Mattie’s Call: Lamar Putnam

lamar-3There are exceptions to every rule.

Normally, when I write about something, I tend to get long-winded. Today my message will be short, and to the point.

The man pictured on the left is Lamar Putnam. He suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

Normally I don’t call attention to or promote someone else’s blog, but this wasn’t really a tough decision to make. It’s not always about me.

All I had to do was to remember the last few months of my grandmother’s life after her stroke, and then to imagine how I would have felt if she’d gone missing when she could no longer remember where she lived. This man is a beloved father and grandfather. His family needs your help.

Mr. Putnam has been missing since January 16th. His family and friends are desperately looking for him, and they need anyone with information on his whereabouts to immediately contact the police.

Please take a few minutes to read this blog to familiarize yourself with the facts of the case. There are reasons to believe Mr. Putnam could still be alive, but with winter weather moving into the area, the importance of finding him becomes more urgent by the minute. It could snow this weekend.

Also please share the information at the link provided above  with all your friends and family, especially if you live in Georgia or Alabama. As more people keep looking for Mr. Putnam, someone will surely find him. By doing so you just might save his life.

Please help Lamar find his way home. His family misses him.

Thanks for your time.

Your inner parakeet

2000px-Budgerigar_diagram-labeled.svgI love reading books written by Richard Dawkins. Quite ironically, he provides some of the very best material I could ever hope to find for use in discussions with my atheist friends about God and His creation, as well as existential science and evolution theory.

It turns out that virtually everything I might ever need for my argument in favor of a supernatural God can be found in his book The Greatest Show on Earth: the Evidence for Evolution, simply by following the advice of Dawkins and accepting many of his claims about the theory of evolution on face value.

For example, in his book Richard Dawkins claimed that humans share a now-extinct ancestor with the budgerigar (another name for the common parakeet) that lived approximately 310 million years ago, writing that “Every species is a cousin of every other. Any two species are descended from an ancestral species, which split in two.” (pg. 254)

That would mean every modern living organism must be directly related to every other living organism on earth by descent — with modifications, of course. Not only is your cousin a chimpanzee, but your slightly more distant cousin is allegedly the cucumber.

The most obvious question coming to mind about this idea would seem to be “how?”

Now my atheist friends have frequently suggested that I publish the evidence that disproves my cousinship to fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers and turnips so that I might earn fame, fortune, and even to win a Nobel Prize. However, the Nobel Prize does not honor a category for evolutionary biology, making the goal itself nonsensical, even if one assumes that the purpose of pursuing a career in science is to earn fame, fortune, and win the Nobel Prize.

Not even Charles Darwin would have won the Nobel Prize if the award had existed when he wrote On the Origin of Species. Ernst Mayr never won the Nobel Prize, and also noted that there is no prize for evolutionary biology, presumably to silence his own critics. Besides, by the time I received my PhD in something, I’d only be a few years away from retirement age.

Furthermore, Richard Dawkins hasn’t won the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine, either. So winning one can’t be that big of a deal.

Ideas matter.southernprose_cover_CAFG Book sales matter. Being able to defend one’s ideas with logic, reason, and the support of available scientific ideas matter. An honest pursuit of existential truth matters. Prizes and book awards, not so much.

In case awards matter to other people and increase book sales, though, I will point out to the reader that the book shown on the right won a gold medal in an international book awards contest, as did collection of animal rescue short stories and the detective novel shown below.

Thus ends my brief foray into shameless self-promotion, which I freely admit only doing to irritate those critics of mine who often accuse me of relentless self promotion and trying to sell them a book that I’ve offered to give away.

This mentality reminds me of the classic line from Joseph Bologna in the movie Blame It on Rio: “Who packs, not to leave?”

DivineEvolutionCover_eBook_finalWho writes a book and manages to get published, but doesn’t want people to buy it?

Not that I’m complaining, but I think my accountant might still tell me today that Mick Jagger, Keith Richard, and Bob Dylan have all made more money off copyright permissions from Divine Evolution, my first book, that I have earned from sales to date. Writing is a labor of love that will eventually pay financial dividends to my estate, if not before.

Buy a book and read — it doesn’t have to be one of mine. Broaden your horizons. Try to learn something new. End of commercial.

Now back on point…

It has been frequently said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The assertion that humans might be related even to parakeets and even plants by sex, isolation of genetics, and time certainly would qualify as an extraordinary claim.

Dawkins writes (about the alleged reptilian human/parakeet common ancestor),

“In the unlikely event that a fossil of this ancestral species was ever found, it would need a name. Let’s call it Protamnio darwinii. We don’t know any details about it, and the details don’t matter [emphasis added] at all for the argument, but we won’t go far wrong if we imagine a sprawling lizard-like creature, scurrying about catching insects. Now, here’s the point. When Protamnio darwinii split into two sub-populations, they would have looked just the same as each other, and could have happily interbred with each other; but one lot were destined to give rise to the mammals, and the other lot were destined to give rise to the birds (and dinosaurs and snakes and crocodiles).” (pg. 254-5)

Now in order to reach this allegedly indisputable conclusion that humans and parakeets have ancestors in common, we only need to look at the evidence, according to Mr. Dawkins.

This is excellent advice, in my opinion. Never forget that extraordinary claims always require extraordinary evidence. So what exactly is this evidence, and what does it tell us?

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but birds have beaks, wings, and feathers. Their bones are hollow, yet incredibly strong. Birds lay eggs. Most birds can fly. They have a specially-adapted digestive system. In other words, birds are very, very different than human beings that appear to be engineered specifically for the capability of flight.

Neither birds nor humans are closely related to insect-eating lizards, though. Sure, birds, lizards, and humans have central nervous systems and cardio-vascular systems as well as skeletons, hearts, brains, eyes, and other organs that may be found in virtually every living animal, but this hardly qualifies as evidence for being the product of common descent.southernprose_cover_AANO

Furthermore, Richard Dawkins admits that there is an “overwhelming illusion” of design we may observe in nature, but then dismisses even the possibility of design versus descent because of his personal bias towards atheism. To justify his assumption, he refers to alleged evidence of “bad” design like the routing of the vas deferens through the human body or the laryngeal nerve in giraffes. My dogs are theoretically not only my best friends, they are allegedly my cousins as well.

Does anyone else (besides me, of course) have a problem with the absence of logic being shown here? We are being asked — no, told to believe that humans are related to giraffes and parakeets through common ancestry, conditioned to believe that evolution theory is the only conceivable explanation for the existence of a human being.

We are told to basically ignore all the differences like feathers and wings and emphasize any perceived similarities. If we attempt to ask intelligent questions about the science, we are branded as evolution deniers, as if we know some great existential truth that we stubbornly refuse to admit.

Skepticism about science will not be tolerated. Only skepticism about religion is allowed.

Nevertheless, common ancestry means that the primary factors that cause such incredible diversity are sexual reproduction, isolation of the gene pool (usually due to geography), and time. Both Dawkins and Coyne clearly agree on the importance of those three factors, especially isolation, in the formation of new species. Quite frankly, we are being conditioned to believe that only descent can possibly explain how a lizard, a parakeet, and a human being are allegedly “related” to each other.

