Tea Party

And so the veil of deceit lifts. The news media, so eager to proclaim Obama as the messiah during the election cycle, now turns on him and begins to devour him. What changed?

In one sense, nothing. Obama’s promises of socialist changes are progressing. Universal health care, nationalization of manufacturers and banking, imposition of union rules, reestablishment of federal funding of abortion, and massive taxing and spending are being implemented at a frightening speed, with no conservative obstacles in sufficient numbers to slow them down.

In another sense, everything. Obama promised to be open and honest, anti-pork, hope and change instead of fear, yet many of the policies were buried inside a pork-laden monstrosity without debate, without the 5-day evaluation, and signed under dire warnings of catastrophe, and sometimes outright lies, such as the re-hiring of manufafacturing jobs and “all economists agree” pitches.

The revolt of hard working American, long overdue, has begun. Trillions of dollars printing are now showing up as inflation. CNBC says “traders revolt” and openly question why diligent homeowners must pay for the mortgages of dlinquent homeowners. Even high school children, governed by emotion instead of experience, said after his appearance this morning that they don’t believe eveything Obama says and understand the Stimulus bill is bad for the economy and is merely a thinly-disguised pork-laden liberal agenda.

One teenager even wore an Obama t-shirt that said, “Hitler gave good speeches, too.”

But the “angry left” is having it’s day, and I see few obstacles in their way for the next two years. It’s amazing the damage they’ve caused already in just 3 weeks of office. What can we do except batten down the hatches and weather this liberal storm?

I’m praying, and I’m buying gold.

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How to Gain the Christmas Spirit

The best way to give wings to the Christmas Spirit is to give gifts to people who need them. My wife and I exchanged few gifts this year, opting instead to give to charities instead. Instead of giving somebody a trinket they didn’t need, we’d ask them what their favorite charity was. Then we’d give to that charity, to people in need. We hope many lives were brightened this year.

Giving a gift to those in need is precisely what God did for us 2000 years ago. We are, each one of us, people in need. We want mercy on us for the lies and cheats and naughty or evil thoughts we’ve had. Instead, we deserve justice. Instead, we received a gift of forgiveness. It all began when God came down out of heaven with a baby in His arms. Merry Christmas.

Here’s what happens when you give a gift to those who need it. Fair warning; you may need a tissue to wipe away a tear or two. Try cheering for those who need encouragement.

They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas.

It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through.

Did you hear that? The other team’s fans?

They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, “Go Tornadoes!” Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.

It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.

“I never in my life thought I’d hear people cheering for us to hit their kids,” recalls Gainesville’s QB and middle linebacker, Isaiah. “I wouldn’t expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!”

And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he’d just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.

But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field and two and two started to make four. They lined the players up in groups of five—handcuffs ready in their back pockets—and marched them to the team bus. That’s because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas. Every game it plays is on the road.

This all started when Faith’s head coach, Kris Hogan, wanted to do something kind for the Gainesville team. Faith had never played Gainesville, but he already knew the score. After all, Faith was 7-2 going into the game, Gainesville 0-8 with 2 TDs all year. Faith has 70 kids, 11 coaches, the latest equipment and involved parents. Gainesville has a lot of kids with convictions for drugs, assault and robbery—many of whose families had disowned them—wearing seven-year-old shoulder pads and ancient helmets.

So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans—for one night only—cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. “Here’s the message I want you to send:” Hogan wrote. “You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth.”

Some people were naturally confused. One Faith player walked into Hogan’s office and asked, “Coach, why are we doing this?”

And Hogan said, “Imagine if you didn’t have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you.”

Next thing you know, the Gainesville Tornadoes were turning around on their bench to see something they never had before. Hundreds of fans. And actual cheerleaders!

“I thought maybe they were confused,” said Alex, a Gainesville lineman (only first names are released by the prison). “They started yelling ‘DEE-fense!’ when their team had the ball. I said, ‘What? Why they cheerin’ for us?'”

It was a strange experience for boys who most people cross the street to avoid. “We can tell people are a little afraid of us when we come to the games,” says Gerald, a lineman who will wind up doing more than three years. “You can see it in their eyes. They’re lookin’ at us like we’re criminals. But these people, they were yellin’ for us! By our names!”

Maybe it figures that Gainesville played better than it had all season, scoring the game’s last two touchdowns. Of course, this might be because Hogan put his third-string nose guard at safety and his third-string cornerback at defensive end. Still.

After the game, both teams gathered in the middle of the field to pray and that’s when Isaiah surprised everybody by asking to lead. “We had no idea what the kid was going to say,” remembers Coach Hogan. But Isaiah said this: “Lord, I don’t know how this happened, so I don’t know how to say thank You, but I never would’ve known there was so many people in the world that cared about us.”

And it was a good thing everybody’s heads were bowed because they might’ve seen Hogan wiping away tears.

As the Tornadoes walked back to their bus under guard, they each were handed a bag for the ride home—a burger, some fries, a soda, some candy, a Bible and an encouraging letter from a Faith player.

The Gainesville coach saw Hogan, grabbed him hard by the shoulders and said, “You’ll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You’ll never, ever know.”

And as the bus pulled away, all the Gainesville players crammed to one side and pressed their hands to the window, staring at these people they’d never met before, watching their waves and smiles disappearing into the night.

Anyway, with the economy six feet under and Christmas running on about three and a half reindeer, it’s nice to know that one of the best presents you can give is still absolutely free.


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Dream Interpretation

In my dream, I’m waiting in front of the (church?) junior high school, at the sidewalk under the rain protection. I’m waiting for the Sweet Wife to pick me up, except she’s not in a car. She’s in an F-14 Tomcat.

F-14 Tomcat

She calls me on the cell phone and tells me she’s low on fuel and asks me to bring some with me. The jet doesn’t run on any normal jet fuel, though. It runs on 8.5″x11″ white paper. It must by high quality white paper because, after all, this is a jet.

I’m holding a box full of a ream paper, and I open it. The top 2/3rds is high quality white typing paper, just what the jet needs. The bottom 1/3 is old newspaper, ratty and covered with ink. This isn’t going to work.

The jet pulls up to the school. And I wake up.

My dreams are cool because it makes Sean’s brain hurt. Feel free to interpret this dream for me.

I was reading about a dream at “Sand in the Gears” that I found amusing. It involves guns, trains, and a canival. If you’re not dreaming in full Technicolor, you’re missing out on the free movies God provides each night. 🙂

Christian Terrorists and Public Education

What’s my gripe with public education? Besides the fact they seem to be devolving into a giant secular babysitting service, it’s public money – my money – being used to teach young people values that oppose my values. I don’t mind being opposed, really. I *do* mind being taxed to fund my opposition.

The latest examples I’ve read this week are examples of schools performing terrorism drills. That in itself is ok, but who are the terrorist examples? Right-wing fundamentalist Christians. Sheesh. With all the terrorist attacks in the last 5 years, what percentage were these atrocities committed by right-wing fundamentalist Christians? A teensy weensy amount, if any. Couldn’t they come up with a more representative terrorist?

From Cadre Comments and Another Day Closer come these stories –

  • In Burlington Township, PA, Hostage drill prepares school for crisis (a similar story about the same township is here):

    The mock terror attack involved two irate men armed with handguns who invaded the high school through the front door. They pretended to shoot several students in the hallway and then barricaded themselves in the media center with 10 student hostages.

    Two Burlington Township police detectives portrayed the gunmen. Investigators described them as members of a right-wing fundamentalist group called the “New Crusaders” who don’t believe in separation of church and state. The mock gunmen went to the school seeking justice because the daughter of one had been expelled for praying before class.

  • In Muskegon County, MI, Christian homeschoolers are planting bombs:

    The exercise will simulate an attack by a fictitious radical group called Wackos Against Schools and Education who believe everyone should be homeschooled. Under the scenario, a bomb is placed on the bus and is detonated while the bus is traveling on Durham, causing the bus to land on its side and fill with smoke.

It’s outrageous. I don’t want my tax dollars to fund public education anymore. I want my money back.

Mechanical Investing for July 2006

June was another particular ugly month for investing, and there were significant losses by mid-June. I try to remember I have a longer time frame; I’m 20+ years from retirement and I’m certain this is my best investment vehicle. Sure, I’ll have some losses, but I hope the wins are even bigger. Fortunately by the end of the month all of the losses had been erased; the portfolio was up over 5% just in the last week. Still trailing the market, though; the stocks selected by the YLDEARNYR screen have not performed well.

