Archives for the month of: July, 2012

This is good. Dr. Neil Gillman writes here:

http://mobile.myjewishlearning.com/beliefs/Theology/God/About_God/Speaking_about_God.shtml

He concludes, “Theological literal‑mindedness is idolatrous, not because it claims to describe the transcendent God in human and natural terms–what other terms can we use?–but rather, because it insists that these descriptions are literally accurate and true. […] The assumption that God’s nature can be conveyed in a literal way by our natural language is as idolatrous as building a golden calf.

We must speak about God, and we must also recognize that all of our God‑talk is built on a skeleton of metaphors, constructs, models, paradigms, or, more technically, “symbols.””

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What is it with literalness and the Bible? I am committed to truth. I’d rather be corrected than wrong 100% of the time, no matter how embarrassing or painful. I agree that when something is written, we need to expect the author was intelligent and intentional, and that he meant what he wrote. We need to expect the most plain meaning first. We must carefully take into consideration context and condition. A 10th Century BC oriental writer had very different context that seems quite foreign if we do not understand it. Likewise a 1st Century Jew, or even a 1st Century Roman. But, some people insist on literalness regardless, until they are presented with something absurd like God’s promise to Abraham to make his descendants as numerous as the sands of the sea and the stars of the heavens. They want to backpedal and emphasize the use of the word “as”. Well, go look it up. It is hard to get around.

Gen 22:17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore.

There are other verses that reiterate, and Jer 33:22 specifies it to David’s and Levi’s descendants. The statement here though stipulates the similarity in the immeasurableness, rather than the actual count.

Of course, Heb 11:12 asserts the task is accomplished, a statement written nearly two thousand years ago, “Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.” Read the rest of this entry »

Talking About the Weather

(With apologies to Allen Ginsberg. To buy my updated book, click here.)

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by climate, starving hysterical modeled,

dragging themselves through the university streets at dawn looking for a bit of funding,

noble-caused monsters yearning for the ancient connection to the Galileo-thrashing Church of Righteousness,

who junkets and grants glistening-eyed and Lefty sat up searching in the preternatural dawn of humming machines for a way to close the temple once and for all,

who saw undergraduates stare toward them in ugly worship and imagined a lifetime of same just a little uglier and more fervent still,

who passed through the ramparts of reason but sparingly and never shed the dark cloak once while there,

who were seldom expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing the fruit of obscene codes but not the codes,

who cowered in holy terror of what…

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http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/07/background-radiation-levels.html

That goes for low-level em fields too.

The government’s contracting is broken. The rules make no sense any more for most procurements. I’ve seen contract awards for as little as $499–obviously not something worth the contracting process. Contact your reps!

Watts Up With That?

AP labels the 2012 Colorado wildfires worst in state history in this story.

My friend and fellow climate skeptic, nationally syndicated radio host Lars Larson, asks some pointed and pertinent questions about what appears to be some of the most idiotic policy ever devised by government. Since we’ve been covering some of the folly of trying to link the fire to global warming, I thought this government folly with trying to put it out would go along with the issues discussed here. – Anthony

He writes in an email to me from Friday:

I have new questions rolling around in my head every day but there are at least four things I know for sure this morning.  This year the U.S. Forest Aervice will spend north of a billion dollars fighting forest fires across America.  Billions of dollars worth of trees owned by the American people will…

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The US Government publishes most of their contracts and other expenditures, and I give it a little attention at times. This one caught my eye: Sun Edison, L.L.C., Beltsville, Md., is being awarded a $38,400,000 firm-fixed-price contract for electricity to be provided from a photovoltaic array built, owned, and operated by the contractor, located on leased property at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., for a period not to exceed 25 years. The location of the performance is Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Work is to be completed by Dec. 31, 2032. 355 CONS, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., is the contracting activity (FA4877-10-H-V003, previously FA4877-10-H-V002).
This article tells us the USAF bought the construction: http://www.dm.af.mil/pressreleasesarchive/story_print.asp?id=123222163 It says “14.5 megawatt photovoltaic solar array to be constructed by Sun Edison on DMAFB property.” “…cover approximately 130 acres …” It seems the USAF has gone bonkers for PV. Also, I read mixed information. It seems USAF didn’t pay for construction. It may be that private money financed the actual construction. DM AFB agreed to buy the power.
I cannot find information regarding the actual contract. It is hard to tell what they are actually paying for. It would seem they have just bought 25-years worth of output from the PV field. That is counter to normal government contracting. Five years for government contracts is long. Normal is no more than 24 months, with optional years for longer contracts. An actual 25-year contract seems impossible. (Congress, budgets, politics, etc.) Regardless, I’d like to see the terms of the contract. It is hard to believe this is a good deal for us tax payers.
Another article mentions that Sun Edison has begun to use Chinese PV panels due to their low cost. I suspect the “Buy American” clause was invoked in this if the government paid for any of the actual construction, but that seems not to be the case. Hard to tell. Google and Bing just didn’t find much.
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