Daily Archives: 19 Aug 2011

How Arminians Debate…

Source. Via Madeleine F. on the FB.

BBC: Winner of the Ambiguous Headline of the Day

I wonder why Nigerian gunmen are shooting dead police officers…

Have You Seen Bill Clinton Lately?

He’s convinced me to be a Vegan!

“I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat now,” Clinton said in a recent CNN interview. Guided by doctors who have recommended a plant-based diet, he now weighs 185 pounds and is so inspired by his new lifestyle that the Clinton Foundation has partnered with the American Heart Association to promote healthy eating and exercise in 12,000 schools across America.

Why did Clinton go this route? For the same reason that my dad radically changed up his diet and exercise after suffering a major heart attack and undergoing a triple bypass. My dad was 69 at the time and is a strapping 85 years old now.

Have you ever been in a cardiac intensive care unit? Your tube-to-orifice ratio exceeds unity, and the constant beep-beep-beep of the heart monitors and scurrying around of the nurses makes sleeping mission impossible. Bottom line: It’s a scary place that you don’t want to return to if you can prevent it.

My dad swore he’d never go back and he hasn’t. You get one ticker and when it’s aching, it sends the fear of the Lord through your mind and body.

So, motivated by two very frightening events, Clinton read the handwriting on the wall. It was time to take the gloves off and bag every food that could possibly contribute to his ongoing struggle with heart disease.

Out went dairy, eggs, and meat, with only a parsimonious amount of oil used. Cholesterol comes from animal products and the hope is that by eliminating those foods, you’ll also prevent more plaque buildup and possibly augment the healing process in previously clogged vessels.

The key is to decrease inflammation and support heart health with the natural vitamins and minerals found in veggies, fruits, legumes and grains.


You may not know it but heart disease runs in my family.  My mom died at 56 (though to be fair she did smoke 2 packs a day for 40 years) and I myself ended up in the emergency room around 10 years ago with heart issues.  So Veganism, here I come.  If it works for the McDonald’s guzzling Clinton, it can’t hurt me.

I Wouldn’t Say it Because it’s Stupid…

No one ever actually ‘throws up’ at mention of gay marriage.  But the larger question is- does an individual no longer have the right to be disgusted by behavior they find reprehensible?

We’re all disgusted when someone murders a child.  We’re all disgusted when women are abused.  We’re all disgusted when wars are waged.  Should we be disallowed the privilege of saying so?  Are we cowed into silence because we don’t want to offend the pedophiles or the wife abusers or the practitioners of beastiality?  Or is there a line which we are no longer to cross – a line determined by whom exactly?

A Florida high school’s “Teacher of the Year” has been suspended for an anti-gay post he wrote on his Facebook page last month.  Jerry Buell, a history teacher at Mount Dora High School in Mount Dora, Fla. wrote on his Facebook page that he “almost threw up” when he was having dinner and news came on of New York’s decision to allow same-sex marriage showed up July 25.  “If they want to call it a union, go ahead,” Buell wrote, according to ClickOrlando.com. “But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool as same-sex whatever! God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable???”

What’s wrong with this chap? Doesn’t he know he isn’t allowed to think his own thoughts or express his own opinions? This isn’t America, it’s Saudi Arabia.   Oh hold on…

Some Interesting Essays from 51 Years Past

In Zwingliana. This one is especially good: Zwinglis Auslegung der Propheten, by Gerhard Krause. Enjoy it.

What Makes a Hooligan? Disengaged Parents

In an interesting and worthwhile essay we read

Youth are the makers or breakers of any society. A society where family structure is robust, will more likely turn youthful energy to nation building. Where it is weak, however, that is a recipe for the kind of disorder we have seen on our streets recently.

Children are by nature inquisitive, adventurous and prone to rebellion. They are idealist, impressionable and often vulnerable. Without a strong moral ‘mooring’ and an anchor in the community – anchors which come from family and community, from those also at the top of society – they may enter the world without a moral compass. The tendency to rebel against the status quo is embedded in their nature, and without strong discipline (there is a fine balance between freedom and discipline in childhood), young people may turn towards antisocial activities. Schools are often at the sharp end of this indiscipline and delinquency. With rising family problems, such as domestic violence, and mixed messages on parental rights, parents are often at a loss what to do. A blame game amongst parents, schools and society makes the situation worse.

Do read and ponder it all.  Troubles in society really do go back to the most basic building block of society: the home.

Pseudo-Science as the Opium of the University!


Pseudowetenschappelijke theorieën zijn in hun absurditeit moeilijk over het hoofd te zien. Dat wil echter niet zeggen dat ze representatief zijn voor de bestaande desinformatie, want daarnaar is nooit onderzoek gedaan. Er bestaat andere soorten:

  • slechte logica (een vak dat nog maar zelden aan studenten wordt onderwezen),
  • ongecijferdheid,
  • misleiding (40% van de archeologische persberichten bevat onnauwkeurigheden; de NASA weet er ook wel raad mee),
  • contaminatie met religieuze aannames,
  • verouderde informatie.

Van deze wonderlijke boom van verkeerde kennis is de pseudowetenschap slechts één tak. Geloof me: het gebeurt ook aan de universiteit zelf. Denk maar aan religieuze contaminatie. Astronomen die heel goed weten dat het Scheppingverhaal uit de Bijbel niet letterlijk mag worden genomen, nemen de Bijbel wél letterlijk als ze met kerstmis een stukje schrijven over de Ster van Betlehem, een metafoor waar geen enkel astronomisch feit achter schuil gaat.

