Stones

IS has taken Palmyra.

Islamic State militants have locked Palmyra’s museum and placed guards outside its doors, days after seizing the ancient city, Iraqi officials say.

Antiquities director Maamoun Abdulkarim said they had destroyed some modern plaster statues and also raised their flag on the ancient castle overlooking the Roman ruins.

Most of the museum’s antiquities had been transferred to Damascus, he said.

[Read more…]

It feels brilliant

NBC News reports on the Irish vote, with scenes of people rejoicing outside Dublin Castle, which I was waiting for all morning.

At final count, 62 percent voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage in the country, while 38 percent voted against it. Nearly 2 million people voted, with more than 1.2 million voting “yes” and 734,300 voting “no.”

A celebratory mood had come over Dublin even before the official results were announced around 7 p.m. local time, with tallies for each constituency displayed on big screens to thousands watching from Dublin Castle’s sun-soaked central square.

Sisters Rebecca and Rachel Doyle from Enniscorthy, County Wexford, were among 2,000 members of the public allowed to view the counting process at Dublin Castle.

“It feels brilliant, especially since we thought it was going to be so close and now it looks like such a definite ‘Yes’,” Rebecca told NBC News, adding that the experience was “emotional.”

It was emotional even for me, thousands of miles away.

Consent

Now for a downer; sorry.

Heather Hironimus has been forced (by a threat of prison) to sign the permission slip for her four-year-old son to get his penis snipped against his will.

With handcuffs on her wrists and tears rolling down her cheeks, Heather Hironimus looked up to the courtroom ceiling, briefly clasped her hands together in prayer, and finally picked up her attorney’s pen.

The 31-year-old West Boynton [mother] — jailed since May 14 for defying a judge’s custody order and refusing to let her 4 1/2-year-old son be circumcised — gave her consent to the procedure wanted by the boy’s [father], Dennis Nebus, of Boca Raton.

Because of the boy’s age, the snipping requires general anesthesia – which is itself risky.

What a horrific thing to do.

Ireland has passed the same-sex marriage referendum by 1,201,607 votes

And it’s official official at last – they had to wait for Cork to finish counting, while all of Twitter yelled at Cork to hurry up.

  • 18:55 Ireland becomes the first country to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote.
  • 18:51 Returning Officer Ríona Ní Fhlanghaile declares that Ireland has passed the same-sex marriage referendum by 1,201,607 votes (62.1%) to 734,300 (37.9%).
  • 18:35 The end is nigh! The returning officer for Cork North West/South West/East says two of three results are with Dublin Castle and the third is on the way in minutes.

An example of something that’s wholesome and wonderful

Mike Huckabee on Josh Duggar and the Duggar family:

Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family. Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable.’ He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things. The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today’s blood-thirsty media does not understand—that being a minor means that one’s judgement is not mature. No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility. [Read more…]