Daily Archives: 17 Apr 2011

Exposing the ‘Jesus Nails’ Scam

Joe Zias has written an essay about the so called ‘Jesus nails’ exposing the scam for what it is.  It’s set to appear on Tuesday so I’ll announce it when it does.  Meanwhile, I mention it so that you can keep an eye open.

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Posted by on 17 Apr 2011 in pseudo-archaeology, pseudo-scholarship


In Spite of What Teacher Told You, There Are Indeed Stupid Questions

Like this one- does Christianity have a future?

Maybe Ann should read the Bible and the BBC should ask around for some theologians who have. If either had bothered, they would have answered the question with one word- yes.

How can I be so sure? Matthew 16. If the gates of hell can’t prevail against the church there’s no chance that the atheists or the emergents or any others can. True and authentic Christianity will always have a future because it always has a Lord.

The Church need not bother itself with worry. Worry belongs to those who fear.


Posted by on 17 Apr 2011 in Theology


Zahi Hawass Has Been Sentenced to Jail for a Year

Well finally.

Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs Zahi Hawass has been sentenced to one year in jail on Sunday for refusing to fulfill a court ruling over a land dispute.  The Egyptian criminal court also said Hawass must be relieved of his governmental duties and ordered him to pay a LE1000 penalty.  Hawass failed to adhere to a ruling in favour of his opponent over a land dispute when he was in charge of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).  The SCA appealed the court ruling, arguing that the land includes monuments and therefore should be treated as government-owned land.

Let’s hope he actually has to go.  He can wear his new clothing line there…

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Posted by on 17 Apr 2011 in pseudo-archaeology, pseudo-scholarship


Ridiculous: Rewarding Ineptitude

Joel Watts sent out a ‘tweet’ (which I prefer to call a news flash) about this and I found it really disheartening.

A top Massey Energy executive who presided over the company while it compiled some of the most criticized safety records in the coal mining industry will jointly manage the main safety program at Alpha Natural Resources if the two companies merge as expected.  That’s one of the merger management shifts announced late Friday by Alpha that ensures key roles for several Massey executives in the combined company.  Massey owns the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia, where 29 mine workers died in amassive explosion in April 2010. Civil and criminal investigations of that tragedy are still under way, but the mine and the company had injury and citation rates that have alarmed mine safety advocates and federal regulators.

In what parallel universe does that even remotely make sense?

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Posted by on 17 Apr 2011 in Total Depravity



Happy Passover to all! (via The Tell es-Safi/Gath Weblog)


Tomorrow night, Jews all over the world begin to celebrate the festival of Passover/Pesach, which commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, and is a symbol of being freed, in more ways than one, from slavery and being led (by others or by yourself) to freedom. Thus, I wish upon all that they should be freed of all slaveries and enjoy freedom! Aren P.S. And to those of you who need some humor after too much Pesach cleaning, here are some jok … Read More

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

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Posted by on 17 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


Taxes? Ha. Almost Half the Country Doesn’t Pay and the Super Rich Pay Less Than Anyone

As Monday’s tax filing deadline nears, ponder this: The super rich pay a lot less taxes than they did a couple of decades ago, and nearly half of U.S. households pay no income taxes at all.  The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.  Over the same period, the average federal income tax rate for all taxpayers declined to 9.3 percent from 9.9 percent.  The top income tax rate is 35 percent, so how can people who make so much pay so little in taxes? The nation’s tax laws are packed with breaks for people at every income level. There are breaks for having children, paying a mortgage, going to college, and even for paying other taxes. Plus, the top rate on capital gains is only 15 percent.  There are so many breaks that 45 percent of U.S. households will pay no federal income tax for 2010, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

Given the fact that most of the people I know talk about getting a refund this doesn’t surprise me at all.  Unfortunately I’m not one of those who has loads of write-offs or an army of lawyers and accountants to find me loopholes.  I pay quarterly taxes because I’m self employed and because the tax laws change every year there’s no way to know what’s going to be owed.  So, I pay.  Every year.

When you pay, you can complain.  When you get it all back, shut up.  You haven’t paid for anything.  You don’t pay taxes- you just loan the government money for a while and then they give it back to you without interest.

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Posted by on 17 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture



230 Tornadoes

This is simply astonishing

Saturday was the third straight day of an eruption of severe t-storms, this time centered in the Carolinas and Virginia.   Taken together, there have been an astounding 230 preliminary reports of tornadoes the past 3 days! Of course, the final tornado counts will change, as damage surveys are conducted and redundant reports consolidated. That said, an average of 163 tornadoes occur in the U.S. during the entire month of April!   See photos: iWitnessWeather tornado collection .

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Posted by on 17 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


I Hope I Never Get that Depressed, or Hungry…

In a brutal act of self-cannibalism, a New Zealand man cut off his finger with a small electric saw, dropped it into a cooking pot with vegetables then ate it up for dinner.  The 28-year-old man told medical authorities that he was driven to the bizarre act because he was suffering from severe depression.  In one of only eight documented cases of self-cannibalism recorded in the world, the man planned to chop off two other fingers and eat them too, but eventually decided against it.

Yikes.  Has anyone heard from Mark Stevens?

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Posted by on 17 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture



Have you noticed that even though there’s still plenty of misery and hardship in Haiti, Japan, and New Zealand, the news has dropped coverage (except for the radiation problem of course).  Not a word about Haiti, and the only mention of New Zealand was when William visited…

Forgotten- just the same way Christians forget their obligations to God and only remember them at Easter and Christmas…

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Posted by on 17 Apr 2011 in Theology