Thursday, May 31, 2012

Education and Employment 1

From the Examiner:


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One can barely search the job boards online without running into dozens of ads from numerous institutions attempting to solicit the job seeker to come to them for education purposes. Without a doubt, having the right knowledge is crucial to getting most jobs: how many times does a nursing position require the applicant to be a CPA? But the question arises, what is the balance between enough knowledge, and too much or useless knowledge?

Tricky question, and the answer is more complex than one might think.

Having the correct knowledge and skills is a prerequisite for most positions in the workplace. In many instances, the only way to acquire the knowledge is through some sort of training. This article is the first of a three-part series, because there are three main ways that education / knowledge can improve a job applicant's success in the job market: education for the screening, education for the job, and education for the interview.

The first is education for the screening. What does this mean?
A simple story of an acquaintance who worked in IT should clear up the meaning here:

A certain IT professional, Bob*, had graduated a state university with a degree in English. Bob's first love was IT. However, he had noticed that most IT people had extreme difficulty communicating: both with coworkers, as well as clients. Bob pursued his IT knowledge on his own time, and became quite the expert. However, he utilized the university setting to improve his communications ability.

The result was an IT guru, who could speak clearly and plainly to any level of coworker or client. Bob saw several promotions his first few years in the work force after college. He met with success at every level. However, one thing started holding Bob back from his true earning potential.

You see, Bob was a database administrator (aka "DBA"), and a darn good one. However, his current employer was very limited when it came to advancement opportunities, and they paid poorly compared to other companies with similar positions. Bob applied to many other DBA positions, but was unsuccessful even landing a phone interview. Poor Bob did not have his MCSE designation (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert), and that was a listed requirement with almost all DBA positions.

So Bob studied, and took exams, and earned his MCSE designation. As soon as he had earned the designation, Bob placed that tidbit on his resume. Overnight things changed. Bob was getting called in to interview for jobs. Most of the positions he applied to contacted him, where before, even the same company had not given him the time of day. HR recruiters glossed over the fact that he had his MCSE, and  then looked at his work history and its relevance. One recruiter (with whom Bob had applied previously) even stated: "where have you been hiding?"

That was the problem. Bob hadn't been hiding. In fact, getting his MCSE designation did not actually teach him much of anything he did not already know. Bob had been doing the core duties these companies needed all along.

The difference was with the perception of the people who were recruiting. Before, they had not seen an "MCSE" and had discarded Bob's resume. Now, they saw those four letters, and that enabled them to look further.

Some argue that the recruiters should have looked deeper at the outset, and not just dismissed Bob simply because he did not have a simple certification - and there is a good bit of truth to this. Recruiters do not always peruse resumes as thoroughly they should. However:

It is your job as a candidate to put the right "bait" in front of the fish you wish to catch.




* not his real name.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Just can't get it right

The TSA fails more than any organization I've ever seen.

Under mounting pressure, the TSA has decided to ease screening procedures for folks over age 75. Then they announce it to the world. 

Isn't that like an invite for the terrorists to next use a senior  for their next assault???


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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The ATF gets one wrong

While we are at it, show me the part of the US Constitution that allows for the existence of the ATF?
Can't, you say. Fine, lets do away with the ATF while we are doing away with the TSA.

One blogger nearly gets in big trouble because an ATF agent doesn't know the rules he is hired to enforce.


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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Has it started?

Has the zombie apocalypse started?

A man in FL was attacked and his face half-eaten by another man.

Link to story.


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Friday, May 25, 2012

This is messed up

A former high school football star, Brian Banks, spent six years in jail for a rape he did not commit. Recently, his accuser contacted him to admit it never happened.

I think in a case like this, the false accuser ought to face the same amount of jail time that the falsely accused faced. In this case, a potential 41 years in jail.

How do you ever make things right for this man, who spent six years of his life in jail???


What was the motivation for this woman to falsely accuse Banks?
From the article:
'I will go through with helping you but it's like at the same time all that money they gave us, I mean gave me, I don't want to have to pay it back.'

So she wanted a free payday, and to get it, she lied about rape and got an innocent man convicted and sent to jail for a crime he never committed.


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It's not about Happiness

Recently, I was speaking with a good friend about a decision my family came to. He said to me: "you've got to do what will make you happy."

Although my friend's words were technically correct (in the sense of that is something I am obligated to do for my family), what I didn't realize at the time was that this was not at all the reason my family and I were making the decision we are making. We must make a decision that is in our best interest, yes - but this decision had nothing to do with happiness.

The decision is one about leadership. My friend and I actually disagree about this one, but the core principles are still there, so his advice to me is sound, and well regarded. The "leader" in question happens to share some traits with President Obama, which I am about to detail - for the sake of showing how we as voters must vote Obama out, and how it's not about happiness.

It's not about happiness: it's about ethics, morals, and survival. 

Disclaimer:
The man I am referencing (MIR) and Obama both are young when compared to most men who hold or have held their position. However, age is no measure of wisdom. I know folks under the age of 20 to whom I'd gladly trust my life and that of my family.

That said, age is directly connected to experience, as it takes time to obtain experience. Mr. Obama clearly didn't have enough experience for his job, and certainly had no leadership experience, either.

No, the disclaimer here is that Mr. Obama lacked leadership experience - primarily because he lacked leadership ability. The only way he could mask it was to run for the highest office possible without having held other leadership positions, so there would be little evidence of his shortcomings for the position. 

Ethics:
Mr. Obama's ethics are different than mine. I value honesty, integrity, and standing for what's right. Obama is dishonest, lacks integrity (look at his stance on gay marriage), and stands for nothing - often appealing that America is somehow to blame.Whishy-washy is not standing for something.

Morals:
I believe in right and wrong. I believe in truth and that there are also lies. I believe a man should say what he means and mean what he says. Mr. Obama might lay claim to these things, but his actions reveal the opposite.

Survival:
When a leader is in place who lacks ethics, morals, and leadership ability; that which is being led will fail. It becomes, therefore, incumbent upon subordinates to remove that leader from power. Fortunately, we have an election coming up - so Obama can be removed peaceably and legally.

Summary:
Obama lacks leadership ability, ethics, morals, and should be removed for those reasons.
Just so you know - Romney only lacks ethics and morals. Hence the reason I will not vote for him.

For the record, the man I referenced earlier (MIR), whom my friend and I discussed, demonstrated failure at each of the points listed above. However, as there was no election to remove him from his leadership position, I simply decided to move myself out from under his leadership. It has proven very liberating. And though happiness is not the reason for the change of scenery, it is a nice side-effect.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I'm too sexy for this job...

A woman was fired from her temp job for being "too hot" she claims.

Link to article.

What say you?


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Good Answer

A reader forwarded this statement to me. Seemed to apply in my brothers ongoing divorce:

"A morally stronger person always marries a morally weaker person, every time.

And a morally stronger person, how do we know them? Because they look for solutions when trouble comes. That's how they use their energy. How does a morally weaker person? They run, they blame, and they defend. That's what they use their energy for.

That's how we know who the morally weaker person is."


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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good Shoot - Nashville

An intruder breaks into a house in Nashville, and gets shot.

Funny on this news clip - they ask if the homeowner is facing charges. The answer will be "NO." We have Castle Doctrine in Tennessee.


Thanks to my sis for the link.


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Very True


Monday, May 21, 2012

Games 5.21.12

Last week's games were rained out, and will be made up next week. 

Again, we lost both games, dropping to 7-5 on the season. Scores were 13-12 and 18-9.

I was 1-3, and only played the first game. No RBI, no runs scored. Worst night at the plate all season.


Stats:
(21+1)/(33+3) = 22/36 = 0.611
Runs scored: 9
RBI: 11

Team is 7-5


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Gun review - M1 (Garand)

A couple of years ago, I bought an M1 (Garand) from the CMP. From this link, I ordered a Service Grade, and it was and still is a nice rifle.



Cost was (at the time) $595 for the rifle, and I also ordered $96 worth of ammo. Add in shipping, club membership, and the total was $714. I understand the rifles are about $100 more these days. Still worth it - especially if you have seen M1 prices at gun shows or gun shops (usually over $1000).



One of my favorite features of the rifle are the peep sights. Adjustable in increments of 1 MOA (approximately 1" at 100 yards) for elevation and windage, you can dial in pretty accurately. There are hash marks on the elevation which are designed to put you on target at given ranges (100-yard increments to over 1000 yards). While the vaunted .30-06 round is certainly capable at 1000 yards, the real aimed combat effectiveness of this rifle is about 500 yards with an expert shooter using iron sights.



The rifle features an internal magazine which is fed via the famous en-bloc clip. This provides the shooter with 8 rounds of the venerable .30-06 cartridge. After firing the final round, the shooter is entertained with the famous "ping" sound. Hint: If you really like the "ping" - you should load a single round with the clip. Then you get a "ping" every time.



As expected, this is a rifleman's rifle. Capable of 2 MOA accuracy with good ammo, and well under 4 MOA with standard surplus ammo. Speaking of accuracy and precision, of course, my rifle wears the classic USGI sling, as do I when I shoot it. Also, it really just goes hand-in-hand with a USMC shooting jacket. So I use just such a jacket from the nice people at Made by Mcron. Really good folks, and the jacket is really top-notch!







Some say the M1 is heavy. I say it is well-balanced. They ring in at just under 12 pounds loaded, which can be a lot if you don't know how to hold one. So get some basic instruction, learn your positions, and then shoot your M1 to your heart's content.


I've never let anybody shoot this rifle who didn't immediately sport a wide grin just after firing. It has recoil, but really no more than your typical AK47 or SKS or .30-30. It's about as accurate as the bolt-action rifles of its day. It is immensely reliable. It is not easy to clean or disassemble.

So where does it rank? I'm glad I have one, but it is not my first choice in a "SHTF" scenario. I keep one around though, as it is useful and fun and really a piece of history.


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Be a man!

Found this via an old friend on Facebook: 10 things a man can do to fight hard for his son. In this day in age of wimpified men and an all-out assault on men in general by the media, it's good to know that some Christian organizations are standing up for the beauty of God's creation known as masculinity.

Pops was guilty of all ten things.
I can gladly say I fervently do 1-9 and try to do #10 as much as possible.

How about you?


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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Church today

Wonderful and fascinating to watch my 7-y-o son take notes in church worship service.

Summer o' Fun

So I did a review on The Avengers. Seems there will be a lot of movies this summer and later this year that I'd like to see. In no particular order:

- Prometheus (OK, so I want to see this one the most)
- Battleship (already out)
- MIB 3
- Spider Man
- Dark Knight
- GI Joe
- Expendables 2 (still need to see the first one)
- Atlas Shrugged 2
- Taken 2 (can't possibly be as good as the first, but I still wanna see it!)
- Red Dawn
- The Hobbit

And then next year, there will be:
- Thor 2
- Iron Man 3
- Man of Steel
- Wolverine
- Star Trek 2
- Robocop
- Ninja Turtles


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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cool Movie

So this weekend, I took the kids to see The Avengers in 3D. This was the second time we have seen the movie. The first time we saw it, the movie was shown in regular two-dimension aspect (not 3D).

I understand that The Avengers tied the record for quickest to $1 Billion. I can see why: it is a really fun movie. The Avengers themselves who appear in the movie include Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Hulk (aka Incredible Hulk), Black Widow, and Hawkeye.

Hero vs. Hero
When I was a boy, we would talk about which super hero would beat which other super hero. My son talks about the same now. This movie gives you a bit of that, but no definitive answer (except that maybe the Hulk cannot be stopped by any of them).

You also find out what happens when Thor uses his hammer, Mjolnir, against Captain America's shield. Basically, neither instrument is damaged, but it levels the entire scene around them.

Iron Man vs. Thor is a draw. Thor blasts Iron Man with a lightning charge, and it boosts Iron Man's suit power to over 400%. Both get some good shots in.

Later on, the Hulk squares off against Thor (or, more correctly, Thor tries to draw Hulk's attention away from Black Widow). Without Mjolnir, Thor gets his butt handed to him a bit. With the hammer, Thor scores some heavy blows. And Hulk is unable to pick up the hammer when it is down.

Heroes vs. Villains
Most of the villains are from another dimension (in keeping with the fictional world of Asgard from Thor). While most people have to run from these attackers, the heroes can make short work of them. These villains are vulnerable to small arms fire (Black Widow) and bow and arrow (from Hawkeye).

Loki is the main antagonist. Having been thrown out of Asgard and removed from the crown there, he hopes to rule Earth instead. This is why they all fight.

Loki seems early on to be a bit better in a fight than Captain America. However, Iron Man forces Loki to surrender. Later on, Iron Man blasts Loki a bit and also seems to get the better of him then, too.

At one point (funniest part of the movie), Loki is about to get assaulted by Hulk, he yells for Hulk to stop. Loki rants that he is a god, and will not be bullied by the likes of the Hulk. Hulk proceeds to pick Loki up by the feet and slam him around like a rag doll, leaving him battered and beaten. Hulk says as he walks off: "Puny god." This part drew heavy laughter both times I saw the movie.

Humor
The one-liners by Tony Stark were expertly written and cleverly delivered.
"Billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, inventor." - Stark's response to Captain America's question about what Stark is without the suit.
"Your move, reindeer games." - Stark says to Loki after aiming a bunch of weaponry at him. Loki was wearing antler, hence the reindeer snark.
There were others. Basically every few minutes he had some witty comeback or sarcasm for a chuckle.

Nick Fury had a couple of funny parts, as did several of the other characters.

Summary
Overall a fun movie. Better than most of the crap Hollywood puts out.


What did you think?

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Where it starts

Someone asked me the other day via email where my distaste for Calvinism began. So here it is, and you will see that the origin of my distaste also explains why I dislike Calvinism.

I have been aware since childhood of the concept of predestination, the founding idiocy of 5-point Calvinism. My mother took great care in making sure that we knew doctrine - true and false - that we might have discernment. Additionally, my junior year Bible class did a segment on predestination: it was open discussion, with the teacher (who is now the Principal of the school) offering points and counterpoints to each side of the debate without revealing his personal beliefs.

But all of this was less than important to me for a great while. In fact, it was 1998 before I really gave predestination a thought again. Here's how it came about:

I attended UTC, and was active in the BSU. At the time, I actually taught a jiu-jitsu class at the BSU. Met many good friends there - many of whom I keep in contact with to this day. There was one young man, a freshman (I was a senior - this was fall of 1997) who took the jiu-jitsu class, and otherwise was quite friendly. One day, he didn't show up for any activities. Sometimes, that happened, though, and nobody thought anything of it.

This man, whom we shall call Tim*, did not show up again at the BSU for days, and then weeks. We asked one another about Tim. Nobody saw him in classes, or on campus, or at the BSU. Eventually, we figured he just went back home (he was from out of state). That assumption was wrong.

Tim showed up one day in the spring (now 1998). He had a smile that was as wide as could be. He explained that he had been diagnosed with severe kidney problems, and been forced to start dialysis. His illness had prevented him from returning to school back in the fall. However, he had a good treatment regimen and was enjoying the spring semester.

We were glad to see him, and he spent time talking with several people. This was a day when I only had a couple of classes, and waited around for my then-girlfriend (now wife) to finish her assignments so we could go home for the day since we carpooled.

Tim talked to different ones of us at different times. At one point, he started talking to me. He asked me what it felt like to "be chosen."

I asked for clarification. Tim asked me in return if I was "chosen."

"For what?" I asked.

Tim went on to explain how he believes that God chooses certain people for salvation. Since I was a Christian, and at a Christian organization, he figured I was one of these "chosen" people. I explained that I believe God gave man free will as was indicated multiple times in the Bible.

Tim talked on and on in return about predestination, and in the end, we agreed to disagree. He made the statement:
"It just makes me proud to say that God chose me, when He did not choose everybody."

The look on Tim's face was the same as the look on the rich kid's face in high school whose dad bought him the $30,000 sports car - pure arrogance and overflowing with pride. Pride that he as much as admitted to.

The difference between Tim and the rest of the Calvinists I've ever met: Tim was verbally honest about the pride. The rest act the same way, but verbally renounce the pride... hoping to take the conversation elsewhere.


* Not his real name.

What a bunch of boobs!

And not the nice kind. Gander Mountain has turned its back on the NRA. You'd think they would know what groups their clients belong to... but that seems irrelevant to them.

Thanks to Shall Not Be Questioned for the heads-up. I agree with SNBQ, we should boycott Gander Mountain. Won't be hard - their prices are ridiculously high.

HR people are that stupid

A reader submitted this one to me. At first I thought "no way - nobody could be that stupid." But then, we are dealing with HR people. HR people are the only people on the planet with a "professional" job that can give auditors a run for their money on stupidity.

My reader was interviewing with a company for a work-from-home job. It was IT help desk work. The company has a client in VA that needs support. Hence the following dialogue:



HR Buffoon: "And what time zone are you in?"

Reader: "Central Time zone. Nashville, TN area."

HR Buffoon: "At this time, I must inform you that we will not be pursuing your candidacy further. We need someone in the Eastern time zone."

Reader: "It is an hour difference. You mean to tell me I cannot work for you because of time zone??? Tell me how that's different than simply asking me if I could work 9-6 instead of 8-5???"

HR Buffoon: "Thank you for your interest in our company."


In other words, this company trusts a person enough to let them work from home... but they do not trust this person to understand an hour offset. Wow!


Folks, the saddest part is that this HR person is likely breeding!


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Presidential Politics

After much deliberation and research, I've decided to vote this fall for Presidential candidate Gary Johnson (Libertarian party). Certainly a vote I will not have to "hold my nose" in order to cast.

I urge my readers to follow suit.

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Album Review

Another one that is 14 years late. But I just got this one a few weeks ago, so I'll still review it.

Garage, Inc. - Metallica


This album has two discs: the first one has some songs recorded in 1998. The second is songs recorded throughout the 1980's and 1990's. Each song is a cover of a song originally performed by another band.  The album cost $14.99 from Best Buy.

Disc 1:
This disc has the more commonly known songs.

Generally, a group covers a song because they like it. Perhaps it inspires them. I think this was true for Metallica. However, they blew this one out of the water. Every song was better than the original. Usually, a cover is done to pay homage, or to give a band's personalized interpretation. That is true here, but the songs were simply performed at a higher level.

I know that many who read this will disagree about the covers being better than the originals, but it is the simple truth. And what's more - I do not think Metallica set out to upstage anybody.

This is a disc you can leave in the player in your car for weeks and not get tired of it.

Favorite song:
Tough call. I have to go with Astronomy here.
I could see logical arguments made for Sabbra Cadabra, Turn the Page, Tuesday's Gone, It's Electric, Whiskey in the Jar, and Loverman.

Worst song:
Doesn't exist on this disc. However, my least favorite was Free Speech for the Dumb.

WTF moment:
Mercyful Fate - a medley song titled for the band that originally wrote the songs in the medley. Riffs were awesome, lyrics were amateurish. This, of course, is not Metallica's fault as they did not write the songs. The lyrics just sounded like a Danish person's attempt to write a song in English... which is what it was. 




Disc 2:
This disc is a compilation of B-track cover songs released with the band's earlier albums. For the people who like Metallica's pre-"Black"-album material, there is a lot here to enjoy.

Favorite song:
Easy call here. Bunch of good songs, but one stands out: Breadfan.
Honorable mention to Stone Cold Crazy and Too Late Too Late.


Worst song:
Again, simply a least favorite: Helpless. 
Just never been a fan of it that much. Not a bad song, though.


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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Multi-faceted

This stands as is. Something else I noticed-

First, replace the word "work" with "think." Next, replace the word "liberalism" with:

1. "Calvinism" - MATCH!

2. "Pro-Choice" - MATCH!

3. "Gun control" - MATCH!  (except I was a gun enthusiast at 12, but you get the point)


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Adult Bullies

From this link:

This situation doesn’t end in junior high or high school. The social bully, being even more emboldened, proceeds through life pushing people around caring nothing for others. And why should they care? The good citizens, those with families and careers, have been taught by example that they are ones with everything to lose. Hell, so-called safety experts offer advice to just “give them what they want” and “don’t fight back”.
...
The social bully is dangerous because he or she looks just like your neighbor across the street. They don’t wear ski-masks and hide near the ATM. The social bully is in the restaurant, the movie theater, and the grocery store. Because the social bully doesn’t fit the pre-existing villain stereotype, he/she often is able to attack before the good citizen realizes what is happening.

Beware. That internet coward you come across might just "snap." That person that thinks you cut them off might follow you.

Folks, self defense is a mindset. It is not paranoia - it is being aware of one's surroundings: particularly the behavior of others. 

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Church Hoppers

Recently came across this song... which I was first introduced to during my early teen years. Total hilarity. And it's funny because it's true.

Church Hoppers

DBoy

Just in case you are wondering, I have been a member of exactly two churches in the past 20 years. The reason for the change then was an out of town move.

Know any church hoppers? I sure do. As the song says, they are really flaky people.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Butt-Burglar In Cheif?

Recently, Newsweek declared Obama the first gay president.

Interestingly enough, the Kansas Citian found some evidence of same.

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Say What???

Pops-ism, even though the funny thing said didn't come from Pops - but from someone speaking to him. Pops has always been the type of guy people go to for answers: like the farmer on the Farm Bureau commercials.

This was just one such time. A mother was talking with Pops when her kids came up. She addressed them:

Female: "Kids, let's go. We need to get your jackets."

Kids: "Why?"

Female: "Because a cold wind is moving in from the North. Oooh - which way is North, Pops?"


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Shocking, I know

From Matthew 23:
“How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs. They look beautiful on the outside. But inside they are full of dead bones and all kinds of filth."

Most people (me included) find the people that use their hypocrisy to put others down, to be quite odd. This oddball bunch imagine themselves religiously superior, or intellectually superior, or maybe even superior by the mythical notion of unconditional election. Many people who do this use "religion" as their tool.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ spoke about just such a type.

I find the people who are like this fascinating. They are a group very small in number and they take such weird turns in life. They do everything so they can gain attention for themselves. They might even be quite adept at quoting scripture... usually twisting it to fit their own agenda. They accuse others of things they themselves are guilty of. As always, they lose the conflict - they lost it before they ever started it. 


And in the end, the just come across as pathetic with their self-absorbed pleas for attention.

They don't even get to go out with a bang... just a pitiful whimper.




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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Don't I know you?


I know some folks for whom this is true... if you take the adulterous innuendo and change it to a masturbatory innuendo.


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For a recent trip to West Tennessee

Random cattle (or horse, maybe?) feed bags - top was orange, bottom was white. Don't know the brand. Just piled up on the side of the road.


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Awww crap!

Well, I have been doing daily walks/runs since September 2011. Recently, the inevitable happened:

A bird defecated on me.

I do not walk under perched birds for just this reason: as bird feces transmit disease. But this time, a bird in flight drew a radar lock and commenced to fire missiles from launch tube A and launch tube B.

I was hit twice: on the back and on the chest.

Yes, I completed the walk/run. Was not yet 1k into a 5k.


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Monday, May 14, 2012

How it all ties together

I believe that God made us all and everything we see and everything we do not see.

I believe God created man in His image - with Mind, Will, and Emotions.

I believe God imparted to us all free will - to accept or refuse Him.

I believe it all ties together with free will - the choices we make.

