Will be out of touch until Sunday

Well, I’m out of touch every day. But my Internet access will be iffy between now and Sunday. And now that my summer courses are over, I have time to watch Dollhouse Season 1 on DVD, so I’ll be out of comission for most of the afternoon and evening that day, too.

My presence would probably not have been missed if I had not posted this.

Argue amongst yourselves.


It’s not funny anymore, ctd.

It’s from Kos/Research2000, so take it with salt, but…apparently 58 percent of Republicans disbelieve or remain agnostic on the proposition that Obama was born in the US.

Congrats, Religious Society of Friends!

The Quakers are almost certainly going to sanction same-sex marriages! Via the BBC:

The church has already held religious blessings for same-sex couples who have had a civil partnership ceremony.

But agreeing to perform gay marriages, which are currently not allowed under civil law, could bring the Quakers into conflict with the government.

The Quakers – also known as The Religious Society of Friends – are likely to reach consensus on the issue of gay marriage without a vote at their annual gathering in York on Friday.

They will also formally ask the government to change the law to allow gay people to marry.

Quaker registrars, like rabbis and Church of England priests, have the authority to marry heterosexual couples on behalf of the state.

But many British Quakers feel it is wrong to exclude a religious commitment from civil partnerships and want the right to marriage extended to same-sex couples too.

The Quaker church has welcomed same-sex unions for more than two decades, allowing local groups to celebrate same-sex commitments through special acts of worship.

I do wish I’d discovered the Quakers before falling out of faith, though I can easily imagine becoming disillusioned with any congregation, and also suspect the problem of evil would again have eventually asserted itself irresistibly. But still, before falling out again, I might have known what it is to be of an institution I can occasionally actually agree with. Their doctrine of the “inner light” and appeal to “experiment” (i.e. experience) allows for the toleration of a far greater flexibility of conscience in their followers which I found lacking in the Roman tradition. At the same time, they haven’t dissolved into a fuzzy, leveling eclecticism like the UU’s.

Update: Charges filed in Warwick assault

Here’s the original post, now with improved grammar and syntax., and comments.

Via the Providence Journal:

[F]our young women now face charges of assault or battery and disorderly conduct. The youngest, 17, also faces a more serious charge — felony assault with a dangerous substance.

PJ also updated the original story after interviewing the suspects and victims:

Amanda L. Zangrilli, 23, of West Warwick, said she and her girlfriend had seen the men in the same spot for a few days, and had “every intention” of bringing opposing signs of their own.

Then, Tuesday afternoon, Zangrilli said, she and her girlfriend, Kristen A. Scungio, 19, also of West Warwick, saw the men again. She says they were pointing at the women, in a way that told her they realized the two were gay. Her girlfriend threw the soda bottle out the window –– missing the man she threw it toward, just as she had intended.

“We heard him yell, ‘Ha ha, you missed,’ ” Zangrilli said.

The two drove to a friend’s house, gathered whatever they could get their hands on and returned with the friend.

Zangrilli and Scungio said the men yelled at them when they returned, calling them the Antichrist, homosexuals and sinners. The men shouted anti-gay slurs at them, the women said, and one pushed his camera into Scungio’s face; she “pushed it away on instinct.”

“And then the flagpole guy raised his pole to me, and I turned around and punched him because I wasn’t sure what he was going to do,” Scungio said. “I was wicked scared. It turned into, like, a riot.”

Another woman driving by, an acquaintance of the women, jumped into the fray.

The men dispute the women’s account and face no charges.

Do I doubt slurs were shouted? No. Anyone participating in a multi-day four-person protest at a random intersection is not the most securely hinged of individuals. Does that justify anything these three women did? No.

Also, yesterday I falsely reported in passing that RI civil law permits same sex marriage. They don’t, but do recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. (Thanks, Storm!)

Sudanese woman faces 40 lashes for wearing pants in public

And she wore the offending pants to her court hearing. That is what a feminist looks like:

There were chaotic scenes as Lubna Hussein, a former journalist who works for the United Nations, attended the hearing wearing the same green slacks that got her arrested for immodest dress. Indecency cases are not uncommon in Sudan. But Ms. Hussein has attracted attention by publicizing her case, inviting journalists to hearings and using it to campaign against dress codes sporadically imposed in the capital.

The case was adjourned as lawyers discussed whether her status as a UN employee gave her legal immunity.

After the hearing, defence lawyer Nabil Adib Abdalla said Ms. Hussein had agreed to resign from the United Nations in time for the next session on Aug. 4 to make sure the case continued. “First of all she wants to show she is totally innocent, and using her immunity will not prove that,” Mr. Abdalla told reporters. “Second she wants to fight the law. The law is too wide. It needs to be reformed … This is turning into a test case. Human rights groups will be watching this closely.”

He said Ms. Hussein was ready to face the maximum penalty for the criminal offence of wearing indecent dress in public, which was 40 lashes and an unlimited fine.

There’s a poll on the website. Eight percent of the respondants think she should take the punishment:

She broke the law of the country. It is not for the UN to solve.

Understating awfulness

Via the San Bernardino Sun:

Assemblyman Anthony Adams, R-Claremont, said most of the cuts were necessary, but he said he’ll have a hard time swallowing the cut to domestic violence shelters. Schwarzenegger’s $16.3 million cut eliminates all state funding for the programs.

“Many (shelters) will not be able to be supported without that funding,” Adams said. “That $16 million supported almost 105,000 people in the state – people who will have nowhere to go other than the emergency room. That’s not a good answer.”

Bill O’Rieley does not understand basic math

William James O’Rieley* has now argued that Canada has a higher life expectancy than the US because the US has ten times the population of Canada, so we have ten times as many accidents and crimes.

Seriously. And he has 30 million viewers. This is where our discourse is.



*Nooooo! I just learned his middle name! It cannot be unlearned! Now you’ve ruined classical American pragmatism for me forever! Or not.