Take a close look at the last portion of II Thessalonians 2:10: “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
Whoever “they” are may have known truth, or a portion of truth, but they didn’t receive LOVE of the truth. They didn’t appreciate truth. It brings to mind that line, “
You can’t handle the truth,” during an exchange between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, in the movie, A Few Good Men.
I used to spend my time making stabs at becoming an automobile mechanic. During that time, I gathered a considerable amount of evidence that many Americans lack a love of the truth.
In writing this, I have no intention to attempt to impress anyone that I have any more knowledge than anyone else. One of my intentions is to point out that, when I have been “in the know” about a diagnosis of a problem with an automobile, others have failed to try to understand how I figured out how to do whatever it was that I accomplished. In some cases, scorn was heaped upon me, because I solved a problem in what they deemed an unconventional way. Wrenches are probably the best-known conventional tools of the automotive trade. Problems are (supposedly) solved with wrenches. When chemistry or math is introduced into the world of automotive problem-solving, the average mechanic seems to deem that introduction to be startling, at best. Also, when my solutions did not involve charging a customer until that customer was bled white, my solutions were seldom well received.
I’m not singling out the auto repair profession as the only one which has personnel who lack knowledge which they need, and who routinely reject knowledge which could help them (and customers). I’ve “been there,” so I’m familiar with rejection of knowledge in the automobile repair industry.
To give an example of rejection of knowledge of proper procedure in another area, Here’s a clip of Nazi Nancy Pelosi telling us that a bill has to be passed, so that we can then look at it, and see what is in it, rather than, of course, being able to view the bill before its passage, in order to determine whether it is worth making into a statute. That clip tells much about the general public’s lack of knowledge spawned by lack of love of truth. There is no excuse that anyone in the U.S. would accept the notion of having to pass a law or bill before anyone can read it (Proverbs 18:13). In order to be able to accept what Ms Pelosi stated, one would have to reject the love of the truth of how Congress (or any human legislative body) should operate. Ms. Pelosi’s approach flies in the face of the spirit of what Obama/Soetoro/whatever-his-name-is said would happen in his administration. Yes, I understand, concerning what that the current occupant of the White House stated about posting a bill online before he signed it, that a bill landing on his desk would have already been passed by both houses of Congress. Again, I’m talking about the spirit of what Obama stated. Why shouldn’t bills be posted online BEFORE they’re passed?
I suspect that rejection of knowledge is spread throughout humanity, as is leaven in dough to be made into a loaf of bread.
I can’t help bringing in a story about a story from my college days. A group of us decided to play a game of football. Several of the people wanted to play tackle football, but one—generally a rather quiet, soft-spoken person, said that we should simply play “touch” football. The other guys asked, with sneers, “Aw…are you afraid you’ll get hurt?”
Because my soft-spoken friend did not have a tendency to brag about real or imagined exploits, the others could not conceive of his having any athletic ability. And my friend wasn’t very large, so they concluded that he was afraid of getting hurt in a tackle football game. They were accustomed to the “jock” image of an athlete, with a swagger. My friend’s response to their question of whether he was afraid of getting hurt was, “No, I don’t want to play tackle, because you can’t tackle me! You can’t catch me!” He was right. We decided to play tackle football. My friend didn’t overpower the others. He never gave them a chance to attempt to overpower him, because he ran through them, as water goes between tines of a fork. And, if I remember correctly, he had a “bum” knee, on that day when we played football. I have to admit that, though he had told me of his background as a football player in school, I had never played in a game with him, and his speed and agility surprised me.
Just as my friend who lacked the cocky “jock” image didn’t fit the image, in the minds of the others, of an athlete, a person who would bring math and chemistry into a garage may find it tough to mix with mechanics. However, I submit that, just as my friend who didn’t fit the mold which shaped loud, brash jocks was every bit as much an athlete as is any other athlete, a true mechanic (which I never claimed to be) armed with knowledge of chemistry and math can run through problems which stump other mechanics not so armed. But chemistry applied to auto repair is “new wine,” and, to the average mechanic, the old wine is better (
Luke 5:39). You can probably guess that below is a story about basic chemistry applied to solving a problem with an automobile.
My hope is that others will read this, and say, “Yeah, I heard that,” and think of examples of when similar things which have happened to me have also happened to them, when co-workers and even supervisors refuse to listen to knowledge. Then, they can tell me how to help to fight what I see as a pandemic of rejection of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).
What is education? Isn’t one way to define education, “an increase in knowledge of truth?” And isn’t wisdom the ability and courage to apply knowledge of general truth to solve specific problems?
When I was a kid, I lived about ¼ of a mile from Black Duck Bay, which is an estuary on the northwestern end of Galveston Bay. Groups of us used to go to “the bay,” and, armed with a dip net, and chicken necks tied to the ends of twine, we caught blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus). One of the other kids who often went crabbing had a dog named Mabel. Sometimes, we let Mabel have a go at one of the larger crabs which we had caught. The first time that Mabel saw a crab, she went over and sniffed it. The crab pinched Mabel’s nose. That was the first and last time that Mabel allowed a crab to pinch her nose. After that pinch, Mabel hated crabs. Any crab which Mabel saw thereafter failed to pique only her curiosity. After the pinch on the nose, any crab which Mabel saw initially got its pincers removed, and then Mabel went in for the kill. (O.K., so we weren’t all about prevention of cruelty to animals.)
Mabel didn’t have to go to a public school to become educated about crabs and crab pincers. On her own, Mabel grew to respect the truth concerning how much a crab’s pincer hurts, when it’s applied to the tip of a dog’s nose.
Wean yourself from the idea that education comes only from a piece of paper received from some publicly-funded institution, staffed with publicly-”certified” instructors/indoctrinators.
Many public schools in the U.S.are, academically, in shambles. I contend that probably the #1 reason that many schools are academic wastelands is that many Americans lack a love of—an appreciation of, a respect for—truth (II Thess. 2:10). Further, I strongly suspect that one of the reasons that we do not love truth is because we have confused true education (which can be obtained in the “school of hard knocks,” but which, ultimately, comes from the Creator) with sitting in enough classrooms that some institution finally gives a piece of paper called a diploma.
Do you remember a TV commercial with some guy hawking bagels? He was telling his audience about the nutritional benefits of bagels. Then he said, “Some of you think that nutrition can come only from a bowl.” Then he put the bagel in a bowl, and he said, “Here you go.”
The bagel was no less nutritious out of the bowl than in the bowl. Obviously, because so many Americans eat breakfast from bowls, the bowl was brought in for its placebo effect, and the bagel was intended to displace a very common store-bought, milk-soaked breakfast food, now commonly called “cereal.”
Education is no less education whether gained in or out of the “bowl” of a public institution. One problem with reliance on an institution for education is that you have to ask yourself, “Did I (or your children!!) receive education, or did I receive indoctrination, and, perhaps, precursors to lying wonders?”
This linked article includes a story about students who spent at least a year in an auto tech program in a public school in Livingston, Texas, but, because the instructor was not trained in auto repair, but in woodworking, he admitted to me that all that the students had learned, during a year of classes, was how to replace spark plugs. Perhaps each student in that auto tech class received a piece of paper which stated that s/he had taken “x” amount of time in the auto tech program at that school. With the instructor openly admitting that the students had learned nothing more than to replace spark plugs in that class, wasn’t such a piece of paper misleading to a potential employer? An employer would see, “on paper,” a year of experience in an auto tech program, and would assume that the holder of the certificate/diploma had at least a smattering of experience with brakes and other aspects of auto repair. Were those who held certificates from that school’s automobile technology program truly educated in auto repair?
