Tuesday, October 28, 2008

If you vote for Obama, you are my enemy and an enemy of freedom

For weeks now I have resisted any postings, because I was not sure I could keep quiet on what I am about to write. But I cannot continue to remain silent.

I am torn as to who I am going to vote for next week. I have been contemplating voting for no candidate and leaving the Presidential space unchecked, or checking Bob Barr, or McCain, or Nader, or writing my dad's name in. But under no circumstances will I ever vote for Barack Obama. Obama is not to be trusted at all.

  • He told both Hillary Clinton and John McCain that he would accept public financing. McCain has done so. Obama has not. He lied
  • He has claimed that his vote in Illinois against the Born Alive Infant protection act was because there were already laws in Illinois protecting the right to life for abortion survivors. There were no such laws at the time. He lied.
  • He has said that he will not raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000. He has also gone on record that he will allow the tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 to expire as scheduled in 2010. Go to the IRS tax tables for 2000 and 2002, and compare your taxes from 2007 to what you would have paid in 2000. Your taxes are less now than they will be come 2010. Once again, he lied.
  • He said the tax increase threshold is $250,000. Today in the noted Right wing paper, the New York Times, noted ultraconservative columnist Paul Krugman writes "Mr. Obama proposes raising rates on only the top two income tax brackets — and the second-highest bracket for a head of household starts at an income, after deductions, of $182,400 a year." So in this case, either Krugman is lying, or Obama is. My bet is on Obama as the liar here
  • Yesterday during an interview with WNEP TV in Pennsylvania, Obama's Vice presidential nominee, Joe Biden, said, and I quote "What we’re saying is that $87 billion tax break doesn’t need to go to people making an average of 1.4 million, it should go like it used to. It should go to middle class people — people making under $150,000 a year." Lat time I checked $150,000.00 is less than $250, 000.00. So yet again, Obama is lying.

Barack Obama is not only a liar, he is an enemy of freedom. The ability to keep and use the monetary fruits of our labor is one of the clearest measures of our freedom. With Obama's many statements on his tax policy, he shows that he is more than willing to take more and more of this freedom from Americans. And his lies, particularly about the tax thresholds, show that he will take this freedom from many more Americans than those he claims that he will limit his tax increases to.
Furthermore Obama's intention to levy significant tax increases on "wealthy corporations and oil companies" will result in corresponding increases in the costs of the goods and services these "wealthy corporations" provide. Not only will Obama take more of your money and thereby limit your freedom directly through personal income tax increases, he will also take money from Americans indirectly by increasing what we pay for such things as clothes, food, gasoline, cars, electronic equipment, and so on.

Obama further shows he is an enemy of freedem with his intention to replace retiring federal judges with nominees that have a judicial philosophy similar to his. He he wants judges who "got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges." In other words, Obama wants judges that will ignore what the law actually says, and that will instead make their rulings based on what policy that particular judge wants implemented in our society. Constitution be damned, the opinions and desires of the American citizenry be damned, representative lawmakers be damned. Obama wants the courts that will implement rule by robed dictators, rather than the will of the people, with no accountability, no vote, and no chance of erasing what these judges rule.

Obama finally shows himself as an enemy of freedom with his support for "Card Check" union organizing. He wants to take the rights of workers to vote privately and secretly on the question of unionization, in favor of a public vote, with all the potential for fraud, and threatening pressure on dissenting workers that this public vote will represent. Furthermore, the legislation that Obama supports will take away the freedom of union dissenters to not have their required union dues go to support causes the worker opposes, a freedom that is currently enjoyed (although difficult to enforce).

I could go on and on, but I would rather stop here. I will conclude though with this : if you support Obama, you are just as much an enemy of freedom as he is. And should he win, you will also be my enemy.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Musical Monday

When one considers the real purpose of the day, rather than a day to go to the lake and have a cookout, there is something poignant about a Memorial Day when our military forces are actively deployed in a war. Particularly when the war in question that has so divided the country as the current one.

However I do not want to besmirch the sacrifices and memory of those who have given their last full measure of devotion by a political debate - not today anyway. I am reminded of another time when the country was in a divisive war, and just as today, many people would have rather given up the fight rather than pursue victory. And in honor of those who paid that cost in blood, toil, and despair, not only in the war in question, but in all wars, I invite you to ponder the price the American soldier has paid so that we could do whatever we will do today.

Pandora was not able to find other songs similar to Tenting Tonight, so I will add soldiers songs from other American wars
1 Cornwallis Country Dance - American Revolution. Sung to the tune of "Yankee Doodle"
2 The Hunters of Kentucky - War of 1812
3 Bonnie Blue Flag - Song sung by the Confederate soldiers in Civil War
4 Over There - World War I
5 What Do You Do in the Infantry? - World War II

PS 5/27 811 PM- I neglected to put the lyrics to Tenting Tonight - which can be found here

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I have a better wife than I often realize

When I got married, almost 8 years ago now, a good friend of mine recommended I read The Five Love Languages by Gary Smalley. While I never actually have got around to reading this book, I am somewhat familiar with the main premise, which is the ways that we express love to our significant other are often radically different, and what kinds of expressions that to me show love, do not always mean the same to her, and vice versa. This premise has been many times demonstrated in our marriage, and often arguments and hard feelings, at their core, can be linked to the radically different means in which Wife and I show love and affection for each other.

