Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Makes Sense To Me!

From Bloviating Zeppelin comes this gem:

NEW PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION (thanks, Pete!):

"We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed-wetters. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights."

Then we find enumerated the NON-rights that would turn a Liberal absolutely vermillion in the face:

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.


Hey, go read all of it! It's great! And it makes sense!

Getting Things Done

It is quarter to eleven, and I'm waiting for "The People's Court" on the TV. That's one of my guilty television-viewing pleasures. I just love Judge Marilyn Milian! She can bang her gavel on me anytime! LOL

Last week, at this time, I was still sipping coffee, wondering when I would summon up the energy to go do the laundry. In fact I didn't until the next day. Talk about lazy! But this morning I've done the laundry, washed the dishes, gone to Wal-Mart to buy staples (y'know, macaroni, rice, that sort of thing. It's cheaper there than anywhere else.) and return a DVD player that worked for about two days (bought a Magnavox instead. Same price, but it should last longer, don'cha think?), went to the Largo Library to take back some books and pick up some new ones, hit the Albertson's for some meat (pork, chicken, beef), some beer, and veggies, and am home in time for the Judge!

Getting things done, you might say. Little things, but I have that nasty habit of putting things off. I am lazy beyond reckoning.

Normally I have two days off together. Sounds obvious, but not everybody does. And I prefer to get all my errands done on that first day. So I can dive back into my nest and do what I like for the rest of my time off. I hate having to do things in pieces, stretching out over two days - or more! - and get back to work feeling as though I haven't had any time off at all. See? Lazy!

Well, this morning I was up at 6, had my coffee, while doing some blog surfing, and got to the laundry early. No excuses today. I may venture out tomorrow and gas up the station wagon, but otherwise I'll be nesting until Friday morning.

Chicken thighs are slowly baking in the oven right now - and they'll be ready to nibble all week - the beer is getting colder - first brew in three weeks, coming up! - and I have five books to enjoy before me.

I've put away my two novels-in-the-works as they seem to be going nowhere. But I am now noodling away at another. I'm going to research a sequel to "Benning's War" that will take place a decade later. The working title will be "Harry's War", and will have to do with Harry Tyler Benning, one of the orphans that the Bennings took in in the first novel. I've already mumbled through some dialogue - at work, which gets me some odd looks from fellow associates and shoppers - to start getting some flavor to work with. Maybe I can plow through this and then nail the two I've monkeyed with for so long. We'll see.

If you've read "Benning's War" I think you may like to see what young Harry gets up to a decade hence. Anyway, Judge Milian is now starting and I'm gonna make some Chili with hot dogs. Catch y'all later!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Nuts & Berries?


A Tip of the hat to Patrick:

Would you survive in the wild?
Your Result: Most likely you'll survive....
 

With the exception of a few details about the outdoors that might have slipped your mind, you would probably be ok out there. You would be able to get things you need like shelter and food but it would be a little bit difficult.

Not to sure...
 
Yesiree!....
 
Wouldn't last 2 minutes!.....
 
Maybe........
 
Would you survive in the wild?
Quizzes for MySpace


Since the quiz doesn't tell you the correct answers I have no idea which guesses were right or wrong! Oh well. Whaddya gonna do, right?

Also, from A Biscuit of Many Parts, comes this, which seems apropos of little other than narcissism. Sounds good to me!

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Viscount Benning the Profuse of Withering by the Wold
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title


Feel free to opt for a different title if the first isn't up to your own lofty standards. *sniff*

Mine were:
    Emperor Benning the Splendid of Lower Bumhampton
    Count-Palatine Benning the Mellifluous of Grasshopper in the Hole
    The Right Reverend Benning the Calm of Midhoop St Giggleswich
    Lord Benning the Essential of Wimblish upon Frognaze
    His Exalted Highness Duke Benning the Canine of Pease Pottage

Well, with that last one, what else can one say except, "Woof!"

My Fortune Cookie from the same site:
My Fortune Cookie told me:
Avoid cliches like the plague.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune


Well!

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Year Ago ...


A year ago I posted my first real blog post, one that had nothing to do with my writing. I think it's when I first felt free to just blog about whatever interested me. Of course I was hoping, right then, to attract some visitors who would then go on to buy a copy of my book. But right there and then I was trying to see what this blog could be, and, I suppose, find my blogging "voice". That post was titled, "Eye Of The Beholder", and I repost it for you now.

If you've read it before, why just ignore it for the self-involved maunderings it is. If not, then I hope you enjoy it.

Eye Of The Beholder


Look, I know that we all have different taste. In many things. Food, Music, Art, Writing. Well, you name it. I know people who, honestly, enjoy eating Brussels Sprouts! Can you imagine? *shudder*

So, when I hear supposed 'smart' people denigrating things, simply because they exist for, or appeal to, the 'common man', I have a pretty good idea that they are elitist snobs who need to eat some Nachos, sip some cold beer, watch some Three Stooges short films. Why do they need these things, or something similar? Because they've been poisoned.

Yep! Poisoned! Ever hear this, or something like this: "If you have to ask what it is, you just don't understand 'art'."

I have. Oh, not aimed at me! Nosir! I don't usually parade my plebian tastes to the Elite, y'know? But I've heard it. What that person usually means is, "I have no idea what it is, but the label says it is 'Peace' (or 'Horse with Love Ankles' or 'Heart Sack One' or ... see?) and I'm not going to look foolish by saying it looks like a twenty pound slab of bacon, dipped in chocolate, and dropped from a twenty-story building."

Thus, the Elite have denigrated Norman Rockwell for ages. They poo-pooed Maxfield Parrish. The composer of "The Nutcracker Suite", Tchaikovsky, was nothing. And so on, for many creative people whose only crime was to create things - music, art, poetry, books - that everybody understood and enjoyed.

