The teleological significance of the Egyptian unrest

Joseph made ruler in Egypt
Walking in Memphis?

In many respects, the life of Christ depicted in the Gospels echos the history of the people Israel. Once of the aspects strongly identifying the person of God the Son with Israel is that in his very youth he is taken to escape disaster from Israel into Egypt, echoing the escape of Joseph’s family into Egypt to escape the famine in Israel. Later on other Pharaohs appear who do not know Joseph, and it culminates in the Pharaoh at the time of Moses, who oppresses the Hebrews and is forced in the end to let them go home. In the same way regime change – in the case of Jesus’ life the removal of Herod – enables Christ’s family to return to Israel from Egypt.

In the Bible, Zechariah 14.2 to be precise, you will read a prophecy of all nations gathering against Israel to fight. This verse has remained in every copy of the Bible ever printed, even through the hundreds of years when there was no Israel and atheists would have used it as another one of their “proof texts” against the veracity of scripture. The most savage enemies of the state of Israel are the Islamic States, with a notable exception in Egypt. The regime change now occasioned against Hosni Mubarrak, whatever his faults may be, is this a symbol that the final battle is now coming? The most influential Arab state that had been keeping peace with Israel is now in turmoil, and some other states, like Iran, are claiming that the unrest has an Islamic revolutionary character and are calling on Egypt to wipe Israel out. So now all the surrounding nations would be hostile, and a situation emerges where the prophesy of Zechariah 14.2, which many people believe to be an end times prophesy.

What does Jesus Christ say about this time in Matthew 24?

1And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

2And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

3And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. Continue reading “The teleological significance of the Egyptian unrest”

Who is this mystery customer?

Countries where the Russian language is spoken.
The Russian Linguation

The following review can still be read for Derek Offord’s “Using Russian – A Guide to Contemporary Usage” on Amazon.co.uk (not the American Amazon and I really don’t understand why they don’t carry these reviews over, when I want to write for only the UK or only the US I shall forget about the internet altogether!) As it was way back in 2001 I seem to have lost the accreditation for the review along the way. At first it was under my name, but at some stage they must have had a technical blip and the older reviews became “A Customer”. but it’s mine, well enough. I don’t know if my style has changed much in ten years.

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
This is essential reading for those doing a Russian degree.
28 Sep 2001
By A Customer

This review is from: Using Russian: A Guide to Contemporary Usage (Paperback)

I bought Using Russian when I was browsing in a bookshop for another language, as I already speak Russian, but when I looked at a few pages it immediately appealed as an excellent update to the way the language has developed since I did my degree. Sections in the book refer to different problems that face the English speaker in particular, such as faux amis. There are also sections on homonyms and other confusing aspects and they act rather like a checklist of what you need to have got right in your head in order not to make too many ‘howlers’ in translations or in conversation.

One particular plus in this book and as I found out in the whole series of ‘Using’ books that this is part of is the focus on register. If there is one thing that separates the wheat from the chaff among language students. it is the understanding and application of the idea of register, and this applies to Russian perhaps more than most European languages, as this is a language in which not only the vocabulary, but also the syntax, grammar and phonetics are all subject to complex nuances. This book was not available when I needed it. Now that it is I urge you to make use of it. It is the book about Russian that I would have liked to have written myself. If I thought there was demand for it, I’d offer to do a sister volume for Polish.

In any event it made me go out and by the sister volumes already in existence for French, German and Spanish. They are of a similar quality to this volume, the weakest is probably the German one, the Spanish one I would put as second favorite. It can be read cover to cover, or simply dipped into as a work of reference.

It is not material for learning the language from scratch, but would be a very useful second step after completing any of the standard self-instruction books such as the Colloquial series, the Teach yourself series or the Linguaphone course.

Either A-level or degree level students of the Language will profit from it and find it enjoyable because of its good presentation and readable style.

What if I pledge?

Folding the U.S. flag
It's time to fold our flags away and put them in the drawer. The only banner I will march under is that of Jesus Christ

I got into a discussion today on YouTube with someone who disagreed with pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States and said that people should not be forced to do that.

I said I agreed, that we should pledge allegiance to the human race and the whole planet.

He then got back to me and said that what he had in mind was that people should just be allowed to pledge allegiance to what they wanted, to their families, their own state if they wanted, to Nato if they felt strongly about that level, etc etc.

But here’s the rub with that one: what if I pledge allegiance to the ordinary man and woman, regardless of where they are born, but no-one pledges allegiance back to me, then it seems I’m on the losing end. So the only way to be fair is for everyone to pledge allegiance to everyone else. Nation of birth should be as irrelevant as star sign.

To war for a country should be as ludicrous as to war for Gemini or Sagitarius. Time and space are both dimensions so if we can be agreed, as most sensible people are, that the timing of your birth shouldn’t prejudge anything about you, and that all these star signs are just sillinesses, then why can’t we apply the same reasoning to space also? Why does the fact that you are born in this point on earth and not another give you a different status in the eyes of some people? Why will they pledge allegiance on to those born near them to go and fight against you? Is there any real sense in that?

We’re human beings, and when you go around the world, either by travelling physically or by using the social platforms that the internet affords, you can find people who are on your wavelength and who share your views and passions and priorities and likes and dislikes who look completely different to you in that they might be a so-called race, gender, generation, class, nationality, etc, from the ones you’d expect to have any similarity with.

You might find a partner for life in a nation which is supposed to be utterly unlike your own, and understand that person more closely than if she had been the girl next door when you were kids.

And you might find that your own family members, brothers and sisters you shared a table, a telly or even a bedroom with growing up are utterly different to you in outlook, priorities, likes and dislikes, personality traits…

So why even have nations? Why get so het up about them? If they are the cause for people to be segregated and given unfairly differing packets of rights, then we need to treat the nation state with the contempt it deserves, along with everything else that divides us.

ICMTSU #3 Google Translate has put the fun back into Nigerian Scam Spam

The official poster of the movie I produced, &...
Co? Czy nie ładnie mówię po polsku?

For the last year or so the broken English of the scammers has now become so broken once it goes via Google translate into other languages, that sometimes the results are nothing short of hilarious.

Sometimes they send them with the untranslated parts still intact, as they have absolutely no idea of how useless a job the machine has made of translating their anyway often hopeless English into languages where the rigors of correspondence are more conservative and where the resulting mess is nothing short of alarmingly ludicrous.

Just to give you an example, I’ll take the one I received in Polish this evening :

Drogi Przyjacielu,
 
Jak sie dzisiaj i Twojej rodziny? Mam nadzieje, ze dobrze, jestem Mr.Christopher Johnson. Od Haledon, North West London, tutaj w Anglii. Ja pracuje dla NatWest Bank Corporation Londynie. Pisze ci z mojego biura, które beda z ogromna korzyscia dla nas obu. W moim departamencie, jako asystent menedzera (Greater London Regional Office, odkrylem opuszczonej sume 12,5 milionów dolarów USA dolary (dwanascie milionów piecset tysiecy nami dolarów) na koncie nalezacym do jednego z naszych zagranicznych klientów Late Pan Thompson Morrison amerykanskiego obywatela, który niestety stracil zycie w katastrofie samolotu Alaska Airlines Flight 261, który rozbil sie 31 stycznia 2000, w tym jego zona i córka tylko.
 
Wybór jest skontaktowac sie cieszyla z charakteru geograficznego, w którym mieszkasz, w szczególnosci ze wzgledu na starosc z transakcji i poufnosc w niniejszym dokumencie. Teraz nasz bank zostal czeka na którykolwiek z krewnymi, aby sie do roszczenia, ale nikt nie uczynil tego. Ja osobiscie zostal nieudanych odnalezienie krewnych na 2 lat, szukam Twojej zgody, aby zaprezentowac Panstwu jak najblizszych krewnych / Czy beneficjent do zmarlego tak, ze wplywy z tego konta wyceniono na 12,5 mln dolarów moze byc wyplacona do Ciebie.
 
To bedzie wyplacane lub udostepniane w tych procentów, 60% do 40% mnie i dla Ciebie. Mam zabezpieczone wszystkie niezbedne dokumenty, które moga zostac wykorzystane do wykonania kopii zapasowej tego twierdzenia jest uczynienie. Wszystkie w razie potrzeby jest wypelnic swoje nazwiska do dokumentów i zalegalizowac go w sadzie, aby udowodnic Ci za prawowitego beneficjenta. Wszystko, czego wymagaja teraz jest uczciwy wspólpracy, poufnosci i zaufania w celu umozliwienia nas widzi te transakcje. Gwarantuje, ze bedzie to wykonane zgodnie z prawem rozwiazanie, które bedzie chronic komputer z wszelkich przypadków naruszenia law.Please dostarczyc mi nastepujace: jak mamy 7 dni, aby go uruchomic poprzez. Jest to bardzo pilnie prosze.
 
