Saturday, December 25, 2010

What Matters Most

From a sermon of Martin Luther on the Nativity.

How unobtrusively and simply do those events take place on earth that are so heralded in heaven!

On earth it happened in this wise: There was a poor young wife, Mary of Nazareth, among the meanest dwellers of the town, so little esteemed that none noticed the great wonder that she carried. She was silent, did not vaunt herself, but served her husband, who had no man or maid. They simply left the house. Perhaps they had a donkey for Mary to ride upon, though the Gospels say nothing about it, and we may well believe that she went on foot. The journey was certainly more than a day from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem, which lies on the farther side of Jerusalem.

Joseph had thought, “When we get to Bethlehem, we shall be among relative and can borrow everything.” A fine idea that was! Bad enough that a young bride married only a year could not have had her baby at Nazareth in her own house instead of making all that journey of three days when heavy with child! How much worse that when she arrived there was no room for her! The inn was full. No one would release a room to this pregnant woman. She had to go to a cow stall and there bring forth the Maker of all creatures because nobody would give way.

Shame on you, wretched Bethlehem! The inn ought to have been burned with brimstone, for even though Mary had been a beggar maid or unwed, anybody at such a time should have been glad to give her a hand.

There are many of you in this congregation who think to yourselves: “If only I had been there! How quick I would have been to help the Baby! I would have washed his linen. How happy I would have been to go with the shepherds to see the Lord lying in the manger!” Yes, you would! You say that because you know how great Christ is, but if you had been there at that time you would have done no better than the people of Bethlehem. Childish and silly thoughts are these! Why don’t you do it now? You have Christ your neighbor. You ought to serve him, for what you do to your neighbor in need you do to the Lord Christ himself.

The birth was still more pitiable. No one regarded this young wife bringing forth her first-born. No one took her condition to heart. No one noticed that in a strange place she had not the very least thing needful in childbirth. There she was without preparation: no light, no fire, in the dead of night, in thick darkness. No one came to give the customary assistance. The guests swarming in the inn were carousing, and no one attended to this woman. I think myself if Joseph and Mary had realized that her time was so close she might perhaps have been left in Nazareth. And now think what she could use for swaddling clothes – some garment she could spare, perhaps her veil - certainly not Joseph’s breeches, which are now on exhibition at Aachen.

Think, women, there was no one there to bathe the Baby. No warm water, nor even cold. No fire, no light. The mother was herself midwife and the maid. The cold manger was the bed and the bathtub. Who showed the poor girl what to do? She had never had a baby before. I am amazed that the little one did not freeze. Do not make of Mary a stone. For the higher people are in the favor of God, the more tender are they.

Let us, then, meditate upon the Nativity just as we see it happening in our own babies. Behold Christ lying in the lap of this young mother. What can be sweeter than the Babe, what more lovely than the mother! What fairer than her youth! What more gracious than her virginity! Look at the Child, knowing nothing. Yet all that is belongs to him, that your conscience should not fear but take comfort in him. Doubt nothing.

To me there is no greater consolation given to mankind than this, that Christ became man, a child, a babe, playing in the lap and at the breasts of his most gracious mother. Who is there whom this sight would not comfort? Now is overcome the power of sin, death, hell, conscience, and guilt, if you come to this gurgling Babe and believe that he is come, not to judge you, but to save.

With love from me and my family....a happy, blessed Christmas, and a joyous New Year, to every one of you.

Dan (North Dallas Thirty)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Entertaining Contradiction of Today

In which Sarah Palin is upbraided for her temerity in saying that Americans should be allowed to be responsible for their own health.
In the wacky world of Wasilla's finest, Palin tries to cast the effort to fight obesity as part of Michelle Obama's "different worldview."

Here is a portion of the transcript from "Take her anti-obesity thing that she is on. She is on this kick, right. What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat.

"And I know I'm going to be again criticized for bringing this up, but instead of a government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician's wife priorities, just leave us alone, get off our back and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions and then our country gets back on the right track."

Hmmm. "Let's Move" is Obama's "kick?" Maybe someone should kick Sarah Palin so she can understand how devastating obesity is to the future of the United States.

Of course, if you look at how fat Roland Martin is, it's pretty obvious that the government needs to do his thinking for him, since he clearly had no idea how bad obesity was for your health.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Entertaining Contradiction of the Day

From a usual source of amusement.
DN says:
November 22, 2010 at 11:35 pm

… wait… You blocked him from commenting and he comes here and lifts lines you write so that he can whine about it on his blog? That’s pathetic!

The hilarity comes from the fact that the blog where this comment was made is famous for lifting lines other people write so they can be whined about there.

Num Num Num

Supper was so good tonight, I had to share it with all of you as well.
4x4 with cheese plain and fries.

