Wednesday, November 01, 2006


(I’m going to do a few posts on illegal immigration because it’s been bothering me lately. I’ll be doing them in parts though because lazy. So with out further comment I give you part one)

What’s with Lou Dobbs?

Is this man the most blatant racist in American media? I mean sure guys like Spike Lee and Kanye West work hard to spread their racist messages, but this guy is out of control. I don’t even have a TV, but everywhere I look I see this guy’s mug telling me how evil illegal immigrants are. He’s given us a detailed report on the conspiracy by the evil Mexican government to ship evil Mexicans over the border so evil companies can hire them and evil landlords can house them, only to have all the evil Mexicans evilly send all their evil money back to the evil Mexican lands so we can’t have any of it.

Dbackdad made a nice post about some of his experiences with some xenophobes a while back here. His post focused on the racial fears of the immigration issue. In these posts I’d like to focus on the financial issues with immigration, the tremendous “cost of illegal immigration” that Mr. Dobbs insists our own Government and big businesses are covering up.

The most popular claim by the anti-immigrant crowd seems to be that illegal immigrants are stealing our jobs. This fear is based on the incorrect notion that there are a fixed number of jobs available. That if we increase the number of employees in a marketplace, the number of jobs available to other people will go down. This is completely untrue. In fact the opposite is true. All of the immigrants come here and instantly become consumers. They eat, they drive cars, they buy entertainment, and they live in houses and apartments. Each need they bring requires a workforce to satisfy it. In fact it is estimated that one job is created for every consumer in America. So the supposed jobs that are being stolen are being offset by the jobs they create at a rate of 1:1. And that’s assuming that every immigrant that crosses the border is working, which in the case of families with small children is obviously not true. So it’s easy to assume that immigrants actually produce more jobs than they “steal.”

Another popular claim is that illegals flood the market with cheap labor. To this I say, “Good!” Cheap labor means cheaper products and services for the end consumer. Cheaper labor also offsets the negative effects that our stupid minimum wage laws on our poor. The fact of the matter is there is not such thing as “cheap” labor. Labor is worth what employees and employers agree on.

Well that’s about it for now. Comment as needed. Rinse. Repeat.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

lol blog

So it's been a while.

Just to recap a few things that happened while I was away for those who don't wander over the Crystals' blog all that much, my 60GB iPod was stolen and the transmission on my Elantra went out yesterday. Sooo, bad (read: expensive) week or so.

Caught up? Good.

Um, in other news I watched an episode of South Park for the first time recently. I watched it because it dealt with 9/11 conspiracy theories and there's nothing I like more than people making fun of idiots. Well that's not true, there are other things I like more such as Twizzlers, music, and people NOT STEALING MY IPOD, ACTUALLY, BTW!!!!!!!!!!!oneoneone

At any rate, it's a notoriously crude show and it certainly lived up to it's reputation, but at the same time I found some of the humor to be pretty intelligent and the moral of the story was spot on. It's basically very similar to how I felt about Team America.

The elections are coming up soon and Illinois finally has a Libertarian candidate for Governor. He's a write in, since the Libertarian party in Illinois is not very organized, but it's good enough for me. I was afraid I was going to have to vote for the Green party candidate, but that wasn't something I really wanted to do. Still, it would have been better than wasting my vote on a Republican or a Democrat. Anyway, his name is Mark McCoy and if you live in Illinois please consider writing his name on your ballot. He's even got a sweet MySpace page. Whatever you do, please don't waste your vote by voting for one of these goofs.

I suppose that's enough for now. Hopefully this will get me back in the rhythm of updating this thing a bit more consistently.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

BOOYAKASHA!! Hijacked again bro!

YO YO YO!!!!! You bes' start respekkin' your 2 reader peeps and get to steppin' on writIN a new post yo!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The reason I haven't been blogging lately

In other news it was raining in my dinning room last nite, which I think is probably a bad thing.

More insightful commentary later. Maybe after this one last turn...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006

lol packers

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The theft of your private property

From Lysander Spooner's No Treason in 1870:

It is true that the theory of our Constitution is, that all taxes are paid voluntarily; that our government is a mutual insurance company, voluntarily entered into by the people with each other; that each man makes a free and purely voluntary contract with all others who are parties to the Constitution, to pay so much money for so much protection, the same as he does with any other insurance company; and that he is just as free not to be protected, and not to pay tax, as he is to pay a tax, and be protected.

But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: "Your money, or your life." And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.

The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a "protector," and that he takes men's money against their will, merely to enable him to "protect" those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful "sovereign," on account of the "protection" he affords you. He does not keep "protecting" you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands.

He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villanies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.

It should be noted that Spooner was an anarchist. I am not, but find his assemsment of taxation spot on.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


LEAP is a coalition of judges, district attorneys, law enforcement officers and other government officials who support ending prohibition of illegal narcotics for principled and intelligent reasons. Watch the video with an open mind. Remember, there are very few people in the anti-prohibition camp that think drugs are a great thing. Personally, not only have I never done drugs, I don't drink or smoke. I think they are all pretty lame habits. However, the way we choose some drugs to be legal and some to be illegal is extremely illogical.

Again, let's make this clear. NO ONE IS SAYING DRUGS ARE GOOD. We're talking about prohibition here, not the benefits of a chemically induced temporary high.

So what are the reasons for making them illegal?

1. Drugs are unhealthy!

Indeed they are. So is alcohol and so are cigarettes. So it might be said, "Ban them too!" But then where are we drawing our lines? Do we ban all unhealthy food as well? Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, isn't it? We need to protect people from themselves! Okay, what else? Driving? After all, accidents are the leading cause of death in persons between the ages of 15 and 24. How many lives can we save each year by eliminating cars? Come on, we've got a moral obligation to protect our citizens!

I think the logical flaw in banning things for being unhealthy is obvious. We, as informed Americans, ought to have the right to put in our bodies whatever we see fit. We all know the risks of alcohol and cigarettes and make our choices accordingly. Personally, I think doing drugs would be a bad choice, but would admit to doing other unhealthy well knowing the risks. Our bodies belong to us and ought not be regulated by George Bush, Bill Clinton, or any other politician.

2. Drugs are morally wrong!

Drugs being legal or not is not a testament or approval from the citizens to go ahead and use them. The idea that we should ban "bad" things is the whole reason we're in the legislative mess that we are in. The US Constitution (you'll remember that as the document that established our Government) affords no authority to Congress to ban consumables based on any moral principle. The longer we go on attributing moral value to inanimate objects (drugs for the right, guns for the left) instead of the people using them BASED ON THEIR DEEDS, the longer we allow the Government to abuse its authority. The Government has a job defined by its Constitution and that job is not the mindless banning of "wrong" things, it is the banning of things which violate our inalienable rights as defined by the Constitution (such as theft, murder, fraud... things people SHOULD be thrown in jail for, but often aren't because of prison overpopulation due to drug convictions).

3. People who abuse drugs become a danger to others.

I think a lot of this thought comes from propaganda that has been forced down our throats from a very young age. In an effort to curtail drug use the Government, for admittedly noble intentions, has funded a mass campaign to inform us of all the terrible things that drugs make a person do. This notion that drugs make people do wrong things is mostly without scientific research, and if you think about it most of us know that the violence associated with drugs has to do with those selling them, not those taking them. However, for the sake of argument let's suppose someone does do a terrible act under the influence of cocaine. Say murder. Isn't the act of murder already illegal? And if cocaine inherently makes a man want to murder isn't that going to happen if cocaine is legal or not? Obviously banning cocaine hasn't stifled it's popularity. Drug use in teens is UP since the inception of the Drug War. So this is happening anyway, but a crime is a crime. Murder is murder with or without drugs. Rape is rape with or without drugs.

