Thursday, November 30, 2006

Making Change, part 1

As a comment to this blog, Indiana Jane asked, "so how do we do it?" I primed everyone for the responses in this entry, which I posted last week.

Instead of talking politics, we'll tackle another topic, and show how it relates to Jane's question. That topic is homeschooling. Even if you don't homeschool, you probably know someone who considered homeschooling or does homeschool their children, so hang with me.

This topic is too big to cover in one post, and my thoughts are still being formulated for subsequent entries. This ride is, after all, a pay as you go deal; just in time processing, if you will.

Everyone take your positions.

On your mark...get set...


Homeschooling. It's not just for whacked out, isolationist Christians any more. Okay, it really never was, but had that reputation. Approximately 2.0 million children are homeschooled. Not much, you say? Understand that the movement has grown between 7%-12% annually since the turn of the millennium. (I wish my stock portfolio would consistently grow at those rates.)

So, while the percentage of children being homeschooled is trending up, it is still a small minority of the full population. Homeschooling parents are still bucking the trend, and doing what others won't do, won't consider or could care less about.

So, if you are reading this and are a homeschooling parent, you decided to do something that the majority is not doing. But you did it anyway.

If you homeschool, why did you decide to buck the trend, when maybe even parents, relatives and close friends disagreed with your decision? I am not asking what your reasons were for homeschooling. I am asking what your reasons were for not caring what others thought.

There is a difference. Let's see why you, or your homeschooling friends, distanced yourself from the peer pressure of sending your kids off to school. I am ready and eager to read your comments.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

From The Toy Department of Life

Cleveland lost a good friend yesterday. Casey Coleman, a legendary sportscaster and sports anchor in the Greater Cleveland area, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer early Monday morning. He strived to be among the 4% of survivors, but it wasn't meant to be.

I hit the snooze on my alarm that morning. When it startled me awake again, I could tell something was different. Fading in and out of sleep, I was only picking up parts of the radio broadcast. Something startled Mrs. Quipper awake, and I said "I think Casey died last night." I was right.

Today, as I observed people calling local radio stations, or dropping comments on the local websites, to talk about him and his life, I became compelled to post some of my own comments.

For his entire life, Casey was involved with professional sports, which he coined "the toy department of life" because, in the grand scheme of things, sports really didn't mean anything. You would never see or hear him make himself the story; he always kept a proper perspective. He hated it when sports took on more importance than real-life problems, or when athletes became caricatures of themselves.

His father, Ken Coleman, was the voice of the Boston Red Sox for many years. He passed away a couple years ago. Casey had big shoes to fill, and filled them well.

When I was a younger, Casey was the sports anchor for one of the local television stations. Yesterday, a local radio personality responded to a caller, saying she remembered watching Casey on TV as she grew up. As I thought about it, I remembered we had three TV stations, and three sports programs in the 80s. Darn it if I couldn't remember the other two sports anchors, because I spent my time watching Casey, too.

When another local sportscasting legend and "voice of the Browns", Nev Chandler, passed away from cancer, Casey replaced him in the booth. Casey was unfortunate to be behind the mic for the 1995 football season, when Art Modell announced then proceeded to move the Browns to Baltimore. This individual, who was a ball boy for the Browns when he was growing up, remained professional through the sadness of the time.

I remember when Casey defended Bill Belichick, former Browns head coach, current New England Patriots coach and winner of three Super Bowls, for benching and waiving local hero Bernie Kosar. I didn't like it. I loved Bernie. But Casey stuck to his guns, and probably got himself in local hot water for sticking with his story. But I also recall rumors of Casey writing a book to explain what really happened to cause Art Modell to move the Browns to Baltimore. What a shame that the truth could not be told. Now, local politicians and businessmen no longer need to worry about what dirty laundry could be exposed.

I also learned yesterday that Casey was one of the pioneers for sideline reporting during football games. Granted, he wasn't as good looking as the sports babes on TV, but his insights were spot-on, as though he was in the huddles and the coaches' meetings. He always educated as well as entertained. This is a talent that the Cleveland Indians sportcasters also have, and it makes for easy listening.

