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Weird Science 02-27-09

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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com http://robalini.blogspot.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 27, 2009
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Thanks,
      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist
      http://www.konformist.com
      http://robalini.blogspot.com
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/konformist

      Thanks to Rense.com for the following

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      ***

      http://stellarhousepublishing.com/david-mills-wwj.html

      Who Was Jesus?
      Fingerprints of The Christ
      A Review by
      David Mills
      Author of Atheist Universe

      Anyone who knows me personally already appreciates what a huge fan I
      am of D.M. Murdock (aka "Acharya S"). After reading-and thoroughly
      enjoying-her book Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ, my
      admiration of Ms. Murdock has climbed to an even loftier elevation.
      Murdock is one of only a tiny number of scholars with the richly
      diverse academic background (and the necessary courage) to adequately
      address the question of whether Jesus Christ truly existed as a
      walking-talking figure in first-century Palestine. This question, and
      many others related to New Testament reliability, are directly
      confronted and satisfyingly answered in Who Was Jesus? I loved this
      book. It is absolutely superb in every way, from the eloquence of the
      writing to the integrity of the scholarship. This book should be
      required reading in every American classroom.

      My personal recommendation is that Who Was Jesus? should be the first
      book purchased and studied by anyone, atheist or true believer, who
      wants to debate Jesus' existence and the Bible's veracity. Why the
      first book? Because Who Was Jesus? presents all the background
      knowledge from which any informed discussion of Christianity must
      proceed. In doing so, Murdock quotes the very voices of Christian and
      New Testament scholars, evangelists and apologists themselves,
      hoisting them on their own petards! Just as a diplomat could not make
      meaningful proposals for Middle East Peace without an intimate
      knowledge of the region's history, neither can any individual engage
      in intelligent discussion of Christianity without a working
      familiarity with the information in this brilliant volume. You should
      therefore make this book priority reading even over The God Delusion,
      God is Not Great and other excellent but, in my opinion, less
      important books than Murdock's.

      Amply citing Old Testament text to document how the New Testament was
      adaptively contrived from the Old by using it as a blueprint,
      Murdock's book focuses primarily on how the New Testament was put
      together, or should I say "thrown together." I have read many books,
      both by Christian apologists and resolute atheists, in which the
      authors displayed very poor understanding of what's actually found in
      the New Testament. Most people, including some New York Times best-
      selling authors, seem to derive their "knowledge" of the Bible from
      hearing their own pastors' sermons on Sunday mornings or, if they're
      atheists, from their distant childhood memories of their pastors'
      sermons on Sunday mornings. In either case, as Murdock points out so
      adroitly and entertainingly, our popular conception of what Scripture
      says is often completely at-odds with the text itself. Yes, most
      people remember that the first four New Testament Books are Matthew,
      Mark, Luke and John. But their knowledge of the Bible stops abruptly
      at that point. And even here, Murdock describes in a most fascinating
      way why these four Gospels were almost certainly not written in the
      order in which they currently appear, nor were they authored by the
      men whose names they bear, not even appearing in the historical
      record until over a century later!

      Murdock provides a splendid and concise summary of the events
      described in each Gospel account and shows how they are inconsistent
      with each other in innumerable details. She also presents a
      spellbinding analysis of the so-called "secular historical
      references" to Jesus. In each case, she reveals how this extra-
      biblical "evidence" is completely lacking and how, incredibly, even
      these dubious "historical references" to Christ were authored by
      writers who weren't even born until years after Jesus' alleged
      crucifixion. Even charitably interpreted, therefore, the extra-
      biblical allusions to Jesus are second-hand hearsay, or twenty-fifth-
      hand hearsay, and are of no value whatever in determining the
      accuracy of the New Testament. The fact that there are no
      contemporary historical references to Jesus argues against his
      purported existence, especially in consideration of his astounding
      alleged acts and widespread fame as depicted in the New Testament,
      other facts emphasized in Who Was Jesus? As Murdock further
      demonstrates, the New Testament is internally inconsistent as well
      and showcases within its own pages the best possible evidence against
      its Divine origin. My very favorite chapter began on page 139:
      Questions About The Gospel Story. If the battle between atheism and
      Christianity may be described as a philosophical and theological war,
      then this chapter provides your invincible arsenal of weapons of mass
      destruction.

