We start in Texas:
|Texas defends separation of polygamist sect kids from moms
State officials Tuesday defended their decision to suddenly separate mothers from many of the children taken in a raid on a polygamist ranch in West Texas.
Texas Children’s Protective Services spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner said the separation was made Monday after they decided that children are more truthful in interviews about possible abuse if their parents are not around.
When state troopers and child welfare officials seized 416 children from the compound, 139 women accompanied them on their own and had been allowed to stay with the children until Monday, when they were driven back to the compound.
Only women with children under 5 could stay at the San Angelo Coliseum where they were being held.
Authorities raided the sect’s ranch more than a week ago in response to allegations that underage girls were forced to marry older men.
About three dozen of the women who returned to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ranch spoke out Monday, after 11 days in temporary shelters. They said in interviews that police surrounded them Monday and gave them a choice between returning home, or relocating to a women’s shelter.
“It just feels like someone is trying to hurt us,” said Paula, 38, who like other members of the sect declined to give her full name. “I do not understand how they can do this when they don’t have a for sure knowledge that anyone has abused these children.”
The state is accusing the sect of physically and sexually abusing the youngsters and wants to strip their parents of custody and place the children in foster care or put them up for adoption.
Officials said the investigation began with a call from a young girl who has yet to be located by CPS. The women in the sect said they suspect she may be a bitter ex-member of the church.
The FLDS practice polygamy in arranged marriages, sometimes between underage girls and older men. The group has thousands of followers in two side-by-side towns in Arizona and Utah.
The church has repeatedly fought because of its lifestyle before. Men, women and children have been swept up in raids that took place in 1944 and 1953.
I’m still amazed CPS can get away with this. And I think I’m even more amazed there hasn’t been a greater outcry “out there.” Maybe this country is further gone than even I imagined.
(The rest of my comments and other news selections are below the fold.)
Oh and Images Show Police Came Heavily Armed During Polygamist Raid. I’m glad this didn’t turn into a Waco-like tragedy.
Will your church be next? Maybe some Hutterites or some Amish or some ultaconservative Mennonites? Maybe a Jewish community? Or a Muslim community?!
Well, here are a few more stories . . . .
|McCain channeling all his luck toward 2008 race
Don’t try to pass a salt shaker to John McCain. He won’t take it from your hand because it’s bad luck.
The Arizona senator also won’t throw a hat on a bed â€” it means death will soon visit the household â€” but he regularly carries 31 cents in lucky change in his pocket.
Mr. McCain has dozens of superstitions and rituals, many stemming from his days as a Navy fighter pilot, a notoriously superstitious bunch. He carries a lucky feather, a lucky compass and a lucky penny â€” not to mention a lucky nickel and a lucky quarter.
He must be an “unlucky” man to require so much “helpful” support articles. Or insecure. Or gullible. Or prepared. Yeah. That. 🙄
|Nuclear attack on D.C. a hypothetical disaster
A nuclear device detonated near the White House would kill roughly 100,000 people and flatten downtown federal buildings, while the radioactive plume from the explosion would likely spread toward the Capitol and into Southeast D.C., contaminating thousands more.
The blast from the 10-kiloton bomb â€” similar to the bomb dropped over Hiroshima during World War II â€” would kill up to one in 10 tourists visiting the Washington Monument and send shards of glass flying the length of the National Mall, in a scenario that has become increasingly likely to occur in a major U.S. city in recent years, panel members told a Senate committee yesterday.
That’s a weird headline.
|‘Speak English’ Signs OK at Philly Shop
The owner of a famous cheesesteak shop did not discriminate when he posted signs asking customers to speak English, a city panel ruled Wednesday.
In a 2-1 vote, a Commission on Human Relations panel found that two signs at Geno’s Steaks telling customers, “This is America: WHEN ORDERING ‘PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH,'” do not violate the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance.
Shop owner Joe Vento has said he posted the signs in October 2005 because of concerns over immigration reform and an increasing number of people in the area who could not order in English.
Vento has said he never refused service to anyone because they couldn’t speak English. But critics argued that the signs discourage customers of certain backgrounds from eating at the shop.
Esa es una idea muy lógica. (Surely you can figure out what that says.)
|Iran to hold largest-ever air parade
Iran will mark Iranian Army Day on Thursday with a massive air parade, the largest in its history.
One hundred and forty aircrafts will participate in the show, Air Force Chief Muhammad ‘Alavi told local reporters.
Among the aircrafts will be the MIG-29, Sukhoi, F14, aerial refueling aircrafts, interceptors and passenger planes (Boeing 707 and 747).
The air parade aims to reveal the power of the Iranian armed forces to defend their homeland, added ‘Alavi.
Will the Israelis and/or Americans be tempted by such a target-rich environment? (Hey — just wondering!)
|Moses was high on drugs: Israeli researcher
High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week.
Such mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times, Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.
“As far Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don’t believe, or a legend, which I don’t believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics,” Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday.
Moses was probably also on drugs when he saw the “burning bush,” suggested Shanon, who said he himself has dabbled with such substances.
He mentioned his own experience when he used ayahuasca, a powerful psychotropic plant, during a religious ceremony in Brazil’s Amazon forest in 1991. “I experienced visions that had spiritual-religious connotations,” Shanon said.
So there you are.
(No, I didn’t really have time to put this post together.)