All Life Is Conflict

Posted in Sayings on April 30th, 2008

All life is conflict; there is no peace this side of the grave.

— jonolan

All living things are in a state of conflict with other living things. Even plants struggle against each other for sunlight, water and soil. The natural cycle of predation is a very basic and primal example of the constant struggle between lifeforms for their very survival.

There is also the even more basic struggle the living engage in with their environment. The old adage of “adapt or die” is a perfect summation of this struggle to adapt to changing conditions that are at odds with a creature’s or plant’s continued survival.

Among people these primal conflicts are often expanded into conflicts over wealth, status and power. No longer just a struggle for survival, the conflict turned into wars of ideologies as Man grew to think beyond his immediate fleshly needs.

Finally there is Man’s internal conflict – his struggle with himself. The unrelenting struggle Man engages in with himself will outlast all other forms of conflict that he engages in and will continue until death.

Liberation Theology

Posted in 2008 Election, Religion on April 29th, 2008

A lot of people have strong opinions about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor. Many Blacks stick by him and many Whites decry him as bigoted and anti-American. The simple fact is that Rev. Jeremiah Wright is one of the current leaders of the Black Liberation Theology movement along with James Cone and Dwight Hopkins, who are considered the founders of contemporary Black Liberation Theology.

Since Wright is a fully committed and passionate advocate of this system of belief it would be best to define him in the context of that theology.

Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.

— James Cone
A Black Theology Of Liberation

There you have the distillate of Black Liberation Theology as announced by the movement’s founder in 1970. It’s a angry, exilic theology with a core doctrine centered on fear and hate.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a pastor and when he speaks he speaks as such – as he has firmly said. Black Liberation Theology is what he speaks and preaches. His words should be judged on this basis. His actions should be judged on their merits and effects.

Rogge Admits Error

Posted in 2008 Olympics on April 10th, 2008

Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), when asked if he regretted awarding the 2008 Olympics to China, admitted that it had not been a wise and a sound decision.

I’ve said that it is very easy with hindsight to criticize the decision. It’s easy to say now that this was not a wise and a sound decision.

— Jacques Rogge
IOC President

Yet Rogge defended himself by claiming that Beijing had “clearly the best bid” and offered the strong incentive of taking the Olympics to a country with 20% of the world’s total population.

This is a total load of bullshit! The only way that China had the best bid would be if criteria other than the IOC’s own Applicant City Evaluation Report was not only considered but weighed far more heavily than those official evaluations.

China’s Olympic Bid

Posted in 2008 Olympics on April 10th, 2008

Ive performed some research on Chinas bid for the 2008 Olympic Games. Below are my findings on the accuracy of Rogge claiming that had “clearly the best bid.

Applicant City Evaluation Report Results From August 2000

Beijing Toronto Paris Istanbul Osaka
General Infrastructure 4.6 7.0 8.1 4.2 7.6
Accommodation 9.9 7.8 10.0 6.2 9.7
Olympic Village 8.5 7.0 8.0 6.4 7.0
Sports Infrastructure 7.1 7.9 7.9 6.9 7.0
Transport Infrastructure 7.0 8.1 8.4 6.9 7.4
Total Score: 37.1 37.7 42.2 30.5 38.7
Average Score: 7.41 7.54 8.44 6.09 7.73

According to these scores China was only the top contender in one category – their proposed Olympic Village. Overall China had the 2nd lowest composite score (37.1). Paris achieved the highest composite score (42.2). China also had the 2nd lowest Average Score (7.41), an average of the individual scores in each IOC category, whereas Paris once again had the higest score (8.44).

With Paris not only having the highest overall and average scores, but also having earned the highest individual scores in: General Infrastructure, Accommodation, Sports Infrastructure (tied with Toronto), and Transport Infrastructure, it seems that Paris and not Beijing had “clearly the best bid.

The situation is actually worse though. The chart below details Beijing’s scores per category vs. the mean average of all the Applicant Cities.

Beijing Average Difference
General Infrastructure 4.6 6.3 (-1.7)
Accommodation 9.9 8.7 1.2
Olympic Village 8.5 7.4 1.1
Sports Infrastructure 7.1 7.4 (-0.3)
Transport Infrastructure 7.0 7.5 (-0.5)

This shows that Beijing actually scored below the average in 3 out of 5 categories. China had a mean average score 0.2 points below the composite average. It seems strange that such a score could indicate that Beijing should have been considered for the short list of Applicant Cities that the IOC would have voted on to host the 2008 Olympic Games, much less that Beijing would win that election.

Something else must have prompted the choice of Beijing as the 2008 Olympic Games’ host city. It obviously wasn’t their comparative ability to manage such an endeavor. The IOC Evaluation Committee certainly found them wanting.