Monthly Archives: February 2017

Synchronicity

In the last week or so I have been reading some things about Gilles Deleuze and his thoughts relating to the normally fixed boundaries in the meanings of “individual” and “group”. For most of us most of the time, we probably just think of a group as being composed of more than one individual, having been formed and collaborating for some reason. Deleuze pursued deeper ideas about this and thought that in some instances a group can take on characteristics in which the assemblage acts as a single individual, not in a mass mob sense but in a more developed, nuanced way. For that to occur some characteristics should be able to be ascribed to the group as a whole, those which apply to individuals. Those three things are: imagination–memory–thought.
 
Examples presented by the author I was reading and who was commenting on Deleuze, include possibly labor unions, BP, Google, U.S. Army, and many others similar to these. It doesn’t take too much imagination to accept that these entities do tend to take on an individual “personality”, and while the imagination–memory–thought triad may be hard to highlight exactly as we could in a single person, there seems to be something of substance to the idea of a group acting as an individual in this way. These views do not negate the differences that the workers who make up the entity may have, it is just the way the organization is constructed and presented, seems to act like a person at times.
 
There may be even more support for this even from the Supreme Court with its “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission” decision in 2010 about contributions from organizations during elections. It held that these organizations have a “Freedom of Speech” right under the First Amendment—just like individuals! I can remember a lot of Radio/TV Talk Show energy was expended on the premise of organizations being treated like individuals according to the Constitution. The idea of “corporate personhood” has been a part of our society in which corporations  were treated as individuals in some respect. The Citizens United decision was definitely thought by many to have taken the “corporate personhood” concept too far!
 
I really wasn’t contemplating too much about all this until after I listened to a link which was sent to me. It was a speech given by a Seattle City Councilwoman who stated that Seattle City Mayor should use his police department to fight ICE. I don’t expect any mayor or police department to actually go along with that, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it did occur a few times, but it did cause me to consider another kind of variation which could be very problematical. And it is connected to the practice of flash mobs.
 
Flash mobs were often initiated by social media in which many individuals could be contacted and then at an appointed place and time converge. There does seem to be an individual nature to that group activity, at least simplistically. Extending that activity, and given all the protests occurring because of ICE roundups of criminal aliens, even blocking a van from moving which held some illegals, is it too hard then to imagine that in cities across this land, especially sanctuary cities, that if someone happened upon an ICE raid in progress, and a call went around the country using social media and telling all who will to hit the streets and clog everything up, thus hindering  the efforts of ICE? I don’t think that is too hard to imagine! And could that lead to violence? Yes it could—easily! We are far from seeing the full evolution of all this, but if many individuals who are separated by space, can all of a sudden act as a single group–spread out over many places I might add, which is a twist in itself, and with a single purpose and thought in mind—-that is something to consider! And which we may experience all too soon! It has happened on small scales already.
 
Though it may not be as pure, but in the movie “The Truman Show”, Jim Carrey’s character had a desire to leave his home and take a trip. Being unaware that he was a star of a TV show with his life the plot, he didn’t realize that was not in the script. He started seeing weird things occur since he wanted to leave on a trip, trying to discourage his desire to leave. The funniest thing to me occurred when he decided to take a spur of the moment road trip and eventually turned down a road and cars in perfect synchronization, appeared from everywhere to block him. Is that kind of synchronization with protestors possible today? I would think it could be!
 
There is a fanaticism for illegal immigration which has such an irrational tint to it, that anything is possible!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bER4GGO5eRk

Baltic Sea Anomaly and God

“Out There?”
 
I came across a story about something called the “Baltic Sea Anomaly”, a “formation” discovered at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. What makes this a bit more interesting is the resemblance the formation has with something possibly extraterrestrial. One can, with a little imagination, make out the outlines of the ship in Star Wars called the Millennium Falcon. I am not a Star Wars guru, and although I love sci-fi, I never took to Star Wars. I guess we all have our foibles! 
 
For me, and this will inevitably invite the charge of “arrogance”, although arrogant towards what is somewhat vacuous, but, I don’t believe there is “life out there”. I believe that this universe was made for Man exclusively and we are it as far as intelligent life is concerned. Following the Biblical account in Genesis, that is a valid inference. And so, as Genesis states, the universe we see displayed was for “signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years”. In other places in the Bible, the “Heavens and Earth declare the Glory of God”.
 
