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On Day 439 Everything Changes: From Spitzer to Peterson

Taunters are taunting me. “What’re you going to do with your Eliot Spitzer category, Sheepandgoats, hmmm? It’s right there on your front page. What you going to do, now that he’s gone down in flames?….sigh….Oh, very well. I guess we can close out the category. He’s been such a colorful character, and local, that I just had to post a few times about him, here, hereand here.

“On Day One, Everything Changes!” That was the promise following his crushing (69%) victory to become New York State Governor. We all waited for day one to arrive - he was almost a messianic figure. He’d nailed several Wall Street firms with billions of dollars in fines and sent some fat cats to jail. The Sheriff of Wall Street, he’d been nicknamed. Some pictured him a future President. What he did with corrupt financiers surely he could do with the obstructionist politicians that plague New York! But on Day 439 everything changed in a way he hadn’t foreseen, or anyone else. He was caught with prostitutes and  resigned in disgrace. Cheers broke out on the NYSE trading floor [!], and  prices soared*, temporarily snapping a dismal down trend.

*perhaps not for that reason, though there are pundits who maintain it was exactly for that reason.

These were no ordinary prostitutes. The one that triggered his downfall cost him $4300. For a single stand! Who would have thought they could cost so much? Had he economized with cheaper ones he might have escaped detection, for he had to transfer large sums of money to various shell corporations to pay the bill… allegedly $80,000 through the years! Now, in the United States, if you transfer $10K or more from a bank, that bank must notify the feds. And you can’t bust up the transfers into lesser amounts to avoid the $10K trigger…that’s a crime here, and that’s what they say Spitzer did. They dreamed up that law to thwart terrorists. But it’s netted many unintended victims, like philandering politicians. Crossing state lines to promote prostitution is also a crime here (the Mann Act).

Spitzer resigned on TV, wife at his side. “I cannot allow for my private failings to disrupt the people's work. Over the course of my public life, I have insisted — I believe correctly — that people take responsibility for their conduct. I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor." The couple has three teenaged children. The wife’s plight provided silent ammunition for those feminists who say that a woman should never, ever, put her career on hold  (which Mrs Spitzer had done, sort of) for the sake of raising children - you just can’t trust husbands and when they go bad you’re behind the 8-ball.

Learned psychological types, the sort who buy into evolutionary psychology, quickly weighed in. At last we know the real reason for Spitzer’s zeal in crushing wrongdoers, they lectured knowingly. It was all a sham! He’s just an alpha male, with all the vulnerabilities of the species. And what about the prostitution rings he’d broken up? Even more Freudian: he was just exorcizing inner demons, purging his own soul through nailing others! But I’m not so sure how valid that argument is, or how relevant. After all, he was elected to knock heads together, not to teach Sunday School. Still, once exposed, he hadn’t a chance. Americans want their politicians squeaky clean, a reflection of what they imagine themselves to be.

Besides, his “knocking heads together” style hadn’t worked well of late. Opposing politicians aren’t like corporate shysters whom who can throw in jail. They get mad, and they fight back. Though Spitzer scored some impressive early wins, he later bogged down amidst a style so abrasive that there was nobody to stick up for him when he got in trouble.

I’m not so sure the abrasiveness was wrong. At any rate, what had proceeded it sure hadn’t worked. New York is well known among states for its dysfunctional government. Years ago then-Governor Pataki appeared on TV with leaders of the two opposing parties. He hoped to project the image of firm and steady moderator, guiding these powerful but noble opponents to a consensus for the lasting good of New Yorkers. Instead, the two foes squabbled like children, and Pataki looked like an ineffectual ass, the other parties themselves being immune to embarrassment. The governor steered clear of TV after that.

With Spitzer’s resignation, state leadership defaulted to David Peterson, the Lieutenant Governor. Unexpected, the politically correct media had something to swoon about, for not only is Peterson black, he is also blind. A new category! He’s black and he’s blind, they gushed, as if one quality somehow augmented the other. Plus, he’s amiable. He gets along with everybody, they gushed again, forgetting that a year ago they had praised Spitzer for his being the exact opposite.

