Jan 3, Optimism and Pessimism

Jan 10, Media Stoops to New Low!

Jan 12, Ft Hood was Different

Jan 17, Dog Rules and Cat Rules

Jan 25, State of the Union - Again!

Feb 2, Bailouts - Again!

Feb 2, It's all about jobs!

Feb 9, Ethanol and Bees

Feb 10, Rising Food Prices

Feb 28, Tough Talk

Mar 26, Libya Invasion

Mar 28, PC Problem Fixed

Apr 1, No April Fool Joke!

May 2, Monday Entertainment

Jun 7, Newspaper in Trouble

Jun 7, Primary Day

Jul 14, Columnist is Confused


Jul 15, Senate Speech

Jul 21, My New Keyboard

Sep 9, Ten Years After 9/11

Sep 9, American Jobs Act

Sep 9, Tyranny of Retirement

Sep 9, Our Flags are Down

Sep 19, Acts of God

Oct 12, Occupy Wall Street vs. Tea Party

Oct 13, Rembrandt and Christmas Decorations

Oct 14, Second Opinion Illegal

Oct 25, Only Christians' Opinions are Illegal

Oct 28, News Media and Letters to the Editor

Nov 2, My Apologies

Nov 11, 11-11-11

Nov 13, Protect the Bullied

Dec 25, Back on Line

Dec 29, Minimal Education



January 3, 2011

At the dawn of a new year, we hear both optimistic and pessimistic predictions. For many years, people called me an incurable optimist. Now they ask why I am so pessimistic about the future of our nation.

I haven't changed much but America has.

Until 1776, nearly every nation that ever existed was ruled by either a monarchy or a dictatorship. Check your history books! The United States of America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and was able to thrive for two and a half centuries because a majority of "we the people" believed in God. Today, a majority of Americans cares little about God or what he has to say. This majority chose the governments which legalized all sorts of immorality and now seeks prosecution of those who voice a differing opinion.

Our national currency is rapidly becoming nothing more than paper and ink because it lacks substance. When an American majority disregards Judeo-Christian principles taught in the Bible, the Constitution also becomes worthless paper. It lacks substance.

There is good reason for political pessimism. The America we have known for a quarter of a millennium is regressing rapidly and shows no signs of changing directions. Our forefathers fought and many died for the freedoms we still enjoy and those already relinquished without a fight. When I try to discuss this with many Americans, they tell me, "I don't get involved in political debates." Or they say, "There's nothing I can do about it, so why bother?" They are no better than the irresponsible and self-serving politicians who are trampling our Constitution under foot and driving our nation into moral and fiscal bankruptcy.

People who talk like that tend to seek refuge in a religion that provides escape from responsibility and uncomfortable consequences. Preachers who promise followers (and supporters) health and wealth or offer lots of musical entertainment to divert attention from problems are among the feel-good religious movements thriving in America. Then there are preachers who console believers with the prospect of a rapture that removes them from this evil world and ushers them into heaven.

Harold Camping, owner of Family Radio, is one of the latter. He claims the end of the world is coming on May 21, 2011. According to Camping, God will judge the world and usher him and all who believe him and support his ministry into eternal paradise on that date.

Camping's promise would be more believable if he sold his billion-dollar radio network with a provision that the new owner take possession on May 22, 2011. That would give him a lot of money to spend in the next four and a half months. I don't expect him to do that, however. The owner of a grocery store near us is one of Camping's followers. He has a large billboard next to his store warning people of the May 21 judgment day, but I don't see a "For Sale" sign on his business establishment either.

I believe in a rapture, but that doesn't relieve me of my Christian and civil responsibilities "under God." Many churches may be preaching heresy, but I don't believe Camping's claim that God has turned all churches over to the devil and chosen to invest solely in Family Radio. If that makes me pessimistic, so be it. My faith in God keeps me optimistic because I know he is still in control.


January 10, 2011

I just walked away from our TV and I am disgusted. I find it absolutely despicable that NBC would stoop so low as to use a tragedy like the one that occurred in Tucson, Arizona to push it's leftist, anti-American agenda.

When horrific acts of violence take place it is time to find and prosecute the perpetrator, time to comfort the grieving and time to build defense mechanisms that prevent or limit such violence. It is not a time to blame law-abiding patriots who disagree with NBC's political agenda. And it is not a time to push for the disarmament and muzzling of law-abiding citizens. I didn't watch coverage by the rest of the main-stream media, but from what I heard, the situation was similar.

I have been involved in the Tea Party movement from its inception in early 2009. I sponsored a Tax Day Tea Party on April 15, 2009. I have been blogging and writing letters to the editors of newspapers. I have written and called politicians on issues that I hold to be important. I helped campaign for the candidates of my choice in primaries and elections. Most importantly, I voted. Tea partiers believe in the power of voting and our efforts were rewarded in the last election. Those who are trying to replace our Constitutional government with socialism spent a lot more money but they failed to maintain control of Congress. Now they are resorting to defamation, lies and dirty politics in hopes of squashing opposition.

I deeply resent the media holding me (us) responsible for the crimes that a socialistic, anti-American, flag-burning, deranged, radical committed in Arizona. I never owned a gun, but I will do all in my power to support the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to own and bear firearms. I will gladly fight for the right of the media to defame me and other tea partiers. But I also exercise my right to protest and tell it like it is.

Any casual observer can clearly recognize what kind of people make up the Tea Party movement. They are extremely patriotic Americans and non-violent in nature. We believe in the power of free elections. I was present when several hundred tea party patriots gathered to petition the NJ Senate President to do what we believed was right. Everyone I saw was in a good mood. Some carried placards and American flags, but there were no guns or other weapons present. There were no threats or menacing gestures and no laws were broken, yet a SWAT Team and police dogs were called out to "control the angry mob."

We have every right to be angry, but as long as we have free elections, we will not resort to violence or the despicable methods now being used by the main-stream media and liberal Democrats.


January 12, 2011

The media (and presidential) response to U.S. Army psychologist Nidal Hasan's killing spree at Fort Hood, Texas was restrained. Even though Major Hasan had ties to violent jihadists and had yelled out an Islamic religious expression as he set about killing 13 and wounding 42 people, Obama urged Americans not to "jump to conclusions" about the motives behind the shooting. "We cannot fully know what leads a man to do such a thing," he said.

Last week, a deranged, flag-burning, anti-American radical shot and critically wounded a Congresswoman and killed six others in Tucson, Arizona. The same media was quick to claim that the killer was possibly influenced by the tea party movement!


