Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Now They're Getting Somewhere!

I have chronicled in the past (here and here, not to mention here) the oddities surrounding my subscription to the Daily Brief from The Huffington Post. Well, today's edition popped up in my mailbox a couple of minutes ago--12:03 p.m. CST, as it happens, which is allegedly the same time it was sent. Interesting. Well, no, not especially, but it is curious. A little.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So it's Not Just the Catholic Church, Then?

This at

    Disgraced pastor Haggard facing new sex allegations

    By Eric Marrapodi and Jim Spellman

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) -- A megachurch paid a 20-year-old man to keep silent about a sexual relationship he had with disgraced evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, a senior church pastor said.

    Haggard, who was fired amid allegations that he used drugs and patronized a male prostitute in 2006, had a sexual relationship with a second man -- a 20-year-old volunteer at his megachurch, the Rev. Brady Boyd, a senior pastor at the church, said Monday.

    The church agreed to pay the man in exchange for his pledges not to talk publicly about the relationship, Boyd said, referring to a settlement reached by the man's lawyer and the church's insurance company. Under the settlement, the church provided the man money to pay his college tuition, moving expenses and counseling, Boyd said.

Here's my favorite part:

    "This was compassionate assistance. It was to help him move forward, not a settlement to keep him quiet," said Boyd, senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Oh, uh-huh. First the church "agreed to pay the man in exchange for his pledges not to talk publicly about the relationship," but then it's "compassionate assistance" and certainly not "a settlement to keep him quiet"--no, no, nothing like that! Where would you get such an idea?

So. A sex scandal. Embarrassment. The church, imbued as it is with Christ's message of compassion and forgiveness, kicks Haggard--its founder!--to the curb (he evidently got to keep his six-figure salary for a year, though, but--get this!--Haggard's settlement with the church included his agreeing to "leave the Colorado Springs area"...that is, they not only don't want him in their church anymore, they don't want him around town!). The church starts spreading money around to keep everything hush-hush (Haggard's settlement included his agreeing to not speak publicly about the event for one year, according to CNN)--"compassionate assistance" indeed!

And I thought my church had the market cornered on that sort of stuff!

One might think that the problems of guys like Ted Haggard et al. would lay to rest the bizarre notion that somehow the Catholic Church's adherence to celebacy for its priests is to blame for sexual misconduct in its ranks. But of course it won't.

Getting Closer

Well, this is some improvement: Today's Daily Brief from The Huffington Post actually arrived today, sometime between 4:30 this afternoon and 7:45 this evening. It claims to have been mailed at 11:53 this morning, though, so it's still taking the scenic route to get here.

Important Safety Note!

A headline today at Reuters:
    Octuplets stun doctors at California hospital
People should know better than to give Tasers to babies.

More Strangeness from HuffPo. Or Is it the Same Strangeness?

I mentioned the other day that weird stuff was going on with my Huffington Post Daily Brief: In a nutshell, I had written them to ask why it comes so damn late, and the "response," if that's the word I want, was for it to stop entirely.

As predicted, I went to the website and re-subscribed. And this morning when I logged in to my e-mail, there was the Daily Brief waiting for me.

Yesterday's Daily Brief.

I was online until about 10:30 last night, local time, and logged in again at about 6:30 this morning, so the Monday Daily Brief arrived somewhere in that time slot...late enough that it should more accurately be labeled the Tuesday edition.

According to the header information, for whatever it may be worth, the brief was sent yesterday at 12:03 p.m.--three minutes after noon. I don't know whose time zone, but assuming it was somewhere in the continental United States, that means the thing floats around in the ether for upward of ten hours before it's delivered to my mailbox. I would blame my e-mail provider, except that this happens pretty much every day, which causes me to suspect it's an issue closer to HuffPo's end of the pipe.

But I guess that's just how it is. No point trying to communicate the concern to the folks at Huffington Post: My previous attempt not only generated no action, it seems to have prompted them to pull the plug on my subscription entirely.

Strangeness indeed.