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Archive for the ‘God’ Category

The Weeding Continues

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Plus a Grim Reminder

I got off social media, and God cut back my prayer list. My social circle is tightening up. I came up with a name for it. I call it “the little Rapture.”

It has been very peaceful. Sometimes I feel a little isolated, but in this world, the concentration of people whom I consider like-minded is pretty low. The closer you get to God, the fewer people you will want to spend time with. It’s a consequence of seeing people more clearly.

When I was highly active in church, my time was wasted. My money was wasted. My good intentions were wasted. I served childish, greedy, rude people who had no class and not a whole lot going on upstairs. I was surrounded by people who were very insincere, and they pretended to be serious, so I spent time fertilizing plants that were determined not to grow. If I choose, I can be more social and have more “friends,” but there is no way I can significantly increase the number of people who are pulling with me instead of dragging their feet.

In other words, the sensation of deprivation is an illusion.

I remember the prayer sessions my little group used to have in the conference room at Trinity Church. I used to tell people to imagine what the parking lot would look like if all the cars that weren’t paid for disappeared. That was how the congregation would look if the hypocrites vanished. The place would be nearly deserted. That’s how life is. I don’t care who you are; you have almost no friends.

That makes me think of Prince and other entourage-dependent celebrities. Those people have fewer friends than anyone, yet they are surrounded by people who claim they will lay down their lives for them. In an entourage hive, the queen bee is unaware of reality or refuses to face it. The workers and drones insulate her from it, because reality is a threat to their income and prestige.

The false comfort provided by the crowd seems worth it to the queen. Prince, Elvis, Muhammad Ali, and others like them were or are queen bees, not leaders.

People like John and Paul had adherents, but I doubt they allowed themselves to have entourages or cults.

I envy John. His type of ministry is the kind I would like to have. As far as I know, he wasn’t always caught up in the mosh pit. He lived in the country, and then he ended up on an island full of political prisoners. Maybe he didn’t have to suit up and force-feed the swine every day.

If what we are told is right, John was rare among early church leaders in that he died peacefully. The emperor Domitian had him placed in a pot of hot oil and fried for refusing to worship him, and John came out unhurt. It would be nice to have that kind of dominion and safety in the years ahead, when silly, underdeveloped people with tattoos and piercings start murdering Christians and Jews in America.

Paul was beheaded, which is not too bad, but he was also stoned and flogged. A lot of horrendous things happened to early Christian leaders, including skinning and grilling. Death from natural causes would be a privilege, although I still like the meteor idea. One second, you’re here, and the next second, you’re rising to heaven, leaving a big mess behind on the sidewalk.

The older you get, the less you fear death. Your eyes go. Your mind goes. You realize things will only get worse, and then you will die. You start to think about your future plans, and by that, I mean your plans for the next life.

You can be like Madonna and Cher and live in frantic, unseemly denial. You can cover everything up with putty and paint, but underneath it all, it’s still you. Cher is a senior citizen, and Madonna is nearly there. They are post-menopausal women whose wrinkled bodies produce only grey hairs, regardless of the bleach and dye. They have brittle bones and fading eyesight. They are no longer attractive to men under 70. Things aren’t going to improve, so they might as well think about a better place and a new start. I’m a little younger, but time will pass for me just as it has for them, so I am adjusting.

I am glad to be retreating from things. I thought Trinity was a fine church, and then I got understanding, and I left. I thought New Dawn was a fine church, and then God showed me their pride and their refusal to listen, and I left. I dumped a number of friends. My own sister was removed from my life. I can’t complain about any of it. Every new step has made life better.

Yesterday I got a reminder that the years were passing. My dad got lost on the way to a dental appointment. He uses Mapquest to print directions to places he’s been dozens of times, and yesterday he couldn’t get it to work, so he used Google. He couldn’t understand the map. He was gone four and a half hours.

I found out he had missed the appointment. I could not reach him on his chintzy flip phone, which sent calls straight to voicemail, which he can’t operate correctly. I had to call the cops and local hospitals. It doesn’t disturb me every time he’s out of touch for a few hours, but when he disappears on the way to an important appointment, it’s another story. It suggests incapacitation, not whimsy.

He finally turned up, after I had started thinking I was going to have to donate his clothes to charity. That’s what I did the week my mother died. You don’t turn a home into a museum. You get the personal items out fast, accept the loss, and keep on living. You don’t want to go into the bathroom two weeks after someone dies and see their toothbrush.

I’m going to get him an Android phone so I can track him, and he now has my contact information in his wallet, where it should have been twenty years ago.

A lot of older people have cheap phones and cheap cell plans. Sounds smart, but wait until one disappears on you and you can’t locate them.

I asked the cops if there was some kind of database for checking hospital admissions, figuring I was behind the times, but they said there is not. If you’re trying to find someone, you will have to call every hospital in your area. You would think ER admissions would be uploaded to a central directory, but they’re not.

I didn’t know the number on his vehicle tag. I’m going to have to make a list of useful information and put it in my computer.

Yesterday was a drill. When the real thing comes, I’ll have some idea what to do. That’s the sad payoff.

It’s an odd reflection of the Prince situation. Prince had no will and no plan, and no one cared about him. My dad has his papers in order, and he has me. When the baton passes, it should be simple and orderly.

Don’t be upset if you have to dump some cargo on your journey. Eventually you’ll have to dump yourself, so it’s best to accustom yourself to the pattern.

Let the Looting Begin

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Race to the Bottom

I keep checking on the Prince story, because it’s so interesting.

Someone has told The National Enquirer Prince had AIDS, and that it caused his death. They say he refused treatment because he was depending on prayer.

A lot of people have suddenly decided Prince was tight with God. The Washington Post ran a ridiculous story labeling Prince a “conservative Christian.”

When he died, Prince was not a Christian. Early in his life, he was a Seventh-Day Adventist, and later on, he became a Jehovah’s Witness. Seventh-Day Adventists are Christians with some strange but probably harmless beliefs thrown in. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christians, so in becoming one, Prince exited the faith.

Christians believe Jesus is God. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not. They think he’s the archangel Gabriel. They also believe you have to belong to their organization in order to be saved. They burden people with various “essential” works. You can’t have beliefs like that and be a Christian.

The Washington Post is a liberal publication which is biased against God, so you wouldn’t expect them to be all that knowledgeable about Christianity, but it’s a little surprising that they think JW’s are part of the crew. The staff of the paper probably contains a large number of lapsed Catholics; the Pope’s followers and former followers are represented pretty heavily among the ranks of leftists. They should know a few things. The error still got out.

Prince was a tireless and extremely effective promoter of sexual sin and rebellion. Maybe he hated high taxes. Maybe he was against destructive social programs. Maybe he was a conservative, and maybe he prayed a lot. But you would have to be nuts to think he served God or was anything but a spiritual disaster. If you think he was a Christian, go stand in front of a mirror and slap your own face; you’re in a coma.

The AIDS story got me thinking. All the entourage members who clung to him are treading water right now; their life preserver was snatched away. They need food and shelter. What do they have to exchange for it? Skills? Probably not. Appealing resumes? Doubtful. But they have one valuable asset: information. Surely they’re trading it now, if only to put groceries on the table.

Prince was not a planner. He didn’t have to be. He had tons of money, and he was surrounded by eager lickspittles, so he did as he pleased. What are the odds he made any provision for this time? He has no will, so there’s a clue for you. If a person worth tens of millions of dollars dies intestate, you can pretty well bet he never thought about nondisclosure agreements or postmortem benefits for his minions.

The entourage members probably had to wrestle with themselves as they watched the food on the compound shelves disappear, each trying to decide whether he should betray Prince before one of the others got in ahead of him and devalued the information they held in common. TMZ or The Enquirer will pay a lot to the first person who tells them Robin Williams hanged himself; the second person, not so much.

The AIDS story may or may not be true, but anyone trying to find out where it came from knows a good place to start.

Prince was supposedly against homosexuality. On the other hand, he was about as effeminate as a man can get without spontaneously combusting. If, for some reason, you had to entice another man to violate you, and you didn’t know what to do, imitating Prince would be a good strategy.

If the drug-hater who overdosed twice in one week was also a homosexuality opponent who got AIDS from another man, it wouldn’t be the biggest shock ever to hit the airwaves.

It’s not that easy for a man to get AIDS from a woman. Only about 6% of straight men who get AIDS get it from sex with women. If the AIDS story is true, I would be a little surprised if it turned out a woman gave him the disease.

To get back to the issue of his religious status, plenty of Christians use drugs. Plenty of us get AIDS. Not many are world-famous, unrepentant, gender-boundary-smashing, crusading icons in the battle to promote promiscuity. If you can behave that way and expect God to save you from hell, it’s news to me, because it’s willful, systematic, public rebellion.

If the people around Prince aren’t handled and pacified, and unless they are truly loyal, we can expect a rash of hurriedly-published tell-all books in the near future, and I would expect a sensational movie within two years.

My guess is that the AIDS story is false. At least, I don’t think it killed him. Right now, a lot of people have motivation to say crazy things for money, and I don’t think a person who is about to die from AIDS would feel well enough to pace around a drugstore parking lot on the eve of his demise. The drug story appears to be gaining strength, however. The DEA is now investigating.

When so-called “Christians” all across America get on their high horses and self-righteously vilify anyone who suggests Prince was not a servant of God, you know our country has marched off a cliff. Anyone can be wrong, but to believe something so patently stupid is a new kind of crazy. We used to be smarter than this. Sixty years ago, we were highly suspicious of anyone who got divorced. Now we have homosexuals leading churches. Lunacy.

The facts will get progressively weirder as they unfold, and so will the irrational responses.

I don’t know where it will lead, but I know this: if I were Madonna or Lady Gaga, I would be hiding in a closet begging God to change me. This has not been a great year for secular worship leaders.

The Earth Still Turns Without Disco

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Don’t Party Like it’s 1979

My Internet friend Heather noticed I was gone from Facebook and came by to comment, saying this:

Be glad you stepped away from Facebook, the deification of Prince has been just insane.
You would not believe the ugly things that have been said to me because I pointed out that the man was a Jehovah Witness, thus destroying their fantasy that Prince did not immediately ascend to the throne at the right hand of God.

I have seen very little Prince worship on the Internet, but that’s because I’ve avoided it. It must be a nauseating, discouraging spectacle. I can’t even guess what Facebook looks like this week. In some circles, it must be bigger than the death of FDR.

I thought his music was boring. I can’t understand why anyone ever sat through an entire song. But that may be because I simply didn’t have the particular supernatural influence that convinces people he’s wonderful.

If you’re not protected by the Holy Spirit, all the other spirits can make you believe or perceive nearly whatever they want. They shape our desires and reactions all day. Surely they can convince you Prince was better than Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday.

People are still talking about his “clean” lifestyle. The man was treated for a drug overdose and then died several days later in a manner entirely consistent with a second overdose. Okay, sure, his cousin says he was clean. What would your cousins say about you a day after you died? That you were a jerk?

The world is hopelessly screwed up. If you want proof, just consider this: Satan is the god of this world. What more do I have to say? When the lowest, most foolish creature in the universe is a world’s god, things are pretty bad.

Our perceptions are very distorted. We are raised in a soup of spirits that lie to us constantly, and we are surrounded by their human stooges, who repeat the lies around the clock. One of the benefits of being Spirit-led is that the deception starts to fall away from you. When that happens, the world and its values start to look insane and depressing.

My desires keep changing. I want that to continue. I don’t want to desire poison and death any more.