A very nice essay indeed!  A good old fashioned spanking!

I Get so Enraged Sometimes

The local news is reporting

Tennessee state agencies have been told to assemble plans for cutting up to 30 percent from their budgets in preparation for expected reductions in federal spending. A letter sent by Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes calls on agencies to submit their plans for two sets of 15 percent cuts by Wednesday. Emkes says in the letter that national credit rating agencies have asked the state how it will respond to deep cuts in federal spending, which make up about 40 percent of Tennessee’s annual budget.

What is it about basic economics these politicians don’t get?   Funding cuts = job cuts = higher unemployment = less taxes raised = less income = more funding cuts… are they REALLY that idiotic? Really? I think if anyone should lose their job it should be elected people. They’re USELESS.

Ashkelon Excavation Report, Volume 3

Larry Stager has sent along the Table of Contents for the newly published volume 3 of the Ashkelon report:

The volume is available along with volumes 1 and 2. Details here.

What America Needs

Is people with a work ethic. People willing to labor ‘by the sweat of their brow’ who aren’t so scarce that they are demonized as ‘workaholics’ or ‘work addicts’ or ‘addicted to work’.

America has become fat and lazy because Americans have become fat and lazy and being a couch potato is now a badge of honor rather than a mark of shame.

Download the Zwinglius Redivivus Toolbar

Here, for IE (does anyone use that anymore?) or Firefox.  It’s customizable and very useful.

Syria Continues to Eat Its Young

Syrian forces shot dead 14 protesters Friday despite President Bashar al-Assad’s pledge that his crackdown on dissent was over, activists said, as thousands marched across Syria, spurred on by U.S. and European calls for him to step down.

Meanwhile, back in the US and Europe… oh that’s right, just talk.   Syrian pledges are as meaningful as, yes, Syrian pledges.

Muslims and Atheists are Liked Better than Tea Party Members

No surprise there really since most Americans rightly see that the fringe lunatics have sent to office persons willing to bring the entire world down on the heads of the poor just so the rich can continue getting richer.  What isn’t despicable about that and who but the most self-centeredly depraved see it otherwise.

In an op-ed article in the New York Times, Robert D. Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard, and David E. Campbell, a political scientist at Notre Dame, say they have collected data indicating that the tea party is “less popular than much maligned groups like ‘atheists’ and ‘Muslims.'”

No- no surprise at all.

The Republicans in Congress Are Intentionally Destroying the Economy

Just so they can elect (they hope) a Repub to the White House.  But what they must not realize is that the contempt of the people of America will be aimed directly at them.  They aren’t destroying the economy to win the White House, they’re just destroying the economy.

There is plenty for Congress to do, and plenty that has happened in recent months to shock them into action. But they are not acting. There is no evidence that slowing growth, stagnant joblessness, or market turmoil has moved anyone on the Hill into thinking the economy needs even a whisper of added support. If anything, positions are hardening. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sent his members a memo arguing they could help end policy uncertainty by “stopping the discussions of new stimulus spending.” This is what Morgan Stanley was worrying about when it worried that America might tip back into recession because of “an automatic tightening fiscal policy if, as our US team currently assumes, this year’s fiscal stimulus measures will expire.”

What should happen next is not that hard: Congress should pass legislation greatly increasing support for the economy now and reducing the deficit by about $4 trillion over the next 10 years ($3 trillion once you include the discretionary cuts in the debt deal). It’s not rocket science, and it shouldn’t be partisan. Ask ex-Reagan adviser Martin Feldstein, or ex-Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson — or read Jackie Calmes asking them — and you’ll hear the same thing. This is just standard economic theory. But Republicans in Washington are not going to apply it.

Has there ever been a group of politicians more selfish than the group presently inhabiting Congress?  What a despicable lot.  THe next time a politician tells you they care about the average Joe, call them a liar, because they are.

Germany Isn’t Britain

And the Germans won’t tolerate the widespread violence that plagued Britain.  They’re used to fringe loons doing stupid things and they know how to deal with them.  And it isn’t with a velvet glove of ‘oh the poor dears just have it so hard let’s accommodate their every wish’.

Three nights of arson attacks on cars in Berlin have left Germans worrying that their capital may be on the brink of its own form of copycat violence that ignited London and quickly spilled over into other UK cities this month.  While Angela Merkel, the chancellor, said she “hoped” and was “somewhat confident” that Germany would be “spared events like we have recently seen in London and other cities”, other politicians worried that the lure of media attention could dash such expectations.

And then the Polizei will see to them.  And that – as they say – will be that.

Life in the Gulag

One thing about living in the sticks is that services like phone and internet can go out for no apparent reason at all.  Last night our internet just stopped working.  No biggie, I was going to bed anyway.

Unfortunately it still was out this morning and naturally there’s no one in the office till 8:30 to even report it to.  So it looks like it will be out a while.

If you’re wondering how I’m posting, I’ve had to come to Oak Ridge and I’ve stopped at Starbucks with my netbook.

At the same time that the internet went down, so did AT&T wireless and even any out of area calls on the landline.  So something bad is at hand.  Some major disaster must have stricken the sad little hickish lines…

Posting may or may not be possible today.  It all depends on the competence of the engineers.  I’m not hopeful.

More anon.