Monday, September 30, 2013

All That Matters

I attended a martial arts seminar a while back. It was fun and informative. I've decided to put into words some of my experiences and resulting thoughts and feelings on things learned there.

One concept I am a fan of, that was reinforced at this seminar, was the importance of learning new techniques, regardless of the usefulness of said techniques.

WHAT???

You heard me - it is good to learn new techniques, even if those techniques don't really work.

But WHY?

Because you are learning how to move your body in new ways. And that, in the end, is all that really matters. You can discard the technique from your fighting repertoire.  But a warrior should take every opportunity to master himself.


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Friday, September 27, 2013

40 Things

Found this a while back: 40 things every self-respecting man should own.

My take:

1. My suit is grey, not black.
3. No. Just. No.
4. Not in this government controlled market.
8. With the smart phone, this is a rarity. I still have one.
12. I have regular luggage, thank you.
15. I need to get one of these.
18. Why???
19. I need one of these, too.
27. That was so 7 years ago... (but I still have one)
29. Not needed, but I understand why it is on there.
31. Not with the advent of the Keurig.
(32 & 33 shouldn't have to be said... of course I have those!)
34. Oh, baby, yeah!
36. Nope.
40. Yep.

So, out of that group,  I do not own 8 of the items. Two of those I need to purchase.


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Poetry In Motion

I attended a martial arts seminar a while back. It was fun and informative. I've decided to put into words some of my experiences and resulting thoughts and feelings on things learned there.

Economy of motion is essential. We did a few movements in the seminar that might have otherwise been effective, but relied too much on excessive motion. Couple this with the lack of training against a resisting partner, and that's how you get movements and techniques that wind up with marginal effectiveness.

A similar concept to economy of motion is how much effort is required. If you must put 100% effort into a technique to make it work with a non-resisting partner, that technique is not likely to work against a resisting opponent.

Another similar concept is that of natural movement in motion. I've heard expert martial artists be referred to as "poetry in motion." This is what happens when a person gets adept at a really fundamental movement and makes it look very easy. This is the level of expertise to which we should all aspire. 


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Post 2000

This is post # 2000 that has been published on this blog.


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Then and Now

As the funding of Obamacare is debated in the Senate, a story is brought to my attention:

30,000 years ago, two caveman tribes were hunting the same territory. Each tribe had around 15 members (give or take). At the end of the day, Tribe Oonga was able to hunt down and kill a deer. Meanwhile, Tribe Bunga was not as successful, only able to catch a rabbit this fine day. The two tribes rarely had interaction, but if they were in America today, here's how things would go:

We will assume a deer of 120 pounds. 
Of this, on average, 40 pounds of meat can be taken. 
This will be our baseline. 

US Democrat Party (Socialist platform) -
This arm of the government would want to take half the deer from Oonga and give it to Bunga. In the process, they would take 60% of the meat for themselves (24 pounds for the government), leaving only 16 pounds of meat. That sounds like a lot, but split among 30 individuals, it is barely enough food for a day - barely more than 8 ounces of meat per person.

The government throws the other 24 pounds of meat into the nearby lake.


US Republican Party (quasi-Communist platform) - 
This arm of the government would be made to feel guilty by the other arm (Democrat). In the end, they would compromise, and take 55% of the meat for the government (22 pounds), and "allow" the Oonga Tribe to keep 2/3 of the remaining meat - 12 pounds. Divided among 15 people of the Oonga tribe, each person gets less than 13 ounces of meat.

The Bunga tribe splits 6 pounds of meat to split among 15 people. Barely more than 5 ounces of meat per person is not enough for a meal.

The Oonga Tribe hates the Bungas because they took some of the Oonga's meat.
The Bunga Tribe hates the Oongas because the Oongas had more meat than they (the Bungas) did. 

The government throws 20 pounds of meat into the lake, and then scatters the remaining 2 pounds among other pets it has in different districts. The pets are vegetarian.


The Libertarian Party -
The Oonga Tribe keeps the deer. 40 pounds of meat is roasted and shared among 15 people. That's nearly 3 pounds of meat per person, feeding the entire tribe for a couple of days. After they have eaten the deer meat, and used the other parts for tools, clothes, etc., the OOngas go back out hunting. This time, emboldened by their success, they hunt larger game again!