When I was an agriculture student at Stephen F. Austin State University, one professor of soil science told me that, for taking up nitrogen from soil for nutrition, plants can take up only small nitrogen-containing radicals—nitrate radicals and ammonium radicals—(NO3– or NH4+). Then, after I mentioned, in another class, research by a chemist who did experiments with plant roots taking up EDTA (very large molecule), another professor of soil science expressed agreement that plants are not limited to taking up nitrate ions and ammonium ions (or, in general, ions or small molecules) to supply nutrients.
Don’t kid yourself with the notion that each professor has a right to his opinion. Education concerns learning about truth; not opinions. Which professor, if either, truly led me toward education? Which professor, if either, tried to indoctrinate me? And what responsibility do I have to educate myself?
Before I tell about personal accounts which I interpret as expressions of hostility to (lack of love for) truth, I must tell about a much more prominent; much more tragic, rejection of truth. This rejection of truth dwarfs my penny-ante observations.
Dr. W. Edwards Deming and Profit Rejected in Our Own Country to several employers for whom I have worked, I have mentioned Dr. W. Edwards Deming and his work to improve the quality of goods and services in Japan. None of those employers to whom I have related information about Dr. Deming has shown any enthusiasm about his ideas.
According to Wikipedia, the U.S. independent business which “currently ranks as the Sales-per-Square-Foot leader for independent retailers in the United States” is
In the early 1980s, I spent some time with a person who had a transmission shop. He made occasional trips to a wrecking yard in Carthage, Texas, and bought automatic transmissions for $20 or $25 a piece. He took the transmissions back to his shop and went through them. He bagged them and put them on a shelf. He had them ready for customers, either who wished to buy them from off the shelf and install them, or who brought their cars in for us to swap out transmissions with them. During that time, I heard much about how little regard that many automatic transmission mechanics had for Ford’s C-4 automatic transmission. We knew of automatic transmission mechanics who refused to work on C-4 transmissions. My boss (Merle Plain, Jr.) and I used to talk about how much “slop” there was in clutch packs of C-4 transmissions. Merle and I wondered why Ford put Japanese (JATCO) transmissions in Ford Granada models. Years later, I read what about some of Dr. Deming’s first experiences with working with Ford Motor Company, and that the JATCO transmission which was comparable to Ford’s C-4 had much “tighter” specifications. Where Ford allowed 0.060” in a C-4 clutch pack, JATCO allowed but 0.025” in a clutch pack with a similar function. Before we learned about JATCO transmissions being used in Fords, we had already decided to use thicker snap rings, in order to decrease the “slop” in clutch packs in C-4 transmissions. It was interesting to discover that the person whom some call the “Father of Total Quality Management” agreed with Merle and me about Ford’s C-4 transmission. When Ford developed the Taurus/Mercury Sable models, Dr. Deming’s advisors were working closely with Ford. During that time, the
Taurus battled with Honda’s Accord as the best-selling automobile in the U.S. I’m certain that there are more success stories which can be told by U.S. businesses which followed the principles of Dr. Deming. And Japan’s industries have given very notable testimony of the success of the work of Dr. Deming. His notions cannot be simply called “theories.” When I was a kid, we hardly ever saw a Japanese automobile. When I was 20, there were some Japanese automobiles on the road. By 1980, Japan’s U.S. market share was about 15%. By 1990, that percentage had increased to 20%. Now, Japanese automakers have about 40% of the market share in the U.S. because, right or wrong, Japanese automobiles have come to viewed as having high quality. When I was a kid, I saw televisions made by Zenith, RCA, Curtis-Mathis, and Motorola. Now, Samsung and Sony are among the “big guns” of television sales. Yamaha sells motorcycles here. Yamaha sells guitars here. Yamaha sells pianos here. I could go on and on. Between 1970 and 2000, Japan tore into the U.S.
Some have replied, “How can you say that Dr. Deming is so great? Japan’s in a recession.” That “thinking” represents a case of creating an anachronism. Dr. Deming died in 1990. Further, the U.S. is not exactly booming, and hasn’t been. Also, had Dr. Deming been alive in 2011, he could have done little to overcome the problems caused by the massive Tohoku earthquake and resultant tsunami on March 11, 2011. Let’s keep our focus on the years between 1970 and 2000. Dr. Deming’s principles were firmly in place in Japan, and, economically, Japan ate our lunch between 1970 and 2000. Most of their businesses hold much more of our markets than they did in 1970. Get real. “Japan’s in a recession” is a cop-out response to questions about why more businesses in the U.S. fail to try to implement Dr. Deming’s principles. We lack a love of economic and manufacturing truth.
One of Dr. Deming’s notions was that what is called “piece work” (paying workers according to how many items they make) does battle with quality. On page 72 of his book, Out of the Crisis, Dr. Deming wrote, “There is no piece work in factories in Japan.” And it doesn’t take much thinking to realize that, depending on the product made, paying a worker according to how many pieces s/he makes will tend to do battle with the degree of quality of each of those pieces, just as paying a mechanic according to how quickly s/he can get cars in and out of the bay tends to do battle with thorough work of high quality. Again, I maintain that the almost complete rejection, by U.S. businesses and industries, of Dr. Deming’s principles is a sign that we lack a love of truth.
As an automobile mechanic, I never developed any speed. I didn’t understand, until years later, that I lack the gift of fine motor skills needed for rapid automobile repair. When I was young, I had plenty of clues, including my having learned what is apparently an unusual method of tying my shoes. (Gifts from the Creator is another subject about which I am in the process of writing.) Because I was so slow with wrenches, other mechanics could dismantle and reassemble things three times during the time that I spent dismantling and reassembling a single time. And some of them desperately needed those fine motor skills, because they lacked diagnostic skills, so, as my dad used to say, they had to lick the calf again (and again). I always tried to make a correct diagnosis BEFORE I laid a wrench on a car. As slow as I was (am), I couldn’t afford to lick many calves more than once.
As things are currently set up in a typical automobile repair shop in the U.S. (with the prevalent opinion that time is money), I doubt that I should ever think of going back to being an automobile mechanic, as a way to make a living. I seriously wonder whether I should ever have attempted to make a living of repairing cars. However, I still think that a good shop could have found some place for me, perhaps as a Q.C. person. Once you have read this, you will be in a better position to agree or disagree. But don’t lose sight of why I’m writing. I’m giving evidence that many, many people lack a love of truth, and that, as a result, we are at least partially prepped to begin receiving “lying wonders.”
Now More Than Ever, Mechanics Need Literacy Skills
Back to the time (hard time) that I did as a car mechanic, in the early ’80s, I was working in a shop in which the “main” mechanic could not read. (In that shop, I had originally been hired only as a “tire buster.”) In the early ’80s, though there were still on the road many automobiles with “conventional” ignition systems (breaker “points”), there had been, since around 1975, many cars introduced with “electronic” ignition systems. Those of us accustomed to “conventional” ways were at a loss to figure out what was wrong, if an engine wasn’t “getting fire.” If a car with an ignition problem landed in a mechanic’s bay, it was quite possible that, sooner or later, the mechanic began “throwing parts” at the car, in hopes that s/he made the correct guess concerning what to replace. Then, diagnostic equipment began being marketed. At first, that equipment was very expensive, but, as happened with computers and cellular phones, the prices began descending, so our small shop became able to afford some diagnostic equipment for ignition systems. However, as mentioned, the “main” mechanic where I worked could not read. So, when the shop got a fancy piece of testing equipment, I had to read the instructions to the “main” mechanic. That put me on equal footing with him, at least as far as diagnosing problems with electronic ignition systems was concerned.
