"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Views From The Road

Believe it or not, I am enjoying some down time at the home base in Atlanta.

Turns out that my host's computer reads the card from my digital camera just fine, so I get to share with you some pictures from the road.

This first pic is of a roadrunner that walked by the passenger side window of the rig.  This is just a short distance from the industrial park in Laredo.  Roadrunners are about the size of a raven, which I wasn't really expecting.  They seem to forage all their food from the ground, hence the name.  I didn't get any pictures of them, but the cowbirds in Texas are prolific and they are pretty much a scavenger similar to seagulls.

My temporary teammate and I went to Laredo, TX.  It was my second trip there in six days. This time we had loaded some aluminum sheeting product from Fairmont, WV, and on the way there from Cumberland, MD we ran into the leading edge of that snow storm that caused all the power outages in Connecticut.

I took this pic sitting on the top rack (bunk) in the sleeper cab of the tractor.  My partner is driving.  We are headed south on I-35. This is a company truck that has been abused by some previous drivers.  It's a 2001 model Freightliner Colombia.  Notice the lovely color matching duct tape on the edge of the dash.  Not knowing how long I would be in this rig, I duct taped the mounting base for my Garmin Nuvi 465T on the dash.

I didn't see it as it was passing us, so I don't know exactly which model tank or armored artillery piece this is.  Maybe somebody out there knows?  We were almost to Little Rock, AR when I saw this.

We parked out at the farthest corner of the truck lot at Flying J, just north of Laredo, TX.  The lot probably holds about 150 rigs.  On the other side of the street just off the exit ramp is a Travel Centers of America or TA.  Why it's not TCA, I don't know.  But unless you are making a purchase of fuel or other stuff of more than $20, you have to pay to park in their lot.  It also holds about 150 rigs. 

To say that there are lots and lots of raccoons out there in the brush would be an understatement.  You have to start getting really close before they see you as a threat.

Beyond the tarmac, facing the setting sun and the Mexican border.  I am always fascinated by the various forms of plant life from region to region.  Believe it or not, as dry and desolate as most of southern Texas is, there is marsh and cattails not far from where I'm standing.  The indigenous rocks and pebbles on the farmroad are all smoothed from having spent time in a river bed.  Next time I'm there I'm going to take better close-ups of that.

There is beauty everywhere you look, if you are willing to look.

I met a husband and wife trucking team out walking their dog, "Diesel", near this spot.  They were having some time trying to get Diesel to behave.  I couldn't help myself.  I asked if I could show them some things.  They eagerly agreed.  In about ten minutes, I had Diesel walking properly at the heel position.  Ten minutes more and I had him sitting and staying.  Then I was dropping the leash and having him obey me on voice command.  This couple was stunned.  The husband offered to pay me something.  There is just something incredibly cool about doing something so well that you strike people with awe.  Yeah.  I can admit that.  And you know you feel the same way.  I explained how I did it and how they could do it and keep getting better results.  They both understood it and were grateful that somebody explained it so well.

I've heard the name "Sagebrush" but I'd never had a chance to look at it up close.  When I have the chance, I investigate as much as possible.  I picked some leaves off of this bush and crushed them in my fingers.  The smell of sage greeted my nose.  I tasted.  Something like a cross between sage and rosemary.  Interesting.  I might try to cook with some of this on the grill the next time I'm out there.  Any plants growing on the high ground that are designed (yes, I said "designed") to live more than a season, the perennials, have dense, narrow, waxy foliage, just perfect for desert conditions.  I don't know why, but there was no prickly pear in the area around the truck stop, or at least not close to where I was.

Don't know how long it will be before I get to blog again and share pictures, but now I will make it a point to take a lot more pictures and try to make this a lot more interesting.

We grilled ribeye steaks behind the truck and enjoyed our downtime while waiting on directions for a load going back east.  It's kind of a modern day version of being a cowboy on the open range.  Not many people could stand such a lifestyle.  Life as you know it in America would come to a screeching halt if trucking stopped.

Shalom, Y'all

Thanks for stopping by.  Your comments are welcome.

All You Need To Know

. . . about the Occupy Wall Street people is summed up in this picture.

I really don't need to say anything more, do I?   Hat tip to Theo Spark.

What Do I Hear?

There are times when I feel deep in my soul that I should just tell her everything.  Trust that she gets it all.

I'm tired of being judged by those who never should have been in the jury box.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Back from Laredo

It's been some grueling days out there.  Okay.  Today is the 26th of October, 2011.  The past few days have been kind of a blur trying to make up for problems on the road.  Had a major problem with a trailer axle pin in Maryland.  Had to leave that trailer in the shop and go pick up a different trailer at another location.  Go to some town south of Pittsburg and get a load headed to Laredo, TX.

I would write more, but I'm exhausted. I picked up a load of canned food coming back to Atlanta, and I have a few hours to sleep before I have to wake up and go deliver that load and head back out. 

Over the road trucking is a hard, hard life.

I've driven a couple of thousand miles in just a few days.  I've had one shower in four days.  You people have no clue how cheap your food and supplies are considering how far they have to travel.  If you like what you are paying for the most basic necessities of life, thank trucking. If you hate what you are paying for the most basic necessities of life, curse the government.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

This Trip

At first I was told I was going to North Carolina.

Plans changed.  Now I am going to Tennessee and from there I will stop in Virginia and then from there I will be going all the way to New Hampshire.

Everything North of Pennsylvania will be completely new territory for me.

I'm going to actually drive through some states where the majority of the people are so incredibly stupid they voted for Ted Kennedy, Mitt Romney, Chuck Shumer, Hillary Clinton and some other power grabbing, elitist scum. 

Wish me luck.

I Took A Walk

And I wished it would make it all go away, that I would just calm down and it would all seem less important somehow.

But it isn't.

Even though I've been so careful to try and avoid anything about politics and what goes on in the world, you just can't.  You can pretend that the world is not there, but there it is.  The waves crash against the shore of your consciousness in that relentless fashion.

I say the world, but what I mean is people.  I got into an argument with an 86 year old man this evening who actually believed that rich people in the United States pay no income tax and that poor people, the bottom 50% actually pay most of the taxes.

I'm surprised that my head is not in millions of pieces scattered across a few square miles.

I guess I was supposed to have this encounter to convince me that we are definately on a sinking ship and that it's all going to fall apart and that only the prepared are going to survive.

There is far more to the whole conversation.  I can't begin to go into it all.  My antagonist has been thoroughly brainwashed to believe that "conservative" is equal to "evil."

I went for a walk. 

I'm currently in a neighborhood in South Atlanta.  It didn't take long before some slovenly black male with pants hanging down below his thighs was asking me for a handout.  I gave him some cash.  But I was in a mood that I can only describe as:  "I don't care who I piss off right now, because if God takes my life right now, I have to be better off."  So, I asked him about the pants below the butt cheeks thing.

He didn't know.

"So, why do you do it?"

"It's just the thing. Depends on who you hang with."

"No reason?"


So, what I thought was supposed to be some symbol of black rebellion against white conventional dress is nothing.  The idiots who do it just do it.  Or this guy wasn't going to tell me the truth because I was a white guy.

Truth be told, I was hoping this guy would take offense and tell me the truth.

If he told me the truth, then how freaking stupid are such black people in the United States?  I know lot's of black people who must be absolutely horrified by such stuff.  Just as I am horrified that people associate me with someone like Chris Christie or Mitt Romney when I use the term conservative to describe myself.

