Sunday, February 27, 2005

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Food for Thought... Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 24, 2005

USA Next

An alternative to the left-leaning AARP....

Monday, February 21, 2005


My alma mater continues its move to the left....

Greening Vanderbilt: Renewing our mission for the 21st century

by David Wood

On Feb. 16, 2005 the Kyoto Protocol came in effect around the world, though the United States has not yet signed the treaty. The Kyoto Protocol is designed to slow down the global warming resulting from the gases released into the atmosphere by our accelerating use of fossil fuels. The worry is that global warming will “trigger droughts and floods, raise sea levels and wipe out thousands of species by 2100,” according to Reuters. Kyoto sets legally binding targets for rich nations’ emissions of greenhouse gases – especially CO2 from power plants, factories and cars – aiming to reduce them to 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12. It is not enough, but it’s a start.

Vanderbilt’s Ecology and Spirituality Research Group, part of the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture, takes a special interest in these issues. From our work so far, we have concluded that there is a strong case for redefining the mission of the university, indeed any major teaching and research university, so as to bring all our resources to bear on the many dimensions of what imperils the quality of life on this planet. (Give me a break! I thought the mission of the university is to teach students!)

This is our case:

1. Most reputable scientists in the fields associated with climate study are now firmly convinced of the reality of global warming and that we humans are largely responsible for it.

2. Global warming will most likely bring drought, crop reductions, disease, flooding, fatal heat waves and threats to natural resources, such as freshwater and fertile soil. While the actual consequences may not be as severe as predicted, they may also be much worse. Moreover, by the time we can be certain, it will be too late to stop them.

3. These changes may be abrupt. Global warming could induce positive feedback, generating accelerating or runaway weather changes in coming decades. Scientists are identifying increasing numbers of systems with tipping points that are vulnerable to global warming. Even if such events are unlikely in the short-term, the severity of the consequences demands our serious attention.

4. Carbon dioxide that we release into the atmosphere today will remain for a century or more. Because the oceans warm slowly, temperatures and sea levels will continue to rise for hundreds of years even if we could stabilize greenhouse gases at today’s concentrations. What we do in the next decades may not have effects that we will see, but will shape the world our grandchildren and great-grandchildren inhabit at the turn of the next century.

5. These realities pose to our society, indeed to our species (and many others) a series of fundamental and painful challenges and questions:a. By what technical innovations (plausible, imaginable) can we hope to slow, halt or reverse these trends (e.g. that would dramatically cut our use of fossil fuels)?b. How can we improve our knowledge of what is happening and the models by which we understand relevant complex local and global systems? c. How can we bring the best science firmly to bear on public policy? d. How can genuine spiritual and religious concerns be brought to bear productively on these matters, and protected from unscrupulous exploitation? e. What public policy issues are highlighted by these trends? How might we imagine moving to dramatically less energy-consuming patterns of social organization? f. Do we not need to start thinking (and feeling) differently about our goals, needs, attitudes and obligations to other people, nations and species? (And if not now, when?)

6. Universities, with their range of knowledge, research capacity and imagination, and their relative independence from short-term economic pressures, are ideal institutions for trying to think through these questions in a creative and collaborative way.

7. There could be no more important guiding mission for a university in the early decades of the 21st century.

The Vanderbilt/CSRC Ecology and Spirituality Research Group consists of Brooke Ackerley (political science), Michael Bess (history), co-director Beth Conklin (anthropology, religious studies), Jonathan Gilligan (earth and environmental sciences), Annabeth Headrick (art and art history), Michael Vandenbergh (law), Gay Welch (religious studies, women’s studies, university chaplain) and co-director David Wood (philosophy). David Wood has been a professor of philosophy at Vanderbilt since 1994. He studied at Oxford and has a Ph.D. from Warwick (UK). His book, The Step Back: Ethics and Politics after Deconstruction, will be published this spring.

The Vanderbilt Register welcomes commentary and opinion pieces from all members of the Vanderbilt community.

Social Security

Economics Nobel Prize winner says "transition costs a myth"...

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Attorney Humor

A local United Way office realized that the organization had never received a donation from the town's most successful lawyer. The person in charge of contributions called him to persuade him to contribute.

