Friday, June 05, 2009

Hither and thither 6/5/09

Now for this week's assortment of chuckles, ponderances, and head-shakers:
  • Gotta say: my sentiments are with the computer on this one.
  • Perhaps you've read of my annual Christmas Eve pizzas here and at Pyro. Reader Stephen Rodgers sent me a link to The Way to Do It Right: make yourself an inexpensive real-live pizza oven.
  • One more silly game. ("One more" in addition to this.) I beat the computer on my first try... and quit! Undefeated!! Woo hoo! (Victory dance.)
  • She drives some good people, and thousands of very bad people, nuts. But when Ann Coulter is good, she's very, very good. And in 49 million to 5, she's good.
  • The indispensable LaShawn Barber comments on the disparity between The One's instant, thundering response to the heinous murder of heinous abortionist George Tiller, vs. his eventual, more moderate response to the heinous murder of Pvt. William Long by an American Islamist.
  • Very cool Justice Clarence Thomas vignette. Were Thomas a media darling, you would have heard of this. I had the time to watch most of the Thomas confirmation hearings, and everything Thomas said about them was true: they were a "high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas." After his confirmation, I actually wrote Justice Thomas. As I recall, it was on the anniversary of the hearings. The mad-dog MSM was doing its darnedest to redeem and canonize the well-discredited St. Anita Hill, hoping (with their usual damnably-accurate low estimate of collective intelligence) that everyone would have forgotten the facts. I wrote Justice Thomas to assure him that I, for one, had not forgotten the facts; that I remembered that everyone who testified in her defense knew only her, and everyone who testified in his defense (passionately) knew both of them. I was surprised and delighted to receive back a very gracious note from Justice Thomas himself.
  • Thomas Sowell hammers on Obama-appointee Sotomayor's racist comments about the superior judging of Latina women over white men. Money-quotation: her claim that Latina judges bring better life exeriences "is dangerous because citizens are supposed to obey the law, which means they must know what the law is in advance-- and nobody can know in advance what the 'life experiences' of whatever judge they might appear before will happen to be."
  • Meanwhile, President Obama continues his "apology tour." I guess O's seeking common ground, hoping to bring the world together on two shared core values: contemptuous hatred for America, and worshipful love for The One. In the face he showed to America during the campaign, Obama played down his Muslim roots; here he played them up. He even quoted the Koran — albeit so selectively as to be misleading. No wonder Israel's backers are worried. I wonder whether American Jewry, which regularly supports Israel's enemies for public office, is having second thoughts. Charles Krauthammer explains further why they should be, and American Thinker gives more (thanks CR). With this unprepared, doctrinaire, historically-clueless novice at the wheel, America's backers should worry, too.
  • WORLD magazine is reporting that Pete Docter, writer and director of Pixar's latest release "Up," and his colleague Andrew Stanton, are both Christians. They provide nothing beyond that assertion, and an ambiguous quotation. Readers will have to balance that against the fact that WORLD has also reported — without retraction, as far as I've ever heard — that a Roman Catholic and an unrepentant murderess are also both Christians. So... who knows?
  • Important safety tip for Phil Johnson.
  • On that same subject, one wonders how many of these twelve disgusting world foods have made Phil's list.
  • Staying around the subject of food, I'm sure many of my fellow-survivors (so far) of the Demopression are pinching pennies. Here's a grocery-coupon site; maybe that'll help.
  • Title of the week: Suspicious Clown Worries Parents; Possible Suspect. Wondering what distinguishes a suspicious clown from average, honest, hardworking, unsuspicious clowns.
  • Okay, so the economy is bad. So more of our tax-dollars are pouring into public benefits. Even Governor Schwarzenegger has muzzily remembered that he's a Republican of some sort, and proposes cuts in spending. I have a serious question. Okay, two serious questions: (1) How much money would we save if we cut public spending on illegal aliens (beyond the cost of border patrol, arrest and deportation)?; and (2) Has anyone seriously proposed such cuts? Okay, a third question: (3) If not, why not?
  • Thoughtful post-title of the week: Contextualization vs. chameleonization (h-t m'mate Craig). I would love to tell you I have no idea what Nicole is saying, but (as Morrison sang) "you know that I would be a liar." My contribution towards an answer to her question is that Paul's stated goal is not to win the approval of the groups he mentions; but to win them (i.e. from where they were, to where he was in Christ).










82 comments:

CR said...

wow. cooool, you got a letter back from Justice Thomas!!

ljchan said...

So why didn't they list pork tripe with the beef? That's not fair!

Jay said...

Thankfully, I only hyphenate my first and middle names while signing things, since I've gone by both before. No worries about computer errors, here. :)

Although I haven't gotten on an airplane in years. (Fear of flying, over here).

DJP said...

Hyphenated names. Psh!

Sir Aaron said...

At four years old, a kid answered that his favorite thing was "Jesus?" Wow. My kid's going on three. If I asked her what her favorite thing was, I don't think she'd understand the question. Or maybe she'd say something like "breakfast."

I've really been struggling with what to teach my kid about the Bible. She doesn't sit still for very long, so you have to use books with pictures or something similar. So far I've got Moses down...maybe even baby Jesus. But trying to explain who Jesus is has been difficult. She has her prayers memorized, but really has no idea what they mean. I think I've come to the point where I tell myself that I'll just keep plugging along as best I can, and as she becomes older the pieces will fall into place.

Sir Aaron said...

