Daily Archives: 8 Oct 2010

Oh Gross… Gross and Ewwwww

What kind of person thinks of such a thing?

A Swiss museum will display a bar of soap which an artist claims to have made out of fat belonging to Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister. Mr Berlusconi underwent liposuction at a Swiss clinic in 2004, and a clinic employee gave the discarded fat to Swiss artist Gianni Motti, a statement from Zurich’s Migros Museum of Contemporary Art said. The off-white soap, which is the size of a conventional bar, will be exhibited until November 28 in its first public display since being purchased by a private collector in 2005.

Gag.  Anyway, if they ‘artist’ wanted to make a really substantive bar of soap, there are way better subjects to harvest the raw materials from…

I Will Never Click a Single Ad on Facebook

Dustin Moskovitz

I will never knowingly assist Facebook in raising one single red cent.  Ever.  And if Facebook at some point decides to charge even as little as a dollar a month, it will be so long FB for me.  Why?

California’s ballot measure to legalize marijuana has a new friend: Facebook co-founder Sean Parker has given $100,000 to back the proposal. Parker’s donation was reported in Proposition 19 campaign finance filings this week. And he’s not the first big Proposition 19 donor with ties to the social networking site. Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz has made two donations totalling $70,000, including a $50,000 contribution last month. Neither Parker nor Moskovitz are still with Palo Alto-based Facebook, but both still have ownership stakes. Recent estimates put the value of the privately held company as high as $33.7 billion.

Ownership stakes = share in profits and profits are generated by adverts and every person who clicks an advert contributes to the income of people who use it in an effort to legalize pot in California.

More Government Stupidity

Logo of the United States National Institute o...

On facebook Jim Barr reports

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism paid $918,856 in tax dollars to fund a five-year study of “Alcohol and Bar Violence” that determined, among other things, that bar fights tend to occur in venues that are relatively dark, dirty, noisy, hot, and crowded and that are frequented by a clientele of younger, less agreeable, less conscientious, more impulsive heavy drinkers.

I then remarked

duh. they could have given me 100k and i could have saved them money and told them the same thing.

The Government… if it isn’t wasting your money on the Taliban, it’s wasting your money on stupid questions which anyone with half a brain already knows the answer to.

I’m Completely Mystified

About WordPress’s not working normally for Firefox but working normally for Chrome.  Now how does that make any sense at all?  I’m utterly astonished.

Yet Another Reason Authentic Christians Ought to Leave Saddleback Church

Apparently, Saddleback Church has incorporated Miley Cyrus’ hit song The Climb into their worship set list.

Notes Scott. Who continues

Not sure really how I feel about this. It’s certainly not as bad as some of the worship songs that have been put up here, but I’m not sure it’s something ‘positive’ either. I have a term for some churches, “Vanilla Church”. Very often, pastors at Vanilla churches try to preach a message that will appeal to as many people as possible. Again, it’s not usually horrible dilettante dross, it’s usually feel-good, self-help, purpose driven stuff. But getting and retaining large congregations in some churches requires not stepping on any toes or challenging any ideas.

I’m pretty sure how I feel about it: Saddleback has sold the Gospel right down the river in favor of being seeker sensitive and watered down so as to appeal to the world and make Christians quite at home in it.  They exemplify a thoroughgoing abandonment of the Bible’s charge to be ‘in the world, but not of the world’. And such is the course of the mega-church movement as a whole- be comfortable in the world and bring the world into the church. This is what Warren has done and this is the singular reason why he is popular and why his congregants attend: they love the world- and not in the way God loves it.

Authentic Christians need to flee such churches in the same way that Lot was ordered to flee Sodom.  Otherwise, when the fire falls, they will be consumed.  And if they look back longingly at the havens of heresy, they deserve to be the salt-pillar they will become.

SECSOR Call For Papers and Annual Meeting Registration

The Southeastern Region of the SBL will meet March 4-6 in Louisville, Ky.  The call for papers and registration information is available on the SECSOR web page.

The Bullying Epidemic Has To Stop

Sladjana Vidovic‘s body lay in an open casket, dressed in the sparkly pink dress she had planned to wear to the prom. Days earlier, she had tied one end of a rope around her neck and the other around a bed post before jumping out her bedroom window. The 16-year-old’s last words, scribbled in English and her native Croatian, told of her daily torment at Mentor High School, where students mocked her accent, taunted her with insults like “Slutty Jana” and threw food at her.

Kids have always been mean- but these days they’re becoming purely evil. Purely and totally depraved in their evil. And it has to stop. Sermons need to be preached against it. Articles need to be published against it. Parents need to oppose it (instead of arranging fights for their children as some of the more feckless among Ohio’s parents have recently done). And schools must never again tolerate it. One act of bullying behavior should result in instant expulsion and two acts should result in the bullies being removed from their homes and placed in foster care since it has then become plainly obvious that their parents are incompetent.

No more children should die at their own hands because kids at school have bullied them- to death. Not one. Not one more!

Is There Someone Both Intelligent And Humorous Working for the White House?

It seems so!  Finally!  And Ari Shapiro tells us about him in today’s report on NPR.

When new monthly unemployment numbers come out Friday, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers will be on all the TV networks talking about the figures. For the first time, that person will be Austan Goolsbee. Goolsbee has been an economic adviser to Barack Obama since the 2004 Senate race. He was recently promoted to a leadership position in the White House economic team, and he is the only CEA chair ever to have won the title “D.C.’s Funniest Celebrity.”

I hope he can get something done.

How They Get Here…

I think Joel Watts has lost the link, because arrivals today include people looking for

books are scholarly done

Indeed!  I guess…

Christopher Rollston’s Forthcoming Volume: Writing and Literacy in Ancient Israel

All the details are here.  Chris is the best epigrapher known to me and I am 100% confident that his volume will be competent and erudite.

Ancient Northwest Semitic inscriptions from Israel, Phoenicia, Syria, Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Philistia enlighten and sharpen our vision of the Old Testament world in various ways. Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel focuses on this epigraphic evidence in order to broaden our understanding of the techniques and roles of writing, education, and literacy during this biblical period. To that end, the volume systematically covers scribal education; scribal implements; writing media such as stones, potsherds, and plaster; and the religious, administrative, and personal uses of writing. Its “handbook” format makes it easily accessible, including for use as a textbook in courses addressing the cultural context of ancient Israel.

The Casey Colloquium: Excerpt Six

Our colloquium begins in just a few days, on Sunday, so our brief excerpting series is almost concluded.  Today’s installment concerns Jesus’ opponents and the conflicts which erupted between them, Casey notes

Jesus accused his orthodox opponents of replacing the commandments of God with their own traditions. He believed that they had lost the main points of the Law altogether in their attachment to small details. This polemic represents a fatal conflict, on account of which there were scribes and elders among the people involved in bringing Jesus to his death. Moreover, the accounts of the disputes between Jesus and his orthodox opponents show clear signs of being transmitted in Aramaic, the language in which these sayings were originally spoken. These indications of Aramaic uniformly occur in accounts of incidents which have an excellent setting in the life of Jesus, but which do not belong to the environment of the early church as we know it from the epistles and from Acts.

Once more, don’t forget, we’ve got a contest going offering a free copy of Prof. Casey’s book to the winner (as chosen by James Spinti and myself).

[All of the excerpts in our present series can be acquired here]

WordPress Is Acting Weird…

Is it acting up for anyone else in terms of:

1- if I wish to post, I have to go to wordpress.com and post from there.  If I attempt posting right on my blog, the hover function over the ‘my blogs’ tab isn’t functioning.  You can hover all you want, but your blog will never show up.

Well that part’s been fixed. It was fixed for a brief time but now it’s not working again.  Neither is the next

2- posting photos via either upload or linking to a url doesn’t function either.  Zemanta photos post ok but getting my own photos or links to other photos results in a large window popping open and when ‘insert’ photo is pressed, absolutely nothing happens.

I’ve tried the usual clear the cache fix and all that stuff but nothing works.  Anyone else?

More Pastoral Misconduct: Times Two

This Lutheran pastor is confirming the youth o...



A former youth football coach and youth pastor will spend 121/2 years in prison for molesting three boys – two of them former players on the football team he coached in 2009 and a 13-year-old he ministered to at church in 2002. “It was an abuse of trust, where these young boys trusted their coach and youth pastor,” Thurston County Special Trials Division Chief Christy Peters said in court Thursday before Derwin Pasley’s sentencing. Pasley pleaded guilty last month to two counts of second-degree child molestation and one count of third-degree child molestation. Pasley, 33, did not address the court or apologize to the victims’ families as Thurston County Superior Court Judge Paula Casey handed down a 150-month sentence, which is beyond the standard range.

And second

A former pastor of a Paragould church is arrested for allegedly having sex with an underage girl. Former associate pastor, Ben Johnson, 26, was arrested after allegations were made of him having sex with an underage girl in his church. The allegations began after the victim’s parents found a text message on their daughter’s phone. According to police, the victim said she and Johnson had sex twice in the parsonage at the church. Johnson is charged with two counts of third degree sexual assault.

The first case admitted his guilt- the second not yet. I hope he isn’t. If he is guilty… well … when will enough be enough and Clergy just simply stop acting like perverts? I know… never.

[These guys aren’t really helping in my war on atheism.]

52? Oh Come On…


Britons find being older than 52 is nothing to laugh about because that’s the age when they start becoming grumpy, according to a survey on Friday. The poll of 2,000 Britons found those over 50 laughed far less than their younger counterparts and complained far more. While infants laughed up to 300 times a day, that figure had fallen to an average of six laughs by teenage years and only 2.5 daily chuckles for those over 60, the survey for cable TV channel Dave found. Men were also found to be grumpier than women.

I laugh at least 20 times a day. Usually at people.

The Birthday of Giovanni Garbini

Today marks the anniversary of the birth of that astonishing historian Giovanni Garbini; friend, correspondent, benefactor.

Garbini’s History and Ideology in Ancient Israel was a turning point, a watershed, in my intellectual pilgrimage. Scarcely any other book was more eye opening. And his book on the Philistines ought to be required reading in every graduate program in both archaeology and religion.

Professor Garbini was born on the 8th of October, 1931. And I want to publicly wish him the very happiest of birthdays. I hope Antonio Lombatti calls him up for me and tells him so.

Your Tax Dollars Support the Taliban

Taliban in Herat.

You bought it...

Yes, the money that your employer sends to the Federal Government in the form of taxes is being used, in part, in Iraq, to fund the Taliban. You know, the people we are so worried are going to attack us here so we’re fighting them there (except we’re funding them too)…

Heavy U.S. reliance on private security in Afghanistan has helped to line the pockets of the Taliban because contractors often don’t vet local recruits and wind up hiring warlords and thugs, Senate investigators said Thursday. The finding, in a report by the Senate Armed Services Committee, follows a separate congressional inquiry in June that concluded trucking contractors pay tens of millions of dollars a year to local warlords for convoy protection. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), chairman of the Senate panel, said he is worried the U.S. is unknowingly fostering the growth of Taliban-linked militias at a time when Kabul is struggling to recruit its own soldiers and police officers.

Americans, you’re funding the guys who are killing your sons. You’re buying their bullets. Or rather, we are. And I for one don’t like it at all.