The Ducks Have all Lined Up

Move over, signs of the last days. I have discovered a new one that trumps them all.

Kurt, whose status as American Indian is legendary, who absolutely loves 'Indian' jokes and so attracts them by the bushelfull, who coins his own 'Indian' words, grunting 'Squeet,' which means 'Let's go eat,'

Who, in his working days had co-workers addressing him: "Hey, you crazy Indian!"...they were not Witnesses, though Witnesses would do it too, because he was a little 'crazy' Walmart, he despaired of getting waited upon, so he lay down on his back on the floor. This sent the place into a panic and everyone raised the cry: "Sir, are you okay?"

"I'm fine," he would reply. "I'm just laying right here until someone helps me."

Kurt, who absolutely loved the joke: "White man speaks with forked tongue." and the answer: "Yeth, I do, but I don't fink ith ferry nithe of you to make ffun of me for it,"


He took one of those DNA tests and got the verdict. It says he is mostly of Scandanavian descent. - Lapland or thereabouts, I would guess.

New system can come any time, now. The ducks have all lined up, let by the Scandavian duck.

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'

Truetom Decks a Brazen Hussy in his Dreams

Truetom strode into the room and slapped his Bible down on the bar. All heads turned at the sharp retort. All male heads, that is. All female heads had already swung around at his first appearance, smitten instantly by his pure animal virility.

“What will it be, mister?” asked the bartender uneasily, fidgeting in the presence of an indefinable yet unquestionable authority. “Milk,” Truetom replied and he said no more, so that the bartender began to wonder.

Presently it came to him: “Say, aren’t you Truetom, the world-famous door to door preacher?” Truetom looked up coolly. “What’s it to you?” he said. “Nothing, mister, really – I meant no offence. Here – let me pour myself a milk, too. In fact – HEY! EVERYBODY! TRUETOM IS HERE! MILK FOR EVERYBODY! A TOAST TO TRUETOM!

“Is there anything about me that says ‘milktoast’ to you?” Truetom scowled, and milk ran out from the terrified man’s mouth. “I’m with the true religion and I NEVER MILKTOAST! PAGANS DID THAT!"

“Sure, Mister, whatever you say,” stammered the bartender.

Truetom impaled him with a gaze. “It’s about time you understood a few things. “I’m TrueTom. I have a corporate agenda. I’m not afraid to play by the rules and I do what I’m told. Don’t tell me what to do because I’ll do it right away and sometimes a man doesn’t want what he’s asked for. You got that?” and the bartender murmured something incoherent as he wet himself.

An impossibly bosomed bimbo floozy, splitting the seams of her too-short skirt, saddled up to him. “They say in these parts that you’re pretty righteous, Truetom. Just how righteous are you?” Woman-308534_960_720

“I’d advise you not to try to find out,” Truetom stared her down. Undeterred, the brazen hussy placed her hand on his inner thigh and slowly moved it – not in the direction of his rugged boots. In a flash, Truetom whirled about and decked her with a single punch. Then he calmly resumed sipping his milk as she lay face down on the filthy floor.

When he was done he put down his glass and picked up his Bible. “I have a scripture for all you scum,” he said.  "It's found at John 8:15. 'You judge according to the flesh. I do not judge any man at all.'"

“Look, Truetom, we don’t want no trouble. I’ve got my own religion and I never talk about religion and politics anyhow – anything that matters I don’t come near – and I….” Truetom grabbed him by the neck and rammed his head into another verse he’d just looked up. “a slave of the Lord does not need to fight, but needs to be gentle toward all, qualified to teach, showing restraint when wronged.” – 2 Timothy 2:24

At length he put his Bible in its holster and turned. “Alright, I’m coming out!” Truetom hollered out the door to the townspeople amidst the pouring rain. “Don’t nobody raise no objections, or ‘viewpoints!’ If anybody raises an objection or viewpoint, I’ll preach to him AND I’ll preach to his wife AND I’ll preach to his kids. Don’t go cutting up no more wrong deeds or I’ll be back!”

He rode slowly out of town – dead center through the middle of the street, and nobody raised a word of reply.