No sooner had Peterson been sworn in than he, too, confessed to some extramarital affairs. He wasn’t going to be blindsided the way Spitzer was! But all was cool with the media….he’s black and he’d blind, after all, and he enters with lots of good will. We’ve never had a black and blind governor! Besides, his marital woes were more garden variety. He hadn’t broken any laws, and he hadn’t hired any prostitutes.

A week later he admitted that in his younger days he had used marijuana and cocaine.

Alright, Mr. Peterson, don’t push it! Sure, Bill Clinton smoked (but didn’t inhale) pot and George Bush drank (but didn’t swallow) booze, but you’re only a governor. He’s probably okay for now, but one more Oprah confession, like shoplifting at K-Mart, and he’s outta here.

As NYS Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer took a lot of bad people out of circulation, including some high finance types usually thought untouchable. That should not be taken away from him. New Yorkers can be grateful. Advocates for market fairness say he’s done more to clean up Wall Street than anyone else in decades. For that, anyone who invests can be grateful. Still, I confess I wondered a bit when I read about the Theodore Sihpol casein the Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Sihpol wasn’t a Big Guy, at least not in the financial world. He was mid-level. He had allowed a hedge fund to secure some closing prices after hours. There was no price favoritism. The fund got the closing prices, but it was after hours. Spitzer’s office threw everything they had at this fellow. He might even had settled, but the plea bargain they offered included jail time. So he fought back. At trial, his attorneys called no witnesses. They simply read the law. And it was clear he’d not broken any! Case dismissed.

Now, what are we to make of this apparent abuse of power? You can’t make omelets without cracking a few eggs? But as George Orwell said, any time someone uses that line on you, you should immediately ask to see the omelet.

All in all, it’s rather a sad story. Isn’t there some scripture somewhere about humans not being able to rule themselves?


Tom Irregardless and Me          No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’

Ruining Those who Ruin the Earth

When I was a kid, you never knew when the Russians were going to launch an air strike, maybe with nukes. So several times a semester grownups made us do air raid drills. We'd crouch under our desks with hands clasped behind our necks, a safeguard against flying glass. I envisioned sinister glass flying about at will, as if with wings, searching for young children to harm. In later years, when we were too big to fit under the desks, we'd file into the hallways and lean against our lockers.

Nuclear attack was a very real fear in the years following World War II. Nor was it only the United States who had to be wary of the Russians. Intoxicated with the decisive end to that great war brought by Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, General McArthur thought it well to pepper the Soviet Union with 50 of the new bombs - a pre-emptive strike that would have made Iraq look like a schoolyard brawl. President Truman, though, wouldn’t let him.

During the 1960s, with both superpowers pointing God knows how many missiles at each other, nuclear annihilation - not just attack - fired the popular imagination. Remember how Ray Bradbury's character in the Martian Chronicles trains his telescope on earth just in time to see it's final mushroom cloud? And who can forget Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes, encountering the half-buried Statue of Liberty and suddenly realizing just what planet he was on? ("They blew it up! Damn them! Damn them to hell!!") Not to mention the Twilight Zone in which that fellow goes into the bank vault to read, only to have the world end while he is so occupied. Far from being put out, he is delighted, since he can now read free from the eternal nagging of his boss and wife. Unfortunately, he breaks his glasses.

So when I became one of Jehovah's Witnesses in the 1970s and came across that scripture telling how God would "bring to ruin those ruining the earth," (Rev 11:18) I read it in terms of nuclear ruining. It was really the only means of ruining the earth that anyone could envision back then. Sure, they closed polluted Durand Beach in the early 60s, which only recently reopened, but nobody saw such things as a threat to the entire earth. These days an endless list leaps to mind, most some variant of man-made pollution. Taking first place has to be global warming, but through the years we've also learned to fret about global dimming, species destruction, air and water pollution, acid rain, deforestation, contamination of the food supply, and so forth. Wasn't there just some study detailing how pharmaceuticals have found their way into the water supply? In minute concentrations, of course, yet over time, and given the fact that such chemicals are designed to interact with living tissue, isn't it another "ruining the earth" scenario?

