All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!



Which of these things is inherently racist?

Calling someone cracker?
Calling someone Jew boy or Heebie?
Calling someone a taco?
Calling someone a chink?
Calling someone a nigger?

Telling someone they can't attend a school because they are (insert racial group)?
Telling someone they can't attend a school because of their academic performance?
Telling someone they can't attend a school because they wouldn't "fit in"?
Telling someone they can't attend a school because they wouldn't "be happy" in the "environment"?

Telling someone they can't have a job because they are (insert racial group)?
Telling someone they can't have a job because someone else is a member of a "preferred" group?

Telling someone that they should stay with "their own kind"?
Telling someone they should only date/marry "their own kind"?

Spelling "Racist", as "Racses".

The list could go on.  I'm going to suggest to you that every single example on the list isn't at all racist.  That's right, NOT RACIST.

Do you know how I know those things aren't racist?  Black people do and say them.

I don't know exactly what Sterling said.  Apparently he objects to his trophy booty call hanging out and flirting with black guys.  He's a rich Jew who wants what he is paying for.  Who cares?  This is a domestic issue not a racial one.  Sterling plays his black millionaire ball players, millions of dollars to play ball for him.  I could use some of that discrimination.

Women vs. Men

Ladies, Read Only The First Part -- Men, The Rest

A woman was out golfing one day when she hit the ball into the woods. She went into the woods to look for it and found a frog in a trap. The frog said to her, "If you release me from this trap, I will grant you three wishes."

The woman freed the frog, and the frog said, "Thank you, but I failed to mention that there was a condition to your wishes. Whatever you wish for, your husband will get times ten!"

The woman said, "That's okay." For her first wish, she wanted to be the most beautiful woman in the world.

The frog warned her, "You do realize that this wish will also make your husband the most handsome man in the world, an Adonis to whom women will flock."

The woman replied, "That's okay, because I will be the most beautiful woman and he will have eyes only for me."

So, KAZAM -- she's the most beautiful woman in the world!

For her second wish, she wanted to be the richest woman in the world. The frog said, "That will make your husband the richest man in the world. And he will be ten times richer than you."

The woman said, "That's okay, because what's mine is his and what's his is mine."

So, KAZAM -- she's the richest woman in the world!

The frog then inquired about her third wish, and she answered, "I'd like a mild heart attack."

Moral of the story: Women are clever. Don't mess with them.

Attention female readers: This is the end of the joke for you. Stop here and continue feeling good.

Male readers, continue reading ...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The man had a heart attack ten times milder than his wife.

Moral of the story: Women think they're so smart. Let them continue to think that way and just enjoy the show.

PS: If you are a woman and are still reading this, it only goes to show that women never listen!



I'm back.  The in-laws are gone and all is right with the world.

In other parts of my head:

It seems that there is a bit of a problem brewing.  The libertarianism camp has been growing.  As the political and economic situation worsens in the US, people who are disenfranchised seek answers from third party sources.  This is nothing new.  It's happened before in the US and elsewhere under similar circumstances.  Third parties grow when the existing parties have nothing to offer the populace.  Sometimes the third party becomes an new permanent party, like the Republicans did in the mid 1800's.

The swing to third parties is nothing new, or even note worthy in a political sense unless the numbers of people switching is enough to swing an election.  The Libertarian Party (LP) has never been able to pull off a major election victory.  So what's the big deal?  It seems that there are people who are going over to the LP, who are not "true believers".  They are the mainstream disenfranchised.  They are not going over because they have engaged in a sincere intellectual evaluation of their political beliefs.  They are going over in a sort of modern day antidisestablishmentarian fit. 

For about 2 months I've been following the on again off again subject of "debate" about what it is to be a "true libertarian" over at Lew Rockwell.  I understand that any political/philosophical movement needs to define its self.  I believe that any group should have a basic cohesive set of beliefs that are common to all members.  Those common beliefs are part of the cohesiveness of purpose that hold the organization together. 

Being against the disestablishment of the current political structure of the United States is not what the LP is about.  That's why the "true believers" over at Lew Rockwell are trying to build a protective wall around the faithful.  The LP isn't a political party that is economically responsible while being socially liberal.  They are not a call to establish America the way things were once upon a time.  

While I respect the idealism, and the necessary function of defining the "faith" for the benefit of the "faithful", I don't have much respect for the self proclaimed gatekeepers of the libertarian movement.  Strict Anarcho-Capitalism on a global scale is now, and will always be a pipe dream.  The only way it will ever and this is only in theory, happen is if a country tries it and are so materially successful that the rest of the world decides to immediately implement it.  Of course as soon as they do, someone will decide that they can better their nation by invading their more prosperous neighbors and we will be right back to feudal based nationalism in about a generation.

Which is one of the reasons why I engage in floccinaucinihilipilification where the LP is concerned.

*There you have it my friends, your assiduous blog host has done it again.  I have successfully used not one but two arcane sesquipedalian, oops make that three, words in a post.  If you feel you have gotten your monies worth today you can make a contribution to my pay pal account.  Of course if you're hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobic you may not have enjoyed this post that much.



A good ole Alabama boy won a bass boat in a raffle drawing. He brought it home and his wife looked at him and said, "What are you gonna do with that? There ain't no water deep enough to float a boat within 100 miles of here."

He said, "I won it and I'm a gonna keep it."

His brother came over to visit several days later. He saw the wife and asked where his brother was. She said, "He's out there in his bass boat," pointing to the field behind the house.

The brother headed out behind the house and saw his brother sitting in a bass boat with a fishing rod in his hand down in the middle of a big field. He yelled out to him, "What are you doing?"

His brother yelled back, "I'm fishin'. What does it look like I'm a doing?"

His brother yelled, "It's people like you that give people from Alabama a bad name, makin' everybody think we is stupid. If I could swim, I'd come out there and give you what for!"


Gut Wrenching

Twenty four years or so ago, I stood on a railway station platform in the Netherlands.  It was a beautiful day.  We had scheduled an afternoon to visit a Dutch concentration camp.  As our little group was waiting for the tram to take us to the camp, we collectively chickened out.  It wasn't a matter of being afraid to go.  We weren't  hesitant due to any failing of courage or moral fortitude.  It wasn't even our first camp.

That more than anything was probably the real reason we got back on the train and headed to our next stop.  It wasn't our first camp, and we still remembered what it felt like getting the gates locked on us at Dachau.  You see Dachau is a large museum these days.  One of the techniques they use when it is getting close to closing time is to lock up the different sections of the grounds and then the staff guides the visitors out.  We got locked in the crematorium section by the ovens.  The staff probably took all of 15 to 20 minutes to get to us and escort us out, but it seemed like eternity standing in the drizzle. 

I can't explain why I felt a sort of soul deadening hopelessness that day.  The staff was just doing their job of crowd control.  Yet standing on the bridge looking out those locked gates filled me with sadness.  I hadn't talked to any of my friends about that feeling.  Yet when it came time to go to another camp, none of us wanted to.

I'm not a Jew.  I don't even like gin.  I've known several Jews that I've had business relationships with over the years and liked them very much.  I can't imagine what kinds of emotions a camp would stir up for them.  Which is why I found this vid interesting.


Free Cheese

I don't know if you've ever eaten government cheese or not.  The USDA used to, and may still I don't know, buy up milk fat and have it made into cheese.  This was a good deal for dairy farmers as it allowed them to produce and sell more milk and the government would buy up surplus.  This kept the retail prices higher and stable for the farmer, allowing him to sell all he could produce without having to worry about a pesky supply and demand curve.

There were some other benefits too.  The second group to benefit was the welfare industrial complex.  This group consists of all the professional welfare workers, their subcontractors, consultants, warehouse workers, agricultural concerns etc.  Free cheese is big business.  The farmer gets a cut.  The cheese guy gets a cut.  The truck driver gets a cut.  Then you have all the case workers, cheese distribution specialists and accountants who do the work and demonstrate and document the need for free cheese.  Free cheese is big business.

