Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Thursday, April 29, 2004
Blogiversary: Time to Launch or Time to Quit?Comments
Some folks create a great deal of dismay when they announce to the world that they are leaving the blogosphere. They have built up a substantial readership that has come to depend upon their daily droppings of wisdom, bile, lunacy, or whatever they've become known for. So when they quit, a whole lot of people feel like they are losing a friend.
I'm coming up on my first blogiversary in just a few short weeks, and taking stock of where I may take this blog in the future. After a year of daily musings, I see that my average hits per day hover around 9 to 12. That's pathetic, if a wide audience is what I was after. And how can I deny that is a secret wish--I mean really, is there any blogger who does not write in hopes of reaching a wide audience? But to be perfectly honest, I have not run this blog in such a manner as to attract a wide audience. Occasionally I make a splash by catching the attention of one of the "big dogs", or annoying Vox such that he's compelled to respond. But by and large this has been just simply my personal rant space. So I am grateful to those of you who stop by occasionally and see what drivel I've spewed recently. But I'm sure I wouldn't create a great deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth if I disappeared.
So what now?
Little Miss Attilla graciously extended to me an invitation to joint the mu.nu collective. This would certainly mean more regular exposure, at the very least to the rest of the denizens of the collective. I have only hesitated because I want to check out another blogging service that promises to be easier to use (though not free, as LMA noted). I have not had time to try it out yet. And that gets to the crux of the problem.
I've recently made my life a little more busy by enrolling in a couple of correspondence courses. This will leave me with less available time in the foreseeable future for blogging. Somehow I feel that if I am going to move up to a new platform, I owe it to the munuvians and/or the rest of the blogosphere to put out more of a quality product, and to do it on a regular basis. Now what constitutes a "regular basis" varies from blogger to blogger, and I could easily scale it back to 2 or 3 decent posts a week if I wanted. And what constitutes a "quality product" varies just as much. One thing I want to avoid though, is having my writing feel like an obligation, or get into a situation where I feel like I'm limited in any way in regards to my topical choices--or whether I even need to comment on X or Y event in the news, etc. I've seen several good bloggers go through this same angst, with some of them quitting outright. For example, Serenity recently swore-off the news and any blogging about it. It was either that or throw in the towel entirely. I really don't want to quit though. There's always going to be something I'll need to sound-off about.
The one feature I want though--and this is what will eventually drive me off blogspot--is the ability to easily post photos. I got a nifty digital camera a year ago, and I've been collecting "artsy" photos that I'd like to show off from time to time. It's not impossible with blogspot (just upload them to the free webspace that came with my ISP service, then link to them), but kind of a hassle. So it rarely happens.
Bottom line? Still don't know. The above rambling is really just part of the ruminating process.
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:31 PM | permalink
Sunday, April 25, 2004
There is a time to garden, and a time to enjoy one's garden.Comments
For gardeners like me, knowing when to stop gardening and start enjoying is the hard part.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:43 PM | permalink
The Religious PolicemanComments
Another for the "keeping an eye on it" file.
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:32 AM | permalink
Saturday, April 24, 2004
Well I just got back from an interesting day.Comments
I was part of a team that put on a medical clinic for the poor in Nogales, Sonora. After the Prilosec moment, crossing the border whilst laden with medical supplies and medications, the clinic itself went well. We saw about 175 patients, prayed with a few people, and got the good report from the Mexican pastor we had loaned a video projector and VCR to -- 132 salvations after two showings of the "Jesus" film! Praise God for that!
But on the way home, our medical team got another workout. Our three vans were passed on the freeway shoulder by someone who had to have been going 100 mph. He nearly had a collision with a car a couple hundred yards ahead of us, and continued weaving through traffic at an amazing speed. Daisycat got on the cellphone to 911 to report it. I knew it was just a matter of time before he crashed. Sure enough, a few minutes later we came upon it. He had weaved, overcompensated (as the skid marks testified to), and hit the ditch. He took out a few cactus before slamming into a Mesquite tree. I got to watch the emergency medical people in our team do their stuff. One guy (an EMT) hopped out of his van practically before it had stopped.
