Blood Moons

bloodmoonby Jerry Richardson3/13/15
April 4, 2015 is the occurrence of the 3rd of a lunar total-eclipse tetrad recently popularized as “four blood moons.”   Most of North America will be able to see portions of the eclipse.  The term “blood moon” is an ancient name for a total lunar eclipse; however, “four blood moons” has been defined and promoted, by some writers—especially Mark Biltz and John Hagee—as having special prophetic significance relative to the nation of Israel.

WHAT ARE FOUR BLOOD MOONS?

To quality as “four blood moons”, according to Biltz and Hagee, the four moons of an astronomical tetrad (4 consecutive total lunar eclipses without a non-eclipse) must occur on Jewish feast days—for example, April 4, 2015 coincides with Nissan 15, 5775 (Passover) on the Jewish calendar.  And in addition, there is a total solar eclipse that occurs on a Jewish holiday during the inclusive-span of time of the tetrad. According to Hagee and Biltz that total solar eclipse for the current tetrad is the one that will occur on March 20, 2015.  It will not be visible in the USA, but will be visible, as a partial eclipse, in Jerusalem.  Mark Biltz declares that the eclipse falls on 1 Nisan (the biblical first day of the Jewish year):

As you can see, in 2015 we have a total solar eclipse on March 20 followed by a partial solar eclipse on September 13. But I hope that you are asking yourself right now the same question that I did, “But when do they fall on the Biblical calendar?” The total solar eclipse— March 20, 2015— is on Nisan 1; the very beginning of the religious year and the very day the fire fell from heaven and lit the altar at the dedication of Moses’ tabernacle!
—Biltz, Mark (2014-03-18). Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs (p. 155). Kindle Edition.

There are two potential problems with Mark Biltz’s statement concerning the solar eclipse on March 20, 2015.

First, the solar eclipse in Jerusalem will not be visible there as a total eclipse; it will appear as a partial eclipse with an eclipse magnitude of about 13% (percent of the sun’s diameter covered by the moon) with obscurity of the sun only 5.7%, hardly noticeable.  Furthermore, since Jewish calendar days begin at sunset (approximately 6 pm), March 20, 2015 (Gregorian) overlaps 29 Adar and 1 Nisan 5775 of the Jewish calendar; and since the solar eclipse will end at 10:38:59.2 UT1 (12:38:59.2 local) on March 20, 2015; this means that the solar eclipse will occur and end in the middle of the day on 29 Adar and not on 1 Nisan which begins on the evening at the end of the day of 29 Adar.

Last, but certainly not least, something of significant, historical importance, “major prophetic events”, happen to the Jewish people during the time (approximately) of the occurrence of a “four blood moons” event.

John Hagee attaches the following significance to “four blood moons”:

The history of the world is about to change forever, and God is sending us messages on His high-definition billboard by speaking to us in the heavens— using the Four Blood Moons; the question is… are we listening?
John, Hagee (2013-10-08). Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change (p. 24). Kindle Edition.

Mark Biltz has this to say:

When God is about to be up to something big, He will send us signals via the sun and the moon on His feast days.

—-
In summary, we have had only eight tetrads in the last two thousand years that fell on the feast days. Major prophetic events have occurred on or around the last three tetrads over the past five hundred years. The ninth tetrad starts on Passover in 2014.

Biltz, Mark (2014-03-18). Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs (p. 49,155). Kindle Edition.

The tetrads focused upon in the Hagee and Biltz writings concerning “four blood moons” are those of 1493-94, 1949-50, 1967-68, and 2014-15.  Did God just start using tetrads in 1493-94 to signal “major prophetic events”?  Or did someone just start paying attention?

IS FOUR BLOOD MOONS ABOUT ASTRONOMICAL OR CALENDAR RARENESS (UNCOMMONNESS)?

How often do lunar eclipses occur?

Here are the NASA numbers for the 5 millennium period, 2000 BC – 3000 AD.

  • 12064 lunar eclipses altogether (2.41 per year)
  • 4278 Penumbral, symbol N (36.3%, one every 1.14 year)
  • 4207 Partial, symbol P (34.9%, one every 1.19 years)
  • 3479 Total, symbol T (28.8%, one every 1.44 years)
    Statistics for Lunar Eclipses (NASA)

A total lunar eclipse occurs somewhere on earth approximately every 18 months (one every 1.44 years on average).

Advocates of the “four blood moons” thesis obviously wish to portray the occurrences of tetrads as “uncommon.”  Most of us would agree.  Mark Biltz states the following in his book:

But four total lunar eclipses in a row are not as common as one would believe. Among the 3,479 eclipses over five thousand years, there will only be 142 tetrads. There were 62 tetrads over the last two thousand years. Of these, only eight fell on feast days, with the ninth coming in 2014– 2015.
Biltz, Mark (2014-03-18). Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs (p. 145). Kindle Edition.

It is clear from his writing that Biltz wishes to associate the concept of uncommonness (“not as common as one would believe”) with prophetic signs; however, the more proper biblical-approach, I think, would be to associate improbability with prophetic signs.  For anyone to accurately foretell the future with recognizable specificity is certainly improbable; yet improbable-foretelling is the test for prophetic-genuineness stated in the bible—Deuteronomy 18:22 is one reference. This test is predicated upon the accepted significance of a highly-improbable act (accurately foretelling the future).

Uncommonness is not at all the same thing as improbability. We need only one example here: Halley’s Comet.  The appearance of Halley’s Comet is universally considered to be an uncommon event, many people who see it will only see it once in their lifetime—it reappears to earth-watchers every 75-76 years.  But though its appearance is “uncommon”, it is not in any sense improbable; in fact its appearance is so probable, so regular, that its orbit-time can be calculated using Newton’s laws of motion; Newton’s friend Edmund Halley was the first person to calculate the orbit of the comet named after him, and to correctly predict its return.

Blitz’s statement quoted above leaves unclarified the significant difference between uncommonness and improbability.  He also conflates astronomical-events with calendar-events.  Astronomical-events are in no way dependent upon either the Gregorian or the Jewish or any other calendar.

Biblical signs and miracles, reported in the Bible, were evident due to their physical nature.  They were not in any way dependent upon when they occurred on any calendar, Jewish or otherwise.  An event might have been uncommon astronomically, for example, “the star of Bethlehem” (speculated by some to have been a conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Venus) but the uncommonness of the event had nothing to do with when it occurred on some calendar.  If a calendar was mentioned later relative to a supposed miraculous event, it was to commemorate the date rather than to report the date as part of the miracle.

God’s deliverance of the Children of Israel out of Egypt was a miraculous occurrence; resulting from the repeated plagues that God sent, via Moses, to persuade Pharaoh to release the Israelites from their servitude to Egypt.  The miracle of the last plague (The Passover) was not that it occurred “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening” (14-15 Nisan) —Exodus 12:18; God ordained that date, for the Jewish people, to be a remembrance of the event; the date was not per se part of the miracle.

It is easy to manufacture uncommon calendar-events from a combination of calendar-events and astronomical-events.  For example:

My birthday is a very common calendar-event, it occurs once a year on September 22th.  But If I specify that a total lunar eclipse is to occur on September 22, then using the range of years from 1582 AD (first full year of the Gregorian calendar) to 3000 AD, I find only 2 occurrences, 9/22/1801, 9/22/2583—using the purchased Alcyone Astronomical Tables with their routines, or using the free Hermit Eclipse to obtain the same results.

In the time period 1582-3000 there are 970 total lunar eclipses; so the chance of one of those total lunar eclipses falling on my birthday is 2/970 = .00206 = .206%.  Since there are 970 total lunar eclipses occurring during 1419 years, the average probability of a total lunar eclipse occurring in a single year is 970/1419 = .684 = 68.4%; Hence we can calculate the probability of my birthday occurring during the referenced time period  as the product of two probabilities .00206*.684 = .00141 = .141% (odds, 708:1).

Yes the calendar-event is very uncommon, but not miraculous; and it is not based upon a truly uncommon physical-event; it is simply an uncommon calendar-event; and I defined the event, not God.

Similarly, relative to the occurrence of total-lunar eclipses, lunar tetrads are uncommon but not extremely improbable.

During the 5000-year period from -1999 to +3000…Approximately 16.3% (568) of all total eclipses belong to one of the 142 tetrads occurring over this period (Espenak and Meeus, 2009).
Lunar Eclipse Tetrads (NASA)

So what about the probability of a “four blood moons” event?  According to Biltz, 9-sets of “four blood moons” occur in the 21 centuries from 1st Century to 21st Century. I’ll take Blitz’s word for that.  He also calculates, as I do, that there are 62 occurrences of lunar tetrads in the same time period.

So the statistics for 21 centuries (1st – 21st inclusive), are the following: The probability of the occurrence, on average, of a lunar tetrad in any given year is 62/2100 = .0295 (2.95%).  If a lunar tetrad occurs, the probability (according to Biltz) of it being a “four blood moons” event is 9/62 = .145 (14.5%).  Hence the probability of a “four blood moons” event occurring in any year in the 21 centuries referenced is the product of the two probabilities, .0295*.145 = .00428 = .428% (odds of 233:1).

By way of comparison, the probability of my concocted “uncommon”, birthday, calendar-event is about 3 times smaller (less-likely) than the probability of the “uncommon” calendar-event of “four blood moons.” To get a “feel” for the improbability of this “uncommon” calendar-event, reflect upon the fact that the probability of being dealt the poker-hand labeled a “straight” in 5 cards is 0.392% (odds of 254:1); hence, the probability of having “four blood moons” in any given year, .428% (odds of 233:1), is better than the probability of being dealt a “straight” in any 5 cards. An event of “four blood moons” is uncommon; but it is not highly improbable.  Odds against a royal flush in a single 5-card deal are 649739:1; now that’s highly improbable.

ARE TETRADS BEING EQUIVOCATED WITH FOUR BLOOD MOONS?

Proponents of the “four blood moons” thesis often do not make clear the distinction between an astronomical tetrad (4 consecutive total lunar eclipses without a non-eclipse), and a “four blood moons” event as they define it.

Falling on a Jewish feast day does not make a tetrad a tetrad. However, coinciding with certain Jewish feast days, plus additional criteria, makes a tetrad a “four blood moons” event according to some authors; but that is not the same as an astronomical tetrad, and to interchange the two terms without clear distinction is to equivocate.

This sort of equivocation is seen in John Hagee’s book, where he states, after discussing 3 previous historical tetrads (1493-94, 1949-50, and 1967-68) and prior to discussing a fourth, the tetrad of 2014-2015:

There will be a fourth series of Four Blood Moons in the near future. NASA has stated that this will be the last appearance of a Tetrad in this century.
John Hagee, FOUR BLOOD MOONS, Something is About to Change, Kindle edition, p.218, paperback, p.221

The above statement is plainly not true unless the NASA definition of a tetrad is redefined to mean a tetrad that coincides with two pairs of specific Jewish holidays. I think it unlikely that NASA would embrace this re-definition of an astronomical tetrad.

Here are the 8 lunar tetrads that will occur in this century:

     Total Lunar Eclipse Tetrads from 2001 to 2100

Tetrads

Total Lunar Eclipse Tetrads 2001 – 2100

DO FOUR BLOOD MOONS QUALIFY AS A PROPHETIC SIGN?

Despite the fact that the stated or implied importance of “four blood moons” is to be a prophetic sign for Israel; however, for the current tetrad (2014 – 2015), three of the “four blood moons” are not visible at all in Jerusalem; those occurring on: 15 April 2014; 08 October 2014; and 04 April 2015 are not visible at all in Jerusalem.

The final “blood moon” of the current tetrad will occur on 28 September 2015 and will not have all phases of the eclipse visible but will have total-eclipse (total umbral) visibility in Jerusalem. Data for anyone interested in verifying visibility and non-visibility can be found in the appropriate-portion of the free NASA database of lunar eclipses; and the free NASA Local Visibility of Lunar Eclipses; or the free Vercalendaro Caculator; I also use and recommend packages (purchased) from Alcyone Eclipse Calculator and Alcyone Ephemeris.

The defenders of the “four blood moons” thesis claim that it is unimportant whether these prophetic signs are visible or not in Jerusalem; even though through-out biblical history, prophetic signs were normally visible to the targets of the prophecy. Yes, I know, maybe Israel isn’t the target of the prophecy.  Or perhaps the appearance of the occurrence on television will suffice for “visibility.” The writers who are determined to promote the “four blood moons” as a prophetic event will no-doubt claim afterwards that the event was prophetic regardless of how history unfolds relative to the nation of Israel.  Historical significance can easily be claimed because historical significance is very subjective. Here is my comment:

The fact that I question the suggested significance of “four blood moons” as a prophetic sign does not mean that I think that God’s providence will not be present, and recognized, in the affairs of Israel and in the lives of the Jewish people.

I will not be at all surprised if extraordinary events occur, relative to the state of Israel in the years of 2014-2015. But I do not believe that such events will be, or have to be, signaled by a tetrad or “four blood moons.”

In any event, there are already numerous indicators—political pressure, vicious hatred, jihad, and annihilation-threats directed against Israel—that make important change very likely.

I believe in Almighty God and His biblical covenants, and I believe He will providentially care for his chosen people, Israel.  I do not claim to know when or how.  However, I do not believe that “four blood moons” are prophetic events. I do firmly believe that:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Psalms 19:1 KJV

 © 2015, Jerry Richardson

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121 Responses to Blood Moons

  1. GHG says:

    Way too much information. I’ve now forgotten what I had for breakfast this morning. Or maybe I didn’t have breakfast … so maybe I should go have breakfast (again?) … The lesson I come away with is this whole blood moon thing isn’t helping me with my diet.

    Spare me the details and just let me know when I’m supposed to leave all my earthly possessions and head to the nearest mountain top. 🙂

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Jerry, I’m fascinated by astronomy and cosmology. But I think to read anything more into a blood moon is going into the realm of astrology.

    If a Creator really does use planets as “signs,” that is an odd world indeed, thus I understand Thomas Nagel’s quote,

    I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”

    Granted, I don’t want atheism to be true. In fact, I think atheism as a metaphysics is inherently contradictory for reasons I won’t go into now. Be that as it may, I can understand some of the reticence of those who don’t buy fully into religion, particular the aspect of prophesies. To have a universe governed by the position of planets does not seem the work of a truly great god.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    Note that comets were considered bad omens before their periodicity was discovered by Halley (and perhaps by some people since then). As for the blood moons, at best we have a prediction that something major will happen this year, probably (but not necessarily) involving Israel. Meanwhile, other soothsayers predict that we will also have a major earthquake somewhere sometime this year. And while we’re at it, I can predict that the GOP congressional leadership will screw up (or betray their voters, take your pick) again this year.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      And while we’re at it, I can predict that the GOP congressional leadership will screw up (or betray their voters, take your pick) again this year.

      LOL. Certainly an event that doesn’t occur just once in a blue moon.

      • Jerry Richardson says:

        Brad,

        Certainly an event that doesn’t occur just once in a blue moon. —Brad

        Ah yes! Blue moons. There are actually two types, and maybe later I’ll take a shot at that subject; unless astronomy is off limits. 🙂

    • Jerry Richardson says:

      Timothy,

      I can predict that the GOP congressional leadership will screw up (or betray their voters, take your pick) again this year. —Timothy Lane

      “…screw up again this year”? How ’bout again and again? 🙁 I’m having a difficult time understanding their surrender on amnesty.

  4. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    …I can understand some of the reticence of those who don’t buy fully into religion, particular the aspect of prophesies.

