Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Cypress Bible Institute

I recently interviewed a graduate of The Cypress Bible Institute, also known as The Cypress Bible College, a center for higher learning located in Van, Texas. 

I don't know how The Cypress Bible Institute has flown beneath my radar for this long. 
According to their website, they are accredited:
Cypress Bible Institute is accredited by Shema Israel Christian Ministries International located in Riverside, California, and operates under their Federal Charter.
I could spend weeks going through The Cypress Bible Institute course descriptions.  Here's info from their class on the gospels:

 N-5. An in depth study of the life and miracles of Christ, the disciples, and parables are discussed. Also an in depth study of the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are discussed in detail.

As I've stated numerous times on this site, I'm the product of a rural education.  I can confuse the hell out of some subject/verb agreement.  But look at that last sentence, the one beginning with "Also an in depth study...." 
What is the subject of that sentence?  Is it "study" or "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John"?  Which one(s) are discussed in detail?  Sheesh ! 
This is from an academic course outline, right? 

Here's the description of a course on Bible Standards:

S-39-A This course deals with Bible holiness, concepts of dress, jedwely, hair, the role of women in the church, ministrial authority, and legalism.

Two typos in one sentence.  Perhaps they have a line of ministrial jedwely?  For women who know their subservient role in the church?

Here's the course description from a class on the King James Bible:

Ph-93 This course was written by James Jackson and deals with the origin of the KJV Bible. It shows the superiority of the King James over the other Bible translations.

I wonder if the course covers the well-documented fact that King James was as gay as a barrel of monkeys on nitrous oxide?  (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) 

They have a class called "Predestination":

D-76-2 This course covers the subjects such as the definition of Predestination, Theological Determinism, Free Will in Theology, Calvinism & Predestination, Theological Fatalism, Fatalism, Providentialism, and Divine Providence.

If you fail the class on predestination, it is not a big deal.  God meant for it to happen. 

There is another course with the rather broad name "Ancient Historical Facts". 

Here are three that could be interesting....One of the early problems faced by the early church was that the church wanted to retain the idea of one god.  They also liked the idea of Jesus being divine.  Jesus had also made some oblique references to a being called "The Comforter". 
Preachers and Apostles argued for a while, and came up with the idea of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  All are equal, all are the same, all are distinct, and all are indivisble.)  The idea was tossed around a lot in the third century, and became formal church doctrine after the Council Of Nicea in 325.  The idea has been with us ever since. 
But NOT at Cypress Bible College:

Trinity or Truth

T-19. This lesson shows the error of the Trinity doctrine and presents the truth of Monotheism. Many questions asked by Trinitarians are dealt with in this lesson.

The Truth of The Oneness Doctrine
T-20. This doctrinal course is a rebuttal to a major Trinitarian who has written a book indicating the oneness people are heresy.

Trinity Origin Research
D-46. This course is presented by Dr. Vestal on his research of the origin of the Trinity doctrine. Quotes from major Encyclopedias and Theologians show that the Trinity doctrine is in error. Dr. Vestal also rebuts in writing the theology of Calvin Beisner, and the late Dr. Walter Martin.

Dr. Vestal is probably onto something here, but the rest of Christian history, theology, and hymnology requires one long rebuttal if you throw out the Trinity with the holy water. 

From a course on "God's Astronomy":

D-43. This course covers the true meaning of the 12 signs of the Zodiac . The lesson covers Psalms 19, the 12 signs of the Zodiac in relation to the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 months on the Hebrew calendar. The planets of our solar system are also discussed.

Then it gets weird.
You can go to Cypress and take a course called "UFO Research And The Bible":

D-48. This course deals with the UFO sightings and uses Scripture to prove their existence. This lesson covers the future UFO invasion of our earth, the cleansing of the 2nd heavens prior to the 2nd coming of Christ at Armageddon. This course is a great eye opener to our generation.

And finally:

Doctor (sic) Thesis

S-65 A thesis is required of your own choosing, thesis must be at least 30 pages in length.

Dang.  30 pages?  Is a Doctorate really worth that kind of effort? 

Obama To Create 17 New Jobs By Resigning And Finally Opening That Restaurant

From John Shuey's Facebook page comes this bit o' brilliance from The Onion:

WASHINGTON—In an effort to counter the highest unemployment rate the nation has faced in a quarter century, Barack Obama announced Monday that he will create 17 new jobs by resigning from the presidency to pursue his lifelong dream of opening a cozy little down-home restaurant just off the Galesburg, IL exit on Interstate 74. "Now is the time for drastic measures, and the several line-cook and serving positions that will be generated by Barry's Place are imperative to getting the economy back on track," said Obama, donning a white apron over rolled-up shirtsleeves.

"The hope is that this bold initiative will demonstrate to other American business owners that it is possible to break the cycle after they somehow get sucked into politics and things snowball so fast that they lose sight of what's really important, like serving people the best slice of pecan pie they've ever tasted at a price that can't be beat." Vice President Joe Biden has reportedly followed Obama's entrepreneurial lead by purchasing a secondhand cologne and condom vending machine that will be installed in the men's bathroom of a Wilmington, DE offtrack betting parlor

The picture of Obama cooking the books came from here. 

High taxes equal high emigration and high deficits

This is from the TaxProf blog, where Paul L. Caron lists the states with the highest tax rates for top earners.  All of these are Blue States that went for Obama, by the way:
  1. Hawaii:  11% (income over $400,000 (couple), $200,000 (single))
  2. Oregon:  11% (income over $500,000 (couple), $250,000 (single))
  3. California: 10.55% (income over $1 million)
  4. Rhode Island:  9.9% (income over $373,650)
  5. Iowa:  8.98% (income over $64,261)
  6. New Jersey  8.97% (income over $500,000)
  7. New York:  8.97% (income over $500,000)
  8. Vermont:  8.95% (income over $373,650)
  9. Maine:  8.5% (income over $39,549 (couple), $19,749 (single))
  10. Washington, D.C.:  8.5% (income over $40,000)
Ok, so what? 
Well, this is from the Wall Street Journal.  It's a map showing the migration patterns from state to state. 

With the exception of Oregon, all of the top tax states lost population from 2008 to 2009.  Most of them were already losing population in the earlier time period. 
Entrepreneurs don't like putting money at risk in places where greedy little government munchkins can confiscate more of their increasingly unlikely earnings. 
(Washington D.C. isn't shown on these maps, and would probably be an exception to all trends since it is ground zero for the currently popular porkfests.  Looters are moving there to be a part of the ongoing orgy of stimulus pillaging.)

But don't state governments need more money to operate?  Can't states just increase the tax percentage and have an automatic increase in revenue? 
Here's a map from The Economic Populist, showing each state's budget deficit as a percentage of the state's overall budget:

Hawaii is the only pale outsider among the ten listed by The TaxProf above. All of the other top tax states have a large gap between revenue and spending.  (Granted, a state can "go Reagan" with low taxes and insanely high spending levels and go dark brown on this map.) 
So what does it all mean? 

Be like Texas.  Take less away from people.  Spend less of their money.  You'll probably end up with more people and more money. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Good Night, Sleep Tight, and don't let The Bed Bugs Bite ! !

The law of unintended consequences is back! 

MYFOXNY.COM - The AMC Empire 25 movie theater complex in the Times Square area shut its doors Tuesday night to deal with a bed bug problem.
AMC said it has been testing and treating its theaters after getting complaints from some patrons about bed beg bites.
The company said it inspected the Empire 25 Tuesday and found bed bugs in an auditorium that had previously tested negative.

Here's an email sent out to the CNN employees working in the Time Warner Center:

August 13, 2010
To: TBS, Inc. Employees
From: TBS, Inc. Human Resources

The Time Warner Center Facilities Department advises that bed bugs have been detected in Time Warner Center. This determination was made after testing was conducted on several floors of the building. In response, Time Warner Facilities is working with pest control providers to address the issue in an environmentally safe manner, and during non-working hours...

There's only one effective, efficient way to get rid of bedbugs.  That would be DDT. 
Our government banned DDT in 1972. 

"To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT... In little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million human deaths, due to malaria, that otherwise would have been inevitable."
- National Academy of Sciences

I'm sure that our government knows best.  But in the meantime, if you see Wolf Blitzer scratching his privates on camera, you now know the reason why.  CNN can't spray their building with DDT, which, if used properly, is ok to drink in small quantities.  (There used to be a cocktail called the Mickey Slim - Gin & a pinch of DDT.)
 If you see Larry King scratching his privates on camera, it's because he has grown old and forgetful after all those years of throwing softballs to Democrats.
If you see Anderson Cooper touching himself on camera, it's because he thinks there's nothing like the feel of Anderson Cooper.
If Candy Crowley starts scratching herself on camera.....aww....never mind.    I'm not going there. 
Sorry for the digression.  I'm really enjoying the idea of The Castro News Network having a bed bug breakout.  I apologize. 
Here are the folks from Reason magazine on the DDT scare campaign:

Can we find a volunteer to sneak bed bugs into the EPA headquarters?

How Beta Males are made

From the "Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen" blog:

The Roger Federer Trick Shot, frame by frame

Amazing viral video of Roger Federer playing William Tell.

Here's a slow motion someone did of the shot, from someone who isn't amazed.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wyndham Wilson, Richard Pazdur, Natalie Compagni Portis, and Jean Grem - Bureaucrats who know more than your doctor

You may have heard of Avastin

Last month, an FDA advisory board recommended withdrawing government approval of Avastin as a treatment for advanced breast cancer. The decision betrays a bias that puts costs above treatment, and unless the FDA leadership overrules its own experts, the 40,000 women killed by breast cancer each year will be denied an important clinical option.

From a series of links provided by Instapundit.....

Here's Ann Althouse, quoting the Wall Street Journal:

So here we have government-anointed medical patriarchs substituting their own subjective view of Avastin's risks and costs for the value that doctors and patients recognize. If Avastin is rescinded, thousands of dying women will lose more than proverbial false hope in the time they have left. They will lose a genuinely useful medicine.

And here's Ms. Althouse:

There are death panels. They don't want to be seen as death panels, because to be seen as death panels will undermine their relentless, bureaucratic work. So see them.

Who are they?  Nobody really knows, do they?  They meet in their little rooms, cast their little votes, and then hand down their verdicts predicated on the idea that they know more than your doctor.  Here's Instapundit one last time, on the subject of "naming names":

And name names, which, as I’ve noted before, undercuts the diffusion of responsibility that bureaucrats prefer. In this case, some names are Wyndham Wilson, the chair of the committee, and Richard Pazdur, the FDA’s cancer chief. Also committee members Natalie Compagni Portis, and Jean Grem, both quoted here.

Here's the difficulty, IMAO.....   The government has set up an elaborate series of hurdles that any pharmaceutical company must jump before a new drug is approved for sale in the U.S.     I've read estimates claiming a regulatory cost of one billion dollars per medicine.  Here's one estimate that puts it at 800 million.   Much of this cost is overkill.
Combine this with the elaborate series of hurdles known as Medicare and Medicaid, and you have the perfect storm.  Your health is now in the hands of dueling bureaucracies.   One bureaucracy is charged with ensuring that you are 100% safe, regardless of the cost.  The other is charged with ladling out treatment in an approved, inexpensive manner.  Which side is gonna win?

Back to Avastin.  For the love of God, it is a freakin' cancer medication.  And if you have cancer and your doctor doesn't find a treatment, you are going to die. 
Would it lower the morale of our Bureaucratic Lords And Masters if they simply said "Look, you folks are free to try this medicine.  Hell, you're dying.  The pharmaceutical companies are free to manufacture this medication for the lowest cost possible.  Consider yourselves part of the research.  The medicine can now be produced at a much lower price, as long as it has a red stamp on the lid that says UNREGULATED."

Now, transfer that thinking to all pharmaceutical products.  Transfer that thinking to restaurants, stepladders, florists, beauty salons, and funeral homes
If you trust a cabal of bureaucratic hacks more than you trust your doctor, your neighbors, or word of mouth, then you should be free to pay more for the regulated products. 
If not, you should be free to make your own choices. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fluffee Talks - NSFW

I don't know who this kid is.
Mike Coyne sent me the link.
He says it so much more eloquently than I ever could.
Go here for more info on the lemonade stand incident. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

From Henry Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson", on the economic benefits of government spending

From Henry Hazlitt's classic "Economics In One Lesson", Chapter 4:

There is no more persistent and influential faith in the world today than the faith in government spending. Everywhere government spending is presented as a panacea for all our economic ills. Is private industry partially stagnant? We can fix it all by government spending. Is there unemployment? That is obviously due to "insufficient private purchasing power." The remedy is just as obvious. All that is necessary is for the government to spend enough to make up the "deficiency."

....Everything we get, outside of the free gifts of nature, must in some way be paid for. The world is full of so- called economists who in turn are full of schemes for getting something for nothing.

They tell us that the government can spend and spend without taxing at all; that it can continue to pile up debt without ever paying it off, because "we owe it to ourselves." We shall return to such extraordinary doctrines at a later point. Here I am afraid that we shall have to be dogmatic, and point out that such pleasant dreams in the past have always been shattered by national insolvency or a runaway inflation. Here we shall have to say simply that all government expenditures must eventually he paid out of the proceeds of taxation; that to put off the evil day merely increases the problem, and that inflation itself is merely a form, and a particularly vicious form, of taxation.

A certain amount of public spending is necessary to perform essential government functions. A certain amount of public works-of streets and roads and bridges and tunnels, of armories and navy yards, of buildings to house legislatures, police and fire departments-is necessary to supply essential public services. With such public works, necessary for their own sake, and defended on that ground alone, I am not here concerned. I am here concerned with public works considered as a means of "providing employment" or of adding wealth to the community that it would not otherwise have had.

A bridge is built, If it is built to meet an insistent public demand, if it solves a traffic problem or a transportation problem otherwise insoluble, if, in short, it is even more necessary than the things for which the tax payers would have spent their money if it had not been taxed away from them, there can be no objection. But a bridge built primarily "to provide employment" is a different kind of bridge. When providing employment becomes the end, need becomes a subordinate consideration. "Projects" have to he invented. Instead of thinking only where bridges must be built, the government spenders begin to ask themselves where bridges can be built. Can they think of plausible reasons why an additional bridge should connect Easton and Weston? It soon becomes absolutely essential. Those who doubt the necessity are dismissed as obstructionists and reactionaries.

Two arguments are put forward for the bridge, one of which is mainly heard before it is built, the other of which is mainly heard after it has been completed. The first argument is that it will provide employment. It will provide, say, 500 jobs for a year. The implication is that these are jobs that would not otherwise have come into existence.

This is what is immediately seen. But if we have trained ourselves to look beyond immediate to secondary consequences, and beyond those who are directly benefited by a government project to others who are indirectly affected, a different picture presents itself. It is true that a particular group of bridge workers may receive more employment than otherwise. But the bridge has to be paid for out of taxes. For every dollar that is spent on the bridge a dollar will be taken away from taxpayers. If the bridge costs $1,000,000 the taxpayers will lose $1,000, 000. They will have that much taken away from them which they would otherwise have spent on the things they needed most.

Therefore for every public job created by the bridge project a private job has been destroyed somewhere else. We can see the men employed on the bridge. We can watch them at work. The employment argument of the government spenders becomes vivid, and probably for most people convincing. But there are other things that we do not see, because, alas, they have never been permitted to come into existence. They are the jobs destroyed by the $1,000,000 taken from the taxpayers. All that has happened, at best, is that there has been a diversion of jobs because of the project. More bridge builders; fewer automobile workers, radio technicians, clothing workers, farmers.

But then we come to the second argument. The bridge exists. It is, let us suppose, a beautiful and not an ugly bridge. It has come into being through the magic of government spending. Where would it have been if the obstructionists and the reactionaries had had their way? There would have been no bridge. The country would have been just that much poorer.

Here again the government spenders have the better of the argument with all those who cannot see beyond the immediate range of their physical eyes. They can see the bridge. But if they have taught themselves to look for indirect as well as direct consequences they can once more see in the eye of imagination the possibilities that have never been allowed to come into existence. They can see the unbuilt homes, the unmade cars and radios, the unmade dresses and coats, perhaps the unsold and ungrown foodstuffs. To see these uncreated things requires a kind of imagination that not many people have. We can think of these non-existent objects once, perhaps, hut we cannot keep them before our minds as we can the bridge that we pass every working day. What has happened is merely that one thing has been created instead of others.

We must apply the same reasoning, once more, to get projects like the Tennessee Valley Authority. Here, because of sheer size, the danger of optical illusion greater than ever. Here is a mighty dam, a of steel and concrete, "greater than anything capital could have built," the fetish of photographers, heaven of socialists, the most often used miracles of public construction, ownership Here are mighty generators and power ho whole region lifted to a higher economic level, attracting factories and industries that could not otherwise have existed. And it is all presented, in the panegyrics of its partisans, as a net economic gain without offsets.

We need not go here into the merits of the TVA or public projects like it. But this time we need a special effort of the imagination, which few people seem able to make, to look at the debit side of the ledger. If taxes are taken from people and corporations, and spent in one particular section of the country, why should it cause surprise, why should it be regarded as a miracle, if that section becomes comparatively richer? Other sections of the country, we should remember, are then comparatively poorer. The thing so great that "private capital could not have built it" has in fact been built by private capital -the capital that was expropriated in taxes (or, if the money was borrowed, that eventually must be expropriated in taxes). Again we must make an effort of the imagination to see the private power plants, the private homes, the typewriters and radios that were never allowed to come into existence because of the money that was taken from people all over the country to build the photogenic Norris Dam.

I have deliberately chosen the most favorable examples of public spending schemes-that is, those that are most frequently and fervently urged by the government spenders and most highly regarded by the public. I have not spoken of the hundreds of boondoggling projects that are invariably embarked upon the moment the main object is to "give jobs" and "to put people to work."

For then the usefulness of the project itself, as we have seen, inevitably becomes a subordinate consideration. Moreover, the more wasteful the work, the more costly in manpower, the better it becomes for the purpose of providing more employment.

Under such circumstances it is highly improbable that the projects thought up by the bureaucrats will provide the same net addition to wealth and welfare, per dollar expended, as would have been provided by the taxpayers themselves, if they had been individually permitted to buy or have made what they themselves wanted, instead of being forced to surrender part of their earnings to the state.

The pics for this post came from here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

On the Ground Zero Mosque

A few things to consider about the Ground Zero Mosque....

1) Do the people who want to build the mosque own the land in question?  Or is the landlord willing to let them open a mosque in the existing building? 

2) Will the mosque put anyone in danger? 

3)  Do we want grandstanding politicians involved in decisions about how we can and cannot use private property? 

4)  If you owned a piece of land, would you want its usage to be put up for a vote? 

5)  It is illegal to open a synagogue in many Muslim countries.  Ditto for a church.  Would putting a U.S. ban on mosques help or hurt this situation? 

6)  When you were a kid, did you ever learn the rhyme "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"?  Does this apply to buildings? 

7)  Has the Islamic Witch Doctor in charge of this stunt already gotten far more free publicity than he deserves? 

8)  Is this a GREAT wedge issue for Republicans who want Americans to worry about tribalism instead of our $14,000,000,000,000.00 debt? 

9)  Which building is more likely to do you harm:  The Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas, or a mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero? 

10)  Does Barack Obama's willingness to get sucked into this issue prove that he is a silly person? 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"T For Texas" - Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jimmie Rogers, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash

I've been listening to a lot of Lynyrd Skynyrd for the last week.  Here they are someplace in England, doing Jimmie Rodgers' "T For Texas".  This is pure, undiluted greatness.  This is where the soul of man never dies.  This is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. 

If that's not enough, here's Mr. Jimmie Rogers (of Meridian Mississippi) doing the tune that he wrote sometime in the 1920's.

And here's Waylon. There's no video, but you should be grateful all the same.


These videos are posted as part of The Whited Sepulchre Outreach Ministry to those who don't get enough good music. 

Food For The Machine

I have an acquaintance named James who just got sent to jail for four months.

James and I have a mutual friend named Judy, who called me yesterday, absolutely frantic. James had already gone to be an Involuntary Guest Of The State, he had no way to prepay four months’ rent on his small garage apartment, and unless Judy could find a way to get the rest of his possessions to a storage facility, everything James owned would either be dumped out on the curb or sold for back-payment of rent.
I was able to help Judy get the remainder of James’s furniture moved to a 10’x10’ storage space that she and another friend had rented. Had those two ladies not been willing to do this, James would have been released from prison owning absolutely nothing.

Think about that for a minute….starting over with a criminal record, and owning nothing. Then think of having to face a plague of counselors, probation officers, parole officers and other leeches, all with their hands in your pockets, trying to collect their Oversight Fees, payments for counseling sessions, payments for drug tests, and other legal rip-offs.

James will probably spend the rest of his life as food for this vile machine, ensuring that some Civil Service lifer is able to collect a good pension at the age of 50.

So what did James do to deserve such treatment?

Did he injure someone with his vehicle, the way Ted Kennedy did, and then leave his victim to drown?
Did he try and fail to blow up some buildings, like Bill Ayers?
Or did he drug and rape a 13-year old, like Roman Polanski?

James didn’t do anything to harm anyone else, the way those three guys did. He's only guilty of doing something that our last three presidents have done.

James was pulled over because of his license plate or inspection sticker was expired. The cops used that as an excuse to rip his car open from bumper to bumper. They finally found an ounce of marijuana and hauled James to jail.
Unlike presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, or contenders like John Kerry, Al Gore, and Sarah Palin, all of whom have smoked weed, James is in jail.
Unlike Barack Obama, who did cocaine as a teenager, James is in jail.

Chances are, you have voted for at least two of the politicians listed above. Why is it that you don’t hold drug use against presidential candidates and will support them in their efforts to be Leaders Of The Free World, but if a night-shift welder is caught with 4 joints’ worth of marijuana, you believe he should go to prison and then have to spend years explaining himself to, and being monitored by, government munchkins?

We have a higher percentage and a higher raw number of prisoners than any other country on earth. We are devastating the male African-American population for the sole purpose of “saving and creating jobs” in the counseling, drug-testing, prison-building and law enforcement industries.

Mexican drug lords are destroying their country - all for the right to be monopoly drug suppliers for the United States. The parallels between 2010 and our failed 1920's alcohol prohibition experiment are too obvious for even the most dense politician to ignore. Al Capone and a plethora of other gangsters grew wealthy supplying something that everyone wanted. Grandmothers started making their own bathtub gin. Lawlessness erupted around the border – but in this case, it was our border with Canada!

In places where we legalized alcohol, the bootlegger violence stopped. Alcohol usage didn’t skyrocket, it merely moved out into the open again, and there was no sudden increase in alcoholism.

There are only two politicians of note who are willing to go on record stating that they favor marijuana legalization – Republican Ron Paul (TX) and Democrat Jim Webb (VA).
The other politicians no longer have ignorance as an excuse. They aren’t misguided or misinformed, and they aren’t looking out For The Children®.

They are evil.