Murderers, Rapists, Child Molesters, And…

People who won’t tell you their name?

SERIOUSLY???

That is exactly what is happening in a Kangaroo Court in Keene, New Hampshire this week.

Here’s what happened: A facebook/twitter friend of mine went to court Monday to video tape the proceedings of another friend of his. It was below zero in New Hampshire that day, so he wore a hat, as the vast majority of body heat is lost through the head. A smart move.

But apparently it is illegal to wear a hat in a courtroom in Keene, New Hampshire – but you won’t find this written on any sign as you enter the building.

So my friend was arrested – even though moments later, a Keene Police Department officer was also wearing a hat in the same courtroom, without prosecution.

Because he had done nothing wrong, he refused to give the cops his name. Over the course of Monday night, they eventually learned his name, but he still refuses to voluntarily give it.

And because of that, the judge of this Kangaroo Court is putting a man in jail indefinitely, much the same as is done with terrorists. The man is currently sleeping in the same facility as murderers, rapists, child molesters, and the other scum of society who have actually harmed another – even though his only “crime” was choosing not to give his name when he was unjustly arrested.

For more information, please check out one of the sites he works with, Liberty On Tour, and please keep him and our entire justice system in your prayers.

This SHOULD NOT happen in America, and yet it is. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Christians And Terminators

One of the more talked about issues in Christendom is the “In the World, Not of the World” topic from Jesus’ prayer in John 17. In particular, the Georgia Baptist Convention twitter stream yesterday retweeted an update from a popular Christian author, Dr. Tony Evans that said:

A ship belongs in the water, but the water doesn’t belong in the ship. You are to be in the world, but the world should not be in you.

I don’t agree – at all.

Now, I’m not exactly sure how my brain made this next connection, but after thinking about it off and on for the past 24 hrs or so, I think it fits.

Skynet, as depicted in the Terminator mythos, is similar to how Christians see God in that it is a nearly all powerful, nearly omniscient, nearly omnipresent entity. SkyNet seeks to destroy humanity, God has both created and very nearly destroyed humanity on at least one occasion.

But that’s not the connection. The connection is the foot soldiers. Skynet has the Terminators, God has Christians – and there SHOULD be a degree of similarity here. You see, SkyNet sees humans as evil, and so it seeks to purge evil from the world. Similarly, God sees a fallen Creation, and works to purge the evil from the Created in order to bring the Created back to Him.

Here’s where it starts to get interesting, at least to me:

SkyNet’s early models were the 101s. These were the Terminators with no skin, just gleaming chrome. They could be spotted a mile away and (relatively) easily defeated or avoided. These are the talibaptists and other “true believers” such as Evans. Because they are so blatant and so forceful, many non-Christians simply tune them out. Thus, the power of God is actually LIMITED by their overt display of it.

NExt Skynet came up with a series – not sure of its model number – that had a very plastic skin. Harder to detect than the 101s, but because the skin was so fake they didn’t get very close after the first couple of times they were seen. These are the people who spend their entire life in the Christian subculture and never really reach outside of it. They can make a difference, but because they are so wrapped up in their own little world, largely they don’t.

Then Skynet came up with the 850 series – the Arnold series. Realistic human skin, stinky breath, very hard to pick off without dogs, and even then the dogs had to be fairly close. They became one of Skynet’s more effective soldiers, and the Christian version is also one of God’s more effective soldiers. These are the people who live a “quiet” faith. People who everyone knows is a Christian, but who don’t have to have a massive neon sign that could be seen from the International Space Station. Non-Christians turn to these types during times of difficulty, acknowledging that these people seem to ride through the storms easier and asking them how they do it – thus giving these Christians one of the best openings available.

Ignoring the liquid metal 1000 and X series, Skynet finally came up with the Infiltrator series – Sam Worthington’s character in Terminator Salvation, though I personally prefer the series as depicted in SM Stirling’s T2 book trilogy. This particular model blended in so very well that it was almost impossible to detect – and because of this, it was able to get so close to John Connor himself that it very nearly ended the war. This model adapted to its environment and struck as it saw an opening, but worked to play its cards so that no one knew it was a Terminator until it was too late. In terms of this series, it was the ultimate assassin. In Christendom, these are the people you find at bars on Friday night. These are the smokers, the drinkers, the guys who like Katy Perry not just because she actually has decent music, but also because she’s hot and they’re not afraid to admit it. Outwardly, in many ways you cannot tell them apart from the “world” at all. And yet because of this, they can interact with the world on a level the 101s could only dream of.

I say Christians would be most effective in either of these last two roles. By quietly living your faith and having interests outside of Christians and the Church, you can relate more to people who never even step foot on church property, much less in the door.

