9.30.2007

Sunday at Fourth Baptist

This morning Pastor Levy preached from 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 on the need to worthy of being imitated and the privilege of suffering for Christ.

Tonight was Dr Hauser's last message at Fourth. They are moving to Louisville KY in a week. His text was Acts 20:27-32 with a message of warning of false teachings in the church.

We had a relatively busy weekend as we entertained both yesterday morning and then dinner today.

Back to work tomorrow

Sunday dinner with loved ones



Dave (Kathee's brother)


Colleen (Sister in Law)


Kathee


Kate (Roger's girlfriend)


Katrina (Niece from Ohio State) & Roger


Katrina, Roger, Kate


Nathan


Dinner table # 1


Dinner table # 2



Our niece, Katrina, flew up for the Ohio State - Minnesota game. Today Kathee had a pork roast dinner for all. Katrina flies back to Columbus OH tonight

Peggy Noonan: listening to those whose views we loathe



Hear, Hear: Americans should not fear talking--and listening--to those whose views we loathe

Excerpt:

In 1960 the premier of the Soviet Union came and spoke in the United States. Nikita Khrushchev was our sworn enemy, and a vulgarian--sweaty faced, ill educated, dressed in a suit just off the racks from the Gulag Kresge's. I was a child, but I remember the impression he made. He took off his shoe and banged it, literally, on the soft beige wood of a desk at the U.N., as he fulminated. His nation had nuclear weapons. They were aimed at us.

The new Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, was there too. He was young and bearded and dressed in camouflage; he too, soon, would have missiles pointed at us. He not only went to the U.N. and spoke to the world, he refused to stay at the Waldorf and sweetly chose instead a hotel in Harlem to show his solidarity with America's oppressed. The Americans there seemed to get the joke, and welcomed him with laughter. They knew he was playing them. But then they'd been played before.

Khrushchev's trip and Castro's were all about propaganda, all about sticking it to Uncle Sam. And here's what happened: Nothing. Their presence hurt our country exactly zero percent. In fact it raised us high, reminding the world we are the confident nation that lets its foes speak uncensored. As an adult nation would.

Comments: Read in entirety for a humorous, but possibly apocryphal, anecdote about when Khrushchev's motorcade stalled on Third Avenue. One must not fear reading or hearing broadly!

McCain: No Muslim president

McCain: No Muslim president, U.S. better with Christian one

Excerpt:

GOP presidential candidate John McCain says America is better off with a Christian President and he doesn't want a Muslim in the Oval Office.

"I admire the Islam. There's a lot of good principles in it," he said. "But I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith."

Beliefnet link

Comment: He'll take a lot of heat for this! Based upon the one Muslim in a national office, Congressman Keith Ellison, I doubt I would vote for a Muslim for President. Previous CFG comments on Congressman Ellison

More from AP: McCain: I'd Prefer Christian President

Excerpt:

The Arizona senator was also asked about the confusion over which Christian denomination he belongs to. "I was raised Episcopalian, I have attended the North Phoenix Baptist Church for many years and I am a Christian," McCain said. He added that he has considered being baptized in the Baptist church, but he does not want to do it during the presidential race because "it might appear as if I was doing something that I otherwise wouldn't do."

Mac: Screen Capture Shortcut

The Secret Screen Capture Shortcut

Excerpt:

Command-Shift-3 shortcut for taking a screen capture of your entire screen, and you may even know about Command-Shift-4, which gives you a crosshair cursor so you can choose which area of the screen you want to capture.

Comment: I used the "Command-Shift-4" for the NetBank post yesterday. Vista has "Snipper" for this function. Nothing like this in XP. Very cool! Read full link for more!

John Stumpf: who's responsible for subprime

On the Record: John Stumpf, president and CEO, Wells Fargo & Co.

Excerpt:

Q: Who is responsible for the crazy loans made in the last five to 10 years?

A: There's a shared responsibility here. The Federal Reserve reduced rates to 40- and 50-year lows. Real estate became a very hot asset class. People started buying homes.

Because of such low rates, new people came into the marketplace. People bid up prices and everybody wanted to be in the game.

Certain mortgage lenders - especially those that were not regulated - helped fill the investor market for mortgage paper. And people who purchased homes in 2001 and 2002 and then sold them in 2005 or 2006 made a lot of money, which fueled this whole thing.

Q: Is there a lender responsibility to set a fair marketplace so that people don't get in over their heads?

A: I totally agree. We've been responsible and we didn't do certain things. We could've made a bunch of money doing those things. We put people in products they could afford. All of our loans were underwritten to a fully indexed rate. We have full income verification and full appraisals.

We couldn't understand negative-amortization loans. You owe more than the mortgage you started with. It didn't make any sense for us to do stated-income and stated-asset loans for subprime customers.

Comment: Has Minnesotan common sense! "Stumpf, the second of 11 children who grew up on a Minnesota farm, raised chickens and milked cows as a youngster. "

9.29.2007

DFL Sen. Terri Bonoff to run for Ramstad seat

State legislators to run for Ramstad's seat in U.S. House





Excerpt:

Two of Minnesota's suburban congressional races are about to get more crowded.

In the wide-open Third District, where Republican incumbent Jim Ramstad is retiring, two state legislators are laying the groundwork to run for a seat that has attracted the attention of a wide range of potential candidates.

------

DFL Sen. Terri Bonoff said she plans to formally announce her campaign in mid-October, after she files a federal campaign finance report that reflects her fundraising in late September.

------

Bonoff, a former business executive, won a special election two years ago in a Plymouth-Minnetonka district that had been held by Republicans, and was re-elected last year in a close vote.

Comment: This seat is vulnerable for the Republicans because Ramstad is a moderate Republican and Bonoff is (in my opinion) fiscally conservative! She's dynamic and would be a good congress woman!

Emily hiding




Last night at about 10:20, I said to Kathee, "time for bed". She said that the bed wasn't made yet. Why? Emily was hiding in the clean sheets. I sneaked in to snap her picture.

Six Fingers of Blame

Six Fingers of Blame in the Mortgage Mess

Economic View
Six Fingers of Blame in the Mortgage Mess
By ALAN S. BLINDER
Published: September 30, 2007
Until we diagnose what went wrong with the subprime mortgage market, we cannot even begin to devise policy changes that might protect us from a repeat performance.

Excerpt:

Finger-pointing is often decried both as mean-spirited and as a distraction from the more important task of finding remedies. I beg to differ. Until we diagnose what went wrong with subprime, we cannot even begin to devise policy changes that might protect us from a repeat performance. So here goes. Because so much went wrong, the fingers on one hand will not be enough.

The first finger points at households who borrowed recklessly to buy homes, often saddling themselves with mortgages that were all too likely to default. They should have known better. But what can we do to guard against it happening again?

The six fingers:


  1. Gullible consumers who borrowed recklessly to buy homes
  2. Some lenders sold mortgage products that were plainly inappropriate for customers
  3. Bank regulators for not doing a better job of protecting consumers and ensuring that banks followed sound lending practices
  4. Many investors, swept up in the euphoria of the moment, failed to pay close attention to what they were buying
  5. C.D.O.’s, for collateralized debt obligations, were probably too complex for anyone’s good — and the investment bankers who dreamed them up and marketed them aggressively
  6. Investors placed too much faith in the rating agencies — which, to put it mildly, failed to get it right

Gingrich Says No

Gingrich Says No to White House Bid

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will not run for president in 2008 after determining he could not legally explore a bid and remain as head of his tax-exempt political organization, a spokesman said Saturday.

