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Religion, Politics, & Culture: Defined and Explained


Thursday, August 17, 2017

My Review of Patterns of Evidence: Exodus


IMDB Patterns of Evidence: Exodus (2014)

I watched this movie on Netflix the other night. Its narrative style reminded me of Jesse Winton’s Targeted although this movie was made prior. It begins with a question, some people are talked to and then more questions are asked followed by more interviews. A small portion of the film is narrated by actor Kevin Sorbo.

The movie was well done and sounded really familiar to me. The basic question was, is there evidence that the Exodus is an historical fact or just a biblical myth? The groundwork was laid steadily until they got to one of their most important points. (Please note that the discussion which follows will include spoilers to plot points in the film.) What was made clear is that many modern archeologists give an unequivocal “NO” answer to the question; however, the film posits an alternative.

The party line in the archeological community is that Rameses II was the pharaoh of the Exodus. While this does agree with Cecil B DeMille, it is clearly at odds with the biblical narrative.

Secular historians assume the modern construction of the Egyptian timeline is correct which is not true.  I recalled reading many years ago about this in a book by Gary North.

Readers are also not informed of the fact that virtually all chronologies of the ancient Near East and pre-classical Greece are constructed on the assumption that the conventional chronology of Egypt is the legitimate standard. What modern scholars believe is the proper chronology of Egypt is then imposed on the chonologies of all other civilizations of the ancient Near East, including the biblical chronology of the Hebrews. Thus, when the Bible says explicitly that the Exodus took place 480 years before Solomon began to construct the temple (I Kings 6:1), historians interpret this information within the framework of the hypothetical Egyptian chronological scheme.

When they even admit that the pharaohs of the supposed dynastic era of the fifteenth century before Christ were extremely powerful kings-men like Thutmose III-whose mummies still exist, they are tempted to ignore these difficulties, or even to ignore the clear teaching of the Bible. Many of them date the Exodus much later. They allow a hypothetical chronology of Egypt to dictate their interpretation of Scripture. This is not the way that Christian scholarship is supposed to be conducted.

Moses and Pharaoh pages 7 & 8 (1985)


I have three criticisms of the film for points that they didn’t make.

Point One: The easiest way to prove that Ramses II is not the pharaoh of the Exodus is that we know where he was buried. He died of old age not by drowning in the Red Sea. In fact his body is on display in a museum.

Ramesses II originally was buried in the tomb KV7 in the Valley of the Kings, but because of looting, priests later transferred the body to a holding area, re-wrapped it, and placed it inside the tomb of queen Inhapy. Seventy-two hours later it was again moved, to the tomb of the high priest Pinudjem II. All of this is recorded in hieroglyphics on the linen covering the body. His mummy is today in Cairo’s Egyptian Museum.
Link” Wikipedia Ramsses II

Point Two: It is clear from watching the film that the archeological community demands that members of its community follow the party line. The tyrant of academia is never directly mentioned, but it is clearly understood that their orthodoxy must be followed if you want to get funding and work in the field. Anyone who has watched Ben Stein’s Expelled will have “the eyes to see” this construct in action.

Point Three: this one is more subtle but my impression from watching the film is that Egypt loves the archeology and tourism but they have no interest in validating any claims that might bolster the Jewish faith. The Muslim folks don’t seem to allow you access to their historic sights if you rock their boat by dissing their ancestors.

On the whole, it’s well worth your time to watch, especially if you have children in the audience. It starts slow but builds to a satisfying conclusion “for the hope that is within you”.


Posted by william on 08/17 at 09:12 AM

Friday, August 11, 2017

As In the Days of Noah

If you want to get a feel for how Noah felt while building the Ark, try being a Conservative in California.

The financial reality is that your unborn grandchildren are broke and this generation does not care.
As of a few years ago, the combined debt of California government (state, county, and local) was 1.4 trillion dollars. I think it’s really more but that number is what state officials will publically admit.

Eleven California counties have more registered voters than voting age people and this generation does not care.

The letter noted that 11 California counties have more registered voters than voting-age citizens: Imperial (102%), Lassen (102%), Los Angeles (112%), Monterey (104%), San Diego (138%), San Francisco (114%), San Mateo (111%), Santa Cruz (109%), Solano (111%), Stanislaus (102%), and Yolo (110%).  The letter also noted that Los Angeles County officials “informed us that the total number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144% of the total number of resident citizens of voting age.”
Link to source

Second Amendment groups have issued a travel advisory to California because of the crazy laws here designed to deny people the right to self-defense. Bringing a weapon from outside the state is a felony in many instances.

Small businesses know better than to relocate to this State due to taxes and regulations.

Churches, private schools, and other religiously oriented groups are on the endangered species list here if they wish to adhere to biblically based values.

I could go on but… I think you can add many other things to my list which is fine but my point is this, nobody here cares. I try talking to people at work about various issues as they appear in the news and absolutely nothing penetrates. As long as their daily life goes on, it doesn’t matter. Talk about living in darkness.

God closed to door of the Ark seven days before it started raining. There is no record of anybody knocking on the door to see why or asking to be let in. Contrary to the recent Hollywood movie, I think the Bible is silent on this because that is exactly how it happened. Nobody cared until the rain fell on them. This is the sad future that you will live to see.

Posted by william on 08/11 at 12:29 PM

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Back to Lumia 950 XL

My son wanted to get a Samsung fitness band like his mother has so this necessitated getting him an Android phone. Samsung doesn’t have PC software for their products so syncing with his computer was not an option. We looked at new phones but I finally decided that he could have my ASUS phone.
Previously reviewed here:  Moving from Windows Mobile 10 to Android 6

I really like the security of the finger print reader on the phone but since there is no NFC feature in the phone, there’s not much need for a locked phone other than “butt dialing” random apps while the phone is in my pocket—which happened anyway.

