Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Chimney—Poem

The Chimney

On the shore of Old Island
Sanctuary to the past
Castward glances to the West
Faithful sight will come to view

Looming high above the reeds
Habitation on the marsh
Surrounded by sand and tide
While nestled in foliage of green

Its OUR tower of the Bay
Glory days now but a thought
Dwells stoic in solitude
Monument to long ago

Sights and sounds absorbed ago
From those who once passed its way
Rich history stored in brick
Holding tales now rarely heard

This beacon across the way
Its stature nobly secured
Through many stormy trial
Standing true amidst it all

The Chimney!

by Ray Landon

(Thanks to Billie Chandler for the use of this photo)

God Shows Up Everywhere

God Shows Up Everywhere
 
This is an interesting thing and should be placed squarely in the camp of atheists for their comments. And while proofs of God of this kind, though not as  mathematical as this one, have been presented down through the centuries, the computer verification of Godel’s proof is interesting. I am sure many will discount this for one reason or another but Godel did illustrate one thing in his life—the concept of “God” is not incompatible with genius!
 
Godel should know since one of his main theorems of math dealt with the foundations of mathematical structure. In his work he showed that many things are “true” in a mathematical sense but can never be proven! All arithmetic systems will inevitably have things that have to “assumed-to-be-true” or be taken “by faith” (my words). Or in other words, to quote Godel:
 
“Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle – something you have to assume but cannot prove.”
 
This was extremely devastating to mathematicians back then and one title of a book about the history of mathematics had a chapter entitled “Paradise Lost” due to the implications of Godel’s theorem. For the everyday person one of the things this meant is that mathematics can never reach a place in which the need of God can be eliminated. No matter how developed math and science gets, there will always have to be something outside all that knowledge which one has to assume.
 
The implication against atheism and for religious views of God are staggering. This is why scientists, those who believe in the Big Bang and evolution, even in their system (though many do not accept anyway) as they create such a complex theory regarding how we got here, reach a point back in time which is completely unknowable and inaccessible. That moment is when it all began, that initial “umph” when the Big Bang started. What was there at that moment? What was going on right before that “Big Bang” moment? How did it even begin?  It is too much to review all the crazy theories about this, but they are views totally outside the arena of scientific experiments or mathematics—it is a giant unknown realm.
 
Godel’s circle, when drawn around this scientific view, implies something outside of that circle is needed to explain it, that something is not more science or math, it is God the Creator! Many evolutionary scientists refuse to even admit to that possibility and will still try to construct crazy views to avoid the need of a “Creator”!
 
What is also interesting is that Godel’s implications only apply to a concept of “God”, not anything personal about God. And that backs up Romans 1:19-20—:
 
“19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:…”
 
Once again, mankind tries to eliminate God from necessity, which is what many of these mathematicians tried to do with their mathematical systems. That system which needed nothing from outside it, failed miserably. And now they backed themselves into a corner where knowledge fails and there is only one recourse for a final explanation—there is a Creator. Romans 1:19-20 says we can reach that place of understanding about God, we just can’t “know” Him without Christ.
 
We have heard during the time of Rome that “all roads lead to Rome”—well, all knowledge and understanding, when pushed to its limits, can’t help but bump into “his eternal power and Godhead”!
 
The question is what do we do with that knowledge!

Trump, Chris Matthews, and Hitler?

Two Nations
 
I guess one of the things that has become part of our daily life is that America is actually two nations! Two opposite groups, with worldviews nearly impossible to find much real, intersecting common ground. If this election did anything, it highlighted the differences in a stark, binary way.
 
President Trump gives his inauguration speech and does something that hasn’t been done in awhile—he highlighted the problems in this country that have been festering for a long time! He assured the People that his focus was on every individual in this nation and, to top it all off, he dared to utter the “blasphemous” (according to liberals that is!) phrase “America first”!
 
How dare he do that!
 
