HAVE YOU HEARD THE GOOOD NEWS? HE IS RISEN, JUST LIKE OSTEEN'S BANK STATEMENT! Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church, the largest evangelical church in America (with 30,000 weekly attendants) and a TV ministry broadcast in 100 countries raked in $55 million last year.
OKAY, WE ADMIT IT, WE TORTURE Just in case you missed it...
The United States has acknowledged to the UN that there are cases of torture inflicted on prisoners in Afghanistan and in Iraq, as well as on the American base at Guantánamo, a member of the UN's Committee against Torture pronounced Friday, June 24.
Up until now, the United States has always maintained that the abusive treatment inflicted on prisoners at the hands of its Armed Forces could not be considered torture under American law.
NOT ONLY ARE LIBERALS RESPONSIBLE FOR 9/11 AND KILLING OUR TROOPS, THEY'RE ALSO TO BLAME FOR PEDOPHILIA Commenting on the pedophilia scandal facing the Catholic Church, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), says: "it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm."
Not only is he blaming liberalism for pedophilia, he's also misrepresenting.
The "center of the storm" is really the diocese of Covington, Kentucky, where the Catholic church proposed the largest single sex-abuse settlement in history: $120 million ($80 million would come from insurance policies which fortuitiously included sex abuse, and $40 million from collection plates.)
Ya'll in Pennsyltucky who vote for Santorum to represent you, you do know he lives in Virginia, right?
LAST THROES CAN, EVIDENTLY, LAST 12 YEARS, AND GET WORSE Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld echoed remarks by his advisers in recent months suggesting that the insurgency could last as long as a dozen years and that Iraq would become more violent before elections later this year.
The insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throes," Vice President Dick Cheney says, and he predicts that the fighting will end before the Bush administration leaves office.
From Merriam Webster: THROES: 1 : PANG, SPASM (death throes) (throes of childbirth) 2 plural : a hard or painful struggle (the throes of revolutionary social change )
Doing my best Rumsfeld here: Is it possible to get a straight answer out of this White House? Who can say? What's really going on in Iraq? Who knows?
STEREO BATTLE It wasn't too long after we moved in to our new place that I began to suspect we were going to, sooner or later, have trouble with one of our neighbors. For the sake of anonymity, I'll call her Rose.
I suspect Rose to be in her 60s, I'm pretty sure she's lived in the rowhome next to ours most of her life, and she's very much an old school, xenophobic, working class/blue collar personality - you know the kind. They don't like the weird kids with their weird music. They don't like the weird TV shows. They very much feel like things should remain just as they were in 1964 and are resentful of anyone or anything that reminds them that change has, in fact, occurred.
This character is very much like a majory of my family, and, ironically, a major reason that I moved into Baltimore - to distance myself from them (fearful of the city, there's little chance we'll every cross paths on a day to day basis). I could be related to Rose, even though I'm not.
Within the first week of us being in the house, we heard her out on the street yelling about something. She came out that morning to discover that perhaps the car parked in front of her had possibly touched her license plate when parking. This was unacceptable, so she called the cops. In this situation, there wasn't much the police could do, and I peered out of my shades as Rose unleashed a fury of territorial entitlement.
The cops listened to her yell for a while, then got in their cruiser and left.
Then, another week later, I heard her out in the back alley cussing like a sailor at the top of her lungs.
The alley behind our homes is closed off - a dead end. There's no through-traffic. So the old couple on the opposite side of me like to park their car in it directly behind their house on the weekends. This has the effect of blocking off the alley for the rest of the homes that line the alley down to the dead end, but they, like Rose, have lived here for a long time so they feel entitled. Whatever.
Rose had just been shopping and wanted to pull up in the alley behind her house and unload, but the neighbors' car prevented her from getting to her house.
Instead of knocking on the neighbors' door and asking them to move, Rose sat in her car for 15 minutes and laid on the horn, thereby ensuring that anyone within earshot was sharing in her annoyance.
When that didn't work, she got out of her car, loaded up with her bags of recently purchased goods and tried to carry them to her house.
Unfortunately, the alley is so narrow that if a car is parked in it, and you're carrying stuff, it's a really tight fight to get through. This is when the barrage of obscenities began...
At this point, I'm wondering when our run in with Rose is going to come, because it's inevitable.
Sure enough, it came a week later.
It's around noon on Saturday, and I have the back door open to try and catch a breeze coming throught the rowhome. I have NPR on the small radio in the kitchen, and the volume setting to 4.3 (it goes to 10). It's not very loud at all.
Rachel then puts on a CD, and she doesn't change the volume.
Within minutes we suddenly hear Dion's "The Wanderer" blaring from the house next door.
"Okay, that's weird," we think, having never heard music coming from her house before.
Then we hear Rose hollering across our back porch to the neighbor she was verbally shellacking last week, "How you like that? I call that my juke box!"
This was Rose's way of saying our music was too loud, which could have been more efficiently handled if she just yelled in to us, "couldja turn it down?"
So here we are in a stereo battle reminiscent of my dorm room days, and I feel humiliated.
I don't feel humiliated because I'm in a stereo battle with a senior citizen, I'm humiliated because the music I'm battling with, the CD that Rachel put on, is Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits. To her defense, Rachel put it on to hear/practice for a song she planned to sing later that night at Keyboard Man's Karaoke. But I still can't escape the smallening I feel at having annoyed a neighbor with the sounds of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, not Sonic Youth or Black Flag.
But now the gauntlet had been thrown down, and as I said above, I know Rose's type, she's very similar to a relative I'd be talking to at a family cookout. If we cave or show any sign of weakness or concession whatsoever, we will be bullied by her the for as long as we both live next door to each other.
So I spend a few minutes looking through my CD racks to find the right thing.
I pull out Pere Ubu's Modern Dance, gingerly up the volume to 5.5 and smile. The opening electric tones soothe me, but I want to let Rose know that if she wants to fuck with us, we have far more potent weapons than Fleetwood Mac to choose from.
Within a matter of seconds, the Dion was turned off.
Not one to gloat, I gave Pere Ubu one more song, then I turned off the radio, took a shower, and went out.
I haven't heard music coming from her "jukebox" since.