Saturday, June 30

When freedom is too cheap, it's expensive

Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set. - Adlai Stevenson

The U.S., considered by the lion's share of the patriotic, is a freedom loving, land of liberty. I used to believe as much myself, until I realized the many ways our present government controls the lives of its average citizens. I don't think people realize the fascist state they live under in this country, though some talk of losing freedoms. Those in political power are making criminals out of us.

Some tourists, amateur photographers, even would-be filmmakers hoping to make it big on YouTube could soon be forced to obtain a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance before taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks.

New rules being considered by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour to get a city permit and insurance.

These rules will apply to a huge range of casual photography and filming, including tourists taking snapshots and people making short videos for YouTube,” said Christopher Dunn, the group’s (NY Civil Liberties Union) associate legal director....Your everyday person out there with a camcorder is never going to know about the rules,” Mr. Dunn said. “It completely opens the door to discriminatory enforcement of the permit requirements, and that is of enormous concern to us because the people who are going to get pointed out are the people who have dark skin or who are shooting in certain locations.”
And as they move toward criminalization, they make slaves of the state through fines as penalties for that criminalization.
Virginia motorists convicted of minor traffic violations will face a new, multi-year tax beginning July 1. Led by state Delegate David B. Albo (R-Springfield), lawmakers slipped a driver responsibility tax into a larger transportation funding bill signed by Governor Tim Kaine (D) in April. Albo, a senior partner in the Albo & Oblon, LLP traffic law firm, can expect to see a significant increase in business as motorists seek to protect their wallet from traffic tickets that come with assessments of up to $3000 in addition to an annual point tax that tops out at $700 a year for as long as the points remain.
Slavery is defined as the condition of being subject or addicted to a specified influence. Slavery in this country was considered abolished in the 1860's, but slavery still lives so long as people allow their considerations of government to stagnate under its oppressive rule. Generally, I don't think people realize how they are both subject and addicted to mother government.

Friday, June 29

Past and to come seems best; things present, worst.

We all have some part of past remembered with fondness, a part of the future with an expected end. The pains and anguish of the "good old days" become soon forgotten as the days temper the trials of life. Even in the darkest days of the past, our memories recall the light of the survivor, the overcomer.

The saying goes, some things change and some things stay the same. Time's measured tread is merciless, overtaking and altering that which is into that which must be. Change but stays the same. Since a family of propinquity moved was another reminder of such...

Lately, I’ve been sad because of the decision that I am now writing about to you. I made this decision several weeks ago, but was waiting for the right time to tell everyone. So, the underlying tone of this letter is both a mixture of human sorrow, and of hope for the future.

I’m resigning as an Elder. My family and I will no longer be attending Prayer and Praise on a regular basis.
I recall our porch chats. I walked away from those knowing the other better and deeper. One of my favorite evening pastimes was watching the dad, who would eventually pass on his noble responsibility to his progeny, take their garbage down to the dumpster. Seems mundane, I know, but they could do it with style and besides, entertainment is wherever you find it. There was front yard water fun and late night possum scares. It seemed we were together in mutual defiance as we each faced the threat of the marsupial invasion, exchanging stories of tactics and strategy. "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"

We lived in trailers, next to each other, end to end. His was a double wide, and ours a single. I've been working, albeit very slowly, on making a scale model of his trailer, using actual sheet metal from it. My way to honor those miserable, memorable days. They're both gone now, destroyed, without a vestige of the things and events gone by. No more possum hunts. No more plumbing gymnastics. No more improvising repairs due to the peculiarity of trailer construction. If necessity is invention's mother, then imagination is its father.

Leaving the church due to the distance wasn't unexpected, but looked upon with some regret of a changed prospect. Who they are isn't as important as the people they became and while there is a melancholy present there is a hopeful future and a cherished past.

Tuesday, June 26

The Great Communicator

Bush finally admits the truth.

