Archive for November, 2009
I’ve been buried with projects, one of which is getting Mathino ready for purchase as quickly as possible so those of you that want it for Christmas can get it. It’s really a fantastic game (since I didn’t create it I can say that :)).
There’s been a bit of stuff lately that has come out, some more important than others and where my time is short I will just summarize the highlights and give you links to the information.
In this classic “news” report by The Onion, just substitute “reform” for “Montessori” and “math” for “dentisty” and you’ll get a good laugh over the insanity of constructivism.
A couple weeks ago, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a new report on educational innovations in each state entitled “Leaders and Laggards”. Not many states faired well, but Utah was near the bottom of the heap with poor school management, staffing (removing ineffective teachers), pipeline to postsecondary, and technology. We did get an ‘A’ for data and a ‘B’ for finance, but overall a ‘D’ rating.
NCTQ report recommends Colorado adopt Singapore Math
Achtung! Prosecutor says only jail deters homeschooling
Years ago when I was in a religious institute class at Utah State, one of the great teachers I had shared with the class the concepts behind something called gematria, which is a system of examining the meaning behind the language of words and numbers in the Hebrew language. In a conversation with this teacher he told me to get a copy of the out-of-print book “Roots of the Bible” by Friedrich Weinreb and he gave me a reference to a man who was translating other of Weinreb’s works into English. I called this individual and he had one spare copy he sold me. For the last 15 years I’ve waited knowing someday I’d read the book and I finally felt the time was right recently and dove in. Here’s a smattering of what I’ve learned.
The Bible absolutely proves the existence of a God beyond all doubt. No mortal could have come up with a system so complex and amazing as that of the Hebrew language and assigned words numeric value that tell such an intricate story behind the scenes. A full treatise on the book isn’t possible, nor can I do it justice in a few paragraphs, but I will share a few highlights.
To begin, the Hebrew language consists of 22 consonants which all have meaning. The structure of a word that has different vowels but the same consonants as another word, changes the image, but not the core structure of the word. It is this structure that tells all.
The number 1, represented by the first letter in the alphabet “aleph” represents God, the unity of all things. The number 2, “beth,” represents the duality as the 1 creates something opposite himself. When the 2 multiplies into further life, the next extension, it becomes a 4, so the natural progression of things created is 1-2-4.
It is shown by the author over and over that in the creation, things go from 1-4, or from God’s perfect world, into something created which in turn creates on it’s own and thus became “as the God’s” knowing good and evil.
This amazing structure is seen in many ways. One set of this proportion is shown not just in language, but in relative proportions. “The tree of life” has a structural value of 233 when the values of the words are added together. “The tree of *the* knowledge of good and evil” has a value of 932. Comparing these values we see a 1 to 4 ratio. The word “the” which I’ve denoted does not appear in the King James Version of the Bible, but Weinreb says it does exist in the source material he has and points out that without the “the” in the phrase, it would change the value of the structure and thus alter the meaning of the language. This insertion gives a different flavor to the name and function of the tree.
Putting this into symbolic terms, the tree of life represents God while the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents the multiplicity of God’s creations. The author spends considerable time building up to this understanding which is all good preparation and would no doubt be easier to comprehend through his build-up than my shortened explanation, but here are a few highlights which help to make sense of this concept.
The Hebrew word for man is denoted 1-4-40. Truth is 1-40-400 showing similar proportions to man. Weinreb explains the 40 and 400 are simply the 4 in another plane. Now this gets fascinating as by removing the 1 from man so we just have 4-40, we obtain the structure of the word for blood. Without the 1, or the tree of life, we are blood alone, missing out on the 1. When we drop the 1 from truth, we have 40-400, or the structure of the word for death. Without the tree of life, we experience death which is the ultimate multiplicity of creation shown as the 4 in higher planes. (ie. Ultimate spiritual death).
One more example of how this language is shown in the development of life. Man is 1-2, mother is 1-40. The words for son and daughter are 2-50 and 2-400 respectively, showing that sons and daughters are created (the 2’s) from the origin of man and woman which start with 1’s.
One development of this concept is the Hebrew word for create which has a structure of 2-200-1. Weinreb explains this that when something is created (2) it is then released by it’s creator to achieve all that it can in its sphere of existence and carry itself to the highest point outward from the creator (200), but then it must return to its creator (1) even though it may not have comprehended such a path was planned for it.
The word for “come” is 2-1 showing that a father (1-2) creates and then invites his creation to return to him (2-1). The word “lost” in Hebrew is 1-2-4 meaning the father created something and it failed to come to him and instead became unto itself a duality (lost in the world). These things fascinate me and prove to me the existence of a very high order of language far beyond something that man could create where the very structure of the word gives meaning to the words and to the purpose of life.
There are many examples in the book on a variety of subjects and I will only share one more here pertaining to the name of the Lord. In Genesis chapters 1 and 2 we read two accounts of the creation story. In the first chapter, God does everything, while in the second chapter, it changes to “Lord God”. We understand that the first chapter deals with a spiritual creation of the earth and the word for “God” is “Elohim”. In the second chapter, we have the word “Jehovah” being used and the structure for this name is 10-5-6-5. Forgive me for not going into great detail as the author spends considerable time on this name and I cannot say that I understand it well enough to dispense it to you except that the 6 is a “hook” or “joining” word so we see in the name of Jehovah that there is a 10, and then another 10 expressed as a duality of creation or “5 and a 5”. This is what the author says of the name’s proportion:
“All this is henceforth determined by what is expressed in the name of ‘Lord God’. This name is spelled in Hebrew yod-hee-waw-hee. (10-5-6-5) The name is not pronounced that way, because in pronouncing this proportion, or writing it down in the original Hebrew letters, one would create something of eminent force and power which one is not allowed to use for phenomenal proportions. Only in very special circumstances and in a very special place may this name be uttered, according to ancient lore.”
Interestingly, the author points out that knowledge of this name is called “shem” and one who possesses knowledge of this name is called a “baal-shem”. In the LDS religion we regard Shem as Melchizedek, the great high priest to whom the priesthood was named after and we read in scripture that the priesthood was given his name:
“But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his [Jehovah’s] name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.” (D&C 107:4)
If “sacredly fascinating” was a phrase in Hebrew, I would use that word to describe this knowledge.
Tim Hawkins has to be my favorite comedian. There’s a bunch of his stuff on YouTube but even more at his website www.timhawkins.net. Check it out. Here’s a couple of the best songs he’s done.
Some pretty funny videos.
On October 14th, Lord Christopher Monckton gave a presentation in St. Paul, MN on the subject of global warming helping to expose the true nature of those behind the movement. Are they really concerned about global warming (now that the earth’s been cooling for 11 straight years and scientists have conclusively shown the earth goes through warming and cooling cycles that have nothing to do with man-made causes)? Or are they in it for power and wealth?
Last week Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan dictator, said, “Every day I am more convinced that socialism is the kingdom of God here on earth. Every day I’m more revolutionary, more socialist every day. I’m taking Venezuela toward socialism, the people and workers.”
I suppose if you’re the dictator, socialism must feel like heaven.
Contrast that with what a modern prophet has said.
Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, April 1966, 95-101 —
No, brethren, socialism is not the United Order. However, notwithstanding my abhorrence of it, I am persuaded that socialism is the wave of the present and of the foreseeable future. It has already taken over or is contending for control in most nations. . . .
We have also gone a long way on the road to public ownership and management of the vital means of production. In both of these areas the free agency of Americans has been greatly abridged. Some argue that we have voluntarily surrendered this power to government. Be this as it may, the fact remains that the loss of freedom with the consent of the enslaved, or even at their request, is nonetheless slavery.
