Archive for the ‘In My Opinion’ Category

Favorite Podcasts

I love podcasts! I’ve been listening to them for about 10 years, and am always finding new ones that I like. I started podcasting in 2008 myself because I liked listening to them so much. I’ve pondered getting satellite radio a few times over the last decade, but always quickly remind myself that podcasts are better. They’re on-demand, and can be downloaded locally so they don’t need an internet connection or clear view of the sky to listen.

My list changes from time to time, but I wanted to share the ones I enjoy. I’m breaking it down into two lists; one is Christian, and the other is not. The “not” list includes tech podcasts, politics, general interest, or whatever doesn’t fit the category “Christian”.

I also want to note that I don’t get to listen to podcasts nearly as much as I would like. Some of the entries below I listen only very occasionally, but I still count them among my favorites.

Christian
General Interest

I just wish I had more time to listen. I’ve been trying to break myself of one habit for years that would help a little in that regard. I mentally treat podcasts differently than radio. If I have a podcast on in one room and need to leave the room, answer the phone, or take my attention away for any other reason, I pause it first. It’s a habit I just can’t break, I live in a DVR world where we don’t have to miss anything because of an interruption. I could get through more if I made a playlist in the morning and didn’t touch it for the rest of the day, it would be more like tuning to my favorite radio station and leaving it on all day.

Note: the links to the right under “Favorite podcasts” like the other links over there, get updated about as often as the makeup of the US Congress, if not less often. Don’t be surprised that they don’t match up perfectly.

What it Would Take to Get Me to Vote Romney

About a month ago, I posted my refutation to some of the more idiotic things said by people who want me to vote Mitt Romney. I’m about to share some of the same thoughts, but also explain what it would take to get me to vote Romney.

There is about a 99% chance that I’ll be voting for Virgil Goode, the Constitution Party candidate for President. Why, you ask? Simply put, he’s the guy I like most. I don’t have much love for Mitt Romney, and voting for him would be a protest vote only, not a meaningful vote.

As I stated in my previous post, I live in Minnesota. Minnesota consistently votes Democrat for President. The last Republican to win Minnesota was Richard Nixon in 1972. We were the only state to go for Walter Mondale in 1984 (though likely because he’s from Minnesota). Only Washington DC joined us in not voting for Reagan. This year appears to be possibly moving more toward an even race, but is still in the Obama/Democrat category.

With Minnesota likely to go Obama, a vote for Romney is a protest vote. It’s an “anyone but Obama” vote. I don’t cast “anyone but…” votes, I vote for the guy I like most on the ballot.

“But You’re Wasting Your Vote”

You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, and you’re welcome to come up with whatever justification you wish for casting your vote, but I’ll decide what constitutes wasting my vote, thank you very much.

How you come to the conclusion of whom to vote for is your business. I don’t cast “lesser evil” votes, or “anybody but…” votes. I vote for the candidate that I like the most. For most races down the line, that ends up being the Republican, mostly for lack of any other choice – it’s the Democrat or it’s the Republican. In races even further down the line, such as school board, city council, or county office, it is often the Liberal Democrat vs. the more moderate Democrat. Whomever comes closest to my political philosophy gets my vote.

That said, it’s my opinion that “lesser evil” or “anyone but…” votes are the ones that are wasted. If there is a better candidate on the ballot, but you refuse to consider him/her because he/she is third party, you’re just rubber-stamping the status quo. In the case of the Presidential race this year, voting for Mitt Romney is voting for the guy who will drive us toward the cliff at a more leisurely pace, rather than speeding ahead with the pedal to the metal. I prefer a candidate that turns the bus around and heads away from the cliff.

“But A Vote for Anyone but Romney is a Vote for Obama”

I addressed this one in my previous post. This logic is completely idiotic, and using it shows that you don’t think at all, you just repeat the garbage you hear others saying. Just sit down and relax. You think Mitt Romney is the only other candidate. Well, just rest well knowing that since I’m not voting for Obama, my vote is as good as a vote for Romney. That may sound strange, but it’s your own bullet-proof logic.

