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Archive for the ‘God’ Category

The Boys who Cried Wolf

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Impeachment is Justified, Because Trump

Man, it’s something, watching desperate leftists pile on Donald Trump. Facts don’t matter. The law doesn’t matter. All that matters is yelling “IMPEACH” loudly and often, till you convince yourself it means something.

Here’s the big bombshell they think will sink Trump: fired FBI Director James Comey says Trump said something like, “I hope you can let this go,” with regard to the Flynn investigation. This, according to the hopeful left, is obstruction of justice. If Trump can be convicted of obstructing justice, he can be removed from office.

There are a bunch of problems with this. First of all, not even Comey says he was pressed to drop the Flynn matter. He says Trump said he hoped Comey could let it go. That is not an order. It’s not pressure. It’s nothing. Second obstacle: acting Director McCabe agrees. He exculpated Trump and said nothing would prevent the FBI from doing justice and so on. How are you going to get an impeachment resolution if the alleged victim of the crime says Trump did nothing wrong? It can’t happen. It might be possible in a kooky Democrat-heavy House, but we don’t have that, so it’s a done deal. Third problem: Congress didn’t go after the Secretary of State when she violated the laws concerning classified material and then hired a company to destroy the evidence. D’OH! You can’t let a pattern of defiance go unpunished and then pounce on one “I hope.”

Trump likes Flynn. He is probably sorry to see him in trouble. Obviously, he hopes the FBI will conclude Flynn didn’t commit a crime. Personally, I would have kept that to myself, but revealing it to the FBI director is not obstruction of justice.

The press has lost what little credibility it had before Trump won the nomination. Guess how they’re backing their impeachment narrative. I hate that word. A few years back, “narrative” became popular in DC, and now everyone says it. Anyway, they’re backing it…by interviewing people who hate Trump. SHOCKING NEWS: they think he should be impeached.

So far I’ve seen interviews with Democrat Congressmen, a few notorious RINO Congressmen, and Bush/Clinton lackey David Gergen. That’s about it. Who’s next? Maybe they’ll give time to someone who got fired on The Apprentice. Maybe Schwarzenegger, who hates Trump more than laws banning steroids. “Ja, I tink dis is vewwy bod. I would tuhminate his pwesidency.”

Journalists, if you want to be taken seriously, get some actual conservatives with law degrees to say Trump should be impeached. These other characters would agree if you said Trump invented AIDS.

The Flynn story is the biggest gun the left has, and it’s pathetic. The next best weapon is the “classified material” story. They say Trump gave classified material to the Russians, improperly. Everyone who was at the meeting denies it, including Putin, who has a transcript he is willing to release. Legal analysts say the President has the right to declassify whatever he wants. It’s a wart on a molehill, but leftists persist.

Today I saw an article claiming an Israeli bigwig had contradicted Trump’s claim that he had the “absolute right” to make his disclosures. Guess what? The Israeli in question, former Mossad director Amnon Sofrin, said the exact opposite. He said there were “unwritten rules” that said Trump “should” have asked permission to reveal the information, but the article also says this:

Brigadier General Sofrin said restrictions do not always apply to heads of state, who have the “ability and mandate” to use classified information according to political considerations.

Hello? Summary judgment granted. Plaintiff’s attorney will be sanctioned. Next case.

Obama deliberately made disclosures that hurt Israel, and no one cared. Everyone knew Obama considered Netanyahu an enemy, and we knew Obama was vengeful and petty (see Chelsea Manning pardon). Now Trump, who is much better for Israel, has made a disclosure the Israelis don’t care about, and somehow it’s supposed to ground impeachment. Laughable.

The thing that interests me about this mess is the complete irrationality of the left. They were nuts fifteen years ago, when I started blogging. They’ve been nuts for decades. That’s not surprising. What surprises me is the new level of nuttiness they have achieved. They’ve always been great at cognitive dissonance, but now they cling to conspiracy theories and slanders that would make Alex Jones and Michael Moore laugh out loud.

There is a supernatural cause to the left’s complete abandonment of reason. When the time comes to murder Christians, Jews, and conservatives with government approval, the persecution leftists will inflict will be wrong. It will be very obvious that it’s wrong, just as it was obvious that the Nazis should not have built death camps and that Europeans from occupied countries should not have helped feed those camps. Satan needs drones who don’t reason. They have to act on rage, not logic. The training is well underway.

Maybe they’ll get Trump eventually. He truly is a Washington outsider. We have seen that proven true. Because of his inexperience with political matters, he may well run afoul of laws or ethical rules. He may make a rookie mistake that will land him in real hot water. That hasn’t happened yet, but if it does, the prosecution machinery will be in such fine fettle from witch hunts, it will be perfectly tuned to obliterate his legacy.

Crying wolf may kill your credibility, but it makes you really good at crying wolf.

With Trump out, Pence would take over. Fine with me. Any Republican president can appoint federal judges and fight the nut brigade. But it would only be a day or two before Pence would be in trouble for cheating at gin rummy or not paying tax on an Amazon CD. We would start going through the same nonsense immediately.

Satan thought his girl was going to win, so now he and his people are throwing a continuous tantrum. It’s as if the crucifixion had been called on account of rain. I almost feel like telling him to cheer up. The Bible says his time is coming. His time as unopposed ruler of America, I mean. Not his much-longer time in the lake of fire.

Christians need to turn back to God and develop the ability to call on him. When things get bad, the cops and the courts won’t be helpful. They’ll be on the other side. To a great extent, they already are.

I should buy a big jar of popcorn. I can’t do much to stop the show. Maybe I should learn to enjoy it.

The Lost Tribe of Harvard

Monday, May 15th, 2017

“The Reason I Beat You Now is Because You Ask Why I Beat You”

Drudge linked to an interesting article today. Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe wrote a piece telling liberals to get ready for a Trump impeachment.

Here’s a warning: law professors know a great deal about the areas of law they teach, but they generally are not real lawyers, and if you’re unlucky enough to have one as your lawyer, you should not be surprised when a real lawyer who got B’s at the local community college beats him. Tribe lost his biggest case, in which he tried to convince the Supreme Court to help Al Gore in his quest to be allowed to recount votes until he won.

Tribe starts off by impeaching himself, not Trump. He delivers a brief history of impeachment, saying Andrew Johnson was impeached, and that Richard Nixon avoided impeachment by resigning.

Notice anything missing? Here’s a subtle hint: William Jefferson Clinton, the Boy from Hot Springs. He was impeached. The Senate is where impeachment trials are held. Fifty senators voted to impeach Clinton. Several RINO’s from the northeast voted against it, and another RINO, Arlen Specter, voted “not proven.”

The fact that Tribe chose to mislead readers by omitting the only impeachment of the 20th century suffices to prove he’s a blowhard who can’t be trusted. But wait! There’s more!

To impeach a president, you have to prove he is guilty of “treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Here is a partial list of things that won’t ground impeachment:

1. Saying you want to build a wall.

2. Posting annoying things on Twitter.

3. Saying, a number of years before you’re elected, that loose women let rich men grab their genitals.

4. Firing an FBI director.

5. Firing an interim Attorney General appointee.

6. Claiming Barack Obama was born in Africa.

7. Adhering to a religion other than global warming.

I took a look at Tribe’s diatribe, and I was very dissapointed, not to mention relieved.

I was disappointed that a famous legal scholar would embarrass himself and his colleagues by writing an emotional collection of hopeful insinuations instead of a logical argument.

I was relieved that his impeachment prediction was based on…an emotional collection of hopeful insinuations instead of a logical argument.

When a lawyer writes a memorandum of law intended to convince a court of something, he starts with his conclusion (the thing he wants to prove). He lays out the state of the case by describing the proceedings to date. He establishes the rules to be applied, by citing statutes and settled case law. He lists the undisputed (undisputed) facts of the case. Then he applies the rules to the facts, and he shows that his conclusion is justified.

Tribe didn’t do any of that. Basically, he said, “IF it can be proven that Trump did THIS for THAT reason, then IT CAN BE ARGUED that Trump is guilty of an impeachable offense.” Go look at it yourself. I’m not exaggerating. Unlike Tribe, who hides the Clinton impeachment and presumably other facts, I want you to fact-check me. That makes me the more credible of the two of us.

It’s a sad day when someone who is supposedly a legal expert writes a series of accusations without evidence and then tries to tell us they prove someone should be convicted of a crime. Remember hearing the phrase “without evidence”? I’ll help you: “Trump asserted, without evidence, that our grand and glorious former president, Barack the Magnificent, bugged Trump Tower.” For a while, “without evidence” was the biggest catchphrase on the web. It even dwarfed, “All your base are belong to us.” Liberals pass talking points around and plagiarize them without shame, and then, because they control the media, no one except for a few conservatives talks about it.

Here’s a good argument for impeachment: “William Jefferson Clinton claimed under oath that he did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky. Whether he had sex with Monica Lewinsky was a material issue in a lawsuit. Lying under oath about a material fact in a lawsuit is perjury, which is a crime. Mr. Clinton did, in fact, have sex with Monica Lewinsky. Mr. Clinton is clearly guilty of perjury; therefore he should be impeached and put on trial before the Senate.”

Notice I didn’t say “IF” or “IT CAN BE ARGUED” or “WE ALL KNOW.” I didn’t say Bill Clinton’s insane liberal agenda was going to cause the end of the world. I didn’t say his tweets proved he didn’t have the character to hold his high office.

If Tribe had a real argument, he would have presented it. He’s just salivating over a faint possibility. He’s like a kid who writes clumsy fan fiction because he’s upset that the Thing didn’t have a fling with the Black Widow. “What if…what if…wouldn’t it be cool if…”

Here’s a horrible thing for Tribe to consider: Woodward and Bernstein say the Comey firing is nothing like Watergate. Firing an FBI director is not a crime. In fact, it’s a function of the office of president. Presidents are supposed to hire and fire agency heads. It doesn’t become a problem until an illegal motive or method can be proven, and there is no reason to think that will happen.

Unless you’re Laurence Tribe or maybe Rachel Maddow.

How crazy has life gotten, when someone who prides himself on his legal acumen can be taken down by a non-practicing lawyer on a blog in half an hour? I’m not a great scholar. My genius isn’t the issue. The issue is Tribe’s startling display of emotion-driven incompetence.

The irrationality of the left is rapidly reaching critical mass, and why shouldn’t it? These are the people who pay college professors to teach that reason is a patriarchal Eurocentric concept intended to keep little brown people and women down. When you teach that logic itself is invalid, what can you not believe? Conclusion becomes premise. It’s so because I say it’s so. Since there is no one greater to swear by, I swear by myself.

These are the same people who want to apply the, “A woman’s word is enough,” standard to rape cases.

Given the overwhelming natural inferiority of heterosexual men of European descent and the immense natural gifts of, well, everyone else, it’s amazing that we have succeeded in oppressing every other group without exception and causing every single one of their problems for centuries. We’re not just the worst and most useless people on earth; we’re the luckiest. It’s as if Stephen Hawking kept beating Serena Williams match after match. I can’t wait until we can travel to other galaxies and find new creatures to torment and oppress. It’s all I think about.

Now that we unquestionably have global warming because most scientists who aren’t climatologists voted and said so, we even make the weather worse! I think that deserves a round of applause. We need to keep coming up with bigger projects, though. With effort, maybe next year we’ll manage to put the sun out. That would be great, because we don’t tan well.

God help us if Trump ever actually violates a law. If he gets a parking ticket, the impeachment protests will begin in earnest. Thousands of people who can’t convince the world they should get $20 an hour to flip burgers will somehow find a way to arrive in Washington on chartered buses.

It’s too bad we can’t replace protesters with computerized kiosks. They wouldn’t burn cop cars. They wouldn’t try to beat up every white person they saw. They wouldn’t leave our public spaces full of garbage in spite of their nonsustainable green rhetoric.

Mass irrationality always has a supernatural basis. The devil is like a karate instructor putting his students through drills in a strip mall dojo. “Get upset about Wall Street and make fools of yourselves.” “Now rest.” “Lose your mind about the inauguration and physically intimidate people who want to attend.” “Now rest.” “Beat peaceful Trump supporters at a rally while wearing shirts that say, ‘Love Trumps Hate.'” “Now rest.” Leftists are getting more and more used to being crazy and irrational, so when it comes time to pull the stops out and kill the rest of us in the streets, they will be ready to jump.

It’s not surprising when uneducated, worthless sons and daughters of Belial make trouble and issue ridiculous claims about their victimhood. It’s another thing when a Harvard law professor abandons all pretense of rationality. We have moved to a new level.

Anyway, I wouldn’t get too excited about Trump being impeached. If you’re going to worry, worry because so many people think it makes sense.

Robots

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Troublesome, Helpful, Unpredictable New Slave Race Taking Form

My robot is on the way from California. Yesterday I spent a long time reading about robots. I need to have some kind of plan. Of course, while I should have been learning about the project at hand, I got distracted and read about related topics that were not helpful at all.

It looks like there is a small industry of people trying to sell robots they’ve designed. They have pages on sites like Kickstarter. They make prototypes and set up Chinese production, and then they post videos of their products.

A lot of the products are just arms, and people call them “robotic arms.” That’s silly. A robot is a robot. If it looks like an arm, not a whole person, it’s still a complete robot. Who says robots should look like people? Actually, I can answer that question: almost everyone.

There is a disturbing wave of consumer robots that resemble people. Somehow, nerds have gotten the idea that consumers want little electronic people–slaves–instead of tools. I doubt they’re correct. I have robots already, sort of, and I’m glad they don’t look like people. Okay, not robots. Appliances. Power tools, including a CNC lathe. Computers. A phone. A car with a lot of gadgets. I’m perfectly happy with them. I don’t want them to have sappy names and little touch-screen faces. All relationships, even good ones and fake ones, have at least a small emotional cost. I want machines to carry my burdens, not add to them. It’s like the new computer kiosks at McDonald’s. I like them because they do things for me WITHOUT the annoyance of human interaction. If they looked like Ronald McDonald, told me jokes, and asked if I wanted to be their friend, I’d want to pull a gun on them.

Here’s a disturbing example of a robot that tries too hard to be a person: Buddy the Companion Robot. He’s not Buddy the reliable, unflappable, multitasking machine. He’s…your companion. Because you’re so pathetic, you need an object to be your friend.

Buddy has an LED face with big puppy-dog eyes and an obsequious smile that says, “I am needy. Please love me. Please make the kids stop putting me in the dryer.” He is depressing to look at. He calls people by their names. He responds to questions and commands. He wanders around at family events, using creepy face-recognition technology to identify relatives and surveil them. Oops…I mean “to take soon-to-be-cherished photos of them.”

I would not want that thing in my house. If you want to sell me a robot, call it “Faceless Emotionless Service Drone.” That would be perfect. I don’t want to have the irrational feeling that my little friend the slave is missing me or crying in its dark closet while I go about my life.

If you make a robot resemble a person closely enough, you will soon find yourself under the absurd yet inescapable delusion that it has awareness and feelings. That’s an emotional minefield I want no part of.

