Daily Archives: 16 Mar 2012

Naming Names in the Afghanistan Slaughter

The American soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan civilians — mostly women and children — is on his way back to the United States where he will be held before trial, the soldier’s lawyer and defense officials said today.  The shooting suspect, who has not been publicly identified, is expected to arrive at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas later today, attorney John Henry Browne told CNN, echoing the timeline defense officials provided to ABC News. The soldier had been held in Kuwait after he was spirited out of Afghanistan days after the alleged murders.

Browne, a high profile Seattle-based attorney who has represented the northwest’s infamous Barefoot Bandit Colton Harris-Moore as well as convicted serial killer Ted Bundy, disputed a New York Times report that his client had “snapped” before the shooting, saying that while his client was certainly stressed from living in a war zone, he did not snap.

And now he has been named: Staff Sergeant Robert Bales.

The Dumbest Headline to Come Out of the Ossuary Trial

Dumb?  Worse, it’s profoundly stupid and crassly idiotic.  Art Info might want to stick to art.  Their editors are dilettante’s at biblical studies and archaeology.

Here’s some art for you, Art Info-

Well deserved… ‘Congrats’.

Sebastian Moll: The Historical Jesus and Apologetics

New at Bible and Interpretation:  Sebastian observes

I would like to point out a feature of Schweitzer’s theology which is often missed: his concern with the historical Jesus is motivated by an apologetic agenda.

It’s a great and too short piece.  Enjoy.

Mike Daisey: Another Low Down Lying Rotten Dirty Scoundrel

Mike Daisey is a liar.

A highly popular episode of This American Life in which monologuist Mike Daisey tells of the abuses at factories that make Apple products in China contained “significant fabrications,” the show said today.

“We’re horrified to have let something like this onto public radio,” Ira Glass, the show’s executive producer and host said in a blog post today. “Our program adheres to the same journalistic standards as the other national shows, and in this case, we did not live up to those standards.”

The 39-minute piece aired in January and TAL says after 888,000 downloads, it became its most popular podcast. The story is compelling: It tells of the awful working conditions of Chinese workers making shiny Apple products like iPhones and iPads at factories owned by a company called FoxConn, which also manufactures products for other electronics giants.

Anything for fame, right Daisey?

In a press release, This American Life says it first learned Daisey had fabricated parts of his story when another public radio program Marketplace tracked down Daisey’s interpreter, who disputed parts of Daisey’s monologue.

One verse, Daisey, which you should memorize:  Revelation 21:8.

On Driving: A Wish

I seriously wish my car were equipped with photon torpedoes.  #fact

When You’re Vicious, Any Excuse Will Do

The soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers is expected to be flown to a U.S. military prison as early as Friday, a senior defense official said, as the soldier’s attorney spoke of the impact the fighting had on his client.

He had been, evidently, traumatized by action; or he’d been drinking; or it was caused by his brain injury; or… or… or…

The soldier’s attorney, Seattle attorney John Henry Browne, told reporters Thursday that the day before the rampage, he saw his friend’s leg blown off.

How many soldiers have seen exactly the same thing and never gone on any sort of murderous killing spree?  How many troops have imbibed the devil’s liquid and never gone a-killing?  How many have suffered brain injuries less and more severe than this fellow and never taken their weapon and shot children?

The truth is, the defense will undoubtedly offer every potential excuse in the book all in an effort to ameliorate the brutality, viciousness, cruelty, and perversity of this act.  Oh, and isn’t it curious that no one has ever said that the 9/11 terrorists were traumatized by violence and so they snapped and flew planes into buildings.

No, evil is evil whether it’s perpetrated by a person in a combat zone or a radical in an airplane.  But when you’re vicious, any excuse will do.

Quote of the Day

‎”Journalist” and “Professor” are to “Simcha” what “Bald” is to “Hair Color”. – Tom Verenna (reacting to this gem).

Grandparents…

Ya can’t beat ’em.  No, you really can’t! (And it isn’t new- but it’s new to me. Apparently it has been on YouTube for a year…)

The Perverse Government of Iran has Murdered Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been executed in Iran. He is the pastor who has been imprisoned and found guilty by the courts in Iran of being a Christian. Now he’s been executed in spite of international appeals to spare his life. He was hanged today. Where is the outcry from the White House over the murder of this innocent Christian minister? Where is the outcry from the church in America and around the world? The silence is deafening!  By: Michael Edds on Facebook (via George Athas).

Disgusting.  Absolutely disgusting.  And if true even more appalling given the fact that just 24 hours ago Iran declared that he would not be killed.

Funding Education, in 16th Century Zurich

On the 16th of March the following was promulgated by the Zurich city Council, at the urging of Zwingli and the other Clerics of the city:

Es ist angesehen, das man anfencklich ein erbere summ stimme, daby man zuo künftiger zyt blyben mög. Den beden schuolmeistren ietwedrem 80 schwerer stucken. Den ephebis, das ist: den erwachsneren junglingen, eim yeden all fronfasten 5 gl. und zuo sant Martins tag [11.November] 5 müt kernen; und nit me vom allmuosen nemen. Den jungen knaben, die man in künftigem annemen wirt, all fronfasten 6 oder siben pfund. Den beden griechischen leseren ansagen, das sy uff Joannis ietz künftig im 1529.jar [24.Juni 1529] angan söllend, ietwedrer uff ein gantze pfruond uff künftigs ze verdienen. Habend frag, wo man meister Frantz welle das überig gelt geben.

This was a relatively significant raise for the teachers of the city. The editors of the complete critical edition of Zwingli’s works write

So kann in dieser Schulfrage festgestellet werden, daß Zwingli durch seine Notiz und als Verordneter unmittelbar eine wesentliche Verbesserung der Besoldungen und der Stipendien erreicht hat.

Education has always mattered in the Reformed tradition.

Another Anglican Cleric Abandons the Church for Greener Academic Pastures

Dr Rowan Williams PC, DPhil, DD, FBA the 104th...

Guy who needs to trim his eyebrows and comb his hair

First NT Wright chucked aside his Bishop’s pointy hat to find pastureage in the green grass of academia and now Rowan Atkinson Williams is doing the same- to become Master of all that he surveys, Magdalene College, Cambridge University.

Archbishop Rowan Williams has today announced his acceptance of the position of Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge with effect from January 2013. He will therefore be stepping down from the office of Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of December 2012.  Dr Williams’ intentions have been conveyed to The Queen, who is Supreme Governor of the Church of England and who formally appoints the Archbishop of Canterbury.

And the Queen is – well I suppose – thrilled. Now she can be told who to replace in the Archbishopric (because she probably hasn’t darkened the door of a church since the last big wedding and wouldn’t know any Bishop’s without a scorecard).

Anyway, congrats, Cambridge.  You have a new Master!  And sorry, C of E – apparently folk just don’t really want to work for you these days.

The Disciples and Their Notebooks (?)

Jesus from the Deesis MosaicDid the disciples of Jesus walk around with notebooks and take notes of what Jesus said and did?  Michael Bird and Michael Barber think so.  Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t.

At any rate, it doesn’t matter because we don’t have anything they wrote down.  We don’t have ‘eyewitness’ testimony in the Gospels, we have ‘Mark’ (not a disciple) – ‘Matthew’ (a disciple on some lists and not others) – ‘Luke’ (not a disciple) ; and ‘John’ (not an eyewitness).  The Gospels, recall, are anonymous (in spite of Bauckham’s good work).

But suppose we’re generous and accept the notion that Matthew and John were in fact two of the original 12.  Their accounts are radically different from one another (everyone admits this), so that if they did write down what they saw and heard, they must have been following a different guy around a lot of the time.

Further, the other 10 disciples aren’t connected with ANY Gospel tradition (and no, not Thomas or Judas in spite of what the Neo-Gnostics would wish us to believe).

So what the disciples wrote down, if they wrote down anything, is as lost as what Jesus wrote in the dirt when they brought the woman caught in adultery was dragged before him is.

I suppose it’s helpful to imagine that Jesus’ disciples were diligent note takers.  But even if they were, they left nothing behind.  And even if they did, how can it be verified as stemming from their wax tablets?  The suggestion that they did makes for good bed-time stories- but like tales of dragons that kids like so much, the supposition is entertaining- nothing else.

Uh Oh Angry Atheists…

via Ref.ch