Tuesday, August 22, 2006

For Shirley....

Who has brought a smile to my face on more than one occasion - and a reminder to all of you, and to me, to treasure what we have and take care of ourselves. Cancer can be so devestating but is so curable with early detection.

Heavenly Father, please give Herb your healing light and strength, your munificent assistance and the capacity to hope and hold strong throughout this challenge. Comfort his family and give them the strength to be all that Herb needs throughout this time. Please give special strength and undarkening hope to Herb, his sons and his mother, that they may find a path through this and to the other side of a loving survival. Help them never to forget to love, laugh, and cherish all that has been given them and show them a path that they can follow wrapped in each other's love and hope.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Shooters' Alliance for Firearms Rights Reaching out to Others

There are many ways to support our troups - and I think that prayers, good thoughts, and the support of family and friends at home is vital, but there are other ways to support our troups and their families at home.

Here's a great example. The Shooters' Alliance for Firearms Rights'
SAFR Jackson Chapter has done a wonderful fundraiser and is donating the funds to the Michigan National Guard Family Program, which provides assistance to military members as needed. This can be during times of deployments or when the soldier/airman is unable to provide necessary information to the family.

Other ways to support our men and women working for our freedom throughout the world:

  • Donate a calling card to help keep service members in touch with their families at Operation Uplink at http://www.operationuplink.org/

  • Send a greeting via e-mail through Operation Dear Abby at:
    http://anyservicemember.navy.mil/ or http://www.OperationDearAbby.net/

  • Sign a virtual thank you card at the Defend America: Web site at
  • Make a donation to one of the military relief societies:

  • Army Emergency Relief at http://www.aerhq.org/

  • Navy/Marine Relief Society at http://www.nmcrs.org/

  • Air Force Aid Society at http://www.afas.org/

  • Coast Guard Mutual Assistance at http://www.cgmahq.org/

  • The Michigan National Guard The Michigan National Guard Family Fund

  • Donate to "Operation USO Care Package" at http://www.usometrodc.org/care.html

  • Support the American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services at http://www.redcross.org/services/afes

  • Volunteer at a VA Hospital: to honor veterans who bore the lamp of freedom in past conflicts. http://www.va.gov/vetsday/

  • Reach out to military families in your community, especially those with a loved one overseas. Kudoes to SAFR and all of those involved for their continued support of those who give so much for us at home. Working together, people who care can accomplish anything!

    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Castle Doctrine Passed Senate

    Passed by the Michigan House back in April, the Senate has now signed on to support Castle Doctrine.


    However - in what I see as a pretty odd thing to do, they have tie-barred the already successfully passed Bills to two new basically duplicate Bills.

    One of them is a fairly obvious ploy by a formerly Conservative Senator to try to appear as though he is responsible for Castle Doctrine becoming law in Michigan. Fortunately for us, this Senator is losing the respect of the voters, the business community and no doubt, his colleagues. Unfortunately for us, his floundering about has slowed down the right of Michigan citizens to legally protect ourselves in dangerous situations.

    Shame on him.

      Saturday, June 03, 2006

      Lessons from the past....

      A woman posted a sort of sweet “forward” type thing on an email list I belong to today. I've thought of my dad a couple of times today – talking about lessons he’d taught me as I was growing up and her sending this kind of added to my thinking about him.

      Old Geezers remember the Depression, World War II, Dieppe, Vimy Ridge, the White Cliffs of Dover and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War 1950-53-55, The Cold War, the many Peacekeeping Missions from 1945 to 2005, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing.

      Born in 1904, the child of French immigrants, he was a proud, hard-working man. My father was an “old geezer” from the day I was born. At forty-nine, when I was born, he was already old for the care and feeding of a little girl. I was the second to last of his children and he spoiled me rotten, perhaps because his last child died very young, perhaps because he could, after having managed to feed and clothe a large number (by today’s standards) of my siblings before me. By the time I was a teenager, all of the others were gone from home but he still earned very good money and I never wanted for anything.

      He lived through two depressions and raised children through them as well. He hated it, and often went without eating himself to ensure that his young ones had what they needed. He did every job one could think of and never once collected a single bit of "dole" as he called it. He got home at 5:50 every weeknight that I remember as I grew up. He didn't finish fifth grade, but I learned to read over his shoulder in "Daddy's Chair" as he read the newspaper nightly, waiting for dinner to be set on the table at 6:00 PM. Meat, potatoes, two slices of bread and coffee.

      He was a predictable man. Not much chatter out of him, but plenty of lessons. Work hard and don’t expect anyone to take care of you. Do your job the way you'd expect someone else to do it. Clean up after yourself. Protect folks who need protecting. Never let your children go hungry. Pay your bills. Don't expect anything free. Say please and thank you and never call your elders by their first names (it's disrespectful).

      He taught me to cook and after my mom was gone, I took over the task of having that dinner on the table for him at 6:00, and I eventually learned to make liver and onions that he'd have two servings of and take for lunch the next day - unheard of with anything else we ever had for dinner and in the days before microwaves.

      Monday nights we went for dinner at Kay's Kitchen on Gratiot. He often had spaghetti – something we did not cook at home as I was growing up. I almost always had steak – something else we did not cook at home as I was growing up. I learned how to make a terrific spaghetti sauce (before spaghetti became pasta) and he loved coming over for dinner and having a big plate before I eventually moved out of state.

      He loved apple pie with ice cream – I learned to make that as well. So much of what I learned to do as I was growing up was because I wanted my dad to think well of me. That feeling of wanting my dad to think well of me has never really gone away.

      He always made clear that he felt I could do anything that I decided I wanted to do. He thought I was the smartest little girl on the planet. He was proud of me - always, even when I was "just a mom," staying home, raising my babies. The only time I ever felt that he was ashamed of me was when I got pregnant at fifteen years old. Later, he told me that he wasn’t ashamed of me as much as he was afraid that I would give up and not make something out of my life.

      He loved my kids, but never got the chance to know my youngest. He thought my daughter was “the picture of her Momma” and told me she was likely to grow up as stubborn as I. My oldest has my father’s blue eyes and his crooked baby fingers and sometimes, when he stands just right, I can see my father’s posture and attitude in him. My youngest is named for him and I know my father would be proud of him as well.

      My father’s work ethic was pretty amazing – I like to think he passed that down to me as well. The first college degree I earned I thought of him a thousand times the day I collected my diploma. He wasn’t there; he’d passed away from lung cancer a few months before. Receiving my Bachelor’s degree from U of M, I prayed to him and knew he was watching. When I was awarded my Master’s Degree, I kept wishing he could have known – and then remembered that of course he does.

      I teach for a living. Some folks look down on that and a few even manage to imply that my teaching where I teach is something that I should somehow be ashamed of. An old fellow with a lot of bitterness going on in his life, in a moment of pique, said, “Neva can't seem to get hired outside of the ghetto...” as though I am somehow lacking because I choose to work in the inner city and devote my life to working with the children who need good teachers the most.

      I’m guessing somehow his father didn’t teach him the same kind of lessons my father taught me.

      Sunday, May 21, 2006

      Memorial Day 2006

      I'm still hurting - I still miss Doc so much. I didn't really think it would still be this painful. It has been especially painful of late because suddenly, it has become clear to me that some he really thought cared for him did not.

      I wish them ill. I would never do anything actively, but I wish them ill. No good can ever come of not fulfilling someone's wishes when they are gone from this earth. There is no financial gain large enough to justify not honoring those who have left us. Shame on those who do so.

      I will visit Doc again a week from now. I expect to find his grave just as I left it, sadly enough. I will clean it up, plant some flowers, talk to him, listen to the wind, wish I could hear his voice again.

      A reminder to those who would forget why May 30th should be important to all of us.


      The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

      We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance.

      All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

      If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

      Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from his honor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

      It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

      Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.

      By order of
      JOHN A. LOGAN,Commander-in-Chief
      N.P. CHIPMAN,Adjutant General
      Official:WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

      Sunday, May 14, 2006

      Life's moments....

      Someone sent me this link today - it being Mother's Day and all. Watching it, I thought back over raising my boys.

      I raised two - they're 25 and 37 now.

      When the youngest was about ten, the two of them were wrestling around in the family room and the elder knocked the other's (already loose) tooth out - the younger promptly swallowed it, choking half to death as it apparently got stuck on his uvula or something part way down and then, ticked off because his big brother was laughing at him, just as promptly kicked his brother in the face, giving him a bloody nose.

      I came around the corner to find them both covered in blood and my older son, in his early twenties, on the floor cradling his bloody face, with my younger son standing over him, blood pouring down his chin and shirt, screaming, "I want my f***ing tooth back."

      The tableau froze.

      I was.... well, let's just say, less than amused at the time, but even now it makes me laugh.....

      Proverbs Chapter 31

      My mother has been gone a long time - perhaps always - but I know this about a good woman - her price is far above rubies - and I wish all good women a Happy Mother's Day.

      31:10 Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies.
      31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her. He shall have no lack of gain.
      31:12 She does him good, and not harm, All the days of her life.
      31:13 She seeks wool and flax, And works eagerly with her hands.
      31:14 She is like the merchant ships. She brings her bread from afar.
      31:15 She rises also while it is yet night, Gives food to her household, And portions for her servant girls.
      31:16 She considers a field, and buys it. With the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard.
      31:17 She girds her loins with strength, And makes her arms strong.
      31:18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp doesn't go out by night.
      31:19 She lays her hands to the distaff, And her hands hold the spindle.
      31:20 She opens her arms to the poor; Yes, she extends her hands to the needy.
      31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household; For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
      31:22 She makes for herself carpets of tapestry. Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
      31:23 Her husband is respected in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
      31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And delivers sashes to the merchant.
      31:25 Strength and dignity are her clothing. She laughs at the time to come.
      31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom. Faithful instruction is on her tongue.
      31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household, And doesn't eat the bread of idleness.
      31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her:
      31:29 "Many women do noble things, But you excel them all."
      31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain; But a woman who fears Yahweh, she shall be praised.
      31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands! Let her works praise her in the gates!

      Spider-Man? I have vertigo, for heaven's sake!

      Your results:
      You are Spider-Man
      - You are intelligent, witty, a bit geeky and have great power and responsibility.

      Sunday, May 07, 2006


      I decided that I need to do something new - seeing as I am an Earth Science geek as well as a computer geek, this seemed like it might be an amusing idea.

      Amusing isn't the half of it. First, I sort of vaguely snuck out because heaven forbid I should announce I was going off to try this and come back empty-handed, not having been able to find my way to the corner, let alone someone's artfully hidden cache.

      For thos of you who don't have a clue what
      geocaching (geo-cashing, like cashing a check) is, it's definitely a sport and it can be done alone, with a friend, or in a group. I suspect I will do much of mine on my own as I tend to have a fairly random schedule.

      What is it and where'd it come from?

      Prior to May 2, 2000, Global Positioning Systems had a built-in error known as
      selective availability which intentionally degraded the GPS signal that private citizens were able to receive. On that day, however, the White House changed policy. Twenty-four satellites around the globe processed their new orders, and instantly the accuracy of GPS technology improved tenfold. Tens of thousands of GPS receivers around the world suddenly saw an upgraded, and very precise signal change.

      By the following day, of course, a computer geek named Dave Ulmer apparently thought, "Whoo-hoo - now I can really use this multi-billion dollar satellite system for something worthwhile!"

      He decided to test the accuracy of GPS by hiding a small container, a little black bucket in fact, out in the woods and noting the coordinates with a GPS unit. He called the idea the "Great American GPS Stash Hunt" and posted it in an internet GPS users' group. The idea was, someone else would then have to locate the container with only the use of his or her GPS receiver. The rules for the finder were simple: "Take some stuff, leave some stuff."

      On May 3rd he placed his own container, a black bucket, in the woods near Beaver Creek, Oregon, close to Portland. Along with a logbook and pencil, he left various items including videos, books, software, and a slingshot. He the posted the waypoint of his "stash" with the online community on sci.geo.satellite-nav:

      N 45 17.460 W 122 24.800

      The stash took three days to find, and the "winner" was Mike Teague. From there, geocaching took off and now there are well over a quarter million caches world-wide.