Dawkins insists that we should go and look at the evidence — perhaps he should take his own advice and speak with paleontologist Michael Benton. An excellent candidate for Protamnio darwinii might well be a dicynodont named Lystrosaurus, the primary terrestrial animal that survived the Permian extinction of about 250 million years ago, according to Professor Benton. What’s sixty million years in the Big Scheme of things, compared to the life span of a human being?

More time than we have to observe the alleged processes in action, that’s for sure. That is roughly the same amount of geologic time that has elapsed since the Cretaceous extinction killed off the dinosaurs. Most modern animal species we can observe today allegedly “evolved” within the last 65 million years, with a few notable exceptions such as crocodiles and coelacanths.

It would be absurd to deny the possibility that descent alone might explain the existence of both the ant and the anteater, the cotton plant and the boll weevil, because we know that species (or kinds) are perpetuated by sexual reproduction, which is of course, descent. But why should we assume descent must be the only possible contributing factor, when there is overwhelming evidence drawn from inference that suggests manipulation and design might also be involved?

My point is merely this: it is absolutely silly to assume that descent explains the relationship of humans to bananas, while details of the process by which it occurred remain completely unknown. My goal is not to persuade the reader he or she should not believe Darwin’s theory solves all problems — I’m asking for someone to explain how it works to me, so that I might believe, too.

Currently we don’t even seem to know how recent evolution occurred, for example how humans evolved from ape ancestors. The “smoking gun” evidence that advocates of evolution theory love to cite is the commonly believed fusion of human chromosome 2, which biologist Ken Miller has said appears to be so clear that it appears “something” joined two primate chromosomes together as clearly as if a piece of Scotch tape had been used to connect them.

However, when pressed to explain how a fused joining of those chromosomes could occur slowly over many generations, Professor Miller explained that the joining of those two chromosomes had no discernible impact on ape-to-human evolution. But how can an event with no known relationship to human evolution be claimed to provide evidence that it occurred? If the evidence that humans evolved from apes doesn’t explain how it happened, why should we believe that it even happened?

And if human chromosome 2 created by fusion didn’t cause ape-to-human evolution to occur, what did?

It’s very important to note that Richard Dawkins admits that we don’t have the slighted clue about what causes or allows macro evolution to occur, writing: “What actually happened at this epic parting of the ways (divergence from reptiles into species that evolve into both humans and parakeets), nobody knows.” (pg 255) How…inconvenient. Or convenient, depending on your point of view.

Doesn’t that seem like something vitally important to know before it becomes universally accepted to be an indisputable truth? How can we assume something could have only happened one way, if we don’t even have the slightest clue how that way actually works in the real world?

Remember, if evolution as Dawkins describes it really is true, you’re not only a cousin of a chimpanzee, you’re also literally the cousin of a cucumber. All dramatic (and beneficial) mutations only made possible by sex. Plus isolation of two gene pools from the same ancestral creature. And lots and lots of time, of course. Dawkins also wrote in his book that “Biologists use the word ‘speciation’ for the splitting of a species into two daughter species.”

The problem with what biologists call “speciation” is the definition of the word species, originally redefined by Ernst Mayr to mean animals that don’t reproduce for whatever reason, regardless of their kind. Doesn’t this sort of diminish the whole concept of selection? In ring species, is it true that the animals can’t reproduce, or could it be possible they don’t mate by choice? Is a bluebird absolutely unable to mate with a cardinal, or possibly just not attracted to them?

I don’t ask questions because I know all the answers…I’d only like to know them.

According to Dawkins, the cichlids of Lake Victoria have allegedly evolved into hundreds of new species of cichlids. But the cichlids haven’t actually become a truly new kind of organism. Only more diversity in cichlids can be observed, even 400,000 years after the lake formed.

The real question of speciation is this: how long does it take for tilapia to evolve into trout?  Remember that in open ocean waters, a decent fisherman might catch bass, trout, flounder, salmon, mackerel, or they might encounter countless other forms of marine life — or perhaps they might even hook an alleged fossil fish, the coelacanth. Will the cichlids of Lake Victoria ever evolve into something other than a cichlid?

During Richard Lenski’s experiments with e-coli bacteria didn’t evolve into a completely different organism with a new body plan. It didn’t even evolve into a different form of bacteria such as salmonella or listeria. The e-coli merely adapted to changes in its environment. The experiments do demonstrate the remarkable resilience and ability to adapt to a changing environment for a well defined kind of animal, but haven’t shown how truly new organisms emerge.

My atheist friends want to know how I can dismiss evidence of evolution seen in ERVs, meaning the endogenous retroviruses that may become part of the DNA inherited by offspring.

Under what circumstances might an infection from a virus have beneficial results to the host organism? Trying to think of candidates for viruses that may become permanently embedded in the host’s DNA, I’m only coming up with examples such as herpes simplex/Chickenpox thus far — viruses without beneficial effect on the host organism.

New information might get added to the genome, all right, but it’s more than likely detrimental in nature, if it’s viral.

The latest and greatest discovery in evolutionary biology is the identification of the miR-941 gene that allegedly “helps to explain how humans evolved from apes. It appears to have played a crucial role in the development of the human brain and may shed light on our use of tools and language.”

The problem is that the article making this stunning announcement also had this to say:

Scientists say, however, that this gene emerged, in a startlingly brief interval of evolutionary time, fully functional out of non-coding genetic material. This material has been termed “junk DNA.” [emphasis added] Previous to this study, it has been remarkably difficult to see this process in action.

In light of these new clams, perhaps calling Sir Fred Hoyle’s famous tornado-through-a-junkyard analogy a “fallacy” is the truly egregious logical error in this exercise. I just don’t believe that the traits which make humans special formed quickly and naturally came from AREs and junk DNA.

southernprose_cover_SHSIn his book The Greatest Show on Earth, Dawkins repeatedly encouraged his readers to imagine being private detectives investigating a crime scene. As it just so happens, that is precisely what I do for a living — I write detective novels, published using the pen name Rocky Leonard.

So I’ve had to train my mind to imagine crimes and then to solve them.

It seems intuitively more obvious to me that God, not good luck, has monkeyed around with our DNA.

God doesn’t make junk. Complexity exists for a reason.

Perhaps the most telling comment of all from Dawkins was this: “Once again, I must stress, the details [emphasis original] of my little story are pure fiction [emphasis added].” (pg. 256)

He follows that up with: “Most biologists will tell you that geographical isolation is the normal prelude to speciation, although some, especially entomologists, may chime in with the reservation that sympatric speciation can also be important. Sympatric speciation, too, requires some kind of initial, incidental separation to get the ball rolling, but it is something other than geographic isolation.” (pg. 257)

Given the stated importance of genetic isolation of two breeding populations within species boundary, does this mean that humans, in the age of worldwide travel, can no longer evolve on earth?

That thought seems to beg yet another question: must humans colonize outer space in order to be able to evolve into new species? How else might two different human gene pools get isolated long enough to diverge, in this day and age?

I know this article turned out to be long, but I wanted to cover as much territory as possible and get all of the residual questions off my chest, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t see future books about evolution or religion.

I’ve pretty much said all that needed to be said, and what I wanted to say. Until the announcement of next great evolutionary breakthrough, that is.

Perhaps when they claim to have discovered how gene mir-942 helped turn monkeys into men.

How did I get here?

southernprose_cover_CAFG

The title poses what is known as an existential question — questions that are much easier asked than answered.

Who am I? What happens when we die? Is there a purpose for my life?

