The Gross National Debt

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Mining your wallet for treasure

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:21

This is not a religious column, but that's a great place to start.

Or as Smokey Robinson and Bobby Rogers put it, "First, I look at the purse."

Another good place to start.

To splain':

Hillary Clinton recently said she favors a protectionist trade system for the US because she is tired of other countries sending products to the US and selling them for less than US workers can produce 'em.

"I am sick and tired of us having an open market where everybody gets to sell to us and they often do it at lower costs undercutting our workers, our businesses. That's not fair and it's not and it's not right," she said at a recent campaign stop.

In other words, her sphincter is torqued because a Bangladesh-made shirt (looked at the label in one of my shirts) can sell for $5 here (mine were $12 each) while an American-made shirt sells for $10. She's irked because Americans are buying the cheaper shirts. This is just an example and the specifics may be wrong.

Anyone else upset about this? Anyone else PO'd that other countries can sell their products here for less than Americans can make them?

Trump says much the same thing. He's got a twisted backside over the same issue.

Anyone mad? Anyone want to demand foreign products have to be sold for about the same price as American products?

Lemme ask a better question.

When you buy something and you have a choice between a higher-priced American made product and a less expensive foreign-made product, which do you buy?

Where is your treasure? When you open your wallet and lay down the money, where is it going?

If you are truly upset that other countries can sell their products cheaper than US makers, then quit buying stuff made in other countries.

I've pointed this out to many, many people. I've pointed out these cheap foreign goods mean no jobs for Americans making the same item. A reaction I got from a woman in Turner County nails this one.

"I don't care. I can afford it (the foreign-made products)."

The problem is not with free trade deals. The problem is not with low tariffs on imported goods.

The problem is people who refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions.

If you want American jobs and American manufacturing and more American goods in the stores, then buy American made.

Say whatever you want to. Where and how you spend your money tells the truth.

If the truth hurts, yer not living right.

Maybe it's time to make your actions meet your words. Now there's a radical concept you won't hear Trump or Clinton say and really mean it.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Looking for the greatest

On the way back from CWOT, Dusty V. asked "What is the greatest American rock band of all time."

Qualified. The Beatles and the Stones, right out.


I replied Lynyrd Skynyrd. He came back with The Eagles.

I could make a case for either one, except the case for The Eagles would be a bit weaker in my mind. I doubt this is because I live in the South and Skynyrd is Southern Rock, but it could be.

As I write this, still siding with Skynyrd, but I decided to take a look at some numbers. Used Wikipedia for this, so take it however you like. I'm not so invested in this that Imma do detailed research.

The Eagles have 9 albums. They actually have more but I ain't considering compilations in this. All went Platinum and all but the first release went multi-Platinum. Hotel California went Diamond, or Platinum level 16 times. To go Platinum, an album has to sell 1 million copies. What with file sharing, and evening copying years ago, I'd not be surprised to learn the actual numbers are double what is listed.

Skynyrd has 21 albums, using the same metric applied to The Eagles. Only 5 went Platinum.

The Eagles had the #1 album in the US 5 times. All their albums make it into the top 100 chart.

Skynyrd never had an album hit #1 and had several that never broke into the chart.

The Eagles had 5 No. 1 singles. Skynyrd had none.

If this comparison is run straight by numbers on sales of music, it's a slam dunk for The Eagles.

If you run the numbers by the releases, Skynyrd takes the same kind of lead here that The Eagles have in sales.

On one hand, there is a volume of work. On the other hand, there is commercial success.

Which measurement deserves the greater weight? Remember these are iconic, legendary bands who put out a lot of material. The volume of work has to be considered. This is why Nirvana is not a contender. Kurt Cobain's genius on the work he generated while alive is obvious, but could he sustain that over a period of time? The Eagles and Skynyrd did.

I admit this brief research has done little to settle the issue in my mind. Still siding with Skynyrd because I prefer the blues influence that is in Southern Roc,

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dust to dust

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.

Matthew 10:14

This is not about religion, but that passage above is the proper starting point. Today's missive is sparked by a realization from this morning. I found out someone else blocked me on Facebook. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Boo hoo hoo. Call this person Phread.

I thought Phread was a friend. This was not a cyber friend. Phread is someone I know personally. Walked with Phread, talked with Phread, been to many places in the Southeast with Phread. Broke bread many, many times with Phread. Friend? I thought so. But, I've been wrong before.

I was there for Phread, more than once. Looking back, I can't find a single instance when Phread was there for me. Talked to some other folks whom Phread has also blocked. Same story. These are people who share the same experiences that Phread and I went through, and sometimes much more.

Phread and I often disagreed. I kept my end polite, albeit pedantic at times. Phread invited me to perform anatomically impossible acts.

Same story from other folks.

See a pattern here?

Why'd I get blocked? You'll have to ask Phread. I suspect it's because I speak the truth. When the truth hurts, yer living wrong. Was it the truth I spoke? I could be wrong. 

I tell you this. Despite insistence demands for facts, SCIENCE! and reason, Phread's replies to my stuff were rarely fact-based. Most often it was mildly emotional rhetoric and a few times outright attacks on me.

We attack that which we fear. If we don't fear it, there's no reason to attack. The truth creates more fear than anything I can think of.

Obviously, when Phread blocked me Phread felt it was in Phread's s best interests to say adios. I am truly glad. If Phread will be happier without me in this Phread's life, then I'll take this momentary pain and rejoice, knowing Phread will lead a happier life.

I preached a sermon, once, in prison about 10 years. I still have the notes, if anyone wants to read it. It's titled "Hard Sayings of Jesus." Among those statements is the one above. 

And that's a hard one. Sometimes we do have to shake the dust off our feet and show our heels.

Sometimes we call this "tough love." Sometimes we have to cut people off. We have to stop them. Get away. Don't look back.

Easier said than done. 

When you invest into someone, cutting them loose is never easy. The more you invest, the harder it is to let go.

But, sometimes you have to.

Looking back, I'm the one who should have cut this attachment. True friends can disagree, to the point of hurling invectives. But when it's SHTF, then they are there for each other. Phread was never there. I was, in more ways that one. In hindsight, Phread, by my definition, was never a true friend.

Someone is going to say I'm a fool for letting it go on this long. I'll accept that label.

I also say, I'm going to be a fool again and again and again. It's what I do. Some people need me and I'm gonna be there for 'em. I will need people and some of them will be there for me. It's what we're supposed to do. Some will abandon me in my time of need. I'll feel the pain and overcome it. I will be stronger for it.

I do, have and will forgive. But, I do have limits. Phread is forgiven, unqualified forgiveness. But this time, coming back won't happen. Dust to dust and my feet are moving me away.

Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger. I didn't want to lift these weights to add muscle, but since I have no choice, I'm gonna come out better for it.

#HumanUp Sometimes that means letting people go, no matter how much it hurts.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Coming in like a wrecking ball

This is a phrase from a comment made on Facebook today " might as well tattoo STUPID on your kid's face."

I can imagine comments that engender more disgust and rage. I have made such comments in the past.

It's a comment that appeals directly to the gut. A laser scalpel to excise logic, reason and adult discourse from any discussion. Again, been there, done that. Dammit.

How about this meme?

Atheists, at least the ones I talk with on a regular basis, hold logic, empiricism and rationality to be the standard. They argue against religions with SCIENCE! and facts.

And then, comes something like this. Belittle those who believe in a religious faith. Reduce them to cartoon clowns. Humiliate them because of a tenet of their faith.

Want more examples. Look at any social media.

The hell of it is there are people who fly off the handle when their friends are insulted, but have no issues whatsoever to firing profanity laden tirades at other people. Then, these same people complain about the lack of respect, civility and decorum.

We had a saying when I was working in the watermelon fields a young'un.

Don't start none, won't be none.

If you have to resort to insults, snide comments and petty observations to make your point, then how valid is your point?

Yeah, I've done it. It makes me mad. I work really hard to avoid doing it now. I've actually got up and walked away rather than let my emotions run roughshod over me. I need to do this more often.

Lemme leave you with a parting thought in the form of a video.


Outraged at the lack of outrage

Rosa Parks was not the first "black" woman to defy the law and sit on the front of the bus.

Claudette Colvin takes that title, but we don't talk about her. Why?

Further, neither Ms. Colvin nor Ms. Parks said "burn this bitch down" after being arrested. OK, so no one was killed. But neither of these ladies trashed the bus they were on either.


Now comes word that a certain segment of our society must move to the back.

Apparently, #BlackLivesMatter after all. Whoda thunk it?

'Scuse me. Hadda step back from the keyboard a moment and calm down. A string of colorful and creative language threatened to erupt.

"Move to the back."

Sorry. Had to step back again. Trying to keep this blog family-friendly, but it's proving difficult on this Thursday morning.

Imagine instead of this woman standing up telling "whites" to move to the back, it was me standing in the back of that truck telling "blacks" to move to the back. So, riot much?

This is complete, utter and total fertilizer of the highest grade. This woman, as well-meaning as she may be, is perpetuating the very idea she claims to be fighting against.

"Move to the back."

