Daily Archives: 29 Dec 2010

Total Depravity: The NFL and its ‘Penalties’ Edition

Brett Favre is a bit of a pervert.  Lots of people are.  Brett Favre plays professional football.  A lot of people do.  Brett Favre refused to cooperate with an investigation in which he was accused of sexual (or perhaps sextual) harassment.  Lots of people do.  What lots of people don’t do, however, is get off scot free as Favre has.

Just figuring this out, because athletes don’t live in our world and we don’t live in theirs. The NFL fined Brett Favre $50,000 Wednesday and you wonder how much he feels that.  Favre made $16 million this year, or $1 million per game. A game is 60minutes, meaning he gets nearly $17,000 a minute.  In other words, he was fined for three minutes of work on a game clock.

The NFL doesn’t really punish miscreants.  It coddles them.  And until it really does punish evil-doers and rule breakers and criminals it will continue to breed an environment of privilege in which players feel entitled to do whatever they wish.

I find myself in agreement with the attorney of the victim of Favre’s harassment:

The National Football League is really the Good Old Boys League, so says the attorney for Jenn Sterger.   Joseph Conway, who represented Sterger during her claims of sexual harassment by Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, blasted the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement Wednesday after the league announced its three-month investigation found no violation of the Code of Conduct policy in the relationship between Favre and the former New York Jetsemployee two years ago.   “My client and I are extremely disappointed, but not surprised, at today’s NFL announcement that Brett Favre did not violate the NFL ‘workplace conduct’ policy,” Conway wrote in an e-mail sent to FanHouse and other media outlets. “While I am not privy to how Mr. Goodell reached such a finding, we strongly disagree with his conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to support a violation of the policy.”

Play ball, is the message, and you can treat anyone you want like garbage.  Just ask Ben ‘the rapist’ Roethlsiberger and Brett ‘the exhibitionist’ Favre.  The worst you’ll get from the League of Extraordinary Reprobates is a slap on the wrist while your victims are left to pick up the pieces.

Jesus Returned in 2010, Again, and Again, and Again…

As the Christmas season fades and the new year approaches, a Toledo, Ohio, man believes he found the real spirit of the holiday in a piece of hard candy. James Burrows, 63, claims to have found an image of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus in a piece of hard tack while shopping for candy at a grocery store where he works part time. “I just looked at it, and it just struck me,” he told Fox News in Toledo. “This time of year, for this to come up, it was kind of unusual. Really, it was a great experience.”

Another one of the many unhinged folk who saw some Rohrshach blotch and wanted to see Jesus or Mary in it so they wouldn’t have to bother with Jesus in reality.  Read the story- there’s something of a roundup of the loonies and their delusional sightings in it.

When Nevada is More Sensible About Pot Than Your State, You Have a Problem

Sin City (film)

If debauchery central has the sense to keep pot illegal, perhaps those clamoring for its legalization in other places ought to sit up and take notice.

Nevada is known for letting just about anything slide, whether it’s booze, bets or brothels. But even here there are limits.  It has been OK to smoke pot to treat illness for ten years. But don’t think about selling it. Lately, federal agents and local police have taken notice, raiding several pot shops in and around Sin City.  All of it has pot activists scratching their heads: How is a state that has long lured visitors with promises of unconstrained debauchery stricter with pot than its more wholesome neighbors of Colorado, Arizona and California?

Maybe because even in depraved land they have the sense to realize the peril of uncontrolled illegal drugs.  Maybe their experiences dealing with the effects of drug abuse have informed their decisions.  Or maybe their neighbors are beginning to surpass them in depravity.

They’re Politicians, You Can’t Seriously Expect Them to Care

The Spaceship Earth Ride At EPCOT in Walt Disn...

I don’t know why the good people of New York and New Jersey are surprised that the people they voted into office are out of touch and out of control. They’re politicians.  They care about two things: money, and being elected (so they can get more money).

With many streets still unplowed, New Yorkers are griping that their billionaire mayor is out of touch and has failed at the basic task of keeping the city running, while New Jersey’s governor is taking heat for vacationing at Disney World during the crisis.  The fallout against two politicians who style themselves as take-charge guys is building in the aftermath of the Christmas-weekend blizzard that clobbered the Northeast, with at least one New Jersey newspaperman noting Gov. Chris Christie’s absence in a column headlined: “Is Sunday’s storm Christie’s Katrina?”  Across New York, complaints have mounted about unplowed streets, stuck ambulances and outer-borough neighborhoods neglected by the Bloomberg administration.  “When he says New York, he means Manhattan,” said Hayden Hunt of Brooklyn, a borough of 2.6 million people where many streets were not cleared for days. “He’s the man in charge. … It’s foolishness, come on.”

That’s because Manhattan is where the money is.  Come on people.

“A Word About Grief and Idolatry” or “Why the Apocrypha Shouldn’t be Ignored” (via A Fistful of Farthings)

Matthew’s very fine thoughts on grief. Worth a read or two.

I couldn't decide on a title for this post so I included both of them. My dad passed away in March 2009. He was 53. For a couple of years before his passing he raised chickens and, to keep his memory alive or to honor him somehow, after he died we decided to continue taking care of his chickens. It became too much very quickly. I didn't have the time to go up to mom's house every day and gather the eggs, feed the chickens, or freshen their water. … Read More

via A Fistful of Farthings

Quote of the Week

Sectarians think that the world begins today with their own knowledge of the truth, and that with their ‘better’ knowledge they can rush heedlessly past the thinking of those who were wise before them.  — Karl Barth

A Fascinating Factoid From Church History

The practice of ‘pastoral visitation’ was commenced by John Calvin when he was a refugee in Strasbourg.  There, in order to participate in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, church members were required to give an account of their lives to the Pastor when he made a visit (at least once a year).  If they failed to do so, or if they had not lived up to the standards of the Church, they were refused admittance to the Supper.

Calvin instituted this practice because, although confession had been discarded with Reform, the need for a pure community gathered at the table of the Lord remained.

Confession may have been ‘discarded’ in name but in practice it remained.  It simply moved from the confessional to the living room.

This means that ‘pastoral visitation’ wasn’t instituted as a ‘social call’; it was instituted as a means to ensure that participation at the Lord’s Supper was undertaken only by the pure in heart and life.

My, how times have changed.

If Biblioblogs were Brands of Coffee (via Near Emmaus)

Near Emmaus has apologized for their slander of Bultmann by declaring my blog ‘Good to the Last Drop’.

(Poor McGrath, he’s compared to Starbucks- which means overpriced and over promoted. The other brands I have never heard of, so they can’t really be all that good, can they? Because who really enjoys laboring in obscurity?)

If Biblioblogs were Brands of Coffee According to Jim West, Joel Watts said that our blog was the equivalent to Starbucks coffee. There are worst brands with which to be compared. I think we are more like the following (and if you don't know what this is, you don't know good coffee): Joel Watts blog, due to its redundant simplicity and bad taste, parallels the following: [cap … Read More

via Near Emmaus

Total Depravity: The Misrepresentation Of God Edition

"Marijuana Cigarette"

Dope is for Dopes

In spite of their claims to the contrary, this couple isn’t doing the work of God.

In the cavernous confines of a long-vacant store in a standard-issue shopping plaza, an earnest couple are cultivating plans for what could be the first dispensary for medical marijuana east of the Mississippi River. Called the Remedy Compassion Center and expected to open this spring, the dispensary is one of eight that state health officials will allow in Maine after Jan. 1. In its 10,000 square feet, set next to a craft store, the center will grow, harvest, and sell marijuana. “It’s a wonderful medicine I hope to share,’’ co-owner Jenna Smale said in the space where she and her husband, Tim, see the beginnings of a thriving business. “I’m doing what I’m here on earth to do.’’ God, the Smales said, wants them to sell marijuana to the sick.

