Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Social Security - Are People Really That Stupid?

The Social Security trap--Michael A. Walsh -

Social Security was long known as the “third rail” of American politics -- touch it and die. But now one politician is not just touching it, but grabbing it with both hands and giving it a long-overdue yank. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has set the conservative cat among the New Deal pigeons with his increasingly blunt assessments of the 76-year-old program as a “Ponzi scheme” and a “monstrous lie.” Despite warnings from his chief rival for the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney, that Republicans will be “obliterated” as a party if they challenge the program’s legitimacy, Perry’s unlikely to let up in tonight’s “Tea Party” debate in Tampa. Some fearful seniors probably will turn on the GOP, even though none of them stands to lose a penny in any conceivable reorganization of Social Security. But maybe the American people really are finally ready for some straight talk about entitlements. Already Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid account for 43 percent of the federal budget, and their rapacious, auto-pilot growth is inexorable. By 2049, these three major entitlement programs will consume all projected federal revenues. By any rational standard, they are the very definition of “unsustainable.”

Be sure to read the rest if you don't know it already. Economies of scale, time and Fed manipulation can pull off some wonderous miracles but in the end, promising and spending more than you bring spells, BROKE.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Help - Go To It

"The Help" is a good movie, better than most recently. In today's hopeless desert of films, "The Help" is an oasis. It is one of those movies where a full theater just sits while the ending credits run and music plays. Then they slowly and quietly trickle out of the theater. Could they be unwilling to let go of the poignancy or are they dreading exposure to the latest "Conan the Barbarian" next door. No, it's not Schindler's List.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

We Really Should Read

Here is the latest Drudge Headline:

And yet when you read the linked article:

“None of those killed in the crash is believed to have been part of the SEALs mission that killed bin Laden, but they were from the same unit as the bin Laden team.”

What is really true is anyone’s guess but we should really read the material to which we link and from which we make our headlines, even Mr. Matt. But the killed Seals were from the same unit so by some stretch the headline is somewhat true. Lame stream media may be more guilty of headline deception than anyone else so I am leaning toward forgiving Drudge for his youthful indiscretion.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The College Scam

The College Scam

By John Stossel

What do Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Mark Cuban have in common?

They're all college dropouts.

Richard Branson, Simon Cowell and Peter Jennings have in common?

They never went to college at all.

But today all kids are told: To succeed, you must go to college.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

God's War on Terror

Walid Shoebat's book God's War on Terror is a must read. Even if one does not buy into Mr. Shoebat's version of who the Antichrist might be, his illumination of Islam will pull our heads out of the sand. He has done well convincing me that our European emphasis on end time prophecy is likely misapplied. Did we really fear the European Union? Who would lead it, the French? In any case, the evil that is Islam can not be over stated. After reading "God's War on Terror", hearing "the religion of peace" phrase can never be heard in quite the same way again.

More standard apocalyptic prognosticators will resist Mr. Shoebat's eschatology. For one, they have too much invested in their European model and have spent years convincing themselves and others of its infallibility. Maybe they are right but maybe not. Secondly, Mr. Shoebat's apocalypse is not nearly apocalyptic enough. Apocalypse mean revealing but most use and think of it as defining some catastrophic, world-ending event. If Antichrist is limited to Islamic control we would feel cheated. He must control the planet or nothing. And what a horror if chip implants are not the mark of the beast.

For those uncomfortable folks who insist on misery, there is sufficient catastrophe prophesied in case you miss out on beast markings. Totalitarianism is always popular for when hail and earth quakes prove inadequate.

Paradigm shifts are uncomfortable.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Surprise, We Are Still Here

Harold Camping is consistent if nothing else. Once again Mr. Camping has miscalculated the world's end. This comes as no surprise for Christian's who follow prophesy or anyone with rudimentary logic for that matter. Mr. Camping's date setting was based on the date of Noah's flood. And when exactly was that again? I am afraid the only certain doom is for those who insist on declaring a date for that which Jesus clearly stated no date can be known.