Also, I had read that Microsoft had finally started fixing the issues with Bluetooth and Garmin that had prevented my band from talking to the phone. My son and I gathered up the phones and headed to our local Cricket store to move the phone numbers around. By the way, Cricket is great, five lines for $120. The short version is that Cricket just swapped sim cards between phones and that is how we learned that the sim cards are really what is active and not the phone…imagine that.

On the Android phone, we didn’t have to do a factory reset to give the phone to my son. We added his Google account and removed mine. This allowed him to keep the apps that I purchased (one game) and all the configuration changes. Thus my fingerprint will still access the phone even though he changed the numeric password. Also, I had to delete my Outlook accounts and add his. The whole process was simple.

Now I found myself back on the Windows 10 Mobile platform. I guess if you’ve read this far thru my article you are wondering if I miss Android. No. Most of the apps in Android are nonsense. Every fast food place you go into has a sign to get our app. Well I got several of your apps. Universally, they want you to order food on the Internet and buy gift cards so they can be prepaid for the food that you buy.

I’m so glad to have Cortana back in all her glory and not the crippled version offered to Android. Now I can have text messages read to me and reply via voice while driving my car. I have Earthquake Watch and live tiles. It’s glorious.

Lastly, Dave Ramsey would be proud of me for not buying myself a new phone but sticking with what I already had. I’m glad to keep chipping away at those baby steps to financial freedom.

Posted by william on 08/10 at 07:36 AM

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Who are the Rich?

Class warfare is a staple of the Democrat Party. They are constantly berating Republicans for being rich and claiming they are for the little guy. In my previous article I showed extensively the comments of a coworker that leans Left. He blames Republicans for being rich, greedy, and screwing the little guy. In his mind that is their only reason for existence. For people like him, “the rich” are often defined as anyone making a dollar more than you do. Envy and jealousy are biblical names for this particular sin.

After reading my blog post (08-02-2017) to my wife last night, she challenged me to research the rich and try to refute my coworker with facts.

My first thought is that followers of the Democrat Party are not persuaded by facts only emotions.  However, I’m up to a challenge so I took a look at the subject.

As with everything else in our society, everything I found in my research was highly politicized to try to prove either that most rich are Republicans or most rich are Democrats. My first observations were these:
• Many “rich” play both sides of the political divide but typically lean heavily one way or another.
• The one figure that is cast in both camps depending on who you read is Oracle owner Larry Ellison.

Second, there are actually two types of “rich” in our society. In times past they were called the wealthy and the nouveau riche. For those from Rio Linda, perhaps a definition is in order before proceeding.

Nouveau riche (French: ‘new rich’) is a term, usually derogatory, to describe those whose wealth has been acquired within their own generation, rather than by familial inheritance.
Link: Definition Nouveau Riche

Before going further, let’s talk about wealth. Most people think in terms of payroll because that is how they get paid. They are more than happy to vote to tax the rich—especially here in California—but they are dupes. Yeah, they will be able to get taxes from some middle manager in Silicon Valley or aspiring actress in Hollywood but the CEO types? Never! You see, after a certain level, wealthy folks don’t get large paychecks.  As a result, a 13 percent state income tax in California or a 39 percent federal income tax rate (combined tax rate of 52 %) don’t bother them. Wealthy folks have trusts, derivatives, municipal bonds, and other financial vehicles that aren’t available to folks like you or me. That’s why Warren Buffett can say that his secretary pays more in taxes than he does and get a standing ovation from the Democrat National Committee for making the comment. You see, his wealth isn’t from a payroll check—he is beyond the likes of such inefficient stuff. However, he is perfectly fine pitting the poor and middle classes against the nouveau riche ‘cause it’s no skin off his nose.

When you hear about the Forbes lists of wealth people, rest assured that you have left the lifestyle of the nouveau riche far behind. The top of the 2017 list by Forbes is dominated by Democrats even when you put Larry Ellison into R bucket. Guiding these folks are literally the best lawyers and accounting firms that money can buy.

Forbes Wealthiest for 2017

Link: Usual suspects at the top of Forbes list of world’s richest billionaires

Beyond the Forbes list, I began to take a look at the broader group of wealthy and their political contributions and the subject was permeated with so much partisanship that it was impossible to make sense of the information. I found one list that said by grouping the rich by families that 75 percent were Republican and another list that claimed 75 percent were Democrat. Hard money, soft money, 527’s, surrogates, etc. it’s simply impossible to track it all down. Maybe the Sith Lord has time to try but the rest of us are too busy. Direct contributions are easy to identify—to a point—but after that the trail gets cold rapidly. Anybody that claims to be in full possession of the facts is blowing smoke. What you can say is that some folks on each side are more public than others about giving in certain areas be it politics or charities. We all know there are other ways of giving that keep your fingerprints off the contributions.

Additionally, since the days of Bill Clinton, money from other countries has been flowing into US politics but those receiving it find excuses not to keep track of it. We may have some idea of how much but not from where. The bottom line is if you have a will to give, there is a way that you can do so—the variable is the paper trail that you are willing to leave behind.

Clearly, Buffett and the Tech Kings are on top of the hill in terms of assets. They openly favor the Democrat brand and many of us on the Conservative side expect them to remake the party of Clinton and Obama in their image sooner rather than later. Maybe starting in 2020, stay tuned.

