Daily Archives: 27 Apr 2011

A Very Trying Day and Loads of Stress

Storms have been rolling through the area all day.  It has been absolutely shocking the number of tornadoes and hailstorms and damaging winds along with copious amounts of rain and horrific lightning.

Indeed, an 8th grader who was down at the firehall along with some others was hit by lightning and rushed to the hospital.  Fortunately she will be fine.

Further south of us in northern Alabama over 40 people have died.  It’s been just dreadful.

Cited Disapprovingly By NPR…

But I’m not upset.

The essay discusses the narcissism of pop music and the author remarks, citing an authority,

… cultural changes have swung toward narcissism and pop songs have mirrored the swing, reinforcing “this idea in American culture that that we really need to focus on how people feel about themselves. You know, we can’t really threaten other people’s self-esteem. We can’t give them accurate feedback about who they really are.”

Apparently our essayist disagrees

Making these studies relevant to the people who actually listen to pop music inevitably requires a stretch. So when they’re covered in the media, they’re often pitched to concerned parents — “music contains tiny insects that invade your child’s pancreas and make her incapable of digesting protein” and stuff — so here, for parents, is a single paragraph containing all the relevant information science has to tell you about music:

Must be some rap loving hippie.  Anyway, here’s the concluding (and disapproving) bit- which I have emboldened for your ease of discovery

If you want your kids to be healthy, and to be smart, make sure they listen to music. Just not while they’re studying. If you want them to be happy, make sure they listen to music. As long as you’re okay with the fact that it’ll make them depressed. Oh, whatever. Your kids are going to listen to music, and they’ll probably be awesome. Just don’t be surprised when they remind you of that fact constantly.

Might I point out that, though I agree that crappy music makes crappy kids, I was in fact simply citing a study (with which I happen to agree).  So go ahead Mr Ganz, disapprove.  I’m ok with it.  (Though I hope being disapproved of by NPR doesn’t mean I’m a Tea Partier.  That would kill me).

Yeah Where are all the Moderate Republicans? Are they Like the Moderate Muslims? Just Hiding Somewhere?

Time has a great question and a good answer- what happened to all the moderate Republicans?

Why aren’t they moderate Republicans anymore?

Seriously, the early 1990s were a fecund time for policy thinking – especially for programs, like those above, that seemed to combine liberal ends with conservative means. There were severe blind spots, to be sure: both Bush the Elder and Clinton were in the thrall of Wall Street greedsters; Clinton, especially, worked overtime to prove his bona fides and eligibility for campaign contributions by joining in the parade of financial deregulation. But there did seem to be a mainstream consensus – or, at least, negotiable differences – on many, if not most, important issues. (See “Twelve for ’12: A Dozen Republicans Who Could Be the Next President.”)

Now we have this craziness. The Republican party has rejected all of the polices mentioned above, except for financial deregulation. It has gone off the deep end on taxes. It has denied the long-term economic and societal benefits of universal health insurance. It has gone into climate change denial…it is hard for any card-carrying Republican to say: I believe that Darwinian evolution is God’s plan. These sad realities probably led to Haley Barbour’s decision not to run for President and may well lead to the same decision for Indiana’s Mitch Daniels. They have led Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty to make mortal fools of themselves.

Are they so afraid of their loony fringe that they just don’t want to speak out?  Are they the political equivalent of the mythical ‘moderate Muslims’?  Do they really exist?  It doesn’t seem so.  Not if you go by their words or actions.

Paul Ryan: Hypocrite

With his father’s passing, young Paul collected Social Security benefits until age 18, which he put away for college….

Or, in other words, he went to school on the taxpayer dime but now he opposes it.  That’s the way politicians are- they don’t mind taking your money and using it for themselves- but they don’t want you to use your money as you wish (i.e., by not having to subsidize big oil).

Hypocrite.  I appreciate Cliff Schecter pointing the story out.

The First Images of Gabrielle Giffords

Thank God she’s improved so much.  Thank God.

A fragile but determined Rep. Gabrielle Giffords walked one careful step at a time today up the steps of a plane that will take her Florida to watch her husband blast off on the final mission of the space shuttle Endeavor..  The gritty walk by Giffords, who was wearing a padded medical helmet, was her first public steps since being shot in the head at a public event in January.

