July 13, 2019

Productivity with Free Software

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Although money makes the world go around (just check the tracking and advertising reports about major companies, for example) there are still some good-hearted and generous people around. Much of what gives voices to many is free or low-cost. Sometimes I return the favor by mentioning products or giving image credits, but I don't get one red grotzit for doing so.

Behind the scenes about my blogging and the free, legal use of images.
Left image: cropped from Freeimages / Leena Naidoo
The image on the right is the left image modifed with FotoSketcher
Sure, some companies and individuals will sell stuff at different levels such as the free, pay more for some features, pay a lot more for all the features. I use a wagon train-load of free materials (most notably Open Source and Freeware), but I admit that I've been burned by a few bad risks. To reduce these, I check reviews and if I download something, I can scan it with my free versions of Malwarebytes and the Avast! antivirus scanner — both of which were highly recommended.

Although it is nowhere near as effective as it should be (I believe that Google is more interested in finding ways of stuffing more money into their saddlebags that in putting quality in their services), this blogging platform is free, as are some versions of Wordpress and others. However, I pay for several domains. Some can be mighty pricey, but others are very low for an annual rate.

My most frequent weblog is Piltdown Superman. If you browse through the images, you'll see that they come from free sites where I obtained them in good faith. (I can pay for images, but they are a bit pricey for my budget.) I do some editing with Paint dot Net, which is also free. Although many free image sites do not require credit to the site and the photographers or artists, I want to help them out in some small way so I provide it. Others do require it, and I think some play a bit of a game. 

Wikimedia Commons requires credit and the Creative Commons or other license, but the US Government images that were made by employees and not licensed for the site from external sources are free and public domain. They want users to give credit and to say that the agency does not endorse the subject matter on the site. Mayhaps that's really the law, but I doubt it because they're already in the public domain by law, and other people don't follow the instructions. I'll allow that I'm partly motivated by being transparent and also by the desire to avoid antagonizing anyone in the government.

Just because an image is on the web doesn't mean it's free for everyone. In fact, it is automatically copyrighted whether it is registered or not. One sidewinder sought to humiliate me and stole one of my photos so I filed a DMCA takedown complaint. That really got him on the prod, so he uploaded a copyrighted image of an ugly alien and said it represented me. While his article was defamatory, I can do nothing about the other image per se; that's up to the movie studio — if they think it's worth the trouble. Also, I had a furious atheopath steal one of my images and post it on Facebook with a defamatory picture and called it Fair Use. That was in no wise Fair Use, but Fazebook sided with the atheist. They do that frequently, as we have seen.

There is a Fair Use policy that is used and abused, but the details are fuzzy. I don't want a courtroom battle, so I seldom invoke Fair Use if I have any doubt that I'm on solid ground. (A Fair Use disclaimer can be found on this page). Besides, other people are not likely to be financially damaged by the small, low-resolution images I use. Text on forums is public, and also screenshots of these easily fall under the Fair Use provisions.

Let's ride this trail a mite further. Original material that is under copyright can be used in a different way than Fair Use. I think some copyrights are lost because the original is scattered all over teh interwebs, such as on "meme" generators that are provided for everyone's use. (Careful, some are uploaded by individuals who have no right to make them public.) This other area is derivative.

As I understand it, if a copyrighted image has been modified a great deal, the derivative is unique and can even be copyrighted itself. The image at the top shows a free image that I modified with FotoSketcher. Maybe that is enough of a modification to be considered a derivative, but I'm on safe ground for my purposes anyway; it will appear in a new post on PDSM later.

I hope that people mildly curious about what goes on behind the scenes with my weblog work will like the article. Also, there are some links and insights that may prove useful to people. There's no need to steal, and all y'all can stay out of trouble by doing things legally. Christians take note! Do things above board so your testimony is not tarnished.

July 5, 2019

Hysteria Over Climate Change is Hysterical

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

It is a fact that there are noticeable similarities in the bad reasoning and worse science used by flat earthers, anti-vaxxers, chemtrail conspiracies, and several other concepts that are insulting to thinking people. You can also find parallels between evolutionary thinking and global climate change alarmism. Should we laugh or cry about the climate change hysteria?

It is difficult to decide whether to laugh or cry about climate change hysteria. Here is another example of how its proponents can be galactically stupid.
Derived from an image at ESA / NASA / SOHO
Fake science "experts" have predicted the end of the world many times (especially in some sort of climate change), but though Algore and his followers then and now have been shown to be galactically wrong.  They're on the side of the angels, you know, and have to save us from ourselves. With what, denial of science, suppression of inconvenient facts, and calling our Creator a liar? Not bloody likely.

