The crimes of children

A six-year-old was suspended from the first grade in a D.C. suburb for pointing his finger like a gun and saying “pow.”  Alexandra Petri reflects on other crimes committed by children:

What about all the kids who get away, every year, with spreading “cooties”? Clearly, this is a threat of biological warfare. They should be expelled — then quarantined.

What about all the kids who climb into boxes and announce that they are rocket ships? This violates lots of building codes, and those crafts are clearly not spaceworthy.

What about the kids who simulate car crashes with their plastic cars? Cars are far deadlier weapons than finger-guns, and you need a license to drive them. Where are their licenses?

Do you know the number of innocent cruise ships, liners, and rubber ducks sunk by careless six-year-old children daily? It makes the regime of Pol Pot pale by comparison.

Hide and seek? Sounds Nazi.

What about all the kids who build block towers? Surely that’s a violation both of union rules and safety codes. Where are their helmets? Why aren’t they being compensated? How dare they do it on weekends?

What about all the children, six and older, who create Monopolies, control large swaths of Boardwalk, and charge onerous rates to hotel visitors? [Read more…]

A movie about Pontius Pilate

This sounds like it has the potential to be a terrific movie.  Mike Fleming has seen the script:

Brad Pitt is circling the title role in Warner Bros‘ Pontius Pilate, the drama about one of history’s most vilified figures. The studio acquired a script by Woman On Top scribe Vera Blasi with Mark Johnson producing through his Gran Via banner. Pitt is not committed, but it could well move that way quickly.

I revealed this project last summer, when the studio acquired Blasi’s script. I got hold of a draft and it’s very strong stuff and has the makings of a compelling period big budget film. This script follows the evolution of Lucius Pontius Pilate from the sensitive son of a Roman Knight into a ferocious soldier whose warrior exploits make him a general and puts him on a political track under the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Promised a military governorship in Egypt, Pilate is instead assigned by Tiberius to become the prefect of Judea, at a time when Jerusalem was a cauldron of religious tensions between various factions of the Jewish faith. Pilate veers from the political fast track into the express lane to hell and historical infamy. Rather than a straight ahead Biblical film, Blasi’s script reads almost like a Biblical era Twilight Zone episode in which a proud, capable Roman soldier gets in way over his head. His arrogance and inability to grasp the devoutness of the citizenry and its hatred for the Roman occupiers and their pagan gods leads him to make catastrophic decisions. All of this puts him in a desperate situation and in need of public approval when he is asked to decide the fate of a 33-year old rabbi accused by religious elders of claiming he is King of the Jews. [Read more…]

No one elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame

For only the 8th time in history, no veteran ballplayer got elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Not the one with the home run record for both a single season and for a career.  (That would be Barry Bonds.)   Not the pitcher with the third-highest strikeout total in history.  (That would be Roger Clemens.)  Not a slew of other players with better records than some of those already enshrined in the Hall of Fame.  Why not?  This is the steroid generation.  From sportswriter Tim Brown:

On a day when 569 voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America could not agree on a single worthy candidate, Barry Bonds, the greatest hitter in the game, fell short by 221 votes. Roger Clemens, the best pitcher of his generation, missed by 213.

The outcome will be viewed as overdue justice or an outrageous injustice, depending on your heart and timeline. The system worked or it is irretrievably broken. The ballot was a statement. Or an exercise in mass confusion, coupled with dereliction of duty.

Near the end, Hall president Jeff Idelson, a good man in a difficult spot, withdrew a white piece of paper from a serious-looking envelope, arched his eyebrow and announced the result: bupkis. I’m paraphrasing.

We knew we’d get here. The tepid candidacies of Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro told us so. We didn’t know the degree to which it would leak into the wispier areas of innuendo, and neither Jeff Bagwell nor Mike Piazza cleared 60 percent. (Bonds and Clemens were under 40.)

via Judgment day: Steroid era dealt first big blow – Yahoo! Sports.

Is this “overdue justice or an outrageous injustice”?

The conversion of Steve McQueen

Southern Gospel Yankee has an interesting account of how the late actor Steve McQueen(a.k.a. “the King of Cool”) became a Christian.  (The narrative is the familiar one of a flagrant sinner getting witnessed to, “accepting Christ,” and becoming a changed person.  The details, though, are intriguing.)

via Greater Grace: A Story of God, Redemption, and Steve McQueen | Southern Gospel Yankee.


HT:  Nicholas

Has the lost tribe of Mannaseh been found?

A tribal community in India that calls itself Bnei Menashe (Hebrew for “children of Mannaseh”) is claiming to be the the remnant of the Hebrew tribe of Mannaseh, one of the “lost tribes” that was taken into captivity by the Assyrians some 3000 years ago.  And the state of Israel is recognizing their legitimacy by according them the “right of return,” whereby all Jews are allowed to immigrate to Israel.  Some of the Bnei Menashe have moved to Israel, which some Christian groups are hailing as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.  See ‘Lost Tribe’s’ Return to Israel Fulfilling Prophecy? – Inside Israel – CBN News – Christian News 24-7 –

The tribe does seem to have some traditional songs and legends with echoes of the Exodus.  But according to the Wikipedia article, the Bnei Menashe are part of a larger tribal culture of animists and headhunters that converted to Christianity in the 19th century.   In 1951, a Pentecostalist preacher in the tribe said that he had a vision from God that the people should turn back to their ancient religion of Judaism.  (So do the Christians getting all excited about this believe that this was the work of the Holy Spirit?  Telling people to give up their Christianity?)  [Read more…]

The trillion dollar coin reconsidered

Here is a solution to our national debt problem that is  being floated seriously with various economists and Congressmen buying into it:  Mint a trillion dollar coin out of platinum (other metals have statutory limits on how much they can be worth) and put it in the bank.  We blogged about this idea during last year’s crisis, but it has come back, perhaps in a more sophisticated form.

Economist Joe Wiesenthal, in explaining the scheme, argues that the coin would not necessarily spark hyperinflation and other dangers of creating money from thin air as long as it is not plopped into the economy, but simply deposited into the Federal Reserve as a technical solution to the technical problem of the national debt limit, allowing the government to simply continue paying its bills as it has been.  (But if the government pays bills without either having money or incurring debt, won’t that still inject unbacked money into the economy with all of the consequent hyperinflation?)  Anyway, let’s let Wiesenthal have his say: [Read more…]