In every emphatic way, President Bush has declared repeatedly that his immigration bill does not offer amnesty.

And then, on Tuesday, he said it did.

"You know, I've heard all the rhetoric _ you've heard it, too _ about how this is amnesty," Bush told advocates of his immigration overhaul. "Amnesty means that you've got to pay a price for having been here illegally, and this bill does that."
Of course, the White House is doing a white-wash job to clean up a mess but the president's Freudian slip is showing.

Immigration reform, my left hind foot. This man has betrayed the Constitution and the country.

Saturday, June 23

Atlanta Pride

First, establish the terms...

faggot 2 (fāg'ət) n. Offensive Slang
Used as a disparaging term for a homosexual man.

fruity /ˈfruti/ –adjective, fruit·i·er, fruit·i·est.
5. Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. homosexual.
...such as they are. How some terms have changed:
It is significant that the word "homosexuality" did not enter the English vocabulary until the early twentieth century. The word, and with it the concept of lifelong primary sexual orientation toward members of one's own gender, was unacknowledged and probably unknown in the biblical world. Some today will therefore argue that what the Bible appears to condemn can be distinguished from homosexuality. - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology/Homosexuality
How terms apply:
What's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet;
...Or as repugnant, depending upon the perception, of course. Now let's reckon the "ultimate perceptivity":
Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. - Romans 1:25-27

You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. - Leviticus 18:22
Anyone who loves God, loves what He loves and hates what He hates and recognizes that which is disgusting and vile by any name taken.

Celebrate your pride making Piedmont park a cesspool, if you will, I care not for your self indulgence, nor your "diversity" indoctrination. Though you may have convinced the corporate world of your worthiness, your lives are empty. Your actions are abominable in the imagination of God, but your lives are yet redeemable. So long as you pride yourselves in what you do you'll be lost in the hopelessness of who you are.

Thursday, June 21

Let others be the judge of that

Hopefully, I'm not the only one who thinks this is weird and scripturally wrong.

Wendy Alec started writing the screenplay for The Chronicle of Brothers five years ago. Then, it developed into what will be a series of epic novels with the same name. The first in the fictional series is The Fall of Lucifer. It has the archangels Michael, Gabriel, Lucifer as brothers and follows what happened in heaven when God decided to create man and Lucifer's fall from heaven.

She had to ask the Lord for permission write this and each part of the book. Wendy was very careful with her choices of writing and where the novel has gone. She always was seeking God's approval on everything. Wendy wrote it in the fear of the Lord and feels that it is a commission to write these stories. While it's a work of fiction, she wrote it in under the anointing of the office of the prophet and seer, and she considers it a more revelatory work. Wendy would be in a mode of worship and she would write and she would find herself weeping while writing this.
Is it just me or is this Wendy Alec a kook? Had to ask God's permission and wrote under the anointing of the office of the prophet and seer that Lucifer was a brother of Michael and Gabriel? I guess I'd cry too if I was coming up with stuff like this. To suggest that Satan or Lucifer or whatever name you give the evil one is a brother to another angel is undoubtedly unscriptural. But of course this is a work of fiction.

Since it is a work of fiction, though, why all the assertions about writing it in "the fear of the Lord" and "under the anointing". I don't care how many modes or attitudes of "worship" she was in, right side up, upside down or whether she was steeped in remoulade sauce. She's writing crap like this, er ahem a book, for one sell 'em...books that is. Considering this sort of thing, is it any wonder the secular world dismisses pop Christianity as kooky?

All her assertions to being a revelatory work notwithstanding, her book is not of any private interpretation. I couldn't care less what sort of revelation she thinks she's dispensed. Read the Bible and leave this one to the treachery of the critics.

Wednesday, June 20

The 40 Day fast

The Secret Life of Kat has 40 bloggers each fasting a day to, as she puts it:

1. Experience a bit of need
2. Learn about the need in the world
3. Do something about it
We certainly need more of it, fasting that is. Click the link on the label on the sidebar for more info.

