Daily Archives: 4 Sep 2010

Dear God

I have a question I hope you won’t mind answering one day.  Why do you let people like this live?

Carlotta Pierce

Why do you allow such wickedness as seems to be the case here?

The police are investigating the death of a sickly 4-year-old girl in Brooklyn whose body was found after her mother called 911 on Thursday morning and reported the child was unresponsive. The girl, Marchella Pierce, weighed only 15 pounds and had suffered severe health problems since birth, the authorities said. Detectives were trying to determine whether the girl had been bound to a bed after they found marks on her ankles that appeared consistent with twine that was found tied to the head- and foot-boards of a small bed in her mother’s bedroom, where the girl was found.

Why do you let people have babies who should never have babies while you withhold them from people who want them and would cherish them and do nothing but good for them?

Your ways are mysterious, God, and I’m confident you know what you’re doing. But I would appreciate an explanation sometime- just for the sake of my curiosity (and sanity).

Thanks for your time,

Your devoted servant,
Jim

Quote of the Day

“But this I know: the theologians of every country only half discharge their duties if they think it enough to treat of the Gospel in the recondite language of learning and bury it in scholarly folios.” – Adolf Von Harnack (via).

It’s a shame that a century after von Harnack made the point, there are still those who defend the Ivory Tower and refuse to recognize the academy’s debt to the larger public (which funds its work and by its labors leaves academics free of the burden of scraping through life eeking out a living from the ground).

They Weren’t Really in the Mood to Fight…

So during the First Kappel War (in 1529), the Catholics and Reformed shared dinner.

As Schaff relates

The hostile armies faced each other from Cappel and Baar, but hesitated to advance. Catholic guards would cross over the border to be taken prisoners by the Zürichers, who had an abundance of provision, and sent them back well fed and clothed. Or they would place a large bucket of milk on the border line and asked the Zürichers for bread, who supplied them richly; whereupon both parties peacefully enjoyed a common meal, and when one took a morsel on the enemy’s side, he was reminded not to cross the frontier. The soldiers remembered that they were Swiss confederates, and that many of them had fought side by side on foreign battlefields. (Similar episodes of kindly intercourse occurred between the Confederate and Union soldiers during the civil war in the United States.) “We shall not fight,” they said;, and pray God that the storm may pass away without doing us any harm.” Jacob Sturm, the burgomaster of Strassburg, who was present as a mediator, was struck with the manifestation of personal harmony and friendship in the midst of organized hostility. “You are a singular people,” he said; “though disunited, you are united.”

Sadly 2 years later things turned out quite differently. It’s a shame that now, as then, armies at war can’t just set down their weapons and eat together. A crying shame.

Craigslist Has Removed its Adult Services Section…

Craigslist

So all the prostitutes have moved over to the ‘personal ads‘ section.

Craigslist closed the adult services section of its website Saturday, replacing it with a black bar that says “censored,” just over a week after a group of state attorneys general said there weren’t enough protections against blocking potentially illegal ads promoting prostitution. The listings came under new scrutiny after the jailhouse suicide last month of a former medical student who was awaiting trial in the killing of a masseuse he met through Craigslist. Critics have likened the services to virtual pimping, while Craigslist maintained the site was carrying ads even tamer than those published by some newspapers.

So what? Will the closing of the adult services section change anything? No. Now the personal ads are the purview of the perverts.  Craigslist needs to remove the personals section as well.  That will be the only way that prostitution and other illegal activities by means of Craigslist is eliminated.

Think I’m exaggerating?  Go take a look at just the ‘casual encounter‘ page of the Knoxville Craigslist listings.  There’s more depravity there – facilitated by Craigslist – than in any newspaper personals section.  CL is just making it easier- it’s the new brothel / bath house for the 21st century

Another Reason to Despise the US Government

A large unfinished building

This is pure sickening.  I’m so glad my tax dollars are bailing out Afghans.  It does so warm my heart.  Meanwhile, the US economy is in the toilet, jobs are still not coming back, construction is stalled, our own banks already have billions + their new fees with which to gouge customers, and the auto industry is in the tank.

I don’t sympathize with the methods of the anti-government conspiracy loons but I sure do understand their frustration.  My frustration is unbounded.

The New York Times reports that the U.S. has agreed to assist the Afghan government in bailing out that nation’s largest bank in order to prevent a nationwide financial crisis: Details of the deal, including how much each government would contribute, were still being worked out on Saturday between the Central Bank of Afghanistan and the United States Treasury Department, officials said… Top officials at Kabul Bank and a senior leader at the Central Bank declined to comment publicly on the proposed bailout, which was still being negotiated. However a manager at the Central Bank and a senior American official confirmed what the American official called an “intervention.”

Let them fail. Let them reap the consequences of their greed. Why should we have to pay for it???/ Why? Oh I despise this government.  A vein in my forehead is about to pop.

Faith and Good Works: Busch on Calvin

Eberhard Busch’s lecture to the theological faculty of the University of Zurich from 2000 is a grand read.  And I mention it only because of that fact.

Tony Blair Isn’t Popular in Dublin

DAVOS-KLOSTERS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN09 - Tony Bla...

Protesters hurled shoes and eggs Saturday as Tony Blair held the first public signing of his memoir amid high security in the Irish capital. Hundreds more people lined up to have their books autographed — evidence that the divisions left by Blair’s decade as British leader have yet to heal. Blair’s new book, “A Journey,” is a best-seller, but it has angered opponents of his policies, especially the 2003 invasion of Iraq. About 200 demonstrators chanted that Blair had “blood on his hands” as the former prime minister arrived at a Dublin book store. A shoe, eggs and other projectiles were thrown toward Blair as he emerged from a car, but did not hit him. A flip-flop could be seen lying on the roof of a BMW in Blair’s motorcade.

James Crossley has been telling people he’s in Wales- but I’m wondering if he didn’t take a short flight to Dublin…

The Future of US Universities: An Uncertain Forecast

The reason lots of college kids can't think

There’s a very interesting essay in The Star this morning that people in the States who are involved in Higher Ed and students of said institutions should read.

After a few introductory paragraphs, the essayist observes

Two right-wing think tanks, the American Enterprise Institute and the Goldwater Institute, have both produced damning reports about America’s university system. Two left-wing academics, Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus, have published an even more damning book: Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids and What We Can Do About It.

And then

And U.S. News & World Report, a centrist magazine, says in its annual survey of American colleges: “If colleges were businesses, they would be ripe for hostile takeovers, complete with serious cost-cutting and painful reorganizations.”

And most tellingly

College fees have for decades risen faster than Americans’ ability to pay them. Median household income has grown by a factor of 6.5 in the past 40 years, but the cost of attending a state college has increased by a factor of 15 for in-state students and 24 for out-of-state students. The cost of attending a private college has increased by a factor of more than 13 (a year in the Ivy League will set you back $38,000, excluding bed and board). Academic inflation makes medical inflation look modest by comparison.

But all that accredited instruction isn’t really bearing much fruit-

As costs soar, diligence is tumbling. In 1961 full-time students in four-year colleges spent 24 hours a week studying; that has fallen to 14, estimates the AEI. Dropout and deferment rates are also hair-curling: only 40 per cent of students graduate in four years.

Why? Because most Profs are more interested in their careers than in educating students:

The most plausible explanation is that professors are not particularly interested in students’ welfare. Promotion and tenure depend on published research, not good teaching. Professors strike an implicit bargain with their students: we will give you light workloads and inflated grades so long as you leave us alone to do our research. Hacker and Dreifus point out that senior professors in Ivy League universities now get sabbaticals every third year rather than every seventh. This year 20 of Harvard’s 48 history professors will be on leave.

Read the whole report. It’s eye opening. Except, of course, for the blind.

‘Writing the Dead Sea Scrolls’ is Available on YouTube

Okie dokie. Now Mark Stevens won’t have to try to get a copy of the not available anyway DVD. With thanks to Stephen Goranson for pointing it out.

Part two is here, three is here, four is here, and five is here.

Humor in the Old Testament

If you haven’t read Gisela Matthiae’s fascinating essay in WiBiLex, you owe it to yourself to do it.  And if you aren’t familiar with WiBiLex, do give it a look.  It’s one fantastic resource for biblical studies.

The Abortionists and Their Crimes

Crosses Memorialize Abortion 1

This is appalling but I wonder how many abortion providers are doing exactly the same thing and have just never been caught…

Maryland health officials have ordered two doctors to stop performing abortions after a woman was critically injured during a procedure last month.

Probably happens a lot.

The state Board of Physicians ordered Dr. Steven Brigham to stop practicing medicine without a license in Maryland and suspended the license of Dr. Nicola Riley. Police raided one of Brigham’s offices in Elkton looking for medical records, and found dozens of late-term fetuses in a freezer at a clinic.

What’s he doing practicing without a license anyway and why isn’t he in prison? And why haven’t they both been charged with murder? They killed late term babies and stored their remains in a freezer. If they weren’t abortion doctors the crime would be called grisly and they would be facing the most serious charges. Why not now? Abortion is murder. Period. Late term abortions are murder. Period. These doctors are murderers. Without question.

Riley and Brigham brought an injured 18-year-old woman in a personal vehicle to Union Hospital in Elkton after a failed abortion Aug. 13, according to the board’s orders. The woman was then taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where she was found to have a uterine perforation.

They mutilated the woman in an attempt to murder her unborn baby. That’s total depravity.

What’s Going on at the Pentegon?

The Pentagon, looking northeast with the Potom...

And why aren’t child pornography purchases by workers there being investigated and prosecuted?  Are people at the Pentegon above the law?  Or is it just another in a long series of military cover-ups?

A 2006 Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation into the purchase of child pornography online turned up more than 250 civilian and military employees of the Defense Department — including some with the highest available security clearance — who used credit cards or PayPal to purchase images of children in sexual situations. But the Pentagon investigated only a handful of the cases, Defense Department records show. The cases turned up during a 2006 ICE inquiry, called Project Flicker, which targeted overseas processing of child-porn payments. As part of the probe, ICE investigators gained access to the names and credit card information of more than 5,000 Americans who had subscribed to websites offering images of child pornography. Many of those individuals provided military email addresses or physical addresses with Army or fleet ZIP codes when they purchased the subscriptions.

It sounds to me like around 5000 Americans should be in jail for child porn.

Two New Volumes in the ‘Bible Briefs’ Series

Song of Songs by Tod Linafelt of Georgetown University and 1, 2, & 3 John by John Y. H. Yieh of Virginia Seminary.

http://www.vts.edu/podium/default.aspx?t=118919

PDF downloads:
http://www.vts.edu/ftpimages/95/download/FM.Linafelt.Song_of_Songs.pdf
http://www.vts.edu/ftpimages/95/download/FM.Yieh.1-2-3-John.pdf

Check them out, and the other volumes in the series.