Friday Funny

Number 71 of a series

This series is supposed to be about funny things, so I’m wondering whether this story applies. I’m going to guess it does, provided I define ironic as funny.

Rapper Shot and Killed After Claiming ‘God Made Me Bulletproof’

God made me bulletproof 🙏🙏

— Yung Mazi (@yungmazibwa) December 27, 2016

Apparently last Sunday was God’s day off.

Friday Funny

Number 66 of a series

Friday again. How about another tale of stupid criminals. They are always a lot of fun. Here’s one from merry old England:

Armed robber Andrew Hennells was caught after he boasted on Facebook about his plans to raid a supermarket in a post which included a selfie, a picture of a knife, and the words: “Doing. Tesco. Over.”

Police caught him 15 minutes later with the knife and £410 in cash stolen from a Tesco in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

He was jailed for four years last April.

Some criminals like to brag to their pals about their extra-legal exploits. A booth in  the local pub would be a bad idea. Worse yet would be on live TV or on  Facebook, both about the same. These are the funny ones.

Dying to Believe

Some more of the same

It’s Tuesday again, and the names of those who died for Jesus continues to be drawn from the record of years past. This week we commemorate the sacrifice of Garrett Dean Eells to the healing power of faith:

Oregon woman fights Idaho faith healing laws

On a serene, windswept hill outside of Boise is a cemetery called Peaceful Valley. It is where some Followers of Christ members bury their dead. Of the more than 550 graves, at least 144 appear to be of children under 18 years old. At least 12 of those children have been buried since 2011, including Garret Dean Eells. The coroner said he died from untreated pneumonia. He was six days old.

KOIN Channel 5 in Portland, Oregon, reports on  a continuing issue. The story concerns members of a church in Oregon City called Followers of Christ. Oregon law previously protected parents who, for religious purposes, did not provide proper medical treatment for their children. In Idaho, where young Garrett Dean Eells died, the same church continues to practice faith healing without fear of legal retribution. Children continue to die.

Dying to Believe

Some more of the same

It’s now over a year since I started posting these, one each week. If a person were not cautious, a person would conclude that Jesus has an inordinate love for the young and helpless. He takes so many of them under his wing. A previous post marked the sacrifice of young Monica Johnson. Now I mark the passing of her sister:

“What seems to be happening is that the children are doing fine and then they take a turn for the worse very quickly,” said Robert Levenson, director of the Philadelphia Health Department’s division of disease control.

Indeed, after 9-year-old Monica Johnson died last Sunday, a health department doctor visited the other 11 children in the family and, while not permitted to conduct an actual physical exam, found no cause for alarm. But early this morning Monica’s 13-year-old sister, Tina-Louise, died.

Monica, Tina-Louise, plus 9-year-old Karen Still, all died in a measles outbreak associated with, and to the fault of, two fundamentalist Christian churches in Philadelphia in 1991. The New York Times reported then:

Measles and Faith Combine In 5 Deaths in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 15— Five children have died in a measles outbreak here in the last 10 days, all of them from families that belong to two fundamentalist churches that preach a reliance on prayer, not medical care, to cure disease.

The churches, the Faith Tabernacle Congregation and the First Century Gospel Church, each run their own schools, which together have about 350 students who have never been inoculated against measles or other diseases.

[Emphasis added]

I have chosen to dribble these deaths out one at a time, week upon week, every Tuesday morning, in order to drive home a point. This problem is not come and gone. It persists. On a daily basis people are using religion as a license to kill—their children. So long as I can obtain the name or death report of a child, or an adult, who has fallen victim to this cultural monstrosity, I will post the details on a Tuesday.

Masters of Deceit

Some more of the same

L. Ron Hubbard using the E-Meter on a tomato in 1968 to test whether it experiences pain
Scott Lauder, Evening Standard / Hulton Archive / Getty Images: 3.2
Wright, Lawrence (2013-01-17). Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

What goes around comes around, apparently. We have seen the Church of Scientology previously:

I have some previous acquaintance with the Church of Scientology, so the term “Going Clear” wasn’t strange. “Going clear” is a term used in Scientology to mean going through their auditing process and clearing yourself of whatever Scientology means for you to clear yourself of. Something like twenty years ago a friend in Dallas told of his encounter with a Scientology recruiter. I contacted him to confirm my recollections. He did not recall the telling, but back then he said the recruiter told him he could go clear for only $16,000. My friend now reminds me people are paying much more.

Lawrence Wright’s book touts the history of the church, from a plot hatched by a prolific science fiction writer to a repressive cult to a 21st century financial enterprise. Cult aspects are highlighted by the church’s practice of “rehabilitation,” a scheme worked to keep members in line. Wright recounts the experience of member Hana Eltringham:

When she returned to the Apollo, she was shocked by the hellish changes that had taken place. In January 1974, Hubbard issued Flag Order 3434RB, creating the Rehabilitation Project Force. The stated goal was to rehabilitate Sea Org members whose statistics were down or who might be harboring subversive thoughts against Hubbard or his technology. Because the RPF provided a second chance for those who might otherwise be fired, Hubbard saw it as an enlightened management technique, the sole purpose of which was “redemption.” When Eltringham came aboard, she found dozens of crew members housed in the old cattle hold belowdecks, illuminated by a single lightbulb, sleeping on stained mattresses on the floor. They were dressed in black overalls, called boiler suits, and forbidden to speak to anyone outside their group. They ate using their hands from a bucket of table scraps, shoveling the food into their mouths as if they were starving.

