Grist for the Mill

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Please join me in working to make the country safe for all pronouns. You can begin by sending gold one-ounce Krugerrands to the White Wolf Mine. Thank you. –  The Management.

No, that is not a serious request, it’s a reflection of how some OTHER people operate.



After spending the better of a day in the air, changing flights, and then sleeping, waking, and finding food, I thought about blogging and some thoughts that I have had because it’s Sunday somewhere. At least I think that it is.  It’s not Monday yet, so it must be Sunday.

The disclosures from the James Webb Space Telescope that I posted a few days ago were intensely interesting as is the demise of the Big Bang Theory*, which has been the Holy Grail ever since Fred Hoyle (English astronomer) coined the term “Big Bang” during a talk for a March 1949 BBC Radio broadcast, saying: “These theories were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past.”

*The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was designed to look back in time to a point immediately after the Big Bang and allow scientists to view primordial space and its galactic structures. They looked expecting to see things and they found something else – well-formed galaxies just like our own with doppler shifts that didn’t fit the theory. Does this mean that the Big Bang didn’t happen? How do I know? One thing that the data suggests is that if it happened, it happened differently than everyone thought that it did, and at a different point in time. Stay tuned.

Thus my thoughts turn to the Bible and what we have read, and by whom it was written (which explains how the writer, presumably Moses, understood the world).

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while the spirit of God swept over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2, NRSV)

The very first act of God as recorded in Genesis was to create order from chaos. The primordial chaos was formless and void. It had no shape nor could any part of it be differentiated from another. There were no opposites, no light nor dark, neither hot nor cold. This primordial chaos was typified by water which anciently was the one thing that had no set form. But in the midst of the chaotic primordial waters, God created a space where order, and therefore life, could exist. God took the indistinguishable primordial chaos and differentiated it creating light and dark, day and night, springtime and harvest. The opposite of life was the formless void.

In our current popular culture order is equated with rigidity and invariance. Order is viewed as something that limits free will and is oppressive. But that kind of order is only the order that people impose on the world. The order provided by God in Genesis is the natural order that is the basis of life. Without the natural order, life would know nothing but chaos and corruption. Here is one of the major themes of Genesis. The natural order is created out of chaos, and from that order, life is created.

The creation story in Genesis is crafted to show progressive spheres of order. On the outside of creation is where we find the primordial chaos without order. But beneath the dome of the sky, there is a space created where life can exist because of the order created by God. Inside this sphere is where we find the world as we know it. And at the center of creation, God created a garden as a perfect symbol of an orderly life. It was not a wild untended garden, but well kept and full of all useful plants. The garden sustained life and at the center of the garden was the tree of life that gave immortality and eternal life.

At some point, corruption and its resulting disorder and chaos enters the garden in the form of a serpent. But why a serpent? Here is where our modern culture fails to understand the symbolism here. Suppose I am telling a story and it is about a young girl who wears a red cape with a hood and she is walking through a forest. Just based on that, who does she meet in the forest? Does she meet a goat? Or a troll? Or a fairy? No, she meets a wolf. Why does she meet a wolf and not a bear, or perhaps a family of bears with papa bear, mama bear, and baby bear?

We know that she will meet a wolf because in our culture we have that story ingrained in our collective understanding. We can do this with many other stories. A story of three little pigs, what do they do, and what happens to them? A story starts out with a tortoise and a rabbit, what will happen? A girl with long hair lives in a tower, what will happen? We know the answers to these questions because we have been taught them by our culture.

So in the story of the creation where God brings order to chaos, who will come to corrupt the order created by God? Here our culture fails us because we are not surrounded by the milieu of the ancient world. If we weren’t steeped in our culture it would seem strange that three little pigs were building houses and why they used three different building materials. In the same way, it seems strange to us that a serpent comes into the well-ordered garden to corrupt it. But in the ancient world, it was something generally understood and to be expected.

In the mythology of the Middle East, the serpent was the symbol of the primordial chaotic waters. In Canaanite and Hebrew stories a serpent is the agent of chaos and evil. The Babylonian goddess Tiamat was the goddess of the sea and from her, the world was created, and she is frequently described and depicted as a dragon or a serpent. The symbol of a serpent, especially a sea serpent, as an agent of chaos and evil can be found throughout Indo-European mythologies. From Norse mythology to Persian mythology, and almost everywhere in between, a serpent or a dragon represents evil, destruction, and death and in many cases is associated with water, the sea, or destructive storms. So the symbol of a serpent entering the garden to tempt our first parents to bring death and corruption would have been readily understood by people anciently.

The effect of the serpent in the Garden of Eden was to bring corruption which would ultimately result in death. In this way, the cosmic principle of order and life is contrasted with corruption and death. Without God, the cosmos is chaotic and devoid of order and life. God brings order to the chaotic darkness and from that life can exist. But the world is not completely ordered. Corruption and death are fundamental parts of the world. We ourselves are corrupt and because of that, we are cut off from the orderly garden of life and the presence of God. We will die because of the inherent corruption found in the world.

Just as God created life in the world by bringing order to the chaos, it is only through the Son of God that we can remove corruption and chaos from our lives and become perfect and clean because no unrighteous thing can dwell with God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulters, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.

And that is a bit meandering, my brain trying to catch up with light and darkness.

Science ruins art a lot of the time. Even on the Highway to the Danger Zone.  I was watching Top Gun Maverick on the airplane. Maverick ejected from a hypersonic plane at Mach 10.5, before it crashed.

He survived with no injuries other than a headache – maybe.

At that airspeed, his body would splatter like a worm after being swatted by a  chainmail glove.

When Maverick ejected, he was going 7,000 mph, giving him 400 million joules of kinetic energy — the explosive power of 100 kg of TNT. It’s a situation that human physiology is not designed to survive. (Think of Princess Dianna in her limo going 6,900 mph faster when she hits the abutment)

So, no. Maverick would not walk away from this one. He’d be dead. Very dead. Penny Benjamin wouldn’t hook up with him and live happily ever after.

And there are questions like this one posed in the supermarket – that are not likely cosmic messages from the quantum foam, but who knows?


Bullet Points:

* The FBI denied possessing any information or files related to the Seth Rich murder. But that was not true and eventually, the information was discovered.

Attorney Ty Clevenger brought the government to court and last month the FBI was ordered to turn over information on Seth Rich’s computer that they possessed, and documents pertaining to Crowdstrike and the purported hack of the DNC in 2016.

Apparently, they just lied about not having the documents…what a shock. Now they are refusing to turn them over despite a court order requiring them to. Welcome to the Brandon Regime.

* Am I the only one who recalls Pearson Publishing being awarded $350 million in taxpayer dollars to create the Common Core curriculum and then years later a subsidiary of Pearson Publishing giving Obama a $65 million dollar book deal? The swamp in action.

* Is there such a thing as too much yellow?


This is the meme of the day – they write themselves, don’t they?


39 thoughts on “Grist for the Mill

  1. My pronouns are: zip/zorp

    Some chick at work emailed me the other day on a work related item, and I noticed she had her pronouns listed. It was all I could do not to list mine in the return. Chicks like that one would not see that as humorous. Her name was probably Karen.

    1. Did she self-identify as female or one of the other 31 genders? I’d e-mail her back and ask her how she identified to make the use of pronouns more meaningful. Also ask her to identify her preferred race for the purpose of self-identification.

      1. PS – my pronouns (Today) are Stallion/Stallions – but that’s only true until midnight, after which they will be different.

        1. If someone were to correct my improper use of preferred pronouns and then instructed me on their Correct pronouns,
          I would feel obligated to instruct them on MY preferred pronouns,
          Which are:
          First Chief Master Sergent Major General of the Universe,
          Or the more casual term: “MASTER”

          MSG Grumpy

          1. I knew a master sergeant in the USMC named Maury Bates. He was an OUTSTANDING firearms instructor. We had a pronoun…or was it a nickname.

          2. PS – I just changed my pronoun to COMMANDER (giving myself a quick promotion from 0-4 to 0-5), so it’s Commander/Commanders.

  2. Regarding the ejection, altitude matters. You can pop out of a vehicle unprotected at a much higher altitude at high speed than at low altitude at the same speed. As long as you’re up in the very rarified air.

    Otherwise it is why many US designs for very high speed planes had/have some sort of ejection capsule.

    Then again, ejecting out of any aircraft at any speed is a bit of a crap shoot. Pretty sure way to lose an inch of height if you survive.

    1. It didn’t phase Tom Cruise (Thomas Cruise Mapother IV) and he didn’t need no stinkin’ capsule!

      1. Absolutely love the way you play with homophones:
        phase: to pass into or through a solid object (even a gaseous mass)
        faze: to daunt

          1. Dad taught me the ‘elbows in’ maneuver. Seems early ejectors often lost their elbows on the cockpit coaming, so make sure one’s elbows are inboard.

            Ejecting and bailing out have always been a serious crap shoot. Not as bad as that ‘escape’ hatch on a sub, but sometimes getting darned close to it.

          2. Knees (in addition to spines and elbows) were sometimes chopped on ejection if you were a big guy.

            Locking out of a submarine through an escape trunk (if the sub is ok and you’re wearing scuba or a Draeger is easy. If the sub is going down and you’re running short of time before it folds like a tin can, that’s something else. Locking out of a torpedo tube (still trained) is fine if you’re small. If you have large shoulders the way I do, it’s no Bueno and less Bueno if you have claustrophobia issues. Of course, it’s not much worse than being cooped in the rear compartment of a Mark 8 SDV with three other guys for hours on end (wet sub) with a catheter installed so that the flow won’t shut down on you. They feed you a gallon of glucose mix so that you don’t dehydrate and die of hypothermia so you must “flow”.

  3. I have been lucky I guess, nobody has done the pronoun dance to me…yet. Should be interesting when (not if) it happens. In my boring existence my pronouns are he, him, his and so on. Although when I go through the front gate at the nearby air base the SF usually calls me Chief and I do appreciate that.

    LL, profound thoughts on the universe. Does that always happen when you travel and are jet-lagged? If it works for you we could start flying theorists all around the world and see what comes up.

    Yes, there is such a thing as too much yellow. Demo the house or office or whatever it is, at least the car is salvageable.

    1. When flying, in a cattle cabin, I get bored and have to put my mind somewhere “else”. The humanity (general unwashed masses with the obligatory teething child screaming) is not pleasant.

      1. Especially since half of them looked like they just rolled out of bed. But I suppose we all need our muse, tune out to tune into clarity of thought.

  4. Too much of any color is probably a bad idea, ie the joke about the guy who went REALLY big into the Black is Beautiful idea when it first came out.
    Limitations – gravity limits you, friction limits you. If you don’t want to be limited, enjoy your life without either and report back to us about it.

  5. I’m a bit confused about the Krugerrands. But hey, charity’s most definitely a virtue.

    That in mind, excellent sermon! Well said.

  6. My reaction to preferred pronouns is to suggest the person perform unlikely sexual acts on themselves.

    1. For those who play that game, I “reject the use of pronouns as pronouns diminish you”, and I use the subjects name. That way I cannot get it wrong. It makes speech a bit wordy but it also gets across my exasperation with the stupidity.
      Call me out on it, I dare you…..

      1. Walking down the center of a dusty street in a western town, my spurs jingle. “Callin’ me out Differ?”

        “You’re a low-down varmint and your mom dresses you funny, LL.”

        “Thems fighting words (them, being a pronoun) Differ!”

  7. This is an excellent sermon! Well done. If more pastors presented Genesis, etc. in such a manner more people would see the Hand of God in everything, not just when they need something (what I call “the vending machine” mentality). Lots to ponder. Incidentally, Lee Strobel’s “The Case for a Creator” is an excellent presentation that delves into the origins of our planet and humanity…not happenstance.

    My pronouns are Nice|Alpha, you get to pick which side of the fence you want me to be on. I don’t play stupid games with peoples self-generated mental illnesses. Go get help first before bothering me. For the most part in my neck of the woods, and those areas I prefer to spend my time and money, I have not had the pleasure of running into someone who presents themselves in such a wacked manner.

    I’m at the dollar-fifty store buying a bag of 100 gold plastic Krugerrands. They look real. These will have the same basic value as that electronic non-currency baloney Wanker Joe and Marble Mouth Marmalade Yellen wants to force on people so as to control them — Zero. But you could fool the Criminal FBI Element when they show up to take some boxes of stuff from your office closet safe.

    1. The Maverick DVD shows up next week, I’ll continue to suspend reality while enjoying the movie that earned over a billion worldwide.

      1. When he punches out at 7,000 mph, you can just presume that God preserved him to make more Mission Impossible films.

        1. Now see, there can be a plausible answer, we just need to expand our thinking a little and eliminate physics from the equation. Plus, the guy does his own stunts, and last I checked he was still with us…so God must e working overtime to protect him…maybe God wants a sequel to the sequel.

          All this is like jumping off a 200 foot bridge, in reality living is usually not an option as the water effectively turns to concrete. BUT…with a special M.I. UnderArmor suit anyone can survive such things, then jump on a waiting superbike and chase down the villain after launching off a rooftop and landing on him or her or [pick a pronoun]…all done one-handed while firing a 42-round clip with the other with quickness and agility even though no one actually eats in action movies. Totally plausible.

          These are the same people who fear-marketed masks, plexi register shields, the 6 ft rule, and the Not-A-Vax (PLUS monthly boosters) to beat a manufactured respiratory virus. Plausible.

  8. Okay, to inject some sanity here over Cruise’s bruises… It would not be nearly as satisfying a movie if he rapidly disassembled in the airstream as he left the plane, or died of oxygen starvation on the way down, or got wrapped up in his risers when the chute popped, or as the line from Harvard Lampoons “Bored of the Rings” said, “Gee, I never saw a red flapjack before” as said Cruse cruised into the ground, into a building, into a passing vulture, into water…

    Come on, it’s the movies.

    Seriously, you get hung up on him punching out and not catch the “not been promoted for years so should have been forcibly retired by now” or “he’s turned XX years old so he’s being yanked out of flight to go become a Pentagon weenie” or any other of the other unbelievable military faux-pax that ‘Maverick’ pulled. Seriously, still flying at his age? Ahahahahahahahahahahhahaaaaahahahahahahaaaaahahahahaahahahahaaaaaaaaahhahhhhaaaaaaa…

  9. As per request, I’m sending you a small quantity of Krugerands that I purchased recently from a guy named Quido. He was parked out behind a Dollar General store and was selling goods from his trunk. I’m pretty sure they’re legit.

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