Friday Funny

Number 80 of a series

A Burger King in Cadiz, Spain

Humor comes in multiple flavors. Sometimes it is somebody else’s bad luck. Other times it is something so bizarre you cannot imagine somebody doing it. Like this:

A randy couple are facing jail for allegedly making a series of explicit public porno films including one in a Burger King.

Police in Louisiana say they discovered images which suggest the pair filmed graphic scenes inside a public library, supermarket and the popular fast food restaurant.

The Smoking Gun reports the married couple are now facing obscenity charges — which could lead to a jail term.

Funny for us. Not so much for  Elizabeth and Rex Jernigan. Out on bail, the pair are exploiting the publicity to promote their porn site. They have truly come to conclude that at Burger King you can have it your way.

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Dying to Believe

Some more of the same

Neglecting a child’s life-threatening illness and allowing the child to die in the name of religious liberty is a criminal offense and also an offense to the name of religious liberty. Seth M. Asser and Rita Swan,—researchers respectively with the Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego,
School of Medicine, San Diego, California, and Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD), Inc, Sioux City, Iowa—published their research in 1998 in Pediatrics Vol. 101 No. 4. Here is the abstract:

ABSTRACT. Objective. To evaluate deaths of children from families in which faith healing was practiced in lieu of medical care and to determine if such deaths were preventable.

Design. Cases of child fatality in faith-healing sects were reviewed. Probability of survival for each was then estimated based on expected survival rates for children with similar disorders who receive medical care.

Participants. One hundred seventy-two children who died between 1975 and 1995 and were identified by referral or record search. Criteria for inclusion were evidence that parents withheld medical care because of reliance on religious rituals and documentation sufficient
to determine the cause of death.

Results. One hundred forty fatalities were from conditions for which survival rates with medical care would have exceeded 90%. Eighteen more had expected survival rates of >50%. All but 3 of the remainder would likely have had some benefit from clinical help.

Conclusions. When faith healing is used to the exclusion of medical treatment, the number of preventable child fatalities and the associated suffering are substantial and warrant public concern. Existing laws may be inadequate to protect children from this form of medical
neglect. Pediatrics 1998;101:625–629; child abuse, child neglect, child fatality, Christian Science, faith healing, medical neglect, prayer, religion and medicine.

Among their findings, the two noted this:

A total of 23 denominations from 34 states were represented in this study. Five groups accounted for 83% of the total fatalities (Table 4). Several states had totals disproportionate to population. There were 50 from Indiana, home of the Faith Assembly. Pennsylvania
had 16 fatalities, including 14 from the Faith Tabernacle. The Church of the First Born accounted for the majority of 15 deaths in neighboring Oklahoma and Colorado. In South Dakota there were 5 deaths from the End Time Ministries. Nationwide, the Christian Science church had 28 deaths in the study.

Contacts with public agencies and mandated reporters of suspected child neglect were not unusual among the children. Believing they were powerless in the face of the parents’ wishes, some teachers ignored obvious symptoms and sent lessons home to bedridden children. Some social workers and law enforcement officers allowed parents to decline examinations of children reported to be ill. Public officials did not investigate the deaths of some children.

One teenager asked teachers for help getting medical care for fainting spells, which she had been refused at home. She ran away from home, but law enforcement returned her to the custody of her father. She died 3 days later from a ruptured appendix.

A premature girl was delivered successfully at a hospital after her twin brother died during a home birth. Her mild respiratory distress syndrome resolved after 4 days of oxygen and other minimally invasive support. She then developed progressively severe apneic spells. The medical staff acquiesced to the parents’ request not to transfer the child to a higher level unit, despite an expected good prognosis. She died 2 days later when she could not be
resuscitated after a respiratory arrest.

The image at the top is from a post by a Facebook friend, and I know this person to express strong religious belief. Additionally, the screen shot from my Facebook feed captured three comments to Dan’s posting, and there were three more I did not capture.

It is impossible to escape the conclusion that in many cases parents are choosing allegiance to religious belief over their duty to their children. And may Jesus have mercy on their souls.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks.

When it comes to protecting yourself and your property, the Second Amendment is your right to arm yourself. What could possibly go wrong?

BONNEY LAKE, Wash. — A woman has died after being hit by a stray bullet in what appears to be a tragic accident. Deputies said she was shot in the head when a man was running down the street firing at someone who was stealing his car.