A long time ago, I had a comic strip in development with an editor. I knew I was good at what I did; I had no self-deprecating illusions about it. I expected to succeed. As motivation, I cut photos of fishing yachts out of magazines and taped them in places where I could see them. I figured I would get one if I got rich.

Today, you could not pay me to deal with a yacht. A nice one burns around 150 gallons of diesel per hour, or maybe $450. It takes three people to run one well, and it takes four to fish one. Every year, it has to go to the yard, and you will pay thousands just for basic maintenance. Dockage is expensive. Where I live, the sea is too rough for fishing maybe 40% of the time. Also, a yacht attracts shallow people who think about nothing but drunkenness, money, and sex.

I used to watch Top Gear all the time. I enjoyed watching them try out million-dollar Ferraris and Bugattis. Would I want to own such a vehicle? Never. I’m not even interested in driving one. I’m content to watch other people.

You can only get two people into a supercar. Every time you park it, you provide a target for envious vandals. Everything associated with it is ruinously expensive. You can’t even drive it legally; not if you want to use a significant portion of its capabilities.

I know people who have gotten rich. They probably think they have the world by the tail. It’s really the other way around. They have to deal with employees, lawyers, economic fluctuations, regulators…forget that. They also have to deal with tremendous temptation. Businesses run into potentially fatal challenges all the time, and very often, there is an unethical or illegal way out. I don’t want to face that.

I’ve had designs on really atrocious women. One was an atheist. Others were shallow. None really cared about God. I was looking for stupid things like chemistry. Attraction and psychological compatibility are important, but if both partners aren’t Spirit-led, they will grow apart, and one will draw the other away from God. Once you’re away from God, you’re the tail, not the head. You suffer defeat after defeat. You’re exposed. I don’t need that in my life.

My musical tastes have changed. I have a big collection of albums, and I got an Ipod so I could play them in my truck. I rarely use the stereo now. I want to talk to God while I drive, and the stereo distracts me. At home, I listen to secular music from time to time, but I can’t take it for long periods. The only thing I can put up with for hours at a time is praise music. Or silence.

I don’t see the world as my oyster. I see it as a cesspool I have to wade in for a while. It’s the roof of hell. The only way to do well down here is to focus on what’s above. The presence of God is like a pair of waders.

I seriously believe people who like Prince’s disco music and his image are supernaturally deluded. He played guitar extremely well, and he did arrangements, but that makes him a highly skilled technician, not a real artist.

If you want to hear a good keyboard player, listen to Oscar Peterson. If you want to hear a truly superb guitarist, listen to Stevie Ray Vaughan. If you want to hear a top-notch singer, listen to Etta James. If you want to hear good songs, listen to Cole Porter, Hoagie Carmichael, or Hank Williams. Then go back and listen to Prince and see if you still think he’s superhuman.

The feeling I get when I think about going back to the low tastes of this world is like the feeling a college student has when he wakes up at two p.m. with a hangover, in a bed with dirty sheets, surrounded by the smell of spilled bong water. I don’t want it any more; I get the feeling parolees have when they think about going back to prison. You have to put away childish things.

This world is not a good place or a place where you can build a permanent home. It’s the second-lowest level of creation. It’s so low God doesn’t even keep a throne here. It’s the Section 8 trailer park of the universe. Enoch tells us heaven has seven levels, and we’re under the lowest one. That’s not a good place to site a future.

Prince was a little picture of Satan. He led the musical worship of himself. He focused attention on himself, not God. He was effeminate and spoiled. He devoted his life to bringing himself glory. He corrupted other people as hard as he could. He turned other musicians into little replicas of himself. If that appeals to you, fantastic, but there is nothing about it I like.

It’s so strange that our culture was simultaneously infected by two entertainers named Prince and Madonna, who attacked Christianity while displaying Christian symbols. And those are their real first names, which makes it even weirder.

I’m glad I’m off Facebook. I’m glad I have fewer hard little heads to contend with. It seems like America just turned a downward corner, like a ship upending itself before it sinks. I don’t want to be close enough to get pulled down by the suction.

And Now With a Rebuttal: Marge

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Release the Hounds

I made a giant mistake.

A while back, I was thinking about my undergraduate “education” from Columbia College of Columbia University. I felt like it was a big joke. I did a little work in some of my classes, but I also read my share of Cliff’s Notes (not “Cliff notes”). My class attendance was not too good. I blew off the second semester of Literature Humanities (a core course) almost in its entirety.

I give the professor half of the blame. His name was James Russell. He was a scholar who did something or other related to Armenia. You can look him up. He’s still well-known. Among the 350 people who know where Armenia is. Cher and the Kardashian family.

He studied a bunch of languages from places that, annoyingly, seem to lack a group designation that would save me typing. I think Iran, Armenia, and Turkey were among these nations. What do you call them? Not “Middle Eastern.” At least I don’t think so. Maybe they are. How about “too-much-facial-hair countries”? “Potential-New-York-Cab-driver countries.”

Places where Borat was banned in order to prevent riots.

He did something fairly dumb early in the semester. He told us he didn’t care if we came to class as long as we did the work.

It was quite some time before he saw me again, and he was really, really angry that I had called his bluff.

He thought I had an excellent mind. Go me, I guess. He wrote some extremely flattering stuff on my papers. When I disappeared and then turned up again right before the final, he appeared to be quite upset that I had zero interest in being his student.

He should not have taken that personally. For one thing, he brought it on himself. For another, I was an idiot. I was only interested in things like eating and waking up. I was miserable, and I had no plans for my life. I just wanted to stay alive and not be out in the street, and I knew that if you stay in college, your parents are likely to help you with those modest goals.

I think he gave me a C or B-, so I didn’t fail or anything. I should send him a ham this Christmas.

He seemed like a great teacher. You would have to ask someone who actually went to class. My loss.

I only cheated once or twice the whole time I was in school, from kindergarten on. I may have cheated on a Lit. Hum. final. I can’t recall. It was either Lit. Hum. or an equally exciting core course, Contemporary Civilization. I had done virtually nothing all semester, and I figured I was going to fail my exam and be expelled. Then a friend took his exam early and gave me the test questions.

That definitely helped.

The system was not very smart. Some teachers tested earlier than others, so it was sometimes possible for groups of students to get their hands on tests. Ordinarily, I would not have even considered cheating. I hate cheating. But I saw a difference between vanity cheating and survival cheating. I was not cheating to get a better GPA than the guy in the next seat. I was cheating to avoid the horror of being thrown out of college.

It was still wrong, but at least I could say I was in a bad situation that made me highly motivated. The other guys who looked at the test with me…not so much.

I feel superior to them as I think about those days, but that’s denial. We were little rats. All of us.

If you want to turn me in so they can revoke my diploma, go right ahead. They never gave me one, because I dropped out and had to finish up at the University of Miami. I know, because I have that diploma today. In my closet. In the box it came in. Unless that’s my law degree.

What a digression.

To get back to the point, the other day I was feeling guilty about learning almost nothing as an undergrad at Columbia, and I started thinking about the books in the core curriculum. There was no reason why I couldn’t download them or buy used copies (because I am cheap) and study on my own.

This was the mistake I referred to in my opening sentence.

I am now 500-misery-odd pages into The Iliad, translated by some guy who probably gets maced when he tries to walk into cocktail parties. Lattimore! I just remembered. It’s Lattimore. I don’t know whose translation Columbia used, but they use Lattimore now, so I decided to read it.

Wow, is it horrible. Reading it is like physical pain. Here’s an important fact you never hear people say: writing has gotten much, much better since ancient times.

As far as I can tell, The Iliad has no paragraphs. It’s broken up into chapters, which are called “books,” which actually means “chapters.” It’s over 900 pages long, and I suppose there are something like 20 books, and once you start a book, there are no brakes. You go until you hit the end of the book.

Man was not made to read long paragraphs. I don’t care who you are or what you write about; if you can’t find a way to shorten your paragraphs, you are doing it wrong.

Even worse, Homer is incredibly windy within his general-admission-style, festival seating books. He loves inserting horrible similes that take half a page. Torture yourself with this example:

And not even then might the Trojans and glorious Hektor have broken in the gates of the rampart, and the long door-bar, had not Zeus of the counsels driven his own son, Sarpedon, upon the Argives, like a lion among horn-curved cattle. Presently he held before him the perfect circle of his shield, a lovely thing of beaten bronze, which the bronze-smith hammered out for him, and on the inward side had stitched ox-hides in close folds with golden staples clean round the circle. Holding this shield in front of him, and shaking two spears, he went onward like some hill-kept lion, who for a long time has gone lacking meat, and the proud heart is urgent upon him to get inside of a close steading and go for the sheepflocks. And even though he finds herdsmen in that place, who are watching about their sheepflocks, armed with spears, and with dogs, even so he has no thought of being driven from the steading without some attack made, and either makes his spring and seizes a sheep, or else himself is hit in the first attack by a spear from a swift hand thrown. So now his spirit drove on godlike Sarpedon to make a rush at the wall and break apart the battlements.

This underscores a very important point about the ancients: they did not have TV.

In 2016, people consider the value of other people’s time, because we’re all very busy playing video games and looking at cat pictures on Facebook. In 5000 B.C., this was not the case. There were no cable boxes. There were no channels. Zero. People had absolutely nothing to do once the sun went down. This explains why they were willing to let wandering vagrants recite poems to them for hours at a stretch. Paradoxically, they died when they were fifteen years old, yet they felt their time had no value whatsoever.

If Homer decided to spend 900 words comparing the thighs of “godlike” Aeneas (half of the characters are “godlike”) to rippling waves on the storm-tossed Aegean, that was just fine. People didn’t mind. Me, I have other things to do. I would appreciate an occasional nod to concision.

So that’s bad.

Another problem: Lattimore uses English words in ways I never thought possible.

I have a huge vocabulary. I understand that the meanings of words have changed. I don’t have trouble with Shakespeare or the King James. But Lattimore comes up with stuff I never saw before. Nobody calls a beach “a strand.” Nobody calls a hill “a barrow.” Nobody calls a bench “a settle.” So every ten minutes, I have to go on the Internet to find out what he’s talking about.

If Homer were in this guy’s class, he’d pin him to the blackboard with a bronze spear.

What else can I complain about? Oh, yes. The story and the characters.

The story is ridiculous. There is no plot. Paris of Troy stole the wife of Menelaus (or Menelaos, depending on which pedant translated your version), and Menelaus and his buddies sail to Troy to destroy it and take her back. Troy is a big city with steep walls. You saw it in the movie.

His buddies are the Danaans. Or the Achaians. Or the Argives. They have like 4 dozen names. They’re a bunch of criminals from all around Greece. Athena, Poseidon, Hera, and various other immortals are on their side. I think. Zeus is behind the Trojans. Some days, the Trojans do well. Some days, the Achaians do well. And the Achaians can’t finish the job because Achilles the ringer is pouting in his ship.

That’s about it. There is no pace or structure, because, again…time had no value.

The characters are like two-year-olds. They make the Kardashians (again I poke the Armenians) look deep. They talk about honor, but whenever they feel like it, they break promises, use unfair help from the gods to kill people, and even go back to their houses to barbecue while everyone else fights. They steal everything they see. They have no compassion or empathy whatsoever; maybe those things hadn’t been invented yet. They are stupid. They never say or do anything intelligent.

Now that I think about it, the reality TV comparison is dead accurate. Nothing ever happens. There is no rhyme or reason. The people are basically clowns.