      The rules are very simple:

      1. Take something from the cache (not strictly required).

      2. Leave something in the cache (not strictly required).

      3. Write about it in the logbook - and very often, online as well (pretty much required).

      I took a sheet of Tigger stickers - whoo-hoo! I left two campaign buttons from Michigan's 2004 election cycle and an oyster shell I found on the beach on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina. I then proceeded to write the wrong darned date in the logbook! But I had a great time and felt decidedly victorious.

      When I decided to give this a shot, I simply went to Google and googled up geocaching + Michigan and went from there. You should, too. Good day, out in the fresh air and sun - and what a rush when I actually found the cache! Life is an adventure - if you wish it to be.

      Saturday, April 29, 2006

      I'm so cheap and Staples is so Great...

      I shop at Staples all the time - yes, I know it's an office supply place and who really enjoys shopping at an office supply place but still....

      I get a
      Teacher's Rewards discount that lets me get free shipping, no matter how small the order, and then gives me two percent of what I spend back every quarter.

      So today I went shopping for some of this and some of that and had a coupon for 12% off in store, and my rewards check for $20 (they rounded up from $19.60) and then, in addition, another rewards check for $30.

      So how'd I get two rewards checks? Well, I had misplaced my previous quarter's check and called the Rewards Center and explained my loss and they sent me a replacement for it without any problem at all.

      Excellent service, excellent products, next day delivery whether my order is $2.00 or $200 and a percentage of every purchase goes right back into my pocket.

      Oh, yeah, and $60.99 worth of stuff for sixty-eight cents. What more can you ask for?

      Friday, April 14, 2006

      Castle Doctrine - NRA-ILA supports activism

      Several days ago my blog called for the support of HB 5143 in Michigan - a Bill that has come to be known as "Castle Doctrine." I gave reasons for my support and called for communication with members of the Committee that will be hearing the Legislation on April 18th at 10:30 AM.

      One Michigan group met with Representative Rick Jones on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 and asked how they could help get this Bill through committee. He advised that letters needed to be written and those of us who are committed to moving pro-gun legislation set to work. We wrote letters, made phone calls, posted to various message boards and blogs and generally spread the word.

      On Friday, April 14, 2006, another Michigan group sent out and email alert to its members saying, among other things, "While others continue to blindly bang the drum for calls and letters to Legislators..." and more or less advised us that they'd take care of everything.

      Sadly, it would seem that whoever is responsible for emails such as this simply does not understand the way the political system works.

      With hundreds of emails and letters generated by the Brady Bunch and their anti-gun political machine, how could any responsible, and supposedly pro-gun, group ask its members to sit idly by and do nothing to attempt to counteract this tide of anti-gun pressure on our Legislators? This deeply mistaken approach could cost us the protection under the law that we so desperately need.

      Thankfully, a few hours after this incredibly ill-thought out email was sent, the The NRA-ILA responded with this urgent email alert:

      The Michigan House Judiciary Committee will be hearing important self-defense legislation on Tuesday, April 18 at 10:30 a.m. It is important that law-abiding citizens contact Chairman William VanRegenmorter and fellow committee members and ask him or her to pass HB 5143 and companion bills that are part of the Castle Doctrine package.

      The "Castle Doctrine" legislation that has already passed in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota will also help the citizens of Michigan by clarifying the rights and duties of self-defense and the defense of others within ones' home and/or occupied vehicle.

      Please contact the House Judiciary Committee as soon as possible!

      Your voice needs to be heard by this committee!

      Contact information for the House Judiciary Committee members can be found below:

      William VanRegenmorter (R-74), Committee Chair: (517) 373-8900;
      Tonya Schuitmaker (R-80), Majority Vice-Chair: (517) 373-0839;
      Alexander Lipsey (D-60), Minority Vice-Chair: (517) 373-1785;
      Stephen Adamini (D-109): (517) 373-0498;
      Steve Bieda (D-25): (517) 373-1772;
      Paul Condino (D-35): (517) 373-1788;
      Kevin Elsenheimer (R-105): (517) 373-0829;
      Rick Jones (R-71): (517) 373-0853;
      David Law (R-39): (517) 373-1799;
      Bill McConico (D-5): (517) 373-0144;
      Gary Newell (R-87): (517) 373-0842;
      Mike Nofs (R-62): (517) 373-0555;
      Tory Rocca (R-30): (517) 373-7768;
      Virgil Smith (D-7): (517) 373-0589;
      John Stakoe (R-44): (517) 373-2616;

      Wednesday, April 12, 2006

      Castle Doctrine in Michigan....

      A Man’s Home is His Castle – or so the Courts in Michigan have said thus far – but the Courts’ views change with the political tide and even the cases that have reinforced Castle Doctrine in Michigan have severely limited the scope and definition of what man’s castle entails.

      Michigan residents have no “duty to retreat” in their own home, and the Courts tell us, anything attached to that home – any attached curtilage. However, anything not attached is no longer considered “home,” despite other Court rulings that would appear to support the concept, for instance, of a motor vehicle in which one is traveling, or an unattached garage adjacent to the home, as being part of one’s home (curtilage). Other Courts have ruled, in Fourth Amendment cases, for instance, that both of the above instances do constitute “home” for the purposes of the Court. Thus, the Court is at odds as to what is and is not home, and it is this circumstance that HB 5143 would correct. Codification is the only sure method to guarantee the right to defend one’s self against arrest if one must use an armed defense in a car jacking, for instance.

      Similarly, at this point in our history, someone who does defend him or herself in any of the circumstances above, even if held to be completely justified in the use of deadly force, and within the boundaries of his or her own home, can still face ruination in the form of lawsuits from the individual who caused the situation, or from his or her family.

      House Bill 5143 would end all of that and protect each and every law abiding citizen of our great State, who is justified in the use of deadly force when he or she reasonably believes that deadly force is necessitated to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. No one should have to retreat if he or she is in a place where he or she has a right to be – in her own car, in her own garage, on her own porch. No reasonable individual would ever “look for trouble,” but when trouble comes to find us, as law abiding citizens, in places like our homes, cars, garages or back yards, we should not have to leave it to the vagaries of the Court system to decide if we ran far enough, fast enough, or tried hard enough, to escape a situation.

      House Bill 5143 would also afford financial protection to those who have been found to justifiably use deadly force to protect self or loved ones as defined in the law. HB 5143 would protect law abiding citizens from being prosecuted under criminal law and from any civil action for the use of force as defined under the law. Effectively, what the law would do is forbid the ruination of an individual who has had to use force against a felon in the commission of a crime and has sought only to employ what is that most basic human right – self defense.

      I cannot urge you strongly enough to support Castle Doctrine in Michigan and lend your strength and commitment to law abiding citizens and their right to be safe in both home and travel.

      SAFR says:

      Dear SAFR Member:

      Michigan House Bill 5143 goes before committee Tuesday or Wednesday of next week and is expected to be voted by the following week.

      The Brady Campaign has sent over 400 letters to legislators telling them this bill is bad for Michigan. They need to hear from you that this is good legislation. It has broad, bi-partisan support and can be sitting on the Governor’s desk if we let them know how important it is.

      Please WRITE LETTERS. Phone calls are not that helpful because they can’t be carried to committee hearings. Emails will work, but the best thing is to hand write a letter. These cannot be deleted like email can. Either mail the letters or fax them, but get them out NOW so they reach in time. Write to both your Representative and Senator.

      To write to the House:

      Box 30014
      Lansing, MI 48909-7514

      Find your Representative!

      To write to the Senate:
      Box 30036
      Lansing, MI 48909-7536

      Find your Senator!

      Please forward this information on to as many people as you can, as we need to get a much more powerful response than the Brady Campaign did.

      Do it now - SAFR can help protect your rights - but only your voice can really make a difference.

      Monday, April 10, 2006

      Good and Bad Training...

      I'm a teacher. I've got three formal degrees, several training certificates that apply to teaching in the schools and seven more that apply to teaching firearms safety. By now, I have probably spent the calendar equivalent of 23 years in some kind of schooling or another. Believe me, I have seen good training, bad training, indifferent training and every stripe in between.

      This past weekend, I saw some of the best training I have ever been privileged to experience by a team of instructors who know what quality training means.