But shouldn’t that phrase be an obvious motivation? Or even axiomatic for a nation-state to think that? I do! And that doesn’t mean we can’t help others, but if our foundation becomes so weakened and crumbles then the whole world will suffer!
 
But the commentators couldn’t resist to find fault and while some of their “illogic” may just be hyperbole, I think many of them actually believe what they are spewing!
 
Chris Matthews, for example, actually thought of Hitler during the speech! When Trump’s “America first” phrase is meant to allay the fears of all the Americans who have been lost either in poverty, drugs, joblessness, etc—Matthews thought of Hitler! 
 
And other commentators referred to his speech as being very “dark” and “negative”—but… for many people’s lives, it is a dark and negative time—Trump sees that!
 
Poor liberals—so disorganized in their priorities and thinking!
 
But herein lies at least a couple major conceptual differences between these two Americas:
 
First, for too long Democrats and many Republicans have given lip-service to solving problems and then not follow through, they just basically ignored things.
 
Trump won’t do that!
 
Secondly, the Left is all too consumed with things such as preserving abortion, legalizing every immoral action they can, breaking down the America uniqueness by diluting our society with a flood of illegal immigrants, etc. They don’t care about individual Americans that much.
 
Trump does!
 
So let the Liberals stand on the sidelines and whoop and holler and cry—Trump will do what he does best—try to solve problems!
 
(But really…” America first” really reminds Matthews of Hitler! He needs to take a long look into the mirror of reality!)

Professional Wailers and Trump’s Inauguration

The Bible has many customs which help explain many aspects of some of the stories. One in particular has a comical aspect to it and if practiced today, would probably take a while to  embrace!
 
In Matthew 9, there is a request by a certain ruler whose daughter had died. He requested Christ to come and raise her from the dead. Christ came to his house where the daughter lay and upon arriving,  saw that the funeral customs were already taking place.
 
Matthew 9:23-24 says:
 
“23 And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.”
 
It is hard to understand a part of this without knowing the customs of the day. Present at many funerals were a group considered professional mourners—hired to make a hubbub! They are the “minstrels” and the “people making a noise” in the verses.  I don’t know if many of us would want something like that at the funerals of our loved ones but it would be different! And this was not restricted just to the New Testament times for in the Old Testament there were examples of this group—in Amos 5:16 reference is made to those that are “skillful of lamentation to wailing”!
 
Move forward 2000 years and a new group of professional wailers have been formed!
 
Here we are at the inauguration of Donald Trump and the Leftist world has become unhinged at the thought of a Trump Presidency! One of the goals of this opposition concerns the inauguration ceremony and beyond. What these people want is agitation and a lot of it! Advertisements have evidently gone out paying up to $2500 per month to protest and stir things up!  Or create a hubbub! This seems to have become a growth industry, mainly among Leftists—I guess they can’t get enough valid interest in their causes and so have to hire it out.
 get inside Donald Trump’s head! And so he is just going to move on with his agenda regardless of the “weeping and wailing” of the agitators, or the whole Liberal world for that matter. It is similar to a professional sports team having to play an away game, the visiting team just gets used to the crowd noise, which is meant to disrupt their routines, and keep to their gameplan.
 
So these “agitators” may make a lot of noise but Trump will keep going forward, and though they may scream and shout a lot, the only thing they will accomplish is reinforcing the idea of Liberals as being the supreme sore losers! And that has a comedic aspect to it as well!

Abortion = “sacred work”?

This kind of “religious” stamp of approval definitely shows an ecumenical unity albeit a “devilish” one, one that represents a repudiation of the idea of life actually being sacred! And Planned Parenthood is doing a sacred work! After those videos recently! Oh, I forgot they were made up! The blindness of sin at work!

John the Baptist “leaped for joy” in the womb of Elizabeth upon hearing Mary’s voice–a piece of flesh does that? Christ was conceived by God through the Holy Spirit. Was Christ only “human” upon birth? The Bible doesn’t separate the pre-birth and post-birth as a demarcation line between human and nonhuman!