In fact, I would argue that the legalization of ALL drugs would empower our police forces to better investigate these types of violent crimes. As it stands, roughly 40% of our police force nation wide is dedicated to drug enforcement. Those 40% should be on the street patrolling, not behind desks planning the next big raid. Response times for police calls would go up, the ability of police to deal with large scale crisises would go up, patrols of "bad" parts of town would be more practical, and the manpower to keep the real crime in check would be more plausible.

If someone is able to use drugs without doing any of these crimes, they are no danger and should not be locked up. The pursuit of said individuals is pointless as the very act of illegalizing drug possession is the primary reason people who are drug addicts disobey the law.

Let's look at a few other benefits that would almost immediately take place with the legalization of all narcotics.

A) It would immediately eliminate the black market. Money is power and the power is currently in the hands of street gangs. For those of us near major metropolitan areas we hear monthly reports of children caught in a gang war crossfire. Where did the money for those guns come from? Our drug laws. What are they fighting over? Who sells what to who. Put the drugs in the hands of pharmacists and take the money out from under street thugs.

B) It would eliminate the international drug manufacturing industry. This seems pretty self explanatory. Cocaine should be made in a factory by men in white coats, not by 8 year olds with machine guns pointed at their backs. Take the money away from drug lords and put it in the hands of responsible business men. I think even a leftie would agree with me that a corporate CEO is better than a violent drug lord. Right?

Long term effects?

The demographics of drug use would change. See, before prohibition of illegal narcotics, recreational users of these drugs were mainly upper class citizens who had expendable incomes. While we still see that today, we see an epidemic of poor users. This is because drug peddlers in the black market know hooking the poor user establishes them a wider, more potent criminal base of people who are more desperate. Poor people cannot afford the habit but since they are hooked young by teenage dope dealers hoping to earn a quick buck, they get stuck in a cycle of addiction. On the other hand, drug use amongst adults who can afford the product would rise, it is very likely that drug use amongst youngsters and the poor will drop noticeably. This of course creates a different drug use environment than what you see today.

That doesn't even begin to get into the racial implications of our drug laws, which I suppose entire books can be written on. The fact is though, that we incarcerate more people than any other industrialized nation. Most of our jails are overflowing, not because of violent crime, but because of victimless drug crimes. And the mass majority of these people are black. At the same time our drug laws have given uneducated poor black men a way to beat the system. They rise out of poverty through the black market and give younger children something to look up to. Hard work and dedication? No, violence and blood money. Which has become somewhat of a culture, hasn't it?

All thanks to banning something we don't like.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Good ol' fashion nonsense!

I can hardly believe I just read this story.

I owe some people responses in the previous post, I know. Until then, read this story and mourn the death of common sense with me.

Rep. Harris: Church-state separation 'a lie'

MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris told a religious journal that separation of church and state is "a lie" and God and the nation's founding fathers did not intend the country be "a nation of secular laws."

The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will "legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage.

Harris made the comments -- which she clarified Saturday -- in the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, which interviewed political candidates and asked them about religion and their positions on issues.

Separation of church and state is "a lie we have been told," Harris said in the interview, published Thursday, saying separating religion and politics is "wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."

"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris said.
Her comments drew criticism, including some from fellow Republicans who called them offensive and not representative of the party.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, who is Jewish, told the Orlando Sentinel that she was "disgusted" by the comments.

Harris' campaign released a statement Saturday saying she had been "speaking to a Christian audience, addressing a common misperception that people of faith should not be actively involved in government."

The comments reflected "her deep grounding in Judeo-Christian values," the statement said, adding that Harris had previously supported pro-Israel legislation and legislation recognizing the Holocaust.

Harris' opponents in the GOP primary also gave interviews to the Florida Baptist Witness but made more general statements on their faith.

Harris, 49, faced widespread criticism for her role overseeing the 2000 presidential recount as Florida's secretary of state.

State GOP leaders -- including Gov. Jeb Bush -- don't think she can win against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in November. Fundraising has lagged, frustrated campaign workers have defected in droves and the issues have been overshadowed by news of her dealings with a corrupt defense contractor who gave her $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Nature of Man

I believe I have a somewhat diverse blog readership, and I rather like it. There used to be a man who linked to me who was decidedly gay, I don’t know how he found my blog or why he decided he liked it but I really appreciated the support. That was a while ago though and I don’t think he checks back here even though I think the link is still up.

I am a Christian, which (I think often times unjustly) tends to get people labeled as intolerant. However, the Libertarian in me is accepting of all races, cultures, and life styles that don’t victimize others or prey on people weaker than themselves. I also don’t think there’s any need for evangelism in America. We’ve all heard the story and those who believe it, do. There’s no way to ever make a person believe in something. You can make them agree, or even want to believe, but you can never convince someone to believe.

Not only that, but I have friendships with several atheists. I count them among some of my closest friends and there are several that I respect and admire more than many self-professing Christians. I find that in general atheists are more prone to logic and reason than Christians. Christians are prone to say things like, “God said it and so I believe it!” This, in and of itself, is not terrible logic. However, it’s usually used in reference to something that they believe, yet God never said. Furthermore, it’s used as a shield against logic and critical thought, which is exactly what God calls us to.

To that effect I’ve kept this blog pretty nonreligious I think. I don’t have links up to religious affiliations. I don’t typically promote religious ideas or suggest others do. For the most part I don’t have much respect for organized religion because it depends on the power and wisdom of Man, of which I have very little faith.

However, I am going to post now on a decidedly religious issue. In doing so I will be referencing the Bible, but not only that but also our ability to reason that I think even an agnostic can agree with. The issue I’d like to examine is the idea that we, as humans, have what is commonly known as a sinful nature. It is my position that such a thing does not exist. That, in fact, our nature is one that seeks to please God, not one that is inherently opposed to him.

There are several arguments against my line of thinking, and I’d go so far as to say the vast majority of Christians hold to the doctrine of Sinful Nature, though not always in the full fashion that Calvin himself did. Though consistently in my life I’ve talked to people about this doctrine (once my neighbor went so far as to invite his pastor over to correct my thinking) I’ve never been able to find a logical and biblical argument for it.

Logically, the argument for Sinful Nature usually revolves around the fact that, indeed, we all sin. This sin is directly attributed to our nature due to the shear volume. Let’s be clear about this: I’m not claiming that there are those without sin, only that when they do sin they are going against their nature.

Biblically there are two different routes that people will take. The first is to point out scriptures that say we are sinful from birth. I don’t disagree with this, but I will disagree that it is due to our nature. The second is to point out scriptures that actually have the words “sinful nature” in them. This seems logical seeing as the Bible is the inspired word of God and all, but I’d like to examine what is the actually word of God and what is translation based on theology.

The translation in your bible that may say the words ‘sinful nature’ come from the Greek word ‘savrx.’ The word is used 151 times in the New Testament. It is my opinion that it’s correct translation is flesh. This is made obvious by several passages that use it in a very literal way to represent body parts. Many modern translations, The NIV for instance, takes 24 of those instances and changes them to “sinful nature.” However, the phrase sinful nature never appears in the Greek text.

In fact let’s look at the Greek word for ‘nature’. It’s ‘fuvsiß’ and it’s used just 11 times in the New Testament. Each and every time it’s used it in reference to man’s nature it says that our nature is to do what is good. Look them up yourselves. I’ll give you the verses. Ro 1:26, Ro 2:14, Ro 2:27, Ro 11:21, Ro 11:24, 1Co 11:14, Ga 2:15, Ga 4:8, Eph 2:3, Jas 3:7 , 2Pe 1:4. That’s a list of EVERY verse in the New Testament that has the Greek word for ‘nature’ in it. I’ve not omitted any to prove my point. I'll post a few verses that are relevant to this discussion:

Romans 1:26: For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature...

Here Paul is describing some vile passions and appeals to nature itself for the argument against it.

Romans 2:14: (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law...

Here Paul makes a case that Gentiles that do not have Jewish Law taught to them still make an attempt to adhere to those laws (murder, stealing, etc.) Again he claims that the reason they know this is nature.

Now if Paul wanted to tell us we had a sinful nature wouldn’t he say it at least one time? ONE TIME? Was he really that bad of a writer that we need to correct his message with our own translations? Maybe the Holy Spirit just didn’t convey God’s message to him properly. Good thing we have enlightened bible translations to fix that problem!

The correct translation for ‘savrx’ is flesh. As in your body. Your body is not naturally evil; it’s naturally self-serving. "Oh! But Scott, selfishness is evil!" Wrong, not in it's natural state. Your body's natural needs are not evil. It needs to be fed. It needs to sleep. It needs to be touched. It needs emotional exchanges with other people. It needs sexual contact. It needs knowledge. All very natural things. It has all these needs and NONE of them are inherently evil or sinful. However, we can choose to fulfill them all with either godly or ungodly means. And when we make the choice to fulfill them with evil means it’s not because it’s in our nature to do so. It’s against our nature. It’s a perversion. It’s wrong and unnatural, which is why each and every one of us need a savior. After all, if we we’re just following our nature to sin then what exactly would we need to be saved from?

By claiming we have a sinful nature you’re in effect blaming God for your sin, because if we did have a sin nature who would have put it there? God is the only one who could create such a thing. And if God created it, it’s God’s fault that we sin and he would have no right to judge us. In fact if he did give us a sin nature it would be his moral duty to save us and there would be no grace involved.

Furthermore, if the sinful nature came about after Adam, why did Adam sin? And if he got a sinful nature after the fall then some sort of physical change would have taken place in him. And it would require a physical change for any of us to be saved. Why does the Bible never talk about that? There’s not mention of a change in Adam’s nature or a change in your physical makeup after being saved.

What caused Adam to sin is the same thing that causes you and I to sin. The neutral desire to fulfill the needs of the body, and the choice to use evil means to do it. What’s the biblical proof of that? Genesis 3:6:

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.

Why, it looks as though Eve was tempted by the same thing we are tempted by. Pleasing the flesh. The fruit TASTED good. It LOOKED beautiful. It would enhance her WISDOM. All fleshly needs that are not inherently sinful. It’s the same for you and I. And it’s the same for Christ who was tempted by the desires of his flesh but withstood in holiness like no other human being was able to. How silly would Romans 8:3 be if “God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh” was translated, “God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful nature?” You’d agree, I’m sure, that Christ didn’t have a sinful nature. He just had flesh, the same as you and I.

There’s more I could say about this. I’ve thought about it a lot, I’ve pondered it, and I’ve studied it, and I've debated it. To finish I’ll just leave you with this:

If man had a sinful nature than we would have no reason to, as a society, blame him for wrongdoing. Just as we don't blame the tiger killing the zebra, for it is his nature. However man's nature is not to sin, but to please God. This is why we, as a society, call obviously immoral sexual behavior such as pedophilia “perverse”, because it is not “natural.” It is, in fact, against man's very nature.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Book Meme?

I have no idea what meme means but apparently it's similar to tagging.

I hate tagging. :)

1. One book that changed your life? Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Read it the year after I graduated High School. Helped form many of my ideas about what Governments should and shouldn't do and the idea that principles ought to guide man. Plus I never went to college and I've never had a professor explain to me all of the evilness of Capitalism, so this book helped me fall in love with it.

2. One book you have read more than once? Um, I've never read a book more than once. Except for the books I've read my kids over and over again. I could probably read Devil in the White City again.

3. One book you would want on a desert island? Boatbuilding for Beginners (and Beyond): Everything You Need to Know to Build a Sailboat, a Rowboat, a Motorboat, a Canoe, and More by Jim Michalak. Seems like the obvious answer to me.

4. One book that made you laugh? I don't laugh. Ever.

5. One book that made you cry? No Compromise by Melody Green. It didn't make me cry, but it mad me sad.

6. One book you wish had been written? A Simple Explanation of Rights Afforded to the U.S. Government by the Constitution, Easy Enough For 21st Century Democrats and Republicans to Understand by Thomas Jefferson.

7. One book you wish had never been written? I'm pretty much opposed to this question as I believe truth should never be hidden and that lies are best put on display for critical thought to examine, but taking into account 158+ million dead by means of Democide in just three countries that practiced some or all of it's tenants, I'd have to say The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Frederic Engels.

8. One book you are currently reading? The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible by Ken Schoolland. Ah, free books.

9. One book you have been meaning to read? Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis by Ludwig von Mises. Mises is an incredible man who spoke out against collectivism during the height of anti-capitalism fervor in Austria just before Nazi take over. He wrote this in 1922, and at the same time predicted the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union, which unlike Marx's prediction of the downfall of Capitalism, actually came true.

10. Now tag five people: Erich, Sarah, Sam, Kim, and Albert Franken

Friday, August 11, 2006

Saturday, August 05, 2006

all teh peoples love the music

It's been a long time since a new song has gone up so this post is dimply to point out that there is one now. It's a few years old and I've liked it for some time, but I thought I'd share it with you all now.

Not much for discussion here so I'll ponder this:

What do you think of luck? Can a person be inherently lucky or unlucky, and how would you define such a thing?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Elephants vs. Donkeys

I am not a supporter of the George W. Bush presidency. I did not vote for the man. I’m also not a supporter of the war in Iraq, which was not justly waged.

Democrats like to assure me that they are indeed quite different than Republicans. They do this by pointing out all of the terrible things that the current administration does and letting me know, “This would never happen if Gore/Kerry were in office!”

It is my belief, however, that Democrats and Republicans are quite similar in that they are both decidedly pro-government. And while both parties claim to believe in keeping Government’s power in check neither has much of a track record of doing so.

For the past year we’ve heard the Left heralding the horrible methods used by the Bush administration in detaining enemy combatants in Guantanamo. They’ve told us that the Bush administration has over stepped it’s power in the unlawful detainment of these prisoners without the right to due process. And while President Bush has defended these actions as being legal due to the fact that the detainees were not American citizens, Democrats have been quick to point out that human rights are inalienable to all men, American’s or not.

One would think that their valiant defense of human rights was based on their own beliefs and not on their political allegiance, and for many of the rank-and-file I’m sure this is the case. However, it’s also maybe assumed that the unspoken assertion is that a Democrat would not dare to commit such a grievous act of human rights abuse and that if Gore/Kerry were in office things would most certainly be different!

There is one man though, who seems to believe different. Brandt Goldstein is a lawyer and the author of Storming the Court, a non-fiction examination of a 1992 court ruling that is eerily similar to our present situation. Late last year Goldstein wrote an article showing the parallels between past and present. You can read it here. An excerpt:

A smidgen of history: Our first Guantanamo detention camp was established in the late stages of the George H.W. Bush presidency. The detainees there weren't terror suspects, but 300 innocent Haitian refugees seeking safe haven from the military regime that ousted Haiti's democratically elected leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in September 1991. These refugees—brought to Guantanamo after the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted their vessels on the high seas between Haiti and Cuba—faced a terrible predicament. In interviews with U.S. immigration officials, they'd all proved a legitimate fear of political persecution were they to be returned to Haiti. Under U.S. policy, they should have been promptly flown to the American mainland (as were a number of other Haitians). But then this small group of men, women, and children also tested positive for HIV. Fear of AIDS was still extreme at that time, and the Bush administration refused to let these hapless refugees into the country. So, instead they were detained in a remote corner of Guantanamo with no prospect of release.

As we all remember Clinton took office shortly after, but he also refused to release the detainees. The case was finally brought before a judge by a group of law students.

The Clinton White House justified this atrocious conduct in terms that sound strikingly familiar today. Justice Department attorneys maintained that foreigners held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay have absolutely no legal rights, whether under the Constitution, federal statutes, or international law. According to this logic, the Clinton White House was free to treat the detainees however it pleased. (There was some plagiarism here. The Clinton folks took this argument from the Bush administration lawyers who'd first defended the camp.)

