Israel Doesn’t Care What Anyone Else Thinks…

They’re going to build in East Jerusalem even if it derails any possibility of peace with the Palestinians.

Israel on Tuesday hotly defended its new construction plans for disputed east Jerusalem against criticism from President Barack Obama, Palestinians and the European Union — insisting it never agreed to halt the building and sharpening a crisis that threatens to derail peace talks. A harsh statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office insisted that “Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is the capital of the state of Israel.” It continued: “Israel sees no link between the peace process and its development plans in Jerusalem.”

Hurry up and apologize, President Obama. You don’t want John Hagee’s kind angry at you! Be sure to call the Israeli Prime Minister (you know him as your lord and master) and tell him you were just kidding. Pandering to the left or sane people or people who care about more than just one ethnic group or whatever you have to do to make sure Israel isn’t angered. Oh no, Israel must never be made angry! The minute that happens, the term ‘antisemitic’ is whipped out and then all hell breaks loose!

So, Mr. President, cower. It’s the only way you can avoid the inevitable sideways glance from zionism.

Joe Wilson on George Bush’s ‘Deception Points’

Having read that people began lining up in front of bookstores before former President Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, was due to be released, I hurried off to purchase mine early on November 9, arriving about fifteen minutes after opening time. I have the distinction of being the first person to purchase Bush’s book in Santa Fe, New Mexico. … he president appears in this book to live in Htrae, the Bizarro world of DC Comics where society is ruled by the code that “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!” To that might be added: Us hate truth.

He’s not impressed. No surprise there.

The Atlanta Biblioblogger Dinner

Via Bob Cargill

info on the 2010 biblioblogger dinner in atlanta the 2010 biblioblogger gathering in atlanta this year will be held at gibney's irish pub (map) on sunday night, november 21, 2010, at 6:45 pm. it's less than a block away from the main sbl hotel, the hyatt regency atlanta, so los angeles bloggers have no excuse. a dinner menu is available here. if you are a blogger, a reader of b … Read More

via The Official Blog of Dr. Robert R. Cargill

Wrestling the Word: The Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Believer, By Carolyn Sharp

Carolyn mentioned the soon publication of her book today and I’m compelled to pass along the notice.

This book for introductory Old Testament classes offers an appealing illustration of how faith and academic study can work together, motivating and equipping Christian believers to turn to the Old Testament as a profound resource for their daily negotiations of faith, identity, and culture. Throughout, Sharp focuses on the basic fundamentals that are a necessary part of every student’s education. Carolyn J. Sharp is Associate Professor of Hebrew Scriptures at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut. She is the author of Old Testament Prophets for Today, published by Westminster John Knox Press.

Congrats to her!  It looks interesting.

Really Terribly Awful Horrid Wretched News for the 2011 Meeting of the SBL in San Francisco…

San Francisco is poised to become the first major American city to prohibit fast food restaurants from including toys with children’s meals that do not meet nutritional guidelines. The measure passed on a preliminary vote by the city’s Board of Supervisors last week, and is expected to win final passage Tuesday with enough votes to survive a likely veto by Mayor Gavin Newsom. The ordinance, which would go into effect in December of next year, prohibits toy giveaways in fast food children’s meals that have more than 640 milligrams of sodium, 600 calories or 35 percent of their calories from fat. The law also would limit saturated fats and trans fats and require fruits or vegetables to be served with each meal with a toy.

Stupid San Francisco. They let gays marry but they won’t let kids (and members of the SBL who love to collect Happy Meal toys) get what they want. That’s hypocrisy. The city wants to ban what’s tasty and taste what’s banned. Wicked.  Oh but wait!  The law of anti-fun won’t go into effect till December!  REPRIEVE!  We can have our blogger dinner at McD’s AND Joel and Mark can get a toy!!!!!

Lecture Announcement

Those of you in New York will want to note this-

Prof. Gershon Galil of the University of Haifa will be visiting Yeshiva University next week, and will be giving a talk on Tuesday evening, November 16.  His topic is “A Word is Better than a Million Potsherds: David and Solomon Between Text & Material Culture.”  The talk will take place in Furst Hall (500 West 185th St, at the corner of Amsterdam Avenue), on the 5th floor, in room 535, at 8:30 PM. For further information or directions, please contact koller@yu.edu.

Sounds fantastic doesn’t it?  Wish I could be there.

Slavery in America- Today

More than five dozen child prostitutes have been found in the last three days as part of a nationwide crackdown on the sexual exploitation of children, the FBI said Monday. FBI spokesman Jason Pack said 69 children were removed from prostitution and 99 suspected pimps were arrested in 40 cities across 30 states and the District of Columbia. Authorities arrested 785 other adults on a variety state and local charges, Pack said. All the children found in the last three days have been placed into protective custody or returned to their families. The children were found during Operation Cross Country V, a three-day roundup targeting child traffickers and pimps. The largest group of child prostitutes, 24, was found in and around Seattle, according to the FBI. FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry said the children found ranged in age from 12 to 17. Authorities are working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to confirm their identities.

That’s horrifying. And wretched. Oh my.  America is sick.

Atheist Ministers: Oxymoron Supreme

The very phrase ‘atheist minister‘ is as sensible as ‘promiscuous virgin’ and ‘military intelligence’ and ‘congressional integrity’.  Such things may exist in theory or in the wild flailings of the overactive and depraved imagination, but in fact they don’t exist at all.

There’s only one reason an atheist would be a minister or an unbelieving minister would remain in his pastoral office- money.  M-O-N-E-Y.  Fearful of the job search, the ‘pastor’ who doesn’t believe is the most profound of all hypocrites.  Better a Wal-Mart greeter with personal integrity than a pretentious pretending liar.

“I am an atheist,” says “Jack,” a Southern Baptist with more than 20 years in ministry. “I live out my life as if there is no God,” says “Adam,” who is part of the pastoral staff of a small evangelical church in the Bible Belt. The two, who asked that their real identities be protected, are pastors who have lost their faith. And these two men, who have built their careers and lives around faith, say they now feel trapped, living a lie. “I spent the majority of my life believing and pursuing this religious faith, Christianity,” Jack said. “And to get to this point in my life, I just don’t feel like I believe anymore.”

Cowards both and liars too and unworthy of any sort of respect. They embody falsehood. They are deceivers. They are tools. Of Satan.  Their fate?  Well rightly to be one of Satan’s toothpicks.

[with thanks to Tom Verenna on FB for the tip].

Visit the Vatican Library: It’s Touch A Fax Month

Lovers of ancient books, parchments and illustrations can simulate being real-life researchers touching some of the world’s rarest documents at a new exhibition on the treasures of the Vatican Library. No need to bring white cotton gloves, they will be provided to increase the sensation of authenticity, even though documents that can be touched are high quality facsimiles. The exhibition, which opens to the public on Wednesday in St Peter’s Square, re-creates a mini version of the frescoed rooms of the Vatican Library, which houses more than 1.6 million rare books, manuscripts, coins, first editions and wax seals. Among the facsimiles of documents that can be touched is the Borgianus Latinus, a missal for use at Christmas made for Pope Alexander VI, who became pope in 1492, the same year Columbus discovered America. Another is an edition of Dante’s Divine comedy from 1564.

It sounds nice- but honestly, touching a facsimile is like only reading the Bible in english. You’re close, but you’re still not touching the real thing- so why the need for gloves?

Those Sad, Sad College Geeks

Next weekend, more than 60 different teams from high schools and universities across the country are expected to gather at De Witt Clinton Park in New York City for the fourth annual Quidditch World Cup. Harvard University, M.I.T, Yale, Penn State, Duke — several prestigious universities are registered for the World Cup and count quidditch among their extracurricular activities. Not bad for a game that just a few years ago existed only in the pages of the Harry Potter series. University of Maryland student Valerie Fischman isn’t satisfied with quidditch’s current status, however. She’s waging a long-shot campaign for recognition from the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

So sad… and so geeky!  Yet, my guess is that soon someone at SBL (I’m looking at you, James McGrath) will suggest a session titled ‘How Harry Potter and His Pretend Game Inform New Testament Interpretation’ or something equally barbarous.  Then, there’ll no longer be blogger dinners- there will be blogger tournaments…  and the world will die.

Further on My RockMelt Testdrive

Image representing RockMelt as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Yesterday I mentioned the RockMelt test drive and noted that the hover function in WordPress wasn’t functional.  Well in what has to be the speediest fix ever, now it is.

Further, they’ve upgraded the Beta and offer even more fine tunings which users can try.  For example, now you can remove either of the sidebars or any portion thereof which you wish.  So I’ve removed that pesky and unnecessary Twitter icon.

One other thing I don’t think I mentioned is the really nice RSS feed reader that’s integrated into RockMelt’s sidebar.  Now instead of using a web based feed reader like Google or a stand alone program you can get RSS feeds right on the sidebar.  It’s remarkably convenient and quite easy to use.  Indeed, whenever the RockMelt browser detects RSS it offers the option of adding the feed to your collection.  Fantastic stuff really.

Teens Who Text a Lot are Boozers and More Sexually Active?

Apparently so- because teens are more susceptible to peer pressure and the more they send and receive texts the more likely they are to be pushed into risky behavior.

Teens clearly up to no good

Teens who text 120 times a day or more — and there seems to be a lot of them — are more likely to have had sex or used alcohol and drugs than kids who don’t send as many messages, according to provocative new research. The study’s authors aren’t suggesting that “hyper-texting” leads to sex, drinking or drugs, but say it’s startling to see an apparent link between excessive messaging and that kind of risky behavior. The study concludes that a significant number of teens are very susceptible to peer pressure and also have permissive or absent parents, said Dr. Scott Frank, the study’s lead author. “If parents are monitoring their kids’ texting and social networking, they’re probably monitoring other activities as well,” said Frank, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

That’s fascinating.  Parents might want to find out how many texts their teens are sending.  Easy enough to do too without snatching their phone- just look at the bill.

Cheerleader, The Court Says You Have to Cheer… For Your Rapist

Let’s file this one under the ‘judges are imbeciles’ category, shall we?

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, one of the most right-wing courts in the country, sanctioned a former high school cheerleader because she brought a lawsuit claiming that she shouldn’t be required to cheer for her alleged rapist: The former cheerleader and her family are appealing the ruling by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which includes an order to pay the school district’s legal fees on the grounds their suit was far-fetched and frivolous. […] H.S., then 16, attended a party in her hometown of Silsbee, Texas, in October 2008. She said she was dragged into a room, thrown onto the floor by several youths and raped by Rakheem Bolton, a star on the school’s football and basketball teams. Bolton and a teammate were arrested two days later, but were allowed to return to school after a county grand jury declined to indict them. They were later indicted on sexual assault charges, but in the interim came the February 2009 incident on the basketball court. H.S. joined in leading cheers for the Silsbee High team. But when Bolton went to the foul line, and the cheers included his name, she stepped back, folded her arms and sat down.

So the court decided she didn’t have the right to do that? Preposterous. Judges are no longer arbiters, they are legislators. And they need to be stopped.