Let’s Go Fishing

Let's Go Fishing

This is my reply to Ed Blair of Lenoir, whose letter-to-the-editor appeared in the News-Topic on 12-3-16. Ed opens a nice can of worms. So, let’s take those worms and go fishing.

Ed was responding to my own letter, entitled “Who’s Afraid of Donald Trump?” about God’s sovereignty, and our obligation according to Romans 13 to submit to those God puts in authority. Ed asks – and rightly so – what about our forefathers who rebelled against King George? What about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who plotted against Adolf Hitler? What about Martin Luther King, Jr., who preached nonviolent civil disobedience? And what about Republicans, who – in Ed’s mind – fought against President Obama for eight long years?

So, does God want us to submit to tyrants and evil leaders as well as to good? Or can there be exceptions to Romans 13?

Regarding our forefathers:  There were people in Jesus’ day that wanted to throw off Roman rule, just as the colonists wanted to be free of King George. Yet, Jesus never preached rebellion – never even hinted at it. In His mind, there was more at stake than political freedom – spiritual freedom. There was a kingdom far greater than the kingdom of Israel – the Kingdom of Heaven. So, if Jesus had spoken directly to our forefathers, I think He would have told them to focus on a higher prize and wait on God – their freedom would eventually come. But Americans don’t like to wait, for anything, which is part of our problem.

Regarding Dietrich Bonhoeffer, there are two ways to overcome evil:  We can focus on the evil and try to overcome it directly; or, we can focus on good and let THAT be our contribution to God’s deliverance. Evil cannot overcome good, just as darkness cannot overcome light. So, if Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his fellow conspirators had left the removal of Hitler up to God, they might have lived to see God’s deliverance.

Regarding Martin Luther King, Jr, I like the approach of William Wilberforce better:  He changed the laws of slavery in Great Britain in the early 1800s by going through legal channels, not with civil disobedience –  or, as I call it, throwing a civil temper tantrum. It took twenty years to accomplish; but the Brits have enjoyed better race relations in their country than we have in ours. Civil disobedience is a form of tyranny:  you hold people captive with your disruptive behavior until they give you what you want. It reminds me of the kid in the grocery store that does the same thing to his parent. That’s no way to behave.

As to Republicans:  He said, she said. Democrats say that Republicans didn’t cooperate with the president, Republicans say the president didn’t cooperate with them. Communication is a two-way street.

I’ll tell you what I see in all four of Ed’s examples – impatience. Instead of waiting on God, these people took matters into their own hands. Those who wait, eventually get what they want. Those who don’t, end up paying a higher price for something of far less value. As Mendelssohn says in his oratorio Elijah, “O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him, And He shall give thee thy heart’s desires.”

Waitsel Smith

 

 

Waitsel Smith

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Who’s Afraid of Donald Trump?

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I’m not sure how liberal Christians interpret Romans chapter 13 in the Bible, but I’ll tell you how I interpret it, based on the English Standard Version: God decides who is in authority and who is not. He places those in positions of authority for our benefit. Our job is to submit to them, pray for them and show them respect. That’s it. It says that those who resist them resist what God has appointed and will incur God’s judgment as a result, and that the only people who need be afraid of someone in authority are those who plan on doing wrong.

That means that God chose Donald Trump to be President, not we the voters, even though God worked through us in the process. It means that God intends to use Donald Trump for our good. Our job is to submit to Donald Trump, pray for him and show him the respect due someone who holds the office of President. It means that if we resist Donald Trump, we are going against what God intends and will receive His wrath as a result, and that the only people that need to be afraid of Donald Trump are those who plan on breaking the law.

So, let me ask you: Are the people who have been rioting in the streets of our cities and shutting down our college campuses following God’s command in Romans chapter 13? Have they been submitting to the President-elect – or at least to the will of the people who elected him – praying for him and showing him the respect due someone just elected to the office of President? Have they been respecting the police and others in authority? If not, then why are some Christians, including pastors, defending what these people have been doing?

I’ll tell you how my friends and I view the election results: God is Sovereign. If Donald Trump had not won, God would still be Sovereign. If Hillary Clinton were the new President-elect, my friends and I would not be rioting in the streets. Know why? Because we believe that God is Sovereign – that HE is in control – not to mention the fact that we have jobs to go to. We don’t need to worry. We don’t need to be afraid. And we certainly don’t need to riot.