Of course there is one last group that benefits from free cheese, the poor man eating it.  Although the program allegedly exists for his benefit, he is only a minor part of the process.  As long as he shows up every other week to pick up a bag full of cheese and other government subsidized products they are handing out, all is well in the economy of "free cheese".

America is so good at free cheese that approximately 1/3 of the population gets in on it and makes a sandwich.  That doesn't count all those who benefit from jobs and profits form working in the free cheese complex.  According to this: there are 86 million workers supporting 148 million takers in a country with a population of about 340 million.  That's a lot of free cheese from not a lot of producers.

If tomorrow you were to move, not take, just move the cheese, you'd upset a lot of people.  After all, they were counting on that cheese being right there.  You moved it.  You are a bad person. 

For arguments sake lets say that someone saw a piece of cheese that they thought, because nobody else could possibly want that piece of cheese, they could get it for the taking.  Again for arguments sake, lets say that a tiny family of mice had been eating on that piece of cheese nobody else wanted for about 140 years. 

In order to be the old rat in charge of the pack, you have to be cunning and vicious.  It has to look like the cheese just happened to fall into your lap, or the other rats will be jealous.  You arrange for consultants to consult, advisors advise, the bureaucrats lick boots, not because you've arranged for the boot licking, that's just what they do, its in their nature.  When they see an ass, they want to kiss it.  They want to be "change agents".  Just tell them "its the law" or call it "policy" and they will blindly do your biding without considering if it is right or just.

Imagine that the rat, having set the wheels of steal into motion, is just about to have his piece of cheese fall into his lap, when a cat stops by to visit the family of mice.  Instead of getting the cheese the rat gets his tail stepped on.  Now the rat has to go out and get a bigger cat.

If you've grasped my analogy you now understand what is going on with the Bundy Ranch in Nevada.  Except the Bundy family has over the years played by the rules and only stopped when it became clear that no matter what they did, someone was going to rustle their cheese. 


It Has Happened

The in-laws have arrived for Easter and a couple of weeks of grandkid time.  The kids are loving it.

Blogging will be light as I lose access to my home PC.  Latter, blogging will be light due to me losing my mind.

Age by Car Radio

Student: Every button is programmed to pop, rock, and rap -- except the oldies station for your parents.

Young Professional: Still programmed to rap, rock, and pop, plus the station that gives the traffic reports. As you approach your 30s, you'll probably also add the talk station that everyone at work talks about.

Established Professional: Will use the "scan" button and until you hear the first pop tune you learned as a kid on the oldies station.

Approaching Middle Age: Thank goodness for "adult" pop, rock, and soul; will actually listen to the oldies for a few tunes.

Truly Middle Age: It's not that you're old enough to listen to the oldies, it's just that they keep playing songs you know.

Approaching Retirement: The radio is either on the oldies or off.

Retired: Stopped listening to the radio -- that "oldies" station started playing all of this "new music."


Brave New Skoos

In another case of blame the victim, a Pennsylvania school decides that the best course of action is to throw the retarded kid under the bus.
A learning-disabled 15-year-old Pennsylvania sophomore was threatened with felony wiretapping charges for using his school-approved iPad to record being bullied by other students.
After his numerous reports to teachers went unheeded, the student, who has not been identified, decided to take matters into his own hands after repeatedly being tripped, pushed, insulted, nearly burned with a cigarette lighter, and generally bullied since moving to the South Fayette School District 20 minutes outside Pittsburgh.
“I was really having things like books slammed upside my head,” the teen said in a report. “I wanted it to stop. I just felt like nothing was being done.”
The student told his mother about the bullying and, to prove he wasn’t making the stories up, recorded an incident during class with his iPad’s audio recording function, which captured students making mean and harassing comments and even pretending to strike him in order to frighten.
“According to [the student's mother], as the teacher is heard attempting to help her son with a math problem, a student says, ‘You should pull his pants down!’ Another student replies, ‘No, man. Imagine how bad that (c**t) smells! No one wants to smell that (t**t).’ As the recording continues, the teacher instructs the classroom that they may only talk if it pertains to math.
Shortly thereafter, a loud noise is heard on the recording, which her son explained was a book being slammed down next to him after a student pretended to hit him in the head with it. When the teacher yells, the student exclaims, ‘What? I was just trying to scare him!’ A group of boys are heard laughing.” 
Obviously this is the retarded kids fault.  After all his parents are the ones who hate him enough to send him to a public school in the first place.  Child abuse starts when you put your kid on the yellow bus.  I guess the good news is that the judge found the retarded kid guilty of the reduced charge of disorderly conduct.  Good thing the principle erased the evidence of bullying, otherwise the wiretapping charges may have stuck.

In other news, the Nevada division of the Bureau of Land Management has offered summer internships to the bully's. 


Can You Hear Me Now?

The weekend is over and it "looks like" the "good guys" have "won" on the Bundy ranch.

I wrote that first sentience because it felt good.  Deep down in my gut I want it to be the gods honest truth.  I want the good guys to beat the living hell out of the bad guys.  The good guys being the cowboys and the bad guys being the carpetbagger representatives of the federal government.  I went back and put quotes over: "looks like", "good guys" and "won", because the reality is all of those terms belong in brackets.

There is no doubt that the federal government is the largest bad guy in the United States today.  Deep down in your gut, you know that the politics of pull have more influence in the halls of power than the principles of truth and fair dealing.  We know this and we know that there is no practical solution to the problem.

Clive Bundy comes along and we learn that he is being run rough shod over by the BLM.  The reasons why the BLM is doing this are obscure.  We hear about a turtle that is "in danger" because of Clive's cows.  Apparently the turtles and the cows have gotten along just fine for over 140 years.  We smell a rat.  We know about Agenda 21.  Is this what's really going on? We don't know.  Is this yet another case of blind environmental over reaching?  We don't know.  We hear about Harry Reid and backroom deals involving the Chinese and other corporate players.  Is this what's going on?  We don't know.  We hear that Clive Bundy owes over a million dollars in grazing fees.  I've demonstrated that the math doesn't add up, either he runs more than 900 cows or something else is going on.  Is this just another case greedy federal managers looking to generate more revenue by squeezing the tax payer?  We don't know.

A large part of the problem in this case is that we don't know.  Nothing about the official version of events makes sense.  The BLM has a court order.  Big deal.  The courts issue rubber stamp court orders all the time.  There is no reason to have any faith in the courts when it comes to administrative decisions. 

What we do know is that the federal government and their bureaucratic minions do make unjust policies and decisions on a regular basis.  We have seen out of control environmentalism, power hungry boot lickers, and backroom deals for the privileged politically connected.  The federal government lies.  The IRS has been lying about the politics behind tea party groups and tax exempt issues.  Eric Holder lies about running guns to Mexico.  He decides what laws he will and will not enforce. 

What the truth is you can't say anymore.  What the truth is not, if experience is to be our guide, is what the government is saying.

What about good ole Clive?  All he is saying is that his family has ranched that land for 140 years.  That's it.  Other people have dug through the old free range and settlement laws and looked for possibilities for a legal argument.  Bundy hasn't made a case that I've seen.  He may have a good case for all I know, but he isn't saying what it is.  If he does have a case why not put forth an equitable solution?  On the other hand, I've not see where he is claiming the 600,000 acres that the BLM says he is claiming.  Clive has said he has rights to the river bottoms, not the whole county.

What we have is a situation where our "hero" probably isn't 100% in the right.  In a way that doesn't really matter.  Depending on whose count you use, about 300 to 400 people came to Bundy's aid.  They came, at their own expense, packing their own guns and ammunition and supplying their own food and water.   Some of them came to bear witness to the events, some to protest, some came to fight.

