Monosyllabic Pedantry

Friday, March 28, 2008

This is Why Churches Shouldn't be Tax Exempt

Obama's minister is retiring to his 10,340 square foot, four bedroom home in Chicago. The property for the mansion was bought by Wright, then sold to the church, to be held as a living trust. Public records of the sale show Trinity initially obtained a $10 million bank loan to purchase the property and build a new house on the land.

But further investigation with tax and real estate attorneys showed that the church had actually secured a $1.6 million mortgage for the home purchase, and attached a $10 million line of credit, for reasons unspecified in the paperwork.

Because churches are classified as private businesses, Trinity isn’t required to reveal its intended use for the line of credit. Nor, because it’s a non-profit entity, is it required to provide that information to the IRS.

So where did the $10Million go? Eh, nobody knows.

Considering Chicago's taxes, isn't it nice that Rev Wright doesn't have to pay any property taxes on his retirement mansion?

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Adopt a Veteran

You can adopt a Military Working Dog. They are the dogs that work for the military in Iraq and elsewhere. After they have been declared "excess" they are put down, but not if they are adopted.
This woman started a WEBSITE to make it easier. Go there for info.

Also link over to US WAR DOGS


Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Zombie Jesus Weekend

Wow, did I need a day off. Things have been pretty stressful lately. Today, I stayed in bed until 7:30, and just wallowed in the quiet.

I've discovered that Beagles are fine, so long as you don't try to stop them from doing something they want to do. When we had baby gates up, the girls dedicated themselves to figuring out how to get around them. They'd stand on two legs, pressed up against the gates, and whine and cry. Once we removed the gates, they have no interest in going into the previously blocked rooms.
For the past two nights, we've taken them out of the bin and let them sleep in the bed. Both nights, they quietly snuggled with us and slept through the night.

I'm off to celebrate the rerun of our Lord in the only appropriate way


Monday, March 17, 2008

Top O' the Mornin'

This'll be a pretty boring St Pat's post. Fair warning.

We sat around pretty much all weekend. That's probably a good thing since a tornado went through downtown Atlanta on Friday night. I think we were watching a Netflix movie, so we didn't even know about it until Saturday. Then on Saturday, another tornado came through north of us. All we saw of it was some serious hail; the biggest I've personally seen. I was on the phone with my aunt, telling her how we had survived friday's tornado, when it began. We all stood on the front porch and watched my brand new truck getting pounded by hail. Fortunately, no visible dents.
Mrs Schwartz has been feeling crappy with girl problems for a couple of days, so she just lied around the house, either sleeping or being crabby.
The guy I was planning on drinking with, got stuck downtown due to the tornado.
I unpacked the bench sander that I had bought back in December.
I tried to trim the front bush, but it required two good hands, so I gave up.
I'm going to need to mow the lawn soon.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

We're from the Government. We're Here to Help

Can you believe this shit?

D.C. Seeks Consent To Search for Guns

D.C. police are so eager to get guns out of the city that they're offering amnesty to people who allow officers to come into their homes and get the weapons.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced yesterday the Safe Homes Initiative, aimed at parents and guardians who know or suspect that their children or other relatives have guns. Under the deal, police target areas hit by violence and seek adults who let them search their homes for guns, with no risk of arrest. The offer also applies to drugs that turn up during the searches, police said.
Residents who agree to the searches will be asked to sign consent forms. If guns are found, they will be tested to determine whether they were used in crimes. If the results are positive, police will launch investigations, which could lead to charges.

Why would anyone agree to this? First of all, that amnesty + fifty cents won't even buy a cup of coffee. Note that part about how the guns will be checked? I'm guessing that most handguns hidden in mattresses in the bad part of DC probably weren't legally purchased from a licensed dealer.
And kiss your 4th amendment rights goodbye, because if anything illegal is found, that will qualify as probable cause for future searches.
How will the cops respond when you tell them that you don't want them to search your home? Will they pressure you about not having anything to hide? Will they do like they do with vehicles and suddenly decide that you are acting suspiciously nervous, giving them probable cause?

If the cops show up at your door, try to remember they are not your friends. They are representatives of the government. Do not invite them in. Talk to them through the door.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Hand update

Well, I went to see my surgeon on Monday. The original plan was that he was going to schedule a date to get the pin removed from my hand. Instead, he looked at the X-rays and decided that we should leave the pin in place until the next checkup, which isn't until April 1st (I know).

This sucks. The good news is that he is VERY impressed with the range of motion that I have. If I loosen it up first, I can pretty much make a fist. Even the rotation has improved considerably.

When Ilsa heard the news, she decided to cut back on the PT to once a week. My hand has full range of motion, although I can't both make a fist and bend my wrist forward at the same time. Not even a few degrees.

The thing is, I can't do PT to improve that until I get the pin out. The way it was worded to me is, "Dragging your tendon back and forth across that hunk of metal could do irreparable damage to it."

That's also the reason why I have not gone back to aikido. I'm sticking with my original decision to not go back until after I get the pin out.

Another wonderful bonus is that my latest Xrays show that part of the pin in my hand (a cap, he said) has come loose and is floating in my hand.

The Doc wasn't worried about it unless it suddenly inflames. Then I'm supposed to call him to get it out.

I got a copy of my post-bionic X-ray, although this copy is before the pin cap came loose:


Thursday, March 13, 2008

How proud you must be

We are judged by the company we keep.

