Friday, December 04, 2009

Hither and thither 12/4/09

Gather 'round, kiddies; in this post-Thanksgiving HT, we have a veritable cornucopia of eclectic goodness:
  • Not a Title of the Week, but an Opening Line of the Week: "Veteran U.S. news producer Bernard Birnbaum passed away on Thanksgiving Day after suffering a fatal heart attack." Yeah, I think it's pretty rare for someone to survive a fatal heart attack.
  • Qu'une surprise! Attendees in the coming Obama White House "jobs summit" will run the complete ideological spectrum all the way from A to... well, A.
  • Can you count the Obamas? I can't.

  • Never too young to start. Conservatism for kiddies in Teach a Donkey to Fish.
  • Fellow iPhone types will want to check out this list of 19 useful iPhone utilities.
  • Star Walk is one pretty amazing app I just got. Homeschoolers should love it; I can't wait until we go somewhere that has stars you can see! It is a detailed map of the heavens, oriented to where you're standing and facing, including skyline and all sorts of neat graphics and information. You turn, it turns. Check out this review.
  • In fact, a university class is working up the first-known iPhone orchestra.
  • Reader Susan points us to a really irksome story about a hero who can't fly his flag.
  • Think a car wash is a safe place? Think again.
  • Staying with cars: have you driven any of the world's 18 strangest roadways? I have, I think, driven Lombard Street.
  • Aww, sticklebats. Turns out The Hobbit won't start filming until next year, then is to come out in 2011
  • Valerie, Don't Click This alert: yet another person who made a nice living entertaining families in a family-oriented comedy wants everyone to know she's embraced an abominable, soul-destroying perversion. It could equally have been a TMI alert.
  • Oddly, this turns my mind straight to J. I. Packer... or Packer turns my mind back to this. I wish I didn't know things about Packer, too. Every evangelical loves Packer. On what has Packer made his career? We love him for Knowing God, a wonderful book. We love him for Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, for his introduction to John Owen's Death of Death. He's made a name for himself as a big lover of (and authority on) the Puritans.
  • Yet Packer's stances have hardly comported well with those professions. Read Evangelicalism Divided, by Iain Murray, and you'll never see Packer (nor John Stott, nor Billy Graham) the same way. However, you will understand why Packer signed the abomination that was ECT, and why he's signed the horrible idea that is the Manhattan Declaration. And then you find that Packer embraced Mother Teresa as a just-fine-and-dandy model Christian believer... just, yikes!
  • By the way, is Mother Teresa to squishy "evangelicals" what Jesus is to cultists? I.e. they just think Teresa/Jesus has such a good name that they want to hitch up to it, no matter how poor the fit? How pathetic is that? This same Mother Teresa who said that "conversion" would make you a better Hindu, a better Muslim, a better Buddhist; that everyone already is a child of God; that a cracker is Jesus; who (like the Pope) said Mary is "co-redemptrix." This is Packer's model Christian.
  • So here's a question no one would — but someone should — ask Packer: "You have written often and ardently of your great love for the Puritans. What would they say about your years of publicly embracing Roman Catholicism?" The followup would be, "And what do you know that they didn't?"
  • Remember Susan Boyle, the dowdy Scotswoman who knocked Simon Cowell off his chair, on Britain's Got Talent? Her album is out, and it is shredding all sorts of records. I note that it features some Christian music.
  • Science Channel puts up 10 science hoaxes. Interesting list, but two of the biggest hoaxes are missing.
  • Speaking of one of which, reader Mark Christensen points us to a music video chuckling over Climategate, along with a slew of related links.
  • Question: which institution says "We do sacred work"? Is it (A) a hospital; (B) a hospice; (C) a Gospel rescue mission; or (D) an abortuary? If you said "D," of course, you're right.
  • Because in PoMo America, you just have to say you're ______, to be ______.
  • But enough about The Manhattan Declaration.
  • All the stories and rumors about Tiger Woods and his alleged immoralities (do you really want to read more about it?; if so, click here, or here) have me thinking about Proverbs.Well, everything has me thinking about Proverbs these days. But specifically all the promises of the benefits of the Way of God's Wisdom. Wisdom and godliness are inseparable. We read Solomon wrongly if we take all those promises as being directly spiritual and emotional. Some of them also accrue to the way God has made the universe and life. For instance, promises such as these include not having to worry about getting your girlfriend pregnant, not having to worry about jealous husbands, not having to worry about lawsuits and scandal (honest, truthful ones, anyway), not having to worry about just laws, not having to worry about STD's, not having that ongoing nagging guilty paranoid misery that comes with undealt-with sin, or the dread of what will happen as a sure and certain consequence.
  • Oh, dear.

  • Not too much of a surprise. Consumer Reports rates ATT as last place in customer satisfaction — yet most say they'd purchase an iPhone again. Love my iPhone, and hear the bad rap on ATT, but I do have to say I haven't had any major service issues yet.
  • A treat for Lego fans: a really well-done Legotized clip from The Matrix. View the clip here; view it side by side with the original here. The makers have some detailed breakdown and how-we-did-it here. Parental notice: no lingering up-close violence, but you may want to preview.
  • For homeschooling parents of older kids... it's not only tasty, it's scientific!
  • Afraid we must expect more insanity like this, as sexual perverts bring in children as their playthings and society grants increasing false legitimacy to their alliances.
  • Father fail. It's ironic. Our local conservative talk station is running scads of promotions for a new movie whose title is a pop-psychology/universalist's dream: Everybody's Fine.  The irony is in almost back-to-back clips of de Niro's character saying, "I just want to be a good father... As long as you're happy, it doesn't matter what you do, I'll be proud of you." The imagination runs wild; clearly didn't get his idea of fatherhood from Solomon.  Must be a hedonist.
  • Okay, now, dude: if you can't admit that this is cute, seek help.
  • Don't let my cats see this.
  • But you may see this:

  • After all of which, I can only say:





Andrew D said...

Are the 2 biggest missing scientific hoaxes:
1) man-made global warming
2) the theory of evolution

DJP said...


Fred Butler said...

Should have had some lego blood spray in that Matrix video, but oh well.

Anonymous said...

I've driven The Magic Roundabout before. From memory it's possible to drive round (legally) in both a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. It's a bit like Scottish Country Dancing, but with cars.

Anonymous said...

I have driven The Magic Roundabout before. From memory, it's possible to travel round in both a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. It's like Scottish Country dancing for cars.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Good Friday morning :0)

Go Susan Boyle.
Pray for Isabelle (Miller?)
And love that "Do-Re-Mi" chart.

I was going to say that the Star Wars Lego Sleigh was 'mixing too many dynasties', but why not mix fantasy with fantasy?

On the other hand last year my boys made me a wonderful Lego Nativity :0)

AndrewD wins the prize!

lee n. field said...

"Science hoaxes"

I assume you've read Icons of Evolution. I was taught every single item he talks about, as fact. Every single one, at one point or another at every level, from high school through a BS in biology.

DJP said...

My Josiah says he counts 20+ Obamas, btw.

RT said...

Thanks for the usual eclectic and amusing H & T. I have driven Lombard street of course, being a native San Franciscan, and also the High Five in Dallas. I absolutely avoid driving in the UK. Not only do you have to negotiate roundabouts, but you have to negotiate them from the wrong side of the road. I was surprised when I first visited the Persian Gulf to find that although they use roundabouts extensively, they drive on our side of the road - an example of the via media, which inexorably leads me to comment on your comments about J. I. Packer. In many ways he so typifies the Anglican worldview, admiring the Puritans while simultaneously rejecting most of what they stood for. The via media often leads to the via varia, although I am personally pretty comfortable with the 39 Articles of Religion and have never met a puritan that I could put up with for very long.

DJP said...

Then there's Scotland, where (A) wrong side of the road, (B) roundabouts, AND (C) roads are often 1-lane or 1.25-lane, with occasional turnouts.

What about JC Ryle? Excellent guy, in spite of being Anglican.

RT said...

In spite of ? !! Probably what you think of me as well, although maybe I am presuming on the "excellent guy" part. The fact is there are plenty of great dead Anglicans, just not that many living ones.

Aaron said...

I have a homeowners association. You absolutely have to go to the meetings, because people complain over the most trivial things. That guy should fight them in will drive up everyone's dues. Then he'll be really popular.

Re: Valerie. Does everybody else see this digusting trend to view lesbainism as sort of hip and fashionable? And then the stupidest reason for deciding she's a lesbian after five kids and three marraiges. I couldn't relate well to men. Ah well, you could have just read Men are from Mars like everybody else.

DJP: The culture's solution to those problems is to throw out Proverbs and hand out condoms. Because it's normal to expect people to exhibit self control in the heat of passion after encouraging them to do what they want whenever they want to do it (except if you want to drink soda or drive your SUV).

I have great sympathy for Lisa Miller. Frankly, I'd do pretty much anything to prevent my daughter from being taken away. Including breaking the law, assuming a new identity, or leaving the country. you'd have to pry my daughter from my cold, lifeless fingers. And even then, you better bring the Jaws of Life.

Ok, Dan. I confess that you said that the video would be cute. I hardened my heart and had myself set to think it would not be cute. Then I melted as soon as I saw it...

GrammaMack said...

Listening to that "having an abortion is a normal experience...from a place of goodness" perversion is about as close as I've come to being physically present in the garden with Eve and the serpent.

RT said...

The result of the Miller case is monstrous of course but legally justified. Judges take a rather dim view of litigants who ignore court orders, which Miller evidently did when she terminated visitation without the court's permission. The rule of law is too important to be set aside because some woman can't make up her mind about whether she is a lesbian or not.

Jay said...

I've been following the Lisa Miller/Janet Jenkins case for awhile and it is indeed an insane mess. I have friends who are friends of Lisa Miller and although I admire her decision to follow God she's also done some things that haven't helped the situation.

That whole debacle really does show why leaving issues of marriage and adoption up to individual states has major drawbacks. Although Jenkins has no claim to the child biologically that's only because she didn't choose to carry her. If she had, then Miller would have no claim to the child even though many Christians would think that she'd be the best parent.

The main issue is, of course, that the custody and civil partnership laws are different in both Vermont and Virginia, and there has been talk about this particular case being used to start a federal unification of marriage and custody laws (for good or ill, I guess).

CR said...

It will probably take me a couple of months to go through all your links!!! But some of those iphone apps were pretty cool. I really appreciate this stuff you share, Dan.

The star walk thing is cool too. I had an 8 inch meade telescope when I was a kid and did a lot of star gazing. I have it done it in years, but I always had an interest in astronomy. That was what I wanted to be in life at one time - an astronomer. (The lady was very cute too!)

Mark Patton said...

The 18 roads...awesome visual .... I have maybe driven on the one in NC.

Couldn't finish the abortion video on account of wanting to throw my monitor through the window...and it's the church's.

Cool Matrix Lego.

Unless it is a huge homeschooling family, the periodic chart might add a few pounds.

Thanks for sharing!

Mike Westfall said...

The "Rule of Law", RT?

Are you kidding? There are certain rights that just should not be able to be waived, even if you sign a contract to do so.

The court had no business ordering visitation in the first place.

Paula said...

Here's our local dumb headline of the week: "Locked bank door thwarts Orrville bank robbery" No kidding.

That pro-abort video is horrific. I couldn't even watch the whole thing. I lost count of the number of times she used the words "self" and "good." Only a seared conscience could produce such a video, pleading with women to kill their babies.

Do we know where that Obamacity pic was taken?

Aaron said...

rule of law is too important to be set aside because some woman can't make up her mind about whether she is a lesbian or not.

She made up her mind...and God's law is way more important than any earthly judge's.

SandMan said...

Lots of good stuff today, Dan.

One random comment from me regarding the car wash vid:

If you cannot operate a pressure washer, please, do NOT drive.

Jay said...

She made up her mind...and God's law is way more important than any earthly judge's.

So we're going to start making legal custody decisions based upon which parent is the most Christian?

Now, in this case, obviously I think Miller has the primary custody rights since she's the biological mother. But what if the tables were turned and Jenkins was the one who had become a Christian, renounced her homosexuality, and was seeking the custody of the child? Would Christians be defending Miller's rights as the birth mother if she was still a non-Christian practicing lesbian? Or is it the opposing moral decisions of the two women that matter here?

DJP said...

There has to be a way to be sure sexual perversions don't have civil rights of any sort, and to protect children from being made pawns for perverts.

RT said...

Sir Aaron/ Mesa Mike:
God help our civil society if we can all take a pass on following the law of the state in deference to our own private interpretation of "the law of God." This woman entered into a civil union with another woman and engineered a child in the relationship, which ipso facto conferred rights of visitation and/or custody on the other woman. Unless she is a complete idiot she knew exactly what she was doing and chose to do it. Now, because she has broken up with the woman of her dreams she wants to hide her defiance of the court behind the tattered remnants of her conscience. "God's law" indeed! Were she truly a Christian she would have made her case through the legal process instead of taking the law into her own hands. It is merely fatuous to argue, as some have, that she had no choice. Fatuous I say because courts to whom no appeal has been made are incapable of ruling - how convenient for Ms Miller.

SandMan said...

And that Mr. Philips is why you will not hold a public office. ;-)

I agree with your statement, but O my, that is gonna leave a mark... if/when that one wafts toward the liberal side cyber-space.

1st problem is that you get your neck chopped off every time you even suggest that gay/lesbianism is a sin/perversion. Sadly, very few people in society will agree with that definition of pervert.

2nd, I get a little antsy when we start calling for the removal of civil rights of anyone in the U.S., because you know, it seems like it would be very easy for them to determine that me and my Christian cohorts are the perverts and that I should be stripped of my civil rights. Slippery slope.

Again, not disagreeing, but I think that this country is sadly way past that point.

SandMan said...

BTW, that is also why it is refreshing to read this blog. NO punches pulled when it comes to biblical truth.


DJP said...

Yes sir, I am not popular among raised-pinkie bloggers.

Well, all people don't have all civil rights. Perversion is not defined as a civil right in the Bill of Rights. I think it important *not* to grant rights nor standing to perversion.

There's a large gap between toleration and enablement.

Aaron said...

Yes, RT. It was against the law of God when she made the agreement. Now the courts are trying to enforce an agreement which was made contrary to the law of God. Now we can argue over whether she exhausted every legal option before choosing to disobey the court's order. Perhaps there was more to be done legally first. But if that ultimately lands where she is now....well, you already know where I stand.

Jay: I would not be supporting her rights as a birth mother then, unless of course, it was her egg. But if I were king, I wouldn't let...well, let me just stop there.

Jay said...

Well I think when I said birth mother I meant biological mother. As in, the one who produced the egg. I'm actually not aware of how Isabella Miller was conceived, or if either woman's egg was used. I assume Miller is her biological mother, and didn't just carry her, all I know at the moment is that Miller was the one who carried her.

If Isabella was conceived using a sperm and egg from two completely different and anonymous parties (which is often the case with IVF children), then that would really raise a lot of Christian ethics questions about this case.

RT said...

Hopefully no one would disagree with you in theory, Dan, but civil rights in this country are attached to persons, not ideas. It is hard to define and harder to identify "perversion". I personally am willing to allow the Bible to define, but am reluctant to allow the government to identify, which I am afraid is the only option where "civil" rights are concerned. In point of fact, of course, it is the government that does both the defining and the identifying of perversion which is why I think the best we can do is exhort, lead by example and, of course, vote.

Mike Westfall said...

Just sayin' that there are certain rights that the law should not allow you to waive, signed civil contract notwithstanding. And, I believe there are such rights in other areas of jurisprudence. Why not here too?

RT said...

Sir Aaron:

The problem with this particular case is that she didn't exercise any of her legal options before proceeding to take the law into her own hands, and for that I have little sympathy (as perhaps my previous comment intimated).

jmb said...

"Big Barack Is Watching You."

Very good H&T.

MJ said...

Great H & T. It's a highlight of my Friday and I'm not sure if that's ok or if it's a sad commentary on my life. I've been on Lombard Street, Hana Highway and the High Five in Dallas more times than I care to mention. I was intrigued that the Capulin Volcano road was included on the list. I've passed it many times between Raton, NM and Dalhart, TX but never driven to the top of the thing. Maybe next time.

NoLongerBlind said...

Re: the 18 Strangest Roadways,
sometimes progress takes away all the fun!