Does God keep secrets? Apparently He does. And He keeps no secret of this secret keeping. Jesus, who was God, is God, and always will be God - but is not God the Father, put it this way:

Mark 13:32 (King James Version)

32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Did Jesus not know all things during his earthly tenure?

Hebrews 5:8 (King James Version)

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

Or how about this one:

Revelation 1

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

God the Father gave a "revelation" unto Jesus? What's that all about? When did that happen? I'll bet you always read that as "gave unto John". Maybe you should read it again.

Would it really bother you if today God the Father knew something that God the Son did not know? It wouldn't bother me. Would this limitation disturb the omniscient aspect of God? Not if we truly believe in the oneness of God. I would not suggest bringing it up at the neighborhood Bible study.

Is there a point to all this? Only that we all have a lot to learn. We are well advised not to climb too far out on any heretical limb in search of apples.

But the next time you hear some pastor experiencing his mental entanglements while recounting a story from Jesus' life and assuring you that "Jesus knew all things because He was God", you can think of me enjoying it with you.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What will be the signs of Your coming?

Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

War, famine, pestilence and earthquakes are common. Why mention these common events as signs of the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus? There must be something special about them in the end of days. Will they be more numerous? Will they be more severe? Will there be something strange? Do they involve hubris?

When the aids epidemic appeared many thought this foreign, resilient pestilence had the characteristics needed for end of days. It was a new disease. It was incurable. And it was definitely strange. But alas, we are now comfortable with aids and though still scary it seems just another problem for humanity like cancer.

What if the calamities of Mat 24 have a characteristic we have not yet seen. Man playing God or aspiring to godlike authority would be an interesting ingredient. What if our insistence on tampering with the very elements of creation all in the name of improvement ended up destroying much of Mankind? Irony anyone?

Science is accelerating its ability to manipulate genetic material. Many warn of tragic consequences in genetically modified food. We have already crossed the threshold of genetically modified animals. Multiple scenarios of unintended consequences can be imagined. Exotic diseases could abound. Humans can be only partially human.

This is not fantasy or the stuff of science fiction alone. Search "transhumanism" for an eye opening experience. Wars have been caused by much less. Pestilence and famine is easy to imagine. Here is a pestilence link to get our attention.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Finding The Eye Of a Needle In A Haystack

How often have you heard these scholarly explanations:
The “eye of the needle” is a city gate.
The high priest had a rope tied around his ankle.
Scribes washed before and after writing the name of God.
Gehenna was a perpetually burning trash dump.
NASA scientists have discovered a “missing day.”

Problem is they are not true. We love torturing the scripture to support our biases. See this.
Credit: PaleoBabble

What Time Is It?

Einstein showed us the link between time and the speed of light. Time is a relative thing and depends on the variables of density and light's speed, to name two. I have been a Creationist of the long periods of time variety. There had been too much scientific evidence for an old earth and a 13+ billion year old universe for me to think otherwise. This was a strain for me because the Bible text appears to want "day" (yom) to mean a 24 hour period of time. There are good arguments for believing both old earth and 24 hours creation periods. The "gap" theory is one and it could be right. God's viewpoint from the infinite density of the singularity compared to the viewpoint of current universe's density is another intriguing conjecture by Gerald Schroeder. But increasing evidence of inconsistency in some variables affecting time from the beginning until now is finding its way into accepted scientific publications. I don't have the best articles but here are a few recent mentions to get us thinking.

If the speed of light has been slowing over time, then time measurement is tipped on its head. Science will oppose this concept to the death. Too many sacred cows would go to hamburger helper. I had considered this speed of light question bogus but am warming up to it in light of increasing discussions and questions. Barry Setterfield, a researcher who most scientists view as between Captain Kangaroo and Hitler, has done a lot work on the subject. I ignored Mr. Setterfield because of how others viewed him. Maybe we should give him more credence. World Net Daily has a good article summarizing Mr. Setterfield's ideas. Life would not be complete without rebuttal to Mr. Setterfield's article. Are you impressed by the open minded humility? Here is a better rebuttal to the slowing of light.

