Killed for Eating Popcorn Loudly at a Movie…

A man was shot dead at a Latvian cinema after eating his popcorn too loudly during a screen of Black Swan, according to reports. Police said they had arrested a 27-year-old man suspected of shooting a 42-year-old fellow audience member who later died of his wounds. The conflict took place as the credits rolled during a screen of the Oscar-nominated film “Black Swan”, according to police in the Baltic state. Witnesses told the Latvian news agency Leta that it arose over how loudly the deceased man was eating his popcorn. Gun-crime is relatively rare in Latvia, a European Union nation of 2.2 million.

Words fail. Violence has become the first step and not a last resort after every other avenue has been exhausted.

Ummm, Well, Gee, Let’s See, How to Put This…

US scientists say there’s strong evidence linking oral sex to cancer, and have urged more study of how human papillomaviruses may be to blame for a rise in oral cancer among white men….  Previous studies have suggested that people who have performed oral sex on six or more partners over a lifetime face an eight-fold higher risk of acquiring HPV-related head or neck cancer than those with fewer than six partners, she said.  …  “The rise in oral cancer in the US is predominantly among young white males and we do not know the answer as to why.”

Why?  Well I’d venture to guess that increased promiscuity resulting in more sexual partners resulting in higher risk is the answer.

More evidence that promiscuity doesn’t pay.  Via Dot King on FB.

Madness in Mexico

unidades del metrobus de ciudad juarez

Mexico is experiencing the worst violence since the Conquistadors and the solution to the problem is the banning of a video game?  They’re worried about a video game???  Seriously?

A shoot-em-up video game set in the border town of Ciudad Juarez has angered local officials who are busy fighting all-too-real violence. Chihuahua state legislators said Sunday they have asked federal authorities to ban a the game, “Call of Juarez: The Cartel,” which is based on drug cartel shootouts in Ciudad Juarez. About 6,000 people died in drug-related violence in Ciudad Juarez in 2009 and 2010, making the city, located across from El Paso, Texas, one of the deadliest in the world.

Hey how about banning real guns?  Who the devil is in charge of Mexico, Cheech and Chong?

Higher Ed is Obese, Slovenly, and Out of Shape

So how can it be whipped back into shape?  That’s the question the Washington Post asks.

We take a look at eight big problems facing the academy and, aided by some of its greatest minds, offer up some big ideas to help solve them.

And

A mere decade ago, few colleges had any objective means to measure how much their students learned between enrollment and graduation.  American higher education rested on its laurels, secure in its reputation as the best in the world, a credential based largely on the achievement of a few hundred national universities and selective liberal arts schools.  Slowly but surely, the accountability movement, along with rising concern that we’re no longer the best, have breached the ivory tower.

And now you’re off to read the rest on your own.

British Gay Muslims Want to Marry…

British gay Muslims are joining the global fight for equality and seeking gay Islamic marriage. The BBC’s 5 live Investigates speaks to one couple about their ‘nikah’ – a Muslim matrimonial contract – and asks how they balance their sexuality with the Islamic faith.

Yes, you’re right- you can almost hear the fatwas being written.  Islam is less hospitable to homosexuality than Judaism.  Naturally there’s an Imam who supports the movement though-

By not allowing same-sex couples to wed, there is a direct attack on the Qur’an’s message that each person has a mate who is their ‘comfort and their cloak’” — Imam Daayiee Abdullah

Yes, of course he’s gay (and of course he’s an American).  Such is the mood in British culture at present that

gay unions are being integrated into wider British society even more – and the government recently announced plans to allow churches in England and Wales to host civil partnership ceremonies.  Ministers have pledged greater quality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, but said no religious group would be forced to host the ceremonies.  The Church of England has said it will not do so. Quakers have welcomed the plans, with support also expected from Unitarians and Liberal Jews. But what about the Muslim community?  “Homosexuality is not considered a halal way of living at the moment, so of course there’s going to be an extreme reaction to a gay nikah. So, as a community we have to get tolerance before we can even attempt acceptance of marriage,” says Asra.  But she is hopeful for the future.

Hmmmm Britain, hmmmmm…..

Firefox Users and Twitter: Echofon

Happened across this very useful Firefox addon for users of Twitter that may be of interest to many.  Echofon.

Echofon adds a tiny status bar icon that notifies you when your friends post tweets. You can also view updates in a timeline and post your own tweets.

