Inhuman Swill : Page 181
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Lehi goes to Africa

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Self-proclaimed prophet Mr. Embaye Melekin of Eritrea has written to enlist me in his campaign to spread the news that the Book of Mormon, far from being American scripture, is actually a record of African origin. As he says at his web site:

I was compiling this book to be published, but the Lord said to me, "You shall not make profit out of my words," and hence, was instructed to release it to the public and without any compensation. That is precisely what I am doing now. I urge everyone of you to read it with understanding. If you have never been shocked in your lifetime, I promise you that you will this time, when you finish reading my compilation of the Book of Mormon. And if you have any doubts about yourself, please read the Abyssinian Book (BoM). It is a book that will uplift your spirit and would bring closer to your God and Redeemer.

The Book of Mormon was compiled around the Buri Peninsula, Matara and Adi KeyiH. The people of Akeleguzay are the primary beneficiaries of the book. They are the closest link to the Book of Mormon. So also, the Moroni Hamassiens, the MensA and Maryas and other tribes in Eritrea, as well as Ethiopians and the rest of Africa and the black race in general. It is the most wonderful book you will ever read in your lifetime. I promise you that. If you have never read any book before, this is the one you should never miss. Because, if you don’t know the content of this book, you might as well consider yourself a dead person. You should not consider yourself a living being if you don’t read this book and understand it. [read all]

Frankly, I think that encouraging someone who has never read a book before to start with the Book of Mormon is a good way to ensure that that person will never read another book. But maybe that's just me.

More provocatively, Melekin asserts that remnants of Book of Mormon stories can be found today in the folklore of the peoples of Akeleguzay, and he has made extensive annotations to the book's text to support his contention. However, I was unable to plow through his writings far enough to determine how the heck this African record is supposed to have ended up in Joseph Smith's hands. You see, Joseph was an unwitting agent of God who was destined to misinterpret the scripture he brought forth—though why his translation is trustworthy if his interpretation isn't, I also can't determine.

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The Rogers Sisters

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Dear friends in the UK and/or EU:

Please go see my friend Miyuki's band The Rogers Sisters on their upcoming European tour. They start in Sweden on April 23rd, then finish up at The Spitz in London on May 8th. Oh, yeah, and on May 7th they're doing John Peel's show.

This is one cool band. Speed surf punk as only a band from Brooklyn can do it.

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From the Times of London:,,5944-648517,00.html

As appalling as his story is (if you take it at face value, that is), I smiled at the Iraqi doctor's obvious and sweet schoolboy crush on young Pfc Lynch. Maybe we should be staffing our military entirely with fresh-faced blonde cuties. It might bring the Arab world to its knees—well, one knee, anyway, with a bouquet of flowers extended.

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Wired and wireless

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I haven't gotten nearly enough sleep this week, and I'm exhausted. Work has been nuts with the launch and debugging of our new web site, and last night I was up until 3:30 am finishing a spec for a site I'll be building freelance and gratis, and getting ready for this trip to Philadelphia.

As I was walking out the door at 5:45 am this morning (yes, do the math!), I noticed a Federal Express letter waiting for me in the vestibule. I opened it on the Amtrak to Philly and discovered page proofs for "The Day Pietro Coppino Spoke to the Mountain," which I now know now is tentatively scheduled to appear in the August issue of Realms of Fantasy. That means end of May or beginning of June, since RoF is a bimonthly.

By the way, I'm finally field-testing my new Centrino laptop. Yes, I'm writing this from a Starbuck's in Philadelphia—18th and Market, to be exact. I've had way too much caffeine today, which I suppose makes me wired and wireless at the same time. But damn, this wireless stuff is cool. I could easily get to liking this.

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A tragedy in the East Village last night:

Bouncer killed in brawl over city's smoking ban A brawl broke out after the bouncer, 32-year-old Dana Blake, told two brothers that they were not permitted to smoke in the bar, Guernica on Avenue B. Blake tried to eject them, but one of the brothers pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the stomach, police said. [read all]
Actually, I think it's disingenuous to blame the death directly on the smoking ban, as the victim's brother is quoted as saying in the article. I mean, the perpetrators apparently had a knife and were stupid or hateful or drunk enough to be willing to use it, smoking ban or no. They might have been disorderly enough that they would have been ejected from the club in any event. And who knows exactly how the series of events escalated?

But it's going to be hard not to associate the ban with this murder—a fallacy I'm sure we're going to hear frequently in the coming weeks.

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Having all the answers

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Okay, here's the thing. If you want to have a discussion with me about religion, but you're arguing from a position that your answers are immutable because God gave you a feeling that told you so, then we may as well not talk at all. It's just a waste of my time and yours.

I mean, you're putting the cart before the horse. Your conclusion dictates the shape your evidence will take, not vice versa. Any argument I offer is pointless, so why should I bother saying anything? Discussion is a two-way street, with an exchange of ideas and mutual consideration. It's not a lecture. If you can't have a discussion, fuck off.

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Zero to sixty

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My replacement laptop arrived at the office today. It has a 60 Gb hard drive. I plugged an ethernet cable in the back, fired her up, and transferred 30 Gb of music files straight from my desktop machine to the new machine. Slick as slime. I'm ready to rock.

And how happy am I that the machine came with WordPerfect 10 installed?

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Crowds are cheering in the streets in Baghdad. And my brother hasn't gone over there yet, though he still may. With luck, all his combat engineering unit will have to do is build things. Let's hope.

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Well, it looks like the war in the Middle East is winding down. Or is it? From Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo I was directed to a fascinating article by conservative writer Ken Jowitt from the latest issue of Policy Review.

Jowitt's article, "Rage, Hubris, and Regime Change," discusses the new triune god of American foreign policy (Dominance, Preemption, and Regime Change) and then proceeds to examine and demolish the idea that a democratic government in Iraq will be the magic bullet that leads to a democratization of the entire Middle East. A snippet:

[T]he attempt to impose democracy in Iraq and the Middle East has all the unreality of Don Quixote. The truth is that an invasion and occupation of Iraq with the pronounced intent of imposing democracy will more likely be a "poison dart" with a "boomerang effect" than a "magic bullet" with a "democratic domino effect" in the region.... [read all]
Now, I hope Jowitt and pundits like him are wrong. I hope the Middle East settles down and cools off. And now I'm going to take that hope and a dollar and go buy a cup of coffee.
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What went right today

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In other, happier news, I got a welcome phone call today between bouts of working myself into a lather. Our insurance claim agent called to compliment me on my burglary report and to tell me she would be approving our claim immediately. We'll get the full cost of the laptop back, plus a portion of the cost of the jewelry.

This is a terrific relief, because I ordered a new and better laptop from Dell on Tuesday, and now I don't have to go very deep into my pockets for it. It's a 600m, with a 60 Gb hard drive. I'll fit well over a 1,000 albums onto that puppy!

I love the feature at the Dell site that lets you track the progress of your new computer. Mine is kitted, built, and tested, and is now in the boxing phase. The original predicted ship date was April 11th, so it seems ours is well ahead of schedule. Laura said, "Looks like we're on track for a premature delivery." We'll love our little preemie well.

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