Daily Archives: 16 Feb 2011

ABC Reporter Beaten in Bahrain

People in mobs are just absolutely insane.  And they do insane things that normal people would never.

Riots have rocked the Arab world for weeks now, and attacks on Western journalists reporting from the midst of the fray have been rampant.  Reporting from Bahrain’s Pearl Square in the capital city of Manama today, ABC News Correspondent Miguel Martinez suffered a beating with billy clubs while on the phone with his New York office. According to ABC, a “gang of thugs” pulled Martinez’s camera from his hands as he struggled to break free, shouting “Journalist! Journalist!” in an effort to prove he wasn’t a protester.  ABC News reports:  “Hey! I’m a journalist here!” he yelled. ” I’m going! I’m going! I’m going! I’m going! … I’m hit,” he said. “I just got beat rather badly by a gang of thugs. I’m now in a marketplace near our hotel where people are cowering in buildings.” He paused. “I mean, these people are not screwing around. They’re going to clear that square, tonight, ahead of any protest, on Friday. The government clearly does not want this to get any bigger.”

So sad.

John Edwards is a Cheat, a Liar, and a Thief

John Edwards shakes hands with supporters afte...

Sleazy politician

He cheated on his wife, lied about it to everyone, and now it appears that he stole campaign funds to cover it up.  That’s the depravity trifecta.

A two-year grand jury investigation of John Edwards has reached a decisive point. Prosecutors believe they have a strong case, but have not yet gotten a green light from the Justice Department to charge the former presidential candidate, NBC News has learned. The issue: did Edwards violate election laws by trying to cover up his affair with a campaign videographer, Rielle Hunter.  Sources close to the investigation say Justice Department attorneys are now conducting a final review of evidence, and an indictment could come within days or weeks. In what could be an ominous development for Edwards, prosecutors already are making arrangements to record the sworn testimony of a key witness for possible use in a future trial, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.

So wicked- to misuse funds and deceive people who trusted him.  So wicked.  And so typical of how politicians think and how they use what they are given in good faith.  That’s exactly why I never have, and never will donate to a political party.  They can’t be trusted.

Zahi Hawass Has his Own Skeletons

Zahi Hawass displays a Ptolemaic statue discov...

Skeletons galore

“Get out,” chanted a crowd of 150 archaeology graduates outside Hawass’ office on Monday. The protest was highly personal: demonstrators called Hawass a “showman” who seeks publicity and has little regard for the thousands of archaeology students who are unable to find work in their field.

Hawass has been under fire from a number of sides in recent years including from rights groups who accuse the man of dictatorial polices concerning debate and scientific findings. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) called out Hawass in 2009 for allegedly pushing aside a researcher for stating views that differed from the SCA Secretary-General’s, which led to dozens of investigations.

Ahmed Saleh, the researcher in question, told ANHRI that he was “alarmed” with a series of investigations and announcements from Hawass in newspapers’ that the researcher felt were undermining and ridiculing his work. According to ANHRI, the researcher proposed a new approach on how to deal with “some Egyptian antiquities, especially the mummy of King Tut.”

There’s loads more but this is particularly interesting-

“He has a huge temper,” began one archaeologist. “If you don’t agree with him, he simply screams at you and threatens to remove your funding.”

Other reports show that he takes advantage of those needing internships with the SCA. He takes on American students, promises them adequate salaries, and then refuses to pay, a number of former interns told Bikya Masr.

“He is paid thousands of dollars for each appearance he makes for the Discovery Channel and every time he writes or appears anywhere. The man makes so much money that it is no wonder he tries to curtail other opinions,” an Egyptian researcher told Bikya Masr. The researcher, who works for the SCA, says that “everyone in the council knows what goes on, but he is the boss and his rules go, so there is little we can do.”

It is also well known, archaeologists say, that he takes bribes in order to give permits. “And he is big on cronyism and sexual favors,” another American researcher said, adding that “it is well-known in the community that he gives key positions to women for specific reasons.” This has been supported by a number of archaeologists, who added that on trips to New York, “he has often been seen with call girls and escorts.”

Yes, you do want to go read it all, don’t you?  And you should.  With thanks to David Meadows on FB.

UPDATE:  CBS News has a report on Hawass worth taking a glance at.

The Band Director and Illegal Drugs

The band director at an East Tennessee high school was arrested a few days ago for drug possession.

Police say Dustin Turley, 26, of Morristown, failed a field sobriety test during an East High School basketball game. He is charged with possession of Schedule II and Schedule IV drugs.

Good grief.  That’s a fine example.

I can almost hear him say ‘one day, at band camp…’

Have you ever noticed that people who get arrested never look as happy as they do when they’re partying like fools, drunk, and drug-ridden?  I guess the ‘joy’ melts off like dew on a hot day as soon as the handcuffs snap shut.

New At Bible and Interpretation: Mark’s Ending

By James McGrath. Read it if you dare…

Experiencing Lent Through John’s Gospel

Paul Anderson has given me permission to post a really useful Lenten devotional (reading guide) that he’s written using the Gospel of John.  You can find it here.

The Most Dreadful Man of the Day Award goes to Nir Rosen

CBS reporter Lara Logan was raped and beaten and this guy, Nir Rosen (at NYU no less) thought it would be great fun to mock her!  So I agree with the question of this essayist for the Washington Post– why the devil didn’t NYU fire him immediately?  He’s undeserving of being employed anywhere by anyone.

New York University’s Center on Law and Security allowed one of its fellows, Nir Rosen, to resign after he tweeted vile things about veteran CBS war correspondent Lara Logan, who sustained a brutal sexual assault and beating in Cairo during pro-democracy celebrations.  Why did the center’s executive director, Karen J. Greenberg, allow him to resign rather than to use the opportunity to take a tougher stand?

What was her lame answer, you ask?

“Nir has always been a really good supporter of the center and I think he realized he had overstepped his bounds.”  She said that the issue was decided by the two of them, and then said: “That’s how these things are done.”

Oh so if you’re a ‘good supporter’ you can say the most despicable things and its ok?  ‘Show me the money’…  Anyway, I agree with this very much-

Rosen’s tweets on Logan more than crossed a line. They were more than cruel and insensitive. They revealed a perverted view of the world that has no place at any university, much less a prestigious one. Differences of opinion — even extreme ones — are one thing, welcome at an educational institution. Misogyny and distortions of reality are quite another.  New York University’s Center on Law and Security should have been far stronger in its actions regarding Rosen. For heaven’s sake, the reality show “Top Chef” is tougher on its losing chefs. NYU should have told him to pack his bags and go.

Yup.  Giving him the right to quit allowed him far more dignity than his despicable behavior merited.  Misogynist.

Almost Heaven, West Virginia? It Seems Not

United States Marshals Service Badge used betw...

But some of the residents there are happy to shoot you and send you along to heaven if you dare do such a dastardly thing as serve a warrant:

One of the three deputy U.S. marshals shot Wednesday has died, according to U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Jeffrey Carter. The officer died from a shotgun blast while serving an arrest warrant in Elkins, West Virginia, Carter said. One deputy “continues to recover from his injuries,” and the third has been treated and released, the spokesman said.

What a shame.

Around here if you show up at some houses unannounced you can easily find yourself on the business end of a gun. Stumble into a meth house or onto someone out of their minds on drugs and things can end quite badly.  I’ll be praying for the Marshall’s family.

Cat Burglar

So, after you watch this, will you still love that wicked cat?  No, no, no.  You can’t.


Happy Melanchthon Day!

Philip Melanchthon was born on the 16th of February in 1497.  If you haven’t read his stuff, you owe it to yourself to spend some time today doing so.

Progressives United

Russ Feingold, United States Senator from Wisc...


When some senators retire, they decide to take lucrative lobbying jobs. Others go straight to Wall Street. But Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold, who lost his re-election bid in November, is continuing on his principled — and often lonely — path by starting an organization to combat corporate influence in politics, an effort he hopes will spark “a new progressive movement” that will truly hold elected officials accountable.

Launching on Wednesday, Progressives United is an attempt to to build a grassroots effort aimed at mitigating the effects of, and eventually overturning, the Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens Uniteddecision that opened the floodgates to corporate spending in the U.S. electoral system. In addition to online mobilization, the political action committee (PAC) will support progressive candidates at the local, state and national levels, as well as holding the media and elected officials accountable on the group’s key priorities.

Countering big biz’s influence over Congress is a worthy goal.  A very worthy, lonely, and pointless goal.  It’s easier for Egyptians and Tunisians and indeed, even Iranians and North Koreans to get their government to act right than it is for Americans to get theirs to act right (because you voters keep sending the same idiots back to Congress year after year after year.  What’s wrong with you?  Seriously?)  Nonetheless, maybe if enough people are tired of it all, Feingold’s efforts will reap some benefit.

Ehud Barak: Warmonger

Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak poses f...

Ehud loves his dagger, and he'll shove it in at every chance

The Israeli army may have to enter Lebanon again to ensure Hizbollah remembers the lessons of the 2006 war, according to Ehud Barak. Speaking during a tour of the northern border with the new military chief of staff Benny Gantz, the Israeli defence minister said: “Even though it’s quiet and deterrence exists – Hizbollah remembers the heavy beating they suffered from us in 2006 – but it is not forever, and you may be called to enter again.”  “We must be prepared for every test,” Mr Barak told troops according to the Haaretz newspaper. “The secret is reacting fast in the event that something happens, and within seconds, translating everything you learned in your training.” The 34-day war in 2006 with the powerful Lebanese Shiite militia, killed 1,200 people in Lebanon, most of them civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Barak must be like Bush, simply looking for any excuse at all to kill people in a war. And if no excuse is at hand, one can be concocted. What insanity.  What depravity.

Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus

I saw a prepub copy of this Jodi Magness volume at ASOR in November and instantly filled out the order form.  It looked absolutely fantastic and this nicely done review whets my appetite even more.

As I recently traveled the length and breadth of Jodi Magness’s forthcoming Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus, I noticed something interesting (and perhaps a little annoying) about my day-to-day conversations with friends and family. I became a fountain of “Did you knows?”

“Did you know that only the very wealthy buried their dead in rock-cut family tombs — and that everyone else was buried in pit or trench graves?”

“Did you know that Jews in Jesus’ day used pots made of stone, clay, glass — and animal dung? And did you know, too, that although glass vessels were considered ‘susceptible to impurity,’ dung vessels were considered ‘insusceptible’?”

“Did you know that when the Gospels describe sick people touching the ‘hem’ of Jesus’ robe, those folks were likely touching only the fringe, or ‘tzitzit,’ sewn to the edges — a polite nod to purity concerns, since touching the tzitzit would not defile him with ritual impurity the way other physical contact would?”

Read the rest of the review.  Or rather, preview.

Where There’s Freedom, There’s Lawlessness and Brutality

CBS News correspondent Lara Logan “suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating” on Feb. 11 in Egypt, according to a network statement.  The incident took place as Logan was covering celebrations in Tahrir Square for “60 Minutes” shortly after the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Logan and her security team “were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration,” according to the CBS statement. There were over 200 people in the mob.  “In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew,” the statement continued. “She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers.”

Animals must be controlled.  Otherwise they act like what they are, cruel mindless brutes seeking simply what they want without concern for the well being of others.  And nothing sets the animals to destruction quite like being set free from their cages.  Because godlessness reigns among many human beings where there’s freedom, there will be lawlessness and brutality.

I feel so sorry for this girl.  Her attackers will probably go scot free.  Until, that is, they stand before the Judge of all the earth.  Then they’ll receive the punishment they so richly deserve (along with all the other godless folk).

People Just Don’t Like the Truth, They Just Don’t

They act like they do and they pretend to, but by and large truth lovers are as rare as unicorns.  Take the case of a teacher who simply blogged the truth about her students, and is in hot water for it.

Natalie Monroe’s

comments and her suspension by the middle-class school district have clearly touched a nerve, with scores of online commenters applauding her for taking a tough love approach or excoriating her for verbal abuse. Media attention has rained down, and backers have started a Facebook group.  “My students are out of control,” Munroe, who has taught 10th, 11th and 12th grades, wrote in one post. “They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners. They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves entitled to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying.”

If that’s what they do and how they act, what’s the problem saying so?  The problem is that people would rather believe a lie than the truth.  Parents would rather believe their children are perfect than the truth that they aren’t.  And they would rather stick their heads in the sand than look at the clear light of day.

And in another post, Munroe — who is more than eight months pregnant — writes: “Kids! They are disobedient, disrespectful oafs. Noisy, crazy, sloppy, lazy LOAFERS.” She also comes up with a colorful list of comments that she felt should be available on student report cards.  Munroe did not use her full name or identify her students or school in the blog, which she started in August 2009 for friends and family. Last week, she said, students brought it to the attention of the school, which suspended her with pay.

The little loafers are happy to expend energy whining (and eating and going to the mall).  ‘Mommy look what this teacher said…’  ‘Oh that’s horrible!  Go back to your Wii precious and mommy will complain to the school board.  Oh and would you please clean your room, I’ve asked you to do it for a month’.  ‘Gee mom, get off my back you old nag.  I hate you.  Go cook dinner’.   ‘Ok precious, I will.’

No, people don’t like the truth.  They never have.  They love lies too much.

When the Water Reaches your Neck… Kiribati

Parliament House, Kiribati


NPR reported this morning on a tiny chain of Pacific Islands where of a population of 90,000, there are a mere 23 people who aren’t affiliated with a church.   Yes, you read that right, 23 out of a population of 90,000.  And those religious people are taking God’s promise to Noah that he won’t destroy the world by flood again literally and seriously- so rising sea levels are laughed off by most.

One problem, tiny island nation- even if you do take Genesis quite literally do note that Noah is promised (Gen 9:15)

‘I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh’.

Note- ‘all flesh’ -‬ כָּל־בָּשָֽׂר׃. If Kiribati were the whole world there might be reason to grab hold of that verse- but since ‘all flesh’ doesn’t live there, the exegesis of the people there suggesting that God won’t allow the island to flood is simply wrong.

Perhaps the 90,000 believers there (minus the 23 pagans) should consult an exegete rather than bury their heads in the sand.