I think in a roundabout sort of way I may have come a step closer to the problem of the Predestination Emancipation Proclamation, at least in my own mind. I implore you if you disagree to look intently at scripture to form your own conclusion based on the assumption that I'm lying - go on, prove me wrong, I dare you. I'm interested to hear your proof.
I think that the position that I've arrived at is that man's free-will is little more than a logical construct based on a highly limited world view and scope. Or to put it more succinctly, in an absolute sense, free-will does not exist.
The usual argument against this runs thus: If God is choosing our path for us, then what choices do we have? Moreover what do our choices matter? God demands that we worship him of our own free will, but if we're predestined to damnation or salvation then how could we possibly have free will at all?
Good question, no? My answer is thus - Is man's free-will more or less important that God's Sovereignty? Is it actually possible to do something, or think something, or enact something that hasn't already been written and crafted by God Himself? I know that this is not the case.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
Consider these statements: Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:29-30
He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. Ephesians 1:5
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. Ephesians 1:11
The word for predestination that appears in the Greek is "proorizo". It's a word that implies a limiting in advance or something that has been determined beforehand. How can we as limited beings possibly change or somehow influence God's Sovereign plan? What's to say that even if we do or don't do something, God didn't already determine that that was to be?
From a mathematical standpoint, if A is a set and B is another set, and and every element of Ais also an element of B, then it follows that A is a subset of B. In an absolute sense, set B has already included all the elements of A.
My supposition is that whatever man's free-will actually is (set A),it still is entirely included within the plan, design and sovereignty of God (set B).
I've carved this up every which way until Thursday and I still can not get around, or over the basic truth God's will and power is exact and perfect. It seems arrogant to think that our free-will exists outside of that.
LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. Psalm 139:1-4
Moreover I think that it's impossible to even think a thought which God hasn't already written. I haven't just compromised one statement in this thought, I've totally beaten it into submission.
God is Sovereign, His will, His design, His thoughts and His purposes are far bigger, wider, loftier, more complicated and more coherent than anything we might come up with. Our so called "free-will" pales in the light of that; in an absolute sense, I doubt it even exists.
I usually don't give a rip about the game of handegg (not football) that is Rugby League, but for 3 games a year I am prepared to say...
I think that the NSWRL has a real problem with picking a run-on side for Origin III. Do they go with "youth" or "form", or some old heads, or a mix of all three? It's a dead rubber so should NSW be giving some guys a go who could be selected for the upcoming years?
Maybe they could go with Peter Berner or HG Nelson, Steve Pizatti, Tracy Grimshaw... I honestly don't think it matters who is in the 17. The fact of the matter is that the Blues played like shash for 40 minutes with a revolving door defence, and then when they got within 4 points, threw that away as well.
I think we saw more ball handling errors in the first 40 mins than the rest of the regular season combined. Anyone who was wearing a Blue shirt last night looked like a nuff-nuff. Did anyone wearing a blue shirt look compotent at all?
Maybe, I might be a little biased but I think Watmough had a great game, pulling off great hits and breaking the line a few times, a shame there was no runners off his breaks. I also think that the drink and chip seller who fell over at half-time, and that they showed in super slow-motion had an absolute blinder. He showed more heart than the people wearing blue on the field.
Where was Kimmorley? Kimmorley is the in-form half back of the comp so far, and where was he last night? Probably down at the local Ari going "I told you so. You should have picked me. I told you so. You should have picked me."
Rabs declared NSW State of Origin footy dead this morning. Send out the Umina Dragons U13s for all I care. They can't do any worse, can they?
Frequent readers of this blog will realise that my political views are massively to the left, or far further left than most of the mainstream media. The main reason for this is actually to do mainly with the point of social justice, and because ultimately I believe that the main driving force behind capitalism is pure unadulterated greed and or selfishness.
Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman once made the following submission to the New York Times (June 14 1998): "Socialism is a giant pyramid scheme that ultimately collapses, depending on population growth and services provided, when it becomes impossible to take in enough revenue to cover expenses. No social program has beaten poverty and none will."
Greenspan was at the time trying to speak about how in practice, Socialism ultimately fails the poor because the bureaucracy which runs it will eventually collapse. In broad terms with the rise and fall of empires, I suppose that he is in a roundabout way correct, but I seriously ask "is the alternative better?" I don't really know if he completely thought this through, or whether is ideology allowed him to do so.
Grant that poverty is always going to be difficult to control*, but making an attempt is a far nobler thing than in a pure capitalistic system where there is no attempt at all. What economic benefit is there in helping the poor? Nil. If a purely capitalistic approach is taken then the fate of people is of zero consequence, because there is no profit taking ability in doing anything about it.