The quotes in this article, if they really illustrate these leader’s beliefs, are a modern testament to the spiritual warfare which tries to make mankind think of “evil as being good” instead of calling evil for what it is. And what better way to show the rest of the world this than have religious leaders coming together and give their mark of approval!

Some of the quotes:

1. “This confirms the sacredness of the work we do.”

This contradicts the fact that what God considers sacred is the life of the baby, not it’s killing!

2. “God, let your spirit rest upon these caregivers, who serve as instruments of your hands.”

You would think from these words refer to the helps that those such as midwives and now professionals exercise when delivering a baby, not killing it! So would a more nuanced prayer be legitimate such as “Lord, help me use these instruments to just destroy the flesh of the fetus and not disturb the surrounding womb”. That would have to be a legitimate prayer—if we are honest about this “sacred work”!

3. “Women have been made to think that this is some evil place, where God is not.”

It is an evil place where death of humanity is practiced, not unlike the crematoriums of Nazi Germany—they also had their ways of making it sound like a positive societal thing!

4. These decisions are “sacred decisions,” by the women.

They are?

5. “Now I can tell patients that this is a blessed space.”

No, the “blessed space” is the womb. Just consider the womb and the child in it. That child is the most vulnerable right there, totally at the mercy of the mother—even before Roe v. Wade there would be ways to get rid of the pregnancy. The mother to that child is everything, in a way acting as the protector, not only as individual, but as parent, functioning as well as a type of government, and even in the deepest sense, as the stand-in for God! After all, she does have the power of life over death of the child!

6. “a good vibration to the building” so that anyone coming in “will be healed soon.”

Killing your child is healing?

7. the group sang “This Little Light of Mine,

Which “light”, not the “light of life”—that will be extinguished in these places!

More could be said but this is a perfect example how darkness can be turned into light.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/01/13/religious-leaders-bless-planned-parenthood-abortion-mega-clinic-praising-sacred-work/

Calculus and Wisdom—Morgan Hall College Essay

From a High School Senior
As a Calculus teacher in high school, I couldn’t help but love the following essay written for a college application by Morgan Hall, a Senior looking forward to the next step in her life.
The opening line of her essay, “The derivative is the spice of life”,  would be a great first line for a poem!
The whole essay follows:
“The derivative is the spice of life” is a famous quote from my passionate AP Calculus Teacher. I take derivative after derivative and ponder if this technique will ever benefit me in the future. But then, I stop and realize that this tool, which calculates the rate of change at a single instance, is a perfect portrayal of how life can quickly change at any given moment. Right now, I am contemplating how to word this sentence and hitting the back space key over and over again, but soon I may be playing with the cotton ball of a dog or eating sweet potato dough my mother is making for Christmas dinner. We all consider what the importance of an action we are taking is, but fail to envision what difference it may make when considered in other simplistic aspects of our lives.  No matter how small taking the derivative of a function feels, looking at the bigger picture shows me how important it is to learn how to utilize small things in order to accomplish bigger things in and outside of my small, white-walled Calculus classroom.”
I would say that wisdom can be derived from many places as evidenced in this essay

Black Liberals and Stupidity

Are Black liberals just growing more stupid over time? I think they are!
 
Of course this statement will be called racist by some, based only on the fact that a white man just said it!
 
I guess their thought-to-be-queen, Hillary, fell short on her would-be version of tyranny and with  the many handouts these black leaders would expect and so the “white-guilt trip” which many black leaders use as a “fall back” position, has to be brought out of the liberal playbook—not that it would ever really go away.
 
Yeah—I am going to go out today and open my account! Just because Dyson says so!
 
Wouldn’t it be funny if a genealogy search was done on his family and slave owners were found? Either white or black? There were black slave owners as well—I don’t know how that would figure in to this, or for that matter, for those whites today who would have been descended from slaves! How do we handle that—only certain percentages of “black” apply?
 
These so-called leaders for the Black community need to give up and slink away to some unknown spot and let some new leaders emerge who may actually care for the Black community of today.
 
