August 31, 2007

Off To Chicago Once Again

Category: Travel — jerry @ 2:13 pm

chicago.jpg  

   Off for another one of my weekend jaunts–although I’ve programmed my Blog Robots to post over the weekend while I’m gone.

   Have a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend, everyone!

Life On Mars Update

Category: Technology — jerry @ 6:33 am

mars.jpg   Take it with a grain of salt, but…:

   “The soil on Mars may indeed be teeming with microbes, according to a new interpretation of data first collected more than 30 years ago.

   “The search for life on Mars appeared to hit a dead end in 1976 when Viking landers touched down on the red planet and failed to detect biological activity.

   “There was another flurry of excitement a decade later, when Nasa thought it had found evidence of life in a Mars meteorite but doubts have since been cast on that finding.

   “Today, Joop Houtkooper from Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, Germany, will claim the Viking spacecraft may in fact have encountered signs of a weird life form based on hydrogen peroxide on the subfreezing, arid Martian surface.

   “His analysis of one of the experiments carried out by the Viking spacecraft with a geophysicist, Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University, Pullman, suggests that 0.1 percent of the Martian soil could be of biological origin, he will tell the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Germany….”[Rest of article]

August 30, 2007

5100 Boy Scout Leaders Removed For Sexual Abuse

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 3:21 pm

   I just had a conversation about this with a buddy last week.  I referenced the famous John Dillinger response to “Why do you rob banks? Because that’s where the money is…” in connection with that it should be no surprise to anyone that if you are a pedophile, you are going to go where the children are: teaching, children’s activities (like sports and Scouts), the clergy, etc.  Get ready to hear more about this:

***
Meanwhile, it’s my understanding that the Boy Scouts of America still don’t allow uncloseted gays to lead or be Boy Scouts, if I’m not mistaken. (Nor atheists). I believe that this is their Official Policy.

To sum up the week, then, so that there’s no confusion: Gay Rights->Democrats; Closeted and Self-Loathing Restroom Homosexuals->Republicans.

“And this above all, to thine own self be true…”, Shakespeare, (one of those “theatre-types”).

Ann Lamott in Omaha

Category: Books,Opinion — jerry @ 6:23 am

lamott.jpg   I’ve got a book around my house somewhere that Ms. Lamott wrote on the topic of writing.  I think I browsed through it once, but don’t recall it much.

   She’s been in the local (Omaha) news lately after my law school alma mater Creighton University did the following: 

   “A best-selling author who had been scheduled to speak in Omaha next month is no longer invited, Creighton University officials said.

   “Anne Lamott, known for her wit, frankness and spiritual writings, said she received word through her publicist Friday that Creighton was concerned about her views on assisted suicide and abortion.

   “Creighton officials last week learned of an essay that Lamott wrote about helping a friend with cancer die, said spokeswoman Kathryn Clark. University officials decided that Lamott’s views were inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, Clark said.

   “We have decided that the key points she makes are in opposition to Catholic teaching,” Clark said. “That makes her an inappropriate choice.”

   “Lamott was scheduled for the 18th Annual Women and Health Lecture Series sponsored by the Center for Health Policy and Ethics at Creighton University Medical Center….” [Rest of article at World Herald site]

***

   I’m embarrassed to be an alumni. 

   I don’t believe that this woman is that far out of the mainstream in thinking, although many people, of course, would disagree with her various positions. 

   Creighton is a private institution and do what they wish of course.  As I can with any plans I would have for future alumni donations to the school.  I’ll be watching for an apology.

   Meanwhile, some local non-Catholic churches have, according to the World-Herald, scheduled her to speak at out local Holland Center for the Arts.  Good for them:

   “The Holland Center holds 2,000 people, Brink said, which will allow more people to hear Lamott. Seating at Joslyn would have allowed about 1,200 to attend.

   “The event, titled: “Faith and Writing and Whatever: A Night With Anne Lamott,” is being sponsored by Connections, a coalition of churches that also includes Augustana Lutheran Church, Countryside Community Church UCC, First Central Congregational UCC, First United Methodist Church and St. Luke United Methodist Church.

   “There will be no charge for the talk, but donations to charitable services will be accepted. The event will begin at 7 p.m., and Lamott will sign books afterwards….”[from the World Herald]

***

Not sure how long those links to the WH site are good for…

August 29, 2007

And There You Have It

Category: Movies/TV,Opinion — jerry @ 1:23 pm

yosef.jpg   From the BBC site:  “Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of the orthodox Jewish party Shas, said God helped soldiers when they “believe and pray” and they did not get killed.

The remarks, in a sermon broadcast in Israel, have been sharply criticised in secular circles and by veterans groups.

Many of the 112 soldiers killed in last year’s Lebanon were observant Jews.

