December 14, 2013 archive

Saturday Night Movie

Worst Interview Ever?

I mean the Faux Noise one of course-


Cenk Uygur

“To be clear, I’m a scholar of religion with 4 degrees including 1 in the New Testament and fluency in Biblical Greek.”

So you’re totally out of your league you vacuous news reader.

Reza Aslan: A Jesus scholar who’s often a moving target

By Manuel Roig-Franzia, Washington Post

Published: August 8

“As the crowd of vendors, worshippers, priests, and curious onlookers scramble over the scattered detritus, as a stampede of frightened animals, chased by their panicked owners, rushes headlong out of the Temple gates and into the choked streets of Jerusalem, as a corps of Roman guards and heavily armed Temple police blitz through the courtyard looking to arrest whoever is responsible for the mayhem, there stands Jesus, according to the gospels, aloof, seemingly unperturbed, crying out over the din: ‘It is written: My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it a den of thieves.’?”

Aslan portrays Jesus as an illiterate peasant who was crucified by the Romans because his “messianic aspirations” threatened their occupation of Palestine and because his “zealotry” threatened the authorities at the Temple in Jerusalem. Though zealotry and zealot tend to have negative connotations now, Aslan writes that in the time of Jesus, the term referred to people who strictly observed the Torah and refused to serve a foreign master.

Aslan’s publisher is pitching the book as a work that “sheds new light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters” and “challenges long-held assumptions.” But Aslan is not quite so hyperbolic in an interview. He says he sees his book as a way to “re-package” the story of Jesus “in an accessible way for a popular audience to read and enjoy. If you’re a Bible scholar, there’s nothing new.”

Indeed, many of Aslan’s assertions have become received wisdom for a large number of scholars. But few could deny that Aslan stitches the narrative artfully.

So are you, you Villager Idiot.

Jon is surprisingly good.

Part 1

Part 2


On This Day In History December 14

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

December 14 is the 348th day of the year (349th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 17 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1995, the Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris.

The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement, Dayton Accords, Paris Protocol or Dayton-Paris Agreement, is the peace agreement reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in November 1995, and formally signed in Paris on December 14, 1995. These accords put an end to the three and a half year long war in Bosnia, one of the armed conflicts in the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. Some articles erroneously refer to the agreement as the Treaty of Dayton.


Though the basic concepts of the Dayton Agreement began to appear in international talks since 1992, the negotiations were initiated following the unsuccessful previous peace efforts and arrangements, the August 1995 Croatian military Operation Storm and its aftermath, the government military offensive against the Republika Srpska, in concert with NATO’s Operation Deliberate Force. During September and October 1995, many of the world powers (especially the USA and Russia), gathered in the Contact Group, applied intense pressure to the leaders of the three sides to attend the negotiations in Dayton, Ohio.

The conference took place from November 1 to November 21, 1995. The main participants from the region were Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic (representing the Bosnian Serb interests due to absence of Karadzic), Croatian President Franjo Tudman, and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic with Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey.

The peace conference was led by U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, and negotiator Richard Holbrooke with two Co-Chairmen in the form of EU Special Representative Carl Bildt and the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Igor Ivanov. A key participant in the US delegation was General Wesley Clark (later to become NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) in 1997). The UK military representative was Col Arundell David Leakey (later to become Commander of EUFOR in 2005). The Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG) served as legal counsel to the Bosnian Government delegation during the negotiations.

The secure site was chosen in a bid to curb the participants’ ability to negotiate in the media rather than at the bargaining table.

After having been initiated in Dayton, Ohio on November 21, 1995 the full and formal agreement was signed in Paris, France, on December 14, 1995 also by French President Jacques Chirac, U.S. President Bill Clinton, UK Prime Minister John Major, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.

The present political divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its structure of government were agreed upon as part the constitution that makes up Annex 4 of the General Framework Agreement concluded at Dayton. A key component of this was the delineation of the Inter-Entity Boundary Line, to which many of the tasks listed in the Annexes referred.

The agreement mandated a wide range of international organizations to monitor, oversee, and implement components of the agreement. The NATO-led IFOR (Implementation Force) was responsible for implementing military aspects of the agreement and deployed on the 20th December 1995, taking over the forces of the UNPROFOR.

Ironically, the chief architect of the Dayton Accord, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, died yesterday, December 13, in Washington, DC. May he rest in peace.

Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan

 photo lego-pokemon_zps817c8a02.jpg

Robot Lego Pokemon are the coolest things we’ve ever seen!

  Michelle Lynn Dinh

Legos make everything better. And when those little plastic bricks are used to make some of our favorite Pokemon, the coolness goes well over 9,000. Let’s take a closer look at this awesome engineering, including a peek inside the boardable mecha-type lego Pokemon!

The mastermind behind these Poke-Legos goes by the handle “Stormbringer” on Flickr. He seems to be a Lego genius, creating numerous recognizable characters, including an entire scene from Attack on Titan completely made out of Legos. But it was his Venasaur, Charizard, and Blastoise that really caught our eye.

Friday Night at the Movies

We don’t come to steal or destroy gender. We are here to liberate it.

The LATimes recently ran an article by Robin Abcarian in its L.A. Now section entitled Right wing frenzied over transgender students choosing bathroom.

Of course the target of all the hate is specifically the School Success and Opportunity Act, better known as AB 1266…and incidentally the state’s transgender students.

The School Success and Opportunity Act, the first of its kind in the nation, did not sit well with California’s waning conservative Christian base, which has lately been in danger of becoming the political equivalent of the polar bear stranded on the ice floe.


Now there’s an interesting image.