Homespun Blogger Symposium XXXV.II

The Homespun Bloggers seem to have dropped the ball once again. I blame MajorDad1984. Then again, as I write this, MajorDad1984's blog is returning a 404 not found error...

The Homespun Bloggers is a place for non-professional bloggers to congregate, expand, and explore. It's a rather informal aggregator of bloggers. They post a "best of" section each week, they've had a number of radio shows and podcasts, and have had a symposium.

The symposium was a question that was asked by MajorDad, to be answered by any and all members of the consortium who chose to respond. This space here I had reserved for answering this week's question, but there's no question -- and hasn't been one since Oct 1.

Then again, I guess I should stop complaining about the lack of a Symposium question and help the Homespun Bloggers out by volunteering to take over the weekly symposium, shouldn't I?

HomeSpun Blogger Symposium

Time again for the weekly feature of the Homespun Blogger Symposium... Oops. It seems Major Dad 1984 didn't have time to post a symposium this week. That's okay, as we'll just make up our own, based on his writings.

He's got a pretty good excuse, if you ask me. Something about catching the Asian Bird Flu or something, I wasn't really paying attention... ;) I think he recovered nicely as he went for BBQ soon thereafter (and yes, I am jealous).

So, in honor of MajorDad1984's sickness, today's Homespun Symposium will be about sickness! (And there was much rejoicing):

What was the worst sickness/illness/disease YOU ever contracted?

Federal Troop Mission Creep

This week, the Homespun Bloggers want to know:

What are your thoughts about this mission creep for our military, especially in a time when we're at war with a major portion of our forces engaged?

This is Homespun Blogger Symposium number XXXV -- that's 35 for those who are Roman-Numeral impaired. Each week the Homespun Bloggers ask a question for members to answer (or not answer) on their blogs. Feel free to read about them and join the group.

My answer, as usual, is in the extended entry below:

To me, this one is simple. The question is specifically referring to the use of the U.S. Military to provide food and shelter for the victims of the hurricanes. That's wrong.

The military is designed to kill people and break things. They are very, very good at doing that. That's all they should be used for. They should not be used for peacekeeping or humanitarian missions. If you want peace kept, use people trained to keep peace -- not those designed and trained for war.

If you want humanitarian aid, use humanitarians, not training destroyers and killers.

It may not be pleasant for you to think of things this way, but that IS what the military exists for. Now, if the role of the military was limited to it's real purpose (killing people and breaking things), then there would be no question here.

I think all the killing and destruction has already been done in areas hit by the hurricanes, so there's no need for any military action to kill and destroy more. Get the military out of ANY aid missions. If there's nothing to kill or destroy, reduce the military.

The military is not supposed to be a meals on wheels, no matter how much those in Washington want it to be. It's wrong and wasteful -- and that doesn't even go into the fact that the federal government has absolutely NO right to help those people in any way, shape, or form.

So, what do I think about this mission creep? It's totally wrong and even unconstitutional. What can be done about it? Nothing because it appears we are beyond using the constitution in this country and no one seems to care from the president on down.

Thanks for asking, MajorDad.

Hurricane Responses

This week's Homespun Blogger Symposium asks,

What did you see different in the preparation and aftermath of this storm compared to the one that devastated the Gulf Coast regions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama?

Was the response better? Worse? What would you change?

The Homespun Bloggers are a group of non-professional bloggers that congregate and formed a group of very loose affiliation. Each week a question is presented to the group members for answering if you wish. Join them, if you like, or just answer the question yourself on your own blog -- it's fun!

The biggest difference I saw was the total hysteria.

The press always goes for the most extreme, scariest, dangerous news to bring in the viewers. Before Katrina, the government in New Orleans was happy to oblige. The mayor was screaming that everyone was going to die. Headlines proclaimed that he didn't have enough body bags for all the dead.

Worst-case scenarios were being drawn up, and accurate, as the worst-case scenarios were 100 years old -- apparently everyone that didn't live in New Orleans knew it was a bowl that was going to fill with water.

Before Rita, the government simply told everyone to leave, and then, for the most part, just shut up. The public had been saturated for weeks with details about Katrina and it's aftermath, so the press couldn't drum up more fear or more horror stories -- so there was little fanfare.

After Katrina, the first thing the corrupt government in New Orleans and Louisiana did was complain and yell. They refused help from public and private sources, then complained no one would help. The primary news stories after Katrina were repeated claims that Bush failed.

As time went on, the officials in NO started to look more and more foolish. Their dire predictions of the end of the world were found to be false. The lies coming out of the hurricane zone were all shown to be wrong. Then the NO government started stealing rescue supplies, being true to their corruptness.

After Rita, people just started putting things back together. That's it. No complaining, yelling, or blaming anyone else.

On the other hand, if you're asking about the federal government response, the answer is the same no matter which storm you're talking about -- way too much, period. I'd change it by obeying the United States Constitution and NOT stealing from other citizens to pay for the foolish choices of SOME citizens.

Homespun Blogger Symposium XXXIII

Time again for the weekly Homespun Blogger Symposium. Each week the Homespun Bloggers ask a question of the members of that group and those who desire to can respond on their own blog to the question.

Links are posted to others' answers to the questions. Feel free to join in!

This week's question:

How do "we" eliminate the "deep, persistent poverty having roots in racial discrimination" such as we've seen in the Gulf Coast region over the past three weeks?

I question the question. The premise of the question is simply wrong. The question assumes that "we" CAN eliminate poverty, and it claims that poverty is caused by racial discrimination. I'm sorry, but both of those positions are simply wrong.

Poverty is a result of personal choices.

This is America, 2005. There is NOT institutional racism that keeps people from getting ahead simply because they are black. If that were true, there would be NO blacks in any positions of power. If there is rampant, institutional racism that causes poverty, someone explain to me how

oneal_merrilllynch.jpgStanley O'Neal became Chief Operating Officer of Merrill Lynch;

Ken Chenault become Chief Executive Officer of American Express;

Richard Parsons became Chief Executive Officer of AOL Time Warner;

Franklin Raines became Chief Executive Officer of Fannie Mae;

Thomas Jones became Chief Executive Officer of Global Investments for Citigroup;

Bruce Gordon became the President of Retail Markets for Verizon;

Adebayo Ogunlesi became the Head of Investment Banking for First Boston;

Calvin Darden became Senior Vice President of Operations for UPS;

Vernon Jordon became Senior Managing Director for Lazard LLC;

Oprah Winfrey became Chairman and CEO of Harpo, Inc;

Lloyd Trotter became President and CEO of General Electric;

John Thompson became CEO of Symantec;

William Lewis became Head of Banking for Morgan Stanley;

Ray Wilkins became Group President for SBC Communications;

Alfred Zollar became General Manager of Lotus Software for IBM;

Eula Adams became Senior Executive Vice President for First Data Corp;

Arnold Donald became CEO for Merisant;

Myrtle Potter became the Chief Operating Officer for Genenetech;

Rod Adkins became General Manager of Pervasive Computing for IBM;

Brenda Gaines became President of the Diners Club of North America?

Every single one of those listed above are blacks. If being black causes poverty, then how is this possible? Simple -- it's not. Your race has nothing to do with whether you live in poverty -- your personal choices do.

However, if you choose to drink alcohol, do drugs, have unprotected sex, drop out of high school, have sex before marriage, raise children without a father, collect welfare instead of working, then you are going to live in poverty, no matter your race!

Poverty is caused by personal choices, not by race or racial discrimination.

The question also presumes that "we" can eliminate poverty. Poverty cannot be eliminated on this world. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply wrong, and has not looked at attempts throughout the history of man to do so. No one has ever come close.

There have been attempts to eliminate poverty. All of them have been horrible, horrible experiments ending in the deaths of millions of innocent people. When one attempts to eliminate poverty, it is always done without the basic understanding of the source of poverty as outlined above.

This is a basic misunderstanding of people that has been around since various philosophers confused people and rejected God. Once philosophers set up man as God and defined the world around man, these same philosophers decided that man was inherently good. If man was good then evil and bad could only come from environment.

Therefore, if there is evil in the world, it is society that is creating that evil, not individuals. If society has created the evil, then government can right the evil using force and everyone will be good once again. This is the basis of all liberal, socialist, and communist governments -- that man is good and society causes all evil.