Now I am a fan of perspective and I understand the methods currently being used by the President in Guantanamo are not on the same level as what Clinton used and defended. However, using the principles of perspective we can also say that Clinton was not facing the same choices as Bush. Therefore we can look at the decision Clinton was faced with, whether or not to allow unwanted refugees in the United States. In addition, we can look at the reason he detained the refugees: Fear. Which is the same rational Bush used to defend his own unlawful detainment of prisoners.

And we can ask ourselves this; if a democrat were in office (presumably Gore, Clinton’s own VP) would things have played out differently in Guantanamo?

History answers a resounding, “No.”

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Go again

These guys are unstoppable. Their music pretty much sucks, (lol eric) but these videos are too much awesome.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Crystal said I need to post something

I was just mowing my lawn and I got stung by a wasp on the top of my toe. The one next to my big toe on my right foot.

It hurts.


It's also hot out. And in for that matter. Sucks not having A/C.

I have to go finish mowing the lawn.

k, thnx, bye

Monday, July 17, 2006


Crystal's Answers:

Scott will you buy me that pool I want?


Why do most people think you don't like them?

I don't know. I think maybe because I don't talk unless I feel like I have something interesting to say. People seem to equate being silent to not having a good time, and take me not having a good time as not liking them. I think this would be a better question to ask people who don't think I like them.

What are you really like at work?

I think I'm pretty much the same at work as I am at home, but I would imagine a lot of people feel that way.

What is your favorite book/s of the Bible? Why?

I guess Romans. It's the easiest book to understand as Paul lays out a very logical argument.

Do you think I'm cute???


Will you marry me again?

The idea of marrying a person again, or renewing your vows, makes no sense to me. When you get married, you make a promise to love and support that person until death does you in. Such a promise is permanent and binding by definition. To renew or remarry signifies that the first was only temporary or inadequate at best. The only logical reason to remarry a person would be if they were to first divorce for some reason and then fall back in love. I've seen this happen, it's a sweet thing. Very romantic. So a better question would be, will you divorce me?

What are your top 3 favorite movies and why?

The older I get the more I dislike movies in general. They're mostly all formula driven, unimaginative, brainless adventures. Furthermore the amount I like a movie really depends on the current mood I'm in, so it's very difficult to pin down 3 movies that I would consider my absolute favorites. To answer your question I'll just list my favorite 3 movies from the past few years in no order and with a short explanation of my love for them.

Good Night and Good Luck

Edward R. Murrow was a great American. Joseph McCarthy, like almost every Senator today and probably several of his contemporaries, was a power-hungry politician. It’s true that parallels can be drawn between McCarthy’s methods of accusation and the current administrations methods, but I believe Clooney when he says he didn’t make the film with that in mind. I think if you go in looking for that you’re missing out on a lot of other things about this movie that are quite beautiful and relevant. Namely our society’s appetite for escapism, the power of friendship, and maybe most importantly the lost art of civil discussion.

The Aviator

To look at Howard Hughes as simply a millionaire playboy is selling him awfully short. He was a genius, an inventor, a Capitalist, and he fought crooked politicians. Pretty much my kind of guy. Except for the whole OCD/womanizing thing. Not into that, actually, btw. Still a fascinating man and a great movie.

Million Dollar Baby

First and foremost a great sports movie with all the things that make you like sports. A well written script funny and emotional. 3 magnificent performances. And it was made by a Libertarian. Hands down best movie of 2004. Maybe the best movie of the decade.

Why didn't you like Superman?

There was nothing new about it. It was a re-application of the same old ideas. It wasn't well written or filmed. With the exception of Kevin Spacey it wasn't well acted. Also it was about 45 minutes too long and the last half hour dragged very slowly. A better question would be why would anyone like it?

Who are the people you admire and respect the most?

I know you’re trying to get me to list specific people here, but I’m not going to. See below.

What is it that makes you admire and respect people?

The people I admire and respect the most are those who know what they believe and why the believe it. Those who are not easily persuaded by the wind of public opinion. People who are intelligent, yet patient with those who don't posses the same level of understanding. People who work hard. People who don't expect other people to help them, but appreciate it when they do. People who don't try and sell themselves with their ideas OR looks. People who are content with their surroundings. There's probably more, but those seem to be the important ones.

Who are your greatest influences in life? Or mentors? Why?

Usually people who fit the description above.

What does it look like to love God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and all of your strength, and all of your mind?

Joh 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Joh 14:21
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Joh 14:23 - Show Context
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Sarah's Answers:

What is Eric really like at work?

About 6’3” and really kinda smelly.

Did he really know that starbrites name was Twink?

He didn't know the name Twink, but he knew the picture I drew wasn't the doll he maimed.

Do you like Indie music a lot?

There's two things I look for in music.

The first is creativity. Usually music that can't easily be categorized as a specific genre. The artists who create this music are usually carried by an independent label because larger labels tend to demand albums that are sure fire hits. Music that is focus group tested and re-produced or re-recorded to fit what people want to hear. I want to hear music that an artist wants to make, not music that 14 year girls want to hear.

Secondly, I like emotion. Whether it's as happy as the Polyphonic Spree or curl up in the fetal position depressing as Okkervil River I need to feel something. Is this conducive to indie music? Maybe a little, as these are artists that have forsaken the chase of the "big contract," preferring rather to create music that they believe in.

Just as much as I like those things in music though, I hate the RIAA. They overprice their music in the face of declining demand, and seek to fix the supply of creativity through unconstitutional copyright laws. I'll listen to RIAA artists if they intrigue me, but I don't go out of my way to find them.

So yes, I likey me indie music.

Sadddie's Answers:

Why do people revert back to caveman language?

Long time, No see

No can do

see what I mean by this? We've come such a long way in our communication skills, why destroy centuries of progress?

No can say. Maybe lazy? Maybe stupid? Prolly lazy.

Sammy's Answers:

Oh yeah, and why do people always say, "can I ask you a question?" My response is, "You just did, now go away."

I think they ask you that to be polite. If this really annoys you I suggest answering all there questions with questions. I know this really annoys Crystal so I think it will probably work on other people.

Eric's Answers:

What is the best shoe in the world?

The best shoes in the world are Nikes, because Nike employees people all around the world instead of just in the United States. Through this they are doing there part to end global poverty. More than the G8 will ever do with their silly rock star ideas.

Why is a clock circular?

One answer to that is that they are operated by gears, which are circular. Plus there is the fact that the hours, minutes, and seconds of the day, like a circle, start and end at the same point. The other answer is this:

Where’s the circle Eric? Where’s the circle?

How is heat index measured?


(The amount of wipes to remove the sweat from you forehead per hour.)

How long, in minutes, would it take me to walk from my house to Quebec, Canada?

What, are you kidding? You have an ingrown toenail and you’re gonna walk to Canada? You can hardly make it to your car at the end of the day. Canada, pfft.

Plus you’re lazy, so you got that whole thing going against you.

Did Al Gore invent the internet?

To understand the answer to this question first we must understand what the Internet is. Jon Stewart explains:

Yes, people want the Government to regulate things. Why? I don’t know.

But I digress, the Internet was not invented by one person but rather many people have contributed to its current state. The idea of “packet switching”, which is one of the main components of the Internet, dates back to 1961. And the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) was invented in 1972. Al Gore, or any other politician for that matter, wasn’t involved in any of these inventions. Politicians are very rarely involved in inventing anything; they’re just there to regulate other people’s inventions that they know nothing about.

Hence the Internet is a series of tubes.

If you could be a power tool, what would you be and why?

What the crap is this question? I ask for good questions and this is what you give me? Does this blog look like the dating show? Am I suppose to say, “I would be a hammer so we could bang on the dance floor ALL NITE LONG!!!!”

I expected better from you.


Who is that john stossels mustache guy anyway?

Yes Eric, you can steal the question idea. It’s not exactly mine anyway.

