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Sunday, April 22, 2007

My Gener-A-SHEE-UN


Click on the title of this blog or this link.  It will take you to a music video by what is arguably the oldest rock band in history!!!

The lead singer is 90 some-odd and the backup singers' ages added up would take you back to Noah. What a hoot! The group averages 76 years old. One of the guys is over 100, works three days a week as a plumber and beat up 3 muggers last week who tried to take his money.

I just added them to my "Friends" list on my myspace page. These guys are going to release an album in May. I just love this. I was depressed over my 53rd birthday this week. Now I don't feel so bad. I think I'll plug in my acoustic electric this week, go out on the back porch and sing some Creedence Clearwater Revival for the neighbors.

Talkin' 'bout my GeenerAshun.......

Just one man's opinion.....

Friday, April 20, 2007

Here We Go Again

I got this e-mail yesterday. (see the hoax e-mail about Glade Plug-in’s below). You can read about it here:

http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_plug_in_air_freshener.htm

And here:

http://www.scjohnson.com/family/fam_pre_pre_news.asp?art_id=133

There are several versions of this “Alert” out there, some signed and some not.

If you check the website of the “attorney” that supposedly signed it, Hunton & Williams are corporate lawyers defending the likes of TxU, Bank of America and Bell South FROM these kinds of lawsuits. Their pro bono work is largely environmental lawsuits. Someone stuck the phony signature on it after reading that a lack of signature was a dead giveaway that it was a phony e-mail (they probably read it on About.com).

Use a Glade Plug-in properly and your bathroom will smell just fine and is unlikely to burn down as a result. Of course, if your bathroom plugs are cracked and broken and your wiring inadequate, you could start a fire there, but that’s not the plug-in’s fault. Sounds like some unscrupulous lawyer (probably not Hunton & Williams) setting up the manufacturer for a lawsuit. By tainting potential jurors in advance with this word of mouth attack on Glade, an attorney has a better chance of winning a nice fat lawsuit. Maybe it was done by a rival manufacturer who wants to improve their sales of a similar product by besmirching Glade’s brand name. Whoever it was knew enough about attorneys to make a realistic looking signature for the note.

Shame on them.

Please understand that by passing this sort of stuff around without checking it, we all contribute to rising costs for the things we buy in the store and the goods and services we use.

There are more than one million lawyers in this country – at least one for every 250 of us. At an average salary of $75,000 (and that’s very modest – it’s likely much higher), that means you and I pay out an average of around $3400 per year to support lawyers. This cost is not just in direct fees, it’s hidden in every product we buy, every service we use, every thing we do.

How many things do you know of that you cannot do anymore because of the fear of lawsuits.

Been on a hayride recently?
Churches don’t do those anymore because their insurance won’t let them.

How about a nice program for seniors at your church?
Nope! Can’t do that without licensing and liability insurance out the wazoo – which you often cannot get at any price!

Take a group of kids out in your boat?
Not without signed waivers and proof that you have liability insurance.

Swimming pool in your yard?
Not without an ugly high fence and locks and a sign that says no trespassing (as required by your insurance company).

Had a fender bender and apologized to the other driver because you made a mistake.
Not without worrying for weeks afterward that the other driver was going to show up in court with a neckbrace and take your home from you?

Apologized and helped them up when a neighbor slipped and fell on your porch or stumbled over your kid’s tricycle?
Not without worrying whether such an apology was an “admission of guilt” and basis for a suit.

Offered a homeless person a job for a few days to help him out?
Not without wondering if you were being set up for a suit. Better to let those “homeless organizations” with good insurance do that.

When’s the last time your kids played baseball on a sandlot?
Not without waivers, proof of insurance by the sandlot’s owner and certified umpires and safety equipment.

When’s the last time the local band did a concert in the park for free?
Not unless someone paid for it, because there was the city’s insurance against lawsuit to consider. Somebody paid for the concert you can bet on it and somewhere a lawyer got some money, however indirectly.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not happy with what I’m getting for my $3400.

AND for every dollar that goes directly to an attorney, at least another goes to his support staff, court fees, filing fees, penalties and losses to companies which they recover by charging you more for goods and services.

Got mesothelioma, Parkinsons or Lyme disease?
Had a car wreck?
Mom in a nursing home?
Taken heart medication, pain or diet pills?
Got a rash from a bottle of lotion?

Looking for a quick pile of money?
Who ya’ gonna call?

