A Lack of Accusation: A Self-defeating Standard

A site I frequent regularly has taken upon itself to hold out a lack of accusation as the standard for Christians in public office. That means that the instant an accusation is launched against any Christian, then he or she is immediately disqualified for the race. Now, if you wish to keep Christians out of office, your strategy is simple: accusation. Isn’t it strange that the devil is called “the accuser of the brethren” and that Jesus said that evil people speak the language of their father, the evil one? What could this ever mean? Could it mean that evil people will accuse you of things you never did because they are evil? Horrors! Why, the very thought!

Such attitudes are why Christians do not do well in running for public office. Their fellows insist upon such impossible standards that would shut out all Christian influence from any position of power, even those within the church or parachurch ministries. Such standards do not matter to those who are never part of the battle, though! They are free to stand outside all conflict and opine about how it should be. Thus any Christian running for public office cannot count upon the support of the brethren. They have to make common cause with those who do not share their beliefs, and while necessary, that is not without risk.

How little civics those who hold the highest truth often possess! Ever blind, they never realize that their ignorance and their impossible demands are the very reason why things are as they are. Then they turn around and vote for a vile adulterous man without batting an eye.

You have earned Trump and Doug Jones.

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Why Women Fail in the Workplace

Women routinely fail in the workplace, because they do not understand what the rules are at work nor how to behave in the workplace. Here are some examples of what women commonly (not always) do and why it fails.

Being inconsistent This one is more important that you suspect. Here’s why. If you are not consistent, you will not be trusted. If your boss asks you to do A and is even partially unsure if he will even get A or get it on time, he cannot trust you. If he cannot trust you, he will not promote you or give you good assignments. He will give the plumb assignments to people he can trust. Why? Not because he’s not empathetic or a jerk. It’s because work needs to be done.

Not controlling yourself If you present your boss with a set of emotional problems that he must constantly solve for, then that saps his energy and his will. Why would he choose to work with you then? Your boss has a goal — get work done. If you are constantly getting in the way of that, you are a hindrance and not a help.

Demanding special treatment Shut up about what life was like elsewhere, what other people your age or in a similar position are getting, or what you think you should get. Don’t do this. There are times to ask for things, such as at yearly reviews, or one-on-ones; however, no-one does this on a constant basis. Learn what is normative for your job, skills, and experience. Don’t demand.

Work is not designed to be a social club, a group of friends, or a self-help session. Not to be too pedantic about it, but the working environment exists for an external purpose to everyone at any business location — to do work. That means that other needs and wants are regulated in relation to work. Your chance to negotiate is when you are seeking employment, not at every point after you are employed. If you don’t like what you got, it is too late. You signed up for it. Now you agree to work in those conditions. If the conditions suck, get out.

This sounds harsh because this is the working reality that men experience and have experienced since Adam had to till the ground of Eden. It’s never changed and it will not change. I understand if this is not to your liking, but if you would rather that men deal with this harshness then, a lot of men would agree; however, that leads right back into some uncomfortable gender roles, doesn’t it?

I am not saying that no woman is cut out for work. Far from it. Some women are awesome in the workplace, but that is because they have a clear idea what work is and how to handle it. This is probably easier for men to do, but nevertheless, everyone who succeeds in the workplace has the same mindset. They understand that they are there to work, not do other things; they understand that they don’t get to constantly complain or ask for special treatment; and they know that it is up to them to constantly demonstrate their value.

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The Weight of Voices

When everyone has the ability to communicate on the topics of the day, is the value of discourse reduced? I think not. However, what this does produce is a need for better filters and more discernment on our behalf. Many political blogs exist. Many music zines exist. Many review sites exist. Not all of them are equally valuable, trustworthy, or truthful.

The answer to this profusion from the left is the same as it always is, childish, simplistic, and devaluing — censorship. They will decide who can speak. They will decide what advances the public discourse. Their vision is not mitigated by all the ruins of failed empires predicated on just such arrogance; just like culture has rejected the DJ model of music consumption (someone else chooses for you) in favor of the playlist (you chose), so we have rejected the notion of the gatekeeper in terms of news consumption. Students of history will remember several times where the media demonstrated that their gatekeeping function was abandoned long ago in the interest of advancing liberalism. Eg: revealing troop movements, killing the interview with Juanita Brodderick, calling the presidential race early, etc.