Racism is truly color blind. It's practiced equally by people of all skin hues.

"Move to the back."

Apparently a certain segment of our society is not worthy enough to stand on the front lines of a protest. That is exactly what this woman said. "Move to the back."

It is BS like this which makes me want to move to the back and keep on going until I put these fools so far out of my view they don't exist anymore.

"Move to the back" separates us. Divides us. Splits us. This plays right into the hands of the people who want a separated society.

United, we stand. If divided, we will fall and be conquered. Where do you stand?

If you support what this woman said, then how about you moving your choose-your-emotional-state ass to the back and let those of us trying to make things right do the work. After all, that's truly what you want, i.e. someone else to do the work. 


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It does work

Some friends on the far left end of the political spectrum enjoy saying that government simply must do far more than it should because people won't.

Ah, no.


Private contributions are creating these jail bond funds around the nation. These funds post bonds for po' folk accused of minor crimes. An NPR story I heard this evening (can't find the f'dangin' link) took at look at these funds and had some interesting observations.

Need another example? M'kay. Nursing homes. What amuses me to no end about THIS one is the nursing homes are run by the Catholic Church and draw substantial support from church tithes. Many of my far left friends are also atheist, so I have to ask where are the voluntarily atheist-funded nursing homes? (Was that a cheap shot? Eh. It's 11:30 p.m. I won't get to sleep until 1 a.m. and I'll be up at 6. Been that way for weeks now. Sleep deprivation and all that. Be offended if you must, point stands.)

Roads? My community has a subdivision ordinance. It requires the developer to put in paved roads to DOT specifications before the local gummint will accept the road. Ah. I used to live in Florida county that had a MAJOR development. All private. Including the roads.

Only rich people can afford it? I grew up in a house that was alongside a dirt road. More than once I graded that road, not the county road department. More than once, since then, I've done road work with a shovel. The problem is people aren't willing to put forth the effort.

I could go on, but in the interest of not going on, I won't. Lemme wrap this up with this.

If the only reason you do good works is because you are afraid of being sent to hell, then you are not a good person. I agree.

If the only reason you do good works is because someone holds a gun to your head and demands good works, it does not matter what kind of person you are.

If the truth hurts, yer living wrong.

I've been on an IRS raid. They carry guns. I've written more articles on taxes, collecting taxes and so forth than you can imagine. I know what can will happen if you don't pay your taxes.

Theft is theft.


Simple solutions

Most of the time a simple solution can be found to a problem.

Simple does not mean pleasant.

I have sort of been following the ever increasing algae bloom in South Florida with much amusement.

Residents of the south end of what me best bud Tom calls "The Limp State" are demanding government do something about this.

Residents, who caused the problem, want someone else to bail them out.

The problem is South Florida is a swamp. As the NGS story says, it was once called a "river of grass." In order to make homes for people who object to skeeters, gators and other wildlife that look at humans like we are buffet, the 'Glades were dammed, diverted, drained, blocked and otherwise dried up.

The natural filtering system was destroyed.

Now, algae is taking over.

There is a simple solution.

Cut the 143-mile dam. Let the water run free. That's the ONLY expenditure of my tax dollars that I'm willing to invest. Those people who insist on living there can either move or live in the restored swamp. They created the problem by moving there. They can either pay to straighten it out to their satisfaction or live with it. And, they will not be able to straighten it out.

Simple does not mean you will like it. Simple means easy. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Rose colored glasses

NOTE - I have edited and reformatted this repeatedly. I'd done with reformatting. 

Did you read "1984," the novel by George Orwell? Fascinating book. The only thing he got wrong was a single party system. Well, no he was not wrong. He was right. He just didn't imagine something could be called by two different names and be the exact same thing.

We have a single party system in the US. It just goes by two names.

This week cemented that notion. Anyone who did not see that Bernie Sanders would endorse, support and beg his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton has not been paying attention for years and has not paid attention to history.

I have great friends who pulled hard for Sanders and refused to believe he'd tow and toe the party line. They just did not pay attention. Sanders has spent his adult life as a politician. Sanders has spent his adult life being an ever-growing cog in the political machine. His side of the cog was stamped D and the other side R. He had no choice, unless he intended to betray everything he spent a lifetime supporting, building and working for.

The other side of this cog, Trump, is showing the cracks slightly more than than the D side. Make no mistake, it's the same device. Whether these cracks will continue to grow or the oligarchy can effect a repair remains to be seen.

My money is on repair, albeit a Bandaid. I've seen too many people fall back into line like so many automatons. "Carry on subject, carry on. We'll do the thinking for you. Don't worry your pretty little head. You just come over here and push this rock up this hill, please."

I admit to huge, massive and incredible-to-me disappointment. I guess in that respect, I'm no different than so many of my friends. I refused to accept reality. I refused to believe so many of my very intelligent friends would eagerly leap when ordered to get back in line.

One of the speakers at the DNC said, "Can I just say to the Bernie supporters, you are being ridiculous."

Another speaker said, "Hand over your money, jobs and your children's future..." It was an attack on Trump, but it is also the oligarchy party line.

And the deafening silence of people falling like dominoes was the sound of change not happening.

The single party plans to:

• Increase government

• Increase spending

• Raise taxes

• Restrict rights

• Expand the wars we are in

Today, I am about as sad as I have ever been. Today's disappointment ... well yeah.

I will give him this. He did one of the best carnival barker sales jobs on the public that has ever been seen. "Right this way friends and neighbors! Come in and see the great dual-visage homunculus so bloated that perambulation and continued existence is contraindicated and indeed impossible without a parasitic attachment on a host that eagerly demands such a vampiric attachment even unto death! Right this way, friends and neighbors, and never mind the cost because an opportunity like this comes only once per your lifetime!"

The cog grinds right along, both sides moving in unison because it has to. So many people refuse to see this reality. 

At 50 years old, I should know better than to believe what I did. The hell of it is, I'm going to continue believing people will wake up and see the truth before them.

I'm looking through one side of the rose color glasses and so many are looking through the other side. All we see is each other desperately hoping the other will switch sides.

Monday, July 25, 2016

It does not mean what you think it means

Every so often I check the "blocked" list on my Facebook account.

So far as I can tell I don't have anyone blocked on Twitter which I barely use and Google+ which I do not know how to use.

I look over the list to see who is there, because I forget.

The last time I checked the list I saw names that surprised me. Why is that person blocked? What'd they do? I think about removing the block, but FB reminds me I have to wait 48 hours before blocking them again.

So, leave the list alone and try to remember. Eventually, it comes back to me. Maybe not the exact instance, but certainly why they are booted. Some of them, I can't remember why some are on the blocked list. I had a reason at the time, that's enough.

So what does this have to do with the title?


Forgiving someone is not something you do for that person. Forgive for you. Forgive to let go of the anger. Let go of the hate. Let go of resentment. Turn loose of that kinda stuff cause it holds you down and keeps you from being the best you can be.

As I told the guys at prison last night, every person is a jar, a bucket, a box, a container of some sort. The shape is irrelevant. What matters is each person is a container. You can fill that container (yourself) with anything you want to. Once full, that is it. You have to take something out to put more in.

What's in you? If you have hate, then that is taking up room that could be filled with something better. (Bacon!) Why do you want to hate?

"You don't know what they did to me."

So? What have you done to other people? Those people you hate, do you think they care? They may not even know that you are hating on them. Is your hate doing any good for you?

It's like these people I blocked on FB. I don't hate any of them. Whatever they did, it's forgiven. I moved on. Heck, I can't remember why some are blocked. If I see these people on the street, I'll treat 'em like I do everybody else.

Forgiven. It means what happened is over and done with. It means a second chance. It means starting over. From my end.

Not from theirs.

I don't have room for hate. Other people apparently do. I don't have room for that, so they are blocked. When they can let go, I'll welcome them back as if nothing ever happened.

That is what forgiveness means.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hashtag this!

Do not walk before me, for I might not follow. Your path may not be the way I am going.

Do not follow me, for I am not a leader. I may take you places you do not need to go.

Do not tell me, for I am tired of words. I have things to do.

Do not presume for you do not know me. I am ever changing.

Walk with me. See where I go and decide if you need to be there too.

Walk with me. Neither of leads, but both of us support each other

Do not tell me. Show me for your actions speak with certainty.

Wonder with me. We shall both grow and become better together.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

If you didn't click through, this website discusses why one Christian does not consume alcohol. No objections. However, he does not speak for everyone and some of what he says is also contradicted by the Bible.

1. I can't be sober-minded if I'm not sober.
Well, yeah. Circular logic, but sound.

2. Alcohol has an assignment: destruction.
Really? Got proof of that? Where? You interviewed alcohol? Alcohol is a preservative, a disinfectant (ok, so that is destruction), a fuel, an additive, medicine.

3. Alcohol is a depressant. Anything that depresses should be avoided at all costs.
So don’t watch the news. Don’t read the more horrific parts of the Bible. Don’t counsel people who are grieving.

4. I don't want to make my brother or sister stumble in the name of exercising my "Christian liberties." My choice to drink could lead to someone's demise. And you don’t eat meat because vegetarians? What about pets? What about those who are Jainists who only eat fruit and leaves and leave the plant intact? Ending any life at all is wrong in their sight. 

5. Alcohol skews my judgment.
It can. Is this always a bad thing? If you say skewed judgment is a bad thing, then what about forgiveness?

6. Alcohol leaves me worse, not better.
Science says red wine is good for the cardio system.

7. What I do in moderation, my children will do in excess.
Watch TV much? Drive much? Kids gonna be a NASCAR racer? This does not hold true.

8. Even the unsaved know I shouldn't drink. Bible in one hand, beer in the other—any lost person could point this out as a confusing contradiction.
He didn’t turn the water into Tang. "Take a little wine for thy stomach's sake." The Puritans, on their way over to the New World, brought beer.

9. Alcohol doesn't bring others closer to the Lord when they see me drinking, but further away.
So you have interviewed every person on the planet and found this to be the case with each person? I know many Catholics who’d be surprised to hear this.

10. Alcohol doesn't bring me closer to the Lord when I drink, but further away.
“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” It’s what you mean when you do something that matters.

11. I want to be fully awake and ready for the return of Christ, not drowsy, sluggish and fuzzy.
And if you happen to be asleep? Maybe running on 20 hours awake time and 5 minutes sleep? Coffee in the morning?

12. Show me a family for whom alcohol has made a positive difference in their lives. You won't be able to.
Catholics who own liquor stores, who tithe, raise children and support their community.

13. I have never heard anyone say, "Wow, that gin and tonic made me feel so Christlike!"
Neither have I. I've also never heard anyone say they took Communion and said it made them feel more Christlike. I have heard people say they took a drink to calm down. 

14. I want to avoid all appearances of evil.
Well, good. Actions are evil. Objects are not.

15. Alcohol makes it much harder for me to practice the fruit of self-control.
Could be. 

16. Alcohol causes me to lose my filter.
Could be.

17. Alcohol is a legal mind-altering drug.
So is morphine, caffeine, Oxycontin and a whole host of other drugs available by prescription.

18. Alcohol is addictive.
So are caffeine, nicotine and prescription narcotics and a whole lot of other things.

19. Alcohol is a numbing agent for pain and sorrow only Jesus can heal.
Proverbs 31:6-7 “Let beer be for those who are perishing,
    wine for those who are in anguish!
Let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.

20. Many regrets are associated with alcohol. (I can give you a whole bunch!)
To live is to have regrets. A man with no regrets was not a man because he never existed. If you never make a decision, you will never have a regret.

21. No one has ever said, "If only I had taken a drink, things wouldn't have gotten out of control."
I have heard people say they needed a drink to calm down. You said alcohol is a depressant. It slows people down. "I need a drink to steady my nerves" is something I've heard from several people.

22. Alcohol causes me to act in ways I normally wouldn't.
“Alcohol removes my filters.” Then how you act with alcohol is normal for you. How you act with a filter in place is not normal.

23. Alcohol kills brain cells.
So does living. But to address the point, current medical science says otherwise.

24. Alcohol is a counterfeit and provides a false peace.
Counterfeit what? You lost me there. There is no peace in life. There is only struggle and resisting and overcoming.

25. The Bible says that no drunkards will enter the kingdom of God. Being drunk starts with one drink. I don't want to see how far outside the lines I can color when eternity is at stake.
The Bible says that those who believe in Jesus will enter heaven. The thief on the cross made it in.

26. Alcohol is a waster—money, gifts and talents, destinies and so on.
Might wanna check with Faulkner about that.

27. Alcohol leads to really bad behavior. It is a factor in 50 percent of violent crimes.
Proof? The sources I find say it is lower.

28. Alcohol distracts and derails you from living the victorious life for which Christ died.
Anything to excess is not good.

29. Wisdom is the principle thing that I need to pursue at all cost; alcohol makes me stupid.
If you are chasing after wisdom “at all cost” then you are lost. Alcohol won’t matter in this case. As for its effect on intellect, “I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me,” Winston Churchill.

30. Alcohol has ruined many, many marriages.
Not a one. People ruin marriages.

31. The only influence I should be "under" is God's.
No more prescriptions from the doctor for you!

32. The Bible tells me to be alert; alcohol delays my reaction time.
So does lack of sleep, many medications and age.

33. If I don't start drinking, I'll never have to stop.
Tru dat.

34. Alcohol severely tarnishes my testimony.
Jesus served what at the last supper?

35. Don't want your teenagers to drink? Yep, same reasons apply to you.
Teenagers don’t have the same experiences as I. Teenagers don’t have the same level of discernment as I do either. With years of life behind me, I am less likely to make a decision I will regret in 20 years compared to making decisions when I was 15.

