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Monday, January 31, 2005

Buster Redux

You know, I posted on Buster because I saw the USA Today article - but I wanted to do it a couple of days ago in response to Mark's post. However, it wasn't supposed to be what I put today.

What I wanted to post was not actually about the Buster program, but the following events, particularly Good Morning America's interview with the lesbian couple. Originally, Stephen Bennett, a former homosexual, was scheduled to appear on the show with the lesbian couple, to present the other side of the issue.

However, the lesbian couple refused to appear on the show with Mr. Bennett. Even when he let GMA know that he would only speak with love and compassion toward the lesbian women, they still said no. GMA caved in to the homosexuals and Mr. Bennett was cancelled.

Who is showing tolerance? Where is the desire for diversity? The full story is here. Read it and understand - this is almost NEVER about tolerance, and only about pushing an agenda. The radical homosexuals know that the strongest testimony against them is that of former homosexuals. Look into how they are regarded and treated by homosexual activists, and you'll see bigotry and hatred at its worst.

Iraqis Defy Insurgents, Embrace Democracy

That's the headline in today's liberal Lexington Herald-Leader. The Left has egg on its face, and freedom has won another battle. More headlines:

"Millions vote despite sporadic violence"

"Voting a victory for security forces"

"Voting has Arabs worried, hopeful"

"Iraqis make it to the polls, despite tumult"


"An enormous day in Iraq" - USA Today

People being takne to the polls in carts & wheelchairs; blind men and women being led; police helping the elderly up stairs; the infirm and disabled carried by friends and family members; a baby born in a polling station because its mother would not miss her chance to vote.

Those are the pictures of freedom and hope in action. The picture of petty, whiny leftists?

"How can you call an election legitimate when everyone isn't allowed to vote?"

John Freakin' Kerry. Like Algore, he shows his true colors AFTER he loses. Thank the Almighty he didn't win.

Postcards from Buster

It seems that the left can't get enough of calling any action by conservatives to defend the family an attack on cartoon characters.

Today's USA Today has an article about Secretary of Education Spelling sending a letter to PBS about a filmed "Postcards from Buster" episode which featured a lesbian couple. She was concerned about the show promoting homosexuality and not meeting its mission, which is to "promote diversity and tolerance in modern America for school aged children". One might wonder how this particular episode does not meet that mission. The show has featured several non-traditional families and families of different religions - why not a homosexual couple with children?

Ok. So where is the line drawn. How about a family that practices 'consensual' incest? A family with Satan worshippers? A family that is on drugs? A family that believes that ritualistic torture is family fun?

Clearly, children of any parents should not be discriminated agaist because of who their parents or guardians are...but no one is pressing for the above types of families, who all exist and are all likely to be considered 'abnormal'. Why not?

The goal of the show is to show that these kids are ok, by demonstrating that their family is OK. We don't (Christians should not) discriminate against signle moms or dads, blended families, or families of other religions in the respect we give them. Similarly, we do not blame children for their parents' choices. On the other hand, we do not tell our children that it is ok for parents to be criminals or to abuse their children. If the show featured royally screwed up families, and focused on the humanity and value of the children, then I would not have a problem with this episode.

However, that is not what this show does. It attepts to promote 'tolerance and diversity' through normalizing the state of the parents. Divorcees often have no say in their divorce, nor do many single parents. Blended families are harder to succeed with than regular ones, and those parents were the above mentioned divorcees or widows(ers). Homosexual couples choose the gay lifestyle and go to great lengths to have children in a relationship that would otherwise not. It's not genetic, it's not normal, and shouldn't be portrayed as such - particularly as PBS is paid for with my tax dollars and yours (over 40% givernment funded, to be more precise).

Note how 'tolerance and diversity' are again at the center of a homosexual issue. They are the buzzwords of the radical homosexual agenda. Be alert whenever they crop up.

UPDATE: Just to be clear, the government is NOT forcing PBS to stop the show from airing. PBS claims it had pulled the episode before they received Secretary Spelling's letter, but some (10, as of now) of PBS' affiliates still plan to air it. The feds are asking for their money back for that episode, which seems pretty reasonable.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Just the Facts, Ma'am

I found this blog that may interest some of my more regular readers (all three of you). The truth of the matter is, my knowledge base may not be sufficient to actually contribute to it - but I look forward to reading it. Despite the avoidance of inflammatory language that characterizes my blog and comments on others, I am full of opinions...after all, that's why I started a blog.

However, if you are interested in reading and contributing some straight facts, about tough questions, that seem to be agenda-less, Science Search is for you.

It's amazing what you can find with 'Next Blog'.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Social Security and Your Future

(from my latest radio commentary)

Social Security is in crisis – or is it?

Once again, an issue of relevance to the entire country is being debated entirely along party lines. While that doesn’t bode well for the new ‘unity’ in our government, it does demand that we address the issue in a manner that is as logical and objective as possible.

The facts about social security come from those who are responsible for oversight of the Social Security Trust Fund. They state the funds received will no longer meet or exceed the funds distributed as of 2018. That means within 15 years, the Social Security Trust Fund will go into deficit spending.

However, it will not be broke at that point. Because the Social Security Trust Fund currently has a one-point-five trillion dollar cushion in the bank, the government will continue to distribute Social Security benefits at the expected rates until 2042. At that point the money will be gone, and recipients of Social Security benefits will begin to see cuts.

With that known, is this a crisis, or isn’t it? The Republican Party has declared that it is, and plans on executing a personal account plan that allows workers to withhold Social Security deductions and invest them in accounts of their choosing, as opposed to the current government or treasury bonds used by the Social Security Administration. In theory, this should allow workers to manage their own financial futures and make larger profits…because on average, in the long term, returns from the stock market outperform bonds. The plan’s drawback is that Social Security receipts would decline in the short term, which, if the plan fails, would hastens the approaching deficit and bankruptcy. Therefore, Democrats say that Social Security should not be touched, because the problems are far off.

What should those of us who will be affected by this know?

First, there is no bond or fund with anyone’s name on it. By simply changing the tax code, the government can stop paying benefits at any time.

On the other hand, doing so would be political suicide. So, while it may be legal to halt Social Security payments, it is not reasonable to think it would happen.