At that time, my boss appreciated that I could read well enough to be able to understand the words which I read, if not the technical concepts, in the instructions. For example, I can read the words, induced voltage. I know how to spell them. I know how to pronounce them. But do I know that a spark from an ignition coil to a spark plug is an induced voltage? Do I know how that voltage is induced? Do I understand the technical concept, and not simply the spellings, of “induced voltage?” My boss, and, perhaps, that “main” mechanic, had received at least a portion of a love of the truth. They understood the importance of having available someone who is able to read. Of course, one could wonder whether the mechanic cared enough about truth to learn to read, but I won’t venture out on that thin ice, because that would involve me being able to judge his abilities, and I have no way of being able to do that. I didn’t create him.
Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts
Earlier, I mentioned that, with my lack of speed, I had hoped that my ability to diagnose problems before dismantling a vehicle (or seeing other problems while the vehicle was dismantled) would make up for my lack of speed. I eventually learned that, the way that automobile repair in the U.S. is practiced, speed is cherished far more than is accuracy.
I spent a short amount of time working for the owner of a business which distributed beer to local markets. He had a large shop, and two “mechanics”—a shop foreman, and his assistant—who made repairs on all of the company vehicles. His purpose in having hired me was to assign me to perform daily checks on all vehicles, and, most importantly, to check the brake linings on package trucks, because replacement of brake linings on package trucks had been being postponed until the brakes on the trucks made noise because of metal rubbing on metal, after linings wore away. The owner of the company was spending large amounts of money on brake drums for package trucks. The owner had wisely hoped to put in a stitch here and there to save nine, later.
One day, as I was walking through the shop, I saw the above-mentioned assistant working on a package truck. He had a rear brake drum removed, because he was replacing a grease (oil) seal. As I walked by, I looked at the riveted brake linings. Though most of the linings on both shoes were thick, I saw, at the bottom of one shoe, a rivet which was just beginning to be polished, because the lining had worn enough to expose the top of the rivet to the brake drum in rotation. Because the owner of the business hired me to keep replacement of brake drums down to a “dull roar,” I told this kid—this assistant—about the polished rivet. But, because I know that egos of mechanics (especially “wannabe” mechanics) are fragile, and that their triggers are easily squeezed, I was diplomatic. “Oh, I see you have a brake job there.”
The kid’s response was, “It don’ need no brakes. I’m puttin’ on a new grease seal.”
I bent over and put my finger directly on the polished rivet, and said, “Oh, I wondered about that rivet.”
“It don’ need brakes.”
I’ve never seen a more breathtaking example of, not only a lack of love of truth, but also a lack of recognition of truth, or even a complete rejection of truth. In the opinion of this “mechanic,” the nude emperor was in complete regalia (Revelation 3:17).
I took note of which truck was under the “care” of the assistant.
Two weeks later, the truck came back into the shop. The brakes linings were worn off. Metal had rubbed against metal. The shoes needed to be replaced. The drum needed to be replaced. And, because metal shavings had destroyed the grease seal, the grease seal which the assistant had recently replaced needed to be replaced, again.
You may wonder why I didn’t go directly to the owner, or at least to the shop foreman, when I saw the obstinate pride of the ASSistant. I could have saved brake drums, as I was hired to do.
By that time, I had been at that place for enough time to see that I was an outsider. People who counted did not like that I worked there. I strongly suspected that, if I said something to the owner, I’d get paybacks, later. They would work actively to turn the owner against me. Over the years, I’ve seen it, again and again.
I am not certain about why the other two “mechanics” did not like me. Perhaps, in addition to showing that technologically blind “mechanic” that a brake job needed to be done, I also went back through an automatic transmission (THM-350) which the main mechanic had rebuilt. The main mechanic told me that, after he had rebuilt the transmission, it had a hard 1-2 shift. I found that a one-way clutch had been installed backwards. The result was that the transmission skipped 2nd gear, unless it was manually shifted into 2nd gear (intermediate range). It shifted from first to third, and that produced the hard shift. They may not have liked that I’d found that the head mechanic had made a mistake. I honestly tried to break the news gently, but, when the main mechanic asked how I had fixed that hard shift, what else could I tell him, other than the truth? I hoped that he’d pay more attention, the next time that he dealt with a one-way clutch. After a one-way clutch is assembled, attempts to spin it in both directions should be made. If it spins in both directions, it’s on backwards. That’s why it’s called a “one-way clutch.” It should revolve in only one direction.
The main reason that they were going through brake drums was not because the mechanics did not have time to do maintenance checks. The main problem was that the owner and the manager had assumed that both mechanics were, indeed, mechanics. Sadly, at least one (the assistant) was merely a parts exchanger: remove an old part without analysis; put on a new one. The main mechanic defended the assistant, and they continued to grind brake drums to iron filings. They could have had an army of qualified people telling about worn-out brakes, or swollen radiator hoses. But if the inspectors have no teeth, and can be made to be “outsiders,” they are rendered ineffective.
Just as some mechanics fail to identify a needed brake job, until metal drums and rotors turn on exposed metal backings of brake linings, lots of “mechanics” identify a bad radiator hose or heater hose when it starts allowing hot water to spew forth. (Some dolts see the leaking water, and replace the water pump!) A few “stitch-in-time,” mechanic “prophets” identify a bad radiator hose when they see the swollen area where reinforcement threads have broken, and only the rubber, itself, is keeping the pressurized water/antifreeze from leaking. These mechanic “prophets” foretell that a hose is about to begin leaking. They aren’t psychics. They’re using uncommon “common sense.” These mechanics can keep breakdowns from occurring, if the public had ears to hear. Unfortunately, too many of us say, “The hose isn’t leaking. That mechanic is trying to sell me something I don’t need. Besides, I didn’t come in for that problem. I only wanted an oil change.” As a society, we’re so accustomed to “mechanics” who wish to get money for nothing that we fail to be able to identify a mechanic who truly wishes to be helpful.
Often, a hose weakens in an area very close to the engine, where it’s exposed to the hottest temperatures. If a hose has a bulge, that bulge is probably just past the radiator clamp which holds the hose to part of the engine. Unfortunately, in modern cars, these areas of attachment are often obscured from view by components such as A/C compressors and alternators, or brackets holding such components.
I’ve often said that a person who wishes to find a good mechanic should shop around for one BEFORE problems arise. As anyone should know, the question is not WHETHER a problem with a car will occur, but WHEN. Partly because of the “time is money” mentality of so many, few mechanics would be open to what I’m about to suggest as a way to find a good mechanic. Let’s say that you just moved to a new town, perhaps in a new state. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stop by an auto repair shop, and sit down and drink a cup of coffee or two with a prospective mechanic, and talk to him/her? You could talk politics. You could talk about how nauseating the Dallas Cowboys football franchise became, starting with their disgusting approach to firing Tom Landry—one of the best coaches in N.F.L. history. There is nothing wrong with your car, as far as you know. You are, in advance, shopping for a mechanic.
Speed Reigns where De-throned Quality Belongs
Earlier, I mentioned that speed is cherished far more than is accuracy in automobile repair. In my years in automobile repair, I was taught that lesson again and again.
The assistant who couldn’t look at brake shoes and see whether they needed to be replaced used to brag to me that, in his high-school vocational auto repair class, he could tune-up an engine more quickly than could anyone else in the class. That, he felt, qualified him to be an auto mechanic. Perhaps the assistant’s speed is a reason that the main mechanic defended the assistant.
