Entries from November 2004 ↓

Stuff

I know I haven’t posted anything in the last few days. I have an excuse this time – the flu since Thanksgiving evening. Yuck. I think I’m over the worst of it now though.

I’m watching the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders play in the snow here in the Denver area.

Tomorrow is Honeybun and my seventh anniversary. I don’t even feel itchy.

Happy anniversary Bun.

A firm grasp of the obvious

The leading headline on AP News on this Thanksgiving evening?
Millions Celebrate Holiday Across U.S.
Who writes this stuff?

Thanksgiving

Thank you Honeybun, for being my wife. I can’t imagine life without you.

Thanks Mom & Dad for raising me right, for teaching me values and teaching me about the consequences (and rewards) of my actions.

Thanks Steve, for being my little brother, for playing games with me, for being my friend.

Thanks Sally, Dave, and Kay, for being great in-laws. You welcomed me into the family years ago and always made me feel important to you.

Thank you God for meeting our needs, for giving me a paying job, a place to live, and food to eat on this Thanksgiving day. Most of all, thank you for giving me the people I’m thankful for.

Why America became great

(hat tip Hugh Hewitt)

General Thanksgiving
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America
A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

Source: The Massachusetts Centinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789

This still is and always has been a Christian nation with a secular goverment. Being thankful to God on this day doesn’t threaten our rights as some anti-religion groups would have you believe. Excercising our rights can’t be a threat to the Constitution.

God bless America

Cowboy Bush

President Bush was in Chile this past weekend. The Chileans weren’t too pleased that the Secret Service refused to cede its mission to proctect the president to the Chilean security services. They tried to get some pay back when the President Bush was going into a meeting with the Chilean president.

Law-enforcement authorities said the Chileans, who claimed to be in charge of security for the event, stopped Secret Service agent Nick Trotta as he was escorting Mr. Bush and first lady Laura Bush into the center, jumping in front of the agent as he approached the building entry. The authorities said the Chilean officers had seemed poised to act.
At least one Secret Service agent was shoved against a wall, the authorities said, as Mr. Trotta continued to push his way into the center. It was then that Mr. Bush responded, pushing into the crowd of angry security officials, pointing at Mr. Trotta and ordering that he be released. Mr. Bush finally reached over and grabbed the agent by the suit collar.
“He’s with me,” Mr. Bush said as he waded into the scuffle and pulled the agent through the crowd.

President Bush is the man. He sees one of his guys getting roughed up and he takes action. Is that too cowboy? No way. It sends a message to world leaders that President Bush does what needs to be done. He doesn’t sit back wringing his hands and worrying about what our allies will think. He does the right thing.

Now, if you were a Secret Service agent and President Bush went into a melee to pull one of your guys out, wouldn’t that instill some loyalty? You betcha.

Tryouts today

Ron Artest was suspended for the rest of the season – 73 games – for his part in the brawl on Saturday night.

That’s going to cost him $5 million. Whoo! That’s one expensive temper. Steve Jackson was suspended for 30 games and Jermaine O’Neal for 25. If you want to play in the NBA, the Pacers are probably holding tryouts today. So much for the Pacer’s season.

You think this is the result of the NBA cultivating a thug culture? Or maybe it was just the result of the NBA’s plan of trying to capture the NHL audience going tragically awry.

Money from South Africa

I finally received one of those scam e-mails offering to wire millions of dollars to my bank account if I just send my information to some guy. This time its from South Africa.

Oo! I can’t wait. Of course, I’m not stupid enough to give anyone my bank account information. I thought I’d be a bit more creative. Here is my response followed by the original e-mail:

Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2004 18:45:02 -0800 (PST)
From: Jason
Subject: Re: Private
To: smith-bowani2@homemail.co.za

Mr. Bowani,

I would like to take advantage of this wonderful
opportunity. Sadly, I do not have a bank account to
deposit the funds into.

I am still willing to help. Please wire me $9,000 USD
(so as not to attract the attention of the I.R.S.) and
I will set up an account for you.

I anxiously await your reply.

— SMITH BOWANI wrote:

> Hello,
>
>
> I am Mr. Smith Bowani, an auditor of a reputable
> bank in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province in the
> Republic of South Africa. I have an urgent and very
> confidential business proposition for you.
>
> We had a foreign client named Mr. Wooin Shim, who
> deposited a huge sum of money (18.6 Million United
> States Dollars), with our bank. Eventually, this
> client died in a plane crash and since his death we
> have not had anybody come up for the claims as the
> next of kin.
>
> You may want to take a look at other passengers,
> who were on the same plane; here is a site for your
>
perusal.http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9708/06/guam.passenger.list/
>
> A situation I have monitored closely with my
> position in the bank. Now having monitored this
> deposit and managed it over the years before his
> death, and hence nobody has showed up as the next of
> kin for the past years. I now solicit for your
> assistance to present you as the next of kin as
> every other arrangement/ processes will be monitored
> by me and my partners involved. However I got your
> contact from a trade consultant here in South
> Africa, though I did not disclose the purpose of my
> seeking for a foreign business partner to him.
> Although we will still have to sign some agreement
> before the final transfer of the fund into any of
> your designated bank account.
>
> I have involved a very senior official in the
> operational department, and we have agreed that
> after the transfer of the money into your account,
> you shall be entitled to 20% of the total sum, my
> colleagues and I will have 75% while 5% will be used
> to reimburse any expenses incurred. All necessary
> precautions have been taken to ensure a risk free
> situation on the side of both parties. Please note
> that this deal can only take place on the following
> conditions;
>
> 1. You will provide the bank account and other
> relevant particulars/information for easy and onward
> Remittance of the Eighteen million, six hundred
> thousand USD.
>
> 2. Absolute confidentiality and sincerity will be
> required and guaranteed, considering our positions
> in the bank.
>
> 3. Assurance that our own share will be released to
> us in good faith when this money finally gets into
> your account.
>
> Please treat with utmost confidentiality. Contact me
> as quickly as possible through my e-mail.
>
> Expecting your urgent response,
>
> Best Regards,
>
> MR. SMITH BOWANI

