Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tons of CO2 for Earth Day!

By Donald Sensing

Obama will burn more than 35,000 gallons of fuel on Earth Day, emitting 375 TONS of carbon dioxide

As always, you have to read the Brit papers to find out what's happening, politically, in America.

  • President took Marine One chopper to Andrews Air Force Base and will fly to Washington state and Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday
  • 'Earth Day is about taking action,' the White House declared shortly after takeoff
  • Air Force One consumes 5 gallons of jet fuel for every mile it flies
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that burning the fuel emits 21.1 pounds of CO2 per gallon
  • Total presidential fuel consumption for Earth Day, not including automobile motorcades, is an estimated 35,609 gallons
As Glenn Reynolds says, "I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who say it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis."

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Happy Lenin's birthday!

By Donald Sensing

Google's home page today: Happy Earth Day!

Google's home page on April 20:

What was April 20? Oh, yeah, Easter, the one celebrated day of the year that has shaped more world history than any other - and that will continue to do so long after "Huh?" is what people will say when someone says "Earth day."

A much more appropriate picture for Google to have used for today's page is this one:

Happy Lenin's birthday! Is it mere coincidence that Lenin's birthday was selected as Earth Day? Nope.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Miserable in the money?

By Donald Sensing

A few days ago I posted, "Why doctors are miserable," linking to an article about How Being a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession. 

Comes now this graphic with some interesting info:

I knew that orthopedists make the most money. Actually, at the tippy-top of the pile are orthopedic surgeons with spinal certification. But as the article points put, the docs making the most are those who perform procedures rather than practice ongoing patient care. And orthopedists work absolutely grueling hours -- not to make $400K-plus but because they have to to keep up with the demand. And frankly, they don't keep up. It's not unusual for an orthopedic surgeon to leave the hospital at 8 p.m. and be back the next morning at 6. Day after day, month after month, year after year.

So no wonder:
In fact, doctors with some of the lowest earnings were the most likely to say they would choose medicine as a career if they had to do it all over again. Almost 70% of physicians in internal medicine, HIV/Infectious Disease, and family medicine would choose medicine all over again, compared to just 44% of orthopedists.
A related email note from Don Parker:
I saw your post on “Why Doctors Are Miserable” last week, and by coincidence, a web site run by a neurologist had a post about Medicare payments and “rich” doctors. Please pardon the profanity. Dr. Grumpy is usually amusing(I often send him links to various funny articles I see around the net), but this time he was quite serious.
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Why the "Easter Conspiracy" theory fails

By Donald Sensing

Charles Colson served Richard Nixon as "Special Counsel to the President" and was a key player in the Watergate conspiracy that finally led to Nixon's resignation. Colson was in fact one of the "Watergate Seven," the core conspirators (but not the only ones) and he was the first Watergate conspirator to be sent to federal prison.

During this time, Colson became a devout Christian; after release from prison he spent the rest of his life in evangelism, especially prison ministries.

Here is what he once said about the idea that Jesus was not really raised from the dead, that the whole resurrection story came from collusion by the disciples:

I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world - and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.
As well, the question, "Cui bono?" (who benefits?) strikes to the point. Certainly the apostles never did, not in this life anyway.

So: The apostles made up a story about a resurrected "savior" that they never profited from, endured incredible hardships to spread it and then finally died painful, even gruesome deaths rather than simply recant their lie.

Yeah, right. It takes more faith to believe that than it does to believe Jesus rose from the dead.

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He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

By Donald Sensing

The two most profound events in the Bible are Christmas and Easter, the birth and resurrection of Christ. I find it odd that we have so much made them child centered, and use childish rituals to celebrate them. I think it is the way adults avoid facing the soul-shattering seriousness of them. M. Craig Barnes, pastor of National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., wrote, 
We think of Easter as a time for bunnies and little chicks, colorful eggs, and little girls in cute new dresses. But we ought to be thinking about grown women, with their dresses hiked up to their knees, running with terror out of a cemetery. . . . Easter is not about renewal, [not about] new beginnings, [not about] the perseverance of the human spirit... .
... and it is certainly not about daffodils pushing blooms up through the soil or chicks hatching from eggs! None of that sentimental drivel can comfort the next of kin of the Terror War dead or the Syrian Christians being killed or exiled at the hands of al Qaeda. 
What Easter is, is that “Christ has died, Christ has risen.” Jesus’ resurrection means that the worst thing that happens to us is not the last thing that happens to us. Christ’s resurrection reveals that we do not die, “period”; we die, “comma.” On Easter God turns pain to power; God transforms tragedy to triumph and pushes through crucifixion to resurrection.
If Christian faith is about nothing but the here and now, then the Apostle Paul admits it isn't worth the time we spend on it. That is why the cross and the empty tomb stand at the center of our relationship with God and one another. On the cross is where the proclamation that Jesus was “God with us,” was made completely true, for Jesus died as we do. Easter's empty tomb beckons us to trust in a gracious God who provides throughout both our life and our death. 
Yet our deepest horror is not death itself, said philosopher John Locke. It is “perpetual perishing” - the fact that nothing lasts. Everything we are and all we love fade alike into nothingness. As Ecclesiastes mourns, “The dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten” (Eccl 9:5b). The destruction of even the memory of the past is perpetual perishing. 
The apostle Paul was under no illusions about the facts of human life. He observed in Romans that human beings "are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” But Paul denied that human destiny is to disappear into nothingness. No matter what happens in our lives, Paul knew one thing is certain: 
Neither death, nor life, ... nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
You can bet your life on it!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Her diary, his diary