This is a painting that I enjoy. It's "Garden Of Prayer" by Thomas Kinkade.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Not my favorite, mind you. My favorite is Maxfield Parrish's "Moonlight". But this I find beautiful. Thomas Kinkade is a solid, talented painter. He's found a niche in the market, and his fans love him. Therefore, to the Elite, he's dull and his work is garbage.

The same is true of some of the most popular novelists. When did you last read the book that won the Nobel prize for literature?

Thought so.

Can you look at the above and not enjoy it? Be honest, now.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

8 Ways to Avoid Germs


From NewsMax.com (I get updates emailed!) comes
8 Ways to Avoid Germs
(You’ll Be Shocked by How Close Germs Are)

Germs — bacteria and viruses — not only threaten us, they can kill.

New scientific evidence is emerging that such germs have been linked to heart disease and even cancer.

Do you have a program for limiting and reducing the number of germs that touch your body?

The winter cold and flu season may be upon us, but fighting germs is a yearlong effort.

Recently, WebMD magazine offered some helpful tips for minimizing your chances of picking up a bad bug. Some of their findings are most surprising!

Here are some ways to stop germs:

1. Don't Touch the First Floor Elevator Button!

In an elevator, the first-floor button harbors the most germs because more people touch it than any other button. If you can, let someone else push it so you don't have to touch it, said Charles Gerba, Ph.D., professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona.

If you're alone, use your elbow instead of your finger to press the button. [Use your elbow even if others are there. Be safe — don't be worried about what others think!]

2. Dangerous Shopping Cart Handles

Shopping cart handles are prime culprits in the spread of germs. Some supermarkets now offer germ-killing towelette dispensers in the cart area. Bring your own if they don't. Use them to sanitize the cart handle. And never put fresh produce in the cart seat, where diaper-aged children often sit.

3. Watch Those Escalator Handrails

Escalator handrails are loaded with germs. Don't touch them if you can manage without it, Gerba advises.

4. Use the First Toilet

Research shows that most people use the middle stall in public bathrooms, so avoid those. More use means they're the dirtiest and have the most germs.

5. Office Coffee Pots Dripping With Disease

Your office coffee pot and mug may have been cleaned with a sponge dripping with germs (more on these later). Hang on to your own mug, and use a dishwasher when it's time to clean it. Another trick: Keep apple cider vinegar in the office and pour a water-cider solution through the coffee machine weekly. It will help kill bacteria.

6. Kitchen Woes

Be aware that kitchen sponges, dishcloths, the kitchen and bathroom sinks, cutting boards, and even the bathroom floor carry more germs than the toilet seat.

New research suggests that if you want to sterilize your sponge, put it in the microwave for two minutes.

A team of engineering researchers at the University of Florida found that two minutes of microwaving on full power killed or inactivated more than 99 percent of bacteria, viruses or parasites, as well as spores, on a kitchen sponge.

7. Your Desk Is Dirtier Than the Toilet

Get this: The typical office desk area has 400 times the amount of bacteria than the average toilet seat. Worst offenders: first, the office phone. Then the desk. Finally, the keyboard. Use a disinfectant wipe to clean the desktop, computer keyboard, and phone.

8. Avoid Hand Shaking, Kissing

This may be an impossibility for some. But, try to avoid shaking hands or kissing during the flu season.

While there are many steps in preventing disease, perhaps the most important is to wash your hands frequently.

Fighting Germs

Scrub your hands with warm water and soap for at least 15 to 20 seconds after using the bathroom; eating, working or playing outdoors; playing with pets; or coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Anything less than 15 seconds won't do the job.

Incredibly, 95 percent of people say they wash their hands after using the bathroom, but only 67 percent really do it. Worse, only 33 percent bother to use soap, and only 16 percent wash their hands long enough to remove germs.

One last caveat: Everyone is doing the "antibacterial craze" — getting soaps and wipes that kill germs. Dr. Russell Blaylock suggests occasional use of these products is fine, but frequent use may be bad.

Why?

The antibacterials also kill the good bacteria on your skin that your body needs to defend against the bad bacteria.

Seems like some good advice. Stay healthy, Friends!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Down Memory Lane with ELAshley



ELAshley's 910th post is, aptly enough, a YouTube video of the Beatles performing "One After 909" (get it? 910 is one after 909! Get it? Well I was slow on the uptake!), during their fabled Rooftop Concert. ELA's posting whimsey is refreshing! And watching the video brought back some wonderful memories. Remember, as you watch that video - yes, I do expect you to follow the link and enjoy it there! - that the song was written some time before anyone had ever heard of the Beatles. So it's an old song, one that had never hit a Beatles album, and these five (Billy Preston on keyboards!) Rockers make it sound fresh and exciting.

Below you'll find, from that same Rooftop Concert, the final song performed that day. The quality is not as good as it is on the Phil Spector-produced album of "Let It Be". But listen carefully at the end, as the guitars are taken off their shoulders, to what John Lennon says into the microphone. Also, be aware that, as they began this song, the Bobbies had shut off George Harrison's amp. Watch how he handles this. By now the Beatles were old hands at handling problems "onstage".



In the mid-1970s, the TLA Cinema in downtown Philadelphia aired the film, "Let It Be", and I saw it twice. First with some school chums, second with a beautiful young lady I was dating (she was also a Beatles-phile, as I am). Since I was smoking in those days, I carried in my pocket a lighter. At the opening of the film, as each Beatle would cross the screen for the first time, the moviegoers would hold up flickering lighters. A tribute, I suppose. And I did it, too.



Ahhh, memories of innocent days, long gone, but not forgotten. I wish I could find an affordable DVD of the film. But that seems impossible. So for now I will go to YouTube for my Beatles fixes.

Enjoy!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Numbers and Humanity





I was emailed this piece, and expected another joke, but was surprised to find something more important, and more moving.

The Peaceful Majority
(from "Why The Peaceful Majority Is Irrelevant" by Paul Marek)

I used to know a man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War Two. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since.