Don't make the mistake of believing that the came to fight FOR Bundy.  Most of them never heard of him, or knew that you could run cows in the desert, or care one way or the other about free range issues.  They came out to fight because they know something is wrong with this country.  They don't know if Bundy is in the right.  They know that the government is in the wrong.  Our government is in the wrong about almost every issue facing this country today.  People know that.  They know it deep down in the gut.  They are mad as hell about it.

Why did the BLM back down?  Waco Texas, Ruby Ridge Idaho and Wounded Knee South Dakota.  I don't for one minute believe that the Obama Administration fears the military prowess of a few hundred militia members in the Nevada desert.  A company of men and modest air support would wipe out Bundy in short order.

The BLM backed down because no matter what they do to Bundy, they would lose.  It's been a slow media cycle.  Obummer has been blundering from one failure to another.  The administration doesn't want news stories about how a brave rancher whose family settled in the desert 140 years ago was murdered by federal agents so they could give the land to turtles and Chinese solar companies.  That's it.  They don't want the bad press that would come if they machine gunned 300 people.

Bundy has won nothing.  The BLM didn't propose a deed transferring him the land; they didn't put together a long term lease deal.  What they said was, "ok not today".  They let the cows go.  They pulled out.  They will be back.  Next time the news media will be focused on other more titillating subjects.  Next time Bundy will lose and it will cost him more than his cows.

None of that matters today.  Across America there is something happy on the wind.  In front of computer screens, and in coffee shops and diners and at the local watering hole, men are asking their buddies, "did you hear about Bundy?".  Yeah, the feds are pulling out, we won.  Who is this "we"?  They didn't go and no one won.  What they mean is: "I'm mad as hell about the direction this country is going! Can you hear me now?"



Clive Bundy is in the news again. 

There are some things you easterners don't understand.  That perhaps you should.  The first is that all states except Texas and Hawaii that came into the union after the war of northern aggression, do not enjoy the same property rights as those states that joined before.  That means that things don't work the same way in our part of the country as they do in yours.

The first thing that is different is what is called split or divided estate.  If you live out east a split estate is rare.  Basically if you are a eastern land owner you probably own the rights to the minerals, water, and access to all lands that you hold deed to the surface rights.  Another issue that is different is water rights to streams and surface water.  Out east if you live on a river you can generally take as much water as is reasonable for your use out of the river.  Not so in the west.  Water rights are determined on a totally different basis, which amounts to a first filed first served sort of rule.  I'm over simplifying but this isn't a class on the legal peculiarities of the west.

The next way things are different is the manner of settlement.  When the west, by which we are talking about west of the Mississippi river, except again Texas and Hawaii, was settled it was under a system of land grant, mining and homestead acts.  The specifics of each system isn't all that important, just keep in mind that each system had a method where by a person could gain ownership rights to the land.

The Louisiana Purchase which gave us a big chunk of "The West" was considered by some as "Jefferson's Folly" due to the fact that much of the land was believed unsuitable for farming.  This is why some maps of the time labeled the area "the Great American Desert".  After the war of Northern Aggression the US Army had a abundance of killers and nobody left locally to kill.  Those men were sent west to invade and murder people living on land that Jefferson had purchased form France.  France never told the Indians that it wasn't their land but that's another story. 

After the war some enterprising men decided to round up unbranded cattle and sell them to the folks back east.  The great trail drives began.  Cowboys became ranchers and the smart ones began to play by the rules and settle vast areas of previously unutilized land.  Most all the land was what is called "open range".  Open range means that unless someone held a deed purchased from the government, or otherwise officially recognized by the government i.e. Royal Spanish Land Grant anyone could use the land.  First come first serve.  What the smart ranchers started doing was filing deeds on waterholes, staking mining claims, establishing logging companies and other wise tying up the useful land, while not wasting money on the marginal grazing land.

Everyone, including the Federal Government was happy with this arrangement. 

Typically this is how things have worked here for about the last 140 years or so.  This is why when you see a ranch for sale like this one the listing breaks down the deeded and lease acres. 

Which brings us to Clive Bundy and his ranch in Nevada.  Clive's ranch is a mixture of deeded land, water rights, state lease and open range.  That open range was claimed by the Bundy family and continuously operated from 1877 until 1993 with no problems.  Do the math that's 116 years of Federal, State and local government APPROVED constructive possession. 

So what happened 20 years ago to disrupt the apple cart?  Some bunny huggers decided that there is a special kind of turtle on some of the land that Bundy's cows run on.  That's when the BLM decided to place a special "Tax" on Mr. Bundy so they could get some funds to "do something" for the turtles.  Just to confuse you a bit, apparently there are some biologists that feel that cow pies provide a enhanced dietary option for the turtles.  Turtles eat the cow pies because the nutrients in the dung are more concentrated than eating the raw forage.  That's right the cows are good for the turtles.

How many cows are we talking about?  908.  That's right 908 cows, not 908 AU, 908 cows.  In an area of several square miles.  The BLM is claiming that Mr. Bundy owes them over $1 million dollars in grazing fees.  I'm not sure what the mix of deeded and open range is that Bundy is using, but assuming the data from the BLM is correct, and assuming the rate of $1.35 AU/mo for the grass, land that was considered to poor of quality to lease prior to 1993, I arrive at a figure of $145,000 for 20 years of grazing (450AU X $1.35 X 240months).  That ain't over a million dollars.  Most ranchers wouldn't pay for 240 months, more likely it would only be 4 or 5 months for each year which gives us a figure of $72,900 for the last 20 years! 

You know why Bundy didn't pay BLM lease fees?  They aren't entitled to them.

I won't get into Agenda 21, States Rights v Federal Government, BLM grazing policy, the right of these turtles to exist in the desert, or the fact that they've gotten along just fine with the cows for the last 140 years, and might even be doing better because of them.  All of that plays a part and I'm not disputing it.  Make what you will of those issues.  Mr. Bundy has by right of settlement 116 years of undisputed constructive possession of the land, plus his deeded rights, PLUS over 20 years of disputed or at worst adverse possession of the land.  Under common law its his land.  The BLM gave up any rights to this land in 1897.  Don't believe me.  Believe Cornell Law's online resource.  Better yet here is the statue in Nevada.

Bundy owns that land.
Bundy's cows are being rustled.
Bundy's civil and property rights are being trampled.

If Clark County NV wants to assess property taxes, even back taxes for the last 5 years, I'm OK with that.

The BLM is out of line.  They could solve all of this by agreeing that the Bundy family has proved up on that land back in 1897 and assess them the 12 1/2 cents per acre demanded by law and turning over the deed.  Make Bundy pay for the land by section like he would have had to back them, and make him pay in silver dollars if you want.  Assuming 50 sections at 12.5 cents/acre the BLM would gross $400,000.  They're spending more than that to steel his cows.



All choked up and not enough press to document it.

John Boehner Cries at Taco Bell Event
Boehner made a brief cameo at a gathering sponsored by the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as the former gave the latter $30 million to help teens graduate from high school. (Taco Bell employs many teens, so that’s the connection.)
“Some of you know how I am about these things,” Boehner said, choking back tears while praising the work of the Boys & Girls Clubs. “We need to do a better job at educating more American kids. We live in America, for goodness' sake.”
I am so underwhelmed with the sincerity of Boehner.  Who is this "We" he is talking about?  I actively educate two American kids.  That is two more than he does.  My kids aren't in "the system" and "we" meaning the wife and I are pleased with the progress.  The best way to "fix" the system or "do a better job" is to close down every federally funded education program from preschool to phd.

He is right about one thing, "we" meaning the good solid citizens descended from pioneers and patriots do live in the United States.  How about representing us and our needs in the congress?  How about closing our borders and throwing out the illegals?  How about seeing to our economy and protecting our jobs?  It seems like we could accomplish more good for more people by getting regulations and special deals for campaign contributors out of "the system".  How about a level playing field based on individual liberty and the rule of law, where the rules are the same for everyone?  After all "we live in America, for goodness sake".

