Musings, Monday Edition


While it’s not H1N1, I do have a bad chest cold, so I was down all day Sunday.  I missed church, which meant that happened twice this month. Highly unusual.

So I kick off this Monday morning with a variety of musings, the first being health related…

Think Charlton Heston in The Omega Man: The federal government said they would have 120 million doses of H1N1 flu vaccine on hand. Turns out they only had 11 million. I don’t know about you, but that inspires no confidence at all. I mean, if the feds were publicly traded company that reported sales figures that were only 9 percent of what they claimed, the SEC would shut ’em down and send the principals to jail.

Where’s the holy water!?: H1N1 pretty much blew through my area like an Ebonite Gyro hurled by Mark Roth, knocking down kids like bowling pins (though it seems to have left adults over 40 largely unscathed). Yet for all its supposed intensity, most every parent I have heard from was startled by how mild this “pandemic to end all pandemic” viruses was. Its virulence was solely in its communicability, not in its punch. Meanwhile, we’re now hearing that the vaccine will not be available in any substantial amount in our area for another few weeks. By then, everyone will have had it. Oh well.

The undead walk among us: Todd Bentley of Lakeland “Revival” fame and his new best friend Rick Joyner held a coming out party for the latest Mrs. Bentley. Bene D posts the extraordinary (and worthy) fisking by Rick Hiebert under “Sorry about the Adultery. Please Send Us Money.” Anyone feeling the 28 Days Later restoration vibe on all this?

Dabbling in the malevolent arts: If anyone out there has had experience using CSS3, the “@font-face” command, OpenType fonts, and converting between OpenType and TrueType, drop me a line or leave a comment. And if you know of any WordPress themes that use CSS3, let me know.

Stake through the heart: Churches that die and the people who pastor them. (HT: Peyton)

Mesmerism: Anyone who actually understand the pluses and minuses of Ohio State Issue 2 and its possible impact on small. organic farms such as mine, please enlighten me. The scares from both sides have gotten out of control and left yours truly utterly confused.

Demonic feline devours deacon: The Toys R Us pre-Christmas catalog arrived in the mail this weekend, generating insatiable lust in the hearts of preteens everywhere. Notable for their excess were the $329 pink Cadillac Escalade and $649 dune buggy kid cars. I’m sorry, but considering the state of the world today, if you’re a Christian and you buy something like that for your kid this Christmas, that roaring lion you’ve been warned about just had you for a snack.

Land of the Giants : Speaking of snacks, wouldn’t it be great to open a packaged foodstuff and exclaim in all honesty, “Wow, they’re making them bigger than they used to”?

Dead, buried, and forgotten already: Saw the commentary of all commentaries at my local Kroger: a cart filled with closeout and heavily discounted Michael Jackson souvenirs. There’s s stark lesson there, folks.

Nature red in tooth and claw:  They were hiding the kiddies’ eyes in Paul Brown Stadium yesterday. What brutality! Bengals 45, Bears 10. Cedric Benson had 186 yards rushing against his former team. Even a guy like me who doesn’t follow sports will follow that human interest story.

11 thoughts on “Musings, Monday Edition

  1. Charlton Heston: I consider Obama’s national emergency to be a potential sign of our aging society’s future. When the health care system under its current make up, or “reformed,” finally cannot care for the large and growing number of elderly, a national emergency may be declared, so doctors and hospitals can decide to not treat the elderly.

    Holy Water: One child died in a rural county here. The schools decided to close for an entire week because of it. The numbers are a bit disturbing, since we have an infection rate now that comparable to what is the middle of a regular flu season in other years. Still, I don’t see what closing that county’s schools for one week will do. The kids are just as likely to get the swine flu when they come back after a week.

    Dying Church: I was led to the Lord in a struggling church. At the time, I was a teen, and the church was biggish. When the youth pastor was laid off for lack of funds, most of the youth left. I think a lot of the adults left, too. I left, eventually. Every time I went back, this church was small and having financial problems. When I went back another time a few years ago, same thing: the very first Sunday I was there, the elder preached about financial problems. I was used as a sermon illustration, though, because the church had reached out to me as a youth. I stayed at the church for a while, but left eventually again. It was small when I left. I hear now and then about things they do, but I’m sure, if I indulged a Sunday back, it would still be a small church, probably with financial problems. I and my best friend’s youth-aged son both recommended to the ministers that they implement a door-to-door evangelism campaign, like the independent fundamental church in the area, but they wouldn’t listen. Now their youth group has disbanded. I recommended they go door to door because they don’t have the problems with legalism that the indie fundie church has. The indie fundie church would bring a lot of people to the Lord, but their congregation wouldn’t grow because of their legalism.

    Dead: I work with a lady who sells collectibles on eBay. The Obama election was kind to her. She bought People magazine and resold it for $28 a pop or so to Europeans. Who knows? That customer with the cart may be an entrepreneur.

    • Comments:

      The CDC has been tracking H1N1 deaths in the United States since April, which now puts the H1N1 season at seven months in. Seven months and the seasonal flu would be over. Lies, damned lies, and statistics, right? When the final curtain is drawn on this, it’s going to show that H1N1 is no worse than the seasonal flu, and possibly less powerful. Again, where it seems to be unusual is in its ability to spread far faster than seasonal flu. But if kids around my area are any indication, H1N1 is not the “knock you on your tush” flu that some are painting it to be. Parents have all noted that the symptoms were surprisingly mild and that their kids were not knocked out for days. I know my son had one bad day out of the five that he ran a fever, but he was active for all the other days, which would not have been the case with seasonal flu.