As to the fruits of socialism, we all have our opinions. I myself have watched its growth in our own country and observed it in operation in many other lands. But I have yet to see or hear of its freeing the hearts of men of selfishness and greed or of its bringing peace, plenty, or freedom. These things it will never bring, nor will it do away with idleness and promote “industry, thrift and self-respect,” for it is founded, in theory and practice, on force, the principle of the evil one. . . .
Now, not forgetting our duty to eschew [shun, abstain from] socialism and support the just and holy principles of the Constitution, as directed by the Lord, I shall conclude these remarks with a few comments concerning what we should do about the United Order. . . . If, in the meantime, socialism takes over in America, it will have to be displaced, if need be, by the power of God, because the United Order can never function under socialism or the “welfare state,” for the good and sufficient reason that the principles upon which socialism and the United Order are conceived and operated are inimical [hostile; enemies]. . . .
That we will develop the understanding, the desire, and the courage, born of the Spirit, to eschew socialism and to support and sustain, in the manner revealed and as interpreted by the Lord, those just and holy principles embodied in the Constitution of the United States for the protection of all flesh, in the exercise of their God-given agency. . . .
IF THIS ETHICS BILL PASSES, UTAH WILL CEASE TO EXIST AS A FREE STATE
I attended a town hall meeting last night where Senators Howard Stephenson and Curtis Bramble went through the text of the Government Ethics Reform bill citizens initiative. Under the guise that Utah legislators need ethics reform, made popular by the press mobbing of Greg Hughes a year ago (who was innocent but the accusers got great coverage right before his election battle and almost knocked him out), this group of “concerned citizens” has drafted a bill that WOULD GIVE THEM NEARLY UNLIMITED POWER TO CONTROL UTAH LEGISLATORS.
THIS BLATANTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL BILL WILL DESTROY THE REPUBLIC AND GIVE ULTIMATE PUNITIVE POWER TO A SMALL GROUP OF NON-ELECTED PEOPLE SETTING UP AN INTERNAL OLIGARCHY IN UTAH WITH NO CHECKS OR BALANCES ON THEM
-This bill says that if Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on 20 people to potentially serve on an ethics committee, “the sponsors (those unelected people who wrote the bill)…unanimously shall select the 20 candidates.“
-If the bill becomes law, the only way a member is removed is “by reason of death, disability, resignation, or disqualification” meaning there is no expiration or legislative process to remove a committee member.
-They can investigate current legislators as well as “those who have served at any time in the past“.
–What is written into law is only the beginning of their powers (“This Act shall be construed liberally in furthance of its remedial goals.”)
-Further down we read the commission is vested with “power and jurisdiction…to investigate…and to do all things, whether herein specifically designated or in addition thereto.“
-“The commission may employ additional staff” meaning they can self-bloat without legislative or executive oversight
-“Although the commission serves the legislature and is not an agency within the executive branch of state government, the commission nevertheless shall have the powers and shall adopt the procedures of the Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act. This rulemaking power shall include the power to make rules governing the internal processes of the commission (meaning they are self-governing with legislative and executive authority)…”
-The commission may “[issue] subpoenas in order to compel the production of documents and the attendance and testimony of witnesses” (more executive powers)
-“The commission shall meet, allocate its budget (legislative function), marshall its resources, prioritize its work, and conduct its business as it deems appropriate, and its independence in this regard shall not be abridged, impaired, or threatened by the legislature, any committe of the legislature, or any legislator.” (ULTIMATE POWER–THEY BECOME THE UNTOUCHABLES)
-Legislators will need to annually disclose “the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any person with which the legislator has an agency relationship, including any client of a legislator…[from whom they’ve received at least $10,000 in the prior year].” (This will violate confidentiality agreements between professionals and their clients and is a violation of law)
-“A legislator may not be charged with misconduct which occurred more than 6 years prior to the date upon which the complaint is filed, provided, however, that this 6 year limitations period shall not begin to run until the misconduct in question could have been discovered by a reasonable person through publicly available information.” (ie. there is no statute of limitations until the time a violation was discovered and then it goes 6 more years for someone to bring a complaint–even the IRS only goes back in time 6 years from when the action happened)
-“the executive director may issue subpoenas for the production of documents and to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses by deposition or otherwise.
-“The persons who filed the complaint may participate fully in the development of evidence during this investigative phase of the proceeding, and the executive director, upon request of the complainants, shall issue such subpoenas as may be necessary to facilitate that participation…The accused legislator may participate informally, but shall have no formal rights of participation, during this stage of the proceeding.”
(So the accusers can continue to participate in a witch hunt, but the accused who may have evidence to exonerate him/herself, has no rights to provide that information. HELLO SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS 1692!)
-“Once a prima facie case has been established against an accused legislator…the burden of proof and risk of non-persuasion in relation to such case shall shift to such legislator, and such legislator must show by a preponderance of evidence that the legislator did not commit the violation or violations charged in the formal complaint.” (GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT)
-“there shall be no judicial review or agency review of any commission action”
-“The Attorney General for the state of Utah shall have no power or role as counsel for the commission.“
Are you kidding me??? Written into the bill is a waiver of all liability for their actions. No check or balance. No legislator can threaten them, no executive can remove them, no judge can make a ruling on them. WELCOME TO YOUR NEW RULERS UTAH
P.S. Please forward this letter to everyone you can. If the sponsors fail to get 3,000 signatures in 26 of 29 senate districts, it won’t come to a vote next year, but it’s almost guaranteed to make it to the ballot since it’s not hard to ask Walmart shoppers “do you want an ethical legislature where legislators can’t take bribes? Sign here.”
P.S.S. If you’re in Utah, sign the petition at www.UtahsRepublic.org to help restore basic constitutional education to our children. Right now the word “Republic” doesn’t even appear in the K-12 standards for social studies.
The law firm I work for doesn’t handle medical malpractice cases but I feel the need to write to express my concern for legislation being considered in Utah. I am attaching for your review a recent NY Times article that should help explain some of the facts regarding the ever popular tort reform issue. The article deals with the number and value of cases that are handled each year by our justice system and I sincerely request that you take a couple minutes to read it as the statistics often presented by insurance companies are wildly off-base. Since the article doesn’t deal with Utah, I’ll just mention that in Utah, only 0.8% of all cases tried in this state relate to medical malpractice or personal injury cases. The vast majority of what ties up our court system is debt, criminal, and business related court work.
(Link to original article: http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/would-tort-reform-lower-health-care-costs/)
Few things have been so distorted as the famous McDonald’s coffee case. This case wasn’t about a big award the jury pulled out of thin air. It was decided by a jury who knew the full facts and determined to punish McDonald’s negligence with one days’ coffee sales revenue as a punitive measure and help ensure that thousands of people would no longer be burned as they had been. This little known fact (and several others in the case) never made the press and knowing what happened changes the entire understanding of the story.
To put an artificially set cap on damage awards is not only unconstitutional, but borders on immoral. Consider this recent case in Kansas where a woman went in to have her right ovary removed and the doctor removed her left ovary. Due to an award cap, the judge struck down the jury decision of $759,680 for current and future medical bills, pain and suffering, inability to perform services as a spouse, and other non-economic losses, and awarded the state cap of $250,000. A jury of peers examined all the proper evidence and determined a fair amount, and this law now usurps their role in calculating proper damages on a case by case basis.
I know many of you are concerned about the recent Pay Czar’s determination to cut executives salaries by as much as 50%. I share in this concern as we all know that once we go down this road with one class of people (those who took stimulus money), it is all too easy to open the door to the next group. I have come to conclude, however, that this action is no different in its sphere, than that of legislators seeking to cap jury awards to plaintiffs and their lawyers to ensure “they don’t make too much money” on a case.
Someone got very creative. Be sure to watch till the last line…it’s the best.
After watching an abortion on ultrasound, the director of a Planned Parenthood facility joined Pro-Lifers outside the facility in prayer. How do we get them all to watch a video???