There’s Another 9/11 Memorial Cross Controversy, This Time in Princeton (New Jersey)

Princeton (New Jersey) Fire Company deputy chief Roy James really wants to put up a 9/11 memorial in the city. The centerpiece would be a 10-foot-long steel beam from the wreckage of the World Trade Center… but it has a cross cut out of it.

And that’s the problem: Is this really about honoring the victims of 9/11 or promoting Christianity by way of an emotionally-charged display that no one has the heart to say no to?



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Clark County (Washington) Officials Find an Underhanded Way to Pass an Unpopular “In God We Trust” Proposal

Last week, I wrote about how Clark County (Washington) officials had tabled a discussion to put up an “In God We Trust” sign after the proposal saw a lot of resistance: After hearing about two hours of public testimony — during which about two-thirds of the speakers opposed the controversial proposal — [Councilor Tom] Mielke [Read More…]

Could ISIS Forces Attack Italy?

“Italy Fears ISIS Invasion From Lybia,” trumpets a headline in the Daily Beast. The prospect of such a thing initially seems silly and far-fetched, but author Barbie Latza Nadeau, who also contributes to NPR and Newsweek, explains why Italians are worried.

[T]here is no question that there is a palpable tension in Italy over the ISIS threat — Libya is just 109 miles away from the island of Lampedusa and 300 miles from Sicily — made worse by a 64 percent increase in illegal migrant arrivals by sea since last year.  In all of 2014, more than 170,000 people arrived from Libya and Turkey, the highest number ever recorded. Last weekend, as the embassy staff [from the recently-shuttered Italian embassy in Tripoli] made their way to Italy on a mercantile ship, 2,164 migrants left the same Libyan shores en route to Sicily.

Nadeau says the young, untested, and teetering Italian government is taking the ISIS threat seriously. Last week, on Twitter, ISIS members posted links to a video of 21 Coptic Christians being beheaded. That video was titled “A Message Signed With Blood To The Nation Of The Cross.” The title of another recent ISIS production was “We are south of Rome.”

Pure bluster? Perhaps. Reports Nadeau:

Italy has only 5,000 troops available that are even close to deployable, according to the defense ministry. … [T]he military budget was cut by 40 percent two years ago, which has kept the acquisition of 90 F-35 fighter jets hanging in the balance and left the country combat-challenged to lead any mission — especially one against an enemy like the Islamic State. … Anti-immigration politicians have argued for months that it would take little for jihadi fighters to infiltrate a migrant boat and effectively end up taxied into Italy by rescue ships and the Italian navy.



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Tennessee Legislator Wants to Amend State Constitution to Say Our Liberties Come from “God, Our Creator and Savior”

Tennessee State Rep. James Van Huss (below) has proposed a resolution, HJR0071, that has a very simple straightforward premise:

Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Tennessee recognizing that our liberties do not come from governments, but from Almighty God, our Creator and Savior.

It’s also known, as of this moment, as the “Suck it, atheists!” resolution.

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Obama-Bashing Victoria Jackson Wasn’t on SNL’s Anniversary Show, but Here She Does Her Own “Comedy” Thing

Gay-hating Tea Partier and rape apologist Victoria Jackson was at Saturday Night Live‘s 40th-anniversary show this past weekend, but not in it. Jackson denies that her political views had anything to do with being kept off the special episode, and I hope that’s true. She shouldn’t be excluded because she’s a right-winger. Rather, she should be excluded because, as Jessica Bluemke wrote on this site two years ago,

What I … naïvely mistook for quirkiness [in her SNL days] was just thinly-veiled legitimate lunacy.

OK, even lunacy can be beguiling in a comic (ladies and gentlemen, Andy Kaufman!), but I can’t understand who gets a belly laugh out of Jackson’s antics these days, or why.

Here are the comedienne’s latest six minutes of YouTube artistry.



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