Hambo May Lose $18 Million Sales Tax Kickback

This is good! As we reported in Ken Ham’s Latest Tax Maneuver, in an effort to evade the safety tax of fifty cents imposed by the city of Williamstown for every admission ticket sold by Ark Encounter, Hambo’s biblical tourist attraction, the company sold its main parcel of land — the one with the life-size Noah’s Ark — for $10 to their non-profit affiliate, Crosswater Canyon.

On the surface, it was a clever move — the city’s safety tax doesn’t apply to non-profit entities. But it may have catastrophic repercussions for Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

The latest news is in the Lexington Herald-Leader of Lexington, Kentucky, the second-largest city in the state. Their headline is Tourism officials suspend $18 million incentive for Noah’s Ark site over property transfer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The Kentucky Tourism Arts and Heritage Cabinet has suspended an incentive agreement worth up to $18 million with a Noah’s Ark-themed attraction in Grant County because the park transferred its main property to a non-profit affiliate.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We suspected something like this might happen. In Hambo’s Ticket Tax Battle Continues, we said:

Hambo wants it both ways — Ark Encounter is a for-profit corporation (so they could qualify for the sales tax kick-back), yet he wants to be exempt from the safety tax because … well, because he’s such a holy guy that everything he does should be exempt from taxes he doesn’t want to pay.

Hambo fought hard for that sales-tax kick-back, and it had to be a factor that encouraged the sale of bonds to finance the ark. Now the whole thing is in danger of collapsing. The Lexington Herald-Leader says:

The July 18 cabinet letter to Ark Encounter attorney James Parsons said the ark park’s recent actions put it in breach of the agreement with the state to refund a portion of sales tax collected at the site, which opened last July with a large-scale replica of Noah’s Ark.

[…]

Answers in Genesis, the group behind the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum, disputed that the transfer of the property “created a default.” But [Answers in] Genesis co-founder Mark Looy pledged Friday in his prepared statement to “comply with concerns that the Tourism Department may have related to the transfer.

That will be difficult. The newspaper tells us:

The letter from Tourism’s general counsel B. Leigh Powers said the ark had several violations of the state agreement, including a failure to tell the agency of any change in ownership or get prior written consent to transfer assets. In addition, the agreement stipulated that the tax incentive, approved by the Tourism Development Finance Authority, was made for Ark Encounter. Non-profits can qualify for the tax incentive, but in this case, the agreement was with Ark Encounter, not its non-profit affiliate, Crosswater Canyon.

This next excerpt is fantastic:

The tourism letter also cites a statement on the Ark Encounter website that says: “The for-profit LLC structure also allows the Ark Encounter to be eligible for various economic development incentives that would not have been available with a non-profit structure.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! One last excerpt:

The letter asks Ark Encounter to comply with the existing agreement in 30 days, or request an extension in order to qualify again for the rebate. State officials said the sales tax rebate accrued before June 28 would depend on what the Ark does in response to the state’s concerns.

So there you are, dear reader. It’s not over yet. In fact, we think the fun has just begun. But don’t feel bad for ol’ Hambo. However things turn out, he’ll always have the rainbow.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Astronomical Free Fire Zone

Our news sweeps have turned up nothing worth blogging about. The creationists seem to be in hibernation. No problem, we can always think of something to say — even if it’s a bit off topic.

That graphic above this post is typical of the illustrations we’ve all seen in our textbooks. But did you know that you have never seen an illustration of the Solar System drawn to scale?

We’ll ignore the obvious fact that the Sun is so much larger than any of the planets. Using very approximate figures, the sun is about 860,000 miles in diameter, which is more than 100 times larger than the Earth. That can’t be accurately shown in a simple diagram, so we’ll have to forget about the relative sizes of the Sun and the planets. Instead, let’s talk about the distances of the planets from the Sun.

The Earth, as every school child learns (in the non-metric US), is 93 million miles from Earth — one Astronomical Unit (or AU). That means the Earth is over 100 times as far from the Sun as the Sun’s diameter. For convenience, shrink the Sun to a one-inch circle. Earth would be 100 inches away from the Sun — over 2.5 meters. No graphic in a school book can show that to scale.

Okay, let’s scale that down by a factor of ten. Now Earth is only 10 inches from the Sun. That’s nice, but Mars is over 1.5 AUs from the Sun — 15 inches in our textbook drawing. Jupiter is more than five AUs from the Sun, which is 50 inches in our severely scaled-down drawing. Saturn is almost 10 AUs away — that’s 100 inches, and once again our graphic is over 2.5 meters wide, with more planets still to go. Uranus is nearly 20 AUs from the Sun, Neptune is 30 AUs away, and Pluto is 40 — that would be 400 inches from the Sun, more than 33 feet, or more than 10 meters for our non-US readers. (All figures are approximate.)

Scale it down some more — by yet another factor of ten. Earth is now a tiny dot only one inch from the Sun, while Pluto is 40 inches away, and your drawing is over a meter wide. How can those distances be shown on one page — or even a two-page spread? It can’t be done, which is why you’ve never seen an accurate drawing of the Solar System.

While you’re pondering that, we now declare this to be an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

The comments are open, dear reader. Have at it!

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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The Environment — Hambo Cares & You Don’t

It may surprise you to know that Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, is not only the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else — he’s also an environmentalist.

Hambo’s new post is Study: Earth Faces “Biological Annihilation”. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

According to a new study, “biological annihilation” is around the corner for many of the earth’s species. The researchers claim a sixth mass extinction is now underway, this one caused by mankind. Of course, in a biblical worldview there’s only been one mass extinction, caused by the global Flood of Noah’s day.

Yeah, that Flood was a biggie, but we deserved it. Then he says:

I found this study interesting from an evolutionary perspective. In an evolutionary worldview, the strongest and fittest survive to reproduce while the others die off. And this is a good thing because it has supposedly given rise to the biological diversity we see today and, most importantly, to mankind.

Yes, it’s good — just like the Flood. Here’s where it gets interesting:

Yet these evolutionary scientists are decrying the mass extinction they are predicting. Why are they upset about species going extinct? If humans are the most fit and other species suffer, so what? Who cares? That’s how evolution is supposed to work.

Hambo understands us so well! He continues:

Species need to adapt and evolve to keep up with a changing world. If they can’t, well, too bad for them. In an evolutionary worldview it is inconsistent to believe that natural selection has been a good thing throughout millions of years of history but that it’s suddenly a bad thing now that we’re here.

Aha — Hambo has spotted an inconsistency in the evolutionists’ thinking. He’s so smart! Let’s read on:

But in a biblical worldview, we have a rationale for being concerned for creation. The possibility of “biological annihilation” should concern Christians and we should look into it and see what we can do to help maintain the incredible diversity of what God has created.

Huh? Yahweh killed almost everything in the Flood, and that was a good thing. Why is Hambo so worried about another extinction? He explains:

Because we have been placed as stewards of his creation [scripture reference]. Our job is to care for creation, not abuse it or ignore warning signs that something must be done.

That’s all he has to say, but we’re confused. The biggest accomplishment in Hambo’s life was building Ark Encounter, an exact replica of Noah’s Ark — a monument celebrating the divine destruction of the planet. Now he’s talking about conservation. Are we missing something here?

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Hambo and the Rainbow

You may recall that back in February we wrote Ken Ham Says You Can’t Have the Rainbow, in which we said: “Of all the controversies in the world, this one may be the most trivial, but it’s of vital importance to Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. He has just written We’re Keeping the Rainbow at the Ark Encounter.” We quoted what Hambo had written:

During the Christmas season, we lit up the full-size Ark at our themed attraction, Ark Encounter, in rainbow lights for a beautiful display. Well, we’ve decided to enhance the rainbow lights and make them a permanent feature during evenings at the Ark, located south of Cincinnati. We will be working over the coming months to ensure this change is permanent. It’s all part of “taking the rainbow back.” [Hambo’s bold font.]

[…]

In recent times the rainbow (albeit with some different colors) has come to represent . . . freedom, love, pride, a new era, and, specifically, the LGBTQ movement. . . . But the rainbow itself wasn’t designed to be a symbol of freedom, love, pride, or the LGBTQ movement. [Hambo’s bold font.] God created this beautiful, colorful phenomenon and designated it as a sign of His covenant with Noah and his descendants forever. … As Christians, we need to take the rainbow back and teach our young people its true meaning.

Somehow, the rainbow is back in the headlines. Fox News has this article: LGBT activists mock Christian ministry’s decision to reclaim rainbow. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The man behind the world-famous Ark Encounter has decided to reclaim “God’s rainbow” – announcing the massive ark exhibit will be permanently bathed in rainbow lights. “We now have new permanent rainbow lights at the Ark Encounter so all can see that it is God’s rainbow and He determines its meaning in Genesis 6,” Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham announced on Facebook.

[…]

“The Ark is lit permanently at night with a rainbow to remind the world that God owns it and He decreed it’s a sign of His covenant with man after the Flood — Christians need to take back the rainbow as we do at the Ark Encounter,” Ham said.

How bold! How courageous! Hambo has installed a bunch of colored light bulbs to illuminate his ark. Verily, he is a man to be admired! Let’s continue with the Fox story:

Critics denounced the decision — accusing him of stealing the rainbow colors from the LGBT community. “This is Ken Ham’s sad attempt to take back the rainbow symbol from the LGBTQ community,” read a headline in the Orlando Weekly.

There’s really all there is to the Fox story — except more than 100 comments from agitated readers. What can your Curmudgeon add to this colossal controversy? Not much. We rarely think about the “LGBTQ community.” The only private life we’re interested in is our own, and we don’t care what other people do — as long as it’s done privately with consenting adults.

As for the rainbow, anyone can use any symbol for any purpose — provided it’s not someone’s registered trademark. The rainbow seems to be public domain, so everyone is free to use it.

However, all this nonsense about the rainbow has given us an idea. It occurs to us that rational, science-minded people could use a symbol too. No, not that “A” thing that’s used to promote atheism. Science isn’t about that; it’s what we know and how we know it. What could symbolize that?

Hey, what about the periodic table of the elements as a symbol? That’s a great accomplishment of science, and it’s loaded with information that somehow isn’t in the bible. No, that won’t do. It’s too cluttered.

Well, what about a picture of a galaxy — a spiral, like our own? It’s an attractive image, and it was discovered using the methodology of science, not theology. Yes, we like it! That’s why we put it above this post. And there’s no danger that Hambo will attempt to appropriate it — it’s way too secular. So let him rant and rave about the rainbow. Your Curmudgeon hereby adopts the Milky Way as a symbol for his endeavors. If you like it, go ahead and use it. Like the rainbow — nobody owns it.

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