Why not look to help Chicago, which in 2016 had over 750 murders and 3500 shootings? He and others like him won’t. Solving actual problems is actually bad for their business–namely race-baiting and financial shakedowns!
 
His new book is “Tears We Cannot Stop”—I am not sure what is thesis is and don’t care but I am experiencing some tears that won’t stop—from laughing at his ridiculous idea!    

When Time Stands Still—9:04 A.M.

When Time Stands Still—-9:04 A.M.
 
 
Finished two books, “Curse of the Narrows”, which chronicles one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever made (Hiroshima was only 5 times greater) when a ship laden with explosives lost control and crashed into a wharf complex in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and the second book, “Floodpath”, which chronicles the breaking of a Dam in California near Los Angeles.  The Nova Scotia explosion occurred on Dec. 6, 1917 and killed nearly 2000 and injured over 9000, basically wiping out the whole town. The St. Francis Dam break occurred on the night of March 12, 1928 and killed close to 500, destroying or damaging everything in its path for miles!
 
 
Many other large scale disasters have occurred around the world of course, and though there is a commonality to each—massive destruction and loss of life, when one reads the personal losses of individuals who survived, it makes the latter’s measurements impossible to quantify except in the most minimum of ways. Property can be valued and tallied and rebuilt, but loss of life and family and relatives has no real or legitimate price tag and those who were lost in death obviously can’t be replaced. And when that particular number is large, it just amplifies the loss!
 
It is hard to prepare in any kind of way for a time when in a moment, changes occur which will devastate for a lifetime! The Book of Job in the Bible, like any other book has been criticized in one way or another down through time. One of the worst views is one which claims that the Book was not about a real individual, at least one who had all the various things recorded as having happened to him, but instead is a work of “fiction”, seeking to explain some of life’s disasters. Why that view is taken by some is surprising since things that happened to Job have occurred unfortunately to many since then. Albeit the numerical amount of losses physically, may differ a bit, the enormity of the losses, and the vacuum left over  have been similar.
 
 
What did Job lose? In a matter of days Job was informed by a servant that his livestock was taken and all the servants killed except one. Another servant then informed him that his sheep were destroyed by fire along with more servants. Following that, his camels were stolen with more servants being slain and worst of all, a wind came up and destroyed a house in which his 10 children were in and they were all killed! On top of that, on another day, he was stricken with boils over his whole body.
 
 
Now  Job was a very wealthy man and very prominent, and there are verses which hint that he eventually became an object of derision even among children—hence he lost his respect in front of the community. He was advised by his wife to curse God and die and his three friends approached him to show Job how he must have done something wrong for these things to happen. The question one can ask is whether it is really possible to lose so much so quickly—and—to come back from it! And the answer is “Yes”, these kinds of devastating losses do still occur unfortunately and, people can amazingly come back from it, though it is very difficult. 
 
 
One of the poignant facts about the Halifax explosion is what occurred with all the time pieces, those which survived! Most of the office building timepieces stopped at a bit past 9:04 A.M. and even a seismograph used for earthquake measurements, recorded the explosion at 9:04:35. How did that happen? Very technical but when the main explosion occurred, a kind of massive shock wave occurred which wiped out the surrounding areas in a moment and somehow effected the clocks at that moment.     9:04 A.M.!
 
 
Catastrophes by its nature I guess, forces the mind at least for a moment to “sense” just a bit how life can be totally remade in a brief instant for scores of individuals, and many of those lives who may become similar to Job!
 
 
Most of us don’t live a life worrying about how in one instant of time whole families including extended family, can be wiped out all at once! We all know we will leave this world eventually but when it comes to families, one hopes and expects that the progression will be to grow old and then die. We hope children grow up and they also grow old. Of course we don’t control that and death can come at any time—but it is still hard to fathom large families being wiped out in a moment! Hard to fathom that possibly hundreds of years of lifetimes, expected to be lived among large families, all gone— at 9:04 A.M. one December morning, compressed into a single point in time at a single place!
 