WMAP measurements of background radiation supports old earth and pegs time to the Hubble red shift figures so I'm not holding my breath on this whole light slowing thing.

Other strange things seem to be tampering with time measurements. Decay rates always thought to follow a predictable curve may not be so predictable after all.

If our measuring stick is mis-calibrated, the house we built may not be the size we believed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

NEW MADRID "Earthquakes In Diverse Places"

Some Christians get all excited when Biblical prophecy comes to pass. Israel being newly established as a country is one of those times. Earthquakes in diverse places is another. Most of us don't think of central USA as an earthquake zone. We all felt safe in the hinterlands. Guess again.

There is an official government effort preparing people for quakes in the New Madrid area.

Who Took My Pic

Here you can get some of the local color.
Who Took My Pic

Rob Bell Disapproves of Hell

I don't relish the thought of hell either and hope to avoid it. I did some time ago however decide that the Bible does clearly declare hell's existence. It is apparently hot. Rob Bell has decided the opposite. Here is a discussion by John MacArthur titled Bell's Inferno. I guess all the "fear God" parts of the Bible do not fit into Mr. Bell's theology. But then Mr. Bell believes the Bible has been "changed" often through the years and we can't really trust the details. The true interpretation of God, according to Mr. Bell, resides in human relationships.

I can understand Bell's thinking. It is nothing new. God is love. Hell and eternal punishment is not loving, therefore hell does not exist. But I am reminded of Paul saying something like, what is it to you if God created some for glory and some for destruction. I don't read this as God actually created some people for destruction. But if God had done it, His creation would have no right to question it. This would lead to the whole free will discussion.

Even if one waters down the Scripture with metaphor, "lake of fire" must be quite undesirable and "eternal" must be a very long time.

Luke 16:28
28 for I have five brothers so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

Mark 9:43
43 nAnd if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, 8 to the unquenchable fire.

Mark 9:48 It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into shell, 48 where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.

Matthew 25:46
46 And these will go away kinto eternal punishment, but the righteous kinto leternal life.

2 Thessalonians 1:7–8
7 and to grant jrelief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when kthe Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those nwho do not know God and on those who odo not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Luke 12:5
5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him bwho, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why Does Glenn Beck Trouble You?

As much as I like Glenn Beck politically, something always scratches me when Glen wanders into discussing spirituality. Brannon Howse in the video below well states the problem.

Because I can not stop the clip from auto play, I will simply provide a link here.

I have no further exposure to Mr. Howse's teachings but plan to give him a whirl. I know Christians who refuse to look critically at teachers if those teachers have a certain label. For instance if you are Charismatic then looking critically at Catholic doctrine is fine but analyzing Joel Osteen's message would be taboo. Fill in the blank with your own untouchable label and keep those proponents sacrosanct and criticism free. Is there an easier way for wolves to enter the sheep fold? This non-critical position is not Biblical. We are warned of the inevitability of destructive error and commanded to be vigilant against it. Certainly we should be able to view a Glenn Beck critically.

I know, it's all about love. Criticism appears so unloving. John, the apostle of love, views it like this:

1 John 4
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Now we would need to have a discussion about what "Jesus Christ has come in the flesh" means. I don't think Mr. Beck's version of Jesus in the flesh is the Apostle John's.

So Then, What Should I Do About Glenn Beck.

I like Glenn's politics, humor, economics and ideas? Practicality should not be dead even though it is not found in government. I don't need to agree with Mr. Beck's theology to agree with some of his common sense.

In some instances of extreme Christianity people hired Christians, bought from Christians and associated with Christians. Then as time went by and some of us were burned by our Christian employees vendors, the lazy ones and the dishonest ones and the crazy ones; we had people swearing off ever hiring or doing business with a Christian again. Of course both of these positions are ridiculous and are doomed to failure and frustration. We hire people based on their ability, personality, reliability and for all the qualities that would make them a good employee. Does it inconvenience me that we have laws against age, religion, race and sex hiring bias? Not at all. Those things are irrelevant when it comes to good hiring policy.