36. God is holy; alcohol is not.
1, granted. 2, yes, but what is the definition of holy. See also, Acts 10:15. Where was alcohol declared unclean and unfit for human consumption? Also, who created alcohol?

37. Alcohol and prayer don't mix.
Catholics don’t seem to have a problem with this. Neither did Jesus.

38. Alcohol and Bible study don't mix.
See Catholics.

39. Alcohol lowers my resolve to resist temptation.
Then you have a problem with will power.

40. Alcohol = Brokenness (broken lives, health, dreams and so on)
Alcohol = a byproduct of certain yeast consuming sugars.

41. When the world sees us drinking, it sends the message that Jesus isn't enough.
I guess that whole wedding supper and water into wine proves that point pretty well.

42. Moderate drinking? How about moderate pornography or moderate heroin use or moderate lying or moderate adultery?
See Song of Songs. See morphine, hydrocodone, Oxycontin. David lied before the gates of the king when he pretended to be insane. The Bible is PACKED with people lying and not being held to account. What about Rahab lying to protect the Israeli spies? Patriarchs of the Bible slept around. Abraham got his wife’s handmaid pregnant. If you intend to hold others accountable to Biblical standards, then make sure you understand the standards.

43. Christians are called to live a life of total surrender and separation from the world.
TV much? Internet much? Ooooo. F'dang. You've got a blog. Have a job? Flowers of the field and all that.

44. Alcohol makes me forget. It can make me forget that I am married, that I am saved and so on.
Age will make you forget as well. Senility and Alzheimers do the same. Visit a nursing home and find some preachers in the grip of these disorders and diseases. Alcohol does not make you do anything. You choose.

45. "I don't get drunk. I only have one or two drinks." If they didn't affect you, you would drink soda.
Caffeine. Further, if water didn’t affect you, you’d not drink it.

46. I should never look to the glass or bottle for joy, which can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
So much for encouraging people to have a joyful marriage.

47. Alcohol fills my mind with impure thoughts.
No. The thoughts were already there. Alcohol, as you said, removes filters.

48. If it could hinder my faith walk or love walk or dishonor the lordship of Jesus Christ, I need to forsake it.
Tru dat. But do not impose your decisions on others. That's what Jesus said.

49. Alcohol doesn't help me run the race that Jesus has marked before me to finish with more accuracy. It does the polar opposite.
1 Timothy 5:23 “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.”

50. For any argument that tries to justify Christian drinking, there are at least 50 other reasons not to. The writing is on the wall. It's not God's best for Christians to drink.
You can prove anything if you start with the right assumption.

Friday, July 22, 2016

He started it!

If you grew up with a sibling or more than one, you know the refrain "HE STARTED IT!" or "SHE STARTED IT!"

This was the excuse we gave to escalating the matter to the next level. Escalation often meant a fight.

Juvenile? Childish? Certainly, certainly, certainly. Beneath a mature adult?

Apparently not.

I see friends of mine spewing vitriol and hatred like they were manning a fire hose. The object of this ire? Mostly Donald Trump.

Here's what perplexes me. These friends of mine love to say "No hate." The exact words vary, but that's what they say. "Get along." "Live and let live."

Except when it comes to Donald Trump. Then, it's damn the love and full hate forward!



What's next? 2nd grade taunts? I'm rubber, yer, glue, bounce off me stick to you

I have friends on the right who do the same to Hillary Clinton, but they've been ripping the Clinton's apart for years now. Nothing new there. Not giving them a pass, just saying they are used to doing it. To many of them, tolerance means "I get my way and you get my way." My buds on the left are increasingly adopting this attitude.

This makes me sad.

What makes me even MORE sad is my friends on the left would rather spew hate than address why Trump gathered 13,300,472 votes in the primary. Yes, Clinton polled 15,805,136. But she only ran against Bernie Sanders and he pulled down 12,029,699 votes.

The Reboobican ticket pulled down 28,584,625 votes. The Damnocrats pulled 27,834,835.

The Reboobicans had more total voters than the Damnocrats. Why is that? Why are so many on this side (you need an electron microscope to see the difference in the two parties) saying they will not vote for the nominee? Never before have the two major party candidates been held in such disdain by the public.

Why? Where is the real problem? How do we fix the real issues? How, short of being invaded by another country, can we come together and truly #HumanUp?

We have a problem in this country. Throwing gasoline on this bonfire ain't helping. Hurling insults merely entrenches the ReDamnoboobicratican side. If you think this is about person ... I can lead a person to reason, but I can't make him think. I can't understand it for you.

I don't expect this short missive to change anyone's mind. I don't expect anyone to sit down and take a hard look at their core beliefs. I don't expect anyone reading this to truly #HumanUp no matter how much they claim to be doing just that.

But someone needs to say it. I'm just a voice in the wilderness.


Claim everything or claim nothing 5

There are people, the cop murderers come to mind, who believe that we should hold an entire group accountable for the actions of a few.

Stupid? I am not going to make that judgment. I am going to apply daffodils.

Those who want all police officers held accountable for the actions of a few should be held to the same standard.

Those who hold the LEOs accountable are then accountable for every rape, murder, attack and every other criminal offense committed by their group. Hold them accountable to the point of death.

"And yes, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, black offenders committed 52 percent of homicides recorded in the data between 1980 and 2008," says this report.

A certain ethnic demographic is killed by police disproportionately more than other demographics. Empirical evidence exists. This demographic also has disproportionately more contact with LEO. This demographic also has disproportionately more calls to LEO for assistance, help, contact, etc.

Some years back I tested this hypothesis of who calls for LEO most often. I divided my town into quadrants, which roughly broke the city apart by demographics. NW, NE. SW. SE.

Over a 6-month period, the SW quadrant of town accounted for just over 75 percent of the calls for LEO assistance. NW quadrant was next in line followed by SE. The NE quadrant, during this 6 month period, had exactly 1 (one) call for LEO. That call went to the alternate (special services) school because of a fight between two students.

This blog post makes this point even as it attempts to divert attention from the proportional spread of crime.

What about overall crime? Again, the proportions are heavily skewed. More data.

#BlackLivesMatter. Absolutely. Is this why that demographic calls on LEO more often than other demographics?

My good friend Paul Hodges says "baby steps."Absolutely. Gotta start somewhere. Yet, I suggest that if you have a person on the ground bleeding to death from a severed leg, focusing all your attention on a gash in the other leg doesn't make a lot of sense.

I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong. Can someone point me to mass demonstrations against gang violence? Can someone show me where the #BLM founders have held press conferences and vigorously demanded changed in their own communities? When was the last time a grieving parent said "Burn this bitch down" because a child was killed in a gang shooting?

Apply daffodils. If you intend to hold one segment of society accountable for doing something, then you must hold other segments accountable. Hold them accountable in direct proportion to their contribution to the entire situation. All of it.

Daffodils. Because when the truth hurts, yer living wrong.

But hold everyone accountable? "An eye for an eye" and everyone is blind and a one-eyed man rules the kingdom of the blind.

I have another suggestion, but few people will like it. Oddly enough, this idea is endorsed by #BLM founders. Do, as this #BLM founder suggested and defund the police in those areas where the #BLM operates. I saw the unedited interview. I heard her words. The context was: get rid of the police department.

Unleash the hounds of Social Darwin.

Alternately, #HumanUp.

Your call.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Claim everything or claim nothing 4

Writing pieces like this series engender a lot of hate mail. Why? How is that showing support for #BlackLivesMatter?

Go back and read the earlier posts. You'll find a plea for information. A request for explanation. A prayer for enlightenment.

Some will complain about the way the questions are asked.

Then, how can I better frame the questions? How should I ask for information? How do I go about understanding?

There are, then, a few ways to go from here.

1) Explain. Help me understand. Ignorance is curable. Do you have a cure for mine?

2) Go Ad hominem. "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." Issac Asimov. Impugning a person's character, slinging insults and degrading a person is violence. Go there if you need to.

How does that help me or anyone else understand? How can we understand if people hurl insults instead of offer explanations?

3) Say, "The information is out there. Go educate yourself." Where? How do I find it? How do the articles, studies and opinion pieces relate to you? Do these other people speak fully, wholly and 100 percent for you? Should I take everything these other people say as absolutely you? If these other people say one thing you disagree with, how am I to know? How do I know which you agree with and which you don't?

If you tell me I can't understand, then demand that I understand, how can I understand? How is this fair to me?

If you intend to beat me up over things I do not understand and if you will not explain when I ask, then do not be surprised if you come to beat me one day and I fight back.

3) Say "you can't understand." This may be the case. Perhaps it will be impossible for me (and so many like me) to understand. If that is the case, then it's time to quit shoving it in our faces. A dog cannot do calculus. If you beat the dog for failure to do calculus, then the dog will not understand, will grow to fear you and some day may decide it's had enough and turn to attack you.

An unexpected rant

Good morning! Today I come to you mad as insert the demesne of your choice.

