On Not Being Cursed…

Verse of the Day:

This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes.

They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lordwhose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream

It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
~ Jeremiah 17:5-8 ~

scandal

So this wasn’t part of my regular Bible study, but recent events made me think of it: Republicans in different camps are upset with a good number of people today for a variety of reasons – one side is perturbed that President Trump didn’t even attempt to negotiate a deal re: the debt ceiling, another that we increased the debt ceiling at all, one that blames Speaker Ryan and Republican leadership for failing to see this coming and get in front of it, some at Messrs. Ryan and McConnell for just rolling over, and some (ok… most all) at the GOP led Congress for not getting anything done in 6 months after they’ve been saying for seven years ‘If only we had the House, Senate, AND the White House we could get stuff done”.  Not going to lie – I fall into a couple of those camps myself.

But it made me think of how much hope and trustpsalm1463 and faith we as people put into politicians….  and how much we really shouldn’t.
It’s something people on all sides of the political spectrum do: President Clinton was going to save the Democratic Party, President Bush was going to restore prestige to the Oval Office, according to President Obama – he was going to stop the rise of the oceans or some such nonsense, etc… I personally  yearned for the day when then-Governor Sanford would run for President – he was going to save the country with his sound policies, but he couldn’t even save his marriage because of his unsound morals (talk about a heart-breaking disappointment); then there was Governor Romney – probably the most qualified, morally upright person to run for President in recent memory; then there was Messr. Ryan (actually – he was before Gov. Romney, and I won’t lie – I’ve had a policy crush on Messr. Ryan since his early Roadmaps…  it was so dreamy) – I personally had so much faith and hope placed in him that his transformation as head cat wrangler Speaker has been soooooo disappointing I have a hard time finding the words to explain it (understandable seeing as he has a caucus that’s stupid to the nth degree, but still); and somewhere in there was Gov. Walker and Senator Rubio – both who I still think have bright futures.  And lastly I figured while the GOP controlled Congress wasn’t going to do anything substantive I might as well embrace The Donald – he may not share many of my convictions, but at least he ticked off all the right people.  And there was no way he was going to deal with Mme. Pelosi or Messr. Schumer….  And then yesterday happened.  GRRRRR…  I give up.  😉
Recently people put a good deal of faith in Donald Trump: he was going to build a wall, drain the swamp, take the national debt seriously in an Andrew Jackson kind of way; he along with a Republican Congress were going to repeal Obamacare, revise the tax code, etc…  And we know how that’s going right now.

But there is so much faith put in these folks, that I think we forget that’s what they are: merely human.  Individuals who are gifted with power, but who still have to deal with being deeply flawed people.  And when we put that much faith in men, we’re bound to be disappointed – which will lead to feelings of frustration and anger, and we too often take those out on the folks around us, or let it go into the ether that is social media…  And that just leads to the society we have today where everybody is angry so much of the time that we need to just take time away from it all.

It’s not worth it.

I could stop there really, but I won’t.   Still – it’s not worth it.  There is so much out there we should be doing, so much of God’s love we should be showing to our neighbours, that we really need to stop placing so much trust in people (maybe especially politicians – if you don’t give them that much power over your emotions/etc., maybe they won’t be that important overall) and start putting it back in the Creator of all things.

Look, I’m disappointed in a government that slowly encroaches on more and more of my life, I’m disappointed in a Republican party that lets it and doesn’t move on big issues to reform/reduce the size and scope of government, I’m disappointed in a President that is petty and doesn’t seem to have any core beliefs, I’m disappointed in a media that doesn’t care about the truth or the facts – only their agenda… And often that disappointment slips out as anger – it’s something I’m working on (maybe not hard enough(?)), work on it with me?  If we all work on it together, maybe we’ll get to a place where no matter what the douchebags in D.C. or Olympia or wherever do – we can still be filled with joy and be pleasant to one another.  Maybe.

Now, from today’s study:

1-cor-13-4-8a

And that is a true fact.