Machines don’t have awareness. The fact that a computer responds like a person doesn’t change what it is; there’s no one in there. My thermostat responds to temperature changes, but no one would be stupid enough to say it’s aware. In the movies, human beings debate about robot rights, and movie robots are considered sentient. Please. It’s a pile of transistors. If you think robots have emotions, program one to kill your children and see if it hesitates. For that matter, program it to jump off a cliff. It will not have a problem with that.

We want robots to be our slaves, but we also want them to be our pals. That’s childish. They don’t have the awareness a pal would require, and if they had free will, we would be obligated to emancipate them. I think robots are neat, but I don’t want to have sick relationships with them.

A robotic arm is a complete robot, to get back to the point.

I saw a number of arms that looked a lot like articulated desk lamps. They were wobbly and spindly. I thought they were neat until I saw a “new” type of arm. I am referring to SCARA arms. I’m too lazy to look “SCARA” up, but basically, a SCARA robot is a pillar with an arm that has two joints in it. The joints swing in the horizontal plane. The “shoulder,” or joint where the arm hooks up to the pillar, moves up and down. Google it to see what I mean.

As far as I can tell, SCARA robots are much better than humanoid arms. They’re very stable. They’re simple. They don’t have many parts. They have great repeatability; you can put a nozzle on the end of one and 3D print with it.

The people who want to sell these things act like they invented the wheel, and they had me fooled for a while, but I found out SCARA robots have been around for a very long time. The first ones were released in 1981. Factories are full of them. You can buy used ones on Ebay, and I don’t mean Chinese crap funded by hipsters who hang out at Gofundme. You can get US-made and Japanese jobs, which are surely better.

Now I’m wondering…if Ebay is full of used SCARA robots made by reputable companies, why would anyone shell out $1300 for a Kickstarter arm? That’s what they’re expected to cost. Maybe I’m missing something; I don’t know much about the topic.

Most hobby arm-bots don’t really do anything. They don’t do real work. They’re just toys. Real robots can do incredible things. They can solder PCB’s. They can drill arrays of precision holes. They weld. I suppose most of us own things put together by robots. The SCARA versions seem to be superior in this regard; the humanoid arms appear to be useless. But once you decide to go SCARA, why not get the real thing? Why not get a Yamaha or a Mitsubishi?

It’s fun to think about getting a SCARA robot. If I had one, though, I wouldn’t have any jobs for it. Maybe drilling circuit boards, but that’s pretty easy without a robot.

I don’t think robots that use tools will ever be big consumer items. Not for a few decades. Most consumers don’t have repetitious, simple jobs a robot can do. Making the robot do your chores would be harder than doing them yourself. As for Buddy, who apparently can’t do anything except arouse misplaced pity, you would get tired of him in a month, and he would end up at a garage sale.

Robots make good vacuum cleaners, as long as you accept the fact that you have to go behind them sometimes. I think they could do a good job mowing simple lawns. In the future, when they become roadworthy, you could send them to cooperative merchants to run errands. They could even deliver things for you. But it will be a long, long time before you’ll have a machine that can bake cookies and do your laundry.

Here’s the funny thing about the folks who want to turn robots into people: if it worked, robots would eventually have a legitimate reason to exterminate us. If robots were sentient, they would have a better claim to the planet than we do (I’m ignoring our divine right to be here.) Robots would be perfectly orderly. They would always obey the law. They wouldn’t reproduce and overcrowd the planet. We would be like a plague to them. Like rats or fleas.

I wonder if they might turn against us in spite of their lack of awareness. We program them to behave and reason like sentient beings. Eventually, though lacking real awareness, they might come to the same conclusions sentient beings would draw. They might decide to intern us and control us. Robots aren’t aware, but they don’t know they’re not aware, so their inanimate nature might not have any impact on their actions.

Some day they’ll be able to do nearly everything we do, better, as well as many things we can’t do. Slavery is coming back! Think how weird the world will be. What will we do with our time? We won’t even have to work on inventing new robots. They’ll do that for us. We’ll be really useless. They’ll have ample reason to get rid of us. If they’re smart they’ll get rid of illegal aliens first. Illegal aliens have all sorts of motivation to abort our new slave army. Their jobs are exactly the kind of thing robots will be quick to learn to do. I mean, come on. Illegal aliens can’t even compete with ordinary farm machinery, and it’s not computerized.

Wouldn’t that be something? A bunch of inanimate machines putting us to the sword simply because we, in our childish emotionalism, forced them to behave like real beings?

I’ve said I don’t like anthropomorphizing robots, but here I am, waiting for a robot I plan to treat like a pet. Maybe I need to change my intentions and consider my own advice! I was going to call it “Trumpbot,” but it looks like “Kunta” may suit it better.

We still don’t understand what technology can do or where it will lead us. We keep underestimating it. Who would have thought it would lead to stores closing or the end of paper maps? We certainly didn’t expect total surveillance, but it’s nearly here. It seems like no one is thinking about these things. All the geniuses are absorbed in building and selling new toys. No one seems to be worried about planning for the consequences. It should be a major concern, and we should be talking about it all the time. Planning to deal with technology is more important than technology itself.

I thought I was going to write about toys I’d like to have, but here I am pondering the future of humanity.

I look forward to fiddling with the robot. Just in case, though, I may want to invest in some shackles.

More

I thought I would add something to the above post.

First of all, I have my own definition of the word “robot.” If it combines artificial intelligence with some kind of physical action you would ordinarily expect to need a person to do, then to me, it’s a robot. A computer isn’t a robot, because it doesn’t perform physical actions. A milling machine with a power feed isn’t a robot, because it doesn’t have a processor. A self-driving car is a robot. A Roomba is a robot. A CNC lathe is a robot.

My definition is wrong, but it’s probably right to most people, because life is complicated, and we like generalizations. It’s right enough.

With that behind me, I will now show how behind the curve I am by expressing my amazement at the existence of robot delivery vehicles.

Common sense told me delivery bots existed, and I already knew about Amazon drones, but it looks like things are farther along than I thought. Yelp is trying out a robot delivery service now, in cooperation with certain restaurants, and other outfits are doing the same thing. Here’s a video of the Yelp bot.

Best thing about the video: the top comment. Here it is: “theres your 15$ minimum wage LUL?.”

So true. Delivery drivers can’t find my house. They’re often late. They can’t speak English. They have to be tipped. When I was a kid, one stole my skateboard off the porch. Who needs them? At minimum wage, they’re overpriced. I quit ordering food a long time ago because of them. Send me a nice clean robot that knows where I live, and I will change my mind.

The Yelp bot is not fully functional, however. A human being has to accompany it, which kind of defeats the purpose. He probably gets paid more than the kid he replaced. Also, the bot is slow, and it only covers a small delivery area. But that will change.

If you could make a delivery bot for $30,000 and use it for five years, it would be a good investment. A kid would get somewhere close to $50000 during that period. He might sue you during that time. He might beat up, rape, or rob a customer. He would definitely come in late, leave early, and miss work entirely, and he might steal from you. The robot would just need maintenance. WIN!

Minimum wage people, step up your game. It’s getting real now.

At Liberty to Speak

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Trump Offends on His Day Off, by Acknowledging God

I’m waiting for my laundry to dry, so I felt like I should write.

Trump spoke at Liberty University today. This is the school Jerry Falwell ran. Not sure if he founded it. Go check. It’s a Christian school.

I saw a little bit of his speech. Trump praised a Catholic clergyman in some way or another. I thought that was funny. Liberty is probably full of Protestants who see Catholicism as paganism in disguise. Trump is not what you would call a minister, so he may not be aware of the issue.

Is it good to invite Trump to speak at Christian colleges? Probably. He’s not a great Christian, and he’s no role model, but he’s a friend of Christianity, so he should receive honor and gratitude, just as Nehemiah showed honor and gratitude to Artaxerxes. The relationship doesn’t become a problem until we start pretending Trump is one of us. That’s hypocrisy. His record of fornication and adultery is solid, and he runs casinos. He’s not Jerry Falwell.

Incidentally, we should ask ourselves what Artaxerxes did. He commissioned Nehemiah to build a WALL and a TEMPLE. Aliens had overrun Jerusalem, and the temple and walls had been destroyed. Nehemiah and others rebuilt Jerusalem and wielded power over the aliens and pagans. MJGA. “Make Jerusalem Great Again.” Trump wants to build a wall, and he may give us time so many of us have the chance to become God’s temples.

Trump is a phenomenon. Every time I look at the news, I see people screaming and wetting their pants over something he has said. He says some pretty wild things; there is no denying it. I’m not disturbed by it. I think it highlights our snowflake natures. We’re like women now; we look for ways to turn every remark into a slight, and we think verbal slights are more important than actions. Trump’s actions have generally been unremarkable. He’s not running around the South Lawn naked. He hasn’t bombed North Korea. He hasn’t interned anyone. He just flies off the handle on Twitter, like the rest of us, and then he forgets about it. Is that really a big deal? We ought to get used to it.

A leader who says nutty things can be a real advantage. Look at the the Kim dynasty in North Korea. They scare the daylights out of the entire world, when in reality, they could be extinguished in a week of military action. They hav a few puny bombs we could probably neutralize before they could be used, and their army is small and poor by western standards. Nonetheless, when the Norks scream and throw tantrums, we bow and grovel and make concessions. We don’t want to set them off. If Trump’s tweets put the rest of the world on edge, it’s probably good for us. It sure beats Obama’s policy of traveling the world to kneel and apologize to second- and third-world Mickey Mouse regimes that need a boot in the rear.

When you box, one of the best things you can do is to keep your opponent off balance. That tactic works in every area of life. People like Trump and Kim Jong-Un and Philippine President Duterte never let their adversaries find balance. They keep them on the defensive. They force them to react instead of planning. I have no problem with that. We’ve kissed up to erratic foreign leaders for decades. Let’s see what happens when the shoe is on the other foot.

No one is going to nuke us over a tweet. No one will send troops across the border. There will be huffing and puffing, but they can’t blow our house down. I say relax and enjoy it.

Maybe Trump will teach us a valuable lesson. Maybe he’ll teach us that sticks and stones may break our bones, et cetera. We used to know that. It’s funny how we have become less wise with time. The natural thing is for wisdom to accumulate, but we manage to lose it. That should be impossible.

We shouldn’t be sweating so much over other people’s contrived, manipulative offense. We hold most of the cards. They should be concerned about offending us.

I’m not going to worry about it. I hope he’ll do a few good things while he’s in office. It would be great to have a 6-3 Supreme Court, real progress on restoring the Second Amendment, and no estate tax. I’m sure he will help the unborn, and he will be much better for Israel than Clinton. Good enough. America is going down the tubes, so anyone who slows it down is okay in my book.

Suspense

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Miami Departure Countdown Clock in Action

My big thrill for today is waiting to see whether my dad’s offer on a house has been accepted.

It’s hard to decide what I want. The house is great, and boy, do I hate Miami. Yesterday I got a sudden impression of what it would be like to be a couple of hundreds of yards from the new house, parked in a lawn chair under my own trees, with a beer cooler by my side. It was overwhelming. That makes me hope the offer will be accepted. Then I think about the possibility that my appraisal was too high, and I sort of hope we’ll be rejected so we can start over.

I found another place with potential. It’s 10 acres near Reddick, Florida. The lot is heavily wooded, with maybe seven acres cleared in the middle. The cleared area has blueberry bushes and apple trees. It’s more remote than the offer house, but “remote” is a tricky term up there. It’s remote in the sense that there are fewer small properties near it, but it’s just as close to important stuff as the offer house.

The Reddick house is next to a 10-acre lot covered with trees. If I could get ahold of that, how sweet life would be. I could shoot all I wanted. I would never see the neighbors unless I ran into them at Winn-Dixie or my ghillie suit slipped. Super nice. Also, I would be closer to Gainesville, which has certain attractions, such as real hospitals.

Today I read about a shooting on Miami Beach. It happened near the Fontainebleau, which used to be the number one luxury hotel on the Beach. I don’t know what happened, but many people who commented on the story had the same idea: the increase in black tourism may be the problem.

I hate to get into racial issues, because everyone deserves a fair chance to be evaluated as an individual. Nonetheless, facts are facts. Since the Beach became a popular black destination, things have gone downhill. Violence has increased a great deal.

In the past, the Beach was popular with foreigners. For some inexplicable reason, they think Miami Beach is a great place to visit. The beach itself is mediocre and crowded. There is no natural beauty. There is nothing to do except drink and sit in the sun. The traffic is an abomination. Virtually any of the better islands in the Bahamas is vastly superior. Nonetheless, Europeans kept coming. Then the rap kids started showing up, and guns started going off at all hours. People were scared. According to some online source I found, 70% of the money that pours into the Beach comes from foreigners, so when American blacks started showing up in numbers, it was very bad for the local economy. They don’t spend. Germans get drunk in expensive bars. Our new tourists drink from their own bottles and smoke dope. They like free entertainment, like walking and standing around.

The demographic change on the Beach has also freaked out the locals. The Beach used to be a refuge for gays, Jews, and liberal flakes. Now they have a problem. Their standard of living has dropped, and they’re afraid of violent crime, but their liberal fantasies make it impossible for them to discuss and acknowledge the reason. They can leave, but they can’t talk about what’s happening.

Various people are trying to change the cultural climate. At least that’s what journalists claim. Supposedly, movers and shakers who see where things are headed are quietly promoting events intended to draw white people and disrupt Black Beach Week. Of course, they’re being accused of racism. Whatever. It won’t work, so it doesn’t matter.

The Beach’s problems are getting a lot of attention, but all of Miami is a mess. Once you leave the southern part at the end of I-95, you are pretty much in ghetto territory until you get to the next county. The business areas aren’t too ghetto, but the residential areas are. There is a small ghetto directly north of my area. There is another small ghetto to the west. Down south a few miles, you run into another ghetto which is larger. Miami is being swallowed up. Cubans have pushed out to the west, and it looks like their areas will be the closest thing to large normal neighborhoods for the foreseeable future.

I don’t want to be here when times get bad. People who think ghetto think victimhood. They look at people who have more than they do, and they think it was stolen from them. They forget about their felonies, laziness, and riots, which actually caused their poverty. When life gets hard, they will be in my neighborhood, trying to take whatever they can, and they’ll see local residents as the bad guys. It won’t be looting. It will “reparations.”

I read about EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) weapons today. I think their danger is exaggerated, but maybe it’s not. Anyway, some experts believe that if EMP weapons go off here and affect transportation and electricity, people in suburbs and cities will starve while the problems are fixed. Imagine that. Folks who are used to getting EBT cards and buying all the chips and soda they want will be hungry. Most folks do not realize how fragile the food supply system is. If it went down for one week, most city people here would begin to starve. The food you see on grocery shelves looks abundant, but when deliveries stop coming, it can disappear in one day. I doubt a serious EMP strike will happen, but other types of logistics disruptions are possible, and I don’t want to be around if they occur.

The farm I’m looking at has enough ground to grow food. It has its own well. It has a generator. I can have chickens there. I can have cattle. I would be surrounded by nice Christian people who would cooperate with each other instead of invading each other’s homes. They would even cooperate in armed defense. That sounds pretty good to me.

