Tomb of Jesus Found? February 27, 2007Posted by Dan in Middle East, Must Read, Religion, Science, Video.
The truth is indisputable, 2000 year old tombs bearing the names of Jesus and his family have been found, and at least so far, are proving to be authentic. Scholars calculate the odds of this “family” being found together, and not being that of Jesus, to be around 600 to 1…. still within the realm of ‘random chance’ possibility. So ultimately, nothing is proven that can be interpreted as anything other than an article of faith.
Still, should the tomb prove to be genuinely that of the Biblical Jesus and his family, the fact that one of the other tombs bears the name of Jesus’ son would cast major doubt upon the accuracy of large portions of Biblical text. Such an error at the very heart of Christianity could potentially invalidate the entire religion in one fell swoop. If the New Testament is wrong about such a critical fact of Jesus’ progeny, and in actuality, claims the opposite to be true, then every other statement made within its text should be doubted; if not as historically accurate, than certainly not as the literal word of God (how could God make so many mistakes?)
It is through this chain of logic that the discovery gains so much meaning. But will Christians every truly accept that their most esteemed religious text could be flawed… and fatally so? Those who believe the literal truth of the Bible have managed to ignore things like Archeology, Astronomy, Biology, and Sociology in favor of things like Astrology and Alchemy (Don’t believe me? Read your Bible). So who are we to think that the addition of History into the mix would have any bearing on the minds of a true “believer”?
UPDATE: You can “explore the tomb” and the documentary at Discovery’s website.
Cheney Unharmed in Blast! near Afghan Base February 27, 2007Posted by Dan in Middle East, Must Read, News, Snipets, War.
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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An explosion outside the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan killed 19 people and wounded 11 on Tuesday during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, though the vice president was apparently not in danger, U.S. and Afghan officials said.
The blast happened near the first security gate outside the base at Bagram, killing 19 people, said Khoja Mohammad Qasim Sayedi, chief of the province’s public health department.
Maj. William Mitchell said it did not appear the explosion was intended as a threat to the vice president.
“He wasn’t near the site of the explosion,” Mitchell said. “He was safely within the base at the time of the explosion.”
Cheney, who spent the night at Bagram, ate breakfast with U.S. soldiers Tuesday morning, Mitchell said. He was expected to later meet with President Hamid Karzai after their meeting was scrapped on Monday because of bad weather that prevented him traveling to Kabul.
Cheney traveled to Afghanistan after a stop in Pakistan.
On Monday, Cheney — underscoring growing alarm in the West at how militants have regained ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan — sought Pakistani aid to help counter al Qaeda’s efforts to regroup, officials said.
However, Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf insisted his forces have already “done the maximum” possible against extremists in their territory — and insisted that other allies also shoulder responsibility in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.
Cheney, accompanied by CIA deputy director Steve Kappes, made an unannounced stop in Pakistan Monday en route to Afghanistan, where snow prevented him from reaching Kabul for talks with Karzai.
The vice president made no public comment in Pakistan, but a senior aide to Musharraf said they held detailed talks, including a one-on-one lunch of more than an hour.
“Cheney expressed U.S. apprehensions of regrouping of al Qaeda in the tribal areas and called for concerted efforts in countering the threat,” Musharraf’s office said.
He also “expressed serious U.S. concerns on the intelligence being picked up of an impending Taliban and al Qaeda ‘spring offensive’ against allied forces in Afghanistan,” the statement said.
The Musharraf aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not an official spokesman, said the two men “exchanged ideas and suggestions” on improving cooperation against terrorism. However, he said Cheney made no specific demands.
U.S. and British officials have praised Pakistan publicly for its role in arresting al Qaeda suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and for a string of bloody operations against militants along the border.
Five years after the Taliban’s ouster from power, however, militants have regained ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
There are signs of U.S. and NATO frustration at Musharraf’s limited success in disrupting Pakistan-based Taliban fighters, who are expected to step up raids into Afghanistan in coming months, and in trapping Taliban and al Qaeda leaders suspected of holing up in tribal areas of Pakistan near the border.
The Bush administration wants Musharraf to be more aggressive in hunting al Qaeda operatives, and has raised the possibility that the U.S. Congress could cut aid to Pakistan unless it takes tougher steps.
Musharraf told Cheney that Pakistan “has done the maximum in the fight against terrorism and ”joint efforts“ were needed if the fight was to succeed.
”The president emphasized that most of the Taliban activities originated from Afghanistan and the solution of the issue also lies within that country,“ his office said. The more than 50,000 NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan as well as Afghan security forces also share responsibility for policing the border, Musharraf added.
Cheney and Karzai are expected to talk about security along the Afghan-Pakistan border and the expected increase in violence by militants as spring thaws mountain snows.
The United States has 27,000 troops in Afghanistan. About 14,000 are part of the 35,000-member NATO force commanded by U.S. Gen. Dan McNeill. At Bagram, Cheney met with McNeill and Maj. Gen. David M. Rodriguez — the commander of U.S. troops — to discuss military operations, the security situation and reconstruction, said Maj. William G. Mitchell, a U.S. military spokesman.
Candidates Favorite Movies February 25, 2007Posted by Dan in Politics, Video.
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Not so much news, just interesting. These are the 2008 Candidate’s favorite movies:
Risque Photos of American Idol’s Antonella Barba – What’s the Big Deal? February 23, 2007Posted by Dan in Main, News, Politics, Sex.
Again… these photos are fine!!!! Like the poor Ms. Nevada, the text version of this story permeating through the media paints a different picture… literally. These are the photos which have caused so much controversy. Another great example of the media blowing things way out of proportion, just to find a scandal. And I’m sure we’ll hear over the next few weeks how American Idol is contributing to the sexualization of America…. We’ve been hearing all about what MTV has done. Personally, I’m sick of this. Times change, thats the nature of the world. And if one thing remains constant, its that those who can’t keep up are always left behind. I mean, does anyone really want to be Amish? Case in point. (I’m tired of our country being so far behind the rest of the world).
This is the infamous “topless girls at the beach” shot. They were friggin’ tanning!
And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of the rest of these:
Son of Key Iraq Shiite Arrested at Iran’s Border February 23, 2007Posted by Dan in Middle East, News, Politics, War.
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I’d say, you don’t get much more proof than this!!
BAGHDAD, Feb. 23 — The eldest son of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, perhaps the most powerful political leader in Iraq and the head of the dominant Shiite political bloc, was detained by American forces for several hours on Friday after traveling across the border from Iran into Iraq.
Angry advisors to Mr. Hakim denounced the detention as an insult and said American forces had beaten several guards after stopping the convoy on Friday. The son, Amar Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, is himself a senior official in Mr. Hakim’s political movement and has often taken a lead role in building support for his father’s political efforts.
An American military official declined to comment on the beating allegations, but said in an interview Friday night that the son had been detained because he had an expired passport and because he was traveling with people who had a large number of guns.
According to an Iraqi stringer for The New York Times, Mr. Hakim showed a passport that had an expiration date of September 17, 2007, and quoted him saying: “They claim the reason for the arrest was because my passport had expired, but as you can see my passport expires on the 17th of September.”
Two news agencies also quoted Mr. Hakim as saying that the Americans had dealt with him harshly, but neither news agency reported that Mr. Hakim had shown them an unexpired passport. Whether Mr. Hakim had a valid passport could not be confirmed by late Friday.
“They arrested me and my guards in an unsuitable way, and they bound my hands and blindfolded me,” he said. “They took our phones, bags, money, documents and the guards’ weapons, and sent us to an American base.”
“They claim the reason for the arrest was because my passport had expired,” he said, “but as you can see my passport expires on the 17th of September.”
The detention comes at a very delicate moment in the relationship between American occupation officials and Mr. Hakim’s party, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or Sciri, which has strong ties to Iran. American officials have increasingly accused Iran of fomenting violence in Iraq and supplying Shiite insurgents with the deadliest munitions employed against the American military’s armored vehicles.
Mr. Hakim met in Washington with President Bush late last year, but just weeks after the meeting American forces raided the Hakim compound in Baghdad and detained two Iranians, including one identified as a senior official of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
A senior advisor to Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, Haitham al-Husseini, described the son as being in his mid-30s and said he was considered an heir to his father’s political dynasty. Mr. Hakim also has a younger son, Moshin, who serves as a political adviser. Mr. Husseini said American forces beat some of the Hakim guards who were detained on Friday. An American military official declined to comment.
Mr. Husseini also said that American military officers had contacted aides to Mr. Hakim and had apologized for the detention, and some reports quoted the American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, as saying he was “sorry” that Mr. Hakim was detained.
A spokesman for the American embassy in Baghdad, Lou Fintor, said he did not know whether an apology had been issued. But he said that American forces were investigating.
“We’re trying to determine the facts,” Mr. Fintor said. “What I can tell you is that at this point we understand that Mr. Hakim was arrested by soldiers who were doing their duty. He was not singled out, and we understand the soldiers were following standard procedure since the border was closed. Once the facts of the situation were determined, Mr. Hakim was released.”
