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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Roanoke Times Apologizes ... Kinda

The editorial staff at the Roanoke Times apologizes today for having, in its usual irrational manner, gone off the deep end and mistakenly denounced the unnamed dastardly fiend - or fiends - who burned the Koran and left it, with malice aforethought, on the steps of a mosque in Blacksburg, Virginia, when in fact it was an innocent attempt on the part of a Muslim student to dispose of the previously damaged book in a devout and pious manner.

Well, they didn't actually apologize but they said they were wrong. Close enough for me.

Rash thinking leads to a wrong conclusion

Respect, not hatred, caused partially burned Qurans to be
left at a Blacksburg mosque.

The story behind burned Qurans found on the steps of the Islamic Center of Blacksburg serves as a reminder that rash judgments based on emotional responses often are in error.

The Roanoke Times reacted in much the same way as the community when the story broke last month. Only profound contempt of Muslims could motivate such a despicable act, we noted editorially.

As it turns out, a Muslim studying at Virginia Tech, and preparing for a trip to Egypt, left the charred remnants at the mosque out of respect for the Islamic holy book. (link)

Sometimes the truth gets in the way of a great story. Here I was all prepared for the news that some dumbass, thinking he could take the hate out of a few million Islamists around the world, burned that holy book; a savage himself controlled only by his own hatred. A registered Republican. Who drives an SUV. The truth, it turns out, is so dull.

Well, these parts are chock full o' dumbasses to write stories about.

19-year-old to serve 8 months for hate crime
By Jonathan Cribbs , Roanoke Times

The prosecutor says it doesn't matter if the man spray painted the messages - he was there and didn't try to stop it.

FINCASTLE - A Montvale man will serve eight months in jail for convictions on several vandalism charges, including a felony hate crime, related to an August spray-painting spree in Botetourt County.

In Botetourt Circuit Court on Tuesday, Judge Malfourd "Bo" Trumbo sentenced James Richard Looney, 19, to five years with all but eight months suspended for destruction of property based on race, a felony hate crime. He also was sentenced to five years in prison, all suspended, on 10 other destruction of property charges. In August, Looney and two other males, Joseph Richard Luck, then 18, and a 17-year-old spray painted houses, mailboxes and signs, sprayed profanities on Rainbow Forest Baptist Church and three church vans and painted "KKK" on the home and car of a black family. (link)

Looney was watching a crime being committed. He did nothing to stop it. He therefore had to be filled with hate. Judge Looney, or is it Bo, unable to sentence Bo Looney to death, throws him in prison for five years (to prove that he is not filled with hate, Bo suspends a good bit of the sentence).

Yes, we seem to have a heap of dumbasses around here. And so many stories to screw up.

The End of Life as We Know It

Sad news from US Airways (via the Roanoke Times):
Airline cutting free pretzels to trim costs

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Passengers who love those little bags of pretzels given away aboard US Airways flights had better move fast to get some more because the airline is cutting them from the menu.

Beginning in September, US Airways will pull the pretzels from domestic flights in a move expected to save more than $1 million a year. The savings is part of the airline's larger effort to compete with low-fare airlines, spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said Tuesday. (
What am I going to do to while away the time if I don't have those six pretzels to munch on as my US Air flight idles on the tarmac for an hour waiting for clearance to take off for O'Hare? What are they going to do next? Take away that tiny bottle of water?

Or will they resort to Northwest's scheme to turn a horrendous loss into windfall profit?
Last month, Northwest Airlines replaced free pretzels with 3-ounce bags of trail mix that passengers can buy for $1.
Trail mix is my favorite. Next to the odd-smelling tuna pita. I'll often choose Northwest over the other airlines just to get to the rice chex in that miniscule trail mix baggie. And only a buck. For seven of them. Why, I might just fly off to Detroit to get some o' them munchies this afternoon.

I'm going to miss the free pretzels though.