Book of Oppositions | Pocket Full of Mumbles |


This world is one big game of "Go"-- Black against White, Light against Darkness --and we all have a choice to make: Do we war FOR the Light?

...or against it?

Pithy Review

It's been a while since I've last ported so let's look at a movie I've seen recently...


This is not the kind of movie I typically watch, I'm usually neck deep in scifi and the weird. So Aloha is quite a departure for me., but the film is weird in one way... it purport to be one thing, a romantic comedy, but6 it actually is something completely different. Oh, it has romance it, but again that's not what it is, because Aloha is about a man discovering he has a daughter, and what makes this apparent is the love the director took in sculpting the final, before credits, scene...

She is one of several students, of differing ages, attending a hula class, in Hawaii. It's evening, and a man walks up to a plate glass window to watch. He is smiling; not the kind of smile that says I'm happy to see you, but a smile that is filled with joy, and hope, and he's watching these ladies, young and old alike, move with a unison of grace in the dance; all hands and gestures, and symbolism. She sees him and smiles (she would smile because she knows he has visited with her family and has accepted him as a friend of the family). She continues to dance with a wonder in her expression which says why are you here? She seems to ask... and he replies with a nodding assent, yes, I am your father. She continues to dance, thinking, while over her face comes this joyous look, which become tears, and outright sobbing. She leaves the group with a rush and goes out into the night. she embraces him , a moment later she enters the studio and finishes the dance. The last scene, as they pan in closer, is of her hands bobbing and rolling in a fluid, ocean-like dance.

This, to me, was the sole reason for Aloha. Everything was leading to this. One beautiful scene

A beautiful moment.

And the music was superbly chosen.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 1:53 PM, , links to this post

Enforcement Sans Responsibility

I hate the IRS. I'd like to think it a necessary evil, but I can't reconcile the word 'necessary' with the word 'evil'; they simply push against my sensibilities like two magnetic norths. It's repellant to me that our tax code is so complex that I am forced to pay someone, or some service to do my taxes for me. You'd think that the local IRS office would be in the business of helping people file their taxes, but their idea of help doesn't wander any further than the answering of ill-informed questions... how does one ask the right questions without a basic grasp of American tax code? Nancy Pelosi couldn't even tell us what was in the Obamacare bill without it first being passed into law, and we all see how that has turned out.

So it's a scheme. The IRS forces everyone to pay taxes, but it takes no responsibility for educating or guiding anyone through the actually process of filing. Which has become typical of modern American governance.

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posted by Eric Ashley @ 2:50 PM, , links to this post

If He Believes It, It Must Be So | The Weekly Standard

If He Believes It, It Must Be So | The Weekly Standard

Obama continues to be the worst president in recent U.S. history. His desire, seemingly, is to destroy as much of this nation for his own self aggrandizement in the eyes of his very small, proudly radical, coterie of social anarchists.

I'd like to think America can survive the Obama presidency, but I fear America is already dead... we're just waiting for the last nervous tremor to subside.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 12:01 PM, , links to this post

It's Not About Color, It's About Honesty... Truth

I was, quite frankly, shocked to hear this message coming from the heart and lips of a Black preacher... but then, I shouldn't be surprised that a child of the most high God, who preaches in season and out of season, can speak the truth. With race relations in this country lower than I've seen in decades, it is refreshing to know there are still some who can look beyond skin color, and see the truth.

The death of Trayvon Martin was tragic, but was it really George Zimmerman's fault? Does Trayvon's mother bear any responsibility for where her son is today? What of Travon's father? And what about Trayvon himself, does he own any responsibility for his own death, and where he is today?

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posted by Eric Ashley @ 2:32 PM, , links to this post

I [heart] Pinterset



It's like having a filing cabinet just for pictures-- only not as clunk ugly --full of folders sorting everything by category. It's like a collection of playlists on your iPod; a category for workouts, for rainy days, for Summer, Winter, Autumn. All that and more, is Pinterest... but again, for pictures (click on the big red 'Pinterest' or Pic above to visit my page and see what I mean). Best thing? literally NO ONE can have an ugly Pinterest page. And few can actually manage to have an UNinteresting one.

I've had mine for close on a year now, and I've not managed to post much recently, but for those of you who don't have one of these free accounts, or do, and think it can only be used for collecting pictures...?

Think again.

Imagine going to your favorite restaurant's website. On that site they have what they're calling their 'online menu'. It's basically a boring table (for those of you conversant with HTML, you know what I mean) with boring, meaningless-to-a-new-patron descriptions. But imagine you're in the car with friends and you want to convince them to try this new restaurant you've discovered which IS using Pinterest as the format and platform for their online menu... One of your friends has her iPad with her and she looks up the menu online. Each meat or food category has it's own 'board,' each with it's own cover photo, and within each board each entree comes complete with a photo that links to a larger version, PLUS, many people who have eaten a particular dish have left comments describing how much they loved the dish, giving you their own personal review. Is that not a great marketing tool?

So why is it then, that the restaurants I'VE suggested this to looked at me with blank, lifeless stares? The idea is to grow your business, expand your client base, right? Then why not take advantage of every tool at your disposal... ESPECIALLY when they're free? And especially as Pinterest is fully integrated with Facebook AND Twitter?

Is it the build time? The work taking, uploading, and arranging photos? of structuring a Pinterest account? I'd be happy to do it for them... not for free, mind you, but I'd love to be service to, and help build my favorite restaurants business.

I want to be eating their fare ten, twenty years from now! So my motives are not entirely unselfish. I want some scratch in my wallet for the effort, and a long and mutually satisfying relationship with the Indian restaurant down the street, or that amazing Baja-style Mexican Restaurant on the other side of town.

Sometimes it takes an asteroid crashing to earth to get anyone to look up. Same is true in business, I suppose. Some folks have been doing the same thing for years, or decades, and see no need to change, until they find they're the only steak house in town that looks like a shack among all the new structures built up around it. It may still have great sales, but imagine what it could do if its owners only invested some time and effort into keeping up with the times and trends of a fast evolving community.

I learned very quickly in television sales that marketing, as I was taught, is more than simply walking in a business and asking if their interested in advertizing on TV. If all you're going to do is go in with the rate card memorized in your head and a standard pitch you're being made to thrown at everyone you meet... well, you'll get some fish to bite on that; some fish, after all, will bite at anything... but you may not hold on to that client for very long.  Clients, after all, are not fish-- they typically tell the difference between a pitch and a genuine desire to see and make their business grow. Some would-be clients don't see a need for all the new-fangled toys, you could throw at them. Some of them don't actually see the need for a website! And for those who think they know what they don't need? who don't think they need what you can do for them? Some of them may be right... they don't need you. And for the others, with ugly, poorly built websites getting next to zero traffic?

Just walk away.

You're not going to convince them. Your job, as a salesman, is to help new and existing clients keep up with the digital Jones. And you've got commissions to earn.

Pinterest is only one tool in your marketing tool-box, and there is so much more you can do with it. And your clients, assuming they want to earn even more sales, should be clambering all over each other to get you to help them remain relevant in this ever-changing marketplace.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 3:47 PM, , links to this post

Minecraft & the Art of Digging Holes

I love Minecraft. I guess it would be better to say it's an obsession. To some this might seem a benign object with which to be obsessed, but to my wife-- "Are you still building that wall?" --it's a complete waste of time. And I agree. It is a waste of time, but that doesn't mean I love it any less.

I love to create things, build things, paint, write, what-have-you things. And there really isn't anything wrong with that, provided something 'solid' is actually achieved... something tangible.  A painting or a poem, for instance, are tangible things; paintings can be duplicated and the prints sold. Poems, too, can be compiled into book-form and sold. And that's money in the hand. But games like Minecraft, or Halo, or Call of Duty... these pursuits put nothing in your hand. You're basically digging a hole to no purpose.

Building an online business, however, CAN pay off, and will if you don't quit, and you invest time and effort, and reinvest a percentage of your earnings back into your business. I'll continue to sneak in thirty minutes to an hour of Minecraft now and then, but my focus now has to be in climbing out of holes.... not digging them.

My number one goal in life is to live a life worthy of Jesus. Period. Next comes, providing for my wife. She expects certain things of me every bit as much as Christ expects specific things of me. I fall flat on my face often... every day in fact. It's impossible that I could live perfectly... He knows it, and my wife should know it. But I have to be seen doing something constructive to not only provide for my wife and I, but also to provide for the work He has for me. Is Marketing where He really wants me? probably not, but I'm willing to try almost anything right now if it will allow me to rise above sea-level financially. I'm told I need to have faith, but it's hard to have faith when you everything you have is being ripped from your hands trying to make ends meet in THIS economy. And I'm getting very tired of treading water.

One also needs a few signposts along the way to insure he doesn't get lost, or can't find his way back to center. In Minecraft it's VERY easy to get lost on the surface. The horizon fades out very quickly the further afield you go; the graphics engine can keep up with all the terrain. So what I've resorted to doing is building obelisks... very, very tall obelisks, like the Washington monument in D.C. This way I can keep my bearings and know which direction to the last place something wonderful was built. In marketing, it's always a good idea to know where you started, and the many signposts along the way to anywhere you find yourself. It's easier to go back, see what worked, and re-plot your present course... doing what you know has already achieved results.

It take vision to build anything worthwhile. The ancient Egyptians had it, Rome had it, and Early American settlers and our founders had it.

With a clear and focused vision, it's impossible to get lost.

Do you have a vision for your future? Why not check out the Empower Network. Where else will you make 100% commissions in a growing company? Watch the video above and take that first step toward your vision of the future.

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posted by Eric Ashley @ 3:46 PM, , links to this post

My Own Personal Paradigm shift

I'm learning a new way of looking at marketing online.  I've been blogging for six or seven years already-- mostly politics and religion --but I never knew how to make money doing it. That would be nice, right? to make money doing something I actually love doing? I like blogging, but more importantly, I love writing.

I just left a fifteen year career at a local television station. I started in what they called Master Control... I literally got paid to watch television; to make sure all those commercials ran on time and in their proper slot. If there was nothing good on CBS that evening, I had a book. So long as everything ran as scheduled, I got paid. About a year later I moved into production, doing the Five, Six and Ten O'clock news. I became proficient with cameras, audio, tapes, and graphics, but my strongest suit was graphics. It still is.

About eleven years of this I moved to the more creative side of a small market TV Station... Creative Services / Sales. Now, I was only the graphics guy. The ladies on the sales floor would come to me and ask for a Skyscraper or Supercube, with such-n-such specifications, and this call to action, etc., and there is went, straight onto our website. BAM! The station made money. What did the sales lady make? A very nice commission check. What did I make, 10 bucks an hour.

As I said, I became very good at this. But not just at building graphics but at video production and editing as well. The problem was, however, with all my skills I was struggling to make ends meet... still am, truth be told, but I'm not a quitter. I just need to know HOW to do a thing... ANY thing... and I can change that thing.

All my life I've had these talents; innate abilities that allowed me to pull the thoughts and imagination out of my mind and soul, and put them on paper, or canvas, or etched in stone and wood... I was born an artist. But I never learned how to market what I could do. But all that changes today. The Empower Network is going to show me how to change all that. First, by changing my immediate financial woes, and second, by showing me how to market my abilities... something that three years in the sales department in a small town television station never managed to do.

I'm staring at the fulcrum of my own personal paradigm shift

I'm about to start making 100% commissions on everything I sell for the Empower Network-- more than the paltry 10% the lovely ladies on the sales floor made. Want to know how I'm going to manage this feat? Watch the video at the top of this blog now!

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 3:41 PM, , links to this post

Now we'll see...

