Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Escape From The Island of Knowledge

As a much younger man, while contemplating the meaning of my existence, I concluded that I was an island of Intelligence in an ocean of ignorance. I reckoned that the extent of my knowledge on anything in particular eventually reached so far before fading into ignorance like a beach into an ocean. In some fields of thought, because of my makeup I suppose, I possessed an aptitude for understanding that would push such a shoreline further away, while in other's the sea seemed to lap at my very feet.

I surveyed my fellow "islands" to discover the same irregular shapes and varying sizes, some much larger from my perspective, some smaller, but all with two things in common. They were surrounded by the same ocean of ignorance; the depth and vastness of which was impossible for them to plumb, and into which they would all someday plunge.

So I began the arduous task of increasing the size of my little plot until there were peninsulas and fingers jutting out here and there resulting in lagoons and inlets and such. I did so with the thinking that perhaps I could live my life far from the shorelines and their reminders of my ignorance as well as my destiny. But, alas, I determined that with a hundred lifetimes this would not be possible. So I began to bury those contemplations in all sorts of diversions in my attempts to ignore the crashing waves.

There were those whom I despised because they pointed to the sea, continually reminding me of my fate. My constant refrain to their reminders was "you can't know!" Standing on my tiny speck of intelligence, I considered them arrogant because of their insinuations that they did know; and stupid because of the unknowable upon which their knowledge was based. I did this in a manner as if the unknown would not one day engulf me, and thus cause my brain to cease informing. I pronounced them closed minded for holding to the "wisdom" of a distant and more ignorant era, all the while closing my mind to the possibilities that lay beyond my own shores.

Eventually I came to realize the meaninglessness of all my knowledge, and in fact of my entire existence. If I helped my neighbor or killed him, it was, on the confines of my island, meaningless. It was about this time that I began to read a book written by an ancient king, known for his wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, named Solomon. The book was entitled Ecclesiastes. I wept; relieved that there was a God who knows.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Things I Learned In Homeschool

I learned a new quote from Benjamin Franklin. "He who teaches himself has a fool for a master." That certainly cleared up some of the "whys" of my struggles.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hell, The Ultimate Offense

Laura at Full Of Grace, Seasoned With Salt makes a good point in her article Softening Of Church Hymns. She points out that some churches
"have disposed of the whole notion of a "sinner" in the name of not wanting to offend anyone."
This mentality seems to be a preoccupation with the modern Church, and especially with the next generation of Church Leaders, as they usher in a softer gentler Christianity. Sin is down-played and people are assured that they are, at the core, good and worthy of God's love. While this is understandable in our age of self esteem, it is a marked departure from Biblical thinking. Jesus has been demoted from the Crucified Christ, who bore God's wrath toward us on the cross, to Jesus is our best bud who is always there with us during the hard times, like when our girlfriend moves out.

To be sure, the desire to not offend appears noble on the surface. And it does seem counter intuitive in a heavily commercialized culture to "sell" God by pointing out that people are sinners, and deserving of His wrath. But we are left with no other choice.(1) There is only one way by which we may receive the eternal mercy of God, the first step being that we realize our dire need of it. By down playing that need we do save from offense, but we do so at the expense of a far greater one; for nothing can be more offensive than an eternity in Hell.

(1)While we do not have the choice of whether or not to point out that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, it is not my intention to suggest that Christians behave in a manner consistent with the caricature of Christians that exists today. This image was perfected in the pit of Hell, and there will never be anything that the church will be able to do, barring abandoning the cross and sin altogether- as many churches have done-to win the approval of a ardently anti-Christian culture.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An All Too Common Answer

The System Is Broken

While listening to an interview on amnesty once, it sounded as if the interviewee was a pull string doll. The answer to every question was "the system is broken". This was because there was no politically profitable answer to the questions he was being asked. I've begun to notice a trend here. I recently heard a repeat of that answer on the subject of health care.

1. Will the people who are so all fired in a hurry to revolutionize American health care be subjected to the same system?

The current system is broken.

2. What about medicaid, isn't it going broke? Won't this be like medicaid times 10?

The current system is broken.

3. How are we going to pay for this?

The current system is broken.

Now, while I understand that some questions can cause those with political agendas to say things about their agendas that they'd rather not be said, when the discussion concerns blowing up our current health care system, one would think that anyone in favor of such radical "change" ought to be able to answer some questions about it, or at least to give the nation time to understand and think about what is being foisted upon them. Is it too much to ask that a complete overhaul of something as important as the nation's health care be able to withstand a little reasonable scrutiny?

