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Jesus loves Osama, but can he love the NFL?

Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis have cancelled their plans to host a Super Bowl party on Sunday, to watch their Colts lose to the Bears, after the National Football League sent them a "cease and desist" letter.

You see, Fall Creek church, and thousands of other churches in the US, are infringing NFL trademarks and offering unauthorised public screenings of Super Bowl XLI without the poor impoverished League receiving a single cent in return.

Molly Ivins 1944-2007

Molly Ivins, that wonderful, savage but witty writer about Texan culture and American politics, died on Wednesday of breast cancer at the age of 62. I've quoted her on one occasion in my blogs, and I really enjoyed reading "Shrub", her account (co-authored with Lou Dubose) of GW Bush's career prior to the 2000 Presidential election (which he lost, but was awarded anyway).

Art Buchwald 1925-2007

I can't remember the first time I read any of the work of the great American satirist Art Buchwald who died Wednesday. I think that I probably read some of his stuff at the height of Watergate. I do have an early recollection of seeing his work in a rather unlikely context.

For whatever reason, I was looking at a copy of the daily Hansard for the House of Representatives in the school library, probably around 1974 when I was in Year 10. I can't recall now who it was, but the MP in question was quoting a passage from Buchwald in one of his speeches, one which used biblical phraseology, but alas I can't remember any further.

A great American died this week. So did Gerald Ford.

"Tune Into FOX News Channel for Live Coverage of President Ford's Death"

- home page, 27.12.06

James Brown emulated WC Fields on Monday by expiring on Christmas Day. Gerald Ford emulated Harry Truman by expiring on Boxing Day.

James Brown was a legendary R&B performer who spent time in jail for crimes of violence. Gerald Ford was an unelected president who complicity in Indonesia's invasion of East Timor - among other episodes - has gone unchecked.

Wikipedia's bio of President Ford is currently in a state of flux, as one would imagine. It does include a 1975 photo of Ford having a chat with his Chief of Staff Richard B.Cheney, and his Secretary of Defense, Donald H.Rumsfeld. (This at a time when Nobel Peace Laureate Henry A.Kissinger was Secretary of State, and George W.Bush was National Guardsman In Absentia.)

UN threatens US sovereignty outrage shock

The United Nations is usurping the sovereignty of the United States of America. It is taking over large tracts of US land by means of a sinister device called the "World Heritage Listing".

Last Saturday's edition of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has an interview with Nathan Tabor, who explains all.

American decisions

In Seattle, 63% of voters have opposed changes to strip club regulations, while 74% of them have supported an initiative to ban taxpayer-funded subsidies for professional sporting teams. The Supersonics are threatening to take their basketball and dribble somewhere else.

In San Francisco, 59% of voters have called for the impeachment of George W Bush and Dick Cheney. In the City of Berkeley, the impeachment vote was 69%.

The tide turneth?

If the 1994 mid-term election represented the start of the right-wing chill in the US, we can only hope that the 2006 election represents its end. The Democrats have taken control of the House of Reps. Maybe, just maybe, they may yet grab control of the Senate.

Bush 43's response at a Wednesday afternoon presser will be interesting. Is Rumsfeld's sword ready to be fallen upon?

Special mention to the squirrel in Oklahoma that ate through some cables and blacked out polling booths for a couple of hours. Honourable mention also to those thousands of fine, upstanding, computer-illiterate volunteers who muddled through manning the booths in the World's Greatest Democracy.

Woman bitten by snake at church dies

"And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

They will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

- Mark 16:17-18 (NIV), quote attributed to Jesus following His resurrection

A 48 year-old woman died on Sunday after being bitten by a timber rattlesnake during a church service in London, Kentucky. Despite reptile-handling in churches being illegal in Kentucky, this is the seventh such liturgial fatality in that state since 1980.


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