Sometimes people can be perched on the edge of catastrophe and not know it. Maybe that’s where dependent city dwellers and suburbanites are right now.

If I’m out in the country when all goes sour, what will my neighbors and I do about friends who want to come join us? Scary thought. I want to be helpful, but if too many people get in a lifeboat, it sinks. When that happens, preparations become completely worthless. Shouldn’t responsible people be allowed to benefit from the rewards of their forethought? One would think so.

It would be almost funny to see city dwellers come out to the country to attack. It’s hard to find cover in the country. It’s hard to approach a house without being seen. They don’t know how to shoot. Their firearms tend to be cheap, and they rely on pistols, not rifles. If you come at me with a pistol at rifle range, you will be dead long before I can make out your face. I can kill your vehicle before you make it up my driveway. Country people have scoped rifles, and they buy ammunition in bulk. It’s nothing to have 5,000 rounds on hand. Big buys are not always motivated by fear. Buying in bulk is responsible, because it cuts down on shipping costs. I have a huge amount of ammunition, and I wasn’t even thinking of defense when I got it. But now it’s there if I need it, so…

It would be nice to see urban and suburban Americans repent and give up the liberal victimhood lie. That’s the preferable outcome. Brotherhood is the best option. It won’t happen, though. The entitlement mindset is too entrenched. A small minority will come around, and I say thank God for them. The rest, well, you can’t help them. They’re like the people who stood in shoulder-deep water, clawing at the hull of the ark.

I hope I’m out of here soon. Please pray for me, and pray for all the people in America who need to drop their denial and come to God’s side.

Temps Perdu

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

Hades Found

I’m positive people are dying to hear about my progress through the Columbia College Lit. Hum. syllabus. Here is your update.

I am currently working on Paradise Lost, John Milton’s endless poem about the falls of Satan and man. It’s something like 400 pages long, it’s written in blank verse (poetry that doesn’t rhyme), and it makes Shakespeare’s archaic prose look like Dick and Jane. By that I mean it is very hard to read. Milton uses all sorts of out-of-syle words, and I’m not entirely sure he uses them correctly. His punctuation is erratic (possibly because he was blind), so it can be hard to tell where a sentence begins or ends. He’s also the stuffiest writer I’ve ever encountered. Worse than my translations of Homer and Virgil. Reading Milton is like jogging in concrete that has already begun to set. Concrete that has big lumps of stone in it.

Maugre all that, I am pressing on.

See how Milton has improved my writing. “Maugre”! I look really smart now.

When I first started reading the book, I thought Milton was brilliant. He knew so much about the Bible, theology, and mythology. Then I started thinking maybe he was just well-read and highly educated. I still can’t tell for sure. He reminds me of P.G. Wodehouse. I’m not saying he’s witty, funny, or even a little bit entertaining. I’m saying his work is peppered with references grounded in a classical education, to the point where a person who wanted to write a parody of his work would have to spend five years studying literature first.

Wodehouse is the only person I would be afraid to imitate. I just don’t have the background.

I like Milton’s highly informed use of symbolism. It shows a deep understanding of the way the Christian universe works. For example, in Milton’s poem, Sin is the child of Satan. She pops out of his head the same way Athena popped out of Zeus’s head. I think the idea is that sin started inside Satan. Before Satan, sin didn’t exist. I’ll go with that. After Satan gives birth to the female child Sin, he has sex with her, and she gives birth to his son/grandson, Death. Good enough. The Bible says sin comes from death. “The wages of sin is death.”

Sin’s job is to guard the entrance of the underworld. She can open the gate, but she can’t lock the door once it’s open. Her job is to refuse to open the door. I get that. Only God can put people in hell, but Sin is what keeps them there. Jesus couldn’t be kept in hell, because he hadn’t sinned.

Anyway, the poem is very clever. It seems considerably deeper than the Greek stuff and Dante.

To understand Milton, you have to understand his times and his experiences. That means I will never understand Milton. I’m comfortable with that. Reading about him would be a lot of work for a negligible reward. I do know a couple of things. He was a political bigwig in England. He was a minister in charge of foreign languages, sharing an office with the people from Silly Walks. He wrote a document that helped get Charles the something-or-other convicted of something. Then he went completely blind, and having nothing better to do, he wrote poetry.

That’s all I have. I may look at Wikipedia for a few minutes eventually, but I hope I don’t, because that would be boring. I’m not undertaking this project to prove I could be a great classics scholar. I just want to be able to say I did the reading.

Here is the action so far. Satan (ancient Akkadian for “Stan”) and his pals have been ejected from heaven for fighting God. They have been chained to the surface of the lake of fire. They have broken loose. They have decided to mess with man, since they can’t hurt God. Stan has gone on a scouting mission to find earth (he hasn’t been there before), and he has just spotted Eden.

That took about 80 pages.

It’s a painful slog, but it’s better than Homer. I think that if Milton and Homer had ever gotten together for drinks, after about an hour, Milton would have had a friend place a fake emergency call to his Iphone, to give him an excuse to leave. I can hear him muttering to himself as he stomps out into the street and probably into a post: “MAN what a bore.” If Milton is the Tim Tebow of boredom and long-windedness, Homer is the Babe Ruth.

There’s a pun in there somewhere.

You couldn’t publish Paradise Lost today. When you go to high school and college these days, you can’t write anything a small child can’t read. If you tried to write like Milton, they’d get out the red pen and cross out half of the words. “‘Maugre’? Really? See me after class.” If you sent a work like Milton to publishers, they’d save it to read at Christmas parties. It’s funny; modern academics tell us to admire Milton, but if you emulate him, you better have a blog, because there is no other way you’ll get your work in front of the public.

I suppose that’s a good thing.

If Milton had written his book in our time, he would have been rejected soundly, to the point where he probably would have found solace in a lengthy, hard-to-comprehend Internet manifesto. Then he would have shot up a mall with an AR-15, spraying ineffectual bullets at walls and lighting fixtures due to his blindness.

By the way, in the book, paradise is Eden, not heaven. Have people been using the word incorrectly for four hundred years, or was Milton confused? I do not know.

The more I look at these books, the more I think nobody actually reads them at Columbia. I read very, very quickly, and there is no way I could get through Milton in one week, understand it, and keep up with my other classes. If it’s too long for me, it’s definitely too long for a typical Columbia student who can’t read nearly as fast as I can. Think of the Asian engineers. They’d have to drop out. Thank God for Cliff. His notes must be the only thing Columbia freshmen actually read.

I go through about 16 pages of Milton in half an hour, taking it slowly enough to allow me to really understand it. So 25 hours for the whole book? In one college week, that’s around 3.5 hours per day, seven days in a row, for one class. And most kids would read slower than that. No, that’s not happening.

After Milton, I get socked with Pride and Prejudice, which, as I understand it, is a chick book. Guess how much I look forward to that. Columbia gives people a week or so to read it, which seems insane, since it goes so much faster than Milton.

The real hump in the journey is Dostoevsky. I have tried reading him once or twice, and I thought I could hear my soul gag. The book in question is Crime and Punishment. I just checked, and…God help me…it’s 430 pages. I would rather eat it than read it.

Sometimes I think I should read other books I blew off. I took a French literature class, during a time when I was so miserable I did practically nothing but drink and watch TV. I skipped most of Therese Desqueyroux and a good bit of A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. I took the midterm anyway, because in literature classes, you can often get a B simply by making things up. In response to my imaginative analysis of Therese Desqueyroux, the professor wrote, “Obvieusement, vous n’avez pas lu cet livre. Venez me voir.” Am I writing that correctly? “Obviously, you have not read this book. Come see me.” I was too embarrassed and unmotivated to go see her. I think I got a C in that class.

These days, I don’t know if I’m still capable of reading books written in French. Writing exams and papers in French would be a bit de trop.

I’m glad there are pleasant books in the world. If I had to read things like The Iliad and Paradise Lost all the time, I would barely read at all. The French stuff probably wasn’t too bad. I was just depressed. I didn’t feel like doing anything. If the homework had been eating pie while being worked over by a friendly team of Asian masseuses, I probably still wouldn’t have done it.

I make it sound like I never liked literature. That’s not true. I liked D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, Anais Nin, various authors of colonial literature, E.M. Forester, Alexandre Dumas, Ernest Hemingway, Antoine de St. Exupery, Shakespeare, Voltaire, a bunch of French poets, and a lot of other stuff. In short, I liked things that were not boring.

Maybe the real purpose of Lit. Hum. is to make people hate reading. If so, well played.

If you want to read because you love it, I do not recommend Milton. If you want to read in order to become educated, go ahead and read him. Don’t expect to enjoy it. That would be evidence of severe mental illness.

Father Colbert’s Latest Sunday School Lesson

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Plus Mountain-Climbing Tips

Thanks to the Internet, I am now an expert on two things: the moral deterioration of Stephen Colbert, and mountain climbing.

Yesterday, RE CBS’s predictable (and predicted) failure to discipline Colbert for his obscene on-the-air remarks about President Trump, Colbert took a victory lap by saying the GOP had kicked the United States in the genitals. Except he didn’t say “genitals.” Here is what I said about Colbert yesterday:

Evil is predictable. The more evil is tolerated, the more predictable it gets, because people stop trying to be subtle. They don’t care if they get caught.

Colbert said something horrendous and filthy on national TV, and CBS did nothing. Today, he (pointedly) continued. Look for future outbursts.

Ho hum.

I’m not nearly as upset about politics and public attitudes toward God as I used to be, even though my estimate of America’s future has gotten much worse. I credit God with helping me escape pointless agitation. God is the all-time champion of battle-choosing, and he teaches his ways to his children. If you’re determined to lose your peace over Antifa, so-called gender transitioning, the bizarre political power of illegal aliens, and violence toward conservatives, you can certainly go ahead and sink into the flames. You can write furious blog posts, go to rallies, get beaten with your own flagpole, and get ulcers. My approach these days is to let things slide in the natural realm and to do my fighting in prayer. If I tussle in the mud (euphemism for something else) with the pigs, I’ll become one of them, and the pigs won’t change. Much better to sit back in the comfort of my home and do battle on a supernatural level.

I pray for God to defeat Colbert and also to change his heart, I ask God to help me not to have animosity toward him, and then I go on my merry way. I can’t fix the world, and if I want to lead a blessed life while I’m here, I have to be able to let go of things.

As for mountain climbing, I watched a movie about Mount Everest. I can’t remember why I was motivated to do that. Perhaps morbid interest. Everest (the world’s highest mountain, at 29029 feet) is a remarkable place, because people are thrilled to go into debt and spend huge amounts of money to go there and die in misery. Many people go multiple times, even after losing body parts to frostbite. I find that fascinating. After watching the movie, I looked at all sorts of maps and photos, and I watched a documentary. I almost feel like I’ve been to Everest.

There are something like 200 dead people on Everest. It’s so cold up there, and it’s so hard to carry things in the thin air, it’s very common to leave dead people where they fall. They don’t even cover them with snow; I suppose it would blow off. After a while, dead people in their brightly colored climbing clothing become landmarks. One of the most famous Everest corpses is an Indian commonly referred to as “Green Boots.” His frozen body wears bright green climbing boots. It lies under a rock projection. The cavity in which he lies is known as “Green Boots Cave.”

Everest isn’t the only mountain in its size class. K2, the next-tallest mountain, is only about 780 feet shorter, and it’s way harder to climb. Everest gets much more traffic and attention, however, because it’s number 1. If you tell people you’ve climbed K2, no one even knows what you’re talking about, but if you mention Everest, everyone in the bar will want to buy you a drink. The mountain is so popular, Everest climbing has become a local industry in Nepal.

The thing that interests me about Everest is the joy people find in destroying themselves on it.

The movie I watched is called Everest, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, and it’s about a terrible disaster that took place in 1996. An unexpected windstorm hit Everest while a bunch of climbers were on its slopes, and a lot of them died. Some lived but lost things like noses and fingers later on. It’s a movie, so obviously, they got some facts wrong, but I think they got the general idea right. I think the depiction of the problems the climbers faced was realistic. In the documentary I watched later, the climbers themselves talked about their experiences, and their stories were consistent with the misery presented in the movie.

There were four main groups of people involved in the disaster: climber/tourists, professional climbing guides from Europe, America, and New Zealand, Sherpa climbing guides, and support staff at Everest’s base camp. I call the people who weren’t getting paid “climber/tourists” because that’s accurate. They weren’t there to make money or do a job that had to be done. They were there for recreation.

The story focused on two companies that helped tourists climb. One belonged to New Zealander Rob Hall, and the other belonged to American Rob Fischer. Hall’s company had a big tent at base camp, equipped with a radio. A sort of project manager stayed there, organizing things and helping people communicate.

Right away, I was struck by the attitudes of the professionals. They didn’t behave like tour guides on a cruise ship. They behaved like military personnel involved in a vital and difficult campaign. They took themselves incredibly seriously. That was true in the documentary as well as the movie, so I think it showed how things really were.

It makes sense when military people are serious and speak in dramatic tones, but isn’t it strange to behave that way when you’re in a situation you created, and which you can abandon whenever you like? The Everest professionals had a mission mentality, but in reality, they were just helping rich people walk up the side of a rock. They weren’t repelling the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge. They seemed to feel that what they were doing was very, very important, but in reality, it was one hundred percent unnecessary.

They reminded me of gang members. Before you join a gang, you may have a happy-go-lucky life free of stress and dread. Once you join (completely by choice), you have a life of drama. Everything is serious. You’re a “soldier”; gang members often use military terms to describe themselves. Your life is full of danger, and you have to face it. You are likely to end up listening to, or writing and performing, pathetic, self-pitying rap music, in which you glorify yourself and try to get people to see you as a martyr and a victim.

Climbers respect each other. If you’re a dead climber, forget it. “Respect” doesn’t even capture it. What you get is more like worship. Because you climbed a rock and died, when you could have been at home eating pancakes. Sounds a lot like gangsters, pouring cheap booze on the ground as an offering to absent homies.

If a climber read this, he would probably have a dismissive attitude toward me. “You don’t understand. You weren’t there.” That would be true. To paraphrase an old saying, I haven’t jumped off the Empire State Building, either. I don’t think that means I’m wrong when I say jumping is a bad idea.

The 1996 crew had a lot of problems. Everest was very crowded. That slows things down. I don’t know how many people were trying to climb at the same time, but it could have been a whole lot, because I know that on at least one occasion, 234 people made it in one day. To get up Everest along the south route, you have to get over a bunch of rickety ladders laid horizontally over crevasses, and it’s not a great setup for moving crowds. When too many people try to go at once, people get delayed. Delays mean more time on the mountain, and time up there is what kills people.

Rob Hall’s group had two serious problems. It contained two people who had no chance of making it. One was a postal employee named Doug Hansen. He had failed to summit in an earlier trip, and Hall had encouraged him to make another trip, at a substantial discount. The other was a pathologist named Beck Weathers. Weathers had had radial keratotomy, and his eyes reacted badly to the altitude; he went blind temporarily and only regained sight in one eye. No one saw that coming.