Mark Zuckerberg—possible Democrat for President 2020

Posted by william on 08/03 at 01:49 PM

Monday, July 24, 2017

I Spell William R-E-A-L-L-Y R-I-G-H-T

By X

I’ve been a loyal reader and blogger in this space for about 10 months, but who’s counting, except maybe the CRA.  I want to just re-hash a few things William has been really right about and clear up some questions about who I really am.  First and foremost, William nailed it on healthcare. He has been saying this since late last year folks; do not kid yourself he is no Johnny come lately.  He has been pounding the table about Lyin’ Ted having never submitted any piece of legislation let alone an attempt at drafting legislation, during his brief DC tenure.  The GOP created a CRA-esque lie about all the legislation that would occur the minute they had control of all levers of DC.  This is due in part to the in depth knowledge prior to the 2016 election that the Republicans would keep the House and Senate, and in all likely hood lose the Presidency.  Then Donald J Trump won, and the congressional GOP went on full tilt.  William and I are willing to wager better than 50% of the GOP members of congress voted for Hillary or 3rd party to keep the “repeal and replace someday” slogan alive.

William also nailed it on CA GOP being relegated to third party also ran status in this state.  Truth be told, I have a feeling most of the California GOP has moved to Texas, Arizona, or Nevada already.  I look forward to the day when William makes his move and relocates closer to X.

Before I close I want to say this, it has come to my attention that 2 members of a CRA unit in south Sacramento County have been saying my columns are incorrect or full of lies.  I say this to both of them, if my analysis or anything is wrong I will happily retract and delete the fallacies.  Unfortunately there will be none, because I haven’t shared anything not true.  Aaron Park was supposed to be in jail, remember or was I wrong about that?  People who the CRA endorsed?  Was that incorrect?  These two are suffering from a term called Trumpaphobia, a term I’m coining because this is what happens when you wanted Ted Cruz to be nominated, then when that failed voted for Hillary to preserve status quo.

But here I will tell you who I really am; I am a former CRA vice-chair.  I am a former unit president.  I no longer live in the state of California. I’m not in Jefferson either for the CRA folks who read this.  Don’t even get me started on that movement.

Til next time,


Posted by william on 07/24 at 06:15 AM

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What the Hell, CRA!!!!!

By X

I must admit I am beginning to lose what little faith I had left in the CRA, and that’s probably a good thing.  From the same group that brought you an endorsement of Ted Cruz long after Donald J Trump had wrapped up the nomination process for President, they have recruited a second Republican to run for Governor.  Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-who cares) has been talked into running, thus assuring a run off between two Democrats for the top job in California. 

If you are related to Aaron Park, registered to vote at Wal-Mart, or been living under a rock; you might have missed the enactment of the law many years ago that gave California a “top two” election system where the two highest vote getters—regardless of party—advance to a general election run-off in November.  (This law was funded and passed by the current majority shareholder of the California GOP, Charlie Munger.) Think the 2016 Senate Election which pitted Comrade Loretta Sanchez against Socialist/Black Lives Matter Kamala Harris—notice no Republican in that group. 

My point is this; we already have a Republican running for Governor, John Cox. Cox is very wealthy and has showing a willingness to spend quite a bit of his own money.  I don’t know much about Mr. Allen or his finances, except that he is very far to the right of center, and that’s fine but not viable in the Peoples Republic of California.

Several questions need to be raised about this.  Why doesn’t Allen run for one of the other statewide offices in California?  Like I don’t know any of them since none currently have a Republican seeking the office?  Does the CRA believe Gavin Newsome vs Antonio Villaraigosa really offers us the best choices?  What the hell, the CRA!

(Editor’s Note: many Republicans in California would rather have an all Democrat gubernatorial race next time because they don’t believe a Republican can win. Many have voiced tentative support for Democrat and former State Treasurer John Chiang.)

Posted by william on 07/11 at 03:45 PM

Monday, July 10, 2017

Firefighter Runs Aground for Comments About The Crystal Ship

A Placerville business put a rainbow flag above their store. A person that saw it prominently displayed over the fourth of July weekend was offended—as we supposedly can be under the first Amendment—and posted his feeling on Facebook—also something that we supposedly have the right to do.

The owner of the post has the power to delete the comment and probably block the person—depending on their settings—but instead she goes ballistic and it ends up being a news story.

Per shop owner, Jessica Martin, “He said to, ‘Take down that gay ass flag and it should be replaced with an American flag or a confederate flag.’”

Political action evokes political speech, happens every day in real life.

The store owner’s reaction is puzzling to me.

We are talking about discrimination, racism, we are talking about so many horrible atrocities of man in this country,” said Jessica Martin who owns The Crystal Ship.

Let’s pull this grammatically rocky quote apart.

• Why is discrimination bad? We all do it every day hundreds of times.
• Do I have a donut or cereal for breakfast?
• Should I eat salad or pizza for dinner?
• Should I park on the street or in the lot?
• Should I buy a green shirt or the blue one?
These are the types of discrimination we use in everyday decisions.

• Likewise, should I shop at the store with the rainbow flag or the one without?

In America, we used to call such reasoning “freedom of choice.”

Even Martin Luther King’s daughter says that homosexual claims of equivalence with race are BS. Since Dr. King has an acknowledged track record endorsed by Liberals, who am I to argue?

I don’t know about Jessica, but I sure can’t tell who someone sleeps with just by looking at them. Is thinking you can discriminatory?

