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Thoughts After Seeing Jesus Revolution

I saw the movie on Sunday. It was a real treat to see. The short version, 10/10 Go see it.

Seeing the movie brought to mind the following:

Some of the background was a great touch. Yep, they had Janice Joplin and Timothy Leary at a beach concert and a host of period music in the soundtrack, some of which you will recognize.

The movie was grounded and a blast from the past. Just a few short years after this movie was set was when many people on my mom’s side of the family gave their lives the Christ (1974-1975). I think religious faith was portrayed as a struggle and not an end.

I knew of Chuck Smith and the many music groups that began at his church, but the origin of his youth-oriented church was fun to watch. Talk about the ungrateful death (his congregation) being given life… From what I recall of the 60’s, the counter-culture movement was a bunch of rebels without a clue. After many years of trying stupid stuff (drugs, sex, and rock-n-roll), many finally found what they were looking for, a lively faith to fill the God-shaped vacuum in their soul.

Not everything coming out of the Jesus Revolution was orthodox but some great theologians did come to prominence during this time period. If you can dig up some sermons by David Chilton, on a few recordings, he discusses some of the abuses on the fringes of this movement.

The other comment about the Jesus Revolution that I heard recently from Gary DeMar was that it was a movement that emphasized an internal transformation as opposed to previous revivals which were also culturally transformative.

One result of this period is what I call the franchise church: Calvary Chapel, Vineyard, LifePoint, Hillsong, etc.

Another and different version of Christianity coming out of this movement was Jesus People USA. They are still around today. They are a cooperative community—think baptized commune—that specializes in ministering to the poor in urban communities. I don’t know how many locations they are in, but Chicago and Milwaukee were ones that I remember.

Kelsey Grammar was really good as Chuck Smith and Jonathan Roumie did a great job as Lonnie Frisbee. I guess Jonathan plays Jesus in The Chosen; sorry, I’ve never seen the show. There is a line in the movie about him trying really hard to look like Jesus, guess that has more than one meaning.

Final thought, I’d see it again and plan to buy DVD once it goes on sale.

Jorge Riley (Drunken Jedi) Cops a Plea

by The Chief

Jorge Riley, a local Sacramento GOP activist, pled guilty last week to charges relating to his storming of the Capital to “Stop the Steal” a couple years ago.  In exchange for pleading guilty, he will only have 1 count on his record, the other 4 will be dismissed.

This comeuppance has been a long time coming for Riley, he has been on a destructive path for years.  Riley has a rap sheet that makes career criminals jealous.  I know of at least 1 DUI, likely more, and a slew of charges related to unpaid child support.  I am not sure of the number of kids and how many women they are by.  Riley also is a heavy drinker, I refuse to say he has a problem, because he never has a problem finding the bottle.

Riley was arrested a couple months after the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Capital.  Not due to anyone ratting him out, he ratted out himself.  Riley is a Grade A braggart when it comes to his Facebook and other social media.  He posted over 150 messages and videos according to the complaint against him.  Worst yet, the man has never had an unspoken thought; his rantings (likely fueled by booze) target minorities, Democrats, women and other groups.  His comments are typically vile in nature making even this single male blogger cringe.  One may ask why no one tried to stop his behavior…that’s because those around him and in power supported it.  I literally saw him countless times at GOP meetings and conventions literally walking around with a backpack filled with vodka that he was drinking through a siphon.  He reeked of hard liquor, so much so I could barely tell what brand it was.  My understanding is his use of drugs and alcohol was to cope with PTSD or some type of condition he got while in the military.  My issue?  During a hearing, his attorney admitted Riley has never been outside the US.  I’m trying to be sensitive to mental health, but I just think Riley is an addict.

I have a source who claims Riley had numerous outbursts at his initial hearings here in Sacramento at the federal courthouse.  So much so he was ordered held on no-bail.  Annoying a judge isn’t the best move when that person is likely to sentence you.  NOTE:  The venue was moved to DC so it will be a different judge who heard the guilty plea and will handle sentencing.  Riley was also far from the model prisoner at Sac County jail, having to be moved multiple times due to being a Grade A dickhead.  AKA normal behavior for Riley.

Riley is still in a lot of trouble, preliminary reports are a federal lockup of 41-51 months, another report said maximum of around 20 years, a different report had a line about judge Amit Mehta considering “enhancements.”  I would bet he is looking at around 6 years in jail, his behavior, plus his bragging and some of his comments online will hang him.  The judge is seeing that Riley is not sorry or repentant at all.  Problem for Riley is that he is facing federal not state time. The feds typically do not do good time credits for behavior, he will serve his entire sentence.  (Riley’s indictment and plea can be found in this article.)

My hot take:  Riley is a clown and piece of work, more so it’s his enablers that made this happen, he was never reigned in.  Sue Blake, Terry Mast (RIP), Craig DeLuz, Bill Cardoza and others routinely looked the other way or supported him.  In the case of Cardoza, he was even stupid enough to post to Facebook the local CRA chapter giving Riley a lifetime achievement award.  DUMB

Riley is going away for a while, but the CRA and other groups should not be left unscathed.  Sorry, not sorry.  They needed to remove Riley as a member and put pressure on the local group to do the same.  Riley is a net negative, not a single redeeming quality about him.  Yet several of the members attacked my conservative credentials.  Yup they chose a drunken moron over me.

The irony in this whole bit?  Riley was a never Trump guy, like most of the rest of the CRA.  It’s sad.    

Catholic Church Circles the Drain

Blogger note: At this point I consider myself barely catholic, I have been lied too so much about the Catholic Church priest abuse scandal.

About a week ago I was watching my nightly local news program, I was killing time before bed yet what I saw caused nightmares.  A very somber Northern CA Bishop Jaime Soto was giving an interview about how the diocese (ruling group for an area of churches) is out of insurance money to pay liability claims arising from the sex abuse scandal.  They will be needing to monetize (sell) assets and liquidate funds to cover costs.  This interview was in response to a change in the law regarding the statute of limitations regarding the church sex abuse scandal.

The Statute of Limitations (SOL) has to do with how far back you can go to bring claims against someone/corporation.  Typically the time frame is about 3-5 years.  This is to prevent lawsuits decades later/after the perpetrator is dead.  Note:  If any sexual abuse happened to a victim under the age of 18 there is no statute, the suit can be brought forward at any time.

The legislative change to throw out the statute of limitations only applies to the Catholic Church, not the Mormon Church or any other religious order, even though they are having their own sex scandals.  This failed to surprise me, this state, and our current governor are hostile to religion, even more so after the overturning of Roe V. Wade.  This is his turn to exact revenge.  He won.  The diocese of Northern California will likely be filing for bankruptcy.  I hear San Francisco, and San Diego are even further toward filing BK.

The dirty little secret is the Bishop and his team were all aware of this change, yet failed to alert any of the congregation. (Typically, the bishop instructs the priest, who in turn give a sermon/homily on the subject.)  They did nothing, head in the ground ostrich style.  I guess they prayed the issue would resolve itself, now the flood gates are open and the lawsuits have been flying.  I hear ads on the radio on my way to work, and have heard folks saying there are commercials airing on the tv. You know the ones, “If you have been a victim, call Dewey, Screwum, and Howe…”. 

Bigger problem: most of these new lawsuits are against priests who have fled the country, or have passed away.  This makes the claims impossible to defend.  (Not that you would want to anyway.)  I will quote the famous McDonald’s quality control manager Chris Appleton “this number of injuries was insufficient to cause the company to evaluate its practices.”  That’s corporate speak for its easier to pay a lawsuit then to change your practice.  The Catholic Church is finding out this same lesson.  Lawsuits are flying and now the church will be put on trial (figuratively and via the media) about their practices.

What the Catholic Church hierarchy doesn’t want to hear is the truth. They keep whistling past the graveyard.  I can tell you the first mistake the church made was “covering up the abuse.”  It appears to me the accused were moved to different churches, then shuffled again, and if it got to be too large a problem moved to a different state/diocese entirely.  The public school system has a term for this its called “passing the trash”; in essence you trade one set of problems for another in hope the accused never gets formally caught.  Another ploy they tried was the “Father so and so will spend the remainder of his life in silent meditation/prayer for his sins to be forgiven.  Notice the accused were never fired (defrocked) and still were allowed to preach.  This shows a lack of institutional control.  When you prove time and again you cannot handle the issue internally, eventually the government takes over.  Rarely do they actually help.

The issue continued to grow and gain steam.  This was initially blamed on a couple of rogue priests taking advantage of the flock, instead the problem grew exponentially.  We were told time and again the issue is small, and resolved.  Turns out there are not just priests and bishops, but cardinals also under scrutiny.  Meaning the issue goes almost the whole way to the top, it’s a generation of folks looking the other way. SAD!

The dirty little secret is the flock is about to see just how mismanaged the church is, this time at the diocese level.  We hear all the time about assets owned by the church, be it buildings, land, schools, money etc, and how it’s protected from certain uses.  They call this “restricted money” we will see just how restricted it was/is.  It’s all going to come out folks.  As Warren Buffett once said “only when the tide goes out do you learn who is swimming naked.”  We as Catholics are in for a rude awakening.

My solution?  Actually it’s not difficult. 

Any priest accused should be turned over to the local authorities, and suspended from clergy immediately.  Let the legal process actually play out.  The accused can defend themselves, the church may still be on the hook, but it starts a healing process.  No more hiding behind the collar.  Purge! 

Allow priests to marry.  They have to keep the family/other issues out of church business, but it is time.  The old guard won’t like it, but the secret is the old guard hates that most priests in the USA are English as a second language types.

Recruit folks from here.  I know it sounds bad or racist, but when you recruit folks from war torn/drug infested/crime ridden area’s, you get what you get.  Sadly that’s a lot of folks who flee just for an opportunity.

Get your popcorn ready this could be good.

Upgrading Dell Alienware m17 R5 Laptop Hard Drive

I bought a nice laptop that will end up going to college with my son.

Here are a few of the features of the Alienware m17 R5 AMD:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen (TM) 9 6900HX (8-Core /16 Thread, 20MB Cache, up to 4.9 GHz max boost)
  • RAM: 32 GB (2) 16 GB DIMM, DDR5
  • Video: AMD Radeon (TM) RX 6850M XT 12 GB GDDR6
  • Hard Drive: 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive

The specifications are good except for the Hard Drive which is puny by today’s standards. I decided to upgrade it. The laptop motherboard supports the 4th generation NVMe type hard drives. These little guys are smaller than a stick of Wrigley’s chewing gum, measuring about three inches long by one inch wide and about as thick as a nickel.

NVME Hard Drive

They are 48 times as fast as a standard mechanical hard drive. What’s the old saying about dynamite and small packages?

Anyway, what I discovered is that the laptop will support two hard drives; however, the documentation says that drive one can be up to 4 TB while the second drive can only be 2 TB. As a result, I opted to get a 4 TB drive by Western Digital. I bought it on Amazon before I got too mad at them for not refunding the money I had spent on my electric razor—which by the way has still not been refunded yet.

WD_BLACK 4TB SN850X NVMe Internal Gaming SSD Solid State Drive – Gen4 PCIe, M.2 2280, Up to 7,300 MB/s – WDS400T2X0E

M.2 is the slot size on the motherboard and 2280 is the size of the hard drive circuit board.

These drives cost over $1,200 from Dell but are $399.99 from Amazon and Newegg and similar places.

What I am slowly learning is buy lower specifications from Dell and then upgrade them to your heart’s delight. At least with their Alienware computers, upgrading them yourself does not void the manufacturer warrant.

One purpose of this blog is to document a few things missing in many of the instructions-written or on video—that are necessary to do this upgrade.

One reason to get the Western Digital drive is for the software. Which I will start to explain now.

Before upgrading the drive, it needs to be cloned otherwise you will need to do a full install of Windows and all other software. Alienware software is a royal pain to install.

Western Digital provides a free copy of Acronis software, the caveat of course is that it can detect at least one Western Digital drive in the computer. As a result, you need an enclosure to house your M.2 drive so it can be cloned. The one I bought connects via USB-C. There just so happens to be a USB-C port on the back of the Alienware PC. Once attached, you must partition or initialize the drive and/or format it.

Then install the Acronis software and clone the drive. In my case, this took about 8 minutes to clone the 1 TB drive. (Please note that my drive was not full so your mileage may vary.) Then shut off the computer.

One of the unique things about this laptop is that it never truly shuts off. Furthermore, the battery is not removable.

In the old days, you typically just opened a small cover on the bottom of a laptop to upgrade RAM or hard drives. These designs often had a quick release to remove the battery. Neither is the case with the Alienware laptop. No, you have to remove the entire bottom of the laptop.

Please note when doing this that many of the screws remain attached to the bottom cover and are not fully removed from the cover.

Second, the cover will not willingly come off once screws are removed.

When working on the laptop, I had the vented area at the bottom and the area near the touch pad at the top. There are eight screws that must be loosened. Four across the top, two in the middle, and two on the bottom. Circled in red in my photos.

Screws 1, 4, 5, and 6 will loosen but not be removed from the cover while screws 2, 3, 7, and 8 will come completely out.

At this point the cover will still not come loose. This next step is not shown on videos or in written instructions. You need a small flat head or standard jeweler sized screw driver. You must gently separate the cover from the rest of the laptop.

Be gentle or you will scratch the plastic cover. Start on the sides near the openings for USB or HDMI cables. Once these begin to separate work in both directions until cover is loose. Again, be gentle. You only need the halves to separate slightly. Once you have worked all the way around the outside edges of the cover, pull and it should come apart.

Once cover is off, gentle disconnect the battery from the motherboard. This connector (labelled MB) is circled in green. It slides toward battery to remove. Failure to do this step may result in destroying the hard drive or other components in the computer.

Oh, another undocumented thing is that both M.2 slots come with their own heatsink. So don’t fret about buying one either with the drive (only available for 2 TB model) or from a third party vendor.

The drive slot on the right is the C Drive. Again, the new drive can be up to 4 TB.

Remove the cloned drive from the enclosure and replace the factory drive with your new one.

Due to the heatsink, you must remove two screws instead of the customary one on the NVMe M.2 drive. Seat the drive and replace the screws.

Reconnect the battery and then close the cover.

When booting the new drive, I was taken to the BIOS program and asked to set the time before it would boot. After that it should behave normally.

Lastly, Western Digital also has another program (Western Digital Dashboard) that you can install to help with the drive once it is running. I recommend installing that.

Amazon Getting Fat, Dumb, and Lazy

I guess it’s natural that once you get to the top of the heap that you lose your edge. Amazon has really lost their edge in the last year or so. They have more warehouses in more locations but their service is becoming subpar. Often utilizing their competitors, I can match or beat their price, and sometimes their deliver schedule.

Even when they have a good price on something, their delivery is terrible or nonexistent. Here’s some recent examples.

I don’t appreciate buying a $700 lens for my camera and having it sent to me in a plastic bag. Yeah, no packing material or box, just a plastic bag with a note printed on it that they are saving the environment. Sorry guys, first, I don’t give a crap about the environment and second, if I spend that kind of money, I think I deserve the respect of having something I worked hard to purchase packaged well enough to have a reasonable expectation to arrive safely.

I bought an electric razor on Amazon on February 20th. It scanned out of a warehouse in Maryland and then disappeared. OK, first why does it ship from Maryland? Does nobody this side of the Rockies shave? Second, how did they lose it? Third, where’s my refund? My wife is not a fan of facial hair and Amazon is causing me disruptions in my marital bliss with there incompetence.

Some prices of stuff that I buy regularly for my family have literally doubled in the last six months. Sometimes its cheaper in the grocery store than on Amazon but some things that we purchase aren’t carried by the local grocery stores any more. Covid wiped a lot of items from grocery store shelves that we may never see again. Thus, we are often forced to buy grocery items online.

Amazon’s delivery is also taking much longer that it used to. Many types of items that used to be next day are taking up to two weeks between ordering and delivery and as mentioned earlier, they are selling at much higher prices.

The bottom line is that Amazon is forcing me to shop elsewhere to get the price and service that they used to offer. I have a much longer mental list of things I won’t ever buy from them anymore. Amazon is moving to become my last resort to buy something instead of my “go to” retailer.

However, I have found at least one exception to the above complaints and that is a shop vac that I recently bought at Lowe’s. The shop vac needs vacuum bags when fine dust such as that from drywall is cleaned. The manufacturer has a “marketplace” on Amazon and their Amazon prices are less than buying the exact same item on the manufacturer website. I think thy would rather let Amazon take care of all the paperwork than having their own list of customers. My recollection is that the shipping was significantly less from Amazon for the same item.

In conclusion, a decline in Amazon’s service is an opportunity for other enterprising folks to exploit. I’m just surprised that Amazon is making it easy to let others be competitive.

Update for March 4

I know that I haven’t written in a while and this brief blog is proof that I do feel some guilt about that.

My wife and I are getting the house ready to move and also overseeing the building of the new place. Our new house is nearing the completion of sheetrocking and will soon be ready for painting. Hopefully the tile guy will be ready to go soon so we can finally bathe in our place instead of trekking to the local church a few times a week for a real shower.

As one would expect, our utilities at the new place are a fraction of the rates in California. Our heater has been on nonstop since October. It was set to about 60 degrees up until January, when we upped it to 70. Even when the temperature outside was negative, the house stayed really warm—insulation is such a blessing. Anyway, it costs us about $65 for natural gas there while in warmer California, our bills from PG&E are running almost $300 per month—they gotta pay for those fires somehow.

During our visits to the new house, we were living off of one electrical outlet but this last trip saw us get five more outlets. What a blessing not to have extension cords running all over the place and having to unplug everything when using the circular saw. Also, I was able the get the Nest thermostat running along with a Nest “drone unit” in the crawl space. The crawl space (more like a basement) is now somewhat insulated and considered part of the inside envelope of the house. I wanted to see how that area is doing. It’s been a steady 58 degrees for most of the winter.

The upstairs is mostly painted and ready for other work but the downstairs will need a coat of sealer and a finish coat of paint. Then we plan to tackle the ceiling which is slated for tongue and groove pine. If I plan the work then this ought to go well in much of the house—the known tricky spots are upstairs.

The wife and I are selling things we once considered treasures on eBay and will soon have the mother of all garage sales. Anything not sold will probably go to a charity not named Goodwill.

Parting with large pieces of furniture is also on the list of things to do. Not having control of when friends and relations will actually take custody of stuff is somewhat frustrating.

I have much that I wish I would blog about but will get to it as time permits and the Spirit moves me.

A portion of our blog staff will remain in Elk Grove, and I can begin covering North Idaho once we get settled. The contrast will be fun to compare.

Ukraine’s Leader is an Ungrateful Prick

Yes, I said it and stay tuned because I mean it.  Volodymyre Zelensky or however the heck you spell that Scrabble winning name has finally done it.  He touched a nerve that cannot be untouched.  Crossed the red line that cannot be crossed back.  He has become an ungrateful prick.

This guy is a former actor or comedian or something. Frankly I do not care. He is not a leader; he is the definition of a bottom feeder.

He won election in 2019, as such he should have been well aware of Russia illegally annexing Crimea, and parts of the Donbass Region (Donetsk and Luhansk) back in 2014.  This is when Russia rolled through and Ukraine more or less just let them take the area’s they wanted.  No defense was raised, and little was ever done except international condemnation.  I’m sure Putin is still shaking about other countries calling it “an illegal occupation.” 

Biden with Zelensky earlier this week

He knew full well Ukraine was not a member of NATO or the EU because Ukraine didn’t want to be.  They are and still remain one of the most corrupt nations in the world, just look it up for yourself.  If you think the; Biden’s, Clinton’s, or Trump’s are bad, get ready to be stunned, Ukraine is very corrupt.  Back to my point about NATO and EU, since they are not member nations, they are supposed to get no benefits.  Think of it like declining to buy healthcare insurance, then after finding out you have cancer, you think you can buy and get benefits.

