Archive for March, 2012

Friday Link Wrap-up

It has been said that we’ve not had global warming on the scale that we have it now, and therefor this time around it must be human-induced. The Medieval Warming Period, it is said (and reiterated by the IPCC), was merely localized and therefore can’t be compared with today. New evidence, however, shows that indeed the MWP was felt as far away as Antarctica. Not exactly localized.

Taxing the rich rarely lives up to expectations of the amount it will bring in. That’s because the rich have many options of where to put their money. Cause pain in one place, the cash moves to another place. (Some on the Left will inevitably say that this makes the case for a global tax. Well, when our government can’t get by on $4 trillion a year, it’s not the fault of the rich.)

A crowd larger than any OWS gathering protested in San Francisco, but the media ignored it. Why? (Wait for it…) Because they were religious people protesting Obama. Some news is clearly more newsworthy than others. Oh, that liberal media.

Liberals were so absolutely sure that their view of the "living" Constitution was right, they were predicting a near-slam-dunk for them in the Supreme Court over ObamaCare. But exhibit A of how they simply failed to take seriously the arguments against it is Jeffrey Tubin of CNN. He was sure it would be 7-2 or even 8-1 in favor of the ACA, and was just gobsmacked after day 2. Why? The very same arguments used against ACA had been out there for months. But the news wouldn’t give it adequate coverage. Mr. Tubin, you could blame CNN for your ignorance. But then, that would mean you have no responsibility as a journalist to find it out for yourself. Oh, that liberal media.

And finally, something for the "separation of church and state" crowd. A US Army issued New Testament with a letter from the President recommending that soldiers should read it.

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    Things Heard: e214v4

    Having a good week? We’re doing OK. Well, I’ve missed a few days posting, let’s see what we’ve collected (I haven’t stopped reading, just haven’t had much access to a computer … I can read on a tablet … link posting can be done but is a little (so far) laborious).

    1. I’m pretty sure that’s not how the lib/progs see it. Best I can tell, they figure this healthcare is so important, it’s more important than fussy questions of whether there are any limits to governmental power or the Constitutionality of the bill.  I’m not the only one who thinks that’s their point.
    2. Or maybe the White House punted their defence, because they want it to fall.
    3. Considering dueling.
    4. Discarding pets and ambiguous phrasing. This afternoon our dog passed two dogs in the back of a car that looked a lot like that dog. It was hysterically funny, she (our dog) just pranced along minding her own business, pointedly ignoring the other dogs who were going berserk with barking. When the barking finally died down, Sophie looked up briefly and barked three or four times at which the other two resumed their furious onslaught and she went back to ignoring them … or perhaps you had to be there.
    5. Sin and the church as that hospital, which is made of and made for sinners.
    6. Envy? Seems like prose poetry to me.
    7. Liberals, many of whom profess to be “reality/study” based … but aren’t in the slightest. I’m visiting Missouri for the kids spring break … Missouri has one of the lowest gun crime rates in the nation and the laxest gun laws … another interesting factoid … open carry in bars doesn’t increase gun violence in towns that allow it. But hey, maybe they don’t like concealed carry because they’re trying to keep women in their place.
    8. Speaking of that Trayvon kerfuffle, it seems odd to me that the same guys who insisted we not parse particulars on deciding whether waterboarding was or wasn’t torture, decides that if you’re nose doesn’t have fractured cartilage you weren’t really punched in the schnoze. I’ve also been struck with the parallels between those who decided to continually enlarge the category “black” when that was bad with any smidge of non-white blood made ya’ colored and those who think, for those who think that white is “bad” that any bit of white in you means your Hispanic mother/White father makes ya’ whitey white. Odd that.
    9. Is there a limit to the commerce clause? Seriously? I wonder when/if the left will imagine that there might be some behavior they will not want regulated that this unlimited commerce clause interpretation will come to bite them back.
    10. At 4k mph … what could go wrong?
    11. As car become more automatic … will I be the last knucklehead on the road with preferring and using manual tranny?
    12. Another unhappy #1 for the US.
    13. Where media bias puts us.
    14. I thought you mostly use your nose to taste.
    15. Ooh, another digression, workouts and kids. One of the family memories we have is with me doing interval training on a mtb bike … pulling the kids in the trailer singing (during the hard parts of the intervals) a “faster poppa faster” song (to 3-5 y/old kid melodies) and then me cooking the bike too fast on the limestone trail around a corner and laying it down. The kids that that was really really cool and wanted me to do it again. Me? My knee was bloodied enough that I decided we’d be better off turning for home. Still. A great time, great memory.
    16. Longer than normal waiting period … so, was that reported on the media/left-wing blogs? Ya think?
    17. An add for Corning gorilla glass? Or comedy?
    18. The forces of Mordor and trademark stupidity.
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      Does Expediency Trump Constitutionality?