"Very few people were true Nazis "he said," but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories."

We are told again and again by "experts" and "talking heads" that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace.

Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at
this moment in history.

It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard quantifiable fact is that the "peaceful majority" is the "silent majority" and it is cowed
and extraneous.

Communist Russia comprised Russians who just wanted to l ive in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China 'S huge
population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War 2 was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And, who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were "peace loving"?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, becaus e like my friend from Germany , they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it
was too late.

As for us who watch it all unfold; we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

[This last paragraph was added by the emailer] Lastly, I wish to add: At the risk of offending someone, I sincerely think that anyone who rejects this as just another political rant, or doubts the seriousness of this issue or just deletes it without sending it on, is part of the problem. Lets quit laughing at and forwarding the jokes and cartoons which denigrate and ridicule our leaders in this war against terror. They are trying to protect the interests and well being of the US and it's citizens. Best we support them.
All too true, my friends, and something most of us recognize. And it got me to thinking about the immense numbers of people, many of them like you and me, who have been slaughtered in the past century in the name of one ideology or another, and in the name of a Death Cult in the latter half of the past century. Take a look at the estimates. Remember that every death which occurred during World War II was the responsibility, ultimately, of the Fascists of Germany, Italy, and Imperial Japan. Any quibbling about Dresden or Nagasaki is pointless: they would not have suffered a single war-related death had the Fascists been silenced by their own people. Read on.

Deaths during Lenin era of Russian Communism (including Russian Civil War): 9,000,000 (est.)
Deaths due to European Fascism: 42,000,000 (est.)
Deaths to Asian Fascism: 15,500,000 (est.)
Deaths due to Stalinist Regime in Russia (including Ukrainian Genocide): 20,000,000 to 50,000,000 (est.)

Deaths during Chinese Civil War: 2,500,000 (est.)
Deaths during Communist China (Mao's Regime 1949-1975): 40,000,000 (est.)
Deaths during China's Nationalist Era (1928-37): 3,100,000 (est.)
Deaths during Korean War: 2,800,000 (est.)
Deaths during North Korean Regime (1948 - present, not including Korean War): 1,633,000 (est.)
Deaths during Vietnam War (1960 - 1975): 3,500,000 (est.)
Deaths during Cambodia's Communist Khmer Rouge Regime(1975-1978): 1,650,000 (est.)

And don't forget Sudan. This Civil War between the Arab, Muslim north and the Christian & Animist south, has been ongoing since 1983. Estimated deaths, through 2005, number around 1,900,000. The recent sensitivity of the American, indeed world, press to the suffering of the people of Darfur, has been annoying to those of us who have been asking about it since the 1980s. By the time of the Clinton Administration the US had descended into navel gazing and cigar antics. Looking at Muslim atrocities in Africa simply didn't fit the agenda of the "Peace Dividend" generation of politicians. A dividend few of those who sucked it up ever healped to create, I might add.

I did not include the Armenian Genocide by the Turks, or the Cuban Communist atrocities under Castro, or many others. I simply put together these few glaring examples. And the numbers are staggering, aren't they? Beyond human comprehension. Truly. I can't wrap my head around numbers this high. Can you? Yet those gargantuan numbers each represents human beings. Millions upon millions of humans, snuffed out, slaughtered, wiped off the face of the earth. For the sake of Communism, or Fascism, or, of late, Islam.

These were men, women, children, old and young. Gone forever. Because of power-hungry, zealous fanatics, whose philosophies they don't even try to hide.

Remember these numbers the very next time some "expert" tries to explain how irrational it is to worry about the peace-loving Muslims. None of us worries about them. We worry about the Death Cultists who rule Islam today. And we worry about American politicians who refuse to see the bloody evidence before their eyes. And we worry about a Media and Educational elite who care nothing for their fellow citizens, but believe themselves above such mundane things.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thanks, Paul, for the inspiration!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Red Shirt Fridays: Growing?


Shoved topward for Friday! Update below!

After my days off this past Wednesday and Thursday, I returned to work, dressed in my red shirt as always, to find nearly half the Associates at my Largo Wal-Mart similarly decked out in red. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I shrugged and went about my duties. Since the early morning guy had not shown I headed out to the parking lot to sweep up the debris that folks leave all over the place. Not the most pleasant duty, but it does allow me to wander outside and suck in some early morning air.

I headed in to see if the Morning Meeting was getting underway. On Fridays the store springs for pastries and bagels from a local bakery. Makes the Friday Morning Meeting an enjoyable thing. I usually make sure the coffee is made - our Snack Bar is now a Subway Sandwich Shop and we kept the old coffee maker for our employee lounge. It makes a gallon in about 5 minutes. FREE COFFEE! - and try to grab one of the fritters, which are very popular, and hunker down by one of the doors to listen. The meeting went on as it usually does, although seeing so many folks wearing red was a bit odd.

Toward the end of the meeting, as I was getting ready to head back out, one of the associates began to speak about the red shirts. This gal is the store activist. This past Thanksgiving and Christmas she had us gathering supplies, food, and gifts for a local orphanage. Yep, she adopted an orphanage! She pushes the Pot Luck Lunches to gather funds for ailing associates, invites reps from the Diabetes Foundation, Cancer Foundation, and so on, to speak to us. She's sort of the store's conscience.

Last week, on Friday, after nudging one of the fellows about his lack of a red shirt - he asked about it, and even visited my blog! - for months now, he showed up wearing red! And I said, "Mike, you look snazzy today!" He laughed and told me the same. Well, a few minutes later our activist, who's a department manager and works with Mike, came up to me and asked me about the Red Shirt. I gave her the quick answer, "It's just a way to show our support for American troops. Nothing political. Just a show of support every Friday." She smiled and said, "I wish you'd told me. I would've worn red, too!"