Likewise, considering race, religion, age or sex as a criteria for good common sense ideas is foolish. But, as Christians, our understanding of God is not about common sense. In fact Paul said:

1 Cor 18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

This is not to say that all understanding of God is irrational. But the foolishness of salvation through redemption is not plain common sense. Redemption is however both clearly stated in and a dominate theme of the Bible.

Is there a bottom line? I think I will keep my church and state separate. This is how I see Jesus and his Apostles operating. In fact they seldom addressed issues of state and when they did, they discouraged conflict. Democracy and electoral responsibility arguments are losing credibility with me. The Jews were extreme nationalists but Jesus and followers were clearly not involved. This was an unusual position to take in Rome dominated Israel.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Free Cell Phones for "Income Eligible"

Who Took My Pic

Red Meat for the Hungry

It is difficult to defeat a sitting President. It will not be done with John McCain style tip toe tactics. If all contenders attack with Sarah Palin's gun blazing approach, there could be a chance. 2010 saw our electorate unwilling to move radically right. Well, we didn't really have that choice did we? So instead we chose to move radically wrong and this is becoming increasingly clear to more and more people. Will sufficient electorate awaken to finally change the course of out history from Nanny State to Solvent State? That may all depend on our misery index at the time of the election. Comfort and complacency is the killer of reform.

Government Gone Wild

This is no big deal, right?

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Sons of God and The Daughters of Men

I found a new book (it's not a book yet) with its draft online discussing the Sons of God and the Daughters of Men in significant detail. "Corrupting the Image" is one of the most complete pieces I have read on this issue. A newer discussion covering genetic manipulation is introduced and may clarify the future of "as in the days of Noah".

Augustine of Hippo around AD 400 was the first to postulate unequivocally that the Sons of God in Gen. 6 referred to the sons of Seth. All others before Augustine assumed the clear reading of Biblical text and extra Biblical writings states the Sons of God referred to angels. Why people wish to believe that Augustine knew more than hundreds of years of writing and tradition is curious. Political correctness is nothing new. Apparently believing in virgin birth, blood redemption, heaven and hell is enough strangeness to handle and angles having sex with humans is just a creepy step too far. How many truths have been and are being hidden by the Church in order to create acceptability of their product?

Throwing out, altering and otherwise torturing Biblical clarity has interesting results. Search all the bizarre interpretations of 1Cor. 11:10. "That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels." I'm not sure what this actually means, but in the light of Gen. 6, I can come up with a few theories unless Gen. 6 refers to the sons of Seth. Then we are left with our own bizarre imaginations.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Culinary Update

I thought I would keep you up to date on my culinary conquests. When I was still living at home with my parents, Mom did not use some of the things that other people of the day used for cooking in our home town. Then again she used some things that no one else used. For instance Mom served Hominy, a peculiar, flavorless thing that I only now discovered comes from corn. But she never used "Pork and Beans" for anything. I am uncertain if this was upon principal of some kind or she just didn't like them.

I was in for an adolescent awakening as a Boy Scout and on a troop camping trip when everyone broke out their cans of "Beenee Weenee". This seemed strange food indeed. Later on a friend who's parents were not home decided to serve me a family delicacy of browned hamburger and Pork & Beans heated in a pan. This too seemed unusual but not terribly bad.

In my current non-gluten, no meat environment, I find these past experiences useful. Neither Ramen Noodles, Chicken Pot Pie, nor Chicken Noodle Soup appealed to me today and I decided to unfurl my wings and soar to new culinary heights.

A small amount of hamburger browned, with mounds of chopped onions, big red peppers, big green peppers, small red peppers, small green peppers and Bush's Baked Beans. I can't tell you more about the small peppers other than color because I didn't pay attention to the terminology. I simply grabbed handfuls of whatever from Publix. What does it matter really. They add a festive color and spice things up. All I can tell you is this dish would have been the talk of the plain beans and hamburger neighborhood.

I've named my dish "Montezuma's Beans" in honor of President Jimmy Carter (a little 70's humor there).

One caution: Do not rub your eyes after preparing this dish, which I just now did and must say "hasta la vista" because I can no longer see to type.

Who Took My Pic

Who Took My Pic

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My New Diet

Many things change as we age. One thing I have noticed is my interests changing. Previously I was uninterested in cooking. Eating, yes but cooking, no. But lately I have been doing more cooking, not because I have found some new curiosity in culinary but because I am hungry. You see I now live amongst a band of Gluten Nazis. It is the new trend in alternative health and the target of foodies everywhere. Gluten – the cause of all adverse health issues.


I’m not saying that these people are not on the right track. Many are adversely affected by gluten I am sure. And I am positive the medical community will never be up to speed on this because there is no money in it, no real money as in other health care. But I believe the gluten Nazis are guilty of over extending the gluten impact. By how much is anyone’s guess.


But still, a guy’s gotta eat. So I have taken matters into my own hands and have started cooking. I have contemplated a gluten refugee cookbook, sort of a Guantanamo guide to food survival. But I may be getting ahead of myself.

For starters I have learned how to make the Ramen Noodle delicacy. (See Ramen hacks)


This is really a staple in my diet these days and I have found my own personal formula for spicing it up. Thanks Tony.


I know it is unhealthy to have such a limited diet so, to mix things up and add a healthy twist to my daily eating, I have learned to make two dishes.


So, when the family turn against you and you find yourself in a foreign land of gluten Nazis, learn to cook or die.


Ubuntu 10.10 is a dream to install

Ubuntu keeps getting easier, better and bigger. If you put Ubuntu 10.10 on an 8 GB flash drive don't try to update, there is not enough room. That said, it doesn't need to update to work and be a handy repair platform for Windows disasters. I chose the 32 bit version even though I have 4GB of RAM. I wonder if Ubuntu 64 bit might have more driver issues. Anywho, I didn't want the frustration.

I used PendriveLinux's Universal USB Installer after downloading the Ubuntu ISO. I could have used Pendrive's MultibootISO but I wanted to install Ubuntu updates, which ended up too large anyway. But after you have Ubuntu installed on the flash drive, boot it and on the Ubuntu desktop is an install button. Use it to install to a machine hard drive.

Make sure to have a free partition. I set aside 100GB, overkill I know and 20-30GB would have been plenty.When Ubuntu formats the space I chose to mount root "/" but don't know if that is good or bad but it made sense to me. But be sure to reduce the size of the space and leave room for a swap partition. I left two and one half the amount of my ram. I did not change the default file system.

Be sure somewhere during the install to check the box for 3rd party mp3 support to avoid looking for it later. But if you forget, just open Rythembox with an mp3 and you will be directed to the necessary files. I chose to update during the install and Youtube played without a problem so Adobe Flash was covered.

Numlock not employing at startup has always bugged me. The fix is in keyboard options and explained in this post.

The Brothers printer driver was found and installed easily.

Network interface installed automatically.

Video card drivers installed without my input.

What are the chances I will get my Fujitsu ScanSnap to work? I haven't tried yet.

Another Linux mystery has been accessing a Windows network. At first I thought, here we go again, when I clicked Networks and got nowhere. I went to the Home folder and made a new folder. Then I right clicked the folder and shared it. I followed the prompts and the share to Windows network was all done for me. Linux likes Windows networks to be named "Workgroup" so if you have another fancy nomenclature it will not work without alterations.

There is simply no reason for the average person not to use Ubuntu, unless you consider they probably are using the "free" Windows residing on the Dell they purchased.

I am writing this with a Linux blogging module delightfully named "Drivel". (Which is apparently oblivious to paragraphing so I had to add them by editing the post.)

This was meant for BigHugeThingComputing but I didn't check were Drivel was sending it ...