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'

Bullfights, Bearfights, and Elisha the Prophet

The other day in Madrid, a bull leapt from the ring into the stands. It gored a few, trampled a few, fell on a few. Altogether, 40 were hurt, only a few seriously. Sure scared the wits out of them all, though. know the way American TV is: they ran the scene as a loop so that you saw it, not once, but several times.  And then the evening news did the same, and the commentaries, and the talk shows, and probably the morning news next day, in case anyone had missed it. In short...if Americans were anywhere that day, they saw the charging bull and the fleeing people.
And......let's be honest. It was hard not to root for the bull. Not to imply that we're happy about the injured people. No. You know me better than that. I didn't say anyone rooted against the people. It's just that they rooted for the bull. These folks had come to see the bull taunted, tormented, tortured, and killed. But the tables were turned! It didn't turn out that way. Well, actually it did...the bull was put to death....but not before he had claimed a few for himself.
Watching the TV loop, wasn't it a bit like those revenge shows people love to watch, where the hero is pushed, shoved, framed, bullied, run over, his family molested, attacked, stomped can anyone endure such atrocities? but then finally, his nasty tormentor gets what's coming to him, in a blood-pumping mother-of-all fights during which he absorbs blow after blow, knifethrust after knifethrust, javelin piercings, bazookas blasts, gunshot after gunshot (whereas anyone else promptly falls with a single shot fired in their general direction) till he....YES!! staggers and crashes to the ground. Whew!! Our hero's exhausted! He turns his back....why would he not?.. ...and consoles the remains of his long-suffering family, and begins to......OMIGOSH!!!!.....the bad guy's getting up again!!! How is that possible??!! He's creeping up on tiptoe with a crowbar!!!! Our hero suspects nothing! He's not even looking! Turn around, you idiot!! His foe cocks for the final blow!!!  I can't watch!! (well...maybe a little)  but then KA-BLAMO!!!!....YES!! The cowering woman summons all her unsuspected strength and fires one last fatal shot through his head, splattering brains everywhere; he staggers backward and topples over the balcony, falling 40 floors and landing in a packed pool of piranhas, who devour him alive, turning the water bright red, all to the sounds of his agonized screams! YEAH!!!! THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!!
But, back to the.....huh?....what do'ya mean 'lover of violence?' The bad guy got what was coming to him, didn't he?
As I say, back to the bullfight.
As a general rule, a rampaging bull at a social gathering would be cause for concern. You'd hope no one got hurt. It takes only one crucial this case, that the purpose of this gathering was to see the bull tormented and slaughtered .... to turn all our normal sensibilities upon their head. And a thousand years from now, when bullfights are ancient and forgotten history, so that no one could ever imagine such an cruel purpose to any gathering, one might, missing that key fact, find it absolutely barbaric that anyone could root for the murderous bull. Everything turns on one key fact, which may or may not be evident.
All of which is introduction to the account where Elisha calls down evil upon taunting children, whereupon bears come out of the woods and devour them.
And he proceeded to go up from there to Bethel. As he was going up on the way, there were small boys that came out from the city and began to jeer him and that kept saying to him: “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” Finally he turned behind him and saw them and called down evil upon them in the name of Jehovah. Then two she-bears came out from the woods and went tearing to pieces forty-two children of their number.   (2 Kings 2:23-24)
Let's face it; it's hard to put a happy face on that one. About the best you can do is assign that week's Bible review to a bald brother, who will tap his own shiny dome and pass himself off as one of a protected species, courtesy of 2nd Kings. But might there be some key fact that, just like the missing ingredient in Madrid, might make all the difference if we but knew what it was? It seems a notion worth pursuing.

