Daily Archives: 13 Apr 2011

Barkay Eviscerates Simcha Too

Todd Bolen draws our attention to the details

Gabriel Barkay is probably the world’s leading scholar on tombs in Jerusalem.  He is quoted in a story by the Agence France-Presse.

Gabi Barkai, a professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv’s Bar Ilan University who has 40 years of experience excavating tombs in Jerusalem, confirmed the nails dated back to the first century, but said it was impossible get a more accurate date.  “Nails are a rare things in tombs from Second Temple period Jerusalem,” he told reporters, noting that there was no bone residue attached to them.   There were several theories as to why they might have been put inside a grave, one of which was that crucifixion nails were believed to be powerful amulets for the afterlife.  But there was “no proof whatsoever that these nails came from the cave of Caiaphas,” he said.  Asked if he believed they were used in the crucifixion, Barkai was cautious. “It’s a possibility,” he said.

I take the last quote in the sense of, “It’s not absolutely impossible that these nails were used in a crucifixion.”  It should also be noted that Barkay was likely a paid consultant for his appearance in the movie, and he would have been reluctant to completely dismiss the movie’s basic premise at a news conference sponsored by the film producer.

Theres more.  Read it.

Is David Cameron Appealing to the Hicks in Britain?

Prime Minister David Cameron

Lie to make points with the ignorant

What other purpose could his insane shot at Oxford serve but to gather the mouth breathing anti-intellectuals in Britain to his side?

British Prime Minister David Cameron made headlines on Monday when he criticized Oxford University for their “disgraceful” minority admissions statistics.  Cameron, who is an Oxford graduate, claimed that only one black person was admitted to the University in the past year.  “We have got to do better than that,” said Cameron at a Q & A session in the North of England.  Oxford responded immediately, calling Cameron’s assertion “incorrect and highly misleading.” According to figures the university provided to the media, the school actually accepted 27 black students between 2009 and 2010. Oxford also stated that only 542 black students received high enough A-level scores to be considered for admission in 2009, and that most black students apply for commonly over-enrolled courses, such as medicine.

Politicians- they’re even greasy and deceptive in other countries.

Liberty at ‘Liberty University’? Not So Fast, Budget Watcher

The Washington Post informs us that at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University

For at least one day last week … administrators blocked campus access to the Web site of Lynchburg’s News & Advocate, reportedly because the newspaper ran a story about the large amount of federal student aid the school receives.  The chancellor of the evangelical college, Jerry Falwell Jr., told the News & Advocate that campus policies allow administrators to “block a number of sites at will.” Falwell wouldn’t give the newspaper a reason for blocking access to its site: “We’re a private organization and we don’t have to give a reason and we’re not.”

Well there ya go.  ‘We don’t want our students knowing how much federal aid we’re getting because we constantly advance a Republican ideology and Republicans are all about self sufficiency and if they knew we were getting all that sweet taxpayer cash, it might make them think….’  ‘Oh, and if we want to block any news organization that reports this, we’ll do that too, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it WaPo.’

Last week, Salon.com picked up the story and pointed out that Liberty received more funds than the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which received $420 million from the federal government.

Bahahahahaha!   If the Repubs really want to slash, let them slash Liberty.  A private Uni. which taxpayers ought not be funding anyway.  (But of course since the ‘liberals’ aren’t running the place, there’s no call for cutting dollars).  Demagoguery, pure and simple.

Photo ID on Welfare Cards? Why Not?

In fact, I personally think that having a photo ID welfare card (food stamp card or whatever it’s officially called) is a great idea.  I further think that people on the public teat ought to undergo random drug testing and if they fail, their welfare check is rescinded and they are rendered ineligible.  I’m not keen on the fact that my tax dollars are buying drugs, booze, and cigs.

A bill considering the possibility of adding photo identification to Illinois food stamps caused uproar in the State House Tuesday, as Democrats accused Republicans of waging a war on the state’s poor and attacks quickly got personal.  Representative Chapin Rose, a Republican from the suburbs of downstate Champaign, was the sponsor of the bill, HB 161. The legislation was originally a mandate that all LINK cards, the state-issued debit cards on which food stamp benefits are disbursed, have a photo ID of their owner.  After much amendment, it is now simply a measure requiring the Department of Human Services to consider the cost of such a mandate. But it still encountered uproar from Democratic legislators.

It’s not the genuinely poor who are hurt by such measures- it’s the fraudsters and the con artists and the guys who take their welfare cards to the local store and have them ‘charge’ $100 and get back $50 so that both store and welfare-ite are perpetrating fraud.

I’m all for the government helping the truly indigent and needy.  But feeding folk who could easily work but who are too lazy or too familiar with a life of nursing at the government breast isn’t something we should be doing.  Paul says it painfully clearly- ordering the Thessalonians to note the truly lazy and let them starve if they won’t work when they can:

καὶ γὰρ ὅτε ἦμεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, τοῦτο παρηγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν ὅτι, εἴ τις οὐ θέλει ἐργάζεσθαι μηδὲ ἐσθιέτω. (2 Thess 3:10).
[For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat].

It’s not heartlessness- it’s called responsibility- and taking responsibility for one’s own life.

Joel Watt’s Latest Depraved Money Making Scheme

The founder of WhatsYourPrice.com says he’s not running an escort service. And he’s not promoting prostitution.  No, [Joel Watts]  says he’s bringing people together — people who are willing to pay to go on a date with someone “attractive” and people who are willing to take money to go on a date with … well, the not-so-attractive.