Really?  You wear your damned pants below your buttcheeks to do what?  What's the point of this?  To show your ass?  To show that you are asses?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Do You Think You Are Part of the 99%?


Do you consider yourself to somebody like the people you see in this video?

I'll Cut To The Chase

I truly love the blog written and administrated by Francis W. Porretto.  You have to be an intellectual to go there and enjoy it.  I don't give a royal rat's ass if you think I'm a snob or some elitist for saying so.  Go there now and read this rather genteel piece.

Quite frankly, the reason the country is falling into the sorry state it's in is because the vast majority of people think there is some kind of honor to be had in being non-intellectual.  In short, you are proud to be a stupid moron.  You are proud that you think you are somehow cool because you never cared about politics.  Politics is now causing your life to be a freaking nightmare and you wonder how in the hell you are going to survive.   You blame Wall Street and anybody smarter than you who knows how to make money in the intellectual marketplace of the real world.

You didn't want to spend any time figuring out how the system works and you didn't want to work to understand that politics is the very thing that enables greedy people to game the system.

So now what do you think is the smart thing to do?  Occupy Wall Street?  Bring the whole thing crashing down?  Great.  Then what?  How much time have you invested in understanding how to set traps in the forest?  Do you know how to start a fire with nothing more than some sticks and leaves.  Because that, my imbecilic friend is what you are working for.  Yep.  Demand that all the people who've ever made any money trading on Wall Street or NASDAQ or done anything to make money by typical investment tools have to give up everything they've ever made and hand it to you and all the people who wouldn't know a profit from a profit margin.

Destroy it all.  Tear the whole system down to YOUR intellectual level and then see what you get.

Gasoline will still magically be available at the corner store.  Your cell phone will still work, somehow.
McDonald's will still be serving up fries and quarter pounders.  You don't know how, but you trust it will happen.  You are like the guy who treated me with contempt the other day when I came into your store and you were too involved with whoever you were texting on your phone.  You forgot that the reason your business exists is to provide something for the customer.

I'm the guy who knows how to hunt and fish and make shelters.  I don't want to see society collapse, but there is a part of me that understands that it is inevitable.  That you deserve to be punished for your contempt of the free market system that created your cell phone and all the stuff you take for granted every damned moment of every day.

I'm the guy that you better hope you never run into after you get your wish of the Wall Street collapse.  I'm the guy who is going to rub your sorry nose into all the damned stupid ideas that you had about being so proud of not knowing who your congressman was.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pay No Attention to The Corruption

Eric Holder has been given a gift. 

How many people are going to have their brains overwhelmed by the news about a foiled assassination plot against the Saudis by Iranian agents and completely forget about operation "Fast and Furious?"

Eric Holder is the same guy who is more than happy to let Black Panthers intimidate people trying to vote.

The Obama administration is more than satisfied with having a man who blatantly cheated on his taxes (Timothy Geitner) to be the Secretary of the Treasury.

And to think there are mind-numbed idiots out there who think that Wall Street is our biggest problem.

Aren't We All Atwitter

Oh my goodness, gracious, sakes-alive!  We have no more reason to look any further for a candidate.  Chris Christie has come out and endorsed Mitt Romney.

Pardon me while I gag.

As if I already didn't have enough reason to despise every single establishment republican hack.

I think Chris Christie's words were something to the effect of "This country can't survive another four years of Barak Obama."  And that would be different under Romney because of what, exactly?

Seriously, if you are a Romney supporter, or if you would vote for him just because he's not Barak, what do you expect to happen?  What has Romney said or done that makes you think that we will not plunge over the damned cliff at only a slightly slower speed than Obama is taking us there now?

Monday, October 10, 2011

He Said It Well

There is not much I can add to this post regarding the Republican field.

I would only have a few differences of opinion with the author of this fine blog.  I would not give Perry a chance.  I've heard from people in the State of Texas.  Callers to the Mark Levin show have made it clear that he is just George W. Bush redux.  Not a true conservative at all and if given the reins, would govern like a stealth liberal.

Chris Christie would be even worse. He won't run, and rightly so, because there are plenty of people waiting in the wings to expose him for the "moderate" liberal that he really is.  Sure you can seem to be or actually be very conservative on a few issues and yet be fatally liberal on too many other issues.

Herman Cain's resume is stunning for someone seeking high office. It is the antithesis of the typical polititian's credentials.  I was fortunate enough to be in the Atlanta area and listen to Herman when he had his own radio show and sat in as guest host for Neal Boortz on WSB. 

It would be so fitting, so deliciously apropos for this country to elect Herman Cain, especially amidst the idiotic, but so expected charges that voting against Obama is based purely on race.

More importantly, there is a very simple principle for determining who conservatives should vote for.  Just like the overwhelming drumbeat to drive Sarah Palin out of the running, just look and listen to the polemics being directed at Herman Cain now.  The Left is telling us exactly who they are afraid of. 

If I had to come up with a list of who the Democrats and Leftists would love for us to run against Obama they would be; and in this order:

1. Newt Gingrich
2. Michelle Bachmann
3. Rick Santorum
4. Jon Thune
5. Mitt Romney
6. Rick Perry
7. Jon Huntsman

Who have the Left shown us that they are terrified of? 

1. Sarah Palin
2. Herman Cain
3. Ron Paul

Seriously,  go to the link above and scroll down and read Herman Cain's resume.  Ask yourself if you really want another person who's only experience involves running for office, or someone who has succeeded in business.

What to do?

Maybe I'm crazy for asking this question in this venue, but what the heck.

There's a woman I know and we go back a long ways.  She's in a relationship that I know very little about.  She lives with a guy, but I don't know if it's purely platonic or what.

I have thought about trying to make something more of the relationship, but why should I even try?  Then comes the fact that she won't tell me where she is.  I know the general area, but other than having email and a phone number, I don't know where she is.  It seems painfully obvious that she doesn't want me to know where she is.

But she wants access to the other blog that I've started.

I would open myself up to her on an even deeper level than I intend to write on that blog, if I thought that the relationship might develop into something deeper, but I'll be damned if I'm going to make it easy for her to read what I write on more personal topics when she doesn't trust me to know where she's at.

I've made mistakes in the past in dealing with her.  I'm sorry about that and I'd be willing to do a lot to atone for those mistakes.  But I am not going to bow and scrape for nothing.  I've made my apologies for what happened in the past.  I have a lot to offer for the future.  If that doesn't seem possible to her, I can't help that.

Maybe I just need to say goodbye and get over it all.  Maybe I'm not supposed to rectify anything with this woman and move on with my life.  Maybe God has another woman out there for me and I just need to be patient and wait for her to come along.

I screwed up big time with Twyla. I jumped in because it seemed so right.  I had talked myself into it.  Funny how that works.  I can still go over the list of reasons why it made so much sense that I should be with Twyla.  But in the end, it was wrong.  I could go into all the things I know now, but that would be a sin to speak evil of someone when there is no good reason to do so.

Now, I can list all the reasons why it doesn't make sense for me to chase after this other woman.  Logically, I should just forget about it and just quit communicating with her at all and get her out of my system.  But it seems like that could never happen in a million years.  But like I did when I was married to my first wife, I could force myself to shove her to the farthest corners of my mind.  I am nothing if not intensely loyal and faithful.  I would never, ever cheat on my wife.