So there are several new avenues through which humans threaten to ruin the earth, and would surely do so, without the intervention of God's Kingdom. Not to mention that the first, the nuclear threat, has hardly gone away. Some think that threat greater than ever since there are more nuclear powers than before, and they are nuttier and more unstable.

The Bible uses the term "earth" in yet another way. It doesn't always refer to the physical planet. It can refer to the society living upon it. If we broaden our definition of earth in this way, we, as a consequence, add new social ways in which humans ruin the earth. In fact, when God gave his reason for bringing a flood in Noah's time, he declared that the earth was ruined, not by air pollution or global warming, but by human violence.

And the earth came to be ruined in the sight of the [true] God and the earth became filled with violence. So God saw the earth and, look! it was ruined, because all flesh had ruined its way on the earth.      Gen 6:11-12

Surely violence "ruins" the earth today. Imagine hatred so intense that people delight to die if only they can take a dozen or so with them! Violence considered unspeakable even in the 70s, enhanced with torture, becomes more and more routine. Television positively wallows in it. Even Moristotle, a gentle soul who will nonetheless disagree with most aspects of this post, will not disagree on the mushrooming of violence. Deep in the comment section of this recent posthe refers to UNC-Chapel Hill (his employer, I think) Student Body President Eve Carson, whose "ATM card and car--and life--were stolen a couple of weeks ago by two young thugs." The reference has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of his comment, but is typical of how we respond to random crowds out everything else....we just half to highlight it. For this young woman, and loved ones, and the entire campus in proportion to how well they knew here, violence has "ruined the earth."

And can you not add economic concerns to matters that are ruining the earth? Costs of fuel and food have risen dramatically in recent months, incomes have not, and plenty of folk were stretched tight to begin with.

Of course, such things aren't really unexpected and are just partof the accumulating "sign" that human rulership is unfit and that God is fully justified in bringing its end, to be replaced with his own Kingdom rule. Only then will the earth really be free of injustices.

All the same, trialsome conditions are trialsome conditions. Jehovah's people may see light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a tunnel nonetheless. Sometimes people give up on the light and instead focus on the tunnel - some worrying about it, some trying to patch it up, some exploring it. It's easy to do. If Paul could speak of those who had experienced "shipwreck concerning their faith" (1 Tim 1:19) in his day, much more do his words apply in our day as the whole earth wobbles insanely and we all feel its effects. Doubtless that is why Jehovah's organization lays so much stress on "staples" such as meetings, service, prayer, and Bible study. These are the avenues...really, the only avenues...through which Christians can focus on the big picture of God's deliverance.


"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."
When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
" 'though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.'
[Isa 6:9]

"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Luke 8:5-15   NIV


More here


Tom Irregardless and Me      No Fake News but Plenty of Hardship

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’

Watchtower Lightens Up in Brooklyn Heights

When their buildings were unconnected, Bethelites might walk sidewalks six-abreast at "shift changes," sweeping passerby into the street. So Watchtower connected buildings via underground tunnel, but this made them a "secretive cult," attempting to isolate their folk from the real world.

Watchtower owns 30 buildings in the Brooklyn Heights vicinity. They’ve been there since 1909. Brooklyn Heights was then, and remains, world headquarters for the organization.  Over the years, and especially in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, as neighboring properties became available, Jehovah’s Witnesses snapped them up to accommodate growth. Of course, they didn't buy indiscriminately...they looked them over closely. When the Hotel Margaret went up for sale, Watchtower kept their distance. With its all wood interior, surely it was a fire trap. A few years later the building burned to the ground! Our people, directly across the street, had to evacuate. The June 22, 1980 Awake! magazine relates the fire, and a subsequent issue highlights an excerpt from With New York Firefighters, the firefighters' house magazine:

“And, we would be remiss, indeed, if we neglected to mention those members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who, from their headquarters across the street from the Hotel Margaret, provided food and shelter for our firefighters during the entire operation. On behalf of the entire fire-fighting force, warm and sincere appreciation is extended to these kind and dedicated people.”

It's a challenge for any neighborhood to bear that much tax-exempt property, even if the tax-exempt organization was responsible for keeping the area respectable during harsher times. So it’s probably a win-win that Jehovah’s Witnesses are lessening their presence….selling off a few buildings….so as to consolidate all U.S. printing in rural upstate New York. Some of the printing presses they use…newfangled jobs….require straight-line paths greater than the Brooklyn properties can physically accommodate. So the buildings have sort of become obsolete. And if the printing operations move, then you don’t need the residential buildings to house the workers, do you? Last year (2007) the Watchtower put six of it’s eighteen Brooklyn Heights properties up for sale. (the other twelve properties are in the nearby DUMBO (whatever that stands for) neighborhood)

These six aren’t the first to go. The year before, the Sliver building was sold. I have fond memories of the Sliver building, since Tom and Pam Oxgoad, Bethelites for many years, used to live there.

Tom Oxgoad hails from near Rochester. He’s a pal, and many years ago he was accepted as a Bethel volunteer. He met Pam while at Bethel. We‘ve been down to visit a few times over the years. Once we spent the whole day roaming Manhattan, which is easy to do when you have a native guide. Many hours we spent at the Metropolitan Art Museum. (or was that on another visit?) Come evening, we bought some wine and cheese and holed up in their tiny Sliver building apartment. Didn’t it have a bed that folded down from the wall, or have I just embellished its compactness in my head? What I positively do remember was their view of the Manhattan skyline…absolutely breathtaking!

The Oxgoads had had their eye on the Sliver building for some time, waiting for a vacancy.  At Bethel, there is a seniority system when it comes to housing, but you have to be alert to new openings as well. Pam had been on the ball. She'd learned of an opening at the Sliver, the couple had applied and slipped in before anyone else knew which end was up.

The Oxgoads adjusted well to city living. Visiting speakers from the hills would show up for the Sunday public talk, Tom once told me. They’d rail against wicked big cities and how Nimrod founded Babylon and how Jehovah would flatten them all and so forth. Tom and Pam would wince….New York City, after all, was their home, and most of us grow fond of our homes, same as I've grown attached to Rochester and even see fit to write nice thingsabout it. Alas, their Manhattan view was not to last. No sooner had they settled in, when they were reassigned to rural Patterson NY. One day their window view took in Manhattan; the next day it was grazing cows.

The timing is favorable for selling off some buildings. Brooklyn Heights is hot right now and properties command top dollar. "[Jehovah’s Witnesses] bought their buildings for their own use, not looking to cash out, at a time when the market was dead and you couldn't give real estate away in this area," said Andy Gerringer, managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman Developments. "I don't know if it was savvy investing, luck or divine intervention."

Nor do I.

Everyone says the Witnesses have been good neighbors, though they’ve not mixed much with the greater community. “If families start moving in, it’ll probably get a bit livelier around here,” said one man. “They didn’t really interact with everyone around them.”

Like I say, it’s probably a win-win. But if we’ve been good neighbors to Brooklyn Heights, they also have been to us. The Oxgoads miss it a lot.


[update] Jehovah’s Witnesses have been headquartered in Brooklyn Heights for over 100 years, but in 2016, they moved to new facilities in Warwick, New York. The neighbors were glad to see them go, but not all. Some remembered how they had kept their properties spotless in a most rundown area, preserving a core for later gentrification. But theirs was a huge chunk of land to be tax-exempt, and the new gentry grew weary that Witnesses were self-contained and didn’t maintain retail space on the first floors of their buildings. So it’s a win-win. The now upscale neighborhood has new property to develop and the brothers have moved out in the country. The internet mode of communication has made possible what waterway shipping could not. Brothers will remember Brooklyn Heights fondly, but it’s time to move on.

My Bethel friend used to tell me how visiting speakers from the hills would rail on about the wickedness of the big city. It made him squirm - ‘New York City is our home,’ he’d say. He and his wife maneuvered forever to land a magnificent, if stamp-sized, apartment in the Sliver Building – housing is on a seniority basis. We joined them there for wine and cheese after a day sightseeing. Unwinding with a breathtaking view of Manhattan beneath them – ah, what a life! But they were soon transferred to Patterson where they would look out their window and see cows.

Neighbor relations in Brooklyn Heights ebbed and flowed. ‘How are they now?’ I asked during one visit. “Better,” he said. It turned out that Bethel had bought the dilapidated Tower Hotel and restored it to its former glory. The building had once been home to the Brooklyn Dodgers whenever they were in town. That team won the National League pennant six times in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, and partied each time in the top floor ballroom. The brothers polished up the ballroom and invited the neighborhood. ‘Don’t witness – let the building witness,’ they were advised. Everyone who showed up claimed to have been there in the glory days, far more people than would have been physically possible. It’s cherished history, but it’s time to move on.

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’

The Winged Migration Email

They’re building a garish church behind a certain writer's house, with it’s steeple in the heavens, flattening the forest as they go. But foxes live in the forest, this fellow keeps track of them, and now they are displaced foxes. Not to mention the birds which he faithfully feeds. Will they keep coming around with the woods leveled? So this fellow’s not too happy with anything that smacks of religion.

When he read my post on Winged Migration, he wasn’t too sure if I wasn’t making fun of the birds. Never cross an animal lover. Now, in fact, I think Winged Migration is one of the most beautiful films ever made, but maybe that point didn't stand out in my post. Besides, with the steeple of that church blocking sun, moon, and stars….he's in a foul mood.


Blog Master,

I would like to complement you on you unique choice of a name for a blog. You appear to have a good knowledge of many things, but then that appearance is lost in some of the words you write. I do not pretend to be a scientist, or one that is very religious and in reading your “Winged Migration and the Evolutionists” you make light of the Theory of Evolution when maybe you need to crack a book on the subject. Anyone who uses Gary Larsen as a keystone for their writing might want to lay off The Far Side for awhile. Larson, unique as his work/play is, has swayed the mind of many a person into thinking about animals as he portrays them.

(I have put your words in italics, just in case you do not recognize them for what they are.)

We never see a person; do birds not care about us as much as we ourselves do?

Mostly people are not worth seeing, or caring about either. Birds find that people have a tendency to kill them so wild birds do not hang around people very much. Ask a Passenger Pigeon or a Carolina Parakeet or an Ivory Billed Woodpecker or many other birds that are extinct due to man.

Like how did that tern ever discover that such food bonanzas existed 11,000 miles apart? Does anyone have the answer? Do evolutionists?

Do a little research and discover plate tectonics. Antarctica was once tropical. You should know that the movement of the plates per year has been calculated to be about the distance a fingernail grows per year. It does not take a God given ability to adjust to changes that small over a period of time. If the wife had the refrigerator moved to the garage don’t you think you might be able to find it when you got hungry. That is what the theory of evolution is all about; you have evidently not been keeping up, only those that can adapt to changes will survive. Put another way only the strong will survive.

In winged migration you said “Ugly Birds”. There are no ugly birds but there are ugly people however.

Here is a frigate plying the waters, the birds land on deck. They strut to and fro, on short break from their journey. One or two catch a quick nap on the heat grates.

Do you know what a Frigate is? A Frigate would not have heat grates on deck!

No one can determine if you are serious or just uneducated. You have the tendency to display either of those things at random times. In 1955 I was stationed on the Light Cruiser Manchester and one time when we left port a flock of mostly yellow colored birds, sparrow sized, followed the ship till they became exhausted. They started landing on the ship and were everyplace that they could find to land, I feel sure they all perished, they evidently felt this was a safe island but were wrong. Did God instruct them do this or was it instinct, I think it was instinct.

They did it by exposing eggs of some of the birds to the sounds of people and film cameras so that the birds would not be afraid of them later.

No one can determine if you are serious or just uneducated. Sorry about repeating that answer but it appeared necessary.

One Manx shearwater was taken from Wales to Boston, (by scientists?…..did they blindfold it?) 3200 miles away. It returned to Wales in 13 days.

Did you ever hear of Homing Pigeons? Most folks would not question the repeatability of what these birds can do. Did they evolve this skill or did some unseen omnipotent intelligence give them this power? That is the question. In my opinion evolution is responsible for the behavior of animals and birds. If an omnipotent intelligence was in charge of all the things that some attribute to him/her I do not think the number of radical exterminations of birds, people and animals would have been allowed, I have been taught that our God is benevolent. All the folks killed by “acts of God”, war and disease could have been prevented by one so powerful. The great unproven flood of some centuries ago was “God given” supposedly, to remove the unfaithful and corrupt from this earth. It would seem to me that God would have been smart enough to change man to be a little more like what he wanted him to be, it would appear that God only wants to control everything by hanging a hammer over them, what kind of God is that? Yet, religions almost universally say that God loves us, that does not seem to be so, God only wants to control us. And shame be upon you if you stray from his supposed teachings. The poor birds and animals do not even have the guidance we have with all our preachers and churches. They are only destined to be at the mercy of man, and their actions and habits that allow them to exist are a matter of instinct and evolution, I somehow doubt that God even gives them the first thought.

The picture you have is a nice family group, but that one Lama is not happy. Any farm boy knows when an animal holds it’s ears back it is not pleased.

Winged Migration Man


Now, notice that this fellow knows how to give counsel. He knows you don’t begin by saying “your writing sucks.” Instead you look for something which you can genuinely complement. Then you say "your writing sucks." In JW circles, they even serve “counsel sandwiches,” in which counsel is buffered on both ends by praise.

Opening:  Brother, you’re presence is always so delightful. We love your thoughtful comments at the meetings and your concern for the elderly, the widows, and the orphans..

Counsel: You have breath that would fell a T-Rex. Wanna try brushing your teeth once in a while?

Close: repackage the opening remarks and run them through again. will we respond to this fellow?


Dear WMM:

You have the ability to offer counsel. It is an art and I appreciate you’ve taken the time to offer it. You’ve put serious thought into your email. Again, I appreciate it. One cannot grow if one hears only from those who agree. And you manifestly have a love of animals. How can anyone not like that?

I like to write. It’s a hobby. Posting on a blog is a bit like an artist hanging his paintings. If I find some people read them….well, that's just icing on the cake, and more still if some take time to respond. I read a lot, think a lot, talk to a lot of people, and slap the results online. But I don’t imagine my posts are masterpieces, nor do I think they’re the final word on any subject. Some posts are serious, some are whimsical or flippant, and the lines of separation are not distinct. Sometimes people use the comment section to point out this or that blunder and I learn from them

I’ve never considered your explanation for the Arctic tern. It makes sense. To be fair, you must admit that I never said evolutionists had no answer…..rather, I asked if they did.

I don’t know anything about ships other than they float. Nor did I know those were heat grates. But the birds were landing on grates of some sort. What kind of grates were they, and what kind of ship?

The part about acclimating the eggs to film crews is accurate. I read it on a website explaining the filmmaker's techniques. It is in keeping with "imprinting," which we all know about.

And you're right, the lamas were grumpy that day. You may find it interesting that a little girl who was with us led the black one away temporarily. You should have heard the white one whimper!

Your final paragraph contains many good points. I've posted about some of themand put them in the various categories on the front page. On spiritual things, I defer to the opinions of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their explanations on spiritual matters, IMO, is spot-on. Other posts on other subjects simply come from reading and pondering. I don’t claim they’re all brilliant, nor do I claim my writing is necessarily any good.

The reference to "ugly" birds was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I agree with you. There are no ugly birds. Ditto for "do birds not care about us..." Meant to be tongue-in-cheek. The truth is that I regard Winged Migration as one of the most beautiful films ever made.

I almost wish your email had been submitted as a comment. I would have gladly published and responded to it.