I remember driving the Road to Hana with my wife, back in 1983 I believe, when more than 50% of it was unpaved. Making the trip around to Hana was one of the must-see (and do) highlights of our Maui vacation, along with driving up to Mount Haleakala to see the sunrise!

We were told that the Road to Hana was only drive-able a 4-wheel drive vehicle; 'course, that didn't stop us from doin' it in our rented Honda Civic!

(Side note: being "B.C." for both of us, we found it quite interesting to discover, along the roadside, some local "farmers" un-discretely selling their harvested crop, properly referred to as Maui-Waui.)

Back then, the "I Survived the Road to Hana" t-shirts really meant something!

SandMan said...

You mentioned the Manhattan Document in this post or I would not comment on this here.

For kicks, I went back and read the late-comers comments on your 19 Questions post on Pyro this past week. Sheesh! I gotta hand it to you for standing in there with them as long as you did.

It is really so sad how blind these RC folks are (I've mentioned before that I used to be one...still have many extended family in the RCC). What I think is striking is that it isn't an ignorant blindness. They have this well-formed argument with language that nearly matches the way we would articulate our faith...only their terms don't mean any of the things ours mean. Frustrating.

Hope you won't mind me rambling about it here...this being the eclectic H&T that it is. Perhaps I'll blog about it later this week at my place...just finished a post today... (No link-spamming).

DJP said...

Thanks. I find a lot of the response to the questions disappointing.

I would think that someone with a Biblical grasp of the Gospel, who could look at that list and find himself becoming angry or panicky or argumentative — I would hope he'd do a double-take at himself and say, "Whoa, Bucky; something's seriously wrong with my heart if that list makes me that mad."

Oh well. I can always hope and pray something like that's going on, backstage.

SandMan said...


The fact that they many would skip past the Gospel part of your argument to defend social activism at any cost really proves your point.

And I agree that it is "disappointing."

Peter Eddy said...

Hi Dan,

For the scientific hoaxes, they might not have posted "evolution," but number 2(!) was the archaeoraptor.

I once was at an Answers in Genesis presentation and a group of skeptics came (for which I was at first grateful) seemingly with the intention of being as obnoxious as possible (which was of course irritating). When one of the speakers made mention of a complete lack of transitionary forms, one of the skeptics started naming alleged transitionary forms that have been discovered, but he wouldn't accept it when the speaker said that each of the forms he listed were frauds.

Good for that site for recognizing that frauds do exist. Ideally, though I have severe doubts that this will ever happen, the next step will be to throw out evolution with all of the frauds that have been presented.

You once said, "If you do not actually know Hebrew or Greek: . . . you probably should not say any Hebrew or Greek word." I know you tried, and it is indeed a literal translation, but, ultimately, I'm saying, "Swing and a miss." En français nous disons, « Quelle surprise », pas « Qu'une surprise ». Tu étais proche.

I do appreciate your Hithering and Tithering, so I regret that my criticism might suggest otherwise.


lee n. field said...

"Teach a Donkey to Fish" is counterbalanced by (I kid you not) Why Mommy is a Democrat and it's companion books, "Why Daddy is a Democrat", and "Momma Voted for 0bama".

The stupid! It burns!

DJP said...

Lee, LOL.

Peter, you totally have me dead to rights. < whispers > I was trying to give a chuckle to my daughter.

The irony is I had thought it should be "Quelle {word for "surprise"}... but I let the translator overrule me.

I'd never do it in a sermon, mind. In fact, I have used a French phrase in preaching, but I checked it first.

Solameanie said...

I was waiting for Darth to throw some Force Lightning at those Tauntaun reindeer.

Susan said...

Peter, I'm curious as to how you managed to put the double brackets in there without Blogger giving you problems. C'est très chouette!

Susan said...

Dan: "I'd never do it in a sermon, mind. In fact, I have used a French phrase in preaching, but I checked it first."

Never fear, Dan. Just ask yourself cette question très importante:

"What Would Calvin Do?"

DJP said...

Rough crowd.

Pardon me: très rough crowd.

Peter Eddy said...

That's good, Dan. *Thumbs up.*

Susan, it's not HTML code, they're standard symbols so Blogspot has no trouble with them.