Good, Bad and Ugly (News, That Is)

Dig this, my droogies. After an anti-war sermon was delivered in an LA church, the church was warned by the IRS that its tax-exempt status was now in jeopardy. Technically, the IRS is in the right, since tax-exemption is dependent upon the church remaining apolitical. Yet how many evangelical churches get away every day with Bush-worshipping sermons? Some churches were known to have printed and distributed Bush/Cheney stickers during the 2004 campaign. Why were they not visited by the IRS? Could it be –God forbid!– that the US federal government is using its power to selectively quash dissent?

In Australia, a teacher has been suspended from work because she moonlights as a prostitute in a brothel. Weirdly, she was discovered when a fellow teacher visited the brothel and subsequently turned her in. Of course, the john/teacher is apparently not in any trouble. This is, of course, utter bullshit, since in her jurisdiction, nothing she has done is illegal. It is not the state’s job to enforce morality; if it were, such would be codified in law, yet the electorate has chosen to keep prostitution a non-criminal endeavour. This hearkens back to the days when teachers were expected to be virginal spinsters. I hope she sues their asses for illegal suspension, etc.

Good news: In Dover, Pennsylvania, voters showed intelligence by booting out of office the idiot Republicans who were trying to force Intelligent Design into classrooms, and replacing them with Democrats who want nothing to do with fake science. Yes, my droogies, say it with me: this was a case of natural selection in action.

Bad news: the sequellae of the Kashmiri earthquake continue to mount. New reports of a diarrhea epidemic among the refugee camps is particularly troubling. (I’ve written a little bit about diarrhea here and here.) These poor folk are in for a long haul of misery. So those of you in Ottawa, remember to come out to our art show on November 30, to raise money for earthquake relief.

Ugly news: this week I met a young woman who is actually a member of the Canadian army reserves. (No, she is not ugly; quite the opposite, in fact.) What a sweet deal this is! She gets paid quite well for it, and can work as often as she wants. She’s being trained to be an infantry medic, but spends a lot of time firing weapons and running about the compound. She also has the option of being shipped to Afghanistan. And the army subsidizes her university education! Why didn’t anybody tell me about this when I was young and spry? Damn! The best part is that you can quit anytime…. but the ugly part is that the army has the option of recalling you anytime within 5 years of quitting, in the event of a national emergency or a declared state of war. Hmmm, not sure I like them odds.