People Unclear

This is number 28

I’m catching the story from yesterday’s ABC World News Tonight with David Muir.

For those who remain unclear regarding some basic truths, here they are:

  • Some things really are not funny.
  • If you ever want a career in public life, keep your personal life clear.
  • Do not do anything you would not want to show up on 60 Minutes.

Yeah, Big Al. Is there a lesson you want to pass on to the younger generation?

 

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Friday Funny

Number 85 of a series

It’s Friday again, and something must be funny. How about a criminal who figures it’s cool to come to court flashing police lights in traffic:

Holland-Harris, 31, of Norwood, pleaded guilty to five counts of trafficking in a controlled drug and faced a maximum $50,000 fine, 10-year jail term or both.

She was arrested at Enfield on May 26, 2016 inside a blue Kia sedan that used flashing police-style lights to move through traffic. The car was being driven by Benjamin Michael Stacey, who was also charged over the incident.

Police seized the sword, a loaded air rifle and stolen tools from the vehicle, while Holland-Harris had both drugs and $4760 cash on her person.

In sentencing, Judge Stretton said Holland-Harris had a total of 12.35g of MDMA in various forms, including powder and tablets, and 5.34g of methamphetamine.

He said a subsequent search of her house yielded a further 48.5g of MDMA and 9.28g of methamphetamine.

Yes, that does show a certain level of humor.

People Unclear

This is number 27

Apparently there remain a number of people unclear. The recent allegations against Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore has raised the issue of sexual harassment perpetrated by people in power. Concern has apparently reached to the highest levels of our government. That is most strange, because I thought these concerns actually made it to the highest office in the land back in January. For now I will only consider what is going on in Congress, where the number of those unclear appears beyond scandalous.

Wednesday’s episode of ABC World News Tonight with David Muir has the story of current day treatment of congressional abuse. Unknown to me until now is that people working for Congress have largely been getting a pass on making  inappropriate passes. As disclosed in the news, congressmen and others of power are getting a discount ride. Here’s what you receive when you complain:

  • 30 days of counseling
  • Required to sign a non-disclosure agreement
  • 30 days mediation
  • 30 days cooling off period before you could take legal  action

How many ways are to spell “protect the powerful” are there left? A senator (for example) tries to hump an intern, supposedly a heterosexual hump, and she gets counseled 30 days—thirty days of somebody explaining to the person it may have been her fault? I can only imagine. Then the accuser has to agree not to take all this mess to the New York Times. Then 30 additional days dedicated to convince the accuser it may have been a harmless flirtation. Follow that by 30 days to consider the consequences of taking on a powerful member of Congress. Then you can sue. You can sue, that is, provided you have not already been beaten down by the process.

So, how is that working out? Not bad if you look at the statistics. The news report shows an average of 13 cases processed each year over the past 20 years. Seems to be working.

And cheap, too. Taxpayers have only had to shell out $16 million to shelter congressional misbehavior. My pocket is feeling lighter already.

Are some people still totally unclear? Apparently the breeze from Alabama has started to blow some of the smoke away, and clarity is coming. A proposed bill, which has to be passed by Congress and signed off by the Groper-in-Chief, would make that counseling and mediation rigmarole optional. Also the process would allow victims to complain anonymously. And wait… Here it comes. The guilty person would have to pay any awards to the victim. Is this a novel concept or what?

Can I hope some people are finally waking up? It’s time for me to see how long I can  hold my breath.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks.

Yes, at the first sign of trouble, what you need to do is whip out your trusty side arm and start blazing away. That’s the way to make sure the rest of your day is going to be interesting:

Three charged in shooting after Spencer talk

Three supporters of white nationalist Richard Spencer were arrested Thursday in connection with an incident in which a shot was fired.

Three supporters of white nationalist Richard Spencer were arrested Thursday in connection with a shooting, according to Gainesville police.

William Henry Fears, 30; Colton Gene Fears, 28; and Tyler Eugene Tenbrink, 28; were charged with attempted homicide and held in the Alachua County jail. Tenbrink was also charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon.

People, the Second Amendment gives you the right to keep and carry weapons. But what good is it if you never get a chance to open fire? Opportunity awaits. Use your imagination.

People Unclear

This is number 26

I’m catching the story from yesterday’s ABC World News Tonight with David Muir.

From ABC: “Trash and filth” “Inside hit job” “The Washington elite who wallow in the swamp.” It would appear the fun is not yet over. There is wallowing yet to come. We enjoyed former Alabama Judge Roy Stewart Moore for a number of years, even before I started chronicling his escapades here. From Wikipedia:

When Moore’s tenure as circuit judge began, he brought his wooden Ten Commandments plaque with him, hanging it on the walls of his courtroom behind his bench. Moore told the Montgomery Advertiser that his intention in hanging the plaque was to fill up the bare space on the courtroom walls and to indicate the importance of the Ten Commandments. He states that it was not his intention to generate controversy; still, as he told the Atlantic, he understood that the potential for controversy was there, but “I wanted to establish the moral foundation of our law.”

Yeah, that was just the start:

Soon others noticed the commandments, as well as Moore’s habit of opening court sessions with a prayer—a practice begun many years earlier by George Wallace when he was a circuit-court judge and not uncommon in the years since. In June of 1993 the local branch of the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court threatening to sue anyone who opened court with a prayer. Moore smelled a fight.

Moore parlayed the controversy into a successful election bid, and religious voters in Alabama kept up the momentum, supporting Moore as the representation of their values. Then came the matter of the Ten Commandments monument:

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended with pay after a judicial ethics commission ruled he brought his office “into disrepute” for defying a federal court order.

The commission filed formal charges against Moore on Friday for not removing his Ten Commandments monument from the state Judicial Building.

After being ousted from his position as  Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice for his misconduct, Moore obtained vindication from Alabama voters, who re-elected him to the post. Of course, nothing like legal niceties were bound to keep Judge Moore down:

An Alabama judicial oversight body on Friday filed a formal complaint against Roy S. Moore, the chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court, charging that he had “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority” in ordering the state’s probate judges to refuse applications for marriage licenses by same-sex couples.

So, once again Judge Roy Moore was out. But not down:

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore defeated Sen. Luther Strange in the state’s Senate Republican primary runoff election Tuesday, delivering a blow to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who backed the incumbent.

Moore advances to face Democratic nominee and former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones in the general election on Dec. 12.

The special election primary gained national prominence because of what was at stake: the political sway of Trump’s administration versus the base that helped him win the White House.

So now Judge Moore is on a roll, ordained by God, apparently, to take his version of sharia law to the United States Senate.

Oops! Not so fast.

It is true, dear readers. Judge Moore’s Christian ethic continues to dog his heels, threatening once again to drag him down. Moore’s earlier predilection for females of a young and tender kind is starting to bubble to the surface:

Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32

Oh, Dude! You didn’t know back then not to do this sort of thing if planned a future would require you to cotton to pesky social norms? Apparently not:

Beverly Young Nelson claimed that when she tried to leave a car that she was sharing with Roy Moore — who was then the District Attorney of Etowah County while she was 16 — he “reached over and locked it so I could not get out.” She then attempted to fight him off and yelled at him to stop, which prompted Moore to start “squeezing my neck attempting to force my head onto his crotch.” As she continued crying, he tried to rip her shirt off, she said.

“He forced my head onto his crotch,” Nelson said. “I continued to struggle. I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought he was going to rape me.”

Nelson claimed that Moore warned her that no one would believe her if she accused him because of his political power and her status as a minor. “You’re just a child and I am the district attorney,” she said. “If you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you.” Then he left her in the middle of a parking lot.

Beverly, it no longer matters whether people are going to believe a district attorney over a 14-year-old girl. They are not going to believe a senatorial  candidate, especially after he has worked his entire public life accumulating more baggage than even God allows.

To be brutal about it, I am divided over which I would rather see:

  • Judge Moore going down to defeat against a Democratic candidate
  • Judge Moore snagging a seat in the United States Senate, where he will be a humiliating embarrassment to the party that claims to be this country’s moral base.

Wait. Wait! There are others who seem to be as unclear as Roy Moore. There remain a few who are beyond embarrassing:

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, ran away from an ABC News reporter trying to ask him whether he believes Roy Moore or the women claiming Moore committed sexual misconduct against them.

Brooks was followed down a staircase on Capitol Hill and did not directly answer the question.

“I believe the Democrats will do great damage to our country,” the Huntsville congressman said. When the reporter asked again, Brooks replied: “I believe that the Democrats will do great damage to our country on a myriad of issues.”

“A myriad of issues.” Apparently one of them is not respect for the United States Congress.

Bad Movie Wednesday

One of a continuing series

The title of this movie is Metro. The reason for that is under investigation. This is a continuing celebration of films that came out in 1997, 20 years ago. It was a period in my life when I had absolutely no time for viewing movies, so I’m seeing this for the first time. As I write it’s being streamed on Hulu, hence the screen shots. Details are from Wikipedia.

Eddie Murphy hit it big in the 1980s, first as the brash crook sprung from the clink for 48 hours by Nick Nolte. Murphy became so famous at catching crooks that they did another 48 hours worth. With that warm up, they decided Murphy ought to be a real Beverly Hills cop, and they made three of those. I think the franchise is beginning to wind down with this one. This is classic Eddie Murphy, brash and hyperbolic and in this case devoid of cohesive plot. It works like this.

Now Murphy is Inspector Scott Roper of the San Francisco Police, and he is not so much a crime solver as he is a specialist—a highly-regarded hostage negotiator. When there’s a tight situation that calls for a steely assessment of the situation and rapid response, it’s Inspector Roper they call. Here he is arriving at the scene of a bank heist that’s gone wrong.

Yeah, Earl really screwed this up. He shot a guard, and police have him boxed in. He wants a getaway car and an airplane. Else he’s going to start killing  people.

Instead, Earl gets donuts plus some distraction, followed by a well-placed bullet from Officer Roper, which takes him down and into custody.

Next we see Roper waiting down below while his partner, Sam Baffert (Art Evans), goes to the apartment of a suspected jewelry store robber, Michael Korda (Michael Wincott). Oh, bad news. Korda is disarming and hits it off well with Sam, and Sam leaves, feeling it was a blind alley. But then we see Sam taking the elevator down, where Korda waits for him at the bottom and slashes him to death on the elevator.

This puts Roper in a bad mood, and he’s not finished with Korda. He shortly encounters Korda in a jewelry store robbery gone south, producing another hostage situation. This time Korda out-foxes the cops by shifting his ski mask to a hostage and making his getaway after a sniper shoots the hostage.

Much excitement and the prize for protracted chase and mayhem on a San Francisco cable car. Korda gets captured.

Now it’s Korda’s turn to be pissed, and he sends his cousin and partner in  crime, Clarence Teal (Paul Ben-Victor), to work some havoc on Roper’s main squeeze, the good-looking Veronica “Ronnie” Tate (Carmen Ejogo). Bad news. Roper gets there in the nick of time, saving Ronnie. Clarence gets struck and killed in the street by a car.

Korda is now maximum pissed, and he escapes from the clink on a path to revenge. And also to get back the jewels he stole, now locked in police evidence room.

Roper and Ronnie are preparing to take a vacation to Tahiti and lie naked on the beach (Ronnie thinks) and in the bed (Roper thinks). But Korda takes Ronnie hostage, and he wants the jewels back, else he has unpleasant plans for Ronnie.

Roper steals the jewels from the police lockup and teams with his sniper sidekick Kevin McCall (Michael Rapaport) to undo Korda’s plan. The swap is supposed to take place in an abandoned facility at what appears to be the decommissioned Mare Island Navy Shipyard. Korda has rigged a sadistic arrangement that has Ronnie strapped to a rotating platform featuring a cutting knife and also a switch, which Roper must keep his finger on, lest the platform rotate and send sweet Ronnie to the knife.

I’m not going to spoil it for you, but just suffice to say that McCall comes into action, Roper rescues Ronnie, and Korda meets a fiery end.

And there is no real plot. This is just an exercise meant to show off Murphy’s bold as brass persona and also to wreck a bunch of cars and fire off a ton of ammunition. The ending is unbelievably silly, as Roper and Ronnie finally make it to Tahiti and talk about going naked. We don’t get to see Ronny naked, but there are bare breasts. Sorry, Steve. There was not enough there to be worth posting.

Murphy’s acting streak continues, with Hong Kong Phooey to be released.

Ejogo is going strong, as well, although her performance here does not predict that. She excelled portraying Coretta Scott King in Boycott and Selma.

In this production Rapaport (not pictured) is cool, deadly, and bland. His career is on a tear, stretching from 1992 to the present. I have not seen him in any other films.

Dying to Believe

Some more of the same – 79

Another week, another Tuesday. It’s time for Jesus to call an innocent child back to his loving embrace:

Two members of an Oregon sect that believes in faith healing have been charged with murder in the death of their premature infant daughter. Sarah and Travis Mitchell, 24 and 21, have been under investigation since Sarah gave birth to twin girls at her grandparents’ home in March. The birth was attended by three midwives, church members, and family members. But when one of the twins, Gennifer, struggled to breathe, no one called 911. A church elder contacted the city’s medical examiner only after the baby died.

The Mitchells are members of a Christian sect called the Followers of Christ Church, which has a history of infant deaths. Adherents reject traditional medical care in favor of prayer, and believe that if a person dies, the death was God’s will. An Oregonian investigation in the late 1990s found that 21 of the 78 children in the church’s graveyard could have been saved by medical intervention. Sarah Mitchell’s own sister, Shannon Hickman, and her husband were found guilty of second-degree manslaughter in 2011 for the death of her infant son, who was born two months premature and weighed less than four pounds. The church, which is influenced by Pentecostalism, has about 1,000 members in Oregon and Idaho.

“If a person dies, the death was God’s will.” Now we know.

If a person sacrifices a child on the alter of stupidity, some jail time is due. No they know.