For this account is from 3000 years ago. And I remember, for example, just 50 years ago, my mother might holler “I'll kill you for that!” if I....oh...say....ate the frosting off her newly baked cake. Americans my age will remember those five words were once a harmless expression you might use on a mischievous child. They might, in some cases, be practically an expression of endearment. The words, in most contexts, were not to be taken literally. Wasn't the accused kid of Twelve Angry Men found “not guilty” when one juror observed just that fact? Today, however, using those words will land you in deep trouble with the child protective people, the hate speech people, and God knows who else. Those oft uttered words of a half century ago are absolutely taboo today (though the deed has become commonplace).
If such a cultural shift can happen in a mere 50 years, what might happen in 3000 years? We think of the small boys of 2nd Kings in terms of kids of today and feel Elisha should count himself lucky they didn't attack him with baseball bats, so that to create such a fuss over mere words is just plain unseamly. But might there have been a societal norm of the day that declared certain conduct absolutely off-limits? Some norm known by one and all, drilled into the innermost fiber of everyone's being, so that a knowing violation would be shockingly unspeakable? A norm that equated mocking a prophet of God to mocking God himself, at a time when God was central everyone's being? It's a plausible notion to me. To you?
To be sure, such a notion flies in the face of the modern-day concept of “human rights,” but isn't there something a little grandiose about that concept? I admit, I'm naturally suspicious of any point-of-view originating in the modern-day, lest it be a manifestation of Proverbs 30:12: “There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes but that has not been washed from its own excrement,” but even with that said, I distrust the concept. I prefer to speak of the “golden rule,” which embraces all that is noble about “human rights,” while discarding all that is pretentious.
For life itself doesn't seem to afford much respect for “human rights.” In his day, Ronald Reagan was arguably the most influential person alive. Ten years later, a victim of Alzheimer’s, he didn't know who he was. If nature itself discards us so easily...if we can so readily and unpredictably fall victim to loathsome disease or frightful accident....well....where is nature's respect for our “rights?”
Not to mention that, if you go speaking of “rights,” it almost seems that you ought to be able to do something about it if such rights are violated. While that may sometimes happen, we all know that, as often as not in the worldwide scheme of things, people's rights are violated with impunity. So how are they rights? Better to apply the golden rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matt 7:12) It conveys all the kindness of “rights,” but sidesteps what doesn't fit. It does, however, imply humility, and ours is an age where people like to “stand proud,” so “human rights” is the terminology that sticks.
Anyway, I advance my theory in case I myself may someday be assigned a commentary of 2 Kings 2:23-24. I'll have to say something, and I won't be able to play it for laughs, like the bald brothers do; I have a full head of hair. is thinning. Maybe when the time comes, the whole point will be moot.



the bookstore


Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'

Super Pioneer

Oh, very well!

What can one say? Most of Jehovah's Witnesses will love it. As for everyone else.....well, I just don't know.

Clever kid.


Tom Irregardless and Me           No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'

Few Odd Fellows But Plenty of Weirdos

Mrs. Sheepandgoats and I blew into Ithaca just as the whole city was about to “stand up for peace.” Of course, we didn’t know they were going to do that. We’d just come down to catch the tail end of the three day music festival. But we hadn’t been in town more than half an hour before some counterculture type person urged us to get to Stewart Park where, at 3 PM, folks would congeal into a giant peace sign. They planned to photograph it from the air and submit it to the Guinness World Record organization. Instead, we risked being seen as warmongers and stayed in the Village Court section, where a cajun band called Bayou Road Krewewas playing.

For a quick mini-excursion, you can’t go wrong traipsing down to Ithaca. My wife and I do it a lot. Just 90 miles southeast of our Rochester home, Ithaca is a college town. SUNY (State University of New York) at Ithaca perches high on the hill to the south and Cornell University straddles the eastern one. The city proper is crammed on a shelf at the foot of Cayuga Lake, but it doesn’t really fit, so it flows up into the surrounding hills, climbing as if ivy. Up there, the streets…commendably gridlike on the shelf…throw off all restraint and writhe here, there, and every confusing where. Descending one of those hills on a snowy day is no job for an atheist.

Four or five creeks cascade from the heights into Cayuga Lake. “Ithaca is Gorges” say t-shirts and bumper stickers. It’s true. Gorges cut deep into the earth right through the heart of the city - two of them pass through Cornell itself. Students bustle on campus above while, two hundred feet down, others hike the gorge as if in a different world. Within ten miles of the city can be found over one hundred waterfalls…I’ve heard some say as high as 150 (Mrs Sheepandgoats and myself strive to find them all).….and some of them are truly spectacular. The local earth museum highlights the fossils and sedimentary layers thus exposed. Try visiting sometime, as I have, with Tom Pearlsandswine. Hear him muttering throughout about the “wiles of Satan,” and challenging museum staff at every exhibit. You’ll want to bury your own head in that sediment.