For an example, - one of the best ways to show love is to work with me, to help me, in accomplishing the everyday, mundane yet necessary tasks. However Wife does not see this as love, and I all to readily tend to use this as a tool claiming that she really doesn't love me. This, of course, is a pointless argument. Yet time after time I tend to use it anyway, which over time likely has made her even less likely to understand how important it is to me to have her helping me

Well, as the adage goes, it is better late than never. It occurred to me the other day that she is much more of a help to me than I acknowledge. And Indeed the manner at which she helps in this case is far far more valuable to me, and much much more of a lasting benefit to me, than if she helps me with loading and unloading the dishwasher. (which she certainly does, many times).

I have a glitch in my personality that often causes me to either get irrationally pessimistic at the slightest challenge, or irrationally giddy at the slightest blessing, and run down rabbit trails in my thinking. This is a flaw in that if I act on the line of thinking, in either direction, and follow the thought patterns to the logical conclusion, I will invariably make decisions that lead to very bad consequences. Where my wife helps me more than anything, is that in every case that I can recall, where I am either flying high like a kite, or as depressed as a 1929 Stockbroker, she will say something or call my bluff on something, or whatever, that brings me out of my fantasy, into reality.

Every time she does this, every time I get angry and say something stupid, and every time when I take the time to actually process what she has said, I see that her words, and the wisdom behind them, are her showing me more love, and more help, than I realize at the time.

And as the Proverb says, "Let her works earn her praise at the city gate." For truly she is a incredible, undeservable, and all too often unacknowledged, help to me

Monday, March 24, 2008

Special Easter Edition of Musical Monday

If you have never seen Messiah performed live, by a good choir and orchestra, the raw celebratory, indeed triumphant power of the final chorus Worthy is the Lamb, the orchestration and the words both, well, lets just say this video does not begin to do this song justice. And indeed since the core message of Easter is one of incredible triumph - triumph over death, triumph over despair, triumph over sin itself, I cannot think of a better piece for this weeks edition of Musical Monday.

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood.
To receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.
Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb.
Forever and ever, Amen.

Unfortunately Pandora does not recognize this particular Chorus, I did get these 5 matches for the Messiah oratorio:
1 Gloria in D Major by Antonio Vivaldi
2 Christmas Oratorio, Angels Chorus by Heinrich Schutze
3 Christmas Oratorio, Break Forth, by Johann Sebastian Bach
4 In Dulci Jubilo by The Cambridge Singers
5 L'enfance Du Christ, the Shepherds Farewell to the Holy Family by Hector Berlioz

He is Risen. Alleluia!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

St Patricks Musical Day

Ok - St Patricks Day should be easy, right? An Irish song of course. But ah, thats the rub you see - which song?

So after looking at this one and that one, I decided to go with this one here:

Monday, March 10, 2008

And Trade with the ChiComms benefits the US how again?

I have long been troubled at times, with various levels of concern, about the US increasing dependence on China for manufactured goods. I can understand the appeal of Chinese made goods, namely the low price, but what I fail to get is that far too many American businesspeople ignore or downplay that the Chinese Government runs or manages most if not all of the manufacturing enterprises, While the powers that be in China are no longer strict Communists in the 20th century economic sense, neither does the evidence indicate that the Chinese government gives a flip about individual human rights. Neither apparently do they seem to understand the concept of quality control. As if last years incident where Chinese made pet food ingredient's were contaminated by melamine which caused many dog deaths in 2007, now the popular Blood thinner Heparin has been recalled in the US, Japan and Germany, and it is suspected that a key ingredient, made in China, is a fake chemical that has likely contributed to 18 deaths and many more allergic reactions.

If indeed this turns out to be another example of Chinese quality control, perhaps it is time to re-think all trade with China.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


The winter this year has been extremely mild, even by Texas standards. While we have had more colder days, with colder temperatures than is typically the case, we have also had quite a few more warmer days than usual. I was commenting to my wife about a week ago that this may be the first winter I can remember where we have not had one incident of winter precipitation. While us Texans have at best a passing acquaintance with wintry weather, we usually get at least between 1 and 3 days of snow and/or ice each year. This has been most distressing to me, since ever since I was a kid, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching snow fall, and playing in the snow, and hearing the crunch of snow under my feet. If I can find a somewhat empty street, I even enjoy driving in the snow. My Pennsylvania born wife thinks I would not enjoy snow so much had I grown up in a more northerly climate where it is common.

Anyway, I made the comment to her last week, and I was feeling rather deprived that I was going to miss out this year altogether. Well, I spoke about a week too soon. Because this is what I saw Tuesday morning:

Well, that snow lasted a few hours, and I was thinking well that was nice. Too bad it didn't stay around a day or so, but oh well. At least we finally got some snow. I had no idea I would see this today:

7 inches of snow. In Texas. In March.

Monday, March 3, 2008

March Musical Monday Madness Round 1

There are currently workmen ripping up our downstairs flooring, to dry it out after our one of our dogs chewed the toilet connector hose yesterday. This flooded the bathroom and under the walls, and under the floor, and out the house. So what better song for today than this one:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Grumpamoose's Rules for Political Discourse

I have been thinking and mulling over, albeit at a low simmer, about how crazy certain habits of political discourse make me. This has about come to a boil, prompting me to post this now instead of another time. As I am temperamentally suspicious of the motives of governing officials, I will be skewering several Left/Liberal habits, since Liberals favor more and more activist government. And as I am a bipartisan Grumpamoose, there will also be skewering of Conservatives as well. This is not an exhaustive list, just the top 7 or so political things that makes me want to kick my dog and slap my wife. And since I would like to stay married and alive, I need to find another outlet.

So here you go.

#1. Budget Cut = A year over year reduction in the monetary amount allocated to a particular item, agency, or department. If you are going to claim something is a budget cut, (a la Republicans are out to starve Grandma and reduce her Social Security), and this fiscal years budget has more money than the previous one, how in the blue blazes is that a cut? If I budget 20 million for Department X this year, and propose $25 million for 2009, then when I put together the 2009 final budget, Department X gets $22 Million, that is a $2 million budget increase. Everyone who has graduated high school, even as poorly educated as most American high school graduates are, should know the simple concept that $22 million is 2 million than $20 million . and that some numbers are higher than others.

#2. Individuals invest. Private companies invest. Retirement and Pension plans invest. Government does not invest. Investment inherently means choice. I can choose to invest my money for an potentially greater return on that money, or I can choose to go to Papa Johns every week. The bottom line is I choose. When the IRS and state taxing agencies give me the same choice - only then - and not until then - can you truthfully say that Government is an investment.

#3. The Eighties are over - Ronald Reagan is dead. While I personally agree that Ronald Reagan was one of our best Presidents - (and I will mercilessly delete any comments otherwise - this is my blog. Wanna bash Reagan, take it elsewhere) he was not God. He was a mere mortal, and he made policy blunders and occasionally acted on misguided faith in the goodwill of his adversaries, as have all other Presidents and political leaders. The constant refrain since 1988 that so and so is "Reaganesque" or "The Next Ronald Reagan" is insulting to the man and his legacy, and frankly insulting to the intelligence of those forced to listen to such twaddle. News flash - There will never be another Ronald Reagan. He was unique to his time, and in any case the social, political, and economic conditions that made his policy prescriptions the right medicine at the time, are gone too. Hopefully anyway.

#4. The Sixties are also over, and John F Kennedy likewise is no longer with us. See #3 substituting Reagan for Kennedy

#5. What properly constitutes "Middle Class", "The Rich", and "Fair share" must be pre-defined. If you think Middle class ends at $35,000.00 annually, The Rich is everyone with higher incomes, and Fair Share is 50%+, just say so. So I can know if you are a Thief, or just another politician.

#6. When tax rates go up - that is called a tax increase.
Suppose under Presidential X's administration , the rate at which I pay taxes goes down. If President Y champions repealing President X's tax policies, and Congress agrees with President Y, that means I get hit with a tax increase. See rule # 1. Again, 28% is higher that 15%, and 15% is higher than 10%. You are not stupid. Neither am I. Stop acting as if one of is is a moron. I promise you 'taint me.

#7. Finally, when supply is low, and demand is high, prices increase. This is economics 101, again something every American High School graduate should know. It is not a grand conspiracy of the EEEEVVVIIIIILLLL CORPORATIONS!!!!TM.* But since many people apparently don't get this concept, or intentionally don't get it, but that is another rant for another day, let me explain it. When there is less of anything to go around, whether it is gasoline or grapes, it will cost more. The reason that it will cost more is because each individual grape is more valuable. The grapes are more valuable, since there are not enough grapes for all the people who want grapes. Since price is the expression of value, higher value = higher price. Unless enough other folks decide they can live without the grapes they want, and stop demanding grapes, grape prices will continue to go up, unless the grape supply goes up too. Eventually the grape farmers will grow more grapes, to get more money from the higher grape prices. Grape prices then will fall, the farmers won't grow as many grapes the next year, and some of the people who switched to oranges will want to buy grapes again. Rinse and Repeat.

*The only possible exception to this is when supply is artificially restricted because some wealthy elitists want to keep the average Joe out of their neighborhood by land use restrictions. Or because some Congressmen are lobbied (cough ...bribed....cough) to sponsor a bill that mandates increased use of ethanol fuels made from corn, then holds hearings about why food prices are going through the roof.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Before I forget - it is Musical Monday numero cuatro

This is my all time favorite song from my all time favorite musical group.

Lyrics are:

I wanna run, I want to hide
I wanna tear down the walls
That hold me inside.
I wanna reach out
And touch the flame
Where the streets have no name.

I wanna feel sunlight on my face.
I see the dust-cloud
Disappear without a trace.
I wanna take shelter
From the poison rain
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name.

We're still building and burning down love
Burning down love.
And when I go there
I go there with you
(It's all I can do).

The city's a flood, and our love turns to rust.
We're beaten and blown by the wind
Trampled in dust.
I'll show you a place
High on a desert plain
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name.

We're still building and burning down love
Burning down love.
And when I go there
I go there with you
(It's all I can do).