I can think of a number of things which occur quickly. An automobile collision occurs quickly. A person being killed by lightning is essentially instantaneous. A piece of metal thrown from a grinding wheel into an eye happens in a flash. A finger is swiftly removed by a table saw. On September 11, 2001, three skyscrapers in New York City fell at free-fall speed; each fell in under 11 seconds.
Not all things which occur quickly are good. Not all rapid automobile repairs are good.
When that assistant did one of his lightning-speed tune-ups, was he as inept about identifying symptoms of problems as he was, when he had a brake drum removed? He failed (refused?) to understand that he was sitting in front of a brake job which needed to be done, perhaps because he was so “fast” that he missed it (though I’d shown it to him), or, more likely, because no one mentioned a brake job to him, and he was merely doing what he was told to do. During a tune-up, could he see a fouled plug, and see what that fouled plug signified? Or does that take too much time, and brain power? Could he have identified a heater hose which was about to burst? With a culture which worships rapidity, is there an army of mechanics much like this poor assistant? Would that help to explain why one repair, whether it is a repair of your automobile, your lawn mower, your washing machine, or your sewing machine, sometimes requires several visits to, or by, a mechanic or repair technician? Do repair technicians have a love of speed, more than (or rather than) a love of truth?
I spent some time working at one of Walmart’s Tire and Lube Centers.
My experiences at Walmart are posted online. The fact that Walmart, as it is, is fiscally alive and well, says something derogatory about the U.S. We give our money to the wrong people. Walmart should have been, due to lack of interest, put out of business years ago. My experience at Wally World gave me the impression that, generally, people who manage Walmart seem not to be interested in truth. I don’t blame Walmart solely. People, in general, are not interested in truth, and Walmart gets their employees from the general population. And people who don’t appreciate truth hand their money to Walmart, because people who don’t appreciate truth are in the majority.
Math Skills and Automobile Repair
When electronic speedometers were just coming out in large quantity, a customer came to the dealership where I worked, and purchased a truck. He immediately got rid of the “stock” tires and wheels on his new truck. He replaced them with low-profile tires and wider rims. As a result, his speedometer was “thrown off.” When his speedometer showed that he was going 60mph, he was actually going about 45. He wanted that we get his speedometer to read as it should read. Because the speedometer was electronic, there was no need to replace gears on the transmission’s output shaft, and on the speedometer cable. There was only a “simple” recalibration, which involved knowing how many revolutions a rear wheel made in a mile of driving. The mechanic assigned to recalibrate the speedometer was immediately thrown. What should he do? Should he put a white mark on the sidewall of a rear tire, and trot along beside it, while the car creeps along for a mile, and so he can count how many times the white mark goes around? That mechanic asked another mechanic what to do, and got a shrug of shoulders for a response. The question went all over the shop. None of 11 other mechanics knew what to do. The service writers were stumped. The shop foreman was confounded. The service manager had nary a clue. Finally, they came to me, and asked me what to do. I immediately recalled that there are 5,280 feet in a mile. I told the other mechanic to take a string, and wrap it around the tire (inflated and installed on the jacked-up vehicle), to get the circumference of the tire/wheel assembly. That circumference would tell me how far the vehicle traveled, with one revolution of the wheel. I told the mechanic to convert 5,280 feet to inches, and to divide how many inches are in a mile by the circumference, in inches, of the wheel assembly. That yielded wheel revolutions/mile. He then used that figure in the recalibration of the speedometer. Fortunately, the dealership had frontage on Interstate 10. And, of course, all highways of the Interstate System have mile markers. We drove out and began checking mile markers, and, for every ten tenths of a mile counted by the odometer, we passed another mile marker. We had done it.
When we returned from the test drive, the mechanic originally assigned to recalibrate the speedometer told the service manager that we’d been successful. I was hailed as a “genius.” But did they figure out any way to pay me for my knowledge? Nope, the mechanic originally assigned to the job got every dime for that recalibration. The fact that no one even offered to pay me for my time, and my fund of knowledge (which, however limited, no one else in the shop had) told me that there was a lack of love for the truth. They recognized that what I had was truth, but they neither appreciated nor respected it, at least, not to the extent of putting their money where their praising, lip-service mouths were.
Ode to a Diode
It was about 6 P.M., and I was the last mechanic at the dealership. It had been a long day, and I was about to walk/stumble out of the shop, when the shop foreman stopped me. He told me that we had just sold a new Crown Vic. We had installed a burglar alarm, but, after the installation, when air conditioner was turned on, it quickly stopped, and the turn signals quit working. I stayed over, and checked that car until almost 8. I combed wires, traced wiring schematics, and scratched my head. Finally, the shop foreman told me to call it a day. He said that he’d be sure to get that car back into my bay, so that I could finish the diagnostics, make the repair, and get the money for my time in diagnostics.
I believe that I was on my way home when I finally began focusing on a possible problem area. I began suspecting that, somehow, during installation of the burglar alarm, a wire was “shorted,” and an inline diode put in place to prevent voltage “spike,” which could damage the “computer,” had become “shorted.” (It allowed current flow in both directions. Most diodes allow current flow in only one direction, a Zener diode being one exception.) The inline diode was in the air conditioner compressor clutch field coil circuit. The same fuse powering the A/C clutch field also carried current to the turn signals.
On the following morning, the car was assigned to one of the HVAC mechanics; not to me, as I had been told that it would. (The HVAC mechanic who got the job was dating the daughter of the owner of the dealership.) The mechanic who got the car originally assigned to me came up to me and asked me, “What do you think is wrong with that car?” Someone had told him that I’d spent time after hours with the car. I didn’t put up a fight to get the car back. I didn’t tell him to figure it out for himself. I told him that I suspected, but wasn’t certain, that the diode in the clutch field coil circuit had been shorted. I also told Mike Bell—the other HVAC mechanic—what I thought was wrong. (There should be more people like Mike Bell, but that’s another story.) A couple of hours later, I saw that the mechanic who had gotten “my” job had decided to remove the air conditioner compressor. Mike told me that the other guy couldn’t find the diode in the wiring, so he was replacing the A/C compressor field coil. Later, I heard that the field coil had not fixed the problem, and that the rest of the clutch was being replaced. Later still, I heard that the clutch did not solve the problem, and that plans to replace the entire compressor were being made. (The diode in question still had not been found, and was still being ignored.)
Eventually, on the next day, with a new A/C clutch, field coil, and compressor not having solved the problem of blowing fuses, the mechanic decided to seek the diode. He found it. He went to parts to get a new one, but they didn’t have one. But the dealership was close to a Radio Shack, which had the diode, at a cost, to us, of $1.75. He put the diode in, and the blown fuse problem was solved.
Ford received the repair bill from us. Warranty covered the repair, so the customer was happy, and so were we. Who cares about Ford? They have deep pockets. Whether to be honest is not a question in a “modern” repair facility.
Let’s do some math. Had the diode been found originally, we would have hit Ford with a charge, for the diode, of $1.75. We may have hit them for an hour of labor. We may have even stretched it, and charged them for two hours of labor. With a two-hour labor charge, Ford would have paid about $125 for the repair. But remember that, when our “technician” installed the burglar alarm in the car, he probably shorted that diode. So Ford probably wasn’t liable at all. Anyway, instead of sticking Ford with a charge of $125, we replaced the field coil, at around $60, with probably 0.5 hour of labor (probably considerably more, since I am guessing that the freon was discharged in order to remove the compressor to gain easy access to the field coil). That didn’t work, so we replaced the clutch, for another $60 or so, plus another half-hour of labor. Then we discharged the freon from the A/C system, and replaced the entire compressor. That compressor was about $350. Labor to discharge and recharge the system was probably 0.5 hour, and labor to replace the compressor was probably another 0.5 hour, or perhaps one hour, of labor. (I don’t know whether we charged Ford for the freon, since it came from one of those recycle/reclaim gadgets.) THEN we finally spent the money on the diode, and the time to find it. As I said, I guessed that Ford paid about $125 for that diode replacement. With $60 for the field coil, another $60 for the clutch, about $350 for the compressor, and 2 to 2.5 hours of labor, Ford forked over somewhere between $700 and $800 for a repair which should have cost no more than $150, and which was probably initially caused by a technician’s error, for which Ford is not liable. And I was being conservative with my estimates of Ford’s costs.