What a blessed woman she is.  I hope she knows it.  How could she not.

A Rough Weather Day

We’ve been keeping an eye on the sky here in the South today.  A line of storms came through earlier this morning and a tornado spawned just about 30 miles or so to the south of us and moved northeast.  Now we’ve got another line of storms coming…

(And fyi- I live just to the west of the ‘K’ in Knoxville on the right of the screen).

We aren’t anticipating any tornadoes, but who knows these days.

Total Depravity: The ‘Mother’ Who Sexually Abused Her Daughter, by Letting her Boyfriend do It

A Seymour mother and her boyfriend were arrested Tuesday in connection to the alleged rape of the woman’s 14-year-old daughter, according to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office. The arrests of Jonathan E. Myers, 39, and his girlfriend, Barbara K. White, 43, resulted from a joint investigation by the sheriffs office and the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Investigators received information that Myers, a registered sex offender from Texas, was living at White’s home and having sexual relations with her daughter. Detectives arrested the pair without incident at the home.

She’s no mother. She’s evil incarnate. Any woman (or man) that needs companionship so badly that they sell their children for it doesn’t deserve to live among the free. She, along with the pervert, belongs in prison for the rest of her life.

Here are the reprobates-  watch for them if they don’t go to prison:

Quote of the Day

Nina Burleigh notes it on Facebook-

“The most powerful fellow in the world was going to answer the most ridiculous question in recent political history—and the media was jumping up and down in anticipation.” — David Corn

Writing made easy with Writing Helper (via WordPress.com News)

Something for Joel!  (And more proof that WordPress is 1000 times better than blogger)

Writing made easy with Writing Helper We know the hardest part of blogging is actually writing posts. And most blogging software,  and even word processors, do little to help writers write. Today at WordPress.com we’re  proud to announce a new kind of feature, aimed at helping the writing process, called Writing Helper. It’s a new box that appears underneath the edit box on the Add a Post Screen (the entire box can be dragged to the right side if you want it next to the edit box, ins … Read More

via WordPress.com News

The (re) Publicans Have Gone and Angered the Old Folk

That’s the last thing they should want to do.  Old folk, unlike the young, have money, time, and interest in politics.  Get them annoyed and they’re more than happy to eviscerate you.  And it couldn’t happen to a better bunch of politicians than the self serving Republicans who constantly line their pockets with big money from big companies.  But guess what- there are more old people than there are big companies.

It looks like House Republicans are getting their own taste of what it’s like to try to explain nuanced healthcare policy to a fearful public.  A growing number of the GOP lawmakers are being met with public anger and outbursts at town hall meetings over the party’s proposal to overhaul Medicare.  The New York Times has a front-pager Wednesday chronicling the recent outburst from elderly voters who accuse the GOP of trying to dismantle the government program that provides direct healthcare coverage for retirees.

Good job (re)pubs.  You’ve slit your own throats.

Texas, Seriously, What’s Wrong with You?

A Catholic church turned away eight-year-old Kevin Castro of Floresville, Texas, from his First Communion because he had cerebral palsy, according to the boy’s family.  When the Rev. Phil Henning of Sacred Heart Catholic Church denied Kevin his first reception of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, Henning said the boy had “the mental capacity of a 6-month old” and didn’t have “sufficient knowledge of Christ” to participate in the religious rite, even though Catholic doctrine doesn’t specify what level of knowledge is adequate.

People with CP can comprehend things quite well.  I’ve known a couple of people who suffer from the disorder and their minds are quite sharp.  Silly priest.  There’s something in the water in Texas.  Via Antonio.

Ok Let’s All Say it Together: If You’re a ‘Birther’, You’re Just a Moron

I’m glad that Obama called out the birther loons in his news conference today.  It’s about time.  They’re nothing more than a passel of morons and aluminum foil hat wearing collective of crackpots and nutbags.

And I agree with Christian- what will Trump and his similarly idiotic cohorts have to talk about now?

Birthers- a word of advice: crawl back into your doomsday bunkers and stay there forever.  You’re nothing but a silly distraction and contribute nothing to the solution of problems.

