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Friday, 29 July 2011

Playing Monopoly with William: a lesson on The Federal Debt Limit

Counter As a boy, I had a friend named William whom I did a lot with. It wasn't always fun for me, though, because William--being over a year older than me and much more forceful in personality--seemed to always get his way. And it wasn't just that we always did what he wanted to do: he seemed to come out on top in whatever game we played.

Take Risk, for instance. No matter how I rolled the dice, I never won a game. I'd put 26 armies on the border of my continent, only to have him mass 56 armies against me. Then there was Monopoly. How he always ended up with 2 hotels on both Broadway and Park Place I could never figure out--nor could I avoid the inevitable landing on one or the other.

Since our Monopoly games tended to end as soon as this happened, William came up with an ingenious way to keep going: A Credit Line from the Bank. All I had to do was scribble "IOU $1200" on a piece of paper and put it in the bank (which didn't usually have enough cash on hand to handle the transaction otherwise). William would then add the credit slip to his pile of cash and the game would go on. This was great! But those two hotels were still on each of the dark blue properties, and it was only a matter of time before I landed on them again. Around about the time I hit $18,000 in debt, I realized that I was only postponing the inevitable. I could continue to borrow imaginary money forever, but I could never win against William. I finally conceded the game--relieved that my debt, huge as it was, didn't really exist.

This is exactly the situation that the US Congress faces this week. Seventy-eight times in the past fifty-one years, they have signed off on yet another IOU and slipped it in the bank, only to forestall the inevitable default that comes from continuing to live beyond their means. Yet they keep coming around to land on Park Place after the next election, necessitating another round of funny money to keep the whole system afloat. They can keep on raising the debt ceiling for a while, but unlike my friend William, America's creditors aren't going to let the game go on forever. Sooner or later, they're going to call the game--and request payment in specie.

America's Day of Reckoning is coming--and the longer Congress puts off dealing with it, the more it's going to hurt when they finally do. UPDATE JUNE 2012 Well, it's just about time for another IOU, and we are even further away from achieving fiscal responsibility. Unlike my Monopoly games, however, this cannot continue forever: sooner or later will come a day of reckoning, as it has come to every other fiat money system the world has ever created. But there's another application to be made from my Monopoly madness. Were I an ardent evolutionist, I could have continued the game indefinitely, setting the board carefully aside each night and picking it back up the next morning--at least until summer vacation was over (it rained a lot that year and there wasn't much to do outside). Every time I rolled the dice, I could have devoutly repeated the mantra, "Given enough time, anything can happen," but the only change would be the depth of the hole into which I would have continued to sink.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Indications of sudden death--or something else?

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In this article in the Biblical Archaeology Review, the remains of an ancient Palestinian are described as "a badly crushed human skeleton . . . sprawled on its back with limbs splayed, indicative of sudden death."

I ran a search on "indicative of sudden death" and found that all other references were to forensic investigations in the present. This was the only one in an archaeological setting. And there were no hits whatsoever for the two terms in juxtaposition, "limbs splayed", and "sudden burial."

Actually, it is sudden burial, not sudden death, which is most likely indicated by a crushed and splayed skeleton. Most people who die suddenly are subsequently laid to rest in a position of calm repose, with nothing to indicate how fast it took them to die.

I raise this issue because most vertebrate fossils are found sprawled and crushed, and often fragmentary; very indicative of sudden burial--and just as sudden contemporaneous death. Yet the classic view of fossilisation requires a long and gradual process of burial.

If archaeologists can clearly recognise the signs of sudden burial--whether or not they know what to properly call it--why can't paleontologists?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Sarah Palin's Views on Abstinence Lead to Second Grandchild?

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I just have to comment on this. Saying that abstinence education leads to pregnancy is like saying nutrition education leads to obesity; they're leaving out the actual cause, which is premarital sex and overeating, respectively.
In September 2008, Sarah's 17-year-old daughter Bristol announced that she was five months pregnant while her mother continued to support beliefs that obviously do not work within her own family. That year she also voted to cut funding to a program that helped support teen mothers, according to the Washington Post.
In the ultimate hypocrisy, Bristol went on to earn more than $260,000 in 2009 as an advocate against teen pregnancy while at the same time admitting that abstinence was not realistic.

More when I get to it . . .

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Here's a very interesting link

Counter US Debt Clock in Real Time

here's another one:
Gas Price Map

I got these both from refdesk.com, a site run by the other Drudge, Bob.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

One giant leap--for gender sensitivity?

Counter It's been forty-two years since Humanity went to the Moon. When the first person stepped off the Eagle onto the Sea of Tranquility, they said, "That's one small step for [a] human, one giant leap for Humankind."

