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The Lifeline of Shame

December 6th, 2017

It’s Good to Feel Bad

I am having a surprisingly good day, and the events surrounding my former pastor helped make it happen. I know that sounds bad.

I am tired of calling him “former pastor,” so I will give him a phony name. I will call him Eduardo.

Eduardo’s situation is hard for me to accept. In a very short time, he went from respected pastor to homeless, penniless outcast. It may turn out that he lost his entire future. He may be given a life sentence. If he gets convicted on the worst charges he faces, he will spend 25 years in prison. No parole. No time off. Presumably very few visits.

When I found out about it, I had a strange reaction. I felt as though I were the one in jail, awaiting trial. I felt as if I were the one who had been exposed. It drove me deeper in to self-examination, and that has paid off.

A long time ago, God showed me that Holy-Spirit-filled churches were wrong to talk about money and blessings all the time. The prosperity gospel doesn’t work; it makes people poor, and it prevents them from looking for the truth about God’s desires. God showed me that we should be focusing on getting ourselves rehabilitated. We need to have our characters changed supernaturally. That comes first. The other things are relatively unimportant.

I made some effort to get correction. I pray for it every day. I encourage my friends to pray for it. I cast things out of myself. I spoke defeat to the spirits I had allowed to enslave me. It did me a lot of good. I recommend you do these things, too. But the Eduardo scandal has moved me to go further.

I was making what I thought was a pretty good effort. I was patiently waiting for the fruit to grow. Over time, I became more and more honest with God. In prayer, I confessed to everything I could think of, as sincerely as I could. But there were still nagging issues. I still had bad habits that seized me once in a while. I didn’t feel as much love for God or human beings as I wanted. I didn’t pray enough. I was putting in at least three hours a day, and that sounds like a lot, but I needed more than that. I knew it and admitted it, but I couldn’t find the determination to do it consistently.

If the good things God promises aren’t coming through, you are doing something wrong. There is no other explanation.

What Eduardo did was absolutely disgusting. I am not saying that to condemn anyone. It’s necessary for me to mention it in order to talk about what I’m going through. What he did was not sex with a teenager, which would have been bad enough. It was pedophilia. Women may get angry at me for saying this, but it’s completely normal and unavoidable for a man to be attracted to a young girl who looks like a woman. Undeveloped children are another story. That’s a sickness.

I suppose I should try to head off female outrage, so I will say something about my past. The most attractive female I ever knew may well have been a 14-year-old I knew in Israel. I was working on a kibbutz. A woman who was a journalist in Finland worked as a volunteer, and she brought her troubled daughter, Anke. Anke was completely mature, physically. She could have passed for 25. Without makeup or retouching, she looked the way models looked in Playboy magazine. Stunning. She was also promiscuous. One night she came up to me and asked me if I wanted to make out. Even at 22, I was not totally stupid. I turned her down. And I was not exactly dripping with women! I got very few opportunities for sex and romance. I was not happy.

I was not willing to touch her. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t attracted to her. She was physically magnificent. I just knew it was wrong. I knew she was messed up, and I knew people took advantage. I did not want any part of that, and I certainly did not want to be exposed. Later on, I saw a friend of mine from New Zealand, rolling around on a bed with her with his lips pressed against hers. He was older than I was. Part of me was jealous, but I was also disappointed in him.

Anyway, male sexual attraction is unrelated to morality. It’s purely physical. A man doesn’t stop being attracted to a girl the second he sees the wrong year on her driver’s license. Anyone who expects us to find beautiful teens unattractive is living in a fantasy world. If you think a man–even a moral man who behaves himself–can’t find your daughter attractive because she’s in the 8th grade, you are ignorant.

Eduardo would be somewhat less disappointing if a stunning high school junior had thrown himself at him and gotten her way, but the victim was a little girl who probably weighed 80 pounds when the whole business started. The attraction itself is outside of normal male parameters. It’s like being attracted to another man or a pet. Also, the corruption is worse. Having sex with a round-heeled cheerleader would be very bad, but an 11-year-old? You’re introducing her to types of filth and evil she shouldn’t even be aware of.

So. That’s how I see his actions. I understand lust for females who have been through puberty. I can see how someone could slip under the right circumstances. I can’t relate to lust for little kids. How can the temptation exist?

I’ll say something else that may surprise women. Little boys are not that pure. Something to think about when you’re undressing in front of them or saying things you should not. When I was in the second grade, my favorite teacher left to get married. She took me aside to tell me she would miss me and that I should be nice to the new teacher. The whole time, I was looking down the front of her dress. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Second grade. Be careful around boys.

What Eduardo did is shocking, but I have done bad things, too. While I was praying last night, I dredged them back up in my mind and threw them out in front of God. I had done that a lot in the past, but I hadn’t felt the same level of shame and fear. Eduardo unlocked those things for me. I was able to feel more shame, as well as the fear of God.

Eduardo is where he is because God did not protect him. He got outside the realm of protection. He didn’t protect Eduardo from the girl, her mother, or the cops. Fear of God means fearing losing his protection. You really need to be on his good side, because if you’re not, he will let extremely ugly and humiliating things happen to you.

Tongue-talking preachers like to try to make us feel better. They get so excited about refraining from condemning people, they lead us to treat our sins as though they don’t matter. That’s a big mistake. Accepting shame and fear opened doors in me. I felt good about feeling bad, if you can understand that. I felt like I was letting pus out. I stopped trying to feel good about myself. I just wanted it all out of me.

God helped me to spend an adequate amount of time praying last night, and I put in two hours of prayer in tongues this morning. I was very serious. I was intent on getting it done. I had the motivation I had been lacking. I welcomed fear and shame. I knew that walls would be breached, and things that had been inhabiting me would be exposed and driven out.

When I was young, I thought self-esteem was a panacea. I had low self-esteem, and I thought high self-esteem would make me succeed in life. We hear this all the time from educators and TV shrinks. The problem is this: sometimes low self-esteem is healthy and appropriate. High self-esteem is unjustified. We go into ghettos and teach immoral future sociopaths they’re beautiful, talented, and good…when they’re not. We put lipstick on pigs and send them out into the world. It doesn’t work. We teach pride, and what does the Bible say God does to the proud? He fights them.

Eduardo is one of the proudest people you will ever meet, and his wife and son are just like him. Pride got him where he is. He was completely unable to listen and learn.

Today I believe it’s okay to feel bad about what I am. If it brings God’s help to me, it’s great. It’s not that painful, and it takes less effort than lying to myself all the time. I really want my inner self to change. If permitting myself to be ashamed is all it takes, it’s a bargain.

One nice thing about accepting and confessing shame is that you can’t invite exposure or a fall. No one will ever say, “You held yourself out as a rotten person, but here’s what you REALLY are!” That kind of thing only happens to the proud. Pride goes before a fall. If you’re already ashamed, where can you fall to?

I believe God will help me more now. It’s consistent with scripture. He has certainly been more helpful since I found out about Eduardo.

The path of divine improvement has plateaus. It’s like peeling an onion. Every time you reach a new plateau, it’s a good thing, but you have to keep going. You can’t say, “I’ll just stay here and be satisfied.” You grow or you rot. You can’t stay still.

I am better than I used to be, but I still need lots of work. Admitting it and feeling shame and remorse will help make it happen.

To get more information, look at Psalm 32. I think it will help. It says God will help a man who confesses, when the great waters rise. The great waters are the voices of the ungodly. They control this nation. Their filth is flooding us out. When things get even worse than they are, you will need God to lift you up.

Don’t let self-righteousness pull you under. At the mercy of these people (and the spirits they serve) is not where we want to be.

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A Glimpse of the Abyss

December 5th, 2017

If You Want to Survive, Keep Improving

I am still upset about my former pastor’s molestation arrest.

Last night I woke up full of anxiety. It’s odd, but I felt as though I were the one who had committed the offenses. I felt as though I were the one who had to be concerned about punishment.

I kept having thoughts about my own sins and irresponsible acts. I have gotten away with a lot in this life. So far!

I suppose it’s harsh to compare myself with someone who is charged with molesting a girl under the age of 12, but I am not nearly what I should be. And it’s better to be too contrite than not contrite enough. If other people have to fall, I should try to benefit by observing their fate and trying to avoid it through confession and repentance. There isn’t much to be gained by patting myself on the back and telling myself I’m doing fine.

I thought about my past and the divine opportunities I’ve missed. I didn’t hear from God until I was about 22, so maybe I should get a little slack for my failures up to that point, but at 25, I was baptized with the Holy Spirit, and God had made it clear I was supposed to pray in tongues every day. I didn’t do it. I fell away. I got worse instead of better.

It’s funny, but it didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, and it wasn’t deliberate rebellion. I didn’t decide God wasn’t real. I didn’t doubt that prayer in tongues was important. I just wandered off. I was distracted and forgetful.

I don’t know why God was so distant when I was a kid. I heard from the devil all the time, and there were plenty of evil people around me to abuse me and mislead me, but I didn’t get visits from God, and I didn’t know any righteous people who could help me get to know him. I hear from God every day now. I don’t understand I why made it into my twenties without hearing from him once. It’s very strange, because it seems unlike him.

God is always right and good. I can’t criticize him just because his actions don’t always suit me. What he did was correct. And once I started hearing from him, I should have held on for dear life.

Heaven is very far away, and help here on earth is not automatic. We’re like egg cells. You know how that works. The body produces a lot of them, and very few get fertilized and become human beings. The rest get washed out of the body and die. A lot of people are born, but not many come to know God, and not many are saved.

The earth is a very bad place, much more like hell than heaven. We’re just too used to it to see the evil.

Often, I feel like I’m much better than I am. I feel that the overt things God has done in my life are some sort of stamp of approval. I know better, and it bothers me that I could feel that way. Sometimes I make myself think about the bad things I’ve done and thought, just so I can regain perspective. God fights the proud. I do not want God to fight me. Not over an idiotic misperception.

It disturbs me when people tell me I’m a good person. I feel like they’re driving nails in my coffin. I am a product of 20th-century America. I am a mess. If I succeed in concealing it, it doesn’t mean you should reward me for it. If God tells me things, it’s because I needed to be told, not because I was perfect.

God told me something interesting: if you’re 99% good and 1% bad, you’re bad. That’s the way it works in heaven. Being good by earthly standards is different. The standard is much lower. Heaven has quality control. Nothing imperfect gets through the door.

I’m not saying I’m only 1% bad. Just making a point.

I got up and paced the floor, and I thanked God for the correction. I asked him to send more. I asked him to help me to be judged privately by him, and I asked him to help me avoid being judged publicly. In the past, when I felt negative feelings, I worked with God with the intention of getting rid of them. Last night, I said I was fine with feeling bad. Sometimes you need to feel bad for a while.

Too many of us go to church to be helped to feel good in spite of our sins. We don’t have any intention of changing. We just want God to wink at us and tell us this week’s sins are forgiven, and then we want to go home and resume sinning. You can’t enter the kingdom of heaven that way. If you want power and help on this earth, you have to love correction. Christians die of cancer. They go bankrupt. Their wives cheat on them. They get killed in church by mass murderers. You need to get close to God if you want help. His help isn’t for rebellious Christians. It’s for the contrite.

While I was lying in bed praying, I thought about the pastor. At that very moment, he was lying in a jail 300 miles away, with no prospect of relief. As bad as things were at that moment, they were likely to get worse. Some of the charges carry a 25-year mandatory minimum. No parole until every day is served. No time off. And inmates do not like sex offenders. Guards look the other way when they are mistreated. Unless he catches a break from the prosecutor or judge, or there is a technical issue that helps him, he may die surrounded by evil people who live to torment him. He may have to put up with that for 40 years.

It’s too much to absorb.

I thought about a testimony I read. A lady named Mary Kay Baxter said Jesus had taken her through hell. The people there lived in flaming pits, with huge maggots chewing tunnels through their bones. The guards were huge fallen spirits that hated the damned. It sounds so much like prison. Prison is a picture of hell.

I would be happier had I learned the pastor had died. He would be better off.

I still don’t understand how it happened. I don’t think he has no conscience. Maybe he was unprotected because he was too proud to develop spiritually, and when a loathsome spirit came to him with a sick urge, he could not fight it off. This life is a war, not a pleasure cruise. We’re supposed to train for battle.

I don’t know the answer, though.

When I was done praying and exercising God’s authority, I went back to sleep and slept soundly and peacefully. That was nice.

I hope my distress improves me. I don’t think anything better can come of this.


So Much for my Ability to Read People

December 4th, 2017

Surprising News from Miami

This can’t be right. I got bored and Googled a few people I know in Miami, and it looks like a former pastor of mine has been arrested for child molestation. Eight counts.

The mugshot is on the web, and it sure looks like him. The name is correct. The age is different from the age on a people-finder site, but it’s off by less than a year.

He used to have a Facebook page with his wife. Now she has her own, and his doesn’t come up. The church’s website is down for “maintenance.”

This is a guy who was not good to me. He ran a cult, and he and his wife broke up friendships. He would not listen to anyone. He was too proud. Not my favorite person on earth. But this news is very upsetting. I would not wish this on anyone.

I have to wonder if it’s true. He is in jail in Miami. The judge denied bond for some of the counts. The inmate search page has domestic violence notes. If he got into it with his wife, maybe she accused him falsely. Women do things like that.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong to suggest she would do it.

For the record, I never saw the slightest hint that he was capable of this. It does not ring true. Maybe it is true, but it doesn’t sound right. I’ve known people who seemed creepy and perverted, and he is not one of them. I never heard him say anything libidinous. I never saw him put a hand on anyone. I never saw him stare at a child. He didn’t seem particularly involved with kids at the church. Many molesters become teachers, youth pastors, scoutmasters, and so on, so they can get close to kids. I never saw any of that.

The clerk’s site doesn’t mention child pornography. It would be odd for a pedophile in 2017 to lack pornography.

Sometimes when something bad happens to someone who is out of line, it’s hard not to feel satisfaction. Not this time. If he gets convicted, his life is over. Everyone on the outside will hate him, and so will all of the prison inmates he lives with.

Am I wrong to feel sympathy for the accused and nothing for the victim? I don’t know who he is alleged to have molested or what he is alleged to have done. I don’t know the first thing about it. If there are victims, those are the people I should feel bad for.

Maybe I feel sorry for him simply because I know him.

If there really is a victim, I may know that person, too.

This is staggering. I did not like the things he did, but I don’t want to see this happen to him. I suppose it didn’t “happen to him,” though. If he’s guilty, he himself made it happen, intentionally.

After I left the church, I used to ask God if I should pray for him and his wife, and I kept feeling that God was telling me not to, because they could not be corrected. Maybe I was right about that.

It may sound funny to say I didn’t pray for someone who mistreated me (and others), but I’ve found that effective prayer takes time, and you have to try not to waste that time on the wrong people. Some people who harm you can be changed. Others can’t, and the time you waste praying for them could be spent on people who would be improved by it. You can’t pray all day. Your prayer time and energy are limited. You have to choose your battles. More accurately, you need to get God to choose them for you.

America is going to go down the toilet, and a lot of people are going to waste their time praying for God to fix it. That’s a great example of misguided prayer. You can’t pray against prophecy. When my sister ruined her life, I felt that God didn’t want me to pray for her any more. There was no way to penetrate her self-righteousness and utter lack of honesty. I try to get God to help me pray for people who can change, so my time here on earth amounts to something.

Man, this is bad. And one of my best friends was counting on that church to provide a career. There were kids who went to that church without their useless parents, because they wanted to know God. People depended on that church.

I reserve judgment. I don’t know whether he’s guilty or not. Most arrestees are guilty of at least what they’re charged with, but you never know.

I reserve judgment. I don’t know whether he’s guilty or not. Most arrestees are guilty of at least what they’re charged with, but you never know.

Be careful whom you worship with, and don’t let your desire to see the best in people lead you to associate with the wrong individuals.

I’m glad God got me out of that place. At first, I thought the pastors were wonderful, but they kept hitting me over the head with their faults, and then they did something stupid that made it too awkward for me to continue attending.

I was a deacon. I’m glad I won’t be known as a deacon of a church with the molestation scandal.

A friend just confirmed it. He molested his niece. The niece told her mom. Her mom put it all over Facebook. He apologized to the church and stepped down. Terrible.

For a while after he left, my friend pastored the church. I guess that fell apart.

Confessing in front of the church was the right thing to do, I suppose, but it will all but guarantee a conviction.

Hope this is the most disturbing news I get this week.


Trump’s Ex-Girlfriend Weighs in Again

December 1st, 2017

Calls God’s Judgment Down on Man Who Rejected Him

I have to ask: is James Comey the pettiest politician ever?

Maybe I should not ask. The president is vying for that title as well. But I think Comey has him beat. If Comey had fired Trump a long time ago, Trump would not still be tweeting about Comey. He eventually moves on. Comey is like a jilted ex-girlfriend. You dump a woman because you realize she’s toxic and impossible to help, and then years later, fat and undesirable, she’s hovering over a keyboard in her manless apartment, trying to turn people against you on the Internet and using clothes she didn’t return to you to clean the litterbox used by her many cats. That’s Comey.

Michael Flynn lied to the FBI about his Russian contacts. In a moment of insanity, Attorney General Sessions appointed Robert Mueller to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 election. Now Mueller has decided to prosecute Flynn in hopes of squeezing him for dope on everyone else who might be involved. There is no reason at all to think Trump–Comey’s ex-boyfriend–is in trouble. Even if it were proven Trump colluded every day, “collusion” is legal, and there is no evidence that Trump is guilty of this non-crime. But Comey, in lieu of vandalizing Trump’s car like any normal ex-girlfriend, posted this weirdness on Twitter:

But justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

That’s supposed to be Amos 5:24, but Comey got it wrong, and somehow he has not seen fit to correct it. The actual quotation is, “But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” That’s from the English Standard Version of the Bible. I could not tell you anything about that translation. I had never heard of it until today. I wonder if it’s one of those “evolved” translations that endorse homosexuality and call God “She.”

I took a look at Amos, and his words seem irrelevant to the version of Trump that exists in Comey’s mind. Amos was complaining about idolatry. He was criticizing the Jews for turning away from God. He said they shouldn’t hope for the day of the Lord, because it would make them even more miserable. It would be a day of judgment.

I don’t think Donald Trump is rooting for Jesus to come. I’m sure he’s basically for it, but I don’t see him as a person who thinks about it a lot. I don’t see him as a highly religious yet hypocritical figure who needs to fear God’s judgment because he has held himself out falsely as a godly man. Trump is pretty worldly.

People who aren’t close to God quote scripture pretty badly, and Comey appears to be an example. “Oh, this is a good one! Justice flowing down on people! I’ll just cut and paste!” They don’t understand the context of the quotations they wield like pea-shooters. If you’re going to get mad at someone and quote scripture at him, you should at least read the book from which you’re cribbing.

I would quote Amos 5:24 with regard to America’s future. I would definitely quote it in reference to filthy prosperity preachers who make Christians poor and pretend God put them up to it. Quoting it at a former employer, as a vague indication that I hope God gives him a sharp kick in the butt…that, I would not do. I would look small, and people who actually read the Bible would consider me ignorant.

When you read a thing like this, you wonder. Does Comey have a job? Does he do anything? Is he sitting around texting random acquaintances, hoping it will shame someone into inviting him to a Christmas party?

If I were a friend of his, I’d be telling him to drop the bone already. Let it go. Life is about the future, not your unsatisfying past with the guy who didn’t appreciate you. Living well is the best revenge, isn’t it? Stop sitting around pouting. Join Crossfit. Take the wife on an Alaskan cruise. Buy a set of Bob Ross DVD’s, some oil paints, and some single-malt Scotch and just go crazy.

Learn Hindi. Take a Thai cooking class. Join a Bible study group and read the whole book instead of random snippets you hope might embarrass an inattentive billionaire.

James Comey is not a happy little tree. Not by a longshot.

Nothing bad will happen to Trump unless he lies to the investigators or tells someone else to. Impulsive as he is, he is probably smart enough not to do those things, especially after what happened to Scooter Libby.

It seems like the whole world has turned into junior high. Maybe it always was, but it didn’t seem this blatant.

When I got done with my utterly heinous voyage through the Columbia College Literature Humnanities syllabus, I found myself in need of things to read (other than STEM books), so I bought myself the complete works of William Shakespeare on Google Play. I’m reading Richard III. Here is a great quotation from Richard himself: “\

[T]he world is grown so bad that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch. Since every jack became a gentleman, There’s many a gentle person made a jack.”

Isn’t that beautiful? Talk about apt. Our heroes are semi-literate rappers who want to shoot our president and the police. Our great ladies are Instagram sluts with sex tapes and nude photos they themselves leaked. Every jack has become a gentleman. And people like Comey, who should be gentle persons, lower themselves in the public eye every day.

Here’s an apt Bible quotation. In Isaiah 3, God describes what happens to a nation that forgets him:

For behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts,
Takes away from Jerusalem and from Judah
The stock and the store,
The whole supply of bread and the whole supply of water;

The mighty man and the man of war,
The judge and the prophet,
And the diviner and the elder;

The captain of fifty and the honorable man,
The counselor and the skillful artisan,
And the expert enchanter.

“I will give children to be their princes,
And babes shall rule over them.

The people will be oppressed,
Every one by another and every one by his neighbor;
The child will be insolent toward the elder,
And the base toward the honorable.”

That’s us. Our President fires off angry tweets all day. Our journalists, politicians, and entertainers expose and pleasure themselves in front of female coworkers. We fawn on unsavory idiots like Kim Kardashian, J.K. Rowling, George Takei, and Chrissy Teigen. Our educators tell us men are women and women are men, and that white people, who developed the greatest civilizations in history and gave us science, medicine, engineering, and the very best of the arts, are the main problem with the world. They are now telling us a white student can decide to be black. I predicted that a long time ago. It won’t be long before they tell us you can choose to be an espresso machine.

Our idols are sleazy, impulsive, incurably conceited ignoramuses. The worst people in society have the greatest influence.

We were better off in the days when everyone understood that entertainers were base. When you turn on the TV and look at Bruce Jenner, the Kardashians, Charlie Sheen, Kevin Spacey, and the rest, you realize we had more sense back in the old days. It used to be understood that when entertainers came into a town, they had to be watched and isolated, and they had to be sent on their way after a few days. We knew their presence meant theft, swindling, prostitution, the corruption of our youth, and a bunch of other ills, so we didn’t let them hang around. Now we worship them as gods.

If J. Edgar Hoover were alive, he would marvel at Comey’s lack of gravitas. Hoover was weird, but he wouldn’t have lowered himself to tweeting smug, hopeful Bible quotations about annoying presidents.

Dignity is dead. The modern peasantry won’t let you have any. The pillars of communities run from tattooed, pierced cretins who ought to be in the stocks. It’s too bad we quit using words like “knave” and “slattern.” We need them now more than ever. Kids grow up having no idea what class is, so they don’t know what they’re missing, living in a juvenile and impudent society.

Comey probably thinks he’s the exact opposite of what he is. He probably thinks he looks like the voice of maturity.