Why not send them all?

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2007 – A senior defense official expressed hope today that a provision in the stalled immigration bill that would have allowed some undocumented aliens to join the military won’t fall off the radar screen.

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, provision in the immigration bill was expected to help boost military recruiting, Bill Carr, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, said today during a telephone conference with veterans’ group representatives.

The DREAM provision offered a way for high-achieving children of undocumented or illegal residents to join the military and, ultimately, become citizens, Carr explained.
High-achieving? Why not just send them all? Bush and his neo-cons don't want to pass out the draft card, but need people to fight their war. Seems all too convenient.

Tuesday, June 19

Top 50 Biblical Studies blogs

Some fascinating Biblical studies blogs for your perusal, such as...

Sibboleth: Pronunciations that can get you killed

Great stuff.

And then we've returned

A paintball game, an Ocoee rafting trip and several meetings later, we're back. Stink bombs, a painted head, PETA and the Rodeo, the Pukin' Pirates, along with some mild temperatures were all a part but Jesus and the Cross were prominent.

I've enjoyed it but I think this to be my last youth camp. Too many conflicting issues, too many disagreements.

Monday, June 11

And so we leave

Youthe campe.

May I be ready.

Sunday, June 10

Freedom of the press

It was Natalie Holloway. Then Anna Nicole. Now it's Paris Hilton. In short order it'll be another woman.

It occurs to me this is more than press coverage. Freedoms are lost by abuse.

Is this electronic rape?

In memoriam

Police say 4 of the 6 people traveling in a Jeep Liberty on I-575 North near Bells Ferry Road were killed when the vehicle lost control just before midnight Sunday. It went off an embankment and flipped several times.
The other two, the driver and another passenger were seriously injured and are currently in Atlanta hospitals. They were all Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters camp counselors who came from Andrews, NC to Atlanta to see a Braves game. God only knows what camp will be like this week as SWO mourns the loss of these young lives. God help them.

Snot good

Breakthrough technology! Now parents can really suck the snot out of their children using the NoseFrida. This surely is a long awaited breakthrough in cold/flu care for young children. As Brant Hansen says, "...the kid will grow up, fast. When he's 17, standing with his friends watching, griping about not getting to borrow your 2016 Ford Focus, smarting off -- you break it out: UH, EXCUSE ME? I PERSONALLY SIPHONED THE GOOBERS OUT OF YOUR NOSE, YOUNG MAN.What is it and how does it work?

Nosefrida is a doctor recommended nasal aspirator that removes mucous from your child’s nose. Nosefrida is a plastic tube with a filter that the parent uses with their own mouths to get the mucous out of their children’s noses. WITH THE FILTER IN PLACE, THE PARENT DOES NOT COME IN CONTACT WITH THE MUCOUS FROM THE CHILD. There is no risk of bacterial contamination, in other words, you will not get the cold your child has.
Sure, like people shouldn't have any problem with the idea of sucking the snot out of their kids with their mouths. There are some things that no body with an ounce of sense is gonna do, even if a doctor says so...
"Nosefrida gives the parents a chance to help babies blow their nose and clear their airway so they can sleep and eat. It's userfriendly and safe. I recommend it to all my Moms as part of their cold care regimen. It helps keep kids off antibiotics."

Dr Cheryl E. Perkins, MD., FAAP
Statesboro, Georgia
Userfriendly? He recommends it to all moms? Is snot really tasty?
"I can't live without my Nosefrida! My 2 year old son always has a little bit of runny nose due to allergies and using this aspirator has been a real lifesaver. It keeps his nose clear and clean for hours!"

Jennifer Cohen
Chicago, Illinois
How much did Jennifer get paid for this testimonial?

HT to: Letters From Kamp Krusty

Saturday, June 9

Biblical Youth Camp

In three days, we shall be away to youth camp in Andrews, NC. This will be our 13th such youth camp, full of all the fun and hazards one expects to find going camping. Summer heat, hard bunks, cold showers, gnats reminiscent of the biblical plague in Egypt, not to mention the yummy camp food...nothing is perfect.