“So What Will it Take to Get You to Vote Romney?”

I’m glad you finally got around to asking. That is what I set out to address, isn’t it?

Put simply, Minnesota will have to be very close. There will have to be a reasonable chance that it will go to a recount. Anything else and I’m going with the guy I like.

Why so close? Well, in any other case, it’s hard to make the argument that my vote really will make a difference in the outcome. If, as is normally the case, Minnesota is headed toward sending 10 electoral votes to the Democrats, then voting for Romney would be a protest vote. It’s an “anyone but Obama” vote. If that’s the case, what’s the difference between voting for Romney (who can’t win Minnesota) and Virgil Goode (who also can’t win Minnesota)? Neither guy will win Minnesota either way. In that case, a vote for Romney is a vote for the status quo. A vote for Romney says that I buy into the system. It’s Kang vs. Kodos.

If it suddenly swings in the other direction, and Romney becomes the projected winner in Minnesota, then a vote for him is simply a rubber-stamp for him. I don’t like him, and don’t have any desire to rubber stamp him. Sure, he’s the lesser evil, but still not my guy. He’s not the guy that will turn the bus around and head in the right direction.

“Why Do You Keep Talking about Minnesota? This is a National Election!”

Go back to third grade History and Civics class. We don’t have a national popular vote. We vote for electors from each state, who in turn vote for the Presidential candidates. My vote affects who those electors from Minnesota will be. Romney could get every vote from every voter in every other state, and it will make no difference who the electors from Minnesota are.

What was the Point of this Post?”

Mostly to tell you to shut up. You sound like a buffoon repeating every idiotic talking point you hear from your Republican Party handlers. Please, stop and think a little before repeating the same old tired and illogical arguments. If your candidate can’t win me to vote for him because he’s the best candidate on my ballot, then resorting to “wasted vote” and “lesser evil” arguments just expose him as being hollow, and your reasoning as weak. Maybe consider learning some basic informal logical fallacies. You’re engaging in several of them and you’re too ignorant to see it. For starters, you’re engaging in the following fallacies: Special Pleading, Bandwagon, Black or White, and Appeal to Emotion. There are probably others as well, but we’ll start there.

The Alpine INE-S920HD: My Thoughts

My family has been on several long road trips over the last two years. By long, I mean it takes at least a day to get where we’re going. in the case of a trip to Phoenix, it took three days to get home (we took our time getting down there, it took about a week). On the most recent, our trip to Bloomington, Indiana for our son’s cancer treatments, we discussed upgrading our car audio system. Our 2005 Isuzu Ascender (a Chevy Trailblazer with the Isuzu name) has nearly 110,000 miles on it, but is still in great condition. We don’t foresee needing to get a new vehicle for another 3-5 years, but wanted to get many of the features of a new vehicle, which are found in the audio system.

When I set out to do the upgrade, I had several features that I wanted in a system, and did a lot of research to make sure I’d get them. I settled on the Alpine INE-S920HD, though one of the key features I sought is not available in this unit.

What I wanted was:

