Showing posts with label Logic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Logic. Show all posts

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Smoking that Doobie, Brother

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Many countries, especially on the western side of the Atlantic, have decriminalized cannabis (weed, pot, doobies, grass, smoke, reefer, whatever) and legalized it for medical use. Many places have made recreational use legal as well. Even where illegal, enforcement of laws is often sporadic.

Cannabis is becoming legal in many places. However, there are scientific and other facts that are coming out that indicate legalization is a bad idea.

And there was great rejoicing among pot smokers. In fact, here in not-all-that-far-upstate New York, cops don't care. Polly Pothead in the apartment next door was chugging away so much, the smoke could be seen not only in the hallway, but seeped into our own apartment. Police did nothing. That was before it was legal, but her usage is the same as before; smoking wacky tobaccy just wasn't important enough to enforce the law. Also, she's a terrible conversationalist.

One article I found in my research mentioned that Mary Jane was originally illegal because it is harmful. (Oh, come on! Don't get a burr under your saddle. You know it's true. People who argue for its medical and recreational use cite dubious sources almost as much as a village atheist cites other atheists that have "evidence" against creation science. If nothing else, our Creator didn't design us to inhale burning leaves.) Something that was considered harmful is now legalized because governments see money in it.

People are sold a bill of goods about how marilizing legajuana will boost the economy and provide massive tax revenues. That isn't working out nearly as well as they expected. The underground economy, like the Democrat Party, doesn't want the swamp drained. That is, dealers are used to doing sneaky stuff and not paying taxes, and it's cheaper to get it from Jake the Snake than from Ye Olde Cannabis Emporium, you savvy?

Comparisons are made between grass and alcohol, as may be expected. These are not valid, however, despite some credible points that are raised  —

I'm going to change horses in midstream. Let's see what happens. When I say smoker, I'll be referring to a cannabis user. Drinker refers to alcohol, whether, beer, wine, spirits, or whatever.

  • You can't drive stoned, Sebastian. Impaired driving is a problem whatever the cause, and crying, "But it's legal now!" won't cut it.
  • Workplaces have a right to prohibit the use of loco weed just like alcohol; you can't show up to work while stoned. I sure don't want a buzzed plumber or surgeon taking care of my needs. I lack belief that anyone else would want to pay a stoner for important work.
  • People pushing to make marijuana legal appeal to medicinal use. But like evolutionists, they acted like their approach is the only approach, citing other biased advocates for support. The formulas for recreational and medicinal usages are different.
  • Standardization of pot is a crapshoot. A drinker in the formerly United States knows that there are standards, and the alcohol content is on the label somewhere, usually hovering around five percent for beer.
  • Drinking and smoking (which includes tobacco) are bad for young people. They are still developing, and those things cause permanent damage.

On a side note, I remember being a cashier and ringing up single packs of cigarettes for fifty cents each, and $4.35 USD for a carton of ten. In many places, they are about ten dollars a pack. Most of that is taxes. I reckon that putting warning labels on the package that they're harmful to your health makes it okay to subsidize and tax something that is harmful, huh?

When I posted "Cannabis and the Christian", a surprising number of religious folks argued that they have the "right" to have it, and it should be legal. Some even had complaints that resembled the abortion proponent who says, "My body, my choice". I believe they simply wanted to get high and made excuses to be a stoner while professing to be a Christian. This is taking Christian liberty far beyond what God intended. Look up what the Bible says about drunkenness and apply the principle to pot and other mind-altering substances.

There have been many problems with legalizing marijuana. Interesting how certain scientific facts as well as other contradictions to the claims of pot advocates are in abundance, but the doobie-smoking public is unknowing or uncaring.

God created bodies for health. One should expect problems when policies compromise health for pleasure and money.

It wasn’t that long ago that marijuana (now called cannabis after its genus name Cannabis sativa) was considered bad. It was an illegal drug, considered a gateway drug to harder, more addictive drugs like heroin. Private growers reminiscent of the old “moonshiners” in the days of Prohibition made it available, and drug smugglers ensured ample supplies made it past border guards. Some argued that legalization would remove the incentives for smuggling; then governments could regulate it and tax it.

Powerful special interest groups have been pushing for decriminalization first, then outright legalization next. Their success is to the point where many states have not only legalized it, but are promoting it. Users claim it is harmless and gives them pleasurable feelings. And there’s big money involved; governments enjoy the growing tax revenues.

You can read the rest of this extremely informative article by lighting up "The Bad Aftertaste of Cannabis Legalization".

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Shining MORE Light on a Darwinist Deceiver

This is a sequel to a sequel. Earlier, I wrote about anti-creationist tinhorn Paul Braterman and provided links to his deceptive diatribes. We can use his attacks as examples of bigotry and bad reasoning. April 1 is a good day for this (Psalm 14:1), I reckon.

In this sequel to a sequel, we have additional thoughts about a deceptive anti-creationist and his foolish misrepresentations of creation science.
Derivative from the 1909 Rider-Waite tarot deck (public domain)
The earlier article linked above also included links to other articles on the subject, including how Snopes is biased and unqualified, and they didn't bother to "fact check" Braterman's rant on their site. Bad Paulie put burrs under a passel of saddle blankets, didn't he? If you see him, ask why, if evolution were true, would there be a need to misrepresent creationists and to abandon reason. Here, we have a short article from the Institute for Creation Research that has some thoughts worth considering. 
Paul Braterman, emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Glasgow, recently claimed online that creationism “meets all the criteria” for a “conspiracy theory.” He says creationism offers “a complete parallel universe with its own organisations and rules of evidence, and [creationism] claims that the scientific establishment promoting evolution is an arrogant and morally corrupt elite.” Is this fair?

First, we should note that calling someone a “conspiracy theorist” is a quick and easy way to avoid having to deal with the intellectual arguments for his position. It is tantamount to calling him crazy. And we all know that attempting to reason with crazy people is pointless, right?

As for that last sentence, that fits well with my refusal to "debate" those with Atheism Spectrum Disorder at length. Anyway, you can read the rest of this short article at "Are Creationists Conspiracy Theorists?"

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Shining the Light on a Darwinist Deceiver

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This is part 2 of Conspiracy Theories, Creation, and Reason, but takes a different approach. We saw how a number of factors contribute to the act of purveying conspiracy theories, and how there are several reasons why people believe them. Then there is the alleged creation science conspiracy.

Anti-creationist gadfly Paul Braterman wrote a hit piece on creationists. It was posted on the leftist Snopes site, who did not bother to fact check.
Credit: Unsplash / Steve Johnson
We have three articles to consider, two of which are from the same ministry. Naturally there will be some overlap, but they each offer material that comprise a larger picture.

There was a time when if someone had a question about, say, that 2002 email saying the teddy bear icon in Windows was really a virus. They could check Snopes and find out that it was a hoax, and they could search for urban legends. Unfortunately, they became heavily involved in promoting leftist political views with "fact checking", and their credibility became questionable. Snopes even attacked the parody site Babylon Bee (one of whose slogans is "fake news you can trust"). They are powerful unqualified amateurs, but pretend to be experts. 

Shouldn't fact checkers check facts on their own site, or just post something because they thought their readers would find it interesting? That is hypocritical. It happened when retired professor Paul Braterman wrote an anti-creationist hit piece that targeted several creationist organizations, emphasizing Answers in Genesis. Braterman is known for misleading rhetoric and getting his evolutionary mythology wrong (as seen in "Braterman ‘slam dunk’ flunk"), and being a gadfly. He hobnobs with professing Christians who also mount up and ride for the Darwin brand, such as the comments on this post.

It is interesting how some owlhoots are so quick to demonize biblical creationists that they do not conduct proper research. I was grouped in with Answers in Genesis by atheist Michael Zimmerman when he attacked Question Evolution Day with some very bizarre material. More recently, Phil Vischer attacked AiG. When he was shown to be disingenuous by Dr. Jason Lisle (see "False History of Creationism is Full of Beans"). Vischer then compounded his false statements, prompting follow-up articles by Lisle.

Why don't they just let us be (in their view) stupid and uninformed? In "Dr. Duane Gish and Debating Evolutionists", we saw how Darwin's disciples hammered Dr. Gish, who had a reputation for defeating his opponents in debates. Many of us see the diatribes against creationists by arrogant misotheists. Creation science really puts burrs under their saddles,

Ken Ham pointed out the hypocrisy of Snopes and some of the false statements of Braterman in his article. He referenced another article by Answers in Genesis that goes into more detail, which is linked further down in this article.

Recently, Snopes, a popular website, disseminated false information with the posting of an anti-Christian commentary with an agenda—an article which had not been fact-checked. posted a piece entitled “Why Creationism Bears All the Hallmarks of a Conspiracy Theory.” This article made many false accusations and disseminated false information about Answers in Genesis, me, and other creation-apologetics ministries.

How could a supposed fact-checking group get away with this? Easy. At the top of the article, an editor stated, “This content is shared here because the topic may interest Snopes readers; it does not, however, represent the work of Snopes fact-checkers or editors.” In other words, they did exactly what they tell others not to do: they published an article without fact-checking. They tried to justify posting the hostile commentary by stating it’s an article they considered (without any fact-checking for themselves) to be of interest to their readers. Obviously, to them, it’s ok to pass along information that hasn’t been fact-checked, but nobody else should dare do such a thing! What utter hypocrisy.

To read the rest of this first article, head on over to "Snopes Exposed!" That's just the beginning. I'd be much obliged if you would come back for the rest.

Readers of Piltdown Superman and other sites know that biblical creationists emphasize learning logic and critical thinking: secularists and leftists tell people what to think, while we want to help people learn how to think. Sometimes we have to confront those who want to dry gulch us and point out their viperine tactics.

What a way to begin: the title, “Why Creationism Bears All the Hallmarks of a Conspiracy Theory,” of a Snopes article reprinted from The Conversation is a question-begging epithet fallacy. Such an attacking title with emotive language lets us know what The Conversation’s and Snopes’ religious beliefs are up front. Our hope is to challenge their religious beliefs in this response. We are used to being hated and attacked. Jesus even said:

"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” (John 15:18 NKJV)
Nevertheless, we want readers to know that we love and care for those at Snopes and The Conversation, regardless of their views against us, and would love to see them repent of their sin and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation. Our response is said with a caring heart, though there will be times where we will be bold.

To read the rest of this second of three, visit "Fact Checked: No Conspiracy Here (But a Lot of Fallacies There)". Be sure to come back for the final article so you can get a more complete understanding of what's happening.

Our final installment discusses how Braterman confuses the Intelligent Design movement with biblical creation science (a modicum of research from the ID people would dispel that notion). He also has several logical fallacies, claiming that creationism is "hostile to science". What ineffable twaddle! Again, an honest researcher could easily find out that there are many creation-believing scientists in many fields of science — and not just creation ministries. He also tries to hoodwink us further by slipping in what appears to be an endorsement of communism, and brings up irrelevant material that should have been scrutinized by fact checkers. But he seems to be more interested in spreading evoporn than promoting truth.

To read this last article, see "Name-Calling Anti-Creationist Fails on Facts".

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Conspiracy Theories, Creation, and Reason — Part 1

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

For the tenth annual Question Evolution Day, we will examine striking similarities between some outlandish conspiracy theories and evolutionary thinking. Readers of Piltdown Superman saw that evolutionists freely use logical fallacies, and these are plentiful in the most outlandish conspiracy theories.

10th annual Question Evolution Day. Many people believe conspiracy theories, quite a few of which are outlandish. We can examine poor reasoning that are common to these and evolution.
Variation based on one of the early graphics for QED
In my biblical creation science work, I've learned quite a bit about logic. I'll allow that I still have more to learn. Many aspects of logic are actually quite simple to lasso, such as basic errors in reasoning. We expect scientists to use logic and science to back up their claims, but critical thinking becomes very important when examining dubious evidence about minerals-to-miner evolution. The same can be applied to conspiracy theories.

We can be bombarded with reports about various conspiracy theories, and they crop up in all sorts of areas. It's mighty tempting to ask the people who float some of them, "Do you take drugs?" Many stories seem to be the products of bored kids in dorm rooms, but others do have a grain of truth that has been inflated. To add to the confusion, some conspiracy theories have more truth than fantasy, so people need to be wary and glean fact from fiction.

The Villains

Who are the bad guys? I reckon it depends on who is spinning the yarn. When it comes to conspiracies about who pulls the strings on governments, it is often the Freemasons. There is far too much material to cover here about their history (real or imagined), connections to Jesuits, and so on. The Freemasons do exist, though many members (my father was a Master Mason) reject it has false religion at its core. It is an old organization with rituals and such, but many people considered it just another service guild and a place to meet people. If the Freemasons are not behind shadowy secret thing, it must be...

Anunnaki image:
Wikimedia Commons / 
Cosmo Gandi
The Illuminati. Do they really exist? Again, it depends on who you ask. There was a Bavarian Illuminati group long ago, and there are others who claim to be the Illuminati since then. They were a secret guild who would infiltrate other groups, including the Freemasons, and apparently the Bavarian Freemasons had dreams of world dominance. The "okay" hand sign is one of their 666 signals — no, it means white supremacy — no, it's obscene in Brazil — no (I stand by this) it just means "okay". How about George W. Bush flashing the hand sign in front of millions of people? In reality, he was doing the "hook 'em Horns" sign, not signaling Illuminati Satanism.

Although I touched on two of the main villains, a third is fun. This sounds like something out of modern science fiction television shows, but the roots are actually quite ancient. Modern stories tell of the Anunnaki, our reptilian masters and creators from outer space who alter our DNA, and that they are behind COVID. The Anunnaki are working with the Illuminati (or even controlling them), and somehow the gray aliens are involved. You may be Anunnaki yourself. Of course, the mythologies change depending on who is telling them.

Other Oddities

Don't forget the political versions! These include the 9-11 "truthers" who believe the destruction of the World Trade Center was an inside job, that Donald Trump will have a triumphant return because the formerly United States reverts from being a corporation to a constitutional republic, B. Hussein Obama can control the weather so he makes tornadoes happen as distractions from his failings, ad nauseum.

Flat-Earthers who believe that the United Nations, NASA, and others conspire to fool us that the world is round. Some believe Antarctica is really a wall of ice around the perimeter but is guarded so nobody finds out the truth. There are professing Christians who believe that they are the ones who believe the Bible and the rest of us are wrong — or lying.

Did you know that Australia doesn't really exist? Nobody has actually been there because planes were rerouted to other countries or stages. Guess NASA photos are doctored, huh? I didn't know about this one when I wrote my satire on how the British Isles don't exist.

There was a considerable flap about CERN and the Large Hadron Collider a spell back. Some folks thought it spelled the end of the world, even bringing in evil gods or just a salute to pagan mythologies. Those who believe such things weren't willing to consider that mayhaps it was exactly what was stated.

There are far to many to name.

Why do these things Happen?

It is easy to assume motives behind some of these, whether hoaxers who want to cause a stir, deceivers with agendas, sincere but mistaken people, hatred of well-heeled folks (ever know a poor person to give you a job?), and so on. I have an opinion that people want to feel important, so they join the "right" church denomination, believe trendy or startling things, and so on. Motives are between them and God, because we don't know what's in their hearts and minds. You savvy that, pilgrim? We can suspect, but cannot assert our opinions on these things as facts.

Grains of Truth

Arsenio Hall had a segment on his show about "Things that make you go, 'Hmmm'". Although I never saw it, that phrase comes to mind once in a while. There are grains of truth in many conspiracy theories that seem rational and sometimes make us wonder if there may be something to them after all. To add to the confusion, some conspiracy theories seem credible.

The Illuminati did exist, and there is even an "official" website. Freemasons are still around and have secret rituals. CERN does have some occult imagery involved. Many people think that Donald Trump can still emerge victorious, especially since evidence for massive voter fraud is evident to any rational person. (By the way, how did B. Hussein Obama, an undistinguished do-nothing community organizer, become the emperor of America? Hmmm...) The Anunnaki were gods in ancient mythologies, but this child finds it mighty difficult to take the huge conspiracy theories about them seriously.

The Logic is Lacking

There is a great deal of appeal to emotions hitched up with these speculations. People like sensational things and to feel like they have special knowledge. Something creationists keep emphasizing is the use of critical thinking, which applies in everyday areas. Asking pertinent questions is helpful, such as "How do you know?" Check the sources. A friend in an area of importance spoke to my cousin's mother-in-law on conditions of anonymity. Leftist media have people believing anonymous highly-placed officials made certain statements. We should demand more than vague assertions.

Confirmation of theories and speculations are found on obscure websites (such as those I linked above regarding the reptilian overlords) and social media. I'll allow that it can be tricky, as evolutionists misrepresent biblical creation science and the Intelligent Design community, and the media have a leftist bias. Even so, I recommend being careful with obscure sources that tell people what they want to hear. Note that when you confront a conspiracy advocate with contrary evidence about outlandish claims, the response is invariably along the lines of, "That's what they want you to think!", and that the conspiracists have the real truth.

A common error in logic is affirming the consequent, which is common among purveyors of Darwinism (see "Brain Development and Faulty Evolutionary Logic"). When something is observed, it can be couched in "See? I told you so!" terminology without regard to other facts. A Hindu works at CERN, therefore, they are attempting to contact demons. It's admittedly a weak example, but you get the idea. A part of this is presenting their explanation as the only one. This happens with evolutionists who say that because certain organisms have features in common, it proves evolution. Common features also indicate the work of a Designer who used similar methods.

"But I saw it on YouTube, Cowboy Bob!"

Yes, people can "prove" practically anything there and other places with carefully-selected material, possibly manipulated, and with tendentious evidence. For that matter, I saw a video of a "shape-shifter" where it looked like the reporter was turning into a lizard, but they cut back and she was normal again. Someone pointed out that she must have had "shape-shifting" clothing as well. This was taken as evidence that aliens live among us, but the ignored logical answer was video distortion.

Readers of Piltdown Superman have seen how interpretations of evidence are based on worldviews and assumptions. Evolutionists presuppose molecules-to-Master Mason evolution, then believe their biases are confirmed by incomplete or dubious evidence. Indeed, one of the Annunaki links above mentions a proponent of the concept using the discredited "reptile brain" of our alleged evolution for evidence! 

They have been known to ignore and even misrepresent important information. This is not in keeping with the true spirit of scientific inquiry, but the naturalism narrative is more important than facts for many people. The Anunnaki material presupposes several things, including an old earth and evolution. Worse, the Bible was twisted to "support" those space critters.

Thinking Should not be Hard

These s00per seekrit organizations supposedly cherish "secrets" that many people "know", such as hand signals. A saying attributed to Ben Franklin is that three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead. People are lousy at keeping secrets, especially if their consciences are operational. Study on this: to say the moon landings were faked, 9/11 was an inside job, people are hiding the flat-Earth truth, fake Australia — these would depend on huge numbers of people ignoring their consciences and never coming forward to admit the cover-ups. Also, this impugns the integrity of those people, many of whom are Bible-believing Christians. All of this includes denying real evidence.

Being human (except for my reptilian ancestry), it puts a burr under my saddle when encountering 9/11 "truthers", purveyors of faked lunar landings, and other fanatics. I've banned or blocked them on social(ist) media. Other things are easier to deal with because I may not agree, they are usually not attacking the character of decent people.

Healthy skepticism is in order. For that matter, some people need to cowboy up and repent of believing foolishness that can be hurtful to others. People must use critical thinking and examine the evidence. Now my pony and I have to mount up and teleport to Area 51 because there are things to cover up.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Obey the Consensus Because Experts are Smarter than You

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

We have seen numerous example of how people are unwilling, even unable, to think rationally and challenge assertions. Many are willing to follow what "scientists say", but this is often a cessation of thought. Worse is appealing to the majority — the so-called consensus.

Not only do secularists and political groups appeal to consensus in many areas, but they discourage people from thinking for themselves.
Original image: Unsplash / Jo-Anne McArthur, modified at Big Huge Labs

Let's mount up and ride to the top of yonder hill and get the bigger picture. Dr. Michael Crichton had some excellent statements about how science and consensus are mutually exclusive. While there is a consensus on many things, those things are not necessarily ironclad facts. Also, the consensus is often wrong and even biased:

  • Geocentrism (the earth stands still while the sun, moon and stars orbit it) was the prevalent view for a mighty long time
  • Things burned because they had phlogiston in them
  • Ignaz Semmelweis determined that doctors should wash their hands, but was ridiculed
  • Piltdown Man fooled the scientific establishment for over 40 years
  • The idea that birds evolved into dinosaurs is baseless conjecture, and although there is a "consensus", not all evolutionists have accepted this position
  • Lockdowns regarding the Wuhan virus were required, which was a consensus among leftists, but probably did little or nothing to contain the disease
  • Anthropogenic climate change is "settled science", so there is no reason to consider facts and arguments presented by non-leftists
Like the Piltdown Man fraud, fake science that has been disproved still makes it into the textbooks, such as Haeckel's embryo drawings. Scientists, like anyone else, have their presuppositions. Materialists presuppose deep time and evolution, then work from there. Why submit diamonds and dinosaur bones for radiocarbon dating, since there will be no trace of it left? When those and other things were finally tested, they indicated ages of far less than the dates assumed and expected by secularists.

Click to enlarge
This hatetheist dodged the point of the post,
then indulged in logical fallacies such as
invalid comparisons, conflation, appeal to motive —
and implicitly appealing to consensus
(Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes)

These presuppositions lead to incomplete research, which in turn often contributes to confirmation bias. When scientists "know" and have "a consensus", they are disinclined to finish their research. They also indulge in circular reasoning by assuming what they want others to believe and then claiming that they have done so. Not hardly!

The article linked below by Dr. Jay Wile (a former atheist) inspired this here article I wrote for y'all. There are three complaints I have. First, he didn't do what I did here by bringing in how evolutionists appeal to consensus. Second, I disagree with his statement about science correcting itself, which is not entirely accurate. Finally, he would have more impact if he was more biblical by using presuppositional apologetics. Aside from those things, I am (obviously) recommending that all y'all take a gander at it.
I have written about a couple of instances where Forbes has censored articles because they disagree with the “scientific consensus” . . . it didn’t surprise me to find that they are now actively trying to discourage people from thinking for themselves. This discouragement comes in the form of a blog article written by Dr. Ethan Siegel, who holds an earned Ph.D. in astrophysics. It is entitled, “You Must Not ‘Do Your Own Research’ When It Comes To Science”.

Dr. Siegel believes that in order to assess any scientific statement, a person must have some expertise in the relevant field. Otherwise, the person’s “research” will only end up confirming what he or she already wants to believe. He writes:
You can finish reading by visiting "Forbes Tells You Not To Think For Yourself". You'll thank me later.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Business Decisions and Home Quarantine

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen, do not blame me for font and spacing weirdness Blogger/Google often does this.
Edited 4-02-2020

While working for The Company, I wondered about "Work From Home" (WfH, which is known by similar names) and was told that it was a mite difficult. Difficulties had been solved and The Company began rolling out the program on a test basis with a select few who had stellar production and quality.

In a rushed sequence of events, many of us in a cubicle farm were sent to work at home. The Company is unaware of important things that are happening, including adjustments to COVID-19.
Credit: Unsplash / Annie Spratt
A bit later, they began to send people home a few at a time. Suddenly, The Company saw fit to remove people from the cube farm and send us away — probably because of COVID-19. That's fine from my perspective because I have a heart thing, diabetes, and I hit the six decades mark. Okay, now I have been up and running for a week.

Truth is still truth if even if someone dislikes it. I'll say some things my superiors will not like, but their names are not in this. (Besides, people don't need to know that my primary job is venomous snake wrangling and data entry at Universal Widgets.) Essentially, The Company is profoundly cheap. 

When President Trump signed the tax cut bill, other companies were giving their employees raises and large bonuses. We had fundraisers to pay for our own perks. The IT people would foul something up and then refuse to fix it unless forced, telling us to use time-consuming workarounds. (Do they work for Facebook, too?) Maybe I'll give you the Department of Labor case number where they were caught and penalized for cheating employees out of their wages, but not today.

There are many other examples that I may provide in subsequent articles, but in this case, we are expected to provide our own internet connection while other companies provided separate cable connections for their WfH employees. (Gotta pinch them rupees until Mahatma Gandhi screams in pain, don'tcha know.) Take note that I have many reasons to believe that this cable-sharing arrangement is definitely not a risk to secure data.

Providing Equipment

My own computer is a tower than runs Windows 7, and it has a bay for peripherals as well as a DVD-ROM. Don't be knocking my eMachine, it's been a workhorse for several years. I may have to get a new computer soon. The computer I received startled me because at first because it's the size of a modem. That is the size of the work computer, but without the other stuff that isn't necessary for this activity anyway. Had to plug in a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I used my own shorter ethernet cable because the one they provided would have been far too long. Okay, this cowboy was ready to saddle up.

In the Environment

No, y'ain't going to see a picture, sorry. I used some desk space and had to figure out how to set up the system in this one-bedroom apartment. (Remember, this was a hurried thing and I didn't know what to expect.) Safe enough, we're on the second floor and nobody can see anything from outside. No cameras and telecommuting, so nothing important will be overheard. I had to use a laptop table that was conveniently available — well, my wife had to relocate the slow cooker — for the keyboard and mouse. Plus some adjusting of my chair and the chair mat on the carpet. That's all set.

Aside from a few differences logging in and signing on, the same desktop and applications appeared. This part was identical to working in the cube farm, which is nice because I didn't need to learning something new there. Although The Company is impinging on the internet connection that I pay for which is also used for my own computer's after-work activities, our Roku device, and so on, there doesn't seem to be a lag in connecting time for devices or processing the work. (Well, not everything is running at the same time, so maybe I'm ahead of myself on this point.) I was concerned that the cable company might give problems with data caps and such, but I don't foresee that happening.

Storm Clouds

Before I continue, I need to say that The Company is very large with multiple locations around the world. Dozens of others and I from this location are at the bottom of the food chain. We have team leads and so forth, followed by a supervisor, a manager above the supervisor, someone in charge of this location, and then even more "important" people farther away that probably could not do this work to save their lives. They are important according to The Company and worldly standards, but I, too, am created in God's image.

I have sympathy and respect for team leads, the supervisor, and the next manager up. While most of them care about us, they also have to deal with the "I'm rich and in charge, make me richer" mentality. If production standards aren't good enough or The Company made too many promises they couldn't keep, these folks have to be whip crackers. Then they have to look the people they depend on in the eye, including me when I have anxieties and issues. That management role is not the kind of position I want to be in.

Time Away from the Desk

The manager sent out a message on the instant messaging platform that over the past few days that uptime has dropped. Yes, we have to adjust, but get to work, no excuses. A day or two later, a very angry message came from the manager about a significant number of errors, which sounded like all of us are fouling up. That second message can be a separate post, so I will deal with the first one.

Uptime is a strange word that strikes me as counter-intuitive. It is a negative thing, and I have to think of it as up time, time that workers are up and away from their computers. Like most companies, we have two paid fifteen-minute breaks as well as a longer lunch break (ours is unpaid). The Company also allows some additional time for trips to the restroom, go to the coffee machine, quick phone calls, or whatever. But Comrade Worker, you must keep up the standards.

"Get with the program, Cowboy Bob! Corporations are all greedy and squeeze their employees until they have nothing left, then replace them. It's the way of the business world."

Might doesn't make right, old son. There are higher principles that these people reject in their love of money and worldly things. By the way, didn't Lee Iacocca say that if give your employees your best, they'll give you their best? Not happening from the bean counters at the top of the food chain, nosiree.

As an aside, because I am diabetic, I make frequent short trips to the restroom. My uptime should have improved because I do not have to make that long trek like before.

Consider all the Facts

Sure, I ride for the brand and try to meet the corporate standards. In fact, employers, I don't work for you. Yes, you sign the paycheck, but my Employer is above all y'all, and I want to glorify him most of all.

Although I have knowledge and life experience, it was made clear to me years ago that I am unworthy to express or even have ideas on how to make improvements. But we are the people that you depend on who work in the trenches. We know some things. So I'll ask questions and make my thoughts known here.

How were the production standards developed? I had asked a similar question of a previous manager ("he has decided to seek employment elsewhere", but we all know what that means) and what sample size was used, but he didn't know. Were the standards arbitrary, or were they based on actual production people? For that matter, which production people? Some know shortcuts (and even "cheats" better than others). Were the standards based on the best of the best? Everyone should have been included in serious testing conditions.

This is the same cheap company that used unreliable software (which I had distrusted since I began this job) to cheat us out of our wages. The same company, same IT department, says people aren't working. Why should I trust that? Why should any manager trust that

Since we are using our existing internet connections that are usually through the cable company, there are variations in connectivity and speed. I had to reboot my modem and router twice because they need it on occasion. In addition, the servers we use have to connect with the servers of The Company, and there are interruptions. I suspect we may appear to be not working while the system is reconnecting. Part of that may be Wuhan Quarantine Internet Clogging (a term I made up, hope you like it). Many people are home and going online. Someone skilled in the nuts and bolts part of IT can correct me if I'm wrong about the internet overload.

There are times we have to wait for team leads to check on certain issues because providers often have no idea how to fill out the forms, so they slap some mighty strange stuff in there. Send the code to the team lead, let him or her check it out and get back to us. The line from The Company is, "We take that into account". Yeah, sure. Corporate excuse that I don't accept.

Related to that and to the issue of productivity is when we have to study the forms. Did Skippy write a 7, 9, 0, 6, or what? After some indecision, we call it illegible. But it took time.

In this kind of work, you have people of many ages and in varying degrees of heath. Several of us have medical conditions (one had chronic heart problems and died at home from a heart attack a couple of weeks ago). I have said that The Company has a revolving door. People get hired and trained, then they find different jobs quick-like. Someone might way, "They didn't want to work!" Meadow muffins! That's an appeal to motive fallacy. Also upper management protects and attitude of, "The Company is a wonderful place to work. Don't you know who we are?" Yes, we do know who you are. Smell yourselves, drop your presuppositions, and see why you are losing good people.

But we are really units, automatons, right? Gotta count them beans and pinch them rupees, never mind that even robots need maintenance. Yes, I'm resentful because people should be treated like people. No, not coddled, don't be disunderstanding me. We do want to work and be productive except for a few sluggards. Some of the immediate supervisors, those I deal with, have compassion, which is a rare commodity. Folks at the top of the food chain know about money but are unskilled in dealing with people.

The whole world is adjusting to the novel virus now called SARS-CoV-2. Understanding, diagnosing, treating, testing (don't use faulty made-in-China tests and their ineffective face masks!), quarantines, lock-downs, and more. The Company sent people home, and most of the population of New York is at home, too. This includes frustrated and bored schoolkids. I had no time to plan for my own set-up (partly because I made inaccurate assumptions about what we would be using). Other people had to make drastic adjustments in a mighty big hurry. No wonder the uptime is somewhat lacking. It should improve, but don't be commencing with the forty lashes so soon.

As you can guess, this article has been building up for a while and current events are applicable. If I write more about this employer, this will be foundational. I expect that should someone from The Company happen on this, my concerns and observations will be rejected out of hand. Then I'll be fired out of retaliation. I'm just a cowboy that does the work and wants to not only glorify God but also please those who sign the paychecks. My sense of right and wrong are inapplicable to worldly people who consider us cogs in the wheel. Don't take the mark.
Maybe this missive will help other people learn how to treat employees.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Trump Voters and Fairy Tales

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

There are several reasons I believe that people dislike Donald Trump:

  • He is not a member of the Career Politicians Club®, so is not easily controlled by special interest groups
  • Trump already has money (he even donates his presidential salary), so he is less likely to be influenced that way
  • Environmentalist nuts are angry that he does not fall for their global warming pressures and rejected the ridiculous Paris Accord, and the US is better on the environment than India, China, and the like
  • He doesn't roll over and play dead when the leftist media and politicians lie about him 
  • Voting fraud is rampant such as voting under names of dead people and busing illegals to the polls), so when Democrats claim that Shrillary won the popular vote (read: dominated by large urban centers and not the rest of the country), I lack belief that this is accurate
  • The President is very strongly pro-life — which is probably the biggest reason leftists hate him
Someone said they won't play Bridge because it has trump cards. If that is true, it would not be a surprise.

Leftists hate President Trump for several reasons. They also hate his supporters and use bad logic and bigotry to do so.
PhotoFunia is fun for photos
Most atheists are leftists (a few are Conservatives), and Conservatives are more likely to stand for values that leftists hate. (Chris Plante said, since they hate God, then dog is their co-pilot). They not only hate President Donald J. Trump, they hate us as well. They are intellectually challenged and morally bankrupt, saying anything to demonize Trump voters — millions of us. 

There are some long-running political shows on television, Face the Nation and Meet the Press that used to be respected. I've heard them called "Meet the Depressed" and "Face the Meat". Anyway, I heard about Meet the Press where the host Chuck Todd had dredged up a letter to the editor of a Kentucky newspaper that claimed to understand why people vote for Trump. The best discussion of this can be found on The Briefing by Dr. Mohler. The writer said that Trump supporters "have been trained from childhood to believe in fairy tales".

People who respect logic should be irritated at the fallacious claims because they utilize the straw man fallacy and sweeping false generalizations. It also stinks of prejudicial conjecture and is blatant bigotry. Does that tinhorn even know what fairy tales involve?

Rather than reinvent the wheel — uh, the weblog — I will repeat what I said elsewhere:
The fairy tale aspect is easily dismissed by comparing actual fairy tales with the Bible. You will find detailed, accurate history in the Bible and see that it reads quite differently from fairy tales.
In a similar way, myths and legends are usually vague and unbelievable; I wonder if people actually believed the tales of the Sumerian, Greek, Scandinavian, or other gods. Compare the Epic of Gilgamesh with the Genesis Flood account, for instance. Dr. Ben Scripture has a radio show and podcast where he and Scott Kump did a three-part series comparing the creation myths with the Genesis narrative, and you can easily spot the differences.
You may also like to see "What About Creation, Flood, and Language Division Legends?" and compare those with the biblical accounts.

Again, leftists hate God as well as Conservative values and the positions that President Trump upholds. Instead of winning elections through better ideas and policies, they demonize the opposition. Using intellectual and moral bankruptcy masquerading as reason and moral superiority, they simply attack. Some of us still think for ourselves and can see their foolishness for what it is.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Snap Judgemental

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Being judgemental is usually frowned on in Western societies, often based on misusing verses like Matthew 7:1. The immediate context and other parts of Scripture command Christians to exercise righteous judgement. Here is an example of an unrighteous snap judgement.

A lesson from a very brief experience on how I could have used unrighteous judgement, and how hasty conclusions can be harmful.
Credit: Unsplash / John Tuesday
People use the corridors at the workplace for conversation and smartphone use. This is a common thing in places of employment. I was on my way to the restroom, and a woman was in the corridor using her phone. She looked up at me for a split second and went back to her activity. No greeting or acknowledgement of my presence, but we had briefly seen each other several times before.

My snap judgemental thoughts included that she is stuck up, aware that she is very attractive, possibly afraid of me (I believe that women nowadays are trained by leftists to loathe men, but that's a topic for another time), that I am unimportant (well, I am in that place), and so on. Maybe she wants to go mattress dancing with me but is afraid to ask. (No, she's not blind or drunk, so that thought is easily dismissed.) But what did I really know from her actions?

This ties into something I have tried to teach in several of my articles: we only know so much, thus making hasty judgements counterproductive. As A. Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes say in A Study in Scarlet, "It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment." I reckon those words are true for just about everyone.

The woman was using her phone. She briefly glanced up at me, then back down. I know that she works for the same company as I do but in a different department. I don't know much more than that, not even her name. I have no reason to judge her. Interestingly, the next day I was told to grab my gear and saddle up, I was working in her department for a spell. This woman was nearby. Someone engaged her in a brief conversation, but she is not like some chatterboxes that I've been around. Nope, the quiet type. If I had judged her harshly in my mind, I would have had to modify my opinion in light of more information.

But in any case, I would not have been exercising righteous judgement. I certainly don't like being in the gunsites of judgemental folks, so I try to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26). That helps reduce bad behavior on my part. I still have a long way to go.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

A Bane of Social Media

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

While there are several frustrating things on social media, one stands out from the herd. That is when people are compelled to comment without having read the posts or articles. The worst part is when people who post things are told they're wrong, stupid, lying, whatever, by people who have not bothered to read the material. Answers to objections and questions are often contained in the linked articles.

One problem on social media seems to stand out from the rest. A little experiment helped support my position.
Image provided by Why?Outreach
Sometimes people will read the few sentences of introduction that are placed to encourage people to read the actual article, and they seem to feel that they are well enough informed to comment. Not usually.

Now don't be disunderstanding me, most of us who make posts are not expecting everyone to read everything. Also, a stand-alone captioned picture is an invitation for comments. (People who are aware of my posts and articles may have noticed that I seldom use a question as a title in hopes that people will actually read the linked material before commenting. A question can be taken as an invitation to comment without reading.) This kind of commenting is seen throughout social media, including Fazebook, Twitface, weblogs, and more. 

In fact, I've embarrassed myself by reading something too quickly, commenting, and being informed that my query was addressed after all.

Not too long ago, I posted an article about the value of vaccinations. Many people were outraged, and I saw Proverbs 18:13 validated before my eyes. They did not want to read the material, even castigating me for writing it. Worse, there was no interest in actually reading the material that I wrote or the detailed articles that were linked. Apparently, people were locked in by their emotions and the "facts" that they already believed from anti-vaxxers and similar groups (see Proverbs 18:17).

I had a bit of an experiment a spell back. On Facebook at The Question Evolution Project, I posted an item called "Atheist Accepts Multiverse Theory Of Every Possible Universe Except Biblical One". We had many comments by people who were angry at atheists, but didn't notice the source: The Babylon Bee, a "Christian news satire" site.

Here is where I want to make another point. People tend to accept what they read when the material confirms their biases or assumptions without checking the source. Good satire can be hard to distinguish from actual reports, and this one about the atheist accurately described how many of them act. Some of the people commenting on the post knew that it was a parody site, but others lashed out at the "atheist" in the story. I was letting it go, but another Admin stepped in and made it clear in the comments area that the content was satire.

Care should be used when getting material from unknown sites. You can find material that "proves" ghosts, UFOs, that the Anunnaki are our ancient reptilian masters from outer space working with the Illuminati, anti-vaxxers, flat-earthers, atheists, geocentrists, King James Onlyists, and more. Often, the name of the site or the weblog can prompt a reader or researcher to find more reliable sources. I lack belief that sites like that consider material that does not fit their narratives. God gave us minds, and he expects us to use them.

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.