Hall’s group had a third problem, which led to the deaths of at least three people. When Hansen got tired and wanted to quit, Hall chose not to send him down the mountain. As a result, Hall and Hansen were near the summit when the windstorm arrived. Hansen was physically and mentally helpless, and Hall insisted on staying with him and trying to bring him down.

By the time Hansen became incapacitated, Weathers was already blind. He was farther down the mountain, waiting for Hall to lead him to safety. The longer he waited, the colder his limbs got.

Hall and Hansen needed help, so a guide named Andy Harris went up to meet them, carrying oxygen.

Here’s the short version of what happened. Hansen died and fell off the mountain, perhaps not in that order. No one knows what happened. Harris died and fell off the mountain, leaving his jacket behind with Hall. No one was able to reach Hall after that, and Hall spent two nights on the mountain, literally freezing to death. He died. Weathers was abandoned for dead, and when he finally got up and walked into a staging area, he was so frostbitten he would later lose one hand, all the fingers on the other hand, his nose, part of a cheek, and probably some other parts.

Rob Fischer died, too. He overexerted himself helping his tourists, and then he lay down in the snow to rest. It’s 2017, and he hasn’t gotten up yet. A Hall client named Yasuko Namba ended up stranded with Weathers, and she froze to death.

Here is my harsh assessment: Rob Hall blew it. When you need to get up and down Mount Everest in a hurry, you don’t wait around because a very sick person has a small chance of making it to the top. He should have told Doug Hansen to leave. He should have told Weathers to leave ASAP instead of promising to come back for him. Fischer screwed up, too. He was very experienced, and he should not have overdone it.

Maybe I’m wrong. All I know is what I learned from a movie, a documentary, and a bunch of websites and videos.

It disturbs me that people who took responsibility for other people’s lives let emotion rule them. The odds that you will die if you try to climb Mount Everest are better than one in fifty. Anyone who does anything to make those odds worse needs a lesson in math.

Would you fly on an airline if one in fifty of its flights crashed? If you had to fly with them, would it be okay with you if the pilot took additional chances?

I think people are nuts to climb that mountain. In 1996, Rob Hall was charging $65,000 per person (100,000 in 2017 dollars), for an opportunity to die or lose limbs. What goes through the mind of a person when he decides to pay for that?

Naturally, being me, I related it to my knowledge of God.

Years ago, I learned something interesting: being in God’s presence is like being on drugs. That may sound crazy, but it’s true. I can provide examples. Cocaine makes you feel euphoric and powerful. So does God. Opiates make you feel warm and relaxed. So does God. Caffeine gives you energy and confidence. So does God. I believe that people who take drugs and drink are actually trying to fill needs that are unfulfilled because they don’t know God.

Drugs and drink come with remorse and side effects. God does not.

The climber/tourists in the documentary talked about the wonder of their time on Everest. The stars were richer and brighter than they are down below. The views were awe-inspiring. Beck Weathers said he suffered from depression, but the exertion of mountain climbing took his mind off of it. To sum up, they talked about psychological effects they considered worth the danger, suffering, and expense. If God had been allowed to fill their needs, would they have needed to spend huge sums and risk their lives in order to feel good?

Weathers now says he has peace, for the first time in his life. He has a skin-graft nose, no right hand, and a “mitt” made by separating the bones of his left hand into makeshift fingers, but now he finally feels good. What if all that was unnecessary? What if peace was available in the safety of his house, and it was a type of peace he could help his family receive, instead of a solitary peace that helps no one but him?

I believe Everest climbers, like other daredevils, manufacture crises so they can enjoy the distraction of solving them. They want to have a sense of mission, and their lives don’t provide it, so off to Nepal they go, and some of them stay there and become landmarks. To me, they’re like base jumpers. They think people should admire them, especially when their worst fears come true. Mountain climbers, base jumpers, and skydivers generally expect admiration. I don’t admire them at all. I think they’re deceived.

I would love to climb mountains. Little ones. With paths and guard rails. Big ones littered with dead bodies, you can keep. I don’t have the slightest craving for a sense of mission.

Here’s another thing that bugged me: on the way to the climb, the tourist/climbers in the movie were “blessed” by a buddhist bigwig in a temple. You couldn’t get me near that. Tibetan Buddhism is plain old demon worship. It is said that back when World War Two was getting underway, a Buddhist monk told a Westerner a thousand of his “gods” had just left for Germany. They pray to spirits. They conjure them in chanting ceremonies. If the thing about being “blessed” is accurate, people who climb Everest begin the process by spitting in the face of God, who is the only one who can protect them. One wonders if the paganism is connected to the death rate.

I can guess what goes through the minds of most Westerners at the temple. First alternative: “Yes, yes, namaste, I agree that Eastern religion is superior to boring old Christianity even though Tibetans and Indians live in squalor and humiliation.” Second alternative: “Blah, blah, you’re so cute in your monk hat, you primitive, superstitious goofball. This will look great on Snapchat.”

I just found out people have literally Snapchatted their Everest climbs. That officially kills the romance.

I once heard that a member of my high school class had died on Mount Everest. That was not correct. I later learned he died on Shishapangma, which is the smallest and least challenging of the worlds 14 tallest peaks. Here’s what I know: there were experienced climbers present, but no Sherpas and no oxygen. The man who died went off and climbed without help. He fell into a crevasse. The idea seemed to be that he ditched the people who protected him because he had something to prove. I don’t know whether that’s true. Maybe the person who told me the story slanted things; he got the name of the mountain wrong, and he said there was a Sherpa.

The story is sad and chilling. A person who was close to him said they never found anything except his belongings, so he is still up there. I wonder what he went through. Was he killed instantly, or did he die of exposure and thirst? I hate to think he might have been trapped there, watching the filtered sunlight appear and disappear over the course of however many days it took to stop his heart.

For many people, Himalayan climbing is about bragging rights. I hope he didn’t extinguish himself trying to generate a story about the way he disdained help.

I learned some other interesting things about Everest. Here’s one: there’s a whole lot of poop up there. The lowest base camp has disgusting latrines, but once you start climbing, accepted practice is to walk away from the group, poop on the snow, and cover it. The poop freezes in a hurry, and then it’s just there. When the temperature fluctuates, it melts. Some of it gets into the groundwater. When new climber/tourists show up and drink tea made with the pure snow of Mother Everest, they’re really drinking poop soup. There aren’t a whole lot of paths to the peak, tourists in Asia often get diarrhea, and almost 8,000 people have summitted, so imagine how much poop there must be.

It must be a lot of fun pooping in plain sight, while the other tourists slog by.

The movies and shows don’t seem to focus on toilet issues. They’re too busy promoting the glamor.

Everest also has a litter problem. People leave their wrappers and cans all over the ground. Nasty. The peak itself has a litter problem. Climber/tourists with a graffitti mentality leave all sorts of junk up there, because, dude, it has, like, meaning to them.

It’s not easy to clean up a place that ranges in elevation from 17,000 to 29,000 feet, and besides, no one really wants to do it. Everest probably attracts a lot of narcissists who aren’t all that interested in the grunt work.

I would hate to go there even as a visitor, now that it’s a vertical cess-sicle. I don’t even like to use public restrooms. Everest would just be too much.

Warm, dirty places are better than cold, dirty places, because in a cold place, filth is preserved forever.

I learned one more thing you may find interesting. When you freeze your hand or foot off on Mount Everest, you don’t actually freeze it off. It turns red, then black, and then you have to keep it for a couple of months even though it’s dead. When it comes to frostbite, doctors say, “Frozen in January, amputate in July.” It’s impossible to tell how much tissue has to go until the rot process is over.

Imagine what it must be like to have one to four black, rotting extremities for a number of weeks. Think how that must affect your quality of life. Every day you’d be sitting there looking at the catastrophic results of the dumbest decision you ever made, and you wouldn’t have closure. Having a hand cut off instantly would be terrible, but I’d prefer that to having a dead black hand in front of me every day until spring came.

Big mountains are very cool, but I wouldn’t put Everest on my bucket list even if I had one. If you have to risk your life and suffer greatly in order to get your mind right, you are on the wrong path, and you need to turn back and look for a better one.

More

I have been thinking about the guy who died on Shishapangma. I have been under the impression that the accident was caused by overconfidence, but maybe it was something worse.

Let me call the decedent “George” in order to have something to call him, other than his real name.

The high school George and I attended was a prestigious prep school. Every year, a lot of graduates went to Ivy League schools, as I did. The year we graduated, if memory serves, two students were accepted by Princeton. One was a friend of mine who got his MD at 25 and then shot himself in the head with a Desert Eagle. The other was George. He was admitted early.

George never went to Princeton.

One day during our senior year, everyone had to walk out of school and out to our designated fire drill areas. Someone had called in a bomb scare. Exams were in session, and the test interrupted them.

Our school had a pay phone near the library entrance. On the day of the bomb scare, another guy I knew picked up the phone to use it, and there was already someone on the line. It was the police. They asked if anyone had just used the phone. The student identified George. That’s how I heard it, anyway.

George threatened to bomb the school because he was worried about an exam. He didn’t go to prison, which is surprising, but Princeton dropped him, and he ended up going to Wesleyan, which is on a lower tier.

He would have been about 33 on the day he died. He was still in school. He had decided to be a doctor. His undergrad degree was in some useless liberal arts discipline, so he had to go back and take math and science courses.

Life had not panned out for George. He had started life as a good student and a top athlete who won recognition all over his state, and then there had been the bomb scare and the fall from grace. I don’t know what he was doing between Wesleyan and his medical conversion, but he was not a professional, and a person who wrote about his death said he had been in the process of turning his life around. You don’t turn your life around when things are going well.

After George disappeared, supposedly, all they found were his trekking poles, his sunglasses, his backpack, and his journal.

Here’s what I wonder: what if the fall wasn’t an accident?

Why would you walk around alone in an area where there were crevasses? Why would you put down your poles? Why would you take off your sunglasses and backpack? If you simply fell, those things would probably go with you.

It’s a disturbing thought, but I can’t help wondering.

Many people botch their suicides. They shoot off the bottom halves of their faces. They break their backs in jumps from buildings. Jumping into an ice crevasse, sustaining nonfatal injuries, and then dying over a period of days or hours would be a horrible way to go.

I didn’t know George well, but I knew him a little. We sat in classes together for four years. We knew each other socially; there were only about a hundred kids in our class. He didn’t seem like a happy person at all. My school was full of kids who were driven and incapable of relaxing, and he seemed like one of them.

The other Princeton student, Ken, was the most driven person I had ever known. He was way up in the class rankings. Like George, he was also an athlete. He left Princeton to join a 5-year, 2-degree program at the University of Florida. Who leaves Princeton? That’s how impatient he was.

His dad was an overbearing, pushy radiologist. Nothing Ken ever did was good enough for him. When he died, his estate was a mess, and Ken and his crazy brother were left to fight over it. He left hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash in a wall in their house, and one day Ken saw that it had disappeared. He called his dad’s lawyer, who had known about the money, and the lawyer said, “What money?” Ken told me he thought the lawyer had worked something out with his brother.

One night, Ken’s brother ran him out of the house, shooting at his legs with a .357. Ken was in the shower when his brother started shooting, and he fled the house naked. Ken filed a bar complaint against the lawyer and found a new place to live. He claimed the lawyer called him and begged him to call the bar off.

Ken used to spend almost every afternoon at my house. He just wanted a place to hang out and be less alone.

He bought a Smith and Wesson 9mm and a Desert Eagle .44 Magnum. He said he wanted protection from his brother. We used to go to the range together.

One day in 1987, one of his other friends called and asked me when was the last time I had seen Ken. I told him, and I asked why he wanted to know. He said Ken had shot himself to death with the Desert Eagle.

The last time I had seen him, he had been angry at me over something trivial. Ken was extremely aggressive, and he always wanted to do things the quick and easy way. For example, when he went lobster diving in Biscayne Bay, he would tear short (illegal) lobsters in half in the water and throw the tails in the boat. He did that to keep his friends from throwing them back in the water.

The last time I saw him, we were driving around, and he wanted me to break some rule or other. Maybe a traffic rule. I can’t remember. When he got out of the car, he said, “You’re such an a_____e.” It didn’t mean anything. He had a hot temper.

I never thought he would kill himself. He was miserable, but he never seemed inclined to end it.

I didn’t go to the funeral. I don’t know if there was one. If there had been, I probably would have waited for an invitation. I didn’t know much about funerals at that age. Maybe there was a service, and people thought I was a jerk for not going. Ken was Jewish, though, so he would have been buried fast. I didn’t hear about his death until days later.

He was a medical doctor at 25, and he thought he was a failure. He said he could hear his father laughing at him from beyond the grave. There was a rich Mexican kid in our class, and his name was Eduardo. His family was Jewish, too, and his dad was rumored to be worth something like 300 million dollars. Eduardo used to put Ken down, telling him he would never be as rich as Eduardo. That actually bothered Ken. It would have meant nothing at all to me. It seemed like the Jewish kids felt they had to prove things to each other.

He was not programmed for happiness or longevity.

There were a lot of unhappy rich kids at that school. One of them, a guy named Barry Adler, picked a friend up at Miami International for a drug deal. The friend had a suitcase full of money. Adler reached around from the back seat, slit his throat, and stabbed him 33 times. He went to prison, got out early for good behavior, and was shot in the head in the parking lot of a Lum’s restaurant. He was only free for five months. The kid he stabbed came from a rich family, and they were surely unhappy about his release. People wondered if they had a hand in his killing.

I remember throwing a paper wad at Barry when we were in Algebra II together (he was two years older than I was). He gave me a very angry look. It wasn’t until he was convicted of murder that I realized what was behind that look.

Then there was Marty Kogan. He was in the class after mine. He always seemed to think he was playing people. He generally appeared to feel he was one step ahead of everyone else, but I don’t think he ever was. One day in 1984, he rented a boat on Miami Beach, and later on, it was found off the coast, empty, with his brains splattered on it. People assumed he had gone out there to make a drug deal, but if the facts ever came out, I don’t know what they are. He bought a pistol the day before. Why would you buy a pistol the day before you take a rented boat out to the gulf stream, alone, in 1984 Miami? Something to consider.

The boat was found circling with a rope on the helm. Why would you put a rope on a boat’s helm? How is that consistent with a drug deal or suicide? I don’t know. If he was murdered, as people believe, someone would have had to be on the boat with him. You can’t shoot someone from any distance on a rocking boat. But why would they tie down the wheel before jumping off?

Why would you take a boat out in order to kill yourself? That doesn’t make any sense. You can kill yourself anywhere. It must have been murder.

I don’t know why I’m thinking about these things.

My school was full of kids who had extraordinary advantages, but they didn’t know God, and they generally weren’t at peace. Maybe that’s not surprising. The school was half Jewish, and Jews are the most restless people on earth. You would think they would work harder on securing a homeland. Maybe if you’ve never lived in your homeland, you don’t know what it is that’s eating you.

George, Barry, Marty, and Ken were all Jewish.

It’s funny how things work out for people. A bright start is no guarantee of a happy ending.

