Rusty Archives

Grenade launchers for sale in El Paso?

In the wake of the recent mass shooting in Aurora, there are the requisite stories on gun control, etc. joined the chorus with an article titled, Fear drives opposition to gun control. One interesting tidbit from the article is the cover photograph used. Here is a screen-capture.

Note the caption:

An assault rifle is equipped with a high-capacity drum magazine and grenade launcher at an El Paso, Texas, gun expo.

A grenade launcher available for sale at a gun expo in the United States?

Links for 23 July 2012

Disabled car turned into motorcycle?
Supposedly done by a Frenchman after his car broke down in the middle of a desert in Africa.

Reminiscent of The Flight of the Phoenix.


Family Dinners Don’t Work Magic
The magic of helping bond families together. Of course, no one that I know of has said that the whole family simply sitting down for dinner could take the place of genuine parental love and interest in their children.


Tree rings show that Earth was warmer for the Romans than now?
Has Al Gore been notified?


How to explain the tax system with beer


Africans in the U.S. sending their kids to school in…

My, how times have changed.


Geek News of the Week – Cassini sees daytime lightning on Saturn

Aurora, and the Left

Not to discount the severity of the killings in Aurora, but how long will it take before we hear the media and/or the Left paint the shooter out to be a right-wing fanatic, a tea partier, or someone influenced by hate-filled Republican rhetoric? How long before we hear that stricter gun control laws would have prevented this mass killing?

Links for 6 July 2012

Help for atheist preachers
From CNN,

The transition from preacher to outspoken atheist has not been easy, and DeWitt is trying to smooth the way for other former believers. He is executive director of Recovering from Religion, an organization founded in 2009. Its slogan: “Thousands of organizations will help you get INTO religion, but we’re the only one helping you OUT.”


Youth Ministry:  Content and Context
What a concept.

From the post,

Our teaching and Bible study should help students engage with Scripture. Long ago I moved away from the traditional youth talk of sharing my ideas supported by a few verses. I started teaching from passages, allowing God’s Word to speak more directly to students. If you have not experienced the difference, you might not understand what I mean. Expounding Scripture can be done in a variety of ways, yet the result is the same—getting a clear sense of the Bible’s meaning and figuring out how it applies to our lives.

Allowing God’s Word to speak? What (another) concept. Imagine what would happen if we moved from trying to be relevant to an unbelieving culture and actually depending on God’s Word?


Grade Inflation? Say it isn’t so!
When I was a high school student (way back when) there were just a few students that achieved a 4.0 GPA (with 4.0 as the max). Nowadays it seems like the 4s just flit about unfettered from the shackles of herculean effort.

And, of course, along with this news we’ll also be hearing that the quality of students graduating from our public school system is extraordinary?

Yikes! There’s even a website devoted to the subject.


And people were afraid of a Vice President Sarah Palin?
From the article,

Vice President Joe Biden told the graduating seniors of Cypress Bay High School in Florida today that they should imagine a world where hunger no longer exists because crops grow without the need of soil, water or fertilizer.


The connected generation
How will it impact, if it will, the near future economy of the United States?

From the post,

The most interesting part of the survey, though, is the finding that parents will go to great lengths to help their kids find work. Nearly a third (30 percent) of recent graduates report that their parents are in some way involved in their job search process. Nearly one in 10 (8 percent) recent graduates say that a parent has accompanied them to a job interview, with 3 percent of grads saying their parents have actually joined the interview itself.

Links for 5 July 2012

With every head bowed, and every eye closed…
And so begins the invitation to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus. Just like Paul did? Peter?

The “Sinner’s Prayer”, long used not in Christendom, but in American Evangelism, is the subject of a post by David Platt. From Platt,

It seems that “praying the prayer” is often used in a worship service or an evangelistic conversation to “cement a decision” or “close the deal” regarding someone’s salvation. People are often told immediately, “If you prayed that prayer, you can always know that you are saved for eternity.”

Lest anyone think he is anti-evangelism, he also states,

Most importantly, once someone repents and believes in Christ, be willing to lead that person as a new follower of Christ. Remember, our goal is not to count decisions; our goal is to make disciples.


VBS under attack – the new norm?
One trend that seems to be in vogue, amongst evangelicals, is to alter the traditional Vacation Bible School (VBS) marketing to cater to “non-churched” (those who used to be known as non-Christians) in a manner which doesn’t overtly imply prosyletizing. Yet, society appears to not be that stupid. Case in point is this story from New York.

