Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Faith Based Initiatives and the Baptist Men's Disaster Relief Project.

I just got off the phone with my dad. I hadn't talked to him in a couple of weeks, so it was a lengthy conversation. He and I are much more alike than either of us can comfortably admit, but to me, he is one of the coolest people in the whole universe.

I miss him terribly.

I called him because I wanted to find out when he was going to New Orleans.

He is a Southern baptist minister, and pastors a little Church in Brunswick, North Carolina. He is also heavily involved in the North Carolina Baptist Men's Disaster Recovery Project. Basically, this operation goes wherever there has been a natural disaster, and feeds relief workers, and victims, among other things.

Dad was a Mess Seargent in the Army when he was younger, and his whole life, if you needed mass quanities of good, edible food cooked very well in a very short period of time, he was the man to see.

This project is right up his alley.

He hasn't yet been called upon to go to New Orleans, but it is a matter of time.

He WILL go.

I told him that if I can be of any help, to let me know, and I will make arangements to meet him there and help, in whatever capacity that I am useful. Live bodies, willing to work, are always useful in some capacity in situations like this.

In case anyone missed it, Hurricane Katrina, a category 5 hurricane caused by global warming brought on by the Bush administration's refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol, and further accelerated by the Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich and the War in Iraq, hit the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi yesterday, pretty much laying waste to everything in it's path. There will be a severe need for disaster relief workers for months to come, maybe even years.

The Baptist Men's Disaster Relief Operation is an amazing thing. It is an All Volunteer Army, dedicated to making life easier for the victims of natural disasters like this one. They can take their equipment trailers and personel into an area where there is no electricity or running water, and cook and serve thousands of meals a day, at no cost to the victims or workers. They cook the food, serve the food, wash the dishes, and provide showers and personal hygiene supplies to whoever needs these services, no matter what the conditions may be. They are highly trained, and very professional. A real class act.

And they do this not for fame, appreciation, or glory, but because they believe that God inspires and directs them to do it. I personally know a lot of these men, and I know this to be true.

They are mostly funded through the Southern Baptist Convention, and private donations, though they do recieve some funding from the Government, through President Bush's Faith Based Initiatives Program.

Over the next few months, the Southern Baptist Men will help millions of people who have been hurt by this disaster, as well as the workers and volunteers who have come to help these people.

So the next time you hear anyone complain about how hateful and evil Christians are, and how bad it is that Religious Organizations have Tax Exempt Status, ask them when was the last time they heard of the Athiest Men's Disaster Relief Project, or saw an Athiest Organization build a Hospital, or a Homeless Shelter, or a Drug Detox center, or anything that helps anyone else. (Government Programs don't count.)

Then point out to them the Baptist Men's Disaster Relief Project, and show them what God's people do in the world. Not because they have to, not because they are forced to, but because they are lead to.

By God.

Whether you believe in God or not, you HAVE to admit that this project is worthwhile, and should be supported.

It MUST be supported.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Tug's Plan For Conserving Fuel.

The Radio News Announcer said "The President is scheduled to speak in a few minutes. It is speculated that he may announce that the U.S will tap into our Strategic Oil Reserve to try to reduce price pressure at the pumps. Details after these messages..."

I haven't found out yet whether he did or did not say that he would tap the Strategic Oil Reserve. I hope that the President leaves it alone. That is to be used in the case of a National Security emergency, not to stop us from whining about high gas prices. I am out there on the highway all day every day, and I can tell you that Americans aren't yet having very much trouble paying for gasoline.

Besides that, if our government is that worried about price shock at the pumps, they could reduce the amount of tax that they collect on each gallon that we buy, but I'm not going to stand on my head until that happens.

All of this got me thinking about things that Americans could do to conserve fuel, and energy in general.
Here are a few suggestions.

Businesses could take an honest look at the duties performed by their employees, and decide realistically which of these duties could be done from home. If they have employees who could work from home, then they should let them.

Large manufacturing plants that run only one shift per day could start running at night instead of during daylight hours, and reduce the workload of their air conditioning systems. They burn their lights inside the buildings anyway, so it does not matter whether it is dark outside.

I drive a 1996 Nissan Sentra to work. It is a piece of junk, but it gets around 35 miles per gallon. The former owner drove it into a tree, and I bought it wrecked, fixed the mechanical damage, and left the body damage alone. I have about $400 in it, and have been driving it for over a year. It isn't much trouble to find little cars like that, and if more people were willing to drive little fuel efficient clunkers, then they could leave the big SUV's at home, at least during the week.

The Department of Transportation could increase the Gross Vehicle Weight limit for Tractor-Trailer trucks from 80,000lbs to 100,000lbs. My truck at work weighs about 30,000lbs empty, so I can legally haul roughly 50,000lbs of payload. I can get more freight than that on it, and the truck would safely haul more than that, (I hauled permitted loads on regular trailers all the time that were heavier than that, back when I was running over the road...) but it is illegal to weigh over 80,000lbs gross. If this one regulation were changed, that would cut out about one truckload out of four, all over America. The fuel savings would be significant.

The government could provide incentives to encourage home schooling, whenever practical, and the public schools could take an honest look at where each student lives, and move them to the closest school to their home.

These are just a few ideas. I may post a few more in the future.

If you have one of your own, I would love to hear it.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

What's Wrong With McCain?

My friend ER asked this profound question over at Mark's place.

"OK. Somebody splain to me what hardcore Repubs have against McCain."

I can tell you what I have against Senator McCain. At a time when cohesiveness and solidarity has never been more important to Republicans, he was a ring leader in a group of moderates who refused to support the Republican leadership, and the wishes of the people who voted to put Republicans into the offices that he and the others hold, and cut an under-the-table deal with the opposition to derail the use of the "Constitutional Option" to stop the filibustering of the President's judicial nominees.

Ever since Senator McCain lost the Republican Primary for the 2000 election, he has had it in for the President. He has obstructed, and undermined, and placed terms on whatever minimal support he HAS given to his party. He has spent the majority of his time pandering to the other side, and soaking up the media adoration that he gets for doing it.

And I will NEVER forgive him for co-authoring and sponsoring the McCain-Finegold act, an open handed slap against the First Ammendment, which was put into the Constitution in the first place SPECIFICALLY to protect the very kind of speech which McCain-Finegold restricts.

This may be my Inner Right Wing Kook slipping through, but in my opinion, McCain blames Rush Limbaugh specifically, and Right wing Talk radio in general for his defeat in the 2000 primaries. I believe that McCain-Finegold was written in such a way that it can and will be used to attempt to silence Talk Radio Commentators in the future in the weeks leading up to national elections.

What this means is that McCain has no problem writing legislation which is contrary to the intent of the U.S. Constitution in order to further a personal goal, however petty that goal may be.

As I said before, the people who elected Senator McCain voted for what they thought was a Republican. What they got was an unpredictable, deal-cutting, appeasing, media chasing, self serving Moderate.

He can't be trusted, and I will not vote for him, for many of the same reasons that I would not vote for Hillary. I believe that they both have personal agendas, and that they both will pursue these agendas to the detriment of our Country and it's system of government.

Add to that the fact that Senators usually do not win Presidential elections, and rarely make good Presidents when they do.

We are at at turning point for America. Over the past few decades, America has drifted farther to the left than most people realize, and we are beginning to swing back to the right somewhat. It is very important that this turn be allowed to continue. The economic policies of the left will ruin the U.S. economy, and the left's foreign policies would undermine America's standing in the world as a superpower, and would surrender far too much of America's sovereignty to the United Nations.

With this in mind, I believe that a McCain Presidency would be disasterous at this time.

But I don't believe that he will get the Republican nomination. My only hope is that if he doesn't, he will not try to run as an independant, siphoning off votes from whoever does get the nomination, and insuring a Democrat victory.

I am keeping my fingers crossed...

Disclaimer?...Retraction?...Explaination. There we go...

I think that maybe I should explain myself regarding that last post...

That whole "rant", as ER called it, (And the term is appropriate...) was directed at one specific individual who showed up on the comments page of that post about Pat Robertson. This person immediately insulted my intelligence, accused me of making things up, challenged my ability to find factual information, and then informed me that he hated me and everyone like me.

When I responded to his challenge with a list of sources to back up my point, my response (because it was worded in such a way that it took a little bit of thought to understand) went way over his head, so HE called ME a fool, then asked me if I was drunk.

After a while our discussion had degenerated completely into personal attacks and trash talking, and he bailed out. His parting shot was...

" anyways, I'm done until your next post. if I push it anymore I will probably get deleted.
so,adios and farewell
I will miss your pretty eyes "

What happened next was that I decided to write a special post just for him. I let my inner Right Wing Kook run free. I tried to make it so partisan, so offensive, and so divisive that he would either dismiss me out of hand, and leave me alone, or that I would just have fun with him over the weekend.

I think he dismissed me, at least he said he did.

In any case, If I offended any of the rest of you, I apologize. That was not directed at all Democrats. I believe that the majority of Democrats and Republicans are good Americans, we just believe in different roads to get to the same destination. I know that Democrats want a strong America, same as Republicans do. Most Democrats do not want to destroy corporations and ruin the economy or punish rich people, any more than Republicans want to starve children or pollute the air and water, or kill all brown people in the world.

There was a time in America when all this was a discussion, instead of a fight. I hope that we can soon get back there before the fight becomes a war.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Democrats And The People Who Love Them...

I have been working on this post for a couple of weeks now. I was unsure as to whether I really wanted to write it or not, because I knew it was going to stir up a lot of hatred and negativity on my comments page, and I really don't like to be attacked. But I realized that the reason that I started a blog in the first place was to say things that I felt needed to be said, and that everyone else seemed to be afraid to say, so here goes.

Why has America lost respect in the modern world?

Why were we attacked on 9/11?

Why are insurgents (Radical Murderous Islamic Scum) from Saudi Arabia and Syria and Iran opposing us in Iraq? (Not Iraqis, they love us...)