Mrs. Quipper was introduced to Casey through Browns broadcasts in the mid-90s, courtesy of my love for all Cleveland pro sports teams, but didn't gain an appreciation for him until he joined the high-powered AM talk radio station in cleveland, WTAM 1100 . He had a quick, dry wit, which fit very well within the walls of the Quipper household. His contacts around the major sports leagues, and the way those contacts confided in him, made him THE MAN in Cleveland for up to the minute sports news. He could decipher rumors, facts, and wild fantasy. If Casey reported it, it had to be true. And if it wasn't, then decisions were reversed, and we found out about it the next day in the paper. (This was what happened when the Browns almost fired their General Manager, Phil Savage, last off-season.)

Casey once recommended a fantasy baseball book on one of his programs. We liked what Casey said about the book, so we bought it for Classical Pelican, my father-in-law, for Father's Day. Mrs. Quipper sent a thank you e-mail to Casey for his recommendation of the book. He was genuinely surprised to get an e-mail, and replied to my wife with a heartfelt thank you. It might not sound like much, but how many people in that position would you expect to reply to you?

For several years, Casey also hosted the must-hear, Cleveland Indians pre-pregame program. When the program first aired, he would end the show by saying, "Honey, I'm rounding third and heading home." Once in a while, he'd say he was rounding third, picking up that gallon of milk she requested, then headed home. He was factual, witty and entertaining. "Rounding third and heading home" will forever be the way Clevelanders remember him, given the pain he endured over the last year and the faith that he conveyed.

Casey fought the bottle for a long time, and seemed to have conquered those demons. He lived his faith, enjoyed what he did, and helped others. He was not perfect; no one is. He did, however, live to fulfill all his vocations. If we could only show so much joy and passion through all our own trials and tribulations.

God Bless the Coleman family. Your son, brother, husband, and father was an inspiration to us.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Grammar Quiz

Do you pass? I did.

Your Language Arts Grade: 98%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

Wayback Machine Experiment (aka Retro Day at Cleveland Browns Stadium)

Mr. Peabody here, with his pet boy, Quipper. We decided to try something new with the Wayback Machine yesterday. At promptly 12:58pm, we chose to bring the "expansion franchise" spirit from the Cleveland Browns 1999 team to the current day. And, boy - sorry, Quipper - we exceeded expectations. We never imagined that we could fully take the atmosphere, lack of organization, and chaos from one age, and superimpose it on another team with much better talent than the 1999 team.

And now, to repeat the obvious, here are this week's Idiot of the Week awards:

Win - Braylon, University of Michigan "whiner student athlete" and Browns wide receiver. He shot off his mouth several times this past week, then physically confronted quarterback Charlie Frye on the sidelines during the game. Not smart. The ongoing saga of prima donna wide receivers continues in the NFL.

Place - Charlie Frye - an all-around bad game against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. This should have been an easy game for him to prove is decision making ability.

Show - Romeo Crennel, head coach of the Browns. I guess the team met his "leave it all on the field" quota of one game, last week against the Steelers. Oy Vey!

Honorable Mention - The remainder of the Cleveland Browns team. No spirit, no gumption, no energy. That's their own fault.

Wake me up when the season ends....

CLC Radio, last week of Trinity and Bible Study

The latest sermon and bible study session from Christ Lutheran Church can be found here.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Okay, I admit, I've gone a little crazy on the blogging thing the past two weeks. When the thoughts arrive, and you believe there is an urgency about your content - whether it is profound or silly - you post. It's been one of those fortnights. I've also had the opposite, where you could have given me a completed post, cart blanche, and I couldn't post it.

So most of my stuff was political/national security based, but I also posted some band and sports stuff. I will be covering lighter fare here and in my Quipper Entertainment blog, which has some pretty neat videos. (Yes, I know, it's a shameless plug.)

The reason for this post, though, is simple: I am preparing to answer a question that Indiana Jane asked me a week or so ago. After giving her question some serious thought, I had my idea of how to respond to her. Her question was about politics. My answer was: wdhspd? (That means "what did homeschool parents do?")

