Friday, December 16

One Year of Blogging - Time for Vacation

The first post on Fred Fry International was made on 19 December 2004. With a feeling of accomplishment, I have just made the 100th post to FFI. Just in time for the blog's first year anniversary.

By June 1, 2004, FFI had managed to make only 6 posts. Scott at Environmental Republican commented on a possible reason for my initial lack of posting:

Fred Fry starts a post about license plates and doesn't end it until 30-days later. He's so tired, he can't write anything in March. - Environmental Republican

All I can say in reply was that I became a dad at the end of January.

Eventually I adapted to my new position and I grew into blogging. It didn't hurt that there was no shortage of issues to blog about.

In celebration of surviving a year in the blogosphere and in celebration of Christmas, the family and I are off to Finland for vacation. Yes, Finland.

I may or may not manage to post while there. So:

Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!

I'll be back by 5 January. Until then:

Some info on Finland:
Finland – The Good, The Bad, and The Stupid - 10 June 2005

Noteworthy Posts:
Signs that Allah (God) is not on Your Side: - 28 July 2005

Some effects of a devalued Dollar. - 05 September 2005

Signs of a Real Conspiracy - 10 April 2005

Before you move to Canada - 19 December 2004

FFI's First Post:
Seeing things in Black and white instead of in shades of gray. - 19 December 2004

Thursday, December 15

Trump's Apprentice Winner Screws Runner-up Out of Job!

The wife and I enjoy watching the Apprentice. I find it amusing watching these 'professionals' act in any number of idiotic ways. You sometimes wonder how they ever ended up as one of the finalists, but then you read their bios and are confused even further as they are all successful in their own fields. They just might not do well when tasks are handed to them or perhaps the video was edited to make them look bad.

In the first three apprentices, one of the two finalists would clearly outshine the other. However, in Apprentice '4' both Randal and Rebecca were clearly qualified for the job. Either one of them could have ended up the final winner. So we had suspected that Trump would hire both of them.

In the end Trump hired Randal. Not surprising at all. Then he asked Randal if he should also hire Rebecca. Randal, said no, explaining that he should be the 'sole' apprentice. In that second Randal managed to evaporate all the respect we had for him. that's a shame.

Randal must have been concerned that Trump would offer both of them jobs. Earlier he had mentioned that he should be the 'sole' apprentice instead of just saying apprentice in his answer. This is a probelm with a person of his education. He is too smart for his own good. I have experience with people like this. I have a frined with two BBA's and two MBA's. Yes, great, but what good is it? Wasn't one of each degree enough? People like this are very smart, but often have problems functioning in the real world. Randal did not appear to have this problem, until his last minute move to screw over Rebecca.

I have no doubt that Rebecca will be offered a number of good jobs, probably ending up with one that is better and has a higher salary than what she might have been offered by Trump. However, thanks to Randal there can only be one Apprentice.....

Cangratulations to both. I too am a winner in business. I have worked myself to a VP position and I'm in charge of a division that operates globally and generates millions in revenue. I have nothing to prove to others. I just wonder what Randal was out to prove by denying his runner- up the job that he didn't want?
At least one story explains his action as race related and a victory for blacks. Now I am even more shocked!
It was insulting that Donald Trump asked the newly hired Apprentice Randal Pinkett, 34, if he would like to share his victory with the runner-up Rebecca Jarvis, 23. Situations like this prove the rules change in the business world, when well qualified black people are matched against less qualified white competition. Many black people grow up with the constant warning they must work twice as hard, be twice as clever and twice as smart in order to succeed against even marginal white competition in the business world. Many blacks would like to believe things have changed, but Donald Trump and his camp showed national television they still linger on.
As I watched the show wind down to its last moments, I could almost feel the insult slap Randell Pinkett in the face when Trump asked the newly crowned winner to make a special exception and share his glory with the looser. Randell gracefully declined, as I believe he was justified in doing. He made a statement that black people will no longer suffer from special exceptions, because we are more qualified than a white competitor. The best man or woman should win, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender.
I find this hard to belive that this is the explanation for Randal's actions. How big of him to deny a well-qualified person a job that he didn't want. Then again perhaps the writer of the story understands the situation better than I as I am not black. However, I find this strange that it would be a black person to introduce race into this issue. If anything, Randal gave the racists ammunition against hiring blacks. Sad.

