Author Archives: leeduigon

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations.

Phony Joel Osteen

I was a little uneasy when I learned that a couple of my family members were getting into Joel Osteen. But I was wrong. I should have been very uneasy.

I have just read The Osteenification of American Christianity by Hank Hanegraaff, radio’s “The Bible Answer Man.” You can read this little book in a sitting, and it’s available from Hank’s ministry at http://www.equip.org .

There’s plenty of Joel Osteen video on the Internet. Here is a mercifully brief example, http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/joel-osteen-faith-positive-thinking-14524517 .

OK, I’m not much for worship service that looks like a rock concert. But there’s something about this whole enterprise that stinks. Maybe it’s that cheesy grin that’s always on his face. Or maybe it’s just Osteen’s message, a combination of New Age superstition, mangled and distorted Scripture, and what Hank Hanegraaff charitably calls “urban legends” but are more accurately described as pure B.S.

Really, you’d think any 10-year-old of average intelligence could see through one of these stories. Like the one about the guy who froze to death in the refrigerated railroad car that wasn’t turned on and wasn’t cold, just because he thought he was going to freeze. Presto, human popsicle–because whatever you say or think, claims Osteen, good or bad, is just naturally gonna come to pass.

This guy’s theology is so far out of the Biblical mainstream, it can’t properly be called Christianity at all. Osteen borrows Christian names and terminology, but what he’s selling is a kind of mish-mosh paganism. He couldn’t be less Christian if he performed sacrifices to Zeus.

That this man is so widely successful, so influential, so big, says a lot about the dereliction of duty by America’s churches. There should be no way this guy should be able to hoodwink Christians. But Biblical illiteracy and loosy-goosy doctrine have done their work only too well.

After all, you don’t have to go to Osteen’s mega-church to find idolatry and paganism.

It’s on the menu of a mainline church near you.

 


Flying Man Races Airbus (What???)

This is one of those news stories that just sits there thumbing its nose at everybody.

As reported by The Daily Mail, the pilots of Airbus 320, descending to land at Manchester Airport, were “stunned” when a flying man zipped past their airplane at 3,500 feet ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2798083/is-bird-plane-no-s-passengers-flew-macclesfield.html ).

No, they did not see a flying saucer. They saw a flying man. They estimated he came within 100 meters of the plane. Nobody saw a parachute, a balloon, a wire, or a magic carpet. We are not told whether any of the passengers saw the flying man, who was in view only “fleetingly,” the pilots said.

Don’t you love this story? It’s better than the one about the guy who attached a multitude of helium balloons to his lawn chair and went way up into the sky and freaked out airplane pilots and passengers. That turned out to be true. But doing it with balloons is one thing. Just being a flying man with no visible means of support or propulsion–well, that’s another.

Don’t bother to suspect those Airbus pilots of lying. Handing in a report that you saw a flying man at 3,500 feet is not a resume enhancement. I’m surprised the pilots mentioned it at all.

But what does it mean? Who was the flying man? How did he get up there–or was he just on his way down from somewhere else? Was he really flying, or just falling? But radar checks failed to pick up any sign of anything up there other than the Airbus.

Where is Charles Fort when you need him?

I was going to try to make a hypothesis about this incident, but it’s just too strange. We’ll have to wait until a lot more flying men are seen.

Somehow that’s not a thought that makes me comfortable.

 


Can Fools Create Wise Computers?

Some scientists are worried that we might soon create super-intelligent computers that are much smarter than we are ( http://theweek.com/article/index/269989/rise-of-the-machines ).

Well, heck, there already are plush toys, frying pans, and lawn chairs that are smarter than some people we know.

Before we get down to serious worries about the Terminator coming after us, shouldn’t we first ask whether it’s even possible for fools and twaddlers to create truly super-intelligent computers? Do we really have to fret about what one scientist quoted in the article above called “a future in which computers are no longer obedient tools but a dominant species with no interest in the survival of the human race”? But that makes them sound like our elected officials.

Granted, computers don’t have far to go, to outperform us in work, the arts, and politics. But is the human civilization that gives us Obama, Fifty Shades of Grey, the Kardashians, and Windows 8 really going to generate computers that can give us anything better?

God has been warning us for thousands of years about the evils and dangers of worshiping anything we make with our own hands. And for thousands of years we have refused to listen.

I think we might be headed for another trip to the woodshed.


The Ebola Party

No, I’m not going to tell you how to throw an Ebola party at your home. I’m talking about the political party, the Democrats, that has imported this hideous disease into our country.