Steph's Answers:

Why does Mark continue to sneeze in the morning (regardless of tempature) until he puts on socks.

Like all men your husband Mark has lungs.

Just below these lungs is a muscle called the diaphragm that makes him breathe. When Mark sneezes the diaphragm expands at such a rate that it causes his lungs to expel air at a rate of about 100mph. This can be caused my any foreign particles that may enter his nose such as dust, pollen, cat dander, or even cold air. Since this is a scientific process involving the nervous system and the lungs there is no reason to believe that the socks play any part in the equation. However, given the numerous possible irritants that could cause the sneeze, my recommendation for ending the sneezing problem quickly and efficiently is the removal of Mark’s lungs.

Jack and Sarah's Answers:

Are black holes a rip or tear in the space time continuum. And, what happens if you travel into a black hole?

Really these questions should be answered by a theoretical physicist, like Eric's neighbor. If I had to take a stab at it I'd say that if you were to travel inside of one, you'd find Laurence Fishburne in a bad movie about weird space things.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Computers and a game, but not a computer game

I'm going to need to get a new computer. The one we have now, which I built about four years ago is starting to drive me nuts. I started looking at Dell and Gateway's websites and it's clear to me that I can still build my own system for much cheaper than what those companies offer, and get a much higher powered system. However, as we all know, much has changed in the world of computers over the past 4 years. When I built this one I spent a lot of time reading and trying to figure out which components were best for me. I pretty much have to start over a read about all those components again because everything is very different. What's amazing is how much everything has dropped in price. I bought a 100 GB hard drive then for $180 bucks and now I can get a 250 GB hard drive for 85 bucks. Yeah. And where I got my 512MB RAM back then for about $150 bucks, now I can get a whopping 2GB RAM for about $120. And the 1.8Ghz processor that I have now was 180 as well and now I can get a 3.0 Pentium D for the same price. I remember when I was shopping for parts for this computer the highest they made the chips was 2.4 ghz, and that was for about 600 bucks!

Ah, computer talk, you know I love it.

Anyway I've decided my next post will be in the form of answers. Answers to what? Well your comments of course. Comment to this post with any question you have and I will answer it in my next post. Can be a question about anything like, "What's your favorite color?", or "How can you call yourself a Christian when your clearly a greedy Libertarian?!?!!?!" Or my personal favorite, "HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT?"

Anything goes, post as anonymous if you're scared to ask for yourself. Let's just get it all out in the open.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

More John Stossel

What can I say? I like the man.

Here he does everything he can to show why America needs education reform and why "throwing money at the problem" is not only NOT the solution, but part of the problem. Also a great examination of unions in general and their inherent problems.

It's about 45 minutes long but very thought provoking and I highly recommend watching.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Convenient Lie

Fellow Libertarian John Stossel has written an article exposing what he believes are some of the lies Gore tells in his propaganda film An Inconvenient Truth. It's worth checking out if you're into that kind of thing. Otherwise maybe just ignore it or whatever. I've noticed political posts don't garner much discussion on this blog and really I'm fine with that but I'll still post stuff like this when it interests me.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Best Fireworks Display of Power Ever!

On the 4th of July everypeoples love fireworks!

Hi, I'm Kim!

Hi Kim!

I have big fieworks!

You can see them from far away!

Yay! I ruv fireworks!

Oh No!

Oh nos!

Oh well!


Oh darn!


I hate Jews!

lol I mean... Yay! I love fireworks too!


Monday, June 26, 2006

Emily update


So things with the Tomato scores didn't really take off this round so we'll probably just put that whole project on hold for now. Truth is it takes up a bit of time and I don't really have an abundance of it at the moment. Plus I'm really kinda blog lazy right now.

Anyway, today I took Emily for the first stage of her latest scan. As some of you may know it was originally scheduled for last Friday, but due to a difference in opinions between two of the Doctors at Loyola the scan got delayed until today. There's really not all that much to report. We went to Loyola, Emily drank the radioactive iodine solution that she drank in March, and they did a photo scan of her whole body. In between all that there was the typical waiting in the hospital waiting room for hours stuff that bores the mind into submission.

Tomorrow we'll go back and they'll do another photo scan to measure how much of the solution her thyroid cells (cancer) absorbed. Then we'll do the same thing on Thursday to measure how much she expelled from her body. If the Doctor likes what he sees, we may start the treatments on Thursday.

I had a meeting with the head of Nuclear Medicine at the hospital and he told me that he has been doing research over the course of the last three months to find the best way to treat Emily. He said that he as been thinking of her every day since then. I'm sure it's something he tells a lot of his patients, but I will say that he answers his phone every time I call him. And he's the only Doctor I know that does that. I rather like the man and think he's very good at what he does.

Other than that things are normal. Or at least as normal as life is when your 9 year old has cancer. We went camping this past weekend. I hate camping. End of story.

I love you all very much and consider some of you to be my closest and dearest friends. I leave it up to you to figure which of you is which.


P.S. Who ever is anonymous in the last post is the winner of the Tomato Championship this week. Too bad no one will ever know who it was.

P.S.S. Later I'll post a song in the Songs to Love if I have time and Crystal will let me. (We're suppose to watch Munich)

Monday, June 19, 2006

What's So Inconvenient About It?

Well, Roger Ebert had his go at Al Gore's upcoming bit of propaganda known as An Inconvenient Truth. It's no surprise that Ebert would like such a film as he once referred to the "documentary" (I only refer to it as such because that's what people tell me it is) Fahrenheit 9/11 as "compelling."

Maybe most interesting is this quote from Ebert's review:

Global warming is real.

It is caused by human activity.

Mankind and its governments must begin immediate action to halt and reverse it.

The sky is falling! Save us Big Brother!

Scare tactics are certainly nothing new to big government fans. Who can forget the technique that Bush used to drag us into the war in Iraq? I'm sure Gore would have opposed the use of such tactics then, when it was some one on the other side of the aisle but he seems to be rather fond of them now that they support his mission.

Of course he would tell you that it's for the greater good (just as Bush did) and it's something that we all need to worry and panic about, but not everyone is quite as convinced as Mr. Gore would have us all believe.

I'm sure much of the science behind his claims is correct, even if grossly exaggerated. I'm sure humans have contributed to altering the environment. But Al Gore is dead wrong about how he would deal with such a problem. The truth is technological advances brought about by "evil" corporations in their "greedy" quest for profits will result in cleaner, sustainable cars, homes, agriculture, etc. The governments of the world will only continue to impede that progress through excess taxation.

Anyway, I'll go back and update the points from all your last comments when I'm feeling less lazy. The only reason I posted this is I was compelled by an e-mail my aunt sent me and this is pretty much copied right from my reply to her.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The First Ever Tomato Champion

Well the scores for the first round of Tomato points are in and the champion has been named. I know I kind of skipped out over the past few days, but things have been busy for me lately. Here are the final standings:

Sarah: 190 Points
Eric: 164 Points
Sammy: 157 Points
Scott: 138 Points
Sadie: 129 Points
Crystal: 114 Points
Kristen: 110 Points
Steph: 12 Points

Everybody give Sarah a big round of eApplaudes as she is our first ever champion. As promised, each new champion will receive a very special and very valuable prize. This weeks prize for Sarah is recompense for years of suffering and torment from an older sibling. A sibling who is big, tall, and has an oddly shapen head. One who did perform a malicious act many years ago that has left scars to this day.

Sarah, I give you:

Starbrite's Revenge

So the scoring is reset, make sure to stop back next Tuesday for test day and between for quizzes and other opportunities for points.

The new song is actually two songs (lucky for you) by Chicago's own The Detholz! The exclamation point is for emphasis, btw, actually. This is ripped from a live set on WLUW in Chicago in October of 2003. It features an original song by the band and an excellent cover of an old classic.


Friday, June 09, 2006

The most important question of all

Luke 10:25-28

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what
shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he
answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy
neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou
hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Question of the day:

What does it look like to love God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and all of your strength, and all of your mind?