Did our dealership have a love of truth? Did I get paid handsomely for my correct guess of the diode being the problem? The other mechanic generated at least $700 in revenue for the service department. I would have generated but $125, had I done the repair (probably much less, because, as a mechanic, I never claimed as many hours as I could have claimed). Of course, the other technician was more appreciated than was the truth which I had about what was actually wrong. How do I know that that other technician was more appreciated? He ended up becoming a service manager for that dealership. I never got anywhere there (or in any other shop). He made much more money for the dealership than I did. Don’t you see something wrong here? Don’t you see that generation of multi-digit figures to be printed on repair bills is more cherished than is knowing, specifically, what to do to make a repair (to reduce costs to customers)? And don’t you realize that this type of story (charging $800 for a $100 repair) happens daily in automobile repair shops, especially in dealerships, because they can milk manufacturers of automobiles, in addition to having access to customers to bleed? Doesn’t this display a lack of love for truth, and a love for long strings of digits to write on invoices? Asked another way, when we sent the bill to Ford, did we also send a note which stated the truth that we had actually wasted about $460 of THEIR money on parts, when we only needed to spend $1.75 on a diode?
Creative Penmanship Pays! (?)
I kept telling those people at the dealership that, eventually, Ford was going to come back on us. I was right. Ford soon told us that our cost per warranty repair average was highest in the district (which included dealerships in Houston). Ford then put tight repair restrictions on us, including stipulations that we get permission before replacing parts under warranty. Ford removed much of the autonomy of our technicians, as should have been done, since we displayed little ability to diagnose, but much ability to make large numbers in the “total” box, at the bottom of invoices. (We used to joke that the pen is mightier than the wrench.)
I remember someone bringing in a nice-looking, two-tone Ford Bronco II. It choked, and it smoked. They put a STAR tester on it, and the Bronco’s computer spit out about 15 codes. The technician then did what all other technicians did. He looked up all of the codes, found prices for what each code represented, threw in labor charges, and told the customer that his Bronco would cost about $1,500 to repair. The customer declined the repair, but probably paid an hour of labor charge (then around $60; now, probably about twice that) for the time spent to hook up the STAR tester and get the codes (about two minutes).
I am not familiar with OBD II, but I am at least somewhat familiar with Ford’s old EEC IV system. I knew that, in the factory-issued repair manuals, Ford always instructed technicians to deal with codes one at a time, in the order in which the computer gave them. For example, if the computer gave a 21 code, and then gave a 33 code, I was supposed to give attention to the throttle position sensor, before I was to deal with the EGR valve. Ford said that, at times, a repair of the first code would erase the other codes. Further, when I read a code, 21, Ford said that I wasn’t to run and replace the throttle position sensor. Using what was called a “breakout box,” I was to check all of the circuits involved with the throttle position sensor, because the problem could have been with a wire going to or coming from the throttle position sensor. Or it could have been with the “computer,” itself. As mentioned, technicians frequently broke that rule. As soon as a technician saw a 21, the tech went to parts, and got a new throttle position sensor. Or the customer was told that a new throttle position sensor was needed, before diagnostics of the entire circuit had been done, as Ford instructed should be done. The poor guy with the Bronco II may have been able to repair the problem indicated by the first code, and his other problems may have gone away. Rather than having to pay $1,500 for the repair, he may have been able to pay for the repair with two big bills, if the tech who originally read the codes had followed Ford’s instructions. As it was, the customer may well have felt that his only option was to sell his Bronco for whatever he could get. Or maybe he got a second opinion from an honest AND competent mechanic (if one is found to exist in the known universe).
Did technicians at Ford dealerships appreciate the truth that, in old EEC IV systems, solving the problem indicated by the first code can erase the other codes originally displayed? No, those technicians (and probably those in dealerships of other stripes) routinely did just the opposite. They didn’t tell customers that, according to the manual, one code repaired could erase other codes. They told (and probably still do tell) that one component going out can take out ten others. How many times have YOU heard that? “I had to replace all of these parts, because one took out all of the others.” I even wonder whether, in the story about the diode, someone could think that, when that diode failed, it “took out” the A/C compressor, the field coil, and the clutch (and maybe even the freon!). In my limited experience, one electronic component taking out other components seldom happens with automotive electronics. (In the above case of the diode, the failed, shorted diode did “take out” a fuse in the circuit.) When you hear, “This component took out the others, so I replaced them all,” it is probable that you are actually hearing, if you listen clearly, and ask the right, probing questions, “I didn’t isolate which component is bad, because that takes too much time. I made more money in less time by replacing all of the components, because I’m not skilled at diagnostics. I’m a highly-paid parts replacer, who hasn’t received love for truth about professional, honest, precise diagnosis of problems in automobile repair.”
Lack of honesty in auto repair is much more a problem of a mechanic not being honest enough to admit his/her limitations, either to himself, or to customers, in understanding how to diagnose problems, than it is a problem of a mechanic outright saying, for example, “Heh, heh, heh…the brake linings on this lady’s car are almost new, but I’ll replace them, anyway, because a bent dust cover is making a squeal, and the lady’s husband told her that the squeal is because of worn brakes.”
I Got ‘dim Headlight Dimmer Blues
I remember car whose “bright” headlight beams worked, but, when the dimmer switch was switched to “dim,” the headlights didn’t work. The service writer’s opinion was the same as mine originally was—that the dimmer switch was bad. But, out of the blue, I began wondering whether the “dim” filaments of both headlamp bulbs were bad. I had another car which was waiting for parts in my bay. So I temporarily robbed a headlamp bulb from that car, and, with the dimmer switch on, the “dim” filament illuminated. My “out-of-the-blue” hunch was correct. Was my information well received? “You could have sold the dimmer switch, and we could have thrown in bulbs, and still made money.” No, once again, I failed to generate a multi-digit figure to charge a customer, because I told the truth about what was actually wrong. To buy the bulbs, the customer probably went somewhere else where bulbs were much cheaper, and replaced the bulbs, him/herself.
O.K., I admit that I should have, in advance, insisted upon 0.5 hour’s worth of labor. I’d be VERY surprised if that customer didn’t believe that his/her dimmer switch was bad, so I did that customer a considerable favor. The customer should have paid me for my unusual (and correct) diagnosis. Had that customer gone anywhere else for the repair, or had that customer’s car landed in anyone else’s bay in that shop, that customer would have left with a new dimmer switch (about $100), two new headlamp bulbs (about $35 at the dealership), and an hour to an hour and a half of labor ($65-$100). The dealership could have given the bulbs away, and made up for price of the bulbs by jacking up the labor cost. Even if I’d charged that customer ½ hour of labor, that customer, armed with the truth about what was wrong with his/her headlights, still would have been ahead. So I admit my lack of business skill, and that lack of skill being a big part of why I no longer turn wrenches to put food on the table. I was too slow and too honest to be able to put much food on my table. I struggled to have a table.