So, to prepare you for a series of posts that I will be blogging over the next month, I request that you first take the time to read these excellent posts from The Rebellious Pastor's Wife about homeschooling.

My intent is not to sell you on homeschooling. My intent is not to sell you on religion. Y'all have your own ideas about all of that already. My idea is to take a concept for which many of you already have preconceived notions or beliefs, and show how those preconceived notions and beliefs - and how you deal with them - apply to today's political landscape. So, that being said, here is the series from the Rebellious Pastor's Wife. I will start posting my responses to Indiana Jane's question in the next week or so...and I will even tell you what her question was. :-)

Why I homeschool

Family Unity

Socialization, part 1

Socialization, part 2

Socialization, part 3


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Must Reads

I'll get back to lighter fare in a couple of days. At least by Sunday, when it'll be time for the latest edition of the Idiot of the Week Awards. Until then...

If you haven't looked at the Bloggers Infidel Alliance yet, you simply must. Here are a few of the recent posts:

Persian culture on its way out

Nothing to see here

Islam is a political organization

And these are just three of almost two dozen posts over the last several days. Excellent information that every American should read.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

No anecdotes.

No jokes.

No political rants.

Just this...

To you and yours, may you have a thoroughly enjoyable Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Upgrades and Sour Grapes (I mean awards)

Greetings all!

What a whirlwind weekend for the Cleveland football fan. The Ohio State Buckeyes pulled out a great win in an awesome game against that team up north. The Browns, however, weren't able to stop the Steelers once Pittsburgh went into a no-huddle offense, and lost a heartbreaker. Pittsburgh just has the better players at this time, although I think we played them tougher than they expected.


I went shopping this weekend to upgrade my gig "outfit". While I usually look like this,

donning a Chief Wahoo baseball cap turned frontwards or backwards, I decided to mix up my look a bit:

Okay, so you may not consider it an upgrade, but I couldn't keep wearing an out of season ball cap. Just not my thang. (I think we'll be performing Hang On Sloopy for a while, especially since OSU's basketball team got off to a good start, too.)

Precious Ribbons

And now, in celebration of all the bozos that play the game we know and love, here are the Idiot of the Week awards:

Win - Mike Hart, University of Michigan running back. While the game was close and entertaining, OSU basically gave Michigan 10 points due to turnovers in the 3rd quarter. OSU didn't play its best all game; Michigan did. They still lost. After the game, Hart had the nerve to say OSU's defense was over hyped. HELLO MIKE...Your top-ranked rushing defense (giving up an average of 29.2 yards per game) and hyped passing defense gave up 200 yards rushing and almost 400 yards passing. If they do it all over again in the BCS championship, both teams make adjustments, and you still lose. Whiner; this is sour grapes cuz you lost to the Buckeyes three years in a row.

(By the way, it's now 8:07pm, EST, and Michigan still sucks.)

Place - Charlie Frye - his decision making is improving, but he could have run for 3-4 yards on a critical 3rd and 1. Instead, the play failed, and we punted. The Browns lost with only 32 seconds left in the game. Had he run, and therefore extended the drive, the makeup and outcome of the game would have been different.

Show - Joey Porter, Linebacker for the Steelers - Joey was talking smack with Kellen Winslow, Jr. all game. On one pass play, Porter tried tackling Winslow. Kellen stiff-armed him and forced him to the ground - basically, he tackled Porter - then ran for at least another five yards after the play. Sweet!

Honorable Mention - Rutgers college football team. They had a remote chance of going to the big dance (BCS championship bowl), then proceeded to lose to a 5-5 Cincinnati Bearcats team. Rutgers proceeded to drop nine places in the BCS standings.

Brownies - the Troy Smith/Brady Quinn lottery starts in a mere two months. Frye has six more games to continue improving his decision making ability before you draft another quarterback...and pass rushing specialist...and offensive lineman. :-)

Saturday, November 18, 2006


The Ohio State Buckeyes beat that team up north in a classic showdown. The game should have sealed Troy Smith's Heisman Trophy Award, too.