Just watch daytime television for a few minutes. They’ll give you a number you can call.

There’s an old folk song that I heard once. I’d like to offer a revision to the last verse.

…And when I die and go to heaven,
There won’t be no lawyers there.

Just one man's opinion...

Tom


-----Original Message-----Subject: FW: House Fires...(please read)... VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!

House fires--please read!!!!!Received from a friend who is in the insurance property business. It is well worth reading.This is one of those e-mails that if you don't send it, rest assured someone on your list will suffer for not reading it. The original message was written by a lady whose brother and wife learned a hard lesson this past week.Their house burnt down.. nothing left but ashe s. They have good insurance so the house will be replaced and most of the contents. That is the good news.

However, they were sick when they found out the cause of the fire. The insurance investigator sifted through the ashes for several hours. He had the cause of the fire traced to the master bathroom. He asked her sister-in-law what she had plugged inthe bathroom. She listed the normal things....curling iron, blow dryer. He kept saying to her, "No, this would be something that would disintegrate at high temperatures". Then her sister-in-lawremembered she had a Glade Plug-In, in the bathroom.The investigator had one of those "Aha" moments. He said that was the cause of the fire. He said he has seen more house fires started with the plug-in type room fresheners than anything else. He said the plastic they are made from is THIN. He also said that in every case there was nothing left to prove that it even existed. When the investigator looked in the wall plug, the two prongs left from the plug-in were still in there.
Her sister-in-law had one of the plug-ins that had a small night light built in it. She said she had noticed that the light would dim and then finally go out. She would walk in to the bathroom a few hours later, and the light would be back on again. The investigator said that the unit was getting too hot, and would dim and go out rather than just blow the light bulb. Once it cooled down it would come back on. That is a warning sign

The investigator said he personally wouldn't have any type of plug in fragrance device anywhere in his house. He has seen too many places that have been burned down due to them.

PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO ALL THE
PEOPLE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK.
NOT ONLY COULD IT SAVE SOMEONE'S HOUSE,
BUT IT COULD SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE

Charisse Cannon-Matthews
Litigation Paralegal
cmatthews@hunton.com
Hunton & Williams LLPRiverfront Plaza,
East Tower951 East Byrd Street,
1155Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 344-7957
Fax: (804) 343-4874
www.hunton.com

This communication is confidential and is intended to be privileged pursuant to applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible to deliver it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify Hunton & Williams LLP immediately by telephone (877-374-4937) and by electronic mail to: help_desk@hunton.com and then delete this message and all copies and backups thereof.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Let's Stop Giving Mass Murderers What They Want!

My wife was becoming more and more upset as the day's news about the massacre at Virginia Tech went on. I turned off the TV to calm her down, but something she said made more sense than anything any of the pundits had to say.

The shooter in this situation got exactly what he wanted. He took out his anger on as many people as possible, he got his message read to millions of breathless TV viewers, he became famous and he set a new record for carnage in the process.

Hardly had the last spent cartridge hit the floor before the news media were calling it possibly the worst such incident in history. Within 24 hours, the copycat bomb threats had begun. If I were a student on an American college campus today, I'd be packin' heat, so that I could shoot back if anyone marched into my classroom bent on imitating the evil man in Virginia!!!! There are going be other mentally unbalanced individuals out there in the coming weeks that will want to challenge the new record. The massive media coverage of the V-Tech incident will almost demand a response from any number of unbalanced individuals.

The Beatles had the right idea about how we should respond to murderers like this. After John Lennon was murdered by a crazed fan, they agreed among themselves never to mention the name of his killer. He's referred to as "he who must never be named" by many of Lennon's fans as well. Such an approach should be taken to every mentally deranged person that shoots up a school, blows up a bus or kills another human being. Their names should never be spoken again and they should be erased from public memory.
I would like to see just one news outlet have the courage to change their policy on reporting of terrorism and mass murder. It's true that the American public has a morbid curiousity to know why these things happen. So what! Who says we have to know everything.

How about let's use the forces of political correctness to do some good for a change. Let's make it politically incorrect to EVER mention the name of any psychotic individual who slaughters others. The Colombine Murders would be a fine way to refer to the boys who marched into their high school and started shooting their friends. "The 9/11 terrorists" would be all we'd ever need to refer to those guys. If you need to talk about one of them in a documentary, you could say, "One of the 9/11 terrorists".