    The notion of prophecy connected with “blood moons” has come-up quite frequently on the internet over the past 2-3 years. Joseph Farah, the editor of WND has often promoted the notion, along with the two men who primarily write and speak about it, Mark Biltz and John Hagee. The same two men have also appeared on TV promoting their views.

    I obviously disagree, strongly, with their conclusions and their methods of arriving at those conclusion, and I wanted to provide some detailed rebuttal to their, often incorrect or incomplete, astronomical and calendric details.

    I realized full-well, just like I knew you would, that it is not an easy read; and I thank you for posting it in spite of that. I hope I have not caused you trouble due to your indulgence.

    I, as a Bible-believing Christian, simply wanted to present an astronomically-factual response to what I consider to be a biblically unjustified argument. And in doing so, I felt that I might provide a factual basis for any interested reader to understand that everything published in the name of the Gospel cannot necessarily be accepted without question.

    • GHG says:

      Jerry, my previous comment may have come across as flippant and disrespectful, I apologize and really didn’t intend to belittle the time and effort you spent in compiling all the facts you presented. It is overwhelming though, at least for me. What seems to be the objective of Hagee and Biltz is a forewarning of impending doom and I find that I can’t not be skeptical about another in a long line of predictions that the sky will be falling on such and such a date. As a Bible believing Christian myself, we are to always be prepared, we shouldn’t need Hagee and Biltz to alert us.

      • Jerry Richardson says:

        GHG,

        …I find that I can’t not be skeptical about another in a long line of predictions that the sky will be falling on such and such a date. As a Bible believing Christian myself, we are to always be prepared, we shouldn’t need Hagee and Biltz to alert us. —GHG

        Amen to that!

        Thank you for your thoughtfulness; and I was not in the least offended by your comments. You were honest and polite with your opinion. I applaud that. You simply pointed-out an obvious fact about my post; It is lengthy and rather tedious. Thanks for wading through a bit of it.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I hope I have not caused you trouble due to your indulgence.

      No trouble, Jerry. Just adding my two cents. My comments are strictly in the capacity of just another blowhard on the web. 🙂

      This universe has something like 100 to 200 billions galaxies. Think of that. A *billion* (or tens of billion) being a mere estimate or rounding error, especially because each galaxy itself contains several hundred billions stars. And the universe itself may contain something like 70 sextillion stars.

      That’s a wondrous thing. The very existence — the “being-ness” of a planet, sun, or galaxy — is amazing. I just go much further down the scale on how much physical objects are personified. And not without good reason.

      I’m pretty sure it is in one of John Lennox’s books where he makes the distinction between the “gods” inside nature so often dismissed by atheists as rubbish (which they are) and the God who *made* nature and is outside of nature. This latter god is not subject to the “God of the gaps” type of argument because Christians (and careful philosophers of all stripes) acknowledge that nature’s “laws” work consistently and nonstop. These laws themselves are designed.

      So when some phenomenon is unknown, there is no need to say “God did that” because, again, to do so would be to personify nature herself and to not take into account the nature of nature which, for all intents and purposes, is machine-like in the constancy of its physical laws. To do otherwise is not unlike the pagans who had a god of the forest, a god of the water, a spirit in the moon, etc., to explain things.

      So whatever case you’re trying to make for, against, or indifferent regarding the blood moon, I have a visceral reaction (for better or for worse) against any personification of nature herself, including in the guise of moons supposedly bearing prophetic value. I may be right or wrong, but that is my stance which I hope was clear and concise.

      And then there’s the idea of Intelligent Design which breaks with strict materialism, the unerring constancy (and sufficiency) of the “laws of nature” to account for all effects. This is why I.D. needs to be viewed with some skepticism…as one would with any revolutionary theory.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Huh?????

  6. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    I have a visceral reaction (for better or for worse) against any personification of nature herself, including in the guise of moons supposedly bearing prophetic value. —Brad

    Oh my! I certainly didn’t intend in anyway to imply that I believe in any personification of nature herself. I’m totally opposed to that notion in all of its numerous forms. My firm belief is that God is totally separate from his creation; not absent from it, but separate.

    The case I am disputing is the thesis that God has been using the natural phenomenon of a lunar tetrad to send a prophetic message. I don’t believe that.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The case I am disputing is the thesis that God has been using the natural phenomenon of a lunar tetrad to send a prophetic message. I don’t believe that.

      Glad to hear that. There are a lot of people who look for secret codes and stuff in the Bible. And while that’s probably just a harmless diversion, another “visceral reaction against” that I have is this clubby, chummy, inbred (see: neo-Darwinism and libertarianism) mindset where one supposedly has secret knowledge.

      Rubbish. And if one wishes to be faithful to the Christian message, the passage of Matthew 5:15 marked “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house” is something they need to read. Christianity, to the best of my knowledge, is not supposed to be a secret-handshake club.

      That’s why it should, and does, include scientific knowledge as an adjunct to, and not in competition with, its beliefs. And the summary I read noted that St. Aquinas said that where doctrine conflicted with a fact of the world, it’s the interpretation of doctrine that has to change, not the fact of the world (if only neo-Darwinists would hold to that).

      In my view, to be a Christian means to take on a special burden. Instead of treating life as a grand one-off “eat, drink, and be merry” party, there is assumed to be an overall purpose greater than (but not absolutely opposed to) mere worldly pursuits and pleasures. It’s not a special “spiritual” club where everyone lives the buzz of “mystical” feelings and such. If you ask me, to be a Christian is to look at the world with new eyes. It’s not about putting on layers of mysticism (although there have been plenty of legitimate Christian mystics).

      Speaking of this blood moon stuff, one of the things I read recently over at Evolutionary News (or was it in “Uncommon Dissent”?) was that those who are not theists are far more prone to belief in stuff such as astrology, Bigfoot, and other pseudo-science such as that (global warming, anyone?). That is, for all the caterwauling from the atheist/secularist crowd about how supposedly non-superstitious they are, statistics don’t bare this out. I don’t know what their stand would be on blood moons. But I’m sure they could find a way to show that it somehow proved Darwinism.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Hey, if you really want weird reading, look at the Baconian ciphers (such as the convoluted crostics that Bacon devotees find in various Shakespeare plays). David Kahn has a nice discussion of this in his book on code-breaking. (And everyone knows the plays were really written by the Earl of Oxford anyway.)

  7. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    And if one wishes to be faithful to the Christian message, the passage of Matthew 5:15 marked “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house” is something they need to read. Christianity, to the best of my knowledge, is not supposed to be a secret-handshake club.—Brad

    Bless you Brad. I know you claim not to be a Christian, but you sure can preach what those of us who claim to be should practice. And by the way, from what I’ve seen of you, I believe that you practice what you preach.

    Thanks for giving me a blessing.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Thanks, Jerry. To me it matters that a thing be understood for what it is and we don’t limit ourselves to our internal desires, delusions, illusions, and half-truths. Look at how Christianity is being destroyed from within by people who don’t do the barest amount of reflecting on the substance of a thing, just as our republic is being destroyed from within by electing people such as Obama because we let our desires, delusions, etc., blind us from the truth of the thing.

      Rarely does evil and deception put itself on the ballot under its rightful name.

      Even if I don’t yet believe all the miraculous things that are fundamental to Christianity, I do understand the thing. And so I feel compelled to comment on all those fools who are running to he-who-must-not-be-named because they’re too lazy, to uninformed, or too willfully arrogant to become informed on what the thing is – whether talking religion or politics.

      People, for example, wanted Obama to be something he was not (and, of course, this is exactly how Obama portrayed himself). I find it interesting that in the Bible it is attributed to Jesus that he so often used the “Eyes to See and Ears to Hear” terminology. It seems to be a mild rebuke to the people who he knows are in a fog. Couldn’t you say the same thing about the typical low-information voter that Jay Leno would frequently find on the street? People believed all sorts of crazily inaccurate stuff.

      Being in a fog presupposes there is an un-fogged state, if you will. No human can know everything, and attempts to do so will likely invoke arrogance. But there is a decided lack of a desire in our culture for people to have “eyes to see and ears to hear” about a great many subjects. And it’s killing us.

      • Jerry Richardson says:

        Brad & GHG,

        I find it interesting that in the Bible it is attributed to Jesus that he so often used the “Eyes to See and Ears to Hear” terminology. It seems to be a mild rebuke to the people who he knows are in a fog. Couldn’t you say the same thing about the typical low-information voter that Jay Leno would frequently find on the street? People believed all sorts of crazily inaccurate stuff.—Brad

        In a recent comment to an article made by GHG, he provided me a topic of interest; although I haven’t finished it, only started. I mention this because I think that what you have described above fits the category of “willful blindness.” Here’s the beginning, haven’t finished it yet:

        Is there such a phenomenon as Willful Blindness? If so, what does it mean and what is its cause?

        In a comment to a recent article on Stubborn Things the reader/writer who identifies himself as GHG made the following statement:

        Thats the thing that leads me to believe I’m not getting the other side of the story. That so many presumably very intelligent people who made it their life’s work to search for the truth can be so willfully blind to the facts that are so clear to anyone who allows themself to see. —GHG

        What is behind this often recognized but little discussed phenomenon?

        There are different but related versions of willful blindness; however, all varieties have one thing in common: An intentional avoidance of some fact or truth due to a desire for it not to be the case.

        The facets that account for different kinds have to do with the specific motivation for avoidance and the time factor—is it long-term, progressive avoidance, or simply short-term…

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          There are different but related versions of willful blindness; however, all varieties have one thing in common: An intentional avoidance of some fact or truth due to a desire for it not to be the case.

          I look forward to the article. May it be somewhat clear and concise. 🙂 And let me give you some possible subsidiary causes which you can do with as you like (including totally ignoring them):

          + A Dennis Prager notes, a lot of people believe some truly stupid stuff — stuff that only a college-indoctrinated person could come to believe it. That is, there are powerful forces of disinformation and propaganda in our culture. Even those with no mal intent can become blinkered. And a certain kind of blinkeredness, when mixed with feel-good narcissistic beliefs about how damn nice and intelligent one supposedly is, can set the stage for active willful blindness as opposed to just an innocent and understandable lack of knowledge or mild intransigence. (I mean, no one really likes having their beliefs questioned, no matter how they got those beliefs, and thus will tend to stick to them as if they were an appendage.)

          + Our life in modern times is a more specialized thing. One guy spends his day making one specific widget for an overall thing, and another guy makes a different widget. Much in our life has become compartmentalized, including our thoughts. For instance, although ignorance is commonly ascribed to country folk, this may be true regarding technical matters (how to program a VCR) but generally not regarding life matters. Someone attached to the facts of life (and in farming you are never far from these) isn’t going to be able to easily swallow down nonsense like having 56 gender categories as they do on Facebook. Only a blinkered and compartmentalized mind (which often includes libertarians) can believe such stuff. Thus the artificial aspect of cities has, I believe, helped to produce and induce artificial thought patterns. One becomes to expect that any old thing one can think of, especially if it is pleasing to think of it, must somehow be true. This thought pattern is no doubt influenced heavily by the Marxist-derived deconstructionism that wends its way now through much of our culture, particularly those parts (the media and science) whose claim is impartiality and knowledge. So you have “authority” behind you for believing bullcrap.

          • Jerry Richardson says:

            Brad,

            Excellent suggestions! I’m letting a few things marinate in my mind—hopefully to gain some clarity and conciseness. 🙂

            The things I’m allowing to marinate are my current collection of books on propaganda, including your recommended, related book, Influence The Psychology of Persuasion.

            I believe that the topics, propaganda and related, are connected to “Willful Blindness”

            There has been a large percentage of American Voters who have been “blind” and I think “Willfully Blind” concerning Barack Obama. Here a quote related to that line of thought from one of my books on propaganda:

            The criticism is often made that propaganda tends to make the President of the United States so important that he becomes not the President but the embodiment of the idea of hero worship, not to say deity worship. I quite agree that this is so, but how are you going to stop a condition which accurately reflects the desires of a certain part of the public? The American people rightly senses the enormous importance of the executive’s office.
            —Edward Bernays. Propaganda (p. 123). Kindle Edition.

            Comments and/or suggestions relative to this line of thought will be appreciated.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Jerry, I think there are dozens of ways that “willful blindness” is expressed. Perhaps this will require us to look at root causes. And I’m not sure how far down the root it is useful to go.

              I don’t think willful blindness is a modern invention. In fact, the very practice of the scientific method took a very self-conscious effort on humanity’s part. It’s not natural to examine one’s beliefs (or someone else’s) with any kind of impartiality.

              Much like the idea of poverty vs. prosperity (it’s prosperity that needs to be explained, not poverty which tends to be the natural state), so I would tend to say about willful blindness vs. objectivity. Prejudice, blindness, obstinance, pig-headedness, narrow-mindedness, and selective ignorance seem to be par for the course for humanity.

              It takes apparently enormous effort to overcome one’s ego and self-satisfying emotions to make objectivity and integrity an active thing. Complicating all this is that we don’t have the brains of a Commander Data as in Star Trek: The Next Generation. As remarkable as our brains are, our ability to store and sort information is quite limited. “Blindness” starts at the front end whereby we see that which already fits our perceptions and prejudices. And no one can get by in life without forming an idea of how the world works. And part of this has to do with the fact that we can’t see and know everything so therefore our attentions (lacking the capacity of omniscience) necessarily are focused.

              It’s a common scientific idea that you can’t find the answer to some problem if your world view does not allow for it. So it’s really a good question, first of all, to try to distinguish between what is “willful” blindness and what is just the usual limited capabilities of finite and fragile human beings.

              For me, it’s much easier to think about the much smaller category, of those things that work to pump the water out of the leaky craft, if you will — with the assumption that it is the leaky craft that is the norm. Those elements (respect for education, free speech, integrity and truth, access to good information, living inside a culture that respects technical knowledge and wisdom) are probably what need to be understood and commented on, for we can skin the animal of “ignorance” all day long and still not know what to do.

              • Jerry Richardson says:

                Brad,

                I don’t think willful blindness is a modern invention. —Brad

                Neither do I. In fact there are numerous bible verses that are related to this phenomena—without the phrase “willful blindness.”

                Jerry, I think there are dozens of ways that “willful blindness” is expressed. Perhaps this will require us to look at root causes. And I’m not sure how far down the root it is useful to go.
                —Brad

                Absolutely, there are, I think, dozens of ways to express it. But, I am more interested in root (common) causes, perhaps worldview related. As to the depth issue; I think it terms of a tap-root and not a meandering set of feeder roots.

                Thanks for your interesting and helpful thoughts. I am going to try to put something together; may take me a while. But that’s OK, what’s time to a retired geek?

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I am currently reading Mike Huckabee’s God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy, and he has a section on being smart vs. being educated that tis in with your comments here in the chapter “All Grown Up (Country Folks Can Survive)”. Of course, this is hardly new, cf. Orwell’s notion that something was so stupid only an intellectual would believe it.

  8. Rosalys says:

    Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; (Genesis 1:14)

    That word “sign” is the Hebrew word ‘ôth – Probably from ‘ûth (A primitive root; properly to come, that is, [impliedly] to assent: – consent.) (in the sense of appearing); a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.: – mark, miracle, (en-) sign, token.

    I’m not a Hebrew scholar, I looked it up in Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary, and I’m not sure how to interpret it. Obviously and seasons refers to the marking of time and festivals. Signs seems to suggest that astronomical events can be used as an indicator for prophetic events; as in Matthew 2:1-2 “behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’” But I think it is for God Himself to give the sign. I don’t think it is for us dream up, or even look at historical events for coincidences and come up with possibly indicative signs. I tend toward sola scriptura myself and thus far I haven’t found, “Watch for four blood moons occurring on festival days, and know that great calamity shall be upon thee!” anywhere in the Bible. It’s entirely possible I missed it, and if I did someone please enlighten me – chapter and verse!

    It doesn’t take rocket science to predict that momentous things are going to happen in Israel sometime soon. Calamitous things have been happening in the Middle East for a long time. It’s looking like peace is NOT just around the corner, and calamitous things are going to continue for awhile.

    But you may wonder, ‘How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord?’ If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22) Blitz and Hagee ought to be very careful.

    • GHG says:

      Yes.

      As a life long Lutheran (LCMS), I believe the three “sola’s” identified with the Protestant Reformation – Scriptura/scripture, Fide/faith, Gratia/grace – were and are fundmental tenets of the Christian faith.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Rosalys,

      Thanks for your comments. I have never understood how a Christian could have much interest in such esoterica. None of it furthers the Christian message. None of it!!!

      In fact, I believe it damages Christianity as it gives plenty of ammunition to those who wish to belittle Christianity. The stuff about the four blood moons is on a par with astrology and the rubbish claims that Nostradamus predicted xy and z. Many people are credulous, but a Christian should not feed this credulity.

      More importantly, I find people, like Hagee, who traffic in such things to be false prophets and blasphemers. False prophets in that none of the prophecies these charlatans spout ever come true. Blasphemers in that they misuse God’s name for their own dishonest ends.

      God may call them to account at a future date, but I am for exposing them for the flimflammers they are, right now.

  9. Jerry Richardson says:

    Rosalys,

    That word “sign” is the Hebrew word ‘ôth – Probably from ‘ûth (A primitive root; properly to come, that is, [impliedly] to assent: – consent.) (in the sense of appearing); a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.: – mark, miracle, (en-) sign, token. —Rosalys

    You have indirectly pointed to one of the major issues that bothers me about the “four blood moons” thesis: The issue of local visibility.

    No eclipse is ever visible globally, all eclipses, either Solar or Lunar are only visible in certain locations. From my reading in scripture concerning signs and miracles, they are almost invariably described as visible by the people who are the targets or the recipients of the event—they were seen by the people directly concerned.

    Of course, some have argued that modern television makes all eclipses visible on a global basis. That is certainly true, but I don’t believe that God needs television to publicize any prophetic signs He decides to deliver.

    John Hagee’s own comments appear to support the notion of visibility to Israel (emphasis is mine).

    “These two verses [Joel 2:30-32, Day of the Lord] describe the occurrence of Blood Moons. As you will soon learn, God is speaking to us in the heavens, through the Blood Moons. His message will be on display for the world to see.” –John Hagee, Four Blood Moons, (Kindle edition, p.96, paperback, p.98)

    Therefore we can rightly conclude that the next series of Four Blood Moons of 2014 and 2015 will also hold significance for Israel and the Jewish people. Each of the three previous series of Four Blood Moons began with a trail of tears and ended with triumph for the Jewish people.” –John Hagee, Four Blood Moons, (Kindle edition, p.223, paperback, p.225)

    So, considering the suggesting that the sign (of the Four Blood Moons in 2014-2015) “will also hold significance for Israel and the Jewish people” ; wouldn’t it be sensible to believe that this sign, If sent or planned by God, would be of all places, visible in Israel for the Jewish people to see?

    In the Bible, the most common word translated as sign in the Old Testament is the following Hebrew word (transliterated):

    ‘ôth
    BDB Definition:
    1) sign, signal
    1a) a distinguishing mark
    1b) banner
    1c) remembrance
    1d) miraculous sign
    1e) omen
    1f) warning
    2) token, ensign, standard, miracle, proof –Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions

    And the most common word translated as sign in the New Testament is the following Greek word (transliterated):

    sēmeíon; gen. sēmeíou, neut. noun. Sign, mark, token, miracle with a spiritual end and purpose. In the pl., miracles which lead to something out of and beyond themselves; finger-marks of God, valuable not so much for what they are as for what they indicate of the grace and power of the Doer.
    –The Complete Word Study Dictionary (on word “signs” in Mark 16:20)

    Both words (Hebrew and Greek), as well as our English word sign have a strong connotation of visibility:

    You are certainly correct: “Blitz and Hagee ought to be very careful.”

    But you may wonder, ‘How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord?’ If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22) Blitz and Hagee ought to be very careful.—Rosalys

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Looking at the relevant verses in Joel, I notice that it predicts “the day of the Lord” being foreshadowed by a solar eclipse and a blood moon, presumably within a very short time. It says nothing about a sequence of blood moons. Nor does it say that every such sequence will have such a consequence.

      I wonder if this is related to the call to war in Joel 3, which has my favorite Bible line (Joel 3:10): “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say, I am a warrior.” Incidentally, during the War of the Rebellion, the Nashville Plow Company converted to making swords (presumably cavalry sabers).

  10. Jerry Richardson says:

    Timothy,

    I wonder if this is related to the call to war in Joel 3, which has my favorite Bible line (Joel 3:10): “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say, I am a warrior.”—Timothy

    It most definitely is. The Lord is telling Israel to arm themselves and prepare for war.

    “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, —Joel 3:1 NASB
    —-
    Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare a war; rouse the mighty men! Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up! Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, “I am a mighty man.” —Joel 3:9-10 NASB
    —-
    Egypt will become a waste, And Edom will become a desolate wilderness, Because of the violence done to the sons of Judah, In whose land they have shed innocent blood.
    But Judah will be inhabited forever And Jerusalem for all generations. And I will avenge their blood which I have not avenged, For the LORD dwells in Zion.
    —Joel 3:19-21 NASB

    I love the following, can you provide a link?

    Incidentally, during the War of the Rebellion, the Nashville Plow Company converted to making swords (presumably cavalry sabers). —Timothy Lane

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, for one thing, we actually saw some samples at the Confederate History Museum in Richmond when we visited there in 2001. I believe I’ve also read about this in one or another of my histories.

      Incidentally, a friend of mine once suggested two factories with conveyor belts running between them. One was the Isaiah Agricultural Implements factory, the other the Joel Arms factory.

  11. Jerry Richardson says:

    John Hagee’s book contains numerous astronomical errors. Here’s an especially elementary one:

    There was a total solar eclipse on September 24, 1493— one day before the blood moon of the Feast of Tabernacles, September 25, 1493.
    –John Hagee, Four Blood Moons, (Kindle edition, p.182, paperback, p.184)

    There are two ways to know that this statement is an error.

    The first, and simplest, is the elementary and well-known fact that a solar eclipse occurs at the time of New Moon , and a lunar eclipse occurs at the time of Full Moon . By orbital necessity these two events cannot be separated by only one day; they are separated by approximately 14 days (half of one lunation period).

    The second way to discern that the above statement in FBM is an error it to consult NASA’S Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses: -1999 to +3000, and select the millennium that contains 1493.

    Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses

    When you scroll down in the selected catalogue you will find that there is no entry for any solar eclipse on September 24, 1493; there is one for a total solar eclipse on April 16, 1493, and there is also one for a total solar eclipse on March 7, 1494.

    Or much quicker use:

    Hermit Eclipse

  12. Jerry Richardson says:

    John Hagee’s book equivocates lunar tetrads with his definition of a “four blood moons” event. By so doing he publishes errors such as the following:

    We know that only three Tetrads have occurred in the last 500 years that are significant to Israel and also fall on the Jewish Feasts. We also know that these are the only Tetrads that have had a total solar eclipse somewhere within the series.
    –FBM (Kindle edition, p.233, paperback, p.235)

    Here’s the actual listing of total solar eclipses contained within the time span of tetrads for the period 1428 – 2091. There is at least one in every tetrad listed. Not just the “three Tetrads” that Hagee identifies as falling on Jewish Feasts. The information below can be verified by using one or both of the solar search methods linked-to in my last comment.

    TETRADS……………………………..TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSES
    1. Tetrad: 1428 – 1429…………09 OCT 1428
    2. Tetrad: 1457 – 1458…………13 FEB 1458
    3. Tetrad: 1475 – 1476…………05 APR 1475 …………25 FEB 1476
    4. Tetrad: 1493 – 1494…………16 APR 1493………….07 MAR 1494

    1. Tetrad: 1909 – 1910…………09 MAY 1910
    2. Tetrad: 1927 – 1928…………29 JUN 1927………….19 MAY 1928
    3. Tetrad: 1949 – 1950…………12 SEP 1950
    4. Tetrad: 1967 – 1968…………02 NOV 1967………….22 SEP 1968
    5. Tetrad: 1985 – 1986…………12 NOV 1985………….03 OCT 1986(H)

    1. Tetrad: 2003 – 2004…………23 NOV 2003
    2. Tetrad: 2014 – 2015…………20 MAR 2015
    3. Tetrad: 2032 – 2033…………30 MAR 2033
    4. Tetrad: 2043 – 2044…………09 APR 2043…………..23 AUG 2044
    5. Tetrad: 2050 – 2051…………20 MAY 2050(H)
    6. Tetrad: 2061 – 2062…………20 APR 2061
    7. Tetrad: 2072 – 2073…………12 SEP 2072……………03 AUG 2073
    8. Tetrad: 2090 – 2091…………23 SEP 2090……………15 AUG 2091

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Jerry, I’ll leave you to have fun with your esoterica. 🙂 But I have a question, and it’s meant on some level to be provocative, but it seems a logical one given the subject:

      Christians obviously believe in prophesy. So what separates legitimate prophesy from, say, what one is bound to hear on the radio program, Coast to Coast, with Art Bell where the paranormal, conspiracy theories, and various pseudo-science are discussed regularly?

      One can say that one believes in Christian prophesy because of x, y, and z and believes that this blood moon stuff is mere pseudo-science because of x, y, and z. But at the end of the day, how does one make a distinction without undercutting all prophesy?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, ultimately the proof is in whether or not the prophecy comes true. (Technically, coming true doesn’t actually prove the prophecy was right any more than successful scientific predictions actually prove a theory right. But failed predictions act as disproof in both cases. It’s all very logical, and both good religion and good science are intended to be rational.)

      • GHG says:

        The only prophesy that should concern Christians is that Jesus will return, and based on several Bible passages it isn’t something we can know when it will happen. The rest of the N.T. prophesies found in Revelation are subjective in interpretation and not something Christians should be “worried” about anyway – what will happen will happen, and we, as Christians, have our marching orders – be prepared. Be prepared today, tomorrow, next week – be prepared always.

        It’s a popular pastime for some to look for prophesies in current events and proclaim the end is nigh. But so what? What are we supposed to do with that info? Even if it were true? Prepare for the end? But we’re already supposed to be prepared.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, it can be entertaining. I like the idea of seeing Bill Clinton as the Great Whore of Babylon, and the Beast of the Apocalypse as the combined leadership of liberalism. And who knows, it makes enough sense that it could even be true.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          What are we supposed to do with that info? Even if it were true? Prepare for the end? But we’re already supposed to be prepared.

          Now that’s change I can believe in. Err…perhaps there’s a better choice of words out there.

          I was just reading the Wiki entry (part of it anyway) on St. Paul. And it’s interesting that supposedly the return of Jesus was something he was quite sure would happen in his time.

          Perhaps prophesy sort of plays the role of karma. As Rosalys more or less said, you don’t need astronomical charts and magic decoder rings to figure things are going to blow up again in the Middle East one of these days.

        • Rosalys says:

          In one hundred and twenty years, whether Christ returns or not just about everyone alive on Earth today will have come to his/her own “end” and should prepare accordingly.

          As for the end time prophesies, I used to be very interested in it all. I guess I still am, because somewhere in there, there is something Biblical; but all this date setting… Christ Himself said He didn’t know the day or hour. So how are we supposed to? The signs are given so that the believers can recognize what is happening, when it is happening so that we need not fear. In fact we are supposed to look up for our redemption draws nigh.

  13. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    Jerry, I’ll leave you to have fun with your esoterica. 🙂 But I have a question, and it’s meant on some level to be provocative, but it seems a logical one given the subject:

    Christians obviously believe in prophesy. So what separates legitimate prophesy from, say, what one is bound to hear on the radio program, Coast to Coast, with Art Bell where the paranormal, conspiracy theories, and various pseudo-science are discussed regularly?—Brad

    Timothy has both my answer and the correct biblical answer:

    Well, ultimately the proof is in whether or not the prophecy comes true. (Technically, coming true doesn’t actually prove the prophecy was right any more than successful scientific predictions actually prove a theory right. But failed predictions act as disproof in both cases. It’s all very logical, and both good religion and good science are intended to be rational.)—Timothy Lane

    And in return, since you have used the term, how do you distinguish between what you choose to call “esoterica” and details that are necessary to answer or respond to an errors in someone’s argument? 🙂

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I would say esoterica is the kind of stuff that authors typically put in the back of their books in the end-notes-and-appendix section. It’s there for those who wish to delve deeper into a subject, but is kept out of the main area so as to aid in the clarity of the main points and the flow of the argument.

      Honestly, Jerry, I still can’t quite put my head around this whole blood moons thing. If it’s obviously junk, why spend time on it? It’s your time, of course. But I would have thought stuff such as this could have been dismissed in a paragraph.

  14. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    Honestly, Jerry, I still can’t quite put my head around this whole blood moons thing. If it’s obviously junk, why spend time on it? It’s your time, of course. But I would have thought stuff such as this could have been dismissed in a paragraph.—Brad

    Sure it can be summarily dismissed, just like progressives summarily dismiss our arguments for conservatism. But at issue is the rational benefit of providing logical and factual evidence for disputing arguments that include logical and factual errors.

    You are absolutely a master—and I applaud you— at providing lengthly, very lengthly, I might even say “esoteric” and reasoned arguments as to why progressives are wrong, and how, in their politics and in their worldviews. I can’t “put my head around” some of their ridiculous beliefs, “obvious junk, why spend time on it”; So why don’t you just summarily dismiss their “junk” “in a paragraph”? 🙂

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Well, I’ll grant you that some subjects (such as socialism) can require somewhat lengthy explanations. Even then, the central harms can, and should, be pointed out succinctly lest one gives the impression that the subject is far more complex than it really is. The main harm of socialism is attitudinal: People don’t appreciate and take care of stuff that is given to them for “free.” Also, socialism rewards cheaters, leachers, and loafers and punishes the industrious.

      Of course, because it is so “offensive” to many to have the blank truth told to them, that’s often why there is a tendency to have diarrhea of the mouth regarding these subjects. It gives the impression that one is saying something while actually committing to very little at all. (See: GOP Establishment)

      As for the blood moons, this isn’t an issue dividing society or threatening to bring our republic to a collapse. I would have appreciated if you would have put more time into making the subject matter clearer. Also, you should relate better to the readers. Why should anyone care about this, Jerry? This article just comes off as sort of an intellectual extravagance.

      Hey, not that I haven’t been there, done that, and I’m sure to do it again. But taking writing to the next level means taking partially into account the reader. Make it clear. Make it concise, but no shorter than you need be. Sometimes the details are absolutely vital. I’m not for artificially shortening anything just to pander to today’s shorter attention spans. Screw that. But do tell us why this matters. I don’t get any of this from this article.

  15. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    But do tell us why this matters. I don’t get any of this from this article. —Brad

    Kung Fu Zu has a perfect answer as to why it matters to Christianity.

