Archive for the ‘That’s A Fact’ Category

WOMAN

August 27, 20

“Woman is God’s last and best creation.” – Me

LIBET EXPERIMENT AND THE SOUL

August 27, 20

Braxton & Tim mentioned the Libet Experiment during their discussion of determinism:

The Wikipedia entry under Benjamin Libet describes the result of his experiment as ‘apparently conscious decisions to act were preceded by an unconscious buildup of electrical activity within the brain’ and ‘As of 2008, the upcoming outcome of a decision could be found in study of the brain activity in the prefrontal and parietal cortex up to 7 seconds before the subject was aware of their decision.’

The argument is thus made that this shows free will is illusory – we aren’t even aware of our ‘decision’ until after the ‘choice’ is already made.

However, if naturalism is not true and we do have souls, then this phenomena is easily explained.

The brain is an organic interface between the immaterial soul and the material body. When the soul makes a free, volitional decision it stimulates the brain in various areas – say, the conscious awareness section and prefrontal & parietal cortex.

Hence, just because the conscious awareness section seems to activate AFTER there is a buildup of electrical activity, does not neccesarily entail that the former is caused by the latter. Correlation does not imply causation. Neither should it be presumed that both are triggered by a purely physical, naturalistic driver originating elsewhere in the brain.

Rather, the non-naturalist can propose that both are the material brain’s reactions to being triggered by the volition of an immaterial soul.

BOTH/AND WITHOUT CONTRADICTION

August 19, 20

Our theology should be able to accept and reconcile all of Scripture – WITHOUT contradiction and convoluted reworking of passages.

For example, Unitarianism focuses on the passages stating that Jesus is not The Father and conclude that Jesus is not God. However it runs into countless problem passages that state or imply the divinity of Jesus.

Meanwhile, Oneness focuses on the passages stating that Jesus is divine and conclude that Jesus is The Father. However it runs into countless problem passages that state or imply that Jesus and The Father are distinct.

Finally, the Trinitarianism accepts and reconciles all the passages stating or implying that Jesus is divine, yet is not The Father.

Calvinism will of course affirm the Trinity and praise how it solves the apparent dilemma. No contradiction or either/or false dilemma is necessary when it comes to this matter. But why can’t Calvinism affirm both God’s sovereignty AND human free will as sovereignly granted by God? No contradiction or either/or false dilemma is necessary when it comes to this either!

Instead, it is forced to creatively re-interpret the plain, face value meaning of countless passages that state or imply that humans have real, meaningful choices. At the same time as it invents contradictory, counterituitive and illogical manmade philosophies such as Compatibilism and The Two Wills of God.

Modern Jewish Scholars on the Embodied, Multipersonal Old Testament God

May 29, 20

Several quotes by Jewish scholars who affirm that the Old Testament teaches, and pre-modern Judaism adherents believed, in an embodied and multipersonal YHWH.

The purpose of this is not to uphold what ancient or modern Jews think as some sort of infallible authority. Rather, it is to point out that:

1) The Old Testament is far from indisputably clearly portraying a unitarian God;
2) What modern Judaism teaches is not what previous eras of Jews believed (and hence tying back in to point 1);
3) The concept of a multipersonal, embodied God is not conjured up out of paganism by polytheists-in-disguise Christians (which ties in to points 1 & 2).
4) Why don’t the NT writers seem to spend any time explaining or arguing how one God can be many (multiplural), or be embodied? The Unitarian would of course argue that it’s because the NT doesn’t actually teach the Trinity or God in human form. But what if the reason is simply because it wasn’t an issue for Second Temple Jews because they already accepted such a concept? So arguing for God being embodied and multiplural would be like arguing to the Jews that God created the universe – unnecessary preaching to the choir. The only ‘innovation’ was to declare that the one who was the embodied multiplural YHWH was Jesus of Nazareth.

