Catholic bishop in India adopts 26-year-old woman. Oops!

The Vatican has suspended a Roman Catholic bishop in southern India after he adopted a 26-year-old woman.

Bishop John Thattungal, 58, will be barred from performing any religious or administrative duties until a formal inquiry into his conduct is completed, said the Rev. Stephen Alathara, a spokesman for the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council, in a telephone interview from the southern Indian city of Kochi.

Alathara said the bishop’s adoption of the woman earlier this year had upset other priests in the Kochi diocese.

The majority of the priests were unhappy and asked for his resignation,” he said, adding that the Vatican ordered the suspension on Thursday…

Thattungal could not be reached for comment, but news reports in Kerala have quoted him as saying, “I have only fatherly love toward the woman who has spiritual powers. This relation is giving me spiritual refreshment.”

I can’t comment on this and keep a straight face. Has to be a better rationale.

Ohio woman gives birth to triplet granddaughters


Grandma holding Gabriella

Not only has a 56-year-old Ohio woman given birth to triplets, but they’re her own granddaughters.

Jaci Dalenberg of Wooster carried the babies as a surrogate for her daughter, Kim Coseno. The two identical twins and their sister were born by Caesarean section Oct. 11 at the Cleveland Clinic’s Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights and are still in the hospital’s care. They were more than two months premature and each weighed less than three pounds.

A Cleveland Clinic news release says infants and grandmother are all doing well.

According to a Clinic spokesman, Dalenberg offered herself as a surrogate when Kim Coseno and her husband, Joe, were waiting to adopt. The couple used in vitro fertilization, and embryos were implanted in Dalenberg’s uterus.

Uh, O.K.. Gonna lead to some confused birthday parties.

Here’s a link to the family’s blog. Seem like wonderful folks and I wish them the best.

McCain sources say – Palin’s “going rogue”

With 10 days until Election Day, long-brewing tensions between GOP vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin and key aides to Sen. John McCain have become so intense, they are spilling out in public, sources say.

Several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin “going rogue.” A Palin associate, however, said the candidate is simply trying to “bust free” of what she believes was a damaging and mismanaged roll-out…

A McCain source says she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign. “She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser. “She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else.

“Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”

Interesting; but, only barely.

If you want to rebuild the Republican Party after letting it be captured by 19th Century nutballs – then, you have reason to be concerned.

What would Jesus brew?

Shortly after the doors opened on the 27th Great American Beer Festival, a crowd congregated at the booth offering Judgement Day Ale and other pours from The Lost Abbey of San Marcos, California, where the tap handle is a Celtic cross and the legacy of beer-brewing monks endures.

Standing under a banner promising “Inspired beers for Saints and Sinners Alike,” proprietor and former altar boy Tomme Arthur had a confession: He’s using God to sell some beer.

“It’s the oldest story ever told — the struggle between good and evil,” said Arthur, 35, a product of Catholic schools in his native San Diego. “There is a battle being waged between those who make good beer and those who make evil beer.”

Without question, unholy excess is in evidence anytime 18,000 gallons of alcohol is served to 46,000 people over three days. Yet perhaps surprisingly, God could be found at last week’s Great American Beer Festival — in the crassly commercial, in homage to religion’s long history in brewing, in needling faiths that turn a suspect eye on drinking, and (if the prophet of home-brewing is to be believed) at the bottom of every glass.

While alcohol and religion don’t always mix, no less a figure than Benjamin Franklin once said: “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

Lots of anecdotal evidence in the article – supporting the conclusion that abstinence remains essentially within the domain of sectarians, hypocrites and the narrow-minded. Or it’s just good for a laugh.

Save your old snow – use it for air conditioning

A city official in Ottawa, Canada, is proposing using mountains of winter snow to provide air conditioning for city buildings in the summer.

In a motion filed with the city’s planning and environment committee, Councilor Diane Deans said an undisclosed city in Sweden already uses the snow technology to air condition a hospital complex.

Her motion says Ottawa is one of the coldest capital cities on the planet and would stand to save significant amounts of money on energy for summer cooling by using snow.

Why can’t we turn snow from a liability into an asset,” she told the Sun.

The concept involves establishing deposit sites where city snow removal crews would dump tons of snow into mountains that would take months to thaw on their own.

My wife and I were discussing this on the way home from our weekly grocery expedition, this morning. She made an excellent additional point:

After the city contains the snow to utilize cold air taken from the mass of frozen goodness, it should be pretty easy to channel the melt water, let it come up to ambient temperature and use it for irrigating parks and recreation land.

