Geriatric Bacon Diet

I smiled when I saw this one.. I often say that if I
make it to 80 I will start eating bacon every day.


In this edition of Weird World Wednesday, I submit to you this excerpt from Vermont to Arrest George Bush and Dick Cheney

Brattleboro, Vermont, is set to vote in deciding whether or not to indict and issue arrest warrants for George Bush and Dick Cheney. Their crimes: Perjury, war crimes, espionage for spying on U.S. citizens and obstruction of justice for the firing of U.S. attorneys. The warrant would be limited to only the state of Vermont and be enforced if, and only if, Bush or Cheney ever entered the state.

White Peacock

Sometimes we need to be reminded how cool God's creation is!

Mysterious Traveler

Mysterious Traveler Entrances Town With Utopian Vision Of The Future

US Christianity

This map (click on it to get a bigger version) points to the fact that the Roman Catholic (blue) and Baptist (red) churches dominate the American religious landscape.. Lutherans (orange), Mormons (brown) and Methodists (green) trail behind with all other denominations appearing non-existent. Does that surprise you? It did me.

Detour on the Straight Talk Express

This weekend John McCain seemed to violate his high road campaign approach when he said that Mitt Romney had an Iraqi withdrawal timetable. Here is an excerpt from this Time article titled:

McCain's Conversation Changer: A Misleading Low Blow

McCain says that he thinks this amounts to Romney supporting a drop-dead deadline for withdrawing troops. But that's not what happened. A more fair reading of the exchange shows that Romney was instead talking about private benchmarks that would allow Bush and Maliki to measure success or failure. In fact, Romney says flat out that he would veto any bill from Congress that contained such a timetable for withdrawal.

But even if Romney had explicitly supported withdrawal, what exactly does McCain mean by demanding that Romney apologize to American troops? Is McCain suggesting that any American who opposed the surge was somehow not supporting American troops? Is he saying that it is unpatriotic to debate American policy in Iraq? It sure sounds like it. And it is an unbecoming posture for McCain, who has been boasting in recent days about the "respectful debate" he would have with Hillary Clinton, John Edwards or Barack Obama should he win the nomination.

We Want Change!

The chants of the crowd and the cry of the hearts of many of us:

We Want Change!

What remains to be seen is what kind of change we will get. I like Barak but still stumble over many of his policy positions. I wonder what kind of change we will see in the coming days?

Obama: I am a devout Christian

Christianity Today interviewd Barak Obama. Even though I do not agree with his stance on some important issues, I found this answer to be encouraging:

CT: You've talked about your experience walking down the aisle at Trinity United Church of Christ, and kneeling beneath the cross, having your sins redeemed, and submitting to God's will. Would you describe that as a conversion? Do you consider yourself born again?

Obama: I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful. I didn't 'fall out in church' as they say, but there was a very strong awakening in me of the importance of these issues in my life. I didn't want to walk alone on this journey. Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals.

The Heartbreak of War

This photo moves me. It reminds me of the heartbreak of war. Some of the most difficult things that combat soldiers deal with is the loss of their comrades . Please don't forget to pray for those who unselfishly serve freedom!

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him. -GK Chesterton

GK Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was an influential English writer of the early 20th century. His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy, and detective fiction. Here are a few quotes from him that I like:

Why be something to everybody when you can be everything to somebody?

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.

These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.

There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions.

Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.

If there were no God, there would be no Atheists.

The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man.


I wonder what the difference is between the 2nd and 4th positions of this poll? For me.. I think.. well, I'm thinking here.. immigration is probably more important than I think it is. It is an issue that candidates are all over the place on because.. I think.. candidates don't want to offend Hispanics. So here are some thoughts on what I'd like to see in an immigration package:
  1. Real security around our southern border. A patrolled fence sounds like it could work.
  2. Help for migrant Mexican workers to have legal jobs.
  3. Enforcement of existing employment and immigration laws.

I am sure that there are other aspects that I am clueless about. Any you would add or subtract?

On Creating A Monster

Below are a few excerpts from Terry Somerville's article titled:

How To Know When You've Created A Monster

Have you ever noticed how you can follow the Lord, and lovingly create a ministry organization to better do the work, then one day the "creature" develops a life of it's own, gets off the table and begins to terrorize those who created it? It happens because of fallen human nature and the power of the world systems we used. Igor put a criminals brain in the creature instead of the one you expected! Here is how to know if you've created a monster!
  1. A Monster Is Created From Dead Body Parts.
  2. A Monster Is "Stitched" Together
  3. A Monster Develops a Life Of It's Own
  4. A Monster Demands That You Feed It
  5. A Monster Goes Out Of Control
  6. A Monster Is Only Loved By Little Children and The Blind
  7. A Monster is Eventually Killed By The Angry Mob
The genuine church that Jesus started cannot be stopped. He lives for ever!