The "market" does not actually determine what is socially prudent, it only determines the level of prices. Goods/services which are inefficient uses of capital are not provided for. This is known as a "market failure".
The classic example of this is the little brass plaques you happen to see around London, that indicated if a building before 1865 was insured against fire. Left purely to market forces, a building that was not insured by an insurance company was left to burn by that company's fire brigade unless it actually posed a significant threat to their insured interests. It probably helped in part to cause the fire at the Houses of Parliament in 1834 and the spate of fires on the River Thames in 1861.
http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/FireMarksAndPayments.asp Brigades would use the firemarks to identify whether a certain building was insured by them. When a building was on fire, several brigades would attend and if they did not see their specific firemark on the building, they would go away and leave it to burn. I guess that's capitalism in action for you.
The argument is countered not by "what is efficient" but by "what the people ought to have". A fairly reasonable case can be made for the defence forces, schools, roads, clean water services, sanitation, hospitals and health care, police, fire brigades, because if people don't have access to those things then people die...
... which under a purely capitalistic approach, is of not interest unless there's a measurable economic benefit or detriment: "If you don’t have the smarts or the money to insure yourself, then you must bear the consequences of not taking personal responsibility." - Ronald Reagan, AHIP Conference, Jan 8, 1979 And yet this man became President of the United States - "For the people, by the people", ignore the people, stick the people!
I think that more or less proves that ultimately the main driving force behind capitalism is pure unadulterated greed and or selfishness.
*And of course if poverty is defined poverty line by "economic distance" as used in the OECD and the European Union, where a level of income set at 50% of the median household income, then by definition poverty as a statistical measure would always exist, because that line exists.
Some say that that he knows two facts about ducks... and they're both wrong. Others say that is heart is in upside-down, and that he once gave a microwave oven to a tramp. All we know is that he's still called The Stig.
BBC's Top Gear has created what is probably the biggest stir since Kristin Shepard shot J.R Ewing (Who shot J.R?), but ultimately the announcement that Michael Schumacher is The Stig is fundamentally flawed.
The reason is thus: The original airing dates are wrong for Michael Schumacher to be the Stig.
The Dunsfold Park segments of Top Gear are filmed midweek on either a Tuesday or a Wednesday, then cut and go through editing and post-production suitable for airing between three and five weeks later.
The Black Stig sort of well... disappeared into the ocean in the first episode of Series 3. White Stig appears from Series 3, Episode 2 onwards which was first aired on November 2, 2003.
The problem is that Michael Schumacher can't have been the White Stig from 2003 - 2006 because he was a full-time contracted driver with the Ferrari F1 team.
Series 3 went from 26 October, 2003 - 28 December, 2003. Series 4 went from 9 May, 2004 - 1 August, 2004, Series 6 went from 22 May, 2005 - 7 August, 2005 and Series 8 went from 7 May, 2006 - 30 July, 2006. All of these would have conflicted very heavily with the Formula One calendar.
Are they seriously trying to tell us that Schumacher flew in some cases half-way around the world several times a week for the filming of Top Gear and then back to whereever the F1 circus was? Sorry, but there just aint enough days in the week; even if you are seven times world champion...
Fozzie, the Spirit of Comedy can no longer stand the terrible destruction plaguing comedy. He sends five telephone rings to five special people:
Adam Sandler, Rove McManaus, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller and Jim Carey...
When your powers combine, I am still NOT FUNNY. Go Not Funny!
The New York Times called it a "snore fest", the Sydney Morning Herald said that "it was the dullest film since Dull The Dull Dullard" and the projectionist at the Wagga Wagga Town Centre Theatre fell asleep before the opening scene.
This is the dullest, most boring and not funny film... ever... coming to cinemas in 2010...
Actually any film with Adam Sandler, Rove McManaus, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller and Jim Carey would not be funny... but dull.
Since we're in the off season, and this time of year usually doesn't revolve around football, I though I'd ask a semi-related football question.
If you were to pick the "Ultimate Fantasy Football Team" from any period in history, with people who might not necessarily have been football players, then who would you include?
I came up with the following (kit numbers are symbolic):
Goalkeeper: 1 GK - Idi Amin - nothing gets past him, not even pies. The way I figure it, he'd physically take up a lot of space; have an imposing presence. He'd ruthlessly rule from behind and he was already a boxing champion and a rugby player.