      Josh Marshall, big time blogger of the Left, seems to think so. In his short summary of yesterday’s SOCTUS proceedings, he complains thusly.

      But what struck me more was how the the critical questions from the conservative bloc on the Court grappled so little with the actual economic role of health care provisions in society and the systemic market failure. These would seem to be precisely the issues the Commerce Clause is meant to address. Simply because the problem is serious doesn’t mean every possible solution is constitutional. But again, no real grappling with the practical issues the law was meant to address but rather a hyper-focus on academic and ideological points.

      Does the Left really think that constitutionality can be overlooked if we really, really want the law? If so, then we have no Constitution. These concerns he calls "academic and ideological". When did keeping with the law, and the foundation of our laws, become merely academic and ideological?

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        Links for Wednesday, 28 March 2012

        California wants your 5 year-olds
        From HSLDA,

        AB 2203 would lower the compulsory attendance age for entry into school from 6 to 5 years of age. This requirement would apply to all children, whether their parents plan to send them to public school or private school (including private homeschools).

        ###

        So… will Spike Lee now do the right thing?
        From FoxNews,

        A school-cafeteria lunch lady and her husband have received hate mail, unwanted visits from reporters and fearful inquiries from neighbors — all because their Sanford-area address is being disseminated on Twitter as belonging to Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman, her son said late Tuesday.

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        More info on the possibility that a 1st century manuscript of the Gospel of Mark has been found

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        5 Reasons not to agree to a police search
        Like Linus told Lucy, “Those are good reasons!”

        1. It’s your constitutional right.

        2. Refusing a search protects you if you end up in court.

        3. Saying “no” can prevent a search altogether.

        4. Searches can waste your time and damage your property.

        5. You never know what they’ll find.

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        Google has acted… Have you?

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        Hey, I know! How about we do an object lesson on what it means to be a persecuted Christian?
        Yikes.

        A 14-year old Dauphin County girl said she thought she was going to die Wednesday night when two men with apparent guns raided a church meeting. She later found out that it was a learning exercise carried out by the church youth group.

        The mother of the young girl did not want to reveal their names. The teenager does not belong to the Glad Tidings Assembly of God church in Lower Swatara Township, but she decided to go to a youth meeting Wednesday night with a friend who told her the meetings were fun.

        Well, I guess it depends on how you define “fun”.

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          Things Heard: e214v1

          Good morning.

          1. Observation that the organic natural crunchy ex-hippy/love-love-love movement is also the the one of harsh chemical aborto-facients and the very non-organic act of abortion, which doesn’t make much sense.
          2. A place for the off SCOTUS debate on healthcare.
          3. Tension and the racket.
          4. Recession.
          5. Tacos (pizza next?) by quadra-copter drone delivery.
          6. Democrats like to complain that the GOP has no ideas … odd that, especially when you look at a non-spun list of their notions.
          7. The Zimmerman/Martin kerfuffle.
          8. Patents and software.
          9. Technology.
          10. Inequality and housing.
          11. UK continuing its trend toward … what?
          12. Honor to the fallen, one way.
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            Heaven meets Earth like a sloppy, wet kiss?

            The phrase Heaven meets Earth like a sloppy, wet kiss is found in a song titled “How He Loves” (see full set of lyrics here) which is currently used as a worship song in corporate worship settings. The particular line in question has, understandably, caused quite the controversy in Christian circles with advocates for both its inclusion and exclusion. An alternate version is sometimes used with the offensive portion of the lyric replaced by the words unforeseen kiss. For the purposes of this analysis, HME will refer to Heaven meets Earth, and SWK to sloppy, wet kiss.

            As I see it, there are at least three issues with, or related to, this specific lyric:

            I – Whether by design or by accident, the intended meaning of the lyric is vague and internally inconsistent. This, despite attempts by John Mark McMillan, the author, to define and explain the meaning of the words he used.

