Friday, July 08, 2011

Hither and thither 7/8/11

Nice, quiet week for the most part. Dealing with the I-hate/am-grateful-for my job issues many of you surely have as well. But had a break between trainees... which is over. Stapled to one today. So that will affect the blogging, again, for the week. Nice guy, sharp, I'll probably be taking orders from him shortly.

Mailed off copies of WTG to my endorsers and a few others. Oh, BTW, some of you have asked about autographed copies. It would be great to be invited to preach or conferencize at your church. I'll be asking if folks want autographs right-side-up, or "tilted." Other ways of meeting that wish are under consideration. It's kind of you all to have asked.

The Proverbs book progresses apace. I hope to have some definite news for you on that soon, including possibly ways to pre-order at a pretty hefty discount. When I know, you'll know.

So, now, to the fun and all!
  • First, because bungee-jumping all by itself evidently is not dangerous enough...
  • Apparently the U. S. Airways definition of "security risk" reads "people who take pictures of rude employees' name tags."
  • Guess Which Party: a Congressman thinks out of the box and proposes lowering the debt-ceiling. Which party, you who say there's not a dime's worth of difference? Democratic? GOP? Socialist? "Independent"? Go on, guess.
  • Yeah, I really have to make these harder, don't I?
  • On that same theme: which party has a senator who said this "I traveled the state of _______ for two years campaigning. I have never met a job creator who told me that they were waiting for the next tax increase before they started growing their business. I’ve never met a single job creator who has ever said to me I can’t wait ’til government raises taxes again so I can go out and create a job. I’m curious to know if they say that in New Hampshire because they don’t say that in _______. So my view on all that is, I want to know how many jobs these tax increases the president proposes will create because if they’re not creating jobs and they’re not creating new taxpayers, they’re not solving the problem." Who, which, whence? That bit of should-be common sense came from Senator Marco Rubio, Republican from Florida.
  • Oh heck, one more. Paula pointed out to me that GOP-led House is moving towards reversing the ban on normal light bulbs. More importantly the GOP House in Ohio passed three pieces of pro-life legislature.
  • New readers: I suppose I should say this occasionally. I am not enamored of the GOP. Neither the GOP nor conservatism is the answer for America's (or anyone's) woes. That would be Jesus Christ, whom we meet in the Gospel. However, in terms of the horizontal plane here, ideas and ideology matter, and of the two viable political parties, only one of them occasionally is friendly to distinctively Christian and wise ideas. See further here and here.
  • Merilee has three slo-mo wet treats for us: a water balloon to the face; a dog lapping up water (note how it scoops it up backwards); and a cat doing the same (ditto).
  • The good news: there's a denomination in America that is growing faster than the US population. The bad news: it's the Assemblies of God, Jimmy Swaggart's home denomination, an Arminian Pentecostal denomination that believes you can't really serve and please God unless you've been Spirit-baptized and you haven't been Spirit-baptized unless you've spoken in "tongues."
  • Reader Susan proposes this as the greatest pitch ever thrown.
  • My family and I love Studio Ghibli films such as My Neighbor Totorro and Spirited Away. Hayao Miyazaki has an eye for beauty and nature that rivals Disney handily. So the upcoming Arriety goes on our list of films-to-see.
  • From what I read and here I find myself wondering: is it easier to be a Muslim in Israel than it is to be a Christian? You know, like in America?
  • Aww, poor guy's stuck. Help him out. Push the button for him. (h-t Mark Lamprecht)
  • Yeah, I'd definitely rank this as a Hopelessly-Mixed-Message Fail:
  • To such muddle-headedness, about the only apposite remark one can part with is... AAAAAAAHHHH!!!
  • Well that, and --


Anonymous said...

The ferrous wheel is definitely the best. *groannn*

Also, the Australia picture is a bit small, but I was able to read it anyway(Ctrl-mousewheel is my friend!)

Looking forwards to Proverbs book info!

JackW said...

You also seem to be right about 98.6 percent of the time. A burden, but someone has to carry it.

DJP said...

Sorry, not sure what happened with the Australia graph. I re-did it; you should be able simply to click on it to get a nice large image as usual, now.

Kirby said...

Just noticing: You now less than 10,000 hits away from a 1,000,000. Instead of some contest where WE get something for being the one millionth, why don't we get you something on your wishlist. The obvious, of course, is buying the book(s). But beyond that???

I think your crazy groupies would enjoy this "reverse" congratulations. We would of course need a list, and, a secure P.O. box :).

word verification: oxisma. (but don't tell mom)

Kirby said...

The US debt ceiling. Here's another strategy: Like many American families, just raise the debt ceiling, go into more debt, and then walk away from the dumb creditors. Who cares about a credit score or a credit rating. We can take down other countries (potential competitors) financially just by living the American Dream. We can win a "cold" war in the security of our enormous air-conditioned house that we cannot afford and will one day walk away from in foreclosure. Congress seems to be doing that with American financial security. And if I held American securities abroad, I'd be very, very nervous.

