Sunday, February 16, 2014

reminiscing on burying the hatchet

always remember, when burying the hatchet, you aren't the only one who knows its location... watch your back.

and when turning the other cheek, you can expect that one to get slapped, too.

on a personal note, i find it amusing that it does not matter how much i wish to extend the olive branch, i always seem to end up with olive-branch lash marks for my troubles... today i spent time with one step-son, supporting him in his college career and choices in life... it's always a pleasure to see him... in doing so, i tried to be friendly and cordial with my other step-son, whom is the diametrically opposite the first... no matter how hard i try, it is never a pleasure.

i'm not going to delude you (or myself) with the illusion that his an our issues are not mutual... we have both done things which should not have been done; said things which should not have been said... some things are water under the bridge; some flood over... but today, it was to be a d├ętente‎, a mutual cease-fire for the sake of the family and to enjoy some family time; to bond over the mutual good fortune of our relative... it might as well have been the Tet Offensive.

we were talking about several movies; older movies, new movies, spoilers for movies... my wife brought up the upcoming movie of "God Isn't Dead"... i could feel my heart sink, as i knew that he wouldn't have let a religious reference go unchallenged; him being the faithful atheist zealot he is... his derisive comment was, "You know that's not based on a true story," as if we were thinking Kevin Sorbo and Dean Cain just happened to be part of some documentary.

i should have let it go... i knew it at the time... my brain knew it, at least... my mouth didn't get the memo.

"That's why it's called a movie," i said, too much sarcasm in my voice... "Who thinks this is based on fact?"... to which he replied, "The same people who think The Passion of the Christ is based on fact."

okay... what do i do?... do i go on the offensive and provide some comments about his own beliefs (or lack thereof) or do i sit back and allow him to insult me and my wife (his mother) some more?... as i have allowed him to spit his derision in my face for several years, i suppose it is partly my fault... but, as i have made it clear that i won't allow that; i face a dilemma... do i go back to being spat upon, or do i do something about it?

i chose to just leave... call it a day... throw in the towel... move on... forgive-and-, well, i'm short on forgiveness these days... i can only take being kicked so much... so leaving seemed the best route... not classy, but it removes me from the situation.

speaking of classy... i'm short on that these days, too... he had his shit-eating grin, looking forward to shaking my hand on leaving... kind of his own little, "Well, that point goes to me"... i don't plan on losing well.

"F-U"... and i walk away.

well, apparently that was not what he wanted to hear... it definitely wasn't what should have been said... but i'll admit i felt much better haven gotten that off my chest.

i hope he got the same relief from the following bits he had to say in return... these are my favorite bits:
"You can't talk to me like that in front of my family"... yet he has never had that same restriction.
"You don't deserve my mom and brother"... a common refrain from his teenage years when i was dating his mother... Oedipus much?
"You've never respected me"... now that's not true, but how long can you respect someone who (figuratively, of course) defecates on you time and time again?... what am i, in an abusive relationship?... yet i keep coming back... maybe i am.
"I'm the only one who stands up to you"... obviously, he has a delusional image of married life... and his brother has, but not in that in-your-face manner, but in a more passive-aggressive mode... sometimes, he'll even sit down and discuss his issues with me... he, i respect.

i should learn from this experience... i should still walk away, but i should also let him have his hollow victory... i should shake his hand and wish him well... i know that one day, he'll treat someone else with the same mocking derision... someone who doesn't have the family ties to restrain him... one day, that someone will break his jaw... and he'll learn a very hard lesson; one i have tried to spare him for some time... but you can lead a horse to water; you can't make him think.

the greatest lesson i learned from this incident is going to remain my secret... but i have learned that he has a tell (like in poker)... and when i saw it, i couldn't suppress a grin.

i feel bad about that grin.

Monday, February 10, 2014

i've told you a trillion times

US Debt = $17,322,966,800,000
but what is a "trillion"?... how do you conceptualize a number this large?

US Debt converted to seconds:
1 trillion seconds = ( 10^12 sec)/( 3.16 x 10^7 sec/yr) = 31,688 years
17.3229668 x 31,688 yr = 548,932 years

Homo-erectus lived 500,000 years ago. Neanderthals didn't evolve until nearly 300,000 years later.

US Debt converted to hours:
1 trillion hours = ( 10^12 hr)/( 8,766 hr/yr) = 114,077,116 years
17.3229668 x 144,077,116 yr = 1,976,154,095 years ~ 2 billion years

The only known living organisms 2 billion years ago were a form of algae. The first oxygen was produced on Earth.

US Debt converted to days:
1 trillion days = ( 10^12 days)/( 365.25 days/yr) = 2,737,850,787 years
17.3229668 x 2,737,850,787 yr = 47,427,698,289 years ~ 50 billion years

The universe is only 13 billion years old. So 50 billion is truly meaningless.

US Debt converted to light-years:
17,322,966,800 miles / 5.878625 mi/ly = 2.95 light years ~ 3 light-years

The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light-years (2.4×1019 km) from Earth.
Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf [star] about 4.24 light-years from Earth.

