Friday, September 29, 2006

Racism is well and thriving in this country!

LIMBAUGH: Well, it didn't take long for this. After only two episodes, producers at CBS -- the TV show Survivor, you know they -- they segregated all those tribes by race and by ethnicity -- but after only two episodes, the segregation has ended. They have merged the black, white, Asian, and Latino tribes into two mixed-race gangs. There can only be one reason for this, ladies and gentlemen -- that is the white tribe had to be winning. Were -- were it not for that, there would be none of this mixed-gang business going on after only two episodes.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

There are lots of laws that sound wacky (don't drive a cow down main street on Sunday, don't carry ice cream in your back pocket, etc.), but actually did have a semblance of reasoning behind them.

But this... this may be the weirdest law I've ever heard of.

[O]n February 18, 1856, Virginia actually passed an act providing for the voluntary enslavement of its free persons of color if they should be so inclined. This seemingly perverted yet bona fide statute provided in part that:

Be it enacted by the general assembly, that it shall be lawful for any free person of color, resident within this commonwealth, of the age of eighteen years if a female, and of the age of twenty-one if a male, to choose his or her master, upon the terms and conditions herein after mentioned.

When any free person as aforesaid desires to choose a master, such person shall file a petition in the circuit court of the county or corporation in which such free person of color resides, setting forth his desire to choose an owner, and setting forth the name of such person as he or she desires to select as an owner; which petition shall be signed by such free person in the presence of at least two subscribing witnesses.

--Byron Curti Martyn, "Racism in the United States: A History of the Anti-miscegenation Legislation and Litigation," pgs 337-38. The accompanying footnote reads:

Va. Acts ch. 46 "An Act providing for the voluntary enslavement of the free negroes of the commonwealth" (1856), in Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1855-1856 (Richmond: William F. Ritchie, public printer, 1856), pp. 37-38.

I... wow.

Although apparently people did petition to become slaves....

And it seems Tennessee passed a similar law in 1857, Louisiana in 1859, and Florida at some point.

That's quite a mistranslation there:

Something always gets lost in translation, but usually not an entire city.

"Jerusalem. There is no such city!" the Jerusalem municipality said in the English-language version of a sightseeing brochure it had published originally in Hebrew.

The correct translation: "Jerusalem. There is no city like it!"

Carrying a photograph of the brochure, Israel's Maariv newspaper said Wednesday tens of thousands of flyers had been distributed before city hall realized its mistake.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I use Microsoft Outlook to read my Purdue e-mail, so I get a little preview of the messages before actually reading them.

So what does it say about me when I delete all my spam but almost open the one that includes the words "Russ Feingold law" and "Supreme Court"?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Studio Ghibli did an anime based on The Earthsea Trilogy?

And it won't be brought to America until 2009?

Nnnrg. I'm not sure whether to look forward to this or not. On the one hand, it's Studio Ghibli. But it's not Hayao Miyazaki, it's his son. And also, I remember reading about the author of one of the other books he adapted (which became Kiki's Delivery Service) being very displeased with the adaptation....

Ah, I see Ms. LeGuin has written her thoughts on the movie. Hrm. This makes me less hopeful that I will be able to enjoy it.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Aaah! There's an animal whose official name is the Vampire Squid from Hell!

Why was I not informed of this earlier??

Sigh. At least I got to see a video of it turning inside-out.

The Supreme Court will post transcripts of oral arguments on its Web site the same day they occur, beginning in October.

The change, long desired by court watchers, comes as Chief Justice John Roberts begins his second term at the head of the court.

The court occasionally has made available audio tapes on the day of argument in major cases. Usually, however, arguments have been transcribed from audio recordings and made available roughly two weeks later.

Now, a court reporter will sit in the elegant courtroom to speed the process and attempt to sort out which of the nine justices is interrupting a lawyer arguing the case.

But my celebratory mood was dampened by the last paragraph:

There is no indication that justices are prepared to relent on another matter of media interest. Television cameras still are barred from the court.

Say it isn't so! I still won't get to see the nine justices sitting down and listening to lawyers talk? Oh, I can only hold out so long!