Getting back to Dr. Evan’s point: He’s flat out wrong. If you take an ocean voyage, you BETTER make sure you put water in that ship, or you’re in for a world of hurt. The difference is that the water in the ship is fundamentally different from the water the ship rides through – the water inside the ship is fresh water. Living water. The water on the outside will only make you thirsty and sick.

Christians by our very nature are different from the world we live in. But if we REALLY want to make a difference in that world, we’ve got to get out of the boat and mix with the salt water. We can provide a freshness that will at least make the salt water slightly better, and in the process we may actually remove some salt completely.

If we stay in the boat, we will get to the destination – and completely FAIL our one mission given by our Savior. If we seek to be Christ-like, we MUST follow his lead: We MUST get out of the boat and sacrifice everything we are in order to reach the one lost lamb.

We MUST take our water outside the ship, and we MUST bring the outside water into the ship.

Meet The Fashion Police

Earlier today, a Facebook/twitter friend of mine, Pete Eyre, was arrested in New Hampshire, the so called “Free State”, where the State Motto is “Live Free or Die”. Pete came to my attention through his work with the MotorHomeDiaries, and has continued that work with LibertyOnTour, among other projects.

His offense?

He wore a “Don’t Tread On Me” hat in the courtroom.

From what I have been told, this rule was posted NOWHERE, and in fact there is a photo from the same courtroom minutes after Pete had been arrested showing a cop wearing a hat in the exact same courtroom.

Here’s the video:

Please check out CopBlock.org/FreePete and FreePete.org, and spread the awareness of this illegal arrest. They have a Facebook/twitter avatar you can adopt (as I have) and ask that you use the twitter hashtag #FreePete to keep track of the discussion. IF you are so inclined, those two sites also have contact information for the local constabulary and judicial systems, and are asking that you express your polite displeasure at this injustice in the most persistent manner you can.

Let’s get Pete where he belongs – out promoting Liberty in everything he does. Not behind bars in a cage because he dared commit a fashion faux pas.

As an added bonus, check out this video a Republican Liberty Caucus friend sent me:

I Can’t Focus On My Porn With All This Sex Going On Around Me!

Tonya and I went to see Ashton Kutcher/ Natalie Portman flick No Strings Attached today for my birthday, and I gotta say, it was pretty good.

Here’s the YouTube Trailer to refresh your memories:

Overall, the trailer is fairly accurate as to what to expect. The humor is largely verbal/situational, with a few funny fight scenes (primarily the scene in the trailer at the light park) and implied gags. The overall plot is basically that Kutcher is a screen writer assistant trying to break into full time staff, Portman is an intern working 80 hours a week, but they’ve run into each other a few times over the years – the first time when they were 14 years old at camp and Kutcher asked Portman if he could finger her one night. Kutcher gets burned in a relationship, and decides to call every single girl in his phone until someone agrees to have sex with him. He blacks out and wakes up at Portman’s – the scene that dominates the trailer with the Indian, the blonde, the gay guy, and Portman, and the rest is history. Couple of romantic comedy conceits in that they have a great time, run into trouble – Portman’s refusal to allow herself to be in a relationship – break up, and get back together by the time the credits roll.

So don’t expect a mind-blowing movie, but if you’re looking for a solid date night movie with the wife/girlfriend, this one really is pretty solid.

And while there’s no toplessness in the movie (other than Kutcher, who has several moments of being completely bare assed), there are enough flimsy tops/ see thru bras to make every male watching it feel like a 13 year old boy again.

Oh, and the title of this post? It is in the trailer, but when I heard it I leaned over and told Tonya “line of the movie”. It really was that good in context.

I Am Not Extreme

Another excellent Facebook note by my friend John Jay Myers, a former Congressional Candidate in 2010.

Libertarians are not extreme. In fact by most people’s definitions we would be extremely moderate. Of course most Libertarians would say that saying this damages our street cred. But let me explain.

I think that the idea of taking our money and giving it to the banks is extreme. I think the idea of taking our money and giving it to the car companies is extreme. I think the idea of taking our money and giving it to insurance companies so they can continue to jack up health care costs is extreme.

I think that spending a trillion dollars a year to be the world’s police is extreme when regardless of what you think of our foreign policy, we simply can’t afford it. And considering our war on terror actually creates more terror than it stops, it seems….. extremely…………………….extreme.

I think it’s extreme that we know that our society safety net, medicare, social security, etc… has over 30 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities , and is unsustainable, yet we continue to pursue these types of social programs when the facts clearly show that these programs do more to increase prices on health care and do nothing to alleviate poverty.

So we have forced people to have insurance, in order to be able to afford health care, which benefits the insurance companies and special interests but clearly does not benefit the average American. You can look at it as a micro-manager and say we must be able to afford insurance, but that would be EXTREME because common sense tells you to isolate the root of the problem and it is obviously government’s involvement that has made health care unaffordable.

Telling people what they can grow, or put in their body, or how to regulate their diet…. is extreme.