Or at least, that's how it would read in the NNIV.

But the stubborn fact remains, only Men have ever been to the moon. And they went as representatives of "All Mankind."

Monday, 18 July 2011

Slaves or souls: The NIV in Genesis 12:5

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For an exhaustive verse-by-verse and book-by-book comparison between the ONIV, TNIV, and NNIV, see this website.


Genesis 12:5 KJV
And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

NIV
He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

Revelation 18:13 KJV
And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men (καὶ σωμάτων καὶ ψυχὰς ἀνθρώπων).

NIV
cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and (ONIV) bodies and souls of men /(NNIV) human beings sold as slaves.

The latter verse is the only place where the KJV has any form of the word 'slave.' The question is, does the KJV refer to slaves in the previous verse?

Rabbinic tradition holds that the reference to “souls that they had made in Haran” means converts to Judaism from Haran. This is clearly anachronistic.

The word itself is הַנֶּפֶשׁha-nefesh, which is typically translated as 'the soul.' It's used quite a bit in Genesis to refer to any living, breathing creature.

See this site for extensive discussion of what it means in Genesis 12. It's basically "possessions" or "chattel."  The NIV update didn't change anything, other than to double the 'r' in "Harran."

Thursday, 14 July 2011

What to do it CPS/DHS/DCS takes away your children (except by then it's probably too late)

Counter As a result of this post, I'm getting a lot of hits from people wondering what happens when Big Brother makes good on his claim to their children.

I haven't had it happen to myself--not the whole process anyway--but I've seen it happen enough times to give you a pretty good idea. Let's go through the flow chart:

1. Are the children yours? If not, kiss them goodbye; you'll probably never see them again. They will join the long line of "lonely children waiting to be adopted." Two biological parents, married to each other, probably will get their own children back, if anything short of rape or attempted murder is alleged.

2. Is it Friday afternoon? Then this is probably a politically motivated stunt meant to scare you into submission. You can work on getting them back starting first thing Monday (or Tuesday) morning.

3. Have any criminal charges been filed? If not, then Big Brother will try to get you to sign something "for the good of the children." You do not have to sign anything, you do not have to let them in your house, you do not have to let them take your children. Short of a criminal investigation, they have no grounds to touch your kids.

If you already let them take your kids away before you read this, so sorry. Tell everyone you know not to let it happen to them.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Why you WILL need off-grid capability

President Obama admits it--China has hacked into the nation's power grid and can turn it off at will.

You'd better have an alternate source of power, because sooner of later you WILL need to use it.

Standing by for the REAL Y2K.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

How to make money by selling to your victims while someone else pays for it

Here we go round the mulberry bush:

1) Pharmaceutical companies push for a new vaccine
2) The government mandates its use and subsidises it for low income families
3) Said company makes billions selling the vaccine to people who don't want it and can't afford it (what better marketing plan could anyone dream up?)
4) The vaccine causes autism in a given percentage of cases (even with a very low percentage, with universal inoculation we're talking many thousands of cases)
5) The Pharmaceutical company donates millions to foundations that push autism awareness
6) Said foundations get the government to underwrite treatment for autism
7) Pharmaceutical companies market autism-treatment drugs to gullible familes

and on and on it goes.

Friday, 8 July 2011

The stupidity of buying computers from a communist country

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So, China is loading the computers they sell us--both civilian and military--with the capability to at least spy on us, and perhaps take us over. Ah, free enterprise.

Dichotomy or Trichotomy: The NIV in Isaiah 57:16

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Does Isaiah 57:16 refer to spirits and souls, spirits, or just people?

KJV
For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls [which] I have made.

NIV
I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then (ONIV) the spirit of man would grow faint before me—the breath of man that I have created /(NNIV) they would faint away because of me— the very people I have created.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Why NATO attacked Libya

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Obama says that the US needs to fight Ghadaffi because he's killing civilians. How about Bashir, then?
Over the past four weeks, Government of Sudan (GoS) troops and allied militia have carried out a vicious and murderous attack on the people of the Nuba Mountains in the Sudanese state of South Kordafan. This is the very same government that perpetrated genocide in Darfur and continues to carry out devastating attacks on the region. Tellingly, Sudan’s president, Omer Al-Bashir, is already wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for the atrocities perpetrated in Darfur.

The real reason why NATO attacked Libya is that Ghadaffi was trying to take not only his country, but as many as would come with it, back to the gold standard. This was clearly unacceptable to the powers that be: hence, the billion-dollar-a-day military operation to remove him from power.