The detention led to a large demonstration in front of the offices of Mr. Hakim’s Sciri party in Basra by a crowd protesting Mr. Hakim’s treatment. A senior Sciri party official in Najaf, Sadr Al-Din Al-Qubanchi, called for a demonstration in Najaf. “This will shake the stability, and it’s an insult to the Iraqi Shiite alliance and its leadership,” he said.
Iraqi Insurgents Turn To Chemical Weapons February 22, 2007Posted by Dan in Middle East, Must Read, News, War.
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The third chlorine bomb to explode this year suggests that insurgents in Iraq have developed a deadly new tactic. Two deadly vehicle bombings this week and one last month used chlorine mixed with explosives devices. The chemical attacks left at least 12 dead and more than 200 hospitalized in the past week.
My God… how can we protect our troops and innocent civilians against Chemical Weapons?
One of the most commonly manufactured chemicals in the United States, chlorine was employed by the military during World War I as a choking agent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Exposure to chlorine gas can cause difficulty in breathing, coughing, burning in the nose, throat and eyes, nausea and vomiting, the CDC said.
Iran Navy Gearing Up for War February 19, 2007Posted by Dan in Middle East, News, Video, War.
In recent news, the Iranian Navy has been conducting exercises that may signify preparation for war. Given Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and unfettered hatred for our country, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their preparations are for a possible US strike.
The complications of nuclear proliferation are such that research into clean, cheap energy very much resembles the assembly of a weapons program, the explicit aim of which is the devastation of vast portions of the globe. So, how is one to determine whether a foreign country’s motives are for energy or war? Well, observing that country performing additional military exercises may be a dead giveaway.
Boys will be Boys… So Shut-Up about your Book, Lady February 19, 2007Posted by Dan in Main, Must Read, News, Politics, Religion, Sex.
I have been neglecting my blog for the past week… I know. But, work was crazy and the only news seemed to be about Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears’ shaved head, or some hikers stupid enough to get lost… none of which I actually consider to be “news” as the events have absolutely no relevance to anyone but those directly involved.
So imagine my surprise when today I was in my car and heard on CNN (satellite radio) that a 17 year old had been sent to jail for 10 years because he had sex. Thats absurd! Clearly some over-zealous father was upset that his daughter turned out to be ‘less than chaste’ and he exercised power he probably shouldn’t have to ruin the life of the boy who she “consensually had intercourse with.” Why did tax dollars pay for this? Why will they be used to pay for this kid’s incarceration? What a waste.
But, my real problem was this woman that CNN had on, who was giving her opinion of what the Bible has to say about sex. Of course, the average age of marriage 2000 years ago was shortly after puberty, the biological indicator, or in the mid teens, but this historical fact did not enter her argument for “family values.” Its not one I’m going to rehash here, but her main point was this: “People who wait until marriage live happier lives.” She actually said that, and I can’t believe the reporter doing the interview didn’t smack her in the face. Anyone who’s actually been married knows this is far from the truth, but thats ignoring the fact that what she said is absolutely impossible to prove or back up with evidence/study/research of any quality.
So where was the voice of reason in this “newscast”? Where was the sociologist (person who studies people) asking “What the hell are you talking about?” In fact, there was no expert of any kind. The woman herself wasn’t even a Biblical Historian (someone who studies the Bible), simply a devout believer with some B.S. Church of This or That credentials.
Where is the accountability in NEWS!? When did saying whatever you want replace factual descriptions of events? When did advancing some religious agenda become more important than the issue that A SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD WAS SENT TO JAIL FOR HAVING SEX!!!!!!!! This is when you take the time to talk about how screwed up our Courts are, not how screwed up our families are. You analyze what happened: why this kid ended up in jail, what occurred during the trial, what evidence was presented, and not why he wasn’t reading the Bible more!
…. My 2 cents
Iran Helping Iraq Video… What Do You Think? February 12, 2007Posted by Dan in Middle East, News, Politics, Snipets, Video, War.
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The latest claims made by the US Government is that Iran is aiding Iraqi insurgents in the fight against American Forces. Here is CNN’s report on the issue….
Iran has denied the claims (just as Saddam did), and perhaps this is the larger plan. They know that the US, and more specifically George Bush, has lost much of its credibility when it comes to intelligence gathering. Iran understands that real, solid proof of its involvement must be presented, and that we will not strike them otherwise.
So… what do you think?
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Barack Obama is Officially Running – Video of Announcement February 10, 2007Posted by Dan in News, Politics, Video.
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Here’s him declaring that he’s officially running for President: