Hope and Fear

Inauguration Day:

“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.”

Today:

“This recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits . Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.”

NO TIME TO LOSE! DON’T READ IT, JUST PASS IT! PASS IT NOW OR WE WILL NEVER RECOVER! WE NEED THIS MASSIVE SPENDING BILL OR THE WORLD WILL END, CIVILIZATION WILL CEASE AND PUPPIES WILL DIE! DON’T READ IT! DON’T DEBATE IT! CATASTROPHE, DISASTER AWAIT UNLESS WE CONVERT TO MARXISM TODAY! TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF PORK ARE NEEDED IMMEDIATELY, OR WE WILL ALL DIE!!!!

Even if Obama is from Kenya, this is the largest Nigerian financial scam ever.

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Why So Quick to Believe?

It’s amazing. When I talk to people that don’t know Christ, some of them don’t even believe He lived. Or they except tripe like Da Vinci Code as truth of a coverup.

But let some big shot director shoot a movie about 27 year news, they immediately believe that.

Why are the falsehoods so easy to believe, but the truth is so hard?

This week we’re going to see a lot in the news about the tomb of Jesus. It’s part of a secular marketing program to drum up viewers for the Sunday night special. And as marketing efforts go, it’ll be successful.

But the news was dismissed 27 years ago; it’s just repackaged garbage.

But the Israeli archeologist responsible for the 1980 excavation, Prof. Amos Kloner, on Monday night intensified his criticism of this assertion, lambasting the documentary as “brain confusion.”

Serious scholars dismissed this claim years ago.

Stephen Pfann, a biblical scholar at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem who was interviewed in the documentary, said the film’s hypothesis holds little weight.

“I don’t think that Christians are going to buy into this,” Pfann said. “But skeptics, in general, would like to see something that pokes holes into the story that so many people hold dear.”

“How possible is it?” Pfann said. “On a scale of one through 10 _ 10 being completely possible _ it’s probably a one, maybe a one and a half.”

Pfann is even unsure that the name “Jesus” on the caskets was read correctly. He thinks it’s more likely the name “Hanun.” Ancient Semitic script is notoriously difficult to decipher.

Kloner also said the filmmakers’ assertions are false.

“It was an ordinary middle-class Jerusalem burial cave,” Kloner said. “The names on the caskets are the most common names found among Jews at the time.”

Archaeologists also balk at the filmmaker’s claim that the James Ossuary _ the center of a famous antiquities fraud in Israel _ might have originated from the same cave. In 2005, Israel charged five suspects with forgery in connection with the infamous bone box.

But hey, skeptics believe what they want to believe. The truth of Jesus can be blinding to those that have spent too much time in the dark.

Mechanical Investing for July 2005

Investments still improving; would have looked real good this month except for the ABLE and NUE stinkers. Pfft. Ptui. So far, I’m only down -0.6% for the year compared to -4.0% for the Dow.

I’m adjusting the mechanical screens a little since I’m disappointed in the YLDEARNYR screen. I dropped that one and substituted a more risky screen called “Gentle Screamers.”

Holding for another month:

Ticker Bought Now Months Return  
BMHC $55.40 $70.47 2 +27.2% Building Materials Holding Corp. Best stock, 2 months in a row.
LCAV $47.24 $50.35 1 +6.6N/A% LCA Vision Inc. Lasik doctor organization.

Selling these:

Ticker Bought Sold Months Return  
ABLE $21.75 $16.35 1 -24.8% Able Energy Inc. A most monumental failure. Lost nearly a quarter of its value in 1 month. Yuck. Ptui.
AC $47.05 $47.08 3 +0.0% Alliance Capital Management. About as good as putting cash under a mattress for 3 months.
AET $75.60 $83.6614 2 +10.7% Aetna Insurance.
GAP $26.25 $28.59 1 +8.9% Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co Inc.
JCP $51.14 $54.56 1 +6.7% J C Penney
MCK $40.64 $44.95 1 +10.6% McKesson Corp, IT Solutions for healthcare.
MFE $27.55 $26.5 1 -3.8% McAfee. Must have caught a virus.
NUE $57.77 $46.94 3 -18.7% Nucor Corp. This loser convinced me I was done using the YLDEARNYR screen. Pfft. Ptui. The screen says I should hold on to it for yet another month.
PGL $42.81 $44.42 1 +3.8% Peoples Energy Corp. I’m probably going to regret selling this one since it looks like it was doing well.
PLAB $23.59 $24.2301 1 +2.7% Photronics Inc.

New stocks for this month:

Ticker Bought Sold Months Return  
ADCT $21.66 $N/A 0 N/A% ADC Telecommunications.
AQNT $17.78 $N/A 0 N/A% aQuantive Inc., a digital advertising company. I think they’re suing google over click fraud.
CAE $44.24 $N/A 0 N/A% Cascade Corp. Dishwasher soap? Nope, they make attachments that go on fork lifts.
DENN $5.45 $N/A 0 N/A% Denny’s. Yumm.
FTO $31.62 $N/A 0 N/A% Frontier Oil Corp.
KBH $75.20 $N/A 0 N/A% KB Homes again. I lost money on this one back in the spring; would have done better just holding it.
JWN $35.29 $N/A 0 N/A% Nordstrom, Inc., the fashion store. JWN, of course, stands for “Nordstrom,” but using different letters.
LUB $12.23 $N/A 0 N/A% Luby’s. Yumm.
OO $16.87 $N/A 0 N/A% Oakley Inc., the sunglasses manufacturer.
WLDA $12.43 $N/A 0 N/A% World Airways, Inc. They have 12 airplanes!

New options for this month:

Ticker Bought Sold Weeks Return
No new options until October.

The next trade will be August 1st.

Atheism in Decline Worldwide

God not so dead: Atheism in decline worldwide

Excepts:

Gurat, France รขโ‚ฌโ€œ There seems to be a growing consensus around the globe that godlessness is in trouble.

“Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide,” Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg told United Press International Tuesday.
[…]
Two developments are plaguing atheism these days. One is that it appears to be losing its scientific underpinnings. The other is the historical experience of hundreds of millions of people worldwide that atheists are in no position to claim the moral high ground.

Writes Turkish philosopher Harun Yahya, “Atheism, which people have tried to for hundreds of years as ‘the ways of reason and science,’ is proving to be mere irrationality and ignorance.”

Other information of note is former atheist Andrew Flew embracing “Intelligent Design” when it became apparent that a single cell could not possibly carry more data than the Encyclopedia Britannica, studies at Harvard and Duke that prayer has a major impact in recovery from illness, and a realization that atheism has “just as many frauds, psychopaths, and careerists as religion does.”

And finally, atheism is simply … uninteresting. Paganism seems to be on the rise, taking the place of atheism.

Election Fraud

There are a lot of news stories about the Democrats challenging poll results in Ohio lately, even though Bush won that state by 118,000 votes. Although I think the Democrats are just doing political grandstanding on the issue and it won’t change anything, making sure the elections are fair is a noble enough cause. Go on, Dems, count them again.

While you’re at it, though, would you mind counting the votes in Wisconsin? The trend in that state (Gore won by 22 points, Kerry by 35 points) contradicts the national trend, and Bush only lost the entire state by 11,384 votes. In the heavily Democratic city of Milwaukee, though, 83,000 people registered on the last day to vote, over 20% of all eligible voters. Over 10,000 of those votes are fake addresses.

Many people are wondering if Bush won Wisconsin after all. I’m sure the Democrats want every eligible vote count and the fake votes thrown out in this state, too. I’m sure of it.

No Good Deed Unpunished

I wouldn’t normally post this except I’m amused. ๐Ÿ˜›

Coming home from church last night (the 2nd of four Advent studies), I stopped to fill up with gas. Swipe my card, fill up, swap the windows, hang up the nozzle, get back in the car…

And a young woman interrupts just before I close the door. “Excuse me,” she says.

Her story is she’s out of gas; her car is parked right next to mine, rear window bashed out, her car doesn’t look in the best shape. Besides being out of gas, she’s out of money and so she’s stranded, unable to go anywhere. She has a partially used book of first class stamps and she wants to know if she can trade some stamps for a dollar or two for some gas.

“It’s ok,” I tell her. “Let’s fill your car up to the top.”

Her eyes get wide. “Are you kidding? That would be $20!”

“Then you better start pumping,” I grin. “Sounds like it’s going to take a while.” I swipe my card on her pump. She must have asked a half dozen times if I’m sure, if I’ll take her stamps, am I sure, please take her stamps. I tell her no, if I can help her, especially at Christmas, then it’s God giving me a chance to help and I’m glad to be a part of it. “God bless you and Merry Christmas.”

“Are you sure you won’t take these stamps?” She asks.

“I don’t have any letters to mail,” I smile. “I’m blessed with a chance to fill up your tank. Why don’t you find somebody that needs to mail a letter and bless them. ๐Ÿ™‚ ” (By the way, I don’t do that ๐Ÿ™‚ emote in person, that’s just an online thing.) The fillup costs $19 and some change, I get back in my car and head home with a big smile on my face. It looks like this: ๐Ÿ™‚ .

Normally I wouldn’t bother sharing that story, except the story didn’t end there.

I hit the gym today after work, deal with the humbug Ms. Nohelp sweepstakes lady, then home to shower and blog. My message light is blinking and I have 2 messages.

The first one is Citibank with an automated message about “Early Fraud Alert.” I call them back and they read off the latest charges. The service guy says, “Here’s what triggered the fraud alert. Did you fill up twice at the same gas station within 5 minutes?”

Er, yup, that was me. I give him the condensed story which he thinks is the best Christmas story he’s heard this year. ๐Ÿ™‚ He says he’ll unlock my account. “Unlock?” I ask.

“Yes, when we couldn’t get hold of you right away, we froze your account. Don’t worry, it’s active again.”

I thank him, hang up, and retrieve message number two. It’s from an online store where I had ordered a present for my brother-in-law. He may read Chasing the Wind occasionally, so let’s just say I ordered a Gizmo from Gizmos-R-Us. The message says they were unable to complete my order because my credit card account was frozen and to please call them tomorrow or my order will be cancelled.

Heh. No good deed goes unpunished, they say. Still, I’d do it all again the same way… except maybe a week earlier so I still get the Gizmo in time for Christmas. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Purple Heart Hunter

I blogged last night about Swift Boat Veterans and their opinion that John Kerry is unfit for command. They have a book coming out next month, “Unfit for Command,” that describes their impression of Kerry, including a description of the first Purple Heart. Other veterans on Kerry’s boat that night maintain that

  • there was no enemy fire
  • Kerry fired a grenade at some rocks and a piece of shrapnell scratched his arm
  • his commanding officer refused to put in the paperwork for a Purple Heart
  • the medical officer treated the scratch with a bandaid
  • Kerry probably recommended himself for a Purple Heart.

But in Kerry’s own unit, Coastal Division 14, his attempt to gain the award through fraud marked him as someone who could never be trusted. When Kerry was dispatched to go to An Thoi with Lieutenant Tedd Peck (now Captain, USNR, retired), Peck told him, “Kerry, follow me no closer than a thousand yards. If you get any closer, I’ll teach you what a real Purple Heart is.”

Wizbang has a copy of Chapter 3 of “Unfit for Command,” The Purple Heart Hunter, available for download.