Daily Archives: 5 Mar 2012

The Sinking Ship Called The SS Limbaugh

Sponsors are dumping him like an old pair of smelly, decades old sneakers and radio stations are turning him off like a supermodel is turned off by members of the SBL.

Two radio stations announced Monday that they have dropped Rush Limbaugh’s show from their stations in the wake of the talk show host’s offensive comments about law student Sandra Fluke.  WBEC in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, along with KPUA in Hilo, Hawaii, both said that Limbaugh’s words — he called Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” for her advocacy of insurance coverage of birth control, along with other incendiary remarks — had crossed a line for them.

Limbaugh might want to rename his ‘network’ the ‘Excessively Idiotic Buffoon’ network because it most certainly isn’t excellence in anything.

Quote of the Day

“A man was meant to be doubtful of himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.” G. K. Chesterton

And Now 9 of Limbaugh’s Sponsors Have Cut Ties

The AP has the story-

Another advertiser is dropping Rush Limbaugh, the ninth company to do so since the conservative talk show host’s derogatory comments about a Georgetown law student.  Tax Resolution Services Co. and AOL Inc. both said Monday that they will suspend advertising on Limbaugh’s show.  Tax Resolution Services CEO Michael Rozbruch says his firm is pulling ads for now. The company has endorsements from Limbaugh and other conservative broadcasters on its website.

Soon the only groups supporting Limbaugh will be Westboro Baptist Church and Al Qaeda.

Fear of a Nuclear Iran is Irrational

And fear of a nuclear Iran is overhyped, suggests Paul Perrin in an essay sure to boil the blood of many.  He notes

the Israeli government, which has led the way in talking up the danger of an Iranian bomb, represents a significant hazard outside Washington’s control. It was most likely the Israelis, for instance, who orchestrated the provocatively timed attack on Roshan. Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently dialed down the heat somewhat by saying that an Israeli decision to strike Iran was “far off.” But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, mindful of the U.S. electoral calendar and the possibility that Barack Obama might pull off a victory in November, may see a temporary opportunity to precipitate a conflict in which a preelection U.S. president would feel obliged to join in on Israel’s side.

Israel’s objective in stirring the pot is patently self evident: to engender support for war against Iran- ‘preemptive’ war because Iran ‘might’ possess the capability of a nuclear attack (a capability we all know Israel itself already possesses).

Yet even without an Israeli decision to start a war, recent U.S., Iranian, and Israeli actions already constitute an escalation toward one. Rising tensions have increased the chance that even a minor incident, such as a seaborne encounter in the Persian Gulf, could spiral out of control. And Iran’s own covert actions—perhaps including the recent spate of car bombs targeting Israeli officials in India and Georgia and last year’s bizarre alleged plot to blow up a restaurant in Washington, D.C., and kill the Saudi ambassador—feed even more hostility from the U.S. and Israel, escalating further the risk of open conflict.

But more to the present point

What difference would it make to Iran’s behavior and influence if the country had a bomb? Even among those who believe that war with the Islamic Republic would be a bad idea, this question has been subjected to precious little careful analysis. The notion that a nuclear weapon would turn Iran into a significantly more dangerous actor that would imperil U.S. interests has become conventional wisdom, and it gets repeated so often by so many diverse commentators that it seldom, if ever, is questioned. Hardly anyone debating policy on Iran asks exactly why a nuclear-armed Iran would be so dangerous. What passes for an answer to that question takes two forms: one simple, and another that sounds more sophisticated.

It’s a brilliant analysis which policy makers should attend to reading.  And there are 4 more pages of it after the first (so it’s not the sort of shallow analysis most politicians will offer).

The Far Right Does Love to Brandish Their Swords

And they love war, as long as they get to send other people to fight.  Which is why the Repub candidates all love AIPAC and all adore any opportunity they have to lambast Iran and threaten war.  Or as Andrew Rosenthal observes

Iran represents one of the world’s most grave foreign policy challenges, but don’t look for much gravity in the speeches to American Israel Public Affairs Committee this week by the top three Republican presidential candidates. There will be plenty of empty fist-shaking and ridicule of President Obama at the pro-Israel lobbying group, but not a single new thought for preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

The three candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – have consistently been at their most dangerous when discussing the Middle East, combining a simplistic bellicosity toward the Islamic world with a reflexive agreement with the Israeli right. They routinely misread the American Jewish community and the electorate at large as being monolithically in favor of military action against Iran.

Read his entire essay here.  Via Irene Hahn on FB.

