1.14.2019

Lenovo ThinkPad T480s


Lenovo ThinkPad T480s

Comment: 1st time in 6 years or more, I will be a ThinkPad owner. Arrives Monday

Last T440 (company laptop 7/28/14). Before than T410 (company laptop )

1.12.2019

All the Announced Democrats



1.10.2019

The other Apple





7 Great Stocks With a 7 Percent Yield

Excerpt:

Apple Hospitality REIT (APLE):  Structured as a real estate investment trust, Apple wins favorable tax treatment for its real estate intensive business but in return must pass on 90 percent of taxable income to shareholders. This is a win-win, because the Virginia-based hotel operator has been able to expand its portfolio to more than 30,000 rooms and over 240 hotels while consistently delivering impressive yield to its shareholders -- even as it has grown. Shares took a tumble at the end of 2018 amid the broader trouble for the stock market, and now investors with a long-term perspective would be well-served by considering a bargain buy in this high-yield stock.
Comment: Quote / Company website . Owns the Hilton Garden Inn, 6350 Vinewood Lane N, Maple Grove, MN 55311


1.04.2019

Antique Bedroom Set








We acquired this set 40 years ago from an Air Force couple who purchased it in Belgium.

They said it was 125 years old.

The set has not be restored.

See photos in this link: http://bit.ly/antique_belgium 

There are 4 pieces:


  1. Armoire (H 81", W 41", D 20") 
  2. Twin bed with clean and good mattress:
    • (Headboard: H 52 1/2", W 42") 
    • (Footboard: H 44", W 42")
    •  (Length: 82") 
  3. Dresser (marble top) 
    • (Dresser: 38 1/2" H x 41 1/2" W x 20" D) 
    • (Mirror: H 35", W 35 1/2") 
  4. Washstand (marble top) (33" x 17" 17")

1.02.2019

Update on my cancer journey


PSA after prostate surgery is the biochemical marker for cancer. Meaning zero is no cancer detected. I had my bloodwork on New Years Eve and received the results today. So "0" is good news! Thank you friends and family for praying for me!

12.28.2018

Portland's Antifa



Angry White People with Money

 Excerpt:

The thing about places like Portland and San Francisco is that they aren’t nice. They have a reputation for being wooly and hippieish and silly, but they are in fact very angry places, full of very angry people. They are also highly segregated places in ways that the South and Southwest really aren’t. Angry white people with money make the world go ’round, apparently.

... There isn’t anything unpeaceable about the exercise of First Amendment rights. I don’t care for mass protests myself — a large crowd of people all facing one direction and chanting seems to me more properly part of a religious exercise than a political one. But if that’s your thing, then by all means go and bark at the moon. But when people start blocking traffic, pounding on the hoods of cars, damaging property, committing assaults, that’s a different thing. And I don’t think there’s really much of a First Amendment issue presented by policing ordinary crime when that crime happens in the course of a political action. ...

They are the American Left’s answer to the Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale, down to the penchant for black shirts. They perform the same function: using violence and intimidation to silence political opposition and to terrorize the political opposition. “Fascist” is a notoriously difficult word to define, but they are as close to a textbook case as you are going to find. ...

Utopian political movements — and all totalitarian movements are basically utopian — love the world, except for all the people in it. They all are antiliberal and they all seek to degrade the individual and individualism. Their liturgy requires an object of adoration, and it’s usually the same object: the People, or, as American populists like to put it, We the People. For traditional nationalists, it’s the Nation in abstract and idealized form; for socialists, it’s always been the proletariat, who apparently are the only people included in the People. If you’re acting in the name of the People, you can brutalize persons. The interests of the People require a gulag, the interests of the People require a death camp, and if the people have to suffer for the People, then so be it. ...

One of the lessons of Animal Farm is: You can’t reason a pig out of its pigness. T. S. Eliot once described the folly of “dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.” And then he adds: “But the man that is will shadow the man that pretends to be.” Citizenship is hard work. Being a subject is a lot easier. That’s part of the allure of being a subject of a totalitarian state. Under totalitarianism, the state does all of the political work, and people are just livestock to be milked, shorn, and, occasionally, slaughtered. Some people are very comfortable being livestock and really embrace that bovine-ovine role with all they’ve got. People have the power to start being human whenever they want. But work, including the work of citizenship, is a means, and people have to decide for themselves that the end is worth the work. Right now, these blackshirts and their admirers and imitators are comfortable in their intellectual sties.
Antifa Mob Terrorize City, Portland Police Stand Down While Law Abiding Citizens Can Go To Hell
Excerpt:

Antifa stopped and rerouted traffic, terrorized and assaulted motorists, beat people up and trashed their vehicles while the Portland police made zero arrests. Nope nothing to see here folks, just move alone. Only a few liberal progressives exercising their First Amendment right to riot and law abiding citizens can go to hell.

Mayor Wheeler “publicly” supported the Portland police for their “uninvolved actions” which was why Patriot Prayer and other protesters called on him to be removed from office, as he is apart of the aiding and abetting of these domestic terrorists.

It’s another sad day in America when Americans have to patrol against the corrupt officials who swore an oath to serve and protect their people and their cities. They are apart of the deep state socialist agenda, once hidden, now blatantly in your face.
Comment: The Antifa are true fascists!

12.25.2018

Der Spiegel, Fergus Falls, the Resurrection, and Falsifiability







The Relotius Scandal Reaches a Small Town in America 

Excerpt:

Here are the "most absurd lies" cited by Anderson and Krohn:


  1. The Sleeping Dragon

    Relotius described the town in his piece as being located in a dark forest that looked as if dragons might live in it. At the entrance to the town, he wrote, there was a sign reading: "Welcome to Fergus Falls, home of damn good folks."

    "Fergus Falls is located on the prairie," write Anderson and Krohn. They note that there are hardly any trees. And the town sign simply reads: "Welcome to Fergus Falls."
  2. The gun-toting, virgin city administrator

    In Relotius' story, the 27 year-old city administrator, Andrew Bremseth, is said to have never had a girlfriend, to always carry a 9mm Beretta pistol, and to have a preference for 18th century French philosophers.

    None of that is true, Bremseth says according to Anderson and Krohn.
  3. The town is obsessed with 'American Sniper'

    Relotius wrote that the Fergus Falls movie theater was still showing the war film "American Sniper" two years after its release.

    "This anecdote that supported Relotius' exaggerated story of an immigrant-fearing, gun obsessed small town one was the easiest to fact check and yet the strangest, most random lie for him to craft," write Anderson and Krohn. The two writers note that they contacted the manager of the cinema, who told them that "American Sniper" played for about a month, from Jan. 16 to Feb. 19, 2015.
  4. Neil, the coal plant employee that doesn't exist

    Neil Becker, a blonde, 57-year-old who works in a coal-fired power plant, appears in the article and is even depicted in a photo.

    "We all know that guy," write Anderson and Krohn. "It's the one and only Doug Becker, who works for UPS and ran the Fergus Falls Fitness Center for years."
  5. The mixed-up case of Israel and Maria

    "Maria Rodriguez, a mother and local restaurant owner from Mexico, who came to the USA years ago, also saw Trump as a savior," wrote Relotius. In the story as written by Relotius, she suffered from kidney disease, the treatment for which was getting more expensive, and had a 15 year-old son named Israel who was being bullied at school.

    The illness was made up, according to Anderson and Krohn. Maria Rodriguez's son is named Pablo, not Israel, and Maria is not the owner, but a waitress at the restaurant. Relotius took a photo of Pablo, but never spoke with him.
  6. The view from the Viking Café

    Relotius wrote that a coal-fired power plant with its six smokestacks was visible from the Viking Café.

    The Viking Café, though, has almost no windows, as Anderson and Krohn point out, other than a pair of small windows in front that look out onto the street. Anderson and Krohn write that the power plant is located about 2 miles (3 kilometers) away, behind a neighborhood on a hill, and it has only one smokestack.
  7. Library lies

    In Relotius' article, City Administrator Andrew Bremseth is described as offering courses like "iPad for Beginners" along with monthly quiz nights. His favorite TV-series, Relotius writes, is "Game of Thrones."

    These descriptions were entirely made up, according to Anderson and Krohn.
  8. High school security

    Entry to the local high school is secured by three armored glass doors and a weapons-scanner, according to Relotius' reporting.

    In reality, the school has two sets of entry doors, not three. Anderson and Krohn say they are reasonable sure that the claim that the doors are made of bulletproof glass is an exaggeration.
  9. Secret Super Bowl viewing at the Brewery?

    Relotius relates how City Administrator Andrew Bremseth watched the Super Bowl at the Union Pizza restaurant.

    The Super Bowl takes place on a Sunday -- and Union Pizza is closed on Sundays. The owner of the restaurant was taken aback when Anderson and Krohn asked him if Union Pizza might have opened for a private Super Bowl party. Bremseth told the two authors that he did not watch the Super Bowl there.
  10. The awesome "Western Evening"… that no one was invited to.

    Relotius' story contains a description of a summer party where all the town residents dressed up in Western gear like cowboy boots and hats. Sand and straw were allegedly spread out on the veranda of a bar and sides of beef were grilled over a fire.

    "We find this hilarious, if not a little inspiring for a future event idea," write Anderson and Krohn. No such party has ever taken place in Fergus Falls.
  11. The High School New York trip

    Relotius claimed that the local high school took a trip to New York and visited Trump Tower, but not the Statue of Liberty.

    Anderson and Krohn couldn't find any evidence of a trip to New York by a school group in 2017, and the schoolchildren whom he quoted couldn't be found either.
German magazine takes another shot at accurately profiling Fergus Falls - Fergus Falls came together to help Der Spiegel set record straight about city. 

Excerpt:

Just days after Der Spiegel went public with the news that Claas Relotius, an award-winning journalist, had made up a story out of Fergus Falls in March 2017, it sent its Washington, D.C., bureau chief, Christoph Scheuermann, to the northwestern Minnesota city to put together an accurate portrayal of the Otter Tail County community.

After nearly four days of interviews, Scheuermann’s story was published online Sunday, and it provided a much different — and far more positive — account than Relotius’ fictitious version.

“Scheuermann was able to do a much better job in the three days he was in town than Relotius did in five weeks,” said Michele Anderson, who spent the past 18 months fact-checking the original story.

The trouble started in early 2017 when Relotius arrived to profile a rural Midwestern community in a county that had voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential race. The idea, Der Spiegel later said, was to give readers better insight into Americans.

Relotius’ story ultimately included many falsehoods, among them — that he was greeted at the city limits by a sign that read: “Mexicans Keep Out.” Schierer said Monday that he found that whopper, stated in the opening paragraphs, the most offensive.

The article then went from bizarre to just laughable, he said.

Relotius fabricated names and descriptions of the city and in some cases, made up quotes. He inaccurately reported what movie was playing in town when he visited, described a Super Bowl party at a brewery that never occurred, and wrote that high school students skipped a trip to the Statue of Liberty in New York to see Trump Tower, when they didn’t.

Schierer said he also took great exception to Relotius’ portrayal of City Administrator Andrew Bremseth, who the writer said wore a pistol holstered to his belt while at work. He also wrote that Bremseth had a stuffed wild boar in his office.

“I don’t know anybody with more character and integrity than Andrew,” said Schierer. “He took the attack very personally, but I knew the truth would ultimately come out.”

Bremseth and others in the story contacted Der Spiegel shortly after the article was published to make the magazine aware of the mistakes. For the next year and a half, Fergus Falls residents Anderson and Jake Krohn fact-checked the 12-page article and notified the magazine’s editorial office in Hamburg of all the errors, but never received a response.

After one of Relotius’ colleagues raised questions in November about his work, however, Der Spiegel said it investigated. The writer later confessed that he had invented entire passages and made up some quotes. After Der Spiegel announced last week that Relotius had produced a series of false stories, Anderson and Krohn pointed out on a website the inaccuracies they had found.