This song speaks to the deep parts of my soul, that longs for a place where all tears shall be wiped away, and all the former things, that are very much part of our present, will pass away.

Genius. Pure genius. And Pandora's 5 are:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Musical Monday the Third

I love history. I don't know why, because no one in my family has more than a middling interest in history, and the only one that even does that is my Dad. But perhaps my love of history can be traced to my Dad, who used to sing this song to me when I was little. I smile when I remember this song, and I can still hear my Dad's younger Tenor singing this.

Live Action version


In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.
[Chorus] We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin' on
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

We looked down the river and we see'd the British come.
And there must have been a hundred of'em beatin' on the drum.
They stepped so high and they made the bugles ring.
We stood by our cotton bales and didn't say a thing
Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
They ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.**
We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down.
So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
We filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind
And when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind.
Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
They ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

Top 5 Pandora matches
I - Love's Gonna Live Here by Waylon Jennings
II - Down the Street to 301 by Johnny Cash
III - Love Me Honey Do by Patsy Cline
IV - Ole Slewfoot by June Carter Cash
V - Hill Billy Mambo by Sheb Wooley

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Is it Michelle Peron, or Eva Obama?

The other day I heard a speech that Michelle Obama made at UCLA earlier this year, and in hearing it, my thought was that I was hearing a 21st century Eva Peron, speaking about how Juan Peron loved Argentinians, and how he alone could save Argentina from all the ills, and usher in heaven on earth. And except for the thousands of people who disappeared and the many more who suffered economically under Peron's corruption and fascist socialism, Peronist Argentina was not bad.

Anyway, back to 21st Century United States.
The two sections of Ms Obama's speech phrase that sent chills down my spine are this:

"We have lost the understanding that in a democracy we have a mutual obligation to one another. That we cannot measure our greatness in this society by the strongest and richest of us. But we have to measure our greatness by the least of these. That we have to compromise and sacrifice for one another in order to get things done. That is why I am here. Because Barack Obama is the only person in this race who understands that. That before we can work on the problems we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation. If we can't see ourselves in one another we will never make those sacrifices. So I am here right now because I am married to the only person in this race who has a chance of healing this nation."

And This:

Change will always be hard. And it doesn't happen from the top down. We do not get universal health care, we do not get better schools, because somebody else in the White House. We get change because folks from the grass roots up decide they are sick and tired of other people telling them how their lives will be. When they decide to roll up their sleeves and work. And Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your division. That you come out of your isolation. That you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual; uninvolved, uninformed."

No, Ms Obama, we owe gratitude that we live under a relative freedom of a Constitutional Republic, and nothing more. The only duty we owe to other Americans is that of maintaining and defending that freedom against all who seek to destroy that freedom. The only obligation we have is only to ourselves and our families, to ensure that our and our families needs are met. The "least of these" have the same obligation. It is not my problem if they are not meeting that obligation and it does not matter if this failure to meet their obligation is lack of ability, lack of opportunity, lack of education, lack of effort, or any other factor.

Now, morally we should do all we can to help others, but only so far as we can after meeting our own obligations. However, while helping others is a moral requirement, this does not mean that it should ever be a legal requirement that is enforced by the State. There is some other entity to whom we are morally accountable, and that entity does not reside in the District of Columbia.

The idea that the Obama camp seems to be espousing here - namely that other Americans have a claim on our lives, to the point that we are required to sacrifice our and our family's own treasure on behalf of these others. Furthermore this claim is to be enforced by the power of the state through taxation and imprisonment. There is a word for this - slavery. If we are so sick and tired of other people telling us how our lives will be, how is it a good thing that Barack Obama can tell us how our lives will be? By what authority does Barack Obama have the power to force me to work for his agenda?

Oh and one more thing Ms Obama, my soul is just fine, and the healing and protection of which is in infinitely more capable hands than Barack Obama's - thank you very much.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Musical Monday II

One of my favorite sayings by Martin Luther is, and I paraphrase,
" There are two days on my calendar - this day and That day".

One of the things I try to do is live my life around that idea. Today is many times way more than I can deal with, let alone tomorrow. And I have found it much easier to live each day in light of what I believe "That day" is - a day sometime to come when I will stand before God and give an account of how I spent my life. Now I do not say this as something fearful in the sense that I have to have lived a life perfectly in order to win God's favor, because I have put all my chips in the basket of trusting Christ's sacrificial grace (and if that makes no sense to you and you want to know what the heck I mean, leave a comment). But it does mean that I strive to keep my focus on what really matters in life.

As to what that may mean regarding something musical, here it is. While I have mentioned that I cannot stand much of what Garth Brooks has recorded, there are a few songs that I really like of his, and this is one of them (Lyrics here). When it comes to my relationship to my wife, I am really truly desiring that, when That Day comes, that I can say with no reservation that I did everything I could to show her that I loved her, and that so far as it depended on me, there will be no doubt in her mind that I showed that love for her every day in every way I can.

Pandora's top 5 songs similar to "If Tomorrow Never comes"

  1. Still on a Roll by Moe Bandy
  2. Run by George Strait
  3. Ten Years of This by Gary Stewart
  4. The Note by Daryle Singletary
  5. Rise and Shine by Ronnie Dove

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mystery Topic Challenge #7

This rounds topic is:

"You awaken to find yourself stranded on a deserted island with nothing but a pocket knife, a bottle of Jack Daniels, and Britney Spears. How did you get there, and what do you do now?"