    In fact, I believe it damages Christianity as it gives plenty of ammunition to those who wish to belittle Christianity. The stuff about the four blood moons is on a par with astrology and the rubbish claims that Nostradamus predicted xy and z. Many people are credulous, but a Christian should not feed this credulity.
    —-
    God may call them to account at a future date, but I am for exposing them for the flimflammers they are, right now.
    —Kung Fu Zu

    You as the creator and manager of Stubborn Things obviously know that error published and promoted in the public realm does in fact “matter” and should be refuted.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Jerry, I’ve taken issue with Mr. Kung regarding his take on this (see his original article). In the meantime, Mr. Kung has been hammering me away more into his way of thinking. But I don’t think Mr. Kung disagrees with this central fact: No matter how “well behaved” Christians are, the Left will simply trot out a manufactured straw man or stereotype as needed.

      That is, even if 99.99999% of Christians are good, loving, smart, kind, informed, and are clear-cut regarding what they hold as faith issues, there would always be one person somewhere which the Left would use as their archetype Christian fundamentalist wacko goofball. So I agree and disagree with Mr. Kung. What I think Christians most need is some teeth. I’m on the automatic mailing list of Linda Harvey and her “Mission America.” And whether you agree or disagree with her on the issues, she’s no namby-pampy doormat Christian. She’s a fighter. And we need more of those because right now Christians are in the position that George W. Bush intentionally put himself in (aka, the “new tone”). He stopped defending himself and conservatism (to whatever extent he was ever conservative). He thus became defined by the Left.

      Now, had you said anything even remotely like the above, your Blood Moons article likely would have had more impact and relevance. But you just went off on the esoterica and I’m sure mine weren’t the only eyes glazing over.

      And, yes, I know that the subjects that interest me often have the same effect on others. Thus it is always in my mind that it is incumbent upon me to be a better communicator regarding whatever subject that interests me. If someone just isn’t interested in that category, then fine. That’s another story.

      No one is making money with this StubbornThings venture and no one is being forced to jumped through the hoops of an editor. One reason I started this site is because, well, I think I know how to do this better than all the yahoos doing it now who are either too anal retentive, too bossy, or too whatever. I like giving writers wide latitude. But no latitude sets anyone above a little constructive criticism.

      By all means, refute the garbage that is in the public realm. But that’s a stretch in regards to making the blood moons topic relevant. Still, if it interests you then go for it. I would just urge you to try from time to time to look from the perspective of the reader. I don’t mean for anyone to pander to the reader. But even regarding blue moons, the task would be to develop the relevant points in an organized and clear way, not just hit us with an plethora of statistics, quotes, and links.

  16. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    As for the blood moons, this isn’t an issue dividing society or threatening to bring our republic to a collapse. I would have appreciated if you would have put more time into making the subject matter clearer. —Brad

    I very much agree that I had great difficulty in unraveling this confused and confusing subject and making the “matter clearer.” I did spend much time. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it more appealing for you.

    As to the type of issue, “dividing society or threatening to bring our republic to a collapse” I wasn’t aware of that being a criteria for an article.

    I had taken seriously your admonition, often given to others, that you want writers to write what is of interest to them. I did that. Should I reconsider?

    Can we separate your criticism of my topic from your criticism of my failure to simplify it? Is it the topic, or is it just my handling of it?

    I have interest in other topics relative to astronomy and/or calendrical subjects, should I avoid them? Should I exclude math and numbers from any future articles?

    Brad, I do respect your opinions and desires concerning articles that you post—and I do again, thank you for posting them—I’m just a bit confused; please give me some guidance.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      As to the type of issue, “dividing society or threatening to bring our republic to a collapse” I wasn’t aware of that being a criteria for an article.

      No, that’s not the standard. My comment was in the context of the blue moon prophesy category itself. It’s a very esoteric topic. That’s not a game-stopper. But if one does write about things that no one has ever heard of before and thus few would know why it matters, then it is incumbent upon the writer to make it matter. If it doesn’t matter and it’s just a cool thing, then see to it that your enthusiasm for it shines and make it cool for others.

      Jerry, first off, let me say that I’m not trying to single you out. I really should do a weekly column on writing. I think the good people here love sharing what interests them. But they’re not getting a lot of feedback, one way or the other. Part of that is because we’re a small site at the moment, and likely aren’t going to be the size of NRO anytime soon.

      Everything I’ve said to you applies to everyone else as well. Write about any topic that interests you (other than, God forbid, the glories of Ron Paul). But try to develop an ear for storytelling. Develop your thoughts. Try to read your stuff from the point of view of the reader. This is a difficult thing to do, and I’m still not that great at it. It’s easy to write a sentence or paragraph, and it’s perfectly plain to us what we mean. But sometimes if we take an objective (aka “refined”) look, we might find a clearer way to say something.

      I’m not aiming for perfection. But what needs to happen with everyone here is to have in his or her Batman utility belt a set of tools and guidelines that are running around in the back of their head as they write: Is this clear? Is this concise? Is it organized? Have I developed this thought in a logical way?

      And god knows, I care not one thing for grammatical and spelling errors. Those can always be cleaned up (and should be cleaned up). But I’m much more interested in substance instead of outer forms.

      If you want a little constructive criticism for this specific article, I would say ease off on how many time you quote from a source. It’s easy for something to become a hodgepodge. We’re not doing dictionary entries nor are we doing articles of the type that are submitted to scientific journals. I would really hope everyone here (including myself) keeps an eye (and ear) to a more conversational style. One way to do that is to read good writers, especially political writers. I think Reagan, In His Own Hand is a terrific source for a style that is intelligent, concise, conversational, light, and which puts all this to use to make clear points.

      Note that I would have nearly every philosopher who has ever lived hate me if I critiqued their work. Almost all of them are puffed up way too much and they’re all trying to sound too clever by half. This is why the philosophy of Thomas Sowell, Theodore Dalrymple, David Berlinski, and Dennis Prager is so superior. God knows I’ve tried to sit down and read Kant, Hegel, Locke, et al. And every one of them takes 20 pages to say what a competent writer could say in a paragraph. I think they just love to hear themselves talk or they just get carried away. And it’s probably always been the case that to be taken seriously one had to pad things and sound hifalutin.

      Not here, baby. All I want is eloquence from the gut, for lack of better words. We’re about being a refined poke in the eye. If I were paying people to write articles, I would have told you to cut down by about 90% on the blood moons specifically and perhaps put together more of a “Quack Christian Pseudoscience Through The Ages and Why It Matters To You” sort of thing. Or whatever angle you want.

      The rule of thumb regarding good stories or reporting is: Tell them what you’re going to say. Say it. And then tell them what you said. That’s a general rule, but it’s not a bad one. It means that an article or story is going to have a progression to it, a beginning, middle, and an end.

      Again, having said all that, if you submit an article tomorrow on crop circles, I’ll publish it, although I think ones on astronomy might be of more general interest.

      But the same criticism can (and I’ll do so now so as not to seem to be picking on Jerry) be thrown at some of the political articles by others which sometimes are little more than rants with lots of links and quotes. This isn’t a legal case we’re making against the Left. We’re not in a courtroom. I think people need to insert more of the human element into it. One poignant anecdote would do more to change hearts and minds than 20 links to wherever.

      And as much as I dislike Obama, there’s only so much ranting that can be of any relevance. And if you do rant, at last insert some light-heartedness. Don’t sound like someone’s ex-wife (or ex-husband either). This should be fun. Not everyone has to sound the same. Develop your own style. But beware of just being a scold.

      And do read good writers. Anyone who writes must read good writers, whether it is on the subject matter of politics or not (better if not). Read Twain, Dickens, Thoreau, etc. And if you want to become a better political writer, please stop rotting your mind out reading 99% of what passes for writing on the internet. Most of it is junk. Stick to the pros such as Steyn, Andy McCarthy, and people like that. If we are what we eat then I think we all too easily become what we read as well.

      • Jerry Richardson says:

        Brad,

        Thoughtful and good. I accept the constructive criticism in the spirit of helpfulness given. I will try to work on suggestions you gave me.
        Thanks.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Thanks, Jerry. I’ve learned a few things the hard way. My first formal writing was copywriting for an ad agency. I was terrible at it. My natural inclination was not to sell people crap they didn’t need. I had no skin in the game. I really didn’t care if anonymous man x could be cajoled to buy product y. So what I did was to ape what I saw other advertising copywriters doing. (Not that this isn’t what everyone is doing nowadays, and probably always have.) And, really, I didn’t speak the same cultural language as the mass market did which, come to think of it, was probably my real downfall. .Still, by my own analysis, what I wrote was stale, stilted, constructed, and too clever by half. There was plenty of formula in it, but no art (or very little art).

          I can’t remember what it was that changed my approach. I know I continued to read books, which certainly helped. But at the end of the day I got better simply by writing about things that interested me. Even then, every paragraph tended to be a strain. On the end of this keyboard (other than typos…often auto-correct one), I’m fairly fluent (for better or for worse) in regards to how words come out now. But I used to have to pull them out with a pair of pliers. I remember endlessly re-constructed and re-writing sentences. And I did so because I was trying to find the words to express what I was thinking (non-verbally, one assumes) inside.

          Through sheer repetition and struggling (and with an eye to where I wanted to go, which was to improve), I broke out of that. Yes, I do spend a fair amount of time writing and posting and such. But I chuckle because often I’m asked, “How can you spend so much time writing?” because of the sheer length of some of what I write. People assume it takes a long time. And, frankly, it doesn’t (relatively speaking).

          That’s also bad news because it means it’s become too easy, and thus I’m well aware that in the last couple of years that I’ve started to sound like a broken record. So what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the girly-man. I continue to try to stretch myself…and not so that I can be the smartest person in the room (that spot is already taken) but so that I can express my ideas better.

          Another thing I found (and curmudgeonly, no-nonsense writers such as James Kilpatrick gave me guidance in this regard) is that the more I let go of trying to sound smart, eloquent, etc. (the typical five-dollar-word syndrome when a half-dollar one would do), the more I freed myself to actually write something. I think that factor snares many writers, including some very big names in the industry (but not Dennis Prager who is almost unique in writing as he talks on the radio which I imagine is not that different from how he speaks privately at home to friends).

          This is probably a direct effect of Dennis’ self-defined mission, and that is to help spread goodness. Not gain fame. Not get rich (although, heck, he is a Jew). And not to gain power. But to do the work of good. So he doesn’t waste much energy sounding highfalutin as so many writers do.

          And so I sort of freed myself from some of my own pretensions. And the more I engaged people online, the more I realized how absolutely full of shit most people are. To me that emphasized just how important truth, clarity, facts, fairness, justice, and integrity are. Even though I profoundly disagree with Richard Dawkins, I would not misrepresent the facts of one of his books (and one wishes he would return the favor regarding his adversaries). Life is too short to become a member of the Vulgarians.

          And written and spoken language is a uniquely human thing. Arguably it not only expresses our minds but is a fine tool to help shape them – thus the power of Orwellianism by the Left to intentionally bastardize language and thus thought.

          Anyway, for those at home still reading, here’s a short list of what I think are writing-improvement techniques:

          + Tell a story, don’t just present a formula or a proof.

          + Internalize the rules of good writing via practice, but then forget them. Communication is more of an art than a science. For the male brain in particular, which is often naturally drawn to formulas and never-ending formal logic, you must summon your inner girly-man to some extent.

          + Read good writers. You will pick it up by osmosis.

          + Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room. Glenn Fairman already holds that position, so that takes the pressure off.

          + For the male brain that loves rules and formal logic, sate your appetite for the pedantic by reading some James Kilpatrick such as The Writer’s Art.

          + Re-read your own writing and edit, edit, edit. This is why it is so important to read (and thus internalize) good writers. You must have a template against which to edit or else one’s editing can be nonstop and circular.

          + Actually say what you think. Within the bounds of general or minimal propriety, do say what you think because the world is fully of people who can’t (for whatever reason) get to the point. I think many are afraid to do so therefore they end up couching their ideas in doublespeak, prevarications, or just the fog of not being aware that they are afraid of calling a spade a spade and so they end up in a muddle.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      One must realize that an interest in the “blood moons” prophecies is a matter of taste, and thus subjective. Some will be interested (as I am, at least somewhat, though probably not as much as you are), and others won’t be. I don’t see any problem with that.

      Incidentally, I will note that “prophecy” is the noun and “prophesy” is the verb. English can be very tricky.

  17. GHG says:

    As my Aunt Estelle used to say when she had the misfortune of “babysitting” for my brother and me – “now boys, play nice” 🙂

    • Jerry Richardson says:

      GHG,

      “now boys, play nice”—GHG

      I think it should be well known from my numerous comments relative to Brad Nelson my respect for him. Also I think it should be obvious from our exchanges that he and I do not adhere to the common politically-correct notion of “nice”—my sometime disagreements with Brad do not mean disaffection.

      I’ll state it this way: A forum for intense disagreement without animosity is what Stubborn Things offers me.

      • GHG says:

        Jerry said “I think it should be well known from my numerous comments relative to Brad Nelson my respect for him. ”

        Yes, it was known to me. My attempt at witty repartee needs a little work. The inclusion of a smiley signifying self aware surrender.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Maybe everyone here should go out and watch “Whiplash” because then I’m going to look like one hell of a pussycat compared to that taskmaster.

          The premise of this site is somewhat fuzzy, and part of that is by design. I want to write what the hell I want to write. Early on I got some criticism that I was posting too many movie reviews. I think what some people had in mind was that this site would be like a status symbol. We would all be little Jonah Goldbergs (or whatever) correcting the errors of the conservative media at large, so it was somewhat embarrassing to this mindset to have movie reviews and stuff like that. After all, that’s not “serious” stuff.

          Note that there are side blogs encouraging the development of subjects far beyond the transgressions of Obama. There’s only one catch: One must aim for excellence. One must keep trying to improve.

          It would have been very easy for this site simply to be the home of those who could bitch the best. And sometimes a good rant is just what the doctor ordered. But our culture is polluted by small-minded thinking. We’re a country that used to have statesmen, but it began to be run by class presidents (Clinton) and now by radical agitators (Obama)…perhaps soon to be led by brain-dead Establishment GOPers.

          StubbornThings is about the life of the mind, intellect, soul, spirit, and art, particularly as it relates to the tradition of Western Civilization. Write about any damn thing you want, but do it well. If you’re not improving then what you’re likely doing is just ranting-with-style. The brain death of a Jonah Goldberg is in everyone’s future the day we stop striving. We’re not here for ego, to gain a reputation, to earn money, or any of that. We’re here to communicate ideas in a society that is becoming incapable of doing much more than the thinking equivalent of finger-painting.

          No one has to be perfect. Everyone’s style is going to be different. But one should always be trying to improve — and regarding written subjects, organization, eloquence, and clarity are the prime methods. And I don’t have time to play full-time editor and father confessor, so the most I can do at the moment is chime in from time to time, hopefully encouraging, but it’s inevitable that any criticism is going to punch holes.

          And you just have to trust that my criticism is not motivated by petty ego, by pedanticism, or because I’m embarrassed that someone is posting too many movie reviews. But if you all are out there without even the mind to get better at what you’re doing, then I don’t want you here. The function of StubbornThings is not for mental masturbation. We’re something different.

          • GHG says:

            I wrote several essays a few years back and had to face that writing was not my forte. Not organized well enough for good flow of thought, not even close to being concise, and too much of either snide/snark or “clever” humor, or both. But the bigger issue I had to face was that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did and certainly not enough to offer any more than my opinion based on my opinion.