Wright, Lawrence. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (pp. 154-155). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Episodes related in  the book appeared to stop short of involuntary confinement, at least to the extent that would stand up in court. All that seems to be in the rear view mirror now. The church may at last be meeting some harsh reality:

Scientology Rehab Facilities Shutdown After Holding Patients Against Their Will

Scientology facilities in Tennessee are closed down after police find patients are being held against their will.

The Cannon Courier reports three suspects have been charged and multiple rehabilitation facilities have been permanently closed in Cannon County after local police found patients being held against their will at psychiatric facilities owned and run by the Church of Scientology.

A statement from the Cannon County Sheriff’s office said:

The Cannon County Sheriff’s Department would like to make the general public of this county aware that the Scientology facilities are closed and not operating in Cannon County.

A number of Hollywood notables lend their shine to the cult, including:

Documentary film maker Alex Gibney has produced Going Clear, based on Wright’s book. I hope to obtain a copy and do a review.

Lock Her Up

What goes around…

Yes, it certainly does. ABC World News Tonight With David Muir had the story last night:

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was warned by the Pentagon against receiving payments from foreign governments in 2014 after leaving the Defense Intelligence Agency, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., revealed today.

Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, released three documents on Flynn, including a letter from the DIA counsel’s office in response to an inquiry from Flynn in October 2014.

The letter, a primer on ethics restrictions that apply to retired military officers, warned that Flynn was prohibited from receiving foreign payments without prior approval, under the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution.

“The Pentagon’s warning to Gen. Flynn was bold, italicized and could not have been clearer,” Cummings said at a news conference today.

That General Flynn did not pick up on this legal technicality is mind-numbing, considering he is an expert on criminal intent. As recently as last July he was giving sound legal advice to chanting  crowds.

It certainly does come around, doesn’t it.

Lock Her Up

What goes around…

Well, you know what follows.

Donald Trump’s first pick as his National Security Advisor was soon his ex pick for National Security Advisor. It was not the first time the retired lieutenant general was shown the door. The previous president had the pleasant task three years ago. As I previously wrote about that:

According to The New York Times, Flynn exhibited a loose relationship with facts, leading his subordinates to refer to Flynn’s repeated dubious assertions as “Flynn facts”

I have heard around baseball circles, “It’s not over until it’s over.” It’s not over.

Yesterday ABC World News Tonight with David Muir had the story (see the image above):

Today, a turning point. The top Republican and Democrat on the House Oversight Committee emerging in agreement, saying Flynn failed to disclose his business dealings with Russia and likely broke the law.

How many ways are there to say, “Lock her up!”

Yesterday’s edition of The New York Times has amplification:

Flynn May Have Broken Law by Not Disclosing Russia Dealings, Lawmakers Say

I have not polled my liberal, especially Democratic, friends on the matter, but for me there is no end to the joy I am obtaining. Watching Donald Trump and his administration fold under the weight of missteps and bold face lies is a sight to behold. We should quit whining and enjoy this while it lasts.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Dying to Believe

Some more of the same

Apparently Jesus does save. Saves on the cost of health care. Also the cost of college tuition and the cost of public schooling for children. Because with Jesus you don’t need all this stuff. Because you are by then with Jesus:

Pennsylvania pastor charged in faith-healing death of 2-year-old granddaughter

17 MAR 2017 AT 07:14 ET

A pastor in a fundamentalist Christian sect that rejects doctors and drugs has been charged in the death of a child — his own granddaughter — from medical neglect.

The novel prosecution is raising hopes among some advocates that it might spur change in a church that has resisted it.

Faith Tabernacle Congregation has long told adherents to place their trust in God alone for healing. As a result, dozens of children, mostly in Pennsylvania, have died of preventable and treatable illnesses.

Apparently we have not heard the last of Faith Tabernacle Congregation. Ella Foster has. She is with Jesus now.

Friday Funny

One of a series

Friday at last, and it’s time to shut down the work week with yet another comical criminal. This time it’s Charles Reardon of Great Falls, Montana. has the story:

How do we say this diplomatically? Best not to even try. Levi Charles Reardon was dumb enough to “like” his own wanted photo Facebook. When he was featured as a wanted fugitive on the Great Falls / Cascade County Crimestoppers Facebook page, he was compelled to click that thumbs up button.

In April the non-profit posted Reardon’s photo along with a brief description, they even offered a $2,500 reward to the person who had information leading to his arrest. Much to Crime Stopper’s surprise – Reardon responded to the post under his own name. Needless to say, it didn’t take police long to track him down.

I hope it’s not necessary for me to remind you how funny this is.

Friday Funny

One of a series

The above photo was posed for me by a professional actor, who signed a release to allow me to use the image. But it illustrates this week’s case of the funny criminal:

Burglar leaves cellphone at scene, authorities say

August 1, 2014|By Tonya Alanez, Sun Sentinel

Forgetfulness landed a burglar behind bars, police say.

After Wayne Wade, 46, broke into a Hollywood home, he left his cellphone on the victim’s bed, they say.

When Wade called to retrieve it, a police officer on scene heard it ringing and answered. Wade told the cop his name and said he needed his phone back, according to a police report a judge read from in court.

Fingerprint evidence from the phone has tied Wade to five other burglaries, Broward County Judge John “Jay” Hurley said.

Funny for us. Not so much so for Wayne. Check back next Friday for more.