Also, both sides acknowledge that there is a problem….but they disagree over a response. One side thinks a small action now prevents drastic action later, while the other hopes to wait and see. This is for certain – while ‘do nothing’ is always an option, it is seldom the best option. Some action needs to be taken, whether it is a Social Security tax increase or an eventual reduction in benefits, or personal accounts. It’s a question of the politically possible.

Look, if your retirement plan is to depend upon the government for your income – you have a bad plan. Start planning, preparing and working, now, to provide for yourself when you retire. Relying on someone else to do it for you is a recipe for disaster.

Today's Religion of Peace (c) Nugget

Horrible fundamentalist Christians make their kids pray for forgiveness when they sin.

Peaceful, tolerant Muslims kill theirs.

Think I'm full of it?

Check it out.

Now, I recognize that this man is not the norm, just as 'homeschooling parents' who lock their kids in closets are not the norm. The biggest shock is how the government did a forensic test on the little girl to see if SHE was at fault.

Hat tip: My Pet Jawa

Death Zeppelin

This is high comedy.

Hat Tip: Carpe Bonum.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Democrat Solutions for Iraq


You know you want to hear what new, profound, and likely to be different and effective things they are saying about "the most pressing [current] foreign policy issue".

I did. Now I know.

In Defense of Dobson AND Spongebob

I don't think either of them need me to defend them, honestly. What is sad is that we, as a nation, have still not learned, despite Jayson Blair, Dan Rather and Bill Burkett, that the media will report what they want us to hear, not what is true.

Dobson doesn't think Sponge Bob is gay. Neither do I. Look, gays can use me as their icon, it doesn't mean I am gay, ya know? By the way, Korean males hold hands, too. That took some getting used to.

Dobson also doesn't have a beef with Sponge Bob, Twinky-Winky, Dora the Explorer, Barney, Big Bird, etc.

Dobson doesn't have a problem with tolerance and diversity, as long as they mean what they mean, not 'calling the abnormal, normal'.

This story has received more coverage than any other thing that Focus on the Family has done in 30 years. Think about why that is, and you'll get it that the story is ridiculously slanted.

So what is Dobson's issue? That the organization, the We Are Family Foundation, is explicitly an organization that promotes the homosexual agenda. The plan was to distribute 61,000 videos with an accompanying teacher guide that clearly stated that the teacher was to bring up sexual orientation and why it should not be considered immoral or abnormal.

Here's what the media won't point out:

The curriculum booklet that will accompany the "We Are Family" DVD when it is sent to schools in March, for instance, is likely to contain resources for educators seeking to normalize homosexuality. Although that guide has not yet been made public, a 2003 manual, also associated with the "We Are Family" cartoon-character video, offered several exercises for educators that equate homosexuality with immutable characteristics, such as race or gender, and suggest it deserves limitless tolerance and acceptance.

Another previous curriculum posted on the We Are Family Foundation Web site, called "Writing for Change," includes exercises such as:

• Generating a Description - encourages students to discuss the definition of "lesbian."

• Talking About Being "Out" - offers worksheet questions and a discussion of "perceptions of sexual orientation."

• Uncovering Attitudes About Sexual Orientation - explores the impact of "homophobia" and "heterosexism."

• Developing definitions - presents a list of stereotypical definitions, including "compulsory heterosexuality." That is described "the assumption that women are naturally or innately drawn sexually and emotionally toward men, and men toward women; the view that heterosexuality is the "norm" for all sexual relationships."

"The institutionalization of heterosexuality in all aspects of society includes the idealization of heterosexual orientation, romance, and marriage," the guide states. "Compulsory heterosexuality leads to the notion of women as inherently 'weak,' and the institutionalized inequality of power: power of men to control women's sexuality, labor, childbirth and childrearing, physical movement, safety, creativity, and access to knowledge. It can also include legal and social discrimination against homosexuals and the invisibility or intolerance of lesbian and gay existence."

Tom Minnery, vice president of government and public policy at Focus on the Family, said reporters who have mocked Dobson for his comments have deliberately ignored these details in their quest to marginalize a pro-family leader.

"The media is trying to use this SpongeBob nonsense as a smokescreen, because they're not willing to tell the people what's really at stake," he explained. "What's at stake is the forced normalization of homosexuality in the public schools."

Don't we get it? No matter what we think of Dobson, to believe what the mainstream press has to say about any conservative leader is to look with blinders on.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Who Can Know the Mind of God?

I was reading one of my friends' blogs over at Diary of a Palindrome, and this came to mind.

When Mrs Hammer warns me about being careful on the road, or the roof, or in the ring, I almost always reply, "God hasn't put me on this path to take me away in a car wreck/household accident/blow to the head now."

I thought of that because I have friends who live very dangerous lives for Christ. They aren't doing things like protests in D.C., which has little risk, but they are doing dangerous things for Christ. I thought, "Wow, they've already made such an impact. They could go at any moment!"

Who can know the mind of the Almighty? Who can see His purposes? My prayer is that my obedience, random and meager as it may be, is used for mighty works of God, and that He is glorified through my life and death.

That said, I really want my friends, family, and myself to live a real long time. I pray that, too.

A Calming Thought

As I finished up a great discussion with Mark over at the Moderate Liberal, I came to a conclusion worth expressing:

You do not need to believe that evolution is false to be a Christian.

Now, that said, I propose the following question worth consideration, if not response:

Why does anyone need to believe in evolution at all?

What is the benefit? How is the person who believes in evolution any better off than one who does not?

Don't bring the extremist crap into it, either. Anyone is capable of twisting anything to suit or make excuses for their sinful ways. Honestly, how do I, as a human being, benefit from a belief in evolution? What does it give me that I would not otherwise have, that improves either me, or more importantly, how I interact with others?

I would hold that it has none. Thus, if evolution as a macro theory that explains the origins of life and the human species causes problems with your faith, discard it...because following Christ leads one to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control, against which there is no law. If evolution, because it demands that the process be unguided, removes the foundational reason for these in your mind, abandon it entirely. There is no other logical response.

Hillary's New 'Choice' Language

Uptown Girl has a good post on the new, trying-to-be-electable language of Senator CLinton on abortion.

