Daily Archives: 29 Apr 2011

Leigh Anne Watts Was Not At All Pleased Today at the Wedding

The arrow points to her-

She’s had her fill of Joel and his blatherings about the royal couple.

And On Top of All That, Trump is a Racist, Once Sued for Refusing to Rent to Blacks

The Donald the Racist

In 1991, Trump was accused of making racial slurs against black people in a book written by John R. O’Donnell, former president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, called “Trumped!” O’Donnell wrote that Trump once said, in reference to a black accountant at Trump Plaza, “laziness is a trait in blacks.” He also told O’Donnell: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”  Trump called O’Donnell a disgruntled employee but he didn’t deny allegations made in the book during an interview with Playboy magazine in 1999:  “Nobody has had worse things written about them than me,” Trump says. “And here I am. The stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true. The guy’s a … loser. A …  loser. I brought the guy in to work for me; it turns out he didn’t know that much about what he was doing. I think I met the guy two or three times total. And this guy goes off and writes a book about me, like he knows me!”  Trump’s office has not returned several requests for comment.

And there’s more…

Yet the most damaging episode in the saga of Trump’s fractured relationship with the black community came in 1973, when his family’s real-estate company, Trump Management Corporation, was sued by the Justice Department for alleged racial discrimination. At the time, Trump was the company’s president. Just last month, at Trump’s Comedy Central roast, Snoop Dogg referenced the case by joking about Trump’s potential 2012 run for the White House: “Why not? It wouldn’t be the first time he pushed a black family out of their home.”

Am I anti-Trumpist?  You know it- I find him utterly reprehensible.  The more you learn about him, the less any truly sensible person could even consider supporting him.

Donald Trump Loves to Sue People Who Question Him

Because, frankly, he’s a master of dirtbaggery:

Do you need another reason — besides the tariff talk, the eminent domain trail, the inane birtherism, and, well, the hundred other reasons — to hope the presidential campaign of Donald Trump goes nowhere? Well, here’s another reason: he’s an aggressive, some might say abusive, user of lawsuits and threats of lawsuits against those who apply unwanted scrutiny to his business operations.

Twenty years ago, analyst Marvin Roffman of the Philadelphia investment firm of Janney Montgomery Scott predicted that Trump’s then-new Taj Mahal casino would have difficulty recouping its huge investment, in part because of its troubled Atlantic City location. As financial predictions go, Roffman’s was a very shrewd one, borne out by the later restructuring of the casino’s finances, which was costly for bondholders. At the time, however, Trump threatened the Janney firm in no uncertain terms: “I am now planning to institute a major lawsuit against your firm unless Mr. Roffman makes a public apology or is dismissed.” No profile in courage, the Janney firm proceeded to fire Mr. Roffman.

More recently, Trump pursued New York Times reporter Tim O’Brien and Warner Books through extensive defamation litigation (eventually dismissed) over O’Brien’s 2005 book TrumpNation, which placed a much lower valuation on the net worth of Trump’s empire than Trump thought proper or accurate.

With thanks to Doug Iverson for mentioning it.

What You Should be Reading if You’re Studying the Reformation

Heinrich Bullinger’s Reformationsgeschichte, 3 vols. (Franenfeld: C. Beyel, 1838-1840)

What You Should Be Reading if You’re Studying the Book of Revelation

Heinrich Bullinger’s Die Offenbarung Jesu Christi (1558) PDF.   Now there’s some fun reading!

If You Wish to Help the Victims of the Southern Tornadoes…

Here’s some information which may interest you-

Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief (TBDR) teams have been active all week since the first storms came through West Tennessee on Tuesday.  For the most part, our associational and church DR teams have responded in their local areas to the immediate needs of the local community.  As search and rescue operations have transitioned into recovery efforts, these local teams have begun clearing downed trees and assisting victims as they can.  Many of our local teams along with their churches have established small feeding ministries as needed.  The Sullivan Baptist Association feeding unit is set up at FBC of Greeneville and began serving meals on Friday night.  We do not anticipate much further in the way of feeding operations at this time.

On Thursday of this week, the Disaster Operations Center (DOC) was activated at the Baptist Center in Brentwood.  TBDR volunteers contacted every associational DOM or DR director in TN, for an updated assessment of needs.  In almost every instance, the local DR teams felt capable of handling the damage in their areas.  Where assistance was needed neighboring DR teams have been activated.  We do anticipate that as assessments continue and additional needs are discovered that additional teams may need to be activated to the hardest hit areas.  Both our state and local TBDR leadership are very sensitive to not overwhelming an area with volunteers.

On the regional level, Alabama was the most devastated state.  The Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief Ministry is working throughout the state and beginning to identify locations that need help and that can support (shelter and feed) volunteer recovery teams.  The Florida Baptist Convention is responding first, as they had no damage recently.  We do anticipate as fresh water and access is restored to many areas of northern Alabama, that Tennessee teams will be needed.  Our TBDR leadership is in regular contact with the Alabama leadership and will activate teams to Alabama as soon as they are requested.  Long-term recovery efforts in northern Alabama are expected to rely heavily on Tennessee teams.

