Random quote of the moment:
Your job is still better than asking You want fries with that?

The Endangered Species Act has been corrupted by special interest groups, it is time to replace it.

Let’s look at a perfect example that I lived through and remember vividly.

Back in the 70s we were nearing the end of the large dam building wave that spread across the county beginning with the great water projects of the the 1930s like the Hoover dam. For a while it appeared as though every river in the nation would be dammed and turned into a reservoir. Of course a lot of people were displaced by these projects and fought tooth and toenail to keep their family land. But it was a hopeless fight, there was few ways to fight emanate domain by the federal government.

However in 1973 Richard Nixon handed,on a silver platter, these people fighting to block these dams a new tool, The Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Now The Endangered Species Act was a good idea in theory, protect our wildlife for future generations. Of course when debating the act in congress beautiful, majestic animals such as the California Condor and the Bald Eagle were trotted out as examples.

But apparently no one in congress had ever heard of the “Law of Unintended Consequences.
But the populace did. Immediately foes of the building of dams ran out hired, begged and schmoozed with biologists around the country. One of these projects was the Tellico Dam on the Little Tellico river in Tennessee, my home state.

When the The Endangered Species Act was passed the Tellico dam was 95% complete and people were in the process of being forced off their property in preparation for the closing of the dam and filling of the reservoir. It was then that Dr. David A. Etnier, an ichthyologist at the University of Tennessee, went searching for an endangered species to block the dam. I can’t find the video on line but I remember seeing an interview with Dr. Etnier a few years ago where he admitted that he began snorkeling in the Little Tellico river with the intent of finding an animal to list as endangered in order to block the dam. Now he never admitted as to who, if anyone gave him the idea, but his intent was clear.

Of course Dr. Etnier found exactly what he went looking for, the Snail Darter. This little fish, locals would call it a minnow, was just what he needed. It was significantly different enough from its cousins around the country to be called a distinct species.

Away to the media he rushed, Headlines all over the Tennessee valley proclaimed the discovery of a new species of animal. Lawyers jumped all over the news. The process of adding an endangered species to the protected species list was expedited lawsuits were filed and BOOM the construction of the Tellico Dam ground to a halt.
The lawsuits court proceedings became BIG news in Tennessee in the mid 70s. I remember coming home from school every day wanting to watch my afternoon cartoons and finding them preempted by the Snail Darter lawsuits. Day after day the local TV stations carried testimony and commentary about the Tellico Dam court proceedings.
Eventually the plaintiffs won and the Tellico Dam was to be torn down before it was ever completed. However there was one last wrinkle in the case. Al Gore Sr. Yes the father of Inconvenient truth-er Al Gore helped push through a bill exempting the Tellico Dam from the Endangered Species Act and the dam was completed and exists til this day.

So here we have a law passed with the best of intentions that is corrupted and used in a way that was never intended.

Now it dosen’t stop there. Look at these examples: Source

“Taung Ming-Lin, a Chinese immigrant, bought land in Kern County, California…to grow Chinese vegetables for sale to the southern California’s Asian Community. Lin claims to have been told by the county the land was already zoned for farming and that no permit was needed. When Lin began farming, his tractor allegedly disturbed the habitat of the endangered Tipton Kangaroo rat…[and] ran over some of the rats. Lin was charged with federal civil and criminal violations of the Endangered Species Act…. The criminal charges carry penalties of up to a year in jail and $100,000 fine.”

“In 1973 Margaret Rector bought 15 acres of land on a busy highway west of Austin, Texas. In 1990 the golden-checkered warbler was listed as endangered, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service says her property is suitable habitat. The land, in the fastest-growing part of the county, is now unusable. Its assessed value falls from $831,000 in 1991 to $30,000 in 1992. USFWS says she might be able to get a permit to develop, but this would require her to finance extensive studies and to mitigate any impact on the warbler.”

“[T]he Central Valley of California, Kern County produces huge crops of vegetables, nuts, fruit, and cotton with water that is brought southward from Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta through a series of natural and man-made structures known as the California Water Project. This multi-billion-dollar water project is financed by assessments upon all of those who use the water; in turn, state law allocates the right to receive and use specified quantities of water to farmers, rangers, cities, and industrial users. These water rights are recognized as a property right under California State law. Beginning in 1992, the federal government started limiting the amounts of water which could be sent south to Kern County and other parts of California in order to maintain in-stream flows to protect the habitat of two endangered fish–the delta smelt and the winter run of Chinook salmon. As much as two million acre-feet of water–enough to cover two million acres to a depth of one foot–have been held back annually from municipal and agricultural use in order to maintain certain levels in streams and lakes which constitute the habitat of these fish. Farmers and ranchers have suffered many millions of dollars in lost crops and, in some instances, have lost their property as it has become unproductive.”