Well, I never gave that another thought. But a week passed. And she had gone to work. Something I didn't hear a word about, mind you! She must've pushed this on Wednesday and Thursday.

So, anyway, I had turned to leave the meeting when I heard "Red Shirts?" and turned back. Our activist smiled, saying, "Well, I only just learned about it. I heard it from benning." She turned and pointed at me. "Benning! Come on. Tell us about this."

Okay, so at that point my face was now the obligatory "red", but I had to speak, right? So I did. And I didn't faint, either!

"Red Shirt Fridays," I said, "is a small way for us to show our support for the men and women of this country who have put themselves in Harm's Way for all of us. It's not a big thing. We're not baking bread for the hungry troops; we're not binding up their wounds. We're simply showing them that we love them and support them. It's a way of saying thank you.

"This isn't a one-shot deal. This goes on as long as Americans are in uniform. And as long as it doesn't violate the Wal-Mart dress code." I looked at the Assistant Managers when I said this; we'll be going to brown pants and blue shirts sometime in the next few months. I then pulled the bandana out of my belt-loop and waved it. I wear a bandanna like that all the time. An affectation, I guess, but I feel naked without one it's been so long. This day it was, as I intended, red! I waved that red bandanna and said, "And if we can't wear a Red Shirt in the future, we can certainly wear something red, just like this. This goes on forever."

Then I nodded, and backed up. And they clapped! Cool!

Our store is going Red Shirt Friday now. I hope it lasts a long time so we all get in the spirit. But I didn't do it. All I did was needle one guy who'd asked about it, and kept promising to get a red shirt. If he hadn't spoken to our store activist, nothing would have happened. She made it happen. She has the moxie!

Red Shirt Fridays! It's still alive and kicking! Show your support for the men and women of the American Armed Forces and wear a Red Shirt every Friday. Folks in Canada do the same thing for their Armed Forces. Keep it alive!

Red Shirts for sale

If you need a nice red shirt why not order one from Sues? Check her site out and see what she has to offer. The shirts literally speak for themselves! Show everybody that you support Americans serving in the Armed Forces.

Don't make me needle you about it!

Note: Go check Sues' blog for some great posts, like "For the Love and Honor of America". Worth the trip, Folks! While there I found this test. I dunno. I looked at the results and said, "Who, me???"

You Are An ENTJ

The Executive

You are a natural leader - with confidence and strength that inspires others.
Driven to succeed, you are always looking for ways to gain, power, knowledge, and expertise.
Sometimes you aren't the most considerate person, especially to those who are a bit slow.
You are not easily intimidated - and you have a commanding, awe-inspiring presence.

You would make a great CEO, entrepreneur, or consultant.


Redshirt Friday Update: Monday I spoke with our store activist about going beyond simply wearing red to show support and explained that there are many sites on the Internet that allow us to send help to the troops. She said, "Well, why don't you look at some of them and print them out, ot get me the addresses?"

So that's what I did Monday evening, rather than surf my daily blog path. Tuesday morning I spoke with her again, gave her the list I'd come up with, and described a few of the sites. Two of them seem to be perfect for a small store, which we are, to seek donations, maybe raffle off some things, and generally "DO" to help those in Harm's Way.

Soldier's Angels has a number of "packages" available, from First Response Backpacks - stuffed with what an injured soldier may need on his way to a Military Hospital in Germany - to Sand Scarves, and much more. As the site says on the First Response Backpack page:
In an effort to provide comfort to these wounded heros, the First Response Backpack was developed by a nonprofit organization named Soldiers' Angels. The First Response Backpack is a backpack stuffed with personal items which are necessary and vital to the physical comfort of the soldiers. A typical First Response Backpack contains a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo, soap and other hygiene products. It also contains articles of clothing and undergarments to provide the soldier some relief from the airy hospital gowns. A phone card is included so that the soldiers can call their family members while they recover. Each pack also contains a blanket. The blanket, dubbed a "Blanket of Hope" is handmade by Soldiers' Angels volunteers and is accompanied by a note of well wishes for each soldier.

And that's only one item. A great item, but there are more available.

Another fine site, and one which absolutely floored me - whoda thought that such a need, much less a response to it, would exist? - is Operation Undergarment. I could try to explain, but here's what it says there:
Operation Undergarment is a grass roots clothing drive to provide injured and sick soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen that are deployed in combat zones with clothing items to make their hospital stays more comfortable.

Recently my husband stayed in a hospital (not injury related) on a base in Iraq and was then transported to Germany. He noticed a situation that disturbed him and called me. He asked me if I was interested in starting a project. We named it Operation Undergarment.

When soldiers are injured or sick they are taken to field hospitals in Iraq and are given the best medical care. Quite often their clothes are cut off, burned or soiled and they are disposed of leaving the soldiers in a hospital gown or briefs and just a blanket. These soldiers are sometimes flown to a hospital in Germany wearing only underwear and wrapped in a blanket.

Others are transported in just hospital gowns. Likewise in Germany they do not have much in the way of clothing while in the hospital. The Department of Defense has a great program in place to provide soldiers with clothing once they are released from the hospital in Germany. During their stay in the hospital system they lack the creature comforts we feel they deserve.

We are collecting NEW AND UNUSED underwear, t-shirts, socks, slippers, sweat pants and pajamas to be issued at the hospitals to the injured soldiers. This is a problem we can solve very quickly. Please join us in supporting our wounded and sick soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen by starting a collection box. The soldiers receive excellent medical care and their basic needs are met. Let us come together and help them with comfort.

We have several donation sites already that you may drop-off clothing items at or you can contact CJ Farnham for suggestions on where to setup your own drop-off point.

Can you imagine? This annoyed me no end, but I realized that it is a result of the swiftest possible response to the wounded. Get them out of the field, then get them to the Military Hospitals in Germany. Fast as we can, no matter what that means for the injured. It's a race to treat the wounded. So I am calmer now. But what a way to help the wounded, eh? See to it that they have undies. I like it!

