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Religion, Politics, & Culture: Defined and Explained

Friday, March 16, 2018

Hawking Death

A few days ago, Stephen Hawking died. To me, Hawking was just a guy in a wheelchair that suffered from an illness. For some reason he seems to many in pop-culture a successor to Carl Sagan. The only thing both men seem to have in common was a disdain and hatred for organized religion—especially Christianity (why is it that Liberal icons never say anything bad about Islam?)—and both claimed that the cosmos can be explained without a Creator.

Stephen Hawking says he’s an atheist, arguing that science offers a “more convincing explanation” for the origins of the universe and that the miracles of religion “aren’t compatible” with scientific fact.

“…if there was a God, but there isn’t. I’m an atheist.”

In 2011, he told The Guardian that he didn’t believe in a heaven or an afterlife, calling it “a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

Stephen Hawking Says ‘There Is No God,’ Confirms He’s An Atheist


I find it curious that Christopher Hitchens did not get the same send-off when he died. He believed the same things as Hawking and Sagan.

After people die, there is often a bunch of sentimental nonsense uttered in an effort to comfort those left behind. This is doubly true of those with no hope. Much of this sentimentality comes from or about people with no evidence of faith. In such circumstances we often hear things attributed to them that are undeserved.

“Baby Doe is in a better place now.”

“Uncle Bob is in a place with no cancer.”

“Pirate Sven is sailing in a place with fair winds and calm seas.”

“Johnny don’t be so sad. I’m sure Grandma is running through a meadow in her bare feet and she and Grandpa are looking down on you.”


Such was the case for Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot.

“Rest in peace Dr. Hawking,” Gadot wrote in a tweet. “Now you’re free of any physical constraints. Your brilliance and wisdom will be cherished forever.”

Gal Gadot’s Seemingly Innocent Tribute To Stephen Hawking Offended Some People


I have a number of problems with this expression of sentimentality.

First, I think Gadot was trying to be compassionate towards those left behind in Hawking’s family. In our culture “Rest in Peace” is often used, especially for those who knew no peace in this life or suffered greatly. This expression is an indirect reference to the belief expressed in Revelation 21:4
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Second, atheist Hawking has no reason to hope for any rest. The best he can do is hope for the oblivion expressed in Ecclesiastes 9:5

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

However, we are assured that all men will stand before God on the last day.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Hebrews 9:27

The Bible is pretty clear that God doesn’t believe in atheists.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8

Gadot received lots of blowback from the Tweet that I just commented on but not from the religious community. It was an attack from disabled leftists and atheists.

People with disabilities and their advocates took offense at Gadot’s statement that Hawking was finally free of his “physical constraints” and said the assertion was ableist, or discriminatory toward people with disabilities.

Gal Gadot’s Seemingly Innocent Tribute To Stephen Hawking Offended Some People

This subgroup of the disabled community who are attacking Gadot are really attacking the foundations of Western Culture. They are denying sin and its effects on the Creation. The Bible is clear that we all have corruptible bodies that are tainted by the effects of sin and that we will get a resurrected body that is incorruptible.

And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:49-58

For the disabled community to attack Gadot like they did is a denial that all our bodies are corrupted. When we say ‘disabled” we are talking of degrees of how defective our bodies are. We all age, we all died, we all return to dust. The Bible is clear that no matter how distorted it may be, we are image bearers of God and made in His image. Each of us is created just as God wanted us—even if we are blind or lame we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

Another comment on Hawking’s death also got some media attention.

A Texas state representative came under fire on social media Wednesday over a tweet about famed British physicist Stephen Hawking that some found insensitive.

Just hours after Hawking died, Rep. Briscoe Cain, a Republican, tweeted: “Stephen Hawking now knows the truth about how the universe was actually made. My condolences to his family.” Hawking died Wednesday at age 76.

But despite the overwhelming criticism, the lawmaker remained defiant and stood behind his comment.

“While many see him as one of the greatest public intellectuals of the last century, and no one disputes that he was brilliant, the fact remains that God exists,” Cain told the American-Statesman. “My tweet was to show the gravity of the Gospel and what happens when we die, namely, that we all will one day meet the Creator of the universe face to face.

“Stephen Hawking was a vocal atheist, who advocated against and openly mocked God,” Cain continued. “Hawking has said, ‘[T]here is no god. No one created our universe, and no one directs our fate.’ And, elsewhere, `I’m an atheist.’”