“In Southern California an endangered fly in Riverside County held up the building of a hospital…. It’s a flower-loving desert sand fly, a bit larger than a common housefly, but it was an endangered fly, and they found eight of them. The cost to set aside this habitat for the fly: about $400,000 per fly.”
“In August 1997, U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan issued a moratorium on logging on 94 acres of privately held land near Eugene, Oregon. The two spotted owls actually make their nest about one mile away from the privately held parcel of land that is managed by the federal government. But because the land may be part of the owls’ `home range,’ the judge determined that logging should be stopped…without knowing if the owls in fact even used it.”

The FWS “threatened to fine a Utah man $15,000 for farming his land and allegedly posing a risk to the prairie dog, a protected species…. The USWFS told the man that he should hire an outside expert to determine if there are prairie dogs on his land. The expert prepared a report, which indicated that there were no prairie dogs. The farmer proceeded to work his land. However, the USFWS has told him that they will fine him anyway.”

In the end I think the Endangered Species Act must be rewritten. Number one on my list is property owners must by law be compensated for any loss of value and income caused by application of the Endangered Species Act on their property.

Number two, there must be a provision added that allows for the evaluation of public interest in a case by case base to balance protections with public good.

You have heard the story of the exploding whale, let me tell you the story of the exploding cow.

Many years ago when I was a boy on my parents small farm we inadvertently turned a cow into a bomb. This is the story.

When I was about 10 or 12 years old our trusty milk cow named Bessie that had provided us with fresh milk my entire life died after a short illness. She had served us for many years and I suspect that she was just getting too old to continue. It was common in those days that dead farm animals in my area were often just disposed of in one of the many sinkholes that dot the Tennessee landscape. We did no different. Bessie the cow was unceremoniously dragged to, and dumped in a very large sinkhole on the backside of our property. The incident was forgotten and we moved on, until about a week later.

The phone rang early one morning, it was the neighboring farm owner. His comment was short and to the point. “That dead cow smells really good at breakfast time.” We got the message loud and clear. Although the sinkhole was at the back of our farm, the front of his farm as well as his house was just about 200 yards up the hill from the sinkhole we had decided to dispose of Bessie in. We went down to the sinkhole, and sure enough the smell was beyond description. We approached from the upwind side of the sinkhole and were almost overcome with disgust long before we reached the location. Leaning over the edge we peered into the depths. There was Bessie the cow. She had turned purple and swelled up like a child’s party balloon. Her legs were extended skyward by the buildup of decomposing gases inside her. It was a bizarre sight to behold.

There was no option to move her to a different location, as any attempt to move her would have ruptured her hide and spewed her rotting entrails all over the place. The other choice was to bury her. But the hole was big, nearly thirty feet in diameter and twenty to twenty five feet deep. That would have necessitated the rental of a bulldozer and the moving of a lot of soil. So a third option was decided on, we would cremate her.

The nearby woods had been recently logged and were full of discarded brush and logging scraps. This would be a great source of fuel for the cremation. We spent the day cutting, hauling, and dragging brush and wood and tossing it on top of Bessie until we completely filled the sinkhole. While my parents and I worked at gathering the wood for the pyre, my grandfather went to town to get some diesel to start the fire with.

Now you must know that my grandfather had the ability to make a quick trip to the store into a career. We spent all day filling the hole and were completely done and were sitting upwind sometime before he returned with the two five gallons cans of diesel fuel, shortly before sundown. We went down to the sinkhole and unscrewed the lid of the diesel can to pour over the gathered brush in the sinkhole, but it wasn’t diesel.

Instead of purchasing diesel my grandfather had purchased gasoline. We were sitting there with two five gallons cans of gasoline. And it was too late in the day to go back to town and buy diesel, besides we did not have any more cans. We looked up the hill and saw our neighbor’s house sitting there and decided we could not make him sufferer another breakfast over rotting cow. So my father proceeded to walk around the edge of the sinkhole scattering the gasoline into the brush filled hole. We never considered that the brush was breaking up the gasoline into smaller and smaller droplets. Unbeknownst to us as my dad was making sure all the brush was wet a large about of gas vapor was gathering in the bottom of the sinkhole.

We were constructing a Fuel-Air bomb without realizing it.

My dad saved the last gallon or so of gasoline and carefully poured a fuse trail leading about 10 yards or so from the sinkhole.