Hope against Hope

When I was young, I made several parachute jumps from an airplane. The thinking that led up to the decision to do such a thing didn't occur in a vacuum however. Rather it was based on reason derived from experience; that experience being the observation of the successful jumps of others, and a little training. When it was my turn to go, I didn't jump and hope. I jumped with faith based on reason that the system would operate as designed. One reason for that faith was that the ground wasn't littered with the bodies of previous jumpers. Had such been the case, needless to say, my decision to jump would have been based merely on "hope against hope", that is, "hope without any basis to expect fulfilment". With the world littered with broken health care systems, my guess is that "the system is broken" sounds much better than "we're going to do this and hope against hope that our experience will be different.

Yet there is a silver lining to this cloud. We don't have to worry ourselves about those like the president who are yelling that we need to go ahead and Jump, NOW! THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN, for their system is tried and true. And we could all use a little less to worry about during these times, don't you think?

Monday, July 20, 2009

America's High Water Mark

I was in grammar school when the first lunar landing occurred. For a rural Georgian school boy with only five or so years of awareness, there was no way I could have grasped the significance of such a monumental event. Now, looking back, it is difficult to imagine the optimism that must have been prevalent then; optimism that seems to have been in steady decline ever since. As Neil Armstrong was making his climatic "One small step..." speech, institutions of higher learning were rumbling with their own speeches.

Those rumblings have now made their way into just about every institution that made up the very foundation on which that achievement was built. As a result, a veil of pessimism now seems to have enveloped this once great nation, as those very foundations crumble under the weight of Godlessness and unsustainable entitlement programs that attempted to reach a place beyond even the moon; a place where sin is free of consequence.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Patronizing Elites on Parade

The Democrat party's roots go deep into racist soil. Perhaps some blacks are waking up to realize that the plantation is different, but their oppressors are still called Democrats. Here are two clips of people who grasp the meaning of the word "patronize".

The first was an exchange between Senator Barbra Boxer and Harry Alford, president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. In a motherly voice Boxer is trying to explain why Alford should tow the black line and jump on board the green middle class suicide machine. He seems, on the other hand, to have a clue that the economic devastation resulting from this politicking masquerading as science will bring about more "equality" than anyone bargained for.

I'm not sure at this point whether Alford was ever brow whipped for not addressing the maternal democrat senator from California as senator, but the exchange is none the less rich.



The second is of Morgan Freeman and the elitist Mr. Racism Fixall, Mike Wallace. This is one of my favorite all time You Tube videos. I've watched it over and over to see the elitist Wallace's blank stare as he takes it, rather than dishes it out, when he is called to account on his patronization of blacks; and admits that what he thinks is good for plantation dwellers, he does not think is good for himself. Red, Yellow, Black or White, God save us all from all this "compassion"!


H/T 4 Simpsons

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Power To The People, at least some of them anyway.

This week the Pennsylvania senate will be debating SB 935 which would legalize same-sex marriage in that state. Ironically, also occurring this week are the Sonia Sotomayor senate confirmation hearings. The fate of the homosexual marriage bill in Pennsylvania will illustrate why Democrats are bullish on Sotomayor as a Supreme Court Justice; and why her skin color will be the big selling point when it comes to her "qualifications". Better to focus on her credentials by birth than to examine her views on things like interpreting the constitution. Such views are going to come in handy later on to cover the "elected left's" political rear ends.

The Senate Bill's chances of passing are slim because those poor senators in Pennsylvania, unlike court justices, will have to answer to those bitter Pennesynanian religion and gun clingers Obama warned us about. This does make one wonder however: why bother? Why not just let the courts do it the old fashion way, by judicial fiat? Then the Honorably Senators can raise their voices in outrage right along side those bitter clingers thereby winning their affections instead of their ire.

Worthy of note is that if the same-sex marriage bill does pass the old fashion way, like say a government handout bill passes, it will be a first. This is because the Sotomayors of the world have given the same-sex marriage militants, like the slave militants of old; the anti God militants of the sixties, the abortion militants; and the who knows what's next militants- the ability to circumvent such trivial formalities as debates, legislative process, the will of the people, and silly old fashioned stuff like that.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Prophetetic Andy Griffith Show

It was just before my first Birthday in November of 1961 when "Opie's Hobo Friend" aired on The Andy Griffith Show. Watching this clip gives us a glimpse back into a time when people not only knew the difference between right and wrong, but understood the importance of keeping those two separated and straight in their own thinking, and the thinking of their children. Who would have thought then that the Hobo's relativistic worldview, as depicted in this clip, would be mainstream in just a few short years?