  • Bluetooth for phone calls and audio – I wanted to integrate hands-free calling with the audio system. Also, I listen to a lot of podcasts, especially on long drives, I wanted to be able to play the podcasts loaded on my Android phone through the audio system without dealing with aux-in cords.
  • iPod control – While I am transitioning toward using my phone much more for podcasts, I still find myself sometimes using my classic iPod for the same thing, especially on the longer drives. I wanted to be able to integrate that into the system as seamlessly as possible.
  • Control of back seat video – To date, we’ve been using portable DVD players in the back to keep the kids entertained. I have a pair of Philips players that strap to the back of a headrest. This isn’t great, the seats usually tip somewhat back, rather than being straight up and down, meaning the players point down and can be harder to watch. I wanted to get a ceiling-mounted video screen that could be controlled by the in-dash audio system. My research showed that this is a common feature, called “Dual Zone”. I wanted the system to play my audio choice on the front speaker, and the sound for my kids’ DVDs in the rear speakers. Unfortunately, the Alpine INE-S920HD does not have this feature. I’ll explain more later.
  • Navigation – Over the past several years, we have grown to depend on our Garmin navigation systems. I wanted to get that integrated into the audio system. First, being integrated, the system will mute audio while announcing navigation instructions, so we don’t have a radio and a GPS blasting at the same time, competing for my ears. Second, I thought it would be nice to clear off the dash a little. Third, being in the dash frees up a power port, and eliminates a cord hanging from the dash.
  • A rear camera – We have a large vehicle that can be hard enough to see out the back of. Add a couple child seats in the back row and now a video screen hanging from the ceiling and I’m left with only my side mirrors to see behind the vehicle. Having a camera in the back would be very nice, and provide added safety. I thought it would be even nicer if the rear-camera could act something like a rear-view mirror while driving down the freeway, though the Alpine doesn’t do that, it only works will the vehicle is in reverse.
  • An HD Radio tuner – When I’m not listening to podcasts, I’m usually listening to talk radio. Most talk radio is on scratchy AM stations, and it would be nice to listen to them on the HD2 and HD3 streams on FM sister-stations.

Knowing what I wanted, I set out to find something that would best provide all the items on my wish list. I quickly came across the Clarion NX602, which claimed to do everything I wanted, with the possible exception of the always-on rearview camera. (I’m not sure any unit will do that when hooked up correctly). I also found this Alpine. I’ve long been a fan of Alpine, and sought to find a reason to justify buying it. My biggest hangup was the dual zone requirement. I called Crutchfield to get some of my questions answered. Among other questions, they said this unit had dual zone support. I took them at their word and assumed that meant I’d get the feature I most wanted. Unfortunately, I ended up ordering from Newegg though, because it was almost $100 cheaper than Crutchfield. It was a third party sale, and the seller does not accept returns for installed units. I can’t exactly complain that I was misled by Crutchfield when I bought from someone else and expect an exchange.

In order to make up for the missing feature that I wanted, I had to spend $250 extra to upgrade my video system to one with a built in DVD player (seriously, $250 extra for a DVD player! In 2012, when you can buy portable units for $50!) That player has an FM transmitter built in. So now we have a make-shift dual zone. My kids listen to their DVDs with a portable FM radio instead of the car audio system as I wished from the beginning.

That said, let me move on to the features the unit does have, and my opinions about them:
Read the rest of this entry »

My First Major Twitter Achievement

Yesterday I posted a tweet that ended up being seen by a few guys with a lot of followers and before I knew it, it was getting a lot of retweets. My experience with twitter is that 10 retweets is a ton (for an average guy like me), so seeing 100 before I went to bed last night was a bit of a shock.

For future reference, the tweet refers to the attack and assassination of our ambassador in Benghazi, Libya. The Obama regime claims that it was instigated by a video that was made by an Israeli-American dual-citizen that mocked Muhammed and offended Muslims. The president of Libya said the attack was planned in advance, involved Al Qaeda, and was meant to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11.

Saving Social Security

There is a lot of talk about government programs these days, especially entitlement programs, in light of the crippling debt that Washington is heaping on us all and the programs they intend to spend that money on.

I can’t remember a time in my life when I actually believed that Social Security would survive long enough for me to start cashing checks. Even before my political views shifted dramatically from Democrat tool to Libertarian-Conservative Constitutionalist, I knew that money taken from my paychecks to fund Social Security would never be seen again.

Considering my current political views, and my respect for both the Constitution (interpreted literally and in line with authorial intent) and the long-forgotten concept of Natural Law, I would actually support the complete eradication of all entitlement programs, especially at the Federal level. I’m open to shifting them to the states, and allowing people to vote first at the ballot box and then with their feet whether they want such programs or not.