Terry has some great insight in this article.. I encourage you to read the whole article.

Oscar Nominations

Well, the Academy Awards nominations came out this week and Roger Von Oech picks There Will Be Blood to win Best Picture. I have not seen one of the movies nominated so I am not qualified to vote. I was wondering how many of these you all have seen and which you liked best.. and which you think will get picked for best picture. I wonder what Homer's picks will be for this year.. do you think The Simpsons Movie will make his list?

Bill Clinton has a Dream..

..during a speech by King's son on MLK Day :(

The Audacity of Hope

I watched this at Ed's place and had to share it here. It is Barak Obama's inspiring message yesterday at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr King's church in Atlanta. Barak speaks of unity and hope in such a great way. Take 34 minutes and watch the speech.. I think that it will encourage you and maybe even inspire a bit of hope.. I know it inspired me.

The Prophet

In honor of the day I decided to repost this two-year old piece from my other blog.

If you read nothing else this weekend read Chuck Currie's blog on "Martin Luther King Jr. Here are a few of Dr. King's quotes:
"I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits,” he said when accepting the Noble Peace Prize."

“This faith can give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future,” he said. “It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born.”
I have asked many people if they believed Dr. King was a prophet and have gotten a wide variety of responses. I believe that he was a prophet to our nation ... it is sad that much of our nation and the church is confused about this. I wonder if Dr. King was speaking prophetically when he said
"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
This weekend especially I honor the memory of Dr. King and his legacy to our nation and the kingdom of God.

Chuck Norris Aging Math

I wonder if he came up with the aging formula for dogs.
(You can hit stop after 3 minutes.)

Mac vs PC

I liked these.. they are a bit different.. I liked the second one the best :)

Bobby Fischer

This picture is how I will always remember Bobby Fischer.. the young man who made chess players cool.. well sort of.. in the same way that Bill Gates made computer nerds (like me) cool.

He died in Iceland (his adopted home) on Thursday from kidney failure and was just 6 years my senior. I am sad at his passing.

Here are a few excerpts from
Remembering Bobby Fischer,
chess's Cold War warrior

"They constantly use the words eccentric, eccentric, eccentric, weird. I am boring. I am boring." - Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer was the troubled American chess genius who became a Cold War icon.

In 1972, the same year Canada defeated the Soviet Union in the classic hockey series, Mr. Fischer shattered the myth and the might of the Soviet chess system when he defeated world champion Boris Spassky in a thrilling drama played out in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik.

"His importance was huge, his influence was huge," said Hal Bond, president of the Chess Federation of Canada. "When he played Spassky, it was an American named Bobby playing a Russian named Boris and every other stereotype was true. He was the maverick American playing against the establishment Russian. He showed up in Iceland on his own, Spassky arrived with a state-sponsored entourage. Fischer was the American-dream kind of player who achieved everything through his own intense effort."
In a statement to the New York Times from France yesterday, Mr. Spassky said he was "very sorry" to hear of his famous opponent's death. The two men had remained in contact and on friendly terms since 1972.

Canadian federation president Mr. Bond, who has met Mr. Spassky several times, said the Russian always spoke positively about Mr. Fischer.

"They had known each other for a long time and they respected each other," said Mr. Bond. "Spassky never spoke ill of him."

Mr. Fischer, who was said to have had an IQ greater than Albert Einstein's, became the youngest U.S. national champion at 14 and a grandmaster at 15.

"The gap between Mr. Fischer and his contemporaries was the largest ever," fellow grandmaster Garry Kasparov wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2004.

The Future of US Immigration

My friend Jeanette sent me a link to this video that uses statistical modeling to forecast the stresses that immigration will place on the US. I was impressed by the mathematical approach but felt disappointed that no creative solution was proferred.. maybe the only solution is a radical reduction of immigration numbers? I'd be interested in hearing what you have to say about this.

13 Healthy Habits to Improve Your Life

From my friend Kirk.. compliments of Web MD:
  1. Eat Breakfast Every Morning
  2. Add Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Your Diet
  3. Get Enough Sleep
  4. Make Social Connections
  5. Exercise for Better Health
  6. Practice Good Dental Hygiene
  7. Take Up a Hobby
  8. Protect Your Skin
  9. Snack the Healthy Way
  10. Drink Water and Eat Dairy
  11. Drink Tea
  12. Take a Daily Walk
  13. Plan

I give my self a grade of C- (7.5 out of 13)... but probably behave more like a grade of "D". What grade would you give yourself?

