I Hurt

I’ve made a few of these posts in the past, and though I truly don’t have time to write this today (8 hours of work to finish in 5 :-S) I cannot remain silent.

For the majority, this will not apply or just echo the sentiments they have already said.  For those, I encourage you to share if you agree but more importantly, hug your family and friends and be thankful for the days that you have that might have been cut short.  We all should hurt because of this, and we must let ourselves feel that hurt.

This post isn’t for those who agree with me; this is for those who don’t.

The correct action when this happens is to mourn.  It is not politicize, it is not find our bully pulpits and soap boxes, it is not call for radical changes and for people to resign because they didn’t make the correct accusation, it is not stand on the bodies of those who lost their lives to make our political points.

It is to mourn.

I do not have words to describe how I feel about 50 people being gunned down and 50 more being injured because of their lifestyle.  I found John Oliver’s words oddly apt in describing how I feel. Warning, it is a bit raw, but I can’t find better words myself to describe how this feels.

Stop making this about an agenda.  50 of our citizens were murdered simply because they have the right to exist.  Stop making this about you and make it about their lives and mourning that they were cut short.

I said it when Antonin Scalia died and I will say it now, they have not even been interred to their final resting place and the mourning process has not even truly started yet; stop standing on their still warm bodies and make this about your politics.

Grieve and mourn and hurt.  Get angry at someone who murdered so many people.  Refuse to find solace in this world because there is none here.  Sob and scream.  Do the things that mourning people do.

But do not make it about politics, and do not stand on the bodies of innocent, dead people because you want your voice to be heard louder.  This period is not about you; it is about them, and their families, and a mourning nation.

I have never considered myself an ally of the LGBT community – I am not an activist for anything, really – but this senseless violence was carried out on that community – that marginalized community – specifically and without remorse.  We cannot ignore that.  Simply existing and exercising their sexual identity is the reason that one man decided that these people deserved to die, and that should never be.

We need to lift up our marginalized, especially those who live in fear of violence, and show them love.  We need to stop withholding love from groups of people that we disagree with, that we don’t understand, that we are disgusted by, that we hate, and that we fear.  We need to be showing love to all.

Did you see the line of people donating blood?  That is what we are capable of.  Let’s make that the message of these days of mourning.  Do what you can for others, sacrifice of yourself for others, help the world by showing love.

Political conversations needs to happen, the debates need to happen, solutions need to be found to curtail this problem, but not now.  Mourn first, give first, love first, let their memories becomes memories, then you can start your grandstanding.

Today is not about anyone other than those who were lost.  The loving thing to do is to remain mindful of that.

I’m hurting for our nation, for our marginalized people, for people who are hated because their lifestyles are uncomfortable for others, for all who experience violence.  And it cannot be okay, not today, so I am just going to hurt today.

Lord, hear our wails and our sobs and give us peace that this world has taken away.  Amen.

– Robby

Grumpy, Grumpy, Grumpy

This should be a tweet, but I couldn’t make it a pithy little quip.  Just…if you don’t care about my inane intolerance of just annoyingly edgy and confident media…like…just…go do something else instead of reading this.  I’m just…tired…

But really, I listened to Benjamin Walker’s Theory of Everything today, most notably the episode on the future, and I just don’t have words to explain how much I exhaustedly hated it.  Like, it epitomized everything I hate with our culture right now that doesn’t revolve around politics.

This is what I got out of it: technology is making us stupid, and Benjamin Walker knew everything bad that would happen with technology now in 2006, and only people as smart as him knew it.

Oh, and social media is making us dumber.  As is technology.

He’s 4 years older than I am.  We are in that weird middle stage where we are the elder millennials, me more solidly in Generation Y than him, but still this isn’t a generational divide.  He just arrogantly doesn’t like social media and technology for the sake of not liking it.

What he epitomizes, for me, is the ultimately popular counter-culture, the hipster culture, the “I’m somehow better and smarter than everyone else because I’m not a sheep that just adopts technology and uses social media and you should worship at my superior feet” mentality that makes me want to punch things.

And it does because the reality is that this mindset of edginess and counter-culture being morally superior is so grating on my nerves because I have the mentality that I don’t care what culture does, I do what I find to be the correct course of action.  If culture agrees, great; if it disagrees, whatever.