Backs: 39 LB - Joseph Stalin 76 CB - Aelius Hadrian 40 CB - Winston Churchill 13 RB - Sun Tsu - who all understood what having a good defence meant. Although Stalin's tactics were often questionable, he knew how to stop advances dead. Hadrian would be a good stopper, and in case of penalties could build a wall. Churchill wouldn't ever give up and had experience fighting on the beaches and in the streets. Sun Tsu said that "Invincibility lies in the defence"
Wings: 17 LM - Manfred von Richthofen 27 RM - Charles Lindbergh - they were both good on the wings. Having Richtofen in the squad would invariably turn this circus into the "Ace of Clubs" and Lindbergh would play with a lot of Spirit.
Midfield: 70 CM - John D Rockerfeller 48 CM - Karl Marx - who both liked "centralism" but for different reasons. Marx would necessarily play on the left, and Rockerfeller would be on the far right.
Forwards: 26 ST - Ernest Bevin 05 ST - Alfred von Schlieffen - Ernest Bevin as a Trade Union leader, knew a thing or two about having a good "strike" and Von Schlieffen had a brilliant attack plan and I reckon would have played better if the management had allowed him to.
The question as to why I didn't put Jesus in as Goalkeeper because "Jesus Saves" should be fairly obvious as everyone knows that "Rugby is the game they play in heaven"
The following are excerpts from Netanyahu's speech with regards two independant nations of Palestine and Israel.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/06/20096154420444791.html The Palestinian leadership must arise and say: 'Enough of this conflict. We recognise the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own in this land, and we are prepared to live beside you in true peace.' I am yearning for that moment, for when Palestinian leaders say those words to our people and to their people, then a path will be opened to resolving all the problems between our peoples, no matter how complex they may be. Therefore, a fundamental prerequisite for ending the conflict is a public, binding and unequivocal Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other.
I have already stressed the first principle: recognition. Palestinians must clearly and unambiguously recognise Israel as the state of the Jewish people. The second principle is: demilitarisation. The territory under Palestinian control must be demilitarised with ironclad security provisions for Israel.
There is of course one fundamental basic problem that Netanyahu faces, and that is that neither Hamas, Hezbollah nor the Arabic world generally accept the first principle, that Israel has a right to exists, and you can certainly bet that they're not going to accept the second one either.
The main reason for this is based purely on Hamas' own philosophy. If we look at the 1988 Covenant of Hamas we find the following: http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/880818a.htm On the Destruction of Israel: "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." (Preamble)
Rejection of a Negotiated Peace Settlement: "[Peace] initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement... Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the infidels as arbitrators in the lands of Islam... There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility." (Article 13)
So there you have it Mr Netanyahu. Your plan will be rejected in principle because the group whom you are dealing with simply refuses to conceed that you have a right to exist.
So then, if I was appointed grand-high leader of everything and my rule was law, how would I propose to solve the problem? The only solution I can possibly conceive of is this: Kick everyone out of the "Holy Land" without reserve, and then nuke every last square inch of it so that it is permanently unusable, permanently toxic and harmful, and impossible to enter. After banishing every living thing from the "Holy Land" and driving everyone out, I'd like to find some cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way back in.
Of course this would require me to actually get my hands on some cherubim and a flaming sword, but as far as I can make out, that would be a far easier prospect than my other plan which I'd enact if appointed grand-high leader of everything; that would be thus: Everyone should put up, shut up and get along. Rename the land Abram (since both Jews and Arabs consider him to be their father) and call everyone living there Abramic.
This solution would not be accepted either, but when you have both sides of the argument who are fundamentally wrong, and one side whose policy is active destruction of the other, it scarcely matters what solution you propose because it will never be accepted. Therefore the only logical outcome is that...
I'm wondering where exactly Holden are going to get these new 3.0L V6s from. Remember that they're not exactly in cahoots with Opel after the GM explosion, so the 3.2L V6 in the Opel Insignia is probably not available to them anymore. Does this mean a core job on their existing 3.6L V6 to take it down to 3.0L? Remember that it's already undergone a drop itself from 3.8L when they switched from the VY to VZ models.
Assuming that the do re-core the 3.6L motor down to 3.0L it doesn't really change the basic problem, that the Commodore still will weighs kg. The problem of carting about a big heavy car doesn't go away. That's the real underlying cause of fuel consumption - the competing forces of weight and horsepower.
Think about basic Newtownian physics (even though they're all obsolete). W = Fd - Work equals force times displacement (distance) F = ma - Force equals mass times acceleration By direct substitution we get: W = mad - Work equals mass times acceleration times distance Also: KE = ½mv² - Kinetic Energy (which is the ability to do work) equals one half of mass times velocity squared.