A special fund has been established to assist in the immediate and long-term disaster relief efforts through the Tennessee Baptist Convention.  Churches and individuals may give on-line with a credit or debit card or by sending a check to TN Baptist Convention Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 728, Brentwood, TN  30724, with the designation, “DR – Spring 2011 Tornadoes and Storms.”

For the latest information on Tennessee Baptists response to the storms, check the TBC  web site regularly.

There are other aid agencies, but this is the one I trust to use donations well and wisely.

Joel Watts Gets A Tattoo to Commemorate the Wedding…

Joel’s excitement for the wedding carried him away-

Chris Tilling Was Spotted at the Royal Wedding!

He’s been quiet lately but that’s only because he’s been getting a makeover and preparing for the big day.  I didn’t watch, of course, because in Britain I’m known as a ‘republican’.  But one of my many sources was in the crowd and snapped this shocking photo of Chris as he arrived at the Church.  He’s the one in the front with the characteristically appallingly bad hat (actually styled from the hair combed up his back and over his head!)

This Would Have Been the Only Thing Worth Watching the ‘Wedding’ For

Jesus’ ‘Lost 40 Days’? – A Review of a History Channel Special

By Joe Lunceford in Bible and Interepretation.  And if Joe is right (and why wouldn’t he be), it sounds like yet another example of the complete rubbish the History/Discovery/NatGeo people like to subject society to:

Perhaps the weakest link in the chain of evidence presented was its reliance upon the genuineness of the Shroud of Turin. One of the participants in the program conceded that by carbon 10 dating, the shroud was dated between 1260 and 1390 CE. By using a work of art that apparently depicted the shroud, he argued for the much earlier existence of the shroud, although the actual difference between the time of the work of art and the shroud was less than a century. A great deal of the argument rested on the genuineness of the shroud. Take that away and much of the argument crumbles.

The Turin Shroud?  Nonsense.  The talking heads were

Bart Ehrman, Elaine Pagels, and Paula Fredrikson, along with several ministers of various denominations.

Not promising at all in terms of serious biblical exegesis.  After all, an avowed ax grinding atheist and a couple of folk who are at home in the study of religion but not biblical interpretation are not the best ‘go to’ sources.  Furthermore

Several careless statements or depictions also marred the presentation. For example, Mary Magdalene was said to have gone to Jesus’ tomb alone. This depends upon which Gospel one reads. Only John has her alone at the tomb. In Mark, she is in the company of Mary the mother of James and Salome (Mark 6:1). In Matthew, she is in the company of “the other Mary” (Matt 28:1). In Luke, she is in the company of Joanna, Mary the mother of James and the “other women” (Luke 24:10). Further, John 22:25 was taken as referring only to the “forty lost days,” though I find no basis for this in the text. Identification of the “disciple whom Jesus loved” as John and the author of the gospel raises serious questions, in my judgment. For John to have referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” would be extremely arrogant. I think this is one of the strongest arguments that John, son of Zebedee, was not the author of the Fourth Gospel. Further, presenting a picture of Thomas placing his finger in Jesus’ wounds is something else which is not supported by the canonical gospels.

I’m glad I skipped the program.  I would have just been annoyed by it.  It’s a shame that these shows don’t do a good job.  They could if they wanted to, but they’d rather consult the irreverent and controversial than authentic biblical scholars (of whatever shade).

Guns, Guns, Guns…

Police say an 8-year-old boy sold his father’s loaded gun to a fellow third-grader for $3 at their New York City school.  An alarmed mother told officials that her child brought the pistol home from Public School 107 in the Flushing section of Queens on Thursday.  The young seller and his father were taken into police custody.  The seller’s 54-year-old father, Ignacio Galvan, admitted he bought the gun, a Taurus semiautomatic, a decade ago for protection, law-enforcement sources said. He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. His son faces charges as a juvenile, cops said.

Leave your illegal guns lying around and perhaps your child can take them to school for sandwich money too…

John Paul II Is No Saint

So says none less than the great Hans Küng.

La titubanza nell’intervenire sugli abusi sessuali, il pieno sostegno ai Legionari di Cristo del ‘discusso’ Maciel, la crociata sul celibato ecclesiastico, la carenza di miracoli e l’inflazione di santificazioni dal grande valore mediatico. Uno dei teologi messi all’indice da Wojtyła ricorda i motivi per cui Giovanni Paolo II non è un santo.

There’s more.  One thing’s certain, Hans is no friend of modern Popes!  He thinks even less of Ratzinger.

Congratulations to Nathan MacDonald!

He’s received from the SBL

The David Noel Freedman Award for Excellance and Creativity in Hebrew Bible Scholarship

Brilliant, and well deserved!

Israeli Glee

No, not an Israeli version of Glee- Matthew Kalman’s grand essay about Israel’s glee at Syria’s turmoil.

