September 30, 2011

Horse 1233 - Death by 4WD

Before I started out writing this piece, I had a hard time finding the exact article I was looking for. Quite frankly I was shocked, dismayed and rather disappointed at what I found. The results below should show why:
A 16-MONTH-OLD boy died last night after being run over by a reversing utility in the driveway of a Mornington Peninsula home.
The boy, from Red Hill, suffered critical head injuries when he was hit by the Toyota utility shortly before 4.30pm at Prossors Lane
- The Age, 15-06-11
A two-year-old girl has died after she was run over in the driveway of her parents' house south of Perth.
- ABC Perth, 03-07-11

A two-year-old girl has died after she was hit by a car in a driveway in Lindfield.
Emergency services were called to Milray St, Lindfield at about 5.15pm after reports the girl had been run over in her driveway.
- North Shore Times, 22-09-11

This was the actual news story I was looking for:
POLICE have urged parents to be vigilant when driving near young children following the death of a toddler yesterday after he was run over by the family car, the third such case in a week.
The three-year-old boy died after his mother accidentally reversed the family's BMW 4WD over him at their home in Rushcutters Bay, in Sydney's east, yesterday.
The tragedy came within a week of two similar accidents.
- The Australian, 29-09-11

Are you noticing a trend here? I am.
What's also shocking is that every single one of these tragedies which have no doubt ruined their respective families was ultimately avoidable. In Horse 1155 I wrote something about Four Wheel Drives in the city; my view is unchanged. They're big but they're not clever.

I think that it's worth reiterating this report from the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit:
In Australia pedestrian crashes are responsible for half of all transport related deaths of children aged under five years. Of these fatalities half are the result of a low speed driveway run-over.

A recent study examining driveway run-over deaths of young children in Australia found that most fatalities involved toddlers being reversed over by a large 4WD vehicle in the driveway of their own home by a member of their immediate family.

Nearly 80% of the cases were described as occurring at home with 60% taking place in the driveway or garage/carport. Forty per cent of runovers occurred on a Saturday or Sunday while 40% took place between 3pm and 6pm in the afternoon and 32% between 8am and 12pm in the morning.

I understand totally that people who but these vehicles probably do so because they're under the impression that their family will be safer. Admittedly there have been vast improvements in the safety ratings of big 4WDs over the past ten years, but on the whole they still lag behind "normal" sedans and hatches in terms of safety.
Also, it's generally true that in an accident between a big thing and a small thing, the laws of physics will dictate that the big thing generally wins. Unfortunately when that big thing is a 4WD and the small thing is a child, the rule also applies and the results are tragic.

I don't want to diminish the sadness of what has happened but when children are killed by a car in their own driveway, this indicates a serious problem and I think that it's very fair to lay the blame squarely at 4WD vehicles themselves.
By their nature they are built to have a higher ground clearance (though in some cases like Mercedes' ML series this is debatable) and the reason for this is that a 4WD vehicle is ostensibly designed to travel over rough surfaces. If you happen to be living on a farm, or in the country where you need to be regularly driving on dirt roads or paddocks, then a 4WD vehicle is obviously the perfect choice but if you are living in the city, then quite frankly you're not using the vehicle for the purpose for which it was intended.
Because big 4WD vehicles are suspended higher above the ground than "normal" cars, the view out of the rear window can be as much as 1000mm above the view that you get out of a "normal" car. Unfortunately whilst the car might be taller, children aren't. A child who might be visible out of the back window of a Honda Civic, might not be visible at all out of the back window of a big 4WD vehicle.
There is more than a hint of tragic irony in that presumably a vehicle which was bought to protect the precious occupants, is the same instrument which brings death.