The Bunga tribe splits less than a pound of rabbit meat among 15 people. Each person gets a bite, and the last three people are SOL, as the meat ran out on Mog, who was 12th in line. Mog gets cracked upside the head, and the tribe goes to bed hungry.  The next day, motivated by their hunger, they bring down a wooly mammoth and have over 1000 pounds of meat - enough for many days. They share with the Oongas of their own accord, as without the motivation, they never would have thought to take down something that large.


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But Not Dramatic Interpretation

I attended a martial arts seminar a while back. It was fun and informative. I've decided to put into words some of my experiences and resulting thoughts and feelings on things learned there.

One topic that came through loud and clear, though not being taught directly, was the importance of correct training.

Resistance
One presenter had us practice moves against partially resisting, then fully resisting partners. Many people's techniques did not measure up under full resistance.

This has happened in the martial arts for a long time: people experiment with cooperative partners in the dojo, and the move works fine. But they never test it live, so they never refine the move, and they don't really know if the move is even plausible.

Creative or Strict Interpretation
In my son's Taekwondo class, many moves and strategies are taught that are good fundamental basics. However, to be applied to a resisting partner or opponent, the practitioner must get creative for setups and opportunities.

In my jiu-jitsu class, we teach specific setups and applications of certain movements. Strict application of these methods result in a higher probability of success. If a student attempts to "get creative" in application, they wind up failing over 99% of the time.

Summary
So a practitioner must ascertain whether he/she practices a technique with increasing resistance, and whether they need to use creative or strict interpretations for setups.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Backup Plans

I attended a martial arts seminar a while back. It was fun and informative. I've decided to put into words some of my experiences and resulting thoughts and feelings on things learned there.

The importance of a lesson plan cannot be underestimated. In my dojo, I am anal about having lesson plans and sticking to them. This makes life simple in so many ways, it is too difficult to count them all. Nowadays, if asked to teach on the spur of the moment, I simply think back a bit to a lesson plan, and teach it. That situation has happened several times, with much success.

At the seminar, a presenter was asked last minute to fill in for one of the regularly scheduled presenters. It quickly became clear that the sub did not have a lesson plan, as he missed making many points. He rambled frequently, and when he would have us break to practice, most individuals had no clue exactly what to practice. 

Meanwhile, I've had to fill in under similar circumstances on many occasions. Never once did people wander around, looking for help after we would break from teaching to practice. We would also practice 3 minutes for every minute I spoke.


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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Accentuate the Positive

I attended a martial arts seminar a while back. It was fun and informative. I've decided to put into words some of my experiences and resulting thoughts and feelings on things learned there.

One presenter at the seminar, who was a fellow firearms enthusiast, made a great point. If, as instructors, we coach our students by saying: "don't do XYZ!" over and over, we are putting the thought into their head. As a matter of how the human subconscious works, if the mind is thinking of something, the positive and negative commands  are easily confused. By saying "don't do XYZ," you actually imprint the thought of "XYZ" into their mind.

When the time comes, the student will do XYZ, because they are thinking about it.

Example:
A friend is climbing a ladder and expresses a fear of heights. You say "don't look down" a lot, and what is the first thing they will do? Yup... look down.

Instead, coach to the positive: "do ABC!" This way, you are reinforcing the correct behavior. Also, help the student to do the movement correctly if possible.


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Monday, September 23, 2013

Not As They Appear

I attended a martial arts seminar a while back. It was fun and informative. I've decided to put into words some of my experiences and resulting thoughts and feelings on things learned there.

First up, I'd like to speak of what I observed of one presenter. The man was a Judo player who taught a standing headlock escape and a few groundwork situations resulting from natural variances thereof. Some of his methods were identical to what I teach. Some were different, but similarly effective. One option he taught worked for a person with good strength, but there were easier options.

How effective his techniques were is not the topic, though. What is more important was how he presented himself. He stated he had over the years taught special forces and been "in the sandbox" himself. The veracity of his claims are immaterial with regards to his legitimacy as an instructor, but he clearly felt the need to impress upon us students these qualifications.

Later, he was talking about a juji gatame escape. His escape was technically correct, and very similar to how we do it in my dojo. However, something he said gave me pause. In order, he said:
- Juji gatame is very effective in sport and combat. (I find this true.)
- He had only ever had someone try juji gatame on him once, and he used this escape, as the opponent was not well versed.

