Daily Archives: 26 Feb 2011

We Can’t Forget New Zealand

The death toll has risen today to 146 with 200 people still missing.

New Zealand’s premier said the Christchurch quake may be the country’s worst disaster ever, as officials raised the toll to 146 dead and more than 200 missing while giving a grim prognosis for the city’s downtown.  Residents said prayers for the dead and missing at church services Sunday in Christchurch and across New Zealand. But church leaders canceled a planned multi-denominational service in a Christchurch park because of concerns it could block access roads for emergency services.

There’s lots going on in the world, but New Zealand still deserves our thoughts, and for those who do, prayers.

Toddlers are Quick!

As a mom learned down in Georgia

A 14-month-old girl who wandered away from her mother and grandmother spent several tense hours trapped inside a time-locked bank vault and authorities pumped fresh air through vents to the crying child until a locksmith freed her, police said.  The locksmith pried the toddler unharmed from the vault Friday night about four hours after she went missing while visiting a grandparent who worked at a Wells Fargo bank branch in the greater Atlanta suburb of Conyers, police said.

That’s downright scary.  Glad the tot is good though, so it’s at least a happy ending.  The lesson to be learned- kids are quick on their feet!

Utterly Unacceptable

Scott Bundgaard, R-Peoria, the majority leader of the Arizona state Senate, was briefly taken into custody with marks on his body Saturday, indicating he had been involved in a fight, an act of domestic violencePhoenix police officers said.  When officers arrived, they said that Bundgaard and his passenger, Aubry Ballard, were both showing marks of a physical altercation, “which constituted an act of domestic violence.” Police said Ballard is Bundgaard’s girlfriend.  After being taken into custody, Bundgaard told officers that because he is an Arizona state senator, he is immune from arrest.

Christian is right…

Here’s the kicker.  Aubry Ballard was arrested, charged with assault, and booked into jail.  Bungaard went free.  Where is the justice in this?

The only justice here is injustice.  Arizona’s legislature should be deeply embarrassed concerning itself.  Totally depraved persons shouldn’t enjoy legal protection.

Scott Walker, A Politician Who Lies? Say it Isn’t So…

It seems that the Governor of Wisconsin is a big old politician liar.

Gov. Scott Walker says he wants state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to “contribute more” to their pension and health insurance plans. Accepting Gov. Walker’ s assertions as fact, and failing to check, creates the impression that somehow the workers are getting something extra, a gift from taxpayers. They are not. Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’ s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.  Via tax.com How can this be possible?  Simple. The pension plan is the direct result of deferred compensation- money that employees would have been paid as cash salary but choose, instead, to have placed in the state operated pension fund where the money can be professionally invested (at a lower cost of management) for the future.

Politicians are liars and they apparently enjoy it so much that even when the truth is easily discoverable they still don’t mind telling a fib if it will get a particular segment of society all worked up and foaming at the mouth.

With thanks to Churck Jones on FB for the link hint.

Texas… That’s All That Has to be Said to Understand This Story

Members of a new Texas association are starting a college scholarship program for a group of students they say do not have as many scholarship options as others — white men. Colby Bohannan, a student at Texas State University in San Marcos, and some friends have formed the non-profit Former Majority Association for Equality, which will provide the scholarships. The idea was that there are many scholarships geared toward helping minorities and women attend college, and there are also scholarships for people from certain religions or from certain families. But Bohannan thought his demographic group was missing. “We know that we’re going to be receiving some vicious attacks, from people claiming that we are racists, or promoting some bigotry-filled agenda,” Bohannan said on Thursday. Starting this summer, the association plans to provide as many as five $500 scholarships to deserving white men who have at least a 3.0 grade point average, Bohannan said.

Gee guys, I think when you name your little club the ‘former majority association’ you’ve already opened the door to accusations of racism.  Why not come out of the closet altogether and call yourselves the ‘we hate mexicans and blacks, white dudes who feel oppressed, because our athletic careers didn’t pan out and now we feel slighted all those opportunities which we would have otherwise received’ association’?

The poor benighted white male.  God have mercy on us.

On The Moral Obligation of Being a Physician

Pope Benedict XVI has urged doctors to protect women from the deceptive thought that an abortion might be a solution to social or economic difficulties or health problems.  Benedict reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s firm opposition to abortion in a speech Saturday to members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Vatican’s bioethics advisory board.  The pontiff argued that women are often convinced, sometimes by their own doctors, that abortion is a legitimate choice and in some cases even a therapeutic act to prevent their babies from suffering.  Saying “abortion solves nothing,” he called on doctors not to give up their duty to defend the consciences of women from such “deception.”

You can’t see me because I don’t have a webcam, but I’m standing up and cheering.  He might be wrong about lots of stuff, but he’s right about this.

A Very Fine Monograph Series

Eisenbrauns is publishing a monograph series titled Siphrut and the fourth in the series has arrived today.  It’s titled ‘The Land of Canaan and the Destiny of Israel: Theologies of Territory in the Hebrew Bible‘.

The description runs as follows:

What place does the land of Canaan play in the biblical conception of “Israel”? To what extent does the religion promoted by the Hebrew Bible require that Israel live its communal life in the national homeland? And how does life in the land compare in importance with other elements presented as belonging to Israel’s ultimate destiny, such as, for example, adherence to the law? To what extent must the people of Israel take hold of and settle in the “entire land of Canaan” for them to fulfill their destiny? Might the land be shared with other peoples, or must non-Israelites be expelled and subjugated, or at least kept at a safe and isolated distance?

Frankel presents here many new and previously unrecognized biblical conceptions and traditions that have significant theological implications for the contemporary religious and political situation in the State of Israel. Once the biblical conceptions have been accurately identified, analyzed, and categorized, he opens a discussion of the possible relevance of these conceptions to the contemporary situation in which he lives.