      Thursday through Sunday, I attended Training Counselor classes offered by the
      National Rifle Association's training department and an excellent team of Master and Senior Training Counselors. A "train the trainer" type session that lasted four days and was as well done as anything I've ever gone through for training.

      I think my proudest moment was hearing that these instructors would feel confident sending family or friends to me to take a class. I will always do my best to live up to that trust.

      Kudos to the
      NRA, to Roy Mullens of Ohio, and to the rest of the team joining us in Ohio to ensure quality training. My thanks to the NRA, its 4 million-plus members and the proud commitment to freedom, safety and education that is a driving force for all we do.

      America's 1st Freedom. It's not just a magazine, folks - it's a way of life.

      Twain - and the Governator

      I've talked about my enjoyment of Twain's writings before - his obvious love of his wife was touching and his political, romantic and satirical writings precisely on target. He had a brevity of wit that I cannot help but admire and I wish I had the ability to produce pithy one-liners at anywhere near the same level as he.

      For instance....

      It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.

      So true. There are many who will step up to the plate when it comes to the possibility of taking a knock in the head but when it comes to standing for what one believes in, we are sadly lacking. Moral courage is difficult for so many. I teach high school, and I find the lack of moral courage to be prevalent even in the smallest matters. Some of my children would rather face almost any punishment than face doing what is right.

      Unfortunately, it doesn't get better with age. There are so many examples of lack of moral courage that I cannot really begin to address them. Here is a for instance, though.

      Governor Schwarzenegger knows how he came to this country - legally, following the law, working his way through the system, doing the right thing and eventually, becoming a citizen of this great country. He has even risen to public office in California, the most populous state in the Union, where Hispanics make up one-third of the population.

      Now, I understand responding to your constituents - certainly, he should do that. However, to pander to them is another story altogether, and to simply not stand for what is morally right is something I really didn't expect from the Governor.

      Today, in the
      Wall Street Journal, the Governor says, "Before 9/11, we gambled that everyone entering our country had good intentions." Now this is a very true statement - and the sentiments that follow are also true - that we can no longer afford to do so, that it effects our safety to do so, that we need stronger borders and that this will mean more agents, etc.


      He rejects punishing law breakers. He rejects the idea that those who are in our country illegally should be deported. He rejects this and he rejects that. He believes we should develop a temporary worker program to allow American businesses to hire foreign workers for jobs "American workers will not do" - never mind that it's been shown over and over again that American workers will do the jobs, but that some unethical employers prefer undocumented workers since they do not require taxes be paid, matching social security payments, or even basic safety compliance in hiring. He believes we should be sending money to other countries to bolster their economies so that people in those countries will want to stay home rather than come here.

      I'm going to indulge in a colloquialism. "Duh...." It hasn't worked in the last century - why would we expect to think it would work now? And what about the rather stark evidence to the contrary as exhibited in the attacks on our own soil by those we have fed and clothed in the past?

      Here's another Twain quote which I have found to be terribly true:

      If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

      I have no wish to see our country bitten again - the past has shown us what a mauling illegal immigrants can inflict upon our country, its citizens and their safety and our economy. It is time to do the right thing and enforce the law - and strengthen it if that's what it takes to make our country strong.

      It is most certainly not time to pander to 12 million illegal immigrants who think the law should not apply to them.

      Time for the Governator to adhere to another Twain truism.

      "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

      Saturday, April 01, 2006

      Irony is hard at work in Colorado...

      Skyline High School Principal Tom Stumpf has announced that displaying the American flag is banned at the Longmont, Colorado high school. He says students displaying the flag were engaging in racism and "misguided patriotism."

      Students were suspended Friday for protesting the school's ban. One student, Dustin Carlson, told Denver station KCNC-TV that he was suspended for two days. He is quoted as saying, "If this country means freedom, then why can't we fly our own flag? It's ridiculous."

      High school students protested immigration laws passed by the House and somewhat watered down in the Senate. Some waved Mexican flags and carried signs saying "We are not criminals." They were allowed to do so.

