Friday, February 26, 2010

Hither and thither 2/26/10

Work on my Proverbs book continues apace. Honestly, the more I work on it, the more excited I get... yet at the same time, the more I work on it, the more there seems to be done. There's probably a mathemetical formula that explains this. Anyway... enjoy!
  • Those of us still unhappy about the Terri Schiavo travesty will note the story of the 60 year old comatose farmer, whom doctors said might never recover or would be severely impaired — who has "come to" and is expected to make a full recovery. The happy news of his first grandchild's birth brought him out of it.
  • So President Obama had a few Republicans over for his Admiral Ackbar Summit... er, Healthcare, whatever... thingie. At the sum, Obama basically insinuated threats that he and the Dems would ram it through no matter what. Big surprise there; I guess if they can change what "marriage" means, we can transform the etymology of "Democrat" from "people power" to "overpowering the people." 
  • But anyway, the meeting was all about listening, the Pres had said. Indeed. As it turns out, "listening" meant Obama (Listener in Chief) talked for 119 minutes, the Dems for 114... and the Republicans for 110 minutes. 
  • Only Obama could refer to the actual 2400-page bill as a "prop." Nonetheless, Rep. Ryan reportedly made devastating use of the time he had.
  • Did you know we have a new penny? I didn't, but BSIL did.  We don't think much of it. (Interesting factoid: costs more than a penny to make a penny. Probably explains a lot, right there.)
  • Reader Pastor John tries to lure us to this game. I avoid such games on principle: not because I'm a good man, but because a man's got to know his limitations. I'm quite hookable; so best not to start. Too many other things I need to do. (The good pastor also points us to an answer page, in case you give up.)
  • And besides... I can't win that one.  :^P  And you'll be telling me you figured it out in 23 seconds, and I'll hate you a little bit.
  • I'm pretty open-minded about meat. Not as open-minded, perhaps, as Phil Johnson. And not as open-minded as this:

  • Reader NoLongerBlind points out a video I think I may have had up before -- but what the hey. Reportedly it's a couple who's been married 62 years, who walks into the Mayo Clinic and treats everyone to a delightful impromptu performance. I think they've managed to keep some fun in their marriage!
  • Anyone else have a horrible, horrible tax surprise thanks to President Obama's tax tricks? And a darker financial future? You can put us down for a couple of "Missed Me Yet?" T-shirts, if not this April 15, then certainly the next.
  • I think everyone in my family plays chess except me; unsure of DAOD. I knew how briefly around High School, then left it along with most board games. Anyway, young Jonathan (10) is turning out to be a worthy competitor, and Josiah is a master-strategist. Which is a clunky lead-in to ten cool and/or geeky chessboards. One of my beloved readers might be interested to know there's a Doctor Who chess board.

  • Confirmed sourpuss Fred Butler grumblingly sent me a bunch of cute pictures titled "Who needs a babysitter?" Here are a few.


  • Staying on the subject of Butler, the [snide epithets self-deleted] blog First Things featured some kid's proud, billowy tale of his defection from a Biblical view of creation. That's not noteworthy. What is noteworthy is Fred Butler's thorough fisking. Well done, Fred.
  • I like my Hyundai Santa Fe very much. So it's with interest I note Hyundai's unveiling of a 78MPG diesel model.
  • Heh. Pirate desk. Arrrh.







        Colloquist said...

        Accursed frogs.


        David Regier said...

        It took way more than 23 seconds.

        zostay said...

        "[T]he more I work on it, the more there seems to be done."

        In software development, we (or maybe just I) call that the 90-10 rule. Perhaps the same applied to writing. It states: 90% of the project takes 90% of the time to complete. The remaining 10% takes the other 90% of the time.

        DJP said...

        I like it.

        And the math checks out!

        Barbara said...

        Not to take any sides, but just to clarify - medically speaking, there is a big difference between a coma and a persistent vegetative state.

        Just sayin'.

        threegirldad said...

        At the sum, Obama basically insinuated threats that he and the Dems would ram it through no matter what.

        "I won. I will trump you on that."
        --Barack Obama, January 23, 2009

        DJP said...

        To which the GOP congressmen need to have the spine to answer, "You know what, Mr. President? We won, too. And the folks who elected us did not send us here to represent you or be your rubber-stamp, but to represent them and fight for their interests."

        SolaMommy said...

        LOL @ "Admiral Ackbar Summit :-D

        Is that pumpkin ice cream with chunks of roadkill? Or are they 2 separate flavors?

        The Driscoll link won't work for me :-(

        That picture of the 3 toddlers is great...

        Herding Grasshoppers said...

        Cracking up at the couple playing the piano... 90 years old and still with the love pats. Cute.

        Ew. Head in beans. I can only imagine how the Grasshopper boys would react. Epic.

        Happy Friday :D

        Rachael Starke said... cupcake...cannot....resist....

        The Driscoll Avatar take kinda had me rolling my eyes a bit. When you already believe in revelatory dreams and such, it's not a far leap to see demons in every corner.

        It seems he fell into the trap of spending too much time on the false, (and doing it in far too exaggerated a way) instead of concentrating on the true, and letting what's true put what's false to shame and derision.

        Hmm, that kind of reminds me of what a certain apostle did when some people he knew were getting enticed by some wacky spiritualism themselves... ;)

        zostay said...

        On the Terri Schiavo thing, there is a big difference between a coma and PVS, but, as a recent CNS New post points out, it's recently been discovered that the kind of PVS a patient is in is very frequently misdiagnosed. Though, that revelation does not change my view of this particular case.

        JackW said...

        I too loved the Butler “fisking,” but was taking him to task for reading the First Things blog all about? It’s practically the Frank Turk show over there and thanks to the ubiquitous incoherent blabbering of a certain McRevered one, it’s almost as entertaining as H&T.

        jmb said...

        The baby on dog photo:

        "So we're agreed? I won't eat him if you'll take off the tie."

        Mike Westfall said...

        You've all probably seen the Roadkill Cafe menu passed around where you work or wherever. I'll bet you all think that the existence of the Roadkill Cafe is just a joke. But it isn't.

        threegirldad said...

        It’s practically the Frank Turk show over there and thanks to the ubiquitous incoherent blabbering of a certain McRevered one, it’s almost as entertaining as H&T.

        Not for me; not anywhere close. The signal-to-noise ratio is all out of whack. There's only so much "self-indulgent, passive-aggressive codswallop" that I'm willing to endure (and just to be clear, I'm not talking about Frank).

        I do have the link to Frank's author page bookmarked (he posted it at his blog awhile back). Other than that, not terribly interested.

        Kay said...

        Chuffed with the chess set :-D

        Paula said...

        Stupid frogs : (

        Love the "babysitter" pics. We once had a fish tank with some aquatic frogs in it. The mini dachshund would sit and stare at it for hours at a time. One day the frogs just disappeared. Not even a splash.

        Did anyone catch that Dick Durbin quoted a SOCIALIST writer during his Health Care talking points (after INSISTING that this is no Socialist plot)?

        "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."(quoting Anatole France)

        Read France's extreme Socialist views here from a 1914 NYT article.

        Paul Ryan and Lamar Alexander scored 3-pointers from the perimeter! Maybe even half court.

        Adam Pohlman said...

        The couple at Mayo just this week made a return visit. Two years ago they did this and it was posted on youtube. They returned here to Rochester this week and gave an encore performance. They have become celebrities here.

        Here is a nice little article about them from our local paper:

        Casey said...

        "Anyone else have a horrible, horrible tax surprise thanks to President Obama's tax tricks?"

        Actually, since I am quite poor right now with a few dependents under my wing and am back in grad school, my tax return** was significantly higher than I expected. I can't help but feel a little dirty about it, knowing that the money is coming at the expense of those who worked hard for it as well as from a federal government who continues to borrow to fund this sort of thing. I will nevertheless do my best to be a good steward of the money, but I wish I there were more job opportunities instead of more handouts and government tax credits. Sorry about your horrible surprise, though.

        **I don't know if it's technically right to call it a return since it was more than I paid in, but still.

        CR said...

        The democrats do seem intent to "Rahm" healthcare through but I don't think Congress will be able to "Rahm" healthcare through the reconcilation process in the House of Representatives. President Obama said that if Americans don't like what they're doing, "that's what elections are for." (A stinging reminder that elections have consequences - thank you Obama voters).