Why is Terrorism a problem to America at all?


There. I said it. Democrats are the reason that the whole world thinks that America is a Paper Tiger, and that we are all mouth, and no action, and think that they can do whatever they want, and that we will do nothing to stop their inhumanity and evil deeds.

The world thinks that half of America loves Peace more than Freedom. The world thinks that half of America doesn't mind debauchery and sex parties and BJ's in the oval office as long as our economy is good.

The world believes that half of America thinks that confiscatory tax rates are okay, as long as the non-productive are taken care of.

And from what I can tell, they are right. Roughly half of America DOES think that achievement should be punished, and sloth and non-productiveness and even counter-productiveness and anarchy should be rewarded.

Roughly half of America believes that compromise, even if it undermines our Lifestyle, Economy, Sovereignty, National Security, and National Interests is preferable to War, Whatever the stated cause.

Roughly half of America is so afraid of Nuclear weapons that they scream in protest at the thought of Nuclear ANYTHING, From Nuclear Weapons, to the Nuclear Family, to Nuclear Power plants, to the Nuclear Option to eliminate the filibustering of President Bush's choices for the Federal Bench.

Roughly half of America believes that they should be held to no standards at all. If it feels good, do it. Never mind the consequences. Nobody has the right to judge anyone else, on anything.

And meanwhile, the divorce rate goes up, teen pregnancy goes up, taxes go up, the number of fatherless children goes up, the number of people on Government Assistance goes up, our level of Respect around the world goes DOWN.

And that all seems to be okay with Democrats. (Most of them.)

Democrats will complain that George W. Bush used the "dirty trick" of doing exactly what he said he was going to do, and then claim that everything he says is a lie.

Democrats will complain about the President's perceived lies, and then say that people should vote for someone as shifty as John F. Kerry, who said that he voted for the war before he voted against it, and says that he earned a legitimate Purple Heart for a splinter from a grenade that he HIMSELF threw. He also said that he was in Cambodia on Chritsmas eve, 1968, when NO american military personelle were supposed to be there then. If he was there then, he was AWOL.

Democrats will say that the battery that President Bush has recieved at the hands of the Press was well deserved, even though more than half of American voters voted for him, and that Clinton got a raw deal, even though he was legitimately convicted of wrongdoing in a court of American Law.

Democrats will contend that Michael Moore is a reasonable and informative political commentator who makes a lot of sense, whereas Rush limbaugh is a raving, drug befuddled, hate mongering Lunatic, Even though Limbaugh can quote legitimate sources for almost everything he says.

Democrats also contend that there is absolutely no left leaning bias in the mainstream press, but Fox News is so far to the right that nothing that they say can be taken as fact.

Democrats (most of them) are motivated more by their hatred for the President and their hatred of Republicans than love of their Country, but they call conservatives and Christians "Evil."

Even if they don't really believe these things, they come off that way.

When President Carter failed to adequately adress the Iran Hostage Crisis, the world lost a lot of respect for America. When Ronald Reagan was elected, the Iranians could not release the hostages fast enough. They were free within twenty minutes of his inauguration, because the Iranians knew that Democrats were no longer guiding the American response to this outrage. I was a young teenager when this happened, and the impression that this event left on me has never been dulled. What it taught me was that the Republican Party was the party of decisive action, American Power, and worldwide respect, and the Democratic Party was the party of compromise, begging, and weakness. I would much rather be respected than loved.

President Reagan and his policies were responsible for the downfall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, and he was despised by every Democrat who knew his name.

President Clinton and his administration was responsible for a quantum leap in the technology of the Chinese's Missile Technology, the festering of the Terrorism problem due to his weak response to the first World Trade Center bombing, and the U.S.S. Cole attack, and his refusal to take a pro-active response to the Bin Laden problem. He knew that Bin Laden was planning attacks against the U.S. but he was more worried about public opinion and his legacy to do anything about it.

And in spite of all that, so many Americans voted for Al Gore, that the election was so close that it had to be decided by Lawyers and Judges. (America once again lost some respect.)

John F. Kerry got more votes than Bill Clinton did in either election, but still lost (Thank God.)

The world does not respect us anymore, because half of us don't believe in our own system of government anymore. And the world never will again, as long as half of us refuse to support our leaders and national objectives. As long as half of us refuse to support an attitude of national strength and power.

Now don't get me wrong. I have no hatred for Democrats, or Liberals, or anyone who takes an Anti-War stance, I only think that these people are a little mis-guided, and do not fully understand world opinion, and the reasons that we now have the problems that we have. I think that they have the best of intentions, but do not fully realize the effect that they have against America. Maybe someday they will understand.

I know that this post will make some of you mad, but this is how I feel, And this is MY blog.

I can say whatever I want.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Tug's Latest Post.

Here is my post for tonight...

Pat Robertson.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Football, Birthdays, Marriage and Other Such.

Back again!

The wife and I have just returned home from Atlanta for the second weekend in a row. (To Atlanta from here and back is 12 hours of windshield time.)