My grandfather, grandmother, mother, and myself stood at the top of a hill about 75 yards away as my dad lit a piece of paper on fire and slowly bent down to light the gasoline fuse. He never got all the way there. When he was about a foot or so from the gasoline trail on the ground the vapors ignited. Instead of a nice slow burn along the a diesel trail to the sinkhole there was a blinding flash of gasoline fueled fire that would have made any Hollywood pyrotechnic expert proud. Almost faster than the eye could see the fire flashed to the sinkhole. The resulting explosion was almost beyond belief. The nine gallons or so of vaporized gasoline in the sinkhole ignited with a horrendous concussion. My father found himself lifted from his feet and thrown about ten yards backwards. Even though we were some distance away from the explosion we were nearly knocked from our feet. It felt as though the ground had heaved under our feet. A rolling ball of black smoke and fire mushroomed two to three hundred feet into the sky. It strongly resembled the mushroom cloud from a nuclear bomb. Our neighbor who had complained of the smell was standing on his porch watching the whole thing. According to him, his first thought was that we had blown ourselves up and broken every window in his house. As the mushroom shaped fire and smoke rolled into the sky pieces of burning wood, burning rotten cow flesh , and various other materials rained down from the sky. Apparently the gasoline explosion had also ignited the built up methane that had been bloating the dead cow. By the time we regained our senses the ground was littered with burning debris in a two hundred foot circle around the sinkhole. As we raced down the hill my father stumbled to his feet suffering no ill effects other than some singed hair. We approached the rim of the sinkhole, it was clean as if someone has just dug it. At the bottom was the smoldering spine and skull of Bessie the cow. We found one leg bone and hoof almost a hundred feet from the sinkhole. Although the rotting smell was completely abated, the air was now filled with the smell of burnt flesh comingled with wood smoke. Looking around the sun was setting and we decided to return the next day to clean up.

The next day we found the area around the sinkhole covered with vultures and other scavengers. Our attempt at bovine cremation had instead resulted in a veritable buffet for every scavenger in the area. Within a couple of days there was nothing left except scattered bones and charred wood. We had succeeded, but not in the way we had intended. Our neighbor on the hill later discovered two cracked windows facing the direction of the explosion, and local gossip was that the explosion was heard or felt as far as six miles away.

Why do many people ignore the facts presented by experts, especially the older generation?

This is a question that gets asked various forms almost every day. Often this question is tied to global climate change or some other looming ecological disaster.

I’m turning 54 this next month, I thought I might explain to some of you, especially the younger ones why we, and yes I’m including myself in that group, often ignore the facts that experts go to such lengths to inform us with. The reason is simple. The “experts” have a very long track record of being wrong, and not just a little long, but wildly wrong. Experts have, since the beginning of written history, been prophesying doom of one sort or another. A thousand years ago it was the religious experts that were absolutely sure that the world would end with the year 1000. In fact here is a list of dates predicted for the end of the world on Wikipedia. If you look at that list closely you will notice something peculiar. Before the 1900 all the predictions were based in religion. But starting with the Camille Flammarion prediction that the 1910 appearance of Halley’s Comet would snuff out all life on the planet, the predictions took a decidedly scientific turn. Of course there was still a lot of religious predictions and the Wikipedia article focuses on those, but outside religion the predictions of a natural disaster or calamity destroying all life on earth seemed to be on everyone’s mind. Here is a list of some of the scientific predictions for the last 100 years. All of these were wrong, and many are spectacular failures.

Look at this example: It is now pretty clearly agreed that the CO2 content [in the atmosphere] will rise 25% by 2000. This could increase the average temperature near the earth’s surface by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. This in turn could raise the level of the sea by 10 feet. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Washington, for that matter.- – Presidential advisor Daniel Moynihan 1969 or how about this gem In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish. — Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day (1970) or this wildly wrong prediction An international team of specialists has concluded from eight indexes of climate that there is no end in sight to the cooling trend of the last 30 years, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. – New York Times – January 5, 1978

People like me, the older generation, grew up in the 1950s 60s 70s with these dire predictions all around us. And this does not even include the always looming threat of nuclear war. Almost everyone in those days believed that nuclear war with the Soviet Union was inevitable. We grew up with that sword of Damocles hanging over our head. As we grew older we watched as EVERY one of the most dire weather predictions failed to materialize. And now we have the experts telling us that a two degree rise will change the world. In the immortal words of Col. Potter from MASH, Mule Muffins!

For a hundred years the experts have been saying we’re all going to die, but we are still here.

The climate changes. The earth has been much warmer than it is now, and it has been much cooler too. Life, mankind, finds a way. Sure there will be changes in the future but this is nothing new, life goes on.

There are two things that everyone of these dire predictions fail to address. The positive side of global warming and the ingenuity of mankind. The positive side of global warming you may ask? How about fewer winter deaths; lower energy costs; better agricultural yields; fewer droughts; richer biodiversity. It is a little-known fact that cold weather deaths exceed hot summer deaths, not just in first world countries, but also those with very warm summers. Don’t believe me, how about Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University ? There are many more, take time to research both sides of the debate.

And then there is the ingenuity of mankind. I am completely confident in the ability of mankind to make the technological and engineering advancements to mitigate the negative effects of global warming.

Who is George Soros and why is he giving Hillary millions?

My personal belief is that he is a psychopath.

I believe every human born on this world has an inherent tendency to seek something greater than one’s self. You can refer to this seeking as worship. You may disagree with me but I think when looked at objectively it becomes clear that everyone is seeking or worshiping something. Now many people worship God, others worship power, or money, some worship nature, and some even worship knowledge. I could go on, there are many things that people worship, but in essence I am saying that I believe all humans are hardwired to seek or worship something.