Here is a short video that I'd take mighty kindly if you'd give a listen. (Well, I have to use the video format because audio-only is not very conducive to sharing.) It will only take three minutes. Wait for it...


July 4, 2019

Liberty and Darwinism are Opposites

Since proponents of fish-to-firefighter evolution rely on a paradigm of naturalism, they have a heap of trouble explaining the experiences of life that are intangible. I heard a debate between a Christian and an atheist, and the atheist admitted that everything he knows could be wrong in his frame of empiricism. The Christian showed him that he could not account for such things as logic and his worldview is self-refuting. Even though the atheist could be wrong, his "reasoning" maintained that the Christian is also wrong. Such a worldview is unlivable, as things we experience every day, truths of life, cannot be tested and determined in a lab by material means. By what means to materialists determine the soul or free will? What or where is consciousness? They are not a part of the brain. There are some helpful links in "The Quantum Soul?"


Evolutionists cannot reconcile concepts like freedom and liberty with their materialistic worldview.
Declaration of Independence, John Trumbull, 1817-1819
Today, many Americans are celebrating Independence Day. Hopefully, we will reflect on the strong statements that were used by the Founding Fathers in this event. Darwin and his successors promoted natural selection, and had no use for things like love, compassion, human rights, liberty, and so forth. Yet we cherish such concepts, but they have no evolutionary, "scientific", or materialistic basis. In fact, they are contrary to such thinking. Our founders, and many Americans today, acknowledge that freedoms ultimately come from our Creator.

It amazes me that people hold very public protests, write letters, publish newspaper articles, and more to complain about the government. That's freedom of speech. They should learn how to use search engines and learn a bit about history, as there are countries now, and have been in the past, where such actions could get them imprisoned or killed.

We transfer power through our election processes. Other countries have violent overthrows and military actions. By the way, our government is far more stable than other countries. Do some research on how many governments Italy has had, for instance.

There are people in Britain and other places who rail against Americans as stupid and backward (even though we're the leaders in science and technology, as well as human rights). Is it because many of us reject their materialistic, Darwinian views? While many folks strive for political and other kinds of freedoms, the only true freedom is found in being reconciled with our Creator and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

I'm sending you to an article that was published on July 4, 2018, but I did not see it until later. This post is written on August 19, 2018. It will be interesting to see that what is expressed here, and in that article, are still relevant.
The Darwinian worldview that allegedly freed people from ‘religion’ actually enslaves them to the worst kind of tyranny.

In the United States today, Americans will celebrate Independence Day with parties, barbecues, and fireworks. Hopefully mixed in with the fun is some appreciation for the founding principles of America:
  • All men are created equal
  • Human rights
  • Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
  • Liberty and justice for all
  • E pluribus unum (out of many, one)
  • In God we trust
  • The American dream
All of these ideals are profoundly anti-Darwinian. The secular worldview in vogue today, resting on Darwin’s advocacy of nature run by unguided natural processes, cannot derive any of these. In fact, the opposite is true: secularism undermines every one of these, and historically, has fought against them.
 I'd take it very kindly if you'd read the rest of this article. To do so, click on "Liberty Is an Anti-Darwinian Concept".



June 22, 2019

Modern Culture and Changing Morality

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This is one of those articles that will probably be outdated within days, but I am writing it because the time-sensitive examples should still be useful in support of the principles they underscore. As societies change, so do moral "standards" — unfortunately. There is an ultimate standard, but that is unwanted nowadays.


Kyle Kashuv and Lori Loughlin received harsh reprisals for their actions. The morality behind their punishments is inconsistent, showing how the morality in society keeps changing. There is an ultimate standard, but people reject it.
Credit: Unsplash / purplepic

Rescinding the Offer

Kyle Kashuv was a survivor of the Parkland school shooting by a leftist in 2018. He was admitted to Harvard, but people who disliked his pro-Second Amendment views dug up dirt on him, sent it to Harvard, and they rescinded their offer. Chris Stigall discussed this in his podcast at about the 37 minute mark. Apparently, even though Harvard, a bastion of anti-Christian and anti-Conservative thought (ironically, it was established on Christian principles) has decided that certain politically incorrect words deserve their harsh judgment.

Saying such things was not worthy of notice a few years ago. Also, most people have done something foolish in their youth. Do people change? You betcha. So do society's morals.

 

The Horror of Bribery

Speaking of colleges, Lori Loughlin was in the TV sitcom Full House and then Fuller House (on Netflix), and has starred in several movies on the Hallmark networks. She was caught in a college admissions scandal, and was fired from Fuller House and Hallmark. Interesting that this warranted such harsh reprisals, without conviction, but what is the moral standard? Where is the consistency? Not like she was a convicted axe murderer or something.


via GIPHY

When encountering atheists and such on social media and elsewhere, they get on the prod to ridicule and persecute Christians. Bigotry is acceptable against Christians and biblical creationists in modern society, and it is interesting that the accusers are using bigotry to deflect from their own. Sometimes you will hear or read that we "deserve" attacks. According to what standard? Personal whims.