According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, witnesses called 911 shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday to report hearing ten gunshots in the Prairie Ridge Area.

This citizen has the National Rifle Association to thank for (almost) keeping his property safe.

People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 19

Laura Ingraham has been popping up on my news feeds for the past few years, always in relation to some conservative viewpoint. I never paid much attention before. It’s time. From Wikipedia:

Laura Anne Ingraham (born June 19, 1963) is an American TV and radio talk show host, author, and conservative political commentator. She hosts the nationally syndicated radio show, The Laura Ingraham Show, is the editor-in-chief of LifeZette, a long time Fox News Channel contributor, and starting October 30, 2017 will host her own FNC show, The Ingraham Angle, weeknights at 10 p.m.

All right. I’m comfortable with that. Here’s what brings me some distress:

Ingraham: “I also think we should remember that we’ve done a lot to kick Christianity, God, to the curb in our society in the way we treat each other, in some government policy, in our schools”

That’s from a recent post on MediaMatters. The quote is apparently from a session of Fox & Friends on 3 October. There is some more, but the salient point is the matter of kicking God to the curb. Others commented:

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): You mentioned religion. We all have our cross to bear, right? We all are sinners, and we fall short. This guy, his brother said, did not have religion in his life. You wear your cross. I heard you last night say you went to St. Patrick’s to pray. There were a lot of people there lighting candles and praying. And then I heard you say Big & Rich, when they sang on stage “God Bless America” an hour before some of [the concertgoers] were killed to go meet God, that you said that was such a gift to their families, and I agree with you.

Earhardt remarks the Las Vegas shooter had no religion, and she mentions this as though it were significant. The fact is, having a religion seems not to matter when it comes to mass murder:

How much does it cost to kill 14 people and terrorize a city?

About $4,500, according to an NBC News analysis of the pre-tax cost of the guns and explosives assembled by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik for their attack on an office holiday party in San Bernardino, California on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

In this case two deeply religious people went on a killing spree, all in the name of religion. To be sure, Ingraham and others will argue this is not the religion they want in our schools. Really? These people prayed to the same God that Christians and Jews pray to. It’s the God of Abraham, the same Abraham who was willing to kill his son on instructions from God. But it’s not Christianity. That makes a difference?

Eric Robert Rudolph (born September 19, 1966), also known as the Olympic Park Bomber, is an American domestic terrorist convicted for a series of anti-abortion and anti-gay-motivated bombings across the southern United States between 1996 and 1998, which killed two people and injured over 120 others.

Rudolph is not alone in demonstrating that Christian belief is no inoculation against mayhem:

James Charles Kopp (born August 2, 1954) is an American citizen who was convicted in 2003 for the 1998 sniper-style murder of Barnett Slepian, an American physician from Amherst, New York who performed abortions. Prior to his capture, Kopp was on the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. On June 7, 1999 he had become the 455th fugitive placed on the list by the FBI. He was affiliated with the militant Roman Catholic anti-abortion group known as “The Lambs of Christ“.

“Lambs of Christ,” indeed. When do we get to meet the Goats of Christ. But I wax sarcastic. Issues with Laura Ingraham run deeper. Getting back to the Las Vegas shooting:

On the October 5 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group’s The Laura Ingraham Show, host Laura Ingraham used her platform to spread conspiracy theories about the massacre in Las Vegas, NV. Ingraham claimed photos of the shooter’s room “were selectively leaked” to the media and “look[ed] like a scene from a Law & Order” episode because everything is “perfectly laid down.” Ingraham implied that these selective photos were staged and leaked to support Democrats who were “speaking from the same [gun control] script” since the attack. Ingraham also baselessly suggested that the shooter was inexperienced with firearms and “clearly in poor health” to cast doubt on the possibility he acted alone.

