Friday, July 17, 2009

Hither and thither — 7/17/09

Nice and eclectic crop today. Let's go!
  • First a serious note, if I may: please pray for me, as I've taken today and Monday off in hopes of pushing through to complete my book's first draft. I've been revising the whole again and again as I've written, and am now writing the last chapter. Then I fashion the whole together. I hope by Tuesday to have it essentially finished — well ahead of schedule, praise God.
  • Of course, God uses the truths in my book in many lives. For that to happen, it has to fall into many hands. Hm. Do you think I have a chance of...?
  • And now we combine a nod to our Lego-loving readers (or kids) and a nod to the fortieth anniversary of the moon landing (7/20/69).
  • Here's a little something on The Men On the Moon. Weird, though, isn't it? If someone had asked you then (I was 13 and in Mammoth Lakes) where our space program would be in forty years, wouldn't you have guessed we'd have gone to a planet by now? At least? Weird.
  • Along with that (perhaps particularly for you homeschooling moms) comes eleven little-known facts about the moon walk. Communion on the moon? Interesting... though the suggestion of apostasy afterwards is very sad.
  • Perhaps my evil, cat-hating dog-lover readers will want to avail themselves of the bowlingual translator that Japan has produced. But does it only translate dog into Japanese? Looks like it.
  • Dear wife, boys and I saw Half-Blood Prince Thursday night. Brief and spoiler-free: apart from one (unfortunately key) sequence whose changes completely, slack-jawedly baffle my wife and me, it is head and shoulders the best of the lot. Acting, camera-work, editing of the story, effects, sets — just a really good movie.
  • At last! A simple breakdown of the Dems' health care plan. (h-t- my dear wife)
  • Staying with movies: I once wrote about the Gospel in Spider-Man 3 — and how it wasn't there. Pastor Chris Anderson writes about the Gospel in the movie The Mission — and how it isn't there, either. Using the damning legalism of Roman Catholicism (which the movie features) as a counterpoint, Anderson points to the wonderful good news of God's grace in Jesus Christ.
  • Will the "gas stations of the future" be guys in overalls sitting around with six-packs and specially-customized port-a-potties? Conceivably.
  • Wow. This lady actually makes me look like a free-love-and-daisies libertarian on the subect of movie theater etiquette. I have a very firm list too, but it's a lot shorter — though she covers it. I'd be content if folks would just (1) stop using their cell phones once the lights dim (President Obama will wait; honest, he will); (2) whisper quietly (if at all) instead of talk; and deal intelligently and responsibly and thoughtfully with children. The rest is bearable.
  • One of the great myths about abortion is that most men are anti-abortion, and most women are pro-abortion. That's why it has the false veneer of being a "woman's issue." The reality is the reverse: many men are pro-abort. The reasons are obvious, and they reflect very poorly on many members of my sex. Want to see it spelled out? Check this unveiling of a little bit of verbal sewage (which itself ostensibly was written by a woman, for "").
  • I haven't said much (anything?) about the Obama birth certificate controversy... because I haven't had much to say. But this story is really interesting. It is about a U.S. Army Reserve major from Florida who refused to obey his orders to go to Afghanistan on the grounds that Obama has not established that he was born on American soil, and thus has no right to the Presidency. He took his case to court, and got a judge who was willing to pursue the matter seriously. Whereupon the Army cancelled his orders. Unprecedented? At the least, very, very interesting.
  • a strange development of the same issue, the Department of Defense then reportedly forced that same man's private-sector employer to fire him.
  • Ouch. Except only that I would title it Christian Contemporary Music.
  • Big-name guys were asked what one thing they'd change about John Calvin. Their answers are good (though I don't know enough to evaluate Wilson's). Given them, my no-name answer would be that he be more conscious of what he brought over uncritically from Roman Catholicism, and take pains to reform it as well.
  • Staying with Calvin. If you want to — and I don't suggest that you should — you could go here to read about the lamest and most seemingly ignorant post griping about Calvinism that I can ever remember reading. Two factors make it particularly weird, though. First: the guy's a professor, a PhD (in theology!), and clearly feels he has a masterful grasp of the subject. But second: take the whole essay, change a word or two, and it reads like every hit-piece a smart-alecky pagan has ever written about Christianity and Christians. But it's passed off as a Christian critique of Calvinists. Strange. And then...
  • The cartoon below (from here) is funny in its own right, I think. But I also think it isn't too difficult to make an "ouchy" personal application to those of us tempted to think we're more passionate, God-centered, Biblical etc. than those other people — many of whom probably think the same thing of themselves in contrast to us. (NOTE: that strip is not reliably "family-friendly.")
  • Pyro reader Carrie (no profile) noted that I had trouble discerning Aussie from Kiwi, and favored me with a link to a pronunciation chart. It's pretty great.
  • Proverbs 29:18 comes to life: reader Aaron points to an article once again illustrating how the courts can empower one person to make his rebellion against God (and self-mutilation) everyone's nightmare.
  • Here is an exercise in MSM parsing. The headline is: Sotomayor Defends 'Wise Latina' Remark.
  • Shocker! MSM misrepresents abortion-clinic violence! Click. (h-t Challies)
  • And finally, how could we not...


CR said...

Well ahead of schedule, indeed. Will be praying for you.

Trinian said...

It's fun to argue against a doctrinal issue without actually dealing with any of the difficult issues raised by the position. Here, it's easy, you can do it too!
Just remember a person you once knew who held that position. Now, take their most annoying personal issue - the one that bothered you the most - and magnify it totally out of perspective. There, now doesn't his/her position look ridiculous?
Here's a good example: "I really can't understand Arminians. I once knew an Arminian; he smelled awful, like a track stop. I couldn't stand to be around him - his lack of respect for his own personal hygiene was just out of control. So, I don't think I could ever even consider his doctrinal position." See, easy! Now you try.

Fred Butler said...

I am kinda surprised you didn't mention Barry's ecoscience moonbat czar who co-wrote an apocalyptic book advocating eugenic policies of forced abortions and sterilizations of the feeble minded in order to prevent global catastrophe.

That one had "hither and thither" written all over it.

DJP said...

It's true. My posts aren't nearly long enough, and I'm not nearly hard enough on the Obama administration.

Epic fail.

Chris Anderson said...

Dude, your first draft is almost DONE? Mercy. You're a machine! Usually only KJV-Only books get written that fast! ;) What's your secret? (Seriously.) Anxious to see what you've got, and will be praying.

And thanks for the link!!

Citizen Grim said...

The birth certificate thing is curious. Up until this week, I figured the issue was mostly conspiracy theorizing from sore losers. But the fact that the Army dropped the issue seems to suggest that there's more to the issue than has been previously conceded. At any rate, I'm sure the conspiracy theorists are fired all back up again. :)

DJP said...

I'm of two minds about it.

The main mind is: oh, come on.

The other mind is: yeah, but if there was nothing there, how easy would it have been for the Obama folks to make it go away with some simple, hard evidence?

And then when I ask myself, "Come ON, would the MSM really have ignored such a massive story?"...?

...and the answer comes back, "In the case of Obama? Are you kidding?"

... then the question remains open.

Fred Butler said...

Epic fail.

No, just a "fail." No need to be so hard on yourself. You'll do better next time.

Daniel said...

I remember the cast of a stage production being instructed by the director that whispers carry farther than simply speaking softly, so we were told never to whisper backstage - just say what we had to say quietly.

Whenever we go out therefore, and there is a need for quiet (such as at a movie), I let the kids know, no whispering, just talk quietly into the other person's ear.

DJP said...

Good dad! On behalf of everyone else, thank you.

The audience last night was pretty decent. There was a scene or two where there was complete silence, which is a testimony to the movie.

CR said...

Obama Birth Certificate Controversy - Very interesting indeed. You would think that if the birth certificate controversy is bogus, then the administration would want to deal with this issue once and for all. I mean, you can't have people saying I'm not going to serve in war because Obama is not legally a President anymore then one could say that of Bush.

This issue could be laid to rest immediately. It's interesting. You see the problem in the past has been that prior litigants have had no standing (by "standing" I mean the legal term) to challenge Obama on the birth certificate which is probably why prior judges have dismissed the case. This soldier does because he is challenging his orders based on the notion that his commander-in-chief is not legal.

Again, the administration can settle this once and for all. Bring out the documents and if they're real, court marshall this soldier and future soldiers for challenging their deployment orders.

But lashing out on this soldier's employer forcing them to fire him...hmmm....

Gilbert said...

Wow! Praise God on the book going so well. But, Dan, I thought you'd might get at least a little smile from this:

And on the birth are exactly along my lines. And great point, CR. This guy just has bad written all over him. However, why fire the guy? Isn't a "dishonorable discharge" the way to handle this? Hmmm, indeed.

Carrie said...

Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. Whoa.
1. No profile? I have had a profile for at LEAST 20 hours.
2. Pyro reader? Pyro visitor. Bibker reader.

DJP said...

OK, now you're a Real Girl.


JackW said...

As a Christian musician, I would like to point out that CCM has made great improvements in the last few years IMO.

Case in point, check out the new CD by Keith and Kristyn Getty, Awaken the Dawn. Meaty and exceptional music.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

WOO-GOO! Your first draft, almost done?! Do you sleep?!

Next comes pain... editing. Revisions.

And, sadly, if the graph has any predictive value, you appear destined to fail. But that's a kind of failure we'll all applaud :0)

Many thanks for the links to astronaut info... the little grasshoppers will eat that up. The most interesting thing I saw was the little tidbit about Alan Shepard (Commander of Apollo 14) had Menieres Disease... a balance disorder. Amazing.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh my word.

I'm getting clumsy.

WOO-HOO! WOO-HOO! Not woo-goo.

DJP said...

Both ways work. One's just a little weirder.


Angie said...

I have to agree that the movie etiquette guide is a bit much. Frankly I'm planning on enjoying the movie I'm seeing instead of spending all of my energy to make sure I don't upset someone by my "nervous tics". If you want a pristine movie-watching experience, buy a big house and put in a home theater. But, yes, do leave the phone alone unless it's very important.

Jay said...

If you get onto Oprah's show, that will be the one time I'll watch it.
Perhaps to make it fair and balanced she could have Rick Warren on at the same time.

DJP said...

Oh, that's sad!

But I like it.

Jay said...

JackW said..."As a Christian musician, I would like to point out that CCM has made great improvements in the last few years IMO."

I did something the last day or two I haven't done much of the last few months - listen to CCM. After listening to a cd full I realized the words I heard most often in the songs are "I, me, my, mine."
Sorry Jack but I'll have to stick to my assessment that most CCM is just CM (contemporary music).

DJP said...

To be clear, in my own lancing I had in mind primarily the atrocious little elevator-music "praise choruses" too popular in too many evanjellybeanical assemblies.

April said...

Good roundup again, Dan.

Here's some info. on the birth certificate guy.

Basically, he never had to go anyway. He volunteered and as such could withdraw up until the day he's scheduled to leave. He was trying to set up a controversy and the army wouldn't play ball. Not much of a victory, but he did leave a unit undermanned or forced some other guy to go over on short notice. Not very manly, if you ask me.

Rachael Starke said...


An aggregate of all the hair, makeup and other beautifying products wives use to make themselves extra attractive to their dear husbands,after said dear husbands have just met a major work milestone at their cubicle, office or salt-mine, and are taking said dear wives out for an extra special night on the town.

DJP said...

Thanks for that, April. I don't really know what to make of that whole saga.

I do see in the comment-thread for that site that not everyone's convinced. I'm not really sure what to think; the article sneeringly notes that the man is a member at FreeRepublic, as if that's in itself somehow disqualifying. This makes me wonder about the writer.

FreeRepublic is a conservative news-and-discussion site, whose participants are widely varied. Since 1998, one of them has been yr obdt svt, me. It was the genesis of the discovery of Dan Rather's bogus reporting that undid him in his attempt to smear President Bush.

If the writer thinks that a membership at FR casts someone's credibility in doubt, I wonder about the writer.

Maybe it's all just a bunch of woo-goo.

Rachael Starke said...

And I love the N.Z. accent translation chart.

Although, back when my Australian accent was much stronger and someone asked me the difference between my accent and a Kiwi's, I'd just say that it's exactly the same as the Australian's, before you take up all the vowel sounds and puht thum en eh blindah.