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It became clear that “two powers in heaven” was a very early category of heresy, earlier than Jesus, if Philo is a trustworthy witness, and one of the basic categories by which the rabbis perceived the new phenomenon of Christianity. – Alan F Segal, Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports About Christianity and Gnosticism

Although official rabbinic theology sought to suppress all talk of the Memra or Logos by naming it the heresy of “Two Powers in Heaven” (b. Hag. 15a), before the rabbis, contemporaneously with them, and even among them, there were many Jews in both Palestine and the Diaspora who held on to a version of monotheistic theology that could accommodate this divine figure linking heaven and earth. Whereas Maimonides and his followers until today understood the Memra, along with the Shekhinah (“Presence”), as a means of avoiding anthropomorphisms in speaking of God, historical investigation suggests that in the first two centuries CE, the Memra was not a mere name, but an actual divine entity functioning as a mediator. – Daniel Boyarin, Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity, p.116

Philo, writing in first-century CE Alexandria for an audience of Jews devoted to the Bible, uses the idea of the Logos as if it were a commonplace. His writings make apparent that at least for some pre-Christian Judaism, there was nothing strange about a doctrine of a manifestation of God, even as a “second God”; the Logos did not conflict with Philo’s idea of monotheism… Other versions of Logos theology, namely notions of the second god as personified Word or Wisdom of God, were present among Aramaic-, Hebrew-, and Syriac-speaking Jews as well. Hints of this idea appear in Jewish texts that are part of the Bible such as Proverbs 8.22–31, Job 28.12–28 – Daniel Boyarin, LOGOS, A Jewish Word: John’s Prologue as Midrash

No Jew sensitive to Judaism’s own classical sources, however, can fault the theological model Christianity employs when it avows belief in a God who has an earthly body as well as a Holy Spirit and heavenly manifestation, for that model, we have seen, is a perfectly Jewish one. A religion whose scripture contains the fluidity traditions, whose teachings emphasize the multiplicity of the shekhinah, and whose thinkers speak of the sephirot does not differ in its theological essentials from a religion that adores a triune God. Note that the Christian beliefs that Judaism rejects are not specifically theological in nature. The only significant theological difference between Judaism and Christianity lies not in the trinity or in the incarnation but in Christianity’s revival of the notion of a dying and rising God, a category ancient Israel clearly rejects. – Benjamin D Sommer, The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel

There can be little doubt however that early Jewish theologoumena related to such a [hypostatic, supernal] son existed, as the books dealing with Enoch – in particular the Ethiopian one – and Philo’s views… concerning the Logos as Son or firstborn convincingly demonstrate, and likewise there can be little doubt that they informed the main developments in a great variety of the nascent Christologies. In the course of time, due to the ascent in Christianity of both the centrality and cruciality of son ship understood in diverse forms of incarnation, it seems that Jewish authors belonging to rabbinic circles attenuated and in some cases even obliterated the role of sons as cosmic mediators. Nevertheless, some of these earlier traditions apparently survived in traditional Jewish writings that were subsequently transmitted by rabbinic Judaism… An explanation of a verse from Exod. 23:21, and its adoption in the Talmudic passage… served as one of the anchors for the return of older material dealing with the Great Angel as son of God, into the Judaism of the Middle Ages. – Moshe Idel, Ben: Sonship and Jewish Mysticism

It may be said that the Jewish mystics recovered the mythical dimension of a biblical motif regarding the appearance of God in the guise of the highest of angels, called ‘angel of the Lord’ (mal’akh YHWH), ‘angel of God’… or ‘angel of the Presence’ (mal’akh ha-panim) which sometimes appeared in the form of a man. Evidence for the continuity of the exegetical tradition of an exalted angel that is in effect the manifestation of God is to be found in a wide variety of later sources. – Elliot R Wolfson, Through a Speculum That Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism

In the passage from Nahmanides’ Commentary to the Torah discussed by Pines, Nahmanides explicitly takes issue with Maimonides (and with the tenth-century sage Sac adia Ga’on by inference), and seeks to characterize the fundamental difference between his tradition and Maimonides’ Aristotelian world view. The difference centers around the inclusion or exclusion of the divine manifestation within the godhead. Nahmanides posits an organic or continuous relationship between God’s being and that of the angel – that is, they are both immanent in the same divine substance. – Daniel Abrams, The Boundaries of Divine Ontology: The Inclusion and Exclusion of Metatron in the Godhead, Harvard Theological Review (Volum 87, Issue 3, 1994)

From several texts it is clear that the demarcation between God and his angel is often blurred. – Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis, JPS Torah Commentary

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Also, here is Daniel Boyarin from 5:00 and especially 7:00 to 9:18 stating that it’s Maimonides and his fellow medieval rabbis who overturned Tanakh, Talmud and Mishna up to that point and gave modern Judaism its non-embodied God.

And from 1:36:00 for about a minute he outright states that Maimonides’ main influence was the surrounding Islamic thinkers.

[Note too that the Islamically-influenced Maimonides also replaced echad (compound one) in the Shema with yachid (absolute one).]

Gravity & the Trinity

May 29, 20

Allow me to ask you: What is ‘gravity’?

Most of us will probably answer that it is a force. After all, Isaac Newton described it as the force which makes an apple fall to the earth. You might even remember your high school Physics calculations for this, F=ma (Force = mass x acceleration).

But guess what, gravity is NOT a force. Rather, Albert Einstein stated that gravity is the bending & warping of spacetime itself so that objects that would travel in a straight line through space STILL DO travel in a straight line – it’s just that space itself is bent, so the object seems to travel around a large gravitational mass!

Does this make sense? Can you wrap your mind around it? Can you envision it? Even if you can’t, experiments proved Einstein correct and Newton incorrect. It is plain fact even if you can’t comprehend it.

Now if this is true for a fundamental part of the universe, then what’s so difficult about accepting the truth as revealed in God’s word – e.g. about the Trinity? There is one God but He is three persons. You might not fully comprehend it, but that in itself does not make it untrue or impossible.

(More info on gravity: https://www.science.org.au/curious/space-time/gravity )

See also my comparison of 3D space with the Trinity: https://scottthong.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/3-dimensional-space-as-a-metaphor-for-the-christian-trinity/

What Does the Ancient City of Petra Have to Do With Prayer Direction?

September 27, 17

What is all this information? What does it mean? Is it accurate or true?

Comment below and educate me!

From around 22 minutes to 31 minutes of this well produced documentary is the most stunning, impressive and devastating section…

Where we are taken on a visit to 11 ancient mosques, as far flung as China (!) and Iraq and Jerusalem… None of which point to either Jerusalem, or to Mecca in the deserts of southern Arabia (when supposedly according to Islamic sources, the direction of prayer changed from Jerusalem to Mecca in 624 AD).

From The Qibla Question, partial summary of the above:

And correspondingly from The Search for Mecca, regarding ancient mosques before 700s AD all aligned to Petra, not to the desert Mecca:

And why do Western territory mosques face neither Mecca or Jerusalem, but also not Petra?

For example, using Google Maps it is easily checkable and seen that Qasr Al-Mshatta (built around 730-750AD):

mushattamap1

Clearly points to Petra, not Jerusalem:

mushattamap2

And not Mecca:

mushattamap3

Jerusalem to the left, Petra to the downleft, Mecca waaaay off to the downright. And Qasr Al-Mshatta very obviously points to the Petra direction. Clear and distinct that no mere ‘simple inaccuracy in aiming the layout’ could be the explanation.

More at ApoLogika: Why Did the First Muslims Pray Towards Petra?.

Some elaboration via Uncomfortable Questions for the Qur’an:

B2i. Qibla

Qibla was canonized (finalized) in the Qur’an in 624 towards Mecca (S.2:144, 149-150) Yet, Mosques uncovered between 650-705 do not have Qiblas facing Mecca.

