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Nun Above The Law?


Three women with criminal records broke into and vandalized a nuclear silo as some sort of a protest. Now they are in jail. Good. The women, who are nuns, appear to believe that their faith should exempt them from the law. The slippery slope argument is, of course, one to use with care, but the corollary of these nuns’ attitude is, ultimately, the right to impose their own beliefs on the rest of us regardless of the democratic process – theocracy, in other words.

Well, at least their sentences will give them time to reread the Bible. They should start with Luke 20, verse 25.

Superstition Watch


’Alien abductions’ are a fairy tale for our times, an ancient superstition brought up to date for a technological society. ‘Recovered memories’ are scarcely more believable. These ought to be uncontroversial statements. Sadly, Harvard’s Susan Clancy found out that this was not the case. The New York Times magazine tells what happened to her.




Germans were, apparently, ‘offended’ by Berlusconi’s stupid remark in the European ‘parliament’ but not, it seems, by this:

”At least 30 people were killed during the [Red Army Faction’s ]long terror campaign that began in the 1960s. Despite this, its star logo is now in vogue in Germany, adorning T-shirts. The magazine Der Spiegel recently ran a Prada-Meinhof fashion feature in which models posed as terrorists, and a novel about the romance between Baader and a fellow terrorist Gudrun Ensslin is a best-seller. “

Or this:

“[An] exhibition of Red Army Faction memorabilia is being planned at a time when “terror chic” is on the rise in Germany, with catwalk models flaunting the crushed velvet flares and Ray-Ban sunglasses favoured by the late Marxist guerrilla leader Andreas Baader.”

Web Briefing: July 23, 2014



This looks to be a movie that is well worth seeing, but it’s difficult not to feel somewhat uneasy about it nonetheless. The Telegraph’s writer notes that “the old Communist world is in ruins, remote like Ozymandias himself, “ but then asks “how glorious is the world that has replaced it?” Well, not very (we are a most imperfect species), but it’s a lot better than what went before.


Diet of The Apes


This, apparently, is a ‘heart healthy’ diet. Amongst its grim highlights Psyllium seeds, pearl barley, soya slices and oat bran bread. Why don’t people who eat like this die of heart disease? That’s easy. They have blown their brains out first.

A Soviet Syllabus


There are concerns in Russia that (RFE reports) antitotalitarian works by writers such as Boris Pasternak, Andrei Platonov, Anna Akhmatova, and Osip Mandelshtam have been removed from required-reading lists, while Soviet literary icons such as Mikhail Sholokhov continue to be taught. That’s worrying, and still more evidence that those who lived under Communism (or their descendants) have yet to come to terms with the horrors of the collectivist past. It’s also worth remembering that until they do, nor will we.

Via blogger Amy Phillips, who also has some sensible views on vacation travel.

Why The Secrecy?


Some people may not like it, but there is occasionally a need for governmental secrecy, particularly so when it comes to intelligence reports. That said, if indeed it’s true that certain sections of the 9/11 report have been kept secret merely because it would be embarrassing for the Saudi regime, that would be a disgrace. ‘Saudi’ Arabia is, quite simply, one of the most disgusting places on earth, a cesspit of superstition, repression and corruption. If it is, indeed, also America’s enemy, Americans have a right to know.

Bb Bloody C


Definitive commentary on the BBC from this football (oh, “soccer”, sorry) writer:

“It’s insane but we live in a country where it’s illegal to watch – or even own – a television unless you pay the BBC money.

You can’t argue about it.

You can’t demand money back for all the years they paid Sid Little’s wages. You can’t demand a rebate because you don’t want to see the bloody Proms or because Peter Sissons has a pointy head or because you think Andrew ’sexed up’ Gilligan is a liar.

You just have to pay. No arguing.

The BBC can and does put people in jail for not paying them money to watch TV. Even if they don’t watch the BBC much, or even at all.

You wouldn’t think that watching TV is a crime punishable by imprisonment would you? But it is.

Once the BBC has our money, they spend a lot of it pompously telling us how we should ‘get a different perspective’.

Of course, every weekend millions of us get a different perspective not by watching Jim Davidson on the Generation Game but by taking ecstasy and other mind-bending intoxicants, which is frankly the only way to endure much of the BBC’s output.

They also spend a lot of time and money interviewing each other about how impartial, perceptive and wonderful they are, even though it is increasingly untrue. “

Way to go.

