The words "war on terror" will no longer be used by the British government to describe attacks on the public, the country's chief prosecutor said Dec. 27.
Sir Ken Macdonald said terrorist fanatics were not soldiers fighting a war but simply members of an aimless "death cult."
The Director of Public Prosecutions said: 'We resist the language of warfare, and I think the government has moved on this. It no longer uses this sort of language."
London is not a battlefield, he said.
"The people who were murdered on July 7 were not the victims of war. The men who killed them were not soldiers," Macdonald said. "They were fantasists, narcissists, murderers and criminals and need to be responded to in that way."
His remarks signal a change in emphasis across Whitehall, where the "war on terror" language has officially been ditched.
Officials were concerned it could act as a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda, which is determined to manufacture a battle between Islam and the West.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
They have an uncanny Supertrampish, Bay City Roller Disco sound to them and I wasn't sure whether they were a new group at first or some actual relic of the seventies I had never heard of. Whatever the case, the music is incredibly appealing and the words kind of tip off how the group is indeed modern. Those old happy, shiny disco tunes never had lyrics like this:
It's not easy having yourself a good time
Greasing up those bets and betters
Watching out they don't four-letter
Fuck and kiss you both at the same time
Smells-like something I've forgotten
Curled up died and now it's rotten
I'm not a gangster tonight
Don't want to be a bad guy
I'm just a loner baby
And now you're gotten in my way
I can't decide
Whether you should live or die
Oh, you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why
My heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride
It's a bitch convincing people to like you
If I stop now call me a quitter
If lies were cats you'd be a litter
Pleasing everyone isn't like you
Dancing jigs until I'm crippled
Slug ten drinks I won't get pickled
I've got to hand it to you
You've played by all the same rules
It takes the truth to fool me
And now you've made me angry
I can't decide
Whether you should live or die
Oh, you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why
My heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride
Oh I could throw you in the lake
Or feed you poisoned birthday cake
I wont deny I'm gonna miss you when you're gone
Oh I could bury you alive
But you might crawl out with a knife
And kill me when I'm sleeping
I can't decide
Whether you should live or die
Oh, you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why
My heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride
Friday, December 28, 2007
Charges: Perfectly illustrated the Creationist's level of intellect when she declared her disbelief in evolution, and was immediately stumped about the shape of the earth, explaining her ignorance was due to the fact that she was too busy feeding her children to acquire rudimentary knowledge about... well, about anything, presumably. Further compounded her astonishing lack of basic knowledge when she authoritatively declared that Jesus Christ came before the ancient Greeks, and that she didn't think "anything predated Christians." Judging by these statements, Sherri probably thinks there are dragons on the other side of her desk.
But I have to give some major props to this one from The Kingdom. I didn't even have any great desire to see this film, but the credits alone have now intrigued me.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Mrs. Mosley and I caught some bug over last weekend. Her sickness actually started on Christmas Eve and mine in Christmas Day. Both of us have been quite miserable. Mucus, Ahoy!
We also decided to get new floors installed several weeks ago and ran into several problems with that. We were forced to evacuate the house for five nights while they worked on it. It also meant that there was no time (or room) to set up the Christmas tree, so it's our first year without one. I did string some lights in a triangle shape on a tall lamp, so that will have to do.
I'd show you some photos of the new floor and the cheap-ass tree, but somehow during the installation process, our new $500 digital camera was stolen. Though the company we got the floor from told me they take this matter very seriously, they couldn't do much beyond ask the two separate sub-contractors who worked on our floors (One on tile, One on wood) about it. Both claim to have no knowledge of it and we're still out a camera.
But the good news is that we have nice new floors. Also, Mrs. Mosley gave me a mighty fine Christmas gift this year: Eight passes to the Florida Film Festival in April. I'll be making the trip down to Orlando for that week and taking in all the good stuff (which I'll blog, of course).
So, overall, I guess things have been pretty nice. Excuse me, I have to go cough up more phlegm.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
But it does kind of remind me of the annoyance I feel when somebody sees something like this...
...in the ruins of the World Trade Center and proclaims it to be a message from God. They will stare at it like Richard Dreyfuss gaping at his mashed potatoes and proclaim in awed tones, "This means something. This is important."
Listen, folks. I don't discount people's experiences with God and their stories of being touched by the divine. But in terms of meaningful signs, this is a bit of a stretch.
I mean it's a CROSS, people! It's probably one of the most common symbols in the world. If you look hard enough, you can find it anywhere. Hell, I can find a dozen just sitting in my office here. That doesn't mean that my cubicle walls have been blessed by the Lord.
I once had this sex-obsessed friend who, no matter what film we watched, would proclaim every single friggin tree and lamppost to be a phallic symbol. If you're determined to find something, then you'll make sure you do.
But if they are right and these are all symbols directed by God, I just wish He would rain a little Manna over Rawanda once in a while instead of posting yet another cross. A little practicality and usefullness in your miracles is no sin.