"Newt is not running," spokesman Rick Tyler said. "It is legally impermissible for him to continue on as chairman of American Solutions (for Winning the Future) and to explore a campaign for president."

Gingrich decided "to continue on raising the challenges America faces and finding solutions to those challenges" as the group's chairman, Tyler said, "rather than pursuing the presidency."

Comment: I'm a fan of his political views but not of the man. Why? His adultery!

Gilbert Keith Chesterton on "Humility"

What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition ... [and] settled upon the organ of conviction, where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.

From Orthodoxy, Gilbert Keith Chesterton, pp 31-32.

Cited by D.A. Carson in Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications, p. 217

Plastic saints

God Made Flesh, Then Plastic: Religious action figures create a different kind of toy story

Anyone seeking a mischievous stocking stuffer for Christopher Hitchens or less exalted scoffers need look no further. A growing phalanx of religious action figures--including Adam, Eve, Daniel, Job, Esther, Goliath, Samson and Jesus--offer a tweaking reminder that despite Heathendom's best efforts, the faith-based marketplace is forever expanding.

Plastic saints, to be sure, aren't exactly new. Mary, mother of Jesus, has long ridden shotgun in Catholic vehicles. Yet some of the faithful, including a few with a gift for retail, concluded that she needed reinforcements. David Socha, chief executive of One2believe, which offers a line of religious action figures, told the Associated Press that there is a "battle for the toy box" under way, in which good and evil vie for the young. "If you're very religious, it's a battle for your children's minds and what they're playing with and pretending," he said. "There are remakes out there of Satan and evil things."

Old Scratch and associates may now have their hands full. Jesus, for example, comes in several incarnations, including a football player, skier, roller blader and the best-selling "Baseball Jesus Sports Statue," offered by Catholic Supply for $20. "A contemporary statue for today's youth," the sales pitch says of the figure, promising a hands-on reminder that "Jesus is with us in everything we do, watching over us & involved in all of our acts & activities." The company's Web site also anoints its statue with a bit of marketplace myrrh: "As seen on the Conan O'Brien show!"

The deployment of Jesus and other biblical bigs to the toy-box war includes some contemporary updates. One supplier, in a bow toward divinity and diversity, offers figures in both dark- and light-skinned models (Adam and Eve, it should be noted, are portrayed in post-fall attire reminiscent of bathing suits). Meantime, at the Family Values Center, there's Moses ($12.99), who comes with "shield and sword, along with fully illustrated comic book." Interestingly, two female dolls--Deborah the Warrior and Queen Esther--cost $24.99. Must be their wardrobes.

Comment: What the world needs more of is real flesh and blood saints who enflesh and live out truth to the glory and honor of the Lord!

Generic drugs

My Doctor switched me over from Lipitor (which is a non-generic drug to treat high cholesterol) to Zocor (a generic drug).

Formerly my co-pay for a three month supply of Lipitor was $ 75. Today I bought a 3 month supply of Zocor for $ 13.33.

For me, both drugs work the same. And what a cost savings for the generic!

Netbank folds


FDIC shuts down NetBank due to defaults

FDIC / NetBank Info

Comment: My first Internet banking experience was with NetBank. The confusing web interface was a turn off and I switched to IngDirect (which I highly recommend)

Excerpt:

NetBank Inc., an online bank with $2.5 billion in assets, was shut down by the government on Friday because of an excessive level of mortgage defaults.

It was the largest savings and loan failure since the tail end of the industry's crisis more than 14 years ago. Federal regulators appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as a receiver for Alpharetta, Ga.-based NetBank.

.....


The FDIC said Friday that $1.5 billion of NetBank's insured deposits will be assumed by ING Bank, also a major online bank that is part of Dutch financial giant ING Groep NV. ING will pay $14 million for the deposits and receive 104,000 new customers.

NetBank, which had no physical branches, sustained significant losses last year "primarily due to early payment defaults on loans sold, weak underwriting, poor documentation, a lack of proper controls, and failed business strategies," the Office of Thrift Supervision said in a statement.

Government shuts down NetBank:
Mortgage defaults cited as FDIC named receiver, ING takes over deposits


Excerpt:

While dozens of mortgage companies have closed due to soaring defaults of home loans made to borrowers with weak, or subprime, credit, those problems previously had occurred among non-bank lenders such as New Century Financial Corp. NetBank, in contrast, is federally regulated.

Loose mortgage standards in recent years — especially among lenders catering to subprime borrowers — have resulted in a spike in home loan defaults.

Bert Ely, a banking consultant based in Alexandria, Va., said NetBank was in "deep trouble" before the subprime mortgage market's woes accelerated this year. Regulators, he said, "should have closed it a long time ago."

9.28.2007

Fun with Excel 2007



Microsoft Excel fails math test

Excerpt:

In a blog post, Microsoft employee David Gainer said that when computer users tried to get Excel 2007 to multiply some pairs of numbers and the result was 65,535, Excel would incorrectly display 100,000 as the answer.

Gainer said Excel makes mistakes multiplying 77.1 by 850, 10.2 by 6,425 and 20.4 by 3,212.5, but the program appears to be able to handle 16,383.75 times 4.


Comment: I actually found this hard to believe. But the above image is from my Vista workstation with Excel 2007. Microsoft will fix .. so it is not a big deal. It's just a little embarrassing (for them)!

Hyperbole Alert!


Edwards: 'Pretty Soon We’re Not Going to Have a Young African-American Male Population in America.'

John Edwards:

“We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.”

Reality:

Despite popular misperception and those who find it a convenient talking point to illustrate inescapable racism, there are more young African-American men in college than in prison. In 2005, according to the Census Bureau, there were 864,000 black men in college. According to Justice Department statistics, there were 802,000 in federal and state prisons and jails; between the ages of 18 and 24, however, black men in college outnumber those incarcerated by 4 to 1.

Singing to the choir

Clinton: $5,000 for Every U.S. Baby

Excerpt:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that every child born in the United States should get a $5,000 "baby bond" from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home.

Clinton, her party's front-runner in the 2008 race, made the suggestion during a forum hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus.

"I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that downpayment on their first home," she said.

The New York senator did not offer any estimate of the total cost of such a program or how she would pay for it. Approximately 4 million babies are born each year in the United States.

Clinton said such an account program would help people get back to the tradition of savings that she remembers as a child, and has become harder to accomplish in the face of rising college and housing costs.

One way of building a stronger economy, she said, is "more savings, starting with the so-called baby bonds idea where every person born in this country would be given that kind of account because we want to make an investment in America's young people."

She argued that wealthy people "get to have all kinds of tax incentives to save, but most people can't afford to do that."


