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Archive for May, 2017

Nye_UndeniableIn recent years, Bill Nye has become something of an icon with the humanist, progressive, environmentalist, social justice warrior crowd.

As a result of his popular children’s science show in the 1990s, he may even be thought of as a sort of Millennial version of Mr. Rogers, a trusted fatherly figure who would never lead his followers astray.

But unlike Mr. Rogers – yeah, I’m a Gen-Xer who grew up on Mr. Rogers and Captain Kangaroo – Bill Nye has gone full social justice warrior in his later years, pushing not only evolution, but the climate change and LGBTQ agendas as well.

Nye has been particularly active in recent years having penned Bill Nye’s Comic History of the United States: The Human Side of the Story (2014), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation (2014), Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World (2016). This year will see the release of this latest book Everything All at Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap into Radical Curiosity and Solve Any Problem.

Just this year, Nye served as one of three honorary co-chairs of the March for Science, an organization dedicated to proposition that it is right and just to use government force to take money from the American people and use it to subsidize scientists dedicated to pushing the false narrative of man-made global warming/climate change or whatever new crisis of the day that happens to be popular.

For my part, I’ve only recently begun to pay much attention to Nye. His science show didn’t start until well after I graduated from high school. When I was in school, we had Julius Sumner Miller as our “science guy,” whose programs were educational, memorable and, on occasion, pretty funny too.

As for Miller, I couldn’t tell you what his religious or political beliefs were. For unlike Nye, he didn’t wear them on his sleeve.

Although I had heard of him previously, Nye really didn’t come onto my radar screen in a big way until his February 2014 debate with Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis.

My best summary of Nye’s argument in that debate runs something like this: Evolution is based on the same scientific principles that have brought us electricity, polio vaccines and the internet. You cannot at the same time use and appreciate any of these scientific breakthroughs without also agreeing that Darwinian evolution is true. If you don’t insist and believing in Biblical creation and a 6,000 year old earth, not only are you contradicting yourself by accepting the benefits of science while at the same time rejecting its truth claims about the origin of life , but you’re stupid too. What is worse, if you teach the Biblical doctrine of creation to your children, you’re guilty of making them stupid. And not only that, your insistence on believing Biblical mythology over science endangers the very future of the United States of America.

Well, that’s quite a bit to unpack. Far more than time and space allow in a single blog post. And this doesn’t even touch on the rest of Nye’s body of work. Lord willing, I hope to begin a new series on Nye later this year. But for now, a few short observations on Nye’s thought will have to do.

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Bill Nye_2Riding the coattails of the successful homosexual movement, transgender advocates have enjoyed tremendous success in recent years. Transgenderism, the medical term is gender dysphoria, upholds the claim that it is possible to make a separation between the biological sex of an individual and that same person’s gender identity.

To put it another way, transgenderism claims that there really are women trapped in men’s bodies. Transgender advocates believe that science supports their view and that broader society has an obligation to accede to their demands to normalize what not that long ago was considered deviant behavior.

One particularly glaring, and as one critic described it “cringe worthy,” example of claimed scientific support for transgenderism was seen recently on Bill Nye The Social Justice Guy’s Netflix program Bill Nye Saves the World.

Using the cover of science to advance his evolving personal beliefs about the validity of transgenderism, Nye featured a performance by actress Rachel Bloom of a rap song titled “My Sex Junk,” the lyrics of which I just can’t bring myself to include in this blog post. If you have a strong stomach, you can read more about this charming little ditty here and here.

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.Youre-FiredThe big story this past week? Pretty obviously it was Donald Trump’s decision to reprise his role on the Apprentice, issuing a “Comey, you’re fired” to the now former FBI Director.

As with any decision of this sort, the was a sharp divide along party lines. Some Republicans cheered the news. Democrats, on the other hand, railed against the decision.

Writing in The New Yorker, John Cassidy opined, “At a time like this, it is important to express things plainly. On Tuesday evening, Donald Trump acted like a despot.”

Oh, spare me. The republic will survive.

Generally speaking, the hiring and firing of federal bureaucrats is not a terribly interesting topic. But in Comey’s case, a few words are in order.

For my part, I lost all respect for the man last summer when he failed to recommend charges against a clearly guilty Hillary Clinton in the Servergate scandal.

Then, just a week before the November vote, Comey claimed he was reopening the investigation, only to shut it down just a few days later. This made Comey appear indecisive.

A third failure of judgment on Comey’s part was his decision to launch an investigation into Trump’s dealings with Russia, based, as it was, in part on the debunked “Golden Shower” dossier.

So we have an FBI Director who wouldn’t recommend charges against Hillary Clinton, against whom there was a mountain of evidence suggesting serious wrongdoing during her term as Secretary of State, but who continued to doggedly pursue the case against Donald Trump, a case notable for its complete lack of actual evidence.

So, should Comey have been fired? Yes.He failed the biggest test of his career when he refused to recommend charges against a clearly guilty Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, the American people showed better judgment than he did by refusing to put her in office.

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First-Amendment

Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution

It’s fairly easy for Americans, living as we do under the Constitution, to take our freedoms guaranteed under that document for granted. This is certainly the case for me, at any rate.

