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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Baghdad in the Twelfth Century 


Courtesy Project Gutenberg, here are some of the writings of Benjamin of Tudela, a Jewish visitor to Baghdad (and many other places).


Thence it is two days to Bagdad, the great city and the royal residence of the Caliph Emir al Muminin al Abbasi of the family of Mohammed. He is at the head of the Mohammedan religion, and all the kings of Islam obey him; he occupies a similar position to that held by the Pope over the Christians. He has a palace in Bagdad three miles in extent, wherein is a great park with all varieties of trees, fruit-bearing and otherwise, and all manner of animals. The whole is surrounded by a wall....There the great king, Al Abbasi the Caliph (Hafiz) holds his court, and he is kind unto Israel, and many belonging to the people of Israel are his attendants; he knows all languages, and is well versed in the law of Israel. He reads and writes the holy language (Hebrew)....He is truthful and trusty, speaking peace to all men. The men of Islam see him but once in the year....

Each of his brothers and the members of his family has an abode in his palace, but they are all fettered in chains of iron, and guards are placed over each of their houses so that they may not rise against the great Caliph....

He built, on the other side of the river, on the banks of an arm of theEuphrates which there borders the city, a hospital consisting of blocks of houses and hospices for the sick poor who come to be healed. Here there are about sixty physicians' stores which are provided from the Caliph's house with drugs and whatever else may be required. Every sick man who comes is maintained at the Caliph's expense and is medically treated. Here is a building which is called Dar-al-Maristan, where they keep charge of the demented people who have become insane in the towns through the great heat in the summer, and they chain each of them in iron chains until their reason becomes restored to them in the winter-time....

In Bagdad there are about 40,000 Jews, and they dwell in security, prosperity and honour under the great Caliph, and amongst them are great sages, the heads of Academies engaged in the study of the law. In this city there are ten Academies. At the head of the great Academy is the chief rabbi R. Samuel, the son of Eli. He is the head of the Academy Gaon Jacob. He is a Levite, and traces his pedigree back to Moses our teacher. The head of the second Academy is R. Hanania his brother, warden of the Levites; R. Daniel is the head of the third Academy; R. Elazar the scholar is the head of the fourth Academy; and R. Elazar, the son of Zemach, is the head of the order, and his pedigree reaches to Samuel the prophet, the Korahite. He and his brethren know how to chant the melodies as did the singers at the time when the Temple was standing. He is head of the fifth Academy. R. Hisdai, the glory of the scholars, is head of the sixth Academy. R. Haggai is head of the seventh Academy. R. Ezra is the head of the eighth Academy. R. Abraham, who is called Abu Tahir, is the head of the ninth Academy. R. Zakkai, the son of Bostanai the Nasi, is the head of the Sium....

The authority of the Head of the Captivity extends over all the communities of Shinar, Persia, Khurasan and Sheba which is El-Yemen, and Diyar Kalach (Bekr) and the land of Aram Naharaim (Mesopotamia), and over the dwellers in the mountains of Ararat and the land of the Alans....His authority extends also over the land of Siberia, and the communities in the land of the Togarmim unto the mountains of Asveh and the land of Gurgan, the inhabitants of which are called Gurganim who dwell by the river Gihon, and these are the Girgashites who follow the Christian religion. Further it extends to the gates of Samarkand, the land of Tibet, and the land of India. In respect of all these countries the Head of the Captivity gives the communities power to appoint Rabbis and Ministers who come unto him to be consecrated and to receive his authority. They bring him offerings and gifts from the ends of the earth. He owns hospices, gardens and plantations in Babylon, and much land inherited from his fathers, and no one can take his possessions from him by force. He has a fixed weekly revenue arising from the hospices of the Jews, the markets and the merchants, apart from that which is brought to him from far-off lands. The man is very rich, and wise in the Scriptures as well as in the Talmud, and many Israelites dine at his table every day....

In Bagdad there are twenty-eight Jewish Synagogues, situated either in the city itself or in Al-Karkh on the other side of the Tigris....The great synagogue of the Head of the Captivity has columns of marble of various colours overlaid with silver and gold, and on these columns are sentences of the Psalms in golden letters. And in front of the ark are about ten steps of marble; on the topmost step are the seats of the Head of the Captivity and of the Princes of the House of David. The city of Bagdad is twenty miles in circumference, situated in a land of palms, gardens and plantations, the like of which is not to be found in the whole land of Shinar. People come thither with merchandise from all lands. Wise men live there, philosophers who know all manner of wisdom, and magicians expert in all manner of witchcraft.



From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Uh...Mohammed LIKED the Jews...to a point 


From Ynetnews:


Michael Jackson going Muslim?

American pop icon announces intention to convert to Islam, according to sources in Bahrain
Roee Nahmias

Does this explain the anti-Semitic comments?



Not necessarily. Let's go back to the beginning (no, not to Missouri law) and look at Mohammed and the Jews.


For the authority of the Prophet was creating a civic rule for Medina; and more and more he was compelled to address his time and inspirations to the practical problems of social organization, daily morals, even to intertribal diplomacy and war. As in Judaism, no distinction was made between secular and religious affairs; all alike came under religious jurisdiction; he was both Caesar and Christ. But not all Medinites accepted his authority.

A majority of the Arabs stood aside as “the Disaffected,” viewed the new creed and its ritual skeptically, and wondered whether Mohammed was destroying their traditions and liberties, and involving them in war. Most of the Medina Jews clung to their own faith, and continued to trade with the Meccan Quraish. Mohammed drew up with these Jews a subtle concordant:

The Jews who attach themselves to our commonwealth shall be protected from all insults and vexations; they shall have an equal right with our own people to our assistance and good offices; they...shall form with the A'loslcms one composite nation; they shall practice their religion as freely as the Moslems...They shall join the Moslems in defending Yathrib against all enemies. All future disputes between those who accept this charter shall be referred, under God, to the Prophet.

All the Jewish tribes of Medina and the surrounding country soon accepted this agreement: the Banu-Nadhir, the Banu-Kuraiza, and the Banu- Kainuka....

Afak, a centenarian convert to Judaism, composed a satire on the Prophet, and was slain as he slept in his courtyard. A third Medinese poet, Kab ibn al-Ashraf, son of a Jewess, abandoned Islam when Mohammed turned against the Jews; he wrote verses prodding the Quraish to avenge their defeat, and enraged the Moslems by addressing love sonnets to their wives in premature troubadour style. “Who will ease me of this man?” asked Mohammed. That evening the poet's severed head was laid at the Prophet's feet. In the Moslem view these executions were a legitimate defense against treason; Mohammed was the head of a state, and had full authority to condemn.

The Jews of Medina no longer liked this warlike faith, which had once seemed so flatteringly kindred to their own. They laughed at Mohammed's interpretations of their Scriptures, and his claim to be the Messiah promised by their prophets. He retaliated with revelations in which Allah charged the Jews with corrupting the Scriptures, killing the prophets, and rejecting the Messiah. Originally he had made Jerusalem the qibla—the point toward which Moslems should turn in prayer; in 624 he changed this to Mecca and the Kaaba.

The Jews accused him of returning to idolatry. About this time a Moslem girl visited the market of the Banu-Kainuka Jews in Medina; as she sat in a goldsmiths shop a mischievous Jew pinned her skirt behind her to her upper dress. When she arose she cried out in shame at her exposure. A Moslem slew the offending Jew, whose brothers then slew the Moslem. Mohammed marshaled his followers, blockaded the Banu-Kainuka Jews in their quarter for fifteen days, accepted their surrender, and bade them, 700 in number, depart from Medina, and leave all their possessions behind....

Thinking Mohammed safely dead, Abu Sufyan returned in triumph to Mecca. Six months later the Prophet was sufficiently recovered to attack the Banu-Nadhir Jews, charging them with helping the Quraish and plotting against his life. After three weeks siege they were allowed to emigrate, each family taking with it as much as a camel could carry. Mohammed appropriated some of their rich date orchards for the support of his household, and distributed the remainder among the Refugees.38 He considered himself at war with Mecca, and felt justified in removing hostile groups from his flanks.

In 626 Abu Sufyan and the Quraish resumed the offensive, this time with 10,000 men, and with material aid from the Banu-Kuraiza Jews. Unable to meet such a force in battle, Mohammed defended Medina by having a trench dug around it. The Quraish laid siege for twenty days; then, disheartened by wind and rain, they returned to their homes. Mohammed at once led 3000 men against the Banu-Kuraiza Jews. On surrendering, they were given a choice of Islam or death. They chose death. Their 6oo fighting men were slain and buried in the market place of Medina; their women and children were sold into slavery....

In 628 Mohammed sent the Quraish an offer of peace, pledging the safety of their caravans in return for permission to fulfill the rites of the annual pilgrimage. The Quraish replied that a year of peace must precede this consent. Mohammed shocked his followers by agreeing; a ten years truce was signed; and the Prophet consoled his raiders by attacking and plundering the Khaibar Jews in their settlement six days journey northeast of Medina.