Two for the price of one.

DOJ supports faith-based programs “right” to hiring discimination

According to ACSBlog, the Justice Department has released a memo providing legal cover for faith-based programs who receive federal funding but use religious affiliation as a basis for hiring. The memo, which is available here, reinterprets the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 to categorically exempt any religious organization that receives federal funding from any anti-discrimination policies, even if the programs through which these groups receive their funding specifically require inclusive hiring practices.

The blog post references a New York Times article, which delves deeper into the hiring practices of World Vision, a faith-based group that receives federal money to pay for its anti-gang programs, but only hires Christians. According to ACS, World Vision defines itself as “an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice, and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.”

Barry Lynn, president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State said “The Bush administration has been trying to allow religious recipients of tax dollars to discriminate in hiring. No Congress intended that. The Constitution does not permit it. And this memo is just one more example of this administration subverting Congressional and constitutional intent in pursuit of a forbidden goal: discrimination in hiring.”

I wonder if McCain would have the integrity to consider halting practices like this?

A once-proud politicians who used to stand a little bit apart from the Congressional mob has now made the decisions to represent the worst of the least – in his attempt to take the ultimate seat in American power. He’s already fallen.

Accused spy says he used “black magic” to protect general

A British Army interpreter accused of spying for Iran claims that he used magic learned in Cuba to protect his commander in Afghanistan. Cpl. Daniel James, an Iranian immigrant who gained dual citizenship, testified at his trial in the Old Bailey in London, The Guardian reported.

James said he became interested in salsa dancing, made himself into the “king of salsa” and traveled to Cuba because of his interest. There, he said, he learned the practice of Yoruba magic.

When he joined the Territorial Army, James became personal interpreter for Gen. David Richards.

I actually did black magic for General Richards, praying to God to protect him from the Taliban,” James said…

Prosecutors described James, who worked as a personal trainer in Brighton, as someone with “grandiose ideas about his own importance.”

Well, then – he should fit in with the leadership of the Worldwide War on Terror as naturally as a pig in shite.

Germany: proposal for full-body airport scanners is “nonsense”

Germany will not participate in EU proposals for airports to use full-body scanner security checks, which have raised privacy issues.

I can tell you in all clarity that we will not take part in this nonsense,” a spokeswoman for the interior ministry told a regular news conference.

The executive European Commission proposed last month to add body scanners to a list of security measures that can be used at airports in the 27-country bloc.

It’s no surprise that the EU is ready to play a certain amount of kissy-kissy with the U.S. Department of Homeland Insecurity. Germany is proud to tell them to take it and stick it.

My solution is even easier. I will never fly, again. I only go where I can drive my pickup truck.

Google’s Air Force acquires fighter jet

A NASA official said Friday that the top Googlers’ new fighter jet will be used mostly to fly missions for the agency that four other jets owned by Google’s top executives could not handle.

“They are dedicating the plane primarily for NASA payloads,” said Steve Zornetzer, associate director of the NASA Ames Research Center, which operates Moffett Field near the Google campus. He said that the Google executives’ pilots would use the Dornier Alpha Jet for “training and pilot proficiency…”

Mr. Zornetzer said the Alpha Jet will spend most of the next few months in Seattle being converted from military to civilian use. The modifications include making it quieter, to comply with noise restrictions at civilian airports. It will start flying out of Moffett Field in the spring. The NASA missions now being contemplated include the testing of greenhouse gases and other emissions over California and the detection of and response to disasters, including fires.

When news of the agreement between the Google executives and NASA first surfaced, some residents of Mountain View and adjacent communities worried about the extra noise that their flights would produce. Mr. Zornetzer said that the executives’ planes have accounted for only about 88 flights in the past year or so, less than 1 percent of the approximately 19,000 annual flights at Moffett. Ninety-five percent of the flights at Moffett are military flights, he said.

I know just what a useless PITA adjacent community whiners can be. You see, I live right next to a small municipal airport. This may surprise some; but, when my father-in-law built this house decades ago – he actually noticed there was an airport up the hill.

When I married his daughter, I sold my home in town and Helen and I acquired this house – and we knew there was an airport up the hill. In fact, I’m the only member of the immediate family who’s never been a pilot.

Every couple of years, someone buys or rents in our community and discovers some weeks later – there’s a fracking airport nearby. That’s their problem – not the airport’s.