Wasit in Iraq. Qibla points North instead of s.w.
Baladhuri stated that the Qibla in the first Kufan mosque (Iraq) faced West.
Fustat in Egypt. The Qibla points North-East towards Jerusalem instead of s.e.
Jacob of Odessa (Christian bishop) in 705 said Egyptian Muslims (Haggarenes) prayed towards Jerusalem, like Christians.
(Cook) Earliest evidence for direction of prayer (thus their sanctuary) points much further north than Mecca. In fact no mosques have been found from this period which face towards Mecca. Some Jordanian mosques also face north, while there are certain North African mosques (from much later) which face south.
“They didn’t know the direction.” Yet these were desert traders, caravaneers!

Muslims say: “Mecca was the center of the trading routes.”

Yet, Mecca was not on the trading route. It’s in a valley, no water, not like Taif, 100 miles away (cheaper to ship 1,250 miles than go by camel 50 miles).

And more from The Qur’an’s Archeological Evidence:

Consider the archaeological evidence which has been and is continuing to be uncovered from the first mosques built in the seventh century:

According to archaeological research carried out by Creswell and Fehervari on ancient mosques in the Middle East, two floor-plans from two Umayyad mosques in Iraq, one built at the beginning of the 8th century by the governor Hajjaj in Wasit (noted by Creswell as, “the oldest mosque in Islam of which remains have come down to us” – Creswell 1989:41), and the other attributed to roughly the same period near Baghdad, have Qiblas (the direction which these mosques are facing) which do not face Mecca, but are oriented too far north. The Wasit mosque is off by 33 degrees, and the Baghdad mosque is off by 30 degrees.

This agrees with Baladhuri’s testimony (called the Futuh) that the Qibla of the first mosque in Kufa, Iraq, supposedly constructed in 670 A.D., also lay to the west, when it should have pointed almost directly south.

The original ground-plan of the mosque of Amr b. al As, located in Fustat, the garrison town outside Cairo, Egypt shows that the Qibla again pointed too far north and had to be corrected later under the governorship of Qurra b. Sharik. Interestingly this agrees with the later Islamic tradition compiled by Ahmad b. al-Maqrizi that Amr prayed facing slightly south of east, and not towards the south.

If you take a map you will find where it is that these mosques were pointing. All four of the above instances position the Qibla not towards Mecca, but much further north, in fact closer possibly to the vicinity of Jerusalem. If, as some Muslims now say, one should not take these findings too seriously as many mosques even today have misdirected Qiblas, then one must wonder why, if the Muslims back then were so incapable of ascertaining directions, they should all happen to be pointing to a singular location; to an area in northern Arabia, and possibly Jerusalem?

We find further corroboration for this direction of prayer by the Christian writer and traveller Jacob of Edessa, who, writing as late as 705 A.D. was a contemporary eye-witness in Egypt. He maintained that the Mahgraye’ (Greek name for Arabs) in Egypt prayed facing east which was towards their Ka’ba. His letter (which can be found in the British Museum) is indeed revealing. Therefore, as late as 705 A.D. the direction of prayer towards Mecca had not yet been canonized.

According to Dr. Hawting, who teaches on the sources of Islam at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, a part of the University of London), new archaeological discoveries of mosques in Egypt from the early 700s also show that up till that time the Muslims (or Haggarenes) were indeed praying, not towards Mecca, but towards the north, and possibly Jerusalem. In fact, Dr. Hawting maintains, no mosques have been found from this period (the seventh century) which face towards Mecca (noted from his class lectures in 1995). Hawting cautions, however, that not all of the Qiblas face towards Jerusalem. Some Jordanian mosques have been uncovered which face north, while there are certain North African mosques which face south, implying that there was some confusion as to where the early sanctuary was placed. Yet, the Qur’an tells us (in sura 2) that the direction of the Qibla was fixed towards Mecca by approximately two years after the Hijra, or around 624 A.D., and has remained in that direction until the present!