The reason for the trip this weekend was to visit the Georgia Dome to watch the Atlanta Falcons snatch defeat from the jaws of victory after the two minute warning against the Tennessee Titans on Friday night. Don't get me wrong, the Falcons are going to kick booty this year. I have the utmost confidence in them. It's just that the Titan's third string offense apparently is stronger than the Falcons third string defense.

Go Falcons!!

I am not a big football fan. I am a musician, and a drag racer. I never before had time to pay attention to grown men playing a game for money that children play in the yard for free.

All that changed when I got married. My wife is a HUGE football fan. She was a trumpet player in the FSU Marching Chiefs all through college, and as such, she NEVER missed a football game. I don't think she has missed a game since then if she could help it. Her favorite Pro team is the Falcons.

When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday,(Friday,) she told me that she wanted me to surprise her. "Plan a trip or something... take me somewhere nice. Surprise me!"


Of all the places I could have taken her, and of all the things we could have done, she NEVER expected a pro football game. Now granted, it was a pre-season game, but it was on her birthday, and it was so far out of the box for me that she was very impressed. (Go Me!...Go Me!...)

She was very happy.

And so was I, by the way. I was a lot more into the game than I thought I would be. There was a time in my life when I thought that going to watch a pro football game was just above watching cars rust and just below watching grass grow on the list of exciting things to do with your time.

I was wrong.

Late in the first quarter, Falcon's fifth round draft pick DeAndra Cobb ran a 101 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. If this had been a regular season game, he would have set a Falcons all time record. And he didn't run it all by himself down the sidelines, he ran it right through the Titans defensive line, and kept going, and going, and going...It was a beautiful thing to watch.

At half time, we went to one of the concession stands, and bought $22.00 worth of the world's biggest hot dogs, (These things were absolutely ridiculous!), and after the game was over, we were off to another little cubbyhole along the walkway in the stadium to spend the rest of our money on the obligatory tee-shirts, hats, stickers, little tiny footballs bearing the Falcons logo, and so forth.

The main thing was that the wife had a blast, and whether or not I enjoyed it, that was the important thing.

I am amazed sometimes at how being married changes your priorities. I have an interest in football now, because it makes her happy. She likes drag racing now, because it makes me happy. I have a dog in my house now because he came with the package. Until her, animals belonged outside. Period. She listens to hard, heavy guitar music now, because I like it. You give and you take. It is how things should be. I have had to admit to myself and to everybody else that I am not the only important thing in the world. My interests are not the only things that matter, and I am infinitely richer for the realization.

Here's to the important things!

And Go Falcons!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Cindy Sheehan, Go Away.

Are you sick of the Karl Rove story NOW??

(WHAT Karl Rove story??)

Where did Karl Rove go? And Tom Delay? I thought that these were the worst scandals since Watergate(Gasp!).

Poof. Gone. Vanished, disappeared, evaporated, no longer here, ceased to exist, out of sight, out of mind...
What has taken their place?

Cindy Sheehan.

"CRAWFORD, Texas — Bothered by what she laments as mounting "distractions," Cindy Sheehan sought yesterday to refocus her peace vigil near President Bush's ranch on her central anti-war message." (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002441709_iraqmom16.html)

Peace Vigil? No. What she is conducting is an "Aggravate the President Vigil."If she wanted peace, she would be outside of Peter "Dick" Durbin's gate, trying to make him support the military and stop undermining the war effort. The only pathway to peace is victory. This isn't rocket surgery.

She was an anti-war activist before her son was killed, and his death only provided her with another weapon with which to beat the President over the head in the media. She may as well be dragging her son's dead body back and forth behind her as she marches in front of the President's ranch.

I have the utmost respect for her son and the sacrifice he made in giving his life to try to secure freedom for the Iraqi people.

I have no respect whatsoever for his loud mouth mom. She lost any right to my respect or sympathy the minute that she sold her son's memory to the media for the purpose of embarrassing the President.

Her Husband is divorcing her, and her family has asked her to shut up.

And the media are falling all over themselves to plaster this nutcase all over my TV and radio. Why does anyone think that I would be the least bit interested in her opinion of how to handle the Israel/Palestine situation, or her opinion of why we went to war, or her accusations of Presidential homicide?

What I WOULD be interested in is the opinion of some of the OTHER moms who have lost children to the war. (The media can't seem to find any of them. Huhmm...) When the media can produce a majority of moms of fallen soldiers who disagree with the war effort, THEN they might have a story. Right now all they have is one nutball making an ass of herself in a ditch in Texas.

She should be ignored.

So my plan is to ignore her.

Maybe her circus will soon go the way of the "Tom Delay" story. And the "Karl Rove" story. And the "Dan Rather Memo" story. And the "Git'mo torture" story. And the "Awol from the National Guard" story. And the "GWB Drunk Driving" story. And everything else that they have tried to throw at the President...

I can only hope.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Life Is Good...

Well, I'm back!

Did'ja miss me?