      Ms. Murdock also describes Matthew's tale of newly resurrected
      corpses wandering the streets of Jerusalem following Jesus'
      crucifixion. Allegedly, these zombies popped back to life and walked
      away from their Jerusalem burial sites; yet there is not a single non-
      biblical historical reference to this unimaginably eye-popping event.
      Murdock points out that, in this instance-and in many other New
      Testament instances as well-the best explanation for the lack of
      outside references is simply that the biblical account was
      fabricated. Otherwise, we are left with the conclusion that no
      historian of the time considered such a mass resurrection of the dead
      to be noteworthy.

      I really enjoyed reading this book. It was an easy and pleasurable
      read. Even though I've been interested in this subject myself for
      over thirty years, there was a great deal of information that I
      learned from Ms. Murdock's book. The book puts together the text of
      the New Testament with texts of extra-biblical sources and integrates
      them with common sense and logic. The result is that an objective
      reader is left with the conclusion that the Bible is simply false.
      Murdock has stated that she doesn't tell her readers what to believe:
      She just presents the evidence. Perhaps so. But the evidence she
      presents is so compelling and so skillfully argued that the
      conclusion, it seems to me, is inescapable: Christianity is merely
      another ancient mythology, like Greek or Roman mythology. Murdock has
      devastatingly checkmated her theologically enslaved opponents in this
      debate.

      I don't know whether the remainder of my comments (below) belong in a
      book review, but I'm expressing them nonetheless.

      D.M. Murdock/Acharya S, like all authors on controversial subjects,
      has many critics. But they all share one commonality: They don't know
      what they're talking about. Murdock understands many languages and
      has a breadth of knowledge her critics cannot match. This fact irks
      the uninformed. Having given a fair hearing to some of her online
      detractors and their "rebuttal" videos, I have detected not only a
      lack of knowledge on the part of her critics, but also, in some
      cases, a thinly disguised misogyny. Objectively speaking, D.M.
      Murdock is an attractive and dazzlingly brilliant woman. This is more
      intimidation than some men can handle, even some atheist men. To
      those who follow the teachings of the Apostle Paul, who forbade women
      to even speak in church, it "logically" follows that Ms. Murdock
      should remain silent as well, especially since she is grieving the
      Holy Ghost. In plain English, Murdock is dealt criticism that would
      never befall an ugly old man in a monastery. I would like to think
      that 21st-century America is beyond such juvenile conduct, but that
      is sadly not the case.

      If you live in America and you are considered a "mainstream
      intellectual," you may proffer the most absurd arguments imaginable-
      and they are considered all well and good. But if you're viewed
      as "outside the mainstream," you may proffer the most carefully
      prepared, incontrovertible evidence possible, and you will
      nevertheless be viewed cynically by those who cannot be troubled to
      think through the issues for themselves and who must instead rely
      upon "appeals to authority" (a logical fallacy). Murdock's critics
      invariably fall into this slipshod and errant category.

      To summarize: D.M. Murdock's Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The
      Christ is unquestionably one of the finest and most enjoyable books
      I've ever read. It is thorough and scholarly, yet pleasurably
      provides invaluable knowledge on the most riveting of all subjects. I
      admire Ms. Murdock tremendously, as much for her personal courage and
      character as for her remarkable and vitally important volume.

      David Mills
      Author of Atheist Universe

      Acharya S/D.M. Murdock
      Author, "The Christ Conspiracy," "Suns of God," "Who Was Jesus?"
      and "Christ in Egypt"
      http://TruthBeKnown.com
      http://StellarHousePublishing.com
      http://TBKNews.blogspot.com

      ***

      February 22nd, 2009

      Dear Readers,

      The enclosed Resolution Against the Use of New Nuclear Power Plants
      to Solve America's Energy Problems passed this weekend (Feb. 20-21,
      2009) at a meeting of the California-Pacific Conference of the United
      Methodist Church, Conference Board of Church and Society. The
      Resolution was presented by Peter Moore-Kochlacs. Peter then took
      the document to Washington, where he is right now, presented it to 25
      people from various interfaith groups, and plans to present it to
      Congressional aides this Monday (February 23, 2009).

      I am deeply honored to have had a part in the creation of the
      Resolution, along with many other people, and I hope it will be
      widely distributed and endorsed. If you, or any group you are
      associated with, endorses this Resolution, please contact Peter and
      let him know:

      Peter Moore-Kochlacs
      PeterEco@...

      Sincerely,

      Ace Hoffman
      Carlsbad, CA
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---------
      Resolution against the use of new nuclear power plants to solve
      America's energy problems
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---------
      Whereas the Bible is clear that we are not to pollute our
      neighborhoods, the planet, and the poor, but are to be good stewards
      of all (Genesis 2:15, Isaiah 24, Jeremiah 4:2&7,Micah 6:6-8 & Matthew
      22:36-40), and

      Whereas the building of nuclear power plants, the generation of
      nuclear power and the plant's radiation byproducts have been proven
      to be very unhealthy to life, and

      Whereas, every step in the nuclear process is fossil-fuel intensive,
      including mining, milling, fuel fabrication, building the power
      plants, and even operating them -- let alone the fossil fuel and
      other resources which will be needed to care for the used reactor
      cores after they have been irradiated inside the reactor, and

      Whereas, the only safe nuclear power plant is one that does not
      exist, since no human structure (e.g. underground storage facilities,
      kick and roll burial of "low level" radioactive materials) can
      withstand the forces of nature, and

      Whereas, every step in the nuclear process is not only fossil-fuel
      intensive, but terribly polluting in its own right, starting with
      leakages of radioactive radon gas from the mine tailings, to the
      radioactive "shine" which emanates from the spent fuel casks, despite
      several feet of concrete and several inches of steel, and

      Whereas, our children are 100 to 1000 times more susceptible to
      radiation poison damage than adults, and

      Whereas, thousands of diseases which are caused or enhanced or
      exacerbated by radiation are so much worse for children who have no
      voice or vote, and

      Whereas, there is a very sound scientific reason why nearly $100
      billion dollars in research funding so far has produced nothing in
      the way of safe containments for nuclear waste (the scientific reason
      being that radioactive decay is far stronger than any chemical bond
      in nature -- known or postulated), and

      Whereas, money spent on nuclear power will buy, at most, half the
      number of jobs that money spent in developing and building cleaner
      energy sources, such as wind power, would buy, and the new energy
      would be delivered as much as ten years sooner, and

      Whereas, the nuclear industry is incapable of purchasing insurance on
      the open market, because the size of a catastrophe would bankrupt any
      and all insurance agencies, and

      Whereas, the Government does not provide adequate insurance (the
      Price-Anderson Act is a hollow shell which would hardly compensate
      any one after an accident); those few who would receive anything,
      would get fractions of a penny on the dollar, and

      Whereas, every operating nuclear power plant produces isotopes of
      plutonium and hydrogen and other elements which are the raw materials
      of nuclear bombs, and

      Whereas, every operating nuclear power plant has a list of security
      and safety violations, which if fully known and understood by the
      public, would create such an outcry that all current nuclear power
      plants would likely be shut down, and

      Therefore, be it resolved that the California Pacific Conference
      Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church insist
      that the United States Federal Government provide that no government
      money be invested in any nuclear power technology, except as maybe
      necessary to pay for shutting down the current nuclear power plants
      as quickly as possible and caring for their waste in as safe as
      possible a manner, and

      Therefore, be it further resolved that we oppose the building of any
      new nuclear power plants, their funding, or their approval and that
      the currently operating plants be closed as soon as feasible, and

      Therefore, be it further resolved that people who have already been
      harmed by nuclear power be both identified and compensated as best as
      possible, and

      Therefore, be it further resolved that cleaner energy alternatives
      such as solar, wind, geo-thermal (atmospheric vortex engines, ocean
      thermal energy conversion, low flow rate undersea turbines) and other
      workable and sustainable clean energy solutions be invested in by our
      Federal Government, instead of Nuclear Power Plants, and

      Therefore, be it finally resolved that this resolution be presented
      to members of the US Congress, other government bodies, public policy
      organizations, religious bodies and congregations of faith across the
      United States and World for their information and hopeful affirmation
      of it.
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---------
      Ace Hoffman
      Author, The Code Killers:
      An Expose About Nuclear Crimes High and Low, Large and Small, Far and
      Wide
      Free download: www.acehoffman.org
      phone: (800) 551-2726; (760) 720-7261
      address: PO Box 1936
      Carlsbad, CA 92018
      Subscribe to my free newsletter today!
      email: ace@...

      ***

      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?
      f=/c/a/2009/02/23/BAO416354C.DTL

      Ammiano bill would legalize marijuana in state
      Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer
      Monday, February 23, 2009

      SACRAMENTO -- California would become the first state in the nation
      to legalize marijuana for recreational use under a bill introduced
      today by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco.

      The proposal would regulate marijuana like alcohol, with people over
      21 years old allowed to grow, buy, sell and possess cannabis - all of
      which is barred by federal law.

      Ammiano said taxes and other fees that accompany regulation could put
      more than a billion dollars a year into state coffers at a time when
      revenues continue to decline. He said he anticipates the federal
      government could soften its stance on marijuana under the Obama
      administration.

      "We could in fact have the political will to do something, and
      certainly in the meantime this is a public policy call and I think
      it's worth the discussion," Ammiano said. "I think the outcome would
      be very healthy for California and California's economy."

      A spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Agency in Washington, D.C.,
      declined to comment on the proposal.

      The use of marijuana for medical conditions has been legal in
      California since voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996.

      E-mail Wyatt Buchanan at wbuchanan@....

      ***

      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?
      f=/g/a/2009/02/20/notes022009.DTL

      Smoke This Recession
      It's simple: First we tax the booze. Then we legalize the pot. Done.
      By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
      Friday, February 20, 2009

      It is a time of strange bedfellows and bizarre contortions and
      extraordinary responses to extreme situations, all overslathered with
      gobs of panic and dread and oh my God, I might have to sell the Range
      Rover.

      In other words, it is a time -- like you don't already know -- of
      plentiful alarmist rhetoric, resulting in weird outbursts of
      ingenuity and wanton ethics-loosening, all in a desperate effort to
      suck up some much-needed cash.

      Translation: Money's tight, baby. City's in trouble. State's deep in
      the hole. Nation's broke.

      Solution? Upend the system. Think differently. Get creative. Demolish
      Ye Olde Ways. And maybe get a really nice buzz on while you're at it.

      Where to begin? How can the city/state refill their empty coffers and
      further gouge the populace to make ends meet? Increased bridge tolls?
      A new per-mile driving tax? Heavier parking fines? State parks
      abandoned and left to seed? Child's play, darling.

      You want to raise funds in an instant? You want a sure-fire, double-
      barreled source of nearly limitless funds from a wary, burned-out
      citizenry? That's easy. Go after its biggest vices, its most beloved
      balms.

      Up first: booze. Already local governments are quietly proposing
      jacking up the alcohol tax and loosening sales restrictions because,
      well, why the hell not? Aren't you, right this very moment, as you
      prepare your taxes and weep over your gutted portfolio and stare down
      one very bleak 2009, more in need of a drink or three than at any
      time in recent history except for the entirety of the last eight
      miserable, Bush-stabbed years? Well, there you go. Tax increases on
      cocktails, here they come.

      But it's not just governments. Check out the happily shameless TV
      networks who, for the first time in a whocares number of years, are
      allowing ads for alcohol and K-Y lube during prime-time programming.
      Oh the outrage! Oh the debauchery! Who, pray who, will protect the
      children? Oh wait, the children are out buying daddy some more beer
      and applying for a job at Starbucks to help pay rent. Never mind.

      New taxes on the other Great American vices: porn, gambling,
      prescription meds, pro sports, obesity, Miley Cyrus? Watch for it.

      Now, let's get serious. Because there are, of course, bigger fish to
      fry in the sea of potentially lucrative, all-American inebriates.
      There is a far more potent, obvious solution to the state's budget
      woes, a huge, untapped revenue source, and now might be the perfect
      time to, you know, light it up.

      Really now, could there be a better time to decriminalize/fully
      legalize pot? Or, more fully, to decriminalize pot, and then spread
      respectable pot shops and vending machines and dispensaries far and
      wide, instill quality control and decent oversight and then tax the
      living hell out of the glorious, stress-reducing goodness, as we stop
      wasting billions fighting its grand ubiquity and instead sink into
      profitable pools of warm, hazy progress? Don't you already know the
      answer?

      It's difficult to imagine that some intrepid legislator hasn't
      already walked into Arnie "Pot is not a drug" Schwarzenegger's office
      and said, "Governator, now is the time. Light it up. Inhale the new
      reality. Pot is, by a huge margin, the single largest cash crop in
      the state unless you count porn stars and celebrity rehab. It rakes
      in upwards of $14 billion a year -- maybe a lot more than that -- and
      that's just from five clever hippies and a couple intrepid grandmas
      in Ukiah. Imagine what we could do if we went all-in."

      Are the discussions ongoing? Are they passing the bong of possibility
      around the state Senate chambers? You're damn right they are. What's
      holding them back? Probably the usual: the negative PR,
      looking "soft" on crime, encouraging permissiveness, pressure from
      prison lobbies, and so on. Don't worry, Sacramento. Everyone's
      already plenty drunk/high on prescription meds trying to alleviate
      fears of losing their job to care about that nonsense right now. Get
      to it.

      There won't be much pushback from D.C. President Obama's already
      stated that his upcoming appointee to head the DEA is going to knock
      it the hell off with the insidious raids of harmless medical pot
      shops in California, and wants to quit using federal resources to
      bash hippies and circumvent state laws.

      Look. Is there really anyone left who doesn't already know the "War
      on Drugs" is a pathetic joke, an abject failure and a taxpayer
      nightmare, and the only reason it survives at all is to fund the CIA
      and fellate the prison guard unions and support a shameful prison
      system, and to let politicians say they're "tough on crime" so they
      can to deflect all those uninformed parents who relentlessly whine
      about pot in public schools just before dashing off a wine-tasting
      party to snort a nice line of Bolivian coke?

      Anyone left, furthermore, who doesn't know that pot is far safer than
      booze, less addictive, nonviolent, more transportable, easier to
      light, and generally won't interfere with your ability to crawl
      across the carpet and lick cookie crumbs from your lover's thighs?
      And sure, while heavy, daily usage can make you slow and stupid and
      rather useless to the world, well, so can a six-pack of Diet Dr.
      Pepper and six hours of TV every day. Gateway drug? That's on Channel
      2, right after "Oprah."

      And another thing. Maybe it wouldn't be merely tax 'n' puff. Maybe
      California, already the pot-growing capital of the nation, could
      become something more. A hub. A world-class research center. Pot
      education, study, medicine, import/export, the works. We could ship
      our crop to various nations in desperate need of chilling the hell
      out, like Israel. Palestine. Pakistan. Russia. The N-Judah on a
      Friday afternoon. We could become the largest research and
      manufacturing center in the world. How proud we would be. You know,
      sort of.

      Let's phrase this grand scenario in another way: Why the hell not try
      it? What have we got to lose? What, we could go more broke? We could
      get more desperate and anxious? Fact is, economic nightmares need not
      breed only miserable stories of lost homes and lost jobs and
      shuttered businesses. They can also spawn creative solutions,
      innovative thinking, widespread munchies. Now is the time.

      Let's not get carried away. Pot's only one little inebriate, one mild
      and -- let's just admit it -- relatively boring feel-good plant.
      California is $40 billion in debt and we're running low on water and
      we can't give away those hideous tract developments out in Stockton.
      Milking the pot cow for all she's worth might net us, at best, a few
      billion a year. To get out of this massive hole, we'd have to
      legalize Ecstasy too. (Someday, honey, someday).

      But it's something. It's radical new thinking that's not the
      slightest bit radical, or new, and in fact the notion is now even
      more obvious than it's been for the past 30 years. What are we
      waiting for? A match?
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