Rabbi Yosef has often been at the centre of controversy for comments in his weekly sermons, which are known for their ultra-conservative content.

‘Shameful’

“Is it any wonder if, heaven forbid, soldiers are killed in a war?” Rabbi Yosef said in the recording of his weekly Saturday night sermon broadcast on Monday.

“They don’t observe the Sabbath, they don’t observe the Torah, they don’t pray, they don’t put on phylacteries every day. Is it any wonder that they’re killed? It’s no wonder. May the Almighty have mercy on them and bring them back to religion.” [Rest of article]

***

    Kudos to CNN for their recent 3-part series GOD’S WARRIORS–very even-handed, I felt.   A segment on extremist Jews, a segment on extremist Muslims, and a segment on extremist Christians. 

   Question your faith…

Ted Nugent In Final Stages Of Debilitating Cat Scratch Fever

Category: Music,Opinion — jerry @ 6:08 am

Gun nut Ted Nugent (does anybody more than 5 years older or younger than me know who he is?) at a recent concert:

***
From the CHICAGO SUN TIMES:

So Ted Nugent roams a concert stage while toting automatic weapons, calls Barack Obama “a piece of —–” and says he told Obama to suck on one of his machine-guns. He also calls Hillary Clinton a “worthless bitch” and Dianne Feinstein a “worthless whore.”
That Nugent, he’s a man’s man. He talks the talk and walks the walk, right?

Except when it was time to register for the draft during the Vietnam era. By his own admission, Nugent stopped all forms of personal hygiene for a month and showed up for his draft board physical in pants caked with his own urine and feces, winning a deferment. Creative! ….[Rest of article]

August 28, 2007

Oh, Puh-LEEZE, Senator Craig!

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 1:40 pm

craig.jpg   I don’t have a problem with Senator Craig (R-Id.) being gay (allegedly).  And if he’s 62 already, believe me–his wife and adult kids know.  (Whether this knowledge has been shared by them with him is another matter).

   I do have a problem with him lying about it now. 

   The police officer that arrested him stated that Craig “tapped his foot, in what the officer described as a known signal to engage in lewd conduct, and had also brushed his foot agains the investigator’s and waved his hand under the stall divider several times…”  You know what?  I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the next stall, and I tend to believe the officer on this one.

   After all, Senator Craig did plead guilty to the “crime” described by this behavior (yeah, that’s what you do when you’re innocent…)  Now he wants us to believe that he pled guilty to something that didn’t happen.  This incident occured at a men’s bathroom at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport  in June.  In May, Craig denied a statement made by a man who reported having sex with Craig in the men’s room of Washington’s Union Station.  There’s a couple of other similar incidents reported in the paper this morning.

   Again, I’m all for gay rights.  But please not in the bathrooms that my kids and I frequent.  Get a room.  And hey, Senator–why not take the opportunity to “come out” now?  There does seem to be some momentum in the conservative Republican wing in that direction (and I’m counting the various Evangelical preachers in there…)

   I mean–it’s either an “abomination in the eyes of the Lord”, or it’s not.   As common as it seems to be–even in the conservative Republican ranks–maybe all of this needs to be rethought.

   Meanwhile, there remains that old Commandmant about Bearing False Witness, right?  You’re calling the cop and these other gentleman liars, right?  Please Senator Craig et al–less hypocrisy.

The Pareto Principle; 80/20 Rule

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 6:06 am

8020.jpg

   I wanted to make another pitch for you to head over to the companion Pettit Funds site from time to time, where the money/investment-minded of you will find the collected archives of this blog’s “Money & Investment” category items (including the notorious stock picks), as well as other money/investment items that do not also appear here (for instance, a short review of the book pictured at the left).

    While I will continue to mirror this blogs Money & Investment category over there, it is my goal to have at least half of the content there unique (including other stock picks).

   Happy investing!

August 27, 2007

Total Moon Eclipse Tonight; Set Your Alarm Clocks

Category: Technology — jerry @ 3:15 pm

eclipsecdt.jpg

   I can’t guarantee I’ll be getting up at 4:00 a.m.–but these things are pretty cool, if you’ve never seen one.  Please note that this is Central Daylight Time Zone–your mileage may differ.  Thank you to the NASA website for the graphic.

A Geography Lesson From Miss Teen South Carolina

Category: Movies/TV,Travel — jerry @ 6:20 am

My boy kept switching over to this show in between the Patriots v. Panthers preseason football game. I swear I wouldn’t watch this on my own. I swear!

Anyway, we both got a chuckle over this. (She sure was cute, though).

P.S. I would make a good beauty competition judge: I had the last five picked correctly in order of disappearance. (Donald Trump: Take note!)