Saturday, 22 June 2013

Rah rah for Christian Sharia Law

The following story in blue is from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The highlights are mine (jmp)

Cassy Blythe wants her daughter Maddy to play football again next season at Strong Rock Christian, a private school in Locust Grove, where the 12-year-old  girl had a great time playing this year. 

Maddy is among the middle school players in the team photo on the school web site,

But the school has changed its policy and decreed that Maddy can't play on the boys' team next year, devastating the girl and her family.

In a telephone intervew today, Blythe said the decision came out of the blue. “I am still in shock. I don’t know where it came from. All we had received from the coaches was encouragement. ‘Maddy’s wonderful. We want her to keep playing. She has found her niche.’’’

Blythe said the school principal had even come to a game and watched Maddy play. “He told me he was looking forward to her playing next year,” said Blythe, a former police officer now at home raising six children ages 1 to 12.  (Her brood includes three stepchildren.)

But apparently the school’s CEO was not a fan of a girl playing on the team.
 The family has launched a  Facebook "Let her play" campaign to convince the school’s CEO to reconsider his decision that it would be inappropriate for a girl to join the boys on the field -- even though Maddy played this year and did well.

I have called and sent a note to Strong Rock Christian School  for comment on the story. Maddy has attended the school for seven years.

According to Blythe:

My Madison begged to play football for years. "Please, momma, please let me play. I'm bigger and stronger than those boys. I can do it, mom, I promise!" I broke down last year and let her play for her Christian school. She's the product of a female cop, who am I to tell her no?

She was placed on the defensive line. Her coaches bragged about how she hit and could take hits better than most of the boys. They were proud of the female that took her helmet off at the end of the game, exposing to the other team that they were taken down by a girl.
Her first quarterback sack was memorable. I overheard the other parents thinking it was one of their boys who made the sack until Maddy got off him. When they saw it was #82, they all looked in their lineup to see it was Maddy.

The crowd jumped to their feet and cheered! This happened several more times during the season. Maddy could play football and played it well.

Until today.

Her school called me in for a meeting to discuss her future. I was told by the CEO that he did not believe girls should play on boys’ teams.

 He was worried 1) the boys might have impure thoughts, 2) the locker room talk might be a bit much for her to handle, 3) boys and girls should not compete in any sport, 4) there are other sports she can play, 5) they are a private school and can make any decision they want, and 6) he prayed about it and this was the right thing to do.

He also quoted the Bible by saying that men and women are created equal but different and therefore should not be allowed to play the same sports.

Since I started openly talking about this, I have found several other girls in America this has happened to. Girls who could play just as well if not better than their male counterparts being told they cannot compete with boys simply because they are a girl. If a girl can meet the same requirements as the boys they should be allowed to play. We will not place limitations on our daughters. We will teach them to fight harder.  We will teach them to take a stand."


1.    “”The boys might have impure thoughts”   Well, God bless them, 12 year old boys will have “impure” (whatever that means) thoughts come what may.  And so will 12 year old girls!  I suspect that “impure thoughts” are the last thing on the minds of boys/girls as they play (American) football.  Their minds will be in winning.
2.    The Locker Room talk might be a bit too much for her to handle”.  I am shocked that boys in a “Christian School might be rude and crude (lol).
3.    But of course:  Girl children must be protected from the rude, crude talk of boy children. They are far too sensitive to handle it (lmao).  And has it occurred to the School CEO that rude, crude talk is also damaging to boy children?
4.    “Boys and girls should not compete in any sport”. Of course it would be so damn scary for male chauvinists for -  after all – the girls might just win!  It would be also be dreadful and sinful because fundamentalist Christians girls/women are supposed to be submissive to their male superiors (gag me to the max)
5.    “He prayed about it and this was the right thing to do”. Oh for Christ’s sake – “garbage in, garbage out”. Just about every prejudice and malfeasance can be justified along the lines that “I
prayed about this.

I have a solution for the Christian School’s CEO.  Clothe your women staff and students in Burquas and Khimars, or Niqabs.  Clothe your male staff and students in Thobes.  That’ll take care of the problem. Yeah for “Christian Sharia”-  (tongue in cheek).


More soon.

Friday, 21 June 2013

A comma-phile reads a great book (“Whitey Bulger America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice”)

I did a very old fashioned thing last Sunday and bought a book.  It is “Whitey Bulger   America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice”. (W.B. Norton and Company Inc, 2013). 

The authors are Boston Globe Journalists Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy.

They relate a ghastly tale of horrendous crime and murder, F.B.I. malfeasance and complicity, and the legal weaselling of the Justice Department which prevented most of the victim’s survivors to be compensated.

Cullen and Murphy’s research in their preparation to write the book is comprehensive and telling.  They provide extensive and commendable footnotes to identify their sources. This means that the book lives up to the highest standards of journalistic integrity.

I recommend the book without reserve. 

And as a comma-phile  I rejoice in their extensive use of this bit of punctuation, It makes the text so very readable and intelligible.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Bristol U.K. Fiction is stranger than truth.

I have been sent a Bristol, U.K. story for the umpteenth time.

Here it is.

"Outside England’s Bristol Zoo there is a parking lot for 150 cars and 8 buses. For 25 years, its parking fees were managed by a very pleasant attendant.....

The fees for cars ($1.40), for buses (about $7).

Then, one day, after 25 solid years of never missing a day of work, he just didn't show up; so the zoo management called the city council  and asked it to send them another parking agent The council did some research and replied that the parking lot was the zoo's own responsibility. The zoo advised the council that the attendant was a city employee. The city council responded that the lot attendant had never been on the city payroll.  Meanwhile, sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast of Spain or France or Italy is a man who'd apparently had a ticket machine installed completely on his own and then had simply begun to show up every day, commencing to collect and keep the parking fees, estimated at about $560 per day -- for 25 years. Assuming 7 days a week, this amounts to just over $7 million dollars ...... and no one even knows his name."


The truth is that this never happened. 

It’s an Urban Myth which is being perpetuated despite the efforts of the local newspaper “The Bristol Post” (formerly known as the “Bristol Evening Post”) ; of the Bristol Zoo; and of the Bristol City Council.

Why will the myth not die?

I suspect that’s because we all want it to be true:  – 

“a cunning attendant who cheated the system”,

“an inept local government”

a “dopey Zoo management” 

all these are the stuff of legends.

Mostly we want it to be true cos we want to be that mythical parking attendant who cheated the system.

He never lived. He never bucked the system. He is not in a luxurious retirement community.

But damn it all – we  still want to believe the story!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

My cynical take on the current U.S. Government.

B’s in my bonnet.

In the U.S.A. national government -  (Senate, House, Presidency).

The Republicans have no brains.

The Democrats have no balls,

The President simply bloviates.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

A lovely dream

I had the loveliest dream last night. 

I was in some beautiful woodland with Jessica DeLand and Red Kickery (young people when I was the Rector at St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield), and with my oldest friend – Bristolian Jeff Davies (Jeff and I have known each other since I was six and he was five).

The four of us were riding bicycles and adult tricycles on a wide pathway in the woods.

The scene changed. We were sitting on some steps outside a boat-house, looking at a lovely flowing river.

I exclaimed “I am so happy, and I will always be happy”.


‘Twas such a lovely thought, and it has remained with me all day.

Truth to tell I can be a bit of a whiner/complainer but my dream “told” me that I have every reason to be happy, so very happy.

(Dreams are often telling us something important, but of course the characters in a dream (e.g. Jessica, Red and Jeff)  are fascinating tricks of the mind, but they are  not essential to the “plot”).

There is also, of course, the happiness which is occasioned by beauty. 

As it happens there were very many rainbows in the Boston area on Monday.  Thanks to digital cameras, I-phones, the social media and the like, many of my Boston area friends posted rainbow pictures on Facebook.  Such beauty.

 You'll see some of them below.

It amuses me that in the biblical saga of Noah, the rainbow is placed in the heavens not as a sign of God’s faithfulness to humankind (as they taught me in Sunday School) , but as God’s reminder to God -  see this (Genesis 9:12-15 NRSV)

12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my (rain) bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

In other words – God needs to be reminded to be faithful.  What fun!


Harvard Sq.

Porter Sq, Cambridge

Somerville MA (an earlier picture)

Arlington MA

Not sure where

Again, not sure where.

Boston Harbour 

Dedham MA

Monday, 17 June 2013


This is my right arm as photographed on May 26th 2013.  You will see my photo-dermatitis in full bloom.

Now, after three weeks of taking strong doses of prednisone, and of applying lavish amounts of prescription strength “Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream USP, 0.1%” my arm appears to be (almost) back to normal.

These days I smother my exposed parts with SP 50 sun-screen, and I wear long sleeved shirts when I am out of doors.

I am not entirely certain that these precautions are 100% efficacious.

I very much hope so, but I sometimes wonder if the dermatitis is triggered by certain foods, or even by the shampoo I use.

I'll wait and see, and I'll trust my good dermatologist to make her best diagnoses.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

In the absence of anything more profound to report today.

I bought some casual shoes/daps/plimsolls for everyday use.

Wow ---- what a splendid colour!

I shocked myself by moving out of my "colour bland"  safety zone when I bought this footwear.

 These shoes have been greatly admired by some of my pals.

  (and why not!).