It's a secret menu thing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The First Annual Christina Romer Award for Ideology over Economics

To a fitting target, for this statement:

That’s why tax cuts for the rich have a much smaller impact: the rich allocate a much smaller fraction of their income to buying goods and services.

Of course the rich devote a smaller fraction of their income. If you make $200k a year as opposed to a typical income of $50k, you have to spend roughly four times as much to be spending the same fraction of your income.

However, if a person making $200k spends $50k per year and a person making $50k spends $25k, the person making $50k is spending double the fraction of their income, but the person spending $200k is spending double the amount.

And the stimulative power of spending is all about the amount, which is why the richest five percent of the population account for nearly three times that percentage of the spending. Furthermore, since the rich have more to spend in the first place, they have not cut back nearly as much as the poor in terms of keeping the economy afloat. Meanwhile, there is also evidence that not only do the rich spend a much greater amount, but that they are just as prone to spend as the poor.

In short, Rob Tisinai's statement, while in keeping with the correctness of the Obama Party ideology that requires demonization of the rich (while ironically supporting and endorsing tax-dodging kajillionaires like John Kerry and Charles Rangel), does not make sense from an economic standpoint.

In other words, in classic Romer style.

Nothing Like Sacrificing Other Peoples' Money

The latest from the desperate Obama Party:
More than 40 of the nation's millionaires have joined Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength to ask President Obama to discontinue the tax breaks established for them during the Bush administration, as Salon reports.

"For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you allow tax cuts on incomes over $1,000,000 to expire at the end of this year as scheduled," their website states. "We make this request as loyal citizens who now or in the past earned an income of $1,000,000 per year or more."

Of course, the thought of voluntarily paying more in taxes, which every one of them can do right now, never seems to cross the minds of these leftist doofuses.

I'll make "Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength" a deal; they agree to hand over every ounce of their money and assets over the magical $250k threshold to the government for five years, and then we'll think about it.

But since they can't even hold their own like Geithner, Rangel, and John Kerry responsible for tax evasion.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Narcissist Fix of the Day

From Timothy Kincaid at Box Turtle Bulletin, we find that Bristol Palin's appearance on Dancing With The Stars is all about homophobia and hatred for gays.
And, should anyone wonder, those who support equality for gay people (or who question continued institutionalize discrimination based on race, gender roles, or other identifiers) are “elites” and “Hollywood types” and not “real.” In fact, contempt for “Hollywood” is one of the central themes of anti-gay activists and those who object to entertainment’s embrace of gay people and lack of enthusiasm for religious conservatism.

Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that "Hollywood" openly endorses drugging and having sex with thirteen-year-olds, goes wild over socialist dictators, and openly muses about how wonderful it would be to just abolish democracy in this country.

Of course, Timothy Kincaid and the rest of Gay, Inc. don't care; after all, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Penn, and Woody Allen all support gay-sex marriage. That's what counts.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Completely Expected News of the Day

Turns out that the Harvey Milk LGBT Obama Party Club and the union puppet organization Pride at Work both support and endorse gays and lesbians who sexually harass others in the workplace.
But the real kicker came just the other day, when the city's Human Rights Commission concluded that Atos had repeatedly made flirtatious, sexually charged and inappropriate comments on the job - and had even pressured one male employee to "come out" against his will.

In short, the investigators said, Atos was "terminated for inappropriate sexual conduct in the workplace."

So let's see; the Obama Party that endorses and supports this sort of behavior by gays and lesbians in the workplace is now demanding that our soldiers be forced to put up with it.

I think not.

An Open Letter to GOProud

Not bad, guys.

At least you've started the conversation; there is much to be said for that.

And you've made an excellent point; this election was not a mandate by any stretch of the imagination, nor should it be read to be more than what it was.

But the key to dealing with social issues is not to ignore them completely. Indeed, by making them off-limits, you infuriate those whose support you need and leave yourself open for the Obama Party to exploit them against you.

Realize that this election has done two useful things; it's put Republicans in control of the House, and it's driven the left even farther in the direction of shrieking madness.

So don't discard social issues; pick them up and use them. Dare I say it? Triangulate.

Take, for instance, abortion.

Regardless of how you feel about it, the simple fact is this: Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi rammed through a bill that not only requires you as a taxpayer to fund abortion, but for that money to be sent to organizations who are covering up statutory rape and refusing to notify parents -- and then donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to that same Obama, Reid, and Pelosi.

Call me crazy, but last I looked, older men getting fourteen-year-olds pregnant, blocking parental notification in the name of getting an abortion, and demanding Federal dollars from the very same people to who you're donating don't poll well with many people other than Pelosi, Reid, and Obama.

