The Week in Review
MONDAY, OCTOBER 1 This week of hijacked poodles, Christian scofflaws, and continued shame for the Boy Scouts of America kicks off in Kentucky, where a restaurant patron recently saw one of the several dozen things no one wants to see while patronizing a restaurant: a hoofed foot sticking out of a bloody garbage can being wheeled into the kitchen. Details come from Lexington's WYMT News, which reports the wheeling/sighting occurred last week at the Red Flower Chinese Restaurant in Williamsburg, where customer Katie Hopkins had just finished a buffet lunch when two workers "came in wheeling a garbage can... with a tail and a foot and leg sticking out," as Hopkins told WYMT. "They wheeled it straight back into the kitchen... There was actually a blood trail that they were mopping up behind the garbage can." Hopkins immediately called the health department, after which Paul Lawson, the Whitley County health inspector, arrived to find roadkill in the restaurant's kitchen. "Lawson tells us that the owner's son admitted to picking up a dead deer off the side of I-75 north in Williamsburg," reports WYMT. "They said they didn't know that they weren't allowed to," says Lawson. "So that makes me concerned." Potentially mitigating fact: The restaurant's owner told the health department that the roadkill wasn't meant to be served to customers, just to his family. The restaurant will remain closed until they pass "a secondary health inspection, proving that they have washed, rinsed, and sanitized the restaurant after having roadkill inside," reports WYMT.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2 Speaking of the news-making collision of animals and traffic, the week continues in New England, where people are buzzing about the poodle that got hit by a car in Massachusetts and wound up in Rhode Island. Details come from CBS, which reports the collision of poodle and car happened late last month, when "Suzy, a white poodle-mix, was hit by a Toyota traveling about 50 miles per hour on Route 44 in Taunton... The driver stopped, but didn't see the dog anywhere, so he continued driving into Rhode Island. When he pulled up to a traffic light in East Providence, another driver told him there was a dog wedged in the front grille of his car." Miraculously, Suzy was still alive, and emerged from the 11-mile ride in the grille of the Toyota with only a concussion and a ruptured bladder. She has been reunited with her owners.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3 Nothing happened today, unless you count the first presidential debate, wherein smooth-talking liar Mitt Romney mopped the floor with President Barack Obama, who appeared to have taken too much allergy medication. Obama optimists cast the president's lame debate as a rope-a-dope ploy, while realists clutched their faces in despair. Tuesday, October 16, brings Obama vs. Romney, round two. Stay tuned.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4 The week continues with not one but two stories involving the Boy Scouts of America, the US youth organization that, according to its mission statement, is devoted to providing "a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness." In the 21st century, however, the Boy Scouts are becoming better known for their supplementary actions, including discriminating against sexual minorities and secretly documenting thousands of cases involving Scoutmasters accused of sexual molestation and rape. We'll deal with the discrimination first, via today's NBC News story on Ryan Andresen, a 17-year-old Boy Scout in Moraga, California, who recently capped 11 years of Scouting by completing the requirements for the Eagle Scout award. But instead of being awarded the Boy Scouts' most prestigious rank, Andresen was booted from the Scouts for coming out as gay. "The Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that because of Andresen's sexual orientation... 'he is no longer eligible for membership in Scouting,'" reports NBC, which also spoke to Ryan Andresen's mother, Karen: "[The Eagle Scout award] should be based on accomplishment, not your sexual orientation. Ryan entered Scouts when he was 6 years old and in no way knew what he was. I think right now the Scoutmaster is sending Ryan the message that he's not a valued human being."
•• Speaking of the Boy Scouts' failures in honoring human beings (especially young and vulnerable ones), today also brought a report from Seattle's KING 5 News, where investigators blew the lid off the BSA's long-secret "perversion files," detailing Scout leaders suspected of abusing children. "The records include police reports, victim statements, notes on phone calls with parents, newspaper clippings, and official letters from the Scouts organization alerting the suspected molester that he'd been banned from Scouting for life," reports KING 5. "The intention was to kick alleged molesters out of the program and to make sure they didn't sneak back in through another troop or state." But according to Mike Pfau, a Seattle attorney who's represented dozens of former Scouts in sex abuse cases, the files did little to protect the Scouts from sexual predators. "The files grew from tens to hundreds to thousands," said Pfau to KING 5. "The Boy Scouts of America had an institutional knowledge that pedophiles were infiltrating their ranks, molesting their Scouts, and they knew about it, long before they took appropriate measures to protect kids." The Boy Scouts of America's response? "In a letter posted on the Boy Scouts website," KING 5 reported, "three top Scouting executives wrote that the files are being mischaracterized."
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5 Nothing happened today, unless you count the amazing performance given by the Mark Morris Dance Group (featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov) at On the Boards, or the slightly less amazing performance given by a 32-year-old man in Florida, who won a competitive bug-eating contest by devouring dozens of giant cockroaches and then died.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6 The week continues with widespread hubbub over some statements made by Georgia representative Paul Broun, star of an online video in which he denounces evolution, embryology, and the big bang theory as "lies straight from the pit of hell" designed to convince people they don't need Jesus—which might be hilarious if Representative Broun didn't sit on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. "Broun, a medical doctor, is running for reelection in November unopposed by Democrats," reports the Associated Press. "Broun also said that he believes the Earth is about 9,000 years old and that it was made in six days."
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7 Speaking of people of faith doing galling things, the week ends with Pulpit Freedom Sunday, in which "nearly 1,500 pastors in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico will participate... by preaching biblical truth on the positions of electoral candidates from the pulpit to oppose IRS regulation of sermons," reports the Christian Post. "The movement of pastors is against an Internal Revenue Service rule [which] states that tax-exempt organizations cannot 'participate in, or intervene in... any political campaign on behalf of—or in opposition to—any candidate for public office.'" As the Alliance Defending Freedom's senior legal counsel Erik Stanley told the Post, "Pastors should decide what they preach from the pulpit, not the IRS." Dear IRS: Please find the funds to fuel aggressive prosecution of such churchy scofflaws; taxing churches could do wonders in jump-starting the economy.
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