Existential questions are the sort that you’re never completely sure that you’ve really solved them, until you die. The answers that you decide are most correct will often determine whether or not you believe in God, which may impact many of the life decisions you make.

So these are not trivial questions…in fact, they are the most important and difficult questions that we may ever contemplate.

How in the hell did I get started writing books that talk about things related to religion and science, when I only received a business degree in college?

That’s also an excellent question, and an easier riddle to solve because the question itself isn’t existential in nature. And this is my answer…

I’ve always loved writing, whether it was source code for computer programs, a short story, or an effort to communicate important thoughts and ideas in concise language through documents I’ve written. I’ve always enjoyed tackling difficult problems and then working diligently to solve them. One of my earliest dreams was to become a professional writer one day.

However, for the longest time, I was too busy working a full-time job and raising my family to write prose on the side, or to worry much about seeking answers to my existential questions. I had things to do, and people to see. I stayed busy.

Then a fateful television interview that was mostly background noise while I worked  completely changed my attitude and my priorities. When I heard Richard Dawkins claim that cars and computers were intelligently designed, but human beings were not, I had to understand the rationale he used to justify his assertion. To this day, I still marvel at that absurd claim, even more so now that I more fully understand his flawed thinking.

I’ve always loved to read detective novels. Now I also enjoy writing them, along with the occasional nonfiction book. Richard Dawkins served as my motivation to become a writer.

Recently I promised a new friend of mine that I’d write something to specifically explain how I came to hold the beliefs I currently hold about science, given my published criticisms of evolution theory.

My new friend wanted to know how I came to write my book Counterargument for God.  The best way to answer his question will be to go back to the very beginning.

Similar to the experience of many atheists, I was inculcated in the beliefs of Christianity by my mother, with strong assistance from the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. Also, as many atheists have experienced, I went off to college and promptly lost my faith after being indoctrinated into mainstream secular beliefs. In college I was taught to believe that science and religion were incompatible. I was taught that science was right and religion was wrong, as if they were mutually exclusive.

I’ll never forget my professor who broke the news that God hadn’t created the universe, the Big Bang had. Immediately, a question popped into my mind. So I asked, “From where did the matter for the Big Bang come?”

Of course I realize now is a question a theist would naturally think to ask, which is probably why my professor seemed to get defensive. I could accept the idea that the Big Bang occurred, but not the professor’s flippant response, which was that the origin of matter didn’t matter.

Without matter coming from somewhere, there is no Big Bang. In my opinion, it’s everything that matters. Naturally, I interpreted his reply to actually mean that he didn’t know.

Without a Big Bang, there is no universe, no stars. No complex chemicals that can by some unknown process cause dead matter to become a living organism. I said as much, and our exchange ended. Apparently that professor, whose name escapes me, wasn’t even sharp enough to offer the multiverse as an answer.

So I graduated from college knowing about Darwin and evolution, and knowing about the Big Bang theory, but without understanding how those theories truly help answer our existential questions.

Nowadays when someone tries to tell me that I have to believe something, I like to quote the Buddha, who said: “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

Sage advice.

When our children still lived at home, my wife and I both worked at demanding full-time jobs in order to support the family in the lifestyle to which we had become accustomed.

Working full time as a software developer and my parental duties required most of my time.

Writing software in complex computer languages paid very well, and I was pretty good at my job. In the world of computers, I was the intelligent designer.

People actually paid me to go from the United States to Australia, a trip that would have cost thousands of dollars, had it been a vacation. I was Down Under for six months, but only worked eighty hour weeks for the middle four. In my free time, I visited zoos and Australian landmarks. I  saw kangaroos and petted a koala bear. I watched a professional tennis tournament with world class players competing on beautifully manicured grass courts. I went to see an America’s Cup boat race in Fremantle.

And I was getting paid to be there. Is this a great country, or what?

Without a doubt, I’ve been blessed — with intelligence, and then with opportunity. My dreams of writing a book one day and becoming a published author were put on indefinite hold, and practically forgotten as years and decades passed, with the continued success of my career.

Then one fateful day, Richard Dawkins woke up the writer sleeping inside me.

I’ll cut to the chase right here: when Dawkins said what he said, I knew he was wrong, but also knew that I couldn’t explain why. So I began to research.

I sincerely believed in a supernatural God because I believed in the existence of ghosts, due to many personal experiences. My ghost stories have been told before: in my first book Divine Evolution and online here at my website, so for the sake of brevity, I won’t repeat them.

And I understand that my own personal experiences won’t mean much, if anything, to my atheist friends. But I’d sincerely appreciate it if people would not insist my experiences should also mean nothing to me. A single incident can probably be explained away with somewhat plausible rational thought. But not hundreds of them.

Richard Dawkins proclaimed (rather emphatically) that there is no such thing as a supernatural God. He boldly asserted that supernatural entities do not exist: no God, angels, demons or ghosts or anything related to the supernatural are permitted in his worldview. images

When I first heard Dawkins being interviewed on Stephen Colbert’s comedy show, I had forgotten most of what I’d known about the theory of evolution. Darwin’s theory just wasn’t very interesting to me.

I had no need to understand the origin of species in order to write computer software, so the theory was useless, as far as I was concerned.

About all I remembered about the theory of evolution was the famous progression chart showing an Old World monkey evolving into a human being. Good for a laugh, perhaps, but nothing that might help me write code in an object-oriented programming language, or coach my son’s baseball team.

Only years later, when my curiosity had finally been piqued by Dawkins, I began to buy books by him and other prominent atheist authors, devouring just about every book related to science I could find, and began to haunt our local library.

I took copious notes as I read that were eventually edited into my first book, Divine Evolution, released by a small independent “no-fee” publisher who paid royalties.

DivineEvolutionCover_eBook_finalThe focus of Dawkins’s “argument” against God positions the argument for the theory of evolution against the biblical description of creation. This is absurd, for one simple reason:

Life cannot evolve until it exists. The Big Bang, inflation, and abiogenesis are equally or more important as the theory of evolution, because they must occur first.

Before evolution ever becomes possible, this universe (capable of supporting life) must first exist, and lifeless matter must somehow become animated.

My critics will often scoff and suggest that if my science arguments really could effectively challenge Darwin’s theory of natural selection, I should gain fame, fortune, and a Nobel Prize.  However, Richard Dawkins doesn’t have one of those, either, and my initial goal was responding to him.

My science arguments are not even “my” arguments. I stand on the shoulders of giants, merely reinterpret work produced by the experts in their respective fields. I’m a writer, not a scientist, and never pretended otherwise. The question is not whether I offer new evidence that discredits Darwin, but does my philosophical analysis of the scientific evidence explain that evidence as well or better than the theory of evolution? The question boils down to design, or descent.

No one seems to believe me when I say that my goal has never been to “destroy” Darwin or his theory as much as it has been to understand how evolution might produce the incredible diversity of life that we see in our current world. If evolution really does cause the origin of new species, I’d like to fully understand the process by which it happens.

The atheist/naturalist explanation for existence claims that nothing created this universe from nothing, that life itself is nothing more than a few chemical reactions, and that all life itself descended from a common ancestor. Descent with modification not only causes astonishing variety within an existing species, it also creates new ones.

If the universe could come to exist without any help or divine intervention, then there is no reason that ghosts would exist as the displaced spirits of the dead.

The atheist will probably say, “That’s right!”

The problem is that I’m not willing to ignore or worse, insist that hundreds of my own personal experiences were untrustworthy hallucinations and abandon my beliefs because someone else refuses to believe in ghosts.

Invariably, God will be mocked as a somewhat vacuous and superfluous invisible man in the sky, a figment of the imagination for the weak-minded. Talking snakes and donkeys will probably get brought up as well, because there are no new arguments for atheism. It’s all been said before.

But I have to wonder — how much easier it is really to believe in a universe coming from nothing for no reason than it is to believe in ghosts, or a virgin giving birth?

The death of D. M. Murdock, also known as Acharya S

acharyaSooner or later, Death will come for us all.

With sadness and considerable regret, I noticed that notorious Christian mythicist D. M. Murdock (also known by the pseudonym Acharya S.) recently passed away after a battle with cancer.

Now to be completely honest, I’ve never been a big fan of her books or videos, given her very open hostility toward Christianity and Christians.

Earlier this year, I wrote a rather scathing article about her book The Christ/Horus Connection and challenged the veracity of her work. Quite frankly, she and Richard Carrier formed a small minority of “experts” who question the existence of a historical Jesus.

Carrier does hold a PhD, but he doesn’t teach at a university. He offers online courses on his work that panders to the conspiracy theorist crowd and basically does “anything for a buck.”

The credentials of Ms. Murdock may be found here.

My words practically dripped with sarcasm as I aggressively questioned her claim that she learned Egyptian hieroglyphics on the fly. Let’s just say that I remain skeptical, but now regret my harsh words, considering they were delivered while she literally fought for her life.

Now it is my custom, when I “attack” someone like Ms. Murdock for me to attempt communication with that person in order to call their attention to my criticisms. I’d rather be up front and give him or her the opportunity to respond to my criticism as a common courtesy. I can’t say for sure that I emailed her a link to that article, and sincerely hope that I forgot. and that I did not cause her any distress during her final months on earth.

We all will die sooner or later, but people should’t go out of their way to make us miserable when our time comes.

Quite ironically, she died on Christmas Day, which would obviously mean little to someone who didn’t believe Jesus ever existed. It will now be almost impossible to forget the day she died.

Her “research” formed much of the material presented about an alleged conspiracy to create a myth called Jesus Christ seen in the movie Zeitgeist.  She was obviously a very intelligent woman, but she clearly had an agenda to destroy Christianity, which she vigorously pursued.

But Christians should not celebrate her death. Instead, we should pray for her soul, and for the comfort of her loved ones.

May she rest in peace.

Empowered idiots

Harrison-Ford_Early-Years_HD_768x432-16x9I have a confession to make: I’ve enjoyed watching the movies of Harrison Ford as he pretended to be tough-as-nails archeologist Indiana Jones and rogue space smuggler Han Solo. He’s a pretty good actor.

Unfortunately, Mr. Ford has also been known to make headlines by saying words that were not scripted for him by a very talented writer. For example, he was recently quoted as saying the human race would soon become extinct unless some form of collective action wasn’t immediately taken to “combat climate change.”

Please stick to your script in the future, Harrison.

Ford's crashed plane (from USA Today)

Ford’s crashed plane
(from USA Today)

Now I am not the first writer that noticed a man who owns multiple airplanes — a man who is completely unqualified to offer an informed opinion about the potential impact of “climate change” still felt free to lecture those of us who can’t even afford to fly coach. This man is the same actor bragged to a magazine in 2010 that he would “often fly up the coast for a cheeseburger.” Because he could.

Apparently we should all pay higher taxes for energy and drive hybrid vehicles so Mr. Ford won’t feel guilty about flying to Europe on his own private jet.

But if we seriously believed his Chicken Little mentality, why shouldn’t we force people like Mr. Ford to immediately give up their private jets in favor of (gasp) commercial air travel?

This prima donna burns more gas on one flight to get a cheeseburger than I burn in my much more modest form of transportation over an entire year. Please get over yourself, Captain Solo.

150305201713-09-ford-flying--restricted-super-169Sadly, Mr. Ford is hardly alone with his holier-than-thou attitude. The climate alarmist crowd wants to raise billions, possibly even trillions of dollars in new taxes under the guise of doing something about the problem, but how does a massive transfer of wealth affect the “problem?”

What troubles me so much about the climate change alarmist crowd is their hysterical intolerance of dissent — people who merely ask questions are branded as “climate deniers” and attacked as puppets of Big Oil.

Well, I have news for Al Gore and his ilk — Big Oil has never offered me a penny. My objections to climate hysteria are purely based on observation, logic and reason.

An overwhelming majority of the same people who demand that the world’s population forego the use of fossil fuels also oppose the cleaner alternative, which is nuclear energy. We are told that we should drive electric cars, but from where does the electricity come? Power plants that burn oil or coal, or use nuclear energy.

But we aren’t supposed to think about any possible unpleasant consequences that may come from taking drastic measures to transfer wealth from the poor to the obscenely rich, which can only be done by convincing the poor they should remain poor for the good of the rest of the world.

And like a virus, this malady of muddled thinking has spread to the younger generation, inspiring them to go on hunger strikes and “occupy” everything from a public park to the president’s office at the University of Missouri as they demand utter nonsense such as “safe space” zones where free speech is prohibited.

The world is not a safe place. These people are demanding something that simply doesn’t exist.

Suck it up, buttercup.

If you’re old enough to read this article and comprehend the words, you’re probably too old to be sucking your thumb and wearing a diaper.

Piers Morgan also suffered the consequences of foot-in-mouth disease, when he attacked the credentials of Ben Carson as a medical doctor.

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Ouch. Apparently Piers failed to realize there isn’t a safe space on this planet that could protect him from the humorous wrath of Iowa Hawk. Piers Morgan shouldn’t question anyone’s intelligence, except maybe Wolf Blitzer. Maybe.

I should probably admit that I have been accused of being arrogant myself, and I think it’s probably true. Furthermore, I am honest enough to admit that I don’t know everything, and I’m quite honest about admitting the truth when I don’t know something.

I’m also truthful about the things that don’t interest me. Just because something isn’t interesting to me doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the fundamental principles of how it’s supposed to work.

Oh by the way — not only am I a climate denier, I’m an evolution denier, too.

By that I simply mean that I have publicly expressed my doubts and published my questions about the idea that some monkeys became isolated from other monkeys and had sex over a long enough period of time, spanning multiple generations, and slowly “evolved” to become human beings.

DivineEvolutionCover_eBook_final

I personally began to experience the same sort of obnoxiously aggressive critics and random attacks by rather boorish people shortly after my first book, Divine Evolution, was published.

It seemed that none of them were content with saying “You’re wrong, and here’s why you’re wrong. You forgot about X.”

After my book was published and I began writing online, people who hadn’t even graduated college yet felt compelled to question my intelligence, simply because I didn’t believe what they believe.

Nor am I afraid to ask anybody difficult questions.

Perhaps the anger of these empowered idiots stems from the fact that no one, not even Dr. Ken Miller, has been able to offer a better explanation than sex, isolation, and time to serve as the primary mechanisms that lead to the origin of new species. Eventually. Naturally, the process takes more time than any observer has to witness this secular miracle.