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Blogger spent the better part of today being lazy, so there isn't much happening around here. The testing went rather well, I'd say. I'd like to thank Saddiey for her final comment. Everyone likes good feedback I suppose, so thanks for the kind words. And for the nice reference on her blog.

I intended to make this a long post, but I'm tired. Do me a favor and go read this post. I'll probably link to this guy soon if he keeps this up.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tomato Points®

Less than a week left until the first Tomato champion is named. From here on out every other Tuesday will be test day. The other Tuesday in between will the new Tomato champ will be named.

Is it just a quiz? No, it's a test.

Your chance to make up ground on the competition by racking up lots of points by answering questions ranging from easy to difficult and other activities to help you earn more points. So without further ado, it's test day:

1) 10 points for every person who completes and posts the results of The World's Smallest Political Quiz.

2) 5 points for every person who lists their top 3 favorite bands that have made at least one album in the last 3 years.

3) Movie quotes, name the movie (7 points each):

"So, did you enjoy your first visit to the nut house?"
"Hey, hey, shh, shh, shh. Come on. Be sensitive to the fact that other people are not comfortable talking about emotional disturbances. Um, you know, I am, I'm fine with that, but... other people. Come on."

"I'm the most dangerous man in this prison. You know why? 'Cause I control the underwear."

"Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up, you can't deny that."
"It just got too hard."
"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The what makes it great."

"Shhhhhhhh! I'm trying to use the phone!"
"Did anybody tell you that this is the private club of the Satan's Helpers?"
"Nobody hipped me to that, dude."

"There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't."

4) 1 point for each word that you can list using the suffix 'ship.' You may not use any of the examples given by those who commented before you.

5) This one requires the honor system: With out using Google or Internet or any other reference how many of the first 10 amendments to the constitution (A.K.A the bill of rights) can you name? Paraphrasing is fine of course. The first commenter obviously gets the first stab at it but the next person can fill in any they didn't remember or if you think they got one wrong. I'll award 10 points per correct answer. (Possible 100 points!)

Special Bonus Question: (click to enlarge)

Social Welfare Assembly Lesson of the Day

Free Image Hosting at

What did you learn from today's lesson?

You will be graded and given points based on your answer

You'll find scan-trons and number two pencils under your desk. Good luck!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Fables of the Deconstruction

Well I found something to do.

Part of finishing the bathroom involves running a drain pipe from one side of the bathroom floor to the pipe chase in the corner on the other side of the bathroom. Since we only have 2x8's for floor joists, instead of the modern 2x10's we've decided to run a soffit in the room below (the home school room) to hide the pipes under the floor. So since we were going to rip a small portion out of the ceiling anyway, I decided to rip down the whole ceiling because it was old and bad. Plus, I really, really, really(!) hate popcorn ceilings.

Die popcorn ceiling! Die!

Unfortunately I have a bit of a garbage phobia because when we first moved into this house the people who we bought it from left a dumpster full of trash and when I put it out to the curb on garbage day the garbage man rejected it. We had to rent a $400 dumpster to get rid of it all and ever since then I've been scared to put too much garbage to the curb. So I'm only going to fill two garbage cans with the plaster remnants each week. Which equals about this much of our ceiling:

Eghads! This is going to take a month!

Luckily my Sister lives in the same town as me and has volunteered to let me borrow one of her garbage cans so I can drive another can over there for her to put out each week. That outta speed things up. Double luckily, we have free garbage service. Of course there is no such thing as free anything service because I pay for it in our inflated village taxes, but at least it's not by quantity of garbage used.

Check out those sweet 150 year old 2" thick joists. Whew, that plaster is looking rough though.

Okay, so I guess you all want points, you point grubbing greedy leeches! I'll give 30 points to the first person who can correctly guess what movie I'm thinking of every time I think about taking a little bit of plaster (and dirt) to the curb each week to get rid of it. I'll give 15 points to the first person who can tell me what Frank Black's (of Pixies fame) real name is. And 10 points to the first person who can tell what his stage name was before it was changed to Frank Black. And of course there will be bonus points and hand outs along the way for those brave enough to leave comments.

Have at it then!

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Well I see political cartoons don't bode well for comments around here.

Maybe it's because you think I'll deduct points from you if you post a comment with a dissenting opinion. Not so! In case you haven't noticed the points system is all just a joke and I wouldn't actually give people negative points for really disagreeing with me or my political beliefs.

Maybe it’s because you’ve known me long and well enough to recognize my penchant for vigorous debate. Well the fact is that I’ve learned quite a bit about myself over the past 6 months and one of the things I’ve found is that I never really had much respect for people with differing opinions then my own. And I decided quite quickly that this wasn’t the kind of person I wanted to be. In fact, after finding this flaw I’ve made some what of a personal goal to bring differing sides of opinions together and help them learn from each other. Especially Christians. I’m not exactly sure how to do that yet but I’m thinking. But to start I’ll at pledge to do my part to hold all dissenting opinions on this blog with the utmost respect.

Maybe it’s because you only comment on my blog when the proverbial carrot on a stick is waved in front of your nose in the form of Tomato points. Very well then, I’ll award those precious points to anyone seriously commenting on the cartoon, the Libertarian party, or politicians in general on the previous post. Have at it.

Maybe it’s because you really couldn’t care less about the Libertarian party or politics so you won’t comment on such things anyway.

Moving on, the reason I’m even fishing for comments is that I’m incredibly bored. I usually have all sorts of home projects to work on to fill my evenings and weekends, but as it is I’m plum out of materials. And more importantly, out of money to buy new ones. There’s all sorts of stuff I need to do of course; such is life when you live in a 150 year old house. My current projects list is as follows:

1) Install closet doors in all three up stair bedrooms.
Why I can’t: Don’t have the doors yet. The ones I want will total $800!

2) Tear down and rebuild main staircase.
Why I can’t: I still have to design the new staircase and order some parts from work.

3) Buy carpeting for the up stairs.
Why I can’t: I don’t want this done until the closet doors are installed and the staircase is redone.

4) Rebuild our front porch steps.
Why I can’t: Need to design steps and buy wood.

5) I’d like to get started on building a central air conditioning system.
Why I can’t: Our house doesn’t have duct work and I don’t know how to do it yet, but I’ll learn soon enough. Can’t be too hard.

That’s kinda the list I’m staring at right now. And that doesn’t even count the gardening work that needs to be done. Ugh!

So the being broke, coupled with the desire to work has put me in a state of anxious melancholy. And every minute sitting here with nothing to work on makes me more anxious to work on something.

So entertain me with your comments!

I’m putting up a somewhat somber toned song to couple with my somewhat somber mood. Pardon the f-bomb in the middle of the song and don’t listen/download if that’s the sort of thing you’re easily offended by.

"I heard of pious men, and I've heard of dirty fiends,
but you don't often hear of us ones in between."

Friday, June 02, 2006

What the World Needs Now

Politician Removal Service

P.S. you need flash to view this

Public Service Announcement

For the ten or so people who come to Tomato every day looking for lyrics to Danielson songs via google search, you can find all of the lyrics to Ships here.


Oh! And look, I found some more MP3's hosted by Danielson:

Good News for the Pus Pickers

Rallying the Dominoes

To download PC users: Right-click and select "save target as." Mac users: Control-click and "save link as." (It's legal when the artists offer them, btw)

and just to make this easier to find in your Google search:

danielson lyrics
did I step on your trumpet lyrics
lyrics danielson
Danielson Famile lyrics
Danielson Family lyrics

P.S. Bonus points for anyone who can tell me how Google figures out which sites to list first in it's search queries.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I'd like to interrupt the current blog post to interject a special note. Currently, as it stands, Tomato is the 11th most relevant source on the Internet for that eternal question; "do i choose my husband or my lover."