Since friday afternoon, I have driven to Atlanta (from the Tampa Bay area), then to Fayetteville NC, (or close to there...) and then back to Tampa. Most of the way in a 1996 Ford Ranger pickup with a microscopic cab. I then got up this morning, worked all day, and came home and installed a shiny new water heater.

"Why would anyone do this to themselves?", you may ask...

There is a very simple explaination.

A woman, a chair, and a truck.

The story goes like this. The wife's birthday is this coming Friday. When asked what she wants for her birthday, she recites a list of possibilities, the last item of which is a recliner.

Now, if you know me personally, you know that there is no possible way that Tug can afford a recliner by Friday, and even if he could, he no longer has a pickup to haul it home in, having recently sold the one he had in order to fend off the coming economic recession. No Flippin' Way.

But then a couple of strange conversations take place.

The first of these is between my Father-in-law and I. He has an interesting situation on his hands. The father-in-law has a 1996 Ford Ranger that, because of a past economic recession, can never again be registered by anyone but him. He doesn't need it, but he can never get rid of it. "Tug, would you like to keep it at your house? I will keep license and insurance on it, and you can drive it all you want. When it falls apart, gather up the pieces, and throw them away."

Then came the conversation between my father and me.

"Tug, I just got a new chair!"
"What was wrong with the OLD chair, Dad?"
"Nothing! I just don't like the way it sits!"

The "old" chair was only a few months old, a ridiculously expensive Lay-Z-Boy plush recliner, just the right size for everyone who lives at Tugboat Palace. Beautiful!

"Whatcha want for it, Dad?"
"Oh, I dunno...about X-amount..."
(Wait a minute...I happen to have X-amount already budgeted for the wife's birthday present! AND SHE ASKED FOR A RECLINER! I love it when a plan comes together!)
"Okay, Dad, don't sell it to anyone else until I can get there."

Now, how can I get there?

Oh, I know! I'll go to Atlanta, and pick up the pickup! Piece-o-cake! So Friday after work, we loaded up into the wife's car, and headed north. Got to Atlanta about 2:30 Saturday am. Got up about 10:00 am, left the wife and her car at her father's place, and headed north again. Got to Mom-n-Dad's about 7:00 pm on Saturday. Visited with the folks, saw my sister and her kids, and my brother and his youngest daughter, and then went to bed. Got up about 8:30 Sunday am, loaded the chair, and headed south. And headed south, and headed south and headed south.

I arrived home to the lovely sound of waterfalls. Or rather water spray. Spraying somewhere inside the wall behind the bathtub.
I quickly turned off the water pump, and removed the access panel (HaHa!!) to the water heater. When I turned the water pump back on, there was a large jet of water streaming out through the side of the water tank.

So the water heater was FUBAR.

(Have any of you guys ever co-habitated with a woman in a house with no running water?)

There was nothing to do but go to bed, and go to work this morning. I thought that maybe I would deliver what was on my truck, and then high-tail it to the house to fix the plumbing problem. (HaHa!!)

When I got to work, THREE of our nine drivers had called in drunk, and one of the ones who did show up had to leave at twelve to go to the doctor to get some medicine for his hangover. So guess who had to pick up the slack?

Anyway, I managed to get away at around five PM, dashed home and began the process of dismantling the house and installing the new water heater.

After exhausting my vocabulary of profanity, and inventing a couple of new obscenities, I finally got it all together.

So now the wife is happy, has a new chair, we are both in hot water, and I have a shiny new totally free knock around Tug-Mobile.

Life is indeed good...

P.S. Don't worry, Tomorrow I will be back with more typical political Neo-Con drivel...Tonite I thought I would give you a little glimpse into the life of Tugboatcapn...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Katherine Harris (Yes, THAT Katherine Harris) has announced that she will be running for U.S. Senate, competing for the seat which now belongs to Florida Democrat Bill Nelson, who was elected in 2000. Nelson is said to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the senate.

Well I hope so.

When I think about things like the "Gang of Fourteen," and the whole "Filibuster" issue, and the fact that the Current crop of Republicans in the Senate cannot seem to LEAD, no matter what the issue, I really want to do whatever I can to increase the number of Republicans in power, wherever I can, in the hopes that maybe confidence will come with a super majority. (I don't know why the Republican Senators and Congressmen can't seem to understand the fact that the reason that I VOTE Republican is because I want a REPUBLICAN agenda enacted.)

However, I will personally find it hard to vote for Katherine Harris.

First of all, I don't think that she is electable. She is WAY too controversial. Democrats all over America blame her for President Bush becoming President, and no amount of data to the contrary will ever convince them otherwise. She could re-define negative turnout at the polls. (Even worse than Hillary Clinton will in 2008.)

Not only that, she is Kooky and Weird, And while I find these traits to be cool and even attractive when looking for friends or women, (in my single days...) It really scares me when we start talking about someone who will be allowed to make policy which will affect me every day.

Her appearance on "Hannity and Colmes" last night was disasterous. She looked more like she was trying to advertise for the Plastic Surgeon who did her Boob Job than that she was announcing that she was running for Senate. (If you missed this fiasco, go to schnittshow.com, and follow the link to the "Katherine Harris Hannity and Colmes" interview. He has the whole seven minute nightmare linked from his website, free of charge.)

I don't know whether she would make a good Senator or not. I would love to believe that she identifies more closely with my views than Bill Nelson does, but then at this point, I really don't know what she stands for, or against, other than the fact that she has an "R" behind her name, rather than a "D", and that, in my opinion, is a poor set of criteria on which to base your vote for an office as important as Senator...

What I DO know about her is that she has an incredible amount of baggage,( for someone who is seeking public office...) and that every time she gets in front of a camera, she looks even more strange.

This really scares me.

As of 2000, according to the U.S. census bureau, there were 15,982,378 people living in Florida, and since then, the wife and I have moved down here. So by a conservative Tugboatcapn estimate, there are at least 15,982,380 people living here now.


I mean, let's at least have a primary process, and see if there is anyone better!

If we don't, then I am afraid that I will be forced to vote for someone who I am not comfortable with, or resign myself to the fact that Bill Nelson will occupy that very important Florida Senate seat for another six years. (By no accomplishment of his own...)

Neither option is acceptable to me.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Energize Me!

The President signed the shiny new Energy Bill today. (Applause...)

I guess it is a pretty good bill. It doesn't go quite far enough for me, and the President himself said that it will not solve our energy problems overnight, but it has been signed now, so I guess it's what we get.

In some ways I think that it more apropriately should have been called the "Energy and Government Pork" bill. From my understanding it is roughly 52% energy and 48% pork, but in this age of compromise, I guess you get your bills passed however you can.

On the Energy side of the bill, we get Government funding for research into a whole mess of alternative energy sources, with the idea of cutting our dependence on foreign oil. Wind power, hydrogen fuel cell technology, tax breaks for the rich who drive hybrid cars, etc...

We also get another month of Daylight Savings time, which will screw up my VCR, and Tivo, and coffee maker, and calculator, and computer clock, and wristwatch. Thanks a bunch...

One alternative energy source that is conspicuously missing from the new Energy bill is...


I understand that we should not rape and plunder every undisturbed corner of God's creation, but it makes no sense to me why some people in this country would rather continue in our un-holy alliance with the creepy Saudi Arabian Royal family, and remain at the mercy of countries like Kuwait and Iran, rather than drill in a pristine, beautiful, desolate wasteland that no one has ever, nor will ever look at and enjoy, to get oil that already belongs to the United States. We don't have to buy it from anyone. (Except Haliburton...) It already belongs to us.

I understand why it is not in the bill, (because the bill would have been filibustered if it contained any mention of ANWAR) I just don't understand WHY it would have been filibustered.

I mean, take a poll of all of the taxpaying residents of the ANWAR preserve and ask if it's alright with them if we drill there. I'll bet you wouldn't get a single "no" vote.

If anybody lived there, (which they don't,) drilling there would create jobs. (Not much industry there right now...)

As beautiful and breathtaking as this place is, I don't know anyone who plans to take their next vacation there. Tourism is not a big thing in ANWAR.

Besides that, with the EPA regulations in place that apply to oil drilling, I doubt that even the caribou would notice that the oil rig is even there. It isn't going to ruin anything.

So now, the only explaination that I am left with for the objections to drilling in ANWAR is that the opponents of President Bush want to scream for him to solve the "Dependence on Foreign Oil" problem, and then deny him the means to solve it, so that they can then point out his failure to solve the problem.

Or maybe the President left it out of this Energy bill so that he can adress it in another (filibuster-proof) way, later on.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see...

Until then, I guess I will have to either save up a down payment for one of those new 4 1/2 horse Briggs powered hybrids, or enjoy the priviledge of paying record, historic prices at the gas pumps.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

You Think This Is Funny?!? Well, Do You?!?

I am getting a little tired of politics, and I am not in the mood to argue today, so I will just tell jokes.

A blonde was speeding one day and was pulled over by a cop, who was also a blonde.
The cop approached her car and asked for her driver's license, but after much rummaging through her purse, she couldn't find it.
Finally she said to the cop, "I can't find it. What does it look like?"
"Well, it's square, and it's got your picture on it," replied the cop.
So she plundered around in her purse for another moment, and found a small, square mirror.
"Is this it?"she asked, handing the mirror to the cop.
The police officer took it, looked at it, then handed it back to her.
"You can go," said the officer. "I didn't realize you were a cop!"

A man was driving through a rural area one day, when something passed his car moving at an incredible speed. Curious to know what it was, he sped up until he overtook it, at a speed of almost 100 miles per hour. When he got close enough to identify it, he discovered that it was a chicken.
Only this chicken had three legs.
Suddenly the three legged chicken darted down a driveway and vanished.
The man turned around and went back and followed the driveway down to a small farm. He stopped, got out of his car, and was amazed to see three legged chickens all over the place, darting and streaking around like lightning.
He knocked on the farmhouse door, and was greeted by an old woman wearing an apron.
"I am sorry to bother you, Ma'am," He said,"But I have never seen chickens like these before. They are incredible! I wanted to find out where you got them."
The old woman explained "My husband was a genetic engineer, but gave it up when he inherited this farm. He, and I, and our son all like drumsticks, so someone always got shorted when we had chicken. He genetically engineered one that had three legs to solve the problem."
"That's amazing!" the man cried." How do they taste?"
"We don't know," replied the woman. "We've never caught one..."

