Saturday, August 30, 2008

On Vacation

I'm on vacation... not much blogging unless I find a quiet moment and so far that ain't happening all that much :-) We left home in Pleasanton California on Wednesday and drove to Roseburg Oregon where we spent the night, on Thursday we stayed in Roseburg and went to the Wildlife Safari there, that was very cool as we drove among the animals. I'll post pictures later. In the afternoon we went to a couple of wineries in the area and sampled some of their wines, I was pleasantly surprised at how good they were! On Friday we drove up to Springfield Oregon where we met my late sister Lisa's granddaughter, McKenzie. She is five and is adorable. Pictures from there later as well. After the stop in Springfield we continued up to Oregon City where we had steak dinner with my cousin Dan and his wife Connie and their kids Travis and Nicole. And that is where we are now, in Oregon City for the day today and then off to the coast on Sunday afternoon after church.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Obama = NO Change

Ah, here we are, witnessing yet another sell out... We are promised change, but what sort of change? The car is broken down, the tires are flat, the engine is leaking oil and smoking. So what do we get? A paint job! No change of anything important but it will be a new color! Oh goody. If only I could work up enough naivete to be shocked once again by a betrayal, but I can't really. Luckily I can still muster a bit of anger and outrage over it but what to do with that anger? It seems to me that the game is so far gone now that opposition just serves to make me grouchy for no good end.

From Foreign Policy in Focus:

Biden, Iraq, and Obama's Betrayal

Stephen Zunes | August 24, 2008

Editor: John Feffer

Incipient Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s selection of Joseph Biden as his running mate constitutes a stunning betrayal of the anti-war constituency who made possible his hard-fought victory in the Democratic primaries and caucuses.

The veteran Delaware senator has been one the leading congressional supporters of U.S. militarization of the Middle East and Eastern Europe, of strict economic sanctions against Cuba, and of Israeli occupation policies.

Most significantly, however, Biden, who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the lead-up to the Iraq War during the latter half of 2002, was perhaps the single most important congressional backer of the Bush administration’s decision to invade that oil-rich country.(Full Story is here)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The First Politician.

An archaeological team, digging in
Washington DC , has uncovered
10,000 year old bones and fossil remains
of what is believed to be the first

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Bureaucrat talks about education

From the UK... amusing, but so true...

Morning reading highlights

This morning, as I was praying and thinking about my evil nature, the old Adam who refuses to stay drowned and whom I need to drown each day all over again, I found these in my morning readings:

Psalm 101:1-4 (ESV)
1 A Psalm of David. I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will make music. 2 I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; 3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. 4 A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 103:8-14 (ESV)
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. 14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Amen and amen!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not much faith on the left coast...

Here are part of the results of a Gallup survey about belief in God. (Full survey results are here)

These trends are even more pronounced in the Bay Area where I am pretty sure theists are close to a minority. You midwest folk need to send missionaries to California!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Warren, Obama and McCain

OK, so maybe I was unnecessarily snarky in my previous post about Rick Warren interviewing Obama and McCain. It was good that they were asked some pertinent questions important to Christians. By all accounts he was fair in the way he handled things and didn't just toss out softball questions but asked real questions about important issues. I'm just now listening to a podcast about it on Issues.etc, check it out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The '08 Vote

So, Ron Paul fizzled out and the Republicans nominated Mad Mac. The Democrats have given us "The Anointed One" O-Ba-Ma! Savior and Messiah...

Nope, I can't bring myself to vote for either of these liars and thieves. There is not a lick of difference between them when it comes to the status of the Empire in the World at large. Only the minor details of the order in which they rape us of the last few shreds of liberty we posses separate the two. Both want our very souls to belong to the state.

So, it looks like once again I will be voting for principle, I'll be voting Libertarian, the only party that at least tries to stand for FREEDOM.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


TV Sucks.

That's just the simple truth, and the part of TV that sucks the most is TV preachers.

This is great stuff...

Passion and Lutheran Worship

Here is another gem from Father Hollywood.

The lie that there is no "passion" in Lutheran worship is easy to debunk, and this blog post does it splendidly:

Read it here.

Rick Warren, Obama and McCain

I got this email from the LCMS. I am wondering just why we would expect any good questions from a false teacher like Rick Warren? Why would the LCMS be promoting his shtick? Oh wait, this is the same synod that has Kari Jobe as the big draw for a youth conference. Personally I care less for the religion of a politician than I do for his competence and his philosophy of government. I care less if he's a Baptist or a Jew than if he has real principles he is willing to stand up for in office. I already know that neither of these candidates pass that test though, so I guess I'll have to be satisfied with Purpose Driven Warrenite Infotainment questions. Bah!