It's Moral if it's Good for Us

The Company decided that they needed to step up the bullying. Mandatory overtime was implemented months ago, and with it, promises that the crisis will soon pass. (The crisis will pass when the incompetent upper management runs The Company into the ground.) A misconduct write-up? I think that is defamation toward the employee, Bubbles. Misconduct is when a chair is thrown through the window. Savvy the difference?

When people were hired, they were told the hours of the shift they were working, with occasional overtime on weekends. People planned accordingly, getting second jobs, arranging child care, adjusting themselves to deal with medical issues, and so on. No, whatever is desired by The Company is good and right (State Department of Labor penalties and class action lawsuits against 

The Company no withstanding), and they can change the rules as they see fit. Ironically, employees were required to renew training in ethics and integrity when the leadership (I use that term loosely) is severely deficient in both. Do they seriously expect high quality data entry work from people who have eye strain, are tired, in pain, courting carpal tunnel syndrome,  resentful? I may eventually change this to actually name The Company, who has a lousy reputation on the street and online. They've worked hard to earn their bad reputation and they apparently intend to keep it.

Because She Deserved It

A black man severely beat and raped a white woman and said she deserved it because of slavery. What, she owned him? Not a chance. This was just a pathetic attempt to justify his sinful urges in his own "morality". Maybe they'll use the detestable "black rage" defense. Chris Plante discusses it for a few minutes. The player is supposed to start at the 2 hr. 38 min. 10 sec. mark, or as close as I could get it. You can locate it yourself if this doesn't work correctly.



These examples show that morality changes based on whims and political correctness, and smack of postmodern relative morality. The only true foundation is revealed in the Bible, and we can see what happens when the truth provided by the Creator is suppressed in unrighteousness. People make mistakes, and they may change. The more permanent and positive changes come from repentance and humble faith in Jesus Christ.

June 15, 2019

Celebrity Fight Challenge and Logic

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

A passel of people are bemused by the challenge made by singer Justin Bieber to actor Tom Cruise. He wants a fight. Not a barroom brawl, but a formal Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts event. Bieber taunted that if Cruise ignores the challenge, he is a coward.


Bieber challenges Cruise to a UFC fight. Big deal. Except that there are some things to learn about logic in this.
Shane Carwin and Junior Dos Santos facing off at UFC 131
Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Bad intentionz (CC by-SA 3.0)
Normally, my response would be, "That's silly. How long until it's time to clock out?" (In fact, I had to look up UFC, and I'm not sure I've ever heard a Bieber song. Saw a few movies with Cruise, though. Is it true that he does most of his own stunts?) What got my attention is the claim that if Tom ignored Justin's challenge, then Tom is a coward.


This is the kind of thing that other Christians and biblical creationists have to deal with frequently. We are bushwhacked with the obligatory ad hominems as well as straw man, red herring, and other fallacies. Here we can see both bifurcation (either you accept the challenge or you're a coward) and the appeal to motive fallacy (cowardice, in this case).

Why would Tom Cruise ignore the fight challenge from Justin Bieber?" I could give a better either/or option: either you get ready to slap leather with him, or you have other things to do. As for the claim that he's afraid, well, that's simply a childish taunt. Bieber has no way of knowing what's in Cruise's mind.

If I challenged Tom Cruise to a fight, I would be afraid that he might accept because he would clean my clock. Not a great feat because Bieber could, too.

I've had "debate" challenges that amount to, "I hate you. Come onto this forum run by atheists and other anti-creationists and debate me. But you won't because you're afraid!" (Very confused individual. He made me a BFF bracelet like Joe Biden made for B. Hussein Obama, and I understand that he keeps my picture on is icebox for his own Orwellian-style Two Minutes Hate.) I reject the challenge for many reasons, so we can dispense with the bifurcation part of his foolish challenge with other reasons:
  • I have run rings 'round him logically several times
  • His "arguments" are incoherent
  • He is a Sanballat, occasionally pretending to be reasonable but only means harm
  • My ego does not need to be bolstered in this way
  • It would not be a structured debate, but would more closely resemble a food fight
  • I have a job that takes up a lot of my time
  • Most importantly, I head up The Question Evolution Project, a biblical creation science ministry
  • His sense of humor is seriously impaired and he is probably fuming about the icebox and bracelet jokes (but the Two Minutes Hate thing may not be far off). Other than those things, he's doing fine.
Having dispensed with the bifurcation aspect, let's take a quick look at the appeal to motive part. Like Bieber, my challenger does not know what is in my mind. If I am afraid, perhaps I am afraid of causing him further humiliation. Well, it's a possibility, isn't it?