June 9, 2008. My world came crashing down - literally - yesterday. Yesterday morning I said goodbye to my wife, drove to the airport, and got on a plane to go to a trade show in Hawaii. The last thing I remember before I woke up on this beach was a loud shake, the lights in the airplane going off, and the flight attendants telling us to assume crash positions. I spent the morning and most of the afternoon sifting through wreckage as it washed up, to see if I could find something useful to survive until I could figure out a way to get off what I assume is an island somewhere in the South Pacific. The rest of the day I went looking for food, survivors and some kind of shelter.

June 10. After a brief shower this morning had passed, I went exploring some more. This morning I found a suitcase that had washed up, although it had come open in the surf. but I did find a pocketknife, some clothes, and a bottle of what I assume is Jack Daniels. The label is torn off though so I am not sure. I threw the clothes away. I also found on the other end of the lagoon some evidence that at least some one survived the crash long enough to make it to the beach..

June 11. The pocketknife, a swiss army knife, was as useful as stereotypically advertised, as I managed to whittle a fish spear, and actually managed to find something other than bananas to eat. now if I could only find a mirror or some glass to start a solar fire, so I can eat something else besides sushi and bananas. Found more evidence of other survivors, as I found some woman's clothing and some prescription pills around what appeared to be a campsite

June 12. Clear plastic luggage tags work somewhat effectively at using the sun to start a fire. No more sushi for me. No sign of anyone else though

June 13. Made it all the way to the other side of the island. found some berries, and fresh water spring. rained all afternoon. No sign of anyone

June 14. Rain and strong wind. no fish today. roasted bananas. Found a cave to set up a dryer camp. no sign of anyone

June 15. Heard bad singing a few moments this morning as I woke up. it stopped after a few minutes though, and I did not hear anything else until late in the day. I wonder if I am starting to go insane.

June 18. Finally saw a glimpse of someone else walking the other way. but they were too close to the surf to hear my yelling I suppose. They were rather short, and brownish blond hair. My guess is it was a woman.

June 19. Yes it was a woman. but she seemed rather out of it. Another severe storm, so I spent most of the day back in the cave.

June 20. Well, my fellow survivor is none other than Britney Spears. And she is as loony as the proverbial fruitcake. After hearing five minutes of her inane prattle, I cannot decide if I will drink myself into a stupor, slit my wrists, slit her throat, or wait until the paparrazi arrive looking for that stupid whore, to get myself off this bloody island.

Please visit the Mystery Topic Challenge Blog to view all of the other entries. Once you've read them all, please be sure to vote HERE in the Sidebar for your favorite.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Musical Moose Monday

Ok, so I stole this idea from Bungirl, but a good idea is a good idea.

However I am not currently listening to this song, or the album it was on, this song is one that has meant a lot to me for many years, ever since I first heard it.

The song is Here in America by Rich Mullins. You can see the video here -

Sometimes my American-ness overwhelms my Christianity, such that I forget that we are not the chosen people, and the arrogance this myopia generates tends to make it easy to think of ourselves as the center of Christianity. I think the reason this song resonates - apart from the Irish images - is the subtle reminder that American Christians are no different from Chinese Christians or Russian Christians, or Christians from any other nation, race or time. We are all abundantly blessed for one reason and only one reason- the grace of Jesus Christ poured out in His death, and validated by His resurrection.

Anyway, back to the rules;
Pandora's top 5 songs
1 You Gotta Get Up by Rich Mullins
2 Rushing Wind by Keith Green
3 He's in this Place by Clint Brown (never heard of him)
4 Draw me Close by Kathy Troccoli
5 It's no Secret What God can Do by Johnny Cash (ok?)

So that is my version of Musical Monday.

Mystery Topic Challenge

Hello! I'm participating in Mystery Topic Challenge #7. The topic has been announced. If you'd like to join me, head on over to the MTC Blog to find out the topic.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

More Grumpamoosic

If you have your speakers on, you likely can gather this already. But for those who don't, I have updated Grumpamoose's playlist, and added some new songs. Enjoy

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Day 2 for a Dog scare

Hopefully this is not going to be a trend. I posted yesterday on our little adventure with Jared. Well, I am back for episode II.

Our back yard fence is white vinyl pvc, and today the winds were pretty strong, with gusts up to 60 mph. When the fence was installed per the HOA guidelines, the contractor who built it did not measure one section correctly, and as a result, the top cross bar has a tendency to pull out of the hole in the post, if the winds are hard enough. Most times, I can just pop it back in and it will stay for a month or so, so it is not such a pain that I am willing to pay to get it replaced.

Today I let our husky outside to relieve her bladder, and I did not see that this cross bar had not only popped open, but several of the slats had fallen into the alley, creating a rather large hole in the fence. But she and I saw it at the same time, and being the little imp that she is, Masha decided to take a little walk. She did this knowing that she was not supposed to, because she looked back at me when I started calling her back inside, and giving me her impish smile, she slow-trotted meandaringly to the hole, walked through it, then she took off like a bullet.