Don't people get it? If the 3-D ultrasound doesn't convince people that it is a baby, not a 'blob of tissue', then they deny the truth.

Support the Troops

By signing this thank you card.

I couldn't find out how many names are on the list so far, but Der Commissar says 9 million. That's about 290 million short of what it should be. In this case, more is always better.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Guess which rookie QB took his team to the Superbowl:

A) Dan Marino

B) Fran Tarkenton

C) Terry Bradshaw

D) John Elway

E) Joe Namath

F) Joe Montana

The answer....

NONE! Of course not! And Ben Roethlisberger is not one of those studs.

The Steel Curtain can only make up for so many interceptions and bad decisions. Yeah, the Bus fumbled. Yeah, the safety bit on the wrong receiver. Yeah, Boston came back from a 3-0 defecit to win a 7 game series for the first time in baseball history...but some things cannot be overcome on the biggest stages in sports - like having a rookie QB.

I think the game was over when that catch-fumble-turnover-personal foul becme an incompletion-personal foul. The next play the Pats scored six. That's when my TV went off.

At least Philly made me 50% right. Too many doubt McNabb. Now we'll see if defense still wins championships.

Incidentally, if you've ever played EA's NCAA Football and you use Notre Dame, have you noticed that they come down the steps and hit the "Play Like A Champion Today" sign, just like in real life? How cool is that!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

In Case You Think the Real Fight is Against Liberals

Here is this week's reminder that reality is otherwise.

My Pet Jawa has a roundup of the latest from the Religion of Peace(c), to include beheadings of police and truckdrivers in what seems to be broad daylight.

Giving up would be the worst thing we could do. Pray for our troops. Many of them are my close, personal friends.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?

For those not in the know, the above song by the beatles was a sort of homily to the joys of LSD. LSD is a hallucinogen, which means you see crazy stuff when you take it.

Perhaps that is what Donald Johanson, the man who discovered "Lucy", was on when he made his assessment. Somehow, in contradiction of what other similarly-minded archaeologists had claimed, Mr. Johanson said that Lucy was the ancestor of humans.

A quick examination of the find shows that he 'built' his model of Lucy from two separate fossil finds, which happened to be 60 to 70 meters [over 200 feet] lower in the strata and two to three kilometers [1.24-1.86 miles] away from each other. Thus the model is immediately suspect. Throw in that many paleontologists (not just creation scientists) believe that Lucy was a knuckle walker, not upright as Johanson claimed, and you have a suspicious position indeed.

So why did Johanson declare that he had found the ancestor to humanity? Three reasons: one, the greater community of anthropologists and paleontologists a actively looking for this evidence. Just as Rather and Mapes were looking for a document smearing President Bush eagerly accepted the fakes, Johanson knew that the evidence would not be given a thorough examination by his peers.

Two, he wanted the recognition, just as the purveyor of Piltdown Man did. Who wouldn't want to be recognized as the one who made perhaps the greatest archeological discovery of our time?

Three, he wanted to prove macroevolution. While I can't find him writing this, we certainly know that if he was a Christian, he wouldn't have made such ridiculous leaps of logic (in this case :)).

Lucy continues to hang around, despite its problems. I had some joker at the Kentucky Academy of Sciences present Lucy information that was wrong and downright deceptive as part of his talk (he was the keynote speaker) on evolutionary psychology. I wasn't willing to bust him out on the podium - I still wanted to win first prize in my division (which I did). Thus, I demonstrate the inherent selfishness of humans in...myself.

Oddly enough, if you type "lucy pygmy chimp" into Google, one of the suggested alternate searches given is "George Bush". Good grief.

UPDATE: Mark effectively kicked me in the mouth on this one. I was foolish to go looking for something when I already had the info on it. I retract my knee 'evidence', as it is dubious at best. Here is the best link for Lucy-debunking I have found to date. Almost all(if not all) of the scientists cited are not creationists. Now, that dosn't mean that they don't believe in evolution - but that they recognize, scientifically, the flaws in Lucy.

Besides, even when evolutionists find out that their theory isn't working, they just change to a new nuance - they never consider discarding macroevolution.

Faith in a theory is not scientific proof. It doesn't mean it isn't true - but don't confuse them.

The 'Liberal's Elevator Pitch'

It seems the American Prospect is holding a contest to see how liberals can define themselves in a way that is a) understood by the average man, and b) doesn't include the words "Bush is Hitler".

I'm curious to see what they come up with, and more curious to see how real it is. After all, if it truly defines what us right-of-center Americans think is liberalism, then we should disagree with it. Right?

Hat tip: Moderate Liberal.

If A, Then B...

The question in the first place is, "Do Faith and Science need each other?" In this case, the answer is no...almost. No understanding of science is required to have faith. However, to believe what science says, you must have faith - in science. That doesn't exclude any other faith, but the problem has arisen because many feel it does.

The short part is how faith uses science. While it is not necessary to know anything scientific to know Christ died for our sins, a knowledge of science does two things - increases our awareness of God and helps to discuss our faith with others who have some understanding of science. Discovering laws of the universe and the incredibly complex and ordered characteristics of our world demonstrate a system of explicit order - not chaos and random changes. Knowing the composition and function of all of the visual system, which would not work if it were missing a single element, demonstrates that these systems had to be ordered by someone! It is why Paul, in his letter to the Romans, wrote:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."

HAC's previously mentioned series on logic, evolution, and science showed this - that when the scientific principles are enforced, we are left to see that science has not validated evolution - at least in the macro, global, origins of life sense. The contention about evolution is not about the scientifically demonstrable part - that species adapt to their environment. It is that, leaving out some details (that are not terribly important, mind you) that life came from nothing, and that men, trees, bacteria, fish, birds, reptiles, etc all came from the same thing. The elephant in the room is the missing transitional forms. Oh, I know you can find textbooks that show a line of 'progression' of creatures that have some similarities to each other. However, the enormous number of random mutations necessary to achieve the number of CORRECT mutation to go from simply Australopithecus ("Lucy") to human are staggering...never mind the number to go from nothing to human. These transitional forms, which should have only one or two slight variations from another known find, would be numerous. In fact, they do not exist. I'll talk more about "Lucy" in an additional post.