The idea that the government is going to tell you who you can or can not marry, or what religion you should or should not practice is extreme when neither is government’s business.

Libertarians aren’t extreme………our government is extreme.

Northway Church, Macon Ga

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but Tonya and I are getting ready to move to Macon to be (MUCH) closer to my job. There’s a few reasons there, both on her end and mine, and maybe I’ll discuss those later. But anyways, we’ve been apartment hunting up there for the past month or so, and found one complex we REALLY liked, so we put in some initial paperwork on it and hopefully we’ll hear back in a month or so. The place is in pretty much the perfect spot – right off 475 on Zebulon Road, barely half a dozen miles away from my office off Eisenhower and in an area I’m known to frequent for lunch anyway.

But I’ll discuss that more later, once we know more definitively that is where we’ll be.

One of the things about moving that is always difficult for me is finding a church I can fit into. When I came to Albany, I was lucky enough that the closest church to me was a GREAT fit – Gillionville Baptist. In the 6 months I spent in Warner Robins, never really found one (to be fair, quite a few of those weekends, particularly the later ones, were spent in Leesburg or occasionally Cartersville). Living in Leesburg the last few years, there are a few that have elements that are GREAT, but none that I really fit with. We’ve got the church Tonya grew up in, Leesburg First Baptist, that has all of the things I grew up with in a typical Southern Baptist Church – including virtually everything I actively try to stay away from. We’ve got the church whose senior pastor is a good friend of mine, Connections and Doug Rea, but whose style just isn’t something I’m comfortable with. Maybe I should have been there testing my boundaries, and I have NOTHING bad to say about them, but their worship style is TOO genuine for me. I’m the door keeper, and these guys REALLY get the wonders of being all the way in. As the poem says, I genuinely admire them for it, but my place is simply closer to the door. (Ok, I fully admit I’m struggling here. Connections is quite possibly the single most genuine group of Christians I have ever known, so explaining why I could never execute there is difficult. Moving on.)

Getting back to the point, and beginning to turn this post in the direction of its title 400 words in, I’ve been casually looking at the churches in Macon, using both personal observations of what church is located where, Google Maps, and SBC.net’s Church Finder.

One that I didn’t have to look too far for – it is literally right down the (very short) road from the complex Tonya and I plan to move into – is Northway. I’ll be honest here – their facility is pretty massive. Nowhere near First Baptist Woodstock, but easily the size of Cartersville’s Tabernacle Baptist or the new facility for Cartersville First Baptist (not the First Baptist in downtown I grew up with, but their new place out near Dellinger). Typically when I see a facility that size, I move on. I tend to like (somewhat) smaller churches, and honestly one way of thinking for me is that a massive facility requires a massive amount of money just to upkeep, and maybe that money could be better spent in other areas actually working with people to further the cause of Christ.

Regardless, because Northway is easily within walking distance of the complex, I wanted to give it a serious look, if anything was available online. It turns out they DO have a website, and I’ve spent the better part of the past couple of hours checking it out. One thing that caught my eye initially was that they are starting a new series this coming Sunday called “When Bad Christians Happen to Good People”, and the images clearly indicate this is at least in part about the Westboro Baptist idiots. The pastor is relatively young – looks to be maybe early 30s, which is in my experience fairly young for a church this size (about 600 people apparently), with two small kids (a nearly 2 yr old daughter and a 5 month old son).

But I actually watched one of the sermons they have online, and I’m posting it below. Its just one sermon, but it is a sermon that *I* could have preached. Needless to say, he has my attention. Will this be where we ultimately wind up? Who knows. But I do intend to at least visit there a couple of times once we get moved up there.

Here’s the link to the video. (Couldn’t get it to embed properly)
FINALmcn1_3.flv

Did Your Sign Change? Mine Did.

I went from negative to positive 😀

No, not really.

I’m talking about the news that came out recently that apparently, the astrological signs we’ve all been using have been out of date for at least a millenium or so, and now they’ve been updated.

Tonya remains a Virgo.

Me, I got confused. All my life, I’ve been an Aquarius. Which, based on this wikipedia entry, is reasonably accurate.

Apparently now I’m either a Capricorn or a Sagittarius.

If I choose Capricorn, that means this astrology thing is complete bunk, because I’m nothing like what that wikipedia entry describes for Capricorn.

If I choose Sagittarius, there may yet be something to this astrology thing, because once again, the wikipedia entry found here would be reasonably accurate.

Indeed, most accurate would probably be to blend Sagittarius and Aquarius, per the above wikipedia entry.

Ok, so I couldn’t figure out a way to say “this wikipedia entry” in another different way. Oh well.

So what are you, and does that wikipedia entry have any semblance of accuracy?

Friend’s New Blog

Kira Willis started a new blog this week, and I encourage y’all to check it out.