On Needing My Pain (and other emotions) – or On The Vulcan Influence…

Because I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul and tie as much as possible into Star Trek…  And Star Trek V isn’t as bad as everyone else makes it out to be – especially since JJ Abrams tried to murder the franchise.

Today we had a guest speaker at church, Jim Lyon – his message can be found here.  I thought the message was especially interesting since it provides the counter-argument to the Stoic line of thought that I’ve been reading in Meditations: where one argues that evil comes from emotion and they should be suppressed in favor of reason and intellect (the Stoic school of thought dumbed down as much as I possibly can here); while the other argues emotions are part and parcel of being the wonderful creations we are – in God’s own image no less.

Now, emotions are not something I’m generally comfortable talking about; c’mon, I’m a guy – can’t we talk about football instead?  But they are something I’ve learned to deal with a little bit better in the last year or so; whereas the emotions I find easiest to express are probably not the healthiest – anger and frustration, the rest escape me most of the time – just they way I’m wired.  
In the past, you could find me ensconced in politics 24/7/365 – it was what I loved, what I lived for from the time I was in middle school until I was 34, and I like to think I was semi-competent at it…  and towards the end I spent most of that time angry.  While I would consider my anger righteous in nature (it wasn’t… most of the time), but eventually it became pretty encompassing: I couldn’t just see people on the other side of an argument as people who needed to be loved but I disagreed with – they were the opposition, the enemy.  And that wasn’t just people in the other party, it was people in my own.  I sat in a few meetings where an individual repeatedly berated people who disagreed with them (I was on the receiving end of one of those tirades a time or two), and after on incident where this individual – a proclaimed Christian, said this about someone with whom they disagreed about a political issue “There is no mercy for [him]!” I had to take a step back and think about things.  I realized I never wanted to get to that point, where someone would see that kind of vitriol from me – so I had to take a step back.  As I slowly extricated myself from the organizations and things I enjoyed most in life I found something out: I became happier.  I found other ways to spend my time: instead of volunteering for a political party I found opportunities in the community, I found more opportunities at church, etc.  And I wasn’t as angry all the time – look, I still read the news and politics is still my first love (Daphne Du Maurier once said about first love, “I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.”) I’m still going to get angry; but I’m not angry at the people next door, and I like to think I’m getting better at the rest of the world too (it’s realllllllly hard though – why are people so stupid?!).  It’s a process though, and one I have a hard time trusting God with – but trust Him I need to.  My emotions are a part of me and who God created me to be – I need them, they’re natural, they make me who I am; but as Mr. Lyon said they are corrupted versions of the pure emotions of He who created me so I need His help dealing with them.  This is just one area pertaining to emotions where I need help, there are plenty more areas…

So much of life comes down to trusting God, and the emotional side of things is one of the hardest for me, for a lot of people I’m guessing… and that’s why todays Verse of the Day is this:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your path straight.”
~ Proverbs 3:5-6 ~

I hope I do a better job trusting God tomorrow than I did today, and the day after, and the day after – I hope we all do.

Have an awesome Labor Day!

On Ole Miss, Nashville, and ‘Perlious Falls’…

Verse of the Day:

Hasten, O God, to save me;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me
~ Psalm 70:1 ~

originalLord, help me – I don’t know if I can make it through another day like this…


So!  I’m just gonna leave this here…  you should read it.  And then you and me should find a way to just skip this generation being our future – just skip them and move on to the next… provided we do a better job with them.  If not, let’s just burn it all to the ground and maybe we don’t start over – not sure we deserve to.idjit
One of my friends heard the story and mused aloud, ‘I wonder if they know bananas grow in trees?’.  Frankly, I’m not sure I could answer that in the affirmative.  We’ve got a generation attending colleges who’s first (and apparently only) response is to not “feel welcome” or “safe” because someone threw a banana peel away and it got stuck in a tree…  They needed safe spaces for that.  They cancelled a large retreat because of it.  They cried (seriously?!)  over it.  Because the big bad world hurt their widdle feewings… somehow…  still not sure how that does it, but with the apparently micro-thin skin on the generation in college right now, I’m guessing a brisk breeze might hurt their feelings.   I just…   Screw feelings.
I can’t even right now.
People need to stop being idjits.