Use it.
Don't avoid it. Grab the abortion issue by the throat and paint the picture for Americans: Obama, Pelosi, and Reid demand that you fork over your hard-earned money to pay off their cronies who are pushing abortions on middle-schoolers and covering up for rapists.

Same with gay marriage. Put bluntly, regardless of how you feel about it, the core value of the American system, the Tea Party, and anyone outside the Beltway is this: We the People have the right to determine our own laws and what they say.

Not racist Latinas in black robes. Not lazy Attorneys General and Governors. We the People. And that means you're going to get votes like in Iowa. You're going to get Proposition 8. And you know what? Until you start focusing on changing minds instead of trying to ram things through courtrooms and disenfranchise voters, those will continue to happen.

The onus is not on people to not change their constitutions. The onus is on you to explain why there's no need for them to do it. So the answer is very simple; "The Tea Party and GOProud supports the right of Americans at the Federal and state levels to amend and update their own constitutions as they see fit."

And last, but not least, we come to DADT.

The math isn't there, guys. Bluntly put, even if the leaked results of the survey are correct, you're demanding that we piss off 30% of our current military to please a minority of 3%, two-thirds of which are irrevocably wedded to a party that calls our military uninvited and unwelcome intruders, demands that it be abolished, and funds the very people who are out to attack and kill those serving in it.

One percent versus thirty percent and divided by two wars is a major loser. I understand that this hurts; you can't understand why something that you feel is supported by the majority of the country should have to wait. But the choice now comes down to whether you are going to put what the gay community wants first, or whether you are going to put what's best for the military and our country first.

And doing the latter will go a long way towards easing any concerns about the former.

Especially if you make it clear what the so-called "repeal" is; Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid holding the whole of our military hostage so they can pander to their base that is still rationalizing its addiction to trying to kill our soldiers.

You've gotten this far. Take the next steps. Instead of avoiding social issues, grab them. Reframe them. Own them. And realize that you have a lot more in common with social conservatives than you don't.

Your friend,

North Dallas Thirty

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Did You Know....

that the plight of gays and lesbians in the United States who cannot marry their sexual partners is exactly the same as American citizens of Japanese descent in internment camps?

It's true! The gay and lesbian community says so!

Apparently this is a response to the fact that the gay and lesbian community's claim that Republicans are building actual concentration camps never seemed to come true. This must be some new sort of virtual victimization, where you can actually claim similar brutalization without having to go through the effort.

What's With That Tagline, Anyway

You mean this?

Yes.....yes....your anguish sustains me.

That would be a reference to Family Guy, Season 4, Episode 4, "Don't Make Me Over".
Stewie: Oh there there, let me dry those tears. [licks his fingers with Meg's tears on them] Oh, oh yes yes, your anguish sustains me.

For those of you who aren't fans, Meg, in a fit of teenage angst, whines how unpopular she is and how awful her life is, so Lois takes her to the mall and gets her a makeover. Her new looks go to her head, she turns into a spoiled brat, and she ends up being humiliated by being taped having sex with Jimmy Fallon for the opening sketch of "Saturday Night Live".

On a meta level, a perfect summary of the behavior of the gay and lesbian community that I skewer.

Which is an added bonus, because I just happened to like the quote.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Time for an Update

When you can't remember the last time you fixed your template, it's probably time to refresh it anyway.

Unfortunately, as quite often happens with remodeling, certain things had to be removed and reshuffled. Over the next few days, or when I get around to it, links will be restored, dirt will be vacuumed up, and general order restored.

Until then, thank you for your patience!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Sunday Morning Rebuttal

I think QuakerJono deserves a post answer to his comment on my previous post.

Who else could take an informed critique of current health insurance practices and a plea for insurance coverage of proactive treatments for chronic conditions, which prove to be more effective and cheaper, possibly even avoiding the condition in the first place, and reduce it to Cuban-style communism?

Someone with a broader view of these things. :)

First, as someone who works with health insurance organizations, I can tell you right off the bat that they would sell their grandmothers into prostitution to get people to engage in proactive treatments if it would reduce the amount of money they have to pay out on claims.

The problem is that overall, as they are very well aware, it doesn't.

Sweeping statements about the cost-saving potential of prevention, however, are overreaching. Studies have concluded that preventing illness can in some cases save money but in other cases can add to health care costs. For example, screening costs will exceed the savings from avoided treatment in cases in which only a very small fraction of the population would have become ill in the absence of preventive measures. Preventive measures that do not save money may or may not represent cost-effective care (i.e., good value for the resources expended). Whether any preventive measure saves money or is a reasonable investment despite adding to costs depends entirely on the particular intervention and the specific population in question. For example, drugs used to treat high cholesterol yield much greater value for the money if the targeted population is at high risk for coronary heart disease, and the efficiency of cancer screening can depend heavily on both the frequency of the screening and the level of cancer risk in the screened population.

And can even make matters worse.

To see why, let's use an example. Your cholesterol levels are too high, which increases your odds of catastrophic and expensive heart disease. What are your choices?

1) Eat less, exercise, and lose weight

2) Take a pill for it.

So let's see; from your perspective, you either can eat less, exercise, and lose weight, all of which will cost you more in time and money and deprivation and increase the likelihood that you won't do any of them, or you can take a pill for it.

From the insurance company's perspective, they can pay for you to have better food, have access to a gym or whatnot, and to lose weight, none of which they are certain you will actually do, or pay for a simple pill that has been scientifically proven to lower your blood cholesterol and requires you to do nothing more than open a bottle once a day.

That's problem one.

The second problem comes in the fact that, if one is actually going to do preventative medicine, one actually has to make it worth peoples' while by rewarding those who do it and punishing those who do not. The best and most effective method in that regard has been shown to be premium discounting -- as in, those who follow healthy practices pay lower premiums than those who continue to engage in unhealthy practices.

However, under ObamaCare, that's illegal.
Second, the bills would ban insurers from charging differing premiums based on the health of their customers. Again, that's understandable for folks with diabetes or cancer. But the bills would bar rewarding people who pursue a healthy lifestyle of exercise or a cholesterol-conscious diet. That's hardly a formula for lower costs. It's as if car insurers had to charge the same rates to safe drivers as to chronic speeders with a history of accidents.

So let's summarize:

1) The insurance companies cannot reward you for doing something; they can only pay for you doing it.

2) They can either pay more for you to do something which requires a significant amount of time, effort, and commitment on your part and has unpredictable results in terms of lowering your cholesterol, or less for something that requires no effort on your part and which has scientific trials showing predictable results in lowering cholesterol.

In short, if the goal is to lower your cholesterol to prevent heart disease, the pill IS the more effective and cheaper treatment.

What this all boils down to is that, ultimately, you can't make people do the right thing; you can only, as we used to say in horse training, make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult.

And what the whiny article cited was about was avoiding that basic fact and making the argument that the whiner's stepfather wouldn't have eaten himself to death if the United States had single-payer government-controlled universal health insurance.

The way around this is pretty straightforward. Repeal community rating and allow health insurance companies and group plan owners like employers to set premium costs based on likelihood of payout, similar to what car insurers do. Give people who elect to follow healthy lifestyle proscriptions decreased premiums, and charge more for people who want to engage in lifestyle behaviors that are detrimental to health.

But all of that is antithetical to the basic principles of ObamaCare that the whiny article was trying to push.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

We Have Finally Reached the Point of Insanity

There is really little more that can be said about this pathetic excuse for a whinefest.
My stepfather, who had diabetes and heart disease, was a victim of our modern Tuskegee experiment. He ultimately died last year as a result, and cost our health care system $400,000 along the way. If he were simply provided the choice of a different treatment--a treatment that is proven to be more effective and cost less than medication and surgery--namely a program for sustainable and comprehensive lifestyle change, perhaps he would still be alive and our national debt would be reduced by $400,000.

Translation: "It's not my stepfather's fault that he sat on his fat ass and ate junk food all day despite knowing he was a diabetic who needed to lay off the Ho-Hos and do some exercise. It's not my fault that I, the so-called 'doctor', presumably used my magic snake oil and programs on him and failed miserably. It's society's fault!"

And my answer: if this halfwit wants to live in a totalitarian state where his diet, exercise, and medical care are completely controlled by the government, I hear Cuba is lovely this time of year.

(h/t to Protein Wisdom)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chameleon

I cannot possibly improve on this little gem from The Michigan View (h/t to AoSHQ as well)

Following the embarrassing news that Mayor Dave Bing’s GMC Yukon was hijacked by criminals this week, Detroit’s Channel 7 reports that the Reverend’s Caddy Escalade SUV was stolen and stripped of its wheels while he was in town last weekend with the UAW’s militant President Bob King leading the “Jobs, Justice, and Peace” march promoting government-funded green jobs.

Read that again: Jackson’s Caddy SUV was stripped while he was in town promoting green jobs.

Dear God, it's like a news version of the Heart Attack Benedict.

Friday Night Algebra

Cause = Effect.

Not that anyone really buys that Moonbeam would do anything of the sort, of course. But it's fun to watch him delude himself into believing that he's fooling us.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Short and Sweet

In the year's hiatus or so, I've taken to doing a lot more talking on Twitter. Not surprisingly, the address is NorthDallas30.

Enjoy. Feel free to tweet back. Or twit, or whatever it is that these things do, I don't know.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cobwebs for Sale, Cheap

I think enough time has passed to come back. :)