Pastor Joe Van Koevering speaks reverently of the “precious Jewish people,” whom “God loves,” but a principal mission of his Gateway Christian Center in St. Petersburg, Fla., is to speed up the end of the world (and, thus, the deaths of nonbelievers) by financially helping to send as many Jews as possible “back home” to Israel. According to the Book of Revelation, the holy war that will bring the apocalypse will start only after Jews (of an indeterminate number) return to the holy land. According to a May St. Petersburg Times story, Van Koevering became tearful when speaking of the Jews that will be left behind to fight, and die, so that “true believers” can be taken away in the rapture.
The East Valley Tribune reported in April that the police department in Mesa, Ariz., was still awaiting word about its $100,000 federal grant request to buy and train a capuchin monkey for its SWAT team. Capuchins are now used as assistance animals for the disabled, in that they can be taught to fetch things off of shelves, and the police want to see if one can be trained to unlock doors and search buildings on command. The Pentagon’s visionary research agency, DARPA, is considering the proposal.
A DUI suspect (unnamed in a March Toronto Sun report) put a handful of his own feces in his mouth in a police station in what officers said was an attempt to foil a Breathalyzer test. Said an official, “I don’t think alcohol alone would make you do [that].” Nonetheless, said police, the man, who had been stopped on Highway 11 near Barrie, Ontario, still registered double the threshold for impairment.
AIR TRAVEL BLUES
In a major incident on Feb. 11, security officers at Dublin International Airport “booted” an ambulance at a terminal entrance, even though it was parked in an area reserved for emergency vehicles. A patient with serious injuries was delayed until paramedics paid cash to have the boot removed.
CREME DE LA WEIRD
Gregory Withrow and an associate staged a two-man protest at the California state capitol in Sacramento in April against U.S. policies on Iraq, immigration and white supremacy, among other issues. The associate’s role in the protest was to drive 6-inch nails into Withrow’s hands on a cross as he stood as a martyr for six hours. Withrow had brought notes with him from a Butte County, Calif., health official (seemingly approving Withrow’s plan to hurt himself) and from the Sacramento Parks Department affirming that no permit was needed for such a protest.
Mr. Brij Dhir, a San Francisco law student and India-licensed attorney, recently filed a lawsuit against a Northern California microbrewery for the “hate crime” of manufacturing Indica India Pale Ale with a label featuring the Hindu god Ganesh (a man with the head of an elephant) holding Indicas in one of his four hands and his trunk. In an attempt to accommodate Dhir, Lost Coast Brewery closed down the brand, but Dhir still wants at least $25,000 for his own indignation and said that $1 billion might be necessary to compensate Hindus for their trauma. MTW