Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reading Bleg

Okay Parents, I have a request. How did you teach your children to read?

You see, its time I made a concerted effort to instill that into my boy and I am not exactly sure which way works best. So if there is a methodology that seemed to have worked well for you please let me know. My boy already recognizes most of the letters and can draw a few. Just last night he drew a C and then turned it into a G for me (o=

Any tools, programs, videos etc would be appreciated.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Photoshop Magic

The pic says it all, nothing more needs to be added.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Half-Baked Evolutionary Ideas

I rarely come across a site where the stupidity rises to such a level that I feel I must respond. One such site is This site pretends to be even handed, but puts up strawmen to knock down and makes Christians who actually believe the Bible look stupid. Unsurprisingly this organization cites TalkOrigins in several of their articles about science. The web page is put out by a group called Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Its members are a Atheist, Agnostic, Christian, Wiccan and Zen Buddhist. One finds elsewhere that the "Christian" is actually a Unitarian. As Unitarians deny the divinity of Christ they can hardly be considered Christian.

Having admittedly not read the whole site I thought I would point out some glaring examples. The first thing I saw was an assertion that the Karroo Formation contains 800 Billion fossils. 800 Billion. Now of course this number of fossils has not been excavated. Nor do the number of archeological sites indicate the excitement that would exist if there were indeed that many fossils. But lets go away from numbers that were postulated in 1932 (yes that is when that number comes from) and we find that the director of the Bernard Price Institute for Paleontology in Johannesburg estimates some 40,000 fossils have been excavated. Lets put that number into perspective shall we? Since 1906, more than one million bones have been recovered from the La Brea tar pits.

The next thing they try to do is to take that absurdly high number and then make the assumption that the WHOLE earth was covered equally, which is observably false and a patently silly argument until we see that it originate from TalkOrigins which perfectly explains the whole situation. The extrapolate this to "prove" that there were "50 land animals per square feet(sic) of land" at the time of Noah. But if they want to extrapolate numbers, lets do that with humans/cro-magnon/Neanderthals. The stone age lasted, we are told, for 100,000 years. During this time these men were burying their dead just like we do today. And thanks to their shorter (estimated) lifespan during this time some 4 billion people lived and were buried. As men have always congregated around water these graves are in the same places that we are today. Yet we do not find these bones, or at least not in the numbers that should exist. Paleontologists and anthropologists should be tripping over these remains and they should be about as exciting as a common rock.

I mentioned in the previous paragraph that the whole earth is not covered equally in fossils. This is because these remains were planted via flood. The currents that existed at the time washed animals to certain areas where they were then dropped, very often headless. Headless? “[F]inding the head of a dinosaur is like finding a needle in a haystack.” (Nat. Geographic On Assignment, Lucy the T-rex, 2000) The head of course, is the least attached body part and its weight could see it torn from the body under conditions such as could occur in a large scale flood.

RT states that if the flood were true "Remains of ground-hugging plants would tend to be in the deepest layers of rocks; larger trees would be in rocks closer to the surface. But there would be the occasional fossils of a fallen tree that would be trapped in a deep layer of sedimentary rock among "ground-huggers"." They offer no evidence to backup this assertion, but I assume that they are talking about how in the fossil record the "older" rock contains smaller plants before it contains trees. But umm isn't that what we already see? Supposedly less evolved plants before more evolved plants? Hmm. How does that help them? Then throw in their next quote which really doesn't help their case at all. Its a bit out of context, but they grabbed it out of context so I will just bring it forward over here. "As we dug deeper and deeper beneath Thebes, everything would be the same; we would find hand axes, clams and dinosaurs mixed together all the way down." If they were mixed together, wouldn't that just negate their whole argument? Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I will assume that they either did not set up the quote or just chose a very poor section to quote from.

"One would expect to see that deeper rocks would contain more primitive forms of live, and shallower fossils would be of more highly evolved species." Erroneous assumption. There is no such thing as a simple life form. Each one is uniquely suited to its environment and mission. The DNA/RNA and the enzymes that enable them to exist are such that even if you completely discount Intelligent Design you cannot discount the amazing amount of information that must be in place for life to exist. One of those enzymes considered "“absolutely essential” for binding RNA and DNA, speeded up a 78-million year reaction into thousandths of a second."