LCMS Notes

Pastor Rick Warren Interviews Presidential Candidates
Saturday, Aug. 16, in Joint Appearance

Dr. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Life, will interview presumptive presidential candidates Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama in a civil forum held at the church's Lake Forest, Calif., campus, Saturday, Aug. 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. (PST).

According to Saddleback Church's Web site, the two-hour event, which is the candidates' first joint appearance, will be held in a non-debate format. Warren will ask all questions and each candidate will converse separately with Warren for approximately one hour, beginning with Sen. Obama, as determined by a coin toss. This is the last public appearance for either candidate prior to the two-week hiatus during each party's national convention.

The interview will air on various cable television networks around the country. Check your local cable listings or visit to find the specific network carrying the interview in your location.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Purpose Driven-Seeker Sensitive

When you sow heresy, you reap heresy.

From Extreme Theology:

August 15, 2008

The Fruit of Purpose-Driven / Seeker-Sensitive Methods

Granger Community Church is considered to be one the brightest stars in the Purpose-Driven Church universe and is the 6th most influential church in America. Thousands of churches have purchased, downloaded and preached Granger's sermons. Past and present pastors from Granger are considered 'rock stars' and thought leaders in purpose-driven / seeker-sensitive circles.

But how effective are these Purpose-Driven / Seeker-Sensitive methods at making true converts and true Christian disciples?

Well, Granger just released the results of their Reveal Now survey and the data is bleak. In fact, Granger and their 'pastoral' staff get an F. Here are some of the low lights.

47% of those attending Granger DO NOT believe in salvation by grace. (This means they are NOT Christians, regardless of whether or not they identify themselves as those who are 'Growing in Christ' or 'Christ Centered')


57% of those attending Granger DO NOT believe in the authority of the Bible.


56% of those attending Granger DO NOT believe Jesus is the only way to eternal life.


This is exactly what we should expect from churches that spend their time trying to be 'relevant' and scratch itching ears rather than preaching and teaching God's Word in season and out of season. Or to put it another way, Christless Christianity is completely impotent when it comes to making Christians and Christian Disciples. These survey results prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

These results are a complete train wreck and highlight the fact that it is time to abandon the circus church approach once and for all and get back to the 'boring' and 'irrelevant' work of preaching and teaching God's Word, the Lord's Supper and proclaiming Jesus Christ as crucified for our sins.

This one is for Lora, Ginormous!

Click on it to read it...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dormition of the Theotokos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Dormition of the Theotokos (Greek:Koimesis) is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the "falling asleep" or death of the Theotokos (Mary, the mother of Jesus; literally translated as God-bearer). It is celebrated on August 15 (August 28, N.S. for those following the Julian Calendar) as the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God.

From Weedon's Blog:

A Dormition Meditation

I remember when the angel came and told me, and my heart burst with joy and terror.

I remember when I came to the door of Zechariah’s house and Eliabeth knew my secret and my heart melted and my eyes burned with tears and my mouth prophesied.

I remember when I felt your movement first inside my body, and I realized that I was the living ark of the living God.

I remember when first I saw your face, and touched your hands, and looked into my Joseph’s eyes.

I remember when they came creeping in to see you, to worship you, the shepherds of the night, and told me songs of angels and glory in the highest and peace on earth.

I remember when we brought you to the temple and the old man took you in his arms and blessed God, ready to die, and told me of pain yet to come.

I remember when they came from the East and bowed before you as I held you and gave their gifts - the gold, the incense and the myrrh, while the star's light shone upon us.

I remember when he woke me and we fled into the night ahead of the terror of Herod’s sword.

I remember when we came home at last, and people looked and talked, but you were all our joy.

I remember when you stayed behind, when you left us, and we found you in the temple and my heart rose up in fear realizing that you chose to abide in the place of sacrifice and death.

I remember when you spoke to me in roughness and yet made the water into wine.

I remember when we came to make you take your rest and you taught me that all these in need were dear to you as your own family.

I remember when they took you, tortured you, and crucified you; and before my eyes rose up the old man in the temple – his words haunted me still – and a sword ran me through as I watched you dying.

I remember when you looked on me and the beloved one and gave us to each other for all our days.

I remember when the light died in your eyes and my heart sank beyond tears and words.

I remember after the empty days when they came and told me that you lived again, and joy flooded my heart, and I knew then what I had always known - your every promise was true.

I remember when we prayed together after you had gone into heaven and the Spirit came in wind and flame.