Honesty in Auto Repair Is Not Enough
I had an acquaintance who had an old car which had been given to her. She longed for a job at Dr. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, the headquarters of which is 35 miles from where she lived, but she felt that her car was not dependable. For starters, it “bucked,” from time to time. Before I met her, she took that car to a shop which advertised that they were Christians. (Their advertising displayed the familiar “fish” symbol.) And I would not dispute that they were honest. Anyway, the shop charged my acquaintance $250 for diagnosing the problem, and told her that she’d need about $500 more to pay for the needed repairs of the electronics. As a teacher’s aide who was newly divorced, and whose “ex” had declared bankruptcy, and had left her with his bills for frivolity, she was struggling to save the $500 for the shop, and she had struggled to collect enough pennies to pay the $250 for the diagnosis. I drove the car, and my first thought, when I felt the “bucking,” was also that there was a problem with electronic engine controls. However, I had felt similar surges and jerks in cars with bad transmission modulator valve motors. By that time, most cars on the road had done away with vacuum-actuated modulator valve motors (replaced with throttle valves connected by cable to the throttle/”butterfly”), but this car had Ford’s C-5 transmission, which has a vacuum motor which moves the modulator valve. When I removed the vacuum hose to the modulator, transmission fluid ran from the hose. That told me that the vacuum motor was bad. I threw a $15 modulator valve motor at the car, and did a few other minor things to that car. I pared a $500 repair bill down to size. Had I been able to look at her car before she took it to that shop, she’d have saved another $250. My acquaintance was impressed enough with the way that the car ran that she drove to Colorado Springs to apply for that job, which she got. She drove that car 70 miles to work every day, until someone paid her $1,750 for it. A car given to her by kind people who had given up on the car netted $1,750 for my acquaintance, plus she got her job which she’d wanted. Eventually, her name appeared in the credits sections of more than one of their magazines. She went from being a teacher’s aide in a public school to being on the editorial staff of a well-known organization. A $15 modulator valve motor can work wonders!
I wouldn’t dare say that the above mentioned shop displaying the sign of the fish was a business which regularly practiced dishonesty. For years, I’ve said that there isn’t nearly as much dishonesty in automobile repair as there is ignorance. And there isn’t nearly as much dishonesty in car repair as there is an atmosphere of rush. But ignorance and rushing spawn dishonesty, though perhaps not in the shop mentioned in this section. I don’t want to admit ignorance, so I am dishonest, in projecting an air of knowing all about what I’m doing. And I don’t want to admit that I was rushed to make a diagnosis, so I’ll say that the customer needed this bushel basket full of parts (and another bushel basket full of money to pay for them), rather than taking the time to find out, specifically, what needs to be replaced. I will say that the shop which displayed the sign of the fish showed, to my acquaintance, a demonstration of the degree of difficulty of knowing (and remembering) the myriad aspects of truth, concerning automobile repair. On that day, when they hit my acquaintance with a $250 charge for diagnosis, and told her that another $500 was needed for the actual repair, they made a mistake, just as I do, from time to time; just as everyone does, from time to time.
Some people fight a lack of love for truth, and, sometimes, they lose. They see their own natures as enemies of truth. Some live lives of lacking love for truth.
They see their own natures as proper, with anyone opposing them being wrong. Lack of love of truth thus thrives.
Good Chemistry with a Repair Procedure -> Bad Chemistry with Supervisors
In the early 1990s, I had a Ford Taurus SHO in my bay. The car belonged to Bobby Fehring. In 1976, I had worked at his dad’s gas station, at the “Y” (where Market Street Road and West Main St. intersect), in “Old Baytown” (Texas). The car’s “low coolant level” warning lamp was on. But the radiator was full, as was the coolant “overflow” reservoir (where the coolant level is read). I replaced the switch. However, after I installed the new switch, the lamp remained illuminated.
Some of the older “low coolant level” switches depended on a float device. When the coolant level was at or above a certain level, the float caused a break in electrical contact, and the warning lamp stayed off. The simple principle was similar to that of a toilet float valve. When the valve is floated to a certain level, water flow in the water closet is stopped. But this was a newer switch. It depended on the electro-conductivity of the solution in which its contacts were immersed. When the coolant level was at or above the contacts, the warning lamp stayed off. When the level dropped below the contacts, the lack of current warned a switch (in the computer?), and the warning lamp came on.
Suddenly, out of the blue, I had a high-school chemistry lesson flashback. I remembered that water is a polar solvent. It is able to dissolve many substances held together with ionic bonding (table salt, countless other compounds), because water molecules have a “positive” end (the two hydrogen atoms), and a “negative” end (the oxygen atom). Further, I remembered that the different types of alcohol are non-polar. I knew that ethylene glycol (main component of most types of antifreeze/coolant) is “related,” chemically, to the alcohol group of chemicals. (If you’re an organic chemist, forgive my lack of technical accuracy in my descriptions.) Almost all of water’s limited ability to conduct electricity is due to the ions dissolved in it. The electro-conductivity of distilled water is much lower than is the electro-conductivity of water which contains ions (from dissolved salts). I strongly suspected that “pure” antifreeze would have very low electro-conductivity. I further suspected that the “low coolant level” lamp remained on because there was not enough water in the antifreeze/water mix. (Most, if not all, manufacturers recommend no more than 70% antifreeze, or no less than 30% water, in the antifreeze/water mix. Use of “straight” antifreeze in a cooling system is not recommended.) I suspected that the illuminated warning lamp was “telling” me that there was too much antifreeze, and not enough water, in the mix. To test my theory, I got a can of tap water, plugged the old switch back into its electrical plug, and immersed the switch into the water in the can. The warning lamp went out. I drained about a pint of water from the radiator (probably should have removed more), and dribbled some water into the coolant reservoir. I used the old switch. The lamp stayed off.
I was delighted that something which I’d remembered in school (in spite of the rain of spit wads and commotion) had helped me to solve, quickly and inexpensively, a problem with a car. (I imagined another mechanic getting that car, and replacing switch after switch after switch, and hours of head-scratching, and perhaps even replacing a dozen other components.) I told the service writer what I’d done to solve the problem. Was he thrilled that I’d used knowledge of basic chemistry to solve the problem? Was he going to remember the information, so that he could apply it to future “low coolant level” lamp problems? His reaction: “Aw, just replace the %&$!# switch!”
I could have used a freight car load of %&$!# switches on that car, but none of them would have solved the customer’s problem. A general knowledge of basic chemistry was applied to solve that specific problem.
Months later, I saw Bobby (owner of the SHO) in town. I asked him whether the warning lamp was still staying off, and he said that it was, and that there was no more problem. I told him that, if the problem arose again, he should put a little more water in the radiator and the coolant reservoir.
I want to ask you. Would you prefer to have someone solve a problem which your car has with a pint of water, or would you prefer to pay for a boat load of %&$!# switches thrown at it?
Did those people who refused to see that I’d solved the problem lack a love of truth? They may have been ignorant of the facts about dissolved ions in car radiators, but they had a chance to see the warning lamp off, with the old switch in place. How could they have explained that? They didn’t want explanations. They wanted a dollar figure at the bottom of a customer’s repair bill.
A while after that incident with the switch, I took a week-long course instructing me about Ford’s EEC IV “computer” system. During that course, somehow, the subject of those warning lamp switches came up. In front of the class, I asked the instructor of the class whether a switch like the one described above is affected by how much water is mixed with antifreeze, and he said that it is. Yet, somehow, that piece of information—that small sliver of truth—never trickled down to most mechanics on the “front line” of auto repair. That small sliver of truth isn’t often needed, but neither is a six-point, 32mm socket (unless “half-shafts” are replaced regularly). Why should a mechanic not have both available? Mechanics don’t reject a 32mm socket, though it isn’t often needed. Why should mechanics, or service writers, reject knowledge of basic chemistry? And should we be graduating from high school a sea of people who have no knowledge of ions and polar solvents?