There is no precise Hebrew translation of “schadenfreude” [ed. note- Schadenfreude is a noun and requires capitalization.  j.w.] so there is no single word that Israeli commentators could use to describe the reaction of the country’s leaders as they watched Syrian President Bashar al-Assad writhing under the pressure of the Arab world’s latest revolt.  Unlike Egypt, whose leaders were committed to peace with Israel, or Tunisia and Libya, which long ago became minor players in the anti-Israel coalition, Assad’s Syria is regarded as one of Israel’s deadliest enemies.

So naturally many Israeli’s are dancing with joy like it’s Purim and the wicked foe of Mordechai, Haman, has just hung himself.  Unfortunately there’s always another, worse Haman just around the corner.  I suppose they don’t know the old saying ‘better the devil you know than the devil that you don’t’.  The days may come, if the Islamists of the region gain control of Egypt and Syria and Jordan, that Israelis will look back on the days of Assad with mournful longing and lament through the tears their present Schadenfreude.

Donald Trump: Draft Dodger

As far as I’m concerned this is the last nail in his political coffin.  Anyone who supports him now is just willfully blind.  The guy is a coward, a liar, and certainly not fit to be President (of the local dogpound, much less the United States).

Selective service records Donald Trump didn’t want anyone to see show he dodged the Vietnam War due to a medical deferment, not a high draft number as he has claimed. The records indicate Trump was granted a series of student deferments before graduating from college, and then was deemed physically unacceptable for military service after he graduated.  The paperwork, obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration by thesmokinggun.com website, contradict what Trump has publicly said in recent days.  “I actually got lucky because I had a very high draft number. I’ll never forget, that was an amazing period of time in my life,” the reality TV star and billionaire real estate developer said in a TV interview on Tuesday. “I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers and I got a very, very high number and those numbers never got up to,” said The Donald, neglecting to utter the word “deferment.”  Trump, who is flirting with a run for the Republican nomination for President, was traveling Thursday night and could not immediately be reach for comment.  The bombshell document was released a day after President Obama accommodated demands from Trump and Tea Party officials for him to release his long-form birth certificate proving he was born in the United States.

What a dirtbag.  ‘Medical deferment’ indeed.  Code for ‘I was scared and didn’t want to serve my country so I pretended to be sick that day’.

And Certainly if Anyone Knows Stupidity First Hand, It’s Donald Trump

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fash...

Mr Stupid

Real estate developer Donald Trump unleashed a tirade of profanity in a speech at a boisterous Las Vegas casino as he assured a crowd of adoring supporters Thursday night that he is seriously weighing a presidential run and will make a decision soon.  During a 30-minute stump speech focused mostly on foreign affairs, Trump sprinkled in a number of insults directed toward the nation’s leaders.  “Our leaders are stupid, they are stupid people,” he said. “It’s just very, very sad.”

And, quite ironically, he wants to be the leader of the leaders- so doesn’t that make him the stupidest person of them all?  By all accounts Trump and stupidity are roomies and BFF’s.

Mind you, I have no use for politicians.  But Trump’s remarks are the premier example of the pot calling the kettle…

Gershon Galil: On the Khirbet Qeiyafa Inscription

Prof. Galil has been kind enough to send along a copy of his essay which has just appeared in UF 41 (2011).  Here’s the abstract-

This paper offers a new reading of the Khirbet Qeiyafa inscription. It reexamines its script, language, genre, and literary structure, as well as the identification of the site, and the implications of this important inscription for the history of Israel and its neighbors in the 10th century BCE.

In my opinion this text was written in the late Canaanite script, in Hebrew, and it was dictated by a teacher / father to his student / son. It indicates that there were scribes in Israel who were able to write literary texts and complex compositions as early as the beginning of the 10th century BCE. Khirbet Qeiyafa identified with Biblical Neta’im (1 Chron 4: 23), was built by King David as an administrative fortified centre on the border with the Philistines.

It testifies to a conflict that erupted between the Israelites and the Philistines after David was victorious over the House of Saul, and all the Tribes of Israel were unified under his leadership. The destruction of Khirbet Qeiyafa / Neta’im by the Philistines, as well as the destruction of Tell Qasile (X) by the Israelites, may indicate that the war between King David and the Philistines was more complex and lengthier than presented in the Book of Samuel.

It’s quite an extensive and absolutely thorough treatment of the inscription. Indeed, at 50 pages, it is the most extensive treatment to date. I recommend it to all those interested in the subject. Visit your local research library today!

Diarmaid MacCulloch: The King James Version

Professor MacCulloch has recently given a talk on the King James Version of the Bible which is available (free) as an audio file.  You can get it directly here.  Or you can go here and choose either to listen or download.

Prof. MacCulloch is the finest general Church Historian presently working and his lecture (interview, talk, speech, whatever you wish to call it) is informative and very, very interesting.  Give it a listen.

Scott Hahn: ‘Thy Kingdom Come’

There’s a live stream of a conference today and tomorrow which the interested can view here.  You have to register and it will cost you just north of $16 though, which is a bargain considering that the live-stream runs from 8 am till 6 pm both days.  The subject matter is the Gospel of Matthew and the speakers are Hahn, Bergsma, and Barber.

Go Away…

If you’re looking for something about something going on in London today.  That silliness belongs on the tabloid blogs and for that very reason alone you need to go elsewhere…