Open Blogging

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76 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Forgot to open the comments for open blogging…that’s not real bright. 🙂

  2. Michael says:

    I have something to say about this Duck Dynasty kerfuffle, but I should save it for Things I Think.
    So far, I think we’ve missed the point…because you’ll get scalped for making it.

  3. Sarah says:

    Whew. I’ve been offline most of the week…103 fever for a few days. I think maybe it was a good week to bee offline 😉

    Trying to raise up enough to write something about Advent today, but…man, feel more like I’ve been hit by a truck than a sparkling of wonder!

  4. Michael says:

    Sarah,

    That’s a long time to have a fever…praying you get back in the game.
    This has to be an even busier week for you…

  5. Sarah says:

    It has made things slightly crazy. Thankfully the kids were hugely helpful. As long as no one else gets it I’ll be happy.

  6. Michael says:

    Good luck with that… 🙂

  7. Michael says:

    Oregon’s troubled health insurance exchange began robocalling applicants Friday, warning them that if they don’t receive enrollment confirmation by Monday, they should seek coverage elsewhere for Jan. 1.
    http://www.oregonlive.com/finance/index.ssf/2013/12/cover_oregon_if_you_dont_hear.html

    I applied before the deadline and hadn’t heard anything so I found a number to call.
    They found the application and told me I was “approved”.
    “For what”?
    “I don’t know”.
    “When will I know”?
    “Soon”.
    “Thank you, that was very helpful…”

  8. Jtk says:

    I’ll for praying for you, Michael.

    No fun having my 4 year old girl throw up in my face this morning. Bittersweet to not have any living relatives alive since my mid 30s, but glad I don’t have to travel!
    Just me and my wife and three kids….and a Nigerian immigrant I’ve been ministering to for Christmas.
    I think I’ll delete “White Christmas” from the playlist….lol

    I appreciate the PP.

    Michael, you always have A great tale on things.

    So many others help a young-ish minister with perspective weekly here.

    Merry Christmas!

  9. Xenia says:

    The “point” about the DD episode is that Hollywood thought it would be a hoot to film what they (and others, apparently) consider to be backwoods troglodytes so everyone could have a good laugh, har har har. They thought these people were as shallow and fame-hungry as 99.99 percent of the people they run across in their line of work. They thought a genuine individual like Phil Robertson would choose fame over convictions.

    This is not really a big deal. It’s just a TV show, after all, and the Robertsons were probably unwise to even go along with the whole thing in the first place. When you eat soup with the Devil, you need a long spoon, as they say. The Robertsons are rich, rich in ways Hollywood can only mock but in ways that strikes a chord in many Americans, people Hollywood thought had long ago been sublimated in the the PC borg that is Hollywood’s bread and butter.

    So, the scruffy man from the swamps thumbed his nose at Hollywood and his fans cheered. It’s a morality play.

  10. Michael says:

    jtk,

    Thank you, my friend.

  11. Xenia says:

    A&E is a sick network anyway. They have shows like “Hoarders” where you can watch mentally ill women stumble through piles of used adult diapers. Think about it: Gawking at mentally ill people living in squalor? Perfectly fine. A Christian man truthfully answering a question posed to him by a magazine? Oh, the horror!

  12. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    There’s another really obvious point …I’ll go ahead and sacrifice the Monday column.
    The real obvious point is…most people in this country agree with Robertson.
    They may not completely embrace his faith, but they agree with his take on homosexuality.
    Despite all the power of the gay media most people still think it’s an aberrant lifestyle at best and sinful at worst.
    That…is what nobody wants to say out loud.

  13. gomergirl says:

    I applaud you Michael for even trying to get through the Cover Oregon stuff. At this point, I am not even sure what to do. I am afraid of the lack of security and the fear of giving them my banking information. With the pitiful roll out and even more pitiful team behind it, I am more scared to sign up (for our first insurance in years) than I am to not have it. I was never able to log in, and was not sure where to go from there. I am afraid too, of having to pay a bunch of money for something that I won’t be able to afford to use in the end anyway. And there is precious little extra to be wasting on this.

