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Noam Chomsky’s Flat Earth Figment

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Mercator World Map Projection, 1569, Public Domain

Mercator World Map Projection, 1569, Public Domain

Elite Personalities Show Ignorance of Maps and Geography

Noam Chomsky showed up on the Tavis Smiley PBS interview show on March 15, 2015 to talk about so-called “White Supremacy.”  Chomsky, the son of Ashkenazi Jews, is himself an Atheist, though he reportedly will not admit it outright, and a radical Socialist, officially billed as an Anarcho-Syndicalist.

Smiley, who is himself race-obsessive and Left-Wing politically activist, began with a clip from the Left-Wing political TV drama, “The West Wing.”  Characters are discussing the 1569 advent of a world map created by German cartographer Gerardus Mercator to facilitate navigation.  They ooh and ah over revelations that the continents and nations on the map are not drawn to scale.  The implication is that either some supremacist prejudice is involved in the drawing of the map, or has afterward been inferred from it.

Chomsky goes on to talk about a related prejudice that North inherently has against South, seeing South as inferior and thereby justifying its exploitation.  There is no consideration of the idea of developed countries bringing civilization to then-primitive peoples, along with medical science and other modern notions such as refraining from cannibalism and human sacrifice, all of them leading toward higher life expectancies, decreased child mortality, and freedom from the yoke of superstition and subservience to local warlords and shamans.  Judging from Left-Wing rhetoric, primitive existence was idyllic and democratic, albeit short.

In their implications regarding the drawing of maps, Smiley and Chomsky reveal either their own rank ignorance of the nature of map-making, or a disingenuous use of the certain map-making phenomena simply to fool people and score political points.  Look at a globe of the world, and observe that the lines of longitude, which run north and south, get closer together toward the poles, and are farthest apart at the equator.  Herein lies the heart of the problem:  to convert a globe into a flat map, those lines of longitude must be spread out.  As is well-known, making the lines of longitude straight serves to stretch out the image, which makes images closer to the poles appear larger than those nearer the equator.  Hence Greenland looks about the size of South America and Alaska looks as big or bigger than the contiguous United States.

Observe the phenomenon of map-flattening here:

http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/investigations/es0301/es0301page03.cfm

and here:  http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/investigations/es0301/es0301page04.cfm

Further, read about Map Projection here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map_projection

and here:  https://www.e-education.psu.edu/geog160/node/1918

Still, Chomsky describes the phenomenon as a manifestation of an elite attitude of “White Supremacy”:

What’s to be gained by that is a graphic representation of the fact that we are more important and better than them.  We’re the north, they’re the south.  We dominate because of our essential superiority of character, qualities, righteousness and so on.

It’s a graphic manifestation of the we are better than them conception that, as I said, is unfortunately pretty natural and is greatly enhanced by when it’s associated with power.  So when you actually dominate others, that enhances the natural we are better than them conceptions.  (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/interviews/mit-professor-noam-chomsky/)

Video of the interview is available at the following Web sites:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rGHpWST7l9I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGHpWST7l9I

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/interviews/mit-professor-noam-chomsky/

Copyright ©2015 by Paul A. Hughes

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Written by biblequestion

April 19, 2015 at 6:17 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

The Gender-Confused NIV Bible

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The Non-Neutrality of the New ‘Gender-Neutral’ NIV

by Rev. Paul A. Hughes, M.Div

The following comments originated in a theological discussion group.

Just because a translation using gender inclusive language does not mean it is liberal.

~NIV Defender

Yes, gender-inclusiveness is Liberal, inherently so, based on the desire to meddle in the literal text as well as societal perceptions and tweak them to one’s preference.  It demonstrates a desire to influence society, not reflect the ideas of the text and its authors.  Moreover, the very fact that one or more editors purports not to perceive this dynamic demonstrates the extent of sheer bias, intentional or not.

The proof is in the pudding.  The desire to re-contextualize gender language in a way that is true to neither the original (Greek or Hebrew) nor English-speaking culture (for the most part, to the extent it is not yet politically correct) is unnecessary, and therefore disingenuous.  It speaks of an agenda, i.e., meddling.

And we all know that the worst kind of bias is that which is unconscious, because it is then unquestioned.

The various OT and NT cultures were all patriarchal to varying degrees.  They used the male pronoun generically for a reason.  Theologically, as well, woman is seen as an extension or counterpart of the male.  Hence, Heb. iSH and iSHaH (male-female) — which by the way is a close linguistic parallel to English Man and Wo-man.  These differences are part of the fabric of the culture, ideology, history, and theology of Scripture, and ought not be swept under the carpet lest they offend someone, or someone not feel included.  Tell the people the whole truth, explain the facts, and let them sort it out for themselves.  Trust them with the whole truth, let them decide.

But then, I also think that all Bible teachers and wannabes have the responsibility before God to study in the original languages, and not be reliant on things like English versions and armchair interpreters.

It has nothing to do with offense or inclusiveness, that is a straw man.

~NIV Defender

Did you realize that you just used “straw man” as a generic male reference?  Should you not say, “straw person”?

It is only a “straw man argument” if no one in fact holds the position that is criticized.  If the position is real, it is not a “straw man” but an actual person, thing, idea, or action.  But what we are talking about here is a position which might not be evident at the front end, but is evident at the back end, i.e., the results.  Every effect has a cause, every action a decision behind it, conscious or not, and every decision an ideology or agenda.  If there were no agenda, there would be no decision to edit the NIV for gender inclusiveness.

The Greeks used male pronouns generically, because that reflected their worldview, and was not an accident of language.  To cover up that circumstance is to recast its idiom, shade the interpretation, and potentially change its intent.  It is as simple as that.

