A heavy dose of truth, humor, and political activism.

Location: Phila, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Homosexual Lutheran clergy who are in sexual relationships will be able to serve as pastors, the largest U.S. Lutheran body said last week. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) passed a resolution at its annual assembly urging bishops to refrain from disciplining pastors who are in "faithful committed same-gender relationships."
The resolution passed by a vote of 538-431. It’s about time. I often wondered when a religious group would realize that homosexuals have the same right to waste their lives on Jesus just like everyone else. It’s akin to saying that gay children don’t have the right to get money from the tooth fairy. People of any sexual orientation deserve the right to share make-believe stories with their congregations.
"The Church ... has just said 'Do not do punishments'," said Phil Soucy, spokesman for Lutherans Concerned, a gay-lesbian rights group within the church. "That is huge."
The ELCA, which has 4.8 million members, had previously allowed homosexuals to serve as pastors so long as they abstained from sexual relations. Hmmm, that was a sound idea. You can be gay so long as you don’t act on it. If you’re not going to act on it, you might as well be straight (not that it’s a choice).
The conference also instructed a committee that is developing a social statement on sexuality to further investigate the issue. The committee is scheduled to release its report in 2009.
Since the ELCA was founded in 1988, the group has ordered three pastors in gay relationships to be removed from their ministries. The most recent case was decided in July when the ELCA's committee on appeals voted to remove an openly gay pastor from St. John's Lutheran Church in Atlanta.
The gay clergy issue has become a flashpoint in other faiths, including the Anglican Church. I applaud the 538 members who voted to pass this resolution.

THE call letters KUNT have landed at a yet un-built low-power digital television station in Wailuku, Maui.
Very similar to a word the dictionary says is obscene, the call letters were among a 15-page list of new call letters issued by the Federal Communications Commission and released last week.
The same station owner also received KWTF for a station in Arizona.
From Skokie, Ill., comes a sincere apology "to anyone that was offended," said Kevin Bae, vice president of KM Communications Inc., who requested and received KUNT and KWTF. It is "extremely embarrassing for me and my company and we will file to change those call letters immediately."
Broadcasters for generations have joked among themselves about call letters resembling off-color words or acronyms knowing the FCC would never approve their assignment; but that was before computerization.
KCUF-FM near Aspen, Colo. got its F-word-in-reverse call letters in August of 2005 and has been on the air since December, "Keeping Colorado Uniquely Free," its Web site says. I wonder how this will affect people with Synesthesia (a condition that mixes up the senses and allows people to taste words or hear colors). They might be channel surfing through radio stations in Hawaii and might find themselves left with quite a bad taste in their mouth. Hopefully the radio station airs tasteful material and not Howard Stern type potty-humor. There’s nothing worse than a dirty KUNT.

A law passed this year allows Arkansans of any age, even infants, to marry if their parents agree, and the governor may have to call a special session to fix the mistake, lawmakers said Friday. This is the biggest marriage news to come out of Arkansas since they stopped allowing siblings to marry each other in 2004.
The legislation was intended to establish 18 as the minimum age to marry but also allow pregnant teenagers to marry with parental consent, bill sponsor Rep. Will Bond said. An extraneous "not" in the bill, however, allows anyone who is not pregnant to marry at any age if the parents allow it. At last, the pain and suffering of marriage is available to everyone; but unlike children’s Tylenol, this will not leave a good taste in their mouths.
"It's clearly not the intent to allow 10-year-olds or 11-year-olds to get married," Bond said. "The legislation was screwed up."
The bill reads: "In order for a person who is younger than eighteen (18) years of age and who is not pregnant to obtain a marriage license, the person must provide the county clerk with evidence of parental consent to the marriage."
A code revision commission, which fixes typographical and technical errors in laws, had tried to correct the mistake, but a group of legislators said Friday the commission went beyond its powers.
"You're either pregnant or you're not pregnant," Sen. Dave Bisbee said. "Rarely will that be a typographical error."
The Arkansas Legislative Council asked the independent commission to reverse its correction. Several lawmakers said a special session may be necessary.
"We need a special session to fix this," Sen. Sue Madison said. "I am concerned about pedophiles coming to Arkansas to find parents who are willing to sign a very young child's consent."
Before the new law took effect July 31, girls could get married with parental consent at 16 and boys at 17.
The Legislature formally adjourned its session in May and is not scheduled to meet again until January 2009, unless Gov. Mike Beebe calls a special session. Beebe said he wanted to look at all options for correcting the error before deciding whether to call a special session. Why call a special session? 2009 is only two years away. I’m sure the problem will just work itself out anyway.