This just proves what I've said all along, Tomato is your one stop blog for all of life's most important questions!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I've made a couple of changes to the landscape of Tomato. First I added an index to the right that chronicles the posts Crystal and I have made in regards to our Daughter Emily. For those of you who don't know Emily was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer on Thursday, February 16, 2006. Since then we have used Crystal's blog as a tool to share our story with others and process some of the emotions we've had to deal with. The index I made highlights some of the stops we've made along the way that best describe those emotions and days. I'll update that index as the experience continues and I'd even like to use this blog to make a few personal posts on the subject. But that's all in due time.

Secondly, I've added a scoreboard section to the right to show all of your current points. The way this is going to work is quite simple. I'll award you all points based on your comments and at the end of each two week period there will be a valuable prize awarded to the winner. If you're not currently on the scoreboard don't feel like you're excluded from the contest. Anyone who comments is eligible for points and the value of their comment is weighed and measured by the Official Tomato Panel of Judges to determine the points awarded. It's really a rather brilliant idea and I can't believe it's taken me this long to come up with it but here it is and here it shall stay.

Now remember, the only way this is going to become an official Internet phenomenon is for you to play along, so don't forget to leave your little comments.
Don't feel discouraged if you find yourself way behind in the standings, things can change quicker than you think. I'll always try and think of something that can earn you points with each post I make so make sure to check back often.

For today I'll award points for your comments on the current song in the Songs to Love section, I'll be Your Man. Let's say 5 points per sentence.

Lets see, what else?

Oh! I did make a button for Eric's little blog though it seems as though he's lost his posting thunder. I have a talent for linking to blogs just as they make their last post so hopefully this won't be another in that lineage. hint hint eric

Finally it's worthy to note that our house seems to be the target of vandals. We have a pair of wooden beam fences at either end of our yard and both of them we're broken when I woke up this morning. Now it is possible that this damage is the product of a rather violent storm that ripper through our area last night, but the thought of a gust of wind breaking a wood plank in half is a tad bit far fetched. I'm really not sure there is anything I can do about this other than replace the broken timbers and hope they've let out all of their aggression.

Oh well.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


So Danielson was absolutely a huge success as was expected. The man truly is my musical hero. I've been intensively listening to and studying music for the past 15 years and I can honestly say without any hesitation that Daniel Smith is the most creative musician I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. I know his vocals are initially abrasive, but I guarantee that if you give it time you'll learn to love it. Well, no I guess I can't guarantee that because I don't know what you like, but I love it. I would actually pay money to go to a concert just to hear him speak. Just listen to his voice!

And the lyrics?

when i believe that the skin will give peace to my inners,
only winners
are those "me me me" conspiracies

enemies of the spirit of the truth
and the sooth-
sayers talking down my gentle dragon slayer

that dragon aint the love sweet love
that dragon aint the love sweet love
that dragon aint the love sweet love

the rubbernecker ain't no lover,
he's a wrecker
of the family of ties,
now a word for his wives

if you see him checking out my little sister
tell that mister
that his thoughts are quite contrary
and her brothers is big and scary

the temper's hereditary
raised a fight unfairly
comin' to impair me
got good vocabulary

put down that half-baked thought
and get caught
by the purity of truth,
kick the darkhorse in the tooth

the morning after and the ladykiller's dead
self-promotion's in the red
happy hour kicked his dome

that dragon aint the love sweet love
that dragon aint the love sweet love
that dragon aint the love sweet love

that love slapped the dragon
that love ate the dragon
that love cut the dragon
that love ate the dragon
that love broke the dragon
that love ate the dragon

Ten blog points to the first person who can correctly define what the dragon is and another 15 for the first person who can identify what a "rubbernecker" is. Eric and Crystal are excluded from participation.

Speaking of my friend Eric, he started a new blog called Out of Time. Check it out and maybe say something nice because his air conditioner broke today and he'll probably have a bad day at work on Tuesday if what his boss (who is also my boss) was saying about him today in his absence is any indicator. I need to find a sweet picture that will properly represent Eric and once I do I’ll add him to my blogs to love. You might say Eric is basically my best friend, but it's a pretty small pool to choose from so it's really not saying that much. I mean it’s not like we get together and go see movies like V for Vendetta or anything.

Speaking of movies we saw X3 last night thanks to Crystal's sister and her husband who bought us two tickets and some popcorn. X3 was not as good as X2, but it was better than X1. It made some very interesting story lines, but let a few of them fall flat at the end, maybe due to time constraints. Maybe there will be a sweet extended version DVD. My Mom and Dad watched the kids for us despite having to leave for Vegas on Sunday. So we’re thankful for that.

Speaking of the kids, Emily’s surgeon called me on Friday and said that he didn’t feel that she needed to have the surgery on her right side after all. So we’re going to go straight to the radiation treatment and check back on the right side after the radiation treatment leaving the option for surgery open in the future. So that’s good news!

Speaking of good news, I’ve updated the Songs to Love section because I know you were all eagerly anticipating new great music for your ears delight. It’s past time to get started on the best of what 2006 has had to offer so without further delay I give you the Elected’s I’ll be Your Man. The Elected is Blake Sennet who is the guitarist for Rilo Kiley. If you’re like me and you don’t like Rilo Kiley don’t worry, this is very different.

Speaking of songs, remember that old one called Hey Jealousy way back in the 90’s? Well apparently the local club in my neighborhood has switched from local-angry-white-suburban-kid-goth music to washed-up-90’s-bands-who-were-never-really-all-that-good-to-start-with music because they’ll be hosting the Gin Blossoms in July. Weird.

Speaking of weird.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Okay, I only do sports posts once in a while so give me this one

Sore loser?

For the second time in a week Micheal Barrett took exception to an opposing player scoring against his team. The first time he shoved the Padres' Dave Roberts because he stole third when the Cubs were losing by two in the 5th. This time he punched A.J. Pierzynski in the face because he doesn't like that Pierzynski plays hard.

Here's a great article by Phil Rogers describing how while the White Sox may have the best record in Major League Baseball, they don't have the best record in all of organized baseball. That honor goes to the 30-8 Charlotte Knights, who just happen to be White Sox triple A team.

Maybe Micheal Barrett could find some people in Charlotte to punch too.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Day After Mother's Day

Hello Crystal and blog world. I was going to send this letter to my wife privately, but have instead decided to post it here as public announcement so that everyone (Or at lest the 5 people who read this blog) can see what a great wife and mother she is.

Dearest Crystal,

Thanks for the loving note this morning. I really appreciate that you understood me last night and immediately took steps to fill my needs.

However, the thought occurred to me that, though you have not expressed it in specific words, you have a very similar need from me. Often times in your dealings with the children you express sorrow over my corrections of your interactions with them. I admit it frustrates me because I feel as though your attitude towards them is at times harsh and you fail to recognize that and own up to it. But as I read your letter I realized that, just as I could not own up to my faults in our relationship without you giving me credit for what I had done right, you are most like saturated and overwhelmed with feelings of failure in regards to our children.

What’s worst is I fear it is mostly my fault.

Throughout our marriage you have met and exceeded all expectations I’ve had in raising our children. And consistently I have failed to confirm that fact verbally. Our children are all obedient, intelligent, and loving. Even more important, they truly desire to do what’s right. I cannot stress enough how very important that is. 9 times out of 10 they will choose to fill other peoples needs before their own. THIS IS ALL YOUR DOING!!! You have taught them so well Crystal. You’re right. I have no fears as they face the future because I know that the values instilled in them will help them throughout their lives.

You’ve completely sacrificed everything for them. Your unselfish dedication to their lives is as honorable as any missionary, philanthropist, or servant. I’ve yet to meet any mother who is as in love with their children as you. Never have you complained about the cost you’ve had to pay for their care. The sacrifices you’ve made number in the thousands and are more than anyone can understand. I’m quite sure they will not be measured and repaid until heaven.