Personally, I like to get the Word of God “straight up,” “with the bark on” (pardon the mixed metaphors).  I do not like to get it second-hand, watered-down, made easy and palatable, hence I took all the language courses I could [in college and seminary] while others were slacking.  (The Lord has not often let me take the “easy road” on anything.)  Am I the only one who revels in the faithfulness of scribes and the fruit of the Reformation which is God’s Word in my own hands and the right to read it for myself?  Or are we just going to keep making Christianity ever more “sissified”?

Copyright © 2013 Paul A. Hughes

Written by biblequestion

October 26, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

“God Will Know Who Is in the Right”

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River Kwai Bridge after Destruction

River Kwai Bridge After Destruction

The Real Story of the Bridge on the River Kwai

There was a real bridge over the river Kwai, and a real Burma Railway, built to large extent using Allied prisoners of war as slave labor.  Its purpose was to link Bangkok, Thailand, with Rangoon, Burma, paving the way for the Japanese conquest of India.  In so doing, the prisoners were starved, routinely beaten and abused, and in the case of one out of five, worked to death.

There was also a real British commander in charge of the men building the bridge at Tamarkan, Thailand.  He was not, however, the unbalanced collaborator portrayed in the 1957 movie.  Lt. Col. Philip Toosey was a decorated war hero whom his troops would credit with saving many of their lives by inserting himself between them and their Japanese captors and seeking an understanding with them.

Yet there is still more to the story.  Colonel Toosey dealt mainly with Sergeant Major Saitoh, second in command at the Tamarkan camp.  On one occasion, Saitoh had struck Toosey repeatedly in the mouth, but was not considered as brutal as some other guards.  A cavalryman by training, Saitoh obtained several horses, and offered to take British officers riding.

At long last, the Kwai bridge was destroyed by Allied bombs, and Japanese forces crushed.  At this juncture, Colonel Toosey approached Saitoh.  As described years later in Saitoh’s own words,

I was greatly shocked and indeed delighted when you came to shake me by the hand, as only the day before you were a prisoner . . . .  You exchanged friendly words with me and I discovered what a great man you were . . . .  You told me not to worry and that you would take care of everything.

Even after winning, you were not arrogant or proud.  You are the type of man who is a real bridge over the battlefield.

As he shook Saitoh’s hand, Colonel Toosey said to him, “You know, God will know who is in the right.”

While other guards were imprisoned or hanged as war criminals, Colonel Toosey refrained from pressing accusations against Saitoh.  Ever after, Saitoh considered that Toosey had saved his life.  With a deep sense of obligation, Saitoh corresponded with Toosey, and hoped to thank him in person some day.  Unfortunately, Saitoh was never able to visit him before Toosey’s death in 1975.

Later, however, Saitoh made a pilgrimage to Toosey’s gravesite, and met his son, Patrick.  As he wrote later,

I feel very fine because I finish my own strong duty.  But one thing I regret:  I could not visit Mr. Philip Toosey while he was alive.  He showed me what human being should be.  He changed the philosophy of my life.

But there remains a final cap to the story.  Saitoh died in 1990.  His widow contacted Sergeant Ginzo Sakano, a guard that had served with Saitoh, and had served five years for war crimes.  She warned him that he might not wish to attend Saito’s funeral.  In explaining the reason why, she revealed a secret her husband had kept for years:  Saitoh had become a Christian.

To the Japanese, you see, becoming a Christian is a denial of their ancient culture and an insult to their ancestors.  Saitoh would have been an outcast.

Sources:  “The True Story of the Bridge on the River Kwai,” a BBC and A&E Coproduction, 1997; see also “The Man Behind the Bridge” by Peter Davies; and andSecrets of the Dead:  Bridge on the River Kwai” (PBS).

Previously published in Divine Parodies & Holy Histories: with Selected Poems (2007) by Paul A. Hughes.

© 2003, 2007 Paul A. Hughes

Written by biblequestion

December 4, 2010 at 12:27 AM

REAL privacy risks & conspiracy theories in the News

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“Blippy Publishes User Credit Card Numbers”

http://www.businessinsider.com/scary-blippy-publishes-user-credit-card-numbers-2010-4
http://www.mybanktracker.com/bank-news/2010/04/23/blippy-com-leaks-users-credit-card-info-issues-pr-statement/
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/04/23/sites-users-see-names-credit-card-numbers-show-up-online/tab/article/

FBI Seeks New Ways to Uncover Personal Info from Electronic Devices

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hOvd2ZHpLgAEKjwU87acksA24EDQD9F8SEUO0

Airport Searches Can Now Include Personal Data Devices

http://www.tvkim.com/watch/152/kim-on-komand-the-feds-are-eroding-your-electronic-privacy

Senior SEC Staffers Caught Doing Major Porn Surfing at Work

–Apparently some of these guys did it all day!
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hOvd2ZHpLgAEKjwU87acksA24EDQD9F8SEUO0

My Tips for Privacy and Communication:

  1. Do not disconnect your land phone line. As I experienced in the evacuation panic ahead of Hurricane Rita in 2005, cell phone systems will be one of the first things to break down, either due to user overloading or loss of power to towers & stations.
  2. Do not succumb to the temptation to store private or essential data online, or to convert to the use of online applications. Even if heavily encrypted, it is counter-intuitive & a risk to rely on connectivity in an emergency, or to trust faraway, anonymous corporations with your data.
  3. Because of #2, always keep a local backup of data, & keep a computer capable of running essential applications locally — even if you have to keep your “old” PC running.

Written by biblequestion

April 26, 2010 at 8:07 PM

Posted in Uncategorized