Some portion of the blame for these sorts of tragedies must lie with the regulations which allowed them to be sold to people in the first place.
As the law stands, it is possible for someone to get their full Driver's Licence by the age of 21 and never ever be tested ever again. This doesn't even allow for the fact that at age 21 most people are driving smaller and cheaper cars; by the time that they reach 40 and have a family, the cars that people are driving, are far far bigger behemoths weighing more than two tonnes.
You need to get a special permit to drive a forklift; you need to get a special permit to work in a confined space, so why is it that you don't need a special permit to drive a vehicle which kills with alarming regularity?
Police said it was most likely that Harry had chased the soccer ball behind the moving car and his mother simply didn't see him.
"It is just a horrible, horrible accident that is any parent's absolute worst nightmare," a police spokeswoman said yesterday. Officers investigating the accident said Mrs Blencke had "done everything right".
- The Daily Telegraph, 30-09-11

Done everything "right"? How can something like this be considered "right"? The Telegraph has understandably written a very emotive piece but doesn't even think of suggesting that steps to avoid this sort of situation should be taken in the first place. Why not?
How come no-one ever suggests that there might be something "wrong" with driving unsuitable vehicles in the city? How come no-one ever suggests that there might be something "wrong" with having untrained people driving said vehicles in the city? Until something drastic changes in the law or the way it is administered, we're going to continue to read stories like this in the newspaper; basically because people think that big 4WDs are cool.

September 23, 2011

Horse 1232 - The Real Villian of The Lion King

No dount you would have seen the adverts for Disney's "The Lion King" which has been recast as a 3D release.

Who is the real villain of the picture?

Sure, Disney would like us to think it's Scar what with the parade of hyenas looking like something from Nazi or Stalinist Russia and being played by Jeremy Irons (because only British people can properly play evil characters), but is the real villain someone else?

Notwithstanding the obvious fact that Scar did basically contribute to Mufasa's death by causing him to fall into a stampede and get trampled, which I suppose is akin to pushing someone in front of a train and the subsequent lying and manipulation of Simba's emotions, but if Simba survived and Mufasa didn't because of the operation of chance, then Scar's actions are more criminally negligent and causing harm, than actually causing harm itself.

That aside, I think that the real villain of the picture is Nala.

What?! You've got to be kidding me?

It is normal for Lions when asserting dominance over a pride to attack each other. When Scar takes over, then this is perfectly normal within Lion society. Simba would normally be forced to leave the pride at age 2 or 3 anyway.

Nala upon realising that she has the opportunity to ascend Lion society, manipulates Simba into returning; citing that the kingdom is a terrible place to live under Scar. There actually appears to be no other reliable witnesses other than Zazu to corroborate her story. Unlike say Animal Farm where the animals are directly oppressed under the reign of the pigs led by Napoleon, there isn't really any evidence that the animals in the Pride Lands are being oppressed either.
There is a point made in the story suggesting that Scar turned the land from a lush paradise to a barren wasteland but given that lions do not engage in farming or industry, is that even technically possible?

Basically Nala's story is similar to Lady Macbeth, in that she goads her mate into going through with an act of regicide; perhaps motivated by her own wish to ascend through Lion Society which would happen as a result of a new king taking over. From Simba's prospective he is motivated by revenge, which scarcely seems better than Scar's original lust for power in the first place.
Nala however rather than acting on her own, motivates Simba to act out that course of revenge; thereby leaving her with no blood on her hands (paws) at all.

The moral to Nala's story is that manipulation and entrapment are acceptable methods of getting what you want; likewise Simba teaches us that revenge is an acceptable justification for regicide.

And you all thought it was a nice G-Rated story... have I just ruined your childhood?

September 22, 2011

Horse 1231 - News Ltd - A Company By Any Other Name
News Limited, the Australian arm of Rupert Murdoch's media empire News Corporation, is to change its name in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.
A 41-page advertising pitch leaked to Australian news website discloses that the company plans to rebrand itself as News Australia, in an apparent bid to distance itself from the damaging fallout following the closure of the News of the World.
The document acknowledges that in Mr Murdoch's native country, News Limited, which controls a large part of the newspaper market and owns the only national newspaper, is viewed as an "arrogant newspaper company" that is "difficult to deal with".
- The Daily Telegraph (UK), 21 Sep 2011.