That said, I hold no illusions that my wishes will be fulfilled in the national political arena. Even with the rise of the Tea Party, and a strong chorus of calls for fiscal responsibility and minimalism in government, few seem to be willing to address the sacred cow of Social Security in any meaningful way. However, I’d like to offer my view on how to save this program so that there might be a slim chance I could get my money back when I hit retirement age. Whether or not you like my ideas here, there is no question that serious changes need to be made before the program not only dries up, but sucks our nation into serious economic turmoil in the process.

Sustainable Contribution Base

The relationship between who pays into Social Security and who receives benefits needs some serious work. Surprisingly though, it is the one program that seems to tie recipients to contributors. Currently there is a cap on how much income will be taxed for Social Security. I don’t recall the exact figure, but somewhere just north of $100k, income stops being taxed for Social Security. This is the one element of the program I think actually makes sense. There is an underlying presumption that everyone will receive Social Security, despite the acknowledgment that our wealthier Seniors have little need of it. Talk of taxing every dollar while applying a sort of means-test to decide who receives benefits gets into wealth-redistribution territory, which is pure tyranny at every level. No man, no matter how “successful” should be obligated to work for the benefit of another unwillingly, which is exactly what redistributionist programs require. This is where I lean on Natural Law, and encourage the reader to learn what you can about Natural Law.

One major reason Social Security is unsustainable, and is speeding toward insolvency, is that when the program was created, there were nearly 16 people paying into the program for every person receiving benefits. Today that number is closer to two. That means that a typical married couple is paying into a program to support one of their four parents. It is left to their kids to support the other three, while trying to support themselves in the process. In past generations, it was much more reasonable for kids and grandkids to support their elderly parents and grandparents because birth-rates were much higher. Life expectancy was also much lower. Most people didn’t expect to live to see 65 years of age, when they would become eligible for Social Security. Today they are living well into their 70’s. And when you had four or six kids, who each had four to six kids of their own, you’d have a couple dozen people pitching in to make sure your needs were met in old age. Today we are in the position where most people have made caring for the elderly a low priority because “that’s what Social Security is for”, and there are fewer of us to do it.

As a result, the age of eligibility absolutely needs to be adjusted – dramatically. Assuming that life expectancy will continue to rise (just for the sake of prudence), I would tie the age of eligibility to life expectancy in percentage terms. For example, life expectancy averages 75 years, and we set eligibility at 95%, new Social Security recipients would be eligible at age 71 and 3 months. This would give them 3 years and 8 months, on average, of benefits. This doesn’t seem like much, but keep in mind that when the program started, most people didn’t expect to live to see anything. Also keep in mind that Social Security is little more than a guaranteed welfare program, and the only requirement is to keep breathing for a specified length of time. Welfare has a lifetime cap of five years, not much more than my proposal.

Choice

As with any other government program, Social Security is crumbling for lack of choice. Just like government schools, you’re stuck with it, you have to pay in, and have no say in where the money goes. The only saving grace is that you’re free to supplement Social Security through an IRA, 401(K), or other retirement account. You can put all your change in a jar for 60 years and retire on it if you want to. Sticking with the government school analogy, this is like going to private school in the evenings, after getting let out of the government school; that’s probably where the meaningful portion is going to come from.

Because any word of making any change to Social Security, besides sending out bigger checks, is met with the strongest of resistance, even among the so-called Conservative, I’m willing to be careful with how a system of choice is offered.

I propose that anyone anyone age 50 or older be given a few options. The first option, which should satisfy the staunchest of Social Security lovers, is to continue with business as usual. If they haven’t retired yet, they can continue to pay into the system as usual, and get the checks they expect when they expect them.

The second option would be a lump-sum payout. If the person is retired, they could receive a tax-free payout equivalent to everything they’ve paid in over the course of their lives. If retired, they could do what they wish with the money. If not yet retired, they could put it into any investment they like under the umbrella of a Roth IRA, where it would never be taxed. This option would probably be disregarded by lower and middle class retirees, who have been counting on Social Security to pay their bills in retirement. However, for many wealthy and prudent retirees that saved all their lives, not expecting to receive anything, this is a great option. They get back what they paid in, without being a greater burden on the system. I say that because most people receive back what they paid in within just a few years of retirement, and the remainder of their lives continue collecting long after their own contribution is exhausted.

The next group would be the 30-49 crowd. This group would also be given options. However, the options given to this group would have more serious consequences, no bail-outs for making bad choices.

The first option would be to move to an optional state-run system. This would shift an unconstitutional program away from a Federal government that has no Constitutional authority to run such a program to the states, which have a 10th amendment option to offer such a program. Should this option be chosen, the state would decide the specifics of the program, but could not guarantee a payout greater than that equal to a lifetime of total contributions plus a reasonable, market-determined rate of interest. The contributions could be used by states to provide necessary services, such as building roads or other service that requires a lump-sum initial cost, but offers long-term use.

The second option would be similar to the 50+ crowd’s option of taking a lump-sum payout. However, it wouldn’t be a lump-sum. It would be would be paid directly into a tax-free retirement account, phased in over a pre-specified number of years, probably around 10. The phasing allows the money they have been credited to be used to help pay for the retirees that opt to stay in the current system. I personally prefer this option because it puts the burden back on the backs of future retirees. You will invest your money better than anyone else, especially if there is no hope of a bailout if you are wrong. You will weigh risk vs. reward and make a choice that best suits your needs. If you lose everything, you’ll have to work later in life.

For anyone who is 29 or younger, there is no choice. Their contributions to date would be transfered over a similar pre-specified number of years into a private investment vehicle.

In addition to reforming the system in terms of how accounts are structured, I would open up the options of where to put the money. For example, if real-estate, on average, appreciates over time (current economic situation notwithstanding), I would allow people to buy homes with their IRA money. Many people already spend a lifetime investing in bigger and bigger home, figuring that at retirement they can drastically downsize and live off the equity. Under the current system, you can borrow from your IRA to buy a home, but you are required to “pay yourself back.” I would certainly retain the option, but wouldn’t require that the money be paid back into your account. It’s your money, your retirement, and your problem if you screw it up.

Conclusion

Regardless of whether my idea would work or not, things will change sooner or later. The option isn’t if, it’s how and when. I’m of the mind that the sooner it happens, the better. That gets us out before we dig a deeper hole, and gives us more time to iron out the details and resolve inevitable problems that will arise.

As with any program, private is always better. People will make better decisions with their own money than government bureaucrats will. Also, the gut tendency by many to want a safety net must be resisted. It certainly eases the conscience to help people out who make bad choices, but all that does is introduce a moral hazard that will encourage bad decisions to be made in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I would never forbid anyone from helping a friend or loved-one, that is their choice (and risk) to make. I would not, however, require anyone by force of law, to bail out the irresponsible. Those who make bad choices (like blowing their money on a high-rolling trip to Las Vegas) will provide the example to others that such behavior is not acceptable to society at large, and won’t be subsidized via public bailouts.

Tear Down This Wall: A Review of “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”

This afternoon I ventured out into rarely-visited territory: the local movie theater. I have been eagerly awaiting the release of “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” with Ben Stein.

Much like “The Irrational Atheist,” which I reviewed two weeks ago, “Expelled” takes the debate between Darwinism and Intelligent Design to a place that the Darwinists don’t want it to go. In this case, the much ballyhooed realm of open discussion. “Expelled” places the discussion of origins into two camps: Darwinism and Intelligent Design, then it compares the separation to the two to the Berlin Wall. Free and open discussion is permitted so long as it’s done on the “correct” side of that wall, and no discussion is allowed of the other side.

