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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

• Our big "Half Price Tuition at a Christian School" day is tomorrow, August 10th.  Be listening right at 4pm when I give out the phone number, and be ready to put the full one-half tuition on your credit card that day, on August 10th, again right at 4pm, and if you get through, you'll be able to enroll your child in one of 9 great Christian schools this fall for half-off!  So, talk it over and see if this is a right fit for your family.  Go right now to kkla.com and click the "Half Price School" link for school details and more info.

400-408 – David Barton, founder and president of Wallbuilders (wallbuilders.com), an organization dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built.  Author of many articles and books, including Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion, and America's Godly Heritage – a book that challenged me to reconsider what I had been taught about American history, specifically the role of Christianity in it, that finally culminated in me going to grad school and getting a Master's degree in political philosophy and American government.

Where would our founders say we went off the rails?  Two places:  in 1804 with the passage of the 12th Amendment which made the president directly elected by the people; and in 1913 with the 17th Amendment at the direct election of senators.

413-423 – David Barton,

428-438 – David Barton,

• 443-452 – Mike Quiroz, Principal of Chino Valley Christian Schools (PK-12) (cvcs.com).

458-508 – • Deroy Murdock (NRO 8/8/2011) Debt Downgrade: The debt-ceiling deal does nearly nothing.

// "The budget deal doesn't cut federal spending at all," Cato Institute analyst Chris Edwards explains. "The 'cuts' in the deal are only cuts from the Congressional Budget Office's 'baseline,' which is a Washington construct of ever-rising spending. . . . The federal government will still run a deficit of $1 trillion next year. This deal will 'cut' the 2012 budget of $3.6 trillion by just $22 billion, or less than 1 percent."

Edwards observes that Washington's "cuts" rarely reduce anything. President Obama, for instance, proposed boosting the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's funding from $432 million this year to $451 million in FY 2012. Therefore, handing CPB $441 million would constitute a $10 million "cut" in Washington, versus a $9 million increase in the real world. 

Thus, as Edwards vividly illustrates at Cato's downsizinggovernment.org website, these budget "cuts" actually raise federal discretionary spending non-stop for the next ten years — from $1.04 trillion in FY 2012 to $1.23 trillion in FY 2021. "No program or agency terminations are identified in the deal," Edwards laments. "None of the vast armada of federal subsidies is targeted for elimination." 

As for red ink, Washington just extended the federal credit card's limit from $14.3 trillion to $16.7 trillion. In 2021, the national debt is expected to reach $22 trillion — a figure 54 percent above $14.3 trillion. What debt reduction? //

• Thomas Sowell (NRO, 8/9/2011) A Pyrrhic 'Victory': The budget deal turns out to have been a defeat for Republicans.

// Had the Republicans gone along with President Obama's original request for a "clean" bill — one simply raising the debt ceiling without any provisions about controlling federal spending — would that have spared the country the embarrassment of having its government bonds downgraded by Standard & Poor's credit-rating agency?

// The price of getting that deal has been having the Republicans agree to sit on a special bipartisan congressional committee that will either come to an agreement on spending cuts before Thanksgiving or have the budgets of both the Defense Department and Medicare cut drastically.

Since neither side can afford to be blamed for a disaster like that, this virtually guarantees that the Republicans will have to either go along with whatever new spending and taxing the Democrats demand or risk losing the 2012 election by sharing the blame for another financial disaster.

In short, the Republicans have now been maneuvered into being held responsible for the spending orgy that Democrats alone had the votes to create. Republicans have been had — and so has the country. The recent, short-lived budget deal turns out to be not even a Pyrrhic victory for the Republicans. It has the earmarks of a Pyrrhic defeat.

512-523 – • Examiner (8/6/2011) $1 Billion bet in July of US downgrade brings questions of insider informationDid George Soros just cash in on a 10-1 $1 billion dollar bet, netting $10 billion dollars, because he had insider information two weeks ahead of time from the Obama Administration that we were going to get downgraded?  Why did he divest outside investors about the same time as this bet, meaning, he didn't have to notify the SEC of the futures trade?  Is he taking his payback now, because he doesn't believe Obama will get re-elected?

• Victor Davis Hanson (NRO, 8/9/2011) Paralytic Western Society.

• Victor Davis Hanson (NRO, 8/9/2011) A Tottering Technocracy: Here and in Europe, the financial meltdown exposes the hollowness of our elites.

528-539 – • CNBC (8/9/2011) Economic Uncertainty Leading to Global Unrest.

• Daily Mail (8/9/2011) Police warn they could use plastic bullets to quell riots tonight as Cameron orders 16,000 officers to regain control of the capital.

(:24) Mayor Nutter.

• Washington Times (8/8/2011) Philadelphia mayor talks tough to black teenagers after 'flash mobs'.  The mayor is enforcing a curfew for all teenagers under the age of 18 that they must be home by 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Michael A. Nutter, telling marauding black youths "you have damaged your own race," imposed a tougher curfew Monday in response to the latest "flash mob" — spontaneous groups of teens who attack people at random on the streets of the city's tourist and fashionable shopping districts.