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet*;
- Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, Scene II, Act II. William Shakespeare 1600

Is changing the name of the company going to make a lick of difference to how it is perceived? Surely the public's perception of a company or indeed any entity, person or thing isn't determined by what they're called but by how they act.
If News Limited is viewed as an "arrogant newspaper company" that is "difficult to deal with", then the reason why it's viewed as such is because it has acted as an arrogant newspaper company that is "difficult to deal with, surely?

I think quite rightly that the public views News Limited more as the "Murdoch" media empire; this is known as a metonym, where a thing stands for the whole, in much the same way as "Canberra" would be understood by the public to encompass the whole political process. The subject of metonymy in this case also helps to explain why the public views News Limited more as the "Murdoch" media empire.

News Limited's newspaper have long thrown partisan support behind political parties where it suited them. Usually in Australia this means the Liberal Party, in the UK the Conservatives, and the US the Republican Party but in all three cases the company shifts its stance as it sees fit.

Particularly in Australia where News Limited dominates 70% of the newspaper market, the company is seen to have a very big sway over public opinion. By its nature a newspaper helps to psychologically block out the rest of the world for a short time as people are engaged with it; this means that the messages of the newspaper are quite powerful.
Demographically the people who tend to buy newspapers are usually richer than the general populace and because of this they actually have a greater degree of say within the economy by exercising their buying power. It's therefore no accident that in a very closed market like newspaper ownership in Australia both News Ltd. and Fairfax Media Ltd. are both broadly centre-rightist publications.

In all honesty I think that over the next ten years its all academic anyway. Newspapers generally around the world are losing circulation and the convergence of media means that people are now able to get news from a wider viewpoint should they choose to do so.

But I think that the biggest change the News Ltd will happen when Rupert Murdoch himself dies. He was born in 1931 and is now 80 years old. Taken today Rupert has a life expectancy of 8.09 years which means that he is likely to die in 2019. When that happens, I think that the nature of News Ltd itself will change because of a change in leadership.
There is also the possibility that News Ltd will spin the newspaper group out of the company. Personally I think that the only reason why News Ltd retains a newspaper business at all is because Rupert himself likes them as things to play with.
For whatever reason once/if/when News Ltd does divest its newspaper group, a change within the editorial stance of the corresponding newspapers is quite likely, just like before when the London Times newspaper shifted from being a stuffy newspaper of record, or when The Wall Street Journal changed to being more "popularist".

Basically a change in News Limited newspapers requires either a real change in News Limited itself or a change in ownership of the newspapers. In short it means the end of Rupert at the top.
Merely changing the name is unlikely to do anything at all.

*It has been suggested that The Rose was a rival theatre to Shakespeare's Globe and that it had less than perfect sanitation. Maybe The Rose by any other name would still stink.

September 21, 2011

Horse 1230 - Palestine and the UN
"The Palestinian people and their leadership will pass through very difficult times after the Palestinian approach to the United Nations through the Security Council,"
- Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority.

I'd like to preface this piece by making a general statement that I think that Palestine as a nation has the full right to Self-Determination. I would suggest that any people group wishing to form their own nation provided they do so in a peaceable manner, have a perfectly reasonable right to their Sovereignty.

Except Palestine is different.

Mahmoud Abbas is the current Chairman of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation). The PLO itself was founded in 1964 when Syrian and Palestinian fedayeen basically called for a rematch of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, basically in which the Arab states basically rejected Israels right to exist. The PLO itself was considered a Terrorist Organisation until 1991 by the UN.

Mahmoud Abbas as the President of the Palestinian National Authority is also leader of the political party which holds government, Fatah. Fatah has as it's stated goals:

Article 12: Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.
Article 13: Establishing an independent democratic state with complete sovereignty on all Palestinian lands, and Jerusalem is its capital city, and protecting the citizens' legal and equal rights without any racial or religious discrimination.
I wonder if that's before or after the total eradication of Zionist existence though.

