Daily Archives: 17 Feb 2011

Gun Laws? What Gun Laws? Even When They’re On the Books they Aren’t Enforced

My Guns 006

Even insane people can get the with no problem

The Associated Press has found that

More than half the states are not complying with a post-Virginia Tech law that requires them to share the names of mentally ill people with the national background-check system to prevent them from buying guns, an Associated Press review has found.  The deadline for complying with the three-year-old law was last month. But nine states haven’t supplied any names to the database. Seventeen others have sent in fewer than 25, meaning gun dealers around the U.S. could be running names of would-be buyers against a woefully incomplete list.

When mentally ill folk can get guns, you know existing laws are pointless and need to be rewritten more stringently.  One simply can’t imagine any sane person arguing that the disturbed have the right to buy weapons.  No person is that mad.  Unless they themselves are actually insane.

Laws simply must be tightened.

I’ve Shamed No One… Shame is Always Self Imposed!

Shaming is never something we can do to others- it is something others bring upon themselves (because they’ve acted shamefully).  Mr Brewed wasn’t shamed by me… oh no… he did it to himself

It’s certainly not my fault he has no blogroll.

Some of You Complain that I don’t Have Enough ‘Good News’. Well Here’s Some!

I love this story.

A Philadelphia homeowner started foreclosure proceedings on a Wells Fargo mortgage office after winning a rather strange legal judgement against the bank.After Patrick Rodgers got no reply to three letters asking why he was being forced to pay a home insurance premium for a $1 million house when he bought his 3-story Victorian home for $180,000, he decided to force his mortgage company to pay attention, ABC News reported.  According to the Philadelphia InquirerRodgers discovered the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, which requires mortgage companies to acknowledge written requests within 20 business days or face penalties. He took Wells Fargo to court, winning a default judgement because the bank didn’t show up in court.

He won.  The bank still hasn’t responded so the building will be auctioned off to cover the penalty he won in court.  Take that Wells Fargo.  I hope millions more Americans do the same thing to you and every other big bank.  Bwahahahaha!


Gotta get me one of these… (via The Tell es-Safi/Gath Excavations Official (and Unofficial) Weblog)

Archaeologist machete

What Aren wants….

I definitely got to get me one of these – never know when it would come in handy… 🙂 Aren … Read More

via The Tell es-Safi/Gath Excavations Official (and Unofficial) Weblog

Let’s all pitch in and get him, and Cargill, and Cline, and Finkelstein one!

Fox News May not be A Danger to America, But it is a Danger to Intelligence

From our friends over at Homebrewed Theology (who should have been added to the roll a while back but just haven’t been yet.  Oh wait I remember now, they don’t have a blogroll…) – this delightful note

A story in yesterday’s Washington Post details the results of a poll that shows not only are Fox viewers the most divorced from reality, they are more likely to be rabidlyIslamophobic.  For example:

  • 76% of Fox viewers think Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is justified in holding congressional hearings on Muslim extremism in America.
  • 59% of Fox viewers think American muslims haven’t done enough to oppose extremism in their communities.
  • Only 16% of Fox viewers think Muslim Americans have been unfairly targeted by law enforcement.
  • 35% of Fox viewers think American Muslims want to replace the Constitution with Shari’a law.

The punchline to this is that 53% of Fox viewers believe they are “well informed” about Islam.

The poll results get even scarier when you separate the demographic to white evangelicals who watch/most trust Fox.  In that demographic:

  • 84% believe the hearings are a good thing.
  • 34% believe American Muslims want to impose Shari’a law.
  • 62% believe American Muslims haven’t done enough to combat extremism in America.
  • 70% of evangelicals who watch Fox believe they are well informed about Islam, a number that rises to 84% when compared to evangelicals who get their news from other/multiple sources.

One is a flyer, two is a trend, three or more is a defining characteristic.  Multiple polls have shown that Fox viewers are, quite frankly, wrong more often about most everything than any other demographic in the US which begs the question….

…..what does Fox gain by keeping its viewership ignorant, and what is their intention in doing so?


I’m Disappointed in Al-Jazeera Too…

They have somehow or other managed to completely ignore the story of Lara Logan.

Writing about the horrifying sexual assault on Lara Logan, my colleague Alexandra Petri stated that “[t]his sort of story has a pernicious staying power….” And that would be true if you’re getting your news from American outlets, especially the New York tabloids.    But if you want to know how the Logan attack is playing in the Arab world you’ll be sorely disappointed. I was alerted to this by my friend Paul Chamberlain in Las Vegas. “I have an interesting observation for you,” he wrote in an instant message. “I am one the many who fell in love with Al Jazeera’s coverage [during the Egypt crisis] – Its app is a staple on my iPad – I watch their stream daily.” Chamberlain is among those Americans who flocked to al-Jazeera for on-the-ground reporting on the Cairo protests from Arab reporters in the cultural capital of the Arab world.  “I was curious how they would handle the Lara Logan incident,” Chamberlain continued. “Go here http://english.aljazeera.net/and search ‘Lara Logan.’ ” When you do it, your reaction might be the same as mine to Chamberlain, “um…..crickets.” There was and continues to be nothing there. Or at al-Jazeera’s Arabic-language site. Wow. He did note that BBC, Times of India and Le Monde all carried stories on Logan’s assault.