Both these sites are deeply helpful, both address the soldier being transported out of country. Either is a fine choice to send a donation or purchase a "package".

There are, as I say, many others, as well. But these two seemed a fine fit for those of us in the store. I expect to talk to our activist again on Friday. We'll see what she thought, and see if we can find a way to do this.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

What Hath New Jersey Wrought?


"I don't think the state should be in the business of telling districts to do every single thing." ~ John Adler, New Jersey state senator, co-sponsor of the anti-Veterans Day measure


One of the things I have thought would solve a few Legislative problems in this country would be the forbidding of amendments and riders to bills. Either the bill offered is what it is and says so, or it needs to be tossed. Tacking on crap at the end, especially unrelated items, hoping it will go un-noticed, hoping the bill is too popular to be voted down, is dishonest. The New Jersey State Legislature has shown just how despicable the practice is.

Unanimously - meaning every, single representative - the New Jersey Legislature passed a bill which contains one of the vilest amendments imaginable. Buried in a bill to control the state's rising property taxes, a measure was tacked on to repeal the earlier (1967) law which mandated the schools' observing of Veteran's Day. Designed to promote "the development of a higher spirit of patriotism", that earlier bill also was intended to teach the New Jersey students "about Columbus on Columbus Day, the Pilgrims around Thanksgiving Day, and even Commodore John Barry Day, which commemorates the Revolutionary War hero for whom a bridge is named, which spans the Delaware River to connect Bridgeport, N.J., to Chester, Pa."

Yes, the Left, in its never-ending zeal to demolish this nation, something it has tried to engineer through the Public Schools for a century or more, has managed to get passed a bill that would remove teaching some of the simpler historical items of our Country. Democrat Governer Jon Corzine has yet to say whether he will sign or veto this appalling bill. Normally I would say, "of course he'll veto this lunacy!" But with this modern, Politically correct Democrat Party, that is in question.

How has the beautiful state of New Jersey come to this? They voted for Frank Lautenberg, a non-candidate rammed onto the ballots when the actual candidate was befouled by corruption. That didn't phase the populace. The Democrats managed to name as State Poet Laureate, one Amiri Baraka, a bigoted, foul-mouthed, horrid example of a poet whose defense of his reputation when his odd poems actually came to light consisted of yet another anti-semitic, bigoted, Communist-inspired diatribe. This is merely the tip of the iceberg of the Democrat-Party-inspired lunacy taking place in Trenton. For a small taste of Baraka's defense:
The recent dishonest, consciously distorted and insulting non-interpretation of my poem, “Somebody Blew Up America” by the “Anti-Defamation” League, is fundamentally an attempt to defame me. And with that, an attempt to repress and stigmatize independent thinkers everywhere.
This trashy propaganda is characteristic of right-wing zealots who are interested only in slander and character assassination of those whose views or philosophies differ from or are in contradiction to theirs.
First, the poem underlying theme focuses on how Black Americans have suffered from domestic terrorism since being kidnapped into US chattel slavery, e.g., by Slave Owners, US & State Laws, Klan, Skin Heads, Domestic Nazis, Lynching, denial of rights, national oppression, racism, character assassination, historically, and at this very minute throughout the US. The relevance of this to Bush call for a “War on Terrorism”, is that Black people feel we have always been victims of terror, governmental and general, so we cannot get as frenzied and hysterical as the people who while asking us to dismiss our history and contemporary reality to join them, in the name of a shallow “patriotism” in attacking the majority of people in the world, especially people of color and in the third world.
You can read the rest of it if you care to. I read his "poem" before. Utter garbage. But the Dems thought he was just peachy-keen! And still the populace of New Jersey elect that party to office!

And now comes this act, which I consider scarcely short of treason, and wonder where the voices of reason in New Jersey are. Where are the protestors on the steps of the Capital building? Where the outraged calls for impeachment? Are there no Patriots left in New Jersey?
Hank Adams, a New Jersey Veterans of Foreign Wars adjutant and a veteran of the Army and Coast Guard, said of the proposed law, "It's not right. (Students) are not going to know the sacrifices that were made so they can enjoy the protections that they have." Other veterans groups are petitioning Gov. Corzine not to sign the bill. But after campaigning on a pledge not to raise taxes and then reversing himself shortly after taking office, Corzine has already proved how out of touch he can be with average voters.


And so have the Democrats, in New Jersey as well as throughout the nation at large. Out of touch. Divorced from reality. Hateful, power hungry, willing to toss America aside if it suits their aims, and at times evil. And there's no other way an American could truly describe this odious measure. It is evil. Will the Governor veto it? Or will he cave to Party demands? Will the patriotic Democrats fight this measure? Or will they surrender, too? Time will tell.

Thanks to Angel for bringing this up!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Email From Marci: Put Down Your Coffee!


Marci, a co-worker, sent me this email. I have no idea if this is true or not. Makes no difference. Read it. Carefully. And don't look away!

A chuckle for the day.

Pocket Taser Stun Gun, a great gift for the wife.

A guy who purchased his lovely wife a pocket Taser for their anniversary submitted this :

Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 22nd anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Toni.

What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized taser. The effects of the taser were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety....

WAY TOO COOL!
To make a long story short, I bought the device and brought it home. I loaded two triple-a batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button AND pressed it against a metal surface at the same time; I'd get the blue arch of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.
Awesome!!! Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Toni what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.
Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two triple-a batteries, right?!!

There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed was to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target. I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised.

AM I WRONG?

So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and taser in another. The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water.

Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.
All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5" long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference; pretty cute really and loaded with two itsy, bitsy triple-a batteries) thinking to myself, "no possible way!"

What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best... I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side as to say, "don't do it master," reasoning that a one-second burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad.. I decided to give myself a one-second burst just for the heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and...

