Once again, reality proves to be a harsh mistress to those deluded by religion’s ridiculous promises.
Madeline Kara Neumann Prayer Death: Conviction Upheld For Parents Who Only Prayed For Sick Daughter
Kara, who had been growing weak for several weeks leading up to her death, eventually became too sick to speak, eat, drink or walk. Her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, don’t belong to any organized religion or church but identify themselves as Pentecostal Christians and believe visiting a doctor is akin to worshipping an idol, the Supreme Court opinion said.
As Kara’s condition worsened, her parents resisted suggestions from her grandmother to take her to a doctor. Kara’s grandfather suggested giving her Pedialyte, a supplement used to combat dehydration in children, but Leilani Neumann said that would take the glory away from God.
Dale Neumann testified that the possibility of death never entered their minds. After the girl died, Leilani Neumann told police God would raise Kara from the dead.
How utterly, utterly depressing. I wonder what this teaches kids when everything they see is a goddamn advertisement. Will they grow up as mega-consumers, even worse than we are now? Will they grow up believing that advertising is the only way schools are able to educate them? Will they grow up with a programmed sense of loyalty to these corporations since they saw their ads every day at school? Or perhaps they’ll become numb to it and cause it to lose its effectiveness. Let’s watch!
When a school district in Minnesota decided to turn lockers into ad inventory, it didnt skimp on the creative palette. The Star Tribune in Minneapolis reports that some area schools are giving lockers over to an outfit called School Media. Now, students will put their lunches in lockers covered with a garish pink decal advertising the aquarium at the Mall of America.
And here I thought that putting ads on notes to parents was bloody disgusting. That’s just the tip of the iceberg!
I saw this story today and felt more than a little embarrassment on behalf of my species. A polar bear does nothing wrong except wander a bit far from his home, so (naturally) we have to kill it.
It was planned to sedate the animal and move it back to Greenland but the police decided it was safest to kill the bear immediately. Environment Minister Thorunn Sveinbjarnardottir gave the green light for police to shoot the bear because the correct tranquiliser was not available in Iceland and would not be flown in for a day, Icelandic news channel Visir.is reported. However, a veterinarian said he had the drugs available in his car.
Wow. And to think that someday we might actually leave this planet to colonize others. Perhaps we should address a few of our issues first…
A recent poll shows that Americans are stressed and depressed. Well, no wonder! We’re stuck in traffic every day on our way to jobs that take up most of our waking hours. We’re told by movies and magazines how ugly we are. We’re programmed to focus on materialistic things instead of having life-enriching experiences. We’re alienated from each other because of race, sexuality, politics, religion, even PC vs. Mac preference. We’re dragged down by financial debt. We’re convinced that having a fulfilling life means buying more things. We’re constantly at war with one country or another. Many are unemployed, and many with jobs are finding them to be unfulfilling and meaningless. The media bombards us with fear and suspicion while the government whittles away our freedoms in the name of security. Generally speaking, of course. Yes, there are things to be happy about in the world, but when you think about it, sometimes the other stuff outweighs everything else. Thank goodness we live in a “civilized” society…..
Here’s a story I missed while on vacation last week: A tiny little town in Idaho in desperate need of money (and attention) has decided to be renamed to secretsanta.com. I shit you not. Can this be true? I wonder how long it will last. The story also mentions Half, OR being renamed to Half.com for a year back in 2000 (in exchange for $75,000), so it’s nothing new. Whose idea was this? Why, another marketing jerkwad, of course. Surprised?
But what happens if the actual secretsanta.com company goes out of business? The whole thing is a little disturbing; it reminds me of these dumb parents who took money from corporations to give their newborns names like Chevron and Pepsi (again, I shit you not). This shows how much power corporations have over people in this country. We’re willing to turn stadiums, towns, parks, and even babies into sleazy advertisements the moment some company waves money at us. Maybe the money will benefit this little village, but I’m willing to bet that their fortune will be fleeting…
This is just too nutty to be true…or is it? We always hear about some crazy lady keeping hundreds of cats cooped up in her house…what is it with crazy ladies trapping cats? However, now they’ve got some competition. This time it’s a crazy guy with 300 birds. He was arrested after police fouind him trying to surgically remove a tumor from a pigeon after sedating it with a shot of vodka. Wow, that’s some anesthetic. And! Guess what the head of the local animal control department is named? Patrick Wren. Hah!! Perfect.
A man found operating on a pigeon that he sedated with vodka was later arrested after animal control officers raided his house and discovered about 300 living and dead birds inside.
“There’s droppings everywhere,” Patrick Wren, the head of Torrance’s animal control department, said Wednesday. “I’m wearing a mask. That says it all.”
About 120 dead pigeons filled bags and boxes alongside Gerard Redmond Enright Jr.’s home, officials said. Other birds in pet carriers throughout the house were euthanized because they were sick or malnourished, Wren said.
County health officials declared the home unfit for humans.