When I fly, I have to make sure I have the correct passport (Although I frequently carry both when I travel for work).

candy said...

Regarding disgusting food. Basque restaurants regularly serve tripe as part of the family style meal. Best to go on nights where they serve Paella instead.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Haggis? Witchety grubs? Rocky mountain oysters? Hot dogs?

What happens when someone with a hyphenated name marries someone else with a hyphenated name... and they have kids?

And, Dan, I nominate the blog post you linked ("My boys...", 18 July, 2006) for your list of posts to re-run when you're busy writing.

Julie

Rabbit said...

Lutefisk! The Curse of the Scandahoovians ranks #3! (My grandma and great-aunts actually LIKED the stuff. Ewww.)

And ALL clowns are suspicious. Freakish-nightmare suspicious. :::shuddering in corner:::

Rabbit said...

Julie, I went to college at Kansas State. Rocky mountain oyster parties were quite common. It's going to be a while before I can contemplate breakfast this morning.

CR said...

By the way, FYI to everyone, despite Judge Sotomayor's racist comments and despite she would be a socialist in every other respect there is a slight chance that Sotomayor might be a stealth pro-lifer.

I normally set aside MSM reports like this because democrats are not dumb like some Republicans and make bad choices to the bench. But when William Donahue (President of some Catholic League or something) says maybe Republicans should stand down or when Rush Limbaugh gives some hints that Sotomayor might be a "stealth" pro-lifer, that gives me great pause. Great pause. I mean, I don't know, it would be the first time in history that democrats would make such a blunder. I mean, in their endeavor to not find someone based solely on qualifications but on gender and race they could make such a bad mistake. I don't know.

But then again, when the White House gives assurances to the liberal kook fringe abortion groups that Sotomayor is pro-abortion, I don't know who to believe. I'll listen and read over the weekend what these guys are saying. Dan, maybe you're on the lookout for this stuff also.

Solameanie said...

The teleprompter in bed is hysterical. So was the "food chain" one.

Andy Dollahite said...

Dan,

Serious follow-up to your serious question. As a fellow Californian, I too feel the great frustration of our massively irresponsible government spending. As it concerns the spending on illegal aliens, how exactly do you propose the state handle it though? For example, much of the spending relates to children of illegals who are now technically citizens due to their country of birth - public schooling and medical care composing the two largest programs by far. Their parents are here illegally, but they aren't. Send the children home with their illegal parents and allow them re-entry as adults I suppose (totally off the cuff thinking). However, that only seems to exacerbate another thorny problem relating to the agricultural and service businesses whose entire business model is predicated upon cheap labor from migrant workers.

So, acknowledging I really have no real solutions, what is the detailed plan for how to cut reckless spending that also deals with the complicated mess we've created by integrating illegal aliens into so much of our economic network?

Sir Aaron said...

Andy:

I left CA about three years ago, thank God, so I'm now a California refugee. When I worked in LA, the county (maybe it was the city) said that the number one expenditure was welfare payments. Ir was something like 30%. That didn't include health care and other welfare programs.

The problem facing our society is that people have become accustomed to entitlements. Stopping benefits to illegal aliens will solve the immediate problem but eventually you'll get right back to where you were.

I have several suggetions: End welfare payments. End unemployment compensation. Radically lower the elgibility for medicaid. Issue school vouchers and end all state funding of public schools. Radically alter the prison system. Get rid of the income tax in favor of a higher sales tax. Pass legislation to curtail lawsuits. End abusive environmental regulations. Drill for oil along the CA coastline. Get rid of requirements for special fuel blends.

Shall I continue?

Fred Butler said...

I watched Phil eat one of those duck embryo in an egg, Balut things once. Our GTY Philippines director brought them with him. I took pictures, too. Not sure what happened to the film.

Andy Dollahite said...

Sir Aaron,

I'm totally with you on all those fronts, except perhaps school vouchers. (How are vouchers not state funding with an extra step? Why not skip the whole send it to the state so they can send it back to me process?) Then again, I'm not totally delusional either that it just happens on a whim. How do we go about effecting change that won't send the system into tailspin? We can end welfare payments, but where are those hundreds of thousands of folks on such payments going to be eating the next week, month, year while they start looking for jobs? And what kind of jobs are they actually going to be qualified for that pay sufficiently to live without government aid? So, what's the first baby step we're going to take? And how much of this reform is truly realistic? It seems to me that actual changes we need are only going to happen when more of the populous is bowing before the throne, no?

Sir Aaron said...

Where is the GTY affiliate in the Philippines? Manila? When I was there, I met a Christian who seriously needs a better church to go to.

trogdor said...

Good stuff as always.

Not really sure what to make of the math chart. On the one hand, that "stuff they teach us after 8th grade" is essentially identical to "any combo of the 4", so the chart is basically self-contradictory. Taking what it is intended to convey at face value, though, it's still wrong, as a failure to understand the implications of such "complex" math is the primary driving force behind our current economic dilemma, as well as why my torch-and-pitchfork business is struggling to get off the ground.

Of course, I would also suggest that the dumbing-down of America is illustrated aptly by the delaying of that fancy math to post-8th grade. Is there any reason kids shouldn't be doing algebra long before then, and well into calculus by junior high? Only that schools drop expectations to sub-median levels, and spend over half the year reviewing what was supposed to have been learned the previous year, so you sometimes get to "learn" the same math concepts three or four years in a row - and even then, they don't expect you to actually know it. Lower expectations enough that they never learn how to think, and therefore become Obama voters. Worked pretty well, sadly.

