Where to Live to Avoid a Natural Disaster

In the USA that is:

Weather disasters and quakes: who’s most at risk? The analysis below, by Sperling’s Best Places, a publisher of city rankings, is an attempt to assess a combination of those risks in 379 American metro areas. Risks for twisters and hurricanes (including storms from hurricane remnants) are based on historical data showing where storms occurred. Earthquake risks are based on United States Geological Survey assessments and take into account the relative infrequency of quakes, compared with weather events and floods. Additional hazards included in this analysis: flooding, drought, hail and other extreme weather.


The above was in the New York Times.

Corvalles? All rather pointless though… Move to one of those ‘safe’ spots and get hit by a bus, or have a heart-attack, or fall foul of a myriad of other possible ‘disaster’s’, be they natural, or not.


Canadian Bishop on Trial for Child Pornography

Bishop?! Child Porn?!?

The trial of Bishop Raymond Lahey, who led the Diocese of Saint George’s (Newfoundland) from 1986 to 2003 and the Diocese of Antigonish (Nova Scotia) from 2003 until his 2009 resignation, begins on May 4 in Ottawa. The prelate is charged with possessing images of child pornography, including child sexual abuse, on his laptop computer, which was confiscated by authorities in an airport as he was returning from a foreign trip.

If true, the word disgusting would not even come close!

The Ottawa Citizen reports further sordid details:

The trial of a former Catholic bishop now accused of possessing and importing graphic images of child sexual abuse is set to begin in an Ottawa courtroom Wednesday.

Raymond Lahey, 70, was picked up at the Ottawa airport on Sept. 15, 2009 when border security agents said they found three images on his laptop computer of boys engaged in various sexual acts.

Documents supporting a search warrant indicated Lahey was referred for a secondary inspection because he had visited Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Spain and Germany since 2005, countries that are notorious sources of the illicit material.

The officer also noticed that Lahey was evasive with his answers, avoided eye contact and changed his tone of voice during specific questions, according to the document. Lahey told the officers the laptop belonged to him and that “he was attracted to males aged 20 to 21,” the document alleged.

A forensic examination of Lahey’s hard drive revealed at least five photos depicting mostly-nude boys between the ages of eight and 12 in various poses and engaged in sexual acts. One of the boys had a dark complexion, the other was blond.

Three months before he was charged, Lahey oversaw a historic apology and $15-million financial settlement for victims of sexual abuse committed by a priest in his diocese in Antigonish, N.S.

Lahey is scheduled for a three-day trial. Earlier court time set aside by Lahey’s lawyer Michael Edelson to argue that Lahey’s Charter rights had been violated was cancelled. Edelson indicated at the time that if he had any Charter arguments, they would be made during the trial.

In addition to the criminal charges, Lahey is also accused in a civil lawsuit of sexual abuse.

In a statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Todd Boland alleged former Bishop Raymond Lahey fondled him over his clothes, and that the abuse happened on numerous occasions over several years. The abuse is alleged to have happened in the mid-1980s when Boland was a resident at the infamous Mount Cashel orphanage.

UPDATE:   The wicked ex-Bishop has pleaded guilty.


Tom Wright for Everyone

Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time:

Addresses the difficulty many evangelicals have found in really engaging with what Tom Wright has been saying for some time now, then seeks to explain what difference his theology can make when an attempt is made to put it into practice in church life.

Perhaps I would have rather gone with: Tom Wright for Dummies

Yeah, that’s it.

PS.  For the record: the evangelicals are not the Dummies in mind.


Protecting Muslim Girls From Rape is Now a Crime in Europe

This makes me worried indeed:

Freedom of speech and women’s rights just took a major hit in Denmark earlier today when the public prosecutor found Lars Hedegaard, the President of the Danish (and International) Free Press Society, guilty of “hate speech” under section 266b of the Danish penal code.

Hedegaard’s crime was to note “the great number of family rapes in areas dominated by Muslim culture in Denmark.”

The prosecutor’s crime is far greater. Now, courtesy of this prosecution, it is officially “racist” to tell the truth about sexual violence against women in Denmark, at least when that violence is perpetrated by Muslim fathers, uncles, or cousins…

Islam is not a race. Muslims come in every conceivable color. The Danes, the Scandinavians, all Europe has critiqued and exposed the real and imaginary sins and crimes of both Judaism and Christianity. Now, suddenly, Islam alone is to be spared such treatment…

More here.

Europe is in real trouble.

Bible Archaeology

On Faith and Forgeries

Encounters with the biblical world often involve objects holding an uncanny power to transfix and even transform human consciousness. In the year 326 C.E., Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, is said to have discovered the remains of the true cross in Jerusalem, as well as nails from the crucifixion. On that spot, her son constructed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a pivot of Christianity ever since.

Even today, remnants of the biblical world continue to surface like uncharted reefs along the shore, looming up and weirdly fascinating our nominally secular minds. One such set of objects, recently emerged, is a series of lead plates that appear to be embossed with writings and images and bound into books or “codices.” What are they, how have they been received, and what does their reception tell us about our willingness to believe?

Read on in Jewish Ideas Daily here.