For Randal:

Sunday, December 11

CodePink Abandons Trip to Cuba

The extremists of CodePink were planning the challenge the US Government's ban on travel to Cuba by organizing a trip there for a large group of their followers. They knew that there was a possibility that there would be trouble, but had promised those who were going with them that they would handle the lawyer issue, right up to getting you through customs and immigration. Of course, once you were back in the US, you were on your own, figuring that there would be safety in numbers and that publicity would protect the lawbreakers.

How silly of CodePink to even think that the "Most Evil horrible President, Ever" would let them get away with something so foolish. Lucky for them, the Treasury Dept. didn't waste any time in contacting them and warning them not to go. The warning was in the form of a threat:

We have some bad news to relay about the Cuba trip. We knew that this trip was a challenge to the Bush administration's restrictions on travel to the island.

However, we had anticipated that, as in the past, the government would either let us come and go without incident, or would send us a letter after we returned. Instead, we, CODEPINK, Global Exchange, and some of the participants have already received ominous letters from the Treasury Department, calling on us to "cease and desist" our plans for the trip, demanding the names of all the people who had signed up, and threatening us with a million dollar fine and ten years in jail.

When some individual participants received these letters, they canceled their plans - leaving us without the "safety in numbers." And while our organizations are willing to fight the government on this (Global Exchange has been fighting the travel restrictions for 15 years!), we feel that right we are too overloaded with other efforts, such as stopping the war in Iraq, to take on a prolonged legal battle right now. - CodePink

Nothing like belonging to an organization that might result in you ending up in jail. If I was in the Government I would have let them go on their trip. The fine money collected afterwards could have been used to help pay for the war.

I do have a suggestion for CodePink for an alternate New Year's celebration location. How about partying with your brothers and sisters in North Korea? The US Government will not stop you. Check the State Dept. link below for information how to do it, if you dare.

I ran into this group once. It was outside the White House. One of them had the "War is not the answer" sign. I asked her, "What is the answer?" The blank state I got in return was priceless.

Moonbats Over Havana - Little Green Footballs
The Real Cuba - Warning, graphic photos
- Are there no toilet seats in Cuba?

Consular Information Sheet, North Korea - US State Department

Post Showcased at:

Check out the:


The Carnival of the Clueless is a great place to catch up on all the clueless activity in the US as well as around the world. The US certainly has no monopoly on cluelessness.

Saturday, December 10

Time to Register as a Republican

I have not been a member of either major party for at least 5 years and most likely more than 7 and possibly as long as ten years. I have long considered myself an independent. The last time that I can remember choosing a party affiliation was when I first registered to vote when I was eighteen. I registered as a Republican. I never participated in any politics, other than voting. I would like to think that I would vote for the best candidate, Democrat or Republican. I have voted for candidates of both parties. One year, I was really pissed as nobody I voted for won, including the Democrats that I had voted for. Since I had the belief that members of both parties left much to be desired, I had decided that it was better to not be affiliated with either.

However, with the recent statements made by the leadership of the Democrat Party, I am put in a difficult position. If I am faced in the next election with the choice of a good Democrat ad a less-good Republican, my inclination would be to vote for the Democrat, because he is better. But this increases the chances that the Democrats might regain control of Congress. So my vote for the better candidate might result in giving Pelosi, Boxer, Dean, Kerry, Kennedy, Murtha and their allies like the ACLU and control of which direction this country heads in the future. I am not interested in going down that road.

In the last couple of weeks the Democrats have done a great job of losing any prospect of winning my vote for any congressmen. Sure there are good Democrats out there. Everyone is talking about Joe Lieberman right now. As an example of the lack of sanity within the Democrats, there is talk of finding a replacement to defeat Mr. Lieberman in the next Democrat Primary because there is a lack of acceptance of his comments about Iraq and failing to project the Democrat Party’s lies. (Yes, it is the Democrats that are lying.)

