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Saturday, May 30, 2009

needs a
Dabo girl!

Your Aardvark with Chase Masterson, of Star Trek DS9 fame. A sweet lady, who does jazz as well. I am at Wrath of Con this weekend, warehousing shirts.

The term for small, intimate sci-fi cons is "relaxacon". I dub this one a "comacon", but one with an impressive guest list. Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Jerry Doyle B-5's Mr. Garibaldi), Andrea Thompson (B-5's Talia Winters), Chase, John Billingsley (Enterprise's Dr. Phlox) and his wife, Bonita Friedericy. A friendly lot. J.G. Hertzler, the Klingon Chancellor Martok from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is a personable soul, and actually bought our "KlingON-apply directly to the forehead" shirt. He HAD to have it! Yaaaay! Tim Russ, (Voyager's "Tuvok) is here, looking older but good!

My buddy Starbase Atlanta's Herb McCaulla is a fellow huckster, here. Fellow fan and now publisher Tim Riley is here. I see a CAO or Macanudo in the offing!

I'm glad there are so many old pals here, 'cause camaraderie is all I'm gettin' out of this one.

And no, Vidad, she won't be at G-fest. All you get is a guy in a green rubber suit.
The perception of point-of-view offers a new dimension in understanding behavior.

Could that sound any more boring?

A Certain anime voice actor, Vic Mignogna - who is also a music minister at his church - catches a great deal of grief on the more Belial-oriented web forums. He is openly Christian, and offers a "chapel service" on Sunday mornings at anime conventions, a voluntary get-together for believers who wish a church service away from home. A sweet young miss of my acquaintance took umbrage upon hearing that he had said at one such meeting that someone might go to hell., Now, I know this artist, and have been to a couple of the meetings, and have never heard a tart utterance in his presentations, himself making a case for reconciliation with God through Christ. Now, if I go to a happenin' dance club, I do not get offended by the techno beat, because I expect it in that context. If you go to an as-advertised Christian meeting, you should not be surprised or offended by hearing Christian ideas.

Now, if I am a marathon runner, and upon approaching a treacherous mountain path, a man with a light baton starts waving wildly and shouting that if I continue on that path, I will fall to my doom because the bridge is out, I can either 1) be thankful that he cared enough for me to warn of the impending peril, or 2) I can get angry that he interrupted what I was doing, and tried to force his wacky ideas on me. Number one is my only reasonable response.

In Christian teaching, we have the concept of a loving Father God, who sent his very Son to be born a human, who taught us how to live lovingly, and was killed for his trouble. His death atoned for, paid the blood-price for our sins, and through faith in and obedience to Jesus Christ, we are reconciled to God, and to one another. But God is a gentleman, and does not force himself upon anyone. If we do not wish His company, we may go elsewhere. That is hell. It is the ultimate in Choice. So, if a Christian perceives that you may not have chosen company with God, and recognises the alternative, he is caring for you, showing you love by warning you of the consequences of your choice. That is his point-of-view, that is his motivation. Eternity in God's company, or a gnawing eternity of regret. One should always make informed choices.

I do not discount that there are hateful people (*cough*Westboro) who buttress their own insecurities and self-righteousness by verbally consigning people whose actions they do not like to Eternal Grilling. Their motivation and message are both horribly flawed. It is not their job to punch anyone's ticket. Judgment is above their pay grade. But the committed Christian believer is commanded to point the way to the Father, and to warn of the alternative. Each is a side of the same doctrinal coin. Whether YOU agree or not, please recognise that the major motivations are care and loving concern for you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lying Liars and the Imbeciles Who Vote for Them

Dear Varksters, I have been remiss in maintaining my efforts here. We are still percolating along with our business, with record-breaking sales at the anime conventions, and excellent local biz as well, for which we are profoundly thankful. Busy-ness abounds.

Policy people in Washington DC are looking at VAT or a National Sales Tax to goose the flagging income of the givemint.

Please read the piece. Also, please note that the FairTax is prominently not mentioned. The Europhiles are wanting to ADD additional taxes to the income tax, and all the extant invisible taxes we are so blessed with. The FairTax will disband the IRS, repeal the Sixteenth Amendment which established the income tax, and set up a national retail sales tax which will be offset by the reduction in retail prices due to the embedded hidden taxes disappearing in retail goods. You keep your earnings: no witholding, no FICA. You just pay a tax that YOU control by your spending habits. Please read the FairTax info linked above.

This is NOT what the Washington wonks are discussing. They want to ADD a VAT or sales tax to all the rest of the taxes we are burdened with, but I'll bet you credits to Navy beans that they will wrap it in FairTax clothing. It will be a dodge, and a lie; in other words, SOP.

PUSH the FairTax locally, to your friends, write and email your representatives, and teach them this is the ONLY national sales tax to consider. If you value your income, and the financial future of our children, don't be fooled by the liars who spend money to look good for re-election, and forget that it is YOUR money they are spending.

Friday, May 15, 2009

...and then I'm driving to Mobile for MobiCon, with a LOT of thinking time, and beaucoups of ideas for the blog come to mind. Many, many cogent and pithy remarks on The Human Condition, The Whole State of Christ's Church, and How Pocky Just Isn't Special Anymore.

None of which come to mind now.

The predations of, if not age, then sheer busy-ness, drives the best ideas away over sadly brief periods of time. Perhaps I should carry an actually useful version of those digital recorders the TV box flogs to an ever-senescent population; I do need one that can carry more than "Butter...eggs...milk...." I refuse to nod with obvious satisfaction as I listen to the replay of my prior thoughts and instructions.

I am in the second phase of my BPH trials. I have a bum full of the Real Deal this time: three shots of Whateverol to reduce testosterone production, and so shrink the prostate. Side effects are lethargy, a tendency toward flash depression, decreased libido (hmmm...could there be a connexion?) and oddly enough, hair-trigger anger. The pluses are freer ability to urinate, ability to sleep through the night without having to get up and go, like that. There must be a better methodology.

Isn't Transparency a hoot ?

Saturday, May 09, 2009


I repent in dust and ashes. Srsly.

J.J.Abrams and company have dood it, and well. The new Trek movie is a hit, even without a James Horner score, he said waggishly. I shan't do spoilers as the movie is brand-new, but suffice it to say, the proto-crew of the indomitable USS Enterprise is as close to spot-on as I can imagine without a bunch of Trekkie impressionists doing the job. The actors caught the spirit of Kirk, Spock, Scotty and all, without scenery-chewing and mugging. You can begin to see the James Tiberius Kirk ot TOS fame in Pine's portrayal, and I did not see a speck of Sylar in Spock. The io9 crowd complained about Simon Pegg apparently beaming in his portrayal, and appearing to be in a different movie than everyone else. Pish and tosh. Pfui, even. Other expostulations as required. Simon Pegg is Scotty a-borning..

This movie even has Deep Roy. How keen is that?

I have devised a Star Trek movie drinking game. Every time you see a lens flare, you take a drink of a Potent Potable. Sadly, you will not last beyond the first 30 minutes without acute alcohol poisoning. It is a bright and sparkly film, except for the dark bits.

I have only one quibble, and it's not huge, and dammit, I'm a screenprinter, not an engineer, but you don't build a starship in Iowa or wherever. You build it in geostationary orbit above Iowa, or wherever. (BTW, Carl Urban is a great "Bones" McCoy.)

If you are a Trek fan, go and wallow in the Trekness. If you are not, go and enjoy a ripping action movie, with some old friends you didn't know you had.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Y'know, I'm increasingly of the opinion that most Christians are pansies (and I am a believer). We read of a Savior who stilled the seas with a word, and who told the storm "BE MUZZLED!" and got results; then we hear a bad weather report and close up shop. "There are bad storms rolling in from the West! We have to close the Event!!" We SAY we believe, but our belief seems not to extend beyond the comfort of our pews. Rather than stand with the faithful and pray in faith, expecting God to be faithful, we fold like Chinese cardboard in a drizzle.

If we do not behave like we believe God is faithful to His Word (and faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God - Romans 10:17 ), then the world can derive no other "truth" than that espoused by Mark Twain: "Faith is believin' what you know ain't so." .

"But..but...but...It's a liability issue!" God forbid that the young ones see anything about the faith that is outside their current experience, or their comfort zone. The churches surely would not want to be liable if the young faithful were to be censured in the public square, or jailed for teaching an unpopular Biblical truth to a hostile society. Let's teach them "Jesus loves me, this I know...", and how to get in out of the rain. That'll be enough. Their atheist college professors will surely respect that.

Liability? That sounds like you would expect fellow believers to sue you in court, even though Paul explicitly said not to, and shamed the litigious Corinthians for doing so. What? Christians doing what the Bible says not to?

The faith is about daring , daring to believe God, no matter what, daring to take the unpopular stand just because God says. The First Century church dared the weather, robbers, being stoned by enemies, dared the condemnation of religious leaders, and the very might of Rome to proclaim and live the Gospel. Two thousand years later, the American church dares...to be safe.

The Glutting of America

"In my day", he began in a crotchety tone, "we had one meal every three weeks! Di'n't hurt us none...." Here he trailed off as drool began to collect on his bib.

When I was in college, doing environmental studies things, I developed an intense loathing for McDonalds. The idea of perfectly good burgers being thrown away after a few minutes incensed me to no end, especially as there were the Poor and the Homeless to be fed. Vacuum-sealing the older burgers and having the homeless shelter pick 'em up seemed a perfectly reasonable solution to me. Of course, all the other burger mills do the same thing, tossing out perfectly good food after X minutes in the name of Quality Control.

At the same time that BK or Micky-Dee's are tossing food into the trash, they are feeding overstuffed Americans a cheap diet of fat-infused potatoes, fatty burger 'n' bun combos, and syrupy soft drinks. Oh, and apple sticks, with caramel dipping goo. That makes it a healthy, balanced meal.

Cap'n D's, has a new product line: Biscuit-battered fish and shrimp. Not merely breaded; biscuit-ized, and served with white flour and grease-based sawmill gravy. And mashed potatoes. You CAN order green beans....So, you get fried biscuit dough coated fish, over which you pour peppery biscuit-goo, with a side of green be...no, I can't even say it.

We have a world filled with the hungry, some even in our country, yet we have ad campaigns like the above "Fourthmeal" abomination. People who may get a single poor meal a day are rife on the planet (primarily due to the unrighteousness of their ostensible leaders), yet we have advertisements here that tout "the meal between dinner and breakfast". Three meals are not enough in America. A single hunger pang at 10PM, and hey, presto, FOURTHMEAL!

In 1983, a spinoff of M*A*S*H, AfterM*A*S*H featured Klinger's Korean wife Soon-Lee. One of the amusing bits featured her being taken to a restaurant, where she refers to the appetizer as "the meal before the meal". Very apt. When I was a kid, desserts were sparse...one serving,as were snacks. Three Oreos and milk.
Now, who stops at five or six cookies? We get peckish, and eat a half-a-bag of chips. At Tuscaloosa last weekend, I was amazed at the number of buffet restaurants. There was one called "Buffet City". The ad writes itself:

"It's not just a Buffet...IT'S A CITY!!!! "

Look at the people walking down the street. How many are reasonably proportioned?
How many look like the poster child for Golden Corral? ( I say this as more grocer-than-burglar-like, meself.)

The unrestrained appetite of Americans for food food FOOD is troubling, and seems symptomatic of a general emptiness...lack of quality relationships, meaningful work, creativity, community. We try to fill the God-shaped hole with all sorts of other things; why not Twinkies amd Big Macs?


Friday, May 01, 2009

The Obamster states:

We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old--and that's the criterion by which I'll be selecting my judges."

Of the Choosing of Supreme Court Justices:

"Now, the process of selecting someone to replace Justice (David) Souter is among my most serious responsibilities as president, so I will seek somebody with a sharp and independent mind and a record of excellence and integrity. I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook; it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation. I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes. I will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limits of the judicial role. I will seek somebody who shares my respect for constitutional values on which this nation was founded and who brings a thoughtful understanding of how to apply them in our time."

The law is now a matter of feelings. What was a profession of dispassion, is now being redefined as a realm of the touchy-feely. This brings to mind the things the Scriptures say about the poor and governance.

If a king judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever. Proverbs 29:14

He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty. 22:16

One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed. Proverbs 19:17

Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 10:4

Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Psalm 82:3

The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, The wicked does not understand such concern. Proverbs 29:7

Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear Is a wicked ruler over a poor people. Proverbs 28:15

[Commandment to kings.] Open your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. Prov. 31:8

A useful investigation would be to see how MUCH the Scriptures have to say regarding our responsibilities to the poor, as well as their own responsibility. But unlike the Administration's revelation, God's way does not revolve around feelings, but around purposeful action. And God does not call on governments to do the Good...he calls on the king to act, personally and he calls on the people to act, personally.

He does not call on the King to pick the people's pockets and give it to the poor. Whenever a left-leaning politician begins to talk about "justice", he is really talking about robbing the "rich" to give to the "poor".