Friday, November 28, 2008

God Is Our Defense

Oh, the stupidity. It burns:

Under state law, God is Kentucky's first line of defense against terrorism.

The 2006 law organizing the state Office of Homeland Security lists its initial duty as "stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth."

Specifically, Homeland Security is ordered to publicize God's benevolent protection in its reports, and it must post a plaque at the entrance to the state Emergency Operations Center with an 88-word statement that begins, "The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God."

State Rep. Tom Riner, a Southern Baptist minister, tucked the God provision into Homeland Security legislation as a floor amendment that lawmakers overwhelmingly approved two years ago.

As amended, Homeland Security's religious duties now come before all else, including its distribution of millions of dollars in federal grants and its analysis of possible threats.

The time and energy spent crediting God are appropriate, said Riner, D-Louisville, in an interview this week.

"This is recognition that government alone cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the people of Kentucky," Riner said. "Government itself, apart from God, cannot close the security gap. The job is too big for government."


The Holiday Season

Um, be careful out there. What on earth is going on?

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. -- Two people were hurt when shots were fired at a Thanksgiving parade in a community in Mount Pleasant.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported the shooting occurred about 12:30 p.m. Thursday as the parade was concluding.

Mount Pleasant Police Sgt. Robert Whitlock says hundreds of people were leaving when a fight started between two men.



Be careful out there:
Two people were shot to death in a crowded toy store Friday in a confrontation apparently involving rival groups, city officials said.

The violence erupted on Black Friday, the traditional post-Thanksgiving start of the holiday shopping surge, but accounts of what occurred inside the store were fragmentary or second hand and it was not clear whether it involved any shopping frenzy.

Palm Desert Councilman Jim Ferguson said police told him two men with handguns shot and killed each other and that there were 25 witnesses. Ferguson said he asked police whether the incident was a dispute over a toy or whether it was gang-related. He said police told him they were not going to release further details until the next of kin were contacted.


Merry Christmas

Be careful out there:

Black Friday took a grim turn when a New York Wal-Mart employee died after bargain hunters broke down the doors to the store, pushing him to the ground.

The 34-year-old male employee was pronounced dead an hour after shoppers breached the doors to the shopping center in Valley Stream, Long Island, about 5 a.m. Friday and knocked him down, police said.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," Jimmy Overby, the man's 43-year-old co-worker, told the New York Daily News. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too ... I literally had to fight people off my back.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

The tradition lives on.

(Audio NSFW.)


Monday, November 24, 2008

New Orleans Languishes

Years later, the city still waits:
The four-unit shotgun house that Sandra Marshall bought after decades of double shifts has sat untouched since the flooding of Hurricane Katrina, while nearly $850 million in federal aid for her and thousands of other mom-and-pop landlords sits on a bureaucratic shelf.

"I have old tenants calling me all the time asking when I'm going to get the place back up and running. I wish I knew," said Marshall, 56, who worked days as a postal clerk and nights as a housekeeping manager to buy her property.

She has applied for a repair loan from the nearly forgotten Louisiana Small Rental Property Program, created in the aftermath of Katrina to provide financial help to as many as 13,000 live-in owners of the shotgun and cottage conversions that kept rents cheap here for generations.

So far, it has put money in the hands of only 352 landlords.


Wanda Rocks

It's as simple as that:
Comedian and actress Wanda Sykes officially came out this weekend, announcing to the estimated crowd of 1,000 gathered in Las Vegas at one of the many rallies for gay rights taking place around the country on Saturday that she’s gay, and that she legally married her wife in California on Oct. 25.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Can Has?

Some of this?
The U.S. government is prepared to provide more than $7.76 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers after guaranteeing $306 billion of Citigroup Inc. debt yesterday. The pledges, amounting to half the value of everything produced in the nation last year, are intended to rescue the financial system after the credit markets seized up 15 months ago.