To be sure, law enforcement agencies are thinking the shooter may have had an accomplice, but it’s not due to his state of health. Unlike many jihadists of late, the Las Vegas shooter appeared to have an escape plan. That said, no accomplice has been identified. The above from MediaMatters is a summation. A pertinent quote is in order:

INGRAHAM: Selective leaking of photos. The press has an overwhelming lack of curiosity as to why those photos were selectively leaked, and where are the other photos? Where are the press folks asking questions about the check-in of Mr. Paddock? When he checked-in by himself, 10 significant-sized bags that held these weapons? Where’s that? Where’s the video? You’re releasing video of body cam — like one body cam video, as far as I can tell just one. You know all those police officers had body cams. One body cam video. And these pictures of the cart and the — it’s just very curious. But you notice how the media, they’re only on gun control. They’re not on — well, wait a second. How is this even possible for one man, with no significant weapons training —

I note from Wikipedia that “In 2012, Ingraham was rated as the No. 5 radio show in America,” and that is telling on the American audience. The quote above indicates there is not a boat load of deep insight going to waste here. And, yes, you guessed it. Ingraham is not alone in casting about for conspiracies. My Facebook feed is alive with them [a bunch of stuff deleted]:

If Ingraham has issues with deep insight, she has ample company. May Jesus have mercy on our souls.

People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 18

It is becoming apparent a bunch of people did not get the memo. It is wrong to believe in false stuff, and it especially wrong to believe in false and stupid stuff. Some people are unclear on the concept. Who, you might ask? How about a favorite of all, former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson:

Yes, Pat Robertson blamed the Vegas shooting on ‘disrespect’ for Trump and the national anthem

The Las Vegas attack was the result of disrespect for President Trump, televangelist Pat Robertson told his viewers Monday.

There is “violence in the streets,” Robertson said, because “we have disrespected authority. There is profound disrespect for our president, all across this nation. They say terrible things about him. It’s in the news; it’s in other places.”

That is, of course, depressing to hear. People disrespecting the President of the United States. Even worse, it’s causing death and destruction. Particularly, 58 (one count is 59) people were murdered at a Las Vegas musical concert Sunday night, and over 500 were injured. I would be the last to downplay the connection, but I’m thinking this may deserve some Skeptical Analysis.

First, an analysis of what motivated the supposed shooter, one Stephen Paddock. Obviously he was thrown off track by all the indignities being heaped upon the current president. The connection is clear. Clear, that is, to former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson. Drawing that conclusion from the void of evidence spilling out of the case takes a mind of immense comprehension. Or else a mind of immense disjuncture. I will leave it up to the reader to decide which.

Then there is the matter of scorn being heaped on a sitting president. Pat may have a point there.

Anyhow, these came across my wire, mostly by way of Facebook, in the past months. How’s that for respecting the office of President of the United States? But then, nothing has been said about disrespect for President Trump. So, let’s talk about it.

Are you tired yet of disrespecting this President? I’m not. I’m just getting warmed up.

Meanwhile, Pat, while you still have two braincells to keep each other company, think before you make any more absurd statements.

Snowflake-in-Chief

Number 37 of a series

Did I? Yes, I’m sure I did. I already mentioned I subscribe to a newsletter from the Media Research Center (MRC).  They are a news-corralling outfit with a conservative bent. They figure mainstream news outlets are slanted left, and their aim is to provide a right-leaning shove. They provide an enlightening look at the hurt pride of conservatives, who think the world is not giving them a fair shake. That said, here is something from a recent missive:

The double standard at CNN is stark. The cable news network can’t seem to find much time for the three-week long unfolding drama of the corruption trial of sitting Democratic Senator Robert Menendez from NJ. But it found nearly 2 hours in just one day to cover HHS Secretary Tom Price’s flights on private jets.

The item includes a link:

By Mike Ciandella | September 29, 2017 4:35 PM EDT

The double standard at CNN is stark. The cable news network can’t seem to find much time for the three-week long unfolding drama of the corruption trial of sitting Democratic Senator Robert Menendez from NJ. But it found nearly 2 hours in just one day to cover HHS Secretary Tom Price’s flights on private jets (this coverage was all before Price’s resignation).

Yes, that does sound a bit one-sided. All this talk about Tom Price’s obsession with plane travel and barely a squeak on the notorious Senator Menendez. Indeed, CNN’s most recent coverage, from a Google search, is four days old:

Menendez prosecutors begin tying friend’s campaign donations to senator’s political favors

Newark, New Jersey (CNN)An official at US Customs and Border Protection told jurors at Sen. Bob Menendez’s federal bribery trial Thursday that she received a “somewhat odd” request from the New Jersey Democrat’s staffer on January 11, 2013, asking the agency to hold off delivering cargo scanning equipment to the Dominican Republic.

And more, of course. Considering there may have been television content not posted to the Internet, I checked YouTube and could find nothing more recent. What could be the reason CNN is not dragging the Menendez trial across the screen hourly, while it’s jumping all over former Secretary Price’s ride fest? What, indeed?