    Sarah… praying for a faster recovery and more feeling better, especially this week.

    We started a DD & War on Christmas free day on FB yesterday. We instead had Cute Furry Animal day. It was quite fun. And I didn’t have to wade through both sides trying to convince me of their more right way of thinking.

  14. Xenia says:

    Michael, I think you are right!

  15. Michael says:

    gg,

    I’ve never watched that show and never intend to…and conflating this with Saeed was an error in my opinion.
    I was completely burnt out on the whole controversy until I had that thought.
    The Cover Oregon thing is simply the biggest mess I’ve ever seen…I have no idea what happens on the 1st.

  16. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    The media and the corporations simply don’t want that one single truth exposed…they haven’t won the mind battle yet.

  17. Xenia says:

    I don’t actually watch the show either. I had a marathon of it this summer at my son’s house. I like Uncle Si and Phil but it’s not really my cup of tea on a regular basis.

  18. Xenia says:

    I pretty much loathe & despise Hollywood and try to avoid its output as much as possible.

  19. Michael says:

    I’m just not interested and choose to spend my time otherwise.
    If we miss the real message of this controversy, we miss a real opportunity in my opinion.

  20. Xenia says:

    What kind of opportunity did you have in mind?

  21. Michael says:

    The opportunity is to see things as they really are instead of as we’re told they are and act and react accordingly.
    Things are not nearly as lost as we think…and we should be strengthening our arguments and graciously putting them forth instead of being reactive and fearful.
    We also need to learn to speak truth to power…and the truth in this matter is exactly how I’ve stated it.

  22. I agree with #12.
    My wife and I were talking about this last night.
    They have spent years to try and make sure that the American public accepted the homosexual lifestyle as a viable alternative for all.
    It didn’t work.
    People just went into hiding so that they avoid uncomfortable conversations where they actually tell people that it is all wrong and then have to argue with someone telling them they are homophobic.
    People are getting oversaturated with this thing they disagree with.
    When Phil was asked what he thinks, he spoke his mind, which is what most would like to do without the interrogation at all times.
    People said “Look, we have liked this guy for a long time. We have seen how real he is. He says no more and we will back him.”
    It is actually heartening.

    ___________________
    A video from Iraq in 2010. I miss a lot of these guys a lot.
    http://derekthornton71.blogspot.com/2013/12/on-road-in-iraq-2010.html

  23. Michael says:

    Derek,
    It should be heartening and empowering.

  24. Michael says:

    Having all kinds of issues on the backend again today…

  25. Yeah.
    I tried posting that twice, but it timed out twice on me.

  26. Michael says:

    We keep getting bombed with fake server requests and yesterday there were a whole slew of bizarre and porno sites queued to post.

  27. I saw that posted yesterday.
    I tried another post a few minutes ago and it timed out again.
    It is cool, I had my say.
    Don’t let it run you ragged today, Michael.

  28. Michael says:

    Thanks, Derek.
    I just added some new security measures and we’ll see if they work without slowing the place to a crawl.

  29. Xenia says:

    None of my posts are making it through.

    (Maybe that’s not such a bad thing!)

  30. Michael says:

    testing….more testing ….more, more testing….

  31. stu says:

    This week in my kids’ club we had a party. After they were all stuffed to the gills with all the cookies, cakes, chips, and drinks the parents brought I gave out bags o’ goodies to the well behaved kids. I told them I was thankful for them and I appreciated them. While I was calling their names and handing them their goodies the brats pushed their way up front and started tattling on them. As if! When they saw they weren’t getting anything they started complaining and blaming. I just smiled and told them they can change and maybe they’ll get something. I would’ve liked to videotape them and give the video to their parents. I love all these kids and I hope they get the message. I have 5 more months before they move on.

  32. Michael says:

    Stu,

    What kind of kids club do you have?

