Archive for November, 2006

A hate crime in Idaho

November 30, 2006 1 comment

Dave Neiwert has the scoop on a hate crime in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, a town I’ve been to many times:

BONNERS FERRY, Idaho (AP) — Northern Idaho human rights groups are decrying a 20-day sentence given to a man who picked up and then dropped a 17-year-old girl too close to a bonfire and whose words, the groups say, made the actions a hate crime.

Some witnesses testified at Friday’s hearing that at a beer keg party on July 27, Davis picked up Ilaura Fleck and said Fleck’s father was Catholic and her mother was Muslim and “that makes you a Jew. All Jews should burn” and then threw Fleck into a bonfire on Katka Mountain in Boundary County.

Heise ruled that Fleck wasn’t thrown into the fire but fell into the flames after being dropped on a log. She also ruled that a hate crime wasn’t involved because Fleck isn’t Jewish, The Spokesman-Review reported.

I suppose the intent to toss her into the fire may not have been there. Who knows? Still, it’s not a hate crime because she’s not Jewish? She was still attacked on the basis of her religious and ethnic background: a Catholic father and a Muslim mother. But since Davis was dumb enough to think that makes her Jewish, he gets a pass. There’s some logic for you.

Categories: Social issues

A few things

November 29, 2006 Leave a comment

Go give Wulfgar nominations for the 2006 MT Weblog awards. I’ve already submitted my nominations, but I’d like to point out that my final votes are very much for sale. And I think my prices are quite reasonable, too. For a little bit extra I’ll even switch out Wulfgar’s PC with a Diebold machine and let you design the results of your choice! That’s an offer that can’t be beat (though I will be asking for hospital fees if he shoots my ass in the process of doing so).

Thing number two: The Fountain is a strange movie. I think you knew that already. Pretty cool, though.

Thing number three: my moderately serious post for the day is at Montana Netroots.

Categories: Blogging, Culture, General

Banned Christmas carols

November 28, 2006 Leave a comment

In light of recent events, I’ve compiled a list of Christmas carols to avoid in that neighborhood:

Do You Hear What I Hear
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
O Holy Night
O Little Town of Bethlehem
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

One would be advised to avoid Silent Night as well, seeing as it talks about sleeping peacefully, which seems to be code for sleeping in a manner that opposes the war in Iraq. And dear God, avoid “Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains” at all costs. You’re likely to incite a riot with that one.

Categories: Silliness

I don't get it

November 28, 2006 Leave a comment

Did you know it’s an affront to American culture that a Muslim member of Congress will be sworn in using a copy of the Koran instead of the Bible? Me neither. Apparently a meaningless and insignificant tradition is the very thing holding our society together. Who knew? I like this part of that article:

Devotees of multiculturalism and political correctness who do not see how damaging to the fabric of American civilization it is to allow Ellison to choose his own book need only imagine a racist elected to Congress. Would they allow him to choose Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” the Nazis’ bible, for his oath? And if not, why not? On what grounds will those defending Ellison’s right to choose his favorite book deny that same right to a racist who is elected to public office?

I’ll take issues I don’t care about for $100, Alex. I can’t see why it matters what book you choose to swear an oath on. You’re either going to be honest and uphold the Constitution or you aren’t. Swearing on some book doesn’t enter into it. The people who voted him in are obviously confident enough in his “value system” to put him in a position of power.

In other words, let the racist swear on a copy of Mein Kampf. The problem is that you elected a racist, not what book he gets to swear on.

Jebus, I don’t understand these people.

Categories: Church and State

What the hell is rolfing?

November 27, 2006 14 comments

I thought it was some combination of roller-blading and golfing, but what do I know? Anyway, I came across it at work and wondered what exactly it was. I sort of knew it was related to New Age-y alternative medicine, but didn’t really know much about it. A brief synopsis:

RolfingĀ® seems to be a kind of myofascial massage, but Rolfers prefer to call it “movement education.” Whatever you call it, Rolfing involves touching the skin, feeling around for “imbalances” in tissue texture, and separating “fascial layers that adhere and muscles that have been pulled out of position by strain or injury.”* It is also a kind of energy medicine.* Rolfers consider their unique contribution to be “to balance the body in gravity.” Deep massage or other forms of soft tissue manipulation can’t do that, they say.

It looks for all the world like a form of massage. Rolfers apparently don’t really think so, but they don’t seem to do a good job explaining why it isn’t. As would be expected from a form of alternative medicine, there’s plenty of weird and nonsensical gibberish explaining it:

The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration (RISI) has continued Dr. Rolf’s profound inquiry into how to enhance the whole person by organizing the body in gravity.

Rolfing is a holistic technique in that changes in structure can impact the whole person, physically, emotionally, and energetically.

In Rolf Movement Integration, the Rolfer helps clients become aware of their inhibiting movement patterns and teaches them how to change them. In Rolfing structural integration, the Rolfer releases these patterns through manipulation as they manifest in the client’s structure. Rolfing is as concerned with how people experience and use their bodies in their daily lives as with their structural organization in gravity.

I’d like to see anyone to explain how rolfing improves “structural organization in gravity.”

That’s really the problem with the sort of physical therapy-ish alternative practices. To the extent that they do anything, it’s placebo and basic muscle, joint, and skeletal function improvement. Not content with that, a bunch of metaphysical pap and elusory benefits are added to dazzle the consumer into thinking it’s something new and exciting.

Categories: Skepticism

That's commitment

November 25, 2006 1 comment

Pure dedication, man:

Bangkok – A Thai Buddhist monk cut off his penis with a machete because he had an erection during meditation and declined to have it reattached, saying he had renounced all earthly cares, a doctor and a newspaper said on Wednesday.

(via Dispatches)

Categories: Religion, Silliness


November 25, 2006 Leave a comment

There, isn’t that better?

Categories: Blogging