Horrible Atrocities
• Like maybe voting for Donald Trump?
• Going to church?
• Believing that marriage should be between one man and one woman?
• Believing the Bible is true?
• Believing that homosexual behavior is sinful?
• Believing that Jessica and people like her are under God’s judgment for rejecting the clear teaching of His Word?

• Isn’t it discriminatory to point-out that the author of the Facebook quote is a man?
• Why does gender matter?

Volunteer Firefighter
• Who cares what this guy does for a living or that he is a volunteer firefighter?
• Was he claiming to represent the department? (NO)
• If Jessica’s store caught on fire would the guy show-up to extinguish the fire? Yes, so who cares?

So one thin skinned Liberal gets offended by one guy making a post of Facebook, and the local television station thinks its news?

I get offended on Facebook all the time but I usually don’t let people know how I feel (I have this blog for that).

Oh, the local fire district made the guy retract his comments and apologize to Miss Jessica.

What happened to, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Link: Volunteer Firefighter’s Post About Gay Flag Sparks Outrage In Amador County

Posted by william on 07/10 at 11:51 AM

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

California Adds More States to Suggested Retirement Locations

California maintains an enemies list of other States that don’t go along with their Liberal, humanist, intolerant, and anti-Christian worldview. However, I view this list as suggested places to retire or generally get away from the tyranny of California. Places where traditional views of marriage and family are still in fashion. Yes, the home of Obama’s “bitter clingers” those places that still believe in God and guns as ways to enjoy freedom and safety both in this life and the life to come.

Instead of letting conscience be your guide—a freedom that government cannot allow—California has to do the thinking for you in order to make sure you make the” right” decision. They take the idea of “there ought to be a law…” very seriously.
Note that one metric of tyranny is the number of laws on the books that are only selectively enforced. This is contrary to equal justice for all.

Oh, and for those Liberals that might stumble across this blog, don’t ever try to tell me that you can’t legislate morality. Gary North and others rightly have pointed-out that all law at its core is religious. Here is a gem from the State of California which mandates morality and religion.

AB 1887 adds section 11139.8 to the California Government Code and prohibits state agencies from requiring any of its employees, officers, or members to travel to any state, or approving a request for state-funded or state-sponsored travel, to any state that after June 26, 2015, has enacted the following:

• A law that voids or repeals, or has the effect of voiding or repealing, existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
• A law that authorizes or requires discrimination against same-sex couples or their families or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

In order to help agencies comply with the provisions of AB 1887, the California Attorney General (AG) will develop, maintain, and post on his or her website a current list of states that, after June 26, 2015, have enacted the aforementioned discriminatory laws or practices. At this time, we believe Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee meet the criteria of states that have enacted discriminatory laws after June 26, 2015.

FOUR NEW STATES ADDED: URGENT!  As of June 22, 2017, four additional States have been added to California’s ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel.  The additional states include Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Texas, in addition to the previously banned states of Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kansas.  For additional information regarding Restricted State Travel, please review the Attorney General’s link Attorney General - AB 1887’s Travel Prohibition.

California wants to be its own country so instead of seceding all at once, it is excommunicating one state at a time until it will finally be offended by all. Thus far, 14.2 percent of the country is off limits. Look for this list to grow significantly later this year when the Supreme Court upholds the right of religious people to not have to bake cakes for homosexual “marriage” ceremonies.

Meanwhile, I have yet another reason to consider Texas as a retirement destination.


Posted by william on 06/28 at 07:27 AM

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Flee the Wrath to Come

John the Baptist warned those of his generation to “flee the wrath to come.” Instead of heeding his warning, he was beheaded for his trouble. Those that crucified his cousin, Jesus of Nazareth, a few years later said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

True to their wishes, the wrath-to-come arrived in the form of a Roman army about forty years later. The wrath visited upon them and their children resulted in the death of most, the systematic and total destruction of their nation, and the enslavement of the few survivors. True to his warning, no loss of life is recorded for the Christians that obeyed the prophecy given by Jesus to flee when they saw the signs foretold.

Whether any of us can truly avoid the wrath to come upon our nation is doubtful but clearly some areas and people will do better than others. In my opinion, ground zero of the “wrath to come” is California. The late columnist Herb Caen used to call San Francisco “Bagdad by the Bay.” That was seventy years ago. Now, I think California can be thought of as “Sodom by the Sea.”

California is hell-bent on becoming “anti-America.” The people of California wish to remake the State into a dystopian socialist paradise devoid of petroleum, hydroelectric or nuclear power, water storage, commercial farming, privately owned automobiles, liberty, Christians and other bigots that insist on such Victorian ideals as right and wrong or personal responsibility, firearms, prisons, and small businesses. Instead, they want free college for all, publicly subsidized transportation, free healthcare, their own foreign policy, only electric vehicles within their borders, more government jobs, multiculturalism, legalization of recreational drugs, government backed pensions for all, and a bunch of other neo-Marxist crap dreamed up by baby-boomers.  Oh, and all this will be paid by taxes on “the rich” whoever they are.

Liberals here have successfully turned the Constitution from a document that insures liberty into the suicide pact that protects evildoing and punishes the righteous. Nothing in California escapes the corruption of the almighty State. They are going places that not even George Orwell envisioned. California and other places dominated by Liberals have metastasized into a Tim Burton-like modern twist on the Roman Empire.

While many have attempted to stem this precipitous decline in Western Culture, my wife and I, like many before us have concluded that our time in California is coming to an end. As a result, my family has developed an exit strategy. Seven years from now, we plan to be far away from the formerly golden state. The apocalypse is coming but hopefully we will time it so we are long gone when everything comes apart.