We try to use the Bible as our guide in everything we do in youth ministry, especially youth camp. We try to follow scripture, as much as we can...

How do camp counselors handle the campers?

Nehemiah 4:9 - "we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night."

How do camp counselors handle the activities?

Psalm 34:20 - He guards all his bones and not one of them is broken

What do the campers do during camp week?

Zechariah 8:5 - And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.

Do camp counselors welcome first time campers?

Hebrews 13:2 - Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.

What do counselors do when camp is over?

Exodus 31:15 - For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.

What do counselors and campers alike think of camp?

Genesis 32:2 - "This is God's camp"

Friday, June 8

I like Alabama politics

Some politics is done in secret...

The charges came almost two years after investigators raided Jefferson's home in Washington and found $90,000 in cash stuffed in a box in his freezer.
And some is out in the open...
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Session-long tensions in the Alabama Senate boiled over Thursday as Republican Sen. Charles Bishop of Jasper punched Democratic Sen. Lowell Barron of Fyffe in the head before the two were pulled apart. The 69-year-old Bishop said he punched Barron, 65, in the head after the senator called him a "son of a bitch." "I responded to his comment with my right hand," Bishop said.
I've lived in Louisiana, and I know they still have the best politicians money can buy, but I rather like the way Alabama does politics.

Thursday, June 7

Postulate #15

The personal computer is a curse on humanity. Strange that is coming from someone making his living using them, but it's true. I've got a PC and a Personal PC/cellphone at work. On several occasions they take turns malfunctioning, leaving me to figure out why and solve the problem. That is time taken away from something I could be doing to enhance my skills or, God forbid, make the company money. It's just unproductive time only made worse by the constant enhancements and increased complexity of personal computers.

Sometimes I long for Victorian times, when things were simpler. No one wants to wash their clothes in a bucket of water, though, or read by candlelight, let alone do without the idiot box. We've just got to keep up with the latest spew on Brittany or Paris or whoever. Has technology really made life better? I think not.

Dr. Lawrence Peter stated the Peter Principle as, "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." I've come to understand that it is true, and in similar fashion I postulate the following:

"In a technical hierarchy, people will be inexorably drawn to greater complexity, governed by the Law of Diminishing Return, in which increased complexity is inversely proportional to productive results. Ultimate complexity would therefore result in zero productivity. Increased technological complexity, and dependence upon it, also leads to a greater probability of breakdown, resulting in more lost productivity."
I haven't proved this, or whether or not anyone else has already come to prove it, but it seems right to me.

I have come to understand this by observation and have drawn my own conclusions. Technology will be our downfall. Remember the Y2K scare and the widespread panic? Imagine if technological breakdown on a mass scale really happened. Oh, be joyful. (And I'm writing this on a PC...)

Wednesday, June 6

Building the empire

The long term commitment in Iraq has been mentioned before. Just how long is now evident.

On a visit to the US Pacific Command in Honolulu last Thursday, Robert Gates, the US defense Secretary, said that the US was looking for a "long and enduring presence" in Iraq under a mutually agreed arrangement with the Iraq government.

"The Korea model is one, the security relationship we have with Japan is another," he said. US troops have been in South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War and in Japan since the end of the Second World War.
Not to mention the other 160 or so countries around the world in which the US has a presence. Ron Paul's reasoning as to the cause of 9/11 is sound. Our government is the aggressor, the bully, around the world. Did we really expect to kick sand in the face of the Middle East and not get some shoved back at us?

They don't want to kill us because we love freedom. They want to kill us because we've taken over their backyard. Let's cede New York and Los Angeles to them and be done with it.

Read the label

NEW YORK (AP) - A man has sued the maker of the health drink Boost Plus, claiming the vitamin-enriched beverage gave him an erection that would not subside and caused him to be hospitalized.
In other news, pharmaceutical makers of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra saw their stocks go flat.