I believe that free will also means we are not free of the consequences of our actions.

Indeed, we must have consequences for all actions to motivate us to action.

I believe there is a right and a wrong.

I believe the essence of determining what is right or wrong lies in the two greatest commandments:
“Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
 I believe to violate either of these commandments is sin.

I believe sin will be punished - possibly on Earth, and definitely in eternity.

I believe the protection of life is at the heart of the second commandment.

I believe that abortion is murder.

I believe a person has the right to defend his life and that of his loved ones.

I believe God gave us all inalienable human rights, among them: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I believe to deny a person any of these rights is to violate God's second commandment.

I believe some things just don't make sense, and need to be blogged about!


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Liberal innocence

Liberal innocence is a fallacy. Liberals, especially those in public office, know exactly what they are doing at every turn.

Take, for example, this article wherein Obama's "preacher," Jeremiah Wright, was interviewed recently. Obama evidently offered Wright $150K to basically shut up back in 2008. I'd bet the media was in on it, too.


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Pitfalls of attachment parenting

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that I do not subscribe to the myth of attachment parenting. In fact, I denounce it as one of many manifestations with what's wrong with our country today.

Marxism
At the heart of the matter is the principle of self-sufficiency. It used to be that the goal of being a parent was to raise a human being capable of self-sufficiency. Attachment parenting takes that all away and, according to this author with whom I agree, replaces it with a goal of creating another co-dependent automaton for the socialist agenda. Understanding the basic idea, of course, that socialism is one of the economic platforms needed to promote Marxism, communism being the alternative.

So I read that author's piece several times, and I challenged myself to prove or disprove Attachment Parenting (AP) as a Marxist agenda.  Boy, was it a light-bulb moment!

Remember the mantra of Marxism is "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
That mantra will be repeated herein.

Also remember the classic downfall of Marxism - a failure to promote the part about "according to his ability." The assumption is that there will be plenty of motivated and capable people who will go along with it.

Please note
All throughout, you will see a lack of linking to any attachment parenting website. Though this is not typically how I do it, if you do a Google search, you will find a site or two pretty quickly with their official positions, and you can see I am not simply making their claims up. 

Audience
This is most important. The target audience of the AP types are people who seek unhealthy amounts of attention, or who seek attention in unhealthy manners.

Packaging
Oh, they package it nice enough, to be sure. In their "8 Principles of Parenting" they throw in a few feel-good, known practices that are helpful for rearing infants. Problem is, they mix in subterfuge, deceit, and outright lies with it in an effort to push forward with what I think is their agenda. They also push infant raising techniques into the realm of toddler and child raising techniques.

Again, the idea is dependence by the child, and helping the mom gain the odd attention she seeks.

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
To prepare is actually really good advice. But it is also where the AP starts interweaving socialist and Marxist viewpoints in with the legitimate advice. For example, encouragement to "discuss concerns before they become crises," is a clear attempt at socialism - which strives to have the individual require the assistance of the collective.

If the socialists and Marxists can get people to think their everyday problems are bigger than they really are, then the next steps can include seeking help, possible medication, and even hospitalization. Extreme needs, but an attention-seeking person will surely take what they can get.

Feed with Love and Respect
Sounds innocent enough. And in fact, the majority of the tips and topics here are perfectly fine for a nursing infant. But here is where the real subterfuge comes in to play. This is where they introduce and start to promote the weirdo concept of breastfeeding children far beyond the age of 2.

Mind you, there is no particular age past which a child must be weaned, but having a teenager whipping his mom's boob our for a swig is generally considered socially unacceptable. Of course, the AP types will ridicule my statement here, saying "the child will wean when he is ready."

And that's the real problem: children do not know what they need, nor in many instances what they really want. Children rely on adults to teach them how to be self sufficient. AP teaches the child to remain dependent on mommy for milk far beyond societal norms.

Also, the AP types will quote how breast-feeding is done until later ages (age 3 and beyond) in many other countries. They conveniently ignore the part that these are all 3rd world countries where obtaining food is difficult, and people are forced to do unusual things to simply survive. We live in the wealthiest planet on Earth, we do not need to imitate primitive society.

But the Marxists want to do away with capitalism, so they need to make us think that way is the right way.

The AP types will also quote how healthy is is for a child to continue breastfeeding to advanced ages, especially with regards to immunity-building. Fact is, immunity advantages from breastfeeding are gained between age 12 months and age 2 years. The AP types simply ignore that fact, and quote general anecdotes about how it must be good to keep going. No proof required.

In the end, this is one point that serves two functions:

It allows the attention-seeker to gain attention.
It allows for the furthering of the Marxist mentality - creating NEED where there is none.

Respond with Sensitivity
Here is where AP just jumps off the deep end. As usual, it starts innocently enough, but before long, one read advice to not discipline a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. Of course, AP advises never to spank to use harsh words. They talk about a child's inability to handle strong emotion, and inability to understand complex thoughts. True enough, but then they turn these into sheer horse-hockey.

This gem and many like it can be easily found in AP circles: "A parent's role in tantrums is to comfort the child, not to get angry or punish her." While I agree that a parent is wasting energy getting angry with a tantrum-throwing toddler, the fact is that the toddler is trying to learn how to cope with the world. If you teach her that throwing a tantrum is how she needs to act to get her way, then you are doing that child an immense disservice. That's child-abuse in my book.

Then you get a gem like this: "Symptoms of burnout or inability to cope with baby's needs are signals that extra support and/or professional help are necessary." Again, trying to create unwarranted need.

Remember the flip side: children crave to know a) their boundaries and b) how to handle life appropriately. Teach them those things, and you are doing more than AP will ever allow you to do.

Use Nurturing Touch
Again, we start off with an honest principle (that's how all effective lies start). What you see underneath is more of the same BS geared toward letting the child lead the way (a guaranteed way to raise a co-dependent child), as well as more strategies for long-term breastfeeding and lack of proper discipline.

Ensure Safe Sleep
Here is where the AP folks jump off the high dive into an empty pool again. You are introduced to the term "co-sleeping." And get this: not only are arguments used to promote the concept, but...

they actually claim that SIDS is caused by failure to co-sleep!

Holy shneikies!

I guess 300 million grown Americans who didn't co-sleep isn't proof enough. And I guess they have never actually had a kid sleep in their bed... cause we all know this is what it really looks like.

Also introduced is the weirdo notion that the child will let you know when she is tired enough to actually go to sleep... as opposed to a routine bed time. HOGWASH!!!

Again, the attempt is to raise automatons who need instead of self-sustaining, thinking young men and women.

Provide Consistent and Loving Care
More Marxism magic. Some gems you might see that are geared toward creating a needy child:

- Instead of trying to fit baby into pre-baby schedule, rearrange everything else so that the child's lead can be followed.
Yeah, because a baby knows how to make decisions based on logic, and caring for the others in the family.

- Respect the child's lead on separation.
Because children are born knowing how to do this? Gimme a break!

- Accept that even older children have occasional difficulty with separation.
Yeah, and they need to learn how to deal with it like the other 6 billion people on the planet do.

Practice Positive Discipline
This includes a section called "the dangers of traditional discipline" - because we all know something that has worked for thousands of years has got to be faulty.

The general advice given is to avoid having boundaries or punishments, because those can be so effective "harmful." Instead, they want you to reason with 2-year-olds, and take the lead of a six-year-old. Children raised like this will certainly not be able to cope in society, and are guaranteed a life of need.

Strive for Balance in your Personal Life
After the manure of Marxism has been shoveled down your throat, they wrap up with the sound principles we all know to be true... albeit with their little twists on them all.

Why don't they just say: Well done, comrade. You have now created a perfect candidate for the welfare rolls. Three hardworking taxpayers will be forced to pay for the life of your crotchfruit, so you have successfully enslaved four persons though your noble efforts.