Posted by william on 06/21 at 08:47 AM

Friday, June 16, 2017

You Can’t Afford to Live Here

“A new report says that in California, the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,608 and to afford this level of rent and utilities—without paying more than 30 percent of income on housing—a household must earn $5,359 monthly or $64,311 annually.”
Link: You Can’t Afford to Live Here

The article then goes on to point out that this equates to $30.92 for a 40 hour workweek. For those of us in “the Valley” things are slightly more favorable but…


Posted by william on 06/16 at 09:45 AM

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

When Cookies Attack

Cookies are what advertisers use to track your browser history and try to get you to buy stuff on the Internet but sometimes they don’t know when to say when.

From Foxnews website today

A guy dies in a car wreck so of course I need to go to the Cars movie.

This kind of inadvertent social insensitivity is where artificial intelligence could help advertisers. The keyword “die” should trump any other word in the headline. If only Google had the money to prevent such stupidity…but they get paid for views and clicks.

Posted by william on 06/14 at 06:20 AM

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Totalitarian State to Crush Your Family

If you want a preview of where California is heading once Jerry Brown is termed out and Gavin Newsome or somebody of his ilk is elected Governor then take a look at this article linked on Joe Miller today. Those of you that think “gay marriage” was the end of the trail are sadly mistaken. It was just the opening salvo of a much bigger assault on your freedom to believe in traditional Christian values. In fact, the full force of the State government is about to be directed at scouring your beliefs not only from the public square but your home as well.

Two years ago, those who were paying attention got a preview of this when the State of California threatened to withhold any student loans from colleges that opposed homosexuality. The author withdrew the measure but it has not gone away. The next time it sees the light of day will be with the blessings of the majority party leadership.

Soon litmus tests affirming abortion, homosexuality, and other “rights” will be required for student loans, employment, and benefits but it won’t stop there. For a preview of coming attractions, look to “the great, white North”; Canada.
Link: Joe Miller—Canada’s Big Brother Ready to raid you Home

Below are a few paragraphs from the article. Please read it in its entirety.

So, in the privacy of your own home, as you teach and instruct your own children, you would be forbidden by law to teach them what the Bible said about homosexual practice. And how, pray tell, was the government planning to monitor this?

Quoted in this article is Dawn Stefanowicz

I want to warn America to expect severe erosion of First Amendment freedoms if the US Supreme Court mandates same-sex marriage. The consequences have played out in Canada for ten years now, and they are truly Orwellian in nature and scope.

In Canada, freedoms of speech, press, religion, and association have suffered greatly due to government pressure. The debate over same-sex marriage that is taking place in the United States could not legally exist in Canada today. Because of legal restrictions on speech, if you say or write anything considered “homophobic” (including, by definition, anything questioning same-sex marriage), you could face discipline, termination of employment, or prosecution by the government.

Canada’s province of Ontario just passed Bill 89

This is beyond mind-boggling. It might even be beyond Orwellian. Really now, would even Orwell have predicted that the government could seize your 8-year-old boy if you wouldn’t let him dress like a girl or if you refused to affirm his perceived female identity?

For good reason, Jack Fonseca, a political strategist for Campaign Life Coalition, slammed the new bill in no uncertain terms: “With the passage of Bill 89, we’ve entered an era of totalitarian power by the state, such as never witnessed before in Canada’s history. Make no mistake, Bill 89 is a grave threat to Christians and all people of faith who have children, or who hope to grow their family through adoption.”

And it is not just an era of totalitarian power. It is an era of misguided totalitarian power.


In America, we don’t do things in moderation. We are all in or all out. I think the pendulum in California has swinging towards full-blown craziness. Here, the Constitution is viewed as a suicide pact and a license for excess and tyranny. We are accelerating on a course of societal and fiscal destruction. In fact, we are already over the cliff and waiting for gravity to act. The only remaining question is which cause of death will be listed on the death certificate at the autopsy.

Posted by william on 06/07 at 07:31 AM

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Cord Cutting: The Next Chapter

Our family dumped DirecTV almost 18 months ago in favor of TiVo and over-the-air (OTA) television. We continued our Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions and added Hulu. After the first year, TiVo charges $149.99 annually ($12.50 per month). Thus we are saving about $90 per month from what we were spending previously.

Last month we set our sights on a new target, Frontier Communications (formerly known as Citizens Communications). For the last ten years, we have been paying Frontier about $85 monthly for a landline telephone and Internet service. (By the way, $15 of that amount was taxes.) Our phone number once belonged to my wife’s grandparents and we figure that they’ve had that number since the 1960’s.

Our attachment to the phone number was both sentimental and contractual. Sentimental since it had been in the wife’s family for her entire life and contractual because many years ago Frontier offered us a ten dollar a month discount on our Internet if we agreed to a two year contract. Once the two years was up, Frontier raised their rates back up and as an added bonus, they had us locked into a contract that automatically renewed annually.

Yeah, in case you didn’t know that, auto renewing contracts are legal in California. Without any affirmation on your part, once you enter into a contract, the contract continues to renew unless you take extraordinary steps to terminate it. Frontier threatened early termination fees of up to $400. I have been meaning to stop the auto renewal for several years but they moved the renewal date on me once and then last year, I didn’t attempt it until I was within the 30 day termination window. This clause said that you can’t terminate the contract within 30 days of the renewal date. Talk about insuring corporate cash flow!

However, this year, I called in January to stop the auto renewal. I recorded the date and time of the call and even got a confirmation number for the request. Then if they gave me grief later on, I would take the “this call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes” and ram it down their bureaucratic throats if said that I never called.

Just to make sure, in early May, I called Frontier and asked that my service—both telephone and Internet—be terminated on June 12th (the auto renewal date). I called more than 30 days before the renewal just so I wouldn’t have to refer to the January call. I figured that that gave me over a month to switch to another provider and get all the kinks worked out before my Internet was cut off.

I know at this point that some might be wondering why I was with an obscure company like Frontier in the first place? A fair question and one that I will shed light on now before continuing.

You see back in the heyday of Ma Bell, when there was only one phone company, there were certain areas of the country where it was not cost effective for Ma Bell to service. These orphaned areas of the country—and by country I mean rural areas of the United States—were eventually pooled into Citizens Communications. (If you are thinking Roosevelt, Great Depression, and Rural Electrification Administration, then you are on the right track. I’m sure Wikipedia could give you the whole story if you were curious.)

Anyway, flash forward the better part of a century and some of these rural areas are now developed areas with lots of people. Elk Grove—where I live—is such a place. West of highway 99 you have many choices for Internet and telephone including fiber optic cable because this area was once serviced by Pacific Bell; however, east of highway 99 you will find a different dynamic. Your options where I live are Frontier or Comcast, period. There is nothing else and by law there never will be. Two choices and both with a coper cable as its backbone.

With Frontier, they were happy to provide us a blazing (insert sarcasm here) 5.5 Mb per second. I have 11 to 20 devices in my home competing for bandwidth. Frontier’s Internet went down daily—especially the Wi-Fi. We were incapable of doing anything simultaneously on the Internet; even reading books on the Kindle app was a problem. Only when I called to terminate their service did they ever try to offer me more bandwidth. 

Note to Frontier: give me your best offer because I’m a good customer; don’t wait until I’m so fed up with you that I decided to leave. If you had voluntarily raised my speed, I probably would still be with you. ‘Service” and “Customer” should be used together not opposite columns in the balance sheet. I talked with several neighbors about your company and found no one willing to praise you. If your Soviet era monopoly ever ends then so will you.

Anyway, after consulting the neighborhood, I reluctantly opted to try Comcast again. We had Comcast when I was first married. Their Internet went down constantly and their television picture—especially HD—was terrible. Only when we went to DirecTV did our TV picture look like it did at Circuit City. At the time, Frontier’s Internet was better. Over the years, Comcast invested in their equipment and Frontier rested on their laurels. Now Comcast offers speeds over 100 MB per second where I live for about the same price Frontier will sell me 5.5. Same price and twenty times the speed!

Anyway, Friday, May 12th was a memorable one. You see, when we got up in the morning both our phone and Internet were shutoff. I asked multiple people at Frontier to terminate our service on June 12. I spoke with both the customer service person that took my call and the “closer” that tried to get me to change my mind and told both people June 12. Again, no customer service.

Meanwhile, I had attempted to prepare for the switch to Comcast. I went on the Internet and set up an account on the Comcast website and ordered a do-it-yourself installation kit. (Note to readers: you likely don’t need the installation kit.) I bought a modem recommended by Comcast’s website from Amazon and tried hooking it up. After re-running the cable thru my attic, and connecting the modem, I found that the cable to my house was literally unhooked at the street. Trying to connect at the street didn’t result in any signal to the modem. All this had happened prior to being cut-off by Frontier.

Meanwhile back to May 12. After getting settled in at work, I tried a live chat on the Comcast website but after 45 minutes, I never got a response. (I think the dreaded firewall blocked the port so I couldn’t connect.) Next, I tried the option for a callback. Amazingly, I was contacted by a Comcast person in less than a minute. The lady I spoke with confirmed that we were not connected at the street and set up a service call to do that. She said we did not need to be there since the cable was just being connected at the street. She also said that she would call on the following Monday to see if everything was OK.

When I got home, the Amazon purchased modem would not connect. Per diagnostic lights, it had a failure. I tried resetting but with no luck. I decided to send it back and try my luck at Fry’s. On Saturday on the way to Fry’s I dropped the modem off at the nearby Staples. Within an hour of taking the Amazon return to Staples, I had a complete refund from Amazon in my checking account. Sadly, the modem purchased at Fry’s would connect but at very slow speeds; not anywhere near those promised by Comcast.

On Monday, true to her word, the lady from Comcast called. I told her the connection was not working like it should. She sent a service tech to my home at no charge. Per our discussion, the tech called me at work and I met him at the house. He crimped new connectors on the cable at each junction point from the street to my modem and used a signal tester on the line. Inside the house, he used his own modem which test at 250 Mb per second and then attached mine. After a reboot, it connected at just over 100 MB per second.

Subsequent, to installation, I’ve had to reboot the modem once to get my Android phone to connect. I also found that the slow connection to the back of my house was due to a faulty cable from the modem to the Cat 6 cable going to my hub. (Proof that not all store bought cables are to be trusted.)

Oh, Comcast is charging me $39.99 for the first year with no extra taxes attached. So far, it’s a much better deal than Frontier. Lastly, on my final bill from Frontier, they are showing a credit even after shutting me down a month early; so much for early termination.

Posted by william on 06/01 at 10:29 AM

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Moving from Windows Mobile 10 to Android 6

Recently my Microsoft Band 2 died; and for the last time since it was out of warranty. I really enjoyed the MS Band. It integrated with both my Lumia 640 and later 950 XL and had many features that other fitness bands and smartwatches still don’t offer. The warranty service from Microsoft was amazing but sadly too frequently. The flaw with the device was the Android operating system and battery. Once the battery was totally depleted, the watch would often fail to boot-up anymore.

I tried two other watches as replacements for the Band.

First was the Vector Smartwatch. When first released, this watch was praised for compatibility with the Window OS and recommended as a possible replacement for the MS Band. The company was recently purchased by Fitbit and was supposedly compatible with my Windows phone. The watch display was monochrome not full color like my Band. It would not connect to my phone under any circumstances. My phone could never see the device via the Bluetooth connection. I tried firmware updates and many other things to no avail. After several days, I finally returned it to Amazon for a refund.

Garmin also has a watch that did some things that my Band would do so I decided to try it. It too, was supposedly compatible with the Windows Phone OS with a caveat that it might loose Bluetooth connection occasionally. This too was a mixed bag of results. The watch itself was great but it would not maintain a connection with the phone. However, Garmin has a Windows program that runs on my PC and it works great. It is possible to use the watch without any smartphone connection. Lastly, the Garmin watch can go about five or six days on a single charge and is waterproof too!


After trying two watches that both were supposedly compatible with Windows Phone and the trickle of media reports that per their financials, Microsoft was terminating support for their Widows Phones at the end of June 2017, I came to the conclusion that the smartwatch phone applications were “abandonware”.

Sensing both my frustration at the lack of support for the Windows mobile platform and knowing that her Band would be failing soon, my wife prompted me to buy an Android phone. Like many folks, I took a look at Samsung but the prices of their Galaxy phones are crazy. I will not pay over eight hundred dollars for a phone. After looking around, I decided to try the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom 5.5 ”.


This phone has a mid-range CPU and a better than average camera. The phone comes with USB cable, wall charger, headphones, and case. It also, comes with a promise to be upgradeable—at some point in the future—to Android 7.

While I have constantly heard that Microsoft’s ecosystem suffered from an “app gap”, two of my favorite apps are not available on the Android platform. The Milton Bradley game Battleship has no app in the Android store. (It was in the Windows Phone Store but was pulled a few years ago; probably when Electronic Arts acquired the company.) I played Battleship almost daily since I bought the game. Whatever Aaron Park might say not withstanding, it was my “go to” app when camping in the boy’s room. The other app that was a constant friend was Quake Watch. While there is an app by the same name in the Google Play store, it is not the same in terms of information or versatility.

In the next few paragraphs, I plan to compare my experiences with both Operating Systems.

Windows Phone a.k.a. Windows Mobile 10
Live Tiles
Live Tiles are the cornerstone of what makes the Microsoft mobile OS different from Android or IOS. Each icon can—if the developer allows it—scale to at least three different sizes on the phone screen. In addition, each tile can give you current information that is pushed to the phone. For example, the weather app can give you current temperature without opening the app. The money app can give you the Dow-Jones close for your favorite stock, and a news app can tell you the latest headlines without even opening the app. The newest iterations of the live tile could even take you directly to the story on the tile that you clicked on when you selected the app.

Glance Screen
Let you see time and selected alerts without logging into phone. This was a semi-sleep mode for the phone without going to log on screen. Screen was black with white text. The idea was provide the user information without using too much battery life.

Other features that I did not use were VPN and Continuum.

Live Tiles, Glance Screen, and other features cause battery life to be about 1 to 1 ½ days.

Apps were not continually updated. I have already mentioned Battleship. This was removed from the Store a few years ago but I could still download it because I had purchased it. MyFitnessPal was another app that was dropped from the store. I could continue using it but if I ever logged off of the app then I would not be allowed to get back in. Then there were the apps for the fitness bands/smartwatches that are no longer supported. They are virtually worthless but still listed in the Store.

Some phone features were deprecated or removed by Microsoft.
• For example, all phones have an FM radio built into them but Microsoft dropped support for the FM radio feature from their operating system leaving this functionality to be supported by third parties.
• For many years, Microsoft has built NFC into the phone but never developed the software to support the feature. Only about five banks in the United States supported the wireless payment feature.
• Also, Microsoft used to allow me to go onto a website using my PC, purchase apps for my phone and they would magically appear on my phone a short time later. Google still allows this but MS stopped this a few years ago.
• Lastly, my phone quit supporting visual voicemail and attachments to text messages. (This last could be a carrier issue and not a phone one but I didn’t ever get to the bottom of it.)

Android 6

As I get into this, I am fully aware that the newest version of Android is 7. My ASUS phone was at a reasonable price point for a cash purchase at $330. It also will be able to upgrade to Android 7 in the future. And yes, I know that might not be a certainty in the Android world but I would trust a promise from ASUS before I would a cell provider.

Battery life
Plays nice with Garmin Smartwatch

Missing and deprecated apps. Battleship, Groove, Quake Watch
No app notification integration.
No NFC radio—specific complaint to my phone
Desktop is cluttered and clunky.
SD Card—can’t move apps to this card.
Despite assurances on the Internet that Android 6 supports it, my device is not capable of 5 GHz Wi-Fi and the OS doesn’t offer the option.

Android apps do not natively integrate into the operating system the way that Microsoft’s OS does. When I load an email app on a Windows device, the app will notify me and any devices that I sync with—including my PC—that I have a text or email.  With a few clicks, I could fully integrate Google mail, calendar, and address book but the reverse is not the case. On Android, the app installs and that’s it. Even after enabling permissions the app does very little. You need to drill down into the app to allow notifications and any app that you want to provide a notification then must also be linked to the other app.