It was the second point that struck me as odd. In the grappling arts, we use and defend juji gatame frequently. One of the first things we learn is how not to let our elbows get careless and stray away from our sides. How would a partially trained combatant catch a Judo Black Belt in a juji gatame that was so carelessly applied that the BB was able to escape so easily?

The setup, the transition, and the finish are the three main parts of any submission hold. To not know one is to not know any of them well. What that instructor said simply does not jive with my experience or the experience of thousands, if not millions, of grapplers worldwide.

And when that statement comes into question, it casts a shadow on all else he said. The veracity of the techniques can be proven on the mat. But the claims are now all under suspicion. 


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Sunday, September 22, 2013

You Want What???

I almost never make same-day posts any more. Usually, I have somewhere between 4 and 8 weeks of material pre-planned and set to come out, and add stuff here and there for the following week if it is of importance.

This one was too good!
Immediate-post material.

I am in my living room, watching football this afternoon (less than an hour prior to this post). I get a call:



Caller: Yes, I'm looking to purchase a taekwondo uniform. The internet said you sell those?

Me: Sure. A taekwondo uniform, you said?

Caller: Yes. Do you keep those in stock?

Me: I'm sorry, I do not keep any uniforms in stock, much less taekwondo uniforms since I don't teach taekwondo. That said, I'd be glad to order one for you. Is this for you or someone else?

Caller: It's for my son.

Me: OK. Does he take taekwondo already?

Caller: Yes. He takes taekwondo in Watertown, TN. He has outgrown his old uniform.

Me: Does his instructor not sell uniforms?

Caller: The instructor sells them, but my bank card is expired.

Me: I see. Could you not simply pay him cash and then he could order you a new uniform?

Caller: Well, that's the other problem. My account is overdrawn right now.

Me: And how were you going to pay me?

Caller: Well, I was hoping you would order the uniform, and then when it arrives, I might be able to pay you.

Me: Sorry, that won't work. Like other businesses, I require payment for goods and services. 

Caller: Do you know any shops in Lebanon, TN or nearby that have them for sale?

Me: None that would have them in stock. And none that would give them away for free.



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Friday, September 20, 2013

Expected Results

A few days ago, Starbucks' CEO stated that guns are no longer permitted in Starbucks stores.

That same day, a man tried to rob one at gunpoint. Fortunately for that Las Vegas, NV location, there happened to be an off-duty police officer there to foil the attempt.

Nevertheless, there is a connection, and I am afraid we will hear more stories like this.


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Can't Add

At the hearing:

Attorney: "And you say that your husband would make fun of you?"

Dependopotamus: "Yes. He would make fun of me for not being able to do math."

Atty: "In what way?"

Dependopotamus: "I never learned how to carry the one, or whatever it's called."


That's right. She was completely incapable of simple arithmetic... even with pencil and paper.


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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Square 1

Back in August, I had an opportunity, so I took it. My daughter had just started kindergarten, and my wife had just started her job. So we agreed I should work close to home for a couple of weeks so as to assist the children as they got into the correct routine for getting up, getting dressed, and getting on the school bus each morning.

In the evenings, I had a bit of extra time. I've been watching the kids do Taekwondo at Spirit Martial Arts for 5+ years. I know the routines, and I figured I'd try it out.

Background: I started martial arts (Judo) in 1982. Started Wado-Ryu karate in 1985, and currently hold 5th Dan Black Belt in it. I also hold 1st Dan in Okinawan Kempo and 6th Dan in a Japanese style of Jiu-Jitsu. It is Jiu-Jitsu that I teach at my dojo.

So I purchased a do-bak from Mr. Smith, threw on the old white belt, and attended a few classes at his Dojang. Here are some observations:

Uniform
The most comfortable uniform I own is a good, soft, jiu-jitsu uniform. They are fitted where they need to be, and loose in areas that need room. Virtually any body movement is unrestricted in a jiu-jitsu uniform. The v-neck taekwondo do-bak (uniform) is a distinct second on that list, and I've owned many karate uniforms, as well as judo / jiu-jitsu uniforms. I've even owned a ninja uniform and have worn a kung-fu uniform.

The do-bak is really comfortable and restricts very few movements. I prefer a heavier weight material, but the lightweight do-bak meets my needs, and looks decent, too. Mr. Smith and I joked a bit about wearing his logo.