Thus, according to Crone and Cook and Hawting, the combination of the archaeological evidence from Iraq along with the literary evidence from Egypt points unambiguously to a sanctuary [and thus direction of prayer] not in the south, but somewhere in north-west Arabia (or even further north) at least till the end of the seventh century .

What is happening here? Why are the Qiblas of these early mosques not facing towards Mecca? Why the discrepancy between the Qur’an and that which archaeology as well as documents reveal as late as 705 A.D.?

Both the above are from master list at Pfander – Historical Critique.

Download a PDF summary with photos here. Or a few pages long PDF file here, that summarizes Dan Gibson’s research into the Petra/Mecca puzzle – starting with all the features of the holy city described by Islamic sources that Mecca doesn’t fulfill, and summarizing the timeline on pages 13-15; via The Mecca Question. Or read a webpage summary here.

Links related to the other arguments presented in the documentary:

Petra Proofs – Interactive map of Petra, with each feature linked to an Islamic quote about ‘Mecca’

The Qibla Question – Index page

And a well presented talk by Jay Smith on the historical, geographical, archaeological, manuscript – you name it! – evidence heavily related to all the above:

And more:

As summarized:

1) What the historical record is telling us who Muhammad actually was, including where he lived, and when?
2) Why his earliest biographies (Sira) and his sayings (Hadith) don’t appear for over 200 years after his death?
3) Why Mecca, where Muhammad lived, doesn’t appear until 741 AD, over 100 years after Muhammad’s death?
4) Why all the earliest mosques for the first 100 years are pointed (i.e. the Qibla) 600 miles too far north, towards Petra instead of Mecca?
5) Why all the earliest Qur’anic manuscripts don’t begin to appear until the 8th century, some 50-60 years after Muhammad; all with variants, and with corrections continuing well into the 9th century, a full 200 years after it was supposedly compiled complete and unchanged?

Feel free to comment below with your views or rebuttals to these arguments.

Why Stimulus Fails to Achieve What Its Proponents Promise, As Explained by Two Nobel Prize Winners’ Economic Theories

May 14, 15

Firstly, because not all people are stupid, short-sighted suckers.

Milton Friedman, winner of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, proposed the Permanent Income Hypothesis that basically says: People won’t spend more just because they get a one-off, one-time boost (e.g. Stimulus), but only if they foresee a long-term increment (e.g. permanent tax cuts).

Secondly, because not all people are stupid, short-sighted suckers (wow, is that a trend or something?).

Thomas Sargent, one of the two winners of the 2011 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, proposed the Rational Expectations Theory that basically says: Don’t expect people to react to your attempted (economic) manipulation like robots with no free will or personalities. Especially if you are trying the same old tricks yet again! Fool me once…

Hence, when politicians and their pet economists (or is it the other way around?) assume they can just open the fiscal spigot and the teeming masses will fall in line with perfect obedience to their hubristic theories, it doesn’t turn out the way they expected. Stimulus does not automatically equate to an improved economy.

And reality bears the above out, to the massive detriment of Americans for 7 years running.

Solar Warnings, Global Warming and Crimes Against Humanity

February 4, 14

Free Malaysia Today:

Malaysia Today:

New Straits Times:

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Full text of my letter follows, with added links and inserted graph from http://globalwarmingisunfactual.wordpress.com:

Solar warnings, global warming and crimes against humanity

Malaysian Realist

United States Secretary of State John Kerry was in Indonesia where he issued a renewed call to arms to combat climate change, calling it a “weapon of mass destruction”.

We’ve been seeing a lot of unexpectedly cool weather across the world. While this may be explained by local phenomenon such as the Northeast Monsoon in Malaysia and the Polar Vortex in the USA, a longer term trend of worldwide cooling is headed our way.

