Better to have bunker balls than no balls at all….
Archive for March, 2006
The French government finally caved to labor unions and student protestors and softened the new labor law that is intended to reduce unemployment among those under 26 years of age. The original version of the law provided a two-year trial period during which company’s can fire workers under 26 without cause. French President Jaques Chirac today announced that the law would go into effect as planned, but the trial period would be lessened to one year and companies would have to give a reason for the dismissal.
Instead of meeting the government in the middle, unions still call for strikes next week to protest the law.
“We don’t want to negotiate … we don’t want it at all,” Bruno Julliard, head of the largest students’ union, said on TF1 television. “The president had the chance to give a clear answer, which he didn’t do.”
Neither do the French students want to work, evidently.
Twenty-two percent of the under-26 population is unemployed and they are up in arms over a measure that would theoretically entice employers to create jobs for them. Obviously growing up as citizens of a Socialist country has sheltered them from the reality of labor markets.
Every economy has its ups and downs. During the up times, employers will create jobs to meet demand for its products or services. During the down times, employers will find it necessary to trim jobs in order to stay afloat. If employers are not able to trim jobs during economic downturns, they’ll be reluctant to create jobs during economic upswings. This is especially true if you have no idea whether the workers you’re hiring have the motivation and skills to do the job. The under-26 student set obviously don’t have the job history to supply evidence of those things.
What they do have in apparent abundance is a sense of entitlement and a profound ignorance about supply and demand in the labor market. Since they’re students, it might be wise for them to enroll in at least one course in economics. Maybe then they’d see that they may have just protested themselves out of a job.
Fishing for speckled trout can be very hit or miss. However, lately it seems that there have been more hits than misses in North Carolina. I know fishing at one of my old faithful spots very near CDL this past fall produced excellent catches of specks. However, most of these fish were first year fish w/few over 12 inches. But after a very mild winter, things should continue to improve in both size and number. Not only are the numbers up, so is the size of the NC speck. It should also be said that the numbers and size of the red drum (aka puppy drum/red fish) we’re pretty impressive as well. No, this is not based on Curt’s stories, rather personal experince. Last fall saw a significant number of reds caught in and around the CDL shoreline. I have caught many reds in this area but they were never this size. These fish were also very predictable as they were found in the same area for a month or two. Things look well for fishing in our favorite places. Let’s hope the big drum will do the same at Ocracoke.
Since the topic of children came up in a earlier post, I’d though I try and start something on the homeschool movement. Anyone know anybody who has chosen to do this? Anyone planning to to do? The wife is 100% in favor, no surprises there. I’m leaning about 90% right now. We’re about 1 1/2 years away so not an urgent issue. Many reasons for our views and I’ll post them if there’s any interest. Seems to be a growing movement and I’ll more than likely be a part of it.
Searching for that troublesome droid that’s wandered away again? Need a quick getaway from those braying Sand People and their wooly Banthas? Powered by that classic muscle car, the 1988 Ford Escort, it’s the Running Replica Of The Star Wars Landspeeder.
Street-legal in California! Add the optional hydraulics and you’ve got the coolest low-rider on the block! And if you ever need a quick ticket out of Mos Isley, you can pawn it off on the Jawas!
Link via AMCGLTD.
Let me tell you a little bit about my office. My office is a smallish converted closet on the second floor of our two-story building. It’s good in that my office is rather separate from the rest of my department and I get few interruptions. It’s bad in that my door opens onto one of the major thoroughfares of traffic and I get a lot of noise.
People gossip in the hallways. They stop for mid-morning conference sessions with other passers by. They use it as a phone-booth, assuming that their conversations will remain private. I’ll have to blog the next really interesting conversation that takes place outside my door just to prove them wrong.
This morning, I have been treated to the sounds of a young child. One our intrepid newsroom employees seems to have brought his or her daughter to the office this morning. When I first heard the small voice, I was struck with an overwhelming urge to go out and see the young lass. I have this reaction more and more to small children. I think my parental urges are kicking into high gear as I get older. I have no children of my own, so I live vicariously through others.
Anyway, I am struck with warm feelings towards the little voice and its owner and I have a vague longing towards fatherhood. Not really a longing. More like a…well, not a longing at any rate.