Next up, an organization called The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood(CBMW) held a conference and issued what was titled “The Nashville Statement”.  As the name of the group would indicate, this was a Christian organization that months ago planned to issue a statement re: the topic of Biblical Christianity and how it related to the sexual nature of man.  This shouldn’t be a story, but apparently the same beliefs that have been taught for over 2,000 years caught many by surprise; and they melted down…  Again.  The statement isn’t controversial by any means – it is Christian (and to some extent aligned with Jewish) doctrine.  It’s been taught and believed for a loooooong time.  It was a good statement.  It was a Biblically correct statement – which makes it a Christian statement: believe it or not, God’s will and law aren’t something common man gets to change just because we don’t like it.  And public figures that go out of their way to condemn it and talk about how tolerant their viewpoints are while saying the CBMW has no place and should be silenced need to go look ‘tolerance‘ up in the dictionary, and then ‘tolerate‘ (I included links just in case…).  Also, the Mayor of Nashville needs to check herself – the government doesn’t get to say who or what is representative of the “inclusive values of the city“: many of the residents of Nashville believe what was expressed in the Nashville Statement; you don’t have a monopoly on values, and if you’re going to be “inclusive” you’d better be ready to include them – if not, you really don’t understand the word or that the role of the government isn’t there to tell people what views and values are acceptable.
Why is it every single time a Christian or Christian organization professes a Christian belief so many people lose their ever-loving minds?!  Just…  Stop it already.  I and others may not always achieve living up to our professed values, but most of us are trying – and not hitting the mark all the time doesn’t mean the mark still isn’t there for us.
#GoodGrief


perilAnd finally!  I got a book on the recommendation of…  I can’t remember who from National Review a while back.  It’s a kid’s book and I got a copy for my nephew and a copy for myself, and we made a handshake agreement last night to read a chapter a week and discuss it.  It is, by far, the book I’m looking forward to reading the most right now.  The book is the first in a series about Will Wilder (I guess I’ll find out who that is soon), and is titled The Relic of Perilous Falls.  It is supposed to be an adventure series (think young Indiana Jones(?)) but with an emphasis on faith and the battle between Good and Evil as understood by Christians.  Hoping it will keep my nephew’s interest and mine.

On Things Learned from ‘Meditations’…

Verse of the Day

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance
~ James 1:2-3 ~

marcus-aurelius-bust-e1357825298942

So, I’m currently I just began reading (I tried the audio book thing for this a couple months back, and I really just can’t do it – I don’t know why, but I am completely unable to process books that way.  Other things, sure – books, not so much.  It’s weird.  And enough of that now.) Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and philosopher.  There’s a lot to like in it, and one of the things I noted was the very first part: he spends a portion of the book talking about what he learned, and to whom he attributed the teaching.  The following bit he attributes to one of his teachers, Claudius Maximus:

From Claudius Maximus, in all things to endeavour to have power
of myself, and in nothing to be carried about; to be cheerful and
courageous in all sudden chances and accidents, as in sicknesses: to
love mildness, and moderation, and gravity: and to do my business,
whatsoever it be, thoroughly, and without querulousness. Whatsoever
he said, all men believed him that as he spake, so he thought, and
whatsoever he did, that he did it with a good intent. His manner was,
never to wonder at anything; never to be in haste, and yet never
slow: nor to be perplexed, or dejected, or at any time unseemly, or
excessively to laugh: nor to be angry, or suspicious, but ever ready to
do good, and to forgive, and to speak truth; and all this, as one that
seemed rather of himself to have been straight and right, than ever to
have been rectified or redressed; neither was there any man that ever
thought himself undervalued by him, or that could find in his heart, to
think himself a better man than he. He would also be very pleasant and
gracious.