January 17, 2011

We raise puppies for The Seeing Eye, an organization which has placed about 16,000 guide dogs in its 81-year history. We have to see that our dog abides by all the local, state and national laws or pay dear consequences. In addition to these rules, The Seeing Eye provides us a catalogue of rules to abide by. We attend monthly "Puppy Raiser" club meetings in which our dogs go through their training routines under strict guidance of experienced leaders. If our dog leaves the property, it must always be with a trainer on its leash. Our dog must be tied to our bedpost when we sleep at night. It learns to do "Park Time" on command when and where we tell it to and not whenever and wherever it feels an urge. If it poops while we are on a walk, we have to put it in a plastic bag and take it home to dispose of it.

In spite of all these rules and the strict discipline, There are places where our dog is not welcome.

And a cat?

The cat rules! It goes wherever it wants to and there are no local, state and national laws that tell it what to do or not to do. Even it's owners (at least they claim to own the cat) can't train it. It comes and goes at will. It sleeps all day wherever it wants and prowls all night. Cats are said to be clean animals because they are often seen licking themselves. But a cat likes to get its paws dirty before climbing on our car and walking diagonally across the entire vehicle. It poops and pees wherever it wants - usually on our property. It pees on our doorstep and poops all over our yard.

Oh yes, there is one law regarding cats. We are not allowed to kill them. The SPCA took one cat owner to court because he shaved his cat to look like a poodle. The judge threw the case out because the lawyer for the SPCA couldn't explain the difference between shaving dogs and cats.

I wonder if I could get away with shaving a neighbor's cat? (just joking of course!)



State of the Union Addresses 2010 and 2011

Since President Obama repeated some of last year's speech, I will just copy my comments from last year's blog and add notes in italics.

On January 28, 2010, I wrote:
I listened to Obama's entire State of the Union speech last night and must admit that he has a golden tongue and knows how to work crowds! Alert cameramen caught Napolitano napping and Ried yawning, but President Obama was obviously in his element, doing what he does best.

January 25, 2011
The cameramen were kinder this year. Perhaps they got reprimanded last time.

On January 28, 2010, I wrote:
The audience was strangely silent toward the end of the speech. Obama seemed nervous when he paused for applause that didn't even come from the Democrat side. At one point, Joe Biden could be seen applauding, but he stopped clapping when he realized that he was all alone.

January 25, 2011
There was less applause this year and it seemed like people were confused about when they were supposed to applaud and when they should be silent. That was probably due to the fact that the red tie people and blue tie people were mixed instead of sticking together. I understand that was to signal a new beginning of cooperative effort. Joe Biden did a repeat performance.

On January 28, 2010, I wrote:
A little child asked, "Mommy, do all fairy tales start with 'once upon a time?'" Mommy replied, "No child, some of them start with "I do" and others start with "If I am elected, I will.'"

January 25, 2011
That statement was worth repeating.

On January 28, 2010, I wrote:
I wrote about President Obama's standard explanation for America's problems in my last blog []. He used the phrase "the past eight years" again last night, but also added an updated version, "the past decade." Either way you look at it, I must give him credit for including his own first year.

January 25, 2011
Obama talked about "the past ten years" this time. Now he includes both of his years in the White House as being part of the problem.

On January 28, 2010, I wrote:
Restoring Trust
President Obama praised Americans for traditionally showing "human dignity," "ideals," "values," and "fundamental decency," but he chided them for not allowing gays to parade their sexuality in the military.

January 25, 2011
This year, Obama praised himself and his Democratic colleagues for allowing gays, lesbians and transsexuals to openly declare [and practice] their sexual preferences in the military. Cameramen showed top military brass not applauding.

On January 28, 2010, I wrote:
Obama announced his plan to restore trust in the Federal Government. He is calling for a freeze on government spending (with some exceptions) for three years.

That should really scare Americans! We have been alarmed at the astronomical sums of taxpayer money (mostly of our children and grandchildren) that have been thrown at banks, mortgage companies and auto makers. There seems to be no end of this reckless spending for bail-outs and stimulus plans.

The President added that the freeze will not begin until next year. That gives him enough time to wrap up his three trillion dollar health plan with all the pork needed to buy the necessary votes.

Our President promised that this sort of wild and reckless spending will continue to increase in 2010 and then "freeze" through 2014.

January 25, 2011
Obama repeated this promise but I didn't hear him give a target date for the start of the freeze.

On January 28, 2010, my final line was:
Did that restore your trust?

January 25, 2011
In this year's speech the President made a promise that could restore my trust -- if he keeps it. He said that any bill landing on his desk that includes pork will be vetoed. Harry Ried has already declared that pork is still on the menu.


February 2, 2011

Back in 2008, NJ had a Democratic Governor, who ran the state deep into debt and gave us the highest taxes in the nation. He has since been replaced by a Republican Governor, Chris Christie.

I frequently run into conservatives from other states who say nice things about our present NJ Governor. Christie obviously aspires to become the next US-President or at least a Vice President and his propaganda machine is well oiled across the nation.

My out-of-state conservative friends are surprised when I don't share their enthusiasm for Governor Christie (read my June 3, 2009 blog).

First of all, I didn't like his campaign ethics. In the primary, the GOP backed Christie and all the ads criticized his fellow Republican candidate, Steve Lonegan. Christie accused Lonegan of wanting to do all the things that he himself did in his first year in office.

And now, Christie has gone a step further. He is giving 260 million tax dollars to Revel Casino in Atlantic City. What makes this even more despicable is the fact that he did it behind the backs of taxpayers.

In December, 2008, I wrote about the Atlantic City Casinos. After reading that, read what I wrote last February about the $350 million bailout of the Revel Casino project that New Jersey lawmakers voted for with just one dissenting vote. The matter created an uproar among conservatives and it didn't happen. Not because the new Governor vetoed it, but because Morgan Stanley gave up on the Revel project as a lost cause. Taxpayers breathed a sigh of relief.

And now Christie is practicing to become President by giving away other people's hard-earned money without their consent or even telling them of his plan.

The Governor is about to learn that most casino supporters are losers.


February 2b, 2011

We have been hearing from federal politicians on both sides of the aisle that "It's all about jobs!"

And now we have the proof that they mean business, at least in Washington, DC. According to a press release today, the most new jobs created last year were in the nation's Capitol.

But that is where the most jobs should be eliminated!


February 9, 2011

On May 5, 2009, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Directive with the aim to advance biofuels research and improve their commercialization. The Directive established a Biofuels Interagency Working Group comprising of the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy.

With a start-up budget of $800 million, the BIWG is to develop a plan to increase flex-fuel vehicle use, assist in retail marketing efforts, come up with ideas for increasing investment in next-generation fuels, and coordinate infrastructure policies impacting the supply, transport, and distribution of biofuels. And the BIWG will seek ways to reduce the environmental footprint of growing biofuel crops, particularly corn-based ethanol.