That was until the little voice started to cry. Loudly. Longly. Vociferously even. Apparently there was no comforting the distraught child. Here we are in an office full of people and there is a small voice screaming out its displeasure for all to hear. I hear frantic shushings from the parent, but to no avail. The child’s voice only gets shriller and more insistent until it becomes something of a plaintive wail.
Just as the voice of Saruman lost its power as he passed into shadow, the small voice loses its power over me as the warm tones wane and the saw-toothed edges wax full.
And then I realize: “This child knows exactly what she is doing. She knows that there are people around and that she is making a scene and that the only option for the parent is to either give her what she wants or remove her from the situation, which may be what she wants anyway.” How utterly cunning and manipulative. Are all small people this clever and spiteful? I’m reminded of the velociraptor from “Jurassic Park”. “Clever, clever girl.”
Thankfully, the screaming voice has subsided. The child won the contest between parental pleading and childish longing and has been removed from the vicinity. As for me, the brief familial feelings have subsided. I’ll need to polish my cunning before I’m ready to deal with the devious mind of youth on a daily basis.
The above article suggests that the traditional image of Christ crucified head up and arms outstretched cannot be supported by evidence, mainly because the four gospels in the Bible do not provide detailed accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus and because crucifixion took many different forms. Those who were crucified could have been tied or nailed heads up or heads down.
“Victims were not necessarily positioned head up and nailed through the feet from front to back, as is the imagery in Christian churches.”
The cross could be erected “in any one of a range of orientations”, with the victim sometimes head-up, sometimes head-down or in different postures.
Nor is there any detailed account of the method of Jesus’ crucifixion in the four Gospels of the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) which are believed to be near contemporary accounts of the life of Christ.
An important point of emphasis is that the article doesn’t dispute Jesus’ crucifixion – only the traditional portrayal of the crucifixion. And it doesn’t necessarily say that that portrayal is incorrect – just unsupported by evidence.
The fact that people were crucified in various positions by various means is indisputable, but there is evidence to support the traditional image of Christ on the cross, at least if you’re willing to accept the gospels as evidence. (If you aren’t willing to accept the gospels as evidence, you probably don’t believe Jesus existed anyway, so it really doesn’t matter.)
The description of the crucifixion may not be detailed, but there is circumstantial evidence. Matthew 27:37 (New International Version) reads “Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” This at least suggests that Jesus was crucified head-up as he is traditionally portrayed.
The Gospel of Mark is more circumspect about the matter. Mark 15:26 simply reads: “The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS”. It doesn’t suggest placement. There may be some other supporting evidence that Christ was crucified head-up. Mark 15:17 reads: “The put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.” Presumably the crown of thorns would’ve been likely to fall off if Jesus was crucified upside down. That’s not really conclusive, but perhaps supportive of the tradition.
Another weakly supportive verse is Mark 15:36: “One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.” Now, I don’t know how tall the cross was supposed to be, but the verse suggests that Jesus’ mouth was at least far enough from the ground to require someone to use a stick to offer wine (or vinegar). I suppose the cross could’ve been tall enough to make this the case even if Jesus was upside down.
The Gospels of Luke and John don’t really add anything, but there are two other pieces of evidence to support the traditional Christian image of Christ on the cross. One is the anecdotal account of the crucifixion of St. Peter, the “rock” upon whom Christ built His Church. Peter was crucified by the Romans in the time of the emperor Nero. Peter did not want to equate himself with Jesus by being crucified up-right, so he asked to be crucified upside down and this is how his death has been traditionally displayed.
Of course, that’s just one tradition being used to support another, but that may be the strongest evidence of all. Tradition doesn’t just happen. It usually has some basis in reality. The written accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion, the four gospels don’t agree in every detail, but they do agree in the essence of the story. This suggests that the tradition they portray has some root upon which the writers draw. It’s not too big of a leap to think that the countless works of art depicting Christ’s crucifixion are based on a single scene that was passed down from the first Christians. And in that scene, Jesus was nailed to the cross up-right, arms outstretched.
Mom Warning: Not intended for mothers. At least not my mother. Mom, do not click the link above and do not read what you find on the other end. Trust me on this one.
The rest of you will find it hysterical.