By Donald Sensing

The Difference Between Men And Women. This Is Genius

Yep, this is about right. Reminds me of the classic question, "Did Elaine ever own a horse?"

Thank goodness global warming will solve this for us!

By Donald Sensing

Antarctic sea ice demolishing old records | Ice Age Now

Antarctic sea ice continues to grow at an alarming rate, says reader Chris Beal.

It’s now 1,636,000 sq km above average, and continues to set new all-time daily records.
Surely global warming will save us!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why you don't have a right to Social Security checks

By Donald Sensing

There is no legal right, that is. But the Democrats want to make you think there is, and that only they can protect it because the mean, evil, hate-filled Republicans want to take Social Security away. But in fact, both parties are doing their level best to destroy it.

Is There a Right to Social Security? | Cato Institute

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Working suckers

By Donald Sensing

86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers

There are 1.7 Americans receiving government transfers for every full-time worker. Granted that some people receiving such transfers are also working full time, we are still left with the fact that more people receive means tested benefits than are working full time.

This cannot continue, and as economist Herbert Stein pointed out, "When something can't go on forever, it won't."

And this won't.

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The War on Christians

By Donald Sensing

The Middle East War on Christians - WSJ.com

Christians are under oppression, often lethal, in every country in the Middle East except Israel, which is the only ME country where the Christian population is increasing. Syria, for example, used to be 30 percent Christian, now no more than 10 percent, if that.

And Jews continue to be oppressed almost everywhere else: East Ukraine Jews Ordered to Register with Pro-Russia Authorities.

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Why doctors are miserable

By Donald Sensing

How Being a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession - The Daily Beast

Nine of 10 doctors discourage others from joining the profession, and 300 physicians commit suicide every year. When did it get this bad?
For someone whose son and his son's fiance are both medical students, this is a very sobering, indeed depressing, read.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"If the cradles are empty, the future is bleak"

By Donald Sensing

The Z Blog › Empty Cradles:

Is Putin moving on Ukraine in a bid to get Russians to bear more children? Hmmm....

And here is a handy little "List of sovereign states and dependent territories by fertility rate," although its data are five or more years old by now.

Ukraine has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. It hit a low in 2001 of 1.08 live births per woman, and even though it had rebounded to 1.53 in 2012, that is still very much below mere replacement rate.

Most of the rest of Europe is no higher or not much higher, and of the major European NATO powers, only the UK and France are higher. Germany and Italy are in a race for the bottom of all Europe. Poland, which would be key terrain in defending either Ukraine or the NATO-member Baltic states, has a birth rate only marginally higher.

So my question to anyone proposing such military action by the United States: if the European nations threatened by Russia will not have children to grow up to defend their own nations, why should we ask American women to bear children to go defend those nations? It seems to me that they have already decided that their country is not worth dying for. I do not see why we should.

HT: American Digest

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"In war, everything is simple . . .

By Donald Sensing

"... but even the simplest things are difficult."

So observed Carl von Clausewitz, one of the foremost theoreticians of war the West has ever produced.

That came to my mind when I read former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld's annual letter to the IRS saying that tax codes and forms are so complex that even after paying for accountants to prepare his tax return, "I do not know whether or not my tax returns are accurate."

My tax return is quite simple, I assure you - except for having a college daughter who has received scholarships, which grotesquely complicates it - and I find completing even my return maddening.

As Carl von C. said about war, so in taxes: even the simplest return is difficult.

Donald Rumsfeld sends IRS letter every year as he has 'no idea' if tax returns are accurate | Mail Online

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Evidence for God: The Universe

By Donald Sensing

The Evidence for God: The Universe - Saints and Sceptics

I remember a conversation with a self-described atheist, who said that he would believe in God if only there was evidence of God's existence.

"What about the universe?" I asked. "Because if the universe itself is not evidence of God, then you are requiring evidence that is greater than the universe! Please tell me: What that would be?"

Sound of crickets chirping....

See also, "Proofs of God's Existence."

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Guess what day it is!

By Donald Sensing

This day!

My annual post. This one, too:

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