  33. Linnea says:

    Michael and Xenia…you are absolutely right about most of the country feeling Phil Robertson is right. The fly-over zone in the middle of the country is largely disregarded, but the heartland has retained its heart. We, a a family, got caught in this PC trap a few years ago and practiced what the Robertson’s have suggested– we simply left.

  34. Xenia says:

    I have been waiting for a tipping point, for something to happen that would finally wake America up. Personally, I think it’s too late. This episode with Phil will probably be forgotten in a few weeks and the promoters of perversion will heave a sigh of relieve that they weathered this little storm and they will continue as they have, bullying everyone who doesn’t agree with them.

  35. Michael says:

    Linnea,

    I’m just amazed that none of the social commentators understand or even see this simple fact.

  36. Anne says:

    Though presented with a liberal bias, this recent report illustrates Linnea’s point about demographics very well. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/08/sunday-review/where-the-closet-is-still-common.html?_r=0

  37. Here’s another example of a person who is totally clueless as to their effect.
    The flippancy rightly outrages her Twitter followers and her employer who wasted no time in parting ways.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2527330/Blonde-female-PR-executive-tweets-Going-Africa-Hope-I-dont-AIDS-Just-kidding-Im-white-causes-international-outrage-likely-fired.html

  38. A person with visibility in social media, publishing, the arts, and the lack of a filter ends up realizing far too late that they really do have an impact.

    It’s a hard lesson to learn.

  39. Michael says:

    That tweet was just flat stupid…

  40. Michael says:

    Anne,

    That’s a good find.
    I’m going write about this all on Monday…I think I finally reached my tipping point.

  41. PP Vet says:

    That tweet was in fact just plain stupid.

    I am so thankful that when I want to say something stupid and embarrassing, I can come to Phoenix Preacher. Without losing my job!

    Is this site awesome or what?

  42. Anne says:

    Still tipping to the “purple” side of the spectrum myself on most issues….. So many other more dangerous things going on that I think are more toxic than sexual preference and marital status within the church and the culture as a whole. I sometimes think keeping folks distracted by these type of “hot button” issues keeps the country distracted from other harsher dangers & realities.

  43. stu says:

    Michael,
    It’s AWANA club- 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade boys.

  44. Dude says:

    I don’t really care for Duck Dynasty ,yet I do respect the Phil for his courage to say this is what I believe.He seems pretty calm about the whole thing.

  45. Duck Bob Duck says:

    Anne

    If one were to group the 10 “suggestions” of God where would your less toxic subjects fit in?

  46. erunner says:

    Was able to get here so let’s see if I can post….

  47. Having been a part of this community for a few years I found this article shared by a friend on FB to be particularly relevant, not only about Robertson & Justine Sacco, but especially for participants here at Phoenix Preacher who quickly degenerate into personal attacks.

    A pull quote –
    “When you disagree with someone — don’t dismiss them. Dialogue with them.”

    http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/12/dear-kids-never-forget-the-power-of-words-what-you-need-to-know-about-duck-dynasty-justine-sacco-and-christmas-2/

  48. jlo says:

    Stu,
    I’m a bit confused, could you please clarify for me.

    You have a group of 8, 9, and 10 year old boys who are hopped up on sugar and the excitement of a party and expect them to act like little gentlemen?

    Who decides what well behaved is?

    Do they know going into it, what is expected on them?

    Am I reading this correct: you publically praised some and publically shamed others for certain behaviors?

    Do you know these kids well enough to know their individual circumstance, or what might be causing behaviors deemed unacceptable?

    You say you love these kids, but call them brats?

    I’m just a confused by the tenor or your post.

  49. I updated a list of links to education, news articles, blog articles and action links for Saeed Abedini.

    http://derekthornton71.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-plethora-of-links-on-freesaeed.html

    If you see that something should be on there and it isn’t. Please drop me a line in the comments section.
    Also, if the comments section doesn’t work for that, please tell me here.
    It may just use Google Plus, I am not quite sure yet.
    Trying to get as comprehensive a list as possible.

  50. Anne says:

    DBD – from my pov, the 10 commandments say nothing specifically about sexual preference. The parts of the law where it is mentioned, is where other multitudes of laws were given regarding dress, diet, hygiene and other cultural practices that get cherry picked out as culturally irrelevant to our time and culture. I think the “gross factor” keeps it on many people’s list into the present times. The “suggestions” that continue to transcend time and culture are those that empahsize the two commandments Jesus taught were the most important. I often fantasize about what the church and the world might look like if people were as impassioned and outraged over the plight of the hungry, the poor, the war torn, the “least of these” as much as these other issues Jesus did not address.

    I have been a part of this community a long time so many already know I’m one of the fringe heretics that hang here :-). Thanks for asking for clarification and wanting to understand where I was coming from.

  51. Michael says:

    “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
    (Romans 1:26–27 ESV)

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
    (1 Corinthians 6:9–10 ESV)

    “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”
    (1 Timothy 1:8–11 ESV)

    Acknowledging the clear teaching of Scripture on this matter doesn’t mean we ignore the clear teaching of Scripture on other matters such as care for the poor, etc.

  52. Great, all the links are messed up on that page. Gotta go fix it.

  53. stu, the biggest brat says:

    jlo,
    Sure, happy to address your concerns. You’re not confused, I’m just a poor communicator.

    First, Of course they were hyped up on sugar. And they were all having fun, as we make it a fun time. The well behaved boys were still well behaved and the brats were still brats. No, I don’t expect them to act like gentlemen. I expect them to act like boys. But some of them are actually gentlemen and I appreciate that. I told them so. I showed them with goodies. I spoke their language.

    AWANA decides what well behaved is with modifications (lower standards) applied by me and the other leaders. One of my leaders is more strict than I am, the other 2 are more lax. They take my lead and adjust up or down as they see the need to. They care about the kids. They wouldn’t be allowed to be leaders if they didn’t put the kids first. We have very strict accountability.

    The kids know from the first day what is expected of them. We explain the rules as needed without overdoing it which is hard to know sometimes. We aren’t as strict as if it was school or church. It’s a club. They probably behave at club pretty much the way they behave at home. I suspect some behave better at club.

    I publicly praised some and since the others complained I gave them encouragement for next time. I never shame. I talk about guilt for specific acts of misbehavior, not shame for who they are or what they may have done in the past. I address public misbehavior immediately and usually in public. I address misbehavior privately whenever I can. When the brats were trying to disrupt the others getting their goodies I smiled at them and ignored their rantings. I addressed their problem afterward with some words of encouragement. Kids are smart. They know when they are wrong. They know when they’ve tried to fool you and failed.

    Yes, I know these kids pretty well. That’s why I have different expectations of each of them. I could give you a list of times I’ve encouraged the worst of them. I look for ways to praise them all.

    Regarding the use of the word ‘brats’ sorry, but I use it here. I don’t use the word in their presence. I never call them brats or any names. That would be a form of shaming.

    One of the AWANA disciplines (punishments) is time out from game time. The boys know if they intentionally do something wrong they could get a warning. The first warning results in time out from gametime. When a boy has to do time out I have to do time out as well. The boy has to spend the time with me and our secretary in our homeroom. I spend the time talking to the boy, not about his offence but about him. I use the time to get to know him better. It’s about relationship. I don’t waste the boy’s time shaming or berating him. What’s the point in that? He’s already doing time. Sometimes the boy won’t take responsibility for hitting or yelling or intentionally breaking something. In that case I ask him questions until he gets it.

