Archive for June 3, 2010

of the Hymers report from 1988 Money Quote:

[Other Newcaster]: “Phones have been ringing upstairs from people who have had a lot of contact with him. Good and bad, right?”

Anson: “Right, you know I expected a lot of angry phone calls from the story yesterday—angry phone calls from his current members. And there have been a couple of those, but the overwhelming response has been from other former members. Other members than you’ve seen in these two stories, and they confirm everything that the others talk about.”

Forgetting just for a moment the attack on my friend, it is of course natural for a son to defend his father. If one is going to do so perhaps one might consider using one’s head as the charming Roxeanne explains:

If this young man wants to be a lawyer, and has yet to be accepted to law school, he will have the joy of explaining this little entanglement with the legal system on every law school application that he fills out. When he sits for the bar exam and attempts to be licensed in a state, he must also disclose this, in sufficient detail to enable the Character and Fitness committees to determine if he should be set loose upon the country with the ability to practise law. None of those various procedures require one to disclose whether or not one’s father is a cult leader; however, every personal encounter with the legal system must be discussed.

Or as the Sage has tried to explain to Groo: Brains before swords.

Speaking of oddities, Cardinal of the Archdiocese of the Rightosphere? Well I am passing the collection plate a bit these days.

In DeKalb country there is weekly political event that for 42 years has informed people about the issues and the candidates. That is the Tysinger breakfast.

Gene Wise Tells us of it’s origin

The years may have slowed Mr. Tysinger but it hasn’t stopped him from holding his weekly event.

How many pols today still quote Cicero? At the breakfast I attended there were several speakers candidates for State offices, house, senate and Attorney general.

People made their presentations and took questions from the audience. The biggest issue of the day was the School district indictments and Tom Bowen of the board gave an overview and took some questions.

The best line of the day belonged to Seth Harp running for Georgia State Insurance Commissioner: “Sacred Cows make great Hamburger!”.

To say this is a great idea is an incredible understatement. An event like this gives people the chance to touch on the issues and talk to candidates and pols of all levels, even more importantly said pols have an incentive to show up and be responsive to the needs of the people that send them to office.

I can not recommend this type of thing enough. It should be emulated in every state, maybe in every country in the Union. Perhaps if there were more of these breakfasts the Tea Party Movement would not be necessary.

…is a comment that should get more attention. Not so much over if Comedy Central should or should not be making their Jesus show. (Their souls their risk) or if it is an example of cowardice (it is) but a fellow named skydaddy brings up a point concerning the Gospels that every person should know:

… look at the manuscripts as any paleographer would, using the same rules:
#1: Older copies are better (since all we have are copies of copies, older copies have less chance of scribal errors)

#2: More copies are better (since you can cross-reference textual variants and suss out the likely original text)


Looking at most of the Classical literature (Socrates, Aristophanes, Plato, etc.) we generally have a dozen or so copies, with an 1100 year gap from the original to the oldest copy.

With Tacitus, we have 200 copies. No serious scholar doubts that we can accurately reconstruct Tacitus’ original writings.

With Homer, we have over 600 copies, with the oldest only 500 years removed from Homer’s life.

The New Testament documents are not even in the same ballpark. We have over 5,000 ancient copies of the NT documents, not counting the citations in letters written between Church leaders in the first few centuries. (We can reconstruct almost the entire NT from those second-hand quotes.) Counting those citations there are over 15,000 ancient copies of NT texts. The oldest copy (the Rowland Fragment – a bit of John 18) dates to within 60 years of its original writing.

And it is also worth noting that many copies of ancient philosophers were copies made by, you guessed it Catholic Monks who painstakingly copied and re-copied books in the days before the printing press.

There are a lot of people who are very desperate to deny the very existence of Christ. It doesn’t surprise me. If you can remove or re-define the existence of Christ than you don’t have to consider if he is what he says he is and deal with the implications thereof.

Via The Anchoress Ross Douthat hits it out of the park on this subject:

In the event, the synoptic gospels and Saint Paul’s epistles do make absolutely extraordinary claims, and so modern scholars have every right to read them with a skeptical eye, and question their factual reliability. But if you downgrade the earliest Christian documents or try to bracket them entirely, the documentary evidence that’s left is so intensely unreliable (dated, fragmentary, obviously mythological, etc.) that scholars can scavenge through it to build whatever Jesus they prefer — and then say, with Gopnik, that their interpretation of the life of Christ is “as well attested” as any other. Was Jesus a wandering sage? Maybe so. A failed revolutionary? Sure, why not. A lunatic who fancied himself divine? Perhaps. An apocalyptic prophet? There’s an app for that …

But this isn’t history: It’s “choose your own Jesus,” and it’s become an enormous waste of time. Again, there’s nothing wrong with saying that the supernaturalism of the Christian canon makes it an unreliable guide to who Jesus really was. But if we’re honest with ourselves, then we need to acknowledge what this means: Not the beginning of a fruitful quest for the Jesus of history, but the end of it.

This is why so many people go nuts over the sight of Christian symbols. That is why they are so willing to debase the faith and the faithful, if it was just a bunch of nonsense it would be ignored. If a person’s beliefs are solid they can stand up under fire as Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular has done for nearly 20 centuries. Likewise if one’s disbelief is solid it can stand Christian symbolism and belief. Why such a reaction to it all? I suspect that it is that fear that instinct in the back of their minds, that it’s all true.

Yesterday’s story on the Ga-4 forum broke through to the MSM in two different stories: First CBS:

When James Welcome, executive producer of the Newsmakers Live political forum, opened the show Wednesday night, he made this statement, “Tonight we are being called racists all over the web because we failed to invite Liz Carter.”

That’s quite a statement, CBS posed some tough questions but the most interesting thing that was said came at the end of the article:

(Vernon) Jones and (Connie) Stokes would not to participate in the forum unless Carter was allowed, so the organizers gave her a seat and allowed her to participate.

In terms of strategy this was rather smart of them. Cory Ruth is a good candidate and in an open primary a lot of black votes that might go to Jones & Stokes could go to a young dynamic fellow like Ruth so anything that can dilute his potential vote (particularly in a primary) would seem on its face a wise move.

The AJC also covered this and their story highlights the power of the new media:

“I just sent out one tweet,” said Liz Carter,

That one tweet led to posts on several major blogs and all kinds of national reaction, as for the debate itself. Ironically this was one of the topics that Cory Ruth brought up with me at lunch, the use of the new media to change the landscape.:

Once Carter showed up for the forum, the organizers allowed her to participate. Ruth and Carter were quizzed separately as GOP candidates and were friendly. Former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones and current DeKalb Commissioner Connie Stokes, the democratic candidates, complimented and criticized each other. Rep. Hank Johnson, the incumbent, did not show up for the debate.

The lack of congressman Johnson diminished the debate but considering the controversy not being there was likely a wise move considering blog headlines like this:

Obama endorsed rep Hank Johnson to participate in segregated forum The Other McCain 6-2-2010

Scheduling conflict or no, without actual knowledge of if the White or Hispanic candidates would be included showing up would have turned this story into yet another uncomfortable question for Robert Gibbs instead of a local story.

Incidentally I can’t for the life of me understand why the other two republican Candidates didn’t show up and try to get included. If you are going to try to win you have to have sharp enough elbows to push yourself forward.

A final quote:

In the end, the moderator praised Carter’s media skills.

“She is good, she is damn good,” Eaton said. “She was nobody yesterday. She is somebody today.”

I think how this plays in the Champion and the Crossroads News is going to be very interesting.

In my opinion this event allows everyone to exploit openings: Carter needs to schedule events in the Black community to show that she intends to fight for and represent every vote. Ruth has two advantages. He can use the strength of his statement and positions to appeal to voters in the northern Republican counties (where he does have some support already) while continuing to give black voters in the south an alternative to people they like, but may not agree with. (Johnson)

Meanwhile Jones can build on Johnson’s absence to push themselves as an alternative. Jones slogan of Jobs First is the right message and nobody doubts his energy and ability. Stokes needs to do the same but frankly in my opinion is squeezed between the popularity of Johnson and the large Shadow that Jones casts. It is a fine needle to thread but from what I’ve heard she is a rather competent woman and may be able to do it.

Johnson meanwhile sites back and lets all of them divide the vote of those opposed to him to prevent a runoff to set himself up for the general election.

If nothing else a race in a district that was thought of as “safe democratic” certainly hasn’t been boring.

Update: The Daily caller was on this too. Too bad they didn’t have a certain blogger on their payroll, they might have had an awful lot more data over there.