"geologists and paleontologists ... have found that the species of fossils in the rock layers do not resemble the scenario required by the flood of Noah. They match exactly the scenario required by the theory of evolution." Personally I have appreciated how the aforementioned experts have fully explained polystrate fossils. A Polystrate Fossil is one that goes through multiple layers of rock. If you have ever driven through the mountains or a canyon then you have seen how rock is set down in layers, sometimes strikingly distinct layers. Each of these layers is supposed to represent tens of thousands or even millions of years. But there are literally tens of thousands of polystrate fossils found the world over. They are usually both rootless and branchless and either laid down, standing straight (as in Spirit Lake) or even upside down. Some of these have actually been found to contain as many as 17 animals inside of them, always found at the bottom of the trunk of an upright polystrate tree. Actually, thinking upon Spirit Lake, we may well find that those trees will end up polystrate as well. With no normal vegetation in or around that lake the sedimentation rate must have increased tremendously.

Anyways, I intended to go over multiple pages but only managed one. I may do another later, but its enough for now and its LATE.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

China Testing the U.S.

China is again testing the U.S.

This current test comes at approximately the same time in the new presidency as the last test. This week China has been harassing a unarmed US Navy vessel, the USNS Impeccable. The Impeccable (what a name to live up to!) was mapping in international waters when Chinese ships surrounded and harassed a Navy mapping ship in international waters off China, at one point coming within 25 feet of the American boat and strewing debris in its path. The crewmen of the impeccable used fire hoses against that vessel as they are unarmed (where is the wisdom in an unarmed Navy vessel?)
Pentagon officials said the close encounter followed these other incidents last week:

_On Wednesday, a Chinese Bureau of Fisheries Patrol vessel used a high-intensity spotlight to illuminate the Victorious, an ocean surveillance ship, as it operated in the Yellow Sea, about 125 nautical miles from China's coast, the Pentagon said. The next day, a Chinese Y-12 maritime surveillance aircraft conducted 12 fly-bys of Victorious at an altitude of about 400 feet and a range of 500 yards.

_On Thursday, a Chinese frigate approached USNS Impeccable without warning and crossed its bow at a range of approximately 100 yards, the Pentagon said. This was followed less than two hours later by a Chinese Y-12 aircraft conducting 11 fly-bys of Impeccable at an altitude of 600 feet and a range from 100-300 feet.

_On Saturday, a Chinese intelligence collection ship challenged Impeccable over bridge-to-bridge radio, calling her operations illegal and directing Impeccable to leave the area or "suffer the consequences."
For those who don't remember the Chinese similarly tested George Bush in 2001 when their fighter jet, while harassing a US surveillance plane, collided with it forcing the surveillance plane to land in China. That happened in late March of 2001.

Now some will point to this and say that China is rising and possibly trying to provoke an incident with us. I am not too sure of that. I think what they are doing is testing the new regime's response. This will indicate to the Chinese just how belligerent they can be in the region. By choosing an American target they can get a feel for how we will respond to their overtures towards neighboring countries, whereas if they tried this with say a Taiwanese vessel our response would be layered and take more time.

Now China is in a relatively better position vs the US than they were 8 years ago. Our economy is on the verge of collapse (who ever could have thought THAT might happen. Well, besides the Austrians that is) and we now have a significant portion of our military tied up in two little hell holes half the world away. Further the American appetite for armed conflict is nearly full. An action in the south pacific would not be looked on favorably. It could well be said that we must pass this test. I don't know just what that response should be as I am not a military man, nor versed in diplomacy. But one thing I can be sure of, is that I don't trust Obama and Hillary Clinton to be up to the task. Hillary as president would have be slightly better than the poser Obama, and McCain (much as I dislike him) would not tolerate such behavior so his response would likely have been better than what we will ultimately do.

Final thought: Is this the beginning of the event prophesied by Joe Biden? Should we be holding classes on "Loin Girding?"

Shabby Vogue going out of style?

Say it ain't so!

As Trevor Kaufman, the guru of "CEO Casual," told the Wall Street Journal in an article written at the top of the boom, "A suit has become something you wear when you're asking for money."

Uh, right.

In the bust, your clothes need to send a different message. There are fewer resources to spare. Everyone is conserving. The goal of your life becomes different. You are no longer permitted to pretend that your very existence is a blessing to the world. Instead, you must add more value to the world than you take from it. This is especially true in your work life.

In fact, this should be your professional motto: I can add more value to this firm than I take from it.

This is what every employer — who these days is reluctant to hire and reluctant to promote and pay — is actually seeking. No more fluff in the workforce. No more fluff in fashion either.

So should I go with a fedora, or tin foil?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Church Shooting

Illinois pastor shot and killed during church service

One more reason to never go anywhere without a firearm. That firearm may not be able to protect you. Sometimes violence is simply too random or unexpected. But that firearm may just be able to save the life of another. One never knows, so one should take steps to always be prepared, because at the very least your preparation will mitigate the circumstances you find yourself in.

Pastor deflected first four shots with Bible.

Our dear commenter Briana thinks that more guns would lead to more violence. What it seems like to me is that after four shots from a .45 I would have had enough time to draw my gun and fire it. Instead of a dead pastor we WOULD HAVE HAD A DEAD ASSAILANT. Accidentally pressed the caps, but the emphasis is perfect. Churches are seen as Gun Free zones, or more accurately as a Victimization Zone. J. Neil Schulman made his book Stopping Power available for free in PDF format that addresses some of these issues. Mr Schulman made this book available for free after the Virginia Tech shootings, VTU being another Victimization Zone where people were unable to defend themselves and shot dead with a lowly .22LR pistol. Schulman rightly believes that wider dissemination of this information and its incorporation will save innocent lives. Lives like that of Rev. Fred Winters.

My advice to the Church. Grieve today. Prepare tomorrow. Don't let these crimes happen again.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Proposal to fix the Federal budget

I think I figured out Obama's plan to "half the deficit." See, everyone thinks he will do it by raising taxes or cutting spending. No. He is much smarter than that and has come up with a plan that has never been conceived of before.

Obama is going to nominate every tax cheating politician for some cabinet level position thereby forcing them to pay the same rate they would try to force on the populace. The latest is Ron Kirk who was nominated for U.S. Trade Representative. Now Mr Kirk's tab of only $10,000 is small fries compared to what Tim Geithner had to pay back. But Mr Kirk obviously is not as brilliant Mr Geithner who is touted as the only man "smart enough" to understand TARP, and just so happens to now be in charge of the IRS. If Mr Kirk was that smart he no doubt would now be paying a bigger payment (tho no penalty)

Before I digress too much, I figure if Obama just keeps putting these people up for cabinet positions then he will have found himself a source of revenue no previous President has ever even known to tap.

Now for some digression...

If Timothy Geithner cannot understand the 66,000 page tax code, and he is the ONLY man SMART ENOUGH to understand a single (out of the many) bailout program, just how is ANYONE supposed to be able to comply with the illegal tax code? 66,000 pages is more than the Bible, the Talmud, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and the Apocrypha put together! However, studying these books would take a years of dedicated study, and the tax code is revised every single year thereby negating any understanding one had previously. I refer back to the SCOTUS Doctrine known as Void For Vagueness "A statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application violates the first essential of due process of law." I mean, if some super brilliant person like Geithner is unable to understand this code, how is some lowly person like myself who is only 2-3 standard deviations above the average IQ supposed to understand it?

BTW, its been 9 years and I STILL can't find a law requiring the average American to pay an income tax. Nor have I seen any SCOTUS ruling that overturns their numerous rulings stating that the 16th amendment "confers no new powers" to the Federal Government, nor their overturning of the 1894 income tax as unConstitutional. (Hint: if the 1894 income tax was unconstitutional, and the 16th amendment conferred "no new powers" then the 1913 income tax is every bit as unconstitutional as the 1894 version)

Oh just read my previous rant on this. Nothing new to add really.
Or this rant
Or this one
And then there is this follow up to the one above.

For those in IT

You simply must check this out!
Microsoft will provide technology training to up to 2 million people over the next three years to help them succeed in the 21st century economy.

The initiative, called Elevate America, will offer a website where people can understand the technical skills they will need for the jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities of today and tomorrow and provide the resources to help acquire these skills.

The Web site,, provides access to several Microsoft online training programs, including how to use the Internet, send e-mail and create a resume, as well as more advanced programs on using specific Microsoft applications
It looks like the courses are entirely online. I haven't fully explored it but this may be just the ticket for some of us looking for a leg up in this economy.