WASTED TIME. Starting Daylight Savings Time earlier was supposed to save energy and money. But it just isn't happening.
"We haven't seen any measurable impact," said Jason Cuevas, spokesman for Southern Co., one of the nation's largest power companies, echoing comments from several large utilities.We remind you this was preceded by Y2K-ish nightmares of computers failing to adjust their clocks properly. We don't think a good scare qualifies as conservation.
That may come as no surprise to the Energy Department, which last year predicted only modest energy savings because the benefits of the later daylight hour would be offset.
UNHOLY ALLIANCE? Several churches in Phoenix may revive the Sanctuary Movement. The effort originally involved congregations taking in illegal immigrants fleeing persecution and killing in Central America during the 1980's. Now it may shield Mexican illegal immigrants fleeing the INS.
From the Arizona Republic:
"We are diminishing ourselves when we stand by and watch (deportations) happen to others and do nothing," said the Rev. Trina Zelle.Says a retired clergyman:
"With hard-working poor people under threat of their families being separated, the responsibility of the church to protect them and keep them intact is very critical right now," [John] Fife said.They have no doubt been inspired by the case of Elvira Arellano, holed up in a Chicago Methodist church since last August. So far, the feds have left her alone. She is one person. But our prognosticators at Lightning Round headquarters have been doing the math, and we wonder how many churches would be able to support five Arellanos and their families... or a dozen... or two dozen? They cannot simply live in the pews, we reason. And given the numbers, the government will not kindly avert its gaze.
Our office oracles have no dearth of doomsday scenarios when asked for an endgame. "Remember Elian," the paperclip guru said. They recommend someone kindly taking the concerned clergy aside and telling them softly, "No."
SEEING THE LIGHT. Somebody is pointing green lasers at planes landing at an airport on Oahu, Hawaii.
From the Honolulu Star-Bulletin:
"Landing is a precarious operation," said Cmdr. Chris Moss, the operations officer at Air Station Barbers Point. "To be distracted by the laser is dangerous in itself, but the eye damage from the laser can be instantaneous and permanent."We at your Lightning Round recommend pilots arm themselves with the Army's newly-developed pain gun.
RISING DANGER. The Marines want Yuma, Arizona car dealers to put a 50-foot height limit on advertising balloons after a fighter jet had to take evasive action from a breakaway bunch.
From the AP:
The Marine base shares space with the Yuma International Airport. Yuma International Director Craig Williams said he has told dealers to take down their balloons, but they continue to be a problem. Some fly long strings of smaller balloons that Williams said may not violate the letter of the law, but likely the spirit.An F-5 fighter costing millions of dollars, a weapon of high technology threatened by a low-tech, cheap, latex inflatable stuffed with helium. Now let us ask again, what is the real problem?
"When you string a million of them together and put them way up in the air, it's a problem," Williams said.
DOWNSIZING. A New York appeals court has ordered an insurance company to pay for surgery on a teenage boy to reduce his -- shall we say -- abnormally protrusive chest. The insurer called the condition "cosmetic." The boy and his family called it traumatizing.
From the AP:
Court papers said the teen, of Hempstead, N.Y., was teased by his peers and never engaged in activities that allowed anyone to see his breasts. They said he would not go to the beach and even refused to attend an out-of-state university, fearing dormitory mates would ridicule him.In other words, buying him a bra is not considered appropriate medical treatment.
The judges said it was "absurd to deny coverage on the grounds that plaintiff's son did not provide support from a mental health professional, particularly where the external review decision itself acknowledges that the patient suffers 'depression' and 'emotional distress' from this condition."