Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Gambler and Locksmith Work

Kenny Rogers had a hit tune many years ago, The Gambler, about a fellow on a train who gets some sage advice from an old man who borrowed a cigarette and a drink from his bottle.

…Youve got to know when to hold em’
Know when to fold em’
Know when to walk away
And know when to run…

Over the years I’ve considered that information; once in a while putting the last two lines into practice.  This morning was an opportunity to see if I was paying attention.

A call came in from a potential customer who’d broken the tip of his key off in the ignition switch.  I asked what kind of vehicle and found it was a newer model Chevy with the ignition switch in the dash as opposed to the kind with the ignition switch in the steering column. 

He said he tried getting the broken part out by putting sticky stuff on it but it wouldn’t stick to the other half of the key.  If you’re paying attention you fill in the blanks without asking, “What kind of sticky stuff”, because you already know the answer, Super Glue.

Going on to explain that he was able to get the other half of the key into the ignition and start the vehicle made it possible for him to continue driving his car.  This is a transponder equipped type key which means the transmitting module which is located inside the plastic head of the key must be in close proximity to the reader antenna which encircles the ignition switch.  Other than that the key functions the same as a regular mechanical key, matching wafers inside the lock with the combination cut onto the key.

I told him that if he wanted to drive over I’d look at it.  If I couldn’t fix it there would be no charge; but if I could I replace his broken key at a very reasonable price.  That seemed like a good idea and he drove right over, parking his Malibu in the driveway.

Sure enough, the key was buried deep inside the ignition switch and there was dried Super Glue on the half of the key still on his key ring.  It didn’t take much observation skills to figure out that the wafers which were supposed to bounce up and down had been glued into place, matching the exact cuts of the remaining portion of his key.  In short and easy to understand English, the broken key was in for the duration and he needed a new ignition switch. To his luck the cuts were in descending order ending at the place where the key had snapped in half on a 5 cut. 

Know when to walk away
And know when to run…

If I were much younger or perhaps hungrier for a job…any job; but I’m not...  Sometimes it’s better to let go of a job knowing the probability it can turn ugly in a heartbeat.

“You’re going to need to take this to the dealer and have their service department fix this one.  I don’t want to get into a job that could end up being very expensive only to leave you stranded.  While the car is still running I recommend you drive over to the closest Chevy dealer.” 

As a courtesy I called Munday Chevrolet as it’s one of the accounts I service and talked to the service writer to explain the circumstances in order for him to properly figure out what would be required. You could see the dollar signs adding up in his head; but that’s between Munday Chevrolet and their customer.  

You never count your money
When you’re sitting at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done.

Today, “the gambler he broke even”, didn’t make any money; but didn’t lose any either.

Being able to sense your proximity to a bottomless pit while walking, discern between the knock of close friend from that of a bill collector at your door or recognize a job that would be a real nightmare; all these are acquired skills and worth remembering when the cards are on the table.  Thanks go out to Kenny Rogers for recording an important message.  Now that’s an ace that you can keep.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.  
Special notice:  The Moral Liberal will be taken off the internet at the end of March for an indefinite period.  It’s been a great ride and a great read.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Old Dog Learning New Tricks

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks; just this past week I’ve learned ways to work with images on my computer.  I don’t know how many formats images come in; but there are many that refuse to cooperate when trying to drop them into a blog article.  Knowing other ways to skin a cat makes the editing process possible.

The other day I got a message from the iTune store explaining how the album I was going to purchase would exceed my balance.  That didn’t make sense since I had $28 in credits and the album only cost $13.99.   After a brief exchange of emails with iTunes customer service the issue was resolved; but only after they explained how I should do a ‘print screen’ of the original message which popped up to alert me of the exceeded balance. 

They were kind enough to explain the steps needed to save a print screen image to file so it could be sent as a JPG image later.  Computer geeks reading this are slapping me on the forehead and saying, in unison, “Well, duh”; but I never knew you could do that.

My laptop didn’t have any photograph editing programs that would crop or otherwise alter the stored print screen images and all I wanted was a certain portion of those images.  I copied the images onto a flash drive, took the flash drive across the room to the other computer, used the photograph program to crop the image down, copied it back to the flash drive in its completed version, walked back to my computer, copied the image into the article being posted and, in my best John Wayne voice, “Wa ha”! 