You don't read their manifestos. You don't negotiate with them. You don't spend months blaming everyone else for the misdeeds of these miscreants. You only have to say the Virginia Tech Murderer was a seriously disturbed individual who senselessly killed his classmates and friends. That's all anyone needs to know about him. We don't need to know his race or to talk about how many he killed or discuss his statistics versus someone else's. No news media outlet should announce any part of any note, manifesto or weblog created by the perpetrator. His purpose should be forgotten. After all, getting his message out there was why he did this in the first place. If we make mass murder unprofitable, maybe they'll quit. If doing this will get you absolutely forgotten, why would you go to the trouble. No one will know it was you, will know why you did it or will care what terrible thing you thought was done to you that justified your murdering people.

If anyone does anything like this ever again, his or her name should be blotted out of existence and never spoken again as a sign of respect and reverence for the victims. Heroes like the professor who held the door while his students escaped out the windows, a Holocaust survivor who died with his hand on the doorknob is who should be remembered, not the tortured psychopath who killed him.

Our culture should begin a tradition of erasing mass murderers from existence by general agreement. It should be considered the height of disrespect to the victims of serial killers to mention the killer's name ever again. We could do that. If you want to punish someone like the cult leader who killed Sharon Tate and her friends, you forget him. No attention, not even his name should survive. He should be purged from our collective memory.

Would it work? You know I bet it would. You see, I couldn't tell you the name of the guy who killed John Lennon. I've actually forgotten.

If I were President of the U.S. I would suggest just such a thing from the bully pulpit he occupies as our nation's leader. It would be risky, but I guarantee if he asked the American people to do it, there would be a whole lot of us who would adopt the practice of refusing to say the name of the evil ones.
I'm not saying we shouldn't be forgiving and try to understand that an unbalanced mind can sometimes snap. That's helpful. It helps us watch for others who are in danger of coming apart at the seams. If we do that, maybe we can catch them in time to get them some help. But for the sake of other folks with schizophrenia, bipolar and other psychoses, lets not help feed their delusions by giving them a national stage on which to act out their tortured delusions of grandeur.
I will start taking my own advice by refusing to watch any newscast or documentary that mentions the name of the Virginia Tech Murderer. I would urge you to do the same and encourage your friends to do so.

Just one man's opinion...

Tom King

Monday, April 16, 2007

Let's See Who Can We Offend And Get Away With It?



Guys like Don Imus need to be more careful who they insult. It can be a career killer if you offend the wrong people in this country. Try googling "Don Imus" for instance. You'll see page after page describing the controversy as a "firestorm" . What the aged shock jock did (for those of you who were hiding under a rock the past two weeks) was to drop a racial slur in the process of making one of his crude jokes on his morning show.s. No matter that the slur is in common use. I searched the term on Google and got more than one million hits.  Because he used the term, he's at least temporarily unemployed and may be unemployable for the forseeable future.

A cartoonist prints an arguably funny cartoon in a tiny little Sunday supplement of a newspaper with a miniscule readership. It depicts the prophet Mohammed. That offends Muslims. The worldwide media turns it into a witch hunt, castegating the author as though he were guilty of genocide, baby-killing and driving an SUV.

The president of Iran leads groups of Iranian citizens in chanting "Death to America, Death to the Jews!" It doesn't make the mainstream news anywhere.

A judge hangs the ten commandments in his courtroom and the media creates a "firestorm" over it, hammering on about the story over and over. An atheist family sues a school district because their daughter's school sponsors the recital of the pledge of allegiance with the words "under God" included. The pundits and "experts" carry on a mighty debate for months, largely supportive of the offended atheists.

Rosie O'Donnell on ABC's The View said that "Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state." It started a row in the religious media. If you google it, however, you'll have to wade through 109 entries before you get to a mainstream news outlet that reports on the incident (Fox predictably).

The media wailed in anquish for months over the morality of "Arab profiling" by airport security in the months after 9 terrorists (Arabs, all male, age 20-45) wiped out three plane loads of people, The Twin Towers and damaged the Pentagon.

Then, early this month, the Burlington Township High School ran a terrorist attack drill featuring a scenario where "Right Wing Crusaders" who don't like the public school system take kids hostage because the school wouldn't let a child pray before class. I guess that the school board and local police department who sponsored the drill decided fundamentalist Christians were the only group left you could safely offend.

I had to go down 49 entries on a Google search before I found a mainstream media outlet (Fox again) that even reported the incident. Surprise, no firestorm from the mainstream!