A Baptist church in New York City is facing backlash after they passed out flyers inviting children from a nearby public school to attend Vacation Bible School. Some neighborhood parents accused the church of being discriminatory because they oppose gay marriage.

Heh. We evangelicals may end up being forced into living counter-culturally, whether we want to or not!


Not enough Sun?
What’s the gov’t subsidized world coming to when a solar panel outfit can’t survive in the middle of the Southwest United States?


Google search gets a B+ while Apple’s Siri gets a D?
But, of course, none of the Apple-heads out there will get wind of this news since they live in a closed system type of world. ;^)


The Parent as the “Youth Pastor”
Considering that the vocation of youth pastor is a very new phenomenon, it seems that the notion of parental involvement in the theological training of children has merit. Oh, yes, it’s also kind of Biblical. From the post,

…if we are going to stem the tide of youth leaving the church, I believe a key component is a fresh awareness of the centrality of the parents for youth ministry. Parents are the church’s primary youth pastors, and a central place in youth ministry today must be given to helping parents embrace that privilege and responsibility, and equipping them to do it. Youth ministry has a valid and important supporting role to the parents, but it must never become a substitute. Our youth are too important to allow that to happen.


A camera that keeps your home safe?
From the post title, “Solar-powered security camera keeps your home safe without wires”. Interesting. I’d be interested to know how a camera can manage to keep my home safe.

Happy Independence Day 2012!

– image © 2012 AR Lopez

Links for Monday, 2 July 2012

Mainstream Media ignores 2,000 deaths in Afghanistan
Unlike they did at the same metric for Iraq. Difference? Bush vs. Obama.


Well at least someone linked with the Mainstream Media doesn’t like it
From the post, regarding the Mainstream Media,

Forget it. I’m done. You deserve what they’re saying about you. It’s earned. You have worked long and hard to merit the suspicion, acrimony, mistrust and revulsion that the media-buying public increasingly heaps upon you. You have successfully eroded any confidence, dispelled any trust, and driven your audience into the arms of the Internet and the blogosphere, where biases are affirmed and like-minded people can tell each other what they hold to be true, since nobody believes in objective reality any more. You have done a superlative job of diminishing what was once a great profession and undermining one of the vital underpinnings of democracy, a free press.


Are all schizophrenics creative? Or are all creative people schizophrenic?
From the article,

Brain scans reveal striking similarities in the thought pathways of highly creative people and those with schizophrenia.

Both groups lack important receptors used to filter and direct thought.

It could be this uninhibited processing that allows creative people to “think outside the box”, say experts from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.


Relief Efforts for Theological Famine
The internet age has opened up teaching opportunities our ancestors could not have dreamed of.


Three reasons offered for young adults giving up on God
The reasons given,

1. Fundamentalists are turning off some young people

2. Atheists and agnostic role models are getting more vocal

3. Liberal attacks on religion are to blame

Herein lies the fallacy of current secular (and some evangelical) worldviews – that truth is defined by what one considers to be true rather than what is true. Follow this slip-n-slide notion and you must conclude that if our society can evolve towards acceptance of specified behaviors, then nothing prevents it from evolving towards rejection of specified behaviors.  What these adherents to plurarlism don’t seem to realize is that their “truth is what I think it to be” paradigm has no defense against itself.


How’s that Private Sector doing, now?

Jesus is not your boyfriend

Jesus is not your boyfriend
Or your homeboy.

Has our evangelical culture, in its eagerness to emotionalize our personal relationship with God Jesus, trended towards an essentially erotic view of said relationship? From the post at Her.meneutics,

It was not uncommon at my conservative Christian college to overhear girls say that Jesus was their “boyfriend” until God brought the right man along. I once had a girl tell me she could not hang out on a Friday night because she had a “date” with God. In our churches, many of our praise and worship songs border on the “love song” language, leading many girls to equate those warm and fuzzy feelings that come with attraction with Jesus. This is a dangerous place to be. Not only is it an incomplete picture of who our Christ is, it also sends the message that the girls (and women) who are truly devoted to Jesus equate contentment in him with a romantic relationship with him.