Sowell is exactly right. The problem with using "empathy" as the basis for judging is that the "law" changes from court to court. There are many ways to describe such a system, but one that would not be used is "justice". He's dead-on about the ludicrous "out of context" claim, and I would add that when The Obama and his cronies suggest she'd say it differently, it would behoove one to ask what they think she would say to express the same sentiment.

As to whether she's maybe a stealth pro-lifer, I have serious doubts. You'll notice that stories about her possible decency didn't start leaking until after her past comments (racist/sexist and about legislating from the bench) became an issue. My guess is they know exactly where she stands, and they're leaking stories that plant doubt in hopes that republicans will get suckered into thinking maybe she has a soul, and won't put up much of a fight. (She'd get confirmed anyway, of course, but a drawn-out fight could really expose their agenda in crystal-clear terms, which might possibly make a difference in '10 and '12. Might. Slim chance, but maybe, I guess.) It looks like even Rush may be buying into is, which means it's working.

Sir Aaron said...

Andy, Don't be fooled. Californians aren't willing to take the necessary steps to become healthy. Things will continue the way they are and the US will bail out the state as we continue our run to socialism. Only when we slip into tyranny will people be truly motivated to do anything and by then the cost will be severe. Nothing short of revival, at least when you look back through the lens of history, will save the state and the nation.

But theoretically, if people were willing you would not end welfare immediately. You'd give them say, 3-6 months. After that they'll have to look to churches and to employment lines to get help.

I like school vouchers because then even low income people will have some money to send their children to a school. One of the few socialist ideas that I think government can facilitate. But I'm not opposed to the total end of public education.

My suggestion to you is to come up with a plan to flee the state as soon as possible. Unless, of course, you're called to be a missionary there.

trogdor said...

"However, that only seems to exacerbate another thorny problem relating to the agricultural and service businesses whose entire business model is predicated upon cheap labor from migrant workers."

I may come off as a bleeding-heart liberal here, but if that system gets upset, so be it. 'Cheap', generally means "illegally low, unreported, and untaxed", and 'migrant' most often means "illegal alien". So an industry's model is based on paying miniscule wages (or sometimes none) to a population with no legal recourse? I like cheap produce as much as anyone, but I'd rather not have it come via stealth slavery. I'd be willing to pay more if they raised wages enough to attract citizens/legal immigrants, or even *gasp* use machines. I'm not sure how perpetuating quasi-slavery is good for us, or compassionate towards those abused by it.

"I have several suggetions: End welfare payments. End unemployment compensation...."

Why end unemployment compensation? Maybe it's different out there, but everywhere I've lived it's an unemployment insurance program (state-run, unfortunately - I would much rather it be voluntary than mandatory). You pay premiums as long as you're employed, and after termination temporarily draw out payments based on what you paid in. If administered properly (which is laughable), it requires active job-searching to continue receiving payments. If there is to be any communal aid to the non-indigent, it should be modeled after this: temporary with a defined cut-off date, enough to avoid catastrophe but not enough to get comfortable, and requiring continued efforts to get back to self-supporting. That's how you would support an unemployed friend/relative, and if properly administered (i.e. checking to see if employment efforts are being made) it actually works. I have no problem with the theory of it (lots with how it's actually implemented, of course), and many problems with the "continual aid no matter what" model that makes people comfortable in poverty in the name of compassion.

Sir Aaron said...

Well into calculus before high school? I don't know about that. I didn't really get good at calc until College and I went to a very good high school (and was homeschooled for 4 years prior thereto). But certainly I would agree that we need to emphasize learning...especially history.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Um, Trogdor, I'm with you (speaking of math) in terms of challenging students, rather than dumbing down the material, but I'll throw out one caveat...

You could knock yourself out trying to teach an infant to potty-train, or you could wait until he's about two and "ready".

Same goes for some math skills. I remember a woman telling me that the public schools spend a lot of time in 3rd and 4th grades trying to teach long division. She waited until her kids were in 6th grade, and they learned it in a few minutes.

Julie

CR said...

DJP - I read earlier in the week the story about Thomas talking to these kids in coach. What a cool and regular guy Justice Thomas is. And he was on coach.

Sir Aaron - FYI, CA will have no choice to make drastic cuts. The state's welfare program will be drastically cut. Another FYI, us Californians voted down tax increases. I think the legislatures got the message that we Californians are ready for the necessary cuts. It will be hard for the legislatures to mess this up. It's doable, but it will be difficult.

Andy Dollahite said...

Trogdor,

Much of our agriculture cannot be harvested using machines. If you invented one that could carefully prune, thin and harvest fruits and vegetables then you'd be a very wealthy man I assure you. Furthermore, cheap labor is the only means currently available to keep most of these businesses afloat. And yes, cheap often means illegal. Of course, some of these illegals have been here many years, and their kids were born in US hospitals and have US citizenship. It's nice to think that we can ship all the illegals back to Mexico, South America and Asia, and then pay legal citizens a living wage to pick peaches and plums, but paying $5 per head of lettuce only compounds that problem of the poor and food stamps doesn't it? Not to mention the entire hospitality and food service industries. We are talking hundreds of millions - more like billions of dollars - that are tied up in cheap labor. That type of infrastructure simply isn't rearranged nicely overnight. We've been building this house of cards for decades now.