It is perhaps a coincidence, but also on May 5, 2009, California Air Resources Board set a new Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that went into effect January 1, 2011.

According to Renewable Fuels Association, there were 189 ethanol distilleries in operation and another 16 under construction as of January 2010. Ethanol production is likely to soar over the next several years, since the Energy Policy Act of 2005 set a renewable fuels standard mandating 7.5 billion gallons of annual domestic renewable-fuel production by 2012. The United States is the world's largest producer of ethanol fuel and together with Brazil, the two nations account for 89% of the world's production.

There are many critics of the government's insistence on adding ethanol to gasoline. It negatively affects fuel economy and increases fuel cost. It also shortens the lifespan of engines, eats at gaskets and clogs carburetors.

Most ethanol in the U.S. is produced from corn. Since the required electricity from distilleries comes mainly from coal plants, there has been considerable debate about how sustainable corn-based bio-ethanol could be in replacing fossil fuels in vehicles. Controversy and concerns relate to the large amount of arable land required for crops and its impact on grain supply, direct and indirect land use change effects, as well as issues regarding its energy balance and carbon intensity considering the full life cycle of ethanol production. A 2009 study estimated that, considering irrigation alone (not including rainfall), a car consumes 50 to 100 gallons of water for each mile driven on ethanol. This figure is higher if sorghum is used. By contrast, considering water consumed during petroleum extraction and refining into gasoline, an average U.S. car consumes less than half a gallon of water per mile driven.

This factor is especially important because U.S. standard agricultural practices for most crops involve the application of fertilizers (nitrogen and phosphorus in particular), as well as herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and pesticides. A certain amount of these chemicals inevitably finds its way into ground water, streams, rivers, lakes and the seas. A 2008 study by the National Research Council found that the highest concentrations of these chemicals occur where the rates of application are highest, and that these rates are highest in the corn belt.

Several studies have found that the significant increase in corn ethanol production due to the federal bio-fuel mandates is contributing to the pollution of the Mississippi and Gulf of Mexico dead zone. About a third of the nitrogen used to fertilize corn leaches into the Mississippi River and out into the Gulf of Mexico. It feeds giant algae, which then dies and settles to the ocean floor and decays. This process consumes oxygen and suffocates marine life, causing hypoxia. The oxygen depletion also kills shrimp, crabs, worms and anything else that cannot escape. It is already affecting the fishing and shellfish industry.

When corn is not intended for consumption, more toxic chemicals are permitted and there is less regulation from the Department of Environmental Protection. This not only increases the danger to water, but is also deadly to honeybees. Pollination by the honeybee is responsible for a full third of our food supply!

The unexplained sudden death of billions of bees annually has been termed "Colony Collapse Disorder." Scientists believe that there are likely multiple interacting causes for CCD, but mounting evidence suggests that neonicotinoid pesticides are a critical factor.

One such pesticide is clothianidin, produced by the German Bayer Corporation. It is used as a treatment on crop seeds, including corn and canola. It expresses itself in the plants' pollen and nectar to reduce damage by insects. Not coincidentally, these are honey bees' favorite sources of food.

When clothianidin first came to market, there was little or no scientific review of its effect on the environment. The EPA allowed "conditional registration" in 2003 but requested additional study to establish the safety of the chemical. Bayer Corporation, producer of the chemical, conducted its own study, but no major independent study verified the safety of this pesticide. Still, the EPA granted unconditional use in early 2010. EPA scientists who later reviewed Bayer's study determined that the evidence was seriously flawed and even said that it should not have given unconditional approval of the pesticide.

Additional independent studies have shown that neonicotinoid pesticides like clothianidin are highly toxic to honey bees, providing compelling evidence that they should be immediately taken off the market. France, Italy, Slovenia, and Germany — the home of Bayer — have already banned clothianidin. To date, the EPA has refused to reverse its position.

Could it be that the Department of Environmental Protection's involvement in the Biofuels Interagency Working Group is the reason it has given full endorsement of this chemical in the United States, and why it refuses to ban neonicotinoid pesticides like clothianidin?


February 10, 2011

An Associated Press report in today's paper reads, "Higher food prices ahead after corn reserves sink"

The report continues its warning, "...demand for corn has pushed U.S. supplies to their lowest point in 15 years. Higher projected orders from the ethanol industry sent corn futures soaring Wednesday..."

The ethanol industry is increasing its demand for corn 8% this year alone.

Also in today's news is an AP article about new drilling methods that will allow American oil companies to economically harvest the massive oilfields in our own midwest. The AP reports, "the new fields could yield as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day — more than the entire Gulf of Mexico produces now. This new drilling is expected to raise U.S. production by at least 20 percent over the next five years. And within 10 years, it could help reduce oil imports by more than half."

The price of corn affects most food products for both people and livestock. And it makes ethanol and fuel at the pump more expensive as well.

If you think this situation will cause politicians to reconsider their stupid idea (see my last blog), you don't understand politics. It's not about what is in the best interest of the American people, but what serves their own selfish purposes and fills the pockets of their cronies.

Recent measures that have been passed should have taught you that lesson.

Take the "Cash for Clunkers" program as an example. A math professor at the University of West Virginia has calculated what that cost us. Remember, the object was to save gas and stimulate the economy! He figured that the average clunker traveling 12,000 miles a year at 15 mpg uses 800 gallons of gas, while a vehicle that gets 25 mpg uses only 480 gallons. The government claims 700,000 clunkers were replaced so that’s 224 million gallons or 5 million barrels of oil saved per year (about 5 hours worth of US consumption). At $70 per barrel, about $350 million dollars were saved by a program that cost taxpayers $3 billion. We spent $8.57 for every $1.00 saved.

Food prices will soar, but don't expect the government to act. Unfortunately, citizens don't have lobbyists in Washington. And besides, the government is preoccupied with the health care take-over.


February 28, 2011

When Theodore Roosevelt quoted the African proverb, "Speak softly and carry a big stick," it made both Roosevelt and the proverb famous. "Big stick policy" is now part of our English vocabulary.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is becoming famous for his tough talk. His campaign slogan is, "We're broke!" and his political motto seems to be, "Talk tough and wag your tail."

People like his rhetoric, but Obama also got elected because people were impressed with his rhetoric.

Democrat Governor Florio doubled income tax rates and NJ voters responded by electing a Republican Governor, Christie Whitman. Whitman kept 95% of Florio's taxes and spending. From 2002 through 2009, Democrat Governors McGreevy, Cody and Corzine increased state taxes and spending by a third. Republican Governor Chris Christie has kept nearly all of these taxes and spending.