Well why should they report it. White Christians are the only minority group left that you can safely insult. Rosie can call us more dangerous than Islamic terrorists, Bill Mahrer can say religion is a neurological disorder. Melissa McEwan can call Christians "Christofascist Godbags".  No one in the mainstream reports it, much less finds a problem with it.

Here's what I get from that.

  1. You must not under any circumstances say anything negative about black people, Hispanics, Muslims, Buddhists or any other religion that comprises a minority.
  2. If you, under any circumstances, you do even inadvertently offend such people, you should lose your job and have your life ruined as completely as possible.
  3. If you are white (male or female), fat, conservative (or better yet a fat conservative), Christian, Asian-American, Jewish or wealthy, then Don Imus, Rosie O'Donnell or Bill Mahrer are free to call you whatever name they want to (and have) without much fear of anything bad happening to them. Imus' problem was that he was so secure that his liberal base was with him that he got too familiar. Spike Lee can use the same term to refer to black women and it's okay. Don found out that he wasn't black enough to get away with it, no matter whether he intended it to be racist or not. He probably meant it to be racist in a non-racist sort of way - under the "as-long-as-it's-funny-it's-okay" principle. I don't thing Imus should have been fired for the racist remark - he's made plenty of those so it was no big surprise. What he should be fired for is for not being particularly funny. He's just offensive. Where's the entertainment in that?
Poor Imus. He really blew this one. This was a perfect opportunity for the left to attack the bain of their existence - radio talk show hosts. It doesn't matter if he was one of their own camp followers, these guys eat their young (and old apparently). If one radio talk host screws up, it's a perfect excuse to conduct a witch hunt for all talk show hosts the mainstream media and left wing politicians disagree with. If they set fire to one of their own, so what. The opportunity was just too good to miss. If you can blow up Imus and skewer Rush, Glenn or Sean with a thigh bone fragment, no sacrifice is too great (especially somebody else's sacrifice). These guys remind me of Aztec priests standing over their bloody alters screaming, "Next!"

Make no mistake. This whole big furor is not about race. It's about power. The mainstream media and the left wing establishment that supervised the training and creation of the mainstream media have been seeing their power base slip away at the hands of bloggers, talk show hosts and upstart media like FoxNews and other suddenly popular news alternatives that are draining the big boys' ratings.

To be fair to Don Imus, he also picks on Arabs, women, Asians and practically everybody else. He was an equal opportunity offender. Maybe what his case teaches us is that the folks you want to be careful not to offend are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. When those two go after you, you can bet everybody else that doesn't want to face the wrath of "Jesse and Al" is going to line up behind the two of them and start beating you up, "Look, Al. Hey Jesse, see this. I'm really whupping up on these guys. Please don't sue me or anything."

What's hilarious is that the left is blaming the uproar on the right and the right is blaming it on the left. And we have the nerve to decry the tribal violence in Africa and the Balkans. What else is this, but plain old tribal warfare. The far right and the far left are both guilty of it. None of it helps solve the problems of the world.

I just wish we could get them to lighten up on Christians. "If you prick us do we not bleed?" To listen to the media today, you'd assume Christians carried assault rifles and dragged negroes, Arabs and homosexuals around with our pickups as our primary means of recreation. Sure we've had our share of nutcase terrorists (anti-abortion bombers - which doesn't make ANY sense to me, gun toting weirdoes like David Koresh and cult leaders like Jim Jones and Marshall Applewhite). Those guys aren't any more Christian than Osama is a true Muslim. Very few Christian ministers preach "Death" to anyone or any particular country or culture from the pulpit. I've never seen even the most radical of Christian televangelists suggest training Christian children to strap bombs to their bodies and blow up their fellow human beings.

So lay off a little okay? We might have to get "offended". Of course, it wouldn't matter unless we were willing to blow some things up because of it and since most Christians are hemmed in by that pesky old Golden Rule, there's not much fear of that so who cares whether Christians get offended or not.

Just one man's opinion...



Tom King

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bored? You've Got to Be Kidding


I was cruising my bulletin board on MySpace and found several messages from 20 somethings claiming to be bored. How is that possible? Who has the time to be bored?

The world is huge. We have surrounding us so many things to do and see that one lifetime is not enough to do and see it all. It remains for God to grant us immortality for us to have even a chance to be bored.

From where I sit, I see a shelf with some 250 books, each requiring about 3-6 hours to read if you read very fast. In front of me is a television hooked to a satellite dish with 150 channels. Below the TV is a drawer containing some 75 DVDs and a shelf with more video tapes than that. There are 3 shelves stuffed with more than 100 books on tape, a drawer full of CD's and another bookshelf with about 100 books in it downstairs. In the shed I have 5 boxes of audio tapes and some boxes of books my wife made me put there because she says we don't have room for them all in the house. I have a shelf in my closet with 15-20 board games, card games and then there's the video game channel on my satellite dish. I have about 10 video games on my computer (there are two laptops and two desktops in the house and 5 television sets). Each game would take about 5-10 hours to finish just one run through and some of them offer dozens of different scenarios. I can download games for free from the Internet if I run out of games or borrow some from one of the kids. I have a music program someone gave me that lets me compose music on my keyboard and print out sheet music once I'm done. I can transfer videos to DVD's on my DVD recorder, copy DVD's, create photo and video programs on my computer, turn audio tapes into DVD's and Photoshop my photographs so I look like I've lost 50 pounds and grown my hair back - how cool is that!!!

I can paste my head on Johnny Weissmueller's body and print out fake Tarzan posters with me in the starring role! I can find clips from old movies on-line and watch them. I can go to You-tube and watch the next generation ride skateboards off of roofs and land astraddle of a steel handrail, insuring they will not likely procreate - which may prove Darwin correct after all! How much fun is that.

We have 5 guitars, a fiddle, a banjo, a dulcimer, piano, 2 bodhrans, an alto recorder, penny whistle, jaw harp, a kazoo and a bag full of harmonicas, all of which I need to practice on if I'm ever going to learn to play them. I've got two astronomical telescopes and the pieces of one I haven't finished building yet, a pair of binoculars and a bird book and a pair of hawks that live in a tree across the street to watch. I have pieces of cherry wood a friend gave me and a Dremel moto-tool for carving the engraved wooden box I'm building for my wife. There's a fire in my fireplace and a refrigerator and shelves full of food and a cabinet with about 20 recipe books in it so that I can make all kinds of really good stuff to eat. There's a fresh loaf of homemade honey wheat bread I made last night.

I've got a catamaran with a broken rudder I need to finish repairing so I can go sailing. I've got two canoes and two sailboards that need to be cleaned for the season and taken out on the lake or down to the river for a paddle. I've got 3 bicycles that need to some maintenance so I can go riding with my grandkids. My granddaughter is downstairs working on her homework and probably will be upstairs soon wanting me to help with her latest last minute essay.

I have a giant plastic box full of photos and negatives in the closet that I am trying to scan into my computer so I can organize them and make photo memory books for each of my kids. I have a book I've written, and one my wife has written that I need to sell to a publisher (which could take me writing some 50 letters before I even get a nibble). I have another two books I'm writing, four websites I manage and need to update, 4 e-mail boxes to tend to and a book of songs I'm working on for our youth group that needs some new songs added to it. I also write 4 weblogs and manage two MySpace pages.

I'm writing 7 grants in the coming 3 weeks and creating a 5 year budget for a wildlife refuge expansion project. AND I HAVEN'T DONE MY TAXES YET!!!!!

It's Sabbath afternoon and I'm sitting in a wonderfully comfortably La-Z-Boy recliner by a warm fire on a rainy day with my family all around and I could sure use a nap (see above).

I'm almost 53 years old and I know I'm not going to live long enough to get everything done that I want to do, much less what I have to do.

I have the entire Internet full of amazing stuff to see and do and read and what do I see on the bulletin board but a bunch of 14-28 year olds whining about being bored?

Man I wish I could trade places with you guys. Then you would only have a few years till you were dead and I'd have time and energy to do all the fun stuff I want to do, but will probably run out of time to do.

Now get up off your butt and go find something fun to do for crying out loud!!!!!!

I don't want to hear anything more about anybody who is under 75 and not paralyzed from the neck down being bored!!!

Just one man's opinion....