            Hence I sit in the peanut gallery and post comments … which is still mostly just my opinion based on my opinion. My delusional hope is that one day the world will wake up and clamor for GHG’s opinion on … well just about everything. I’ll be ready. 🙂

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              But the bigger issue I had to face was that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did and certainly not enough to offer any more than my opinion based on my opinion.

              Mr. Lesser, luckily StubbornThings is neither the scientific establishment nor the GOP Establishment. There is room for integrating new information. There is room for growth. The entire point isn’t to protect a power structure or ideology, per se.

              Regarding your admission of “not good enough” in regards to writing, take it from someone who has been there, done that. Much of it is just a matter of practice. No, practice will not likely turn one into a Hemingway or a Thoreau. But one of the premises of this site (and it’s a good one) is that there are too many establishment types with vested interested out there…so much so that truth has been a severe causality. And wisdom isn’t even on the radar.

              So by “good writing” one should never think I’m putting emphasis on form rather than substance. Give me writing, if it is true and wise, that has cow dung on its boots in terms of hifalutin language (or lack thereof) and there will always be a place for such person here. I give very little weight to fetishism regarding form for form’s sake. I do not grovel at the heels of those who can dole out fancy words and yet have the wisdom of a fence post, if that.

              And a well-populated peanut gallery is absolutely crucial for the success of any sort of New Athens where truth, beauty, and goodness are high values. But I will continue to encourage those in the peanut gallery to take center stage. And I will continue to encourage, cajole, and heckle those who do take center stage so that they don’t forget that center stage is not a badge, a mere gold star handed out on the cheap. It should be a status that is cultivated.

              I don’t think the day will come when the general opinion around here will be the norm. Very hard times are coming. But until then, and through then, one can resist the pull of chaos.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Here, here!

  18. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    But if you all are out there without even the mind to get better at what you’re doing, then I don’t want you here. —Brad

    Please don’t assume that I think you are addressing this comment just to me; I know that you aren’t. And, I completely approve of and agree with your statement. Striving for improvement has been a life-time goal of mine as a continual-reader and life-long-learner.

    With that mind-set, allow me to question/discuss your following writing principle:

    + Tell a story, don’t just present a formula or a proof.
    It means that an article or story is going to have a progression to it, a beginning, middle, and an end. —Brad

    Story-telling is a very powerful method of communicating ideas. I get that, completely. That is why progressives rely so heavily upon the strategy of the blessed “narrative.”

    I love stories; I absolutely have no beef with that mode of communication. I love and believe the Bible; and it is filled-with stories of all sorts. Virtually every article written today that is posted on the internet is written in story-mode. I do usually try to use story-mode; though sometimes I don’t do it so well; but, I am working to improve.

    But some factual matters do not always readily lend themselves to story-mode. Life and hiSTORY may well be stories, but reality does not always conform to the mode of a story.

    For example, the actions and lives of those who developed quantum theory is very amenable to story-mode and is the approach most often taken to address the subject; however, quantum theory itself does not fit story-mode; it is very mathematical, and very jargon laced with technical terms. This has been a constant problem for those who attempt to write about it on a popular level.

    Non story-mode is the type of reality that faces someone who decides to write about “blood moons” factually for popular consumption. Easy enough if you limit yourself to writing about personalities, but not so easy if you really want to discuss the factual aspects involved.

    I readily welcome a more appealing format than the one I used for that type of discussion; but I’m not convinced that the best format is story-mode. However, I’m willing to be convinced.

    I’m asking—honestly, not just trying to be argumentative— if your suggested rules for good article writing permit anything other than story-mode; and if so what are some of the formats?

    I notice that your blog article, The Designed Body , doesn’t seem to fit a standard story-mode, but it nevertheless communicates; I think very well, even though it relies on multiple links to other sources. I see nothing wrong with that.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Please don’t assume that I think you are addressing this comment just to me; I know that you aren’t.

      Absolutely, Jerry. If *I* don’t keep trying to improve, I don’t want to be here either. Part of the inspiration for this site was that I got tired of being the nattering nabob at the end of someone else’s article (such as at NRO). I wanted to force myself to take it to another level, but without getting lost in depressing and crushing institutional formality.

      But some factual matters do not always readily lend themselves to story-mode.

      One thing to keep in mind, Jerry, is that we’re not a technical journal. Our audience is (theoretically) made up of lovable rank amateurs, but amateurs who are motivated to learn something new. They come here because they’d rather set aside a few minutes for this than devote that time to Facebook, text messaging, or whatever.

      If Jonathan Wells wanted to post something here, I’d tell him to “dumb it down.” And one of the best layman-level books I’ve ever read is his “Icons of Evolution” where he does a wonderful job of teaching about quite complex biological stuff while in the midst of debunking the false icons. And that’s because the point of the book isn’t as a chemistry primer but as a debunker of Darwinian propaganda. And to do so he does need to present some background (sometimes technical) on these issues.

      Technical journals have different requirements. General-purpose writing has different requirements. Even so, for both types (and perhaps all types) there is a general logic of communication. There is the well-developed argument (whether requiring technical data or not) and there are those less well developed. Don’t take too literally my use of the word “story.” Definitely take literally my admonition of a more conversational style. But by “story” I mean holding to a good overall syntax of telling what you wish to tell. Regarding any subject, that often bolsters the triad truism of “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.”

      That’s why there are such things as paragraph. Some writers (none here that I can think of) seem to forget that the return key exists on their keyboard. They just present one humungous block of text that nobody is going to read. The same can be true of huge blocks of number or formulas. Dividing up a narrative, a technical paper, or anything into bite-sized pieces that or more or less coherent unto themselves is a very effective method of communication and, I think, steers one automatically toward a logical progression and development of ideas.

      So let’s expand the idea of “story telling” to “information telling.” But having “story” in mind is not a bad thing because people are not computers. They need the information brought to them in digestible pieces — even including technical journals.

      Regarding quantum theory, the inside joke is that nobody really understands it (and there is much truth to that). And there are at least two sides to this story. There is the technical story of Feynman diagrams and all the scientificy geek stuff scientists need to know in order to run experiments and such. And then there is the philosophical or metaphysical side of how to understand quantum physics, what it might mean about the deepest nature of reality (which, of course, only makes sense from a materialist point of view).

      I notice that your blog article, The Designed Body , doesn’t seem to fit a standard story-mode, but it nevertheless communicates; I think very well, even though it relies on multiple links to other sources. I see nothing wrong with that.

      That’s why it’s under the “blog post” heading. It’s the equivalent of a notice. I’m saying, “Here, if you trust my judgment in what is interesting to read, take a look at this.” And then I move on. And if someone wants to develop or talk about any of the information and theories presented in that series, they can do so. The post is a seed of sorts, not a beginning-middle-end type of discussion or analysis of some subject. One can walk and chew gum at the same time! 😀

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Thinking of being here, what effect do you think the FCC takeover of the Internet will have on this website, given that the suppression of dissent is undoubtedly one motivation for the takeover (judging from the past behavior of the Obama Gang)? I certainly wouldn’t want it to disappear, since I’m able to write here more reliably (i.e., with less difficulty from the provider/site combinations) than most other sites I’m active on.

  19. GHG says:

    What about a parody? I wrote a parody a few years ago to kinda poke a few AGW believers on another blog. Not surprisingly, they failed to see the humor/irony. It’s certainly not intellectually hefty but maybe it’s a nice toe in the water before I consider jumping in.

    Also, what about poetry? Amateurish to be sure but the objective is either (1) praise or (2) thought provoking … and I never use the word Nantucket 🙂

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Hey, there’s nothing wrong with Nantucket in a poem. You can always rhyme it with bucket.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Mr. Lesser, you’ll notice on the right a little toward the bottom there is a “Prose and Poetry” section. That is for poetry, stories, creative writing…about anything you can think of. I’ll state (not for your benefit, but just as a general rule) that the standards there are pretty much “Submit it, it will get published” unless its’ an ode to Ron Paul, and even then.

      Parody is, of course, welcome — especially anything that pokes fun at the Church of Global Warming. The only problem is making it stand out from everyday events. The news cycle has itself become a parody. So you’ll have to try hard, but I’m sure what you’ve done is good. Just submit it by clicking on that little blue “Submit” graphic to the right.

      • GHG says:

        OK, I’m being dense here … but what little blue “Submit” graphic to the right? Maybe it’s my browser (IE), because some of the sidebar stuff doesn’t format very well.

        oops – never mind – I found it.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          One can also send e-mails to the submissions e-mail address. That, in fact, is how I do it since the last time I used the regular Submit icon the article was lost (this was after my old e-mail account was hacked by someone in Kuala Lumpur).

          Incidentally, Brad, Mike Huckabee mentions in his latest book doing a parody “Nanny Boy” about Michael Bloomberg and his nanny-state policies. I’m thinking of working up a version of my own, since titles can’t be copyrighted (for example, Elizabeth and I have 4 books titled Ashes to Ashes).

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Good for Mike. I prefer “nancy boy” but I guess those are technically two different thing. LOL.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              “Nancy boy” signs more like Julia’s mate, such as Pajama Boy. Michael Bloomberg has many flaws, but that isn’t one of them. Bill de Blasio may be another matter.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Okay. I acknowledge that distinction. We’ll have to do some kind of official lexicon so that people know the difference between “nanny boy,” “nancy boy,” “girly-man,” and “Pajama Boy.” Granted, there will be some overlap.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          You’ll have to show me the poor formatting. I know that I’ve had to beg one of the plugin designers to make his plugin compatible with older browsers. He was of the mind that it was up to the user to always have the latest and greatest. Odd of the chap being a “Progressive” are pretty high, I’d say. If you have the technical know-how, take a screenshot of what the screen looks like with the poor formatting and send it to me.

          • GHG says:

            It’s not a big deal (in other words I’m not savvy enough to snapshot it to send it to you) The stuff enclosed in the box – like “Comments” and “Links” format fine. The stuff not enclosed in the box appear to have a width of 5 characters (normal font, more for smaller fonts), such as:

            The
            Desig
            ned
            Body
            by
            Brad
            Nelson
            More

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Yeah, okay. I know what that is. I’m going to assume you’re using an old version of Internet Explorer. That one plugin author I noted did actually accommodate me a little bit (made it somewhat backward compatible). But not too far back I’m guessing.

              • Jerry Richardson says:

                Am I the only gump that just emails my stuff to Brad. He knows exactly how to post it.

  20. Jerry Richardson says:

    Here’s an example of the false information, currently circulation on the Internet, that I take pains to rebut in my article:

    Ominous signs in the heavens?
    The current Shemitah year is being watched even more closely by some because it coincides with a rare tetrad of four blood moons that all occur on biblical feast days, the next coming on April 4, which is Passover. The tetrad of blood moons has only occurred three other times in the last 500 years. On top of the four blood moons, there will be a total solar eclipse on March 20 and a partial solar eclipse on Sept. 13 or Elul 29.
    —WND Founder and CEO Joseph Farah interviews Jonathan Cahn at the 2015 NRB Convention:

    More Signs in Sky

    “The tetrad of blood moons has only occurred three other times in the last 500 years.”

    This statement is a gross distortion of a well-known astronomical event of 4 consecutive total lunar eclipses, named a tetrad; the statement is a false and misleading conflation of legitimately-defined tetrads with a man-manufactured calendar-event called “four blood moons.”

    The last 500 years from this year (2015) would put us at 1515; but listed below, according to the NASA database, are the tetrads that have occurred since 1515, and as you can easily see, there aren’t just 3 in the last 500 years; to be exact there have been 6 and including this year there will be 7:

    TETRADS

    1. Tetrad: 1909 – 1910
    2. Tetrad: 1927 – 1928
    3. Tetrad: 1949 – 1950
    4. Tetrad: 1967 – 1968
    5. Tetrad: 1985 – 1986

    1. Tetrad: 2003 – 2004
    2. Tetrad: 2014 – 2015

  21. Jerry Richardson says:

    GHG,

    It’s certainly not intellectually hefty but maybe it’s a nice toe in the water before I consider jumping in.—GHG

    Jump in! I love your comments. And surely you can see that you can’t do any worse than I do. The water’s fine; and it doesn’t hurt too much when you get scolded; I’ve received quite a few scolding on this website—a few of them from you, but I like and respect you anyway…Jump in! I will cheer you on. 🙂

    • GHG says:

      Thanks Jerry. I’ve done it. A silly parody that Brad has already posted. It’s not exactly total immersion, but a toe in the water is a start. Essays of intellectual heft may be delayed until I develop some intellect and some heft. 🙂

      Oh, and lest I be remiss for not encouraging you, keep contributing brother. You are part of the fabric here – and it’s a very good fabric.

  22. Jerry Richardson says:

    GHG,

    …until I develop some intellect and some heft. —GHG

    Don’t put yourself down. I think you have plenty of intellect and heft; and in addition, I admire your wry-sense of humor.

    Share with us your unique thought-world; get you ideas out onto Brad’s “center stage.”

    Go for it.

  23. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I consider that an ambitious subject, Jerry, to go for the root causes (or cause) of “willful blindness.” I’m not sure what you’re take on that will be, but I think it will be difficult to do without delving into a basic philosophy of life. Such as:

    + Evolutionary psychology: The root cause of willful blindness is that it is a survival strategy (filtering out, say, the extraneous with the downside being the sometimes this blinds us to the obvious)

    + Christian/Judaism: The root cause of willful blindness is sin or disobedience to God’s commands

    + Utilitarian/pragmatic: Any creature less than omniscient will necessarily have blind spots

    + Emotional/ego: Over-emphasis of self-love, prestige, honor, or power incentivizes a highly selective view of the facts

    But don’t let me spoil your story. 🙂 Certainly Andy McCarthy has a book by that title and it is an important subject to him. That’s one I haven’t read though. Or I read part of it and then just gave up because reading about Islam is just too depressing.

    • Jerry Richardson says:

      Brad,

      A writer named Margaret Heffernan also has a book by the same title. I’m currently reading the Kindle version.

      I consider that an ambitious subject, Jerry, to go for the root causes (or cause) of “willful blindness.” —Brad

      It certainly would be especially if someone discussed in detail all of the four potential options you listed: + Evolutionary psychology, + Christian/Judaism, + Utilitarian/pragmatic, + Emotional/ego—it would require at least a small book. I have no intention of something that ambitious; as I mentioned earlier, there are numerous scriptures related to the issue; so out of your list the + Christian/Judaism angle probably is most appealing to me followed closely by the +Emotional/ego angle.

      But prior to the “why” (root or cause) issue there is some necessary “what” discussion needed such as distinguishing between the somewhat little known legal definition and use of the term versus its private occurrence; especially it’s longtime occurrence within major worldviews or ideology.

      The author of the book I mentioned above does a rather thorough job of discussing the USA legal interpretation that has been given to the phrase.

      She also discusses at some length the fact that everyone has biases, which of course are easily related, I think, to “willfull blindness.”

      She makes some provocative statements such as the following:

      We may think we want to be challenged, but we really don’t. Our intellectual homes are just as self-selected and exclusive as our physical homes.
      —Heffernan, Margaret (2011-03-01). Willful Blindness (p. 17). Kindle Edition.

      No doubt there is truth in her statement; but mulling it over, one has to ask if there is such a thing as good “willful blindness” and bad “willful blindness” or is all “willful blindness” bad? And who decides?

      Well, anyway, you can see that I am having some fun reading and thinking about this topic. I haven’t decided yet whether to write an article about it but I’m chewing on it.