US Debt Clock - February 10, 2014
How Big is a Trillion? - NASA

Friday, February 7, 2014

we've been saying this FOR YEARS

Congressional Budget Office says Obamacare "Creates A Disincentive For People To Work"... well no kidding.

REP. PAUL RYAN: Just to understand this, it is not that employers are laying people off, it's that people aren't working in the work force, aren't supply labor to the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs in 2024, and as a result that work force participation rate, less labor supply, lowers economic growth.

DOUG ELMENDORF, CBO: Yes. That is right, Mr. Chairman.

RYAN: So, who are these workers? Who are the people typically in this category? What kind of worker from an income scale side are being affected by this?

ELMENDORF: The effect is principally on the labor supply of lower wage workers. The reason is what the Affordable Care Act does is to provide subsidies focused on lower and more middle income people to buy health insurance, and in order to encourage sufficient number of people to buy an expensive product like health insurance the subsidies are fairly large in dollar terms. Those subsidies are then withdrawn over time for people as their income rises. By providing heavily subsidized health-insurance to people with very low income and withdrawing those subsidies as income rises, creates a disincentive for people to work, relative to what would have been the case in the absence of that act. These subsidies are, of course, make those lower income people better off. This is an implicit tax, not the sort of tax we normally think about, where if the government raises taxes we are worse off and face a disincentive to work more, but providing a subsidy people are better off, but they do have less incentive to work.
emphasis is mine...


CBO Director: Obamacare "Creates A Disincentive For People To Work" | Video | RealClearPolitics By Tim Hains, February 5, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

defeating Darwin, Nye, Ham, and Fisher

i discuss Bryan Fisher, of AFR, and his discussion of Bill Nye and Ken Ham who discussed scientific atheism vs. intelligent design... there's a lot of discussion going on, so let's get right to it... we'll skip ahead to Fisher's "Defeating Darwin in Easy Four  Steps", which is predicated on Ham's highlights, primarily those which confounded Nye the most.
First Law of Thermodynamics. This law (note: not a theory but a scientific law) teaches us that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. In other words, an honest scientist will tell you that there is nothing in the observable universe that can explain either the origin of energy or matter. By logical extension, then, matter and energy had to come into being by some force outside the universe.
what is the primary cause?... if all other things are secondary effects, what is the primary cause?... where did this "Great Ball of Matter/Energy" come from?
on a secondary note, i laugh whenever i hear the phrase "seeing light from the Big Bang"... apparently space unfolded faster than the speed of light, and light from the "Bang" had to catch up to the heavy matter out on the perimeter... think about that for a second, and you'll see why i find that hilarious.
Second Law of Thermodynamics. This law (note: not a theory but a law) teaches us that in every chemical or heat reaction, there is a loss of energy that never again is available for another heat reaction. This is why things break down if left to themselves, and why scientists tell us that the universe is headed toward a heat death.
of course, the simple answer is a reduction in entropy in one place is balanced/offset by an increase in entropy elsewhere... this is some quantum magic, apparently... where our planet has a decrease in entropy through evolution, there must be an equal increase in entropy somewhere else... my (sarcastic) guess would be on Mars... because no one likes Martians.
also, through this Law, we naturally arrive at the conclusion that, from the current entropic state, there is an "original ordered state" of zero entropy; an "Initial Singularity"... the first moment of entropy is colloquially called "the Big Bang"... since entropy is one of those non-reversible laws, it stands to reason that there is no way the original ordered state could ever be reached through natural processes; the Initial Singularity has no precedent nor any subsequent equal... so, where did it come from?... it just was... there is no determining where it came from nor the first cause from which all others derived... should we take that on "faith"?
Fossils. Realize that the fossil record is the only tangible, physical evidence for the theory of evolution that exists. The fossil record is it. There is absolutely nothing else Darwinians have they can show you.

even if we accept Darwinian evolution, which is entirely plausible in my opinion, what does this add or detract from the debate over "Intelligent Design" or the existence of God?... this is simply a mechanism for modification... where self-determinism fails to react to environmental stresses, successive generations are able to adapt and survive through biological processes... simply because evolution is not described in a collection of religious texts, this only proves the incompleteness and necessary brevity of the text... this does not describe an incomplete God.
Genes. The only mechanism – don't miss this – the only mechanism evolutionists have to explain the development of increasingly complex life forms is genetic mutation. Mutations alter DNA, and these alterations can be passed on to descendants. Catch these two quotes. First, evolutionary microbiologist James Shapiro of the University of Chicago: "There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular systems, only a variety of wishful speculations." And this from University of Bristol scientist Alan Linton: "Throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another. None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another."
genes and fossils are two parts of the same debate, for which there is no necessary reason for discussion, as pointed out previously... one does not negate the other (e.g. evolution and God)... genes are simply mechanisms for either argument, not the argument, themselves.

Defeating Darwin in four easy steps By Bryan Fischer, February 6, 2014