Lawmaker’s tweet after physicist Stephen Hawking’s death draws criticism


My first reaction to Briscoe Cain’s comments is preach it brother. God has done everything to necessary to keep us out of Hell but only if we come to Him through Jesus. We can’t live life as we see fit and expect to enter Heaven on our own merit. The best works we could possibly do are called by God “filthy rags”.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Isaiah 64:6

But what are filthy rags? The best modern translation is “used tampons”. Here is the Strong’s definition.


In the Old Testament, a woman having her period was ceremonially unclear during that time and for a few days after. So the bottom line is that your best works of righteousness are not just physically unclean but keep you from entering God’s presence. They are fit for nothing but to be burned.

God’s remedy was to send Jesus to die in our place so His righteousness could be used to obtain what we could not, peace with God. But we can only do this on His terms not ours. Only then can we say this:

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8

Stephen Hawking chose poorly.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Romans 1: 18-23

Posted by william on 03/16 at 10:19 AM

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Who Said Crime Doesn’t Pay?

I often quote Randy Stonehill’s lyrics, “We put criminals in office because its way too crowded in the jails” but today’s story is about another fraud, this one is in Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, this person will never see a day in jail. I don’t get why Enron executives and Bernie Madoff go to prison and this person got nothing of consequence.

Meet Elizabeth Holmes. She is described by the New York Post as a “Silicon Valley wunderkind ” and “Steve Jobs wannabe who dresses exclusively in black turtlenecks ”. Per the Post article, her net worth is estimated at 4.5 billion dollars.

Silicon Valley wunderkind Elizabeth Holmes

So what was the crime of this 34 year old babe? A few years back, she started a blood testing outfit called Theranos. Here are a few claims made to investors.
• “Theranos told investors about the Department Defense using its blood tests…”
• “Theranos distributed pitch books to investors containing articles … written by other pharmaceutical executives — lending the startup institutional clout…”
• “…Theranos said (it) was able to test for diseases with only a pinprick, and more cheaply than what was commercially available…”

Claims like the above convinced investors to trust 700 million dollars to the company.

However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has come down hard on little miss valley girl and her fake company. The Post article describes the situation this way:

The charges amount to one of the biggest scandals to rock the tech world since the bursting of the tech bubble in 1999.

Theranos and 34-year-old Holmes ran “an elaborate, years-long fraud in which they exaggerated or made false statements about the company’s technology, business, and financial performance,” according to the SEC.

Elizabeth used to claim that Theranos had “a valuation north of $9 billion”.

While Theranos had said it was on track to make $100 million by the end of 2014, the real figure was “a little more than $100,000,” according to the SEC. And, contrary to what Theranos told investors about the Department Defense using its blood tests, they were “never deployed by the DOD in the battlefield, in Afghanistan, or on medevac helicopters,” according to the settlement.

The disgraced CEO also misled employees about its institutional backing, according to the charges. Theranos distributed pitch books to investors containing articles purportedly written by other pharmaceutical executives — lending the startup institutional clout —but were in fact written by company employees, according to the charges.

Theranos started to unravel in 2015 after the Wall Street Journal reported that its blood tests were actually being conducted by commercial analyzers, and that the actual technology wasn’t special.


Oh, the SEC fine given to Elizabeth for her indiscretions, was $500,000.

Let’s run the numbers again.

Net Worth             4.5 billion
Defraud Investors 700 million
Fine                   ½ million

Thus her fine is 0.0714 percent of the amount that she defrauded from investors and 0.0111 of her net worth. To put this in numbers that you might understand better, if you stole $45,000, your civil fine would be $32.14 and you don’t have to repay the investors.

There is no indication that any criminal charges are pending.

Who said crime doesn’t pay?

SEC accuses Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes of ‘massive fraud’

Posted by william on 03/15 at 08:50 AM
News & PoliticsPermalink

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Braying Jackalope Mark Cuban Had A Rough Week

By “X” the man with no name

Let me begin by saying Mark Cuban is a very recognizable figure lately; he is the owner of the NBS franchise in Dallas, the Mavericks, he is a guest on Shark Tank on CNBC, and is also known as a Donald Trump hater.  As a NBA owner he was very vocal about officiating gaffes, and has been fined millions over the years, on Shark Tank he sits to the left of the screen and is basically known for striking a deal about once a week with an entrepreneur.  Lastly, he despises everything about Donald J Trump, from endorsing Hillary over him in the election to threatening to run against him in the primary in 2020.  Seems like he would be welcome by the CRA and the tea party groups nationwide!

Mark Cuban

Cuban’s quest for publicity at every turn actually could lead to his demise.  On February 20th of this year Sports Illustrated, (mostly known for their famous Swimsuit edition rather than actual journalism by the way) put out a strange tweet saying they had finished an investigation into sexual harassment with the Dallas Mavericks.  Not to be outdone, the Mavericks quickly went in to spin mode:

The Dallas Mavericks have received information about behavior in our workplace that appears to have violated the organization’s standards of conduct. It has been alleged that a former officer of the organization engaged in various acts of inappropriate conduct toward women over a period of years. This individual left the employment of the Mavericks nearly three years ago and the Mavericks have only learned of the scope of these complaints in the past days.

This is to be expected. Mark Cuban likes to control the narrative, however it is a very weird response to the tweet put out by Sports Illustrated.  What came next was a bombshell even Cuban couldn’t have anticipated.  The investigation goes all the way back to 1998; when Cuban bought the team!  Terdema Ussery was the team President and CEO at the time and prior to Cuban’s purchase, he had been investigated for sexual harassment by the team, after several female employees complained about him.  Cuban kept him on the job, but “every employee of the organization received a revamped employee handbook with a new sexual harassment policy.” It was 1998 and at the time this was passable behavior from a new owner, keep the crew but make sure they know about new policies.  Problem was Ussery continued his behavior. Here is a firsthand account:

At this meal, with ESPN crew members seated nearby, Ussery struck up an unusual conversation. As the woman recalls the exchange, Ussery claimed that he knew what she was going to do over the coming weekend. When the woman asked, confusedly, what Ussery meant, he smiled.

“You’re going to get gang-banged,” he asserted, “aren’t you?”

“No,” the woman responded, caught off-guard. “Actually, I’m going to the movies with friends.”

“No,” Ussery insisted. “You’re definitely getting gang-banged.”

Terdema Ussery

On his other hand:

Two women claimed to SI that Ussery harassed them for years. These incidents ranged from inappropriate remarks to requests for sex to touching women’s calves and thighs during meetings. One of the women says she made [head of HR Buddy Pittman] aware—“countless times … I ‘leaned in’ so much I fell over”—of Ussery’s behavior; the other chose not to, frustrated by what she deemed to be Pittman’s unhelpful response to an unrelated complaint she had raised. “I felt trapped, frozen, scared,” says one of the women. “This was the CEO of the organization ... and it was clear he wasn’t going to get fired.”

How was this bozo kept on the payroll?  That question remains unanswered. In 2015 he left the Mavericks and joined Under Armour.  He lasted 2 months at that company. Anyone want to take bets that his hands-on management style got him terminated?

Let us shift gears to another employee, Earl Sneed.  Sneed was a freelance writer who got a full-time gig with the Mavericks in 2010-2011.  Let’s look at how much this guy respected women:

Midway through that season, Sneed was involved in a domestic dispute with a girlfriend. According to a Dallas police report, Sneed “sat on top of her and slapped her on the face and chest.” At one point he told the woman, “I’m going to f——— kick your ass. Today is gonna be the worst day of your life.” Sneed, according to the report, “fled before the reporting officer arrived.” The woman, according to the report, suffered a fractured right wrist and bruises on her arms and chest in the altercation.

Earl Sneed

But wait, there is more. Sneed, in 2014, hit a female co-worker whom he was dating. The women reported the event to her supervisor and then to Buddy Pittman, the Head of Human Resources.  Keep in mind almost every company has rules about dating co-workers, yet somehow Sneed was able to retain his job yet again, but with an unusual caveat; he could not be alone with any female at any time.  Strange.  Honestly that is a bizarre policy right there, especially coming from Human Resources who probably would have recommended termination for this employee.  Was the HR supervisor overruled by Cuban?  Impossible to tell right now.  Also another female reported that a co-worker watched porn at his desk all day on a company workstation no less….sounds like a frat house more so than a place of work.

Cuban, looking to control the narrative did what any other lowly President of a corporation does, he claimed plausible deniability.  In English that means someone who can safely deny that he knew anything about the situation.  If you’re thinking of a CEO or government official being questioned by congress or the SEC you are on the right track. 

Here is the problem for Cuban or anyone else that is a frequent twitter/media user…Cuban on multiple media formats has said/tweeted “I know so much about my company and the inner workings you can’t B******T me!.  I purposely did not screen shot this tweet because of the vulgar language used, but will say this to prove my point, social media is a platform where you stand to win very little and stand to lose quite a bit.  That little tweet has come back to rear its ugly head quite a bit the last couple weeks.  Hard to claim you have intimate knowledge of everything in all your companies then come out and say you are so distant you have no clue.  However, believe it or not this story gets even stranger.

Back in 2014 when disgraced former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling was on the verge of the NBA taking his team away, Cuban made some very strange remarks.  Saying, “I think taking someone’s team away over comments they said or things they did were creating a very, very, very slippery slope.”  I found this statement odd because Sterling was a very racist and bigoted man who had damaged the brand so badly that I felt he needed to lose his team.  Now it makes sense as Cuban likely has several skeletons in his closet, including a recent report that back in 2011 he groped/penetrated a women at a bar.  This report was corroborated by the bartender working that night describing Cuban as very intoxicated and very touchy feely with female guests.  Luckily for him, the police “investigated and decided to close the case.”

My advice to Cuban is stay in private life, do a few deals on Shark Tank and enjoy owning the Dallas Mavericks and a movie theatre. Keep your head down and hope that this will all blow over.  Claiming you’re a hands-on owner in this climate won’t be viewed favorably by most voters. Running against Donald Trump in a primary in 2 years would be one of the dumbest things you can do.  Trump didn’t just beat his competition at every level of the race, he mortally wounded them; look at Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Lyin’ Ted Cruz, and look no further than crooked Hillary.  Mark, any other skeletons in your closet will be outed, beware.


Posted by william on 03/14 at 06:21 PM
News & PoliticsPermalink

Why Republican Losses Are Good For Trump

Republicans have an openly hostile relationship with President Trump. We all know this but it’s really difficult for a sitting President to be at war with his own Party. Trump has a strategy to fix this, but it involves pain. I don’t like that Trump keeps backing Establishment candidates in the various special elections that have occurred since he was sworn in; however, the electorate doesn’t mistake Trump as part of the Establishment. If Democrats take back either the House or Senate, it will be a different dynamic. Trump will be the beneficiary. Here’s how.

• It’s OK that Trump is openly at war with the Democrats because they are the other Party.
• Trump will get more legislation passed if he must deal with the Democrats. Trump will gladly take 65 or 70 percent of something he wants than 100 percent of nothing—which is what the current crop of feckless Republicans have given him. But what about the tax cuts? Folks, the tax cuts are temporary, and, in a few years, they will revert to the old rates unless Congress passes more legislation. Remember, Washington wants issues to campaign on; they are not in the business of fixing anything.
• Without incumbents in election races, Trump can back whoever he wants and there is no political downside for him. Trump can handpick a legislative team willing to work with him. Even if the Establishment doesn’t like him, they will be forced to publicly pledge themselves to working with the President.
• Trump is head of the Republican Party and can control where much of the campaign money is spent.
• The Establishment types love power more than anything so they will set aside their differences with the President if they think he can help them keep their jobs.
• Trump—like Reagan—can bring issues before the public and bypass the media and political class.

Truthfully, it may not require the Democrats to prevail in November. The thought that it could happen may be enough. If Republicans stand with Trump they will be OK but if they try to throw him under the bus, then they might be the ones looking to spend more time with their families after November’s ballots are cast. Trump’s name is not on the ballot this year, but he has a better track record than any Republican campaigning in this cycle. If Republicans in Congress run on their own record they will lose, if they run with Trump they will win.

Posted by william on 03/14 at 01:44 AM

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Talking Meghan and Baptism

This article is an attempt to be serious about a serious subject that happens to be about pop-culture which is hard for me to take seriously. Anyway, here we go…

Apparently English Prince Harry is getting married in May. Harry is the offspring of Charles and Diana. And was born in September 1984. Harry is fifth in line to the throne so his odds of being crowned are about the same as the head of the US Department of Agriculture becoming President after an alien invasion from Mars during a full moon on a leap year.

Harry has a reputation of being a “wild child”. He was drinking and smoking pot at age 17. In 2012, He was photographed naked with a woman in Las Vegas. Note to youth that “what happens in Vegas (or Facebook) doesn’t always stay in Vegas”.  Harry “knew” in a biblical sense many women as he sewed his royal oats across the globe. Many young women are sad that Harry is finally “settling down” but most of their fathers are relived.

His soon to be bride is this Meghan Markle lady from here in crazy California. I really love how the Brits worded this: “Miss Markle’s multi-faith upbringing is not uncommon in California where she was born in 1981. ” Harry’s betrothed was previously married and divorced. Below is a timeline of some parts of their lives.

1981 Meghan born.
1984 Harry born.
2001 Harry age 17, raising hell.
2004 Meghan age 23, met future husband, Trevor Engelson.
2005 Harry age 21, he was dating Chelsy Davy.
2009 Harry age 26, broke up with Chelsy.
2011 Meghan age 30, marries Trevor.
2012 Harry age 28, photographed in Las Vegas playing strip billiards.
2012 Harry age 28, in a relationship with Cressida Bonas.
2013 Meghan age 32, and Trevor divorce.
2014 Harry age 30, broke up with Cressida.
2016 Harry age 32, confirms that he is in a relationship with Meghan Markle, age 35.
2017 Harry (age 33) and Meghan, age 35, announce their engagement.
2018 Harry age 33, and Meghan, age 36, wedding scheduled

Wikipedia: Prince Harry

Meghan Markle has Been Baptized
All quotes in green are from this article

What caught my eye about this whole affair (pardon the pun) was the story about the secret baptism of Meghan by the Arch Bishop of Canterbury.
The reason for the timeline above is to show that there is nothing remotely religious in the lives of either Harry or Meghan. Harry, despite a litany of youthful indiscretions, is going to be married in the church because that is what gentlemen do. The article tries to focus on Meghan but clearly there isn’t much to work with. Here are the quotes that caught my eye. Please note that while all are from the same article, I’m placing them in a different order.


Her father, a retired Hollywood lighting director, was Episcopalian – the main US offshoot of the Anglican Church – while her mother belonged to another Protestant denomination.

After her parents split, Miss Markle attended the Roman Catholic Immaculate Heart girls’ high school in Los Angeles, although she was not Catholic.

Her first husband Trevor Engelson was Jewish but she did not convert to his faith. The couple met in 2004 and married in 2011 but were divorced two years later.

Folks, this is the typical California Liberal family, teach no values to the child and let them decide for themselves when they get older. Guess what, if you raise your child with no religious values then you are evil, if you don’t raise them on the Scriptures you are a fool.

As you read the article, it gives you the reason that Meghan was baptized.

Miss Markle did not need to become an Anglican in order to marry Harry in church, but at the time of their engagement last November she made clear she had chosen to be baptised and confirmed out of respect for the Queen’s role as the head of the Church of England.

This paragraph is such a target rich environment that I could write a book or at least a lengthy tract on it.

Please note that nowhere in this article is Jesus, repentance, belief, gospel, or conversion mentioned. Meghan is being baptised and confirmed out of respect for the Queen’s role as the head of the Church of England.

Meghan, baptism is about a relationship with the King of Kings not your grandmother-in-law. It’s an outward sign of an inward change, one which apparently you have yet to experience.

Also, worth noting is that Harry’s dad, Prince Charles, has stated that he would refuse the traditional title of the English King as “Defender of the Faith”. This is one reason he will never be king. Charles claimed that instead he would be the “Defender of the Faiths”. Chuck’s a pluralistic weenie.

Meghan reminds me of a line from a Steve Camp song from 1988:
We’ve been treating God,
Like He’s happiness for hire,
We’ve been playing marbles with diamonds.

Tuesday’s service observed the full ritual of the Church with holy water from the River Jordan from the private Royal Family font poured on Miss Markle’s head.

I’m not going to comment on the water used for the ceremony being from the Jordan River except to say that this is overindulgence and conveys no merit to the recipient.

Meghan Markle has been baptized into the Church of England in a secret ceremony with Prince Harry at her side.

Juxtapose this with the Bible

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 10: 32

Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:

Luke 12: 8

Meghan my Baptist alarm is screaming in my head when I read stuff like this and I haven’t been a Baptist in over three decades! Baptism is a public profession of faith. I’m not saying that you need to buy time on the BBC and broadcast live from the banks of the Thames but secret ceremony. Bah.

Folks, these guys including the Arch Bishop, are as clueless as the Pharisees were in the time of Christ. Meghan, this article makes you the posterchild of the slogan that Christianity is a relationship not a religion. Your works, upbringing, and marital status don’t save you or anyone else. If your faith and marriage are not built upon Christ, then get out now because you will never be fulfilled apart from Jesus. I hope God does a work in your lives because the deck is really stacked against this marriage lasting.

Posted by william on 03/08 at 01:36 AM
News & PoliticsPermalink

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

When Google Attacks

I was looking at a job opportunity yesterday and on the application was a map link to their location. Upon clicking the link this is what popped-up. I think these guys have a better rating than my local Denny’s but I’ll let you be the judges.


Oh, and click here for the link on Google Maps.

Posted by william on 03/07 at 07:33 AM

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

21 to Buy a Gun?

Ok, I simply don’t get this at all. Why is it that the same generation that forced a Constitutional Amendment to change the voting age from 21 to 18, is the same group demanding that a person now be over 21 to buy a gun?

Back when I was a kid in the 1970’s, the Vietnam War was in full swing and the Draft was a way of life for the youth of America. Those wishing to avoid the draft could get a deferment by going to college or Seminary—which is one reason that the clergy in many churches are so damn liberal and don’t believe in God. As a last resort, many sought refuge by fleeing to Canada.

As it went on, Vietnam became a very unpopular war; the number of casualties and shear number of draftees increased all through the 1960’s. A tour in Vietnam was one year so those drafted at age 18, could serve their time and return to civilian life before they were old enough to vote in most states. This became part of the argument against the draft and was summarized in Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction:

You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,

You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,

Known in my youth as “the footprint of the American chicken”.

As result of Vietnam, the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was introduced and passed in a record three months and 8 days. It was ratified on July 1, 1971.

Flash forward a few decades and now these same people and their voting aged offspring want to go in the opposite direction. Now they want to be able to vote that they are too immature to properly handle a weapon. Do you not see the irony of this?

Back in the day, carrying a weapon and voting age were proclaimed to be synonymous; their linkage went hand-in-hand, but now…

Truth Claim #1
When it comes to guns, 18 is too young to understand the consequences of your actions and thus you should refrain from the behavior.

Truth Claim #2
Isn’t this the mirror image of the logical fallacy that abortion supporters use?

When it comes to sex, Liberals proclaim that you should engage in the behavior all you want regardless of age but if there happens to be any consequences, we can remedy that…

A woman uses bad judgement and gets pregnant but somehow her choosing to abort the baby is praised as the most mature and loving decision that she can make. Liberals claim this is her rite to make with no input from family, clergy, or others. And please don’t give me the line about this being a decision between a woman and her doctor. That is a bald-faced lie. Most woman have never met their abortionist before and unless they need another abortion will never see the guy again. This is doubly true because a large segment of abortionists are not properly licensed to practice real medicine. Being “baby butchers” is the only gig many can get any more.

Liberals want a national standard that you can’t purchase a gun until you are 21 unless you join the Army and then its ok to kill strangers in faraway places when you are only 18. Why is this solution better than in 1969? Didn’t “the people” solve this in 1971?

Sorry but there is no age limit in the Constitution related to firearms. The Second Amendment is not about hunting, it’s about using deadly force for self-defense. Hunting is just something to do with the weapon when you don’t need it for other things.

Our laws send mixed messages. How can a twelve-year-old in California legally shoot a deer and not be able to buy a gun? If purchasing and possession are different under the law, then what good is having an age limit? Some people can handle a weapon responsibly and others can’t. Our society relies of our use of self-government to make that determination. Training and experience are primary factors in the use of firearms, age is secondary.  I killed my first deer at age 10 and my uncle killed his first Japanese soldier in WWII when he was 15 years old.

So, if you’re not mature enough to buy a gun until you’re 21—which is the same rule many states have for alcohol purchases—why should you be allowed to vote at 18? Voting wrongly—like for Democrats—can harm more people for a longer period of time than any Columbine wannabe. Democrats believe in genocide for the poor—abortion* , enslavement of generations not yet born due to irresponsible fiscal policies, euthanasia for the sick and elderly, and one set of rules for the rich & ruling class and another for the rest of us.

* Worldwide, Democrats and their fellow travelers kill 50 million children every year via abortion and yet somehow, they are regarded as champions of the poor. This is so illogical as to be farcical. Margaret Sanger said that she founded Planned Parenthood to “eliminate poverty by eliminating the poor” and called black people “weeds”. For those that can’t see the inherent problem with these truth claims try this: poor people voting Democrat is like Hindus thinking McDonalds and PETA were the same organization because both claim to serve beef.

Concerning raising the voting age, why stop at 21? Let’s require that you must hold a steady job for four years plus be say 40 years old and have a family and then maybe you’ll vote more responsibly. If you are young enough to confuse government handouts with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny then you are too young to vote.

A national law mandating age 21 to purchase guns is stupid, but its even more stupid to have all public property be “gun free zones” except of course where the lawmakers work and they have armed security, metal detectors, and x-ray machines—things they won’t let the rest of us have.


Posted by william on 03/06 at 01:50 AM
News & PoliticsPermalink

Monday, March 05, 2018

Creation: Open or Closed System

My question is this, is the world that we live in an open or closed system. This sounds outside of the type of categories that we normally use to define or discuss reality; however, I think it has some significant implications. For those philosophy nerds out there, the discussion below uses generalizations to move the discussion forward without pursuing every conceivable rabbit trail that one may encounter on this topic.

Closed System
This idea is that the world around us is mechanistic. The nature of the mechanism is much debated. At one extreme are the Darwinists that think Chaos, Randomness, and Time are the only real rules of the Universe. Any honest observers can see that there is Oder and Purpose to much of what we observe, so the other extreme of the closed system is the clockmaker of Deism. If there is a god, he made the system and we can debate whether he occasionally tinkers with it or not. In this group you will also find Eastern ideas of pantheism, cyclical rebirth, and Yen & Yang.

Open System
This view is found in Jewish and Christian tradition. God is Personal, Loving, and Knowable. He governs the Universe in regular, knowable ways (Natural Laws) but God is not a mere observer, He tends His Creation as one might tend a garden.  Nothing happens outside of God’s will. The debate within this view is does God allow things to happen or actively cause them to happen? Within an open system, people believe that they can genuinely pray and ask God to change the direction of an event—large or small—and if it is His will, He will respond to our petitions to make alterations.

A closed system is without hope. Nihilism and helplessness are the lot of men. The law of tooth and talon reigns supreme. Some folks in the East even think we get to do it all over again until we achieve perfect nothingness. What a dismal prospect.

An open system explains the things that have no basis in a closed system. Love, joy, compassion, purpose, intelligence, and design are all aspects of our Creator and since man is made in His image, we also share in a small way in His nature. Man is imperfect but still retains the marks of our Creator, his fingerprints on the clay so to speak.

The Problem of Sin
Because of sin, we are not in a right relationship with God. Furthermore, we are powerless to correct the problem. The Bible speaks of our attempts at good works to earn God’s merit as “filthy rags”. Folks this phrase is loaded with much content that doesn’t come thru even in King James English. The “filthy rags” are the unclean rags that result from a woman’s monthly cycle. The Bible is stating that your best efforts are rubbish only fit for the fire.

Man’s natural state is one of rebellion and separation from God. Only God can repair the separation of this relationship. It cost the life of His Son, Jesus. Only thru His death and sacrifice—dying in our place—was the penalty of sin paid. Only God’s remedy can restore our relationship. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me.”

Some folks might ask why God—whom Christians claim is all knowing and all powerful—doesn’t just do away with evil, suffering, death, etc.? There are many ways to answer the question, but Jesus directly addressed the issue in this way:

The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Matthew 13: 24 – 30.

Simply put, to root out evil by force will adversely affect the righteous. While all men are tainted by sin, not all will be redeemed. It is better that both continue to grow side by side until the harvest. As they mature, it will be apparent which are weeds and which are good grain. C.S. Lewis spoke of this as over time each will become consistent in its nature, the bad becoming more evil and the good becoming more righteous.

God is not evil but is able to use evil and rebellion against Him to bring His will to fruition. We are not told how He does this just that He does. Some questions about the “why” and “how” are beyond the scope of what has been revealed to us. At some point, we must trust. Some things can be called a “mystery” while others are just not revealed to us. As Lewis states in his Narnia books, they are not part of your story (and the clear implication of this statement also carries with it the idea that thus they are none of your business). Lewis believed that God’s revelation was on a need to know basis, if we don’t need it to know Him then it is not revealed to us.

The bottom line is that the prayers of His children will be answered but only to the extent that our petitions are in accordance with His will. The good news is that God is always active in his creation and incrementally redeeming it as we move closer to the promised harvest.


Posted by william on 03/05 at 03:10 AM
Christianity & ReligionPermalink

Friday, March 02, 2018

Billy Graham

Today is the funeral of Rev Billy Graham.

I wanted to briefly discuss how Billy Graham touched my family and affected my relationship with God as a result. I thought this a fitting tribute. While my beliefs don’t perfectly align with his, I wish this blog to accentuate the positive on this occasion.

As a condition of being married in the Roman Church, my dad was required to sign an agreement with the Church that he would allow his children to be raised Roman Catholic—my mom’s faith. Just over a decade later, in the 1970’s, I was transitioning from a private Catholic elementary school to a public junior high.

At this period, my mom watched Billy Graham on a local television broadcast. She knew about Jesus but felt distant from him. As Graham spoke, she felt her need to have a more lively faith and walk with Christ. As Graham asked his audience to pray with him, so did my mother. 

Graham’s basic message included the concept that it was not our works—the things that we did or did not do—that got us into heaven but that our works were inadequate to gain salvation. Our sin separated us from God. Only the work of Christ dying on our behalf could get us into heaven. We must acknowledge our sin and ask Christ to forgive us and enter our hearts. It was not the external that related us to God but the renewing of our hearts that cause our regeneration (in Graham’s terminology, being born again). To this end, it was Graham’s practice to conclude his sermons with a call to get into a right relationship with God. As such, he would ask that people pray with him as he recited “the sinner’s prayer”.


This prayer caused a change in my mother and she began to explore other places to worship. As a result, we ended up attending a local Baptist church. A few months later, my sisters and I attended a summer camp sponsored by the new church. At camp, we also made a commitment of our lives to Christ.

As a result of my camp experience, I was a different person. I had a hunger for reading the Bible and learning about God. I had a lively faith and wanted to share it with others. Over the years, I have continued my walk with God, sometimes closer than others. I have moved beyond the Baptist ways and found a way to make peace with the Roman Church as well.

I am grateful to the ministry of Billy Graham for the difference that has been made in my life.

Posted by william on 03/02 at 09:42 AM

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Issues That Are Never Solved

There is an old saying, “he who frames the issue wins the debate”. But what is supposed to happen is that after the debate, (eventually) the issue is solved or voted upon and then we move on. However, sometimes that doesn’t happen. Did you ever wonder why?

Before I proceed on this topic, please understand that I am the messenger. I wish to have readers look at my examples not in terms of agreeing with one side over another but as a political analysis.

I wish to begin with two topics that seem to have no solutions: abortion and immigration.

Abortion opponents say that they wish to have government support life and will stop at nothing short of the human life amendment.

A Human Life Amendment can be both a unifying strategy for individuals and organizations and a powerful political tool to discern the true pro-life convictions of our elected officials.
The ultimate goal of the pro-life movement

Abortion supporters want unlimited abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy—this is the status quo under Roe v Wade. Plus, they want you to pay for them with taxpayer dollars. Many see abortion—or the absence of child bearing—as the only way to have real equality with men.

As you can see, there is no room for common ground, compromise, or any other of the usual political maneuvering using such a binary equation.

Some folks want to allow everyone that can get inside the borders of the United States to come and then once here, they wish to unilaterally confer upon them all rights and privileges of citizenship without them even asking for it. No assimilation is required. This includes voting, employment and education. Think California once Gavin Newsom is sworn in as governor.

Other folks say they want to deport everyone here illegally. For them, Trump’s wall is just a symbol of the protectionism necessary to insure United States sovereignty. They wish to keep illegals from accessing any of the programs or opportunities available to our citizens. Only those who followed the established path to Green Cards and citizenship are welcomed.

As you can see, there is no room for common ground, compromise, or any other of the usual political maneuvering using such a binary equation.

Yes, there is a segment of squishy people in the middle of both these issues but the people driving the issue tend to be on one side or the other.

My question is why can’t a political solution be found for either issue? My answer is simple. Neither side wants it solved. They would rather have the issue to get votes in the next election than fix anything. 

Remember Obamacare and the Republicans? Republicans wanted the issue for campaigning but really had no plan to “repeal and replace” even though they campaigned on that promise for eight years. When they got the chance with majorities in the House and Senate plus a supportive and friendly President, they could pass no legislation because there was no plan.

In the same way, abortion is not about killing or not killing babies, its about votes. Democrats view being pro-abortion as a winning issue for them and most Republicans view being pro-life as being to their benefit. Again, this is just posturing.

I have been told by Liberal Republicans that they wish the pro-lifers would go away because social conservatives have ruined the Party. My response is “simple, get the taxpayer money out of the issue. If you do, abortion will no longer be a political issue.”  Think about it, both sides have built their respective fortresses on the issue of “to fund or not to fund”. Yes, there are moral issues involved but without taxpayer money, it is a mute topic at election time for the vast majority of folks.

Immigration is a more complex issue but given a choice of fixing a defective and broken system or having the issue at election time, politicians of all stripes would rather have the issue than fix it.

This ladies and gentlemen is the real gridlock in Washington.  Both teams are happier playing “prevent defense” than winning. To strike a decisive blow for your side is to risk galvanizing the opposition. Think of it as trying to steal the other guy’s honey without being stung by their bees in the process. Get as much as you can and still make a clean getaway. This is what passes for modern statecraft.

Or to use a different analogy, we have entrusted our economic harem to the eunuchs in Washington hoping that they won’t screw us too badly.

Posted by william on 03/01 at 12:19 AM
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