From the Berkely Daily Planet

Commentary: Why I Don’t Support the Troops
By Kenneth Thiesen 2008-03-11

Many who oppose the Bush regime wars also say they “support the troops.” Let me say it straight out—I do not support the troops and neither should you. It is objectively impossible to support the troops of the imperialist military forces of the U.S. and at the same time oppose the wars in which they fight.

We need to support resisters within the military who have realized what they are doing and now choose to resist the role of the U.S. military.

We need to expose that those in the U.S. military are trained to be part of a “killing machine.” While not every member of the military is an individual murderer, they are all part of a system that commits war crimes, including aggressive wars, massacres, rape, and other crimes against humanity, all in the service of U.S. imperialism.

United States troops are acting as destructive and murderous forces of invasion and occupation.

Why is this any different from a German in World War II saying, “I oppose the wars launched by Hitler, but I support the troops of the German army which are making these wars possible.”

...those in the military today must take responsibility for what the military does. Just like the German soldiers of World War 2 could not hide behind the “I was just following orders” excuse, military personnel today also can not hide behind it.

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Too Funny to not Re-Post

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Catholic Hypocrisy

The pope came out with some new deadly sins last week.

There are the originals:


Then there are the new ones:

Genetic experimentation
Tampering with the order of nature
Social injustice
Causing poverty
Accumulating excessive wealth
Drug abuse

The Vatican's wealth is estimated to be between $10,000,000,000 and $15,000,000,000.

The Catholic religion forbids birth control of any kind, resulting in crippling poverty in much of the developing world, especially in south and central america.


FU Gas Stations!

I went to three different gas stations, trying to fill my tires with air. The air pumps were all in such poor condition, that I only ended up wasting money and letting air out of my tires.

I finally went to Walmart and bought a pump.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Puppyproofing the house

We had to buy two baby gates to keep Janet and Susan on the same floor as us. If they are allowed to wander off on their own, they invariably chew something or leave us a present.
Beagles are smart dogs. They have already figured out how to slip through the slats of the deck, and under the backyard fence. The deck provides a few minutes of peace, where you can stick them out there without having to worry if they are about to pee or poop.
In order to preserve out sanity, we put up chicken wire around the inside of the deck, and made a little pen off the back porch. I lined the pen with straw, so they won't get muddy. The pen will allow us to let them out to pee without having to get dressed, etc.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

How Cool is this?

Mrs Schwartz found these cool heart-shaped heating pads. They were 50% off because they were all already activated. Once we read the directions, which explained how to reset them, we were ready to go.

Pre-set, they look like they are filled with a clear liquid, resembling water. Once you "CLICK" the little heart inside, the chemical reaction is initiated. It's exothermic, so they are a great heating pad.
We got them at Bed Bath and Beyond.

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Minors are the best Miners

For some reason, there's always loose change lying around the house.
Janet and Susan are fascinated with any coins they find lying around (insert Bitches and Money joke). They pick up the change, chew on it, spit it out and play with it.
The upside is that they are finding much more change than we thought was out there.
Maybe they're earning their keep.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Coming to a county near you

Study: Illegal immigration costs border counties millions

PHOENIX (AP) - A new study concludes that law enforcement and criminal prosecutions linked to illegal immigration is costing Arizona border counties millions of dollars a year.

The study says the battle over illegal immigration is also diverting money from parks, libraries and other law-enforcement efforts.

University of Arizona and San Diego State University researchers say in the four border counties in Arizona, costs increased 39% to $26.6 million in fiscal 2006.

The study was commissioned by the U.S.-Mexico Border Counties Coalition, a non-profit group of border-county officials.

Information from: The Arizona Republic,

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Current Events

I dropped my cell phone into a bowl of water and it still works! Must be all that prayin' I been doin'.

I can pretty much make a fist with my right hand, although my finger is still REALLY swollen. Ilsa thinks that the screws are irritating something in my finger (duh!).
I'm scheduled to see the surgeon on Tuesday for a checkup and to schedule getting the pin out. Ilsa says my mobility is great and I should take it easy (shocking!). There is a risk if I overdo it. Since I still have a hunk of metal in my hand, I shouldn't drag my tendon back and forth over it more than necessary.
I'm putting off aikido until after the pin comes out.

Mrs Schwartz goes into the dentist today to get a tooth pulled that has made her life miserable for years. It has repeatedly gotten infected for years, causing excruciating pain in her facial nerve. Yank it! She'll finally be able to get off the anitbiotics, which make her sick.

The pups are getting better, although they are still demons from hell. It's only their cuteness that saves them.

I've been doing a lot of mechanical design work, since we are a small company.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Product Endorsement

Adding heat to my busted hand makes my torture exercises much easier to do. I went to Walmart and got one of these Thermipaq pads for about nine bucks.

What sold me on it was the clay-based technology. The insert is essentially a bag of fine clay powder. Think of the hot rock therapy that has been around for millenia.

99 seconds in the microwave and this sucker stays comfortably hot for a good 20 minutes, heck maybe even half an hour.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Puppy Update

They went to the vet and got a clean bill of health. We also got a puppy kit that included a little bottle of Frontline. Even the vet asked if we were sure we wanted Beagles. He said 'they'll run you ragged'. That seems to be true. They are a handful.

We took them to the park yesterday. We went for a short walk with them, then Mrs S and I went for a longer walk.


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