Church of England refuses to allow female bishops – again!

The Church of England’s governing body blocked a move…to permit women to serve as bishops in a vote so close it failed to settle the question of female leadership and likely condemned the institution to years more debate on the issue.

The General Synod’s daylong debate ended with the rejection of a compromise that was intended to unify the faithful despite differing views on whether women should be allowed in the hierarchy. But backers failed to gain the necessary majority by six votes.

“There is no victory in the coming days,” said Rev. Angus MacLeay. “It is a train crash.”

The defeat was a setback for Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who retires at the end of December, and his successor, Bishop Justin Welby. Both had strongly endorsed a proposed compromise that would have respected the decision of those who objected to the ordination of women bishops.

Instead of ending decades of debate on the issue in the church, the narrow defeat opens the church, which has around 80 million members worldwide, to further years of internal discussions. It also forms an uncomfortable backdrop to the start of Welby’s leadership. He is due to be enthroned in March.

Read ’em and weep – if you believe in saving organized religion.

Here we have an official state religion in the industrial, educated, enlightened West – and they can’t find it in their hearts to move to equal rights in governance and leadership for women and men.

Phaugh!.

A surge of support for New Jersey’s Christie acting like a grownup

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s approval rating has leaped 19 percentage points since superstorm Sandy slammed the state, as voters by a wide margin applaud his response to the crisis…

The Republican governor, who will face re-election in 2013 and is considered a contender for the U.S. presidency in 2016, has a 67 percent favorability rating among registered voters in the state, up from 48 percent in October.

The boost is notable because Christie’s ratings have stayed steady between 44 and 50 percent for his nearly three years in office, according to David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll…

Christie, a Republican star, angered some within his party by offering strong praise for Democratic President Barack Obama’s storm response in the days after Sandy and just before Election Day. Critics say Christie’s praise may have helped Obama’s re-election…

A Quinnipiac University poll on Tuesday found almost nine in 10 New Yorkers gave Christie top ratings for his performance.

Among New Jerseyans, 81 percent said Christie and Obama showed “needed cooperation and bipartisanship,” while 12 percent said Christie went too far, the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll found.

I sincerely hope the Party-formerly-known-as-Republican keeps up the current sophomoronic level of finger-pointing. It’s important that the Republicans who survived Tea Party self-immolation actually work to achieve bi-partisan resolution of economic issues. In many cases only doing so by taking advantage of districts gerrymandered by Republicans in the last Congress.

Still, it’s with a mixture of glee and a sense of historic justice that we can watch the religious nutballs and 19th Century purists march forward on their task of marginalizing the Republican Party that welcomed them in the door so many times in the name of opportunism.

Citizens’ rights vs. police use of technology

On the afternoon of June 2, the authorities say, a former music teacher named Christian Paetsch walked into a Wells Fargo bank waving a gun and ordered everyone to lie down.

About 15 minutes later, a phalanx of police cars descended upon an intersection a few miles away, blockading dozens of shocked motorists — including Mr. Paetsch, whom the authorities had tracked with a GPS device buried in the $26,000 he was accused of stealing.

But with only the faintest physical description and unsure which vehicle the device was in, the police trained their weapons on all 20 cars at the intersection and ordered people to show their hands. For nearly two hours, the police ordered every driver and passenger to step out of their cars, even handcuffing some of them, before discovering the missing money and two loaded firearms in Mr. Paetsch’s S.U.V.

The case, now winding its way through the federal court system, is being watched by Fourth Amendment lawyers and law enforcement experts. While advanced technology now gives the police the power to shadow a suspect moments after a crime is committed, there are still legal questions over how wide a net the authorities can cast while in pursuit.

At issue is not Mr. Paetsch’s involvement in the robbery. Rather, his lawyer, Matthew Belcher, a federal public defender, has argued that evidence seized from Mr. Paetsch’s vehicle should be thrown out on the grounds that the roadblock was unconstitutional.

The crook’s lawyer offers a lawyerly interpretation of how he’s trying to get his client off. He says the coppers just had a hunch. Wrong. They had a signal from an RFID tag planted in the stolen money.

If old tech was still being used, a dye marker would have exploded and some cop would have seen a car go by with red dye on the windows – or at least a track or two indicating the direction and possible intersection to corral the crook. An RFID tag is a lot clearer over distance, easier to hide from a thief.

It may not seem precise, the local coppers certainly did a crappy job of handling the public – but, then, that’s what they’re instructed to do when the call is for “armed and dangerous” – the FBI didn’t show with their RFID detector for an hour and the Aurora PD didn’t have one.

Ice cold murderer buried husband, her lover in Vienna cellar

A former ice cream parlor owner confessed in court on Monday to shooting, sawing up and freezing both her ex-husband and her lover, and burying them under the cellar of her store in Vienna.

Estibaliz Carranza, a 34-year-old Mexican-Spanish woman dubbed the “Ice Lady” by Austrian media, told a court that both men had “demeaned” her; her ex-husband by yelling at her and making fun of her poor German, her lover by being unfaithful.

In both cases, she said she had shot her victim with a .22 caliber Beretta pistol, chopped up the body with a chain saw, put it in a freezer at the parlor, and eventually buried it downstairs in the cellar…

Even after she started a relationship with ice cream machine salesman Manfred Hinterberger and divorced Holger Holz, he refused to move out, she told the court on Monday.

One Sunday, after an argument about the issue, she said she had shot Holz twice in the back of the head and once in the temple as he sat at his computer…

Hinterberger left Carranza shortly after her divorce but turned up on the doorstep of the salon with a suitcase a year and a half later after being thrown out by his girlfriend.

She said she had taken him back, but then found sex messages on his phone and his profile on a dating site…

“He turned to the wall and began snoring. He just turned around and that was the end of the matter for him. I was so furious,” Carranza said.

She then described how she had reached under the mattress for the same pistol she had used to kill her ex-husband, loaded it, and shot him in his sleep.

Again, she chopped up his body, deep-froze the parts and eventually buried them under the icecream parlor, where they were found by chance during maintenance work last year.

Anyone want to buy a slightly run-down ice cream parlor in Vienna? I’ll bet it’s priced for a quick sale. The owner needs to pay for a very good lawyer.