I remember how they went and told the news to all the world. And I welcomed each new believer as my beloved child, a brother of my Son, the King of all.

I remember it all now as I die, as I lay my head down in death.

My Son, I am not afraid. I go to you, to you who have conquered death, to you who are the Forgiveness of all sins. Receive me, child. Receive me.

I remember. I remember. I remember.

Sabbath Law

This morning I was reading both the Bible and a selection about Michael Faraday in "Archimedes to Hawking" (which has now been relegated to an occasional chapter book instead of reading straight through) and was amused by the coincidence of these two passages:

"In 1844 Faraday was suspended as an elder of the Sandemanian Church for missing a single Sunday service--the only time he missed a service in his entire life! When he explained that he had been dining with Queen Victoria, the church elders cared little for his flimsy excuse." A-H pg. 275

From my morning Bible readings:

" At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”" (Matthew 12:1-8, ESV)

I don't imagine the elders at Faraday's church would not have liked Jesus much if they had met him in the flesh. :-)

Monday, August 11, 2008


Why are they hot and why did early Americans start eating and domesticating them?


Or Hot actually.

Tewksbury suggests that our ancestors may have first started using and domesticating chillies for their ability to kill of nasty microbes. Before refrigerators became commonplace, the fungi and bacteria lurking within our food was a massive problem, and it's possible that our ancestors developed a taste for spicy food precisely because the chemicals that make our eyes water also cause trouble for contaminating bugs.

Read here.

California's Proposition 8

Proposition 8 states: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

That's it.

So, is that a reasonable thing to state?

I tend to fall on the "keep government out of it" side of things, of course :-) There have been numerous forms of marriage in different places and times, not all were of the "one man and one woman" variety. Indeed, not all today are of that type, though in America today those are, for the most part, the only accepted ones.

Having the government involved in marriage has been a huge disaster as far as I can tell. The government gave us "no fault divorce" and the resulting "serial polygamy" or "temporary marriage" that is so common today. If we had left it up to the churches alone to marry and grant dissolution of marriage we would not have that, I don't think. But no, our totalitarian government has to have it's grubby paws in every aspect of our lives, including marriage. Well, you get just what you would expect from the organization that gave us nuclear weapons, the DMV and the Post Office: an ungodly mess of broken homes and a divorce rate of 50%.

The only thing government should do with marriage is record them, maybe, but I'm not sure even that is necessary. Governments should not be saying "I now pronounce you man and wife" and they should not be granting divorces either.

When my late "ex"wife kicked me out of the house and got a government decree of divorce I told her "We were married by a Lutheran Pastor, no judge can change that." I left anyway, of course, I didn't have a choice, governments have guns you know. But I didn't remarry and maintained that, even though we seemed unable to live together in the same house, we remained married in the eyes of God.

So, how am I going to vote? I have no idea ;-/ I'm thinking that maybe it's divorce that is the problem, governments should only have the authority to dissolve a marriage they made, so only "civil marriages" done by judges could be revoked... yeah, that might work. If that were the case then I would not care one way or the other what sort of unions the government countenanced, as long as they recognized the validity of religious marriages and didn't claim to be able to dissolve them. Yeah, like that's going to happen!

Large Hadron Rap

Sorry for all the You Tube links but this rap about the Large Hadron Collider and what it's supposed to do is just cool, and educational too!


Russia vs. Georgia

So, the Ruskies have invaded a puny little nation that was no threat whatsoever to them.

As a result The United States of America is horribly offended, who do these Russians think they are, Americans? After all only America is allowed to invade any country they feel like attacking without provocation, consultation or consequence.

I'm impressed, America is raising the art of "in your face hypocrisy" to amazing new levels.

That being said, this war, like all wars, is stupid, pointless and evil. Both sides need to stop and get back to talking things over as if they were adult human beings. Oh wait, we are talking about several governments here so instead of rational discourse they act like Junior High School boys strutting around trying to prove how macho they are.


Saturday, August 9, 2008


The hazzards of blogging

Oh my! I just found out, while rummaging about on Messiah's web site ( that there is a link from there to this blog! Yikes, that's my home church, I better behave myself then :-) Yeah, like that's going to happen!

I do recommend checking out our church web site, it's pretty cool I think. You can even listen to some of Pastor Ledic's sermons there.

Friday, August 8, 2008

We Win!

We took down our Pirate flag cause we're all legal again ;-)

From the SF Gate:

Parents have the right to home school, state court says

(08-08) 10:49 PDT LOS ANGELES - -- A state appeals court reversed itself today and ruled that parents in California have the right to home school their children even if they lack a teaching credential.

The Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles had ruled Feb. 28 that the state's compulsory education law requires parents to send their children to a full-time public or private school or have them taught by credentialed tutors at home. The ruling caused an uproar among home-schooling advocates and could have made truants out of an estimated 166,000 children in California who are taught at home by their parents.

After hearing from an array of objectors that included state education officials and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the court agreed to reconsider the case and issued a new ruling today that reached the opposite conclusion: State law allows home schooling, although children can be required to attend school if they're being abused or neglected at home.

Although the compulsory-education law hasn't changed since 1929, some alter laws "demonstrate an apparent acceptance by the Legislature that home-schooling is taking place in California, with home schools allowed as private schools," Justice H. Walter Croskey, author of the earlier ruling, wrote in today's 3-0 decision.

"Recent statutes indicate that the Legislature is aware that some parents in California home school their children by declaring their homes to be private schools," Croskey said. He said one of those laws, a 1998 measure exempting parents from fingerprinting requirements imposed on private school employees, indicated "a legislative approval of home-schooling."

Because the 1929 law itself did not explicitly allow or prohibit home schooling, Croskey said, the court should interpret it consistently with the Legislature's current understanding, along with the views of state government and education officials.

He said such an interpretation also allows the court to avoid deciding "difficult constitutional questions" about parents' rights to exempt their children from compulsory-schooling laws. The previous ruling found that no such right exists.

The court ordered a Los Angeles County juvenile judge to reconsider the case of a Lynwood family that has educated their eight children at home, with the mother, who has an 11th-grade education and no teaching credential, acting as the teacher.

The judge initially concluded that the parents had an absolute right to home school their children. The court said today that the right to home school is not absolute, and told the judge to decide whether to send two of the younger children to school in light of the father's history of child abuse.

The case is Jonathan L. vs. Superior Court, B192878.

The ruling is available at

E-mail Bob Egelko at

LCMS Texas Youth Gathering

from Father Hollywood's blog:

The Texas District's 2008 Youth Gathering coming up in November has an interesting array of speakers scheduled. Note that the "lead worshiper" is Kari Jobe (see below).

I went to the website and had a real hard time finding the word "Lutheran" anywhere on it. The only place I found it was on the "Group Registration" link where it said:

*Checks made payable to:
Texas District Lutheran Church Missouri Synod,
Memo: GLORYbound 2008

I'm not even surprised any more :'(

Since my first visit there they've rather deceptively rearranged the order of speakers and fiddled with the outside to attempt to conceal the poison inside, but it's still a toxic non-Lutheran mix of crud.

This stuff is not just wrong, it's downright evil.

When I was a teen, back in the late 1960'a and early 1970's, I went to a couple of youth gatherings with the youth group of my then ALC, now ELCA, church. They had just this sort of line up. There was really nothing distinctively Lutheran about these gatherings, it was all evangelical and pentecostal speakers as far as I can recall. By the time I was 18 I was in an Assembly of God church and by the time I was 20 I was in an Assembly of God Bible College. By the time I was 21 I was a declared atheist and seeking enlightenment from anywhere but Holy Mother Church! Obviously God did not abandon me, but I wasted decades of my life because of false teaching, it's not a minor thing, it's the very souls of these kids we are talking about.

Closed communion

I'll write later on closed communion, or maybe just post links to other people who've already done it, but here is a cartoon that helps to demonstrate why it's a good thing (click on the cartoon to enlarge):

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Serenity and Unschooling

I meant to mention in last night's post that one reason I found Kevin's essay so exciting was that Serenity has been responding well to the unschooling concept. We have mostly been leaving it up to her what she does and she has begun, on her own, seeking instruction from us in reading, math and other subjects. It is almost all done on the fly and without too much "schoolish" stuff involved, not sitting at at desk and "studying" much :-) The other day she requested that we return to working on the Hooked on Phonics program that we had been using at first. We stopped using it when she didn't want to work on it any more. She has been figuring out reading on her own quite a bit and has realized it would be easier if she knew more about it. Cool :-)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


This is a great blog post from a 15 year old who was unschooled his whole life until he decided to try a year of school for his freshman year of high school. In reading his blog I saw that he said feel free to repost it so I'm doing that here for the benefit of those I know who would be too lazy to click on a link and read it somewhere else, you know who you are! It is wonderful writing and well worth the read!