Anyway, pretty much everything that the rioters have been saying are lies that were spread during the election. Would Donald Trump REALLY have a black woman as vice president of his company if he were against women and people of color? REALLY? Tell me how that would work. Would he REALLY have so many people of different backgrounds – Hispanics, gays, Muslims, you name it – working on his campaign, working for his company and now working on his new administration, if he were as prejudiced and Xenophobic as was claimed in the election? REALLY?

As Romans 13 says, the only people that need to fear a Trump administration are those who plan on doing wrong – i.e., those who plan on breaking the law. Aren’t those the people we WANT to be afraid – the people planning on breaking into our houses? The people planning on stealing our identities? The people planning on bombing our cities, airports and schools?

Trump will be tough on crime. For everyone else, he will help to rebuild our urban neighborhoods and infrastructure, our manufacturing, our health care system, our schools, our trade – everything that is currently failing and keeping America from being great. Isn’t that what we want? God will use Trump to carry out HIS plans – not Trump’s – as He has used so many other imperfect people in the past. As FDR, another imperfect man, very similar to Trump, and used by God for good, once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Amen.

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My Final Take on This Election

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Over a month ago, I put some Trump-Pence signs in my front yard, and in the past couple weeks, they’ve been torn down, ripped apart and stolen five times. The culprits did it covertly, too cowardly to show their faces. That means they trespassed on my property, destroyed my property, stole my property and kept me from exercising my right to freedom of speech five times. That’s right:  these were the “caring,” “loving” Democrats that want “all of us to reach our God-given potential.”

There’s a lesson in this: Liberals, Democrats, so-called Progressives, the Left – whatever you want to call them, they’re all cut from the same cloth – have no regard for individual rights or freedoms, no regard for personal property, no regard for the law, no regard for men and women in uniform or anyone in authority… no regard for anyone, period, but themselves. If they believe they’re right, that’s all that matters. Firebomb a GOP headquarters, spray-paint vehicles outside a Trump rally, tear down a flag, don’t stand for the national anthem, fight the police, set fire to a city, destroy private property… No wonder their candidate is a crook. She leads them by example.

Oh, I know, the Democrats have expressed regret over the firebombing of the GOP headquarters in Orange County, NC. Well, boo, hoo, hoo. They can save their crocodile tears. Why do they think it happened? Hillary and the Democrat bosses incited those acts of hate and violence by their words. You send out enough inflammatory rhetoric, make enough hate speeches, and, eventually, people are going to get hurt. But they don’t care. They attribute hate and fear to Donald Trump, yet it’s their people that are committing these acts of hate and fear. So, on top of everything else, they’re the worst kind of hypocrites.

As I’ve said before, this election is not about the two candidates, it’s about two totally different ideologies. Tom Shuford, in his editorials, has done a wonderful job summing up the Republican side, as well as exemplifying what the ideal conservative is all about. His editorials are intelligent, well-researched, logical, professionally written and loaded with common sense. On the other hand, Ed Blair, in his editorial from about a month ago, offered us a look at the Democrat side. Basically, he cut-and-pasted a lot of catch phrases that Hillary has been feeding her followers since the election began.

Most Democrats are probably decent people, and many of them are good friends of mine, but they’re being used:  the Democrat bosses are feeding them little catch phrases and labels to put on people, so that when they go out into the world and are asked a question, they won’t have to think. They’ll just pull out one of those catch phrases or labels and slap it on. So, as you’re talking with one of them, don’t be surprised if they seem distracted. It’s because they are desperately trying to figure out which label fits you, which of Hillary’s baskets you belong in, or which of Hillary’s catch phrases they can use – not to help you reach “your God-given potential,” but to try to intimidate you. If you try introducing logic, facts or common sense into the conversation, they stare at you, as if to say, “That does not compute.” If you continue, they overheat, like the robot Robbie from The Forbidden Planet, when he was given a command that was contrary to his programming. And if you continue to press them, eventually they short-circuit, blurt something out like, “We’re no longer friends!” and go storming off.

Democrats can’t have people running around thinking for themselves – how would they control them? So, if Hillary wins – and that is a possibility, folks, unless people get out and vote for Trump – I hope you keep your pocket guide to “Politically Correct Words and Phrases” handy, because you’re going to need it in Hillary’s world. You’ll also need a copy of Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto,” which will be required reading. You’re going to have to show you have contempt for the law and everyone in authority. And when you leave your house, you’ll need to leave your integrity, your conscience and your brain behind. And, by all means, Truth. In Hillary’s world, truth is relative.