This mindset reveals a desire to create master and slave relationships; the gatekeepers are the masters and we, the peons, have only the right to know what they say. It also relies on the foolishness of letting other people do what we can and ought to do. Just like I’ve written elsewhere, you cannot outsource charity, you cannot outsource discernment. To believe otherwise is to surrender freedom to royalty and holiness to legalism. The duchesses and the priests will decide and you will work 12-hour days of manual labor for subsistence. No thank you. It is inescapable — we must weigh the voices we hear. We must decide for ourselves. It is our blood-bought right, honor, and duty.

Because doing it yourself requires effort, character, and discernment, it is not the easy way. However, in this age of the multiplicity of voices, it is now more important than in prior ages to undertake this effort ourselves. The long slumber of character is being interrupted as the few brave few begin to feel what it was like to journey across an unknown land in just a wagon, a copy of Pilgrim’s Progress, the Bible, and a gun in their possession.

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Photography is for Suckers

Too late, I have realized that photography is for suckers.

It really isn’t possible to make a living off taking photos anymore. I’ve read enough posts by the pros to know that is the truth. The pros take aim at the happy amateurs who give away their hard work. The amateurs keep thinking that giving away their work or charging very cheap prices will lead to work in the future, but it never does. The outlets that do buy photography just get it from stock photo sites or get lower-quality stuff from amateurs. None of this would be possible if people still cared about quality, though, but nobody does, and thus, nobody is willing to pay for it.

Meanwhile, the world continues on thinking that there is no point for a camera because the phone does it all, because of the stupid shallow logic that never bothers with anything more than skin deep. The camera and lens manufacturers laugh all the way to the bank, as they sell and pimp their stuff to the happy amateurs who think that someday they will be famous. However, those happy hordes don’t charge enough to make a business out of it or even recoup the cost of their equipment. Technology improves as taste decays. The shutterbugs are adrift on a sea of gadgetry but have nothing to show for it except depleted bank accounts and crushed dreams.

I began taking photos because I liked doing it and I liked getting better. I still do enjoy both. I do like lenses and cameras, but the bottom has fallen out of the commercial market, and I am now convinced that there is no future nor hope in selling anything you can do with a camera, because your brother with a phone is good enough. And that is the problem — not the technology in itself, but the deterioration of desire for excellence into the messy average.

As society decays into perversion and violence, one of the victims is excellence. You already see it in work ethic, the quality of art (to say nothing of its aim), and what people think is good. Anyone who shoots for the stars, who demands better, who strives for greatness is vivisected, not respected. The crowd of whores and murderers wants nothing that reminds them that there once was something better than now.

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Four Forty Eight AM

It is currently four forty-eight AM.

I am not sleeping.

Instead, I am watching anime and opening new veins where the old wounds have left scars. Is writing just an artful form of self-destruction, where release means only a temporary salve? I am struck by the madness of the Incas, who drilled holes in the skull to let the evil spirits escape. Is this not similar?

Here I am, with the remains of my life.

There is so much I must hide nowadays. I have discovered the power of words spoken and I am learning to restrain my tongue and my thoughts. And I have a charge to be spiritually and mentally healthy. This I do not deny. However, at what point does this lead into dishonesty, a kind of life where what I feel is walled up behind fake smiles and shallow talk? So much I want to not be a burden to others, but in all of this, there is less and less space for me to speak or express myself freely. I have become enchained by the mundane and it makes me want to disappear.

Too much restriction leads to a sense of vanishing identity, who I thought I was, all that I ever was. There are rules to society and we all must play along, cheap dolls imported from other shores, and if we dance not right, then we will be smashed into shards. It is other people that I fundamentally dislike, they and all their patterns that they create so they don’t have to deal with anything outside a life perfectly understood and replicable. Here I am, like the guest without gifts, bringing refutation and silent screams — it is no wonder I am not welcomed. And I want nothing to do with their boring social dances and endless excitement over nothing. O my soul burns.

If it were not for love I would cut it all off. I heard someone say that she planned to hibernate with books until the first of the year. That sounded so wonderful to me.

So I will restrain myself, for love and the name of love. However, I must let out the inward agonies, these unvoiced things that I will not speak aloud. No-one near me understands. Attempts to explain only cause wreckage. I will write in this lonely place and bleed again; I will purge the sorrow and may the Truth cleanse me through.

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Breibart Gets it Wrong Again

I hate “platform for the alt-right” Breitbart and the scum-pool of racism, bigotry, and cult leader worship it has become under Bannon’s control. Here is an example of the last: Report: Never Trumper Ex-Jeb Bush Staffer….

First, who the freak is Tim Miller? As someone who was a proud Never Trumper (just read the rest of my blog if you have doubts), I was steadfast in my opposition to Trump. I did not vote for him in either the primary or the general election. As a result, I have no ownership in any of the stupid or evil things he has done. In fact, I left the GOP over their support and embrace of that worthless man.

However, that article and the report it links to show a serious lack of understanding. First, the NeverTrump leftists had little support on the right. The ones I saw on the places I visited were shown the door. There was no collaboration, no agreement, no meeting, no strategy, nothing as far as the primary went. Once it was decided at the convention, NeverTrump folks either gave in and voted for Trump, voted third-party, or stayed home. There was zero collaboration with the left that I ever heard about. So, the characterization of NeverTrump as conservatives selling out by working with liberals is a lie straight out of the establishment playbook. In other words, it’s the same cult-of-personality tribalistic bull that ignores conscience and tries to hold us captive with screeds. It’s the same stupidity that the Trump cult has been pushing since day one.

Second, the article at the BB cesspool where they describe Tim Miller, here if you have the stomach for it, gives you a good idea of what BB thinks of anyone who won’t worship their golden calf. Miller’s involvement is a single tweet. Well, yay, that certainly proves something, doesn’t it? My geez. There were plenty of people who actually did things at the convention and fought for the party to follow its own rules. Tim Miller was nowhere around.

Where am I getting all this? The latest campaign email from Roy Moore. That Miller worked for Jeb Bush and is now defaming Moore shows one thing, that his (Miller’s) politics have not changed at all. In both actions, he is furthering the cause of liberalism (Jeb was a much different presidential candidate than he was governor). In the primary, only liberals supported Bush, because he had shifted left in his years since being governor of Florida.

Perhaps this is done on purpose to gain the support of Trump cultists. Perhaps it is just shoddy optics. Perhaps it reflects Trump’s support of Moore. I don’t know, but it bugs me because it’s not truthful about what NeverTrump was. NeverTrumpers actually support Roy Moore, at least the vast majority of us, because our philosophy of government and eternal truth either lines up with Moore’s or gets real close to it.

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Going About Politics All Wrong

There are generally two approaches to politics. One is to be vague and to avoid well-defined positions for fear that your enemies can use them against you; you ride the waves of hope and expectation and when necessary, make promises to assure support, and then once you have power, you can do what you want. This method is used by both major parties, most politicians in general, and generally turns people off to politics after they have seen it in operation a few times. It has the sole advantage of keeping the politician’s policies flexible and prevents him from being identified or held to anything.

The other way is to hold up a specific issue or a philosophy as a banner and draw the likeminded to yourself. This energizes people who believe in things and creates an excitement that is real, commitments that persevere, and actually advances an ideology to lasting effect. This strategy is not often used by politicians, but when it is, it works wonders. The problem with this approach is that it requires men and women of courage, of endurance, and of character. Most people in politics do not have such characteristics; they have the ability to be glib and look good on camera, perhaps even the ability to give a good speech. They are actors, not implementors.

I was reading recently and came across a quote by Jim Demint, who once said that he wanted a party that stood for something. Interestingly, it was Mitch McConnell that he said this to.

Vague promises and broken promises do not secure long-term victories. Only a commitment to principle and then acting on that principle gives you a place in the heart of the people and demonstrates your fidelity to that which is more than fame.

I am sick to death of the vague comprise-your-way-to-power approach. Like DeMint, I want a party that stands for something. I long for the battle, not because I have confidence in my own abilities, but I know what is true and what is right and what must be done. I know what will work and what will not.

It is long past time to arise and fight.

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A Rebirth of Sorts: The Federalist Party

This is interesting, given this.

Internal politics aside, it doesn’t help when the head of the party wrote articles like this, defending Palin and Bannon.

Yet the touted principles of the party still appeal to me, and what they say in the new article on their website is sadly more true than I wish it was.

Do I think that they can carry the torch forward? I have some serious doubts, but they do admit that communication needs to be improved, and that is the number one problem. That gives me some small measure of hope.

If you want to make this thing work, guys, here is my unsolicited advice.

1) Let your officials stand above the fray. Keep those who are official spokespersons off blogs and keep them occupied with doing official interviews, crafting policy, and the things that will reach the politically homeless. You don’t need to reach the activists.

2) Onboard your volunteers. I come from a tech writing/instructional design/training background, and I know that the number one thing you can do to prevent people leaving is to onboard them. Make them feel included. Make sure they know the common beliefs. Give them a path to grow. People need to know that they are in it together and keeping in touch with them reminds them that they are valued.

3) Fight for it. The Republican establishment, with all their money, just about lost the presidential race to Ted Cruz. The same people couldn’t stop Dave Brat or Ben Sasse. They’re not stopping Roy Moore. It is instructive to remember that the Republicans began as minor party, and it was through public debates — the Lincoln-Douglas debates — that they made their case to be a serious party. Victory comes through public defense not through quietude and stealth.

There’s a lot more I could say, but this is a good place to start. I wish them the best.

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Issue Spotting at WRLN.org

Let’s play a little game. How many examples of assumption, faulty reasoning, glittering generality, laziness, or outright falsehood can you find in this article? I’ll start off with a few.

Here are the first two paragraphs:

Among the starkest markers of sea level rise (1) are what scientists (2) describe as ghost forests, coastal thickets left in waste by creeping salt water.

Scientists (2) say it’s happening now at a dramatic rate (3) and are working to understand (4) the ramifications for the landscape, wildlife and local community.

(1) How is it determined that this is among the starkest markers? How is determined that this is a marker of sea level rise at all? The article is assuming what it is attempting to prove.

(2) Which scientists? Are they qualified to speak on this subject? (A geologist should not be quoted when discussing human biology, for instance). Are they compromised in any way? Do they receive grants to promote the issue they are discussing? The article never says.

(3) What is meant by “dramatic rate”? Does this rate fall within the range of historically observed behavior? Is it something we have never seen before? How far back does our data go? Is this a local phenomenon or a more widespread one? Is this a completely natural process or did man cause this? How do we know it is one or the other?

(4) By “working to understand” it sounds like these “scientists” have not reached any conclusions. The article goes on to lay out conclusions with a healthy helping of fear, of course.

This is a typical piece of journalism. The writer does not understand the issue, makes many assumptions, uses the tone of alarm but provides no reason to heed such alarms.

How many issues can you spot?

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Beyond the Explanation

Lately I’ve come to realize that while worldviews need to be analyzed, critiqued, and examined under the light of truth, people rarely need such when you are interfacing with them.

“Oh, I see that you are under the pall of anger. Here’s my 200-page analysis on the history and the ultimate doom of angry men.”

“How did you know? That was exactly what I needed!”

Such dialogs give a functional definition to the phrase “not found in nature”.

Yes, people can benefit and do learn when not in the moment of crisis. When people are not under duress, they have the space and the time to reflect, analyze, and come to better conclusions. However, how do they get to such a space? How does the arguer prepare them to receive? How does one build relationships? What skills are necessary?

Mercy is what is required.

And this is not an easy thing to say, and it sure isn’t an easy place to be in. How do you smile and comfort someone while knowing that everything they did would eventually land them there? It is the same feeling that all parents have at one point or another. Beyond the need to be right (ouch), the need to deliver a roundhouse kick of argument, the need to impress, is love. Love expresses itself in mercy; and mercy is not saying “Oh wow! Everything I’ve ever thought was wrong and you’re right! Getting trashed and stumbling home IS the way to live after all!” Mercy is the ability to love, comfort, and encourage without rubbing it in someone’s face the wrong of their decisions.

I think the practice of mercy is something of a lost art. Either people completely affirm people in making horrible decisions, or they stand from the sidelines and deliver airtight arguments against their decisions. To get down in the grime and love the person despite their sin, to encourage them to seek the better, to be with them in the messiness of their brokenness — that, I think, needs to come first in the interpersonal relationship.

Argument has its place, for we are to persuade, and explain, but mercy is the wave of comfort that precedes the apologetic.

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