Don't spend to much time wondering where a man who makes $174,000 a year at his full time job managed to accumulate $30,000,000 to give away.  Wait my bad, apparently Boehner didn't give them a dime of his money, he was all choked up over Taco Bell's generosity.   


I think that this is interesting.  It doesn't prove anything one way or the other, but it is interesting and worth checking out.  I've always been intrigued by the possibility of intelligent life on other planets.

NASA photo captures strange bright light coming out of Mars
A NASA camera on Mars has captured what appears to be artificial light emanating outward from the planet's surface.
The photo, beamed millions of miles from Mars to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., was taken last week, apparently by one of two NASA rovers on the red planet.
Although the space agency hasn't issued any official statement yet about the phenomenon, bloggers and NASA enthusiasts have started chiming in.  
Go check out the photos for yourself.  Meanwhile the search for intelligent life on Earth will continue.

The Patio

Neighbors of ours had a terrible disagreement over a patio they wanted for their backyard. The wife had rather grand ideas, while the husband wanted costs kept to a minimum. The wife won out, and the construction bill climbed higher and higher.

I dropped by one day, when the patio was near completion, and was surprised to find the husband smiling from ear to ear as the workmen smoothed over the surface. I remarked how nice it was to see a grin replace the frown he had been wearing lately.

"You see where they're smoothing that cement?" he replied. "I just threw my wife's credit cards in there."

May this summers home improvement projects be stress and debt free.


Tats and White Trash

Tattoos are very common today.  I'm not a fan of the tattoo, or any of the other "body art" that people seem to be into these days.  I get that a guy in the service might want his unit, or insigne as a tat.  I can see doing something commemorative for a major life event. 

In a way tattoos are even a benefit to society.  What better way to advertise that you aren't fit company for polite society than getting a lizard skin tat all over your face and upper torso?  Are you a neo-Nazi?  A black swastika on your forehead for identification is helpful.  Are you a LBGTQ political activist?  Get a pink one.  That way everyone knows where you are coming from.

Like I said, its not my thing but adults can do what they like.  Different strokes for different folks.

Babysitter tattoos kids while mom away
(NEWSADVANCE) — A Campbell County judge on Monday certified charges to a grand jury against a mother and her boyfriend in connection with the tattooing of two children without consent.
Melissa Delp, 35, and Daniel Janney, 32, are charged with two counts each of malicious wounding and child neglect. The charges stem from efforts to remove tattoos on the children, who were younger than age 13 at the time, according to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office. 
 Don't ever let white trash care for your children.

For Susan: Case Study

Appling a CWV to a modern topic


The concept of game centers around using a women natural sexual tendencies to fulfill a mans sexual desires.  According to a CWV of God's plan, a women's natural sexual preferences were designed to fulfill her husband and provide a basis for their  relationship.

I never heard of Game as a concept before Vox introduced me to it.  Frankly I didn't care.  After all once you get married, if you're a Christian, its game over.  Conceptually the topic is relevant for Christians.  I'd even go so far as to say that we as a group haven't done a very good job teaching about the topic of sex. 

There are two scriptures I'm going to use.  There are more that are potentially relevant but I'm going to keep this as short as I can.  The first is Gen 1:26 to Gen 2:25 the second is Heb 13:4.  I realize that there are two common views of interpretation of the Heb passage.  Either is acceptable for this discussion.

We glean some information from Genesis:
  • man was an intentional creation
  • man is made in God's image
  • man needed a 'helpmeet'
  • women was designed to fulfill that role
  • God saw that it was good
  • men and women were originally brought together naked
We draw some inferences:
  • Sex was God's idea
  • Man and women's make up was designed by God and it is good
  • Sex is a core component of mankind's make up
  • When Adam was introduced to the subject, he seemed enthusiastic
  • Sin wasn't part of the original picture
From Hebrews (and other places) we draw the conclusion that sex inside of marriage is proper spiritually.  It is banned in all other contexts.

Since I'm a bit of a biblical literalist, I reject the whole evolutionary biology analysis of human intersexual relations.  That means there must be another explanation.

Men are by nature visually orientated.  A man sees a women and evaluates her desirability based on her relative attractiveness.  Adam and Eve are introduced to each other without clothing.  (Way to go God!) 

Gen 2:24 sates this: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."  For what reason? Sex.  Apparently the whole reason for being male and female, is to have sex.  Before we start on procreation vs recreation let me point out that Adam's age when his first child is born is 130 years.  That means that he had over 100 years of doing it recreationally.  When you examine the ages of the first children in the genealogies you see a similar trend.  Incidentally marriage did not require an elaborate ceremony or license procedure the declaration and sex act are enough to create marital bonds.

Men by nature think a lot about sex.  Females by design are capable of having sex more often than the male.

"That's all well and good" you may be thinking to yourself, "but we don't live in the garden of Eden".  Fair enough.  We live in a modern world that is remarkably screwed up.  Lets skip forward in time to postdiluvian civilization. 

Bob and Jan live in Mesopotamia.  This happens to be one of the earliest cultures we know about their marriage customs.  Some of those customs are still with us today. 

Bob is a young man of about 17.  Jan is about 13 and lives in the next town over.  Bob knows who Jan is because her father does business with Bob's dad.  Bob's family has a farm and some livestock, like everyone else.  Bob's dad is best known for his olive orchards.  He makes some of the best olive oil in the region.  They also have a small but good vineyard.  They aren't rich but they aren't doing badly.  Bob is the oldest in his family and will inherit the family farm. 

Bob's dad has had his eye on a piece of rich but very hilly land along the river between his olive trees and the road.  He thinks it would make a great vineyard and he could increase the wine production and improve the families fortune.

One day Bob, who is quite horny living on the farm, demands of his father "get me a wife".  Bob's dad thinks it over and agrees, telling Bob that he will have to do some things to get ready for a bride.  Bob, again still very horny, agrees to do whatever is needed.  Bob's dad goes to town and talks to Jan's dad.  Unknown to Jan and Bob, their fathers have been talking this match over for some time.  Jan's dad is a merchant who sells olive oil and wine among other things.  Jan's dad also owns that piece of land that would make a great vineyard.  The dad's make a deal. 

Bob's dad comes back with the news, he has arraigned for a bride.  He even arraigned for a property for the young couple to live on.  In order for Bob to claim his bride he has to build a house, plant a vineyard establish a wine press and develop a first rate wine production facility.  There is amazingly good news, the property has a small system of caves that can be used for storage and ageing the wine.  Just as soon as Bob gets it built and up and running he can get married.  Of course Bob still has to work the olives and keep that going to.

Meanwhile back at Jan's house her dad informs her that she is engaged.  Her sisters and friends are all jealous, she is going to be the first to get married.  Her cousin saw Bob with his tunic off once, when Bob was working unloading olive oil.  She says he is cute.

Horny young men are remarkably energetic creatures.  Between working for his dad and building his house (it isn't quite finished but the roof is on), Bob has managed to get 20 acres of grapes planted.  He doesn't have a wine press built yet but he has picked out a spot.  Right now he is working getting trellises started for the vines.  A year has passed and Bob has met Jan twice and even talked to her alone one time when her father was out of his shop.  Bob is desperate.  All he can think about is this young girl with the perky boobs and long hair.

Bob goes to his father and asks "how much longer before I can get married?"  Bob's dad and mom go out to look over the house and vineyard.  Bob's mom nitpicks the house, it is unacceptable according to female standards.  She makes a list of improvements roughly a mile long that Bob must do.  Bob's dad makes a list of the things that still need attending to.  Bob is truly despondent.  "This is going to take me another 5 years of work" he complains.  His dad recommends hiring some help.  "With what I have no money".  His dad just smiles and walks away.

