Thursday, February 26, 2015

Miscellaneous Silliness For Your Day

Adultery is still illegal in 21 states in the U.S.   In a few it’s a felony.  Colorado just repealed its laws on it last year, but in the west, Arizona, Utah and Idaho still maintain it’s a crime.  These archaic laws are rarely enforced, but with the modern societal trends I think we could probably balance the federal budget if we’d collect fines on these folks!!

Medical science now says they can take the head of one person and graft it onto the healthy body of another person who has died of a bodily injury that leaves the brain and head intact and fully functional.  That, in itself creates a problem since we currently define death as “brain death.”  Think about what that will mean ethically, morally, legally etc.   Will aging people of means get new bodies when theirs deteriorates?  Just buy a new head from some willing person who is told they have terminal cancer and decides to go to Oregon and kill themselves painlessly on their own time schedule to avoid the misery of slowly dying.  Will Hillary get to run in 2070 with a new body?  Will the new body make her a different person?  How does it work if your head is 70 and your body is that of a 19 year-old hottie.  What happens if you are female and the only donor body is male…hmmm?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Obama Slams Christians

There’s been a world of controversy recently about President Obama going to the National Prayer Breakfast and comparing Christianity to Radical Muslim Terrorists.  I thought it was shockingly stupid and historically inaccurate to make that comparison.  The fundamental difference in the whole thing is that Christianity teaches peace and non-violence.  Yes the Old Testament is filled with violence sanctioned at times by God, and all of it was time dependent and site specific.  That is the fundamental difference between Christianity, Judaism and Islam.  The Muslim Qur’an and the Hadith all espouse repeatedly acts of violence against anyone who fails to accept Islam as their faith.  They are not site specific nor time dependent.  Their leader and Prophet, Mohammed, was a violent warrior who attacked other civilizations and killed those who refused to accept Islam as their faith.  It was the way he acquired his empire, and it continued to be the prime way it was expanded after his death.  It is codified in all their sacred writings as part of their belief system.

I would also suggest that President Obama was inaccurate in his presentation to broad brush that the acts of terror were committed in the name of Christ.  I’m sure some were, but the bulk of Christianity stood against slavery, and the crusades were carried out in defense of Islamic terror.  The inquisition was politically motivated, as were Catholic wars against Protestants in England.
I would also offer here that no one, including me, suggests that all Muslims are in favor of aggression and terror, but I will say that as a group they aren’t denouncing and resisting it vigorously enough…perhaps out of fear they will be killed by another Muslim for it.

So, let’s put Obama’s speech in simpler terms.  Suppose you are having breakfast one morning and your wife comes in from the bathroom and says “I am so tired of you leaving all your hair and splashing water all over the sink every time you use it.  You are such a slob.”  Now, you, being sensitive to all this and secretly wishing you could be allowed to be a slob without criticism like when you were a single man, need to respond.  How do you respond?  Most likely you say your secret pet peeve about your wife, “Oh yeah, well last week I realized you drove your car without changing the oil for 12,000 miles. You’re so thoughtless and careless, and now I have to fix it.”
How well did that one work for you?   I bet not very effectively.  If you had answered that you were sorry, it is a little sloppy of you and you would try to do better.  It would have gone well.
Pretty much what Obama did was to say it the first way.  He tried to demean his critics, and to shift the focus away from the current problem.

(I realize most women will say: “huh! it’s not my job to get the oil changed in the first place!”  Sorry, it was the only example I could think of offhand…LOL.  I had considered using another female bathroom analogy and discarded the idea pretty quickly!  Too gross!)

Sunday, February 8, 2015


I’ve always been fascinated by the story in Matthew and in Mark in the New Testament where Jesus goes up on the mountain with Peter, James and his brother John and there meets with Elijah and Moses who pop in to visit.  Jesus is transfigured into what basically would amount to a million watt radiating figure, and he has a chat with them about his coming death.  Both of the long dead visitors are brightly transfigured as well, and Peter in his classic bumbling approach offers to build them shelters.  Then God speaks from the sky about how pleased he is with his Son and that they need to obey him.