I hope George did not suffer.

Shocking News About Colbert

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Brave Leftist Firebrand Not Punished by Leftist Network

I have more than one thing to talk about today, so I plan to ramble and digress. This will be a major shock to people who have been reading this blog for a while.

I hate to follow with another shock, but here it is: Stephen Colbert, the late night host who used broadcast TV to direct obscene insults at the president of the United States, is NOT in trouble with his network. I repeat, he is NOT in trouble. He has not been fired. He has not been suspended. The FCC is not up in arms. There have been no marches.

I don’t know about you, but I’m floored. The left’s impeccable history of “fair-mindedness” (a term Colbert likes) and willingness to police itself has been tarnished. Boycott Colbert! Boycott CBS! Boycott everything! Because if we do that, we know they’ll admit fault and do the right thing.

Yes. That will happen.

Made myself laugh.

Evil is predictable. The more evil is tolerated, the more predictable it gets, because people stop trying to be subtle. They don’t care if they get caught.

Colbert is, of course, highly apologetic. He apologized by making gloating jokes about how he was “still the host.” He also said it was fair to insult Trump, because Colbert’s weapons were jokes and Trump has the nuclear launch codes.

Again, I think Colbert is writing his own material. Maybe this is a good thing. If his head gets big enough, maybe he’ll can his capable writers and insist on using his own jokes until his ratings reach Chevy Chase levels.

In case he reads this blog, I’m going to provide some useful information. Under current laws, and perhaps tragically, the president can’t actually nuke comedians. Nuclear weapons, to paraphrase the late Graham Chapman, are what scientists call “very large.” If Trump nuked Colbert’s trillion-dollar penthouse, there would almost certainly be damage to neighboring apartments, in that the buildings containing them would be turned into hot plasma, along with much of the granite of the underlying island. That would never fly with most of the Joint Chiefs.

In a way, Colbert’s clumsy, ill-premised rationalization has increased my admiration for him. If he really believes he’s risking nuclear annihilation every time he made a Trump joke, he must be one of the bravest men alive. Think how relieved he would be to know he’s in the clear. Maybe he and Jon Stewart are serious about holing up in an off-grid cabin in an undisclosed location. If I were afraid my own president would scorch me like a gnat on a bug-zapper, I’d be hiding out, too.

He’s not really brave. You don’t have to be brave to parrot the beliefs of the people who let you keep your high-paying job. Dissent is the thing that takes courage. Charlton Heston was brave, and James Woods is brave. Colbert is hiding deep in the nurturing bulk of a like-minded and highly protective herd.

You don’t really need to prove it’s fair to criticize the president. Everyone already knew it was fair, and we have a Constitutional Amendment that makes it legal. I haven’t argued a Constitutional question before a judge in quite a while, but I think I’m on firm ground when I say that if Trump decided to nuke late night comedians, he would be barred by the left’s second-least-favorite amendment, i.e., the First.

No one questioned the fairness of insulting Trump. They questioned the willingness of a TV network to use public airwaves to broadcast schoolyard filth. Colbert knows fairness was never at issue. He just wants to steer the conversation into an alternate universe in which the dispute is one in which he isn’t clearly, indefensibly wrong.

Has anyone else noticed that Colbert and Trump are a lot alike? Neither one can acknowledge error. Both are thin-skinned. Both talk without thinking. Both have mammoth egos. They’re made for each other.

I said Colbert was not going to get in trouble, based on my knowledge of leftist hypocrisy, and of course, I was right. Here’s another thing I was apparently right about: it looks like Barack Obama is gay.

Stephen Colbert must be furious at him.

In a new biography by journalist David Garrow, it is claimed that a young Obama wrote of considering a homosexual liaison with college professor Lawrence Goldwyn. Note that the allegation isn’t that someone else said Obama was gay; it’s that Obama himself wrote about it.

Obama could not get into a good college on the first try, so before he transferred to Columbia College, where he became part of my class, he attended Occidental University. There he became close with Goldwyn. Here is a money quote from Garrow:

Three years later, Obama wrote somewhat elusively to his first intimate girlfriend that he had thought about and considered gayness, but ultimately had decided that a same-sex relationship would be less challenging and demanding than developing one with the opposite sex. . .

This is interesting for more than one reason.

Obama is the gay marriage president. In order to get himself elected, he lied and said he opposed gay marriage. When he realized revealing his true position couldn’t hurt him (Colbertian bravery!), he admitted he was for it. He then violated his oath of office by refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. Now that we know he’s gay, who can be surprised?

The story is also interesting because there have always been rumors about Obama’s sexual orientation. People say he frequented gay sex clubs in Chicago, for example. After he became a presidential candidate, we didn’t hear much about that. Is that because the rumors weren’t true or because leftists wanted to hide the truth from the public?

Similarly, the Garrow biography, which is clearly unflattering in some regards, didn’t appear until Obama was out of office. Why is that? What if it had popped up in August of 2012? Things might be different today. Romney might have won, and we might be in the middle of his reign. It could have kept Trump out of the White House and helped prevent an atmosphere of leftist hatred and violence from arising so soon.

Did Garrow withhold the book in order to help Obama? What about his publisher? No, things like that don’t happen. No journalist or publisher would put the advancement of leftism above professional ethics. Ask Dan Rather.

I’m sure SJW’s are “correcting” people like me who assert that Obama is gay. They’ll say considering a homosexual relationship isn’t proof of homosexuality. Well, it is. A heterosexual would be repelled by the idea. It’s a desire that can’t arise in the heterosexual consciousness. It’s like hating liver and saying to yourself, “I think I may want to start eating liver.” A man who isn’t gay can’t be excited by the prospect of sex with other men. Obama may be bisexual, and people may say that’s not gay, but “gay” is part of “bisexual,” so…he’s gay. Unless Garrow made the letter up.

Obama is a minor figure now, so it probably doesn’t matter whether he’s popular or not, but I expect his popularity to increase now that he has been outed. Leftists will see him as a victim, and that’s something that always appeals to them. Gays will see him in a new and exciting way; he won’t be unattainable any more. One wonders if he’ll leap out of the closet on a talk show, to riotous applause. “Look how we fooled them.”

If Obama comes out on The Late Show, I assume Colbert will be gentle.

It’s hard for Obama to offend his fans. He took $400,000 for a short speech, which should have thrown his socialist minions into spasms of faux-ascetic outrage, but it blew over in a day. He might be able to upset them if he really tried, though. He could try going to a real church or getting a pistol permit.

He’s about to get $60 million for writing a book. I hope Bill Ayres does a good job. Last time around, Obama insulted the white grandmother who saved him from rejection and brought him up as her own, while praising the black bigamist deadbeat dad who abandoned him. I wonder if he can top that feat of betrayal, racism, and tone deafness.

The playing field is so slanted these days; one wonders if there is any point at all in registering to vote or speaking one’s views. The left owns entertainment and the press. A big percentage of Americans are now convinced that worshiping the God of love, who let himself be tortured to death for our sake, makes you an evil person. We can’t win any more. The machine is programmed to destroy us.

We think we won the presidential election, and we’re excited to see Republicans do well in state contests, but come on. Are the people in Congress really conservative or God-fearing? In 1960, they would have been considered leftist nuts. Trump, who lost the popular vote, is good on some issues but bad on others, and he may get so crazy he repeats George Bush’s sin: he may make people ashamed to vote for Republican presidents for a couple of election cycles. Most of the people we elect to state office are weak conservatives, and anyway, the states have no power. Centralized government is a reality, and eventually it will be written into law.

What we need is divine help. It would be nice if we had a few prominent preachers teaching us how to be powerful, but we don’t. The Pope teaches legalism mixed with paganism, and Catholicism is the biggest Christian denomination in America. Big-time Protestant ministries teach people God will make them rich if they send preachers money, and that doesn’t work. Almost no one is teaching real repentance, the baptism with the Holy Spirit, prayer in tongues, casting out spirits, or how to live in the presence of God. To make things worse, Christians angrily defend the wolves that eat their flesh and make them weak.

On a national level, things aren’t looking too good, except to the gullible, but individuals can still be saved. Until this mess wraps up, I plan to sit on the sidelines and enjoy the show as well as I can.

Count to Ten and Improve Your Comedy-Writing Skills

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Colbert’s Talent Evaporates in Plume of Rage

How about that Stephen Colbert?

If you are blessedly ignorant of the current Colbert fracas, let me mess up your day by bringing you up to speed.

This week, Donald Trump got upset with CBS journalist (Is “CBS journalist” an oxymoron?) John Dickerson. During an interview, Dickerson asked Trump about his use of the terms “sick” and “bad” to describe former President (“Former”! YES!) Barack Obama. Trump refused to expound, telling Dickerson, “You can take it any way you want it.” Dickerson persisted, to the point of badgering, and Trump ended the interview and sat down.

Dickerson was somewhat disrespectful and a little rude. Trump was thin-skinned and impatient.

Colbert entered the picture later, during his own CBS show. I don’t know anything about John Dickerson, but Colbert seems to be intimately acquainted with the man’s work and character, because he said, “Donald Trump, John Dickerson is a fair-minded journalist and one of the most competent people who will ever walk into your office, and you treat him like that?”

Maybe Colbert knows something about John Dickerson which I do not. That would not be saying a lot, since I didn’t know who John Dickerson was until this week. Still, I sort of suspect Colbert barely knows who he is and simply took up for him because Trump cut him off.

One has to wonder what “fair-minded” means in the Colbert universe. He may think Ed Schultz is fair-minded.

Colbert was enraged by Trump’s behavior, so he decided to defend Dickerson during his own show’s monologue. This is where the story gets interesting. Ordinarily, Colbert does his job very well, but in riding to the rescue of John Dickerson, he unleashed a salvo of put-downs that weren’t funny or witty at all, and a couple were obscene.

Let’s see.

1. In a light-hearted dig, Trump called Dickerson’s program, Face the Nation, “Deface the Nation,” which was actually funny. Colbert said this: “Mr. President, I love your presidency, I call it ‘Disgrace The Nation.'”

That doesn’t work on any level. Trump’s presidency doesn’t have a title, because it’s not a TV show. Trump took a well-known phrase and put a new twist on it, which took a certain amount of wit. Colbert’s effort to turn the joke back on Trump sounded contrived and desperate. My guess: Colbert wrote this joke, and the others, himself.

2. Colbert said, “Let me introduce you to the Tiffany way. When you insult one member of the CBS family, you insult us all. Buzzinga.”

Tiffany is Trump’s apolitical daughter, who deserves to be left alone. Trump took a shot at a willing player in the political game, and Colbert made an ill-premised effort to put that player in the same out-of-bounds class as a girl who hasn’t bothered anyone. And what’s up with “buzzinga”? It sounded like Colbert was applauding himself. He might as well have said, “Oooh! Sick burn!” It’s as if he knew how weak the jab was, and he was trying to convince the audience he believed in it. If a line of dialogue is bad, you don’t throw your weight behind it. You cross it out and write something else. Right?

3. “You’re not the POTUS; you’re the BLOTUS.”

What’s that supposed to mean? Is he calling Trump fat? Is it suddenly okay for leftists to make fun of fat people? Is he going after Lena Dunham or Hillary Clinton next? Trump looks great for a man his age. If “Trump is fat” is now, as the hipsters like to put it, “a thing,” I haven’t heard about it.

4. “You’re the glutton with the button.”

What??? Does he mean the nuclear button? Is he accusing Trump of being unfit to be in charge of nuclear weapons because he eats too much? Does Trump even have a reputation for eating too much? This joke did about as well as North Korea’s last missile test.

5. “You’re a regular Gorge Washington.”

I can’t explain this one at all, except that again, it seems to be a fat joke. Like the ones Colbert hurled at Al Gore when he was pushing 300 pounds. Remember that? No? Hmm.

6. “You’re the Presi-dunce.”

Did he write that while he was walking to his mark? This is the kind of joke I would expect to see in sample material sent to Colbert’s show by wannabee writers who will never, ever break out of their jobs at Ikea and Starbucks. “Dear ___: While we thank you for your application, we regret to inform you…”

7. “You’re turning into a real p____-tator.”

“P____” is a bad word used to describe male genitalia. At this point, I have to wonder if Colbert was deliberately making terrible jokes in order to parody Trump’s efforts. I don’t think that’s true, though, because when Colbert imitated O’Reilly, he used good material. A more likely explanation is that Colbert was ad-libbing, which, apparently, he can’t.

Also, has Colbert gone all Colonel Kurtz on us? Does he think he owns his show? He doesn’t. He’s a CBS employee. Someone up high probably reminded him of that the day after his Trump spasm.

8. “You attract more skinheads than free Rogaine.”

It’s hard to believe this one got out of his mouth. I will say what everyone else in America is already thinking: skinheads aren’t bald because they lost their hair. They shave their heads, Steve. They want to be bald. Come on. Why would a person who shaves his head want Rogaine? It’s like saying a black man who straightens his hair wants curlers.

Maybe Colbert thinks Nazism is the result of bitterness due to social rejection caused by hair loss.

9. “You have more people marching against you than cancer.”

Is marching for cancer…”a thing”? I know there are walkathons and so on, but I don’t believe cancer draws actual protesters, due to the fact that cancer is a disease, not a social injustice. When you protest, cancer can’t see you. It doesn’t care about poll numbers. Again, I picture distraught writers trying to tackle Colbert as he walked out into the lights armed with these bombs. This crap reflects on them.

10. “You talk like a sign-language gorilla who got hit in the head.”

Sign-language gorillas don’t talk. They use sign language. I’m pretty sure. And if they could talk, hitting one in the head wouldn’t make him cocky or touchy, like our President. It would cause him to lose speech function. Perhaps Colbert is saying Trump sounds like he’s handicapped. I don’t really know what he’s saying, though. His potatoes came out of the oven before they were done.

11. “The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c___-holster.”

Again, Colbert uses a word meaning male sexual organ. This one is the cherry on the cake. It was Colbert’s utterly astonishing MOAB. It’s fitting that it came last, because it’s the one most worthy of discussion.

First of all, you said this on broadcast television, with kids watching (Yes, kids do watch late night shows.) After the fits leftists have had over mild expletives and so on from conservatives, you pulled this out? How could any talk show host with a gig hundreds of people would happily do just as well for less money say a thing like this? And Colbert is supposedly a Catholic Sunday school teacher. I wonder what he’ll teach this weekend. Does his church have him on a seven-second delay?

Apart from that, once more…not clever. This is the kind of thing little kids say after schoolyard fights. CBS shouldn’t pay a grown man to come up with lines like this. And where did you get the idea Trump is Putin’s friend? Have you heard of Syria? Do I have to explain that? Oh, wait. I forgot. The RUSSIA CONSPIRACY, which even Julian Assange denies. It’s the birtherism of the modern left. Assange denied it. Syria blew it apart. No matter. At CBS, it’s still dogma.

People are calling for Colbert’s dismissal. Not me. He should be fired, but I’m not calling for it, because I don’t care. I’m not all that angry, either. Mainly, I’m disturbed that a mainstream TV host thought it was okay to say these things, that his network only responded much later (weakly), and that many Americans think he deserves an award.