“Expelled” starts out describing the case of Richard Sternberg, a researcher at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and editor of the journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, who was forced out of his job after he approved the publication of a pro-ID paper by Stephen C. Meyer of the Discovery Institute. Stein Notes that he expects this incident to be unique, but decides to do some digging to find out for sure. Once he gets going, he learns that there are many people just like Sternberg who were fired, forced out, or didn’t have their employment contracts reviewed after simply asking questions. Among them, people who are pro-evolution in their views of origins, but made the mistake of acknowledging questions raised by promoters of ID (Intelligent Design) that the Darwinian establishment has deemed verboten.

“Expelled” goes on to demonstrate what extreme Darwinism can bring about in society: the Holocaust and the American Eugenics program of the early 20th century. They clarify that not all Darwinists promote policies of eugenics and mass slaughter, but all eugenicists and mass murderers are Darwinists.

“Expelled” doesn’t dabble much into the debate over origins itself, which I think in the end is a great strength of the film. It merely shows that those who champion the aspects of science that promote discussion, debate, and criticism shut the door to those who bring the hardest hitting challenges to the table. Where “Expelled” does dabble in the discussion, they show the leading atheists of our time to be every bit as foolish as they claim the ID folks to be. When asked how the first life form (necessary to the Darwinian process of evolution) came into being, the speculations were quite wild, ranging from “molecules riding the backs of crystals,” to “technologically highly advanced alien species” ‘seeding’ the earth with primitive cells that evolved into the vast diversity of life as we know it today (That was the “brilliant” Richard Dawkins.

I never held Dawkins in high regard, but between “Expelled” and TIA, he has been made to look like an utter fool. Neither even tries hard to paint him in that light either. About the only thing this fool has going for him is the perception of sophistication that is inherent in the English accent.

When I reviewed “The Irrational Atheist,” I said:

“I foresee his book being the very beginning of a movement that will send the old arguments used by the New Atheists back into darkness until enough time has passed for another generation to drag them out again, as these have done. (It’s an old cycle that keeps coming around full circle, not a set of new arguments that will finally win a centuries-old war.)”

“Expelled” reinforces that feeling. It is a well-produced film that hits evolutionary theory very hard by addressing problems that Darwinists want relegated to the janitor’s closet in the basement of the axillary wing of the least used building on the extended campus. It is quite serendipitous that “Expelled” and TIA were released so close to each other. I firmly believe we are seeing the very beginnings of a reformation within the realms of science and academia, and it’s not surprising. As like any other philosophy that cannot tolerate dissent, Darwinism must (and will) implode on itself.

I not only recommend it, I’ll be buying the DVD when it becomes available.

The Atheist Has No Clothes: A Review of “The Irrational Atheist” by Vox Day

I’ve been a fan of Vox Day’s writings since the early days of his column at World Net Daily. I’ve been following his blog Vox Popoli since the very beginning as well, so it should be no surprise that I looked forward to getting a copy of The Irrational Atheist (TIA) from the day it was first announced.

In other words, I am already a bit biased in Vox’s favor.

TIA is a very well researched book, that succeeds in its mission to thoroughly refute the principle arguments of the most popular books of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens; the leading “New Atheists” on the scene today. Vox set out to face them on their own terms – that of “Rationality”, rather than falling back on typical arguments used in Creation/Evolution debates and arguments over the existence of God. He doesn’t even necessarily argue heavily for Creation, he just rips the legs out from under those “Science Fetishists” who value academic achievement too highly.

While Vox does a reasonable job of addressing each Atheist individually and thoroughly, he seems to enjoy sparring with Richard Dawkins over the others. I suspect (after following him for over six years) that this is because Dawkins comes across as the most arrogant, ignoring critics and casting them aside as “fleas” seeking to capitalize on the success of his book “The God Delusion”.