Warmups
A bit more stretching than we do in jiu-jitsu. Since taekwondo as a sport favors kicking, this is necessary so the legs do not suffer injury. There is also a bit of joint-loosening and a tad of aerobic exercise - just enough to get the heart rate up and the blood flowing. Not strenuous at all. Certainly not as intense as a jiu-jitsu warm up with respect to conditioning. Perfectly acceptable for the art, though.

Forms
This is actually harder than I thought it would be - much to my surprise. In my first class, I earned a red stripe - indicating knowledge of Basic Form 1. However, it was so similar to the Kihon Kata I started practicing in 1985, that it would be unfair to compare me to a new white belt.

What was hard for me:
A) Chamber hand at the belt in taekwondo (in Wado, the chamber hand is kept at the solar-plexus level).
B) Walking stance (not used at all in Wado forms)
C) Chambering punches as well as blocks is different.
D) Did I mention walking stance???

Self Defense
This might have been my favorite part. We had drills like this in Wado. At SMA, they follow a prescribed set of self defense techniques. Two are required at each belt level, and a black belt candidate must know them all. They resemble the Japanese jujutsu which is incorporated heavily into Wado, so I caught on after a single viewing. Again, it would be unfair to compare my technique with that of a fresh white belt.

My second class saw me earning a blue stripe, indicating my understanding of the self-defense techniques.
A) The first is a chest-punch defense. One steps out to the side while executing an outer middle block and simultaneously punching the opponent.
B) The second is a lapel grab defense. One grasps the wrist in a gyaku te dori manner, and rotates it, pressing on the elbow with the off hand. This has the effect of bending the attacker over forwards.

Kicking
My kicks belt level and lower are solid... if not better.
Taekwondo does not permit kicks below the waist. And mine need help. The old hips do not like these kicks, and if I ever find the time to pursue TKD full time, I'd have to address this issue.
There are also more kicks than karate has to offer, so I got to practice some that I'd never really done.

Agility Drills
Mr. Smith has a full assortment of agility drills. These can be quite difficult to master. I am not a master of them at all. My son and others make them look easy!

Fun
I really enjoy doing classes with my kids. They both outrank me and that's really cool for them.

Overall
I'd really recommend it. It is fun, a good workout, and will definitely give you goals to shoot for. Because of the structure, most anybody can earn a black belt - if they provide the discipline of showing up to class and try to get better.

I would like to have the time to pursue it, because I've never had a yellow belt of any sort, nor an orange, green, nor red. Olympic Taekwondo has all of those belt colors and more!


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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Commands Laws Suggestions

God gives us a number of commands, laws, and suggestions in the Bible.

How does one differentiate?
Which are to be obeyed?
How many are there of each?

So many important questions, and this post is designed to enlighten the reader as to the meaning of each.


COMMANDS

Commands of God differentiate sin from obedience. To be fair, there are three groups which could be considered commands:

1. Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40):
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had left the Sadducees speechless, they met together. One of them, a legal expert, tested him. “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.”
2. Decalogue - "Ten Commandments" (Exodus 20:1-17):
Then God spoke all these words:
I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
(1) You must have no other gods before me. 
(2) Do not make an idol for yourself—no form whatsoever—of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow down to them or worship them, because I, the Lord your God, am a passionate God. I punish children for their parents’ sins even to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me. But I am loyal and gracious to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
(3) Do not use the Lord your God’s name as if it were of no significance; the Lord won’t forgive anyone who uses his name that way.
(4) Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy. Six days you may work and do all your tasks, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. Do not do any work on it—not you, your sons or daughters, your male or female servants, your animals, or the immigrant who is living with you. Because the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them in six days, but rested on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 
(5) Honor your father and your mother so that your life will be long on the fertile land that the Lord your God is giving you. 
(6) Do not commit murder. 
(7) Do not commit adultery. 
(8) Do not steal.
(9) Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.
(10) Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet and try to take your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox, donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.
3. Noahide Laws (various verses):
(1) Respect others / prohibition of murder (Genesis 9:6 - Whoever sheds human blood, by a human his blood will be shed; for in the divine image God made human beings.).
(2) Respect the property of others / prohibition of theft (Leviticus 19:11 - You must not steal nor deceive nor lie to each other.).
(3) Respect the institution of marriage / prohibition of adultery (Genesis 2:24 - This is the reason that a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife, and they become one flesh.).
(4) Humaneness / prohibition of eating an animal that still lives (Genesis 9:4 - However, you must not eat meat with its life, its blood, in it.).
(5) Put God first / prohibition of idolatry (Exodus 20:3You must have no other gods before me.)
(6) Believe in God / prohibition of blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16 - And anyone who blasphemes the Lord’s name must be executed. The whole community will stone that person. Immigrant and citizen alike: whenever someone blasphemes the Lord’s name, that person will be executed.)
Definition
These three categories of commandments clearly do not contradict, but rather, reinforce what each says. Also note that the 7th Noahide law deals with setting up courts of law to enforce the others. This is a job for a society, not an individual, per se. 