A work of advice: Be careful what you ask for. Just because Mr. Lieberman doesn’t have a serious Republican challenger for his seat, doesn’t mean that another Democrat running for the same position won’t be as lucky. (there is a reason people don't run against him.) I am sure the Republicans would love to see Mr. Lieberman beaten in a Democrat Primary so that they can win his Senate Seat in the General Election. You can bet that the President will find a post for him if it turns out that Democrats don’t want him to represent them in the Senate.

I think the President is doing a great job. I believe that what we are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq is right. The price paid in lives is small compared to the benefit. Unfortunately, there are families that will suffer losses and they have a right to question if THEIR sacrifice was worth it. There is probably a good chance that if we did not go into these countries that we would be mourning many more losses than we are now. Our responsibility to those who have fallen is to ensure that the goals that they were fighting to attain are reached. We are well on the way of completely reforming Iraq and Afghanistan. (More on this subject here.)

With my move to Virginia, I need to get a new driver’s license and at that time I will register to vote. When I do, I will register as a Republican. While I have problems with the party, I can probably do more good working from the inside than as an outsider.

I am:
"I bet you'd like Democrats okay if they wouldn't keep handing out your paycheck to urban welfare cheats, right? (And you probably don't want me to be saying anything about 'urban' being some kind of code word, I bet.)"

Are You A Republican?

Wednesday, December 7

Pearl Harbor, December 7 1941

Today, is the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Here is President Roosevelt's speach to Congress that was made the following day. Other than the "a date which will live in infamy" I had neaver read the rest of the speech:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire."

Of course, the attack on Pearl Harbor was only the start of many difficult months for the US, and her territories.

Sunday, December 7th, 1941 - Blogs for Bush

Atheist Group Sues for removal of Crosses from Arlington National Cemetery

Posted in the new MSM tradition of ‘fake but accurate’ news reporting. Atheists currently are not suing to remove crosses from Arlington National Cemetery but they might as well. The crosses are on Federal Property and I bet that they can argue that the presence of the crosses violates the separation of Church and State. Anyone who has been to Arlington National Cemetary knows that most every grave there contains a religious marking.

Arlington National Cemetary, December 1999 (Photo - Fred Fry)

This is exactly what atheists are doing in Utah State. They are suing for the removal of crosses marking the locations of where policeman died while in the line of duty. Of course if a policeman’s family does not want a cross, they can opt for something different. However, this is not good enough for this Atheist Group, which happens to be located in Texas, yet still manages to be offended. (I wonder if they have even seen one of these crosses in person?)

This is just one of a number of recent attacks by atheists on our society. Atheist Michael Newdow is currently suing for removal of ‘In God We Trust’ from the money and has sued twice to ban reciting the pledge in school as it contains the phrase ‘one nation under God.’

mr. Newdow had to sue twice as the first time it was determined that he did not have the right to sue on his daughter’s behalf, as he didn’t have legal custody of his daughter. It didn’t help his cause any once the public learned from his mother that she actually liked saying the pledge. Pretty hard to argue that your daughter has been 'harmed' by the pledge.

This setback was not embarrassing enough to make him go away. He managed to find other families that he could use for this lawsuit. They do not want to be identified, which is a shame, since it’s always nice to see who exactly is creating this ruckus and see how crazy they happen to be. (If he was real serious about banning the pledge from school, he should argue that the pledge discriminates against foreign nationals that might be in the classroom. As they might be required to stand there in silence, unable to participate in that 'group' activity. But that would be too easy, and would not directly aid the Atheist adgenda.)

Neither story has gotten much play in the press, yet. However, don’t think for a second that the atheists are going to be content with just this lawsuit. You can bet that they are aiming for bigger treasure. From their press release:

“Dave Silverman, Communications Director for the group, said that the Utah suit will likely be “the first of many” that seek to remove similar crosses from state and federal highway lands.” - press release 7 December

So at some point I suspect that the title of this article will become real and accurate, and that is a sad thought.

Question for Atheists:

While you do not believe in God, do you think that having a God would be a good thing? Do you wish that there was a God?

Feel free to let us know by answering in the comments section.

