single serving communion juice & crackers

Today I learned that this exists. I guess that if we postulate a deity capable of transforming the hypothetical "substance" of bread into a different "substance", said deity could perform this transubstantiation even through a plastic and foil container, but it seems to me that single-serving communion is sort of a contradiction in terms. "Let's share a meal -- as separately as possible."

communion cups - prefilled communion cup with wafers- commnion supplies

Save time and money! Prefilled Communion Cups have communion wafer and grape juice in a sanitary, disposable, single serving container!

Pennsylvania woman sentenced for helping daughter end unwanted pregnancy

Here's what happens when you restrict access to abortion, folks.

Pennsylvania mother who gave daughter abortion pill gets prison (Yahoo News)

Whalen was sentenced on Friday by Montour County Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary Norton to serve 12 months to 18 months in prison for violating a state law that requires abortions to be performed by physicians.

...

Whalen told authorities there was no local clinic available to perform an abortion and her daughter did not have health insurance to cover a hospital abortion, the Press Enterprise newspaper of Bloomsburg reported.

...

The closest abortion clinic to Whalen's home is about 74 miles away in Harrisburg.

The Economist defends slavery

From the "OMG are you Fing kidding me" department: The Economist -- a magazine widely respected by mainstream conservatives -- published a review of Edward Baptist's book The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. The anonymous reviewer(s) actually complained that "Slaves were valuable property....slave owners surely had a vested interest in keeping their “hands” ever fitter and stronger to pick more cotton. Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains. This is not history; it is advocacy."

The “slavery wasn’t THAT bad!” book review in The Economist, the hashtag that came from it, and some observations

History professor Will Mackintosh has an interesting explanation as to how the review survived editorial scrutiny, and why the visceral response to it seems to have taken them by surprise:

Here’s my theory: as a magazine, The Economist is perhaps the most articulate, erudite defender of the neoliberal capitalist order. They are too smart to waste their time as Laffer curve snake-oil salesmen or crude economic nationalist...the main commitment of their reporting and their commentary is to defend late modern global capitalism as an economic and moral good.... And that’s why they don’t like Baptist’s book: it demonstrates unequivocally that modern capitalism was born in blood. Let me say that again: whatever else you might say about capitalism, it took on its characteristic modern forms of capital accumulation and labor “management” in the context of American slavery. For a group of journalists with a deep, almost unarticulated commitment to modern capitalism’s fundamental benevolence, this is an uncomfortable truth indeed.

...The book has to be wrong, because if it isn’t, then capitalism isn’t an inherently moral economic system. And it has to be wrong specifically in its description of how capitalism exploits labor.... [B]ecause otherwise, the book gets uncomfortably to the reality that modern capitalism gets its increases in productivity at the expense of its workers, too.

U.S. Air Force demands airman make religious oath

There has been a definite and disturbing effort the past few years to push secularism out of the U.S. military.

Group: Airman denied reenlistment for refusing to say 'so help me God' (Air Force Times)

An atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was denied reenlistment last month for refusing to take an oath containing “so help me God,” the American Humanist Association said Thursday.

...

According to the AHA, the unnamed airman was told Aug. 25 that the Air Force would not accept his contract because he had crossed out the phrase “so help me God.” The airman was told his only options were to sign the religious oath section of the contract without adjustment and recite an oath concluding with “so help me God,” or leave the Air Force, the AHA said.

That is unconstitutional and unacceptable, the AHA said.

"knee defender"?

Wait, this is a thing? There are people think it's ok to use a gizmo that breaks other people's seats?

Knee Defender Passenger Speaks Out About In-Flight Dispute (The Huffington Post)

...When the jet was airborne, Beach took out his laptop to review a contract for his company, which develops waste recycling facilities, primarily in Russia. He used the Knee Defender — a Christmas gift a few years ago from his wife — to prevent the woman in front from reclining.

...

"I put them in maybe a third of the time. Usually, the person in front tries (to recline) their seat a couple of times, and then they forget about it," Beach said. The device comes with a courtesy card to tell passengers that you've blocked them, but he doesn't use it.

"I'd rather just kind of let them think the seat is broken, rather than start a confrontation," he said.

