Daily Archives: 13 Dec 2011

Why Some Kids are Dumber than Bricks

The World’s Dumbest Christmas Tree Ornament

Some things are too stupid for words.  Really.

The Swedish Army Museum in Stockholm is coming under fire for selling Christmas tree ornaments shaped like hand grenades.  The Stockholm museum is selling the ornaments to raise money for Christian Aid, a charity that combats poverty and helps with disaster relief. The museum’s website says the ornaments are “a subtle reminder of those who are less fortunate than we are during the holiday season,” according to UPI.com.    But visitors like Elinor Lindeborg feel the grenade ornaments don’t really fit the “peace on Earth, goodwill toward men” sentiment associated with the season.

And then

“Quite simply I think it’s distasteful, especially if they are raising money for charity,” Lindeborg told Sveriges Television (SVT). “This is a museum frequented by children, and it’s hard to explain to them why there are hand grenades in the Christmas trees.”

No kidding.  The Swedish press likes it even less than the HuffPo.  Honestly, that kind of weirdness is expected of Texas.  But Sweden?  I’m disappointed (and I LOVE Sweden).

This Is Exactly Why China is Surpassing US and Taking over the World

In a word- dedication!

After reportedly throwing a temper tantrum on her way to school by sitting down in the middle of the street, a SUV ran over a little girl in eastern China, the Associated Press reports.   In an amazing group effort, bystanders lifted the SUV off the 5-year-old child, who was then sent to the hospital. Unfortunately for her, her mother still made her go to school the same day.

American parents would be too busy finding a lawyer and trying to get on local tv so they could be the recipients of fund raising efforts to actually take the uninjured little tot to school.

If Americans took the same pains to see to their children’s education, we’d be #1 academically (like we used to be before the dark days of snivelling parenting descended).

Hooray for you Tiger Mom!

Fat Eglon

James Aitken uploaded as essay today you’ll enjoy: Fat Eglon, in G. Khan & D. Lipton (eds), Studies on the Text and Versions of the Hebrew Bible in honour of Robert Gordon (VTS 149; Leiden: Brill, 2012), 141-54.

I confess to being unusually interested in this particular story from Judges. It’s just fascinating and the twists and turns drive knifelike into the gut of curiosity. Plus, the telling in Hebrew is funny as all get out!

Many thanks to Jim for uploading it.

‘She’s a Witch! Burn Her…!!!’

I hope your mind flashed right to the scene in the Monty Python film where the ridiculous mob calls for the witch to be burned which they themselves have made a witch by dressing her as a caricature of a witch. In case you aren’t familiar with it-

Now that you’re up to speed I’ll get to the point of the post: over in Saudi Arabia they executed a woman the other day because she was accused of being a witch. It’s not a joke or a skit or even mockery of the kind of nonsense so rightly on display in the quest for the Holy Grail. In Saudi Arabia the evidently believe there are witches and they chop their heads off.

And this is the intolerant country that won’t let women drive but that we are so dependent on we look the other way even though we can clearly see their horrific human rights violations. Our former President famously held hands and walked a quiet little path with their King. All because our thirst for foreign oil has robbed us of our senses and dignity.

A Saudi woman was beheaded after being convicted of practicing “witchcraft and sorcery,” according to the Saudi Interior Ministry, at least the second such execution for sorcery this year. The woman, Amina bint Abdulhalim Nassar, was executed in the northern Saudi province of al-Jawf on Monday. A source close to the Saudi religious police told Arab newspaper al Hayat that authorities who searched Nassar’s home found a book about witchcraft, 35 veils and glass bottles full of “an unknown liquid used for sorcery” among her possessions. According to reports, authorities said Nassar claimed to be a healer and would sell a veil and three bottles for 1500 riyals, or about $400.

She sounds like she did the same kind of thing our worthless deceptive pentebabbleist televangelists do- except they sell anointing oil and holy water along with handkerchiefs they’ve ‘prayed over’. And we don’t execute them.

Saudi Arabia- the world’s richest redneck land.