On the other side of the political divide in Palestine is Hamas. Hamas is a sort of offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and was formed in 1987 during the First Intifada. Hamas is an openly violent organisation and frequently claims responsibility for terrorist attacks on Israel.
Hamas has within its charter:
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)

Taken together it means that both sides of the political divide in Palestine are committed to the eradication and destruction of the Israelli state if not also its people. Going back to my initial caveat that I think that people groups have a full right to Sovereignty provided they do so in a peaceable manner, I very much fail to see how granting Palestine recognition by the UN is going to make the process any more peaceful.
When both both sides of politics are ultimately committed to the wholesale destruction of certain people, I really question why the world should even allow them to exist, let alone grant them international recognition.

I can see parallels with Sinn Féin and the IRA. History has more or less proven that Sinn Féin was more successful at the ballot box than they ever were with the Armalite.
I also think of the world's newest nation South Sudan. South Sudan was formed following some truly bloody fighting and hideous violence; after which a referendum was held for independence. Although the President Salva Kiir Mayardit was the former head of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement which in effect caused the bloodshed, in his innaurgual address as the new President he said:
"We have been maimed, enslaved and treated worse than a refugee in our own country. We will forgive but we will not forget."
That last remark that they will forgive is most noteworthy. I just don't think that there is room for forgiveness within Fatah or Hamas.

As much as I think Rick Perry (current Governor of Texas and hopeful Presidential Candidate for 2012) is a wignnut, I fear that he may be right:
"The Obama policy of moral equivalency, which gives equal standing to the grievances of Israelis and Palestinians, including the orchestrators of terrorism, is a dangerous insult."

Does the recognition of Palestine help to legitimise a government and parliament of terrorists? I think that the people of Palestine should be able to form their own Sovereign  nation should they choose to do so, but I'd very much like to see it happen without the involvement of Fatah or Hamas.

September 20, 2011

Horse 1229 - Euthanasia Debate II

Following last night's episode of  QandA on ABC1, the question was asked about whether there should be a robust debate about euthanasia. Some panelists made the commment that religion should be kept out of it (which I think amounts to a deception in logic), and that the debate should be framed in terms of logic.

In framing the question of euthanasia, the first question is to do with wether or not the person is "compos mentis". Compos Mentis is a good Latin phrase which at common law means having command of one's mind.
I would like for someone to first establish a definitve and authorative test of whether someone contemplating being euthanased actually is or even can be compos mentis. Generally if a person is contemplating suicide then they're hardly in a state to be making permanent decisions. There have been cases at law where a will has been held to be invalid because the person was not in a fit state of mind to write it; I think that this situation is rather similar.
Also, if someone wishes to be euthanaised then how exactly is this different to a state of duress? Duress is undue pressure to perform an act to which someone would not normally do. Someone either contemplating suicide or wishing to be euthanaised is considering something which clearly is not "normal".

The word euthanasia itself derives from two Greek roots. "Eu" which is "good" and "thanatos" which is "death". Can anyone honestly provide proof that there is such a thing as a "good death"?
Since death itself is not only the last journey one can undertake, it's also a journey once it has been undertaken, that nobody reports back from. Personally given the basic state that everyone has a basic survival instinct, I fail too see how that journey can actually be "good". Simple Common Sense let alone any Christian values I might be informed by, suggests that all death is bad. The thing is that I've never heard anyone actually disprove this (because presumably they can't), so in the interim my standpoint is immutable.

Secondly I question whether or not a so-called "Right to Die" can even be held to exist in the first place.
At Common Law a right is either a legal, social or ethical principle of freedom and or entitlement. Currently in no State or Territory in Australia is there an entitlement to terminate one's own life.
Also, how can one be said to extend or enhance one's freedom by extinguishing it entirely?

In NSW murder is a defined crime under section 18 of the Crimes Act 1900. Section 31A of the Crimes Act 1900 was abrogated which does in fact strike off suicide as a crime, but just because it's a struck off crime doesn't infer an entitlement at law. A tort at Common Law requires no legislation to exist, it might not be charged but it doesn't remove it.*

Can you really make the distinction between both a person as a subject and the owner of their own body at law? If you actually do then does that mean to say that a person's body is their own property? Euthanasia then becomes a property rights issue; if so, is someone's life their property to destroy?

Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." Since the Article defends the right to liberty and security of person, does that include the defence against one's self?
Also, Article 6 of the UDHR says: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.". I argue that death generally is degrading and certainly inhuman. Again, since no-one comes back from the journey then there is no-one who can disprove this; again  in the interim my standpoint is immutable.

Simple common sense tells me that death is bad. Christian doctrine informs me that it isn't the way the world was intended to be. I understand and can sympathise that there are people close to death who are in tremendous pain and might wish to die but because no-one can guarantee that the experience of death itself isn't worse, then it's a gamble where the odds are not known. Legal policy should not be written based on unknown gambles.
There is certainly a role for Palliative Care and every person I've ever met in such a role at least in my experience, does their level best to care for people. If the highest and best standard is the care of other people, then I fail to see how terminating someone's life even if they request it achieves this.

*Common Law in this respect agrees exactly with Romans 5:13

September 16, 2011

Horse 1228 - Rollo's $1 Offer To Toyota

On Tuesday, Toyota Australia president and chief executive Max Yasuda warned that continuing industrial action would hurt Australian operations and the cars could be produced elsewhere.
He said the company was already at a disadvantage due to the strong Australian dollar, high local costs and reduced volumes.
"If Australian operations are uncompetitive and perceived as unreliable, these cars can be made at another Toyota plant," he said.
- Herald Sun, Sep 16, 2011

Dear Toyota,

Get Lost.


I really do not feel sorry for the Toyota Motor Company. As far as the Australian economy goes, they have in the past already received subsidies for car which they were already selling, been in disputes with the Australian Taxation Office for shifting profits overseas to avoid tax and on more than one occasion.

Admittedly Toyota are a corporation which does mean that like every other corporation, they are self-interested in profit which of itself is perfectly reasonable but (and I do happen to feel sorry of the people working in the plants who have felt the need for industrial action) with an attitude which defeats one of the factors which produces the product you sell in the first place, I just don't see how this is useful.

Assuming Toyota does decide to pull its Australian operations, the effects would go far beyond the few thousand people working just at Toyota plants. There are all sorts of related industries making componentry, brakes, paints, glass, plastics mouding etc etc etc which would also suffer.

Three years ago I suggested something daft and to be perfectly honest, I'd be willing to do it again.

I have been overseas on a number of occasions and the thing that strikes me about looking at cars in other countries is that even if you have an "identical" car, the Australian version of it seems to be better built and holds together longer; you can actually prove this emempirically.
The average age of cars in Australia is 9.7 years, where as in the UK it's 6.8 years and the US it's 7.7 years. If you look at the average life of cars built in Australia is 15.7 years whereas for all imports it's only 13.0 years.
To reiterate what I said in Horse 878, I have faith in Aussie workers to build a better car than the rest of the world and statistical data suggests that that faith is well grounded.

So why would I tell Toyota to get lost? To put it bluntly, I have more faith in the workers at Toyota plants than I do in the Toyota Motor Company.
If Toyota do want to leave, then goodbye, thanks for coming. I'll make the same offer to Toyota as I did to Mitsubishi.

I'm willing to offer $1 in exchange for the Australian Operations. and I'm laying it on the table now. There's your offer. I know that I could have Australia's biggest car company in five years for the simple reason that Australian workers building cars for Australian conditions do a better job, and I think that the general public appreciates this.

People are willing to pay a premium for a properly built motor car. Look at the success of Mazda and VW of recent years. If you look back over the past 60 years, Holden and Ford built their positions as the then market leaders on precisely this principle.

$1 - There it is.

September 06, 2011

Horse 1227 - That One Day In September... in October

I can safely say that the 2011 AFL season has probably been the least remarkable season I have seen in a long time.
If you look through the playing rosters for both the top two of Collingwood and Geelong, there aren't any real standouts; that I think has been the biggest fundamental shift in the game generally over the past five years. You have to go back to 2006 before you find a Grand Final which didn't have either Collingwood or Geelong; so that must indicate something.
I think that what this season has proved more than any other in a while, is that when a team retains possession, they're likely to go on and win matches.