So, where faith is declared as science is this: It is not helpful to say that 'Things fall when we drop them because God made the world that way. Therefore we take God temporarily out of the equation in order to understand the working details of gravity - but knowing that 32 ft/s^2 is the acceleration of gravity on earth at sea level does not mean that God did not make it that way. But, starting with the assumption that God cannot effect the universe, we have to find ways to explain that things have happened, and hence, 'prove' that it happened without Him. Thus, you are forced into a faith of atheism. Is it truly any less a leap of faith to believe that mutations in the range of 1x10^223 perfectly worked out to make humans, with no plan or design, when there is not even 1% of the evidence necessary to show that that actually happened?

That is faith, not science. While it is your call to say what you believe, call it what it is.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Faith and Politics - An Addendum

Today I was supposed to on the faith and science's mutual need for each other - but I ran across a story that has me fuming:

Catholic School Slammed for Admitting Sons of Homosexual Couple
By David Thibault Managing Editor
January 05, 2005

( - Twin five-year old boys are at the center of the latest cultural clash in California, following the decision by their parents - two homosexual men -- to enroll the boys in a Catholic school in Costa Mesa.

The superintendent of schools for the Catholic diocese of Orange County has reportedly defended the enrollment of the two boys at St. John the Baptist School, but a prominent conservative group has warned that the homosexual couple's children might try to brainwash their classmates about homosexuality.


Unbelievable. I should note that I have never heard of the "California-based Campaign for Children and Families" so I doubt that it is a "prominent" group (since I follow such things). But what the heck is going on here?

We know that children pay a price for their parents' sins already - think alchololics, felons, child molesters, etc. Why must we punish them too? Where did Christ say to punish the children of sinners? Why should these children be denied an educational environment where they can learn of the love of Christ, something that would not be found in public schools?

Is there any group more in need of the good news of Christ than the children of unrepentant sinners? Must we consign them all to a similar future? I don't know that I've ever seen anything more un-Christian in my life. It's stupid and hateful, words I seldom use to describe anything. How about the school expels the child of these objecting parents, who are acting in an un-Christian manner? Would that make sense? Of course not, and neither does the converse.

I'd say I am speechless, but since I have said a lot, it wouldn't be true. I'd like to show these jokers the reason I earned the nickname "The Hammer" in the boxing ring. Of course, that's not very Christian either - but the targets would be a lot more worthy of attack than these 5-year old children would.

This is a crystal clear example of the almost universally negative consequence of confusing faith with politics or anything else. The group involved likely does a lot of work to counter pro-homosexual activities, some of which may be very good...but this is not. I do not support homosexual marriage, but I don't think we should treat them or their families as anything less than other people - and that is what is happening here.

God help us to see what is truth and what is a lie, and to discern the faithful from the pretenders.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Ah, the Tolerant and Diversity Seeking Left

For those who thought that bigotry somehow made one a conservative Republican, I reference this following example of liberal tolerance.

Look, there are plenty of reasons to dislike Michelle Malkin - or any commentator of any persuasion. This window into the minds of some on the left show that hatred, bigotry and intolerance have plenty of places to stay - and just as many on the left as the right.

C.S. Lewis' first book after his conversion, "The Pilgrim's Regress", has a section that points that out - essentially, that the extreme left and the extreme right are more alike than the moderate left and the extreme left, or moderate right and extreme right.

I intend to send this web page of Malkin's to anyone who comments that I am intolerant when I say ,"Jesus is the Way". Unfortunately, that's happened more than once already.

Hat Tip: The Moderate Liberal

More Election Theft

And this one makes the Washington Governor's vote look tame.

Check it out - Wisconson Vote Fraud over at Michelle Malkin's website.

Hat tip: Ace, who went down right after I saw the link, or he would have gotten the trackback.

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.


I'm going to attempt to load Haloscan for the comments portion of this blog. When someone posts something thoughtful, I like to look at their blog - not their profile (especially when it is blocked!), but I'm not sure how it will translate comments already here.

We'll see shortly...

UPDATE: We have our answer. It killed everyone's comments. Bah. Mark from the Moderate Liberal, Richard Nixon and David Hunley, along with 'kendra' - sorry I don't get to respond to your comments from the past three or four posts - but they were appreciated.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Lance Armstrong

I wonder if he knew that this would happen when he came up with his 'Livestrong' bracelet idea.

Moonbats are buying bracelets to wear that identify them as Kerry voters.

Um, he lost. Who cares?

More From the Religion of Peace

Here we have the peaceful Islamists kidnapping a Catholic Bishop.

Here we have those who seek only understanding murdering a family of four in New Jersey - that's NEW JERSEY, USA - whose father had spoken out against Islam on the web, and been threatened with death because of it.

Look, I recognize that all religions have extremeists who use violence. However, compare and contrast the 'religion of peace' with the religion of the Prince of Peace.

Mohammed: Married a child, used violence to obtain his aim of Arab unity.
Koran: Advocates violence against all non-Muslims by Moslems.

Jesus: Celibate prophet who healed the sick and crippled, who never was violent except when he drove the money changers out of the temple.
New Testament: Never advocates violence of any kind.

It couldn't be clearer. These are not just 'different paths', they are serving different gods.

Let's see if these are on the MSM.

The C.S. Lewis Road to Theism currently being traipsed down at Hot Abercrombie Chick.

I doubt many of the readers realize that HAC is heading that way. Take the time to read that post and the ones in support of it, and comment. HAC does a great job of responding to comments.

However, don't say "you're hot" or some similar inanity. Not only do I think that HAC is not who it claims to be, you also eliminate your credibility instantly.

Mammon is in Everything that is not Truth

Probably the single greatest reason for the entanglement of politics into both faith and science is ... money.

Both institutions require money for their operations, and both consist of people, which have a unique attraction to money among the creatures of the earth.

Consider this: for a scientific organization to receive government funding, it needs to be accredited by specific agencies. These agencies have political views, and those are included in their assessments. Example - my position on the current evolution/intelligent design debate is that neither can ever be scientifically proven true. However, an institution that teaches intelligent design as ascendent will not be accredited by the big dollar agencies - and therefore will not receive government funding. On an individual level, an article which proposed evolution as not scientifically correct is challenged indeed to get published in a leading scientific journal - which is necessary for tenure and job advancement. Hence, the dollar drives the experimental results for politically controversial issues.