The Truth About Hybrids

Sarah brought up Hybrids today in her comment on my gas taxes post. I had been wanting to post about them for a while so here are a few excerpts from an article written by Bob Elton who, according to the article, is an automotive engineer who, over the last 30 years, has worked for all of the big 3 and a number of suppliers as well. Elton holds a couple of dozen patents, and currently works as a consultant to a major automotive supplier.

While the mileage, environmental and PC advantages of vehicles powered by a gas - electric powerplant seems obvious, how much of this hybrid mania is hype?

The Prius' Synergy Drive looks clean and tidy now, but those big old batteries will eventually pose an environmental risk.

Few people realize that a hybrid's power train adds roughly 10% to the weight of a car. Even fewer realize that manufacturers try to offset the weight penalty-- and add to the hybrid's headline-grabbing mileage figures-- by the extensive use of non-hybrid gas-saving technology. Engine shut-off at idle, electric power steering, harder and reduced rolling resistance tires (at the expense of comfort and traction), reduced option content, reduced engine performance, and, in the case of the Ford, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) all help raise the cars' overall efficiency.

In fact, in normal use, the margin between truly comparable hybrid and non-hybrid cars could be less than 10%-- hardly enough to justify the extra purchase price.

Gas - electric hybrid engines use several large batteries. Creating these power cells requires a couple of hundred pounds of heavy metals-- not to mention the copper used in the large electric drive motors and the heavy wires they require. Mining and smelting lead, copper and other heavy metals is an energy intensive process that generates both air pollution and deforestation. Disposing of the batteries when they outlive their usefulness also raises environmental challenges.

Feel free to read the rest of Bob's article and let me know if it changes your mind about hybrid car technology.. I think that it changed mine a bit. And here is one of Bob's questions that I'll end with:
Like the 1923 Stanley Steamer,
will hybrids also become a historical oddity?
Let me know what you think.

Inner Blonde

You can dye your hair black,
but you can't ever hide your "inner blonde."

Okay.. it is not PC.. but it is funny :)

Of course, a guy was probably driving
and took the picture :(

I Wish You Enough

This came to my inbox today.. a nice way to start the weekend:

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright
no matter how gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest
of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

GMAB: When the Rules Run Up Against Faith

Prep Athlete Wearing Muslim Clothing Disqualified From Track Meet
By Alan Goldenbach
Washington Post Staff Writer

Juashaunna Kelly, a Theodore Roosevelt High School senior who has the fastest mile and two-mile times of any girls' runner in the District this winter, was disqualified from Saturday's Montgomery Invitational indoor track and field meet after officials said her Muslim clothing violated national competition rules.

Kelly was wearing the same uniform she has worn for the past three seasons while running for Theodore Roosevelt's cross-country and track teams: a custom-made, one-piece blue and orange unitard that covers her head, arms, torso and legs. On top of the unitard, Kelly wore the same orange and blue T-shirt and shorts as her teammates.

The outfit allows her to compete while complying with her Muslim faith, which forbids displaying any skin other than her face and hands.

As one of the other heats was held, two meet officials signaled to Kelly and asked her about her uniform. Meet director Tom Rogers said Kelly's uniform violated rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations, which sanctioned the event, by not being "a single-solid color and unadorned, except for a single school name or insignia no more than 2 1/4 inches."

Give Me A Break!! You can read the rest of the article and really feel sad about how people.. at the expense of sportsmanship and in particular a young girl's feelings.. follow the letter of the rules even when it goes against the spirit of those same rules. Give Me A Break!! Very sad.. anyone disagree?

A New Meaning of Spyware

From an article titled:
Microsoft seeks patent for office 'spy' software

Microsoft is developing Big Brother-style software capable of remotely monitoring a worker’s productivity, physical wellbeing and competence.

The system would allow managers to monitor employees’ performance by measuring their heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure. Unions said they fear that employees could be dismissed on the basis of a computer’s assessment of their physiological state.

The system could also “automatically detect frustration or stress in the user” and “offer and provide assistance accordingly”. Physical changes to an employee would be matched to an individual psychological profile based on a worker’s weight, age and health. If the system picked up an increase in heart rate or facial expressions suggestive of stress or frustration, it would tell management that he needed help.