Soros is an atheist, so he does not worship God. You might say he worships money. But since he has fulfilled the dream of being impossibly rich I don’t believe he sees money as worthy of worship, It is just a means to an end for him. You could argue that he worships power, and yes he is very politically powerful and wields that power through his money, but I do not see even this as his end game.

You see George Soros has chosen to worship humanity. Yep Soros worships humanity as a whole, and as such he believes that it is his responsibility as a member of the chosen elite,(more on that later), to do everything possible to usher in a state of utopia for mankind. To achieve this utopia he believes that it is absolutely essential that every human must be equal to every other human on the planet in order to eliminate envy. In his version of utopia freedom, happiness, and prosperity of the masses have no importance, absolute equality is the only important measure of his utopia.

Under capitalism the western world has become the home of the richest and happiest free people in history. In his mind this is unfair to the rest of the world. He sees the disparity of riches between nations as an abomination. He has said that capitalism is the cause of the world’s problems. He feels like it is his responsibility to right this wrong. He sees himself and other elites as a saviors to mankind. Yes, you could say he has a God complex. In his mind he must change the world, not because he wants to or needs to but because the universe has called him to do so. the only solution is to dissolve all governments of the world and unite the world under a single world government, that through taxes, will redistribute the wealth of the richest nations to the poorer nations thusly resulting in the true equality of mankind.

Now how is this possible considering that he and his family have become staggeringly rich off of capitalism? Well as I said earlier he considers himself eliete or above that. In fact he considers himself to be the worlds messiah. Here are a few quotes from the horses mouth. In 1991 George Soros said: “If truth be known, I carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood, fantasies which I wanted to indulge … to the extent that I could afford.” What? he considers himself to be Jesus Christ to the world? How about this quote from 1987: “I admit that I have always harbored an exaggerated view of self-importance―to put it bluntly, I fancied myself as some kind of god or an economic reformer like Keynes or, even better, a scientist like Einstein”

Now he knows that this utopia of his can not be achieved in his lifetime, but that doesn’t matter to him, what matters is that someday his utopia will be realized. He is utterly convinced that by pushing social and left wing policies he is helping move the world closer and closer toward his vision of utopia.

This is his religion, and since it is a religion, he can not be reasoned with, he can not be bought off, he can not be swayed by logic, he is worshiping his god and will die rather than change.

You are a hypocrite and a coward.

Who am I talking to? The millions of Americans who claim to want change but are unwilling to embrace change when given the chance. Eight years ago millions of Americans voted for Barack Obama claiming they wanted a change in government. I said then he was no different, just a career politician who would pander to the least common denominator in America. I feel I have been vindicated many times over. Obama has done nothing but travel the same road that has been traveled by every president in the last fifty years. Yet now we have a chance at real change, someone who has never been in politics before, someone who knows what harm government intervention does to American business. Someone who surrounds himself with the smartest and most dedicated people. Someone who is willing to stand up for his people and what he believes in. Someone who is tired of the run amuck political correctness that has swept down upon our nation. Someone who can bring real change. Who is this person? Donald Trump. Yes The Donald is America’s first chance at real change in Washington in the last fifty years. Yet so many people refuse to embrace him. What makes my blood boil? When someone says to me that they want change in Washington but in the same breath point out that they can’t vote for The Donald as he has no experience in politics. If you do this you are a hypocrite and a liar to yourself. People say they want change but then in the same breath they say they are afraid to vote for Mr. Trump. If this is you then you are a sniveling coward. Yes you are a coward, you don’t want change, you just want someone who will pander to your selfish desires . The media hates Donald. The GOP hates Donald. The Democrat party hates Donald. All the rest of the political establishment hates Donald. If you really are tired of how this government is run then there is only one choice, Donald Trump. Electing him to the Presidency would be the greatest thorn in the side of the Washington elites in our lifetime. For my entire life people have moaned and complained of how Washington is run. This is your once in a lifetime chance to stick it to Washington. Vote The Donald.

Is ObamaCare going to kill my wife?

My wife of nearly thirty years, Kimberly, is struggling against Lymphoma . She was diagnosed more than a month ago and treatments have yet to begin. So what does this have to do with Obama Care?

First a little background.

In 2013 Kimberly was working from home for a small medical equipment company filing records and doing account recovery. She had company provided health insurance through the Cover Tennessee program. There was a small deduction from each of her paychecks to cover the $80 per month charge for health insurance.

In November of 2013 she received a letter from her employer. Cover Tennessee was being discontinued because it did not meet the minimum standards set forth in Obama Care. And because of the small size of her employer they were not required to, and were no longer going to offer health insurance. They could not afford to anymore. I don’t blame them, they could not help that they were backed into a corner by ObamaCare, they have bent over backwards to help us. But not to worry according to the letter from the insurance company, she would be able to purchase replacement insurance through the health insurance marketplace. I seem to remember President Obama saying you could keep your current health insurance if you wanted. What he failed to do was to prevent the insurance companies from dropping plans you wanted to keep. It wasn’t her employer that dropped her, it was the insurance company.

Well as soon as enrollment opened up we went on line to the healthcare.gov to purchase this glorious Affordable Health insurance.