Similarly, those churches which threatened to leave the Episcopal Church of the USA due to the selection of Vicki Gene Robinson (a priest who had left his wife for another man) as a bishop were told that they would lose their church building and land, since it belongs to the ECUSA. Very few churches actually made the jump - many more had groups of members who left the church and either went to another denomination or established their own church. Again, the influence of money is clear in determining what faith appears to say about a politically controversial subject.

Despite the negative influence of money on faith and science (can it be anything but negative?), the areas in which they tread - beyond their precepts which with no one honest argues - are benefited by the infusion of the other into them. That's next.

UPDATE: I had it pointed out that Bishop Robinson did not leave his wife for another man. Bishop Robinson, and it seems his wife, agree on this. However, by my counting, his 'committed homosexual relationship' began less than a year after his divorce was final. What would we think if a man left his wife, "it's not you, it's me, blah blah blah", and was remarried a year later?

Simply put, a man whose word is not good enough in something as important as his marriage is not going to be believed after he is shown to be untrustworthy - particularly if he is a moral relativist.

What If Clinton Did This?

Mark over at The Moderate Liberal has an an idea.

Basically, when he is irritated with something President Bush has done, he put's President Clinton in the article in question instead, and judges his reaction.

It's a brilliant idea, though it is hard for the human mind to overcome the fact that even when we attempt to be objective, we cannot be 100% so, especially when we already know we are engaging in self deception. I do think his idea is worth using for all of us. If you are a Bush supporter, do the same thing and see if the article irritates you at all.

I think the measure is not, "Do I find this action still acceptable/unacceptable", but actually, "Is my opinion of this action moderated or shifted at all by changing the name?"

I'd say that if your opinion moves an iota, your (or my) opinion is more likely based upon partisanship than not.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Faith of a Mustard Seed

While I believe I have laid out a reasonable critique of the role of politics and social pressure in influencing science, I don't want to imply that faith as we see it is any less susceptible - and for the same reasons.

If we start with the faith that more people claim to have (and the operative word in this sentence is claim) in the U.S., Christianity, we can immediately see the wavering of faith. The number of denominations is truly staggering, and while I want to think that it is merely due to preferences in conduct of wroship service, I know better. The denominations fight over central vs. individual church authority, over the version of Bible to be used, over the role of church in society, over candles on altars, over weekly vs monthly communion, and over ministry vs. evangelism. The issues that churches split over are as serious as the depravity of the minister to the petty as whether a hymnal or overhead projector is used for songs. In all of this is lost the meaning of Christianity in the first place:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

Christ would have a tough time being received today, too. The American Family Association (which I financially support, despite this) is 'taking a stand' against illegal immigration and the President's plan. What does this have to do with the church of Christ or families? I happen to be more in agreement with the AFA than against in this case, but once again confusing cultural conservatism with Christianity further dilutes the message and chases away those most in need of mercy.

To quote Bennan Manning, "Something is radically wrong when the church rejects a person accepted by Jesus: when a harsh, unforgiving and judgmental sentence is passed on homosexuals; when a divorcee is denied communion; when the child of a prostitute is denied baptism; when an unlaicized priest is denied the sacraments. Jesus comes to the ungodly, even on Sunday morning. His coming ends ungodliness and makes us worthy." Doing otherwise makes faith a list of cultural precepts which deny the foundation of it.

Why is faith corrupted by politics? Because the issue at hand has nothing to do with faith, but those engaged in the corruption of it dearly want their side of the issue to be infused with the truth of faith and the authority it would thereby have - just like the corruption of science.

Hmm. It seems I have far more that I wish to write than any human would read in one post. I'll jump back into science and faith as political in that order one more time each, then finally answer the question - Do they need each other?

Black Helicopters and the Shadow Government of Microsoft

Have you tried to do anything in Blogger using Netscape? It's bloody impossible. Of course, my dial-up connection won't let me run XP SP 2, so it's a struggle regardless. Fill in communist chant in support of Netscape and against Bill Gates here/

Friday, January 14, 2005

Do They Need Each Other?

That is, does science need faith to establish its validity or does faith need science for the same? Again, the question is one of perspective and purpose, not definition.

For example, the force of gravity requires neither an acceptance nor a refutation of belief in a creator to be established as true. Science, properly done, is based upon an experimental proof of a hypothetical construct. The scientific method is used to achieve this properly. Something that a student of academia should notice is that the farther one gets from 'hard' science, the farther we also get from true applicaiton of the scientific method - and the closer we get to a kind of faith. Allow me to expand:

In the study of science, experiments are conducted to determine if a hypothesis is true. In any experiment, there is a likelihood of the occurence happening due to chance. Because of that, there has to be an established measure that states what that likelihood of chance occurence is allowed to be in order for the tested hypothesis to be declared true.

In Physics, we conduct experiments with an acceptable level of chance occurrence of 1 in 20,000,000. That means that there the hypothesis is declared to be true if it could be achieved by accident only 1 time out of 20 million, or an alpha of .0000005.

In Psychology, we also conduct experiments, but the acceptable level of accidental occurrence is usually 1 in 20, or and alpha of .05! On one level this makes sense, because humans are far less predictable than the top quark. On the other hand, it leads to numerous changes in how the field feels about subjects, since accidental 'proofs' are much more common.

Even worse, 'soft' sciences are prone to influence by politics and social pressures. Prior to 1970, homosexual behavior was classified as abnormal according to DSM-II, the manual for clinical psychologists. After violent demonstrations by homosexual advocacy groups outside the convention for the American Psychological Association (APA), the APA had it removed from the list. Homosexuality occurs in less than 3% of Americans, according to the Lamba Legal Defense Fund's brief in Lawrence v. Texas. As it is under 5%, it should be classified as a different set of behavior than the norm, by psychology's own standards. That was not the politically acceptable behavior for the APA, so they continue to condend that homosexuality is 'normal' behavior.

Thus, whether we agree or not, we see how 'science' is subverted to an agenda, and in effect, requires a kind of faith to justify it - a faith that what the scientific community in question says is true is, in fact, true. Why? Because what 'science' is declaring is not in accordance with the data examined and the standards for evaluating it.