Maybe I need some disinterested third party to give me some advice here.  How much information should I share? 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Day of Reckoning

On her fine blog, Ann Barnhardt has a two part posting on a day of reckoning.  She talks about the necessity for justice.  She makes the point that we must have this justice and that, collectively, as a society, we must be punished when we don't carry out justice.

I agree with her.

But I'm convinced, and I think she knows this as well, that it is well beyond too late.  We've had our chances, over and over and over again.  We failed to act. 

I knew it was the beginning of the end when the country elected Bill Clinton and the things I heard people saying back then.

I was driving a truck at night from Tampa to Orlando and listening to late night talk radio before Rush Limbaugh became a hot item.  I was listening to guys like Barry Farber, and Tom Snyder, and Alan Colmes.  Moderates or flaming liberals.  I could tell we were in for a reckoning.

The prevailing thought was that it didn't matter what the man did in his private life.  It had no bearing on how he would do his job as president.

Really?  I knew that was crap when I first heard it, but now I've had years to think about the ramifications of such crap.

First, let's deal with the idea that other presidents before him did bad stuff in their private lives.  Oh yes, Kennedy was a serious womanizing rascal.  Nixon positively makes me ill for all the hubris that he indulged in.  The point is that none of it was considered good, or inconsequential.  The country at large would not tolerate flagrant misdemeanor behavior from a president.  But by the time Bill Clinton came along, the country had changed.  George H.W. Bush had done enough damage to the Reagan Revolution to make most of the dumb masses of voters think that voting conservative had been for nothing.  The media spin machine had people believing that government could and should do something to make an already good economy do better. 

Essentially, I heard many people saying that they didn't care one whit what the president did in "his private life."  As if you can compartmentalize such things.  Sorry, you can't.

I've worked in many jobs over the years.  The same guy who will take home reams of paper from the office copy room or boxes of staples or whatever is going to be the same guy who eventually figures out how to embezzle a million or two if he's in the position to do so. I've seen it enough times.  I've talked to enough people to learn who you can trust and what their ultimate goals are.  The guy who brags to me about how he cheated on his wife is almost always the same guy who brags about how he scammed somebody on some other deal.  He is proud about how damned clever he is.

When Bill Clinton appeared on national TV with Hillary at his side to explain Jennifer Flowers, I knew we were in trouble.  It became obvious that theirs was a marraige akin to Herod and Herodias.  She was there for the power trip and was just as corrupt and evil as he was.  Probably more. Their's was a business partnership marraige.  Theirs was a marriage such as had been done for centuries between kingdoms.  Anybody want to laughably challenge me on this today?  When's the last time those two have been in the same zip code, let alone the same room?

I would wish that enough people were willing to fight.  First, you would have to believe that there is a fight and there is something worth fighting for.

I don't believe this country is going to survive as we know it.  We are going down.  And the only people who are going to be around to rebuild whatever is left are the people who see it coming.

The vast majority of people are too busy working to survive and in their precious spare time are allowing themselves to be distracted by everything from sports to "dancing with the stars." 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Over The Road - One Long Day

I left the Atlanta area on Sunday afternoon, October 2, 2011. Driving with a partner to evaluate my skills for the owner of the company, we headed to El Paso with a full 53' trailer in a Freightliner sleeper cab. This was the first time for both of us in this particular tractor. He had come back to work for this company after having been gone for a while.

I had gone to the shop to pick up the tractor and trailer. We discovered that the air conditioning wasn't working by the time we reached Louisiana. Oh crap! We have to cross the desert of Texas without any cool air. Man, did we sweat.

Along Interstate 20 is lots of evidence of a hurting economy. There was an entire town that is now a ghost town. Ironically the official interstate highway sign, the kelly green with white reflective lettering, looks like it is only a few years old at most. But the remains of the town, all the shops, restaurants, business and homes crowded slam up against I-20, are so obviously abandoned and broken down. In other spots, there are some surviving places with some scant activity, but I've never seen so many abandoned places.

When I was 19, in 1979 I made the trek across the U.S. in a Ryder truck with a roommate who had a connection for a job in California. We left Lakeland, FL and took I-75 up to I-10 and took it all the way to Santa Monica, CA. I don't recall seeing any abandoned buildings during that trip. We only drove ten hours a day, during the day. We were not under any time restraints, so we took advantage of it, eating fairly nice meals each night, showering and watching TV in air conditioned comfort of motel rooms.

The over-the-road trucker's life is hard. I can see why there is a demand for it, even in this economy. I think that team driving is even harder. When you are by yourself, the truck comes to a stop and you can sleep on a bed that isn't shaking and jerking. You can walk around at the truck stop and maybe watch a little TV or exercise. When you are team driving, you do your exhausting ten hours of driving and then switch off with the other driver. Then you just hope that there isn't too much damage or bad road construction while your partner is driving, so that you can get to sleep. You also have to be very confident in the skill and judgment of your partner. Kinda hard to sleep if your constantly worried about whether or not your partner is going to get you killed.

When we got to El Paso, it was later than the typical receiving hours, so we had to bribe the dock manager with $20 to unload us anyway. We had another "hot" load to pick up that was bound for Harrisburg, PA that we wanted to go pick up as soon as possible. Time is money.

But it turns out that our dispatcher/owner-of-the-company didn't give us the right location. We went to the location that we were given, only to be told that they couldn't possibly load us until after 8:am the next morning. So we went to the PETRO station to get a tire changed out on the trailer and an oil change and service, as well as getting the A/C working again. The condenser had a pinhole leak at the top. They wanted an enormous amount of money for a new one, plus all the work to change it out. I can't really blame the owner for not wanting to spend that kind of money, especially since he had plenty of experience with a better and cheaper servicer back east. We went and got a can of leak-stop/leak detector and put that in and ran it a while. It seemed to make a difference immediately. Then we got a large can of the R-134 refrigerant and put that in the next morning before leaving. Thank you, G-d! We had nice, cold, blessed air for the return trip.

We got back to the warehouse that refused us the night before and we talked to the dock master. He didn't have authorization for us yet. He would come out and get us when it came through. Our dispatcher couldn't understand why this was, considering this was a "hot" load, meaning that someone wanted this load at the other end, yesterday. My partner called to get the name and number of the other broker to find out the scoop. We were at the wrong warehouse. The place waiting to load us was six miles away at the El Paso International Airport. We boogied on over there to find them anxiously waiting for us and that they would have been happy to have immediately loaded us the previous night before we headed to the PETRO for service. We could have been on the road twelve hours earlier. We were not very happy at all. Misinformation had just cost us a bunch of money. I learned a valuable lesson. I should have asked questions until the answers made sense. If it was a "hot" load, why wasn't somebody breathing down the neck of the dock master to get the truck loaded? They were. At the right location. We should have called our dispatcher back that afternoon and asked him to call the other broker and either find out the right info and call us back, or better yet, we should have just asked for their name and number and talked to them directly. That's what I will do in the future.

One of the most amazing sights along I-20 through Texas is the area from around Midland to where I-20 merges into I-10. Windmills. Yep. They are enormous. At least I think so. You can go check out the specifications at this site. These suckers stand over 100 meters in height. That's more than a football field on end. A single blade is about 55 meters long. The generators are in the nacelles behind the hub of the blades and they produce about 2,300 killowatts at 690 volts.