However, I do think space exploration should continue, we should go back to the Moon, and we should still continue to understand the cosmos. As well, I don’t think Government money should be spent on searching for “life out there”. And—–if it should happen that there is alien life—then I have to go back to the drawing board!
 
Debate-wise, this idea of no “life out there” is a negative and hence an impossible to prove statement, but the existent of life out there can be “proven” by just providing one example! So for those who don’t accept “life out there”, arrogance is not the adjective which applies to that belief—why should it be? It is sort of the default position, after all, where is all the intelligent life?
 
That is a valid question. Many believers of alien lifeforms believe in evolution and with the many billions of years of time available, and with the many stars with potential solar systems, and with many of those solar systems having planets, and with at least some of those planets having a status commensurate with the possibility of life emerging, there should examples of life everywhere! It isn’t! Excitement abounded recently about the discovery of 7 earth-sized planets but that guarantees nothing, from trying to describe how life emerged here!
 
One of the major hurdles scientists are still dealing with on this planet concerns our emergence of life! You would think with the rise of supercomputers and the many breakthroughs we have made scientifically, that we have the tools available to finally crack the “beginning of life” mystery. It shouldn’t be that hard, things are suppose to follow a simple-to-complex scenario, and there are only so many processes available that were in operation some few billion years ago when life was supposed to have emerged. But it is impossible to come up with a scenario that works! Why? It shouldn’t resist the technological capability of a species who put a man on the Moon and returned him safely! So then how did life start on this planet?!
 
And….we we are supposed to believe that this same scenario has been played out many times throughout the universe! Mathematicians already challenged the evolutionists decades ago about the basically 0% mathematical improbability of life emerging here only through random and chance processes!
 
For me, that mystery can never be solved because it never happened that way to begin with—it is a story that can’t be written! Man was created special, by God, and he was created all at once. If that is the case that lends credibility to the idea, from Biblical inference, that we are all there is! So maybe this search for extraterrestrial life, which has been going on for awhile will be evidence against evolution in the end!
 
Of course—if that Baltic Anomaly is really a ship and it took off in flight one day for the world to see—that would definitely get my attention!!
 
This whole Baltic Sea Anomaly example is part of a phenomenon in which we “see” what we want to see. That happens to all of us! One of the things noticed by others, as these kinds of “alien similarities” have occurred before, is the way “structures” happen to appear like artistic representations of some alien structure already created for other purposes, such as books, movies, etc. For example, when Star Wars was produced, did the producers get help for their ship designs from alien sources? Where did the designs then come from? Some kind of 6th sense with what is “out there”? It seems there is a tendency to see things the way we want sometimes and this is another example of that. It does make one wonder how these “alien” anomalies happen to look like t hings we have created!This one can easily be verified though one way or the other, and maybe will in the future.
 
Verification though, especially with extraterrestrial scenarios, still offers no guarantee that a mystery has been solved or not! The “Face on Mars” photo from the Martian surface, taken by Viking I in 1976 did seem like an actual structure shaped into a human face! A whole mythology of a dead civilization was built around that with more structures of that civilization supposedly existing in the area. Complex geometrical and mathematical measurements were also “produced” which supposedly indicated relationships not believable as having occurred by chance alone. And then the verification came in 2001, which to any reasonable person (I think anyway), should have settled the issue—it didn’t—there are still those who believe in this Face and unless we believe in a grand cover-up, the Face is actually just a geology formation, clear from newer photos taken of the Martian surface!
 
Many more examples can be produced dealing with a diverse array of examples around the world—many websites are devoted to the working out of these theories and their implications. It can make one wonder if this whole search for extraterrestrials and the “believability” many want to have about it, isn’t indicative of a deeper desire to replace something which seems to have been lost in the past couple hundred years. And that is God! We need something to believe in that is “out there” or beyond us. If it can’t happen with a God who is outside the universe, having been somewhat displaced through science, then the next best thing is something which is outside the Solar System—something to ponder given the near-religious devotion from those who believe in  it.
 