Comments:


  1. Note the audience: "a forum hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus"
  2. Unsaid: How the Democrats would really implement this. It would be something like this - "The child of anyone making more than $ xx,xxx would be illegible"
  3. The annual cost would be 4,000,000 times $ 5,000 = $ 20,000,000,000 per year! Check my math ... I have a hard time with large numbers! That's $ 20 Billion per year


This is a variation of Hoover's "a chicken in every pot" promise! (Except this costs a lot more!)

Another Twin Cities blogger calls Hillary Tooth Fairy

Some foreign-policy sense

Democrats and Iran: Hillary outsmarts her dovish competition

Excerpt:

Kudos to Hillary Clinton--yes, you read that right--for her Senate vote this week urging the U.S. to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization. That's more than can be said for her primary competition of Barack Obama, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson and John Edwards, who assailed her on this score at Wednesday's Democratic Presidential candidates debate at Dartmouth. These are men who seem to fear the Netroots more than the mullahs.

Mrs. Clinton's vote was on a symbolic amendment offered by Connecticut maverick Joe Lieberman and Republicans Jon Kyl and Norm Coleman. After marshaling the evidence of Iran's terrorist activities in Iraq, the amendment stated that "it is a critical national interest of the United States to prevent [Iran] from turning Shi'a militia into a Hezbollah-like force that could serve its interests inside Iraq." Twenty-one Democrats, including Joe Biden and John Kerry, apparently found this too shocking to support and voted nay, as did Republicans Chuck Hagel and Dick Lugar.

We probably shouldn't complain when 76 Senators, including a majority of Democrats, show some foreign-policy sense. Still, it's telling that the Democrats only agreed to the amendment after demanding that its language be edited to remove a statement that "it should be the policy of the United States to stop inside Iraq the violent activities and destabilizing influence" of Iran. Also left on the cutting-room floor, under Democratic duress, was a call "to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq" with respect to Iran and its proxies.



Comments:


  1. Note Minnesota's Republican Senator Norm Coleman above!
  2. My prediction for the Democratic ticket: Hillary for President & Bill Richardson for VP. Why Bill Richardson: balances and adds the ticket this way: SW, Hispanic, relatively moderate, has links to the Clintons, & foreign policy experience (Wiki Bill Richardson).
  3. My prediction for the Republican ticket (foggy right now): I think Tim Pawlenty could be in play as the VP. Why? Younger, could balance the ticket if Mitt Romney or Rudi were top of the ticket.

Please ... NOT Barry Bonds!

Bonds a Twin? Ridiculous, but ...

Excerpt:

The Twins are so determined to bolster their lineup for next season, there were indications Thursday they would even consider signing Barry Bonds.
The San Francisco Giants have announced they will part ways with Bonds at season's end. The all-time home run leader wants to play next year, but soon he'll be a free agent looking for a job.

The chances of Bonds signing a free-agent contract in Minnesota are still remote, but the market could be limited. Bonds, 43, has battled knee problems, and most expect him to sign with an American League team so he can be a full-time designated hitter.

------

Gardenhire was then asked, hypothetically, what he thought about getting a DH who hits more home runs than anybody but doesn't have the greatest clubhouse reputation.

"Hypothetically, I think we could try to make just about anything work," he said. "I think if people come here and get with our system, I think they'd enjoy it."

Seriously, though, Bonds? Indications around the Twins are, yes. Maybe they'll never get him, but that's how serious they are about scoring more in 2008.


Comment: I hope that Twins skip this option!

God’s Absolute Sovereignty

John MacArthur: God’s Absolute Sovereignty

Intro:

No doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. Human pride loathes the suggestion that God orders everything, controls everything, rules over everything. The carnal mind, burning with enmity against God, abhors the biblical teaching that nothing comes to pass except according to His eternal decrees. Most of all, the flesh hates the notion that salvation is entirely God’s work. If God chose who would be saved, and if His choice was settled before the foundation of the world, then believers deserve no credit for any aspect of their salvation.

But that is, after all, precisely what Scripture teaches. Even faith is God’s gracious gift to His elect. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father” (John 6:65). “Nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). Therefore no one who is saved has anything to boast about (cf Eph. 2:8, 9). “Salvation is from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).

The doctrine of divine election is explicitly taught throughout Scripture. For example, in the New Testament epistles alone, we learn that all believers are “chosen of God” (Titus 1:1). We were “predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11, emphasis added). “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world . . . He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will” (vv. 4, 5). We “are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son . . . and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Rom. 8:28–30).


Comment: The encouraging message of the day! I trust you will read!

9.27.2007

Dick Lamm in immigration debate

Lamm stays tough in immigration debate

Excerpt:

Former Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm and a Boston economist offered vastly different views of the impact illegal immigrants have on U.S. workers and the economy during a debate today at Metro State College.

Lamm, who was a leader in the movement to strip nonessential services from illegal immigrants, said the flow of cheap labor provided by illegal workers depresses wages and drains tax revenues to cover the cost of benefits such as education and health care.

Lamm faced free-market economist Benjamin Powell, an assistant professor of economics at Boston's Suffolk University.

----

Lamm said illegal immigrants offer business a cheap labor source that depresses the wages of those who are here legally. Because illegal workers pay little in taxes, Americans bear the cost of educating their children and for other services, he added.

"You don't pay your own way — you are subsidized by the taxpayers. I don't mind doing it, but I can't do it for the whole world," said Lamm.

Comment: Dick Lamm is the former Governor of Colorado. He is famous for this quote: ""We've got a duty to die and get out of the way with all of our machines and artificial hearts and everything else like that and let the other society, our kids, build a reasonable life."

Indian ragpickers - 300,000 of them!


Picking Up Trash by Hand, and Yearning for Dignity

New Delhi Journal
Picking Up Trash by Hand, and Yearning for Dignity
By AMELIA GENTLEMAN
Published: September 27, 2007
An essential class of workers, garbage collectors in India’s capital are among the city’s poorest and most marginalized groups.

Excerpt:

A garbage collector in India’s capital, Ms. Begum is one of 300,000 little-seen workers who perform a vital role for the city: rifling through the detritus of modern life, recycling anything of worth and carefully disposing of the rest.

More than 95 percent of New Delhi has no formal system of house-to-house garbage collection, so it falls to the city’s ragpickers, one of India’s poorest and most marginalized groups, to provide this basic service. They are not paid by the state, relying instead on donations from the communities they serve and on meager profits from the sale of discarded items.

Comment: Interesting read. First I had heard of this! Image from toxicslink.blogspot.com

Technical read but interesting

ReiserFS bugs, 32-bit vs 64-bit kernels, cache vs inode memory

Comment: I use Fastmail as my email server. Because I work with servers regularly I found this article interesting.

More on inode and the Reiser File System

Fringe

6 Catholic nuns in Arkansas excommunicated for heresy

Excerpt:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Six Catholic nuns have been excommunicated for heresy after refusing to give up membership in a Canadian sect whose founder claims to be possessed by the Virgin Mary, the Diocese of Little Rock announced Wednesday.

The Rev. J. Gaston Hebert, the diocese administrator, said he notified the nuns of the decision Tuesday night after they refused to recant the teachings of the Community of the Lady of All Nations, also known as the Army of Mary.

Finding your spouse on the Internet (anonymously)

Online couple cheated with each other

A married couple who didn't realise they were chatting each other up on the internet are divorcing.