While I referenced a particularly vindictive individual in the above list, over the years I have had several who are like this. Also, I have observed or read accounts of atheists and anti-creationists on the prod. Their visceral, illogical attacks are very similar for the most part (although some try to pose as somewhat intellectual but can be dismantled). While critical thinking seems to be suppressed in modern educational systems, learning to spot simple logical fallacies is extremely helpful.

The appeal to motive fallacy is something that I loathe entirely. It is easy to find, frequently located in phrases like, "You are doing this because..." Christians and creationists, avoid this as an argument. Don't be like atheists and Darwin's disciples; we have to rise above that for the glory of God. You savvy?


June 11, 2019

Tilapia, Regeneration, and Degeneration

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

When a creationist submits an article to a major creation science ministry, there is no guarantee that they will put it into their corral. I've had some rejected and a couple that were published, but only after scrutiny from a scientist and other editors.


Tilapia skin has been successfully used for healing purposes. Unfortunately, excellent medical science has also used it to corrupt our Creator's plan for men and women.
Credit: Freeimages / Alex Ringer
When submitting for publication, there are formats and guidelines to follow. One outfit edited an article of mine so much, I barely recognized it. CMI was good to me on this.

After I wrote an article for Creation Ministries International about how tilapia is not only an excellent food source but the skin is also useful to treat burn victims, there was a similar development. There was no way I was going to try to have it added to my article.

God provided us all sorts of things in nature. We can use them for food, medicinal purposes, and find other ways of using them. Like many of God's gifts and provisions, these can be corrupted by degenerate minds. Ever heard of neovaginoplasty? Well, a man wanted to be a woman, and the transsexual surgery was botched. Surgeons gave him a new vagina made from tilapia skins.

It should not be a surprise based on cultural trends. I'll allow that medical science is impressive, but science is enabling people in their rebellion against God and advancing leftist causes — especially adding to the confusion between the two sexes. We have a Creator, and he made us in his image. He also makes the rules and has defined male, female, sex, marriage, and so on. My cheer for medical science is bridled by the way it is being misused.



Click here for lyrics

May 30, 2019

Social Media Speech Police

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

It seems a mite ironic that I began using this platform back in 2007 so I could have my say on various topic, and today I am complaining that various social media outlets are becoming more and more opposed to free speech — at least, among Christians and Conservatives.


Social media are becoming more and more heavy-handed in anti-Christian and anti-Conservative discrimination. This affects free speech itself.
Made at Atom Smasher
Facebook is frequently in the news by alternative media for discrimination and censorship. Hate speech against Jews, Christians, and Conservatives is just fine, but the sidewinders in charge will shut down Pages and accounts by people who are not atheists, anti-creationists, terrorists, socialists, and the like. Reporting those for clear violations of Fazebook's alleged Terms of Service are usually worthless. Two standards, no waiting.



Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes (click for larger)

Aside from their lackadaisical approach and blatant hypocrisy on their ToS, Fazebook removes Christians, Conservatives, and supporters of Israel (I have had posts and accounts removed, reported that my personal information was published to no avail, and know other Christians who have met the same heavy-handed censorship). Candace Owens was suspended for a non-violation, but was reinstated after a tremendous outcry. Do a search for "Diamond and Silk" who were suspended and reinstated on social media as well. Other people have not been so fortunate.

Several people were banned from Fazebook, and most of them were labeled as "right wing" (which means people that do not follow the leftist worldviews of the platform owners). Some people are saying that such activity is illegal, but I am not convinced because things like Facebook, Twitter, and others can make their own rules to some extent. It would be helpful if they admitted that Bible-believing Christians and political Conservatives are unwelcome. I have commented to FB that they are not too big to fail, and they can become as relevant tomorrow as Myspace is today.

There are alternatives to Facebook being presented such as MeWe that promise free speech, and others are also trying to make themselves known. I do not know about an alternative to Twitter, which is unfortunate because Twitter is no better than FB. Apparently, it's okay for Twitter and Fazebook to engage in bigotry and bullying because they have the political and moral high ground: leftism and secularism.


Who watches the watchers? Facebook and Twitter do not support free speech despite their claims. Their censorship is based on personal leftist preferences, not standards. Don't be disunderstanding me now, I am not supporting all forms of free speech such as racism, threats of violence, and so forth. But supporting leftist political agendas and suppressing Christian and Conservative values are hostile to a free society.

There is an article by Dr. Albert Mohler that I would like to submit for your approval. See "The New Thought Police? Facebook's Evicted Seven And The Future of Free Speech".

Subscribe in a reader