Tom Sheepandgoats



I did not really expect the kinds of answers I received from you, and that is to my liking. One can not really determine in many cases what another is trying to imply. I am guilty of that very thing and it was my impression that you were attempting to cast some poor light on the production of “Winged Migration”, the director, his methods and the subject in general. I was caught by surprise when in your response you thought it was a beautiful movie. I also thought it was a beautiful movie but that was mostly because I consider myself a bird person. The reason that I say I am a bird person is that I religiously feed the birds every day and when I am not home I have some of my family come to feed them. I have been doing this for over 25 years and it’s very important to me.

Before I go on with the intended subject let me explain a little more about my relationship with the birds. The area in which I live was, until about 15 years ago, farm land and numerous portions were heavily wooded areas. We have about three acres of land with most of it being heavily wooded and the woods are mixed, being both deciduous and coniferous. A number of years ago there was 49 acres directly behind our house which was also heavily wooded. There is also a creek that provides water for birds and animals that runs along side our property. There was also a large wooded area to the side of us that was at least 200 acres. As you might visualize this was a tremendous area for birds and animals. Over the years housing developments and other development has taken place that has reduced the habitat for the wild creatures which in turn reduced their numbers. I wanted to live in the country where natural things were abundant and now those things are changing, most folks would call that progress. I do not appreciate the development but I can exist with it and I will continue to encourage the birds to come to a place where they show their beauty and get a bite to eat.

There are a lot of unhealthy and hateful responses that come to anyone that blogs, and I would never attempt to engage in such a project. I have trouble enough just understanding the folks that I communicate with now and them understanding me, so I would not even attempt to be an author of a blog.

I do remember seeing the birds landing on the ship in the documentary, and I do not remember what kind of ship it was. I have watched the movie twice and I find it hard to believe that I do not remember what type of vessel was shown. I served many years in the US Navy. I will make it an objective to look at Winged Migration again and will let you know what kind of ship it was in the film.

I did read a little about the documentary and it is a fact that doing things to imprint the nearly hatched embryo is a thing that can be accomplished. And once the eggs have hatched they imprint very easily on the first things they hear, feel and see.

Llamas are very peculiar creatures and they are beautiful animals, but they can be quite ornery from my understanding of them. Being in the same family with camels it is easy to understand their attitude. But if these Llamas were pets they were probably fairly gentle creatures.

I meant to respond also to birds flying to great altitudes to get to their migration destination. And I think that they have learned to do the thing that is easiest or will at least allow them to make that journey which has become an instinct to them. Birds understand how to take advantage of wind currents and it is not difficult for me to see that certain birds can exert themselves to fly up a matter of miles and then catch the jet stream to glide for maybe a thousand miles.

As I said before I am not a scientist but I do like to read and try to understand the principles that scientists attempt to put forth. Unfortunately most folks of science once they understand, or think they understand some scientific theory, will put up tremendous barriers to prevent their protected beliefs from being tampered with. On the other hand religion has the same attitude, and if one is content to believe in the supernatural as being responsible for all the birds, animals, fish, microbes, and the weather also, that is fine. I will not criticize their beliefs very strongly even though I do not agree with them, but am unable to know for certain that what I have a tendency to want to believe is correct. Some folks as you have mentioned have no flexibility and therefore have to come on as very hateful when they do not happen to agree with your point of view.


Tom Irregardless and Me     No Fake News But Plenty of Hogwash


Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’

Round 49 and the Atheist Turd Salesman


So, we enter round 49.

That’s right, Don. And there’s Tom Sheepandgoats hobbling out of his corner.

You know, Jim, I can’t help thinking how this is a far different Sheepandgoats that we saw at the fight’s beginning.

Sure is, Don. He’s not at all so cocky. Even his trainer, Tom Wheatandweeds, looks a little glum.

Ya think he underestimated
Moristotle, Jim?

Well, it could be, Don. I mean, Sheepandgoats is several years younger, so he may have just figured the older guy would tire out. He may not have bothered to train.

That certainly could be, Jim. But I really have to hand it to Moristotle. He’s quick. He’s fast. Kinda reminds me of another fighter long ago who said you could turn the lights off and he’d be in bed before the room was dark.

Ha ha, sure enough Don. But let’s look at Sheepandgoats now. He’s circling warily. A little jab, there. Moristotle backs away. Whoa! Moristotle takes a swing. This time Sheepandgoats ducks. Still more eying. Wait! It looks like Sheepandgoats may have spotted an opening! He’s moving in. HE TAKES A VICIOUS SWING!!!



Richard Dawkins can be likened to a turd salesman carrying on as if he’s peddling diamonds!

I mean, shouldn't you look at it that way? What is this “In not many years we'll both be dead?…” What kind of a downer is that? As opposed to living forever on a paradise earth?

Look, I guess I can understand how a person can lose faith and become atheist. There’s plenty of things about life that might push us in that direction. But what I can’t understand is how one can be happy about it, almost gleeful, even evangelistic, and present their view as if it were diamonds.

The atheists of a few generation’s ago, the one’s that came early in the last century,
were mournful. They knew giving up on the hopes of persons from time immemorial was a true loss. An unavoidable loss, maybe, but a loss all the same. I truly don’t understand how Dawkins and crew can endeavor to turn it into a triumph.

It’s like finding yourself sentenced to death row. In real life, people are unhappy to be there, but the atheists grin ear to ear about it and invite others to join them as if they’re enjoying the most pleasant party.



A most unusual tactic, Jim. Let’s see how Moristotle responds to that.

I agree, Don. It’s either a brilliant maneuver or a desperate ploy. And sure enough. Look! Moristotle is shaking his head.

That’s right, Jim. But it’s not clear yet what shaking his head signifies.

One thing for sure, Don. If Moristotle keeps on charging, then I expect that very soon Sheepandgoats will be hollering “this man ain’t human!” just like Sam McVey did years ago to
Sheepandgoats’ uncle!



Ha! This afforded me much pleasure. Thanks for the good creative effort! And I much enjoyed your post on Joe Jennette.

The unitalicized part of your comment suffers greatly by comparison with the creative-writing part, however.

No, Tom, people should not look at Dawkins the way you suggest. Your misrepresentation of what is going on is breathtaking. As is your failure to understand that your opting to fantasize about eternal life in Eden on Earth is to indulge in wistful pipe-dreaming. Religious belief as opiate.

I don't see any atheists grinning ear to ear, Tom. And you don't either. If you have that picture in your mind, your imagination constructed it there.

Maybe it makes you feel better, but I prefer to take things straight, the way they are, even if they aren't so rosy. Hence (for example), the tragic sense I got from the movie "When Nietzsche Wept."

Maybe you proposed the red herring about grinning atheists by way of imitating Joe Jennette's telling the kids to look at the birdy, so you can attempt to tickle me (or kayo me) while I'm distracted?



Whoa! Don, can you believe it?! This Moristotle is incredible! That was a solid blow in the kisser Sheepandgoats landed, and it didn’t phase him a bit!

Yeh, Jim, I agree, he’s pretty tough. But it really wasn’t that solid of a hit, though.

What are you talking about, big fella. Sheepandgoats nailed him! I mean, what a great point! Imagine, calling Dawkins a turd salesman!

Glad you thought so, Jim. Me, I don’t think so. If Sheepandgoats can’t come up with better stuff than that, he shouldn’t even be in the ring!

I have to respectfully disagree, you fathead! I’ve never seen him in better form. Landing blow after blow! How Moristotle can stand up to such punishment is beyond me.

He stands up to it, you superstitious moron, because he has reason and science on his side.

You gotta be kidding me! You’re not buying this reason and science worship, too, are you? I see sports casting schools sure aren’t what they used to be!

They’re good enough so that a guy sees through ridiculous arguments. And I’m getting pretty tired of your adolescent sermonizing, you pious buffoon.

Now see here, you shortsighted, faithless, can't see the forest for the trees lout……..

Watch your mouth, you ignorant jackass. Unless you want to take this out in the parking lot and I'll teach you what "survival of the fittest" is!

That's fine with me, loudmouth! I'll knock your faithless head around so much you'll learn a new meaning of "turn the other cheek!"


Tom Irregardless and Me    No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’