No, he doesn’t. The God who said ‘do not be drunk with wine’ and ‘strong drink is a mocker’ would say the same, mutatis mutandis, about pot. God no more wishes people to be druggies than he wishes them to be drunkards. To suggest otherwise is to do nothing less than offer a depraved misrepresentation of God. Even if the likes of the couple in Maine or Pat Robertson himself suggest contrarily.

[With thanks to Scott Bailey for telling me about the wicked deceivers].

The SBL Greek New Testament and Logos

When the SBL GNT was announced in a BibleWorks 8 edition I downloaded it and didn’t have any issues.  I decided today to download it for Logos as well (because one can never have too many Bibles) but have been having problems.  To wit- I’ve downloaded the installation module and when I attempt to download the actual SBL GNT for Logos it goes through the apparatus download and when that reaches 100% it starts back over downloading the apparatus, again.

It does that two or three times and then tells me that there’s a problem downloading.

Are there any Logos geeks out there who can give me some suggestions?

Voting For Your Favorite Blog Is Now Open!

There’s been a flutter of biblioblog activity in excited anticipation of the ‘vote for your favorite blog and let’s not worry with actual readership or hard facts garnered from actual statistics’ bonanza fiesta.

Along with others, I too shall offer readers the opportunity to vote. So here you are- vote to your heart’s content!  And you can vote as many times as you like!

Something Cool for the Weather Geeks

Check out the fascinating ‘Snow and Ice Data Center‘.  Really interesting data and fantastic images.

Quote of the Day

Starbucks is the Near Emmaus of coffee. — Joel Watts

[NB- the backstory of this is- Joel thinks very little of Starbucks Coffee. In fact, he thinks it’s vile pigs vomit].

There’s Something Seriously Wrong in America

Where some people evidently think getting a bad manicure is actually an emergency.

A Volusia County woman was arrested after several 911 calls were made complaining about a bad manicure.  The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office says on Sunday Cynthia Colston, 44, from Deltona, was fighting with her nail technician at Central Nails on Elkcam Boulevard in Deltona because she apparently didn’t like the length of her nails.  During the fight the nail technician was slightly injured but it was Colston who called Volusia County Sherriffs deputies to the salon. Investigators say while one deputy was inside trying to settle the dispute over payment, Colston was calling 911 again, for the fourth time. She called two times after her original 911 asking when deputies would arrive. With no emergency, and a deputy already on the scene, Colson was arrested and charged with misuse of the wireless 911 system and taken to the Volusia County Branch County Jail in Daytona Beach.

How is that an emergency?  And how far curved in are we on ourselves as a nation that we actually have citizens who believe they have the right to tie up emergency services because their nail job wasn’t satisfactory?  There really is something seriously amiss in our Country.  And I know what it is: selfishness and selfcenteredness rule.

I’m Boycotting ‘Near Emmaus’…

Because they’ve misrepresented Rudolf Karl Bultmann, portraying him as some sort of sourpuss based on one photo.  This is an outrage and simply won’t do.

In contrast to their slanderous and vicious attack, I offer some photos of Bultmann which are more according to his true (and not sour) disposition:

Bultmann was a naturally happy person who, unlike Barth, didn’t diddle his secretary and thus grin like a wild buffoon.  That photo of Barth, that was taken after he got back from a weekend at the Bergli doing some ‘writing’ with Charlotte v. K.

So, until the people wandering Near Emmaus offer a public apology for their unfounded attack, I shall boycott them.

I’m waiting…

WordPress and Firefox: Not Getting Along These Days?

I use Firefox 60% of the time and RockMelt 30% of the time and Chrome around 10%.  Normally I post to the blog from Firefox, but lately, it and WordPress don’t seem to be getting along.

– Adding photos to posts is sporadic.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

– Adding links is also sporadic.  Sometimes it works normally and sometimes the page just attempts to redirect.

– Publish sometimes works and sometimes it doesn’t.

– Editing the timestamp sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

Is anyone else having issues with WordPress using Firefox?  I’ve cleared the cache, restarted the browser, emptied the history, and done all the other usual things but the problems keep occurring.