Friday, November 17, 2006

The Case Against Leniency

A.K.A. the answers to the latest test.

Sheesh, some of you are getting a little impatient, I see. We definitely live in the microwave society, where we permit problems to fester for years, decades, and longer, but we want the solutions implemented NOW! We want everyone to understand us and take our side, but get steamed when we believe someone doesn't "get it".

But I digress. Onto the answers.

1. What are the purposes for carrying out the consequences? In one way or another, you all answered the question correctly: a) punish the inappropriate behavior, and b) set an example to curb the behavior in others.

2. Why don't we fulfill these two purposes? Pick one:
- Personal guilt
- Fear of being disliked
- Fear of offense to disaffected parties
- Fear of retribution
- Laziness

Note that none of these reasons deals with the offense. They are all self-centered. They are all wrong. In actuality, we disregard the second purpose.

By not implementing the stated consequences, we make our policing efforts look weak. On a parental level, this happens when parents don't publicly back up each other on a disciplinary action. Even if the parents disagree, they should do so in private, away from the kids, but permit the discipline to occur. On the local/national level, it makes laws unenforceable, and erodes the ability of our safety forces to do their jobs, while giving the criminal element reason to continue in their unlawful ways. Internationally, it eliminates any baseline for legal behavior, making all activity acceptable, no matter how immoral, unethical or illegal it may truly be.

Remember this next time you choose not to carry out discipline in your own household, or when you want to advocate for a death row inmate who has been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You will be contributing directly to the ongoing disrespect of authority, and to the erosion of civility.

Here is a bit of teaching that merits consideration:

The civil intended to punish the gross, manifest crimes that people commit. Civil government is authorized to preserve external peace, so that each person may be able to preserve what belongs to him.

In this civil kingdom, there is no forgiveness of sin, but rather punishment for sin.... God did not put a useless piece of paper into the emperor's hand, but rather the hardest and sharpest sword with which to execute punishment; not a pen, but a sword.

It continues:

If civil government were to forgive crimes, you and I would lose everything. When a thief steals everything there is in a house, when a murderer robs and kills whomever he meets on the street, if the prince of a territory and the judge of a city were to ignore and forgive crimes, we would all lose our property, or bodies and our lives.

When thieves insist on stealing and murderers insist on killing, then the emperor and his agents have a responsibility to address the problem in a different way than I...would address it. To repeat, the job of the emperor and his forces is to punish evildoers, not to forgive them.

Keep going:

Unfortunately, what is happening today is that officials in the civil government, who are reminded of their responsibility to punish, not only are indifferent and lazy about punishing crime, but actually aid and abet the criminals...they brought secular government to the point where rulers pleaded conscientious objection when it was their duty to execute criminals.

Talk about hitting the nail on the head. So, now you have two new questions:
1. When was this teaching written?
2. By whom?

Rome Wasn't Built In a Day

There are lots of ways to say the same thing, especially when it comes to adages, maxims, and cliches. I know, I know; I'm repeating myself.

So, I am eliciting your assistance. Rome wasn't built in a day. What other variations of this adage do you know?

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Most of you reading this are either employed or have been employed full-time. That being so, some firm - or your H.R. department - has talked with you about your financial future. If you are self-employed, some financial advisor may have had that talk with you. You know, the one that inevitably includes the words:

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Okay, then let's change this slightly to match the current political state in the U.S.:

Don't put all your eggs in either of two baskets.

Businesses attempt to diversify to protect themselves from loss. We diversify our financial portfolios to improve on the good times, and alleviate loss in the bad times. Organizations diversify their workforce, attempting to bring fresh ideas to a stale environment.

So, how do you diversify the two political parties when everyone in the parties thinks alike?

You don't. (See a recurring theme?)

I'm starting to like the idea of a handful of political parties fighting for control of the legislature. What would happen if you had four political parties with clout, each one fundamentally different enough that you could not guarantee a consistent voting bloc, yet with none of these parties having a true majority - and maybe not even a legitimate plurality - in Congress?