Stronger Than Dirt

Restating the obvious – 4

Recently I resumed posting on this topic. “Stronger than dirt” refers to an advertising campaign from the 1950s. There was a cleanser that was proposed to be “stronger than dirt.” Among a small group this slogan became a metaphor for a philosophy that was stronger than reason. Hopefully that answers any questions.

I received a comment from a reader named Reece. Follow the back-link to catch up on the history. Anyhow, Reece proposed to me why some of my statements regarding false statements and contradictions in the Bible were wrong. Along with his own thoughts, he included two links. Follow these, he proposed, and make an evaluation. The two links are here:

https://answersingenesis.org/contradictions-in-the-bible/scripture-index/

http://defendinginerrancy.com/bible-difficulties/

The first one leads to a page belonging to the Young Earth Creationist group Answers in Genesis (AiG), founded and currently led by Ken Ham. The second link leads to a site called Defending Inerrancy. Content of the two appears similar, but additional inspection may be required. I will start with the AiG link.

Their start page displays a table of links related to books of the Bible, starting with the Old Testament:

 

 

And so on. It may be that Ruth does not have any prominent contradictions. I opened the link to Genesis and came to this:

GENESIS 1:1—HOW CAN THE UNIVERSE HAVE A “BEGINNING” WHEN MODERN SCIENCE SAYS ENERGY IS ETERNAL?

PROBLEM: According to the First Law of Thermodynamics, “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.” If this is so, then the universe must be eternal, since it is made of indestructible energy. However, the Bible indicates that the universe had a “beginning” and did not exist before God “created” it (Gen. 1:1). Is this not a contradiction between the Bible and science?

SOLUTION: There is a conflict of opinion here, but no real factual contradiction. The factual evidence indicates that the universe is not eternal, but that it did have a beginning just as the Bible says. Several observations are relevant here.

First of all, the First Law of Thermodynamics is often misstated to the effect that energy “cannot be created.” However, science is based on observation, and statements such as “can” or “cannot” are not based on observation, but are dogmatic pronouncements. The First Law should be stated like this: “[So far as we can observe] the amount of actual energy in the universe remains constant.” That is, as far as we know, the actual amount of energy in the universe is not decreasing or increasing. Stated this way, the First Law makes no pronouncement whatsoever about where energy came from, or how long it has been here. Thus, it does not contradict the Genesis declaration that God created the universe.

There is more, so you need to go to the link. But first there are some problems with the above. Reference is made to the First Law of Thermodynamics along with a proposal it should be revised. But there is no need for revision. Natural laws are merely statements about what is observed in the natural world, and one of the things observed is that energy is conserved. That wording required some revision 112 years ago when Albert Einstein demonstrated that matter and energy are two manifestations of the same thing. It turns out that what we call energy has some critical properties of matter. Particularly, energy has gravity to the same extent as the equivalent mass.

Now AiG would want us to know that the Bible is right in predicting a finite Universe, contrary to what a simple understanding of the First Law would imply. Modern cosmology does hold for a finite Universe and a moment of creation of the Universe, but natural explanations are understood to be at the root of this origin. See a previous treatment of the topic.

Lest any readers remain puzzled after reading all the referenced material, it is considered the total energy in the Universe is exactly zero. The creation of the universe did not create new energy.

The AiG page goes further. That includes the following statement:

Second, another well-established scientific law is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It states that “the amount of usable energy in the universe is decreasing.”

This is not a precise statement of the Second Law, but I am not going to hammer AiG for this shortcoming. That is because when I reviewed text books for the state of Texas a few years ago, I had to point out the same issue appearing one of the books. A more precise statement of the Second Law would go something like this:

In a closed system the total entropy does not decrease.

For entropy you can read lack of usable energy if you want. The Second Law does not state usable energy must decrease. It only states it must not increase.

AiG is covering ground that modern science swept years ago. The argument they are attempting to make for Biblical inerrancy is empty. Genesis gives a time for creation (in its biblical context) of slightly more than 6000 years ago. Well grounded science has demonstrated this planet to be in excess of four billion years old. The Bible begins with an erroneous statement, and it never recovers.

In future posts I will address a few additional points from  AiG and then let the matter drop. Keep reading.

This is your President speaking.

Number 2 in a long series

We have this from the President of the United States:

Why would Suzie insult me by calling me “old,” when I would NEVER call her “short and fat?” Oh well, I try so hard to be her friend – and maybe someday that will happen!

Wait! There’s been a mix-up. While composing this post I accidentally picked up a tweet posted by Melissa Justin, a sophomore at Providence High School in the San Fernando Valley. My apologies. Here is the actual tweet from the President of the United States:

Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me “old,” when I would NEVER call him “short and fat?” Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!

You will agree that is much more Presidential. We can now be more comfortable with our choices from last November.