Under this belief system, no one can be held responsible for their own actions, because they didn't do anything wrong -- they only did wrong because society and those around him forced him to do wrong.

This is completely backwards thinking. Instead, man is inherently lazy and evil. People have to work hard to defeat that evil and do good. People have the entire responsibility of their own actions. People can choose to be good and do right, or people can choose to be evil and do wrong. People can choose the options that will lead them to poverty, or they can choose options that lead them out of poverty.

Once you understand that poverty is the result of personal, individual choices and decisions, you realize there is only one way to eliminate it: take away those choices.

Socialist and communist ideas often focus on the elimination of poverty. Unfortunately, a large majority of America today apparently also believes that it is possible to eliminate poverty. It has been tried, and it has failed. To truly eliminate poverty, a government, through the application of force, would have to eliminate the choices that lead to poverty.

To attempt to eliminate poverty, government would have to ban alcohol. They'd have to interdict all commerce across the border to ensure no drugs would enter the country. They would have to scan and analyze every square inch of the surface area of the country constantly to ensure no drugs were grown or created.

Government would have to force everyone to attend school for 16 or more years and ensure that every single student learned. Those who were not capable of learning would have to be eliminated or given large amounts of cash for their entire life.

Government would have to regulate not only families, but sex between adults. Government would be required to ensure that sex only occurred from completely disease-free adults that were having sex to procreate in the bounds of a marriage.

If something happened to one of the adults in the marriage, the government would have to intervene and force another adult to join the marriage. The government would have to ensure all the marriages were between two people who cared about themselves, each other, the family, and were happy.

Of course, to do all this would take HUGE amounts of money. Since government does not have any money, government would have to take that money from people who produce. Those who did not produce would get larger and larger amounts of cash from the producers. If a person stopped producing, they would simply get cash anyway.

With government severely punishing those who produce, the number of non-producers would continue to grow. At some point, the system would collapse, as the producers reached a point where they could not support the non-producers.

This has been tried before by governments around the world and throughout history. In fact, America has tried this in one way or another with Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty." How's that working out? There are more people in poverty now than there ever have been.

No one on this earth can stop poverty.

Most of the current attempts to "end poverty" by government actually does the opposite and encourages and increases poverty. Giving people money for not working only acts as incentive to continue to not work. It doesn't matter how little money it is -- when a person is provided with housing for free and cash for free, they would rather do nothing than work -- especially when most of the entry-level jobs are hard work.

When people are shown that there are no consequences to their actions, they have no incentive to stop doing that action -- giving drug addicts free counseling, free housing, free medical care, and even free needles only encourages them to continue their habits and choices which continue to hold them in the grip of poverty.

Trying to stop poverty is impossible. To attempt to try and stop it is wrong because any attempt will take away freedom from those not in poverty and freedom of choice for those in poverty.

(This post linked to: GM's Birthday Party, Euphoric Reality's drop zone, Basil's Lunch, and Outside the Beltway.

HomeSpun Blogger Symposium XXXII

Hey look! The HomeSpun Blogger Symposium is back. The Symposium is supposed to be a weekly question asked by MajorDad1984 -- but he's been a little busy recently and hasn't had a question each week. If I weren't so busy myself, I'd provide questions for him.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to join up and participate, see the Homespun Bloggers homepage and join up. It's just a coalition of bloggers who all blog simply because we like to. And you can participate in the Symposium any time you like. This week's question:

How do you feel about Hurricane Katrina?

I'm with Basil on this one: "Wow. That's all?"

I'm just not really sure what to do with this one. Then again, I'm not one who has often been accused of being "in touch" with my feelings.

How do I feel about the hurricane? I guess I'm in awe of the power of nature. Whenever man decides that he is superior, he is always shown different. It took hundreds of years to build all that New Orleans, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama had put near the coast, but only a few hours or days for it all to be utterly destroyed by a simple storm.

Yes, a simple storm. These storms happen all the time, every single year. This one just happened to hit a highly populated area. It happens over and over again. Perhaps one day man will realize that he is not The Supreme Being that he thinks he is.

Other Homespun answers:
Thoughts by Seawitch, Cursed by a Classical Education, Grizzly Mama, basil's blog.

No, you cannot build a house on the beach in the southeastern United States and expect that it will be there forever. I've lived near the beach before, and often people there think they are invincible. You're not.

