Professional Christians in Oz go bonkers over “BC” and “AD”

Should we dress like carnival time year-round, too?

Australian Christians are furious over changes to the national curriculum that will drop the terms BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) from text books, replacing them with neutral, non-religious language.

Under the new politically correct curriculum BC and AD will be replaced with BCE (Before Common Era), BP (Before Present) and CE (Common Era) .

Peter Jensen, the Archbishop of Sydney, said that taking references to the birth of Jesus Christ out of school books was an “intellectually absurd attempt to write Christ out of human history” that he likened it to calling Christmas “the festive season”.

“It is absurd because the coming of Christ remains the centre point of dating and because the phrase ‘common era’ is meaningless and misleading,” he told the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

The changes have also angered conservatives in the opposition Liberal National party.

But the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, which is responsible for developing the secondary level national curriculum, said the new terms were the increasingly common standard for the representation of dates.

While BC and AD, which translates to “in the year of Our Lord” are designations used to number years in the Christian Era, the terms BCE and CE are widely applied as their secular counterparts.

Although they were first devised in the 6th century, BCE and CE became popular in the late 20th century to emphasise sensitivity to non-Christians. However, they still use the Gregorian calendar on which BC and AD operate.

The little-known term BP (before present or before physics) is a time scale traditionally used by scientists to refer to the era before 1950, when carbon dating technology became more reliable.

The “political correctness” as usual lies in the dim brains of the religious professionals who have relied on their correctness. The rest of the world – as usual – has been changing.

It has not only become common in the United States and Europe over the past thirty years, there have been religious groups, Christian and non-Christian that have recognized the difference and switched decades ago.

In every country with self-important fundamentalists of one or another flavor, the blather about Judeo-Christian heritage is not only holy writ in their view – it is supposed to be requisite. As they always wish it had been. As they always wish it would be. Self-deluded.

Chinese land developer wants to buy 300 in Iceland

Iceland’s interior ministry said Thursday it had received a request from a Chinese investor and property developer for permission to buy a tract of Icelandic land for a tourist resort.

Huang Nubo is seeking an exemption to an Icelandic law that bans the sale of land to citizens outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

“This request will be taken into consideration in the ministry, like all other requests, since the purchase is illegal unless there is a special exemption,” Icelandic Interior Minister Oegmundur Jonasson told AFP…

Oegmundur has previously said that the future of natural resources, such as water, on the land in question would have to be taken into account. The piece of land is located on the northeastern part of the island.

According to the Financial Times, Huang Nubo, a former Chinese government official, plans to buy 300 square kilometres of land and invest a total of $100 million to build a luxury resort with a hotel, golf course and sports facilities…

Forbes ranked Huang as China’s 161st richest man in 2010, with a net worth of $890 million. His company, Zhongkun Group, owns resorts and tourist facilities across China and around the world.

I wonder if Huang Nubo has ever been in Iceland. A golf course would be a trip – given typical wind conditions in Iceland.

Most islands tend to be a bit windy. Iceland tends to be “lot” windy. The usual instruction for casting a salmon lure on one of the better angling rivers is to pick a spot with the wind behind you – hold fast to your fishing rod and toss the lure up into the air directly overhead. It will travel dozens of meters before landing on the river’s surface. 🙂

Foot #11 washes ashore on a beach near Vancouver

False Creek Inlet by Vancouver

A human foot has washed up on a beach near Vancouver, the 11th such find in four years in the region, a Canadian coroner said Thursday, adding to a macabre mystery.

An autopsy on the foot established that it had become separated from its leg due to prolonged water exposure, a statement issued by the British Columbia Coroners Service said, noting no evidence of trauma.

DNA analysis was being carried out on the foot, which was found on Tuesday afternoon and was the eighth recovered in the Vancouver area since 2007. Another three feet have washed up on US beaches off neighboring Washington state in the same time period…

Although none of the medical analyses indicated foul play, local officials have said that the high number of bridges over waterways in the area points towards possible suicides of those whose feet were found.

“We cannot completely exclude a murder, we don’t know why they died, but we have no evidence they were murdered,” Coroner Stephen Fonseca, chief of the identification unit, told AFP.

Every year we find incomplete bodies in the woodlands, on land and in water. Feet will separate naturally, by decomposition and by action of scavengers — coyotes, bears and small rodents.”

I guess we’re to presume our helpful woodland critters then carry the feet of bodies found and munched as forest snacks to nearby bodies of water – to send them off on journeys to mystify those silly humans who live nearby.

Turkey expels Israeli diplomats after U.N. acknowledges murders

Turks cared more for Furkan Dogan than does the Obama government

Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador and suspended military accords Friday, a day after publication of a U.N. report saying that Israel had used unreasonable force in a raid on a Gaza-bound ship that killed nine Turks.

Stung by Israel’s refusal to meet demands for a formal apology, pay compensation to families of the dead, and end the blockade of two million Palestinians living in the Gaza enclave, Turkey announced it was downgrading ties with the Jewish state further.

“Turkey-Israel diplomatic relations have been reduced to a second secretary level. All personnel above the second secretary level will be sent home by Wednesday at the latest,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference in Ankara…

Israel Friday said it accepted the findings of the U.N. report, and that it hoped to mend ties with Turkey, but reiterated that it would not apologize for the deaths. Of course not. Arrogance is thematic in Israeli politics.

Immediately after the attack on the aid convoy last year, Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Israel, suspended joint military exercises, and barred Israeli military aircraft from Turkish airspace.

Friday, Turkey went a step further by putting military pacts with its erstwhile ally on ice…

Erdogan’s stand on the Palestinian issue has held Turkey in good stead among Arabs agitating for greater democracy, notably in Egypt and more recently Syria…

Davutoglu also said support would be given to Turkish and foreign victims of the Israeli raid to seek justice from courts. One of the nine Turks killed was a U.S. citizen.

I presume you can guess how much support the United States has offered the family of the American murdered by the Israelis?

Yeah – I couldn’t find any support either from the Obama administration for Furkan Dogan the unarmed 19-year-old who was shot five times by Israeli gunmen. Obama did the usual “regrettable” everyone gets when the Israelis murder civilians. Furkan Dogan’s father has received no reply from requests to Hillary Clinton. And nothing additional that could be taken as criticism of Israel for the nine killings of members of the peace flotilla.

Libya, the Tory donor and a contract to supply oil

An oil firm whose chief executive has bankrolled the Conservatives won exclusive rights to trade with Libyan rebels during the conflict, following secret talks involving the British Government.

The deal with Vitol was said to have been masterminded by Alan Duncan, the former oil trader turned junior minister, who has close business links to the oil firm and was previously a director of one of its subsidiaries.

Mr Duncan’s private office received funding from the head of Vitol before the general election. Ian Taylor, the company’s chief executive and a friend of Mr Duncan, has given more than £200,000 to the Conservatives.

Vitol is thought to be the only oil firm to have traded with the rebels during the Libyan conflict. Oil industry sources said that other firms including BP, Shell and Glencore had not been approached over the deal. One well-placed source said this was “very surprising” because other companies would have been keen to be involved.

Last night the Coalition was under pressure to disclose details of Mr Duncan’s role in securing the deal, worth about £618million. The firm is thought to have supplied fuel and associated products to the rebels and traded oil on their behalf.

The controversial firm has previously been fined for breaching sanctions and paid money to Arkan, the Serbian warlord, allegedly for oil contracts.

Sources at other oil firms described the situation as “highly unusual”…

Last night, Downing Street officials said there had been no impropriety…“We are confident that the correct procedures were followed.”

Vitol declined to comment. However, sources close to the firm said that, although the Government had “clearly been helpful” in facilitating the deal, the American government and others were also involved…

Well, that guarantees that all ethical standards were observed. Right?

Skip the filling station in your stretch limo!

How can green-conscious celebrities roll around in zero-emissions style while maintaining their precious VIP status? By checking in with Imperial Coach Builders of Missouri, which has announced it will soon stretch a Nissan Leaf into a limousine.

ICB says it will extend the hatch by 48 inches, but considering that all of the battery and electrical equipment are scattered throughout the vehicle, this seems like a real stretch (sorry). Luckily, ICB is a subsidiary of Electric Car Company, so the coach-building firm has a partner with the proper know-how to assist with this project. ECC president Gary Spaniak claims, “This will be the first conversion of this revolutionary vehicle and the first pure electric limousine.”

Keep on rockin’ in the Free World.