Concerning the incident with the switch having been affected by a pint of water, because water is a polar solvent, and the speedometer having been re-calibrated by knowledge of how many feet that there are in a mile, I wish to ask: if my co-workers—the other mechanics in those shops—did not remember information in school, or, perhaps, they never picked up information which I picked up, because the schools have become so much worse, since the time that I graduated, what DID they learn from school? Did they merely learn the lesson of former Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, who said, “
If you want to get along, go along?” Is that mostly what public schools teach us to do? Do they teach us to be docile sheep? Are they also teaching us that, if the mechanics around you don’t use knowledge of basic chemistry or basic math as some of their tools of the trade, you, as a mechanic, should go along with their approaches? Are they teaching us that conformity is the main goal? Is that conformity related to the efforts, of many public schools, to prepare students for the global workplace? And what is the global workplace? Isn’t it living in a hut, marching off to an unsafe factory, and getting a fish head and a bowl of rice for pay? The U.S. once contributed much to setting the pace for the global economy. We didn’t become great by conforming to “global” standards. I don’t want to prepare our children to conform to the global workplace. I want better for them. I would like to work to prepare our children to improve things (since the majority in my generation were too stupid and well-fed to care to improve things); not to prepare for things as they are, and are becoming, in many other places of the world; not to prepare to live as the majority of the people in the world “live.”
The Shape of Lies to Come
With our advanced, up-to-the-minute news media in the U.S., we couldn’t possibly fall prey to “lying wonders,” could we? Or are our “mainstream” news media also programmed for conformity rather than for truth?
On November 22, 1963, at around 12:30 P.M., C.S.T., I was at San Jacinto Elementary School, in Baytown, Texas. I was in Mrs. Jenarie Alexander’s 3rd grade class. We had just returned from the cafeteria, and were about to put our noses back to the grind. Suddenly, a second-grade teacher—Mrs. Canat (sp?)—burst into the room: “President Kennedy’s just been shot in Dallas!!”
At first, there were reports of multiple gunshots. In search of a gunman, many onlookers, including at least one policeman, began to ascend the slope toward the now-famous “grassy knoll,” seemingly because they thought that they heard gunshots from the grassy knoll. Abraham Zapruder had intended to make a home movie of the president’s ride, on a gorgeous Texas day in late autumn, through Dealey Plaza. Instead, the film in Mr. Zapruder’s camera caught the moment that a portion of the president’s skull fell onto the lid of the trunk of the limousine in which the president was riding. The president’s wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, instinctively went to retrieve that piece of skull. While she was on the lid of the trunk, a secret service agent—Clint Hill—was trying to get into the car by climbing onto the back bumper. Mrs. Kennedy helped him to board the limousine.
Some of those who were in Dealey Plaza on that day saw the
horror of the wife of the president trying to retrieve a portion of her husband’s skull, which had been blown BACK behind him. They saw many in the crowd rush up the incline onto the “grassy knoll.” Numerous witnesses claimed to have heard multiple gunshots. Yet, somehow, by the time that the Warren Commission got through with the investigation, three shots were fired at the president FROM BEHIND President Kennedy; from the Texas Schoolbook Depository building, on the corner of Elm Street and North Houston Street.
How did a piece of the president’s skull fall behind him, if he was shot from behind?
The limousine had almost stopped at that point. Why, after the shots, did so many people rush up the grassy knoll? Why, when asked where the fatal shot struck Kennedy, did the president’s assistant press secretary, Malcolm Kilduff, indicate that the president had been shot in the area between his right eye and his right temple?
In a “deathbed” confession,
E. Howard Hunt told his son details of the plan (“The Big Event”) to use the bullet, rather than the ballot, to vote John F. Kennedy out of office.
With so much evidence pointing to multiple snipers, and to a conspiracy to kill John Kennedy, Rush Limbaugh and Vincent Bugliosi (among many others) would still have us believe that Kennedy was killed by supposed “lone nut” Lee Harvey Oswald, who was employed (probably placed) at the Texas Schoolbook Depository.
Is the Warren Commission a tiny part of “lying wonders,” or at least a precursor to them? Did Americans, somewhere along the line, fail to receive “the love of the truth,” to the extent that we failed to thirst after it enough to find truth, regarding such instances as what happened at Pearl Harbor, in 1941, or in Dallas, on November 22, 1963, or in the
Gulf of Tonkin, in 1964? Jesse Ventura—a veteran of the Viet-Nam war, claims that the reasons originally given to escalate operations in Viet-Nam were (are) bogus. We lost 59,000 young American lads. Should we not have sought the truth, before we ramped up operations in South Viet-Nam? Are 59,000 lives (not including opposing soldiers and civilians) worth believing bogus stories from D.C., and following those stories where they would lead us—to Viet-Nam; to Iraq, to cemeteries, where we bury our dead?
The following paragraph may seem not to fit. It does…very well.
When I was in a speech class taught by Mr. Richard Ames, he told us of a common method of assessing a speech. According to Mr. Ames, most people, use what he called
two-valued orientation, and either accept the speaker and his message, or they reject the speaker and his message. Perhaps the speaker is from the Deep South, and the listener is from another part of the country. A person using two-valued orientation rejects the speaker, because the speaker “sounds like a hick.” That person also rejects what that person says, because a hick couldn’t possibly have anything good to say. (There’s a failure to hear the actual words spoken, because the way that they were said drowned out the words, themselves.) Another person listening to the same speech may be from the South, and that person may use two-valued orientation to accept the speaker because of the “down-home” way that the speaker sounds. That Southern person using two-valued orientation will accept the speech—the message of the speaker—solely on the basis of the speaker sounding like someone from “home.” Mr. Ames told us of another method of evaluating a speech. He told us of multi-valued orientation. I can 1) accept the speaker (the speaker’s poise, pronunciation, and vocabulary) and the speaker’s message, 2) accept the speaker as a capable speaker, but reject the speaker’s message, 3) reject the speaker (deem the speaker a poor speaker), but accept what the speaker has to say, or 4) reject the speaker and the speaker’s message.
In the book, The Little Prince, the author, Antoine de Saint Exupéry, told the story of a Turkish astronomer who discovered Asteroid B-612. When he originally made his presentation to the International Astronomical Congress, he was laughed off the stage, because he had dressed in traditional Turkish garb. The next year, the same Turkish astronomer made the same presentation to this International Astronomical Congress. However, he dressed in “western” attire, and his presentation was accepted.
“Scientists” are not immune to simple-minded two-valued orientation.
When “Washington” speaks, use multi-valued orientation to assess what is said. Don’t reject everything outright (as I tend to do). But don’t swallow it “hook, line, and sinker.”
I know that some people either will not ponder my 1st-grade questions above, or they will have quick answers, and, perhaps, will use two-valued orientation. There is a book—
Case Closed—which is full of answers to such elementary questions as mine, below. But, for those who wish to be thoughtful and to increase awareness, many people have asked much more probing questions than mine. Look at what L. Fletcher Prouty had to say about the assassination of JFK. Let Jim Garrison ask you his questions about the assassination. Jim Marrs has some interesting questions, also, as do a host of others.
