Daily Archives: 5 Sep 2010

Online Prostitution is Here to Stay…

244/365: sunlight in your eyes

Because, let’s face it, total depravity is here to stay (until there’s a new heaven and a new earth).  As the AP puts it

Craiglist’s “adult services” section has been shut down in the U.S., but prostitution on the Internet is alive and well — even, quite possibly, on Craigslist. Users of the website and its CEO grouse that the Internet is still full of sites where people can find prostitutes. As for the massive online classifieds site itself, many personal ads, which remain on the site, appear to be thinly veiled solicitations of sex for sale.

Gee, now where have I heard that already… oh yeah, now I remember.  As long as sin exists and the evil inclination, people will find a way to cheapen themselves and treat their bodies like a doorknob.

Accreditation: Let Me Be Perfectly Clear…

There seems to be some misunderstanding out there amongst the throngs.  So let me say as clearly and pointedly as possible-  I am not opposed to education nor am I a fan of amateurism or dilettantism.  Education is immensely important.  Terribly necessary.  And utterly desirable.

I am opposed, however, to the false belief that accreditation is capable of guaranteeing scholarship and I am asserting that the accreditation industry is purely self serving and driven by money and not a real concern for academics or students.

A good education doesn’t depend on a greed driven self serving industry.  An industry, no one seems to be recalling, that is a scant 30 or so years old.  It is infuriatingly maddening to see it defended as though it had always been around and it is absurdly parochial to believe that only people presently graduating from ‘accredited’ schools are intelligent, gifted, and articulate.  Just as absurd, I’ll add, as asserting that persons graduating from ‘accredited’ schools are all smart.  Some of them are real idiots.  And some who teach them are real idiots too.

I hope this clarifies matters.  I’ll close with this- I know I’m an iconoclast and I don’t care if anyone likes it.  I would be a spineless coward to change my view just because it annoyed people or made them uncomfortable or, best of all, made them think for half a second or more.  If I have to cut a few heads off along the way, I’m ok with that.

Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now? (And Mark Stevens Too)

He’s been interviewed by the news…

But Mark Stevens has been in front of the camera too…

Button up your shirt, Mark!

Fortune Tellers are Being Accredited…

Gypsies fortune-telling. Facsimile of a woodcu...

Starting this week, fortune tellers in Warren, Mich., must be fingerprinted and pay an annual fee of $150 – plus $10 for a police background check – to practice their craft. The new rules are among America’s strictest on palmists, fortune readers and other psychics, part of a growing push to regulate a business that has never been taken, or overseen, very seriously. But officials in Warren, a town of 138,000 near Detroit, say it’s time to weed out tricksters. “We had no mechanism of enforcement to protect people against unsavory characters,” Warren city-council member Keith Sadowski says. “We want to be sure there is some recourse in case we do get somebody who is not legitimate.”

‘In case we do get somebody who is not legitimate…’ That cracked me up!

But what really cracks me up is that the much adored system of accreditation in higher education works in exactly the same way- with the same putative goal! Fees are paid by those willing and they are granted ‘recognition’ (which evidently can only be achieved by paying the appointed fee). And those not paying the fee are somehow or other to be deemed less legitimate. To ‘protect’ the public!  Ha!

Someone will have to show me how the accreditation of psychics is any different than the accreditation of academic programs.  In fact, I would happily wager that there are as many inept accredited academics as there are inept accredited psychics.

NB- the woodcut above depicts accredited gypsies telling fortunes… or is it really a depiction of the visit of an accrediting committee at Harvard?  Is there a difference?

How To Kill A Church

The tragic story of Emmanuel Baptist Church shows just how it’s done:

1- Cancel services regularly.
2- Don’t attend.
3- Let a minority of members make all the decisions.
4- Don’t make people feel welcome when they come.
5- Remain silent when trouble-makers cause problems.
6- Sign church property over to someone who isn’t a member.

Follow those steps and your church too can be as dead as Emmanuel Baptist. Sadly.

Twitter’s True Purpose…

Cougar-ism.

In the Aftermath of the Christchurch Quake

The Star observes

The powerful earthquake that smashed buildings, cracked roads and twisted rail lines around the New Zealand city of Christchurch also ripped a new 3.5 metre-wide fault line in the earth’s surface, a geologist said Sunday. At least 500 buildings, including 90 downtown properties, have been designated as destroyed in the 7.1-magnitude quake that struck at 4:35 a.m. Saturday (Friday afternoon, Eastern time) near the South Island city of 400,000 people. Most other buildings sustained only minor damage. The quake cut power across the region, roads were blocked by debris and gas and water supplies were disrupted, but Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said services were being restored Sunday. Power was back to 90 per cent of the city and water supply had resumed for all but 15 to 20 per cent of residents, he said. Portable toilets had been provided and tanks of fresh water placed around the city for residents.