I say this because the sun – the main source of light and heat for our planet – is approaching a combined low point in output. Solar activity rises and falls in different overlapping cycles, and the low points of several cycles will coincide in the near future:

A) 11-year Schwabe Cycle which had a minimum in 2008 and is due for the next minimum in 2019, then 2030. Even at its recent peak (2013) the sun had its lowest recorded activity in 200 years.

B) 87-year Gleissberg cycle which has a currently ongoing minimum period from 1997 – 2032, corresponding to the observed ‘lack of global warming’ (more on that later).

C) 210-year Suess cycle which has its next minimum predicted to be around 2040.

Hence, solar output will very likely drop to a substantial low around 2030 – 2040. This may sound pleasant for Malaysians used to sweltering heat, but it is really not a matter to be taken lightly. Previous lows such as the Year Without A Summer (1816) and the Little Ice Age (16th to 19th century) led to many deaths worldwide from crop failures, flooding, superstorms and freezing winters.

But what about the much-ballyhooed global warming, allegedly caused by increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere? Won’t that more than offset the coming cooling, still dooming us all to a feverish Earth?

Regarding this matter, it is now a plainly accepted fact that there has been no global temperature rise in the past 25 years. This lack of warming is openly admitted by: NASA; The UK Met Office; the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, as well as its former head Dr. Phil Jones (he of the Climategate data manipulation controversy); Hans von Storch (Lead Author for Working Group I of the IPCC); James Lovelock (inventor of the Gaia Theory); and media entities the BBC, Forbes, Reuters, The Australian, The Economist, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

And this is despite CO2 levels having risen more than 13%, from 349 ppm in 1987 to 396ppm today. The central thesis of global warming theory – that rising CO2 levels will inexorably lead to rising global temperatures, followed by environmental catastrophe and massive loss of human life – is proven false.

(All the above are clearly and cleanly depicted by graphs, excerpts, citations and links in my collection at http://globalwarmingisunfactual.wordpress.com – as a public service.)

This is probably why anti-CO2 advocates now warn of ‘climate change’ instead. But pray tell, exactly what mechanism is there for CO2 to cause climate change if not by warming? The greenhouse effect has CO2 trapping solar heat and thus raising temperatures – as we have been warned ad nauseum by climate alarmists – so how does CO2 cause climate change when there is no warming?

Solar activity is a far larger driver of global temperature than CO2 levels, because after all, without the sun there would be no heat for greenhouse gases to trap in the first place. (Remember what I said about the Gleissberg cycle above?)

And why is any of this important to you and I? It matters because countless resources are being spent to meet the wrong challenges. Just think of all the time, energy, public attention and hard cash that have already been squandered on biofuel mandates, subsidies for solar panels and wind turbines, carbon caps and credits, bloated salaries of dignitaries, annual jet-setting climate conferences in posh five-star hotels… To say nothing of the lost opportunities and jobs (two jobs lost for every one ‘green’ job created in Spain, which now has 26% unemployment!). And most of the time it is the common working man, the taxpayer, you and I who foot the bill.

What if all this immense effort and expenditure had been put towards securing food and clean water for the impoverished (combined 11 million deaths/year)? Or fighting dengue and malaria (combined 1.222 million deaths/year)? Or preserving rivers, mangroves, rainforests and endangered species? Or preparing power grids for the increased demand that more severe winters will necessitate – the same power grids now crippled by shutting down reliable coal plants in favour of highly intermittent wind turbines?

In the face of such dire needs that can be met immediately and effectively, continuing to throw away precious money to ‘possibly, perhaps, maybe one day’ solve the non-problem of CO2 emissions is foolish, arrogant and arguably malevolent. To wit, the UN World Food Programme just announced that they are forced to scale back aid to some of the 870 million malnourished worldwide due to a $1 billion funding shortfall and the challenges of the ongoing Syrian crisis. To put this is context, a billion is a mere pittance next to the tens of billions already flushed away by attempted adherence to the Kyoto Protocol (€6.2 billion for just Germany in just 2005 alone!).