HOLY M#$%!# &%*#@!, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION!

I'm pretty sure Jessie Ventura ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs. The cat was standing over me making meowing sounds I had never heard before, licking my face, undoubtedly thinking to herself, "do it again, do it again!"


Note: If you ever feel compelled to "mug" yourself with a taser one note of caution:

There is no such thing as a one-second burst when you zap yourself. You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor. A three second burst would be considered conservative.

SON-OF-A- B*^&%!... that hurt like hell!!! A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. How did they up get there???
My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs. I'm still looking for my testicles. I'm offering a significant reward for their safe return.
Still in shock,
Earl

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Today Is Link To Jack Day


Now I didn't know that this was Link To Jack Day, but when I visited his blog - Random thoughts- Do they have meaning? - I saw his post on top. Titled, oddly enough, mind you, "Today Is Link To Jack Day". And so I knew I'd been left out of the loop once more.

*sigh*

But having discovered the news, and not wishing to offend the afore-mentioned Jack, I have posted this to atone for being late with it. Therefore, all you bloggers, get to linking, okay? Don't miss out! Not on this important day. Because it's Link To Jack Day!

The Stuff You Find ...


Brewster Rockit: Space Guy

It ain't all deep thoughts and ponderous ponderings, here at benning's Writing Pad, y'know. Yeah, yeah, you gathered that already. Part of the fun of blogging, for me, has been the research for my posts. If you've been here awhile you know how many art images I find and post. Deciding which images to use and which to leave behind is all a part of this. But there are times when even the artist posts are too deep for me.

And I go surfing.

There are a few sites saved in my Favorites files that are used for Web Comics - comic strips exclusively posted online. Some of them are looking for a distribution deal with one of the large syndicates, like King Features. And some are self-indulgent garbage masquerading as deep thinking satire. But out there are quite a few comic strip gems. Here's one of the syndicated strips I have never seen before.
Brewster Rockit: Space Guy by Tim Rickard

Brewster Rockit is an unlikely captain. He’s woefully ill-prepared to lead ... and that’s part of his charm. Orbiting the stars in the space station R.U. Sirius, Brewster and his crew of misfits encounter a constantly challenging set of interplanetary anomalies. Brewster Rockit: Space Guy! pushes the limits of space, time and humor.
The masthead at the top of this post will take you right to Brewster Rockit. Go on, click on it! You know you want to!

From December 17, 2006
Click for the larger image


From January 7, 2006
Click for the larger image


Gocomics is one of many sites, online, that carries comic strips. For a subscription fee - usually not too large - you can go back through the archives to see all the toons you may have missed. The free part is usually limited to a month of 'toons, which is annoying only if you suddenly discover a 'toon you enjoy a lot!

No matter, though. Consider that the 'toons are free for the viewing, with a limited shelf-life, and it's no big deal. Just finding some new 'toons is half the fun. Imagine ... Mutt & Jeff is still alive, over at gocomics. I didn't know that!

So go have some fun. Next time I'll show you some very well drawn comics, with great story lines, that I have followed for a few years. I'm enjoying them; why not share the fun, right?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Experts: They Ain't Always Correct!

Western Historians tend to fix their gazes on modern exploration of the world starting with Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal around A.D. 1450. In this way they keep the excitement and prestige of "firsts" in the "family", if you will. Thus we are told that the world was believed to be flat until a very late date, that mariners rarely left the coast for fear of sailing over the edge of the world, that more ancient peoples left no evidence - or damned little! - behind to show they had been there before, and in general completely ignore or belittle evidence that shows much earlier traces of exploration around the world.

North America, though rich in myths and legends of very early explorers, is considered unsullied until Christopher Columbus in A.D. 1492, when he arrived off the waters of the Bahamas, and later landed on an island he named San Salvador. As for the Viking discoveries in North America history has decided that they colonized, unsuccessfully, Greenland, and a small place on the coast of Newfoundland called L'Anse aux Meadows. Nothing else was found, nothing lasted, and the Vikings left the settlement of L'Anse aux Meadows after a few years, never to return.

As for tales of Norse (Viking) runes found in many places in North America, these are regarded as fakes, best left to the tellers of tall tales. But though some are probably fakes, many are probably not and have never been disproved. Some runes are even reputed to have been found in South America.

Where am I going with this? Hang in there, Folks. There's a method to this, if I can ever make it back!

Chinese Treasure ships plyed the Pacific and the South Pacific for many years, and explored much of Africa before the Portugese. It is claimed that they may have found the west coast of the Americas years before the voyages of Columbus. In Rhode Island there is a stone tower of unknown origin. Alternately claimed as being built by Vikings or by the Chinese treasure fleet of Admiral Cheng Ho in the early 1400s. However the tower is probaly not Chinese, but "constructed in the style of Norman Romanisk architecture inspired from the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem". In any event it likely predates Columbus by a few centuries.

It is said that the Irish managed to cross the Atlantic and reach North America in their small boats - whether by design or by misadventure, who can say. St. Brendan, a real historical figure, was said to have done this in the Fifth Century, although the legend itself is supposedly an amalgamation of stories of other monks. And did so in an ox-hide boat called, today, a currach. As seen in the above link, the voyage has been re-enacted.

My friend Patrick, at Born Again Redneck, has posted about an archaeological find that ssays "Homeric Epics not just legend," as Patrick titles his post. He quotes from the article:
British history sleuths say they have uncovered new geological evidence to solve one of the great riddles of ancient Greece - pinpointing the ancient island of Ithaca, home of Homer's legendary hero Odysseus.

[...]

Finding Ithaca could rival the discovery of ancient Troy on the Turkish coast in the 1870s.
This is interesting, whether you follow such things or not. After all Homer's epic has been considered fantasy, bad history, and generally bounced around by the "experts", and the makers of Epic Motion Pictures. Troy, of course, was known to be a myth by all the experts. Well, all of them until Heinrich Schliemann announced to the world, in A.D. 1874 that he had found the Gold of Priam. His site for Troy? An empty hill in Turkey, Hissarlik. Later excavations all seemed to bolster his claims that this was Anciemnt Troy, site of the fabled city destroyed in the Trojan War.