Arrested- For Baptizing People

He was able to celebrate Easter Mass, but was detained and brought to the police station, on charges of of having baptized people. It is yet another violation of religious freedom by the authorities of Lang Son, K’Bang County  (central Vietnam), in the area of the Montagnards and it happened to Bishop Michael Hoang Duc Oanh, who was previously prevented from celebrating mass for Christmas in the same village.

Via.

Here in America you can baptize people all you like even if you have no idea what it means or how it’s done.  Sigh. I have a suspicion that we in the West will regret one day our apathy towards faith.  I think we already should be.

The Bible, Critical Theory AND Reception: A Conference Announcement

Another of the many I wish I could attend. I’ll be going to SBL though and can’t do both.

A ‘new’ and exciting conference: The Bible, Critical Theory and Reception Seminar University of Sheffield, 14-15 September, 2011 This seminar will be dedicated to some of the latest developments in biblical studies. Building on the success of the Bible and Critical Theory seminar and journal in the southern hemisphere, this approximate northern hemisphere equivalent will welcome papers in the general areas of critical theory, cultural studies and … Read More

via Sheffield Biblical Studies

A Peek Inside the Production of a Commentary Series

Eerdmans has posted an interesting essay by one of its editors describing the process involved in producing the Pillar Commentary.   Take a look.  It opens the curtain and shows how publishers decide how to proceed when it comes to a series.

The Contents of Zwingli’s Collected Works

Just because.  Here’s a very interesting essay describing the contents of Huldrych Zwinglis Saemtliche Werke.   Do enjoy!

Aww, It’s not the ‘Holy Grail’ Anymore, It’s a Byzantine Lamp

Some relic worshipers must be really disappointed today.

Q. Whatever happened to the cup at the Cloisters that some people thought was the Holy Grail?

A. The Antioch Chalice (right), as it is commonly known, was dug up near the ancient Christian center of Antioch, now Antakya in south central Turkey, about 1910 and was bought by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1950. In between, the New York dealer who owned it for much of that time, Fahim Kouchakji, periodically exhibited the slightly squashed-in, eight-inch cup, promoting it as the possible drinking cup used by Jesus and his apostles at the Last Supper.

And that’s what you get when you trust antiquities dealers.  Hype and rubbish amounting to nothing.

With thanks to Dot King for pointing out the story.

The Tomb of Joseph set Aflame

What insanity and inanity.  Antonio has the why and how.

Dozens of Palestinian Authority Arabs rioted at Joseph’s Tomb (Kever Yosef) late Tuesday night and set it on fire, one week after PA police murdered Ben Yosef Livnat after he prayed at the Jewish holy site. Local Arabs “celebrated” the murder by setting fires at the cave, the traditional burial place of the Biblical Joseph. PA Muslims have  desecrated Kever Yosef several times in the past, even burning  a Torah scroll. (continua…)

And then Antonio remarks in good Antonio fashion-

Questi sono i risultati del fanatismo religioso.

He’s also got a photo of the lunatics.

The Bible and Critical Theory is Back, And Open

The Bible and Critical Theory is back and now in open access.

The Bible and Critical Theory is an exploratory and innovative online scholarly journal for biblical studies, published by the Bible and Critical Theory Seminar. The journal explores the intersections between critical theory, understood in the broad sense, and biblical studies. It publishes peer-reviewed articles that investigate the contributions from critical theory to biblical studies, and contributions from biblical studies to critical theory. The journal has an active series of book reviews, which are published as they are ready.   BCT content is available freely on an open access basis. It is also aggregated by the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and is indexed by the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) Religion Database and Scopus.

Several bibliobloggers are involved as well.

Israel Finkelstein: In the Eye of Jerusalem

Israel has a fine essay in Forward which is must reading for those interested in the subject of archaeology.

Archaeological activity in Jerusalem has been sucked into a whirlwind of conflicting political agendas, and the site commonly referred to as “the City of David” is in the eye of the storm. At issue is a place of seminal importance for the Jewish people and indeed for anyone who cherishes the heritage of Western civilization.

When dealing with archaeology in Jerusalem, one must first know the facts. Otherwise it is easy to be led astray by unfounded historical interpretations or to succumb to misinformation from those pursuing their own political agendas.

Read the rest and learn.