The basic constant in all of these is... mass. If you have a big engine or a small engine, they both still have to move the same amount of mass. Since the Commodore is not getting any smaller and will remain at about 1690kg for a VF Poverty Pack... or whatever they choose to call the base model VF. If you ask something smaller to move a big thing, then you either rev it harder which undoes the fuel consumption you've just saved or you need to drop the power output, which is an anathema to the buying public who be paying more money for a worse spec'd car.
Personally I hope that Holden abandon the Zeta Platform altogether and adopt the smaller one they'd developed for the Torana TT36 concept:
Given that when the price of petrol begins to head upwards again after the global financial crisis, then this is probably the best bet if Holden wants to keep its "big car". GM America were given a shakeup, and this I hope is a warning shot to GM Australia... or will that be RuddCar?
Troubled Opel has released the first official images of the new Opel Astra, which will premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. But rather than going on sale in either Germany or Britain, it's first release will be in Ireland in the first quarter of 2010.
“We’re continuing with the same premium design cues as the Insignia, inside and out of the car. However the main design themes, like the wing-shaped light signatures and the blade, needed an individual execution to avoid ‘cloning’ the model ranges. This is why, for instance, you see twin wings in the rear lights and a reversed blade on its flanks.” - OpelEurope’s head of design, Mark Adams.
This is the car that us in Australia will never see on our roads, because now that Opel has almost found a way to untangle itself from GM, and Holden will be importing the Korean-built Cruze, there's nowhere for it in the lineup any more.
It makes me wonder though, since both the Cruze and the Astra are built on the GM Detla II platform and because the Cruze is built mainly with the US market in mind, exactly how GM see the buying public in Australia. I mean it stands to reason hat if you offer a cheaper product, then the inputs of that product are also going to be cheaper if you want to maintain the same profit ratios.
The Astra H/C starts at $24,390 whereas the Cruze starts at $20,990. It doesn't take much to realise that an already imported car that's been siting around waiting to be cleared which costs more than a yet to be imported car which might not have even been built yet, with a $3400 more expensive price tag, is probably a better built and better conceived car. So what does this say for Astra I/D which has only just been unwrapped? Better again? Better hope so.
Only we won't know, 'cause we're not getting them... ever.
Walking around the supermarket today, I'm somewhat surprised at products which say "Made from all Natural Ingredients" as though being natural is somehow better for you than something which is not natural.
Scientists and Food Technologists are clever people, and they're not likely to add something (except to cheapen a product) if comprehensive testing proves that the thing that they're adding is dangerous or somehow harmful.
Saying something is natural doesn't always equate to being good for you. There are many natural things which to be honest are downright deadly. Remember that lead is entirely natural as are arsenic and mercury and yet you wouldn't go sticking that in people's food.
Coca-Cola for instance spent just on $126,000 back in 1902 to find a replacement to replace the estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass with an artificial substitute. Where are the "all-natural" brigade on that?
What about useful chemicals like Esters? Nitroglycerine for instance although was originally invented to blow up mountains, is quite useful for treating angina.
Not-Natural... think again before using it as a price point, OK? I'm not that easily convinced.
or otherwise titled: Is that the truth? Or did you read that in the Telegraph?
News Ltd again has shown precisely why reading the Daily Telegraph is quite frankly a waste of time and effort.
In Origin I last night, there was a crucial call which led to a NSW try being disallowed. The referees after much consideration made their decision, but News Limited, apparently wants the arguments to rage om.
The only logical conclusion that I can come up with yet again that a News Limited paper is worthless. If there is truth to be reported, then why are there two reports being produced for two cities with different opinions? The only answer is that News Limited is writing for their particular market in words that that market wants to hear.
Quite frankly, it's crap; the public deserve better, and in a digital age, it's far easier to catch them out.
CHINA's Communist Party has mobilised every arm of its massive state apparatus to ensure the 20th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on its citizens in Tiananmen Square passes unnoticed. Authorities censored a host of online services yesterday, launched armed patrols around the centre of Beijing and placed prominent dissidents under arrest.
On the evening of June 3, 1989, China's leadership moved to impose martial law on the centre of Beijing after almost seven weeks of protests begun by students, culminating in the peaceful occupation of Tiananmen Square outside the Forbidden City. Thousands of troops and tanks stormed the city streets and the square, crushing and shooting unarmed citizens. Since then, the event has been wiped from Chinese history books with most young Chinese having only vague knowledge of the massacre and many happy to dismiss it as history.
Perhaps the most famous photograph of the event was of "Tank Man". Indeed it has become one of the most famous photographs of the 20th Century. I think that if I was someone in that photograph, I should most like to be someone inside one of the tanks.