Remember what Mr. Lebowski said? “The bums lost.” He was wrong. The bums won. The slouching, dope-smoking, sexually polyvalent, arrogant-for-no-conceivable-reason looters of civilization won. They lowered our standards so much, even those of us who think we recognize class and breeding can’t tell butter from margarine.

I wish I had never been influenced by them. To one extent or another, all of my life, I have degraded myself by emulating know-nothing pinheads who, in a sane world, would have been servants and laborers. When I look at Comey, I see the damage I have done myself.

It makes sense. God puts halfwits in charge of fallen countries, and if you corrupt yourself, he will put a halfwit, i.e. you, in charge of your affairs.

The movie Idiocracy is turning out to be a blueprint for our future. I’m so glad I’m not young. As bad as things were when I was a kid, at least I was around to see a shadow of the country we used to have.


My Vacuum Cleaner is Needy

December 1st, 2017

Whiny Texts From Lonely Appliance

The increasing automation (and tyranny and surveillance) of the machines around us bugs me, but in spite of my paranoia, I decided to get a Roomba. In case you just got here from Mars, a Roomba is a robot vacuum cleaner. It’s a flat, round robot shaped like a layer cake pan. It wanders around in random directions, changing course when it bumps into things. It doesn’t learn the floor plan. The idea is that if it moves around randomly for a solid hour, it will cover just about every part of the house.

The first floor of the new house is mostly hardwood and tile. The birds live in the kitchen, on hardwood. They throw things on the floor all day, and they give off dust. Without the Roomba, I would have to vacuum every day. That’s not going to happen. We have a whole-house vacuum system, but it’s a drag to use. You have to get a 30-foot hose and a heavy attachment out of the closet, and then you have to go from room to room, plugging the hose into various outlets. It’s even more fun when you have to carry it upstairs. I know I’ll never do that. I have delegated the responsibility to the Roomba.

I don’t know what early Roombas were like, but here is a guess: lame NiMh batteries that pooped out quickly and had be replaced often, combined with poor obstacle management. Am I close?

The Roomba I bought has a lithium battery, and lithium batteries aren’t bad. They wear out, but not like NiMh. They run a long time on a charge. I can’t complain much about the battery.

The Roomba also has wi-fi. By the way, what does “fi” mean? It’s not “fidelity.” So what is it? I guess I should look it up.

According to Wikipedia, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s a stupid pun on “hi-fi.” Okay.

Also, it’s not “wifi,” “wi-fi,” or “Wifi.” It’s “Wi-Fi.” I’ll try to remember that. But I won’t try very hard.

The Roomba came with a charger which the manual refers to as a base. You put the charger on the floor, and you rest one side of the Roomba on it. This puts the Roomba’s contacts on the base’s contacts and allows the Roomba to charge. After a couple of hours, the machine is ready to clean. When it finishes a session, it returns to the base and backs onto it.

My verdict? Fantastic. But flawed. Based on my experience, I wouldn’t even consider getting rid of the Roomba, but it has issues.

1. It dies on carpeting. Sometimes my dad leaves his bedroom door open. The bedroom is carpeted. The Roomba plows around for a while and then quits. I don’t know if it’s supposed to like carpeting. I got it for bare floors, so I don’t care. But every time it gets on a carpet, bad things happen.

2. The Roomba gets confused. On one occasion it went into the laundry room and ran under some clothes that were hanging out of a basket. It wasn’t obstructed, but it decided it was on the edge of a cliff, and it shut down.

3. The Roomba is needy. When it has a problem, it sends me a whiny text begging for help. “I’m on the edge of a cliff.” “I need to be moved.” “I need to be put back on the base.” “You’re ignoring my texts.” Whatever. I bought this thing to help me AVOID work, and it’s constantly asking me for help.

We have two coffee tables on a cheap area rug. Today, for the second time, the Roomba decided to climb onto the rug. Once it was up there, instead of cleaning and moving on, it shut down and pouted. I don’t get that at all. Just move off the rug. It’s downhill.

The up side of wifi…Wi-Fi…is that I can use my phone to push the Roomba around. It has a calendar feature, so I told it to vacuum the house every morning after breakfast. I can also tell it to start or quit on demand. I can push the “locate” button and make it sound off with its little electronic song. It tells me when its battery is low, so I know better than to start it at the wrong time.

It cleans pretty well. It’s my sweeper, and sweeping is not demanding. It has a rotating brush that hangs out from under it, and the brush whacks dirt so it goes under the machine. I assume it has suction, because it makes a sucky sound while it cleans. The crap goes into a bin I have not had to empty yet. The Rooma will whine when it’s full. I would say it sweeps better than I would, were I to do the unthinkable and pick up a broom. It may work better than a vacuum cleaner, because it doesn’t disturb dirt as much while it operates. The exhaust from vacuum cleaners blows dust around.

According to the Roomba site, my Roomba is supposed to work on carpeting. It does not. Wish it did. Doesn’t. I think it would work very well on firm, shallow carpeting, but it can’t deal with a normal area rug or normal bedroom carpeting. I may be wrong, but it seems like the difficulty of moving on carpet kills the battery. Maybe if you have carpeting, you have to have more than one Roomba and confine each to a small area. That would cost an insane amount of money, though.

One reviewer says the Roomba stops on dark carpeting because it thinks it sees empty space (a cliff) under it. I don’t know, but my dad’s bedroom carpeting isn’t dark, and the Roomba goes in there and conks out.

Maybe I’m doing something wrong. I don’t care enough to find out. You can get little devices to keep your Roomba from going where it should not.

As long as it cleans bare floors, I will keep it. I do not wish to be a bird valet for the rest of my life. Maynard and Marvin are incorrigibly messy, and if I didn’t have the Roomba, I would be vacuuming every day. Actually, I would be failing to vacuum every day, and the house would be gross.

Interesting note: the reviewer who said the Roomba doesn’t like dark rugs also says it chips paint. I will have to check. That will not be permitted.

Roombas don’t like clutter, so you have to keep junk off the floor. My strategy is to let it run, see what it runs into, and take appropriate action. I’m not going to wander through the house trying to guess what the Roomba will hate.

Final thing: after you use the Roomba for a while, you will start to find dusty corners in your house. The Roomba can’t get into corners, so the dust will flee into them and stay there, taunting the Roomba. Cleaning corners is easier than cleaning a whole house, though.

I’m glad the Roomba doesn’t have a camera, a mike, or an Internet connection. Those would be dealbreakers. My devices spy on me enough as it is.

If you have parrots, you need one of these things. Or you just need to quit having parrots. I don’t know if I would recommend the Roomba to normal people. It ran me almost $300. If I didn’t have two thoughtless characters throwing food on the floor all day, I would consider that a high price to pay for ordinary floor hygiene.

I may get a second Roomba for the second story. Not sure yet. The second story is a lot cleaner.

I hope the Roomba people come up with new devices for other types of cleaning. I have a dishwasher, but putting dishes into the machine and unloading it manually…that’s just too much. I have important things to do. A robot ironer would be fantastic. I prefer cleaning toilets to ironing, even in a house with a spacious laundry room with a built-in ironing board.

I’m going to go check for paint damage. Keep your fingers crossed.


I am not Your Bro

November 30th, 2017

Latest Domino: Russell Simmons

If you haven’t been molested by an actor or journalist, and you want to comment, please indicate your status to set yourself apart from the majority of humanity.

No, that’s a bad idea. They might see it and add you to their bucket lists. “Hmm. Missed another one.”

On Monday, Matt Lauer was an annoyingly smug yet bulletproof liberal superstar, and everyone on the left loved him. Now they treat him like something they found stuck to the bottom of their shoes. They are working furiously to scrape him off and get rid of the smell. Also, another woman has popped up to accuse Stuart Smalley, and Russell Simmons has been accused of (more or less) kidnapping a woman and coercing her to have sex with him.

Russell Simmons is a major showbiz ego. He’s one of those people who radiate narcissism waves in every public appearance. He’s a black rap personality who, at least financially, has it all together. He’s intelligent. He’s capable. He’s on top of things. Maybe his pride stems from the fact that he’s surrounded by other hip-hop-related celebrities whose lives are perpetual self-fed dumpster fires. Suge Knight is blind, in jail, and full of bullet holes. Tupac died with more holes in him than a colander. The Notorious B.I.G. got shot to death while surrounded by bodyguards. Li’l Kim is a visual aide for plastic surgery ethics courses. Eazy E died from AIDS. Simmons floated above it all. Looks like that’s over with.

The woman who accused him is part black, if it is possible to be less than completely so. Her name is Jenny Lumet. She is the daughter of director Sidney Lumet and the granddaughter of singer Lena Horne. She writes screenplays. She is not a goofball who threw herself at him at a party. She says Simmons offered to take her home one night, and that instead, he ordered his driver to take him to his apartment. Once there, feeling pressured by both men, she says she allowed Simmons to have his way with her.

Some people are calling it rape. I am not a criminal attorney. I don’t know if it’s rape if you have sex simply because your partner is incredibly pushy. Maybe it is. Whatever it is, it’s very wrong. Women tend to do what men they perceive as powerful and desired tell them to do, and no man should use that weakness to push a woman to do things she clearly prefers not to do. And fornication is a sin.

It’s funny that people aren’t blaming the true cause of the sexual abuse wave. The true cause is liberalism. For around 70 years, liberals have been telling us God doesn’t exist and that we should have sex whenever we want, with whomever or whatever we want. They have been encouraging women to put themselves in danger by behaving provocatively and putting out. They’ve encouraged the murder of the unborn, giving predacious men (and forceful, embarrassed parents) a handy escape hatch through which to shove pregnant women. They’ve turned AIDS–a disgusting venereal disease–into something to be proud of! They’ve even gotten rid of the phrase “venereal disease” because (for good and obvious reasons) it had come to carry an air of opprobrium.

VD is now STD. Whores are sex workers. Sluts are…well, they’re still sluts, but now they’re proud of it, and they have parades called Slut Walks.

The abusers caught in the purge don’t know God. They know of no reason to exercise restraint or curb their cruelty. You do what you want in this life, you get away with it, and when you die, there is no punishment. Why concern yourself with the proper, compassionate treatment of others if there is no supreme arbiter to answer to?

Women are just receptacles now. They are game to be taken down. Men are like birdwatchers, ticking off the names on their lists as they go. “Got that one. Got this one. Still working on that one.”

Women are stupid about men. Liberals have taught them we’re really just women with male equipment. They say that deep in our hearts, we just pretend to be masculine. It’s an act. Liberals deny the reality of the persistent male sex drive and its power. Women are taught that because men don’t have the right to abuse them, it’s okay for women to tempt and manipulate. It’s like telling tourists in a national park it’s okay to walk up to bears and wave Slim Jims under their noses.

Women are encouraged to be temptresses and sluts. Men are encouraged to be mindless, aggressive, proud DNA dispensers. And we still act surprised when bad things happen.

Men are not women. We are ready for sex all the time. We get excited quickly, not slowly. When women become aroused, they can shut it off instantly in order to answer the phone or get up and go to work. When men get aroused, they stay that way until the mission is accomplished. If a man doesn’t get what he wants, it takes a long time for the arousal to go away, and during that time, he may become very resentful.

Men don’t need to care about you to want to have sex with you. We can have great sex with women we hate, which, now that I think about it, must be one of the reasons abuse is so widespread. We don’t need intimacy or love. We can have sex with you and not even want to know your name. Why don’t we call afterward? Because we never wanted to get to know you in the first place. We just needed a place to dump the trash.

Never forget what Charlie Sheen said. He said he didn’t pay prostitutes to have sex with him. He said he paid them to go away when it was over.