It isn't just that these things are so big, it's how many of them there are. For over forty miles, we saw hundreds and hundreds of these things. Hundreds of square miles of them. Many stood atop mesas in the distance. Some of them came right up close to I-20. I just know I couldn't come close to counting them all. I suppose it would be interesting to go to Google Earth and try to count them all.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Yom Kippur

This will be a most private Yom Kippur, or day of atonement.  I feel like I've been beaten enough.  I will wait for Adonai to speak to me.

It's Coming Back

I don't know if The ComPost Files is going to stay or not.  Part of me wants it to.  There are many reasons for this.  There is something good about a lack of anonymity.  I might continue to blog here.

But there are valuable things I could share under cover.  Therefore, I will have a new blog.  It will be  a place for me to share things that I have held back for a long time.

For a long time I have held back because I didn't want to offend too many people.  Yes, some of you are laughing because you think I'm way too outspoken and offensive as it is.  I'll refrain from listing the ways I have to endure gross offensiveness every damned day simply for being who I am.  Life is inherently offensive.  Get the hell over it.

I am out and about.  I've been across 16 states since Sunday.  I will be gone again soon.  I will have to figure out the details about how I'm going to do all this.

I'll be back.  Unless God decides to punch my ticket sometime soon, I will be blogging.  If I get enough response to keep ComPost Files running, I will.  If not, the loyal fans who want me know how to find me. I will keep on blogging. I believe everything happens for a reason and there are no, NO coincidences.  I jot down things in a paper journal and I'm looking for the right time and venue to share them.

Right now, I am so dead tired I could just about fall over on this keyboard.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Live Free Or Die

I would go into a long dissertation on why I chose to say this tonight.

I just watched a most impressive video of Bill Whittle, talking about the airshow in which a P51 Mustang crashed and eleven people died.

Death is an enemy, but only to be feared by those who don't know the Creator.  Of course we will miss the ones we love, no matter which side of eternity either party goes at any given time.

But to fail to make the right or righteous choices based on our fear of death is a terrible sin.

I would rather be assured of death for a righteous cause than to live as a coward for the sake of breathing.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yes, I'm re-directing

Yes, I'm still here.  It's been a serious pain in the patootie, but I'm still here and I'm going to start a new blog under a different title.

I'm divorced now.  I'm no longer in the North Georgia mountains. I probably won't ever give any good clues as to where I'm at.

I've learned alot in the past two months.  Extremely valuable lessons that will not be forgotten.

It will take quite a few weeks for me to finish picking up all the pieces and putting things back in some kind of order.

I'm sure I've lost lots of followers, but that's to be expected.  I think I'll have much better followers now.

I think I'm going to make a clean break to a different blog, so if you are interested in following me to the new place, you will have to email me and get the new blog title.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm Still Here

And hopefully, I will start a new blog and explain where I've been.  It may be a few months before I get to do all that.

Monday, June 27, 2011

College Students

I wish I had a transcript of the video that I am linking to on Brietbart.tv.  It's a video of college students who are members of the College Democrats Association giving their reasons why they are Democrats.  Some of the things they say are just flat out incorrect, such as, "we are a democracy, not a theocracy."  Proving that the government school indoctrination has worked on too many skulls full of mush.  Go watch that short video and then you'll understand my comments.

"No difference between a judge and a janitor."  Really?  Can a handful of janitors render decisions that fundamentally transform the country, rob you of your enumerated rights as declared in our Constitution, and turn you into a slave of the State?

I guess  I could have played it and paused it and wrote down all the things that were stupid and wrong, but there are only so many hours in the day, and I don't want to spend any of them screaming and tearing my hair out.

One quote just about shot me out of my chair:  "Government should take care of its citizens."

Red Curtain Of Blood falls across my eyes and steam starts shooting out of my ears.

No, no, no, no, no, you silly, imbecilic piece of bat guano. That's what the idiots in Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, and other communist countries have fallen for.  The government that's big enough to give you everything is the government that's big enough to take every damned thing you have.  Go live in one of the above named countries, do a thorough study for your doctoral thesis on how those governments take care of every aspect of their citizens lives and then come back and tell us all about it.  Here.  I'll help you out by giving you this link to the latest news on North Korea.

Worse Than Stupid

Yep.  They think you are worse than stupid.  If you come from flyover country, the parts of the United States that lie between the metropolitan areas of the east and west coasts, the leftist elites think you are some kind of evolutionary throwback.  You are not just ignorant, you don't even have the intellectual capacity to learn to become as sophisticated as they are.

Just go to this site and play the video.  It's barely 3 minutes.

What makes this even worse is that Chris Christie is not really even a conservative.  Christie is actually a liberal who sought a job in power and when he got there, he got mugged by the hard, cold reality that New Jersey is in a financial mess and he had enough intelligence to know that, as he responded to a union goon teacher, the State of New Jersey, unlike the Federal government, can't print money.  Bill Maher and company are the true believers in State control of everything except personally perverse lifestyles.

Fabulous Fungus Among Us

On Saturday evening, we went to some friends' house in the neighborhood for dinner and to learn to play pinochle.  The hostess gave us the "nickel tour" and outside in the yard there was an area that had these beautiful golden mushrooms growing in the gravel path.

Yesterday we went back for another session, and this time I collected a bag of these mushrooms, since I'm of the mind that there are probably more edible mushrooms out there than we truly appreciate.  It turns out that my suspicion that these were edible was right.  Not only that, but they are considered excellent.  They are commonly called Golden Chantrelle.  Their scientific name is Cantharellus cibarius.  

Golden Chantrelles from my neighbor's yard.

I got really excited from reading about them in Wikipedia.

Chanterelles as a group are generally described as being rich in flavor, with a distinctive taste and aroma difficult to characterize. Some species have a fruity odor, others a more woody, earthy fragrance, and others still can even be considered spicy. The golden chanterelle is perhaps the most sought-after and flavorful chanterelle, and many chefs consider it on the same short list of gourmet fungi as truffles and morels. It therefore tends to command a high price in both restaurants and specialty stores.[12]There are many ways to cook chanterelles. Most of the flavorful compounds in chanterelles are fat-soluble, making them good mushrooms to sauté in butter, oil or cream. They also contain smaller amounts of water- and alcohol-soluble flavorings, which lend the mushrooms well to recipes involving wine or other cooking alcohols. Many popular methods of cooking chanterelles include them in sautés, soufflés, cream sauces, and soups. They are not typically eaten raw, as their rich and complex flavor is best released when cooked.[4]

Cantharellus cibarius. Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.
I still did my little safety test on them.  I take the tiniest piece I can to sample for taste.  If I were to notice the slightest bad thing, numbness or anything at all, I would spit it out and wash out my mouth.  These tasted slightly plain, not much different than porcini  mushrooms. You know, those plain white things you buy at the supermarket.  But they did have a very slight peppery aftertaste.  After waiting a few minutes to see if there was any negative effects in my mouth I swallowed it.  After a couple of hours, I notice nothing at all.  I'm sure now that these are the same Chantrelles that I see on Wikipedia and a few other web sites.

After getting home, I was in the wooded area next to the house when I spotted this interesting fungus on the ground.

The specimen growing in my woods

In my searching, the closest thing I could find that matched my photo is Ramariopsis kunzei. I have never seen one before today.  If I'm wrong about the identification, I hope someone reading this blog will let me know.  I have no intention of trying this one, because if my identification is correct, this fungus, while edible, is tasteless and useless.  I'd have to be in survival mode to be curious enough to try it, but I've made a mental note filed away just in case.
"The Sickener" Quite fitting for this picture.

Then there was this specimen just a few yards away near some ferns.