The fate of "Tank Man" remains unknown. I have read reports that he's still alive, and possibly living in Taiwan, Hong Kong or even Beijing itself but the fact that the Chinese Government has repressed his story along with the fate of an unknown number of thousands of students who died as a result of the massacre, makes me think that he is probably dead.
What is the fate of those students who survived, or were never caught? There must be quite of a lot of them who by now would be in their mid 40s; possibly in responsible positions. Surely the memory of twenty years ago still lives with them?
China did host the 2008 Olympic Games, but there were still questions asked about its human rights issues. As least the protesters in the lead up to the games weren't summarily executed. There are also other great issues such as the repression of information generally; that included the so called "Great Firewall of China" which sits around China's ISP keeping out "unwanted" ideas and information out.
Of course it is very easy just to point the finger of China's lack of awareness of their own history (mind you, if we look in our backyard we find that most students in the west don't know much about history because of ignorance and laziness more than repression), but it still doesn't explain why those people who went through it, haven't done something about changing it - unless of course they're still prevented from doing so.
Aside: I also find it starkly ironic that 20 years after this event with the collapse of General Motors, one of the symbols of all that was/is American in the brand Hummer has been sold to Chinese investors. I guess that Money is even louder than democracy... even in the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
This post is best viewed by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Down Arrow to rotate the screen for: Upside-down Calculator Haikus!
Yes, it's that great source of much mirth of 1970s style fun that you'll find in Maths classes. Sadly most high school kids never get past 58008 or 710 77345. Just remember to unrotate the screen when done... or for added fun, rotate a workmate's screen to really freak them out.
Tell me when will you be mine Tell me Quango, Quango, Quango We can share a love divine Please don't make me wait again With apologies to Engelbert Humperdinck
General Motors has now passed into the hand of the US Federal Government which in principle makes it the world's biggest Quango. What's a Quango you ask? Well, during the 1980s when all sorts of these things emerged, it was short for Quasi Non Government Organisation.
Now admittedly this sort of thing has existed in Britain quite well for years, with the most obvious example being the BBC, but in America for some bizarre reason, the same sorts of businessmen who run perfectly profitable companies, don't seem to have the nous to be in a Quango.
Think about some of the Quangos which exist in the USA: Amtrak - There's a joke if ever I saw one. Corporation for Public Broadcasting - which is a never ending source of re-runs and very very programs bought from the BBC on the cheap. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, American International Group (AIG) - Do we start laughing yet?
And now General Motors? Hmm. Can a Corporation owned by the US Government operate independently it? Is that even possible? Mr Obama seems to think so... well he hopes so.
Perhaps he should look to the BBC, because although it exists within the sphere of government, is most certainly not controlled by them (and is frequently criticised by them, so they must be doing something right). The Beeb has an independent board of directors and certainly does not take orders from HM Government. I'm not sure about GM though, they've already been fiddled with by the Obama administration:
Kijong-dong, North Korea. One of the most luxurious and best kept villages in the world. There is no hint of rubbish in the streets... or people... even on Google Maps with their satellite view, you soon see that the streets themselves don't actually exist. The whole town is simply a collection of uninhabited buildings within eye-shot of South Korea and placed within the DMZ that separates the two Koreas.
That's the point and essence of Kijong-dong, it exists merely for show. Nothing more; nothing less. This is all an elaborate production, put on for the entertainment of the West.
Whilst the world may yell condemnation at Kim Jong Il and North Korea's launch and testing of missiles and nuclear weapons, we should remember that this is probably a case like so much else of the DPRK, an elaborate show and should be treated as such.
At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union actually had the power to destroy an annihilate the world. The whole point of the Cold War and to an extent the Space Race, was that both sides knew that the best way to avoid total nuclear annihilation, was to threaten the enemy in order to prevent the use of the very same weapons. This was otherwise called: Mutual Assured Destruction or M.A.D. (which in case you weren't wondering, was not the same M.A.D. in Inspector Gadget, that was Mean And Dirty).
The main problem with Kim Jong Il and North Korea, is that Mr Jong Il is a certifiable nutcase. The "Dear Leader" is the centre of something like a personality cult, and it's likely that his power is maintained via that personality cult and de facto the military.
The best response that the West has to North Korea is to let them keep on rattling their nuclear sabres. If the South, Russia or the US actually invaded North Korea, then there'd be a 98% chance that they'd win... but what exactly would you win? A country in a mess? Thousands upon thousands of refugees? They'd spill across the borders into South Korea, China and Russia, and you can guarantee that not an option which Seoul, Beijing or Moscow want at the moment.