Brothers

Brothers
E Plurubus Unum, Rex Montis

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Contribution vs Entitlement


I don’t think I’ve ever gone two calendar months in-between posts before! Well, there is a first time for everything.

I was thinking today that America should consider doing what so many other countries have done; implement a service plan in order to become full citizens.

I suppose I could do a google search, but how about not? Off the top of my head, England, Germany Israel and maybe Argentina…Mexico? All of these require every citizen to put in a certain amount of military service.

I think American’s have gotten used to entitlement…like something is owed to them for the very act of drawing breath. What we consider poor, 80% of the world consider rich.

I propose a hybrid system in which you must give two years of your life to your country. Don’t like the military? Red Cross, Third World Country Disaster Relief, anything that would help with the perspective of how great a country to live in America really is.

This plan could be implemented immediately after high-school. Drop-outs are immediately sent to Africa to dig wells. What a great education incentive.

It may not be the answer, but it's a start. I've seen far too many career stay-at-home children of late.
 
 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My body, my choice

Ever heard the expression, "My body, my choice"? It is usually associated with a women who is pro-choice. I have already done a post on abortion in the past and do not feel the need to do another at the moment. However, I do want to focus on a choice.

I have been briefly, very briefly, following the story of Cassandra Callender, a 17 year old who has refused cancer treatments after two rounds of chemo.

The last thing I read today was a judge ruling that Cassandra lacked the ability to make the decision, and will be forced to undergo chemo against her will. I found this hopelessly ironic since judges and courts have ruled that if a young teen wants to have an abortion to kill a child, they can do so without parental knowledge or consent (exceptions to this all over of course, but making a general statement).

I further wonder at the logic of forced medical treatment that is admittedly only 80% successful, and even the success can lead to a myriad of other health problems from injecting poison into the body. Plus the possibility of the cancer coming back out of remission.

Imagine if someone was forced to do blood-letting because a judge and medical doctor of the time insisted it was 80% successful. This sounds as effective as the 1940's lobotomies to cure mental illness.... or how about a toxic dose of mercury? (well, they do say it's okay NOW if it's injected into you in a vaccine, so it must be okay...right? It's only a neurotoxin after all).

Or how about heroin? That used to be prescribed by doctors who knew best as well.

I can't really rationalize forced chemo treatment at all. I just sit here and shake my head.

"...professing themselves to be wise, they became fools..."

Friday, January 02, 2015

Is Christian-American-Moderation a triple-oxymoron?



Happy New Year everyone! Lets get started

Let me preface this entire post with a frustration of mine. Generally speaking, there seems to be a predominant personality type that I have been coming into contact with lately. This personality is quite simply, ignorance. This word is not an insult (well it could be), but merely the perfect word to describe lacking awareness or knowledge, uneducated on a subject. It used to be that I would only come across these types of people in the form of college freshmen, or college dropouts that took a class once and consider themselves very educated (keeping in mind that most Americans can get a good education with a library card). This personality type is usually followed up with the belief that yelling louder makes you “righter.” However, I have been running into more and more of these types of late with a wide variety of background and age. I blame it on the technology age and the ability to cheat the research system by using an online search engine.

Don't get me wrong, I am using the internet right now to spew my own opinions, and am a frequent search-engine user. With that being said, I understand that everyone has a different worldview, a filter or life-lens through which everything is weighed, translated and perceived. Yet, when your life-lens is merely the regurgitation of rhetoric you have heard from friends, the internet or a “reliable source” without any real evidence, research or conviction...I have a problem accepting your opinion as valid.

Now that I have prefaced this post, let us address the topic that was posed as a question. Quite frankly, it is a tough question to answer. Firstly because I do not know if there is such thing as a triple-oxymoron, but for arguments sake lets pretend there is such a thing. Secondly, because it is quite complicated. Lets try to iron it out together.

I had a popular question come up recently, but it was made in the form of a statement. “Christians shouldn't drink alcohol.” I have heard this statement before, usually from ignorant people, sometimes from people who don't claim to be Christians at all. However, the person who recently presented this statement was taken aback that I did not support that statement. Furthermore, this person is educated, well-versed and thoughtful. So I asked him what his basis was.

He stated that anything that affects the brain should be avoided, because as Christians, we are supposed to be sober minded, and the bible says that drunkards will not enter the kingdom of heaven. I responded with the first thing that came to mind, as I have a small background in this subject matter. “When I exercise, endorphins are released, and affect the brain...should I not work out then because it might affect my brain?” I further acknowledged that drunkards and gluttons were considered the same from a biblical vantage, but that God gives grace to us over sin and death, AND that alcohol and food are not bad in and of themselves, but the abuse and overindulgence are, and that Americans are terrible at moderation of any kind. Too much exercise, too much sleep, too much food, too much sugar, too much work are all examples of a lack of moderation.

We got back on topic when he said that wine could have been non-alcoholic. I responded that Jesus turned the water into wine in Canaan, to which he responded Jesus would not have created anything that would lead to drunkenness. I stopped him there and asked if he was blaming an object causing sin or a lack of self control. It is not the Ford F-150 that causes major accidents, but the driver that is drunk. It is not the 5 gallon bucket that causes infant death, but the inattentive parent. It is not sex that causes adultery, but the lack of for-planning and self-control. I purported that God has always created good things that humans have abused, neglected or misused.

I further acknowledged that historically, wine is the English word used for both non-alcoholic juice, alcoholic wine, and low alcoholic content water diluted wine. As with any text, anything taken out of context can be warped and manipulated to make it say whatever you want. With that said, I do not want to tell anyone reading this that “Christians should drink alcohol.” I think you should have a thorough understanding of what you are reading, the time, the context, the translation, while reading everything in it's entirety instead of strip-mining the bible to make it say what you want. In conclusion, no, I don't think Christ turned water into grape juice. Otherwise the main guy at the wedding wouldn't have told exclaimed that he saved the best wine for last (historically good wine is served first, then the bad after the gusts have gotten tipsy and don't know the difference).

There is a verse that is often abused by Christians who do not believe in drinking and try to force their beliefs on others. (side note: I DO believe in absolute moral truth, while simultaneously believing that some truths are relative to the individual). Romans 14:13 paraphrased, “Stop passing judgment on others (we often leave out this part when quoting this verse), but make up your mind not to put a stumbling block in front of others. The footnote in the Life Application Study Bible NIV says this about the verse:

Some Christians use an invisible weaker brother to support their own opinions, prejudices, or standards. “You must live by these standards,” they say, “or you will be offending the weaker brother.” In truth, the person would often be offending no one but the speaker. While Paul urges us to be sensitive to those whose faith may be harmed by our actions, we should not sacrifice our liberty in Christ just to satisfy the selfish motives of those who are trying to force their opinions on us...believers should not project their standards on others.”

Now, I am not trying to make the bible say what I want it to say, but if you actually read it, most references are speaking of overindulgence. It talks about drunkards and gluttons, not drinkers and eaters. Jesus himself said, “The son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, here is a glutton and a drunkard...(Matthew 11:18). Do you think he was referring to non-alcoholic grape juice if judgmental pharisee's were accusing him of overindulgence? Doubtful.

I went online (darn the internet) and did some research into Hebrew culture, Greek wording etc, and did come up with the three different types of “wine” as I stated above. This argument could literally go on and on, but this post is long enough. Suffice to say that in my research there are MANY opinions out there about what Christians should and shouldn't do. Many of the arguments only use half verses, or conveniently leave out half of them. After everything I have looked at, I believe that every Christian should decide for themselves what they should do. Discussion is a good thing. I believe the following are some good rules to follow:

  1. Don't flaunt what you do, whatever your opinion
  2. Don't intentionally do something to cause someone else to stumble
  3. Understand that you will stand before the judgment seat of Christ for YOUR actions, not someone els's
  4. 1 Cor 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God, do not cause anyone to stumble...(read the whole thing in context)

Suffice to say this is a touchy subject in America. Can overindulgence of alcohol lead to bad things? You better believe it...just like the misuse and overindulgence in many other things Christians choose to conveniently ignore.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Autism, vaccines, doctors

A very curious statement was made by a Doctor today. He said, "There is not a single shred of evidence whatsoever that shots are harmful or that there is any link at all between vaccinations and autism."

As someone who does not hold a doctorate degree, and isn't a doctor, may I brazenly say that Doctor's don't know everything? I believe many doctors form an opinion that is based on nothing more than feelings.
I say this because I have brought the subject of vaccinations up to many MANY doctors over the years and I have received a 50-50 split on responses. The last two Doctors I have seen this past year each said that they do not give their children immunizations at all and never would. Then another doctor says there is nothing harmful at all and has given all 6 of his children the full recommended doses.

Does everyone out there realize that 20 years ago there were (about) 18-25 shots given to a person in their lifetime? Now a child before the age of 12 gets 69...that's SIXTY NINE shots!!!

I truly do believe in absolute moral truth. I do not believe truth is necessarily relative at all times. Regardless of THAT particular philosophical argument...how can any doctor, without any evidence, say with absolute conviction that there "is not a single shred of evidence...that shots are harmful..."

How about a simple google search? I know that's not academia at it's finest, but lets just take a look at what is in a standard vaccination shot:

Here is an exact quote from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website as to side effects from common vaccines:

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm

Mild Problems
Several mild problems have been reported within 2 weeks of getting the vaccine:
  • headaches, upper respiratory tract infection (about 1 person in 3)
  • stuffy nose, sore throat, joint pain (about 1 person in 6)
  • abdominal pain, cough, nausea (about 1 person in 7)
  • diarrhea (about 1 person in 10)
  • fever (about 1 person in 100)
Severe Problems
More serious problems have been reported by about 1 person in 100, within 6 months of vaccination. These problems included:
  • blood in the urine or stool
  • pneumonia
  • inflammation of the stomach or intestines 
Now hear this...also a direct quote from the CDC website.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm

 These are the Common substances found in vaccines they include:
  • Aluminum gels or salts of aluminum which are added as adjuvants to help the vaccine stimulate a better response. Adjuvants help promote an earlier, more potent response, and more persistent immune response to the vaccine.
  • Antibiotics which are added to some vaccines to prevent the growth of germs (bacteria) during production and storage of the vaccine. No vaccine produced in the United States contains penicillin.
  • Egg protein is found in influenza and yellow fever vaccines, which are prepared using chicken eggs. Ordinarily, persons who are able to eat eggs or egg products safely can receive these vaccines.
  • Formaldehyde is used to inactivate bacterial products for toxoid vaccines, (these are vaccines that use an inactive bacterial toxin to produce immunity.) It is also used to kill unwanted viruses and bacteria that might contaminate the vaccine during production. Most formaldehyde is removed from the vaccine before it is packaged.
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and 2-phenoxy-ethanol which are used as stabilizers in a few vaccines to help the vaccine remain unchanged when the vaccine is exposed to heat, light, acidity, or humidity.
  • Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative that is added to vials of vaccine that contain more than one dose to prevent contamination and growth of potentially harmful bacteria.
Give that a read-through...I feel like a conspiracy theorist, but this is on the GOVERNMENT website! Common substances found in vaccines are FORMALDEHYDE, ALUMINUM and MERCURY!!!

But it's "okay" because there are only very small amounts of these in each shot. But WAIT! Remember, that is a small amount...times 69. May I also remind you that Mercury is a neurotoxin that attacks the brain, aluminum is a toxic element and formaldehyde is a poison. But it's okay, because some Doctors say that there isn't a shred of evidence showing that vaccines are harmful.

Now, please don't get me wrong...I am not advocating everyone stop getting vaccines...where would we be if Measles or Rubella weren't stopped cold?...millions dead! What I am advocating is that people don't walk around and drink the cool-aid...that you please, PLEASE learn to think for yourself and not just listen to every quack website (like mine) and every quack person with a degree that comes along sounding smart-ish.

Friday, September 19, 2014

On Bacon

Do to a commented request on last month's post. I am doing a post on BACON.

I believe that unclean animals were made clean in the New Testament for consumption both because of the redemptive salvation of Jesus Christ, AND because God wanted us all (Jews included) to be able to eat BACON!!!

In my house, we get our bacon in large quantities from a local farmer, and I can hardly eat store-bought bacon anymore after having my taste buds exposed to the glorious deliciousness of this salty-piece-of-heaven.

Everyone knows the 'eggs are good eggs are bad' argument....professionals still can't seem to decide what is good for us or not. Remember the "Fat Free" craze? Tasted like crap, so they dumped in tons of sugar to make the crap taste better. How did that work out? Like crap.

I have heard bacon is good, bacon is bad. If you want something bad enough, you can justify whatever you want with statistics. But I did read a recent study that says real bacon fat (don't know if that includes injected colored processed stuff in the store...?) is almost as good to cook with from a nutritional stand-point, as Olive Oil. Can you believe it!? I do, because I save and use my bacon fat.

Did you know that it is not the cholesterol that causes blockage in the arteries? Seriously. It plays a part, but it is sugar that is the killer. Sugar creates abrasions within the arteries, cholesterol merely collects and builds plaque on/in these abrasions and spurs. So what's the point? Eat more bacon, and less sugar.

Rabbit trail- There is sugar in EVERYTHING in America. I'm not talking about natural sugar found in apples and fruit and all that, but processed and refined sugar. It's in bread (oh by the way, next time you buy a loaf of "whole wheat" bread in the store, look at the ingredient list...you don't even know what half of them are. And "natural flavors" could be poop...it's natural! Oh, and try to find bread that doesn't use 'enriched' flour. Real bread should have no more than 6 ingredients) Okay, enough on that. Start looking and researching and your cupboards may just turn into ingredients instead of pre-boxed/canned everything. SO many preservatives and chemicals are the cause of so much obesity and health problems that it's just killing us. Okay, off the rabbit trail. - there is no sugar in bacon!

I am fairly confident that you could wrap bacon around an old boot, fry it with bacon and it would be delicious!

My favorite treat is cutting jalapenos in half length-wise, spooning in pre-mixed cream cheese and shredded cheese, wrapping with bacon and tossing in the oven until golden brown and delicious. Serve hot, or even better, cold...mmmmm I'm drooling.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Educated

In other news, I have recently started college classes again! Didn't really see that one coming at all...I have been in a pretty solid career position for about 6 years now. At the moment I have no intentions of switching careers or anything, I just felt prompted to go back and study. Strangely, not even for the sake of a Bachelors itself, but the supplementing of life in general.

One never ceases to learn, that is for sure. I am very much enjoying easing back in with a light 6 credit semester, online for now. Full time family and full time job are a lot to have on the plate without adding college as I'm sure many now.

Rabbit trail: Heard a radio station start out the day with an intentional up-beat news report of the top five uplifting stories. What a change! First story was a guy running with his dog, he got attacked by a black bear and the dog saved him. There were several others, but I was so impressed that a news station took the time to intentionally report something good!

I don't have television, intentionally. When I do look at the news, I go online and seek it out. There is so much negativity and sludge in the media I don't do more than give it a cursory glance every once in a while.

Nothing profound this month. I just like to do a minimum of one post a month. I did notice that a post a while back on Zombies got over a thousand views!!!? Crazy. I think it was that high anyway.

Haven't had many comments in a while. Must be time for something controversial :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Climbing

Summer, as usual, is passing by far too quickly. End of July already! I feel like I have spent the majority of the summer cutting my lawn. We packed a couple family vacations in. My wife said that family vacations feel like work, and a trip to Target kid-free feels like a vacation! Truth.


In other news, my love for rock climbing has not dimmed in the least! A couple local climbing enthusiasts and I planned and executed a climbing trip up the North Shore for a group of 14 guys (no plans to take a group that big again in the near future)

. Pictured is Matt, one of several guys I got the chance to get to know a little better. What could be better than good company, adventure and God's great outdoors? Very little at this part of the journey.

Everyone got a chance to rappel down Carlton Peak, then get a little bloody on the sharp Anothorsite rock.
The roundabout climb got us up above ground level about 1000 feet (not the height of actual climb). With two 60 meter ropes in my ruck I just about had a heart attack on that march. Here I swore never to go on a ruck march again...so much for saying never! It did remind me that the gym alone is not a well-rounded workout and I have since started hitting the cardio again.

One could say I have become a bit obsessive about rock climbing. Since the trip referenced above I have been back to Duluth area twice and word of a trek to the needles in South Dakota is rumored. You may remember a previous post last year when I was just getting started? Now I'm getting gear, inciting friends to climb, building a bouldering wall in my basement and hitting the local climbing gym in the winter months. Hey, there are worse hobbies out there right?

Hope everyone reading this is having as much fun as me this summer. It is nice to write a post when I am not angry about something. Ironically, that is usually when I write. Unfortunately it gives the impression I am a cynical rage machine. Not true!