As you know – many of us have an common bond with Camp Don Lee. Over the past 5 to 7 years, the Camp has undergone a massive facelift, probably more changes have happened in that time span than over the previous 40 years combined. Some of these changes have been needed due to growth and expansion, but also made some changed have been made neccesary by what Mother Nature has decided to do.
When Isabelle came through in September 2003 and destroyed the upper coast of the North Carolina Outer banks, CDL was spared. Granted, some erosion occurred and most of the pier was lost. The pier is not terribly long as it stretches into Mighty Neuse River, but more of a very special and useful piece to what camp is all about. Some people have propsed to their future wives on it, gotten married there, and even had their loved one’s ashes sprinkled off of the end into the Neuse. The pier can be washed away from time to time, by strong nor’easters, as well.
This past summer – Ophelia made her approach up the outer banks of the NC, and for the most part did very little damage. It seemed like the area that got the most damage was the upper Neuse River and the eastern part of the Pamlico Sound. At Camp Don Lee, the pier was lost, massive erosion occured in the Vesper Dale area, and around the sailing hut. So much so – that the sailing hut was torn down, Vesper Dale had to be reworked, and the entire beachfront has changed. I have some pictures of the changes – let me see if I can get them to post here:
1. The old retaining wall was partially replaced – and more sand brought in (from Seagull, nonetheless).
2. This the new concrete “Hog Slat” Walkway from the Sail loft to the new beach.
3. This is the left side of the pool dock completely redone – HUGE PROPS to Mason, Jawbreaker, Woundwort, and Tyson – for their demolition job on the old deck.
4. The new Craft Hut
5. The small cliff is gone, and you can see how far up the water came to the bathouse.
6. This is an amazing picture.
7. No more Sailing hut – just rock in front of the loft and and empty spot where the hut used to be. That was a good building for a lot of people…
For all of these repairs – Money was raised by private donations – through a mailing campaign, which yielded some astounding results.
So – if you have any extra money just laying around, pennies whatever – send it down to good ole’ Camp Don Lee. My sister and her family (4 teenagers!) – has a big jug in their kitchen that they routinely drop change into, basically whatever they have to send CDL when it gets full.
I think most of you know it is a wonderful place, and it is up to the generation of Me, Kehaar, Mason, Woundwort, Jawbreaker, Bigwig, the FDS gang, and any of you that have a connection to this wonderful place to keep it going through donations and volunteer work so CDL will still be there for our children.
If you ever want to send a donation:
No, I’m not talking basketball. Credit this to a caller I listened to via WPTF radio during yesterday’s drive home. He brought up the two recent events at the UNC and Duke. Specifically, Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar’s recent attempt to kill some UNC students in the Pit @ UNC and the Duke lacrosse team’s recent alleged rape incident. Both events should certainly warrent media coverage, student/school reactions and public opinion. However, there seems to be quite a difference in the level of hatred and vilification directed to the accused.
In one case, we know that Mr Taheri-azar’s drove his rented 4X4 into and through a crowded student area. Thus the attempted murder charges he now faces. A confession/claim linking the “drive thru” attack as a terrorist act has also been provided. In the other case, we know of no actual facts other than there was a party at which two dancers performed and now one has claimed she was sexually assaulted by more than one of the attendees of the party. We don’t even know if the alleged atackers we even actual lacross players or just friends of the team at the party.
So what’s the point: Over at UNC, a few folks initially tried to get some press and make a deal out of this as a terrorist attack. However, there was a bigger move and eventually a candle light vigil held to promote understanding of the Muslim faith. We haven’t heard much since then. Imagine if someone had driven a car through the Muslim awareness vigil in an attempt to kill those folks and then claimed he/she was doing to support the US troops! Total hell would have broke out @ UNC! Over at Duke, a case is playing out and we know very little compared to the UNC case. Yet, most everyone has already decided guilt, taken action(s) against the lacross players and demanded it from the school as well. The media is feeding on this thing like the sharks they are and we have yet to establish what if any crimes were committed.
Both events warrent opinion, coverage and action. However, the only one we can respond to based on facts happened at UNC a few weeks ago and for the most part that one passed under the radar screen after about 2 days. The other one is currently being investigated and we await the final findings and DNA results. Why the big difference? Perhaps it is because the lacross players are white while the crazy fellow over @ UNC is a Muslim. Yes, Kehaar, I agree with you that race is playing a very important part in how both of these events have and will be played out.