Alexander the Gay

Oliver Stone is about to release his $160 million epic “Alexander the Great” to some controversy. I had high hopes for this movie. Years ago, I read a biograhpy of Alexander. His military accomplishments were amazing. It is almost incomprehensible that a man could conquer the known world by the age of 30. His troops were outnumbered in most of the battles they fought, yet his brilliant strategies conquered every army fielded against him.

My hopes for a good movie have been dashed by seeing the trailors of an effeminate (although fit) looking Collin Farrell. Oliver Stone has decided to showcase Alexander’s alleged homosexual side, complete with a masscara wearing male lover. A line in the movie even claims, “Alexander was defeated only once — by Hephaestion’s thighs.”

First of all, there is no conclusive evidence that Alexander and Hephaestion (Alexander’s closest friend for 19 years) had a homosexual relationship. There best argument for the claim is circumstantial evidence based on the permissive Macedonian culture. There is evidence for his heterosexuality based on the fact that he had three wives and other female lovers.

It’s not looking good for a hit movie here. Middle America does not go to movies about guy-on-guy action. If there are as many as 10% of the population that is gay, that means the other 90% can’t relate to him.

Finally, the supposedly great director Oliver Stone is reduced to cliche. In one scene, Alexander’s wife puts a knife to his neck on their wedding night after seeing him take a ring from Hephaestion. How many times has the woman-threatens-to-kill-man-before-he-takes-the-weapon-away-and-they-have-hot-sex gimic been used in the movies? It’s happened so often in the movies, I almost think I missed out on something because it never happened to me. You’d think Stone could come up with something more original.

I’m starting to think the recent movie Troy will look like a Shakespearean play compared to this one.

NBA thuggery

Last night, the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers were involved NBA’s most shameful moment in history. A bench clearing brawl followed Pacer Ron Artest’s hard foul of the Piston’s Ben Wallace. That was followed by Artest charging into that stands and attacking a fan. Artest was mad because someone threw a cup of beer at him.

Artest’s lack of self-control endangered him, and his teammates who went into the stands to protect him. When I was watching the replay on ESPN, I was wondering how Artest knew which person threw the beer. The thing was, he didn’t. ESPN’s reporter at the arena, Jim Gray, reported that the man Artest attacked was not the one that threw the beer. Artest’s teammate, Steve Jackson, then entered the stands and started throwing punches at fans.

The fans in Detroit were embarrasingly misbehaved. That doesn’t excuse Artest’s or Jackson’s behavior. ESPN thinks it does though. Tim Legler writes:

Artest will probably receive the brunt of the media condemnation from this situation because he’s a lightning rod for controversy and that’s not fair. It’s not fair because he’s not truly at fault for what happened…

In the paragraph before that, Legler said, “Once again, I’m not justifying the players’ actions.” OK, so after he doesn’t justify the players actions, he justifies the players actions by claiming it wasn’t Artest’s fault.

The “he made me do it” defense won’t fly. The fans responsible for attacking any Indiana Pacer should be held responsible for their actions. Artest is responsible for his actions. He was not defending himself when he went into the stands and attacked a man who did not throw anything at him. Steve Jackson was not defending himself when he followed Artest and punched another fan who had not attacked his teammate.

Sadly, this is what you get when you cross a few drunk people with some over-payed hot-headed thugs.

Update: The NBA has indefinitely suspended Indiana Pacers’ Ron Artest, Jermaine O’Neal and Stephen Jackson and Detroit Pistons player Ben Wallace. Indiana is going to be hurting with three of its stars out.

Target gets targeted

Target has decided not to allow the Salvation Army to place its red kettles and bell ringers at its stores this Christmas season. This could cost the Salvation Army up to $9 million.

Another part of American culture (and English for that matter) may be dying. Salvation Army has used bell ringers and their signature red kettles since 1891. Who doesn’t hear the bell ringing in December and not think its Christmas in the United States?

The Sacramento Bee speculates that Target’s move means the bell ringers are a thing of the past. If so, American culture will surely suffer. The sound of the bell ringers in front of stores reminded us that in the hurry of buying gifts for our loved ones, there are other people in the world who need our help.

The bell ringers also taught us appreciation. How many times during the year do you hear a heart felt “thank you”? But you hear it when you throw some change in the kettle. The ringers thank us because they know that little bit of change adds up to millions of dollars every Christmas.

I remember asking my parents for change to put in the kettle when I was a child. It was part of the joy of experiencing Christmas, giving to others. I hope to be a father in the next couple of years, will my child be able to experience the same joy? If the Salvation Army bell ringers are being told to leave, charity is going with them.

After a Christmas tree disaster last year, Honeybun and I have decided it is time to get an artificial tree. Our next stop was Target. We’ve crossed them off our list this year and won’t be doing any Christmas shopping there. We’ll check out WalMart and go to the malls. Before we do, we’ll make sure we have change for the bell ringers.

Update: Hugh Hewitt linked to me again. Welcome Hugh Hewitt readers. Feel free to leave a comment.