Persis said...

Love the ferrous wheel.

What a great idea to have boneless bananas in case you don't have the time to debone them yourself.

Looking forward to the release of WTG next month.

DJP said...

Looking forward to the release of WTG next month.

You and me both, Persis — though I'd wager me more nervously than thee!

Robert said...

That story about persecution of Christians in Israel was quite disturbing. It never ceases to amaze me how mob mentality wins out so often.

What more can anybody say about Biden? Heck, what more can anybody say about the unions, either? It is sad that this country has fallen into such an entitlement mentality. It's not just unions, either...many of the young engineers who come to work here all seem to think that they should get everything they want and can't understand why they have to wait for anything. Of course, they don't talk much about how they can serve the company and what they have learned through hard work on projects and from senior engineers.

FX Turk said...

I'm satisfied.

DJP said...

Mission Accomplished.

The Squirrel said...

Bungee-jumping into crocodile-infested waters...

That is NOT on my list of future vacation plans...


David Regier said...

You should incorporate the crosswalk guy into your NEXT! series.

Brad Williams said...


I know that taxes stink whether you have or have not. But how does one decide a fair rate, poor or otherwise? The rich aren't the only job-creators out there, people with little capital start businesses all the time.

My rambling point is to wonder how in the world you create a tax where someone doesn't gripe that htey are being hand-cuffed. Plus, I don't see how taxing the more wealthy at a higher rate on income is really a terrible injustice since the poor pay a higher percentage through sales tax, and it seems that the poor were "taxed" less than the rich in the OT with regard to certain sacrifices (some were across the board).

I don't know what the answer is. I think the balancing the budget is going to hurt no matter what we do. We've grown used to too many programs, and that's top down.

Oh yes, I did manage to make it past the alligator bungee-jump. Is that for real?

RT said...

Reading your post (and links) concerning the Anthony case and abortion brought to mind something I read of Lord Byron's yesterday:
"Here is the moral of all human tales;
'T is but the same rehearsal of the past:
First freedom, and then glory -- when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption, barbarism at last".

We have descended in this country to barbarism of Hunnic proportions under the merest patina of civility.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

I can't help but wonder what happened to the bungee jumper after the initial drop--how close was he on the second bounce and the third?

And I am so thankful for the service this blog does for the public. Not only did I learn how I should be keeping my case of apples (in the fridge), but I also realized that I need a can of keyboard cleaner. My cat likes 04-hundred hours to meow and stick his tail in my face, but I think I have a solution now. Thank you, sir!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

LOVE the ferrous wheel... sweet!

Where, or where is that insane bungee jump? Because I am NOT going there.

Pre-order Proverbs? Discount? Keep us posted :D

And whaaaat??? I could be getting PAID for herding grasshoppers?
Oh. Only if they're for consumption. Ahhh. No thanks ;D


Rachael Starke said...

LOL at the Australia graphic. And, yes, I get asked all those questions (more so when my accent was stronger). I actually had one dear lady compliment me on my English.

The Stop sign is hilarious too. I joke sometimes to my husband that if he hadn't married me, he'd have spent his declining years sitting on his front porch in his boxers shooting at speeders with his antique gun. He doesn't deny it.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Hey Rachael,

Here's the flipside. The image of Americans, sadly, seems to have been formed by Hollywood. (Ack!)

When I lived in Australia I got this all the time:

Do you know any movie stars?

Have you been to Disneyland?

Have you ever been robbed/mugged?


Aaron said...


The problem with having seperate rates for different incomes is that you have what we have today: people paying no taxes who want ever increasing amounts from those who do pay taxes. If everyone paid the same rate then people would think about tax rate increases more carefully. If everyone pays the same rate, any rate is "fair."

Sales taxes aren't as fair as a flat income tax. Sales taxes are a popular replacement for income tax because (a) you have fewer collection points (b) you don't have to collect personal and private information from each and every person in the U.S., just businesses; (c) it gets rid of, at least temporarily, the huge number of special interest tax breaks and (d) sales taxes can't be used to drive social engineering agendas as easily as an income tax.

Aaron said...


The Casey Anthony case exemplifies what law enforcement goes through everyday. First you have to figure out who committed the crime. Then you have to prove it. And even if you can prove it, there's always a chance the jury wont agree. It's a frustrating process that is not at all helped by a legal system that has become more of a fancy game of legal chess than one designed to ferret out the truth and dispense justice.

Robert said...

My wife said that she read/heard that in the case of the Casey Anthony trial, so many people are watching these CSI shows that they think everything has to be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt in cases like this. I'm not sure if that played into any of this, but if so it is a shame. It'd be another instance of pride running amuck and overriding any common sense that might exist.