(Yes, I know that is a bit of a play on communism and there is a difference, albeit slight, between communism and Marxism. However, until someone can 1. explain the difference and 2. give me an equally sarcastic ending, I will stick with this one.

Post edit: Seems Alanis Morissette has opened up to be an attachment parent. Need any more proof that they are out there simply to get attention?


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Dissention in the ranks???

There is a column out (by a liberal author, no less) that suggests Biden be replaced as VP.

Not only do I agree with that, but I'll take it a step further... let's replace his boss, too.


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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Book review: Book of Mormon


I recently read the Book of Mormon.

Link to differences in the Bible and the Book of Mormon.


Some things The book says that do not match up with the Bible:
- Jesus telling people they must be baptized to be saved. Not in the Bible.
- Jesus telling the Nephites that they were the "other sheep" mentioned in John 16:10. Common doctrine has these "other sheep" as being Gentiles in general.
- Concept of God's elect being white, while those from iniquity are dark skinned.

Some things that just struck me as a bit off:
- Jesus appointing of disciples and His ministry was very brief, and not filled with the personal connections like in the New Testament.
- Use of  King James English was not quite right. As if written by a rank amateur.
- Certain phrases didn't jive: "stiff-necked" was used once in the Bible and was used over and over in the Book of Mormon. Other phrases, common to 16th - 19th century writing were used. Book of Mormon is supposed to cover 600 BC - 400 AD.
- References to Jesus Christ by name prior to His birth. Don't think that was the Plan.
- There is a book named "Mormon" within the Book of Mormon. 
- The author wasn't very creative with names. Many names were re-used ad nauseum.
- Use of a compass in 600 BC? The first recorded use was in the 11th Century, AD.

Summary
I'm not going to go into detail on the inconsistencies between modern Mormonism and your typical protestant church beliefs. Maybe I'll do that one day, but not here. These are just my thoughts on the Book of Mormon.

This book had a lot of war and strife in it. A lot. That said, glory was given to God at every opportunity. If only other Christians would do that earnestly. And yes, I believe Mormons who give their hearts to Jesus are Christian and will be forgiven as will any other person who earnestly repents.Yes, the Book of Mormon teaches repentance and baptism are needed for salvation, whereas baptism is simply an outward profession of faith... but a person who repents has repented nonetheless.

I also did not come across a single verse of the Book of Mormon that suggested polygamy. In fact, there were a couple condemning it. Goes to show that any written document not only can, but will be taken out of context.

It is my personal belief that somebody (probably Joseph Smith) wrote the Book of Mormon in the 19th century. I do not think it is God's inspired word. But I do not think it wholly wrong, either. If anything, it's just a bit boring and a rehash of parts of the Bible. People write things not much different today, and we call them studies or commentaries on the Bible. Heck, some folks dedicate entire blogs to that. What's the difference?

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Heh heh heh. Yep.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Come to this blog...


I am for Gay Marriage

Woah - wait a second, Usagi!!! You are a "Bible-thumper" Christian. You are uber-conservative (and thereby supposed to be "against" homosexuality?). What gives???

OK, now that I have your attention...



Why am I fine with Gay Marriage?
(And no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I have multiple friends who happen to be gay)

Simple:

Marriage as defined by the patchwork of what we call laws in this country is nothing more than a legal contract. "Marriage" today simply provides for one person to have rights to wealth and income of another, should the two decide they no longer wish to exist under the contract.

Simply put, if two consenting adults want to enter into any kind of contractually-based financial obligation, why stop them?


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It is my observation that people get most angry in life with the truth.

Boobs, Power, and Time

Boobs - we all know what those are.

Power - we all know who seeks it.

Time - as in, Time Magazine.

Yeah, Time Magazine has a boob on the front cover. Attached to said boob (which does look nice, as does its owner, BTW) is a child that looks about 4 or 5 years old - but the cover says is 3 years old.

Speaking of attached, here comes the part about power - as in the power that attachment parenting bozos seek. Yeah - the Time article is about attachment parenting. Seems one blogger openly mocks attachment parenting. Get in line, buddy, I did so before you, haha!

Seriously, though, the blogger draws some pretty good correlations between Marxism and attachment parenting, as well as socialism and attachment parenting.


Thanks to my sister "K" for the article.

Thanks to Say Uncle for the links.

Post-edit: Thanks to Right Minded for a link to this article, which is a deconstruction of the photo.


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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Twisted words

"I am your Father"

Said by Darth Vader?
Nope.

Quoted from Malachi 1:6

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"Obamacare reduces the Federal budget deficit."

Said by a Democratic Senator.

True? Nope. Read here. Obamacare will be twice as expensive as originally "anticipated."

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"Abortion is a woman's right."

Quoted frequently of the Pro - Choice Abortion crowd.

Yet what other person in society has the right to murder another human being?


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Anybody over the age of , say, 12, has watched another person, maybe even himself, twist words to mean something that that they just do not mean.

This could mean "projection" - accusing another of what the accuser is actually guilty of.
This could mean "reading something to mean..." something different than the clear meaning.
This could mean "hearing something to mean..." whatever it was the "listener" wanted to hear in the first place.
This could mean just about any intentional deception, hiding behind the guise of one of the above.

Hiding
Often, words are twisted to hide something. Maybe the person is at fault. Maybe someone told him he was at fault and he just doesn't want to hear it. Often, the thing that is hidden is the person's ego. Often, it can be the person himself, as he lacks the social skills to actually say something, or maybe lacks the courage to say it to a person's face. There are many possibilities.

Attention
Often, the person simply wants attention drawn to himself. He gets so jealous that attention might be cast elsewhere that the mere thought of it sends him into a rage and the fury must be meted out on someone... anyone. Maybe he goes about gaining attention in typical Beta-male methods. Again, there are many possibilities.

Agenda
Often the person twisting the truth has ulterior motives. Twisting the truth serves some agenda he has.

Denial
Often, a person will twist words and meanings when in denial of the truth. There are many reasons they would shy away from the truth - most often because truth hurts.

Summary
Of course, there are many other reasons why someone might twist words to mean what they want those words to mean. One might say there are as many reasons as there are excuses in the world. But I think these four reasons cut to the heart of most motivating factors.


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Understanding the motives for twisting words does help

Gun Review - Ruger 10/22

When I was a boy, my dad bought a brand new Ruger 10/22. My brother and I liked it. My brother liked the box magazines a bit better, so I got more time behind the Marlin 60. Maybe that fact has caused the persuasions I hold to this day, maybe not.

Here is the rifle as it is today:


Anyone "in the know" will immediately recognize the setup - a "LTR" (Liberty Training Rifle). It has tech sights, a muzzle flash hider (which is useless except for looks), and a USGI sling for carrying / looping up to shoot.

As pictured, I have shot a 249 on an Appleseed "AQT" with this rifle. 

Here's a close-up of the rear tech-sight, which gives the same sight picture as an M1, M14, or M16:


Here's a close-up of the front tech sight and flash hider:


To get the rifle to resemble an M14 a bit more, I added the flash hider. It came with "ears" which I had to grind down so the device would fit alongside the tech-sights.







Not pictured, but definitely bought to add on:
- Volquartsen bolt (the rifle was painfully unreliable with the factory bolt).
- Volquartsen hammer (this lightens the trigger pull from horrible to very nice)
- Auto bolt release (the factory bolt release is a pain).

The serial number indicates the rifle was made in 1987, which would make perfect sense given the timing (my dad got it new when I was 12 - 1987).


What's this cost? 
Well, that's tricky, since I do not know the 1987 price tag... so I'll use the 2012 price tag for similar:

10/22 Rifle - $249.99 + tax + background check = $283.11
VQ Hammer / auto release: $40
VQ Bolt: $45
Muzzle flash hider: $20
Tech-Sights: $75
Sling: $5
Sling swivels and installation hardware: $20

Total: $488.11 (give or take)


Summary:
Reliability - With the bolt, hammer, and auto-release, the 10/22 is as reliable now as my Marlin 60, give or take.