To set it up, Opie had made friends with a Hobo named Mr. Dave (Buddy Ebsen) who was a petty thief and was teaching Opie the tricks of his trade. A fishing lure symbolizing the hooks that hide in the otherwise glittery temptations of life had been given to Opie as a gift by the Hobo. Through Opie's description of his lunch with Mr. Dave, Andy had determined that he was the thief of a missing pie and a roasting chicken. Andy headed down to the railroad yard to send Mr. Dave packing.

I have transcribed here the meat of their conversation. The video is below.

Andy

"Well there seems to be something wrong with his thinking. He’s gotten a little twisted on things lately, like being able to tell the difference between right and wrong. Not that that’s an easy thing; lot of grown ups still struggling with that same problem, but its especially difficult for a youngster, because things rub off on em so easy."

Mr Dave

"Well Sheriff, maybe I do look at things differently than other people; is that wrong? I live by my wits, I’m not above bending the law now and then… to keep clothes on my back, or food in my stomach… I live the kind of life that other people would just love to live if they only had the courage. Who’s to say that the boy would be happier your way or mine? Why not let him decide?"

Andy

No I’m afraid it don’t work that way. You can’t let a youngun decide for himself; he’ll grab at the first flashy thing with shinny ribbons on it. Then when he finds out there’s a hook in it it’s too late. Wrong ideas come packaged with so much glitter it’s hard to convince them that other things might be better in the long run. All a parent can do is say wait, trust me, and try and keep temptation away.






Saturday, July 11, 2009

Reasons to Homeschool

The General Counsel for the National Education Association, (NEA) the nation's teacher's union, Bob Chanin, had this to say about the union's priorities in educating your children. Read or watch:

Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas; it is not because of the merit of our positions; it is not because we care about children; and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.

The NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing (my note: actually they are forced by federal law to pay in many if not most cases) to pay us hundreds of million of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them; the union that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.

This is not to say that the concern of NEA and its affiliates with closing achievement gaps, reducing drop rate rates, improving teacher quality, and the like are unimportant or inappropriate To the contrary these are the goals that guide the work we do. But they need not and must not be achieved at the expense of due process, employee rights, or collective bargaining.

That is simply too high a price to pay.




H/T Wintery Knight and the Heritage Foundation

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More On Honduras

The New World Order American Dictionary defines a "Moderate" as:

"Always a Republican and best described as thus: Consider if money were principles. When someone tries to steal your hundred bucks and gets caught he says "OK I'll only take fifty and I'll let you have fifty. This way we will both be winners; you won't look like a greedy jerk, and you still get to keep fifty bucks." To a moderate this sounds like a great idea."

I think we are going to watch something like this play out in Honduras. The Los Angeles Times reported today:

"Honduras' ousted president and the officials who exiled him have agreed to try to resolve their conflict through a U.S. endorsed mediator, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Tuesday. Signaling an expanding U.S.effort, Clinton said the two sides had agreed to talks supervised by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, who was awarded a Nobel Prize (this would be where mere mortals bow)in 1987 for his efforts to broker peace accords in Central."

And that's the way it happens. When Honduras attempts to enforce its constitution by holding even the president accountable to the rule of law, what is there to talk about? The president broke the law. So any compromise will end up being a loss for the Honduran people, and a gain for a man who is lusting after power.

As a parable in discussing the South, President Lincoln told the story of a highway man who was robbing a passer by. The highwayman (thief) to his victim: "You will be responsible for making me a murderer too if you do not hand over your valuables". I think this would also be an appropriate analogy for these events as well. The L.A.Times continues:

"We call upon all parties to refrain from acts of violence and to seek a peaceful, constitutional and lasting solution to the serious divisions in Honduras through dialogue", Clinton said as the State Department after meeting with President Manuel Zelaya."

Ahhh.. you mean ex president Manuel Zelaya don't you? Translation: if you guys don't put this guy back in and rewrite your constitution so he can stay on track to becoming a dictator thug, people are going to die; and you don't want that on your head do you?

You got to love this from the objective and truth seeking leftist LA Times. The article continues:

Zelaya said he planned to fly to Costa Rica to begin talks Thursday. Roberto Mecheletti, president of the (get this) ["]de facto government["] that has refused to allow Zelaya to reenter Honduras, also said he would travel to Costa Rica for the talks.

So let me get this straight. If George Bush had of gotten some of his gun clinging supporters to promise bedlam if he were not allowed to run for a third term, and the congress and supreme court kicked him out of the country, what would remain would be a "de facto government"?

