Monthly Archives: April 2004



This is Alex. Alex has Muscular Dystrophy. Alex gets to go to summer camp with the money you helped me raise for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

MDA Summer Camp is a week long adventure in an accessable and barrier free environment. It is open to all children ages 6-21 with neuro-muscular diseases. All the normal camp activities are available for the youth attending, such as horseback riding, swimming and arts and crafts with a staff trained in the special needs of a child with MD.

Strip Mining for Whimsy

This is one of the most interesting blogs I’ve read in a long time. Joshua Norton’s unorthodox upbringing has given him fodder for some of the most compelling writing I’ve read in this medium. I’m finding myself waiting for his next update on a daily basis.

I just thought I’d share that with you.

Most Important Decision

Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether in the war on terrorism President Bush can order American citizens held indefinitely in a military jail without charges, a hearing or access to a lawyer. This is possibly the most important decision that these justices will make in their tenure on the court. The outcome will also determine how I cast my vote for president in November.

There are a great many things that President Bush has done while in office that I completely disagree with. I don’t like the way he has handled spending. I don’t like the fact that he has increased the size of government. Mostly, though, I don’t like the way he is handling domestic security issues. You see, even though I don’t like a lot of the thing he’s done, I believe that had Al Gore been president I wouldn’t have liked what he would have done even more. That is, except for one major issue I have with the way this administration is handling domestic security issues.

I don’t like the fact that this administration feels like it can just grab someone off the street and hold them incommunicado for an indefinate period of time just by declaring that person an enemey combatant. I don’t care how bad of a person the prisoner might be there can always be cases of mistaken identity and that’s what due process is all about, preventing mistakes or abuse of power from harming the innocent. In this country we just don’t grab people off the streets without their having some course of protest.

And now we are where this most important decision by the SC comes into the equation with my important decision this coming November. I don’t really have a problem with an administration attempting to do things that I may consider to not be constitutionally sound as long as they truely consider those things to be constitutionally sound and the Supreme Court is able to reel them in and control them. I believe that the Bush administration truely believes that they are on solid ground in their treatment of "enemy combatants". I believe that John Kerry would make a horrible president but that he would not take the same stand on "enemy combatants" that Bush has taken. If the Supreme Court rejects the Bush administrations treatment of "enemy combatants" as un-constitutional I’ll vote for Bush. If however, the Supreme Court upholds the Bush administrations treatment of "enemy combatants" then I’ll have to hold my nose and vote for John Kerry.

I have tried real hard to find more reasons to vote for Kerry than the one that I have. Unfortunately, as bad as I find the Bush administration to be, I find Kerry to be worse except for this one issue and this one issue is the most important one of the campaign for me. If the Supreme Court can’t reign Bush in on this one item then I see another term with Bush as president to be a threat to the continued freedoms of our country. If the Supreme Court does clamp down on this abuse of power then I see a Kerry Whitehouse to be the largest threat to economic recovery and security from the terrorist.

I hate it that I’m having to choose between the lesser of two evils for my President. Why can’t the Democrats ever come up with a suitable candidate for me? What I hate most of all about this, though, is that a whole different branch of the government is going to make the decision of who I vote for for me, not the candidates themselves.

Islam Declares War on the World

It appears that it isn’t just Christians and Jews that have problems getting along with Muslims, Buddhist can’t seem to get along with them either.

It was the worst violence in a region that has seen dozens of people killed in near-daily of attacks this year. The government has blamed Islamic separatists who have sought to carve out a homeland in the Muslim-majority south of this predominantly Buddhist country for decades.

Of course there’s also the problems between Hindis and Muslims which is the root of the problem between Pakistan and India. Now I know that religious differences have sparked problems between groups that didn’t include Muslims but why does it seem that this century has started out with every other religous group seeming to at least tolerate each other but Muslims seem to have declared war on the world?

Yeah, I know, not all Muslims are responsible for this violence. The violent ones are only a small, extremist minority of all Muslims. I understand this but you don’t hear about small, extremists groups of Hindis attacking Buddhists. Do you? I’m not bringing this up as any sort of condemnation of Islam, I’m just trying to understand an observation.

ANA Orders 7E7

All Nippon Airways has just placed an order with Boeing for fifty of their new 7E7s. What is significant about this is that this is the first commitment any airline has made to purchase this plane. It’s also the largest initial order Boeing has ever received for a new airliner.

The 7E7 is Boeing’s first new plane since 1990. It follows the company’s scrapping of plans to build a larger updated 747 jumbo jet and plans to build the Sonic Cruiser. The latter plane was to travel nearly as fast as the speed of sound, but interest in it waned after the recession and the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks severely damaged demand for air travel.

The 7E7 will burn 20 percent less fuel than comparable planes. It is designed to replace the company’s 757 and 777 aircraft and will compete with Airbus’ A330-200, which has dominated the market in its category.

Boeing has had some bad times and some bad press lately. I hope that this order is the first of many for the company and a signal of a rebound for them in their fortunes.