Yesterday I was in the middle of posting an article Jim Wiegand sent in, Hiding the Slaughter; but the images were formatted in such as way as to not be compatible.  I remembered the trick about taking a screen shot and was able to work through the process of dropping in the image after having cropped away the unwanted areas and converting it to JPG format.

 Did I mention I downloaded a free program off the internet, GIMP?  It took almost ten minutes to download and once on my computer I realized you had to have a degree in computer graphics to make it work; tossed it in the recycle bin almost immediately.  Back to the drawing board; there had to be an easier way.

This morning I went through a stack of old (ancient) computer programs, discs saved over the years that just might be used in case of an emergency.  I found the old ‘flying toaster’ screen saver program; now that should be fun to load since it was written for Windows 3.1.  Then there was the Aquarium screen saver program, U-Boat Commander, Flight Simulator, and several updates for key code programs going back twenty years; why am I keeping them, I don’t know; but I have them.

Finally I found the program I was looking for, a disc that came with an old Epson printer that had a simple photo editing program called Polaroid PhotoMax Pro.  It only took a few seconds to load onto my laptop and it’s simple enough to use.

I’d used PhotoMax years ago on an older computer and I liked it, the program was designed for simple operation by an old dog like me.  I’ll probably use only a small percentage of the tools offered; but I can crop a picture down to size and correct minor flaws without too much effort.  I tried the fish eye lens effect; think I’ll stick to the more conventional image reproduction method.

Now I don’t have to save it to a flash drive, take it to another computer, play around with the photo, save it to the flash drive and take it back to where you started.  Life doesn’t have to be that complicated and we old dogs appreciate the simple things. 

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mentally Incompetent Gun Legislators are Dangerous

You read that right; Mentally Incompetent Gun Legislators are more dangerous to our society than criminals or mentally incompetents with guns.  The folks writing an endless stream of laws intended to save us from ourselves are out of their collective minds.  It’s no accident I used the word collective either; transforming America from a constitutional republic into a third world socialist country is the result of collectivism standing on the throat of individual liberty.

We’ve come to expect a total disregard for God given inalienable rights from Democrats as they are nothing more than America’s Socialist Party; but many wolves in sheep’s clothing under the guise of the Republican Party, RINOs, have abandoned individual core values in favor of the collective. 

Cleon Skousen warned in his book, The Naked Communist, this would happen as he listed the communist’s goals required to take over America.  Here are but a few:

“Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture--education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].

Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.”

Correct me if I’m mistaken; but are not most, if not all of the listed items being employed at this time in order to dissolve our 2nd Amendment right to own and bear arms?

According to an article appearing on Fox News website, “…South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who on Thursday again expressed his interest in getting the measure passed” in reference to legislation “keeping the mentally ill from owning firearms.”

The problem with ‘making society safe’ via ‘Nanny’ legislation, it ignores the rule of law and eventually destroys the foundations which support the very society which these laws were intended to preserve.

“Graham’s proposal would require that people found mentally incompetent be added to the National Instant Criminal Background System – the database for all new gun sales.
Those added to the list would have to be found incompetent by a federal court or other official body.” (emphasis added)

Bad legislation fails to be specific; in this case “…or other official body” is an open ended pit fall which lends itself to abuse.  Who has been given the authority to take the place of a judge sitting in a court of law set up for the purpose of determining competency?  More properly stated, who has usurped powers never intended for any agent or agency of government other than a judge sitting in a court of law set up for the purpose of determining competency? 

If a person is found to be of unsound mind and incapable of reasoned thought by a qualified judge then by all means, list that person’s name on the National Instant Criminal Background System; however, and this is a huge however, clear that list of anyone who has been included via any source other than through a final adjudication in a proper court of law.  

The National Instant Criminal Background System is currently well suited for corruption and misuse, not much different than the No Fly List which limits individual liberty to move about freely in our society.  

The National Instant Criminal Background System, the database for all new gun sales, can be used and is being used in direct violation of individual rights protected by our  constitutional form of government.  As it stands now, damn near anyone under the broad interpretation of “other official body” can enter an individual’s name effectively reducing these folks to the status, Ward of the State, denying them equal protection and freedom without benefit of the full judiciary processes.

