Monday, May 7, 2018

Starting up again...

I haven't published in "Old Guy's Rants" for a while. However, I've recently spent quite a bit of time on social media, arguing things that can be better argued and understood in a longer format, and as an actually "thought out" post, rather than as a reaction to someone else's thinking.
So I'm starting up again.
What made me do it was the attitude that some folks have that their reasoning is always correct, while they lovingly embrace false premises, just because they like them or they sound good. An excellent example of this is the current identity politics, in which someone is assumed to be a bad person if he is not part of a certain racial or social group, or if he doesn't espouse the "correct theories" about gender.
So here are some of my premises.
God exists. He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and He is the Creator of all.
Man is His highest creation, and mankind stems from ONE man.
Mankind was once "untested good," but he was marred when he ate the forbidden fruit, and now is both good and evil. Some people are truly evil. Others seem very good. All are a mixture.
God sent His Son Jesus Christ to set people free from evil and sin, and to give them everlasting life with Him forever.
Anyone may have this, if he or she wants it. Rejecting God's offer of freedom and life is destructive both in the now and in the future.
Rejection of God is at the root of human sorrow and human evil, and causes untold misery and pain.
Rejection of God is the reason that God will condemn large segments of mankind to eternal destruction, as described in Revelation 20.
Nobody will escape the judgment of God. Nobody.
Death is definitely not the worst thing that can happen to you. Unless it's the "second death."
Christianity is the hope of the world, of mankind, of the universe.
Experience is the best teacher, if properly applied.
"Knowledge" can be true or false, depending on the level of reality that it embraces.
There are lots of other things, which, if you follow along, you will learn.
I reject other premises. Those you will definitely see, if you follow along.
I believe in the inductive method, which involves gathering evidence and then making a decision about important matters. Often this method collates the experiences of many people and brings them into focus.
The deductive method can be useful, as long as it's properly applied, but deduction often does not recognize the premises from which that deduction is made.
For example, the Dodge truck is a cool truck. It looks great, it sounds great. There are lots of them here in Payson. What's missing here is objective fact: How does it handle? Is it reliable? Is it durable?
The answers to the above three questions of fact tell a somewhat different story, which you can read on the various auto sites.
So we might say that experience is an excellent teacher, but multiple experiences over time is extremely important in knowing whether to buy a particular vehicle--especially since many of them are now going to cost you north of $50,000.
MATH  is important. Lots of people I know are mathematical idiots. No offense intended, of course, but if you don't know that doubling your interest rate will double your payment, you had best take a finance course, or learn on your own.
People lie. This comes from the fact that everyone is a mixture of good and evil. Therefore facts must always be used to test what folks say.  For example: "Free trade is good." Is it? It's certainly good for some. However, when you see that "free trade" is essentially code for "Let's export jobs so we can make money," that doesn't work so well, because those who've had their jobs exported now must live without their necessary income. 
"The problem with the US is racism." Is it? or is that just a way of making money from a political position, and of dividing people who ought to be / could be friends?
"We have no obligation to poor people." Really. That's something usually said by people who are not poor. It's rarely a position espoused by someone who doesn't know where his next meal is coming from.
We should honor (undocumented) immigrants and let them stay here. The problem with this statement is that the entire statement actually is embodied in what's in the parentheses. This is not a moral issue. It's a political one. The person who wants "undocumented" immigrants in the US is that they never ever want them in their own neighborhoods. In other words, they like the idea, but not the reality.
Same for many other things. When you are trying to see if someone is lying, ask about their personal consistency and their own lives. If, for example, someone is discussing "gun control," be sure to find out if they have any firearms of their own, or if they have any security of any kind.
Words that lie: "Reproductive rights." That's a two lies for the price of one, and the essential question is, "Whose rights?"  The concept is abortion, not reproduction, by the way.
You might want to ask, for example, if your local animal rights activist believes in evolution (most do). We usually call that "survival of the fittest;" therefore if the pandas are endangered, it's because they should die. I don't believe that, by the way, but consistency is difficult to find in most of our lives.
I confess to being inconsistent a from time to time. However, I think I know when I am consistent and when I'm not. Mostly.
I hate lies. Really hate them. My hatred of lies comes from my own heart, which is black, and from my experiences with the consequences of lying--both to oneself, and to others.
OK. I think I've ranted enough. I'm planning on discussing things with you all that impact our lives on a daily basis, from the exquisite comfort of my living room. Retirement is fun. I can say what I want, and unless you are willing to brave the machine gun emplacement in my yard, I can do so with impunity. Just kidding. Maybe. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

How Obama Helped America:

From a friend...

Another Point of View on the Obama Presidency.

One 82-year-old lady loves Obama and she may have a very good point. She says that Obama was amazing, and is rebuilding the American dream! She gives us an entirely new slant on the "amazing" job Obama is doing, and she says that she will thank God for the President. Keep reading for her additional comments and an explanation. When discussing Obama, she says:

1. Obama destroyed the Clinton Political Machine, driving a stake through the heart of Hillary’s presidential aspirations - something no Republican was ever able to do.

2. Obama killed off the Kennedy Dynasty - no more Kennedys trolling Washington looking for booze and women wanting rides home.

3. Obama is destroying the Democratic Party before our eyes! Dennis Moore had never lost a race. Evan Bayh had never lost a race. Byron Dorgan had never lost a race. Harry Reid - soon to be GONE! These are just a handful of the Democrats whose political careers Obama has destroyed. By the end of 2016 dozens more will be gone. Just think, in December of 2008 the Democrats were on the rise. In the previous two election cycles, they picked up 14 Senate seats and 52 House seats. The press was touting the death of the Conservative Movement and the Republican Party. However, in just one year, Obama put a stop to all of this and has given the House and the Senate back to the Republicans.

4. Obama has completely exposed liberals and progressives for what they are. Sadly, every generation seems to need to re-learn the lesson on why they should never actually put liberals in charge. Obama is bringing home the lesson very well: Liberals tax, borrow and spend. Liberals won't bring themselves to protect America. Liberals want to take over the economy. Liberals think they know what is best for everyone. Liberals are not happy until they are running YOUR life.

5. Obama has brought more Americans back to conservatism than anyone since Reagan. In one year, he has rejuvenated the Conservative Movement and brought out to the streets millions of freedom loving Americans. Name one other time when you saw your friends and neighbors this interested in taking back America!

6. Obama, with his "amazing leadership," has sparked the greatest period of sales of firearms and ammunition this country has seen. Law abiding citizens have rallied and have provided a "stimulus" to the sporting goods field while other industries have failed, faded, or moved off-shore.

7. In all honesty, one year ago I was more afraid than I have been in my life. Not afraid of the economy, but afraid of the direction our country was going. I thought, Americans have forgotten what this country is all about. My neighbors and friends, even strangers, have proved to me that my lack of confidence in the greatness and wisdom of the American people has been flat wrong.

8. When the American people wake up, no smooth talking teleprompter reader can fool them! Barack Obama has served to wake up these great Americans! Again, I want to say: "Thank you, Barack Obama!" After all, this is exactly the kind of hope and change we desperately needed!!

9. He made Jimmy Carter happy since Jimmy is no longer the worst president we've ever had!

10. Democrats lost the House and ceded the majority of governorship's in 2010, held the Senate in 2012 with Mr. Obama’s re-election, then lost control of the Senate in 2014 and control of the White House this year. All told, Democrats have shed 63 House seats, 10 Senate seats and 12 governorship's.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

College Costs: Some thoughts

Funny thing. When I went to college (in California), tuition was $50 per semester, and you paid for your books. UNLESS you were not a legal resident of California...
So the question is, why are people having to carry so much debt just to go to a four year college? I think I know...

1. Real qualifications to attend. I had to have above a specific score on the entrance exam to even get in.
2. Reasonable wages for the profs, administrators, etc.
3. Citizens only, unless you paid, and CA legal residents at that. ID required.
4. NO BS (technical term, meaning bull feces) degrees. You could be an engineer, scientist, mathematician, teacher, psychologist, etc. on the State's dime, since they expected you would get a job and eventually pay back their faith in you.

OH, and by the way...why is it, in the era of FREE INFORMATION, that college costs so much? Nobody asks THAT question. As accessibility to information has risen exponentially, and despite the fact that all that info is free for the taking, colleges and universities have all raised their rates by about the same exponential number.
I am NOT a "Bernie Sanders" type, who says, "All college free, all the time." I'm the type that says, "Get back to what colleges were originally designed to do"--that is, TRAIN QUALIFIED PEOPLE FOR REAL WORK, and let the state carry the cost until the taxes it collects pay them back. So...back to getting in to actually DO something; back to reasonable, not exorbitant, pay; back to citizens free, back to pricing education the same way information is priced.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What's happened to the NEWS?

I realize that this complaint has been aired many times before, but this election cycle things have moved from bad to worse to a point where the news agencies actually defy belief.  I still watch TV news, but as little as possible. I read Washington Post headlines, mostly out of desperation, in the hopes that they will one day return to the reporting that made them justly famous. I don't watch CNN--it's not on my TV subscription. I don't watch Fox News or MSNBC (hereinafter called "the news"). I read their stories on their sites from time to time, so I know what they say.

Today, all of these news agencies are actually editorial agencies. There is no news. Instead of news, there is what might be called "newsivism" (news-activism). Whatever the cause of the day, the newspeople are there to celebrate it, whether it's transgenderism, gay liberals marching, or "black lives matter" folks looting to somehow prove that they are helping their communities by their "activism."  The news not only reports these things, it speaks of them in hushed tones, as if these people make up all the nation, and the nation is not being "heard."
Frankly, I've never seen or heard anything more ridiculous. The news ignores facts, makes up stories that they know are not true, biases everything the way they want, and generally tries to create a world that doesn't exist.
For example, here in San Diego, reporting about Mexican gangs is just about nonexistent, yet their influence is huge. Nobody discusses the effect of these gangs on sex trafficking, or their societal influence.  Instead, we see pictures of mothers holding babies, and crying about how they might get deported--and that is all. Nothing about the huge mess we face in society due to Federal and State inaction.
Regarding the mess in Ferguson, Missouri, I happen to have listened to the statements by the county prosecutor about what happened when Michael Brown attacked Darren Wilson. The entire (it was more than a half hour) series of statements, which were based on the investigations conducted at the scene were reasoned, carefully set out, and obviously true, including the evidence that Mr. Brown had tried to wrest Officer Wilson's gun from him, and was killed AFTER he did this.
So what did the news do? They ran statements from the mother, the father, the family, which all said that "Mike was a good boy..." A good boy, it happens who had just committed a strongarm robbery against someone about half his size, and who was walking down the street with a companion who was with him when he committed the robbery.  Which story did the news run? Obviously, the one about the poor family of "Michael Brown," who claimed that he was a "gentle giant" (who apparently roughed up smaller people at will). The news essentially concealed the real story, which was that a thug resisted arrest from a much smaller police officer, who fatally shot him when the thug charged him, intending to take him down and very possibly kill him. Had "Mike Brown" been white, the story would have been treated differently, for sure. Now, two years later, the Browns' "story" has been altered so much that the evil white cop shot the poor defenseless black teenager for no reason, and that has to stop. Well, it is true that something MUST stop. Perhaps it's biased reporting.

In another, and really unbelievable set of stories, I think Donald Trump must be the most misquoted man in America. Yes, he sometimes misspeaks, but it so happens that I listened to the news tell me many of the things he said. Problem is, I also listened to HIM. He did not say those things as the news told me. He said different things. Things that made sense (to me), but the news altered his statements substantially so that he appeared to have said something else, which didn't make sense. The so-called "Muslim ban" is one of the best examples of this. To this day, the Washington Post and New York Times insist that Mr. Trump is applying a religious test to see if people can be admitted here.  Nonsense.  He stated from the beginning that there must be a mechanism in place to see who we admit from Muslim countries. That makes absolute sense, yet the news says, "don't do that?" Why? Is it because they think he might win the election? Are they trying to alter history in favor of a candidate they like better? It's hard to come to any other conclusion.

Why does the news do this?  The only conclusion I can come to is that the news doesn't care about truth any longer, if they ever did.

The news is like the false prophets in the Bible, who say what they say in order to maintain or change society in the direction they want it to go. Every story is an editorial, and not one story that I've recently read is unbiased.  That's fine if you put your bias out where everyone can see it, but if your reporting is supposed to be the truth, or "fair and balanced," as some would have us believe, then you must use the opportunities afforded a free press to report the truth, and forget about what YOU want. Truth is pretty easy to find, if you look. Stories that are not reporting, those are opinions. Disguising opinions as news is wrong. Period.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

"Make America SAFE again." About the Dallas Police shootings.

You need to think carefully about your vote in November and here's why:

If you want a video on the same subject, here it is:


One of the greatest tragedies of the last 8 years is that we now have a divided country, filled with tribalism, where everyone is at everybody else's throats.

Remember the national reaction when the Oklahoma Federal Building was blown up by white supremacists? NOBODY marched in the streets defending them, despite the fact that the Feds had managed to overstep in Waco and Ruby Ridge. EVERYONE came together, and said, THIS IS WRONG. It's still wrong. Doesn't matter who does it, black or white or blue.
Remember the national reaction to airplanes flying into the World Trade Center? WE CAME TOGETHER.
We need to do that again. We live in a wonderful country. We have amazing freedoms. We have good lives,, for the most part.
The politics of division are bad politics, and the efforts that some make at dividing the country have to stop.
We don't need to "Make America Mexico again;" We don't need to make America Black, we don't need an "all White America," or an "Asian America." We need to come together as a free people, with one set of goals so that we can build our nation and make it strong and prosperous. Whether it's a Wall Street Banker or hedge fund manager who takes away our jobs and sends them to China, or a politician who panders to one or another political group, or a religious group that demands special privileges and the right to have "other laws" than the laws of our nation, it's wrong.
Let's be one, though many. Let's do that now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

About Orlando and the Massacre...

Since everyone else is "weighing in," I guess I better do so as well.  There are calls for gun control. Calls for more police. Complaints the FBI didn't do enough,  and so on. In the midst of this, we've forgotten the single most effective tool that we have against these maniacs, and that's...


Why we won't use this methodology is beyond me.  I know that black people, Mexican people, Cubans, etc. believe that profiling is evil, but used properly, profiling protects the rest of us from the madmen. This is a tool that has been proscribed (opposite of PREscribed) since the 9/11 attacks, and when the Feds refused to use it, I couldn't understand. It made no sense. Yes, people are improperly identified, and so on, but it's a more reasonable solution than "gun control." If there are no guns in the hands of reasonable people, given the level of crime in our nation, you and I both know what will happen.

Remember, every public person who advocates for gun control has personal protection. Guards. Security. In other words, other people with guns who protect them. You and I have no such protection. In fact, one might argue that gun control caused this dance club scene, since if half a dozen of the attendees had guns, the murderer might well have been one of the few people killed there. 

The problem with "gun control" is that it really applies only to those who are willing to obey the law. If the shooter in Orlando could not get a gun, he could easily have used explosives. Same damage, different method. That's what the Islamic killers do in Israel. 

The answer? Figure out who these people are before they do their evil. That's the only answer that will work. 

Additionally, last year we heard multiple cries against the militarization of the police. Sorry, but cops need weapons equal to or greater than the criminals. If they don't have them, you can expect two things:
  1.  More crime, more heinous murders.
  2.  Fewer cops.  Nobody wants to put his life on the line for a society that won't support him. Nobody.

Finally, we have to recognize that our society has become terribly splintered. It's white vs. black, Mexican vs. Asian, etc. etc. We must come together as reasonable people and stop this. We have to stop listening to the people among us who want to divide and destroy our society. On the one hand, we have a President who makes heroes of "Black Lives Matter," and who also refuses to "out" radical Islamists, even when its clear that their intentions are destructive.
On the other, we have a mostly silent populace. 
Time for that to end.