At myself.

Lemme splain. People who won't make their own phone calls, get their own coffee, make their own copies and etc. They torque my sphincter. (HUZZAH! Found a use for it, Tom.)

Get off your lazy, sorry excuse for a human being butt and do it yourself.

I have seen far too many people get someone else to make their calls, fetch coffee and etc.

Last night in the shower I imagined a future POTUS might want to speak to me. The POTUS would have someone else call me on his behalf.

I'd hang up.

I will hang up.

I do hang up on people who feel they are too important to make a phone call for themselves.

You wanna talk to me, YOU call me. Or come by.

So what is causing my posterior constrictions this morning?

The (insert string of expletives) fax machine. I cannot make it work. Can't. I drop the paper in. Punch in the numbers. Hit send. Maybe 1 out of 10 times it goes through.

So, I have to get someone else in the office to send the fax for me.

A simple, basic office machine and I cannot get it to work. It's no harder than making a phone call. Yet, I can't.

Eventually, I will take an axe, a shotgun and a blowtorch to the fax machine. That way, no one will be able to use it and I will have satisfaction, however petty it may be.

Rant over. Resuming good mood and happiness immediately.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

SCIENCE! v. choice and the joys of a well-connected punch

Anybody remember when Mike Tyson turned cannibal?

Know anyone who is a kleptomaniac?

Howzabout someone with CDO? That's obsessive-compulsive disorder, but the letters are in the correct order. Check this research out.

Anudderun for yaClinical Depression.

Run this train back to Mike Tyson. Mr. Tyson also remarked, after landing a haymaker on his former wife, that he enjoyed hurting people. Some folks recoiled in disgust. Some other folks just nodded their heads because they too enjoy hurting other people.

Wanna know something else? I will tell you. It's normal.

Yes huh. According to the latest DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) it is normal. This is SCIENCE! Ok, so it is SCIENCE! that a bunch of shrinks vote on and whatever gets the most votes is the way it is. Still SCIENCE! You don't get to decide what is SCIENCE! and what ain't SCIENCE! unless you are one of the people with a Ph.D. and years of experience in that specific field.

Unless you are a true skeptic and say "this is what we know right now and it may change by the end of the day, which means we'll never know absolutely." 

Now that I thoroughly shocked, annoyed and irritated both of my readers, lemme get to the point.

Most intelligent people don't look at someone with Clinical Depression and say "You just need to lighten up." Or get over it, find something happy, etc. etc. Most intelligent people don't tell someone with CDO that "it's just a habit you need to break."

Most intelligent people understand these are deep-seated issues found within the brain. Most intelligent people understand all the will power in the world ain't going to change things.

Unless it can, but that's another story and involves monks wearing wet bed sheets sitting in 0° temps on the side of the mountain in the snow. But that's also not SCIENCE! according to the people who believe SCIENCE! is the word and the only word.

Recently, SCIENCE! announced a lot of behaviors are genetically linked. Ah so. We've known, excuse me, SCIENCE! has known for a lot longer that certain behaviors are absolutely linked to the brain. The late James Brady is the most famous case of this. In both cases, all the will power in the world ain't gonna change things.

The mountain of evidence grows that humans are hard-wired in certain ways.

Yet, we still have people who demand the hard-wiring be accepted and then turn around and demand someone change because they should be able to. Violence and the tendency to violence come to mind. Sexual habits also come to mind.

Some people will say sexual choice is hard wired, but the tendency to violence is a personal choice.

SCIENCE! increasingly says this is such a hard and fast decision, but is leaning seriously toward the hard wired part. Some SCIENCE! says we are definitely hard-wired and choice is not going to change things.

If we side with SCIENCE! then people who act in serial ways (serial killer, serial rapist, serial politician, etc.) cannot do otherwise. They are going to be that way and nothing short of confinement away from victims will stop this. Well, short of brain surgery (see Mr. Brady above) or extreme chemical manipulation, things won't change.

If we side with the will power crowd, then anyone can change. Your choice to be gay, straight, a thief, a liar, etc. Tighten up or loosen up, but quit whining either way. You decide who and what you want to be.

Pick a side. I'm good either way.

If you insist both modalities are correct, then how can you reconcile them? Sure, some "tendencies" can be overridden. Addicts can walk away from their addiction, but the urge will always be there. But what about the other stuff? If sexual orientation is a choice, then so is the orientation to hurt people. If sexual orientation is not a choice, then the drive to see people hurting is not a choice either.

Add to this, what happens to a person who denies their fundamental nature? If that urge is seated deeply enough, it's going to be expressed anyway. SCIENCE! says so anyway.