“Scheuermann apologized for what happened at the magazine and said he was here to set the record straight,” said Anderson, rural program director for Springboard for the Arts. “He was very sincere.”

Anderson introduced Scheuermann to several people who had been misportrayed in the first story, including a fictitious man named Neil Becker. Relotius said “Neil” Becker was a hardworking coal shoveler at the local power plant. Scheuermann wrote about Doug Becker, who “ran a gym … for 34 years and is familiar with almost every airport in the United States”.

“I first thought the article was a piece of satire,” Becker is quoted as saying in Scheuermann’s article. “I don’t feel offended at all.”

Scheuermann also spoke with Maria Rodriguez, who initially was described as a Trump voter and restaurant worker suffering from kidney disease who was running out of money. He learned that Rodriquez actually is quite healthy, and operates a restaurant in Alexandria with her husband. She didn’t vote, she told Scheuermann, because she doesn’t have a U.S. passport and is ineligible to do so.

Scheuermann said in a phone interview Monday that having to follow up on his former colleague’s mess was the worst assignment he has had in years. His article ran online Sunday. He said a longer piece will be published later this week.

“I didn’t imagine axes being thrown at me when I came to town, but I did expect resentment and anger,” he said. “People invited me to have a seat at their dinner table and were happy to share what Fergus Falls is about.”

He emphasized that he wasn’t on a “diplomatic mission,” but still needed to find out what went wrong during the initial story. He said it was weird to walk around town and see a completely different picture of Fergus Falls.

“People didn’t gloss over the fact that they have some issues with closed shops, a train station and a shopping mall,” he said. “It’s the sort of issue many rural towns are facing right now. But it’s a working town and they pride themselves living there.”

Scheuermann also didn’t see any hint of the prejudices that Relotius described. He called the fictitious story “a journalistic disaster,” and said he understood why Bremseth is still upset.


Comment: Why I found this interesting this week and today in particular: Relotius' story was falsifiable! It could be tested and verified or invalidated. More on here.

This relates to Christianity. See Christianity, the World’s Most Falsifiable Religion
If I decided to start a religion, deceptively or not, I would not make false claims to recent historic events that did not happen. Why? Because I know those claims could be tested. Also, I would not give details about the time, place, and people involved. More than that, I would not invite contemporaries to investigate these claims. For example, if I were to say today that in 1965 there was a man named Titus who was born in Guthrie, OK and traveled about Oklahoma City doing many miracles and gaining a significant following, this could easily be falsified. I would not say that Mary Fallin, the governor of Oklahoma, along with Tom Coburn, US Senator from Oklahoma, had Titus electrocuted. I would not detail that the electrocution was in Bricktown on January 13, 1968 at 9am. I wouldn’t claim that Titus rose from the dead and gained a significant following throughout Oklahoma City which has spread across America. Why wouldn’t I make these claims as the foundation of my new religion? Because they can be easily tested and falsified. This religion could not possibly get off the ground. If I were to make up a religion, all the events which support the religion (if any) would be private and beyond testing.

This is why you don’t have religions based on historic events. They are all, with the exception of Christianity, based on private encounters which cannot be falsified or subjective ideas which are beyond inquiry. The amazing thing about Christianity is that there is so much historic data to be tested. Christianity is, by far, the most falsifiable worldview there is. Yet, despite this, Christianity flourished in the first century among the very people who could test its claims. And even today, it calls on us to “come and see” if the claims are true.

The only reason why I can say Christianity survived in the midst of such historic volatility is because it is true. And this is exactly what I would expect if there were an all-powerful God who created and loves this world. When he intervenes, he makes a significant enough footprint that historic inquiry is demanded. Think about that next time you are critiquing the Christian faith. The only reason you can is because it is the only religion that has opened itself up to such critique. Simply put, Christianity is the most falsifiable religion there is and yet it has survived. Why?

Related: I received for Christmas and am reading it today: Peter J. Williams, Can We Trust the Gospels?.


Williams' book is about the Gospels and not the epistles! But consider this from 1 Corinthians 15:6, "he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive," The witnesses to the resurrection, at the date of the writing (53-57 AD), were available to be interviewed!