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Thursday, November 27, 2008

We've got Democrats in the Congress once again

A Post Campaign Song
(Tune: We've Got Franklin D. Roosevelt Back Again - 1936, Bill Cox)


Just hand me my old banjo,
For pretty soon I can go,
Back to dear old Washington far away.
Since Obama's been elected,
We'll not be neglected.
We've got Democrats in the Congress once again.
Once again, once again,
We've got Democrats in the Congress once again.
Since Obama’s been elected,
The Economy’s been corrected.
We've got bucketfuls of money pouring in.

We’ll take ourselves a little toke
We’ll eat our veggies till we choke.
The diet cops will watch us night and day.
You can tell a dirty joke.
Fornicate, but you can’t smoke.
We've got Democrats in the Congress once again.
Once again, once again,
We've got Democrats in the Congress once again.
Rush Limbaugh will be buried.
Gay folks can all get married.
We've got Democrats in the Congress once again.

No more mortgages to pay.
The donkey won election day.
No more workin’ in the blowing, snow and rain.
Security is watching us.
We’re all riding on the bus.
We've got Democrats in the Congress once again.
Once again, once again,
We've got Democrats in the Congress once again.
Since Obama’s now above us,
The whole world’s gonna love us.
We’re gonna all be just as poor as them.

...Poor as them, poor as them
We're gonna all be just as poor as them.
And if you're not a socialist
You're name is on the enemy's list
We've got Democrats in the Congress once again.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Banjos, Social Networking and Brains

Every human being is an interplay of intelligences. IQ tests measures verbal and math intelligence. There are arguably 5 other types of "intelligence" found in humans and a person can be a genius in one area and significantly impaired in another (we've all known people like that - and I include self-knowledge here).

The Seven Intelligence Domains are (sort of):

1. Verbal / linguistic (writing ability & wordsmithing - authors, journalists, poets, editors)
2. Mathematical / logical (physicists, statisticians, scientists, engineers)
3. Musical (musicians, sound engineers, composers)
4. Visual / Spatial (artistic ability - painter, architects, designers)
5. Physical (bodily or kinesthetic intelligence - athletes, craftsmen, surgeons)
6. Interpersonal (social talent – being good with other people - salesmen, teachers, lawyers, negotiators, diplomats)
7. Intrapersonal (capacity for self-analysis and the ability to examine your own behavior - planners, leaders, CEO's, gurus and religious leaders)

Recently, the Banjo Hangout forum (of which I am a member in regularly threatened standing) ran a thread profiling the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventories of BHO members - many of who were surprisingly anxious to post their test results on the Internet for all to see. The MB divides your personality into 4 opposing personality factors. The test identifies your 4 most dominant traits. The the factors can change from time to time if you're close to even on any of the paired factors. This trip, mine was ENTP. Sometimes it's INTJ.
 
I would venture to suggest that the interplay of the four factors (introversion vs extroversion, Intuition vs Sensing, Thinking vs Feeling, Judging vs Perceiving) may be an artifact of the dominance of the various aspects of intelligence. On this forum there are those who are truly musical geniuses (intelligence #3) who "get" the music in a way others of us (myself included) never will. My wife is one of those. She has perfect pitch, hears when the music is right and has the ability to obsess over a song until it sounds like it's supposed to. It took me two years of training my ear before I could even "hear" well enough to tune my guitar. The musically intelligent post new arrangements, new songs and instrumentals. They obsess over getting the rhythm, the tone, the timbre of the music just right.

I look at posts on the BHO and also see "technical" players whose ability comes through high levels of physical intelligence (intelligence #5), a keen sense of body movement through space, manual dexterity and stamina. They can become excellent technical artists, but without a corresponding high level of musical intelligence, they never quite get the feel of the music like those with true musical intelligence. The musical geniuses can tell the difference between the musical genius and the mere technician. I can't. I have to take their word for it. Musical geniuses get very frustrated with me. I'm satisfied with a lot less technical prowess - I'm just happy if they'll let me bang along in the background and don't hit me with a whiskey bottle to put me out of their misery. The technical players play too fast for me to keep up.

There are those who are more interested in the instruments themselves and constantly fiddle with them (intelligence #4). They are artists and craftsmen and approach playing like that. Their blogs are more about how a particular banjo configuration sounds, how they set it up or how they inlayed the mother of pearl than they are about the music.
There are the mathematicians (#2) who'd rather argue about musical theory, what's legitimately Clawhammer or Scruggs-Style. They love the theoretical. They quantify everything. It makes them happy.

The members with high levels of interpersonal social intelligence (#6) are the guys that network constantly, their posting numbers on the forums are astronomical and they have 2000 friends. It's not what they say, it's how they say it that's important. The banjo is a tool for hooking up socially. The dark side of this group are those who become forum moderators and spend their time figuring out who's violating the rules and how to keep them in line. The even darker side are those who manipulate relationships for their own purposes and who torment the moderators.

The ones with intrapersonal intelligence folks (#7) are the guys that are busily writing poetry and discussing the details of their personal lives with remarkable energy. They are more concerned about what they think than they are about what anyone else thinks. They understand themselves pretty well. They may not understand anyone else though and they may not eve care to.

The ones with high verbal intelligence (#1) are the shade tree humorists, writers, bloggers and song parody writers. They love words. They love using words to get what they want done. They type fast and write constantly. They too dabble in poetry, but their verse tends to be less about April and dawn and sighing and more often dryly funny or critical or acerbic. Words are their tools, not their children.
What is nifty is how well this intellectual soup works out. Facebook does this less well than the Banjo Hangout, but better than MySpace does. MySpace has so dropped it's controls that the place has become bogged down - like the borders of a swamp. Pages load slowly and garbage fills up everyone's pages.

Our new Virtual-Village project is modeled on the BHO design. We hope to keep it simple and pleasant to use and to make it a tool for folks who have all sorts of styles of thought and communication. It promises to be an interesting project. Hope to see many of you there as members. We're going to do some really fun and interesting things there.
http://virtual-village.org.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God


Physicists don't like coincidences. So says a recent article in "Discover Magazine On-line.*" Apparently one of the coincidences making them very uncomfortable is recent evidence that indicates that life is somehow central to the way the universe functions.

For more than a century, scientists have rested comfortably in the idea that life in this universe is the result of one big old accident. Recent discoveries, however, are forcing scientists - physicists in particular - out of their comfort zone. It appears that life, after all, may not be just some cosmic accident, an accidental byproduct of a random mixture of chemicals, heat and the odd lightning bolt – here today and gone tomorrow as the universe goes.

“In some strange sense, it appears that we are not adapted to the universe;” says the Discover article. “The universe is adapted to us.”

So, as Christians, who have long been made fun of for believing that same idea - do we get to start jumping up and down and singing “Nanny, nanny, boo, boo! We told you so!” I mean after all, it seems that the biggest problem in physics is now that the universe looks like it may not be accidental at all, but, in fact, may be designed for us.

Should we gloat? Of course not. It would be ungracious. Satisfying, but ungracious.

It's a really tough problem for modern science. If you accept what scientists have been observing about the universe lately, there are only two possible explanations:
There is a benevolent creator who designed the universe specifically to support life.
There are multiple universes – so many that one of them accidentally has all the characteristics necessary to supports life (sort of like the old postulate that if millions of monkeys randomly banged away at millions of typewriters long enough, one day, quite by accident, one of them would type up War & Peace).
Here are some of the facts that lead to what is for physicists such an awkwardly narrow pair of choices:
  • If you change even small things about the universe and life cannot exist. If, for instance, at the atomic level, the mass of electrons is doubled or the strength of the interaction between protons and electrons is altered by even a small amount, life would literally disappear. The Discover article points out that there are three space dimensions and one time dimension? If we had four space dimensions and one time dimension, then planetary systems would be unstable and our version of life would be impossible. If we had two space dimensions and one time dimension, we'd be flatter than a sheet of paper and again, life would not exist.
  • Brandon Carter, a physicist at Cambridge proposed the idea that the universe was made just for us—the so-called anthropic principle—in 1973. The anthropic principle asserts that the laws of physics themselves are biased toward life. Renowned physicist, Freeman Dyson, who is by no means a creationist, goes so far as to say that if we accept the strong anthropic principle then it looks like “the universe knew we were coming.”
  • Matter clumping: If matter was more evenly distributed in the universe, it wouldn’t have bunched up to create planets, stars and galaxies. If it had been clumpier, everything would have piled up into massive black holes where life is impossible. Like Goldilocks with the porridge bowls, apparently this universe was selected to support life because matter is just lumpy enough and not too lumpy, just hot enough and not too hot, which brings us to our next “problem” for physicists.
  • Uniform temperatures: Oddly enough, the temperature of space is 2.7 degrees Celsius above absolute zero everywhere astronomers have looked. According to the original Big Bang theory, temperatures should be more random. If the universe has been cooling since the Big Bang, different widely separated regions of the universe would have had to exchange heat like ice cubes in a glass of tea. But since according to Einstein, nothing—including heat—can travel faster than the speed of light, then according to the conventional theory there hasn’t been enough time for that to happen. Exchanging heat, even at the speed of light, there hasn’t been enough time for the universe to achieve even temperatures everywhere and yet everywhere the temperature is the same.
  • In 1998 researchers found that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Theoretically, they expected the expansion of the universe to be slowing down and eventually stop altogether and then for the universe to actually begin collapsing in upon itself. Instead there is apparently some unknown “force that is built into the fabric of space and time that is pushing everything apart. For want of a better name, physicists are calling it dark energy. I call it "The Goldilocks Constant". What’s even more incredible for those who believe in random chance and chaos, the amount of energy is exactly enough to accelerate expansion, but not so much that it would cause the universe to rip itself apart. The amount of this so-called dark energy is coincidentally exactly right to allow for the existence of stars and planets and life. Nobel prize winner Dr. Steven Weinberg at the University of Texas*, says, “This is the one fine-tuning that seems to be extreme, far beyond what you could imagine just having to accept as a mere accident.”
So far the only acceptable conclusion physicists have formulated is that there are multiple universes and that this one accidentally won the cosmic crap shoot and precisely works the way it needs to in order to support life. The multiverse theory is impossibly complex. For many physicists, the multiverse remains a desperate measure, ruled out by the impossibility of confirmation. Scientists have held out hope in recent advances in string theory for a solution to the problem, but a 2000 study at the University of California at Berkeley* calculated that the basic equations of string theory have an astronomical number of different possible solutions; so many in fact that the theory could never be proved right or wrong.

The unacceptable conclusion - the idea that there is a Creator who designed the universe to foster life and who is pushing the universe’s boundaries ever outward - is one science is not prepared to accept. So much for scientific objectivity. There is a scientific principle known as Occam’s Razor, formulated by a 14th century English logician and friar. Paraphrased it states, “"All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best."

So given all the evidence, of the two solutions, an astronomical number of universes or a universe designed to support life by a creator, which seems simplest to you?

Easy answer if you happen to know the Creator personally.

Just one man’s observation.

Tom King
Flint, TX

* http://discovermagazine.com/2008/dec/10-sciences-alternative-to-an-intelligent-creator

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Men are from Mars, Women Think We're Illegal Aliens.


I took an interesting test today. You can take it too, just click on this link and it will take you to the test.

Find something you've written that's around 500 words - anything will do. Cut and paste it into the box on the website and the software will guess whether you're male or female. It's pretty accurate. It says I was predominantly male in my communication style - a manly man of letters so to speak. Who can argue with that!

Standard fare in any comedian's routine are jokes about the husband/wife communications gap. There's evidently scientific evidence now that women do indeed use a different communication style than men.

Duh!

Any man who's ever lived with a woman for more than a week could tell you that one! Over my 34 years of marriage I've had arguments with my wife about such earth-shaking issues such as which way is 'front' and which is 'back', what's the definition of "clean", is it moral to do the laundry just to please her rather than because you "want to", whether your son "needs" the $150 Nikes that all the other kids have and over whether or not I talk too much in social situations.

In those years I have learned the following: "Back" is whichever way she says it is and has no relation to any logic that I can figure out, "clean" is about 10 more minutes of scrubbing than I'm willing to do, laundry should only be done if you love to do laundry, that the kid needs the shoes - money is immaterial when your child is being shamed at school and that nobody wants to hear my opinion anyway.

The French are not my favorite culture, but they have a saying that fits here. "Vive la difference." I think that's how it's spelled anyway. I agree. Hooray for the difference. Sometimes, I think, the best way to communicate with someone who doesn't think the same way you do is to find something you like about them and talk about that and don't worry about the rest of it. There are some things like shoes and laundry that just aren't worth arguing over.

Just one man's (probably wrong) opinion...

Tom King

Friday, November 07, 2008

I Hear the Tramp of Jack Boots?


Anybody hear the tramp of jack booted feet? The clip below shows that our new president has the intention of creating an internal security force with the power of the military to keep an eye on things here in America.



Oddly, the day after Obama was elected, the CIA launched a massive campaign on the radio - here in East Texas at least - recruiting new CIA members. I also hear that the FBI has launched a major recruiting campaign at high school and college job fairs in the last couple of days. Could they be recruiting for the new "internal security force" already?

I think folks smell a rat. Gun sales jumped by 30% in the past month around here. One Dallas gun shop reportedly sold a million dollars worth of inventory in just the past few days. Wednesday, I dropped by a gun shop and found 20 cars in the parking lot. The place was jammed. I was there for 15 minutes and saw two AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifles go out the door. Women were picking up 45's and shotguns. It was the same at every gun shop I visited.

Obama's "security force" frightens me. What are they for? We need something stronger than our police? The FBI isn't tough enough? Can we trust that such a security force will be open to scrutiny by common folk. Will the media keep track to make sure they don't abuse the frightening level of power they will possess? The military is a powerful force. That's why we keep them on bases and don't let them drive tanks and assault vehicles up and down the streets of our towns. An internal security force promises to bring military firepower into our communities 24/7, not just when the president calls them out for disasters and riots. What laws are they going to be enforcing? Will anyone be watching? The media perhaps?

That's an important question, especially in light of recent comments by folks like Chris Matthews who said his job as a "journalist" was now to insure that Obama's was a successful presidency. How he would accomplish that was something he didn't go into in the interview, but since a journalist only has the power to shape the news, I would suppose that it is this kind of support that Matthews is offering to the next administration, not something he ever offered to the Bush administration.

I no longer trust the media to tell the truth about what the left is doing in this country. After 8 years of an Alice in Wonderland / down-the-rabbit-hole journey that we've been led on by the media and the Democrats working hand in hand, I've learned that all that the media tells us is not what it seems. They are perfectly capable of slanting the news in any direction they wish and calling it objective reporting. Keith Olbermann's, MSNBC's liberal attack dog, considers himself an objective journalist AND NO ONE IN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA IS CHALLENGING THAT. And don't tell me Fox Cable News shills for the Republicans because even the University eggheads don't consider Fox Cable to be mainstream. When they do their studies about "the media" they don't include Fox or CNN in the reckoning.

A recent George Mason University study showed that the 6 o'clock news guys were totally in the can for Obama in this past election. The most balanced of all the evening news guys according to the study? Here's a shock - Brit Hume for Fox Network news had the closest to evenly balanced coverage of all the network guys according to the professor. Anybody who watched the coverage of this election is not surprised. I imagine the mainstream media power brokers all had to smoke a cigarette after the election was called for Obama Tuesday night. It was a collective orgasm for liberals in America.

The point is, the media, who are supposed to be looking out for us have chosen a side. Look what they've accomplished in the past 8 years:

1. They pinned the downfall of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae on Republicans despite the fact that it was Republicans who years ago called for tighter regulation of both institutions or a disaster was coming. They were hooted down by the Dems and the media. Don't believe me, let's roll tape:

.

Or this one:



AND YET ALL YOU HEAR IS THAT IT WAS BUSH'S FAILED POLICIES THAT LED TO THIS DISASTER.

2. They pinned President Bush with having failed in Iraq despite the fact that Al Quaeda in Iraq has been reduced from a 25,000 man terrorist force to practically zero. The last stronghold was taken down by Iraqi and American forces this past week in a battle that received no mainstream media coverage (it might have helped McCain, so it wasn't covered). The media pulled out of reporting in Iraq when it became clear that the surge worked, the country was settled down, they had met most of their target goals and they were ready for us to begin pulling out. If that had happened under Obama, there would have been dancing in the streets. Bush only got more criticism and branded a liar.

3. They managed to trash Sarah Palin without being criticised as sexist, despite using almost cliche' sexist reporting accusing her of being an adultress, shopaholic, dim-witted, inexperienced and ill-informed. Imagine if they'd used that against a liberal female candidate. The howling in Ramah would have been a thing to behold. Here's Sarah explaining the "shopaholic" thing:



Let me just add right here (Go Palin/Thompson 2012)


4. They managed to fragment the conservative wing of the Republican party by first trashing one and then the other of the conservatives in the race. They witheld coverage from some, called into question candidate's religion, morality and associations - a thing they NEVER did with Obama. As a result of the fracturing of the primary process, the Republicans finally nominated a candidate that it's base didn't want. The convinced dim-bulb Republican leaders that the media just loved John McCain. Democrats convinced these guys that lots of them would go over to McCain because he was such a bi-partisan guy. Once they had this straw candidate set up, then they went at him hammer and tongs to knock him back down and surprise - he lost the election! Anybody got a Marlboro?

There's more, but let's just say we can't trust them to observe and report even if it means our liberty. The leftist media seems quite content to become Pravda and we can look forward to a future of reporting that makes the Orwellian world of 1984 look like a documentary - "Our Glorious Leader Obama: The Early Years".

We've always been strong in this country because somebody was watching the government for us. The founding fathers didn't trust government. They were right not to. Sadly, now we can't even trust the guys who are supposed to be watching the government for us. And if the Fairness Doctrine rises from its grave, we'll see that process accelerated.

I'm just sayin'

Tom

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Did God Pick the President?

Interesting comment from a friend yesterday. "If Obama is the president, it must be God's will." He went on to explain how Obama's election was probably designed to "heal the wounds of slavery."

How about that? Do we believe everything that happens in this world is God's will.

How about Hitler's rise to power? Six million dead Jews? Was that God's will?

Joseph Stalin's takeover in the Soviet Union? 16 million dead Russians? How about that?

The firstborn of Israel slaughtered by Pharoah? Surely that was God's idea?

I like Bible stories for good moral-of-the-story kind of examples. To escape the famine in Canaan, God made sure Joseph was in a position to set up a refuge for His children there in Egypt. Trouble is, when the famine was over, the Israelites decided to stick around since the pay scale in Egypt was way better than back in Caanan. So 400 years later, they're still in Egypt only the government has changed and they're now slaves. God's will?

I think not. Did God know it would happen? Yup! So why didn't he get a nicer Pharoah elected? I think it's because that's not what God does.

Clear back to the garden, God lets people choose what they do on their own. He knew all along that they would choose wrong a lot of the time. That's why the whole Jesus dying on the cross plan was put in place before he ever balled up some mud and blew in its nose. He knew we'd screw up, but like any parent, he loves us any way and would do anything for us - even die for us.

Lots of things happen that God doesn't ordain. If He did ordain everything, then He'd have a lot to answer for, but instead of waving His magic wand and making everything perfect, God let us choose for ourselves, screw up if we feel like we need to and then, when we ask him to, makes it come out all right in the end.

So the answer to the question is "No" God didn't pick the president. Ever once in a while he prods one wise and brave man into the breach when the walls have been broken down and the Huns are over-running the defenders. I think that happened in 1980. Maybe it'll happen in 2012. We'll see! The rest of the time we get whoever we're fool enough to elect.

Till then, it's comforting to know that Barak Hussein Obama is creating a new 250,000 man INTERNAL security force. I think they're recruiting already. In the past two days the CIA has been running recruitment ads on TV and the FBI has been hitting all the high schools and college job fairs. I've never seen that before. Think maybe they're expecting trouble?

Guess its about time to go take my paranoia meds.

"SOMA" Keeping the masses tranquil since 1984!

I'm just sayin'

Tom King

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Oh, The Big Obama Mountain

Mount Obama, Antigua
(formerly Boggy Peak)

DATELINE: Nov. 6, 2008 ST JOHN'S, Antigua - Antigua's prime minister wants to rename the island's highest mountain peak "Mount Obama" in honor of the U.S. president-elect. "Boggy Peak," as it is currently known, soars more than 1,300 feet over the island's southern point and serves as a transmission site for broadcast and telecommunication providers. It also is a popular hiking spot. Political analyst Avel Grant says the name change could draw more tourists to the island.

So, I wrote this song (with recent revisions)....


The Big Obama Mountain
(tune: Big Rock Candy Mountain)
by Tom King

1. Election Day as the sun went down and the stadium was lighted
    The mobs all shout with joy and tears, interviewees were delighted
    Oh I never thought I'd see this day, on Barak Hussein I'm countin'
    I know I won't have to work no more
                                                           ... in the Big Obama Mountain


Chorus:

In the Big Obama Mountain it's a land that's fair and bright
Where the handouts grow on bushes and you party every night
Oh the jingling of the keys in the Cadillac Trees
    and the mortgage bailout fountains
Where solar power blinks and my carbon footprint shrinks
                                                           ...in the Big Obama Mountains

2. In the Big Obama Mountains security's on its way!
    Dissenters wear 'lectronic tags and we'll take their guns away
   The radio waves are full of truth, Rush Limbaugh had to go
   Oh, I'm bound to do what the party says to
   When they tell you what kinda job to do
                                                            ... in the Big Obama Mountain


Chorus:


3. In the Big Obama Mountains you don't have to change your socks
    Well that's okay since you can buy none
                 cause they snapped shut Wal-Marts locks
    The bossmen have to tip their hats since the unions took command.
    Now our pay is higher and and we can't be fired
    But there ain't no job and we don't get hired,
                                                           ... in the Big Obama Mountain


Chorus:

4. In the Big Obama Mountain the jails are not for you
    But they keep the cells for those that cling to guns and religion too
   There ain't no Gideon's Bibles, we've been declared religion free
    Oh, I'm a goin' to stay where you sleep all day,
    Where there's love and peace and our health care's paid
                                                           ... in the Big Obama Mountain


Bridge:

Oh, I'll be happy and gay come election day in the Big Obama Mountain!

(c) 2010