Just some really good things to learn for all of us: we can decide how we approach the world – do we approach every situation with cheerfulness or woe?  Do we live our lives in such a manner that people trust us?  Do we do our job in such a way that no one questions whether or not we did our best?  Do we do good and forgive?  All these are things we, as Christians, should be doing – it’s nice to see them echoed here in the classics as well; even from one who oversaw a government responsible for persecuting the early Christians – we’re all only human after all.

And that’s my thought for the morning…

Also, a few of my friends in Texas have been sharing this, so here’s a quick plug for the Texas Baptist Men.  They’re a group doing good work down in Texas right now, and we need to support those that are.  Don’t forget to find a way to contribute to the relief efforts in the Gulf region, and don’t forget to find ways to help out those in your own community!

Have an awesome Wednesday!

On A Cup of Morning Joe And Other Things…

8e161f48aa8c9cc51d54ba3157ee0088--lol-pics-funny-meme-pictures
One of my favourite memes…  EVER.

Verse of the Day:

No one calls for justice;
      no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies;
     they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
~ Isaiah 54:9 ~

So the other day President Trump pardoned controversial figure Sheriff Joe Arpaio (SA); I would have shared my thoughts earlier, but I had a fantasy football draft to prepare for and attend – priorities people!

On the pardon itself
*shoulder shrug* Meh.
Everyone knew it was coming, and yet the media did what it does best: blew everything out of proportion and acted like the world was ending.  The coverage that night was ridiculous, and it continues to be.  As I’ve stated before: to me intellectual honesty and integrity are pretty key, and I’ll get into why this whole thing is stupid. on so many levels.

Regarding the President
He was going to Pardon SA from the beginning, and anyone who thought differently is living in a fantasy world – one that many of us may enjoy, please pass whatever it is you’re partaking in.  This was completely consistent with the President’s views that immigration law was poorly enforced by the last administration (it was), and that stricter enforcement was necessarily a good thing: this is not racist, this is not discriminatory – it is a policy preference for the laws of the land to mean something and be enforced accordingly.

Regarding Sheriff Arpaio
I can honestly say I don’t know much more about the man than what’s been in the news and what’s on Wikipedia – and I don’t care to; in the grand scheme of things – priorities, people!
But, what you can find about him is that almost since he was elected Sheriff in 1992 he has been a contentious figure; with many siding with him because of his hard-nosed stance towards criminals in jail and those here illegally, with many siding against him for many reasons mostly failing into the category of civil rights abuses (perceived and otherwise).
I’m not a big fan of that kind of thing; most of the time I (publicly) steer away from controversial fellows like that because it doesn’t foster good-will, harmony, and national unity (though I understand their necessity and usefulness from time-to-time) – something I think we need more of, and I’m a big fan of Vice-President Pence’s advice:

“If there’s a line you don’t want to cross, you don’t even walk up to it — you stop three feet in front of it.”

*advice maybe we should all take to heart – I know I should more often*
Now, maybe there were lines SA was okay approaching and/or viewed as worthy of crossing – that’s for him to say; the courts clearly disagreed with his interpretation of what law enforcement should be doing, and the legal process played out like it should have…  And a part of that is the President having the power to pardon if he deems proper; he did.  End of story.

Regarding the Right
Two parts here – there is the portion of the Right that seeks to be admired by the public and the media and can’t wait to be the first to condemn President Trump because it will score them political points, and there is the portion that can’t get enough of The Donald.
On the former, nothing new to see here: the decision may have been politically unpopular, and political animals will do political things – it’s what they do.
On the latter, it’s a victory lap that perhaps they should not be taking part in.  Your guy got pardoned, be thankful and move on: I know the left and the media aren’t going to let it go – don’t let them drag you into the muck.  Also, there is an incredible amount of posturing involving the moral equivalency of the previous administration, the ‘they did it first’ argumentation, etc. – I’ll get into that momentarily – don’t worry about it, but…  The President has the Constitutional Right to pardon and commute, if you had a problem when the last President did it – you should have problems now; have the integrity to be consistent in your application of political principles.  And another thing: none of this is conducive to promoting better community and unity, so let’s focus on that when and where we can.  All that to say…
What’s done is done, move on.