  54. immrsw/Em says:

    #52 – amen and good ponders
    Perhaps there is a case to be made for the homosexuals’ claim that their sexual responses are not volitional.
    But the reason for the cross might be seen in the fact that sin is systemic in mankind and erupts in many forms throughout the human race. I don’t condemn a person with cancer or measles – I know to be compassionate, even though discerning – careful of contagion.
    Certain contagious diseases used to result in a note on your front door… it warned folks, “don’t enter here.” And there were always a fringe element that saw that sign and condemned the residents… but good, thoughtful folk prayed for the house – for healing.
    We don’t plan to get sick and, most of the time, sin, too, overtakes us without planning, but that doesn’t make it not sin – the cross of Christ cancelled our condemnation; what we do with that incredible fact is what we’ll answer for… IMNSHO
    just saying… again
    God keep

  55. Can’t stay around to read the expected outrage of those who read my #56 and take umbrage… someone is sure to say with great indignation that I said homosexuality is a disease

  56. stu says:

    Umbrage is a dark color. 😉

  57. Sometimes not so neighborly Bob says:

    Anne:

    Thank you for the response:

    “The “suggestions” that continue to transcend time and culture are those that empahsize the two commandments Jesus taught were the most important.”

    Frankly Jesus wasn’t stating anything new, just repeating what was already being taught at the time. Historically it was Hillel who is given credit for summing up all the instructions from God by sating what is known as the “Shema” from Deut 6 and Leviticus. If you ever read Hillel (I highly recommend it) you would find a lot of similarity to what Jesus taught in his teachings. Interestingly you will find the scriptures mention one of his relatives was the compassionate one on the Sanhedrin in one of the accounts and Paul was a student of the Hillel line of Rabbinic teaching. Co-incidence?

    Now does the 10 “suggestions” mention homosexuality? No, that was answer but let’s see…

    Love God with all your heart – First 4 “suggestions”
    Love you neighbor – last 6.

    Loving neighbor includes:
    1. Father and Mother
    2. Don’t murder your neighbor (gossip is considered oral murder)
    3. Don’t cheat on your spouse (she/he is also your neighbor) – Can’t be spouse unless married, not direct reference but indirect to man and woman (woman and man if your prefer).
    4. Don’t steal from your neighbor – what is stealing is a huge question.
    5. Don’t have false witness against neighbor.
    6. Don’t desire anything your neighbor has..

    Of course the people asked Rabbi Jesus the most logical question and since they didn’t disagree about who was God the question has to be,

    Who is my neighbor!

    Yes homosexual people are my neighbors. That doesn’t answer the other question about how should my house live only how I should treat them, my neighbors.

    Whew my circle grows smaller and my neighbor list grows bigger when I think about it. My wife’s my neighbor, my children, parents, and wow anyone outside my bubble must also be my neighbor.

    Oh well random thoughts sparked by your response. Thanks!

  58. jlo says:

    Stu,

    Thank you for your thoughtful response, much more nuanced than the first.

  59. Okay, I am just gonna come out and say it.
    No sense holding back.

    That flushing 56 chicken nuggets ad is gross looking.

  60. Glen says:

    An Em sighting………..a good thing.
    Em, how are you doing? Still not regularly connected to the web?
    Miss your pontificating 😉
    God bless………

  61. stu says:

    jlo,
    Here is a copy of something I wrote a few years ago. it should give a flavor of my AWANA clubbers.

    I’m a leader in our AWANA program at church. It’s a great Christian kid’s club. I lead 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade boys. Last Wednesday, a few hours before club time the children’s pastor called me to remind me that this week’s theme is “hugs and kisses night” because Valentine’s Day is coming, and the other leaders are having parties for their groups. It got my dander up. I became agitated in my spirit. I see American boys being emasculated. I got an idea and I think Jesus gave it to me.

    What we need is a band of valentines pirates!! I found a piece of cardboard and cut it into a dozen boy-sized swords. I wrapped one in aluminum foil and taped it. It looked great! What else does a pirate need? A hook! I scoured the closets and found a handful of old wire coat hangers. My wife doesn’t use them since she found plastic hangers. I grasped one in my hand, squeezed it, and bent the sides down at my wrist. A hook! Pirates are a grubby lot. I got a charcoal briquette and rubbed it around my face. It looked grubby enough. Pirates have eye patches. I got one of the small paper cups that I use for bbq sauce. I got a fat black marker and drew eye shaped lines on it. There was enough room to draw 4 eye patches.