You sent a child to camp

I just got back from the MDA Lockup. You helped raise at least $647 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I’ve had some more commitments that haven’t gotten to me yet so I don’t know what the total will end up being but we raised enough to send a child to camp and then some.

The generosity of everybody has touched me greatly and I just want to say thank you and tell you how proud I am to have as caring a group of readers as you. You have made a difference in someone’s life. They are suppose to send me a picture of the child we are sending to camp tomorrow. I’ll be sure to share it with you.


For some reason I have become enamored lately with Studebakers. I think this fascination started around December when I saw a picture of a 50s era Studebaker Commander and was in awe with the styling of the car. It wasn’t the first time I had seen one it just seem to be the first time that I appreciated the looks of models other than the Hawk.

Anyway it got me looking at The Official Website of the Studebaker Museum and reading this history of the company. Studebaker ceased production at its South Bend, Indiana facility in 1963, the same year as the introduction of the Avanti, and ceased production in its Ontario facility in 1966. I need to do a little more research on the subject. I’d like to know who now owns the Studebaker trademark, if anyone. What happens to a company after it ceases to exist?

MDA Lockup

A few days ago I got a phone call and was told that someone had issued a warrant for me to participate in the MDA lockup. This is a fund raising drive for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The lady wouldn’t tell me who issued the warrant and I still don’t know who has done this.

I hesitated for a moment because I’ve got other things to do and fund raising has never been one of my strong assets, but the MDA has a special place in my heart. Let me tell you a little about my mother’s family and I think you’ll understand what I mean.

My mother was one of ten children in her family. She had five sisters and four brothers. Out of the four brothers, three were born with the gene for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Uncle Clarence was the oldest of these three. I don’t remember much about him, he died when I was still fairly young, but I do remember that he got around using a cane with braces. The braces were supplied by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Uncle Lonnie was in the middle. He was in a wheel chair from as far back as I could remember. The wheel chairs were all bought with help from the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Due to the fact that he was fairly immobile he had other health problems. The MDA helped out in those areas also.

Uncle Jim was the youngest and he was also in a wheel chair from as far back as I remember. Uncle Jim was the most independent of the three. He married and raised a family. He maintained enough dexterity in his hands that he was able to practice his trade as a watch maker until he was in his forties. Still MDA helped him out in the early years.

As you may have guessed, I also have several cousins who have been diagnosed with MD. The MDA is helping them as they have helped my uncles. This organization has proven to me that it does put the money it raises to good work beyond just research into treatment for muscular dystrophy.

I’ve been asked to raise $2500 and I’m most likely not going to reach that goal but I would like to get as close to it as I can. If you can find it in your budget and in your heart to help me with this cause it would be greatly appreciated, not just by me, but by the thousands of people who will benefit from your gift. I can assure you the money will go where it is needed.

I’ve set up a PayPal donation button for this for your convenience or checks made payable to MDA can be sent to me at the following address:

Larry Burton
1325 Tuxedo Ct.
Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Thank you.

Word From Baghdad

When things heat up in Iraq I generally look to Salam Pax to get an understanding of what’s really going on over there. Not that he’s got any inside information but he’s living with the consequences of what’s happening. It seems that right now Pax views al-Sadir as a greater threat to Iraqi safety than the US.

You have to be careful about what you say about al-Sadir. Their hands reach every where and you don’t want to be on their shit list. Every body, even the GC is very careful how they formulate their sentences and how they describe Sadir’s Militias. They are thugs, thugs thugs. There you have it.

I was listening to a representative of al-sadir on TV saying that the officers at police stations come to offer their help and swear allegiance. Habibi, if they don’t they will get killed and their police station “liberated”. Have we forgotten the threat al-Sadir issued that Iraqi security forces should not attack their revolutionary brothers, or they will have to suffer the consequences.

Hopefully this is the end of al-Sadir soon and this bloodshed will prevent worse over the long term.

Cross Dressing Politicians

I don’t understand it. It isn’t something that appeals to me but I fail to see why anyone would have a problem with a man that wants to sit around his home…, or a friends home for that matter, dressed in women’s clothes. Yeah, I’ll chuckle at the behavior but it isn’t hurting me any. So why would I care if it was something a politician was into. Apparently one politician is not succumbing to the blackmail.


Just about the time I start getting back into the groove of updating this weblog life catches back up with me. I’ve spent the past week working in a plant that packages fresh salads starting up a new packaging line. The plant is kept at around 35°F. so I guess you can say that I’ve been chillin’.

This past weekend was spent hiking on John’s Mtn around Keown Falls. The fall was wet but the pictures didn’t turn out very well. I did enjoy the company, though.

Maybe I’ll get back into posting stuff this week. I’ve had a few ideas but I need to determine whether or not I want to get into talking about my personal religious beliefs on this weblog first. There’s some things I would like to write about but I’m not certain it would be of interest to anyone other than myself.