Clearly, OSHA hasn't got a Russian equivalent yet . . .
The idle musings of a former military man, former computer geek, medically retired pastor and now full-time writer. Contents guaranteed to offend the politically correct and anal-retentive from time to time. My approach to life is that it should be taken with a large helping of laughter, and sufficient firepower to keep it tamed!
A Chinese toddler's refusal to give up the microphone during a family karaoke evening started a quarrel that left two men hacked to death with a meat cleaver.
The evening began jovially enough when Mr Yun, the owner of a noodle shop in the central Chinese city of Xi'an, invited his family to celebrate Qixi, China's Valentine's Day, with a singing session at a local karaoke parlour.
But by 11pm, there was discord in the room. Mr Yun's four-year-old son was hogging the microphone and his parents were indulging him.
Two of the boy's uncles began chastising Mr Yun and his wife for having raised a spoilt child; a "Little Emperor", as the Chinese say.
According to the Xi'an police, the argument became heated to the point where the two uncles began pushing, and then punching, Mr Yun.
Finally, Mr Yun's nephew, who also worked in the noodle shop, ran back to the restaurant and fetched a meat cleaver.
The man, named as Mr Hui, hacked the two uncles to death, inflicting at least ten wounds on each uncle. He has since been arrested.
There is no shortage of criticism inside China for the bad behaviour of the Little Emperors, the children raised under the one-child policy and doted on by their parents.
Karaoke, meanwhile, is taken very seriously not just in China, but throughout Asia, where singing rivals alcohol as a social lubricant.
Other karaoke massacres have taken place in the Philippines, where the Frank Sinatra song "My Way" has had to be removed from many songbooks after sub-standard renditions provoked a string of killings.
In Thailand, meanwhile, a man shot eight of his neighbours, including his brother-in-law, after tiring of their tuneless reprisals of John Denver's "Country Roads".
Up to a thousand elderly women in Ghana have been banished to remote camps as alleged witches.
Six such 'witch camps' in the country's impoverished Northern Region have been established where women have sought refuge from beating, torture even lynching to live a life in exile, ostracised from their families and left to fend for themselves.
Many of the women in the camps have been blamed for using black magic to cause some misfortune in the community, whether a death, illness or drought.
Denied the opportunity to defend themselves, they are chased into these camps where, exiled from their families for up to thirty years, they live in appalling conditions where food and running water is scarce.
Eighty year old Zeneibu Sugru was accused of being a witch after her nephew became seriously ill and died. A mob beat her with sticks claiming she had used a spell to kill him.
"I knew it wasn't true. I have never used witchcraft," she said. "But when I heard that they were planning to bury me alive in boy's grave, I knew I had to escape."
Zeniebu did escape with her life eight years ago but left behind her grandchildren, all her possessions and her former life for ever.
. . .
Typically when a woman arrives at the witchcamp, a fetish priest confirms her guilt or otherwise by a special ritual in which a chicken is slaughtered. If it falls on it back, its beak in the air, the women is pronounced innocent. If not she has to consume a sometimes fatal concoction of chicken blood, monkey skulls and soil to "cleanse" her. Only then can she consider returning home. But not all communities are prepared to accept the women back so entrenched is the fear of witchcraft.
"It is my grandchildren I miss most," said Zeneibu ."They were my pride and joy. But I live in hope that one day I will see them again."
It is not an idle hope. Having been purified, the Gambaga chief has agreed to release her home as soon as a member of her family comes to request her back. She is still waiting.
A Russian aviation design institute has completed initial testing of an Antonov An-2 biplane re-engined with a US-made Honeywell Aerospace TPE-331 turboprop engine and Hartzell five-blade propeller, in an attempt to cut operating costs and improve performance.
The Novosibirsk-based Chaplygin Siberian Aeronautical Research Institute began tests in February of the turboprop-fitted An-2, offering equivalent power to the aircraft's standard ASh-62 nine-cylinder radial engine, but with less weight and drag and using cheaper kerosene fuel.
The aircraft had a shorter take-off run, and was steadier and easier to control, the institute says.
. . .
Russia has a chronic need for a new generation of regional aircraft to service remote communities in areas with poor road and rail links. Regional aviation has fallen into steep decline since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
While the nation watches as tropical storm Isaac pounds the Gulf Coast, various agencies are pitching in and providing resources to help the communities. But officials in Alaska know that when natural disaster strikes in the Last Frontier, it will be more difficult for help to come to the state.
That’s why the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is hoping to create the first emergency food supply and storage for the state. It would also be one of the first in the nation in its magnitude.
The state is requesting the private sector to propose ideas and plans to create an emergency food cache for the state, in Anchorage and Fairbanks, to help communities when local resources shrink.
. . .
John Madden, the director of the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, says ... the 2009 eruption of Mt. Redoubt showed how having supplies and food locally is especially important if travelling by air or by water is put to a halt.
“We learned the lessons then, that the supply lines that bring in all this food is tenuous and long,” said Madden. “We want to make sure we have resilient supply lines so if anything disturbs, disrupts, or destroys those lines, we want to be able to care for our people in an orderly way.”
The huge spiral weather system weakened to a tropical depression as it crawled inland, but it caught many places off guard by following a meandering, unpredictable path. The storm's excruciatingly slow movement meant that Isaac practically parked over low-lying towns and threw off great sheets of water for hours.
. . .
Inside the fortified levees that protected New Orleans, bursts of sunshine streamed through the thick clouds, and life began to return to normal. But beyond the city, people got their first good look at Isaac's damage: Hundreds of homes were underwater. Half the state was without power at the one point. Thousands were staying at shelters.
And the damage may not be done. Even more rain was expected in Louisiana before the storm finally drifts into Arkansas and Missouri.
. . .
Katrina was more powerful, coming ashore as a Category 3 storm. Isaac was a Category 1 at its peak. Katrina barreled into the state and quickly moved through. Isaac creeped across the landscape at less than 10 mph and wobbled constantly.
David Newman was frustrated that the government spent billions of dollars reinforcing New Orleans levees after Katrina, only to see the water inundating surrounding regions.
"The water's got to go somewhere," he said. "It's going to find the weakest link."
Mr Marks first arranged for friend Stuart Dawes to leave a hamper, picnic blanket and champagne at The Temple in Stancombe, Gloucestershire – said to be one of the most romantic places in Britain.
But things went wrong from the outset when, instead of delivering the couple to a country idyll, their satnav sent them to a retail park in the centre of Swindon, Wiltshire. Lovely. To make matters worse, the couple then got held up in heavy motorway traffic, leaving 34-year-old Mr Marks to contemplate popping the question in the middle of a jam.
Just when he thought nothing else could go wrong, co-conspirator Mr Dawes called to say their intended destination was off the agenda anyway – it was privately owned... and not available for the proposal.
Under a bit of pressure now, Mr Dawes had to come up with another scenic spot – Tyndale Monument in North Nibley, Gloucestershire.
Mr Marks ... said: ‘I stopped at a corner shop and talked to Stuart on the phone. He sounded massively out of breath because he had run up the hill to check it was suitable... without the picnic basket, the champagne and flowers. Then he had to go back up with everything. But it had the most amazing views.’
Then came a final blow. The hill was muddy and Miss O’Neill, who had endured an increasingly uncomfortable and, frankly, bemusing journey, wasn’t keen on climbing to the top.
Mr Marks, of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, said: ‘Nuala had new shoes and said she wasn’t going to walk up the hill.’ A little smooth talking later, they were at the top. Mr Marks added: ‘She turned round and I was on my knee.’
Miss O’Neill, 26, accepted – and the couple were applauded by a group of ramblers who had also made the climb.
They are now planning to get married in Ireland next year... and Mr Marks may take a taxi to that.
Scores of soldiers and their wives are risking Army anger by stripping off and saluting to show support for Prince Harry, and posting the pictures on Facebook.
As our troops get naked to copy Army comrade Prince Harry's nude Vegas party pose, their wives and girlfriends are getting in on the act too.
They are borrowing their boys' uniforms and performing 'naked salutes' either totally nude or in varying states of undress.
They are among over 13,000 who have joined a military Facebook group called 'Support Prince Harry With A Naked Salute'.
But although none of the troops are likely to be disciplined for the stunt, top brass are not amused.
A source told the Daily Mail: "Everyone sees the funny side but there are people at senior levels in the Army who do not consider this to be appropriate.
"They will be thinking 'Does this really shows us in the professional light we want to be seen in?'."
