Friday, February 29, 2008


I don't know, why are games so damned addictive? I mean it's just a silly game. I'm not likely to achieve anything by playing it all day, except to be able to say that I'm good at it, and what possible good will that really do me in the long run?

Trouble is that I finally got a machine that's good enough to do X3 Reunion justice and I've owned every game in this series, so I've been playing. I'm going to continue to play too...:)

So why didn't I do a real post? Well, I've taken a break from playing silly games so I can go and watch one being played instead. I'm off to the cricket today to watch Australia whop Sri Lanka.

I'll be catching up on the weekend, so I hope there's lots of goodies for me to read.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008


Damn, just when I'm working more shifts than I can reasonably be asked to work, as well as recovering from painful "day procedures", Dikkii over at Dikkii's Diatribe goes and tags me. Not to worry, I dig these things...:)

It's an oldie but a goodie, as they say and I have a sneaking suspicion that Dikkii is suspecting something interesting, so I'll try not to disappoint him.

To the rulze:

1. Grab the nearest book (that is at least 123 pages long).
2. Open to p. 123.
3. Go down to the 5th sentence.
4. Type in the following 3 sentences.
5. Tag five people.

Ok, well there are three open on my desk at various stages. They are all by Richard Dawkins and they are: "The Ancestors Tale", "The Blind Watchmaker" & "Climbing Mount Improbable" with the last two being in the easiest reach. So, to the watchmaker I think:

Cows and peas differ from each other in only two characters out of these 306 (the histone H4 gene is 306 characters long). We don't know exactly how long ago the common ancestor the common ancestor of cows and peas lived, but fossil evidence suggests that it was somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 million years ago. Call it 1.5 billion years ago.

So there you go...

Now, 5 people? Damn! I've been so slack lately I doubt I'll get a response to this, let alone a response to a tag, but here goes.

Donna, Sean The Blogonaught and anyone else that wants to have a go...

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

What A Clever Secretary

From The Age 16/02/08

POLICE union heavyweight Paul Mullett will walk away from his position as union secretary with a golden handshake worth almost $1.7 million.

Umm, excuse me? For those of you unfamiliar with Australian, or even Victorian politics, this man was once a  working policeman. For the last 20 years however, he's been "on secondment" from the force to the police union or "The Police Association", to use it's correct name.

He enjoyed a rather meteoric rise and became secretary almost 15 years ago. Throughout his time as an active member of the force and as secretary of the union, he has been dogged by accusations of bullying and misconduct, but despite all that, he's managed to remain in the top job, at $200,000 a year, ever since he gained it.

Recently however, the "OPI" or "Office of Police Integrity" ran an inquiry into police corruption. This caused two highly place individuals to resign after giving evidence concerning some of their taped phone conversations that also concerned Paul Mullett. Consequently Mr. Mullett stands accused of and will be charged with corruption for undermining a police murder investigation.

Now he's going to get a $1.68 million hand shake, which is more than double the super he'd have gotten had he resigned as a Senior-Sergeant, which is the actual rank that he holds, and after earning nearly three times the wage of the average snr-sgt for a very long time.

I don't know about you, but I think I can see an injustice in progress here...

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Four things

There's another meme floating around. Tom at Dubito Ergo Sum thought this might be fun and because I think he might be right, I'm going to have a poke at it myself

To the rulze:

1. List at least four things you'd do as God

2. Assume you are omnipotent and that anything you do will work out fine with the laws of physics just as they are

Ok then, let's have some fun.

1. Smite the Pope making it obvious it was me, but giving no reason for it other than "He had it coming!"

2. Create an extremely powerful, extremely efficient, extremely abundant, extremely cheap and extremely easy to harness energy source.

3. Make said energy source available to anyone and everyone, all at the same time so that no-one can claim a copyright or a royalty.

4. Kick back and enjoy the show.

Tea anyone? Popcorn?

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Day procedure

Well folks, wish me luck. I'm off today to have a "day procedure" performed which will require the auspices of a general anesthetic. I'll be back in a couple of days, once I wake up enough to write something.......

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Upon A Star

Making a wish when you blow out the birthday candles on your cake (which I shall be doing this evening..:)) is a very old tradition. The reason for the tradition is that it was once believed that the smoke rising from the extinguished candles would carry your wish to heaven where god, in his infinite mercy, would grant it. I guess it’s as sound a theory as any where god is concerned, but is god really any more than a wish himself?

In Roman times, gods were those you prayed to in order to make your life on earth better and for the most part, there was no belief in life after death. The Druids on the other hand, believed in various forms of reincarnation. In fact Julius Caesar, having had to make three attempts to get a foothold in England wrote: “Their Druids teach that the soul is not extinguished upon death, but passes to another. In this way, the fear of death is removed and they are moved to uncommon feats and fight with ferocity unmatched!”

I find it interesting to note Caesar’s comment here. This was a man with singular experience in conquering foreign peoples and cultures, yet it’s not until Britain, which is quite late on his list of major conquests, that he finds “eternal life for everyone” as a religious concept. Obviously not a common phenomena in that part of the world at that time.

But be that as it may, it seems that throughout history gods have served their purpose by serving as sources of hope. On the one hand, you’d pray and hope for good fortune and a longer, more comfortable life while on the other, you’d pray and hope for a glorious death in battle which would help to speed your soul on its way to some variation of a “hall of ancestors” where it will join the eternal party, or on its way to another host where it could fulfil its “destiny”. Either way though, it’s little more than hope.

Christianity is fairly new when it comes to being a religion. For thousands of years, the ancient gods and ancestors reigned supreme in the spiritual world, each offering their own forms of solace and hope. The old ways however, are nearly always replaced with something new and completely different and that’s where Yahweh, Jesus and Mohammed really make their mark.

The jewish, christian and muslim god offers all of these things in one package. With this god, it is possible to hope for a long and prosperous life while at the same time hoping for a glorious death in battle, without any thought at all to the contradiction implied there. He’s a veritable well spring of hope which has been used to great effect over the years. Churchill and Hitler both used god and Jesus to extol their troops to ever greater feats of “valour” and even today, we’re told that god is a reason for killing civilians in the Middle East while he seems to be the sole reason why young muslim men and women continue to explode in public places.

But as much as anyone can believe in a god, no-one can actually be sure in fact. Because of that condition, Pascal famously wagered that it’s better to believe and live in hope than to not believe and take the chance, but what is hope if it isn’t a wish? I may wish for something better after this life, just as a ruler may wish for a means of control. It’s unfortunate that god has seen fit to grant both our wishes in one fell swoop with the advent of his religion.

So it seems we’ve wished for ourselves, a god of such unerring magnitude that he can create a universe out of nothing, yet is deaf, blind, wholly indifferent and completely impotent when disasters and injustices are perpetrated upon the peoples of his world, and that our wish has been sorely granted. It’s a sad fact too that the granting of that wish has only served to make matters worse.

Bad people prosper and good people suffer and that’s how it’s always been. It would be nice to think that those who prey on others, or on society, will get what they deserve in the next life, but that belief and attitude, as well as breeding apathy is extremely counterproductive; If I’m happy to die because I’m going to go to heaven, then I’m just as happy to let you kill me because I know you won’t.

David Hume, an eighteenth century philosopher posed the following problem which as far as I know, has never been satisfactorily resolved. He enquired about God:

“Is He willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is impotent. Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Whence then is evil?”

So “Whence then is evil?” The same place as god I’m afraid. Lounging luxuriously in the hopes, dreams and wishes of men.

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Friday, February 1, 2008


I refer of course to tithing, the practice of which is an integral part of the Abrahamic tradition, being as it was, part of the covenant that Abraham made with God. As such, it is widely believed that Christians should tithe, but is that really the case?

Yes, it’s time for another bible lesson from an atheist. Go figure! The subject came up in a conversation I was having with Donna when she said something else that made me think:

Tithing is great, but I don't think God expects the single mom with 3 kids to feed, to fork over 1/10 of HER paycheck if she can't afford the basic necessities!

It made me think about the difference between the old and the new; the Old Testament and the New Testament, the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.

The reason these four things exist is because Jesus brought with him, a new covenant that made the old obsolete. Consequently, we have the writings of Abrahamic/Judaic Rabbi which make up the old testament and the writings of the “apostles” and others that make up the new. In the collection of books that are the old testament, Abraham’s covenant is formalised and Deut 14:22 and Lev 27:30 leave no doubt that an Israelite should tithe 10% of all that grows in his field to the Levites (the keepers of the tithe) who in turn must tithe one tenth of what they receive to God. The rest of the tithe goes to feeding the temple, keeping it ship-shape and keeping stores for use in times of hardship. Just as Joseph did for Pharaoh, it was the job of the temple to have a contingency for drought, famine and/or any other pestilence that might befall the land.

Now when Jesus comes, he breaks the old covenant. At the ninth hour, the curtain of the temple is torn in two from top to bottom (Mat 27:51) and never again will the spirit of God descend upon the Ark of the Covenant. The old covenant is broken for all time. No more burnt offerings, no more sacrifices, no more sleeping with your brother’s wife if he should die childless and no more tithing.

Galatians 3:23-25; Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. And there is much more in the new testament that teaches us how and why New Covenant believers are free from the old law, Romans 3:28, Hebrews 7:20-22, Hebrews 8:6-7 to name just a few.

So you see, tithing for a christian, although charitable and acceptable, is not strictly necessary. Yes, there is a lot of mention of it in the new testament, but if you actually read the texts, it’s always Jesus telling the Pharisees how they’re neglecting the law. If you continue to read, you will also see that annoying the Pharisees with points of law was a favourite pastime of Jesus and it ended up getting him into a lot of trouble. There is however, NO direct claim that any “New Covenant” believer needs to tithe. Charity is good, of that there’s no doubt, but charity also needs to be affordable. As Donna said, there’s no point giving it away until the only way to survive is on the charity of others. Somehow it seems to me to defeat the purpose.

So if your priest or pastor should ask you why you don't tithe, look him in the eye and tell him it's because he doesn't make burnt offerings.

Dr. Russel Kelly has written a book on the subject and it was also the subject his thesis:

Should The Church Teach Tithing

And here's his summary of the book. It's worth a read, if you have the time: Russkellyphd

and here's some web recourses: or

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