Lottery Post Journal

A tale of two houses

Look over the descriptions of the following two houses and see if you can tell which belongs to an environmentalist.

HOUSE #1

A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern "snow belt," either. It's in the South.

HOUSE #2

Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.

HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and filmmaker) Al Gore.

HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas. Also known as "the Texas White House," it is the private residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

So whose house is gentler on the environment? Yet another story you WON'T hear on CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC or read about in the New York Times or the Washington Post. Indeed, for Mr. Gore, it's truly "an inconvenient truth."

Check it out on Snopes if you don't believe me.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/house.asp

Brave Pilot, Patriotic Words

The airport is where the rubber meets the road in today's battle of the wits with terrorists.  The newspapers recently ran a story about a Muslim doctor who was saying we are profiling him because he has been checked three times while getting on an airplane.

The following is a letter from a pilot. This well spoken man, who is a pilot with American Airlines, says what is in his heart — beautifully....

YOU WORRY ME
by Captain John Maniscalco
American Airlines Pilot

I've been trying to say this since 9-11, but you worry me.

I wish you didn't.

I wish when I walked down the streets of this country that I love, that your color and culture still blended with the beautiful human landscape we enjoy in this country.  But you don't blend in anymore.  I notice you, and it worries me.

I notice you because I can't help it anymore.  People from your homelands, professing to be Muslims, have been attacking and killing my fellow citizens and our friends for more than 20 years now.  I don't fully understand their grievances and hate, but I know that nothing can justify the inhumanity of their attacks.

On September 11, nineteen Arab/Muslims hijacked four jetliners in my country.  They cut the throats of women in front of children and brutally stabbed to death others.  They took control of those planes and crashed them into buildings killing thousands of proud fathers, loving sons, wise grandparents, elegant daughters, best friends, favorite coaches, fearless public servants, and children's mothers.

The Palestinians celebrated and the Iraqis were overjoyed, as was most of the Arab world.  So, I notice you now.

I don't want to be worried.  I don't want to be consumed by the same rage and hate and prejudice that has destroyed the soul of these terrorists.  But I need your help.

As a rational American, trying to protect my country and family in an irrational and unsafe world, I must know how to tell the difference between you, and the Arab/Muslim terrorist.

How do I differentiate between the true Arab/Muslim-Americans and the Arab/Muslim terrorists in our communities who are attending our schools, enjoying our parks, and living in our communities under the protection of our constitution, while they plot the next attack that will slaughter these same good neighbors and children?

The events of September 11th changed the answer to that question.  It is not my responsibility to determine which of you embraces our great country, with ALL of its religions, with ALL of its different citizens, with all of its faults.  It is time for every Arab/Muslim in this country to determine it for me.

I want to know, I demand to know, and I have a right to know, whether or not you love America.

Do you pledge allegiance to its flag?  Do you proudly display it in front of your house, or on your car?  Do you pray in your many daily prayers that Allah will bless this nation, that He will protect and prosper it?  Or do you pray that Allah with destroy it in one of your Jihads?

Are you thankful for the freedom that only this nation affords?  A freedom that was paid for by the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots who gave their lives for this country?  Are you willing to preserve this freedom by also paying the ultimate sacrifice?  Do you love America?

If this is your commitment, then I need YOU to start letting ME know about it.

Your Muslim leaders in this nation should be flooding the media at this time with hard facts on your faith, and what hard actions you are taking as a community and as a religion to protect the United States of America.

Please, no more benign overtures of regret for the death of the innocent because I worry about who you regard as innocent.

No more benign overtures of condemnation for the unprovoked attacks because I worry about what is unprovoked to you.

I am not interested in any more sympathy.  I am only interested in action.  What will you do for America — our great country — at this time of crisis, at this time of war?

I want to see Arab-Muslims waving the AMERICAN flag in the streets.  I want to hear you chanting "Allah Bless America."  I want to see young Arab/Muslim men enlisting in the military.  I want to see a commitment of money, time, and emotion to the victims of this butchering and to this nation as a whole.

The FBI has a list of over 400 people they want to talk to regarding the WTC attack.  Many of these people live and socialize right now in Muslim communities.  You know them.  You know where they are.  Hand them over to us, now!

I have seen little even approaching this sort of action.  Instead I have seen an already closed and secretive community close even tighter.

You have disappeared from the streets.  You have posted armed security guards at your facilities.  You have threatened lawsuits.  You have screamed for protection from reprisals.

The very few Arab/Muslim representatives that HAVE appeared in the media were defensive and equivocating.  They seemed more concerned with making sure that the United States proves who was responsible before taking action.  They seemed more concerned with protecting their fellow Muslims from violence directed toward them in the United States and abroad than they did with supporting our country and denouncing "leaders" like Qaddafi, Hussein, Farrakhan, and Arafat.

If the true teachings of Islam proclaim tolerance and peace and love for all people, then I want chapter and verse from the Koran and statements from popular Muslim leaders to back it up.  What good is it if the teachings in the Koran are good, and pure, and true, when your "leaders" are teaching fanatical interpretations, terrorism, and intolerance?

It matters little how good Islam SHOULD BE if huge numbers of the world's Muslims interpret the teachings of Mohamed incorrectly and adhere to a degenerative form of the religion.

It is a form of religion that has been demonstrated to us over and over again:  a form whose structure is built upon a foundation of violence, death, and suicide.  A form whose members are recruited from the prisons around the world.  A form whose members (some as young as five years old) are seen day after day, week in and week out, year after year, marching in the streets around the world, burning effigies of our presidents, burning the American flag, shooting weapons into the air.  A form whose members convert from a peaceful religion, only to take up arms against the great United States of America, the country of their birth.

It is a form of religion whose rules are so twisted, that their traveling members refuse to show their faces at airport security checkpoints, in the name of Islam.

We will NEVER allow the attacks of September 11, or any others for that matter, to take way that which is so precious to us:  Our rights under the greatest constitution in the world.

I want to know where every Arab/Muslim in this country stands, and I think it is my right and the right of every true citizen of this country to demand it.  A right paid for by the blood of thousands of my brothers and sisters who died protecting the very constitution that is protecting you and your family.

I am pleading with you to let me know.  I want you here as my brother, my neighbor, my friend, as a fellow American.

But there can be no gray areas or ambivalence regarding your allegiance and it is up to YOU, to show ME, where YOU stand.

Until then, you worry me.

TIPS: Minimize the damage of a stolen wallet

These tips were created by a corporate attorney, and sent out to the employees in his company.

1.  Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED."

2.  When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card Accounts, do not put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.

3.  Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks. You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

4.  Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Copy both sides of each license, credit card, etc. If your wallet is stolen, you will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also carry a photocopy of your passport when you travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed just by stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit card numbers, etc.

5.  We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them (see #4 above).

6.  File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

But here's what is perhaps most important of all:

7.  Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line. It is simple these days to apply for credit over the Internet in anyone's name. By alerting the aforementioned organizations, any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

Here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, if it has been stolen:

1.)  Equifax: 800-525-6285

2.)  Experian (formerly TRW): 888-397-3742

3.)  Trans Union: 800-6807289

4.)  Social Security Administration (fraud line): 800-269-0271