In short America has become a police state, albeit a very comfortable prison in which a wide assortment of creature comforts are available; but a police state none the less where individual rights are removed willy-nilly at the discretion of folks who lack authority, and more so, accountability to We The People.
Kurt Nimmo, writing for recorded a move by Sen. Diane Feinstein to deny 2nd amendment rights to all veterans.

“During the Senate Judiciary meeting today (March 7, 2013) to markup a potpourri of bills designed to deny the American people their rights under the Second Amendment and disarm them, Senator Dianne Feinstein opposed an amendment to her so-called assault weapons ban legislation that would allow veterans to continue buying firearms the bill would outlaw.

Aside from expressing her disdain for any who have served or are currently serving in the military, Sen. Feinstein exposes her distrust in We The People as a whole.  She, as do many others in our Congress and Senate, set at naught the very foundations of a nation founded on principles of self governance. 

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”  Thomas Jefferson

Let’s be clear about how things work in a constitutional republic; courts decide an individual’s ability to hold full membership in our society based on evidence supplied to and approved by the court prior to arriving at a verdict.  All individuals are considered to hold full membership rights as protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights without regard for race, creed, color or religious affiliation unless directed to by a court of law.  It’s that simple.

If we as a society permit government representatives to violate this premise by introducing or passing legislation which interrupts this important foundation then no individual is protected.  At that moment we become subject to the whims of government and its endless bureaucracies, bureaucracies filled with self appointed potentates who lack legitimacy.  In short weve abandoned the rule of law and introduced chaos.

America has become a police state.  Our representative form of government has been replaced with totalitarian elitist organizations with no regard for constitutional restraints written specifically to preserve God given inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 
“…But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain (or - present government) is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

If this continues, and it surely will, there can only be two outcomes; either we will continue to be fed only what our masters consider essential to maintain the status quo, led like sheep to the shearers or there will be a violent uprising to restore all that has been removed. 
The only proper way to affect change regarding an individual’s 2nd Amendment right to own and bear arms would be to make a Constitutional Amendment altering or dissolving the 2nd Amendment.  Congress has been specifically barred from infringing on these rights and any legislation they create regarding bans on invented categories such as ‘assault weapons’ or cosmetic alterations to otherwise lawful weapons is in direct defiance of We The People. 

Heaven help us as the time quickly approaches, perhaps is already here, when reason is replaced with total civil unrest and violence.  Our foundations are as valid as the day they were written; it’s our leadership which has become corrupt.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Can the Media or Scientists be trusted to report on God?

The question bears asking, can the media or scientists be trusted to report on God?  There’s been a scientific breakthrough story dancing on the front page, Yahoo had a teaser to get viewers interested, “‘God particle’ is a go”, followed by, “Scientists chasing the elusive ‘God particle’ announce a “magnificent” breakthrough”.

If you follow the story it goes on to explain how scientists attempting to unlock the mysteries of the universe by understanding the smallest particles which make up our universe have found what they call boson particles.  Apparently there is a super boson particle (my own summary) which they are calling the Higgs boson, theorized as being the answer to how the Big Bang was set in motion, the missing link to creation itself.

“The Higgs is sometimes referred to as the "God particle," to the chagrin of many scientists, who prefer its official name.”  

It stands to reason if scientists can explain ‘everything’ then there would be no need for the ‘hocus pocus’ involved with religion, faith and clearly no need for God.  The perfect set up for a statist world, wouldn’t you say?

“From what is known about the particle now, physicists have said the Higgs boson may spell the universe's doom in the very far future. That's because the mass of the Higgs boson is a critical part of a calculation that portends the future of space and time. Its mass of 126 times the mass of the proton is just about what would be needed to create a fundamentally unstable universe that would lead to a cataclysm billions of years from now.”

Some scientists have devoted a lifetime attempting to prove that everything simply ‘happened’ rather than leaning on a crutch, as do the simple minded, that a super being ‘created’ everything out of ‘nothing’.   Have I overstated the division in thought processes?

Think of the ramifications in the political arena, more particularly how such a scientific discovery would play into the hands of progressives intent on ‘transforming America’.  Is it any wonder the media outlets are having a field day with this story since a goodly percentage of the media leans far to the left? 