A man who genuinely respects women and wants a faithful, permanent marriage to one woman will still be capable of being excited by the right piece of gutter trash in the right tube top. Good men aren’t free from base drives. We just work to subdue them. The modern woman doesn’t understand that, and she doesn’t care about it, so she is unsafe.

Women’s defenses are down, and men, who lack understanding and compassion, give them what they ask for. I don’t mean that Jenny Lumet deserved what she alleges happened to her. I mean that as a group, women contribute to a damaged system of sexual morals that puts all of them at risk. Women are supposed to serve an important function as the world’s guardians of sexual morality. Instead, they are doing their best to lead men into the ditch.

As for men, we are not leaders. We follow our idiot friends instead of God’s guidance. We take what we can get. We don’t build women. We loot them, like rioters.

I remember going to a bachelor party with strippers. Two strippers were invited to the home of a friend of the groom, and the rest were at clubs we visited later. I call the first two strippers “strippers,” but they were prostitutes. They stripped completely naked and performed sex acts on themselves and some of the male guests. Word got out. As the groom should have expected (being over the age of seven) the bride’s friends got information from the groom’s friends, and they took it to the bride. She had been against the bachelor party, and once it was over, she punished the groom with a relentless Mueller-style investigation that lasted for days. It helped kill my relationships with the whole group.

One of the male guests was married to a bridesmaid, and she was a dominant wife. They were Jewish; maybe that’s all I need to say. Somehow the groom didn’t worry that this guy would crack. Please. The wife wore the pants, and everyone knew it. A monkey would have been smart enough to expect him to spill his guts.

How did the groom respond? Did he say, “Wow, this was a really stupid idea; I can’t believe I treated my marriage as an excuse to hire whores”? No, he said this: “Bros before hos, man! BROS BEFORE HOS!”

Here is what “Bros before hos” means. It means you always side with men against women. Men are your brothers. Women are whores. And he didn’t say it facetiously; he was dead serious, as if he thought it were an actual law. He was so upset he was threatening people with violence. He thought it was righteous indignation. The problem, in his mind, was that his bros were talking to “hos” instead of protecting him.

That story sums up what’s wrong with America’s morals.

To prove men are not women, I’ll add something. To “get even” with the groom, the bride hired a male stripper to perform at the bachelorette party. She thought it would upset him and make him call off his own party. No such luck. The men had a great time and didn’t think about the girls at all.

The men had a blast, and the women endured a vengeance party which wasn’t all that satisfying. The stripper unhooked women’s bras, and he got one woman to put her hand down his thong, but there is no way one man can sexually satisfy six or seven women in one evening. It was asymmetrical warfare.

Women can’t get even with men through sexual excess, because they don’t enjoy it the way we do. Feminists have never understood that. When sexual morals go out the window, women suffer more than men. Think about it. They’re the ones who get pregnant. They get stuck raising kids. They are more likely to get VD; men can’t get AIDS from women. Women also get more of the blame and stigma. Maybe they should; they are better able to resist lust than we are.

We are seeing both liberals and conservatives caught up in the abuse dragnet, but the underlying cause comes from the left. Bill O’Reilly didn’t develop his bad habits in a religious, conservative environment. He developed them in the New York area in the disco era. All of us have been exposed to the corrupting influence of liberal morals.

The flurry of abuse exposures won’t solve the problem. Women will still tempt needlessly, and men will still prey on them. We aren’t fixing the underyling issues. We never will.

Men aren’t going to change all that much. If masculinity and aggression are punished, men will pretend to be sensitive feminists in order to nail witless prospects. Want easy sex? Go to a protest and cry in front of a few good-looking girls. At least one of them will take care of your needs.

I used to think lust was okay, as long as I didn’t fornicate or obsess on porn. Now I realize that’s wrong. I can’t let myself stare at women. I can’t watch movies that are intended to arouse. I can’t get involved in crude joking with or about women. All of that stuff causes problems. But I’m enveloped in a world filled with temptation. I can’t go out in public, watch TV, or read websites without being exposed. I’m like an allergy case living in a world smeared with peanut butter.

The world is so filthy, it’s dangerous to be in it. Even looking at it causes problems. No wonder Jesus left when he was young.

The other day while I was praying, I kept hearing the phrase, “almost done.” I hope that’s correct. If this world lasts much longer I’m going to have to go live in a bunker.


Everybody Must Get Stoned

November 29th, 2017

No Room for Manspreading on the Group W Bench

Matt Lauer is out! That was fast!

Without wasting time repeating the scant details of the story, I will go right into a discussion of the thought Lauer’s ejection brings to mind: news organizations are in trouble because they’re hypocritical. The hypocrites in the news attack everyone else ruthlessly (and, let’s admit it, joyfully), but they don’t report on themselves, and they work hard to cover up for employees who act up.

“Wait!”, you’re saying, “News organizations reported on O’Reilly and Rose when they fell!” Yes. Organizations O’Reilly and Rose didn’t work for! That doesn’t count. Venal, ambitious people love it when their competitors get in trouble, so naturally, news people report on scandals at competing companies. The don’t talk a whole lot about their own scandals, until they have no choice.

Sexual abusers and other bullies almost always have long histories. A normal guy generally won’t go nuts, put his hand up one secretary’s skirt, and then never do it again. Bullies are egotists who lack compassion, and they are driven by powerful urges they can’t or won’t resist. They become bullies at early ages, and their behavior persists for their entire lives. Over time, they develop long lists of victims, as well as long lists of silent witnesses. When a sex bully works for a company for a long time, people find out what he does, and they keep it quiet.

If Lauer was a sex bully, a lot of people at NBC knew it. They knew for decades. They worked for a news organization, so they knew what was happening was legitimate, important news. They chose not to report on it, just as Fox, CBS, and PBS chose not to report on O’Reilly and Rose. As a result, the perpetrators had free run of the hen houses, long after their proclivities were known.

There is no way to justify treating outsiders harshly while coddling and shielding guilty insiders. News is news, no matter where it occurs. If journalists knew anything about ethics, they would realize this, and we would hear about abusers from their own companies first.

If Matt Lauer had come up with a cure for cancer, NBC would have reported on it first. No doubt about it. News companies are happy to report positive news about insiders. They should report the negative things, too. They should be completely neutral and open as to the professional affiliations of the people they report on.

One of the things they teach lawyers is that we should present our clients’ negative information before the opposition gets a chance to do it (unless we can get courts to suppress it). When you get in front of your client’s faults and misdeeds and tell them to a finder of fact, you get the first shot at shaping the story. You get to present excuses and explanations. You make yourself and your client look honest. When you wait for the opposition to bring out the dirt, they get to twist things in the minds of the fact-finder, poisoning them against you and giving you a wall of disapproval you have to dismantle. And they make you look dishonest.

Scientists are taught that no one is objective. We are taught that experimental results have to be reproducible, so we don’t end up believing results that only occur in the laboratories of experimenters who want them to occur. We are taught to use double-blind studies.

As a lawyer and former scientist, I acknowledge the importance of fairness and objectivity, even if I am not particularly good at maintaining either. Journalists don’t care. They publish things that advance their preconceived agendas, not so they can inform, but so they can manipulate the public.

Journalists don’t care about ethics. Supposedly, journalistic ethics are codified, and journalists who go to journalism school study the subject, but in reality, that stuff is a joke. In practice, almost anything goes. If journalists had ethics, we wouldn’t have a left-wing news establishment that lies to us and covers up stories like the Menendez trial as a matter of policy. It could not happen. It has happened, so there is no need to explore the subject further. No reasonable person can look at the news and conclude that journalists try to be fair.

If journalists weren’t hypocrites, there would be no conservative or liberal news channels. MSNBC wouldn’t be liberal, and Fox wouldn’t be conservative. All channels would be neutral.

If journalists had ethics, the news would be very boring. Journalists would simply tell us what has happened. They wouldn’t sneer and smirk. They wouldn’t jab each other on Twitter. They wouldn’t scream and yell on TV panels. The news would be what NPR news pretends to be and isn’t. No one would watch or read it. Publishing news takes money, and that means an audience has to be attracted to look at ads. For that reason, among others, the news is a circus, and it attracts people who are entertaining, not people who are honest or intelligent. It attracts partisan squabblers. It’s also the reason most national-level female news people are exceptionally good-looking. Attractive news anchors who are borderline stupid tend to succeed in spite of their lack of brains.

There are a lot of female news anchors who couldn’t finish a crossword puzzle if the price of failure was death. Yet somehow we allow them to present and even interpret the news. Crazy.

Everyone who worked with Matt Lauer knew he was a problem, and everyone covered up. And in the aftermath, no one with any power or audience will say the networks need to start reporting on themselves. It will never happen. It would be Jerry Maguire behavior. Anyone who had reported on Lauer at NBC would have been congratulated, like Jerry Maguire in the memo scene, and then they would have been slowly eased out onto the sidewalk. Anyone who pushes self-examination now will get a warm clap on the back and a slow spiral into obscurity.

A while back, God told me this: “The concealment of a sin is worse than the sin itself.” That’s true. God forgives sin all the time. Heaven is packed with sinners. What he does not forgive is sin that has knowingly, persistently been denied. That principle works on earth as well as in God’s court. If Lauer and O’Reilly had come clean privately twenty years ago, they would still have their jobs today. Something would have been worked out. Instead, they denied and pretended, and the infection kept growing. Nobody squeezed the pustules. They just applied Clearasil until they exploded on prom night.

It amazes me that O’Reilly claims he executed settlements to protect his kids from scandal. Wouldn’t trials that exonerated him have protected them better? Of course they would. No one believes him. Trials would have confirmed many of the accusations. When he uses his kids as human shields, he’s just looking out for himself, badly.

Lauer must be huddled up with a whole platoon of handlers right now. They must be sweating bullets, trying to craft a statement. Al Franken and Kevin Spacey tried to make themselves look good in their responses to exposure, and they ended up buried under hails of contemptuous tweets from people whose intelligence had been insulted. Lauer and his team must be wondering what he can say that won’t backfire. I very much doubt he’s cloistered with his wife and a clergyman, confessing his heart out, repenting, and trying sincerely to find a path to redemption.

I really hope he doesn’t go the rehab route. Trying to convince people that sexual bullying is a disease that requires treatment is annoying, and apart from that, it’s trite. Harvey Weinstein and a slew of others wore that excuse out. Sexual predation isn’t opioid addiction. It just means you’re a jerk who enjoys humiliating other people and treating them like toilets. Sexual predation isn’t just sex. It’s driven by cruelty. Even when the acts themselves are not cruel, the victim mistreatment that follows exposure usually is. Ask Hillary Clinton.

I think about the guilty people who haven’t been outed, who will have to report on Lauer. I wonder if it will be possible to see the fear in their faces. They will be wondering if video of their reporting and commentary will be replayed when their turns come.

The iceberg is still there. Lauer is part of the tip. He’s not the train’s caboose. There is a nearly inexhaustible supply of candidates for exposure, like oil reserves sitting in the ground. It will take a very, very long time to go through our reserves.

I am ashamed of my own sexual sins. I hope they never end up in the public eye. I’m glad my sins aren’t worse. I hope God will continue helping me. I hope he will keep changing my heart so I indulge less in all types of sin.

Get ready to see more icons fall. I wonder what kind of people will replace them.


Seated in a High Place

November 28th, 2017

Approach the Throne With Awe and Bacon

This is easily the greatest day of my life. I am still not in Miami, and I have a new recliner.