  • Last 4 weeks: +1.6%
  • Last 3 months: -3.2%
  • Year to date: -1.3% (Dow is +4.7% ytd from 10,718)
  • Last 12 months:-0.2%

Holding for another month:

Ticker Bought Now Months Return  
AP $34.99 $29.21 1 -16.5% Ampco-Pittsburgh Corp. Originally from the Screamers screen, it’s now on the YLDEARNYR screen, the screen I don’t like.
CMA $55.03 $52.73 1 -4.2% Comerica, Inc. This one is back from the LPEYLD screen.
DDS $26.04 $31.90 2 +22.5% Dillard’s Inc. From the H52EARNPS screen. I sold off a small portion to keep things balanced.
FDG $41.01 $31.12 4 -24.1% Fording Canadian Coal Trust, from the YLDEARNYR screen. Another bad month for this screen.
SWFT $30.42 $33.49 2 +10.9% Swift transportation Company Incorporated. Last month’s -6.1% loss was erased nicely. From the TRPPE screen.
WM $45.96 $46.23 1 +0.6% Washington Mutual. From the LPE_YLD screen.

Selling these:

Ticker Bought Sold Months Return  
AL $51.83 $47.14 1 -9.0% Alcan Inc. From the TREPPE screen.
GPI $60.70 $57.21 1 -5.7% Group 1 Automotive. From the H52EarnPS screen.
HANS $186.07 $198.56 1 +6.7% Hansen Natural Corp. This one went up and down like a roller coaster. From the Screamers screen.
HCC $34.24 $29.46 3 -14.0% HCC Insurance Holdings, from the LowPE_ZLTD screen.
HOC $38.225 $47.80 3 +25.0% Holly Corp. Split 2:1, from the LowPEZLTD screen.
UNTD $14.69 $11.99 6 -18.4% United Online Inc. The other terrible selection from the YLDEARNYR screen.

New stocks for this month:

Ticker Bought Sold Months Return  
CELL $13.60 $N/A 0 N/A% Brightpoint, Inc. From the LowPEZLTD screen.
EME $49.17 $N/A 0 N/A% EMCOR Group, Inc. From the H52EarnPS screen.
FSII $6.94 $N/A 0 N/A% FSI International, Inc. From the Screamers screen.
NITE $15.33 $N/A 0 N/A% Knight Capital Group, Inc. From the LowPEZLTD screen.
OXY $104.52 $N/A 0 N/A% Occidental Petroleum Corp. From the TREPPE screen.
VOL $48.50 $N/A 0 N/A% Volt Information Sciences. Sounds like a high school science fair project. From the Screamers screen.

The next trade will be July 31st if I can, otherwise it’ll have to be August 7.

Middle Class Military

Charles Rangel, the looney left-wing Democrat, has criticized the military on several issues, one of them that the military is made up disproportionately of minorities while middle and upper class families reap the benefits without risk.

Where he got that idea from, who knows. Certainly didn’t come from the facts, though. Turns out most of the military volunteers come from middle class families.

Researchers matched the ZIP codes of recruits over the past five years with federal government estimates of household incomes in those neighborhoods. Contrary to complaints from some liberal lawmakers and pundits, the data show that the poor are not shouldering the bulk of the military’s need for new soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines.

The poorest neighborhoods provided 18 percent of recruits in prewar 1999 and 14.6 percent in 2003. By contrast, areas where household incomes ranged from $30,000 to $200,000 provided more than 85 percent.

“We found that recruits tend to come from middle-class areas, with disproportionately fewer from low-income areas,” said the report, prepared by Tim Kane, an Air Force Academy graduate and economics scholar. “Overall, the income distribution of military enlistees is more similar to than different from the income distribution of the general population.”

Turns out they’re better educated than the average American, too:

Mr. Kane said overall evidence “is at odds with the image, painted by some supporters of the draft, that the military exploits poor, ignorant young Americans by using slick advertising that promises technical careers in the military to dupe them into trading their feeble opportunities in the private sector for a meager role as cannon fodder.”

About 98 percent of all enlistees from 1999 to 2003 had a high school diploma, compared with 75 percent of nonrecruits nationwide.

“In an education context, rather than attracting underprivileged young Americans, the military seems to be attracting above-average Americans,” Mr. Kane wrote.

Just something that warmed my heart, knowing my son returns from Army basic training tomorrow. 🙂

* Tip from Brutally Honest. About the news article, I mean, not the news about my son.