Mike Ault's thoughts on various topics, Oracle related and not. Note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are not contributing to the overall theme of the BLOG or are insulting or demeaning to anyone. The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Death and Taxes

Death and taxes, we have all heard how they are inevitable. We have also heard several very rich men saying that they should be taxed more. I say, great, tax them more. In fact, why don't they start by writing a check today for the proposed difference they would be paying and send it right in, I am sure the government would be glad to accept their gifts.

It is amazing how when we look at the tax records of some of these very rich people we see that they don't give much to charity. Now, don't get me wrong, many of the ultra-rich give a great deal, but many don't even give the 10% they can claim on income taxes. If they don't want to give the money they say they want to right now to the government, how about giving it to charity?

Maybe from now on the government should immediately impose whatever tax these folks say they should have to pay on 100% of their income regardless of source. I'll bet the canaries would be singing different tunes if this were to happen.

Something tells me these rich folks have already come up with a tax avoidance scheme that would shield their incomes such that they won't pay any more than they do now even if the tax rate was set to 75%. All of a sudden, as soon as their incomes were taxed at 75%, their apparent income would drop to the point where they would not pay any thing more in taxes than they already are.

Call me cynical I guess. As soon as some one says "Go ahead, tax me more" you can bet they have something planned to defeat that tax. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Creation or Evolution?

I've been debating (as much as you can with people who have no concept of facts) with some people about creationism verses evolutionary theory. I know, you shouldn't get down in the mud and wrestle with pigs, you can't win and the pig enjoys it. But I feel I have to help people see some truth once in a while.

Before I start let me say I am a believing Christian who has been born again and I believe in Jesus. Now with that out of the way, let me say I also believe in evolution, dinosaurs, the earth being 4.5 billion years old and lots of other scientifically proven facts and theories.

The creation myth was told to early man by his elders as a way to explain the universe and how we got here. It was limited by the knowledge available at the time. The myths were handed down for generations before they were written down. Even if they started out as truth, by the time they were codified they became a far different story than when they started.

My great-grandmother boarded a ship in Denmark as a little girl with her mother and sailed across the Atlantic to America, sometime between the time of sailing and the time she (my great-grandmother) arrived in Iowa, her mother passed away leaving her alone except for cousins. Now I have told this story to my children who may tell it to their children, etc. on down the generations. How many of the facts do you think will make it even to the third generation removed from the actual event?

 Now imagine a group of people get ostracized from their tribe who reside in a very fruitful area. Perhaps they were kicked out because they knew something they shouldn't about the leaders or perhaps because they came to a different set of beliefs. So we have a group of people that were kicked out of a paradise for obtaining knowledge. After several re-tellings and answering the inevitable "what were their names Mommy? Who were they daddy?" it becomes a single couple who fled a paradise because they gained knowledge and eventually evolves into a creation myth of a magical garden where they were cast out because they ate the forbidden fruit of knowledge. Maye they were cast out from their tribe because they wanted to wear clothes, who knows? Little things like "Who did Cain and Able marry" and "Where did the people Cain went to live with come from" seem to be glossed over, sorry, either the Bible is the whole truth as some say, or it is only part of the truth and much has been forgotten or left out, it can't be both ways.

The parallels between the universe creation myth and what scientists say really happened only differ by the timeline.

 I believe the entire issue with translation errors has been dealt with ad-nausium and I will refer the interested parties to any number of good websites or books about that subject.

The Bible's truths are the rules given show us how to interact with each other and how to live a Godly life. There are stories, myths and facts in the Bible and we must constantly strive to understand the differences. So many people want to limit God to a description written by sheep herders and fishermen 2000-6000 years ago, something simple people can understand. I prefer my God to be richer, fuller and more mysterious than those simple people could ever understand.