Tuesday, September 12, 2017

How "Her"icanes Got Their Names

I’ve been wondering about all of these hurricanes and I’m pretty happy we don’t live anywhere near where hurricanes are.

If you thought Katrina was bad, back in ’05, Harvey was a complete disaster and it appears Irma was no pussy cat.

I began wondering about the names of hurricanes, so I did what most citizens in the Internet world do: I googled it. ( Google is, as you must know, the most important verb in the English language. It is the answer to almost any question and has been known to open up the whole world for those who avail themselves of it. But you must be sure not to let Google know too much about you, as the company has an intimate relationship with the feds.)

My first question regarding the names of hurricanes is where the names came from. Before 1979 all hurricanes had female names (a system begun in 1953)Gloria, Agnes, Hermione(?)but a group of women with nothing better to do with themselves, probably the NOW gang, thought it sexist that “her”icanes all were given women’s names. The issue was brought up in Congress (who very seldom has enough to do or when it does, very seldom does anything appropriate about it.) and a law was passed that made it a requirement that half of the she-named storms had to have boys names. So now we have Andrew, George, Rico and Jose and so on and on.

Something I didn’t know (or suspect)is that storms are named six years in advance. There are lists for the next six years. For example, this year hurricanes with such names as Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, and Gert have blown through someplace, and then as we by now know, Harvey, Irma, and perhaps, Katia, and if there are more storms, they’ll be called Lee, Maria, Nate and Ophelia, etc. I didn’t know hurricanes were prenamed. I had always thought some guy at the weather service said, “Okay, folks, here comes another one. Let’s put our heads together and think up a name. U-m-m let's see, we need a female name that begins with an “R”. Okay?” Next year the first three storms will be tagged Alberto, Beryl and Chris; in 2019, Andrea, Barry and Chantel. In 2023, a rotation of the same names used from 2017 through 2022 starts all over again.

There is, of course, an exception to the rule. If a storm is so deadly or costly that the use of its name for future storms would be considered inappropriate for (now hold onto your hats!) reasons of insensitivity, its name will be deleted from upcoming  lists. Yep. I hadn’t realized we needed to be concerned with the feelings of storms, but as we are so sympathetic to almost every other thing, it wasn’t hard to see it coming. (Yeah, I know what they meant, but it's fun to make fun of.)

For example, the name Camille (1969) was stricken from the list; Agnes has been stricken (as per the storm of 1972), Andrew because of its devastation in 1992; and Catrina, Dennis, Rita, Stan and Wilma (as per the storms of ’05); Sandy in 2012; Just last year the names Matthew and Otto were erased. There are many others (as our sensitivity increases). I just discovered my own namesakeFredericwas scratched in 1979, but I have no weepy feelings about it (but I’ll bet it got a bum rap).

There no doubt that we will never hear about another Harvey again. Or an Irma. It’s said Jose may linger for several days before assailing the Atlantic coast at some point. And “Katia” is out there someplace, destination unknown. Whether we’ll see either of the latter two on a list again is, at this point, a question mark. Let’s just say we hope not.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

From CNN to Congress, the BS Gets Deeper

As we are all aware, President Trump is being given a rough time. Not only foot-and-soldier Liberals (Progressives, whatever) hate the man because HRC lost the election, the warped media and even members of his own party, want to oust him from office. It's easy to understand the reasoning of Liberals (Progressives, whatever) and the liberal media, but why are fellow Republicans wanting him out? It doesn't make sense, unless, of course, the motives of the Right are known: President Trump wants to drain the swamp, the swamp likes things just the way they are.
When we parted company last week Red-State Louie, Pud Politico and I were sloshing through the halls and offices of the Center for Nitwitty News (CNN). As we progressed along it became necessary to exchange sneakers for knee-high galoshes, and a nice, young Republican entrepreneur out to make a few dollars, provided us with gas masks, in order to allow us to breathe; the stench was really getting bad.
We left the Center for Nitwitty News through a back door and crossed the street toward the Halls of Congress. The sloshing was becoming more and more difficult as the BS become outlandishly deep. Luckily another young Republican entrepreneur had a booth set up on the corner, selling hip waders. The BS was sneaking in over the tops of the knee-highs as we approached to look over the many styles and colors of hip waders on display. They came in pink and yellow, the most popular were those in variegated color patterns (for the ladies, I presume, but we were mildly shocked at the number of frilly patterns being chosen by frilly men).
Red State and I chose a pair of unfrilly black waders with white mermaid glued on the sides; Pud selected a pair of light green and chartreuse boots patterned in a series of ornate question marks, which caused the young entrepreneur to raise his eyebrows. He relaxed a bit when we explained that Pud was a Liberal (progressive, whatever) twit. The guy smiles and says he sees quite a lot of that around here.
We were given a nominal trade-in allowance for our knee boots. We slipped on the waders, making sure to fasten the shoulder straps (the guy recommended that we do so because the "excrement is very deep in the Halls of Congress."
And, boy, he wasn't kidding. It wasn't so much the depth of stuff at normal levels, but those lapping waves are a bitch. Seeing everyone in hip waders and a gas mask yondering through the poop was a rip.
We hadn't traveled far when we came upon a man trekking along clutching a stack of folders to his chest, and not wearing boots or a gas mask. He was headed somewhere talking on a cell phone and laughing about something. I stopped and asked him where were his boots and mask.
"Why would I need those things," he asked, his face an amused question.
"Because of the really bad smell and the hip deep BS we are walking through," says I.
"Funny, I don't smell anything bad, and we in the Senate refuse to lower our work to the level of BS."
"What would you call what you do?"
"We call it the important work of the people," says he.
"Is that so?"
"What was the last important thing you did?"
"Actually, we have a lot of important legislation we're holding back, until we get rid of Trump," he said with a smirk. "We're for a lot of things the president doesn't like."
"Let me guess," says I, "you guys want to spend more money foolishly and Trump won't go for it. Right?"
The guy offers up an embarrassed shrug, and with a red face, says, "Well, er, I wouldn't call it 'foolish', exactly."
"What exactly would you call what Congress does? I mean other than approve the policy of asset forfeiture, effectively allowing offices of the federal government to steal the belongings from homes in the private sector."
"Well, you see ... um, we didn't think the time was right for a, uh,  tax increase, and as we like to spend money and needed more of it ..."
"You thought it would be okay to just take it from the people. That's theft!"
"But when Congress steals, er, that is, takes the money, it's okay."
"It may be legal, but it ain't okay. Not all of that money is used for legitimate purposes, I hear; what happens to the rest?"
"Well, eh, eh, I'm not supposed to say."
"I hear Congress threw an incredible Christmas bash last year using forfeiture money. And did ATFB actually use a chunk to buy a luxury yacht to play around in?"
"I wouldn't know anything about that." Clutching the folders tighter, he said, "I really have to go. Duty calls."
"And there's still money to be spent?"
"Of course. And you know something, smart ass, there ain't a damn thing you can do about it"
And that's exactly why we were wearing hip boots and gas masks.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Inside the Center for Nitwitty News

Have you been wondering what the big fuss over Confederate monuments is all about? Since we talked together last week, there has been a huge upheaval in interest about the monuments, most of which were raised more than a century ago.

There’s something fishy going on here.

Something diabolical is happening.

It sure enough has to be a cabal of Progressive rabble-rousers attempting to cause problems for the president. Hillary Clinton? Barack Obama? George Soros? Or any number of other low-lying creatures (say, the national media) trying to have President Trump impeached (for who knows what? He’s done nothing illegal.)We should applaud the man for hanging in there in opposing the slings and potshots flung his way.

No member of the media that I have heard has had a single decent thing to say about Donald Trump, although the man has set an ambitious agenda that would Make America Great Again. It appears he’s not getting very much help from anywhere, left or right. It could be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got something right when he stated that perhaps the president was not accustomed to the slower pace that legislation in D.C. takes. I’m sure there are no successful CEOs who would tolerate such a pace in business. It doesn’t work that way in the world of industry – you get it done yesterday !

