Archive for January 30th, 2012

Cycle 25

January 30, 2012

Just when it seems that the global warming hysteria is finally dying down, we have a new catastrophe to worry about, global cooling and a possible new ice age. Or so I read in this article from the Daily Mail.

The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food.

Solar output goes through 11-year cycles, with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak.

We are now at what should be the peak of what scientists call ‘Cycle 24’ – which is why last week’s solar storm resulted in sightings of the aurora borealis further south than usual. But sunspot numbers are running at less than half those seen during cycle peaks in the 20th Century.

Analysis by experts at NASA and the University of Arizona – derived from magnetic-field measurements 120,000 miles beneath the sun’s surface – suggest that Cycle 25, whose peak is due in 2022, will be a great deal weaker still.

According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a  92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830. In this period, named after the meteorologist John Dalton, average temperatures in parts of Europe fell by 2C.

However, it is also possible that the new solar energy slump could be as deep as the ‘Maunder minimum’ (after astronomer Edward Maunder), between 1645 and 1715 in the coldest part of the ‘Little Ice Age’ when, as well as the Thames frost fairs, the canals of Holland froze solid.

Global cooling, with a loss of agricultural productivity, would be worse than global warming, which might be beneficial. The problem with this sort of calamity is it is natural so there is little need for carbon trading schemes or international conferences. In fact, one might suspect, though some of the researchers mentioned try their best to deny it, that nature, especially that big ball of gas 93 million miles away,  plays a far greater role in climate change than humanity could hope to have.

There is more to the article. I would like to copy these graphs. I hope they don’t mind.

I think I am going to go outside and emit some greenhouse gases.


Denying the Son

January 30, 2012

It would seem, according to this article in Yahoo News that there are some controversial translations of the Bible being produced for use in Muslim countries.

A controversy is brewing over three reputable Christian organizations, which are based in North America, whose efforts have ousted the words “Father” and “Son” from new Bibles. Wycliffe Bible Translators, Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Frontiers are under fire for “producing Bibles that remove “Father,” “Son” and “Son of God” because these terms are offensive to Muslims.”

Concerned Christian missionaries, Bible translators, pastors, and national church leaders have come together with a public petition to stop these organizations. They claim a public petition is their last recourse because meetings with these organizations’ leaders, staff resignations over this issue and criticism and appeals from native national Christians concerned about the translations “have failed to persuade these agencies to retain “Father” and “Son” in the text of all their translations.”

Biblical Missiology, a ministry of Boulder, Colorado-based Horizon International, is sponsoring the petition.

The main issues of this controversy surround new Arabic and Turkish translations. Here are three examples native speakers give:

First, Wycliffe and SIL have produced Stories of the Prophets, an Arabic Bible that uses an Arabic equivalent of “Lord” instead of “Father” and “Messiah” instead of “Son.”

Second, Frontiers and SIL have produced Meaning of the Gospel of Christ , an Arabic translation which removes “Father” in reference to God and replaces it with “Allah,” and removes or redefines “Son.” For example, the verse which Christians use to justify going all over the world to make disciples, thus fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) reads, “Cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiahand his Holy Spirit” instead of “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Rev. Bassam Madany, an Arab American who runs Middle East Resources, terms these organization’s efforts as “a western imperialistic attempt that’s inspired by cultural anthropology, and not by biblical theology.”

Third, Frontiers and SIL have produced a new Turkish translation of the Gospel of Matthew that uses Turkish equivalents of “guardian” for “Father” and “representative” or “proxy” for “Son.” To Turkish church leader Rev. Fikret Böcek, “This translation is ‘an all-American idea‘ with absolutely no respect for the ‘sacredness’ of Scripture, or even of the growing Turkish church.”

There are always questions about the exact translations of words and to what extent Christians should adapt practices to fit various cultures, but I think this crosses a line by denying some  basic doctrines of Christianity. I think the following selections from Scripure shows them to be in the wrong.

38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38)

If they are ashamed of the words of the Gospel and are more concerned with offending Muslims then making a correct translation, then Jesus will be ashamed of them at the Judgement.

Not only that, but they are setting themselves up to be the enemies of Christ

21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:21-23)

And of course, if they are misleading anyone who might be interested in converting, Jesus has some harsh words.

6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! (Matthew 18:6-7)

He's not happy about some new translations.

A Appeal from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

January 30, 2012

I continue to get fund-raising e-mails from the Democrats. Here is one of the latest from last week.

President Obama just laid out his path for America. Last night, the Republican presidential candidates laid out quite another.

We can fight like mad to help the president lead our nation toward economic fairness. Or we can let Newt and Mitt seize the White House and Congress – and hand it over to the 1%.

Economic fairness? That’s a dirty word to them. Middle class families? Fend for yourselves. Mitt would pay NO TAXES under Newt’s plan. None.

Which plan will you choose: President Obama’s, or radical Republican’s? Our FEC deadline is 7 days from now, and we still need $444,000. If we fall short, President Gingrich takes the oath of office before a Republican-controlled Congress. And America’s middle class will be finished.

Decision time. Can you chip in $5 to stop a total Republican takeover?

President Obama said it best tonight: “We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

I’m not willing to settle. No way will I allow these fanatics to undo all Democrats have accomplished in the past three years – or the past century, for that matter. Please give what you can, and join me in the fight.

Guy Cecil
Executive Director, DSCC

I am not sure which is the more disturbing thought; that people like Guy Cecil are cynical enough to believe (probably correctly) that the majority of Americans are simple enough to fall for this sort of nonsense, or that they really believe it. Their idea of “fairness” seems to be to take from the people they think have too much and give to the people, generally their supporters, who have too little.

If Obama wants to know why a growing number of Americans are just getting by, he can look in a mirror. I also think it is a little strange that the man who hands out waivers from his policies and subsidies to green businesses while canceling the Keystone Pipeline should speajk of everybody getting a fair hot and playing by the same set of rules.

I wonder if the Republican fund raising letters are this stupid and dishonest. I imagine so, but perhaps they do not exhibit quite the level of ignorance of economics.

Here are some excerpts from an email I just recieved.

There are a lot of Americans asking the same question right now: are these Republicans kidding?

Corporations are people? The way to create jobs is to give rich people more money? Super PACs decide who gets elected?

I’m not buying it, and I don’t think you are either. But our skepticism is not enough — especially in a world where the Koch Brothers have $43 billion to throw at us. We need strong People-Powered campaigns to call out all these Tea Party Republicans, for trying to destroy the middle class in the country we all love.

I was under the impression that the Tea Parties were made up of middle class Americans. And, who else is going to create jobs but rich people. Maybe if they were able to keep more of their own money, and were not punished for getting ahead,  there would be more jobs available.

This isn’t just about hitting the DCCC’s $500,000 grassroots goal, before tomorrow night’s deadline.

This is about the 22 million people in this country who can’t find a full-time job. This is about the 50 million people in this country who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick. This is about the 47 million people in this country who need government help to feed themselves (and no, Newt, the answer isn’t to demonize them).

The Republicans sure won’t help the jobless, the homeless, the sick, the poor and the hungry. So that job falls to us. We need champions in Congress who will fight for the middle class, and everyone aspiring to get there.

Suggesting that government policies encourage people to be able to take care of themselves rather than encouraging lifelong dependence on the government is not really demonizing them. I suppose it all depends on just how you define help and whether you want the American people to be free and independent or government serfs depending on handouts from their lord and masters.

By the way, whose fault is it if so many people can’t find a full time job? Who has been in the White since 2009? Who had control of both houses of Congress from 2007 until 2011, and who still has control of the Senate?

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