Latter without Bob knowing about it, his dad and Jan's dad take a tour of the house and vineyard.  Bob has done a very good job with the grapes but he doesn't have enough planted.  Both fathers are pleased with the progress, things are working out remarkably well.  They agree that as soon as Bob gets another 100 acres into production and has his first harvest there will be a wedding.

Bob's dad arranges for Bob to "accidently" meet up with Jan.  The two get a few alone moments and talk about their marriage.  Jan wants to know when he is coming for her.  She wants to get married her friends are all engaged now too.  Her cousin got married and is expecting her first baby.  The big question on Jan's mind is when is Bob going to make good.  Bob is on cloud nine.  His dad picked a girl who apparently really wants to get married to him.  He really likes her. Bob is convinced that she is the most attractive girl in the world.

Bob still has a problem.  The house isn't finished, he has more grapes to plant and he is working the olives too.  He needs help to finish everything.  Bob's first grape harvest comes in and he makes a small batch of wine to sell.  He takes the wine to Jan's dad.  He over pays Bob for the wine.  Jan's dad has a talk with Bob.  He wants to know when Bob is going to get around to marrying his daughter.  He even hints that maybe he should arrange for Jan to marry someone else. Jan is going to be 15 and she isn't getting any younger after all.  Bob panics and confesses that he doesn't have enough money to finish the house to his mothers standards.  If money is all you need why not borrow it?  Jan's dad offers to lend Bob the money he needs and some servants to help finish the house in exchange for 25% of his crop from the 120 acres for the next 10 years, payable to Jan's older brother who will be taking over the merchant business. 

Bob, being as they say, young dumb and full of cum, takes the deal.  Over the winter he finishes the house.  Spring time is busy on the farm.  May comes around and Bob gets the chores done, everything is looking good. 

In June Bob goes and gets his bride.  There is a huge feast.  Jan's hymen is inspected and found to be intact.  They "do it".  In the morning the best man and the maid of honor sneak into the new couples house and steel their cloths.  Shortly after that Jan's father shows up with a cart full of mead or honey wine and food.  According to tradition he must keep the newlyweds in all mead and food they can consume for one moon, or the marriage is off.  The door to the house is barred from the outside.

Inside the house Bob and Jan are getting to know each other.  They are supposed to stay inside and "bless" the house.  The new couple's parents have given them advice on what to do and what to expect.  Bob's dad told Bob that the best thing he could do for pleasure was to be gentile and make sure his wife had her pleasure first.  Bob did his best to gentle but it was over as soon as it started.  Jan's mom had told her about this.  Eventually, after much experimenting,  the kids work it out.  Jan is enjoying being married every bit as much as Bob.

After about a week of laying around drinking mead and "blessing" his wife Bob feels the need to inspect his grapes.  He has worked to hard on the vineyard and it hasn't rained.  He has to go out and see how things are going.  He tells Jan he will be back in by supper.  Bob arrives at his first field and see's carts.  All of his fathers carts, even the new one, are there loaded with manure from the sheep pen.  His younger brothers and his father are dressing his grape vines! 

Bob's father sees him and stops working.  "What! doesn't the wife I chose for you please you" he kids with a big grin on his face.  "She pleases me fine" Bob replies.  "Then what are you doing out of your house son?" dad, asked.  Bob explains about the lack of rain and wanting to check on the vines.  Bob and his dad sit in the shade of a wild olive tree and talk.  Bob can't remember his father ever setting and talking in the middle of the day.  Not only talking, Bob notices that his dad is talking to him like he does with men his own age.  It is something different, his dad is treating him like a man.

Finally his dad says to him, "Bob you have one moon to spend alone with your wife".  "You should not come to the fields or even leave your house more than needed".  "Is your father in law sending you all the food and honeywine you can drink"? his father asked.  Bob answered "Yes".  "Then why are you out here to work"?

Bob confessed to being in debt and told his father of the details of the loan to Jan's father.  His dad chucked.  "You have played the fool my son" he said.  His father explained the details of the marriage arrangement to Bob.  I received this land and the land farther south along the river as a dowry for you marring Jan.  Her father thought it a great bargain.  The land is too steep to plow and is only good for grazing sheep.  Everyone has sheep and pasture land is of no value to a man who makes his living as a merchant in the city.  Her father only accepted the land as payment for a large debt.  He had never seen it before he took it as a pledge.  When he discovered that it had little value he felt cheated.

"I have wanted this land for many years son", his father went on.  The soil is good for olive trees and for grapes.  It is too hilly for anything else.  "But father olive trees take so long to grow and give a crop" Bob interrupted.  "This is true, but grapes only take two years for the first yield" he replied, "which is why I had you plant grapes first, and why I started all those olive seedlings the day you became engaged".

Bob nodded his head in reply to his dad.  His father had seen to many details that would profit him far into the future.  Bob's sons would benefit from his fathers wisdom.  "Father what I have promised as repayment will take nearly all of this years crop", Bob exclaimed.  "Yes son, I gathered that" he answered.  "You must honor your debt my son", his father went on.  Jan's father and I came out and saw the work you had done.  It was apparent even with the first planting that you would have a good vineyard.  Her father saw that the land would yield more profit than he thought and was jealous.  He knows that I do not trade all of my oil and wine with him.  He was ensuring that his son would have a supply of wine to sell at a low price.  What he gave you for a loan was less than what you would have made on half of your second years crop.

Bob shook his head and asked, "Dad do you think Jan knows about this"?  "I don't know my son" he went on, "if she did she will be on your side the second she learns what it is doing to you and by extension her".   "Either way, it is not important, go home, enjoy your wife and stay in your house for the rest of the moon" his dad prompted. 

Bob headed home and was met at the door by Jan.  She was naked with a plate of food in one hand and a flagon of mead in the other.  "Are you hungry or do you want to try something new in there?" she asked as she motioned toward the bedroom.  Bob smiled.  Somehow things were going to work out.


Sundry News

This has got to be the best idea to ever come out of California.  Seriously.  I've often said that if anything good was ever produced in California, I'd say something.  Well I'm saying this is an idea whose time has come.

Firing Squad Or Hanging? AG Candidate Wants Death Penalty For Corrupt Lawmakers
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A Republican candidate for California attorney general said Friday that state lawmakers who are found guilty of crimes that endanger the lives of others should face the death penalty. 
What a great idea.  Let's expand it to:
  • Lawmakers that accept money from lobbyists
  • Bureaucrats that cause harm to others
  • Bureaucrats that abuse their position  
  • Cops that abuse their badge
Imagine if elected officials had to obey the same laws the rest of us do.  Imagine if they were held accountable for the harm caused by their agenda's.  Imagine having men of integrity in office instead of the crowd we have now.  Imagine if this was federal law.

In other news, the US navy has way too much money.

Navy warship en route to sick toddler on sailboat
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A U.S. Navy warship was headed Saturday to rescue a 1-year-old girl who fell ill on a crippled sailboat that was attempting to circle the world.
Slicing the Pacific at 25 knots, the USS Vandegrift was expected to reach the Rebel Heart in the late evening or early Sunday, a Navy spokeswoman said.
I'm sorry your kid is sick.  If you have enough money to own your own saltwater sailing yacht AND take off enough time to circumnavigate the globe, you have enough money to provide for emergency health care.  The US tax payer is not your personal medical transportation service.  What kind of parents take their two-year old on a primitive sea voyage?  I'd love to get a check from the government equal to the amount of money we spent to help these rich folks out.