But even with all the archaeological evidence that has been uncovered there, there is still no evidence of the kind of war beign fought there as described by Homer. And once again, the "experts" may well be all wet. The Troy of Homer: "Troy—also called Ilium, Ilion, or Ilios—is a Phrygian city in northwestern Asia Minor in the region called the Troad." And Homer being a Greek, well we know that the Troad must be somewhere near. Except ...

Dutch writer Iman Jacob Wilkens, intrigued for many years by Homer's tale, sought to figure out the reality of Homer's epic, and in doing so came to an entirely different conclusion than the "experts".
Troy and the Trojan War location has been found and the battlefield completely reconstructed from the scattered but very detailed information given in Homer's Iliad.

Troy in England, however unbelievable, is fully explained in this amazing work which provides in depth information and evidence of all kinds including geographic and linguistic evidence as well as countless archaeological finds.

The war was not waged by Greeks and not caused by the abduction of Helen. The real reason was access to tin in Britain, a precious metal which was essential for the production of bronze, a key war material of the time.
Since Ancient times, the British Isles were called the Tin Isles. The Phoenicians kept the secret for many generations, as they had one of the greatest monopolies in history in the tin mines of Britain.

By Roman times, the tin trade was a Roman monopoly (Joseph of Arimathea was, according to British, and early Christian, legend, a Supervisor of Tin Mines in Britain for the Romans), so there certainly is reason to buy the tin mine theory. Now I don't know that I accept the theory hook, line, and sinker. But I know that "experts" on history are wrong so often, and sometimes so completely, that this theory is not something I would toss out. In fact I ordered the book from the local library collective so I can read a copy (Hillsborough County across the Bay has 6 copies, and I put a hold on one - I like the way you can do that!) and decide for myself.

The "experts" should be taken with a grain of salt. When it comes to history, in which I have a passing interest, the "experts" have been so free and easy with supposed facts, creating immense theories out of cotton candy that dissolve under scrutiny, that they are despoiling the academic landscape for all of us.

More to come later. Hey, I'm just getting wound up!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Trying To Cut The Electricity Bill

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Nov. 29, 2006 – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the world’s leading retailer, today announced an ambitious campaign to sell 100 million compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) at its Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations by the end of 2007. If achieved, this goal has the potential to save customers as much as $3 billion in electrical costs over the life of the CFLs. In addition to saving money for consumers, these innovative products conserve up to 75 percent more energy than traditional light bulbs and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

My apartment has six lamps that I have used 60 watt bulbs in. The light is sufficient for my needs, though a 75 watt bulb is much brighter. But I rarely need that much more light, so 60s have been my choice. When I read the Wal-Mart release about pushing low-energy flourescent bulbs ... I shrugged. Yeah, okay, so what, I thought. After a few weeks I started wondering though. After all, a normal incandescant bulb uses a fraction of the electricity it sucks for light. The rest of that electricity is poured into heat. Any of you try to change a bulb that just went out? Pretty danged hot, huh?

So I wandered past the light bulb aisle at the store and looked them over. Then I wandered away. These suckers are more expensive than standard bulbs. Why would I want to put out that kind of change for a different bulb? Well, since my electricity bill hits $70 to $80 each month, I have to consider the possibility that I can save some money this way. I can't blame the AC for the high bills. My AC broke in early May and I have yet to get the landlord to fix it. But my bills are still fairly stiff. And this is a one bedroom apartment!

GE CFL Bulbs

So a few days ago I wandered back, compared the different prices (Phillips versus GE) and bought a six-pack of 60-Watt-equivalent bulbs. And I put one in the ceiling light - that seems to burn out so often - which hovers over this computer in my living room. After I put the step-ladder away (gotta be neat!) I flipped the wall-switch. Now with an incandescant bulb the light comes on NOW! Well, the light didn't come on! Oh Damn! And then it did! There's a momentary hesitation with a flourescent bulb. I wasn't expecting that, but it's maybe a half-second. But it lights up just fine.

Now ... next time around I will go for the 75-watt-equivalent. The 60-watt is a tad less bright than a regular bulb. But it is sufficient. And I'm more interested in whether or not my electric bill goes down after January ends.

With nearly 20 percent of all home electric costs stemming from lighting alone, CFLs can have tremendous benefits. Converting one conventional 60W bulb to a 13W CFL can save: $30 in electric costs over its lifetime; 10 conventional bulbs from being produced, transported and discarded in a landfill; 220 lbs. of coal from being burned; and 450 lbs. of greenhouse gases from reaching the air. The average home has more than 30 compatible sockets, which means even more potential savings.


Most of the lampshades I use are the type that rest on the lamp's socket, not the bulb - the bulb screws right in and you can lift the shade a bit (if that's your idea of a good time), and I have two lamps with harps that hold the shade. I only have one lamp, which I rarely use, that has the kind of shade that slips over the bulb. I'm not changing that bulb. So I don't know if the new bulbs will work with it, but they probably will.

I'll let you know if my bill drops any. In the meantime why not take a look at these newer "energy smart" bulbs? That six-pack I bought cost less than ten bucks. Six flourescent bulbs, that should last ten times longer than the regular bulbs, for less than $10. Not a bad deal, I think. By the way, the GE box that held the new bulbs says "LASTS 5 YEARS" so I'm looking forward to that! And the wattage listed for these 60-watt-equivalent bulbs is ... 13 watts! Oy!

By the way ... I don't recommend holding a lit flourescent in your hand for too long. They do get warm. But not like a regular bulb, Folks! Not even close! If I remember corrrectly a standard bulb can reach 300 degrees. That's a tad warmer than I want in my hand, y'know?