Enright, 61, who was arrested for investigation of animal abuse, denied mistreating the birds. He said he had devoted his life to saving them.
“I’m literally in shock,” said Enright, who often walks with his pigeon, Twister, to a local Starbucks.
OK, this is officially the most depressing story I’ve seen all month. It’s bad enough that these old folks had to flee their nursing home before Hurricane Rita showed up, but for the bus to explode on the freeway and burn most of them to death…it’s just so horrible and random.
WILMER, Texas — A bus ferrying nursing home residents away from Hurricane Rita caught fire and exploded Friday while stuck on a gridlocked highway south of Dallas, killing as many as 24 people.
Early indications were that mechanical problems, possibly with the vehicle’s brakes, sparked the fire, which was then fed by explosions of passengers’ oxygen tanks, Dallas County sheriff’s spokesman Don Peritz said.
Authorities believed 24 people were killed, but that number could change, Peritz said. The medical examiner’s office was still working to determine the number.
The bus was carrying 38 residents and six employees of the Brighton Gardens nursing home in Houston to another home in Dallas owned by its parent company, Virginia-based Sunrise Senior Living.
Usually when something like this happens, people ask, “Why would God allow such a thing?” Some people in my office are asking this question, while others are chalking it up to God’s Will™ and leaving it at that. It’s interesting to watch how people deal with such nasty news. I don’t ask this particular question anymore, because I’m not sure God (or whatever) causes every tragic death in the world. Sometimes shit just randomly happens to people. Except for homosexuals, of course…they clearly deserve it. 😛
God, this is horrible… This is an aspect of the hurricane aftermath that hadn’t occurred to me until seeing this story. Along with all the other medical hardships people in New Orleans are having to deal with, there are many with HIV who are displaced and have no access to the drug “cocktails” which keep them healthy (and, in come cases, alive). Skipping too many doses can open a window for the virus to do major damage in little time, so they are relying on the generous help of charity groups and donations because the drugs can be massively expensive. Those who have had to flee the state entirely are especially screwed.
Of course, this is not to belittle other people’s conditions which rely on steady medication or other supplies, as many people could be in more immediate need of attention. It just struck a chord with be because I have friends who are taking HIV cocktails to remain healthy; the thought of them being put in this sort of situation sends a chill up my spine. It adds another dimension to the concept of being prepared for disaster…how do you prepare for this if you can barely afford your current prescriptions, even with insurance, as is usually the case?
The BBC website is featuring a selection of letters written by people who are suffering from videogame addiction. They detail how their lives are utterly consumed by online gaming: skipping school and work, building friendships with people they never physically see, never leaving the house, avoiding physical exercise, etc. These stories aren’t new, of course, but I still find it strange to see videogaming now lumped together with life-destroying addictions like alcoholism and other drug use. I’ve done my share of gaming in the past, and have wasted entire weekends trying to finish some game I just had to keep playing, but I haven’t yet ventured into the online gaming world where you assume a new identity and interact with strangers all day. There’s just something disturbing about letting something like that consume your entire life…
I think I am addicted. I’ve got to the stage where I feel that without gaming, I have nothing interesting to do.
On weekdays, I game for about five to seven hours a day and in the weekends I will spend 15 hours a day gaming online. I once spent 48 hours in one go at a game. It’s crazy, I know. I was at university then and full of energy.
Sometimes I get no sleep. Ever since I started playing, my physical condition has deteriorated. I get a lot of colds as I don’t really exercise.
But playing games online means that other people are playing live with you. You work as a team and it gives you a unique sense of responsibility. It’s a little society.
My friend Nicole sent me a sharply-written little commentary about how giant chain stores continue to eat up our smaller towns and turn them into ugly little strip-mall wastelands, devoid of variety and character. We both grew up in a little town in Arizona which is slowly becoming this sort of Big Box scene, sucking the local businesses dry, even those which have been around almost 100 years. Yeah, you can argue that it’s all about business and competition and what consumers want, but when the very soul of your town is being swallowed up by this homogenized corporate non-culture, I think it’s worth the effort to stand up and say “no” to these retail thugs. More and more towns are doing just that, but it’s still a huge struggle when they’re faced with choosing between their town’s identity or new job opportunities, even if those jobs don’t pay much or might not last as long as expected.
Do you want to know what depresses the American spirit? Do you want to know why it feels like the center cannot hold and the tyranny of mediocrity has been loosed upon our world? Do you want to know what instills more thoughts of suicide and creates a desperate, low-level rage the source of which we cannot quite identify but which we know is right under our noses and which we now inhale Prozac and Xanax and Paxil by the truckload to attempt to mollify?
I have your answer. Here it is. Look. It is the appalling spread of big-box strip malls, tract homes like a cancer, metadevelopments paving over the American landscape, all creating a bizarre sense of copious loss, empty excess, heartless glut, forcing us to ask, once again, the Great All-American Question: How can we have so damned much but still feel like we have almost nothing at all?