It follows that governments can overturn rights as easily as they hand them out; God being a figment of mass imagination.  The Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights could be discounted and in a heartbeat change the course of history.

Look at it from a progressive’s point of view.  The entire premise of God given inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness stems from…forgive my use of words here, stems from mankind’s inherent weakness and belief that we must have been created by a supreme being, God. 

Our right to free speech, to own and bear arms or rights to do anything all hinge on and are recorded in such a way as to affirm the concept of a Creator.  Things that were accepted as common knowledge now are finding their way into the courts as part of protest movement items; ‘In God We Trust’ and Ten Commandment are fixed to and dependent on Judeo-Christian foundations as found in the Scriptures.

Upon reading the story about the so called ‘God particle’ my mind recalled a passage of scripture, one which falls into a category I call ‘Gospel in a Nutshell’.  This is an admonition from a father to his sons regarding how things ‘are’; found in the Book of Mormon,  2 Nep 2:13.  The entire chapter is a gem worth going over; but this one paragraph stands out as it relates to the topic of a Creator.

“And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.”

Some folks will say there is no God and consider themselves intellectually superior to anyone who suggests otherwise.

There’s an interesting exchange between Ammon, a servant of the Lord, and a fellow named Korihor as found in the Book of Mormon, Alma 30.  Korihor was a sharp witted antagonist who defiantly stood before the people telling them that religious faith was a waste of time put in place to keep them in bondage so priests could hold sway over them.  Ammon took exception to Korihor’s challenges and turned the tables on him.

“…Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.”

Unfortunately for Korihor his acknowledgement of eternal truths came too late as he was struck dumb for his rebellion to God; but because the exchange was recorded for us in our day, his example serves as a warning to have a little more respect for our Creator and Savior.

I read an article several years ago,  Did God Write the Laws of Physics, by John Pratt, a noted scientist who shares similar religious beliefs to those I hold sacred.  He wrote:

“Did God write the laws of physics or are they self-existent and God just follows them perfectly? The scripture I am thinking of to answer this question does not explicitly include all physical law, but it does refer to some of the most fundamental laws of physics. The Lord has stated: 

“God . . . hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons; And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets." (D&C 88:41-43)

Thus, we are explicitly told that God gave the law to the planets that controls their orbital motions. In modern astronomy, those laws include Kepler's Laws, which can be derived from Newton's laws of motion and his law of gravity. So I take that scripture to mean, “Yes, God wrote the laws of physics.” The Lord also explains how the law is executed: 

And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space--
The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things. (D&C 88:11-13, emphasis added)”

Will scientists looking for the elusive Higgs boson particle prove their theories regarding the Big Bang and all of Creation?  I seriously doubt it; but what is more curious, will these same scientists acknowledge God’s hand in their very existence, the ability to take in the breath of air which sustains them from day to day? 

It boils down to the age old question, do you believe in God or not?  Can science and religion work hand in hand to discover eternal truths or are they at odds working along different tangents that can never be reconciled.  My guess, my belief, call it what you wish; scientists will only find truths which were intended to be found in the eternal plan designed and put into play by God. 

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Keeping the Fruits of Your Labors

This past week upon completion of a locksmith job for a small car dealership that specializes in wholesale used vehicle purchases and sales, when it came time to get paid I was directed to their office where a check had already been written; all that was needed was a copy of the receipt which I exchanged for the check. 

“I like getting paid”, said with a smile and a wink.  It was time for me to be on my way, putting the check in the receipt binder. 

Back when I was an apprentice locksmith working for knowledge rather than taking home any money, the fruits of my labors couldn’t be recorded in a green columnar ledger sheet; but they couldn’t be taxed by the government either.  It takes years to accumulate a working knowledge, how to successfully complete a locksmith job isn’t always the same as a profitable locksmith job; staying in business requires the ability to know the difference.

I remember the first ‘paying job’ as a locksmith as if it were yesterday.  It was at the end of the day when the call came in; a simple case of car keys being lost, a job which I’d become proficient at so the owner of the shop where I was apprenticing threw me a bone, so to speak.

“Why don’t you go take care of this one on your way home, it’s all yours.”  That statement alone showed a considerable amount of trust in my newly acquired abilities, enough to trust me with one of his customers along with my putting a few dollars in my pocket.