Sticker Shock! Our household income is just over the maximum to receive a subsidy, so a plan offering the similar coverage was more than $600 per month, and even the most basic plan with outrageous deductions was $400 per month.

There was no way that our budget could afford that kind of increase. So Kim’s Insurance lapsed, and we were left paying out of pocket for her diabetic supplies and doctor visits. And even then we failed to spend even close to the amount of the deductible of all but the most expensive insurance plans.

What I wish to emphasize is that if we had purchased Obama Care insurance we would have been paying for insurance that had such a high deductible that even the cost of her diabetic supplies for the whole year would not have reached the deductible! We would be paying insurance that provided no benefit, on top of what we were already paying for her diabetes management. That was not a sustainable proposition for us. So we were forced to forgo health insurance in order to continue to pay for her diabetic supplies.

Last year open enrollment came around again and, and once again we checked the health insurance market place, and not surprisingly the rates were even higher for 2015 while our income had not changed. So as before we were forced to forgo insurance in order to cover her diabetic supplies. So now Kim has been without health insurance for more than two years.

This past summer we received a small raise in income, not much, but enough to maybe squeeze health insurance into our budget. But low and behold we were not allowed to purchase insurance when we received our raise because open enrollment was closed. We would have to wait until 2016. I was under the impression that If your income changed you could purchase insurance at any time. This is not the case. Income changes only apply if you are in a low enough income bracket to receive a subsidy, the middle class is out of luck. So we were forced to wait once again for insurance.

In late September Kim discovered a painful growth in her groin area. She consulted with a local walk in clinic and they were unable to offer any help without a battery of expensive tests. Hoping that it was simply swelling of an infected lymph node she was placed on antibiotics and sent home.

However the swelling did not go away, it became worse. Finally I persuaded her to seek another physician. This time the physician said insurance or no insurance this needs to be taken care of now.

Using her influence this new physician got Kimberly in very quickly to be seen by another doctor who cared more about the health of his patients than his wallet. A battery of tests was run, Kim was quickly scheduled for surgery and less than a week later several lymph nodes were removed. Pathology quickly revealed that the diagnosis was Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Chemo treatments beyond the surgery is absolutely required for lymphoma, and treatments must start as soon as possible, even within days of the surgery to receive a good outcome. The wonderful doctor who has been treating Kim has even went so far as to do a second surgery to install a port for the chemo.

Speed of treatment is absolutely essential with any form of cancer. Every day that passes without treatment lowers Kim’s chance of recovery. But now we are a month down the road from the surgery. The wonderful doctor who pushed Kim into surgery so quickly has his hands tied. He is not an oncologist, he can’t order chemo. He has spent the last four weeks trying to find an oncologist that will treat Kim, but of course the first question their office asks when they call us is what insurance. We have had several calls from oncology centers that have never bothered to call back after they learned Kim has no insurance.

I want insurance. We had insurance, but it was taken away from us. I wanted insurance before Kim was diagnosed, but was denied the ability to purchase insurance even after I was able to afford it. Of course now we have signed up for a plan, but it will not take effect until January. So here Kim sits, two surgeries completed, over $12000 in medical bills piled up on the counter and she has yet to see an oncologist.

Oh I am sure, come January, some oncologist will be glad to see her. But for now we wait. Will the wait be too long? Will the cancer have spread so far as to be untreatable by then? We hope and pray this is not the case.

Had it not been for ObamaCare Kim would have still had her insurance from work. She would have begin chemo months ago. Will she survive? I hope and pray to God that she will. It did not have to be this way.

Thank you President Obama.

www.gofundme.com/wu89kzxf

Kim

Night Terror

There is a dark place deep in the mind of mankind.
A place darker than a thousand midnights.
A place more terrifying than the pits of hell itself.
A place we keep locked away behind mental walls thicker then the walls of Valhalla.
This dark place is a place we all keep secured behind metaphysical chains and iron
bars stronger than the pillars of creation themselves.
This dark place in the human mind contains terrors and monstrosities that can cause
even the darkest demon from the pits of hell itself to tremble in fear.

This place is the id, a place beyond sleep, beyond dreams, a place where even the
darkest nightmare is a welcome reprieve from the terrors contained within dark corners
of the mind of mankind.

From time to time, while we sleep, the bars of this mental prison are weakened, our
guard is let down. It is during these long nights when these creatures escape from this
mental prison we all have. And when they do we find ourselves paralyzed, unable to wake, unable to call out, even to our spouse lying in the bed beside us. We are besieged with an attack, an attack from within our own id. An attack that in past years gave rise to stories of demons setting on our chest in the middle of the night, trying to steal our very soul.

And today we hear tails of evil aliens taking us away for some inhuman experiment on
their spaceship.

But in reality it is all from within our own psyche.
All this evil, all this darkness, all these terrors lurk within our own mind.
Hidden deep within our very soul.

I experienced attack like this last night. While sleeping I was besieged from within,
unable to scream , unable to move. I was fully aware, I knew very well I was asleep
in my own bed, but I was paralyzed, unable to wake myself, trapped within a nightmare
of nightmares, struggling to even breath. Finally after clawing and dragging myself up
out of the heavy darkness I began to drag myself back to consciousness with my heart
threatening to bust forth from within my chest. A battle that seemed to last forever,
a battle that left me drained and exhausted.

Today I feel as though I spent the night fighting the devil himself. I am exhausted,
it is as though I never slept at all. What a terrifying night. But remember, sooner
or later this happens to everyone.

You too carry this darkness, everyone does.
Some night, maybe tonight, maybe next week, or ever in ten years, you will be attacked.
It is inevitable. While sleeping peaceably your walls will fall, the barriers will be
let down, and in the middle of that night the creatures will spill forth and attempt to
tear you apart, your very soul will be ripped and torn while your spouse sleeps quietly
beside you. You will be alone, totally alone with your very own creatures from the id.
Sleep tight.

Noah reviewed…

Be forewarned if you read this there are MAJOR spoilers.

I went and seen Noah this evening and was blown away by the visuals and cinematography.

I found the story interesting and loved the inclusion of the Watchers from the Book of Enoch. I did not really like the appearance of the Watchers, but the book of Enoch never describers them so I will give a pass there.

I have said it before and I will say it again, Get a copy of the book of Enoch and read it.

Although the major aspects of the film follows the Biblical account, there were quite a bit of the film that was obviously entirely from the mind of the writers. This was to be expected given turning a short story such as Noah into a 2 hour movie. For example the mental agony that Noah experiences in the movie is never mentioned in the Bible but I can easily see how being the last family on Earth and the responsibility God cast on the shoulders of Noah could make him a little unbalanced. Also in the movie Noah thinks his job is to save the animals, not mankind. Noah spends much of the movie expecting to be the last family on earth. It is not until the very end that Noah accepts that God wants mankind to survive also.

I will normally give Biblical movies a pass for adding stuff or even leaving out stuff as long as nothing added or removed results in a direct contradiction of the Bible. So I can accept that we have no idea what was really going on in Noah’s mind. One thing we can be absolutely sure of is that not every detail of every story is included in the Bible. Simply by reading the four Gospels we can see that each Gospel presents a slightly different view and things that are included in John may not appear in Matthew and vice versa.
That being said contradictions is where this film missed the mark. There are two major and one minor plot point that DIRECTLY contradict the story of Noah in the Book of Genesis.

The first and most glaring discrepancy in the movie is that only one of Noah’s sons has a wife on the ark. The other two are wifeless. This is set up as a major motivation for Ham’s actions during and after the flood. Yes, Noah is shown drunk and naked in the cave after the flood. Don’t worry it is presented in a way to as to not offend the viewers. The omission of Ham and Japheth’s wives is not complete though, Shem’s wife is found to be pregnant in the early days of the flood and she eventually gives birth to twin girls just as the ark lands on mount Ararat. Although it is not specifically stated, it seems obvious to me that these twin girls are destined to eventually become the wives of Ham and Japheth. So, since Shem’s wife was pregnant before she came on the ark you could say that the wives of Ham and Japheth were on the ark the whole time.

That being said the absence of wives for Ham and Japheth was the most egregious error in the movie in my opinion.

The second major annoyance is the stowaway. Yes the writers saw fit to write a subplot involving a stowaway on the ark. This sub plot directly interacts with Ham’s actions during and after the flood.

Could there have been a stowaway? We don’t know for sure but I highly doubt it. I thought the stowaway subplot was totally unnecessary.

No, the stowaway does not survive in the end.

And my last and complaint is the very subtle way the story was… I don’t want to use the word “twisted”… I would say the story was subtlety “adjusted ” to include an environmental message. I understand that we need to take care of this planet as much as the next guy but I am tired of Hollywood slapping me in the face with an environmental message every time it gets a chance. The remake of “The day the Earth Stood Still” was a prime example of a great story ruined by turning it into a Environmental crusade. And Noah suffers from this to a small extent.

Overall I would have given the movie 8 out of 10 rating but the 3 contradictions I pointed out above cost it points. Overall as a IMDB reviewer I gave the film 6 out of 10 stars. Overall a very enjoyable movie lost points for its Biblical inaccuracy.

Now after what I posted last night and after viewing the film do I recommend viewing this film? Yes…BUT you should go in with the expectation that this is fiction film “INSPIRED” by the story of Noah and the flood in the Bible. If you go in with the expectation of a Biblically authentic movie you will be disappointed. If however you go in expecting to see a epic movie somewhat “loosely ” based on the story of Noah then by all means do.

My faith is strong enough to survive a few Hollywood contradictions. Is yours?

Why I will be seeing Noah.

There has been a lot of buzz about the upcoming movie Noah, both positive and negative.

But the comments that stick out mostly in my mind are from people that say they are NOT going to see it for some reason or another. Usually the justification people use for this attitude is some aspect of the trailer they did not like or they heard someone say it is not true to the Bible.

My perspective is this.

Firstly, we don’t get too many big budget Bible based movies, so we must avail ourselves when one does get made. For years Christians have been asking why Hollywood doesn’t make movies based on the Bible anymore. Finally they make start making them and first thing many Christians do is immediately start shooting them down. This the first time there has been a serious effort to do Noah as a standalone movie , whether they got it perfect or not let’s support it and maybe we will see more Bible movies.

Secondly, the story of Noah is only 1632 words long. 1632 words is just two type written pages. For comparison my recently published novel is over 83000 words long. To turn a sixteen hundred word story in to a two hour movie OF COURSE you must add stuff. (For those of you who have been living under a rock it is called “Artistic License”. ) A better comparison is the movie “King of Kings” staring Jeffery Hunter made in 1961 pretty much covers the all four Gospels and is only 2 3/4 hours long. From my understanding they have even used elements of the book of Enoch in Noah. Enoch is the most interesting and oldest books on the planet. The book of Enoch is even referenced in the Bible more than once. (Genesis 6: 2 -6:4 and Jude 1:14 ) . If you have not read the book of Enoch you should. It explains the mystery of the giants mentioned in Genesis among other questions.

Thirdly, many people have pointed out that the guy making Noah, Darren Aronofsky, is an Atheist. My reply to that is “So?” You would think Christians would be more familiar with the Bible.

“Romans 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.”

” Jeremiah 27:6 And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.”

God used Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar, pagan kings, Rahab the prostitute, Moses a murderer. I could go on and on. Throughout history God has used whoever he wanted to accomplish what he wanted. Who are we to say any different? The writers said they have been careful not to mock the story, they went to great effort and expense build the ark to Biblical measurements. The writers worked and researched this movie for more than sixteen years.

Fourthly, of all the times the story of Noah has ever been pictured in film they NEVER EVER get one thing right, the water. Everyone always shows the rain but they forget the most important part. The water came up out of the ground BEFORE it fell from the sky.

Gen 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

Then the rain comes in verse 12.

Anyone who has saw the trailer can clearly see that the director ” Darren Aronofsky” got this right. He clearly shows the water spouting up from the earth. That detail in of itself is enough to make me want to see this movie.

Finally, my faith is strong. There may be some things in the movie that don’t line up with your or my beliefs. BUT before you decide to accuse the director of not making a Biblical movie ask yourself how much of what you believe about the story of Noah is really based on the Bible and how much is based on your perceptions of story you have formed over the years of hearing it since a child? Noah is a short Story in the Bible. There is surly much that happened during the years leading up to the flood and the time spent on the ark that is not contained in the Biblical story. Darren Aronofsky has made a movie that hypothesizes much that went on. Is your faith so week that if you view a movie that runs counter to your preconceived notions that you are going to lose faith in God?
God Forbid.

A short camping story

In June of 08 my wife and I took a cross country trip that involved several days of camping in and around the Colorado Plateau. One location that I had discovered was at the end of long dirt road that extended, after several miles, to an isolated overlook above Monument Valley.
We planned several days in advance to be there on a weekday to hopefully reduce the number of people there. We arrived in the early afternoon and soon had rather nice campsite established. We completed an early camp meal and I reclined in my favorite camp chair expecting to peacefully enjoy and photograph a spectacular desert sunset.
About an hour before sundown I heard the approach of another vehicle. I was not terribly surprised because the location is no great secret. The actual overlook covers several acres and I just assumed that whoever they were, they were they were coming to enjoy the sunset also. How wrong could I have been? As the approaching vehicle crested a hill the first thing I noticed was that it was a extended 12 passenger van, followed closely behind by two more identical vans. The three vehicles roared past our campsite in a cloud of choking dust and rock music, skidding to a stop only about 175 feet down the hill from our campsite.
The doors opened and out piled about a total 25-30 late teenage students and coaches from some school whose name is now lost to me. Soon several portable speakers were sitting on the top of the vans blasting a combination of hip-hop and Rap noise that scattered every horned toad and scorpion for miles. I wonder how many reptiles fell to their deaths off the side of the nearby cliffs from their flight due to the din of that abominable noise.
Shortly a portable gas grill was set up and the smell of burnt hotdogs and hamburgers pierced the desert air. A loud party proceeded well into the night and at one point I actually considered packing up and leaving the area. Finally sometime long after sunset the whole group packed up and once again roared past our campsite never to be seen again.
What I had planned as a nice quiet evening watching the sunset with my wife was turned into a fingernails on chalkboard blood pressure blowing experience that has left me seething with anger ever since the event. I live so far away that this location is such a rare experience for me that I have only been there twice in my lifetime. This second was planned as an old age memory for me and my wife, but was ruined by a bunch of inconsiderate jocks.

Is global warming all bad?

For years we have been told by the sword of Damocles crowd that climate change is bad. Rather in the long run I believe that the warming of the world will be a good thing. There may well be growing pangs as we adjust to the changes, but the bottom line is longer growing seasons will result in more plentiful food, enabling the world’s population to grow even larger while still being able to feed itself.

But of course, many will point out that the growth of deserts, in a warmer environment, may, or will outpace the growth of arable agricultural land… Maybe…

But, despite what the doom and gloom crowd says, the actual volume of water on this planet doesn’t change appreciably over human time scales. There may come a time when massive civil-engineering projects will be required to move the water from water rich areas to arid areas. Such projects would benefit the economies of countries involved in the projects and result in lower unemployment world wide. Also we are on the verge of a technological breakthrough in sea water desalination. There is and will be plenty of water, we only have to make the effort to distribute it equitably.

People fear change, I do not. In short I believe global warming will be more than a bump in the road for human civilization.

Musing on the Supreme Court Holding Section 4 Of The Voting Rights Act Unconstitutional

There are many cases where the right to vote is essentially twisted into a right to commit voter fraud.
In the last few elections there have been numerous news stories that have appeared nationwide showcasing one group or another going to diverse places to pick up people in buses to vote.
I have a problem with this, and the following story is my reason why. One story in particular enraged me. A bus was sent to a nursing home and dozens of senior citizens were loaded onto a bus and taken to a polling place.
At first glance this appears to be a good idea. However further investigation revealed that nearly everyone on the bus that day were Alzheimer patients. Many of these people did not even have the ability to recognize their own family or even themselves in a mirror. So how could they vote?
Voting laws in the state where this event occurred allowed a voter to have assistance in voting. So the organizers of the bus trip provided helpers for the patients. How can anyone not recognize that the votes being cast were not chosen by the Alzheimer patients but were clearly chosen by their helper.
If one helper helped sixty Alzheimer patients vote in the presidential election do you have any doubt that if you examined the votes cast in this case there would have been 60 identical votes, effectively allowing the supposed helper to vote sixty times. However If you institute any type of knowledge test, even a simple verbal test to show that you had at least a basic comprehension of what you are about to do. The ACLU and many others would immediately cry “FOUL”, that any such test is inherently biased against some group. However the truth is much to the contrary such a test could be simple enough to be passed by any person… IF they are capable and willing to at least make a effort to understand what they are voting for. HOWEVER this will never happen because far to many people feel that we must lower ourselves to the lever of the lowest common denominator. This is the reverse of what this country espoused in the past, rising above the rest, being the best you can be. This seems to be a lost ideal in America today.

Why no disclosure?

Many people believe that the existence of alien visitors is being actively suppressed by world governments, or even by a cartel of highly placed none governmental entities. I do not want to address whether this is true or not, as that horse has been beat to death. But instead I want to address the reasons for this suppression, if it exists.

The usual argument against revealing the existence of alien visitors is the likelihood of social and religious upheaval that would occur subsequent to such a revelation. I would counter such a suggestion with the fact that, according to National Geographic survey, over one half of Americans believe that there is life on other worlds, and as many as one third of Americans believe we have already been visited, surveys conducted in the UK had similar results. With numbers like that it is hard to accept the mass panic scenario. And when considering that the above American statistics are coming from a country that is over three fourths Christian, it is highly likely that a significant number of Christians already accept the existence of alien life. The likelihood of a major religious crisis as overblown as the likelihood of a mass panic.

So what reason is left? Greed… Pure and simple, as old as money itself, “Filthy Lucre”.
What is the logic that leads to such a motive for preventing disclosure?

Energy…

The world economy revolves around fossil fuels oil, coal, natural gas, and the emerging technology of methane hydrate. Yes we have nuclear wind and solar, but their total contribution is small. Overall, energy is between 8 and 25% , depending on sources, of the world economy.

Then there is the one inescapable fact. The distances involved in interstellar travel make it absolutely impossible to travel from one star system to another in any conceivably practical time span using any type of power source humans have ever conceived of, including nuclear. Therefore, any aliens visiting us would be using a power source far beyond anything we have conceived of. Such a power source by definition would have to be small reliable and would seem to violate our current understandings of physics.

The confirmed existence of alien visitors would, by direct implication, also confirm the existence of such a power source. This fact would no doubt be overlooked by the majority of the world’s population. But there is a significant number of people who have enough of a understating of physics that they would recognize the energy implications of catapulting a ship across stellar distances. Their curiosity would be piqued. Once the possibility of such technology is proven by the existence of interstellar travelers it would only be a matter of time until humans acquire the same technology. Humans can be incredibly determined, sooner or later, either by deduction, subterfuge or even outright theft, someone would duplicate the technology. I have not done the math but based the size of commonly sighted UFO’s and the recent math equations around the energy requirements for a Alcubierre drive, I would feel completely comfortable saying a human derived version of such alien power technology could possibly result in a device the size of a newspaper rack that could provide the total energy supplies of a standard residential single family home for centuries. Once such technology was developed the world economy would be turned on its head overnight. Many of the worlds rich and powerful would no longer be rich and powerful.

When considering this, I highly doubt that we will ever have disclosure in my lifetime.

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