1. Pelna Nazwa:
2. Twoje: Numer telefonu
3. Twój adres kontaktowy.
4. Wiek:
5.Core Praca / Zawód:
6.sex:
 
Po przejsciu przez metodyczna wyszukiwania, postanowilem skontaktowac sie z Toba nadzieje, ze znajdziecie interesujace tej propozycji. Prosze na potwierdzenie tej wiadomosci i wskazujac zainteresowanie, bede dostarczyc Panstwu wiecej informacji. Endeavor do let me know swojej decyzji zamiast trzymac mnie czeka.
 
Pozdrawiam,
Mr.Christopher Johnson
mr.christ_johnson@yahoo.co.uk

This is about as crap Polish as anyone could come up with and still have it recognisable as such. From the use of “Dear Friend” in the salutation, which no Pole is going to write to someone they haven’t spent a “szmat czasu” with all the way through to the use of “nazwa” – the name of a thing – to describe  a person’s full name, it is entirely hopeless. Probably written in poor English at the outset – nobody outside of subsaharan Africa introduces themselves as “Mr” – the style is just so out of synch with what the person claims to be and what they are talking about that only the lowliest naiveling could be led along by it for a second. And then on top of that a display of all the weak points of machine translation, uncritically cut and paste into an email.

I really couldn’t make this s**t up.

De impossibilitate parodiae

Picture of Julian Assange during a talk at 26C3
Master wikileaker Julius "Seize 'er" Assange of alledgedly leaking winky...

This week a number of interesting developments hit the headlines as I was travelling around Europe. There is in fact so much going on at the moment that it’s impossible to comment on everything, or indeed stay abreast of everything. Of course one of the main things which caught my eye, and I am sure the eye of every Internet denizen is the goings-on with Mr Julian Assange, the founder of wikileaks, currently under arrest in London and awaiting extradition to Sweden, a country quite happy to overlook and not investigate or prosecute Saab’s dealings in the BAE affair, but extremely concerned to deal out every justice to Mr Assange for allegedly raping two women, whereby the detail seems to be not that he had sex with somebody that was unhappy to have sex with him, but that he did so without wearing a condom when he was supposed to be wearing one. Whether this was two occasions with each of the two women separately or during a threesome, the press has not deemed needful to elucidate. There we go, then, not exactly the next Peter Sutcliffe, but nevertheless enough to put him on the Interpol list in several countries. This apparently has nothing to do with the leaks he is doing other than those involving his genital member, as if anyone is going to believe that. Before you can say Jåkk Røbbænsen, or whatever Jack Robinson is in Swedish, this person will be extraordinarily rendered to the States and called to account before the Senate, some of whom have already issued Iran-style fatwas on him for treachery against their deen.

So concerned that the powers-that-be to nail missed a sandwich (sorry, but that’s how the voice recognition software heard “Mr Assange”) for failure to wear a condom when that was a pre-condition for the sex that in the meantime they even managed to lean on Pope Benedict the 16th to abandon the Roman Catholic Church’s strict ban on blob-wearing, so now Mr A cannot even claim conscientious reasons for his failure to don. That’s how far up the conspiracy to nail this ultraleaker has gone.

And so the wikileaker has been arrested for allowing his own winky to leak into somebody else’s pubic domain, and there has been a scramble for the Internet domain “winkyleaks.com” – one I went to see if I could get it in order to do some interesting parodies of the recently emerging wholly un-astonishing but for some reason scandalous depeches, I saw that the domain http://www.winkyleaks.com had in fact already been nabbed, and moreover even put into effect with some very stylish, Onion-style parodies of the recent news.  Evidently it was not written on high that this domain should fall into my lot, but at least it seems to have gone into good hands, so go and see if you feel like a good chuckle.

No worries though, I can always do a series on Huliganov TV of my own parody wikileaks, so watch this space. If I do them they will be like a mini-series with their own little section on here. Whether they will be as funny as the ones over at http://www.winkyleaks.com is anyone’s guess, though.  They’re doing a jolly good job.

Another interesting headline this week was that Google Translate have now included Latin in their list of languages to translate into and out of. The problem is that of course everything which isn’t in their database which at the moment are still very small is left in the original even if it is a word which seems to have been available to that classical language anyway. At the moment if you ask it to translate “On the impossibility of parody“, for example, it gives you “De impossibilitate parody” – so it doesn’t recognise the perfectly good Latin word “parodia” which presumably takes a genitive “parodiae”. But it’s early days yet, for Latin, I dare say.