The ability of Zebrafish to regenerate damaged retinas has given English scientists a clue about restoring human vision and could lead to an experimental treatment for blindness within five years. British researchers said today that they had successfully grown (in the laboratory) a type of adult stem cell found in the eyes of both fish and mammals that develops into neurons in the retina. This is the best news to come out of the ocean since the fish stick.
Instead of being ground up and used for a Mrs. Paul’s frozen filet, these cells could one day be injected into the eye as a treatment for diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetes-related blindness, according to Astrid Limb of University College London's (UCL) Institute of Ophthalmology. In the meantime, sufferers of these diseases will have to stick to good old fashioned treatments like marijuana.
Damage to the retina, the part of the eye that sends messages to the brain, is responsible for most cases of sight loss. The other cases were caused by children who got pellet guns for Christmas and shot their eyes out.
"Our findings have enormous potential," Limb said. "It could help in all diseases where the neurons are damaged, which is basically nearly every disease of the eye."
Limb and her colleagues studied so-called Mueller glial cells in the eyes of people aged from 18 months to 91 years and found they were able to develop them into all types of neurons found in the retina.
They were also able to grow them easily in the lab, they reported in the journal Stem Cells.
The cells have already been tested in rats with diseased retinas, where they successfully migrated into the retina and took on the characteristics of the surrounding neurons. Now the team is working on the same approach in humans. Hey, if it’s good enough for rats, it’s good enough for us, right? Pretty soon they’ll be letting us humans eat cheese and play in mazes too…I can’t wait!
Autologous transplants (which Limb hopes can be performed within five years), initially on a trial basis, will involve manipulating cells and injecting them back into an individual's own eye. Eventually, Limb hopes it will also be possible to transfer the cells between different people.
"Because they are so easy to grow, we could make stem cell banks and have cell lines available to the general population, subject to typing as with blood transfusions," she said. Hmmm, I wonder if some people will have universal eye cells just like some have the universal blood type. Those are the kind of people it’s good to have as friends.
The reason that Zebrafish have an abundant supply of adult stem cells to regenerate their retinas, while they are rare in mammals, remains a mystery; sounds fishy to me.
The new work on Mueller glial cells is the latest example of researchers exploring the potential of different kinds of stem cells in treating eye disease. Another team from UCL and Moorfield's Eye Hospital said in June they aimed to repair damaged retinas with cells derived from embryonic stem cells.

Rupert Murdoch has sealed a deal to buy Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co. for $5 billion, ending a century of family ownership and adding a crown jewel to his global media empire, News Corp. The companies said that they signed a definitive merger agreement after the deal won sufficient support to pass from a deeply divided Bancroft family, which has controlled the storied newspaper publisher for generations.Murdoch is getting one of the great trophies of U.S. journalism and a newspaper that is considered required reading among the business and power elite. He will no doubt spin it into a GOP propaganda publication that will make the U.S. economy appear as strong or as weak as he sees fit. Republicans in power…economy is great! Democrats in power…economy is suffering. The deal will also expand Murdoch's already massive global media and entertainment empire News Corp., which owns the Fox broadcast network (a.k.a. 24/7 Pro-Bush report), Fox News Channel, the Twentieth Century Fox movie and TV studio, MySpace, newspapers in Australia and the U.K., and several satellite TV broadcasters. Dow Jones and News Corp. said in a statement that Bancroft family members and trustees representing 37 percent of the company's shareholder vote have agreed to support the deal. Combined with the 29 percent of the vote held by public shareholders, who are very likely to support Murdoch, the deal is now assured of passing. The companies said a member of the Bancroft family or another mutually acceptable person would be appointed to News Corp.'s board of directors as part of the agreement.The Bancroft family, descended over several generations from an early owner of Dow Jones, Clarence Barron, clashed long and hard over whether to sell to Murdoch, with several members saying they feared the quality and independence of the paper would suffer under his watch. They eventually decided that their morals were worth less than $5 billion dollars.