Vox does an exceptional job in refuting key arguments that are favored by Atheists to refute religion in general, and Christianity in particular; devoting one chapter to addressing arguments about the Crusades and the (Spanish) Inquisition head-on. Then he leads to the next chapter showing that Atheists living in glass houses would do well to refrain from casting stones in regards to the bloody “history of Christianity”.

In the end, Vox pulls no punches and leaves the New Atheists bruised, naked, and whimpering “mommy!”

My sole criticism of The Irrational Atheist is the key argument behind the second to last chapter (XV), entitled “Master of Puppets or Game Designer?” The reason the bulk of TIA is so successful is that Vox avoids Theological arguments, which only serve to bring eye rolls from militant Atheists, in favor of emasculating them on their own terms – Rationalism. In XV, Vox turns his attention away from the Atheists his book is written to refute and turns on his Christian compatriots in order to further an obscure and unorthodox theological teaching known today as “Open Theism”, a a close cousin to the Socinianism that Jonathan Edwards refuted in the 18th Century*. It is a theory furthered by his friend Greg Boyd, which makes great sense to Vox as a professional video game designer.

Overall the book is very strong. I have been following the response to it, which Vox is all too happy to publish on his blog, and have yet to see a compelling rebuttal from the New Atheists or their faithful followers. Many set out to do chapter-by-chapter reviews and end up losing interest at about chapter three. Atheists not being ones who typically like to retreat from a fight, their silence speaks volumes on Vox’s behalf. I foresee his book being the very beginning of a movement that will send the old arguments used by the New Atheists back into darkness until enough time has passed for another generation to drag them out again, as these have done. (It’s an old cycle that keeps coming around full circle, not a set of new arguments that will finally win a centuries-old war.)

UPDATE: I forgot to add one other thing. In some respects it is a minor criticism, but overall it is a commendation. The footnotes are very plentiful. It made it difficult to read considering that I’d have to stop mid-sentence to read the footnote, before picking up where I left off. Considering the vast number of footnotes, this got very annoying very quickly, but is also a testament to the superb effort that Vox put into the book, and making sure he had his facts straight.

*Note: Overall I very much liked TIA. My disagreements over “Open Theism” are not intended to be an invitation to debating the issue. I have limited knowledge of the subject myself and am not in a position to take on serious debate. I only offer that Vox relies heavily on the book by his pastor-friend Greg Boyd on the issue called “God of the Possible”, so I can only rely on an article by my own pastor-friend Bob DeWaay that criticizes entitled “The Foreknowledge of God: A Critique of Greg Boyd’s Open Theism

Alaska Airlines Descriminates Against Heterosexuals

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air have announced a new program that will charge heterosexuals 10 percent extra for their air travel to specific locations during the Christmas season.

The company actually offers the 10 percent as a discount but only if the purchaser obtains the ticket through a “gay” page of the company’s website, a location not typically patronized by families seeking travel arrangements, according to an Idaho activist who was distressed by the offering.

Bryan Fischer, of the Idaho Values Alliance, told WND the company boasts of its “nondiscrimination” policies, but, “here they are blatantly discriminating against heterosexuals in their pricing structure.”

Imagine if they were to charge MORE on their gay travel page! The outrage would be deafening!! This is one of the many reason I despise leftists/liberals, they preach tolerance and non-discrimination, but only when that discrimination is directed at their own. They are the first to practice discrimination against those who differ with them. Yeah, it’s called Hypocrisy!!

And yeah, giving special treatment to certain people is discrimination. It discriminates against everyone outside that special group.

I never understand why companies go out of their way to take sides on things that they really should be neutral on. If 2% of the population is gay, and 10% are born-again Christians likely to boycott you for your pro-gay stance, wouldn’t it be better policy to have a sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that avoids upsetting either group?

No Place For Me

The more I grow and mature, especially in the realm of faith, the more I come to the conclusion that this world really has no place for me. I do not fit in, but that does not bother me in the least.

