Daily Archives: 22 Feb 2010

A New Addition to the Blogroll

Refo 500.  Check it out!

When They Make a Hero out of A Devil…

Things have seriously gone awry.   And when Joseph Stack is lauded for his insane suicide attack on the IRS, then it merely indicates how messed up those who lionize him really are.

He is not worthy of admiration any more than the suicide pilots of 9/11.  They are all cut from the same evil cloth: the cloth that believes violence is a legitimate means to an end.  It isn’t.  It never has been.  It never will be.

People who make heroes of demons are themselves demonic.

Mazar On Video Touting Her Claim

The headline says it all.  And it’s just so wrong.  Watch the video if you dare.  With thanks to Joseph Lauer for pointing it out.

And now, no matter what, the masses will associate the find with it’s supposed connection to Solomon no matter what is said about it in the future.  All because Mazar has represented it that way first.

Aren Maier in the News

Concerning the so called ‘Solomonic wall’- Aren is reported to have said

…  he has yet to see evidence that the fortifications are as old as Mazar claims. There are remains from the 10th century in Jerusalem, he said, but proof of a strong, centralised kingdom at that time remains ‘tenuous’.


Shutter Island: Best Movie of the Decade

I’m in Nashville presently for a conference tomorrow (so posting will be limited after early morning tomorrow) and after getting checked in to a very nice hotel I decided to go eat chinese food for dinner and see a movie.

I have wanted to see Shutter Island for a while and I’m exceedingly glad I chose it.  It was brilliant.  The most intelligent and challenging film I’ve seen in 10 years.

I highly recommend it.  Go see it.  Right now.

Obama’s Problem With Christians

Idea.de has an excellent essay today which commences

US-Präsident Barack Obama hat im ersten Jahr seiner Amtszeit viele Bürger enttäuscht. Rückhalt hat er besonders bei Christen verloren, die mit ihm große Hoffnungen verbunden hatten.

While it may be a bit of a stretch to say that Christians have ‘associated him with high hopes’ it certainly is true that many Christians voted for him- and he has not made good on his promises to them. Especially in light of the fact that without their support, he never would have been elected-

So stimmten bei der Präsidentschaftswahl im November 2008 42 Prozent aller „wiedergeborenen“ Christen für ihn; das waren 40 Prozent aller Obama-Wähler.

Read the whole essay. It’s quite brief and won’t take a moment.

Total Depravity: The Meth Making Mom and Dad

Officers are decontaminating a Southeastern Kentucky home, that they’ve condemned since finding a meth lab there Saturday night. … Beyond the drugs, deputies say they found four children– all younger than 13– inside. Someone off tipped the sheriff’s office and it didn’t take long for investigators to confirm the claims. According to the sheriff’s office, one adult was downstairs with the children watching TV and three were in the attic cooking meth. Ronald Overbay, Susan Overbay, Bradley Petrey, and Oby Stevens are charged with wanton endangerment and manufacturing methamphetamine. The children have were decontaminated as a precaution and were taken to Jellico Community Hospital in Campbell County.

That story, sadly, could easily be repeated hundreds of times in this region alone if law enforcement officials investigated every meth house they already know exists.

The Biggest Loser, Loses

The experts don’t like it.

… physicians and nutritionists worry the show’s focus on competitive weight loss is, at best, counterproductive and, at worst, dangerous.  “They’re taking people who have been inactive and are not in good shape and boom, automatically subjecting them to this stress,” Carol Wolin-Riklin, the bariatric nutrition coordinator for the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, told LiveScience. “Things are going to happen.”


And indeed, things have. Two patients were hospitalized after collapsing during a one-mile (1.6 km) foot race for the season 8 premiere. This year’s season 9 opened with another strenuous challenge in which contestants raced 26.2 miles (42 km) on stationary bikes. Show medical consultant and UCLA professor Rob Huizenga had to drag one protesting contestant off her bike when she was stricken with severe cramps. A second contestant, 526-pound Michael Ventrella, was treated for exhaustion.

We Americans love to make everything into a contest. Sometimes, though, contests only make people do stupid things. Things they really shouldn’t be doing. Obesity isn’t a game show- it’s a serious medical problem. It’s a plague. The way to handle it isn’t bribery. It’s sensible eating and regular exercise. That’s all. Nothing more, nothing less.

Total Depravity: The Bible School Teacher Edition

The neighbor of a Bible school teacher accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student says he saw the teacher bring underage girls into his townhouse apartment several times over the past year.

In fact, when these pedophiles are caught, it’s never the first time they’ve done something wicked.  Usually, it’s after a series of such depraved events.

But thank heaven for the school.  It’s doing the right thing.

The teacher, Scott A. Spies, 49, was arrested Tuesday and booked into jail for investigation of molestation, indecent liberties and sex with a minor, police said. He was released late Saturday after posting bail, records show.  Spies has been fired by the Auburn Adventist Academy, where he taught Bible study classes, and school officials are helping the 16-year-old victim in any way they can.

That’s the proper thing for them to do.  I hope the child, and the other victims, get the help they need.  And the perpetrator the punishment he deserves.

The Most Hideous Olympic Performance

Has to be, hands down, the absurdly ridiculous and massively offensive Russian Ice Dance in aboriginal attire.  Have you ever seen anything so hideous?

By far the best performances were by the two American pairs from the University of Michigan.  Those kids were great.  Their skating was perfection.  That the Russians even placed with something more than the most miserly score is the greatest injustice of the Games to date.

The Bible: A History… Not Exactly Making them Hoot In Britain

It may well be doing better if someone besides Gerry Adams were the chief talking head.  John Grace writes today in The Guardian

It was billed as a history of the Bible, but this was more about Gerry Adams’s own legend.

And then he gets going.

Channel 4‘s The Bible: A History (Sunday) has been rumbling along ­inconsequentially for four weeks, filling in time as documentary God-slot fodder, but this week’s helping was more of a contract with the devil. Now you could say that if Tony Blair can successfully position himself as just one papal visit away from full canonisation, then Adams has long since crawled through the eye of any number of needles, but much as Channel 4 might want to claim that Adams is now a respected politician, that’s not why they gave him the TV gig.

The best part of the blistering piece though has to be this paragraph

This week’s instalment was supposed to be Adams’s mission to uncover the real Jesus. But since all he seemed to find out was that not everything written in the gospels about Jesus is wholly reliable and that much of his ministry took place in the last year of his life – things most of us discovered at primary school – it’s probably fair to say Adams had a rather different agenda. Rather, in what looked like a sombre black cape and backlit to resemble St Francis of Assisi, Adams’s goal was to present himself as a Man of God. All that was missing was a guest appearance from Dan Brown to claim Adams was a direct blood descendant of the Messiah.

Again, perhaps the reviewers would be kinder if someone other than Adams had been chosen  to be the Presenter.  Why they chose him is a mystery really- unless it was just to boost ratings.  Which means they aren’t so concerned with the content of their programming as they are ratings.  Heck, they are almost acting like Americans.

The 3000 Year Old ‘Solomonic’ Wall?

Eilat Mazar is at it again-

An ancient stone wall uncovered just outside the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City may be the first structural evidence of biblical King Solomon’s building in the city, an archaeologist said today.

“A comparison of this latest finding with city walls and gates from the period of the First Temple, as well as pottery found at the site, enable us to postulate with a great degree of assurance that the wall revealed was built by King Solomon in Jerusalem in the latter part of the 10th century B.C.E.,” dig director archaeologist Eilat Mazar said.

Come on. Come on. At least pretend to be fair with the evidence before hurling to a conclusion the very day the ‘discovery’ is made!  One can’t help having the feeling that if Eilat found anything contrary to her preconceptions, we would never hear of it.  But everything she finds nicely supports what we already know she will find.

The six-meter-high wall and its surrounding complex of a gatehouse and a corner tower were excavated over the past three weeks in a dig conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the latest of finds linked to the reigns of David and Solomon.

How the devil are they linked to David and Solomon when there’s not a shred of evidence to that effect except Mazar’s assertions????    This is exactly what’s wrong with ‘biblical archaeology’.  This is why it’s claims can’t be taken seriously.

Discovered along with the wall were seal impressions on jar handles with the words “to the king,” and other bullae with Hebrew names that also testified to the royal nature of the structure, Mazar told journalists at the site.

Oh well that proves it…

More On the Texas Church Arsonists

Now we know the names of the miscreants-

Jason Robert Bourque, 19, and Daniel George McAllister, 21, were arrested and charged Sunday with one count of felony arson for the torching of a church in rural Smith County, said Tom Crowley, spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The New York Times has their photos:

They don’t appear to be having as much fun now as they must have had while they were maliciously and malevolently destroying places of worship.  I often wonder, when people like this are doing what they do, how they would feel if some criminal went to their house, robbed it, vandalized it, and then burned it to the ground.  I’m guessing they’d hate it.

So what makes them think it’s ok to do to others what they would not want done to themselves?  Depravity.

Now that they’re in custody, may their trials be swift and their punishment absolute.

A Very Happy Birthday To

My friend Robert Cargill.  Bob’s birthday is this very day.  He’s, if I might be allowed to say this, the brightest young archaeologist in the archaeological firmament.  He’s already contributed in impressive ways to the field and the future will doubtless reveal more fully for all to see what his friends already know: Bob is nearly peerless.

His academic rigor is difficult to defeat and his skills as interpreter are nicely honed.

But more than that, he is meticulous, careful, and brilliant.  He is the finest scholar ever to come from or work at Pepperdine, bar none.

And still more than that, he’s a good friend.  You can count on your hand in life those who are true friends.  The ‘I’ve got your back and will go to the gates of hell with you’ sorts are very, very hard to come by.  Bob is such a sort.  He’s no mere acquaintance, fair-weather friend, or user-of-friendship.  He’s what the word friend means.

I’m sure regular readers will know that I’m not the sort to say things just to make people feel good about themselves.  Such speech is always false speech.  So when I say what I do about Bob, I mean every word of it.

Happy Birthday, Bob.  I hope you have many, many more in excellent health both physically and mentally.