Wednesday’s Random Stuff

– For years I’ve been saying that the “Drug War” isn’t really a war on “drugs”, it’s a war on “people” and a war on “civil rights”. And now the blue-ribbon Global Commission on Drug Policy agrees with me. The panel, which includes “former presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, Greece’s prime minister, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former U.S. officials George P. Schultz and Paul Volcker, the writers Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, and British billionaire Richard Branson” has concluded “that criminalization and repressive measures have failed with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world” and recommends decriminalizing many drugs, especially marijuana. Predictably, White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske called the report “misguided”.

– Delta Airlines has discontinued the discount it once offered for checking bags online. A Delta spokesperson called the move a “competitive response”… because no other airline offered such a discount. So yes, Delta thinks it’s becoming more competitive by removing something that used to make it unique. The mind boggles. Read more here.

– Speaking of confusing, The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church are paving the way to approving same sex unions. However (and you’ve gotta love this), the two denominations are careful to differentiate between “marriages’ and “same sex unions”. Heterosexual couples in TEC and ELCA will only be able to get traditional marriage ceremonies and not the “civil union” ceremony gay couples can get. Why? Lutheran Bishop Wayne Miller said: “If pastors start performing civil unions, it sets up a very confusing message about whether or not this church still holds marriage as the standard for how a man and a woman enter into a lifelong commitment with one another”. Why thank you, Bishop, that all makes perfect sense!

– Since the Anglican Communion is going to hell anyway (in North America and England at least), you might as well have fun with it. The English church of St Mary The Virgin, in Surrey, has doubled their average Sunday attendance (ASA) since hiring Stephanie Nadarajah as a vicar:

Stephanie Nadarajah

To her credit, the 29 year-old Nadarajah has a theology degree from Cambridge and worked at a few high-level jobs at the NHS before becoming a vicar, so she’s a pretty smart cookie in addition to having a pretty face.

– Speaking of “pretty English girls with strange jobs”, Harriet Haslam-Greene was a model. Now she’s a soldier, stationed in Afghanistan with The Highlanders, 4th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

– And what would a news update be without a strange story from England? Tom Clarke, a 15 year-old boy, was kicking a soccer ball around the back yard of a pub when he accidentally kicked the ball through a glass panel in a neighbor’s green house. Like most teenagers, the scared teen fled the scene. The owner of the greenhouse, perhaps understandably, called police. But when the cops couldn’t find a suspect, they called in a helicopter with a thermal imaging camera! What should have been a teenage accident turned into something from a Will Smith summer blockbuster, and instead of the “stern talking to” you might have expected Clarke to get, he now faces criminal charges.

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