While it seems that the gills suddenly grew out of control and pushed the red cap into disfigurement, I'm pretty sure that this is a Russula emetica.  That's the closest thing I could come up with, and the name says all I need to know.
Emetica is Latin for "sickener" and according to Wikipedia it causes vomiting and diarrhea.  Supposedly there is an edible type in the genus of Russula (meaning "reddish"), but I'm not feeling that experimental.

Anyway, I'll try to remember to report back on how the Chantrelles tasted after I cook them up with a meal.

Of course, you are responsible for any risks you take in harvesting or eating any fungus or plant in the wild.  I think everybody should use some intelligence to figure these things out.  If you don't have the mental skill to do that, don't risk trying to eat anything wild.

I'm just too ferociously freedom loving to let anything stop me from discovering stuff within reason.

Shalom Y'all

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Friends From Indiana

During the cold months, we dream about the sunny, warm days that we will spend down at the artificial beach on Lake Chatuge.  Last summer Twyla and I were there twice and sometimes three times a week, and the fish got so used to being fed that they would hang around in a specific area waiting for us to arrive.

It is the nature of being in the rural mountains that you will meet people from as far away as Germany who simply want to enjoy the view and be at peace with their surroundings.  You just never know who you are going to meet.  Most people keep to themselves, and unfortunately children will run wild with very little adult supervision.  To call it annoying would be putting it mildly.

In most public settings, when you have to deal with rug rats being around, it is a most unpleasant experience.  When we go put our chairs down in the water, we go early on a weekday and hope that we have an hour or two before people start to show up.  I'll admit that such would be true whether the people who come after us were 9 or 90, but we especially are aware that kids are usually an unwelcome intrusion.

Oh wait.  If you are thinking of chastising me because you think I have a bad attitude about kids, then hold up.  I blame the parents.  Yeah.  I said it, and I mean it.

There was a time when my dad or mom made it very clear that I would behave like a gentleman in public.  I was expected to act like "an adult."  I put that in quotes because the meaning of that phrase has suffered so much degradation over time that I'm not sure that most people reading this would understand the term.  After all, we live in world that pays attention to people like Charlie Sheen, watches shows like Jersey Shore and elected Bill Clinton as president.  You can't get much lower than that  (Just kidding, I know BO is president now. Having a lecherous, rapist for a president almost seems like a step up now, doesn't it?)

Anyway, it is indeed a pleasure when you meet kids who reflect well on their parents and the manner in which they were reared.  We met such kids at Lake Chatuge this past week.  Most kids run by and act like they have not a shred of respect for anyone's existence at all.  The children you see in the pictures are an amazing exception.  They immediately were curious as to what we were doing and when they saw that we were feeding the fish, they quietly listened to instruction and came and sat down to enjoy the experience.

Most kids have an attention span of about 20 seconds.  These kids were willing to come and sit and trust what we said about sitting quietly and letting the fish come in and enjoy watching them up close.  That didn't happen by accident.  Children don't have such appreciation without it being imparted to them from parents.

They were from somewhere up north in the heartland, in Indiana.  They were in town in Hiawassee, Georgia for a Christian motorcycle organization event going on at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds.  I didn't ask them to spell their names, so if I get it wrong you'll have to forgive me.  These pleasant young people were Jamie, Zachary, Ben, Isaiah, Lydia and Elena.  They sat there quietly and talked respectfully to each other and to us.  I sat there throwing shredded cheese all around them so the brim would swim and eat and even brush against them from time to time.  They really enjoyed the experience, and were even thoughtful enough to thank us for the experience.  That's something that rarely happens with the few other kids who are willing to sit quietly and let us show them this experience.

When we parted company with these well behaved, respectful kids, Twyla and I thought of how it gave us hope for the future.  I hope their parents know how much we appreciate their efforts in bringing up such good kids in a world that wants to drag them into the sewer.

A big, hearty thank you to the parents who trained these kids.  Keep up the good work.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Making Sense Now


Two HUGE intel leads in my email box this morning from way-back contacts that I've had for years, that are actually somewhat connected concepts.1. File this one under "Now It All Makes Sense". A Missouri farming and ranching contact just got off a conference call wherein he was informed that the federal government is sending out letters to all of the flooded out farmers in the Missouri River flood plain and bottoms notifying them that the Army Corps of Engineers will offer to BUY THEIR LAND.
Intentionally flood massive acreage of highly productive farmground. Destroy people's communities and homes. Catch them while they are desperate and afraid and then swoop in and buy the ground cheap. Those evil sons of bitches.
2. Speaking of evil sons of bitches, George Soros appears to be "investing" in farmground through the same puppet company that he used to get into the grain elevator and fertilizer business. The company is called Ospraie Capital Management and is buying up farmground in a joint venture with Teays River Investments as a partner. Here is that announcement:
Click Here
Okay. Here's the connection. This Ospraie outfit was a hedge fund specializing in commodities that was started and run by some cocky child who didn't know how to trade bear markets and got his butt kicked into next week in the grain market of 2008. He also lost a fortune trying to trade RARE EARTH METALS. In fact, it was so bad that he had to shut his fund down because he had promised his investors that he would give them all of their investment money back if the fund lost more than 30% in one year. Whoopsie.
But it appears that Soros swooped in and saved the day because this Ospraie is the "co-investor" with Soros that bought the remnants of ConAgra's trading operation and renamed it . . . Gavilon. In the industry, it is widely acknowledged that Ospraie IS Soros. That three-page article citation is here, copy and paste the URL into your address bar:
As you probably remember, Gavilon just recently bought both DeBruce Grain out of Kansas City and the biggest grain elevator company in the Pacific Northwest, thus making Soros (who is the money behind Gavilon through both his own Soros Fund Management AND his de facto control of Ospraie) the third-largest grain company in the U.S. with 280 million bushels of storage capacity, behind only Archer Daniels Midland (542 million bushels storage capacity) and Cargill (344 million bushels storage capacity). That citation is here:
Bottom line: Soros, through Ospraie, is buying up farmground. Please also note that the hotlink citation above is dated June 26, 2009. My contact says this has been going on for two years - and also remember what I told you about farmground prices inflating wildly, especially in Illinois. I have personally confirmed farmground in Illinois selling for $13,000 per acre within the last month, whereas that same kind of ground in Illinois was going for $5500 per acre the day Obama was inaugurated.

Spread the word.  

For the original post go to Barnhardt.biz

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Water: Part II

I wish I could have thought of a clever title for this post. I thought some were cute, but they all got flushed.

Water is both essential to life and destructive at the same time.  What a paradox.  It's destructive in big tsunami like ways and in small, irritating, rusty ways.  Just the word "leak" can make some people shudder.  And why is that?  Why are there so many substances that do not react well to getting wet?

Electron cloud model of water atom
I started reading again on all the stuff I learned years ago about chemistry in order to bring some great enlightening insights to my readers on this subject.  When it comes to chemistry and physics, I think I would rather try to explain how quantum mechanics works.  I get excited talking about radio isotope decay and the significance of polonium haloes in granite, but water is far more difficult.  That's right.  The substance that should be the most familiar to us in at least two of it's forms is the hardest to explain.

This is because as much as people like to think that science can explain everything, the more you know about what science REALLY knows, the more you realize that they don't explain a lot.