If you look through the matches for 2011, Collingwood tended score most of their points from the Half-Forward line. This is reflected in the fact that if pressed they tended to drive even further forward to score even more goals. Collingwood won most of their matches comfortably, and on 7 occasions easily broke a 10 goal margin.

Geelong on the other hand although held possession through the midfield, still had a tendency to push on to the Full-Forward line and have drives broken, only to recover the resulting counter breakout back in the midfield again. Geelong had 7 matches in 2011 which turned on less than two kicks.

Even so, Geelong's 186 thumping of Melbourne (Geelong 37.11 (233) def. Melbourne 7.5 (47)) does show that if on top, Geelong are prepared to keep on pressing to the point of utter ridiculousness.

Looking at the way the Finals Series is set up, this is how I think that September will play out:

QF1. Collingwood def. West Coast
QF2. Geelong def. Hawthorn

EF1. Carlton def. Essendon
EF2. St.Kilda def. by Sydney

SF1. Carlton def. by West Coast
SF2. Hawthorn def. by Sydney

PF1. Collingwood def. Sydney
PF2. Geelong def. West Coast

GF. Collingwood def. Geelong

Depending on what sort of start Geelong get against Collingwood on that "One Day In September" (Actually October this year), they'll find out how easily Collingwood can diffuse their Full-Forward lines. If they don't push through early, Geelong will spend the rest of the match trying to wrestle the ball in the midfield, and then find that the Pies will still be able to muster short kicks to their menacing Half-Forwards.

If in the unlikely event that either Collingwood or Geelong don't make it to the Grand Final, then the other one is very likely to smack seventeen kinds of black and blue into their opposition and we're going to see yet another one-sided final.

September 05, 2011

Horse 1226 - Rollo's New And Better "Enterprise Solution"

The Gillard Government currently has a problem with off-shore processing of asylum seekers. Having failed to get the "Malaysian Solution" through the High Court and the "Nauru Solution" looking shaky, I have an entirely new solution. I call it the "Enterprise Solution".

Under my brand new scheme, Australia would buy the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) from the United States which is scheduled for retirement in 2013 anyway. Then we do a major refit.

The ship currently has enough living quarters for a maximum of 5,828 but if we removed the capacity to carry 70 aircraft then I'm sure that a few more could be put on board and the standards of living on board ship can be quite nice indeed, provided the ship is appointed properly. Anyone who has spent time aboard a cruise ship can attest that living quarters are quite reasonable. If the Chinese can do it with the former Soviet carrier "Kiev", then why can't we?

This would mean that there would be no requirement to change the Migration Act; no High Court defences. Because the ship itself would be Australian Territory, you could effectively have on-shore processing in the middle of the ocean. Also, because you could fly a number of small transport aircraft from the ship, people could be flown to Australia once processed.

If a more immediate solution was required, the USS Independence (CV-62) and USS Constellation (CV-64) are already in mothballs and don't need to be decommissioned. The Australian Government could just buy them this afternoon and then refit them.

Honestly, if I can think creatively about this then why can't our elected representatives? And of course there is a great irony to the problem of so-called "boat people" by having a solution using another boat.

September 02, 2011

Horse 1225 - Charlie And The Error Factory

I was flipping through a copy of that perennial favourite children's book "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory" when I've either noted something of a continuity error, or perhaps something deliberate.

In the edition I'm looking at now on page 51, Grandpa Joe gives Charlie a sixpence to go out and buy a Wonka bar so that he might win a Golden Ticket. Just 7 pages later on page 58, Charlie finds a fifty-pence piece on the ground which he then uses to buy the Wonka bar which ultimately does yield a Golden Ticket.

Spot the error?
Why on page 51 do we have a pre-decimal 6d, but on page 58 a decimal 50p?

The front of the book tells us two dates for publication. The book was originally published in 1964, and the second edition was first published in 1973.

If in the 1973 edition we are told that Grandpa Joe hadn't gotten out of bed in years, then it's entirely feasible that he might have a pre-decimal sixpence, considering that Britain went Decimal in 1971. Decimal coins though started finding their way into circulation in 1968 and pre-decimal coins were supposed to be demonitised in 1971.
What I'm wondering is was this a deliberate inculsion in the 1973 edition or was it an oversight?