      I am ready to accept that for most of them, the statement, "We are not criminals," is correct. However, if any of the students among them is here as an illegal alien, then, frankly, their statement is a lie. For any of the students here as illegal aliens, their parents and/or guardians have put them in a position wherein they can, and should be, arrested and deported. It's an unfortunate truth that parents sometimes do not do the right thing for their children and anyone who has brought their child, illegally, into a foreign country and forces them to break the law daily, ought to be ashamed.

      Apache Junction High School in Apache Junction, AZ, also briefly outlawed the flying of flags. You see, on Thursday, a group of students identified as Hispanic took down the American flag from the school's flag pole and raised a Mexican flag in its place. The Mexican flag was promptly taken down by other students, identified as "white" by the local press, and then burned.

      I have to admit that I am mystified by the difference in identifying the students. One group is identified by the ethnic origins - Hispanic - the other by the color of their skin, rather than Country of citizenship - American. Clearly, to members of the media, and to Mr. Wyman, these students being young Americans who are offended by a group tearing down their Country's flag and replacing it with that of a foreign nation are "racist."

      By the end of the school day Friday, Superintendent Greg Wyman had created a new policy banning all flags of any kind, whether on clothing, jewelry or otherwise, could be worn or brought on campus. A few hours later, after meeting with school and district officials, and facing community and parental pressure, Wyman reversed his decision.

      Lest any reader make the assumption that I do not support immigration to the United States, I can only say, "You couldn't be more wrong." I am, in fact, acting as a sponsor to a legal immigrant, going through the process to become a citizen of the United States . I would stress the word "legal." With my sponsorship, I guarantee that she will never become part of an already overburdened welfare system, and she is fulfilling the painstaking process of following U.S. immigration law in order to become a law-abiding citizen of the United States. I'm very proud of her and her efforts and I look forward to the day when the process is complete.

      I do not, however, support anyone who has entered this Country illegally or attempts to stay here illegally.

      As an aside, I often hear the argument that illegal aliens are simply here doing the work that Americans will not do. In fact, I believe that what is actually happening is that due to the non-payment of taxes, social security, the costs of worker safety and more, Americans are being underbid for jobs they would most certainly do if a living wage were offered. The result is an economy slowly slipping into depresssion due to eleven million illegal aliens usually working for cash or with false identification, which brings zero economic support beyond dollars spent and sales tax collected. All government services normally supported by income taxes are free to those eleven million people and welfare abuse is rampant.

      Why would I claim that welfare abuse is rampant? Because you have a huge group of workers who are being paid cash or with false identification, and who can now claim, to government agencies, that they have no income, thereby being granted welfare payments, medical care and food stamps. For more, please read
      Minimum Wage and Fairness by the Mackinac Policy Center author, Michael LaFaive.

      In what I see as a final stroke of irony, Skyline High School has a
      Flag team. Wonder what they'll wave at the next event now that American flags are outlawed.

      Thursday, March 23, 2006

      The Supreme Court Does It Right....

      I'm pleased, if a bit behind the times here, to see that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Military recruiters being treated the same as any other employer on campus. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals found in favor of the schools last November, saying that "the Solomon Amendment violates the First Amendment by impeding the law schools' rights of expressive association and by compelling them to assist in the expressive act of recruiting."

      Needless to say, I disagree, and believe that on-campus recruiting is more or less the same as any other recruiting effort and should be treated thusly. The various law schools' incredibly ignorant and arrogant approach of denying recruiters the use of office machines, for heaven's sake, was something that needed slapping down in the worst way.

      "The Department of Defense's main argument against the law schools was that in wartime, the government must be able to recruit the best and brightest." Indeed - and why would any school seek to block its students from any employer? Not because it has its students' best interests at heart, but because some Liberal Leftist professor, who long ago lost touch with the real world, is offended by those brave and committed individuals who protect our freedoms - including the First Amendment that these professors exercise - and often to the detriment of the very students they claim to be "protecting" from being recruited to work for an honorable employer.

      Chief Justice Roberts rightly points out that the schools are free to turn down federal funding if they really believe that their First Amendment rights are being abrogated by refusing to treat all recruiters equally.

      No one, after all, is trying to force them to take taxpayer dollars to fund their Ivory Towers.

      Thursday, March 02, 2006

      Associating with known felons....