Unable to defuse a 250 kilogram (550 pound) bomb found buried one meter (three feet) deep at the site of the former bar Schwabinger 7 in the heart of the Bavarian capital, authorities elected to detonate the explosive on site.
The controlled blast, finally carried out just before 10 p.m., sent a fireball into the night sky, shattered windows in the vicinity and resulted in several small fires on surrounding rooftops. Nobody was hurt.
"Almost all the window panes in the immediate area were destroyed," Diethard Posorski, from the Munich bomb disposal authority, told journalists. A fire department spokesman added: "It looked quite spectacular."
. . .
The bomb, a model used by the US air force in World War II, was found on Monday during construction work. Initial attempts to defuse the explosive, however, failed due to the complicated nature of the chemical delay-action detonator. Such detonators were used on just 10 percent of the bombs dropped on Germany during World War II but they often failed; they make up a disproportionate share of the unexploded ordnance discovered in Germany. Once authorities opted for a controlled blast, thousands of sandbags were brought in to protect surrounding buildings.
By Wednesday morning, normality had returned to much of the area surrounding the site of the explosion and many streets had been reopened. But several hundred residents were still waiting to be allowed to return home.
The find is almost certain not to be the last. Tens of thousands of unexploded bombs are thought to still lie undiscovered in German cities, leftover from the Allied bombing raids that demolished the country's metropolitan areas in World War II. Officials in Munich estimate that there are some 2,500 bombs buried in the Bavarian capital alone. There have been four significant discoveries of unexploded ordnance in the city this year. Just one week ago, officials in Nuremberg succeeded in defusing a similar 250-kilogram bomb.
Experts say that the undiscovered bombs in Germany become more dangerous with each passing year. Last year, a former bomb disposal chief told SPIEGEL ONLINE that "unexploded bombs are becoming more dangerous by the day through material fatigue as a result of ageing and through erosion of safety elements in the trigger mechanisms."
Spain has suffered the worst haemorrhaging of bank deposits since the launch of the euro, losing funds equal to 7pc of GDP in a single month.
Data from the European Central Bank shows that outflows from Spanish commercial banks reached €74bn (£59bn) in July, twice the previous monthly record. This brings the total deposit loss over the past year to 10.9pc, replicating the pattern seen in Greece as the crisis spread.
It is unclear how much of the deposit loss is capital flight, either to German banks or other safe-haven assets such as London property. The Bank of Spain said the fall is distorted by the July effect of tax payments and by the expiry of securitised funds.
Julian Callow from Barclays Capital said the deposit loss is €65bn even when adjusted for the season: “This is highly significant. Deposit outflows are clearly picking up and the balance sheet of the Spanish banking system is contracting.”
Economy secretary Fernando Jimenez Latorre said Spain is in the eye of the storm right now with the “worst falls” in economic output yet to come in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, the Spanish statistics office said the economic slump has been deeper than feared, with lower output through 2010 and 2011. The economy slid back into double-dip recession in the third quarter of last year, three months earlier than thought.
. . .
Separately, Portugal’s tax revenues fell 3.5pc in July despite higher tax rates, raising concerns that the country is tipping into a contraction spiral. It is now certain that Portugal will fail to meet this year’s deficit target of 4.5pc of GDP under its €78bn rescue from the EU-IMF troika. Morgan Stanley said the country will need a “second bail-out” in the autumn.
. . .
Meanwhile, the Greek government said it is planning to launch Chinese-style “economic zones” with special tax and regulatory breaks in a desperate bid to attract foreign investment.
But the Athens plans could face legal difficulties due to the European Union’s free market rules.
The Mongol Rally is a car rally that begins in Europe and ends in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. The principal launch is from Goodwood Circuit, United Kingdom, with subsidiary starting points in other European countries.
It is described as the "greatest adventure in the world". Whilst originally the rally required competing vehicles to have an engine displacement of less than 1,000cc, this has been increased to 1,200 cc to reflect the increasing difficulty of obtaining a car since the Mongolian government stipulated that all competing vehicles must be less than 10 years old.
The rally is designed to be an adventure for the participants, and not a traditional rally/race. The organisers ("The Adventurists") are careful to point out that racing on highways is illegal, and that no recognition is given to the first finisher.
There are other differences from mainstream rallies, particularly the fact that no support team is provided and no other arrangements are made such as for accommodation. Indeed, the diminutive vehicles are deliberately inappropriate for the task, in the adventurous spirit of the rally.
"Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high. Individuals who have taken part in previous Adventurists' adventures have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled or lost their life."
Stationery manufacturer BIC has provoked widespread online ridicule after designing a range of pink and purple pen just “for her”.
The pens, which are promoted as “designed to fit comfortably in a woman’s hand” comes in an “attractive barrel design available in pink and purple”.
Advertised exclusively for women, one version promises “smooth writing” and comes in a box of 12, writing in both blue and black ink.
While BIC’s intentions are no doubt sincere, the products have inspired a wave of online ridicule as women poke fun at their strategy.
Already attracting wry comment from feminist website Jezebel, the pens have now reached a global audience of outraged women.
Website Amazon has been flooded with hundreds of reviews from women, who managed to successfully navigate their computer keyboards to express their appreciation.
ME NEEDED PEN FOR TO WRITE. ME PICK UP PEN. PEN SMALL. PEN SAY 'FOR WO MAN'. I MAN. I USE PEN. PEN NO WRITE! WHY PEN NO WRITE!
PEN BREAK WHEN MAN SLAM PEN INTO MAN CAVE BRICK WALL. PEN GONE. STILL NEED PEN. STILL NEED WRITE.
BIC PEN FOR WO MAN NO WORK FOR ME MAN. WHAT 'WO' MEAN?
I bought this for my wife, as she likes to have a comfortable grip on things that are 8" long and are pink and purple.
She seems happy about it, but me, less so.
I don't know why they didn't put a clearer warning on the label, they really should have because if you are a boy and use this pen you put yourself at great risk. My little brother turned into a unicorn after I lent him one, and my friend told me that a boy in her class grew fairy wings in the middle of a test.
My only criticism of these wonderful pens is that I get a bit bored with all 12 looking the same. I get around this my customising each pack. At the moment, the pen I have in use is covered in stripes of glitter and I glued a pink pompom and one of those diamanté charms you get on mobile phones (I couldn't fit any more on my phone) onto the top. I think BIC should start adding pens like this to their range because some women find it difficult to hold tubes of superglue properly - I asked the 6 year old boy who lives next door to help me.
After having gifted this precious item to my love and seeing her properly drawing unicorns and fairies for the first time (previously you see, it was as if the other pens--my pens--would take over and draw muscular mutated beasts with great big fangs and saddles loaded with projectiles and an assortment of cutlery not suitable for any kitchen work!) ... I did the unthinkable. I bought a set for myself. My love asked me what on earth I was doing with another set of "for her" pens and I immediately snapped back, "they're for our daughter!" But she reminded me, we don't have a daughter. Alas, I was caught in my own web of lies, and holding the pens, I broke down crying like a little girl--the little girl we didn't have, except in my own heart. I wept with my dearest until I felt closure from it all and finally came out! I gently grabbed the flower-templated paper I purchased with the pens and began writing in big smooth curvy letters--not the crooked hasty one's I was used to all my life with those blasted man pens; and drawing horses and poodles--not the tall one's mind you, but rather the cute little ones--and then heart shapes and innocent love letters (not the raunchy hair-raising instant-blush & faint one's I naturally spun out of a man-pen) and my poetry was filled with a noticeable feminine charm. I loved it. It felt so natural. Yet so guilty. Guilty, for having taking it from whatever poor woman came to the store that day to find the shelf depleted, and for my own self, for having given in to the temptation of experimenting with a different orientation.
. . .
UPDATE: ... I had to knock the pen down from five to four stars, not out of any weakness in of its own delicate nature, but due to its seductive charm, too potent to resist. My marriage is still intact, but I suspect my wife has gone back to another pen, a man's pen--the other day she said she needed the assurance and security of a stronger pen that can write boldly in times when she needs that testost--I mean ink, whilst I have forgotten how to weld my own!
When the architect Laura Clark told friends and family that she was planning to live in an underground former public lavatory in south-east London, responses ranged from hilarity to horror along with quite a few polite inquiries as to the state of her mental health. ‘I was known as Laura Toilets for a while,’ she says laughing. And there were moments during the project’s lengthy gestation when Clark questioned her own sanity.
. . .
In the middle of 2011 Clark found herself the proud owner of the underground public conveniences, built in 1929, last used some time in the 1980s and now filled thigh-high with rubbish.
