Memphis vs. Nashville

It was learned yesterday that Nashville has surpassed Memphis as the largest city in Tennessee. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 population estimate, Nashville is now home to 660,338 people, while Memphis comes in at 652,717.

Of course, the news has stoked the Memphis vs. Nashville crossfire, which already doesn’t take much to get going.

I love Memphis. I love Nashville. I am literally a person torn between two cities. And I simply cannot betray one against the other.

Congratulations to Nashville. The city is growing in all directions and there are many reasons why. It’s a great place to live. But don’t get the big head. Don’t forget that by virtue of being a metropolitan government, the entire population of Davidson County gets lumped into that 660,338 figure. By comparison, Shelby County is home to 934,603 people, so there are more than 280,000 individuals living in Shelby County who are outside the Memphis city limit.

Memphis isn’t growing in all directions. It is mainly growing toward the northeast, east and south. To the west, the Mississippi River acts as more or less a barrier. Granted, West Memphis, Arkansas is a decent sized place, but that’s all there is in that direction.

I feel like the parent of two brothers who don’t get along. It pains me the way Nashvillians often put down and ridicule Memphis. Really, you’re the state capital, you benefit from a consolidated city/county government, and you have three interstates running through you — Memphis only has two — and you’re just now surpassing Memphis as Tennessee’s largest city?

Also, dear Nashville, your traffic is HORRIBLE. It’s gotten to where there is hardly a time of the day or week when you can drive straight through the city without getting trapped in a jam somewhere. It’s the thing I most dislike about living here.

Now Memphis, you’ve always acted like the big brother who routinely gets beaten up by a smaller sibling. Stop it with the inferiority complex. Stop looking toward Nashville with pangs of jealousy. Nashville isn’t a utopia, either. Granted, Memphis always seems to have more than its share of problems — crime, urban blight, poverty, bad schools, productive people moving out, etc. But Memphis also has a long list of assets and reasons to be proud of itself. And do you really want Nashville’s traffic issues? No, you don’t. I assure you.

I really do wish there were greater mutual respect between residents of Tennessee’s two largest cities. I wish Nashvillians would stop looking for reasons to put down Memphis. Because if that’s all you can do, then you don’t know Memphis. And I wish Memphians would learn to be content with themselves and stop being envious of Nashville. Trust me, Nashville isn’t perfect, either.

I’ve lived in both and still consider them both my home, even though I don’t get to Memphis as often as I’d like. No matter which city you live in, we can all take pride in the fact that we live in the greatest state in the union.

#fakenews sources

No doubt you’ve seen the headline somewhere that cites a “source” or “sources” to bolster some diabolical claim against Donald Trump.

Have you ever wondered who the sources are? Are they even real? Are they telling the truth? How do we know?

For example, I often imagine the following exchange taking place in some #fakenewsroom somewhere:

#fakenews “reporter” A to “reporter” B: “Do me a favor, will ya?”

#fakenews “reporter” B: “Sure. What’s up?”

#fakenews “reporter” A: “Say the following: ‘Trump tried to get Russian investigation buried.'”

#fakenews “reporter” B: “Trump tried to get Russian investigation buried.”

#fakenews “reporter” A types the following headline: “Source: Trump tried to get Russian investigation buried.”

Now I don’t know if that exchange has actually taken place, but I bet I’m not far off. Remember, the #fakenews media are made up exclusively of progressives, and what do progressives do? They lie. Some of them lie pathologically (the Clintons, for example, Barack Hussein Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Crazy Bernie, etc.). It’s who they are and what they do. Remember back in 2012 when Dingy Harry Reid cited his imaginary friend who told him Romney didn’t pay his taxes? I’m convinced that these “sources” make things up out of thin air. Or, better yet, the “sources” cite things Democrats have actually done (Russian collusion, obstructing justice, not paying taxes) and then try to project those scandals/crimes onto Trump.

Either way, it is perfectly believable that #fakenews would conjure up fake sources, or real sources making up fake accusations.

Storms are storms

You have probably heard one climate change huckster or another — perhaps even masquerading as a “scientist” — claim that storms today are worse than they used to be. Don’t believe a word of it. There’s no way to prove one way or another how the storms of today stack up against storms in the past.

Let me explain this another way. If someone asked my, “Lefty, I want you to do some research and write a peer-reviewed paper comparing the storms of today with the storms of, say, 100 years ago,” I’d have no idea to go about it. I wouldn’t know where to begin, nor how to make any sort of comparison between the storms of different eras. There’s just no way to go about proving how the storms of today stack up against their predecessors.

So when you hear this claim, know that there’s no way to prove that storms are getting worse (or better, or the same). How do you compare them? What measure do you use? No one — and I mean not a single person, scientist, politician, no one — knows whether or not storms are getting worse. It’s simply another in a long string of scare tactics global warming shysters use to try to get the rest of us to acquiesce to their demands. Take my word for it.

If I had to wager, I’d say that storms in 2017 aren’t any different than the storms from any other era since we’ve been recording weather data. I can’t prove it, of course, but neither can anyone prove otherwise.

Notes on 2 Timothy 4:1-8

(This is a preparatory message leading up to an ordination at the Global Vision Bible Church.)

God is like a two-headed nickel. He always wins.

Ordination is not the calling of God. Aanyone called of God can preach whether man says so or not. Ordination is more or less a local church formaility, acknowledging someone who has been divinely annointed.

Paul often referred to Timothy as his son (in the faith), even though they were not related. Today, we are disciples who are making disciples.

When God puts something in your heart, you won’t want to do anything else but what God desires. Paul even lays out the framework for what the qualifications are for an elder/deacon.

Just because you have the desire to see God’s will fulfilled doesn’t mean you have the discipline. You must have discipline.

There are dangers in the ministry. Perilous times will come your way. There is perversity and brokenness. Even those in the ministry face these things.

Paul applies these things to all of us, but more so toward those who are in the ministry. God is the one who does the calling and equipping. It is God’s charge to God’s man. Jesus Christ is going to judge us on our motivation or the lack thereof.

God’s charge is to preach the word, in season and out of season. A minister is to preach doctrine. And, yes, doctrine is divisive. You will behave according to what you believe.

The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. People will try to take it out of your hands, even in God’s church. Make sure you stay true to the gospel, no matter what. Some do not want to hear the truth, but only what they want to hear.

Some will turn their ears from the truth and instead turn toward fables. We are even to endure afflictions. Jesus is the real one they hate. (Before they hated you they hated me first.)

Live the life of an evangelist. Be a soul-winner. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with the right people so that the devil cannot come in and destroy.

Do not be ashamed to let your light shine before man. Even be a trouble-maker for the kingdom. Those willing to shed their blood for the Lord are few and far between. (2 Timothy was the last of 14 books Paul wrote. Here he announces that they are about to kill him.)

Paul says he has fought the good fight. If you fight, make sure it’s a good (righteous) fight. Let’s all hope we can say this in the end. Anyone can jump off the starting block, but by all means finish well.

We do whatever it is God has called us to do, and not only those who are called to the ministry, but all of us in the church.

History tells us that Paul literally led his captives to Christ. They watched his life as well as his death. He was willing to die for something bigger than himself. If you’re living for Him, you’ll give your life away. Take it serious and don’t quit.

Good losers are losers

A friend of mine put up a blog post this morning that describes RINO’s perfectly. He was talking about Low-Energy Jeb Bush’s recent criticism of the Trump presidency, and noted how Low-Energy Jeb’s politics “guarantee losing while maintaining some arbitrary moral high ground.” That is the best description of RINO’s I’ve ever heard. When left to their own devices, RINO’s are guaranteed defeat at the polls, but that’s okay, because they maintain their “values” and “standards” while getting their rear ends handed to them. Of course, they never get to actually legislate their values and standards because they lack the authority to do so, because they are LOSERS.

#fakenews is literally making liberals insane

You might say that liberals were already insane before. Maybe, maybe not. They’ve always had a screw or two loose. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be liberals. But progressives in the Era of Trump are absolutely insane, and it’s the constant barrage of #fakenews, on top of the fact that they already have a screw or two lose, that is creating the insanity.

Yesterday, I actually listened to Rush Limbaugh’s show live while driving home from Charlottesville, Virginia. I rarely listen live (always the podcast), but this time I had nothing else to do, so I found a radio station that carried the program (not hard to find) and tuned in.

At any rate, the Maha Rushie at one point took a call from a “reformed liberal” who noted the following about #fakenews:

CALLER: It’s sick. I no longer listen to anything and I think that there’s a lot of people like that and —

RUSH: I think there are too. I keep — you know, it’s all anecdotal, but I hear from quite a few people when I observe it, I’m not watching it either.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: And I think it’s wise. I think it’s good for your mental health to stay away from some of this crap. It’s so intense, it’s never ending, it’s always there and they’re always trying to add to it. I think you’re wise to ignore most of it.

CALLER: It’s painful to listen to it. It’s also depressing to feel like this guy can’t get a fair shot. Anyways, my last point I was gonna say is that I think that the best thing personally for Trump to do at this point is just to keep on plugging away at accomplishing his agenda.

Rush went on to discuss how #fakenews and Democrats have created a monster that they may soon regret. Their insane followers fully believe Trump colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 election — just as they believe the climate change hook, line & sinker — and now they are fully expecting an impeachment. The trouble is that there are no impeachable offenses. A year’s worth of investigating has produced nothing. So #fakenews & Democrats have built up expectations with their false narrative and built up expectations that are not going to materialize. The insane progressives are going to go postal when no impeachment occurs and no evidence is ever discovered, so now the Democrats — some of them, anyway — are quietly beginning to walk back the impeachment narrative.

So there are some literally dangerously imbalanced leftists who are already protesting and causing threats and riots at town halls. … The Democrat Party, the American media, has literally created an insane asylum that has no walls. And the people in this insane asylum, who are genuinely, truly unbalanced, have been made this way by having been fed a diet of raw hatred for the last nine months.

Now, of course they’ve been fed this raw hatred for decades. But in the intense specifics of this election and the collusion with the Russians, they have been fed lies and distortions and rumors as fact. They have created a brimming, a burgeoning, an effervescing, raw hatred that has yet had no outlet for expression. It’s bubbling up and it’s waiting to explode.

And the Democrats are scared to death of the day they have to make it official: There was no collusion, there was no evidence, there will be no impeachment. That’s why they’re trying to walk back impeachment, ’cause they’re scared to death of what they’ve created. They can’t control it. It is an uncorralled monster of genuine insane lunatics that is the Democrat base.

A tale of two presidents

President Donald J. Trump yesterday in Riyadh:

Barbarism will deliver you no glory. Piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be fully condemned. And political leaders must speak out to affirm the same idea. Heroes don’t kill innocents. They save them.

The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves for their country and, frankly, for their families and for their children. It’s a choice between two futures, and it is a choice America cannot make for you. A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists. Drive them out. Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your Holy Land. And drive them out of this earth.

America is a sovereign nation, and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens.

Barack Hussein Obama in Cairo on June 4, 2009:

I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear. Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire. Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail.

And so, I submit to you that Barack Hussein Obama is looking smaller than ever in the wake of President Trump’s weekend trip to the Middle East. We’ve always known the man-child president was irrelevant and inconsequential on the world stage, and President Trump just showed us how small.


Taking stock on the 140th day of 2017

Today I am driving to Charlottsville, Virginia to see my brother graduate from the University of Virginia Medical School. (No, I’m not writing this while driving, although I could technically have dictated it to Siri. I actually wrote this yesterday, the 139th day of 2017, and scheduled it to post today.) After we get back home Monday, the 142nd day of 2017, we have no further travel plans. And I’m quite looking forward to not going anywhere this summer. Here’s what I’m up to these days:

Running: This is 5K season, so I’m running mostly 5K’s from now until autumn. I’m not training for any races, so this is the fun part of running. I am planning on finally running in the St. Jude Marathon (just the half-marathon, though) in Memphis on December 2. I’ve been wanting to do this ever since the 2013 race was canceled because of winter weather. (That was supposed to be my first half-marathon.) But I won’t start training for this until October.

Reading: Master & Commander by Patrick O’Brian, Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.

Writing: I try to make a blog post every day. It’s purely a hobby. If I don’t write something regularly, I’m afraid I’ll burst.

Watching: I watch very little TV anymore. I’ve watched some of the NBA playoffs, but not much. I’ve watched some of the Predators playoff games. I do enjoy watching Nashville on CMT with Mrs. Lefty. Overall, I might average an hour a day. Some days I watch nothing. If it were up to me, there would not be a TV, or maybe we’d keep one just for watching movies.

Listening: I have a large collection of music that I digitized several years ago (and then got rid of all my CD’s). I know my music very well, so in the last few months I’ve branched out. I started listening to lots of Apple Radio and also subscribed to Sirius XM, since there’s a satellite radio built into my car. Mostly, I listen to Real Jazz (channel 67). On Apple Radio, I listen to several stations. I sometimes listen to current music because there are some really good new artists out there and occasionally I’ll find a gold nugget that’s worth digging into.

Avoiding: Busyness, at all cost.

Enjoying: Summer is almost here. Last summer was probably the best summer of my adult life, or at least in a very long while, and I intend for this summer to be at least as memorable. I used to dread the summer heat and humidity, but now it’s the winter cold that I dread.

Volunteering: I operate a video camera at church. We livestream all of our services, so I find myself working all 5 weekly services if my work schedule permits. I very much enjoy doing this. It’s important to volunteer at church. There are many tasks that require attention, and the paid staff cannot possibly do everything. From experience, I’ve learned to volunteer for exactly one job that you enjoy doing, and then do that job well.

Buying: Nothing. Or almost nothing. Despite all the purging we’ve accomplished these last couple of years (or three), I still look for things to get rid of. This sometimes aggravates my wife, because I’m more extreme than her. I find myself rarely buying anything anymore. When I do, it’s usually to replace something that’s broken or worn out. Really, I don’t need anything else. If you asked me right now to make out a personal wish list, I could list a few ebooks, and that would be all.

Self-aggrandizing: I wish to someday be that person who makes wise statements others talk about, such as “so-and-so said this to me one time years ago and I’ve never forgotten it.” As of now, the most potent philosophical statement I am capable of making is, “It is what it is.”