Unfortunately, faith is equally susceptible.

Next: Faith and politics

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Faith and Science - Mutually Exclusive?

HAC had a multi-post discussion on evolution, and it inspired me to address it from a different perspective. Are religious faith and science mutually exclusive? Can you be a true believer in a religion and also accept all scientific data?

I think there are several angles to this. As a holder of a BS in Chemistry w/a minor in Mechanical Engineering, I know some science. One of the biggest differences about science and faith is this - as time passes, science seems to change its answers often, while faith does not.

Of course, one has to keep in mind what these monikers 'science' and 'faith' really mean. If by science we mean the actual chemical elements in a substance, or the speed of sound, or the amount of torsion required to stress an iron rod until it breaks, then science is constant. Also, if we mean what a religion's followers have to say about a certain religion's view on a subject, then faith changes.

But those are not of what we speak. I speak of exactly the opposite - science as what a body of people conclude about evidence and its implications and faith's enduring legacy of the founder of a religion.

Why those aspects? Because it is exactly those aspects that compose what people believe are the essence of science or faith. Few people believe that the crusades are the essence of Christianity. Even less know the chemical composition of 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (but they know what Ecstasy is!)

You see, if we take the constant aspects of science and faith, or the changing aspects of science and faith, we get the same answer - it doesn't matter what you agree with, because the truth (Jesus is the Way or one mole of atoms = 6.022x10^23 atoms) never changes. Those things that are not the truth change with societal whims - and those who buy into those changes do it for a specific reason: they don't like the truth.

Thoughts? I'll expand over the next few days, but this post is plenty log enough.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Bachelorette

OK, I fell for it.

Mrs. Hammer loves the Bachelor/Bachelorette series. I tolerate them with "Rome: Total War" on the laptop. I saw the current Bachelorette when she 'won' her shot at the Bachelor. And she snowed me, too.

My impression of Jenn was that she was a generally nice girl with a good heart and pretty face.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

She is vapid. She may be intelligent, but her selection of suitors was based almost entirely upon looks, as was evident in her discussions with her buddies. Then her friends had to caution her about sex. Good grief. Perhaps old Andrew was fooled by her as well, thinking that she was someone who put important things first.

I don't even want to see this one, knowing already what I do about Jenn. However, time in the same room as Mrs. Hammer is pretty darn important to me, so I'll suck it up. Don't expect any more comments from me on it, though. Or on Jenn/Brad. I wouldn't even have known about their breakup if I hadn't read other blogs. My mistake.

State Sanctioned Beheadings

Islam is a religion of peace?

My butt.

Note that the execution was under Sharia law.

If you don't know what that means, you can't talk about it. You also haven't read much of the Koran. I have - not because I am smart or better than anyone, but because I wanted to know what the heck I was talking about.

There's faith...and there's Faith

I have a couple of friends who do missionary work in a place that it is quite prohibited. As such, they are not affiliated with any organization, and rely upon the good Lord to provide to them as necessary along with those friends who have been inspired to do so.

In many ways I envy them. They are on the proverbial 'pointy tip of the spear' in the work of evangelism, by providing physical and spiritual aid to those in need. Also, as my personality is such that I love a challenge, particularly one in the cause of the right (not political right, moral right), I have wanted to do what they do. However, my call is different, and I have wondered why I have not been chosen to do what they do.

Now I know why. I am not worthy.

One of my friends, J, was able to make it to a wedding with me this past weekend. J's life is the embodiment of faith. To wit:

It was $3000 to fly from where he is to the wedding and back. He left his place for the airport with $800 (promised) for a flight that day, on one of the busiest flying days of the year. None of the airlines had a seat. None of the travel agencies had a seat. He somehow was presented with a seat less than an hour before the last flight of the day.

He has, on four separate occasions, not had any food in the house and prayed for food to be provided for his family. Each time it was. They have never missed a meal, despite drawing well under what they need in money every month. There are no charitable organizations supporting his family.

He has been confronted with the physical manifestations of demons, which most of us would scoff at. I would not have believed it from a lesser man, but I do not doubt him one bit. The enemy knows that those of is in the U.S. have other weaknesses besides supernatural forces to worship - like money. I read a line in "Prince Caspian" last night to my son that goes something like this:

"They don't believe in Talking Beasts. They are the same people that do not believe in Aslan, and so you shouldn't be surprised that they do not believe in us."

He has never lied to the authorities about his purposes or used deception to mask them. He has had seemingly impossible situations alleviated through sudden appearances of individuals with the equipment of personality to perfectly alleviate the situation (likely angels).

I was humbled by his faith and acutely aware of how weak my own is. I have been inspired to redouble my efforts at obedience and the seeking of His face. While I may never be called to such a life of faith, there is no good reason to not be ready for it.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Iraq Poll on Likelihood of Voting



The Real Halliburton

Below is an editorial I wrote for the paper on the subject:

Few things irritate me as much as those who use “Halliburton” and “no-bid contract” in the same sentence. Here is how it works:

LOGCAP (Logistics Civil Augmentation Program) is the U.S. Army’s program that sets a contractor up for very-short term mission requirements. As our military was reduced, more services were contracted out. Rather than continually conducting lengthy contracting bids for every service (which take months, and would leave our troops in a bind), the LOGCAP was created in 1992. It is a multiyear contract, with a full contract bidding conducted, that awards the winning company the contract to perform ‘unspecified duties during emergency situations in the future’. This provides our troops with a company that is ready to immediately meet their needs upon demand – a good thing.

Halliburton won the first LOGCAP award in 1992. In 1997, they were outbid by DynCorp. During those years, Brown & Root (Halliburton) did extensive work for the Army under the LOGCAP contract in Haiti, Somalia, and Bosnia; contract workers built base camps and provided troops with electrical power, food, and other necessities. However – the Clinton administration stuck with Brown & Root in the Balkans, because they were pleased with their work. Indeed, Al Gore’s review team lauded the LOGCAP system and Halliburton for their excellent work. In 1999, when LOGCAP was again awarded, the winner was Halliburton. The Bush administration was not involved in any of this.

It is obvious to even the casual observer that, once confronted with the facts, the LOGCAP system is necessary, that Halliburton was not awarded a ‘no-bid contract’, and that anyone who thinks they were is either willfully ignorant or a shill for the wild-eyed left.

