7 things @ 9 o’clock (9.26)

1. Gary Bauer is quite the grifter. Multiple PACs and committees and super-PACs, all raising money spent largely on compensation for Gary Bauer. The holy hustle is a lucrative scam.

2. The guy who beat Gary Bauer to win the Republican nomination in 1988 said he wanted “A kinder, gentler America.” Here he is making that more of a reality.

Well done, 41.

3. Earlier this month we looked at a post at Two Friars and a Fool suggesting texts they would add to the biblical canon. Here’s their follow-up: “3 passages we would CUT from the canon.” They’re unanimous: Jude. I second the motion (retroactively, I suppose, since we talked about swapping out Jude for “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” here back in January).

4. With Chester County still reeling from the scandal involving Coatesville’s athletic director, I’m encouraged to read this story: “Faced with reports that members of his team were cyber-bullying a fellow student, a Roosevelt, Utah high school football coach suspended the entire squad, not letting them reform until they agreed to an extensive set of conditions.”

5. Is this some kind of joke?

6. Alternative theory: Gary Bauer isn’t really the shameless grifter he appears to be. He’s actually running a complicated double-agent Robin Hood scam, raising millions from right-wing gazillionaires and then secretly funneling most of that money to groups helping the poor, the outcast and the underdog. Unlikely, but it would explain why he spends so little on effective politics and why so much of what he says is feckless, inane and detrimental to his purported cause.

7. Speaking of grifters and the holy hustle …: “SEC accuses Left Behind developer of ‘revenue inflation.’

The United States Security and Exchange Commission charged the founder of Left Behind Games and a friend for “falsely” inflating the company’s revenue by 1,300 percent during a one-year period, according to a press release from the SEC.

According to the SEC, Left Behind Games CEO and CFO Troy Lyndon issued “almost two billion shares of stock” to Ronald Zaucha for “consulting services.”

“The true purpose of the arrangement was to enable Zaucha to sell millions of unregistered shares of Left Behind Games stock into the market and then kick back a portion of his stock proceeds to the company in order to prop up its revenue at a time when it was in dire need of additional funds,” the SEC claims.

 

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  • Zed

    Replace “groups helping the poor, the outcast and the underdog” with “Swiss bank account” and you are probably spot on.

  • Baby_Raptor

    RE #6 One could apply this theory to Sarah PayMe and her slush fund *coughcough* excuse me, SuperPAC. It would be one of the few ways she could possibly redeem herself.

  • Baby_Raptor

    RE #3: The last guy says he would basically take a razor to the Old Testament, talking about how he would get rid of all the stories where god commands war and murder.

    Why? Because they don’t show a happy sunshine and rainbows view of god? Because they make people doubt god’s “inherent goodness” and his love?

    Talk about wanting to keep people in a bubble. Protect them from anything that might make them think slightly hard!

  • Lorehead

    First, he said he would declare them non-canonical, not prevent people from reading them.

    Second, the actions my ancestors justified as Divinely-commanded (see in particular Judges 20–21) were immoral. He is thinking hard about them, and that was the conclusion he reached, too.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Yes, but how many people out there actually read the non-canonical scriptures?

    And even if some of us consider them immoral, is that really reason to deny god did them and cut them out of the book? God apparently didn’t see them as immoral.

    And either way, your comment doesn’t address my question. Why take these things out? What good does it do to remove things from the bible just because they cause people discomfort?

    And if you start tearing things out of the bible because they’re “immoral,” where do you stop? Pretty much everything in that book is considered immoral by someone.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Yes? I mean, it’s not like it hasn’t already happened several times already.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Edit: Nevermind. I had a case of the dumbs. I’m following now.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I mean you make it sound like this isn’t something that happens on a fairly regular basis anyway. The Jefferson Bible did pretty much exactly this a few hundred years ago and there are several denominations today which use Bibles that include books that aren’t considered canon in others.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I’m sorry. I didn’t keep up my first time through your comment. I read it again and it clicked.

    I just don’t see any good that can come of it. Removing things that make people think and dig deeper is never a good idea. And his only reason seemed to be exactly that: It made people confront the idea that maybe god isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. That doesn’t seem to me like he’s worried about morality; it seems like he’s worried about people really wrestling with the text and it’s claims.

    We complain about revising history when people do it to slavery, or civil rights, or things of that nature. Why is the bible immune?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    This presumes that the stories about God occasionally just wanting his followers to massacre entire villages of unbelievers are true and should be preserved so that future people will understand that occasionally God just wants his followers to murder people. I don’t believe this to be the case and see no value in telling people that it is true in any capacity.