Don’t cease praying for these folk. One doesn’t recover from such a thing in a few days or months.

What Has the War in Iraq Really Cost?

Security fence

The Washington Post has the sickening facts-

Writing in these pages in early 2008, we put the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war at $3 trillion. This price tag dwarfed previous estimates, including the Bush administration’s 2003 projections of a $50 billion to $60 billion war. But today, as the United States ends combat in Iraq, it appears that our $3 trillion estimate (which accounted for both government expenses and the war’s broader impact on the U.S. economy) was, if anything, too low. For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected. Moreover, two years on, it has become clear to us that our estimate did not capture what may have been the conflict’s most sobering expenses: those in the category of “might have beens,” or what economists call opportunity costs.

Go on to read the entire report which is loaded with important facts. It is just another bit of evidence of government short sightedness and incompetence.

But to me, the most disturbing fact of all is that there weren’t a handful of theologians or biblical scholars denouncing the war from the very start. Silent they were and the few who did speak out were denounced and excoriated by many. Now, we’re all reaping the consequences of that silence.

The Reformers and Islam

Theodore Bibliander.

Back in 1978 a book titled L’Islam et la Reforme: Etüde sur l’attitude des reformateurs Zurichois envers l’Islam (1510-1550) was published. In 1985 (!) it was reviewed in the pages of Zwingliana.

Der Verfasser des Buches, das als kirchenhistorische Dissertation an der Universität Genf verfaßt wurde, ist der ungarisch-schweizerische reformierte Theologe und Politologe V. Segesvary, ein ausgewiesener Kenner der islamischen Welt und zur Zeit Leiter eines UNO-Entwicklungsprojektes in der Republik Mali.

Interestingly

Trotz seiner theologischen Kritik am Koran scheint in Zürich Bibliander allein etwas von der positiven Bedeutung des Islams, der ja zahlreiche heidnische Völker zu einem «konsequenten und absoluten Monotheismus» geführt hat, begriffen zu haben. Die wichtigste Folge von Biblianders Interesse am Islam war die erste Veröffentlichung des ganzen Korantextes in lateinischer Übersetzung zusammen mit einer Sammlung der bedeutendsten antimohammedanischen Schriften des Mittelalters und der Reformationszeit in Basel bei Oporin 1543, in 3 Bänden. Bd. 1 enthält Melanchthons Vorwort, Biblianders «Apologia pro editione Alcorani» und den Koran selbst; Bd. 2 die polemischen Schriften unter dem Sammeltitel «Confutationes legis Machumeticae»; Bd. 3 verschiedene Schilderungen des Lebens und der Gewohnheiten der Türken, Luthers «Epistola ad pium lectorem» und den Briefwechsel von Papst Pius II. mit Sultan Muhammad IL, dem Eroberer von Konstantinopel. Bibliander mußte vor allem betonen, daß sein Werk ein wirksames Mittel zur Bekämpfung des Islams sei.

The review is brief but it outlines a book that can be found at Amazon (for now)  and which I will surely obtain.

I Wish Colin Powell Were President

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell holds a v...

He’s the smartest guy Washington has seen in generations.  And he’s an honest man.  And he would be an excellent President.  And had be been elected in 2000 the world would be a very different place indeed.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has told the Mainichi he believes the Iraq War — which began while he was in office in 2003 — could have been averted. Powell also stated during an Aug. 24 telephone interview that he regretted the false intelligence that led the United States to claim the Saddam Hussein regime possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which Powell presented to the United Nations and which underpinned the U.S. case to invade Iraq. “I will always be seen as the one who made the major public presentation of that intelligence. I regret that it was wrong but, at the same time, we had every reason to believe it was correct,” Powell said of the false WMD evidence. In a 2005 interview on ABC television, Powell called the speech a “blot” on his reputation, though he also emphasized that he did not fabricate the intelligence — a point he was keen to reiterate to the Mainichi.

Of course it could have been avoided- it was a war of spite, nothing more. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. If the President had really gone after those responsible he would have gone after Saudi Arabia, where the terrorists originated. But of course he couldn’t do that- since he was busy holding hands with the Saudi prince.

I wish Powell were President now. He would accomplish something.

Sigh…

Thanks, Dove World Outreach Center– or as I like to call you, Westboro Baptist Church: Florida Location.

Thousands of Indonesian Muslims rallied outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta on Saturday to denounce an American church’s plan to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by burning copies of the Quran.

Furthermore

About 3,000 members of a hard-line Islamic group marched to the U.S. Embassy in downtown Jakarta waving banners and posters condemning the plan. The group organized similar rallies in five other cities across Indonesia, the world’ largest Muslim nation. Religious leaders in Indonesia have condemned the plan and called on the U.S. government to use its influence to get the fire canceled.

The American government has no influence.  It can only stand by impotently and watch insanity happen.