I must admit that I don’t have much time for watching CNN, MSNBC and other crappy stations of that kind. The few times I have listened, I quickly got the gist of the conversations ‒ Everything is Trump’s fault. Trump won the election because of the Russians. Impeach Trump! Never once have I heard a satisfactory reason for impeaching the president, other than these networks don’t like him and they’re mad as hell that Hillary lost the election.

Tough shit, I say. I didn’t like it when Barack O. won back in ’08, either.

The truth is, though, there’s still good and bad news. The good news is the House leader has chosen not to censure the president – the reason being, there is no reason to. Much more disturbing is that the LGBTQ (it’s getting more and more difficult not to be represented by one of those letters) is considering suing for reparations for fat, black, oddball chicks. (Do not doubt me – if this baloney is brought forward for legislative debate (especially in New York), we will be supporting fat, black, queer chicks. It’s a done deal. Politicians do not have the cojones to vote it down.)


Meanwhile, back to our investigation of the roots of the latest social turmoil. Me and my buddy Red State Louie and our not-too-bright Progressive hanger-on, Pud Politico, were cracking back a few at the Gurglin’ Hen and Psuedo-Rooster House of Cocktails, near Democrat headquarters in D.C.

“Didja hear,” says our erudite Liberal colleague, “where Virginia Governor McAuliffe has stepped forward to propose profound anti-gun legislation again. He’s a hell of a man, that McAuliffe, ain’t he?” Pud raised a glass of green beer to toast the governor. “Although I don’t suppose you two will think much of it.”

Red State slugged down a shot of barleycorn neat, and says, “We don’t think nothing of it because McAuliffe’s an idiot, just like the retard in the governor’s office in New York.

“Tell us something, Pud, if nobody was shot at at Charlottesville, why does the governor think it’s necessary to bring up the gun issue again?”

“But, er …”

“Shut up, Pud,” says I. Let’s take a walk over to the CNN building. I’ll bet we can get some real poop on social turmoil over there.”

“CNN? Why are you picking on CNN?” asked Pud.

“It’s the Center for Nitwitty News. If there’s any behind-the-scenes crapola going on to foment riots in the country, the Center for Nitwitty News is the right place to start looking.”

It didn’t take long to verify my observation. An unpleasant odor wafted on the afternoon D.C. breeze. The closer we strode the stinkier the smell roiled to greet our nostrils. At the entrance some enterprising young fellow, obviously a Conservative entrepreneur trying to make a buck, was selling disposable oxygen masks. The only people not breathing through such an apparatus were obviously Liberal employees, who did not recognize the stink as stink. For them, everything was fine.

We each bought a mask and quickly slipped it on. What a relief! We then progressed to the back of the lobby to wait for an elevator.  We stopped at the first floor.

As the doors slid open we viewed the Center for Nitwitty News newsroom. The place was huge and, by the looks of things, there was a lot of smelly stuff happening in the news‒or maybe just the newsroom.

“Look at the monitor,” yelled one reporter, obviously a novice, “there’s a triple murder in Baltimore! Three cops shot down!”

“Never mind that,” yelped an editor, “here’s a report that came from someplace that says an anonymous email was sent to somebody that says that maybe President Trump got help from the Russians in the election  … Get right on it; I want it for the 6 o’clock news.”

“You see there,” yelped Politico, “now that’s real investigative reporting. That editor should be up for a Pulitzer. I’m notifying the committee right now,” he said reaching for his phone.

Red State and I progressed on through the room, leaving Pud in his tracks. The floors became slippery with a smelly brown substance that we soon recognized as bullshit. As it began slopping over the tops of our sneakers we stumbled into a closet and found, to our everlasting relief, a box of knee-high galoshes. We quickly slipped into a pair and continued our walk through the dark halls of pernicious, Progressive  rumors.

There were offices on either side of a long hallway. From well down the hall a voice rang out, “Halleluyah, lookee here! A government truck collided with a bus that had a donkey painted on the side in Hollywood.  An obvious political smackdown on Progressive ideas and ideals. I think we can blame it on Trump and demand impeachment. Get on it, People!”

“Now there you go,” howls Pud, “Progressives doing their jobs. I love it.!”

“Doing their jobs?” asks Red State. “Whatever do you mean? Since when have Progressives had any Ideas and ideals? It’s just a bunch of jackasses braying at the moon.”

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What? There are Nuts in California?

While sitting back this morning, enjoying a magazine and a cup of joe, wondering what to put into this space, I encountered a story about my boyhood hometown.

Now you might wonder why I would think a story about my boyhood hometown would interest you (and maybe it won’t), but give me few lines to make my case.

A couple of years ago, while beginning a memoir, I went on Google Earth to find the place of my youth. I hardly recognized the place; it is quite a bit bigger than when I left there many years ago. At that time the population of Los Molinos, California was around 500; now it’s upwards of 3,000. Quite a difference. As there is not much by way of job opportunities in the village, I thought it might be a bedroom community for Red Bluff, a town about 16 miles north. Then I noticed one of those popup websites that said Red Bluff was one of the 10 most redneck towns in Californiajust like Hornell, Bath and Penn Yan are in New York. After scanning around with the online satellite, I began wondering why Los Molinos wasn’t designated a redneck town. Must not have had a Walmart, which really is one of the criteria.

Anyway, I scanned south in order to find the old homestead. It would have been mostly unrecognizable except for the two streams running through it that flow in a recognizable pattern. The old farmhouse was gone, burned down according to one source then replaced with an equipment shed. The biggest difference was a half mile north at the site of the farm buildings. Nothing there was the same; similar but different, causing a twinge of nostalgia to pass through me, a longing for what had been.

The item in the magazine that seized my eye spoke of Los Molinos, now a mecca for nut growers, as the site for a major theft of walnuts.

Los Molinos is situated on the northern edge of California’s Central Valley, the agricultural center of the state and one of the largest of food production areas in the United States. The northern area, in which the old homestead rests, has been turned over to the production of walnuts. Not entirely, of course, but mostly. Most of the land east of US99E was in walnuts.

Tehama County, where the village sits, has always been an agricultural community; every kind of edible product was grown there. We had a dairy farm, next door to the north cropsoats, barley, alfalfa were grown, next it was pigs; further north were prune orchards. The farm to the south grew peaches and grapes and pigs (An adventure of mine on each of these places can be read in the memoir, which will be out in the few months). A friend’s dad had honey bees. And on and on. Now it was mostly nuts.

The way things are going in California, I would have thought all of the nuts would be found in Sacramento (the capital) or Beverly Hills (where the movie stars live.) This became a paramount idea when it was announced that California was seceding from the union. You had to know there were nuts behind that idea. Then they doubled down by making every town a sanctuary for illegal aliens, even though the state would lose most of its federal funding for doing so. I’m sure they were incensed at the audacity of Republican President Trump’s making such a suggestion, but the sages of Sacramento simply said they would raise taxes to cover the loss. Now most of us know that California is one of the highest taxed states in the union already. Right? But the nuts, and there are lots and lots of nuts in California, said “Ah, go ahead and tax us some more. We’d like it!”

Whadya expect? These are mostly Liberals, you know. Most of the state’s Conservatives have already left the Nut State for less nutty places to live. The move became imperative when it was divulged that the loss of federal money far exceeded the state’s GDP. But that was only Reason Numero Uno. Numero DosThe legislation sanctioning sanctuary to people who should not be allowed in the United States did not address those with criminals records. So not only do California Nuts have to support welfare-bound illegals, they will have to fork over more of their pay in order to punish evil-doers.

But what the heck? These are nutty Liberals we’re talking about. You can just hear them, now: “Taxes? More taxes? Heck, man, bring ‘em on! We’re stupid-assed Liberals. We’d enjoy that!”
But please keep in mind, oh readers of mine, the ones saying this are Southern Nuts. We from the North are much smarteralthough we are known to use an illegal to pick a few nuts from time to time. And milk the cows and feed the pigs and harvest the grapes and the apples and the

Monday, July 31, 2017

Trump Effect Not a Bad Thing

About half of the people in the US approve of President Trump’s job performance for the first half of the year. There are, however, about an equal number that disapprove. Most of the detractors, as you would think, are Liberals, mostly the anti-American media. These schlubs will never, ever approve of anything that Trump accomplishes.

During the Trump campaign in 2016, there was a phenomenon known as the “Trump Effect” which was suppose to describe the effect of Trump’s prognostications on school bullying. It was, of course, Liberal tripe. I have a better idea: why not refer to some of the nice things happening because of the influence of Trump as the “Trump Effect”? For example, protections for the unborn are gaining across the country, and there is a determined effort to secure religious liberty.

To wit:

A movement against committing murder in the womb is gaining strength in Kentucky. In fact, Kentucky may become the first state to do away with abortion clinics completely. Efforts by Planned Parenthood to construct new abortion clinics have been stopped, and it is now illegal to kill children who have reached 20 weeks of development. Requiring doctors to show pregnant women ultrasounds of their maturing babies is required by law.

The state of Tennessee followed suit by making it illegal to kill an unborn baby beyond viability (able to survive outside the womb).

Indiana tightened parental consent laws by allowing a judge to inform the parents of underage girls when she is considering an abortion. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are going crazy trying to eliminate this unprecedented expansion of parental rights. Previously parents had no say in what went on behind the hallowed doors of the abortionists.

Lawmakers in Iowa passed a bill that denies reimbursement to abortion clinics relying on Medicaid. The law went into effect July 1. Health servicesunrelated to killingwill still be refunded.

Catholics have sued the city of St. Louis for disrespecting the religious liberty rights of employers and landlords opposed to abortion. The law mandates that all employersincluding catholic institutionsmust respect the reproductive health decisions of it employees. This could mean that pro-abortion teachers may have grounds to sue if denied a teaching job at a Catholic school. Such a charge against the school would, of course, require proof on the part of plaintiff.

The Texas legislature passed a bill that respects the autonomy of foster care and adoption agencies that receive public funding. As might be expected, radical homosexuals, as well as men and women who have undergone surgery to acquire the genitals of the opposite sex, are hugely unhappy with this move toward religious liberty. What’s good news for the ninety-plus percent is sour grapes for those who have been behind the pushing of deviant legislation down our throats for so long. Perhaps someday we’ll see the end of allowing whatcha-ma-callits into the restrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex.

You may be wondering what all of this has to do with President Trump. He said earlier this year it was not his intention to see Roe v. Wade ditched, then have the consequent abortion laws overseen by the federal government. Mr. Trump as well as the majority of Conservatives in America believe personal issues should be legislated by the states, not Washington. That the above states are leading the way in relieving the nation of some egregious laws without the fear of Washington interfering might truly be called the “Trump Effect.”

 This kind of thing does of course have the ACLU and Planned Parenthood screaming, with much pulling out of hair and gnashing of teeth, and crowing about how unfair it all is. Tough stuff. Tell that to the 60-plus-million tiny souls condemned to death without a life. These assholes need to get a heart, and forget about this “it’s a woman’s right” crap. We’ve seen what happens when women get a choice. Sixty million killings in 44 yearsone million three hundred fifty thousand babies per year who never got a chance to live so the mother could have the convenience of not being pregnant.

Way to go, ladies!


That’s real close to the total number of people killed in the whole world during World War II. What you’ve done is shown, that when given a choice, what your priorities are. Death over inconvenience.

You should be so proud.
The time is past (and has been for a long time) for this insanity to end. And hopefully it will, but, sadly, probably not in New York. Our Democrat politiciansnamely, Shumer, Gillibrand and Crowmowill assure the time-honored tradition abortion-on-demand persists in our state. Time to consider replacements

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People III

It sometimes bothers me, and I would be willing to bet it bothers most of you, that there seems to be no “divine” exceptions when it comes to pain and misery for nice people. Most nice people, if asked, would cast their vote for catching a break when suffering is involved. (Now that I think about it, most not-so-nice people would also vote that way – but good people are more deserving, right?)

My wife is one of the nicest people God ever put on earth. There is no one who knows her would disagree - even those who don’t know her personally but have heard of her kindnesses would agree. It would seem that if God were truly on the ball when it comes to dishing out fair treatment where pain and suffering are concerned, Mary would catch a break. That God would be nicer to her, if for no other reason, so she can keep doing for people the way she does. But no, that’s not the case. She battles neck pain, back pain, and really bad pain in her legs most every day. Then there’s the pain in her shoulders and the arthritis in her hands … well, you get my drift. She is just one of many good people who suffer the aches and pains of growing older.

But Mary does not blame God for the pain she suffers. Quite the contrary. She attributes the pain she doesn’t have to God. She’ll have a good day, one without much pain, and she thanks God for it. She also thanks God for being otherwise healthy. (In fact, at this very minute, she can’t wait for the grass to dry so she can mow.)

I only bring this up because, I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s a way of looking at God that’s a bit different. Too many of us blame God for things that befall usa crippling injury, a terminal illness, the loss of a job, a financial setback, etc.but seem to forget about Him when perhaps a bit of praise is due. I often complain about my physical problems, but as painful as they are at times, they do not compare to cancer or Alsheimers  or the many other serious maladies that afflict mankind. I always thank God for my lack of such illnesses (I often wonder why I bother. It would seem that if he can keep cancer away, he could fix a bad back, but He doesn’t bother).

Ever think what it would be like to live forever? Of course, as mortals living forever isn’t possible. But what if it was? Would people who suffer from pain suffer forever? Or would the pain go away at some point? Would people who suffer from cancer or Alsheimers  be afflicted until the end of time? It would seem that would be a suitable punishment for really bad people.

Have you ever read Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels? Goes something like this: In Swift’s land of Luggnaggians, occasionally a child was born with a red spot on his forehead. This red spot was a sign that the child would never die. Gulliver, our traveler, believes these people to be the most fortunate people imaginable, being born exempt from that most fearsome of human maladies, death. But the longer Gulliver stays in Luggnaggia, he comes to realize the inhabitants are the most miserable of creatures. The immortals grow old and feeble; their friends die off. At the age of eighty, their property is confiscated and given to their children, who would never, otherwise, inherit from them. Their bodies acquire various ailments, they accumulate grudges and grievances, they grow weary of living, and they can never look forward to being released from the drudgery of life.

The reader of Gulliver’s Travels comes to pity the person who cannot die. A person who lives with pain might agree with that assessment. At some point, death would be agreeable.

If people lived forever the world would become impossibly crowded. The amassed throngs would likely not be allowed to have children. In fact, you and I may never have been born. The way things are, the way God designed the world(?), is an efficient way for the old to make way for the new. It is never good that the new make way for the new. The death of a child is a sad, sad affair.

Although there are instances when death is agreeable, it is something else again to try to tell a person who has lost a parent, a spouse, or a child that death is appropriate. We have seen instances of this, and it is a thoughtless practice to try to convince parents that their little boy who was run down in the street chasing a ball that the little fellow is in a better place. It’s a callus practice, still in use by many priests, in an effort to make us feel better.

Thing is, we can’t explain untimely death any more than we can explain life itself.

And nobody has been able to offer a satisfactory explanation for that.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People II

As a result of our last meeting, it is right to say that life ain’t fair.

That’s odd. I was always told, as a kid, life is fair; life is what you make it. It was only later I starting hearing something closer to the truth: Life’s a bitch and then you die.

True, it’s not that way for everybody. Some people get through life without major calamity befalling them. I don’t think that’s fair. It’s not fair to the rest of us who have suffered to some degree, or a lot, whatever we believe God has stricken us with.

But is all the pain in the world really God’s fault?

