Israel and Fundamentalism

October 5, 2006 by  
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You’re probably thinking this post is going to be about fundamentalist Islam and its opposition to Israel.

It’s not.

It’s about fundamentalist Christianity and its support of Israel.

Save Israel, for Jesus?

In the article it mentions a guy who has written several books about the second coming of Christ, put in particular this one titled Jerusalem Countdown.

Hagee explored this from a political standpoint in his interpretation of scripture, “Jerusalem Countdown,” which has sold more than 600,000 copies. The book’s geopolitics are very precise, beginning with an alliance between Russia and the Islamic world.

“Russia is going to get in that position and they are literally, with all that massive military force, going to attack Israel,” Hagee said. “This is recorded in Ezekiel 38 and 39. God himself is literally going to destroy that army. Decimate it.”

And he said that will be followed by a Chinese army of 200 million coming to the city of Armageddon where they will meet British and U.S. forces in the Battle of Armageddon.

This sort of specificity worries me, not because I believe it and immediately start ‘warning’ my friends about this new truth I’ve read, far from it. It’s akin to saying, “Jesus is coming back at midnight, New Year’s Eve 2006! I know it, because my calculations prove it, and we’re going into 2007, seven being a holy number! Everything is aligned!”

The Iranian Blog-error

October 5, 2006 by  
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It was with much media hype that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad added Persian Blogger to his résumé back in August.

One tip for blogging I’ve heard is that you should post regularly. Don’t let your readers forget about you by leaving your blog abandoned for weeks on end.

But this is exactly what Mahmoud has done – he has committed blogging suicide by not following up with any more posts. Something tells me he’s none too concerned about that, but we shall see if he re-enters the blogging fray.

Oh, man! It’s been so long since I posted! Sorry everyone, things have been so busy – the EU on my back about nuclear power, apocalypse-talk at the UN, catching up with Chavez.

Ha, speaking of Hugo, I’ve got a great Bush joke for you…

The usual.

Well before use

October 4, 2006 by  
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If you were a lawyer, how successfully do you think you could you argue that the instruction to shake a can “well before use” was ambiguous, and in need of clearer definition?

Is it “Shake well before use”

or

“Shake well before use” ?

Could you argue the latter on behalf of a client for whom unfortunate consequences had resulted from not shaking immediately before use?

You be the judge.

No, I’m the judge. You be the lawyer.

It’s getting hot in here

October 4, 2006 by  
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Climate change has been a big issue for a long time, or a non-issue according to some governments and journalists.

This post comes from a comment at Crikey, saying peer-reviewed scientific journals are the most relevant way of determining the accuracy of…well, whatever it is they’re studying, precisely because their peers review it, and it doesn’t get published if the data is wrong. That said, there are a multiplicity of peer-reviewed papers showing “evidence that global warming is happening, that it is caused largely by humanity, and that it means we are in for a rough time”.
More importantly, “look at the number of peer-reviewed papers in reputable journals that show evidence that climate change is not happening, or that it’s not due to human influence. You’ll be able to count the number of the second kind on a snake’s right hand”.

You can read the comment in full at the bottom of this post.

Australia and the USA have, for a long time, been fairly strongly set against the Kyoto Protocol – one of their main reasons is that they claim being ‘green’ is not good for business. Al Gore recently came out with his docu-movie “An Inconvient Truth”, which I haven’t seen yet, but is getting good reviews and commendations from scientists as well.

Rupert Murdoch has backed the anti-climate change stance for a long time in his media outlets. In the last few weeks, however, two of his big papers in the UK have editorialised for environmental reform. If Murdoch has changed his mind, and all his media voices follow suit, that represents a big change for governments (and yes, one person does have that much power).

Comment from Crikey (it’s at the bottom of the page linked to).

Russell Dovey writes: It’s a shame that most people have to rely on scientifically illiterate journalists for their information about climate change. It is only because the media instinctively gives the supporters of both sides of any issue equal coverage that there is still a “global warming debate”. I say to all those interested in the truth of the matter: Look at the number of peer-reviewed papers published in reputable scientific journals that show evidence that global warming is happening, that it is caused largely by humanity, and that it means we are in for a rough time. Peer-reviewed papers are the gold standard for scientific research; they are the beating heart of the scientific body. Anyone can pick out dodgy statistics, think they’re a rebel, and write a book about it; any galah with a keyboard can spin plausible-sounding conspiracy theories about a global cabal of greenie scientists attacking the economy; but getting a paper published in a peer-reviewed journal is only possible if you work very hard to exclude any bias in gathering your data. Your experiments are checked independently by a number of other scientists in your field, so any errors will stop your work from being published. Now, look at the number of peer-reviewed papers in reputable journals that show evidence that climate change is not happening, or that it’s not due to human influence. You’ll be able to count the number of the second kind on a snake’s right hand.

Lessons learned

October 2, 2006 by  
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I think I’m going to have to teach myself a lesson – the consequences learning method just isn’t working for me right now (although I grudgingly agree it should have taught me a lesson multiple times over, long ago). The 3000-word assignment due today is also only penalised 1% per day for lateness. That’s not much incentive for handing it in on time.

Neither are the results of the 1200-word essay I mentioned a few days ago, written in less than four hours. I picked it up earlier – 85%.

Lowest mark – Evidence of purposeful reading, incentive: 14/20.

Yeah, those five references were stretching it: “…at times the weak use of literature has made it a bit anecdotal” – so fair call.

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