 
A couple examples: In Halifax, two families related by marriage, lost over 52 family members between them; mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, and on and on! At the St. River Dam area, a man by the name of Juan Carillo, who with his wife and seven children in the car, headed for high ground after being alerted about the oncoming flood after the Dam broke, stopped later and got out of his car to warn some neighbors, only to return to the car and find all were swept away. He lost his wife and seven children that quickly!
 
 
The  “why” of certain events will always remain in that part of God’s will which is inscrutable to us, or in other words, beyond our comprehension! How could we handle that kind of knowledge? We really couldn’t! One of the reasons and purposes for the Book of Job is to at least provide Hope! This life is the prelude to the next. This life has no ultimate guarantees about what occurs—God knows and we understand the things which may happen, but the actual events we don’t know! And of course it is easy to blame God for not stopping evil things from happening but that will be a tension we will never resolve here on Earth in our limited understanding. I would rather face that question then to live life knowing there is nothing behind this world but blind and random chance! But the Book of Job lets us know that if we serve Him, then all things are ultimately controlled by God and that He has his reasons, and that this life is only temporary and that ultimately our goal is to have an eternity with Him. That is the Hope that Job gives us in his book—even today to those who suffer in ways similarly.

Computer Logic

Nothing like “computer” logic!
 
Love the line which says “Oregon is a very beautiful state, but it’s infested with liberals,”—could say that about the whole USA.
 
If there was more space on the sign, the bunch of Hollywood actors and actresses who have been doing the videos would be a nice addition!