As she says,

As one who has never really been a joiner, I was (am?) reluctant to start writing about my musings and such. I mean, how exciting can one person be, really? I’m not famous except to my kids and dog; I’m not setting the academic world on fire, except that I am a teacher; and I am not a political pundit, except for the time I ran for state office. So, really, how interesting could this blog really be?
But here’s the deal. I have great material. I have a husband who makes me laugh every day and children who make me laugh multiple times a day. The dog even cracks me up. This means that either my sense of humor is way off, or they really are funny. I’m going to go with them being funny. My take on their adventures may be a little bit different than many moms’ takes, but I guess that’s where this blog comes in.

Seriously – go check it out.

What are you still doing here? Go!

Elections As Fundraisers

Earlier today, the AJC’s James Salzer came out with a report with the headline “GOP ends year with massive cash advantage”.

The report contained this little nugget:

The party reports followed the trend of much of the past decade: the state GOP raises more money and has more money in the bank most years.

Allow me to explain that little nugget, or at least one component of it, and tie it to the title I chose for this post:

I believe most people would agree with me that the GOP has clearly been running a LOT of candidates over the past decade. Indeed, within the past decade, the GOP has taken over the State Senate, the State House, every Statewide Constitutional Office, and – I believe – a majority of partisan local elected offices. You don’t do that without running at least that many candidates, and the GOP has had candidates that have lost their elections, leaving a Democrat in office (or, in rare circumstances this decade, allowing a Democrat to replace the Republican).

Why is this significant?

Because if you dive into Chapter 21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and examine Chapter 2, Article 131, you will find that per subsections (b) and (c) of this code section, at least 50% of a candidate’s qualifying fees to right back to the Party they qualified with. In other words, let’s say the filing fee for Governor is $5,000 – which is fairly close. That means that for every Governor candidate that files to run as a Republican, the Republican Party of Georgia gets a $2,500 kickback. Similarly, if the qualifying fee for County Commissioner is $200 (and I have no idea what the fees are at that level, just throwing out a number), for every single candidate that decides to run for County Commission as a Republican, the local Republican Party gets a $100 kickback.

The remaining 50% goes to the appropriate elections supervisor “to be applied to the cost of holding the election”.

Right now we’re under a MASSIVE budget crunch – $1.2 BILLION, at a low end, at the State level alone. And yet we allow the political parties of this State to treat something so important as an election as nothing more than a fundraiser for themselves, even though it is costing both State and local offices MILLIONS of dollars to run these elections?

My friends, this should not be!

I have written this bill in an attempt to correct this wrong. You’ll notice that ALL this bill does is direct that 100% of the filing fees paid by candidates go to the appropriate elections supervisor to pay for the cost of the election. This means that when this bill passes, two things will happen:

1) Elections supervisors – including the Secretary of State’s office – will have twice as much money coming in from candidate filing fees, which means their budgets can be reduced by a corresponding amount from the general budgets of the appropriate governing body. This will save the State at LEAST $50,000 every four years in Statewide candidate filing fees alone – and that is assuming that only one Party submits a candidate in each of those ten races. A more likely number for Secretary of State’s office savings can be conservatively calculated as follows:

There are 238 members of the General Assembly, each with a 2 year term and a $400 filing fee. This means $800 over 4 years, and even assuming that every single candidate runs unopposed, that is $800 x 238 = $190,400.

A conservative estimate for the average Statewide office filing fee is $2,500. There are the following offices: 5 PSC Commissioners, Governor, Lt Governor, Secretary of State, Superintendent of Schools, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Agriculture Commissioner, Labor Commissioner. 13 x $2500 = $32,500

I’m not sure how US Congress/US Senate races fit in here, so for a conservative estimate I will not include them.

Even without DC-based elected offices, we have a conservative estimate of $222,900 over 4 years, or $55,725 per year – and remember, this is double the current amount.

2) No longer could political parties use the single most important aspect of being an American citizen as a fundraiser to further their own private agendas. No longer would a candidate running on a platform of reforming his Party be forced to pay a kickback to the very Establishment he is seeking to overturn. No longer would a Party be tainted by accepting the money of a candidate it didn’t really like to begin with.

No longer would our elections be sold.

Michael Badnarik Gives a Strong Dose of Truth To the Libertarian Party

Badnarik was before my time in the LP – an entire Presidential cycle before. When he was the man the LP put in the Bush/Kerry 2004 race, I was still on my journey that would eventually lead me to the LP, but still had me where many of the “tea party” crowd currently is: pissed off at the GOP, but still thinking it could be reformed.

With that said, his words in this speech, in May 2010, ring all too true. Far too many in this Party would want to form a circular firing squad over differences that when compared to our differences with the Democrats and Republicans are miniscule at best. These are the experts at turning ant hills into Mt. Everest.