The guy jumped out of his car with his hands on his head (um hm...and I'm thinking, if he was armed, you "heroes" would be the one needing emergency care--apparently he thought youall were the police), before collapsing by the side of the road. They said he sustained some pretty severe internal damage when he crashed and was bleeding internally. The police and medical units arrived at least five minutes later, and I hoped they'd take over and allow us to be on their way. But there was no prying our EMT and other emergency medical people from that scene. Geez. This kind of thing must be a drug for them. I knew we wouldn't be leaving until the guy was in the medevac helicopter and on his way.
So some of the rest of the team got to make some interesting phone calls home...
Hi, I'm going to be a little bit late.
We're on the freeway, surrounded by police, EMT's, ambulances, fire trucks, and there's a Medevac helicopter parked on the freeway in front of us.
No, no, I'm fine, we're fine. We just came upon an accident, and some of our team is helping out.
As it turns out, the guy was being chased by the police all the way from Nogales, and they had recently broken off the chase because it was getting up to dangerous speeds. Dangerous? Hell yeah! As far as this guy was concerned, the chase was still on, 'cause he sure wasn't slowing down any. Some of the team saw big wads of cash on the seat, and there was a sack on the back seat that they didn't touch. Our best surmise was that he was fleeing from a drug bust.
While I have a substantial reserve of anger at this guy for endangering the lives of so many people (including us three vanloads!), I have more anger toward the drug war that created this situation in the first place.
But overshadowing both is my gratitude toward God, for His protection.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:32 PM | permalink
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Exercise? Who needs exercise?Comments
New Zealand News - World - Chinese mushroom remedy found to boost fitness
Just munch on a few of these mushrooms, and you're ready for the Boston Marathon!
link via Venomous Kate
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:26 AM | permalink
Key Monroe has keyed in to the same unspoken fears I have had recently:
I hear voices!
Come on, Key, everyone's doing it. Come with us...
Hmmm...I don't know.
Come on....You know you want to. It feeeels goood. It looooks gooood. Join usss....
Oh, whew, I'm not sure...what are the side effects of doing munu? I've never heard of it?
Side effectsss....no side effectsss, join usss...
Is this some sort of cult, where people are running around speaking in tongues, or worse, latin?
Cult! Of course not! We're just a bunch of good-hearted people who reach out to those who need us. heh..cult, right.
I must confess to conjuring visions of Gary Larson cows, draped in dark cowls, standing before a ceremonial fire chanting: MOONOO! MOONOO! MOONOO! with the Reverend Pixy Misa with upraised knife before the altar...
Absurd? Of course! It can't be like that, right? heh...
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:52 AM | permalink
Monday, April 19, 2004
Boom x 2Comments
Cox and Forkum via Baldilocks: Boom Times Two
Prescient maybe? Funny definitely!
(Note, the first cartoon was released a week or two ago.)
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:48 PM | permalink
Sunday, April 18, 2004
LOL Moment at Gut RumblesComments
Gut Rumbles: don't jump the gun
I ain't dead yet. I spent five days in the hospital with the finest of the medical community working...and after umpteen tests, removed two buckets of blood and shot a series of X-rays, they gave me good news--- they all saved a bunch of money on their car insurance at Geico!
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:20 PM | permalink
As All Sunday Afternoons Should BeComments
I'm working on a writing course at my patio table this afternoon. I wouldn't mind working from here on a more regular basis.
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:51 PM | permalink
Friday, April 16, 2004
Beast Technology, Ltd. (aka Applied Digital Solutions, VeriChip Corporation) Gets First Implementation of "Mark" TechnologyComments
WorldNetDaily: Paying for drinks with wave of the hand
Like a scene out of a science-fiction movie, all it takes is a syringe-injected microchip implant for the beautiful men and women of the nightclub scene to breeze past a "reader" that recognizes their identity, credit balance and even automatically opens doors to exclusive areas of the club for them.
They can buy drinks and food with a wave of their hand and don't need to worry about losing a credit card or wallet.
That should read "Like a scene out of the Book of Revelation..."
Rev 13:16-17 "Also (the Beast) causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark...
Baja Beach Clubs International is the first firm to employ the "VeriPay System," developed by Applied Digital's VeriChip Corporation and announced at an international conference in Paris last year. The company touts this application of the chip implant as an advance over credit cards and smart cards, which, absent biometrics and appropriate safeguard technologies, are subject to theft resulting in identity fraud.