I like government more when it does less. I believe a 4-8 year furlough of our elected officials would be a good start. Knowing the outlandishness of that hope, having 4-5 political parties duke it out, with none of them having a mandate, would be just as good.

Quipper, over and out.

This is a problem

Congress has its first elected Muslim - Keith Ellison. And here you can read about CAIR's successes in 'non-partisan' politicking.

This is an organization that will only work within the political parties long enough to gain an advantage; in other words, long enough to hijack a party. When that happens, it won't matter if you are liberal or conservative; all that will matter is that you are not Muslim.

We have to work to ensure that this doesn't happen.

To put this in perspective: I don't think the pro-tolerance crowd looks at Islam as a religion. I think they view it as a race and/or culture. That's why they want to protect it. They just don't get it.

BTW...for more "fun" on CAIR and their bretheren, visit the Infidel Bloggers Alliance, which I have added to my links.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Answers... a rhetorical question. No, sillies, not to the pop quiz. Not yet, anyway.

The question: when you support an issue that you believe should garner major political party support, but won't because the issue will politically cripple the party should they support it, how do you garner support from the party?

Answer: you don't.

Welcome to the new millenium of politics in America, where both major parties profess liberty conceptually, but avoid it practically. Where they want to help the little people, but truly only help themselves. Where they want to empower the powerless, but not to the point of losing their own power.

They do this because politics is really marketing, an attempt to accumulate the greatest market share. You cannot do that by being on a minority side of an issue, or by throwing all your weight behind a minority issue. Instead, you have to insure yourself that you will at least maintain your current power position, if not improve it.

Point of Reference

The words "moderate", "independent", "non-partisan" all play into the us vs. them mentality of the two major parties. They make the Democrat and Republican parties the frame of reference. That's a problem. As Art Modell, former owner of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens (God save me for mentioning his name), used to say, "bad publicity is better than no publicity". As long as you are the point of reference, you can still frame the debate.

So, to make honest change in the political landscape, we have to work from without, since working from within only strengthens our reliance on the Dems and Reps.

To Link, or Not To Link

To do my small part - no, Scottius, I am not running for political office - I will from time to time add links to issues or organizations that are beneficial to the political growth of America, but a detriment to the political establishment. I will not post political party links - sorry, Scott, it's my blog and I'll refrain if I want to - but to issues like "None of the Above". (Special thanks to William White, Director of Voters for None of the Above, for commenting on this post.)

Feel free to comment on these links, or not. But by all means, check them out. The more we can marginalize the two major political parties, the better chance we have of saving our liberty.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Pop Quiz

Yo, yo. Prof Quip is in the house!

We're keeping it real, folks. Time for an impromptu exam. The best tests are those for which you are unprepard, because they tell the teacher how well you know the material, and how well you think on your feet.

Here are three scenarios:

1. A child steals a handful of cookies from the cookie jar, while his little sister watches the situation unfold.
2. A man attempts to rape a woman.
3. A world leader professes not to be developing a nuclear program, and submits to an inspection program to prove his truthfulness. However, he does not remain faithful to the terms of the agreement.

Assume the following for all three scenarios:

1. Boundaries were formally set - in the first, it's the parental rule. The second, the law. The third, UN agreement.
2. Consequences were formally set, by the same parties that set the boundaries.
3. The boundaries and consequences were communicated in advance to the appropriate parties, or to the community in general.
4. The individual in each scenario was caught overstepping the boundaries and found guilty.

The questions for the test:

1. What are the two purposes for carrying out the consequences?
2. Why don't we fulfill those two purposes?

Answers soon, or at least soon enough.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

CLC Radio, Trinity, Week 22 and Revelation Bible Study

Sorry I missed last week's due to travel and internet restrictions. You can link here to get the general link, from which you can find any of the recent podcasts.

Worship Service

Bible Study - Revelation, parts of Chapters 3-4. Learn all about spinning rims and hydraulics in Chapter 4. :-)


Goldie Hawn will be so happy that I didn't forget her. This weekend's football games were about as zany as her movie, Wildcats. But, seeing and hearing what I saw, she probably could have coached better than a number of other coaches this weekend. Doh!

