Reason Morning Links: Dems Drop Medicare Buy-In, Gitmo To Relocate, Jesus and the Census

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  1. DOE sends a “litigation hold notice” regarding CRU to employees ? asking to “preserve documents”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/200…..documents/

    The Hockey Stick vs. Ice Core Data
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFbUVBYIPlI

    1. The primary servers at CRU appear to have all been taken offline. The official investigation on that side of the pond could already be underway.

      1. And what better way to ensure a transparent investigation than by removing the documents from public view.

        /golfclap

  2. Gore gets caught in a factual fabrication at Copenhagen
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/200…..openhagen/

    Thomas Sowell: Support Of Fannie And Freddie: Bipartisan And Beyond Words
    http://www.investors.com/NewsA…..?id=515098

  3. New campaign uses birth of Jesus Christ to encourage participation in the census.

    Government: Strongly Encouraging Parents to Give Birth in Livestock Pens Since 4 BC

    1. It isn’t a government ad campaign, though its primitive appeal to superstition makes it look like one. This much is certain: in a few decades the U.S. is going to be a nation of little brown people. Will their children wise up and lose their religion as other immigrant offspring have, or will they stubbornly and tragically retain their faith in the unreal, emulating America’s black population?

      1. Tragically? What do you care what someone else believes?

        1. Because they vote.

          1. I’m religious, libertarian, and anarchist. As ishalf of the libertarian movement. MP, what say we direct our bigotry a little more accurately?

            1. Can’t we just start hating people for being the shitty people they are, instead of basing it on their inclusion in a race/religion/sex?

  4. Last one:

    Copenhagen stalls decision on catastrophic climate change for six years

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t…..955237.ece

    1. There’s a new statement being touted, signed by 1700 British “scientists” who back the “deep and extensive” evidence that climate change is real. I tried Googling a random sampling of the signers names; didn’t find anything close to a climate scientists, but there was a veternarian, a financial planner, and a tourism expert.

  5. So many science fiction writers I’d like to see beaten and they single out poor Peter Watts. But then, no one should underestimate the sheer destructive power encompassed by marine-mammal biologists who also write science fiction. Some of history’s greatest atrocities were committed by those bastards.

    Blindsight was a good first contact novel, considering how thoroughly that rag has been rung dry.

    Publishers Weekly Starred Review.

    Canadian author Watts (Starfish) explores the nature of consciousness in this stimulating hard SF novel, which combines riveting action with a fascinating alien environment. In the late 21st century, when something alien is discovered beyond the edge of the solar system, the spaceship Theseus sets out to make contact. Led by an enigmatic AI and a genetically engineered vampire, the crew includes a biologist who’s more machine than human, a linguist with surgically induced multiple personality disorder, a professional soldier who’s a pacifist, and Siri Keeton, a man with only half a brain. Keeton is virtually incapable of empathy, but he has a savant’s ability to model and predict the actions of others without understanding them. Once the Theseus arrives at the gigantic and hideously dangerous alien artifact (which has tellingly self-named itself Rorschach), the crew must deal with beings who speak English fluently but who may, paradoxically, not even be sentient, at least as we understand the term. Watts puts a terrifying and original spin on the familiar alien contact story.

    1. So many science fiction writers I’d like to see beaten and they single out poor Peter Watts.

      I’d laugh if it happened to Cory, actually.

      1. Don’t be silly. Brin should be first in line.

        1. Exhume Jordan, then beat his corpse with a pillowcase full of Wheel of Time sequels.

          1. can we do the same to L.Ron?

  6. New campaign uses birth of Jesus Christ to encourage participation in the census.

    “Don’t Be Afraid”?

    I’m surprised the poster doesn’t have the Angel Barack saying “Fear Not.”

  7. “New campaign uses birth of Jesus Christ to encourage participation in the census.”

    It amazing to me how ignorant people are. Jesus was born in Bethleham because of Roman bureacratic incompetance. They took a census and everyone had to go back to the town they were born. So, rather than stay home and get counted in Nazarath where they lived, Joseph and Mary had to treck back to his hometown even though she was about to give birth. It was a great example of uncaring buearcratic incompetance.

    1. They took a census and everyone had to go back to the town they were born.

      Why doesn’t the US do this?

      1. It would be a great bailout for all those too big to fail airlines, wouldn’t it…

    2. Its worse than you say. It wasnt the town where you were born, it was the town associated with your family. David was born in Bethlehem and Joseph was of the Davidic line, hence, he had to go to Bethlehem for the census.

      Its quite likely that Joseph was originally from Nazareth: …they returned to Galilee and their own town of Nazareth — Luke 2:39 (this is after the sidetrip to Egypt)

      1. If that part of the myth has anything to do with reality, then most likely Joseph was himself born in Bethlehem and moved to Nazareth at some point in his adulthood. I can see a Roman bureaucrat expecting people to still live in the towns they were born in, but I can’t see them expecting your entire family to stay in the same town as a distant ancestor from 800 years prior.

        1. We dont know it was a roman bureaucrat that made the decision. Herod was jewish, and jewish law originally assigned every piece of land in Israel to a specific family*, so gathering families together at their historical town and counting them that way would seem logical.

          *this is a very loose interpretation, dont nit pick the details on this. Actually, fell free if you want, but Im not trying to get all the details into my post.

          1. Also, as an interesting note, Luke 2:41 mentions that Joseph and Mary traveled to Jerusalem every year for Passover. As Bethlehem was a suburb of Jerusalem basically, the trip itself wasnt overly strenuous.

    3. But think of all the jobs saved or created for innkeepers, food vendors, donkey stablers, winter clothing makers, etc etc.

      1. Christ was born in autumn. Shepherds wouldn’t be grazing their sheep in the hills during the winter. Dec 25 was chosen to incorporate the pagans.

        1. Baby oil is not actually made from babies.

          1. So there’s no point in buying Girl Scout cookies?

            1. I love eating Little Debbie.

        2. That is an urban myth. The Pegan holiday is the 21st not the 25th. The 25th of December was chosen because it is exactly nine months after the annunciation which is March 25th. The date of Christ’s birth was never a big deal to early Christians. It wasn’t until later, after it was too late to know the exact date, that it became a religous holiday.

          1. The Pagan holiday (Sol Invictus) and Christmas used to be on the same day, and only drifted apart due to calendar miscalculation and procession. Things like that pop up when trying to compare 13-month lunar calendars and the 12-month Gregorian and their derivatives.

            And the Solstice (on the modern calendar) can either be on the 21st or the 22nd of December. This year is will occur on December 21st, at 17:47 GMT.

            This doesn’t change the fact that Christians can celebrate the birth of their Savior on whatever day they feel like.

            1. I believe SF is correct. In any event, there’s nothing in the historical record indicating when Christ was born.

            2. Biblical scholars have moved away from the idea that Christmas was chosen as December 25th to coincide with Pegan rituals.

              http://www.bib-arch.org/e-features/christmas.asp

              Also remember, the Roman Christians were brutal to the Pegans. They pretty much crushed the religion. There is a reason why all the Roman stautary is missing arms and legs. The Christians cut them off. They destroyed their temples, idols and religion. It makes no sense to say that early Christians would have compromised with Pegans and put the birth of Christ to coincide with a Pegan festival.

              1. They were brutal after they got power. This decision could have been made before they got that power, to try to win pagans over.

                1. read the linked article. It is very informative.

                  1. Not really very informative. Considering the conclusion:

                    In the end we are left with a question: How did December 25 become Christmas? We cannot be entirely sure. Elements of the festival that developed from the fourth century until modern times may well derive from pagan traditions. Yet the actual date might really derive more from Judaism?from Jesus’ death at Passover, and from the rabbinic notion that great things might be expected, again and again, at the same time of the year?than from paganism. Then again, in this notion of cycles and the return of God’s redemption, we may perhaps also be touching upon something that the pagan Romans who celebrated Sol Invictus, and many other peoples since, would have understood and claimed for their own too.

                    1. Read more than the conlcusion. It is very informative in killing the myth about December 25th being chosen to coincide with the Pegan holiday. The fact that nothing like that is mentioned until the 12th Century I think kills that theory outright.

                      We may not be sure how exactly the date was chosen (although I think the Annunciation is a pretty good guess) but it is pretty clear it wasn’t chosen to coincide with a Pegan holiday.

                    2. That early Christians didn’t take note of the fact that they were cynically assigning the birth of Christ to a Pagan Holiday in order to make their faith more palatable to Pagans proves nothing at all. Which the article acknowledges.

                      The article is not the stunning counter-proof you want it to be. But believe what you want.

                    3. I agree. I did read the whole article. It presented several possibilities, some more popular than others. I didn’t see it as preferring one over the other. The passage about the virgin’s womb remaining that way after the birth of Jesus was a bit bothersome.

                    4. While it didn’t say there was a final answer, it made the idea of it being chosen to coincide with a Pegan festival a lot less likely.

                    5. First the early Christians didn’t adopt Pegan rituals. It was later Christians who did that. And they made no secret about it. We know for example that when St. Boniface christianized the Germans he cut down a sacred pegan Oak and built a chapel out of the wood on the spot. We also know that many of the trappings of Christmas (trees and such) have Pegan origens. The Christians made no secret of that. But they also did that after they were an established and confident religion and were trying to win people over. When they were a dissident sect getting fed to the lions by Nero they weren’t interested in adopting Pegan rituals.

                      Also there were lots of Pegan critics of Christianity during the time when the Roman empire transititioned from Peganism to Christianity. We have many of those attacks. And they are written by very smart people. And none of them mention Christmas being chosen to coincide with a pegan festival. You don’t think someone like Julian the apostate would have mentioned that? I think someone would have. But they didnt’.

                      Believe what you want. But, it is pretty clear that this is an urban myth.

              2. But you’re assuming it would be an act of compromise, rather usurpation or preemption of a competing culture.

            3. Actually, the siting of Christmas on the winter solstice was the work of the Copts (an ancient christian sect that still speaks a language descended from ancient Egyptian in their religious services); the ancient Egyptians used to celebrate the birth and resurrection of Osiris on the Winter solstice, and the Copts adapted it to the equivalent celebration in their religion.

              1. Not true.

                Despite its popularity today, this theory of Christmas’s origins has its problems. It is not found in any ancient Christian writings, for one thing. Christian authors of the time do note a connection between the solstice and Jesus’ birth: The church father Ambrose (c. 339?397), for example, described Christ as the true sun, who outshone the fallen gods of the old order. But early Christian writers never hint at any recent calendrical engineering; they clearly don’t think the date was chosen by the church. Rather they see the coincidence as a providential sign, as natural proof that God had selected Jesus over the false pagan gods.

                It’s not until the 12th century that we find the first suggestion that Jesus’ birth celebration was deliberately set at the time of pagan feasts. A marginal note on a manuscript of the writings of the Syriac biblical commentator Dionysius bar-Salibi states that in ancient times the Christmas holiday was actually shifted from January 6 to December 25 so that it fell on the same date as the pagan Sol Invictus holiday.5 In the 18th and 19th centuries, Bible scholars spurred on by the new study of comparative religions latched on to this idea.6 They claimed that because the early Christians didn’t know when Jesus was born, they simply assimilated the pagan solstice festival for their own purposes, claiming it as the time of the Messiah’s birth and celebrating it accordingly.

                http://www.bib-arch.org/e-features/christmas.asp#

                1. John, from the article you linked: in 274 C.E., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25…The church father Ambrose (c. 339?397), for example, described Christ as the true sun, who outshone the fallen gods of the old order.

                  So the church takes a roman holiday date as the birth of “the true sun” which outshone the “unconquered sun.” Yes they deny any calendrical engineering but this seems to me to be too good to be coincidence.

          2. Are you sure the Annunciation wasn’t chosen to be nine months before the winter solstice?

            1. Yes. Because the Annunciation was chosen because for some reason Christ was thought to have died on the same day he was concieved. They knew that he died on March 25th.

  8. Rural prison in Illinois will serve as new home for Gitmo detainees.

    Change!

  9. Taking an important step on the thorny path to closing the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the White House plans to announce Tuesday that the government will acquire an underutilized state prison in rural Illinois to be the new home for a limited number of terrorist suspects held at Guantanamo.

    I’ve said all along that Obama would not close Gitmo, merely relocate it. That just shows that I am smarter than an eggplant.

    1. I am smarter than an eggplant.

      Racist.

      1. Wow….I really should refresh more often.

  10. That census poster is strikingly similar to the ones for donkey shows in Tijuana.

    Same caption too.

    1. Inquiring minds want to know which caption: Don’t Be Afraid; It’s Time; or Make Yourself Count?

      I’m thinking #3.

      1. “This is how Jesus was born.”

  11. Yesterday’s Brickbat is infuriating. We really need to change the police culture in this country. The whole article is worth reading. These turds insist everything was done correctly, despite the homeowner being shot six times and now suffering through life with painful injuries. The whole thing makes me think if I’m ever in the same situation, I’ll just shoot the intruder in the face, put my gun in the oven, and wait for the police on my doorstep. It’s much safer than taking my chances that the cops are retarded.

    1. More economical too. If you’re shitty enough to break into someones home, you deserve to die.

  12. Change!

    If you were going to be detained indefinitely, wouldn’t you rather it be near a beautiful tropical beach in Cuba rather than Bumfuck, Illinois? Illinois beats Bagram, but only just.

    1. I think you could argue – quite persuasively – that being held in Bumfuck Ill is torture in its own right.

  13. Obama’s Safe Schools Czar Tied to Lewd Readings for 7th Graders:

    “By first grade I was sexually active with many friends. In fact, a small group of us regularly met in the grammar school lavatory to perform fellatio on one another. A typical week’s schedule would be Aaron and Michael on Monday during lunch; Michael and Johnny on Tuesday after school; Fred and Timmy at noon Wednesday; Aaron and Timmy after school on Thursday. None of us ever got caught, but we never worried about it anyway.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/politic…..-readings/

    1. That guy looks like someone who should be far away from children.

      1. I think the recounting of first grade blowjobs is bullshit. I have never heard of first graders engaging in such a complex schedule.

        1. Occam’d Bitches!

        2. I will never grow tired of reading your comments in my head with Hank Hill’s voice.

    2. I nominate the Obama administration for “The most inept vetting process” award.

      1. Sorry Ben, the Nobel Committee wont be introducing that award till 2011.

    3. I’m actually surprised that this hasn’t become a huge story yet.

      1. Ha!

  14. Like last time, the census gets my age and sex. Not a goddam thing else.

    1. So first you tell them how old you are and then you fuck them? That could get you in trouble.

      1. I’ve never been caught.

    2. I got the long form. I gave them my name and address. I made sure they had enough info to arrest the right guy for not filling out the rest.

    3. Funny, we don’t even tell them that. 2 adults. Now fuck along.

  15. New report says G20 countries “haven’t kept their pledge to abstain from protectionist measures.”

    Of course. If you don’t believe in abstinance, you should use protection.

    1. When can you come by to untie my mind from the knot you just put it in? That was like a literary M?bius Strip.

  16. Although the threat of a sustained period of deglobalization remains high, protectionism so far has not been as vicious as in the 1930s. Average tariffs on goods are still low, around 10%, thanks to World Trade Organization treaties. And the world’s richest economic blocs — the U.S. and EU — remain relatively open to trade and investment.

    They evidently do not take currency devaluation into account.

  17. “This is how Jesus was born.”

    “Immaculate” is not the descriptive term which this brings to mind.

    1. The Immaculate conception refers to Mary, not Jesus.

      Even this protestant knows that. Also, to piss off Max, she wasnt a virgin for long, Jesus’s brothers is proof of that.

      1. Also, the immaculate reception was a bad call by the refs. Replay would have ruled it an illegal catch.

      2. There is a lot of debate about that. The Papists will tell you that Jesus’s brothers were step brothers from a previous marriage of Joseph. That makes some sense. Widowers were pretty common back in the days when women often died in child birth. It would make Mary and Jospeph a very convienent marriage; she was pregnant and didn’t have a husband and he had kids and didn’t have a wife. No one but them is really sure and they aren’t talking.

        1. Of course there is debate about it, but only because catholics think some chick isnt going to have sex with her husband.

          There is no bibilical evidence of Mary remaining a virgin. Occam’s razor applies at this point.

  18. the census gets my age and sex.

    Willing or not.

  19. Wow, is Jesus cool or what? Amazing.

    jess
    http://www.total-privacy.es.tc

    1. Best anonymity bot post ever! Five stars, A+, would read again.

  20. is Jesus cool or what? Amazing.

    He’s so cool, He’ll save us from global warming.

  21. I can’t help but remember what the Government did to Jesus 30 years after his folks went to be counted. John made real good points above about Joe and Mary having to make a difficult trip with her about to pop so they could be counted.

    1. The “Jesus sacrificed for the good of the govt, so you can too” ads come out over Easter.

      1. To persuade illegals to pay taxes?

        1. Or to die to lessen the burden on Mother Earth.

  22. Like people said above, if they *really* wanted the target audience of that Census poster to party like the days of Caesar Augustus while Quirinius was governor of Syria, it would involve going back to Mexico.

    1. I would either have to travel to Edmonton, KY or possibly Ireland, depending on how far back to take the silliness.

      1. I gotta go all the way to Venice, Italy. They chased the oldest know ancestor out of town for being a follower of Giordano Bruno.

  23. “Along some other timeline, I did not get out of the car to ask what was going on. I did not repeat that question when refused an answer and told to get back into the vehicle. In that other timeline I was not punched in the face, pepper-sprayed, shit-kicked, handcuffed, thrown wet and half-naked into a holding cell for three fucking hours, thrown into an even colder jail cell overnight, arraigned, and charged with assaulting a federal officer, all without access to legal representation (although they did try to get me to waive my Miranda rights. Twice.). Nor was I finally dumped across the border in shirtsleeves: computer seized, flash drive confiscated, even my fucking paper notepad withheld until they could find someone among their number literate enough to distinguish between handwritten notes on story ideas and, I suppose, nefarious terrorist plots. I was not left without my jacket in the face of Ontario’s first winter storm, after all buses and intercity shuttles had shut down for the night.

    “In some other universe I am warm and content and not looking at spending two years in jail for the crime of having been punched in the face.”

    Looks like someone’s got a case of the Mondays

  24. I tried Googling a random sampling of the signers names; didn’t find anything close to a climate scientists, but there was a veternarian, a financial planner, and a tourism expert.

    You’re the only one who’ll ever do that search.

    In the “hacked” emails, petition-packing is discussed as a PR strategy. There aren’t fifty people on earth with expertise in “climate science,” but journalists don’t check things; they repeat things. And once the headline’s out, the story’s over. “Hundreds of scientists.” Done.

  25. “Canadian science fiction writer says he was detained, badly beaten by U.S. border agents.”

    I’m blocked from reading this at work, but the fact that the guy is a science fiction writer makes his tale suspect.

    1. If he was making it up, wouldn’t there be some anal probing and missing time in the story?

      Nevermind, he lost plenty of time, and I’m sure they probed him.

      Yup, just another abduction story with no merit.

    2. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    3. Unfortunately, it wasn’t James Cameron.

  26. New campaign uses birth of Jesus Christ to encourage participation in the census.

    There’s enough irony in there to nail together a thousand mangers.

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