Friday, February 12, 2010

Hither and thither 2/12/10

Howdy! And now, HSAT....
  • Well, who knew? Turns out my blogging is a public health service! Think I can get a grant for Hither and Thither?
  • Evidently, if you really want to experience Avatar — see it in Korea
  • Reader (and — did you know? — John Piper fan) Mike Riccardi gives us the scoop on a certain billboard.

  • On that question, Mike says "Yes." I say, "Relative to 0, oh  yeah." Michelle Malkin says "Not entirely."
  • Malkin points to what I agree would be a better billboard:
  • One reminder: remember Candidate Obama pledging no tax-hikes on the middle class? One question: did you believe him? One word: chump.
  • Going to the Roseville Galleria in California anytime soon? Better watch what you discuss with who, unless you have a permit. Otherwise the security guards might bust you, and get you arrested. Kidding? Ha. This is California. I don't have to make this stuff up.
  • Further on the subject of this being California, you know that the populace has twice voted solidly that you can't just call any anything you like "marriage," simply because you want to and it makes you feel bad that you can't. And you remember threats and violence by those model citizens on the losing sides of that vote. Well. Of course it's back in court, again. What you lose at the poll, win in court, is the liberal motto. And of course who's the judge? Of all the judges sitting in all the courts? Some homosexual guy. This could explain some of the really bizarre twists and turns of the trial.
  • Now to balance the scales, a refreshingly sane court decision: Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman granted political asylum to a homeschooling family persecuted by the German government. Interesting read.  (Thanks to reader Mesa Mike for the link.)
  • President (I first thought to write "Professor," and not as a compliment) Obama says he'd listen to GOP ideas of economists approved them. Leaving aside the question of whether that's an accurate insinuation, perhaps he should stop listening to economists (who talk about money and business) and start listening to entrepreneurs who explain why they won't create jobs under his presidency — like this guy.
  • Reader Berry Davis shows us that more can be done with Parisian subway tickets than we might have thought.

  • Don't really watch sports. Didn't watch the Super Bowl. Haven't seen many of the commercials. But this one cracks me up EVERY TIME. 
  • Hunh. Never really tried it like this. 
  • [Part one] I mentioned undeserved credit a bit in a post over at Pyro. How Democrats ever got and retained a reputation for favoring (Constitutionally-defined) civil rights (such as free speech) boggles the mind. [Part two] Goodness, some pressure might have befallen the Dem demagogue. He reversed his decision. Well, yay.
  • I'll be cycling through some Star Trek LOLcats for awhile, thanks to reader Tim Bertolet. Here's the first installment:

  • The Title of the Week comes from our sallow-skin, gaunt, hollow-eyed, sunken-cheek friends the Vegans. Ready? Nothing in your mouth? Here goes: Vegan Spinach Pie, or How To Turn Your Urine into an Ideal Hydroponic Solution for Plants! Om nom nom! Where do I get mine?
  • Here's a runner-up: How to Lessen the Strong Taste of Brussels Sprouts. Which is to say, how to make them taste better. Which is to say, how to make them not taste like Brussels sprouts.
  • I have my own recipe for that, in case you'd like to know. Get pen and paper ready. First, you cook up the Brussels sprouts with butter, diced garlic cloves, and some Mrs. Dash, the tomato and basil version. Put them all on a plate, with a sprig of parsley. Then empty the plate into the trash, and replace with a dozen pieces of extra-crispy fried chicken. Voila!
  • People I respect deeply have been known to diss James Dobson. Not me, ever. I refer you to this appreciation by Pastor Tim Bayly.
  • Finally:








    threegirldad said...

    I'm not sure how much difference it makes that President Obama won't listen to Republican economists.

    "If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion."
    --George Bernard Shaw

    Sir Aaron said...

    I sincerely hope REpublicans don't meet with OBama. They should just annouce that a meeting is totally unnecessary as we have a list of our ideas that you can read, and we've posted them on the internet for everyone to read.

    Rhology said...

    Great cats.

    Here's a basket o' kitties outside my place in Japan a few years back.

    Brad Williams said...


    Thank you for making me very angry before 10:00. This comment put me over the top. Can you imagine?:

    Focus on the Family is a far-right, fundamentalist organization that does many good deeds and holds many views that are outside of mainstream thinking.

    This came from a hit-piece on Tebow/Dobson I found from a link on the site you showed us in appreciation for Dobson. It was written by an ESPN guy.

    Anyway, when, oh when, will people get it into their heads that Christians are, dare I say it, "mainstream." It's not like we are a huddled minority in these United States. We have a voice. We are common. So common, in fact, that malls have to make laws against us telling other people about Jesus.

    Okay, I'm going for coffee. Dan, let's tell somebody about Jesus today. And if you get the opportunity, break the jaw of the wicked and deliver the prey from his mouth.

    Mike Riccardi said...

    I suppose I might modify my response to match yours, Dan. I responded relative to what we've got now.

    And it sure is a good thing I know you like me (wait, right? ;o) ), because otherwise those little shots might sting a bit more.

    DJP said...

    Absolutely! That's why I felt comfortable you'd take it as a friendly tease.

    Rabbit said...

    Brussels-sprouts hater. :P~~~

    JackW said...

    Jimmy Carter. I am so thankful for him. He opened my eyes to the importance of taking a political stand (and actually voting) and he managed not to give away the Erie Canal. Other than that … awful!

    trogdor said...

    I totally agree with Malkin, except for the point about nominating Harriet Myers. I realize I may be the only person in America who saw it this way, but I think it was a brilliant political move. With how bitter judicial appointments have become, had he nominated Alito straight away there was a good chance of a Borking. Instead Myers took one for the team and was nominated, leading to a week or so of howling protests about how unqualified she was (true enough). Then as the Dems laid out what they supposedly considered qualifications for the Supreme Court, he dropped her and nominated Alito, who exceeded everything they had spent so much energy clamoring for. Completely messed up the opposition - they had gotten what they claimed they wanted, how could they deny him? For such a 'controversial' (that is, sane, and able to read the Constitution) judicial nominee, he got through pretty easily, and much of that was due to being not-Myers.

    It doesn't happen often, so when it does, take note: the ACLU was right on the shameful Ohio House speaker. Good for them.

    That American Thinker article by the guy who shut down his business was great. I remember when he wrote that he planned to do so, and it's good to read his follow-up. I don't know what's so hard to understand about "if you make something harder to do and less worthwhile, people will do it less", but apparently that basic idea escapes liberals (or worse, it doesn't).

    The Brussels sprouts thing reminds me of a cooking competition I saw once where a team had to use tofu as their main ingredient. They wound up winning by cooking it in rendered beef fat and possibly bacon, so the tofu would absorb the flavors of stuff that actually tastes good. One of the judges commented that it tasted nothing like tofu, which is the secret to enjoying tofu, I guess. Now if you have to work that hard to disguise the taste of something, I agree with your solution, eat something that tastes good on its own instead. It's like foods that are "an acquired taste". Whatever. I don't want to work to enjoy food. I don't want to eat it fifty times before it's not disgusting. Give me something that has a taste I "acquire" before it even hits my tongue the first time.

    DJP said...

    It's like foods that are "an acquired taste". Whatever. I don't want to work to enjoy food. I don't want to eat it fifty times before it's not disgusting. Give me something that has a taste I "acquire" before it even hits my tongue the first time.

    That may be funnier than anything in the post. Never leave us, Trog.

    zostay said...

    All other comments aside, brussel sprouts are Good Eats. I will eat them with a fox and in a box and with a mouse and in a house.

    On acquired taste, my favorite acquired taste is one I'm currently partaking of: coffee. A friend of mine once told me that learning to drink coffee goes something like this: (Day 1) Ugh! Why am I drinking this revolting black water!? (Day 2) Ugh! Why am I drinking this revolting black water!? (Day 3) Ugh! Actually... I might be able to get used to this. (Day 4) Ugh! But it's sooooo good!

    DJP said...

    zostay — lol

    Personally, I'd rather eat the fox, the box, the mouse, or even the house.

    As to coffee: you have taken your first step into a larger world.

    Sir Aaron said...

    Brussel sprouts are supposed to be eaten? I always thought they were a plate garnish.

    Citizen Grim said...

    - I never ever had Brussels Sprouts as a kid (my mom hated them, apparently), and had them for the first time about two years ago. I love them! Like tasty little steamy vegetable goodness!

    - The sneering disdain for Dr Dobson in certain circles is ridiculous, and my generation should be ashamed for engaging in it. Too many people want to be part of the "cool clique" and to do that, you have to sneer down your nose at Dobson. Well, I'll have no part of that. Lord God, vindicate the man who takes Your word seriously!

    DJP said...

    Tales are told around campfires, of people who eat Brussels sprouts.

    CR said...


    I don't know that the miers nomination was an intentional political move. It was a genuine appointment by President Bush. Had she been confirmed, she would have been the only evangelical Christian on the court. As the court stands now, none of the justices are evangelical. The conservative justices are Roman Catholic. I think she would have been good for the court - in not only in her jurisprudence, but possibly advancing the gospel among the members of the Court.

    But, I do like having Alito there, I really like having him on the Court...but he will do nothing to advance the gospel within the members of the Court.

    RT said...

    I am sure I will be in the minority in your world Dan, but I have to side with the Galleria. The restriction of free speech on private property is routine and beneficial. Particularly in this case where the restrictions are not absolute, but pertain to "time, place and manner." Imagine owning a business and having to allow every Moonie and Mormon to come in and accost your customers with tracts. You may recall that the krishna's at airports protested this very type of regulation and, thankfully, lost - just as I am reasonably certain the youth pastor will lose. The fact that you (and I, for that matter) agree with the message is neither here nor there. Opening the door for the gospel will open a floodgate for the cults and crazies.

    DJP said...

    he can't ask permission, and proceed only if granted?

    If he persists after folks say "No," there's a problem. If he is pleasant, takes "No" for an answer and moves on, I can't agree with you.

    SolaMommy said...

    Zostay, I taught myself to like coffee back in college. I started with frappuccinos and worked my way up. I still need creamer and sugar, but I love it! It was definitely worth it. I've also taught myself to like dear husband is still working in that himself. Fresh brussels sprouts are good, it's the frozen Jolly Green Giant kind that are slimy and stinky.

    Rachael Starke said...

    As a customer, I'll take the accosting by the Moonies and Mormies any day over being relentlessly harassed by people wanting to sell me Dead Sea lotions and Ayurvedic beanbag warmers or whatever those things are.

    But maybe that's the difference. Those obnoxious potion peddlers pay monthly rent for their space. If they gave him that option, and he turned it down, then perhaps it's the same as if people were handing out political materials?

    But maybe that's the solution. Our church's youth group regularly goes to our local Westfield mall (without a problem), but I wonder how much it would cost to just rent a space with information about the church, etc. The Christian Scientists do it...

    Oh, and I feel compelled to say that I am shocked, shocked I say, that you would support a commercial that obviously promotes and glorifies violence against women.


    RT said...

    Think about it. You own a piece of property which you, as the owner, decide to dedicate to the purpose of buying and selling and from which you hope to make a profit to feed and care for your family. You are not particularly interested in providing a public forum on this property that you paid for and own, but rather you want to create an atmosphere in which your customers will feel comfortable to the point that they will devote their attention to buying what is on offer. Along comes Pastor Pushy accosting your customers and engaging them in conversation, not about buying and selling, but about eternity, God, etc. You recognize that this is not just a casual conversation among friends, but rather a systematic effort to further a religious message. You don't have to, but you offer Pastor Pushy a place and time, a booth maybe or a podium, where and when he can offer his views of eternity, God, etc. but the good Pastor declines, for whatever reason, and continues accosting your customers, at best distracting them from the commerce for which you bought and paid for your property and at worst annoying them and driving them from the premises.

    Upon reflection because you, the business owner, are a Christian, you decide that you will, after all, allow the good Pastor to accost and annoy your customers, judging that the salvation of a single soul is worth the loss of a few sales and that perhaps the lost revenue will be help even out your heavenly balance sheet, anyway which is doubtless in arrears. Next day, along with Pastor Pushy you now have Krazy Krishna, Loonie Moonie and, look, there's Harry Reid preaching mormonism and health care! Can you stop any of them - why no, because you have acquiesed in the creation of a public forum where free speech must be allowed. Your customers, of course, are either too involved in the dialogue to buy anything or they leave in disgust, you go bankrupt, your wife starves to death and your children go to the orphanage. Thus is the inevitable and ineluctible result of allowing the youth pastor to proselytize at the Galleria - Make NO MISTAKE!!

    threegirldad said...

    "Of course, not everybody is comfortable with the idea of eating turkeys, which are, let's face it, living organisms, like dogs or celery. You may wonder: Is there a more humanitarian option that you can serve for Thanksgiving dinner?

    There certainly is: It's tofu, a semi-foodlike substance secreted by soybeans as a defense mechanism. Tofu can be used as a high-protein meat substitute, as well as a denture adhesive or tile grout. In its natural state, tofu is tasteless and odorless, but if you form it into a turkey-shaped lump, season it well, add gravy and bake it for two hours in a shallow pan at 350 degrees, you can also use it for minor driveway repairs."

    --Dave Barry (circa Thanksgiving 2004)

    zostay said...

    Yep. I learned to drink coffee to help ween myself from drinking enormous amounts of pop some years ago. (I did not intend to imply, I'm learning this art today.) I drink it with just a bit of milk, though I'll drink it black if the choice is black or not at all.

    I've become somewhat of a coffee slob of late. I grind my own beans and French press them.

    threegirldad said...

    Learning to Drink Coffee(TM)

    (Day 1) Ugh! Why am I drinking this revolting black water?!

    (Day 2) Ugh! Why am I drinking this revolting black water?!

    (Day 3) Ugh! Why am I STILL drinking this revolting black water?!

    (Day 4) Ugh! This is pointless. Where's the hot chocolate???

    Paula said...

    Threegirldad said, In its natural state, tofu is tasteless and odorless, but if you form it into a turkey-shaped lump, season it well, add gravy and bake it for two hours in a shallow pan at 350 degrees, you can also use it for minor driveway repairs."

    One year we almost convinced our kids that my parents were serving Tofurkey for Thanksgiving:

    "Bubba and Papa have been having heart problems [true] and need to start eating healthier foods,[true] so they'll be serving tofurkey in stead of turkey this year.[well, not so much] I don't want any complaining from the two of you!! BTW, they make those tofurkeys very realistic-looking nowadays [sorta true?]....they even have a spray you can buy to make the house smell like a real turkey![Mmm mmm good!]"

    Regarding the mall evangelist:

    The women gave Snatchko permission to broach the subject, but a nearby store employee said they "looked nervous," so he ordered the evangelist to leave. After Snatchko refused, mall security arrested him.

    So is the guy about the gospel or about drawing a line in the sand to assert his rights?

    Also in that ESPN article cited by Tim Bayly:

    Tebow is not an innocent, and he does not appear to be deluded. He may agree with everything Focus on the Family represents. But he's still a young man, still breathing the fumes of a home-schooled background with two parents who believe in the inerrancy of every single word of the Bible. Now, they could be right and I could be wrong on the Bible thing -- although it's going to be hard to convince me the whole belly-of-the-whale thing wasn't allegory -- but he could be setting himself up to be associated with causes and beliefs that may not be his own. All the qualities that make him admirable -- earnestness, devotion, a willingness to expound on his beliefs -- make him vulnerable.

    The light bulb just went on for me. It used to be that homeschoolers were attacked for having kids who are not socialized. While that criticism is still alive and well, it's been obvious for some time that it's simply not true. More and more, the charge being leveled is that our kids are mindless automatons, incapable of even a single critical thought apart from their domineering fundy parents.

    zostay said...

    threegirldad, that would definitely be my wife's opinion. Of course, she stopped at Day 0 and never got to ugh.

    DJP said...

    Psh. Girls.

    Sir Aaron said...

    Somebody should ask Bayly, what the belly of the "whale" was allegorical for. I mean it's not like there aren't "sea monsters" big enough on display at natural science museums.

    Sir Aaron said...

    I need to wean myself from voluminous amounts of Coke Zero to coffee. But the taste is awful and then your breathe thereafter is downright putrid.

    threegirldad said...

    Tried it "straight up." Tried it with creamer. Tried it with French vanilla, hazelnut, and amaretto flavoring. Tried it 3/4 hot chocolate, 1/4 actual coffee (when I was in high school, the "guaranteed method" for learning to eventually like coffee was to start that way, and gradually switch the ratio of hot chocolate and coffee until you weaned yourself off of the hot chocolate entirely).

    The biology of taste buds is fascinating stuff. Consider, for example, a set of taste buds that despises Brussels sprouts, yet savors coffee.


    DJP said...

    That's different.

    Brussels sprouts are foul!

    Rachael Starke said...

    My husband is the only person I know that can make brussel sprouts edible. And yes, his technique involved bacon fat.

    Paula, that story reminded me of the Thanksgiving we sacrificially spent with some family we love, but have a decidedly different approach to food. We had processed turkey roll and mashed potatoes from a box. I was five months pregnant with my first baby and thought I was going to die of starvation, not to mention hypertension from the salt. Thankfully, that afternoon, we headed up to dear Gramma Honey's farm in Fresno, and I got out of the car and headed straight for their refrigerator, which was loaded with blessedly unprocessed farm-raised turkey and all the (homemade) trimmings.

    threegirldad said...

    That's because you haven't tried them with melted cheese, of course.


    Paula said...

    Rachael said, We had processed turkey roll and mashed potatoes from a box.

    I'm generally a fan of smaller government and keeping 'big brother' out of our private lives, but in this case, there should be some sort of federal law banning such so-called 'foods'.

    Brad Williams said...

    People, people. You must learn to find some form of pleasure in those things that are bitter to the palate, for in the bitter, we may find the providence of God.

    ~Deep Thoughts by Brad

    GrammaMack said...

    Brussel sprouts, coated lightly with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, roasted in the oven until starting to brown, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar...yum!

    trogdor said...

    God declares that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. We have no right to find pleasure in sin. Yes, we are to rejoice in God's redemption and in the display of his glory, but we should not rejoice in sin and death in and of themselves.

    The larger theological point is, Brussels sprouts taste like sin and death.

    threegirldad said...

    Brussel sprouts, coated lightly with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, roasted in the oven until starting to brown, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar...[insert alternate witty ending here]

    Where's Dave Barry when we really need him?

    Susan said...

    Trogdor said: One of the judges commented that it tasted nothing like tofu, which is the secret to enjoying tofu, I guess. Now if you have to work that hard to disguise the taste of something, I agree with your solution, eat something that tastes good on its own instead. It's like foods that are "an acquired taste". Whatever. I don't want to work to enjoy food. I don't want to eat it fifty times before it's not disgusting. Give me something that has a taste I "acquire" before it even hits my tongue the first time.

    Yes, the winning team had the right idea--letting the tofu absorbs all the flavors of all the other ingredients is the best way to cook it, IMHO. To take it a step further, though, if the tofu is prepared correctly, the soybean taste is not disguised--rather, it works together with the surrounding flavors. Judging from the way you describe it, Trogdor, it sounds like you've had some pretty bad experiences with tofu...or Brussels sprouts...or both? All I can say is that when cooked right, tofu--and even Brussels sprouts--can be good eats, although coming from a culture that has pretty much mastered the cooking of tofu, I'd take the soybean blocks over the sprouts any day.

    Susan said...

    And some parting words on the Brussels sprouts--if you think they're bad, they are NOTHING compared to this. (I happen to like that particular vegetable myself--it was an acquired taste for me, but once I got used to it, it's just great. Turns out it is also good for you! [Again, you need to cook it right. I've never tried drinking it from can--that does not sound too appetizing.])

    Solameanie said...

    The only good thing to come out of Brussels is chocolate.

    I love cats. Especially the younger variety.

    I love coffee. Always have. Even as a 2-year-old. Black. Caffeinated. Decaf tastes like the bottom of an ashtray. More than that, coffee can be used in so many things. I can make a killer spice cake with it, including the frosting.

    Finally, Barack Obama. I'm running out of things to say about him and his administration. All I can do is look aghast and shake my head. And that makes my neck hurt.