The job went smoothly as a replacement key was produced; a certain feeling of satisfaction overtook me for stepping up to the challenge without having my mentor standing over my shoulder to make sure the job was done properly.  Driving down the road toward home, having traveled several miles; it dawned on me, I never collected any money.

All those times I’d produced keys in the past in the capacity of locksmith apprentice, the money part of the transaction was always handled by someone else.  A broad sweeping grin came over me as I realized, “Hey, I’m still an apprentice”.  Some folks would have brow beat themselves for having done something so dumb; but I’d been so elated for completing a job on my own that putting a few dollars in my wallet wasn’t that important.

Fast forward some thirty plus years and that broad sweeping smile wouldn’t have had a chance of appearing; I like to get paid, that’s why I show up in the first place.  The folks who call my business, explaining they need a locksmith expect to pay for those services; they understand my services aren’t free, at least most of them do.
There’s an element within our society which has been brought up believing the world owes them simply ‘because’; call it the entitlement mentality if you like.  The most current tag being used to identify them is Low Information Voters.  Politicians find these folks; change that to read, politicians seek out these folks as a means of getting elected over and over. 

Promises of free cell phones, welfare assistance for housing, food stamp programs and the list goes on.  The problem with having all these government assisted entitlement programs; they aren’t free, someone else is paying for these programs.

For every dollar awarded to a person who didn’t earn it there is a hard worker who had his wallet picked by the government, a worker who didn’t get to keep the fruits of his/her labors.

These folks are not apprentice laborers working for knowledge, folks who will go home with a broad smile on their faces for having accomplished a task put before them.  Quite to the contrary, most of these individuals would have preferred to put that money to good use in their own way rather than have the government decide who needed it more.

Somewhere along the way America has gotten off the road to prosperity and taken a different path, The Road to Serfdom, as Freidrick von Hayek spelled out in his book.

“We have in effect undertaken to dispense with the forces which produced unforeseen results and to replace the impersonal and anonymous mechanism of the market by collective and ‘conscious’ direction of all social forces to deliberately chosen goals.” (translation: Socialism)

In high school we read Shakespeare’s, Julius Caesar, with the famous warning, “Beware the Ides of March”, a foretelling of doom.  Ignoring the warning turned out to be...wait for it…Brutal. (sorry, couldn’t resist)

Had Shakespeare been writing in our day perhaps his warning would have been, “Beware the Ides of April”, as we prepare to meet our federal tax obligations; at least those who actually pay taxes.  April 15th can be equally Brutal.

What about the huge percentage of folks who are permanently on the dole, those who have figured out a way to let their neighbors pay in order to provide them with what the government considers a sustainable existence?  I’m not talking about those we desire to take care of out of the goodness of our hearts, doing the ‘Christian thing’ so the poor and the truly needy are taken care of.  No, I’m pointing my finger at the lazy, corrupt and worthless baggage we as taxpayers have hanging around our necks like a huge Albatross. 

For America to survive, much less prosper, we need to get out of the ditch of Socialism which runs parallel to the Road to Serfdom.   The dead weight which is dragging us down towards financial Armageddon has brought down countless other nations over the history of mankind; what makes any of us think we are exempt from the laws of nature?

The bill has come due and the check needs to be written, nature expects and demands to be paid; a simple lesson on the fruits of our labors.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Friday, March 08, 2013

We’re all gonna’ drown!

If you’ve been keeping up with the U.N. science reports on man made global warming then it’s a foregone conclusion that we’re all going to drown as ocean levels rise from melting glaciers

‘“We believe that the mass loss is irreversible in the foreseeable future” assuming continued climate change, the scientists, based in the Netherlands and the United States, wrote in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.’

Never mind wondering if the government is going to go after your 401K retirement plan; the oceans are rising at alarming rates and we’re all gonna’ drown!

Chicken Little scare mongers are inseparably tied to their agenda of turning the clock back a few centuries, back to before mankind destroyed any hope of Earth’s survival. 

Had our ancestors never invented fire glaciers would still be intact.  If Thomas Edison hadn’t invented the incandescent light bulb we’d be living in caves, asleep when the sun went down and Henry Ford will rot in outer darkness for making it possible for the average ‘Joe’ to obtain a motorcar.  None of this global warming would have occurred had it not been for men tinkering where they shouldn’t have.

When men wearing blue U.N. uniforms with machine guns come by, if you’ll turn loose of your hard earned money, hand it over to a world governing body made up of third world tyrants and dictators who have nothing more than your well being at the top of their list, then perhaps we can put that money to use and save this wretched planet from capitalists who’ve industrialized the Garden of Eden.  Then the earth can return to a time when mankind hadn’t destroyed his children’s future, condemning them to a watery grave as the surf covers tenement buildings in the Bronx.

I’ve a pretty good idea how these ‘scientists’ arrive at their doomsday theories.  All they do is enter figures into a computer, doesn’t matter how or where those figures were obtained, the important part is the computer determines the outcome.  That way when they publish their findings, “Our computer generated models predict…”, sounds scientific to uninformed morons like me and my next door neighbors.

I was involved in a real scientific study years ago when we took our car to the beach.  We parked it on the flat sands well away from the dangerous on coming tide, a safe forty yards from the breakers.  When we first arrived it was early in the morning; we had the beach pretty much to ourselves and the air was pleasantly cool.

As morning progressed the beach became cluttered with vehicles; families out taking advantage of the ocean and adding to the global warming effect.  As more people arrived the temperature rose considerably; clearly the result of extra vehicles pouring CO2 into the atmosphere.

It should be noted the resulting temperatures likely caused glaciers far to the north to melt, adding to rise in the adjoining waters; the distance from the breakers to where I’d parked our vehicle was measurably closer, enough to wonder if we might be overtaken by the encroaching surf.

The temperatures continued to rise near mid-day and we decided to have cold cut sandwiches rather than roast hot dogs for fear the additional heat would further damage the eco-systems.  It was already too late; the rising waters had been set in motion.

Four hours had gone by and the waves rolling in were now causing us to be concerned for our safety.  I calculated, on my laptop computer, the rate at which the ocean’s edge was gaining on our position, gathered our belongings and tossed them in the car.  We decided the safest place to be, based solely on computer generated figures, was a move to Kansas to avoid certain death as we pictured in our minds the last icebergs evaporating off the coast of Greenland; vanished forever.

Had we only known the damage we’d been doing to Mother Earth, millions of cows expelling methane so we could have chocolate milk with our cookies; forgive us in our gluttony.  When they tell us to give more, we promise we’ll send the U.N. more than enough money to save the planet.

We’ve looked over the sustainable planning guide for apartment living and with a little more sacrifice, perhaps we will figure out a way to enjoy our 600 square foot apartment. The idea of sharing the showers and toilet facilities with ten other families will be something to get used to; but in the name of saving the planet we all have to do our share.

It won’t be long, we’re promised, computer generated maps provided by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) bear out the indisputable facts; mankind has destroyed everything.  

On the bright side; after we’re gone there won’t be any man made global warming.  This old earth will be restored to its primeval grandeur, nothing but plants and four legged animals wandering around; yes my friends, we’re all gonna’ drown!

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

TSA Approved Carry-On Weapons

Terrorists used box cutters to take over several airplanes back on 9/11 which for all practical purposes ended a way of life in America where individuals were considered citizens rather than subjects.  The 4th Amendment was tossed in the trash in favor of promises by government officials that everyone would be safe and secure through unwarranted searches based only on the whims of the TSA and Homeland Security representatives.

Today TSA and Homeland Security have announced minor changes to their approved carry-on items; apparently a pocket knife is no longer considered a dangerous weapon. 

“The Transportation Security Administration announced Tuesday changes to what can and cannot be brought on board an aircraft.  Amid a flurry of criticism, U.S. airline passengers will soon be allowed to carry small knives in their carry-on bags, but there are other changes to the prohibited item list.” 

Other items considered for approval for carry-on by air travelers would include souvenir baseball bats; but not full size baseball bats.  Souvenir bats looks remarkably like policeman’s night sticks and clearly could never be used as a weapon; but full sized bats would be too dangerous in the hands of a potential terrorist. 

The TSA is considering certain firearms as well; but only those which meet very rigid limitations.  It is rumored that Sen. Diane Feinstein of California was responsible for the list of approved weapons.

