Daily Archives: 14 Feb 2011

The Tower of Jericho…

Did you think it had a defensive purpose?  Alas, no.  It was built to scare farmers into – well – farming… according to a new theory.

Constructed 11,000 years ago, Jericho tower was aimed at encouraging farming life. The world’s first skyscraper was built by early farmers, who were frightened into erecting a solar marker by mankind’s early bosses, archaeologists say.

Long before its Biblical walls came tumbling down, Jericho’s residents were being enticed to give up hunting and gathering and start farming for a living. They settled in this oasis next to the Jordan River and built a mysterious 8.5-meter (28-foot) stone tower on the edge of town. Now, using computer technology, Israeli archaeologists are saying it was built to mark the summer solstice and as a symbol that would entice people to abandon their nomadic ways and settle down. “The tower was constructed by a major building effort. People were working for a very long time and very hard. It was not like the other domestic buildings in Jericho,” said Ran Barkai of the Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, who was part of a team that did the computer analysis.

Read the rest, then go build a tower and maybe more people will farm and food prices will go down…


Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Archaeology


Seriously Friends…

When you send along lame comments about how you don’t like me and you don’t think I should say this or that might I remind you that you came here of your own free will?  You needn’t come if you don’t want to.  No one is forcing you.  If you find my tone distasteful, stay away.  I promise, I won’t miss you and I won’t even miss your ramblingly idiotic comments (which I won’t approve anyway because anonymity = cowardice).

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.


Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Modern Culture


And Still Yet another School Shooting, Again…

Because we do love our guns and think every dimwit in the country ought to have one or be able to get hold of one with no trouble at all.

Update: Police have taken into custody a man suspected in a shooting Monday morning on the Middle Tennessee State University campus. He was apprehended Monday afternoon.

Police were searching for a black male wearing a tan hat, plaid shirt, blue jeans and black backpack after a shooting at the school’s Business and Aerospace Building at about 11:30 a.m., according to a report by the Daily News Journal.  An argument between two men near the building resulted in one man pulling out a gun and shooting the other in the hand, according to an alert issued by the school. The school said the injury was not life-threatening.

Gosh I guess if guns weren’t so ubiquitous he could have stabbed him or strangled him or whatever else he wanted to do, because it isn’t guns that kill or injure people, it’s bullets fired by idiots.

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Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Modern Culture



Guilty as Sin, and of Sin

Satan's servant

A Morristown woman and her son have agreed to plead guilty following an investigation of money laundering at her church. Barbara D. Whitt will plead guilty to bank fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The bank fraud count carries a sentence of up to 30 years and the money laundering count carries a sentence of up to 20 years. Michael Dean Whitt will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. His counts carry the same possible sentences. Federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining counts against the mother and son. The Whitts were indicted in October 2010 on accusations of bilking a First Baptist Church of Morristown checking account at SunTrust Bank to get more than $1.5 million. Barbara Whitt was the church’s financial secretary.

You know the worst part of all this? This woman and her wicked seed deceived a church for a very long time and did it with such absence of conscience that they were able to sleep at night. Not only that, they abused trust, they took advantage of good will, and they gave Christianity yet another black eye. My hope is that the both of them spend the rest of their lives in a tiny little cell where they can ponder their depraved perversity without interruption.  These two are the tools of Satan, and no less such than Judas Iscariot himself.


Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in pseudo-christianity, Total Depravity


Don’t Ever Get in a Car With Mark Goodacre…

Via Matthew Kalman on FB.


Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Humor


Obama Hates the Poor and Middle Class as Much as Wall Street Does

President Barack Obama, less than two months after signing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans into law, is proposing a budget to congress that attacks programs that assist the working poor, help the needy heat their homes, expand access to graduate-level education and undermine that type of community-based organizations that gave the president his start in Chicago.  Obama’s new budget puts forward a plan to achieve $1.1 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade, according to an administration official who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity in advance of the formal release of the budget.  Those reductions — averaging just over $100 billion each year — are achieved mainly by squeezing social programs.

I have no idea why the right wing hate the guy so much.  He does just about everything they want.  And the only thing they didn’t like (health care) is still a boon for business.  No, the only reason they can hate him is because he doesn’t call himself a Republican. But he is.  A Republican.  I hope you people who voted for him are happy.  As I said before the election, it won’t matter who you vote for.  And it didn’t.  All politicians are slaves of business because business owns them.  Voters?  Come on, open your eyes.  YOU DON’T MATTER to your elected officials.  Stop acting like you do.


Oh Wikipedia, Justin Bieber’s Fans Have Mauled You!

And just think, I didn’t even know Beliebers could read or type.  Evidently they can, and they’ve taken out their rage on Bieber’s competition…  With gusto!

Hell hath no fury like anti-Justin Bieber fans and anti-Justin Bieber fans scorned.  Just minutes after Esperanza Spalding, the unexpected winner or the Grammy for Best New Artist, took the stage for the award, a digital war broke out on Spalding’s Wikipedia page.  The citizen editors added a line noting Spalding’s win. For the next thirteen minutes, a battle raged on the page between Bieber fans and Bieber anti-fans. “BIBER 4 LYFE!” appeared at the top of the page. It was stricken from the record and “HaHa Justin Bieber, you’re just a little boy with no Grammy for Best New Artist” appeared in its stead.  The sparing went back and forth until finally a Wikipedia clampdown went into effect and the page was locked from anonymous editors.

Just imagine what people who hate David Friedrich Strauss do to his page!  Oh Wikipedia, how silly thou art and what refuge you provide for the sillier.