Up in Smoke

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Marijuana black market still thrives in Colorado, where pot is legal

Just because marijuana is legal in Colorado doesn’t mean the black market for the drug has disappeared. Rather, the opposite, police officials said.
“[Legalization] has done nothing more than enhance the opportunity for the black market,” said Lt. Mark Comte of the Colorado Springs police vice and narcotics unit, in The Associated Press. “If you can get it tax-free on the corner, you’re going to get it on the corner.”
Police are concerned that recent escalations in violence are tied to the legal recreational pot sales market. But their fears are only based on anecdotal evidence; nobody in state or federal government agencies is tracking the numbers of violent crimes that are tied to the marijuana market, AP reported.
Still others outside of the police community say concerns are unfounded, and that any black market residual will disappear once more stores open and the supply-demand curve is more balanced. 
I can see this going either way.  If the black market can produce and deliver the pot cheaper by not paying taxes, the black market will stay.  Of course the black-market will stay for the under 21 crowd.  However, if a large enough number of suppliers are in business, and they don't form a cartel, supply and demand will keep the price low enough that its worth it to pay the tax.

Time will tell.


Tree Fort

When I was a kid we built forts.  In the mid to late 70's our home didn't have any mature trees.  There was a long row of dirt mounds that had been hauled into make a road bed behind our house.  The developer decided not to build the road.  It was a wonderful place for a boy.  The weeds were very high and there were tons of places to hide.  We got boards and made "caves".  We took our dads tools and dug "fox holes" and had dirt clod fights in them.  We blew stuff up with firecrackers.  We built camp fires.  I got a whipping when my dad caught me.  The next time I built campfires that didn't produce smoke that could be seen form our house.  We rode our bikes up and down the dirt mounds.

In short, it was the way God intended boyhood to be in northern Michigan.

Then my father moved us down state.  Down state is a horrible place.  To be fair to dad, the small company he worked for went out of business and a job is a job.  Still life is better in the northern half of the state.

The next house was situated in the city of hell.  Not literally Hell, MI.  Hell, MI is actually a fairly nice place.  No we moved to a big city outside of Detroit.  Jimmy Carter was in the White House and the economy sucked.  Mortgage rates were 18%.  We had to get a smaller house in a subdivision in town.  They still own it.  I hated that move, still do.

The one thing the house did have was LOTS of big trees.  Willow trees are easy to climb, easy to build forts in, and great for making whips out of the branches.  I built a tree fort, because that is what boys do.  It was the crappy job that you'd expect a kid would do with scrap boards and the bent nails swiped out of the Folgers can in the garage.  It was my fort.  It was cool.  Which is how it is supposed to be.

I expect that my hammering and other shenanigans didn't do the tree any good but in the end it was the infestation of carpenter ants that killed the tree.  Well they didn't actually kill it.  Dad made the decision to get rid of the willows out of the yard.  He hated raking all those little leaves and branches.  Keeping the carpenter ants form infesting our home was as good an excuse as any.  There was a large area of woods and fields that were undeveloped between our subdivision and the interstate.  Operations moved there.  That location had the additional benefit that my little brother couldn't go because it was too far away.

Boys build forts.  The best ones are tree forts.  Is there any male, I won't call such a creature a man, that didn't have a fort as a boy?  Apparently there is in Georgia.  From the I can't believe it happened in the USA file:

11-year-old building tree fort says officer pulled gun on him, friends
HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — A fifth-grader says he was terrified when a police officer pointed a gun at him and his friends while they built a tree fort.
Omari Grant, 11, said he and his friends often play in a wooded area behind his home and were building a fort when a neighbor in the next subdivision called police to complain about what the boys were doing.
I believe the kids.  I think some dumbass cop pulled a gun because some nosy neighbor woman called 911 to "save the environment" and "protect the children".  Good thing the cop had a gun, the boy might have fallen out of a tree and broke his arm.  It's much better that a so-called adult was ready to shoot him dead to prevent it. 

The boys admit to cutting down some limbs to make their fort.  I don't know how much damage was done to the trees.  You know how you fix that?  The person who owns the trees cuts a good sized branch from one of the downed limbs.  This is what is known as a switch.  Then you have the boys line up and bend over.  Apply the switch to their behinds.  Problem solved.  No guns needed.  If that is too drastic, put them in the back of the cop car and haul them home to their parents.

I don't care that the cops responded to a bunch of black kids building a fort.  I don't care that its Georgia.  Black boys should be able to build tree forts without getting shot.  What is a 5th grader going to do, dis yo mamma?  Better have your gun out, you never know, the kid might say something mean to you.


For Susan: Understanding the Times Part 2

For Susan: Understanding the Times Part 2 is a continuation of a series of posts. 

In my last post, I define a Christian World View as seeing events through a Biblical perspective.  I also added an additional aspect of  having mature Christian discernment and the ability to apply it, in real time, today.  I also talked about if such a thing was biblical and provided texts demonstrating that it is.  Before I go further, I'm working from the point of view that the OT and the NT form a textual link and are authoritative.  I realize that there was no such thing as a CWV before there were Christians.  It may be more accurate to call a CWV a Biblical World View (BWV) either way it amounts to nearly the same thing, with the exception of allowing for the explicit leading of the Holy Spirit in real time.

The next question is it possible for ANY Christian to have a CWV?  Can a CWV be had just for the asking?  I don't believe it can.  I believe anyone can develop it, but I don't think it is automatic or one of those things you wake up with one morning.  I believe you have to earn it.  Before you bring up grace and salvation being a free gift etc, stop.  We aren't talking about that.  We are talking about developing areas of our life so that we possess a more Christ like prespective.  The areas are:
  • Intellectual knowledge (what the Bible proclaims)
  • Intellectual reasoning and maturity
  • Intellectual discernment
  • Emotional discernment
  • Spiritual discernment
In order to have intellectual knowledge about the Bible, you have to read it.  I'm constantly surprised how many Christians don't have very much Biblical knowledge.  Sometimes I find myself asking, at least to myself, the same question Indiana Jones posed, "didn't any of you people go to Sunday school?".  If you want to know what the Bible says, you have to open and study it.

Intellectual reasoning and maturity is a harder process.  Good Christian people have pondered, discussed and debated what the Bible means about various topics, passages and doctrines ever since gentiles were included into the church.  A mature Christian is going to have to make up his mind about some things like: systematic theology, hermeneutics, doctrines, pattern recognition etc.  These are tools that you will need, not because they sound fancy but because they will help you "rightly discern the word of God".

I once thought it was vital that a person know why they believed what they believe.  I still think that, but I think it is important to have a general understand of why other people believe what they believe.  This isn't so you can win debates with them.  You need this to foster understanding, both your own and others.  In an earlier post I said that a CWV does not require:
  • You do not necessarily have to arrive at the same conclusions as some one else.
  • You do not need to subscribe to a particular theological belief system.
  • It is not denomination specific.
You should be able to understand the when, why and how someone else arrived at their conclusion.  Think of it like math, you should be able to show your work and be able to follow the work of others.

Intellectual discernment comes when you combine knowledge, reasoning and prayer.  Some areas of scripture are very plain.  We have a "thus saith the Lord" passage to fall back on.  In most cases we have several.  To the Jewish mind pattern was prophecy.  The Greek or Western mind is trained to rely on formal logic, rhetoric, and dialectic devices to discover truth.  Patternism and parallelism are a bit of a the picture that is puzzling and difficult for us to work out.

Intellectual discernment requires the ability to answer various questions about a situation.  Some examples: "Does the Bible specifically address this situation?"; "Does this situation have a Biblical parallel?"; "Are there specific answers to this problem in the text?"; "Can we know the will of God about this?"; "Is this a matter of biblical principle or one of individual liberty/local culture/or a not addressed issue?".

Emotional discernment is a reflective skill.  As humans we tend to react with our emotions more than our minds.  When I focus on a situation or a topic am I allowing my emotions to get the better of me?  Even people who are cerebral in their approach to life are driven by emotions.  If you've ever got into a disagreement with someone and they fired back a 7 point rebuttal with 21 sub points off the top of their head, it may seem that they are very logical.  The passion that drove that response was pure emotion and their intellect and logic was a tool to bash you into little emotionally satisfying pieces.  Emotional discernment helps us check ourselves.