Whether or not a "Christian" company will stand by it's principles.
Federal judges—including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor—have refused to grant an injunction protecting the owners of Hobby Lobby from being forced to act against their Christian faith, those owners will be subject to federal fines of up to $1.3 million per day starting Tuesday for refusing to include abortion-inducing drugs in their employee health plan.

Will Hobby Lobby refuse and suffer the cost of fines, and let the Lord handle the case? Or will they cave for the sake of money?

The Obama Administrations argument? One, that...
"Americans lose their First Amendment right to freely exercise their religion when they form a corporation and engage in commerce. A person’s Christianity, the administration argues, cannot be carried out through activities he engages in through an incorporated business... The second argument the administration makes to justify forcing Christians to act against their faith is more sweeping. Here the administration argues it can force a person to act against his religion so long as the coercion is done under the authority of a law that is neutral and generally applicable—in other words, as long as the law was not written specifically to persecute Christians as Christians, the government can use that law to persecute Christians.

As to the first argument, if a man chooses to create and build a business, he does this under the principles that reflect who is is, and what he values-- everything anyone does reflects his or her values to one degree or the other. In the case of Hobby Lobby, they've been in business far longer than Obamacare, and have operated under the principles of it's owners. So what the Obama Administration is demanding is that a man's (or his family) deny the principles he began his company with; principles that have guided his business and decisions heretofore. This is wrong. Period.

To the second, the government may not be consciously persecuting this company because it's foundation is on Christ, but that is the end result. Because of the founders' faith he must now, under law, provide access to a service that is anathema to any Christian worth his salt.

This isn't a case where a new startup must comply with existing law prior to opening its doors for business. Hobby Lobby has been in business for years, long before liberals decided to force their moral paradigm upon the people of this nation.

Will Hobby Lobby stand firm? Or will they cave? God has the power to preserve and sustain them in spite of Obamacare.   

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric Ashley @ 7:45 AM, , links to this post

This Is Going to Sound Insensitive to Some

Captured from the Drudge Report a couple days ago...

Here is a young man, new to the world of professional football. And he's admittedly Christian. Like Tebow. Is his stand as a Christian the reason for all the nastiness being thrown his way? Few, if anyone, are going to come out and admit that such is the case, and I can't say definitively that it IS the case. All I can speak to is what I see, and what I believe.

What I see is a cancer that has metastasized in the bones and deep tissue of our nations soul... a spiritual vacuum. Many will deny that it exists, but that doesn't change the fact--the FACT--that there is a growing disdain (to put it mildly), and a growing hostility for anything and anyone that "pushes" a belief that calls for a separated life; that asks its followers to live holy and separated lives unto God. The accusation is, invariably, that such people are hypocrites because so many of "them" commit sin. But here's the rub. It is impossible to NOT commit sin, and especially for Christians, because they are under far greater spiritual pressure AND attack than are the unsaved. After all, what need do the forces of evil have, truly, of attacking the unsaved? They are already dead-- spiritually speaking. Those who attack Christians for being "holier than thou" and "hypocrites" only demonstrate their ignorance in matters of grace. Those who attack Christians are actually trying to extinguish any light that may shine upon their own lives.

So, the lost have the temerity to mock, decry and defame anyone of, or anything proposed by faith in God, yet they call out to God in grief (as they rightly should) when a young man enters a school and murders twenty-six living souls. They call out to God on the one hand...

...but live as though he doesn't exist on the other.

Jesus said to the religious hypocrites of his day, paraphrasing... 'you claim that had you lived in the time of the prophets you would not have been partakers in their murders; but you proudly claim descent from those same men who murdered the prophets, and even now plot to kill me!' In other words, you play at righteousness by putting on an outward robe, but do nothing in your heart, let alone your consistent actions, to demonstrate there is any validity in your outward claim.

Jesus, then, said, "You who murdered the prophets...," but he could just as easily say today, "you who slaughter the innocent... tens of millions of them and still counting!"