My new house has a big upstairs room which I have turned into my command post. I started out with two plastic Adirondack chairs from Home Depot; perhaps this is appropriate, since I graduated from the Adirondack-Florida School for boys. Anyway, for almost three months, I sat on those chairs, and then I got a couch, which was fantastic yet lacking in foot support. Now I have a proper recliner, with a motor in it to make sure I don’t get PTSD from turning a lever.

This is magnificent. I don’t know why I haven’t had recliners all my life. I have always loved them.

Two days from now I will have a real TV stand, so I’ll be able to get the TV off the floor. I’m not worthy. I’m not worthy.

I even have a lamp now. I stole one of my dad’s end tables from the living room, and I commandeered the elbow LED lamp I used to use for my garage electronics station. I was going blind from relying on the overhead lights. This is bliss. This is paradise.

I am never getting out of this chair. I’m going to be like one of those obese people you read about, who end up welded to their chairs. I’ll find an enabler to bring me root beer and donuts.

Well. I guess I won’t.

I’m not sure what else to do with this room. I have been considering putting my electronics stuff here, with a dedicated desk, but it would be 50 yards from the rest of my tools. Inconvenient if I needed regular tools while working on electronics, or electronics tools while working on regular stuff. I could duplicate a few things to reduce the walking. Maybe I could put my electronics tools in a new box I could move to the workshop when needed.

I have considered putting my CNC lathe up here. It’s small, so it’s suited to an indoor location, and it would be good to have it near the big TV for CAD purposes. I don’t know if I can carry 110 pounds of awkward metal up the stairs, though. Actually, carrying it back down would be worse.

I picked a Barcalounger Vintage recliner. The Vintage line is supposedly better than the basement-grade recliners they sell for $300. I hope so. I read a lot of recliner reviews while shopping, and they were generally discouraging. China this. China that. I decided I would have to quit nitpicking and worrying and buy something.

The recliner I picked is a little funny-looking, but it was discounted heavily, and it has cloth cushions. For some reason, that spoke to me. I love leather furniture, but recliners are about comfort, and when it comes to comfort, cloth is king. When you look at this recliner, it says, “I don’t care what I look like. I just want to embrace you and make you fall asleep watching Forged in Fire.”

But enough about my plans for the week.

Oh, this is great. This is magnificent. You don’t know how great real furniture is until you sit on a plastic chair for three months.

Sorry if you’re annoyed that I wrote about a chair. I had to share my joy. I will try to show restraint when the ottoman that matches the couch arrives.

No promises.


Suddenly Helen Thomas Looks Mature

November 27th, 2017

Press Corps Journalist Wages Fact-Free Pie Jihad

Is it funny when deranged leftists attack the president’s press secretary because they think she took credit for someone else’s pie?

I suppose it is, but it also highlights a disturbing trend: Satan is teaching Americans the truth doesn’t matter.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders baked a pie. She put a photo on Twitter. The URL for the photo has the letters “pbs” in it, but the photo has nothing to do with public broadcasting. The “pbs” is just a string that occurs in the URL of a Twitter server. The pie was a chocolate pecan pie made with what appears to be a store-bought crust. Such pies are extremely easy to make. You mix the ingredients, dump them in the crust, add pecans from a bag, and bake.

This is all the background you need.

A leftist journalist (but I repeat myself) named April Ryan accused Sanders of lying. She did not believe Sanders herself baked the pie.

It is not clear why Ryan thinks Sanders didn’t bake the pie. One guess: Ryan can’t cook. A person who can’t cook might think baking a pecan pie is a big deal. Ryan probably gets most of her food from delis, vending machines, grocery story freezers, and big plastic bags marked “Lays.”

It doesn’t help that the pie had a near-perfect crust, or that the background of the photo was pure white, as you might expect in a shot by a professional photographer.

Sanders baked the pie. Her relatives confirm it. She has a long history of baking pecan pies for gatherings. No rational person seriously thinks she stole a pie photo. It’s possible to upload a photo to Google and search to see where it appears on the Internet, and when you do that with the Sanders photo, nothing comes up. Also, there are 170 million people in the United States who would love to embarrass Sanders, and none of them has come up with the original source of the photo. No photographer. No one who runs a stock photo service. No one.


Nonetheless, even now, if you look at Twitter, you’ll see Ryan and the flying monkeys high-fiving each other, as though they had “TAKEN DOWN” or “SHUT DOWN” (trendy, annoying leftist Internet cliches) the press secretary. And they think it’s important.

We should be taking their infantile, tone-deaf antics seriously, because they show how America has changed. Even during the Bush Derangement Syndrome years, it would have been very unusual for a professional journalist from the White House press pool to gin up a blood libel like this, about a matter completely unrelated to a press secretary’s job, on a holiday when we are supposed to be unified in reverence, peace, and gratitude. It would not have been necessary for conservatives to complain. Even liberals would have ridiculed the journalist.

Today liberals who seem to agree that Ryan was mistaken are attacking Sanders for provoking Ryan. By working for Trump. As always, conservatives must be put on the defensive. If your nutty leftist neighbor attacks you from behind and breaks six of your ribs, it’s your fault for not letting him tell you how to landscape.

In 2017 America, childishness and dishonesty are acceptable for leftist journalists. No one notices the lack of dignity and professionalism.

The left is in a state of frenzy. It’s a sort of cold riot. George Orwell, who predicted a lot of what we are currently experiencing, coined the term “cold war” to describe a state in which nations live in great tension, under the threat of war, while not engaging in full-blown combat. What we have now are hundreds of millions of disgruntled, pouting leftists who are not (always) out in the streets burning cars, yet who fester with rage and look for every opportunity to direct harassing fire at conservatives and Christians.

Ms. Ryan can’t march up to Mrs. Sanders’ podium, shove a spear through her heart, and announce that Antifa and BLM are now in charge. We haven’t reached that stage yet. But she can use Twitter to launch a ridiculous and very personal attack on Mrs. Sanders’ credibility and then stir up and encourage the idiots who buy into it. It’s the Internet equivalent of slashing tires and egging houses. And it’s bullying.

I don’t know if Mrs. Sanders lies or not. It doesn’t matter. If she lied constantly, it would not justify perpetrating a fanciful and sophomoric canard, and the ensuing campaign of ridicule and persecution, based on the origin of a pie. And what about failing to admit fault when the pie attacks were proven wrong? It will never happen. It will be like the Dan Rather forgery case. “We lied, but we did it for a good reason, so it’s okay.”

Rioters don’t think. They show up believing they’re right and that everything they do is justified. They are like kindling waiting for a match. They don’t question themselves. They see their victims as the aggressors. That’s why they’re able to beat people to death and set fire to buildings. Self-examination and accountability aren’t on the table. Neither is truth.

We should not be surprised. Reason tends to debunk leftism, so decades ago, many leftists adopted the position that logic itself was a Eurocentric, male-imposed construct intended to disempower women and minorities. Look it up. I’m not making it up. Robert Bork wrote about it.

It you can’t allow yourself to be proven wrong, you can’t change. This is why the left’s abandonment of reason is so dangerous. A person who can’t be corrected is depraved, and the depraved are beyond redemption. Depravity is why hell exists. The Bible refers to this condition as a seared conscience. Nothing penetrates. There are some beings who can’t be fixed, so they have to be confined eternally in order to protect the redeemed from their presence.

Satan is bringing hell up through its ceiling, onto our streets. He is bringing hell’s culture up onto the earth’s surface. It’s a marvel.

No wonder the Bible says God will return to purge the earth. The infection has won. Gangrene has taken over. There is nothing we can do to fix it. Only God himself can set things straight, and he will have to do it by binding and eliminating his enemies. He will have to use force. They have made themselves too stupid to change.

I feel bad for the Trumps. They will never have peace on this earth. Trump will leave office in 2021 0r 2025, and he and his family will still have to live on this planet. They will be under attack until they die, and the people who are out to destroy them will never relent, because they can’t be reasoned with. Barron Trump’s grandchildren, if he has any, will have to have their own professional security people. No President has ever been hated this much.

The leftists will eventually win, and when they do, they’ll bring out their lists. They will remember everyone who offended them, and they will punish. Remember the Cambodian killing fields? That same hatred exists here. I hope Trump dies of old age before they get their hands on him. I don’t even like to think about the imaginative torments they would impose. It would be worse than what happened to Mussolini and Khaddafi.

Totalitarianism is on the way. There aren’t enough Americans who serve God to prevent it. Most American Christians have no roots in the Holy Spirit. They will do whatever Satan tells them to do. He is already getting them conditioned.

I don’t think there is anywhere we can go. America is the last big country that’s safe for Christians and Jews. Europe is out. Asia is out. Africa is out. A last stand is inevitable.

I hope I’m not here to see it. I would rather die this year than live under unfettered leftists. I’m not alone. There is a reason why Cubans put their families on rafts. There is a reason why a man would let himself be shot several times, running away from North Korea.

April Ryan is a fool, but she has a lot of power behind her. We can laugh at her right now, but we should take the spirits that empower her very seriously.

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Robot Finally Working

November 26th, 2017

CNC Lathe Next

My friend Amanda has a son who has some cognitive issues. Oddly, in some cases, people with his problem turn out to be unusually well suited to the trade of CNC machining. Mental characteristics that cause problems in many areas of life can be assets in machining. There’s a dude in California who runs a school that trains such people.

I learned about this from a TV show called Titans of CNC. A man named Titan Gilroy was convicted of a violent crime, and when he got out of prison, he learned CNC and started a big, successful shop. Now he teaches inmates at San Quentin. He has a son with Asperger’s, and he discovered that his son was very good at CNC. Now he works with the guy who runs the school.

I mentioned this to Amanda a few weeks back, and I said I had some interest in CNC and robotics. We showed her son some Youtubes, and he seemed interested. That’s good, but it’s also a problem. I have only one CNC tool, and it’s a home-built adaptation which I haven’t perfected. Not counting my vacuum cleaner, I have only one robot, and when I bought it and assembled it, I was not able to make it work.

Since showing her son the videos, I have retrieved my CNC lathe from Miami, and I am ready to see if I can make it work. Last night, I took the robot out of the box I had tossed it in, and after an hour or so of reprogramming and researching, I figured out what was wrong with it. Now it’s working.

The robot is a B-robot, from a company called JJ Robots. It’s a two-wheeled balancing robot a little bigger than a box of Pop Tarts. It’s based on an Arduino Leonardo board.

Here’s how it works. It has a tiny board containing circuitry that measures the robot’s vertical orientation. This shouldn’t amaze anyone. Cell phones have circuits that tell them whether they’re level or not. The robot checks the board’s output, and then it accelerates in the direction of the tilt, bringing it back to vertical again. In other words, when the robot starts to fall in a certain direction, it takes off in that direction, bringing itself back under its top. It can do this so often it appears nearly stable.

I found I had installed the orientation board sideways, so the robot was sensing angular deviation along the wrong axis. The robot can’t fall from side to side, so the board’s input was useless. I reinstalled it according to the directions.

The robot still refused to stand. I took a look at what it was doing. It was accelerating away from the direction of fall, making the fall worse. I then turned the board 180 degrees, and everything worked.

Now I have a self-balancing robot.

I had some other problems with it, and they’re even more boring, so I don’t want to get into them too much. I found I could not upload programming to the Arduino. Somewhere on the web, someone said I had to press the board’s reset button immediately before uploading. Not exciting, unless you’re a nerd.

The robot has wi-fi. When you turn it on, you connect your phone to the robot’s network, and then you use an app to steer the robot. Obviously, it needs an onboard camera, like a drone, so you can see what the robot sees as it moves. Maybe I can figure that out some day.

Anyway, next time Amanda brings her son around, I can show him the robot and see if he has any interest. Maybe in a week or two, I can get the lathe working better.