Tom King

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Practice Doesn't Make Perfect


Our home has grown by three souls. God gives us what we need. We don't always understand why He does things as he does. We don't always know what in the world He means for us to do. Sometimes all we can do is take one step after another and figure things out as we go.
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I know this, however. There is nothing like a grandchild to bring a smile to your face. It's weird. I'm back to helping someone with their English homework (and driving her crazy like I did my own kids). They always complained that I took over their writing projects. Really, all I did was make them do it over and over till they wrote it so that it made sense.
.
The problem with the way English is taught in high school today is that they give kids one shot essays and papers to write. Then they give them a grade and that's that. The way I used to teach was that I made the kids rewrite until their papers made sense. I tried to teach them to write the way they speak. All three of my kids are pretty good writers. Micah and Matt both wrote poetry. I'm not sure if Meg ever tried it. She's pretty secretive (like I was at her age). There could be volumes of her poetry somewhere that I don't know about. I know she did a beautiful video about Micah for his memorial service. She organizes programs for church that are pretty amazing. Her wedding was a work of art. I missed all that when Micah died and Meg moved out.
.
There's an old saying that goes, "Practice makes perfect." It doesn't
.
Perfect Practice makes Perfect. If you practice incorrectly, you will never learn to do a thing correctly. That applies to the life you live. Christ calls for us to be perfect. Actually in the text where he says that, the word actually is in a strange tense - something like a continuing future perfect tense. It really should read "you will therefore be becoming perfect..."
.
Becoming perfect is a continuing process. You work at it and as you do you get better at it, whether it's good writing or good living.
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God was kind to Sheila and I. He gave us two beautiful grandchildren and one has moved in with us along with my sweet daughter-in-law and my eldest son who works much too hard. Our other granddaughter who is in college does come over here to do her homework. They are both sweethearts and have been a joy to both of us. This photo is the first one I have of my Sweet Baboo smiling in more than a year. Children and grandchildren draw you beyond yourself and your narrow view of life and give you the chance to perfect your character by practicing love. And they love you back which is really cool.
.
Meg & Will were over here over the weekend and we had a lovely time. Family is important if we are to survive in this hard cold world. We hang together and hold each other up or we wither and die. When we lost Micah last year, I wasn't sure we would survive. Grief still overcomes me sometimes and I live for the day I will see my child again - all of them together. We're planning a big cookout and party at our new house in heaven. I can't wait.
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Till then, we thank God for our children and grandchildren. They keep us alive....
.
Just one man giving thanks....
.
Tom

Friday, April 06, 2007

Immigration Policy We Can Live With

I got one of those e-mail petitions today against the idea that illegal aliens who pay social security taxes should be allowed to draw social security. Admittedly this is kind of a goofy idea. It's one law that contradicts a whole host of others. How do you pay social security if you're working illegally.

This petition is doomed to failure because it's an email petition. There is no way for it to reliably reach an elected official. I'm sure the president won't ever get one in his e-mail box. There's no way for the "signatures" to be authenticated. Because it's sent out scattergun fashion, most of the copies of this will have duplicate signatures. Who's going to sort through all those? The only reason for an e-mail like this is that it's an excuse to rag on illegal aliens and portray them as criminals, illiterates and sponges.

The only way you can effectively register such a complaint is to send a personal message directly to your congressional delegation, the presidents or heads of government agencies. Even then, you'll be speaking to an aid who counts them up as "for" and "agin" and informs his or her boss as to the tally.

It is true that the immigration reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate in May 2006 included a provision allowing undocumented immigrants to collect Social Security benefits accrued if they paid taxes while working in the United States. You may disagree with this bill, but characterizing all illegals as criminals doesn't solve that problem.

E-mail petitions like this are completely ineffective because there’s no way to collect them once they’ve got enough signatures. We still have to do things the old fashioned “hard way”.

As to the illegal immigration issue, I’ve seen precious few “illegals” living in the lap of luxury as described in some of these e-mails and pushing ahead of little old people to buy expensive name brand stuff while grandma (who lived through the depression) eats catfood.

There are 38 colonias in the 14 counties served by East Texas Council of Governments – cardboard villages where these people live without running water, sewers, transportation or electricity. The rose growers and nurseries send a pickup in the morning to pick up the men and take them to the fields and greenhouses. If their families are with them, mama pays $40-80 to get a ride to town to buy groceries - enriching an unscrupulous Americano who preys on illegals because they are vulnerable and afraid and don't have cars. These folks are living in their own depression right now and IT’S BETTER THAN HOW THEY LIVED IN MEXICO!!!

I’ve seen these guys work. Many are skilled and it's a myth that they don't want to learn English. When Peggy Lustig’s folks at Gateway to American Opportunities offered them a chance to learn English, 150 showed up for class the first night at one place. A bunch of them walked some serious mileage to get there too!