The Jews defended themselves as well as they could; ninety- three of them died in the attempt; the rest at last surrendered. They were allowed to remain and cultivate the soil, but on condition of yielding all of their property, and half their future produce, to the conqueror. All the survivors were spared except Kinana, their chieftain, and his cousin, who were beheaded for hiding some of their wealth. Mohammed as an added wife took Safiya, a seventeen-year-old Jewish damsel, betrothed to Kinana....



From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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You haven't studied sonograms. I have. 


From E! Online/Yahoo:


First the American Psychiatric Association slammed [Tom Cruise] for referring to psychiatry as a "pseudoscience," calling Cruise's remarks "irresponsible." Now the American College of Radiology is up in arms over Cruise's admission that he purchased a sonogram machine and uses it to perform at-home ultrasounds on fiancee Katie Holmes.

The ACR issued a statement warning that Cruise and Holmes could potentially harm their unborn baby by performing ultrasounds without the benefit of a doctor's supervision....

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the actor may even be violating the law by possessing the device.

"Persons who promote, sell or lease ultrasound equipment for making 'keepsake' fetal videos should know that FDA views this as an unapproved use of a medical device," the FDA stated. "In addition, those who subject individuals to ultrasound exposure using a diagnostic ultrasound device (a prescription device) without a physician's order may be in violation of state or local laws or regulations regarding use of a prescription medical device."



And here's another whopper. I knew about Randy "Duke" Cunningham's problems, but I didn't know about the single degree of separation between Cunningham and Cruise:


THE navy pilot who inspired Tom Cruise's movie Top Gun faces up to 10 years in jail after admitting taking $3.2 million in bribes.

Former navy pilot and Californian congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham resigned from politics yesterday after confessing to taking the money from a defence contractor which won $219 million in US government contracts.
Cunningham, a decorated Vietnam pilot and director of the US Navy's elite Top Gun fighter pilot school, cried after pleading guilty to fraud, conspiracy to commit bribery and tax evasion....



(Thanks to kevgillett.net.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Idle Rambling Thoughts for November 


Idle Rambling Thoughts is in the middle of a series on various Christmas season events and personalities (such as Herod the Great - great at what?).

This series will continue into December (note that this link won't work until it DOES continue, so wait a few hours).

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Thirty Seconds Over Wal Mart (courtesy Bill's MSN Virtual Earth) 


As I previously noted in a Technoblog comment, I know nothing of MSN Virtual Earth. Well, I've educated myself a bit.

Take a look at this view. The large white roof in the middle of the picture belongs to a former Food 4 Less and Target, now empty. The smaller gray roof to the southeast belongs to a Toys R Us, now empty. This is where the proposed Wal Mart in northwest Ontario would go. However, the Ontario Mountain Village Association prefers that this lot remain vacant, I guess.

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THE WORLD THROUGH MY EYES: WHERE'S AUNT FLOW? 

THE WORLD THROUGH MY EYES: WHERE'S AUNT FLOW?

I'm trying the Blogger "create a link" feature as implemented on another blog. All that I have to say is that I've never heard the term "Aunt Flow" before. Live and learn, I guess.

And learning about backlinks. I'm going to turn them on here (if things work with my blog template).

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Things to ponder as Christmas parties approach 


Re the mention of "Christmas" - unlike my company, I am not politically correct.

Luckily my company's holiday party is at a hotel, because after reading this I'm not so enthused about potlucks at the office.


so, today at work was our "department" thanksgiving luncheon. a few weeks ago the marketing department was asked if we wanted to participate with the i.s. department. i declined and everyone looked at me like i was crazy. you know they were giving me that "it's basically a free lunch" type of look and "why don't you want to participate?"...

i won't be slaving over the stove to come to work and break bread with people who have suspect hygiene practices....

so, while you all had fun with your luncheon. ms. madefromlove had a turkey sandwich from subway.



Melyssa, perhaps you should have Subway prepare your turkey sandwich specially. Here's what the Poop Report said in 2002:


High-School football players in Michigan were all smiles after advancing in the state playoffs over the weekend. The smiles, however, turned to grimaces....More than two dozen students became ill, apparently with food poisoning, after eating Subway sandwiches on the way home....Apparently, only those students who ate sandwiches with mayonnaise became sick....Next time, ask the Subway to hold the mayo!


But perhaps that Subway is safer than other places. Here's the comment left by AB:


I don't generally participate in the group celebratory luncheons around this joint either. I have been in the bathroom with too many of these ladies who flushed and walked. Notice a missing step?


Have a nice dinner, everybody.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Search Me 


Checked my Blogpatrol to see what's brewing. Here's what's up:

  • As usual, most of the searches involve Krystal Fernandez, even though I've only posted one thing about her lately.

  • People are also searching for information on Christopher Nance, Jennifer Hawkins, Danny Bonaduce, Joe Theismann's broken leg, Jessica Hahn, and Ladytron, among other items.

  • Someone entered a Google search for "'blind date' 'roger lodge' rebecca virgin." Assuming that only one virgin named Rebecca has ever appeared on "Blind Date." Now if the search was for Elimidate, perhaps they could only find one virgin (or, alternatively, only one person who wasn't pursuing an entertainment career).

  • Two people found my blog by searching for "idiots" on Google.

  • Someone wants to find a nude video of Catherine Bach (not to be confused with P D Q Bach, who's been on my mind lately).

  • A Yahoo searcher wants to know "what happened to david stien (sic) fox sports." Don't know if this means that he was canned, or just that another radio station dropped the Morning Extravaganza.

  • And there was a Yahoo search for "hilary duff's diet and exercise."


Here are some other ways in which people are getting here:

http://www.manyworlds.com/1/businessblog/2004/06/talent-management.html

http://www.technorati.com/search/locustsandhoney.blogspot.com

http://www.jzuhone.org/wordpress/2005/11/22/one-mission-not-so-ablaze/

http://www.souls-road.blogspot.com/

http://katrinacoverage.com/2005/10/22/marty-bahamondes-testimony.html

http://whatbox.blogspot.com/

http://appleshell.blogspot.com/

http://www.blogpatrol.com/top10.php

http://madefromlove.blogspot.com/

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Question for the Evening 


From Bunnie Diehl:


How many decades after the term has ceased to have any meaning will we use the word co-ed to describe female college students?


Well, it's being used in articles describing Pakistan, such as "Co-ed footrace a giant step for moderates in Pakistan."

However, Bunnie notes its use in U.S.-based articles. But never fear, the thought police are here:


Diane Ravitch’s masterful Language Police is an indispensible companion piece to George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language. Hilarity and distress piggyback incriminatingly as we sample the fruits of her research and analysis. Some illustrations of topics and usages booted by publishers and state agencies....

Banned as Sexist: patrolman, brotherhood, caveman, coed, covergirl, craftsman, doorman, heroine, landlord, layman, maid, mankind, man-made, old wives’ tales, ombudsman, one-man show, pollyanna, spinster, sportsmanship, waitress, yes-man. “Adam and Eve” becomes “Eve and Adam” as proof that men do not dominate....



They forgot boycott. Danged baby seal clubbers.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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What was the truth about Martin Stephan? 


When going to original sources, some Missouri Synod Lutherans cite C.F.W. Walter, some cite Luther, and some cite the Bible. Few, if any, cite Martin Stephan.

Let's start with the LCMS statement from its 150th anniversary:


From its very beginnings the LCMS has been made up of individuals from many backgrounds -- a people called by God to live out their Christian faith together as a church. One group was Saxon Lutherans in Germany who in the early part of the 1800's were determined to remain faithful to the Word of God in spite of the age in which they lived. In the forms of a forced church union and the unbelief that accompanied Rationalism, temptation and persecution became a part of their daily lives. While they suffered both in body and in spirit because of their beliefs, they were sustained by their faith in Jesus Christ that they confessed in the teachings of the Lutheran Church.

Led by Pastor Martin Stephan, these faithful Christians turned their faces in a new direction to which God seemed to be pointing them. America and its freedoms offered the promise that they could continue to believe and practice their old Lutheran faith. Landing at New Orleans and traveling by steamer up the Mississippi, the group came to Missouri. Eventually a young pastor named C.F.W. Walther was to lead them in their new homeland. Walther was to rise as a church leader and he eventually became the first president of the Missouri Synod....



So why didn't Stephan become the first president? From American Historical Review:


Mary Todd, a member of the Missouri Synod who also teaches in one of its universities, offers a fascinating history of the denomination that is grounded in prodigious research. In the process, she lays bare some of the less savory aspects of the synod's past, beginning with the tale of its real founder, Martin Stephan, who rarely appears in the sanitized versions of Missouri's history. Stephan was a charismatic, pietist preacher in Saxony who managed to gather around him a coterie of young theological students—as well as, apparently, a coterie of young women. After the authorities shut down Stephan's conventicles, he and his followers made plans to emigrate to the United States. Stephan assumed the title and the elaborate trappings of bishop, and while his followers struggled to gain a foothold in the New World, Stephan began construction of his sumptuous bishop's residence in Perry County, Missouri, using the band's common fund, which he controlled. His followers eventually confirmed their suspicions about Stephan's financial malfeasance and his dalliances with an assortment of women. The clergy ousted their leader and sent him into exile, literally rowing him across the Missouri River in 1839 and depositing him in Illinois.


Wikipedia has a different view:


Due to jealousy and short sightedness, Martin soon became embroiled in allegations of corruption and sexual misconduct, and was thrown out of the settlement without cause, leaving C.F.W. Walther, who had left Dresden before a warrant for his arrest was served for kidnapping as the senior clergyman. After being placed on trial by an unofficial court, all of Martin's possessions were taken from him and he was sent across the Mississippi river without any clothes, obviously in an attempt to kill him. However, he established another congregation at Red bud, IL at Trinity Church, which is his final resting place. In a retrial of the facts many years later, the decision to remove Martin as the leader of the Saxons was determined to be unjust....You can view many of the possessions that were stolen from Martin Stephan, including a silver chalice given to Martin by the Duke of Saxony and his congregation to commemorate his 30 years of service in the Holy Ministry, on line or in person at the Concordia Historical Institute.


Incidentially, I was unable to find any other information on this "retrial."

Here's Trinity Lutheran Church's version of events:


Among the pastors who have faithfully served this congregation is Pastor Martin Stephan. Stephan, born August 13, 1777 in Stramberg, Moravia, is considered to be the "first Lutheran bishop in North America." Serving as a Lutheran pastor in Dresden, Germany, Stephan became the leader of the Saxon Immigration to Perry County, Missouri in 1839. He was called to Trinity in the Fall of 1845 and served as the first resident pastor, living in the church. He served this congregation until his death February 26, 1846. He was among the first to be laid to rest in Trinity's cemetery.


Another Trinity Lutheran Church account:


In the Fall of 1845, Pastor Martin Stephan was called to serve. Pastor Stephan was the leader of the Saxon immigration to Perry County, Missouri in 1839 and was the first Lutheran Bishop in America. He became the first resident pastor, living in the church itself. He served the congregation until his death Feb. 26, 1846. He is buried in Trinity's cemetery.

The congregation joined the LCMS December 29, 1889.



George F. Wollenburg wrote this extended account:


On New Years Eve, 1838, Stephan delivered a long harangue to a group of his followers on the ship, Olbers. It was reported by candidate Brohm: "I ask little for myself...l must concern myself with lice and bedbugs - tormented and downtrodden man that I am - must concern myself with chamber pots. I do not desire to lead the Gesellschaft,...but so long as I am the one to do it, I demand obedience....l have forsaken my children (a reference to leaving his wife and seven children behind him in Germany.) I would also forsake you, although I love you.... I do not wish to rule, but also do not wish to permit another to rule."

Upon their arrival in St. Louis, plans were made for the proper episcopal accouterments. A staff, a cap, and a cross and chain were prepared for the bishop. Appropriate clerical vestments were planned, not only for the bishop, but also for the pastors. The cost of this equipment was covered by obtaining contributions from the people, who donated their jewelry to the cause.

Financial problems also plagued the colony. Among other matters, one of the causes for the financial problems was the irregularities due to the control which Stephan exercised. The bishop decided that he was entitled to live in a style suited to his high office.

Stephan had purchased a special coach in which to leave Dresden, Germany. This was freighted all the way to St. Louis. It was not suitable for use in Perry County and was sold in St. Louis at a loss of 200 Thaler. The bishop ordered quantities of the best and most expensive wines for his use, which were paid for out of the funds of the Gesellshaft.

We are all familiar with the eventual deposing of Stephan and his expulsion from the Perry County settlement in the summer of 1840. He was accused of sexual improprieties with several women of the group. His deposition was led by lay members and ultimately also by the clergy, who not only deposed him as bishop, but in their deposition also excommunicated him.

The result of this was theological chaos. The absolute conviction that they were the only remaining true church and that Stephan was God's chosen leader coupled with a great zeal for what they believed to be God's will led them to this tragic state of affairs.



From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Freedom of Speech and Steve Rocco 


I dropped the Steve Rocco story after November 2004, but it blipped up again in March 2005.


Trustee Steve Rocco scoffed Monday at warnings from the Orange Unified school board president to stick to district issues at meetings after he gave a 16-minute speech on charter schools, credit unions and his father's death.

In his initial speech, delivered Feb. 10, Rocco criticized the district's handling of Santiago Charter Middle School after a teacher's arrest on sex allegations and spoke of problems at the teachers credit union.

But he also spoke of his father's death....

"Today, the concentration camps are the nursing homes and medical facilities. And who are the inmates? The inmates are your loved ones," Rocco said.

The speech prompted a reprimand last week from board President Kathy Moffat citing board bylaws.

"The health concerns of your parents and previous interactions you may have had with law enforcement are not relevant to the functions of our school district," she wrote.

She warned that the board president may deem a topic appropriate based on whether the board can act on it.

Rocco equated Moffat's letter to "censorship."

"If you're going to give me parameters of how I can talk, that's the same as not speaking," he said. "If you just want a rubber stamp, I can do that, and others too, but I'm not going to."...



Well, I'm not going to take the time to review Rocco's activities in every board meeting, but here's what he said in the October 13, 2005 meeting:


Mr. Rocco acknowledged that former Assemblyman Mickey Conroy and Mrs. Kathy Moran’s husband had both passed away and he offered his condolences.


From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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While I'm musing on Usenet... 


...Tim Skirvin says the following about Steve Boursy:


About a month ago, rumors started flying that Steve was dead, that he had killed himself. The first I heard of it was through alt.usenet.kooks; so I didn't exactly take it seriously. But the idea haunted me, somehow. Would Steve do this? I could see it, but not *believe* it. Steve was The Kook Of Old, one of those that had both fought with me and come out with a reasonably favorable impression. He was half-way between a bogeyman and a mentor. And I had never expected to hear anything more from him again. Except possibly in regards to this page.

The emails started coming in over time. I paid more attention as time past; and when reports of a Boston Globe obituary surfaced, I actually paid the $3.95 to buy a copy of it. There weren't many more details, and I don't feel comfortable posting the text; but there was an appropriate name (Stephen Smith Boursy), a relevant section of the country (Somerville, MA), and a date (17 Apr 2005). And at that point, it began to become a bit more real.

I never expected to care if I saw or heard from Steve again. He wasn't my friend, and for a long time he was my enemy; but now, I am saddened. For better or for worse, he was a Legend, and he deserved better than this.

Farewell, Steve.



Here's a funeral home notice:



And here's what was reportedly Boursy's last post to Usenet:


Path: g2news1.google.com!news1.google.com!news.maxwell.syr.edu!border1.nntp.dca.giganews.com!nntp.giganews.com!local01.nntp.dca.giganews.com!nntp.rcn.net!news.rcn.net.POSTED!not-for-mail
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 04:04:28 -0600
From: "Stephen Boursy"
Newsgroups: alt.fan.mozilla
Subject: Lack of Support
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 05:04:28 -0500
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2900.2180
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2900.2180
X-RFC2646: Format=Flowed; Original
Message-ID:
Lines: 25
NNTP-Posting-Host: 209.6.203.138
X-Trace: sv3-gqiUPecvw6xrG/iBEaLTftuQyxIRnkjbSmHhLjz2PW4ogjtH17QsjY0acPVgAt5vJeoUiDjgOr60m6F!duUU+ReefR3qtGz05iptzLC1ZsUjlTtyda06nTLSrCAIlL+BODRCzXm8xfSxa0bq
X-Complaints-To: abuse@rcn.net
X-DMCA-Complaints-To: a...@rcn.net
X-Abuse-and-DMCA-Info: Please be sure to forward a copy of ALL headers
X-Abuse-and-DMCA-Info: Otherwise we will be unable to process your complaint properly
X-Postfilter: 1.3.32

I use Firefox as my default browser and Thunderbird as my default email
client (right now I'm using Outlook Express instead of Agent for usenet as I
just got a new
PC and haven't installed the software).

The only problem I really have with Mozilla products is that there's no
convenient way to notify them of problems or ask questions. Knowledge
bases, etc. don't cut it--there is no substitute for human interaction. Of
course you won't get that with many other products as well but it would be
nice if Mozilla would put on a human face and encourage rather than
discourage such interaction. They do after all represent something
different and less greedy.

For example I went to PC-Cillin after reading reviews of their virus
software and they offer a free scan online but it only works with the
Microdollars browser. There was no email address to report this to at
Mozilla. When I wrote to the PC_cillin folks they said they don't support
Firefox and you'd get no browser protection if you bought their
product--couldn't report that either.

Not a complaint really--just a source of disappointment.

Steve



Links courtesy the posters here (Tim Skirvin's LiveJournal).

More information here. And here. And here.

And here's one more:


Path: g2news1.google.com!postnews.google.com!g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com!not-for-mail
From: "evetS"
Newsgroups: news.admin.net-abuse.usenet
Subject: Re: What ever happened to Steve Boursy?
Date: 22 Jul 2005 10:33:48 -0700
Organization: http://groups.google.com
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References: <42c84300$0$2028$ed2e19e4@ptn-nntp-reader04.plus.net>

<42dfd48a$0$89003$ed2e19e4@ptn-nntp-reader04.plus.net>



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posting-account=tqA6mA0AAACgv8qqI_Xz3eB1Ycr1Wvuf

Steve has definately died. He committed suicide. I didn't know him
during his Usenet days, I knew him after that. He was a systems
administrator for the Department of Mental Retardation. I started
dealing with him because he was having issues with him relocating his
job from Waltham to Boston. At first he was very hostile towards me and
was accusing me of harassment and being insensitive to his mental
illness. That's when i did a Google search and found a lot of
information on him during his Usenet days.

Once he realized that i was trying to help he very easy to deal with
and i thought he was going to be all right. His death came out of no
where, I was on vacation in April when i got the call. Apparently he
had been talking about killing himself for years.

I felt i should try to let anyone that still used the Groups know what
happened.



And I'm not sure if I ever interacted with Boursy, but in at least one instance I referred to him (along with half of the planet):


From: Ontario Emperor
Subject: Re: the Emperor needs a handmaeed
Date: 2000/04/28
Message-ID: <8ecql1$kkr$1@nnrp1.deja.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 616907478
References: <200004250442.AAA01340@cotse.com> <8e5u79$5k$1@nnrp1.deja.com> <8ecqc2$ka8$1@nnrp1.deja.com>
X-Http-Proxy: 1.0 x23.deja.com:80 (Squid/1.1.22) for client 192.215.231.149
Organization: Deja.com - Before you buy.
X-Article-Creation-Date: Fri Apr 28 20:00:44 2000 GMT
X-MyDeja-Info: XMYDJUIDontarioemperor
Newsgroups: alt.edgar,alt.non.sequitur,alt.cascade,alt.music.ontario-emperor.digital-judge
X-Http-User-Agent: Mozilla/4.08 [en] (WinNT; U ;Nav)

In article <8ecqc2$ka...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
Ontario Emperor wrote:
> In article <8e5u79$5...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
> marsr...@my-deja.com wrote:
>
> [snip]
>
> > ontario smoe is speachless cause he' s GAY! he lives in ontario ca.
> which is
> > a GAY Mecca. this is the guy that is jre,fred
> ziffle,emperor,cujo,james e
> > &james hunter
>
> I thought you said I was Hokey Wolf! Next you'll claim that I'm
> Salvatore Ranieri, oliver1, jraxis, Chris Lewis, Rev Steve Winter, Steve
> Boursy, Doctor Grubor, the Queen of Cans and Jars, mars2earth, Gary
> Cooper (no, not that one), Alexa, Christine Anderson from Copasetic,
> Gene "Bean" Baxter, Jeff Foster, Theo Tres Thr3, Al Gore Sr., Al Gore
> Jr., Bloose, Starfish, Stacy Volin, Roy Rogers, Rudy Favila, Lisa Axe,
> Paul Bragdon, Kazutaka Hori, Eduardo Cabeza, Fred, No More Water in the
> Capitol Reflecting Pool, Bono, David Byrne, Brian Eno, Slim Whitman, Jan
> Hammer, that guy in the commercials who continues to touch his toes
> underwater, Jimmy Johnson, Playboy Buddy Rose, Anwar Sadat, Richard
> Daley, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Salma Hayek,
> Rudy Favila (again), and the dog that refused to eat Alpo and forced
> Johnny Carson to do so.

Whoops! I forgot Mark and Brian, Britney Spears, Jim Morrison, Steve
Taylor, O Joe Taylor, Taylor Mayeda, C. Gin Populus, Mark Givens, Rudy
Favila (for the third time), Drew Carey, Jim Healy, Christopher Nance,
Traci "Savage" Savage, Paul "Moyer" Moyer, Kevin Beyerler, Kevin Ryder,
Kevin Kevin, Tad Newcombe, Rudy Favila (4), Mean Joe Greene, and Mel
Brooks.

> --
> Rudy Left/Surround/Road Array
> (Besieged by Reed College)
> http://www.mp3.com/oemperor/
>
> Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
> Before you buy.
>

--
Rudy Left/Surround/Road Array
(Besieged by Reed College)
http://www.mp3.com/oemperor/


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.



From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

(1) comments links to this post

Reading and Writing Behind the Firewall 


James Richards in Edinburgh made the following statement:


China's government employs upto 40,000 people to watch over its 100 million-plus Internet users....To be honest I don't see a great deal of difference between China's censorship policy and that of employers averse to employees blogging about their working lives.


I replied:


You speak of the things that users write. Similarly, if you look at the things that users read, there isn't a great deal of difference between a firewall that suppresses information about democracy and a firewall that suppresses information about barely legal co-ed hijinks.

At least in a technical sense. Each of us has a set of values, and to my knowledge there are few people who advocate true 100% freedom of speech.



Ah, but as a Usenet veteran, I should have known better. Here's an excerpt from a "Freedom Knights" FAQ:


4.1) Declaration of Free Speech

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Humans are created
equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Unhindered Communications, Unregulated
Exchange of Ideas, and Freedom of Speech, that to secure these rights
the Usenet is instituted on networks of the world, that when any
administration of Usenet becomes destructive to these ends, it is the
Right of the People to alter or to abolish it and to institue new
administration, laying its foundation on such Principles, and
organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely
to effect their Free Communication.

[With much thanks to the Declaration of Independence]



Of course, did Dave Hayes believe in True Free Speech...or at least listening to it? Tim Skirvin notes:


...I was invited by Dimitri Vulis to join Dave's "Freedom Knights" mailing list, devoted to discussing Dave's "True Free Speech" and populated by most of the major kooks of Usenet. I sent off my subscription request - and was denied. I was stunned - but I said nothing, and just went about minding my own business for the next few months...until I got a chance to bring up Dave's censoring me...

At the beginning of this summer (1997), I accidently got into some discussions with Steve Boursy over some F-K related stuff, and eventually the mails we sent started being sent to the list, too. I mentioned again that I wasn't allowed on the list, this time to Dave's face - and, finally, he decided that he couldn't keep me off any longer....



Well, what about Free Speech TV?


Finally, after 50 years of television broadcasting, there now exists a national television channel that reflects the diversity of our society, provides perspectives that are under-represented or ignored by the mainstream media, and shines a national spotlight on engaged citizens working for progressive social change.


Sounds like they censor as much as any other channel. If your views are represented by the mainstream media, and/or if you're working against progressive social change, don't expect this outlet to allow you unlimited freedom of speech.

Ironically, dmoz.org lists the following description of the contents of http://www.freespeech.org/unlimitedfreedom


Unlimited Freedom of Speech - An extensive compilation of links and resources pertaining to freedom of expression, great thinkers, famous quotes and related issues.


If you click on the link, you get a 404 file not found error.

As a concluding thought, I found this gem:


November 15
Freedom of Speech

The Constitution grants the freedom of speech to every citizen. Journalists value it more than anything else. Should the freedom of speech be unlimited? Would unlimited freedom of speech do more good or bad to our society? Would limited freedom of speech impact the monitoring power of news media and therefore threaten our society? John and Ken discuss the philosophy behind the freedom of speech.



Before my Los Angeles area readers get all excited, let me post something else from the same page:


John Perry and Ken Taylor's Philosophy Talk, broadcast and streamed Tuesday's at noon Pacific time, 2:00 p.m. local time, on San Francisco's KALW, has the following topics for November.


You were thinking it was someone else?

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Lack of vocals by Helen Marnie? 


Oh yeah...Ladytron. Here's part of an album review:


Another disappointment is the lack of vocals by Helen Marnie who hardly appears on the album and is pretty much left to shake the tambourine or something.


Huh?

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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A Pre-Advent Reminder 


I'm writing this on the Saturday night before the first Sunday in Advent. In the preceding sentence I've just opened up a hornet's nest, for those who praise Advent vs. those who don't, and for those who praise Sunday over those who don't. Perhaps this is timely:


Romans 14:5-6 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.



Off topic - do the blue skinned descendants from Vega eat meat?

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Ooh, and it makes me wonder... 


From lutherannews.info, quoting from a statement from the Lutheran Concerns Association, dated July 27, 2005. Emphasis mine:


The conclusion of the LCMS convention in 2004 prompted many members to raise questions about the number of convention voting delegates.

Inquiry provided information that indeed there were 176 voting delegates as a result of 88 new circuits formed by exception. The LCMS President approved these exceptions in response to requests from Districts. These added delegates could therefore have changed the results of most of the actions taken at the convention including the election of officers, the praesidium and many other elected positions along with many resolutions that could have lasting results....

It was clear that because of the complications of authority at the convention level, the board level, the office of the President and District President level the only solution was legal. Furthermore because Missouri law was clearly violated it required court action to resolve....

At the encouragement of many pastors we sought a meeting with the LCMS President Dr. Kieschnick to explain to him in person our contemplated action and to listen carefully to his response.

Attorney Robert Doggett and I attended this meeting on Monday July 27, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. Joining Dr. Kieschnick was Sherri Strand, an attorney with Thompson Coburn LLP, the law firm for the LCMS Board of Directors. Dr. Kieschnick was very cordial, opening the meeting with prayer, and after our brief presentation, he deferred to attorney Strand who urged for added meetings to review in detail the specific concerns in an effort to avoid litigation. There was a question about representation which I determined to be a concern about the source of funds for legal fees. Dr. Kieschnick was very attentive, asked several questions and reminded us of our Biblical responsibilities. Our meeting fulfilled its purpose and intent.

At 2:30 pm on the same day we met with the law firm representing our proposed case. The firm of Kohn, Shands, Elbert, Gianoulakis & Giljum LLP is in Missouri and is recognized as very capable and respected. It is their opinion based on years of experience including many cases involving not for profit institutions that these irregularities and the violation of Missouri law supports the case for court action....



Well, the following isn't in Missouri law, so it's probably not relevant:


Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.


Yes, I agree that Jesus was not explicitly discussing organizational leadership disputes. Yet you gotta wonder about a so-called Bible-believing organization that makes so many references to Missouri law in its justification of its actions. And what was this "our meeting fulfilled its purpose and intent" gobbledygook?

I suspect I'm becoming a Communist regarding this particular lawsuit.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

(1) comments links to this post

Bruce Cameron on Unionism and Syncretism 


As Bruce said in December 2002, the devil's in the details:


The Missouri Synod’s first constitution, in 1847, rejected the “mixing of churches and mixing of faith” [Kirchen-und Glaubensmengerei], which was translated into English as the renunciation of “unionism and syncretism.” The Synod’s founders did not have in mind events that would “seem” or “give the impression” of a mixing of confessions; they had real, declared, intentional syncretism and unionism in their view. Look at the examples they cited: “serving congregations of mixed confession by a minister of the church; taking part in the divine service and the administration of the sacraments of false-believing [heterodox] or mixed congregations; taking part in any false-believing tract distribution and missionary activities.” In 1847 there were “united” congregations in the German communities, where Luther’s Catechism and the Calvinist Heidelberg Catechism were both in use; the church members simply “agreed to disagree.” Such “unionistic” congregations and their pastors were forbidden to join the Missouri Synod....

Likewise with syncretism—the mixing of religions. Whether we look back to Georg Calixt (and his 17th-century proposal for uniting Lutherans, Catholics and Reformed under supposed “consensus of the first five centuries”), or to more ancient or more modern mixing of confessions or religions, there is a long line of syncretists who have been proud to express their amalgamated synthesis-of-all-religions. Syncretism is more than physical proximity; it is a statement of faith. And there are those who will be perfectly pleased to make a combined, mixed statement of faith their own....

The controversy of the last year has shown us that we do not agree on how our rejection of unionism and syncretism works in practice. When some of us saw or heard what Pastor Dave Benke did on September 23, 2001 at Yankee Stadium, we were immediately sure that he had done the right thing for that place, that time and those people. When other members of the Synod saw or heard what he had done, they were immediately sure that he had done the wrong thing. That so many members of the Synod jumped—immediately!—to conflicting conclusions tells us something about the state of our Synod....

In May of 1945, the Mayor of St. Louis sponsored a V-E Day program. During the planning of this program, Missouri Synod representatives “made clear to the mayor that the Lutheran pastors of the Missouri Synod could not be represented in a service of worship or of prayer, but that they could participate in a civic gathering.” When the day came, this was the program: the Invocation was given by a Catholic priest. The mayor and others gave speeches. Several religious representatives spoke—a Catholic, two Protestant clergymen, and a Jewish Rabbi. The closing prayer and Benediction were given by an LCMS Lutheran.

However! When V-J Day arrived, the committee in charge of the St. Louis celebration overruled the requests from the Missouri Synod and arranged for a “religious service” in some respects different from the V-E Day festivities. The Missouri Synod (and the Roman Catholics) did not participate. In other words, as the old saying says, “The devil is in the details.”...



From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Yet more on syncretism, specifically on the Lutheran affair - Canadians and Benke 


Yes, I know that I posted a lot on syncretism yesterday (1 2 3 4 5), and that the first and third posts in particular discussed the David Benke situation. However, more recently, the LCMS (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) handling of the situation has brought it into conflict with a conservative Canadian Lutheran church:


Canadian Lutherans pointed out at their convention last month that they are in church fellowship with the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod. As such, since President Kieschnick and the Committee on Constitutional Matters approved worshiping with those who deny Christ, that makes the Canadian Lutheran Church partners in the sin....


Being a church body with committees and junk, the Lutheran Church in Canada considered two resolutions:


OVERTURE 1.08

To Offer Fraternal Admonishment to The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod

WHEREAS it is the nature of church fellowship that those who are part of that fellowship are co-responsible for
all public doctrine and practice of the member church bodies; and

WHEREAS altar and pulpit Fellowship is currently enjoyed by Lutheran Church–Canada and The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod; and

WHEREAS this fellowship is based on a complete agreement in doctrine, including matters dealing with unionism and syncretism; and

WHEREAS according to the constitutions of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and Lutheran Church–Canada, conditions for acquiring and holding membership in the Synod, include the renunciation of unionism and syncretism of every description (Article IV:2); and

WHEREAS The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has approved the participation of the president of the Atlantic District of the LCMS in a unionistic worship service that included not only representatives of heterodox church bodies but also Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Jews; and

WHEREAS the LCMS Commission on Constitutional Matters has made an official binding decision declaring that since the president of that district acted on the advice of his ecclesiastical supervisor he cannot be charged with violating God’s Sacred Word thereby placing the opinion of the ecclesiastical supervisor above the opinions of the Word of God; and

WHEREAS to remain silent and to fail to warn our sister church body about the nature of its sin is not only unloving but also makes Lutheran Church–Canada a participant of that sin (Ezekiel 33:8-9); and

WHEREAS if this matter is not resolved it might jeopardize the fellowship that Lutheran Church–Canada enjoys with The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod which has been blessed in so many ways; therefore be it

RESOLVED that Lutheran Church–Canada meeting in convention fraternally admonish our sister church body, The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod to adhere to the confessional standards of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and renounce all forms of syncretism and unionism; and be it further

RESOLVED that the members of Lutheran Church–Canada offer prayers to God that the unity of the holy catholic church would be manifested by the church on earth as it renounces all sin and error and subscribes unconditionally to Holy Word of God and the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

First Lutheran Church, Palmer Rapids ON
Dennis Maschke, chair
Frida Mantifel, secretary
Rev. Tom Korcok, interim pastor
Also: Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pembroke ON
Chris Knight, chair
Maryanne Mask, secretary
Rev. Tom Korcok, pastor


OVERTURE 1.09

To Express Fraternal Concern for the LCMS

WHEREAS Holy Scripture tells us to admonish the erring brother for the sake of his salvation (Jam 5:19-20); and

WHEREAS the participation of Rev. David Benke at the Prayer for America, an inter-faith worship service, which followed the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, violates the teaching of Holy Scripture (Ex 23; 1 Cor 8:4; Is 42:8), and the Synodical Handbook; and

WHEREAS this violation of Holy Scripture was not publicly condemned by the most recent convention of the LCMS; and

WHEREAS failure to clearly confess the truth of Holy Scripture on this issue creates confusion in our own church body (1 Cor 14:8-9); therefore be it

RESOLVED that Lutheran Church–Canada in Convention express her fraternal concern of this violation of Holy Scripture to the LCMS; and be it finally

RESOLVED that we keep our sister Synod, the LCMS, in our prayers.

Hanover Circuit, East District
Kim Kuhl, chair
Rev. David Saar, Hanover Circuit Counsellor



At least one LCMS member (Bob) praised the content of Overture 1.08:


Which is, in the opinion of this humble blogger, the most salutary thing to come from north of the border since hockey.


It turns out that, according again to Bob, neither 1.08 or 1.09 were considered (note the reference to a "Baal Game" at Yankee Stadium):


It seems- unfortunately- that this report of the passage of a resolution by the Lutheran Church-Canada admonishing the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod for its endorsement of Atlantic District President David Benke's participation in the syncretistic Yankee Stadium "Baal Game" worship service in the aftermath of 9/11 was in error.

The overture quoted- actually a proposal for a resolution, and never voted upon as such - was part of the basis for resolution of admonition which was, in fact, defeated.



Here's the resolution that reportedly did pass:


Resolution 05.1.08
To Respond to Concerns Regarding Unionism and Syncretism
Ref. Overtures 1.08, 1.09, 1.14, 1.16, Report of the Synodical President in the 2002 Synodical Workbook

Whereas Lutheran Church-Canada in its current constitution states:

Article VI Conditions of Membership

Conditions for acquiring and holding membership in Lutheran Church-Canada are:

2. renunciation of unionism and syncretism of every description, such as:
a. serving congregations of mixed confession, as such, by pastors;
b. taking part in the services and sacramental rites of heterodox congregations or of congregations of mixed confession; participating in heterodox tract and missionary activities; and

Whereas (here the corresponding section of the LCMS constitution, which is virtually identical in wording, is quoted) and

Whereas the public confession of both LCC and LCMS has not changed; and

Whereas the "Yankee Stadium event" has caused concern for many within Lutheran Church-Canada; and

Whereas the Synodical President according to the responsibilities entrusted to him has expressed these concerns to President Kieschnick (see Report of the Synodical President in the 2002 Convention Workbook); therefore be it

Resolved that Lutheran Church-Canada, together with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, continue to encourage one another, through the office of our respective Synodical Presidents, to remain faithful to Scripture and the Confessions, particularly in these matters.



From the St. Peter's (Brooklyn) website, here are some comments from Pastor Benke himself, from approximately 2004. First, an introduction:


This paper was presented by Pastor Benke at a conference of the Daystar organization in early January in St. Louis. When we read the "version" of the paper that was transmitted through a publication called "Christian News" that is sent without subscription to our church every week, we decided to print the entire paper on our website so that readers might see the paper in its totality.

The publication Christian News has been seeking to have Pastor Benke removed from the clergy roster of the Missouri Synod for a long time. It is not interested in the truth, but as far as we can tell either in power or vengeance. Therefore, whatever Pastor Benke says is distorted. The version of his paper in "Christian News" is chopped up, diced and sliced. Pastor Benke's paper as you read it in its full version will tell you a whole different story:

Pastor Benke is not and never has been a "universalist," even though Christian News commits slander and libel by calling him one.

Pastor Benke is strongly pro-life and has performed that ministry in Brooklyn and New York City for a long time

Pastor Benke believes in mission to any and everyone at every opportunity, because that is the Will of God

Pastor Benke practices what he preaches and is prepared to back up his actions with the full authority of the Bible and the Lutheran writings



And, here's my quote (chopped up, diced, and sliced) from the paper:


A few LCMS clergy have compared Yankee Stadium, for instance, to the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Had they been there, they would have thundered down polemic against the unbelievers assembled on the podium. They wanted me to do the same. The Apostle Paul and the great majority of the early church witness in the pre-modern, pre-Christian world they lived in then chose instead to engage the world with the Gospel of hope. They did so through witness and attachment to the issue of the belief in God from nature and conscience that exists in every human heart (Acts 14 and Acts 17, among others, and Justin Martyr, among others). Tossing verbal grenades at the families of those buried under rubble would be from my personal perspective both inhumane and unbiblical....

That's the meaning of my life right now – to encourage dialog WHEREVER it can be found. I've sat in a yurt in a backyard in Louisville with a rabbi and an imam and listened as the rabbi grabbed me and said, "You know what I like about you? You stand up for your particularity! Somebody asks you to pray, you give your prayer in Jesus' Name and you refuse to back down when they say you shouldn't have been there and prayed that. We need more Jews like that!" Oddly enough, a Jewish woman out on Long Island called her Lutheran friend the day after Yankee Stadium and said, "Did you see that thing on TV yesterday – wow, was it long! But way at the end a guy got up and gave a prayer, nice and loud and ended in Jesus' Name. Right from the heart. That's what I needed to hear." And her flabbergasted friend said, "That was OUR guy." And brought the message of salvation to her Jewish friend....

In other words, even there in the civic arenas of the world, be they Areopogas or Temple of Diana or Yankee Stadium where the representatives of all religions gather, or even there in the bodega on the corner where the hang-out syncretist with a beer in a bag tells you, "Padre, we all believe in the same God," we must engage the world with the Gospel of hope! And say, "I agree with you, compadre. There is only one God. What do you know about God, hermano?" And grab a beer and let the dialog and the dialectic begin.



From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

(1) comments links to this post

Exopolitics 


For years, I have been arguing that the traditional one-dimensional "baby seal clubbers vs. Communists" political model is an oversimplification.

Meanwhile, the Libertarians go around trumpeting a two-dimensional political model - which, coincidentally enough, proves that everyone is a Libertarian.

I was thinking that a three-dimensional model of some type would suffice to describe secular political behavior. Well, I was thinking that. Then I started hearing about exopolitics.


This site is dedicated to producing high quality research papers and books that focus on the political implications of what an overwhelming amount of evidence conclusively points to as an extraterrestrial presence on Earth....


Skipping all the other stuff (about how the government is keeping all of this secret), let's seriously (well, sort of) look at the political implications. Michael E. Salla, PhD, has stated the following:


The report distinguishes between these extraterrestrial races on the basis of their belonging to one of either two distinct groups. The first group contains extraterrestrial races with which ‘shadow governments’ responsible for extraterrestrial affairs, have reached agreements with and even collaborated in a number of joint projects....There is also a second grouping of extraterrestrial races that lie outside of this web of clandestine agreements between extraterrestrial races and ‘shadow governments’/national security agencies. Most ‘contactees’ report these races to be ‘friendly’ to human interests suggesting a more ethical approach to the challenges confronting humanity as it prepares for the truth about the extraterrestrial presence and challenges posed by advanced extraterrestrial technology....

Distinguishing between extraterrestrial groups in this way helps bring to prominence the complex ethical-legal-political dimensions in understanding how different extraterrestrial races choose to cooperate or not with the military-industrial-extraterrestrial complex....



I'm gonna skip the first group and look at the second, since the first group would presumably tend to operate along more traditional political lines. (For example, aliens within Halliburton would tend to denigrate Murtha-ites, just like humans do.)


Telosians

The subterranean ‘extraterrestrials’ are described to be remnants of previous human civilizations on the Earth’s surface such as Lemuria and Atlantis and are thus genetically related to humanity. The most famous description of one of these ancient races is found in the posthumously published ‘diaries’ of Admiral Richard Byrd who describes a secret expedition to the North Pole where he was taken into the subterranean dwelling of an advanced race with Nordic physical characteristics....

A large subterranean city called Telos is argued to lie below Mt Shasta, California and has been described by individuals who have either physically traveled to this city and witnessed it, or those who claim to have telepathically communicated with the occupants of this city....

The Telosians are reported to specialize in maintaining human longevity, and integrating harmonious technologies and belief systems for surface based humans. The Telosians and other subterranean ‘extraterrestrials’ seek to curtail the most damaging aspects of human-extraterrestrial technological agreements while assisting in the evolutionary growth in human consciousness. The main activities of the Telosians can be inferred to be in helping surface humanity learn of its ancient Earth history, restore human longevity, changing unhealthy belief systems and protecting the environment. The global solutions provided by the Telosians include: environmental protection; promoting bio-diversity; restoring human health and longevity; and recovery of lost historical knowledge....

Lyra

It is appropriate to begin the discussion of these ‘off world’ extraterrestrial races and their main activities by focusing on a star system that has been described as the source for the spread of human civilization in the Milky Wa[y] galaxy, the constellation of Lyra....

The Lyrans posses Nordic features and are quite possibly the ‘Elohim’ described in religious traditions both on Earth and around the galaxy. Due to the Lyrans role in the genesis of the human presence in the galaxy, the Lyrans can understandably be argued to have the most detailed understanding of human origins and galactic history. They can be described as the ‘Galactic historians’ for the human species. It can be inferred that the Lyrans help in disseminating the truth about the evolution of human races in the galaxy, and have a deep understanding of galactic human culture and of the ‘human spirit’....

[T]he Lyrans’ main activities are in disseminating the unique history of the human race in the galaxy, and assisting in understanding human motivations and potentials. The global solutions the Lyrans provide include accurate information about human history, understanding galactic history, discovery of the human essence, diplomacy and conflict resolution, and global education.

Vega

...The Vegans were a darker or ‘blue’ skinned group of humans, and were likely the ‘blue race’ of advanced humans mentioned in various Vedic texts, and from whom the Hindu gods Vishnu and Krishna derived.

Significantly, the results of the Vegans and Lyrans interbreeding with humans paralleled events described in the Book of Enoch where the ‘Nephilim’ intermarried with humans and produced a race of giants that eventually died off....

[T]he Vegans returning to Earth in the present era, are attempting to assist humanity, atone for past mistakes and to assist Vegan starseeds....Like the Lyrans, the global solutions the Vegans provide include accurate information about human history and the Vegan heritage, understanding galactic history, discovery of the human essence, diplomacy and conflict resolution, and global education.



That's enough for now. There are plenty of other alien races that are discussed here, but as a recently enlightened idiot I'd better take small steps on this one.

So, let's take the Telosians, Lyrans, and Vegans, and start using applied exopolitics. Where do these beings stand on the important issues of our day? For example, where do they stand on the exporting of America's jobs? Let's start with one of the human points of view, from the AFL-CIO:


Corporations will ship an estimated 830,000 white-collar U.S. jobs overseas by the end of 2005, according to Forrester Research Inc., and some estimates say up to 14 million middle-class jobs could be exported out of America in the next 10 years.

Accountants, software engineers—even X-ray technicians—are losing their jobs as corporations look for low-wage workers in countries such as India and China.

At the same time, 2.8 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since the Bush took office, many of them because corporations have shipped them to countries such as China, which is creating a booming manufacturing industry on the backs of its poorly-paid workers.

Meanwhile, the jobs being created in the United States often are low-wage jobs that don’t offer health coverage or ensure retirement security. Nearly one-quarter of the nation’s workers labor in jobs that generally pay less than the $8.85 hourly wage the U.S. government says it takes to keep a family of four out of poverty. Sixty percent of such workers are women, and many are people of color.



Certainly the Telosians will approach this issue differently than the Lyrans and Vegans. As a U.S.-based group, the Telosians will in some respects oppose the export of jobs to other parts of the globe, but on the other hand, their interest in human longevity will naturally result in a larger population, with its potential for underemployment. Meanwhile, the Lyrans and Vegans may actually encourage exporting of jobs to other planets - I'm sure there are a number of Lyrans on their home planet who are dying to provide telephone customer service.

However, it's clear that all three of the parties listed above will support the teaching of intelligent design...

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Carbon Dioxide Poisoning 


A brief pause before I start using the term "fascist" in Ontario Vineyard Village Association press releases. Heck, might as well.

I probably should have started this research before writing the latest OVVA press release (which, if you haven't yet seen it, calls for a ban on carbon dioxide emissions in Ontario, California). Yet, can you imagine how an unscrupulous organization can take the true stories about carbon dioxide poisoning, and turn them into impassioned calls for a ban on exhaling?

Anyway, for those who are interested (probably only myself), here's some information on carbon dioxide poisoning.

From Emergency Medicine:


A 50-year-old medical researcher was discovered unconscious in a large walk-in refrigerator containing 15 large blocks of dry ice. The dry ice had been stored in the 39.2° F refrigerator at approximately 9:00 A.M. that day, and the researcher had last been seen at around noon; at least three hours, therefore, had elapsed between storage and exposure. There were no signs of struggle, and the victim had no history of psychiatric disorders, recent personal crises, or medical illnesses. At investigation of the scene, the blocks of dry ice appeared grossly intact, but the external ventilation system was nonfunctional. Additional investigation confirmed that ambient carbon dioxide (CO2) was at a life-threatening concentration....

Occupational exposure to CO2 is widespread. The gas is used in carbonation of soft drinks and as a shielding gas for welding. Carbon dioxide is produced when organic material decomposes or ferments, and asphyxiation from CO2 exposure has occurred in workers entering grain elevators, the holds of cargo ships, and brewery vats. In the past, miners would lower candles or mice into caves before entering, to guard against the "black damp"--oxidation of carbonaceous material to CO2, a process that both requires and depletes environmental oxygen.

Compressed CO2 gas is widely used as a fire extinguisher because of its ability to safely displace oxygen from the atmosphere surrounding a fire. When the gas is used in a closed space such as an airplane, however, that property may prove lethal. Dry ice is often used to generate artificial smoke for stage productions and is widely used in the biomedical and transportation industries. Storage of dry ice in closed spaces, such as submarines and automobiles, has proved hazardous in the past, although the patient in this case may not have known that the walk-in refrigerator did not have a functioning ventilation system....



From eMedicine:


Carbon dioxide build-up when diving is the result of inadequate ventilation. It is often caused by inadequate breathing, a tight wetsuit, overexertion, regulator malfunction, deep diving, and contamination of the air supply with exhaled gases. As a result, carbon dioxide levels in the blood can increase, causing shortness of breath and sedation.


From an old Usenet post by Steve Harris, MD:


...Humans don't have good hypoxia sensors, and people have walked into nitrogen filled rooms and died, before they even realized there was anything wrong. You can breathe into a closed circuit which takes out the CO2 until you pass out from hypoxia, without much discomfort at all. On the other hand, in a submarine or someplace where CO2 is building up but there's plenty of oxygen, it's intensely uncomfortable, and feels like dying. So does breathing that 5% CO2 95% O2 medical mix they treat CO victims with.

And when the CO2 hits about 7% to 10% of your ambient air, you DO die. Even if the rest is O2. It's CO2 narcosis, and it shuts you down. 5% CO2 is about 40 Torr, your normal blood level. So if you breath that, you go up to 80 Torr, enough to black you out unless you hyperventilate. Double your minute volume and you can get down to 60 Torr, but you feel crumby. At 10% there's no way to keep below about 90 Torr, and (unless you're a chronic COPD patient who's used to high CO2s and has a high bicarb and other compensatory mechanisms) you black out. Then quit hyperventilating. Then quit breathing entirely....



From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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New Ontario Vineyard Village Association Press Release, November 25 2005 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ONTARIO VINEYARD VILLAGE ASSOCATION PROPOSES REVOLUTIONARY POLLUTION SOLUTION
Proposed Solution Will Preserve Northeast Ontario

GUASTI, CA – November 25 2005 - In an unprecedented move, the Ontario Vineyard Village Association (OVVA) has proposed a revolutionary idea to reduce pollution concerns - not only in northeast Ontario, California, but throughout the entire city.

According to Ontario Emperor, newly-appointed Second Vice President of the Association, "While other organizations engage in ineffective tactics, such as trying to keep Wal-Mart out of northwest Ontario, California, the Ontario Vineyard Village Association continues to advocate true solutions to the problems facing our city. Despite harsh criticism (i.e., having been referred to as "idiots" at http://environmentalrepublican.blogspot.com/2005/11/kyoto-breathing-its-last-polluted.html), we shall continue to propose revolutionary solutions for our fair city."

Over the last month, OVVA has proposed several solutions:
  • We have called for a ban on businesses in the Fourth and Vineyard area.

  • We have proposed that winds come from the south (i.e. the cow country), rather than from the north, until toxic businesses go away.

  • We have proposed "the decommissioning of all roads within one mile of Fourth and Vineyard, including Fourth Street, Vineyard Avenue, and U.S. Interstate 10."

  • After some reconsideration, we have alternatively proposed to ban all fossil fuels.


Ontario Emperor was proud to announce OVVA's latest proposal:

"After extensive analysis, the Ontario Vineyard Village Association is proposing to couple our proposed ban on fossil fuels with a ban on all emissions of carbon dioxide throughout the city of Ontario.

"Naysayers have pointed out that carbon dioxide is emitted by humans, and that the proposed ban would be cumbersome to people living in the city, including the residents that are to benefit from OVVA's proposals. To those naysayers, I simply ask - are you willing to tolerate carbon dioxide emissions in your own home?"

As always, the OVVA will engage in vicious attacks on those who believe its solution is too extreme. "It’s for the children," said the Emperor in an insincerely emotional voice.

Ontario Vineyard Village Association
c/o KOER Synthetica Radio 87.1 MHz
1 Empire Way Suite 2525
Guasti, CA 91743

###

[OE UPDATE: Let me blind you with science here.]

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Identifying the Idiots 


Environmental Republican wrote the following on Monday:


The Kyoto Protocols have served the worlds purpose and look as though they are in their death throes. While doing nothing for the environment, they've given the socialist nations and organizations of the world a club with which to whack the US....

And here's two idiots who obviously didn't get the memo.



Environmental Republican then links to the two idiots. Let's start with the second:


I've got a nifty fun fact for you: Every three and a half minutes, on average, someone dies partly because of global warming....

Here's the thing that really makes me crazy: George Bush, besides having the gall to question whether global warming even exists, is among the TMAs (Total Major Assholes) who oppose the Kyoto Protocols because of the presumed negative impact on American businesses. Need I say it? -- Screw American businesses! We're talking about a PLANET here!



The other idiot? Guess who.


Your Ontario Vineyard Village Association has not been idle. We have called for a ban on businesses in the Fourth and Vineyard area. We have proposed that winds come from the south, rather than from the north, until toxic businesses go away. And, the Ontario Vineyard Village Association has also proposed "the decommissioning of all roads within one mile of Fourth and Vineyard, including Fourth Street, Vineyard Avenue, and U.S. Interstate 10."

But even those measures, if adopted, would not preserve the residential character of the community. It's time to ban fossil fuels completely....



So, for the benefit of Environmental Republican and others, I need to reiterate why the Ontario Vineyard Village Association is necessary. Basically, the Ontario Vineyard Village Association must go forward in those instances in which the Ontario Mountain Village Association does not go far enough. You'll recall that the Ontario Mountain Village Association objects to the proposed presence of a Wal Mart in northwest Ontario. Here's what I previously said about that:


So, based upon their objections to Wal-Mart, here's what the Ontario Mountain Village Assocation wants to happen to the space:
  • Any business that will draw "additional traffic, noise, and trash" into northwest Ontario is not welcome. Preferably the stores that open in the space would cater to people who walk to the stores - and walk very quietly.

  • The businesses that open in this area will not sell any goods that are made in China.

  • The businesses that open in this area should not attract a criminal element. I am, of course, assuming that "criminal element" is not a code word meaning "No niggers or spics in the community" - they want to keep all criminals out, regardless of race or age. Oliver North, stay away. Ex-Enron executives, stay away.

So, over the next few days, I will conduct an intense search (aided by O.J. Simpson) to find a business that meets the implied demands of the Ontario Mountain Village Association.



I wrote this on October 23. Later that same day, I discovered that one of the principals of the Ontario Mountain Village Association operated a business (City Rentals) in a residential area, and that said business was listed in a "Summary Report of Hazardous Waste and Sewage Spill Incidents."

The competing organization, the Ontario Vineyard Village Association, just grew from there. For example, it issued the following press release (which you may not have seen, since it was posted in an infrequently-accessed blog):


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ONTARIO VINEYARD VILLAGE ASSOCATION PROPOSES REVOLUTIONARY TRAFFIC CALMING SOLUTION
Proponents Certain that Federal Approval of Interstate 10 Shutdown Will Be Provided “Swiftly”

GUASTI, CA – October 24 2005 - In an unprecedented move in the traffic calming industry, the Ontario Vineyard Village Association (OVVA) has proposed a revolutionary idea to reduce traffic congestion concerns in northeast Ontario.

According to Ontario Emperor, Third Vice President of the Association, “Our organization and fellow organizations have been struggling with the traffic issue. For example, the Ontario Mountain Village Association is on record as stating that new businesses should not increase traffic or attract a criminal element. However, the OMVA’s headquarters region itself is wracked with problems affecting nearby residential areas, including a hazardous waste situation that was not reported for six days.

“Miniscule measures might offer some protection to Fourth and Vineyard residents, but only a comprehensive solution will offer the maximum benefit.”

The OVVA’s “comprehensive solution” involves the decommissioning of all roads within one mile of Fourth and Vineyard, including Fourth Street, Vineyard Avenue, and U.S. Interstate 10.

“Traditional traffic calming just doesn’t do the job,” according to the Emperor. “It only results in minor damage to the cars that try to beat it. We need something that stops the cars dead in their tracks.”

The OVVA will engage in vicious attacks on those who believe its solution is too extreme. “It’s for the children,” said the Emperor in an insincerely emotional voice.

Ontario Vineyard Village Association
c/o KOER Synthetica Radio 87.1 MHz
1 Empire Way Suite 2525
Guasti, CA 91743

###



I am shocked that the so-called Environmental Republican would ban "progress."

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Where Are They Now - Saddam Hussein's Old PR Guy 


Time makes you forget. Yesterday I entitled a post The NEA would be better off with Saddam Hussein's old PR guy. I had forgotten his name, his (former) title, and even his nickname. Well, the nickname was "Baghdad Bob." He used to be the Information Minister. And his real name is Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf. So, what happened to him? First, let's look at his fame. All information is from Wikipedia.


Al-Sahaf is probably most known for his daily press briefings in Baghdad during the 2003 Iraq War, where his lies, fantasies and colourful description of his enemies reached further heights as the war progressed and caused him to be nicknamed Baghdad Bob by commentators in the United States and Comical Ali (an allusion to Chemical Ali, the nickname of former Iraqi Defence Minister Ali Hassan al-Majid) by commentators in the United Kingdom. On April 7, 2003, he claimed that there were no American troops in Baghdad, and that the Americans were committing suicide by the hundreds at the city's gates, despite the fact that the imminent fall of Baghdad and the Hussein government was obvious to those aware of the progress of the war, and that American tanks were patrolling the streets only a few hundred meters from the location where the press conference was held. His last public appearance as Information Minister was on Tuesday April 8, 2003, when he said that the Americans "are going to surrender or be burned in their tanks. They will surrender, it is they who will surrender".


So, what happened next?


On 25 June 2003 the London newspaper the Daily Mirror reported that al-Sahaf had been captured by coalition troops at a roadblock in Baghdad. The report was not confirmed by military authorities and was denied by al-Sahaf's family through Abu Dhabi TV. The next day al-Sahaf himself recorded an interview for the Dubai-based al-Arabiya news channel. al-Sahaf said that he had turned himself in to US forces and had been interrogated by them. He was reportedly paid as much as $200,000 for the television interview, during which he appeared very withdrawn in contrast with the bombastic persona he projected during the war. Many of his answers consisted of a simple "yes" or "no". He refused to speculate on the causes of the downfall of the Iraqi government and answered only "history will tell" when asked if video clips purporting to prove that Saddam Hussein was alive were genuine, amid speculation at that time that Hussein had been killed during the war.

Although questioned by American occupation authorities, al-Sahaf was released, and there has been no suggestion of charging or detaining him for his role in the Saddam Hussein government. He is now living in the United Arab Emirates with his family.



From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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From the Theological to the Political 


There is an Impeach Bush Coalition blog, described as "A United Coalition of Blogs for the Impeachment of George W. Bush."

Don't they realize that if Bush is impeached and convicted, Cheney will become President?

This was not an issue in previous impeachments and impeachment attempts, since Clinton's impeachment did not involve Gore at all, any move to impeach Nixon would have had nothing to do with Ford, and we didn't even have a Vice President when Andrew Johnson was impeached. (I forget who would have become President if Andrew Johnson would have been convicted; it may have been the Speaker, or it may have been the President Pro Tem. Yes, I know that's not the proper name for the Senate person, but I'm gonna continue to say President Pro Tem. Tem. Tem. Tem. Ha ha ha!)

Oopsie. Let's get back to the IBC, which is neither a root beer nor a THEOS computer manufacturer. Here are excerpts from the first post in the blog:


The time has come. It's time to stay on point. The blogs need to unite around a rallying cry of "IMPEACH BUSH." As of this post, the term "impeach bush" is the third most popular search term at Technocrati.

President Bush has totally and utterly failed the American people. Almost every day we are presented with further proof why he should not be our president. From 9/11, to WMDs, to Iraq, to Katrina-- the reasons are many and obvious. We need to impeach him NOW.

The only point that should be discussed is-- "IMPEACH BUSH NOW!" We need to pound this point over and over again. It should be mentioned wherever possible, and it should not stop until the mainstream media and all politicans realize that we, the people, will not stand for gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, nor the utter lies, any longer....



Gross negligence. Willful and wanton misconduct. Utter lies. Which brings up a good question - what are the Constitutional requirements for impeachment of a Federal official? You'll recall that oral sex in and of itself is not an impeachable offense, but some felt that perjury was. (The Senate, in the Clinton case, didn't agree.) Well, let's see what the Constitution says about impeachment (emphasis mine):


[Article I Section 2 Clause 5] The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

[Article I Section 3 Clause 6] The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

[Article I Section 3 Clause 7] Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

[Article II Section 2 Clause 1] The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

[Article II Section 2 Clause 4] The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

[Article III Section 2 Clause 3] The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.



So, it boils down to "high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Infoplease dives into an attempted definition:


What are “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”?

Bribery and treason are among the least ambiguous reasons meriting impeachment, but the ocean of wrongdoing encompassed by the Constitution's stipulation of “high crimes and misdemeanors” is vast. Abuse of power and serious misconduct in office fit this category, but one act that is definitely not grounds for impeachment is partisan discord. Several impeachment cases have confused political animosity with genuine crimes. Since Congress, the vortex of partisanship, is responsible for indicting, trying, and convicting public officials, it is necessary for the legislative branch to temporarily cast aside its factional nature and adopt a judicial role.



Here is what Infoplease says about the two Presidents who have been impeached. First, Andrew Johnson:


Johnson, a Southern Democrat who became president after Lincoln's assassination, supported a mild policy of Reconstruction after the Civil War. The Radical Republicans in Congress were furious at his leniency toward ex-Confederates and obvious lack of concern for ex-slaves, demonstrated by his veto of civil rights bills and opposition to the Fourteenth Amendment. To protect Radical Republicans in Johnson's administration and diminish the strength of the president, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act in 1867, which prohibited the president from dismissing office holders without the Senate's approval. A defiant Johnson tested the constitutionality of the Act by attempting to oust Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. His violation of the Act became the basis for impeachment in 1868. But the Senate was one vote short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict, and Johnson was acquitted May 26, 1868.

Senator Charles Sumner, witness to the proceedings, defined them as “political in character.” Historians today generally agree with his assessment and consider the grounds for Johnson's impeachment flimsy—the Tenure of Office Act was partially repealed in 1887, and then declared unconstitutional in 1926.



Next, Bill Clinton:


Bill Clinton was ultimately dragged down—though not defeated—by the “character issues” brought into question even before his election. An investigation into some suspect real estate dealings in which Clinton was involved prior to his presidency failed to turn up any implicating evidence. However, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr managed to unravel a tangled web of alleged sexual advances and affairs in Clinton's past. The trail led to former White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky. After months of denials, including in a videotaped legal testimony, Clinton admitted in August of 1998 that he had had a sexual relationship with the young woman during the time of her internship.

The infamous “Starr Report” outlining the findings of the Independent Counsel's investigation was delivered to the House of Representatives on Sept. 9, 1998 and subsequently made available to the public. Many felt the report, filled with lurid details of Clinton's sexual encounters with Lewinsky, to be a political attack against the President rather than a legal justification for his impeachment. Of the 11 possible grounds for impeachment cited by Starr, four were eventually approved by the House Judiciary Committee: grand jury perjury, civil suit perjury, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power.

On December 19, following much debate over the constitutionality of the proceedings and whether or not Clinton could be punished by censure rather than impeachment, the House of Representatives held its historic vote. Clinton was impeached on two counts, grand jury perjury (228–206) and obstruction of justice (221–212), with the votes split along party lines. The Senate Republicans, however, were unable to gather enough support to achieve the two-thirds majority required for his conviction. On Feb. 12, 1999, the Senate acquitted President Clinton on both counts. The perjury charge failed by a vote of 55–45, with 10 Republicans voting against impeachment along with all 45 Democrats. The obstruction of justice vote was 50–50, with 5 Republicans breaking ranks to vote against impeachment.



From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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