You’ve stayed dedicated to schooling our children as well. Maintaining their education throughout your pregnancy with Madison and even after when she was a demanding infant. You’ve yet to show any lapse at any period despite all of life’s demands. There is no one else I would rather have raising my children. You are everything I could desire in a mother to my children.

Please forgive me for my own shortcomings as a father. You’re right when you tell me I don’t connect with our children enough. I have so many interests in the world; too many. My attention is often divided and unavailable. I need to focus my time and energy on you and the children more often, and swear to do so more often.

Please forgive me for my shortcomings as a husband. I’ve failed to offer you my full support in the upbringing of our children. My criticisms of you have been unjust. I pledge to this day forth work with you, not above you, to raise our children and build you up as a mother.

I love you Crystal and happy day after Mother’s Day.


Scott Robert Kunze

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Yes, well I know I mentioned yesterday I would write about sin and such today, but really I’m not in the mood. No worries though, sin will always be around, and today we’ve got much happier things to cover!

About a year ago now I did a review on this very blog for a semi popular indie artist’s new album. I gushed and raved about him being the best song writer currently writing music and how there probably wouldn’t be a better album than Illinoise in 2005. There wasn’t. And Sufjan Stevens is great. But this post is actually going to be about Sufjan Stevens’ musical mentor. Mr. Daniel Smith. AKA Br. Danielson AKA the leader of the Danielson Family. Or Danielson Famile. Or Danielson, depending on the record.

Danielson bears fruit for his Lord

Danielson just released Ships, an album collaborating over 20 artists including Deerhoof, Sufjan Stevens, and Why. It's already received critical acclaim including a 9.1 on Pitchfork. Danielson will annoy a lot of people, but to people sick of boring run-of-the-mill Christian music lacking in creativity Danielson is the cure. With his high pitched voice and an army of unconventional rock instruments from whistles to xylophones Danielson's lyrics are unashamedly Christian but never clichéd.

The Danileson Family wears their hearts on their sleeves

As a musical artist I respect Danielson's creativity more than any other artist I've ever heard. He's been recording for over ten years and still keeps his day job as a carpenter. Later this month I will have the opportunity to see the Danielson Family live for the first time. I'm as excited as can be. I'm including a bunch of songs you download below and adding one of my favorite Danielson songs to the Songs to Love section over there ->

MP3’s hosted by Danielson’s label Secretly Canadian:

Did I Step On Your Trumpet

Things Against Stuff

MP3's hosted by Danielson’s own label Sounds Familyre

Cutest Lil’ Dragon

Daughters Will Tune You

Danielson’s MySpace page with more music -

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Where is your line drawn?

This post is going to be a little more geared towards Christians I suppose but of course any one is welcome and encouraged to partake in any discussions on this blog.

I tend to visit more progressive Christian blogs than fundamental ones. In fact I don't really visit any fundamental Christian blogs. I certainly wouldn't describe myself as either progressive Christian or fundamental. In the past I've felt alienated by the traditional church because of many of their modernist practices that the Emergent Church would protest to. However, at the same time I'm quite put off by the current trend of deconstruction-ism that the Emergent Church holds so tightly to, especially when it comes to basic theology.

So all in all I'm some what outside of any of the current Christian trends. And really that's quite okay with me. And the reason I visit so many of these progressive blogs is because I really do value the opinions of others and appreciate the fact that many of these people are forming ideas and putting words to their thoughts. It's certainly much more interesting than the standard run of Christian cliché. And I truly do hold to the notion that an informed opinion of dissent is much more valuable than an uninformed opinion that might agree with my own.

But more than once in a while I'll come across a blog post that is so foreign to me that it seems like we worship different Gods.

Now there's an idea that has been brewing in my mind for some time and I don't want to get into at this point but I'll reveal enough to say it has to do with the ongoing debate between factions within the Christian Church. And specifically how do we address differences in what we believe with respect and maintain fellowship. But before that can even be addressed the question that always sticks in my head is; Who is the Church?

In other words if you were to hold a discussion between other Christians about things like theology, Christ, or political ideology and the common thread were that you were all there calling yourself Christians what ideas would you rule out? What's the border between the ones you would allow in the round table discussion and the ones you'd ask to step away?

Now I'd like to stay away from the obvious ones like say a person who calls themselves a Christian but likes to talk about the glory of Satan himself. Things like that. But what about things that are closer to the border? Like could you accept a Christian who doesn't think the Bible holds absolute truth? Or a Christian who doesn't think Christ is the only way to salvation? Or how about one who says God hates gays?

Where is your line? Or do you even have a line?


P.S. I've decided I'll put up a new song in the Songs to Love feature after I get a couple of comments about each song. This rule does not pertain to Crystal who I already know hates all of my music.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Bloggerin' (again)

I guess I should post here every once in a while, since it is my blog and all. Heck, even my Dad has told me I need to update my blog. So I added a few different blog links to the right to blogs I actually read instead of the old ones that were there before. I also added a couple of sites I like, one of which is my Brother-in-Law's site House Moves.

I'm going to really try and update this every other day at the least. I don't know what I'll say but it's bound to inform and entertain.

Or not.

I also updated the Songs to Love section at the right with a live performance of Sufjan Stevens doing the Star Spangled Banner like only Sufjan can do. I haven't updated to songs all year so I have some catching up to do with the best of '06. Check back often if you're interested in those things because I'm going to change the songs often.

Okay, so that's one post.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Story of Emily Mae

This page serves as an index of what our family has faced over the course of the year. Our story is made up of a series of blog posts and are indexed chronologically below. This isn't every blog post ever made about the subject, but rather a list of what I consider to be the main thoughts and posts we've compiled. I'll add to this list as posts are made and the story continues and have link to this page available at all times.

Thank you for your continued support.

Emily scheduled for her biopsy - Friday, February 03, 2006

Emily’s first biopsy - Monday, February 13, 2006

Emily’s biopsy results - Papillary Thyroid Cancer - Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dealing with the results and all of our friends support - Sunday, February 19, 2006

Pre-surgery testing - Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pre-Surgery anxiety and word from a survivor - Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The day before the thyroidectomy - Monday, February 27, 2006

The Thyroidectomy - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Day Two in the hospital posted by a friend - Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Day Three in the Hospital - Thursday, March 02, 2006

Day Four in the Hospital - Friday, March 03, 2006

Day Five in the Hospital - Thursday, Saturday 04, 2006

Day Six in the Hospital and pictures galore – Sunday March 05, 2006

Day Seven and the Roller Coaster Ride - Monday, March 06, 2006

Ninth and final day at Sherman Hospital - Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Emily is home again - Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Search for an Oncologist - Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Scan results and more surgery recommended - Sunday, March 19, 2006

Cancer spreads - Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Dealing with more bad news - Friday, April 07, 2006

The Day before Emily’s second Surgery - Sunday, April 23, 2006

Emily’s Second Surgery - Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fear of clotting and an extra night’s stay - Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Emily comes home again with no clotting! - Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tons of Loyola pictures - Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Emily’s post-operative check-up - Friday, May 05, 2006

Third surgery cancelled and news about radiation treatment - Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Latest updates added to index Thursday, August 24, 2006...

A message from Emily while we wait for radiation - Saturday, June 10, 2006

Some radiation news - Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Scanning tests begin - Monday, June 26, 2006

Emily finally starts radiation - Thursday, June 29, 2006

Emily comes home and now we wait and pray and wait... - Sunday, July 2, 2006

And wait... - Friday, July 14, 2006

Taking steps to help fight and protect us from cancer - Saturday, July 22, 2006

Almost time for the scan post first radiation treatment - Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Scan is scheduled - Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Radiation treatment round 2 scan results - Monday, January 22, 2007

Hospital stay
- Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More results and pictures - Friday, January 26, 2007

Getting ready for Emily's third scan - Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Scott's post on Emily
We are always praying for Emily and for her continued healing and rejoicing evermore! Thanks everyone for checking in and for praying for our little girl and for us and our family and friends!

Last updated Wednesday, May 21, 2008