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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Celebrating our Freedom.

We are coming up to the end of a ten-year fireworks display. Trillions of dollars have been sunk at the military-industrial complex's roadside fireworks stand, along with the costs of shipping 'em to the Middle East, and sending guys over to set them off tactically. All the booms and pretty sparky flashes, set off with one idea in mind: protecting our freedom! Or is it to punish them wot did 9/11? Or is it to spread Democracy? Or is it all bushwah?

The thought that our men and women are deployed in the most forsaken parts of the world "to protect our freedom" is Fourth of July speech rhetoric. Since the attacks of 9/11/2001, our own citizens are a good deal less free than they were before. We didn't have to endure cop-a-feel cops at the aerodrome, nor subject ourselves to ionising radiation if ticklish. This is one small (?) example. We can be listened-in-on, and the cops can break in without a warrant, if their reason is good enough (thanks, Indiana!). The question which must be asked: are you as free as you would like to be? Another question: given the diminution of your liberty, do you have a commensurate rise in security in your life? Do you feel safer now than on 9/10/2001?

If "protecting our freedom" is their stated task, I must conclude that our armed forces are doing a terrible job fulfilling their mission. If there are other things they are tasked with, that requires a different assessment. But our freedoms have taken a beating in the past decade, and all indications, at least to this Aardvark, are to bring our soldiers home. There is no clear objective in any theater of operations, unless the objective is to withdraw, as our Commander-in-Chief has announced. We have many service opportunities within - and on - our own borders, with no punishingly long supply routes. Protecting our Homeland would be the acme of Homeland Security, and there would be no need for O'bama's well-funded civilian security force. (I shall avoid any comments that would earn a tiresome "Godwin's Law" comment.)

As you enjoy your fireworks and hotdogs and homemade ice cream, as shall I, please pause to mourn our lost freedoms, and consider what you and I can do to restore them. Mull over the upcoming elections, and think HARD about who would work to maximise your freedoms (*hint* Big Government types need not apply, of any party.)

And don't stick a sparkler in your eye!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Just heard a caller-in on Noory's show fulminating over whether the Christian Right (should Bachmann, et al, gain supremacy in 2012) will be able to censor video games or (the real concern) ban internet porn.

I understand his worry. I mean, look how successful the Religious Right has been in most of their undertakings. You know, like getting Roe v. Wade overturned.

If I were that guy, I would be quaking in my boots.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Every few years, we discover that what God has provided, what He has instructed, what He has commanded isn't quite good enough.Seems God Himself discovers this, too, as He apparently re-invents Himself, worship, and whatever else is needful to make the church for whom Jesus died trendy, with-it, and other than what He had previously revealed.

Some years back the joy of the Lord present in the disciple's life was not sufficient, so whole worship services, whole revivals, were given over to "holy laughter". The Toronto Blessing became a worldwide kick; it was the thing, very trendy, real george to go to church and giggle like those in the Dying Houses on Norstrilia.

Now, it is apparently not enough to worship together, nor to meditate upon the Word, nor to pray and praise in God's presence on one's own. Now, we must soak. A Christendom that has all-but-abandoned baptism as taught by Jesus and Peter now must figuratively soak in the Ho-o-o-o-o-o-o-ly Spirit. We even have helps to enable this marination: worship CDs, with trance-like melodies and instrumental noodling, and apparent praying-in-the-Spirit. These help set the mood and usher you into the Presence emotionally ready for the experience.

Kind of like Cool Jazz used to put you in the mood for other things. As Gurney Halleck said "Mood's a thing for cattle and loveplay...."

The music I have heard is very "New-Agey", fluid stuff. Think "Enya" in Jesus' name.

I have not made a vast study of this. I have seen enough to recognise retooling, an attempt to fix what isn't broken, because the church, and worshiping our heavenly Father, always work, every time they are tried, as does playing Monopoly. You just have to do it by the rules, that is, in the way God set up simply.

Poor silly God, setting up the church two thousand years before the advent of the CD player. However did the church make it then? Or 'til now?

Friday, June 24, 2011

"This machine is powered by the soul of a forsaken child?

So, didja hear that Pepsi puts extract of aborted human fetuses in its diet drinks?

No, really...this is making the rounds. And it is true, in a first-cousin-once-removed kind of way. Which is to say not.

The actual story is more involved, yet discomfiting as well.

LARGO, Florida, May 26, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Scores of prolife groups are calling for a public boycott of food giant, PepsiCo, due to its partnership with Senomyx, a biotech company that uses aborted fetal cells in the research and development of artificial flavor enhancers.

LifeSiteNews previously reported on Senomyx’s partnership with major food corporations, most notably PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, and NestlĂ©.

Pro-life watchdog group, Children of God for Life (CGL), is now joined by major pro-life organizations calling upon the public to target PepsiCo in a boycott.

Pepsi is funding the research and development, and paying royalties to Senomyx, which uses HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney cells) to produce flavor enhancers for Pepsi beverages.

“Using isolated human taste receptors we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor,” says the Senomyx website.

“What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors,” stated Debi Vinnedge, President for CGL, the watch dog group that has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical products and cosmetics for years.

The aborted fetal cells are not in the product itself. However, “there are many options PepsiCo could be using instead of aborted fetal cells,” noted Vinnedge.

The revelation about Senomyx’s research techniques motivated Campbell Soup to sever all relations with Senomyx.

So, Senomyx is making sensors with chemical receptors derived from the HEK 293 line of embryonic cells to determine whether-or-not a flavorant or sweetener will cause the proper taste receptors to fire, making the end product yummy.

This reminds me of Dr. Venture's Dream Machine, built with part of an orphan child. His justification? "Well, I don’t know, I mean I didn’t use the whole thing!"

Personally I have a measure of difficulty with Pepsico products, now; and Kraft; and Nestle. Bah. All companies I like that have taken advantage of this soul-less technology. Operation Paperclip, anyone?

Monday, June 20, 2011

...aaaaaaaaaand it begins...

While I was in Knoxville at the Knoxville Comics and Anime Con, and doing well, thank you, the Voices of Reason abdicated their positions, and a pro-life group gave the Republican nominees (or the Red Faction, as Vox puts it) a Paper to sign, a pledge promising solemnly, and swearing on pain of having their livers cut out whilst staked out on the beach ohLordmyGodistherenohelpforthewidow'sson
*ahem* or somesuch that they would not ever, never hire anyone for their staffs who is not staunchly pro-life. Mitt Romney refused.

So did Herman Cain.

(Boos and hisses from the gallery)

Mitt has already disqualified himself with his dumb MassCare or whatever it's called. His lack of repentance is breathtaking in light of mainstream America's disfavor of O'bamaCare. His polls are down. Herman Cain, that champion of the FairTax (and yes, I've read the site and much of the forum kerfuffles. I still like it, and I liked the Linder/Boortz "comic book" as well. Color me naive, and a potato-eater.), Cain has refused to sign the pledge. A bouquet of rotted veg rockets from the cheap seats.

Pause with me as I present my curriculum vitae: I am pro-life. I have marched in Montgomery for an awesome Pro-Life bill that was overwhelmingly ignored (and there were more of us than were ever at a civil rights march!). I was media liaison for an area pro-life group for a time. I have prayed, spoken, and been earnestly pro-life. I even blog pro-life. I am so pro-life that I actually considered thinking about joining Operation Rescue, and decided that my best family ministry was ministering to my family whilst not in jail. I taught my children not to kill their unborn children. One has obeyed my teaching, for the others it has never become an issue. Bottom line: I am pro-life, even if I don't pray the rosary.

That said, allow me once again to tenderise the insensate equine. Abortion is not a political issue. It is one of the heart. I just wish that the Bible quoters would go beyond individual verses and instead perceive the gestalt of the gospel call. It is easy to wave a placard with

" 13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. " (Psalm 139:13-16 NIV)

It is easy to march, and hand out literature. It is harder to invest yourself in people's lives. It is harder to teach people the gospel, and that killing babies is less than God's best. It is harder to raise your children to do right. There are many who do that, and eternal huzzahs are due them. There are people who open their homes and pocketbooks to strangers to care for them through the pregnancy, and then provide an adoptive home for the baby. More huzzahs!!

The point is (going back to the gestalt thingie) that we are called as Christians to teach the Gospel, and live it. We have no command nor example to politicize issues like abortion. The clash of the Kingdom of God versus the kingdom of darkness occurs in the heart and mind, not in the streets. (insert West Side Story alley fight here).

Doing this political pledge is counterproductive. It could deny us the abolition of things like oppressive taxation, a clearly political issue. Mixing the gospel and politics is always a losing proposition...for the gospel. It requires admixture, adulteration, compromise. You spread the Gospel by teaching the Gospel, not trying to vote it in.

Caesar to Caesar, God to God.

Here endeth the lesson.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) will resign from Congress at the behest of Pres. O'bama, Nancy Pelosi, and many other Democratic worthies.

The day of his leave-taking should from henceforth be called "National Weiner Day".
The grilling of Oscar Meyers and Hebrew Nationals shall be de rigueur.

The Dread Dormomoo approved this message.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thursday, June 09, 2011

No Job Too Odd!

Our business motto is "No job too odd". Our spokesvark Stan is always getting in trouble in our radio ads because of this business model (click on the purple MP3 widget to the right). Now my bum has been bitten for the same reason. I have spent two days as a "consultant" with an area fabricating firm, helping them learn to screenprint on acrylic-coated metal, which is a hoot, because first I had to learn. We mixed ink, fiddled with art sizing, made three screens in a row, got it all to work yesterday evening, then were informed that there was better art than what we had been given to begin with. One more screen done overnight, and Riatsila and I went in today so I could print whilst he loaded and unloaded the makeshift press we were using. We finished the job within an hour, after a two-day learning curve.

Customer happy, paid us in stuff...pricey inky stuff that they bought before I came on board.

You just can't print effectively on metal with PVC t-shirt ink, even if it is silver!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Glenn Beck is trotting out the old reliable "Promised Land" mantra re: the Israelis. God promised them the land, therefore it is theirs. Palestinians need not apply. I can agree with the last bit...Palestinians are not a nation, they are a loose slurry of desert-dwelling hobos that has made itself odious wherever it dwelt. Arafat got them into the West Bank, where they have been an international thorn since.

The "God Promised" canard seems ready-made for any who wish to look at God's positive statements, and conveniently ignore covenant penalties. It is no mistake that Beck is allied with John Hagee, the dispy toad that has been flogging end-timey-wimey stuff for decades. Hagee is also a faith-walk proponent akin to the Copelands, and heir to the illogical positivism of that error.

Deuteronomy 28 is a goldmine for God's promises to the children of Israel, at least the first half.

1 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:
3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
4 “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
5 “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
7 “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
8 “The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
9 “The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. 10 Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. 14 So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

The second half clearly details God's promises of a calamitous sort, if Israel chose to disobey God's dictates. Here it is:

15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
16 “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.
17 “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
18 “Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
19 “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
20 “The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me. 21 The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. 22 The LORD will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. 24 The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.
25 “The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away. 27 The LORD will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. 28 The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. 29 And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you.
30 “You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall lie with her; you shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but shall not gather its grapes. 31 Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it; your donkey shall be violently taken away from before you, and shall not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have no one to rescue them. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all day long; and there shall be no strength in your hand. 33 A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually. 34 So you shall be driven mad because of the sight which your eyes see. 35 The LORD will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
36 “The LORD will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods—wood and stone. 37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the LORD will drive you.
38 “You shall carry much seed out to the field but gather little in, for the locust shall consume it. 39 You shall plant vineyards and tend them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olives shall drop off. 41 You shall beget sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours; for they shall go into captivity. 42 Locusts shall consume all your trees and the produce of your land.
43 “The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. 44 He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.
45 “Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendants forever.
47 “Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. 51 And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you.
52 “They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the LORD your God has given you. 53 You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you. 54 The sensitive and very refined man among you will be hostile toward his brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his children whom he leaves behind, 55 so that he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and sensitivity, will refuse[a] to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter, 57 her placenta which comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of everything in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates.
58 “If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, 59 then the LORD will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues—great and prolonged plagues—and serious and prolonged sicknesses. 60 Moreover He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. 61 Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the LORD bring upon you until you are destroyed. 62 You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven in multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God. 63 And it shall be, that just as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess.
64 “Then the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known—wood and stone. 65 And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. 66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. 67 In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see.
68 “And the LORD will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.

