Religious nutballs fear GOP can’t handle convention in Las Vegas

Religious conservatives are urging the GOP to scratch Sin City off its list of potential locations for the 2016 Republican National Convention..Advocates are concerned that Las Vegas’ reputation as a gambling and prostitution haven will discourage conservatives from attending the event and that the city is a “trap waiting to ensnare” convention attendees.

“The GOP is supposedly interested in reaching out to conservatives and evangelicals. Maybe that’s just a front, but if they really mean it this is not the way to do it,” James Dobson, founder of Family Talk, a Christian radio show that broadcasts across the United States, told the paper. “Even though Vegas has tried to shore itself up and call itself family-friendly, it’s still a metaphor for decadence. There’s still 64 pages of escort services in the yellow pages.”

Dobson, along with leaders of the American Family Association, Eagle Forum, the Traditional Values Coalition, and Family-PAC sent a letter to Republican chairman Reince Priebus warning him to choose another destination…

Las Vegas has a strong lobbying campaign behind it. The team includes casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who spent over $98 million on GOP candidates in 2012, resort businessman Stephen Wynn, and Washington political strategists, according to the New York Times. Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, told The Dallas Morning News that while she supports Adelson, she fears that with all of the escorts and prostitutes available in the Las Vegas area, she “can see all the setups that are going to take place.”

Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief of the conservative blog, also expressed concern about the GOP choosing Las Vegas. “Good Christian delegates getting drunk, gambling, stuffing dollar bills in strippers’ g-strings, etc. will be the toast of not just MSNBC, but the front page of the New York Times, ABC, CBS, NBC, the Huffington Post, and more.” he wrote…

Guess he knows the stuff his troops are really made of, eh?

Family held hostage – thug drank 15 cases of beer in a week

Dude looks a natural in orange

A New York state man drank beer while holding his girlfriend and their two children captive in their home for a week…

The woman was finally able to get assistance by convincing the boyfriend, Benito Lopez, she was playing games on the computer…

Lopez…was arrested Monday after probation officers were tipped the girlfriend, their son, 11, and daughter, 12 had been hostage in their home since New Year’s Eve.

Sullivan County deputies said Lopez disconnected the phone and confiscated electronic devices and car keys to prevent anyone calling for help.

The girlfriend eventually got help through Facebook by pretending she was playing computer games, police said.

Police said they found the equivalent of 15 cases of empty beer cans, as well as some liquor bottles.

Lopez was on probation for felony drunken driving

The dude should be locked up until he dries out. Should only take 10-20 years.

Top two officers in US Nuclear Command fired this week

The Air Force fired the general in charge of its nuclear missiles on Friday, just two days after a Navy admiral with top nuclear weapons responsibilities was sacked. Both men are caught up in investigations of alleged personal misconduct, adding to a cascade of turmoil inside the nation’s nuclear weapons force.

The Air Force removed Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, a 35-year veteran, from his command of 20th Air Force, responsible for all 450 of the service’s intercontinental ballistic missiles. Carey…will be reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation into personal misbehavior, the service said.

The Air Force would not specify what Carey is alleged to have done wrong, but two officials with knowledge of the investigation indicated that it was linked to alcohol use…

Removing senior officers in the nuclear force is rare but has happened twice this week.

On Wednesday the Navy said Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the second-in-charge at U.S. Strategic Command, was fired amid an investigation of gambling issues. He was demoted from three- to two-star rank and reassigned to a Navy staff job until the investigation is completed.

Together, the Carey and Giardina firings add a new dimension to a set of serious problems facing the military’s nuclear force. The ICBM segment in particular has had several recent setbacks, including a failed safety and security inspection at a base in Montana in August, followed by the firing of the colonel there in charge of security forces. In May, The Associated Press revealed that 17 Minuteman 3 missile launch control officers at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., had been taken off duty in a reflection of what one officer there called ‘‘rot’’ inside the ICBM force…

The only anonymous comments so far are from people obviously glad to say that sex and crime weren’t involved. There’s a hell of a comment on what our military is all about. I won’t wander off into my usual rant about the money we waste with over 750 foreign bases. Suffice it to say the cost of every member of every military service stationed outside the United States costs taxpayers double what it would be if they were here at home. Isn’t this what we’re supposed to be defending? Not Guam. Not Kazakhstan. Not the Azores.