Accuracy - The 10/22 is not as accurate. Period. Accuracy approaches the Marlin 60 when you use match grade standard velocity ammo (extremely accurate ammo) in the 10/22 and Remington Blunderbolts Thunderbolts (extremely inconsistent and inaccurate ammo) in the Marlin 60. However, using the same standard grade match ammo, the 60 is a sub-MOA gun, and the 10/22 is about a 2 MOA gun.

Other criteria - the 10/22 is heavier and larger than the 60, which makes it more comfortable for me to shoot, since I am a large, strong man. It balances well, and now (thanks to the aftermarket bolt) it will eat most kinds of ammo. Extra mags are about $20 apiece. Cleaning the gun is easy. Disassembly is easier than a Marlin 60.


Recommendation -
Would I buy one now: NO.
Do I enjoy this one: YES.


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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's all in how you say it

Liberals dislike being called on to the carpet for what they really believe. For example: they absolutely hate being called "Pro-abortion," instead of their misleading catch-phrase:  "Pro-Choice."

Here are some observations I've made about what they really are, vs. what they like to be called:

"Pro choice" instead of "I support murdering infants".

"Redistribution of Wealth" instead of "steal from the productive citizens and give to the career leaches".

"Hope and Change" instead of "destruction of personal freedoms."

 "Gun control" instead of simply "control."



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This is why we can't vote (R)

Don't get me wrong, I've voted (R) the vast majority of times. And 100% of the time I've not voted (R), I've voted independent. Never have I cast a vote for somebody with a (D) beside his/her name.

However, voting (R) just isn't enough! Take this article, for instance. Seems the state (R)s voted for big business time and time again. I have nothing against big business, and they need their fair share, too. But how about a vote for We the People from time to time... if for no other reason, to make it look like you are doing your job fairly?!?!?!

Couple of noted exceptions: Senator Stacy Campfield; Senator Mae Beavers.
Not many other exception. :(


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I bet you're naked under those clothes...

The trouble with hypocrites is that they can't avoid being hypocritical - even when they "don't want to be." So then, even their "serious" statements become something for the all-time annals of hilarity.

Take for example: one particular modern day pharisee I know of. He made mention of Proverbs 26:4 -
"Don’t answer fools according to their folly, or you will become like them yourself."

Funny thing was, he was writing this as something of his dealings with a person. Oh, yeah, did I mention: this was his 13th over 20th consecutive blog post answering or otherwise commenting on that person. Even more sad: his target was not answering him at all - instead was making general points. A bit obsessed are we???

Oh, and as far as quoting Bible is concerned, let's look at Matthew 5:22
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell.




I will say: it can be quite entertaining watching some people left to their own devices. 




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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Can't see the forest for the trees

I am the first to admit, I'm pretty hard on some folks. Liberals, socialists, Calvinists, and others, specifically. One thing I've observed about all of these cult-like followings is this: they never see the folly of their leadership.

Marxists, for example, see Karl Marx as a visionary. The other 99.9% of us see him as something notably less than that.

Socialists, like Obama, might see someone like Saul Alinsky as a man of note. The other 99.9% of us see him as a joke.

Calvinists might see someone like John MacArthur as a wonderful Christian. The other 99.9% of us see him as a man "trying to get his name in the papers," as it were.


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Facebook find:

From my buddy, "John," on Facebook:
"Have you ever had people say that you are wrong and have no idea what you are talking about when in fact they are so misinformed that they are the ones wrong and you are the one that is correct. What sucks even more is that you can not convince them even with documentation and facts."


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Monday, May 7, 2012

Games 5/7/2012

We lost both games tonight to one of the teams that is consistently one of the best. 12-10 and 13-12 were the scores.

I personally had a tougher night at the plate: 2-5, 1 run scored, 2 RBI.


Stats:
Batting Average: (19+2)/(28+5) = 21/33 = 0.636
Runs scored: 9
RBI: 11

Team: 7-3


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Conservatives for Obama

No, really, this blogger details why he endorses Obama for a 2nd term over "Mittens" Romney. He makes some strong logical points.

Actually, this is why I have no issue voting 3rd party in this election, because at the end, the only real difference in laws that Obama would pass vs. laws Romney would pass is whether the "Republicans" in Congress and the Senate would also vote for the measure at hand.

Thanks to Say Uncle for the lead on this one.
You should read Say Uncle's blog - very informative.


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Understanding Motivations 2

In the first post, we talked about motivations for bullies. This time, we are going to talk about motivations for people who do not suffer from psychological or personality disorders. These are general rules, and they can fluctuate a bit, based on circumstance or unforeseen motivations.

Reward & Penalty
Broadly speaking, one would reward behavior they want to see more of, or punish behavior they want to see less of.

The main exception to this is "reverse psychology" - specifically, if a person's motivations are rooted in doing exactly the opposite of what they think you want. Then it is a simple game of telling them not to do what you really want them to do.

Basic human motivations
People will be motivated to action based on simple needs:

Physiology: hunger, thirst, sleep, etc.
Secondary physiology: Safety, Security, Shelter, Health
Emotional: Belonging, Love, Friendship
Intellectual: Self actualization

Basic desires
According to Dr. Steven Reiss, people have 16 basic desires:

Acceptance, the need for approval
Curiosity, the need to learn
Eating, the need for food
Family, the need to raise children
Honor, the need to be loyal to the traditional values of one's clan/ethnic group
Idealism, the need for social justice
Independence, the need for individuality
Order, the need for organized, stable, predictable environments
Physical activity, the need for exercise
Power, the need for influence of will
Romance, the need for sex
Saving, the need to collect
Social contact, the need for friends (peer relationships)
Social status, the need for social standing/importance
Tranquility, the need to be safe
Vengeance, the need to strike back/to win


Summary

A person who understands these three basic tenets will have the leg up on 95% of the population when it comes to understanding people. 


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Predestination is Wrong, Part 1

First, we will disprove the concept of predestination using the scriptures that are most often quoted in vain attempts to prove predestination.

To clarify, God most certainly predestinates events and certainly did predestine to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for the World, so that the World, through Him, might be saved. However, God most certainly does not predestinate whom shall be saved. The notion that God determines whom shall be saved is called "unconditional election," and is a false doctrine. Those who would teach it are, by definition, false prophets. To teach false doctrine is, by definition, heresy.

In this series, I shall disprove the notion of the predestination of whom shall be saved.

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Predestination is false:
First, let me start by quoting a non-predestination verse. Understand that I do not believe there is a single verse in the Bible that indicates specific men (or women) are predestined for Heaven.But, here is a verse that sums it all up... and it happens to be from the mouth of Jesus Christ Himself (John 3:16 - emphasis mine):
"God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life."
The late Adrian Rogers has a great sermon on this very verse and topic. 

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Claims of predestination folks:
But let's look at it specifically. Particularly, we will observe the specific verses and passages used by those who falsely believe in predestination. I searched many outlets, but the Calvinist Corner seemed to sum up the argument best, and have the most scripture references.

If you have other verses, mention them in the comments, and I'll add to this post my rebuttal.

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Verse 1: Romans 8:28-30
We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. We know this because God knew them in advance, and he decided in advance that they would be conformed to the image of his Son. That way his Son would be the first of many brothers and sisters. Those who God decided in advance would be conformed to his Son, he also called. Those whom he called, he also made righteous. Those whom he made righteous, he also glorified.

To be fair to the reader, I've already done a detailed explanation on this one. I could do this on every verse, but for the sake of brevity, I'll be summing up. 

"...he (God) decided in advance..."
Predestination fools have to stop here. They cannot read the rest of the verse. Why? Because the verse tells what has been decided in advance: "... they would be conformed to the image of his son..."

Simply put, what was predestined by God, according to Romans 8, is that Christians would have not only a plan of salvation, but that Christians would also be made righteous, and ultimately glorified.