Via Andrew Sullivan

Mick At 60


So Mick Jagger turned 60 over the weekend. That’s depressing news in its own right, but it’s even sadder to read the following:

“He works out every other day in the gym, avoids fatty food, doesn’t smoke and drinks only the occasional glass of red wine.”

If it’s any consolation, Keith Richards, also turns 60 later this year. His health regime is, I believe, very, very different.

Another Gay-Rights Triumph


A gay-rights group in Sweden has started an ad campaign to promote its view that homosexual orientation can start at an early age. Visit the Stockholm Pride website and click the link for the site in Swedish; you’ll see an ad pop up with the photo of a small child, with childish drawings, and the slogan, “Birgitta, six years old, lesbian.” The group plans to spread its campaign to billboards. But there’s a backlash from a child-protection group which points out that pedophiles argue that children have a sexual identity, and this sort of thing encourages that kind of thinking. A Stockholm Pride member complained in response, “as soon as you talk about homosexuality and children everyone starts yelling about pedophiles”. Gee, can’t imagine why.

Ha Ha Ha


Cheering news (for once) from Harvard’s usually half-witted School of Public Health. According to this report from MSNBC:

“One of the most popular campaigns to curb alcohol use on campus hasn’t reduced student drinking and may actually have increased it, according to a new report from the Harvard School of Public Health’s College Alcohol Study.”

More depressing, however, to read that:

“First-year students at the University of Virginia reduced their alcohol intake from three drinks a week to one.”

Live a little, guys. I know that old Poe was one of your alumni, but there really is no need to be too worried that you will end up the same way as he did.

Prof Death


Don’t you love the story of the Penn State professor who turns out to have murdered three Venezuelan fishermen? No wonder he kept his record off his resume. Can you imagine the scenes in class?

“Wull, no Professor, I didn’t finish my paper…So what’re ya going to do, shoot me?”

“Wull, yeah, Professor, so I cheated on your exam. But I didn’ waste three spic fishermen.”

Esquire Hires Jayson Blair


to review the movie version of Stephen Glass’s book. There’s is nothing non-repulsive about any elements of that.



The Michigan GOP would be for this, I assume?

NFL Fines Lions $200K Over Coach Search
23 minutes ago
By MIKE HOUSEHOLDER, Associated Press Writer
DETROIT – Detroit Lions president Matt Millen was fined $200,000 by the NFL on Friday for not interviewing any minority candidates before hiring coach Steve Mariucci.

The Saudis


Rich’s latest column is on the “cover-up.”

We Don’t Get to Read The Accusations & Evidence...


…but we have to listen to Bandar shoot ‘em down!

Prince Bandar dismissed the report’s assertions about Saudi involvement in the hijackings.

“The idea that the Saudi government funded, organized or even knew about Sept. 11 is malicious and blatantly false,” Prince Bandar said. “There is something wrong with the basic logic of those who spread these spurious charges. Al Qaeda is a cult that is seeking to destroy Saudi Arabia as well as the United States. By what logic would we support a cult that is trying to kill us?”

He added: “In a 900-page report, 28 blanked-out pages are being used by some to malign our country and our people. Rumors, innuendos and untruths have become, when it comes to the kingdom, the order of the day.”

Re: Admission


Terry, I recently Amtraked to Toledo, Ohio. It is slow and goes a completely roudabout route–up to Buffalo first–but does have some gorgeous views, especially when in the Hudson Valley.

Grudging Admission


I’m an Amtrak fan–at least when it comes to trains running between New York and Washington–and not just because flying makes me squirmy. I love trains for their own sake. I love looking out the window and letting my mind wander and being able to get up and walk around. A friend just told me that she and her boyfriend are going to take a transcontinental train trip in a couple of weeks, and I turned green on the spot (from envy, not nausea).

Please don’t remind me of all the compelling arguments against Amtrak–I know they’re right. Still and all, it would make me terribly sad if I couldn’t take the train to Washington anymore.

Libertarian Paradise?


The entire Norwegian government is on vacation.

Denver Lyrics


Some of us have been corrected in referring to Dan Rather using lyrics from the John Denver song “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” It is correct to call them “John Denver song lyrics,” since it’s his hit, but drop the “song” and you’re wrong. It was written by Bill Danoff, better known by the old people as one-fourth of the Starland Vocal Band, whose one hit was “Afternoon Delight,” a song Dan Rather has not yet found occasion to read on the air, not even during the release of the Starr report.


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