Conservative Reasons to a Liberal’s Query (Or, ‘Right Eye for a Left Guy’)

Eliseo[NOTE: Many of the answers here were well-thought-out, and many were not. Regardless of the side of the political aisle you may stand on, it’s clear that as humans, there is no shortage of ideas, and no shortage of those who choose to react rather than think, discuss, and coexist. Below, I tried to be clear about what I believe — though I am not claiming that it’s a common understanding, nor that I in some way need everyone else to believe what I do. But what I commented with at least shows some of the reasons I place myself firmly, and comfortably, on the Right.]

Eliseo:

Glad to see someone asking instead of just joining the group to lob grenades (there’s been a lot of that lately). Here are some playlists that I have used in the recent past to explain just what it is that Conservatives try to ‘conserve’ (because opposing ideologies have not exactly been eager to explain these things without ‘bending’ the perspective):

On Political Systems:

On Economics:

On Ideological, Social, and Civil coexistence:

Generally, people (at least half the country) who believe in these things have not lived their lives, nor to they intend to in the future, in such a way to make other people do and believe what Conservatives do. It’s the structure of a society based on individual rights, individual freedoms, and the protection of the minority from the majority that drives a need for the Rule of Law — a law that protects, defends, and prosecutes equally regardless of creed, race, sexual orientation, or theology.

Unfortunately, the last 50 years have seen a virulent social-engineering campaign to paint Conservatives as the ones trying to take things away from people. There are two things wrong with that misunderstanding:

1) One of the primary differences between the Left and the Right is that modern liberalism teaches that the ‘pie is finite’ — that is, one person can’t gain unless another person loses. Libertarians, Conservatives, and yes… Capitalists (all of whom are being beaten up on by the Left) believe that the way a society grows is to grow the pie. That’s not just an economic ideology — but also social, theocratic, spiritual, education, influence, creativity, the list goes on. Recently, we have seen the Left ‘teach’ that in order for women, racial minorities, and LGBTQ folks to live well and succeed, the ‘white men’ in this country must be made to suffer. To borrow a phrase from Mr. Obama, “That’s not who we are.”

2) There are people who, regardless of their ideology, and regardless of the platform they are able to recruit believers to support, are seeking mostly, power for themselves. This is borne out by history, and is likely to never cease to be true. Recently, the Left has worked very hard to push an idea that sharing resources (whether by force or through volunteerism) is somehow a hedge against the negative impact of those seeking power. But that ignores that NEVER in the history of humanity has Socialism or Communism had a sustained effect of growth and health for a society; in fact, the opposite has ALWAYS been true.

Democracy, when led by the will of the people, rather than the structure of a republic (this is what the United States of America was constructed to be), is nothing more than two wolves and a goat, voting on what’s for dinner.

People who have voted for Trump are not putting their hope in one man… they are making a desperate leap of faith that for once, MAYBE we can have a country based on the wealth of our collective individuality, rather than our collected (and discarded) individual values.

The Left, if anyone is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump, has so much soiled our belief in a government and a society that can rescue us all, that we’re very very hopeful in any opportunity for the opposite to be true — that individuals can rescue what is left of our government and society.

Are cookies too intrusive? Are vendors justified in tracking us? Will we care in 10 years?

There is a stark difference between the degree of monitoring that inhabitants of the United Kingdom experience versus the amount of camera-time and surveillance that is applied to American citizens. Part of this is because European assumptions about privacy have evolved on a very different track for the last couple of centuries — ideals and observations about the likelihood of abuses in oversight are legitimate; but compromises have been made by both societies based on how perceived gains are sold and accepted. For instance, if crime is measurably decreased or criminals are measurably convicted in greater numbers, many people are willing to give up a little privacy when they are in a space that is already portrayed as ‘public’.

Americans, though, for a long time have struggled with a very different concept of what ‘public’ means. In Europe, it may mean, ‘belonging to everyone’; but in the United States, if often means, ‘belonging to no one’. The assumption that no one has a legitimate right (or need) to monitor our activities is bred into us from the ideals that set us apart from the UK those two centuries ago — that individual existence is several orders of magnitude more relevant to our comfort and self-value than our need to belong. And that’s of note specifically because of our very strong need to feel like we belong.

Beginning with this difference of perspective, and the fact that much of internet-enhanced culture is rooted in technology and social constructs that began in America, and it is easy to grasp the ideal that individual freedom, self-regulation, and an assumption of privacy just through anonymity alone is the assumed norm across much of the internet — regardless of geographic, civil and social boundaries.

The problem is that tracking of every activity, every route, every identity on the internet is already happening because it’s completely necessary for traffic to move. It’s just that most users have not been sophisticated enough to grasp that all this addressing and routing is occurring; all they know is that they saw the web page they searched for, and they received the email their mom sent.

People are becoming increasingly aware, faster than the degree of collection is increasing. It’s the expansion of technological literacy that is the catalyst for stark concern about privacy issues.

Regardless of what decisions are made about what is acceptable for vendors, publishers, and ISPs, the literacy of its citizen will always increase. The amount of information collected about the traffic, and its travelers, will eventually be something users can regulate as individual endpoints. The shock of discovering we’re under surveillance will eventually be dismissed by the public, just as we no longer flinch when someone pulls out a camera phone in a public space.

Meanwhile, vendors can take a market-driven approach to gauging what is appropriate. They will gamble just as vendors in the physical world do — “What will the buying public do… how will they react… will they still spend time and money, or will they boycott?” These are struggles that crowdsourced experimentation will be much more well-suited to deal with than regulation.

For a best-case perception by the public, the public relations task of making users informed will be what reduces fear and ignorance. Fifteen years from now, it will be normal for young school children to understand how packets are created, sent, routed, received, and processed. They will read in history books how we had adult humans, wandering about, not grasping at all how information is collected or is moved, and they will wonder how we managed.

Let’s talk about Privilege — but make sure it’s Profiling, because everybody loves Profiling

What is so upsetting is that the #Left has constructed an environment of #IdentityPolitics where I am #Profiled (though they SAY they hate that concept and only evil people would do that) because of my race and gender — that I must be represented on the left-hand column of this cartoon.

OnAPlateI support people who don’t want me in their lives because I was raised to believe in things they don’t … my concern for them ‘trumps’ our differences. And that paradigm is what will save this country — if it is to be saved at all. Those who build for the greater good and persevere for the sake of others must outlive those who divide and ridicule for personal gain.

Unfortunately, we have a whole generations of people now who believe that taking from someone is the only way to give to another. If I could believe in that, I would have left the state, and changed my identity to leave those who destroy to deal with the consequences of their actions on their own.

But I’m a white (‘privileged’) guy who breathes in and out, all day long, (figuratively) digging ditches in the rain because the priority of my family, and my country, and my God, is stronger than the wounds that I could, but don’t, claim victimhood from. It’s not helpful to make demands with an upward, clenched fist, and wait for others to bear my burdens.

There is an imbalance, to be sure — but to claim that ‘Richard’ and ‘Paula’ (the characters in the cartoon, above) will not see ‘fairness’ unless Richard’s life be reduced in an effort to cause a gain in Paula’s — well, that’s just a convenient way to say that the pie is finite; and that nothing new can be created without destruction. That is the basis for the First Lie — that one can’t be, achieve, or experience unless you choose to break what already exists. This is why the Left is never happy unless someone suffers — and why they can’t even grasp that those who believe differently can do otherwise.

FixedPie

Trump’s unvarnished tweets make everyone uncomfortable — especially when they’re true.

“Sadly, because president Obama has done such a poor job as president, you won’t see another black president for generations!” -@realDonaldTrump, 11/25/14

I understand the frustration with Trump’s tweets.. ‘unvarnished’ would be too kind. But what he says is the truth… the same would be true if Hillary had been elected… after generations of identity politics (vote for her ovaries), many voters would point back, a decade later, and say ‘No way — look what happened the last time we picked a woman!’

The Left has succeeded in making this an identity game, so those with good character no longer make it through the election process.

I would love to see Allen West in the Oval Office… but he’s chosen to be a strong voice rather than compete directly with the hegemony of Leftist politicians, who made Obama’s ascension ONLY about who they said he was (rather than who he actually was), and that was both a boon to his rise to power and a tarnish for all those voters who saw his priorities more clearly as selfish than patriotic as the years went on.

Those low-information voters who chose Obama twice, and now Trump, are upset.

And because the Left ‘instructed’ us that it was Obama’s color that made him exceptional, it’s the Left’s own destruction of the idea of a black President to thank them for.

If we had done the elections as an episode of The Voice (policies and debates with no awareness of who the candidates are), the other GOP hopefuls would not have been so easily unseated (meaning Trump would not have won the nomination); but we also would not have had Obama in the first place, to sully the nation’s memory of what a black President would do to us.

It’s definitely not fair… but it’s the personality of a nation who believes in feelings over facts.

If Martin Luther King were alive today (Republican with a gun, espousing character, sanctity of the family, morals, individual responsibility, equal protection under the law), the same people who taught us what a black President should look like would string him up, as they have for every other man who threatens their narrative.

Putin vs. Trump … or Trump vs. the Destructive American Left?

Liberals are so anxious to point and shriek that Trump might be friendly to Putin… Let me ‘right-splain’ why you should be questioning those who question Trump’s intentions and feelings about Putin and Russia.

If a man is the most notable leader of the free world (that’s the President of the United States), he (or she) had BETTER be concerned about what kind of leader Putin is — what kind of character he is — because he MATTERS … whether you like, trust, or are interested in Russia. If a leader of these United States doesn’t make an attempt to establish a working relationship with Putin … EVEN IF HE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AN ENEMY … he’d be a raving idiot (see the last 8 years of ideology and propaganda over intellectual sanity).

But the Left would have you believe that anything but disparaging comments about Putin means Trump is ‘in bed with the Russians’. But here’s the thing: Russia may (does) have priorities that are not aligned with ours, but they also have priorities that ARE aligned with ours. Viewed as either an enemy or ally (Russia is both), a working relationship with Putin is an asset, not a liability. And Trump looks at the kind of MAN he is, the kind of CHARACTER he is, the kind of LEADER he is, and Trump UNDERSTANDS Putin much better than Obama and Hillary ever did.

If Trump were to hold world leaders at arm’s length, he would be a FAILURE. And those who have been born, fed, and bred on Alinsky’s tactics to break down society — attacking Trump for doing the right thing to preserve, protect, and build our society is just another day at the office.

48. Still Learning. Still Breathing.

I finally figured out what happened to me back in school. You know, I was terrified when people told me that everything we go through is to toughen us up … make us stronger … like a muscle, that you break down and build up over and over. I was terrified because I was thinking, as I was getting beaten, pushed, spit on, mocked, and … well, it was kind of a game that they thought it was funny that I didn’t cry — I just took it. Took it all. They thought it was funny to see me break without breaking down. I thought, what is it that is coming… the Thing that I’m supposed to be stronger for, after having been ‘strengthened’ by all this ‘practice’. I didn’t want to know what was worse, what it was that made all this useful. Necessary.

ittookalongtimeWhen I got to college, I found there were a few people who called me out on my … demeanor. One, from NYC, told me he was going to keep sneaking up on me until I stopped flinching. One, a supervisor at one of my jobs, told me that I was an asset because of who I’d been. Where I’d been. People needed to know that someone understood — not just hear the words.

Until now, I thought that’s all that I was. A damaged, bruised, ball of worry and calcified bones. I tried practicing my social skills, and failed. And failed. And failed. But I did learn love. And I learned that I could hurt people without meaning to. I learned that people don’t only hurt people when they’re being bad. We are imperfect, and broken, even when we’re just living.

But what I’d learned back in high school, while I was getting pushed around, was the forgiveness that maybe I would have been too stubborn to allow for if I wasn’t broken down like that muscle. Over and over.

I forgave my father for being unprepared and unable, for not listening and not hugging me enough — though he really did try. I forgave my family for … well, a lot. I never did think about waiting for them to forgive me for anything; just assumed that would never come.

That’s what I’m processing now. That everyone, not just people I have reason to know, everyone is walking around, mad at someone. I can never see it coming. I can never see how broken people are… never see what they’re carrying around. I never know when they have horrible expectations of me because of their experience in life. I never know when I will never have a chance in their lives because their burdens are so great that I can’t make a difference.

I will never know how to be good enough to matter more to them than their wounds. That, and my failures that reinforce their illusions that no one… no one is ever worthy of their love. Their trust. ‘Everybody lies.’

I’m still learning patience. I’m waiting on my Lord to come back and fix this shit.

When the Left feels that YOU shouldn’t have a firearm, so THEY take it…

Social Engineering isn’t very far removed from the mindset behind #GoodGuy vs. #BadGuy maneuvers… the ‘end justifies the means’ mentality gives them (in their mind) a ‘get out of jail free card’. Anything goes in order to pacify their outrage.

This is why Hillary gets away with so much… she has long admired the training provided to #SJW (social terrorists) types, beginning with his “Rules for Racicals” textbook, and reinforced by a Media and Political machine that succeeds by redefining ‘normal’, ‘criminal’, ‘outrage’, ‘unfair’, well… you get the idea — the whole of our language has been perverted over the last 20 years and whole generations of schoolkids steeped in this insanity are now running things.

So, off to the exercise of the day… an article about someone who was so enraged to discover that another man was carrying a concealed weapon (all guns are bad, all people with guns are bad, all things people do with guns are bad, etc.). Sooooooo… he took the weapon and decided to USE IT… which somehow wasn’t as bad as it remaining, INERT, in it’s holster.

This is why I relentlessly bang the drum that #LiberalismIsAMentalDisorder.

Rest assured, when I carry I do so with the understanding that I am responsible for what happens with that weapon… even if it is taken from my person. By extension, it is my responsibility to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to not lose the ability to govern that weapon.

What if someone disarms me and then uses it to kill five innocent people in the room? This is one of the arguments that the Left likes to throw around — we can’t have guns out there because Bad People will have access to them.

My question at this point is, why are the Bad People always the ones who the Left supports and protects? Assuming the worst of people, we are about to have a President known for killing people who are inconvenient to her… Ambassadors, her own associates, and babies.

Her opponent is being called WORSE than her (a murderer), because (it is accused) he grabbed a crotch.

Hmmm.

It should be assumed that if someone attacks you, they intend to follow through and kill you. Tactically, there is no such thing as a ‘light-duty’ assault. Understand that the people fighting most vigorously against legal and safe carry are those who, in their own minds, can’t fathom that normal people DON’T commit acts of violence simply because they are upset. These are the people who we should avoid handing society over to — and our firearms.

LINK: Charges filed after man shot in leg during disturbance in Overland Park (KansasCity.com)

LINK: Gun Control Supporter Steals Concealed Carrier’s Gun, Shoots Him (BearingArms.com)

Helping Heavy Powerpoint Files Travel Light

Files sizes can quickly get out of control in Powerpoint files, especially when high-quality images and logos are included.

The file size of documents we simply present on a screen is seldom an issue; however if you plan to send, or post, heavily-branded files there is a cost with respect to email bottlenecks and memory limitations on handheld devices.

So it’s important to understand how to optimize the way your images are stored in Powerpoint, and take advantage of the built-in tools to compress the ‘heavy’ images so they travel well.

You’ll want to test several different levels of compression, to see the impact on quality (smaller file = lower-quality images). But a file intended to be shown only on a screen does not have to be built with the same resolution as a file being sent to a professional printer for magazine-quality output.

microsoftpowerpointcompressmenuSo, there are two things you need to understand about images stored in Powerpoint:

  1. When you crop an image, the ‘hidden’ parts are still stored in the file.
  2. When you resize an image, the original data that makes up that image is not changed (or reduced).

When you understand these two ideas, the two ways to making the file smaller begin to make a lot of sense. What we want to do is:

  1. Throw away the portions of images we have ‘cropped’ off; why store what we aren’t using?
  2. Store images only at the resolution they need to be at, to display at the desired quality. So, an image that was originally 300dpi, then shrunk in dimensions in Powerpoint, is likely carrying a lot more data than is necessary for your intended audience.

So, how much do we throw away? That depends on the destination of the file. Powerpoint provides several levels of compression: 96dpi, 150dpi, 220dpi, 330dpi, and a fifth option that does not alter the compression — but only throws away those cropped portions of images you didn’t want to see anyway.

Here are Microsoft’s instructions for picture compression in Powerpoint:

“Reduce the file size of a picture” (microsoft.com)

Before you do this to all of your presentations, it is recommended that you make a backup of the original file — because once you use this feature, your images will not include cropped portions, or be at their original resolutions any more; so if you intend to make drastic edits to your design, you’ll probably want an uncompressed, full-resolution version to work from.

Kustom PA-50 or Powerwerks PW-50 Tiny, Roadworthy, Active Cabinets

pa50bothsidesnowI don’t understand why retailers don’t do a better job at explaining what these are. Yes, they are self-powered cabinets with a built-in mixer, and they are easy to transport. But there are a couple of features that make them much more useful than most other devices competing in this space.

FIRST, there is an ‘in’ and an ‘out’ (master bus) XLR connection that lets you DAISY-CHAIN a bunch of these. So, starting small, let’s say you buy one and you can plug in a laptop and two microphones. You buy a second in a few months and daisy-chain them together… now you can plug four mics in and have two 1/8″ stereo jacks for sources like laptops, MP3 players, CD players, etc. Note here that any source you plug into one of these devices is equally available on all of them… no outboard mixer needed!

So, imagining that you can get that much flexibility out of two of these devices, think what happens when, in a couple of years, you decide you want to expand — but you don’t want to start over and leave equipment unused in a closet. Just buy two more… daisy-chain all four for a mono production (or daisy-chain two on the right, two on the left) — now you’re up to 8 mic inputs, etc. (got a digital piano or a direct box for your guitar?… all in a setup that still fits in the trunk of a hatchback (no more ugly vans for musicians!). You could daisy chain 6 of these to a side, if you wanted, and cover a lot of territory in a lot of different shapes of venues.

Here’s the thing… every musician, every player, every vocalist, needs their own ‘little rig’ — this is it, because each person can buy one for themselves and when you all gather, your equipment ‘just works’ together to embiggen your sound for that dive bar, that ballet performance, that karaoke party, that high school talent show.

My daughter has one that she uses with her semi-acoustic guitar; my son uses one to watch Netflix — when everybody gets together for a party, we string XLR around the perimeter of the room(s) and flood the place with clear, even sound.

kustompa50busandsubSECOND, there is a bass output with a built-in crossover. So imagine again that you start with a smaller setup (two of these is enough for an indoor show with 100 in the audience), and want to add more bottom end for louder productions… plugging in a 1/4″ instrument cable at this port engages a built-in crossover, effectively cutting the bottom third off the sound the PA-50s emit… and sending that low-frequency sound to whatever you plug in at the other end… bass amp, subwoofer, guitar amp, etc. In many cases, just separating the bottom third from the ‘work load’ that the PA-50 carries make them operate so much more efficiently that you’ll find you’ve about doubled the level of CLEAN audio you get to fill the room.

We used a PA-50 on each side of the stage at my kids’ high school talent shows (over several years), sending the bass out to a couple of guitar amps that were laying around, and covered a room with seating for 300 people with headroom to spare. That means I was able to fit an entire stage worth of PA equipment (plus my digital piano) in the trunk of a Buick.

These two features mean SCALABILITY… start small, spend small… grow big, still spend small… interested yet?

LINK: Kustom PA PA50 Personal PA System (MusiciansFriend.com)
LINK: Kustom PA PA50 Personal PA System (GuitarCenter.com)

Dear #BLM…

Dear #BLM: If you truly want to be treated EQUALLY, which black Americans are planning to step up and be killed by white people until the numbers are balanced? If you are still living with the prejudice of this engineered division, you are indeed carrying a burden — but it’s not the one you are believing in, shaking your fist in the air about, destroying property, hurting innocent people, or ‘educating’ others about. You Are Being Used.

Those of us who are awake want you to START ASKING WHY. WHO BENEFITS from racial strife in this country? WHO BENEFITS from broken families, children without fathers, communities without jobs? WHO BENEFITS from a broken society that has become so willing to take ANY help that they no longer care about what consequences come with the changes sold to them?

We are now at the point where people are blaming the country for how broken we are… but those ‘taking a knee’ are not fixing the problem… not offering a solution… they are only pointing a finger.

The Statists (people who believe that people are generally stupid and shouldn’t have the Right as individuals to govern themselves) tried to say that self-defense was a #RidiculousThing; why would anyone need a firearm? They FAILED at getting most of the country to give up that #CommonSense value of #SelfPreservation. Then they tried to get people to give up on their morals — and had a lot of success; but the #FundamentalTransformation wasn’t FAST ENOUGH for the Statists to seize enough power that it can’t be taken away from them in the next few elections.

So now they need a #CivilWar as an excuse to marshal enough power to #UnplugAmerica from all the tenets that have kept us free for centuries… #EqualProtectionUnderTheLaw, #IndividualFreedoms that overshadow the power of the government, #StatesRights that exist wherever powers haven’t already been defined as #FederalPowers in the #Constitution.

If you can’t see that these things are being TAKEN from you, the idea of rioting probably makes sense. But You’re Wrong. Don’t give up this country because you’re willing to let other people MAKE YOU THINK WHAT THEY TELL YOU TO THINK.

A buddy got his Indiana Lifetime License To Carry (his firearm) today, and posted about it to his friends…

Lots of them had questions for him about how long the process took, etc., so I stuck my foot in to play Cliff Claven… the following was my comment:

indiana-firearms-licenseI don’t know what the current stats are; but 10 years ago, 1 out of every 15 adults in Indiana had a carry permit.

A little background for the uninitiated: Indiana does not differentiate between concealed carry and open carry — though there are philosophical and tactical arguments for either preference, Indiana folks tend to carry concealed much more than openly; so chances are, you are sitting beside, and shopping beside, people who responsibly carry firearms every day.

To get a permit to carry, you are subjected to a federal background check, your fingerprints are recorded, and a fee is collected. We are a ‘shall issue’ state, which means unless the Sheriff or the State can find a reason that you don’t qualify (criminal background or mental instability), they grant the permit regardless of their personal opinion on the subject (many other states are ‘may issue’, which means they grant permits on a subjective basis — do they ‘believe’ you need it?).

If you are pulled over by a police officer, you are advised to alert the officer that you have a license to carry FIRST, then explain whether you are carrying at the moment, and where that firearm might be on your person (rather than saying, “Hi officer, I have a gun!”).

Having this permit does not give you legal license to ignore posted signs; having a firearm on federal property (even in the parking lot of the Post Office) is a federal offense, even with this card. Having a firearm in a privately-owned business that has posted a ‘no guns’ sign is not a federal crime — it is trespassing; and if you leave when an employee asks you to, they have no legal standing to pursue you.

However if you are of the mind to ‘stand up for your rights’ and argue with the business owner, I would direct you to a re-read of the Constitution, which limits the power of the Federal government, not the local ice cream shop, to decide how your rights extend across the boundaries of other’s rights. If you don’t like the stance of a business on the subject, feel free to educate them on your difference of opinion — but do so while respecting their right to tell you to go away.

TheFourRulesMost states honor other state’s carry permits (this is called ‘reciprocity’) — but Illinois does not honor ours, and Ohio only recently changed to be more permissive… not every lawman in Ohio is aware of this yet. So putting it in your trunk may avoid some heated discussions. Without a carry permit, people in Indiana can have as many firearms as they like in their home and in their car — it is preferred that no loaded weapons be accessible to the driver unless he/she has a carry permit (this relates, I think to statistical truths concerning the background check). But any adult can be armed without this documentation — it just gets harder to explain your good intentions without going through the process.

Statistically, people who are licensed to carry commit far fewer crimes than those who are not (again, relating back to passing the background check), and even a smaller percentage misbehave who are members of various associations and clubs that foster training, safety, and political awareness of firearm-related issues.

Regardless of who’s statistics you most believe, more than twice as many people use a gun successfully to defend themselves as those who use a gun to misbehave… and also statistically, gun ownership nationally and here in Indiana has exploded, while violent crime has continued to decline.

Though opponents of firearm ownership will point out that ‘Correlation Does Not Imply Causation’, the opposite is also true… in areas where gun ownership has been infringed upon, violent crime increases.

Suicide statistics that imply the presence of firearms contribute to the the number of attempts, will point out a decrease in the use of firearms in suicide deaths when firearms are scarce — however they do not show a decrease in the number of deaths by suicide including all other means (CDC and FBI numbers).

I’ll close with this: If you decided to go down this road, you will find lots of people who want to help you choose hardware and go target shooting — but the most important thing you can acquire is good training — learn the FOUR RULES.

LINK: Apply for a New License to Carry (IN.gov)
LINK: Gun Safety (Wikipedia.org)

What does it mean to ‘Take God’s Name In Vain’? And why does God consider it as serious as Murder, Lying, and Thievery?

If you’re old enough, you may have been taught the Ten Commandments, as passed down in the Bible that most Christians aim to follow as their guidebook — or maybe you’re vaguely aware of them, but would find it difficult to pick them out of a hodgepodge of other old-fashion wisdom.

Let’s try a little quiz… pick out, from the following, the advice that comes from the Ten Commandments, and figure out which of the rest aren’t even from the Bible:

The-Ten-Commandments-600x310

  • Don’t kill.
  • Don’t murder.
  • Don’t lust after other people’s things.
  • Don’t take other people’s things.
  • Respect your parents.
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • Don’t speak God’s name without reverence.
  • Go to church every Sunday.
  • Celebrate the birth of your Savior.
  • Sinning leads to everlasting torture.

How do you think you did?

Here are the answers:

  • Don’t kill: Nope. This bad translation is often held up by non-believers as a proof that the Bible is crap, what with all the God-commanded killing throughout the Old Testament. Try…
  • Don’t murder: YES… if you can’t understand the difference between killing and murder, you might be a vegetarian — or, if you realize that eating plants is also killing, you might actually have starved to death by now.
  • Don’t lust after other people’s things: YES, this is in the Ten Commandments.
  • Don’t take other people’s things: YES, this too, was one of the things God feels you shouldn’t do.
  • Respect your parents: YES, God wants us to understand that our elders are an important part of our identity, and our structure of behavior — as He has designed.
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you: Close, though this one is actually in the Bible (Matthew 7:12), it’s not part of the Ten Commandments.
  • Don’t speak God’s name without reverence: YES, this is just as important to God as not murdering, et al.
  • Go to church every Sunday: Nope. Though the Ten Commandments do say to ‘remember the Sabbath Day’, most scholars (even in the Catholic Church, who created the “Lord’s Day” on Sunday but admit that it’s totally on them) understand this to be Saturday — and further, the Bible records no command to ‘religiously’ attend church services on that day, or any day. We are taught to learn together, pray together, congregate with others of similar beliefs, and the Old Testament traditions record many rules about what is and is not appropriate on the Sabbath — but these two points are clearly not from the Ten Commandments, or anywhere in the Bible.
  • Celebrate the birth of your Savior: This is where things get a little sticky — not only is this not commanded, quite the opposite is true… the only time Christmas is even vaguely mentioned is in Jeremiah 10. The custom of celebrating birthdays itself is from pagan origins… one of the things that the Bible as a whole consistently deems opposite God’s wishes.
  • Sinning leads to everlasting torture: Breaking one or more of the Ten Commandments will … to this day … make our Creator sad, angry, jealous, and justified in toasting your carcass in any manner He sees fit. BUT… the Hell ‘known’ to modern Christianity is from Catholic mythology, not the Bible. The Catholics liked to borrow beliefs from other cultures as a way of assimilating people who they wanted to dominate — the fear inspired by the idea of torture throughout eternity was just too tempting for the Catholic priesthood to leave alone — what better way to scare people into obeying? The Bible, however, describes a fire that is everlasting — not an everlasting torture. God does get angry, but the worst He would do to you is to separate you from Him for all eternity (if you choose not to live His way)… Satan has done a very good job at perverting Christians’ view of the nature of God by twisting this understanding. It’s to the Devil’s advantage that Christians believe God is willing to torture you forever while ‘claiming’ to love you.

Now that you’ve waded through what many of you will deem ‘blasphemy’ (if it’s not what you know to be true, it must not be true), what was that thing about using God’s name improperly? What does it mean to use His name ‘in vain’?

Let’s pretend your name is ‘Bob’. And let’s pretend you have lots of children, whom you love dearly. But as they grow up, and their individual natures develop, you are dismayed to see that most everything that you have taught them they only make a token attempt at following — and take great pride in themselves when they get away with doing things opposite your teaching, without suffering any consequences.

After a while, they (and their friends) begin to get a little giddy that they’re so successful at avoiding your gaze, and your admonishment, and maybe even your punishment. Eventually, they even begin to mock you as young adults — at how you used to be important, but aren’t any more. You might say you’d feel a little upset… maybe even a little jealous of the respect that you should feel from them; but don’t.

Eventually, they take that mocking tone into their everyday language… they use your name as an expletive — like, “Wow, you really Bobbed that one!”. Or when injured, exclaim, “BOB THAT HURTS!”. The only time words leave their mouths that might be confused for respect are when they wish your anger would come down on someone they are upset at, “BOB DAMN YOU!”.

In no way are they actually talking about you, or to you, at this point. They’ve just reduced your name to one of the many dirty words they toss around in an effort to impress their friends that they follow no one’s standards — they obey no one’s rules.

Your name is no better than shit. Interchangeable, in many cases, with shit.

Is that the reverence that God deserves from His children? We can be sure that in the Old Testament, when the Ten Commandments were written in stone, this observed behavior was not new to Him. And no one spoke in surprise or confusion at this command — so the practice of abusing our Creator’s name was already a familiar behavior, thousands of years before we arrived to read it in the Bible.

So, we aren’t being ‘edgy’ when we misuse God’s name. In fact, it’s one of the earliest-recorded ways to hurt God’s feelings. Taking pride in this is a dismal, shameful, disrespectful tragedy of human frailty.

You probably weren’t thinking that you were showing off your frailty when you picked up this habit, were you? Using His name ‘in vain’, or for foolish, shallow reasons — was important enough that when God narrowed down ALL the things He could have chosen for His people to learn down to TEN ITEMS… this was among those few. Do you have a legitimate reason for putting it at a lower priority than He did?

One of these things is … distinctly different. And it caught your eye. And that’s Wonderful…


Attraction, whether by design or evolution, is an integral part of the continuity of life (not just human). To say that we should all evaluate everything around us equally is a notion without intellectual merit. (That’s me trying to say ‘stupid’ without insulting someone for their faulty ideology…)

We also used to praise someone by saying they had ‘discriminating tastes’… that word was not inherently negative. But now it’s more convenient to abuse language to force our will on others. Making everything the same, all the time, is not making anything better — it’s just making everything the same.

There was a Twilight Zone episode (or maybe it was The Outer Limits) where every person had exactly the same face… it was a Hell.

“One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other”

“Number 12 Looks Like You”

“The Eye of the Beholder “

Why does God allow Evil in the world?

Because He created us (Mankind) with Free Will.

Because we chose to live apart from God.

Because we have chosen Evil. For now, He is letting us.

In The Beginning… At first, we (humanity) were with God, and what was GOOD was what was of God. Good WAS God, and God WAS Good. Simple.

CastOutOfTheGardenThen Satan convinced Humanity that we could… even should… define Good on our own… how dare God claim the sole right to define Good vs. Evil? Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and were not given a giftthey were rather SEPARATED from reliance on God for the definition of Good. We are still separate.

We have a dim view into God’s presence through His written word, through preserved stories of His interactions with our ancestors, and in the life lessons left to us by His Son, who visited us just 33 short years. We have help in understanding, in a limited way, through the Holy Spirit which is a gift that leads… but it is not the same as living in a world that is ruled by our Creator. It’s not the same as Adam and Eve experienced in being able to converse with Him in any waking moment. We lost that when Adam and Eve made the decision to define Good and Evil without RELYING on God to do that for us.

Now, we wait for Christ’s return… and it’s a long wait for us; but a short time for God. He is watching us learn how futile it is for us to live in peace and prosperity while being separate from Him.

We are living in Australia — the place that criminals were sent (Satan and a third of the angels who rebelled against God and were cast down), and are still in charge here. At Jesus Christ’s return (Second Coming), those criminals will no longer rule, and our environment will not belong to disrupters and those who thrive on Evil — but we will still have Free Will, as that is how God created us.

The difference will be that Good and God will no longer be separate, either. He will define what He wants for us, and only in communing with Him will we be capable of Peace.

We have had thousands of years to attempt to achieve it on our own… defining Good as anything else but ‘with God and of God‘ is futile. Bad things happen — wars, assaults, lying, pretense, famine, disease, hate, abuse, theft, loneliness and death — because since the time of Adam and Eve, we have been choosing (as a race) to define Good out of our own feeble minds and frail hearts.

This is not God’s doing — it is not His will. It is Satan’s world, and Satan’s will that we live apart from God, and suffer endlessly — as he knows we are to inherit a place with God that he forfeited long ago.