Never does the passage state whom would be saved.

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Verse 2-a: Ephesians 1:5 
God destined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ because of his love. This was according to his goodwill and plan
Again, the predestination fools must stop mid-verse to accomplish their lies. "... God destined us..." But what did God have as our destination? "...to be His adopted children..."

Again, once someone has placed Faith in God, and asked His forgiveness of their sins, they are then destined to be His adopted children! As Adrian Rogers said, the "whosoever" are the "elect." God did not say whom, He again said what was predestined.

Verse 2-b: Ephesians 1:11 (same link as above)
We have also received an inheritance in Christ. We were destined by the plan of God, who accomplishes everything according to his design.
Same story. Same old song and dance. Let's answer the question "what did God predestinate?" and the answer for verse 11 is that we, the believers, were predestined an inheritance in Christ. This is predestination again of a plan of salvation... not whom would be saved.

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Verse 3: Ephesians 2:10
Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.
Again, ask the question "what was predestinated by God?" and the answer is clear: the good things in our lives. In this case, the fruits of the salvation He gave us through Jesus Christ. Again, no mention or indication of whom would be saved.

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Verse 4: Acts 13:48
When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and honored the Lord’s word. Everyone who was appointed for eternal life believed.
The predestination cult would have you believe this is a "cause-and-effect" statement. Problem is, this is no such statement. This is a statement of equality. The clear meaning here is that the believers were appointed for eternal life, because of their faith.


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Verse 5:  John 1:12-13
But those who did welcome him, those who believed in his name, he authorized to become God’s children, born not from blood nor from human desire or passion, but born from God.
Here, John the Baptist is speaking prophesy. Predestination cultists stop with the phrase "...born not... from human desire or passion..." They state that this part means that we are incapable of desiring God. In fact, God placed an innate desire for Him in all of us. It is a yearning. It is the false gratification of this yearning that fills these cultists and others to seek things other than God!

So again, we have to stop with a part instead of reading the whole. Sounds like the same thing atheists must do in their vain attempts to disprove God. The clear intent of John the Baptist's words is that man cannot earn his way to God, but rather that God had to appoint a means of Salvation whereby man could be saved through simple faith.

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Verse 6: II Thessalonians 2:13-14
But we always must thank God for you, brothers and sisters who are loved by God. This is because he chose you from the beginning to be the first crop of the harvest. This brought salvation, through your dedication to God by the Spirit and through your belief in the truth. God called all of you through our good news so you could possess the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Again we have an interjection of the question "who?" when the statement answers the question "what?" instead. God clearly chose that first crop - Christians there at the beginning. Not whom would accept Him... but that His plan included those He foreknew would accept Him through faith to have the first trials and tribulations and successes that are inherent with a fledgling church.

Again, we have a clear predestination of what... not whom.

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And that, my friends, is a recurring theme. Predestination cultists will twist a verse to answer the question "whom" was predestined, instead of  "what" was predestined by God.

Also - I may have been born in Tennessee, but I am fully capable of reading entire sentences. Seems Calvinists are not thusly able - either through ignorance or choice; I wonder which it is?

The main, root problem:
The root of the problem with Calvinistic thinking - specifically with the notion that God predetermines who goes to Heaven (and by default, whom goes to Hell) - is pride. These people feel a need to be better than other people in some way and have found no other way to be better. It is a warped way of thinking and it is founded in pride.




1/8

This is funny

Don't get me wrong, I'm not voting for Ron Paul unless he miraculously wins the Republican nomination, but this picture is still finny.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Run away!

One of the most hilarious moments in cinematography is in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. A group of knights is attacked by a killer rabbit. After realizing they cannot win, they shout "run away!" Clip of the hilarity here.

Well, "run away" is exactly what Silie does. Often.

Silie's parents moved to North Carolina some time during Silie's childhood. She was living there when my brother was introduced to her online (yes, I know - and so does he, now!). Silie has a bad habit of running away to North Carolina when things do not go her way.

A few years back, when my nephew was just a year old, she went for a visit to North Carolina on April 2. Her plan was to be back home within a week or two.Her parents were to take her out there, and bring her back.

Two weeks stretched to three... then four... then five.

Then, her Tennessee Driver's License expired on her 35th birthday on May 10.

Yes - that's right - she stayed over five weeks!

Oh, but it gets better. Much better. She started saying that my brother needed to come pick her up. He was unable as he had a huge project going on at work. One which Silie knew about before the trip!

And then Silie started demanding that my brother buy a house, or she wouldn't come home. They had been in the process of looking for houses and had placed offers on several, but the realtor had not passed the offers along to the owners unbeknownst to my brother and Silie. So Silie blamed my brother for not having a house yet.

The weeks stretched into months. My family would ask her on Facebook when she was coming back home. She couldn't fly as her ID (the drivers license) had expired. Her parents would not bring her (by Silie's own request so as to "punish"' my brother). My brother could not go get her for all the work demands.

Finally, in mid-October, Silie finally had her parents bring her back. She claimed she was embarrassed to ask them to bring her home - despite the fact that the plan was for them to bring her home from the start!

So she had run away from her husband for over SIX MONTHS!

That was only the second time Silie ran away!


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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Gluttony, anyone?

So I was recently made curious about the nutrition facts on simple cookies. Particularly, how bad is it to eat an entire package of cookies in a single setting? For this fact-finding mission, I used published information on Oreo cookies... because that's what was eaten.


Let's do some math:
Calories: 160 per serving.
Per the publication, there are 15 servings in a package; so a total of 2400 calories.
That's 120% of recommended Daily Value (DV), based on a 2000-calorie diet.

Total fat: 7g; 11% of DV.
For 15 servings; that's 105g or 165% of DV.

Saturated fat: 2g; 10% of DV
For 15 servings, that's 30g, or 150% of DV

Sugars: 14g; (there is no DV% published, as a diabetic, I try to stay under 40g per day, so this would be 35%).
For 15 servings, that's 210g; over 5 days' worth of sugar for me.


Summary:
Folks, don't eat large quantities of junk like this. I did in younger days, and I have no doubt it was a major contributing factor to my current diabetic condition. There are major consequences to be paid for a lack of self control.


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She's not the only one with a poor diet

OK, so by now you are getting the point that my Sister-In-Law (SIL), or "Silie," has some issues with diet. Well, she seems hell-bent on passing those on to her son (my nephew).

In court, my brother's attorney asked what my nephew eats. Silie's response?

"Muffins."

Then a momentary pause (15 seconds or so). Then she realizes that this is in court and might not look so good if all she feeds her kid is muffins.

"...And fruit! And strawberries, blueberries, bananas, eggs, pizza... ummm... all the stuff a normal, somewhat picky little four-year-old might eat."

Just the look of horror when she realized she had just testified that all she fed him was muffins.

Sad part: my brother had informed me that all she fed him was muffins, crackers, and potato chips.    :(


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Friday, May 4, 2012

Good Law passed

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law a bill that requires LEOs to arrest persons involved in serious accidents who do not have a valid drivers license and/or proof of insurance.

This is a good law to have in effect. Tennessee has required financial responsibility for a long time, but the enforcement of this requirement has been lax to say the least.


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Funny Guns

A reader sent me a link to this site: "Six Ridiculous Guns from the Past." Funny stuff.


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Bite the hand...

Seems Bob Pope (who puts on gun shows here in the Middle TN area) does not like the so-called "parking lot bill" that failed to make it through legislative session this time. He also dislikes the TFA (and yes, I am a member of the TFA).

Thanks to Say Uncle for the heads-up on this one.
 PS - if you haven't checked out Say Uncle's blog, I highly recommend it. It is on my daily reading list. 


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Star Wars Day


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Drug Tests for Welfare

This session, the Tennessee legislature had its ups and downs. One really positive bit of legislation is a recent bill passed that mandates welfare recipients to pass drug tests in order to receive benefits. State Senator Stacey Campfield talks about this bill, and other wins we had in the legislative session this year.