Why Do They Pay These Guys?

Did anyone catch the amazing display of coaching skills (or actually, the lack thereof) on Saturday, by coaches with lots of experience? "Let's see, I'm down by three in overtime, it's raining, my kicker has made one of five from the hash mark all year and is a rookie, so should I count on him?" Of course not.

Unless you are Marty Schottenheimer, that is. He runs the ball three times up the middle and settles for a 40-yd field goal attempt under the above circumstances. Of course, it misses. You're fired.

Then we have the Seahawks' receivers. Has anyone ever seen a worse group? My church flag football team catches better than that. These guys' JOB is to catch the football. They don't have to be good blockers, tacklers, or passers - just catch the ball. They haven't done it all year, and sure as heck didn't do it Saturday. Pathetic. Pop Warner ball has better receivers, and they only throw once a game. Whose fault is it? Mike Holmgren, who allows his receivers to be crummy all year long. Look, I know the NBA players are out of control, but are football coaches softies now, too? Was he scared to make them practice more, to make them carry a football around with them all the time, to smoke them like a cheap cigar doing wind sprints for every dropped pass? They sucked, and all of them should be released - immediately. Plus, five illegal contact penalties? Holmgren should be made to find a new job as well. The Chargers should be looking for someone.

Holmgren and Schottenheimer are experienced hands - Schottenheimer has never won the big one. Holgren won the big one at Green Bay, but is 0-for-the-playoffs at Seattle. They have no excuse.

The Seahawks will never win a championship. Nor will the Sonics. Or the Mariners. Or Wazzou. Washington's National Championship was split, so it doesn't count. It sucks to be a fan of Washington State sports, I'd guess. Here's to you.

The Colts' game was not worth discussing, just an old fashioned woodshed beating. The Pack's collapse? I'll let the Catholic Packer Fan cover that.

CPF's Game Review

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Three Days Out

I'll be in VA at a wedding through Saturday, so I won't post until then. Cheers!

The Big 12

is so overrated.

I predicted this blowout. My father-in-law is a USC alum, and while he is by no means objective, he is a realist, and thought the same thing. Yes, I know that Texas squeaked by Michigan in the Rose Bowl, but overall the Big 12 plays no one but themselves. Look at the non-conference opponents of the top three teams in the Big 12:

Oklahoma - Bowling Green, Houston, Oregon
Texas - North Texas, Rice, Arkansas
Texas Tech - SMU, New Mexico (loss), TCU

We have exactly two teams from BCS conferences on these schedules - Oregon and Arkansas, both of whom had sub-500 years, and are not to be confused with the Cal/USC or Florida/Tennessee of their respective conferences.

Where is the Big Ten, Big East, or ACC team worth playing? Notre Dame? A top school from a mid-major conference, like Louisville? The Big 12 are a bunch of pansies when it comes to scheduling. Yes, I know that Texas and TT won their bowl games. That doesn' t make 'em less of a pansy schedule team.

A Lesson Learned

I like to click the 'Next Blog' button in the upper right hand corner of any blogger/blogspotblog (usually mine) and see where it leads. Sometimes its a blog that has morphed into an automated advertisement, sometimes it is in a foreign language, and sometimes it is some non-spelling teenager ranting. However, there are some really neat blogs out there too - it's how I found the Catholic Packer Fan. My last foray was...less neat.

I stumbled into "Digby's Blog" and saw a post trashing groups such as the American Family Association and Focus on the Family, complete with a misquoted Bible verse. I mentioned the verse was wrong and that those groups are not disaster relief groups, but that Christian groups who do relief efforts were on the ground right away (the accusation was that the Christian Right did not care). What a mistake.

The denizens of that site are DUers, I'd guess. The responses were venomous, curse-filled accusations, which you can read yourself if you like. I clarified my statement, corrected an error, and said goodbye. I suppose they'll be congratulating themselves on running me off. Those facing the dark side of the cave not only don't want to turn to the light, but also don't want to be told about the light.

Lesson - know where you are. If I would have perused the site a bit more I would have seen indicators (like saying that the media is right-wing!) of who was there, and not posted. I'll not make that mistake again!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Rumsfeld Examined

Lately, the Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Donald Rumsfeld, has been a subject of controversy. Well, let’s be honest, he’s been a lightning rod for criticism ever since he took over. While the reasons for his critics to attack him have varied over his time in the cabinet, the latest controversies seem to come from the angle that Secretary Rumsfeld does not really care about the troops. The two current angles are the autopen and the armor. If you’re not familiar with them, here are the necessary details. First, the autopen. Apparently, the family of every service member killed in combat zones receives a letter of condolence from Secretary Rumsfeld’s office. It seems that he does not actually sign them himself, but uses an autopen to have it done automatically. Critics say that this shows he does not really care about the families of these servicemembers. The armor controversy is not so much over armor as it was over an answer to a soldier’s question about armor. When Secretary Rumsfeld was asked why every vehicle did not have extra armor, he told the soldier that “We go to war with the Army we have.” This answer was interpreted simultaneously as a confirmation that the U.S. ‘rushed to war’ and as glib and unfeeling. In a case such as this, shouldn’t someone ask how soldiers feel about these issues?

In most cases involving politics, I can’t have a publicly expressed opinion. As the Secretary of Defense is in my chain of command, I must express full support for him and his policies. However, while the vast majority of the Secretary’s critics have no real investment in him or consequences to endure because of his actions – and who are already anti-administration and not to be viewed as objective in the first place – soldiers have a dog in that fight. Here’s what most of us think:

We really don’t care who the Secretary of Defense is. He’s an advisor to the president on defense issues, and we hope he has a clue about what he is doing. Secretary Rumsfeld seems to be very well versed on military issues and therefore we are as satisfied with him as we would be with anyone else similarly qualified. Therefore, we fully support him while he is serving.

The autopen controversy is nonsense. No family is any more heartened by a handwritten signature than an autopen. Neither brings back the lost loved one. Neither will be kept on a wall. In fact, it is doubtful that any would be kept at all. Compared to the Viet Nam era telegram delivered by a telegram delivery person, an autopen letter from the Secretary of Defense is super. However, handwritten or not, it still comforts no one, aids no one, and helps no one. This controversy is fabricated by those who seek to use anything to bash the administration – so let it go.

