Monday, June 26, 2017

GEOGRAPHY 101

Perhaps this is just yet another example of the level of education in the USA.  I will guess that the folks responsible for this are some millennials who are proficient at all sorts of social media but are bereft of basic knowledge.  The original map appeared in USA Today, and needless to say, the received an abundance of grief and ridicule!  Deservedly.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

CHRISTIANITY TODAY?

http://www.imsoblesseddaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/follower-christ.jpg

This poem may rankle some folks, but I found it to be thought-provoking and truthful in many ways. The poem and comments can be found here.



THE EXODUS

by

Dave Barnhart



I have seen your religion, and I hate it.
I have heard your doctrine, and I loathe it.
Take away your empty praise songs,
your vacuous worshiptainment.
Your mouth is full of religious words,
but your proverbs are salted manure.


“The sick deserve to be sick.
The poor deserve to be poor.
The rich deserve to be rich.
The imprisoned deserve to be imprisoned.”
Because you never saw him sick, or poor, or in prison.


“If he had followed police instructions,
if he had minded the company he keeps,
he would not have been killed,”
You say in the hearing
of a man hanging on a cross
between two thieves.


“People who live good lives
do not have pre-existing conditions,” you say,
carving these words over the hospital door:
“Who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he was born blind?”


“It is the church’s job, not the government’s,”
say you fat sheep,
defending your fat shepherds,
shoving and butting with shoulders and horns,
while you foul the water,
grass,
and air,
and scatter the hungry sheep.


You watch the melting glaciers and say to the waves of the sea,
“this far shall you come, and no farther,”
as if your will could change the weather,
as if your will could be done in the heavens as it is on this earth,
as if you could drill the sky the way you drill the soil.


In your telling,
in the story of the starving of the five thousand,
there are not twelve baskets collected of left-over food;
In your story, God’s abundance becomes scarcity,
and the crowds devour each other.
“Send them into the villages to buy food,”
and let the Invisible Hand’s miracle of the free market sort them out,
the worthy from the unworthy,
while you eat the two fish and five pieces of bread
volunteered by a child.
These ungrateful poor,
the welfare queens
with their anchor babies,
stop before your disciples’ raised palms;
they hear you say,
“The Master cannot be bothered to bless your children.”


You see Hannah drunk,
and you jail her for fetal endangerment.


Like Haman, you hide behind the skirts of the king;
you make laws and pay bribes
that allow vigilante violence
and private discrimination
against those you hate,
sheltering underneath plausible deniability.
“It’s not a Muslim ban,” you say one day.
“It’s about religious liberty,” you say another.


This Bible you wave, this word you claim,
it is sharper than any two-edged sword.
You wield it poorly; it slices you on the backstroke.
You know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.
You tie up heavy yokes for others
whose burdens you do not bear,
but you will not lift a finger to help them.
To some you say, “Do not marry, but burn.”
You lock them out of the kingdom of God.
You cross sea and land for your missionary work,
and teach others to be as hateful as you.


Your kingdom is not the public park of Zechariah,
where children play in the streets
and old men and women lean on their canes for very age.
It is not the land where every fearless household
has its own vine and fig tree,
their own means of production and shade for their rest.
It is not the land where everyone has a home.
Your kingdom is the one with gates,
where homeless beggars have their sores licked by dogs,
where people who have the audacity to grow old
pay a premium for their insolence.
Like Ahab, you covet all the vines, all the fig trees,
letting your domain stretch as far as your eye can see,
adding house to house and field to field
until, in your gentrified land
there is room for no one but you and yours.
Like Pharaoh, you call those who refuse you “Lazy, lazy.”
You build walls, and walls, and walls, and walls,
and you stuff your ears to the sound of protest songs
that will shake those walls down.


I have seen your christ, and he is my antichrist.
He is the herald of a violent god,
a god of fertility but not fruitfulness,
a god of embryos but not emancipation, pro-birth and anti-life,
a god of war and retribution but not of justice,
a god of order but not of peace,
a god of might but not of mercy,
a god of marriage but not of love,
a god of sex but not of pleasure,
a god of platitudes but not of wisdom,
a god of work but not of sabbath,
a god who demands sacrifice from the poor but luxury and reward for Pharaoh.


Your religion is the religion of pyramids pointed heavenwards,
towers built to reach the heavens.
Supported by their flat base, built by slave labor,
they are stable monuments to wealth and death.
You fill their secret rooms with gold so that
in the afterlife,
you may cross to paradise
on the backs of the oppressed,
and live in forgetful pleasure for eternity.
Your gilded gospel is rusty ruin.


You are why the ancient Hebrews
seldom talked about an afterlife,
weary as they were of working
for Egypt’s dead heaven.
Your idols and your religion
are why those slaves left the yoke of heaven,
the land of binding,
for a wide wilderness,
for a nameless, faceless God
who told them they—even they—
were made in God’s image.
You are why your churches are empty
of those who love and believe in freedom.
You are why the Gentiles blaspheme the name of God.
You are the reason for the Exodus.


And if you pursue, may God throw you into the sea.
And the horse you rode in on.


References:
Amos 5:21-24
Luke 14:34-35
Matthew 25:31-46
Luke 23:33
John 9:1-12
Ezekiel 34
Job 38:11
Matthew 13:14-21
Matthew 19:13-15
1 Samuel 1:12-20
Esther 3:8-11
Hebrews 4:12
Matthew 22:9
Matthew 23:13-26
1 Corinthians 7:9
Zechariah 8:4
Micah 4:4
Isaiah 65:21-25
Luke 16:19-31
1 Kings 21
Isaiah 5:8
Exodus 5:17
Joshua 6
Genesis 11:1-9
Exodus 15:21

Friday, May 26, 2017

ISLAMOPHOBIA?

I think not.  What most of us worry about are the crazies of any stripe who believe that it is their duty to kill those who do not believe as they do or disobey their "law".  And it seems clear to me that Islam has a much higher percentage of adherents who believe that murder is their calling, bringing honor and glory to their prophet, god and themselves.  I copy below a recent comment by reader BES, and simply say hear, hear.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE:

Since this string of postings, we've seen sustained, if not elevated European terror attacks, now being met with sympathy for the nation of islam and fears that it may be offended by any accusatory remarks. “Islamaphobia” is suddenly part of the auto-response lexicon.

This, in spite of the fact that the islamic state claims responsibility for these actions. Tons of hypocrisy outpouring from every corner, including elitist celebrities who espouse "peace, love and no walls" spewed from...behind fortified walls.

Bear in mind that 90% of terrorism is muslim on muslim. But that ranks up there with the ubiquitous Vietnam body counts we heard on the CBS nightly news. I have tried, unsuccessfully in the past, to engage any muslims on their rank and file silence over the wholesale slaughter of non-believers. Crickets.

My college roommate, also a journalist by trade, recently did a Ted Talk on what we’re all really selling these days: Hope and Fear. Hope for something better, vs. Fearing something worse. In the case of islam, it’s entirely fear based. Fear of not going to heaven. Fear of irking allah. Fear of being stoned, beheaded or maimed for the slightest infraction. The irony of putting Saudi Arabia on the human rights panel at the UN does not escape me.

Is it any wonder that a handful of ruthless barbarians, barely armed, can blow into any sandbox on abandoned American military vehicles, terrorize the populace into submission, leave and return only to find them just as submissive? That is fear at the cult level. Is islam nothing more than a deranged cult?

My fear is that when we finally wake up and realize religion is not a race and we’re not racists for opposing a fear based cult that has openly and repeatedly declared war on all non-believers, it will be too late. Orlandos and San Bernardinos will be our new normal. Those events were just the demo. The full feature is due out any moment.

We were told decades ago who the enemy is and advised to prepare. But we didn’t. Too distracted by bread and circuses. And marshaled forward on decades of bad and failed foreign policy. Also, the irony of refugees fleeing bombed out cities and countries, seeking better conditions…would only appear to be more savages seeking intact buildings and fresh victims to destroy. Any guesses as to why a significant portion of refugees seem to be men of fighting age, 18-34?

Good fences make good neighbors. Just like solid doors make restful nights.
 

Monday, May 22, 2017

SUFCO MINE - UTAH

We have made the Denver-LA trek quite a few times, taking I-70 and I-15.  Each time that we pass through central Utah, I would note a sudden appearance of these trucks on the Interstate 70:

http://www.barneytrucking.com/Content/Equipment.jpg

It took me a while to figure out that the BT was for Barney Trucking, and that the trucks were making their appearance around the Convulsion Road interchange east of Salina, UT.  Since it wasn't clear what they were trucking, I got on Google Maps to see if there was any evidence of mining in the area.  I thought that maybe there would be open pit mining of some sort, but none showed up.  However, there was a marker for the Sufco  Mine.  Turns out that the Sufco is a huge underground coal mine, and the trucks were carrying coal west to power plants.  Here is the blurb from the Sufco web site:

The Sufco mine, which derives its name from its former owner, Southern Utah Fuel Co is one of the longest continuously running and most productive underground longwall mines in the U.S. It has been in continuous operation since 1941, initially as a room-and-pillar coal mine and since 1985 as a high-performance longwall operation.
 
The Sufco mining complex is located in Sevier County, UT approximately 30 miles north east of Salina, UT and 125 miles south of Salt Lake City, UT. It is located in the Blackhawk Formation in the Wasatch Plateau coalfield in which eight coal beds have been identified that contain coal seams more than seven feet thick.

Sufco has longwall and continuous miner reserves in the Upper Hiawatha and Lower Hiawatha seams in which it produces high-BTU, low-sulfur, compliance thermal coal.

http://bowieresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/sufcoSM.jpg 
 
 https://www.ogm.utah.gov/coal/images/C0410002/004.jpg
https://cbsdallas.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/494291517.jpg?w=594&h=360&crop=1

 https://st.depositphotos.com/1183609/2482/i/950/depositphotos_24825539-stock-photo-coal-extraction-coal-mine-excavator.jpg

http://www1.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Central+Utah+Anchors+State+Coal+Mining+Industry+xJorIJ8AifOl.jpg 
http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=_wyodiYwwtgrXMKG33F41s$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYstZyOC7W6nHt7GippzP43$WCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_CryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg
 




Friday, May 19, 2017

MALIBU'S PINK LADY

Whenever we head out on a road trip, I see things that I should write about; so it's time to catch up a bit.  Here's something I did not see, but it's a legend around Malibu.  We often drive through the tunnel and it is easy to see where the painting was, and how difficult it must have been to paint.  A large picture of the Lady graces one of the wall at a local pub, Tavern One on PCH.

http://a.scpr.org/i/1bcb54c4adee2dc4de033896e9111d0e/149330-full.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/8d/a2/4a/8da24a6c1c6ef8d244400f8767c489aa.jpg


The Pink Lady was a short-lived painting on a rock face near Malibu, California in 1966. The painting was created by Lynne Seemayer (1936-2017), a paralegal from Northridge, California and depicted a 60-foot (18m) tall, nude woman in a running position.  

The painting was located on the rock face above the southern entrance of the tunnel on Malibu Canyon Road near Malibu. For some time, the rock face above the tunnel had been covered with graffiti, which Seemayer felt was "an eyesore". Working at night, she began removing the graffiti in January 1966, using ropes to suspend herself in front of the rock. When the rock was clean, she created the painting on the night of Friday, October 28, 1966.

By November 1, the painting had begun to attract local news coverage. It was dubbed the "Pink Lady" by the media, due to the pink paint used for the skin. Los Angeles County road officials, concerned about traffic problems the painting might cause, attempted to remove it with high-pressure spray from fire hoses, and then with paint stripper However, Seemayer had used heavy-duty house paint for her creation, and both methods failed to remove it.

When she realized that her work was in danger, Seemayer publicly admitted to creating the Pink Lady, and sought a court injunction. This failed, however, and on November 3 a road crew covered the painting with brown paint.

Seemayer sued the county for $1,000,000 for the destruction of her work, and the county counter-sued for $28,000 in removal costs. Since the painting was on private property, both cases were dismissed by the court. For some time after the painting was removed, Seemayer received hate mail and phone calls from people who felt the work was obscene, including threats of violence against her and her children. She also received a few offers from art galleries to show her work.
The image was used as a wine label.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WAGON WHEEL

Feel free to crank it up and sing along!


Heading down south to the land of the pines
I'm thumbing my way into North Caroline
Staring up the road and pray to God I see headlights
I made it down the coast in seventeen hours
Picking me a bouquet of dogwood flowers
And I'm a-hopin' for Raleigh, I can see my baby tonight
 
So rock me momma like a wagon wheel
Rock me momma any way you feel
Hey, momma rock me
Rock me momma like the wind and the rain
Rock me momma like a south bound train
Hey, momma rock me
 
I'm running from the cold up in New England
I was born to be a fiddler in an old time string band
My baby plays a guitar, I pick a banjo now
Oh, north country winters keep a-getting me down
Lost my money playing poker so I had to leave town
But I ain't turning back to living that old life no more
 
So rock me momma like a wagon wheel
Rock me momma any way you feel
Hey, momma rock me
Hey, rock me momma like the wind and the rain
Rock me momma like a south bound train
Hey, momma rock me
 
Walkin' to the south out of Roanoke
Caught a trucker out of Philly had a nice long toke
But he's a heading west from the Cumberland gap
To Johnson City, Tennessee
And I gotta get a move on before the sun
I hear my baby calling my name and I know that she's the only one
 
And if I die in Raleigh at least I will die free
 
So rock me momma like a wagon wheel
Rock me momma any way you feel
Hey, momma rock me
Oh, rock me momma like the wind and the rain
Rock me momma like a south bound train
Hey momma rock me
 
Oh, so rock me momma like a wagon wheel
Rock me momma any way you feel
Hey, momma rock me (mama rock me, mama rock me)
Rock me momma like the wind and the rain
Rock me momma like a south bound train

Hey, ey yeah momma rock me (you can rock me, rock me)
 
Songwriters: Bob Dylan / Jay Secor