Crosses honoring troopers protested -
Utah State Troopers Feeling "Cross" Toward Atheists Charges -
Maybe atheists would have an easier time winning acceptance if they didn't act like such jerks all the time. - James Taranto, Opinion Journal

ACLU Seeks Ban on Christmas "Propaganda" from the Public Airwaves - The Right Place

Atheist Fanatic Michael Newdow at it Again - National Ledger
American Atheists - No Christmas Presents for them!

Sunday, December 4

The Stores are Totally de-Christmas'd

You don’t appreciate a New York Christmas until you have to celebrate Christmas someplace else. I learned this while living in Charleston, SC. It wasn’t just Christmas that seemed less than whole, it was all the holidays. Even the Fourth of July was not as loud as it is in NY, which is interesting since fireworks are legal in SC and not in NY. Holidays seem to be celebrated with more intensity in New York than in other places. Palm trees with Christmas lights just aren’t the same thing.

There is much in the news about the ‘war on Christmas.’ I was originally going to write about how sterile I found shopping in Target this last Saturday. Officially, Target states that they have nothing against Christmas, just that it does not fit into this year’s “Gather Round” slogan of theirs. Too bad as one of the nice things about Christmas shopping is getting into the whole Christmas mood. Christmas decorations, Christmas music and people saying Merry Christmas! I find it hard to explain the atmosphere inside Target other than they did a good job of killing the Christmas spirit. They also failed to even instill the slightest of any holiday spirit. IF this is what Target wants, that’s fine. I still shopped there. I just didn’t Christmas shop there. I just couldn’t get into the mood. I didn’t even check the DVD section as I normally do. I just wanted out of there. However, after today’s venture to the mall, it appears that the war is over, and has been lost.

Feeling cheated by the Target experience, I went to Tyson’s Corner Mall in Northern Virginia. That was a huge mistake. There was a Santa Clause. That is the extent of Christmas at the mall. I did not spot the word “Christmas” once. (I didn’t see if Santa’s spot mentioned Christmas) Not once. There weren’t even that many Happy Holiday signs. Places like the Levi Store didn’t even attempt to decorate the store. A couple of places did mention free holiday shipping, which suspiciously ended on the 22nd. I guess you don’t get free shipping for the New Year holiday.

Lucky for me, I’m off to Finland for Christmas this year. They still celebrate Christmas there. So I’ll do my Christmas shopping there. I no longer have that much to do anymore. I have done a great job de-gifting Christmas. My wife and I do not exchange gifts. Instead of giving a gift to my brother and his wife, we setup a stock account for each of them and just make a contribution to the accounts for their birthdays and Christmas. I also opened an account for my youngest brother as all he ever wants is money. My wife and her family came to an agreement that we will not exchange presents this year. Instead we’ll all contribute some food and wine and make a really great feast to enjoy instead. (Not that the feasts were shabby in previous years.) If you didn't already know, Finland is the home of Santa Claus. (It's only his Corporate Headquarters that are located in Alaska.)

So I really can’t complain about the lack of Christmas in the stores since I no longer do much Christmas shopping. I just wonder if it was the lack of Christmas Spirit that contributed to my lack of Christmas Shopping.

Fred and Santa - Finland, December, 1998

Looking for some last minute gift ideas?

How about a Redwood Tree?

I have a couple and I'm taking some with me to Finland. Her is a pic of my Coastal Redwood. I also have a Sequoia.

They even have Christmas Specials!

You can surprise people with American wine. Of course you can get some French wine, but why? There is a huge selection of great American-made wine and US-Champagne to choose from.

You can also check out Lee Valley Tools. They have a great selection. Their catalog also identifies the products that are made in the US and in Canada. Products do not seem to be marked online. But that is just an incentive to get on their catalog mailing list. If you have a garlic nut you need to find a stocking stuffer for, then I suggest that you consider getting the Garlic Mincer:

Just remember that it’s ok to buy gifts made anywhere in the world. A good effect of outsourcing is that it creates jobs overseas. That means that there are them many less people desperate to get into the US. Foreigners need jobs too. Just not all of them.

Brand Loyalty – Buy American - FFI

Friday, December 2

Lawyer Joke

You are trapped in a room with a Lion, a Tiger, and a lawyer.

You have a gun with only two bullets.

What do you do?

(Check the comments for the answer)