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Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Total Depravity


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Sad News: Alan Segal has Died

Via Jack Sasson word that Alan Segal has passed away. Here’s Segal’s page on the Barnard University website. And here’s his Facebook page.

May he rest in peace.

UPDATE: Via 4 Enoch– American Professor, and friend of the Enoch Seminar, Alan F. Segal (1945-2011) passed away on Feb 13. His premature death is very sad news for all those who had the privilege of knowing him, and a great loss for the entire community of specialists in Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins. Our thoughts are with his family. May his memory be a blessing.

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Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Modern Culture


Hypocrisy, Thy Name is Iran

While Iran praised revolution in Egypt and Tunisia, it’s attempting to discourage its own people from gathering in peaceful protest against Iran’s governmental policies. That’s hypocrisy.

Crowds gathered on a central boulevard in the Iranian capital Monday for a rare anti-government protest that drew inspiration from the successful popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia . Thousands of people shouted slogans such as “Death to the dictator,” “We are all together” and “Down with Taliban, in Cairo and Tehran.” It was not immediately clear how many people were joining the protests. But thousands of could be seen marching from Enghelab (Revolution) Square towards Azadi (Freedom) Square, overwhelming police efforts to stop them. The gathering appeared to be the most significant anti-government protest here since security forces cracked down on a series of large demonstrations in 2009. Police, who seemed to be mobilized in smaller numbers than usual, tried to disperse the protesters using batons. A man was seen coming to the rescue of his wife after a helmeted officer hit her on the legs. In the afternoon, as the crowds grew, the police were seen retreating.

Iran has cracked down on protesters before and there’s no doubt it will again. Because in Iran, talk of freedom has to take a back seat to repression.

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Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Total Depravity


Rep. Giffords is Making Astonishing Progress

Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic nominee and gen...

Rep. Giffords


The New York Times this morning offers more details about the progress that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) is making at the Houston rehabilitation center where she’s being treated for the severe head injuries she received when a gunman attacked her and others on Jan. 8 in Tucson. Some highlights:  — Pia Carusone, Giffords’ chief of staff, “said that on Sunday afternoon, Ms. Giffords’s husband, Capt. Mark E. Kelly, put the congresswoman on the phone to talk to his twin brother and fellow astronaut, Scott, who is aboard the International Space Station.” Carusone told the Times that Giffords said “Hi, I’m good.”

Read the rest.  fantastic news.  May she continue to see daily improvement and return soon to her family and work.

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Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Modern Culture, Politics



Today in Algeria: Change is on the Way

Topographic map of Algeria. Created with GMT f...


A 20-year state of emergency in Algeria will be lifted in the “coming days,” authorities said Monday, days after protesters took to the streets to demand government reform.  “Soon, we will discuss the past, but I say that lifting the state of emergency will occur in the coming days,” Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci said on French radio Europe 1.  It will mean a “return to Algeria, a rightful state which totally allows, the expression of opinions, but always with reference to the law,” he said.  The announcement comes after anti-government protesters chanting “change the power!” clashed with security forces in the capital over the weekend, witnesses said.

Good.  Let freedom spread.

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Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Politics



Steve Inskeep Interviews D. Rumsfeld

And unlike other interviews I’ve heard where Rumsfeld peddles his book, Inskeep actually presses him on a number of important issues. Excellent work, truly.

In an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, the former Bush administration defense secretary was as feisty as ever. He challenged the premises of questions. And he suggested that others were more responsible for U.S. war policy decisions in Afghanistan and Iraq that are now widely viewed as mistakes — mistakes for which he has long been blamed.

Give it a listen when you can.

It’s so nice to see a journalist actually acting like one instead of acting like a book agent.

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Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Modern Culture


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The Central Message of the Bible: D.A. Carson


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Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources


Stop Pandering

Churches, it seems, will do anything these days to ‘attract’ hearers.  Including spending a lot of time talking about sex.  Sex sells, and churches are selling themselves as places where sex is the hot topic.

New Day Church, a year-old congregation in Hendricks County, Ind., is finding that sex helps sell its message of faith. An edgy marketing campaign asking, “What happens when God gets between the sheets?” promotes a sermon series that started Sunday focusing on the link between sex and religion.

Oh come on.  Such transparent efforts to seem chic or interesting are ridiculous.  It’s the Gospel that transforms lives, not talking about sex non stop.  Sex education isn’t the purpose of the Church: worship, evangelism, fellowship, and service.  Those are the purposes for which the church exists, not to entice people into the sanctuary with titillating conversation.

Sex belongs in the confines of marriage.  If your church, or the church you’re attending, is preaching anything else, get out of that Sodom.  Churches that believe they’re doing some sort of good deed by acting as though the only thing worth discussion is copulation and ejaculation and orgasm are nothing more than little blotches of theological ignorance spotting the bum of human culture.

Get your mind out of the gutter, and start focusing on something besides bodily functions, you reprobates.


Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in pseudo-christianity, pseudo-theology


Oh You Crazy Catholics…

A Catholic priest has been charged with ‘body snatching’ after the remains of a child ‘saint’ were dug up in the Midlands. Father Wojciech Jasinski, 40, has been accused of illegally exhuming the bones of Witold Orlowski. Polish Catholics have campaigned for Witold’s canonisation since he died in a Mexican village in 1944. The 14-year-old boy had prayed to God to take his life rather than that of a village priest who was said to be terminally ill. The priest made a full recovery and Witold died.

Ok yuck. And, why didn’t the priest just take the bullet himself and let the kid live? Anyway, it’s bizarreness all around on this one.

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Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Modern Culture



Something to Ponder of Valentine’s Day

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, “Do not waste your time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.”


Posted by on 14 Feb 2011 in Theology