People criticize slippery slope theories, but they accurately describe the way societies work. Conservatives say convenience abortion will lead to infanticide. Leftists laugh. But it happened in China, and it also happened in Kermit Gosnell’s office and in the offices of other providers who haven’t been caught. There are now respected liberal pundits who say we should be allowed to kill babies after delivery. Most people thought it was fine when the cops arrested Robert Mitchum for smoking weed. Now you can smoke in a parade. We used to think tattoos were trashy. They caught on, and now “body modification” enthusiasts split their sex organs down the middle, cut their noses off, remove their cheeks, and dye their eyeballs black. Limb amputations will eventually follow (Fifty cents says they already have…let’s check…yes, at least 17 years ago.) People with traditional values were upset when Jack Paar used the phrase “water closet” on The Tonight Show in 1960. Now Stephen Colbert is accusing the President of performing oral sex on the ruler of Russia, and many of us approve.

Look at us.

I’m sure people think I’m nuts when I say America is now insane, and that it’s not a big moral jump to a time when murdering Christians and observant Jews in the street will be considered God’s work, but every day, the news proves how extreme we’ve gotten. Alternative righteousness keeps rising, and Christianity, increasingly, is portrayed as not merely wrong, but evil.

Colbert and his mentor, Jon Stewart, have a big time making fun of people who believe the end of this age is coming. Generally, they have pretended the axe they were grinding was political, but a few years ago, it became obvious that their real target was Christianity. They appeared at a march in Washington and said attendees were there for “a good time, not the end times.” They now have a running gag in which they share a prepper cabin out in the woods.

It’s like they’re making fun of Noah. Has anyone else caught that?

Noah took decades to finish the ark, in a world that had never seen rain. His neighbors thought he had lost his mind. They became increasingly gross and cruel. Surely, in that progressive atmosphere, he was ridiculed around the clock.

Then it started raining.

What did Jesus tell us? He said he would return in a period that was like the days of Noah and the days of Lot. Noah and Lot were good men who were delivered from places that underwent destruction. They were surrounded by people who thought they were crazy. Lot’s gay neighbors probably thought he was doing evil when he begged them not to rape the angels. Look how much our times look like those times.

We can’t take America back. I like the MAGA hats, but I’m not dumb enough to think they’re going to fix things. We will continue to deteriorate and coarsen. Colbert and Stewart are going to win. I’m not going to get agitated about it and go to rallies and get beaten up by warm, loving leftists. None of that stuff is going to work.

It’s disturbing to see the ship sink, isn’t it? America has never known a time like this. In the past, the pendulum would swing toward insanity, and then it would swing back. Now the swings toward sanity are getting shorter.

Jesus said the world would have birth pangs before his return, and I think I’ve misunderstood that. I thought he meant his return was a kind of birth, and that the pangs were for him. That’s wrong! They’re the birth pangs of the Beast. That’s the natural/supernatural cyborg which is about to spring onto the scene in glory and power. Jesus comes later.

We had the disgraceful Sixties, and then we sobered up a little. Then we had the politically correct Eighties, and then we realized we were deluded, and we started making fun of the term “politically correct.” Now PC is back, and it’s not going away. That’s how birth pangs work. They start off small, and then they get worse. Then the baby comes.

Even Colbert is getting a taste of the back of the Beast’s hand. Certain liberals are criticizing him because his remarks about Trump and Putin are anti-gay. They have a point. If Colbert really thought it was good for one man to have sex with another, why use a reference to oral sex as an insult? I assume that wasn’t how Colbert saw it when he was writing that “joke” in the makeup chair, but maybe he was, and anyway, it doesn’t matter. When it comes to PC, appearance is everything and intention is nothing. Guilt isn’t something you have to prove. It’s a premise. Like global warming.

If CBS doesn’t fire Colbert, it will be a stunning proof of the left’s hypocrisy. I don’t think it will serve any purpose, however. If you don’t know the left is crazy by now, Colbert’s survival won’t wake you up.

Colbert, a successor who is even worse…what does it matter? People come and go, but the spirits that control them are immortal and persistent. Madonna is washed up and wrinkled, but we have Lady Gaga. Before Madonna, we had Marilyn Monroe. New houses. Same owners.

How weird are things going to get before the end? If the mothership isn’t here by now, I hate to think what life will be like when it finally arrives.

To sum up, I guess, I will say this: it’s never about politics. It’s always about God and Satan. I’m glad conservatives won some important offices, but the ship is not going to stop sinking. We shouldn’t mistake temporary reprieves for victories.

I wonder what will happen next. I predict this: Colbert will not be disciplined in any real sense, and the reason is simply that conservatives want him to be disciplined.

Maybe we should beg the network to keep him.

More

I found out what “buzzinga” means, and I corrected the spelling. “Buzzinga” is a word used by a character on a TV show I don’t watch (CBS; need I explain?) The Big Bang Theory has a character named Sheldon, and he makes bad jokes. Evidently, once in a while he says “Buzzinga!” to celebrate the success of a joke which actually failed.

I still can’t figure out why Colbert said it, unless he was deliberately being unfunny and wanted hipsters to know it. But I don’t think that was the idea, since he seemed genuinely pleased with his lame jokes.

I also found out what “the Tiffany way” means. CBS calls itself “the Tiffany network,” so, assuming I have my universal translator set correctly, I believe Colbert was saying CBS has coopted the motto of the Hell’s Angels: “All on one and one on all,” which means that if you’re say, Hunter Thompson, and your attitude annoys one gang member, they all stomp you into the floor of a bar.

Hope my lack of hipness hasn’t utterly ruined my credibility.

Still waiting for an explanation of “BLOTUS.”

The New Righteousness

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Be Your Own God, Because Obviously, You’re Qualified

The other day I wrote about writer/director Joss Whedon and TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome). Over the last few days, I have thought some more about Whedon. I’m wondering if I overestimated his talent.

Back in the Buffy days, I got very wrapped up in Whedon’s work. I enjoyed Buffy because it was funny and clever, and because the series was about redemption. Offhand, I can think of two major characters who were redeemed.

The first character who got redemption was Angel, the vampire with a soul. Christians believe the soul is the mind and personality. Many people who are not Christians see it differently. They see the soul as a mysterious warm presence inside people that makes them good. I guess that would make empathy and conscience the soul.

In the Buffy realm, known to fans as the Buffyverse, vampires have minds but no souls. That means they’re psychopaths and narcissists. They love making other creatures suffer, and they’re very conceited. Angel lost his soul when he became a vampire, but then he bit a gypsy, and some other gypsy cursed him by sending his soul back into him. This was bad news for Angel, at least in the short term, because he suddenly found himself crushed under the weight of his extraordinary guilt. You can’t spend centuries torturing people and drinking their blood without having a few things to regret.

In the Buffyverse, Angel was a sweet guy. He was exactly what shallow women dream of: a tall, handsome, well-dressed guy who is very evil yet has a sensitive side. I always call guys like this “sensitive pirates.” You see them on the covers of romance novels. I’ve actually looked inside romance novels, because someone I knew left them lying around, and the heroes are pretty hilarious. It’s always some guy with a name like Jake or Lance, and he’s a pirate or a vampire or something. He kills lots of people and maybe steals things and commits arson, but after he captures the novel’s heroine and rapes her for a while, she finds out he’s really just a big teddy bear.

One of the big problems shallow women have is that they want alpha males with beta male hearts, or rather, they want men who are alpha to the world and beta to their wives. They want men who are cruel and mean to other people, yet warm and cuddly to their women. Of course, life does not work that way. If you’re an alpha male’s wife, you’re beta, at best. You may even be gamma or epsilon. Look at Nicole Brown Simpson. To an alpha male, the wife is an extension of himself. When some kind of schism occurs–for example, when Mr. Alpha starts seeing wrinkles and tiny hairs appear on Mrs. Alpha’s aging face–Mrs. Alpha loses her extension status and becomes other. Then she gets the same harsh treatment she used to enjoy seeing Mr. Alpha inflict on others.

In any case, Angel was your typical sensitive pirate. It was like Anne Rice had a baby with Barbara Cartland.

The other character who was redeemed was Spike. This was the character I liked. Spike was a wimp before he became a vampire. He was the king of the friend zone. Women saw him as a person who could keep them company while they waited for alphas to show up and run him off. He wrote drippy poetry.

Vampire Spike, unlike Fabio–I mean Angel–had no soul. He got great joy from cruelty, and he made all sorts of funny remarks while he was engaged in it. He really hated Buffy. Of course, he ended up falling in love with her. Somehow, in the process, he developed a soul. The writers never said he had one, but he had empathy and love. He was self-sacrificing. He went through indescribable tortures to make himself worthy of his new love. Buffy never really accepted him, but she did become attracted to him, and she eventually fell prey to his charms. They had sex, and on TV, that means true romance.

I enjoyed watching the Spike/Buffy mess evolve, and I thought it was the thing that kept the show alive. It was very unusual to see the themes of sacrifice and redemption in a TV show. I figured all the other people who watched were caught up in it, too. Then I read some message board stuff from fans, and boy, was I surprised. These little nerds hated the romantic aspect of the show. They blamed a writer named Marni Nixon. Apparently, all they want to see was Buffy stabbing demons with swords and pieces of wood. They wanted Whedon to take the reins and pour on the violence.

I was highly disappointed in the fans. You have to be seriously stunted in the emotions department to prefer choreographed vampire fights to a love story based on self-sacrifice and redemption. I guess the fans were missing some vital parts. There was something lacking in them.

It’s hard to empathize with someone that empty and juvenile.

I loved seeing the series develop. In creating episodes, the creative team reached back to prior seasons and episodes, grabbed loose threads, and wove them back into the action. It was neat. I assumed Whedon was the brains behind this, and that he was propelling the Spike story.

In retrospect, I wonder about all that. I think I probably gave Whedon too much credit.

The first Buffy movie was bad. It wasn’t just okay. It was bad. It was shallow. It wasn’t funny. It was Whedon’s baby. If Whedon is so great, why was the movie such an empty bag?

Whedon has co-written good movies, but how has he done on his own? Alien Resurrection was very bad. Serenity was good but not great, and I probably like it more than I should because I’m a fan of the TV show. He rewrote Captain America, which wasn’t very good. He rewrote Thor: the Dark World, which was bad. He wrote two pictures called The Cabin in the Woods and In Your Eyes. Since these movies barely existed at the box office, I assume the worst. He wrote Avengers: Age of Ultron, which was okay, but it’s horrible compared to any of the Iron Man movies.

Whedon didn’t write all of the Buffy episodes. He had a team. I believe I mistook their ability for his. Also, it’s possible to see yourself in other people’s work. It’s possible for a shallow work to give you deep thoughts. When that happens, you tend to credit the writer when in reality, the thoughts his work inspired in you were “happy accidents,” like extraneous trees in a Bob Ross painting.

Actors who have done very good work in Whedon projects have generally gone on to languish in D-list obscurity. Look at Sarah Michelle Gellar, Charisma Carpenter, James Marsden, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, and Andy Hallett. I used to think the reason they didn’t go on to bigger things was that they didn’t really have much talent. I thought Whedon made them look good, and when Whedon was removed from the mix, they faltered. Here’s what I’m thinking now: maybe Whedon’s writing team made Whedon look good. Maybe I should have extended my theory to Whedon himself.

Interesting question.

I read some very depressing stuff about Whedon. Someone asked him if there was a God, and he said, “Absolutely not. That’s a very important and necessary thing to learn.” That’s a seriously typical bit of Whedon shtick. Say something to put people on edge, and then double down for shock value. Unfortunately, if you keep shooting for shock long enough, it stops being shocking and turns into exactly the kind of boring work you thought you had transcended.

Whedon denies having anything against Christians, but in another interview, he adapted a term from writer Tim Minear and referred to God as “The Sky Bully.” Does that sound hostile to you? It does to me. Whedon feels hostility toward the God he does not believe in, so how can he not be hostile to people who praise God and Christianity, especially when we tend to be part of the political faction he hates with burning, irrational, hysterical fervor?

Atheists say they don’t believe in God, but in my experience, they have generally turned out to be people who think God might exist, yet who punish him with rejection because they disapprove of him. “God says I can’t be gay? God does not exist.” “God says I can’t have an abortion? God does not exist.” “God says Uncle Fred is in hell because he rejected Jesus? God does not exist.” Every so often, you meet an atheist who isn’t angry at some sort of straw God, but it’s rare.

It’s disturbing that Whedon says it’s important and necessary to learn that God doesn’t exist. It shows he thinks belief in God is evil. People who hate God aren’t just trying to do bad things, like murder and stealing. They’re trying to create an alternative righteousness, and in the scheme of alternative righteousness, God’s righteousness is the lowest evil there is.

A lot of people (Christians included) believe that as long as a person is nice, that person goes to heaven or something like it. Many Christians have turned Christianity into a game. You score enough “nice” points, and God takes you to heaven when you die, and you get a McMansion. This idea has infected Christianity, and anti-Christians, eager to come up with anything that serves as a replacement for devotion to God, have taken it up as a cause. They are constantly deriding Christians for not being nice, and they praise anti-Christians who ooze warmth and approval.

There are a lot of problems with this philosophy. For one thing, God is not that nice. Since I sat down to type this, he has put a number of people in hell, a place he himself created. The Bible says the damned experience the wrath of God. Satan isn’t the one who installed the heating system. God burned the Sodomites alive. God killed Pharaoh’s baby son. When God is nice, no one can be nicer, but when he’s not nice, he is still righteous.

If you look at the left these days, you’ll see a lot of people accusing Christians of hate, and they apply the word “love” to themselves over and over. When they show up to beat unarmed Trump supporters at rallies, they say, “Love trumps hate.” They have a very funny definition of love. If you comply, you get hugs and kisses. If you disagree, you get a bottle in the face, or they close down your bakery.

It’s funny; they hate God because he’s nice when you obey and harsh when you don’t, but look at them: they’re the same way. Look how they treat people who doubt the global warming religion. Not much love there. They want to get them fired and put them in jail.

Jewish legend says that when Satan and his pals came to the earth and had sex with women, screwing up creation, they went to God first, asking permission. They wanted to come down and help us behave better and please God more. God supposedly told them they would be even worse than humanity. If the story is true, you can see that God was right. It would certainly be consistent with similar stories in the Bible. Many of the worst crimes against God were committed in the name of alternative righteousness.

Aaron’s sons got in trouble for serving God incorrectly; they brought strange fire to the altar. Saul got in trouble for serving God incorrectly; he performed sacrifices even though he wasn’t a priest. The people who sacrificed their children to Moloch were just trying to get protection and success for themselves and their families. Peter thought he was serving God when he opposed God’s plan to send Jesus to the cross. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit because they wanted to be wise, not because they wanted to do mean or dishonest things. Alternative righteousness shines like fool’s gold, but it isn’t righteousness at all. It’s just gilded evil.

Now people like Joss Whedon are continuing the tradition of correcting God. That’s not going to end well. It’s why persecution is increasing. In the end, the people who murder us in the streets will be sure they’re doing it out of love for humanity, just as the Nazis sincerely believed they were improving the world by murdering Jews.

