The New England Patriots and their Deal with…

What happened to all the quarterbacks already? Andrew Luck suddenly retired. Nick Foles is out with a collar bone, an injury he really needs to let heal rather than return this season. Ben Roethlisberger says he’ll return next year after his elbow surgery, and for what it’s worth I believe him. Eli Manning is no longer starting at the Giants, and if I were him I’d try to join the Jags post haste to close out the career with Tom Coughlin. Drew Breese will be out six games, making the Saints an unlikely playoff team. Sam Darnold is out with mononucleosis, which sucks, but at least he will return this season and the likelihood of his team making the playoffs is unchanged in that there is zero likelihood.

And what is the common thread in all of these stories? The New England Patriots.

It must be nice to walk between the raindrops every year. It must be nice to be in a division of ineptitude. It must be nice to get a first round bye and then play the remaining playoff games in front of your home fans every year. Gee whiz, what would need to happen in order for a team to get that sort of perpetual bliss?

Well you start by being in a division with the Jets, Dolphins and Bills. And I guess that’s really all you need. Let’s look at their schedule though. Week one was against the Steelers, a team built upon star players, having missed their two greatest players in the last two years and then not adequately replaced. Week two was against the Dolphins, a team that should be the subject of a class action lawsuit by their season ticket holders for tanking the season. Week three is the Jets. Will Sam Darnold be back from mononucleosis by then? Then comes the Bills, Redskins, Giants (sans Eli Manning), Jets, Browns, Ravens, then the Bye.

Going into the Week 10 bye, if the Patriots are 8-1, that will be perceived as more than just a little bit disappointing. And WHEN they are in the playoffs, most likely starting in the Divisional round, they already know that their biggest foes, the Steelers and the Colts, will not be around to challenge them. The AFC has become a dumpster fire with very few exceptions.

Can you name any real rival to the Patriots this year? Can you say with certainty that any other team is guaranteed to be in the Super Bowl? Heck, I’ll roll the dice here. The New England Patriots will WIN the Super Bowl this year and will do so convincingly.

My Happy Birthday (Literally)

On the subject of my birthday, which just so happens to be today, let me tell you a little something about my birth.

In 1973, my mom’s water broke during the 1st trimester. The doctors were planning a D&C after that weekend, but stopped when they detected a heartbeat using technology that was new at the time. Instead of my life ending that day, a surgery was performed to assist my mom in carrying me as long as possible. She was warned that I still may not make it. She was told that if I did make it I would likely be deformed or experience mental challenges. She was placed on bed rest the remainder of her pregnancy. She prayed for me.

I was born premature because my mother walked up a half flight of stairs to use the restroom, rather than pull my dad from a volleyball game on his birthday. Once I was birthed, I was rushed out of the room to an incubator. About a week later, my parents brought me home. Technically, I’m normal. You can use your own judgment on that though. I don’t mind.

Heartbeat = life. Yes, it’s personal. Abortion = murder. Yes, it’s personal. 

Because The Children Are Worth It

Violence may be on the decline in America. School shootings may be less than they were in the 90’s. Students may be safer from physical harm in schools than they were a generation ago while being in more danger from moral harm. All of this may be true. But nonetheless, a major recurring story in our nation points to the opposite. This is not because our nation is more violent, but it is because the violence is being reported disproportionally.

It is evil to hope for a crisis. It is evil to use a hoped-for crisis to your own political or economic gain. It is often those opposed to liberty who create such crises. And it is the media who directs the attention of the public by deciding what to cover and what to overlook, thus magnifying the situation exponentially.

The group American’s For Class released an 8-step plan to make our schools safer. I strongly suggest you read it for yourself. Here are the 8 points, with the details removed to keep this post brief.

  1. Secure the perimeter 
  2. Control the flow 
  3. Protect the interior 
  4. Develop the School Safety Volunteer Network 
  5. Increase parental communication 
  6. Appoint a District School Safety Specialist
  7. Increase Mental Health Services 
  8. Establish a School Safety Hotline

I believe these are all excellent steps to begin with. This list should be non-controversial. We know that it isn’t, but it should be. This isn’t a topic that will be solved by merely avoiding controversy, though. So let me add a few ideas written like the rough draft of a bill.

  1. Since 97% of all mass shootings occur in gun free zones, we need to abolish gun free zones. Gun free zones in public or taxpayer funded areas are inherently unconstitutional. Gun Free Zones only serve to disarm law abiding citizens. Criminals and murderers might refer to them as Helpless Victim Zones. Private property is exempt from this provision.
  2. Any public or taxpayer funded property that insists on remaining a gun free zone (schools, federal buildings, post offices, etc) assumes the responsibility and liability for any injury, damage, death, or other negative result due to a violent act upon those visiting said property. No legally licensed carrier of weapons shall be barred from exercising their constitutional right without consequence. Private property is not included in this provision.

Specific to Schools that are Assisted with Government Funds of any kind

  1. With the legal penalties for law abiding gun owners to exercise their constitutional rights removed, teachers and staff at our public schools will no longer be barred from defending themselves and their students with the best means at their disposal. All law abiding citizens with legal access to a school shall be allowed to enter the school grounds without disarming.
  2. For the safety and security of every person in the school building, the teachers and staff members who choose to bring their own gun into the school must conceal their weapon and must keep this weapon on their person or in a secured location at all times. Speaking openly with students about their decision to carry a weapon results in a less secure environment for everybody, especially the teacher, and will result in corrective action up to and including a loss of employment, regardless of tenure.
  3. Any staff member who reveals other weapon carriers to third parties will be subject to corrective action up to and including a loss of employment, regardless of tenure. If this action is repeated, that teacher will be charged with a felony. The safety of students is paramount. An active shooter should never know who is prepared to end their threat. A staff member should never set another staff member to be the first target of an active shooter.
  4. Staff members who decide to carry may join a program that will provide firearms and accessories at a reduced rate and training at no charge. This training includes, but is not limited to, situational awareness, conflict deescalation, marksmanship, first responder medical training, psychological assistance, and shoot/no shoot scenarios.
  5. Staff members who have joined this program, should be compensated for their willingness to stand up for the safety of everyone around them, with bonuses for staff members who are able to produce their firearm at times that are random, but places that are private.  There should be no negativity toward any staff member who chooses not to participate in this.

I share all of this because our children are valuable. I share this because there are people who do not value the lives of others or even of themselves. Any action taken to restrict others will only affect those who are already more law abiding than off duty law enforcement officers. The people more likely to perform violent acts will only see more Helpless Victim Zones.

It’s time to live in accordance with the worldview we espouse. It’s time to accept our own national worldview as a reality. It’s time to defend the second most vulnerable people in our country from danger, and it’s clear that posted signs just aren’t doing the job. It has been demanded of us that we do something, If we are to do something, then we need to do something consistent with the ideals of liberty and of personal responsibility and of the reality that bad people are only stopped when good people are empowered.

Nehemiah 4:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)
And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

You salute the rank

Regardless of your political stance, I think our culture would be wise to take a deep breath and remember something our grandparents understood. You respect people because they are people. You honor those placed over you because you honor the one who placed them over you.

That is true whether you believe that a plurality of districts placed a leader in power or whether you believe the Bible when it says that all leaders are placed in their positions by God. Nobody is exempt from this requirement.

In the USA, you do have the freedom to object to the actions of the leaders. The leaders are not the gods of our country. To find out what idols have been set up over you, you merely need to ask which person or group are you not allowed to disagree with. There is the real tyrant. But I digress.

I didn’t vote for our current president. I haven’t voted for a winning president in many years. But I honor the office of the president, and by extension of that, I honor our president. Because I honor the One who placed him in his office. To do any different would be hypocritical.

Finally to answer an objection before it is asked, Christians are not required to obey unlawful demands by government leaders. When I say unlawful, I refer to demands that are unconstitutional, against lesser (but still valid) laws, or opposed to the law of God. We honor earthly leaders because we honor God. You cannot honor God by breaking His commandments. Therefore, I would not celebrate the sin of others. I believe Romans 1:32 has some negative things to say about Christians offering approval to sinful behavior.

1 Peter 2:16-17
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.


The Myth of Marinade

I’ve known about this for a while, but nobody seems to listen. I used to argue this point more, but now I mostly just chuckle to myself and let it go. By looking at the title of this post, you know where I’m going. Marinade is a silly way to waste time before you cook your meats. And how do I know this? Because science.

According to the propaganda arm of cooking known as the USDA, the meats that you would marinate, mostly chicken and steaks, is comprised of mostly water. In fact, 2/3 of the weight of your meat is water. Now look at the ingredients of your favorite marinade. I’m guessing the first ingredient is some kind of oil.

What happens when oil combines with water? Not a whole lot, right? This is why the marinade will flavor the outside of your meat, but it can’t penetrate without being directly injected. And even that injection can only travel along with the fibers of the meat.

America’s Test Kitchen is kind of like a Consumer Reports organization that specializes in cooking. This brief video will agree that marinades will not penetrate meats but will be useful when adding flavor to tofu. But then you run into another problem. That problem is that you are now eating tofu.

I think the next golden calf for me to grind up will be beer can chicken. Have a nice day!