“blogbait” apr-oct A.D. 2012
To Wash Post article on New Orleans (NO) schools. 29 Apr ’12
NO school results may’ve improved partly because the worst students left, but if 80% of NO students are now in charter schools, the charters are hardly cherrypicking. Charters (and, preferably, more thorough reform) lets parents cherrypick the schools that’ll be best for their children. Better to include private, home, and alternative education too, of course.
Some charters (20% or so in some studies, not necessarily NO?) do outstanding work, and by permitting charters, that work is permitted to happen. Some (40% or so?) do as well as standard tax-paid schools, sometimes at lower cost, so permitting charters helps some and does no harm. Some charter schools do poorly (40% or so?), but since they’re charters, their customers can keep them in line by deserting them; the harm is minimal, unlike huge tax-paid systems that fail their students and are hard to change.
What of the things the NEA asks for directly helps students? (Does it help students if good teachers retire early?)
To Clay Bennett Cartoon Sun 13 May http://www.timesfreepress.com , click “opinion”, under Bennett’s cartoon click “more”
Secular reason to reject ‘gay marriage’? ‘Gay’ sex doesn’t breed. ‘Gays’ can breed with test tubes (or whatever), but their forms of sex can’t do what my wife and I can. So evolutionism tells ‘gays’: all of you are Darwin award winners. Drop dead.
“Repent,” the Christian word to all sinners (not just ‘gays’), shows love. Wouldn’t you rather be told to improve than told you’re as good as you’re going to get? Doesn’t “repent” show more respect for people, and for reality, than “you’re OK” when what you’re doing is not OK?
Repent, my brothers, of ignoring fornication and adultery and divorce and focusing on the weird minority sins of those ‘gays’ out there when we and our neighbors also sin sexually. Yeah, ‘they’ need to repent. SO DO WE.
Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors. He showed love, he accepted them as people, but did he accept what they did? Some of them repented. The prostitutes found other lines of work. The tax collectors stopped overcharging. Sure, he loves
‘gay’ people. He warns them to repent of their sins, as the rest of us need to repent of ours. This may not be easy, but it beats damnation.
AndrewLohr said…(TFP letters replies 15 June)
I think Terry S_ (I don’t want to misspell his last name) had a letter in the printed paper, urging Christians to show love (the letter itself just oozed love, right?), and saying some self-proclaimed authority said “Jesus is libertarian.” Well, I like to say “Jesus is libertarian.” I use it as a slogan, but here’s an article I wrote about it:
I don’t recall calling myself an authority, any more than Mr S_ calls himself one by writing letters to the editor. And since Mr S_ disagrees with me, I suspect he wouldn’t admit I was an authority even if I had three earned Ph.D.s, which I haven’t. I have, however, earned As in at least one course involving religion from each of: Murree Christian (K-12) School; Chattanooga State, Covenant College (undergrad); Covenant Seminary, UTC, and CSU-DH (graduate level). I have read the Bible (66 books) in at least six different versions; “The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah” (>1000 pages) by Edersheim; “On Being a Christian (>500 pages, Hans Kung, liberal); “Jesus and the Victory of God” (N. T. Wright, >500 pages)…If that offers evidence that my views have some knowledge behind them, fine. Of course, our intelligent and learned President shows that booklearning doesn’t prevent wrongheadedness; and some people think the same of me.
for Pulse 19 June A.D. 2010
If Riverbend and Bonnaroo do different things, let them both flourish instead of turning one into a clone of the other, whatever either may learn from the other. R could watch B for acts for here,; R could try maybe one BIG act per festival, at least once.
If R reaches more people than the Pulse, do we want to consider the Pulse irrelevant? Every sparrow comes under triune Jehovah’s eye. Since grabbing a book is easier than getting to Riverbend, I’ve only been to one R and a couple nights, but it’s usually seemed vaguely attractive.
With five non-Coke stages, two or even three acts per stage, seems like R could do a “relevant” or “alternative” act a night. (Maybe it does).
Dave Bird wrote (for Pulse or Enigma, late ’90s?) that just because music is unpopular doesn’t mean it’s relevant, or alternative, or avant-garde, or progressive–it might just be ugly. And just because music is beautiful doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant or sold out.
Some alternative alternatives–I trust the performance, however poor, does convey some meaning and some hint of what better performers could do with such as these, and since better musicians behave as if they can outwrite the Holy Ghost, here goes:
the Psalms, God’s own songs, are alternative even to most churches in Chattanooga:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3jW0Up68w0 Osama bin Laden sings Mozart (from Psalm 103)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qilrad3X5l0 Psalm 43
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBrCsB5RqrI Psalm 81
Christian political music also offers an alternative:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-mqwD_RRK8 Are we better off now than we were two years ago? (written A.D. 2010)
http://voices.yahoo.com/video/tax-day-song-5375697.html?cat=9 Tax Day Song
And my favorite hymn–observe why I might like it–alternative to (not in) many hymnals:
19 June to NR online Dennis Prager article
A religion based on Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings” might encourage virtue and courage, but what would we think of a politician who thought LOTR was a history of prehistoric Europe? I’ve read the Book of Mormon, and it has no more to do with ancient American history than LOTR with ancient European history. The Bible can be debated, but no one doubts it has something to do with ancient Jewish history. Jerusalem and the Jews are known outside the Bible, Suetonius mentions Chrestus and Tacitus mentions Jesus, etc. And since the Book of Mormon is a work of fantasy, we can well trust Gov Romney’s judgment in putting any stock in it as history, however capable Mr Romney obviously is in many ways. Most of Mr Romney’s “flip-flops” seem to have been improvements. I’d think better of him, and be more likely to vote for him rather for, say, the Libertarian, if Mr Romney throws Romneycare and the Book of Mormon under the bus.
To TFP facebook 24 June, re story about a preacher’s son who died of “gay” AIDS, and father’s struggles.
Stephen was sexually abused by an authority figure. Is there a new story there?
Sorry, news story, not (just) new. And is there an interpretation there, a slant different from the story’s moral evaluation of “gay” conduct? / If “gay” is OK–not just one of many sins and not the worst, not just very very hard to break from, but not in itself a sin at all–how about fornication, divorce, failure to visit the sick, and failure to condemn sexual abuse by authority figures? Let’s get the branches out of our eyes and then help our brothers get the twigs out of theirs. How often do churches preach against fornication, against sexual sins of every kind? / Leviticus condemns “gay” behavior; it also condemns failure to love your neighbor as yourself. If “gay” is OK, how about not loving? If God condemns and we acquit, are we bigger than God? / Love from a doctor doesn’t mean telling sick patients they’re healthy: it means telling them how they are and what they need to do and suffer, which they may not like. (“You’re one of 8 people in the US who have had this disease. Six of them are dead and the 7th is likely to die. You’ll be taking 36 pills a day–one of which costs $500–and you’ll be begging to die because of the pain, nausea and depression. You’ll need constant care, not just from your husband. Get your friends to pray for you.” I am not making this scenario up, just the phrasing; source TellASIA Ministries newsletter May-June A.D. 2012. Glory to triune Jehovah, the 8th patient is reported as healed by medical treatment with prayer. Disease, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, “Adult ALL.”) Of course, we much prefer a doctor who says what s/he needs to say in a loving manner (God prefers this too, I Cor 13, to put it mildly), but a doctor who tells the truth about what needs to be done is doing a patient a favor compared with a doctor who lies, even if the truthful doctor sounds nasty and brutal, maybe even if s/he IS nasty and brutal but effective (“I went into cancer treatment, or preaching, or politics, because I like to get away with hurting people for their own good”–and THAT of course I made up.) The prophets, Jesus, and the apostles preached, in a word, “Repent!” (Change!). God loves sinners enough to die for them, but not enough to leave them in sin. Enough to accept them, but not enough to accept everything they do. Enough to turn them into saints.
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To TFP (Times) editorial 30 June:
Obamacare increases demand by insuring more people, and this reduces cost? Emergency care costs $50 billion a year, Obamacare costs a trillion–20x as much–and this reduces cost?
Forcing healthy people to pay sick people to be sick improves health?