I will gladly change my opinion of Christie when I see a reduction in government spending and taxation. So far, he has suspended property tax rebates to seniors trying to live on Social Security "because New Jersey is broke." And he has given $260 million to the Revel Casino project to save hundreds of union jobs "because we need them."

I am not impressed.


March 26, 2011

It has been a month since I wrote my last blog. That is not because I had nothing I wanted to say but simply because I have been very busy. I sold our Honda and we now have two Buicks in the garage. I spent two days helping my brother-in-law after vandals broke into his empty house in Maryland, stealing copper pipes for drug money(?) and flooding the place with water. There is much more going on so expect a few more silent stretches.

I just want to voice my opinion on the bombings in Libya before Obama addresses the nation on Monday.

Does it surprise anyone that the Arab world has not been complaining loudly about the US bombings of a Muslim brother and fellow enemy of America?

Muammar Gaddafi has few friends in the Arab world and most Arab Muslim countries want him out. But none of these nations wants to do the dirty work, so guess who comes to their aid?

If Gaddafi had succeeded in bombing Israel instead of his own people, the Arab world would have cheered him as a hero and Obama would doubtlessly have found good reason not to get involved. When Gaddafi is gone, who or what takes his place? America will have no say in the matter and NATO won't really care.

Obama hasn't given his speech yet but the Arab Muslim world is already applauding.


March 28, 2011

Did you hear about the millionaire who was afraid of getting robbed, so he had an alarm system and special locks installed to prevent it? The problem was, he unknowingly hired a burglar to do the job!

When I signed up for Comcast about 5-6 years ago, I was given free anti-virus protection with McAffey. I had been using Norton and was not at all happy with it, so I gladly accepted the offer. But McAffey also gave me headaches. About the time I purchased a new computer two years ago, Comcast decided to dump McAffey and offered customers Norton. I decided to keep my files on a disk other than the C-Drive and do without an anti-virus program. If I got hit, the worst that could happen was a re-format of the C-Drive and re-installing my programs. It took a while for me to get used to constant warnings that my computer was not protected, but otherwise everything was just fine. I was super cautious and took no risks.

Last November I began having problems and thought that I might have a virus. The computer would slow to a crawl and even shut down. I was reluctant to do a re-format because I have personal settings on many programs that would be lost.

I did what I should have done in the first place and checked "System Restore Points." I discovered that my computer problems had begun exactly when Microsoft did one of those secret background updates. I did a restore and "basta!" The problem disappeared.

A day or two later, the problem returned. I checked the restore points again and found that Microsoft had once again updated even though I had "Automatic Updates" turned off. I did another restore and the problem was again gone -- for a day or two, when Microsoft updated my computer against my wishes for the third time! Coincidence?

It must have been a weak moment when I stumbled across a geek website that claimed PC-Tools had the best anti-virus software. I think I paid $39 for a year's supply of protection. I installed and ran the program, but it found no fault with my computer other than harmless cookies that commercial websites plant.

But the problem got worse! Two or three times a day my computer froze and refused to do anything at all. I held the start button for a few seconds to do a forced shut down. When restarting, I skipped "safe mode" and everything functioned normally for a while, but once or twice a day, it froze and I had to force a shut down. I tried running "Task Manager" but nothing showed up that looked suspicious.

I uninstalled PC-Tools Anti-Virus and everything functions normally again! I have no idea what caused my problem but I don't really care. Everything works fine again. Next time I will uninstall Microsoft Windows.


April 1, 2011

"Obama gets openness award in private"
This was released yesterday, March 31, by AP News. It is no April Fool joke!

President Barack Obama accepted an award for making the government more open and transparent!

The guy who has spent millions keeping his birth and college documents from the public in spite of zillions of demands and even lawsuits from alarmed citizens who believe he is a fraud, has received an award for transparency????

Here is the kicker. The award was presented to him behind closed doors with no media coverage or public access allowed. The meeting hadn't even been listed on Obama's public schedule, so there was no way for anyone to know about it.


May 2, 2011

My last and only blog entry for April was titled, "Obama gets openness award in private."

Today's newspaper reports that after two long years of hiding evidence that millions demanded to see, Obama finally requested authorities to release his birth certificate. The Times editorial called on "birthers" to "fold their tent."

It is rare that a newspaper comes out and tells it like it is. If a murderer is arrested and hundreds of witnesses saw him kill the victim, the media is careful to describe him as "the accused" or the "alleged suspect."

There is no need for caution in reporting the sudden appearance of a birth certificate that has been a highly kept secret for years. There is no need for an independent panel of forensic experts to verify authenticity of the document. If Obama says it, so be it!

The front page of our newspaper also reports on the death of Osama Bin Laden. When my father died in a tragic fire, we were not allowed to conduct his funeral until an autopsy concluded that it was indeed his body. Newspapers were careful to report that the body found was "allegedly" that of our father.

Obama himself claims responsibility for taking out Osama. If Obama says Osama is dead, the media needs no further evidence. Never mind all the hype about Hitler's "alleged" suicide and JFK's "alleged" killer(s).

Another front-page article reports on the beautification of Pope John Paul II. This is the semi-final round of many complicated steps in the Roman Catholic saint-making process. It begins with the requirement that the person in question be dead and culminates in the positive identification of at least two miracles. The stringent Vatican investigation has already confirmed one miracle and is examining thousands of other claims. In New Testament times, the process was much simpler. One only needed to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Some were martyred because they were saints, but none received sainthood posthumously.

My second to last comment on today's newspaper articles concerns the royal wedding. The headline reads, "William and Kate are praised for being serious." They postponed their honeymoon to get back to work. Another article I read said that they had lived together for years before getting married, so the honeymoon was not really necessary for them to get to know each other. Incidentally, the article was appropriately posted in the "Entertainment" section.

Finally, the headline of the following article caught my attention and needs no further comment.

Only one blog per month?!  Followers of my blog must be wondering if I have run out of things to write. Not so. In April we spent two weeks in Europe and in May, I spent four weeks building a gazebo. As the hot and humid months come upon us, you can expect more frequent blog entries to push the misery index up a notch. I wrote as many today as I did in the past two months!



June 7, 2011

The classified section of today's daily newspaper includes the following 16-inch high advertisement: "Need a car? Shop Classified!"

We don't need a car but, just out of curiosity, I looked to see what the classified section has to offer. You can choose between a 2004 Buick Rendezvous and a 1992 Chrysler LeBaron convertible. In other rubrics, a classic car, two trucks and a couple of motorcycles were also listed.

I just checked the regional Craigslist. Literally thousands of people are offering their cars for sale - free of charge!

Another 6-inch high ad in the classified section of today's newspaper invites people to apply for a job in the newspaper's advertising department!