So alluring is Ithaca that some graduate from the colleges and stay put. They obtain four year or six year degrees, then they hole up in some commune on the hills growing organic food. Or work at the local bookstore. Or start an earth-friendly “green” business. According to this webmaster, Ithaca’s been called "One of America's Most Enlightened Communities" and one of "The Top 10 Places to Drop Out of Society." Perhaps the two titles aren’t as mutually exclusive as they at first appear.

An eclectic bunch….some of them. Generally quite pleasant, though you can’t be one who clucks his tongue at unusual characters. Opening day parade for the music festival consisted of “an automotive ballet composed of a procession of Volvos in synchronized driving formation. A group of burly He-Men toting chainsaws as if they were trombones…..A distinct absence of Odd Fellows, but no shortage of weirdos,” according to the Ithaca Journal. I’m told by the local congregation that these folks tend not to be real receptive to the Bible’s message, perceiving it as a ploy to restrict their freedom. I once worked with a young woman whose divorced father turned up years later as a nudist in Ithaca. So I’m not so sure I want to run down to Stewart Park and make a giant peace sign with them. Besides, what would Winged Migration Man (WMM) say? Were any of his old buddies among those who called the peace sign the "footprint of the American chicken?"

WMM is the retired fellow who spent 24 years on a nuclear submarine (see comment section) keeping the world safe, he maintains, by deterring Soviet attack. It sounds plausible enough to me. And if he plays the “Neville Chamberlain” card, I will absolutely acquiesce to him. Mr. Chamberlain was the British Prime Minister…there were several like him… who “stood for peace” just prior to WWII. He reached agreement after agreement with the tyrannical Nazis, each of which was broken, yet each time he was lauded to the heavens as a great peacemaker. But history judges him harshly. Had he and his peers stood up to Hitler early on, tens of millions might not have died. Unfortunately, hawks tend to see Hitler everywhere, and are ever ready to strike. Many say the current President is like that. Only in hindsight do we know which concerns were appropriate and which were overrated.

Besides, an aerial peace sign strikes me as a frivolous gesture…..appropriate for a music festival, okay - but for a serious political statement? What if it had rained that day instead of the picture perfect weather that was really had? Would even half of the participants have shown up? You must understand that I come from a people (Jehovah’s Witnesses) that have stood for peace when it cost them their freedom and, in some cases, their lives. Over 10,000 Witnesses were incarcerated in Nazi Germany for their neutral stand during the 1930‘s and 1940‘s. In the United States, 4300 were jailed for refusing military service. To this day, our draft-age people in certain countries are routinely incarcerated for their peaceful stand. So having seen people really stand for peace, I don't read too much into a human peace sign on a sunny day of leisure.

About 6000 people assembledfor the big sign. It will be a record if Guinness accepts it, since they’ve not yet kept track of peace signs. An organizer enthused that "we're not going to trash any weapons because of this, but if everybody has the same idea in their mind, that they are coming together in peace and unity, then there's a community started." Um….yeah….I guess....whatever that means.

Actually, there is one circumstance in which I gladly would have taken part. If I could have driven down with a busload of my friendsfrom the home. It would have been a win-win for all. My friends would have had a ball…..they’d each have gotten a peace sticker. Since about half are in wheelchairs, they'd take up more space when seen from above, a plus for the organizers. Civilians could easily be drafted to wheel them around, especially in Ithaca. And if Carolyn decided to indulge in her favorite ranch dressing and milk beverage, or if Jackie ate her peace sticker, no one would bat an eyelash. They’d chalk it all up to our beautiful diversity.


Wolfgang Kusserow, a 20 year old German executed by the Nazis for refusing to go to war, made this answer to the military tribunal:

“I was brought up as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, according to God’s Word contained in the Holy Scriptures. The greatest and most holy law he gave mankind is: ‘You shall love your God above all else and your neighbor as yourself.’ Other commandments read: ‘You must not kill.’ Did our Creator have all this written down for the trees?