Bmore PD shows why "good cops" are a rarity

The "blue wall of silence" strikes again. American policing has been thoroughly corrupted by this culture, and as a result any citizen dealing with an LEO must assume the worst until proven otherwise. Good cops would like to change that, but this culture does its damnedest to either push those good cops out or corrupt them.

City Police Detective Plans To Leave After Alleged Intimidation - CBS Baltimore

A Baltimore City police detective who claims he’s been intimidated on the job is leaving the force. He says he’s been harassed since testifying against fellow officers who were convicted in a misconduct case.

...

Detective Joe Crystal will no longer be a member of the Baltimore City police force. His lawyer says his work environment has become intolerable since Crystal testified against an officer and sergeant who were later convicted of misconduct. That intimidation against Crystal included somebody putting a dead rat on his windshield.

BP found "reckless", grossly negligent in 2010 spill

Not that they'll face significant penalties for it of course, and indeed the whole thing may still be thrown out on appeal.

BP Found Grossly Negligent in 2010 Spill; Fines May Rise (Bloomberg)

BP acted with gross negligence in setting off the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, a federal judge ruled...

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier held a trial without a jury over who was at fault for the environmental catastrophe, which killed 11 people and spewed oil for almost three months into waters that touch the shores of five states. The case also included Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton Co., though the judge didn’t find them as responsible for the spill as BP.

“BP’s conduct was reckless,” Barbier wrote in a decision today in New Orleans federal court. “Transocean’s conduct was negligent. Halliburton’s conduct was negligent.”

Japan ready to invest $5 billion in Baltimore-Washington maglev train

Yes, please. It's past time to have real passenger rail service in the U.S.

Backers of high-speed 'maglev' train to Washington claim $5 billion in funding (baltimoresun.com)

An investor group hoping to build a high-speed train capable of cutting the travel time between Baltimore and Washington to 15 minutes says in a filing to state regulators that it has lined up more than $5 billion in financial backing.

The commitment is from the Japanese government...

...

The details were included in Rapid Rail's filing Wednesday asking Maryland regulators for the old state franchise rights of the former Washington Baltimore & Annapolis Electric Railroad, a once-busy interurban electric rail car system that linked the three cities in the early 20th century.

"In a back-to-the-future type way, you see that there was already a Baltimore-Washington service that previously existed ... sort of sitting on the shelf waiting for people to pull it off and dust it off, for us to get back to providing what they had in 1935," said Wayne Rogers, a major shareholder...

could systemd kerfluffle move people to BSD?

An interesting possibility...

You have your Windows in my Linux (InfoWorld)

I see one common thread in the heated discussions over systemd. The most vocal proponents of systemd seem to be singular desktop users, whereas server admins and architects lean the other way. An exchange on one of my recent posts showcases this. User ZincKidd comments, "BSD is looking better and better...." In reply, Adam Jorgensen notes, "Good luck running it on your laptop :-)".

With all due respect, Adam, I'm not going to run RHEL 7 on my laptop either. I'm going to run it on servers, and that is a vastly different workload. Nobody here is talking about laptops.

In another post, pro-systemd commenter Luya Tshimbalanga disparages runlevels as being "unclear." He later says the basic 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 runlevels that have been part of every Unix derivative are somehow too complex. When asked to whom those runlevels are unclear, he states: "New generation of administrators and users. You asked because you are already familiar with the init numbers term but future administrators won't without documentation. Init numbers are arbitrary and mean nothing on their own."

I don't mean to pick on these few, but they're indicative of a larger trend toward users who appear to believe that reading manuals and learning OS internals is bad, and we should plaster over all of that mumbo-jumbo with a nice, sleek -- and completely opaque -- management layer. For example: systemd.

I believe this thinking is pretty much in line with Microsoft's train of thought back in the early 1990s.

Russia threatening nuclear attack on Ukraine

Welcome to the end of the world, folks. In a surprise upset, it's not going to be runaway climate change, post-peak-oil crisis, or a massive disease epidemic, but a come-from-behind victory for nuclear armageddon.

Russia Has Threatened Nuclear Attack, Says Ukraine Defence Minister (Newsweek)

“The Russian side has threatened on several occasions across unofficial channels that, in the case of continued resistance they are ready to use a tactical nuclear weapon against us,” Heletey’s statement reads.

...

Putin also alluded to potential nuclear conflict when he told Russian youth campers last week: "Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia," he said. "I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.”

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