      Thanks for discussing with me.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I have no intention of something that ambitious; as I mentioned earlier, there are numerous scriptures related to the issue; so out of your list the + Christian/Judaism angle probably is most appealing to me followed closely by the +Emotional/ego angle.

        Well, I do think the evolutionary psychology angle is crippled because, like the rest of neo-Darwinism, it’s full of “just so” stories. To some extent, that’s a problem for a biblical view as well. But I’ll be waited with baited breath, as they say.

        We may think we want to be challenged, but we really don’t. Our intellectual homes are just as self-selected and exclusive as our physical homes.

        I suppose you don’t want to give away too much now. But I don’t find that quote by Margaret Heffernan to be provocative in the least. As I noted, I think it’s an easier job to explain the habits, ideas, modes of thought, and disciplines it takes to be suitably (but not gullibly or carelessly) open to new ideas. From the Judeo-Christian point of view, crucial to that is the idea that we are a part of something bigger than us, thus the explanation does not reside in glorifying either matter or ourselves as so many on the Left do. We need not puff ourselves up so much.

        A dose of humility frees oneself from clutching at mere ideas as if they were like an arm or a leg. And many people fear those idea-appendages being cut off as if mere ideas were a physical part of themselves. We should, in theory, hold ideas provisionally, knowing that even good ones are, at best, approximations, and thus ignorance, to varying degrees, is pretty much the normal state of mankind.

        I took up the idea of intelligent design, for example from Glenn the Greater’s prompting. I, like most others who have better things to do than to study biology, just assumed that neo-Darwinists were all atheist a-holes with no social skills, manners, and an overt hatred of the religious. But I assumed the science was more or less on the right track. Well, I don’t believe that anymore. And changing my mind did not require the painful removal of any appendage. Still, we all do hold ideas (such as my superior taste in movies) that we do not want to let go of no matter what. Then one certainly encounters the (one would guess) semi-unconscious intransigence of willful blindness.

        Having had more than a few “dynamic” conversations (to put it mildly) with those on the Left (or of the secular mindset) (and I can be a great provocateur when the needs or desire arises), I can tell you that for many on the Left to even question an idea they hold dear is harder for them than crawling naked through broken glass. I’m often astonished by this. For me, ideas are somewhat play things. That’s not to say that I don’t take anything seriously. But what I do take seriously is that there are so many ideas, many of them new and interesting, and not all of them can be true. And, for better or for worse, God has seen fit to forcefully and often painfully remove any kind of death grip I might have on a functioning higher ego — of the kind wherein my sense of identity is so strong and so bolstered by some association or idea that to let go of it would be like dying.

        And I say that with some regret, for great deeds are not often done by those who doubt but by those, for lack of a better word, who have drunk deeply their own brand of kool-aid, are fully integrated into it, and then just plow ahead. The world is not made for navel-gazers who constantly turn over every little circumstance in their minds, thus perhaps one more reason that willful blindness is so common and probably so darn useful.

        • Jerry Richardson says:

          Brad,

          We may think we want to be challenged, but we really don’t. Our intellectual homes are just as self-selected and exclusive as our physical homes.

          I suppose you don’t want to give away too much now. But I don’t find that quote by Margaret Heffernan to be provocative in the least.—Brad

          Yeah, I didn’t make very clear the reason I find the statement provocative. The reason I said that “…No doubt there is truth in her statement…” is that I agree with the standalone statement; but in the overall context of “willful blindness” my wonderment is if this statement, from her, is intended as a justification of “willfull blindness” (which she seems to somewhat argue for later in the book) this of course led to my question, to myself, as to whether there is good as well as bad “willful blindness.”

          The crux of my perception of her statement as being provocative can be understood relative to your statement:

          Still, we all do hold ideas (such as my superior taste in movies) that we do not want to let go of no matter what. Then one certainly encounters the (one would guess) semi-unconscious intransigence of willful blindness.

          Wow, I love your description of one of the facets of “willful blindness” that I’m very interested in “semi-unconscious intransigence of willful blindness.”

          But to the point. Is your “willful blindness” regarding your self-touted superior taste in movies a good thing or a bad thing? Either way, who decides.

          Does my, and your, self-regarded, superior taste in political matters that involve the conflict between Conservatism and Progressivism amount to “willful blindness” or is it simply cleared-eyed realism on our part? And if it is best labeled as “willful blindness” is it good or bad? And who decides?

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I would differentiate between “taste” (which is purely subjective and personal) and “opinion” (which is, at least in theory, based on facts and logic). “Willful blindness” is never desirable in the latter case. Even in the matter of taste, it can be desirable to try new things, or to learn that something one enjoys happens to be harmful in ways that one finds unacceptable, or even that some things one enjoys are more beneficial (or less harmful) than others.

            • Jerry Richardson says:

              Timothy,

              I would differentiate between “taste” (which is purely subjective and personal) and “opinion” (which is, at least in theory, based on facts and logic). —Timothy Lane

              I don’t think that the line between “taste” and “opinion” is always discernibly clear. Perhaps we also need the concept here of “preference.”

              For example, I have “taste” in movies; but I do not honestly believe that I have the equivalent refined “taste” of a studied movie critic such as Brad.

              In other words, what I am tossing back to you is the notion that a refined “taste” does depend to some extent upon facts and logic. I think it is sorta like the so-called demarcation between “facts” and “values.”

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            But to the point. Is your “willful blindness” regarding your self-touted superior taste in movies a good thing or a bad thing?

            Well, it’s probably not so “blind” as it is “willful” (or hopeful…well…boastful). But the thing about aesthetics, I’m willing to debate the point in fair and fine detail. My good friend, Mr. Tarzwell, says that (gasp!) he can watch anything. He’s says I’m way too picky.

            I call it “discriminating and well-refined taste.” But no willful blindness there. I will delve beyond the boasts into the details and a make a case far richer than mere parroted sound bytes and bumper sticker slogans. And I think as a conservative I’m honest enough and self-aware enough to discuss or argue which points I see as a preference and which points I see as time-tested. That is, I’m not going to state as proven dogma that which is a preference or not substantially proven to be a fact. The blurring of such boundaries (out of ignorance or intentional subterfuge) is what makes dealing with the Left so difficult.

            And, oh, if only the neo-Darwinists would extend the same courtesy of delineating between the facts and their hopes or preferences. And that’s an interest part of it. What is willful blindness, what is intransigence, and what is just the result of pure indoctrination?

            What I think is inherent, even foundational, to “willful” blindness is, consistent with what most of the great conservative thinkers have noted (including Goldberg) — and I extend from their general thoughts — is that the politics of the Left changes the very way one parses the world and how one thinks. Let me cite a good passage by Bruce L. Gordon from the book, The Nature of Nature:

            This leaves us to philosophical naturalists who are most appropriately categorized as “pragmatists.” While eschewing anything beyond the natural realm, they deny the universality of rational explanation. In their view, all explanations are radically contextual, and nothing would license the assumption that all contexts— even scientific ones— are mutually reconcilable. This stance, which represents a kind of irrationalism, is ironically the most consistent realization of the metaphysical and epistemological implications of philosophical naturalism. Adoption of the pragmatic stance ultimately leads to the fragmentation and instrumentalization of all rationality, scientific rationality included. Whatever science is, under the rubric of pragmatic naturalism, it is not the rational search for a unified truth about the natural world. It is merely one instrumentality among many in a relativistic world of personal and societal agendas that have no objective standard in respect of their merit. Without such a universal standard, “truth” has no purchase point that would grant it objective ascendancy, “knowledge” becomes mere power in the service of appetite, and everything gets politicized. While many academic pragmatists give no personal evidence of an oppressive and egregious agenda— indeed, many are so concerned about prejudice that, as Richard Weaver once observed, they are at war with simple predication 6 —nonetheless, there is nothing intrinsic to this metaphysic, or rather lack of metaphysic, which would restrain the pragmatist from atrocities or exhort him to defend against them. 7 Again, nihilism reigns and the voice of relativized “reason” dissolves into static, full of sibilant sound, signifying nothing. Rationalistic or irrationalistic, reductive or nonreductive, it is therefore clear that through its de-transcendentalization of both nature and reason, philosophical naturalism destroys any rational basis for science, and ultimately contributes to the destabilization and fragmentation of civil society.

            Emphasis mine. That’s a lot to swallow down. But I think adhering to a Leftist/secular/atheist/materialist mindset does lead to “Anything means anything” and thus (I think as Goldberg shows in “Liberal Fascism”) the only thing left to measure anything with is via the political lens. And although politics is unavoidable, so is diarrhea, vomiting, and paying taxes. That’s not really how you want to spend your life. I really can’t think of a more corrosive element to the human mind, heart, and soul than to think via the political lens. It means inherently being argumentative, for if there is no objective standard it’s the cleverest Clintonesque or Obamaesque arguer who wins. Manipulation, not truth, becomes the point of reference. And what they say about Bill Clinton’s supporters, for instance, is that they overlook his flaws because they cherish his ability to stick it to the right, to get out of jams, to be a skillful manipulator.

            One thing I didn’t want this site to be focused on is politics. And by that I mean that *we* begin to see everything through a political lens. Commenting on it, fine. But getting caught up in the tit-for-tat of it, if you know what I mean, is tiresome. If I ever stick anything on the masthead of this site, it will be a cautionary note in that regard. And I’m not even sure that many people would understand what I’m talking about, their thought processes having long been given over to the political. Yes, Obama is a monster, but the sun still shines, the flowers are beautiful, and there are many other things to talk about.

            Anyway, I haven’t bought “The Nature of Nature” yet, but the free sample in it is superb.

            Does my, and your, self-regarded, superior taste in political matters that involve the conflict between Conservatism and Progressivism amount to “willful blindness” or is it simply cleared-eyed realism on our part?

            I think the commonality is the willingness to question basic premises (as they say, “the facts of life are conservative,” so there’s only one place a true seeker of truth, and not a poser, can go); a predilection to see if there is some value to a fence or wall before knocking it down; a definite respect for tradition and the wisdom of the ages; and (perhaps most importantly) not being an egotistical kook who infuses a religious fervor into things that you or I see as things having nothing at all to do with the Ultimates. If someone is religiously zealous about CO2, what can you do? There is no reason that can reach them.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I think what you mean by not wanting the site to be caught up in politics is that you don’t want it to become tribal. When defending one’s own side against the Other (whoever that Other may be) is more important than facts and logic, then integrity becomes a casualty. This is normal with liberals, and conservatives have to be very careful that it doesn’t happen to them.

            • Jerry Richardson says:

              Brad,

              I think the commonality is the willingness to question basic premises…a predilection to see if there is some value to a fence or wall before knocking it down; a definite respect for tradition and the wisdom of the ages; and (perhaps most importantly) not being an egotistical kook who infuses a religious fervor into things that you or I see as things having nothing at all to do with the Ultimates.
              —Brad Nelson

              Thanks for this, I was looking for a tidbit of confirmation that my Conservatism is not “willful blindness” and you provided that. If I decide to launch an article on “willful blindness” I want to feel that I have adequate grounds for why “physician heal thyself” isn’t an appropriate gouge.

              Whatever science is, under the rubric of pragmatic naturalism, it is not the rational search for a unified truth about the natural world.
              —-
              “knowledge” becomes mere power in the service of appetite, and everything gets politicized. While many academic pragmatists give no personal evidence of an oppressive and egregious agenda.
              —Brad quoting, Gordon, Bruce; Dembski, William (2014-04-29). The Nature of Nature

              My perception is that this and your discussion of politicization is bigger and more inclusive that just day-to-day political happenings. I feel sure it includes arenas where some sort of collectivism relative to thought, some coercive group-think, such as Al Gore’s misguided, unscientific notion of “consensus” is deemed proper. This is where pragmatism leads. And of course pragmatism is only concerned with what its advocates think “works.” Has there ever been a twisted ideology proposed that was not presumed to work before it was seen to crash and burn?

              …in respect of human rationality itself, like also begets like, and the reason that our cognitive faculties are capable of perceiving truth and reasoning correctly is that they too— when functioning properly in their intended environment— operate as intelligently designed systems that have the formation of true beliefs as their purpose. Only under such conditions does our unspoken faith in human reason make sense.
              —Gordon, Bruce; Dembski, William (2014-04-29). The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science (Kindle Locations 559-564). Kindle Edition.

              So indeed, “willful blindness” does not have “the formation of true beliefs as its purpose.”

              Are you getting commissions from Amazon? You just sold me on the book; I just got my Kindle copy a little while ago. Of course with William Dembski being one of the editors is was an easy sell to me. Actually this book is like a hit-parade of some of my long-ago favorites.

              I have read and studied much of John Searle’s work, especially his writings on intentionally and Speech acts. William Lane Craig just blows my mental-doors off with his writings on creation ex nihilo and time. Nancey Murphy is a powerful and brilliant theological writer. And of course David Berlinski with his keen mathematical mind has long been on my book shelf.

              And Alvin C. Plantinga, mercy, how many compliments can you pay this accomplished scholar. Reading his books launched me into a six-month session of reading and studying modal logic; and his free-will defense in regard to the rationality of believe in God is a classic—he is just a brilliant philosopher and theologian.

              Thank you for plugging this book, I’m glad I have it.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                So indeed, “willful blindness” does not have “the formation of true beliefs as its purpose.”

                I should think not, Jerry. And this is consistent with what Dennis Prager says about truth not being a left wing value. It is a world (as we see unfolding now in the West) of crazy, chaotic, kookiness where facts, preferences, politics, science, reason, and metaphysics are all thrown into a mixed grab bag and the only means used to sort them are “I like it or “It’s useful” or “It’s popular.”

                I don’t know all that much about history, but this seems to be a new development. Modern man is losing his mind. We tend to think of primitive tribal people as being backward. And regarding their propensity for violence, and often their very poor morals, this was true. But I doubt there ever was a Nobel Savage anywhere who believed that lions wouldn’t eat them if they were just nice to the lion. Look at all the truly preposterous beliefs of the left. They are losing their mind, and our culture is losing an appropriate anchor in anything meaningful.

                So, as I was telling someone the other day, one reason I started this site was to have a place of sanity. Yes, yes, yes, I’ll gladly admit that most of the people I meet in real life are “nice.” But an increasing number of them are brainwashed and thus I have no point of reference with them. It’s like living inside the movie, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” I find myself increasingly having to hold my tongue (for me, that is) at the vapid things people are doing and saying. They’ve soaked up materialism and all the incredible dumb stuff that goes along with it. I get along with these people, but I don’t respect them and I certainly am as wary of them as Sergeant Howie was of the natives in 1973’s “The Wicker Man.”

                I ran across some environmental-wacko stuff (and I did speak up at the time) just this last weekend that made me feel like I was living in a parallel universe. I don’t want to say much more. But, good gracious. I just smile now at some of this stuff and hope something doesn’t burst out of their chest and eat me.

                No commissions from Amazon. I guess something like that could be set up. It’s on the list of things to do, but this site isn’t really about making money, so it’s a very low priority.

      • GHG says:

        Another idea would be to juxtapose willful blindness with willful suspension of disbelief. They seem to be the two sides of the coin used as leftist currency – heads they win and tails we lose.

        • Jerry Richardson says:

          GHG,

          Yes, good suggestion. The whole notion of temporarily suspending certain, seemingly unavoidable ideas, was a tactic that was popularized by the father of phenomenology, Edmund Husserl; he called it bracketing; a goofy name that stuck in phenomenological writings.