Could it be the facts of the Menendez case have been aired for months and years, and the trial is a public rehash? And the Tom Price affair hit the pavement with a bounce over the past few days? Could be.

Note to the MRC, if conservatives feel feel they can’t get a break from the world of real news, there are some things they can do to turn this around. Here are some suggestions to get them started:

  • Quit denying the science behind biological evolution.
  • Quit pretending there is a magical person in the sky who smiles on American conservative values.
  • Quit insisting that guns do not kill people.
  • Shake loose that corrosive element of white supremacists and Nazis who dog your campaign rallies.
  • Quit promoting and electing a presidential candidate whose campaign comprised a 15-month long litany of bald-faced lies and personal insults.

When you get that cleared off your plate, come back, and I will give you the second installment. It took conservatives decades to dig the hole they’re in. They should not expect a miracle fix by the end of the year.

And may Jesus have mercy on your souls.

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks.

Because of the National Rifle Association and its defense of the right of all Americans to carry firearms, this is the safest country in the world—with a few exceptions:

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Attorneys completed closing arguments in the murder trial of Shawn Smith, 26, on Tuesday.  Smith is one of three men accused in the shooting death of a 13-month-old Elijah Johnson back in January 2016.

Smith took the stand in his own defense Tuesday.  He testified that he was in fear for his life in what police describe as a drive-by style shooting.

According to police reports, the shooting was sparked after Isaiah Smith robbed the defendant and Dontay King earlier that day.  The prosecution argued that S. Smith and King were enraged over the robbery and went on a manhunt for Isaiah that night and opened fire while he [Isaiah] was holding the toddler.

I mean, man, the police aren’t going to  be there when somebody takes your stuff. It’s up to you and your trusty handgun to take matters in hand and defend your rights. Too bad about the baby. Maybe next time.

People Unclear

I’m posting enough of these I need to recognize a series. This is number 12.

I get a bunch of my story ideas from Facebook. Let me restate that. I get almost all my story ideas from Facebook. This one came through my feed yesterday, courtesy of a Facebook friend. See the image. It’s a screen shot from Facebook, and I’ve turned down the brightness so  you can read the name of the originating publication at the bottom. It’s TheFederalist.com. And here’s what’s interesting.

The lined story was posted by Bre Payton, who is a staff writer covering culture and millennial politics, and she has some interesting things to say about the just started trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey:

Media Won’t Talk About Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s Corruption Trial

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s upcoming corruption trial has gotten very little attention from members of the media. When they do talk about it, they like to leave out the fact he’s a Democrat.

And that is strange on two levels. First, the media—meaning mean stream news outlets—pay little attention to (do not report much on) the Senator Menendez trial. Second, when they do talk about it, they neglect to mention that Menendez is a Democrat. Double strange, because double false.

Mainstream media have been reporting on the Menendez trial. CNN:

Newark, New Jersey (CNN)As he walked into the federal courthouse in New Jersey, Sen. Bob Menendez became emotional.

Speaking to reporters gathered in the rain Wednesday, he appeared to choke back tears as his son and daughter stood by his side.
“Never, not once, not once have I dishonored my public office,” said Menendez, a Democrat.

ABC:

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford” by accepting luxury trips and other favors from a wealthy doctor seeking political influence, a government prosecutor told jurors Wednesday during opening statements of the Democrat’s corruption trial.

CBS:

A federal prosecutor said Wednesday the case against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is about a corrupt politician who, “sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn’t afford, and a greedy eye doctor,” CBS News’ Pat Milton and Erica Brown report.

Prosecutor Peter Koski methodically and meticulously laid out the U.S. government’s corruption case against 63-year-old Menendez, a Democrat, who is charged with accepting bribes including lavish vacations and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Salomon Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye doctor, in exchange for political influence and favors to advance his business interests.

NBC:

WASHINGTON — The first U.S. senator to face bribery charges in nearly four decades goes on trial Wednesday in a case that could affect the Senate’s partisan makeup and the fate of President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda.

Robert Menendez, a Democrat in his 12th year as a senator from New Jersey, is charged with using his influence to do favors for a Florida eye doctor accused of overbilling Medicare. In return, prosecutors say, the doctor treated Menendez to “a lavish lifestyle that included private jet rides and vacations in Paris and the Caribbean.”