Here's a link to Campfield's blog (and yes, I link it on the sidebar, too). Really informative.


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Wow - some really good points


Now if you've read this blog (particularly the tag "Religion") then you know that not only do I not believe in Calvinism, but I also hold to the idea that Calvinism is heresy and one that would teach it is, by definition, a false prophet. Seems I am not the only one.


Written disproving of Calvinism:

This author agrees. He lays out how each of the 5-points of Calvinism are false. He does a good job of quoting scripture that refutes the ill-conceived notions in Calvinism.

This author also agrees, but goes a bit further. I think that a person can be saved and still believe (falsely) that the doctrines of Calvinism are true. Understand that the belief in Calvinistic ideas have little to do with salvation, and nothing to do with the actual mechanics of salvation. The author points that out nicely.

This author takes a slightly different approach. Instead of point-by-point rebuttal of the falsehoods taught by Calvinism, the author instead points out the heresies in Calvinism. My favorite part, and the part that rings most true, is the heading "The Logical Irrelevance of Christ's Death."



Not only that, but some pastors of note also agree:

Dr. J Vernon McGee speaks against predestination here. 

Chuck Smith weighs in on same.

Jerry Falwell agrees.

Billy Graham is a notable minister who does nt believe in predestination.

Adrian Rogers feels the same. Here's a whole sermon by the late Dr. Rogers on predestination. Here's another time he refutes predestination.



And if you needed further proof:

Those idiots at "Westboro Baptist Church" are Calvinists.

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To be fair, here is a list of notable preachers and ministers who believe in predestination:

...

Oh, wait, I couldn't find ANY.
(None outside the very small cults of Calvinism and predestinationism)

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What say you?


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An experiment

So we all know by now how much Silie likes to pig out on the junk food. As an experiment, Mrs. Usagi decides to purchase store-brands of several cookies and potato chips. We did this because we had seen a trend.

Every Sunday, when Silie and my brother would come over to do their laundry (again, their rental place had no machines), all the cookies and chips we had would disappear. My family of four would need a week or more to eat that much, but somehow, they were all disappearing in a single afternoon.

My brother would have some - but he is 6'4" and weighs about 165. He obviously wasn't the one with the binge junk food eating. Usually, he would take a small handful of the goodies and be done with it.

So Mrs. Usagi got a couple of packages each.

Yep - they ALL were eaten.

While my brother napped on the couch.

People, I must strongly urge you not to eat like that. Nothing wrong with a cookie now or then, but eating entire boxes of them in a single sitting is just as asinine as the time I saw an idiot eat 6 doughnuts in a single setting. It's just not good for ya.


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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Arminianism - is it truth?

One can barely study Calvinism without finding references to Arminianism. These two doctrines are a bit of yin and yang, if you'll pardon the expression. Jacob Arminius founded Arminianism in contrast to the teachings of John Calvin. The two had a rift... perhaps it had to do with the fact that Calvin was a murderer, I don't know for sure... nevertheless, the two developed a strong difference of opinion, and Arminianism was born.

These days, hard-nosed Calvinists will claim that any "Christian" who does not agree with the 5-points ("TULIP"), is by default an Arminian. This is simply not true for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Calvinistic philosophy is so far off base, that the concepts are not an "either-or" proposition, but simply entirely false because they fabricate doctrine where none existed before.

Arminius developed a counter argument to TULIP, which he called the "Five Articles of Remonstrance." This counter also had 5 points to it. This was, in my opinion, where he went wrong. Some of the very premises of Calvin were the problem... and to answer them is to give credence to them (something I intentionally did not discuss in my article on Predestination). It is interesting to note that "The Five Articles of Remonstrance" was deemed heresy at the Synod of Dort.

Here is an excellent chart that outlines Arminianism vs. Calvinism with respect to the 5 points.

However, please note that most of the things one can find online about Arminianism are put there by Calvinists, and are suspect, at best, with respect to accuracy.

That said, what doctrine does Arminianism hold (and is it true?):
(for the sake of clarity, I will use the Five Articles of Remonstrance as my basis, and not charts or other easily misattributed material as put forth by Calvinists with an axe to grind)

1.
That God, by an eternal and unchangeable purpose in Jesus Christ his Son, before the foundation of the world, hath determined, out of the fallen, sinful race of men, to save in Christ, for Christ’s sake, and through Christ, those who, through the grace of the Holy Ghost, shall believe on this his son Jesus, and shall persevere in this faith and obedience of faith, through this grace, even to the end; and, on the other hand, to leave the incorrigible and unbelieving in sin and under wrath, and to condemn them as alienate from Christ, according to the word of the Gospel in John 3:36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” and according to other passages of Scripture also.
 This tenet is absolutely true. Every word of it. 

2. 
That agreeably thereunto, Jesus Christ the Savior of the world, died for all men and for every man, so that he has obtained for them all, by his death on the cross, redemption and the forgiveness of sins; yet that no one actually enjoys this forgiveness of sins except the believer, according to the word of the Gospel of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And in the First Epistle of 1 John 2:2: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
This tenet is also true with a caveat: although Christ died for the world, not everyone will be saved. The tenet does not suggest universalism, but some might try to imply that it does, hence the reason I give this caveat. In fact, if the reader reads the entire passage, it actually rejects universalism.

3. 
That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5, "Without me ye can do nothing."
Man is capable of good, being made in the image of God and all. However, the sin nature makes it awfully hard to live a perfect life. And even so, the acceptance of God must be had to go to Heaven.  That said, man cannot save himself - and this tenet gets that part right, making this part accurate.

4. 

That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of all good, even to this extent, that the regenerate man himself, without prevenient or assisting, awakening, following and cooperative grace, can nei­ther think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements, that can be conceived, must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. but respects the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible; inas­much as it is written con­cerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Ghost. Acts 7, and else­where in many places.
This tenet is correct - specifically with reference to mankind's ability to resist God's Grace. God gave mankind free will, and that includes the ability to make poor choices of all kinds.

5.
That those who are in­corporated into Christ by true faith, and have thereby become partakers of his life-giving Spirit, have thereby full power to strive against Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to win the victory; it being well un­derstood that it is ever through the assisting grace of the Holy Ghost; and that Jesus Christ assists them through his Spirit in all temptations, extends to them his hand, and if only they are ready for the conflict, and desire his help, and are not inactive, keeps them from falling, so that they, by no craft or power of Satan, can be misled nor plucked out of Christ’s hands, according to the Word of Christ, John 10:28: “Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” But whether they are capable, through negligence, of forsaking again the first beginning of their life in Christ, of again returning to this present evil world, of turning away from the holy doctrine which was deliv­ered them, of losing a good conscience, of be­coming devoid of grace, that must be more particularly determined out of the Holy Scripture, be­fore we ourselves can teach it with the full persuasion of our mind.
This one is where we have possible issues - but only because of Calvinists' willful misinterpretation of words that are very clear. Calvinists say that this is the concept of being able to lose one's salvation, which is clearly not scriptural. It is possible that one might reject Christ after first having accepted Him, and Scripture is not perfectly clear on what happens in that case, so there is merit to this idea.

Nevertheless, the summary here talks of being able to teach the Gospel with the full persuasion of our mind, and how that is impossible if we have turned away from holy doctrine. Once Saved Always Saved is accurate, and is clear NOT what this passage is about. This passage is written to correct Calvin's heretical teachings of Perseverance of the Saints - which is never mentioned or alluded to in the Bible.

Summary Caveat:
Many Arminian teachers mistakenly teach that one can become unsaved. This is not consistent with Arminianism as applied by Jacobus Arminius nor the Five Articles of Remonstrance. Still, it is far better than Calvinism.


Therefore: In absence of scripture to the contrary, I conclude that original Arminianism is the true definition of Christianity
God's perfect plan of salvation cannot be undone, but may be rejected.
Anything else would be intellectually dishonest at best.



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