Nature is awesome. I think it takes events like this to show people that they are not in charge.

HomeSpun Symposium RIP

Well, I think it's finally time to declare the Homespun Symposium from The Homespun Bloggers dead. The last time an actual Homespun Symposium question was posted was... well... so long ago that it doesn't show up on the main page any more.

There it is, August 8th. Six responses from over, well, a lot of bloggers. That's not too bad, but these things can't go on forever. Hey, they're still putting out Homespun Radio, so that's pretty cool.

But for now, at least, I'll give up on the answering of weekly Homespun Symposium questions. If anyone sees them start back up, let me know, as they were almost always a lot of fun!

Homespun Symposium XXXI.VII.V

Oh dear, another week, another lack of a topic from the folks over at the Homespun Bloggers. Well, this week, instead of just making up a question and answer, I'll volunteer to come up with a question for the rest of the Homespun Bloggers.

Ok, well, I guess it's unlikely that all the other Homespun Bloggers will come to this humble page and find a question, but I'll give it a shot anyway. And heck, if you want to participate this week, or you have writer's block or anything else, feel free to jump in and answer this question here in the comments, or on your own blog. Trackback for links!

The State Constitution in Kansas states that the people of Kansas have

inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

Based on that statement, the Kansas Legislature, in 2002, voted to ask courts whether state funding of abortion was legal. Now the Kansas Attorney General, Phill Kline, filed a lawsuit against the governor to attempt to make state funding of optional abortion illegal. This will have zero effect on abortions for rape, incest, or the health of the mother, as those are covered by other funds.

Regardless of your position on abortion (and I know it will be tough to keep that opinion out our your answers), what do you think about this option? Should it be legal for the state, using taxpayer funds, to pay for optional abortions?

Homespun Symposium XXXI.V

Ah it seems MajorDad missed posting the Homespun Symposium for this week at Homespun Bloggers. That's OK, because we can simply make up our own! Just for fun, I'll make this week's Homespun Symposium random -- I'm gong to go to and select the...third news story listed when I get there. That will be this week's topic:

Large Quake Hits Northern Japan.

Ok, well that didn't work too well. I'll go back and try the third news story listed in the politics section...

Federal Budget deficit drops again.

Sigh. Must be a slow news day.

The story starts out with

The Congressional Budget Office predicts a budget deficit of $314 billion for the coming fiscal year, almost a $100 billion decline from last year's deficit.

Well so what? Has the Congressional Budget Office ever been correct with their predictions? The White House predicts the deficit will be $333-$341 billion. Again, so what? I don't think many people really care in this country.

Of course, the Formerly Mainstream Media (FMSM) cannot let a chance go by to criticize President George W. Bush:

Last year's deficit was a record in dollar terms

Well, Duh. Know what? Darn near everything that's purchased THIS YEAR is more expensive than last year! Why is that news? Why even mention such a silly thing? Why don't they report, daily, on the fact that milk and Oreos are the most expensive they've ever been? Perhaps only because they haven't figured out how to blame Bush for milk prices yet.

The whiners Democrats were quick to respond, complaining about tax cuts and baby boomers retiring. Hey Kent Conrad (W-ND), here's a clue: if you don't have enough money, STOP SPENDING IT!

I'm no big fan of deficit spending -- heck, I'm not a fan of about 95% of government spending. If you don't have the money, stop spending it. Want to save money? Get rid of the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and half the other departments that do nothing but unconstitutionally take my hard-earned money.


What's your take on the news that "the federal budget deficit drops again"?

Car Trunk Tragedy

This week the Homespun Bloggers have quite a more serious question for Homespun Bloggers.

The Homespun Bloggers are simply a loose-knit group of bloggers of all stripes, from all sorts of blogs, that are united...well, just to find and read one another's blogs. The one common thread is that all the members of the Homespun Bloggers blog simply because they want to. Head on over to the main page and read about them.

This week's question (they have a new question nearly every week that members can choose to answer if they like) is related to the horrible tragedy in New Jersey where three boys died in a trunk of a car. The questions are:

1. Who is ultimately responsible for the loss of these three children?

2. Do you believe that the police were at all responsible for not finding the children in time? (It's hinted that on of the parents has decided to sue the City of Camden New Jersey)

3. Do you believe that auto manufacturers are responsible for providing additional safety features that would prevent this type of tragedy in the future? (They've also been named as potential litigants in this case.)

4. Why do you think that if this parent feels so strongly about going after the "wrongdoers" in this case, why doesn't he try to sue the parents of the other children lost in the incident?

First, I must say this really is horrible. I am very sorry for the families of this tragedy. I wish it had never happened. I'll pray for their families and hope that they can get through this situation. I can't even imagine that happening to me, so I can't really say I know how those parents and families are feeling now.

That said, it appears at least one of the families has now gotten over his loss and is making his entry into the vast lottery of lawsuits. You see, one of the fathers is suing the city. What for? "Negligence" on the part of the police. This father is claiming that the police should have looked in the trunk of the car, even though the father didn't, and that if they pay him lots and lots of money, then it's OK.

What a sham. I'll call this what it is -- a person simply trying to get rich with a lawsuit. There's nothing more to it. Maybe I don't understand the concept, but I'm thinking that if I lose someone close to me, it's not going to be all made better if you just give me a few million dollars so I forget about them. This is one of those cases where the loser should be fined for filing a lawsuit without any merits.

But on to the questions:

1. Who is ultimately responsible for the loss of these three children?
Why does someone have to be responsible? Why must everyone always have someone to blame? Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land not so far away, there was something called "accidents." For some reason, especially in the US today, these simply do not exist any more.

Everything has to be blamed on someone. Usually, that's someone with loads of cash, of course. That's wrong. You want to blame someone? Blame God. Take your issues up with him. For someone to be responsible, you have to assume some sort of intent. That's crap. There's no earthly person that's responsible for these deaths -- it was an accident.

Do you believe that the police were at all responsible for not finding the children in time? (It's hinted that on of the parents has decided to sue the City of Camden New Jersey)
No. The police did what they could. To assume the police are responsible implies that at least one policeman looked at the car and actually said, "Well, the boys might be in there, but I'm not looking in there." Put me on the jury.

In addition, if you put blame on the police, even MORE blame should be put on the father for not looking in the trunk! The father even knew that the children had been in the car before playing games -- the police didn't.

Do you believe that auto manufacturers are responsible for providing additional safety features that would prevent this type of tragedy in the future? (They've also been named as potential litigants in this case.)
Well let's see -- who's got more money? Again, this is completely the lottery mentality at work. People see an auto manufacturer has a pile of money and they want some. So they sue, hoping to get a huge million dollar settlement. It has nothing to do with responsibility.

If auto manufacturers are responsible for this, then they're also responsible for every traffic ticket ever issued because they dared make a car that was capable of breaking traffic laws.

Why do you think that if this parent feels so strongly about going after the "wrongdoers" in this case, why doesn't he try to sue the parents of the other children lost in the incident?
Easy -- the other parents aren't loaded! The other parents don't have a company or massive funds to get their hands on. Oh, they'd sue the other parents if the other parents were named Rockefeller or Kennedy.

Whew. Well, that was a nasty one, wasn't it? I really hate when people try to take money from one person or company by force without reason. This is just another entry in the lottery for these people. Can someone please explain to me how in the world getting millions of dollars makes up for the loss of a family member? Maybe I just care too much about my family.

CAFTA - Homespun Symposium

This week is the 30th question from the Homespun Bloggers! This week they're asking about the CAFTA:

Today, President Bush is expected to sign the Central American Free Trade Agreement. How do you feel about it and why?

Today on the Rush Limbaugh Show, Dr. Walter Williams entertained a number of callers that were dead set against about you?

The post was posted last Friday, so that's where the "today" references come from.

I would think I'm with the majority of Americans on this one when I ask, "Well, what effect will it have?" I don't think this agreement will affect many people directly. And if jobs go overseas, the primary effect of that will be reduced prices across the board, so it's some good and some bad.

However, in the overall scheme of things, I have to oppose this "legislation." I've heard good arguments for it, in that it works to undermine Castro and other tin pot dictators in the region. If free trade can provide freedom to oppressed people, I support it! But I don't think it will. I think the dictators will reap the benefits of this sort of thing while the people will not.