            II – Much of the current corporate worship singing methodology, found in the contemporary evangelical church in America, is inconsistent with foundational corporate worship practice. The modern practice, in the West, of interjecting the personal into the corporate, reflects secular influences.

            III – Those who hear, read, or sing the song, whom I will refer to as recipients of the  song, readily misinterpret the author’s intended meaning in both the HME and SWK lyrics.

            Read the rest of this entry

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              Links for Friday, 23 March 2012

              “The Mass murder in Afghanistan was predictable.”
              So says Michael Yon. And he’s one who should know. From his post,

              The mass murder in Afghanistan was predictable. Twice in the past three weeks, I published that it was coming. Why was I able to write this with sad confidence? I’ve spent more time with combat troops in these wars than any other writer: about four years in total in country, and three with combat troops.

              About 200 coalition members have been killed or wounded from insider attacks. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is tantamount to being Taliban and has not bothered to apologize. Instead, Karzai whips up anti-U.S. fervor at every opportunity. Twice, Karzai has threatened to leave politics and join the Taliban.

              Even our most disciplined troops — not the few problem troops — have lost all idealism. They have not lost heart for the fight. Mostly, they just don’t care. They fight because they are ordered to fight, but they have eyes wide open. The halfhearted surge and sudden drawdown leave little room for success.

              Afghans will seek revenge and they will have it. This will lead to yet greater possibilities of another mass murder from our side. We are considering holding the trial in Afghanistan. Pashtuns don’t care about our justice system. They don’t even care about the Afghan government; they want blood for blood. We are being drawn into a feud.

              ###

              CNN covers Fast & Furious
              ICE Agents Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata. By all rights you should have heard their stories at least a small percentage as much as that of Trayvon Martin’s.

              ###

              When Cultures Diverge?
              Joe Carter links to a story about the massive rate of suicide in Japan, tied to the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. From the post,

              According to Bloomberg, suicides rose in April, May, June and August—the months following the natural disasters that devastated towns in northeastern Japan and triggered a nuclear crisis. For a 14th straight year, suicides in Japan have exceeded 30,000.

              After the disaster the West marveled at how orderly the Japanese responded – especially the fact that there was little to no looting and unrest. It was hinted that such was evidence that their culture was superior to that found in most of the West.

              Yet, despite the orderliness that their culture rests on, we still see the fruits of what can only be termed a “here and now” philosophy. Whether in East or West, the human condition is woefully insufficient to provide the Hope that all humanity needs.

              ###

              Citizen registers his dog to demonstrate lax voter registration procedures
              So authorities launch an investigation of… the citizen.

              A Republican voter in New Mexico is under criminal investigation for signing up his dog as a Democrat in a bid to highlight what he considers deficiencies in the state’s registration process.

              No mention is made as to whether or not an investigation on voter registration procedures is forthcoming.

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              The Elephant in the church

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              Know your rights as a victim of ID Theft
              From Consumer Reports,

              The FCRA and FACT protect your rights if you are a victim if ID theft by enabling you to put fraud alerts on your credit report with the consumer reporting agencies, get a free credit report from the three national consumer reporting agencies when placing a fraud alert, block fraudulent information from appearing in your credit report, and receive a notice of these and other rights from the consumer reporting agencies.

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                Friday Link Wrap-up

                If celibacy is to blame for the sexual abuse in the Catholic church, how does that explain the continuing abuses in the public schools? (Hint: it doesn’t.)

                Here are 4 hard truths of health care reform. (Hint: if they promised something, it’s generally not going to happen.)

                "[I]f you come down hard on Limbaugh because he has crossed a line, you must come down hard on Schultz and Maher because they have crossed the same line…." (Hint: Schultz and Maher supporters haven’t.)

                New York City Mayor Bloomberg, not content with nannying the well-off on what they can and can’t eat at restaurants, now is denying food to the homeless because it might be too salty. (Hint: That’s not compassion.)

                If they had been Republicans, this would have been racist. (Hint: They’re Democrats.)

                Is Zionism humanitarianism? (Hint: Yes.)

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                  Things Heard: e213v5

                  Good morning.

