Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Yelling heads on radio and cable

April 2, 2007 3 comments

MrsDoF sent me a link to JibJab – “What we call the news”.

Oh, mercy, so true.  And so sad. (Yes, I remember real news on TV)

Categories: News, observations

“Meteorite” hits Bloomington house

March 5, 2007 6 comments

It’s sort of flat and very heavy and hard.  I’m thinkin’ space junk, some high-temp alloy.  There isn’t much pitting as you see with carbonaceous or iron meteorites.  Maybe a piece of that old weather satellite the Chinese blew up a few weeks ago.

I think the newspaper link is good for a week – check out the video and photos.  The newspaper says it was going “at least 60 mph” which seems like an understatement the way it chopped through the window, the screen, the plastic blinds, a magazine, and the particleboard tabletop.  This thing didn’t fall off a jetliner. 

Categories: News, observations

Ed Bradley dies

November 10, 2006 1 comment

I have not seen anyone mention that Ed Bradley, the super-cool badass reporter from 60 Minutes, has died of leukemia. 

Gone, but not forgotten.  I really liked him.

Categories: News, observations

I give the waitress who brings my breakfast a twenty percent tip

July 22, 2006 6 comments

Homeless Charles Moore of Detroit was digging through a dumpster to find recyclable bottles.  He found $21,000 in US Savings Bonds.  He took them to an all-night shelter where a staffer tracked down the owners, who showed their gratitude with a $100 reward.

Here you go, Mr. Homeless man.  Thanks SO much for bringing these by.  Here’s a nice crisp $100 bill.

Just sayin…

Categories: News, observations

Killer kites in Pakistan

April 4, 2006 4 comments

It seems kite-flying is a traditional pasttime in Pakistan, and they take it really seriously.  After seven people were killed by glass-embedded kite strings – yes, you read that correctly – a government ban was put in place.  A ban on ALL kite flying: MSNBC: Hundreds defy kite-flying ban

To be fair, not all the deaths were due to embedded sharp glass (used to cut the strings of others’ kites in competition).  Some people have been killed when their metallized kite strings hit power lines.

Apparently the government is really cracking down on illegal kites, searching house-to-house. 

Categories: News

THAT’S the spirit!

April 4, 2006 Comments off

I noticed this yesterday, and apparently Socialist Swine noticed it too…

An Australian newspaper did a cartoon of the Indonesian president copulating with a dog, and an Indonesian newspaper fired back with something similar about the Australian Prime Minister.

Mr Howard, however, said he was unfazed.

“I’ve been in this game a long time. If I got offended by cartoons – golly heavens above, give us a break,” he said, adding that he planned to visit Indonesia soon.
- Australian Prime Minister John Howard, in response to an Indonesian newspaper cartoon depicting him and his Foreign Minister Alexander Downer as copulating with dingos. (BBC Online: Australian Cartoon Irks Indonesia)

That’s the spirit!  Fight cartoons with cartoons! Everybody gets a good laugh and we move on. With enough practice, we can get over getting all bent out of shape over insults.

Anybody know where we can see the cartoons in question?

Categories: News


February 14, 2006 2 comments

Roses are red, violets are blue
There!  Glad we got that cleared up!

Or here’s one of my favorites:

Roses are red,
Violets are purple,
Sugar is sweet,
and so’s maple surple.

Heh – and people say I’m too unsophisticated for poetry.  Alas, some people just have a hard time getting into the spirit of the day.

Categories: News

Alabama Church Burner: stop it

February 11, 2006 3 comments

Somebody in Alabama is torching churches.  Investigators have ruled out robbery and also feel that race is not a factor.  That leaves thrill-arson or some twisted religious beef.

This month, the burning of nine churches in Alabama has prompted a renewed call to vigilance for the congregations who worship in rural settings.

People are wondering who would set fire to a little country church, and why. “Maybe it’s people who hate God,” said Birmingham Easonian Baptist Bible College President Wilson Fallin Jr.

Congregations at five churches burned in Bibb County last week were stunned, then even more baffled when four more churches in rural western Alabama were burned in the early hours on Tuesday. Birmingham Times

If it is somebody who ‘hates God’, that person is not an atheist whatever they claim.  You can’t hate what you don’t believe exists, though religion is a popular destination for the ‘just-plain-nuts’ person with one or more screws loose.

But the Bible college president does raise an important question, which is; ‘What if someone is trying to deliver a message of some kind?’  Maybe they hate religion, or have a racial motive (and the white churches were copycats) or they’re using arson to say any number of things.  If that is the case, I would have three things to say to such a person:

  1. Stop it.

  2. Violence discredits your message, whatever it is.
  3. Stop it.

One of the pastors of a burned church has a message too, reflecting one of the better memes of Christianity:

“Whatever your goal was, if it was to intimidate, or to express hatred, you have dreadfully failed,” Davis said to the arsonists, who damaged or destroyed nine churches in less than four days. “Because the burning of these churches doesn’t do anything. These congregations will worship just as vigorously on Sunday as they would any other day.” Demopolis Times

No doubt I would disagree with that pastor on any number of social, religious, and philosophical issues on any other day, but he is putting the focus where he should here.

You have to wonder what the arsonist’s long-term plan is.  Five years from now, do they envision themselves still burning churches?  More likely they’ll be in prison warily guarding themselves from their unappreciative neighbors.  Or if they just fade into the woodwork, they will have to carry a rather huge secret.  It isn’t just property they’re hurting; it’s people.

Even if the person (s) burning churches are just out for thrills, one part of the message remains:

  1. Stop it.

Update: 12 February ‘06
One common thread among all the churches is that they were all Baptist.  Certainly it could be someone with a gripe against Baptist doctrine or policy (and see the point about violence and messages) but another possible motive occurred to me: the ministry is a profession with an unusually high early-attrition rate.  These could be revenge arsons aimed at the denomination. Congregationalist denomination congregations are often very “unChristian” in how they handle personnel issues.  I know an awful lot of ex-ministers and none one of them has a pretty story to tell about how that happened.

  • UTI notes in the post, Burning Question, that some are already speculating on the motives of the arsonists, with the ‘A-word’ right up front.  News flash, people: while anything’s possible, motive-wise, not believing in something is hardly a font of militancy.

Categories: News

What has changed since last Christmas?

December 11, 2005 3 comments

At the store where my son works, corporate headquarters decided everyone should greet customers with the phrase; “Happy Holidays!”  There have been a few incidents of customers coming completely unglued, screaming at the poor clerks that they’re ruining Christmas because Jesus, something, blah-blah…

What has changed since I last wrote about this issue in a post entitled, Merry Christmas, Macy’s?

The “Christmas war” has been ramped up a little bit.  In his book, The War On Christmas,  author John Gibson complains that those awful secularists are trying to ruin Christmas by removing ‘any mention of Jesus’ from the public square.  But several things have not changed.

That uber-Pinhead, Bill O’Reilley, is still exploiting the issue for ratings and personal aggrandizement.  The ACLU is still not trying to remove Christmas from the marketplace, and they are still opposing tax-funded promotion of any one religion over another.  They have still not sued any private entity, store, or person for any expression of faith.  They are still being accused trying to destroy Christianity while defending the right to expression of faith.

Another thing that has not changed is that it is still extremely bad manners to take offense at a blessing or when no offense is intended.  If there are legal issues to address (such as if tax dollars are involved in the promotion of a religion), then address them.  But it is idiotic to harrass anyone for a friendly greeting.

I am an atheist – I don’t believe in your god.  I might be annoyed if you back me into a corner and start preaching to me.  But if you wish me a ‘Merry Christmas’, or a ‘Happy Holiday’, I’ll smile back and wish you the same.  Christmas is both a religious and secular holiday, enjoyed by people of all faiths and no faith whatever.  What could possibly be wrong with good wishes?

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Categories: Issues, News

Yes, we still need you.

December 5, 2005 Comments off

25 years ago, I heard he’d been shot.  The assassin was some nutcase named Mark Chapman, who surely cannot comprehend what he took from us all.

Many of John Lennon’s songs I still cannot hear in the presence of others, because my eyes always well up with tears.  There are not enough great lyricists, not enough great musicians, and not enough voices for peace in the world.

Categories: News