Reading the comments left at the post is also interesting. A sampling,

We used to sing this at a young adult study I used to go to:

“I wanna sit at your feet Drink from the cup in your hand. Lay back against you and breath, feel your heart beat This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand. I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming”

I could never sing the song and it took me completely out of worship. I’m a dude and this in NO WAY represents my walk with Christ. It’s borderline creepy to me and almost sexual. It did, however, REALLY make me curious as to how women see a relationship with christ differently than a man does due to gender differences.

Posted By: b | June 25, 2012 1:26 PM


just can’t handle the “So in love with you” songs about Jesus any more. It just seems too close to the eroticism of love songs.

One of our younger male pastors (when he was working with youth) would often talk about “being so in love with Jesus” and used other language that had a boyfriend feel to it. I told him this way of talking could have a rather creepy feel about it, especially to the adolescent boys just coming to terms with their sexuality – he looked at me like I was crazy. It may also have a certain appeal to young females so wanting to have a boyfriend experience.

Posted By: Annie | June 25, 2012 3:11 PM

Yet what of the Biblical references to Israel’s rebellion being akin to having an adulterous affair, or the overt sexuality found in Song of Solomon, or that the New Covenant church is referenced as the bride of Christ?

It’s my understanding that such analogies always refer to the corporate body (i.e., the nation of Israel or the church as a whole) and are not indicative of the personal relationship each individual follower of Christ has with God. Note that in the upper room discourse Jesus calls his disciples friends, or how Paul refers to Christ followers as sons of God, or how virtually all of Jesus’ disciples and followers addressed him as Lord, Rabbi, Teacher, etc., and not as Lover.

I think that because our culture emphasizes the emotional aspect of relationships (and, that is not necessarily a bad thing) we sometimes mistake the relationship, or direction, of various Biblical analogies. We need to remember that the various earthly analogies we have are but reflections of the heavenly aspect being presented. Thus, when Paul writes that all Christ followers, both men and women, are sons of God, he is not ignoring or deprecating the status of women, nor is he equating us to the Son of God. Rather, he is indicating that, as in the culture of his time, just as all sons received the family inheritance, so all sons of God (Christ followers) will receive God’s inheritance.

As the author of the post states,

Just as self-marriage misses the mark for what God designed marriage to point to, “marriage” to Jesus misses what his work accomplished. Marriage to Jesus while waiting for a husband can often trivialize our Savior in a way that makes him more like a sweet boyfriend who takes us out on dates, rather than the God-man who paid for our sin on the cross. Jesus did not accomplish redemption to marry us individually. He died for the church corporate, of which we are apart [sic]. His death accomplished something much greater than simply meeting our deep-seated desires for a significant other. That is what Paul is getting at in Ephesians 5:22–33 when speaks of the mystery of marriage.

Links for 25 June 2012

35 Years later – Interstellar Space in sight
From FoxNews,

NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft has encountered a new environment more than 11 billion miles from Earth, suggesting that the venerable probe is on the cusp of leaving the solar system.


Does MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell not think?
In this day and age, and in Western culture, cameras – especially video cameras – are ubiquitous. Anyone at a public event had better think twice before selectively editing a video of said event.


Is the world overpopulated or are we just lousy stewards?
Interesting graphic comparing the world’s population with the density of major cities.


On the power of Christian apologetics
As a Facebook friend of mine said,

…the ‘objective morality can only come from a Person’ argument did the trick!


Should you home school your child?
A college prof weighs in.


Newspapers – “Yesterday’s news, tomorrow.”

Fast & Furious goes mainstream

With Attorney General Eric Holder facing contempt of Congress charges it seems that the ATF operation Fast and Furious has finally made it into the mainstream news. However, would this have been possible without New Media (i.e., pajama-clad bloggers on the internet)?

For those completely unaware, this short video summarizes the issues surrounding Eric Holder, Fast and Furious, and Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

The blog Sipsey Street Irregulars first reported on Terry’s death being linked to an ATF-smuggled rifle in December of 2010. It was information gathered from the CleanUpATF forum. The forum post reads,

Word is that curious George Gillett the Phoenix ASAC stepped on it again. Allegedly he has approved more than 500 AR-15 type rifles from Tucson and Phoenix cases to be “walked” to Mexico. Appears that ATF may be one of the largest suppliers of assault rifles to the Mexican cartels! One of these rifles is rumored to have been linked to the recent killing of a Border Patrol Officer in Nogales, AZ. Can anyone confirm this information?

Besides Sipsey Street Irregulars, David Codrea, at Gun Rights Examiner, has also been instrumental in providing news and updates on this story long before the mainstream media took interest. Codrea wrote about “Project Gunrunner”, back in early 2011,

  • ATF management was allowing potentially hundreds of semiautomatic firearms to be walked across the Mexican border in order to pad statistics used to further budget and power objectives.
  • Mexican authorities were kept in the dark, and protests that they should be informed were overridden, first by the Phoenix ATF office, and ultimately by higher-ups in Washington, DC.
  • A gun used in this operation was involved in a December 2010 incident in which a Border Patrol agent was killed.

While most in mainstream media ignored the story, Sharyl Attkisson of CBS was one of the first (if not the first) to report on it.

Of course, there will be accusations that the operation started under the Bush administration (you remember the drill, right? – when in doubt, blame Bush). The only problem being that the operation under the Bush administration was designed to nab illegal arms sales and not let the firearms leave the country. And Holder himself has had to retract his claim that the Bush administration’s attorney general knew about gunwalking. But of course, the blame Bush diversions are just that – diversions. Indeed, in accusing the Republicans of playing politics is nothing more than playing politics from the other side of the fence.

So, here we are. The story is gaining ground, so much so that even NBC, which had yet to mention Fast and Furious, resorted to reporting on it (yet note how they refer to the power struggles between the congress and the executive branch as “broken politics”). But Border Patrol agent Brian Terry deserves more than a “broken politics” excuse. And, as Sipsey Street Irregulars is now reporting, the reprocussions of this operation extend to another federal agent – one Jaime Zapata.

This story should not be seen as a fight between the Left and the Right. It has always been a fight for the truth.

Update:  Info on Operation Wide Receiver (in case anyone asks)

Update 2:  Sorry, I missed this important point.

And BIll Whittle tells us who the real racists are.

Links for Friday, 15 June 2012

NYC Gone Wild
Wild with asine regulations, that is. First extra large soda bans, now Bloomberg wants to go after popcorn and milkshakes?

This is no accident and it is indicative of how they want to weasel their way into every aspect of our lives.

Make no mistake about it. They will use the same tactics with regards to gun control.




And you think media has no impact?


Steyn asks the question I asked after the media moved on to some other “film at 11” story
From the article,

So how’s that old Arab Spring going? You remember – the “Facebook Revolution.” As I write, they’re counting the votes in Egypt’s presidential election, so by the time you read this the pecking order may have changed somewhat. But currently in first place is the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi, who in an inspiring stump speech before the students of Cairo University the other night told them, “Death in the name of Allah is our goal.”

A century ago, the West exported its values. So, in Farouk’s Egypt, at the start of a new legislative session, the King was driven to his toytown parliament to deliver the speech from the throne in an explicit if ramshackle simulacrum of Westminster’s rituals of constitutional monarchy. Today, we decline to export values, and complacently assume, as the very term “Facebook Revolution” suggests, that technology marches in support of modernity. It doesn’t. Facebook’s flat IPO and Egypt’s presidential election are in that sense part of the same story, of a developed world whose definitions of innovation and achievement have become too shrunken and undernourished. The vote in Egypt tells us a lot about them, but it also tells us something about us.


And what about that “blood for oil” meme?
From Richard Fernandez,

Surely if America fought a war for oil, then Iraq’s oil resources would be in the hands of evil Republicans? But apparently not. Rather they are in the hands of the Russians and the Chinese. “Exxon Mobil has by far the largest stake of any American company in Iraq, but most of the major players are European and Asian, like Lukoil and Gazprom from Russia, and Chinese companies like China National Petroleum and China National Offshore Oil Corporation.” So there you have it. American blood, Russian and Chinese oil. Funny how that worked out.


Kathy Ireland tells how she became Pro-Life

It’s not promoted, but Ireland got a lot of critical thinking skills from Stand to Reason. Take, for example, her statement: If abortion does not take the life of an unborn human being, then no justification of abortion is necessary. If, however, abortion does take the life of an innocent unborn human being, then no justification of abortion is adequate.

14 June 2012

Happy Flag Day!

Fabulous Food Foto (# 017)

The Bacon, Mushroom, and Jack Cheese Omelet, at Edelweiss, in Auburn, CA.

As should be expected, besides the 4 eggs comprising this breakfast dish, it also has bacon, mushrooms, and jack cheese. I had heard the omelets were huge here and these pics should be proof of that. I don’t order omelets very often and, indeed, this morning I was debating whether or not to try a hash special. But I was very delighted with this puppy. As you can see from the second pic, there was an ample supply of mushrooms and they weren’t shy with the bacon either! Our waitress was very attentive and made sure we were taken care of. With accompaniments of hashbrowns and wheat toast, and I was set for just about the entire day!


– images © 2012 A R Lopez

Links for Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Jonah Goldberg thinks young people are “so frickin’ stupid”
Goldberg pulls no punches in this clip.

I agree, and disagree with him.

I agree that there is a knowledge issue with youth, 21st century Western youth in particular. Yet I disagree that this “frickin’ stupid” issue is inherent to being young. While youth, by its very nature, brings with it inexperience and, as a result, a lack of wisdom, it’s also free from the excess baggage of constricted paradigms and narrow thinking born from years of repetitiveness. This point is eloquently detailed in Robert Epstein’s book The Case Against Adolescence.

However, I think that we (you know – the older and “wiser” ones) have created the mess we now face with a generation desiring perpetual adolescence. In providing a safe and entertainment-filled environment for our children have we inadvertently prevented them from acting their age – in essence – from being the young-adults they physiologically are?


Hoplophobia gone wild
It seems that Australian swimming authorities consider it offensive for Australian swimmers to pose for photographs while holding (not “brandishing”) firearms while in a gunstore in the United States.

And the graves of countless Australians, who transformed the land from a penal colony to a thriving nation, are rumbling.


MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is “rhetorically proximate to a twerp” – Bill Whittle
Watch it all.

And a Happy Belated Memorial Day to you as well.


The Juvenilization of American Christianity
From the article,

As early as the 1950s, youth ministry was low on content and high on emotional fulfillment. The best youth ministries did provide individualized spiritual formation and even intense discipleship. But even otherwise exemplary youth ministries could unintentionally send the message that the church or even God exists to help me on my journey of self-development. Most youth ministries since the 1960s have followed the club model pioneered by Young Life and YFC. Songs, games, skits, and other youth-culture entertainments are followed by talks or discussions that feature simple truths packaged with humor, stories, and personal testimonies. As they listen to years of simplified messages that emphasize an emotional relationship with Jesus over intellectual content, teenagers learn that a well-articulated belief system is unimportant and might even become an obstacle to authentic faith. This feel-good faith works because it appeals to teenage desires for fun and belonging. It casts a wide net by dumbing down Christianity to the lowest common denominator of adolescent cognitive development and religious motivation.


And about how Christians keep apologizing for the Crusades
Another zinger from Jonah Goldberg,

The word “crusader” has been completely captured by the forces political correctness. Whatever their sins, the Crusaders weren’t conquerors or the first invading shock troops of Western imperialism. They were warriors sent to reclaim lands taken by Islamic invaders. The great irony is that both Western progressives and Islamic fundamentalists have unwittingly bought into the same propaganda.


Only in California (v. 10)

Dang those cellphone cameras!
From the article,

Tesoro High School in Las Flores reported as many as nine students improperly pulled out their cellphones during the May 16-18 administration of annual Standardized Testing And Reporting, or STAR, exams, said Marcus Walton, a spokesman for the Capistrano Unified School District.



Hmm, Now “Paper or Plastic” might get you fined
From the L.A. Times opinion piece,

…plastic bags are more costly to all of us than they appear and won’t be missed once they are gone. Stores do offer an alternative — asking modern life’s essential question, “Paper or plastic?” — but there are even better options. More shoppers now carry reusable totes, and for those who won’t, don’t or just forgot, paper bags would still be available in Los Angeles stores for a modest fee.

How about we just ban silly regulations?.


Home burglars caught on home security video
Note a couple of things from the incident: 1) Residence was broken into soon after purse and garage door opener was stolen from car, and 2) A handgun was stolen from the residence.


  • If you have a garage door opener remote in your car, do you also have any documentation which gives your residence address?
  • If your car is broken into, quickly determine whether or not items stolen can lead to your house being broken into.
  • Keep your garage to house entryway locked.
  • If you keep a firearm at home for self defense, don’t leave it in an obvious location where a common break-in hoodlum can quickly find it.


IN-N-OUT Burger in Tokyo?


Daytime Curfew lunacy is shutdown in San Luis Obispo County

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