The New York Times:

Since his indictment more than two years ago, Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence, and last week he reiterated that. “I am going to be exonerated,” he said in a brief interview on Wednesday with reporters following a rally protesting President Trump’s immigration policies.

I am not too sure how many of these mainstream media sources I am supposed to name in order to reveal that mainstream media are covering the Menendez trial. And they are calling him a Democrat. And they have been calling him a democrat for years. From The New York Times, 7 March 2015:

For decades, Senator Robert Menendez has been one of the immovable objects of New Jersey politics. Even now, staring down expected criminal charges, the Democratic lawmaker has vowed not to give way.

So, what am I missing here? I suspect what I am missing is that Bre Payton, who reports on culture and millennial politics, has now taken a turn at writing about the news—without first reading the news.

I am guessing some of the people who commented on the Facebook post are in the same situation. Here are some comments on Facebook, without naming names:

It wouldn’t surprise me if the piece is right about it being under-reported, especially the fact that he is a Democrat. Like the author says, the NY Times piece neglected to say he was a Democrat until it was edited a few hours later, and even then it was placed in the fourth paragraph. I would lay odds that if Menendez had been a Republican, the Times would have featured that fact much more prominently, maybe even in the title.

Imagine if he were a hated Republican. It would be a top story and the only story in many cases. As things are everyone expects that Democrats lie cheat and steal so it’s not news.

Imagine if you were actually adding something to the conversation rather than spouting off emotionally charged nonsense…

Hmmmm…. So you don’t think that pointing out the contrast between the way that “the media” treats republicans and democrats is adding anything. It’s not nonsense because it’s true. It’s also not emotionally charged, just a simple observation. Just trying to understand. You must be one of those that thinks that there is no real difference in the way that the media treats public figures. Either that or you think that all republicans are bad and so deserved to be treated differently. Which is it?

Apparently a bit of persecution complex is showing. To paraphrase, “The mainstream heads won’t hype the dirt unless it’s about a Republican.” For “Republican” you can substitute “conservative” or “Christian” or “white person.”

For the record, I’ve been on the story for several years:

This is another one of those posts. Sometimes (often times) people just don’t seem to get the point. In this case it’s Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey:

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors charged Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and wealthy donor Salomon Melgen on Wednesday with participating in a long-running bribery scheme.

New Jersey’s senior senator used his office to benefit the Florida eye doctor in exchange for nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions, prosecutors say.

68-page indictment outlines 14 criminal counts against Menendez, 61, including eight counts of bribery. Melgen, a 61-year-old West Palm Beach, Fla., ophthalmologist, faces 13 counts, also including eight bribery counts.

That’s from 2 April 2015. Maybe Bre Payton needs to follow my blog.

To be sure, Bre Payton’s story posted to The Federalist pointed out that The New York Times was slow coming around to the fact that Menendez is a Democrat:

On Sunday, The New York Times published a 1,288-word article about the trial, which begins Wednesday, without once mentioning Menendez’s political party affiliation. The newspaper of record then stealth-edited the piece hours later. The updated version identifies the New Jersey senator once in the fourth paragraph as a Democrat.

I like the phrase “stealth-edited.” Stealthy. In the middle of the night. When nobody was looking. So nobody would notice the Times was trying to play favorites. Good try, Payton, and welcome to the world of real news. If you worked for a real news outlet you would know it works something like this:

Editor: Nick [Corasaniti], did you write this? (Of course he did.)

Nick: Yes (gulp), sir.

Editor: I just read it. It’s already on the streets. You failed to mention Menendez is a Democrat.

Nick: Oops!

Editor: Fix it right now. Fix the on-line edition and print a correction in today’s edition.

I would like to contrast that with how things are done in the not-so-mainstream media:

The conspiracy-choked story of Seth Rich’s killing has made a sudden comeback thanks to Fox News, but the latest reporting seems to have generated more controversy than credibility.

Rich’s family is demanding a retraction from Fox for airing unsubstantiated claims about the Democratic National Committee staffer, whose death last year generated a wild river of theories and innuendo about who was behind it.

Fox’s latest reporting on the unsolved crime has an odd twist: Much of its work relies on a private investigator who is also a Fox News contributor. The investigator, in turn, is being funded by a frequent Fox News guest.

I would not bother to bring up this item, except that with Fox News this has been the modus operandi for much of its existence. Please do not ask me to cite additional examples, and I will not ask you to read them when I post them.

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.