It’s a little strange that I decided to buy and assemble a robot, but the whole exercise has turned out to have a purpose I could not have anticipated. That’s God for you.

Robotics and CNC are not the same thing, but it’s basically the same skill set, applied in different ways. Programming, boards, and servos or steppers. My guess is that a person who has CNC aptitude also has robotics aptitude. The question is which one he will like well enough to stick with.

Her other two sons are interested in music, but the instruction opportunities are limited. I suggested Adventus Piano software for one and Justinguitar.com for the other. Justinguitar.com is a teaching site run by, as you might guess, a guitarist named Justin. It has lots of exercises and videos. It’s not a teacher, but it’s a whole lot better than nothing.

The hard thing will be to get them to learn to sight-read. This is much more important than learning to play. Any idiot can learn to play songs by memorizing them. Ask me how I know. A real musician can read music, and he must also understand theory. A singer who can sight-sing and who understands theory is a better musician than an untrained pianist who plays extremely well.

Math, languages, and music. You have to learn while you’re young. After you’re seven or eight years old, your aptitude drops off, and as far as I know, you can’t get it back.

It’s hard to tell when you’ve scored a point with her kids. Other kids get excited. Hers just sit and think, and sometimes they want to know how soon you’ll be finished so they can do something else. She says it’s working, though.

Sooner or later, if they want to get anywhere with music, they’ll have to find people they can play with.

The robot is interesting to me because the concept doesn’t have to be limited to a tiny machine. The stuff that tells it what to do could be installed on a robot the size of a building. I could yank the guts out of it, find a way to make it run bigger steppers, and make a robot big enough to run around the yard. Jam a lithium battery in there, and it could run for an hour. Not sure what accessories I could add to it to make it useful. Anyway, it doesn’t have to be a small toy. Could it ever be useful for anything? That’s a hard question. I would have to come up with a function for it.

I wish I could make it paint the fence or kill squirrels.

Now that the major crises of moving are abating, I feel like I’m getting my life back. I had time to work on the robot. I’m anxious to get my machine tools up here. Next year, life should be less hectic, and I should be able to get more done. Maybe I’ll be able to make some knives. Right now I can’t run my big grinder without a gas generator and an adaptor (which I don’t have), so knife-making is not possible.

I’m giving up on tree removal. The trees that cause problems will be moved. The rest will be ignored until it’s convenient to do something. It’s just too much work. Surrendering will give me more free time.

Guess I’ll go check out robot accessories. If I can find one a kid could use to drive his brothers nuts, I think it will be a hit.

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No Wait Time and Zero Copayment

November 24th, 2017

My Doctor is Better Than Yours

I have a new testimony. I guess no one will be surprised to read that.

I got some neat healings after moving to Ocala. I burned myself twice, and twice I attacked the problems supernaturally. In both cases, the blisters went away and didn’t come back. I can’t tell you how happy I was. What’s worse than a painful burn on a finger? Every time you do anything, you apply pressure to it, and pain shoots through you. I was spared that.

Last week I injured myself in a brand new way. I always make fun of the warnings on Q-Tip boxes, because Q-Tips are useless if you can’t stick them in your ears. And what kind of idiot hurts himself by shoving a Q-Tip in too far? That was what I asked myself. Now I know the answer. I poked myself in the left ear, and it started to bleed. I had to remove dried blood from my ear canal.

Over the next few days, I started feeling more pain, not less. And I continued finding blood in my ear.

Last night, I woke up, and there was pain in my ear and my left jaw. It was pretty bad. Like a serious earache. I was not happy. I wondered if I was going to have to go to the doctor with a problem caused by ineptitude. And what if the Q-Tip wasn’t the problem? What if I had a giant tumor or something in there, and the Q-Tip simply brought it to light?

Of course, I thought of the burns, and I got to work, after taking some ibuprofen. I asked God to heal me, and over and over, I thanked him in the name of Jesus and gave him the glory, saying I was healed.

I would say I kept doing this for an hour. I had nothing else to do. Then I fell asleep. The pain had abated considerably. Was it the ibuprofen? I didn’t know. Generally, I have found that OTC painkillers don’t do a whole lot. Aspirin is completely useless, and comparing ibuprofen to opioid painkillers that actually work is like comparing a cup of tea to two lines of cocaine.

The best thing about this approach is that when I do it, I start to feel God’s presence, and I am able to remain in it. That’s better than the healing. God’s presence is beautiful, and besides, it brings you authority as well as peace.

In the morning, I had almost no pain at all. I can find the pain if I look for it and move my jaw the right (i.e. wrong) way, but most of the time, it’s not there. I still have some congestion in the ear, but I don’t need a doctor any more. I plan to sit down from time to time and have more sessions with God to complete the healing.

Many of us believe in healing but wrongly assume that if it isn’t instantaneous, it’s not coming. That’s not correct. Even Jesus took several tries to heal a man. Healing may be instantaneous, but it can also be a process, like toasting a piece of bread. You don’t pull your toast out after ten seconds and claim the toaster doesn’t work.

Here’s another thing to think about. When you get natural healing, you don’t expect it to be instantaneous. No one takes an antibiotic and then complains because he’s still sick five minutes later. When a doctor puts a new hip joint in you, you don’t get up off the table and try to dance. God took a week to create the world, and when he ended the drought for Elijah, the miracle started with one tiny cloud, but we expect him to heal us in the blink of an eye.

I hate going to doctors, because I love God’s healing. When a doctor fixes you, God gets no glory, and it does nothing to help you grow spiritually. Also, doctors charge a lot, they do procedures which are painful and humiliating, they make a lot of mistakes, and they can only fix a small percentage of our problems. When they do fix us, much of the time, the fixes are limited, temporary, or accompanied by new problems.

My sister got lung cancer. She was treated with radiation and chemotherapy. The cancer went into remission, but now her brain is fried. She has a head start on dementia. Personally, I would have chosen death. Set me up in a comfy bed, give me Dilaudid on demand, and come get me when I stop breathing. My aunt also lost her mind from cancer treatment. A radiation technician burned my mother’s esophagus so badly she starved. My dad’s dementia may have been caused by his atrial fibrillation and/or blood pressure medications, and you don’t want to know what he went through after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Bobby Riggs got prostate cancer. His doctors castrated him, and he died anyway. That’s what I call defeat. Pain, impotence, incontinence, death…and public humiliation.

I could sit here and list medical failures all day, but God’s healing never fails. He heals correctly, without side effects. He doesn’t make you take insulin every day for the rest of your life. He doesn’t make you sit down for dialysis several times a week. He doesn’t make you take poisonous drugs to keep you from rejecting your new heart.

Medical science is a lot better than nothing, but it can’t come close to the success of the real thing. I prefer to stay away from doctors unless I have no choice. God’s healing is something we should be pursuing, but most people don’t believe it exists, and most of the people who do believe do it wrong, so we’re discouraged. We don’t try very hard to get it.

I can’t promise you my ear problem won’t flare up and send me to the ER, but I got a healing last night, so I’m reporting it. I have no reason to doubt that I will continue to receive healing. I’ll be honest if I have to get treatment.

The last time I got burned and healed, I was worried that I might have to come here and retract my testimony, but it didn’t happen.

I believe the approach I took works for everything, not just healing. I’m trying to use it to get things that are more important. I have been asking God to increase my love and faith. These are things that would be highly useful to me. More useful than a healed blister. I feel that I should ask for things that will build my roots, not just my leaves. If the roots are strong, the leaves and fruit will take care of themselves. When you ask God for a car or an acquittal or some other superficial benefit, you don’t address the foundational issues that put you in a position where you had problems in the superficial realm. Why were you poor to begin with? Why were you on trial? The more screwed up your roots are, the more problems you will have.

God approved of Solomon because Solomon asked him for wisdom, not money or power. Wisdom is better than money or power. Similarly, love and faith are better than many of the other things I want. If I have love and faith, my life will go better, and I will fall into fewer traps and dilemmas.

I remember the comedian Marsha Warfield describing her main activity in church as “asking for stuff.” She was right on the money. “Give me this. Give me that.” We should be asking for inner change first.

I will keep you informed about my ear problem. I hope what I wrote will help you get God’s power flowing in you.


Conched Out

November 23rd, 2017

Turkey Vanquished; Lit. Hum. Defeated

Thanksgiving dinner has come and gone. Could have been worse. My friend Amanda came by with her kids, and we shared the load. The turkey came out great, and Amanda supplied pies.

I nearly got a hall pass this year. This morning, a huge blob of thunderstorms went through my area, and I lost electricity. You don’t want to be without power on Thanksgiving morning. I couldn’t cook, bathe, or even wash my hands. Possible down side: highly screwed-up Thanksgiving for two families. Possible up side: no cooking.

The juice returned after maybe 90 minutes, leaving me still obligated yet behind schedule. I did the best I could, and we ended up eating later than I had hoped.

I learned something new this year. Cracker Barrel stays open on Thanksgiving. I called them, told them my power was out, and asked if they were open. The lady told me to come on down and not to worry. I love the people here. She really felt bad about my power outage.

While I waited for the power to come back on, I killed time reading the last of Lord of the Flies. This is the last book on my version of the Columbia College Literature Humanties reading list. I have finally done all the reading. I should look my old professor up and tell him. I really annoyed him. If I went to his office today and told him I had finished my reading, he would probably punch me in the face. He would still remember me; the king of wasted potential.

My conclusion, after putting myself through this ordeal: books that were great for their time are not always great books. Some are very bad. Crime and Punishment comes to mind. Also, Columbia College includes a number of overrated writers in their curriculum for the sake of political correctness, and they don’t mind sacrificing their students’ time or their students’ parents’ money on the altar of diversity.

When you consider what Columbia charges parents, the only reasonable position to take is that every single word a student reads should be important. Jamming Alice Walker down someone’s throat in a course that costs $4000 should be illegal.

Academics are quite possibly the single most likely group to see the emperor’s clothes when they’re not there. Academics are herd creatures, and they are incapable of independent thought. If an academic thinks other academics think Virginia Woolf’s wretched, inept To the Lighthouse is a great book, that academic is certain to agree. Students are forced to read a lot of overrated crap, simply because college professors are incapable of dissent.

It makes sense that professors are afraid to have dissenting opinions. Generally, they are mediocre intellects. They are fungible. Fire one, and you can find a dozen to replace him the next day. When your product is a commodity, not a franchise, you have to be very careful not to make anyone mad, because you are expendable. On the other hand, if, say, a top-flight professional athlete feels like saying what’s on his mind, people will put up with it, because such athletes are hard to replace.

When I was at Columbia, a baseball player named Chris got the idea that someone was after his ex-girlfriend, Carolyn. Chris was maybe 6’5″ tall. Strong guy. He walked up behind the other man, who was much smaller and wearing glasses, and he attacked from the rear, giving him a severe beating. Nothing of significance happened to Chris. He was hard to replace. If a random history professor had done that, he would have been fired.

Carolyn was a babe, incidentally. Really beautiful. She took me aside at a party one night and started talking to me. Good thing I had no game whatsoever, or I could have ended up with a concussion.

I just Googled her, out of curiosity. She died suddenly in 2010. Sad.

Not really interested in what happened to Chris. I hope the guy he beat doesn’t have dementia from it.

Some of the Lit. Hum. books I read were bad, yet important historically or advanced for their times. Virginia Woolf was just bad. For any era. Awful.

Vogon-poetry awful.

I’m glad I did the reading. I learned a few things. I got a clearer understanding of the development of western literature and culture. Nonetheless, I suffered considerably.

As for Lord of the Flies, I read it in a few days, whereas other Lit. Hum. books took weeks. The reason is this: it wasn’t as painful to read. It had a plot. It had action. The characters, though shallow and unappealing, had distinct personalities. Some did, anyway. It was nice to get into a book without dreading the battle to get back out.