On the other hand, if it is a matter of legal games and technicalities, then it is just another reason that I think the justice system should work a bit more subjectively then trying a one size fist all mentality. That one size is so tight on some that it cuts off their circulation and so loose on others that it falls right off of them. Either way, it doesn't fulfill its purpose if it doesn't fit correctly.

Aaron said...

@Robert: I didn't watch the trial so I only know tidbits from the news. But from what I could tell, the proseuction's case of murder depended largely on the behavior by Casey after Caylee's death. The prosecution could not determine the cause of death, for example, because the body had decayed too long. There was also some weak forensic evidence. From what I can tell nearly everyone agrees Casey acted terribly in wake of the daughter's death. But good people disagree on whether there was enough evidence to prove murder (again, nobody can tell how she died).

CR said...

@Sir Aaron - I believe there was adequate circumstantial evidence to convict Casey Anthony. This jury decision was a product of an uninformed jury that doesn't understand circumstantial evidence. We live in an age where people want to see DNA CSI Miami evidence. And if it doesn't exist, they think they can just ignore circumstantial evidence.

trogdor said...

Here's a crazy idea about the debt ceiling: it should always default to zero. The only time it should ever be raised would be in case of war (by supermajority vote in Congress) to save the nation, and then all debt must be repaid completely within a set time (five years?).

I think the most amazing thing about that pitch is that it was called a strike despite being about a foot outside.

I work with a technology that's occasionally used in forensics/criminal/historical investigations, and I dread the week after it appears on CSI or similar shows. They always portray it doing completely absurd things (despite axing us first - we frequently consult, then are completely ignored), and for a week or two we're flooded with calls from people wanting us to do the same or worse. I dread the thought of one of having one of these people holding a life in the balance, using the standard of "I saw this on CSI, it must be true".

threegirldad said...

Here's the flipside. The image of Americans, sadly, seems to have been formed by Hollywood. (Ack!)

Even though my fair city has a law still on the books that prohibits hitching a horse to a downtown sidewalk post on Sundays, I do it anyway. Because I can.

It's the rebel within, yearning to breathe free.

Aaron said...

@CR: You believe that, but I know others that disagree. I know people in both groups that I respect.

@Trogdor: I work in criminal investigations. CSI, law and order, and the like really make law enforcement look like we not only have lots of technology but lots of funding! I wish I could have all those giant screens at my disposal.

Anonymous said...

insatiable curiosity forced me to find out: the crocodile eats bungie jumper is a beer commercial from 2003:

DJP said...

Oh mercy, I didn't pick up from that size and speed that the jumper was, you know... eek.

CR said...

@Sir Aaron - I can't respect the jury in Casey's Anthony's case.

I don't think the jury used common sense, and the more jurors come out and speak the more I believe it. Look at the cause of death. I don't see how just when you have a body that was in the condition that it was left in, with duct tape over the mouth that one doesn't see murder, whether it was premeditated or trying to quiet the child. There is no other reasonable conclusion.
Sadly, juries expect more based on what they see on TV. E.g., CSI Miami (one of my favorite shows but not based on complete reality). But this is real life, it’s realistic. And it’s unrealistic to expect in a case like this that because the body was secreted and stashed away in a wet woody muddy swamp and that when you’ll never be able to get those type of things like DNA, etc, not because police couldn’t find it and it wasn’t there doesn’t mean that you get away with murder. You have to use other types of evidence. The jury ignored the circumstantial evidence and Casey got away with murder. The jury was suppose to put together the dots, instead (from jurors that have come out) just quoted from the defense and took much of what said and repeated it on TV.

Aaron said...

@Cr: I'm not familiar with the evidence. My point was that there are people I know who are pretty intelligent people who were convinced that there wasn't enough evidence to convict. So I'm not sure it was merely the CSI effect (as we insiders call it).

Personally, I'm a cynic. I hear of a mother who doesn't know where her child is for many days, doesn't report it, and then leads the police on a wild goose chase....well there's no doubt in my mind. But that's not evidence, of course.

CR said...

I'd certainly like to know who these intelligent people are, Sir Aaron. It certainly wasn't the jury. And I would disagree with you that the mother not "knowing" where the child is for 31 days is not evidence. It was, but it was icing on the cake evidence.

The prosecution showed the way Caylee was found proving that it was murder. Then they connected Casey to that by all the different types of evidence: forensic, witness testimony, cadaver dogs connecting it to her by that car and then you know it was no one else (not her mother or father) that committed the crime other than Casey because of her behavior for 31 days

Aaron said...


I'll give you a public example:

Sean Hannity. I don't want to thrust others into this argument since you know a couple of them.

And I meant that me having no doubt is not evidence. In my job I know a lot of people are guilty. Proving it is altogether different. ;)