          An interest concept; you don’t throw the idea away, you just bracket it; take it out of the discussion; in coaching terminology you could say that you put the idea on the bench.

          So the difference I see her is that “willful suspension” of belief or disbelief would amount to bracketing the idea; whereas “willful blindness” amounts to hiding or covering or banishing the idea; somewhat like having an empty bracket.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Note that “willing suspension of disbelief” is also a key concept for reading fiction, especially fantasy and science fiction. This requires immersion in a world one knows doesn’t actually exist (and perhaps even couldn’t exist). Marti Steussy once complained about Piers Anthony’s Xanth series because all the puns took her out of the fictional world and thus took away the suspension of disbelief. (Anthony isn’t the only writer to do this. John Dickson Carr once had one of his fictional detectives — I think it was Gideon Fell — give a famous lecture on locked rooms that explicitly admitted it was in a mystery novel.)

            • Jerry Richardson says:

              Timothy,

              Note that “willing suspension of disbelief” is also a key concept for reading fiction, especially fantasy and science fiction
              —Timothy Lane

              Absolutely! And that is what is required for anyone to believe in “Man-made Global Warning” now called “climate change” because the earth has not warmed in 18 years, and everybody obviously believes the climate does change.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                My point is that there is a difference between reading something that is intended and marketed as fiction, and something that claims to be true. Willing suspension of disbelief is useful for the former, but never the latter.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Yes, I’m good with that. But one reason I stopped reading sci-fi was that my willing suspension of disbelief became overpowered by the annoyance of nearly every sci-fi writer inserting environmental wackoism into their stories. It was as if they had all run out of ideas all of a sudden.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                You might want to check Fallen Angels out. This is the very opposite (and also has a reference to FOSFAX).

  24. GHG says:

    My point in bringing “willful suspension of disbelief” into this discussion is because I believe it is what the Left expects the rest of us to do. Not because we know the truth of something and they expect us to pretend it isn’t true, but rather because they think we don’t know the truth and therefore we’re supposed to suspend our disbelief and believe “their truth” because they are our betters.

    So the one side of the coin is them living in a world of willful blindness while on the other side of the coin we’re supposed to suspend our faculties and depend on them to tell us the truth. See … it all works beautifully. 🙂

  25. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I think what you mean by not wanting the site to be caught up in politics is that you don’t want it to become tribal.

    To some extent, that’s true, Timothy. I’d hate to ever get into the situation where the thinking here is ever too in-bred. And I know you and Mr. Kung are absolutely fearless in telling me that I’m full of crap, so that’s why you are so valuable here (not that it’s all about me, Me, ME!!!).

    We shouldn’t become too inbred. At the same time, facts are facts. And if we all think socialism is a bad idea, that’s probably more a consequence of reality than groupthink.

    That said, reflexive contrarianism in order to try to not give the impression that one is simply conforming is no better. For what it’s worth, I’m more than glad to tell someone that I agree with them 100%. There’s back-slapping and then there’s back-slapping.

    I would differentiate between “taste” (which is purely subjective and personal) and “opinion” (which is, at least in theory, based on facts and logic).

    That’s an interesting idea. I think you’re right (and I gladly acknowledge it) that many things are a matter of taste. That said, good taste can be cultivated. If all one does is sit around and watch The Three Stooges, one isn’t likely to ever “get” Casablanca.

    Art appreciation is full of pretension, groupthink, snobbery, and what not. This complicates the already complicated subjective nature of it. I swear, I’ve had this experience so many times that it must mean something. Someone will tell me they saw a movie and that they liked it. By no means am I getting in their face, but I’ll mention (about what I think is a truly dreadful movie) a couple of things that I thought didn’t work. More than once someone will then say, “Oh, yeah. I guess that part was pretty bad…and maybe the movie was just so-so.” And I don’t think they’re just conforming to my opinion. And that’s the interesting bit. I think people easily and unconsciously conform to some degree their “likes” according to what the crowd is doing.

    There does seem to be some kind of a groupthink effect. That doesn’t necessarily mean that someone didn’t have a good time watching what was, somewhat objectively, a pretty bad movie. It seems our enjoyment factor isn’t particularly objective. Well, I’m cursed (and blessed) with a radar not so tuned with what the crowd thinks, or even of my own expectations going in.

    There’s a lot of garbage out there, but I do try to push myself once in a while and watch something I might not ordinarily watch. I have a good friend who has shot me movie suggestions through the years of all kinds of esoteric stuff…some of it even scandalous for a conservative site (such as “L.I.E.” with a great and creepy performance by Brian Cox). I’ve watched all kinds of offbeat stuff like that.

    Part of it is simply my interest in getting away from the usual Hollywood formulas. As libtardish as some foreign films can be, I generally like them because many filmmakers are not caught in the tepid, dull, vulgar, nihilistic, artless streak of Hollywood.

    Still, regarding “taste” and “opinion,” I will not come out and say that someone has bad taste. But I will argue positively for superior movies…and feel no compunction against verbally slashing the schlock which is everywhere. But I always try to balance that out by praising to the hilt those producers, directors, artists, and actors who do something of quality. They should be noticed, thanked, and rewarded.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Sam Rayburn once observed that if two people agree on everything, one is doing all the thinking. A corollary that he apparently never mentioned is that the same thing is true of two people disagree on everything. Similarly, it’s just as reflexive (i.e., unthinking) to reject something automatically as to accept it automatically.

      Incidentally, I like both The Three Stooges and Casablanca, and in fact have books about both.

  26. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    You might want to check Fallen Angels out. This is the very opposite (and also has a reference to FOSFAX).

    From this list at Amazon, which Fallen Angels?

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I hadn’t realized the title was used so often, though (as I’ve already mentioned here recently) titles can’t be copyrighted. The one I referred to was by Niven, Pournelle, and Flynn.

  27. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I think what you mean by not wanting the site to be caught up in politics is that you don’t want it to become tribal.

    Timothy, to each his own. I like spending time online. I like reading, writing, sharing thoughts, shooting the bull, etc. But one thing that Rush Limbaugh has noted is that the daily news cycle has become a soap opera.

    And I’ve certainly found myself more than once transferring my angst to underneath some article written by someone else. I may have even said things that were right and true. But I think it’s very easy to get caught in this daily soap opera, this somewhat artificial drama.

    By all means, take a big proverbial stick and whack Obama over the head with it. But it would be very easy to become like the left wherein our politics is our purpose, our sense of self tied to our views and party, and all that stuff.

    Sure, this stuff is important. But I think it’s much too easy to take one’s personal stuff (who doesn’t have problems, worries, frustration and angst?) and throw it at the internet at some topic, rinse-and-repeat, and it all becomes the same tired game where one (just like the nuts and ingrates on the left) have ramped up their grievances to the extent that they can’t enjoy and express all that is the good in life.

    Hey, I can bitch with the best of them, but I don’t want to become a sourpuss. And that’s really what I’m talking about in terms of not wanting to get caught up in politics.

  28. Jerry Richardson says:

    Seems as though there is conflict in the “four blood moons” community. Is there really any surprise about this?

    [March 19, 2015] WASHINGTON – WND has issued a demand letter to San Antonio mega-pastor John Hagee for a public retraction of his claim to be the “discoverer” of the blood Moons phenomenon in his new movie set for release Monday in theaters across America.

    Hagee makes the claim in the new movie called “Four Blood Moons,” based on his New York Times bestselling book of the same name, saying: “The thing that compelled me to write the ‘Four Blood Moons’ was when I discovered the scientific fact NASA was pointing out that it happened in 1492 and it happened in 1948 and it happened in 1967 and it was going to happen in 2015.”

    But the discovery was actually made by Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries of Bonney Lake, Washington, seven years ago – a finding he has discussed in his church, on Christian television, at public conferences ever since and which he describes in detail in his own bestselling book, “Blood Moons,” and a bestselling movie of the same name. In fact, Biltz has been known since 2008 as “the blood moons pastor” and even “Blood Moons Biltz.” Hagee’s book was published in the fall of 2013.

    Hagee and Biltz in Conflict

  29. Jerry Richardson says:

    You can be sure that the Four Blood Moons fracas is not about plain astronomy; nor is it about real prophecy; it is about real EGO, three willful EGOs.

    Everything was going good in this prophetic-fabrication until John Hagee made a public grab for the credit.

    The blood-moons wars

    I suggested to Biltz that he write a book on the subject himself. After all, he was the expert. He was the discoverer. We also decided to make a documentary movie about the phenomenon. Both the book and the movie are called “Blood Moons.” Both came out in early 2014.

    That would have been the end of the story had Hagee not decided to produce a movie of his own that debuted nationwide in theaters Monday in which he made the following statement: “The thing that compelled me to write the ‘Four Blood Moons’ was when I discovered the scientific fact NASA was pointing out that it happened in 1492 and it happened in 1948 and it happened in 1967 and it was going to happen in 2015.”

    The blood-moons war

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      One reason I remain standoffish to organized religion, Jerry, is because so much of it seems to be the repository not of philosophy or metaphysics (which one might honestly agree or disagree with) but of pseudo-science and various forms of hucksterism. That article asks a good question:

      Why would dramatically significant events in the history of the nation of Israel coincide with highly unusual patterns of lunar eclipses, or “blood moons” take place on biblical holy days? And why would this pattern repeat itself in 2014 and 2015? Were these, as Biltz suggested, signs from the Creator of the universe?

      I don’t know that the appearance of any astronomical object during certain times is beyond the realm of mere coincidence. If it is, then fine. Like I’ve said, I think it somewhat derelict of the Creator to not leave a more unambiguous calling card. It shouldn’t be that difficult to write a message permanently in the sky using stars, if only the first 5 prime numbers or something like that.

      I have great sympathy for depthful philosophy. But I admit I have little tolerance for pseudo-science, conspiracy theories, and just that whole cultish mindset. We turn the idea of a majestic and genius Creator into a farce with some of our beliefs.

      And this John Hagee fellow (if that article is accurate, and I don’t assume it is for sake of argument) seems to be quite a jerk. How does it diminish him to acknowledge the work of Blitz? They should be partners and collaborators. I mean, geez, we’re talking about a very very obscure thing that’s going find it hard enough to find traction, even if it’s true.

      So, yeah, maybe this guy just has too much of a need to “be someone” instead of to “do something,” as the common phrase goes.

  30. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    One reason I remain standoffish to organized religion, Jerry, is because so much of it seems to be the repository not of philosophy or metaphysics (which one might honestly agree or disagree with) but of pseudo-science and various forms of hucksterism —Brad Nelson

    I think this is unfortunate, and I weep because there are multiple people like yourself that have apparently seen “religion” from the outside. And if your view has been from outside, especially from TV, then your opinion is very understandable.

    The problem is that wherever you find something genuine your will invariable find counterfeits; but, there are many genuine people of faith; I’m speaking of Christians who live quite, dedicated, faithful lives—lives of integrity and honesty—and those people are just as perturbed as I am when ego-driven people, often on TV, seem to be trying to use the Gospel to enhance a career and/or make money; Many of these people unfortunately fit a proverb that I realized was necessary to teach my daughter as she grew up: There’s no jerk like a church jerk. That proverb wasn’t and isn’t intended as a put-down for most church people; most of them are good and sincere people just humbly trying to live their lives in accord with the Bible; but there will always be a few self-centered jerks, and they do great harm to the cause of Christ.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I think a large aspect of church is a racket. To the extent that it is a social function, that’s fine. But I wouldn’t suggest that anyone mistake a social function for the Divine, nor should they mistake their own desires and emotions for something more substantial. Again, I guess the basic question is regarding whether or not the “God” we are talking about is an extension of our ego and our desires, or is that mysterious thing, that Almighty thing, that is more of the “I am that I am” variety.

      The dog and pony show just doesn’t move me, Jerry. And I make no apologies for that. But certain things do move me. And if one can actually have any kind of meaningful contact with the Creator, I think one will find it most decidedly in the wilderness, in the desert of our minds, in the quiet of our souls. I sure as hell haven’t found anything of worth in the dog-and-pony show of organized religion which seems to excel at glamorizing artifices.

      I admit to being more suited to a monastery where people who claim to believe in God walk the walk. And I respect them for that. I don’t particularly respect quite a bit of the rest of it though.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I think this is unfortunate, and I weep because there are multiple people like yourself that have apparently seen “religion” from the outside. And if your view has been from outside, especially from TV, then your opinion is very understandable.

      I agree with Brad that much of what passes for religion in worse than a joke. The TV hucksters are just the worst of the lot.

      That being said, even if all of organized religion (Christianity) was made up of frauds, con artists and sociopaths, that wouldn’t stop me from taking part in “religion” if I believed the Bible was true.

      I think it is an intellectual cop-out to blame religion for the sorriness of much of humanity, including Christians. And I don’t think Brad is doing that. Just because a church is full of ass-holes doesn’t mean the religion is wrong. As I keep telling people, that’s why we have the word, “hypocrites.”

      That being said, religion does set societal boundaries which are needed for humanity. Thus, even hypocrisy can serve a good function.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I think it is an intellectual cop-out to blame religion for the sorriness of much of humanity, including Christians. And I don’t think Brad is doing that.

        Mr. Kung, the analogy that comes to mind is the way Establishment Republicans clog the works and prevent those who would enact needed reforms from doing so. I see much of establishment religion watering down God, trivializing the very thing, and keeping out those who would be genuine, wise, and humble.

        To each his own. I know I’m impatient, and a good friend of mine has more than once told me, “Many approach God to the best of their understanding.” And I do try to remember that. Even so, that is no excuse for the frauds who infest much of the religious establishment.

        My beef isn’t with how someone else prays to their Creator. My beef is with those who insert themselves between the person and his Creator and just muck it up with truly uninspired baloney if not actual subversive hogwash. I mean, you showed me an article the other day, Mr. Kung, about some of the insanity the Presbyterians are up to.

        It’s not picking nits to point out just how far afield (if not corrupt) much of the religious establishment is. I mean, one of the profoundly interesting things about the New Testament is Jesus’ frequent comments about the corruption of the Jewish religion. It’s not perfectionism or an insistence that people do it my way. It’s that because I do believe there is a Creator that we ought to perhaps approach the subject with some sobriety instead of trivializing it with typical human baloney.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Can’t disagree with you.

        • Jerry Richardson says:

          Brad,

          It’s not picking nits to point out just how far afield (if not corrupt) much of the religious establishment is. I mean, one of the profoundly interesting things about the New Testament is Jesus’ frequent comments about the corruption of the Jewish religion. It’s not perfectionism or an insistence that people do it my way. It’s that because I do believe there is a Creator that we ought to perhaps approach the subject with some sobriety instead of trivializing it with typical human baloney. —Brad Nelson

          Spot on comment!

  31. Jerry Richardson says:

    Here’s a link to an animation showing the partial Solar Eclipse visible in Jerusalem a few day ago (March 20, 2015):

    March 20th Solar Eclipse in Jerusalem

    …the solar eclipse in Jerusalem will not be visible there as a total eclipse; it will appear as a partial eclipse with an eclipse magnitude of about 13% (percent of the sun’s diameter covered by the moon) with obscurity of the sun only 5.7%, hardly noticeable. Furthermore, since Jewish calendar days begin at sunset (approximately 6 pm), March 20, 2015 (Gregorian) overlaps 29 Adar and 1 Nisan 5775 of the Jewish calendar; and since the solar eclipse will end at 10:38:59.2 UT1 (12:38:59.2 local) on March 20, 2015; this means that the solar eclipse will occur and end in the middle of the day on 29 Adar and not on 1 Nisan which begins on the evening at the end of the day of 29 Adar.
    —Jerry Richardson, quote from article above.