Well for about a year Russia was stockpiling troops, vehicles, and tanks at the border with Ukraine.  For God only knows what reason, Ukraine didn’t seem to care or heed the warnings from the West about the build-up.  Then came Russia putting up makeshift hospitals and blood banks. Again, Ukraine didn’t react.  Finally in February of 2022, Russia attacked, and rolled through quite a bit of Ukrainian territory.

Once this occurred the supreme leader of Ukraine made daily demands of weapons and artillery from the West.  Bear in mind, Ukraine is not a member of NATO or the EU, and the alliance was not bound to help.  Keep in mind he ignored the Russian threats for about a year prior to the attack, it was all choreographed.  SAD!

“Please sir, can I have some more?”

Zelensky’s demands grew louder by the day, and as a result some NATO countries sent supplies.  Ukraine was fighting Russia with mostly the same military vehicles and the like.  The problem with NATO and EU supplying Ukraine with military might is the Ukrainians are not trained to use it, so the host country would need to send trainers (military advisors) as well.  As such, now NATO began to get involved in the war.

NATO countries Turkey, Britain, Germany, Canada, and the US all sent surplus weapons, drones, supplies etc.  Ukraine demanded more, and better ones to boot.  Turkey sent quite a few drones, and applicable bombs, the US sent Javelin anti-tank missiles, and NATO began to empty old stockpiles and it became a proxy war.  This still was not good enough as Ukraine continued to want more and more, also for free.  Now Ukraine has begun getting even more modern NATO weapons such as the US HIMARS (a very expensive mobile missile launcher.)  AKA a massive killing machine with very long range.  Poland sent the Krab, France has sent the Caesar, all of these are modern killing machines.  Oh, now that Ukraine has exhausted the ammo, they now are demanding more ammo.  Free gratis by the way.

Then came November 15th of last year, a missile hit NATO country Poland, killing at least one.  Poland summoned Russia to essentially ask what happened, Ukraine claimed it was all the fault of Russia and for NATO to enact title 5.  Title 5 is NATO’s way of saying an attack on 1 is an attack on all, and basically God have mercy on the attacker’s soul because NATO will not.  Turns out it was a Ukrainian missile, yup.

Ukraine has also been employing Taliban type tactics of housing military under hospitals, or air defense inside a school…. don’t believe me?  Check out the news.  Sure, Russia has blown up homes and schools, but they also blew up the air defense system located right on top of it.  Of course, that won’t be reported here by the mainstream media as it doesn’t fit the narrative.  Also, the news about the wayward missile that hit Poland?  Oh yeah it is no longer discussed.

Now there is talk of a major Russian attack coming. Our intelligence has told Ukraine this for a couple weeks now, again Ukraine did nothing, and now they are demanding fighter jets, more modern weapons including our signature tank.  Free again; well because we hate Putin too.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of seeing this Zelenskyy guy all over the media/news all the time.  He never says thanks, demands all kinds of stuff.  Like the homeless guy you walk by each day, first you gave pocket change, now he wants dollar bills, then higher bills, now he wants lodging and food for free.  Where does it end?  How come they had no military?  Why did they never join the EU or NATO?  Nothing is good enough for this guy.  I feel bad for what is happening there but I’m sorry you aren’t in the alliance; we have no duty to help you.  Biden keeps sending more and more, and by the way did you see the report from the Pentagon that Ukraine cannot account for about a third of what we have sent them?  No breakdown of equipment or money, but they cannot account for it.  Corrupt nation anyone?

The disturbing thing about that last sentence is not the unaccounted for money, we have a bigger problem with that at home than abroad, it’s the equipment.  You see in NATO, countries share technology and in essence can buy weapons off one another.  All weaponry is equipped with a kill switch so if a plane, tank, or what not is taken down or disabled, the kill switch blows up the equipment.  Thus, you cannot copy the IP.  If Ukraine has lost NATO’s state of the art weapons who is to say China won’t copy the IP?

And we want to let Ukraine into NATO when this is over?

Think about it!

The Chief

How to Stay in Debt

A friend of mine does very well for herself, she makes $125k a year.  Keep in mind that is double the MEDIAN US income per person.  So, she makes more than double the average worker.  She informed me Sunday that her spending on her credit card is unsustainable.  One would think this is a good thing, a wake-up call of sorts.  Negative ghost rider.

Her biggest issue is she tries way too hard to fit in, for someone in their mid-20s to mid-30s this is understandable.  You are likely in an apartment, a small one and hanging out with colleagues after work, and the like.  You may also be going on dates/parties etc.  However, this behavior needs to be grown out of, it’s a sign of a maturity process.  It hasn’t stopped in fact it got worse.

I do not care what part of the country you live in, a 6-figure income should be more than enough to sustain the life of a couple/family, let alone a single person.  This is where budgeting, and expense management comes into play.  In addition, knowing needs vs wants as well.  This person has shown repeatedly they are not capable of doing this.

Interest rate on car loan?  Yeah, it’s over 30%, that’s not a good rate, that’s a good loan shark rate.  The credit card rate is likely about the same mind you.  You wreck your credit in this country you will pay at every turn.

Student loan debt?  Sure, just make a minimum payment like your other loans.  This person is checking all the boxes.

Her biggest problem?  It’s not her debts believe it or not, it’s her lifestyle.  She refuses to be an adult, instead opting to a college fueled party life.  For someone closer to 40 than 37 mind you.

As hard as this may be to fathom, it is not hard to correct this, but it’s not a diet she needs, it’s a lifestyle change.

First?  Knock off the happy hour and late-night partying.  You are an adult not a college kid anymore.  Happy hour is famous for the “I’ll have a couple drinks, well better get an app, well another drink please….aw shucks I better order food…. maybe dessert too?”  Next thing you know that cheap mixed drink turned into a bill of around $100.  Instead of this being a one-time thing, you have made it into a daily thing with your friends.

Second?  Learn to cook at home, you have cable shows, YouTube, and cookbooks.  Cooking at home costs a fraction of going out.  You can even grab a bottle of booze/liquor/wine for a fraction of going out.  Don’t believe me, look it up for yourself.

Third?  Pay your bills first.  Every paycheck.  After paying rent, pay your bills.  Your credit score will thank you later.  Do not save money, extinguish all debt as humanly possible.

Til next time

Johnny Does

Only Hirelings Scatter the Flock

We here at Really Right are vindicated once again on the issue of Covid and church attendance.

The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. –John 10: 13

A survey released last week found that a third of Americans have stopped attending religious services in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

The survey, “Faith After the Pandemic: How COVID-19 Changed American Religion,” was released Thursday. Conducted by the American Enterprise Institute in conjunction with the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC), the survey examined findings of the 2022 American Religious Benchmark Survey, which asked 9,425 participants about their religious self-identity and attendance from February to April 2022. The participants were selected for having previously taken part in similar surveys in 2018 and March 2020.

According to the results of the survey, 33% of Americans do not attend religious services at all post-COVID, as opposed to 25% before the pandemic. Also down is the number of Americans that attend either regularly (24%) or monthly (8%), as opposed to a pre-COVID cumulative number of 36% (26% and 10%, respectively), Religion News Service reported.

1/3 of Americans do not attend religious services in the post-COVID era: poll

According to the survey, conservatives, adults 50 and older, married adults, and those with a college degree remained likely to attend a religious service. However, while the percentage of Americans who attend in-person religious services has more than doubled since July 2020 (then 13%), standing at 27% in March 2022, this is still below pre-COVID numbers, the survey notes.

Further, the survey also shows that the percentage of conservatives who never attended religious services post-COVID has gone up, from 14% to 20%. Likewise, women, who the survey contends are more likely to attend religious services, also experienced a decline in attendance, with the percentage of women not attending religious services up from 23% to 31% post-COVID. A similar increase happened in men, the survey notes, with 34% of men not attending religious services as opposed to 28% before COVID.

Among Catholics, the percentage of white Catholics who never attend services has gone up from 11% to 18%. Among Hispanic Catholics, the difference was higher, with 10% not attending as opposed to 20% post-COVID.

So, there you have it, proof that scattering God’s sheep has caused many to be lost—probably for good.

The survey also notes that “[C]hanges in worship help us understand how the pandemic has diminished — perhaps permanently — the role of religious participation in the lives of individual Americans and society as a whole.

Oh, the church I have been attending has been hemorrhaging of members, money, and good will with many people angry with the clergy but not because of Covid.

Frankly, I think closing during Covid has put many congregations into a death spiral from which most will never recover. I look for a gradual death for my current church. Demographically, it’s all but a certainty. The fear of offending people with the Truth causes the clergy to fail in its mission of equipping the saints to deal biblically with life’s challenges.

My pastor hopes we can just hide-out within our church and all the bad stuff will Passover us. He seems to be perfectly fine with our culture and world going to hell as long as they leave us in peace. I seem to recall something about hiding your light under a bushel basket, but my sense was that it wasn’t a good thing for churches to do. Maybe seminary graduates know something we don’t.

Negotiations: Trump vs McCarthy

I know, I know I’m whacking poor Speaker Kevin again, but I want to illustrate a point I failed to make in yesterday’s blog.  One thing that irritated the establishment GOP and the Left is Trump’s negotiation skills.  While many likely went out and bought Art of the Deal, you could have saved your money and just watched. 

Trump is a master at negotiating because he knows exactly what he needs and has his finger on what the other side wants.  He knows he can give the other side some while getting all of what he wants.  A perfect example is the stimulus checks, he insisted they have his name and signature on them.  The Democrats got a check, the GOP was fine with it (the bloggers here were not) but Trump got what he wanted.  Also look at the judges Trump got onto the court, he tried to negotiate, knew it was pointless and told Mitch McConnell via the media to “go nuclear.”  Suddenly Mitch turned conservative on Trump’s judges.  Bottom line, Trump knew how to negotiate and when to let someone else (media) do it for him.  Case in point, Lindsey Graham.  Either his balls finally dropped, or he realized getting called out in the media was going to burn him badly, suddenly he became a fire breathing conservative.

Contrast that to Kevin McCarthy, our new Speaker.  McCarthy strikes me as the awkward kid no one liked growing up, then he realized if he gained power folks would like him, and if they didn’t, he could wield his power and change their mind.  His negotiating skills bear that out.  During his time in the Assembly in Sacramento, and in Congress he always seemed to negotiate from behind.  This is the opposite of Trump.  McCarthy would start at zero and try to get to 50/50.  He would call that a win, to be fair Ryan, and Boehner before him operated the same way.  Boehner was known for chain smoking and crying, Ryan was known for being a policy wonk and speaking in robotic terms about GOP talking points.  It is because of these 3 “conservatives” that people like those on this blog have given up on the party.

In fairness to the 3 aforementioned leaders of the party, I will say again, what does the GOP actually stand for?  I heard my entire adult life, get us elected and we will; cut taxes, reduce spending, yada, yada, yada.  It never happens like that.  I’ve watched for 20 years the GOP giving the other side at least half of every deal, likely more, even when we had sizable majorities in the House and Senate. 

Even the Trump tax cuts had to be bulldozed through by the Trumpster himself, and even then, they are temporary.

I will go back to my point on McCarthy and my perception of his upbringing again.  McCarthy and other folks who negotiate like him are always trying to “buy friends” or in their case “buy votes.”  They do not want to be the mean guy who upsets anyone, so as a result I’ll give you what your side wants if you don’t say mean things about me.  Remember the chief goal of a politician is not making good on campaign promises, slogans, or other sayings, it’s about getting re-elected.  In the case of McCarthy, it’s about keeping a majority as to guarantee him the speakership.

Congrats to the Democrats on getting at least half of what they want.

The Chief