Sunday, April 14, 2019

Workforce Hero

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
Edited 4-15-2019

Many of us who have jobs know the frustration of having upper management make demands, expecting those of us who actually do the work to somehow make their dreams and their bonuses come true. Unfortunately, too many people in their positions do not know how things work, but they make promises to clients that cannot realistically be fulfilled. I say that the motto of The Company is the song by Queen, "I Want It All (and I Want It Now)".


The hero-martyr who sold his soul for money and tries to put guilt on the rest of us.
USSR Order of Labor Glory 3rd Class Medal
Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Fdutil
(CC by-SA 3.0)
While my work at The Question Evolution Project and the Piltdown Superman site (among others) sometimes feels like a full-time job, I have a day job to pay the bills. It is a data entry job, so you can imagine the eye strain from doing that plus writing posts and articles.

My own social media rules are stricter than those of The Company because all y'all don't need to know where I work. One reason for that came from an incident on Twitter where someone looked up my employer and said he was calling them to get me fired. Why? Because he didn't like something I wrote. (Leftists want people silenced, you know.) As if he could reach the CEOs of a huge international corporation anyway — not that they would care about a whining troll in the first place.


A Bit of Background

This job requires us to make bricks and gather our own straw. That is, we are not given the necessary tools. We have outdated computers ("Optimized for Windows XP", tricked out for Windows 7), a rented building that would probably not pass inspections by the county health department or the fire codes, quirky climate controls, and so on.

We also use second-drawer software. Even before I began riding for the brand, people disliked this operating system. Sure, every OS needs adjustments. But when we've been complaining for years and are repeatedly told that "we're working on it", it's downright discouraging. In fact, the IT department makes adjustments that take away functionality. Live with it. Don't you know who we are? We're The Company! When both speed and accuracy are essential, we don't want to hear excuses and get workarounds that take too much time. Fix it, or put it back the way it was, Skippy.

The Company has rules, and you will obey them. You haff relatives, in ze old country, ja? It is possible for someone to get fired for not being stupid; blind obedience is paramount. It doesn't help matters that the rules keep changing.

Add to this the inconsistent screen displays. Forms vary greatly, and many are nearly illegible as well as being in different sizes and fonts. This produces eyestrain and overall fatigue.


Mandatory Overtime

When we signed on to this job, we took a shift with specific hours. Overtime was voluntary and intermittent. People plan their lives accordingly. Some have children, second jobs (The Company is downright cheap), and have lives to live, savvy that?

Although there were not enough people to perform the work, The Company made promises to their primary customer that we could handle a massive increase in volume and the time commitments. Not hardly! Naturally, we fell behind. The facilities manager (who acts like a kindergarten teacher who is angry because someone was eating paste) passes along directives from on high to managers below her: make things work. Immediate managers want to do a good job, and they have to be the town marshals. 

The Company dry-gulched us with mandatory overtime.


Disspirited

The manager below the angry teacher-type manager is intelligent and compassionate, which makes his job more difficult (it's easier to do that job if you are have no heart). He tried to make arrangements with people who could not stay for an extra ten or more hours a week. In a group meeting, they gave us a speech about how we need to get out of backlog, it shouldn't take long, save the company, and so on. No apologies about wrecking our plans for the Christmas season, though.

It went on.

Eventually, we were out of backlog and there should be no more overtime. But wait! It happened again! Why? Because management from the schoolteacher-type on up are incompetent and they do not equip us to succeed. So, more OT. Some of us think it will never end


Torches and Pitchforks

We had another group meeting, and I was on the prod. Many of us were. In fact, I had to restrain my yap so I didn't get fired. This time, they were complaining that people were not doing voluntary overtime. Schoolmarm was using guilt, manipulation and shaming on us. (I wondered if they would hang "I didn't work enough overtime" signs on us, take our pictures, and post them on Fazebook.) The powers that be cannot understand why we have such a high turnover rate, blaming the people they depend on instead of examining themselves. This is a big part of it.

The usual points were made that we have system issues and were given the "we're working on it" response. In addition, it was stated that people get burned out, so when OT is not mandatory, some of us want to have the kind of hours for which we signed on. Other points were made, and a bit forcefully at times. I thought of the old Frankenstein movie where the villagers were going after the doctor and the monster with torches and pitchforks.


Hero-Martyr

One guy who is a team lead (only hired a few months ago, and then promoted) always struck me as someone who wanted to impress the bosses. He said that his grandmother had just died, and he should be home grieving, but chose to put in overtime. Guilt manipulation was added. I wanted to say, "Do you want a medal?" I have a Soviet Union worker's medal at home, I could give it to him. Another co-worker said, "You're not the only one carrying this team".

I was also offended. No, I'm not like leftists who file complaints and make people miserable. I was offended because I had been out for three days on bereavement. My mother-in-law had died so I wanted to be there for my wife and deal with family things. I wonder if, in his eyes, it makes me a bad person. It was providential that I had the following week off because we were taking care of things during that week. Also, I learned that during that week off they had more mandatory overtime, and then the voluntary overtime was instated for the week that I returned. I don't react well to guilt and manipulation, as certain stalker and trolls can attest.

It's truly sad that hero boy has misplaced priorities. He put money and job status above family and friends, and I'm certain that he will regret his decision someday.


Overlooked Lessons

There are some things that management should consider. But I am unworthy to even have opinions, let alone, to express them. (Interesting that anti-creationist and anti-Christian trolls act the same way about people who have contrary views.) So you can read a few:
  • We signed on for a shift and specific hours
  • If they want to succeed, they should equip the people they depend on so we can all succeed
  • People do not respond well to bullying and manipulation
  • Immediate managers and supervisors are in a bad place, trying to make things work despite inane upper management
  • Yes, there are slackers, those exist in any business
  • Don't punish us all for the slacking of a few
  • You have stolen wages from employees, and I have the Department of Labor documentation to prove it; our trust levels plummet even further because of corporate dishonesty and incompetence
  • Helpful hint: you cannot defy the laws of time and space, nor can you reject the laws of logic. Stop trying.
  • Many employees have physical limitations and medical conditions
  • While some light a shuck out of there whenever they are slightly under the weather, many come to work sick or in pain
  • When overly tired, people make more mistakes
  • We do the best we can with what we have


Most Important

I reckon that most people simply want to do a job, go home and get on with their lives. As for me, I work to live, I don't live to work. Others seem to live to work, gaining prestige in their jobs. It is my considered opinion that they have sold their souls for money — and will suffer for it (Luke 16:13, Matt. 16:26, Luke 12:16-21). This or any other company can rail about it, but they will not get my soul. It is not mine to sell because it has been bought by the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 6:20, 1 Peter 1:18-19). I don't expect medals from an employer. 

From the Irony Board, a song from angry Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails has some lyrics that I agree with on the love of money. The live versions are high-energy, intense, and musically exciting, but more brutal and have profanity that I won't post. Here's the studio version:



Monday, March 11, 2019

A Little Help from Science and Technology

People have hopes and dreams, but those can be shattered by accidents and other circumstances. A surgeon needs intelligence, good vision, skill, and fully functional hands and fingers to do important work. Singers need their voices. Musicians need their appendages. They also need discipline to learn and practice. There is something else that is vitally important.


I thank God that he has given many people skill to develop science and technology to help others who have needs.
Violin,  Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, 1916
That other item is talent, which is a gift of God. You can have the desire and practice, but if that talent is missing, there will not be much to show.

Rick Allen, drummer for the band Def Leppard, lost his left arm in a car crash. With the support of friends, the band, other musicians, and special equipment, he returned to drumming. We read stories and watch videos of people who have lost limbs in combat, accidents, and in other ways but are equipped to live their lives. Others are handicapped in ways that cannot be overcome yet, and they are able to survive (see my book review and recommendation of Creation, Evolution, and the Handicapped). I thank God that he has given many people skill to develop science and technology to help others who have needs.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Using Question Evolution Day to Confront Fake Science

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Some of the advantages of Question Evolution Day are to encourage people to use and develop critical thinking skills, have a spirit of inquiry, and develop healthy skepticism regarding scientific pronouncements. (An example of this can be found in my article on how hummingbirds "evolved" at "Hummingbirds Evolving for Combat?") Secularists get so all-fired determined to convince people of their materialistic views that they get on the prod when their depradations are brought to light. This is readily apparent in the global climate change propaganda.


Rational thinking and inquiry emphasized on Question Evolution Day apply in other areas. We can spot fake science regarding alien spaceships and in climate change.
Made at Add Letters
Scientists make pronouncements when they do not have all the facts or have an adequate understanding of the topic at hand. Yes, it is the nature of science to change and develop when new information is obtained, but when it comes to subjects like origins and climate change, they present fake science with spiteful intent despite inadequate information or investigation.



Some tinhorns have made global climate change into their religion, and trying to talk sense with them is like pulling wisdom teeth from jellyfish with a frayed lariat. The same happens with Darwin's disciples who only "know" that we're wrong, and tell us so via atheistic clearinghouse propaganda sites and so forth; if you tell them something they don't have a notion to understand, these leftist apparatchiks "refute" new information with outdated agitprop — when it fits their narrative, of course.

Biblical creationists are used to reading that something "happened earlier than we thought", fossils are out of order, living critters are unchanged from their fossil counterparts after millions of Darwin years (such as mites in amber), and so on. Two things that really take the rag off the bush are the false claims that humans and chimps have greatly similar genomes, and that we have "junk" DNA from our evolutionary past. Evolution is their faith-based axiom, so they do not question it. Unfortunately, evolutionists often neglect to verify data and end up humiliating themselves.

It behooves (do people still use that word?) anyone who takes science seriously needs to slow down, ask questions, and wait for additional information. The secular science media are interested in making converts and especially making money on sensationalized but incomplete stories, so y'all need to holler, "Whoa!" when confronted by grandiose claims.


Rational thinking and inquiry emphasized on Question Evolution Day apply in other areas.

Let's ride on up this here side trail a spell. A puzzling space object called 'Oumuamua (I still think it sounds like kisses from rich people, "Good to see you, oh, mua mua!") causes some speculation, but astronomers have no real idea as to what the thing is. In a recent podcast/transcript of The Briefing, Dr. Mohler discussed how Harvard astronomer Avi Selk claims that the object has extraterrestrial origins — not that he has any way of knowing that. But sometimes scientists say things they do not necessarily believe just to "put it out there". This is science, Sigmund? Dr. Mohler adds:
Not how are we supposed to square that with the claims made by scientists that they are operating on the basis of objective reason, and presumably, they would never argue for something that they do not believe? That seems completely contrary to everything the scientific establishment has been telling us about the very nature of science. We are living in an age not only of modern science, but of a worldview of scientism. How in the world can they face the rest of us if they now are admitting, in this kind of academic squabble, that at least some astrophysicists are publishing articles in journals based upon theories that they pose as if believing, but actually do not believe, as this one astrophysicist said, "just to put it out there"?
Excellent comment, and it fits with what we're examining about fake science. To hear or read this segment, it concludes this episode of The Briefing.

Now we're back to the main subject. Global cooling/warming/climate change devotees have been pronouncing end of the world scenarios for many years, and proven wrong over and over. Information that is contrary to the globalist political narrative is ignored (see "Climate Change and Evolution: Similarities in Bad Science") and even ridiculed by the climate change cultists. It is indeed unfortunate that politicians make laws based on the unquestioning acceptance of fake science. Don't get me started on the decrees of celebrities...

God has given us minds and the ability to think, and he intends us to use them. Science is supposed to be a method of processing observations and information, not a religion in and of itself. Our Creator upholds the universe, and has explained himself in the Bible. Despite the mockeries of Bill Nye and other atheopaths, it is true and we need to find out what the Master Engineer has to say. You savvy that?

I have an additional link for your consideration.
Some matters are just too complicated to know with certainty. Here’s another “whoops” moment in climate science.

Look at this headline in Nature by Fangqun Yu, analyzing a recent paper: “Atmospheric reaction networks affecting climate are more complex than was thought.” Those last two words are telling. Beware scientists who think they “now know” something. Sometimes they do, but sometimes they only “thought” they knew. They study phenomena, measure things, analyze things, and draw conclusions. An unsuspecting public or policy official trusts that scientists know what they say they know. Laws ensue that can affect nations for good or ill. Sometimes they can affect the whole world.
To read the rest of the article, click on "Global Policies Can Trust Fake Science". Don't be indoctrinated by secularists and their bad science. Thanks for reading this article, and for thinking.



Monday, January 14, 2019

Editing and Ethics

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

In the publishing world, nonfiction writers are expected to write accurately and document their sources. Sometimes new information is obtained or corrections need to be made. Newspapers and magazines issue corrections and retractions. In the worst case, books are recalled. Ever notice that there isn't always an explanation for a new or revised edition for a book? I reckon it's up to reviewers to find out where things are changed if the author or publisher doesn't explain things.


Making changes in weblogs can seem unethical. What are the rules?

When it comes to electronic media, it the rules seem to be different. If bloggers make changes, we can be found out. (I remember one tinhorn atheist who called me a coward for not putting my name on my site, and I told him that it was indeed there. He checked the link on the internet archive to see if I was acting like an atheist and lying about it.) Some people are criticized for making changes, even minor ones like wording and typos. Sometimes I edit within an hour or two after the thing is published without feeling guilty. When do we need to add notations?

There doesn't seem to be a rule book on this that I can find. Although I wasn't worrying on this overmuch, I did commence to pondering on it off and on. Somebody told me that it's my weblog so I can do what I want. That didn't quite strike me as ethical — at least, not when it comes to science and theology. On the other hand, things can be cluttered with numerous notations of edits.

I decided that minor corrections, including adding or deleting links, do not need notations. Things that affect the content of the piece should have some kind of note. People who read my articles and posts have probably seen those, even a note at the beginning that let the readers know that something was revised. Changing important things that are pertinent to the content without some kind of note strikes me as rather unethical. 

So that's where I stand on this. Important changes require an editing note, but the minor stuff, not so much. This cuts down on the clutter and keeps editing in balance. Sound like a good plan?

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Celebration of Christmas

Yes, we celebrate Christmas. No, we will not be manipulated into feeling guilty about it by Reverend Dourpuss or uninformed, legalistic Christians. Or professing atheists who pass along falsehood. Claims that Christmas is based on plagiarized pagan and mythic figures are false, pilgrim.


December 25 is the date that most professing Christians observe the birth of Jesus. Some people say it is a pagan thing to do. Such claims are uninformed at best.
Credit: Pixabay / RitaE
I'll allow that there are some errors in our traditions, such as the Magi visiting Jesus in the stable (their visit was a year or two later, and it was probably a large group, not just three). What if Christmas did have pagan associations? If that was true, then Christians who shun Christmas are inconsistent because several things we know and use today actually do have pagan origins — which are largely forgotten. Those people might want to avoid the days of the week and months of the year if they want to be consistent, for example.

December 25? I have read and some interesting arguments that insist that Jesus was indeed born on that date. Then I read others that make the case that he was born in late spring or early autumn. Maybe since we're unsure of the exact date, we should forget the whole thing? Don't be ridiculous!


Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes
Whenever Jesus was born and split history, people choose to observe December 25 (some using January 6) for the date of their observances. No, the Bible does not command it. Nor does the Bible forbid it. (For that matter, we see in John 10:22-23 that Jesus celebrated a non-commanded holiday.) If someone chooses to avoid celebrating, that is up to him or her, and nobody has any right to indulge in condemnation. Conversely, they have no right to condemn our liberty in Christ.

I'm going to wish you a happy Christmas, and continue celebrating the birth of God the Son, Jesus, our Creator and Redeemer. 

To read an interesting article on this subject, click on "Celebrating Christmas?" You may also like, "Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday?" There is also a humorous but informative short video below.



Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Inner Survival Alarms

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

We all have various reactions to different kinds of alarms, whether conditioned, learned, or provided by the Master Engineer. Some reactions may be a combination of inner and learned, such as reaching for a gun or freezing in place at hearing a growl in the dark. When the smoke alarm goes off, we take some kind of action. Sirens from emergency vehicles prompt us to locate the sources and get out of the way. We several built-in alarms.


Last night could have been my last night. The Master Engineer has given us inner survival alarms, one of which prompted me to stay alive.
Credit: Morguefile / Stuart Whitmore
Something goes bang, you look in the direction of the sound. Hearing a strange noise at night can wake many people up so they can check it out or call the police. One time, I sat upright in bed because I had stopped breathing and disremembered to continue, but that passed. Smelling smoke, with or without an audible alarm, can get you moving. Taking hold of a hot pan sends a very fast message in your system to let go in a hurry. 

Animals have inner alarms too, of course. Sometimes I worry that Basement Cat will smother herself in her fur because of an awkward sleeping position, but her breathing warning will kick in. 

I had something different happen that set off an inner alarm.

This is a tricky situation as far as wording is concerned, trying to strike a balance between including relevant information and omitting details that would be unpleasant. I also don't want to sound overly dramatic, but what happened could have made me ring down the curtain and join the choir invisible.

Last night (Tuesday the 18th) was a vexation. Something went on with my stomach that hasn't happened for a long time, and my night episode may have been the worst. Feeling a bit queasy at bed time, I took a couple of antacids before hitting the hay. Suddenly, I was awake and choking, having vomited in my sleep (sorry, can't find a better way to put it). There wasn't much, but I had inhaled it. That inner alert mechanism had me waking up and standing almost instantly, and I went into the bathroom to cough and gag. I had to do some very slow, controlled inhalations so I could cough out the stuff. The whole situation lasted a spell until it was under control and I was breathing again. Sure, I'm ready to go to be with Jesus, but who wants to die that way?

I've had acid reflux incidents at night before and thought this was possibly the most severe episode. However, my wife had some bad stomach feelings Tuesday night as well. Both of us had some, uh, symptoms that lasted into this morning, so we think there was something wrong with supper. It's been almost 24 hours, and I'm still not quite right, plus exhaustion from having my sleep interrupted and being unable to get comfortable while propped up. I regretted leaving the workplace early but it was necessary. (Having a good reputation for attendance helps, they know I'm not being cavalier about going home sick.) Near-exhaustion and stomach problems are an unpleasant combination, plain and simple.

Although my demise was possible, I don't think it was likely. But I thank God that he not only gave me (and us) those inner survival alarms, he has granted me more time in life to continue serving him.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Ken Ham and Me

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
Edited 11-07-2018

Somewhere around 1990 or 1991, I attended an Institute for Creation Research seminar in Schaumburg, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). I first met Ken Ham ("on loan" from the Creation Science Foundation, if I have it right). Also, I met Drs. Henry M. and John Morris, Dr. Duane Gish, and I think a few others. Although I was not completely new to creation science and had been receiving ICR materials, this seminar made a big impression on me. Part of the reason was Ken Ham's presentations.


A couple of things I have in common with Ken Ham is that people hate us, and that we uphold the authority of the Bible.
Original image before modification courtesy of Answers in Genesis
ICR, Answers in Genesis, Creation Ministries International, Creation Today, and other biblical creation science ministries uphold the authority of Scripture, the importance of foundations, and show how real science supports the Bible. But Ken's presentations had humor and directness that impacted me. Even in the period when I rudely put God on the back burner, I still held to the fact of the authority of the Bible. I'll allow that I was irrational in that period.

After I rededicated my life to Christ, I was not going to get involved with creation science again. God had other plans, and I had access to the internet. If found that there is a wealth of creation science and apologetics materials! In my writings at Piltdown Superman, Biblical Creation and Evangelism, and other sites, I have emphasized biblical authority and proper biblical foundations. This has attracted the wrath of owlhoots that oppose authority and elevate atheistic interpretations of science into the magisterial position. Angry folks include atheists, theistic evolutionists, and other old-earth advocates who want to evosplain why I'm "wrong". It has been manifested in rancorous personal attacks, criminal cyberstalking, defamation, and in other ways.

Mr. Ham and I have that hatred in common. While he has no idea who I am and has developed a huge ministry, I am a nobody. (But I did start Question Evolution Day a few years ago.) Interesting that tinhorns want to slap leather with lil' ol' me. I suspicion that it is a sign of the end times and that hatred of Jesus and his people is on the increase, and their materialistic worldviews are threatened by the truth. Such attacks will not silence me. Obviously, Ham's ministry work is also going strong, so pettifoggery ain't frettin' him overmuch. He keeps on proclaiming real science and especially the authority of Scripture.


Image taken from the Ken Ham - Bill Nye Debate,
which Ken Ham and AiG make freely available.
Let me reign in here and say that I do not agree with everything Ham or AiG say. For that matter, I do not accept certain things from many ministries and teachers. They won't go away crying about it because they know some people think for themselves and differences of opinion happen. (Of course, we agree on the core values and essentials of salvation, those are not at issue.) For that matter, I would be a mite bothered if someone agreed with everything that I said as well. It has been rightly said, and I will apply it to all ministries: do not listen with an open mind on theological matters, but listen with an open Bible. You savvy that?

I wanted to share the background and current information on the occasion of this child's 59th birthday. At this point, I want to recommend an article written by the wretched Todd Friel, "Ken Ham—The Man Everyone Loves to Hate" for the 25th anniversary of Answers in Genesis. I'd be much obliged if you'd read it. Also, there's a short video below that helps drive home the point about authority.