And wouldn't you know it! Identity fraud is a surging problem. My what an elegant "solution".
He also alluded to plans for FN Herstal, which manufactures Browning and Smith and Wesson firearms, to develop an implant-firearm system that would make a firearm functional only to the individual implanted with its corresponding microchip. A scanner in the gun would be designed to recognize the owner.
Chase's mention of the FN Herstal-Verichip partnership came a full week before it's formal announcement by Applied Digital yesterday.
Chase believes all gun owners should be required to have a microchip implanted in their hand to be able to own a gun. While yesterday's Associated Press story on the prototype is primarily from the angle of police usage, WND reported two years ago that from the he outset of the company's acquisition of its "Digital Angel" implant patent – said to be GPS trackable – Applied touted the implant as a potential universal method of gun control.
Finally a way to track those gun nuts! Force them to get an implant to be able to use their guns. Where else can we put scanners to track their movements?
Chase calls the chip implant the wave of the future.
The objective of this technology is to bring an ID system to a global level that will destroy the need to carry ID documents and credit cards," Chase said.
During a recent American radio interview, Chase said the CEO of VeriChip, Dr. Keith Bolton, had told him that the company's goal was to market the VeriChip as a global implantable identification system.
Interesting that they will readily admit that this is what it is for. But of course! This is the solution to world terrorism! Never again will terrorists be able to sneak around undetected. We'll be watching their every move, (along with the movements of everyone else we have a notion to watch).
Interesting how it is being promoted.
"From the moment of their implantation they will also have free entry and access to the VIP area," he said.
The nightclub director has been implanted along with stars from the Spanish version of the TV show "Big Brother."
"I know many people who want to be implanted," he said. "Actually, almost everybody has piercings, tattoos or silicone."
It's hip! It's cool!
Rev 14:9-10 "And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If any one worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also shall drink the wine of God's wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb."
Rev 16:2 "So the first angel went and poured his bowl on the earth, and foul and evil sores came upon the men who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. "
Rev 20:4 "Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands."
At some point it will not be "optional".
Chase also claimed that the VeriChip company had told him that the Italian government was preparing to implant government workers.
This is getting too close for comfort. The justifications for the urgent implementation of this kind of technology are all around us. World terrorist threat. Surging identity fraud. The "war on drugs". Illegal immigration. Money laundering and tax evasion. For libertarians of any flavor though, this technology is terrifying in its implications, even without the Biblical references. But I had hoped to live most of my life before this time came upon us. These words will all too soon be fulfilled:
Rev 13:4-10 "Men worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?" And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months; it opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and tongue and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, every one whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain. If any one has an ear, let him hear: If any one is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if any one slays with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints."
"Endurance and faith." Oh Lord, may they be given to us in sufficent measure for the time that is soon to come.
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:55 PM | permalink
Massive Drink Alert!Comments
Don't miss these, especially "yodeling Saddam"...
FlipFlopper.com - 2004 Campaign Commericals by Creative Conservatives
Thanks to Dadcat for the headsup!
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:22 AM | permalink
Thursday, April 15, 2004
Has anyone besides me noticed how pretentious and self-important I sound here?
Seems to be a common affliction of bloggers though...
(...sorry. Nose is bent WAY out of shape this evening...)
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:03 AM | permalink
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
The Pan Galactic Blogger BlasterComments
Ok, it's brand new blog, but I know Nate from Vox's site, and I suspect this will be a good one.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:57 PM | permalink
Monday, April 12, 2004
Separating Wheat From ChaffComments
I am working my way through Watchman Nee's book, "Spiritual Authority", and also reading a bit on the web about it. What is becoming clear to me is that there is certainly some wheat in this book, but there is most certainly also a great deal of chaff. And some of that chaff borders on the poisonous, or at least has the potential to be turned to poison in the wrong circumstances. It appears from what I am reading, this book has become something of a standard textbook for legalistic church systems, as well as becoming the justifying "authority" for spiritual abuse and even some cults. So I have been keeping a very large grain of salt handy as I study.
Nee titles his book "Spiritual Authority", but he seems to apply his lessons as well to temporal authority. The New Testament writers talk about obedience to temporal authority as well as spiritual authority. Christ seems to make some distinction between the two (rendering to Caesar and to God). It is clear from these passages that this temporal authority carries with it some of the weight of spiritual authority from God. I have not fully sorted this out, and won't attempt to do so here. Specifically I'm dealing in this post with temporal authority.
Both the New Testament writers and Watchman Nee lived under a top-down authoritarian system. Nee lived in China at the time the Communists took power. Under such a system, if temporal authority is to be considered to be spiritually legitimate, it must be assumed that it has been handed down by, and maintained by God. However under the democratic republican system upon which this country was founded, a radically different authority structure is in place.
If we are to believe that this country is blessed by God and was founded upon godly principles, then we must conclude based on our founding documents that God has vested temporal authority in the individual members of society. From there authority is delegated to elected representatives, and further to the people that they appoint, both the courts and various governmental agencies. Under this system, literally vox populi, vox dei. The voice of the people is the voice of God. Our collective authority is delegated to governmental representatives, lends them legitimacy and provides them the authority to act on our behalf. In the measure and to the degree that these governmental representatives fail to reflect the voice of the people, they lose their legitimate authority.
Our founding documents were intended only to delegate specific authority to government, with the remainder being retained by the people. Thus the Bill of Rights is really about what authority is not granted to government, rather than being about what rights are granted to the people. Natural rights and authority begin with God, are granted to the people, and then specific authority is delegated from us to the representatives of the people.
Nee makes much of the model of David in his relationship to Saul when he argues for our unquestioned obedience to delegated authority. However it should be remembered that the establishment of a monarchy in Israel was not God's perfect will. The people demanded, and in his permissive will, he provided for them a temporal king. His perfect model was for the people of Israel to look upon Him as their king, and for His delegated authority to reside in judges who were raised up from amongst the people. To me this bears a rather remarkable resemblance to the republican ideal.
Under the democratic republican authority structure, one cannot be accused of reviling authority when one questions or calls down elected representatives or governmental agencies for their misdeeds. In fact, this is a legitimate exercise of the authority vested by God in the members of society. While it is important to remember that this delegated authority is collective, and therefore must represent all the people, the collectivization of the authority of many into the hands of a few representatives does not invert the essential authority structure.
All government officials, from the lowest DMV clerk to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, serve below the people in this system, not above them, and must remain sensitive and very responsive to vox populi if they are to maintain the legitimacy of their authority. "Social Engineering" has no place here. No one except for God Himself is appointed above the people to decide for us what the "collective will" is. When we speak, we must be heard and heeded.
For the survival of this democratic republic, it is crucial that both the people and government officials remember this foundation.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:00 AM | permalink
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Administration wages war on pornographyComments
What an incredible waste of taxpayer dollars and government resources! Don't we have terrorists to be concerned about?
Tim Fitzpatrick, the spokesman for Comcast at its corporate headquarters in Philadelphia, declined to comment on the cable network's adult programming. But officials at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, which Roberts used to chair, said adult programming is legal, relies on subscription services for access and has been upheld by the courts for years.
"Good luck turning back that clock," said Paul Rodriguez, a spokesman for the association.
In a speech in 2002, Ashcroft made it clear that the Justice Department intends to try. He said pornography "invades our homes persistently though the mail, phone, VCR, cable TV and the Internet," and has "strewn its victims from coast to coast."
Given the millions of dollars Americans are spending each month on adult cable television, Internet sites and magazines and videos, many may see themselves not as victims but as consumers, with an expectation of rights, choices and privacy.
Ashcroft, a religious man who does not drink alcohol or caffeine, smoke, gamble or dance, and has fought unrelenting criticism that he has trod roughshod on civil liberties in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, is taking on the porn industry at a time when many experts say Americans are wary about government intrusion into their lives.
The Bush administration is eager to shore up its conservative base with this issue. Ashcroft held private meetings with conservative groups a year and a half ago to assure them that anti-porn efforts are a priority.
But administration critics and First Amendment rights attorneys warn that the initiative could smack of Big Brother, and that targeting such a broad range of readily available materials could backfire.
I should say so! If it's not child porn, it's not broadcast, and is only available by subscription, then what business is it of government busybodies to meddle? I avoid it as a matter of personal moral convictions, and that is where it should stay--in the realm of personal convictions. This is the kind of thing where Republicans fall down. This is where the "Big Tent" shows tears and bulges at the seams. This is the kind of thing that drives sensible libertarian minded conservative folks away.
You will never win the "culture war" by employing the same statist tactics of the left! Mr. Ashcroft, you have a fine set of morals there, but you have no business appropriating the levers of government power to impose them on the country. You are misguided in your attempt to implement your personal vision of the kingdom of God on earth. If you cannot win people to the Kingdom one soul at a time, you will NEVER do so by government fiat! You are building with WOOD, HAY, and STUBBLE. Give it up, and ask the Spirit for gold, silver and precious gems, in order to build that which is eternal.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:59 PM | permalink
Monday, April 05, 2004
New Technology Reveals Mountain Lion LifeComments
It's them black helicopters! I'm tellin' ya! They're watching us...
"We are not on the menu," said Doug Updike, a biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. "If a lion had any desire to catch and eat people, we would see literally hundreds of people dying every day."
As Hobbes once said to Calvin, "little boys just don't taste very good". With enough ketchup and enough starvation, maybe an overweight tourist from New Jersey, but otherwise...fughedaboudit!
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:05 PM | permalink
Sunday, April 04, 2004
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Methane on Mars could signal lifeComments
First water was confirmed, now we have the possibility of methane-belching bacteria somewhere on the planet!
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:24 PM | permalink
MIT STUDENT INVENTOR SEES CLEAR FUTURE IN 'DESKTOP PRINTER' FOR LOW-COST EYEGLASS LENSESComments
News: Press Releases
Nice invention! Now if he can get it to production, and if it comes out reasonably priced, this'd be a great tool for our third-world medical outreach trips!
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:18 PM | permalink
Saturday, April 03, 2004
Nazis and Socialists/Communists: Fellow travellers with common roots.Comments
bastardsword: A Troll Smackdown Cocked and Ready
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:21 PM | permalink
Friday, April 02, 2004
New Ads for Viagra?Comments
Saw this over at CandyUniverse:
The boss of an Advertising Agency called a spontaneous staff meeting in
the middle of a particularly stressful week. When everyone gathered, the
employer, who understood the benefits of having fun, told the burnt-out
staff the purpose of the meeting was to have a quick contest.
The theme was Viagra advertising slogans. The only rule was that they
had to use past ad slogans, originally written for other products, that
captured the essence of Viagra. Slight variations were acceptable. About 7
minutes later, they turned in their suggestions and created a Top Ten List.
After all the laughter and camaraderie, the rest of the week went very well
The Top 10:
10. Viagra, Whaazzzzz Up!!
9. Viagra, The quicker pecker upper.
8. Viagra, Like a rock
7. Viagra, When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
6. Viagra, Be all that you can be.
5. Viagra, Reach out and touch someone.
4. Viagra, Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.
3. Viagra, Tastes great! More filling!
2. Viagra, We bring good things to life!
And the unanimous number one slogan:
1. This is your penis. This is your penis on drugs!
LOL! I'd love to see the graphic for that. If someone is good with Photoshop, get the original graphic for the ad, but for the second pic, show 3 or 4 upright eggs stacked up vertically. Add a Viagra logo somewhere on the graphic. I'll post it here with credit if you do.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:38 PM | permalink
Thursday, April 01, 2004
It's Time to Nuke the MoonComments
If ever there was a time for this approach, this is it. At least in the "Sunni Triangle".
Seriously though, what would be wrong with evacuating the city of Fallujah, setting up a temporary encampment, thoroughly searching every nook and cranny of that city for weapons caches, then thoroughly interrogating every man, woman and child before letting them return, and weeding out anyone with "attitude" for further corrective action?
Then set up a military tribunal, find the perps guilty, and summarily execute them. For final effect, cremate their remains and scatter the ashes over the city. How many would we need to execute? Ten? One hundred? One thousand? Ten thousand? How about identifying and executing every single participant in those street celebrations?
They apparently take us too lightly, and spit in the face of humanitarian aid. These are not civilized people, and do not deserve to be treated as civilized people. They are barbaric devotees of a sick cult of death. They want a return of Saddam? Let's give them Saddam AND his chemical weapons--in gas cloud form.
Yeah, I'm pissed.
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:18 PM | permalink
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