Education From the Free Eye
Written by Kevin Snavley

All my life I have unschooled. The only thing that could be remotely considered school that I attended was pre-school, and of course, that was all fun and games. That was just life, how things were. I always wondered in the back of my head what it was like to be there, in a school building all day. How horrible it was to sit there for hours on end being lectured by crazy teachers and doing hours of homework. And then somewhere in between most of my friends going to school and me wondering, I got caught up in "catching up" to everyone else. For a while, around age 12, I always wanted to be on-track with the kids at school. It was probably because I felt stupid or less intelligent than them, which really wasn't the case. They just knew more meaningless facts than I did. It took me until last year to finally realize that, and to truly understand the reasons and joys of unschooling. Why it really is so much better than public school.

For as long as I can remember I have had friends that have gone to public school. Always. I've never actually had true unschooling friends aside from my cousins. So in a way, I sort of grew up with slightly hybrid thinking. One defending or longing to be in public school, and one completely against it all with pro-unschooling opinions. My parents always told us why public school is bad, but of course as a kid I'm not really going to understand. I never had the experience to. So I just kind of accepted that it was a bad place that I shouldn't be until I was about 14. Because I didn't go to school I always thought I had horrible writing abilities, and a bus load of other things. I finally made the decision to go to my freshman year of high school so I could figure it all out. Why is public school widely considered better? Why do my parents and unschooling parents everywhere preach it's a bad place to be? Why is unschooling so much better? I got all of my answers.

I would be lying if I said I went 100% percent for personal reasons. I had one friend in particular who was pro-school completely and thought I was wasting my life. In a way, I wanted to prove to her that I could do it, and if/if not it was better than unschooling. I guess up until I started writing this I had forgotten about that completely. I kind of kept the fact that this whole thing was an experiment in the back of my mind. I mean, it did feel nice to be "normal". But is it best? For the sake of writing this I'm going to skip through the school year and spare you the details of explaining the entire 9 months. School was exactly as I expected. Well, the whole face of it was anyway. It wasn't as close to as horrible as my parents said it was. The days went by pretty fast, it wasn't horribly boring, and I got to see my friends. The one thing I noticed the first day though, was how little "socialization" time there is. That's one thing all the kids say, "I get to hang out with my friends!". Definitely not the kind of "hanging out" I was used to. At that point it seemed like a stupid reason to want to be there.

After being there a few weeks, I started to realize the being I truly am. I wasn't stupid, not even close. If anyone was stupid it was the other 90% of the kids that were there. Everyone raved about my writing, my honors English teacher included. I did good in all my classes despite NEVER having a formal lesson in anything. That's when I realized that me, an unschooler, never been "taught" anything that these kids have, is doing better at the game than they are. Pretty ironic, no? Some of my favorite classes were Honors English 1, Japanese 1, and Jazz Choir. Those were the best.

Something I really began to hate about the school days was waking up at 6:30 am, staying there for six hours, then swimming for another 2, before going home to do meaningless homework. The first semester I got pretty lazy, and ended with a 3.3 GPA. Still, better than most kids, but not my best. Second semester I ended with a 3.8. I couldn't stand the fact that I was surrounded by unmotivated, stupid (not the academic way, the general manner they acted) people. Another trend I noticed was "can't". EVERYBODY used that one. The whole 9 months all in all were good for me. Negatives and positives. I learned that what I was doing before was BETTER than what kids at school get, I learned that what my parents told me wasn't completely heresy, I experienced something that I had never done before, the mystery was gone, and best of all, I can now defend the unschooling philosophy without any doubt in my mind and be credible at the same time. I also understood why public school kids act like they do. It's called loss of motivation.

I quickly realized that if I had to endure that shit for 9 years, I probably wouldn't be the person I am today. Friends have told me "you would have been a complete honors student!". I say no, I would've have been a lazy ass bum that wanted nothing more than a couch in life. (Which, I might add I learned a lot from TV. But you get my point. ;P) The thing that made me responsible, smart, and motivated was my unschooling life. And as stupid, annoying, unmotivated, whatever most of the public school kids are, you really can't blame them. While the other public school kids that can relate to me somewhat complain about them as well; they don't understand either. You never really can unless you have lived a free life. (Something else that I realized were the people that I was already friends with, were some of the most intelligent people in the building. How's that for coincidental?) Some personalities are different and can endure 12 years of school plus college, most cannot. Between teachers telling them they're not good enough, and wasting years of their life on something that doesn't really matter, they get fried. Most of the time it goes unnoticed too, you just kind of evaporate. I started to feel the same thing happening to me just in those nine months. Every thought you have, dream you want to fulfill, inspiration that strikes you, it all goes on the back burner, and eventually you just forget how to live any other way altogether.

Would I recommend sending a kid to school? Absolutely not. It's much too easy to lose your way. One thing I would advise though is to find unschooling friends. Would I recommend any other unschoolers go to school? If it's going to do them good like me, sure. If they want to see what it's like, sure. Otherwise, it's going to be a shit hole. Plain and simple. It would be beneficial for everyone to see what it's like, but not everyone can go through it with the same view point. So like everything else in our lives, it's up to us to make that decision. But now here I am, the year I thought would never end completed, and I have to decide what I want to do for the remaining 3. Over the last few days I've really been reflecting about what I truly want. Is it to finish high school, deal with everything I don't like, and benefit from the things I do? Or stop and go straight to college, and focus on what I want with life? That's something I'll be thinking about for a while.

I just realized that was posted on his mom's blog, he's got his own blog here that is pretty fun to read as well, enjoy!

Monday, August 4, 2008

ID Revisited

I have expressed considerable skepticism about the plausibility of Intelligent Design theories recently, so I thought it only fair that I share on a day when it seems to make a lot more sense to me.

This morning I was listening to the TWIS podcast, which is an excellent, if somewhat goofy, discussion of "This Week in Science." At one point they had a brief discussion about a new form of body armor being developed that is based on the scales of an armored fish. The fact that this design was so superior to anything humans had yet come up with suddenly struck me as something that increases the probability of ID, possibly, having some real merit. I know that they can most likely come up with a typical evolutionary "Just So" story to account for it, but just for today, it makes it seem likely it (everything) was designed by God. :-)

So, I'm not convinced, but I'm still open to some ID ideas. I'm still checking out Reasons to Believe becasue at least they have real integrity when it comes to the science and don't distort things horribly the way all of the YEC folks are forced to do.

Don't Call the Cops. Ever.

I was going to just post an excerpt and a link to this like you are "supposed" to do, but I couldn't manage to do it, I'm just reposting the whole thing here from I agree with everything Dan Spielberg says below, everything:

Don’t Call the Cops. Ever.

by Dan Spielberg
by Dan Spielber

It's clear from reading the daily news that the police in this country have become as big a menace to the average American as any officially designated "criminal" could ever be. Officially designated criminals at least are restrained by fear of discovery and try to make their behavior as inconspicuous as possible whereas the police have no such fear because they are "the law." They feel no compunction against using all manner of force, including sexual assault and murder, at any place and at any time in this supposedly free land of ours. It is high time to reconsider the very necessity of the modern police force, which is actually based on the system of "law enforcement" wielded by the tyrannical Kings of England to enforce their evil decrees on the people, and not on the system that prevailed in early America in which the people of the town themselves hired the Sheriff whose job it was to protect them, and not to enforce governmental decrees upon them.

If you doubt what I have said, maybe we should consult Mace Hutchinson, the 16-year-old boy in Ozark, Missouri, who fell from a bridge, broke his back and then was tasered 19 times by the police. Why was a child with a broken back tortured by electrocution? Well, he REFUSED TO COMPLY WITH THE POLICE OFFICERS' ORDERS! A high offense to be sure, as we all know police officers are second in holiness only to U.S. soldiers. But why did these heroes in blue feel that an unarmed, obviously injured boy was a threat to them? Well you see, he apparently mentioned something about killing police officers according to the spokesman for the Police Department. (Before or after they started electrocuting him? We aren't told).

Or perhaps we could consult Mrs. Hope Steffey of Salem, Ohio, who had the cops called to assist her after being beaten by a cousin and ended up being the victim of a perfectly "legal" sexual assault by Sheriff's deputies at the Stark County jail. They threw her to the ground and forcibly removed all of her clothes while she screamed in blood curdling terror. This gang of thugs with badges included male officers as well. This happened to her after being beaten by the cop called to the scene and then arrested on a bogus "disorderly conduct" charge meant to cover up the arresting officer's crime. Of course the brave, strong Sheriff of Stark County, a piece of worthless garbage named Timothy Swanson, has defended the conduct of his officers. He claims it was done for Steffey's own protection because she was suicidal! Because we all know that suicidal people don't need gooey, "liberal"-sounding things like care and compassion, but ruthless violence. Knowing that a lawsuit would be filed, Swanson invited the politically-embattled now former-Attorney General of Ohio, Mark Dann, to investigate, and, surprise, surprise, no wrongdoing was found! (Who you gonna believe, the Government or your own lyin' eyes?)

Maybe we can sit down with the family of Cheryl Noel, a 44-year-old mother who was executed in her own bedroom by a member of the group of criminals who call themselves the "Baltimore County SWAT Team" who invaded her home with no just cause whatsoever at 4:30 in the morning. The reason for this brutal slaying? They had found "trace amounts" of drugs in her trash can and when they busted into her home she had the audacity to have had a gun in her hand in order to defend herself! Silly woman, that's what the cops are for! (And who defends us from the cops, you ask? Just move along, nothing to see here....) And of course, as usual, the State's Attorney General's Office called the shooting justified. You are not supposed to ask, of course, whether eradicating drugs is so important that we need to let the Government's goon squads break into our homes at will and murder us as they see fit.

I wonder what young Blake Dwyer would have to say about the cops in his home town? The epileptic Dwyer was having a seizure and the cops were trying to help the medics at the scene restrain him, and being the compassionate type of fellows who usually become legalized assassins like police officers and soldiers, they tasered him 12 times! I'm sure that he also committed the high offense of "disobeying an officer," but couldn't even a brain dead Chief Wiggum wannabe know that maybe he really couldn't obey? Oh well, I guess it could have been worse old Blake my friend, because the taser is "non-lethal" as we all know. Right? (Or maybe not.)

Perhaps the grieving family of Ricardo Abrahams in Woodland, California, can tell you about all the care and protection their mentally disturbed, but never violent, son received when the police were called to make a "welfare check" on him. He received so much care and compassion from police that now he'll never suffer from his mental illness again, because he is dead. When the members of the bloody blue line approached Abrahams, he was "aggressive" and brandished a pencil at them (Teacher, help!), so, of course, they murdered him. Through a combination of baton blows, taser blasts and "positional asphyxiation" (meaning they suffocated him) the poor, troubled Mr. Abrahams was given the ultimate punishment. I'm sure this killing will be considered justified by whatever Government liar has the responsibility to determine these types of things, because the officers, I'm sure, "feared for their safety," which makes sense because pencil-related deaths of police officers are on the rise in Woodland, California, I'm sure. About this story you are also not supposed to ask if the cops should have just left Mr. Abrahams alone when he got aggressive, because they were not there to arrest him, but to check on his welfare, and he had no history of violence.

These are just a few of the more outrageous examples of out of control "law enforcement" in this day and age. One could spend countless hours on the Internet reading stories very similar to these I've mentioned above. However there is something else that is rarely mentioned, even by opponents of police brutality, which is that even "good cops" are thugs because they exist to enforce all the tyrannical laws and edicts our rulers see fit to impose on us. They are not out to protect us. How does it protect us for them to haul decent, productive people over to the side of the road, giving them an extortion letter prettied-up by being called a "ticket," threatening them with the use of force, because they drove faster than the criminal gang called the Government wants us to? Or to arrest people who ingest and trade in non-State-approved drugs? Or to threaten parents with jail for wanting to educate their children differently than the State says they should be educated? Anyone who supports these laws is confused at best, but those who actually enforce these laws against us are monsters. They should be disarmed, de-funded and tossed onto the street where, if they continue to bully decent, peaceful people, they will have to accept the risk of the highwayman instead of enjoying the protected position of the tax collector.

August 4, 2008

Dan Spielberg [send him mail] works in the real estate industry in Northern California.

Copyright © 2008

Copyright? Bah! What a silly idea. :-/

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The One

This purports to be an ad from the McCain camp, don't know if that's so but it is amusing:

Sneak Preview

Because I bug and harass the good folks at CPH no end, I've been blessed to see some of the new Treasury of Daily Prayer. All I can say is: PREPARE TO BE BLOWN AWAY! The good folks who have worked on this puppy have produced something that I have never seen in the whole of Lutheran liturgical history: a daily office book and so much more in a SINGLE volume. Not one that refers to charts for you to search out readings in your Bible or Psalter. No, everything needed is included between the two covers of this ginormous volume. ALL the daily Bible readings; the entire Psalter (and yes, with the monthly chart from Common Prayer also included); fabulous readings from the early Church, Reformation, and post-Reformation fathers (with none of those wacky readings on finds in the otherwise excellent For All the Saints); Hymn verses; Commemorations; Prayers; all the daily prayer offices in LSB including the suffrages and litany; helps for private confession and preparation for Communion; seasonal invitatories, antiphons, responsories. The list could go on and on.

I was certainly excited to see the excellent materials produced for Lutheran Service Book, but this companion volume for the Daily Office exceeds my wildest expectations. Kudos to Scot Kinnaman and his team. They're preparing to bless the Lutheran Church with a prayer resource that will be valued by pastors, deaconesses, teachers, church workers of whatever stripe, and the laity. What a gift! I can't wait to order mine!!! You'll want to order one for you, for your pastor, and for each member of your family. It's that good. Honest injun!

Here is the introduction and contents in PDF format.

"Respect my Authoritah!" (Cartman, and every other thug pig you'll ever meet)

Another example of why we love our Masters and their hired thug enforcers:

From Pro Liberate:

Roughly a year ago (July 29, 2007), Mrs. Roberts, a 48-year-old nurse and naturalized American citizen from Africa, was returning from work at about 10:45 PM when she saw a car driving erratically in front of her.

After she passed the vehicle -- a maneuver that entailed acceleration, of course -- she noticed what appeared to be a set of police lights in her rear-view. Her first impulse was gratitude, assuming that the erratic driver was going to be pulled over. But she became first puzzled, then alarmed, when it became clear that the apparent police vehicle intended to stop her.

Dibor and her husband, as it happens, had discussed recent incidents involving police impersonators. They were aware of advice given by police agencies to people being pulled over by purported police officers in dangerous circumstances: Drive carefully to a well-lit, preferably public area, and call 911 if possible to verify that it is a police officer. That is the established policy of the Yavapai County Sheriff's Department, whose roster includes Sgt. Jeff Newnum.

With that advice in mind, and worried about the suspicious disinterest of the alleged police officer in dealing with the erratic driver, Dibor slowed down and proceeded in the direction of a better-lit area. Her behavior was in strict compliance with the advertised advice of local police authorities. But even if it hadn't been, it still wasn't the behavior of someone trying to flee from the police.

Deputy Newnum, who radioed his headquarters to say that he was pursuing a "black driver" who refused to stop, pulled alongside Dibor's car, and eventually cut her off, forcing her to stop. He then came boiling out of his vehicle with his gun drawn because, as he later testified, "I knew I had an angry driver."

Of course you did, Jeff -- and threatening the driver with a gun is just the thing to defuse the situation, right?

Dibor, very alarmed by this time, was frantically gesturing that she wanted to proceed to a well-lit area, and trying to make her intention clear by shouting through her windows. Newnum took out a baton and shattered the driver's side window, seizing the terrified woman and dragging her out of the car. As he did so, Dibor's foot came off the brake and her car -- which was still in gear -- rolled forward over Newnum's foot.

"He pulled me out and the car jerked because I had my foot on the brakes," Dibor explained after the incident.

"She took it too far when she ran over my foot," lied Newnum later in court. We know that this is a lie because, first, it was Newnum who took things "too far" by needlessly escalating the encounter; second, because Dibor didn't try to escape after supposedly assaulting the officer; third, and most importantly, because although he stated definitively in court that Mrs. Roberts had deliberately run him over, he said in his official report six months earlier that he "couldn't remember" whether this was the case. (He also equivocated, under oath, as to whether he was injured in Dibor's supposed attack.)

Through her window, Dibor repeatedly yelled "It's too dark; I'm afraid." She was dragged from her vehicle yelling "No, no, no, no," as Newnum threw her to the ground. Her cellphone was taken from her and thrown away as well.

She had no chance to call either 911 or her husband, a detail that was confirmed, ironically, by Newnum's boss, Sheriff Steve Waugh. This is significant because the state's corroborating witness, Colin Bass, claimed to have heard Dibor use her cell phone to ask her husband how to escape. (Bass also claimed to have taken Newnum's police flashlight from the Deputy's belt to help direct traffic, an element of his story that is entirely implausible.)

Why was Newnum so wired when he came charging at Roberts with a drawn gun? He testified that he was worried that he couldn't see Dibor's hands; that was the "threat" she supposedly presented to him. But he also testified that he saw her hands plainly, that they were gripping her steering wheel "firmly" -- supposedly the behavior of an impaired driver. In either case, the jury bought into the idea that the police officer's behavior was appropriate, given the supposed threat posed by a terrified, small-boned, 120-pound, 48-year-old nurse.

Read the full account here.

Psalms that spoke to me today

From my morning readings today:

" Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor; let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised. For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul, and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord. In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”" (Psalm 10:1-4, ESV)

"Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted. Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”? But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none." (Psalm 10:12-15, ESV)

" To the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one." (Psalm 14:1-3, ESV)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Big Dog

DARPA has all the coolest toys!

Check out Big Dog from Boston Dynamics, very cool, also very scary. Terminator is not all that far off it looks like. I wish our masters would not develop stupid things like this, don't they watch Sci-Fi? Don't they know this sort of thing will doom us all? Ah well, do watch the video, it's really a life like creature and I think that makes it even more scary.