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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 27,853

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Did the Saudis close down Chop Chop Square?

It used to be, for a very long time, that Riyadh's Deera Square was the site where executions took place. It's a public place and the populace is welcome to watch. (It's also got a granite surface with a storm drain in the middle of it, all the better to clean up what little blood comes out of the bodies that have been pre-drained before being taken to the headsmen.) In recent years they cut down on the number of the beheaded who were crucified after their executions.

Now there seems to be a huge trend toward displaying bodies for three days after execution...are they executing them inside prison walls now?

Anyone know anything about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard?

I have been reading the Federalist Papers

A couple weeks ago I told you the story of the teabagger who told me the Constitution puts strict limits on Congress while pointing at the part of the Constitution that does exactly the opposite. (He turned to Article 1, Section 8 (Powers of Congress) and told me that section says Congress can't collect taxes or make laws. Those are two of the powers that section expressly GRANTS to Congress.) When I informed the gentleman that article says something completely different from what he was saying, he told me the Federalist Papers formed a limited government.

The supremacy clause of the Constitution does not mention the Federalist Papers, but okay...I figured I better read these.

Turns out the Federalists of old would have kicked the Teabaggers of today square in the nuts. The government the teabaggers claim the Federalist Papers endorsed, a loose collection of independent sovereigns, is exactly the government the Federalists warned against.

"Vodka Sam" is gonna be "Dead Sam" if she doesn't mellow out


In case you don't follow the exploits of 22-year-old drunken idiots, University of Iowa student Samantha Goudie, whose Twitter handle is "Vodka_samm", got drunk off her ass before last Saturday's football game, ran onto the field, got hauled off to jail, and blew a .341.

.341 isn't "drunk." It's "a fire hazard." According to Wikipedia, .30 to .39 gives you "severe CNS depression, unconsciousness, possibility of death, impaired bladder function, impaired breathing, balance disorder and, apparently, total absence of judgment. And now she's got 15,000 Twitter followers.

I wonder how many of them are going to come to her funeral when she dies of alcohol poisoning.

Welcome back to school, DU. How did you spend your summer vacation?

The first day of my vacation I woke up. Then I went downtown to look for a job. Then I hung out in front of the drugstore.

The second day of my vacation I woke up. Then I went downtown to look for a job. Then I hung out in front of the drugstore.

The third day I woke up. Then I went downtown to look for a job. Then I got a job keeping people from hanging out in front of the drugstore.

How about you?

An atrocity against organized labor was committed on Labor Day

Remember seeing these trucks, grandchild?


Know why you haven't seen one in a long time? Well, sit on my knee and I'll tell you.

Consolidated Freightways (CF) was founded in 1929 as Consolidated Truck Lines. Over the next ten years they grew into the biggest trucking company in America. During their growth they found that no truck maker could build the truck they needed for their business, so they changed their name to Consolidated Freightways in 1939 and opened their own truck manufacturing plant in Portland, Ore. The trucks they made were called "Freightliners" and that company, now owned by Daimler, is still in business.

CF, of course, was organized by the Teamsters Union under the National Master Freight Agreement.

In 1983, during Reagan's reign of terror, CF's parent company formed a non-union subsidiary called Con-way. Over the next few years, the parent company of both lines (it was called CNF) did two things that killed CF: they gradually moved all the profitable routes, or "lanes," from CF to Con-way, and they saddled CF with Con-way's debt.

Then the inevitable happened: all drivers were instructed to join in a conference call on Labor Day 2002, in which they heard this message from CNF's CEO: "Thank you for dialing in. I have some sad news. Your employment is terminated immediately."

This had two effects on the economy. The most obvious is the seven thousand truck drivers, plus mechanics, dispatchers, freight brokers, yard hostlers and all the other people you need to run a trucking company this big, who were so unceremoniously fired. The economy was still in the crapper a year after 9/11, and freight volumes were down. The more significant one was the effect on every other company in America: CF was the third-largest trucking company in the US. Removing seven thousand rigs from the nation's transportation infrastructure was one of the reasons the economy has taken so long to truly rebound. (Another impact was this action's effect on the used-truck market. These guys dumped seven thousand usable tractors and probably 15,000 usable trailers into the resale market, which was already down because people weren't buying trucks after 9/11. As with anything else, the price of a used truck is determined in part by scarcity - the more trucks available for sale, the cheaper they get.)