I’m disappointed in you, Al-Jazeera.  Truly disappointed.

The Gay Marriage Debate isn’t Confined to America

A woman makes her support of her marriage, and...

The Telegraph reports

Edward Leigh said he was “astonished and disappointed” that a Conservative-led government intended “to do away with traditional marriage”. He is the first Conservative MP publicly to speak out against the reforms, which were announced on Thursday by the Home Secretary, Theresa May. He said other Tory backbenchers had already expressed their support for his stance.  Under the changes, same-sex civil partnership ceremonies are expected to take place in churches, synagogues and other religious settings for the first time by the end of this year.  At the same time, ministers are preparing the ground for redefining civil “marriage” so that the term can apply to homosexual couples. Mrs May has insisted that no church will be forced to host a civil partnership ceremony against its will and the Church of England has said it will not sanction such a move.  However, Mr Leigh warned that “sooner rather than later” a priest will be sued “for refusing to conduct a gay marriage” in church.

He is doubtless right about that.  It isn’t hard at all to imagine, in these litigious days, someone using the refusal of a cleric to marry a gay couple as an opportunity to make a judicial point.  It will happen.  There’s no doubt.

Some Very Good News for Chris Tilling and Joel Watts!


Tilling, from above...

Gone could be the days of toupees, combovers and hair plugs. For mice, at least.  Researchers at UCLA who set out to study a stress-blocking chemical compound have instead struck gold: a potential cure for baldness.  The scientists discovered bald mice who were treated with the compound for five days grew back full heads of hair in just three months, according to the study published Wednesday in PLoS One.  The likely giddy research team repeated the experiment several more times to confirm. Sure enough, the mice’s hair grew back each time, and the compound also showed promise in preventinghair loss.  “This could open new venues to treat hair loss in humans through the modulation of the stress hormone receptors, particularly hair loss related to chronic stress and aging,” Million Mulugeta, an adjunct professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, to told Popular Science.

Congratulations guys!  Now you can toss those toups!

happy 62nd anniversary (kinda) dead sea scrolls (via XKV8R: The Official Blog of Dr. Robert R. Cargill)

There’s just something wrong about an inkwell with a hat. I can’t put my finger on it, but I know it’s wrong…

happy 62nd anniversary (kinda) dead sea scrolls Ferrell Jenkins has an excellent summary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls over at his Travel Blog. The “discoveries” were made beginning 62 years ago this week, and scholars have been fight … Read More

via XKV8R: The Official Blog of Dr. Robert R. Cargill

Buy Some Brimstone… from Sodom & Gomorrah

It’s not even a joke!  But it is miraculously ignorant.

Brimstone samples from our search of the cities of the plain can be yours. Comes in an attractive 12″ x 8″ display case with glass top. A great conversation starter at your church, home, or office. These are available for a limited time. $150 for a medium size sample of brimstone, at least 1/2 inch in diameter. No returns, all sales final.

And I bet there are people stupid enough to buy not only this rubbish, but into the rubbish and ignorance peddled by the site itself.

If so, so be it- at least they won’t be spending their money on meth or booze (in which state – i.e., of drug addiction or drunkenness – they would have have to be in order to buy such nonsense).

It’s just simply astonishing the lengths to which people will go in order to get foolish people to part with their money in the name of archaeology.

[With a tip of the hat to Scott Bailey who tells me he’s getting me one for my birthday…. I’d rather have something from my wishlist Scott.]

That’s Not What ‘Laying on of Hands’ Means, ‘Pastor’

Benny Hinn Training for Ministry Conference. C...

Hinn has a fan in Ghana...

A ‘pastor’ in Ghana evidently thought when the Bible discusses the laying on of hands, it was meant to be taken sexually.  Bad exegesis always leads to bad behavior!

A 29-year-old self-styled Man of God has been nabbed by the Adenta District Police Command for allegedly inserting his fingers into the private parts of five women under the pretext of praying for them.  Prophet Richard Addo, who claims to be a member of Word Miracle Church at Nungua, a suburb of Accra, was arrested after one of the women boldly reported the incident to the police.

Ladies, seriously, your first clue that the ‘man of God’ is a reprobate is him calling himself ‘Prophet’.  Run, child, run!

According to information available to DAILY GUIDE, Prophet Addo also charged the women various amounts of money ranging from GH¢150 to GH¢200 and as well tried to ravage their bodies.

??????  He charged them to molest them?  He sounds like a televangelist.

