tyranny and orange power, degrees of zealotry and extracting virtue, a child’s best friend

With great power comes great responsibility so said Spiderman. The same is true of being orange. Ohio’s premiere orange Congress critter Rep. John Boehner(R) is worn to use his special orange powers to save us from “tyranny”. He has sworn to bring back insurance company rescission practices. That is where insurance companies suddenly find that your breast cancer or heart disease is a preexisting condition and suddenly cancel your insurance so that you may than enjoy the freedom of personal bankruptcy.

Pacific front WW II observation balloon launch. This could also have been used as a barrage balloon. Barrage balloons were used by The U.S. and Britain during WW II.

“I found God in 1992,” says Sam Childers. “I found Satan in 1998.” – A former biker/drug dealer turned gonzo fundamentalist preacher is out to get one of Africa and history’s worse sociopaths Joseph Kony, leader of the outlaw Lord’s Resistance Army. Kony is a Christian fundamentalist of sorts.

Before setting out on his most recent hunt for Kony, Childers had ordered his men to bow their heads in prayer and ask for God’s help. No one remarked on the irony of one man’s invoking divine sanction in order to kill a man who also invokes divine sanction.

[  ]…Over the next two dec­ades, the L.R.A. (Lord’s Resistance Army run by Kony) forced two million people to flee to squalid refugee camps in northern Uganda and Southern Sudan. The L.R.A. has also abducted more than 30,000 children, turning the boys, some as young as eight, into soldiers, and the girls into sex slaves.

Even for a region with a vivid memory of Idi Amin, the L.R.A.’s brutality manages to shock. Soldiers in dreadlocks routinely cut off the lips, noses, and breasts of villagers to deter informants. Women are raped, then forced to watch as their infants are bayoneted. Kony cites biblical precedent to explain why it is sometimes necessary to murder his own people.

The worse that Childers has done – since his conversion anyway – is to distribute anti-choice t-shirts. He has a small army for who he provides income, food and shelter and also runs an orphanage for some of the – who knows tens of thousands – orphans in the region. Hollywood finds him fascinating and some celebrities including Sandra Bullock have made contributions. Bush had the U.S. military help with some logistics, satellite photos, cell phones and so forth, for a raid on Kony, but Kony and most of his men escaped.

Man’s best friends: 11 animals who saved human lives

He noticed that Angel, his happy-go-lucky golden retriever, was acting much more cautious and guarded than usual. Within moments, a cougar tried to pounce on Austin from less than 10 feet away. Angel jumped directly into the big cat’s path and bore the brunt of the attack instead.

“She was my best friend, but now she’s even greater to me. She’s more than a best friend now,” Austin said after the attack, which almost certainly would have killed Angel if a local police constable hadn’t managed to shoot the cougar.

Some dogs can be kind of skittish around children, but my experience has been that the dogs tend have a special protective bond with them. Maybe its my biased observations but the dogs seem to understand that children are more vulnerable than other members of the family.

This has turned out to be degrees of  odd and inconsistent behavior day. Doubt cast on Noah’s ark found in Turkey

But Dr. Randall Price, an evangelical Christian and former member of the Chinese-led team that announced this week’s finding, says the latest purported finding may not withstand closer scrutiny.

“If the world wants to think this is a wonderful discovery, that’s fine. My problem is that, in the end, proper analysis may show this to be a hoax and negatively reflect how gullible Christians can be,” he says.

The ark story presents one set of fundamentals against another. Price is no Richard Dawkins, but he is capable of having some critical reasoning. I’ve had thoughts about previous findings of  The Ark as Josh Rosenau at Science Blogs. Much can be said for extracting wisdom from various religious writings. No to imply direct equivalence, but Noah’s Ark Ministries, Sam Childers, Joseph Kony and Price have read the same book and believe in the same divine spirit, yet each has internalized what they have read and feel they understand it.

Enjoy the story. Study the story. If you find meaning in the story, retell the story and help other people understand it. But the truth of the story about Noah’s ark has nothing to do with exactly how long a cubit was, what sort of wood is meant by “gopher wood,” or what happened to all the poop. Noah’s ark is a story about the dangers of selfishness, about the importance of being good to one another, and ultimately of honoring our ancestors. It’s also about the patriarchal society of the era in which it was written down, a culture in which the sins of the father pass to the children, and in which Noah’s religious devotion could save not only himself, but his family, just as Lot’s goodness (including a willingness to offer his virgin daughters to be raped by a mob to save a guest) was sufficient to save his family.

In other words, a good story, but also a problematic one. And sometimes, problematic stories are the best ones, since you need to think about them more, and reward careful consideration. But not an excuse for chasing around Turkey sneaking rotten wood up a mountain to build a fake boat. (Science Blogs)

desert clouds wallpaper