Spiritual discernment starts with an honest look at ourselves.  Am I truly open to seeing what God wants me to perceive?  If I believe that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers , against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" and we accept 2 Cor 10:3 as true, are we following the guidance of Him in whom we have believed?  Have we asked for wisdom concerning the matter at hand?  Are we accepting of the answer we are given?
The For Susan series contains these posts:


Rep V. Dem

I've been giving some thought to what is worse for America conservatism or liberalism.

Traditionally, since Regan anyway, Republicans have espoused belief in a political philosophy that is economically, and socially conservative and supportive of a large military.  During that same time period Democrats have typically been in favor of less military spending, larger government involvement in all areas of life, except in social issues.

On the economic front, conservatives have been proven right that less taxes increases economic prosperity for the greatest number of people.  On the social issues side, most Americans seem to prefer or at least tolerate a liberal social agenda.  Both groups are equally likely to send the military on various wastes of blood and treasure.  So despite what they claim, they both are pro military/industrial complex.

Each political party focuses on getting themselves elected.  Neither one does a good job governing.  As long as the bureaucracy keeps the ship of state lumbering along the politicians are happy enjoying their power and lavish lifestyle. 

The tendency to favor conservative economic principles, because they work and people with jobs tend to behave themselves, and economic growth keeps corporate donors more or less happy seems to be a wining issue for the "R" team.  The liberal social agenda seems to be a winning issue for the "D" side.  I think that is why we are seeing an increase in "R" polices that favor the liberal social agenda.

The republicans seem to think that their reputation for tweaking programs and running them better, combined with improved economic polices, isn't enough to win elections.  The fact that Obummer has horrible performance numbers and most people are unhappy with his job performance should carry at the ballot box for two election cycles.  Instead of preaching the virtues of conservatism to the public, the R's are trying to scoop up as much social liberalism as they can.  They want as big of a slice of the left as they can get.  Too bad its not because the left is migrating right.

I think that this shift might win some elections for team "R".  Political pragmatism normally wins in the short term.  The problem is traditional republicans and Regan democrats were social conservatives as well as economic conservatives. Going to the left is going to disenfranchise social conservatives and eliminate their voice in government.

What I am afraid will happen is that economically conservative policies combined with socially liberal agenda will foster an even larger population that is immoral and expects others to subsidize if not completely support its lifestyle and bear the economic expense of poor decision making.  Add to that mix the illegal immigrants and the USA is not long for this world.

I believe that social agenda, and corresponding spending of the Democrats for the last 50 years put America's body in the coffin.  The democrats no doubt put on the lid and brought the nails.  It's the Republicans that are enthusiastically hammering the nails in place.

We may be asleep.  We may be on credit provided life support.  We are not dead.   Pray the Republican Party decides to stop this madness before we are buried alive.


For Susan: CWV Understanding the Times

This is my 4th Post in my For Susan Series.  The first three; For Susan: Christian World View ,
For Susan: Developing a Christian World View, and For Susan: CWV Holy Spirit can be found at their respective links.  Each post is written to stand on its own and can be read in any order.  Reading them all in order may prove to be helpful.

I define a Christian World View as seeing events through a Biblical perspective.  What exactly does that mean?  In a sense it means seeing things the way God sees them.  Hold on.  Before you start throwing rocks at your PC in an effort to stone me, I realize that God's insight is infinite and beyond our ability to discern.  However, God has given us insight into His thoughts by having them written down and preserved for us.  Getting into and seeing things from that perspective is the point of a CWV.
I don't know if it has occurred to anyone, but I am making at least two major assumptions with the Christian World View (CWV).  The first assumption is that it is possible to, as I have claimed earlier, to have mature Christian discernment and the ability to apply it, in real time, today.  The second is that, I am claiming that any Christian can have a CWV.  Notice I'm not saying that all Christians have a CWV.  I don't believe they do.  Every Christian is on their own tract with God and some are farther down the path in this area than others. 
Let's deal with my first assumption, that a CWV is possible.  Is it possible to understand events today from God's POV?  Has it ever been possible, historically?  Fortunately we have a verse for that:
1 Chron 12:31-32
Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.
This passage is found in a long listing of factual data concerning the supporters at the beginning of King David's reign.  There are literally thousands of men and their contributions listed in the surrounding verses.  Then there are these 200 men listed and reference to their family members who helped them.  Most importantly they have their qualification listed.  They "understood the times" and knew what they should do.
When David's son Solomon came to the throne after his father, God offered to grant him a request.  In that famous passage found it:
1 Kings 3:10-13
 It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 God said to him, "Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.
It's not just Old Testament Kings and their advisors that have wisdom.  The oldest book chronologically speaking in the Bible is Job.  In the first recorded accusation of spiritual superiority one of Job's friends says:
Job 15:8-9
"Do you hear the secret counsel of God, And limit wisdom to yourself?" What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that we do not?
The assumption being made by the speaker is that man can know the counsel of God and that Job is claiming to have a greater understanding than those around him.  Later in the book, God will affirm that Job is correct and his friends are not.
The Psalms and Proverbs contain several examples of seeking understanding and divine perspective.  Such as: PS 14:2, PS 119:27, PS 119:100, PR 14:8, PR 20:24, PR 28:5.
Towards the end of the Old Testament we see two prophets that are given amazing visions of future events.  In the case of Ezekiel and Daniel each man was given immense understanding of what was going on around them in their day and age, as well as a look into the future.
Historic examples of mankind having access to God's perspective on events are found through out the Old Testament.  I have included some of what would be considered "positive" examples.  The majority of the Biblical examples are not positive.  Throughout scripture man is rebuked and sometimes out right condemned and sentenced to punishment for not understand and/or acting according to what I am calling a CWV. 
Harsh? From one perceptive maybe.  God it seems expects mankind to understand and act on what He tells us to do.  According to Rom 2:15 man will be judged according to his understanding of God's requirements.
I'll deal with the possibility of individual CWV in a latter post.


Blood Race

The junior officers challenged the senior officers at an Air Force Base in North Carolina to see who would donate the most blood.

After trying several times to locate a vein in the left arm of a young first lieutenant, the medical technician applied a Band-Aid, and then inserted a needle into the right arm, drawing blood this time, and then put a Band-Aid on that arm as well.

As he left the collection facility, the lieutenant passed a colonel. Noting the two bandages, he looked at the first lieutenant and shook his head, saying, "I knew you young guys would find some way to cheat."


Am I Mean?

Am I a innovative parenting genius or as my wife claims, just plain mean?  Please let me know in the comments.  I'll give you the situation and then you can choose up sides.

Here is the story.  We don't take the kids out to eat very often.  This is partially due to schedules, money, the fact the kids are picky eaters, and mostly because Mrs. Ipsa is a certified health nut.  That's not hyperbole, that has been her profession for 25 years.  I agree with her.  Most of the food you get when you eat out, at least that our kids like, isn't very healthy.

There are a couple of restaurants that the kids love.  The #1 favorite, which I seldom take them to, is Applebees.  They LOVE the chicken fingers and french-fries.  They get chocolate milk to drink.  To top it off we will split the triple chocolate meltdown.  This is just about as good as it gets when it comes to my children's culinary desires.  It is a great big treat for them to get to go out to eat at Applebees.

My kids, especially the daughter, are at that age where running around saying "April Fools" holds a great deal of fascination.  Not just on April 1st, they started with this back in January.  I have talked them about not doing/saying April Fools.  We've talked about how its not nice to trick people or be mean to each other and then laugh and say it was "April Fools".  I've had a degree of success using the "talk about it" method.