Passengers must prove carry-on firearms are capable of only firing one shot at a time and must use black powder rather than smokeless gun powder so that flight attendants will be able to see which passenger fired it by following a trail of smoke associated with mussel flash.  Ms Feinstein was reluctant to include long rifles; but was forced to give into demands made by an unnamed NRA representative on the basis these muskets having historical value associated with the Revolutionary War.

A TSA spokesperson reminded this reporter, “As you can plainly see, we still have the same inalienable rights our founders had when they flew the friendly skies”.

Some changes have yet to be approved by TSA and the final list of approved weaponry should be ascertained by travelers prior to subjecting themselves to random unconstitutional searches in our nation’s airports, railway stations, ferry landings or other places where government goons molest the public without warrant.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Are You Listening?

Today’s lesson in priesthood quorum had to do with listening to the Holy Ghost; but not only listening, acting upon the promptings given.  It’s a little like getting a job and then finding out the boss expects productivity in order to get paid; some of you were saying to yourselves, “I knew there was a catch”.

A friend of mine shared a recent experience to illustrate the point.  He’d come home from work and noticed his wife and pregnant daughter sitting together on the sofa watching television earlier in the afternoon than normal.  The idea came to him, “Should I ask my daughter if she’d like a father’s blessing so she would be at peace and not worry about having the baby?”  The thought came and went as he found she’d been having contractions during the afternoon; but the contractions had ceased, a false alarm.

A short while later the promptings came to him again, “Ask you daughter if she’d like a father’s blessing”; but the idea came and went without taking any action.  In the middle of the night his daughter started having contractions, more serious this time, and went to the hospital to deliver the baby. 

My friend bowed his head and explained, “It was too late, she was already having the baby.  I knew I should have acted when I first heard the promptings; I’m guilty”.  (As with the television show Dragnet, names were omitted to protect the innocent)

How many times are we given an opportunity to do things the Lord’s way; but for some reason or another we put off the promptings of the Spirit?  Hearing isn’t enough; we have to act.

Another friend chimed in, telling how he’d started off the day with the idea that he needed to get a set of jumper cables to keep in his car; something we all should have and yet it wasn’t a pressing issue.  That evening his wife called; sure enough, she was stranded needed a jump off.  My friend had to enlist his neighbor’s help because his jumper cables were hanging in the garage instead of being in the car where they would have done some good.

It reminded me of a short story written by Lewis Padgett many years ago, What You Need, about a very specialized curio shop.  Thinking of this gave me an opportunity to find the old collection of stories sitting on my bookshelf, under the title, A Gnome There Was, and indulge a little time reading these wonderful old Sci-fi meanderings.

In the story, an inquisitive journalist wondered about the goings on at a small shop that catered to the wealth and prominent and yet didn’t appear to have much to offer, at least not from anything you could see inside the establishment.  He observed a variety of objects leave the store; but these items didn’t appear to have any specific value, not that a person of means would require.

The sign in the shop declared, “We have what you need”, and the proprietor, having endured an endless steam of questions from the young man finally offered him a chance to partake of the service, at a greatly reduced rate, payable upon satisfaction along with his promise not to return again.  It would only cost him five dollars; too good to pass up, what would it be.

After leaving the shop with package in hand he found it was a pair of scissors with instructions to keep them with him at all times that day.  He wondered if they were significant, some historically important pair of scissors that belonged to a famous person at one time, or if he’d been scammed as he placed them in the pocket of his jacket.

Latter in the evening, after having had too much to drink he visited the newspaper office where his scarf got caught in the machinery at the presses.  Each click of the huge cogs took him closer to a life ending situation.  Had it not been for the scissors in his pocket to cut the cloth…; but how did the old man know what would be needed?   I won’t spoil the story for you; go read it for yourself.

It’s not my purpose to confuse Sci-fi with the promptings of the Spirit; but it made for an interesting train of thought this morning while the lesson was in progress. 

We all have the opportunity to have the Spirit of the Lord play an active role in our lives.  It requires obedience to the commandments along with a willingness to live in such a way as to become one of his disciples.  The more we are in tune with the Spirit the more easily we recognize the still small voice which prompts us. 

Often these promptings are about simple things like saying, “I love you” to your wife at just the right moment in order to let her have a wonderful feeling.  Other times it’s to tell you to put a set of jumper cables in the trunk; go figure.

It’s not enough to hear the message; action is required within a timely manner.  Are you listening?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.