A woman went to a psychiatrist, and complained that she thought about sex all the time.
"I can't seem to get enough,"she said. "No matter how often, or how many men I have sex with, I'm never satisfied. I think that I am a nymphomaniac!"
"Well," said the doctor, "I think that I can probably help you. My fee is $80 per hour, paid up front."
"That sounds reasonable," replied the woman. "How much for all night?"

Hope you like 'em.
If you know a better one, feel free to leave it on the comments page.
I love to laugh too!

Friday, August 05, 2005

"Or Prohibiting The Free Expression Thereof..."

Presented for your consideration...

What if I told you that a brand new (hypothetical) religion has popped up all of a sudden. It is gaining popularity even as we speak. A lot of people really enjoy their worship activities connected with this new religion, and think that everyone in America would benefit from involvement in this new faith. They really want to share their new beliefs with everyone they meet.

They worship football.

Or more specifically, they believe that they worship the one true God by playing, or watching football games. They believe that every single football game played in America is a celebration of what God Himself has done for them, and this country, regardless of whether the players or other fans subscribe to their religion.

But football is the only sport that they agree with. Basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, golf, these are all sacriligious. Evil. Because these other sports draw attention away from the only true form of worship, football. All other sports deeply offend their religious sensibilities. Any sport other than football is unacceptable to these people, and should be banned from the face of the earth, according to them.

Now, these followers of this new religion all pay taxes, are upper middle class to working rich. They have disposable income, and donate heavily to the Church of Football. The Church has a war chest, and they don't believe that any sport besides the Holy Game of Football should be played anywhere in the world, and by authority of the First Ammendment of the U.S. Constitution, they are preparing lawsuits to stop every sport except for football from being played on public land, or in public places, such as high schools.

There is trouble brewing on the other side of things as well, although not the way you think.

The radical Left in this country are also preparing their own lawsuits. You see, they have no problem with any sport other than football, but now, since football has become a form of worship, then to allow a football game to be played on public land, or on government owned property constitutes an establishment of religion, and this will never do. After all, the Constitution CLEARLY states that no religious act of ANY kind can be tollerated on goverment owned, taxpayer supported property.

If any of these hypothetical lawsuits ever made it to the current Supreme Court, what do you think would happen? Do you think that a situation like this, in today's legal climate, would eliminate all sporting events from high schools in America by Federal Judicial decree?

I do.

Now consider this.
Athiesm and Agnosticism are religion. To prohibit prayer or an acknowledgement of the existence of God by anyone, anywhere is to force an official disregard for the existence of God. This is establishing a religion. The official state sponsored religion of today's America is Atheism. And while you are in public, YOU WILL worship this belief system at least outwardly, or face the consequences.

The opponents of school prayer love to quote the First Ammendment saying "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."But they stop there. If you read on, it also says "Or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

But then, it isn't really Congress making these anti-prayer laws, is it?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The "Race Card"...

There has been no national news event to inspire this post.

Nor has there been any quote by any national figure that has caused me to address this subject.

This is a belief that I have long held, and still believe to be true. So before you label me a racist for what I am about to say, consider these few facts about me...

I work with a predominantly black group of people.

I have more black friends in Florida than white ones.

I firmly believe that black people have as much (or more) potential for success as white people do.

I also firmly believe that black people posess a wisdom and a form of common sense, or "street smarts", won through hard times and rough experiences that white people lack, for the most part.

I believe that God himself makes no distinction between human beings, regardless of their race, or skin color. God made black people, and God made white people. He loves us all equally.

I have the utmost respect for people of African-American heritage, as long as they try to reach their own personal greatest potential.

I also have no use for a slacker, no matter what color his skin may be.

There is a driver that I work with who has missed twenty-one days of work since January first.

He has wrecked or scuffed or scraped or mechanically compromised every vehicle that he has ever sat in (that I know of), from the tractor/trailer that I drive every day, to his own personal pickup truck.

Less than a month after he was hired, he picked a fight with another driver who had been there almost a year, and the other driver was fired, and he stayed on.

Last week, he LOST over Five Thousand Dollars worth of material off of his trailer, and said that he "didn't FEEL like going back to look for it." For this transgression he got a mild slap on the wrist, consisting of a "write-up slip" from management.

Today he showed up wearing a Polo Shirt bearing the company logo rather than his usual work uniform shirt,(something that I have been asking about for over a Year now, and have been told that they are "too expensive" to give to drivers...) and nobody seems to know where, or from whom he got it.