Kinda unplesant, yes? God is a bargain-making God, but He makes the bargain on His terms, being God and all. We can sign up, and all is peachy, but we are then signatory to the penalties as well as the blessings. Jesus reminded the Jews of their comeuppance in Matthew 23, which Hagee, et al, cannot understand was a warning to the people then hearing Jesus' words. How hard is "This generation" to understand? As a nation, the Jews rejected Yeshua ha Meschiach, and every vestige of their service to God was shattered. The Temple was destroyed in 70 AD. Without the Temple, there were no sacrifices, no holy place, no Holy of Holies. No bronze laver, no altar, no table of showbread, no lampstand.

No Ark of the Covenant.

When Jesus died, the veil separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the world was torn in two from top to bottom. Jesus' death in ~30AD did away with the need to sacrifice animals to cover sin.
God then gave the Jews 40 years to get with the new program. Some did, most didn't. 70 AD rolled around, Rome lay siege to Jerusalem, and when the Romans became disgusted at this:

. 53 You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you. 54 The sensitive and very refined man among you will be hostile toward his brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his children whom he leaves behind, 55 so that he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and sensitivity, will refuse[a] to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter, 57 her placenta which comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of everything in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates.

they said "ENOUGH!" and destroyed the place. No more Jewish religion, for there was no Temple. What passes for Judaism today is a hodge-podge of traditions and superstitions, mixed liberally with Torah. It is not what God set up.

The cheerleaders for Israel today don't get it. They live where they live by UN fiat, and like their Scriptural cherry-picking, they choose to say yea and amen to THAT UN declaration, while decrying all the rest.

Israel, and then Judah rejected their God and His ways. Covenentally, He has returned the favor. The secular state of Israel now lives in a hell of the UN's (and their own) making. All the "Courage" rallies Glenn Beck can muster will not change the Scriptures, nor God's mind.
Allow your Aardvark an addendum. Above is not an anti-Semitic tract. It is an anti-stupidity tract, aimed at the clueless pratings of the End-Timey-Wimey crowd, who see modern Israel as fulfillment of Biblical prophecies that have already been fulfilled in Christ, and who ignore God's promises of censure and sanction as surely as they cling to their Bible-Promise-Card theology of limitless blessing, with Jesus as Lord and Personal Valet.

As to the modern secular State of Israel, I am a fan. They have survived as a nation against all odds, and have been firm allies of the US (even whilst spying on us). I suspect that if Bebe Netanyahu chooses to ignore Obama's demands, and shrugs off the leash the US has used to control Israel, the Mid-East would soon be a safer place. On the other hand, if Obama continues in the role of Israel's Worst Enemy, he should start looking over his shoulder for Mossad agents.

Ultimately, it is not a safe thing to be an enemy of Israel.

Friday, June 03, 2011

It has been a huge couple of weeks. MobiCon was a record-setter for smaller SF cons, sales-wise. Part of the reason is their burgeoning anime track, with popular voice guests. Last weekend was Animazement in Raleigh, NC, again, a record-setter for sales at that particular con. The crew at AZ were unfailingly helpful, and put on an astonishing show. The dealer room was run very well, especially in that it appeared to this Aardvark that they had reduced the number of sellers there, which makes for happier remaining dealers. Rising tides floating all boats, and such. This is a key piece of wisdom missing at many larger and hoping-to-be-larger anime cons: more dealers does not really help anyone. The con-goers get frustrated with a multiplicity of dealers selling essentially the same stuff. The dealers get grumpy - and dealers can be a grumpy lot - when there is too much competition for a finite pool of money. Then the dealers grump at the con staff. Fun ensues.

The ideal situation is having a semi-juried room, with a couple of each type of merchandise mix for variety and a little competitive pricing. ACEN (Anime Central), the same weekend as MobiCon, was dreadful, with an overgrown dealer room with too many PVC figure dealers, too many t-shirt vendors, too many Pocky sellers...

Can there be too much Pocky?

ACEN typifies the worst in dealer room dynamics, unless it is the St. Louis show that places each type of dealer in its own ghetto...whole sections of 10-12 t-shirt sellers vying for your shekels. As super-cool and groovy as our designs are, they cannot stand up to the onslaught of dealer-room hypnosis induced in the buyers by endless vistas of the same kind of merchandise.

So there is the Aardvark's wisdom: limit dealers to a commodious mix of goods for the attendees, giving them enough but not too much. This is economics that works.

Bernanke needs to attend a good con. Oh, wait....