Bohr model of the atom

Let's start with the fact that most atoms are invisible.  Yeah. Those cute illustrations of what scientists believe to be the working models of atoms are just illustrations.  Most people aren't even aware of this, because ever since grade school, we've been subjected to illustrations designed to teach us about the assumed properties of  atoms and even subatomic particles are presented with such assurance that this is "just the way it is."  And while the atomic models we are shown are the best models that can be developed based on the experimental behavior and empirical evidence, they are still just best guesses.

Our best scanning, tunneling, electron microscopes can only see the very largest of atoms, and the pictures are very fuzzy at that.  How many people outside the scientific community even understand that, below a certain size, you can't "see" molecular objects. That's right.  Once you get so far down in size, there is no actual optical resolution that works, because you can't focus wavelengths of light that would have to be so short that you can't create lenses to deal with them.  That's why the electron microscope had to be invented.  When you look at an image from an electron microscope, you are not actually seeing the object the way you would look at a bacterium under a standard optical microscope.  You are looking at an image produced electrically on a monitor that is interpreting the electrons that have been focused to bounce off the object you want to examine.  An analogy would be the image you get from a high quality radar array from many miles up in space looking down at a land mass on earth.

Physicists know that down to a certain point we can't observe what goes on at the atomic or subatomic level. How can we, when the very act of trying to see an object means bombarding it with electrons?  It would be like blind people trying to watch a basketball game by being on the court with the players and touching them and the ball in order to "see" what's happening.  So, always keep in mind that what we "know" about atoms and elements are based purely on observing how they react with other atoms and other molecules on a relatively huge scale compared to their actual size.  Most of what we know about electrons seem very well proven, otherwise we wouldn't have radio, TV, microwaves, etc.

We don't know with absolute certainty that the hydrogen atoms attach at an angle to the oxygen atom in that model you see at the top, but it's the best guess based on how we think water behaves relative to other molecules.  For instance, in the shapes and behaviors of proteins. But this does not explain why water has the extremely high dielectric strength that it does compared to other liquids.  Why is water such an extremely good solvent with so many other substances?  Why does water expand when it freezes, even when in higher density solution such as sea water?  We don't know why.  We only know that it does.  We can speculate that the electron orbital cloud of the hydrogen expands away from the larger oxygen atom, thus making it less dense compared to the surrounding liquid water molecules, but such a change in the spatial relationship would seem to indicate a higher, not lower energy state.  This is because, as some would suggest, the hydrogen bond state in water forms an "open lattice" structure and this open lattice gets bigger at the point of freezing.  Open lattice?  Suggesting that there is empty space between the atomic matter?  But nature abhors any kind of vacuum.  This is an odd mystery.

We don't fully understand how atoms attach to each other. Physics describes three types of bonding between atoms: hydrogen bonding, covalent bonding, and ionic bonding, but these descriptions are only due to observation of behavior at the macro level and based on theories about the electrical charges and numbers of electrons and protons that are in the atoms.  There is overlap in the characteristics.  Most of the bonds in the smallest molecules are covalent in nature, meaning that the atoms are sharing electrons to some degree.  Ionic bonding is more along the lines of purely electrical or "magnetic" type attraction between atoms.

Hydrogen bonding is not completely understood. As of this post, in the year 2011, there is still a call for scientists to come up with a definition for hydrogen bonding. (Note the line just before the contents box at the link.)  How is it that hydrogen bonding is described as being weaker than ionic bonding?  Sodium chloride crystals (table salt) are a simple paradigm of ionic bonding between chlorine gas and sodium metal.  But I can take a pint of pure (distilled or deionized) water and dissolve up to four or five tablespoons of salt in the water.  This demonstrates that the bonds of the crystals have been broken while the physical state of the water has remained unchanged.

The same weak hydrogen bonds that allow you to push your finger down on a plunger and "atomize" water from a spray bottle are the same strong hydrogen bonds that give nylon it's elastic strength.  The same hydrogen bonds that allow water to evaporate off your skin  are the same hydrogen bonds that connect amino acids across the spiral lattice of phosphates that make up the DNA helix, but that can easily be "unzipped" by ribosomes to create RNA or recreate new DNA molecules.  All of the soft tissues of your body are swimming in a sea of water.

The element of water behaves differently with so many other elements, and even behaves differently depending on the amount of the element present.  For example, you couldn't survive if you didn't eat enough salt in order to have sodium ions in your body.  Every nerve cell in your body depends on sodium ions carrying nerve impulses.  But what happens when pure sodium comes in contact with water in an unregulated environment?  Watch the video:

You couldn't do that safely with lithium or especially rubidium.  They are far more reactive than sodium.  If you'd like to see how stupid and spectacular some people can be with sodium, go to this link on YouTube.  The third video in the list is really an example of what not to do.

This is enough for today.  Go ponder what a miraculous substance water really is.  How anybody who understands the little bit we can comprehend about the world around us can be an atheist is beyond my ability to explain.  I will continue to repeat what I've said before.  People will believe what they want to believe no matter what the evidence suggests or proves.  Accepting this has kept me from going crazy when talking to people.

Shalom Y'all

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mind Over Matter

I have what is probably an incredibly high amount of disdain and derision for the field of psychology (and including psychiatry) as a whole.  Oh, I do know that there is mental illness and that some is organic and some is due to psychological trauma and that there is a need for professionals who can deal with such things.   But most of what is in the realm of medicine for the mind is just pure rubbish, because if you start from bad premises, everything that follows is sure to be stupid, insane, or both.

I post on this with some trepidation, because it is so easy to be misunderstood on this matter, no matter how much I try to be clear.  I've been teaching in enough different settings where in a group of people, some would simply not be able to comprehend what I was trying to get across, and not only I would be amazed at their inability to understand, but more than half the group as well would be puzzling over this. I have been very appreciative for such events, since, had the audience not been there, I might have questioned my own sanity or ability to relate certain concepts.

I started to post with some trepidation, but then remembered, "Hey, it's MY blog."

I would hope that if I ever needed to see a psychologist, I could find someone like Gagdad Bob, but that would truly be analogous to finding a needle in a haystack.  After reading this recent post, I just had to make my readers aware that there actually are intelligent people in the very soft "scientific" field of psychology. You don't always need a post-graduate education to appreciate all that he writes, so check out his archives.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bad Model! Bad, Bad Model!

I've been saying this for many years now, and it's especially important when it comes to water vapor.

This video is well worth your six minutes.

Hat Tip to Maggie's Farm.

Romans Part V

You can find the beginning of this study by clicking on this link.

Chapter 14 begins with a passage that can easily be misunderstood by someone with no understanding of the historical context of the time in first century Rome, or a well-established understanding of the rest of Scripture. Before you think you understand what the author is trying to say, you need to know if you have the right answers to certain questions.  Who is the writer talking to?  Why does that matter?  What does that audience already know?  What are the assumptions that are taken for granted by all the parties concerned?

A reader two thousand years removed from the situation that is being spoken about has a lot to learn before a rational understanding can be made.

The first verse is easy enough to understand, since most of us have probably been in churches where the "old timers" have treated new converts with thinly veiled disdain for having little to no knowledge of the Bible or spiritual matters.  But what's this thing about eating meat or not eating meat?  In order for us to really understand Paul's point, we need a thorough understanding of what was going on in the first century.  Not just in Israel or Rome but the known world in general.