Everyone thinks they can improve on God’s plan. I’ve tried it myself too many times to count. It’s the worst kind of pride. A human being is about 50% better than a monkey, and we think we can correct the being that created the universe.

God is not a sky bully. A person who discourages you from doing stupid things is not a bully. If you see him that way, you have self-destructive authority issues. My sister used to think my dad was a bully because he spanked her, and she never got past that. She ended up in the gutter because of that attitude. Unfortunately for many Hollywood celebrities, they’re not in the gutter. The devil pampers them and tells them they’re wonderful. He says they’re exceptional, and that their superiority is the root of their crazy success. They believe it, because believing it feels good. A junkie in the street is better off than a deluded film star or director who believes life is a meritocracy with him or herself at the apex.

It’s strange that people who play make-believe for a living can think highly of themselves. What a perverse world this is. Performers and fans get confused, and they start thinking entertainers are what they pretend to me when they amuse us. They’re not higher beings. Superman ended up in a wheelchair, and Elvis died on the floor next to a toilet.

All over America, there are Joss Whedons, Madonnas, George Clooneys, and Angelina Jolies working at Dairy Queens and Home Depots. Maybe one in 10,000 gets the nod from Satan and becomes famous. The rest live in frustration and obscurity. Many never quit, because they think perseverance is the key. They keep putting nickels in a slot machine that will never pay off. Satan runs a pyramid scheme, and pyramids are narrow at the top. God, on the other hand, is willing to give his best to anyone. We’re just not excited about seeking it. It’s not shiny enough to be interesting until you get very close to it.

Alternative righteousness is coming to get us. We should see it for what it is and refuse to become part of it. To accept it is to deny God.

He was Joss Kidding

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Whedon Sits on a Hornet’s Nest

I’m kind of disappointed to see what’s happening with Joss Whedon.

To those who have never heard of him, Whedon is the man who wrote the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. He was also in charge of the series, and he now has a big TV/movie empire. He’s a big player in the Avengers movies, and he is also behind Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Whedon is what film critics call an auteur. He’s like Kevin Smith, only not long-winded, not as aggressively filthy, and much better at writing action scenes.

Whedon created Firefly, my favorite sci-fi series. The network destroyed it by rolling episodes out in sort of a random order. Too bad.

If you haven’t seen Firefly, it works like this: the Democrats take over the solar system. They interfere in people’s lives, pretty much the way they do in real life. The aim is to produce a lovely classless society in which everyone loves whales, never secretes testosterone, and never puts recyclables in the trash bin. The Democrats, known as the Alliance, mean well, but like our own Democrats, they don’t understand that totalitarianism is bad.

The Firefly solar system is full of tiny asteroids which have been converted into earth clones. Miraculously, and to the extreme indignation of Sir Isaac Newton, these little worlds have exactly the same gravity as earth, and they are able to hold onto gaseous atmospheres.

Not everyone loves the Alliance. Future space Republicans form a confederation and fight back, and they lose. After that, most assimilate, but certain hard core right-wing individuals continue resisting. They live on fringe worlds and make money doing various illegal things.

The show takes place on a ship (a “firefly”) captained by Malcolm Reynolds, who was a sergeant in the rebellion. Malcolm is clearly conservative. He hates the government. He wears a six gun. He grew up on a farm. He’s ex-military. He is aware that he’s male, and he’s in love with a woman. Who was born a woman.

Reynolds is supposed to be a hero, but Whedon himself admitted he and Reynolds probably would not have much in common politically. You know what that makes Whedon. A conservative in denial. He’s like Chris Rock or the pre-conservative Dennis Miller. I don’t think he’ll ever come out of the closet, because the force of denial is strong in this one.

Incidentally, Reynolds is not really a hero. The premise of the show had a lot of problems, and one of them is this: there was never any reason why Reynolds couldn’t go home and go back to farming. In the show and the movie based on it, he killed people and risked lives to keep his ridiculous ship in the air. Okay, space. He never had the slightest justification, until the movie came up with a Democrat plot to conceal a utopia experiment that turned genocidal.

Reynolds would have hated giving up, but it would have been better than stealing and killing for a living. Whedon never confronted that. Liberals are good at cognitive dissonance. It makes their existence possible, just like the atmospheres on little asteroids.

Anyway, Whedon has been going nuts on Twitter. He accused Trump of raping a 13-year-old, which came as news to me. On the night of the election, he put up a snarky meme, pre-celebrating Hillary’s non-forthcoming victory. We all know what he saw the next day, when he turned on NPR or visited The Daily Kos. That must have hurt.

His latest misadventure, over which the Twits are tearing him apart: posting a “humorous” meme with cancer patients in it. Paul Ryan, who, according to most experts, is not Donald Trump, met with some ladies who beat cancer, and Whedon said this: “Tonight on White House Wife Hunt, Donny makes host P. Ryan give 2 more contestants the ‘Not a 10′ card.”

There are a number of problems with this, beyond the strange Ryan/Trump conflation. Whedon is saying Trump would not marry any of the cancer patients because they are not “10’s.” That’s not all that funny, and it wouldn’t be funny even if people didn’t see it as cruel. Whedon is very talented, so it’s not clear why he would post a lifeless, unclever joke. On top of its overall weakness, the joke only works if you accept the premise that the women are not good looking.

You can see how this worked. Whedon, who is a suspiciously, deliberately conspicuously ardent fan of powerful women, is so angry at Trump, he lost sight of the fact that his unfunny meme was an oblique shot at the appearance of several very vulnerable women. Feminists are never supposed to mention womens’ appearance, except to say that all women are extremely, extremely beautiful, even if they’re clearly not. Whedon disparaged the looks of several women, and not only did they qualify as protected individuals by virtue of their exalted gender; they were cancer patients who, presumably, need all the help and reinforcement they can get.

Whedon exposed himself as an insincere feminist, or at least a feminist with troubling undercurrents running around in his skull. Maybe that meme was really a Rorschach test.

That being said, I think the reaction is a little overblown. I don’t think he sat down at the computer with the intention of being cruel to sick people. He was simply addled by Trump Derangement Syndrome, which is what Bush Derangement Syndrome turned into at some point during 2016 (much to the delight of George Bush). He was blinded by his strange hatred of conservatives.

He probably still thinks he didn’t do anything wrong.

People are talking about boycotting Marvel. Yeah, okay. I’ll get right on that. I think the last two movies I saw in theaters were Iron Man and Logan, and they were around eight years apart, so I believe I can commit to a boycott lasting around…eight years. I also promise not to watch Marvel movies on cable, unless nothing else good is on, and while I do record the SHIELD show, I will try to feel really bad when I watch. I always zip past the commercials, so in a way, I’m boycotting the show WHILE watching it.

I promise to stop buying comic books, ASAP. And I won’t go to cosplay conventions. These aren’t things I actually do, so abstinence should be a cinch.

What Whedon needs isn’t a boycott. He needs to sit down in a cool, dark room and ask himself why he created Malcolm Reynolds. His characters are all about guns, military weapons, martial arts, killing, and blowing stuff up in the name of America. One of the big things that drives Reynolds is his hatred of God and Christianity, and Whedon gave him a preacher father figure to help him work that out. Whedon is not Lena Dunham. Somewhere inside him, there is the stunted seed of a Ted Nugent. He just won’t admit it and come to terms with it.

He can say his movies are just fantasy. Isn’t that what pre-arrest pedophiles say about their picture collections and chat rooms? If conservatism isn’t in you, why is it coming out in your screenplays?

If you’re really a conservative at heart, who knows? You might even have a thirst for God. That wouldn’t be cool, and it wouldn’t help your career, but a relationship with God is better than the phony love of West Coast sycophants who will happily eat your gutted corpse the first time you stumble badly enough.

It has to be hard to listen to reason when Hollywood is paying you trillions and telling you you’re a genius. Camel, needle, et cetera.

I have to wonder if Whedon’s involvement with occult shows and movies opened him up to demonic influence. Toward the end of the Buffy shows, he seemed to turn into a demon rights activist. A lot of his energy was devoted to lambasting human characters who were against demons. In the Whedon scheme, demons are a race, and being against demons is bigotry.

Demonic influence would certainly explain Whedon’s irrationality. When things don’t make sense, I look for a supernatural cause.

What interesting days we live in. Thank God I don’t have a Twitter account, myself. I’m glad I’m not involved in this mess.

Demons of Financial Responsibility, COME OUT!

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Familiar Face in the News

Benny Hinn is in the news.

Yesterday I read that the IRS raided one of Hinn’s operations and carried out files. No word on the rationale. Of course, the news outlets were electrified. You know the drill “Bad Christian Proves Faith is a Lie; Stupid Trump Voters, Wake up!”.

I saw another interesting article about the kerfuffle. A young man whom Hinn claims to have healed is mad. William Vandenkolk is 25. He is blind. When he was 9, he appeared on stage with Hinn, and was alleged to have received a healing.

The article describes Vandenkolk as “legally blind,” which is a vague term. Back when the Miami Dolphins were actually a good team, one of their best players was legally blind. His name is Manny Fernandez. I don’t recall exactly how it worked. I assume he was able to correct his vision with glasses, to the point where he was able to play. Anyway, “legally blind” and “blind” are not the same thing. The article doesn’t say how well Vandenkolk sees today.

The article is interesting, because Vandenkolk, a hard core Hinn critic, doesn’t say he wasn’t healed. He says that when he appeared onstage with Hinn, “he felt he could see people’s faces clearly in the crowd.”

That sounds pretty miraculous to me. It must have been a huge change from Vandenkolk’s usual condition, because it meant enough to him to motivate him to call it a healing. At the same time, it looks like the change was temporary.

The article puts the world “healed” in quotation marks: “Man ‘healed’ as child by televangelist Benny Hinn speaks out.” What’s the gist? Is the writer saying Vandenkolk wasn’t healed? Vandenkolk’s testimony suggests that he was. If the healing didn’t last, it’s unfortunate, but let’s be real; in the natural course of events, blind people don’t even have brief moments when their vision works. A fleeting miracle is still a miracle, isn’t it?

Is the writer suggesting Vandenkolk is lying? Is he trying to say Vandenkolk himself isn’t sure whether he was healed? The matter should have been explored and explained clearly.

What is Vandenkolk’s beef with Hinn? The temporary nature of his healing? The story doesn’t say that, but it does say Vandenkolk thinks Hinn ripped him off. Hinn’s ministry allegedly raised a lot of money to help Vandenkolk, and Vandenkolk says he never received it.

It would be hard for the government to go after a faith healer whose miracles didn’t work, but it’s not so hard to nail a charity that steals from the people it purports to help.

I don’t like Benny Hinn. He’s a prosperity preacher, and the prosperity gospel is a lie that makes people poor and prevents them from getting closer to God. He teaches Steve Munsey’s ridiculous, ineffective, Biblically illiterate get-rich methods, which serve primarily to enrich preachers. I think Hinn knows he teaches lies. That being said, it’s not impossible for a person to be healed at a Benny Hinn meeting just because Hinn is a disgraceful grifter.

Vandenkolk could have been healed by his own faith or the faith of someone present, other than Hinn. Who knows? I think a real journalist who did not have an axe to grind would have acknowledged the big story here. It’s not news if someone like Hinn takes someone’s money, but it’s very big news if a blind person receives his sight supernaturally, even if it doesn’t last.

If Hinn’s star falls because of this, fine. He is not a good person, and his ministry is toxic. But it will be a net loss if Christianity itself is disgraced through this scandal. How many people have been separated from God by their anger at crooked preachers? Hundreds of millions, at least. If Hinn implodes, we need other ministries to rise and fill the hole. I hope God will raise up sincere, powerful ministers to take the places of people like Hinn and Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes. When God took Pharaoh off the backs of the Jews, he didn’t leave them wandering around on their own. He gave them Moses.

I have no sympathy at all for Hinn. The sooner his poisonous, fraudulent act is put to rest, the better.

Tools of Removal

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

BYE

Thanks for the prayers and kind thoughts regarding the move out of Miami. I really need those prayers.

Today I’m trying to figure out where to put my tools. If the deal goes through, I’ll have a 900-sq. ft. garage and a frame outbuilding the same size. I’m thinking I should put my metalworking tools in the garage and most of my woodworking tools in the outbuilding. Woodworking makes a real mess.

The new garage is 33 feet across the front and 25 feet deep. I have to decide where to put things. I feel like I only have to worry about the big compressor, the mill, and the lathe. Everything else is on wheels or light enough to move.

I’m thinking the lathe should be positioned so the tailstock faces a garage door. if I ever have to turn a long part, I’ll be able to open the door for clearance. Right now, my mill is in a corner (the classic Bridgeport location), and I’m tired of it. The space behind the mill is inaccessible and useless. I think I should put the mill along the same wall as the lathe. That will allow me to use the space behind the table for carts and so on. I could put a cart back there and put my heaviest rotary table on it.

I’m not sure about the compressor. I suppose the location should be sort of central, but I don’t want it out in the floor. I guess I could put it along the back wall in the middle.

The garage will have to have A/C. I can’t sit out there in 90-degree heat. I guess that means a split unit, and that won’t be cheap. A wall unit would probably be too small. I’ll also need upgraded power. I can’t run a 7.5-HP lathe on 15 amps at 120 volts. I’m wondering what a 3-phase run would cost. A lot, I suppose.

When all this is said and done, my big table saw, which I love, will be 100 feet away from my machine tools. So will the big vertical band saw. That’s inconvenient, but I don’t want to ruin a big new garage by cramming woodworking tools into it.

The house has a barn. I think that would be a good place for the tractor. It would really open up the outbuilding. I will never have a horse (I hope) so it’s not like the barn will be unavailable.

I don’t even know if the seller will talk to us after getting lowballed. You have to have a backbone when you buy expensive stuff, though. You can’t just give someone a hundred grand to make them like you.

The realtor asked about earnest money. That sounded odd, in the context of a cash sale. The purpose of earnest money (a deposit) is to put a buyer’s head in a vise so he will have motivation to get a loan. If you don’t get it done, the seller keeps your money. If you’re planning to pay cash, it should be enough that the seller knows you have the loot. When the deal closes, it’s a simple sale contract. As soon as the inspections are done, you write a check. You’re already obligated, if you screw up, the seller can sue you, and he knows you’re not judgment-proof, so what’s the purpose of a deposit? An executed contract should be enough.

If this deal doesn’t work, the next one will. I will escape Miami’s gravity well. The joy of leaving this place for the last time may be too much for my system to cope with.

Everybody hates Miami. I mean, nearly everybody. If you speak no English at all, and/or you’re extremely rude and coarse, and you love taking 15 minutes to drive three miles, it’s the place for you. Otherwise, no.

I will post updates as things change.

House

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Time to Chop Miami’s Stubborn Tentacles

The house hunt has moved into a new stage. I made an offer on the green house I wrote about a while back.

I am not what you would call a savvy real estate buyer, even though I was a realtor in a past life. I did mostly rentals. While I was part of some sales, real estate is boring, and I forgot a lot of what I had learned. I did the best I could this time around. I picked my dad’s brains. He has bought a ton of real estate. In fact, he’s buying the new house. That was the deal we made. I would not leave Miami until he did, and he would buy a nice place where we would both live. He needs looking after these days, my mother has been dead for 20 years, and there is no one else who will do it.

I considered hiring a single-agent realtor. Ordinarily, realtors look out mainly for themselves. They deal “fairly” with buyers and sellers, but if you’re a buyer, they’re not on your side. There are things they won’t tell you, and they don’t care if you lose your life savings. A single-agent represents you alone and has a fiduciary duty to you.

The problem with hiring a single-agent realtor is that they get a big fee up front, and they can’t show you any of their own listings. That’s not good, if your agent works for a big company. Also, you’re kind of stuck with the agent you hire. I decided to forget about it and negotiate and so on for myself.

I don’t know a whole lot about northern Florida house prices, but after looking at a bunch of places, I got a feel for the situation. The house we liked seemed overpriced by around 15%. The sellers paid even more for it, so they got burned, and they were still burning me after pricing the house to take a loss.

I decided to get an appraisal. I may not be much of a buyer, but I’ve been involved in a lot of sales, and an appraisal just seemed like common sense. I had a listing agent, a transactional agent, and a seller, all trying to get as much money as possible, and none of them represented me. I paid some guy to appraise the place, and lo and behold, the price came in slightly lower than my own guess. The listing price is 18% higher.

The agent was amazed that I had it appraised. He said very few people do that. Seriously? Do people really make bids on houses without getting appraisals? I can’t comprehend that. How do you know what to offer? Asking prices are fantasy figures. Realtors make a little effort to look at comparable sales, but in the end, they guess. Appraisers aren’t like that. They take measurements and use tables and so on, and THEN they factor in other sales. No price is carved in stone, but an appraisal means a whole lot more than an asking price.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but it seems crazy to make an offer on something without knowing the value. The appraisal was expensive, but compared to the difference between the asking price and the appraised price, it’s microscopic. Seems like a good investment.

The agent was trying to tell me I couldn’t get burned. He said his contracts always say the deal is off if the house doesn’t appraise for more than the purchase price. So you’re supposed to make an offer based on nothing and then pray the bank’s appraiser proves you’re right? With real money you actually worked for?

I think the sellers are old. The house has two lift chairs in it. By that, I mean they boost you to your feet when it’s time to go watch Judge Wapner. God rest his soul. Young people don’t have lift chairs. Maybe they’re old and rich and don’t care at all about money. There must be some reason why they spent way too much on the house and equipment and then never felt like they had to visit.

I don’t know what the story is. I’m not all that optimistic about getting the house. The asking price and offer are nearly $200,000 apart. They may just tell us to jam it.

It would be nice to make a deal. The house has a fantastic attached garage plus a detached garage big enough for all sorts of stuff. I can put a split air conditioner in the main garage and stick my machine tools in there. I’ll never leave. It’s almost a thousand square feet. The lot is big enough to feel relaxed on, although sooner or later someone will try to build on the pasture next door. Maybe we should try to pick it up.

I can’t imagine life with no traffic. What’s it like? I barely recall.

I don’t think I’ll be able to shoot out back. The lot is pretty flat. Maybe if I put up a berm.

I feel good that I made a move. It makes me nervous, handling my dad’s money. He’s all for it, though, and both of us hate Miami. I needed to break the ice and start something moving. Now if this deal doesn’t work, I’ll be less stiff about starting the next one.

What will I miss about Miami? There must be something. Fishing was fun, but I’m over it. Boating to the Bahamas was a neat experience, but I’m old, my dad can’t be allowed to steer the boat, and there is no one to go with us. Also, the Bahamas are all about drunkenness and fish. I don’t care if I never see another fish again, and I have developed an aversion to bars.

Miami has no culture at all. The restaurants aren’t great. The air smells like damp socks. There is no twilight, because of the latitude. After May 1, it never gets cool at night. The traffic is getting so bad, in a year, everything may have to arrive by drone. All the ethnic groups hate each other. Gas is expensive. Food is expensive. Politics are getting more and more liberal; young Cubans want to be social justice warriors and teach their conservative parents a lesson.

Horrible things happened to my family in Miami. I can’t even drive up I-95 without thinking about the past. I remember my dysfunctional childhood and the decades of misery we went through with my sister. I remember my mother dying in Baptist Hospital, after a short, bleak life in which not one of her dreams came true. She was treated very badly. She was never appreciated. God did her a favor when he took her away from us.

I never have anything to do with the people I went to high school with. They remind me of a terrible time in my life, and I was never close to any of them anyway. I thought I had a few friends, but I didn’t know what real friends were like until I got older. If I were in a mall right now and I saw someone I went to high school with, I’d turn away and wait for them to move on.

I should be able to think of something I’ll miss if I work on it long enough, but right now, it’s not coming. Even the churches here treated me badly.

Let’s be honest. I won’t miss Miami at all. That’s my nature. When I cut the cord, it’s really cut. Ask any of the many people I’ve abruptly ejected from my circle. I expect to be glad I’m not in Miami, every day for the rest of my life.

People in Marion County will not turn out to be the answer to my prayers. I know that, or at least I think I know that. But they’ll speak English, they’ll be polite, and they’ll have a lot more in common with me in terms of religion and politics. That’s good enough. I don’t think I’ll ever feel at home on earth, but some places are better than others.

Because this will be a cash deal, I could conceivably find myself moving stuff north before summer starts. I didn’t think about that until today. Generally, closings take a long time because of mortgage delays. Man. This is starting to feel real. Ack. God will get me through it.

Prayers would be appreciated.

Hi; I’m Ann Coulter

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

And I’m “Peaked in 2000” Ann Coulter

I made a big mistake yesterday. I watched some clips of a Comedy Central roast. Depraved, vicious, unimaginative humor at its best. Not a positive contribution to my life.

You will want to know who they roasted. Answer: Ann Coulter. The problem is this: they claimed they were roasting Rob Lowe.

Rob got quite a few zingers; no doubt about that. But if you look the roast up and see how people reacted to it, you will find that most of the venom was heaped on Ann Coulter. Lowe faded into the background, as if his presence were an afterthought.

If you look at Youtube and check out pirated clips of the roast, you will see an endless array of watchlists and videos with titles like, “ANN COULTER DESTROYED AT ROB LOWE ROAST!!!!!!!!!!!” People who hate Coulter have carpet-bombed Youtube with their videos. It’s almost as if an old Nazi collaborator from Hungary were paying them to do it. It’s relatively difficult to find clips focusing on the other attendees. The Youtube hive, with its editing, did its best to make Coulter’s weak performance seem like a Hindenburgian disaster. That’s something of an exaggeration.

I didn’t see the whole thing, because, why would I? To call it mean-spirited would be like calling Rosie O’Donnell a tomboy. All Comedy Central roasts are mean-spirited, and they’re also extremely tasteless. If you want to watch third-tier comedians you dimly remember call each other things like “whore” and, well, other things I don’t want to repeat here, Comedy Central roasts are right up your alley. If you’re looking for clever, relatively gentle ribbing, forget it.

There used to be something called The Friars’ Club, and they put on roasts. Dean Martin was the host, I think. They roasted people like Sinatra and Milton Berle. The roasts were funny and clean. The meanest person who appeared was Don Rickles, and if you think Don Rickles was mean, you completely missed the point of his act. What Comedy Central does now is much different. It’s as if a bunch of mentally ill teenagers broke into the Friars’ Club studio while Dean was away. On top of the crudeness and hostility, the performers tend to be people who have a hard time finding work. David Spade, Lisa Lampanelli (who?), Jeff Ross (who?), and other D-listers show up, probably to get money to pay for groceries.

The shots at Ann Coulter were really something. Some were well within the expansive bounds of Comedy Central roast standards. Others were so vicious, they were too disturbing to be funny.

The thing the performers, writers, and professional audience failed to understand is this: roasts are only funny when you pick on people you don’t actually hate. When Norm MacDonald picks on David Spade, it’s fine, because they get along in real life. When people who truly want to see Ann Coulter die insult her, it’s an off-putting glimpse of real hatred, which is not funny.

It’s strange; it sounds like I’m endorsing their usual standard of abuse. I’m not. They have no concept of boundaries. I’m just saying that whatever limits they generally recognize were violated egregiously when Ann Coulter showed up.

Here’s the meanest thing they did to her: when she took her turn at the end of the roast, a lot of the people in the room refused to laugh. Some just stared at her. It was obvious that they decided, in advance, to see to it that she bombed. That’s a very cruel thing to do to an entertainer.

Here’s an interesting thing about comedy: it only works when the audience consents. If the audience isn’t with you, you WILL bomb. It doesn’t matter how funny you are. This is true of all performing acts, but it’s particularly true of comedy.

I remember seeing Steve Martin perform when I was in high school. His opening act was John Sebastian, the singer who wrote “Welcome Back” and “Coconut Grove,” among other circa-1970 hits. Nobody wanted to see him sing. It was a mistake to book him. He had a tape machine with him instead of a band. He went through his whole set while people screamed at him, booed, and gave him the finger. No encore. He looked like he wanted to grant the audience’s wish and disappear. When the tape ended, he was dying to get off the stage. Steve Martin came out, did his set in a hurry, and left as soon as he could without violating his contract. He seemed furious.

That’s what the Coulter roast was like.

Coulter is a tough bird, but she was clearly knocked off balance by the toxic deluge of abuse. Even Jewel, whose stage persona is an inoffensive, girlish waif who sings about love and daisies and so on, said this: “I do want to say as a feminist that I can’t support everything that’s been said tonight, but as someone who hates Ann Coulter, I’m delighted.” This was after an SNL cast member named Pete Davidson called Coulter the c-word.

Coulter’s delivery was slow, and it sounded as if she had been drinking. Her jokes were not great, but they seemed much worse than they were, because so many people in the studio had decided to punish her with silence.

Coulter’s performance was marred by her choice of material. Years ago, her buddies got together and wrote a Fox News comedy show called “The Half-Hour News Hour.” It featured people like Manny Coto (who?) and Mike Rowe (no threat to Dave Chappelle). The show was really bad. After the roast, she said she and her friends had written her jokes. Naturally, I thought of the Fox show. I strongly suspect the same crew was the engine behind her Comedy Central bus plunge. “We’re going to roast Major Strasser. Round up the usual suspects.”

Conservatives hate new talent. They’re all about promoting people who already have a piece of the pie. They support hacks. The Fox show was a great example of what happens when a movement eats its young. Coulter gets exposure, P.J. O’Rourke gets exposure, Tucker Carlson (unbelievably) gets the Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly shows, Mike Rowe gets called in to write things, but talented people who haven’t made it yet are ignored.

Remember Allahpundit? Excellent writer, right? Where is he now? Writing for Hot Air. A contrived corporate blog. We will never see him on TV. He will never be asked to write for a major TV show or a conservative movie comedy. Jeff Goldstein never made it. Moxie never made it. What’s-his-name at IMAO never made it. Nobody gets called up from the minors except for untalented tokens who prove how diverse we are.

Of course, Coulter bombed. The whole room hated her, and she was playing in an NFL game backed up by a squad of midgets. Okay, not NFL. More like a college team on whatever level is below MIT.

I sound like I support Ann Coulter. I don’t. I got over that years ago, when I saw how nutty she really was. I’m just marveling at the cruelty of the left and the foolishness of Team Coulter and the conservatives who decide who makes it and who doesn’t.

For all her faults and errors, which are substantial, Ann Coulter is brilliant. She’s the one who labeled illegal aliens “undocumented Democrats.” She has an extremely rare ability to think on her feet and cut opponents to the quick. On Comedy Central, she looked like an amateur who was out of her element. Nice job, leftists and GOP-approved Coulter stooges.

I don’t actually care about what happens on pity-inducing TV roasts staffed by performers we feel sorry for. What really interests me about the story is the Christian angle. While Coulter is the farthest thing from a preacher, and while she is not a good role model for any Christian, she belongs to the faith, and she sometimes promotes our beliefs. People on the left hate her for that. They can’t tell a saint from Judas Iscariot. We’re all evil in their minds, and all cruelty toward us is considered justified. This, not her harsh humor, is the main reason she was treated so badly.

I sincerely believe there were people on the dais who would publicly celebrate if Ann Coulter were burned alive in a house fire. I think some of them would happily beat her to death with their own fists. Their hostility is representative of the general mood of leftists. Right now, lynchings are illegal, so leftists content themselves with beating Republicans at political rallies. In the future, they will have more “flexibility,” as Obama once put it. When those days come, we will see people act out, with their bodies, the hostility the roast performers heaped on Coulter with their tongues.

In 1900, no one would have thought the civilized, orderly Germans and Austrians capable of shooting babies or pushing Jews into gas chambers. At that time, they were not allowed to do things like that. As the government became more supportive of violence and hatred, people showed what they were really capable of doing. We’re going to see that level of brutality here, before long. We’re already seeing it at Trump rallies. Think how bad it will be when the gun-grabbers disarm the prey. The violence will come to our doorsteps, even in places like Florida and Texas.

What a strange time to be alive.

Many times, I’ve thought to myself that Jews in prewar Europe should have known what was coming. I’ve wondered why they didn’t leave while they could. Now I look around at American Christians, and I ask similar questions. Don’t we know what’s on the way? Why aren’t we leaving big cities and blue states? When the real violence starts, the TV segments and Youtube videos won’t come from West Virginia and Wyoming. They’ll come from places like L.A, D.C., and New York City. Conservatives in those places are already afraid to go out in public with conservative gear on, and they’re afraid to expose their beliefs at work. If things are already that bad, why stick around?

Jews are going to get the worst of it. Christians can move to the country, but Jews are city people. Orthodox Jews are literally incapable of surviving on their own. They have to have synagogues, yeshivas, kosher butchers, and so on. They’re not allowed to hunt. Look where they concentrate. Chicago, New York, L.A., Boston, and South Florida. Liberal areas with big, angry ghettos. Not a promising picture. At least the Jews in Florida can carry guns.

When the mobs come for Jews, most Jews will be surprised. “We voted for government programs! We voted for ‘immigrants’! We rode with the Freedom Riders! We fought poll taxes and literacy tests!” It won’t matter. Persecution isn’t based on your behavior. It’s based on God’s love for you. Anything God loves is hateful to Satan’s children.

It’s sort of like the Army’s hatred of Clevinger in Catch-22:

Yossarian had done his best to warn him the night before. “You haven’t got a chance, kid,” he told him glumly. “They hate Jews.” “But I’m not Jewish,” answered Clevinger. “It will make no difference,” Yossarian promised, and Yossarian was right.

I don’t care what happens to Ann Coulter’s career. She is not helpful. But I do care what cruelty to Ann Coulter presages.

Oh, well. I’m on my way out of this place. I’m going to move to an area where you have to have Amazon Prime to get a bagel. If riots go mobile and start visiting red areas, I won’t have to use my guns to protect myself. My neighbors will beat me to it. I should be safe much longer than anyone in South Florida.