If it were any other of our dogs, I would not have been so angry, because they all are fairly obedient, and also have a good sense of direction and homing skills. But if you know anything about Siberian Huskies, then you know that their homing instincts are, shall we say, non-existent.

Fortunately she was apparently thinking this was a grand game, as she would let me get within a few feet, and when I tried to grab her, she would jump away and start a fast trot down the street. But since each time I would almost get her, she would run just a little farther away, I was sure that she was going to take off running down the street or into the fields next to our housing development never to be seen again. Good news is she managed to get no further than the far side of the pocket park across the street from out house, before I finally managed to grab her collar and walk her back to the house. We waited for a minute or two, at the front door, since I had not gotten my keys, and the door was locked. Bungirl had taken the car and driven the other direction in the neighborhood, since we were not sure which way Masha had gone, and when she drove by she saw us on the porch.

And needless to say, getting the fence fixed so this doesn't happen again has gone to the top of my to do list.

Monday, January 28, 2008

When you let your dogs out, make sure they are all the way out

One of our dogs, Jared, is spending the night at the vets office, before he has surgery in the morning to repair a compound fracture at the tip of his tail. Which I inadvertently, and at the moment unknowingly, shut in the door. From which, in his shock-induced painlessness from the first few minutes back inside the house, and with his wildly wagging tail, he splattered blood all over our house. It looked like a murder scene with blood on the walls and on the floor. Thank goodness for Swiffer wet sweeper pads.

Fortunately the vet next to where BunGirl works was still open when I got him there. By then his shock had worn off, so that he was more growly than I have ever known him to be, due to what I suppose had to be quite a bit of pain and confusion. But the vet got his bleeding tail well bandaged without any bitten hands, and he should be back home tomorrow evening.

It's time for another Mystery Topic Challenge

I'm taking part in Mystery Topic Challenge #7. If you want to join me, just visit the MTC Blog today and sign up!

Monday, January 21, 2008

MTC #6 Caucus time

It is voting time

Please visit the Mystery Topic Challenge Blog to read all of the other entries. Once you've read them all, please be sure to vote HERE in the Sidebar for your favorite.

And please let mine be your favorite.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

MTC Challenge #6 - Where Grumpamoose becomes a Russian

This rounds topic is - What song transports you through space and time, and where do you go?

I was all set to write about "The Dance" by Garth Brooks, and how it reminds me of all the memories that I have of my late grandfather, whom I was privileged to have for 33 years. The tie in to the song is that for what he meant to me, 33 years is far far too short.

But I am not going to write about that song. Which makes me happier because I think I would rather siphon gasoline out of my car and set myself on fire that listen to 99% of what Mr Brooks has recorded.

Rather, since Jester added the addendum to his suggested topic that this song should be one that " provides you with an almost physical reaction when you hear it..." and since I had the most intense manifestation of this particular phenomenon most recently earlier this week, I will write about it instead.

This particular piece of music was written as a celebration of a military victory over Napoleonic France. It captures in the tempo, keys and volume of the notes, what I imagine the witnesses of this event saw, and felt.

From the dread of the ravaging French calvary, that burned villages as it came, and the mismatch faced by the defending army that was forced to retreat in the face of an implacable foe. And seeing the horror of your capital city burning, wondering if there is any victory against the Gallic horde. Feeling the anguish of friends, comrades and loved ones dying and mourning their dead, and the shame of a proud people seemingly unable to repel the invader.

I hear in the distance to the west the crack of musket fire, and the boom of artillery, and see charge and counter charge. And at the end of the day I feel shame and fear, as the French army is still standing with strength enough to seize our capital.

All of these reactions I feel in my gut to varying degrees, so much so that I can feel the shame of defeat after defeat as if I were one of the soldiers. I see the mothers walking across the battlefield crying over their dead sons, and see the tears in the old men as they look over the sooty ruins of Moscow as it is surrendered, and their impotent fists shaking at the blue coated Corsican as he rides by.

I then feel the pride in my country and my Tsar as I stand by thousands of my countrymen as we praise and celebrate a great victory, and know that once again our armies have prevailed, and driven back the foreigners. I sing with gusto, amid the clamor of church bells pealing throughout the land, and cannons booming, but no longer as agents of death. Rather they are instead lending their punctuations to the joy ringing out in the hearts of thousands of my countrymen, as once again Mother Russia is safe.

All this I feel, when I hear the 1812 Overture, by Pyotr Illych Tchaikovsky.

Hear Part 1 -

And Part 2 -

Saturday, January 19, 2008

This will not work

Once again, for the 20 billionth time, the politicians in Washington show that they have no clue what they are doing. The President's stimulus plan is a joke. $800.00 will no NOTHING to undo the recession the US is in. The US Economy is in trouble for one reason - Energy prices are too high. And since this economy is underpinned by consumers spending their income on goods and services -multiple and varied goods and services, every dollar more that is spend on such basic necessities such as gasoline, food, and electricity, that are increasing in price due to high oil prices, is one dollar less that cannot be spent on other goods and services.