    The significance of the above paragraph is that Mark Biltz unconditionally stated in his book that the Solar Eclipse of March 20, 2015 would occur on Nisan 1 of the Jewish Calendar:

    As you can see, in 2015 we have a total solar eclipse on March 20 followed by a partial solar eclipse on September 13. But I hope that you are asking yourself right now the same question that I did, “But when do they fall on the Biblical calendar?” The total solar eclipse— March 20, 2015— is on Nisan 1; the very beginning of the religious year and the very day the fire fell from heaven and lit the altar at the dedication of Moses’ tabernacle!

    —Biltz, Mark (2014-03-18). Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs (p. 155). Kindle Edition.

    Shouldn’t we expect the quasi-prophets of the Four Blood Moons to at least get their astronomical/calendar details correct? Unless, of course, those details aren’t actually important. But if they aren’t, then why the emphasis?

  32. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    As our chief movie-reviewer do you think you should review John Hagee’s Four Blood Moons?

    Four Blood Moons movie got a very positive review in the following article:

    “Four Blood Moons,” produced by Rick Eldridge and executive producer John Hagee, played to packed houses in South Austin, Texas, Monday, a mere one hour’s drive from John Hagee’s hometown Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. Both North and South theaters sold out on the Monday-only showing, and I was hard-pressed to find any moviegoer not already convinced that, in the words of John Hagee, something was about to change.

    Blood Moons Film: Winners and Losers

    Dennis Prager was credited for having “the best line of the film”; whereas the movie crowd was not pleased with Hugh Ross’s opinions (same as mine) concerning the Blood Moons being coincidental.

    In summary, the best line of the film, and the one that got the strongest reaction of the room, was when Dennis Prager said, “I think the most important verse in the Bible is Genesis 1:1. If you don’t believe that one, there is really no point in reading the rest.”

    And John Hagee also deserves an honorable mention for allowing Christian scientist Hugh Ross in the panel discussion, who fully believes in God and miracles but sees the blood moons as coincidence. While the crowd was clearly not pleased with Hugh’s take, it helped keep the overall discussion honest. Good move.

    Blood Moons Film: Winners and Losers

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      As our chief movie-reviewer do you think you should review John Hagee’s Four Blood Moons?

      Only if it’s considered paying some kind of penance. 😀 If I do review it, I’ll have to wait until it comes out on DVD or is streaming on Netflix.

      I thought this part of the WND article was interesting:

      And John Hagee also deserves an honorable mention for allowing Christian scientist Hugh Ross in the panel discussion, who fully believes in God and miracles but sees the blood moons as coincidence. While the crowd was clearly not pleased with Hugh’s take, it helped keep the overall discussion honest. Good move.

      In essence, where does teleology end and superstition start? I’m inclined to believe in a clockwork universe where the Creator is more than free to jimmy it any way he wants. Those who object to miracles because they think it somehow violates the Creator’s work are just being dishonest. I mean, it is his to jimmy. I can write a program and (if I was skillful enough) write a sort of “backdoor” entrance. Or I can log onto some system and change the code dynamically or temporarily. Whatever.

      So if the Creator used moons to mark some events, it’s not impossible, but it would seem to be odd. I wield a very sharp razor in terms of what is teleological and what is just superstition…for better or for worse. But the world is full of people running off half-cocked on superstition. Again, I do believe in a Creator, but I think we tend to trivialize this reality with a lot of our baloney finding images of Jesus in our Corn Flakes and all that sort of stuff.

      • Jerry Richardson says:

        Brad,

        I am curious if Dennis Prager agrees with Hagee’s Four Blood Moons thesis, or if his appearance is more or less cameo.

        Anyway to know?

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          That’s an excellent question. Does it look as if Dennis appeared specifically for this film or is it just stock footage? I’ve certainly heard Dennis give his Genesis 1:1 comment many times before, including in online videos.

          If he does appear specifically for this film, I would immediately give the idea of the blood moons more credence. But one wonders if the film makers are sort of stealing the prestige of Prager for this film. But the WND reviews says the film is very pro-Jewish and pro-reconciliation between Jews and Christians. So that’s certainly the kind of project he would tend to support. But I don’t know offhand if his only appearance in the film is to give the Genesis 1:1 comment.

          Clearly there seems to be some lack of integrity regarding the makers of the film for not crediting Mark Blitz, although I have no idea of the background story on this in any depth. So they are due a little skepticism.

          I’m just not generally a big fan of these “mystery meat” conspiracy or “spooky” prophesy types of movies. They may be harmless entertainment, but I’m not so sure this is a good place to put one’s efforts. People used to believe that comets were bad omens. Maybe they are. But are we to take every kind of belief of this kind seriously? Where does one draw the line?

          I start out with skepticism. The need to believe a certain thing can cause people to believe absolute rubbish. The current book I’m reading (and that you’re also reading) makes a case for seeing genius in the Creator’s work, such as with the periodic table of elements. Okay. Fine. That makes sense because “randomness” sure as hell isn’t a better answer.

          But these things can quickly become like alchemy if we’re not careful. And I think at least a little bit of careful is good.

  33. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    That’s an excellent question. Does it look as if Dennis appeared specifically for this film or is it just stock footage? I’ve certainly heard Dennis give his Genesis 1:1 comment many times before, including in online videos. —Brad Nelson

    I didn’t see any film or stock footage connected with the article, so I don’t know the answer. I’ll keep my eyes open and report if I find something.

  34. Jerry Richardson says:

    CHRISTIAN ASTRONOMER HUGH ROSS QUESTIONS JOHN HAGEE’S “FOUR BLOOD MOONS” THESIS

    Rather than get caught up in the fulfillment of end-times prophecy, I believe Christians should take comfort in Christ’s promise to return and should remain busy promulgating the Gospel. He will return to Earth once his followers have taken the good news of salvation to all the people groups of the world and have raised up many disciples. Instead of waiting for a sign in the sky, we can make his return imminent by completing the task he assigned us. His Holy Spirit promises to help.
    Dr. Hugh Ross

  35. Jerry Richardson says:

    Here’s an article that provides more straight thinking about Blood Moons.

    Blood Moon Market Meltdown This Weekend?

    April 3, 2015

    One of the interesting things about being a Christian economist is that you hear so many strange new theories. People read something on the internet or hear about it in small group, and because it comes from within the Christian family, they tend toward trust. And they tell somebody else, and eventually someone gets curious and calls their Christian financial advisor. And their advisor calls his company headquarters, and sometimes, HQ calls me. That’s how I learned that there are people who think they should take their money out of the market this year because of lunar eclipses.

    It’s important to be fair to a theory like this when you first hear it, no matter how strange it seems on the surface. The Bible is filled with strange things and the Bible is true. So strange things can be true. They can be true; that doesn’t mean they must be true. Things have to be tested.
    —-
    But now we’ve got a tetrad and (allegedly) a Shemitah year at the same time! A great convergence of great signs pointing towards an extremely important prophetic season, and we are warned of a great likelihood of market collapse; a big one on September 28th (the last of the tetrads) and a smaller one this Saturday (the third eclipse of the tetrad). Rabbi Cahn, in particular, has cautioned people to be out of the stock market at this time.
    —-
    First, Tetrads have not actually generally served as warning signs in advance of major events in Jewish history. In fact, none of the four tetrads of the first millennium coincided with important dates in Jewish history. Furthermore the most important events in that time period all happened during non-tetrad years: Neither the birth of the Messiah, nor His death and resurrection, nor the destruction of the temple, nor the destruction of the entire nation occurred during a tetrad.

    Second, although there are a few events which have been in the historical vicinity of Tetrads (such as the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, the founding of Israel, and the Six Day War) these signs and warnings generally occurred after the tetrad.

    Furthermore, in many of those cases, the eclipses were not visible from Israel (or in the case of the expulsion, not visible from Spain either). It’s hard to square BMS theory about tetrads as warnings if the warnings mostly occur after the event, and were not visible to the people being warned.

    Bloodmoon Market Meltdown this Weekend?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The Bible is filled with strange things and the Bible is true. So strange things can be true. They can be true; that doesn’t mean they must be true. Things have to be tested.

      A nice, reasoned opinion overall from Mr. Bowyer. I think a natural skepticism (but not a dour, radical one) is justified regarding things such as Blood Moons, a bleeding statue of Jesus, the image of the Virgin Mary found on somebody’s Pop Tart, or that there is an alien spacecraft following a comet. And I extend that to things such as the Flood, the Garden of Eden, Noah and the Ark, and other things as the kind. Unlike Mr. Bowyer, I don’t assume the bible is literally true.

      So, really, if I had to rate the relevance of this entire topic, it would be regarding how does one — even if one is quite religious — tip-toe through the superstitions, pseudo-science, and junk science and decide what is true and what is not? Is there any kind of objective standard? Or does on just check off the check-mark: “Bible = true, Blood Moons are not” and leave it all ultimately to preference?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Yes, that’s a very reasonable way to look at things. A friend once reviewed Richard Hoagland’s book on the “monuments” of Mars (I put quotes because the evidence since then seems to indicate that his theory was wrong). He accepted that the theory that they indicate some prior intelligent inhabitants could be true, but also recognized that further evidence was necessary. (Later Mars fly-bys largely disproved the theory, though Hoagland reportedly refused to accept this, just like a CAGW alarmist refusing to look at the actual evidence).

  36. Jerry Richardson says:

    Brad,

    So, really, if I had to rate the relevance of this entire topic, it would be regarding how does one — even if one is quite religious — tip-toe through the superstitions, pseudo-science, and junk science and decide what is true and what is not? Is there any kind of objective standard? —Brad Nelson

    Brad, as usual you have put your quizzical finger on a very important point:

    How do we spot falsehood?

    I don’t know if I have the answer, but I’m going to take a swat at this one because it is so important and so interesting.

    First, I believe that being “religious” can be a positive hindrance. Example: The people who missed the truth the most in Jesus’ day were the most religious people.

    It must be emphasized that “being religious” does not equate to having “knowledge of truth.”

    This is why many people, including myself, do not especially like to refer to themselves as “religious.” Caveat: When it comes to “Religious Rights” in America, I am willing to use the label if it will help protect my 1st Amendment rights.

    Many Christians would rather refer to themselves simply as “Christians” because they see Christianity as primarily a personal relationship with a living savior, Jesus Christ—the essence of Christianity is not in being a set of rules; no one can do enough “good” to earn salvation. Contrarily, a “religion” is seen as a worldview or as a set of procedural rules whereby someone attempts to be “good”—and often believes—un-biblically—that they can earn salvation.

    So, with that out of the way how do we spot falsehood?

    Here comes the tricky part. A falsehood can be either an innocent error, or it can be an intentionally wicked deceit.

    Behind intentional deceit there is always the spirit of the lie. That spirit of the lie is, of course, Satan; always has been. So in order to spot, or identify, intentional deceit we must probe the spirit behind the suspected deceit or probe the spirit associated with it. In the sense used here “spirit” is that which provides “motive.” Motives are, of course, not always easy to discern but over time they will appear. Jesus told us quite clearly what the primary motives of Satan are:

    The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
    —John 10:10 KJV

    Jesus also provided another “tell” for wicked motive, the refusal to acknowledge any wrong and is basically equivalent to my use of the term “willful blindness.”:

    Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
    —John 9:41 KJV

    In the first verse above Jesus uses the term “thief” to refer to the works of Satan. Those works can be identified by three principle motives: Stealing, Killing (murder), and destroying. This is a biblically objective standard that Jesus provided, to assist us in identifying wicked motives; of course, we have to avoid “willful blindness” ourselves in order to be able to discern those evil motives.

    Any words or actions that are used to camouflage those motives will be falsehood in the sense of intentional wicked deceit.

    Example: Simply replay many of the words of Barack Obama and ask yourself what is he trying to camouflage? On the home front during his first term in office he tried to disguise his efforts to steal (redistribute wealth) or to destroy (the US Constitutional system of government).

    During his 2nd term, he has not tried at all to hide his motives and in fact has openly taunted his opponents with what his is doing.

    It is not clear in what sense he wants to “kill” the nation of Israel, but it is rather evident that he is perfectly willing to “destroy” it. His many malicious falsehoods are evidenced by his now all-to-obvious motives.

    Furthermore, relative to the 2nd verse quoted above, have you ever personally seen anyone in American politics so unwilling to acknowledge errors and mistakes? That is a sure “tell” for wicked motives. An honest person wishes to correct his mistakes, which of course first requires admitting them.

    The objective standard for spotting innocent falsehood used to be science. It still is if—big if—the scientists involved are honest. But when any of the above mentioned motives begin to infiltrate into science then the scientists so infected lose (forfeit) their ability to spot and call-out innocent error.

    Example: So-called “climate science” aka “climate catastrophes” aka “global warming” aka “anthropogenic global warming” has been infected with two of the wicked motives above: Stealing (global wealth redistribution) and destroying (attempts to destroy the livelihood and reputation of any honest scientists who disagrees with the pseudo-science).

    The result is that honest scientists have been greatly hampered in exposing the errors even though at some point those errors may have been innocent—the errors long-ago ceased to be innocent.

    I am not sure yet which category the errors being made by the advocates of “Four Blood Moons” fall into. The fact that the advocates, especially John Hagee, refuse to acknowledge obvious astronomical errors does not speak well. As I said above, referencing the Bible, that is usually a “tell” for a dishonest motive.

    As to what they might be trying to “steal”; there are numerous things that one can attempt to steal—acclaim is one of those things. I am suspicious—yet perfectly willing to be proven wrong—that the underlying motive behind the push for the “Four Blood Moons” thesis is a desire for some sort of prophetic acclaim—I sincerely hope that I am wrong.

  37. Jerry Richardson says:

    The dates of the historical events that the Four Blood Moons are supposed to correlate with do not correlate very well.

    [December 3, 2013] Another point is that the dates of the historical events for which these tetrads supposedly correlate do not seem to correlate very well at all to the dates of the tetrads themselves.

    For example, the Spanish inquisition actually started some 15 years before the 1493 –94 tetrad, and ended roughly 350 years later. They try to give this some credibility by saying that what the tetrad is really connected with is the so-called Alhambra Decree issued on the 31st of March, 1492, which officially expelled the Jews from Spain; but even then, the first eclipse didn’t occur until over a year later, and the last eclipse over two years later. So, unless you call being off by a year God’s way of predicting something, then this isn’t a match.

    The next so called match is supposed to be when Israel declared its independence in 1948, and won the War for Independence the same year. The dates of the 1949 -1950 tetrad, again, did not occur until over a year later, and didn’t fall on any of the dates of Israel’s victories, or on the day that the U.N. recognized them as a state, or any other significant date. Trust me, if there was any significance to the actual dates of these tetrads, you would have heard about it; but the best they can do is, as we will see in the next one, coming within ten months of an event.

    So, yeah, the last one they say occurred in conjunction with the Six-Day War, but in reality it didn’t start until ten months after the war ended. And the last eclipse didn’t occur until a full year after that.

    Again, these three obvious non-matches look even worse when you consider that they have already thrown two sets of historical tetrads in the trash, because they couldn’t find any historical events to match them with. So, these three represent the best of the best, and that is pretty sad.

    So, within two years is close enough for them. And nowadays, apparently, close counts not just with horseshoes and hand grenades, but also Blood Moon theories.

    Four Blood Moons

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