Okay, you ready to go vote? Na, you won’t need that voter ID. In Hillary’s world, you can vote as often as you like – even if you’re dead! Okay, let’s go. Oh, by the way:  If Hillary wins, you’ll want to pick up a copy of George Orwell’s “1984” because, brother, that’s the next item on the program.

Waitsel Smith

 

 

Waitsel Smith

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My Take on the “Deplorables”

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I think it’s very revealing that Hillary Clinton has labelled half of Donald Trump’s supporters “deplorables” and “unredeemable.” I think it’s even more revealing that the Media, including NPR and the Washington Post, are trying to PROVE that her statement is true. First of all, how do you “prove” an opinion? Just by definition, an opinion belongs on the “editorial page” rather than the “news page” because it IS unprovable, factually. So why do the Media feel they need to try to prove it?

This is the crux of this election: Hillary and the Media are DESPERATE to discredit Trump’s supporters by making them seem LESS than other Americans: less tolerant, less compassionate, less intelligent, even less human. One of the top newspeople at NPR said last week that all you had to do to prove Hillary’s statement was to look at what Trump supporters believe.

Okay. Let’s do that. Let’s look at the beliefs of a typical Trump supporter: me.

I won’t recite the Apostle’s Creed in its entirety, but that’s one of the things I believe. You know: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit … crucified, dead and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven … ” etc.

And, because I believe that, I believe a host of other things that involve loving God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving my neighbor as myself. Contrary to what Hillary Clinton thinks, my beliefs do not include anything whatsoever that could possibly be construed as racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic or any other phobia. I believe that most Republicans share my beliefs, as well as most other Trump supporters.

So, why would Hillary want to vilify and “write off” such a large segment of the American population – the American CHRISTIAN population – especially since she wants to be their next President? Because Hillary, the Democrat bosses and the Liberal elite, including the Media, are about divide-and-conquer through intimidation. They believe that if they can turn black against white, female against male, LGBTQ against straight, etc. they can conquer the American people ideologically by intimidating them into conformity. The party that says they are all about diversity is really about conformity – conformity to THEIR way of thinking.

The other day on NPR, a man called in to a talk show that was made up of a panel of newspeople. He identified himself as a member of the LGBTQ community and a supporter of Trump. He asked, “Why do the news media slant all their reporting against Trump and in favor of Hillary?” You could have heard a pin drop. Then the members of the panel began to scramble, saying anything they could think of to try to justify their biased reporting. It was pathetic.

This election is not about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump: it’s about ideology. One group wants to control people by controlling what they think, which they will do through intimidation and with the help of the Media. The other group just wants people to obey the law in order that all of us can live together in peace and have a better life. Which “basket” are you in?

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My Take on Hillary

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[Caption to photo above: “Hillary in a Panic.” Did she break a nail? Did she find out that the FBI was on their way over and is desperately trying to delete emails? Did Bill just tell her about his latest tryst? You decide.]

I have nothing against Hillary Clinton, personally. I do think she is married to a man that lacks integrity. Why he wasn’t kicked out of office, after being impeached, is beyond me. A man of integrity would have resigned, as Richard Nixon did. Yet, the Democrats want to reward him by putting him back in the White House as a First Spouse. Unbelievable.

People forget, and most millennials have never known, that the prosperity enjoyed under Bill Clinton was left over from the Reagan years. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, we had endured the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter. During those four years, we sat in long lines waiting to buy gasoline because there was an oil crisis. No one but rich people could afford to buy a house because there was both an economic crisis and a housing crisis. And Americans were ashamed and humiliated abroad because there was an Iranian hostage crisis which, apparently, our President could do nothing about. Everything then was a crisis.

Reagan came in and turned things around economically, internationally and politically. People went back to work with salaries that were the highest in history, so there was prosperity at home. The Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War ended, so there was the spread of democracy abroad. And, remarkably, Republicans and Democrats in Washington began working together and getting things done because Reagan knew how to bring people together. Americans felt good about being Americans.

Both George H. Bush and Bill Clinton enjoyed the benefits of Reaganomics during their terms as President. But it was amazing how quickly Republicans, and especially George W. Bush, forgot the lessons we had learned under Reagan. Now, Hillary and the Democrats want to go back to those depressing Carter years. Reagan taught us that when it comes to government, less is more – yet, Hillary wants to increase the size of government. He taught us that lowering taxes stimulates the economy – yet, Hillary wants to raise taxes. He taught us that America is a shining city on a hill, spreading the principles of freedom and democracy to the rest of the world – yet, Hillary wants us to believe that America is just another nation among the rest.

Look at Hillary’s record. She was Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. During that time, the world became a much more dangerous place. We’ve seen the rise of ISIS, civil war in Syria where hundreds of thousands of civilians including children have been slaughtered, the breakdown of the entire Middle East including our allied nations, the flooding of refugees into Europe, the rise of Russian and Chinese aggression, continued threats from Iran and North Korea – in short, the setting of the stage for World War 3. This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton and her successor, John Kerry, both part of the Obama administration.

How much more evidence do we need? Do we need to talk about Benghazi? The Clinton email scandal? Her conflict of interest with the Clinton Foundation? Her campaign finances as a senator? The fact that the Secret Service hates her? Clinton’s reputation as a lawyer? What is it going to take for people to realize that the Clintons are not good for this country? And that a Clinton presidency would be even more crisis-ridden, even more disastrous than Carter’s?

Just let a thinking person bring up any of the multitude of logical objections to a Clinton presidency, and all the Democrats can do is cry, “Racist!” or “Sexist!” or “Hater!” or “Bigot!” My, my, isn’t a one-word vocabulary marvelous?

Waitsel Smith

 

 

Waitsel Smith

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My Take on Trump

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Last month I watched the Republican National Convention, and I have to say, I was very encouraged by not only the speakers, who were outstanding, but also the direction in which the Republican party is moving, as well as the ideas that Trump put forth in his acceptance speech. I was also amazed at what a terrible job the Media did in covering the event. The fact that they obsessed for two days over Melania Trump’s faux pas of copying some of Michelle Obama’s previous speech is absurd. But the Media are looking for things they can pick at, not for things that are right. No wonder the American people are so ignorant of the basic facts of what is good about America.

My take on Donald Trump is this:  his running mate, Mike Pence, is a very good man. And Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, is a very, very good man. As second and third in command, that is two good men that can step in if anything happens to Trump. It is also two good men that can help keep Trump honest, and will. But Trump is also surrounding himself with some very smart people, like Dr. Ben Carson and Newt Gingrich, plus a host of good women and his own children, who are leaders in their own right. I also like the fact that he is surrounding himself with men and women of every ethnicity and race, of every religion and lifestyle, but men and women who are more interested in honesty and truth than being politically correct. What they all say about Trump is that he listens and that is one of the things that makes him a great leader. Also, that he is kind and compassionate. Of course, Ted Cruz wouldn’t agree with that, but I think he is in the minority.

I liked the themes of the different nights: “Make America Safe Again,” “Make America Work Again,” “Make America First Again,” “Make America One Again,” and of course the theme for the whole convention, “Make America Great Again.” After listening to Trump’s acceptance speech, I really believe he can do it. He strikes me as being at a place not dissimilar to Franklin Roosevelt’s when he took office back in the 1930s, when he faced the problems of the Great Depression and the threat of Nazi Germany. I think our problems today, both at home and abroad, are similar to the ones back then, and I think that Trump is enough of a larger-than-life, nuts-and-bolts leader like Roosevelt that he will tackle them effectively. But, at the same time, he is a constitutionalist, like Reagan, who believes that people can solve their own problems far better than government. It’s a nice balance.

And, yes, he is flamboyant. But we asked for someone outside the system, someone that wasn’t part of the status quo. Did we really think he would sound and act like every other politician? Thank God that he doesn’t. If you want that, Hillary and the Democrats will give you that in spades.

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Have we all lost our minds?

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Based on recent news events, how could anyone think otherwise? Yet, just because politicians or the News Media say something is so, doesn’t make it so. For example…

1) Just because Bruce Jenner wants to be a woman doesn’t make him one. I may want to be an Olympic athlete. If I suddenly started dressing like one and appearing on talk shows declaring to the world that I was an Olympic athlete, would that make me one? Hardly. Bruce Jenner is a deeply disturbed man, not a woman. But we have lost our ability to judge the genuine from the fake.

2) Just because two people of the same sex say they’re married doesn’t make it so. Nor does it necessarily hold true that someone who is against gay marriage dislikes gay people. A gay person can be against gay marriage if he or she believes the Bible is true. Marriage is an institution – some would say a covenant – established by God, not the State. Therefore, shouldn’t God be the one to define it? He has, but the State, along with some very misinformed Christians, have decided they know better.