Now all that is pretty amazing stuff, but really it’s not what I’m fascinated with so much as the fact that neither Peter nor John ever mention it in their writings?  I suppose those things may never have been important enough to them to be related, but it just doesn’t seem consistent considering the other things they did relate about miraculous events.  I mean dead people showing up and God talking from the sky are pretty classic “miracles” so why leave them out?  Did they write about them and the information was lost?  Many scoffers would say it’s just made up, and that’s why it’s not related by the parties who were there, but you would think it would have been challenged since those parties who were there were likely still alive when the letters Matthew and Mark wrote were being circulated.

I’d be interested in your opinions?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Stick It To The Rich?

I am so sick of hearing this nonsense about the rich paying their fair share of the federal income taxes.  The top 40 percent of taxpayers already pay ALL the income tax and the associated credits to lower income brackets.  The top 1% of earners, that are very rich indeed, wound up paying 69% of the total federal tax burden.  These are the statistics from the Congressional Budget Office.

Now I ask you, what is a “fair share”?  The Obama administration has been able to almost double the earned income tax rate on investment capital so that it matches other income tax levels, and I can support that.  But the fair share concept wants to go much further than that.  A great many of those not paying a lot of income tax in lower income tax brackets are actually receiving federal money…and quite a bit of it in some cases.  I don’t have a problem with the very wealthy having a heavier burden on paying taxes, but I do think there is a point when society gets so envious of the rich that they want to punish them and take all their earned wealth to give to those who don’t work to earn (and in many cases WON'T work to earn.)  It pretty much tells the story of human history if you look at it.  When there are lots of rich and lots of poor and no middle class, the poor rise up and annihilate the rich in war.  In America we are experiencing it in a political tax war rather than a physical fight, but it could easily turn to violence someday if we follow the historical model.  And a common end result of all that is a total collapse of society and a takeover by outside interests.  Think hard on that one for a while if you will.

What I really find funny is when they’ve done “ask the man on the street interviews” where they ask what you think a fair tax rate should be for the wealthy…the average person says 20% or thereabouts.  The truly rich pay a rate far more than that already…even the middle class earners do!

I'm no rich guy, but I sure do see something un-American and unethical is this idea of continuing to scalp the wealthy to pour into social programs and boondoggle waste that the federal government is so famous for doing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out

Four hundred years ago, English historian Thomas Fuller wrote that "riches enlarge rather than satisfy appetites."  It seems there’s always a desire for more.  Nowhere is that more apparent than in the United States.  In the end, your things become the owners of you.  Why not invest in your family instead?  Take the time to invest in your children, your wife, your birth family and even your friends.  I wish I had taken even more time to do that, and I thought I was doing pretty well at the time.

One of the things in America that I find so disturbing is the lack of connection we have with one another, and our "things" seem to facilitate that lack.  Loneliness predominates hugely in our society that values things more than people.  We interface with our video games and facebook “friends” rather than sitting across the table from a real person and finding out what is really on their mind and in their heart.  What is the comparable measure of a good hug versus getting a “like” on facebook!!!

And it's not just our preoccupation with money and things that's distressing.  How many times have you said “How are you” to someone?  And the answer is always “Doing well.”  How true do you think that is?  How often do you just turn to the next person and give or get the same answer?  How often do we take the time to really talk and know what’s going on in someone’s heart and mind?  How do we show we care?  Do we follow through with more than just platitudes and a few words?  I know I am certainly guilty of all these things.

Someone once said: "the real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money."   I’ve always loved Eric Clapton’s version of “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” but the lyrics place the emphasis on money while its real theme is being loved for who you are and not what you spend and the things you own.  Sorry, he who dies with the most toys does not win anything.