Makes me wonder if the newspaper is government owned and operated.


June 7b, 2011

As good Americans, we voted in the primary today. But I felt like I was in some Communist country. On the Democratic side there was only one choice for each of 8 positions. The Republican side offered 16 persons for 10 positions, including one candidate for each from the "Regular Organization Republicans." Five of them ran unopposed.

In the political propaganda that flooded our mailbox in recent weeks, most incumbents gave their support to the ROR or "Column G for the Good Guys." The six persons in Columns "F" and "H" also mailed out propaganda and made phone calls denying accusations of the ROR that they are bad guys. They accused the ROR of playing dirty tricks.

When we entered the polling location, there were about ten workers in the room and four empty polling booths. I asked if many people had come ahead of us. It was 9:00 AM and the polls opened at 6:00 AM. A worker said that only three persons had cast their ballots before us.

Although the booths have curtains to conceal what you do inside, there are few secrets. If you are a "good guy," you press the letter "G" and exit the booth. If you are a bad guy, it takes longer, so everyone in the room knows.

I neglected to mention that there was another column for write-in votes. Only registered Democrats and Republicans vote in the primary, so I fail to see the logic of this column unless it serves as a release valve for voters who want to show their disgust for a monopolistic two-party system.


July 14, 2011

Jim writes a column for the daily paper we subscribe to. I seldom have time to read it, but today's title caught my eye. Except for the last word, it was the title of a children's chorus I used to sing at church. The column was titled, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it opine."

I was curious to know if Jim also went to church as a kid, so I read his column.

Jim said nothing whatsoever about the chorus or church, but complained about confusing laws, regulations and expert opinions regarding incandescent and CFL light bulbs.

I wrote about that subject in April, 2008, so I read the entire piece. Jim would agree with much of what I wrote three years ago, but doesn't want to be identified with the likes of me (actual wording: "far right goof-balls").

Jim commented on conflicting rumors of laws and regulations, arguments from environmentalists and opinions of experts. In exasperation, he finally asks, "Whom do we believe?"

Jim should go back to church and learn that chorus properly if he plans to enlighten anyone with his column.


July 15, 2011

The following speech was delivered on the Senate floor March 16, 2006. I think one of our present Senators should read it on the floor today, giving credit to it's originator of course.

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies.

Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is 'trillion' with a 'T' That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President's budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.

Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we'll spend on Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.

And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.

Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America's priorities."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006


July 21, 2011

I think my present PC is the 12th I have owned since my first Commodore 64 back in 1985. The keyboards that come with new computers have hardly changed in functionality, durability and feel. They are basically the cheapest part of a set, and sticking keys or some other problem soon makes the keyboard unusable. I would prefer to buy my PC without the keyboard, but it's always there and I am too cheap to pay for another.

I replaced my 8-year-old PC last year with a new Dell. As usual, it came with a cheap keyboard and within months, the space bar was sticking. I had given my old PC and keyboard away, so decided to buy a GOOD one this time. I liked the backlit keyboard feature of my wife's Mac notebook, so I looked for a keyboard with that feature. Because backlit keyboards use more energy, I expected it to have a cable connection and not battery power. I bought a Logitech K800 with USB cable connection. It wasn't cheap, but someone gave me two $50 gift cards from Amazon for Christmas, which more than covered the purchase.

When I unpacked the keyboard, the first surprise was that it was battery powered! The USB cable is just for re-charging the battery! I leave the cable plugged in all the time and wonder how that will affect battery life.

The next surprise was that it is wireless, meaning it needs two USB connections, one for the wireless dongle and one for charging the battery! Couldn't Logitech figure a way to eliminate one of these? PC manufacturers are obviously not normal users. My new Dell PC, with a one terabyte hard drive, has only two USB connections on the front of the machine. There are more in the back, but they are difficult to locate and I couldn't use them anyway, because the printer and other accessories are plugged into them.

Just because I bought this keyboard, I had to go out and buy a USB hub, and because the USB ports must be powered, I had to buy a more expensive hub with a transformer. That makes seven gadgets plugged into one electrical receptacle!

My final gripe is about keyboards in general. Manufacturers of keyboards always place a "Caps Lock" key next to the "Shift" key. I hit it accidentally about ten times a day, and because I don't type looking at the monitor, I often have to re-type an entire line or more by the time I notice. On my old keyboard, I prevented this from happening by removing the "Caps Lock" key, but the Logitech baCKLIT KEYBOARD (whoops! caps not intentional!) has specially designed keys and I am not sure if I could damage something.

Now if I could afford a giant monitor, I could sit in my La-Z-Boy and compute using my battery-powered, wireless keyboard!


September 9, 2011

Most of us have seen that photo of George W. Bush speaking to school children and Andrew Card whispering in his ear that America was under attack. I just received a photo of Obama speaking to a class of little kids. There was a body guard and a couple of teleprompters, but nobody whispering in the kids ears to warn them that they were under attack. And they were looking at the enemy!


September 9b, 2011

The US President gave another of his now traditional "jobs" speeches tonight. I forced myself to listen with a note pad in my lap, looking for a ray of HOPE that was promised on his campaign posters. The most recent survey shows zero jobs created.

There was a new twist to his newest proposal. The American Jobs Act will not only solve our economic problems, it will reduce our debt, and best of all, it is paid for!

Over and over, Obama repeated, "You should pass this right away!" He explained that everything in the American Jobs Act is what both Republicans and Democrats have been demanding all along. "Pass it now!"

The next few sentences were interrupted by an "X-finity" commercial from Comcast. I suppose it was a glitch at ABC-Channel 6 in Philadelphia. That will cost the station because Comcast is one of Obama's biggest donors.

Before and after the intruding commercial, Obama said, "Congress must..." and something about, "...cutting red tape" and "simple math." I can wholeheartedly agree with one statement. The President said, "Millions of Americans listening right now don't care about politics." They apparently just like to hear Obama talk.

A note on my clipboard says, "...more jobs to build or rebuild bridges, highways and schools." All these jobs are of course union jobs. And Obama gave Governor Walker and tea partiers a slap in the face because they trespassed on union territory by curtailing their bargaining power. Media partners operating TV cameras pointed them at a couple of young tea party congressmen who dare to question socialism.

Obama spoke to members of the Teamsters' Union on Labor Day. Referring to tea party activists, Teamsters Union boss Jimmy Hoffa said: ‘We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan and America. We’re going to win that war." Hoffa said, "President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march... Everybody here’s got a vote… Let’s take these sons of b-----s out and give America back to an America where we belong." Obama responded by saying that he was proud of Hoffa.


September 9c, 2011

It has been weeks since I last wrote a blog. There is much I could have written, but I didn't have time.