Two different days last week, I watched this driver come in from his first run, (We all are day trippers where I work, pulling one or two loads a day...) at around Two O'Clock in the afternoon, clock out , and go home, while the rest of the drivers had to work until around Seven.( From five-thirty or six in the morning...)

Now...do you think that this is a white driver?



Middle eastern??


He is a black man. African-American. Pigmentally Gifted. Whatever you want to call him.

And I believe that he recieves preferential treatment and leniency because of his race, And/ or because management believes that if he is severely punished, he will play he "race card", and try to sue the company.

And he is one of the first people to tell you how bad black people have it in America.

He has to pay child support on four children, whose mother he is no longer married to.

He also has a wife who he has to provide for.

He has a truck payment. (I don't own a new truck...)

He has a house payment. (I don't own a new house...)

It looks to me like his problems are the result of the decisions that he has made over the course of his life, and not because of the color of his skin...

I went to the same schools as black kids, theoretically got the same education. I work the same job (exactly) as the seven black men with whom I work. The main difference between black people and me is that when I got ready to go to college, there was financial aid and other economic advantages for blacks that were not available to me, because I was white, and my parents made just a little too much money. Not enough, mind you , to make any difference in our lifestyle, just enough to disqualify me from any help with my education.

I am not complaining, I am only stating facts.

Consider this for a minute...

What if for a period of ten years, no black person signed up for any form of government financial help?
What if, for a period of ten years, EVERY black person in America only had sex with his or her own spouse. No pre-marital sex, no "out of wedlock" children, no homosexuality, no adultry.
What if no black person for this ten year period committed any crime of any kind?
No drugs, no prostitution, no theivery, no murder, no drunk driving, no gun crimes, no nothing.
What if every black person in America paid attention in school, got the best education that they could possibly get, and absolutley made the most of themselves?
What if every black person in America tried their best to be as articulate as they could be, no more "Ebonics" or "Rap Lingo," no excuses?(English is the language of JOBS and SUCCESS in America, like it or not.)
What if every black man in America for this ten year period respected his woman (wife) and children and put them on a pedistal, to be the most important thing, bar none, in his life?
What if, for this ten year period, every black person in America got the very best job that they could land, showed up on time every day, and while they were there, gave their very best effort to get that job done, no matter what the job was?
What if, for this ten year period, every black person did whatever he or she could do to help their fellow man, regardless of skin color?
What if no black person tried to hide behind their skin color to make up for their own personal shortcomings?
What if , for this ten year period, every black person faced up tho his or her own responsibilities?
What if for a period of ten years, no black person played the race card?

If they did this as a group, black people would be the only group of people in America to do it across the board.

Black people would be running this country in ten years time if they would only do these few things. Employers would pass over qualified white people in order to hire a black person, because black people would have such an excellent reputation as good, honest, reliable, trustworthy workers.

The police would ignore black people and look for people of other races as the perpetrators of crime in America.

In only ten years.

Now tell me that black people have anyone but themselves and each other to blame for their problems...

Tell me that I am wrong...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Side-Stepping The Real Issues...

The tagline on the radio news story was "The President Side-Steps Congress...The story... after these messages."

I waited through the subsequent ads for Geico insurance and Furman Chevrolet to hear how the President "side-stepped" Congress.

What I heard was that the President had, by recess appointment, installed John Bolton as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

My first thought was "Hey, Alright!! The President has sidestepped that hateful, obstructionist bunch of Democrats in Congress!!"

But then I realized that I had bought in to the slant (though not the way they wanted me to) that my local Media wanted to put onto this story.

Here is the story. The President , as is his right, (and responsibility,) has by Recess Appointment, installed his choice for U.S. ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton.

Did he side-step Congress though? I don't think so.

The way I see it, the President gave Congress five months to vote for or against John Bolton, but they didn't want to. They would rather filibuster and obstruct, and hold up progress.

So now they don't have to vote for him or against him. They had their chance to have their say.

I think that what the President did was absolutely appropriate, and within his rights. Ted Kennedy said that it was "devious." Well, that is not the first thing that Mr. Kennedy and I disagree on, nor will it be the last.

Now there will not be a vote on Mr. Bolton until after whoever gets voted out of this present congress in 2006 is gone, and whoever gets voted in is installed. January 2007. The President gets to have who he wants as ambassador to the U.N. for roughly eighteen months, no matter what the members of the Senate or the House of Representatives think about him. Or their constituancy.

Because Party Politics were more important to the Democrats than representing their voter base, they no longer have a say on this nomination. I hope everyone remembers this fact when it comes time to vote for Senate or House members, especially all of you Democrats out there.

Especially if John Bolton does something or says something that you disagree with.

It really looks to me like the Democrats in the Senate (especially), in a bid to exercise power that they DID NOT have, have thrown away the power that they DID have.

And in my opinion, in this case, it's good enough for them.

My sincere hope is that in this next round of elections, the Republicans will gain enough seats in the Senate so that the filibuster will not be an issue anymore.

And I think the chances are good.

I know one thing... I will NEVER miss a mid-term congressional election again.