[Edit] Whoa. The UofL Law Library has Supreme Court briefs? Gah! Now I must go back there!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

One of my orders from InterLibrary Loan came in yesterday, and I picked it up after class today. Unfortunately, it's due back October 5 (technically, midnight October 6), and it can't be renewed.

So I have until then to read this.

I so wanted to take a nap today....
The army is currently taking out ads for Arab speakers.

Possibly to replace the twenty they kicked out for being gay.
So as I was walking home today (I guess technically yesterday, but who's counting?), I passed by the wall where people stick random fliers to gain people's attention. Given that the walls are inundated with such fliers, this generally has the opposite effect, and I tend to tune them out.

However, I noticed one of them today, with a large header that read:

WORLD WILL END on 9-12-2006

Now, given that it was 4:20 p.m. on 9/12/2006 when I saw this, I thought to myself "It better hurry the hell up, then!"
But beneath that it says

Mark your calendar!

So I imagine this was placed there a few days ago and I just didn't notice it. Or maybe someone else found out about this guy and thought people needed a laugh.

Beneath that is a picture of some bearded man at a desk, and some more text.

This is Overseer Yisrayl Hawkins coming to you from the House of Yaweh in Abilene, Texas.
According to Mr. Hawkins and his interpretation of Biblical prophesy, nuclear war will erupt on September 12, 2006, and one third of the humans on the planet will perish.

And here you are, squandering your remaining days in research.

Amusing, no? But wait, there's still more!

For a complete description of humanity's fate, do investigate:

It says so in the Bible

I admit, I tore the thing off the wall so I could check that website. If I had a scanner, I'd put up a picture--I may even be able to hunt one down on campus. Or maybe get a classmate with a digital camera to help me out....

Anywho. Lookie here:

We have about seven months left to get ready. We need to accomplish a lot before this time period. We need to overcome spiritually because there are still some little hang-ups that we have. They're very harmful.

So this was written around February, then.

It's a rather long article, full of insane biblical exegesis that I'm not even going to bother reading, so let's just find out how he gets September 12, 2006:

Now, keep all this in mind. Get a calendar, like I did, a fourteen year calendar. Write down what I say. September 13th was when the seven year peace agreement started; that's when it was confirmed with Rabin. This started the last seven years that were split in half with seven years put in between. This confused all the preachers of all the land up until now.

It began October 13th, 1993. If you count fourteen years, you come up with October 13th, 2007. Now, let's go back to Revelation 9. Remember, they're bound for the great River Euphrates.

Now, the end is October 13th, 2007. That's the end that Daniyl showed in Daniyl 12 where he said it would be for a time, times and the divided time, which means altogether fourteen years. Go to the end, that Daniyl said was going to be the end of man's governments in Daniyl 7. Let me read it to you.

Daniyl 7:11. I beheld, then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke; I beheld until the beast was slain Remember this was under the authority of the beastly system. and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame That is, the nuclear war or the nuclear burning that Malakyah also talked about, as does Revelation. That is the end of man's governments of the people and by the people. The governments will be destroyed by nuclear activity, the works of their hands that they invented.

Now, go from the end, October 13th, 2007 and come back one year to October 13th, 2006; come back one month because you have a year and a month and you have September 13th, 2006. Write this down. Then you come back one day and you're at September 12th, 2006.

I think the date was planned because of September 11th, 9-11, when they bombed the World Trade Centers with two airplanes. I think they planned it at that time and have worked all this time to bring it about. I think their exact date was planned. Think about it. 9-11, the day after. It's going to be a big joke on the Arab world, but I'm going to tell them about it before it takes place.

And how sure he is that this is going to take place?

In the next few sermons you'll see that we're not wrong on this date. It's totally clear in Scriptures what's going to take place. I'm one hundred percent convinced of this. One hundred percent.

It is now 12:31 a.m., September 13, 2006 where I am. Since God apparently didn't bother involving time zones, I think we've still got a couple of hours. His phone number has a 325 area code, so he apparently lives in Abilene, Texas. So he's an hour behind me, which means he's got a half-hour to be proven right.