******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'

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 book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'

Start Your Own Religion!

At the Whitepebble Religious Institute, awed students hang on every word dropping from the lips of esteemed and pious instructors like Tom Weedsandwheat, Tom Loavesenfish, and even Tom Pearlsandswine. These guys make the religion game look so easy that students begin to imagine they can do it too. Of course, they can't, so when the inevitable handful of pupils timidly approach an instructor to ask how to start their very own religion or at least a sect, or if need be, even a cult, our responsible staff always discourages it. It's not as easy as it looks.

Sure, the perceived perks readily present themselves. As founder of a religion, you can assume any title you want. Make one up. The longer the better. Moreover, replacing the second or third syllable of your name with the 'ou' sound (pronounced 'ow'), accenting that syllable,  then appending an "ism" generally makes for a respectable and pious-sounding name. Not always, of course. Thomousism sounds downright ridiculous, but that is only because of the rodent, a contingency that will not present itself for most substitutions. Girl names, especially the trendy ones ending in "i," fare especially well. Let's face it, "girl" religions are hot today; the founders generally ask, not so much if  they can do better than guys, but how can they do worse? All the same, as a purely practical measure, we do not recommend starting one's own religion.

The trouble is, having started a religion, you have to go and find disciples. Now, you may think that you can find cool ones, but hard experience shows that the cool ones are already taken, and you will get stuck with pinheads and oddballs. Of course, they are disciples and so you have to teach them stuff, but, as pinheads and oddballs, you will find they are absolutely impervious to knowledge, much as are fenceposts, and they will consume every minute of your time. Plus, they continually embarrass you by loudly pronouncing judgement on everyone in sight. You also have to take them on field trips...not merely to the zoo or the fish hatchery, but to mountaintops and desert plains, preferably during extreme weather. How are you going to keep any semblance of a social life with all that running around? True, as a religious organization, all that mountain climbing gear is tax deductible, but the challenge of documentation is formidable. And to top it all, if they really get nutty and start to do things like, say.. commit mass suicide so as to hitch a ride on an incoming comet, the government comes in with tanks and flamethrowers and destroys you, your compound, your disciples, and takes away your tax exemption! Decidely, it is not worth it.

The Whitepebble Institute has always assumed such stern counsel has had it's effect on our students. But we don't know it for sure. They're  our students, for crying our loud, not our kids. You can't follow them around everywhere. Recently, though, we've been scratching our heads with regard to a certain former pupil.

It turns out that the next Judge First, Ask Questions Later religious conference is to be held in Krukordistan, a wretched little country if ever there was one. Organizers, however, were offered a good price. So we at the Institute bought a travel book in order to become familiar with the place, and we came across this remarkable paragraph under the heading Religions of Krukordistan. It seems the fourth most populous faith in the country is "Kathouism."

The guidebook describes the group as "relatively recent in appearance. Most scholars fix the date of origin within the past 100 years, but the really smart ones give a time period much shorter....say, just a few years. A very strange religion, its members, mostly cool, though there are some oddballs and pinheads, are forever trekking through deserts and climbing mountains in rotten weather. (the weather in Krukordirstan is always rotten...doubtless that is why the faith has caught on here so quickly.) It's founder, a young woman with a braid, (which her disciples are constantly pulling, much to her exasperation) absolutely insists on being addressed by her full self-assumed title: Most Laudable Audible Very Litigious Double Dutch Duchess of the Sky! Her only formal training appears to be from some half-baked religious institute in the USA, and she is known to keep several irons in the fire in case she may someday tire of religion."

Kathi used to sit in the back row, quietly. Sometimes she would sleep. Sometimes she'd fuss with her hair. Nobody ever dreamed she was paying the slightest bit of attention.



Tom Irregardless and Me               No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'

Tom Sheepandgoats Rated R!

In the time-honored bloggers' way of wasting time, I discovered a colleague bloggerwho's blog is rated G. He crows about it. And he gives the website where you can rate your own blog.

Of course, this is irresistible, so I entered my own url. Surely, if this fellow gets a G, then my blog....pure and clean and beautiful....will also score a....

