Archive for June 20, 2009

Welcome back to Taxachusetts

Posted: June 20, 2009 by datechguy in local stuff, opinion/news
Tags: , ,

…says the headline of the Sentinel & Enterprise and they are on the money.

The state sales tax is going up.

So is the meals tax, taxes on alcohol, satellite TV and possibly hotels.

Both the House and Senate Friday, delivered an on-time budget to Gov. Deval Patrick that raises the state sales tax from 5 percent to 6.25 percent and lifts the exemption on beer, wine and spirits.

Thea meals tax, like the sales tax, will increase statewide to 6.25 percent and cities and towns will have the local option of tacking on another .75 percent to raise additional revenue for their own budgets.

The House voted underwhelmingly (underwhelmingly?) in favor of the spending plan, passing the budget on a 110-46 vote. The Senate followed suit with a 31-8 vote.

“I think this sends a very strong message that this state has a very large fiscal deficit in front of us,” said Sen. Jennifer Flanagan, D-Leominster, who voted in favor.

I think it sends a stronger signal to shop in New Hampshire open business in New Hampshire and to avoid this state like the plague. There is a reason why we are bleeding population and stuff like this is it.

Wasn’t it only 8 months ago that we had a chance to repeal the state income tax? Well we collectively made our own bed so now we have to sleep in it or move.

Whatever the New Hampshire chamber of commerce is paying our state reps, it’s not enough.

Prayer and Probability

Posted: June 20, 2009 by datechguy in catholic, opinion/news, personal
Tags: , ,

People often laugh at the idea of prayer imagine a grown adult asking an invisible power to adjust something for them. Prayer is also attacked as an assault on free will. For example the reporter who attacked pro-life people for praying that president Obama have a change of heart.

I have a theory on prayer, this is not to my knowledge based in specific theology, so someone who knows the church better than me can tell me if I’m committing heresy but consider the following:

How many things in life are actually certain? Very few. Spock’s example of letting go of a hammer and not having to see it to know has fallen not withstanding everything is subject to a certain amount of probability.

The medical field is a great example, you are always dealing with a level of probability on recovery from operations, risks from behaviors and so on. An excellent example is that we all know people who have avoided cancer and non smokers who have gotten it. This is a function of probability. Haven’t we all had close calls of one type or another? Or bad luck that has come hitting that one stone that was loose to trip and break a leg etc?

In my opinion this is where prayer comes in, I believe prayer can alter the probabilities on situation and actions. Since the actions are indeterminate (we don’t know for sure how they will go) it seems simply a function of luck. I believe that the power of prayer is basically channeling the intrinsic link between God and man and the community of saints to nudge probability. The stronger the link of the individual to God or the number of people involved prayer the better the chance of the odds moving.

That doesn’t effect the idea that God is a part of it, for example because a wind comes to help a becalmed ship and the wind is a natural phenomena that doesn’t mean that God allowed it to come.

This is in contarast to direct action by God that would be classified as a miracle. In that case you can have either objectively impossible action (Joshua and the sun) or an action so improbable that it seems to be no odds take place. (Curing of the blind man). Those are solid miracles.

Anyways that’s my theory. What do you think?

Update: Corrected awful spelling and grammar in post as it was rushed due to the party today.