3) Just because some folks have decided the Confederate flag is a symbol of hate doesn’t make it so. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson would never have fought for a flag that represented hate. They were deeply loving, Christian men that believed in treating all men fairly. Now, flying the Confederate flag may be in bad taste, even unfeeling. But that is hardly hate. What gets me is that Dylann Roof, who murdered nine people in a Charleston church because he hates black people, and who appears in a photo on a web site waving a Confederate flag, is also wearing a Gold’s Gym shirt in the same photo. Yet, no one has called Gold’s Gym a symbol of hate and demanded that Gold’s Gyms be torn down across the country. Wouldn’t the same logic that makes the flag a hate symbol make that well-known gym a hate symbol, too?

4) Just because some people say that the proliferation of guns in this country has led to an increase in violence or crime doesn’t make it so. Over half of all gun-related deaths are suicides, and suicides rank around #10 on the list of causes of death in this country. Accidental deaths, which include auto accidents, rank #5. Last year, Great Britain, who all but prohibits private ownership of firearms, had 14 murders involving firearms, as compared to 9,369 in this country. Yet, their total crime rate was over half ours, even though their population is less than one-sixth ours. That’s over three times the crime, per capita. So, has eliminating guns really helped the Brits curb violence? I don’t think so. If someone really wants to commit a crime, or even suicide, they can find many other means of doing so besides guns. Thinking people understand this, but we are no longer thinking people.

I could go on, but you get the point: we have become people that are driven by emotions and the Media rather than logic and God. We need to get back to what made America great in the first place: ordinary people thinking extraordinary thoughts. Think about it.

Waitsel Smith

 

 

Waitsel Smith

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Saint Patrick and How The Irish Saved Civilization

Perhaps the greatest missionary since St. Paul gets little more than green beer from most of us. There’s not even a major motion picture about him. He deserves better.

Saint Patrick was a very simple man. Most of the artwork of him makes him look like a typical bishop from the period. He was anything but.

Nitium Page from the Book of Durrow

The Irish didn’t just copy books, they illuminated them, creating fabulous works of original art. The Irish imagination was given full vent on the pages of these codices. This one is from the Book of Durrow.

Like the landscape of Ireland, the Irish people can be both harsh and fanciful, stark and idyllic.

The Irish landscape is both harsh and fanciful, stark and idyllic. These contrasting qualities show themselves in the Irish people as well.

There are far more Irish living outside Ireland than inside.

There are far more Irish living outside Ireland than inside. Many came to the United States in the 19th Century and settled in cities like New York, Boston and Chicago. This is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, an excellent example of the Gothic style of architecture. (Photo used courtesy of A Day Not Wasted. See link at end of article.)

Once again, the rivers are running green (at least in Chicago), the parades are being held, green beer is being dispensed in Irish pubs, people are wearing shamrocks, Irish jokes and limericks are being recited, and idiotic artwork is being sent back and forth across the Web. But does any of this have anything to do with Saint Patrick? Very little.

[click to continue…]

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BEST MOVIES OF 2014

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Grab your popcorn and drink and let’s talk.

by Waitsel Smith

I used to struggle with how to rate a film. Do I love it or merely like it? Is it a good film and maybe I just don’t like it because of the lead actor? Am I just having a bad day or is it really a bad film? You can over-think it and movie watching should be about feeling.

Then I came up with this system, which takes some of the subjectivity out of it:

5 Stars means I would own it.

4 Stars means I would see it multiple times.

3 Stars means I would see it once but no more.

2 Stars means I wouldn’t see it the first time, and if I did, I’m sorry I did.

1 Star means it’s trash and the filmmakers need their heads examined.

Occasionally, I’ll see a film that I think is a masterpiece, and I’ll give it 6 Stars, even though I call it a “5-Star Masterpiece.” Those are films that I believe are significant enough to move the movie industry in a new and positive direction, and which will be remembered by film historians as “classics,” or at least should be.

This year, there weren’t any masterpieces, but there were some very good films – not great, but very good: dramas about soldiers, comedies about chefs, super hero action flicks, the usual offering of sci-fi thrillers and some very unlikely little films that are worth remembering. See if you agree with my picks and my ratings.

So, without further ado, roll the films.

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Let me know what you think and get a chance to win a $1,000 gift certificate, plus your comments will be published on the site!

Waitsel

Copyright © 2015 Waitsel Smith. All rights reserved.

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The False Promise of Technology

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In his recent column in the News Topic, Brent Tomberlin talks about “Making the important connections,” and how technology undermines our ability to do that, so that we have to make a special effort to connect with people in our technology-crazed culture. I agree with that; but I would like to take Brent’s point a step further: technology undermines our ability to be happy and makes us more vulnerable to weakness. And even further: technology destroys our happiness and our security.