The Washington -NY elites - in both parties - do not feel the impact of higher energy prices to the extent that the average middle class American does, and conveniently the official statistics on inflation do not include food or fuel prices, so officially there is no inflation. In addition, food and gasoline purchases are included in the official retail sales statistics, so retail sales seem to be ok. Not great, but not dire either. But no statistic can show how increased spending on necessities have lowered spending on other consumer goods. It is spending on "luxury" items that is necessary for a healthy economy, the way our modern economy is structured. Increased spending on necessities will simply not cut it, and that is fundamentally the problem the US faces.

Congress has had ample opportunity to address energy prices, and as usual, they go looking for unworkable solutions, such as windfall profits taxes on oil companies, instead of policies that actually have a better chance to actually succeed at their intended purpose. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of economics should know that high energy prices are an result of energy supplies that are too low. So, rather than create policies that address the supply issue, such as drilling for oil domestically, and developing nuclear power plants (The French get 70% + of their energy from nuclear power), Congress wants to tax oil companies. That doing so will increase the costs of refined petroleum to the consumers apparently doesn't occur to them. And while the idea of Congress mandating the types of cars Detroit can make, rather than allowing the Auto Industry respond to what the American People actually want is arrogant and despotic (typical of Washington these days), perhaps it would be better to strongly encourage widespread use of flex fuel gasoline/ethanol/methanol engines, rather than Congress order another increase in CAFE standards. The likely result of CAFE increases will be nothing but a significant rise in the price of cars, while making them smaller and more unsafe in crashes. By the way the US Automakers have an significant advantage over foreign car makers in Flex fuel technology, so this could have the added effect of keeping Americans employed at GM, Ford and Chrysler.

I certainly am not going to refuse $800.00 But neither am I going to go out and spend it. It will sit in my savings account, since it is a one time shot, and I am not going to change my spending habits. Some people will spend it right away, but once they do, the economy will not be in any better shape. People spending this "stimulus" is precisely what the President is hoping will be done, but if so, spending will increase one time, then fall back after a few weeks. once again back to where we are now.

This is nothing but an election year gimmick, so the politicians can feel better about themselves, that they "did something about the economy". It is time that they are shown up for the idiots they are, and shown the door in November, so that real solutions can be enacted. And there will be a crippling blizzard in Dallas, and the Texas Rangers will win the World Series before that happens.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Grumpamoose Wednesday II: Grumpamoose on goals

Years ago, when I was beginning my career, I was given two pieces of advice that has stood me in good stead. The first one is that I should not call a goal a goal unless it has these five characteristics. If not, it is a daydream. The five characteristics are:

Realistic, and
Time limited.

The second piece of advice is that a goal is not a good goal unless it is also a stretch to meet it - otherwise it is a routine.

I have since discovered that these characteristics do not only make a goal a goal in the business world, but should be also applied to personal goals as well. This is why I have not taken part in the New Year's resolution game for many years. However, I have been given some thought this month to goals I plan to achieve this year in 2008.

#1 - I am going to, by the end of April, be able to go for a one 12 - hour period without deliberately doing things that will piss off Bungirl. This includes not complaining, not lying about stuff to get me out of trouble, etc. This will not include things that are accidental or inadvertent, so that should take care of the realistic and achievable criteria. Time limited is taken care of deadline of April 30. Measurability is admittedly vaque, but if she is not mad at me in a set 12 hour period, that will have to do.

#2 - By December 31st, save enough money to cover 6 months of expenses. Having had a blowout quarter in the end of 2007 will help tremendously toward achieving this goal, since quarterly bonuses are "off budget"

#3 Also by Dec 31st, I will have done the exercises I started this year on at least 65% of the days I agreed to do them.

So, these all will be stretching, and also have the characteristics of what a goal is. Good luck to me.

(Since I hope to make Grumpamoose Wednesdays an ongoing series, please leave a comment suggesting a topic for next time. If it will be a good goal, I will endeavour to post on it, and give mad props to the suggester...perhaps also some Entrecard credits as well...)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Grumpamoose on Election 2008

Since I have not gotten the feedback I hoped for from my request for topics for this week's "Grumpamoose on...?" series, I guess I will supply the first topic. As I explained when I announced the series, these will be written as a stream of consciousness manner, so I apologize for any incoherence in advance.

When I started (or re-started) this blog again in 2007, I intended to avoid politics as much as possible. In spite of that, I have had several thoughts running through my head since Governor Huckabee won the Iowa Caucus last week. Now for the record I want to be clear - I do not support his candidacy, and likely will not vote for him in the Texas Primary in March, unless both of my preferred candidates are no longer in the race. Not that Texas has a likely primary voice, since traditionally the candidates are already selected by the first of March, which is another rant for another time. In the event that neither of my two preferred candidates are still alive on the GOP side, I will not vote for Huckabee, but will sit out the primary altogether - or go to the Democratic one and see how I can muck up the works, primarily speaking.