I'm rated R!  R!!!! Me! Righteous, pious, loveable Tom Sheepandgoats!!! Surely this is a ruse of the devil, and I only wish that nonsense about him having horns and pointy tail was really true and that I could trade places for a moment because then I would hunt down those internet clowns and jab them in the tush with my pitchfork!

The rating is based on key words and how often those words appear. I had some shockers:

death  (8x)
hell (2x)
murder (1x)

Look, this is a blog that deals with religious notions. Sure, "death" and "hell" have been mentioned. I don't quite recall where "murder" was used, though. Before logging on to a certain web rating service, the notion of murder had never occurred to me.

Now, in this politically correct age, before anyone take that last remark seriously, allow me to point out that it should not be taken seriously. It's a joke. Ha ha.

Which, incidentally, reminds me of the time in my youth (late 50's, early 60's) when it was routine for someone to say "I'll kill you," or "I'll kill you for that," as a means of expressing disapproval, or even in jest. Reacting to some childhood shenanigans, I vividly recall my mother saying "I'll kill you." It was said almost approvingly, with affection, as if acknowledging that "boys will be boys." She never did kill me, because if she had, then I wouldn't be here wri....well, she just never did.

Take, for example, that 1957 movie Twelve Angry Men, which I highly recommend. The twelve jurors are ready to quickly convict a kid for murder. ("Murder" again! Rats! There goes any hope of cleaning up my blog rating!) It seems an open-shut case, with eyewitnesses! But in deliberations, one juror votes "innocent," not because he thinks the kid is innocent, but only because he thinks anyone on trial for his life (yes, these were the days of the electric chair) deserves to have testimony patiently reviewed. Discussions uncover some things not given due weight during the trial. By degrees, the jurors all come over to the acquittal side. The 2nd last juror is tough to sway, and the last is next to impossible. Emotions are high, overshadowing (as the frequently do) reason. In frustration, the last guy shrieks "I'll kill you!" "You didn't mean that literally, did you?" comes the retort, and the stubborn fellow crumbles. There goes the last piece of substantial evidence, for the kid had been heard to say "I'll kill you!"

How far we've come through the years. Now, no one would ever say such a thing as "I'll kill you"'d have the hate-speech police all over you. But people have fewer qualms about doing it, something infrequent in the old days.

Rated R, my rear end! This system is almost as hokey as the movie ratingsystem.



Tom Irregardless and Me                 No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'

Cashing in on Safety

When life hands you lemons, make vinegar!

Many people do that. I used to do it myself, but at long last, I've seen the light. Now I make lemonade. This stems from contemplating the experience of a former associate, Tom Whitepebble.

It came about years ago in an unusual way. Whitepebble was assembling a 6 shelf wood cabinet for his wife, Mrs. Whitepebble, when he came across the chilling instruction that he had to do such and such just so. If he didn't the unit might tip over, causing injury or death! (He showed me the instructions - the caution was highlighted.)

This scared the ever-loving daylights out of him. He called a state-certified carpenter right away. While the carpenter assembled the cabinet (doing exactly what Whitepebble had been doing) Tom watched from a safe distance, in a nearby chair with hard hat on and seat belt fastened. He was safe, and this truly was lemonade. But then the carpenter handed him the bill. It was more than the cost of the cabinet! That was vinegar. And yet it stimulated some soul-searching.

It must be admitted that we don't pay a lot at the Carriertom Into-Wishen Research Institute. Our associates scrape by any way they can.  So Whitepebble, for a time, delivered newspapers. Now the scripture is true:

Have you beheld a man skillful in his work? Before kings is where he will station himself; he will not station himself before commonplace men.     Prov 22:29

Because Tom worked hard at his craft, he became an internationally known newspaper carrier, which surprised all of us. He was followed everywhere by the paparazzi. While you might imagine this would bring him satisfaction, he reports it was a pain in the neck. Checking into the Hyatt or someplace, he dreaded being recognized by staff, because invariably they would pester him to deliver the courtesy newspapers. But he didn't want to deliver courtesy papers. He wanted to sleep in late with his pretty wife, Mrs. Whitepebble.

But his cabinet experience and the current safety obsession got him thinking, and he launched Safe Courtesy, Inc, the billion dollar enterprise, which you have no doubt heard of and are jealous over. No?  Well, is it Whitepebble's fault that you don't keep up?

You see, these same hotel people that he used to hide from, he now approached aggressively,  just as if he were in the ministry! They were crazy to deliver courtesy papers themselves! Did they have any idea how dangerous it could be? Suppose you tripped climbing the stairs. Suppose the newspapers caught fire! That could easily be curtains for you. His sales pitch caught on. He would ensure safe delivery of  the courtesy papers! Tom scoured the very earth for expert carriers, certified triple-80, each one of them. (80 decibel payload on the storm door, at 80 paces, with 80% accuracy)  It is fair to say that he has the courtesy delivery field wrapped up, and now, when he (infrequently) visits the Institute, he does nothing but brag about his money. He then proceeded to buy up the Carriertom Into-Wishen Research Institute and rename it the Whitepebble Institute!

There's money to be made in today's safety craze. It's not vinegar. It's lemonade. Drink up!



Tom Irregardless and Me               No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'

Monkeys, Typewriters, and Shakespeare

The driver behind evolutionary change, we are told, is mutation. Genes foul up in replicating, the theory goes, and the result is a slight tweak on life. Add up enough tweaks, millions upon millions, and look! an amoeba has become an orangutan.

Most mutations, though, are bad news.  And so, natural selection emerges as the determinant of which ones die out and which ones are preserved, to be passed on to the next generation. Only a beneficial mutation is preserved, since only that variety gives one an advantage in the "fight for survival."

Gene replication is amazingly accurate. "Typically, mistakes are made at a rate of only 1 in every ten billion bases incorporated," states the textbook Microbiology. (Tortora, Funke, Case, 2004, pg 217) That's not many, and, remember, only the tiniest fraction of those mutations are said to be any good.

Since gene mutations rarely happen, and almost all that do are neutral or negative, and thus not enshrined by natural selection,  a student might reasonably wonder if he is not being sold a bill of goods by evolutionists. Can benevolent mutations possibly account for all they are said to account for?

Enter Thomas Huxley, a 19th-century scientist who supported Charles Darwin's theories of evolution. Huxley came up with the pithy slogan: "If you give an infinite number of monkeys and infinite number of typewriters, one of them will eventually come up with the complete works of Shakespeare." Surely you can understand that!

Nevertheless, his assertion had never been tested. Until 4 years ago, that is.  Evolutionists at England's Plymouth University rounded up six monkeys, supplied them with a computer, placed them on display at Paighton Zoo, and then hid behind trees and trash cans, with notebooks, breathlessly awaiting what would happen! They were disappointed.Four weeks produced page after page of mostly s's. Not a single word emerged. Not even a two letter word. Not even a one letter word. Researcher Mike Phillips gave details.

At first, he said, “the lead male got a stone and started bashing the hell out of it.

“Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating all over the keyboard,” added Phillips, who runs the university's Institute of Digital Arts and Technologies.

They didn't write any Shakespeare! They shit all over the computer!

Alright, alright, so it wasn't a real science experiment. It was more pop art. And they didn't have an infinite number of monkey or computers (due to budgetary constraints). Surely, if you had a infinite number, groused the guardians of evolution, then you would end up with Shakespeare.

Hmmmm. Well, maybe. But wouldn't you also need an infinite number of shovels to dig through an infinite pile of you know what?

University and zoo personnel defended their monkeys. Clearly, they didn't want them held responsible for sabotaging science. Geoff Cox, from the university, pointed out that "the monkeys aren't reducible to a random process. They get bored and they shit on the keyboard rather than type." And Vicky Melfi, a biologist at Paignton zoo, added "they are very intentional, deliberate and very dexterous, so they do want to interact with stuff you give them," she said. "They would sit on the computer and some of the younger ones would press the keys." Ultimately the monkeys may have fallen victim to the distractions which plague many budding novelists.

It's true. I often get distracted working on my book and when that happens I will sometimes, no.....some secrets are too dark to reveal!

******  The bookstore


Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'