Thursday, October 23, 2014

This Momentary Marriage

"This Momentary Marriage" (John Piper) - I like reading John Piper.  His love for God is evident, his passion flows off the page.  And his beliefs are similar to mine, but not identical - so I am always looking for how he comes to the positions he does.

This book is an overview of how marriage glorifies God.  It covers many topics, and is intended to help a couple think about what they are committing to.

And it's number one focus is on the glory of God :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sotomayor and 1984

Recently on Reddit, someone asked which SciFi universe was most likely in our future.

I responded 1984 - and was severely downvoted (go figure).

I am somewhat vindicated by recent statements by Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor:
"We are in that brave new world, and we are capable of being in that Orwellian world, too."
It's good that the is someone on the Supreme Court who has this problem in view.

But it's not all good news:
"And when the high court got its first chance to look at one aspect of the program, it declined to do so and let stand the government's bulk metadata phone collection program Snowden disclosed."

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Overreach at the NSA

An excellent article at Ars, detailing some of the overreach at NSA:
"NSA had been routinely running queries of the metadata using querying terms that did not meet the required standard for querying. The Court concluded that this requirement had been 'so frequently and systematically violated that it can fairly be said that this critical element of the overall…regime has never functioned effectively'"
So, this is violations of their own standard (which is arguably built on top of an unconstitutional system).  There is no discussion as to whether the system is itself a violation.

I actually agree with one of the caveats of the system administrator:
"'This is not an egregious overreaching by a greedy agency seeking to spy on Americans,' he said. 'It's an inadvertent collection of a relatively small number of US person communications.'"
My argument is not that the NSA is a greedy agency seeking to spy on Americans.

My argument is that the NSA has lost sight of its purpose, and is letting the (dubious) ends justify their (atrocious) means.

From the judges:
"the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program"
"neither the NSA nor the Court has the ability to know with certainty how many Americans’ rights have been violated"
Any system will be abused.  And systems grow and become perverted from the original intent.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Population Management and Climate Change

If you think I'm crazy because I draw a line between climate change proponents and those who love death - read this article at CNN:
"Last, however, if we can't control consumption, we can control the number of consumers."
The author points to the same open secret I did four years ago:
"According to the World Resources Institute, to stay on the safe side of a 2-degree Celsius increase, we'd have to go back to the amount we were expelling in 1990 -- and then cut that in half."

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Knowing God

"Knowing God" (J. I. Packer) (audio) - I don't like doing heavy books via audio, but this book was very comforting to listen to in crazy traffic.  I will need to do it again, because I'm sure I missed stuff.

It is an overview and surface introduction to theology proper (the study of God).