For example, I installed Outlook on my Android phone. I had to drill down into the app until I found the notification settings, then I had to enable the feature. This then allows the phone to be notified that I received an email. Once that was done, I had to go into the Garmin app and enable Outlook notifications as a third party app in order to get notifications to my smartwatch. The process is convoluted and poorly documented—if at all.

Microsoft Groove does not work on Android the way it does on a Windows phone. The app has no ability to find music stored on an SD card. It can do this on my old phone. I can stream music via Groove or Amazon but prefer to have it stored on the SD card so as not to waste my data. When streaming, most of my stuff is on Amazon not One Drive. The bottom line is that Groove is no longer on the Droid phone.

The SD card was not what I expected either. Even though it is physically located inside the phone, the Android OS will only treat it as a removable drive and not as internal storage. Thus no apps can be moved from the internal memory of the phone to the SD card. My old Android phone had this feature four years ago. My son has an Android phone that we bought new for $5 two years ago that can do this so why can’t my $300 phone? Stupid design!

Android seems to use fewer resources on the phone hardware and thus appears more nimble but many of the apps on the Windows phone could scale to both mobile and desktop environments. My opinion is that apps are more limited in their abilities and generally I will take a full-blown program over an app any day—be it on a phone or PC. Moving to Android is like going from Windows 10 to Windows 98. Windows 98 had better screensavers (After Dark, Johnny Castaway, etc.) but Windows 10 is more productive and secure.

Posted by william on 05/31 at 09:41 AM

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Barbarism, Moloch, and Murder of Innocents

WARNING : Normal humans will find the following topic revolting and deeply disturbing. Once you read this you will have difficulty getting it out of your head, continue reading at your own risk.

Last week, I was reading my email as I usually do. One daily mailing list that I get is from Joe Miller.
Link: Joe Miller
Miller is a conservative guy from Alaska that has run for US Senate and may be eying a run at governor of Alaska in 2018. I like it because it has stuff that you may not see from Drudge and it is often openly Christian in its presentation of news.

One article that caught my attention was one about a couple in Australia that turned their children into jewelry. Yeah, that’s not a typo; they turned their unborn children into jewelry to wear around their necks.

Link: Turning Extra Embryos into Jewelry

Original story:
Link: Couples are turning extra IVF embryos into jewellery

We’re not talking about some tribe of cannibals on some remote Pacific island somewhere wearing the shrunken skulls of their enemies as trophies, or that guy from Apocalypse Now wearing the ears of his enemies around his neck, no, these folks are the proud parents of children that they deliberately killed and are parading around Australia with their tiny bodies dangling from their mom’s neck thinking this is an act of love.

My embryos were my babies - frozen in time.
When we completed our family, it wasn’t in my heart to destroy them.
Now they are forever with me in a beautiful keepsake.

My first thought was the Scripture, “the compassion of the wicked is cruelty.”

Their babies are dead at their hand, which part of destroy them do you not get? Can you say, “Cognitive disconnect?”

”…forever with you”? Yeah, like Norman Bates’ mother. Psycho is probably the right term.

Many years ago, Melody Green wrote a tract call “Children…things that we throw away” but now in the 21st Century, we can embed them in amber or plastic or something and make them into keepsakes. This is how we define compassion now?

Singing the praises of the business that embalms children as a fashion statement, the original article includes this gem

“I don’t believe there is any other business in the world that creates jewellery from human embryos, and I firmly believe that we are pioneering the way in this sacred art, and opening the possibilities to families around the world.”

Sacred art? Three thousand years after the abomination of the children of Israel offering their children to the god Moloch by burning them alive, have things changed that much?

Jesus’ words should be echoing in your head, “Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” Matthew 25: 45 But don’t stop reading there because the next verse talks about these wicked folks a little more “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment

I used to think Angelina Jolie wearing a vial of blood from Billy Bob Thornton was twisted but these folks take jewelry to the next level of absurdity.

Wanna bet these parents can read Dr. Seuss to their other children and have no problem telling them “A person is a person no matter how small.”

The article that Miller links analyses the issue from a Roman Catholic point of view. Whatever the shortcomings of Roman, their position on bioethics is worthy of consideration since they are the leading voice in the Christian world on the life issue. They argue for limits (self-government) because just because we can do something doesn’t make it right.

Most people do not understand why the Catholic Church refuses to approve the practice of in-vitro fertilization, or any form of artificial insemination, or any method of conception at all apart from sexual intercourse. The Church teaches that all such means of conception are morally wrong. The reasons are profound, thoughtful and humble. If you’d like to hear it from the horse’s mouth, read this, especially CCC 2375 – 2378.

But allow me to say it succinctly this way: What you manufacture, you own. It belongs to you, and you call the shots with authority. What you manufacture, you can control.

THAT is precisely why it is morally wrong to manufacture children. Many people will object to the word “manufacture” here, but it’s the only accurate term. Babies are ordered up and created in a lab, purchased and paid for by adults who have commissioned their creation. That’s manufacturing.

Babies are not ours to control. Human life is not ours to manipulate in that way. We have no right to create life, keep it in some suspended animation, and then decide to destroy it whenever it suits us. We are not God.

We do not own our children. We have no claim on their lives. It is not for us to decide whether they live or die and when. The Lord God is the giver and creator of life. We can only receive our children as gifts. No one can demand a gift, or claim any right to receive a gift.

Lest you think this is an isolated occurrence of evil, try this article:
Nothing says ‘I love you, Mom!’ like abortion: Planned Parenthood leader touts killing of unborn on Mother’s Day

Posted by william on 05/16 at 12:45 PM
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