        But elections is the very reason why reconcilation may not be doable - too many moderate democrats that are not comforable with it in the House. Reconcilation could pass the Senate but not the House.

        Joshua said...

        The Driscoll URL has an extra space at the end of it, just so you know. And after seeing Avatar today, I leaned a lot more towards your opinion of the film.

        DJP said...

        I didn't find a space, but I did find some odd thing. I think I've fixed it now.

        Tell more, if you like, Joshua. At the time of the review, some here felt I was too easy on Cameron.

        Aaron said...

        Yeah, knew about the penny and knew it cost more to make. Coins and bills have made significant changes over last decade and are in for a lot more.

        Which tax tricks are you talking about? I haven't seen significant changes this year. You can estimate your taxes starting in about Oct (prior to the filing date).

        Aaron said...

        P.S. I'm willing to help explain any differences in your tax returns if any of my brothers and sisters need assistance. I really hate to see my friends pay a CPA for simple returns (no disrespect to CPAs)

        Rachael Starke said...

        Re: the tax thing, I'm wondering if perhaps Dan was thinking of those of us, like him, who have the misfortune of living in California? On top of whatever has been happening at the federal level, we Californians are "blessed" with some of the highest state taxes in the country. Add sales tax on top of it, and my family pays something like %40 of my husband's income in taxes.
        If that's not economic slavery, I don't know what is....
        We have a wonderful accountant (a Mormon, God bless him by saving his soul) who does absolutely everything legal to keep our money away from the government.

        Paula said...

        Our effective Federal tax rate went up from 6.04% last year to 6.19% this year. I'm not feeling the love with Obama's middle class tax cut.
        : (

        CR said...

        Even though I'm a CPA, I don't do taxes. My work is like the psychiatry of medicine. I only studied taxes to pass the CPA exam.

        That said, the surprises will really hit us 2011 when the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 expire in 2010. It will hit us in several ways. One of course, is the tax rate will affect many us especially in the middle class.

        DJP: One of my beloved readers might be interested to know there's a Doctor Who chess board.

        Oh, my gosh, oh my gosh. See, I read your H&T in small bites so I don't miss anything and I just read this part...OH MY GOSH...I'm so tempted. Makes me want to wanna rent the Dr. Who (Tom Baker) series. I brought a mug to one of my college physic classes, it was a mug that I bought during the 30 year anniversary and it was a mug with the Tardis and if you poured hot water the Tardis disappeared. Aaaah, the memories.

        CR said...

        The Piano Duet was cute...

        Barbara said...

        I'm glad to see Driscoll sees those kinds of messages coming through in modern media. It really is constant and subversive. I have the same struggle with Akeelah and the Bee, which I only just recently watched. Taking what would be a perfectly wonderful, heartening little story, and polluting it by filling it up with basing character development on this worldly, satanic lie:

        Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

        More of Genesis 3 all over again. And Christian reviewers miss it over and over again, focusing instead on moral content and counting cuss-words.

        DJP said...

        Interesting, Barbara. That's in my queue for a family movie. Would you not recommend it, recommend it with cautions, or...?

        Barbara said...


        I would recommend it as a means to teach kids how to think Biblically about these messages that constantly surround us, because they do seem to be impossible to get away from and they do creep into the church such that people miss it even as it begins to affect their views about themselves and their world in relation to God. It truly is a wonderful little story, nearly brought me to tears a few times. It deals honestly with pain, especially with the struggles and means people use to try to survive and deal with life after loss when they don't have the reality of faith in a sovereign God to lean on. Can't help but to cheer for the little girl and hope that her family and her coach would eventually find true, lasting healing in the person of Christ.

        Paula said...

        CR wrote, "brought a mug to one of my college physic classes,

        I read this about 4 times intrigued by the idea that you might have taken psychic classes! What a difference a couple letters make! : )

        CR said...


        Definitely, my fault, should have written physics, not physic.

        Fred Butler said...

        but was taking him to task for reading the First Things blog all about?

        Yeah! What he said. And after I crescendoed my post with a thought citation from you, too. =-)

        By the way -- and perhaps this reveals some lack of cultural awareness on my part (homeschool and all) -- who's the dude in the Buzz lightyear suit?