"Take those God-darn hoodies down, especially in the summer," Mr. Nutter, the city's third black mayor, said in an angry lecture aimed at black teens. "Pull your pants up and buy a belt 'cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt."

"If you walk into somebody's office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won't hire you? They don't hire you 'cause you look like you're crazy," the mayor said. "You have damaged your own race."

544-554 – Nancy Hawthorne, Principal of Good Shepherd Lutheran Schools in Simi Valley (K-8) (gsls-simi.com).

558-608 – [READ] • BBC (8/5/2011) Dutch rethink Christianity for a doubtful world.

612-623 – • Prager University, The Four Big Bangs by Frank Pastore.

(:28) Curiosity, Discovery Channel, on time before the Big Bang.

(1:13) PU 4BB 1, the Cosmological

Three Meanings of "Prior":  Temporal, logical, and ontological.  "How could God cause the universe prior to the first event?" This is an excellent question that can be taken in two different ways.  If the word "prior" is understood temporally, then the question is meaningless.  It would be like asking "What is higher than the highest thing you can imagine?" Or, "Who is stronger than omnipotent God?"  Thus, the question reduces to "What happened in time before time began?" which isn't a question at all, its meaningless gibberish.  However, the word "prior" can be taken non-temporally, both logically and ontologically.

Here is an illustration that reveals the meaning of what it is to be logically prior.  Suppose God's first act of creation was to create a bowling ball resting on a soft pillow.  Remember, it is all the same one act of creation, there is no passage of time at all.  What would He have to create and in what order?  The logical order would be as follows.  He could begin (logically, not temporally!) by creating either the ball or the pillow.  Then, He would have to create the depression of the ball in the pillow prior to creating the ball on the pillow.  If He didn't create the depression, then when he popped the ball and the pillow into existence the molecules of the pillow would be intertwined with the molecules of the ball ("Captain Kirk!  We have a wee bit of a transporter problem down here!") Thus, although the creative act would be simultaneous, logically there is an order that must occur.

Furthermore, there is the notion of ontological priority.  If A is ontologically prior to B, then A could exist temporally without B, but B could not exist temporally without A.  B logically depends on A for existence (ontologically).  Suppose God wanted to create a light source for Adam, and He settled on the idea of the sun, but He didn't want Adam to have to wait years to get the light.  The solution would be to create light in transit: which is what He did.  This means that although the sun and the beams were created temporally at the same instant, the sun is ontologically prior to the beams, for you can have the sun without the beams but you can't have beams without the sun. 

Thus, the "first event" of the time-matter-space continuum arose spontaneously from an ontologically prior state of affairs as the result of an Agent in which there were many non-temporal things going on.  For instance, the laws of physics were decided upon, along with what Adam would be like, as well as deciding to create the one maximally-perfect world from the potentially infinite number of possible worlds that could have been created but weren't, as well as getting to know people before they were knitted in their mother's wombs.  Lest I forget, there was also a rebellion in heaven by the angel in charge of worship, and the plan of salvation decided upon (ordus salutis).  Yes, many things occurred "prior to" or "before" the first event.

The Four Types of Causes – Aristotle noted four types of causation that may be best understood in the context of a saddle being made.  The material cause is the "what" of the leather, the formal cause is the "form" or kind of saddle envisioned by the craftsman, the efficient cause is the "how" of the craftsman, and the final cause is the "why" of the saddle, the fact that he wants to make money by selling saddles.  

State and Agent Causation – The difference between physics and psychology.  State Causation occurs when one state of affairs acts upon another state of affairs, resulting in a third state of affairs.  For example, if a billiard ball is put into a state of motion and hits a stationary second ball, the result is the second ball is placed in a state of motion as well.  

Agent Causation occurs when an agent chooses to act for a reason, i.e., they aren't caused to act. Consider the common event of you moving one of your body parts, say lifting your arm.  If, indeed, it was you that moved your arm, and not chemicals in your brain, then you were not caused by any element of matter, nor any external force, to move your arm.  You, as a free and uncaused agent, simply chose to exercise your ability as an agent to will the motion of your arm.  This type of causation is known as Agent Causation.

Therefore, the only way for an event to arise spontaneously from a timeless, changeless, spaceless state of affairs, and at the same time be caused: is if the event was a result of the free act of an agent.  Therefore the universe was caused by a timeless, immutable agent we know as God.

"If every event has a cause, then what caused God?"  The initial answer to this question is to point out that God is not an event, He is a person.  Secondly, the question reduces to a meaningless tautology.  By the word "God" we refer to a personal Being that is self-subsistent or self-caused.  Thus, the question reduces to "What is the cause of the uncaused thing?" Or to "What is the location of the non-spatial entity?"

628-639 – (:56) PU 4BB 2, the Biological

(:53) PU 4BB 3, the Anthropological

(:51) PU 4BB 4, the Psychological.

644-654 – Edward Amey, executive director of the five Concordia Schools (concordiaschoolsla.org), San Fernando K-6, Burbank PK-5, Canoga Park K-12, Grenada Hills K-6, and Sylmar 7-12.