Saturday, December 25, 2010
When Republicans take control of the House next month, they plan to lift a ban on the use of gadgets like the iPad, iPhone or Blackerry while conducting business on the House floor, and members can use the devices as long as they don't 'impair decorum'
December 25, 2010:
Just in time for Christmas, Palestinian Authority TV comes out with shows extolling the fact (at least among Palestinians) that Jesus was a Palestinian and the first Palestinian martyr. Christians believe that the Romans executed Jesus to placate a faction of the Jewish clergy who opposed the message Jesus was putting out. Jesus was known as a popular rabbi, and was accused by the Romans of claiming to be "king of the Jews." Some Jews (who later became Christians) accepted Jesus as the long awaited messiah. But most Jews, and all Moslems, do not. Moslems believe Jesus was a prophet sent by God to the Semitic Jewish tribes of what is now Palestine. This is an important point, as Palestinian propaganda considers Jews who don't look Semitic (Arab) to be polluted by alien blood and thus not welcome. The Semitic Jews of Israel (the descendents of those expelled from Arab countries in the late 1940s) are also considered unwelcome, largely because they consorted with the invading Western Jews. These Jews look just like Arabs, and often join the intelligence services, since they make excellent undercover agents.
Palestinian propaganda, meant mainly for internal consumption, depicts all of Israel as "occupied Palestine" and holds that Jews (who have lived in the area continuously for over 3,000 years) have no right to be there. Arab Christians in the neighborhood, some of them descendants of those who were followers of Jesus, keep their heads down amidst all this, as the Palestinian propaganda also declares that Jesus was preaching Islam, over five centuries before Mohammed arrived on the scene. Religion can get you killed in this part of the world, but that doesn't seem to discourage radical interpretations of historical events.
Religious intolerance, as well as religious diversity, are both characteristic of the region. Islam arrived five centuries after Christianity and, like earlier new religions, attracted adherents. What was different about Islam was that it was aggressively seeking to persuade all conquered people to become Moslems. This did not work, as there were always stubborn minorities. In the area that is now Israel and the Palestinian territories, there are several religions that survived, in one way or another, the Islamic conversion effort. The two most obvious groups were Christians (several different sects) and Jews (ditto). But there were others, most of whom pretended to become Moslems, but do so on their own terms. Thus we have the Druze, several flavors of Shia, and others. These Moslem sects are considered heretics by many mainstream Sunni Moslems (especially hard core groups like the Wahhabi and al Qaeda).
For Palestinian propaganda purposes, it's possible to find enough hooks in the complex religious and ethnic history of the region to get many Moslems to believe that Jesus was not a Jew, but rather the first Palestinian martyr. The Arabs tend to keep stuff like this to themselves, thus you will only find these messages in the Arab language media. But it is always there, especially during the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus.
In the rainforests of Papua, New Guinea, there have been reports for decades of giant birds resembling the prehistoric Pterosaur - they've been seen by locals and by visiting scientists
According to Environmental Graffiti:
Information regarding this pterosaur arose at the British Association's Science Festival in Dublin. It was the first animal with a backbone in place that could fly. Facts were described by Dr. David Martill of Portsmouth University from work carried out by Dino Frey of the German Staatliches Museum fuer Naturkunde in Karlsruhe. The size of the animal and dimensions indicate that it may have had a wingspan of at least 18 m, this being determined from wing bone fragments discovered . . . The flying animals described [on Papua, New Guinea today] are said to "glow" in the dark . . . It has been hypothesized that the bio-luminescent glow assists the animals' effort to hunt and catch food in the deep darkness of the tropical night. One of the researchers, David Woetzel, has said that he recorded images of the animals while studying them
The Washington Post's editorial board describes what it calls "a good year in Iraq." The Post cites (1) a national election judged to be free and fair, "a rare event in the Middle East;" (2) the eventual formation of a coalition government led by Shiite parties, but with Sunnis and Kurds in major positions; (3) a significant decrease in violence; and (4) a much improved economy that, at least in some areas, is beginning to boom.
JOE BIDEN: Pat Robertson is a squishy pothead-lover. “The more glaring concern for Biden and Obama is that come 2012, there could be several Republicans running for president who are more progressive on pot. Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, and Gary Johnson have all expressed support for drastically reforming marijuana laws. (Johnson and Paul are in favor of legalization, Palin said she supports a person’s right to use it in their home.) You also have establishment Republicans and Tea Party groups citing the 10th Amendment argument for repealing health care–the same argument most libertarians cite when calling for the repeal of the Controlled Substances Act and allowing states to legislate their own drug laws.”
TSA: Crushing The Critics. “I don’t know what the point of this is, other than for the TSA to inform all of us that it does not like being shown up by mere airline pilots. . . . In a sane world, of course, higher-ups at the TSA, and at the Department of Homeland Security would be forced to answer for the huge security lapses documented in the pilot’s video. But we do not live in a sane world.”