Note that the Noahide Laws overlap the Decalogue almost entirely. This is not accidental. It would behoove a Christian to follow the Decalogue, and use it as a gauge for determining what is and what is not sin. 

Violation of these commandments would constitute sin. 


LAWS

When God established the nation of Israel, and the Jewish tradition, He set up certain laws for the Jews so that they could show themselves as distinguished from the other people of the region and of the world. 

There are 613 laws for Jews to follow. The first ten are very familiar - the Decalogue. The other 603 are simply laws for the Jew to follow. They are not intended for the Gentile (non-Jew) to follow. Most Jews consider it poor form for a Gentile  to attempt to follow these laws. Most Jews feel that a Gentile ought only follow the Noahide Laws, with most accepting that following the Decalogue is equally acceptable. Some more orthodox Jews actually feel it to be blasphemy for a Gentile to follow the 613 Laws of Judaism.

Violation of these laws would classify as a transgression, not as sin. Only a Jew could conceivable commit such a transgression, as these rules were never designed for all of mankind... only for the practitioners of the Jewish faith.  

An example - the eating of pork is forbidden: Deuteronomy 14:7-8 -  
However, here’s a list of animals that either rechew food or have hooves divided in two parts that you are not allowed to eat: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger—because these rechew food but don’t have divided hoofs, they are off-limits for you; and the pig—because it has a divided hoof but doesn’t rechew food, it’s off-limits for you. You may not eat these animals’ meat, and you must not touch their carcasses.
But Gentiles (and Christians) are not bound by these laws. Acts 15:28-29 - 
The Holy Spirit has led us to the decision that no burden should be placed on you other than these essentials: refuse food offered to idols, blood, the meat from strangled animals, and sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid such things. Farewell.
   
SUGGESTIONS

A third and final set of instructions from God are suggestions He gives us. Broadly speaking, suggestions from God are things that will improve our lives, prevent us from harm, or otherwise give us instruction on some of life's situations. 

An example: being in debt is not a sin. Borrowing money is not a sin. However, God warns us of the perils of too much debt: Proverbs 22:7
The wealthy rule over the poor; a borrower is a slave to a lender. 
A second example, pointing to a method of improving our lives, can be had from Proverbs 15:31 -
The ear that listens to life-giving correction dwells among the wise.
Another type of suggestion give by God are His instructions for situations. Again, these do not constitute sin necessarily, but guidelines on how to handle things, as well as warnings for common errors. Take the situation of correcting or helping a fellow believer who is having issues with a sin. It is common for those making the accusations of sin to fall into sin themselves (often the exact same sin!). Galatians 6:1-2 provides just such an example -
Brothers and sisters, if a person is caught doing something wrong, you who are spiritual should restore someone like this with a spirit of gentleness. Watch out for yourselves so you won’t be tempted too. Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.

These three examples show how to improve your life, avoid harm, and how to handle situations. To fail to do any one of them is clearly not a sin. However, to listen to the word of God is to have a more fulfilled life, so avoid the preventable situations.


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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Did He Or Didn't He?

Yesterday, a mentally unstable man killed 13 people in a Navy yard. At first, it was being reported that the now-dead gunman shot the people with an AR15 rifle. The FBI has officially commented, forcing CNN and others to change their story.

Of course, the NSA's spying programs did nothing to stop the guy... prompting myself and others to wonder if this was either set up, or allowed to happen specifically so the government and media could attack 2nd Amendment rights. Some of the media were preemptively taking up arms against guns. Other media outlets simply took advantage of the situation.

We already know that the shooter was a liberal, and had several run-ins with the law in the past, including having been violent with a gun.

DC gun laws didn't keep this from happening.
Navy gun restrictions didn't keep this from happening. 

We need to ban mentally unstable liberals... not guns.


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Salvation in the Old Testment

How were people saved from condemnation prior to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross?
How were people saved from condemnation who hadn't heard of Jesus' sacrifice soon (or not so soon) thereafter?
How are people saved from condemnation today who have never heard of Jesus Christ?

Simple - salvation is God's gift, and is granted by His grace through faith. 

The answer is the same in the New Testament, and in the Old Testament.
Among the many places salvation by grace through faith is taught, is Deuteronomy 30:
Now, once all these things happen to you, the blessing and the curse that I’m setting before you, you must call them to mind as you sit among the various nations where the Lord your God has driven you; and you must return to the Lord your God, obeying his voice, in line with all that I’m commanding you right now — you and your children — with all your mind and with all your being. Then the Lord your God will restore you as you were before and will have compassion on you, gathering you up from all the peoples where the Lord your God scattered you. Even if he has driven you to the far end of heaven, the Lord your God will gather you up from there; he will take you back from there. The Lord your God will bring you home to the land that your ancestors possessed; you will possess it again. And he will do good things for you and multiply you—making you more numerous even than your ancestors!

Then the Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants so that you love the Lord your God with all your mind and with all your being in order that you may live. The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you and chase you. But you will change and obey the Lord’s voice and do all his commandments that I’m commanding you right now. The Lord your God will help you succeed in everything you do — in your own fertility, your livestock’s offspring, and your land’s produce—everything will be great! Because the Lord will once again enjoy doing good things for you just as he enjoyed doing them for your ancestors, and because you will be obeying the Lord your God’s voice, keeping his commandments and his regulations that are written in this Instruction scroll, and because you will have returned to the Lord your God with all your heart and all your being. This commandment that I’m giving you right now is definitely not too difficult for you. It isn’t unreachable. It isn’t up in heaven somewhere so that you have to ask, “Who will go up for us to heaven and get it for us that we can hear it and do it?” Nor is it across the ocean somewhere so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the ocean for us and get it for us that we can hear it and do it?” Not at all! The word is very close to you. It’s in your mouth and in your heart, waiting for you to do it.

Look here! Today I’ve set before you life and what’s good versus death and what’s wrong. If you obey the Lord your God’s commandments that I’m commanding you right now by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments, his regulations, and his case laws, then you will live and thrive, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and so are misled, worshiping other gods and serving them, I’m telling you right now that you will definitely die. You will not prolong your life on the fertile land that you are crossing the Jordan River to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth as my witnesses against you right now: I have set life and death, blessing and curse before you. Now choose life — so that you and your descendants will live — by loving the Lord your God, by obeying his voice, and by clinging to him. That’s how you will survive and live long on the fertile land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors: to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

 Let me highlight that part again, just for the sake of clarity:
Now choose life by loving the Lord your God, by obeying his voice, and by clinging to him.

The life spoken of here is not physical life, but is life eternal. 

No, the words "free will" are not used. Nevertheless, the concept is unchanged: salvation is not earned, it is by God's grace through faith. Faith in God is the key. 

We cannot underplay Jesus Christ's work in this: He paid for the sins of the world - past, present, and future. He bore the punishment, so that the elect (those that are, or will be, saved)  wouldn't have to. Nowhere in this is the concept of predestination of whom will be saved mentioned - nor is it in the New Testament. 

Nowhere in this text is salvation granted by works. Instead, good works are clearly listed as the "fruits," or the outward expression, of salvation. 

Further - this passage points out a simple, yet often disregarded truth: salvation has never changed. This is because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His plan of salvation is, as well - it always has been. 


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Monday, September 16, 2013

Global Warming Hoax

Scientists have admitted that the idea of global warming is completely false. Computer models were exaggerated. The warming trend, if it is even real, is less than half of what we have been told.

Of course, we have known for a while that "greenhouse gasses" are not a cause of global warming, but instead, follow the natural cyclical warming periods. 

Ironically, this news breaks virtually on the eve of the DVD release of An Inconsistent Truth - an expose movie of the inconsistencies of the global warming myth.


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This is My Rifle, This is My Gun

I get asked a LOT what my go-to gun is for SHTF situations. Typically, on this blog, I've gone the route of explaining advantages to major or otherwise common setups. However, for this one article, I'll break with tradition and give you an idea of what you'd see me carrying if you survived the first day of the apocalypse.