Overblown

What is wrong with this scenario:
A mass shooter has taken over a place full of people and are shooting as many as he can. The response from law enforcement is one that says waiting is the best option. That will ensure no one outside will get hurt and besides—the shooter has only so many bullets and will eventually run out.
I don’t think society would look upon that scenario with much enthusiasm–even though there is a kind of logic to it–it isn’t the kind of logic we would consider acceptable!
What is wrong with this scenario part 2:
Similar kind of situation but in this case, the mass killer is shot and immobilized by police who had took active action to stop him. The ensuing investigation found that the shooter, right before being immobilized by police, had already used up all his ammunition and so wasn’t a threat anymore. Condemnation of law enforcement then ensued for being too aggressive!
I don’t think  most of society would consider this a relevant condemnation since that knowledge of the shooter’s ammo wouldn’t have been available until after the event was over—although there are a few, unfortunately, who would consider the actions of the police as possibly being too hasty!
These were the scenarios I thought about as examples summarizing the main “sense” of a book I just finished called:
“Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them”   (Definitely a long title.)
One of the things the author tries to do is evaluate previous terror or terror-like situations which  the US confronted, either during a short period of time or during longer periods such as wars. According to his view, most of the “answers” to those events should be considered overreactions which caused more harm than good. He advocates some of the things that can be learned from those situations which if repeated, may help society and the powers-to-be, handle things more wisely and patiently.  That is fine–we can always learn and adjust strategies, etc. But I felt his judgments on those actions he disagrees with were too harsh due to the “purity” of hindsight!
Those “hindsight” parts of his analysis to me defy belief and really can make one wonder about the kinds of thinking taking place, even among intellectuals! One of his main thoughts is that the United States’ reactions to many  world events were driven mainly by fear (and sometimes politics or the Press) and thus our “reactions” were instead “overreactions”.  He then documents those things considered negatives which arose as consequences to those various responses as proof of the “wrongness” of the response! The natural question is whether there has ever been a perfect response to anything? I don’t think there really can be! Or is life just too messy for it to always be neat and clean and so the best we can do sometimes is do our best, even if it is from imperfect knowledge? I think so! It would have made the book more acceptable in my opinion, if he allowed a bit more latitude to the fact that no leadership is perfect.
His analysis ranges across many decades and includes the Cold War and its nuclear fears, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, 9/11, and a number of other incidences. And even our reaction towards Russia’s capabilities after putting the first satellite, Sputnik, into space ahead of us was actually an overreaction bordering on hysteria! Many others are mentioned in this book such as the 52 hostages held in Iran for 444 days and even our reaction to Pearl Harbor was too quick!
What the author does and it took a few pages to catch on, is that he is analyzing things with the benefit of hindsight, which is 20/20, as we all know! So he can say, using the event of 9/11, that American’s reaction of avoiding planes and instead returning to cars for traveling in the aftermath of 9/11, was wrong. First because the death rate from car accidents would increase due to more people traveling in cars and this would have even led to more people dying from car accidents than from the attacks themselves and secondly, the ability of terrorists doing another “surprise attack” would have been practically nil. So we should have known all that and kept flying as if nothing bad could happen later. It would be nice to have that kind of knowledge after disasters! But a basic thought is this, “How could we have known that right then?” We wouldn’t have, we didn’t know what was in place after that attack or how it was evolving—eventually we had better analysis but not at that moment.
His analysis of Japan and Pearl Harbor, which really leaves one scratching their heads after his analysis, continues this line of reasoning and he contends that a “cold war” would have been better in the long run than the trajectory which was taken. This is the epitome of his examples and illustrates the belief that leadership must somehow magically have access to the perfect kind of information, which under wise and patient contemplation will lead to the best course of action, which may just be to do nothing. That is the feeling igot from the book is that in many instances we would have been better off to just do nothing and let situations fizzle somehow on their own! But using Pearl harbor as an example against his reasonings, why would we have thought that not attacking Japan should have been a serious option? We weren’t inside the Japanese mindset, we couldn’t know all the weaknesses that a cold war may have exacerbated because their culture wasn’t our culture, we also couldn’t know if they would have kept on attacking at will if we did nothing, etc. etc.—we don’t have hindsight when something occurs now! But looking at the world right now from that event, I think that was the right choice to declare war on Japan!
Or maybe if the Japanese looked into their crystal ball and saw they would have lost then they wouldn’t have begun…and on and on…it goes! Maybe this author has one!
But here is the thing about fear and reacting and so forth—we don’t know what the future is until after it becomes the past, and then analysis can be made to improve responses when similar situations reoccur. So when things happen and responses follow, how is a society supposed to know if the path it takes is the absolute best path forward—it can’t and while wisdom and reflection should always accompany decisions which affect large groups of people, there will always be unseen consequences and there will always appear a possibly better way that could have been pursued, but wasn’t—hindsight does that to events! But that doesn’t mean that a different way would have been more successful—after all, we can’t repeat these things over in some kind of simulation! And the thing about decisions that have been made, and the outcomes have been rendered, is that one can never really know whether a different response would have been worse or not(except maybe on some rare occasion)–human nature and life is just too murky!
He analyses a number of situations like this and while those kinds of reasonings do have a place, he misses the point that those “in-the-moment” situations call for decisions to be made quickly and then one hopes that the best decision was made—that ambiguity in decision making will never change! To the author, leaders should have reflected  but when something major occurs how much time are we allotted until we lose control of our choices? That is one of the things I think the author misses here and so comes across as a bit unfair.  I am reminded of Israel which has endured thousands of rocket attacks. Many, if not most of those rockets land harmlessly in the desert regions, but when the sirens go off indicating a fresh attack the people still go for cover. Why do that if most miss? Because there may be a few that doesn’t and that is what you have to react to sometimes–the possibility.
Is that reacting from fear? If so, that is a reasonable fear which is alright to have. And do we really want to live in a society which becomes too scared to react because the “best” or “perfect” response may not be found and may be criticized because of hindsight? I wouldn’t! And of course we can have accountability and learn but I would rather not reach the place in which if I am trapped in a building with some mass shooter, that nothing is going to happen until the shooter runs out of bullets either.
If we as a society begin to question all our reactions as overreactions, then life will be different for a lot of us! It is easy to predict the past—this author was real good at it, but the here-and-now still needs to be dealt with and there isn’t always time to think about multiple scenarios!