Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Shame On Mike Shmerling, Manuel Zeitlin, Bill Purcell--Why Abe's 'Garden' Development Is An Unmitigated Environmental Natural Disaster To West Nashville And Its Neighbors


FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS, I'M GOING TO BLOG  EXCLUSIVELY ABOUT WHY I THINK THE ABE'S 'GARDEN' DEVELOPMENT IN THE DENSELY POPULATED SECTION OF WEST NASHVILLE is  an unmitigated natural disaster which has forever destroyed our quality of lives to  such an extent that it will never recover in our lifetimes.

Mike Shmerling of Park Manor-Abe's Garden, Manuel Zeitlin his sidekick architect, and influence peddler-attorney former mayor Bill Purcell should all hang their heads in shame for what they have done to trees, wildlife habitat and greenspace that's been a boundary between our properties for over 50 years.

Now 75,' 50-year old trees and indigenous shrubs are all woodchips we're  forced to look at.  It's criminal what Shmerling, Zeitlin and Purcell have done--all the while congratulating each other for the great things they're accomplishing.  If this is what Leadership Nashville encourages, then it should forever close its doors. These guys are a disgrace to Nashville, property rights with responsibilities and quality of life of this growing city. These boys are all about themselves and to hell with the rest of us.  It's our gardens and courtyards for theirs. But oh, they say they're going to throw us a few crumbs with a few small tree planting and a 3-7 ft wall one day.  Won't that be dandy.

I will also write about how not to be a good neighbor when you move into an old, established neighborhood.  These guys are bullies, building on far too small a parcel of land, most of which slopes precipitously down to bottom, riparian floodplain that mercifully can't be built on....but never mind, they'll force themselves on the uphill part---as a woman pours herself into a dress that's become several sizes too small---into the postage stamp parcel anyway.

The Metro Planning Commission should also be ashamed and be required to rethink how it grants these SP zoning permits and how long the statute of limitations allows them the permit before it must be reviewed again.

Nashville should NEVER, as in not ever, AGAIN let this kind of environmental disaster happen.


Besides reporting the shameless destruction Shmerling, Zeitlin and Purcell have wrought to our local environment and quality-of-life, I also will soon quote a bit from their delusional PR publication 'Seeds' which has the gall to talk about the ornamental enchanting garden they're creating as they destroy an  historical, natural grreenway between our properties. Can you imagine? Man-made environmental disaster at its finest and it knows no shame.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday of Joy: Have You Found What You're Looking For On Life's Perpetual Easter Egg Hunt For Happiness?

ON THIS JOYOUS EASTER MORNING, it's good to remember that happiness comes from external things.  However no matter how good they are, they never tend to last.

Joy, on the other hand, comes from a heart that's tapped into the only lasting joyful reality there is:  believing in Christ's one-time sacrificial suffering and death on the Cross to mankind and His eternal triumph over our sin and death. Blessed are us sinners who know we're sinners in need of a Savior. Blessed is the joy this brings in spite of our earthly struggles, even as we await its eternal fulfillment one day.

Here is a wonderful piece from Desiring God:

LIKE CHILDREN SCATTERING around a yard for Easter eggs, you and I are on a hunt. We all hunt. Our thirsty souls rummage through every nook and cranny of this world, in search of shiny pleasures and saccharine delights. Every such joy seeker, in pursuit of treasures that will not fade or rust or break or be stolen, must pay careful attention to Easter — not with a nod-off-through-the-sermon kind of attention, but with a real, earnest, eager attention riveted on Christ.

If we miss the significance of the resurrection, we scamper past the greatest joy in the universe. The Joy of Jesus As the dark shadows stalked the soon-to-be crucified Christ, he turned his attention to joy. Throughout this Holy Week of his crucifixion, Jesus had foreshadowed his death for his disciples who struggled to make sense of it all. He addressed their concerns directly in John 16:19–24. Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’?

Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

We rewind Holy Week to hear Jesus forecast the changes to come in his resurrection. He wanted his disciples to anticipate Easter Sunday as the cataclysmic dawning of true joy. And here’s what it all means for joy seekers......


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday With John Piper, The Greatest Prayer In The World---Jesus In the Garden Before His Crucifixion


It is Thursday, the night before Jesus’s crucifixion. This evening has been laden with teaching (John 13–17), shocking with foot-washing by the greatest for the least (John 13:3–20), epoch-making with the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:20–30Mark 14:17–26Luke 22:14–20), and pivotal with the departure of Judas (John 13:30).
Now Jesus and the eleven have gone to the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18:1;Mark 14:32). Here Jesus prays the greatest prayer in the world. What hung in the balance was the glory of God’s grace and the salvation of the world. The success of Jesus’s mission to earth depended on Jesus’s prayer and the answer given. He prayed with reverence and his request was given.
The question I would like to try to answer is: How does Hebrews 5:7 relate to the prayers in Gethsemane? Hebrews 5:7 says, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” He was heard. He got his request. What does this refer to in Jesus’s life?

Loud Cries in the Garden

Nothing in Jesus’s experience comes closer to this description than the prayers of Gethsemane. “Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears,” corresponds emotionally to Luke 22:44, “Being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” “Loud cries and tears” is a description of the “agony” of Jesus.
What was the content of Jesus’s “prayers and supplications” in Hebrews 5:7? If we assume the content was: “Remove this cup from me” (Mark 14:36), then what would it mean that “he was heard because of his reverence” (Hebrews 5:7)? Hebrews teaches that, precisely because of his “godly fear,” Jesus “was heard,” that is, he received his request.
But the cup was not removed. He suffered the fullness of physical pain and divine wrath. So in what sense was Jesus “heard because of his reverence”?

His First Prayer and the Angel’s Help

Both Matthew and Mark portray Jesus as praying three separate times, and each time returning to the sleeping Peter, James, and John. Luke, on the other hand, gives a single summary description of Jesus’s prayers, and includes a detail that points to an answer to our question, namely, the visitation of the angel. Luke writes,
He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:41–44)
Before the angel came “to strengthen” him, Jesus prayed that the cup be removed (Luke 22:42). Then the angel came, “strengthening him.” Strengthening him for what? Presumably to do what he had to do. In other words, the angel was God’s response to Jesus’s first prayer. The angel bears God’s message that there is no other way, but I will help you. Do not turn from your mission now, in spite of the terrifying prospect. I will help you. Here is my angel to strengthen you.
Then the question is: What was the content of the prayers that followed? Luke 22:44 says, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly.” Does this mean he kept on saying: “Remove this cup from me,” even more earnestly? That assumption would be unworthy of Jesus. What then was he praying? And is this different prayer what Hebrews says “was heard because of his reverence”?

He Prays a Second Time

According to Matthew, when Jesus went away a second time to pray, he did not say the identical words as the first time. The first time he said, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” The second time he said, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done” (Matthew 26:42).
May we not assume that the angel had come to Jesus the first time he prayed, and had made plain to Jesus that it was, in fact, not possible for the cup to pass from him, but that God would help him drink it? Which is why, in his second prayer, Jesus does not ask for the cup to be removed, but instead asks for God’s will to be done in view of the revealed fact that “the cup cannot pass”: “If this cannot pass unless I drink it [which has now been made plain to me by the coming of the angel], your will be done.”
When Mark says, of the second prayer of Jesus, “And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words” (Mark 14:39), it need not contradict this, as though only the same words were spoken all three times. “The same words” may simply refer to, “Your will be done,” which indeed Jesus prays each time.
If we are on the right track, then the content of Jesus’s supplications after the angel came was not the same as before. He did not go on praying: “Let this cup pass from me.” It says, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly” (Luke 22:44). If he was not praying more earnestly for the cup to be removed, then what was he praying?

His Greatest Act of Obedience

Hebrews 5:7 says, “Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” If “save his soul from death” does not mean, “Remove this cup from me,” what does it mean? For he was certainly heard and received this request.
Jonathan Edwards answers,
This was the greatest act of obedience that Christ was to perform. He prays for strength and help, that his poor feeble human nature might be supported, that he might not fail in this great trial, that he might not sink and be swallowed up, and his strength so overcome that he should not hold out, and finish the appointed obedience.
He was afraid lest his poor feeble strength should be overcome, and that he should fail in so great a trial, that he should be swallowed up by that death that he was to die, and so should not be saved from death; and therefore he offered up strong crying and tears unto him that was able to strengthen him, and support, and save him from death, that the death he was to suffer might not overcome his love and obedience, but that he might overcome death, and so be saved from it. (“Christ’s Agony”)
Jesus did not go on praying for the cup to pass. He went on praying for success in drinking it.
When Paul says, of Jesus’s resurrection, “Therefore, God has highly exalted him” (Philippians 2:9), the “therefore” refers to Jesus’s unwavering obedience unto death: “Being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore . . .” (Philippians 2:8). God saved Jesus from death because he was obedient. His prayers were answered.

The Father’s Answer

If Jesus had not been obedient unto death, he would have been swallowed up by death forever and there would be no resurrection, no salvation, and no future world filled with the glory of God’s grace and God’s children. This is what Jesus prayed for “to him who was able to save him from death” — that is, save him from a death that would not succeed its saving mission.
“He was heard for his godly fear.” God did save him from the threat that such a death posed to his obedience. Jesus did succeed. There is salvation for all who believe. There will be a new world full of the glory of God’s grace and God’s children.
And all of this is owing to the greatest prayer in the world. Every hope of the gospel succeeds because of Jesus’s reverent earnestness in prayer, and the answer of the Father. “Being in an agony he prayed more earnestly . . . and he was heard because of his reverence” (Luke 22:44Hebrews 5:7).
Evidently, by the time Jesus was done praying in Gethsemane, the Father had not only made clear that there is no other way than the cross, but also that this way would succeed. The Lamb would have the reward of his suffering. He will “see his offspring; he will prolong his days; the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he will see and be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:10–11).
Surely this is why Hebrews 12:2 could say, “For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross.” Beneath the terrors of present agony was the taste of future joy. The angel had come, “strengthening him” — clarifying, confirming, connecting the coming joy.

This is the fifth post in Desiring God’s 2014 Holy Week series “The Final Days of Jesus,” inspired by the new book of the same title by Justin Taylor and Andreas Kostenberger. Holy Week illustrations provided in partnership with Crossway Books and Adam Greene. Previously in the series:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holy Week: The Maturing of the Apostle Paul Has Life Lessons For All of Us


I HAVE TO SAY, OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS,  I've not been in the best of spirits. That's often to be expected during the annual period of Lent. The good news is, over the past few months, a far deeper subject than my/our unpleasant condo situation has gripped me:  I've become deeply and genuinely interested in learning more about the life of the Apostle Paul and his amazing missionary journeys preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the Roman Empire.  You will recall that Paul, the Jewish Pharisee who condemned new followers of The Way, had a dramatic on-the-road-to-Damascus experience where he was struck blind and met the risen, living Christ.  His life and conversion are chronicled in the Book of Acts and also in his many New Testament Epistles.  It is a topic worthy of several lifetimes of study and application.

My current obsession with Paul is literally saving my sanity and inspiring me beyond my wildest dreams.  Praise God for this gift, at this time.

When a pastor recommended  Neil Cole's book, Journeys to Significance, several weeks ago,   I immediately put it on my top-ten reading list and ordered it from Amazon.  After receiving it,  I threw it in the back seat of my car hoping for a good time to read it while on a road trip to Texas. Finally, this week---Holy Week---I have sequestered myself far away and am reading this book--- literally one of the most significant  reads of my life.  Haven't been able to put it down and don't want it to's that good and instructive---truly.

If you think you've reached your maximum maturity level (I certainly don't!) or that the Apostle Paul began his missionary journeys at some semblance of  high-level maturity, then don't kid yourself,  please think again.  All of us----especially those of us who call ourselves Christians---can and should continue learning and maturing until the day we meet our maker. It never stops, nor should it.  God didn't put us here to make us happy all the time, so much as to form us into maturing individualsk who know what love is and can make a difference in this dark and darkening world, now groaning, waiting for the return of Christ.

This is ostensibly a book about leadership for church leaders.  However, it is a book for anyone who desires to learn more about genuine leadership that begins and ends with the leading of our Lord.  The only true maturity for any of us is from the trials,  tribulations, loneliness, fear, sufferings and inspirations of the Holy Spirit. As Cole states,  God's  paintbrush strokes on our lives and unique destinies began before we're even born.

I simply cannot say enough good things about Neil Cole's book though it is not for everyone, especially those not consciously on a spiritual journey.  Some criticize Cole for inserting too much of his own autobiographical
material within the context of Paul's life and journeys.   I don't,  and really got and identified with one of Cole's basic life decisions:  to live life as an adventure and learn, learn from it and our many mistakes, rather than just reading about the mistakes and adventures of others and avoiding pain and involvement in life.

I leave you to read about the book yourself, if you're so drawn.  As for me,  I am deeply grateful to Neil for helping me continue to understand the trials and tribulations of Paul and how it relates to my own life adventures in and out of suffering leading to greater aliveness.  Trying too hard to protect ourselves from pain  deadens our lives and makes us much more superficial, dull and unauthentic.  If you want to finish well and be deeply wise, then you will do well to read Cole's marvellous book to continue your journey.

Thanks for coming by, as always.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday---The Mysterious Who, What, When, By and To Whom of The Book of Hebrews


LON SOLOMON OF MCLEAN BIBLE CHURCH talks about the great questions  of Hebrews. 

When Lon answers questions like these,  I always listen and learn.  Most of all, I tend to agree with him. This is a terrific series!

Sorry to be missing-in-action this past week. So much is going on in my life right now, so many changes and travel, that I simply haven't been able to write anything more recently. I will be here as I can, am just fine for the most part, and will write more soon. Thank you for coming by.

Back to Hebrews---below is another excellent video teaching on the book. Remember this was Paul writing to the Jews or Hebrews believers who still believed in the old, Mosaic Covenant, but also  believing in the New Covenant instigated by Jesus Christ in his crucifixion and resurrection:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Abe's Garden In West Nashville--Big Egos---Destroying Natural Boundaries, Flood Inhibitors, Neighboring Gardens and Greenspace For Their Too Big Development On Too Little Land


Thanks fellows...thank you for keeping your promise to us and being such  great  neighbors. Your property with far too much development on a postage stamp of land, mostly riparian land, is where humilty goes to die.  Your development is so top heavy,  you desperately have to claim every square inch to make it work.

Nashville should be ashamed of itself for letting you get by with this. Without doubt this will hasten the next big super flood---like the May 1, 2010 epic one----and add to the nightmare traffic congestion.

But don't worry, they will be planting ornamentals to make everyone feel better.

What Happens to A So-Called Hot 'IT' City Like Nashville, Tennessee---It Becomes the Shameful Queen of Whoredom----Just Can't Help Itself, Like Babylon



Meanwhile, Nashville wants to be popular above all else and is prostituting itself to be liked at all costs by the highest bidder.

Shame on the standardless Nashville Metro Council, the Metro Planning Commission and the people of Nashville who have given up their standards to anything-goes developers who have NO, ZERO accountability...who are like foxes in the henhouse.

Come on guys, get over the Civil War and get a grip!  Time to  fight like men.

Soon let's talk about the 2010 historic flood.... and how it's only just the beginning of the devastation, as all vestiges of natural vegetative flood control are wiped out in front of our very eyes---today.
ABOVE, click pic for full enlargement.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday, Great Reminder How God Fights For Us Against What Seems Like Impossible Odds



The next time someone says that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, point them to Judges chapter seven. God instructing Gideon to take on over 100,000 enemy soldiers with just 300 fits in the “more than you can handle” category. Imagine how Gideon and his servant, Purah, must have felt trying to come to grips with a humanly impossible assignment.

Standing on the side of Mount Gilboa, Gideon gazed over the Plain of Jezreel, which sprawled beneath him northward toward the Hill of Moreh. The plain was a sea of tents, teeming with more than 100,000 Midian warriors.
That morning, the Lᴏʀᴅ had judged Israel’s army of 32,000 too big to face Midian’s. Israel would think more highly of himself than he ought to think when God gave him victory. So Gideon had sent home whoever was afraid. When 22,000 hit the road, Gideon had to quiet his own fear. Now Israel was outnumbered ten-to-one. But God was with them and armies had overcome such odds before.
Oddly, the Lᴏʀᴅ considered these odds still too much in Israel’s favor. So in obedience to the Lᴏʀᴅ’s instruction, Gideon brought his small, thirsty army down to the Spring of Harod. And he gave his servant, Purah, the strangest command of his brief military career: “Observe all the men as they drink. Have every man who laps his water like a dog stand off to the side.”
Gideon supervised the selection, but when so few were being chosen he just let Purah finish the count and he climbed back up Gilboa to pray and survey.
It wasn’t long before Purah emerged from the trees. “So what’s the total?”
“Three hundred, sir,” said Purah.
Gideon chuckled to himself. “Three hundred.” He looked back toward the human hoard in the valley and was quiet for a moment. “That’s less than I expected.”
“Yes, sir,” said Purah. “But thankfully, three hundred doesn’t reduce our strength much.”
Gideon breathed deeply. “No, Purah. The three hundred are not the reductions. They’re the army. The others are the reductions.”
Purah stood dazed for a moment staring at Gideon. “The three hundred are the army?”
Gideon nodded slowly, still looking into the Midian-infested Jezreel.
“But that’s not an army! That’s how many should be guarding an army’s baggage!”
Purah stepped up beside Gideon. Together they watched smoke columns rising from ten times more cooking fires than they now had warriors. Purah shook his head and said, “Even if we were all like the mighty men of old, three hundred could not overcome 100,000.” He paused. “And we aren’t mighty men.” Another pause. “And there’s more than a 100,000 down there.”
Both were silent for a while. In the quiet, the Lᴏʀᴅ spoke to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.
Then Gideon said to Purah, “During the Exodus, how many mighty men did it take to destroy Egypt and its army or part the Red Sea? Purah thought briefly. “None.” “How many did it take to tear down Jericho’s walls?” “None.”

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Totalitarian Radical Gay Left: Debate Closed? No Dissenting Opinion? A Shameful Bore




Intolerance Over Tolerance.

 Nothing is ever enough for these people---no victory satisfies----with radical feminism,extreme  gay rights, radical environmentalism/climate change. It just goes on and on. No dissenting opinion is ever too small to disrespect and try to annihilate and degrade. In the beginning, middle and end, these people are radical bores and radical anti-Americans.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Stunning Time-Lapse Photo of Jets Taking Off At LAX



Not exactly the same direction stocks went today, as in made a crash landing. Can't ever remember seeing the Nasdaq go down quite so hard.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Little Garden We Want to Save


It's a yearly, happy ritual with her. She's been deeply saddened by events of the past few days/months and also mad at me for trying to buoy up her spirits and encourage her not to give up. She admonishes me We can't beat city hall! Give up!  

We can't?  You sure? We're really not trying to beat anyone....we're saving our property values and quality-of-life in a city all-too-willing to give developers a a free pass once they've gone through the charade of  a zoning OK...
.What if we have a Supernatural Power Far Greater Than Anything working with, around and through us?

 Anyway, today, much to my happy surprise, she had put out her beautiful Japanese lanterns that glow in the dark and make her little garden space look like a grand festival! I immediately saw this as as a good sign that her spirits are lifting for the better. What fun to see her smile at me at Krogers a little while ago and say she just couldn't bear not putting her lanterns out and planting her flowers soon!

She also said the squirrels she feeds in winter in the trees we want to save can't get through the fence they've erected and she actually saw a---one of her chipmunks crying.....she is the animal whisperer in our complex.

You go girl! Plant that garden and enjoy it this year. And the next and the next.   Here's one for you even though you don't have a computer.


April 2, Wednesday: Nashville---To Whom It May Concern

AS A FIRST AMENDMENT WOMAN,  I am nonetheless more-than-happy to temporarily and voluntarily take down my blog post from last week at my lawyer's request at your lawyer's request---Tough Times in the Neighborhood---and actually never put it up again, or write another disparaging word---ever---about any of you. Or post photos of the beautiful trees you want to cut down and replace with ornamentals or blog the ongoing construction of your development adjoining our condo boundary---- IF  you are willing to negotiate with those of us on the back boundary line who have genuine concerns (since the beginning 7 years ago) to a  fruitful and satisfactory conclusion.

That means you  meet us halfway on this, now.  Today. Time is running out.

We'll let bygones be bygones.

Surely you remember that seven years ago at that fateful planning commission meeting where I and my group  testified our deep concerns and threatened to block and delay your SP zoning permit,  the new owner and head of this project came over to me  pleading and begging for us to let their zoning  request pass that evening.

 He told me that if we would stand aside and let them get the SP permit, he would promise me, PROMISE us that he would work cooperatively with me and us to address those legitimate concerns to our satisfaction.  After much discussion  I acceded to his wishes though I naively did not get his promise on paper which I now regret.

We shook hands on the deal, and I foolishly chose to believe that this developer was telling me the truth and  would make good on his pledge to work with us and me on our concerns until they were resolved.

So we stepped back and let him get his SP zoning permit (SP zoning in Metro Nashville is a whole nother subject---an undefined joke in Metro----which I  may write on at another time).  After he got what he wanted, he walked away, started changing this development plan again and again and again without ever going back through the planning commision  review process which he should have.  They did their changes with the planning office which was unable to do anything that would have brought accountability to bear on them or their ever changing plans.

As he and they did this, they completely turned their back on us and conventiently forget this promise to me seven years ago.    He sent his right-hand man out to get someone's approval over here---some young neophyte who had lived here 18 months and could have cared less. She then brought her silly friends over in the late afternoon under my deck with big glasses of white wine sloshing around telling them about all the wonderful shrubs you wanted to plant to mitigate your destruction.  They and you systematically shut out, excluded and ignored our concerns.  We remain unamused to put it mildly.

You have continued to do end-runs around those most affected with the biggest concerns to this very day.

Now you  have the opportunity to change your tune and make good your leader's promise to me.  You can show through negotiations and solid actions that you want to be good neighbors to those of us who face a tremendous loss of quality of life,  loss of privacy and quiet enjoyment, loss of property values.

Here's what we want:

1.  We want you to leave the old 75' trees that form a natural boundary between our development and yours which are still standing behind our building.

2. We want  you to put your service road on your side of those big trees and natural boundary. Then we want to show us on the ground with stakes where everything goes.  Soon.

3.We want a 10-12 foot wall constructed on the property line, instead of your ungenerous 4' suggestion.

4. It is not acceptable that we smell your garbage or hear heating and air conditioning noise near our property units in-our-face. We do not want to see or hear grinding machines on top of your roofs all day and all night.

5.  If you are unwilling to make these small changes, we will seek mitigation for our loss of property values and quality of life. If you are, we will be the best neighbors you will ever find.

Again, we are not seeking to stop your project.  We are standing up for our way-of-life and some small degree of accountability.  We are not willing to give up----sarcifice----our meager gardens for your grandiose garden that destroys our quality-of-life in the name of  progress. And we won't even talk about the traffic mess you are going to be causing.  You don't seem to care, neither does Metro.  We do.

Hope you will take our concerns seriously.  It's OK if you print this and run to a judge with it.

Good day,  gentlemen.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Yellowstone Bison Fleeing For A Seismic Reason? Do They Sense A Humongus Seismic Event?

I TRULY DOUBT THIS IMMINENT CATASTROPHIC EVENT.  But you can see for yourself and decide. I've hiked and fished on and around this super caldera for years and known of the super explosion that happened there perhaps millions of years ago, but have never thought it was in any danger for going off in, say, the next 200,000 years. Summers in Jackson Hole and surroundings may have just gotten a bit more interesting.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Michael Lewis On 60 Minutes: Stock Market Rigged By HFTs


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

3 Reasons Global Warming Has Fizzled

THREE GOOD, COMPELLING REASONS. Plus a fourth: the science is not there, never been there.

Monday, March 24, 2014

1 World Trade Center Daring 1776' Jump Off Freedom Tower Last September As Seen From Skydiver's Helmet Camera


THIS WILD STORY WHICH actually took place last September 30 is reported today in the NY Daily News: 

The trio of skydivers and their lookout surrendered to authorities on Monday — and one of them was revealed to be a hardhat who formerly worked at 1 World Trade Center. The Daily News reported exclusively in its Monday editions the identities of the men who parachuted off the tower on Sept. 30, an act that initially sparked fears of terrorism at the nation’s tallest building.

Andrew Rossig, 33, James Brady, 32, Marco Markovich, 27, and the lookout, Kyle Hartwell, 29, were charged with burglary, reckless endangerment and jumping from a structure, cops said. The skydivers say that if the video becomes popular on YouTube and pulls in some money, they will donate the proceeds to a charity for families of 9/11 victims, Rossig’s attorney, Timothy Parlatore, told The News.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Excerpts From 'Real Christianity' By William Wilburforce, Published in 1797


IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE, PUBLIC SPIRIT WAS THE EQUIVALENT OF THE LOVE OF GLORY, both for the empire and for its heroes.  The result was an insatiable hunger for conquest that eventually led to Rome's downfall.  When public vitality depends on conquest, vitality languishes when conquest is gone. Wealth and luxury produce stagnation,  and stagnation terminates in death..... 
....Nor can a society long survive whose basis of existence is the misery of other cultures. It, like Rome, becomes the enemy of its neighbors and the  scourge of the human race.  All these outcomes are examples of what happens when man attempts to be God.  All efforts turn out to have faults in their execution and fail to achieve their purposed goals.....Christianity is in every way opposed to the very enemy of political communities: selfishness... 
We could say that the primary purpose of true Christianity is to root out natural selfishness and all that comes with it in order to help us develop a proper sense of who we are and what our obligations are to our fellow human beings.  Benevolence is the driving force of authentic Christianity.  It is the direct result of developing a lifestyle of moderation in the pursuit of pleasure and affluence, a degree of indifference to the things culture has decided are important, diligence in the performance of personal and civil responsibilities, a commitment to doing the will of God, and a patient and trusting attitude toward the providence of God in one's response to the unpredictable and often discouraging events of life.  A life of authentic faith will produce humility in our lives.  Humility is essential if a man or woman is to develop a spirit of genuine benevolence. 
In whatever sector of society Christian faith exists, it sets out to fight against the cost to human dignity that selfishness has exacted. It teaches the wealthy the wealthy to be generous and to have a proper view of the privileges and responsibilities that come with  financial success. When wealth is used properly and those who have it demonstrate humility, the inequities of life are less bitter to those who do not possess it.  On the other hand, for those who live in less affluent circumstances,  authentic faith teaches diligence, patience, industry and a recognition that the faithful execution of their responsibilities is to be done with out envy of the rich or bitterness toward their own state. 
Contentment is a product of recognizing that the way things are is not the way that they should be and that one day they will be as God intended. The amount of energy put into the pursuit of worldly wealth, power and fame is not worth the ultimate value of the pursuit.  The   great benefit of authentic faith is that it produces a state of inner peace that gives much greater satisfaction than the most expensive pleasure it can provide.  It is not limited by any social, economic or racial barrier.  In some ways, it is a benefit not to have to deal with the variety of temptations that wealth affords.  There is much to be said for a simple life.  The true treasure for people of faith is the inheritance that Christ now keeps for them that will one day be their. 
It is important to note that the requirement for all these benefits to occur is a real, deep, authentic faith.  Nominal or superficial Christianity does not have the ability to create such outcomes.....

----Real Christianity, William Wilberforce,  pages 154-156

Fortunate is the man and woman who discovers this great truth sooner rather than later in life and can walk away from the worldly promises that never fulfill.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Obama-Putin Conversation

THE COOL WAR AND CRIMEA. Jimmy Fallon does the parody. Well done,  very well done.

Way cool, Stuart.  Thanks for the laughs.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Debris Spotted, Missing FH 370

SUN IS FINALLY SHINING HERE---WARMING THINGS UP--- AND I PLAN TO BE OUT IN IT, GRATEFULLY, ALL DAY.   Can't begin to image what the families and loved ones of those on MH 370 are going through in this extremely prolonged search.  What a state of limbo!  However, they need our continuing prayers for whatever information this large debris conveys.

It does seem like it's time there's a break in this mysterious disappearance.  When there is, we still may not know what actually happened, or why. We may never know.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Going Local: Should Jack Daniels Have A Monopoly On What's Called 'Tennessee Whiskey'?

A HEATED DEBATE IS COOKING HERE IN TENNESSEE RIGHT NOW: Newer distillers just getting in the business don't want to have to make their made-in-Tennessee whiskey the ole fashioned way Jack Daniels does.   Black Jack distillers haven't liked the smell of this competition for some time, preferring instead to keep it contained by specifying in state legislation passed last year how real whiskey that can be called real whiskey can and must be made in Tennessee.

To wit:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The owner of the Full Throttle moonshine distillery wants to add Tennessee whiskey to his product list. But Michael Ballard doesn't want to have to make his spirits in the style of Jack Daniel's, the world's most famous Tennessee whiskey.
Ballard, star of the cable reality show "Full Throttle Saloon," said a state law enacted last year prevents him from exploring his own style of Tennessee whiskey, and he is urging lawmakers to dial back some of the new regulations.
"We don't want to make our whiskey like Jack Daniel's makes their whiskey," said Ballard, who built his distillery in his home town of Trimble in rural northwestern Tennessee. "Why put us all in one box together?"
Ballard and Jesse James Dupree, who is building a distillery next to the Full Throttle facility, plan to attend legislative hearings Tuesday on scaling back the Tennessee whiskey rules. They include proposals to do away with provisions requiring charcoal filtering and storing whiskey only in new oak barrels.
We'll see what happens. Personally, if I were a whiskey drinker or were giving a gift of good whiskey, I'd go for the best, the highest quality and industry standard.

Nonetheless, I don't think government mandating to the inth degree how inferior whiskey has to be made is right either. There can and should be some standards, but not necessarily standards that exactly mirror how Brown Foreman distills and ages its brand.

 I ask you, would you rather sip a little Black Jack or take a slug of Full Throttle Moonshine Whiskey? I report, you decide.....

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tamny: Rejoice In Big Government's Myriad Failings---A Review Of Recent History For GOPers Obsessing Over Obama, Clinton



WITHOUT DEFENDING OBAMA'S FAILED PRESIDENCY for even a second, Republican obsession with him that includes the assertion that he's "ruining the country" gives a charitably average politician and thinker way too much credit, is an insult to Americans for presuming someone so second rate could reduce them to prostrate supplicants of the State, and it ignores the myriad GOP policy failures up to 2008 that made Obama's presidency possible in the first place.

By John Tamny

To read, listen to, or watch much Republican commentary today is to be told that President Obama is ruining the country. About Obama, it should be said up front that he's very much a failed president.

That said, for Republicans to say with such certainty that Obama is ruining the U.S. is for them to pay him quite the compliment. They should be a little bit more circumspect. The fortunes of countries rise and fall all the time.

China almost literally committed suicide after World War II with its rush into the murderous horrors of communism, and then England's post-war lurch toward socialism tragically impoverished a once great nation. But at present China is booming, and England too is alive with economic activity.

For Republicans to say that Obama is doing un-fixable damage to the U.S. is for them to ascribe otherworldly charisma and powers to him, and that plainly don't exist. Worse, they're saying that a less than impressive politician can in six years wreck the richest and most entrepreneurial nation ever formed. That's not likely, and it's an insult to Americans for Republicans to presume they're so weak as to let someone of Obama's ilk bring them down. If China can rebound from Mao, the U.S. can and will surely rebound from Obama.

Part of the Republican line about Obama is that he's imposed the biggest deficits in history on the U.S. Actually, he hasn't. Presidents per the Constitution can't spend money, rather Congress allocates funds. In that case, the Democrats controlled the purse from 2006 until 2010, but since then the Republican Party has managed spending. Democrats were notorious for labeling Ronald Reagan's relatively austere budgets as "Dead on Arrival," so why don't the Republicans do the same to Obama, only in reverse?

And while deficits obscure the much bigger economic problem that is spending, the Republicans have been in control of Congress the majority of the time since 1994, including some years under a Republican president in George W. Bush. Where was the spending restraint then, and budget "surpluses," when Bush was in office?

As for Obamacare, Republicans should be thanking President Obama every night for foisting this disaster on the nation. It's failing before our eyes due to its myriad contradictions, and in collapsing it's vividly exposing the fatal conceit of big government programs to voters. Obamacare is the best thing that ever happened to the freedom movement, so rather than bemoan this obnoxious bit of government overreach, Republicans should enjoy its implosion while talking loudly about how the federal government should have no role in the provision of healthcare in the first place.

Most comical of all, Republicans like to claim that Obama wouldn't be president today if he weren't black. If by that they mean that Americans are generous in spirit, that's fine. But it doesn't seem to be what many mean. Instead, Republicans seem to be saying that absent Obama's skin color, the electorate would have put John McCain into the White House while revealing their preference for a continuation of Republican policies that had prevailed up to 2008. This is dangerous and rather foolhardy thinking.

The Republicans lost big in 2008 because the Party of Growth and entrepreneurial capitalism in the '80s had by the 2000s morphed into something quite different. Lest we forget, it was President Bush who signed the business-sapping Sarbanes-Oxley law (at the time he bragged it was the toughest anti-business "crime" law since the days of FDR), a McCain-Feingold bill that restricted free speech, and with a Republican Congress largely in control of the purse, it was Bush who never vetoed obnoxiously large budgets, not to mention his signing of a rather expensive prescription drug benefit.

It was also Bush who foisted on us a brutally cruel economic "blessing" in the form of Ben Bernanke, imposed tariffs on steel, shrimp and softwood lumber all the while bashing China, promoted with great gusto an economy-crushing devaluation of the dollar that authored an economy-strangling rush into the consumption of housing, and then when the markets revealed the horrors of Bush's policies with bank failures, rather than allow the capitalist system to fix his myriad errors, Bush, working with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Bernanke, decided to blame the markets for not working right such that they bailed out banks that the free markets had decided were not worth saving. In committing their egregious bailout errors Bush and Bernanke fostered a wholly unnecessary "financial crisis" that had nothing to do with capitalism, and everything to do with them running away from it. And in blocking the infinite and very curative wonders of the marketplace, they robbed our economy of a substantial recovery.

We don't suffer a presidency today that is an affront to good governance because of President Obama's ethnicity, rather we have a lousy president because the Republicans proved in the 2000s that they could easily match the Democrats when it came to obtuse policymaking. Until the Republicans realize this and acknowledge just how poorly their own party governed while in control, they won't be credible.

Of course, that's what's so concerning about their whining about Hillary Clinton. It says here that she won't run for president as is, and that if she doesrun she won't get the nomination, but it's been suggested on the right that Clinton will get the nomination, and that the mainstream media will give her a free pass in terms of coverage all the way to the White House.

Ok, it's probably fair to say that the mainstream media will be easier on her assuming she runs, but so what? As an aged USA Today piece by Peter Johnson noted about Ronald Reagan's campaign in 1984, coverage of him was over 90 percent negative. Despite this, the electorate wasn't fooled such that Reagan won 49 states out of 50; his success coming without Fox News,Rush Limbaugh, and all manner of alternative media sources that we enjoy today, and that tell us what the mainstream media does not.

To be blunt, if the Republicans can't field a candidate in 2016 to beat Hillary Clinton and all her baggage, or another Democratic Party candidate carrying the heavy weight of President Obama's numerous failings on his or her shoulders, they'll only have themselves to blame. Logic dictates a Republican victory in light of Obama's implosion, and if not, a logical answer for why will be the ongoing failure on the part of the GOP to look in the mirror, and wake up to the fact that the electorate got it right in firing an aimless, increasinglystatist, and largely anti-growth party in 2006 and 2008.

The late great free-market columnist Warren Brookes long ago wrote that envy "is the single most impoverishing attitude of thought." The Republicans thankfully aren't the Party of envy as their reliably dense competitors in the Democratic Party are, but as evidenced by all their wailing about President Obama and Hillary Clinton, their thinking is similarly impoverishing. Rather than spending so much time obsessing about their opponents, and elevating them in the process, they should rejoice in their failures that are discrediting big government with each passing day, and that will reward the Republicans if they develop a clue about how economies grow.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday: The Millennial Generation's Most Acceptable Sin



READING THIS WEEK ABOUT FEMALE 'ROLE MODEL' BEYONCE'S GHASHTLY, SEXUALLY EXPLICIT LYRICS from her latest CD, and hearing  Bill O'Reilly call her out about it on David Letterman---Letterman of course defending this low-life, degenerate, exhibitionist singer----has caused me to think a lot this week about the continuing moral decline in our country and dearth of morally chaste women who set the bar higher  for the upcoming generations of girls and women.

Anytime sex is so well-established in our culture, even in our churches, one can only wonder if we've gone past the point-of-no-return into the depths of moral decay.

Saw this article by Bryan Gingerich of Patrick Henry College and thought it well-worth posting in light of that.  It bears repeating again and again:

EVERY HUMAN INSTITUTION AND SOCIETY  its own list of sins and virtues that contradict the law of God. With the rise of the Millennial generation in evangelical churches, a vice is creeping up into the realms of acceptance, indifference, or at least resignation:  extramarital sex or unchaste living. 

A few decades ago, it was one of the main issues that evangelicals hammered in their social witness. The skeptical news cycle and entertainment industry mocked this often; they saw pleas for chastity as a laughable result of pietistic sexual repression and no small bit of hypocrisy. Theological leaders and other influential voices chided their fellow believers for obsessing over a select set of sexual taboos.

Now, however, the exhortations have eased off.Commentary from Tim Keller at the latest Q Conference in New York is quite telling. "We're not doing well on the sex side," he confessed. Talking about his church, Keller said, "We're just like the rest of the city. If I preach like that [on sexual ethics], everybody gets real quiet."
Similarly, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy discovered 80 percent of unmarried evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29 had engaged in sex. Using a more stringent definition of "evangelical," the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) recently reported that 44 percent of millennial evangelicals had sex outside marriage. Of course, just because Christians oppose sexual immorality does not mean they never struggle with it. Nevertheless, in this sort of moral environment, harping on moral sex lives is analogous to starting an abolitionist church in the antebellum South. Thanks to the public liturgy of Hollywood and our own human inclinations, fornication has been normalized and poses a massive obstacle to effective pastoral ministry.

Shut Up and Stay Out of Sex Lives

More disturbingly, many young evangelicals are trying to loosen the standards of the moral law to fit their desire to become sexually active before committing to marriage. Some are direct, telling the church to shut up and stay out of their sex lives. They say that Jesus wants his followers to pursue justice, provide for the poor, minister to the outcasts, and otherwise love their neighbors as themselves. They claim Christ did not send his disciples out to be the sex police, and the early church focused instead on counter-cultural community-making.
Of course this argument is contradicted by the historical evidence. For example, Polycarp (student of St. John the Apostle) instructed women to be "loving all [others] equally in all chastity." Likewise, he urged young men to be "especially careful to preserve purity." Speaking of Valens (a man estranged from church discipline by his indiscretions), Polycarp taught, "I exhort you . . . that ye be chaste and truthful. 'Abstain from every form of evil.'" In the Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, the author famously describes Christians: "They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh." The Apostolic Fathers and their standards for the ancient church are clear. We must not form the past and its teaching to suit our wants.

Costly Toll on the Soul

Other young evangelicals, however, are truly struggling with sexual morality---and often losing. I refer especially (but not solely) to pornography, in which one commits adultery in the heart. The toll this battle takes on the soul is costly. Perhaps this is why the popular folk band Mumford and Sons's music resonates so strongly with Christians. The group's lyrics often explore fall, redemption, grace, and love. For instance, band leader Marcus Mumford asks in "White Blank Page":
Can you lie next to her
And give her your heart, your heart
As well as your body
And can you lie next to her
And confess your love, your love
As well as your folly
And can you kneel before the king/And say I'm clean, I'm clean.
For too many young men, wracked with regret over their defeats and struggles, the answer is an ashamed "no."

Beware Acceptable Sins

Young evangelicals must choose their master. Right now, too many follow their appetites and desires. They are bending God's own standards to satiate their libido. Perhaps fear and repentance would not be amiss here---numerous portions of sacred Scripture indicate that sexuality expresses God's character as carried out in his image-bearers. The cost of trespassing providential limits is too high. Beware your acceptable sins---they are the ones that will kill you. When a society caves in to one particular sin and twists the gospel to defend it (e.g. the antebellum South with slavery) that vice will become a canker on the soul and will eventually bring it to ruin.
Christ Jesus lived a pure, spotless, and (notably) chaste life to buy his Bride on the cross. He proved his authority and victory in the resurrection. At Pentecost, he sent the Holy Ghost to empower and enliven his apostles to carry out a very special work. His disciples would be instruments to make a people for himself.
To this end, the single soul as well as the called-out community are sanctified. They war with the Devil, the world, and (especially relevant) the flesh. God grants his enabling grace to the saints that they might instantiate the renewed creation: husbands and wives bound in perfect unity or the celibate set apart for special kingdom service. This involves everypart of human life, manifested in appropriate ways: the economy, alms giving, kind acts, pursuit of political justice, and---yes---even sexuality.
Barton Gingerich is a research assistant at the Institute on Religion and Democracy. He holds a BA in history from Patrick Henry College and is a member of Holy Trinity Church in Fairfax, Virginia. You can follow him on Twitter at @bjgingerich.