“Big Brother is Watching You” – George Orwell, 1984
I open FireFox and see the trending stuff:
I click on the article for the NSA spy tool, and here’s what happens:
Same thing if I go to Wired’s home page.
“Big Brother is Watching You” – George Orwell, 1984
I open FireFox and see the trending stuff:
I click on the article for the NSA spy tool, and here’s what happens:
Same thing if I go to Wired’s home page.
“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” – Mark Twain
Like most people, I’m still in a little bit of shock after the election results this week. I’ve read a lot of articles and seen a lot of interviews, and I’ve found the backlash of this election to be highly entertaining, if not at all surprising.
I believe Trump’s election is the direct result of two things: fear and arrogance. More specifically, the fear of the Republicans and the arrogance of the Democrats.
The Republican Party, a.k.a “The Party Which Donald Trump Could Grab Groupies By”
The Republican Party has failed. This is a party which idolizes Ronald Reagan, yet has rejected or watered-down every principle for which he stood. We’re at the point where Republican politicians and Democrat politicians look a lot alike.
I’m looking at the GOP platform right now and it talks about things such as constitutional government, government reform, smaller government, etc. In other words, all of the things the Republicans have completely failed to do.
Why? Because they’re terrified to take a stand.
We (rightly) make fun of the “Snowflake” Millennials who need safe zones to protect their delicate little feelings. Well, the GOP is the political party equivalent. Republicans are terrified they’ll be bashed by the media and vilified by the political left.
Guess what? It’s going to happen no matter what, so stop pandering.
You look at every Republican president and vice president we’ve had in the last 50 years and tell me which one was loved by the press. Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush 41, Quayle, Bush 43 and Cheney were all ridiculed and/or demonized. Granted Nixon deserved some of that, but he was no more crooked than his predecessor. (I leave out Rockefeller because I honestly don’t remember him at all).
Why would any other Republican or conservative candidate expect to be treated differently?
Republican voters are tired of the GOP fielding weak and cowardly candidates. They’ve been clamoring for a bold leader who would have the testicular fortitude to take on the left: someone who is not afraid of the media, who doesn’t care about hurting people’s feelings and who is willing to call out politicians on their corruption, dishonesty and failures.
Like him or hate him, Donald Trump filled that role.
As much as Tuesday was a huge blow to the Democratic party, the GOP leadership should stand up and take notice. Donald Trump – who isn’t even conservative – beat a bunch of Snowflake Republicans to get that nomination. And the Republicans who lost their seats Tuesday were the ones who didn’t support him.
Hillary Clinton – The Middle Finger of the DNC
Hillary Clinton lost the election for one reason and one reason only: she was the wrong candidate. You can’t blame Comey. You can’t blame the media. Hell, you can’t even blame Trump.
Blame rests solely and completely with the Democratic Party.
Preparation for Hillary’s presidential campaign began when Bill Clinton was president. The DNC got Nita Lowey out of the way so Hillary could take Giuliani’s senate seat. When she lost to Obama in the 2008 primary, the DNC got her in as Secretary of State for Obama’s first term. The next few years were spent building the biggest, most well-funded political machine the world has ever seen and that machine existed for the sole purpose of getting Hillary Clinton elected.
In the meantime:
In steps Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders was able to tap into the discontent created by Occupy Wall Street, the failure of Obamacare, and the entitlement mentality and general neediness of Millennials.
Bernie Sanders was the voice of those his party had disappointed. Like Trump, he was the guy who was anti-establishment and was going to shake up Washington and destroy the status quo. He was The Revolution.
Not if Hillary had anything to say about it.
In using strong-arm tactics to secure the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton, the DNC fielded the one candidate who represented everything the voters had come to resent about politicians. And in doing so, they gave a huge part of their base the middle finger.
This is where the Democrats were just as short-sighted and stupid as the Republicans. Neither party recognized that voters are sick and tired of the political elite. They’re tired of being lied to, lectured, ignored and trivialized. They’re tired of special interest groups controlling politicians and politicians acting as if they’re above the law. They’re angry about a health care plan so horrible the politicians who passed it made sure they wouldn’t have to use it. They’re tired of shady deals and the absence of accountability.
Donald Trump got the Republican nomination because he was an outsider going against the political elite. Bernie Sanders, had the nomination not been stolen from him, would have won the Democratic nomination because he was a revolutionary who was going against the political elite.