As for me, I actually enjoy the imagination associated with these ventures and though I don’t agree with them, I do admire their tenacity. I love sci-fi fiction and following these developments are like a sci-fi story to me, a real-life fiction. But I really don’t make fun (maybe just a little!) or condemn what they are doing, for in their searches for extraterrestrial evidence, actual useful information can be uncovered in spite of not establishing an “alien” connection! When one goes out and analyzes real things, then that can be important in its own right.
 
However at the end of the day, their ultimate goal, whether Face on Mars advocates or scientists searching for possibly inhabitable planets with prospects for life—all will end in disappointment—but if that Baltic Sea Anomaly did emerge and fly away, well……!
 
The pictures are the Baltic Anomaly, artist rendition of the anomaly, and the Millennium Falcon. The faces of Mars follow with the original 1976 photo followed by a more modern and closeup picture from a later Mars Mission.

Materialist Woldview and the Resurrection

Materialist Worldview and the Resurrection

I came across a very interesting theory in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy. The article was dealing with the concept of justice/injustice in a Materialistic worldview.

Some preliminary thoughts. One of the philosophical problems which has emerged since the Enlightenment and its scientific worldview was the process of slowly making religion, particularly Christianity as an outdated kind of thinking, was the problem of values. In other words, what is the origin of values, of any values? Most of us don’t worry about this too much because the fruit of Western thinking, especially the Christian values, still abounds.

But as science makes more of an inroads into people’s trust, as in thinking science can really solve most of our problems, even those of a spiritual nature, what we call good and bad and why we make those distinctions will become very important. A total rejection of religious thinking and a total reliance on science will inevitably make every decision a matter of politics!

That will seem to be the logical when we examine the worldview of science which, with the exception of a minority, is exclusively evolutionist! Why that matters is that pure evolution has nothing to say about values and ethics. Evolution is brutal, impersonal, blind, purposeless, and valueless! If we took a cross section of every ethical maxim and value-laden rule and asked how did that emerge—then the values question becomes obvious! Any kind of thinking which we have arrived at has to be sourced in the very cosmic material which is influenced by evolutionary processes, namely the atoms and molecules of our brain. So the movement of electrons and the chemical processes taking place in the brain is undergoing continual evolutionary change even as I write. It may be slow, but what is viewed today as a “value” may not be down the road—so what is “right”?

With that state of affairs, one could then ask about actions which have made the news in the past few years, for example, what makes Isis’ acts of beheading innocents wrong, or what makes those terrorists who go through theaters and killing as many as they can, wrong? What do we appeal to? Our evolved thinking? Isis’ thinking could also be claimed as “evolved”—evolution makes no distinctions and so then how can we? We really can’t, and that is where ultimately politics will have to be the arbiter and the world may not like where this will eventually head since it will be a matter of who has the power! Hence our future if we are not careful!

Back to the article. One of the questions confronted is the idea of justice and injustice. The article makes one feel the tensions brought about by the science/evolution worldview and its possible atheistic “resignation”! The “absurdity of a world without God” is even mentioned. To avoid the consequences of those tensions, which any reasonable person should recognize as a bad state of affairs, an effort was made to justify “bodily resurrection” as a way of making life seem more attractive. Now, resurrection should not be possible according to present day science—as the article states about science’s thoughts on the matter: “We die, and we remain dead.” But due to some theories about the mathematics of “infinite” quantities, the author sees an opening for the idea of bodily resurrection. These mathematical theories generally prohibit the possibility of science/mathematics ever completely encompassing all “logical possibilities” and with some tricky reasoning an argument is made that bodily resurrection is a “logical possibility” and so not absolutely prohibited by science after all.

The problem that is not answered is whether it really really can happen and following that, what is the “how” of resurrection. And, this whole discussion is not predicated on a God who will do this later, this is all assumed without a “God” behind the scenes. So the idea comes across as just some kind of therapeutic notion, or a kind of “pretending”, which if bought into, makes life easier to face. Sure, in a world in which we are finite, then how are we to really know that bodily resurrection just can’t occur on its own? But the way this is presented is a leap!