When I was about 24, I pretty much gave up on literature. I felt like the message was almost always the same: self-pity and whining. “The world isn’t fair.” “There is no God.” “You owe me because I’m a Marxist lesbian.” I thought it was extremely unrealistic and unhealthy, and it was written from a viewpoint with which I couldn’t identify. I live in a world which is more than fair. I know God is here, and I know he treats us much better than we deserve. I know things aren’t hopeless; quite the contrary. We are assured of success, not just here but in eternity, if we do a few simple things. The miserable, mistreated figures of literature seem like creatures from Mars to me. I don’t want the infectious pus of a victim mentality to fill me up and destroy me.

Do I see things this way because I’m a white male, and every day is like paradise when you’re white? No. I screwed my life up very badly, and believe it or not, being white is not early admission to heaven. I have my sanguine worldview because I’ve weighed the evidence, and because I’ve received faith and revelation. Even Marxist lesbians are eligible.

Feel bad if it makes you feel good, but don’t try to tell yourself it’s right.

I gave up reading literature, with occasional exceptions, and it was a good decision. Reading Homer serves to remind me how foreign the godless world (okay…the non-Christian world) is. But you have to make certain concessions to your culture in order to avoid being utterly ignorant, so even though I facetiously called it a mistake, reading this botched spinal tap of a book was a good idea.

I can get through about 50 pages per day, in around half an hour, and then my brain sets up like cold oatmeal and refuses to absorb any more. At this pace, it should be about thirteen centuries, magically crammed into ten actual days, before I finish.

After I read, I have to turn my brain off and let it rest, which is why I’m here. I sat down about 30 minutes ago after a painful Homer session, and I’m writing this to unwind.

I found Cliff’s Notes online, and I found the one for The Iliad. I can now proudly announce that I’m the first person on earth to use Cliff’s Notes as a study guide instead of a substitute for the pain of reading the actual book.

The people who put the notes out put a totally hypocritical warning up front, about making sure you go to class and read the book, because if you don’t, you’re denying yourself the benefit of the education for which you’re paying.

Couple of points.

1. The warning is about as credible as the one on the Q-Tip box that says not to put them in your ears. Yeah, we all run the swab gently around the rim of our ear, where it accomplishes nothing whatsoever. Cliff, who owns his own country in the South Pacific, knows exactly why you bought his notes. By the way, a translation is not the real Iliad. Think about that for a while. You’re already reading a fake.

2. You’re probably not paying for your education. It’s probably the taxpayer, your parents, or the lender who gave you the student loan you are hoping to default on.

3. The question of whether there is a “benefit” to reading Homer is still up in the air. Okay, I just said that to be mean.

Let me say something horrible, which will make professors incontinent with rage; even more angry than the knowledge that they can be completely replaced by iPhone videos: the notes are pretty good, and for most people, they’re a completely acceptable (even superior) substitute for a $9000 lecture from an old socialist in corduroy pants. It’s not like your professor at Texas A&M has some secret inside Homeric poop the Cliff’s people can’t get their hands on. It’s all the same poop. You’re not going to learn that much at the undergrad level anyway, and five years later, a person who used Cliff’s Notes will not be at a detectable disadvantage to someone who paid his parents’ life savings to a trite old bolshevik wearing a “Feel the Bern” button.

It’s kind of amazing. When I was taking easy humanities courses, I cheated once or twice, and I did no work I could avoid. When I got my physics degree, which is about 3000 times as hard as basket-weaving liberal arts pabulum (Latin word!), I never thought about cheating, and I did my own work. When I got my law degree, which is only about 5 times as hard as advanced navel-gazing liberal arts courses, I never thought about cheating, and I did my own (very little) work.

Life is funny. Funnier than Homer’s jokes, anyway.

I am hoping things get better as I progress. Hopefully other translators will be more humane. If not, I can always look for old copies of Classic Comics. I’ll just have to be careful and realize something is amiss when the Achaians are defeated by Wolverine and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Godlike Sonic the Hedgehog.

By the way, we need to acknowledge something. MOST liberal arts students don’t learn much as undergrads. What I went through was basically normal, although probably 25% worse than average. So get off your high horse already.

Or, if you’re a Danaan, out of it.

It Just Got Real

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Write a Check, and Someone Will Talk

When you’re old, you have seen a lot of things. You have seen a lot of things that resemble other things. You see repetitive patterns in earthly events.

Sooner or later, you start to know what’s happening earlier than other people. Then if you’re not careful, you start to think you don’t have to reason any more; you have so much confidence in your generalizations, you may feel like you can rely on them to the point where analysis is a waste of time.

That’s something for me to keep in mind. Nonetheless, it looks like I was right about what killed Prince.

It’s not like it was rocket science. A musician has a drug overdose, and he dies several days later with no signs of trauma. The most likely explanation was obvious. But Prince was someone people idolized, so they were blind to his faults. I never idolized him or liked his music. It’s not hard for me to be critical of him.

The Daily Mail, which is a real newspaper not to be confused with The Onion, just published a long interview with a man who calls himself “Doctor D.” He says he sold Prince painkillers for years, to the tune of two $40000 every six months.

Is it a lie? Could be. Maybe The Daily Mail has decided to completely give up on being taken seriously, and they published the story without any effort at vetting it.

Probably not, though.

Now I’m wondering if someone will be arrested for making a straw man drug buy at a pharmacy. If Prince had to send another person into a pharmacy the day before he overdosed, he had a reason, and it wasn’t to buy Q-Tips.

It is said that his sister, who also has drug problems, is going to inherit his estate. There is no will. It just falls into her lap, with no supervision or restraint.

Maybe she’ll be like Priscilla Presley, and she’ll build it into something even bigger. On the other hand, maybe his entire song catalog will belong to someone else within five years, and she’ll end up broke.

It’s obvious that I’m not a Prince fan. If you’re wondering why, maybe it will help if I show you how I was introduced to Prince.

In the early 1980’s, I was in the dorm room of a college girl who admired Prince. Here is the poster I saw on her wall. I had no idea who it was.

prince in shower with cross

Apologies to those who are offended. I’m a man, so I don’t see it as provocative, but maybe others will disagree. I just see it as gross and sad; a mistake.

I remember asking her what she could possibly see in a person like that. She thought he was tremendous. I could not understand why a woman would want a feminine man.

I still don’t get it. I don’t care much for disco music, which was what he played. I don’t care much for androgynous performers. I can’t relate to a person who wants to seem effeminate. Also, the in-your-face phoniness of Prince is unappealing to me. I guess I should learn to accept the fact that virtually all of show business is phony. I have not.

He promoted himself a little too hard for my tastes. He claimed he played 27 instruments on an album, and on the street, people turned that into, “Prince can play 40 instruments.” It turns out he was a drummer, guitarist, keyboard player, and bassist (the bass is 2/3 of a guitar). You can turn that into 27 instruments by dividing guitar into electric and acoustic and performing similar divisions for keyboards and percussions. You can divide the keyboards into the piano, the organ, the synthesizer, the electric piano, and so on. I don’t think anyone seriously believes he was a complete master of 27 completely distinct instruments.

I could say I play eight instruments if you include “Oh, Susanna” on the harmonica. It would be pretty misleading, but you could say it.

Try to find him playing instruments on the Internet. It’s not easy. You can find the guitar and the keyboards right away. The other 25 instruments are much more elusive.

Yes, he was an excellent musician, but that’s about it. He couldn’t fly. He wasn’t the smartest person on earth. The weird outfits seemed too pretentious to me. Eric Clapton can play in jeans and reading glasses.

Maybe younger fans don’t know about this poster. Yesterday a young friend of mine praised Prince for his masculinity, as contrasted with Michael Jackson, who was a homosexual who liked young boys. I don’t see masculinity in this poster. Do you? Call me crazy, but the little purple suits, high heels, and lace shirts don’t seem masculine to me either.

Prince was not a good person. He encouraged sexual sin with missionary enthusiasm. He promoted smaller entertainers and brought them into his mess. He tried to convince Denise Matthews (the former Vanity) to call herself “Vagina.” He wrote songs that were filthy and crass, not sexy. He celebrated pride and fornication. He was very corrosive to American sexual morals, and it was deliberate. If he had written music I liked, maybe I would be inclined to make excuses for him, but to me, disco is disco.

The dealer in the news story claims Prince had crippling stage fright, and that the drugs allowed him to ignore it. That comes as a surprise. You would think a man with his talent, success, and musical competence would have no regard for the negative perceptions of audiences, and you would expect forty years of performing to get him past his phobias. Very strange.

I’m not glad he’s dead, but I realize he was a horrible corrupting influence. I think his contribution to music, especially songwriting, is greatly exaggerated, and that gives him the illusion of godhood, which makes the corrupting influence stronger.

Some people are claiming he avoided drugs and alcohol. Maybe it’s an error in judgment, but I trust a drug dealer much more than an entourage member. Those people are selected for their pliability. Entourage members are the reason Eddie Murphy thought it was a good idea to make a music video. He put that in his act, lampooning their praise: “Eddie…you a GENIUS.”

What will happen to the entourage now? If he didn’t have a will, they’re going to have to get jobs, like right now. What a faceful of cold water that must be. I wonder if they ever tried to get him to make some kind of provision for them.

I have never had an entourage. I don’t know what it entails. It’s an interesting situation. One day you’re supporting a bunch of people–codependents, maybe–who have no job titles, skills, duties, or contracts, and the next day you’re dead, and you left no one to write checks. It’s like going away for a month and forgetting to fill the cat feeder. It’s like what happened to Chauncey Gardner in Being There.

If I were Prince’s sister, I’d have a security team in that compound, preventing people from stealing silverware. I’ll bet the unused portion of the last prescription disappeared already, and the cops, not being entirely stupid, will have questions about that.

Maybe there’s an entourage exchange out there somewhere. Michael Jackson dies, and Prince and Floyd Mayweather hire the cream of the newly disenfranchised. Don Imus and Howard Stern will eventually contribute some inventory.

If you’re a hot entertainer who can’t function without an array of at-will gofers and personal assistants, you put people in a precarious position. Bundini Brown would have been in a bad way if Ali had died in the ring.

The smart hangers-on marry their hosts. That gives them lasting power.

Weird. It’s all weird. The life, the death, and the warped perceptions. I never found him interesting until this week.

Rotation

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Another Feast for TMZ

I am waiting for a guy to install a garage door opener, so I figured I might as well blog.

Prince is dead. I guess everyone knows that now. Someone found his body yesterday, in an elevator at his home. Everyone is speculating about what happened to him. The world is overreacting, as though a president had been shot.

I figured I might as well weigh in with some observations. I don’t know what got him, but it looks a lot like opioid addiction, which is something I know about.

The mainstream news outlets are saying Prince was hospitalized on Friday, April 15. He was on a private jet, flying to his home in Minnesota. He had just performed in Atlanta. The jet was about 50 minutes away from its destination, but his situation was considered so urgent the flight had to be interrupted as soon as possible.

The plane landed in Illinois, where, according to TMZ, Prince received an injection of a drug that counteracts the effects of opioids. In other words, it looks like he overdosed and needed emergency treatment to save his life.

The official explanation is that he was feeling poorly because of a stubborn case of the flu. Does a flu relapse respond to treatment for opioid overdose? I’m not a doctor, but I’m willing to guess that it doesn’t.

The next day, he appeared in Minnesota in front of a small crowd. People are interpreting this as a move intended to assure the world that he was okay. He didn’t perform. He spoke to the crowd. He said, “Wait a few days before you waste any prayers.” That remark has the press buzzing. It sounds like a reference to suicide.

TMZ says that on April 20, Prince was photographed in the parking lot of a Walgreen’s drugstore near his home. They say he was sweating, and that he appeared agitated. He was pacing. as though impatient.

