Daily Archives: 18 Apr 2011

Furious. Absolutely Furious.

The price of a gallon of gasoline has been on a steady rise since October and one of the chief reasons that drivers are being squeezed is not increased demand, but increased profit, one expert said Monday.   Wall Street speculation is among the leading reasons that gas prices have been on a steady increase for the last six months, said Ben Brockwell, an oil industry analyst with the Oil Price Information Service – an oil industry news service based on Route 138 in Wall.  “This is not a demand-driven rally (of increased prices),’’ said Brockwell, the oil news service’ director of pricing. “There’s a lot of Wall Street money intrigued by oil as an investment vehicle to make a profit.’’

Wall Street is to blame for high gas prices.  Those contemptible greed-driven self centered inhuman servants of satan are root and cause of the crumbling fiscal viability of American families and your elected officials are standing by and letting it happen in the name of the free market but in truth because such persons are bought and sold like prostitutes in Bangkok.


Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture



Meanwhile America is Seen as the Land of Thuggish Murderers Roving the Streets…

Thailand may be known as the sex capital but America is the senseless gun violence capital.  Two Brits in Florida on vacation learned that the hard way.

Two British friends shot dead on a crime-ridden American housing estate were ambushed and murdered, possibly as part of a gang initiation. James Cooper, 25, and James Kouzaris, 24, were in Florida when they were killed at 3am in a gangland area rarely visited by tourists. They apparently accepted a lift from someone they met in a bar, thinking they were being driven home. A 16 year-old, named locally as Shawn Tyson, was charged with their murder. It emerged yesterday that he was freed by a judge last week despite being arrested over an armed robbery. … Police sources said both men were running away when they were shot. Their bodies were found 50ft apart. They still had money on them and police found no evidence to suggest they had been wanting to buy drugs. … The pair met at Sheffield University and became firm friends. Mr Cooper, who graduated in economics and business management, had gone to stay with his parents, Stan and Sandra, at Longboat Key in a £300 a week apartment. Mr Kouzaris, a keen runner, cyclist and rugby player, had spent several months travelling around South America.

And we have the NRA to thank for making easy guns possible.   So, to the world- all Americans aren’t like the human filth who committed this senseless crime. Just so you know, don’t judge us all by this animal’s behavior.


Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture, Total Depravity


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Topless Dancers are the Least of Thailand’s Sins

It is passing bizarre that Thailand is worried that three topless dancers at a national festival may give the world the wrong impression about the country.  The last time Thailand was in the news it was because it’s the go-to destination for perverts of all kinds from pedophiles to sex addicts and everything twisted in between.  A few topless dancers can scar the image of Thailand no more than another mockumentary on the bible can scar Simcha Jacobovici’s image among actual scholars.

Thai authorities denounced three teenage girls Monday who danced topless on a Bangkok street during New Year’s celebrations – underscoring the tension between Thailand’s traditionally modest culture and the country’s reputation as a sex capital.  Concern was heightened by the young age of the dancers, who were found to be 14, 15 and 16 when they turned themselves in to the police Monday afternoon.

Thailand regularly looks past when 50 year old Canadians rent out 9 year old children.  Why the fuss about these three?  Yes, topless dancers are the least of Thailand’s sins.

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Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Total Depravity



Congratulations Jeremy Thompson

I’m proud of him.

My dissertation passed with some suggested editorial revisions to be made at the discretion of my promoters with no more involvement from examiners.  I’m not sure whether the title doctor becomes truly official until after the revisions, but my panel of examiners did call me “Dr. Thompson.”  My examiners evaluated me fairly. I am thankful for their comments on the document along with their questions and feedback during the oral defense.

Working full-time and trying to maintain time with my family, I struggled through the last three years to finish this project.  At one time in particular, I doubted whether I would finish.  Yet I had a lot of support from my family and friends.  I had a lot of support from my church parish that has been understanding of me being scatter-brained over the last year or two.   And I also appreciate the support of the Biblioblogging community.  Having met a number of you in person at SBL meetings, you all encouraged me to press on as well.  Thank you everyone who helped me through this process.

You’re welcome.  And congrats!

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Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


If Some Aussie Sends You Meat… Don’t Eat It!

Aussies… the Texans of the southern hemisphere.

Move over, beef. Camel meat could become the newest Australian export as early as 2012 if an Egyptian businessman is successful with his bid to open a slaughterhouse and meat processing plant in a rural South Australian town.

Gross.  Besides, camel is unclean.  Don’t Aussies read Leviticus?


Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


Jeremiah Had a Way With Words…

And could express himself (and others’ sentiments too!) with aplomb and vigor in unforgettable phrasing.

Your words were found, and I ate them,
and your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart;
for I am called by your name,
O LORD, God of hosts.
I did not sit in the company of merrymakers,
nor did I rejoice;
under the weight of your hand I sat alone,
for you had filled me with indignation.
Why is my pain unceasing,
my wound incurable,
refusing to be healed?
Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook,
like waters that fail.  – Jer 15


Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Theology


What? A Publisher Published a Fraud? Well That Never Happens, Does it…

Three Cups of Deceit Tea has evidently been exposed as a fraud.

Viking, the publisher of Greg Mortenson’s book “Three Cups of Tea,” has launched a review on the accuracy of the book, telling the New York Times that “60 Minutes is a serious news organization and in the wake of their report, Viking plans to carefully review the materials with the author.”  Questions about the accuracy of Greg Mortenson’s “Three Cups of Tea” were raised on Sunday’s “60 Minutes.” The show investigated doubts that all of Mortenson’s stories in his inspirational best seller “Three Cups of Tea” — which chronicles his humanitarian actions to promote education for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan — are 100 percent factual.  “Into the Wild” author Jon Krakauer told “60 Minutes” that Mortenson never stumbled into the Pakistani village of Korphe and promised to build a school, a central point in Mortenson’s book and speeches. An interview with a man Mortenson said was in the Taliban and kidnapped him said the claim is false. He told “60 Minutes” he was actually protecting Mortenson.

It’s a shame that the Discovery Channel and NatGeo aren’t as interested in finding the truth as they pretend to be.  If they did, 99% of the rubbish peddled on the public as ‘biblical scholarship’ would be dumped in the gutter of scorn where it belongs.

Some authors lie.  Some film-makers lie a lot more.


Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in pseudo-scholarship



Howard Dean Finally Says Something Sensible

The former Democratic boss says the Afghanistan war is not winnable, the Kabul government is corrupt, and Karzai is almost as bad on women’s rights as the Taliban. In an interview with The Daily Beast’s McKay Coppins, the emboldened pol also blasts Tea Party radicals on the budget.

He’s right on all those points. It’s a shame Obama won’t listen to sense.

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Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


Wall Street Manipulating Markets in Order to Manipulate Politicians

Just in time for the Wall Street lobbyists to pressure the Congress to do its will, word that S&P’s has issued a warning on US debt.  Unsurprising, really, what with all the talk these days of corporate profits through the roof and rising (for no good reason) oil prices and Congressional budget-eering.  It’s all just more manipulation of the system so that the rich get richer and the middle class disappears.  Yes, this is just another shot at the middle class as the rich continue to wage their war (aided by the politicians) against it.

Global stocks sank Monday after a leading credit ratings agency warned of a deteriorating U.S. financial position and investors fretted over a debt default by bailed-out Greece.  Though Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed its triple A rating on the U.S., it downgraded its credit outlook to negative from stable, citing a “material risk” that policymakers won’t be able to agree on a plan to deal with the “very large” budget deficit.

Congrats, richie dudes.  The foolish public believes that you lot are honest and only have what’s best in mind for the public.


Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Total Depravity


More Kiwi Total Depravity… And She’s Old!

File this under “how stupid can you be?” of the day: Two women are facing drug possession charges after one was caught with marijuana in her bra. OK that’s bad but the reason the marijuana was found was that it was wrapped in foil, which set off the metal detectors at the New Zealand airport where they were attempting to board their flight.   The women, from Christchurch, New Zealand were apprehended at the country’s Queenstown Airport after repeatedly setting off metal detectors.  One woman, age 52, had 50 grams of marijuana dispersed throughout 28 individually foil-wrapped packets hidden in her bra, the “Southland Times” reports.

She’s been spending too much time with the Hobbins (shoot, typo) Hobbits.


Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Total Depravity


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Jesus’ Last Supper…

Rank speculation always seems to rear its ugly head around this time of year.

They didn’t sit like that either.


Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Bible, pseudo-scholarship


How Much is the Senseless War in Afghanistan Costing Us?

When I read stories like this I have to wonder how much money government officials are getting in military contract kickbacks.  This war will bankrupt us.

As Americans breathe a sigh of relief over finally filing the returns on what they owe (or are owed from) Uncle Sam this Tax Day, the progressive group Rethink Afghanistan wants them to consider how much of their money is funding the war in Afghanistan, now in its 10th year.  The group, a project of the Brave New Foundation, has created a Cost of War calculator, allowing Americans to figure out how much of their tax dollars are going toward the war, based on their income and filing status.  For example, a single person making $40,000 in 2010 essentially paid $1,694 for the war. A married couple filing jointly and earning a combined $100,000 has $4,757 of their tax dollars going toward the effort.  The United States is spending more than $100 billion a year in Afghanistan, amounting to about $2 billion a week.

Appalling and disgusting.

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Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


My Next Car: The New VW Beetle

Just so you know, my birthday is coming up in August.  If you’re looking for something to get me, this is it:

As the kids say (except when I say it, then they hate the very letters and syllables which comprise the word) – SWEET!


Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


Muslims in Malaysia Declare War on Christians

The Muslim Organisations in Defence of Islam (Pembela), comprising 20 groups, protested after Friday prayers at the National Mosque against Putrajaya’s release of Malay-language bibles and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s promise to never impound the Alkitab again.  A group of 30 men dressed in white shirts and skullcaps gathered at the main entrance of the mosque after prayers with placards saying “Allah is great! We Ansarullah (helpers of Allah) are watching you!”  Group spokesman Dr Yusri Mohamad said that the Christians are beginning to challenge and dismantle the status and sovereignty of Islam as the state religion.  “Pembela found that statements and actions (by Christian groups) are made to further challenge the sovereignty of Islam. This is not acceptable to Pembela because it implies that there is a larger agenda to be achieved by this group apart from the bible issues alone.

“Pembela believe that despite the bible issue there is a hidden mission to open the Muslim community in Malaysia to apostasy, or at least inject religious pluralism, secularism and extreme-liberalism which can erode the integrity and identity of Muslims in Malaysia,” he said while addressing a crowd of over 50 over a loudhailer.  Yusri also asked Christian groups to stop their confrontational approach and to apologise to Muslims for wounding the community….

Perhaps it’s radical Muslims who need to apologize to all the dead left in the wake of their senseless violence.

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Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Total Depravity


Spit and Dung and Other Cool Things!

I mentioned this briefly after ASOR last November and it has finally arrived!   FedEx just dropped it off.  Magness is a great writer and I’m looking forward to diving into it later on today.

In Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit Jodi Magness unearths “footprints” buried in both archaeological and literary evidence to shed new light on Jewish daily life in Palestine from the mid-first century B.C.E. to 70 C.E. — the time and place of Jesus’ life and ministry. Magness analyzes recent archaeological discoveries from such sites as Qumran and Masada together with a host of period texts, including the New Testament, the works of Josephus, and rabbinic teachings. Layering all these sources together, she reconstructs in detail a fascinating variety of everyday activities — dining customs, Sabbath observance, fasting, toilet habits, burial customs, and more.

I’ll note (and you’ll just have to read it for yourself because I’ll not be reviewing it) that there is a massive bibliography and miles of endnotes for the hearty soul looking to dive in even further.  This looks to be a real goldmine of useful information.  Thanks Jodi, for yet another contribution to our fascinating field.


Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Archaeology, Bible


If You’re Disabled, You Can’t Belly-Dance

NPR reports this morning

A New York City woman recently lost some of her divorce settlement money. She had claimed a car accident left her too injured to work. Then she blogged about belly-dancing performances. When her ex-husband found out about her hip-shaking hobby, he took her back to court.

Fraudster.  She is just one of millions.  Give a listen to the report when you can.

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Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Total Depravity


Remembering the 1906 San Francisco Quake

It was today in 1906 that a powerful quake essentially flattened the city of San Francisco.  There’s a little video of the event here.  Such things have always and will always happen.

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Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


Vile ‘Art’ Destroyed… Good!

Ausstellungsbesucher haben in Avignon zwei Werke des New Yorker Fotokünstlers Andres Serrano zerstört: «Piss Christ» zeigte ein in Urin getauchtes Kruzifix, «The Church – Soeur Jeanne Myriam» den Schoss und den Oberkörper einer meditierenden Nonne.

So reports

Naturally the museum is lamenting their destruction-

Der französische Kulturminister Frédéric Mitterrand nannte den Angriff auf die Bilder inakzeptabel. Er könne verstehen, dass das Bild «Piss Christ» schockieren könne, aber wer sich verletzt fühle, müsse sich an die Justiz wenden. «Jede Art von Gewalt, Zerstörung und Intoleranz ist nicht hinnehmbar», kommentierte Mitterrand.

I’m not. Calling filth, art, doesn’t make it so.

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Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture


It’s Tax Day…

To the minority of you who actually have to pay taxes and won’t be getting a refund (the refund people always file the moment they can) – here are some things you can get for free today to soften the blow.

I know Joel Watt’s wonderful wife Leigh Ann is a couponer so here are the ones she might want to make use of.  I know Joel will want the last one for sure!

Chili’s Grill & Bar The chain restaurant has printable coupons on its Facebook page for a free appetizer or dessert at participating restaurants on April 18.

Cinnabon Tax day offerings from the dessert spot include two free Cinnabon Bites from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. on Monday at participating bakeries.

Hooters The burgers and wings restaurant is offering an “instant rebate” to customers on April 18. For customers dining in, the purchase of 10 wings will net 10 wings for free. The deal is available at participating restaurants on tax day.

Who doesn’t love cinnabon?!?!?!

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Posted by on 18 Apr 2011 in Modern Culture