I spent a lot of energy as a preteen trying to fit in, and a lot of energy as a teen and young adult screaming that I didn’t fit in and that made me better.  And then I grew up.  I found my confidence and humility that allowed me to enjoy the world instead of looking for what I should hate.

I will pull an example from music.  I have a weird taste for Ingrid Michelson, Sara Bareilles, and Brandi Carlile…and Tech N9ne and Bad Religion occasionally.  I should hate them according to…well, really every measure of culture that I fit into.  And I also love great, non-mainstream (but still accessible) bands like The Tedeschi Trucks Band and JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound and PJ Harvey and Gary Clark, JR., but I still like these really mainstream (or popular punk) artists, as well.

Why is being counter-cultural moral?  Can someone actually answer that?  Why is being contrarian a moral position?  Why do you get to look down your nose at people when you refuse to consume popular culture and you rebel against technology?

Christians, too, have this awful ideal.  Whenever a moral direction is changing within the church, the accusation is that the church is following culture, implying that all surrounding culture is absolutely wrong, and that aligned changes mean that the church is following culture, not that it is a parallel and concurrent, but separate, change.

Why is resisting change and being contrarian and counter-cultural seen as automatically moral?  Can someone actually answer that for me so this subset of our culture…odd word choice…can not grate on my nerves quite so much?

I’m grumpy, I’m tired, and caffeine has worn off.  Someone please just save me.

Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee…

– Robby

Innocence by Dissociation

There is this great Imgur album that makes me smile and is a fun reference for when you need to explain why an argument doesn’t work.

Ed Hochuli throwing flags at your logical fallacies.

Just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside for some reason, and I don’t even like Ed Hochuli (zebras = evil, just ask any NFL fan).  Anyway, I want to point your attention to this image:

fsi99rn

I’ve thought about this for much of this election cycle.  There has been a lot of talk about how two candidates in particular are not part of a large machine, blindingly condemning all the other candidates awful because they are part of the machine.

Maybe I should be railing against that, too, but I see a more egregious problem.  And also, just because somethings is a logical fallacy doesn’t not mean the evidence won’t prove it.  Thoughts for another day.

The problem I see is another fallacy that isn’t “officially” a logical fallacy but seems to happen quite regularly right now: the belief that someone is innocent simply because they are dissociated with the problem group.

“Donald Trump is not a politician, so obviously he isn’t the problem.”  “Bernie Sanders is an outspoken independent and truly radical so he’s the only good option.”  Do you see how they both are lifted up by the dissociation from mainline politics?  Has nothing to do with their politics, just that they aren’t obedient cogs in the political machine.

Dissociation is not proof of innocence.  I’m not saying anything about the guilt or innocence of anyone, just that this is not proof of anything.

The frustrating thing with logical fallacies is that they preclude something from being used as proof but don’t actually prove something untrue.  It may be quite true that Donald Trump is going to do something good because he isn’t beholden to anyone, or that Bernie Sanders radicalism is the cure to all the county’s ills*.  Just because the conclusion is come to through a logical fallacy doesn’t make the conclusion untrue.

Am I the only one that sees the problems rising here?  Do you see how broken our political system is that outsiders are lifted up as messiahs?  I realize Christ was an outsider, and a radical, but his actions were chosen by being correct, not by what would make him radical or different.

That’s my problem.  I took me writing this whole thing to figure this out.  We are voting for people because they are outsiders or radicals and judging them solely based on that.  Or also because they are doing things that we want, not what would actually be best for the country and all the people.

Just…stop choosing politicians like a 19-year-old rebel and start choosing them like hiring managers and call committees.  Who is actually qualified to do the job?  Who will seek to serve the will of the people and the needs of the people?  Who will actually serve the country and the world instead of serving themselves?  And who will do that in a way that is effective?

I don’t see an answer yet, and maybe that’s just me.

Breathe in, breathe out, lunch time!

– Robby

* Please, in the name of all that is good and holy, do not read this to say I actually believe either of these things – I don’t – but an example of how logical fallacies actually work in terms of proof.  The answer: they literally prove nothing without additional work.  No accusing me of being a Trump/Sanders 2016 ticket support….

I’m Frustrated (A Post for Super Tuesday)

When I wrote the first edition of this post, it was a rant because I was frustrated with politics.  As I woke up this morning – this Super Tuesday morning – I realized that I could reign my ranting in and make an actual attempt at describing the real and mature frustration that I have with the current political climate.

I am a centrist, and have been for quite some time.  I believe most truth lies somewhere in the middle, but being in the middle doesn’t mean being true.  Nor does lying on the right or the left (or the top of the bottom) make something true.  A good centrist (or moderate, if you are feeling that today) seeks the correct action, period.  There is no narrative or agenda beyond finding the truth and seeking what is best.

The only agenda that I follow is the Christian agenda.  And by Christian, I mean the example of Christ, which is radically important for what is to follow.

(For my non-Christian readers – all like 2.7 of you – read this as a thought exercise in morality that you can take with the grain of salt that you would any other morality thought exercise.)

There are two absolutes that most Christian doctrines take from the words of Jesus: love and unity.  Most non-Christians have those values in their personal theologies.  They are pretty universal to human morality and help the survival of our species.

I am going to put the greatest commandments up again, with an emphasis relevant to our political situation:

37 He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind.  38 This is the first and greatest commandment.  39 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.  40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
– Matthew 22:37-40 CEB

“…[y]ou must love your neighbor as yourself.”  I want this to sink a bit, and then I want you to judge your potential candidates using these words.  All politics aside, if someone is using hatred to garner support, they are not supporting a Christian agenda.  Period.

I could spend a great deal of time seeking other examples of how Jesus commanded us to do things – and I could specifically point out candidates who don’t do those things – but any hatred used to garner support should be enough to disqualify anyone from the Christian vote.  Period.  Anyone who tells you otherwise has a very flawed understanding of Jesus.

That’s the part that’s relevant to today.  What follows is relevant to the rest of the election cycle.

Christian unity is a big deal.  Christ’s sacrifice on the cross did, amongst other things, unify the Israelites with the Gentiles.  As Christians, we are one body united under one savior.  It doesn’t matter what the doors of our churches say or which theologians we follow; we are all one under Christ.

As Americans, we have built an adversarial system that is designed to work by division.  By designed, I mean the same way that Pugs and English Bulldogs were designed.  We didn’t design what was best for us – and we certainly didn’t design what Christ would have desired – but rather we designed what felt best and played into our human inadequacies.  As that selective breeding continued, the bad characteristics continued to grow while most semblance of what is good disappeared.

This is not the way that Christ envisioned things.  This is the exact opposite of unity and love.  The biggest problem, though, has almost nothing to do with the politicians.  I hate politicians, and I will likely always hate them, but they are a product of the voting public.  We’ve turned political discussion into a lynch mob and a hatred-filled meme war with deceptive infographics and every politician being compared to Hitler and Jesus at the same time.  If a politician doesn’t participate in the political mudslinging*, they are weak against their opponents.

Why are the other opponents?  Why aren’t they just people with different ideas?  Why does it need to be a battle instead of a debate where the best candidate in the eyes of the voting public graciously wins and the lesser candidate graciously loses and then the winner works for the good of everyone, not just those who voted for them?

Because it just wouldn’t be fun if we didn’t tear each other down and judge each other and place ourselves on pedestals of being right while condemning everyone who disagrees.  We think that we are absolutely right all of the time and anyone who disagrees with us is just too stupid to figure it out.

Why have we done this to ourselves?  Every Presidential election cycle I lose friends.  Literally every time.  Why do we allow ourselves to get drug into this like pawns fighting the battle for political overlords?  Why do we forget that we love each other and that other people can disagree with us without being stupid or evil?  Why must we condemn the other?

I know this election cycle there is a candidate or two that people feel very strongly about – as do I – and I am not discouraging you from pointing out why a candidate would be very bad for our country.  What everyone needs to stop doing is making it about party lines.  If there is a candidate that is absolutely the worst potential president we could possibly come up with, stop condemning those who like that candidate, acknowledge that there are reasons why they support them, and respond to what is absolutely wrong with the candidate.

Please, stop tearing each other down for disagreeing.  Stop calling people stupid and evil because they support someone who don’t.  Stop comparing everyone to Hitler and/or Jesus.  Actually show love and compassion for each other.  This isn’t radical talk, it isn’t complicated, it isn’t even hard; stop dehumanize and demonizing each other and our politicians and act like the adults that you are.

Breathe in, breathe out, good boy.

– Robby

P.S.: Sorry it’s a bit rough.  I’d let it stew, but it’s half useless after tonight so…

*If this wasn’t a Christian blog, I had a much more colorful phrase for this.

I Want to Be a Sheep

14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep and they know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. I give up my life for the sheep.

– John 10:14-15 CEB

(Heads up: this blog has always been a place for me to be vulnerable in a public and controlled way.  This is one of those posts where I’m a bit more vulnerable [read: whiny] than is probably healthy, but as far as I know there is a point in there, somewhere…)

I’ve kind of missed a couple of #pictureLent days, which is really sad for me because it was my way of trying to get back into a routine of devotion – and to stop making excuses of why I couldn’t.  Then I got sick and busy – which is an awesome combination – and I missed a couple of days.  But I’m trying, and I am sticking to my blogging plan (which I’m not saying out loud for fear that just saying it will be enough to make me feel better), so here we are.

IMG_20160216_094204376

(The program is BibleWorks, which is important for what is going on.  And I should have cleaned up the clutter, but it also just kind of makes sense given the state of my mind and schedule right now.)

Being a pastor means you are called to be a shepherd.  It’s literally the call you sign up for.  I don’t find myself using the crook a lot to fend off wolves, but I do find myself guiding and directing as much as I can, given the boundaries of my position.  And I love it.  Nora’s asked me a few times if I made the right decision for my life’s work and I know that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

But sometimes you don’t want to be the shepherd that day.  I woke up yesterday and the cough that started destroying me Saturday settled further into my chest and added sneezing.  It was cold outside, making breathing (insert sarcasm), and Nora started her new job.  It was Monday, it’s supposed to be my time for Sabbath, and instead I did about 6 hours worth of work.  Any other Monday I would have just said, “well, I’ll make up for it some other time this week,” but yesterday it just didn’t set well with me.  The laundry and dishes that actually belong on a Monday didn’t get done, the table is clearly still a mess (as is my desk, which is why I’m at the table), and this morning I’ve got some energy back but the cough is still hanging on strong.

I wanted nothing more than to go back to being a sheep in the flock.

My biggest guilt right now is that I haven’t really used scripture as a devotional tool; it’s been my job, and not a whole lot more.  And yesterday I stared at BibleWorks for probably 2 hours and my soul read none of it.  I forgot that I’m still a sheep despite my role as a shepherd.

God is my shepherd.  Scripture is His guidance, His staff, and His love expressed.

Yesterday morning I tweeted about penance and hope, but I also think that any study of scripture – be it professional or devotional – that doesn’t end up leading the person studying to hope is flawed.  I got nothing of hope out of my studies yesterday; I got tasks done, but no devotion.

If I want to be a sheep, if I want God as my shepherd, I have to let him be the shepherd.  Even if I am a shepherd of a small flock, I know that ultimately I am just another sheep that (weakly and slowly and often badly) fights the wolves and guides my fellow sheep.  Ultimately I will not be successful if I rely on my own abilities and not the guidance and protection and love of the ultimate shepherd.

I can’t do this alone, and I am admitting that even if I love my role as minor shepherd in the grand scheme, I am not desiring to be in charge.  I want to be a sheep in God’s flock.  To do that, I need to start relying on scripture again, fully, and not just as a professional tool.  That’s my goal.

23:1 The LORD is my shepherd. I lack nothing. 2 He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; 3 he keeps me alive. He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name.

– Psalm 23:1-3 CEB

Peace,

– Robby

 

Ash Wednesday is Dark Hope

I love Ash Wednesday.  It’s not something I realized that I loved until I started planning the worship service for tonight, but it is something that I love.

All throughout seminary there was this hesitation to admit that we were incapable – on our own – to contribute anything to God’s mission, that we brought nothing to the table that wasn’t given to us by God and directed by the Holy Spirit, and that we are hopelessly broken without God and Christ’s salvific* act on the cross.  In the ordination process, too, there is a weird push-back if you place any emphasis on your unworthiness of the call of professional ministry.

I find this weird because I am a Presbyterian, and a strong Reform Presbyterian at that, and I went to a Presbyterian seminary and currently in the process of being ordained by the Presbyterian Church (USA).  I’m not quite a TULIP but Total Depravity has always been one of my theological pillars.  I have always known that I’m pretty screwed up, and that I can’t stop sinning, and I never see anyone else living without sin.  Total Depravity just seems like the logical theological position, given my reading of scripture and anecdotal observation of the world.

I think the push-back is because no one – myself included – really describes the absolutely joyous truth behind Total Depravity.  We get to caught up on the sinful part of the Total Depravity – and the correct discomfort that comes from it – that we forget that the whole point of that is the relationship with Christ that our brokenness necessitates.  The theology of Total Depravity is really a theology of hope that despite our brokenness, despite the sins that we commit every hour, we are saved and in a loving and caring relationship with our God, a God whom came to Earth and suffered our condition to save us.

364** days a year we try to ignore and/or downplay depravity and focus on forgiveness.  1 day a year we focus on our penance.  Never do the penance focus and forgiveness focus meet.  Forgiveness is light and bright, penance dark and heavy and oppressive.

I guess it just always melted together for me because I find comfort in melancholy and darkness.  It never made sense that it wouldn’t just feel comfortable to know you’re a sinner because I always knew the punchline of salvation.  It just made sense to me, and I couldn’t rationalize why there would be so much push-back when it came down to talking about it.

364 we ignore it, 1 day a year it’s all that we see.  We mark ourselves (or at least some do; I don’t, but that’s another story), we sit in ashes, and we confess.  And because we have a single-focus, we forget the hope that it is.

“Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, very patient, full of faithful love, and ready to forgive.” – Joel 2:13 CEB

This is a day to return to God – prostrate, but knowing that you are saved – and return to the calls and talents that God has placed in your life.

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This blog is my major spiritual discipline, and you can see how much I have neglected that part of my life, citing being too busy and too tired and you name it.  I know that I’m saved, but I know that my soul needs healing, my spiritual life needs discipline, and I know that need to return to it.  My desk is a mess, my sermon for…5 hours from now isn’t finalized, and I haven’t eaten lunch yet, but I’m returning to a discipline of spiritual life.

Reflect on the darkness of your soul and of your sin, but know that the disciplines and penance are to show us hope and strengthen our relationship with God, not to create more darkness in our lives.  Focus not specifically on the sins of your soul, but on the necessity of the love that you are freely given.

Return to God, the God of love.

Peace,

– Robby

*Totally a word.

**365 this year.

Robby’s Rules of the Internet

I read an article today about race and “white evangelicals need(ing) to repent” for racism, and I got all hot under the collar and ready to fight and ready to write another long tirade about being tired of trying to be moderate just to be told I’m evil by everyone and tired of the co-opting of that word “evangelical” to mean “Crazy, Mean, Hateful Conservative” and tired of articles that proclaim the end of divisiveness actually creating more and tired of fighting and hating each other and tired of not being able to disagree with someone’s methods because somehow disagreeing with their methods, and not their message, is racist and then I decided I’m tired of all of it and I wasn’t participating this time.

But I needed to write because when I’m mad, that’s about the only thing that will calm me down that is even remotely productive.  So I decided today was my day to do a post I’ve been thinking about for a long time:

Robby’s Rules of the Internet

I’ve thought about this post for a while – usually any time I see something stupid on the internet, or people following something blindly, or a general lack of skepticism for things that you agree with – and today is the day I finally flesh it out.

Am I qualified to write this post?  Absolutely.  I’ve been internet savvy for longer than most, thought about the implications of social media for a while, actually researched how social media has affected our social interactions, and spent more time thinking about this than most because I could.

(If anyone wants to challenge my qualifications to write this article, I welcome that; but you must also point out why I’m wrong and present a reason why you – or someone else – is more qualified.)

Okay, now that I’ve provided my pedestal of judgement to stand upon, let us begin.

Rule 1: RUN EVERYTHING YOU POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA THROUGH GOOGLE

This particular rule bit me in the butt a couple of years ago, which is why it’s number one.  If you are going to post something, MAKE SURE IT’S TRUE AND ATTRIBUTED CORRECTLY (which is how I got bit)!  If someone says that MLK Jr. said something, make sure it’s all his and not partially an American school teacher working in Japan.  If you post an infographic or a political meme, make sure the facts are true (and not a horribly politicized interpretation of those facts).  If you post something scientific, make sure you aren’t just posting horrible clickbait.

Run everything through Google.  Just do it.

Rule 2: Anything That Attempts to Negate the Equality of the Internet is Evil

Period.  The internet is amazing because it is a great equalizer.  All information is equal, all people are equal, all data is equal.