Congrats to the Buckeyes and Browns. Yeah, Michigan won, too. The only reason that matters is because it'll allow OSU to beat two - sorry, three - #2 ranked teams this year. The third will be the team they beat in the BCS championship. Disclaimer: I am not clairvoyant; just hoping. :-)

Okay, it's Sunday night, time for the Idiot of the Week Awards. Tell us who won, Johnny.

Win - Michael Vick, Quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. Granted, the Browns defense is pretty good, but Vick allowed himself to lose the game. Charlie Frye actually made less mistakes than Vick did.

Place - The Cincinnati Bengals - how do you give up 42 points in a half - at home??? Marvin Lewis, Cinci's head coach, and his defensive coordinator must have forgotten there was a second half to play. Stick a fork in the Bengals; they're done.

Show - all the top ranked college football teams that forgot how to beat unranked teams. Yes, that includes you, Texas, California, and Auburn. You are certainly making the BCS championship quest interesting.

No honorable mentions tonight. Frye is proving he needs help in the decision-making component of this game. But he outplayed Vick, so I'll leave him alone...this time.

There are several weeks left in the college football season after the OSU-Michigan game. Depending on what happens, the loser of that game could still find themselves in the BCS championship against the winner.

What do you call a group of Michigan fans in a basement?
A whine cellar.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Few Of My Favorite Things

I'm baaa-aack. Work has been, well, "fun" in a corporate sort of way.

Instead of ranting about politics, which could take forever to catch up, I decided to take a different approach. Here is what I want (see the list below). I'm not asking for much, really, just a country whose leaders really care, and work for the betterment of the country, not just their party.

Take special note of what is not on the list, too. I'm sure some of you would have anyway.

No explanation needed

  • Term limits
  • Line item veto
  • No more motor-voter registration
  • Enact literacy requirements for people to qualify as registered voters
  • Dissolve the EPA, or at least get them out of the eminent domain business
  • Honoring private property rights
  • End of corporate entitlements
  • End of state entitlements from the Feds
  • End of local/county entitlements from the Feds and state
  • Eliminate all social services administered at the federal level
  • Tort reform to penalize ambulance chasers, and to help curb malpractice insurance premiums
  • Remove the not-for-profit status of all PACs, so that they can pay taxes
  • After that, charge an exorbitant licensing fee to become a PAC and retain that status annually. There's a tax I could support. :-)
  • Enforce the immigration laws on the books
Brief explanation needed:
  • Treat those that aren't citizens as though they aren't citizens: no rights until they work through the system to be naturalized.
  • Stop using Christ, race, gender and sex as sound-bite emotional issues. Politicians obfuscate debate when these are introduced into the discussion.
  • Impeachment of judges who fail to live up to their duty. That is, after all, the check that the legislature has over the judiciary.
  • Enforce the Constitution and Amendments - yes, all of them - as written. No more of this "reading into" an amendment or article to suit your purposes.
  • Capital punishment occurs within twelve months of the sentence. Forget having to sustain these folks for years on death row.
  • Zero based budgeting - when I set my family budget, I don't start with this year's expenses, automatically increase them by 5-7%, then figure out how much more I need. I start from zero, every year. So should the government.
  • "None of the Above", or some equivalent, as a valid election choice for key races, such as Fed and State House and Senate races, and Mayoral and Council offices. If candidates run a high $$$ campain, and no one wins, the major political parties have to do it all over again. If they're going to waste my money, I don't mind wasting theirs.
  • Single-issue bills - No more of this crap, for example, where a military spending bill fails because some bozo adds a rider to save the one-eyed floozy-bird in southeastern Minot. Then the bozo's campaign advertises that his opponent failed the military bill.
Still reading? Good.
  • Governmental bodies must comply with the laws they enact - No more independent retirement fund for government agencies and representatives, whereas the general public gets social security. Do their organizations have to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley?
  • Vacate our seat in the U.N. - we keep lending credibility to 3rd world crazies who hate us, but want our money. (Who wants to be like the French, anyway?)
  • Rescind McCain-Feingold - it only makes the incumbents stronger, and causes more PACs to form to combat the incumbents. Talk about misappropriation of funds.
  • Truth in campaigning - ads are not allowed to be aired if any false information is identified, but the campaigners have to pay the fees, anyway.
See, I'm not asking for much. Nothing that the electorate can't enforce.