Say what you will but with a name like "Boost Plus" they can't be sued for false advertising.

I stopped going to church

This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. - WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Hamlet
Actually, as I think of it, I stopped going to church a long time ago. Yes, I know, I get in the car on a typical Sunday morning and go to a building where other people come to sing, talk and hear a sermon preached but that's not church. Not to me, at least. It's become more of a social meeting than something akin to the New Testament model (Acts 2:42-47). Some manipulate it for their selfish reasons, whether by doing as they choose or by getting what they want. Some try to improve it, as if putting ketchup on a stale sandwich will change its character. It's become what it's become and nothing but an "engine overhaul" will change its direction. Others are content with it as it is. Although I don't know when it was, and there may be some of its exceptional, isolated preservation around, the apostles' model of the Christian church generally faded into obscurity a long time ago.

My observation is that church became a building, a place, for people to assemble and "date" Christianity. By dating I'm referring to the sense of wanting a romantic bond while allowing for the possibility of a "breakup". There's no harm done, after all, it's not as if "marriage" was involved. "Try Jesus" became a trite phrase at some point in recent history and apparently it was taken seriously. Jesus didn't try to save us. He gave everything without the promise of getting or taking anything back. To become a Christian is an all or nothing proposition. The disciples of Jesus knew this very well. There's only total commitment, there is nothing else. (..."Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also, we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." - John 6:68,69) Ours is a culture in which if it's believed something doesn't work it can be refunded, replaced or something else is tried. Divorce statistics are on the decline but only because fewer are getting married in the first place. Divorce doesn't have the stigma it once did, "no fault" laws making it easier, but then neither does living together. That becomes the "out". So people opt for the safer, without the "paper".

I'm sure but that there are some churches somewhere which have that sense of koinonia fellowship as in Acts 2:42. It's a rarity, though, and I admit that it's personally been a long time since I've known it. Some make sports or other recreational activities a higher priority but I've continually held the fellowship of believers in greater esteem. Those loyalties ran deep. Spiritual fetters are the ties that bind, in my estimation, and they still are in my life. All else are but affectations.

Church starts with me. I am to be obedient, for my Church, how I conduct myself and how my Church is perceived by others. Jesus is my pastor and I am His one sheep who was lost (Luke 15:4). I am the one leper who was cleansed and gave thanks (Luke 17:15). Excuse me, but I stopped going to church and became the church instead.

Tuesday, June 5

So little time

There's so much junque to write about but so little time in which to put it together to make it intelligible. Not that it's important to me to be intelligible but it helps when I want to reread what I've written to figure out if I was really making sense or was the whole post a waste of time. I'm about at the 40% waste of time metric now.

Other than youth camp coming up next week, which will leave a black hole in the blogosphere (yeah, sure), I've got some things to say about my encounters with the ACS and C.L.U.E., and the liberals moving toward secession in Vermont. I like to write as if I'm intelligent in case somebody decides to read whatever and, wonder of wonders, responds to whatever.

It's nice to sound impressive writing stuff as I do. I don't even have a sufficiently firm grasp of English grammar. On the other hand, there's lots of people with credentials and positions who should be impressive but end up looking glaringly stupid. (Check previous day's post...) I just don't wanna bore myself.

We'd be better off if the Confederacy had won, but God has His ways of teaching us dependence upon Him. Ron Paul may be the best hope of the Republican party to retain some semblance of principle because the other 10 or so candidates, including Tennessee's Fred Thompson, are patsies for the defrauding power of the federal central government.

This country is so messed up. People really care about some woman who wouldn't know the tit of a cow from the nose on her face as she gets thrown in jail for three weeks, with TV feeding the frenzy of wonder what her first night in the "house" was like. It's stupid. This is news?