This is a Free Speech Issue (just ask China), this is a Free Commerce Issue, this is a Human Rights Issue (just ask Saudi Arabia), this is a Freedom of Information Issue (ask any country that has filtered internet).

The reason that this is so important is that no one person, no one government, no corporation, no one gets to decide what is important, was is unimportant, and what is dangerous.  The internet allows all voices to shout, allows people to investigate and report on their governments and powers and corporations, and be heard despite the best efforts of those in power.

Anyone who wants to censor the internet or create a hierarchy of data has their best interest at heart at the detriment of the best interest of anyone else.

Rule 3: Don’t Feed the Trolls

Do you know what Internet Trolls feed upon?  People getting pissed off.  They feed on creating artificial controversy and getting people riled up against them and judging them.

Do you know that starves a troll?  Getting no response at all.  No getting angry, no getting angry at those who got angry, no even saying they are stupid publicly.  Give them nothing, and they starve.

This one came out of the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen – the stupid Starbucks cup thing that meant nothing.  A Christian internet troll got all indigent because Starbucks didn’t put…Santa Claus, a fun character that has become a consumer method of child control, and Christmas Trees, which are not at all Christian but an intentionally co-opted pagan tradition to convert pagans at the time.  I like both, I rather enjoy Christmas trees and figure parents can decide on Santa, but to say that it’s a war on Christmas from a Christian standpoint and using things like that might be the best trolling thing ever…

Rule 4: People Don’t Know You’re an Idiot on the Internet

…noting, importantly, that someone can be a troll even if they truly believe what they are saying.

The internet does not have the journalistic integrity checks that traditional media has.  In some ways this is absolutely the point – the internet is the great equalizer and every voice has the same power – but it pushes that responsibility to check the integrity of the author and the work to the reader.  Which is fine because we are at least running everything though Google, and should be doing more research if its important and the conclusions aren’t readily clear.

Unless you don’t do that, which most people don’t.  You can still find regularly updated “9-11 Truth” websites and people buying those conspiracies.  You can find out any fact about racial tensions in the country – any fact you want, just think it up and someone has said it somewhere about it.

In real life, we know the people who are idiots.  They are the ones who bait you into debates and then shut down and tell you are wrong when you approach their position with skepticism.  They are the ones that say things that are clearly untrue like they are gospel.  They do things that let you know they are stupid and their thoughts met with great caution.

(Mind you, we all qualify as this at times.  I got into an hour-long fight about the odds of winning the lottery that I was wrong about because simple math evaded me.)

The internet washes away our idiocy away and presents an image that we know what we are talking about.  Again, an equalizer – no one knows that the only descriptions I have of Scotch are “Hairspray” and “Piss” despite actually being able to describe bourbon and beer with some level of skill – but as susceptible to abuse, both intentional and accidental.

If you assume everything you read is written by an idiot unless otherwise proven, and you approach internet journalism with healthy skepticism, you will be much better off.

Rule 4a: …But Smart People Assume You Are

So address the smart people.  Resolve their skepticism if you can, address it if you can’t but still feel you are correct, and change when you are wrong.  And continue to be that questioning smart person; it makes you smarter and a better person.

Rule 5: Privacy is Not a Political Issue

Stop making it one.  If this was my major issue, I would protest outside of every event of every candidate because not a one of them has my interest – or your interest – at heart.  Their own power and control of the populace, absolutely, but not my actual interest.

And the multitude of times my privacy has been violated by the government has done nothing to protect me.  Stop telling me intercepting my private texts between my wife and me is making me safe because it isn’t.  If you are going to do something that can – and should – be interpreted as malicious for my benefit, you better be proving your benevolence and allowing people to decide.

I am not doing anything wrong, I have no plans to do anything wrong, I should be able to live my life as privately as I desire in terms of the government.  You don’t need to know what items are on our grocery list, what we are fighting about, or when we make up.

So now that we see that privacy is absolute, you can see that privacy is a “Government vs. the People” issue, not a “Democrats vs. Republicans” issue because both sides contain people who are complicit and who are malicious on this issue, and not really any who are benign or benevolent

These are the major rules.  There are others, but these cover 90% of your interactions on the internet.  Just don’t be a pirate if you don’t know that you are doing, don’t install free software you don’t know the source of, and keep your stuff up-to-date and that could cover 98% of the rest.

But maybe I’ll so some more rules when I’m angry again and just need to write.

Peace,
– Robby