New Links Reissued

Teacher, Blogger ate my post!

Here it is again. I don't know what happened, but this post went MIA some time between Tuesday and Thursday. And now, I have the added benefit of updating the template to include these links. :-)

I have much to say on politics, religion, and escapism, but I am still trying to put my thoughts into words. So, until then, enjoy the new, fresh baked links from my site. As always, just cuz I link 'em doesn't mean I always agree with them, but I do like reading them.

Conblogeration - courtesy of Des Moines Girl
Kayla - I don't remember how I got to her site, I think it was a comment from another blogger's site.
Yoda - courtesy of Kayla

And, courtesy of friends and family:
Chaplain to the World - our Assistant Pastor at Christ Lutheran Church
Classical Pelican - our Pastor at Christ Lutheran Church. And I believe I am related to him through marriage. :-)


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Hide the children! Quipper is about to give his post-election analysis!

Yes, it's true. I am about to give the shortest, most concise political analysis in the history of the modern world.

State/Local - liberty lost, as use of legal substances is now illegal, even though those substances are now taxed at a higher rate to fund "culture". Entitlement won, as our state constitution now mandates regular increases to the minimum wage. And we don't love the children, because we failed the gambling issue.

State/National - we have been assimilated. What my buddy Scott calls the "two headed political party" is, in actuality, the Borg. Doesn't matter who's in power, as long as THEY ARE IN POWER. 'Nuff said.

Resistance is futile? Only if we keep believing the 2-party system and big media are the only answer to better governance of the United States.

Grass roots movements should no longer involve reform of the major parties, but should lead to their disintegration.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Gambling On a Vice

If you live in Ohio, and are eligible to vote in Tuesday's election, and are smart enough to exercise your right to vote, great. What I'm about to say may surprise you.

I don't care how you vote on the gambling issue. Really, I don't.

For those of you reading this, no matter in which state you reside, I would like to make a different point.

You have all heard of the term "sin tax". It's when you take people's vices - preferably drinking and smoking - and tax the living daylights out of them. People get to "do what they do", and municipalities, or the state, or both, get to fill their corporate coffers. It's a win for all sides, right?

Not really. What happens when the state or municipalities decide to start making it illegal to consume according to your vice? In other words, what if it's legal to buy cigarettes, but illegal to use them? Logically, wouldn't you stop buying them? If you did for that reason, or because you wanted to improve your own health, you would stop the growth of the governmental coffers. Oops, we can't have that! Why? Because governments do not believe in paring down costs; they operate off the premise of continual increase. So, when the coffers decrease in value, that's not good.

What do you do, then, if one vice no longer pays the bills? Why not subsidize another one? Let's see, what's a good example of a vice that, in controlled amounts, doesn't hurt anyone? Hmmm.


{still thinking}


Yep! You got it.

Think about it for a minute. Regardless of whether gambling is good for the economy, look at the tax collection opportunities. You start by permitting gambling at a small number of locations. Then you approve gambling at more locations. Then you start taxing the daylights out of gambling activities. (BTW...I refuse to use the politically correct term "gaming".)

But wait, there's more.

The reason Ohio is promoting gambling is because it will "keep money in the state". In other words, Ohioans will gamble in Ohio, instead of going to neighboring states. If that is truly the goal of gambling, and the state and municipalities start adding winnings taxes, tourist taxes, additional lodging taxes, etc., guess who wins?

Ooh, ooh, ooh, Mr. Kotter, Mr. Kotter, I know!


No one.

Yep, but why? Simple. You are adding taxes to an already overtaxed population in the state of Ohio. You've substituted "smoking tax" for "gambling + tourist + lodging" tax, all to the detriment of the state's residents. So, by supporting the vice, we're actually setting up portions of our population to keep less money in their pockets by being taxed more.

Nice, huh?