The Bible’s Buried Secrets – All Three Episodes on DocumentaryStorm (via Remnant of Giants)

Nice. Enjoy all you non Brits who can’t watch BBC and so who missed the episodes.

The Bible's Buried Secrets - All Three Episodes on DocumentaryStorm DocumentaryStorm has posted all three episodes of the recent BBC production The Bible’s Buried Secrets, hosted by Dr Francesca Starakopoulou of the University of Exeter. Episode 1: Did King David’s Empire Exist? A national hero and icon for the Jewish people, and a divine king for Christians, David is best known as the boy-warrior who defeated the Philistine giant Goliath. As king, he united the tribes of Israel. But did he really rule over a vas … Read More

via Remnant of Giants

China’s Not Wrong Necessarily…

Since America lost the moral high ground quite some years ago– when our foreign policy turned from aiding those who were oppressed and especially the poor oppressed to aiding those who had oil or other resources we wanted.  So we really don’t have any right to tell other countries how to behave, given the fact that we spend more on guns than we do on hospitals and medical care and schools for our own citizens.

Mind you, I’m glad I’m an American and I’m proud of our country.  But our policy makers are slaves of the military-industrial complex and our politicians are toadies of big oil and other special interests.  And it’s the military and the corporations which dictate what America does and doesn’t do.  And there isn’t a single politician who isn’t in their pocket.  So China’s right.  We need to stop pretending we’re the world’s human rights guardians.  We aren’t.  To our shame.

In Mexico Drug Cartels are Murdering Children, Intentionally

Absolutely barbarous.  Even if you’re in New Zealand or are a Mennonite, this sort of behavior has to impale one’s sensibilities.

On a sunny afternoon last week, when the streets of this mountain mining city were filled with schoolchildren and parents hurrying home from work, gunmen entered a tiny apartment and started firing methodically.   The assassins killed everyone: the family matriarch and her adult son; her daughter and son-in-law, and finally, her 22-month-old granddaughter.  The child was not killed by mistake. Preliminary forensics indicate that the gunmen, unchallenged, pointed a pistol at Scarlett Ramirez and fired.  In Mexico’s brutal drug war, children are increasingly victims, innocents caught in the crossfire, shot dead alongside their parents — and intentionally targeted.

And every drug abuser who buys what Mexico supplies is paying for the bullets that are killing children (and everyone else).  Buy a joint, kill a child.  It’s that simple.

An Interesting Historical Snippet

As a % of GDP, national debt fell from 28% to 26% in the 70s [that’s when Carter was president], rose to 42% in the 80s [you remember Ronnie Reagan don’t you?], fell to 35% in the 90s [yup, Bill Clinton], then rose to 62% in the 00s [George Bush].  (Via the West Wing Report on Twitter with my observations in [..]).

It seems the Republicans are really awful at being fiscally conservative.

People in Maine Need to Learn What the Word ‘Essential’ Means

The brushed aluminum back of the iPad Wi-Fi

'Essential' for 5 year olds...

Because there’s nothing ‘essential’ about kindergarten children having an iPad. Nothing.

A Maine school system may be adding the iPad 2 to its list of mandatory kindergarten classroom items, with the district footing the bill. The Auburn Schools Committee voted unanimously to provide all kindergartners with an iPad 2 next year. Each subsequent kindergarten class would receive individual devices as well, CNN and WGME report. It would cost the district about $200,000 next year, with Apple cutting them a deal by charging $475 per iPad. Superintendent Tom Morrill says the district will find the money in the budget and through grants. “What we’re seeing is that this is an essential tool — even more important than a book. It’s a learning tool they need to have.”

In tight times filling little hands with iPads instead of actual necessities is about the most foolish decision. What absurdity.

Why I Will Live Way Longer Than You, Mennonites

I knew this OCD thing served some useful purpose.

“The best childhood personality predictor of longevity was conscientiousness–the qualities of a prudent, persistent, well organized person,” according to the two professors (he at the University of California–Riverside, and she at La Sierra University). “Conscientiousness . . . also turned out to be the best personality predictor of long life when measured in adulthood.”  …

“It was not cheerfulness and it was not having a sociable personality that predicted long life across the many ensuing decades,” they wrote. “Certain other factors were also relevant, but the prudent, dependable children lived the longest. The strength of this finding was unexpected, but it proved to be a very important and enduring one.”

And

The book presents three reasons why conscientious people live longer:

1. They are more likely to obey the rules, protecting their health, and not engaging in risky behaviors such as smoking or driving without a seat belt. If a doctor tells them to take a medicine, they take every prescribed dose.

2. “Conscientious individuals are less prone to a whole host of diseases, not just those caused by dangerous habits,” they found. “It appears likely that conscientious and unconscientious people have different levels of certain chemicals in their brains.”

3. “The most intriguing reason conscientious people live longer is that having a conscientious personality leads you into healthier situations and relationships,” the research concluded. “They find their way to happier marriages, better friendships, and healthier work situations.”

So when all those lazy, poorly mentally organized, halfhearted foes of truth are dead and buried, I’ll still be plodding along.  The best revenge is outliving your enemies.  Keep that in mind, Mennonites.  Or as we say down here, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

[NB- ‘Mennonite’ is my all purpose term for people I find whiny].

Good for Iceland

Coat of arms of Iceland

The people of Iceland, a tiny country with a tiny population, shouldn’t be saddled with paying for the greed of huge banks.  So good for Iceland that it rejected the debt deal.

Referendum results show voters in Iceland have rejected a government-approved deal to repay Britain and the Netherlands $5 billion for their citizens’ deposits in the failed online bank Icesave.  Final results from five of six constituencies on Sunday showed the “no” side taking just under 60 percent of the votes.  Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir said the results were disappointing but she would try to prevent political and economic chaos resulting from it.  The result complicates Iceland’s recovery from its 2008 economic collapse.  Icelanders overwhelmingly rejected a previous deal in a referendum last year, but the government hoped a new agreement on better terms would win approval.

You know who should repay it?  The bankers who made billions.  And if they don’t have it, they can auction off their personal property and pay back as much as humanly possible.  The innocent shouldn’t be forced to pay for the crimes of the guilty.

China’s Official War on Christianity Continues

Just today

Beijing police on Sunday detained dozens of worshippers from an unapproved Christian church who were trying to hold services in a public space after they were evicted from their usual place of worship, a parishioner said.  Leaders of the unregistered Shouwang church had told members to gather at an open-air venue in Beijing for Sunday morning services, but police, apparently alerted to their plans, taped off the area and took away people who showed up to take part.  China’s Communist government allows worship only in state-approved churches, but many Christians belong to unregistered congregations. Such “house churches” are subjected to varying degrees of harassment by authorities.  More than 60 million Christians are believed to worship in China’s independent churches, compared with about 20 million who worship in the state church, according to scholars and church activists.

So while millions of American Christians will sleep in or spend the day at the lake or the mall or the golf course, Chinese Christians are risking arrest because they wish to worship with their brothers and sisters in Christ.  Small wonder that Christianity is growing in China and melting away in Europe and North America.  People are seldom attracted to anything that isn’t even meaningful to its members.