During the high times for global warmist doomsaying, sceptics and realists who questioned the unproven theories were baselessly slandered as ‘anti-science’, ‘deniers’, ‘schills for big oil’… Or even ‘war criminals’ deserving Nuremberg-style trials for their ‘crimes against humanity’!

Even now in the midst of a quarter-century of no temperature change, John Kerry derided sceptics as ‘shoddy scientists’ and ‘extreme ideologues’ who are ‘burying their head in the sand’. Ironic then that nature herself seems to be acting the ‘extreme ideologue’ by refusing to cooperate with the fantasies of climate panickers!

Now that the tables are turned, just let it be known that it was not the sceptics who flushed massive amounts of global resources down the drain – while genuine human and environmental issues languished and withered in the empty shadow of global warming hysteria. Crimes against humanity, indeed.

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All that said, I totally do not expect any apologies to be forthcoming from Datuk Renji Sathiah.

And how about some illustrative comics via Global Warming Rage Comics:

Temperature Discontinuity-gate

January 27, 14

Add another to the list of climate data scandals!

Via Principia Scientific, discovered by Steven Goddard:

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Breaking: New Climate Data Rigging Scandal Rocks US Government

In effect, the adjustments to the “raw” thermometer measurements made by the climate scientists “turns a 90 year cooling trend into a warming trend,” says the astonished Goddard.

Goddard’s plain-as-day evidence not only proves the officially-claimed one-degree increase in temperatures is entirely fictitious, it also discredits the reliability of any assertion by such agencies to possess a reliable and robust temperature record.

Goddard continues: “I discovered a huge error in their adjustments between V1 and V2. This is their current US graph. Note that there is a discontinuity at 1998, which doesn’t look right. Globally, temperatures plummeted in 1999, but they didn’t in the US graph.”

It doesn’t look right, because they made a gigantic error (possibly intentional) going from USHCN V1 to V2. In V1 they adjusted recent temperatures upwards (thin line below) and made no adjustment to older temperatures.

“But when they switched to V2, they started adjusting older temperatures downwards, and left post-2000 temperatures more or less intact, ” says Goddard. This created a huge jump (greater than one degree) downwards for all years prior to 2000. You can see what they did in the animation below.

Blue line is thermometer data. Thin red line is V1 adjusted. Thick red line is V2 adjusted. They created more than 1 degree warming by reversing polarity of the adjustment in the pre-2000 years. This created a double downwards adjustment for the pre-1998 years, relative to the post 1998 years.

3 Minutes to Prove Yourself Smarter (or at Least More Hardworking and Duly Diligent) Than Matt Yglesias

August 1, 13

Via AoSHQ, Twitchy revealed Matt Yglesias @mattyglesias saying that tax rates do not affect pricing.

His logic goes thusly:

No. Taxes are paid on profits not sales. It’s irrelevant to pricing. – @mattyglesias

I had to stop and think it over. With pen and paper and a calculator.

It took all of 3 minutes to compare the following:

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Joe and Jane both sell the same widgets.

Widget cost is $1 a piece.

For inexplicable political reasons, Joe is taxed 15% (on nett profits, not sales as Matt Yglesias correctly states) while poor Jane is taxed 20%.

If Jane sells each widget at $3 a piece, she will have after-tax take-home money of (3.00 – 1.00) x (100% – 20%) = $1.60 a piece.

Whereas Joe can undercut her by selling widgets at $2.90 a piece, and he will have after-tax take-home money of (2.90 – 1.00) x (100% – 15%) = $1.615 a piece… More than Jane gets even though he sells cheaper!

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Three minutes to prove that different tax rates can incentivize different pricing.

So which is it, is Matt Yglesias too lazy or too blinkered to do one measly page of basic high school maths?

And to close, this is probably a fitting graphic (WARNING, THE FOLLOWING MAY MELT THE BRAINS OF LIBERALS AS SUNLIGHT VAPORIZES VAMPIRES!):

paulryanmath


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