Showing posts from September, 2010

LA Law: McCourt Trial

Being a Dodger fan who is watching this year's team fall into a black hole, I am beginning to think about next season. And, of course, with the McCourt case on trial, the next season is pretty much up in the air.

From the latest items over at Dodger Divorce ... it would appear that Frank McCourt is the owner of the Dodgers in regards to the team's relationship to Major League Baseball. However, the marital property rights agreement which addresses assets within the context of their marriage remains in question. It would appear the McCourt attorney who prepared it is claiming that Frank's claim is what was intended. However, Silverstein's mixing up the words exclusive and inclusive and then fixing it without explicitly informing both parties was made clear under Boies questioning.

Suffice to say that seems very fishy and at least poor legal/business practice.

I would suspect that having these facts come out in court is driving the parties to try to settle out of cou…

Technology: E-banking doesn't mean Error-free banking

In the old days, I would balance my checkbook. Invariably, I'd find a math error somewhere. Sometimes it would take quite some time to find the boo-boo.

Well, with e-banking, I don't balance my checkbook looking for every last penny.

BUT, I still take a look at the numbers and so far, as far as I know I haven't found any boo-boos... until ... yesterday!

A check was written for $49 but the account recorded the check as $549!

A quick online chat while browsing in the e-banking web page cleared it up quickly.

Thus, beware!

E-banking doesn't mean Error-free banking!!

World: The 2 Minute Guide to Swedish Politics

In the USA, the political left lauds the effectiveness of large government as practiced in Sweden. The USA right complains that the US shouldn't go the way of Sweden's big socialism.

Of course, the reality of today's Sweden is a bit more nuanced as revealed by the latest elections.

The left leaning Social Democrats, according to the article, has ruled 65 of the last 78 years. However, for the first time, a non-socialist government appeared headed for re-election.

The current government is a coalition known as the Alliance comprising of the Moderate Party, Center Party, Liberal People's Party and Christian Democrats which has been leading Sweden slowly away from its big government socialist past.

The Social Democrats head a coalition consisting of the Social Democrats, Left Party and Green Party.

The wild card in the mix is the Sweden Democrats that have made headway on an anti-immigrant platform and are not aligned with either side. As of the current vote count, n…

Theology: Top 10 Theological Issues

Ed. note - this post is periodically updated with new material usually at the bottom.

Saw this item over at Laura's Writings where she highlights ecclesiology (doctrine of the church) as one of the top 10 items cited by Monday Morning Insight who was citing Brian Schulenburg who is writing a book about the subject. Excerpt:1) Soteriology - I am so concerned as I read more and more people who would self identify as Christians who are saying that Jesus is not the only way to salvation. In a world that has become increasingly diverse, we are seeing more and more people, perhaps because they are afraid of offending, perhaps because they want to create God in their own image, who say that all religions essentially lead to the same place.

2) The Embrace of Open Theism - So many of the college students and young adults that I work with have bought into this doctrine, which among other things, teaches that God does not know the future. They would teach that God knows all of the possible …

Non-profit of the month: September 2010 - AIDS Healthcare Foundation

The good book says, "Love your neighbor."

In the early 1990s, my laboratory research projects involved trying to understand some of the details of how HIV survives. At that time, there were few medical options.

Today, there are medications that help keep the virus in check, but the disease remains a major problem here and around the world. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is on the front-lines of fighting HIV/AIDS with education, testing and medical care. One of my friends at my church works with AHF in clinical care of patients. A number of us at my church will be participating in the Cal AIDS Walk as a way to stand with those who face life with HIV/AIDS.

When a neighbor is in need, we must help and I hope you will consider supporting the work of AHF as one way to do so.

Please consider making a contribution at my Cal AIDS Walk pledge page. The funds will go to AHF and other organizations addressing the needs of individuals with HIV/AIDS.

Thank you and God bless!

Copyright: Quoting Bible Translations

I have to say I hadn't even thought about the issue of copyright until I read this item over at the web site that hosts the NET Bible. Excerpt: Bible copyright policies typically require special permission before Internet posting, writing commentaries, allowing mission organizations to translate works into other languages, or when quotations exceed some verse limit.

Unless I crawl through all the blog posts on this site and count up the verses I've cut and pasted, I have no way of knowing if am out of compliance in terms of exceeding the number of verses cited without obtaining written permission. Likewise, I haven't indicated the version I was citing at the time of preparing the blog post. In any event, it would be a lengthy effort to fulfill the letter of the law in this case.

I hope this effort here will be taken as a good faith effort to acknowledge the intellectual property rights of the various publishers Bible translations I have used on this blog.

I have cited fr…

Devotional Thoughts: Prayers for those who lead us in church on Sundays

O Lord,

May those who lead us in church have heart's fast bound against worldly thoughts or cares.

Flood their minds with peace beyond understanding.

May they lead us into ...
sweet meditations,
worship filled with liberty and joy,
drinking from the living streams that flow from you
and preparation to feast on the Word and the Sacrament.

May their efforts be used by your Spirit to knit our hearts to Jesus.

Our LORD God,

We long that your people would be built up with divine truth and bear honest testimony of you.

Give assistance to those who will lead us in worship, prayer and preaching.

When we gather as a community, may your people be refreshed, melted, convicted, comforted.

May preachers point our hearts toward Christ's incarnation, sufferings and resurrection that we would be made holy.

Give our pastors the Spirit's support, comfort, strength, holiness that he would be a pure channel of your grace and thus enabled to serve your people.

In the name of Jesus Christ our L…

Life: Remembering 9/11

AA11, 8:46AM
UA175, 9:03AM
AA77, 9:37AM
UA93, 10:03AM

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National 9/11 Memorial in New York

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Pentagon Memorial

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Flight 93 Memorial

The last messages from United flight 93:
After a long pause, the recording device then picks up the sound of banging on the cockpit door.

"There is something, a fight?" one of the hijackers asks.

Another replies: "Yeah."

Some of the passengers have by now made cell phone calls to their loved ones, telling them they are going to try to take back control of the airplane rather than let innocent people on the ground be included in the carnage.

At least one person on board Flight 93 apparently thought at this point that the group could successfully overpower the hijackers and save their fellow passengers, the tran…

Christianity 101: Part III, Jesus, the Christ

image source:

Sooner rather than later, any series of essays on the meaning of Christianity has to address the question of who was Jesus?

Christians claim Jesus is the Christ. It should be noted that Christ is a title not that Jesus was his first name and Christ was his last name.

But if Christians claim Jesus is the Christ, everyone else says, Jesus is ... something else.

That something else could be as respectable as a good teacher, a prophet, a miracle worker, a wise man, a great leader, etc. And of course, some will argue, he never existed and if he did, he bears little resemblance to the New Testament Scriptures.

There is evidence in other historical works beyond the writings of the Christian Scriptures that Jesus existed so the view that he did not exist at all is held by very few people. As to the reliability of the New Testament, that is a source of scholarly debate. The si…

LA Law: McCourt Trial and the Dodger Debts

LAT on the story ... excerpt:
Since buying the Dodgers for $430 million six years ago, Frank McCourt has so heavily leveraged the team — $433 million in debt as of last year — that he has struggled to find additional financing.

The debt load has limited how the Dodgers can pay their players and could affect the team's ability to sign talent.

McCourt was turned down at least three times — by Citibank, by a Chinese investment group and by a Southern California infomercial king — in trying to secure additional financing last year, according to documents filed in the divorce case between him and his estranged wife, Jamie.

$433,000,000 in debt!

Further down the article it says:
$72 million operating revenue
$8.4 million net profit
$28 million debt service (38.8%)
$34 million revenue-sharing payments.

Hmmm ... how is the USA doing right now?

If these numbers are reliable ...
$2.1 trillion tax revenue
$200.5 billion interest on debt (9.5%)

The US Government isn't yet at a place where …

LA Law: Jury Duty, Part V, Day 4

Day 4 began with the prosecution saying they had no questions for jurors 16-18. I was prospective juror #18.

The questioning at times could be quite intense.

The judge usually was pretty mild. He might press a bit to clarify what a juror wrote on the questionnaire. The prosecution usually was too. Mostly seeking clarification. At times, the defense seemed to push harder to get the juror to reveal their views on things.

Once something gets out in the open like the jurors strong views for or against capital punishment, the questioning ceases.

In the huddles with the judge, defense and prosecution to decide which jurors are removed for cause, I'm guessing the lawyers for the respective sides are trying to convince the judge to excuse a juror for cause rather than having to use one of their own peremptory challenges. Apparently, both sides are allocated a finite number of peremptory challenges.

During peremptory challenges, they look over their notes about the existing jurors …