About lunch time today the daughter, little miss April fools herself, informed me she was hungry and wanted lunch.  I asked her if she wanted to go to Applebees.  We talked about her favorite foods.  We talked about the triple chocolate meltdown.  I never said we were going only "wouldn't it be nice, IF we did".  She was ecstatic with joy.  She ran to get her brother and the two of them got in the truck and bucked into their car seats.  I stayed inside working on my to do list.  About 20 mins latter I started fixing grilled cheese for lunch.  The kids came back inside to find out why we hadn't left yet, only to see me finishing getting lunch together.

There were tears when they discovered we weren't going to Applebees. Then we had a talk about April Fools.  My son asked, "You mean April Fools isn't a nice holiday"?  I asked him if he thought it was nice that we weren't going to Applebees.  We had a little talk about tricking people.  They both said they didn't like getting tricked.

I think the lesson has been learned.  We don't trick people because its not nice and we don't like it when people trick us.  My wife thinks I'm mean.

I will probably take the kids to Applebees for lunch on Saturday, but I'm not going to tell them that, we will just go.


What does integrity look like?

Kobe Bryant Slammed For Refusing to Back Trayvon Martin
The injured Los Angeles Laker told the New Yorker’s Ben McGrath that the Miami Heat collectively taking Trayvon Martin’s side in the George Zimmerman case represented a reflexive racial reaction. The team posed for a provocative picture in hoodies in homage to the slain Florida teenager two years ago.
“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” Bryant told the magazine. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well… then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”
If you are a normal intelligent person, listening to the facts and coming to your own conclusion might seem like common sense.  That may even be what you expect everyone to do, about pretty much everything.  You may even take it for granted that in a life or death situation, people would take extra care to examine the facts before acting.  You would be wrong.  Still, you might think it would work that way.
Jim Brown tells the New Yorker, “[Kobe] is somewhat confused about culture, because he was brought up in another country.” Jamilah King at Colorlines lambasted Bryant for this “stingy insistence on clinging to a ‘post-racial’ identity, this very old, conservative notion that black people should not be treated differently in this country—despite all of the evidence, like Martin’s death, that they are.”
So Kobe doesn't get "it" because he wasn't brought up here.  Ok. Somehow that makes Kobe less than "American".  Somehow that makes him less fit to take part in the American experience.  Somehow that makes him and his views suspect.  Ok, I'll go along with that.

Kobe not growing up in America reduces his ability to authentically participate in this country.  In the view of some, he should not be playing basketball, and people shouldn't buy his promotional. stuff.  So why is it automatically racist to say the same thing about Barrack Obama?  He likely wasn't born in this country.  In any event he is not a natural born citizen.  He spent his formative years outside the US.  For what its worth, as far as I can tell Kobe is blacker than Obama.

The difference seems to be that Kobe thinks "that black people should not be treated differently in this country".  I guess that makes him a bad man in the eyes of Jim Brown.

For Susan: CWV Holy Spirit

For Susan: CWV Holy Spirit is the third in a series of posts on this topic.  The first two are, For Susan: Christian World View and For Susan: Developing a Christian World View.

In my last post For Susan: Developing a Christian World View, I included a bullet point about being open to the leading of  the Holy Spirit.  I feel a need to expand that topic.  First a little background about my religious training.

I am not a Pentecostal minded person.  I was brought up in a denomination that spent more time explaining what the Holy Spirit, did not, could not and would not do, than it did in explaining the involvement of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.  They only begrudgingly admitted to a concept of "the indwelling of the Holy Spirit".  I do not remember this topic addressed in any length.   I do remember that the "gifts of the Holy Spirit" were not for "today".  I Cor 13:10 was used to proof text this belief.  At the time I accepted that explanation and put the matter out of my mind.

As I grew in my faith, especially the last 7 years or so I have reexamined my thinking and come to the realization that a large part of Jesus's remarks in John chapter 16 are a preview of the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.  The role of the Holy Spirit is described in advance of his arrival.
  • He will convict the world concerning sin
  • He will convict the world concerning righteousness
  • He will convict the world concerning judgment
  • He will guide you into all the truth
  • He will glorify Me (Jesus)
  • He will take of Mine (Jesus) and will disclose it to you
What about speaking in tongues?  What about it?  Nobody, not even the Apostles are promised all of what we call the "gifts of the Holy Spirit".  In that I Cor 13 passage I pointed to earlier it clearly states that not everyone has all, or in my reading any of the "gifts".  Even Paul, the great man whom God used to pen a large chunk of the New Testament, didn't get every miracle he asked for.  However back in John 16 Jesus states six activities that the Holy Spirit will do when He comes.  My current thought process on this is that Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will do these things.  The Holy Spirit hasn't left yet.  I believe he is still doing what Jesus said He would do. 

I'm not going to say that the Holy Spirit can't do the miracles that we read about in the New Testament today.  I believe as a matter of logic and faith, that He CAN do them.  IF He is doing them is another story.  On that topic, I'm a skeptic.  My skepticism is based on observation.  What I see in some of the churches does not compare favorably to what I read about in the Bible. 

My first objection is because of fraud.  See Benny Hinn as an example.  If you saw the Steve Martin movie "Leap of Faith", you saw examples of things that were based on Benny Hinn's "ministry".  I never read about miracles in the Bible that required an up front cash payment.

My second objection is due to people claiming one thing and doing something I can't find a biblical example for.  For example being "slain in the spirit", "holy laughter", "angelic tongues", "gradual healing" and "divine revelation". 

There are exactly two biblical examples of being "slain in the spirit" they occur in Acts 5.  Ananias and his wife Sapphira decide to lie about an act of giving to make themselves look good.  The Holy Spirit struck them dead.  I believe God can slay people, when He does they don't generally head off to Cracker Barrel afterwards. 

"Holy Laughter" isn't in the Bible and its not an act of worship.  Speaking in tongues has to be the most misunderstood and abused "gift of the spirit".  The Bible clearly teaches that it CAN happen, when it does happen it occurs in a specific context.  Not saying that it can't happen Biblically, just saying I haven't seen it.  Anyone who lays on hands prays and claims "you will get better and better, over time", has not preformed a miracle.  It might be an answered prayer.  It might be the immune system.  We don't know and neither do you.

My favorite is divine revelation.  If someone says, "thus saith the Lord", the Lord better have said it.  If He didn't, the speaker is guilty of a capital offense.  IF someone is giving a "message from God" and that message contradicts scripture, we have a liar on our hands.  If that person makes a prediction in the Name of God or gives a sign and it doesn't come to pass they are by definition a fraud.

There is a verse in 1 John  4:1 that instructs us to "test" the spirits, because not all spirits are from God.  I believe that this corresponds with instruction found in the Old Testament concerning prophets.  Deut 18:19-22 speaks about how to know who is and what should be done concerning a false prophet.  Hint, it involves getting stoned and I don't mean Boulder Colorado style.

I'm ready to believe right now that the Holy Spirit does miracles today.  I hope He does.  It would be a great encouragement to me to be part of or witness a legitimate "gifting".  I haven't seen any that are according to the Biblical pattern.  That doesn't mean He isn't doing them.  I'm not calling anyone who has been part of a fellowship that practices those things a liar. 

What I read in scripture about what the Holy Spirit does for us is as amazing as any of the "gifts".  Jesus says He will convict us, guide us and disclose what belongs to Jesus to us.  Maybe we should spend time asking for and working on those things we are promised.  I believe spiritual discernment is on the list of things that all believers can have.

This post's aside note:  I realize I remained true to my upbringing and spent the majority of my time talking about what the Holy Spirit isn't, or at least what He doesn't seem to be doing right now.  My intent isn't to define something in terms of the negative.  I believe that the Holy Spirit does amazing things.  If we believe that the word of God is living and active and sharper than a two edged sword and that the Holy Spirit discloses that to us and convicts us and guides us, and that He lives inside of us and can direct our hearts and minds, we are claiming something far more incredible than jibbering incoherently or flopping around on the floor.