Thursday, October 25, 2007

WOW. Sometimes Things Go Right.

I am a flat-magnet.

Err, what that means is, I get flat tires a lot. At least I think it is more than the average driver. Not sure what the deal is. I've had to buy a replacement lug wrench (I completely destroyed the wimpy folding one that came with the car trying to remove lug nuts that were impact-wrenched on as if the Space Shuttle depended on it). I've had to replace tires multiple times because when I get a flat, it typically is some crazy shard of IED that rips through the sidewall.
Some time back, I noticed that I was getting some vibration, but it started RIGHT before I made a trip to Dallas and back. So, on a bad alignment, I put about 500 miles on the tires and wore one of them pretty badly on the outside edge. Fast forward to about 2 months ago. This worn tire picks up a nail and starts leaking. I get it fixed. In the meantime, I'm starting to notice vibration again at higher speeds. Oh, and I have a trip to Dallas impending (tomorrow). Now about a week ago, I notice the SAME tire has a nice new nail in it. It's not leaking, but needs to be fixed before a Dallas trip, right? Today (yep, waiting until the last minute), I take the car to the Sears near work. Tell them I need the tire fixed.
"Can't do it - not enough tread".
Great. I have to buy a new tire. But, probably the wise thing to do. It's not that expensive of a tire.
Then the guy says "Your alignment is probably out for this to be so worn down."
"Well, most of that happened before I got it aligned a while back."
"Where did you get it aligned?"
"When was it? The alignment is warrantied."
"I'm not sure. How long is the warranty?"
"Six thousand miles or six months, whichever comes first."
"Psshh, it was probably more than six thousand miles ago, but let me look."
I have the receipt in the glove compartment. I look. I do the math.
"OH man, check this out. It was May 1st, and I'm under 6k by... about 100 miles."
"OK, then it's free."

Hallelujah! You can't tell me God wasn't protecting this fool on this one. Even if I were staying town, another 2 days and I'd have been over 6,000 miles. And also under by six days? Insane.

So, now I have a fresh new tire and a new alignment... AND, they were slow so they did all of it while I was there. Less than an hour. That's awesome.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What a Difference... revised

OK, I will equate this fire thing with Katrina. It's gotten totally huge since I wrote my last post. Good grief. I pray that they'll be able to control these things soon. Nature is NOT on our side.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What a Difference a Governor Makes?

I can't help but notice that in San Diego, CA thousands upon thousands of people, fleeing a natural disaster, have gathered at Qualcomm Stadium (the NFL Stadium there) to wait out the fires, worried sick about their homes and futures.

Sound familiar?

However, instead of crimes being committed, people becoming mini-celebrities by complaining, rumors of beatings, robbery and rape, it's a civil, almost festive atmosphere. Food and water are in abundance, the governor of the state is there, talking to people one-on-one, and the mood, while apprehensive, is calm.

Now, I'm not trying to equate wildfires in a relatively small area to a hurricane that covers an entire city. However, it does show some stark differences. In an environment run by Democrats, who claim to be 'for the little guy', no help came, organization was nil, buses that could have evacuated neighborhoods were left to sink under rising water, and thousands of people with a mindset of entitlement (again, thanks to... well, I won't keep repeating the obvious) just asked "where's mine, when am I going to get it, and dang, I think I'll take this plasma tv".

Dare I mention that the governor of California is a Republican? I wonder if that might have had anything to do with the way the evacuees are being managed. Just wondering.

Granted, California is a bastion of Liberalism, but it's a different kind. This is the elitist snob kind of Liberalism. The kind that shows that when a wildfire strikes, the homes in danger are the multi-million-dollar variety (wildfires indicate forest, and living near a beautiful wooded area is expensive, kids). The kind that through onerous "open space laws" has artificially created a housing shortage, driving the price of the existing homes through the roof (no pun intended), where only the well-heeled can afford to live. Convenient, eh? No worries about "those people" moving in near you - they can't ever afford to. Sure, you're at the ballot box, pushing for this racist, elitist, separatist agenda in the name of "The Environment", because that makes it sound noble and "green". But the "green" in this case is your protected property values. And you don't have to come out and say that when you push for government programs to help "the poor", what you really mean is "just as long as they don't come near me, except to clean the pool."

What happened in New Orleans was a travesty on many levels. The "Blame Bush First" crowd tried to make it be about the federal government failures, but the state has to first officially ask for the federal government's help. That's the way it works. Locally, the mayor was caught like a deer in headlights and did nothing (until he began panicking and blaming Bush). The governor did next to nothing (until it was too late, so she too blamed Bush). The president didn't help the cause with his usual foot-in-mouth sound bites ("Heckuva job, Brownie!"), but the failures of NOLA began many decades ago, when corrupt Democrat officials enjoyed a tradition of siphoning federal levee money into pet projects (and pockets), and made damned sure that the poor stayed that way so they could always get reelected on promises of better days ahead.