    Now there was only one thing left to get- booty. The first grocery store I went to didn’t have what I wanted. The second store didn’t either. As I walked through the store I told the Lord that if He wanted this to work right we needed some Little Debby heart shaped valentine cakes. It didn’t matter if they were brown or white but they had to be heart shaped. THERE! On a display by the exit I saw a stack of Little Debby small pink heart shaped cakes. Perfect! I bought 3 boxes.

    At our registration table my wife and I greet the kids and sign them in. (My wife is our secretary.) I always ask the boys to tell me something good that happened to them this week. The children’s pastor came by and I told her that tonight we would be invaded by valentines pirates. She laughed. I told some of the boys that there would be pirates here tonight. They looked at me wide eyed. There wasn’t time to explain. When the leaders of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade girls came in I told them that they were going to be invaded by valentine pirates. I would bring the booty to their room and get it ready. While the boys were at game time in the gym I set up the cakes in the girls’ room and we set up a time for our attack.

    When the boys came in our classroom after game time they saw my bag and some of them rushed to see what was inside. AAARRRRRGG!! I snarled in my best pirate snarl. WHOA! They backed away. I told them I’m Captain Cupid and I’m leading my band of pirates in search of booty. I pulled out the one sword I’d made and asked “Who wants to join me?” Me! Me! Me! Me! I handed out the cardboard swords and cut a piece of aluminum for each one. I showed the boys how to wrap the swords and I put the roll of tape out for them. They had fun making their own swords. Then I took out the hook I’d shaped and snarled again. “Who needs a hook?” Cheers!! I passed out coat hangers and showed them how to grasp it and wrap it. Yo Ho!! They were being boys! From my right I heard my wife exclaim “Be careful with those. You’ll poke your eye out.” I looked around at my leaders. One rolled his eyes. I don’t know if he was rolling because of my wife’s disclaimer or because of my unspiritual lesson. The other leader was standing with his arms crossed and a big grin across his face. I held up the charcoal briquette and said “I be too clean!” I rubbed it all over my face. They all wanted that. We had a problem though. They rubbed as hard as they could but their little soft skin wouldn’t hold much charcoal. I consoled them with …eye patches! I cut the 4 I had and held them out to grabbing hands. Within a few minutes someone had found black paper and the boys were making their own eye patches. They were having twice as much fun as the week before when they got to draw in lots of colors on the whiteboard. They had never seen so many dry erase colors.

    Now they were ready. We practiced our pirate growls. Some of the boys had brought candy and passed it out right under our pirate noses without any of us leaders noticing. Before I knew what was going on 12 boys were getting hyper. Oh well. Too late to stop their sugar rush. I told them the plan of attack. We would sneak quietly -pirate fashion- to the girls’ room. We’d rush in and get the booty. These boys were having a ball- and at church!

    When it was time we snuck over. Not sneaked; snuck- like the pirates we were. The boys were actually quiet. This was the calm before the attack. We rushed in and faced those girls and snarled. I growled in my most gravelly voice “We’re valentines pirates and we’re here to steal your hearts!” …deer in the headlights. The girls were not into this at all. Neither were the leaders. The boys each took a cake. Some smart alecs speared their cake on their hook. True pirates! Then we rummaged out as disorganized as we could.

    When the kids got back to our room they continued their adventure. The children’s pastor came in and I told her she had just missed the attack. By the end of our club time the hooks were mangled and the swords were beaten into cardboard. Not one eye had been poked out. Hallelujah!

  62. I was just reading through some scripture about the Incarnation and I came upon this that just struck me from Gal 4:4

    “when the fullness of time had come”

    Just a lot of stuff just packed into that statement that just got to me.