Atheism was a tiny sliver of a minority philosophy among a few philosophers, but better than 99% of the world believed in some kind of deity or multiple deities.  All of the false religions believed in sacrificing to their gods.  Usually not so much for sin, well, actually, almost none of it for sin.  It was mostly a kind of appeasement or bribe for good fortune.  People who held such religious beliefs might look to the opinions of the self-appointed priests or gurus of the various religions or they just thought up ways to worship on their own or copied their parents' methods of worship.  They might sacrifice all kinds of things.  They also would have sacrificed many of the same kind of kosher animals that the Jews used in worship.

Let's take a moment to look back at the Acts of the Apostles.  In chapter 15 we have the episode where the leadership, seemingly headed by James, led by the Holy Spirit, comes up with the minimum requirements for a letter addressed to the new Gentile converts.  One of the four items mentioned is abstaining from meat sacrificed to idols.  A second item is things that have been strangled, a method of killing that didn't allow for proper bleeding out.  A third prohibition was from ingesting any blood directly.  While Torah and the Oral Law had very specific instructions on how to slaughter animals for sacrifice and even for general consumption, the pagans had no such rules.  Some African cultures, to this day, drink fresh blood taken from cattle.  Some people in America and Europe think nothing of eating a concoction called blood pudding.

While the instructions were clear that the new followers of Messiah were to abstain from "knowingly" ingesting blood, or eating an animal that had certainly been sacrificed to a false god, some of the people were so afraid of transgressing the rule that they would just give up meat altogether.  Some of these people still could not bring themselves to the idea that this God of the Jews was totally unlike the capricious and sinister gods of the pagan religions.  Such were gods who would punish you for making mistakes out of ignorance.  Paul was admonishing the brethren to tolerate these newcomers and not give them a hard time as they were still learning.

But did Paul contradict the instructions that had gone out from the Apostles at Jerusalem?  No.  According to Acts chapter 21, Paul wanted to make sure that he was in complete agreement with the leadership when it came to issues of faithfully following Torah. The distinction Paul is making is this:  While some understand the new freedom in Messiah, that the excessive rules and "hedge around the Law" by the Rabbis no longer applied to the believers, those who still wanted to be extra cautious about not violating Torah by not eating any meat that they couldn't be sure was kosher were not to be looked down upon by other believers.  Stated another way, some believers were willing to eat beef or goat or lamb or chicken that they got from non-believers with the simple assurance that it had been slaughtered properly and not used in a religious sacrifice.  Other believers, however, just weren't willing to take that chance with all the pagan sacrificing going on.  Their consciences wouldn't permit them to take that chance.

On this issue, Paul simply tells them to quit using it as an excuse to judge each other on a matter best left to God.  It's really that simple.  But is this a passage that can be used by Gentiles to excuse the eating of unclean animals?  No.  Remember the instructions of the Apostles through James in Acts 15.  The assumption of the leadership was that new Gentile believers would go to synagogue and learn Torah.  Their Jewish fellow believers would show them the proper way to slaughter and kasher their meat and know which animals were acceptable for consumption and which were not.

But because of the matter of conscience with some believers, Paul makes it clear that if your brother doesn't want to risk violating Torah by eating the meat that you are serving, don't take offense.  Better yet, don't serve him meat if he doesn't want to eat it.  We have unbelieving friends who wouldn't dream of inviting us over for dinner and serving pork.  If unbelievers can show that kind of good sense, how much more so should believers?

As for his statement that all things are clean, we need to keep it in the same context as what Messiah said when he dealt with the issue of hand washing.  That it was not what we ate that defiled us nearly so much as what defiled us spiritually based on our thoughts. When faced with the choice of eating pork or shellfish, or starving to death, we are going to eat what's available.  Long before Messiah came, the Rabbis understood that we are to LIVE according to Torah, not die by Torah.  That which imparts life or eases human suffering always supersedes any prohibitions in Torah.  Messiah proved that in healing on the Sabbath.  He never said Torah was wrong.  He simply reminded the religious leaders of their own training and teaching, that doing good and alleviating pain or suffering and bringing praise and honor to God were most important. That's right. There is and always has been a hierarchy that allows for breaking the laws in Torah.

Let's say I  was invited to someone's house for dinner, and they did not know anything about Torah or kosher eating.  My host or hostess went to a lot of trouble to prepare the meal and they were very proud of their effort. They have no intention of doing anything less than being gracious.   The main course is a pork chop.  What do I do?  I eat it.  I will silently pray to God that what I am doing is performing a mitzvah, which He is already well aware of.  I will eat it and be gracious about it and thank them for their hospitality.  I won't correct them or do anything that might cause them embarrassment.  My concern for the feelings of my host or hostess is more important in this case than breaking this part of Torah.  The greater command of Torah is to love my neighbor as much as I love myself.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Polls? I Should Care About Polls?

Thank you Mr. Dice for proving what I have suspected for many years now.  If Mr. Dice can go out and do this so easily, what does it say about what the dominant broadcast media say about what the public wants?

Why should I care about what most people want?

Watch this video, and if you have a few real brain cells to rub together, weep for America.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Gunwalker Scandal

. . . Is a lot more important than Wiener's wiener.

The story started circulating in the blogosphere months ago upon the death of agent Terry.  I didn't comment on it until now, because I was afraid that, like the scandal over the two border agents who got railroaded into Federal prison for shooting a drug dealing, illegal Mexican, it would just get swept under the rug and nobody would pay attention.

But when I started seeing it on blogs that don't talk a lot about 2nd amendment issues, I thought maybe there would be hope that some people would wake up to what our government is trying to pull, flagrantly allowing people to die, in the hundreds to carry out policy that would rob us of our constitutional rights.

Read the most recent stuff on it here, and then do some more research on your own.  And don't you dare tell me I should have anything BUT contempt and derision for this administration and anyone in Congress who knew anything about it and didn't blow the whistle.

I was tipped off to this most recent story by Ann Barnhardt, and I like what she has to say about it as well.  She doesn't have permalink on her site so if you are going to read her comments on it, you will need to index her post by today's date:  June 17, 2011

Water: The Simple Is Fascinating

We take it for granted every day.  Oh, I don't just mean that we usually don't think much about it until we are thirsty or want to wash our hands. We don't think much about the miraculous nature of water.  Water has extremely unique properties.  Is it extreme to say that water's properties are uniquely extreme?  The facts that you will read in this post and those to come should bear this out.

How important and unique is water?  The answer to that is revealed by the fact that scientists are looking for it on our nearest celestial bodies.  Why?  Because of it's absolute necessity for life.  This is where I have to interject something important.  I like science-fiction stories as much as the next guy, and while there is some amazing technology that has arisen from people daring to question conventional wisdom and keep pushing the envelope, there really are limits and absolutes.  Water is one of those absolutes.

Even the most bizarre forms of life that we find on this planet still have to use water as part of their metabolic processes.  No water; no life.  It's just that simple.  That is why scientists look for the existence of water as being the primary requisite for life any place in the universe.  Of course, it's simple to say that water is absolutely necessary for life to exist.  The hallmark of good science is to ask why that is.  Real scientists keep asking the question "why" until the question is answered, whether we like the answer or not.  Studying water down to the molecular level gives us the answers for why it is so necessary for life.

There are at least 19 features of water that are anomalous.  These are features that should not occur according to the prevailing scientific knowledge about chemistry.  These are features that do not occur with any other liquids in the known universe.  If it were not for these things that shouldn't be, no life could exist on this planet.  We will only look at a few of these items at a time, due to time and space considerations. You've got other things you have to do.