Jesus isn't news anymore. Seems only a third worlder somewhere who isn't as jaded as an American would react with curiosity to the story of Christ. Yet "His-story" never fails to inspire me with wonder.

Monday, June 4

A theology of cuteness

Maybe those YouTube videos aren't all as insipid as I thought.

Here is an observation that I offer to a budding theologian looking for a popular culture project. Amid all of the bad stuff on YouTube, there is also a lot of attention to the cute. I did a YouTube search of “cute” and came up with a report of 191,000 videos using that word in their titles. To be sure, some of those were “cute teen dancing on webcam,” but there was a lot of innocently cute in there as well.
Dr. Mouw has hit on something. Cute isn't awe inspiring or spectacular, but it is charming in its simplicity.

I've sometimes wondered why worship should be repeated over and over. Is God so narcissistic? This might explain it.
G. K. Chesterton offers a possible clue to explore in one of his chapters in Orthodoxy. He suggests that God’s way of appreciating things is less like that of an adult human and more like that of a child. Children love repetition, he observes. A favorite childish refrain is “Do it again!” A little kid can enjoy the 20th reading of a favorite story or poem as much as she enjoyed the first. God too enjoys repetition, says Chesterton. Every morning God says to the sun and to the hawk and to the whale, “Do it again!”–and God takes delight in what he sees.

Rezoomay writers

Dictionaries? Who needs 'em? We've got Hillary. She is our light in the darkness. She is the knowing one. She will guide us into truth...I suppose I ought not get carried away.

I got this feeling a former staff writer is learning how to spell r-e-s-u-m-e'...even today.

Sunday, June 3

It's done

Over. Fin...

With the last show, this episode is past. It has been interesting and enlightening. I'm thankful for the opportunity and experience, but it has been time consuming and demanding. There may have been a few relationships developed. Time will tell how well or lasting, but the fact that I've had a season with them has been good. Over all, it's been a pleasure.

Closing this chapter and it remains dubious whether it be revisited.

Saturday, June 2

8 down, 3 to go...

...two being today. Oy! Performances at 1500hrs and 2000hrs, and a long day it will be. The shows have been good and I've enjoyed performing, but it's time to put this one to bed. I doubt I'll do this again; just wanted to see if I could do it this time, knowing the commitment I'd have to make.

The play has been good and I've enjoyed my part but I generally don't care to be around the theater crowd. It's like many other small subcultures, such as retail workers, who so immerse themselves into their work to the exclusion of virtually everything else that they think of themselves as living independent of the world. It's as if they're on their own, disregarding the realities of life, with their own social hierarchies, rules, etc.

After tomorrow it will all be over, and not a day too soon for my good. After tomorrow's performance, I'll bid the stage a swift adieu and not look back.

Friday, June 1

Cognitive dissonance

An Atlanta attorney quarantined with a dangerous strain of tuberculosis apologized to his fellow plane passengers in an interview aired Friday, and insisted he was told he wasn't contagious or a threat to anyone.

"I've lived in this state of constant fear and anxiety and exhaustion for a week now, and to think that someone else is now feeling that, I wouldn't want anyone to feel that way. It's awful," Andrew Speaker told ABC's "Good Morning America"

"I don't expect for people to ever forgive me. I just hope that they understand that I truly never meant to put them in harm," he said, his voice cracking.
He's a lawyer. I'm sure I feel sorry for him...not.

I'm sure people can forgive him if he were to make a personal apology to each individual he came in contact with, not some blanket, television apology which comes with no accountability and means little. These people he's threatened with the disease are ... people. I'm also sure about the lawsuits coming from his actions, fostered by his ignoble profession. I imagine the confusion he could be going through given his behavior and his consequences.

I just can't stand lawyers, with few exceptions. They're leeches of the worst kind. Perhaps if, as a requirement of their privilege, they were required to share in the consequences of their feckless practices of law, they might begin to be more responsible adults. Until then, I have little sympathy for these dregs of society, particularly this one, who only think enough of others to get their next check.