Regarding the Left / Media
Seriously?  You have problems with this pardon, but you had no problem with the previous administration deciding that our Constitutional form of government didn’t suit their needs desires so they were going to unilaterally change immigration policy?  You have problems with a law enforcement officer attempting to enforce the lawfully passed laws of the land in regard to immigration, but you have no problems with people who break those laws (even Justin Trudeau of Canada has a problem with people who do that – where’s the condemnation there? I mean, he is a racist, right?).  Where were you when the last President was commuting the sentence of a traitor and pardoning one who leaked national secrets?  If you didn’t say anything about Manning and/or Cartwright – shut your cakehole, you have no room to condemn – and this applies doubly to the media.  The coverage on this was bordering on apocalyptic and that is just embarrassing for the media and the left when they refuse to provide wall-to-wall coverage on these – it is an indictment of an ideology that has one thing, and one thing only in mind: the march of leftist policies no matter the cost.  Also, you have no problem calling for civility in discourse, but the second someone disagrees with you on immigration policy (or any policy for that matter really) you publicly denounce them as racists?  As fascists?  This doesn’t help your cause, it just makes reasonable people think you’re unreasonable, self-absorbed jackasses without a reasonable worldview or any rational context – I have friends that immediately called President Trump racist for pardoning SA and believing immigration laws should be enforced, and it made me cringe.  Get over yourselves already.  Believing that immigration should be regulated and the laws surrounding it should be enforced is not racist, it is not fascist, it is reasonable.  It is reasonable to disagree with the current law, but if you don’t like the law – change the law; if our elected officials choose not to change it – get new ones at the ballot box.  But until then, the law is the law is the law – and we are “a government of laws, and not of men” as John Adams once aptly pointed out.

I think that covers most everyone and everything – maybe I’ll think of something more later on.

But my conclusion is we all need to take a deep breath, re-evaluate how we’ve reacted to situations in the past and now, find a way to assess our opinions without attacking people who have different policy preferences, and then watch some football (or baseball) for the love of all that’s holy!  There are Husky and Duck fans to rip on for goodness sake.  😇

On A Troubling Double Standard…

Verse of the Day:

Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.  You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.
~ II Chronicles 6:14-15 ~

Today I wonder what the generation that gave birth to the greatest experiment mankind ever conceived would think of us and what we have become – I wonder what every preceding generation would think…  And I’m speaking in reference to the America we live in where a high school coach that kneels in prayer is fired and a player that prays is mocked, while a football player that kneels during the national anthem is deifiedimg_1298 (I’m not linking to anything because I couldn’t figure out which douchiest love-fest for this craptastic quarterback I should use, so I used his stats from the last two seasons) and a high school coach that encourages his entire team to do the same in honor of said player is cheered and celebrated.  To be honest, I know what the Father of our country would think about the former, he made it pretty clear:

“If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed in the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it, and if I could now conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny and every species of religious persecution.”
~ President George Washington ~

From a guy who supposedly found little solace in religion personally, he sure took religious practices in the public and private sphere awfully seriously.  Also, I’m pretty sure we know where he stood on those objects that were symbols of national unity – they were things he gave his entire adult life to after all.

I was pretty disheartened today when the most overturned Court of Appeals, the hallowed (sarcasm, Sheldon) 9th Circuit (though that part is heartening – they are so wrong so much of the time it would be comical if we didn’t have to live with their terrible decisions for any period of time) ruled that the Bremerton High School had rightfully fired him because he somehow forcefully proselytized by quietly praying by himself after the game (you’ve really got to read the opinion – it is so ridiculous you will be amazed!).  Give me a break.  We have to deal with schools that have transgender reveal parties for five-year olds that parents can’t excuse their children from and children in the first grade can get sent to the Principle’s office because they misgender someone… and that’s okay?  But a coach can’t pray by himself in public because… it’s wrong?  It’s forcing an ideology down someone’s throat?  It hurt your widdel feewings?  It will make you grow purple polka-dots on aquamarine skin?  Grow up.  I am so ready to give up on the general public and move to the wilderness right now… because I’m an outdoorsman (I’m not an outdoorsman).