Years ago, someone saw that I was under duress, trying to get everything done that was on my list -- without success. They gave me a little book titled, "Tyranny of the Urgent" and said that it would help me. I laid the booklet in a prominent place on my desk to read when I got time. It got dusted off several times before we retired from Austria several years later. I gave the booklet away unread, since I was retiring and wouldn't have that problem any more.

I am retired and old geezers like me have lots of time. I guess that is why people keep asking me to do things.

At first I wished that I had kept that little book, but then, I wouldn't have time to read it anyway.


September 13, 2011

We normally leave our American flags up from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but this year they stayed in place until after 9/11.

We don't do Halloween, but we do have a flag for Thanksgiving. They are hard to find these days, perhaps because people are not thankful and too busy celebrating death, demons and evil. Businesses react accordingly and make lots of tombstones, skeletons, spider webs and other weird things. Thanksgiving Day is still celebrated in America but only because of football, turkey and parades.

Before long, the Christmas decorations come out. We decorate for that too, not because we want to compete with neighbors, but because we have good reason to celebrate. And for that same reason, we celebrate and decorate for Easter.

We have to dispose of our American flags every year because they are bleached out after being exposed to the elements for five months. Does anyone know where we can buy American flags that are made in USA and hold their colors?


September 19, 2011

If you don't like to read what I have to say about my Creator, just go back to what you were doing before you opened my blog. May evolution bless you!

The 74-year-old Hollywood stunt pilot had performed amazing air acrobatics thousands of times in front of cheering crowds. When his modified vintage P-51 Mustang fighter plane crashed in Las Vegas last Friday, killing 9 persons, thousands of spectators shouted in chorus, "Oh my god!"

One day later, another stunt pilot crashed his plane at a Martinsburg, Virginia air show. Only the pilot died, but thousands of people cried out in unison, "Oh my God!"

Yesterday, we joined with thousands of other spectators in Ocean City, NJ  to view the third air show in as many days. Nobody was killed, so even though it was Sunday, nobody was talking about God.

Has it ever occurred to you that when most people view beautiful scenery or smell fragrant roses, they always credit "mother nature?" And when they observe a butterfly laying tiny eggs that become creepy caterpillars and make themselves a cocoon where they are transformed into gorgeous butterflies, they praise the marvels of evolution.

But when disaster strikes, it is an "act of God."

A couple of weeks ago, it was an earthquake and a week later, Hurricane Irene that evoked these words from the lips of people who seldom if ever attend church, let alone talk to or about God.

Ten years ago, four passenger planes crashed on a single day, killing thousands. The planes were crashed on purpose with the intent to kill as many as possible.  No one today credits mother nature, evolution or even God for that disaster. The perpetrators clearly declared that it was an act of Allah. And all over the world Allah's devout followers shouted, "Allah be praised!"


October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street protests attempt to duplicate the dynamics and political impetus of the Tea Party movement, but these groups are as different as male and female. The leftist media would likely agree with that statement, since it is convinced that there are no differences. The press calls Occupy Wall Street the Tea Party of the left.

Tea Partiers have been called racists, "Bible thumpers" and terrorists, while Occupy Wall Street protesters are depicted as democratic, non-violent Americans exercising their right of free speech. So, there are differences after all? Incidentally, Breitbart still has a reward out for anyone who can find a Tea Party representative making a racial slur.

Hundreds if not thousands of the OWS crowd have been arrested for harassing workers trying to get to their places of work, for destroying personal and public property, for drug abuse and for dealing. So far, many have been warned to wear proper clothing in public, but I haven't heard of any arrests for indecent exposure. Like Woodstock, the OWS is anti-establishment in nature. Binding rules, personal responsibility and restrictive laws are mostly rejected, while universal peace, free love and entitlements are eulogized. Few of the protestors can explain what it's all about.

Some are paid to participate while others come for free meals. All are angry and demand tax-funded freebies like college education and guaranteed income whether working or not. One of the key organizers is David Swanson, who got his start with ACORN and has sold a lot of his anti-war and impeach Bush books. Organized labor (unions) is quite involved in the OWS. Protestors claim to be part of the 99% and demand that the wealthy 1% spread its wealth. On the other hand, most of these people almost worship multi-billionaires Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Their tent village is wired and most have laptops, i-Phones and i-Pads.

Tea Party meetings include a prayer, the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. OWS has bongo drums and rock bands.

A quarter million Tea Party protestors in Washington DC left the Mall as clean as they found it, but OWS protestors cost tax-payers thousands every day for clean-up. I have been to many Tea Party functions, but never once has anyone been arrested or accused of a misdemeanor. Once, a State Senator called out a SWAT Team with dogs when hundreds of Tea Partiers gathered in the pouring rain outside his office, wanting to speak with him. The demonstration was previously announced and the police had nothing to do, but the Senator refused to appear.

The Tea Party believes that work and success should be rewarded and not punished. I am trying to live on Social Security after the government took most of the money I paid into the fund for other projects. I am not happy with the government, but I don't envy the wealthy. In 2007, the rich were already paying half their income in taxes here in New Jersey. The state decided to raise taxes on those earning more than $200,000. That was back in 2007. Since then 30,000 of the state's wealthiest residents left, costing an estimated three billion Dollars in tax revenue.

Sure there are injustices and some people get more money than they deserve while others get cheated. The OWS crowd took time out from protesting to cheer their millionaire Phillies players on big screen HD-TV. Although they lost the game and chance for a pennant or series win, I didn't hear the protestors demand that they spread their wealth. No one is denying that there are injustices, but there are legal ways to correct that.

The Phillies lost. May the best party win!


October 13, 2011

Today was not our anniversary and neither of us has a birthday, but we decided to go out for a date. Yes, old geezers sometimes do things like that.

We met while working in the art gallery at BJU back in 1961, so when we heard that one of the gallery's famous paintings was being shown at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we decided to check it out.

For young whippersnappers who may be reading this, the PMA is where you find the 72 steps that Sylvester Stallone made famous in his "Rocky" films. There is a bronze statue of him near the entrance. I haven't seen any Stallone films and can't define "whippersnapper," so don't ask.

The painting in question is one of many Rembrandt renderings and paintings in a special exhibit titled, "Rembrandt - The Faces of Jesus." The exhibit was first in the Louvre, is now in Philadelphia, and moves to Detroit end of October. We thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was not cheap.

The bridge cost $5, parking was $10, and admission for seniors was $23 each. Add lunch for two and gas. Hey, I never spent over $100 on a date before we were married! I earned less than $1000 a month working as a carpenter in 1961, but I don't get much more from Social Security today, 50 years later.