      Charles R. Perricone - remember him? He served as a Representative in Michigan for two years and rented the position of Speaker of the House for one year before going home and sinking into near anonymity, except for his connection to various Court cases.

      A review of some of the Court issues:

      He has fought, and continues to fight, for more than two years to keep the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners (MCRGO) financial records concealed, despite being ordered by the Court - repeatedly - to turn over those records, despite four Contempt of Court hearings and a blanket rejection by the Court of Appeals of his plea to keep things hidden from the members.

      He attempted to disarm me and have my firearms taken from me on a completely fabricated Personal Protection Order request that was later summarily thrown out of Court.

      He apparently nudged his wife into filing an attorney grievance complaint against the attorney representing us which was also summarily thrown out as completely baseless. I want to feel sorry for her because I can't imagine being married to someone as oily as he, but somehow, if she is buying into some of the stupid stories he tells (as in his claim that I am infatuated with him - ick) then she may be getting everything she deserves.

      And now - well, his connection to Walter Mabry is astonishing, even to me.

      Walter Mabry is a Union boss in the Detroit area - he heads up the Michigan Regional Carpenters Council. This may be an unfamiliar name because they used to be part of another group, but apparently that group was too tame for them. When it comes to the Carpenters Union, in the words of Doug Buckler, the President of MCRGO and a local hotshot for the MRCC, "don't screw with this brotherhood."

      As an aside, Doug Buckler is also a client of Mr. Perricone's and is one of the MRCC officers that Mr. Perricone maneuvered onto the Board of Directors, even going so far as to manipulate the elections for the Board in 2003 and violate numerous Bylaws over and over again. He has now maneuvered him into position as the President of the organization. MRCC funds continue to flow into MCRGO coffers in the form of "advertising" space in the occasional newsletter Mr. Perricone publishes, but exact amounts are unknown as Mr. Perricone and the treasurer refuse, despite Court Orders and the affirmation of those orders by the Michigan Court of Appeals, to release the information to members.

      Could this association with MRCC and Mr. Perricone's exorbitant contractual salary have anything to do with why the organization has had to plead poverty and beg payment arrangements with the Court for its recent Contempt of Court judgment?

      MRCC, just in case you have lost track of them in their splits and name changes, used to be known as the folks who took care of Jimmy Hoffa - however he was taken care of. I wonder if the name change has made any difference at all in their method of dealing with problems, but that's for another day.

      Walter Mabry is the man that Charles Perricone has pushed, for several years, to have placed on the board of Directors of MCRGO. He is also Mr. Perricone's client in Mr. Perricone's "consulting" business. On at least one occasion, Mr. Perricone consulted MRCC's way into a law change that benefits the Union financially and hurts small businesses state wide in a deal with "Conservative" Republican Legislator Alan Cropsey.

      He is also the man who has been forbidden by the Dept. of Labor, for some years, to have anything to do with his own Union's pension fund due to some slights of hand with the funds of the Union members. Apparently, he was part of a group of Union bosses that had to pay back more than $590,000 due to a suit filed August 23, 2000. The suit alleged the defendants violated ERISA by paying unreasonable compensation and fees, failing to prudently invest the plan's cash assets, paying excessive fees relating to the collection of employer contributions owed to the plans, and making mortgage loans to participants which did not comply with the terms of the pension plan document.

      He is also the man making loans with Union member dollars to casinos and other individuals and groups that have been found, over and over again, to be illegal. A quote from the article on a Washington State casino under consideration referenced above:
      A state Gaming Commission investigation into Arlington Gaming's funding source, a Detroit carpenter union pension fund that made illegal mortgage loans in the 1990s has delayed approval of the casino application.

      He is also the man who was convicted of several felonies in the conspiracy to solicit prohibited payments and solicitation of a prohibited payment and is now facing five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Yet Mr. Perricone refers to this man as "an angel" that we need to have on our Board of Directors.

      Lest you think I am criticizing the entire Union and its members, I am not. The vast majority of the members would get rid of the man if they could. Some have even testified in Congressional hearings about the abuse of power since he took office. I am stating only that there are corrupt individuals in charge at MRCC and Charles R. Perricone wants to put some of those same individuals in charge of MCRGO.

      My question is clear - why?