Saturday, July 24, 1999

Who says academics aren't practical?

So the Pentagon has taken to ignoring the whole appropriations process and just spending any damned money it feels like. See, it’s that wasteful bureaucracy (i.e., Congress) that makes everything so expensive, like that Comanche helicopter they’ve stuck so much crap on that it can’t actually get off the ground.

Environmentalist extraordinaire Al Gore appears for a photo op on the Connecticut river in New Hampshire, and to make sure that his boat was stable they opened the dam sluices, released 4 billion gallons of water and raised the river 10 inches. In an area with drought warnings.

An interesting letter to the NY Times about last week’s Religious Freedom Act or whatever it was called that prevents the state putting an undue burden on religious practice (I mentioned this when it passed the House). The letter-writer says that if a Christian denies her a job because she’s a lesbian, she must have the right to go into court and say that Christianity doesn’t actually justify discrimination, and isn’t that just the sort of argument that shouldn’t take place in a court of law. Well, unless they accept that *my* religion (Zen Odin-worship) permits me to break the speed limit and never pay taxes or anything else I damned well want, then religion itself must be evaluated by courts of law. Good luck.

A guy who graduated from the University of Leicester with an MA (or MSc depending on which British paper you read) in criminology, the next day held up a building society. The manager gave chase and disarmed him (actually the gun was a fake, but the manager didn’t know that) by kicking him in the bollocks. He was sentenced to life today. If anybody has any connections in Leicester, I want to know what this guy’s thesis was on.

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