Sociologists have “proven” that the happiest people today are the Amish, and that the happiest people in all of history lived during the Middle Ages. What do those two groups of people have in common? 1) They had simple lifestyles, 2) they were agrarian societies, 3) they were family-oriented and lived in close-knit communities, 4) they were connected to nature, and 5) they were spiritually focused. Technology, on the other hand, 1) makes life more complicated, 2) is more prevalent in industrialized societies, 3) disconnects people, as Brent pointed out, 4) tends to keep people inside, away from nature, and 5) tends to make people self-focused rather than God- and others- focused.

For every advantage you can name that technology has brought us, I can name at least three disadvantages. But technology is a Pandora’s box: it cannot simply be brushed aside once it has been unleashed. Every technological advancement requires more technology to deal with the negative side affects, so that technology tends to feed upon itself and multiply ad infinitum. Eventually the negative affects will so outweigh the positive that it will be impossible to keep up. At that point, our society will collapse the way the Roman Empire fell; only, our collapse will be greater and more far-reaching.

Most sci-fi novels and movies that envision a post-apocalyptic future in which technology has failed show the people living in squalor, unhappy and disconnected. I think just the opposite will happen. The fall of the Roman Empire ushered in the Middle Ages, in which people were the happiest they’ve ever been. There were still problems, like wars, but they were localized: not the grand scale affairs that technology makes possible.

I’m not advocating getting rid of technology – that, as I’ve said, is impossible. What I do advocate is that we learn to live as low-tech as possible. To do that, we can 1) simplify our lives, 2) learn to grow, preserve and prepare our own food, 3) learn to live as caring neighbors and family members again, 4) connect with nature as often and in as many ways as possible, and 5) realize that life is a spiritual journey, not a race to see how many high-tech gadgets we can own. The happiest people I know are low-tech. I pray we can all learn to live that way one day.

If you like this, you’ll love Technology Meltdown.

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LA Times Quote of the Day – Priceless

Actually, two quotes. First, Dianne Feinstein’s mindless quote before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Then, columnist Burt Prelutsky’s take on it in the Los Angeles Times.

Senator Dianne Feinstein: “All vets are mentally ill in some way, and government should prevent them from owning firearms.”

Columnist Burt Prelutsky: “Frankly, I don’t know what it is about California, but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office. I’m not bragging, you understand, but no other state, including Maine, even comes close. When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington, we’re Number One. There’s no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up on Macbeth. The four of them are like jackasses who happen to possess the gift of blab. You don’t know if you should condemn them for their stupidity or simply marvel at their ability to form words.”

Amen

Thanks to Norm Grey, Atlanta

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The Issue is Crime, Not Race

In all the discussions about Ferguson and the relationship between black communities and law enforcement, I believe the real issue is being swept under the carpet, as it always is when politicians and the Media are involved. The problem, for the most part, doesn’t seem to be racial prejudice, but the crime and violence that exist in this country today.

White people don’t avoid certain neighborhoods in Atlanta and other big cities because of the color of the skin of the people living there – they avoid them because of the crime. Because most of those neighborhoods happen to be black, and because of the way the Media highlights those crimes on the news every night, white people connect the crime with the people living there. They don’t feel safe in those places, and they transfer that fear to the people.

When I was in college, I had a black friend here in Lenoir named Herbie Dula. He was one of the finest men I’ve ever known and I think about him almost every day. One night, his neighbor, who was also black, was fighting with his wife and Herbie went over to see if he could break it up. He was shot and killed by the husband. What a tragedy, and what a waste of a good man! This kind of violence seems to exist more in black communities than in white. I’ve never personally known a white person that was shot and killed in a domestic dispute; but, if the nightly news is to be believed, it seems almost commonplace in certain black communities.

My point is, why aren’t we focusing on the crime and violence that exists in our communities instead of chasing this red herring of race?

We’ve done the same thing with the mass shootings in this country. All of them have been committed by mentally ill people. So why are we talking about guns instead of mental illness? Another red herring.

Race and guns are emotionally charged issues that politicians, with the help of the Media, know will distract people, so they can continue doing nothing about the real problems and focus on their careers. That’s the coward’s way out.

What we need today are people with courage and honesty, who will address the real issues facing us – not posers waiting for the next photo op. We have men and women like that in uniform. We need more of them in public office.

Waitsel Smith

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