  • Mark Z.

    See, I want those stories preserved to make the point that sometimes people do monstrous things and blame them on God.

    That might be too much sophistication to expect from our approach to the Scriptures, but it’s not like everything in there already has one immediately obvious divinely inspired meaning that everyone can pick up right away. I mean, we’ve got Job.

    IMO every discussion of the supposed “inspiration” of the Bible ought to start with Genesis 2:7: “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” That’s divine inspiration. It makes Stephen Hawking and George W. Bush and Genghis Khan and Paris Hilton and you and me. To be inspired by God is to be messy and complicated and frequently wrong.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    This implies that if the stories are removed from “the Bible” (omitting the fact that there are hundreds of different versions of of “the Bible”s out there), they’ll just disappear and never be read again. This is not the case.

  • Lorehead

    For that matter, Jerome included in his Latin translation a number of books he did not consider canonical, “lest they perish entirely.”

    Could we stipulate that we’re imagining striking through those passages in our own personal copies with a single line, or printing them in gray instead of black, or just making a note in the margin, “Nope?” That the idea is not to try to hide them from anyone, or expunge them from all human memory, but to identify rigorously which passages we’re choosing to deprecate?

  • Mark Z.

    And the waters prevailed so mightily upon the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered[citation needed]

  • Mark Z.

    A little less flippantly, I object to this idea that the right answer to morally troublesome/idiotic/just-plain-wrong parts of Scripture is “cutting them from the canon”, either on a formal, whole-church level or a personal “margin notes” level. What’s the goal? To produce a canonical text that’s 100% error-free and unambiguous? (Good luck with that.) To remove embarrassments to the Christian faith?* Just to say “I don’t like this text” with extra emphasis?

    The canon is a list of texts we read, not texts we endorse. To say that something shouldn’t be in the canon is to say there’s nothing to be gained by reading and contemplating it. I could be convinced of that about Jude; I absolutely will not believe that about Judges.

    * Would this work with anything else about the Christian faith? “The Crusades? Oh, we held a meeting last week and declared those non-canonical.”

  • Lorehead

    Pope John Paul II did in fact apologize for the Crusades, and I appreciated the gesture.

    I’m taking this discussion to be about texts we endorse, not texts we read. (If it’s the latter, too late.) I am very glad that, in high school, the evening after I heard a refugee speak about the war back home and what it had meant for his family, I went to read the Tanakh and chose the Book of Judges, because that experience helped clarify my thinking about just and unjust wars greatly.

  • Kirala

    For me, canon change is not something to be undertaken lightly – and too often is. There’s a long leap between saying “IF I were going to cut something” (as is the discussion here) and saying “We should cut this” (not the point of the Jude article) – and the latter should never be done quickly, lightly, or without enormous soul-searching (and, if done by a group, extensive discussion).

    I hear people who make arguments for removing, say, Paul from the Christian canon, and I can respect those arguments. I do not respect Jefferson, who simply decided that he knew better than the Bible what really happened in the life of Christ – and not, as far as I can tell, based on any grounds beyond “doesn’t fit my current mental framework”.
    So when Jefferson is raised as an example of “people already change the Bible all the time”… it’s a less than convincing argument for me.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Then ignore Jefferson and notice the thirty some other modern day examples. The point is, it happens all the time anyway. Pretending to be holier than everyone else while mentally doing the exact same thing they’re doing (“No, this part of the book isn’t canon because I don’t like what it means”) does not score points in my book.

  • Lorehead

    I don’t know whether you were here for the post Fred Clark’s following up to, but he has linked before to non-canonical texts. It’s faintly ridiculous to worry that every branch of the Abrahamic faiths is going to take one guy on the Internet up on that and delete Joshua and Judges from the canon, and then they’ll be forgotten, as if that were something that could happen in the real world. But in the fantasy where it did, people will read them who are interested in Jewish and early Christian history.

    To me, the point of this exercise is to apply morality to Scripture itself. Someone who starts from the presumption that it cannot be questioned at all, that it must contain no contradictions, that it defines morality itself, that if God or someone claiming to speak for God orders mass murder, it must be right, cannot do that.

    Where do we stop, you ask? That’s the point of the exercise, isn’t it? To reason for ourselves how much of it really does make sense?

  • Baby_Raptor

    I’m not worried that every member of the three Abrahamic faiths is suddenly going to fall in love with this man’s idea. And even if they did, I have no real skin in the battle. I’m an Atheist.

    But since when has “likelihood something is going to happen” really been a prerequisite for debating whether or not something is a good idea? Isn’t that type of discussion one of the reasons Fred posts these links?

  • Lorehead

    In that case, I don’t think they’re proposing what you think they’re proposing.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Yeah. I was looking through the latter half, and it’s all about some dude who goes around fraternizing with sinners, tax collectors, and unclean women — and it makes him out to be the hero!

  • Lorehead

    A brief word, not complaining or taking offense at you, about something important you happened to remind me of.

    I get that discussion of “The Bible” in the United States usually assumes the King James translation of the Protestant canon (even though the 1611 version of the KJV did include the Deuterocanonical books as “apocrypha,”) whereas I’m interested in grappling with my own tradition, not disparaging other people’s. But I really do not, in talking only about the Hebrew Bible, want to reinforce the supercessionist idea that there’s a Good Testament and a Bad Testament, and that you can just ignore the latter as categorically inferior and get rid of the problems.

  • stardreamer42

    Perhaps because people use those verses to justify jihad against groups they personally hate, like “illegal immigrants”, or poor people, or Muslims.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Anyone can twist almost anything to fit their agenda if they try. Using this an an excuse to start trashing things we dislike is just going to lead to censorship. Nothing good lies that way.

  • Lorehead

    No, merely naming passages we dislike is not going to “lead to censorship” at all. No one is in any way, shape or form suggesting that those verses be destroyed or suppressed. Relax!

  • Baby_Raptor

    Did you read the same article I did? Because the article I read was talking about removing texts from the canon. That’s far from merely naming them as bad.

  • Lorehead

    It really was merely naming them as bad. No, none of those people will actually print a new Bible with the Didache and without Judges, nor would that lead to Judges being lost. Also, people who say that they don’t like the Star Wars prequels and don’t consider midiclorians “canonical” are not proposing to destroy all copies of them, either.

  • Cathy W

    Nothing made me appreciate Bush 41 quite like the contrast with Bush 43.

  • Michael Pullmann

    Yeah, it’s kind of like how Ebert’s opinion of Ace Ventura went up after he saw Ace Ventura 2.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    The post-political careers of some politicians give me hope. I’m amused that for a long while, Carter was better liked for Habitat for Humanity than for his time in office. Al Gore did good work after his presidential run, and while I’ll never fully forgive John Edwards, his work on poverty continued long after his political dreams (deservedly) died.

  • Carstonio

    I’ve never found a satisfactory evaluation of Carter’s presidency. The conversation has been dominated by bullheaded macho ideology. Far too many people of my generation, particularly the men, wrongly remember Carter as a weakling who let the nation be bullied by Iran. A short time later, they were filling theaters for action films that peddled fascism, like Death Wish and the Rambo series with the latter peddling Vietnam revisionism.

  • Lorehead

    And they have never gone back and reconsidered that impression in light of the revelations that it was the Carter administration that funded the Afghan insurgency and baited the Soviet Union into invading, or that, as we now know, all those proxy wars in Latin America that Reagan thought were so vital to national security had no real effect on the Soviet Union.

  • Fusina

    I took a college US History course during the Bush 41 years–and my history teacher was of the opinion that in a hundred years we would be saying that Carter was one of the better Presidents we’ve had. He explained, but that was 20 + years ago and my notes are long gone.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Given the presence of Dubya Bush, your prof sounds like he has already been proven correct. :)

  • flat

    well it is game over for Troy Lyndon now.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YMPAH67f4o

  • Lorehead

    I can only wonder what was in the Book of the Wars of the LORD or the Book of the Upright that got those left out while both Joshua and Judges were included.

  • Jim Roberts

    To my knowledge, God kicked those ones out of the canon – there are no copies of it that we know of.

  • Patter

    I want to work for Gary Bauer. Dude pays his secretary $100/hour.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam
  • VMink

    In brightest day, in darkest night….

  • Ben English

    VMink of Earth, you have the ability to overcome great fear…

  • Patter

    Favorite quote in the article, from Lukin, “We do this for fun….”

  • Daniel

    So this light is heavy?

  • Ross Thompson

    That doesn’t sound safe. I mean, we already have problems with heavy electricity

  • Daniel

    In all the talk of putting a cap on energy companies’ charges this week, Labour still seem to be neglecting the problem of invisible lead soup-like electricity falling out of wires. The jaded cynic in me supposes that’s because it tends to be a problem in the North- particularly around Jack Straw’s constituency. It’s not hit any people yet, but it has caused a hell of a lot of holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. The holes are not large, though, and teams of experts are counting them with a view to exhibiting them in London, though the location has not been settled on a large concert venue has been mooted.
    It was in the news today.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Did you hear the news today? (Advance word is a probable count of four thousand.)

  • Daniel

    In relation to point number 3 they want to remove the Epistle of Jude. I’ve just read it, and wished I’d been there when he was writing it so I could have offered some advice against what turned out to be quite a vitriolic piece which obviously doesn’t fit the tone of the rest of the testament. “Hey, Jude…” I’d have said “don’t make it bad- take a sad psalm and make it…better.”

  • esmerelda_ogg

    That’s good general advice, but what’s the poor man supposed to do any time he feels the pain? I guess it might help for him to sit back and consider all the lonely people.

  • Lorehead

    But back to the topic of which passages I’d demote from the canon. I nominate, Hark! Ye need to hide your love away.

  • Daniel

    the message of all this Bible-pruning is that in today’s fast paced world people don’t have time to plod through such a weighty book (appropriately given what kicked all this off people refuse to see the light because it is too heavy). Maybe it’s time to get the Bible reissued by an author more au fait with choppy, fast paced story telling? You know, a paper back writer.

  • Lorehead

    Perfect for today’s working mom, children at her feet, wondering how she’ll manage to make ends meet.

  • Daniel

    It’s a sensible option to save money as well. And that’s what she’d want. In these straightened times rational, financial sense is almost priceless- almost, but not quite. It is dear, prudence.

  • Lorehead

    The apostle Matthew might agree, since he was the taxman.

  • Daniel

    Oh yeah, the taxman. Luke was the doctor- a man you must believe. If what he wrote was true he’d make you a new and better man. John was down on the sea where fish were for fishing. As for Mark, I don’t know- apparently his job isn’t mentioned so he may have been unemployed. Imagine, no profession. I wonder if you can?

  • Lorehead

    Yes, but the magical mystery tour was coming to take him away. Perhaps, like the prodigal son, he got back to where he once belonged. The apostles did imagine no possessions, a brotherhood of man.

    But the issue here is the clobber verses that people twist and shout, to bang bang like a silver hammer down on our heads. Do you, don’t you, want me to love my neighbor? Am I writing the words to a sermon that no one will hear?

  • Daniel

    Jude was upset because he was ofter overlooked by his parents who were more concerned with his weird brother that shared God’s fondness for a certain insect. He also followed Biblical law very carefully, always keeping rocks around in case someone adulteried or did something unspeakable to the tabernacle. Jude was obscured by his brother, back at home, with his beetles and his stones.
    Bowie always finds a way.

  • arghous

    What if you want vegatables drenched in butter, but it won’t melt? Can you put it in the pie?

  • Lorehead

    “All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them.”

    Oh, wait. I buried Paul.

  • Jamoche

    Oh, boy.

  • arcseconds

    All it says is that they ‘begin to act as though they have mass’, but it doesn’t ever explain what that means.

    Actually, it’s not entirely true to say that photons have no mass. They have no rest mass, but they do have (roughly speaking) mass associated with their momenta. For example, photons bouncing around a box contribute to the mass of the box, which is possibly related to what they’re talking about here.

    c.f.

    http://www.desy.de/user/projects/Physics/Relativity/SR/light_mass.html

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    This article sounds a lot like Still More Bad Science Reporting. Because the actual description of what they did sounds nothing like creating “light photons with mass”. It sounds like they figured out a way to use the ordinary sort of matter to mutex photons.

  • J_Enigma32

    It’s like I told my friend last night on FB: this means lightsabers are now fair game for hard SF.

  • Abby Normal

    #2: Yet another sign that the Repubs of yesteryear aren’t batshit crazy enough for the Repubs of today.

    #3: Good on the coach if a guy on the team was responsible, but from what I read these were anonymous posts on a site where no one has to register? How do they know it was a football player doing it?

    (And as an aside, I was bullied plenty in my day, but I’m always a bit thankful the Internet wasn’t around back then.)

  • Jim Roberts

    At a guess, while the site itself is anonymous, the guys left enough evidence to indentify them. On the message board I moderate, we had a regular troll who would create sockpuppets when he got banned, using various computers and tricks to get around IP bans.
    When we banned one of the socks, a fellow mod got an e-mail shocked, utterly shocked that his poor, innocent login was associated with such an awful thing as sockpuppetry.
    The e-mail address was a string of letters and numbers, but, as with the e-mail he’d used on his original account, he’d registered it in his real name, which was included in his e-mail.

  • Carstonio

    This is the same Bush who once lied about the Vietnam War by claiming that the US military had its hand tied behind its back, and who had the despicable Lee Atwater on his campaign. Is he developing a conscience in his old age?

    (Edited per Lorehead’s post)

  • Lorehead

    The supposed quote about atheists is likely apocryphal. Despite supposedly having been given at a press conference, no one else remembers it and no record of it exists. Other reports of the same event make no mention of any such remark. Only one person claims to have been there and heard it, and he claims to have waited a year to print it.

  • Carstonio

    Thanks for the clarification. I’ve edited my post.

  • Lee B.

    Thinking back on it, most of the actual combat veterans I’ve seen making the “hand tied behind its back” claim are military aviators (including Bush 41). The most notable is Col. Jack Broughton, who is *still* bitter all these years later about the seemingly arbitrary rules of engagement he fought under. I can sort of understand that point of view—the air war in Vietnam was much more restricted than that of Korea or WWII—but it is a rather myopic understanding of the war.

  • P J Evans

    There are people who still want Jane Fonda charged with treason. I wish they’d let go of their personal war.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    This would be the same armed forces that spawned the likes of Calley at My Lai?

    Seems like they only honored rules of engagement in the breach and now that the war’s over the ones who keep wanting to refight it will selectively “remember” what they need to to keep proving their version of the political stab in the back myth.

  • Lee B.

    Most of the time, sure, but it wasn’t a myth in Broughton’s case—CINCPAC tried to court-martial him for conspiracy in the Turkestan incident but could only get minor charges to stick (destruction of $46 of government property and “processing gun camera film in a non-standard manner”); relieved him of his command; and transferred him to a non-job in the Pentagon. A review board later determined that his conviction had been politically motivated and overturned it, expunging it from his record.

    He used the non-job as an opportunity to write a scathing memoir (Thud Ridge) that was published while the war was still underway. His strongest criticism was for parts of the RoE that he saw as needlessly killing pilots, such as the rule that allowed surface-to-air missile sites to be attacked only when they were “fully operational.” In practical terms, this meant a SAM site could only be destroyed *after* one of his friends had already been shot down. Unfortunately, time has not tempered his bitterness over those deaths.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    A trial for one man which turned out to be politically motivated is different qualitatively than the kind of popularized “stab in the back” myth perpetuated by people who want to keep refighting Vietnam in people’s minds by framing the military as the Dudley Do-Rights while the nefarious politicians kept screwing it all up.

    i.e. One trial does not equate to a substantial conspiracy at high levels to deprive the military of the means it needs to complete assigned tactical and strategic objectives.

  • Lorehead

    American jingoists do not want to believe that the U.S. military could not have won, because it just is not very suitable for counterinsurgency in a country that overwhelmingly doesn’t want them there. That would really have put a crimp in their plans circa 2002. The Baby Boomers among them definitely don’t want to admit that those liberals were right and they were wrong. So it must be their fault. America could have kept a corrupt military dictatorship with no popular legitimacy going in South Vietnam if not for them, and then wouldn’t we all be so much safer today. But at least we kept fighting as long as we did! Just imagine all the horrible things that would have happened if we’d left sooner or never gotten involved at all.

    Maybe the younger generation of Conservatives won’t have so much of their pride and identity invested in demonizing the antiwar movement and can look at the issue more rationally.

  • Lee B.

    I should probably restate my point more clearly. Those jingoists are not, by and large, combat veterans—with the notable exception of aircrews, who actually *did* face a level of micromanagement in Vietnam not seen before or since. I thought it was interesting that this, possibly in combination with the already strange experience of fighting an air war, makes them more likely than ground-pounders to believe in the Dolchstoßlegende.

  • Lorehead

    Maybe, but Robert McNamara’s attempt to introduce “scientific management” to the armed forces like he had with GM ticked off a lot of people, too. The explanation jingoists seemed to settle on was that we would have won if only we’d bombed without restraint. The leadership at the time thought that would have brought the Soviets and Chinese into the war and therefore been counterproductive, and our later experience in Iraq suggests that our counterinsurgency strategy has bigger problems than that.

  • arghous

    I’m tempted to say I would like to cut passages that people think are in the canon [but aren’t], like … God never gives you anything you can’t handle …

    1 Cor 10:13 is not in “the canon”?


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