Daily Archives: 16 Jul 2012

What?!?!?! (Sarcastic Face) – Oil Prices Could be Rigged???

We all know they are and we all know that traders and speculators have been ruining our lives for a very long time.

A report commissioned by the G20 group of the world’s biggest economies has warned oil prices could be vulnerable to a Libor-style rigging scandal. According to the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the current system of oil price reporting is “susceptible to manipulation or distortion.” Benchmark prices are compiled by price reporting agencies. The biggest, Platts, says “there is absolutely no similarity” between Libor and oil. Trillions of dollars of securities and contracts are based on these oil and gasoline prices.

But of course they’re rigged. The system is set up to maximize profit because it isn’t people who matter, it’s money. It doesn’t matter how many homes are lost or lives brought to despair, so long as the wealthy continue to get wealthier. It’s all just more of the total depravity on parade all around us. And it won’t ever be fixed until hearts are redeemed and lives reformed.

The Department of the Treasury: Just more of the Same Government Perversity- Your Tax Money Was used to Hire Prostitutes

Treasury Department officials have been reprimanded for hiring prostitutes, golfing with the bankers they’re supposed to be regulating, and taking improper gifts, according to inspector general reports spotted by the Hill that were published following Freedom of Information Act requests. Though the identities of all the perpetrators were redacted, the documents shows that in 2010, an employee of the now-defunct Office of Thrift Supervision “misused” government resources to hire prostitutes on Craigslist on three occasions. The inspector general referred the case to prosecutors, but they declined to press charges. The official retired.

How anyone with at least half a brain can trust this government is just beyond me.  I think when I send my next quarterly tax payment I’ll include a copy of this story and ask them to make sure my money isn’t used to hire a whore.

More on the London Baptist Confession and Calvin

Over on Calvin 500, by Michael Dewalt (it’s the second post of two on the subject).  He reminds us that the confession includes, among its many parts,

Total Depravity — Article VI: first Eve, then Adam being seduced did wittingly and willingly fall into disobedience and transgression of the Commandment of their great Creator, for the which death came upon all, and reigned over all, so that all since the Fall are conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity, and so by nature children of wrath, and servants of sin, subjects of death, and all other calamities due to sin in this world and for ever, being considered in the state of nature, without relation to Christ.


Are We On The Cusp of Another ‘Great Depression’?

History does repeat itself for countries too foolish to learn its lessons-

My Dream Car

Fiat made headlines when it introduced a new line of stylish compact cars, and it’s making headlines again with its 500L model, which will come with a built-in espresso maker when it hits the market this fall.

I think you know what I want for my birthday this year. Go ahead, pitch in. Get me one.  I could live in my car.  I would live in my car.

Jerry Sandusky: Proving Yet Again the Truism- Once a Pedophile, Always a Pedophile

CNN emails

Police are aware of three men who say they were abused in the 1970s or 1980s by now ex-Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, CNN contributor Sara Ganim reports for the Harrisburg Patriot News.

The allegations are the first to involve claims of abuse by the coach before the 1990s. During Sandusky’s child rape trial, his defense argued that it is rare for someone to suddenly become a pedophile in their later years.

Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of child sex abuse against 10 victims. As the jury was deliberating, more accusers – including his own adopted son – were speaking publicly for the first time about alleged abuse.

Sandusky has probably been molesting kids since he was first able.  And he’s probably been protected by someone all along the way, just as he was protected by Paterno.  Once a molester, always a molester.  Now a molester, a molester for a while.  The molesting leopard never changes its spots.

The Azekah Excavation Begins!

It’s the first time since 1899 that the site has been studied!  Isn’t that amazing?  There are loads of photos here– and I note in a couple I’ve featured below that there’s a kid with a camera!  There’s always one of those people around at Conferences and digs and scholarly events making a complete nuisance of themselves, aren’t there?  😉

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Check out the Expedition on Facebook here and of course visit their website here.  Oh, and you can donate to their good work here (though I’ve tried, I can’t get it to work for me!).

Thank You Eric!

Eric Cline sent along this cool shirt from this year’s Megiddo excavation.  Thank you, Eric!

Why Kids Shouldn’t Be Having Kids

They’re simply too immature.  They don’t have brains developed sufficiently to take the responsibility seriously.  Here’s yet more proof:

Clarksville Police have charged a couple after their infant was found alone in a motel room.

Robert Louis Calles, Jr. and Brittany Faith Calles are charged with child abuse and neglect after a woman who saw the couple leave the motel without the child called the front desk. A clerk knocked repeatedly on the door and thought she heard a child cry. She opened the room and found the 9-month-old child wrapped in a blanket on the bed.

Police said the 19-year-old father and 18-year-old mother arrived about a half-hour later and gave different stories of why and how long the child was left alone.

That’s just ignorance.  Nothing sinister, just simple ignorance and immaturity.

Defending Mitt Romney

First, a disclaimer- I am not voting for Romney.  Nor for Obama.  Nor for anyone you’ve ever heard of for President.  That said, the state of politics in America today is simply stomach turning and disgusting.  How has it come to be that Americans are so blind and foolish as to support major party candidates when each and every such person is a deceptive self serving big money toady?

And how has it come to be that Americans are happy to sit back and let the media focus on idiotic issues that just don’t matter?  For example, who cares what Romney’s tax returns look like?  We all know he’s rich.  Get over it.  Politicians are always richer than the people they ‘represent’ (what a joke that is).  What does it matter if he earned $400,000 or $4,000,000,000?  Either way, it’s more than most of us will earn in a 10 year period.

And who cares what he did at Bain Capital?  So he closed businesses and outsourced jobs.  How many?  A tiny fraction of nothing.  Meanwhile hardly anyone, ANYONE, complains that American tax dollars are outsourced every single day in the billions to foreign governments who, like lazy American welfareites simply live with their hands out whilst secretly laughing at those who are stupid enough to throw money that doesn’t belong to them at the beggars.

Romney’s money doesn’t matter.  Our tax dollars do.  How they are spent matters.  When Americans are more concerned about the ridiculous misuse of their money maybe politicians will act right.  Don’t hold your breath, though.  Americans, like ancient Romans, are satisfied with any political situation so long as they can go to ballgames and ride their atv’s.

Volker Rabens Stuff for Download

Volker Rabens has made a number of his essays available for download in PDF.  See his CV here which includes a list of publications, many of which have download links.  He’s into New Testament stuff.  Enjoy.

The Jesus Scandals

David Instone-Brewer’s new book showed up some weeks ago courtesy the good folk at Kregel Publications for review.  I’m sure others will also be reviewing it since Kregel is doing a ‘blog tour’ of the volume (and my particular review is to appear between July 16 and July 20, which is why it’s being posted today).

Although Western culture has been shaped for centuries by Christian teaching, a closer study of the Bible reveals that we routinely ignore the uncomfortable heart of New Testament ethics. It’s too extreme, too confrontational. Even Christians pander to the world’s way of thinking, making the astonishing bland.

In The Jesus Scandals, Dr. David Instone-Brewer identifies thirty areas where Jesus challenged the assumptions and practices of His contemporaries with insights that provoked shrill opposition and that continue to generate debate today. Some of these issues are familiar to us, such as the killing of unwanted children. But Jesus also taught His disciples humility–to take lowly titles, to consider themselves less; the New Testament church soon chose to ignore that teaching, just as we continue to do today.

For each of these areas, Instone-Brewer challenges readers to apply these ethical ideas in our modern culture while remaining faithful to the text. Using easy-to-understand language and first-rate scholarship, The Jesus Scandals makes New Testament ethics accessible to any Christian.

Instone-Brewer is well known, I believe, amongst blog readers and the academic community and he is a scholar in the truest sense of the word.  My review is posted here.