she did not want her child “to be taught all that Catholic crap”. Sorry, it’s verbatim from the New Testament and there were no denominations back then. You either believed Jesus and followed him or you didn’t. (Seems like it is still that way today.)
Whether the parents made all the right decisions or not when they raised their children; neither family viewed their job as complete when their child chose to leave. “My house, my rules” is the universal motto of any responsible parent.
Now that the children have chosen to learn from the school of hard knocks, all we can do is pray for the parties involved and trust God that they will live long enough to amend their ways.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Anglican Church Tries to Control Outcome of Impending Church Split
Scott Adams, the father of the dilbert comic strip, has proposed that there is a right way, a wrong way and the weasle way. The Weasle way has been superceded now by the Anglican way. The Archbishop of Canterbury has thrown in the towel on unity within the Anglican Community and proposed splitting the Church into the Orthodox Historical Anglicans who have a vote in Church matters and the liberals who will be under the umbrella of his authority but be given no vote in matters of Church government. Below is an article from the London Telegraph explaining this idea that is sure to make waves.
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, yesterday outlined radical plans that could force the liberal American Church out of mainstream Anglicanism if it refuses to toe the majority line on issues such as homosexuality.
In his most personal and direct statement on the crisis engulfing the worldwide Church, the archbishop made clear that his patience was running out with liberals who defy official policy yet want to stay in the Anglican “club”.
In a six-page “reflection”, Dr Williams set out a blueprint for a “two-track” Communion, with Churches prepared to obey official policy classed as “constituent” members and those who refuse to curb their autonomy being given “aossciate” status.
The “associate” Churches would still be bound by historic links but would not share the same constitutional structures, he suggested.
In a phrase that will alarm liberals, the archbishop said the relationship between the constituent and associate members would be like that between the Church of England and Methodist Church.
“The ‘associated’ Churches would have no direct part in the decision-making of the ‘constituent’ Churches, though they might be observers whose views were sought or whose expertise was shared from time to time, and with whom significant areas of co-operation might be possible,” he said.
The move would effectively create two strands of Anglicanism and would be widely seen as the equivalent of a schism even if no individual provinces are formally expelled.
Allies of the archbishop believe that the plan will ensure that Anglicanism will remain a broad but manageable movement, but critics will fear that he would gain papal-style powers over an inner core of Churches.
The archbishop’s letter to the Church did not address the more immediate fate of the American Episcopal Church, which failed to meet the requests made by him and his fellow primates to halt its liberal agenda at its General Convention in Columbus, Ohio, last week.
Dr Williams is not expected to make a final pronouncement on whether the liberal leadership of the American Church will be invited to the 2008 Lambeth Conference until a meeting of all the primates early next year.
But he will hope to persuade conservatives that expelling the Americans will not be necessary, as the liberals could anyway find themselves on the margins.
Under his long-term plan, first disclosed in The Daily Telegraph last month, all provinces will be given the chance to sign a “covenant”, which will restrain them from acting unilaterally on contentious issues.
Those that did not - up to a third have expressed doubts - would be able to continue pushing through their divisive reforms without destroying the rest of the Church. But they would lose their voting rights at key Anglican summits where policy is decided.
A number of provinces, including the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada, have already made clear that they would be highly unlikely to sign such an agreement.
If the plan is adopted at the next Lambeth Conference, the liberals will be confronted with a choice of whether to join up and lose their much- prized autonomy, or face isolation.
In his reflection to all bishops, clergy and Anglican faithful worldwide, Dr Williams said: “There is no way in which the Anglican Communion can remain unchanged by what is happening at the moment.
“Neither the liberal nor the conservative can simply appeal to a historic identity that doesn’t correspond with where we now are.”
Liberals reacted with fury to the plan, describing it as a mess that would please no one.
Affirming Catholicism, a liberal group of which Dr Williams was a founding member, said that “partition” would not work.
Church’s Opposition to Abortion Will Lead to Prosecution
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Catholic Church could one day be prosecuted for its right-to-life stance by some countries where abortion is considered a woman’s right, a senior Vatican cardinal said in an interview published on Thursday.
Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, criticized several Western countries for allowing abortion and introducing gay marriage and civil unions.
“I fear that faced with current legislation, speaking in defense of life, of the rights of the family, is becoming in some societies a crime against the state, a form of disobedience of the government, a discrimination against women.
“The Church risks being brought in front of some international court, if the debate gets any more tense, if the most radical opinions are heeded,” Lopez Trujillo told Famiglia Cristiana, a Catholic Italian weekly.
The cardinal (Lopez Trujillo, a 70-year-old Colombian) singled out Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Nordic countries for “exporting” socially liberal policies, particularly granting homosexual and non-married heterosexual couples the same rights as married men and women.
“We are changing the definitions about life: male and female, father and mother are disappearing. Everyone becomes a ‘partner’,” he said.
“Civil unions are a legal fiction, two people who promise each other nothing, who promise nothing to their children nor to the state but want the same rights as marriage.” He said gay marriage was “absolute nothingness”.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Could It Be a Bomb that I Saw?
Last night I was taking the baby for a walk. We did the usual watching birds and greeting people walking their dogs. Towards the end of our walk, we did come across something rather unusual.
There were two unattended backpacks lying together on the grass in the park by our house. They looked like the kind my daughter uses at her high school. What really caught my eye was the egg timer next to them. My first thought was that it was a homemade explosive device.
I had two problems with that theory. First the timer was on zero and not running and secondly, there were no visible wires between the timer and the backpacks. Had the timer been running or wires visible between the timer and the backpacks I would have called the police. Since that was not the case I just kept going on my way.
I still wonder what I witnessed. What would you do in such circumstances? Rationalize it away or call law enforcement?
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Open Letter Calls on ECUSA Clergy to Repent
I was forwarded the following letter from an Reformed Episcopal minister to his ECUSA (Episcopal Church in the United States) counterpart in the same city.
I watched via the Internet and news broadcasts the General Convention of ECUSA with great interest. I am very sorry for the results.
Several of the resolutions that passed in Columbus will impair our fellowship. Specifically, those resolutions calling the Holy Scriptures anti-Jewish, anti-women, and oppressive of people by their race, class gender, and sexuality. Are they? If the Scriptures cannot be seen as the rule by which Christians judge their actions, then what is the alternative ethically, theologically, personally?
Then, the failure to heed the Primates and their pastoral call to repentance, and refusing the meet the demands of the Windsor Report. Isn’t this rebellion? Why should your parishes listen to you or your Presiding Bishop? Doesn’t this make ECUSA little more than well-dressed Baptists, or worse?
But most importantly, ECUSA’s rejection of Jesus Christ in His unique and exclusive claims of salvation (Acts 4:12?). And, refusing to affirm His substitutionary atonement on the cross for us. (Isa. 53?) And, refusing to affirm the responsibility of the Church to evangelize in Jesus’ name. It seems that ECUSA was seeking it’s own Mars Hill, and it’s own altar to the Unknown God, unlike St. Paul.
While I would enjoy discussing General Convention with you, your church has taken a position like Peter by the fire, prior the crucifixion; of denial of the Christ. Such good could have come from our Christian fellowship. I am, as I said at the beginning, sorry. For now, following the Primates in repentance seems the wisest course.
Your friend and brother,