I’m quite excited about diving in, which I’ll do momentarily.

The Total Depravity of High Fashion

For years now the debate has raged over size zero models, yet each year they became skinnier and less like women. No breasts, no curves, so desiccated by starvation they’d be unable to have a child even if they wanted to.  They became utterly defeminised.  …  Who could have predicted that the ultimate solution to the Size Zero Debate would be Zero Woman. Because that’s exactly what we have with London and New York Fashion Weeks, and Couture Week in Paris.  The new darling of the catwalk is a man. The Serbian-born model of female beauty is an androgynous lad of 19 from Melbourne. …  It’s the ultimate in woman hating, to create a half-man, half-woman creature because the girls are simply not up to the job. They’re too, let’s face it boys, womanly, even when they’ve been starved to within an inch of their lives.  What an act of abject misogyny.  This betrayal of women has been brewing in the fashion world for decades now. People point to the Sixties and Twiggy, the skinniest model in the entire universe, but she was a one-off, not a trend-setter.

The whole essay is a fascinating glance into a world where asexuality and androgyny are the aim and goal and real women despised.  Fascinating.  With thanks to Dot King for pointing it out.

Northwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (via Near Emmaus)

Brian (del) LePort is tweeting it too (as you’ll see at the bottom of his post). This is one of the best things about biblioblogs- they allow us to attend meetings ‘virtually’ in a way previously impossible. Now if Brian would post some photos it would be even cooler!

Today I will be participating in the ETS Northwest Regional Meeting. This is the schedule of events: 8:30-9:00 Registration (Travis- Lovitt Lobby) 9:00-9:20 Introduction and Devotion (TL111-112) 9:20-10:00 Craig Blomberg Plenary Address 10:00 – 10:20 Break 10:20-11:00 Marcus Borg Plenary Address 11:00-11:25 Blomberg-Borg Dialogue 11:25-11:45 Q & A Session 11:45-12:00 Business Meeting 12:00-1:00 Lunch (Lunch is available in Aldrich Student Cen … Read More

via Near Emmaus

Tattoos You Should Never Get…

Jesus being helped up by Angels, for one…

As David Meadows remarked on FB, it looks like they’re helping Jesus get off a commode…  It’s not at all charming.

‘Christian’ Insurance?

It sounds like a scam to me.

“Christians are exempt from insurance mandates,” Niles’ old plan, Medi-Share, says on its website. Sharing ministries are “the only organized health care concept to receive a special exemption from the taxes, penalties and regulations” that the law imposes on insurers, the site says.  Medi-Share members affirm a statement of Christian beliefs and pledge to follow a code that includes no tobacco or illegal drugs, no sex outside of marriage, and no abuse of alcohol or legal medications. Every month, they pay a fixed “share” to cover the medical expenses of members in need. The cost usually is less than private insurance, but it’s not tax deductible. Members use a network of medical providers.  If that seems close to regular health insurance, it’s not, says Michael McRaith, the top insurance regulator in Illinois. “We have seen individuals who buy into a sharing program believing they are paying for a promise, and in fact that is not what they are receiving,” McRaith said.  “There is no promise or certainty this sharing program will pay for health care expenses,” he said.

So let me see if I have this right.  Christian buy ‘insurance’ that may or may not cover them and because it’s ‘Christian’ it’s exempt from health-care mandates?  That makes no sense at all.  None.  Zero.  Who’s falling for this?  Is it advertised on Craigslist or something, right next to the Nigerian Mail Scam section?

Craziness abounds and the almighty dollar drives virtually every decision.

Imagine That, a Catholic College Firing an Openly Gay Priest…

What a shock.  Next thing you know, schools will fire openly pedophile teachers!

A Pennsylvania College professor is out of a job tonight.  Father James St. George says he was fully vetted when he was hired to teach at Chestnut Hill College, a private Roman Catholic institution in Pennsylvania. But the school says that they did not know he was gay, and has since let him go.  Now Father St. George is wondering whether a letter from a local lawyer may have done him in.  Father St. George doesn’t exactly hide the fact that he’s gay. But he says he never brings it up in class.  “My sexuality has never come up. I’ve never once said i’m gay,” MyFoxPhilly reports.  Father St. George is part of the Old Catholic Church Of The Americas, a faction that broke away from the Vatican back in 1870. In his church, priests are allowed to marry and be gay.

‘The Old Catholic Church of the Americas’?   Sounds more like the Episcopal Church of America.  What’s surprising isn’t that the school fired him, it’s that they hired him in the first place – if they knew he was a member of a cult.

It’s Saturday, So Bibliobloggers are Doing Repairs…

Who Killed Twitter?

Figures, Cargill talks me into signing up and lo and behold, Twitter is killed. It’s down and I think that some vicious hacker from some angry government under siege is to blame.  I.e., the Governor of Wisconsin.  Or other Repub governors who oppose the protests set for all 50 US States today.

Our Enemies Have Discovered our Achilles Heel…

Our dependence on external sources for energy. And they will soon see to it, because of our lack of foresight and quest for energy independence, that our economies crumble and we’re reduced to third world status.

It’s simple- they blow up and disrupt as much as they can and the price of oil surges so as to become unavailable to average people. Jobs are lost, the recession becomes a full blown depression, and the West withdraws from the Middle East completely because there’s nothing more there to be had.

Eventually, we’ll be forced to energy independence anyway- but the route is going to be devastating.  And all because our government is in the pocket of big oil and big oil can’t produce without safe environments and our foes in the Mid East aren’t about to let peace continue.

Defeating Calvinism

With thanks to M.A. on FB.