Nearly all paintings of the 15th century had biblical motives because they brought the highest prices. Rembrandt was the first painter to use a live model for his representation of Jesus, and people felt that was highly irreverent. That may be one reason he went bankrupt. Today, it doesn't matter. The exhibit is about Rembrandt and not Jesus.

Following our date with Rembrandt, we went Christmas shopping. We weren't buying gifts, but just materials for making decorations. A group of us at church are making wreaths and table decorations for the Christmas banquet. The A.C. Moore craft store is full of Xmas stuff, but there isn't a single religious symbol. They have Santas, trees, wreaths, bells, balls and bows, but no mangers, sheep, shepherds, kings or camels.

Jesus doesn't sell well these days.


October 14, 2011

In Nazi Germany and Communist Russia or China, certain personal opinions were undesirable and anyone caught giving an opinion that conflicted with the powers in control could expect severe punishment. The general populace was at the mercy of government in just about every situation. Socialism demanded absolute control over every aspect of life, the minds of its young subjects in particular. Americans called it brainwashing, dictatorship and many other unflattering names.

It was not too long ago that public educational institutions in America introduced literature and ideologies into school curriculums that caused an uproar with the general public, parents in particular. School authorities argued that young people need to be exposed to other opinions so they can learn to think and make decisions on their own.

Today, socialism, that used to be equated with brainwashing and dictatorship, has become the American way of life. Second opinions are no longer welcome and even expressing one's opinion on some matters can result in dire consequences.

A High School teacher in Union Township New Jersey can attest to that. The teacher, Viki Knox, found a school display celebrating Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History Month objectionable. Knox said nothing to her students and made no critical comments about persons, but expressed her opinion/conviction about the subject matter on her personal Facebook page. She wrote that homosexuality is a "perverted spirit" and that "it breeds like cancer."

A lawyer saw her posting and notified school authorities. Second opinions are now a "hate crime" and punishable by law in America. The Associated Press reported the reasoning as follows, "Educators have a responsibility to nurture their students as they develop into young adults -- and that includes making sure they feel supported and know that there is nothing wrong with being LGBT."

Although the teacher removed the remarks from her Facebook page, the Chief School Administrator said, "We are taking it very seriously and taking all appropriate action."


October 25, 2011

A headline in today's newspaper is addressed to a teacher who dared to state that homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible (see my last blog). The headline reads, "'Anti-gay' teacher: Tolerate if you can't accept".

The Star Ledger of Newark (NJ) reporter, Kathleen O'Brien, had covered a public meeting that resulted in what she calls "bewilderment."

O'Brien concludes, "Given that we now have a state law that discourages negative comments about a trait some citizens view as sin, it's time to mediate on the thin line between tolerance and acceptance."

This reporter's basic premise appears to be that if a person objects to any action, based on religious convictions, he or she also rejects any and all persons who commit that particular act.

My wife and I served as missionaries for nearly four decades. O'Brien probably believes we spent all those years being intolerant and not accepting the people we served. There were times when our lives were endangered and some people spit on us, but we still love them. Some of our dearest friends never "got converted."

Penal institutions, also called correctional institutions, are intended to reform and not just punish offenders of the law. Society cannot accept the behavior of certain individuals and hopes to rehabilitate them.

There are many actions and even thoughts which the Bible declares to be sin, which are not illegal in our society. Only two of the Ten Commandments are illegal; murder (9 months after conception) and stealing (government is exempt). There is no law against using the worst profanity, even on prime time TV. The most popular sin in America is greed, and sexual impropriety probably comes in second.

"Bullying" and "hate crime" laws are apparently designed only for Christians. You can still call Christians anything you want and get away with it (not just disagree with what they believe).

Homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals can hold gay pride parades and teach children their ways and practices in public schools even if parents object. Bisexuals and transsexuals can use a ladies' restroom today and the men's room tomorrow. I honestly expect pedophiles to be included in this protected class soon. If marriage and unborn babies are no longer protected, why shouldn't children and adults be permitted sexual freedom if it's consensual?

Some societies have laws which command citizens to do things that Christians believe are wrong. Recently, the United States government and the state of New Jersey instituted laws which require Christians to refrain from actions commanded in the Bible. The Bible commands us to love our enemies, which we gladly do (I wish I was speaking for all Christians!). It also commands us to share God's Word with others, but the law now restricts us.

Tolerance used to mean allowance for error. It still has that meaning in industry and science, but when it comes to morals and ethics, anything goes! Even Christians are to be tolerated if they keep their mouths shut about what they believe.

We are not "bewildered." The Bible warned us that these things were coming.


October 28, 2011

Several followers of my blog have said that I should send them to the newspaper.

I have written letters to newspapers, and sometimes I receive a call or email saying that it was received. Once in a while my offering actually appears in print, like what I wrote in December, 2010 about Austrian traffic lights.

Because I took issue with a reporter that writes for the Star Ledger newspaper group, I sent what I wrote in my last blog as a "Letter to the Editor." As expected, there was no response.

The "Letters to the Editor" rubric is like a "talk show" in print. It is often the only place in the printed media where those of a different political persuasion or with opinions contrary to the newspaper's agenda can say what is on their minds and hearts. Some people are hesitant to call in to a radio talk show, but they feel comfortable expressing themselves in writing. Because newspapers want to appear impartial and neutral, they try to keep a balance in the volume of what is published, but not necessarily in the quality of content. Poorly formulated, undocumented and easily refuted letters from "the other side" are welcome and even preferable to letters of the same caliber from readers in total agreement with the paper's position.

Newspapers are very aware of the fact that few subscribers read the entire newspaper. But most read the comics and Letters to the Editor. For this reason, the choice of content is of utmost importance.

Some read only the sports pages, which often amount to a third of a newspaper's bulk.

Have you ever noticed the similarities between sports and politics? There are few players but many payers. Players are paid much more than they are worth and collect their salaries even if they fail to produce. After all the millions invested in the Phillies (bought the four best pitchers), they were supposed to win the World Series, but they didn't even get near the league Pennant. It was a similar situation with the Eagles who are presently last in NFL standings. Political bail-outs and stimulus packages don't always get the desired results either. Players get rich, but in both sports and politics, players that don't produce will eventually be replaced.

There is one big difference, however: the players in sports work really hard to please the payers.


November 2, 2011

I need to make an apology for what I wrote in my last October blog. I sent a letter to the editor of our daily newspaper, The Gloucester County Times, and didn't get a response, so assumed that it wouldn't be printed. I was wrong! I sent the letter on October 25th and it was printed on 11-1-11. They changed the wording in a couple of places and added their own headline, but most of what I wrote was there.

Verna says we may get our windows smashed. I replied that it would only prove my point.

We attended the Greenwich Tea Party Patriots rally last night. Steve Lonegan was the main speaker and we got a lot of New Jersey history. I will be sharing some of this on my website soon. He was a Republican candidate for Governor of NJ, but the party pushed Chris Christie and its ads actually attacked Lonegan. Christie talks tough, but hasn't done anything to reduce the size or cost of government. Even though Lonegan got 42% of the primary votes, he has been ignored by the GOP.

In my last blog, I mentioned that the Philadelphia Eagles were in last place. That may still be true, but they beat the Dallas Cowboys, so their fans have forgiven them. My apologies!

If you want to read the article I commented on and my letter as printed, click on the image below.


November 11, 2011

Today is a special day. It is Veteran's Day! I know, it is also a special date with six ones, but all the casino and lottery hype makes me wonder about the sanity of many or even most Americans. The lottery is so happy about all the people buying tickets and writing today's date into it, that our newspaper offers a coupon good for a free ticket (if you buy another, of course).

In Europe, Latin America and probably other lands, November 11th at 11 o'clock marks the beginning of the carnival season. They call it "Fasching" in German.

On November 11, 2000 at 9:00 AM, 161 passengers and one conductor boarded the Austrian Kaprun mountain railroad train for an early trip to the Alpine ski slopes. It being the beginning of "Fasching," some passengers were dressed in carnival garb similar to what we see in America on Halloween. A few had painted faces and others reportedly carried fireworks for a little celebration on the mountain top. Nearly everyone looked forward to a great day of skiing followed by parties, plenty of alcohol and perhaps sex.

It turned out differently.

The train ascended into a tunnel and stopped unexpectedly. An automatic alarm told the conductor that there was a fire somewhere. He reported the incident to the control just before the power went out and it got terribly dark. The conductor tried to open the hydraulic doors, but nothing functioned. Passengers who smelled smoke became alarmed and tried to get out. They attempted to smash the break-resistant windows, at first to no avail. One passenger was finally able to smash a window and passengers started to evacuate as best they could. One of twelve passengers who got out, was a volunteer fireman. He said that they should go down hill past the train, because there would be less smoke and fumes. They were the only survivors. A hundred and fifty people died including eight Americans.

Ironically, it was just at the official start of Fasching, that the 11 o'clock news reported the disaster. We heard the news on our car radio on the way to a funeral of a good friend. Another friend who attended the funeral learned of the catastrophe and nearly fainted. His son was with a group skiing on Kaprun. Fortunately, he was okay. He would normally have been on the train, but there was no room and he had to wait for the next train -- that never arrived.

That was 11 years ago, on 11.11.00 and Americans seem to think that 11.11.11 will be their lucky day!


November 13, 2011

I already mentioned my letter to the editor of October 25, which was printed November 2. A reader of the newspaper responded to my letter with one of his own. It was printed November 9.

Although I never asked the question, the editor captioned my letter, "Why can't all 'tolerate' Christians?" The response letter was captioned, "Protect the bullied, not the bullies."

He wrote, "I would ask Harvey to provide some evidence of his assertion, such as news accounts of Christians being killed or brutally beaten. I can point out several instances of the same fate befalling members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communitiy within the past month alone from headlines and websites." He then listed names of LGBT members who killed themselves, apparently due to bullying.

He refers to an "assertion" that I never even hinted at! He was perhaps referring to the caption that the newspaper provided. Killing or brutally beating someone is against the law and I wholeheartedly support that law. I never defended "bullying" either. It is no secret that there are more suicides in the LGBT community. There is also a higher crime rate, but I don't contend that there is any relationship between a person's chosen "sexual orientation" and these statistics. As a rule, the LGBT crowd holds Christians and their Bible in contempt, so why would their beliefs drive them to suicide?

The letter writer says he gets his information from headlines and websites. One can imagine what websites he follows. And the media seldom reports on persecution of Christians. You find that information on other websites.


December 25, 2011

It has been a l-o-o-o-ng time since I wrote the last blog. Several have asked if I quit or am sick. Well, I do have a bad cold, but the reason I haven't written is because my internet connection was disrupted for about two weeks. My brother came by last week and helped me get back on line, and our geek son came for Christmas and got most of the wireless issues taken care of. My PC disasters usually occur after Microsoft updates Windows software. Usually, I can fix it by going back to a restore point prior to MS meddling. This time I was pretty certain that I had done something wrong and tried for days to fix it. I may have, but what I did in trying to fix the problem only made matters worse! The solution was to finally go back to an ancient Restore Point. I lost some settings and changes, but I am on line again.

Since my last blog entry I sold the '82 Buick Skylark and bought a '94 Buick Century. Merry Christmas!


December 29, 2011

After graduating from High School in 1955, I burned my pencils and papers. I was finally educated!

A few years later, I marched with my college classmates thinking, "Whoopie -- no more school!!" When packing for the trip home, I carelessly left my college diploma lying on a bed. I never saw it again, nor did I miss it.

Two years later, I was a happily married father and missionary -- studying German in the University of Vienna!

Our colleagues had leased a building to start a Christian Training School and were making extensive renovations. Because I had experience in construction work, my first job as a missionary was working on a school.

That school later failed, as did two other schools in which I was in some way involved. With that kind of track record, one might think that no educational institution would want anything to do with me. But in the seventies, the Black Forest Academy in Germany asked me to serve on its Board of Directors. After serving for 12 years, I founded the Austrian Bible Institute, teaching and serving as Business Manager for 14 more years.

We returned to America in 2002 and have since been doing recruitment for Avant Ministries in colleges and universities.

After several years of extensive research on the life and times of the most famous Jewish Rabbi (which means teacher), I self-published a book, "Rabban Gamaliel" in 2006. Someone named Jim recently did a "book review" for, giving my book a one star rating (lowest possible grade). Jim says nothing about the book's content, but much about what he thinks of the author. He accuses me of being biased (true), of digressing and having serious misunderstandings about Christian beliefs. He writes, "It seemed as though most of his book was an excuse to vent his latent frustrations... His theological training must have been very limited to provide such shallow comments. A good basic biblical history class would have helped his understanding of theology. Reading the book was a total waste of my time and money."

Incidentally, Jim has "reviewed" one other book to date, a science-fiction book titled "WORM" about the "first digital World War." In his "review" of that book, he admits that he never read the book, yet gave it a five star rating!

My concept of a "book review" is different from Jim's, but I offered to give him his money back if he would send me his full name and address. Anyone can go to and download a free digital copy of my book. My name, address and email address are all listed in the book. I even included our telephone number so people can call me names anonymously.

Jim is only partly right. I not only have a limited education; I'm also stupid!