One has to wonder…. Would Sanders have beaten Trump?
“<Song lyrics too explicit and vulgar to be posted here.>”
– Nicki Minaj
I get it. What Trump said was sexist.
But, Mrs. Clinton, he wasn’t talking about sexual assault… he was talking about getting laid by groupies. If you want to talk about sexual assault, go to your husband’s bedroom and have that conversation. Just make sure you knock first.
The funny part is that what Trump said was true. Whether you’re a pro athlete, musician, actor, politician, etc., there are women who care about nothing else and are willing to let you do anything in the world to them. You know… they start acting like how a lot of men act around women all the time.
I’m sorry, but do you expect any celebrity to respect a woman who will sleep with them on the spot? Do you expect anybody to respect any person who would do that?
Also, before women get too upset about not being respected, they need to understand they’re building a culture in which they don’t even respect themselves. You can talk all you want about how men objectify women, and I’d probably agree with at least some of it. But, women are far worse about it than men are.
Yeah, yeah… I know… movies targeted at men have boobies in them. Magazines targeted at men have boobies in them. Toothpaste targeted at men would sell a lot better if it where somehow connected to boobies.
And, yes.. porn. Got it.
But, here’s the thing… all of that stuff is targeted at men. None of it is telling women how to act. That stuff is telling men how to act and it’s poisonous, dangerous and is corroding the hearts and minds of men.
But, you can’t look to men as the scapegoat for how women are treated. The people telling women how they should be treated are women.
The top female musical artists are Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Miley Cirus and others who sing, dress and act like whores. These are the examples who communicate what acceptable behavior is to our young women and, more importantly, establish an expectation of how a relationship with a man should work.
For example, who could forget that timeless Beyonce classic “Parition” which talks about respectfully loving a woman:
“Now my mascara running, red lipstick smudged/ Yeah, he’s so horny he wants to f—/ He popped all my buttons and he ripped my blouse/ He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown/ Oh Daddy, Daddy, he didn’t bring the towel/ Oh baby, baby, we better slow it down”
Of course, Beyonce should have said, “He Bill Clinton’ed”. And in this case, I guess she’s the Monica Lewinsky. But, hey.. it’s art, right?
Women complain about unreasonable standards to which they are held regarding their bodies, their looks ,etc. Well, the magazines women buy most are magazines that tell them they should be a size 2, wear $700 skirts and which deify the very women no self-respecting woman should ever want to be. Who publishes these magazines? Women.
These same magazines tell women to be more sexually aggressive and more promiscuous. Ladies, I have a secret for you: Most men LOVE women who are sexually aggressive and promiscuous.
And by “love”, I mean “love to have sex with”.
But, they absolutely do not respect these women. In fact, these women are just throwaways.
Listen: MEN DO NOT RESPECT SEXUALLY PROMISCUOUS WOMEN. Men just like to screw them. But, they will never, ever respect them.
The highest selling book series bought by women was written by a woman: The Grey Series, in which the heroine is basically just a container for Mr. Grey’s DNA. I guess Trump’s comment would have perfectly acceptable had it been said by this guy.
I’m not excusing anything Trump said, because it’s not about that. It’s about knowing you can’t have it both ways. If you want to be respected, then demand respect from everyone – don’t give a free pass to other women who are actively trying to bring you down to their level.
Ladies, if you’re going to start getting pissed off because you’re not being respected, then stop buying those records, magazines and books. Stop allowing your character and integrity to be eroded by women who have no character or integrity. THEN, you can worry about how someone said something that offended you.
Because, honestly… if you buy into the rest of that crap, then was Trump that far off the mark?
“World unity is the wish of the hopeful, the goal of the idealist and the dream of the romantic. Yet it is folly to the realist and a lie to the innocent.”
– Don Williams, Jr.
Last week, I wrote about how when we push for diversity, we end up erasing it. I believe a similar thing occurs when we speak of unity. Even as we talk about our desire for unity, we divide ourselves.
Historically, just about every nation has experienced racial and cultural divides. Often, these have turned into bloody affairs with injustices and atrocities committed by those in power on both sides.
In the United States today, we claim that we want racial unity, however the evidence shows otherwise. Are you a Mexican-American? An African-American? Italian-American? Irish-American?
If different ethnic groups wanted unity, then they wouldn’t label themselves by their race or nationality. In doing so, they automatically segregate themselves from the rest of society, creating an “us” versus “them” mentality.