                  1. Interesting graphic, eh?
                  2. Another, this one of the info-sort.
                  3. An interesting what-if scenario.
                  4. Taking fasting seriously … and not so seriously.
                  5. Simple and evil.
                  6. Tactics tactics tactics.
                  7. A pro-homeless prank.
                  8. The UK has gone batty.
                  9. A variant of the Cretan paradox and solution.
                  10. US elections as viewed from, well, the Andes.
                  11. Narratives and peoples.
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                    The "Buffett Rule" is a Ruse

                    Even with Warren Buffett’s new tax policy idea, wherein he’d pay a higher tax rate, the continuing deficit dwarfs it.

                    Once again, the issue is not that we’re taking in too little in taxes. We can’t take in enough to cover the deficits. We must start cutting spending in a serious way.

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                      Things Heard: e213v4

                      Good morning.

                      1. Standard liberal media treatment of the current (and likely next) violent attack.
                      2. Baptism.
                      3. Look at anything closely, you get confused (that is you realize how little you really know about how the universe works). Latest example, Mercury.
                      4. Obamacare mandate and Lochner.
                      5. Troll of the court meets his, err, or rather, a fate.
                      6. In recent discussion on contraception and Ms Fluke … I suggested the left might go after the prescription monopoly instead. It was suggested this was a chimerical notion, nobody was talking about that. Untrue.
                      7. Deferred payments not deferred so much.
                      8. Our nanny state, shutting down private charity.
                      9. Savings.
                      10. Progressives for federalism.
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                        If Bush had said it…

                        From HotAir, apparently President Obama thinks the price of oil is hovering around $1.25 a barrel. Per his speech to Sempra Energy,

                        We have subsidized oil companies for a century. We want to encourage production of oil and gas, and make sure that wherever we’ve got American resources, we are tapping into them. But they don’t need an additional incentive when gas is $3.75 a gallon, when oil is $1.20 a barrel, $1.25 a barrel. They don’t need additional incentives. They are doing fine.

                        Yet this snip from oil-price.net shows the price to be hovering about 100 times that amount.

                        Honest mistake or intentional gaffe that leaves the impression that oil companies are gouging and, consequently, do not need government subsidies?

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                          EU Court Warns of Loss of Religious Freedom

                          In ruling on same-sex marriage, the European Court of Human Rights warns that churches could lose some of their religious freedom.

                          First, the ruling.

                          Same-sex marriages are not a human right, European judges have ruled.

                          Their decision shreds the claim by ministers that gay marriage is a universal human right and that same-sex couples have a right to marry because their mutual commitment is just as strong as that of husbands and wives.

                          But it goes on.

                          The ruling also says that if gay couples are allowed to marry, any church that offers weddings will be guilty of discrimination if it declines to marry same-sex couples.

                          It means that if MPs legislate for same-sex marriage, the Coalition’s promise that churches will not be compelled to conduct the weddings will be worthless.

                          It always has been worthless, possibly naïve, if not disingenuous. If, today (actually 4 years ago), a photographer can be sued for turning down business from a same-sex wedding and lose, it’s no small step for government to compel churches to do what goes against the church’s beliefs. And the EU court has let us all know this in advance.

                          Keep that in mind when you hear promises to the contrary.

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                            No, US Health Care Isn’t Broken

                            I’ve heard these statistics elsewhere, but not all in one place. So here’s an article doing just that. It tackles the myths about health care in the United States that ObamaCare was so necessary to fix.

                            • The U.S. spends too much compared to other countries.
                            • Other countries are doing better at controlling health spending growth.
                            • The U.S. has abysmal infant mortality rates.
                            • The U.S. has abysmal average life expectancy.
                            • The U.S. has worse health outcomes.

                            The stats have been manipulated to make the US sound far worse than it really it. In most cases its standing is better rather than worse, and in the rest it on par, if slightly lower, than other countries when comparing apples to apples. And in one case — life expectancy — the numbers used include issues that don’t relate to health care at all.

                            Read the whole thing. (It’s short.)

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                              Things Heard: e213v3

                              Good morning.

                              1. I think printing money in the basement is their business model.
                              2. First urban sprawl.
                              3. Urban sprawl many many many years later.
                              4. One of these things … not like the others.
                              5. A prize and for what explained.
                              6. While its unseasonably warm in Chicago, other areas not so much.
                              7. Panama.
                              8. Lawyers talk mandates … more here.
                              9. Looking at the soak the rich strategy and its effects. Perhaps now the tax the rich don’t cut spending knuckleheads will change their tune.
                              10. Coming to your computer … in a few years?
                              11. Math and blogging.
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