This is amazing, really. He apparently had a countdown clock on his homepage--going to the main page, I see " 0 days remaining before the start of nuclear war". There's a video of him ranting on YouTube.

He seems really sure about this.
Let's see how it works out for him.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ban on Gays In Conservative Judaism Expected To Be Lifted:

The ban on ordaining openly gay rabbis and on the sanctioning of same-sex marriage will be lifted in the Conservative movement of Judaism by the year's end, a key Conservative Jewish leader announced this week.

Rabbi Jerome Epstein, executive vice president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, says a committee of scholars who interpret Jewish law for the movement will likely loosen the prohibition when they vote in December.


Rabbi Elliot Dorff, vice chairman of the Law Committee and also a respected scholar, supports ordaining gays, saying "it is simply not natural" to demand that they remain celibate.

"We have to interpret God’s will in our time," Dorff told The AP.


Thursday, September 7, 2006

Eagle Ancestors Hunted Early Humans, Skull Study Suggests.

The title really says it all.
Y'know, there's a lot of idiotic rhetoric about wars on Christianity, Christians, Christmas, etc., in this country--almost always expressed in outrage and indignation that the one, true believers should be persecuted.

Which leads me to wonder... if these people were truly Christian, wouldn't they be welcoming persecution? Didn't Jesus say, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. / Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. / Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

You'd think they'd leap at chances to be martyrs and prophets. But I guess their ratings and political power means more to them.

Monday, September 4, 2006

So, cassowaries.

A cassowary's three-toed feet have sharp claws; the dagger-like middle claw is 120 mm (5 inches) long. This claw is particularly dangerous since the Cassowary can use it to kill an enemy, disemboweling it with a single kick. They can run up to 50 km/h (32 mph) through the dense forest, pushing aside small trees and brush with their bony casques. They can jump up to 1.5 m (5 feet) and they are good swimmers.

The 2004 edition of the Guinness World Records lists the cassowary as the world's most dangerous bird. Normally cassowaries are very shy but when disturbed can lash out dangerously with their powerful legs. During World War II American and Australian troops stationed in New Guinea were warned to steer clear of the birds. They are capable of inflicting fatal injuries to an adult human. Usually, attacks are the result of provocation. Wounded or cornered birds are particularly dangerous. Cassowaries, deftly using their surroundings to conceal their movements, have been known to out-flank organized groups of human predators. Cassowaries are considered to be one of the most dangerous animals to keep in zoos, based on the frequency and severity of injuries incurred by zookeepers.

Now I'm imagining John Peters wanting to have a fight with a cassowary in one of his movies because "cassowaries are the fiercest killers in the bird kingdom."

Cuckoldry as a valuable tool in the fight against terrorism!

Gary Thomas Rowe Jr. ... [was] a controversial F.B.I. informer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan during the civil rights struggles of the 1960's....

In 1975, wearing a bizarre cotton hood that resembled a Klan headpiece without the point, he told a Senate committee that the F.B.I. had known of and condoned his participation in violence against black people and had ordered him to sow dissent within the Klan by having sexual relations members' wives [sic].


He also testified that the F.B.I. had told him to cause dissension in the Klan. "I was told to sleep with as many wives as I could, to break up marriages," he said.

--"Gary T. Rowe Jr., 64, Who Informed on Klan in Civil Rights Killings, Is Dead", New York Times, October 4, 1998.

Ah, the brilliant tactics of the FBI. We should use that in our fight against al Qaeda!

Sunday, September 3, 2006

"They believe that they will be honored at the gate of heaven for taking out people," Brenda Hammond of the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force said in a telephone interview from Sandpoint, a resort town of 5,000 residents.

Of course, she wasn't talking about Muslim terrorists, but Christian ones. Specifically, members of the Phineas Priesthood, "which opposes interracial marriage, abortion and homosexuality, among other things. It is named after an Old Testament priest who killed an intertribal couple."

No word on how many virgins they expect to be waiting for them, though.

--"Arrests Add to Idaho's Reputation as a Magnet for Supremacists", New York Times, October 27, 1996.