Meanwhile, one wingnut blogger after another is proclaiming that they'd rather vote for Hillary or Edwards or Obama than a Huckster nominee. Over at the NY Times, Adam Nagourney (who I like, really) has finally stopped writing his tiresome "Democrats are divided" stories to focus on something more topical -- how Republicans hate their candidates:
But what is worrying Republicans these days is that this tepid rank-and-file reception to the best the party has to offer suggests that the Republican Party is hitting a wall after dominating American politics for most of the last 35 years. Republican voters are reacting to — or rather, not reacting to — a field of presidential candidates who have defined their candidacies with familiar, even musty, Republican promises, slogans and policies.
“Our party generally has grown stale in its message and we’re not as tuned in as we once were,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican who sought his party’s presidential nomination in 1996 and 2000. “We’re repeating words and phrases that were from the 1980s, rather than looking ahead to 2008. We haven’t been as original and fresh in our presentation as we ought to be. We have been applying our old principles to new circumstances. The world is new.”
Richard Lowry, the editor of the conservative magazine National Review, said the field “has been less than the sum of its parts.”
“The debate among these guys has been so unedifying and so backward looking,” he said. “It’s all, ‘who did what wrong seven years ago.’ They are also not talking about the future, which is a sign of a deeper Republican malaise. The Republican Party has run out of intellectual steam and good ideas.”
There's no bigger sign of this lack of intellectual steam and good ideas than the almost exclusive reliance on fear-mongering to try and scare up votes, whether it's terrorism, Iran, scary brown people, San Francisco, or gays. And in that intellectual void, the party's religious base -- long used, abused, and taken for granted -- have sensed an opening and are pushing that advantage.
Huckabee isn't a corporate con -- he isn't even a millionaire! -- and he certainly isn't a neocon. His foreign policy would actually be predicated on liberal ideals of respect, trust and cooperation -- poison to those who get their foreign policy from Soldier of Fortune magazine T-shirt ads: "kill 'em all and let god sort them out".
He's a theocon, the very people who empowered the corporate cons and neocons the past two decades by their tireless on-the-ground activism while the others kept their fingernails clean in their Wall Street and think tank corner offices. Now that the theocons are threatening to take ther turn at the helm of the GOP, it's amusing how the rest of the -cons in the GOP are suddenly less than thrilled and willing to play ball.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
There Will Be Blood - It appears this will be the third film of an unofficial trilogy concerning dark and quite meditative thrillers (after No Country For Old Men and I Am Legend). I couldn't be more pleased about it, but I have to feel sorry for the out-of-work soundtrack folks.
Valkyrie - I watched the trailer, Tom, and it just doesn't wash. Watching you play a German next to all those superb Brits just looks ridiculous (and the eye patch certainly isn't helping matters). Please go back to being a dock worker in Jersey.
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay and X Files 2 - You can almost hear Kal Penn and David Duchovny speaking simultaneously: "Uh, no, that's OK. I got a steady TV gig now. Not really interested in doing the sequel. Thanks, though."
Cloverfield - I don't mean to sound mean, but after watching the full trailer, the entire movie can be summed up with these five words: Blair Witch with a budget.
10,000 B.C. - Boy. If you thought the Christian Conservatives were pissed off at The Golden Compass, then the very title of this one should set them off for sure.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
And this is why Bill O'Reilly started his "War on Christmas".
Incidentally, he recently declared the war to be over and won (by him). And after reading this story (via Daily Kos), I guess he may have won at that:
A Muslim man jumped to the aid of three Jewish subway riders after they were attacked by a group of young people who objected to one of the Jews saying "Happy Hanukkah," a spokeswoman for the three said Wednesday.
Friday's altercation on the Q train began when somebody yelled out "Merry Christmas," to which rider Walter Adler responded, "Happy Hanukkah," said Toba Hellerstein.
"Almost immediately, you see the look in this guy's face like I've called his mother something," Adler told CNN affiliate WABC.
Two women who were with a group of 10 rowdy people then began to verbally assault Adler's companions with anti-Semitic language, Hellerstein said.
One member of the group allegedly yelled, "Oh, Hanukkah. That's the day that the Jews killed Jesus," she said.
When Adler tried to intercede, a male member of the group punched him, she said.
Another passenger, Hassan Askari -- a Muslim student from Bangladesh -- came to Adler's aid, and the group began physically and verbally assaulting him, Hellerstein said.
"A Muslim-American saved us when our own people were on the train and didn't do anything," Adler said.
Adler pulled the emergency brake and the train stopped at DeKalb Avenue station, where police came on board.
The 10 suspects, ages 19 to 20, were taken into custody, said Brooklyn district attorney spokesman Sandy Silverstein.
Way to go, Bill. You've convinced people that the Season is not about being charitable and spreading goodwill, but about beating the crap out of people to make them understand that your being charitable and spreading goodwill.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Well, I got another spam comment to one of my older posts today. This time, it was to the post I did last month on clearing out all the excess crap in my house. Want to take a guess as to the subject of the spam blog the comment directed me to?
The Badcock Home Furniture chain.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Wow. Two posts in less than thirty minutes. Why, Alonzo, you wouldn't happen to be stuck at home for the next three days supervising your new floors being installed, would you?
Now why couldn't these be the tapes that were destroyed?
Why yes. Yes I am.
Fortunately for Pratchett (and the rest of us), Alzheimer's is not a death sentence. You-Know-Who will just have to wait.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
I did a Google search for the LEGO set I just bought by simply entering the four digit model number (7783) and nothing else.
The first and third hits were LEGO sites.
LEGO VILL RULE ZE VURLD!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Happy days, folks. Get 'em while you can!
Monday, December 03, 2007
I remain firm in that conviction, yet I'll state without hesitation that I have been incredibly unenthusiastic about the prospect of a fourth Indiana Jones film. Despite having so many talented people on board (not least of which is Spielberg himself), I didn't know if seeing the geriatric Ford perform all his Indiana Jones daring-do would be exciting or just very, very sad.
Then I came across some advance photos courtesy of IMDb:
Well, I have to admit: he's looking pretty good here. I know alot of this impression is a combination of the clothes and the hiring of a superb makeup artist, yet with film being a visual medium, these things cannot be tossed aside as superficial. If he doesn't look the part, then half the battle of pulling it off is lost. So, though I'm still not counting the days until it's released, I can say that it has at least piqued my interest now.
And as a side note, it's nice to see Karen Allen back on board the franchise. She and Harrison had some great chemistry in that first film that was never really replicated in the second and third.
Welcome back, Marion Ravenwood. We missed you.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Rodney: [sigh] If God created anything better than crack cocaine he kept that shit for hisself.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I know how they feel:
I found the above clip linked at Roger Ebert's website, and was really fascinated by it. On the one hand, organizing a history of film strictly through numeric reference seems decidedly offbeat, kind of like only collecting books with blue covers, or only buying jazz records that have pictures of birds on the cover. On the other hand, its very ecccentricity gives it at least two advantages: 1) It avoids a more obvious chronological, generic, narrative or thematic organization, taking cinema away from analytical models that rely too much on literary antecdents, or what Steve Johnson calls "the morality play" of much popular culture critique. Instead, the countdown structure allows for a cutting across time, and across a variety of cinemas, only allowing us cinephiliac moments and glimpses, instead of lengthier scenes, which makes for fun juxtapositions; 2) In organizing in this way, the clip becomes a parody of the quantitative, of numeric systems like the Dewey Decimal System, and of any number of ways in which Hollywood uses numbers as a brander of quality (the blurb next to the clip on its original YouTube page suggests we read it as a parody of things like the AFI lists, but we might also see it poking fun at weekly obsessions with the box office, or all those movies which claim a kind of pseduo-scientific degree of knowledge by hammering their audience with statistics. It also seems notable that a lot of the clips center on questions of age or time--self-reflexive markers of history, hipness, and memory). By extension, then, the project asks us to (re) think the pattern of organization more broadly. Where might this kind of analysis-- one closer to Brecht's scrap collector than to more topdown forms of analysis-- take us next?
Please do not take this post as a criticism or rebuke of this guy's thoughts. I'm just still getting a kick out of it after all these many months.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I asked Mr. Romney whether he would consider including qualified Americans of the Islamic faith in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters, given his position that "jihadism" is the principal foreign policy threat facing America today. He answered, "…based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration."
As Think Progress points out in their article:
According to the CIA World Factbook (which uses 2002 numbers), Mormons comprise just 2 percent of the U.S. population, while Jews and Muslims comprise 1 percent each. Based on 2001 numbers, there were 2.8 million Mormons and 1.1 million Muslims in the United States. Surveys since that time indicate that the number of Muslims may have eclipsed the number of Mormons living in the U.S.
So Mitt, going by your logic, you won't mind at all if the American people don't vote for you to be President because, well, I cannot see that electing a Mormon would be justified.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Metafilter has links to the audio clips responsible.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Update: It appears from the comments on the Boing Boing entry that this might be a prank. Looking at the numbers again, I have to concede that that's likely. So it would appear, despite my post title, you can make stuff like this up (it doesn't prevent it from having a ring of truth, though).
Cate Blanchett is Bob Dylan: Could there be a sexier above-the-title tagline? But Haynes' casting choice functions as far more than a clever stunt. The gender reversal introduces a strangeness that makes us look at both performers through new eyes. And though you soon forget that Blanchett is a woman—her channeling of the Don't Look Back-era Dylan is that uncanny—you never for a moment forget that she, like Jude Quinn, is a performer. Blanchett shares Dylan's knack for moving audiences deeply without disclosing much of herself, and her Jude is a magnetic cipher, seductive without being likable. When a British journalist (Bruce Greenwood), intent on exposing the self-invented singer as a fraud, questions him harshly in the back seat of a limo, you don't know whose side to take: Yes, the interviewer is a reductive prig, but Jude is a self-important asshole. Blanchett conveys all of this while still keeping you wrapped around her (or is it Jude's?) little finger. Before, I thought of Cate Blanchett as a beautiful and gifted actress. After this crush-inducing performance, I'm seriously considering flying to Australia to stalk her.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
It's not that we have a lot of stuff. Well, that's my opinion anyway. Mrs. Mosley will occasionally beg to differ most vocally on this subject.
But we are endeavoring to create some new storage solutions and shelving, so we should be looking a lot better once the dust settles.
Still, it's always nice to put things in perspective:
The Oprah Show featured a two part series on the “Secret Lives of Hoarders” this week, and featured two empty-nesters named Sharyn and Marvin. In addition to 75 tons of garbage (that’s 15 industrial sized dumpsters), the 100 member clean up team filled more than 1,800 large crates of items from the home, enough to fill three semi trailers.
More than 75% of the home’s furniture was destroyed by black mold and other infestations. Along the way, the clean up team found food from 1994 in the basement, dozens of umbrellas, a long forgotten pool table and thousands of gifts Sharyn had purchased but never given away.
It took a little more than 8 weeks to complete what was originally scheduled to be a two week project. Organizational Expert Peter Walsh headed the effort, and after all the unwanted belongings were cleared from Marvin and Sharyn’s house, the team rented a gigantic 10,000-square-foot warehouse to hold a rummage sale. The family profited more than $13,000 from the sale, which included more than 3,000 handbags and 3,000 pairs of shoes.
Hey, I know we don't get blizzards or black ice down here, but we timid Floridians still have to be cautious when it comes to these things.
"Let's be careful out there."
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
A group of orphaned baby owls snuggle up to a cuddly toy which has become their surrogate mum after they were found on the brink of death in the wild.
The tiny tawny owl chicks burrow in under the fluffy toy's wings to keep warm after they were separated from their own mothers.
The chicks, all aged between just four and eight weeks, faced certain death as they fended for themselves alone in the wild but are now recovering in an animal hospital.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Mrs. Mosley was proud that she picked some musicians that I would like. And though the quality of their music was a big part of her recommendation, I told her after I looked at their Wikipedia page that there was another indicator at how they might be up my alley: They did a concert earlier this year with Fiona Apple. I would have easily paid double the ticket price to hear all of them together on stage, but I'll just amuse myself by posting some pictures of that concert. From all indications, Fiona and Nickel Creek rocked the house.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
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Do I even need a punchline for this?
Saturday, November 03, 2007
After over three years of blogging, I've finally gotten some free stuff.
Not that I haven't been offered before. I remember two other occasions where an independent DVD producer wanted to send me some obscure DVD for review. I declined both times for lack of interest and for fear of being put on someone's spam list.
But when I received an email last month from the Turner Publishing Company, it sparked my interest. They wanted to send me a complimentary copy of their book Historic Photos of Jacksonville. Being an area of great interest to myself, I gladly accepted their offer. And now, with that back story/disclosure out of the way, let me tell you about it.
Historic Photos of Jacksonville is a portfolio of images from the town once known as Cowford. The pictures are divided into four chronological sections: Pre-Civil War to the Great Fire (1850-1901), the rise of a new city (1902-1919), the Roaring Twenties to the Great Depression (1920-1939) and World War II to Consolidation* (1940-1960's). Commentary and captions are provided by University of North Florida History professor Carolyn Williams.
* In 1968, the City of Jacksonville government consolidated with Duval County so that they are, in essence, one and the same. As a result, Jacksonville is the largest city by square miles (885) in the continental United States.
First, a note about the format itself. Even a history major like can feel bogged down while reading reams off text. It's a forest-for-the-trees thing, and it's probably why I don't read history books much anymore. This book of photographs, however, is able to show us the various stages of Jacksonville's development and provide just enough context in the captions to illuminate them further. I may have been born in 1973, but this book of my hometown makes me feel like I'm looking at personal snapshots.
The one defining event in Jacksonville's history, ranking up there with Consolidation, is the Great Fire of 1901. In terms of this event, the book is invaluable. To view so many buildings, such as the St. James Hotel, that would have been magnificent components of our downtown landscape had they survived is an exercise in regret. But the book allows us to savor these images and think of what could have been.
But to look at the humble beginnings of our downtown (which some people may still call humble, but that's another discussion), can be a disconcerting experience. Hemming Plaza is nothing but dirt paths and modest hedges. Main Street turns into shipping docks as it meets the river. Rail cars are carried across the St. Johns by barges instead of the rail bridge that is used today. Most disconcerting of all is Riverside and Five Points being referred to as "suburbs". In a town that has been called a never ending suburbia, those are two neighborhoods which definitely aren't.