And, by the by, none of these problems are happening in either Chrome or RockMelt.

Pastor McGriff is a Con Woman

She has a long criminal record and is nothing more than a con artist.  The Dallas Morning News reports

The pastor, Sandy McGriff, dismisses what happened Friday as a big misunderstanding and a personal lapse in judgment. She says she actually was bravely protecting her former parishioner’s valuables from two other grinches.  But police aren’t buying it.  I’m having a hard time swallowing it, too.  And the public tends to think the pastor is lying through her teeth, if readers’ comments to our online news story are any indication.  “This woman is a total sham and a disgrace to God!” one reader declared.  “What a liar!!!” insisted another.

And

To make matters worse for McGriff, at least in the court of public opinion, the pastor has a checkered past that includes a fake name and a criminal record that includes a 35-year-old prostitution conviction. But the 52-year-old pastor of The Church of the Living God, a fledgling church with about 30 members who meet in the back of a Lancaster Road furniture store owned by McGriff’s husband, says she’s turned around her life. “Since 1988,” McGriff said, “I have walked the straight and narrow path.” One little voice on Christmas Eve, however – the one that nudged her to swing by Agnew’s house – has cast a shadow upon her personal story of redemption and salvation. Surrounding herself with furs to show the media that she had no reason to steal Agnew’s coats didn’t help, either. It looked like a cheap and desperate ploy, especially for a woman in her position.

Con artist, pure and simple.

Weather Forecast for The Week of the Society for Old Testament Study Annual Meeting

The SOTS Winter Meeting is next week and with the crazy weather of late I thought I’d do a bit of community service and offer travel weather information.  Since my own travel takes me through Newark, Manchester, and Sheffield, I’ve included them too, along, of course, with the forecast for Durham.

College Football: For Profit at ‘Non Profit’ Universities

America’s big schools are in reality big sports profit making machines.  What do they do with all that money?  Pay coaches millions a year of course (while the faculty, the purported and supposed backbone of the institution because the ones doing the educating, get by on as little as possible and many of them aren’t even full time- to save still more money on educating students).

On average, each team earned $15.8 million last year, or well over $1 million per game. They posted that jump in combined profit even though revenue rose by only 6% to $2.2 billion. That means the schools had a combined profit margin of 49%, enough to make any pro team owner green with envy.

And

Boise State finished fifth in revenue among the small conference schools with $14.5 million, but it would be 63rd out of 68 among the major conference power houses.  That’s the major reason TCU announced last month it would move to the Big East conference in two years.

TCU wants a bigger slice of the profit pie.  That’s what ‘accredited’ Universities are interested in these days.  Just like the ‘for profit’ schools they regularly demonize and in spite of all the claims that they have the student in mind.  Ha.  Most schools have one thing in mind, and it isn’t educating students- it’s making money.  And as much of that as possible.

Australia’s Flood: They May Need Noah

Rockhampton, Queensland (carte)

Queensland is seeing devastating flooding, with thousands evacuated and incredible destruction wrought.

Australia’s prime minister is promising aid to flood-ravaged towns in the country’s northeast after half of Queensland was declared a disaster zone.  The government provided two Blackhawk helicopters to help evacuate all 300 residents from the town of Theodore, one of the worst affected by the floods. The Theodore River remained at high levels Wednesday, with only police and essential services personnel staying in the town, the Queensland government said.  Queensland Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said Theodore was one of about 20 communities that had to be evacuated because of the floods.  “Most of our major river systems have been in flood over the last week,” Roberts told CNN.  Major flooding is now heading toward two cities — Rockhampton, a city of 50,000 on the coast, and the central city of Emerald, with 15,000 residents, he said.  Forecasters have said the weather will clear over the next 48 hours, Roberts said, but the heavy rain the area has had so far means water has built up in river catchment areas.

Pray for our Aussie friends.  And pray that the feckless Pat Robertson doesn’t hear about it lest he blame the victims.