Specifically I continue to be super annoyed, and increasingly hostile toward, the GOP NY-DC Elites, due to the continuing derision of him and to a lesser extent, his supporters in Iowa and potential ones elsewhere. It is because of the way the NRO crowd in particular belittled Iowa's significance in this election cycle that I found a small measure of glee that Huckabee won, if for no other reason than I am sick of their elitism and disdain toward lower middle class social conservatives. Now I know the NROniks and Townhall folks are going to say what hostility? But when is the last time you read anything from Larry Kudlow, Andrew Stuttaford, Lisa Schiffren, Rich Lowry, Hugh Hewitt, Bill Kristol, Kathryn Lopez, Jim Geraghty and so forth, that acknowledges that, while by most historical measures the economy is doing well, the fact is that there are millions of Americans to whom the benefits of this economy are not flowing. Who of national prominence, other than Rod Dreher, acknowledge the damage to local, mainly lower and middle class neighborhoods that is aggravated, if not caused by, uncontrolled illegal immigration? What little I have seen written on this either denies that there are significant numbers who are not benefiting, rather than questioning and re-thinking the policies that are potentially exacerbating the challenges that many Americans face. There is little acknowledgment that significantly rising fuel and food prices are problems for large numbers of Americans. Inflation - what inflation? they say, conveniently ignoring that the Federal inflation stats leave out food and fuel costs, and retail sales numbers do not reflect the changing proportion devoted to fuel viz a viz other consumer goods. I would love to buy a hybrid car, but I cannot afford one, since corn ethanol demand has made my food more expensive.

Or in the case for those of us for whom abortion or illegal immigration, or health insurance issues, are a big deal, when we see that the GOP Congress has had 10+years to do something about these issues that the Congress has within their power to do, but haven't done so (like strip the Federal Courts of jurisdiction, and send the abortion question back to the 50 states where it belongs per the 10th Amendment). In the case of abortion, where has it been acknowledged that many social conservatives have finally started to realize that the pro-life stances of many of the GOP elected office may be only "purported", and these office holders have no intention of ever doing anything about it at the federal level?

What the Elites at NRO and other "conservative" bloggers have ignored or downplayed is this - Governor Huckabee has tapped into this stream of middle class/social conservative concerns and while his track record is mixed, and his policy proposals are somewhat wacky - he is the only candidate who publicly acknowledges that there is a lower and middle class, and that their concerns deserve as much if not more consideration as those of the bankers and stock market folks when making and re-making Federal domestic policy. Mitt Romney isn't getting this, Rudy Guiliani isn't, and John McCain isn't, and the NRO/East Coast/Anti Social Conservatives sure as hell don't get it. Mike Huckabee's policy prescriptions would again be of mixed benefit to the middle classes. For example, anyone who honestly believes that the Fair Tax would not result in double taxation and/or expects that the costs of goods would come down to offset the embedded taxes on income, is naive at best. Congress has shown no willingness to reduce spending in any degree, so the idea that the Federal Leviathan would not jump at the opportunity to add to the tax slavery burden if given the opportunity is asinine to the extreme. As is the idea that business executives would reduce their prices to reflect the lower income taxes rather than pocket the sudden windfall as profits to drive up the stock prices for the shareholders. If you honestly believe these things will happen, I would like to know what you are smoking.

Huckabee may be an excellent example of style over substance, but there is a reason why he is resonating, and I think here his background as a pastor gives him a leg up - a pastor knows "normal" people. He spends time with them, and their concerns often are his concerns as well. Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Mayor Guiliani , and I daresay the NRO/Hugh Hewitt/Club for Growth crowd, likely don't know many people outside their circle - not in the way that a pastor would. This in no way reflects on their character, but I doubt very highly that many of Mr Romney's close friends and associates make less than $200, 000, and I doubt he himself has rarely if ever earned much less that that, adjusted for 2008 dollars. The concerns of the middle and working class America are foreign to him, as they are to the vast majority of the GOP Elites. And since they are foreign, they are dismissed or ignored. Whereas Governor Huckabee, perhaps Fred Thompson, since as an actor he has everyday experiences with non-elite working folks (makeup artists, camera operators, etc), can relate to the middle class - to the average American. What the GOP elites do not seem to get is that there is much more to the Republican Party than the Club for Growth. The economic conservatives may have the money, but the social conservatives/middle class has the grassroots manpower and enthusiasm - BOTH are needed for victory. And since both groups are needed, why in the hell are Econ-cons spewing such animosity? I know I know, they expect that Social Conservatives will at the end of the day suck it up and, like good little boys and girls, vote for whichever Republican the elites throw up. Funny how this only seems to go one way. God forbid the Econ-con elites ever have to suck it up and get behind an actual honest to goodness Social Conservative.

As long as Huckabee is the only candidate who is speaking to the middle class instead of just the investor class, and at least acknowledging their legitimate concerns, this large fissure in the GOP coalition will continue to grow. Unless the NRO crowd and the candidates themselves get off their high horses and start seriously addressing the middle class, and both acknowledging and addressing the legitimate concerns of the many other conservatives that do not live and work along I-95 corridor, come November, say hello to President Obama or Clinton.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Grumpamoose on...?????

I am going to start a new series, every Wednesday, that will be a stream of consciousness essay on a particular topic. And I need your help . Please leave a comment on a suggested topic, since each weeks post will be on a topic submitted by what few readers I have - all two of you. I am making no guarantees that what I write in this series will be Pulitzer level writing, and more likely than no 'twill be little more than a long ramble. But I do promise I will make it as interesting as I can. I will choose a topic on the Monday before each Grumpamoose Wednesday, starting next week. So the deadline for topic consideration is Monday January 7. Comment away.