Then there are the things that have not changed, which allow me to transport myself back in time with ease. One picture in particular, which is of the Florida Theatre upon it's opening in 1933, is among my favorites in this book. The staff is lined up on the front curb dressed in suits and ties. Advertisements for "Lady For a Day" and "Gold Diggers of 1933" flank them on either side. Some details of the theater's facade have changed, but the whole is still unmistakable to anyone who calls Jacksonville home.
There are some themes that emerge through the photos: The longstanding military importance of the city, stretching from the Civil War all the way to the multiple naval and air bases the city hosted by the 1960's. The strength of the automobile industry, both in manufacturing and selling, to the region. The changing position of African Americans in the city's population. Such broad strokes does a great job of connecting the photos into a whole.
There are a few things that I wished the book had included. One of the most interesting portions of Jacksonville's past is it's brief time as a film production capital before Hollywood came into being. Though there is a brief mention of this fact, there are no photos of the numerous studios in town, of scenes being shot, or of the actors themselves. Several years ago, I saw a fabulous photographic retrospective on this very topic at the Cummer Art Gallery here in town. It would have been nice to see a couple of those photos make the final cut.
Also, the simple addition of a downtown map would have been very welcome. Even though I've worked downtown for the past four years, even I had to whip out a map occasionally when an intersection is named in a caption. Furthermore, a map could have also served an additional function by indicating which blocks were destroyed by the Great Fire, showing the reader the breadth of the destruction.
In the end, the book is very effective of giving the reader an overall view of Jacksonville history before Consolidation. Jacksonville takes a lot of flak for being a city with no character; no soul. And though a great deal of our history went up in smoke back in 1901, it's still here in these pages; That and so much more.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
In the meantime: The Last Castle. Redford. Gandolfini. Ruffalo. Military Prison. Upside down flag. And, most importantly, Delroy Lindo playing a hardass General.
General Wheeler: You thought he was going to try to take me hostage?
Colonel Winter: Yes, sir, it was a precautionary move.
General Wheeler: What the hell kind of grab-ass unit are you running here, Colonel?
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
It doesn't feature any of his singing, but at least people know the man had a great sense of humor. RIP
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Gee, I must have missed that Punk & Ska themed Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair they had a year ago.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Turkey: U.S. objections will not stop Iraq invasion
Of all people, you'd think Bush would have learned that when a country is dead set to invade Iraq, they don't give a flying fig what the rest of the world thinks.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
And it would also seem that his praise is high indeed, given that Bradshaw has been a self-proclaimed YouTube addict for the past year or so. At any rate, thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mr. Bradshaw. You made my day.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Fortunately, there's always the recaps over at Television Without Pity, where they describe last week's episode with the following sentence:
Oooooh boy. Methinks that Smallville is edging away from their trademark WB teen angst and into the goofiness of it's 1990's counterpart. All the more appropriate, then, that Dean Cain is guest starring in the next episode.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Well, I don't actually look like Michael Scott, and with any luck I sure as hell won't act like him, either.
But the simple news is that I am now, in fact, boss. Over my own branch.
And though I have made previous statements on how my blogging will decrease in frequency due to work concerns, It looks like that this time it will in fact be true.
Don't wait up.
Friday, October 12, 2007
IMDb actually lists a lot more than just these three names. Most of the faces were unfamiliar to me, but one guy named Jonathan Crombie stood out. When I checked out his resume, I discovered that he played Gilbert, the handsome soulmate of Anne Shirley in all three of the Anne of Green Gables movies.
Since Mrs. Mosley is such a big fan of the books and the films, It's a neat little piece of kismet that her hubby shares the birthday of the guy who for many is Gilbert Blythe. Anyway, Happy Birthday, Jonathan!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
A Jacksonville man is behind bars and waiting extradition on 16 counts of indecent liberties with a child.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Anthony Philip Denton was picked up on a fugitive warrant out of North Carolina.
He is charged with sexual assault, 16 counts of felony indecent liberties with a child.
The charges relate to alleged child molestation in North Carolina decades ago.
A victim's advocate close to the case tells First Coast News that the 46-year-old Denton served as a youth pastor and a music director in Fayetteville.
Denton could be taken back to North Carolina for trial.
Several church members at Trinity Baptist here in Jacksonville told First Coast News that Denton was on the counseling staff at the church.
Ed Trent, the attorney for Trinity Baptist said he had no comment but he understood that Denton was not employed by trinity any longer but, "at one point had some association with the church besides membership."
Denton is behind bars without bond and has a court date set for November 2nd.
November is also the time former Pastor Bob Gray from Trinity is scheduled for trial.
Gray is charged with sexually molesting several girls and a boy.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
JOHN McCAIN was not on the campus of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University last year for very long — the senator, who once referred to Mr. Falwell and Pat Robertson as "agents of intolerance," was there to receive an honorary degree — but he seems to have picked up some theology along with his academic hood. In an interview with Beliefnet.com last weekend, Mr. McCain repeated what is an article of faith among many American evangelicals: "the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation."
According to Scripture, however, believers are to be wary of all mortal powers. Their home is the kingdom of God, which transcends all earthly things, not any particular nation-state. The Psalmist advises believers to "put not your trust in princes." The author of Job says that the Lord "shows no partiality to princes nor regards the rich above the poor, for they are all the work of his hands." Before Pilate, Jesus says, "My kingdom is not of this world." And if, as Paul writes in Galatians, "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus," then it is difficult to see how there could be a distinction in God's eyes between, say, an American and an Australian. In fact, there is no distinction if you believe Peter’s words in the Acts of the Apostles: "I most certainly believe now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is welcome to him."
The kingdom Jesus preached was radical. Not only are nations irrelevant, but families are, too: he instructs those who would be his disciples to give up all they have and all those they know to follow him.
The only acknowledgment of religion in the original Constitution is a utilitarian one: the document is dated "in the year of our Lord 1787." Even the religion clause of the First Amendment is framed dryly and without reference to any particular faith. The Connecticut ratifying convention debated rewriting the preamble to take note of God’s authority, but the effort failed.
A pseudonymous opponent of the Connecticut proposal had some fun with the notion of a deity who would, in a sense, be checking the index for his name: "A low mind may imagine that God, like a foolish old man, will think himself slighted and dishonored if he is not complimented with a seat or a prologue of recognition in the Constitution." Instead, the framers, the opponent wrote in The American Mercury, "come to us in the plain language of common sense and propose to our understanding a system of government as the invention of mere human wisdom; no deity comes down to dictate it, not a God appears in a dream to propose any part of it."
While many states maintained established churches and religious tests for office — Massachusetts was the last to disestablish, in 1833 — the federal framers, in their refusal to link civil rights to religious observance or adherence, helped create a culture of religious liberty that ultimately carried the day.
Thomas Jefferson said that his bill for religious liberty in Virginia was "meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindu, and infidel of every denomination." When George Washington was inaugurated in New York in April 1789, Gershom Seixas, the hazan of Shearith Israel, was listed among the city’s clergymen (there were 14 in New York at the time) — a sign of acceptance and respect. The next year, Washington wrote the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, R.I., saying, "happily the government of the United States ... gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance. ... Everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid."
Andrew Jackson resisted bids in the 1820s to form a "Christian party in politics." Abraham Lincoln buried a proposed "Christian amendment" to the Constitution to declare the nation's fealty to Jesus. Theodore Roosevelt defended William Howard Taft, a Unitarian, from religious attacks by supporters of William Jennings Bryan.
The founders were not anti-religion. Many of them were faithful in their personal lives, and in their public language they evoked God. They grounded the founding principle of the nation — that all men are created equal — in the divine. But they wanted faith to be one thread in the country's tapestry, not the whole tapestry.
In the 1790s, in the waters off Tripoli, pirates were making sport of American shipping near the Barbary Coast. Toward the end of his second term, Washington sent Joel Barlow, the diplomat-poet, to Tripoli to settle matters, and the resulting treaty, finished after Washington left office, bought a few years of peace. Article 11 of this long-ago document says that "as the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion," there should be no cause for conflict over differences of "religious opinion" between countries.
The treaty passed the Senate unanimously. Mr. McCain is not the only American who would find it useful reading.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Introducing the (cough) "TIE Crawler":
Yes, it does look ridiculous, but I'd still looooooove to have one of these treaded monstrosities.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
"I swear to God, they wouldn't pay me if they knew how much fun this was," the doomed plane's cockpit voice recorder captured the pilot saying shortly before the November 27, 2004, crash.
The account of the crash emerged during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Blackwater's performance in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In its November 2006 report on the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that Blackwater provided insufficient oversight and guidance of the pilots involved in the 2004 crash. Dispatchers failed to ensure that pilots followed their flight plan and did not adequately track flights in the air.
The NTSB said the military "did not provide adequate oversight of the contract carrier's operations in Afghanistan."
The company's chairman, Erik Prince, appeared before the committee to defend the firm Tuesday.
The twin-engine CASA C-212, a light cargo plane operated by Blackwater sister company Presidential Airways, crashed in a box canyon well off its planned route from Bagram Air Base to the western Afghan town of Shindand.
"You're an X-wing fighter Star Wars man," an NTSB report quoted the plane's co-pilot, Loren Hammer, saying during the flight -- a reference to the dizzying battle in the 1977 film.
"You're [expletive] right. This is fun," the pilot, Noel English, responded.
About eight minutes later, the plane slammed into the wall of the canyon, which was flanked by ridgelines that rose nearly a mile above surrounding terrain.
To all those Star Wars fans who are also thinking of joining some outfit like this, do us a favor:
Get yourself an Xbox and stay the f&ck home!
