Daily Archives: 3 Apr 2011

Houses Filled with Air Tend to be Light, Just so You Know…

So maybe having the kids play in a ‘bounce house‘ when the weather calls for very windy conditions isn’t the best decision…

Authorities in southern Arizona say a boy and a girl were seriously injured after strong wind lifted the children’s bounce house they were in and deposited it on a road.  Trish Tracy of the Tucson fire department told KNXV-TV the play house was blown across three lanes of traffic and landed on a median Saturday.  Tracy says the children suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries. The National Weather Service says the incident was caused by a weather phenomenon known as a dust devil, in which a column of air can rotate up to 60 mph.

Let that be a lesson to one and all.  Learn from others or suffer with others (and fortunately, the kids are ok.  But yours may not be).

One Year Ago Tuesday… The Upper Big Branch Disaster

Massey Energy logo

Gary Quarles kneels on his living room carpet and unrolls the 4-foot-long map that he’s studied so many times, trying to understand why his son died in the Upper Big Branch mine.  As a coal miner with 34 years underground, Quarles explains how things worked before the Massey Energy mine in Montcoal exploded a year ago Tuesday.

Read the whole report.  It’s nicely written and the people who lost their lives and the others whose lives have been forever altered certainly deserve remembering (and more attention than idiotic lead codices fraudulently peddled as something ancient and important).   Indeed

The explosion killed 29 men in all. It was the deadliest U.S. coal mining accident since 1970, and it remains the target of civil and criminal investigations. But a year later, there are still questions.  Federal investigators believe the explosion started when teeth on the mining machine Gary Wayne had been running created a spark that ignited a small amount of methane gas. They theorize highly explosive coal dust that had been allowed to accumulate in the mine mixed with the methane to create a blast so powerful it turned corners and rounded a 1,000-foot-wide block of coal, packing the power to kill men more than a mile away.

Yes, that’s something worth remembering.

But if Fighting Ends in Libya, How Will the Oil Barons Justify Raising Prices Further?

The last thing the oil companies want is stability in the Middle East.  Conflict means profits.  Peace means stability and lack of tension and hence lower prices.  They’ll have to come up with a new scheme to jack prices up if Gaddafi really does want an end to fighting in Libya.

Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi told Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Sunday that Libya wants to end fighting in the country, Greek officials said.  “It seems that the Libyan authorities are seeking a solution,” Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said after the envoy met Papandreou. “There needs to be a serious effort for peace and stability in the region.”  A Greek government official told Reuters that Obeidi had said Libya wanted the fighting to end. Obeidi told Papandreou he will next travel to Malta and Turkey, Droutsas added.

Exxon Mobil and BP and Shell and the others won’t like that at all.  It should be fun to see what they come up with next to garner fear and anxiety.

Those Two aren’t the Sharpest Knives in the Drawer

A young British couple was arrested at Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport boarding a plane with 24 pounds of cocaine and 100 heroin capsules, according to the Agence France Presse.  Roxana Laercia and Michael Eguonoghen were on their way to London at the time of the arrest. Laercia had 24 pounds of cocaine in her clothing and Eguonoghen had swallowed roughly 3.3 pounds of heroin capsules.

That’s not smart.  Nor moral.  Don’t you ever just wonder what it is that makes people think such stupid things are somehow reasonable?

Oversee Incompetence, Get a Large Bonus

The offshore drilling firm responsible for running the Deepwater Horizon rig has given its top executives bonuses for its “best year” for safety. Transocean was blamed along with BP and Halliburton after last year’s massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven workers, nine of whom worked for Transocean, died when the Deepwater Horizon exploded almost a year ago. But Transocean said there had been a drop in the rate of recorded incidents and also in their potential severity.

Well isn’t that special. Employee people who take half measures and use substandard products all in the rush for profit and you might get a hefty bonus for ‘safety’ too.

With thanks to Irene Hahn on FB for the tip.

Quote of the Day

The Christian life requires an individual to be able to sort true images, or signs, from false ones, to be able to hear the Word of God and discern and retain its message. Memory of God’s Word is divine illumination and it is through the power of the Spirit that men and women remain faithful to God and obey His commandments; it is both a gift and that which ultimately separates the sheep from the goats on the last day. – Bruce Gordon

Japan Has a Nuclear Issue and the Mormons are Nervous

While the nuclear crisis in Japan unfolds a continent away, Mormon-dominated communities in the western United States say the disaster overseas is bringing close to home a lesson about preparing for the worst.  Emergency planning and the long-term storage of food, water and medical supplies are central practices by the 14 million worldwide members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The tradition stems from doctrine – “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” – established by Joseph Smith when he founded the church in 1830 in upstate New York. It also stems from the persecution that drove his early followers from the Midwest to the Rocky Mountains in 1847.  Present-day Mormons, concentrated in the United States in Utah, California and Idaho, say preparedness and self-reliance are a way of life and not signs of survivalist leanings or knee-jerk responses to disasters.  “It’s not a sudden, spectacular program,” said Craig Rasmussen, spokesman for the church in Idaho, second only to Utah for the highest percentage of Mormons.

Apocalyptic cults founded on end of the world principles tend to see chaos preparedness as part of their purpose.  When fear is the dominant factor, avoiding what causes fear and undercutting that cause is the prime directive.

You’re Never too Old To Act Depraved

A 92-year-old has become the oldest woman committed to stand trial for murder in Australia, accused of bludgeoning and stabbing her wealthy 98-year-old husband to death, according to a report.  Clara Tang, who allegedly killed Ching Yung Tang after 70 years of marriage in their Sydney apartment in March last year, has pleaded not guilty on the grounds of mental illness, the Sun-Herald said.  The elderly woman appeared in a local court last week and was ordered to stand trial in the Supreme Court on a date to be fixed.  Documents tendered by police reportedly detailed how the couple survived the Japanese invasion of China and Mao’s Cultural Revolution before moving from Shanghai to Sydney 30 years ago.  Tang, who suffers dementia, allegedly feared her husband was poisoning her food.  The newspaper said that when arrested, Tang was almost totally soaked in blood. Her husband had been stabbed twice in the stomach and his head was bludgeoned.

Kill before you’re imaginarily killed…

Call For Submissions: April BibSt Carnival (Which will be Posted May 1)

Jim Linville has already issued the call for submissions for the next carnival (I do admire people on top of things).  He’s also letting folk vote for the theme!  (something I am far too fearful to do).  I bet you can guess which theme I voted for…

Anyway, if you see something this month you deem worthy James will consider it.

Porn Industry: Porn isn’t ‘obscenity’ (via Fr Stephen’s Blog)

The porn industry isn’t only deceived for believing such a thing, but deceivers. Porn destroys lives and families. And it also destroys all those involved in producing it.

Porn Industry: Porn isn’t ‘obscenity’ The very moral fabric of society is tearing when we no longer condemn pornography as offensive obscenity and it starts becoming mainstream… The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) announced yesterday the launching of a lobbying effort to oppose enforcement of anti-obscenity laws. The ASACP is an association of internet porn sites who claim to support efforts to protect children from viewing pornography, as well as the elimi … Read More

via Fr Stephen’s Blog

Sex and Love in the Bible: Public Lecture Announcement

If you’re an American in Paris…

La prochaine réunion du groupe Lambda aura le 9 avril 2011 dans la bibliothèque (1er étage) et aura pour invité Thomas Römer qui traitera (en français) du thème “Sexe et amour dans la Bible ” Cette conférence proposera un parcours sur les différentes manières dont on percevait et appréciait la sexualité dans les textes du Proche Orient ancien et la Bible hébraïque. On montera que la sexualité est constitutive de la condition humaine, mais qu’elle reçoit selon les milieux et les époques des appréciations différentes.

The lecturer is the inestimably gifted  Thomas Römer.

Murder of a Child

Some people don’t believe in the existence of evil.  They believe all people are basically good and only do harmful or hurtful things if they are sick or mentally ill and thus cannot be held responsible.

I don’t believe that.  I believe that people are in fact all basically evil and the only good done is done by those who have been made capable of good by the grace of God.  ‘There is none good but God’.  Hence, any good has its source in and from God.

To be sure there are sick people.  But there are more evil people who do what they do because they are motivated and moved and impelled by evil.  And stories like this make it painfully self evident.

A woman shot and killed a child at a North Knoxville gas station Saturday night before turning the gun on herself, according to police.  The two were found inside the bathroom at the Ken-Jo Market on Merchants Drive just after 9 p.m.  Officials said the 8-year-old boy was pronounced dead on the scene.  A 54-year-old female relative of the boy was taken to UT Medical Center in critical condition. Authorities on the scene told 6 News they believe the woman is the boy’s mother, but they’re not certain.  She was admitted for treatment of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Her current condition is unknown.

Taking a child into a gas station restroom with a gun and killing the child all speak of premeditation.  A sense of guilt as evidenced by the attempted suicide also shows consciousness of consequences.  She knew what she was doing before and after the fact.  And that’s evil.

Some may disallow the existence of personified evil, but I don’t, and I honestly don’t see how anyone with one good eye can either.

It’s Just a Game… Why the Violence?

Have people always tended to solve their differences by violence?  It seems so.  And they don’t mind teaching the young to do it either.

An under-11s football game ended with three men being arrested after a furious row on the sidelines involving a pair of scissors and a folding chair, according to police. A fight erupted at the match at Hoxton Park in Sydney on Saturday when a player was substituted and two of the men allegedly began arguing with the team coach. “It is alleged one of the men then threatened the two others with a pair of plastic-handled scissors,” a police statement said, adding that the man with the scissors was then hit with a chair.

Sports parents are often just as loony as fundamentalists of all stripes.  Fundamentalists can’t reason so they can’t be rational and that’s why they are obliged to fight, attack, and if necessary, kill.  Add to that the fact that these guys are Aussies and therefore probably drunk and you have the perfect cocktail of insanity.

Day 3

Of the Afghan Quran burning protests.

Afghan protests against the burning of a Quran in Florida entered a third day with a demonstrations in the south and east Sunday, while the Taliban called on people to rise up, blaming government forces for any violence. … In southern Kandahar city on Sunday, hundreds took to the streets for the second day in a row, and hospital officials said 20 people were hurt in skirmishes between police and demonstrators. On Saturday, nine people were killed and 80 injured when a protest turned into a riot.  At least two wounded police officers and 18 civilians had been brought into city hospitals, said Qayum Pokhla the provincial health director.

It’s all so pointless and senseless.