She lost no time in getting stuck in, working alongside builders and labourers in order to transform the dank and frankly creepy space into a bright and airy home. ‘I ended up doing a lot of the labouring work myself, because it was such horrid, hard work that I struggled to keep people on the job,’ she says. ‘And filling skips is character-building.’ For Clark, who fights mixed martial arts at semi-professional level, it was also good strength training. She even persuaded one of her sparring partners to help out with a sledge-hammer on the grounds that it would be good for their game. Remarkably, the entire project cost only £65,000 [about US $102,500]. ‘But in fairness, I did have many years to work it all out,’ she says.
Today it is hard to imagine that the light-filled one-bedroom flat, with its streamlined shelves, glamorous gold-leaf bathroom and subterranean garden, was once a derelict public convenience.
There are clues though. The tiles that form the splashback in the kitchen were reclaimed from the site’s original use, as was a mirror in the living-room. And propped on a kitchen shelf is a small public health poster warning of the perils of VD. But still, for Clark, this is home.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.
If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.
Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
Each party steals so many articles of faith from the other, and the candidates spend so much time making each other's speeches, that by the time election day is past there is nothing much to do save turn the sitting rascals out and let a new gang in.
The past several weeks have made one thing crystal-clear: Our country faces unmitigated disaster if the Other Side wins.
No reasonably intelligent person can deny this. All you have to do is look at the way the Other Side has been running its campaign. Instead of focusing on the big issues that are important to the American People, it has fired a relentlessly negative barrage of distortions, misrepresentations and flat-out lies.
Just look at the Other Side's latest commercial, which take a perfectly reasonable statement by the candidate for My Side completely out of context to make it seem as if he is saying something nefarious. This just shows you how desperate the Other Side is and how willing it is to mislead the American People.
The Other Side also has been hammering away at My Side to release certain documents that have nothing to do with anything, and making all sorts of outrageous accusations about what might be in them. Meanwhile, the Other Side has stonewalled perfectly reasonable requests to release its own documents that would expose some very embarrassing details if anybody ever found out what was in them. This just shows you what a bunch of hypocrites they are.
. . .
I will admit the candidates for My Side do make occasional blunders. These usually happen at the end of exhausting 19-hour days and are perfectly understandable. Our leaders are only human, after all. Nevertheless, the Other Side inevitably makes a big fat deal out of these trivial gaffes, while completely ignoring its own candidates' incredibly thoughtless and stupid remarks — remarks that reveal the Other Side's true nature, which is genuinely frightening.
Debt offers a compelling fantasy: there is no need for difficult trade-offs or sacrifices, everything can be bought and enjoyed now.
. . .
Trade-offs and sacrifices were the core of household finances for those families that sought to "get ahead" or purchase things that required substantial cash.
Abundant, cheap credit upended the incentives to make adult trade-offs and sacrifice consumption for future benefits.
. . .
Why choose between a lavish vacation, a year of college or a boat? Buy all three on credit.
This mentality has infected the entire nation and culture. Why should we have to choose between $600 billion military spending and $600 billion Medicare spending? Let's just borrow the $1.2 trillion every year to pay for both.
. . .
To the degree that our government distributes $1.3 trillion in borrowed money every year, everyone receiving money from the Federal government is living off debt that draws interest and will never be paid.
Thus it is an artifice to say that a person collecting money from the Federal government is "debt-free": the debt they are incurring is simply once removed.
. . .
Relying on credit to fuel "growth" in everything only worked when incomes were rising and interest rates could be cut. Now that incomes are stagnant for 90% of the populace and interest rates have been slashed, there is no way to increase leverage.
. . .
Living within one's income (household or national income) requires making difficult trade-offs and sacrfices: either current consumption is sacrificed for future benefits, or the future benefits are sacrificed for current consumption. You can't have it both ways ...
A BMW for $1. Sounds too good to be true, but for one Trade Me buyer it was obviously his lucky day.
The 1994 blue BMW 320i was listed yesterday morning with a $1 reserve by Christchurch car dealership Stadium Cars.
Before lunchtime, it had been snapped up by a bidder ... He clicked on 'buy now' and within seconds was the proud new owner of a tidy, second-hand European car.
Stadium Cars manager Mike Nokes said the $1 buy now was an error.