If you haven’t read the book, stop reading, because there will be spoilers.

I’ll tell you how the book goes. There is a war. We are told almost nothing about it. A bunch of kids are put on a plane. The point seems to be to get them out of danger, but it’s not very clear. The plane crashes on a tropical island, and the adults on the plane die. The kids have to fend for themselves. They end up electing a leader. A violent rival takes the kids away from him. The rival’s new gang murders two kids and tries to kill a third (the first leader), but before they can get him, a boat shows up, and the kids are rescued by the British navy. Suddenly the scary gang that tried to kill the former leader looks like what it is: a bunch of little kids with pointed sticks.

The book has weaknesses. For one thing, Golding can’t describe anything. If he tried to describe a square cardboard box to you, you might think he was talking about a crystal chandelier. He tries to describe the island and other things, but you never get a clear idea what any of it looks like. You have to give up and not worry about it. You can’t even tell how many boys there are. Also, the characters are very thinly drawn. They don’t have interesting characteristics that make them stand out from each other.

Golding tried to describe coconuts, and he said they looked like skulls. The only coconuts that look like skulls are husked coconuts. With the husks still on, as they would be found on an uninhabited island, they look nothing like skulls. It’s like Golding only saw coconuts on Gilligan’s Island, where they fell pre-husked.

Like most Lit. Hum. books, Lord of the Flies does not contain a single laugh. I’m not sure how anyone can write two hundred pages without saying anything funny or clever, but Homer did it, Virgil did it, Woolf did it, Dostoevsky did it…it’s remarkable, how many Lit. Hum. authors were not even slightly witty or inclined to humor. It’s like they shared a bizarre mental illness.

Cervantes made jokes, but they were cruel and stupid. Here’s the kind of thing Cervantes would have found amusing: a man tries to hit his servant in the face with a club, but he misses, falls, and knocks all of his front teeth out on a fence post.

Lord of the Flies has a plot, which is a nice thing for a book to have, but it’s not intricate, original, or clever. There are no brilliant twists or turns. Kids get marooned. Kids form violent factions. Kids kill other kids. Kids are rescued. I don’t think the plot is what makes the book.

One important character is a dead person. I’m referring to the Beast. Some of the kids think there is a big, hairy creature on the island, and that it may eventually kill them. They make expeditions to find it and kill it. Meanwhile, an aerial battle takes place above the island. A man parachutes out of a plane. His dead body lands on a mountain in a sitting position, with his parachute still attached. When the wind blows, he raises his head as though he’s looking at people. One of the kids sees him one night, and he decides he’s the Beast.

To flesh out the character of the Beast, a kid named Simon has a psychotic episode. A boy named Jack leads a group that kills a pig, and they leave the pig’s head on a stick as a sacrifice to the Beast. Simon looks at the head one day, and it starts speaking to him, saying it’s the Beast and that he’s not wanted on the island. Simon is the first boy the gang murders.

The Beast device taps into some pretty weird, primal notions, or at least it seems that way to me, a religious nut.

The Bible tells us a Christ-hating upstart called the Beast will rise up to try to take God’s place. Most eschatologists think the Beast will be a ruler; a man. My own suspicion is that the Beast is just the spirit that rules the carnal masses. Beasts are ruled by their flesh. Destructive, ignorant people are ruled by their flesh. The word “carnal” means “ruled by the flesh.” Maybe there will be a single man who personifies the Beast, but I think the Beast will be the masses. Think Antifa. Think BLM. Think Pol Pot.

In Lord of the Rings, a boy with common sense tries to lead the group. His name is Ralph. He’s a builder. He gets himself elected chief. He tries to make rules. He tries to make the kids keep a signal fire going. His enemy is Jack, and Jack is neither a builder nor a thinker. He’s a looter and destroyer. Jack leads a troop called the hunters. They kill pigs for everyone to eat. Jack is too dumb to think about signal fires. He is a populist. He appeals to the basest drives of his friends. He tells them they’ll hunt all day and “have fun.” He offers to do away with rules.

Ralph’s consiglieri is a fat kid nicknamed Piggy. In a violent book about kids, you don’t have to be told what will happen to Piggy. Piggy is very smart, and he gives excellent advice, but he is prime bully bait, so he can never be the chief. Piggy can barely see. He wears glasses. Jack attacks him, breaking one lens of his glasses, leaving Piggy half blind. Later in the book, he takes the glasses with the remaining lens, leaving Piggy to be led around like Homer.

Piggy is like a prophet. In the Bible, prophets were sighted, but in other traditions, they had vision problems. Tiresias was blind. The cyclopes gave up binocular vision for limited clairvoyance; they were able to see their own deaths. I’m too lazy to look up other blind prophets.

Like a prophet, Piggy sees the truth, and he is attacked and eventually killed for it. Weird.

The dead aviator is a good choice for the image of the Beast, because he’s all flesh, with the mind and spirit gone. He rots. Carnal people rot, figuratively. It takes effort and gumption to make people rise above hogs and monkeys, just as it takes energy for the body of a living person to fight off disease and decomposition. What do you see when you look at Antifa and BLM? Rot. Human beings acting like animals. New generations becoming less intelligent and less powerful than their predecessors.

The aviator has no power of his own. He moves, literally, with the wind. A beastly (carnal) leader is like that. They don’t really lead. They follow. The voice of the crowd blows them this way and that. Remember Obama? Interesting.

The word “spirit” literally means “breath,” which is a type of wind. We live because the breath of God is in us. The Beast of the Apocalypse will have the spirit of Satan in him, animating and empowering him like a wind in a parachute.

Simon is killed by Jack’s mob as he tries to tell them the Beast is a dead body. They don’t pay attention to anything he says. They’re in the grip of a bizarre, tribal bloodlust, like backward natives jumping up and down in Africa. After they kill him, a wind fills the aviator’s chute, lifts him off the mountain, and drags him over the site where Simon is killed. The aviator then plunges into the sea.

In the Bible, seas symbolize masses of beings. More specifically, they symbolize their combined voices. When a lot of people speak against you, it’s like sinking into a sea. When Peter looked only at Jesus, he was raised above the sea, and it became the platform that supported him. God promised Jesus he would make his enemies his footstool. When Peter stood on the sea, it was a picture of God’s children resting their feet on hostile humanity.

A leader who rose from a sea of carnal voices deserves to sink into a sea. Isn’t that Satan’s future? When he is exposed as a powerless manipulator, the beings he fooled will want some payback, and presumably, he will sink into their midst and be tormented without mercy.

The boys’ adventure made me think about fatherlessness. This is a fatherless world, because we reject the Father and his messengers. Wisdom and knowledge are treasures, and we are supposed to pass them on to new generations, but we reject God, throwing these treasures away. As a result, every generation has to start from scratch, and we never reach the heights we were designed for. The boys in the book had no fathers. They were alone. One adult could have provided them sufficient wisdom to bring them order and peace, but lacking an adult, they listened to Jack instead. They were like modern Americans. We don’t know God, so we listen to doomed imbeciles like Kanye West and the Kardashians. With every generation, we get weaker, not stronger.

When the naval officer showed up at the end of the book, he was like Jesus, returning to order the world. When he showed up, with true authority on his side, Jack suddenly looked very small and powerless. His power instantly vanished, and Ralph’s power reappeared. The Bible says people will marvel when Satan, who scared us so much, is revealed. We will be amazed at how puny he is.

I found these ideas interesting as I read the book. Lord of the Flies was the only Lit. Hum. book that stirred me on a spiritual level. It wasn’t illuminating, but it made me think about things I already believed.

My guess is that William Golding never considered any of these things. I would also guess that my take on the book is nothing like the interpretation promoted by the sheep of academia.

It was pleasant to read a book that wasn’t excruciatingly tedious and which gave me things to think about.

Should I go ahead and read the books on Columbia’s Contemporary Civilization list? I don’t know. They’re horrible. Hobbes. Locke. Macchiavelli. Plato. Yech. Besides, I probably did the reading for that course when I was at Columbia.

I never did Art Humanities (another core course). I believe I started and then dropped it. I don’t know how I would go about recreating that course on my own. It wasn’t just readings. There were a ton of slides. I love slide courses. Sit around in the dark, look at slides, write some BS on the exam, and get at least a B.

If I decide to do any more studying, you will read about it here, if you can stand it.

Hope I didn’t spoil the book for you, but if I did, it’s your own fault, because I warned you.

Happy Thanksgiving. Don’t mention Christmas to me.


Web Logs

November 22nd, 2017

Plus Fascinating Shoe Information

Today is a busy day for me, so I am procrastinating. I should be out buying an upholstery needle and a spare folding table, but instead I will tell you about the stump I cut yesterday.

The huge oak that fell on my chicken house is long gone, but the stump lingered until yesterday. It was intimidating. I didn’t think my tractor could pick it up, and it was thicker than my 20″ chainsaw is long. Also, it was down on the ground were cutting it would be difficult. Yesterday I decided to give it a shot.

I had to cut from both sides, and cutting from the bottom was not possible, so there was no way to fix it so it would not split at the bottom. I cut for around 10 minutes, and finally, the free part dropped.

I took my handy-dandy timberjack, and with a lot of effort, I managed to start the log moving away from the rest of the stump. This is when I discovered the split. The log had split at the bottom, and there was still a strap of wood attaching it to the stump. I opened the kerf up so I could get at the strap, and I cut it with the tip of the saw.

Once the log was free, I moved it a couple of feet so the tractor forks could get at it, and I put the tines on the ground beside it. I used the timberjack to roll it onto the forks. Not easy, which told me the log was really heavy.

When I got it onto the forks, I hopped on the tractor and cranked the tines upward. The log moved, much to my relief. It rolled back toward the tractor. I then lifted the forks, and the log was free of the ground.

It’s a big relief to know I can move things this heavy, because I have a lot of them.

I took the tractor down to the gate by the highway, and I drove through the gate. Cars were whizzing by at maybe 70. I had planned to drive down the right-of-way and dump the log maybe 50 yards from the gate, but I would have been driving into traffic, and it made me nervous. There isn’t a lot of traffic here, but I picked the busiest time of the day, and such traffic as we have really moves.

I settled for dumping the log by the driveway. In the photo, it’s at the base of the pile by the road.

The county has given people until November 27 to get everything to the side of the road. It’s not looking good. Let me rephrase: it’s impossible. But I can move a few really annoying things into their lap, and it will be worth the effort.

When I was done, I tried something crazy. I put the front end loader down on the dirt above the stump, and I pushed. The stump rocked back. That surprised me. I was trying to rock it back into its hole. I didn’t succeed, but I made a big difference.

Now that I have put in some hours in two different pairs of work boots, I have drawn a conclusion. I like Danners better than Keens. My Keens give great protection, and unlike the Danners, they came with toe caps that prevent cuts to the leather, but the factory insoles are like concrete. They felt better when I bought them, but I suppose I have compacted them. I looked into aftermarket insoles, but Keen’s site says the Braddock boot is not compatible with them. I don’t know how that can be true. Keen makes insoles, though. I sent Keen a message asking whether their own insoles would work.

I am sorely tempted to get a shorter version of the Danners I bought. These boots are wonderful. The toes are vulnerable to cuts, but I solved the problem by applying KG Toe Guard to them. The Danners are selling for a little over a hundred bucks right now, which is crazy. Maybe the toe issue offended other consumers, and Danner is trying to unload the boots and discontinue them.

My Keens are American. My Danners are from somewhere else. Wild guess: China. People say to avoid foreign Danners, but my experience with them has been great, and at a hundred bucks, it’s hard to go wrong. If they last half as long, so what? They cost half as much.