It also leads me to ask what Charlie found on the ground in the 1964 edition. Presumably he would have found a half-crown (2/6) but having never seen a 1964 edition I don't know. Certainly Roald Dahl would have had no way of knowing that in seven years time, the half-crown would not be in use.

I also wonder what sort of game Roald Dahl was playing at in 1964. After looking through the archives at the Mitchell Library this afternoon, I can tell you after looking in a copy of The Times, that in 1964 a Mars Bar should have cost threepence; if Charlie paid sixpence, he was being ripped off.
I also looked through a 1973 copy of The Times and found that a Mars Bar was worth 8d. Now the old Shilling became 5p, which also means that the old Sixpence was only worth 2½p and wouldn't even come close to buying a chocolate bar.

In either time period, the amount of money which Charlie spends isn't true to life; on top of this the book isn't even consistent with itself.

Still, I suppose I shouldn't expect much from a piece of fiction which is 47 years old and in which in the 1964 edition had instead of Oompa-Loompas had "Black Pygmies" working in the factory in what amounts to slave labour.

Horse 1224 - When Was Israel Saved? (A Brief Look at Covenant Law)

In my local church we have been taking a potted survey of the Book of Exodus. Our pastor Tony, last Sunday left us with three "homework" questions:
From: 22mins 08secs

If we took Israel as a person, when was he or she saved?
When did Israel become a Christian?
When were they delivered?
It may teach us something about our own salvation.

I wondered about this this week and didn't really come up with much of an answer until I cam across the following gem from the Master Tax Guide.

"A CGT event has not happened until a thing which causes a CGT event to happen has happened"

At first glance this sounds like doublespeak, it almost sounds like a case of gibberish and it also appears to be totally unconnected to the questions at hand. Nevertheless, I think that it illustrates a useful point.
For some "things" to happen at law, they first must be executed in the proper manner; that is also to say that a thing hasn't happened unless it has happened. Merely the fact that a contract or covenant has been written, is not to say that it has happened.
All legislation, trust deeds, company constitutions, contracts and covenants are not said to have taken effect unless assent has been given (almost always with a written signature). For someone to be "saved" requires the execution and assent of a covenant. That last item is of particular note.

A covenant is an agreement at law. Covenants exist throughout the world in the context of international treaties, certain legal rights and promises in connection with property, there are even covenants which restrict people from engaging or performing certain acts such as property damage.

A covenant exists between Christians individually and the church collectively and is In the simplest possible terms basically "I will be your God and you will be my people". The Hebrew "Berith" and Greek "Diatheke", both of which mean a covenant, are used more than three hundred times throughout the Bible.
Christ himself pretty much spelled out the terms of the covenant during the Last Supper:

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
- Matthew 26:27-28

Here we have a short explanation of the settlement sum of the covenant, the method of payment and even how it is to be executed.

Now obviously it is somewhat difficult to collect a signature from a noncorporeal God, however since Christ has died, it can be taken as fact that his assent has been given. Our assent to to the covenant is spelled out in this form:

"If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."
- Romans 10:9-10

Okay, all of this is fine with us who live in a post crucifixion period, but what of the nation of Israel. What about those people?

God established a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 17 in which the same terms "I will be your God and you will be my people" is made. Considering that Israel as a person or as a nation did not yet exist, then we need to go onwards.

We can see in Exodus 6:6-8 terms of a covenant spelled out, but verse 9 records that "Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor." This appears to be a rejection of terms of the covenant. Is Israel as a person saved? Not yet.

Actually to be perfectly pedantic, actual assent to the covenant on the part of Israel doesn't actually occur until Exodus 19:8 "The people all responded together, “We will do everything the LORD has said.”"
That then is the answer I think. Although Israel's covenant ultimately would be replaced with the new covenant, I think that it can be taken that Israel wasn't a "Christian" until then. It is at that point that a covenant is not only established but executed.