Judge who ordered name change for baby Messiah fired – finally

A Tennessee judge who ordered a baby’s name changed from Messiah to Martin, saying the former was reserved for Jesus Christ, has been fired…

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew of Cocke County in eastern Tennessee last August ordered a boy’s first name changed over the objections of his parents when they appeared before her seeking to settle other issues.

O. Duane Slone, presiding judge of the state’s fourth judicial district, terminated Ballew’s appointment, effective last Friday, according to court documents.

Slone did not give a reason in his order, but Ballew had previously been cited by the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct for an inappropriate religious bias. A hearing is scheduled for March 3…

Craft wrote that it is the duty of the board to inquire into the “commission of any act calculated to reflect unfavorably upon the judiciary of the state.”

“The word ‘messiah’ is a title, and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ,” the magistrate told Tennessee television station WBIR at the time.

The parents appealed, and another judge held that Ballew’s ruling was unconstitutional.

…based on applications for Social Security cards…there were 762 applications for boys named Messiah in 2012, more than double the 368 applications made in 2011.

Lots of optimistic Christians out there.

Biggest study of its kind says – too much sugar is fatal

Could too much sugar be deadly? The biggest study of its kind suggests the answer is yes, at least when it comes to fatal heart problems.

It doesn’t take all that much extra sugar, hidden in many processed foods, to substantially raise the risk, the researchers found, and most Americans eat more than the safest amount…

Lead author Quanhe Yang of the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention called the results sobering and said it’s the first nationally representative study to examine the issue…

Yang and colleagues analyzed national health surveys between 1988 and 2010 that included questions about people’s diets. The authors used national death data to calculate risks of dying during 15 years of follow-up.

Overall, more than 30,000 American adults aged 44 on average were involved.

Previous studies have linked diets high in sugar with increased risks for non-fatal heart problems, and with obesity, which can also lead to heart trouble. But in the new study, obesity didn’t explain the link between sugary diets and death. That link was found even in normal-weight people who ate lots of added sugar…

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HPV vaccine doesn’t change teen sexual behavior

Research has debunked parents’ concerns that the HPV vaccine encourages risky sexual behavior in teens.

In addition, women who had not had sex when vaccinated were not more likely to start having sex post-vaccination, according to research coming out of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center…

“We hope this study reassures parents, and thus improves HPV vaccination rates, which in turn will reduce rates of cervical and other cancers that can result from HPV infection,” said Jessica Kahn, MD…

Researchers studied more than 300 completed questionnaires from sexually experienced and inexperienced teens and young women between the ages of 13 and 21. The questionnaire asked for participants knowledge and attitudes about the HPV vaccine, beliefs about the need for safer sexual behaviors after vaccination, and about their sexual behaviors.

Participants were surveyed prior to vaccination, and given followup surveys two and six months after getting the vaccine. The responses showed that regardless of a teen’s beliefs regarding the HPV vaccine, it showed no link to subsequent sexual behavior nor did they change their sexual behavior based on whether the vaccine did or did not decrease the risk of sexually transmitted infections.

The vast majority of girls seemed to believe that it was still important to practice safe sex and did not believe that the vaccine protected against STIs.

HPV is a common STI that affects 7.5 million girls and young women in the United States between the ages of 14 and 24. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends HPV vaccination for teenage girls and women between the ages of 11 and 26.

Unfortunately, that segment of the American population that learned about sex from a priest or religious pundit – instead of learning what modern science has proven in the last century or so – are not only handicapped, they seem bound and determined to screw up the lives of their children as well.

Silly and spooky beliefs about sex may be the stuff of late-night TV humor; but, in practice, we end up with one more layer of ignorance slathered over the consciousness of the next generation.

At least the study shows that the girls studied are brighter than the parents who oppose vaccination.

Rightwing radio blows up over Coke Super Bowl ad

Conservative talk radio is criticizing a Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad that featured multiple languages, with Rush Limbaugh joking it might be a ploy from Republican leaders on immigration reform.

Radio hosts were reacting Monday to Sunday’s ad from Coke, in which several voices sing “America the Beautiful” in multiple languages, as faces of people of different cultures are shown. The ad has been both praised as a display of multiculturalism and slammed as divisive as immigration reform remains a controversial political hot topic.

…popular conservative radio voice, Glenn Beck…criticized the ad, calling it divisive and politicized amid the immigration debate. On his show Monday, Beck said he got a tweet from a viewer asking what he thought of the spot.

“I said, ‘Why? You need that to divide us politically?’ Because that’s all this ad is,” Beck said. “It’s an in your face — and if you don’t like, if you’re offended by it, then you’re a racist. If you do like it, well then you’re for immigration, that’s what it is. You’re for progress…”

Beck got it right – even if by accident, even though he stands against anything that smacks of progress.

Thanks, Coke, for reminding me why I hold what passes for conservatism in America, nowadays – in such contempt. The Republican Party has become the mouthpiece for racism and bigotry that Dixiecrats of old only dreamt of becoming.

They should stuff their ears with whatever fecal matter is handy. Plug them with rubber stoppers carved from the gaskets reserved from Auschwitz. And die of the several plagues resulting from lives lived as obedient fascist clones.

Americans will continue to sing.

Soaking beans in horse trough helped cause Salmonella outbreak at church fundraiser — oh!


Salmonella optional

Cooking and food storage methods are likely to blame for a Salmonella outbreak at an Alabama church fundraiser…

The Alabama Department of Public Health released its final report Friday on the bad beans at Bean Day, a fundraiser held in October at First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Athens. The beans were soaked in a plastic-lined horse trough covered by plywood…

It was unclear what the trough had been used for previously.

From there, the beans were not held steadily at high enough temperatures at various points in the cooking and serving process, making it possible for Salmonella bacteria to grow…

In all, the health department said 47 people were hospitalized in the two days after the fundraiser and a survey of those in attendance found three more individuals who displayed symptoms.

Think folks may have learned by now that food preparation technology adequate for horses ain’t always safe for human beings?