When I’m rolling heavy logs, I’m very grateful for safety toes. Yesterday I imagined that severed stump rolling back on my toe. It weighs hundreds of pounds. It would not have done my toes any good. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it would have pressed my foot into the ground and then broken my leg.

Logging is not for the stupid. You have to think of all the physical possibilities in advance. Otherwise, you learn about them on the fly, very suddenly.

Wood seems to rot very quickly here. Maybe my problems aren’t as bad as they seem. Maybe my fallen trees will disappear in a couple of years if I get them on the ground and kill them with diesel. When I visited this place in the summer, there was a fallen log that looked fairly solid, and it’s disintegrating now.

I have to order some blackberry briars, and I have to make some decisions about new hedges. The sellers installed maybe six different kinds of hedge. Too busy. I need one bulletproof hedge species. A number of the existing hedges are looking crappy; I suppose hedge plants don’t last forever. It’s time to remove a section and plant something new. I figure I can do this about four times a year, and by next winter, the house will look a lot better.

The sellers put some truly worthless plants by the workshop. The shop has a porch with pillars, and each pillar has its own disappointing ornamental plant. I think I should do blackberries on each end and leave the middle pillar alone. Or maybe it would be best to do some kind of ground cover all the way across.

Blueberries do very well here, so I’ll need those, too. I can also grow kiwifruit and raspberries.

If you want ten or twenty tons of free firewood, and you want to cut it yourself, let me know. I’m the guy to see. Otherwise, I’ll just sit here and root for the termites.


Happy Obligatory Fall Meal with People who are not Your First Choices

November 21st, 2017

Hurry up, Friday

Thanksgiving is nearly here.

Yay. Whee.

My attitude toward holiday cooking is not good at all. I rarely cook these days. If you don’t count the soup I make and freeze in portions for breakfast, I have cooked less than once a week for quite some time, and when I do cook, it’s usually for myself. I quit cooking for my dad. The work was just too much.

I used to cook for everyone I knew. Eventually, I got tired of it. Guests wore me out. They didn’t help much with shopping or cooking. Some guests showed up late or not at all. Some left early, as soon as they were full. Very few helped clean up. And how often did they invite me over for food? Not very.

One day, I heard the obvious notion rattling around in my mind: it is not normal for a single man to bust his hump cooking for 8 people in his own house. Entertaining is for married people. I quit cooking, except for rare occasions. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is mandatory, so I can’t get out of it. We could go to a restaurant, but that would be so depressing, it would be worse than cooking at home. If I were alone, I could skip it entirely and think nothing of it, but I’m not alone.

Thanksgiving is a major undertaking for one person. Even a modest meal takes two days to prepare, unless you serve instant mashed potatoes and a canned ham. You have to do a lot of shopping. You have to store the food for several days before you prepare it. Then you have to clean the house and set the table, and afterward, you have to clean the kitchen and table area. It’s a nightmare.

If you’re married, you can divide tasks with the wife. If you have kids, you may be able to enslave them to some degree. If you have a big family, you may have parents, sisters, and brothers who will help. My mother is dead. My grandparents are all dead. My relatives in Kentucky don’t invite me or my dad to holiday meals. I don’t know if they’re afraid my sister will show up, or if they have some mysterious problem with me. My sister made them suffer a lot, but I have always dealt honestly with them.

Meals with my dad are not that great. His table manners are a problem. You have to look at your plate while you eat unless you want to see what he’s chewing. He stuffs himself, which is off-putting. You have to watch him to keep him from putting his fork or his dirty hands in common dishes, rendering them offensive to everyone else. He spills food on himself. He says, “lotta food,” maybe five times per meal. Because of dementia, he asks the same questions over and over, trying to start a conversation. If I bring up a better topic, he is likely to dismiss it immediately, as if I were stupid to bring it up. He gets upset because we don’t talk, but he makes it very difficult.

He likes to nag me about getting married and giving him grandchildren. He tells me how old I am. Sometimes he starts reminiscing about old times, which is very disturbing. I forgive him for the negative contributions he made to my childhood, and I never bring them up, but I won’t sit still while he talks about how happy I was. I correct him. I say things like, “My childhood was horrible, and I hate talking about it. Every day I thank God I’m an adult.” Then he gets angry with me.

When he’s done eating, there is food spilled on the table and floor, and I have to take care of it. And he likes to put spit on his finger and rub tables and counters with it, to remove smudges and so on. Often, the smudges are really flecks in the granite. He thinks they’re bits of food. He leaves a film of dried spit on things, and I have to go behind him with counter cleaner and alcohol.

His manners upset guests. They work together with me to contain the damage. “You don’t have to serve yourself; let me get that for you. Move so I can wipe that up. Let me get you more napkins.”

Thanksgiving should be a time to relax and enjoy life with people whose company you enjoy, but to me, it’s a huge chore I can’t wait to get behind me.

Another problem: the nice people next door invited us to eat with them. I had to weasel out of that. I don’t want to seem unfriendly (although I am), but I don’t like involving my dad in new relationships. When I’m with him, I’m uncomfortable and very restrained. I’m on duty, as a caretaker. My personality is muted. And he offends people. He told my friend Mike he looked like a fruit in his pink shirt, and he also looked over and announced, “You’re losing all your hair.” He said some troubling things to my friend Amanda when she cared for him over a weekend. It’s not a dementia thing, either. He was always like that.

My dad likes to talk about how serious I am, and he criticizes me for not talking. He says these things in front of people, and they probably believe it. If you come from a sick, dysfunctional family, it’s always best to minimize your family’s exposure to your friends and love interests. You need to be around people who will let you grow, not people who will try to keep you deformed and small.

He has made some effort to improve over the last few years, but dementia patients can’t alter their behavior all that well. He is stuck with his bad habits and flaws because he waited too long to admit they existed.

Amanda has no one to help her with Thanksgiving, so I invited her to come and bring her kids and her dysfunctional mom. We will take work off of each other, and both of us will benefit from the presence of a non-gaslighting, helpful adult. When Amanda’s mom puts her down, I’ll be around to remind Amanda how ridiculous and pathetic her mom’s perceptions are. If my dad empties his nose on the porch in front of everyone, Amanda will be there to step around the mucus and sympathize with me.

The presence of Amanda and her kids will make the ordeal considerably easier to bear, and it may be that my presence will cramp her mom’s style and put her on her best behavior.

When you look after a dementia patient, you have to limit your exposure. You can’t sit in the room with the patient all day, listening to them say the same things over and over. That’s especially true when the patient makes a point of saying annoying things which he knows are annoying, or when the patient keeps arguing about the same things, no matter how obvious it is that he’s wrong.

You can’t cruficy yourself because the patient isn’t entertained 24/7. You have to say, “Sometimes people plan their lives poorly, and when they do, a certain amount of suffering is unavoidable and just and not to be blamed on others.” It’s okay if a difficult patient experiences some boredom and loneliness. People who are not demented experience those things, and no one gets upset about it. It’s part of life. There is no law that says you’re entitled to constant entertainment simply because you’re demented.

I get bored occasionally. Sometimes, for a few minutes, I’m lonely. No one makes a federal case out of it. No one comes running to wipe my nose, and I’m fine. I know my dad would be happier if I sat beside him all day stepping and fetching and making balloon animals or whatever. I would be happier, too, if someone else gave up his or her life to keep me entertained and do my bidding. Doesn’t make it a good idea.

My approach is to ration the time I spend with my dad. I make sure we go out to eat three or four times a week. I check on him. I also make sure I have adequate time alone, to wind down. After bagging ten pounds of wet, reeking diapers and taking them to the dump, you really need time to wash carefully, sit down alone or with friends, and decompress. That’s especially true when the person who wears the diapers has broken through the Diaper Genie bag and has continued pushing filthy diapers into the Diaper Genie anyway.

You have to look after your parents when they need help, unless they’re absolutely unbearable. You don’t have to be a martyr or an enabler.

The stage of dementia my dad is in right now is said to last up to two years, and he is maybe six months into it. The next stage is much worse. Vascular dementia patients typically live about 5 years after they manifest symptoms, and things started going bad for him in about 2015. If my dad lives long enough, the following things will happen to him: we will get an attendant to come here and help him for a few hours a day, and then in the next stage, he will forget who I am and how to get dressed. He will have to go to a facility. At that point, he will have maybe two more years of life left. I want him to be happy while he’s here and reasonably lucid, but it won’t be long until I have to put other people in charge. At that point, I’ll have to get used to the fact that I have nearly no ability to provide him with company or amusement. I’ll have to trust strangers and be at peace with it.

I remember visiting his mother with him, after she moved to a nursing home. The whole place smelled like feces, even though it was clean. You can only do so much to reduce the smell of diapers. An old woman with a blank look on her face was using her feet to pull herself around in a wheelchair. She made unintelligible sounds. My dad leaned over and whispered, “If I ever have to go to a place like this, just kill me.”

I think about that sometimes. Unless he passes unexpectedly, he’s going to have to go to just such a place. Will he hate it as much as he thought? People’s desires and priorities change with their circumstances. No one is going to kill him, so he may have to face a move to a home. I shouldn’t assume too much; nurses and other healthcare providers kill people all the time to get them out of the way, so maybe one day when my back is turned, someone will play God.

The other day he asked me if he was losing his mind. He’s in denial almost all the time, so that surprised me. I didn’t say yes, which would have been true, but I was honest. I told him the condition he has gets worse, not better. I didn’t know what else to say. Pills are available, but his doctor recommended not using them, and he doesn’t want them.

Tomorrow I plan to bone the turkey and prepare cornbread for stuffing. I may cook yams so they’ll be ready to finish preparing on Thursday. I still don’t have a real dining table, so I need to get a second plastic folding table.

The food will be incredible, and Amanda and I will enjoy the kind of bonding friends from dysfunctional families are famous for. Hopefully her kids will be insulated from the holiday misery their father’s wretched behavior has the potential to cause. It will be at least seven years until he is allowed to see them again. That time needs to be dedicated to healing.

When the meal is done, I plan to make Amanda take as much of the leftovers as possible. My dad will complain, but Thanksgiving leftovers make for a big mess during the following week, and my dad tends to keep them until they are rotten. Also, they’re fattening.

If you are lucky enough to have quality Thanksgiving gatherings, enjoy them while you can. I enjoyed a lot of great holidays in Kentucky when I was a kid. I’m glad I have those times to remember. In the meantime, I will grit my teeth and deal with this obligation.


PBS Enters the Groping Wars

November 20th, 2017

Plus Retro Joy

It looks like Charlie Rose is all done. A Drudge-linked story says he is accused of serial groping.

I was reading about it and Googling around, and somehow I landed on Charles Kuralt. Remember him? He was a CBS reporter who got tired of covering hard news. He got the network to give him an RV, and he drove around America’s back roads for decades, doing human interest stories.

Charles Kuralt, who died before he could be accused of fondling anyone, is a lot more interesting than Charlie Rose. I’m glad I got sidetracked.

As soon as I started reading about Kuralt, I asked the obvious question: are there DVD’s? Yes, there are. There are at least three DVD compendiums of “On the Road” segments.

I am considering buying a set, but I’m afraid to. I’m afraid it will make me too sad to live. Also, I feel like if I watch Kuralt zip through the decades, as soon as I finish, the world will come to an end. Somehow I feel that the earth will plunge instantly into violence and chaos, demons will be set free on every continent, the clouds will part, and Charles Kuralt and Charles Schulz will appear in the heavens, beckoning me upward out of this tiresome mess.

Kuralt was a class act. Makes me wish I had an RV.