Sana Klaric and husband Adnan, who used the names "Sweetie" and "Prince of Joy" in an online chatroom, spent hours telling each other about their marriage troubles, Metro.co.uk reported.

The truth emerged when the two turned up for a date. Now the pair, from Zenica in central Bosnia, are divorcing after accusing each other of being unfaithful.

"I was suddenly in love. It was amazing. We seemed to be stuck in the same kind of miserable marriage. How right that turned out to be," Sana, 27, said.

Adnan, 32, said: "I still find it hard to believe that Sweetie, who wrote such wonderful things, is actually the same woman I married and who has not said a nice word to me for years".


Several bloggers have commented:

Larry Rogier: I Love You ... Oops, No I Don't

Don Johnson: on a sad commentary on the modern world

Comment: Made me think of Johnny Cash: Frankie's Man. Best to Walk the Line!


I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine, I walk the line

I find it very, very easy to be true
I find myself alone when each day is through
Yes, I'll admit that I'm a fool for you
Because you're mine, I walk the line

As sure as night is dark and day is light
I keep you on my mind both day and night
And happiness I've known proves that it's right
Because you're mine, I walk the line

You've got a way to keep me on your side
You give me cause for love that I can't hide
For you I know I'd even try to turn the tide
Because you're mine, I walk the line

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine, I walk the line

9.26.2007

"This is going to cause pain"

Plan Uses Taxes to Fight Climate Change

Excerpt:

WASHINGTON -- Dealing with global warming will be painful, says one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress. To back up his claim he is proposing a recipe many people won't like _ a 50-cent gasoline tax, a carbon tax and scaling back tax breaks for some home owners.

"I'm trying to have everybody understand that this is going to cost and that it's going to have a measure of pain that you're not going to like," Rep. John Dingell, who is marking his 52nd year in Congress, said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Dingell will offer a "discussion draft" outlining his tax proposals on Thursday, the same day that President Bush holds a two-day conference to discuss voluntary efforts to combat climate change.

But Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that will craft climate legislation, is making it clear that he believes tackling global warming will require a lot more if it is to be taken seriously.

"This is going to cause pain," he said, adding that he wants to make certain "the pain is shared in a way that is fair, proper, acceptable and accomplishes the basic purpose" of reducing greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.

Dingell said he's not sure what the final climate package will include when the House takes it up for a vote. The taxes measures he's proposing, in fact, will be taken up by another House committee. And the Senate is considering a market-based system that would set an economy-wide ceiling on the amount of carbon dioxide that would be allowed to be released.

Dingell says he hasn't rule out such a so-called "cap-and-trade" system, either, but that at least for now he wants to float what he believes is a better idea. He will propose for discussion:

_A 50-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline and jet fuel, phased in over five years, on top of existing taxes.

_A tax on carbon, at $50 a ton, released from burning coal, petroleum or natural gas.

_Phaseout of the interest tax deduction on home mortgages for homes over 3,000 square feet. Owners would keep most of the deduction for homes at the lower end of the scale, but it would be eliminated entirely for homes of 4,200 feet or more.

He estimates that would affect 10 percent of homeowners. He says "it's only fair" to tax those who buy large suburban houses and create urban sprawl. Historic and farm houses would be exempted.

Comment: This should come a no surprise to anyone with any knowledge of a history of the Democrats!

Are We Supposed to Be Surprised or Something???

Solomon Dedicates the Temple

Tonight's reading: 2 Chronicles 7, 8

When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house. When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying:

“For He is good,
For His mercy endures forever.”

Congressional Backbone redux


House condemns MoveOn.org attack on Petraeus, praises general

Excerpt:

By a 341-79 vote, the House passed a resolution praising the patriotism Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and condemning a MoveOn.org ad that referred to Petraeus as "General Betray Us."

The liberal group's full-page ad appeared earlier this month in The New York Times and has served as a rallying point for Republicans. President Bush called the ad "disgusting" and criticized Democrats such as Sen. Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the party's nomination, for being afraid of irritating the group.

"Such unwarranted attacks should be strongly condemned by Republicans and Democrats alike," said Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., during brief debate on the resolution.


Wisconsin Rep. David Obey, a veteran Democrat, recounted how he left the Republican Party during the era of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., and said that lawmakers have an obligation to criticize their allies as well as their enemies when they go too far.


CNN article

MSNBC article


Comment: I'm not sure which bill this was - I'm looking to see how Ellison voted (but I think I already know!). Image from MSNBC

If anyone can help with the bill # and the vote, please comment. Thanks

I think it is this bill: H J RES 52

Draft the old?

Uncle Sam Wants You, Gramps - How come "national service" proponents never talk about drafting the old?

Excerpt:

One of the most interesting (and in my view sinister) aspects of proposals for mandatory "national service" is that they virtually always target only the young, usually 18- to 21-year-olds. This might be understandable if the proposals were limited to military service. But most current proposals (including those by Rep. Charles Rangel, Sen. John McCain, Bill Buckley, the Democratic Leadership Conference and Rep. Rahm Emanuel), incorporate civilian service as well. When it comes to office work and light menial labor, there are many elderly and middle-aged people who can do the job just as well as 18-21 year olds can, if not better.

Indeed, the moral case for conscripting the elderly for civilian service is arguably stronger than that for drafting the young. Many elderly people are healthy enough to perform nonstrenuous forms of "national service." Unlike the young, the elderly usually won't have to postpone careers, marriage and educational opportunities to fulfill their forced-labor obligations. Moreover, the elderly, to a far greater extent than the young, are beneficiaries of massive government redistributive programs, such as Social Security and Medicare--programs that transfer enormous amounts of wealth from other age groups to themselves. Nonelderly poor people who receive welfare benefits are required to work (or at least be looking for work) under the 1996 welfare reform law; it stands to reason that the elderly (most of whom are far from poor) can be required to work for the vastly larger government benefits that they receive.

Middle-aged people are also not obviously inferior candidates for civilian "national service" than the young. I know I could do most kinds of service better today than when I was 18. To be clear, I am not arguing for imposing forced labor on the elderly or the middle-aged; but I do believe that doing so would be no worse than imposing that burden on the young.


Comment: If the Marines would take a 58 year old guy who walked with crutches, I would go! I could serve in some IT function! But the purpose of the article is to highlight the inconsistencies in the idea of a national draft for "national service"!

* Ball


Verdict in: Bonds ball headed for Cooperstown

Excerpt:

The verdict of baseball fans is in: The ball Barry Bonds hit for his historic 756th home run will be branded with an asterisk and donated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.


Comment: Seems appropriate!

9.25.2007

Ryan Martin on corporate worship

The church assembles for worship, part 1

Excerpt:

For millennia, the church understood the purpose of its gathering to be for worship. Today some scholars argue that “Christians worship everywhere,” that there “was no chapter and verse” (so to speak) that indicated that the early church thought of its assembly as a time for worship.

This should be a warning to us on the dangers of exegesis. Sometimes we want the Scriptures to affirm certain theological themes that are true in a way that satisfies our own strict requirements, but failing to allow the Scriptures to affirm those themes in its way.

I believe that there are several passages in the New Testament that point to the assembly as worship. Here I want to highlight a few of them off and on over the next few days.

The first is the phrase “house of God.” While this phrase undoubtedly meant to give the church the nuance of the meaning of the Graeco-Roman household, I do not believe that it can be so easily divorced from its Old Testament referent, traces of which we see in the Gospels.

In 1 Timothy 3:15, Paul says that he wants Timothy to know how to behave in the “household of God,” clearly equating this phrase with the church, as we see in the following phrase, “the church of the living God.”


Comment: I only excerpted a small portion of his article. Read the whole! Thanks Ryan!

French (Sarkozy) Backbone!

Sarkozy says letting Iran go nuclear could cause war

Excerpt:

In his maiden speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Sarkozy said: "There will be no peace in the world if the international community falters in the face of nuclear arms proliferation."

Iran was entitled to nuclear power for civilian purposes, he said, "but if we allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, we would incur an unacceptable risk to stability in the region and in the world".

In a broader warning against the dangers of appeasement, the new French leader said: "Weakness and renunciation do not lead to peace. They lead to war."

Comment: Wow a breath of fresh air! What a change (improvement!) from Jacques Chirac!

A rare display of congressional backbone!

Congress Denounces Iran's Ahmadinejad

Excerpt:

Congress signaled its disapproval of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a vote Tuesday to tighten sanctions against his government and a call to designate his army a terrorist group.

The swift rebuke was a rare display of bipartisan cooperation in a Congress bitterly divided on the Iraq war. It reflected lawmakers' long-standing nervousness about Tehran's intentions in the region, particularly toward Israel—a sentiment fueled by the pro-Israeli lobby whose influence reaches across party lines in Congress.

"Iran faces a choice between a very big carrot and a very sharp stick," said Rep. Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "It is my hope that they will take the carrot. But today, we are putting the stick in place."

The House passed, by a 397-16 vote, a proposal by Lantos, D-Calif., aimed at blocking foreign investment in Iran, in particular its lucrative energy sector. The bill would specifically bar the president from waiving U.S. sanctions.

Current law imposes sanctions against any foreign company that invests $20 million or more in Iran's energy industry, although the U.S. has waived or ignored sanction laws in exchange for European support on nonproliferation issues.

In the Senate, Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., proposed a nonbinding resolution urging the State Department to label Iran's military—the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—a terrorist organization.



Comment: Who are the 16 that voted "no"? (Democrats in roman; Republicans in italic; Independents underlined)

One of the No's: Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) This is the guy who said Bush is like Hitler!


Man Rules

(From my Sister-in-Law)

The Man Rules­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down

We always hear 'the rules' From the female side.

Now here are the rules from the male side.

These are our rules! Please note.. these are all numbered '1 ' ON PURPOSE!

1. Men are NOT mind readers.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become Null and void after 7 Days.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one

1. You can either ask us to do something Or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials..

1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say 'nothing,' We will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, Expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... Really .

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as football OR bASEBALL.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight;


But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.

Pass this to as many men as you can - to give them a laugh.

Pass this to as many women as you can -

to give them a bigger laugh.

The gold of Parvaim

From our reading in 2 Chronicles 3 & 4 last night:

2 Chronicles 3:6, "He adorned the temple with precious stones. And the gold he used was gold of Parvaim" (NASB)

2 Chronicles 3:6 in 5 versions

Kathee and I stopped and looked for a marginal note to explain. Finding none, I looked up Parvaim in the ISBE (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia):

PARVAIM - par-va'-im (parwayim; Septuagint Pharouaim):

The word occurs only in 2 Chronicles 3:6, as the place from which Solomon obtained gold for the decoration of his Temple. A derivation is given from the Sanskrit purva, "eastern," so that the name might be a vague term for the East (Gesenius, Thesaurus, 1125). Whether there was such a place in arabia is doubtful. Farwa in Yemen has been suggested, and also Saq el Farwain in Yemamah. Some have considered the name a shortened form of Cepharvayim which occurs in the Syriac and Targum Jonathan for the "Sephar" of Genesis 10:30.

A. S. Fulton

2 funny photos

Note her right hand!


Note hair color and what end of the camera she is looking into!


My Sister, Nancy, sent these to me!

9.24.2007

Moneydance

Moneydance

I installed Moneydance on the MacBook tonight. I've been using this personal financial manager for 2 years on my Suse 9.2 desktop. I had an earlier version and took advantage of this opportunity (new computer) to upgrade and import the files from Linux.

It was straightforward:


  1. I exported 2 years of finances to a QIF file
  2. I emailed said file to self and shut down the Linux box
  3. I downloaded Moneydance to the Mac and registered the product
  4. I imported the QIF file
  5. And set up the on-line banking (Wells Fargo)
  6. It went smoothly and all is well.


Moneydance is a cross platform financial product: Windows / Linux / Mac. I like it because it performs faster than Quicken. It does not have all of the functionality of Quicken but has more than I need. Moneydance uses the OFX (Open Financial Exchange) format for financial institution connectivity. Pretty slick .... check it out! Here's a nice comparison of financial packages

Ahmadinejad at Columbia



Iran leader condemned by university host

Quotes:

On Iran's intent: "We are a peace-loving nation"


On the Holocaust: "Why is it that the Palestinian people are paying the price for an event they had nothing to do with?" ... "Granted this happened, what does it have to do with the Palestian people?"


On the destruction of Israel: "We love all nations. We are friends with the Jewish people"


On human rights: "People in Iran are very joyous, happy people ... They’re very free in expressing what they think.” ... [women in Iran were] “the freest women in the world ... They’re active in every level of society"

Earlier CFG posts on Ahmadinejad



Below are previous Ahmadinejad quotes on Israel (Source):


  1. "Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury."
  2. "Remove Israel before it is too late and save yourself from the fury of regional nations."
  3. "The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of a war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land. As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."
  4. "If the West does not support Israel, this regime will be toppled. As it has lost its raison d' tre, Israel will be annihilated."
  5. "Israel is a tyrannical regime that will one day will be destroyed."
  6. "Israel is a rotten, dried tree that will be annihilated in one storm."

Baptist business meeting gone bad!

Baptist pastor arrested during meeting

Excerpt:

An organizational meeting between divided members of St. Mary Primitive Baptist Church became heated today and ended up with the arrest of the church's pastor.

The Rev. Victor Broadenax, pastor of the church at 454 W. Call St. since 2003, was arrested on a charge of battery.

The incident occurred during a meeting of about 100 church members, Sgt. Annaliese Wierenga of the Leon County Sheriff's Office said.

Sheriff's deputies had been called to the church as members tried to meet to discuss Broadenax's continued role with the church. His supporters were in attendance as well as Primitive Baptist Church leaders who say he is no longer the church's leader.

Wierenga said members were told that the church's business needed to be decided with legal counsel, not law enforcement. But because of the size of the crowd and the tension, a deputy remained on the property to secure the peace, she said.

At one point during the meeting, a Primitive Baptist Church leader was addressing the crowd at the microphone when Broadenax reportedly walked up and grabbed the elder around the neck in an attempt to remove the microphone.


Comment: A gentle reminder that all things must be done "be done decently and in order" (1 Corinthians 14:40) and that the Pastor is to be "not violent ... gentle, not quarrelsome" (1 Timothy 3:3). Interesting church name: "St. Mary Primitive Baptist Church"!