Not a single one of those slain Sandy Hook children are in hell. I know that's small comfort to anyone with a heart, and especially the victim's families. I know it sounds insensitive, but I can't worry about that right now. There's a reason I'm writing this, and that is to point out something most of you have missed. This nation has spent the last several decades pushing God away, especially from our schools. Is it then any wonder that someone, some twenty year old young man, felt the need to walk into a school and murder children?

No... not a single one of those children are absent from the presence of God. That cannot, however, be said of a certainty of any of the adults who also died, even those who shielded the children with their bodies. Jesus said 'wide is the road to destruction, but narrow is the path to salvation, and few there are that find it.' It is my sincerest hope that not a single adult died without Christ, but...

When entire generations grow up within a godless system of education, what can we expect but godlessness? Many are questioning God's love because of what has happened, but few if any are questioning themselves. Take God out of the equation and something will, invariably, fill the vacuum. If we don't train our children up to fear and reverence God, they will grow up to be empty, and eventually bitter. They will look to find something to fill the void. For a few, when that search leaves them emptier still, they will resort to the unthinkable.

We mock those who fear God. And when we deny our children the right to carry Him with them to school, Sandy Hook Elementary is the result. In response to Sandy Hook America won't think to institute a bible reading program into the nation's school curricula. Instead, this nation will seek to deny firearms to its people. It was the gun which killed all those innocent people at Sandy Hook, not the shooter. Instead of teaching our children to fish, we're blindly lashing out and simply giving them a fish to eat... taking away the gun. We haven't taught them how to cope with the hopelessness that is living in a godless vacuum... we haven't taught them how to fish.

We claim to be Christian, but we don't do anything 'Christiany'. We drink, we smoke, we "sleep" around, we steal, we lie, and we kill. We allow abortion to continue unabated for decades. We allow just about every immoral penchant imaginable into our eyes, ears, hearts, minds, and homes. Then we get up on Sunday morning, put on church clothes, listen to the pastor preach for approximately twenty minutes, and think ourselves good Christians for sacrificing our Sunday mornings for the appearance of Godliness. In other words, we white-wash the sepulchers of our bodies without bothering to clean out the dead and rot contained therein.

Men who claim to be holy-- who choose to acknowledge God publicly --are ridiculed and discounted, while others who merely pretend at holiness, hold themselves up as paragons of virtue... all the while standing up for nothing but political parties, and the socials mores they defend.

To fix what is wrong with America would require teaching our students love and reverence God. The students have the ultimate say, of course, as to whether they want God or not, but they need to have a moral compass implanted into their hearts, or at the very least have some directions installed in their minds. Because what we saw at Sandy Hook can be traced directly to a lack of faith in the classroom. It can be traced all the way back to when prayer and the Bible were removed from the classroom.

As Jeremiah Wright was one heard to have said... "America's chickens have come home to roost."

And God help us all.

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posted by Eric Ashley @ 9:28 PM, , links to this post

How Often Should We Partake of the Lord's Supper?

How Often Should We Partake of the Lord's Supper?

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posted by Eric Ashley @ 12:22 AM, , links to this post

What was the DNC Trying to Say Here?

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) addresses delegates during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

One has to wonder if the the DNC REALLY knew what image it was trying to project here. Harry Reid surrounded by hell fire? This is the image of the prosperous future the Democrats want to give a desperate nation? Milquetoast evil waving a fist to adoring crowds? In the midst of a burning landscape?

What were they thinking?

I'm guessing they weren't

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posted by Eric Ashley @ 4:28 AM, , links to this post

John Cusack, Frustrated Liberal Hollywood Elitist

John Cusack Interviews Law Professor Jonathan Turley About Obama Administration’s War On the Constitution

I guess it really is morning in America. A whole lot of people are beginning to wake up. Mr. Cusack is just one in a growing list of liberals who are finally beginning to see the light of day. Obama is not a breath of fresh air in the stagnant world of politics. He's just another bullfrog croaking for attention.

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posted by Eric Ashley @ 3:41 AM, , links to this post