From time to time, the Greenbean blog is just a random list of things that are on my mind.  This is one of those times.


Home, Home on the Range, Where the BLM Roam

Did you notice that this past week there was what can only be called a “Showdown” going on out in Nevada.  Apparently a rancher claims hereditary rights to land that the government seized in 1993 due to a provision in the Endangered Species Act.  The feds will let him continue to graze there, but he has to pay a fee, they say, to use land his family has always used.  He refuses to pay.

It is quite the scene as the Bureau of Land Management has begun seizing his cattle unless he pays the $1.1 million in back grazing fees.

Three things come to mind.

  • Why are the feds acting now.  What do they really want?
  • The way of life in the west is different from the rest of the country, and this strikes me as being more of a cultural problem than a law problem.
  • This is the kind of thing that never ends well.

Putin Gambles with Other People’s Money

Putin is at it again in Ukraine.  I’ve already blogged about this (click here), and it seems my analysis was accurate.  Putin is upping the ante, and this will now only end in one way–with Ukraine being reabsorbed by the Russian state.  I don’t think the U.S. or the U.K. will honor its moral obligation to protect Ukraine, which is something they promised in 1994 when Ukraine voluntarily gave all its nuclear weapons to Russia.

Under a Blood Red Moon

Mrs. Greenbean woke me up at 2:45 this morning to see the lunar eclipse.  It is the first of four in this lunar eclipse tetrad that spreads out until September of 2015.  It was impressive, I have to admit.  The moon was a reddish/orangish hue and might be quite frightening if a person didn’t understand the science behind it.  I looked at it for a moment and then crawled back in bed.



Here comes the interesting part.  This mornings newspaper reports that San Antonio preacher John Hagee believes that this is a sign that the end is near.  Click here for a news report about Hagee and his claims.  Of course Hagee is wrong, although he will no doubt make a little coin off his book about it.  I don’t know why anyone gives any credence to loons like that (pun intended–loon–lunatic–lunar) when they howl that everything that happens is a sign of the end.  (Click here, here and here for other end of the world analysis).  These types of people, like Hagee, should never be trusted by anyone again on any issue because they have consistently proven they do not rightly handle the word of God.

Hate is a Poor Marksman

There is not much to say about the tragic shootings in Kansas.  Frazier Glenn Cross, 73 years old, hates Jews.  This is supported by his role as a leader in the Klu-Klux-Klan and avid white supremacist activity.  He attacked the Jewish center on Passover Eve and killed three people.  The problem, for him at least, is that the three people he killed were all self-identified Christians.

Much analysis is now taking place over hate crime laws, since he missed his mark.  The question seems to be, “Is it a hate crime to kill white Christians?”  I take the whole issue to be ridiculous because the crime is not in the hating, the crime is in the killing.  Regardless of who this man shot, he should spend the rest of his life in jail.  (For why I’m against the death penalty, click here.)  I continue to hold firm to my believe there is no such thing as a hate crime.  There is only crime.  Motivations are pretty meaningless.


lunar image from


Friday I stepped outside my home around noon to walk to the mailbox.  I’d been working the morning through and hadn’t been out since I took my daughter to school, but it was still dark then.  I rounded the corner of the front and there in the concrete driveway just outside the garage door lay two greyish bluish birds.  They were in the jay family of some sort, but not bright enough to be a blue jay.  I suppose they may have been kingfishers, but i don’t think so.



One was male. The other was female.  You could tell by the brightness of the coloring.

Their little claws were curled up underneath their bodies and their eyes were open although they saw nothing.  No markings on the body; no trauma, no shots from a boy with a BB gun, no arrows, nothing.  The birds looked healthy enough, except for the fact that they were dead.

I looked up and noticed a blur of feathers on my daughters window directly overhead.  Suddenly I knew.

On a gorgeous spring day two lovebirds doing what male and female of all species do, they were flying high and soaring, enjoying each other with playful whims and delightful fancy.  I’ve seen birds do this, so have you–they dart in and out flying fast through trees and above the water as they call to each other with their many syllabic chirps, “Hey lover,” and “My you’re fast” and “Come fly away with me,” and other playful invitations to romance.  Swept up in the revelry of pheromones and the prospect of dalliance, they were not paying attention.  I shudder to think of the sudden last moments of consciousness as love turned to death, falling together to earth with full hearts and broken necks.

That is where I found them.  I named them Romeo and Juliet and put them in a shallow grave.  Love is a man splendid thing, but the world is dangerous.


image from


Okay, so I think some of you might have seen this picture.  It is from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and it is making the internet rounds.  It was taken by the Mars rover Curiosity.  I posted it on my Twitter and Facebook today.



Uh, hello.  That is really not supposed to be there, right?

The only two explanations I’ve seen about this is A) It is a light vent or B) It is the glint of a rock.  I’m not sure what a light vent is, but it sounds like a shaft that leads away from a source of light.  Yeah, but that doesn’t really explain the light source now does it?  As to the glint of rock, that is a pretty big rock and it is a pretty refined surface, unlike what the rest of Mars appears to be.

Since neither of those answers are really satisfying, I think we should be free to speculate.  Two interesting observations were made on my Facebook page.  One person suggested that it looked like a distant campfire.  That is exactly what it looks like.  Another person suggested it is the Nephilim in the Old Testament.  That would be very exciting.

I make the following observations.

1.  I predicted back in December that we would find “subterranean life on Mars.”  Don’t believe me--click here to read my 2014 predictions.  I was actually thinking of amoeba kind of life.  I didn’t know we’d find them lit up like Christmas trees.

2.  This may not be actual life on Mars.  It could very well be left over metal or glass from the earlier human populations that traveled the galaxy.  Maybe I’ve been reading too much Asimov lately.

3.  Of course it is hard to tell, but if I look at the picture above from the rover Curiosity long enough, it almost looks like a silhouette walking toward or away from the rover.  By silhouette, I mean maybe a ghost.

4.  Have you ever seen this picture?

It is sometimes called Data's Head.


Back in the old days of MySpace I used this as my backdrop photo.  It is a NASA photo from the Moon.  I know that light can play tricks on you, but it sure does look like a head, a mask, or a helmet of some sort, now doesn’t it?  It has been named Data’s Head by some (a reference to a not so great Star Trek TNG episode) but it looks to me more like the real face of Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi.

5.  As a theologian, I just want to remind everyone here that the Scriptures do not guarantee that life only exists on Earth.  In fact, it is only logical to expect life on other planets just as there were humans on other continents.  I actually don’t really believe in intelligent life outside of earth, but I don’t rule the possibility out.  I am, after all, also a writer so things like this are just fun!

6.  Back to the light playing tricks.  I am not a betting man, but I’d be willing to lay down some serious green that the light is some kind of problem with the lens or dust or some kind of particle in the camera, so we shouldn’t get too worked up about it.  Unless of course, we should.

7.  Don’t forget about the other weird Martian pictures, and I’m not even including the famous face on Mars.  Or should I?






























These images are all over the internet, but these particular cut-n-pastes are from, in order, FoxNews,, and the




This image was taken by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity's Navcam on April 3.


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