In addition, I really don't see the need for it. I'm in complete agree with Ron Paul's assessment:

We don’t need government agreements to have free trade. We merely need to lower or eliminate taxes on the American people, without regard to what other nations do. Remember, tariffs are simply taxes on consumers. Americans have always bought goods from abroad; the only question is how much our government taxes us for doing so.

Homespun Symposium XXIX.V

Are there decimals in the Roman Number system? I mean, certainly they had to have terms for fractions. There had to be a one-half, but was it I/II? Or did they know about decimals and they represented it as 0.V?

This is the usual spot where you might find the weekly (correct) answer to the Homespun Blogger symposium question. However, this week, Major Dad 1984 seems to have forgotten his weekly duty...

I'm kidding, Major Dad! Taking a peek over at his blog, his last entry was on July 17 and was about "Operation Glamour Shot" -- about shot of the MajorBaby...those with kids can certainly understand why we may not hear from him for awhile...

But hey, Discovery Launched! How cool is that? An awesome picture and my first thoughts after watching it sail into space at an absolutely incredible speed are over at The Wide Awakes.

Homespun Blogger Symposium XXIX

The Homespun Bloggers are

a loose association of bloggers for whom blogging is a labor of love, and no more.

Each week they ask a question and seek responses from other Homespun Bloggers. If you'd like to join up, Read this and follow the directions there (send an email). They've got weekly roundups, these symposiums, and even radio blogging.

This week, they are asking about Joseph Farah's article that claims that al-Qaida already has nuclear weapons in place inside the United States. If that article is true and accurate, the Homespun Bloggers ask:

What do we do about this potential threat not only to the United States, but to the global economy and the history of mankind?

If the nukes are already here, there's not a whole lot that can be done. Certainly if even one is detonated, it's going to have worldwide, extremely long-lasting implications. One can only hope if the terrorists have them here that they will accidentally explode them while in transport, hundreds of miles from any population centers.

However, as I've mentioned before, it's time to move in on these people. Just as Freedom of Speech has limits, so should Freedom of Religion (as it does). You do not have unlimited freedom of religion. The Muslim religion requires killing all Americans -- it's time to crack down on that religion and tell them that they are not welcome here.

You cannot have a religion that requires human sacrifice, can you? So why are mosques permitted to remain and continue preaching death to Americans? As drastic as it sounds, the Muslim religion should be declared what it is -- treason -- and it should be outlawed in American. Shut them down and arrest them. 100% of the terrorists are Muslims. If the Muslim religion is shut down, the terrorists will have much fewer places to hide.

This would not be a "slippery slope" -- it would simply be placing reasonable limits on freedom. We are already limited in the Christian religion, arms, speech, and everything else -- SHUT DOWN MULSIMS IN AMERICA.

Homespun Blogger Symposium XXVIII

Time once again to offer the correct an answer for the weekly Homespun Blogger Symposium. This is a group of bloggers who simply aren't professional (there's professionals?), and they have a weekly question, linkfests, best-of posts, and even a radio program. If you're a non-profit blogger just blogging for the fun of it, check them out.

In the meantime, their question for this week:

This week saw terrorism raise it's ugly head in London killing more than 50 people, wounding over 700.

Based on this recent you feel that we're winning, losing, or holding our own in fighting the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT)?

I'm not completely sure I understand the question as it has been phrased. The primary question is "Are we winning the war on terror?" However, it's modified by "based on the London attack." I think the global war is much, much bigger than any one act, so I'm going to ignore that modifier and simply answer "Are we winning the war on terror."

Yes. Next question?

Oh, you're wondering why I think that way? Let's take a look at Afghanistan. This is a country that the Soviets tried for years to get under control -- and they failed again and again. In a very short time, the United States went in and shut down the terrorist training camps and gave this country some freedom. I'm not saying it's perfect, but compare it with 20 years ago.

Same thing in Iraq -- a despot ruled with an iron fist, killing tens of thousands of his own people. They are now voting in relatively free elections. The state-sponsored terrorism is gone, replaced now with less organized terrorists.

Are we done? Certainly that's not all. The attack in London shows that these people are on the run. They don't have any way to convince people of their ideas, so they can only kill others. I don't know how they think they can win that war -- there's an awful lot of us out here for them to kill before they can win.