80,000 Manuscripts in the Vatican Library will be Digitized

Antonio the Vigilant reports

Alla Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana hanno iniziato a digitalizzare gli 80 mila manoscritti. Se iniziano ora finiranno nel 2020. Forse. Comunque, meglio tardi che mai.

I hope I’m around in 2020 to see it done.

Join the 2012 Archaeological Expedition at Megiddo

Here’s their website.

It’s your chance to join Eric Cline in the field.

For Those Pseudo-Pastors Who Talk about ‘Stuff’ From the Pulpit

Michael observes

Imagine a football world church service where you can punish a referee wayward preacher with an electric shock for straying from the text. I know what you are thinking; such an idea is just too insanely beautiful and wonderful and should be trialled in these mushrooming social centres called churches.

Brilliant idea: electrified pulpits.  Drift from the text and get 40,000 volts to show you the way back.  Brilliant.  I see a start-up company being born.

Or, we could just send the good Vicar to have a word with them.  Either way, I think they’ll get the point.

Epic Taekwondo Battle… Of Cute Tiny Children

It’s either that or Chris Tilling and Joel Watts going at it. I think they’re kids because Chris and Joel are pacifists…

Lowe’s Is Wrong and the Florida Family Association is Racist

Politicians and activists slam Lowe’s choice to stop advertising on a reality TV show about Muslim Americans. The home improvement chain says it did so only after the show became a ‘lightning rod.’

Nonsense. The show isn’t a lightning rod of any sort except for fringe elements who see in every Muslim a terrorist and in every head-scarf a murderer. Such groups as the FFA don’t deserve the attention they too often receive. They are no different than the Quran burning pseudo-pastor or the hatemonger Phelps and his evil clan (or more properly, Klan).

Lowe’s has acted in a cowardly fashion and the FFA is a sub-Christian racist association whose aim seems to be to spread hatred and fear. There is nothing Christian in such hatred and bigotry and the world needs to be told so clearly and precisely by every Christian worthy of the name.

Home improvement giant Lowe’s Cos. continues to come under heavy criticism from activists, some politicians and customers after pulling its ads from a reality TV show featuring Muslim Americans.

The North Carolina company decided to stop advertising on the show “All-American Muslim,” on Discovery Communications Inc.’s TLC channel, after complaints by the Florida Family Assn., a conservative Christian group that lobbies companies to promote “traditional, biblical values.”

Liars. Show me one place in the Bible where Christians are called to hate. And make no mistake, it’s hatred that drives the FFA.

Agnostics, non-angry atheists, and other people of good will not associated with authentic Christianity, please don’t make the mistake of lumping us all together with the FFA. We have as little to do with their mindset as Light has to do with Darkness.

And Lowe’s, don’t worry- I won’t boycott you now because I’ve never shopped you before. And have no intention of doing so.

The Telegraph and the Guardian on the Question of ‘The Jesus Nails’

The Telegraph reports Simcha’s suggestion that the nails of Jesus’ crucifixion have been found.  Dan Bahat responds

“Nails can be for example of a wooden sarcophagus in which the deceased was laid until his body decayed and decomposed and then put into an ossuary. So the possibility of finding nails […] is not something which should have too much meaning.”

More than that, the suggestion is nothing more than supposition piled on top of fantasy.  There’s just NO WAY that a couple of nails found in the back drawers of the IAA can be connected with Caiaphas’ ossuary and EVEN if they could be- there’s NO WAY to connect those nails to the crucifixion of Jesus.  It’s all just nonsense.

And why’s it being mentioned again unless there’s a TV special coming out or a book about to be published?  This nonsense was debunked by everyone 8 moths ago.

It’s nothing more than the misuse of archaeology for the sake of personal profit.  There’s no way to spin it otherwise.

The Guardian (back in April) did a better job than the Telegraph in showing this absurdity absurd, cleverly linking these nails with such rubbish as the Turin Shroud and the Jesus Towel.

Canadian-Israeli director Simcha Jacobovici’s The Nails of the Cross is the veteran investigator’s second film claiming to have discovered artefacts linked to Christ. He also directed 2007’s The Lost Tomb of Jesus. But experts have poured scorn on the latest findings, suggesting that the film is little more than a publicity stunt. However, this time around, Jacobovici says he has historical and archaeological context for his claims.

“What we are bringing to the world is the best archaeological argument ever made that two of the nails from the crucifixion of Jesus have been found,” he told Reuters. “Do I know 100% yes, these are them? I don’t.”

The Nails of the Cross suggests the artefacts were found in the grave of Jewish high priest Caiaphas, who according to the New Testament sent Jesus to his death after handing him over to the Romans. They disappeared centuries ago but were later tracked by Jacobovici to the Tel Aviv laboratory of an anthropologist who is an expert on ancient bones.

And

The Israel Antiquities Authority, which oversaw the excavation of the tomb – it has since been resealed – cast doubt upon suggestions that the grave was definitively the burial place of Caiaphas, and said nails are commonly found in such locations.

“There is no doubt that the talented director Simcha Jacobovici created an interesting film with a real archaeological find at its centre,” said a spokesman. “But the interpretation presented in it has no basis in archaeological findings or research.”

The last sentence says it all.  So if you want to buy Simcha’s theory go ahead.  Just know, it’s a cotton candy spun whole cloth out of a non-naked non archaeologist’s imagination.  It is the equivalent of von Daniken’s ‘Chariots of the gods’ as legitimate interpretation of the evidence.

The Orthodox Rabbi Who Dislikes the Fusion of Religion and Politics in Israel

Reports Reformiert Kirche

Was sonst fast nur säkulare Israeli ansprechen, prangert nun laut «NZZ» vom 13. Dezember auch ein orthodoxer Rabbiner an: die Fusion von Religion und Staat in Israel. Damit hat Dov Halberthal sich ins Kreuzfeuer einer Kritik manövriert, die aus seinem eigenen, schärfer werdenden religiösen Lager kommt.

Specifically,

Dov Halberthal begründet seine Haltung «auf der Ebene des jüdischen Glaubensverständnisses gegen die Politisierung der Religion», so die «NZZ». Der mit der Staatsgründung einsetzende Prozess einer nationalistischen Politisierung der jüdischen Religion habe mit der Zeit zu einer Paralyse fundamentaler Werte des Glaubens geführt – zu einer Umkehrung jüdischer Werte, die heute die ganze israelische Zivilgesellschaft betreffe. Wenn sogar die Tötung des potenziellen nichtjüdischen Feindes legitimiert werden könne, dann sei die Heiligung des Menschen durch die Heiligung des Bodens ersetzt.

Pay particular attention to the last sentence- it’s wisdom:

Wenn sogar die Tötung des potenziellen nichtjüdischen Feindes legitimiert werden könne, dann sei die Heiligung des Menschen durch die Heiligung des Bodens ersetzt.

Would that all parties in the Mid East were that insightful.

The ‘Gay’ Penguin Goes Straight

This ought to annoy certain radical activists:

One of the male penguins from the infamous “Brokeback iceberg” couple, has found a female mate.

Which only suggests that he and the other chap weren’t gay at all but just good friends who had been forced to live together and now the little lad – having been shown a girl – has found a girlfriend and taken up his spot in nature’s design.  Or maybe since they are Canadian they were just mistakenly viewed as gay by some wishing them so to be.  You know how the Canadians are…   Anyway-

Take that, radical activists!

Toronto’s zoo separated a pair of male penguins, Buddy and Pedro, last month to boost numbers of the endangered birds. The birds’ unlikely affection for each other drew headlines around the world with cries of “Brokeback iceberg”. The zoo said today that following the forced separation, one of the penguins, Buddy, has mated with a female. Pedro has yet to get lucky, but officials say it’s not for a lack of trying. The birds’ separation was one zoo officials said was necessary because penguins are an endangered species and the two needed to mate with females.

So ha! The survival of any species is called into question when heterosexuality is abandoned.