During a recent visit from a friend, I was introduced to a new product. As she sat on my couch searching through her purse for a lighter, she came across a sample of a new product she had been handed on the street. The product was called Zestra. According to the website, “Zestra® is a patented blend of two botanical oils and two botanical extracts specifically designed to increase female sexual sensation, arousal, pleasure, and satisfaction when topically applied to the female genitalia. The all-natural ingredients naturally stimulate the body's own sensory nerve conduction, heightening sexual sensation and pleasure.” It wasn’t so much the product that made me chuckle as it was the instructions for use. “Apply the entire contents of one Zestra packet with gentle massage onto the clitoris, labia, and outer areas of the vagina. Massage gently for at least five minutes prior to vaginal intercourse. If you prefer less intense sensations, use half a packet.” Okay…I’m not a woman but in my experience simply massaging the clitoris for a full five minutes prior to sex will not only increase sexual sensation but will often times lead to orgasm all on its own. But I guess you’re not fully aroused unless your Zestrafully aroused. But really, why bother with Zestra? You could use baby oil, saliva, grape juice, or any other lubricating substance and still achieve increased sexual stimulation. Ladies, let’s test my theory. Tonight go home and have sex with your man with no foreplay whatsoever. Tomorrow night, have him massage your clitoris for five full minutes before sex. I’m willing to bet the second night is going to be more enjoyable. This is like those diet pills that say they will shed unwanted pounds (along with proper diet and exercise). Proper diet and exercise alone will cause a person to lose weight even without the pills! Masturbation leads to arrousal even without the Zestra. For you women out there that still want to throw your money away, you can check out Zestra at http://www.zestraforwomen.com/.

A Serbian village is hoping to channel some of Rocky Balboa's fighting spirit with a 10-foot-tall statue of the fictional boxer portrayed by Sylvester Stallone.
Zitiste, a village about 35 miles north of Belgrade that has been beset in recent years by flooding and landslides, unveiled the statue in the village square late Saturday. When you can rise to the challenge of beating Apollo Creed and steroid crazed Russians, what are a few landslides?
The monument, unveiled as part of a music festival, is made of bronze and concrete. It was created by Croatian artist Boris Staparac.
Zitiste has repeatedly suffered flooding and landslides, gaining a disaster-prone reputation. Fed up, the locals contemplated how to change that image and revive the village, one of the poorest in northern Serbia, and came up with the idea of a statue of the tenacious fictional fighter.
"Our idea has really stirred the public," said local official Zoran Kasalovic. "Now, no one in Serbia can say they don't know about Zitiste."
Personally, I find that visitors of Philadelphia care more about seeing the Rocky statue than the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall. However, this is the birth place and home of Rocky. If a statue will help to raise the spirits of the people of Zitiste then I am all for it. However, the statue alone is not going to prevent floods or landslides. Maybe the real solution to their problem is to inject steroids into the hillsides to make them stronger or to build the Balboa Dam to KO the flood waters like an overhand left to Tommy Gunn.

A few quick things to report from Spoonland before I end today’s post. I joined the Philadelphia Press Corp and got my press credentials so that should only add to the level of great stories I am able to offer in the future. The Phillies are in the midst of another late season playoff run and I’m really hoping this is the year they get over the hump. The Eagles cut Jeremiah Trotter today and I’m really hoping this move doesn’t come back to haunt us (and our lack of run defense). I am planning a trip to Las Vegas for the Vegoose Music Festival the weekend before Halloween and encourage all of you to join me. I recently saw Daft Punk (one of the headliners) perform in NY and of the hundreds of concerts I've seen, it had to be in the top 3. Happy recent b-day wishes to Jeff, Alan, Chelsey, Marlissa, and Rachel. Finally I’d like to send out a thank you to all of you in Spoonland who continue to offer me support for the tough times I am going through in my personal life. It is much appreciated. Until next time folks…Spoon Out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It took you long enough! Thank god you're back Spoon. August was dragging on without you!

August 21, 2007 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Your bit about Zestra is priceless. I liked the rest of the posts too. You have a wonderful way of relaying serious news in a humorous manner. Great work.

August 22, 2007 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your headline "Out in the (wall)street they call it Murdoch" is genius! I'm a big Damien Marley fan.

August 22, 2007 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to have you back. It has been too long without your humorous insights. I want my local convenience store to stock up on Zestra. It should be in the checkout aisle with the gum and candy.I will buy enough to ship some over to Zitiste, Serbia to help them out.If all the folks in Zitiste are using Zestra they will forget all about the flooding and landslides and start "rocking" the place with orgasms.
Good job Spoon !

August 22, 2007 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness , Rocky in Sebia. Please tell me that the Serbians will not next steal our scrapple, Tastykakes and cheesesteaks.Isn't anything sacred anymore ? This is worse than the Steagles (a combination of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles necessitated by WW II).Where is Sly Stallone when we need him ? Is a statute of Frank Rizzo in Serbia's future?

August 22, 2007 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spoon...you rock my world! I want to have your little sexy, smart, political, funny babies. Come to mama!

August 26, 2007 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay, yes it was funny but you give bad advice sometimes...using baby oil would breakdown the condom and then lead to some pretty serious situations.....but other than that, great!

September 02, 2007 12:12 PM  

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