The King’s Singers are the longest running male choral group in history. This group has been active for centuries with never a break. When someone gets too old, they recruit a new person to replace him and carry on. This group has been performing for the British royal court for a very long time. They’re absolutely awesome!
January 21, 2014
They forecast snow for today and... for once, the weather reports were right. The snow began to fall at about 6:00 this morning and has been falling ever since. We have around six or seven inches of it now (at 6:00 pm) and it’s coming down harder now than it has all day. And my beautiful clean Camaro that my son and I just washed yesterday is now covered. Oh well.
So, of course, I sent my son out to clean off the windows. And, man, is it ever cold!
Thanks to Google Auto Awesome for these cool animations.
January 17, 2014
January 16, 2014
olitical conversation has gotten a lot more heated and a lot more common in recent days. I began to notice it shortly after the A&E/Duck Dynasty controversy, and I have a theory about why this has happened. Maybe it’s only that I have begun to notice something that has been going on for a long time. But I don’t think that’s it because I’ve been posting political things for about a decade. Nobody has any doubt where I stand on current events and political issues. But just over the past couple of months I have been inundated with push-back from my liberal-leaning friends. Some of them have “unfriended” me on Facebook. Others have called me on the phone or sent me emails. Not one of those friends said anything about my political posts until the past few months, even though most of them have been reading my blog or my Facebook page for years.
What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
I think the change came when A&E decided to suspend Phil Robertson for quoting scripture and stating his personal experience and saying that he is heterosexual. A&E bowed to the pressure of the intolerant GLAAD and put out a statement saying that they stand with the homosexual community against homophobic and intolerant statements made by Duck Dynasty’s patriarch Phil Robertson. This, of course, shocked the Christian community because he had said nothing of the sort. In fact, he said he loves everyone. But he quoted scripture that speaks against homosexuality and he stated his preference for females.
A&E also received pressure from the NAACP who claimed that Phil Robertson’s statements that he had not personally seen any evidence of racism when he was growing up and that the black folks he associated with most frequently seemed quite happy constituted blatant racism. The liberal media then ran with this part of the story and created a narrative out of whole cloth saying that Phil Robertson had said that blacks were better off under Jim Crow laws than they are now. He had never said anything of the sort, but liberal people lapped it all up and spat it back out... at me. In fact, they kept repeating those things even after it was pointed out clearly to them that Robertson had never said anything like that but had just answered a journalist’s question by stating what he had seen growing up. This part of the story caused non-religious conservatives to join with the religious ones in thinking, “this could happen to me.” The whole story made us realize that we are very vulnerable in our society’s current atmosphere.
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
So the conservatives and the religious people began speaking upa lot more. I’ve always been outspoken about these things, but now so was everyone else. And I think this outpouring of conservative thought from everyday people has caused my liberal friends to freak out. They’re bothered by speech that they had not heard much before, but all of a sudden it was everywhere around them. The conservatives and the Christians were speaking their minds.
That extended beyond the Phil Robertson flap. Especially the Christians realized that our culture no longer understands the things of the bible. When a scripture verse is quoted and that is proclaimed as vile hate speech, our culture is clueless at a level that most Christians cannot comprehend. And we realized, we have a long way to go to pull our society back from the brink of disaster.
The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
While all of this is happening, Barack Obama has pushed his authoritarian, dictatorial ways further with the beginning of this new year. He has stated that he will not wait for Congress, but will act unilaterally where he can. “I have a pen and I have a phone,” he stated, emphasizing that he will use his pen to sign executive orders and he will convene meetings with those he deems worthy through his phone so he doesn’t have to wait for the pesky checks and balances our founding fathers wrote into our Constitution.
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
It’s getting scary.
And from his recent speeches, it seems that Mr. Obama’s primary goal this year is to overcome “income inequality.” This was the context of his threat to govern by dictatorial fiat when he mentioned his pen and his mobile phone. We’re in a heap ’o trouble!
So... considering income inequality and income redistribution, I ran across two stories that I thought I would share here. I hope they can help some people understand what a terrible idea this is. And may God have mercy on our nation and protect us from this administration.
Story #1: Economics Professor fails entire class
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan.” All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A (substituting grades for dollarssomething closer to home and more readily understood by all).
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Could not be any simpler than that.
When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.
Story #2: The obligatory bar joke
Suppose that every day, 10 men go out for beer and the bill for all 10 comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…
- The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing
- The fifth would pay $1
- The sixth would pay $3
- The seventh would pay $7
- The eighth would pay $12
- The ninth would pay $18
- The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59
- And so, the first four men still pay nothing (no change from before)
- The fifth man continues to pay $1 (no change from before)
- The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving)
- The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving)
- The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving)
- The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving)
- The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving)
With the exception of the fifth man (kinda the lower middle-class guy), each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.
“I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,” but he got $10!”
“I got nothing at all,” exclaimed the fifth man. It’s unfair that he got $10 back when I got nothing!” “That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”
“And does it on the backs of the lower middle-class,” chimed in the fifth man.