And now you know.


Astronaut Chris Hadfield explains how to take a dump in zero-G

Save me from having to go to Hobby Lobby

I drink Red Rose Tea. LOTS of Red Rose Tea. Red Rose Tea comes with a little ceramic figurine imported all the way from England in every box, and since I drink so much of their tea I have a shitload of these figurines. I want a curio cabinet to hold...oh, about a hundred of them. Hobby Lobby would be the obvious place to look for things like this, but I don't want to shop with those people if I don't absolutely have to. I've looked online and the ones I see are generally in the $400 range - which would be okay if I was displaying the Hope Diamond next to the Peace Ruby, but it's a bit out of line for displaying figurines you get free with purchase of a $3.50 box of tea. Any ideas?

The real reason Miley got into the sexual innuendos, twerking etc. at the VMAs

I just watched the whole thing...her songs sucked hard enough you could pick up a bowling ball with them.

Numbers 6 proves "wine" isn't a misprint

Your standard fundamentalist will tell you that every single word in the Bible is the absolute literal and correct word of God, except for one: "wine." Apparently this was mistranslated and should have been "grape juice."

I was trying to find the passage in the Bible's Numbers 5 that tells you how to do an abortion, and decided to flip forth to Numbers 6...where I find this:

1 The Lord said to Moses,

2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazirite,

3 they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins.

4 As long as they remain under their Nazirite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.

5 “‘During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long.

6 “‘Throughout the period of their dedication to the Lord, the Nazirite must not go near a dead body.

7 Even if their own father or mother or brother or sister dies, they must not make themselves ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of their dedication to God is on their head.

8 Throughout the period of their dedication, they are consecrated to the Lord.

9 “‘If someone dies suddenly in the Nazirite’s presence, thus defiling the hair that symbolizes their dedication, they must shave their head on the seventh day—the day of their cleansing.

10 Then on the eighth day they must bring two doves or two young pigeons to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

11 The priest is to offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering to make atonement for the Nazirite because they sinned by being in the presence of the dead body. That same day they are to consecrate their head again.

12 They must rededicate themselves to the Lord for the same period of dedication and must bring a year-old male lamb as a guilt offering. The previous days do not count, because they became defiled during their period of dedication.

13 “‘Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the period of their dedication is over. They are to be brought to the entrance to the tent of meeting.

14 There they are to present their offerings to the Lord: a year-old male lamb without defect for a burnt offering, a year-old ewe lamb without defect for a sin offering, a ram without defect for a fellowship offering,

15 together with their grain offerings and drink offerings, and a basket of bread made with the finest flour and without yeast—thick loaves with olive oil mixed in, and thin loaves brushed with olive oil.

16 “‘The priest is to present all these before the Lord and make the sin offering and the burnt offering.

17 He is to present the basket of unleavened bread and is to sacrifice the ram as a fellowship offering to the Lord, together with its grain offering and drink offering.

18 “‘Then at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the Nazirite must shave off the hair that symbolizes their dedication. They are to take the hair and put it in the fire that is under the sacrifice of the fellowship offering.

19 “‘After the Nazirite has shaved off the hair that symbolizes their dedication, the priest is to place in their hands a boiled shoulder of the ram, and one thick loaf and one thin loaf from the basket, both made without yeast.

20 The priest shall then wave these before the Lord as a wave offering; they are holy and belong to the priest, together with the breast that was waved and the thigh that was presented. After that, the Nazirite may drink wine.

21 “‘This is the law of the Nazirite who vows offerings to the Lord in accordance with their dedication, in addition to whatever else they can afford. They must fulfill the vows they have made, according to the law of the Nazirite.’”

Note that 6.3 contains both the words "wine" and "grape juice." Since it does, the word "wine" couldn't have been mistranslated and Jesus' first miracle couldn't have been making 200 gallons of grape juice for a party that had run out.
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