On September 11, 2001, “everyone” saw jet aircraft colliding with the skyscrapers at the World Trade Center. At first, there were numerous reports of explosions INSIDE of the buildings,even BEFORE the jets made impact. Both of the “Twin Towers,” and a building called “WTC #7,” which was not even hit by an airplane, collapsed from the top down, and fell at, essentially, free-fall speed. We no longer hear “mainstream” news of explosions in the buildings. We are now spoonfed that the burning jet fuel softened or melted the girders, and the building collapsed because of those weakened girders. And, now—eleven years after the tragedy, we hear as much about “homegrown terrorists” (Ron Paul supporters, veterans, people who wish to get back to a government which uses the U.S. Constitution as its basic law) as we hear about “radical Muslims.” As Creedence Clearwater Revival sang, “When they play, ‘Hail to the Chief,’ ooo…they point the cannon at you.”
I have another uneducated, elementary question about the buildings’ collapse at free-fall speed. If a building falls because of impact from some sort of aircraft, will the building not “break,” at the point of impact? Shouldn’t the towers have initially “broken off,” in the areas where they were struck by the airplanes? Wouldn’t those points of impact be where supporting girders would most likely be weakest?
If I chop down a tree, doesn’t it begin to pivot where I made the cut? If I’m cutting at a point 3 feet off the ground, the tree doesn’t begin coming apart from the top branches down. It topples with the pivot point being where I made my cuts, or chops. It begins to pivot where I weakened it.
Until 2006 or so, I believed what I’d heard from the news media. Muslim terrorists used box cutters to bring down airplanes. They hate us, because (as we suppose) we’re “free.”
The jet aircraft (supposedly Flight 77) used to damage the Pentagon, and the story of the flight of that jet to the Pentagon, is interesting.
That jet (supposedly) was, at the end of its flight, flown inches off the ground. Experts speak of extraordinarily high skill, of the pilot, needed to have made all of the maneuvers which were (supposedly) made by a commercial jet airliner.
Think about this. When you’re driving your car, you’re “keeping it between the lines.” But you don’t remain at an exact distance from those lines to the left or to the right. You are constantly making corrections. You may be almost unaware of those corrections. However, if you release the wheel, the car, sooner or later, will veer. If it is like some of the jalopies which I’ve owned, you’re quickly in the ditch, if you release the wheel. In your automobile, you’re not going nearly the speed of a jet aircraft (unless you’re a teenager driving the General Lee). And you’re on solid ground. Yet your vehicle drifts and veers, to one extent, or another.
When a pilot comes on the radio and tells the passengers, “You may now remove your seat belts. We’re at cruising altitude of 35,000 feet,” that airplane is not so steady and “between the lines” that it’s flying within an inch of 35,000 feet above sea level. With every flight, there are always tiny amounts of turbulence felt. That turbulence is the result of the aircraft being pushed upward, downward, and/or sideways, by winds aloft. That sensed turbulence is the result of the airplane going up or down or sideways distances of many feet; not merely a couple of inches.
And you’re going to tell me that Flight 77 was kept centimeters off the ground, in the moments before it (supposedly) hit the Pentagon? And you’re going to tell me that a terrorist who learned to fly with a flight simulator would take the risk of so flying, rather than flying in at a 45-degree angle, with the nose of the aircraft pointed at its target?
Is a terrorist who learned to fly in front of a flight simulator going to risk his/her mission to destroy as many infidels as s/he can, by doing fancy flying? I think not. From 20,000 feet up, a “rational” (?) terrorist is going to point the nose of the jet at the Pentagon, and keep it pointed there, just as the kamikaze pilots did with their airplanes to Allied naval vessels. From aloft, they pointed the noses of their airplanes at aircraft carriers or other “enemy” ships afloat. They didn’t make fancy 270-degree turns, and fly just above water for miles. The longer the kamikaze pilots were in the air, the more likelihood there was of their being shot down, so they went from “point A to point B” in a line as straight as they could draw one with an airplane. A terrorist supposedly at the controls of Flight 77 knew that, with two other buildings already having been struck on that day by jets, s/he has to fly, as much as possible, “from point A to point B,” in order to make the strike quickly,unless those who guided the airplane knew that no fighters would be scrambled.
I submit that the popularly-pushed, “official” stories about what happened on 9/11 are portions, perhaps tiny portions, but portions, or at least seeds, of the lying wonders of II Thess. 2:9. We, as a nation, are in for countless gargantuan lies, unless we turn around, and begin developing a love of truth.
If the official version of what happened on September 11, 2001 is foretaste of “lying wonders,” then Americans must, collectively, not have received love of whatever portion of truth it is that we have received. Or they must have lost that love of truth. And one of the next steps after losing (or never having received) love of truth is to lose truth, itself, or, in other words, to go into a Dark Age—an age of famine of the truth (Amos 8:11).
Truth is not always easy to discover. The Creator conceals a matter; kings search it out—Proverbs 25:2. Would you be as true royalty? If you wish to follow the Creator, you need to know that He leads His sheep to become kings and priests (Revelation 5:10). And, as mentioned, what the Creator has the privilege of concealing, a king has a duty to discover, or “search out.”
Earlier, I mentioned one professor having told one thing to a class, and another professor having said just the opposite to his class. I asked what my responsibility was, as far as educating myself is concerned. I am wholly responsible for my education. My duty, according to Prov. 25:2, is to search out hidden things. I am to oppose those who would hide the truth. The truth liberates (John 8:32). With there being those who hide the truth, how can those from whom the truth is hidden be liberated, unless those scoundrels who hide the truth are revealed, and their actions are stopped. If I don’t fight those who hide the truth, they’ll hide it from me. And I’m no longer performing my duty to search out hidden things.
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10). Failure to love truth in one area indicates failure to love truth in other areas. If I’m indolent about fighting relatively insignificant disdain for truth, as displayed by a service writer who would tell me, “just replace the %&$!# switch,” rather than doing what I know to do to make the repair, and at least attempting to educate others about the only effective way to solve an automotive problem, then I will be lazy about educating myself about lying wonders, and I’ll probably swallow them. That is the degree of danger of allowing “little” errors to go. There is no “little” error, according to Luke 16:10. Remember the worn-out analysis of how far off course a rocket launched from earth, and traveling at a trajectory which is one degree off course, would be, by the time that it went the distance necessary to go to Mars.
Do you have difficulty with believing that my seemingly insignificant brushes with disdain for truth could be linked to, or part of, a general lack of love for truth? Think about what the apostle Paul described as “perilous times” to come. When you think of perilous times, don’t you think about supermarket shelves being empty, and people breaking into any home (including yours) or building, in order to attempt to find food? When you think of perilous times, don’t you think of earthquakes, typhoons, and droughts? Yet here is how Paul described perilous times. “For men shall be lovers of their own selves.” (II Timothy 3:2). That is a description of Mr. and Mrs. Average—lovers of themselves. It is the people with whom I work, and with whom you work. A rape or murder occurs with many witnesses, yet they all claim, at the time of the crime, to have heard or seen nothing out of the ordinary. No one comes forward. A society of people who are “lovers of their own selves” will, when times become tough, break into your home to get food. Paul saw the peril of the majority of people being “lovers of their own selves.” Paul didn’t shrug his shoulders and say, “That’s just the way it is…every man for himself.” He deemed that a perilous situation. I believe that the same holds true concerning “winking” at lying politicians, or acceptance of the mass of people having a lack of love of truth. Don’t find it acceptable, or “the way it is,” that there is a lack of love for truth. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in the following situation, sooner or later. Marching directly behind the naked emperor, you’ll marvel at the emperor’s splendid attire, and will swell with pride, because the emperor allowed you to march behind him, and to be dressed just as he is. You’ll believe a lie. You’ll believe THE lie. You’ll believe lying wonders. In this life, you’ll probably be “sunk.”