It's a sickening idea, but think about it: if minorities and 'poor folk' actually shook off the empty promises and table scraps of the welfare state, rolled up their sleeves, worked hard, saved their money & thus built a better life for themselves and their children... why would they vote Democrat? So they could pay more in taxes? They've been told all their lives that "the rich" owe them something. Why would they want to become rich and then have their hard-earned money confiscated via taxes to give to people who didn't get off their butt and make something of themselves? Much easier to continue to listen to the lies, platitudes and empty promises of the party machine. Stay resentful of the 'haves' -- remain a 'have not' and sing "We Shall Overcome" on MLK day.

The West Coast Liberals have figured out a way to keep their enclaves free of "the common people" while claiming to care about them. Southern Liberals have just flat-out exploited their poor -- and even when the curtain was pulled aside after Katrina and the Great Oz was unmasked, these poor misguided people chose to stay asleep and not get back to Kansas and see reality. Hmmm, actually, a lot of them did flee to Kansas -- But I digress. I can only hope that some day the voting bloc that is the "African-American Community" (since when does your race make you a community?) will wake up and realize they are being used. Katrina should have been a clarion call, but the brainwashing is even more entrenched than I thought. And that's just sad.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hate Crimes Update

As ridiculous as the concept of a "hate crime" is, here's evidence that hate crime laws are so poorly written that... get this... you don't even have to be a hater to get convicted of a hate crime. What?

In New York, Anthony Fortunato was just convicted of a hate crime against a gay man. That conjures up images of some homophobe violently attacking a homosexual, some old-fashioned gay-bashing, with a flurry of anti-gay epithets thrown in just to seal the deal. But is that what happened? Nope, not even close. Anthony Fortunato is himself gay, or at least bisexual.

He and some friends were low on money and dope and Fortunato had an idea to troll a gay chat room and find someone looking for a date. They lured Michael Sandy to some place and Fortunato's friends attacked him. He ran and as they chased him, he ran into the path of an oncoming car. Fortunato claims that he had no intention of beating the guy, only to try to get him to share some pot, and then maybe taking some money from him.

Well, here's the rub: Apparently in New York, you don't have to prove that the perpetrator hates gays, only that the victim was chosen based on his sexual orientation. So Fortunato was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime.

So if you were thinking about stealing someones CD collection of show tunes, you may want to think twice. Could be a hate crime.

Logically, shouldn't this make all targeted robberies hate crimes? You might not hate old ladies, but you targeted one for purse-snatching because of her age and assumed frailty... You don't hate rich white folks leaving the opera, but you targeted them for their race and their assumed wealth...

It's bad enough we're creating thought police. If hate crimes laws are going to exist, the bar better be set pretty freakin' high - because the State is miraculously going to prosecute you for what they cannot know... what you are thinking. Merely "choosing a victim based on sexual preference" may involve stereotyping, but that hardly rises to the level of statutory "hate".

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Object Lessons and Slaps in the Face

So, right now there is a bible study going on at my church on Tuesdays. We're watching a series of talks by Louie Giglio. If you don't know anything about Louie, the nutshell is that he has a very visually-oriented, casual ministry style but manages to drive home the truths of the Gospel in a very profound way.

This series is "Christ In You" and focuses on Colossians. This Tuesday, he spent some time talking about the difference in what is actually true vs. what we feel like, or feel is true. He said that sadly, most people live based on their feelings instead of what God has said is true (the point here being, in case you are a little slow, that God's word can be trusted).

Although I've heard this teaching before, it really whacked me upside the head this week, because I'd just gotten through enduring a situation that truthfully was nothing... but it felt like hell. And, acting on the feeling and not the reality, I pushed the first domino over.



click click

click click click

click click clickclickclickclick...thunk! <--(the sound of someone jamming their hand in between the dominoes)

Thank God that before the whole domino arrangement fell over (it's barely started getting set up!), cooler heads prevailed, the voice of reason (and reality) intervened, and a friendship was not destroyed.

Louie, even though you just happened to be cued up in the DVD player on Tuesday, I thank God that you were there to make the analogy painfully clear. Although the issue was already being resolved, I now have a wonderful picture of how ridiculously far away from the truth (and The Truth) we can get when we base our reactions on our feelings and not reality. Whether in the interpersonal moments in day to day life or the infinitely more important and eternal ramifications of our salvation, how we may feel about something is nothing upon which to stand. May I always remember this the next time my feelings get in the way... the enemy sure knows how to manipulate feelings, but cannot change the truth!

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Must-Read of the Day

I can't wait to read this one.
Of course, at the rate I'm going, it will be next year before I can post any sort of review...
Anyway, I feel confident in recommending this to any and all. This man has been maligned by so many, simply because he doesn't fall into the Left's definition of what an African-American is assumed to be. Instead of being held up as a role model, he (along with Colin Powell, J.C. Watts, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, and others) is derided as an "Uncle Tom", "not in touch with his blackness" (whatever that means), and other such baseless name-calling.
Any time I've had the good fortune to catch a speech by Justice Thomas, I've been captivated by his clarity, conviction and honesty. It breaks my heart that there are probably no more than a handful of young African-American boys thinking "Someday, I want to be like Clarence Thomas". Maybe, just maybe, this book will open the eyes of some -- although I'm sure the NYT Book Review and all the usual suspects in the race-baiting business will trash the book out of hand and unfortunately help limit its success.