April said...

I can't comment to all the opinions and beliefs of the site, but it tends to be a pretty reliable and influential mili-blog. I don't look to them on political matters, but for a better understanding of military issues.

The blogosphere--that great smorgasbord of the internet. It's like being a Cafeteria Catholic, without all the heresy.

chopstickschan said...

At last! A re-make of "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"! Isn't it...? But the popcorn's all ready! And the dry salted cod--anyone else want it buttered? Looked like perfect casting from the photo. Guess I'll go read a --oh never mind.

Seriously, be praying for you Dan.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Regarding CCM... yes the Getty music is a huge improvement.

But the "praise choruses", as a whole?

"7-11 songs... 7 words, 11 times."

CR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJP said...

Which AT article did you have in mind, Carlo? This one? Or this older one? Or another?

CR said...

Ooops, I'm a dipstick. I was reading a bunch of links and attached the wrong link. I was thinker of the "older one", Dan. Don't think I ever read the other one you attached. I'll look at it now.

Craig said...

Well done on just about finishing your first draft. I'm quite jealous. I'm only about 1/3 way through my first draft, and it really *is* a first draft too...

Praying that God blesses your work...

Mike Riccardi said...

...pregnant women tend to feel like they're carrying someone, as opposed to something, even if she is just a month or so pregnant.

Pregnant women can be so silly some times. Must be the hormones.

JackW said...

There's always going to be a lot of dross around, I'm just saying there's more silver to be found these days.

Dan, nice work getting the draft done. Must be a gift.

Chris Anderson said...

Not that my two cents matters, but as a guy that is a huge Watts and Wesley fan, that is a pretty severe/conservative critic of modern Christian(ish) music, and an occasional hymn writer (figuring that criticizing is easy but contributing useful)...

I agree that there are some really valuable things being written today by Townend/Getty, Kauflin, Cook, etc. Lots of meat, and lots of gospel. I hope it's a trend that continues.

(Shameless advertisement warning)

If you're into meaty hymns (and you should be), you might check out :)

Mark said...

That Calvinist rant is so typical of my experience with anti-calvinists (or Biblicists as they like to be called). Reminds me of this article from a college president. If you're going to argue against Calvinism, you need to read more than Hunt.
So, I'm generally totally on the same page with you, but the CCM graph? Come on. That's weak. And the whole, "I was thinking of banal, trivial praise songs". Well, those of us not in your head tend to think of actual reality like this or this. Some pretty decent stuff there. I've argued with too many ultra-conservatives who pick the worst examples of CCM and act like they are representative. You're better than that.
Anyway, love the blog. Seriously, its in my top 3, and one of the other 3 is pyro, so its like you're 2 of my top 3. Can't wait for your book. I'll be praying for you as you complete it and if you ever do a book signing in the Denver area, I'm totally there.

Susan said...

I am currently having a conversation with a friend online. Earlier the topic got to Obama's birth certificate query, and the following conversation ensued (quoted with permission):

me: did you know that some ppl are actually questioning his birth certificate?
me: i never knew that until recently
my friend: he hasn't produce one
me: not the long form, no
my friend: okay
if you believe the chinese women gymnastic team are of age, then obama doesn't need to show proof.


DJP said...

Mark, thanks for the kind words, and sorry my meaning was unclear to you. As a rule, when we lament the shallowness of most of what passes for worship music, there is general agreement. "Breathe," "Heart of Worship," etc. Ewgh.

But your demurral is noted.

However, I have to say: clicked on your second link, to the KLOVE page. And what's at the top of the list? A song by Phillips Craig & Dean.


Did they ever repent of their heretical denial of the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity? (See also here.)

All is pretty clearly not well in CCMland.

CR said...


According to this, two others have joined the suit, a retired general, and an active Air Force reservist.

President Obama can end this now, by simply releasing his sealed vault certificate. Maybe this is nonsense and speculation. I don't think it is and part of the reason is because of Hawaii's weird laws on birth certificates. But if this is weird speculation, Obama can end it right now.

RodeoClown said...

Hi Dan,
not sure if you're aware, but all the XKCD comics have a hidden 2nd joke.

Hold your mouse over the comic (on the original page), and you'll get the 2nd one too.

DJP said...

Like Pyro graphics... often!

No, I didn't. Thanks.

Susan said...

Well, CR, I wonder why they didn't do a thorough background check before he was elected. After all, he was applying for the highest federal position in the land. That just doesn't make sense to me.

Stan McCullars said...

Susan, They did a background check and they loved him!

He's anti-gun. He supports baby dismemberment. He has a racist pastor. He used to hang out with a known terrorist. He's a Marxist. He has the support of the loony left "Christians."

What's not to love...if you're a liberal.

Sir Aaron said...

I stopped going to movies about three years ago. The major reason was because the people that are there make the experience less enjoyable. I was tired of paying $10 a person plus snacks to have a bunch of rude people ruin the movie. Blu-ray at home with $1.50 icees from the gas station...thanks.

Has anybody read the research done by I don't know if they are reliable, but they have pictures of the certificate. And the state of Hawaii says the certficate is valid. So we'd need a conspiracy that involves a lot of people. The overriding thesis is that the certificate that BO has couldn't have been produced at that time or something like that. It's all very strange. One thing is for sure. Michael Medved seems to think the whole thing is bunk and cites some pretty convincing reasons.

As far as CCM, how many people who complain about that also listen to other inappropriate and unGodly music? Hmmmm? One of my biggest complaints is that people seem to think every song must be about Jesus or "worship." Can't they sing about the wonder of His creation or a million other things? Many of the "choruses" are taken from Psalm. They just repeat one verse over and over and over...and over. But there is some good music out there. I don't care for "heart of worship" but I'm not sure why everyone else doesn't like it. My personal favorites are Jeremy Camp, Third Day, and Jars of Clay.

CR said...

Like I said, Susan, Obama can put an end to this once and for all. He can do the right thing and go for full transparency. This article really addresses the issues carefully.

If he discloses his vault copy of his birth certificate (strange though Kenya has also sealed Obama's records) he can establish res judicata and if all this is mere speculation he can put a stop to all this and all other similar lawsuits will stop before they even begin!

CR said...

Sir Aaron - The facts raises different issues that I'm not concerned about. Fact is trying to answer conspiracy theories like the birth certificate is not authentic or that it was soaked in some solvent. That is not the issue. We're not affirming the conspiracy theories aforementioned. But state-run media is trying to influence good people like you and Susan that if you don't just believe them that Obama is a natural born citizen then we are wearing tin foils.

Again, I can't do any better than what the American Thinker does here. I'd be wasting my time copying and pasting. I hope you'll read what has already been linked.

I'm not saying that Obama is or is not natural born. I don't know. What is needed is full transparency. Why no full transparency, again, the American Thinker gives three reasons.

Mark said...

So, I wrote a really long response and it had just enough sarcasm for my wife to say, "I don't know if you should post that," so I figured it was perfect, and then I realized its kinda lame of me to register my dissent in my first comments on my favorite blog.
I think we're totally on the same page as far as music goes. I've just been spending a good bit of energy combating ultra-conservative, traditionalists lately (you know, the kind that loved Peter Masters' rant and sent it around for the whole staff to read). I guess I'm a little sensitive to the hasty generalization argument.
My biggest fear here is that one of those traditionalists will come to me and say, "You know that DP guy you told me I should read? Well, he agrees with me on music."
And props to Sir Aaron for listing some quality bands. I saw Third Day with Jars of Clay in concert and loved it. I don't know Mac Powell's theological leanings, but he gave a straight gospel message in the middle of "Cry to Jesus" (a great song by the way). I would add Tenth Avenue North to the list. I love that a lot of bands seem to be singing about atonement and penal substitution lately.

Sir Aaron said...


I read your link. I think its improbable that Obama was born in Africa for reasons that Michael Medved raised not because of "the media." However, I agree that it is extremely strange that such effort has been made to conceal the original. I think it should be released regardless of what can or can not be gained. (And as an aside, is the vault copy different than the certified copy? What exactly are we looking for? And if there is something that shows BO was born in Africa, we'd be talking about a conspiracy of historic proportions).

Are you sure you aren't wearing a tin foil hat? ;)

DJP said...

Hey, if m'man Carlo is wearing a tinfoil hat, I want to know where I can get one.

Sir Aaron said...


I enjoy contemporary Christian music, however, I wouldn't recommend most of it for corporate worship. I prefer hymns for their rich theology and ability to sing collectively. Some of the choruses set to moden music are actually taken from the Book of Psalms, as I mentioned before, but the manner in which they are sung seems less intent on conveying worhsip to God then to getting the audience excited.

I don't take criticism of Contemporary Christian music too seriously except with respect to suggestions about corporate worship. Most people who do the complaining listen to contemporary non-Christian music, most of whose artists have theological views diametrically opposed to Christianity. Some music is filled with "I, me, my, mine." But so is Psalm 23. I listen to Christian music in the car and thank God for it.

Now between you and me, I do have some concerns that Christian artists try to please too many masters. Sing something to the glory of God and stop trying to turn every song into a gospel tract.

Sir Aaron said...


I guess you'd be in good company.

Mark said...

Sir Aaron:
I totally agree. I also wouldn't recommend much Third Day or Tenth Avenue North for corporate worship. Some music wasn't meant to be used that way and that's fine. And a lot of it does have to do with the intent of the music leader. Some of them are just too focused on men rather than God when they're singing. Or, in some cases as I've seen, some traditionalists are too focused on technical excellence and we miss out on the emotional element of the song they're singing. I think you can go too far with emotions, but that doesn't mean you remove them completely. And that's what I've been dealing with.

Sir Aaron said...

Third Day's "Thief" practically brings me to tears every time I hear it.

CR said...

Sir Aaron,

Under Hawaiian law, the vault copy of his birth certificate is the better evidence because presumably that vault record would show his birth was registered by a hospital in Hawaii. This is important because of Hawaii's other weird laws.

Even the Hawaii dept. of Home Lands does not accept a certified copy of a birth certificate for its Homestead program.

Like I said, Obama can end this right now by simply releasing his vault copy to the public. Why not have full transparency and lay this issue to rest?

Sir Aaron said...


I already said I agree with your last point, irregardless of what may be gained. (see my last point). I was just curious as to what exactly people are looking for.

Sir Aaron said...

Moving onto another subject:

I never realized that there was a myth that men were pro-life and women were pro-choice. In my experience the men put tremendous pressure on women to have abortions. When I was in So Cal, there was a radio show by Tom Lykas, a vile fellow, who advocated that men should make sure their mates agreed to have an abortion. My church supports a local pregnancy crisis center, and the number of women who choose life after seeing an ultrasound are pretty staggering.

CR said...

Sir Aaron,

You asked a question of what's the difference between a certified copy and a vault copy. And I answered your question. No need to get testy with me.

Sir Aaron said...

LOL, CR. And here I thought you were the one being testy....

Just one of those instances were tone and inflection of face to face communications would have resolved much.

CR said...

Agreed. :=) Something my pastor mentioned not long ago, no matter how hard you try, electronic communication will always come off as a little curt.

Susan said...

CR said: "But state-run media is trying to influence good people like [Sir Aaron] and Susan that if you don't just believe them that Obama is a natural born citizen then we are wearing tin foils."

I'm not saying it doesn't look fishy, CR. The reason I went back to before the election is because it should be obvious that our president probably doesn't need to prove anything on his end at this point--not with all the federal judges throwing cases out left and right because they consider the cases "moot"!

If he remains mum on this, and the lawsuits escalate, it will be interesting to see what kind of "___gate" it may turn into and how he would respond to it. However, knowing how easily the one of our ex-presidents got off the hook with his moral failure, I kind of doubt if this will turn into any "___gate" at all.

Susan said...

(I should have said, "He doesn't see the need to prove anything".)

Susan said...

Oh, and Stan, perhaps love can really be blind after all...?

Stan McCullars said...


threegirldad said...

Speaking of movie theaters and cell phones, consider contacting the management at your favorite spot, and asking them to follow the example of this regional chain.

It has worked wonders since being implemented.

DJP said...

I like that!

Susan said...

Stan, I was referring to your comment about the liberals' "what's not to love" about O.

(Sorry, this is what happens when I mean to respond right away but end up doing something else, only to remember later and come back.)