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
The Core. Remember that one? Big dumb movie about scientists drilling to the center of the earth. It was actually somewhat entertaining, but that was mainly from the character interaction and not the plot or action scenes. One humorous aspect is the ongoing feud between Zimsky, played to the egotistical hilt by Stanley Tucci, and Braz, played by Lindo. Here is one of the best (albeit brief) exchanges:
Cmdr. Robert Iverson: "What do you make of this?"
Dr. Conrad Zimsky: "The mantle is a chemical hodgepodge of... a variety of elements..."
Dr. Ed 'Braz' Brazzleton: "Say it with me: 'I don't know'."
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I've tried to state it like this: Being that theirs is a very black vs. white worldview (and since that includes Democratic positions vs. Republican positions), their opinions on things that really have no precedence in the Bible default to what their good friends the Republicans think.
They're already inclined to be suspicious of scientific issues because of the whole Evolution vs. "Intelligent Design" debate. And since the rest of the world sees global warming as a valid threat, American Christians can view it as a United Nations/New World Order conspiracy that fits nicely with the whole End-of-Times line of thought.
I bring all this up because of a story today in the Independent about some recent moves by the Vatican:
The Pope is expected to use his first address to the United Nations to deliver a powerful warning over climate change in a move to adopt protection of the environment as a "moral" cause for the Catholic Church and its billion-strong following.Incidentally, this declaration follows another from the Pope two years ago which stated that Evolution was a valid theory and that Christians should not take every single part of the Bible as, for lack of a better word, gospel.
The New York speech is likely to contain an appeal for sustainable development, and it will follow an unprecedented Encyclical (a message to the wider church) on the subject, senior diplomatic sources have told The Independent.
It will act as the centrepiece of a US visit scheduled for next April – the first by Benedict XVI, and the first Papal visit since 1999 – and round off an environmental blitz at the Vatican, in which the Pope has personally led moves to emphasise green issues based on the belief that climate change is affecting the poorest people on the planet, and the principle that believers have a duty to "protect creation".
Will this make a difference? Probably not. Religious fundamentalists in this country who aren't Catholic don't give a tinker's cuss about the Pope. Add into the mix that he's addressing the aforementioned United Nations, and his pleas can and will be easily ignored by the religious powerbrokers here in this country. More's the pity.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Back when I was in college, students were at the mercy of the campus bookstores when it came to their textbooks. Today, they can save a bundle by just going online. Well, it looks like at least one campus bookstore ("The Coop" at Harvard University) is not going gracefully into that good, good night (Via BoingBoing):
Jarret A. Zafran '09 said he was asked to leave the Coop after writing down the prices of six books required for a junior Social Studies tutorial he hopes to take.
"I'm a junior and every semester I do the same thing. I go and look up the author and the cost and order the ones that are cheaper online and then go back to the Coop to get the rest," Zafran said.
"I'm not a rival bookstore, I'm a student with an I.D.," he added.
Coop President Jerry P. Murphy '73 said that while there is no Coop policy against individual students copying down book information, "we discourage people who are taking down a lot of notes."
The apparent new policy could be a response to efforts by Crimsonreading.org—an online database that allows students to find the books they need for each course at discounted prices from several online booksellers—from writing down the ISBN identification numbers for books at the Coop and then using that information for their Web site.
Murphy said the Coop considers that information the Coop's intellectual property.
Crimson Reading disagrees. "We don’t think the Coop owns copyright on this information that should be available to students," said Tom D. Hadfield '08, a co-creator of the site.
According to UC President Ryan A. Petersen '08, discussions with an intellectual property lawyer have confirmed Crimson Reading's position.
ISBN data is similar to phone book listings, which are not protected by intellectual property law, Petersen added. Every book title has a unique ISBN number, short for "international standard book number."
The alleged new rule is just the latest hurdle for Crimsonreading.org.
During a meeting of the Committee on Undergraduate Education last March, Petersen proposed creating a centralized database of ISBN numbers for all courses, streamlining the process for professors and cutting the costs for the Coop. The proposal, which could have also made it easier for Crimson Reading to collect information, was nixed.
"There's a very lucrative and sensitive relationship between the Coop and University Hall that is stopping students from saving money on textbooks," Hadfield said.
Zafran, after his altercation with the Coop, does not feel much sympathy for the store. "If they want to get their revenue up they should slash their prices," Zafran said. "I think if anything, this policy will have the reverse effect because if students aren't allowed to comparison-shop, students will just get all their books online," he said.