So check it out!

PS: From General Electric:
Why does my compact fluorescent light bulb flicker or appear dim when I first turn it on?
The first compact fluorescent bulbs flickered when they were turned on because it took a few seconds for the ballast to produce enough electricity to excite the gas inside the bulb. Thanks to the refined technology in our new GE compact fluorescent bulbs, there is now no significant flicker (less than 1 second). However, these bulbs do require a short warm-up period before they reach full brightness, which is why they may appear dim when first turned on. Compact fluorescent bulbs are best used in fixtures that are left on for longer periods of time, rather than in fixtures that are turned off and on frequently.

How much heat (or infrared radiation) is emitted by regular, halogen, and compact fluorescent light bulbs?
Regular light bulbs, known as incandescent bulbs, create light by heating a filament inside the bulb; the heat makes the filament white-hot, producing the light that you see. Halogen light bulbs create light through the same method. Because incandescent and halogen bulbs create light through heat, about 90% of the energy they emit is in the form of heat (also called infrared radiation). To reduce the heat emitted by regular incandescent and halogen light bulbs, use a lower watt bulb (like 60 watts instead of 100).

Fluorescent light bulbs use an entirely different method to create light. Both compact fluorescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes contain a gas that, when excited by electricity, hits a coating inside the fluorescent bulb and emits light. (This makes them far more energy-efficient than regular incandescent bulbs.) The fluorescent bulbs used in your home emit only around 30% of their energy in heat, making them far cooler.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

"Until Shiloh Come"


The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].

For some reason the phrase, "'til Shiloh comes," had bounced around my head and I figured I may as well look it up. I knew it was an Old Testament quote, a bit of prophecy, but I couldn't remember where it appeared. So I hopped online and did the obligatory Google search. Unexpectedly, and I don't know why it was a surprise to me, the majority of hits for "Shiloh" referred to the Battle of Shiloh from the American Civil War. A particulary bloody encounter, and a significant battle, but not what I was looking for. (One of the bloodiest battles in American history found the Union forces nearly defeated at the end of the first day of fighting. It stormed that night, and General Sherman went looking for General U.S.Grant. He found him sheltering under a tree, smoking one of his cigars. Sherman remarked, "Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?" Grant looked up. "Yes," he replied, followed by a puff. "Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow, though." But that's a remakable story, perhaps for another day)

The next hit was the place in Israel, a small town called Shiloh in the ancient days, now believed to be a place called Seilun. Finally, in Wikipedia's Google link, I found what I had been looking for, along with information on the town, again.

I also checked in with the Blue Letter Bible to search the name 'Shiloh'. Among other things I learned that in Hebrew the name is pronounced shee-lo, not the english shy-lo. I prefer the english.

Anyway, the first reference to Shiloh in the Bible is from Genesis. Jacob (renamed by GOD Israel) calls his sons in and blesses them, and prophecies to them. His prophecy regarding Judah is the relevant passage: Gen. 49:10:
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].


For Christians this is a reference to the Messiah, the Christ, the Redeemer. It is of importance to those who look for the prophecies regarding the Messiah. Therefore the verse is messianic, not a geography lesson.

Some translations discard Shiloh and simply use one of the translations for the name. Neither the preceding verse, nor the following verse change the meaning of the Shiloh reference. And here is where I wander. While reading through the Wikipedia article one of the translations used came from something called 'Revised Version'.
the Revised Version, margin, "till he come to Shiloh;"


And I sat there wondering who came up with that strange translation. Other versions, as I say, eliminate the name Shiloh and replace it with the accepted translations of the name itself. Thus: "the peaceful one", "he who is to be sent," and so on. Not one of them used Shiloh to completely change the verse's meaning.

Now I'm not sure what the Revised Version is, whether it's a version of the previously referrenced Vulgate Version, or some other Bible. Frankly I'm not going to shell out good money just to find the right book with the note in the margin. But this bugs me.

I could understand trying to translate Shiloh as a place name had the verse in question occurred later in the Old Testament. But the next use of Shiloh will not come until the Book of Joshua. Joshua, as you probably remember, was the successor to Moses. He led the Israelites into Canaan. This followed the Wandering, after the Exodus from Egypt. In other words long after the death of Jacob; long after the death of Judah. Jacob's prophecy about Judah takes place, at a minimum, a few generations before the Exodus from Egypt.

So how would some nitwit decide that the word Shiloh, used as a proper, personal name in this particular verse of Scripture, refer to a town (Shiloh: a place of rest) in Canaan? A town not written of in the Bible until after the Exodus? And this is what passes as Biblical Scholarship? That interpretation does not even make sense when you finish the verse ( and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].) Unto him the town? The Hebrew for these two names is different. Thus, one is not the same as the other. Both come from the same roots, but they are not the same. Yeesh! Scholarship!

Yep. It is. And it says little positive about what Christians are learning about their faith, when the supposed scholars can't even get something as simple as that obvious verse correct. I don't know - it could be the only mis-translation out there of that verse. But somehow it manages to get onto the Internet. And you just know it will find its way into common usage among some of the more liberal Christian denominations. And that's sad. And a sin.

I'm not a scholar, and certainly not a theologian. I just read, like most of you, whatever I can get my hands on. When something tickles my curiosity, I do some research. And when I find this sort of nonsense it just peeves me no end. It's like the Jesus Seminar, where a bunch of self-appointed scholars decide what Scriptural quotes of Jesus He actually said, which He may have said, and which He didn't say. Based on whom? Certainly not on the Breath of GOD, from which the Bible emanates. No, this comes from the puffed-up self-importance of small men who don't know GOD or Jesus, but demand to be paid heed to, as if they were annointed.

And that's what set me off. A minor, rambling rant, Folks. But it rattled around my noggin, so I thought I'd post it. What do you all think?

And how's the New Year going for you?