Each week the dealership put up cars for auction on the site with $1 reserve. However, the buy now option was mistakenly added to the latest one.
"I thought, 'Whoops', but it is what it is. You can only laugh about it."
. . .
The car probably would have sold for $3000 if the auction had run as planned.
COMPUTER SCIENTISTS hunt elephants by exercising Algorithm A:
During each traverse pass:
- Go to Africa.
- Start at the Cape of Good Hope.
- Work northward in an orderly manner, traversing the continent alternately east and west.
Experienced COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS modify Algorithm A by placing a known elephant in Cairo to ensure that the algorithm will terminate.
- Catch each animal seen;
- Compare each animal caught to a known elephant;
- Stop when a match is detected.
Why do we wimp out so? Face it: what the invention of firearms did was forceably remove the monopoly of violence from the state. It didn't not ask the state's consent. It did not assuage the state official or the thug trained in a lifetime of violence (but I repeat myself) by saying, "oh, don't worry, we won't use our guns to kill you, even if you decide our proper fate is to be inserted into gas chambers or brick ovens." It WRENCHED control of armed combat from a select few and placed into the hands of every individual with only a small amount of training. In relative terms, the firearm is easy to make, easy to learn to shoot accurately, and easy to deploy. There was no putting that genie back in the bottle. No matter what legislation was passed nor decrees issued. And before the firearm's appearance, life was Hell on earth for anyone who did not train constantly for combat. The gun forced anyone who wanted someone else to do his bidding to reason with him.
To some, it may just seem mean-spirited, but if everything went upside down, it would not be about being ‘nice’ so much as surviving. Consideration for those totally unprepared would be a luxury we could, in large part, simply not afford. This would, of course, have to be delicately balanced with reasonable compassion. So, what to take away from today’s rant? I’m really preaching to the choir on this one. Perhaps it’s this: If it’s the end of the world, and you show up at your Prepared Buddy’s hole-up, you had better ask yourself why he should let you in beyond simply being buddies. Because if things have gotten as bad as they ever could, he can’t provide for all of his friends. You should have thought more about that before it came to this. Best of luck to you.
Western analysis of the stunt pulled in Moscow by the cretins known as Pussy Riot cannot convey the visceral rage their act has elicited from the typical Russian.
I don’t mean the typical Russian of central Moscow or St. Petersburg, but those from the endless cinderblock apartments that ring each city and fill in the rest of the largest geographic country on Earth. They are not commonly interviewed on television, and Western media hardly ever quote them. However, they do most of the nation’s working and slaving and living and dying. They also do the believing.
There are many things one does not do in a Russian Orthodox church. In many colder climes—basically all of Russia much of the year—adherents do not remove coats. Congregants remain standing throughout the ceremony. You cannot put your hands in your pockets and if you do, someone will tap you and wag his finger.
The clergy will not look at you. Their backs are to parishioners because Orthodox services honor the Almighty instead of trying to entertain those who pass through the archway. The service is not about you and it will proceed whether you are there or not.
. . .
... many Russians apparently would have felt no qualms about kicking in every last one of these girls’ teeth. This is the degree to which their stunt offends typical Russians. Few would object to the same reaction at a neo-Nazi rally at Auschwitz, a pro-Khmer Rouge carnival at a Cambodian temple, or those insufferable jackasses who denounce homosexuality at soldiers’ funerals. Some people beg to have hell beaten out of them. That they generally don’t is a true crime against humanity.
. . .
Lamentably, there was no end to the insufferable idiots spouting off about this lack of Russian liberty.
One of them was Madonna, taking reprieve from showing the ravages of time to tell the world we must respect freedom. Not freedom of religion or freedom of association evidently, but freedom to spit on others’ most sacred beliefs in a place specifically designed for them to retreat from a world which already does that with glee at every opportunity imaginable.
Another was the defiler Khodorkovsky, who ought to be disqualified from giving any statement about Christ’s sanctity. Yet when did courtesy or common sense ever convince one of his ilk to keep its mouth shut about anything? On the contrary, the Oligarch Who Didn’t Get Away felt at ease questioning the morality of a country from which he stole billions.
There were other “musicians” and intellectual lightweights who deigned to make digs at the deity. If you are ever in a committee meeting where Sting, Yoko Ono, and Madonna agree, back quietly out of the room and run until you’re out of breath.