Does “flat-rate” mean I have to pay smokers for smoking, fat people for overeating, drunkards for drinking too much, and fornicators for transmitting AIDS and other STDs?
AndrewLohr said…(To Clay Bennett cartoon in Times-Free Press, 30 June)
Didn’t the Supreme Court declare in Church of the Holy Trinity vs United States that the US is a Christian nation? (Not that the authors of Dred Scott, Plessy, Korematsu, Roe, and Sabelius share inerrancy with the Holy Bible, of course.)
Is there any way for those damnable atheists (repent, please!) to say “Shut up” politely? Or without imposing their point of view, in contrast to other points of view–without imposing their religion?
God’s Kingdom is like a tree in which birds nest, abusing twigs and making a mess, and the tree puts up with this. Would you rather be an atheist in Hamilton County or a Christian in North Korea? Would you rather be an atheist in Hamilton or an atheist in North Korea, where that point of view governs? If you’d rather be in HC, you are admitting that semi-Christian governance (we have lots of romm for improvement, of course) excels atheistic government. So why impose Stalin’s religion on us?
To NY Times re Ross Douthat column 30 June ’12:
The Constitution specifies that Congress can regulate private warships (“letters of marque and reprisal”), but does not say it can regulate medicine. Haven’t the Supremes strained at gnats but swallowed a camel here?
Romney’s flip-flops have tended to be improvements. Let him throw Romneycare (and the Book of Mormon, a fantasy) under the bus, to improve my confidence in his judgment.
To National Review online 31 July:
Newt humble, hmmm–and the author of Romneycare is too arrogant to throw that concept under the bus, the concept that he and some bureaucrats should run our health care for us; and a lifelong Mormon isn’t humble enough to compare the book or Mormon version of American prehistory with the standard version, which is like comparing The Lord of the Rings version of European prehistory with the standard version. (The Bible we can argue about. As history, the book of Mormon is pure fantasy; I’ve read it.) He’s also too proud to repent of his friends’ distortions about his rivals. He has a hundred days to repent before I vote for the Constitution Party or the Libertarian. (Clint Bolick for veep–Romney’d better choose someone who makes conservatives want to shoot Romney.)
If worried about pressures on the Fed, legalize using gold, silver, and foreign currencies for transactions if we want to, not just the Fed’s dollars, paying standard taxes (plus maybe 1% to give Fed dollars a slight edge)? Subject the Fed, not just to political pressures (which it surely already feels), but to popular control, to the disciplines of the market. I think Ecuador and Zimbabwe have made the US dollar legal tender, and I’ve seen dollars accepted in the Philippines. Let us do the same. We cannot trust Ben and the Feds for price stability nor for a flourishing economy (nor can other countries, nor the Euro-zone, trust their governments and central banks); so let’s take it out of their hands and put it in the hands of the people, choosing currencies as we choose restaurants.
To TFP 25 Aug ’12 (Bennett cartoon)
The murder of little babies is evil.
I worship triune Jehovah with one family that has adopted at least 9 children and another that has adopted at least 4. (Both husband-fathers are bishops). My wife had 4 children from a bad situation when I married her, and we didn’t exactly plan the two we’ve added. (Our new one gets an impressive range squirting poop while her diaper is being changed at 3am. I’m not sure if she’s gotten my wife yet, but she’s gotten me.)
If you or someone you care about has an unwanted or shakily wanted pregnancy, call “Choices” at 267-7943 or 892-0803 and ask the pro-lifers there for advice and practical help and a listening ear. I’ve known a respectable middle-class church couple in Hixson to let an unwed mother live with them for several months until her baby was born and settled.
Behind 50 million choices to murder babies lie tens of millions of choices to have sex outside marriage, and millions of marriages that could use more and wiser love. Choices to risk making babies without arranging for any resulting babies to be born into households of functioning love. (“Love” includes much more than sex, of course; 3am diapers, for instance.) Murder is sin. So is fornication of every sort, and I think churches, including good evangelical churches, tend to sin by not preaching against fornication and in favor of sex in its proper place inside holy marriage. How many self-proclaimed Christians have been excommunicated for unrepented fornication in Chattanooga lately?
If you’re worth having sex with, you’re worth waiting for sex until you’ve made reasonable arrangements for a lifetime of mutual love with your prospective spouse. Give your hand before you give your crotch.
AndrewLohr said…To TFP 28 Aug., Bennett cartoon.
Which hat should be on top? Bonhoeffer’s or Hitler’s? Look, if there is a God, obviously He outranks the United States of America. (If not, then it’s OK to eat atheists. But relax, atheists, my wife and her mother have experienced miracles, so I know triune Jehovah doesn’t want us to eat y’all.) That’s not to say He insists on coaches leading prayers, nor that talking to or about Him can replace good coaching, or good performance in other jobs. (President Obama going to church is good as far as it goes, but it doesn’t make him a good President.) But freedom for such speech in its place I think He does prefer; and a country of freedom of speech, rather than censor Christian speech, should repent of hypocrisy.
AndrewLohr said… to TFP 29 Aug, Bennett cartoon.
Yeah, he suppressed Herman Cain. His veep is supposed to suppress red ink.
(Our current President was gonna cut the deficit in half in four years? Right. And keep joblessness under 8%, reaching 6% in four years? Right. And be more popular among Muslims than George W. Bush? Right. And run the most transparent administration in history? Right. Instead of Agnew-Nixon-Kissinger, we have Biden-Obama-Jarrett.)
To TFP (FP) 30 Aug:
Not bad, though the new guy’s average has fallen below Lee Anderson’s after a promising start.
Our current President’s administration has failed by its own standards–close Gitmo? Keep joblessness below 8%, reaching 6% in 4 years? Cut the deficit in half in 4 years? Most transparent? Shovel ready? Newfangled jobs like Solyndra will last forever?
Governor Romney would probably do less badly, but he gave us Romneycare and has not repudiated it; he has tolerated distortions by his friends about Speaker Gingrich and Senator Santorum (so how can he complain if nasty liberals lie about him?); he presumably believes a fantasy novel called the Book of Mormon (which I’ve read) is a history book; and he’s tolerating needless bullying of Ron Paul delegates. So there’s good reason not to vote for him.
Taking the editorial’s point a step or two further, voting for a new party does two things: (1) it offers ideas for the old parties to pick up on, and (2) it shows the old parties where votes can be found, as they try to move from 49% to 51%. It also expresses dissatisfaction with what the old parties are doing, or with who they have chosen.
So check out the Constitution Party, http://www.constitutionparty.com/ , whose nominee Virgil Goode served five terms in the U. S. House and with which I tend to agree, or the Libertarian Party, http://www.lp.org, whose nominee Gary Johnson governed New Mexico with more success than Mitt Romney governed Massachusetts, and unlike Romney won re-election.
(P.S. I call the Book of Mormon a “fantasy novel” because it has no more to do with ancient American history than “The Lord of the Rings” has to do with ancient European history. I know some people would say the same of the Bible, but even unbelievers admit the Bible has SOMEthing to do with ancient Jewish history and with Christian origins. We fundamentalists know the Bible is perfect, but even unbelievers give it more credit than they give Joseph Smith’s novel. So trusting Smith’s novel shows poor judgment on Mr Romney’s part. Smith died and stayed dead; Jesus died and rose again. Follow Jesus; Smith is in Hell.)
To Bennett cartoon 2 September:
Say, can I get a chuckle over REPUBLICANS saying elect us because we’ll get you jobs and DEMOCRATS saying Keep us because the stock market is booming?
The GOP establishment hasn’t done all that well. The liberal establishment, Clinton’s first two years and Obama’s Congress and Presidency, has done even worse. (A.D. 2006: Democrats win Congress and economy goes from mediocre to bad. A.D. 2010: Tea Party-GOP coalition wins one house of Congress and jobs begin to grow, but not faster than population.) So the Tea Party and Libertarian realm must have the answers. (The farther left, from Greece to the USSR, is obviously even worse.) Whether Romney, who is trying to make some of the right noises, knows in practice what he’s saying, each voter must decide for himself. (I’m inclined to vote for the Constitution Party, to point our leaders in the right direction.)
Trickle down? As a Mormon, I gather Romney could say Follow me and each of you can become Gods with capital Gs. As a politician he’s not saying that, but what could beat it? The trouble is, that’s what the serpent said in Genesis 3, and look where that got us. Egalitarianism is the original sin. (And in political practice, anyone who promises to take money from one group and give it to another is certainly trying to take power from people in general and give it to himself, because it requires power to take money and redistribute it; so redistributionists necessarily seek power.)
To Bennett cartoon 6 September: 1st two are to comments:
Karl, not “Carl.” (Rove)
Do you tip it upside down? (Your hat; cartoon had showed President George W. Bush holding a sign upside down.)
Bush was too liberal–a big spending, big government President–but, since he was less liberal than President Obama, after four years he hadn’t done much harm; people were about as well off as they had been four years earlier. The economic slide started after the Democrats won Congress in ’06. Most of such improvement as there is has come since the Tea Party + GOP won the House in ’10.
Though I speak with the eloquence of Obama and Hillary, and have not love, I have become like horns in a traffic jam, and like jackhammers outside the window–paraphrased from I Corinthians 13:1. / It’s one thing for a doctor to tell a patient, You’re very ill; you need to radically change your lifestyle. That can be love. It’s another to call the patient You disgusting reptile (or worse names). That shows lack of love. When liberals do it, it shows that liberalism’s claim to be compassionate is bogus. That liberalism is generous with other people’s money instead of its own shows the same. That liberalism fails in practice, from “Losing Ground” to President Obama, shows the same; love needs to attend to reality. That liberalism makes promises it cannot pay for, and buries the future in debt, shows the same. When conservatives do it, ditto. Why live down to liberal standards?
To Free Press editorial 12 Sept ’12
“An individual’s sexuality is neither commendable nor deplorable.” I bet everyone posting here agrees that the sexuality of a rapist is deplorable, criminally deplorable.
Since “Dan Quayle was right,” might we agree that fornication is at least somewhat deplorable, and perhaps put a sin tax on fornication that happens to get caught, since it has social costs?
It’s one thing to stop sending the police after homosexuals; it’s another to send them after those who condemn homosexual conduct (or heterosexual fornication or any other sexual conduct deemed wrong.) Would editor Drew allow groups that want to discriminate against sexual misbehavers to do so, or would he send the cops after, say, Ross Perot for firing (?) adulterers? (Perot said, If your wife can’t trust you how can I?)
At one job my boss was a lesbian. Two ‘urban rednecks’ once sent me out front to the cash register to serve a gay couple while the rednecks laughed in back. Just because all sex outside Adam-and-Eve-type-marriage is sin does not mean it has to be a crime, or has to be discriminated against socially in general. But for those who do have standards, let them do what their standards call for, e.g. if a bed-and-breakfast wants to refuse double beds to unmarried couples, or if a church warns that sins must be repented of and forsaken, or if a Christian institution wants its employees (or even customers) to be practicing Christian morality.
TO Clay Bennett cartoon 18 Sept (about 20th post):
Cartoon: Romney floundering
Is a man who takes your money at gunpoint ‘voting his own interest’? How about a man who takes it at IRS gunpoint? In business, we choose what to pay for and when we pay we get it. The government forces us to pay and offers less choice.
I think Gov Romney’s main problem closing the GOP deal was Romneycare. I think his main problem closing the national deal may be a perception that, yeah, he’ll take care of Wall St, and that may be better overall than Pres Obama taking care of DC, but will Romney take care of Main St? He’s making some of the right noises, as with the GOP, but will he do it? If he’d named Chip Mellor for Veep instead of Paul Ryan, he’d have moved the debate in his direction.
Oh, well, Mellor for Attorney General. The Institute for Justice, Mellor’s outfit, defended a NJ widow’s house for her against Donald Trump’s casino that wanted to sieze her house by eminent domain (‘IRS gunpoint’ so to speak.) He’d bring school choice and monopolistic regulations onto center stage.
I suspect our current President is doing so terrible a job even by his own standards (Gitmo, 8%, no taxes under $250,000, keep insurance, Arab mobs…) that Romney will win the late undecideds and the election, as Reagan did in ’80 in an election everyone called close.
To Bennett 25 September (about 12th post):
If separation of church and state is a Bible doctrine (Moses and Aaron, Jesus and Pilate, etc.), is it thereby unconstitutional? 🙂
The cartoon mentions John 3:16:
that He gave
His only-begotten Son
trusts in Him
shall not perish
but have everlasting life.
Can such love–“He gave his only-begotten Son”– be matched elsewhere? Can such an offer, such a promise–“shall not perish, but have everlasting life” be matched even by GOP and Democrats combined? If not, then I urge you to check it out and pursue it.
Of course, is it true? Check that out as well. Read at least enough of the Bible to see what it’s saying (the “Gospel of John” is a good start). Other books (for me to recommend books is like a drunkard recommending vintages, but)–“The Reasons for God” by Tim Keller, who started a church in Manhattan that now has several thousand people, is a modern well-written case for trusting Jesus Christ; “The Challenge of Jesus” by N. T. Wright; “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis… Do the alternatives to following Jesus offer love: God becoming a man and dying for us and rising up alive?–do they offer equal love or equal power if true? And are they true?
Then once Jesus Christ, King of kings (=Jesus inaugurated, President of presidents) gets around to politics, which is not where He started but is indeed within the scope of His interests, what does He want, what does He prefer? Christians have offered various answers; my faithful readers here will know mine in brief: He’s rather libertarian. (Search “Jesus is libertarian Lohr” for a bit more detail.) His Kingdom is like a big tree which houses various birds. Muslim and atheistic kingdoms are like jackboots crushing dissent.
To Time-Free Press, Bennett cartoon, 30 Sept A.D. 2012:
“Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.” I’m not saying Romney will win, nor that he’ll lose, the debates or the election, but at this point, who knows? Anyone who’s sick of both him and Obama can vote for Gary Johnson or Virgil Goode, Libertarian or Constitution parties. (Part of a commercial for one of them: ‘…And if after four years [of an L or C administration] you’re tired of peace, prosperity and freedom, you can always vote failure back in again.’)
Is Mr Bennett racist against the tribe of Republicans–who freed the slaves and brought in all the real civil rights laws, before Martin Luther King was murdered and “civil rights” degenerated into reverse racism and quotas–in favor of Jeff Davis’s clan?
September 30, 2012 at 6:37 a.m.
alprova’s link to a Washington Post article, assuming everything the article says is true, does show that despicable racial hatred against President Obama exists. Repent, racists, God has made of one blood all nations, and Jesus is the only Savior (and His skin color may well have been similar to Mr Obama’s.) It does not show him a good President; he’s been a lousy President (deficits up, joblessness up, regulations up, freedom down, disregarding the rather libertarian-PERsonally generous politics of King Jesus). A white man who had governed that way would be just as lousy a President; Jimmy Carter was a lousy President too. (He’s been a pretty good ex-President, though.) Repent, silly tyrants; liberalism–rich people like Mr Obama trying to run the lives of poor people for them–does not work; the poor are people too!
To TFP letters online Oct 5:
Look at the evidence. Breeding has limits, so evolution is false and there’s a Creator, as the wonders of creation show us. Miracles happen, e.g. to my wife and her mother, so there’s a God. Jesus rose from the dead–yes, examine the evidence of that instead of imposing preconceptions–so follow Him. The sins of His followers are obvious, but would you rather be ruled by Stalin and Mao, or by Chaing Kai-Shek?–rather live in atheium, or in Christendom? I see y’all prefer the Bible belt to North Korea. Imposing y’all’s silence does not treat us equally, and is, obviously, divisive. Making us pay for unGodly programs does not help us love y’all. Freedom includes freedoms to group, not just freedom for atomistic individuals.
To same Oct 7:
Since you brought it up, did you help the desperate lady yourself with your own resources at all, or did you refer her to tax-paid programs? Jesus gave his own life–He is personally very, very, gracious–but He didn’t enforce taxes while He was here.
There’s some Christian tradition of refusing to vote. I’ll probably vote for Wilson Goode (?) of the Constitution Party rather than claim to be satisfied with Gov Romney, though I sorta hope Romney wins–the Obama administration has been 90% failure, since liberalism does not work.