At first, the degree of vitriol coming from my critics shocked me. Certainly, I had expected my opinions would be vigorously challenged, but not to the degree the insults became personal. I learned to develop a thick skin rather quickly. Of course I had anticipated that my lack of credentials as biologist, chemist, or physicist would create concerns in a skeptical audience for my emerging hypothesis that I’d named iterative creation.

However, I believed that iterative creation might develop into an idea that could actually compete fairly well against Darwin’s theory of evolution simply because the most persuasive argument for believing in evolution is well, everyone else does.

That’s about the dumbest reason a person could have for believing in just about anything. The evidence that evolution causes new species to exist fails close scrutiny.

Ironically, evolution denier may have been the nicest insult hurled my way, once it became public knowledge that I dared to question the theory. Liar, narcissist, and moron were some of the favorite aspersions cast in my direction about my character.

Even so, the aggressive bad manners and hubris gleefully demonstrated in public by so many people in modern society never ceases to amaze me.

The younger generation seems to think they know everything, and that any person who doesn’t agree with them must be wrong.

Dissent simply will not be tolerated.

Berkeley Breathed has figured it out, of course. Thank goodness Bloom County has returned, just in time to preserve my sanity.

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In this foolish age of political correctness, if you don’t agree with the idea that only black lives matter — for example, if you foolishly suggest that all lives matter, you may literally get booed off the stage and forced to apologize, or have your microphone hijacked by a liberal even more radical than a self-professed Socialist.

The problem is that these very same people who pretend to have such extraordinary concern for the sanctity of select human life is that they only care about certain black lives.

What about the lives of black cops? For all cops, the protestors in Minnesota chanted “Pigs in a blanket/Fry ’em like bacon.”

While I support free speech, inflammatory (hate) speech that literally attempts to incite murder is going WAY too far. But some people have become convinced they can literally say anything anytime, to anyone. I can’t think of a more sure-fire way to shorten one’s life expectancy than by getting in the face of the wrong person and starting to make unreasonable demands.

Of course, being an asshole certainly isn’t justification or any excuse for murder, but that won’t change the fact that the asshole will still be dead.

Arrogance and stupidity make a terrible combination.

Georgia’s next defensive coordinator

Sellers_pinkpanther7First of all, let’s get something straight up front. I have no special access to insider knowledge. I don’t have a mole inside the UGA athletic department.

No little bird has been whispering in my ear. Nobody who knows anything has told me anything that no one is supposed to know.

In other words, take my analysis with a grain of salt, if not the whole shaker.

I’ve been blessed with the God-given ability to use my brain to think like a private detective, which coincidentally comes in quite handy because my day “job” is to write detective novels. I use the pseudonym Rocky Leonard to differentiate the novels from my nonfiction writing.southernprose_cover_SHS

Kirby Smart does not have my number on speed dial. Nobody has divulged any Georgia Bulldog secrets to me. I’m a writer, not a sports journalist.

Like Sergeant Schultz from the old television show Hogan’s Heroes, I hear nothing. I know NOTHING!

Sgt_SchultzBut I think I know who Kirby Smart might be planning to hire as his defensive coordinator, given only the fact that he didn’t retain former UGA defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

Coach Smart’s hires for the offensive side of the ball seem to be excellent choices, especially considering the overwhelmingly positive reaction that came from the experts in sports journalism and the fact the new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach have experience working together.

Nothing has been said about the defense, though. If we have confidence that the (soon-to-be) former defensive coordinator at Alabama has a clear plan in mind for the Georgia defense, we should assume that Coach Smart has someone in mind already.

If that’s true, then this coach must still be working toward something pretty important (like a national championship, for example) if the deal has been done, but the hire cannot yet be announced for some reason.

Furthermore, this hypothetical new coach would probably be someone with whom Coach Smart is familiar and comfortable, which would be someone he’s worked with before.

Since that person was obviously NOT Jeremy Pruitt, who could it be? Who on Alabama’s current staff might be the next defensive coordinator at Georgia? Who is an outstanding, imminently qualified candidate?

Looking at the rest of Alabama’s current staff for 2015, outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi appears to be too young and inexperienced.  Bo Davis is an excellent and experienced defensive line coach, but so is Tracy Rocker.

Jeremy Pruitt coached the secondary. At Alabama, assistant head coach Mel Tucker currently coaches the secondary.

And who is Mel Tucker, you may ask?images-7

Well, here’s what his coaching biography at Alabama says:

Mel Tucker has coached at LSU and Alabama in the SEC.

Tucker also has served as the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars and Ohio State Buckeyes in addition to coaching for the Cleveland Browns and Miami (Ohio).

Tucker also went 2-3 as the interim coach in Jacksonville after the Jaguars fired Jack Del Rio.

Let me remind you once more — I’m pulling this all out of thin air. We might not know the true identity of the new UGA defensive coordinator until mid January.

But if my “reasonable” speculation turns out to be right…Wow!

 

A quick memo to my fellow UGA fans regarding social media

11960191_1627447094203739_8671574475968344016_nThe University of Georgia Bulldogs have recently experienced the turmoil caused by the firing of a head coach with a .740 winning percentage.

Whether or not you agree with the move no longer matters. The change has been made. What’s done is done.

Now if you are a fan of Georgia Bulldog football, you should want even greater success for the team, and that is exactly what Kirby Smart promised to deliver in time during his press conference. Coach Smart doesn’t need to begin his career as the UGA head coach under a cloud of negativity and a set of unrealistic expectations.

Just because Mark Bradley pointed out that Jim McElwain won the SEC Eastern division in his first year doesn’t mean we should make that the standard for Coach Smart. Coach Richt didn’t win the SEC until his second year in Athens.

Mark Bradley knows basketball. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop him from sharing his opinions on football or baseball.

Coach Smart said that he will demand excellence in every facet of the program, and that we will continue to do things The Georgia Way — we will win with integrity, and lose (on those rare occasions) with dignity. That’s really all we can ask…the titles will come in time.

He also promised that he and his staff will bring the best athletes he can find to Athens and then make them into highly skilled players. Several top-rated potential recruits for the defense have already moved Georgia to the very top of their list because of Coach Smart.

Coach Richt had been in the process of assembling a stellar recruiting class, the best in his tenure by far, when he was fired. One of his recruits, prized running back Devwah Whaley recently decommitted, and a few purported Bulldog fans took to social media to make a few somewhat derogatory comments about the young man that questioned his future — a young man who appears to be a very talented tailback on film.

Please, just don’t go there. Let’s agree to act like adults. Just because a thought crosses your mind doesn’t mean it needs to be shared with the world. Of course, this applies equally to me. And this does need to be said.

It is a shame that UGA lost the young man’s commitment for sure, but that is no reason to disparage him for his decision. He didn’t suddenly get fickle and change his mind at the very last minute.

Things changed that were out of his control.

Remember Pat Allen? He decommitted last year, then flipped back to Georgia on signing day. He’s a Dawg. These kids from out of state…it isn’t like they grew up around a bunch of Bulldog fans. Their connections are with people, not just a place.

Another person decided to post a comment critical of Jacob Eason for expressing interest in the Florida Gators in wake of Coach Richt’s termination. It would be grotesquely unfair to question the young man’s loyalty at this stage of the game, because for months he kept telling Georgia fans that the only thing that might cause him to waver would be a head coaching change. Which is exactly what happened.

Yes, it would be devastating to lose Jacob Eason’s commitment from this class, but you can’t blame the young man after he repeatedly said that would be his only possible cause of concern

It’s a bit of a surprise and kind of unsettling to have the guy who surprised you for breakfast lose his job after winning four games in a row, you know? We need to give these young men time to get over the shock. Jacob Eason needs to make the decision that’s best for himself.

He has friends within this recruiting class that he will see this coming weekend, and Coach Smart jumped on a plane to fly across the country immediately after the press conference to meet with him and his family.

Hopefully all will go well.images-18

I’m fairly confident that filling the offensive coordinator position is extremely high on Coach Smart’s agenda, and it will be important in determining the final decision when it comes to where Jacob Eason plays college football.

I feel the need to point out they call it “social media” for a reason — you might be amazed at how many people might see a comment that you posted on the internet. For example, one of my recent articles about UGA was read in all fifty states. I was surprised to learn there are people in South Dakota and Alaska who read articles I’ve written about the Dawgs.

If you’re a Georgia fan, you really don’t want to say anything negative about any recruit, regardless of their status. Don’t undermine what Coach Smart is trying to accomplish.

Fans of Coach Richt don’t need to worry about him — he landed on his feet. Have you looked at his division in the ACC? Instead of Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, and South Carolina, he only has to worry about the likes of North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Duke, and Virginia Tech in the post-Frank Beemer era. It won’t be long before he’ll be leading Miami in the ACC championship game against the likes of Clemson or Florida State.

During his coaching career at Georgia, Coach Richt’s record against the ACC was 19-3. So Coach Richt landed in a pretty good place, and we should all be happy and wish him the best in the future, because it wasn’t his choice.

But it’s time for the Dawg Nation to unite in support Coach Kirby Smart.

The best way to do that is not to behave like fans of lesser schools and attack players who might waver in their commitment to the “G.”

images-7I’m quite sure that young Mr. Eason can count. I’m also sure he knows how many quarterbacks are currently on the roster at Florida and that there are two more QBs signing in their 2016 class.

But I’m also fairly certain that he’s not going to be afraid of a little competition from Feleipe Franks and Will Grier.

Young Mr. Eason doesn’t need overzealous fans like some of us trying to influence this major life decision. Let Coach Smart and his staff do their job, and we can all hope for the best.

But don’t beg a teenager to commit to play football for your school because that’s what you want. Remember that it’s his decision.

If you don’t have a positive comment, then don’t make one. Don’t beg. Don’t bother talking about how orange isn’t a part of your color wheel. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.

Don’t bash the Gators. I know it can be tempting, but it isn’t going to be helpful right now. If you can’t resist saying something, sing only praises of the Dawgs. Give Coach Smart a chance to work his recruiting magic.

Of course, it certainly can’t hurt to point out that Eason does look terrific in the red and black.

Just sayin’.

The end of a delusion

DivineEvolutionCover_eBook_finalMy career as a writer was inspired by the word delusion, more than any other word which can be found in the dictionary.

Delusions are defined as “fixed false beliefs or opinions” that are resistant to reason even when confronted by actual facts.

For this reason, the term is frequently used to describe symptoms of mental illness.

The book The God Delusion by renowned atheist and biologist Richard Dawkins was the inspiration for my first published book, Divine Evolutionafter I heard Dawkins say in an interview that cars, computers, and even his book were all intelligently designed, but human beings were not.

I still haven’t gotten over the absurdity of his comment — I began learning about computers while matriculating as a student at UGA, which was followed a long career as a software developer before becoming a professional writer.

So I am well aware that the capabilities of an “intelligent designed” computer actually pales in comparison to the human brain, that DNA is exponentially more complex than computer machine language, and that the “software” that operates the human body works independently of our conscious brain is infinitely more complex than the source code for Google’s search engine.

Richard Dawkins made it crystal clear in his book that he believes supernatural phenomena does not exist. According to him, only the “real” or material world exists — no gods, devils, ghosts, angels, or demons. No miracles, no answered prayers.

Of course, I couldn’t write Divine Evolution until I’d done quite a bit of research into the science of evolution theory and then tackled Dawkins’s objections to belief in a God, which I think can be adequately summarized in a few sentences, this way:

There are two possible explanations for the existence of a human being.

Either creation by a supernatural God as described by the Bible is true, or evolution theory, as described by Charles Darwin is true.

The evidence for evolution theory is overwhelming. There is no evidence for special creation. Therefore, evolution is true, and no gods exist. Anyone who believes in a supernatural God obviously must be suffering from a form of mental illness.

Those people are science-deniers.

A couple of significant problems are rather easily identified with the very simplistic worldview of Richard Dawkins. First of all, Dawkins is a professional zoologist and biologist, not a psychologist or psychiatrist. He simply is not qualified to evaluate mental health or diagnose mental illness.

The real argument is whether or not existence may occur by descent or design. The suggestion that our “choice” to believe in a God boils down to a choice of creation over evolution, and faith over evidence, is a false dichotomy for this simple reason:

Life cannot evolve until it exists. If we assume evolution is true, it could only become a factor in the emergence of life on earth after God (or incredible good luck) caused this universe to exist and the first living organism to form.

However, in order to challenge Dawkins’s interpretation of science with any sort of credible counterargument, first I realized that I had to better understand the arguments and evidence for evolution theory.southernprose_cover_CAFG Years of voracious reading that began with Divine Evolution continued for several years as I became the Atlanta Creationism Examiner sort of peaked after my book Counterargument for God was published in 2013.

I still read every article and post I find online promising new information about scientific discoveries related to our “existential” questions, but until a credible challenge to my counterargument for God and what I have coined “iterative creation” is published, I don’t anticipate the need to write future books on this subject.

It is the atheist who must deny science, in the growing body of evidence known as corroborated veridical NDE events. This is a phenomena in which information has reportedly been learned by an individual while the physical brain and spiritual “mind” were literally separated. That new information may then be investigated and either confirmed or refuted.

Critics of this scientific evidence complain that the “near death” aspect of this information automatically makes it highly suspect.

This much is true — extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and they should.

In the body of research work compiled by Drs. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Raymond Moody, Melvin Morse, Sam Parnia, Pims van Lommel, Bruce Greyson, and many others, extraordinary evidence of this phenomena does exist. The cases of Pam Reynolds. Michaela Roser, and Colton Burpo are only a few of the more compelling examples of people claiming to learn new information while their normal senses were incapacitated and it should not have been possible.

My work has led me to conclude that if anyone is “denying” science, it would have to be people like Richard Dawkins, and not me because I don’t deny the existence of any scientific evidence.

Currently I’m focused on writing my “Rocky Leonard” crime fiction and detective novels because logic, reason, and scientific evidence supports my counterargument to atheism very effectively. There isn’t enough left for me to say about it to merit another book on the subject.

In short, my belief that a supernatural creator probably exists is not a delusion and therefore has not ended. On the contrary, my belief in God keeps getting stronger, growing toward conviction, as new evidence comes to light.

imagesYet as the title of this article implies, I suspect the end has come for a rather silly personal delusion, inconsequential compared to the question about belief in a supernatural God — a rather pleasant delusion about what it meant to be a proud fan of Georgia Bulldog football. I was deluded to believe that something existed known as “The Georgia Way”.

The Georgia Way meant winning with integrity, not at all costs. Sadly, that seems to have been a fixed, false belief.

While most people would argue that Mark Richt was fired because Georgia lost to Florida this year, I would strongly but respectfully disagree.

I believe that the firing of Mark Richt became inevitable when Todd Gurley was suspended last year for four games, and Georgia subsequently lost an important game to Will Muschamp and a bad Florida Gators team. That one loss cost UGA the opportunity to play Alabama for the SEC championship, and probably cost Mark Richt his job.

Nick Chubb and Sony Michel played well that game, but Todd was an experienced, very talented running back now dominating the NFL as a rookie. He could have made the difference.

While it isn’t guaranteed that Gurley would have changed the outcome of the game, it certainly wouldn’t have hurt to have him on the sideline in uniform. Remember, only a few days before the game, the NCAA ruled his suspension would be upheld, which deflated the team’s attitude.

If you want to blame Mark Richt for his players acting like human beings, fine. It won’t any difference at this point. He’s already been fired. What’s done is done.

Numbskull Jeff Schultz from the AJC suggested that Greg McGarity should have replaced Mark Richt with Jimbo Fisher instead of Kirby Smart, ostensibly because Jimbo has won a national championship at FSU, which in his pea-sized brain, automatically makes Fisher a better coach than Mark Richt.

With all due respect, this is why Jeff Schultz needs to find another job. He just doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s true that under the “leadership” of a Jimbo Fisher, Todd Gurley would have probably been counseled to deny the allegations he’d been paid for his autograph, in clear violation of NCAA rules, and could have avoided the four game suspension.

But let’s be brutally honest here for a second — Jimbo Fisher and the word “integrity” have no business being mentioned in the same sentence.

He has grown accustomed to his university covering up rape allegations against his student athletes. While boosters and powers-that-be at UGA seem to have now become desperate to win championships, I don’t think they’ve gotten quite that desperate yet.

Jimbo Fisher is the antithesis of The Georgia Way.

I’d like to think that an athlete with the questionable character and unacceptable behavior of a “superstar” athlete like Jameis Winston will not be tolerated in Athens by Kirby Smart any more than Mark Richt would have put up with his antics, had he been the coach at Florida State at the time. But Mark Richt would have never accepted a player thrown out of Alabama for physically assaulting his girlfriend into his program, either.

I am a Georgia Bulldog.

It isn’t as simple for me as simply choosing to like another football team if UGA starts bending all the rules in order to win.  I graduated from UGA in either late 1983 or early 1984 — my memory is a little fuzzy because I had a little bit too good of a time as a student in Athens.

So I will always be a Georgia Bulldog.

And I’d like to believe that in the same situation as Todd Gurley’s head coach, Kirby Smart would give the same advice that I believe Mark Richt gave — to tell the truth.

Actions have consequences. Even if the lie succeeded and no playing time is lost, what message was being sent to the student athlete? Should we only view them as commodities that can entertain us on the field of play, but as young men being shaped into mature adults?

Johnny Manziel almost certainly lied to the NCAA about the same offense Todd Gurley admitted — signing autographs for money. The only difference between their two cases is that Todd Gurley admitted what he did.

And obviously, Manziel got away with it in the short run– he was only suspended for one half of football, not four full games like Todd Gurley.

However in my opinion, Coach Kevin Sumlin did Manziel a great disservice by failing to discipline his player and apparently turning a blind eye while Manziel lied to the NCAA.

But can anyone claim that Johnny Manziel learned from his mistakes in college? Apparently not. The Cleveland Browns recently demoted him to third string for lying to his coach.

Later, when he was drafted out of Texas A&M, Manziel slid to the bottom of the first round, presumably because teams had questions about his character and work ethic, not his talent.

Conversely, Todd Gurley was taken with the tenth pick in the first round by the St. Louis Rams, despite the fact Todd was still in the process of rehabilitating after surgery for a severe knee injury. In spite of missing several games at the beginning of the season, Gurley remains a strong candidate to win the 2015 NFL Rookie of the Year.

Teaching Todd Gurley to do the right thing may have cost Coach Richt his job, but it was the right thing to do for his player. Win with integrity, and lose with dignity.

Now I hate losing just as much as anybody, maybe more. Still, no one will ever convince me that it’s better to cheat (and win) than to lose a game.

I don’t care what Vince Lombardi said — winning is NOT everything, and the only thing. It does matter, how you play the game.

One thing will never change — I will always be a Georgia Bulldog alumnus.

I sincerely hope that I can also remain a fan of the football team, but that currently remains to be seen. A lot will depend on where we go from here.

I’d be lying to you as badly as Greg McGarity has been lying to every Georgia Bulldog fan since November 29th, and that has been every time his mouth has moved. It’s hard to have confidence in leadership that doesn’t even care enough to lie convincingly.

I’d like to believe that Kirby Smart can win national championships “The Georgia Way”, but I’m not quite sure what that even means anymore. Is “The Georgia Way” now going to become coaches screaming profanities at their players on national television at the top of their lungs?

I’m not sure how proud that’s going to make me to be a Georgia Bulldog. Instead, I’m afraid that I’m going to be very embarrassed by Will Muschamp on our sideline.

Mark Richt was more than just a great though under appreciated coach. He has been a terrific leader who turned overgrown boys into mature young men.

I will miss seeing him lead the Georgia Bulldogs. My delusion was that I thought “The Georgia Way” meant doing things the right way, which was the Mark Richt Way. Silly me.

It remains to be seen what “The Georgia Way” will now become, and how many corners leadership will cut to win at all costs. I guess I’m in the small minority of people who thinks maybe UGA just made a terrible, disastrous mistake.

I have nothing against Kirby Smart…well, that’s not exactly true. I still haven’t completely forgiven him for turning down the defensive coordinator job in 2010, leaving us stuck with Todd Grantham. He could have proved it really was his defense, not Nick Saban’s, winning all those national titles for Alabama.

But his loyalty was not to Georgia. He stayed at Alabama, and Georgia lost the 2012 SEC Championship game to Nick Saban, with Smart coaching the defense on the wrong sideline.

And now he’s coming to UGA with zero head coaching experience. Please forgive my pessimism (especially because it isn’t normally part of my nature) but I see more risk than reward with these decisions by those UGA fans who sit in the skyboxes and own the program.

I certainly wish the best for Kirby Smart, but my expectations must be tempered. He’s got huge shoes to fill.

I hope I’m wrong. I wish I could be more optimistic about the direction UGA football has taken, but at the moment, there’s only one thing that could make me feel better right now.

Fire Greg McGarity!

Georgia Fans Who Support Mark Richt

12274678_10203552796579447_8404927061141218755_nDear President Morehead,

I only have one football team I care about — the Georgia Bulldogs. I’ve been a fan for more than forty years, as long as I’ve cared about the game.

I’m a member of a Facebook group called “Georgia Fans Who Support Mark Richt,” which has more than 13,000 members.

I’m going to ask these friends of mine also voice their objections to the ridiculous, ill-conceived decision by Greg McGarity to fire Mark Richt.

I’m fairly certain that Greg McGarity has destroyed the future of our football team by firing Coach Richt at this moment in time and set our program back for years to come.

There just aren’t that many coaches of the caliber and with the character of Coach Richt. When the coach who finishes the season at 9-3 is fired and the coach who finishes 3-9 keeps his job, something is really screwed up. If somebody needed to go, it was Greg McGarity.11960191_1627447094203739_8671574475968344016_n

As long as Mr. McGarity remains as your athletic director, I cannot in good conscience continue to support Georgia football until he’s gone. Neither shall I wear Georgia gear, attend games, wear the UGA apparel that I already own, or donate money to the school.

Mr. McGarity has been the problem, and now he just fired the solution. No Georgia fan is dumb enough to believe the reports claiming this decision was mutual. Greg McGarity fired Mark Richt, and now you need to fire Greg McGarity.

Please. Today. Get rid of him before he can do any more harm.

I am asking my fellow members of the Bulldog Nation and UGA alumni to consider joining my boycott of UGA until Greg McGarity either resigns or has been fired, and to let President Morehead know how you feel. Mr. McGarity hasn’t been willing to spend the money necessary to build the premier football program in the SEC, and punished Coach Richt for his own incompetence. We’re never going to compete for national championships while Mr. McGarity controls the funds for the program.

Our football program has now been destroyed. I am devastated, a very sad Bulldog today.

Sincerely,

John Leonard

 

[My brief message to the Bulldog Nation:]

You may express your displeasure with this boneheaded decision to Greg McGarity’s office by calling  706-542-9037, the direct number into the Athletic Director’s office.

To ask Mr. McGarity to offer his resignation to President Morehead, you may contact him with those requests by emailing him at the following address: gmcgarity@sports.uga.edu.

To encourage President Morehead to accept McGarity’s resignation, you may reach him by calling the president’s office at 706-542-1214, or by email: president@uga.edu.

Please, make your voices heard!

Unsolicited advice for Greg McGarity

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Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity

Dear Mr. McGarity,

I hope you’ll forgive my presumption that you might listen to me — on the other hand, if this message resonates with the Bulldog nation and becomes viral, and you won’t be able to ignore it.

I tried this “unsolicited advice” tactic once before, and things worked out pretty well.

While I can’t claim that my effort led to things working out to UGA’s advantage, what I wrote obviously didn’t hurt the Dawgs. And Roquan Smith sure looks great in red.

Now I know you have a very difficult job, trying to keep the Bulldog fan base happy. Some “fans” have called for you to fire Mark Richt, even though our coach has managed to win nine tough games, including both Auburn and Georgia Tech on the road. This is in spite of the fact Coach Richt currently has the highest rated recruiting class during his entire tenure, with the chance to finish strong and dramatically improve the final ranking.

Georgia could finish with the top ranked recruiting class. If Coach Richt and his staff can persuade blue-chip players like Isaac Nauta, Mecole Hardman, Derrick Brown, E. J. Price, Willie Allen, Demetris Robertson, Shyheim Carter, Tyler Simmons, Brian Burns, or a few similar highly prized recruits to come to Athens to play with Jacob Eason, we could have the necessary talent needed to play for SEC titles and national championships against the likes of Nick Saban, in spite of the advantage in financial support for his program at Alabama.

Most of these kids have expressed strong interest or said they want to come to Georgia, but they want Mark Richt and Jeremy Pruitt to be there to coach them. The uncertainty that has surrounded our program since the Tennessee game may have cost us the commitment of Kyle Davis, once considered a virtual lock to sign with UGA.

Why would Davis want to leave the state for a program like Auburn? Could the $15 million dollars more per year Auburn spends on their football program have something to do with it?

Fran Tarkenton has said that he thinks Jeremy Pruitt needs to be fired, in spite of the fact Pruitt has our defense playing as well as they did under Erk Russell.  Earlier this season, rumors even circulated that Coach Pruitt was about to be fired which fortunately proved to be untrue.

I hope you’ve heard that after the Georgia Tech game today, Coach Pruitt told reporters that he hopes to stay in Athens. If Coach Richt wants Pruitt to stay — and he certainly should want him to coach our defense next year — then please help make sure that happens.

You’ve got the power, Mr. McGarity. You’ve got the authority. Please open your wallet and pay what it takes to make Georgia the beast of the SEC East and a perennial contender for national championships.

All of our current coaches want to stay, and you should want them to stay. Only three short years ago, Coach Richt had us only five yards and one play away from the national championship game.

AP photo

AP photo of Coaches Pruitt (L) and Richt (R)

Jeremy Pruitt was on  the other sideline that game, working for Nick Saban. If Jeremy Pruitt had been coaching our defense instead of Todd Grantham in that game, the results would almost certainly have been different, because Grantham’s defense could not stop the run.

Over the past two years, Jeremy Pruitt’s defenses have shown us flashes of brilliance reminiscent of the glory days, of legendary defensive coordinator Erk Russell and his Junkyard Dawg defense, which often dominated and sometimes even won football games.

I’ve got a confession to make, Mr. McGarity. There is a petition asking President Morehead to fire you and I’ve been thinking about whether or not I should sign it. Even though I don’t like the idea of speculating whether or not someone who doesn’t work for me should keep their job, you need to step up to the plate, if you know what I mean.

Instead of calling for your head, I prefer to politely ask you to rectify this situation and make amends.

Question: why is it that Alabama will spend $51 million dollars this year on their football program, and you’re only spending $26 million? You can’t say that we don’t have the money.

So why are you pinching pennies on the football program. when it brings in well over $80 million per year in annual revenue? Even South Carolina is currently spending more money, though our football program has been ranked as the third most profitable in America.

Why is this true, Mr. McGarity?

Bulldog fans are clamoring to compete for national championships. Some fans do blame Coach Richt, but I wonder if they realize how stingy you’ve been with the revenue the program earns for the school. Why weren’t adequate resources put at Coach Richt’s disposal a long time ago?

It’s time to loosen up the pursestrings.

As I type this message to you, I am listening to Buck Belue in the background, saying that you “didn’t respond” to questions about Coach Richt’s status after the game.

Is Kevin Sumlin really worth a million dollars a year more than Coach Richt, in your opinion? If so, why, when his record isn’t nearly as impressive? It makes no sense to me.

So here’s what I think you should do, at a minimum: make an immediate announcement saying  that you plan to extend Coach Richt’s contract for another year, and then convince him to sign it. But what I really hope you’ll do is to open up your checkbook again to give all of our coaches a raise. It would demonstrate your commitment to support developing the football program to the point where it competes for championships.

A bold move such as that would show players like Rashan Gary that you are fully support these coaches and the team and believe they will succeed at the highest level, given time and adequate resources. Most reasonable people understand that you can’t drive a Porsche 911 when you only have the budget for a Volkswagen Beetle.

Recruiters from other schools will use the uncertainty to undermine the crucial recruiting efforts of Coach Richt and his staff. Please consider taking decisive action that quells the rumors, Mr. McGarity.

Frankly, Coach Richt and Georgia football deserve your full support.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t expect you will pay much attention if I’m the only person who feels this way. However, I don’t think I am, and hopefully those Bulldogs reading this appeal who agree with me will echo my sentiments by either calling, or dropping a brief note to you in the mail in support of our coach, to the following address:

UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity
P.O. Box 1472
Athens, GA. 30603

For those who prefer to call, the phone number for the athletic department is (706)542-9036.

(Author’s note: the phone number has been corrected. Suffered mild dyslexia last night and transposed two digits in the phone number — mea culpa.)

Bulldog fans — if you support Coach Richt, make your voices heard!  Please share this article with your friends, and ask for their help.

If Mr. McGarity sees that the Bulldog nation overwhelmingly supports Coach Richt, he may actually do what we’d like and stay the course.