While I understand that some people feel they ought to be run out on a rail, I’m not so sure. If they’re working and staying out of trouble, give ‘em a green card and a fair shot at becoming a citizen. The gain is ours. In earlier immigration waves, we depleted many countries of some of their best people.

The problem is not with the laws anyway. The problem is we don’t enforce the laws we have. Writing new laws is a racket by which lawmakers convince you they are doing something about the problem so you will re-elect them. They don't intend that such laws will actually be enforced. We tie the hands of our border patrol agents, so they can’t stop them at the border. We hire them because they work cheap, so we encourage them to stay. I understand why they come across too. If you lived in the pesthole they did, you’d try and get out too.

Also, remember the great lie that liberals use to hold on to political power – the idea that the economy is a zero-sum game. We’ve been suckered into believing for all these years that if someone does well, he or she must be causing someone else to be poorer.

This is not true! An economy is healthy when it is active. The more people that work, the more money is moving through the economy. A business generating a million dollar payroll contributes about 7 million dollars worth of activity to the economy of its community as the payroll gets spent and respent in the community. The more people working and spending their earnings, the more money there is flowing through the stores and shops and services in the community and the more other people are working. Rich people spend money hiring people to do work for them. They create factories and jobs and businesses. In the same way, illegal aliens, allowed to work simply increase the activity within the economy. They don't really take anything away from us, whether we want the kinds of jobs they do or not. Working people create jobs, simply by working and spending.

I agree we shouldn’t be providing extensive support for folks who are in the country illegally, but from what I’ve seen, these guys aren’t looking for a handout. They’re looking for a job. They are very often religious, family oriented and hard-working. Those who aren’t can easily be taken care of simply by enforcing the existing laws that are on the books. They aren’t stealing from us by and large. They contribute to the economy. If we make it so that hard working Mexicans can come in as guest workers and bring their families, we won’t see the drain of cash going back to Mexico. When we had vast immigrant waves from China, Ireland, Italy, Germany and France, the influx of workers served only to deplete those countries of their hardest working citizens and to give our economy a badly needed kick in the pants. Not only that, but we got some great restaurants and nifty inventions from immigrants like ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, Chop Suey and Tex-Mex food.

I say, to solve the problem, we don’t need new laws. We need to simply enforce the ones we’ve got. We need to lock down the border and gently but firmly take anyone who tries to cross back to their own side. We need a generous guest worker program that allows them to come across legally. And we need a no hanky panky policy that deports anyone who causes trouble.

President Reagan tried that, but the strict enforcement part got watered down by the Democrats so badly, it didn’t work!

He had the right idea though. We just need to try the whole thing and that’s what the President has proposed this time around. If we want to help, we should send overwhelming numbers of letters to our senators and congressmen and to the president, stating we want enforcement, the border locked down, a guest worker program and a one strike you’re out policy for convictions for serious crimes.

Just one man's opinion...

Tom

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Not a Part of Our Mission!

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A troubling trend has developed among churches in the past few years. The first I heard of it was when a representative of the congregation that ran the intergenerational day care center where my wife worked decided that little children and seniors were "no longer a part of our mission". They said it with a straight face and no shame!

In this area several church day care centers have been shut down because church boards reviewed their mission statements and decided that little children were no longer a part of their mission - or at least taking care of them for more than an hour on Sundays was no longer a part of their mission.

Everything is about funding these days. It's no accident that many nonprofits and churches are shifting their missions to more lucrative projects. Children and seniors are too expensive because in today's litigious society, they are too expensive to insure. Church and nonprofit boards add up the cost of programs for little ones and the elderly (not cheap by any means), plus the outrageous insurance costs and the potential cost of Rodney D. Young or Roberts & Roberts suing your congregation right out of their nice new sanctuary and family life center and they come to the conclusion that a shift of mission priorities is in order.

It's a shame, but fear of lawsuits and an unwillingness to risk financial losses is reducing services for our most vulnerable citizens - the ones the Bible specifically mentioned that Christians should take care of first and above all!

I we all interpret our duty as Christians and choose our missions in life accordingly.

Scripture mentions "men's hearts failing them for fear" at the end of time. I see that happening. Ironically enough, our hearts are failing us, not for fear of demons or tyrants, huns or barbarians, but for fear of lawyers.

But no one ever said the devil wasn't subtle. Know what all that fear that means?

Guess who's coming back, Planet Earth......

Just one man's fervent hope,

Tom King