    _______
    Good stuff, Stu!

  63. Nonnie says:

    Em, love you and miss you!

  64. Linnea says:

    Em….so GOOD to see you!

  65. sarahkwolfe says:

    So good to see an Em sighting!!!!

  66. Michael says:

    Em,

    Very glad to see you…as are many, many, others.

  67. Scott says:

    I don’t have much to add these days as my life has kind of changed directions the past few months. However, since I’m home today with the creepy crud bronchial virus, I thought I’d share something I read today on another forum today that made me laugh (gurgling) out loud!

    “Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Please take your seats. Shh. Please, quiet down. This is your own time you’re wasting. Ahem.

    Thank you.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Today in Trolling 101, we are going to cover a specific subset of “effective trolling.”

    First let us also briefly recapitulate ineffective trolling. While this has many subsets, the principle commonality is that the troll becomes the trolled – – the troll will eventually resort to extremely rudimentary insults, logical fallacies, and display an ever-diminishing appetite for conflict evidenced by an ever-increasing volume of progressively simpler retorts. This always, inevitably, results in abandonment of the troll.

    As we discussed last week, there are many types of effective trolling. Effective negative trolling is an attempt to deeply upset individuals through the invocation of taboos or the ignorant expression of controversial opinions.

    Effective positive trolling occurs when one creates an atmosphere of conviviality around the troll. It conveys no mockery of individuals, includes no insults, and any negativity is directed either at the Troll themselves, or nigh-universally-condemned societal abnormality.

    Effective positive trolling by itself has the tendency to ‘snowball’ and pull more individuals into the troll, to the point that it becomes a group game.

    As a professor on the subject, I strongly urge our new members to consider excellence first in all of their trolling endeavors, lest they become damaged by the massive weight of the existing trolls in any given forum.

    Don’t forget the exam after winter break. It will be closed book.”

  68. Scott says:

    And yes, even I was surprised to see an Em sighting.

  69. Em says:

    you folks can SEE me?? 😯

    we’ve been coping with cold (-1 degree) and, today, sleet… kinda takes away the charm of the place, but thanking God for His really amazing care

    seldom have access to internet up here near Tyee mountain, but Michael, his site and all who come here really do stay in my prayers

    i repeat – sin is systemic (even if we can fight it) only Christ Jesus, God incarnate – the amazing mystery that is beyond our ken – provides us with a way out
    the folks here are very good at real time honest ponders, application and advice IMNSHO – again

    God keep

  70. We had bad storms Saturday afternoon and evening. I was taking a nap when a loud clap of thunder awoke me. My wife was at work.
    I went and turned on the TV. Tornado watches and warnings everywhere.
    I had only been tuned in 10 minutes before they issued a tornado watch for my county.
    They are so good nowadays, that they know approximately where the tornado actually is.
    Well, they issued the watch for 20 minutes and the path was heading towards my house generally.

    Then the power cuts out.

    I get out the candles and grab my android.
    Found out quickly that the Accuweather App works well, except when you need it.
    My dogs were scared so I comforted them and waited for the storm to die down.
    It finally did and all was well.
    Rained most of the night and we finally got power back on about one in the morning.

    I heard that a lot of trees were down on the roads so I stayed home Sunday and let the county cleanup crews do their job without one extra gawker on the road.

    They let us off from work early today, so I went home to pick up my wife and we were going to go and spend the Target gift card my boss gave me for Christmas.
    When I went to work this morning, I took a dirt road that cuts about 5 minutes off my drive.
    Even in the dark, I saw that a lot of trees and limbs had fallen and been cut out of the road.
    When I came home in the light I saw the real damage though.
    A tornado had been through there and left a path through the trees. Also collapsed a barn and tore the roof off of someone’s house.
    All this only about three miles form the house.
    Lord, thank you for keeping me safe that night.

  71. Oh, and I ditched the Accuweather app and downloaded the Action News 5 Stormtracker, a local stations app.
    That wasn’t cool for it to mess up when needed.

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