Noteable Features:
– Unread count in Firefox status bar.
– One-click access to Twitter window.
– Easily post links to current page in Firefox.
– Instant notification of new Tweets, within Firefox.
– Allows for multiple Twitter accounts
– Handles all the standard Twitter tasks such as direct messages and mentions.
– Syncs unread tweets with your iPhone when you use Echofon Pro for iPhone.
– auto pagination
– Combine sequence tweets

A nice little feature.  I’ve used it a couple of days and like it fairly well.

Here’s One Instance When I Can Applaud ‘Anonymous’

Members of Westboro Baptist Church, known for protesting at funerals of fallen U.S. service men and women, might be facing a hacked website soon.  The group of controversial protesters from Kansas, which responded to last month’s shooting rampage in Tucson with “thank God for the shooter — 6 dead,” has been threatened by the notorious collective of unnamed Internet-hacking activists calling itself “Anonymous,” which vows to inflict “irreversible” damage to the hate group’s website.

You might remember Anonymous, the “hactivist” group that successfully disabled sites backed by the regime of former Egypt president Hosni Mubarak before he was swept from power by protesters, in addition to disrupting a number of websites in support of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The group has proven it’s capable of following through on its threats.

In a sharply worded open letter, Anonymous called the small group of Westboro Baptist Church members “an assembly of graceless sociopaths and maniacal chauvinists and religious zealots,” citing the way the group has condemned men and women who have died in the armed forces, as well as “prayed for and celebrated the deaths of young children.”  The Anonymous hackers continued with a warning: “Cease and desist your protest campaign in the year 2011, return to your homes in Kansas, & close your public websites.” The group states that “the damage incurred will be irreversible, and neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover.”

Hooray for them.  That would be a genuine public service.  So while anonymity is a great evil when used to comment and malign others online, if ‘Anonymous’ crushes the hatemongers at ‘Westboro’ it’s a gift from God.  That so called ‘church’s’ pseudo-christianity deserves to be muzzled.

Why Teacher Collective Bargaining Matters

Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:

South Carolina – 50th
North Carolina – 49th
Georgia – 48th
Texas – 47th
Virginia – 44th

If you are wondering, Wisconsin, with its collective bargaining for teachers, is ranked 2nd in the country. Let’s keep it that way.

Via Irene Hahn.

Wisconsin’s Own Mubarak

Hosni Mubarak

It’s fascinating to watch the doings in Wisconsin where the Governor is just as stubborn as Hosni Mubarak and as little willing to listen to the voice of the people as Mubarak was.

It’s also fascinating to watch the American population fawning all over the Egyptians struggling so for freedom whilst in our own country the voice of the people is regularly ignored by politicians.

As union supporters launched a sixth day of protests at the Wisconsin Capitol, the state’s Republican governor reiterated Sunday that he wouldn’t compromise on a bill that would eliminate most of public employees’ collective bargaining rights.   The controversial measure aimed at easing the Midwestern state’s budget woes led to massive protests that started Tuesday and have gained steam each day. An estimated 68,000 people turned out Saturday. All but a few thousand opposed the bill, but the day marked the first time that a significant contingent of Walker supporters showed up to counter-protest. There were no clashes.  Hundreds of pro-union protesters gathered inside the Capitol on Sunday, as snow turned into freezing rain that made walking outside the building a challenge. The demonstrators banged on drums and danced in the Capitol Rotunda while they chanted, “This is what Democracy looks like” and “Union busting!”

Actually democracy looks like what is happening in Egypt and other nations in the Middle East: the people are exerting their will and letting politicians hear that they will be run out of town sooner or later.  Here, democracy is ‘let’s keep voting the same fools back in every election and pretend our votes matter’.  We Americans really do love our delusions.

The Palestinians are Right to Feel Insulted

The Mukataa with the headquarters of the Presi...

Around 3,000 Palestinians gathered in the West Bank on Sunday to protest against the US veto that nixed a Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements.  The crowd massed in Ramallah’s Manara Square, a central roundabout in the West Bank city, waving banners and shouting slogans against the American administration.  “Obama, you despicable man, we want self-determination!” shouted protesters, many of them members of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah party, of the US president.  Fatah central committee member Mahmud al-Alul told the crowd: “This decision is against the Palestinian people and its freedom, and it supports Israeli injustice, oppression and occupation.  “We tell (President Barack) Obama that we are a people that doesn’t bow to anyone,” he said, before demonstrators interrupted with cries of “get out Obama, get out you settler.”

Their anger is understandable.  They have been insulted by the failure of the US to stand for freedom.  I suppose we only want freedom for Egyptians and Libyans and Iranians and Iraqis and Afghans but the Palestinians aren’t worth our concern.

Ian McEwan Takes it to Them

Ian McEwan, British author

Renowned British novelist Ian McEwan has accepted an Israeli literary prize in Jerusalem with harsh criticism of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.  At an acceptance ceremony for the Jerusalem Prize, McEwan praised Israel’s technological and artistic advances but asked: “Where is Israel’s political creativity?”  He criticized Israel’s 1967 annexation of east Jerusalem, the part Palestinians claim as the capital of a future state.

It’s good that people will speak truth to power.  It’s a rare thing and getting rarer by the day in our age of toadying cowardice and kow-towing.  So kudos, Ian,kudos.

Jim Linville: The Antichrist Identified!

Yup. Here’s the wicked proof

Such wickedness can only spring from the offspring of Satan. I think you’ll agree. Especially given the first rule- ‘Zwingli is fair game’! Perversity!!! Lutheranism!!!!!

Anyway I’ll be praying for the souls taking part that God not smite you with a terrible plague and send bears out of the woods to eat your head off and your heart out. Though, on second thought, that would be AWESOME!

Anglican Clergy Can Be Anything They Want, and they Don’t Have to Tell It

Logo of the Church of England.

The 'church' indeed...

The church in Britain is becoming more and more Episcopalian every day.  Take, for instance, its latest decision:

The Church of England has infuriated traditionalists by dropping the requirement for clergy to disclose their marital status when they apply for new posts.  Church officials say the changes have been introduced to mirror new secular employment and equality laws aimed at eliminating discrimination.  But traditionalists say they further undermine the Christian view of marriage by hindering parishes from finding out whether candidates for jobs are divorced or in a gay ‘marriage’.

So now you won’t know if your priest is married to a woman, or divorced, or a polygamist, or ‘married’ to a man or a dog or a goat or a sheep.  Doubtless though you’ll find out when you hear bleating from the back pew or the angry argument of two men at the parsonage.  Or when you visit the Parson and you see photos of him and a woman whose head has been cut out.

It’s just another step taken by the C of E into darkness and the abyss of secular paganism.  America, behold, thy future.

Christians, Thanks for Helping Egypt Gain Freedom, Now, Shut Up. Oh and you Women Too…

Costumes and characters, etc. Coptic monks.

The United States expressed its regret for the absence of any Egyptian female element on the newly appointed committee charged with proposing amendments to the Egyptian constitution, as women also protested for change and participated in the revolution that brought the possibility of change to Egypt, it said in a statement on Saturday.  State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said on Twitter, “Women protested for change. And excluding them from the Committee on the Constitution represents a ‘cause for concern.’”  The Supreme Military Council, which took charge of the country after Hosni Mubarak resigned as president on February 11, appointed a committee of jurists to amend certain articles of the Constitution. The committee consists of eight members, headed by Tarek Beshry, the former President of the Council of State.  A lawyer and former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sobhi Saleh, is also on the committee.  The committee to defend the rights of Copts also criticized the formation of this committee, condemning the non-representation of Christians.

Not unsurprising at all in spite of the fact that it’s dismaying.  It’s the way things are in this corrupt world.

I’m Very, Very Disappointed…

His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales, RA...

My ex best friend's wedding

Of the 1,900 people who will watch Prince William 28, and Miss Middleton, 29, exchange their marriage vows in the morning service at Westminster Abbey, the majority will be drawn from the couple’s circle of family and friends.

First, I didn’t know Kate was a Kougar!  And second… how disappointed am I that I’ve not received my invitation.  I’m wounded and I don’t think I can survive the shame.

William, I thought we were homies…  Dude.  Bummer.

The Only Foreign Policy that Makes Sense

The United States

It’s time for the United States to adopt the following foreign policy statement and to apply it at every opportunity:

The United States is completely energy independent and has neither interest in nor desire to interfere with other nation’s internal affairs.  Let them either work out their problems internally or self destruct.  We simply don’t care.

If you are one of our so called ‘allies’ we expect you to act like it and if you don’t, we will assist you in nothing whatsoever.

Foreign aid is hereby and from henceforth completely eliminated except in cases where we can provide food, shelter, and other aid during natural disasters in other corners of the world. We will happily send those supplies to one and all, friend and foe. However, weapons export and/or funds to purchase weapons are ended.

Nonetheless, if you violate our sovereign territory we will unleash hell on you.  Of that you can be sure.

We hope this statement is clear enough.  Thank you for your attention.