9.23.2007

Ten Commandments - Branson



Comment: Not my photo. In a prominent park (I think private) - visible as you enter town.

Photo from www.godandcountrybranson.com

Vacation photo's # 2



Titanic exhibit


Henry J outside of 50's diner


Starlight theatre


Steve Green (my cousin)


Fish hatchery


Fish hatchery


Truman birthplace (Lamar, MO)


Beatles tribute band



Vacation photo's # 1

Condo:





9.22.2007

Back from Branson

We arrived home from vacation at 6:30 tonight. We ordered pizza in and now are relaxing. I took a lot of pictures but need to upload to Photobucket before I post any.

Here's a summary of our trip:


  1. We had a 2 bedroom / 2 bath condo. While we only used one bedroom the spaciousness of the condo was nice.
  2. We attended 5 shows:

    1. Andy Williams
    2. Spirit of the Dance
    3. Lost in the 50's with the Platters
    4. Johnny Cash ... a Tribute
    5. Liverpool Legends

  3. We toured The Titanic

    Other:

    1. Just like last year, I was called (cell phone) about a work issue. I called my boss and passed it onto him
    2. We had discounted tickets to all of the shows - only spent $ 142 total on show tickets
    3. I endured 2 time share presentions (how we got discounted tickets) and managed to NOT buy! NO NO NO!!! (You have to practice this in front of a mirror before a time share presentation!)
    4. We ate most meals at the condo ... saving $$$
    5. We had some car issues ... I think the alternator is going bad. Also the transmission shifted funny multipl times today. Both will have to be looked at
    6. We worshiped at Branson Bible Church last Sunday

  4. We visited the The Veterans Memorial
  5. We visited Eureka Springs
  6. We connected with my cousin, Steve Green, in Mena Arkansas.
  7. We drove over 2000 miles
  8. I read most of the books that I took along

9.14.2007

Missionary dating

A Match Made on Earth: When Christians date outside the fold.

I could be considered the beneficiary of "missionary dating". Back in 1969 I met and dated Brenda, later attended her church, and in the Fall of that year was saved.

In retrospective, it was not a healthy relationship. It was not a Christ honoring relationship. My conclusion: "missionary dating" is an oxymoron!

Excerpt from the article:

For evangelicals who want to pair up with others of the same faith but don't manage to do so in their early 20s, trouble lies ahead, particularly for women. Evangelical churches now typically have a 60-40 split between women and men, which means that there are many more single evangelical women out there than their male counterparts. As Ms. Cockrel explains, "I have friends who wanted to marry a Christian guy, are still single, and are more and more open to dating non-Christians as they get older. They're tired of waiting."

Margaret Nagib, a 35-year-old single psychologist who lives outside of Chicago, sympathizes. "Sometimes it's just nice to go out on a date." Ms. Nagib was seeing a non-Christian for three months earlier this year. She talked with him very early on about her faith and even told him that she would "never consider being serious with someone who wasn't Christian." Ms. Nagib says that when he told her he was agnostic, she could have ended it right then, but the two "clicked really well." He went to church with her and read a book on Christianity that she recommended, but ultimately the two broke up. He asked how her faith would affect their relationship if they got married. "When I think of our wedding ceremony, I want it to glorify God. And when I think of marriage and obviously children, they should glorify God."

------
But pastors regularly remind their flocks to avoid dating outside the faith. Lee Strobel, formerly a teaching pastor at Saddleback Church in Southern California and the author of "Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage," tells people that "conjugal evangelism" doesn't work. "If you're feeling like if I just marry this person, I'll be able to influence him toward God, it's self-deception." He notes that "the nonbeliever is more likely to pull the Christian away from his faith." This is a contention, by the way, that sociologists, like Brad Wilcox at the University of Virginia, generally support. Mr. Wilcox explains: "Evangelicals who marry nonevangelicals are typically less likely to remain as or become as devout as those who marry within the fold."

9.13.2007

Vacation

We are packing up and leaving tomorrow for Branson, Missouri.

We've never been there and so we don't know what to expect. We have a condo rented for the entire week commencing on Saturday.

What I hope to do:


  1. Read. I am taking 3 Mac OS X books, the DBTS journal, The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception, Holy Habits: A Womans Guide to Intentional Living (Kathee's book), World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism, Reclaiming The Center: Confronting Evangelical Accommodation In Postmodern Times, and Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications (which I've half read).
  2. Not work or think about work!
  3. Not use the Internet
  4. Take some photos
  5. Worship somewhere I've never been on Sunday (to be determined)
  6. Eat BBQ in Independence MO (tomorrow night I hope!)
  7. Take in 2-3 shows at Branson (to be determined)
  8. Visit Titanic exhibit in Branson
  9. Visit Eureka Springs, MO


Work:

  1. Another stressful week at work but I am going to close my eyes in sleep tonight and not think about it
  2. I left with ZERO emails in my inbox


Other:

  1. I got the MAC ICAL application to subscribe to 4 Google calendars that I maintain. I was having a hard time figuring it out and was on the phone with Apple for 2 hours. They couldn't figure it out either
  2. After taking an hour break, I subscribed the New York Yankees calendar ... saw how that worked and then followed that path with my Google calendars. EZ. Sadly I wasted 2 hours of my time and an Apple technicians time when it was (as we call it in the business) "probable user error"


Roger is watching the house, mowing, feeding the cats, changing cat litter, watering plants, picking up the newspapers and the mail.

Praise: Last October when we left on vacation my back was bothering me. I've had back pain for most of the last 11 months (including pain stepping with left foot, and weakness in my left leg). About August the 15th it stopped. My left leg is stronger. I'm not sure why the change, but I give God the glory and the praise for it.

So blog readers ... I'm signing off ... and won't be back until Sunday 9/23!

ATM fees

Bank of America raises ATM fees to $3

Excerpt:

Bank of America Corp. has raised surcharges for non-customers at most of its ATMs nationwide to $3 from $2.

The Charlotte-based bank, which has more than 17,000 ATMs, made the change in most markets in July and August, spokeswoman Betty Riess said.

Bank of America (Charts, Fortune 500) has the largest ATM network in the United States and the higher fees could affect millions who do not hold consumer banking accounts there.

Comment: Ingdirect has a product called Electric Orange that has free ATM's

Fudging attendance numbers

I'm not talking about churches who claim to have untold numbers in Sunday School (think "World's Largest Sunday School!").

Check out these two reports from a Major League baseball game:

After 12 Innings, Nats Left Feeling Vacant Grueling Day In Desolate Park Ends With Loss: Marlins 5, Nationals 4

Excerpt:

The loss, Washington's second straight to the Marlins, left the visitor's clubhouse at Dolphin Stadium nearly as silent as the stadium had been much of the afternoon. There were perhaps 400 people in attendance. Players seemed both exasperated and exhausted by the fruitless performance that barely anyone was there to see.

"It looked, actually, like an extended spring game," Nationals Manager Manny Acta said about the crowd at the stadium, which seats 75,000 fans for football games. "It was so sad, but we still got to play the game. [Linden] just hit the ball perfectly -- the only place he could hit it in the infield and beat it out."


MLB Boxscore: Florida 5, Washington 4

Official MLB attendance: Att: 10,121.

Comments: Of course the answer is the the official numbers are the "paid attendance". The picture in the Washington Post article is stark! 400 folk in a 75,000 stadium!

Peace for all ... except Israel!

Ahmadinejad: Israel "cannot continue its life"

Excerpt:

Iran wants "peace and friendship for all," the country's president said Wednesday while again denying Western assertions his nation is pursuing nuclear weapons and trying to destabilize Iraq.

But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took a hard line against Israel, calling it "an invader" and saying it "cannot continue its life."

Previous Madman alerts!

News you can't use!

Earth Might Survive Sun’s Explosion

Excerpts:

About five billion years from now, astronomers say, the Sun will run out of hydrogen fuel and swell temporarily more than 100 times in diameter into a so-called red giant, swallowing Mercury and Venus and dooming life on Earth, but perhaps not Earth itself.

----

Dr. Silvotti said that the results showed that a planet at the Earth’s distance “can survive” the red giant and he hoped the discovery would spur searches for more like it. “With some statistics and new detailed models we will be able to say something more even to the destiny of our Earth (which, as we all know, has much more urgent problems by the way),” he said in an e-mail message.

Comment: Glad we pay these scientists for this hard work! Nice to know that 5,000,000,000 years from now the earth will survive!

Now what's really going to happen:

2 Peter 3:10-13, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."

Shrinking kilogram

Official prototype of kilogram mysteriously losing weight

The 118-year-old cylinder that is the international prototype for the metric mass, kept tightly under lock and key outside Paris, is mysteriously losing weight -- if ever so slightly. Physicist Richard Davis of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Sevres, southwest of Paris, says the reference kilo appears to have lost 50 micrograms compared with the average of dozens of copies.

"The mystery is that they were all made of the same material, and many were made at the same time and kept under the same conditions, and yet the masses among them are slowly drifting apart," he said. "We don't really have a good hypothesis for it."

Comment: For me the masses are slowing coming together!

9.12.2007

Fetch FTP and Unix commands

Tonight's MAC projects:


  1. I downloaded and installed Fetch FTP and tried it out with my jrpeet.com site. Works fine. I may still by CuteFTP as I like that interface a little better.
  2. I received Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger today and scanned through it. I will be taking this on vacation with me.
  3. I was unable to register the ICAL (calendar) product. I intend to call Apple support tomorrow night (must call before 8)
  4. Roger showed me how to enable the right mouse click with the Mighty Mouse.


Much still to learn!

Two people today (a coworker and my Son) asked me how I would compare / contrast Vista with OS X Tiger. I have been using Vista at work for 6 months. Almost all of my daily work is done on Vista so I have a lot of experience with it. I think that OS X Tiger has it all over Vista. There is no comparison! The transition from XP or Vista to OS X has a little bit of a learning curve, but OS X is much more intuitive and friendly. I love it.

Also, my MACBook runs significantly cooler than my Dell / and is quieter!

Challenge to Global Warming





Challenge to Scientific Consensus on Global Warming: Analysis Finds Hundreds of Scientists Have Published Evidence Countering Man-Made Global Warming Fears

Excerpts:

More than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares.
-------
Despite being published in such journals such as Science, Nature and Geophysical Review Letters, these scientists have gotten little media attention. "Not all of these researchers would describe themselves as global warming skeptics," said Avery, "but the evidence in their studies is there for all to see."
-------
"Two thousand years of published human histories say that the warm periods were good for people," says Avery. "It was the harsh, unstable Dark Ages and Little Ice Age that brought bigger storms, untimely frost, widespread famine and plagues of disease." "There may have been a consensus of guesses among climate model-builders," says Singer. "However, the models only reflect the warming, not its cause." He noted that about 70 percent of the earth's post-1850 warming came before 1940, and thus was probably not caused by human-emitted greenhouse gases. The net post-1940 warming totals only a tiny 0.2 degrees C.

The historic evidence of the natural cycle includes the 5000-year record of Nile floods, 1st-century Roman wine production in Britain, and thousands of museum paintings that portrayed sunnier skies during the Medieval Warming and more cloudiness during the Little Ice Age. The physical evidence comes from oxygen isotopes, beryllium ions, tiny sea and pollen fossils, and ancient tree rings. The evidence recovered from ice cores, sea and lake sediments, cave stalagmites and glaciers has been analyzed by electron microscopes, satellites, and computers. Temperatures during the Medieval Warming Period on California's Whitewing Mountain must have been 3.2 degrees warmer than today, says Constance Millar of the U.S. Forest Service, based on her study of seven species of relict trees that grew above today's tree line.

Singer emphasized, "Humans have known since the invention of the telescope that the earth's climate variations were linked to the sunspot cycle, but we had not understood how. Recent experiments have demonstrated that more or fewer cosmic rays hitting the earth create more or fewer of the low, cooling clouds that deflect solar heat back into space-amplifying small variations in the intensity of the sun.


Major points:


  1. Natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age
  2. Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun's irradiance. "This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that a scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global temperature increases since 1850," said Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Dennis Avery.
  3. Sea levels are failing to rise
  4. Our storms and droughts are becoming fewer and milder with this warming as they did during previous global warmings
  5. Human deaths will be reduced with warming because cold kills twice as many people as heat
  6. Corals, trees, birds, mammals, and butterflies are adapting well to the routine reality of changing climate.



Comments: Book looks interesting. My book queue is full right now so I probably will not immediately order it!

Another reason I don't use aftershave!

Wisconsin man sues when aftershave ignites

Excerpt:

According to court filings, Lewitzke was burned while camping with family members on Memorial Day in 2004 in Wisconsin Dells, a popular resort area outside of Madison.


He washed and shaved in a bathhouse on the camp grounds and applied Brut lotion to his face, neck and chest with his hands. He also used the aerosol deodorant. He then went to a fire pit to cook breakfast.


His face, neck and chest ignited while he was starting the cooking fire, his lawsuit says.


Lewitzke's attorney, Michael Hanrahan, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his client suffered burns on 30 percent of his body and underwent three skin grafts.


He claims in court documents that the Brut products and their packaging were the direct cause of Lewitzke's injuries and were defective because they were "unreasonably dangerous.'' The suit also says the products' labeling was unsafe because it should have warned about the danger of fires, and the manufacturers should have tried to minimize that risk.


Brut's manufacturers and companies selling the products should be held liable for Lewitzke's injuries, medical expenses, and the pain and disability he has suffered, the lawsuit argues.


"Our view is there is no warning that after you apply it, you remain flammable for some period of time,'' Hanrahan told the newspaper. "You aren't thinking, 'I'm still flammable.'''

Comment: The other reasons: 1.) It stings; 2.) I don't like the smell; 3.) Seems like a waste of money!

Saving the General Store

Struggling to Save a Main Street Mainstay

Small Business
Struggling to Save a Main Street Mainstay
By STACEY STOWE
Published: September 9, 2007
Sounds romantic, but running a general store is anything but.

Excerpt:

THE newspapers for sale in the window were 10 days old, and the shelves were largely bare but for a few boxes of cake mix and saltines. Established in 1812, the Colebrook Store is the oldest continuously operated general store in the state. But since mid-July this nostalgia-soaked spot across from town hall, where the coffee is hot and the gossip lukewarm, has been closed for vacation.

To the dismay of many of its neighbors, it is on the market and may be closed for good.

“It is the center of town, as far as I’m concerned,” said Jerry Rathbun, the first selectman in this postcard-perfect town of 1,500 in the state’s northwest corner. “Without it, the whole place kind of dies.”

General stores are gradually vanishing, victims of changing economics and consumer habits. In Connecticut only a handful remain, leaving many towns with fluorescent-lighted gas-station quick marts instead.

In Colebrook, signs in the window of the general store said: “Closed for Vacation. Be back July 17.” Two days later, the door was still closed. Joan M. Durant, the town assessor’s clerk, said: “I don’t think it has ever been closed for vacation. Now everyone is waiting to see if it will reopen.”

Dennis Spector, a college professor who lives in town, was standing outside wondering where to get his coffee. “There’s no Starbucks,” he said.

When reached later that day, the owner, Lora C. Murphy, 53, said that, as a mother of two, including a daughter with special needs, she could not afford to continue running the store at a loss. Ms. Murphy has owned the place for about two years. Customers may rave about the ├ęclairs and like the idea of running into neighbors when they buy the newspaper, she said, but that’s not enough. “It’s really hard because the local community sees it as a novelty.”

Comment: I'm not sure they are worth saving! One of my favorite childhood memories was the general store in Alto Michigan. Alto main drag is virtually a ghost town now. The hardware store is gone (that was a cool place, you could just walk in and buy BB's!). The bank is gone. So are most of the stores. I think there is still a bar there. Not news ... but people want quality at a reasonable price. In my teen years (perhaps my last visit to Alto's general store), the goods were dusty and the whole place had a certain dank spell about it.

Doctor Says Bills’ Everett Will Walk Again

Doctor Says Bills’ Everett Will Walk Again



Sports / Pro Football
Doctor Says Bills’ Everett Will Walk Again
By MATT HIGGINS
Published: September 12, 2007
One day after doctors described his condition as potentially life-threatening, Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett was moving his arms and legs Tuesday.

Excerpt:

The doctor who performed surgery on Everett, Andrew Cappuccino, said Everett’s condition had “improved.”

Another doctor, who has consulted with Cappuccino, said Tuesday that Everett could eventually walk out of the hospital.

“Kevin Everett is moving his arms and legs, his legs stronger than his arms,” said the consulting doctor, the neurosurgeon Barth Green. “He’s moving them both to a point, to a degree that he will end up walking. He will walk out of the hospital.”

Comment: Encouraging news.

Deseret Morning News reviews Mill City Museum




Milling around — Minneapolis' Mill City Museum pays homage to the flour industry

Excerpt:


Some people might question the wisdom of building a museum inside a flour mill that exploded once and caught fire twice. But, as real-estate agents say, it's all about location.

It's fitting that Minneapolis' Mill City Museum is housed within the ruins of the old Washburn "A" mill — the forerunner to General Mills — because it helped to make Minneapolis the "flour milling capital of the world" from 1880-1930.

And it's fitting that the museum is located next to St. Anthony Falls — the only falls on the Mississippi River — because it supplied the mills with water power to grind wheat into flour.

And it's fitting that the museum offers a view of the old Pillsbury "A" Mill across the river — another major mill that helped give Minneapolis the "Mill City" nickname.

The numerous mills that sprang up along St. Anthony Falls industrialized flour production and had a major influence on how Americans got their daily bread. The surrounding Great Plains grain belt supplied up to 175 railroad cars of wheat a day, to be made into flour and shipped all over the world


Mill City Museum


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Comment: Where we take out of state visitors. We've been here 4 or 5 times.

A bad day at the bank

Frisco Wells Fargo mistakes customer for a bank robber

Excerpt:

A man from Little Elm, Derrill Ewans, visits a Wells Fargo bank in Frisco in order to get a car loan. After carrying on as a normal human would with the loan officers, a bank teller observing the activities decides that he looks suspicious and calls the police. The teller calls the police a second time to report that Ewans had a gun. After police swarmed the bank, in addition to handcuffing his girlfriend who was waiting outside in the car with their three-year-old daughter, they took Ewans and made him lie down on the pavement while they held guns on him. After finally allowing him to sit up and holding him for 30 minutes, they realized that he did not have a gun on him, much less a desire to do anything in the bank but get a car loan.

Map Frisco, TX

Comment: He might go to Lending Tree next time!

9.11.2007

Mac HTML editor

Taco HTML editor

Because I do some web work, I need both an HTML editor and a FTP client. I've used Edit Plus for over 10 years (and still use it at work!). I really like this editor. I also use it to edit Cold Fusion code. But alas, Edit Plus does not work on the Mac.

An Apple support person recommended Taco and I downloaded it today. It does not look as full featured as Edit Plus but I think it will work for me. It is also free! Hard to beat free!

I still need a FTP client. I'm going to wait until after I get back from vacation before I address this need.

9/11 Tribute site and victims list

This site is dedicated to the victims of September 11, 2001 tragedy

SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 VICTIMS

Numbers:


CONFIRMED DEAD:2948
REPORTED DEAD:24
REPORTED MISSING:24
TOTAL:2996


Comment: I hope you visit the site!

The importance of savings

Save, Save. Don’t Splurge on a Piggy Bank, a Tin Can Will Do

Save, Save. Don’t Splurge on a Piggy Bank, a Tin Can Will Do.
By SHIRA BOSS
Published: September 1, 2007
Saving money may not be the sexiest financial move, but it’s probably the most important.

Excerpt:

Saving money is not the sexiest financial move, but it’s probably the most important. So start squirreling. Even if it’s the change from your pocket. Start incubating a nest egg, which is not just for retirement. A cash account may be for a flatter television set, a vacation, new clothes, a period of unemployment, a down payment on a house, car repairs or whatever treat you can dream up.

I know, times are tight and 7 out of 10 Americans report living paycheck to paycheck, meaning there never seems to be enough left over for savings. In 1985, Americans were saving $11 for every $100 they brought home; now the savings rate is around zero, and debt is at a record high.

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It is a widespread and harmful myth that one needs to make more money to save some of it. “We’ve met people who can save on a salary of $30,000, and people who have not a penny in savings and a salary of over $300,000,” said Manisha Thakor, co-author of “On My Own Two Feet,” a personal finance primer for women. “Saving is about a mind-set and a commitment, not a level of salary.”

When I was most stressed financially, I forced myself to put 5 percent of every check into an emergency account. It built up surprisingly quickly and ended up paying for surprise expenses that otherwise would have gone on a credit card. Now I’ve worked up to putting some cash from every paycheck into envelopes marked Goody Bag, which I dip into for luxuries like a nice teapot. That definitely makes earning money — and spending it — more fun.

“The powerful thing is that saving is not about deprivation, saving is actually all about spending,” Ms. Thakor said.


Comments: I thank my wife for having us on a conservative fiscal policy for the 33 years (will be 33 years in December) of our marriage. Interent banks have automatic savings plans (eg. ING Direct).