      From what I am reading, H1N1 is not what is killing people, either. It’s secondary infections, like pneumonia. They have a pneumonia vaccine, which is why I am curious why health departments don’t ever mention it. Pneumonia kills a lot of people. I know; it almost killed me when I was 2.

      You’re right about going door to door. The one trait of all dying churches is that they are lousy at evangelism.

      No, the cart filled with Michael Jackson stuff did not belong to a customer. Kroger set the filled cart near the checkout lines with a clearance tag on it. The Jackson stuff sat for a long time. I know because I’m in that Kroger nearly every other day.

    • Poet,

      I run two antispam plugins that catch about 99.99% of spam. The one plugin almost never generates a false positive. The other will once in a while because it does a pingback to make sure the sender is actually connected to a genuine server and is not sending from spambot software. If the genuine server does not respond to the pingback within a few milliseconds, the comment is sent to moderation. That plugin also performs a couple other tests to root out spammers. Those tests are all considered legit and are used by many antispam systems. If more than one test fails, the comment goes to spam.

      No comment is ever lost. I can approve those sent to moderation or that end up in spam.

      As you can see, your comment posted. I’m sorry if it got trapped. But it ended up in spam, which tells me that it failed more than one test. Your other comments came right through without a problem. So I suspect there is something going on with your ISP’s servers. It could be that they are overloaded and are not responding to the tests in a timely way. This would explain why some get through and others don’t.

      Also, the one plugin I use tends to flag longer comments rather than shorter ones if a single test fails. That may be why the shorter ones got through.

      I have found no other combination of antispam plugins that work as well as the two I use. In fact, one of the ones I used to use generated far more false positives, which is why I switched. I’m not sure what I can do about the current issue. I hate captchas with a passion, which is what a lot of people use. Besides, the captcha algorithms have all been cracked anyway, so they are not secure, either. I’ve been happy with the plugins I use. They only generate one false positive per every 200 comments, which is a 0.5% error rate. I can promise that if I switch to anything else, the rate would be far worse.

  2. Sulan

    Dan, it is nice to know, after being away from Cerulean Sanctum for 8 days, you are still here, and continuing to put forth ponderable wordings!

    Sorry to hear that Bentley is being released again upon the masses. IMO if they looked closely at the releaser, they would be wary.

    • Sulan,

      Nothing gives charismatics a bad name more than the tepid “restoration” they do with their “heavy hitters.” These guys do something dumb and they’re back out on the streets within a year. Frankly, three years should be a minimum, with five being more ideal. In the case of Bentley, I’d say ten, at the least. And only after going to an approved seminary under the tutelage of men who actually know how to teach the Scriptures and can discern truth from error, neither of which Bentley seems to be able to do at all.

  3. David

    Our small group got into a discussion about letting churches die. It was something I hadn’t thought about, as I considered churches to be permanent, and if they weren’ t then there was a problem that needed fixing. My ex-church is dying. I think that if they reached out to the elderly in the community who want church services to be “just like the old days” then they’d have a booming congregation. But they won’t, and so they are dying. And hundreds of older people in our community are un-churched. I look at this as an unnatural death. A death brought about by diseases of the heart and soul.

    There are, I suppose, examples of churches that have lived long lives full of years, say their final blessing, pull their legs back into bed and breathe their last. I can’t think of any, but I’m sure they’re out there.

  4. Thanks Dan, you know talent when you see it.

    Rick Hiebert brings journalistic integrity, wit and a faith in Jesus Christ to his coverage of our Canadian NAR folk that is unique and needed.

    Get well.

  5. I haven’t seen any of the ads for Proposal 2 since I’m down in Kentucky out of earshot of Ohio media (save an occasional wander into WLW 700 on my car radio), but the text just sets up a board to oversee livestock standards. Part of the background seems to be that this board is meant to head-off some sort of ballot proposal to mandate better, less-confining holding pens for farm animals.

    What does it mean for a small organic farmer? That depends on the board, but if the board does put an end to some of the less humane holding techniques, it might raise prices on garden-variety agrabusinesses, which, all else being equal, will raise the demand for organic goods.

    Since you’re probably not doing things that will get the Humane Society hot and bothered that a board might change, your primary effect would be to be supportive of the proposal.

    However, that board would mean extra red tape, more government spending and more spending by the farm industry; as a conservative, you might not like that.

    • Mark,

      Issue 2 is one of those awful bills that gives no one any indication what the genuine upshot of its passage will be. It could be great; it could be awful.

      My concern as a small organic farmer is that the regulatory board put in place would kill me with regulations that are cost prohibitive and favor large agribusiness. Rod Dreher talked about this extensively in his book Crunchy Cons. I believe that Issue 2 would put a further agribusiness stranglehold on markets, effectively killing off the little guys, especially those who are trying to find a legitimate way around the insane bureaucracy of government controls. I mean, if 2 passes, I may not be able to have a henhouse or some goats without filling out 8,000 forms and submitting to all sorts of expensive tests and approved caging and government-mandated nonsense, which wouldn’t make it cost-effective for me at all.

      On the other hand, some people are screaming that if 2 does not pass, the feds are going to rush into the state vacuum and mandate more draconian regulations, or that PETA will get their plan put in place.

      I hate this issue. I don’t have enough vision to see what the actual outcome will be, but nothing about 2 makes me happy. Call me libertarian, but all this regulation garbage has got to be rethought. It stymies competition, isn’t evenly applied, isn’t enforced as written—it just plain doesn’t work. And now we want more of it. Sigh.

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