"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mister Ed

Curiously enough, "Mister Ed's" real name was Bamboo Harvester and he died a somewhat untimely death in 1970 from kidney disease.  A different horse, thought to be Mister Ed died it 1979 but it was not the real Bamboo Harvester.

GETTING MISTER ED TO TALK:  (Wikipedia) It is often said the crew was able to get Mister Ed to move his mouth by applying peanut butter to his gums in order for him to try to remove it by moving his lips. However, Alan Young said in 2004 that he had started the story himself.[5] In another interview, Young said, "Al Simon and Arthur Lubin, the producers, suggested we keep the method a secret because they thought kids would be disappointed if they found out the technical details of how it was done, so I made up the peanut butter story, and everyone bought it. It was initially done by putting a piece of nylon thread in his mouth. But Ed actually learned to move his lips on cue when the trainer touched his hoof. In fact, he soon learned to do it when I stopped talking during a scene! Ed was very smart."[6]

Young also states in the AAT interview that after the first season, Ed did not need the nylon – Alan and trainer Les were out riding one day and Les started laughing, telling Alan to look at Ed, who was moving his lips every time they stopped talking, as if attempting to join in the conversation. This difference is visible when comparing first season episodes to later ones, as it is clear that early on he is working the irritating string out, sometimes working his tongue in the attempt too, and later on he tends to only move his upper lip, and appears to watch Alan Young closely, waiting for him to finish his lines before twitching his lip.

Young added in the Archive interview that Ed saw the trainer as the disciplinarian, or father figure, and when scolded for missing a cue, would go to Alan for comfort, like a mother figure, which Les said was a good thing.[7]

It's been a few years since the show was produced (from 1961-1966) but it is still on cable; still pretty funny if you ask me.

"Mr. Ed., I toast you with a raised bowl of oats."

Monday, September 17, 2012


I don't watch a lot of TV but I admit to thoroughly enjoying PERSON OF INTEREST. Beyond the acting and all that it entails is the underlying premise;   a computer program that has been written to access all databases and make projections that something is about to happen to a particular individual (Person of Interest).  At that point our protagonists insert themselves into the picture and attempt to prevent an unforeseen tragedy or death..  The various protagonists interventions are okay but not the fascinating part.

Let us assume that INDEED, elements of our government wish they did have a computer tapped into all kinds of databases to prevent possible attacks.  Certainly the Patriot Act was the beginning.of an attempt to do just that.  So the underlying premise, a desire for a computer program that can predict future events, is a very real desire and we continue to see it in our government.   Can you begin to feel a little paranoia?  I can.

While I don't think the government yet has an effective program able to do what the program is able to do on Person of Interest,  I certainly believe that the government is working on EXACTLY that type of program.

Are there people in the government that would use a computer like that for selfish purposes?  ABSOLUTELY!.  Can safeguards be put into place that would guarantee it would not be misused?
ABSOLUTELY NOT.   That is the problem.  There is No Way to build a computer program with access to incredible amounts of details about everybody's lives that would never be used for evil.

The problem is this:
  The programmers are not beyond evil
  The architects of the plan are not beyond evil.
  The users of the program are not beyond evil.
  The administrators, assistants, aides, and clerks are not beyond evil.
Any number of people would be tempted to use the program to enhance their lives at the expense of others and NONE of us are beyond evil.

What this computer program is ultimately about is providing to it's users an UNBELIEVABLE TEMPTATION to have god-like power, to decide life and death, sickness or health, poverty or riches.

There would be no fail-safe device that could ultimately prevent this program from actually doing the exact opposite of what is was designed;  instead of doing great good, it would INEVITABLY do the exact opposite; great evil.  That is the history of human behavior; great evil done in the name of the greater good.

As the ancient Scriptures say, "the heart of man is desperately wicked; who can know it?"

So at this point, I look forward to the next season of Person of Interest.  Already the plot has acknowledged the potential for great abuse and what the writers of the show will come up with should be interesting.

Finally, our ultimate protection against a machine like this is actually the fallibility of human nature.  Our lack of integrity,  overwhelming pride, greed,  and desire for power  means the engineers, programmers and builders will continually be sabotaging each other in their attempt to attain pre-eminence over others thereby mutually thwarting their own selfish ends.

A successful conspiracy requires truly righteous people.  But righteous people do not engage in conspiracy.
Therefore all conspiracies are doomed to fail because of the inherent fallibility of pagan men.

Theoretically, the machine could be built; realistically, it won't.

The  New Tower of Babel will not be built.  I don't think God will let it.

Monday, September 10, 2012


"Ned," has some dementia but is self grooming, gets around with his cane and appears to be basically intact.  For reasons unknown to me, he has been placed in the nursing home, his status doesn't appear that serious.  I think he'd do fine in assisted living but nobody asked me.
 His wife comes to visit and she has power of attorney and is the only decision maker as to his activities; such as attending a church locally.  She has to allow it otherwise it can't happen.
She's physically healthy but she appears to have some dementia and doesn't want to make decisions.
Ned got upset with the facility the other day and went out the front door and headed down the street.  Police were called, they escorted him back to the facility but refused to do a 3 day commitment.  Staff put him 1-to-1 with a male nurse because they didn't know what to do.
Sunday rolls around, Ned gets dressed, ready for his pastor to pick him up and take him to church.  The wife is called, told she needs to come in and decide if he can go to church.  She comes, but doesn't know what to do.  She insists the nurses make the decision, they tell her that only she can make the decisions.  She is in a dither, continue to argue that the nurses must make the decisions and she'll go along with it.  The head nurse say, "No, you are the only one who can make the decision."  They go back and forth for a good 1/2 hour in this same vain.  She is sooo upset, looking for guidance but it is her decision alone.  She never makes it but the nurse finally intuits her acceptance of his going off to church with his pastor.

Ned wants to live at home, wife doesn't want him to.  Ned has some dementia; wife has some dementia.  Children are not in view.  Wife empowered to make all decisons but doesn't want to make any.  The nursing home is stuck in the middle with an obligation to go EXACTLY by the law lest they be sued.

Ned's unhappy, his wife is unhappy, the nursing home is unhappy but at the moment "it is what it is" and  I watch with great sadness the situation of Ned and his wife.  One wishes for an easy solution but as in real life; there doesn't appear to be one.

God helps us all.