Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I never thought I would be singing alleluias over gas going to $2.50 a gallon until I saw it go to $3.50 this summer. Makes a big difference when the change is downward, especially since we were hoping to go to California this year for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Uncle Warren is busted!

Looks like the FBI has picked up one of its Ten Most Wanted.
Mr. Jeffs is the leader of a polygamous sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and is considered a "prophet" by his estimated 10,000 followers.

The F.B.I. posting put up before the capture said Mr. Jeffs is 50 years old, was considered armed and dangerous, and may have traveled with loyal and armed bodyguards.

While a fugitive, Mr. Jeffs was still believed to have run the compound in Arizona from afar, and was said by ex-church members to have 70 wives. The community, closed to outsiders, is one in which civil government and religious authority are one and the same, and young men are forced out to make sure that the old men who run the place have a ready supply of young brides.

In general I'm sympathetic to Mormon polygamists. There are groups out there who aren't perverts; they're following the dictates of their religion under persecution. Their marriages are as close to legal under US law as they can manage without abandoning Celestial Plural Marriage, and they police themselves very well.

But John Taylor never meant his vision to be a green light for incestuous kiddy-diddling and white slavery, let alone the sort of terrorist tactics these loons go in for. Leave the honest polygamists alone, but I'd love to see the FLDS scattered to the four winds. This may make a good start.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Congratulations, Mike!

Looks like Mike at Adventure Faith has a book coming out in December. He's happy to sign copies, so order up and let's get his name out there.

Happy Monday!

Just in case anybody missed me, I've been off on vacation (mostly) for about a week and a half, much of which was spent transporting kids to the four corners of the earth. Number One Son went off to his first year at Wazoo, Number One Daughter took a bus to Michigan, and Daughters Two and Three flew to and from Texas to spend some time with their dad. And of course, there was the summer tradition of ferrying Number Two Son back and forth from his mother. So finally the family has settled into a routine with only four of the seven living at home. It's now quiet enough that we can hear Hypertot wreaking havoc on the house almost as soon as he begins, and usually before FEMA has to be called in.

Blogging will resume as soon as I get some honest work done.

Monday, August 14, 2006

"Mother" Sheehan to create refuge for deserters

News flash: They've already got one. It's called "jail."
Now almost 40 days into her fast supporting war resisters and their families, Sheehan, though weak, announced that she is offering land she bought in Crawford near Bush's ranch as a refuge for U.S. troops who desert to resist the war in Iraq...

Among a contingent of younger Iraq Veterans Against the War were several current service members.

One not wearing a name badge declined to reveal his identity. He said, with confirmation from his peers, that he was from the Seattle area, in his 20s, and had been "away-without-leave from a combat unit now in Iraq" for an undisclosed period of time.

The AWOL soldier said he decided to flee the Army after the invasion of Iraq because he believes the war illegal. He said he joined the military before 9/11 "because I had been to five different high schools and went through family problems. The military was a way to get friends and family structure."

And a steady paycheck, and a college education, and a uniform that collects chicks like lint on a sweater. But it never occurred to him that he might actually have to soldier? Please.

He considers the war illegal. Isn't that cute? This twenty-something is more expert in military and international jurisprudence than all the amateurs at the Pentagon and Congress? Or has he merely been exposed to a variety of voices, and listened to the one that told him he could collect benefits without the hazard of being shot at?

Not surprisingly, Baghdad Jim is going to address the group. God deliver the Republic from the soldiery composed of barracks-room lawyers and escape artists that Congressman McDirtbag would see us forced to rely on.

Akubra tip to Jeff Goldstein, whose name I got right this time!

File this one under "Family Values"

Mom pimps daughter to keep boyfriend from leaving.
MUSKEGON -- A woman afraid of losing her boyfriend while she was recuperating from surgery arranged to have her 15-year-old daughter be his sex partner for two months.

The man and woman now face felony charges.

Police said evidence against them includes a written contract signed by all three that specifies the sexual services and the "pay" the girl would get, including clothing and body piercings...

Police said in exchange for providing Fitzgibbon with sex, the teen would receive a desired item, such as a body piercing, clothing or a visit from her boyfriend.

Mahan said Fitzgibbon and the 15-year-old girl had sex "close to 20 times" during June and July. The girl testified in court that she chose to put on a sleeping mask when she had to have sex with Fitzgibbon.

They put this in writing? And what did her boyfriend think of all this? Makes you wonder what she'd have to do for a Klondike bar. Sigh.

Sometimes I question whether the human race really ought to continue. Maybe another flood is in order.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Let me get this straight. You beat your three-year-old daughter to death. Let's say it again: you beat your child to death. And you're the victim?
Washtenaw Sheriff's Detective Craig Raisanen also said LaToya Joplin told him "she was the one who was abused when she disciplined Kayla, because she would strike her to the point that her hand was throbbing. She was the one to endure pain. She blamed her daughter.''

Kayla Joplin died early July 17 from a torn right atrium in her heart, a Washtenaw County medical examiner testified in 14A District Court on Wednesday.

Un-frimpin'-believable. Via Jim Romanesko.

Aaah! So that's it!

Now we get to the root of the problem.
After all of the bodies are counted and the damaged is assessed we have to come to the conclusion that one main group is at the center of all this terrorist activity: Airlines.

That’s right. Airlines have been at the center of September 11th and the most recent foiled terror attempt.

It’s time for the airlines to ask themselves this question: Why are we so hated? Is it the stupid bag of peanuts that some of us now charge you for? Is it that we get so easily offended when you call us stewardesses instead of flight attendants? Are the male flight attendants too queer? Not queer enough? Do you want an ENTIRE can of soda?

These are the questions the airline industry must ask itself.

Sure, there have been attacks on other transportation systems, but that’s mostly because these other systems such as the Spanish trains and those funny British buses have provided aid and support to the airlines – mostly in the form of rides to and from the airports. Sometimes in the form of advertising.

Don’t you think the terrorists see all of this? Do we have no regard for their feelings? It’s no wonder they hate the airlines.

Read the rest to see what can be done to demarginalize our fellow fliers of the friendly fiendly skies.

A/T to Kathy.

Talk about the "Ugly American"!

How embarrassing! For both him and his country.
An American tourist who ran naked through a peaceful Swiss town, vandalised a church and escaped from police clutches by jumping into a lake could have been on hallucinogenic mushrooms, a magistrate has said.

The 34-year-old man from Massachussetts, who has since been allowed to return home, ran amok in the western town of Morges, by Lake Geneva, two weeks ago.

He started babbling incoherently in the hotel lobby, stripped and ran naked along the quayside, broke a stained glass in the nearby Protestant temple with a stool and set a precious 1898 Bible alight, police in Morges said.

After being seized and handcuffed by police, he made a leap for freedom into the lake and bit two people who tried to help him while he was hanging on to a boat.

Having recovered his senses, he later appeared before investigating magistrate Gilles Riva and "coherently" explained that he had eaten 'magic' mushrooms that he had bought in the Netherlands during a trip through Europe.

And we wonder why American tourists aren't greeted with unbridled affection in Europe.


This mistake would be so easy to make. There but for the grace of God...
A Croatian man got a nasty surprise when he tried to get out of his deck chair and found his testicles had got stuck.

Mario Visnjic had gone swimming naked in the sea at the Valalta beach in western Croatia, reports 24sata.

His testicles had shrunk while in the cool sea and slipped through the wooden slats when he sat back down on his wooden deckchair.

But as he lay in the sun they expanded back to normal size and got stuck between the slats.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I guess I'm surprised nobody thought of this sooner

A bar where you can beat up the staff. For an extra fee, of course.
A Chinese newspaper reports stressed-out people can now unleash their anger at a bar that lets customers attack staff, smash glasses and generally make a ruckus in eastern China.

The Rising Sun Anger Release Bar in Nanjing, capital of the eastern province of Jiangsu, employs 20 muscled young men as "models" for customers to punch and scream at.

"Customers can specify how they want the models to appear - they can even appear as women - and then they are free to give them a sound beating," the China Daily said.

The bar charges from 50 yuan ($AU8.20) to 300 yuan ($AU49) for the pleasure.

Because really, what goes better together than alcohol and unmanaged anger?

A/T to Wicked Thoughts.

Those pervy Methodists!

It's all because their clergy are all male and forced to live in unnatural celibacy. If they would just start ordaining women and homosexuals, things like this wouldn't happen anymore.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The computer is reading your mind

Which is probably legal under the Patriot Act, come to think of it.

This is weird. It's simple: pick a two-digit number, add the digits together and subtract that fromm the original, then stare at a symbol on the screen. The computer even knows if you're lying. I tried deliberately staring at the wrong one, and it still knew which number I had picked.

Akubra tip to The Stranger Blog. There's an explanation in the comments there, but it kind of ruined it for me. It's freaky if you don't know how it's done.

The Catholic Carnival is up

I feel like such a slouch, not having contributed for months. But here's what more diligent bloggers have written.

Happy trails, Carl!

Looks like Carl Ballard is lowering the curtain on the Washington State Political Report. I disagree with him on almost every issue; heck, I've made no secret that I want to see his turf and mine become separate states. But he's a thoughtful and intelligent blogger, for a lefty; a worthy adversary indeed. I'm sorry to see him go.

These are the people who keep America informed

Oh. My. Word.

I work with journalists, and I know there's a wide variance in the level of basic education they have. Some of them are literate and knowledgeable enough to hold an intelligent conversation with a trilobyte, and some are not. Guess which category this one falls into.
[Episcopal Bishopess Katharine Jefferts] Schori has a new set of challenges to confront with a church in a state of crossroads - including the clergy's attitude about global warming, which Schori believes is a real crisis. Old ideals about divorce, contraception and same-sex marriage have given way to a new way of dealing with the modern world.

The latter issue provided the Episcopal church with much discourse during a recent convention when it appeared to relax its rules on alternative lifestyles.

"We did say as a church that it's appropriate or acceptable for individual congregations to bless couples as a matter of pastoral practice," she said.

Then, there are other changing signs.

"We're changing attitudes about divorce," she said. The church finds it appropriate to encourage divorce for the safety of the people involved.

"We're more flexible than the Catholic church," she said.

The irony is, Catholicism was part of the Episcopal Church before a split in the 1500s. (Emphasis mine)

Wait a minute, did the split come about because Horny Henry wouldn't give the Pope an annulment? I guess the history books must have gotten it garbled. Then again, why would a professional writer need to read books?

Sometimes my profession can be downright embarrassing.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Preying on people in debt

My jaw literally dropped reading this. I suspect there's a special compartment in hell for frying these people.

Apostolic succession meets Amway.

Don't these people realize it's been done before? It's called the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and it's what most of them have left behind.