We see this in religion as well. As a church we want unity… kind of. One of my all-time favorite jokes was told by the comedian Emo Philips:
“Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!”
He said, “Nobody loves me.”
I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”
He said, “Yes.”
I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?”
He said, “A Christian.”
I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?”
He said, “Protestant.”
I said, “Me, too! What franchise?”
He said, “Baptist.”
I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”
He said, “Northern Baptist.”
I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”
He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.”
I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?”
He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”
I said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?”
He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”
I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.”
I believe the problem comes from our inability to define who we are as individuals. We are desperate to find some meaningful way by which we can be identified. Somehow, we have to matter because in our hearts, we need to matter. So, we pick something about ourselves, and cling to it for dear life.
We then surround ourselves with people who identify themselves as we do, thereby validating our choice in selecting what it is that makes us important. If we lose that one thing – our religion, our nationality, our skin color… our favorite team, for that matter – we lose our identity, and with it, our value.
It’s seems that we want unity, but only within our own separate little groups.
“I could be wrong, but I believe Diversity is an old, old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era.”
– Ron Burgundy
As I write this, the nation is embroiled in a heated battle over who gets to use which restroom. Even our president has weighed in on this all-important issue, threatening to deny funds to our schools if they don’t allow boys to use the girl’s locker room.
(Where was this policy when I was in high school? I mean, I wasn’t even sure girls were actually ever naked, but I was very, very interested in finding out.)
Of course, the whole thing is absurd.
It has, however, initiated a train of thought which has led me to conclude that unity and diversity, or at least our desire for them, are myths. Not that this is a conscious thing. To the contrary, I think people sincerely believe they want unity. I think people sincerely want to embrace diversity. However, I don’t think we truly want want either.
A case in point is our current media-induced frenzy about gender self-identification. The idea here is that we should value diversity by allowing individuals to determine for themselves what gender they are at any given time. If we force a gender assignment, we are not valuing diversity.
The problem is that it’s not enough for us to recognize or respect the right of someone else to self-identify. If that were the case, then the push would be for unisex bathrooms. Instead, we are told we must each sacrifice our own gender identity in the process. In effect, we are being forced to eliminate gender as an identification.
There can no longer be male or female… rather we are aggressively forced into the foggy world of gender neutrality.
We see this in areas of sexuality, as well. It is not enough to say, “Men have the right to marry men and women have the right to marry women.” If that were the case, I think it would be less of an issue. Instead, you must celebrate the marriage and you must participate in the process, regardless of your own beliefs, if called upon to do so.
When it comes to sexuality, there can only be agreement. Anything else is unacceptable.
We’re not just stamping out dissenting opinion or beliefs; we’re also eliminating the virtues that come along with achievement.
Kids who naturally excel at athletics are pulled down to the level of the least talented through the virtue of “participation” awards.
Those who have worked hard to get through high school, some of whom have had to overcome learning disabilities in the process, receive the same diploma as the apathetic kid who was passed along from grade to grade in the interest of preserving self-esteem.
In other areas, diversity is celebrated, but only for some. People are allowed to be proud of their race, unless they’re white. Religion is to be tolerated and have its flaws forgiven, unless we’re talking about Christianity.
As a society, we’ve been talking about diversity for decades. There are all kinds of inspirational posters out there that pair inspirational quotes about diversity with pictures of butterflies. We communicate this image of naturally diverse colors standing out in beauty.
Unfortunately, the image of our reality is that of a giant blob that reaches out with tentacles to snare the individual and pull him down into the colorless muck below.
“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.” – Charles Colson
Today, Christians celebrate Christ’s resurrection signaling His victory over sin and death.
Christianity is actually very, very simple and it all starts with one question: “Do you consider yourself a good person?”
Most of us say, “Yes. Of course, I’m a good person.”
But, you’re not. Seriously. You’ve lied. You’ve cheated. You’ve spread rumors about people, or participated in it. You’ve hated. You’ve deliberately hurt people… probably the ones who care the most about you. You’ve been selfish and bitter. You’ve been arrogant and condescending.
Yeah. Me, too.
The basic foundation of Christianity is that you and I and everyone else who has ever lived and ever will live are people who do the best they can given the fact we carry wounds and scars from things we’ve experienced. But, we still mess up. A lot.
This is called “sin” which is a word that means “to miss the mark”. Basically, we didn’t hit the target we were aiming at… or maybe we nailed the target, but should have been aiming somewhere else.
The Bible says that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” We’re all in that place… we’re all equally and firmly in the category of “sinner”.
Unfortunately, there’s a price for those mistakes… not only in our lives today, but when we face God after we die. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death…”. Not a very comforting thought.
But, here’s where it gets interesting: the Bible also says, “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Let’s say you’re in court. You’ve committed some pretty bad crimes and you’re sentenced to life in prison or pay millions of dollars in reparations.
Let’s say this guy steps forward. A guy who has never done anything wrong in his entire life. And he looks at the judge and says, “Your honor. You know me. You know I’ve never committed a crime in my life. But this person here is my friend and I love her dearly like I would love my own sister. I’ve got a check here that will cover what you’ve ordered her to pay. If there’s jail time involved, I’ll do that for her, too.”
This is what Jesus did. He stepped forward, looked God in the eye and said, “Dad, you’re right, of course. He did do those things. He did act like that. But, he’s a friend of mine and I love him. Even though he did those things, and I’ve never done them, I’m willing to take the blame for what he did and suffer the consequences that should have been his.”
Most people have embraced perceptions about Christianity that simply aren’t true. Christianity is not about judging others; it’s about loving others. Christianity is not about abstaining from sin; it’s about being freed from sin. Christianity is not about pretending to be perfect; it’s about accepting the fact that we’re not.
In essence, Christianity is understanding the I’m equally guilty of my sin as everyone else is of theirs. It’s understanding that because of this, I’m no better (or worse) than anyone else. And, most importantly, it’s about understanding that God loves me enough that He’s willing not to overlook my sin – but to pay for it Himself.
When Christ died, he took on my sins and yours and accepted the punishment on our behalf. When He rose again, He left those sins in the grave forever. Now, we can live as God planned us to… free of sin and judgment, secure in knowing we were each loved enough to have God Himself stand in the gap and take our blame.
Pray that God would know your heart and that you truly believe you’ve sinned and want to accept Christ’s gift of taking those sins away from you. Pray that He would forgive you of those sins. Pray that you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died to for those sins. Ask Jesus to be your Savior. Ask Him to be your Lord.
Praise God, He is risen!
“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.” – Douglas Adams
To my surprise, I found out my kids had married each other last week. For some reason, this caused our application to be held up by the state. Fortunately, we got that resolved, which allowed us to move on to:
Step Nine – Find Out You’re Not Your Daughter’s Father
My ex-wife was unfaithful several times. However, I’ve never really questioned the parentage of my children. There are just too many family resemblances. So, you can imagine my shock when I called back (at this point, just assume I called the insurance company who then placed me on hold while they waited on hold for the state. Each day I do this takes up 3-4 hours.) and found out that our application had been kicked up to the same mystery department because there was a problem with the information on it. Fortunately, I found The Competent Employee at the state who actually was able to pull the information and do something about it. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, there is a competent employee who works in the state health care system. Anyway, we found out that my step-son was actually my daughter’s father.
Me: “Excuse me?”
Rep: “It says here that he is her father. That’s why it got held up.”
Me: “Seriously, do you know how hard it is to be a 16 year old single father trying hard to raise your 16 year old daughter by yourself? They should receive special consideration for that. They shouldn’t be punished because of a tragic accident involving a condom and a time machine.*”
The rep got that fixed, so we just had to wait for the application to go through.
Step Ten – Discover Your Step-Son Makes More Money Than You
You’ll never guess, but when I called back, our application was once again in the PWAGTD (Place Where Applications Go To Die) Department. This time, it was because my step-son made too much money for us to qualify for insurance. Not bad for an unemployed 16 year old high school student.
Step Eleven – Really Get Approved… Sort of
It finally happened! Our application was completed and approved! The only problem now was the start date was a month later than it should have been!
Step Twelve – Give Up On Getting the Correct Start Date
When we started this process, we were within the deadline to have our insurance begin February 1st. Of course, by the time we got done with this, we were past that deadline and our insurance was set to begin on March 1st. I went back to the state and started the process of getting the starting date back-dated so anything that happened in February would be covered. We had a couple of doctor’s visits during February, but nothing major (thank the Lord!) so it ended up not being a big deal. I just gave up and let the insurance begin on March 1st.
There you have it, folks. And some people said government healthcare was a bad idea.
*I shamelessly stole that line from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams