Friday, June 29, 2007

This Week's Miracle

PHOENIX — Eighteen days after his wife instructed doctors to disconnect food and water tubes," Chandler, Arizona resident Jesse Ramirez Jr. "is able to respond to verbal commands. He is aware of who he is and who his family members are." No further information about Ramirez's condition was available. [...] his awakening, which friends called "a miracle," occurred after his sister, parents and other relatives went to court and obtained an emergency order for feeding and hydration tubes to be reinserted, reversing a directive given by his wife, Rebecca Ramirez.

[...] sister, Marlene Ramirez, filed the legal action. She and others involved in the court fight declined comment due to a gag order. [...] friends were jubilant. "He is absolutely and completely a miracle," said Stephanie Simpson, 34.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Foxes In The Henhouse

Does this sound at all familiar ... ?

"It's troubling that these networks have taken sex to the bank with shows like Temptation Island and Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, yet they refuse to air an ad for the best birth control method for preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection."

CBS and FOX "have refused to air a [Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)] condom ad that focuses on pregnancy prevention rather than on prevention of sexually transmitted infections," proving once again that the most widely advertised philosophy nowadays can be summed up as a slight variation of Aesop's fable of the fox and the grapes : If you can't get 'em, kill 'em...with ignorance in this case.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Armed To The Teat

(Photo - Getty Images)
German politicians have condemned a computer generated photo of Poland's leaders sucking the German Chancellor Angela Merkel's bare breasts. The image appears on the cover of the Polish weekly Wprost, and is titled "Stepmother of Europe".
A Polish council overseeing ethics in the media said the montage overstepped "the limits of good taste".
Poland better not go too far in its efforts to piss off the Germans. I'm sure they've still got plenty of that 1939 brand Whoop-Ass left . No word on whether hormonal additives had to be administered to the German chancellor to get her lactating and into the neighbourhood where she could challenge "the limits of good taste."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Holy Python - Monty's Grail !

Not all is lost...

Italian archaeologist, Alfredo Barbagallo, claims that the legendary Holy Grail -- the chalice used at the Last Supper -- is hidden in the catacombs under the 6th-century Roman basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls.

Just sanity.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Canada's Low I.Q. ... Now Flying Lower

Steve Baker, head of the London International Airport, knows first-hand the pain Canadian flyers may now face. On the day a new no-fly security list threatened to ground an unknown number of Canadian air travellers, Baker yesterday revealed he was on the U.S. version of that list -- which bars people from flying -- about a year ago. "There was someone with the exact name, Steven James Baker," he said. In fact, the first time his name popped up on the no-fly list was as he tried to fly out of his own airport to the U.S.

It took Baker four months of paperwork to convince U.S. authorities he wasn't the Steven James Baker on the U.S. Homeland Security list. During those four months, because Air Canada uses the same list for all flights, Baker faced the irony of having his name pop up on his own airport's security system on his way to Ottawa for a meeting of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Royal Chopping Block

Iran accused Britain on Sunday of insulting Islamic values by knighting Salman Rushdie... The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Rushdie, awarded the knighthood for services to literature in Queen Elizabeth's birthday honors list published on Saturday, was "one of the most hated figures" in the Islamic world.

Spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini portrayed the decision as an act directed against Islam by Britain... "Honoring and commending an apostate and hated figure will definitely put the British officials (in a position) of confrontation with Islamic societies," he said.

Fatwa anybody? An Iranian foundation meanwhile raised a bounty to 150,000 dollars for anyone who killed Rushdie, the Fars news agency reported Sunday. ... Ah, that's better.

[UPDATE : Tuesday June 19]

The UK's ambassador to Pakistan has expressed "deep concern" over comments by a Pakistani minister about Sir Salman Rushdie's knighthood. Religious Affairs Minister Mohammad Ejaz ul-Haq had said the honour meant a risk of suicide attacks because Muslims believed Sir Salman had insulted Islam.... The assembly of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province urged the government to cut diplomatic ties with the UK.

[UPDATE : Wednesday June 20]

A hard-line Pakistani parliamentarian and head of a religious political party on Wednesday demanded a "sir" title for Osama bin Laden, the lead of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, in retaliation for Britain knighting author Salman Rushdie. "Muslims should confer the 'sir' title and all other awards on bin Laden and Mullah Omar in reply to Britain's shameful decision to knight Rushdie," Sami ul Haq, leader of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, said in a statement, referring also to the leader of the Taliban.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Must Read

When will we recognise that religion is always in the mind-control business? ... Organised religion is cultic at its core, but seeks to keep this fact concealed. It is revealed only when its authority is questioned, or when some group takes the neurotic aspects of religion to their natural conclusion. That is the final meaning of the Heaven's Gate community in San Diego.
-John Shelby Spong

For more plain-Jane wisdom of this sort, run out and purchase a copy of Jack Huberman's newest book, The Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies, and Those Generally Hell-Bound.

One more for the road...

I think the greatest gift of the Soviet Union to modern civilization was the dethronement of the clergy and the refusal to let religion be taught in the public schools.
-W.E.B. DuBois

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Keep The Veil, Lose The Bra

This one is priceless.

One of Sunni Islam's most prestigious institutions is to discipline a cleric after he issued a decree allowing women to breastfeed their male colleagues.

Dr Izzat Atiya of Egypt's al-Azhar University said it offered a way around segregation of the sexes at work. He said that if a woman fed a male colleague "directly from her breast" at least five times they would establish a family bond and thus be allowed to be alone together at work.

"A woman at work can take off the veil or reveal her hair in front of someone whom she breastfed."

Do you suppose the religious authorities freaked out at this stunning contradiction?

The legal ruling sparked outrage throughout Egypt and the Arab world. Egypt's minister of religious affairs, Mahmoud Zaqzouq, has called for future fatwas to "be compatible with logic and human nature".

Mr. Zaqzouq doesn't read much besides religious texts, does he? Something can be logical or it can be human nature, but it cannot be both. Except of course for breastfeeding...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Keep Your Pants On

NEW YORK, May 31 (UPI) -- A bus driver of the Pentecostal faith said she may sue the New York Transit Association for firing her just because she refused to wear pants. Tahita Jenkins, 33, explained to her bosses that the standard issue bus driver's uniform, which required the wearing of pants, was against her religion, The New York Post reported Thursday.

Free Love Anglican Style

One of the Church of England's most senior women clerics has quit her job after becoming pregnant while unmarried. The Rev Dr Emma Loveridge stepped down as principal adviser to the Archbishop of York [Dr John Sentamu] after only 13 months in the post.

Her pregnancy comes as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has spoken out strongly in favour of marriage and married families in recent months. Along with Dr Sentamu, he has been trying to deal with the worldwide Anglican split over sexual morality.

Dr Loveridge … is associated with the 'open evangelical' wing of the Church of England. Open evangelicals broadly believe in the importance of Biblical teaching and the spread of the Gospel while rejecting conservative views of traditional morality.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
Bishops at the Church of England have drafted a "rule book" of traditional beliefs that would force out those unwilling to abide by them. The proposals call for a "narrower definition of Anglican belief" and ... also strongly discourage the Anglican community and clergy from pursuing liberal politics.

Free Love Islamic Style

Prostitution was banned in Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution but has increased in recent years. Iran's hard-line interior minister is encouraging temporary marriages as a way to avoid extramarital sex, a stance many in this conservative country fear would instead encourage prostitution.

A temporary marriage, or "sigheh," refers to a Shiite Muslim tradition under which a man and a woman sign a contract that allows them to be "married" for any length of time, even a few hours. An exchange of money, as a sort of dowry, is often involved.
We should consider instituting this practice to regulate Canadian courting rituals. All of the love with none of the headache, ladies. And as for convincing the men in power, it is a cheaper solution than prisons. Think about it fellas.

circa 1989

(This famous photo, taken on 5 June 1989 by photographer Jeff Widener, depicts a lone protester who tried to stop four advancing tanks until he was pulled into the crowd by several onlookers.

The assault on the square [Tiananmen] began at 10:30 p.m. on June 3.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Don't Forget To Brush

US officials have warned consumers to avoid using toothpaste made in China after a shipment was found to contain a poisonous chemical used in anti-freeze.

The Food and Drug Administration said it could contain diethylene glycol, which has been blamed for the deaths of at least 50 people in Panama last year.
Don't forget the fluoride.