If we did bring our troops home from the 150 or so countries where they’re stationed, we could put them to work, you know. Only a dimwit tries to ignore the infrastructure continuing to collapse around us. Highways, railroads, bridges, airports, schools – all could use something more than a lick of paint to bring them up to safe standards. We wouldn’t be the first nation to assign our military to useful domestic tasks. I think it’s overdue.

Doctors urge FDA to restrict caffeine energy drinks

A group of 18 doctors, researchers and public health experts have jointly urged the Food and Drug Administration…to take action on energy drinks to protect adolescents and children from the possible risks of consuming high amounts of caffeine.

“There is evidence in the published scientific literature that the caffeine levels in energy drinks pose serious potential health risks,” the doctors and researchers wrote.In their letter to Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, the F.D.A. commissioner, the group argued that energy drink makers had failed to meet the regulatory burden placed on them to show that the ingredients used in their beverages were safe, specifically where children, adolescents and young adults are concerned. As a result, the group urged the F.D.A. to restrict caffeine content in the products and to require manufacturers to include caffeine content on product labels…

Less is known about the safe level of caffeine for a young teenager, experts say, apart from the fact that it is considered to be lower than for an adult. In their letter Tuesday to Dr. Hamburg, the group of researchers and scientists also pointed out that makers of energy drinks aggressively marketed their products to young teenagers and urged them to consume the drinks quickly. Including mixing them with booze!

In recent years, the number of reported emergency-room visits in which an energy drink was cited as the primary cause of a health problem, or a contributing factor, has grown sharply. In 2011, there were 20,783 such visits, compared with 10,068 in 2007. Problems typically linked to excessive caffeine consumption can include anxiety, headaches, irregular heartbeats and heart attacks.

Probably overdue. At least until and unless reasonable research indicates otherwise. Think we can count on the FDA to encourage that?

Maker’s Mark does Capitalism 101 and makes more from sales with watered-down booze

Secret ingredient in Maker’s Mark

In a move that will surely disappoint the loud bearded guy smacking his lips after every sip of his $9 Makers & ginger, the manufacturers of the premium whisky (“Unlike most American liquor companies, Maker’s spells it WITHOUT the ‘e’ at the end,” obnoxious drunk guy adds) have begun diluting their product so they can meet high demand. “Fact is, demand for our bourbon is exceeding our ability to make it, which means we’re running very low on supply,” Maker’s Mark execs wrote in an email to clients. The email, obtained by the Post, says that instead of 90 proof (or 45% ABV) the liquor will go down to 84 proof…

Maker’s Mark has been around since 1959 and is a top-shelf product in part thanks to some wax and clever marketing, but one Brooklyn bartender interviewed by the tabloid seemed dismayed that the subsidiary of a corporation worth billions of dollars would slightly compromise their product to maintain profit. “I don’t think the proof really matters [for a drink to be enjoyable]. But when that’s your reason for doing it, I just think that’s a cheap business practice,” the bartender said…

They’re not doing it to maintain profit, they’re actually increasing profits selling the same amount of actual alcohol to more people. Creeps!

Giant ‘UFO fragment’ falls near village in Siberia

A giant “UFO fragment” has fallen from the sky near a remote village in Siberia, Russian media have reported.

The U-shaped object, resembling a silvery dome, is currently under inspection by Russian experts, after being covertly removed under cover of night from the possession of villagers who found it.

After discovering the device on Sunday, locals from the village of Otradnesnky had managed to drag the “UFO fragment” from the thick forest where it had fallen. They attached it onto a trailer and took it through the snow to their village, where local inspectors then examined it before alerting Moscow authorities.

In an official statement, Sergey Bobrov, who found the object, agreed to keep it safe.

But following their stealthy removal of the 200-kilogram metal fragment, police have it under close guard, on orders from unnamed authorities…

“The object found is not related to space technology. A final conclusion can be made after a detailed study of the object by experts,” said Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.