Ask any political scientist: the Number One job of any government is to protect its people. This is the basis for the government’s existence. If it is not going to do that, it might as well not exist.

Preventing Ebola from getting loose in America would seem to be a very high priority for any US government. The most basic thing they could do would be to not allow anyone to come here from those areas of West Africa where there is currently an Ebola outbreak. Until the crisis is over, no more flights from Liberia should be allowed to land at JFK or any other US airport. It’s a form of quarantine, and it’s only common sense.

Dying from Ebola is not nice. You bleed out through every orifice of your body.

But the Ebola Party in Washington DC has refused to close our airports to flights from Ebola-stricken countries. They have refused to do the most basic thing they can do to protect us.

Why?

Because the leaders of the Ebola Party–President Barack Ebola, Senate Majority Leader Harry Ebola, House Minority Leader Nancy Ebola, and Secretary of State John Ebola–are too committed to playing “Citizen of the World” to let a little thing like American lives get in the way of their fantasy. That’s right, folks–they would rather let you bleed out, than let up on their Open Borders policy.

Next month we will have national elections.

Please do not let the Ebola Party stay in power.


The All-Devouring Federal Government

At what point will Our Glorious Leaders be satisfied that they have enough power over us and don’t need any more?

Never!

Case in point: The federal government has spent over $2 million–so far–to develop devices to track your weight and eating habits ( http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=9d3_1413406942&comments=1 ).

First they hired SmartMove Inc,–be very, very afraid whenever liberals/statists use the word “smart”–to develop an insole that will track your weight and activity level so somebody (guess who) can “quantify and modify physical activity and lifestyle behavior in overweight and obese individuals and others with sedentary lifestyles.”

The National Institute of Health–don’t you just love the names they give these predatory government agencies?–is also funding research to develop a little “button” you can wear that’ll spy on you 24/7, so the EPA can catch you smoking, overeating, or having a large soda.

Dig this comment from one of the scientists-for-hire at the University of Pittsburgh:

“Unlike the cell phone which spends most times sleeping, eButton never sleeps–it helps the user all the time.”

Helps? Did this moral imbecile really say his little device is going to help us?

You might think this is all kind of a good idea, if you’re the sort of person who is attracted to perpetual childhood. Maybe they can give you wee electric shocks if you don’t eat your broccoli. “Uh-uh-uh! We’ve blocked your air conditioner from working, and we won’t let your car start, until you run off the calories from that piece of crumb cake!”

You watch–it’ll all be justified under Obamacare. If the government is going to be paying for your healthcare–like you were six years old again and it was your mommy and daddy–then it must have the authority to restrain you from doing unhealthy things and to compel you to do things that it decides are good for you.

It’s bad enough that they are Godless, evil, and insane.

But they’re also flaming stupid: and it beats me why we allow ourselves to be governed by such people. It just totally beats me.


Are You a Science Fundamentalist?

A liberal friend of mine has bestowed on me the concept of “scientific fundamentalism.” He didn’t mean to. He was criticizing “former Catholics turned fundamentalist” who make like they have all the answers.

Well, we all do that from time to time, don’t we? “After all,” I said, “you’re 100%, rock-solid sure about Darwinism, the Big Bang, Global Warming, and all that stuff.” He replied that you can’t compare the Bible’s moral teachings–he does not consider the Bible factual–with the clarity of scientific discovery.

ROFL. They program their computers and then they discover what they themselves put into them. How do you truly discover anything without observing it? But no one has ever observed Evolution, and no one ever will. As for Global Warming–without lies, cheating, and bullying, it wouldn’t last another day.

So what is a science fundamentalist? It’s someone who accepts unquestioningly whatever “scientists” or “Science” says about anything under the sun–usually while subjecting the Word of God to the most intense scrutiny. All he needs to hear are magic words–like, “the science is settled,” or “the consensus among scientists is…”–and his brain shuts down.

Meanwhile

As I write this, the police are performing military-style drills on the street outside. As much as I enjoy bagpipe music, it disturbs me to hear police officers shouting in unison and loudly marching in step.

Does anyone else find this at all disturbing? I mean, the police force is an agency of the civilian government, not a military organization. Or has that definition been changed while my attention was directed elsewhere?

 


Are Centaurs Really Real?

I am sorry I ever got involved in the controversy about centaurs being real or not. Feelings on both sides are running high, and it’s not much fun getting caught in the crossfire.

Among famous, well-respected, highly reputable persons who have actually seen centaurs, at least supposedly, are Theseus, Davy Crockett, Pliny the Elder, and H.P. Lovecraft. None of these witnesses is available for further questioning. It is also said that Jimmy Carter saw a centaur once.

For the time being, here are the facts.

*The best time to see a centaur is when you are intoxicated or asleep.

*California is the stat with the most centaur sightings.

*Centaurs constitute a small but important voting bloc for the Democrat Party, especially in swing states.

*No centaur has ever been seen riding a bicycle or driving an SUV.

*The world’s greatest living expert on centaurs, Professor Jeremy Coldsore, has been hired by NASA to provide definitive proof of their existence–the centaurs’, not NASA’s.

To those who continue to email me with passionate arguments for one side or another, I can only repeat that it’s not up to me to make a ruling on this issue. Please direct your questions to a higher authority.


National Health Running Out of Money… Unless You Want Your Sex Changed

Remember the Scottish independence vote, which last month almost disunited the United Kingdom?

One of the major issues was Parliament’s expressed intention to make cuts in the National Health Service, alias socialized medicine, which is running out of money. The Scottish Nationalist Party didn’t want any cuts in the NHS.

Be that as it may, today in the UK, if you have a toothache or chronic back pain, you may well be out of luck, there’s no money in the pot to help you.

But if you’re an 81-year-old lost soul who wants his male parts lopped off and his body shot full of hormones so he can claim to be a “woman”–well, the sky’s the limit. For that they’ve got the money ( http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/britains-oldest-sex-change-james-4423119 ).

For some reason, whenever this abomination is performed, it makes the nooze media as happy as kids around a Christmas tree. Why has “sex change” always had the enthusiastic blessing of certain privileged sectors of society? Could it have anything to do with them having totally reprobate minds?

How far has this business got to go?

Meanwhile, British taxpayers–look what you just bought!


My Fantasy Tool Kit (5): Let Your Characters Rock

There are all sorts of stories about authors whose fictional characters came to life. (Bram Stoker really hated it when that happened.) I don’t mean to suggest that this can truly happen in the real world, although there is some evidence that it does. Rather, it is a metaphor for what should happen when you write fiction.

First you have to imagine a character as a whole other person, totally distinct from its author. This is a step that some would-be writers are never able to take. But unless you can cut the cord, the reader is always going to be able to tell that your character is just a surrogate for you–a phony character who does things you’ve never done, but desperately wish you could do. This is the genesis of seriously awful writing.

Step Two is even trickier. You have to get out of the way and let the characters do what they want to do. This won’t happen, of course, unless you’ve spent a lot of time with the character and fully, deeply imagined him or her, and allowed this fictional person to have nothing to do with you.

At that point, you may find that something you planned for the character to do is not going to happen because he won’t do it. He wants to take some other action. It may even be something that you, the writer, never anticipated. Usually this turns out to be a great improvement over what you were going to write at first. At the same time, if you try to force the character to say or do something he doesn’t want to do, your story will suffer.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But it’s only art.

I often find a character kicks in and comes to life after I’ve succeeded in “seeing” and “hearing” him as an actor in a movie. First the face, then the voice; and next thing you know, the story is unfolding itself before you, and you’re writing to catch up.

All of this is especially applicable to fantasy, because good fantasy depends more on the imagination than any other genre–not just the writer’s imagination, but the reader’s, too. To come alive, the fantasy needs both the writer and the reader.

But that’s the subject for another essay.

 


Paltrow: More Power to the Prez

I know–it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, to pick on some Hollywood airhead for saying stupid things. But Gwyneth Paltrow really raised the bar of stupidity when she said this, a couple of nights ago:

“It would be wonderful if we were able to give this man all of the power that he needs to pass the things that he needs to pass” ( http://dailysignal.com/2014/10/10/famous-actress-wants-give-obama-power-needs/ ).

Yo, Gwynnie–you need to catch up on current events. The most lawless chief executive in modern history already claims he has the power to do “anything I want,” via “phone and pen.” If he can’t get something passed in Congress, all he has to do is sign an executive order. And as long as he has at least 51 Democrats in the Senate, he can perform human sacrifices on the White House lawn with no risk of impeachment.

So, Gwynnie, what more would you like the criminal-in-chief to be able to do–beyond erasing our country’s borders, importing dangerous diseases, stacking the judiciary full of left-wing fanatics, waging jihad for homosexuality against Christianity, changing the mission of NASA from space exploration to “reaching out to Muslims,” and setting back race relations 75 years? In what has he failed to content you? What damage has he left undone, that you would have him do? As it is, if he disappeared tomorrow, it would still take at least another 50 years to repair the harm he has done.

She also said to the lawless SOB, to his face, “You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.”

Oh! What these people say, when they don’t have someone else to write their lines for them!


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