Winter Sunshine

Winter has a reputation for being gloomy. Folks complain about it and long for spring. What they may overlook, though, is the fact that one may leave his window shades open. In the summer, that heat really fights the air conditioning. Now, though, I can throw them all wide open with abandon.

Sunshine in the fall


The Dream of Ordered Liberty

Tonight I attended a speech by Darrell Castle, who is the vice-presidential candidate of the Constitution Party. Their platform is something I can endorse almost completely; but since John McCain has my state, Tennessee, firmly in hand, our electoral votes will go to him no matter who votes for Mr. Castle and Mr. Baldwin, who heads the ticket.

Mr. Castle said at one point that one has to be president to effect any change in the nation’s suicidal policies. That gives rise to the obvious question, “Since your party cannot win the presidency, of what value is this meeting?” But that idea never came up. Mr. Castle is above sixty years of age, is tired from campaigning across the country, and shows about as much dynamism as does any other elderly guy.

I’ve seen a lot of similar scenes in the past twenty five years. “Ordered liberty” is a noble dream, a dream of a just and humane society where people are allowed to live their lives in whatever way they choose, so long as it is peaceful and they fulfil their legal obligations. Government’s job is to protect such peaceful people from force or fraud, and to handle matters of public safety, health, order, and morals. People talk about it, but talk is all they do. A goal without a plan is a dream.

There are many conservative organizations in existence and they differ from one another regarding details. What most of them lack is a game plan. Does the Constitution Party really intend to do anything, or just run for president and talk?


University Religion Teachers

Someone gave me a recording of a lecture from Princeton University. The speaker has nearly as much education as I, along with the distinction of having published papers and books and having received various awards and grants. Most noteworthy of all, he was hired by Princeton, so the guy ought to know his stuff.

He doesn’t.

Oh, he knows a lot, I suppose, but he doesn’t know that he’s as blind as a bat in a tanning salon. He’s lecturing, ostensibly, on the Apostle Paul, but he totally misses Paul’s point again and again and again. One example: he claims that Paul addressed the sex lives of the Corinthians because he wanted this new religion of his to have a different reputation than the Dionysian cults it competed with. It never seems to have occurred to Dr. Bat that maybe Paul condemned fornication because it is wrong.  And this is but one example among dozens.  No neophyte could ever listen to these lectures and actually learn what Paul taught.

Dr. Bat went on to say that the letter to the Colossians was spurious. (Against all of the English speaking world, he chooses to pronounce it “koe-loe-shee-ans.” I’m so impressed!) This kind of presumption is called “New Testament Criticism” or, as we said in seminary, “N. T. Crit.” It has all the orderliness of a group of flies buzzing against a window: they all make similar noises, but they never agree and they all constantly change their position for no real reason. “This is genuine, this is spurious, this paragraph is an interpolation, this was poorly redacted . . .” N. T. Crit is about as reliable as someone who tells the future by examining bird guts.

I was at a meeting of such scholars once. They never could get a discussion going about Paul’s writings because they bogged down in the debate over which writings were Paul’s and which were forgeries.

Your tax dollars at work, mind you.

Why do Christian parents send their kids to such schools?


Off to Texas

Times are tough in the East Texas Timber Belt these days, so I’m going down to see what trouble I can get into amongst the hurricane victims–specifically, my uncle & aunt, who were old enough to retire back when my adult children were babies. Call them lazy if you must, but it’s hard to run a chain saw with one hand when you’re holding onto a walker with the other.

Not that they wouldn’t try. These country people from the World War II era just don’t know how to quit. But maybe I can do a little work and pick a little banjo and brighten up the disaster just a bit.


Obama’s “Pig” Remark

The double entendre is a well-known and easily-detected literary device, as old as language itself. The speaker may claim that he was talking about referent A, but “everyone” knows he was intending B. That’s why Obama’s audience laughed uproariously when he referred to Sarah Palin as a pig.

He denies the double entendre, exactly like any other liar would, but it is sickening to watch him and his sycophants pretend that they expect us to actually believe him. Any gullible readers who disagree with me should consider these examples:

If McCain were to tell a joke about a monkey who wanted to be king, and his audience laughed uproariously, would anybody doubt that he was making a veiled reference to Obama?

If McCain made it a point in every speech to refer to the Democrat party as niggardly, and the crowd laughed uproariously on cue, would anybody doubt that he was making a pun on the word “nigger”?

Obama stinks; not because his best attack against his opponent is to call Governor Palin a pig with lipstick, but because he insults us all by denying with a straight face that he did it. A politician needs to be a good liar–someone you can believe in, like Bill Clinton. Obama just isn’t up to the job.


I Was Born on My Birthday in My Home Town

It’s my birthday!

What a beautiful morning! It’s almost cold out there. There are some clouds, which is making the sunrise very colorful. Most of all, I’m still alive. It’s going to be a good day.

Yesterday I worked straight through until 11:00 PM. That was not fun. Old people are supposed to be sitting in rocking chairs and watching Fred Astaire movies at that time of night.

But the plumbing business rolls on whether I like it or not. I had to rise at 5:30 because I have to get to Home Depot to buy stuff so that I can get to a construction job and get some things ready for inspection and then be able to get to another construction job and try to get it where it needs to be.

Additionally, it has become my privilege to handle the entire music ministry of my church upon the retirement of our previous director of thirty eight years, Mike Mahan. We’re seeking a full time replacement, but we haven’t found that man yet. This definitely cuts into my banjo practice.

I’d love to chat, but I’m already running late.


Memorial Day Salute

Tomorrow’s holiday grew out of the practice which country folk called “Decoration Day,” where they’d go to the cemetary, decorate the graves of loved ones, and honor their memories. That practice still goes on, but Memorial Day grew to a national observance honoring dead military veterans. Naturally, you can’t honor the dead and ignore the living, so they’re a major part of the affair.

They’re also some of the most dedicated participants — not for their own sakes, but because they served alongside those whose bodies now lie in the cemetary. What makes a man throw himself on a live grenade in order to save his buddies? There’s an inexplicable bond of brotherhood among those who face death shoulder to shoulder.

Twice before in this blog I have provided this link to a beautiful slideshow honoring those who serve in the military.


The Economic Stimulus Package

I am anxiously awaiting my check from Uncle Sam so that I can sign it and send it back to him, thus reducing my taxes for next April 15th.

My economy doesn’t need stimulating. I already go through money like a paper shredder. There is an endless line of payees waiting for me to fork over some dough as soon as I can earn it.

Why is the govenment passing out checks? This is just a big, big version of “walking around money,” where a candidate’s henchmen would go around buying votes at election time.

Is this supposed to help the economy? It reminds me of two images:

(1) One is that of a storekeeper who goes out on the sidewalk and passes out money in hopes that some of the recipients will go into his store and spend it there, thus helping his business.

(2) The other is of a man who dips water out of the deep end of a swimming pool and pours it into the shallow end, and then wonders why the shallow end doesn’t get any deeper.

In other words, it’s our money already. The gummint doesn’t have any money to pass out. Either they take it from us first, or they borrow it and give it to us and we have to pay them back later in taxes.

(Edited on May 11th to add: I see that Walter Williams made nearly the same observations in a recent article. Apparently he and I heard the “swimming pool” image from the same source.)


Who Is Living off of Whom?

Recently I was at my older son’s house and commended him for how nicely he had trimmed his bushes. Then I pointed out a pet peeve of mine and suggested that he do something to keep the rose bush from encroaching upon the sidewalk where people approach his front door.

It’s something I’ve observed for all of my adult years, at least. We plant bushes or trees so that they will please us. Then we let them take over so that we have to yield to them.

I see it in pet ownership, too. The animal is supposed to serve the owner, but the owner allows it to make him (and me) miserable.

When the Clampetts mistakenly got the message that all of their money was gone, they thought they must have been spending it too freely, so they began tightening the belt every way they could. In one scene, Elly Mae comes into the kitchen with a possum on her shoulder, saying that she needed some feed for her critters. Granny exclaims “That’s the problem right there: back home, we was livin’ off the possums; now the possums is livin’ off of us!”

Some people, such as animal hoarders, are just sick and psychologically twisted, and they are beyond helping themselves. For the rest of us, though, there is an ongoing need for clear thought as to who is supposed to be living off of whom.


Obama Is Outraged?

Q: How can you tell when a politician is lying?

A: Check to see if his lips are moving.

Okay, it’s an old joke and you’ve already heard it, but I just can’t resist. Today Obama claims he is outraged by his pastor’s worldview, and he carefully and thoroughly explains how he could have this dude as a pastor for twenty years and only just now realize the problems with him.

Obama is obviously sincere and obviously outraged and obviously just like you and me, so let’s just forget about Pastor Jeremiah Wright and vote for Obama.

Sorry, Barry; no dice. If it takes you twenty years and three press conferences to figure out that your pastor is a white-America-hating Marxist, you’re just too stupid to be the Democrat nominee.

In fact, however, Barry isn’t stupid at all. He’s very bright, and he’s a politician.