I follow politics and become only more firm in my views, which are highly unpopular. If there is a subject to which political correctness takes a side, I am always on the opposite side. I am disgusted by the homosexual lifestyle, I disagree strongly with women’s suffrage, I want immigrants to be legal or be deported, I hate all things liberal-leftism stands for, and I believe all non-Christians are going to Hell (see the good person link above the top post for details).

I increasingly see the vapidity of all non-Christian world-views, especially Western secularism. The Bible teaches that non-believers are not, in the vast majority of circumstances, ignorant – but rather are in direct and active rebellion against God, and I increasingly see the truth in that. Homosexuals know the dangers of their lifestyle: high risk of sexually transmitted diseases, low life-expectancy, very high rates of domestic violence, and a guilty conscience. However, rather than turning to God to save them from it, they actively rebel and seek in vain to circumvent the consequences of their actions. Socialists know that their economic and social policies are destructive and have never succeeded, and depend on outright theft (albeit government sanctioned) to survive, though they will promote their views at the barrel of a gun if necessary – each time explaining that their predecessors didn’t know what they were doing and one more try is all it will take to succeed. Feminazis would rather destroy their own lives and the lives of everyone else than admit that women and men are different, and would rather die than admit that a man could do anything better than they can (hey, I embrace the fact that women can do many things much better than I, a man, it’s one of the reasons why I married one).

God set up a system by which the world is composed of many nations, and this world seeks every day to reverse that and become one big “global community,” as if purely out of spite. The elites tolerate the dictators and thugs who run brutal regimes all over the world in the name of that “global community” althewhile attacking those who wish to remain free, not to mention those who wish to spread freedom. In our own country, one side of the political spectrum beleives the only good time to take military action is when this nation has nothing to gain. (Not to say I like the current action in Iraq, but why are we still in Bosnia & Kosovo, and why do those most opposed to our presence in Iraq want so desperately to go into the Sudan?)

Ok, this is a rant, pure and simple. It isn’t necessarily intended to be coherent.

Come quickly Lord Jesus!

The Non-Debate

I didn’t watch the first Republican debates, but I did catch the ones last night. I would say that I was disappointed, but I expected so little that it was no surprise that they lived up to my very low expectations. Asking candidates individual questions is not a debate, it’s a question and answer session.

It was apparent to me fairly quickly that the Republican party no longer wishes to hide the fact that it is moving to the left. All three of the media favorites: Romney, Giuliani, and McCain were asked questions to the effect of “you supported X, is that really conservative?” To which all three either made no bones about their support of ‘X’, or dodged the question altogether.

“Fair and Balanced” Fox also had no apparent desire to talk about Conservative issues at all. The most conservative, Ron Paul, was only asked questions about the war in Iraq, in a clear attempt to paint him in as negative a light as possible. I was very impressed with Paul’s answers to the questions, despite the fact that he was clearly flustered and did not have Romney’s articulate demeanor. Paul’s argument was that if we were going to go to war, we needed to do the Constitutional thing and declare it. He even sponsored an amendment to the bill authorizing of military action in Iraq that would have formally declared war, but it was voted down. His other point was that if we are running around the world sticking our noses in everyones business, it should be no surprise when people wish to wage war with us. I solute Paul for not capitulating to Guiliani’s emotional response and call for retraction.

As each candidate moved to the Political Left from Paul, they tended to get more and more time during the “debate”. They also got more chances to talk about diverse issues. If that is what they think Conservatives want, then they are in for a big shock in November ’08 when the Republicans get spanked by Hillary because people like me either stay home or vote third party. I have yet to ever vote for a Republican for President, and Giuliani/McCain/Romney sure aren’t compelling reasons to start.

Until the “Conservative” media and the Republican party gets things figured out, all people like me can do is hope for a divided government, with a Legislature controlled by one party that refuses to give the Presidency controlled by the other party anything that they want and vice-versa.

I’m tempted to run for Senator of Minnesota in 2008 under my new “Vote No” party.