        Aaron said...

        Just an important detail: Your effective tax rate can go up and down each year even if the tax rates remain the same. Your tax rate is calculated based upon your "taxable income" (with a few exceptions). Above the line and below the line deductions can change your taxable income from year to year. Therefore, it may not be Obama's fault that your effective tax rate increased.

        Aaron said...

        With regards to Mark Driscoll,

        I'm always a bit concerned when somebody says something like avatar is a "demonic, satanic film." He also says there is overt demonism on display in the movie. I do agree with his statement "See, in that movie, it is a completely false
        ideology, it’s a sermon preached

        I'm always a little leery in blaming Satan for all evil, for all forms of false propaganda, for all false messages of pantheism, etc. Surely, I believe Satan and his minions are up to no good encouraging, cajoling and promoting evil. But we are born with a natural inclination towards evil. So why is this movie demonism rather than plain ol sinful nature in full display?

        I just think that as Christians we ought to select our words with a bit more care.

        Barbara said...

        Sir Aaron,

        I would agree that we are naturally inclined to like and to believe the lie, but we're not the authors of the lie. I think that's the point Driscoll's making, however hyperbolic it may have been stated; I know it's the point I make.

        donsands said...

        "Looked at on a level playing field, the true ten-year cost of the bill is $2.3 trillion rather than $950 billion, Ryan said."


        That's a muy muy mucho amount of mammon right there.

        I don't think we realize just how much a billion dollars is, let alone a trillion dollars; especially our most ignorant leaders in Washington DC. They are out of their minds; completely insane totally cracked.

        Loved those pics from Fred. Wonderful.

        Aaron said...


        That's not the point he was making. That particular sermon was about straight up Satanic and Demonic activity. Within the context of his sermon, it is clear that Driscoll is saying that demons are directly involved in the prodution of Avatar's message.

        And BTW, the Bible doesn't say we are inclined to like and believe the lie. It says our hearts are desperately wicked.

        Aaron said...


        I personally think $2.3 trillion is a conservative estimate. The notion that we can recover "waste, fraud, and abuse" is a silly one. Every organization, company, and government entity is going to have waste and abuse. It's just that a bigger government will have more. There isn't much you can do to prevent it (except shrink the government). Likewise fraud is going to be difficult to control because law enforcement is not really capable of stopping it before it happens, we can merely react after it happens. Secondarily, any program to prevent fraud is usually jettisoned fairly quickly since it inevitably keeps some from recieving their welfare payments (I'm using welfare broadly here). Politicians don't like that and would rather deal with the fraud, which, of course, increases as a result. Computer software is also horribly expensive to implement on such a wide scale so upgrades suffer.

        Barbara said...

        And I respectfully disagree with you, Sir Aaron, to a point. I agree that our hearts are desperately wicked, and that that is why we tend to like and believe and perpetuate the lie. But Genesis 3 tells me who the author of the lie is. And if the Pharisees were of their father, the Devil, then so are these forms of media that perpetuate the very lie that makes people comfortable and happy in their looking to themselves instead of to Christ for the "divine" and which tells our society that creature-worship is good and Creator-worship is ridiculous. I have no more trouble calling out the demonic authorship of that concept than I do in calling it out in the hyper-charismatic circles where people are barking and laughing in derision and calling it "holy". We just have a lot of "Eves" out there who are deceived and blinded, so they pass it along with good intentions, and a lot of "Adams" who aren't deceived, but know better and bite anyway.

        Aaron said...


        Setting aside my other points for a now, there is a bit of nuance that's being lost. It's one thing to say, Satan is the author of the "lie" therefore, anything carrying the same message is of it's father, Satan, and therefore demonic in origin. It's wholly another to imply direct demonic influence over a particular movie. And Driscoll's article definately has a charismatic flavor to it, IMHO.

        Barbara said...

        Yeah, I disagree with Driscoll on the authority issue because I do not see in Scripture where we have authority over them, but as one who comes face to face with those monsters myself - as Spurgeon did too (All of Grace, Chapter 11)- I agree with the rest of it. The hiss from the garden is just too loud in these things, and it's the same old hiss telling the same old lie.