Another victim also narrated that Prophet Richard Addo after meeting her, said it had been revealed to him that she was barren.  “He made me to pay GH¢200 for olive oil and the rest to be used as prayer request fees.”  She maintained that Prophet Richard Addo inserted four of his fingers into her private parts while praying for her.

Ok I don’t mean to sound cruel but why in the world would ANYONE take that?  Are they bereft of knowledge that such behavior is wrong or are they under some sort of voodoo spell or something?  Is the guy that masterful a manipulator?  If so, he really does belong on Benny Hinn’s team.  Or Joel Osteen’s.  Or are pentebabbleists just prone to believe the stupid?

There’s more but I can’t bear to repeat it.  Via Antonio.

Unhinged Yeshiva Students

Several weeks ago, during a Torah lesson in the Jerusalem yeshiva, a white dove entered the house of study, sat on the window sill and flew out at the end of the lesson.  The following days, the bird would arrive at the yeshiva and stand in the corner for the entire lesson – prompting the excited yeshiva students to view it as a sign from God.  They created a “studying circle” around the bird and began reading Talmud verses and begging forgiveness from the soul which they believed “wandered” into the dove. Surprisingly, these actions did not help send the mysterious bird away.

Begging forgiveness from a bird soul?  Seriously?  Have they ever heard about idolatry (or is that more a Christian thing?).  Those poor kids have some crazy imaginations.  Via Antonio.

Joel’s Three!

Congratulations kid!  But hey, this part’s a bit scary…

But, you had best be faithful and true
And don’t make me blue,
Destroy Jim West
Although, don’t get me wrong, I’m not obsessed
I do however suggest,
Into his deal with Alexa, an inquest.

Inquests are normally held when someone is dead…  So if I end up dead, start with Joel as chief suspect, then move to the angry atheists, the ticked off homeschoolers, the unhappy fundamentalists, and the bibliobloggers who wish they could be so cool…  that oughta keep you busy…

Oh Come On Logos… Come On!

The long awaited long anticipated Qumran Biblical Scrolls database was supposed to become available for download yesterday.  Having not received an email that it was ready I thought I’d run over this morning and look.  And look what I found-

Ships 2/23/11 Qumran Biblical Dead Sea Scrolls Database

Agghhhhhh. It’s now a certainty- Logos both hates me and wishes me to expire from utter frustration.  I don’t know why.

Found in the Garbage:

The New York Times reports that the [Akhenaton] statue was found in the rubbish in Tahrir Square and that Dr Hawass will make a formal announcement today.  All the rubbish from the square is to be searched.  Dr Hawass claims that this is evidence the museum raid was undertaken by ignorant vandals and was not a targeted theft.  The difficulty with that explanation is that initial reports explicitly listed the statue as damaged and not stolen so there are suspicions that the Akhenaten statue was a secondary theft.

Still it is back.

Indeed.  But who would toss such a thing?  And it makes you wonder what has been lost because insane persons through history have pitched priceless artifacts into garbage heaps…  it staggers the imagination.

Why Isn’t There…

A Greek New Testament that’s a critical edition based on one manuscript as there is a Hebrew Bible?

What I mean is that the standard Greek text used by most NT scholars is Nestle-Aland.  But Nestle-Aland is an ‘eclectic’ text.  That is, it’s a text which never actually existed anywhere at any time in early Christianity.  It is a text compiled by modern scholars.  It has no ‘base text’.  On the other hand, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia is based on Codex Leningradensis and the textual apparatus then notes various significant or sometimes insignificant textual variations.

There are of course editions of the Greek New Testament that are – like Leningradensis – unitary.  But none of them is a critical edition and none takes the time or bothers to attempt to be such.  My question- why not?

Isn’t it time, with all the information we have at hand, to do a truly useful text critical edition of the New Testament which is based upon a text which actually existed?  What are the text critics doing but repeating ad nauseam what has already been done?

Come on you text critics- give us something we can use that isn’t based on the opinions of persons who, though bright as they were, were wrong on numerous counts.

Bahrain isn’t Egypt

And the government there (in Bahrain) appears to have no tolerance at all for attempts at mass protests or the occupation by crowds of central squares.

Armed patrols prowled neighborhoods and tanks appeared in the streets for the first time Thursday after riot police with tear gas and clubs drove protesters from a main square where they had demanded sweeping political change in this tiny kingdom. Medical officials said four people were killed.  Police cars with flashing blue lights encircled Pearl Square, the site of anti-government rallies since Monday. Barbed wire was set up on streets leading to the square, where police cleaned up flattened protest tents and trampled banners. The Interior Ministry declared the protest camp “illegal” and warned Bahrainis to stay off the streets.

This isn’t going to be another Egypt.  That’s fairly clear.  It’s a right shame that populations can’t give voice to their views without the government doing violence.  But here’s another place where the US has vital interests and which it is depending on remaining stable.  So stability and political considerations will trump democracy.