More Good News: Another Advertiser Has Pulled The Plug on Limbaugh

AOL is the eighth advertiser to drop Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in reaction to his derogatory comments about a law student.  AOL Inc. said Monday that “one of our core values is that we act with integrity. We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh’s comments are not in line with our values.”

Limbaugh’s comments aren’t in line with any civilized person’s values.  His comments are in line with the values of the Taliban.

AOL spokeswoman Caroline Campbell said advertising on Limbaugh’s show was “not a significant investment for us.” She declined to say which products AOL advertised on the show, or whether its ad purchases were recent. AOL is an Internet portal and runs local news websites, the TechCrunch blog, and the Huffington Post.

Finally, A Truthful Fortune Cookie

via Michael Acidri on FB

Mr Obama, Why Do You Want Israel To Be Our Master?

Bibi says that Israel has to be its own master.  Well, Mr Obama, the United States should be its own master and not be mastered by Israeli policy.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. President Obama Barack on Monday that it is his responsibility as Prime Minister to make sure that Israel remains its own master.

Stop letting Israel play you (and US) for the fool.  Wake up, Mr President.  Wake up.

Netanyahu ended by saying that Israel must be able to defend itself, “by itself,” against any possible threat.

Good, let it.  Stop selling weapons to Israel.  Stop sending aid to Israel.  Let it do as it wishes, on its own.  Stop kowtowing to Tel Aviv Mr Obama, it’s shameful and absurd.  Stop acting as if the United States needs Israel more than Israel needs the United States.  Stop being a servant to Israel and be President of this Country.  Or move to Israel and run for office there.  And take Israel’s lobby in Congress with you along with Hagee and his heretical Christian Zionists and AIPAC.  After all, if they really love Israel as much as they claim to, they should, by rights, live there.

The ‘Trial of the Century’ Verdict Due March 14

According to BAR (with thanks to Tom Verenna for the tip) –

The Biblical Archaeology Society has learned that Judge Aharon Farkash of the District Court in Jerusalem will announce the verdict on the alleged forgery of the famous James “brother of Jesus” Ossuary on Wednesday, March 14 at 9 a.m. (2 a.m. EST).

Finally.  But more importantly- a court decision is totally irrelevant in terms of the authenticity or in-authenticity of the second part of the inscription.  The best scientific minds have declared it bogus.  What the courts determine concerning Golan et al has no bearing on the facticity of the science.

Courts aren’t competent to assess such matters, they’re only competence is the law.  So the verdict is meaningless either way.

The Simcha Strikes Back

Mark Goodacre writes

Simcha Jacobovici, who has recently been appointed professor of religious studies at Huntington University, has answered critics of The Jesus Discovery in a couple of venues, on James Tabor’s blog and now in comments on the ASOR blog.   My favourite line in Prof. Jacobovici’s comments on the ASOR blog is the following:  At the end of the day, I think there is a principle in British common law that serves us well i.e., if it quacks like a fish, and flaps like a fish, and waddles like a fish – it’s a fish!

One observation- Huntington must be completely desperate for publicity.  Jacobovici being a Professor of religious studies is like Cargill being a professor of marketing.

Patricia Heaton is Rush Limbaugh’s Soul-Mate

Patricia Heaton apparently agrees with Rush Limbaugh when it comes to Georgetown student and birth control advocate Sandra Fluke. The Everybody Loves Raymondactress tweeted a series of attacks aimed at Fluke last week, then deleted her Twitter account, Mediabistro reports. Some of the highlights, as preserved for posterity by Crooks & LiarsAngry Black Lady, and Fanity  …

Go here to see the grotesque insults.  Hopefully she will lose her job too (hoping that Limbaugh does).

Talpiot and the Manipulation of Evidence to Suit a Claim

Robert Cargill has a – strictly speaking – withering critique of the methodology of Tabor and what Cargill correctly writes is very much worth your time.  Here’s a snippet

… there is reason to believe that an image that has been circulating in the press as part of the marketing campaign in support of the new book by filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and University of North Carolina, Charlotte Professor, Dr. James Tabor, entitled, The Jesus Discovery, and Mr. Jacobovici’s forthcoming documentary, has been digitally manipulated in such a way as to lead the reader toward a desired conclusion. That is, the image making the rounds in the press and published by Dr. Tabor on the Bible and Interpretation website has been digitally altered and made to look like an engraving of a “great fish” on an ossuary discovered in Jerusalem, in order to support the authors’ rather sensational claim.

What’s more, in Dr. Tabor’s article, the manipulation of the photo of the “fish” on the ossuary has been made without any acknowledgment that the image has been manipulated.

Go to the link above for the rest.  I think that the Discovery Channel needs to know what they’re about to air.  I’ve notified a contact at the Associated Press and I hope that the word gets out to the mainstream media that this ‘discovery’ has more methodological holes than a giant fish-net.

Luther in Art

Now here’s a fine looking volume!

Eine zweite geänderte Ausgabe des Erfurter Luther-Almanachs 1511-2011 ist neulich erschienen. Die Erfurter Grafikerin Uta Hünniger hat den Almanach als ein Künstlerbuch mit Texten und Bildern konzipiert.

In kurzen Textbeiträgen zum Almanach erläutern Professoren der Universität Erfurt und einige Gastautoren fünf ausgewählte Schriften Luthers aus der Anfangszeit der Reformation. Die Bilder zeigen Impressionen aus Erfurt, so wie man sich die Stadt, ihre Bürger, ihre Universität und ihre Klöster in der Zeit Luthers vorstellen kann.

Nice!

Studia Antiqua Back Issues

With thanks to Graciela Noemi Gestoso Singer for mentioning this on FB.

Have you Forgotten About Syria?

You shouldn’t.

People fleeing the central Syrian city of Homs have told the BBC that security forces are committing atrocities there. One woman told the BBC’s Paul Wood on the outskirts of Homs that soldiers had slit the throat of her 12-year-old son on Friday – a day after rebel fighters withdrew from the Baba Amr district. She said 35 other men and boys from her area had also been detained and killed. The government has denied the Red Cross access to Baba Amr for four consecutive days, citing security concerns. Activists have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe. Electricity, water and communications have been cut off, and in recent days temperatures have plummeted and snow has fallen. Food supplies are said to be dangerously low, and many people are too scared to leave.

This has long been a humanitarian crisis.  And continues to be.

Not Saints, Sinners: The NFL’s Despicable Bounty Hunting

One of the New Orleans Saints coordinators has admitted to paying bounties of up to 50K for game ending hits on opponents.

Now that the NFL has uncovered a big-money bounty program for players in New Orleans, it likely will zero in on other teams Gregg Williams worked for.  That means the Titans, Redskins, Jaguars and Bills probably should all expect to hear from the league soon.

Williams has admitted and apologized for running a bounty pool of up to $50,000 over the last three seasons that rewarded players with thousand-dollar payoffs for knocking targeted opponents out of games while he was the Saints’ defensive coordinator.

He will meet Monday with NFL investigators in the New York area, according to two people familiar with the NFL’s investigation of the bounties. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because details of the continuing investigation are not being disclosed. ESPN first reported the meeting.

Completely despicable.  It was such a paid hit – apparently – that caused the serious injury Peyton Manning suffered.  Williams is a completely depraved violent criminal and he should be put on trial for at the very least, assault and battery.  And he’s not alone.  According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Players were willing and enthusiastic participants in the program, contributing regularly and at times pledging large amounts. Between 22 and 27 defensive players contributed funds to the pool over the course of three NFL seasons. In some cases, the amounts pledged were both significant and directed against a specific opposing player.

And

Although head coach Sean Payton was not a direct participant in the funding or administration of the program, he was aware of the allegations, did not make any detailed inquiry or otherwise seek to learn the facts, and failed to stop the bounty program. He never instructed his assistant coaches or players that a bounty program was improper and could not continue.

The New Orleans Saints?  Hardly.  A new team name is required.  I recommend the New Orleans Sinners.  Or maybe more accurately, the New Orleans Sociopaths.

Attitudes toward Dogs in Ancient Israel: A Reassessment, by Geoff Miller

A 2008 essay from JSOT about dogs in Ancient Israel has been uploaded by its author to Academia.edu, and you can access it here.

Antiquities Trafficking

In Greece 44 people have been arrested for antiquities trafficking.

Greek police arrested a total of 44 people for illegal antiquities trafficking after they investigated the group’s moves for months, officials said on Sunday. Police said they confiscated 9,200 silver and bronze coins dating from the 6th century BC to Byzantine times (4th to 15th century AD). They also confiscated 300 “small artefacts.” The ringleader of the group, a 66-year-old retired customs official, would often travel abroad to arrange for the sale of the coins, police said. He, along with his two brothers, a daughter-in-law and another relative, formed the core of the group, while the other 39 would excavate in several places in northern and central Greece at the ringleader’s request. “We conducted 55 separate searches on Saturday,” regional police chief Vassilis Kanalis said in northern Polygyros, 360 miles northeast of Athens. “This was the culmination of a great investigation which began six months ago.”

Silly Greeks – don’t they know the real money is in fake antiquities, false claims, tv specials, and book deals?

When the Osteens and Other Cultists Come Calling