The double standard here is so painfully obvious, and those that don’t acknowledge it are willfully ignorant/oblivious: many of the same people that are perfectly fine with this coach’s firing (or even openly appreciate it) celebrate Kaepernick’s open insult to one of the few symbols that should unify us as a people, and think somebody should be forced to hire him; at least Kap has a reason for not having a job – he sucks at football, that coach didn’t – he just exercised his First Amendment Rights and got fired for it.  How intellectually dishonest can we be as a society?  Do we even care?  Or is it really all just about pushing an illiberal agenda where there’s no room for the public embrace of the faith that has helped this Nation grow as much as it has?  I have a feeling I know the answer, it’s just so sad.

I pray that the Supreme Court has the good sense to do what needs to be done, and overturn the 9th AGAIN.; I pray that common sense returns to the people of this land; I pray we find a sense of morality grounded in our Creator’s wisdom again; and I pray for the people in the path of zombie hurricane Harvey.

In closing, here’s a link to some ways to help victims of Hurricane Harvey which has just made landfall in Texas.

I’ll catch you on the flip side…

On Leadership…

leadership-demotivational-poster-1237740501

Verse of the Day

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

~ Matthew 20:25-28 `

Today we had a work event where the head of our department (fairly new to our organization) wanted to take the time at our first all-around get-together to talk about his views on leadership and the principles he lives by.  He started out with a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry about leadership being inspiring people to long for something rather than assigning tasks, then he moved on to discussing the balance between control and trust and how it plays into empowerment.

With the topic of leadership coming up, it reminded me of this:

“I think leadership comes from integrity – that you do whatever you ask others to do. I think there are non-obvious ways to lead. Just by providing a good example as a parent, a friend, a neighbor makes it possible for other people to see better ways to do things. Leadership does not need to be a dramatic, fist in the air and trumpets blaring, activity.”
~ Scott Berkun ~

Sometimes I wonder if I’m being the kind of leader I need to be, or was meant to be. Sometimes it pays to take stock of our lives and ask the questions – are we leading? Are we doing what needs to be done and sharing in the work? Are we doing the non-obvious things as well as the obvious things? And where we lead – do people follow? Should they follow? Are we the family member, friend and neighbor we should be? And when we’ve asked the questions – do we like the answers? And even if we do like the answers – can we work on it and make them better?

Just my thought for the day…

On The Day That Was Yesterday When Stupid Seemed To Reign…

Verse of the Day:

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

~ Proverbs 19:21 ~

I’ve got a lot of plans…  I hope and pray they’re in alignment!


Now, On Other Things

Wow…  What a busy, stupid day yesterday.wha

ESPN cancels a reporter’s appearance at a game… because of his name?!  President Trump was… well, Donald Trump.  The media, pundits, and elected officials lost their minds (again).  The Bundy’s were acquitted.  And the Chicago Bears’ coaching staff still refuses to acknowledge that Mike Glennon probably isn’t the answer to anything other than “What QB got paid the most for showing almost nothing this year?”.

 

In “Ways People Couldn’t Be Stupider” today…  ESPN determined it was in everyone’s best interest to shuffle their announcer deck so that a young Asian-American announcer named Robert Lee wouldn’t have to announce a game at the University of Virginia on opening week.  Defending this move, they claimed they were merely trying to protect their staff from ridicule.  Well, they succeeded – kind of.  Instead of mean-spirited memes or other things (that naturally occur in sports anyways…  ALL THE TIME), they are victims of their own hubris, and are being excoriated by virtually everyone over this stupidest of moves.  Honestly, I didn’t think we could get this dumb as a society – clearly I was wrong.  Not only does it hurt ESPN in the now, it exacerbates the (correct) perception that ESPN is moving well beyond sports (the arena it should be focused on) and expanding ever more rapidly into advancing leftist political agendas; there’s a reason I don’t watch ESPN anymore, and this is just the most recent example.  #dontwatchESPNanymoreitsbadforyourbrainpan


Then…  Last night the President did what only Donald Trump can do: he was himself.  This was the Donald Trump that ate through 17 4 much more qualified candidates (and 13 other guys/gals) in the Republican primary and then surprisingly (not really) squelched Secretary Clinton’s presidential aspirations in the general.  It was the Trump that rallied people across the country and rallied them around #DrainTheSwamp, and his supporters couldn’t get enough of it.  And the left and the media and the entrenched apologists for a do-nothing Republican Congress couldn’t take it…  It was kind of beautiful to watch – any time a crowd embraces and chants the idea that “CNN Sucks” I become happy.  Any time pundits respond to this like it’s the first time they’ve seen Donald Trump be The Donald and try to question his capacities, etc. – I am amused and entertained.  The unhinging of the left, the media, and those Republicans who can’t bother to keep their campaign promises (that one vote short came about because a guy who ran hard against Obamacare to get re-elected cared more about sticking it to the President than about the American people imnsho) is something that should be on display for all to see.  And that group of people – guilty of the worst kind of insular group-think – who keep floating the idea of unilaterally undermining the proper election results by removing this President are worse than the Russians they claim did the same thing (wait, we haven’t heard about that in a while since they don’t have anything…  Kind of funny how the media, left, etc. move from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis in order to undermine this President).  All that rambling to say – this rally wasn’t as great as the President’s fans think it was, but it was nowhere near as bad as the media and others are trying to pan it to be – and it certainly wasn’t anything new.  People who expected Donald Trump to stop being Donald Trump because he was elected President need to disabuse themselves of that notion and at least try to understand the appeal of him to the everyman – something I gather they never will.


I kind of covered the melt-down of the left, etc. in response to yesterday’s rally above; suffice to say it was hilarious and epic in its disproportion.  Maybe if the media started doing its job instead of acting like they were an opposition party; maybe if pundits – I’ve got nothing here other than they should cease being scaremongers, acting as if every time the President opened his mouth the world was ending (Clapper was especially trite the other day), and calling anyone that supports the President a racist, homophobic, transphobic Confederate Nazi scum (or something to that effect).


The Bundy’s were acquitted… And how that happened I will never know.  While I agree that the Federal Government is increasingly expansive, and has usurped much power that should have never fallen into its hand, and is about as responsive as the British government was to the colonists back in the 18th century – there are laws, and by all accounts the Bundy’s broke them.

Look, we may agree with the plight of the Bundy’s and be sympathetic to their cause; that doesn’t mean what they did was right or legal.  I chalk this up to people being fed up with the government, but I find little solace in a jury deciding to acquit individuals who broke the law because they don’t like the law.  We have elections, and the power of redress in our States through initiative and petitions – that’s how you change laws you don’t like.  Super irritating to be on the side of law and order, only to have half your side abandon those principles when it doesn’t suit their wants.


And lastly – what is going on in Chicago?!  How have we not given Mitch the opportunity to take snaps with the first team yet?  John Fox refusing to even give the inkling it might be on the table leaves me flabbergasted, and it needs to stop!  Mike Glennon may be a great guy and an exceptional teammate; he’s not looking like the best quarterback on our roster and it’s time to see what else we’ve got before the season starts!  #FirstTeamRepsforMitch


 

On The World Being A Little Less Funny Now… (and more)

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances…”

On Sunday, August 20, 2017 the world became a less funny place.  One of its great humourists, Jerry Lewis, exited the stage one final time leaving behind a legacy he and his family can be proud of.

220px-Jerry_Lewis_-_1960s
“I’ve had great success being a total idiot.”