I have decades of experience with a relative who is a painkiller addict, so the Prince facts remind me of a picture I have already seen.

People who are addicted to opioids get very impatient when they run out of drugs. They get pushy. They get whiny. They look for ways to manipulate others into getting drugs for them. I can’t say I’ve seen such a person sweat, but I’ve seen agitation, faking pain, and insistent demands for treatment.

People will wonder why a person would stand in a drugstore parking lot instead of going inside. His behavior makes sense if there was a reason why he didn’t want the employees to see him. You can’t say it was because he was avoiding the public, because if that were true, he would have hidden in his vehicle. He wasn’t afraid of being seen by random people, but he had some reason for staying out of the pharmacy.

It’s harder to get painkillers than it used to be. America has long been full of drug pushers with medical degrees who were eager to write prescriptions for money, but as time passes, awareness about drug-seeking behavior increases, and things tend to tighten up.

A famous addict could have a hard time getting prescriptions filled, especially if he lived in a suburb or the country, where druggists might be familiar with his problems. A person like that might rely on straw man purchases, which means he would get other people to get prescriptions and then have them buy drugs and give them to him. Elvis used to do that.

Buying painkillers for someone else is a serious crime. How would you get another person to commit a felony and buy drugs for you? That would not be easy for most of us. But what if you lived in a cocoon of your own creation, where you always got your own way? What if you surrounded yourself with sycophants who did whatever you told them to do? That’s supposedly how Prince lived. By show business standards, he was reclusive. He stayed in a compound, and he kept layers of people between himself and humanity.

Prince was not healthy. He needed to have both hips replaced, but he refused because he belonged to the Jehovah’s Witness cult. Jehovah’s Witnesses are non-Christians, and they have some odd rules. They won’t accept blood transfusions. Prince wouldn’t have his hips fixed without an assurance that no blood would be given to him. He probably had a lot of pain. It would be normal for a person like that to develop a taste for painkillers.

Let’s add it up.

Prince had a painful medical condition. He had recently been treated for a painkiller overdose. He had a strange get-together, and he made a cryptic remark about something that would happen in a few days that would make prayer for him a waste. He was seen pacing impatiently in a drugstore parking lot the day before he died. The details of the death itself–a sudden collapse–are consistent with an opioid overdose.

It would not be a big surprise to learn that he got someone to get him some pills while he waited in a parking lot, and then he took too many, possibly intentionally.

Of course, he was a 57-year-old black man, so it’s completely possible he had high blood pressure and died of a stroke or heart attack.

I find him an interesting figure. To me, he has always been in the same category as Michael Jackson, Elvis, and Madonna. He seems to have been a moderately talented, charismatic, troubled person who received inordinate adulation from the public. I think people like that are controlled by powerful spirits that crave admiration, and I believe Satan gives them favor so they can corrupt young people.

The folks Satan sets up as top-tier musical idols with god complexes often die humiliating or gruesome deaths. It’s as though Satan resents all the years he had to spend doing nice things for them. It seems like Satan gets tired of them, puts and end to them, and then rotates new dupes in.

People will disagree if I say Prince was only moderately talented. I’m talking about the music he produced, not his ability to play instruments. He appears to have been extremely good at picking up instruments and playing them well, but his songs were generally monotonous and shallow, and his singing was very ordinary. He created bubble gum music for teenagers.

He was an excellent showman, and he was good at shocking people. Those were the areas where he truly distinguished himself.

I never liked his music. It sounded pretty much like all other dance music to me. I also found his effeminate persona creepy. I can’t understand why any man would work hard to appear feminine. He came across like a prison “girlfriend,” desperate to attract other people to himself sexually. He seemed to reach out to everyone, including normal men, in order to get them to lust after him.

Some effeminate men are funny and likeable, but to me, Prince seemed phony, somewhat conceited, and gross.

Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Like Mormons, they believe you have to qualify through works. They are not Christians. What happened to Prince is not good. For that matter, what he did while he was alive was not good. He lived for the trinkets that are available on earth. He has come to a very bad end, and he may well have missed out on salvation.

It will be interesting to find out what actually happened to him.

The Zombies are Already Here

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

And Shooting Them is Illegal

I have a friend who has dreams that have meaning, and he had a disturbing one last night.

He’s going to college, and he shares a house with some other students. They entertain a lot. Yesterday some young ladies came over, and there was dancing.

My friend was on the couch, and he fell asleep. When the dream started, he still saw the couples dancing, but they were dead. Their flesh was falling apart, and he could literally see a foul stench rising up from them.

He saw destruction all around him, complete with snakes and swarms of flies. He was fine, but he couldn’t do anything for anyone else. They wouldn’t listen.

It’s completely consistent with what I’ve been seeing, and it’s very appropriate for his situation.

He knows a lot of idiots who pretend to be Christians, yet who never change. They cause him a lot of problems. He sinks his heart into trying to save people. He hates to let anyone fall through the cracks. In other words, he has unrealistic hopes. God keeps telling him he has to let people go, and it’s hard for him to comply.

It’s not a suggestion when God tells you to drop unproductive people. It’s an order, and it’s important. People who refuse to change are a burden. They discourage you. They destroy your peace and your faith, and they take you away from people who can actually be helped.

In the Bible, sometimes God listened when his servants asked him to be patient with others. Sometimes he didn’t.

It’s disturbing to realize America is lost, and it seems strange to be thinking about it on a quiet, sunny spring day with a pleasant breeze blowing. But it makes sense; death takes time to propagate through a body. If you put a tourniquet on your arm, your hand won’t die and fall off immediately. It will feel completely normal at first. It takes time for numbness to set in, and after that you still have a long time to take the tourniquet off and restore the blood flow.

I don’t think America’s sunset will look bad to the lost. Not at first. Sexual deviants are gaining new ground and finding new acceptance. People who have been disenfranchised for very good reason are receiving new power over the rest of us. It must seem like the dawn of an age of enlightenment and peace to them.

These are the people who celebrate the rainbow, which is something that appeared after God killed the human race. You have to be severely deluded to consider a rainbow a good omen. The rainbow is God’s promise that he won’t drown us again. The next time he massacred a large number of rebels, he rained burning sulfur and pitch on them, and he will use fire again at the end of the world. That’s not something to be happy about.

Being burned to death is very bad, but it’s surely worse when you’re covered in a sticky substance that burns. You can’t run away from it.

When things get worse, it won’t change the minds of the perverse. They’ll blame Christians and Jews. Sooner or later, a day will come when people who know God exists will blame him openly. In the past, we had to deal with atheists and idolaters. In the future, the gloves will come off, and God’s enemies will be people who acknowledge his existence. That will be weird. We already see it here and there, but in the future, it will be considered normal and acceptable.

Unbelievers criticize Christians for any faults they can find or manufacture. One of their favorites is self-righteousness. All correction is seen as hate and conceit.

Sometimes they’re right, but another person’s self-righteousness isn’t a valid excuse for rejecting the truths he speaks.

It’s not easy to talk about God and repentance without sounding proud.

When I look at the rebellious, doomed people around me, I don’t see myself as superior to them. I see myself as an eleventh-hour Christian who strove to be like them until it stopped paying off. I wasn’t pulled out of the fire because I was a great guy. I simply wasn’t strong enough or brave enough to keep fighting God. And Satan always cheated me. He offered me prizes and then kept them from me or made them sources of pain and regret. I had to turn to God. I had nowhere else to go.

In 1986, I knew what I was supposed to be doing, and I stuck with it for about five years. I had a prayer life. Things didn’t go as well as I wanted; I had limited knowledge and understanding, and I was easily defeated. After that, I gave up and tried things the world’s way.

If I had stuck with God’s program, I would have made a ton of progress. My life would be very different now; it would be much better. I really blew it. I turned myself into a tangled knot of problems, and the process of repair is very slow.

If I tell people that, it won’t matter. They’ll still say I’m full of hate and pride. They can’t detect the truth, and they swallow lies without hesitation, so whenever I say anything helpful, I will be abused for it.

I blew it, but I still had warm blood in my veins when I repented, so I’m okay. The thing that sets me apart from the lost isn’t good character; it’s the fact that I gave up. Now I have to get used to being blessed and having a hard time sharing it.

We can’t fix America or the world. The game is over. All we can do now is glean. Here and there we will come across people who will listen, and we can help them get out of the path of destruction. In doing so, we will make them enemies of the world, but that beats serving the devil and joining him in his stinking dungeon.

We have to have realistic expectations. To expect more than is possible is to set yourself up against God. It takes you out from under his protection, and it cuts you off from his help.

If we are content with what God tells us to expect, we’ll have peace and support. That’s a pretty good deal.

I guess now I’ll sit back and marvel as sick individuals succeed in demonizing those who try to keep men out of women’s locker rooms and showers. I would say I have never seen anything like it, but that’s not true. I’ve read Genesis.

They’re Here, They’re Queer

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

They Won; Get Over it

In recent weeks I’ve been getting information that leads me to feel that things are worse than we thought, and that there is less time to repent than I had realized.

This morning during my prayer time I looked at my phone to check the news, and after I put it down, I noticed that the screen was still on, so I took a look at it. A Bible app was open, and the phone was displaying Romans 1, which was the last chapter I had read on that phone.

Here is the part that caught my attention:

[A]lthough they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting. . .

I see now that I was mistaken about something.

I thought the startling, abrupt tide of support for homosexuality and sexual confusion was the cause of America’s falling away from God. That’s not right. It’s an end-stage symptom of falling away from God. The fall is over. As the above passage shows, sexual perversion has increased because God has abandoned us to it.

It’s true that sexual iniquity will screw up your relationship with God, and it will make you weak and vulnerable, but what we are seeing now is not a nation that is endangering its relationship with God through sexual iniquity. We’re seeing a nation God has given up to sexual iniquity because we gave up on him and exalted ourselves!

I’ve been thinking of the gay army as though they were a threat to Christianity. They’re actually proof that Christianity has already been defeated.

Oddly, there is some peace that comes with that. Knowing which battles to fight is extremely important. When you know a battle is lost, you can move on and work on something at which you can actually succeed. If you keep fighting the wrong battles, you live in perpetual frustration, and that’s not good. It takes away your peace. It erodes your faith. It kills your motivation to carry on. It also wastes your time.

When the Allies invaded Europe, they created fleets of phony tanks, trucks, and planes. Some were inflatable. They looked real from the air. They put them in position to attack Calais, a city about a hundred miles from the beaches where they intended to land. The Nazis saw the fake equipment from the air, and they thought the Allies would land at Calais. They moved a lot of their resources away from the actual landing site, making the invasion easier for us.

If you’re fighting the wrong battles, there must be important battles you’re not fighting.

Christians are out there screaming that God will judge America if we keep promoting perversion, but perversion IS the judgment.

People want to debate, or they want to yell on street corners. They want to hold giant prayer rallies to save America. In reality, we’re better off focusing on individuals who can be pulled out of the mess.

God is like a hobby machinist who buys ruined metal parts at a junkyard and turns them into useful projects. He shops at the dump. Now we’re faced with the same situation. America has become a dump, and we have to pick out whatever can be repaired.

It’s sickening to watch professional “prophets” like about the giant waves of prosperity and victory God is going to send over America. They spew that nonsense year after year. Have you ever seen it happen? Of course not. But plenty of individuals get plucked out of the mess.

These are the same ninnies who are going to start receiving “revelation,” saying God thinks homosexuality is great. Some are already publicizing their new views.

The less you exalt God, the harder it is for you to perceive the truth. It’s funny; Adam and Eve gave up their lives in exchange for the knowledge of good and evil, and now the devil has managed to bargain even that away from us.

You have to exalt God verbally. It’s not enough to try to please him with your actions. You have to say he is great. You have to say thank you, over and over. You have to say that you recognize Satan for a fool, and that you reject him. You have to say you repent. When you praise and honor God, and you show humility, you are lifted up toward him, and the fog of lies parts. When you fail to praise him, you sink into deception.

Satan is probably insane. People wonder why he fights God, having seen his power up close. Satan is probably so crazy he can no longer tell what’s right. He probably believes God is wrong, and that God can’t win.

It makes sense that people who listen to Satan would think it’s normal for two men to have sex, or that it’s a good idea to cut your body up to resemble a comic book character, demon, or animal, or that God wants them to cover themselves with “Christian” tattoos. There is literally no limit to the absurdity of what you can believe when you’re far from God. This is true of people, and it’s probably true of the spirits that deceive us.

I know a person who has Satan’s own personality. This person always loved lies and hated the truth. Now she appears to be genuinely mentally ill. She will lie to people about things she knows they witness together! Either she can’t discern the truth, or she know longer thinks the word “truth” has any meaning. If Satan’s children lose their minds through deceit, it has probably happened to him, too. God’s children become like God, so one would expect Satan to resemble his own children.

The more you exalt God, the more truth you perceive, and the more truth you perceive, the less you want to listen to the blather of deluded human beings who can’t hear what you hear.

More than ever, I understand why I had to dump social media. I was giving piano lessons to deaf people.

This morning, I realized I can go farther than that. There is no law saying I have to permit comments here, so I’m not always going to let people respond. I don’t want to get caught up in snipe hunts and diversions. If you think I’m wrong, talk to God about it. After all, he’s the source of wisdom. I’m not.

The Bible says we should enter God’s presence with Thanksgiving. I used to think that was like saying you should take a cake when you visit relatives. Now I think that’s wrong. I think the psalms are actually saying “come before his presence with thanksgiving” the same way you or I might say “enter the house with a key.” Thanksgiving and praise are the correct tools to use to get into God’s presence. They open the door.

When you pray, spend time thanking and praising God. Explain that you reject the devil, and that you know God is always right. Don’t just toss prayers out without warming up. Show a little respect. It will pay off.

Don’t feel like a nut if you choose to get rid of cable, drop certain friends, delete your social media accounts, and so on. It’s healthy, as long as you have God to replace all that. It’s normal. The constant bombardment with wrongness is what’s not normal.

Sorry about the comments. Don’t worry. You will not explode.

Nothing Changes

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

This Place is a Mess

Today I came across an apocryphal text I had never heard of before. It’s called The Ascension of Isaiah. It’s about a vision Isaiah had. I was very moved by it. Usually, when you read an apocryphal book, you can tell right away that it’s nonsense. Sometimes, though, they contain a lot of truth.

Isaiah lived during the times of Hezekiah and Manasseh, two kings of Judah. Hezekiah was not a bad king, but his son Manasseh was a murdering devil-worshiper. He welcomed the filthy false religions of the time, and he had prophets killed.

Isaiah told Hezekiah Manasseh would cause Isaiah to be cut in half with a saw. Hezekiah was very upset, and he decided to kill Manasseh, but Isaiah told him that the messiah (yet unborn) would not permit Hezekiah to do it.

Hezekiah died, and Manasseh began promoting idolatry. Isaiah left Jerusalem and moved to Bethlehem, but Bethlehem was also disgusting, so he moved to a mountain in the desert. A number of prophets joined him.

Guess what made Belchira and the apostates mad? The real prophets predicted judgment for Judah and Jerusalem. The false prophets were just like Joel Osteen and Larry Huch. They predicted warm, fluffy things. It’s funny if you think about it; false prophets love to appear warm and comforting, but they’re also the people who are ruthless and sadistic to real prophets. Classic manipulation.

Belchira had the favor of the worthless king, and he was able to have Isaiah captured and tortured. He had the saw applied to Isaiah, and as the cutting started, he taunted Isaiah and tried to get him to recant. Belchira and the other false prophets were laughing and celebrating as the blade cut into Isaiah.

They were sort of like the people who are glad to see Christian bakers bankrupted by homosexuals who suddenly decide only a Christian bakery can fill their cake needs. They saw the righteous as wicked people who caused problems.

Here is what Isaiah said: “So far as I have utterance (I say): Damned and accused be thou and all they powers and all thy house. For thou canst not take (from me) aught save the skin of my body.”

Furthermore, Isaiah had a vision as he was cut, and after the vision began he was no longer able to see or hear Belchira. The Holy Spirit spoke through him during the murder, until it was finished. The book says he didn’t weep or cry in pain.

Other stories say Isaiah hid in a tree, and he was killed when the tree was cut. You be the judge.

There are a lot of interesting things about the book. For one thing, it predicts the rise of a world leader who is possessed by Satan. It says he will work great miracles, such as making the sun rise at night. He will call himself God and demand sacrifice.

Of course, this is the Antichrist.

Think how happy a man like that would make the gay army. Killing Christians who disagree with them, exalting every type of sexual sin, and appearing to confirm everything they believe…he would give them a god they could believe in and worship without reservation. He would turn the tables on generations of human beings who imposed harsh penalties for sexual perversion. The appeal is obvious.

Look what it says about the return of Jesus:

And afterwards, on the eve of His approach, His disciples will forsake the teachings of the Twelve Apostles, and their faith, and their love and their purity.

And there will be much contention on the eve of [His advent and] His approach.

And in those days many will love office, though devoid of wisdom.

And there will be many lawless elders, and shepherds dealing wrongly by their own sheep, and they will ravage (them) owing to their not having holy shepherds.

And many will change the honour of the garments of the saints for the garments of the covetous, and there will be much respect of persons in those days and lovers of the honour of this world.

And there will be much slander and vainglory at the approach of the Lord, and the Holy Spirit will withdraw from many.

And there will not be in those days many prophets, nor those who speak trustworthy words, save one here and there in divers places,

On account of the spirit of error and fornication and of vainglory, and of covetousness, which shall be in those, who will be called servants of that One and in those who will receive that One.

And there will be great hatred in the shepherds and elders towards each other.

For there will be great jealousy in the last days; for every one will say what is pleasing in his own eyes.

And they will make of none effect the prophecy of the prophets which were before me, and these my visions also will they make of none effect, in order to speak after the impulse of their own hearts.

What a picture of the modern church!

Forsaking the teachings of the Apostles…done.

Much contention…done.

Many love office though devoid of wisdom.

Look at the Pope. He’s just a common socialist. You could put his hat on Bernie Sanders and see little difference. He talks about worldly issues all the time. That’s because he knows virtually nothing about God. He’s just a politician.

Look at the prosperity preachers. They’re generally vulgar louts with no education and no class, but they live like emperors, surrounded by fawning toadies who bury themselves in debt to pay for tailor-made suits and jet airplanes.

It’s as if Isaiah had the Internet and cable TV.

There are other remarkable things in the book.

For one thing, Isaiah describes our flesh as “garments” and the skin of animals. I have often thought that the skins God gave Adam and Eve were probably their flesh bodies. It makes complete sense. Our flesh is exactly like animal flesh, right down to the DNA.

Isaiah describes glorified bodies as garments, too. And he describes the Rapture, in which we will leave the flesh behind and ascend to heaven.

Look at this:

And there I saw Enoch and all who were with him, stript of the garments of the flesh, and I saw them in their garments of the upper world, and they were like angels, standing there in great glory.

Another interesting thing about the book is that it confirms what God has shown me about the world: it’s a low, trashy place which is much more like hell than heaven. It’s a place where we fight over garbage, thinking it’s important.

Satan is “the Prince of the air,” which means he has power in the first heaven, which is the atmosphere of the earth. Because we worship him, the earth is like his realm:

And we ascended to the firmament, I and he, and there I saw Sammael and his hosts, and there was great fighting therein and the angels of Satan were envying one another.

And as above so on the earth also; for the likeness of that which is in the firmament is here ont he earth.

People like to think the fallen angels get along and obey orders, but why would they? One of the reasons mutiny doesn’t work is that the leaders have no authority. If the crew of The Bounty deposes the captain, who represents the British crown, there is no one with real authority in charge. It’s scary to attack someone who has the British navy behind him, but who cares about a man who only has his sword and whatever allies he can scrounge up among the mutineers?

The spirits that hate God don’t get along. They’re just like us. They fight for dominance all day, because they have to. They have no one on the throne of heaven to keep them in power. This is why Jesus said a house divided against itself would not stand.

Isaiah also spoke of supernatural blindness, saying only certain people who were present could hear what he said about his vision, and that when Jesus descended to earth, the spirits were not able to recognize him.

You have to exalt God if you want to perceive him, and if you contemn him, one of the penalties is supernatural blindness and lack of faith. It sounds strange, because the Bible says God isn’t willing for any to perish. You would think he would work hard to put faith in everyone, at all times. That’s not how it works. If you are sufficiently disrespectful, God himself will put blindness in you.

The scenario the book presents is not what you would expect to hear from a Catholic priest or a babbling idiot on TBN, but it’s very consistent with what the Holy Spirit says. There are levels to existence. This level is very filthy and cheap. The people who will be lifted out of it are the humble and teachable, not those who have perfect willpower. People who serve Satan on earth are deceived; they think evil is not merely good, but divine. They think God’s values are disgusting and vile.

The book seems inspired to me. If not, it must have been written by someone who had been exposed to the truth and who was familiar with it.

I also looked at Lot’s story today, in the Bible and in Jubilees. The destruction of Sodom is a picture of the end of the world. Before burying Sodom in flaming sulfur, God made a bargain with Abraham. He agreed to spare the city if ten good men could be found in it. That would be something like a tenth of a percent.

The ten men never turned up. Sodom was too filthy at that point. But it shows that God won’t completely withdraw his mercy while there are good people who will suffer with the bad. It makes a solid case for the Rapture. If God wouldn’t destroy Sodom for the sake of ten people, he can’t bring the Tribulation while hundreds of millions who worship him are here.

The closer you get to God, the more he will separate you from the world. People are filthy and deceived, and their problems are contagious. Lot suffered with his miserable neighbors day after day for years, and when they tried to rape the angels, God gave Lot relief. If you’re trying to please God, you’re not going to be happy unless there is some distance between you and the horde, and you’re not going to be able to focus on him.

Sink or Swim

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Separation

A little more info.

What’s going on in my life this weekend is a little like the Rapture, but it’s also a little like the Tribulation.

The Rapture will be the proximate cause of the Tribulation. God’s wrath is held back by the presence and prayers of people who believe in him. Once those people are gone, God will have nothing to hold him back. Virtually no one on earth will be praying for his help, and a great number of people will be insulting him and provoking him.

I have a prayer list. It’s a list of people I pray for every day. I pray for them to receive help in most areas of their lives. This morning, God shook up the list. I only prayed for two people.

When I was a physics teaching assistant, we had kids paired as partners. They did experiments together, and they were allowed to help each other write reports. When exams rolled around, though, they were on their own. The head T.A. I worked for said that if you want to see who’s pulling the train, you separate the cars.

Right now, God is separating the cars.

There are people who benefited from my prayers over the last several years, who are about to be tossed in the pool to see if they can swim. The objective of Christianity isn’t to carry people on your back forever; it’s to teach them to walk. They get a certain amount of help, and then they either walk on their own, or they sit and fail.

I’m getting some rest. Other people are getting a wake-up call.

I know most of them will not do very well. Most are stuck in churches that teach garbage, and they don’t listen to me. Some pretend to listen but do whatever they want on their own time. I am going to have to sit back and watch some people fail.

This is what God’s life is like. Even though he is exalted, he has abased himself in order to help us. Time after time, he has put himself out, stretching the envelope of what he can do without losing his status as God. He gives us everything we need to succeed, and then he rests, and we throw it all away and fail.

To be a child of God, you have to endure a certain amount of what he endures.

Am I wrong to quit praying for people? Don’t I have a choice? Not really. If you’re Spirit-led, you get guidance from God, and you’re supposed to listen and obey. God told Paul to avoid the people of Asia Minor instead of going to preach to them. You’re not always supposed to do every nice thing you can.

God brought about these events in my life by teaching me to exalt him. Once I started doing that. things started moving faster. He also showed me that exalting him is the key to protection.

God is a person of dignity and high office. He has to be treated with respect at all times. This principle applies on earth, too. It applies to human beings. He hates it when people mistreat and insult people who are better than they are.

There are certain things God will permit his children to suffer, but if you exalt him and give him his dignity, he will exalt you, and that makes him less willing to allow others to abuse you.

God limited the suffering of Jesus. He only suffered for one day, the Jews and Romans were only allowed to do certain things to him, and when it was over, God did not permit him to experience rot. His corpse was not left in the tomb long enough to stink.

God hates the behavior of brats and churls. He mutilated the children who insulted Elisha.

The world has become filthy and crass. The things people say to each other now are unbelievable. The problem is worst on the political left. They glory in filth and viciousness. They say things so disgusting that merely to read them is to be harmed.

When things get sufficiently bad, God is going to remove people he has exalted. Watch and see.

I started doing a better job of exalting God, and suddenly, I was pulled closer to him. I was pulled aside. I am seeing less of the world’s filth. I know I’m going to receive more protection now. As the psalms say, if you satisfy certain conditions, including contemning vile people in your heart, you will be protected; you will not be moved. Contemning the vile is just the flip side of exalting God.

We have a nation that exalts the vile. We have shock humor, musicians who literally receive worship, and a culture of cruelty and disrespect. No wonder America is defeated by people who used to run from us.

Learn from this stuff if you want to do well. Don’t wait for hard knocks to beat it into you.

On the Lam from Jeff Vader

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

I’ll Have the Penne Alla Arabbiata

I had to run an errand today, and while I was out, I thought a lot about how much I was enjoying not being on Facebook.

I hadn’t realized how strongly Facebook influenced me. Every time I looked at it, I saw Christians posting toxic ignorance (“Do you love Jesus? Share this or go to hell”). I saw proof that God wasn’t getting through to people (who had no excuses). I saw half-naked or sometimes completely naked women. I saw unjustified anger, self-pity, and lots of victim behavior. I even saw Christians promoting Bernie Sanders, which is like Poles supporting Hitler.

Having worldliness in your face via the Internet gives your flesh strength in its battle against you. Even though there may seem to be no connection, it will cause you to give in to temptation more readily, even when you’re away from the PC. I’m doing better now.

I did not see that coming.

Jesus told the disciples that if a town refused to receive their blessings, they were to leave and shake the dust off their feet as a gesture of condemnation. He wasn’t just talking about dirt and towns. He was telling us about the Rapture.

We are God’s feet. The world is a big bowl of festering puke, but we are left here after we receive salvation so we can reach others and pull them out. Dirt is flesh. The flesh makes us dirty. It opens the door to iniquity and disease. It’s a handle and a doorway for Satan. We are stuck here temporarily, and it is inevitable that we will slip and do stupid things from time to time. The world is a terrible influence.

When the Rapture comes, God will shake the dust–our flesh–off of us, and it will be a gesture of judgment against the people who didn’t listen.

Life is full of little raptures. If you cancel your porn channels, it’s a rapture. If you quit arguing obsessively about politics, it’s a rapture. If you leave a prosperity church, it’s a rapture. I was raptured out of two diseased churches and a whole bunch of relationships.

Dumping social media is a rapture, too. It’s very good for me. It will help me stay cleaner. Blogging will follow if I live long enough.

My departure is not good for the people who saw the useful things I posted. That stuff is all gone now. It could have helped them. But the harm to me had started to outweigh the benefit to others, so I was told to quit.

I didn’t deactivate my account. I deleted it. POOF. Gone, entirely. No use playing around.

I didn’t say goodbye.

While I was driving here thinking about how great it was going to be to delete my account, I remembered a dream I used to have. Several times I dreamed I drove an SUV off an overpass, just like the Illinois Nazis in The Blues Brothers.

Each time, I thought it was real. I looked down through the windshield and saw the ground coming up at me, and I knew it was over. There was no way to survive. I felt exhilarated. Finally I was going to see the better part of life. I felt very sober and serious, but I felt no fear at all. I was eager to go on.

I felt that way today while I was driving. I felt as if I were about to go on a trip to Europe and leave this country and my American problems behing.

Does it mean anything? Pray and find out. I’m just telling you what I felt.

I used to assume that a person had to be super holy to get caught up in the Rapture. I thought it would only be for complete fanatics who almost never sinned. Now I’m not so sure. I fully expect 99% of Christians to be left behind, but I don’t think the people who make it will have to be carbon copies of Jesus.

The selection process probably has a great deal to do with humility, willingness to change, and the amount of hatred the world has for you. Part of the purpose of the Rapture is to protect people who exalt God. He himself is invulnerable, and the more you exalt him and humble yourself, the more he will exalt you and share his own blessings with you.

If the world really has it in for you, and you are treating God with the proper love, respect, awe, and gratitude, God has a lot of incentive to pull you out. A lot of our vulnerability comes from having the wrong attitude toward God.

I don’t know what’s happening. I’m not starting a cult. Don’t emasculate yourself, drink poison, or buy white sneakers. I’m just relaying my observations and experiences.

I always thought I would get a lot more done than I have, but who can say? If I have to be an eleventh-hour refugee, I am thrilled to get the chance.

I don’t care. I would be happy to go. This place is a mess. As far as I’m concerned, so long, and thanks for all the fish. I would rather go sooner than later.

Death doesn’t have to be a dumpster fire. My great-grandmother was a charismatic. She quit going to doctors at a certain age. She didn’t need them. When she was 85, she told her children she was going to die. My grandfather told her she had indigestion, and he went about his business. She got in bed and died while he was gone.

That’s how I want to go. Either that or a meteor. I have always hoped for a meteor. You can’t beat that level of surprise. Nothing knocks your consciousness out of a corrupted meat sack like a meteor.

Things are going to keep getting better. Worry is going to disappear. The sabbath starts a little early if you pay attention. Whether I’m here for ten minutes or another forty years (please, no), the future is brighter than I can imagine.

Keep moving forward. Good stuff lies ahead. You will see it in due time.

I Have Failed at Wasting Time

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Maybe I’m not Applying Myself

It’s 10:31 a.m., and I’m already having an interesting day.

Every day I ask God to schedule my time and prevent it from being wasted. You would think the answers would be obvious. I would get up and clean and arrange and repair. I would study. I would help this or that person. It’s not like that.

God loves the sneak attack.

I watch the tube more than I used to. I watch when I’m taking the birds out for air, and I am hopelessly addicted to mealtime TV. But TV is terrible, so I have had to master Youtube and the DVR. If you can connect your PC to your TV, and you can learn to use the DVR well, you will always have something worth watching.

Always. Usually.

It’s like Sex Panther.

I started recording old movies, because I felt like my cultural literacy was expiring. There are some movies everyone should watch, simply to have the experience in common with other people. There are also some old flicks that got very little attention, yet which have something to recommend them.

This weekend I watched Canon City, which is a 1948 movie named for a prison town in Colorado. It currently hosts the United States Penitentiary, an all-supermax facility. It’s the king of all American prisons. It’s the closest thing we have to hell. It’s where we put people we really, really do not want to see among decent people again.

Supermax is where you go when the thought of you escaping is too much for the corrections people and your judge to bear.

The movie was about another prison in Canon City; the Colorado State Penitentiary.

Canon City is a docu-drama. Some of the players were actual convicts and prison staffers, and it was about a real escape that took place in 1948. One of the escapees was James Sherbondy, a man who murdered a deputy when he was 17.

In the movie, Sherbondy is a model prisoner. He runs the prison darkroom. When the other prisoners come to him to try to get him to hide guns in the darkroom, he turns them down, hoping instead to make parole. They sneak the guns into the room against his will, and he decides to go along with the plan.

When the convicts escape, Sherbondy is the last one caught. He invades a home and holds the family hostage. One of the children, a little boy, has appendicitis, and the mother pleads with Sherbondy to let her take him to the hospital. After she promises to keep quiet, he lets her go. That actually happened.

Prior to the appendicitis scene, Sherbondy (the film version) stands up and makes a whiny speech about how hard his youth was, and he tells the family crime doesn’t pay. He praises the deputy he killed.

Of course, he gets captured, but not until the husband, moved by Sherbondy’s behavior, tries to drive him past the police.

Naturally, I had to look this up.

James Sherbondy killed deputy sheriff Oscar Meyer (his real name) during a traffic stop. Sherbondy was a truant and a thug. Meyer, who foolishly did his job unarmed, confronted Sherbondy, and Sherbondy shot him in the chest. Sherbondy fled in Meyer’s car and left him to die. A good Samaritan stopped, and Meyer fingered Sherbondy before he died.

Sherbondy never expressed remorse for the killing. He lived to be 49 years old, and he never said he was sorry.

Sherbondy was eventually paroled. He got into trouble again when the cops stopped a car he was riding in. They were looking for the three other occupants, not Sherbondy. Unfortunately, Sherbondy was armed, and he had some pipe bombs with him. He shot a policeman four times, and the police killed him.

There was a surprising deep message in the film’s narration. The narrator said the prison housed people who always had to have things their own way, and who were willing to break the rules to make it happen. That is a perfect summation of the criminal mind. I actually heard a psychopath say she took drugs because of the stress she felt when she didn’t get her way.

Why relate all this? Because it’s a lesson in misplaced sympathy.

James Sherbondy was hopeless. He was never rehabilitated. He tutored kids and did prison jobs in order to get time taken off his sentence, but he remained a criminal. Releasing him was a mistake that got a good man shot. It was a waste of effort.

The world is full of Sherbondys. I am related to at least one. They’re not rare. Like the clay bottles in the Bible that can’t be reshaped once the necks become stiff, people reach a point where they can’t be fixed, and the only rational thing to do is to put them in hell where they can’t torment the rest of us or contemn God any longer.

You can’t tell who is who, because you can’t see men’s hearts. A long time ago, I learned that I can’t tell when people are lying to me, and I can’t tell who is or is not worth saving. We tend to look for existing goodness in people. That’s wrong. The thing that qualifies people for help isn’t goodness; it’s the potential to continue becoming more good.

A child molester in a federal penitentiary may be worth more of your time than your local priest.

I wasn’t trying to connect molestation with the priesthood, but I’ll leave that anyway.

If you can’t change, you’re much worse off than someone who is filled with iniquity and evil yet who is willing to admit fault and submit to God.

Pride is what makes improvement impossible.

Our culture is in love with pride right now. We have become convinced that it’s a good thing. This is a new thing for America. In the past, we always thought pride was dangerous. Now we cultivate it.

Because of our love of pride, necks are stiffening all over the place.

The rise in immorality is very bad. It’s bad when we sin. But the thing that is bringing judgment on us is the pride more than the sin. You can get past sin and please God, but that’s not possible if you’re proud. Pride is a vaccine against sanctification.

I bring this up today because I keep feeling like it’s time for me to withdraw even more than I already have, and I think bad things are in our near future. Maybe I should say “your” near future, because I don’t see it landing on me.

I feel like God is helping me understand his actions before he takes them. We are becoming too proud to help, so abandonment will be God’s only rational option.

I don’t require any explanation from God. It’s not my place to demand one. But it’s interesting.

Sooner or later we will reach a critical point, and America’s protection will be gone in a hurry. We may be there right now.

I feel like it’s time to cut way back on the list of people I pray for. You’re not required to keep priming a pump on a dry well. You put in the time God thinks is appropriate, and then you move on. Hopefully there are some people out there who will respond better.

If you’re Spirit-led, you can’t really waste time. Everything is redeemed. Even the time you spend watching Turner Classic Movies. Things are planned in advance. They’re not always obvious.

I don’t know what’s going to happen, but stay in prayer and keep your knees bent. It’s working for me.

Is Your Name Written in the Book of Face?

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Blot it Out and Find Rest

I’m red-hot this month. I used to blog several times a day. Then I went away for weeks at a time. Then I came back and blogged a couple of times per month. Yesterday I blogged twice.

It’s an eruption. I’m a juggernaut of Internet bombast.

I do not know how long it will last.

A few days back I dumped Twitter and Instagram. I thought they were boring, and Twitter was also tawdry. I rarely participated in either service. Today I woke up and prayed, and I started to feel like it was time to cut back on Facebook.

How will my 61 “friends” live? I’m sure it will be rough on them.

When I went back to church in 2008 (is that the right year?), I started making new friends. I found myself faced with a new experience. For the first time, I had to deal with Christians who were complete hypocrites.

That’s harsh, isn’t it? But it’s true.

I went to Miami’s Trinity Church, which is something like 80% black. The pastors there (white) only cared about fame and money, so they were extremely reluctant to correct anyone. They were terrified that people might leave and take their credit cards with them. The people were generally on board with this. Correction wasn’t their favorite thing, either.

As a result, the parking lot was full of Obama stickers. How can you have Obama stickers on cars in a charismatic church? It’s like swastikas on BMW’s parked at a synagogue. But there they were.

I couldn’t tell anyone anything. That’s an exaggeration, but it was nearly true. The people were used to being told they were victims. They were never held accountable, except for not giving the pastors enough money or free work. They didn’t want to hear that it was hypocritical to vote for convenience abortion, or that socialism is covetousness. They just wanted the false monetary promises of trashy preachers who dressed like rodeo clowns.

If you read this blog post to them today, 90% would have no idea what I was talking about. That’s how ignorant people at Trinity are.

I was not the greatest Christian on earth, but I was not completely dim, either. God told me more and more about the problems with the church, and as I wised up, I went from ardent supporter to supporter with reservations to happy refugee.

I knew more than they did when I got there, and by the time I left, God had shown me so much, I felt like I might as well have been attending a Hindu temple.

I moved on to New Dawn Ministries, and they were a lot better, but they had horrendous problems with pride and anger, and the pastors were very lazy. They grew a certain point and then got hung up, like breech-birth babies digging their heels into the side of the birth canal.

The pastors were rude to me publicly, even though I was a deacon, so I took the hint and stopped going. But I continued writing stuff about God on Facebook, as I felt moved. I would get up and pray every morning, and God would show me great things, and I would pass them on. I figured God had a purpose in it.

Now I feel like letting Facebook go. Anyone there who is willing to listen has already listened, and the rest are a waste of time. It’s a bummer, looking at the same people posting the same garbage over and over, proving their development is arrested. It affects my own morale; that’s not a small thing. I have a right to consider that and protect myself.

Apart from that, Facebook is a plantation, like The Huffington Post. It runs on unpaid labor.

Arianna Huffington managed to convince dozens of people she was doing them a favor when she allowed them to write for her for nothing. Jeff Zuckerberg has done more or less the same thing. Every day millions of people fill his site with free content, and they surveill themselves continuously, which is a big help to the government. In exchange we get almost nothing, and when we have issues with Facebook, they treat us like the unimportant, powerless, fungible creatures they perceive us to be.

That’s how life is, when you’re the tail and Jeff Zuckerberg is the head.

People are getting strongly addicted to the Internet plantations. Sooner or later, people like Zuckerberg will have a lot more power over us than they do now. There will be a price for the free advertising and networking.

If you’re not dependent on it, you won’t care.

A blog is more like a ranch than a plantation. A blogger owns his medium. Until persecution gets really bad, I’ll be able to say anything I want here. No one can report me to a gang of pimply genderless twerps who have the power to censor me. That’s nice.

There is a dark side to all this. I definitely get divine revelation, and I have been sharing it. If I feel that I should stop doing that, then it’s likely that God is giving up on some people.

Hunter Thompson, the immature, miserable humorist who died in disgrace and defeat, once wrote about going to a doctor. He complained that he was sweating a lot. He was taking a lot of drugs and drinking a great deal. He said the doctor told him he shouldn’t be worried unless the sweating stopped, because the sweat was his body’s way of flushing out the poisons Thompson ingested.

People who tell others about God are like Thompson’s sweat glands. While we maintain the flow, there is hope. If we stop, it means God is giving up on people who wouldn’t listen. It’s a bad sign.

If you serve God, you’re supposed to have a life of victory and peace. That can’t be true if you spend the entire thing pleading with people who waste your time and refuse to listen. There is a limit to what God will require you to do. He will take you aside when needed and give you rest. I believe that’s what’s happening to me. It doesn’t mean I’m a great person. It just means I’m not the world’s toilet paper. I have certain rights as an heir, and they can’t be entirely nullified, with no respite.

Just as you have to approach God with gratitude, thanks, and humility, you are limited in what you can do to his people. God can’t be God if you treat him like a churlish servant who owes you, and a Spirit-led person can’t function correctly if he is perpetually frustrated and disrespected.

I feel that things are getting worse faster than I expected. Jesus said he would return at a time when we didn’t expect him, and he was not a liar. We’re waiting for God to count to three, but he’s actually going to say, “One, two,” and then drop the boom on us.

My emotions are mixed. I am tired of this world. It has a stink that rises to heaven. Americans have no gratitude or humility. They have no sincerity. This is one of the better places on earth, and we have made ourselves disgusting. I would love to see the world reformed.

On the other hand, I am one of the reasons the world stinks. I didn’t get pulled aside as a reward. I was helped in spite of what I was. How can I be happy to see other people like me miss the boat? “Reform” also means the destruction of a whole lot of people.

You can’t question God’s choices, though. He chooses whom he will, and he is right.

I have been thinking about Enoch. I envy him. If what old books say about him is true, he spent less and less time with people as he aged. Eventually, he appeared once a year. Other men showed up to hear what he had to say (not to argue and spew), and then he would leave again. He didn’t have to mud-wrestle every day and stain himself with the manure of the pigs he tried to feed.

Paul, on the other hand, spent a lot of time in the mosh pit. During his ministry, he was beaten and stoned. He appears to have been very engaged with humanity. I don’t find that appealing at all.

The more you understand the world, the more you want to put a buffer between the world and yourself. I suppose this is why God’s throne is in heaven, not Las Vegas.

You don’t actually have to wade into the throng every day to serve God. There are different ministries. Maybe God will have the extraordinary kindness to limit my dealings with people who are sources of frustration. That means nearly everyone!

I can’t make demands, though.

I hope I will not have to fool with Facebook any more. I would love to delete my account completely. That would require some help, because I have the habit of looking at it throughout the day. I deleted the application from my phone, but that just makes getting to Facebook a little harder. It’s not the same thing as quitting.

Look around and see if other people are shutting down. If so, God’s patience is probably just about out. If not, maybe I’m just tired of banging my head against the same stones.

Bill Nye the Inquisition Guy

Friday, April 15th, 2016

We’re About to Get a Global Worming

I tell you what. You can learn a lot about the increasing danger of mob-think from watching the global warming crowd.

They have no notion of basic scientific ethics. They don’t understand the importance of impartiality. They don’t understand the importance of free discourse, which is a nice way of saying they don’t understand the importance of not threatening and insulting every person who thinks they may be wrong.

I’m a scientist, technically. I have a BS in physics plus some grad school. I was not the world’s premier physicist, or I would have gone on to get my doctorate, but I have a basic grasp of the scientific method and the dangers of bias. These are things you learn about in grade school (maybe not, if you’re going to “school” now), but just to assure people that I have a clue, I went all the way to 25th grade or whatever it was, and I heard a little bit about scientific ethics and professionalism.

I’m also a lawyer. In law school, I was drilled pretty thoroughly on the importance of fairness and civility (at least in the courtroom). Lawyers are taught that certain evidence can be excluded based on its tendency to inflame emotion to the point where it counteracts reason. We are taught that certain hearsay evidence can be included if the emotional state of the speaker meets certain standards. We are taught that there are certain causes we can’t take up, because of conflicts of interest.

It may seem like conflation when I mention conflicts of interest and emotion in the same paragraph, but it’s not. In the law, conflicts of interest pervert justice, and emotion creates conflicts of interest. For that matter, conflicts of interest can give rise to emotion.

Either way, you end up with something on your mind, other than the truth.

This stuff is extremely important in the law. You can get in serious trouble for continuing in a representation when you have a conflict of interest. You can be forced off a case. It’s not trivial.

It’s also important in science.

Bias is so hard for scientists to avoid, we had to invent double-blind methods and endure the misery of statistics in order to try to drive the partiality out of our work.

Here I will tell the story of Clever Hans.

Clever Hans was a horse that supposedly did math. Its owner or trainer or whatever would ask it questions, and Hans would tap out the answers with its foot. Problem: it only worked with one person. When that person was out of the room, Hans lost his mathematical ability.

The reason? The person who worked with Hans was giving off unintentional cues. Hans was not really solving the quadratic equation; he was just banging his hoof when he saw the owner make an unconscious movement.

Now I will tell the story of M rays. I’m not sure M is the correct letter, but it will do.

Back when scientists were discovering a new form of radiation every week, a man said he had discovered M rays. Some people believed it. Some people didn’t. Naturally, the man who discovered M rays really wanted to believe it. Grants, jobs, whatever type of seductive groupies scientists attract…all that lay before him.

He put on a demonstration. He had some sort of apparatus, and he got an audience together. He turned on the machine, and voila…M rays.

Then a man in the crowd stood up and held up a part of the machine, which he had removed earlier. The machine could not work without it, but people’s imaginations could.

This is why we don’t go to the doctor for M rays today.

These are historical anecdotes, so they may be 95% false, but the principles they illustrate are true, and there are plenty of other examples.

The point I’m getting at is that people believe what they want to believe. This is why nine Supreme Court justices who were top-five in their classes can look at the same cases and draw two equally firm, completely incompatible opinions. And it’s why you usually don’t get three opinions. The division is usually conservative/liberal. The political spectrum has two wings, not five.

Liberals want to see a right to publicly funded sex changes in the Constitution, and conservatives don’t, and they see what they hope to see.

The global warming gang has no ethics. This applies to the lawyers, scientists, and engineers among them, not just the yoga instructors, welfare recipients, and medical marijuana addicts. They don’t understand the importance of free discourse.

Their favorite term for anyone who disagrees with them is “climate change denier.” The term itself is a breach of ethics. It comes from “Holocaust denier,” which comes from the discussion of neo-Nazis and Muslim extremists who pretend the Holocaust never happened. It comes from the discussion of rabid idiots who killed tens of millions of people. It equates scientific disagreement with claiming Dachau was a spa for fat Germans.

Not acceptable.

We shouldn’t have to have this discussion. Maybe the climate is changing, and maybe it’s our fault. Maybe the answer is more socialism and the crippling of industry in certain nations (USA cough cough). That doesn’t mean it’s okay to form lynch mobs and drive people out of their jobs for thinking otherwise.

You don’t have to be a moron to think climate change is a crock. Freeman Dyson agrees. William Gray agrees. But even if agreeing does reflect poorly on your intelligence, you should not have to deal with labels like “denier.” You should not have to worry about losing your job or having your academic credentials revoked.

When people are afraid to talk, science dies. It’s that simple.

The Soviets tried persecuting scientists (as did the Catholic church before them). A character named Lysenko came up with a bad theory of genetics that somehow seemed to support leftist notions, and the government got behind him. He said what they wanted to say! Amazingly, they agreed with him and helped him out. Who could have seen that coming?

Lysenko’s followers persecuted other scientists. This is probably why we don’t hear a lot about great Russian advances in genetics in that era.

Lysenko was such a big deal, a movement was named after him: “Lysenkoism.” Today it’s a synonym for persecution of scientific dissenters. In other words, it’s practically a synonym for “anthropogenic global warming.”

In Russia, scientists succeeded not because they discovered and disseminated truth, but because they pleased a bunch of fat murdering imbeciles in Moscow.

Today’s Lysenkoists see nothing wrong with what they’re doing. And it’s not subtle. It’s not like trying to measure the spin of tiny particles in a supercollider. It’s extremely obvious. It’s like going to church expecting to attend mass and finding pole dancers up at the altar.

Why is this interesting to me? I gave up science. Thank God for that, because had I not, look at the people whose boots would be on my neck right now. It’s interesting to me because it’s a measure of Satanic power of the mind of the mob.

People have more than enough brains to make good decisions about simple matters, but we screw up all the time, and often we screw up in huge waves. We screw up en masse, as though choreographed by an invisible George Balanchine. When that happens–when large numbers of people draw the same patently stupid conclusion simultaneously–the supernatural is at work. We’re stupid, but we need help to be that stupid.

People have a natural herd instinct, and it easily outweighs the mind. Probably ten billion psychology experiments have proven that. It’s why Goebbels said it was important to repeat lies. Satan whispers in the ears of the herd, and they have no resistance. The lie is supernatural, and in order to defeat it, the immune response has to be supernatural. People don’t hear from the Holy Spirit, so they don’t hear the response.

It’s okay to persecute people who disagree about weather. It’s okay to fire people and destroy their families because they won’t bake cakes for homosexuals. Bruce Jenner is a woman. A pervert who wants to display his genitals to your little girl in a locker room (or on the street in New York or San Francisco) is a victim, not a predator. These statements are obviously false, but the little Goebbels demons have been hard at work turning us into suckers, so we think they’re true. Worse than that, we think anyone who disagrees is evil. Not wrong. Evil.

So anything society does to people who disagree with the devil’s lies is okay.

When the Germans machine-gunned Jews beside ditches, they didn’t think they were doing something bad. They thought they were getting rid of wrong people. The Jews weren’t victims, and the object wasn’t to take the things they had earned. The Jews were subhuman monsters who were destroying Germany. Killing them was a good deed. It will be the same way when non-Christians and weak Christians start killing the Jews and strong Christians in America.

The Bible talks about people having veils over their eyes. It’s not a joke. It’s real. You can tell supernaturally deaf people the obvious truth all day, and they will never get it. They’ll just feel enraged.

It’s not that important whether the leftists cripple our economy with ridiculous environmental measures. It’s important, yes, but it’s not the big enchilada. What’s important is that we are seeing the sharp end of the nail. A few crazy ideas got past us, and now the point of the nail is past our defenses, and the shaft of the nail is right behind it. The shaft is bigger.

Man-made disasters start small and then take off. That’s what happened in Germany.

I don’t care that much whether the greenies force me to use terrible light bulbs, or whether they force me to pretend to recycle paper, which actually goes to the dump because no one will buy it. Things like that are going to happen, so I don’t want to get accustomed to having high blood pressure over it. I can’t stop it. They’re going to win big.

I do care about guarding the gates of my mind.

If you’re not praying in the Spirit, you will be susceptible to deception. If you can be deceived sufficiently, you can be turned. Then you have a real problem. The mark of the Beast won’t seem like such a bad idea. Denying God will seem like the smart move; you can always acknowledge him in private, and anyway, he knows your heart, right? You’ll rationalize and go along, and the first thing you know, you’ll be outside of God’s protection. You may lose your salvation, and then what do you have? Eternity in agony.

It seems like a paradox. Strong Christians will attract persecution, but you need to be strong when persecution comes. It’s not a paradox. They’re going to hate all Christians who have any sincerity in them at all. You will be hated one way or the other. But if you’re full of the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit, you’ll have more tools to help you bear it and win individual battles.

Things seem to be coming to a head faster than I expected. Technology is very close to destroying free will, which will negate God’s incentive to keep the world going. America has already been defeated by Satan, and if we elect the wrong people this time around, our problems may accelerate drastically. It may only be a couple of years before we’re just like the Jews under Hitler. I can’t see it taking longer than ten under the best circumstances, but I’m a pessimist. Maybe we can stretch it out.

I wouldn’t tell people to pray for God to spare America now. That bus has left the terminal. I would tell them to ask God to slow things down and help the humble prepare. I think that’s the best we can do.

I’m going to try to quit arguing with global warming adherents. It’s a complete waste of time as far as I can see. I learned a lot from it, but I’m pretty sure no minds were changed. After all, I was using natural tools.

Draw close to God. Ask him what you’re doing wrong. Pray in the Spirit all you can. Whatever happens will be a whole lot better than what would have happened had you done nothing.

Swept Clean

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

The Rats are Homeless

I have an update on the rental house situation. On March 2, I wrote about a house my dad had to take over and rehab, and I included a photo giving some idea of the destruction he was faced with when he bought the remaining interest. Today I have two photos which are quite different.

04 09 16 barbarossa house kitchen after counters

04 09 16 barbarossa house living room after counters

These were taken a few days ago. As you can see, the walls (which are new) are clean and painted. The kitchen is mostly finished. There is a floor.

The house is just about done. The contractor is no prize, and I expect to have to fix things after he leaves, but the problems will be small strokes. When my sister finally left, it cost my dad over a thousand dollars to have tons of her ruined belongings taken to the dump, and nothing of value remained except the outer walls and the lot, so the change is immense.

It’s hard to describe the destruction you can do to a house by simply refusing to maintain it. Even little things that were left behind were unusable. I found a Dyson hand vacuum I thought would be useful in the workshop but it stank so much when it ran (even after I took it apart and cleaned it), I ended up leaving it in the trash. The air from the vacuum blew backward upon exiting, throwing the stench right in my face.

The contractor is offering to do additional jobs, but I have turned down almost every one. I want him out. He is too unpleasant to deal with.

Part of that is me. I did not understand how difficult it can be to deal with a contractor when the contract is vague and poorly drafted. I should have insisted on him clearly covering the most minute details. Clear contracts are like good fences; they make for peace and order. Next time, there will be time constraints, and everything will be highly detailed.

I don’t understand business people who have bad communication skills and bad manners. You can’t get rich off one job; you need repeat business. If this guy had been more professional and less aggravating, I would have hired him for other work, and I would have recommended him, but as it is, I’m willing to be overcharged a certain amount just to put an end to the stress of dealing with him under the terms of this clumsy contract.

But this is how blue collar people are. If they were good planners, they would be white collar people.

Sad and harsh, but true.

When you deal with blue collar people a lot, you learn they’re very bad at leading, and usually, they don’t know it. And they can’t learn it, because they live in denial.

I knew some guys who had been enlisted men in the service. When they were put in charge of other people, there was chaos, because they could take orders, but they couldn’t give them with any kind of coherence or consistency. I learned a lot from that. Social classes didn’t arise in a vacuum, without cause. Not everyone was born to lead.

Most of the work in the house looks very good. Some of it, though, I would call “rental quality,” which means good enough.

Building standards are very low in Miami. This is an area where doors don’t fit, painter’s tape is rarely used, floors are crooked, and tile peels up after a couple of years. It’s the Latin way; they don’t take pride in their workmanship. Everything is done fast and sloppy. It’s all about getting the contract and the check.

If you complain about workmanship down here, people get very angry. They don’t know what skill is, so they think you have a screw loose if you think a door should close properly without pushing.

If you have an old house built by Americans, the workmanship will be good, but when you start hiring Latins, it will begin to look worse. With every job, a little bit of the American quality will disappear.

The house I grew up in was built during World War Two. Everything was straight and square. The corners were sharp. The floors were level. The doors were solid wood, and they fit correctly. Nothing leaked. A new house in Miami is more like a carnival funhouse. The floors are uneven. The gaps at the bottoms of the doors are bigger on one side than the other. The doors themselves are like balsa wood. The cabinets are glue and sawdust. The joints between the cheap sheets of drywall come open. People think it’s normal.

My grandparents had a wonderful house in Kentucky. They built it in 1965. Everything worked. Everything was level and straight. Kentucky is not known for craftsmanship, but that house blows away anything built in Miami since Carter let the Mariel refugees in.

I had a handyman do some work for me, and he wanted to do more. He’s Cuban. He kept telling me he couldn’t work with other Cubans. He said the same things I do. Oh well. They’ve built up the local economy with their determination to get ahead, so maybe bad construction is the price for that.

They seem to make perfectly good professionals. I don’t hear anyone complaining about Cuban doctors and lawyers. My dermatologist is Cuban; he seems to run a tight ship.

This house has been a source of torment for maybe six years now. My sister holed up in it and refused to leave, and my dad would not force her out legally, so it sat and rotted, and the termites feasted. And I had to hear about it from both relatives. When you buy a house for a certain type of person, you are completely responsible for the bad things that happen, and when you’re the type of person who refuses to maintain a house, you are completely responsible when you lose it. I was just a witness, and I tried to help even though I had no obligation to get involved, but I was still blamed and harangued by the responsible parties.

On the plus side, the house will be mine, so that must be the reward.

I don’t claim I deserve a reward. Maybe I do, if you judge me by man’s standards. By God’s standards, every one of us deserves suffering and failure.

The rental place turned around completely after I fixed the problems with the satisfaction of mortgage. There are people working on the house every day. It hasn’t stopped since the document was executed. God was against my dad because he hadn’t fully paid for the house.

Now I’m asking God to show me other loose ends–mine, no one else’s–I need to clear up. Debt has consequences in the natural world, even if you seem to get away with it. Remember that. The debt on this house wasn’t my debt, but I still got sucked up in the prop wash, and I was able to fix it, so I did.

You may have debt you haven’t fixed. It’s something to take up with God. Maybe you don’t have the resources to pay it yourself, or maybe there is some other reason why you can’t pay. Maybe the person who is owed is dead. It may not even be your debt, but maybe you’re in the situation I was in; maybe you can improve your own life by looking after someone else’s debt.

These things matter, even if you run around insisting you’re covered by the blood.

I expect to have this house rented within six weeks, and then I expect solutions to other stubborn problems in my life. I am working with God to get things lined up and corrected so his help can flow. I don’t know where I would be if I had continued defending myself and living in denial. It would be a horrible situation. People who deny accountability sink lower and lower into defeat and misery.

I hope you find your way through the maze. We have more control over our lives than we think.