RTFA for the details. My guess is someone found Boris Badinov’s ilegal vodka still.

Although strange things seem to fall out of the sky in Siberia almost as often as they do in Roswell.

Woman in miniskirts “should not be surprised if they get raped”

Hanging out with too many guys in long black dresses

A top cleric in the Russian Orthodox Church is under fire for saying that women who wear miniskirts and get drunk should not be surprised if they get raped.

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the Orthodox Church’s department for relations between the church and society, complained that Russian women dressed like strippers and suggested a nationwide dress code should be introduced to ensure both sexes dress more conservatively.

If she (a woman) is wearing a miniskirt, it is provocative,” he said. “If she is drunk at the same time then she is even more provocative, and if she herself is actively seeking contact with people and is then surprised when that contact ends in rape she is wrong…”

Human rights activist Ludmila Alexeyeva said: “It’s all nonsense. Let people dress how they like. Next they’ll be telling women not to wear lipstick…”

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the cleric who likened women to strippers, appeared to be in no mood to apologise however. He said he was glad he had started a public debate, denied he was justifying rape, and said a nationwide dress code was needed.

He also criticised men for wearing shorts, trainers and T-shirts.

The dude has serious problems with recognizing the outline or form of the human body. Methinks he’s transferring his own anxieties and hangups to everyone else.

Papal visit-nannies OK flags – but, no alcohol or barbecues

Demonstrating maximum allowed number of cameras
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

The Catholic Church has issued a list of dos and don’ts to pilgrims hoping to attend public events during the Pope’s visit to Britain next month.

Catholics hoping to see Pope Benedict XVI at gatherings in London and Birmingham may bring sunblock, banners and torches – but not animals, candles or vuvuzelas.

Other unwelcome items includes alcohol, gazebos, canopies and barbecues which are considered to be “things that…could pose a threat to yourself or others”.

Flags, cushions and small folding chairs have been approved

They advise people to bring “provision for all weather conditions”, “medication as needed for the duration of your time away from home” as well as emergency contact numbers.

Also suggested is wet weather gear and “provision for sunny conditions”…

Around 80,000 people are expected in Hyde Park, London, on September 18, with 65,000 in Birmingham’s Cofton Park the following day. They can expect sound levels of up to 96 decibels, according to the website, marginally louder than a lawnmower…but, not as useful.

The beatification of Cardinal Henry Newman, a convert from the Church of England, at Cofton Park will be the “culmination” of the pope’s four-day visit, said a papal spokesman.

The Pope will also meet with politicians including Nick Clegg and Harriet Harman, both of whom are married to Roman Catholics.

Isn’t it fun getting ready for medieval theatre?

Alcohol reduces the severity of rheumatoid arthritis

Drinking alcohol may reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis according to new research. It is the first time that this effect has been shown in humans. The study also finds that alcohol consumption reduces the risk of developing the disease, confirming the results of previous studies.

The first author of the study, Dr James Maxwell…”…found that patients who had drunk alcohol most frequently had symptoms that were less severe than those who had never drunk alcohol or only drunk it infrequently. X-rays showed there was less damage to joints, blood tests showed lower levels of inflammation, and there was less joint pain, swelling and disability. This is the first time that a dose dependent inverse association between frequency of alcohol consumption and severity of RA has been shown in humans.”

Dr Maxwell and his colleagues also found that non-drinkers were four times more likely to develop RA than people who drank alcohol on more than ten days a month…

The authors point out that there are some limitations to their study. These include the fact that they only recorded the frequency rather than the amount of alcohol consumption in the month before people joined the study; there might be bias due to people recalling inaccurately how often they drank alcohol and also the information represents a snapshot of drinking behaviour at one point in time, rather than giving information about fluctuating alcohol consumption over a longer period; and, finally, there were marked differences in age and gender between the RA and the control groups, although the researchers did adjust their results for these factors.

A couple of old mates of mine – in Glasgow and up in the Western Isles – are living proof of this study. And I’m confident they’d be willing to step forward and volunteer for further research.