Gas Tax on the Poor

This Bloomberg article is probably the best reason to elect real fiscal conservatives to office. It says in part:
A U.S. panel created to recommend ways to fund road construction plans to propose that federal gasoline taxes rise as much as 40 cents per gallon over five years, a person with direct knowledge of the plan said.

The group will suggest that the current tax of 18.4 cents per gallon increase by 5 cents to 8 cents annually and be indexed to inflation after the five years, said the person, who didn't want to be named before the report is made public.

The panel, called the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, is scheduled to release its recommendations including the federal fuel-tax increase Jan. 15 in Washington. Congress created the panel in 2005 for the purpose of issuing the report.

The findings may bolster efforts by members of Congress who have tried unsuccessfully to raise fuel taxes over the objections of President George W. Bush. The tax increase wouldn't go into effect until after Bush leaves office in 2009.
Taxes like these inordinately affect the poorest among us and should.. in my opinion.. be avoided. What do you think? Which of the presidential candidates do you think would support these gas tax hikes? Can anyone say tax and spend liberal?

WWW: Double Trouble

In this Monday edition of Weird World Wednesday.. this just couldn't wait two more days.. I submit to you this excerpt from..

Twins separated at birth met and married

LONDON (Reuters) - A couple discovered after they had married that they were twins who had been split up at birth and adopted by separate families, according to a member of Britain's House of Lords...

"This did not involve in vitro fertilization: It involved the normal birth of twins who were separated at birth and adopted by separate parents," said Alton, an independent member of the Lords. "They were never told that they were twins."

"They met later in life and felt an inevitable attraction, and the judge had to deal with the consequences of the marriage that they entered into and all the issues of their separation," he said.

So, what would you do if you were in this situation? Would you stay married? Would you separate? It boggles the mind, doesn't it?

The Seventh Day

Hopeful Spirit has been hosting a Blog Carnival at their site. They have linked to two of my posts from here and my other blog. Click on the picture to see this week's entries and consider entering one of your posts into the mix.

WWW: Painful Evidence

In this edition of Weird World Wednesday, I submit to you an excerpt from this story:

GRAND RAPIDS -- A shoplifting suspect who was stabbed in the stomach by knives he is accused of trying to steal was expected to have a brief stay in the hospital, police said. The 26-year-old Comstock Park man hid $300 worth of hunting knives in his waistband at the Knapp's Corner Meijer store, police said. He suffered puncture wounds to his abdomen about 5:40 p.m. Monday when he tried to flee and scuffled with security workers. During the struggle, the suspect fell on the knives, authorities said.

Election Perspective

Hattip to Laymond!

Political Idealism

According to this article former Senator Bill Bradley is going to come out in support of Barack Obama. Here is an excerpt:
"Barack Obama is building a broad new coalition that brings together Democrats, independents and Republicans by once again making idealism a central focus of our politics," Bradley said in a release scheduled to be released on Sunday.

"Because of his enormous appeal to Americans of all ages and backgrounds, Obama is the candidate best positioned to win in November. ... His movement for change could create a new era of American politics — truly a new American story."
I have followed Bradley ever since he played basketball for Princeton (in my teen years I would practice one of his BB shots for hours at a time), got a Rhodes scholarship, played for the NY Knicks, was elected a NJ senator and ran for the presidential nomination against Al Gore.. I found it interesting that the idealism and not issues was (at least) one of the reasons he is supporting Obama.

It got me to thinking about how cynical I have become of politicians and our government.. in some sense I have lost hope that anyone we elect could change the atmosphere in Washington. I believed that GW Bush could when I voted for him in 2000 and have since lost any idealism that I once had.. but I do not like where I am these days.. I want to embrace the idealism that Bill Bradley speaks of.. but don't see it happening soon.

Is anyone else out there struggling in this way? Anyone else tired of voting for the lesser of two "evils"? Anyone hoping for idealism but not able to get past political cynicism?

Candidates as Communicators

1/5 Update: Having observed Mike Huckabee for several months now in different venues.. in debates and in TV interviews with Morning Joe, Meet the Press, Jay Leno.. I have to say that he is the best communicator on either side of the aisle. Mike is natural and believable.. he also seems to be willing to say when he is wrong and stick to his guns when he thinks he is right.

On the other side of the aisle the hands-down best orator of any candidate is Barack Obama.. he is inspirational and so reminiscent of some of our best presidential speakers. Which candidates do you think are the best communicators?
10/12: Last Sunday former Arkansas governor and US president Bill Clinton said this (to George Stephanopolus) of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee:
Mr. Huckabee is the "only dark horse that's got any kind of chance. … He's the best speaker they've got."
I had not thought of Mike as a great speaker.. in this age of sound bites and TV ads it is something to consider.. public speaking is probably one of the things that helped get Bill Clinton elected.. he certainly had the ability to connect with people when he gave speeches. I don't think that it is one of his wife's strengths though.

Who, among the candidates, do you think is the best public speaker? Who do you think is the best debater.. the one who best can think on their feet?

Wyoming Caucus on Saturday?

Will Anyone Notice Wyoming Caucuses?

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Don't forget Wyoming. It's been overlooked in the hoopla surrounding Thursday's Iowa caucuses and next week's New Hampshire primary, but Wyoming Republicans will caucus Saturday and choose delegates to the national convention in September.

Candidates have paid little attention to the state, though.

Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul have passed through since September. Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain have not.

"Yes, there have been some appearances by the candidates in this state that otherwise wouldn't have occurred this early in the process," said Jim King, who teaches political science at the University of Wyoming. "But candidates are where the media are — in Iowa and New Hampshire."

Iowa Turnout: 239k vs 115k

Democratic caucusers turned out with more than twice the numbers that Republican voters did. Democrats estimated turnout at 239,000, and nearly 115,000 Republicans took part. I wonder if these number are reflective of the general malaise that Republicans across the country are feeling. I wonder if the real story in Iowa is that a new generation of voters is beginning to engage in the great American political process. I hope so.

And of course I have to own up to my missed predictions.. hey at least I picked second place in each race :(

KU Orange Bowl Victory

Last night the Number 8 rated University of Kansas beat number 3 rated Virginia Tech 24-21 in the Orange Bowl last night to finish the college football season with the most wins in school history. Kansas, the No. 8 team in the Bowl Championship Series rankings, was playing in a major bowl game for the first time since the 1969 Orange Bowl. The Jayhawks finished with a 6-6 record last season and only lost one game this year.. an amazing time to be a Kansan :) Congrats Jayhawks!!

I Will Always Love You

Here are two renditions of Dolly Parton's megahit song. Let me know which version you liked better and see if you can name the movies where Dolly and Whitney sang them.. and name the movies' leading men while you are at it :)

The Grassroots Candidate

Outspent 20-1 in Iowa by Mitt Romney it appears
that Mike is truly a grassroots populist candidate.

Iowa Caucus Prediction

On Thursday January 3rd Iowans.. my brother-in-law and his family included.. will vote to determine who will lead the pack amongst the Donkeys and the Elephants. Here are my predictions:

As you can see from the pictures I picked the prettiest candidate from each party.. each positioned on the appropriate side of the computer :)

Okay.. I made my picks.. not based on preferences mind you.. well maybe a little bit.. I'll keep them at the top of my blog until the polls close in Iowa.

Who are your picks to win in Iowa?

Jason and the KC Sweathogs

This is a follow-up to my previous post about the KC Chiefs 4 and 12 losing season. Jason Whitlock (pictured) writes about KC sports and is one of the jewels of the Kansas City Star's reporting staff. His writing and reporting is funny (sense of humor needed when you report on the Chiefs and the Royals) and insightful. Today's column is a great example of his wit and insight. Here is the beginning of the column where he rates the KC Chiefs players and staff:

When I sat down to give out grades for the just-completed Kansas City Chiefs season, the theme song for the 1970s hit TV show “Welcome Back, Kotter” popped into my head.
Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out.

Welcome back, to that same old place that you laughed about.
Yep, I was grading a group of Sweathogs, remedial football students who had returned the Chiefs to the 1970s, an era fans had laughed about.

Jared Allen was the lovable star of the team, the Vinnie Barbarino. Tony Gonzalez was Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington, the athletic superstar. Kansas City’s offensive line was Hors(hack), the weakling weak link. And Herm Edwards was Juan Epstein, a tough-talking bully who had an excuse for every shortcoming. Of course, King Carl was Mr. Woodman, the bitter principal who looked down his nose at the Sweathogs.

That makes me Mr. Kotter, the man in charge of educating and evaluating these delinquent players. It was a very difficult job this year. A record number of players received D’s and F’s. Eddie Drummond was given a G, a new category that will forever be known as the Eddie Drummond Memorial Trophy.

Only Allen and Gonzalez received A’s.

Word is 18 Sweathogs will be booted out of school during winter and summer vacation. Mr. Woodman says he’s coming back for a 20th season.

2008 Has Come Today!

..and it is a leap year!