Some say yes, because is he not all-powerful and is he not responsible for everything that happens in the world? Some are a little kinder in their assessment of God; they say, God is just and fair and wants people to get what they deservethe good will prosper and the bad are punished. Into this we must add a plea for ourselves: We are good people. (If you’re not good; if you sell drugs, molest children, kill people, are a thief, this applies to you also, as there is no guarantee God will punish you. For some reason, the rules break down here.)

If God is both just and powerful then we deserve whatever he deems is fitting and should consider it our due. But we’ve agreed that God is not fair in His treatment of us. So perhaps we need to erase the word “just” and just think of God as powerful. Like one of the kings of olden times who held the power of life and death of all their subjects in their hands. Think about that. Having that kind of power and not even being gods. They just thought they were. You can bet their subjects had other words for them.

So now God is not “just”, he’s just powerful. We can pray for interventions on our behalf, or the behalf of others, but God is free to ignore them. Or is He just so busy He doesn’t hear us? At any rate, even with all his power, he chooses not to alleviate our suffering.

No matter what, we are still asked to believe God is good and has control of everything in the universe. But the one thing I’ve never been able to understand is why God chose to not reveal himself in the past two thousand years. It is precisely that he does not respond to prayers and never appears that he loses fans. Millions of people still flock to church and pray to him simply because humans need a supreme being to pray to. If He showed up just once and let us know He really and truly exists, you can bet the world would be a more moral place in which to live. You know the TV commercial in which two guys are mooning over a couch. One guy is holding a crowbar (we suspect he used the tool to gain entry) and he says, “I gotta have it,” meaning he plans to steal the couch. I wonder if he’d dare do it if he thought God might be watching.

But of course, it is God’s sympathy, accountability, and fairness that are at issue, not His existence. Most of us would not deny the existence of Godof course, there is a god; the universe, the earth, the human race all had to come from someplace.

 Of course, with a god we believe to be all-powerful but not just, we must recognize that with those creds he doesn’t have to be fair. All we can do is hope … and pray, just don’t count on it doing any good.

I would think that God wants the righteous to live peaceful, happy lives, but it’s pretty obvious he cannot always bring it off. On a planet with 6 billion people, how could it be possible for even an all-powerful god to keep cruelty and terrorism and disease from claiming innocent victims. But you must ask yourself, would a world without at least the concept of God be better off? There are a lot of good people in the world who are good only because of their belief in and their fear of God. How the others avoided God is beyond me. He’s supposed to be everywhere.

So now if we swap out all-powerful for just and fair, where does that leave us? Our usual response to a diagnosis of disease or a crippling injury is to blame God. But we have just absolved God from blame for such things. He simply doesn’t have the time or, when you think about it, the motivation to pick you out of all the people on earth to hammer with a bad disease or injury. (Let’s face it, kiddo, no matter how bad you are or have been, there is someone out there much worse than you) And let’s get serious, is there any way He could keep an eye on the hundreds of trillions of chemical reactions going on in the bodies of every human being, every second of every day?

We have all (well, most of us anyway) grown up believing in an all-wise, all-powerful, all-knowing God and it will be very hard for us to change our way of thinking about Him. To change our thinking on any of these ideals of Him is, well, unthinkable. We want to hold on to our thoughts about what God is, just as we wanted to hold on to our conceptions about our parents when we were childrenall-powerful, all-knowing. Remember? Dad with his know-how and magic hands could fix anything and Mom could fix the most painful boo-boo with a peck on the nose and a hug. Later, however, we discovered the fallibility of our parentsbroken toys had to be thrown out because they could not be fixed, not because Dad didn’t want to fix them. And there were some boo-boos Mom could not kiss away. Just as these things were realized, we must come to grips with the knowledge there are some things God does not control. With this knowledge we can afford him the same consideration we gave our parents when we had to change our minds about them.

 We can then quell our anger, and maintain our self-respect and sense of goodness about ourselves, without feeling that God has judged us and condemned us because we were bad in this or a previous life. That bad things happen to good people and God isn’t picking on just you.


The Flip Side