At the same time, most of them will not stop until someone is dead. This is simply an expansion of a religious war that has been going on for centuries -- only recently Islam has decided they are going to start their outreach programs (kill the unbeliever) all around the world.

Folks, this IS down to us or them. The war will not end until all freedom-loving people are dead, or the attackers themselves realize that they cannot win. We are winning -- they can only resort to murdering innocents, their last resort.

Kenny Rogers Penalty

In this week's Homespun Blogger Symposium (XXVII), the question is:

Is the penalty imposed by Major League Baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig, appropriate for the infraction?

Please address the problem with professional athletes seemingly to think that they are above the law and untouchable when it comes to their on and off field conduct.

$50,000? For a Major League Baseball player? That's like $10 to you and I. That's not really a fine, any more than you and I are "fined" when paying a fee to park your car in a parking deck downtown.

20 games? That's pretty severe. For a pitcher, however, that's only about 4 games. Still, that's a heavy penalty. Heck, you can do drugs, get a DUI, or even participate in murdering someone and get less of a penalty (certainly in the NFL, anyway).

I've seen the video footage. The whole thing is crap. The reporters were idiots. The story about being "treated at the hospital" is only there for cash. Yes, I'm sure that the reporter will get paid large sums of money, and if he's not, he will sue for millions. If there were justice, Kenny Rogers could sue the rockheads for harassment.

Yes, I know public sports figures are held to different standards. The only reason Rogers should not have done this is because he WILL be sued for piles of cash. If the reporters weren't two feet away from him AFTER HE TOLD THEM TO STAY AWAY, there wouldn't have been any trouble. I'm no celebrity, but if you're filming me from two feet away, I'm shoving your camera too.

The media does not have the right to harass anyone. The first amendment does not say that anyone can go anywhere for any reason and do anything in the name of free speech.

Unfortunately, today it is about money, as it always is. Anyone who has money (Rogers) will be a huge target for anyone who doesn't (reporters).

Assault? For shoving someone? Total B.S.

Homespun Symposium XXIV

Bunker Mulligan.

I am quite embarrassed to say it, but I did not know him. This week the Homespun Bloggers are asking, in their weekly Homespun Symposium,

In honor of Mike, who was laid to rest today in his native Texas soil, this week's symposium asks that you reflect on Bunker as you...a fellow blogger knew him, how did he make an impact in your life, and how did he play a part in your blog career?

I am embarrassed because I read so many good things said by so many people regarding his passing. I see in various corners of the blogosphere many people who were heavily influenced by him, and I only now wish I could have known him. I had read his blog only a few times in the past, and only now and I coming to see what I had been missing.

So I guess Mike is now having an influence on me. I have been reading all the tributes to him. I now find myself reading his archives on various different days, learning about him only now, after he is gone. I see what a good man he was and how strongly he influenced so many through his blogging and his blog.

I am sure that he will rest in peace and be sorely missed by all.

Michael Jackson Case

I'm sure if you were truly interested in news about the Michael Jackson case that you would be somewhere else. I haven't followed this case at all, but I have been attacked with news from it at various times from various locations. News about this case always seems to make the cut with every single radio station, so I hear about it anyway.

What I find most interesting is that this one is not quite as big as the recent California cases. Sure, it's plastered all over the place, but I don't hear anyone talking about this case. With the Peterson case, there were always people talking about it here and there. With this one, it seems forced -- no one wants to know, but the media is going to report it anyway.

The case has gone to trial. This week even the Homespun Bloggers are asking about it. Their question for this week:

What's the verdict going to be? And why?

I guess my answer is that I really don't know. I can't say for sure that I don't care. I know I don't want to care. At the same time, if he is guilty of half the things he's accused of, I feel very sorry for the victims and know that he should be punished and kept away from society forever.

On the other hand, I have heard that the accusers have a history of extortion to try and get cash from anyone who has money. So if he is innocent, then he clearly should not be punished.

So, what's the verdict going to be? I have no idea. I will hope and pray that it is the correct verdit and that the people on the jury will see past the lies that were told during the trial and provide correct judgement. I hope they can see past the celebrity status and see Michael Jackson for whatever he is, and they can correctly render judgement.