I believe in our obligation to abide by the law, including our laws regarding illegal citizens. But "dealing" with the problem seems a lot more complicated than what I often hear. I think a strong border combined with a temporary worker program has lots upside to it, but I'm not sure what we do with the 15 million illegals currently here that won't require wishful thinking.

Sir Aaron said...

CR, we'll see buddy, we'll see. I still believe the federal government will bail CA out so they can continue spending.

Trogdor: I have sincere doubts that the money paid in for unemployment insurance covers the cost. You want it, fine. IT shoudl be voluntary and it should not require taxpayer subsidy.

Andy: We're stuck with whatever illegals we have here now. We really don't have much choice but to assimilate them as best as possible. I don't really want to hear about how the poor cannot afford $5 lettuce. They can afford $5 in lotto tickets and $5 in cigarettes so they can afford to pay for food.

Andy Dollahite said...

Sir Aaron,

Do I have permission to just call you Aaron?

I bet there are a decent number of poor who buy lotto tickets and smoke a carton a week, and for them I have little pity. Certainly not all of them fit such a description. In fact, I know my family living on very cheap on a private Christian school salary, would be very impacted by a jump in food prices. We already plant our own garden and shop at Wal Mart to scrape by... no lotto tickets, cigs, car payment, or cable TV for me either. To dismiss the real plight of some who will be hurt by significantly higher food prices is a bit cold, don't you think?

As for your other points regarding the impending fed bailout of CA and unemployment insurance... agreed.

Sir Aaron said...

I don't mean to be dismissive...well, maybe I do. I don't know you or why you are in the position you are in so I'll just move to the cost issue.

You pay $5 a head either now or you'll pay later. You can't expect to truly pay a man $5 a day can you? No. Those extra living costs will be made up either in extra taxes or reduced services or both. So if we start paying the real cost of groceries, society will adjust.

Andy Dollahite said...

Sir Aaron,

I understand the adjusting part. It's how long it takes to adjust is what I'm addressing. Some things can be absorbed overnight, some things take a little longer. That's why I'm trying to understand a wise path toward upholding our laws without causing *unnecessary* trouble. As for $5 a day, I haven't heard that. Most of the business I know pay minimum wage or a few dollars higher to all their employees, legal or illegal.

As for being dismissive about my situation, I suggest you try and broaden your imagination and experience with lower middle class folks. My family lives simply, we don't have any debt outside our home, and we aren't unhappy about it either. But we are affected by sudden steep increases in prices, and to think there aren't others like us is a bit naive in my opinion. We don't spend wildly, but after housing, insurance, transportation, investment and basic food costs are covered we don't have much excessive income. In my case, private Christian schools can't pay particularly high because there is a fine line to walk with tuition. They could charge tuition rates that pay middle class teacher salaries, but that would exclude about 95% of the Christian families out there who aren't wealthy enough to afford such rates (think more than $10,000 per child per year). Sure, those 95% could choose to home school their children (which isn't free of course), but I'm not sure that would really be the wisest option for some of these families. Again, my point is only that there are real people, who aren't foolish with their finances, that would be affected by a rapid change in the food economy. We should develop policies that bear these collateral costs in mind, shouldn't we?

Sir Aaron said...

I don't want to get drawn into a debate about finances, because my opinion on the subject is quite radical.

Whatever they pay the day laborers, it's less than you make. If you struggle, how can they possibly live on that wage? If they can't live on that wage, who makes up the difference? That's what I mean. You pay now or you pay later.

Andy Dollahite said...

Sir Aaron,

Don't know how radical your views are, but I guess we'll leave that for another time.

So, if we are going to address the problem of government money paid out to illegals (a real problem that must be fixed), and if we are going to attempt to enforce the laws on the books (which I support), then how do achieve those ends in a way that is truly possible? Raiding businesses across the state so that we can round up all the illegals and send them home simply isn't going to happen, nor would it be very wise in my opinion because of the damage done to our economic infrastructure. So, what is your solution, or what other solutions have you seen that seem worthy of pursuing?

Sir Aaron said...

The only way to stop money being paid to illegals is to seal off the border and stop paying entitlements to everyone.

Andy Dollahite said...

Sir Aaron,

Since stopping entitlements to everyone is simply not going to happen any time soon (ever?), what steps would you take that might actually have a chance of being implemented? What policies that are realistic are Christians going to advocate? Pie in the sky idealism seems to be rejected in favor of pragmatism around here as far as I can tell.

ljchan said...

Well, all those comments make me hungry. I think I'll go out to the grocery store up here and get some singed sheep's head from the frozen foods, right beside the horse steaks, some pickled ram testicles (hope they're still in season), some rotten shark (right next to other refrigerated fermented foods, like yogurt), and top it off with some licorice-dip ice cream. Yeah, and pick up some dried salted cod you beat to soften and spread with butter for the movie later...Oh, and I really did see Durian here last year. But no, I don't know why or how it got to north Iceland (maybe on an iceberg, like the polar bears?).

ljchan said...

Oh, too bad--stores closed 2 hours ago, at 8pm. I'll have to settle for a Mars ice cream bar--I bought all the last ones up here when I noticed the stock was dwindling and NOT being refilled. Then I stashed them all under the frozen cod in the freezer; the kids will never look there. Darn economic crisis...

The Squirrel said...

"The teleprompter in bed is hysterical. So was the 'food chain' one."

X 2

~Squirrel

Sir Aaron said...

Andy,

I don't think there is anything you can do. CA has run out of pragmatic things to do (that they are willing to do). CR thinks they'll actually cut welfare, but even that is a stopgap as medicaid will crush every state eventually (and CA sooner than the rest). Even if you find something pragmatic, it's just a temporary delay of the inevitable. You simply cannot have a minority of the population paying for the majority.

You might think of moving to Houston. There are excellent Christian schools here and the cost of living is far, far cheaper.

The Squirrel said...

Regarding both taxes and illegals:

Taxes-"No representation without taxation!" You don't pay taxes? Then you don't get to vote!

Illegals-New rule; if the parents are not here legally, then the kids born here are not natural born citizens of the United States, but shall, instead, be considered citizens of their parents' country of origin.

Sir Aaron said, "I have several suggetions: End welfare payments. End unemployment compensation. Radically lower the elgibility for medicaid. Issue school vouchers and end all state funding of public schools. Radically alter the prison system. Get rid of the income tax in favor of a higher sales tax. Pass legislation to curtail lawsuits. End abusive environmental regulations. Drill for oil along the CA coastline. Get rid of requirements for special fuel blends."

That's a good start, for sure.

As to unemployment, etc. We are our brothers keepers. And as such, I really do not have a problem with some sort of system, public or private, that helps those who, through no fault of their own, lose their jobs, as long as that help is limited and temporary. The problem is that too many people looked at the "safety net" and saw a "hammock."

~Squirrel

Andy Dollahite said...

Sir Aaron,

Texas is quite nice. I just returned from visiting relatives in Ft. Worth and had a lovely time. However, if I read you correctly, you're plan is for Christians to throw in the towel on CA (unless you're a missionary). Accepting that idea for a moment, what are those missionary Californians supposed to tell their converts? "Get out of here and move to Texas." It seems to me that's not quite what the great commission involves.

Andy Dollahite said...

Squirrel,

On the face of it your plan for illegal children sounds fine. I've said similar things to my friends. But it doesn't help the current problem we face of millions of *legal* children here with illegal parents. We can change the rules mid-game, can we? What do we do with them?

As for accepting Sir Aaron's ideas, aren't they more like a politician's campaign promises than realistic solutions? What are we going to actually do to fix our broken system?

Andy Dollahite said...

*can't change the rules mid-game

CR said...

The Squirrel: Illegals-New rule; if the parents are not here legally, then the kids born here are not natural born citizens of the United States, but shall, instead, be considered citizens of their parents' country of origin.l

You have to amend the Constitution to have that rule in place.

Andy and Sir Aaron - I do not plan leaving CA, Lord willing, anytime soon. I know this sounds crazy, but I love my state and my country, in particular, I love the people in it. Proclamation of the gospel starts with loving the people you're going to share the gospel with. CA is a wide mission field and I love it. Granted, I hate the government sanctioned theft (high state tax rates), but that's for another topic.

Andy Dollahite said...

CR,

I'm not planning to leave either, except perhaps to pursue graduate school. Our families are here, and like you I love the people here despite the craziness that often is coexistent.

So, what would you do to fix our state's budget problems that are often tied to massive spending on education and medical care for illegal immigrants? You seem to take a pragmatic approach to things, so what's the plan?

Also, an unrelated question. Did you vote for McClintock during the recall election?

DJP said...

McClintock? Hokey smokes, where is this meta going??

As to Texas, I don't think I've seen a picture of one square inch of it that looks pretty. And it's too hot. And it has tornadoes.

At least squalid, ugly, graceless Sacramento is an hour away from the Sierra foothills, and a couple of houre from the Pacific Ocean.

Andy Dollahite said...

My McClintock question was purely of personal interest, but I didn't think it was too unrelated to the nature of CA political discourse. I know CR is generally devoted to the GOP, and I was simply curious if he voted for Arnold or Tom. I'd assume Tom, but was asking rather than assuming. Perhaps he voted in some way I couldn't predict. Just asking for curiosity's sake really. Do you have an aversion to Tom McClintock?

DJP said...

Yeah, I really do. He was foolish in that election, breaking his word, putting himself above California. LOVE his positions; HATE his judgment.

Fred Butler said...

Where is the GTY affiliate in the Philippines? Manila? When I was there, I met a Christian who seriously needs a better church to go to.

Regrettably, the Philippines office was shut down a number of years ago. Wasn't any support.

Joshua Cookingham said...

I am sick sick sick of Obama's attitude toward abortion!

Geez! The man's not even REMOTELY concerned about the millions of children slaughtered, he's more worried about 5 murderers who were killed. man....

I'm really ticked off that the Church Tiller was attending did not discipline him at the time...good gravy.

Sir Aaron said...

Dan:

You get used to it. It has some very heavily forested areas. No tornados in Houston, though you do have the occasional hurricane. Better hunting and fishing, if that's what you like to do. Why don't you come visit and see what you think?

CR: I left CA because I just couldn't do 2 hour commutes and wanted someplace to raise my kid.

P.S. Do tell about McClintock!

Andy Dollahite said...

Dan,

I have to admit total ignorance of what you refer to with respect to McClintock. Is there a link to a story that might fill me in. Thanks.

The Squirrel said...

Andy,

"But it doesn't help the current problem we face of millions of *legal* children here with illegal parents... What do we do with them?"

re-education camps? < /joke>

It is a problem. Offer the parents a choice -
1) work & pay taxes & we'll let you stay at least until the kid is 18. But you must play by the rules.
2) leave the country and take the kid with you.
3) leave the country and leave the kid here with the American family of your choice.

CR,

"You have to amend the Constitution to have that rule in place."

Yes, I know. It's been done before.

~Squirrel

Sir Aaron said...

Dan:

You actually find the landscape more beautiful when you can sell your home in CA and buy one four times as nice for cash.

One Salient Oversight said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

Banned obsessive stalkertroll OSO just stopped in, on another strafing run, and asked me to tell you that he's thinking of taking a reading comprehension course, since every time he comes up out of the basement for dinner his mother tells him he's even getting the back of the cereal box wrong.

He also wanted to say that he had a nightmare the other night, the worse he's had since he dreamed that he lived under a regime that felt itself free to impose itself intrusively and obnoxiously on the lives of unwilling citizens, regardless of the laws of the land.

You know, like he does, here.

This dream was of a world with no America. Where there had been no America in WWI or WWII, or against Soviet expansionism; or the disasters of the twentieth century.

He woke in a cold sweat... then saw one of Obama's apology-speeches on TV.

And then he threw up.

CR said...

Aw geesh, Andy, I was hoping not to embarrass myself on international blog (Dan's blog is viewed orldwide including Communist and Muslim countries) but alas, on the recall election, I voted for the Governator. I did not vote for any Govenor in the last election.

With regards to how we fix our state budget, that's not the electorate's job. It's not the voters responsibilities to come up with a detailed plan. That's why we elect officials for that.

I went to a meeting where the State Auditor was the speaker and she says that things are really, really, really, bad in California. (She was a liberal and said the 2/3 requirement in the legislature to raise taxes was an outdated requirement) We simply cannot afford the things we've been paying for and since California will not raise anymore taxes, there will be very, very, drastic cuts in education, public safety, prisons and social services, including welfare.

You may not think, Andy, that cutting state welfare (they'll still be federal) is realistic, but I can tell you, that the Govenator will be requesting in his budget to do so, and the democrats will have little choice. Welfare will either end or be severely cut. You may not think that is pragmatic, Andy. But I assure you it is more of a reality than you realize.

The State has four choices: (1)Look to President Obama; (2)Declare bankruptcy and have a federal judge come in and tell the bondholders thanks for buying all those bonds, but Hasta, rewrite all the union contracts, and start fresh; (3)severely raise taxes - not going to happen, thank goodness; or (4)make really painful and drastic cuts.

Number 4 appears to be the reality.

CR said...

Sir Aaron: CR: I left CA because I just couldn't do 2 hour commutes and wanted someplace to raise my kid.l

I don't know where in CA you lived Sir Aaron. I can't think of place in this country where you can't raise kids.

You know, when I was in NYC and visited Tim Keller's church and I read those little welcome brochures, he said that he loved NYC and it was a great place to raise his kids. I emailed one of the elders and he said the same thing, and I just about choked on my Dunkin Donut and Starbucks coffee when I read that, because I thought NYC?! Great place especially to raise kids?! But then I was reminded, we have to love the city that we are exiled in, especially the people, because it's going to be difficult to evangelize in a place you hate.

threegirldad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
threegirldad said...

I would love to tell you I have no idea what Nicole is saying, but (as Morrison sang) "you know that I would be a liar."

You mean you can't contextualize that first part into someone else's "truth"? Maybe you just need to try harder.

a couple of houre from the Pacific Ocean

Is that French for "hours"? Are you trying to impress your daughter?

;-)

DJP said...

Always.

Andy Dollahite said...

CR,

Thanks for your response. I guess you and Dan were better informed about McClintock than I was. What did he do that was so repugnant? I also didn't vote for any governor candidate in the last election, and the election pollster actually mumbled an angry response at me as I walked away from being polled... quite an odd experience as I tried to explain that I found none of the choices even remotely satisfactory.

As for cutting state welfare, it's not that I think it's not pragmatic to cut the programs, it's that I have a hard time imagining how the state adjusts if they disappear too rapidly. If their impact is really so large as to cause the problems we have (and I believe they are), then doing away with them quickly will not go unnoticed. So, my question is, what programs do we cut first, and why? What's the time table look like, and what are the ultimate end goals? For example, in the medical clinic I volunteer at thousands of dollars of medical equipment is basically paid for by the state for the poor. How do these folks adjust if their medical equipment and prescriptions are no longer paid for? It's my feeling the current system is killing us all, but if we do away with it (which I'm for), how do all the people dependent on it adjust without larger side effects occurring?

I still feel that at the end of the day, CA problems, which are enormous, are going to be paid for by the responsible states through federal bailout. The power players out there manage to scratch each other's backs, and I can see our state being categorized as "too large to fail." Hope it doesn't happen, but think it will.

DJP said...

He promised he'd drop out of the race if he couldn't win. He stayed until the end, long after it was certain he had no chance whatever of winning. There were two viable candidates, a Dem and a GOP. McClintock, adding a second GOP, could only hurt one of them. Guess which?

It was all about him at that point. Double-disqualifier, to me. Pity, too, because (as I said) his positions are far closer to mine that Schwarzenegger's. But being a leader is about more than having sound opinions.

Andy Dollahite said...

Dan,

My memory of the recall is dim, but I thought some polls showed McClintock gaining steam through late summer early fall. Also, wasn't there some speculation from Republican leaders that if McClintock dropped out a number of GOP voters would not have voted, and thus the recall vote itself might have been defeated? I can definitely see now why you'd be upset with McClintock given the apparent self-serving nature of staying in the race.

However, I am still trying to sort out in my mind how, given your clear and ardent fight against abortion, and your criticism of third party voters in a thread I read recently, you could vote for Arnold given his pro-choice stance. Don't NARAL and others often talk about how much power governors have over state budgets, funding of abortions, state judges, etc? One reason I've started to frequent your blog regularly is I realize from reading you how much more wisdom I need (and how much I currently lack) regarding politics. Do you view voting for Arnold and strongly criticizing a CA Ron Paul voter as inconsistent?

DJP said...

There were only two candidates in that recall election, not counting vanity candidates. I voted for the one whose overall position, including on abortion, was the better position of the two. It was a very difficult decision. At the time, I wrote an interminably long essay spelling out my reasoning. A brawl ensued.

Ron Paul was also a vanity candidate.

Andy Dollahite said...

Dan,

Sounds like there was a brawl even before your essay. In any event, I found your piece reasonable and can respect your vote for Arnold. Although, in hindsight I'm sure you'd say Arnold is more chameleon than principled conservative, and many of your reasons for voting for him never panned out... maybe even led to a situation fiscally worse than Gray Davis?

I do have some questions about your essay and the blog piece regarding your lament for America and third party voters.

1) You say that scripture has nothing to say about voting for folks like Arnold who, by your description, is 98% prochoice. What about Lev. 20:1-5? Doesn't that text have strong words against those who fail to oppose the man who sacrifices his child to Molech? Wouldn't this text support opposition to both Obama and Schwarzenegger even though neither has aborted a child (to my knowledge anyway)?

2) Much of your essay about voting for Arnold seems to be an argument for pragmatism. In fact, at times you seemed to suggest that abortion really wasn't the main issue voters should consider. Isn't it possible for a CA voter to have voted for a third party candidate to communicate a serious frustration with the GOP's behavior (especially in Congress) during the previous years in hope of achieving the pragmatic end of getting conservatives to act like conservative. Afterall, McCain had no chance at all of winning CA, so a vote for him in CA is really wasting your vote, isn't? Isn't it possible for third party voters to have been reasonably trying to "seek the welfare of the city" by sending a wake up call to conservatives? So why lump every single one of them in with Obama supporters? It seems to me that reasonable Christians could vote with a clear conscience for Arnold Schwarzenegger, and reasonable Christians could have voted for third party candidates in some situations this past election.

DJP said...

Simple.

I never said voting for McClintock was immoral, nor voting for Schwarzenegger imperative. I found the latter wiser, and the former foolish, and explained why.

There were only two serious candidates in that election. One was a step in the right direction, although a baby-step.

There were also two serious candidates in the last Pres election.

Arnold has been about as expected. He tried to do fiscally-responsible things, but not insistently enough. Now he's back at it, with the crisis buoying him, reminding the Dems that he'd said this stuff years ago. He's done about as expected.

It was the wiser choice. Never said "only moral choice," nor "happy choice."

Andy Dollahite said...

To be clear though, you believe those who voted for a third party candidate in a state where McCain had no chance of winning did something immoral, or have I misunderstood your last answer? Your line to them in the lament for America post was to repent was it not?

Andy Dollahite said...

Also, have you addressed the Lev. 20:1-5 passage before so that I can save you the trouble of repeating yourself?

DJP said...

The Leviticus passage has nothing to do with what we're talking about, unless you're saying we're Israel, Schwarzenegger had a child killed, and we should kill him. If so, say it. But then I'd probably have to ban you, because I don't tolerate advocacy of violence.

As to the other, read the essay, comment on that post if you have some question about it. I think we're about far enough off topic here, and I'm starting to regret wandering with you.

Andy Dollahite said...

Dan,

No, I'm not saying we're Israel, nor that Arnold had a child killed (I already said that), and no I don't want Arnold killed either. I was asking an honest question about a passage I don't fully understand. I'm not sure why, but it seems like a lot of the questions I ask seem to annoy you, as though you think I'm trying to sneak attack you. I'm just interested in learning, and think you were worth listening to - and figured blog comments are a convenient forum to learn. But sometimes I feel like an idiot wasting your time. I'll go to the other post, but my question there will lack the context of our discussion here.

Sir Aaron said...

Dan:

I never said voting for McClintock was immoral, nor voting for Schwarzenegger imperative. I found the latter wiser, and the former foolish, and explained why.

I've had this argument with many Christians who insisted that voting for McCain or Arnold was downright immoral and against all Scriptural considerations. I mean they practically accuse me of being unsaved for even suggesting the idea (and I voted for McCain but not for Arnold). Then when I pointed out to them that the "Constitution" party and Ron Paul had very, very foolish platform positions (gold standard, really?) I only get the sound of crickets.

It's really amazing.

DJP said...

Main thing I run up against is "But B's positions are so much better!" Yep, no argument. So...vote for B who will get NOTHING done PERFECTLY, because HE CANNOT WIN?

Like I've got two quarterbacks. One is actually in the game, and can move the ball. But this fat guy in the bleachers says if I give him the ball, he'll score a touchdown.

So do I lose, for a theoretical touchdown that can never happen?

Or move the ball?

Sir Aaron said...

Dan, it makes more sense if you had a quarterback in the game. You are at your own 1 yard line and it's first and 10. It's the third quarter and you are starting to catch up but still have a good ways to go. The guy in the game is a decent quarterback who can generally pass and hand off the ball. But there is a third string quarterback who can throw the ball 100 yards. So do you put the guy in just to make a hail mary pass?

Andy Dollahite said...

I understand and can support those who voted for McCain. But in CA, IL and most the the northeast there weren't even two serious candidates on the ballot. McCain had zero chance of winning in those states, so is it necessarily immoral to vote for another of the guaranteed losers (which McCain was in many states) in order to send a pragmatic message to your team to get serious about being conservative?

CR said...

Andy: So, my question is, what programs do we cut first, and why? What's the time table look like, and what are the ultimate end goals?

As I previously noted, it's not my job to prioritize what programs to cut. That's why we elect legislators for. The legislators are leaning towards drastically cutting (if not altogether eliminating) CalWorks, the state welfare system. (This does not impact federal welfare). The state will also drastically cut public safety, education and state workers will be seeing significant pay cuts (another 5% bringing the total pay cut to 15%) and state workers will probably see a significant reduction in benefits. All areas of the state budget will be drastically cut because of the out of control spending that has gone on for years. The state is in such horrible condition we can't just cut one program, we have to drastically cut all of them.

Andy: It's my feeling the current system is killing us all, but if we do away with it (which I'm for), how do all the people dependent on it adjust without larger side effects occurring?

I do not know but they will have to adjust. Just for fun I went to the Kaiser Permanente sight and got a quote for a family of five for the individual/family health insurance and the cheapest quote was $391 a month. Now, some people think that is a lot, but you think about the 40 or so million Americans that don't have health insurance. Most probably have cell phones, cable TV (some have plasma TVs), car payments, etc. There is your $391 a month. Families are going to have to prioritize their own budgets and not depend on the state to prioritize their budgets so they can get benefits.

Andy Dollahite said...

CR,

Your thinking sounds reasonable. I was looking for your ideas so I can consider them and then prolly look for politicians who have similar ideas, not because you're responsible to implement them.

I do know that a good benefit to come from the reduced state services will be the opportunity for Christians and churches to step up where we've likely been absent. As I explained to Sir Aaron, there are families who don't have cell phone bills, cable TV, plasma screens, and car payments who will need help. I don't have any of those things, but thankfully do have insurance through work. But there will be others who are laid off for whom we can minister to. This might even require those Christians who do have cell phones, cable, plasma screens, and expensive cars to give them up and dedicate more money to caring for the poor (who are biblically poor, not biblically lazy or stupid).

threegirldad said...

Rabbit:
I went to college at Kansas State.

Rock Chalk...Chicken Hawk! ;-)

Rocky mountain oyster parties were quite common.

Which just goes to show that you can make just about anything edible if you batter it and deep-fry it. ;-)

Well, ok...except for Balut. [shudder]

Sir Aaron said...

I pay about $400 just for my portion of my health care (PPO though).

Not quite sure I understand what Biblically poor is...I don't have much compassion for people who remain in a constant state of "poor" here in America.

The Squirrel said...

Ya know... normally the comment thread on the H&T is fun, humorous, and uplifting...

Oh, well...

Mrs. Squirrel got a great laugh out of the parrot pic.

Everybody have an edifying and uplifting time at worship tomorrow.

~Squirrel

Andy Dollahite said...

Aaron,

I'm referring to folks like Ruth who gleaned in Boaz's field or passages like Esther 9:22, Psalm 72:4, Mark 12:42, Luke 14:13, Gal. 2:10 and James 1:27, among others. There are folks who need genuine help, and I assume you are happy to help them. Of course many who are poor can be helped to achieve greater financial success so that they can be blessing in return. I certainly am not encouraging 2 Thes. 3:10 or Prov. 20:4 behavior.

Solameanie said...

For a moment, I thought you guys were talking about McLintock, the John Wayne movie where he spanks Maureen O'Hara with a fireplace shovel.

Obviously I was mistaken, but somehow it still fits. There are quite a few politicians in California (and nationally) that could use a good shovel-spanking.

I am beginning to be of the mindset that the country we all knew and loved is doomed, doomed, doomed. Great opportunity for the Gospel in troubled times, but it still won't be a whole lot of fun to experience.

Sir Aaron said...

umhmmm....

Fibonacci said...

"I remember a woman telling me that the public schools spend a lot of time in 3rd and 4th grades trying to teach long division. She waited until her kids were in 6th grade, and they learned it in a few minutes."

If that's the only problem, then by the time kids graduate from high school, they ought to at least know long division, right? Since they're past the sixth grade level and are ready for it. But that isn't the case. I teach remedial high school material to college students, which is made more difficult by the fact that they don't know basic arithmetic. Maybe the problem is that our schools don't teach math well, regardless of the grade level.

As for the chart itself, the belief that even basic algebra is completely useless is part of the reason for why Americans are by and large mathematically illiterate. But hey, that's a good thing, right? Because we don't actually need math in everyday life. Nor do we need history, or art, or science, or most anything taught in school as far as that goes. In fact, why do we even have schools that teach all this abstract knowledge? We should just stop formal education at sixth grade (I would have said fourth grade, but then they might not get long division) and then have the kids do apprenticeships to learn specific trades. Then they'll only be learning things that they will actually use on a daily basis, because that's all that is important.

DJP said...

Now now. Don't be bitter.