RIFLE
I like a lot of platforms. The AR15 is clearly my choice for a number of reasons. Of the different AR15 configurations, my #1 choice is the RECCE style setup. It combines the length and maneuverability of the M4 with the accuracy of a NRA highpower rifle. Here is is:



The rifle has been outfitted with:
- an RRA match grade trigger
- a 12" LaRue quad rail
- 16" SS barrel from Black Hole Weaponry
- Magpul furniture
- ACOG (with LaRue quick detach mount)

The ACOG is one of many choices in optics. The reason I went with the ACOG on my RECCE, as opposed to keeping it on my M16A4 clone is simple... the ACOG I have (TA31F) was calibrated for the 16" barrel. The ACOG also can be used as a red dot with the BAC method, and can similarly be used as a low power spotting scope.

Here's how it shoots (all groups were shot at 100 yards):




AMMO
I have primarily stocked up on some M193 clone ammo. This offers higher probability of fragmentation than M855, and is less expensive. I also carry some Hornady 75-grain match ammo for long range shots. Its trajectory matches up with the ACOG within reasonable limits.

PISTOL
GLOCK 19  (9mm). Simple, effective, and just a tool. Nothing fancy at all on this, as it will never be my primary weapon. I might change to a G17 soon, as it is larger, and has superior capacity.

TOOLS
Swiss Army knife, multi-tool, flashlight, rope, and several other reasonable and ordinary tools find themselves in my bag. I have multiple copies of all of these things.

BACKUP RIFLE
M16A4. If I have the money, I might one day build another RECCE to take its place. Here is the A4:




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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Calvinist Corner - September 2013

Calvinism is not Biblical Doctrine. It's a human philosophy that appeals to proud-minded individuals.
 


Calvinism provides an outlet to this pride.

"God chose me!"
"God chose me?"

Both statements are equally proud. The only difference is the manifestation of the pride. The unifying thought is the underlying and understood connotation: God chose me... over someone else.

Calvinists will argue that the statement is "God chose me?" And that this is not said in pride. They quickly dismiss the notion of the natural and certainly intended "over someone else" part.

An example of Calvinist pride:

"I’m so Calvinist that I won’t let my wife plant anything but TULIPS. I’m so Calvinist that all my outlines or lists have only 5 points."

- DJB, proud Calvinist

Truth
God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that the price of our sins would be paid. That Free Gift was made available for all man, but with the full understanding that not all mankind would accept the gift. Many are called, but few are chosen. The chosen ones are not chosen as per some heretical fantasy of predestinated action, but by their own free will of accepting the Gift of Salvation. 

Jesus did not die for a select few.

Jesus died for us all. Only a few, however, will accept the Gift that comes from Christ's death.Those that accept become God's chosen people. The word chosen does not refer to whom will be saved, but rather, what the saved person will be chosen to receive.



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Friday, September 13, 2013

Build or Buy

A question I am asked a lot from friends, blog readers, and others is "build or buy?"
(Specifically, when it comes to an AR15)

A few moments to clarify your wants / needs...

First - if you are experienced in shooting AR15 rifles, and are looking for a specific kind of rifle, you aren't even asking this question. You are building. That should be a hint for the rest out there. If you are wanting a specific type, other than the standard "M4" then you will be best suited by building.

Be Honest
Are you going to shoot this a couple of times, then just keep it in the safe or sell it?
If there is a better than average chance of this, then just buy an M4 type at Wal-Mart and be done. They are currently running under $850 locally, and though you could certainly build it cheaper, just save everyone some time and effort.

Buy



Military
Were you in the military, and now you want one like what you carried? Want one like what another unit carried? Want to make it better in some areas (better trigger, etc.), but still look like a milspec gun?

Never in the military, but have your eye on a specific military build?

If you answered yes to any or all of these, then build... unless you simply want the generic M4.
M16A2? - Build right now for less than $800.
M16A4? - Build right now to spec for less than $1000, not including ACOG.
SDMR / Recce? - Build right now for $1400, not including optic.

Build



Special Purpose
Do you want an AR for a specific purpose? Varmint hunting? Big game hunting?
Special target shooting? High Power or other match shooting?
No special purpose - just want a type of barrel, stock, or trigger group that is atypical?
Want a barrel that is 18" or 20" or 24"? Want a fixed length stock?
Want a free-floated barrel?

Build.


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Thursday, September 12, 2013

1000 Yards With an AR15

A blog writer makes 1000-yard shots with a rack grade AR15 and rack grade ammo.

Employee huh-huh?

My readers have been very nice to me lately, sending all sorts of hilarious material. Of course, if there were not so many stupid people in the world, then the material would not exist. This was submitted to me recently for publication, and has been only slightly edited:

Employee appreciation week is a total joke
Remember the keyword WEEK
What do they appreciate? Brown nosing?

Day one: enjoy free goodies distributed by your supervisor
Goodies included are a small tote bag, a single pack of trail mix, a casual day sticker which no one ever uses, and a token to get into the casino the next day.

Day two: enjoy one full hour at the casino
Except the 10 minutes it takes to walk down there in the 10 minutes to walk back. Then you walk into the casino and see that they scheduled too many people to go in there at one time. Therefore, you just wasted 20 minutes of your life walking down there only to see all of the game tables are overcrowded & there is not enough time to wait in line for the next person to leave.

Day three: you get to play bingo with your department
Except bingo is played in an IM conversation, and you get to play in between phone calls. Therefore you have an IM window constantly flashing while you were working on a phone call distracting you.

Day four: goody day
You get to enjoy lunch purchased by..... Wait for it… YOU
It's not like you could do this any other of the 250 days you work there this year or anything.

Day five: free giveaways
The tokens that you earn from the casino, that you did not get to play in, you can put your name on the tickets and put in boxes for prizes that you might be able when except that there's 500 other people that put their names in each box. so the odds of winning a very low. If you do win, you get to pay 25% luxury tax.



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Study This

I found that an in-depth study has already been performed on the likes of Dependopotamus.

A sketch of the findings:





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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Went Swimming

I've decided to give Dependopotamus some attention this week.


Heard she went swimming with some of her friends this summer at her luxury apartment pool:




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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Report, You Decide

A while back, I posted an article about how Dependopotamus testified in court that my brother had starved her while she was pregnant.

Well, a "reader" wrote in and challenged my assertion (based on testimony given in the case, evidence, as well as my own observation), saying that it is entirely possible this happened. This reader would have you believe that Dependopotamus was perhaps, starved. Reader says this thing happens in America more often than we would like to admit.

I will not and cannot speculate as to how often pregnant women in America are being starved by their husbands. Due to the fact that I haven't heard of it on the news, it is logical to assume that either A) it's not common, or B) it is a problem, and it is being covered up or neglected in the media.

Back to what I can report on: things I've witnessed:

Nov. 2007
Those are the doors in front of our laundry room.
I am 6'2" and 220 pounds. I am only as wide as one door.
Dependopotamus is 5'9"
Dependopotamus is about this shape, but a bit larger these days.


Jan, 2008 (28 weeks)



Feb., 2008 (32 weeks)






I've told you about the zucchini bread incident. I see not one shred of evidence that the woman was starving at all.


What say you?

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Monday, September 9, 2013

How You Look At It

My wife recently took a position at a preschool. On the meet and greet day with the parents, she was quizzed by a concerned parent. The parent had just overheard how my wife was new to the preschool. Of course, this tidbit of information did not tell the parent the whole story. The resultant conversation was quite funny:

Parent: "And how many children are in your class?"

Mrs. U: "Nine."

Parent: (incredulous) "NINE?!?!?!?! How on Earth do you plan to take care of all these children?"

Mrs. U: "It shouldn't be hard..."

Parent: "Shouldn't be hard?!?!?! My son's class last year had only six children. So I ask again: how do you plan to deal with nine children at one time?!?!?!"

Mrs. U: "I have several years' experience as a classroom teacher in the public schools. There we had up to 35 children per teacher. I also have several years' experience as a director for a [large, well-known tutoring firm], which had as many as 135 children being tutored at a time. I also ran a daycare that had three times as many children as this whole preschool. I think nine children will be easy to deal with in comparison."

Parent: "Oh..." (walks away, evidently satisfied with that answer)


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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Another Bad Decision

Judges make mistakes like everyone else in the world. I blogged about one here.

Judge Tom Gray in Gallatin, TN beat that story by a wide margin... and I just did not think that could be done. Judge Gray ordered a 14 year-old boy to pay child support. By law, a 14 year-old cannot hold a job!

I've met Judge Gray. He is still Sumner county judge as of this blog post. He needs to resign. Failing that, he needs to be removed from office by vote next year when his bench position is up for election.


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