In this article, the ultimate injustice is death! If we have a “chance” of being resurrected then that takes away the injustice in a way! Knowing that bodily resurrection is possible serves to counter the injustice in the world and so allows one to not give in to a nihilistic life! But at the end of the day, I really don’t think many people will buy this!!! Some years age I remember a quote by an evolutionist in which, paraphrasing, he said that immortality is a part of life! After all, when we die and our bodies get broken down into its respective atoms, they will be absorbed into other structures of the universe—hence we live on!! Sorry, that just doesn’t capture immortality for me. The same for just the “idea” of bodily resurrection—thinking something may happen due to some mathematical possibility just doesn’t give much comfort—human nature is a bit more complex than to fall for that kind of thing.

It did interest me that the concept of bodily resurrection was considered in this way! Was he influenced by Christianity? I don’t know but, for the writer, there seems to be a “sense” that something beyond this material world that we experience, is needed to offer “hope”.

He is on the right track because in Christianity, resurrection is also the ultimate source of hope! But the bodily resurrections we are looking forward to are not predicated on some “chance” possibility, but instead is based on the actual Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who will do the same for His followers. And for the record, His resurrection has been challenged but never refuted—so this is an actual real hope which has endured, one that a person can stake this life upon, and have for 2000 years! To the Christian, we don’t look at resurrection as a “panacea” idea but a real event which will occur. The confidence one can have in the resurrection after receiving Christ is hard to put into words but to those who believe, it is not hard to understand!

So I end with the Apostle Paul:

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable…For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

I’ll stick to that!

The Press’ Fit!

Looks like the Press is having another “fit”.
 
Must be difficult experiencing the dethronement from the 4th Branch of government they felt they filled!
 
Ari Fleischer should know how the Press can just make up news, which really does make one wonder if some, not all, but some of their “anonymous” sources aren’t made up!
 
ABC had to apologize to Fleischer for their deliberate arrangement of a quote which he made a few days after Trump took office and which made it seem he was harsh towards Trump.
 
ABC quote: “It looks to me if the ball was dropped on Saturday”
 
Actual quote: “It looks to me if the ball was dropped on Saturday, Sean recovered it and ran for a 1st down on Monday.”
 
Quite the difference! And this is the Press we are supposed to trust? They need to be brought up short on their dishonesty! Happy Trails, Press! Except for those of course, who still are doing a good job!
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/321079-ex-press-secretary-defends-wh-media-exclusions

Immigration and Safehouses

If this persists and becomes a national cause, the inevitable clash between government and community may cause irreparable damage. 
Historically: 
Jews being hid during the Nazi regime—glad it was done, wish more could have been protected like that!

Underground Railroad hiding and moving slaves to freedom—glad it was done, wish more could have been accomplished that way!

Hiding illegal aliens—not the same, though moral equivalency will be claimed somewhat. The difference here is that the worst case scenario is still not that bad as it was in the above cases! Even if every illegal alien was deported, many could apply and return via a legal route, it would be a bit disruptive but at least there would be no more looking over the shoulder.

We need to consider the ramifications:
If a major law can be broken this easily, we better watch out, other laws can be viewed that way as well—slippery slope to anarchy?
Do we really want to find out?

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/us/california-immigrant-safe-houses/

The Press and “2+2=5”

In the novel “1984”, as Winston looked at the picture of Big brother:
“The hypnotic eyes gazed into his own. It was as though some huge force were pressing down upon you…frightening you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of your senses. In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it”.
 
2 + 2 =5! Thought control at its finest! If only a society could be “led” to those kinds of truths!
 
Evidently the Liberal Press would like that kind of power and influence—and now at least one of their own has admitted what most of us have understood for awhile—the Press expects that kind of effect. And of course they won’t be a power unto themselves but would be the arm of a Liberal government—which unfortunately for them, was dealt a serious setback with Hillary falling short.
 
I guess not everyone is that stupid yet to fall for these “totalitarianish” games! But one day, who knows! With the educational system training up a broader swath of adults out of touch with reality in many ways, and with the foundations of our Constitutional Republic crumbling from within on many fronts, maybe—with an air of confidence and excitement—one day, many will proclaim after being informed by the “Party” that 2 + 2 does = 5!    

Maxine Waters and Anchors

Those Democrats who may actually be doing some soul-searching must cringe at the likes of Maxine Waters.
 
A good illustration of what having to endure leaders such as her would be involves a typical pleasure boat anchor! Obtain one, attach about a 10 foot rope to the anchor and then tie it around your waist. Then walk around all day dragging that behind you!
 
This is what the poor Democrats have to put up with—but since they keep electing “dead weight”, then they have to carry it!
 
The Left is becoming so much fun!

Grammar Rules = Racism

We went through this in the nineties with the Ebonics debate. Society worked through that and preserved the idea—yes—that speaking coherently in the wider areas of society was necessary and thus required the language skills being taught—Ebonics as such, relegated to a curiosity!
 
Today I am not so sure with all the lamebrains we have in Higher Education now. With social media what it is and the recruiting capability so fast, there may be so many people that jump on this “degrammatization” program, the inertia it may create to stop could create many thousands of students  becoming “communicational dysfunctional”—and unhireable!
 
But many modern Professors don’t care about those kinds of things. I do believe they think a kind of recreation of the world is possible. What seems to be the desire of some of these people is the remaking of Western Civilization altogether! Time and time again something comes up in reference to that heritage and inevitably it relates to “whites” and their contributions to the history of the West.
 
Anything “white-associated” is “bad”—that is the defining principle for many today. The problem is that it can’t be undone, the accomplishments of whites, that is. History is what it is and to go back and redo it or undo it is impossible and these people know that. Instead, the valid accomplishments of whites down through time are denigrated to such an extent that they hope the “white” part can be ignored or better yet “remade”! That is what this language debate is really about!
 
To these Professors’ horror—whites are associated with grammar rules, hence grammar rules are bad! Somehow, and I don’t know how, these professors contend that grammar rules are racist! I would really like to hear how correcting the mistake of “dangling participles” is a mode of racism! Or any other correction to grammar for that matter!
 
At the very heart of this is the racism industry just trying to gain ground through a different avenue. But this one is a bit slick! This goes to the ability to defend oneself against the charge of racism! How does one do that? With argument, explanation, and rational thought, except…. proper grammatical exegesis, with clear cut rules making understanding easier, can be looked at racist itself! It’s a no-win situation! How dare someone speak with correct grammar—isn’t that a sure sign of a condescension…and racist attitudes….and so on and so on.
 
So more islands will be created, now there will be those who can communicate and those who can’t, unless it is within a small group. Those who can communicate will move on in life, those who can’t will settle for less, having lost their chance because of ignorant professors who used them for social engineering experiments. And the word “racism” is used yet again for a new area, encompassing even more categories of life.
 
And so we are finally being forced to “accept” that racism is in everything and is everywhere—which is another way of saying that it means nothing! What does this entail going forward? It may mean that many people will decide that it is part of our reality to such a degree that we  will begin to ignore the word altogether and live life anyhow and let those who want to obsess over racism have at it.
 
Unfortunately what is going to happen is the “cry wolf” syndrome—when an actual act of racism does occur and is communicated, hardly no one will pay attention! After all, given enough time, will we even understand the statement!! 

Trump Election an Act of Terrorism?

This story follows an earlier one in which a student was suspended after videotaping a Professor saying Trump’s election was an act of terrorism.
 
So lets see….chopping off people’s heads, bomb vests detonated in the midst of crowds, pouring gasoline on individuals and then igniting it, car bombs everywhere, ELECTION OF TRUMP!
 
Yeah–well, now that makes sense from someone who I supposed has a PhD in something besides stupidity! (Satire intended)
 
But there is a twist—in this postmodern world in which there is no Truth, and with the view of all history as just private interpretation, and with “meaning” residing in the eye of the beholder, then, yes there will be many who will call this election an act of terrorism, if for no other reason than the fact that they feel “terror” at the thought of a Trump Presidency!
 
But….there is the other side…people can look at what she did as an act of terror as well, who is to say that is wrong? The Professor does make the claim that she “was terrorized” herself from the repercussions.
 
What goes around comes around as well—one man’s trash is another man’s treasure—what’s good for the goose is good for the gander…etc. In a world in which “truth” has to be constructed to fit the generation, unless one group is in total control and has a totalitarian grip on society, well then other “truths” can be constructed as well.
But that is the mess that the Liberal Left has created and now they can find that turned against them as well, as in this case.
 
At the end of the day, I don’t think the student should have been suspended and I don’t think she should be harassed! But I blame this more on the Liberal’s obsession with controlling every thought and action and trying to force their worldview upon every one by their many methods of intimidation!
 
Maybe they will learn something from this! I doubt it!

Xiejia, Sanctuary Cities, Law and Order

 
I was reading something about China’s past, circa 17th-18th century, and about the lands encompassing the border regions of China, Tibet, and Mongolia. There were a lot of wide open grassland areas and border control was important and difficult. Among the business ventures that arose in China at that time, one particular kind was known as “Xiejia”. These were rest-houses setup in those open areas and many were situated near the border areas. An important purpose was providing free lodging for those who traveled back and forth and marketing various products made in those open areas. The Xiejia would take a commission on those products and so they evolved into an important function in those border regions. Translation services were another feature and so these rest-houses served as important mediatorial exchange points.
 
 
While much of those interactions were legitimate, as time went on their role soon changed into something which  became a threat to China’s purposes. The Xiejia began to launder stolen goods for some of the neighboring groups who had begun conducting raids back and forth across the borders. Weapons were also being supplied through the Xiejia to some of these groups, groups which were trying to be controlled by China. Because of the insecurity of allowing this to continue, China eventually ordered all these rest-houses closed and only allowed for some “official” ones! What caught my attention was the requirement that these “official” ones had to keep detailed registries of the lodgers who passed through.
 
 
This whole scenario reminded me of our problems with sanctuary cities and the contradiction they pose toward our nation as a whole! The Xiejia were fine while doing legal business, they actually had a pacifying effect in those areas, but when their activities began to serve the enemies of China, it setup a situation which was contradictory to China’s purposes–and so their activities had to be challenged! 
 
 
In our times we are being tested similarly but on a larger scale through the efforts of many cities and by States (potentially) to undercut the Law. These highly concentrated clusters, with large densities of people, and which absorb large amounts of money and aid from the Federal Government, can have a drastic affect on the nation as a whole if these areas undertake activities which are illegal and run counter to our laws! The self-labeling title of “Sanctuary city” or “Sanctuary state” would be fine if it was another reference to “protection under the law” and if it was for legal citizens. But these areas are setup for the protection of illegal aliens, and while many illegals not be overt criminals, there are many which are, and they  still have protection by these cities or states from the reach of the Federal Government!  Talking about a contradiction!
 
 
I believe in States rights but immigration is a Federal area and when these cities and states openly defy the Federal Government and openly mock the immigration laws, put in place to protect legal citizens, a contradiction is setup which can’t be allowed to stand without severe repercussions for all of us! When an illegal alien’s crimes are allowed to be protected and basically hid from the Federal Government, that can not go well for the required mindset needed for a citizenry to respect our institutions! We are literally beginning to rot from the inside out!
 
 
The link about these 20 metro areas have some interesting facts. Most of these cities have had democrat mayors going back 3 or more election cycles. At least 16 of the 20 are sanctuary cities, it would have been 17 except Miami withdrew that designation after Trump!
 
 
And so we have to ask the following question:
 
“What stands between people and security?”
 
Government! But what allows that to function properly is Law! Without law everything becomes anarchy and no institution can function. This is basic!
 
But we can go one step beyond these foundational principles and bump into something else—“will”! What in the end makes all the political machinery  even have a chance to work, regardless to the perfection of the structure? It is the “will” of the people! Not an abstract political “will”, but a “will” which wakes up each day and determines to obey the law, a real law!
 
A thought experiment illumines just how essential “will” is in our Democratic society. If all at once, everyone decided to ignore the law, what would happen? That would be simple to picture and easily seen as catastrophic in practice. Now no one suspects that can really happen but there is another relevant question regarding this. What amount of refusal, and in what form, would it take to seriously affect the operations of Government in its role toward its citizens and begin to undermine the strength and integrity of the Govt’s role? I think not much! And we may find out if this civil war between cities and Law continues!