"Our research shows that out of a yearly income of at least $500,000, you give not a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to give back to the community in some way?" The lawyer mulled this over for a moment and replied,

"First, did your research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?" Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbled, "Um ... no." The lawyer interrupts, "or that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair?" The stricken United Way rep began to stammer out an apology, but was interrupted again.

"or that my sister's husband died in a traffic accident," the lawyer's voice rising in indignation, "leaving her penniless with three children?!" The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, said simply, "I had no idea..." On a roll, the lawyer cut him off once again, "So if I don't give any money to them, why should I give any to you?"

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Letter Regarding Terri Schiavo

This Alert is a special message from Terri Schiavo's father, Bob Schindler Sr.


By now you have probably heard about a young woman who is threatened with starvation in Florida. That young woman is my daughter, Terri. In 1990, through circumstances which are shrouded in mystery (and may involve a criminal act by Terri's estranged husband), my daughter was left severely brain-damaged. But before I go any further, I must put an end to the lies and misinformation that are circulating around the country through the media concerning my daughter's condition.

Contrary to anything you may have heard, Terri is NOT brain dead; Terri is NOT in a coma; she is NOT in a "persistent vegetative state;" nor is she on ANY life-support system. Terri laughs, Terri cries, she moves, and she makes child-like attempts at speech with her mother and me. Sometimes she will say "Mom" or "Dad" or "yeah" when we ask her a question. When I kiss her hello or goodbye, she looks at me and "puckers up" her lips. This may not seem like much to you, but it means everything to Terri's mother and me. It tells us she is still here, she still knows us, and with therapy and time she can have some level of recovery.

I know that there are some hard hearted people who believe that due to my daughter's condition, she is better off dead. Words cannot describe the pain and anger such sentiments cause us. This is our daughter, our little girl, and even in her disabled condition, she still has the right to life and the right to be loved and cared for by her family.

Why, you may ask, is Terry in danger of death by starvation?

It is a long and outrageous story, but I'll give it to you as briefly as I can.
After the "incident" that left Terry in this condition, her husband Michael Schiavo sued various members of the medical community for money, saying that they did not treat or diagnose her properly at an early stage, and that he needed this money to provide for Terri's therapy and rehabilitation and care. After lengthy court battles, he finally won upwards of $1.7 million under the guise of caring for our daughter, and then to our horror, he immediately began spending the money on himself and his Playboy lifestyle.

Terri's estranged husband Michael Schiavo has been living with another woman for years, and has two children by her. He is determined to see Terri dead. Why? We believe it's because he gets to keep whatever money is left... and he may have even darker motives than that.
To add insult to all of this injury toward my daughter, Michael Schiavo is still her "legal husband" and therefore is her "guardian." And since they are not legally divorced, he controls whatever health care she will and will not get. We are not even allowed to know if she is getting aspirin.

In 1993 my family initiated litigation against Michael Schiavo solely for the purpose of acquiring medical, physical and neurological assistance for our daughter Terri. The litigation escalated in 1998 when Michael Schiavo petitioned the court to stop Terri from receiving food and water, thereby starving her to death. In filing this legal action, he retained the services of a high profile euthanasia attorney and the financial backing of powerful euthanasia organizations. He also used Terri's medical rehabilitation money to underwrite much of the legal expenses associated with his effort to starve our daughter to death.

We know that he has spent nearly $500,000 of Terri's money in attorney's fees for just one attorney trying to obtain a court order to have Terri starved to death. The very money that was supposed to be used for Terri's rehabilitation is being used to have her killed. We very quickly discovered it was impossible for us to compete with the abundance of financial and legal resources the pro-death organizations were providing Micheal Schiavo in their effort to kill Terri. They are pouring time and effort into her starvation because they want to use this case to further the agenda of legalized euthanasia.

My wife and I are not wealthy people. Throughout those years, we did not have any large organizations trying to help rescue our daughter. Consequently, we had to rely on the generosity of attorneys who were willing to offer their legal expertise at no cost or at reduced fees.
The bottom line is that we are in the final weeks or months of our struggle to rescue our daughter from an untimely death by starvation. Death by starvation is very slow, and extremely painful. As you must know, it is against the law to deliberately starve an animal to death. There are members of the Florida court who would not treat a dog the way they plan to treat my daughter.

At this point we must pull out all the stops in our fight to rescue our daughter. As parents, we are desperate to save our daughter's life. As people who love life, we are determined to deprive the euthanasia advocates of successfully legalizing this form of homicide. We believe that their efforts to kill Terri are designed to set a precedent for the future eradication of defenseless disabled human beings. I was alive when Americans fought the Nazis; I do not want my daughter to meet the same fate of thousands of disabled people in Nazi Germany, and I do not want our country to go down that same dark path.

Friend, though we have never met, I'm asking you for your help. We desperately need your financial assistance to help our family continue the battle to keep our daughter from being starved to death. There are so many expenses in a case like this it is mind-boggling and overwhelming. Please click below to make a contribution now:

Our adversaries believe that by our family's financial attrition and difficulties, they will attain their objective of killing our daughter. Presently, Terri's starvation may only be a few weeks away, unless we find the financial resources to prevent this atrocity from becoming a reality.
I implore you to please help us. We are writing to you, because we believe you have a heart for justice and mercy. I'm asking you to put yourself in my shoes, and then do whatever you can to help our family. Whether it is $10 or $1000, we are desperate for the resources to fight this battle for our daughter's life at this critical juncture.

Please do whatever you can, and forward this e-mail to any friends or family that you have who you think might be interested in saving Terri's life. I thank you for your time, your concern, and I solicit your prayers for Terri and our entire family. These have been very trying times for us all.

Bob Schindler Sr.

How's that for logic? Posted by Hello

Monday, February 14, 2005

More Food For Thought

"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves." --William Boetcker

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Terri Schiavo

Wonder if Michael Schiavo has heard about this miracle?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Cows, Constitution and Ten Commandments


Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington. And they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give them all a cow.


They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it's worked for over 200 years and we're not using it anymore.


The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a Courthouse: You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery" and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians! It creates a hostile work environment!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Al Qa Qaa

Isn't it funny that no one ever talks about Al Qa Qaa anymore?? Guess whether or not there are missing explosives just doesn't matter anymore....

Food for Thought

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism." --Nikita Khrushchev

"The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." --Norman Thomas

From The Federalist

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Valentine Post

An early "Valentine"
"For God so loV ed the world,
That He gA ve
His onL y
BegottE n
T hat whosever
Believeth I n Him
Should N ot perish,
But have E verlasting life."

John 3:16

Monday, February 07, 2005

Ann Coulter

Her take on Iraq.....

Sunday, February 06, 2005

A Look Back At Social Security

There is a great essay at The American Enterprise Magazine website. After listing all the "new" innovations of 1935, as well as the then current conditions, essayist Karl Zinzmeister takes us back to that period and writes: "...

Admittedly, the U.S. economy has seen better days. The human disruption of the Dust Bowl storms is just beginning to subside. A quarter to a third of today's U.S. population is quite poor. "And amidst our economic disappointments, life's other ancient maladies continue to sting.

Doctors still have no effective medicines to stop biotic infections. Tens of thousands of American children will be crippled by polio this year. U.S. life expectancy averages only 59 years and some months. "That last figure explains why another of the year's milestones produced only a mild ripple among the public: This August 1935, Franklin Roosevelt pushed through Congress a program for universal government-paid pensions.

Checks will begin to mail as soon as this new "Social Security" plan takes hold. But full benefits don't commence until age 65--and, as a plain fact, most of us will be gone before then.

"So: Do you want to base your security in old age on a program engineered at the same time as the Model A and the vacuum-tube radio? Has work changed much since the era when slopping pigs for Auntie Em was a typical job? Does the boundary between state and individual look different now that the USSR has gone from progressive polestar to oppressive flop?

Has American finance advanced from the decades when the only choices for ordinary savers were the passbook, the mason jar, or the mattress? Are the retirement goals of Americans still the same as in the days when the Bambino retired? Or is it time for Social Security to enjoy a major-league update?

Excerpt from John Mauldin

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Looks like everyone wants to join in the fun....

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The fish got a basketball stuck in his mouth... Posted by Hello