That means there’s hope for so many members of SBL and even more for the members of AAR (because heaven knows those AAR people put the ‘hide’ in hideous!)  They may actually soon be able to be seen in public with arm candy!  Watch for them in San Francisco.

Most Americans Support the Creation of a Palestinian State

Al Jazeera remarks

It becomes clearer every day that Binyamin Netanyahu’s government is terrified by the prospect that the Palestinians are planning to unilaterally declare a state later this year. In fact, it is safe to say that no other proposed Palestinian action has ever shaken up any Israeli government the way that the idea of a unilateral declaration has.

So why won’t America’s politicians get on board?  One word:  money.  If Palestinians had the kind of money that the Israel lobby has, it would have been a State a decade ago.

Netanyahu’s fear is well-placed. Here is Haaretz newspaper columnist Ari Shavit describing what would follow a unilateral Palestinian declaration: At that moment, every Israeli apartment in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighbourhood will become illegal. Every military base in the West Bank will be contravening the sovereignty of an independent UN member state. The Palestinians will not be obligated to accept demilitarisation and peace and to recognise the occupation

A Useful Tool: Reverse Image Search

Have an image?  Don’t know it’s source?  You may be able to track down it’s incarnations at TinEye.  I hadn’t heard about it till Joel Watts mentioned it a minute ago.  So I’ve added it to the useful sites section on the nav panel.

Nothing Can Keep an Evil Corporation Down

While Republicans stay up nights worried that their corporate owners may have to pay more taxes (or any taxes… good going GE!), they needn’t worry much.  Corporations, like Chase Bank, can squeeze blood out of a turnip and manage to turn a HUGE profit in the midst of massive losses of property for mortgage holders.

JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s second-biggest bank by assets, exceeded Wall Street’s expectations Wednesday, reporting surging profits and higher employee pay despite lower revenues and decreased lending as the lender set aside less money to cover losses.  The banking behemoth, which grew even larger in the three-month period ending in March, said profit skyrocketed to $5.6 billion, 67 percent more than the same period last year. The lender reported a profit-per-share of $1.28. Analysts forecast $1.16, according to Thomson Reuters.

So lawmakers, don’t worry too much- your lords are still collecting loads of money while foreclosing on the poorer.  And even when word gets out what’s going on, the public is too distracted by three wars and farcically and artificially high fuel prices (so your big oil lords are happy too!) to bother to tell you what they think of you.  It’s all good for you.  For now…

Eerdman’s Photo Contest

The folk at Eerdmans are running a photo contest.  Check out the details here.  You could win up to $500!  It’s not much at Brill (maybe 3 pages of one book) but at Eerdmans it will get you rather a lot.

On One of the Lead Codices Images: Philip Davies

Philip Davies writes

I Wonder if anyone thinks these two pictures are related.

The first picture is the one I tentatively suggested as a crucifixion scene:

the other is from Adomnan’s transcription of Arculf’s De Locis Sanctis. (It is reproduced on http://www.christusrex.org/www1/ofm/mad/sources/sources056.html).

It shows the column in front of St Stephen’ Gate (as the ‘Damascus Gate’/’Bab el Amud’ was known in the Byzantine period).

I Wonder how many think that one may have been inspired by the other? I’m not certain myself, but let’s spread the job around a bit. Personally, I’m not too sure, but some of my colleagues think so.


So what do you think- did the recently discovered lead codex copy from the other or is the other actually a replica of the (putatively) earlier lead codex?

UPDATE: Robert Deutsch sends along images of the materials he mentions in comments.

They Watched their Mom Die, and Did Nothing About It

And then they let the corpse rot where it lie, for three months!  Guess where they’re from?!?!?!  If you guessed Texas, you’re right!

Identical twins Edwin and Edward Berndt, Houston, Texas, were really busy watching the NCAA championships when their elderly mother Sybil slipped and fell, so they certainly couldn’t be expected to help her up that evening. Nor could they give her a hand on the following three days, when she was alive, and talking and stuck on the floor. You see, explained Edward, the brothers left her there because they couldn’t afford an ambulance, or a burial—even though investigators found receipts for more than $700,000 in their bank account.

Yup, they were watching a game, she came in and fell, and they let her lie there for three days until she expired.  And then they left her body in the same spot…   The most depraved thing I think I’ve ever seen.

Oded Golan Tries to Justify Himself and Fraudulent ‘Artifacts’

In an essay in Bible and Interpretation Golan opines

As a collector of antiquities for many decades who has seen tens of thousands of ancient pieces originated from the Land Of Israel, and based on the opinions I received from various experts with experience and understanding in numerous relevant areas who examined the items, I maintained that there is no foundation for the IAA’s allegations that these items are forgeries. The authenticity of each one of these two inscriptions stands at the heart of this unique trial, and the Court is expected to render its decision on this issue.

See how he attempts it.  I believe him as much as I believe Simcha’s ‘discoveries’ and that ‘lead codices’ are 1st century.

Another Reason to Hate American Idol

One fan was left shocked and in tears after being allegedly told by production staffers she could not sit with her friends in the front row because she was “just too big, too heavy to be in front,” RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting. 19-year-old Ashley Kauffman of Riverside, Calif., told RadarOnline.com that she and five of her girlfriends got free tickets to attend the filming and “were so excited.” “I felt very lucky to go,” she said.

Ok she’s not fat.  Good job, Idol.  Someone on your production staff needs to be fired today.  Just exactly how shallow are you?