I can’t claim to know too much about the man himself, but from what I can gather he was a consummate professional – dedicated to his craft, and making himself the best he could be at it; he also seemed to have a heart for serving others as his life-long work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (maybe donate one more time in his honour) and his desire to help children in need; and he was funny.

Not Will Ferrell ‘I’ll cringe while I laugh at your jokes and wouldn’t think of letting my niece and nephew watch or listen to you’ funny.  Not profanity-laced, crude modern-day stand-up funny.  Just funny.  Good old-fashioned, innocent funny.

Some years back when my niece was born, I felt the need to go out and buy several DVD sets of things I didn’t want her and my nephew to miss out on; included in those are three of the greatest duos of all time imnsho – Abbott & Costello, Hope & Crosby, and – you guessed it probable – Lewis & Martin.  These were the groups I wanted to share because they’re some of my favourite entertainment memories; those winter nights when mom and dad would go to Hollywood Video and rent us movies, it would often be these guys.  And one of my favourites!  Scared Stiff

This here is my kind of funny.  And it’s the kind of funny I’m glad I can share with everyone.

And now there’s less of it in the world…  You will be missed, Mr. Lewis, but you have left a mark that remains.  Thank you for the memories.

Godspeed.


In other news, the President gave a speech last night outlining the new strategy moving forward in Afghanistan…  and it was surprisingly good.  When CNN has a hard time finding anything bad to say about it, and Senator Graham has nothing but praise for President Trump – hell has frozen over with the jihadists in it (I wish).

trump-afghanistan-speech-nicholas-kammafpgetty-images-640x480
“The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable,” Trump said. “We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake we made Iraq.”

I appreciate what the President had to say, and that he was man enough to admit that he has changed his mind (as did the last President) based on the advice given to him.  While the worst people have been able to say about the speech is that President Trump didn’t give enough specifics – that is something I’m more than okay with.  He didn’t say exactly what he’d be doing and how long we’d be doing it – it’s best not to telegraph that info so the enemy can just wait us out… like they did when President Obama set an arbitrary withdrawal date of 18 months.  Apparently unlike our last President, this one occasionally learns from history.  President Trump has also done infinitely better than President Obama in not playing armchair General, and disseminating authority and decision-making power to the people who are qualified to do it on the ground – and this sounds like more of the same; which has given us yuuuuuge gains in the battle against ISIS so fat this year.  I look forward to seeing what our men and women in the armed forces can accomplish with the gloves taken off and the Generals in charge.

 


Today’s Verse:

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

~ Proverbs 17:17


And Another Thing…

The home of the First and Second Battles of Bull Run – Manassas, VA – has had to cancel its Civil War Weekend for safety concerns.  This is getting stupid, people – and it just keeps adding to the reasons people are the worst: so just stop it.

Civil War re-enactments were one of my favourite things to go to when I was younger; I loved learning about the era and the people and the events that shaped and changed the course of our country.  Just stop already.


On that note – have an awesome Tuesday!

On Totality

From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the LORD is to be praised.

~ Psalm 113:3 ~

IMG_0027IMG_0029

So… maybe photography isn’t my thing…  and I only had an iPhone and eclipse glasses to work with.  Go to NASA if you want better pictures.  🙂

Either way – this was pretty awesome!  And I’m glad I got to see it!

It’s also pretty amazing how much light is still generated by our sun when almost completely covered; it seemed as though there was just a substantial cloud cover – that’s pretty impressive output…  Right?  I dunno really – that’s a science question, and while I’m a nerd there’d better be a “-fiction” right after the science part if I’m going to have any chance in getting it right.

I know it’s just an object passing in front of another object,

eclipse_science
https://xkcd.com/1877/

but I still find these things amazing – God created a pretty awesome world and universe for us to enjoy.  Not only that, it’s kind of fun to see how the world has viewed events like these over the past few thousand years – check out these observations through time.  Pretty fun stuff.

 

Anyways, have an awesome Monday!