Zafran is correct. The only thing that the Coop has going for it is the fact that it is local and students can get a book from there right now. If they keep up these petulant little displays, then even that advantage will be overshadowed by their arrogant tactics.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
So it’s understandably jarring to see Woody Allen, the quintessential New York snob, playing a pony-tail sporting Los Angeleno perfectly comfortable with the emptiness of his existence. That ponytail goes a long way toward negating the fundamental Woody-ness of Allen’s being, yet Woody remains Woody no matter how incongruous the setting. Mazursky has Allen’s character do things the real and reel Allen would never do. He buys Italian suits. He totes around a surfboard. He listens to music made after World War II. He says things like “Christ, where’s my fucking Saab?!” He seems comfortable in a mall. He goes hours without referencing Kierkegaard or Camus. Most shockingly, he has sex with a Jewish woman roughly his own age.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
"Both Brit and Bush did their latest turns on the stage in a semi-somnabulent state, drifting in and out of their respective connections to reality (such as they are). Britney half-danced/half-walked, Bush half-spoke/half-read. Neither one looked particularly into what they were doing, considering that each one's career/legacy/love-approval ratings depended upon a kickass performance. And it's a safe bet that outside of each's rabid fan base (such as they are), anyone else who looked objectively at the performances could come to no other conclusion than they both sucked, and neither one got done what was required of them."
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
So much for that.
The rest of the morning was spent sorting through the stuff to see what else was swiped. Half of the boxes had a corner pulled up and were then tossed aside (I guess thieves either aren't big readers or were simply unimpressed by my book collection). The only other things I was able to verify was missing were a DVD player (a cheap one for the little TV, so no biggie), a document scanner (several years old, so it might have been due for a replacement soon anyway), a chess set and handmade wooden case my parents gave me for my High School graduation (Yeah. Ouch.) and, finally, the Commodore 64.
That's right. The thieves stole my 20 year old computer.
I'm guessing these guys aren't the most tech savvy and figured that the thing had antique value. The latest bid for one of these things on Ebay, though, is a whopping two bucks. So, the thieves were neither avid readers nor particularly bright, as it turns out. Also, they took the computer but left all the 5.25 disks and the flippin' disk drive. Good luck with that, you schmucks.
But back to the DVD's, yeah it bites the big one. I can't even begin to imagine the worth, but it is easily over a thousand. The thin silver lining is that we kept out some of our favorites/most used items from storage, so those are okay. That includes the entire MST3K collection, so I'm lucky there.
Mrs. Mosley and I will indulge in a shopping spree this weekend to replace the most beloved disks, but the entire collection won't be replaced. It's just way too much. Thankfully, I have most of it catalogued on DVD Aficionado. Though I hadn't updated the list in a while, it's enough for me to get an idea of how much is gone.
That is all for now. Time to go sob quietly in the corner.
UPDATE: I did a tally of what is missing and the estimated worth (that is, what they sell for now as opposed to what I actually paid for them) is just over $3,000. And the sobbing continues...
Monday, September 10, 2007
I'm sure I'll have something incredibly witty to say later on, but in the meantime, here was a bizarre event I saw a news story on last week that I would have paid cash money to have seen in person (via Neatorama):
Saturday May 26th the VNN Vanguard Nazi/KKK group attempted to host a hate rally to try to take advantage of the brutal murder of a white couple for media and recruitment purposes.
Unfortunately for them the 100th ARA (Anti Racist Action) clown block came and handed them their asses by making them appear like the asses they were.
Alex Linder the founder of VNN and the lead organizer of the rally kicked off events by rushing the clowns in a fit of rage, and was promptly arrested by 4 Knoxville police officers who dropped him to the ground when he resisted and dragged him off past the red shiny shoes of the clowns.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s shouted, “White Flour?” the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt “White Flour”.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s angrily shouted once more, “White flowers?” the clowns cheers and threw white flowers in the air and danced about merrily.
“White Power!” the Nazi’s tried once again in a doomed and somewhat funny attempt to clarify their message, “ohhhhhh!” the clowns yelled “Tight Shower!” and held a solar shower in the air and all tried to crowd under to get clean as per the Klan’s directions.
At this point several of the Nazi’s and Klan members began clutching their hearts as if they were about to have a heart attack. Their beady eyes bulged, and the veins in their tiny narrow foreheads beat in rage. One last time they screamed “White Power!”
The clown women thought they finally understood what the Klan was trying to say. “Ohhhhh…” the women clowns said. “Now we understand…”, “WIFE POWER!” they lifted the letters up in the air, grabbed the nearest male clowns and lifted them in their arms and ran about merrily chanting “WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER!”
It was at this point that several observers reported seeing several Klan members heads exploding in rage and they stopped trying to explain to the clowns what they wanted.
Apparently the clowns fundamentally misunderstood the nature of the rally, they believed it was a clown rally and came in force to support their pointy hated brethren. To their dismay, despite their best jokes and stunts and pratfalls the Nazis and Klan refused to laugh, and indeed became enraged at the clowns misunderstanding and constant attempts to interpret the clowns instruction.
The clowns on the other hand had a great time and thought the Nazis were the funniest thing they had ever seen and the loud laughter of over 100 counter protesters greeted every attempt of the Nazis and Klan to get their message out, whatever that was.