As to the negotiations, what is going to be negotiated? The "moderate" outlaw ex president laid down his own law as to what would be negotiated by stating what would not be negotiated, which was his reinstallment into power. What would be negotiated, according to Zelaya, was the fate of those who were enforcing the laws set forth in their own constitution; or in his words "the exit of the coup leaders"

We know how this is going to go. The same man that takes a "no meddling" approach to a Jew hating lunatic who shoots citizens in cold blood as they walk down the street , is going to, as the LA Times put it "kick it into high gear" in their meddling. And of course there will be a compromise and the so called "moderate" Position will win the day as freedom takes it on the chin.

Read entire article here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who Enforces The Constitution?

The U.S. constitution is a document that lays the foundation on which a representative republic is built. It exists in free nations as a point of appeal in order to keep tyrants at bay, as a guide for those who write laws and as a protector of minorities. It assumes a lust in the heart of man for power and therefore separates that power into three branches.

So what happens when the inevitable attempt is made to test the constitution with a power grab? The two remaining branches are sworn to uphold the constitution by stopping it, by force if necessary.

Current events in Honduras have given us a wonderful lesson in civics as of late. It seems the President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, didn't like the constitution's term limits. So he was in the process of changing the constitution so that he could remain in office. This called into action the other two branches of government to stop it, which they did, by force.

As a side note of historical significance is the media's categorizing of this action as a coup. Given, there was an attempted coup by Zelaya, but this is not how it is being reported. Instead it is the thwarting of the coup that is being reported as such. There are also references to the "interim" government. This is also misleading because the government is functioning as it was designed. An interim president hardly qualifies as an interim government.

For most Americans, I'm convinced that this is seen as just another little irrelevant third world country going through one of its usual, and seemingly incessant, convulsions. But while few are watching I believe the Southwestern Hemisphere is quietly becoming a nightmare. Also, given the sorry state of reverence enjoyed by our own constitution, the time is sure to come when its challenge is going to arrive with a despot wanna-be with his (or her) own angry mobs in tow.

My hat is off to all you Hondurans who understand and are defending freedom.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A whole Lot of Wasted Time

I've been doing a little research concerning time spent on the computer. My findings are not good. Here is what I've discovered:

  • We actually spent less of our time during the dial-up days waiting on our computers to perform functions for us. This is because most of us forewent logging on due to the known delays. A snapshot of that time period reveals the fact that the average computer owner would spend 11 years of his life watching the hour glass; so to speak.

  • Although we were able to accomplish much more on our computers in a given amount of time, as technology advanced and wait times decreased we were much more inclined to log on. This had the net effect of actually increasing the amount of time we spent watching the hour glass. This net increase added 9 years to the 11 leaving us a total of 20 years of wasted time.

  • With the advent of widely available high-speed Internet we logged on even more while at the same time began to branch out in our computer demands. With this came security concerns which had us still waiting on our computers but also had our computers waiting on us as we ran trial and error attempts and turned our offices up side down looking for user names and passwords and the like. This added another 9 years of wasted time revolving around computer usage bringing the total to 29 years.

  • With the increase of "Wi-Fi" we began to log on more often in more places. Unfortunately along with the increased availability came increase interruptions, sometimes causing us to lose hours of work. This added another 8 years of wasted time bringing the grand total to 37 years.

  • Along with the Wi-Fi and the wireless Internet came also the wireless connections for assorted components, another 8 years was added in time spent trying to figure out everything from why our components are not "connecting" to searching for even more user names, passwords, and now batteries. This brings the total to 45 years.

  • In the last few years many people have begun to increase their social life thorough so-called on-line social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook. This resulted in even more time yet on the computer and so consequently increased the amount of time wasted. These sites being notoriously slow caused those who use them to add another 6 years of wasted time for a total of 51 years.

  • Last but not least, for those who have made entry into the blogging world and are using "blogger", the amount of wasted time spent on the computer has increased dramatically. When the time it takes doing battle with blogger in the attempts at removing stuff that shouldn't be there, and putting in stuff you want there-simple stuff like correctly justified block quotes, spaces where they're suppose to be and no spaces where there not suppose to be-the time spent wasted on the computer is increased by another 27 years.

So we can conclude that the average blogger using "blogger" who also uses his computer for a significant amount of other tasks will, at the end of his life, have spent 79 years waiting on his computer or performing tasks that are, at best, ancillary to the particular goal at hand, or at worse, totally unrelated but still necessary.