The armor controversy? I think the Secretary went easy on the soldier. Even without considering that the question was planted by a reporter – the answer is correct. There has never been an army in any conflict that has armored all of its vehicles. It isn’t a practical method of force protection. People might think, “but shouldn’t we do everything we can to protect the troops?” We’d love that – but the fact is that the answer to that is just like the answer to those pundits who ask if we’ve done everything we can to prevent another terrorist attack – no we haven’t, because no one will tolerate doing everything, mostly because no one wants to pay to do ‘everything’. Proper convoy techniques, increased intelligence gathering and elimination of terrorist cells are all much more efficient and better for the long term fight. That soldier already knew the answer to the question. The answer that another soldier would have given him would have been similar to what he was told – “Shut up and do your job.”

If You Can Read This Bumper Sticker...

It’s over. It’s hard to fathom after over a year of news, rumors, campaigning and advertising, but the election of 2004 is six weeks over by now. Unfortunately, some people won’t let go.

You’ve seen them. They have four stickers on their car, but what is on them can vary. It might be “W, the President”, “W ‘04”, “Bush-Cheney ‘04”, and “Bush-Cheney Farm/Ranch Team”. On the other hand, and unfortunately, more likely, they say, “Kerry-Edwards ‘04”, “No Blood for Oil”, “War is Terrorism”, and “Kucinich for President”.

To quote a certain loser of a recent election, “Wake up, America!” In this case, it should actually be, “Wake up, political junkies!” The rest of us have had more than our fill of signs, ads, phone calls, solicitations, direct mail and internet updates to last us at least until 2008. I’ll admit that I left my yard sign up for a week after Election Day, just like I did after the governor was elected. I figured that the supporters of the winners get a week of showing that they supported the winner – but that the loser’s signs should come down that day. I also left my bumper stickers on my car for about two weeks – more due to laziness than anything else. Really, what’s the use of having a political ad for the elections of November the 2nd on your property on December the 10th?

Our publicly displayed messages on our property tell others about us. Some show our sense of humor: “If you’re rich, I’m single”, or, “If you can read this sticker, back off!”. Others show our strong beliefs in our values: “Jesus is the Way”, “Save the whales”, and “Proud to be an American”. Some of our messages indicate our desire to encourage others to support a cause: “Support our troops” or "KLOVE 89.9". Then, of course, there are those that identify us as possible nut jobs: “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead, fingers”, “Witches for separation of church and state”, and “BusHitler”.

Don’t’ we realize what the messages are that we are sending – or do we not care? A political sticker with the winner’s name on it, at this point, indicates that we are lazy. Also, normal political stickers, “Kerry-Edwards ‘04” or “Dr. Dan Mongiardo, U.S. Senate”, likely indicates the same. So get your putty knife, the Gum-Off, and remove that bold label of laziness from your car, truck, or SUV. If we want to be taken seriously, we have to at least keep up with the calendar.

Oh, and if you still have one of those “Re-Defeat Bush” stickers on your car, just leave it. We benefit from knowing who you are ahead of time.

Crime and Punishment

The inmate populations are up, and crime rates are down. That’s the great news from recent Justice Department statistics. There are a number of reasons for this trend.

First, courts have been getting tougher on crime, resulting in an increased number of convicted criminals being sent to prison: 615,400 in 2002, up from 522,000 in 1995. Also, the average prison term has increased to 30 months, up from 23 months over the same period. These have contributed to crime rates either dropping or remaining steady each year since

Additionally, legislatures across the country have instituted laws making it harder for criminals to walk out of court with only a slap on the wrist. These measures include mandatory minimum sentencing laws, which require inmates to serve some of their time actually behind bars; truth-in-sentencing laws, which required an inmate to actually serve the time he was sentenced to; and a variety of three-strikes laws that increase the penalties for repeat offenders.

Oddly enough, some can’t see that putting criminals in prison and keeping them there leads to lower crime rates. In a November 8th New York Times article, Fox Butterfield writes that “the number of inmates in state and federal prisons rose 2.1 percent last year, even as violent crime and property crime fell, according to a study by the Justice Department”. He then continues to comment that if crime rates are falling, that inmate populations should be decreasing, and therefore, something is very, very wrong. He even asks an FBI agent to “explain the paradox of a falling crime rate but a rising prison population”.

Could it be – that because the criminals are going to prison and staying there, that they are not able to commit crimes, and because of that, the crime rate is dropping? Look at the facts: overall violent crime arrests dropped 16 percent in the last ten years, including a huge drop of 36 percent in arrests for murder and a 25 percent decrease in arrests for robbery. Average inmate age has also increased over the same period, with the proportion of inmates in the 40 to 54-yr age range increasing since 1995. This is an indicator that violent criminals are going to prison and staying there into their late middle-ages, and not being quickly paroled. With these criminals off of the streets, crime rates are dropping because there are fewer criminals in the free population.

People who commit violent crimes against individuals and society have lost their right to freedom, and the government’s duty to protect its citizens demands tough laws and tough enforcement. The results of increased vigilance in this area are a marked drop in the crime rate all over the country and increased inmate population. While we must ensure that justice is meted out with due regard for individual rights, complaining about the successful prosecution and punishment of criminals is counterproductive. Instead of searching for conspiracy theories and inventing governmental oppression, we should perhaps spend our time enjoying the lower crime rates – and get out more.

Ending the Insanity

OK, there have been two very positive events that any accidental reader will be glad of.

1) I have stopped playing NCAA Football on the PS2. This means that my recent string of video game posts is ended, and is a result of...

2) My wife gave me "Rome: Total War" for Christmas. Since the game is waaaay to complex to retell in a blog, everyone is now 95% certain that a post on a given day will not involve video game talk.

Since I have posted little lately, I have decided to add three posts of substance. I am a sometime commentator on a local radio station, and have decided to post my commentaries here as well. They are written to say, instead of read, so they are a little less eloquent than they could be. Let me know what you think!

Oh, I also am adding the aforepromised picture of Mrs. Hammer, in a cheap attempt to get more hits. You have to admit, she is worthy of her name!