Water behaves like no other liquid in any given range of temperatures.  Let's just take it's freezing point.  Extremely high when compared to alcohol.  Of course, water readily mixes with all the various types of alcohols, which is why we can have anti-freeze in our cars.  A fifty percent mixture with ethylene glycol can protect from freezing below 0° Fahrenheit.  Most all lipid or fat type liquids  have much lower freezing temperatures, except for natural animal fats, but that's a subject for a whole different post.

How water behaves in a very narrow range between freezing and boiling is what makes it so incredible.  For simplicity, let's think about water on the Celsius scale.  It might have been a good idea if we had adopted this scale for use in America rather than the seemingly arbitrary scale of Fahrenheit, where water freezes at 32° and boils at 212° (at sea level, another interesting factor).  The Celsius scale would seem to make more sense since water itself is the basis for the scale.  Zero degree is the temperature at which water freezes.  One hundred degrees is the temperature at which water boils.

Most all substances, be they solid, liquid or gas become denser as they get colder  Some very amazing qualities have been imparted to metals through a process of heating and then freezing them down to temperatures approaching absolute zero. The molecules slow down and get closer together.  Denser objects are more affected by gravity relative to the substance around them, therefore, denser, colder water will sink. However, water is completely unique in that water has a very specific maximum density at a temperature of  4°C or 40°F.  In lakes, this is vitally important because it creates motion and subsequent circulation of water.  More oxygenated water at the surface gets circulated to organisms at depth.  This is why large lakes don't just stagnate and die, unless something occurs to interfere with the process.  More amazing is that water is the only liquid that expands when it freezes.

Have you ever thought of what would happen if water didn't do that?  Because water expands when it freezes, it becomes less dense than the surrounding water and floats.  If water behaved like it should, according to physics, and became denser, it would sink to the bottom.  In a short time all life would cease to exist on the earth.  This planet would just be a big ice ball.

More to come.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Good Example

I got the following from Grouchy Old Cripple in Atlanta.  It's a very simple object lesson.

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism would work, and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich – a great equalizer.The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan. All grades would be averaged, and everyone would receive the same grade – so no one would have to fail, but no one would be able to receive an A."
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.
As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride, too, so they studied far less. The second test average was a D. No one was happy.
When the 3rd test finally rolled around, the average was an F.
As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased – but bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would agree to study for the benefit of anyone or everyone else. All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor explained to them that socialism would also ultimately fail for exactly the same reason – because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when someone (government) takes the reward away, no one will try or care enough to strive to succeed.
Couldn't be any simpler than that.
Remember, there IS a test coming up, we can't afford to fail in 2012.
Thomas Sowell once said sumpin' like socialism has a record of failure that is so obvious only a liberal could miss it.

Thanks, Denny.  We need to keep making this point every chance we get.

UPDATE:   I like this video version even better:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Romans Part IV

If you want to start at the beginning of this series, click this.

In my last post, Honor The King, I was specifically focused on the problem of people using Romans 13 in two inappropriate ways.  First, to suggest that we have to show honor and deference to evil rulers, and second the idea that we have rulers in the United States. Darn it; I didn't use John the Baptist as an example either.  I need to go back and update that post.  John, cousin of the Messiah, very publicly condemned Herod for committing terrible sin.  Herod was illegitimate as a king over Israel, and everyone knew it.   Jerome Corsi has recently published a book that proves that the current usurper at Pennsylvania Avenue is just as illegitimate as president.

Call me a "birther" all you want to.  The real idiot is someone who can't distinguish truth from fiction.

The purpose of this post is to pick up from where I left off in the complete study of Paul's letter to the congregation in Rome, for the express purpose of seeing if he ever said that we don't need to keep Torah any more.  I had gotten through chapter eleven and all I can discern so far is that he was making it clear that the Law of Moses has a purpose and we have no reason to disregard either the Torah or Messiah's admonition that He never came to abolish the Torah, or the prophets.

Paul was explaining that the pattern holds from the earliest time.  First Adonai saves us through his mercy and grace.  Being a God of order and righteousness, He requires that restitution be made, but He makes it Himself.  However, he expects us to then live our lives according to His rules out of gratitude.  We establish that the law is true and good.

So we now pick up the study of Romans at chapter twelve.  Paul is urging the brethren at Rome to make their bodies a living sacrifice as a spiritual form of worship.  Why does he write this?  Because all good Jews know that God commanded that the only real physical sacrifices could be made at the Temple. God made it clear when he showed Moses the heavenly Tabernacle and told him to construct it on earth, that man would no longer be allowed to sacrifice on his own terms anywhere he wanted to.  Why is this important to Paul's discussion in the letter?

After the diaspora of 600 years previous, many Jews had not returned to the land of Israel, either because they couldn't or wouldn't, but they were still aware of the prohibition of not offering sacrifices on their own. The rabbinic teaching became that the closest thing they could do to sacrifice  would be to study Torah.  Quite sensible, since John's gospel begins by telling us that Yeshua and the Word are one and the same.  The rabbis alluded to this for centuries before John wrote his gospel.  The sages taught that Torah was eternal and that Adonai created the universe through His Torah.

While Jews living in Rome had long understood that they could not offer sacrifices outside of the Temple system in Jerusalem, Roman gentiles had been living under the old pagan way of offering sacrifices to any or many gods, whenever and wherever they chose.  Accepting this Jewish Messiah was a radical departure from what they were used to.  Paul wanted them to understand that even though they might not be able to sacrifice in the traditional way, either because they couldn't go to Jerusalem to the Temple or because even if they went there, if they weren't circumcised they couldn't enter the Temple proper, in order to offer sacrifices anyway.
Therefore, Paul gives them specific instruction on the kinds of things they can do that serve as spiritual sacrifice.  That is essentially all of chapter twelve.

Most of what I have to say about Romans chapter 13 is contained in my post, Honor The King.  Click on the title and go read it if you haven't done so.  As for the rest of the chapter, I've seen the summary of verses 8 through 10 get horribly abused in the church.  How so?  Because most Christians have this amorphous, undefined, laissez faire attitude about what it means to love their neighbor.  I've heard some of the worst gossip and backbiting go on in churches under the guise of praying for people. I've had Christians have me bid on jobs and then expect a huge discount below an already fair price.  That one gets me because it assumes that I would charge a lot more money to a non-believer, or that I charge too much for my services, period.

I see people who claim to be proud Christians doing things all the time because it is the "accepted" way of doing things as far as the world is concerned, but they never stop to ask if it meets God's standard of loving their neighbor.  This is why studying the Torah and applying the standards to our behavior is so important.  Even after we come to Messiah and repent, accepting salvation, we still have a fallen, fleshly, selfish nature that we have to struggle with every day.  It requires us to study and contemplate what God requires as the standard of love.  It's not about our feelings.  The Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) might nudge us in the right direction, but the Bible is full of admonitions to study and learn the Word.  For whatever reasons of God's choosing, He doesn't just inject it into our heads or download it like an autoexec.bat file.

And the admonition is to study the WHOLE Bible.  You can't make a proper judgment of what a few isolated Scriptures mean and how they apply unless you have a real working knowledge of all the Bible.  And since there isn't a single human being walking the planet who can accomplish all that, we are admonished to gather and fellowship with other believers.  God created us to be social animals.  And while I can agree with temporary sabbaticals on occasion, I can find nothing in Scripture that approves of living a sheltered monastic lifestyle.

Maybe the next post will wrap up this study of Romans.

Shalom Y'all