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore (see “Atlas Shrugged”). In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
I truly hope the conservatives don’t bow to the pressure being recently brought to bear upon them by their liberal acquaintances and friends. When common sense is removed from the conversation all that’s left is nonsense.
Yes... left is nonsense!
January 13, 2014
One of the things I love about conservative/libertarian women is how much they scare and anger their less attractive counterparts (otherwise known as liberal women). My friend, Meg, posted this video to her Facebook page today and I just had to pass it along. I love it!
January 10, 2014
I love the movie Shrek. In addition to great characters and a delightful storyline, it has outstanding music. This song, Hallelujah, is one of my favorite songs in that soundtrack and I love this version of it.
And, as a bonus, here’s Bon Jovi singing the same song:
January 06, 2014
oday begins the first full work week of the new year. While everyone else considers their New Year’s resolutions the week after Christmas, I have maintained a long-standing tradition of being late. So my thoughts about the prior year and considerations about what I should work toward in the new year tend to come to mind sometime in January.
- Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
- but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
- He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
- The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
- Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
- for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
This year is no different, except that these thoughts hit a little bit sooner this year than they have in the past.
On the way into work this morning I was reading my bible. (I ride on a commuter van, so I wasn’t reading and driving at the same time.) This year I have decided to follow the Crossway plan to read through the bible in one year. It splits the daily reading into four different parts. One of this morning’s passages was Psalm 1, which you may read in the box at the upper right of this post. It’s just a short psalm, but a very good one to consider as the year begins.
As I head into this year, do I want to be blessed? The two verses of this psalm tell me some characteristics of a blessed man: he does not listen to wicked counsel, or hang out with sinners and scoffers, but he delights in God’s law and meditates on it. And what does the blessing of this type of life look like? he is like a tree planted by the streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and doesn’t wither. In everything this man does, he prospers. What does the person who does not have this blessed life look like? he’s different than the blessed man: he’s compared to the chaff that the wind blows away and he will not stand when Judgment Day comes, but he will perish.
It kinda seems like a no-brainer to me. So why do I have to make a change. Why haven’t I been doing this all along?
January 05, 2014
This header graphic is out of character for this blog. I normally use my photos to create the blog header, but this time I used an illustration created in Photoshop. This technique began as an attempt to draw a marble, but ended up as a planet. I think it’s kind of cool looking, but I still prefer using photographs.
January 03, 2014
have noticed an ever-widening polarization between those who think in a liberal paradigm and those who think in a libertarian paradigm. Libertarianism has come to take over what used to be conservatism while the old-fashioned conservatism has become what used to be considered liberal. Today’s liberals seem to be to be so completely off the rails that I cannot even comprehend their thought processes.
But then, they can’t comprehend mine either.
I had noticed this more and more over recent years with people who held the opposite political position from me on a variety of issues. But it really came home with clarity recently when I had a political discussion with a very good friend whom I respect deeply. And yet, our arguments did not even come close to making sense to each other.
There are peoplemillions of them, in factwho think it should be legal to murder babies, but then illegal to, say, pay a fast food worker less than minimum wage, or refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. How could I possibly understand this mentality? How could I wrap my head around the thought process that leads one to conclude that the latter cases are so atrociousso dehumanizingthat they ought to be outlawed, but the former case is so acceptable that it ought to be vigorously defended, and even funded, by the federal government?
As we ended that conversation I made the claim to my friend that I think the cause of our inability to convince each other to see the issue from our perspective comes down the the difference in what we respect and what we abhor. Afraid that I might offend my friend, I mentioned that the people on my side of the issue seem to view honesty, dedication, and commitment to morality as virtues while they view unusual behavior, agenda-driven dishonesty, and greed as vices, the people on his side of the issue seem to respect those who break the molds of accepted respectability, who will do anything to accomplish their agenda, and who use class warfare to increase their wealth while they disdain those who hold to traditional values and think those who are responsible are boring. To my surprise, he didn’t disagree.
Matt Walsh, one of my favorite bloggers, recently wrote an article that says this very thing. In his post “I can’t explain why we shouldn’t murder disabled children” puts into words what I was trying, without such eloquence, to say to my friend. And he uses the issues of abortion and infanticide to demonstrate that dividetwo issues very close to my heart.
Read the article and then bookmark his blog. It’s consistently outstanding. You won’t regret it.
A few days ago my son and I went out to take a few pictures around town. We drove to Delaplane, Virginia, and visited the Three Fox Vineyard where we found this beautiful Greek statue just as the sun was dropping down over the horizon. I love dusk. And I’m particularly fond of statues. So this was the perfect place to grab a quick photograph (out the window of my car).
I used to post a new music video every Friday to launch the weekend. It’s been quite a while since I did that, but posting the videos of the Christmas music reminded me of the wealth of great performances available on Youtube.
I found this one quite by accident and I love it. I hope you do too: