Men Aren’t The Only Ones Who Lust

I realize that headline probably qualifies as a “No duh!” to anyone with a cursory amount of grey matter, but we DO have a fair share of folks who deny or minimize that reality. And the way we treat it as a society differs markedly depending on the offending sex.

Kirsty Young–of whom I’d never heard–has expressed a sexual interest in Tom Jones. On one hand, that’s akin to a guy saying he found Marilyn Monroe attractive. Jones himself was, and perhaps still is, quite legendary for “getting around”, so Young is hardly the first woman to admire him.

Personally, I think she made an idiot of herself by expressing the obvious: she, like a lot of women, finds an Alpha like Tom Jones attractive.

By Amir on October 21, 2014 | Feminism | 1 comment

Hillsong On The Edge Of The Cliff

As someone who has a few Hillsong CDs, I found this news saddening.

In addition to this news.

By Amir on October 17, 2014 | Christian Life, Theology | 2 comments

Driscoll Resigns

His leave of absence has become a resignation.

Can’t say that I am surprised.

By Amir on October 15, 2014 | Christian Life, Theology | 3 comments

“Why Women Spurn Marriage”

Feel free to discuss this piece by Pepper Schwartz, a professor of Sociology at University of Washington.

I’d say she is ignoring a couple of large elephants in her office that are crapping all over her carpet.

I’ll elaborate more later.

By Amir on | Feminism, Game, Game/SMP | A comment?

Even When a Cult Leader is an Obvious Idiot

People will still follow him.

I remember seeing Ernest Angely’s program on television. I thought it was a comedy skit.

He was more plastic than my American Express card.

Sadly, there are enough suckers out there who will send him their money. After all, the clown is still in business.

By Amir on October 13, 2014 | Christian Life, Theology | A comment?

Thoughts on Death

I’ve wondered about death often in these many months since he passed so unexpectedly. My grandparents have all been gone a long time, but I wasn’t close to any of them, and I do not believe any of them chose Jesus on this earth; very sad. He was the first person with whom I was very close to pass through into eternity. So it’s really the first time I’ve pondered death.

I wonder … did he know ahead of time? He had been ill and not well for a few days before we believe he actually died (we know there were at least two days he had been gone before he was found).

If he knew he was at the end, what passed through his mind? Forgiveness? Anger? Hate? Retribution? Sorrow? Repentance? I have since learned he was on a flight that had fairly severe technical difficulties while mid-flight and made an emergency landing a year or so ago (he traveled often). The one who shared this with me was on the flight with him and said he looked very peaceful and calm during the incident and descent and emergency landing, and even thought he was praying. When I have thought back to that time frame, I cannot recall any change in his behavior toward our girls or myself. Sigh.

When he entered heaven, was there any remorse then? I so wanted to hear him say he was sorry before he left this earth. I wonder if he was. I wonder if he knew I truly forgave him. I wonder if he ever forgave me for anything real or imagined.

There are so many things, so many things, I do not understand about God. I know when we choose Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, we are forgiven, washed white as snow, made pure. So, are there eternal consequences for the Believer for our sin-choices on earth? A part of me wants him punished. But I know if he is, then I will be, too, for my sin; for all sin is sin in the eyes of Holy God. And if I want him punished, have I truly forgiven him? For everything? Or am I reacting to the pain and consequences his choices have left behind.

A large part of me is full of sorrow and sadness for his life, so much of which was a tragedy.

So many thoughts, of which these are a few.

And in the world of reality … grief sucks … living life one day at a time … and eternally grateful for a husband with patience and love beyond the stars and back.

 

 

By Ame on September 28, 2014 | News/Opinion | 4 comments

Hub City Tour 2014: Century Challenge Complete

At the urging of my spin instructor, I decided to tackle the Kentucky Century Challenge this year. The Kentucky Tourism Cabinet sponsors a challenge involving four century (100-mile) bicycle rides: the Redbud Ride (London, KY) in April, the Horsey Hundred (Georgetown) in May, the Preservation Pedal (this year in Winchester) in June, and the Hub City tour (Elizabethtown) in September. Finishing three of the rides allows you to purchase a commemorative jersey for $30. Finishing all four gets you the free jersey.

After finishing the first three rides, I figured that it would cost me more money to do the Hub City Tour than to just pay $30 for the jersey. My only incentive for doing the Hub City ride was pure bragging rights.

At the end of the day, I decided I needed to finish the job and do that last ride, on 13 September 2014.

The weather was just about perfect: overcast, morning temperature just under 60 degrees, with a projected high temperature approaching 70.

The ride map–with hill profile–showed some menacing hills, with the worst of them between mile 45-78. Total elevation gain was just a bit higher than the Redbud Ride, but not as much as the Preservation Pedal or the Horsey Hundred. But the toughest portions were clearly on the back 50.

My plan was to go out with the early-birds. I enjoyed riding with them at the Preservation Pedal, so I figured this would be a good way to finish. This time around, though, there were only three of us: the leader (Bill), myself, and another rider named Tim. We departed at 7:15.

The first 45 miles were pretty easy. Because the temperature was so mild and conditions were so good, I barely broke a sweat. The hills were relatively mild, there was no storm-related debris (which was a problem at the Preservation Pedal), and the overall number of cyclists was light. The rest stops were well-stocked, although we all had plenty of Sports Beans, water, and Gatorade “just in case”.

After mile 45, the ensuing 33 miles were easily the most difficult of the entire Kentucky Century Challenge.

The hills were steep, but not too steep, and yet there was very little downhill relief. With rolling hills, you can use the downhills to provide power to guide you through the uphills–this worked well for the first 45 miles–but if the relief provided by the downhills is not commensurate with the difficulty of the uphills, you can get knocked out of kilter.

I got knocked out of kilter.

Making matters worse, I started having trouble with my shifters. My first gear wasn’t quite catching, and that made the uphills more difficult than they otherwise were.

On top of that, no matter which way we turned, there always seemed to be a menacing headwind. I remarked, “God has a sense of humor.”

After the rest stop at mile 65, we were all hurting. Not from fatigue–I felt great on that front. But my quads were hurting. Bill was also hurting in the quads. (That was saying something, too, as Bill is a very seasoned rider!) We weren’t looking forward to the nasty hill that was coming up at mile 78.

But something interesting happened. From mile 74-78, we boned up for that hill, and–yes–there was a set of hills that were sort of challenging, but nothing seemed overly nasty. (It didn’t hurt that my shifters started working and I got my first gear back!)

When we got to the rest stop–which was at mile 78.3–I asked, “When are we supposed to get that really bad hill that was on the elevation chart?”

I was told, “That was it. You’ve already done it.”

Me: “Really? That wasn’t that bad.”

All that worrying was for nothing; the nasty hill wasn’t really all that nasty. My quads still hurt, but I knew the worst was over. It was going to be rollers for the next 24 miles in.

At the final rest stop (mile 94), I got some cookies and Gatorade. My quads were sore, but I wasn’t really that bad otherwise. I figured I’d get some extra carbs “just in case”, but I figured I had this one in the bag. Just don’t do anything stupid.

The last 8 miles were relatively easy. Turning onto Ring Road–one of the main loops around Elizabethtown–was good psychologically. I also enjoyed going through the E-Town sports park. I knew we were getting close. When we turned onto Mulberry Street, I felt even better. Then we made it to the intersection of Helm Street, just one left turn and about 100 yards to go.

At the end, my quads were killing me. Most of the pain was from the 33-mile stretch from 45-78. I figured I’d recover pretty quickly, and I was correct: I had no leg soreness in the morning.

Overall, I thought this ride was the toughest of the 4, mostly because of that 33-mile stretch. The weather was perfect, though.

In a sinister way, I like century rides. They are comparable to ultramarathons: you’re guaranteed to have your endurance tested, and there will always be a suck factor. I’ll never be fast, so I might as well just go far.

Now I have a critical decision to make: the Ironman folks have moved the Louisville Ironman triathlon to October starting next year. This is due to the fact that–being in August–the nasty heat has made Louisville a proverbial grave yard for triathletes: they have more dropouts than any other Ironman event.

I’m strongly considering signing up for the Louisville Ironman next year.

After doing the Century Challenge, I have a good idea where I stand and where I need to be for the Ironman. I’ve done marathons, so I know I can handle the distance. I’ve done century rides, so I know what goes into one. I’ve never done a century ride and and marathon on the same day, let alone after a 2.4-mile swim on the same day. It will be a heck of a time–and money–commitment for training, but it’s doable. I have a psychoticpsychological mindset for a long day of endurance.

But Ironman or no Ironman, I plan on doing the Kentucky Century Challenge again next year.

And my quads will be ready.

By Amir on September 14, 2014 | Endurance Sports | 2 comments

The World Is Evil

WARNING: Links that are in bold are to very gruesome pictures and video. If you choose to view them, it is at your own risk. I include them to show the extent of the savagery of elements who are of key importance to Americans

While I realize that the title of this post would qualify for a “No s***!” response by many of the regulars, there are a number of naive persons, particularly in our government, who seem to not get that.

In Europe, Russia has taken Crimea and has invaded Ukraine. While most European nations appear to be outraged at this development, it’s not like they are in a position to present a material threat to a Russia that is led by a sly, intelligent strategist who wishes to return Mother Russia to her old glory and has warned the world of his country’s nuclear capacity.

The United States is in no credible position to fight this one, and Putin knows it. We are downsizing our military, the public does not have the political will for a war with Russia, we have neither the troops in the pipeline nor the money in the war chest to fight them, and a draft would be a political disaster. Similarly, Western Europe is not exactly in a high state of combat readiness on this one either.

Other than economic sanctions and protests to and from the United Nations, Ukraine is on her own. Russia will almost certainly win this one, and–make no mistake–this is a major blow to the power of the United States.

Meanwhile, in Syria and Iraq, ISIS/IS/ISIL/Whatever-the-hell-they-call-themselves today continues to take air bases, oil fields, and cities, imposing Sharia-on-steroids, mass executions, strangling women to death, forcing Christians to “convert or die”, and selling Yazidi women into sex slavery.

Our Defense Secretary–Chuck Hagel, a Purple Heart veteran of Vietnam who should know better–says that “ISIS is beyond anything we’ve seen”. Apparently, he has forgottten about the atrocities of the Japanese in WWII, the Nazi concentration camps, the killing fields in Cambodia, Mao’s slaughters in China, The NVA’s atrocities against South Vietnamese, Stalin’s purges and mass murders, Lenin’s Cheka, the Turkish genocide against the Armenians, but I digress.

No, seriously, while the violence of ISIS is troubling, it is comparable to what often goes on south of our own border.

What’s the difference between ISIS strangling a woman to death and a cartel enforcer beheading a teenage girl?

Mexican carteliers also seek to intimidate in ways that ISIS can appreciate, beheading enemies with chainsaws.

And while Iran is known for hanging criminals, Mexican cartels are doing the same.

I realize that Cartels are, at least technically-speaking, outlaws, even if we have been known to provide weapons to them. The same can be said for ISIS, which wages war against recognized sovereign governments. Oh wait, we armed them, too.

While it is true that most of the extreme cartel violence is south of our border, Mexico is flooding our country with “children”, some of whom work for the cartels. At least ISIS is over there, not over here.

Oh, wait!

But I’m sure that our Dear Leader, who has admitted that he has no strategy for dealing with ISIS, has this under control.

By Amir on August 30, 2014 | Defense, Politics | 21 comments

Credit Where Credit is Due

I heard a true story recently, first-hand. The teenage daughter met a boy at a church camp a year ago, and they developed a long-distance, chat friendship/relationship. This turned into a bullying, manipulative, abusive, inappropriate relationship from the boy. The parents saw the chats and intervened, including immediately talking to their pastor about the events. Immediately the pastor stated this would need to be reported to the authorities and then proceeded to do so. He told the parents this was required and not an option.

Yes! With all the pastoral staff getting it wrong in this world, there is at least one guy out there getting it right.

By Ame on August 28, 2014 | News/Opinion | 10 comments

Passing Thoughts on the Greg Kelley Child Rape Case

I haven’t been following the Greg Kelley child rape case, but a number of people whom I follow on Twitter–including Boz Tchividjian–have been opining about it.

In this instance, you have a popular high school football player, living in a house that functioned as an in-home day care, accused of sexually-assaulting two 4-year-old boys. One of the boys waffled, there was no forensic evidence, Kelley had a fair number of character witnesses–including a football coach–and few enemies, not to mention a clean record. So many people made it their Christian duty to proclaim the glories of his innocence.

Among the arguments:

  • The children weren’t being truthful; one of them even recanted.
  • He had such a clean record.
  • He was never seen doing anything improper with children.
  • All they had was one child’s word against his.
  • He had the guts to testify on his own behalf.
  • So many Christian people were ready to sear by his character.

In the interest of fair disclosure, I don’t know Kelley, so I can’t say if he’s innocent or guilty. I do know this much, however: a jury of his peers heard the case–including even his own testimony–and found him guilty of two counts of super aggravated sexual assault, which meant he faced 25 years to life in prison.

In a plea deal reached in the penalty phase, Kelley admitted guilt, waived his right to appeal, and in return received 25 years. He’ll be in his 40s when he leaves prison, and will have to register as a sex offender.

As for the arguments that others have made, they sound very familiar.

Do children lie about being molested? Yes–those of us who are old enough can recall the McMartin preschool case, and I know of some firsthand accounts of false accusations within the foster case system–but it’s not as common as one thinks.

A child sex offender often has a very clean record–older ones usually pass background checks–and the first indication of any problem is the arrest.

A child sex offender rarely fits the mold of the reclusive, creepy pervert. In fact, many are affable, popular, and good with kids.

A child sex offender will pick his spots well, and usually does a spectacular job avoiding being noticed abusing children. Some of them are so sly that they will abuse children in front of other adults without being noticed.

A child sex offender will often have a mother lode of character witnesses–often old ladies–who will swear that “he’s such a kind soul; he would never hurt a fly.” They become unwitting enablers.

Sometimes, victims will recant, and the reasons can be complex. Is it always because the story was made up? Uh…no. In fact, I know of cases were accusations were likely recanted because someone coerced the victim into recanting.

The only thing I see in Kelley’s defense here: he’s not old enough to be slick and manipulative. (Then again, that might be why the law caught him.)

I tend to be in the camp of letting the justice process work. Do people get wrongly convicted of heinous crimes? Absolutely. If Kelley is one of those so convicted, I hope he receives his vindication.

OTOH, I tend to be in the camp of letting the process work. We have jury trials for a reason, and Kelley used all of his options, including taking the stand. He lost.

I realize that many will swear to his innocence, but the jury saw otherwise.

I cast my lot with the jury.

By Amir on August 25, 2014 | Sex Offenders | 5 comments

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