The whole matter of the importance of the Constitution in securing our liberties was brought to mind just in the past few days with the release of an email cache related to French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

What drew my attention to the release was not so much the question whether the emails were authentic or not, although that’s an important question, or the similarity of the release to what occurred during the US presidential election last year, but the way the French government dealt with the release: It ordered the news media not to report on the content.

According to the Independent,

France’s electoral commission has ordered media not to publish contents of Emmanuel Macron’s leaked campaign emails to avoid influencing the election.

I warned news outlets in France that journalists could face criminal charges for publishing or republishing the material, under laws that came into effect at midnight forbidding any commentary liable to affect the presidential race.

As lawless as things have gotten in the US, at least there’s still enough respect for free speech that there are no laws prohibiting political campaigning up to election day.

The idea that the federal government would have the right to criminally charge a reporter for commenting on publically available information just wouldn’t cut it in America, at least for the moment.

Mind you, there are plenty of American elitist types, both within and without formal governmental structures, who would like to see that happen. But at least for the moment, they constrained from enforcing their will.

That American deep state, master of the universe types hate free speech can been seen from some of the reporting on the Macron emails.

For example, CNBC carried a story by Reuters with the headline “US far-right activists, Wikileaks and bots help amplify Macron leaks: Researchers.”

The article goes on the darkly warn about, you guessed it, Russian involvement in hacking the emails and the responsibility of “far-right” journalists for spreading the news.

Is Freedom of the Press Biblical?

The short and sweet answer is, yes, by all means. Freedom of the press, freedom of speech, is certainly a Christian concept.

The press is free to publish. Likewise, the people are free to judge their words.

We can see this principle at work in the way church services were handled. Paul gave directions to the Corinthians to allow two or three prophets to speak, leaving it to the congregation to judge what they said.

The prophets were free to speak, but the people reserved the right to evaluate what they said.

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cinco de mayo battle of puebla

The Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862.

Welcome one and all to this year’s TWIR Edition Cinco de Mayo! For those of you not down with the whole Cinco de Mayo thing, it’s a Mexican holiday celebrating the Mexican army’s 1862 beat down of the French at the battle of Puebla.

While reading through the Wikipedia entry on the Cinco de Mayo, I found this interesting little bit,

Cinco de Mayo has its roots in the French occupation of Mexico, which took place in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War of 1846-48 and the 1858-61 Reform War. The Reform War was a civil war which pitted Liberals (who believed in separation of church and state and freedom of religion) against the Conservatives (who favored a tight bond between the Roman Catholic Church and the Mexican State).

The article doesn’t say where the liberals’ got their idea about the separation of church and state, but one would suppose that the US Constitution, ratified less than a century before, had at least some effect on their thinking.

Contrary to what the ACLU would like you to believe, the separation of church and state is a Biblical idea, one that took root in nations influenced by the Protestant Reformation. Long before Clarence Darrow showed up for the Scopes Monkey Trial, Calvinists were diligent about keeping government out of their churches and churches out of their government.

On the other hand, the Roman Church-State does not look too kindly on this idea. For Rome, church and state are one, which goes a long way to explaining the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition. Roman prelates would find some poor soul guilty of heresy against Holy Mother Church, say, disbelieving the doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the mass, and then proceed to turn him over to the civil authorities who could carry out the “appropriate” punishment for the “crime.”

On a slightly less serious note, the Cinco de Mayo has become, in recent decades in the US, another excuse to party.

For example, when I went to the University of Cincinnati back in the day, there was this annual thing called the Cinco de Stratford. Stratford was a street near campus where a lot of the frat houses were located. And every May 5th they’d hold a big bash.

This was a long running event, until finally one year things got a bit out of hand. As I recall, the evening’s festivities turned into something of a riot, the crowning glory coming when some joker decided to set fire to a couch in the middle of the street. Neither the University fathers nor the Cincinnati cops were terribly amused. And that, as they say, was that.

But enough already about the Cinco de Mayo. Let’s look at the goings on from this past week.

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PPTThe PPT was hard at work today. “So what,” you may say. Or, “What on earth are you talking about?”

As for “what are you talking about,” I mean by the PPT The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, better known as the Plunge Protection Team (PPT).. Regarding the “so what,” the PPT is the government’s market rigging machine. They’re so good at it that according to one former PPT insider, “there is no price discovery anymore by the market…governments impose prices on the market.”

Today’s action in the US stock market was a perfect example of this. As you can see from the chart below, at one point in the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down about 140 points, a significant drop. And this on heels of several rounds of bad US economic news, the ongoing collapse of one of Canada’s largest mortgage lenders, major problems with China’s credit market, the weekends big election in France which has the potential to break up the European Union, and, oh yeah, the threat of war breaking out in North Korea, Syria, Iran, the South China Sea and Eastern Europe.


But a funny thing happened on the way to a market crash. Out of nowhere, someone started panic buying stocks. Up, up, up went the market until the DJIA closed the day just 6 points down from where it began.

There’s an old saying among stock traders, “Don’t try to catch a falling knife.” That’s a way of saying, don’t by a stock while it’s on the way down. Just let it drop until it finds a price floor.

The market was tanking today, and had very good reason to tank, but the powers that be wouldn’t let the Dow – or as Andy Hoffman likes to call it, the Dow Jones Propaganda Average – fall.

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