Justice Dept. ‘has not decided whether to intervene’

Polygamous Community Defies State Crackdown: “…(T)he twin towns of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, continue to defy the law, the authorities and dissidents say: under the direction of leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, women are still being removed from their husbands and assigned to other men, and girls under 18 are ordered to become brides of older men on a day’s notice, all despite the presence of full-time outside law enforcement.

DeLoy Bateman, a high school science teacher here who left the church several years ago, says his daughter’s marriage was recently broken up by church leaders. She was ordered to become the bride of her father-in-law, a man twice her age, Mr. Bateman says.

‘This just makes me want to cry,’ said Mr. Bateman, a lifelong resident of Colorado City. ‘They tore up this marriage and ordered her to have sex with this older man. I’ve lost my daughter and her children to this church. I have to stand outside on the sidewalk and beg if I want to see my grandchildren.’

Other residents and investigators tell similar stories about the church, which continues operating under the direction of its absolute leader, Warren Jeffs, in spite of his being one of the country’s most-wanted fugitives, indicted on sexual abuse charges along with eight of his chief followers.” (New York Times via abby)

This brings up to date a story that forms one of the centerpieces of the Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer’s terrifying exposé of extremist Mormon fundamentalism. If you think you know the depths of the America you live in, reading Krakauer’s book may change your mind.

And Now, a Warning About Labels

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“…(S)ome health literacy experts worry that many patients, overwhelmed by a proliferation of paper warnings — often written in turgid prose — are relying instead on the stickers to tell them how to take medications.

‘What I’m hearing from patients is that they don’t really much use these handouts that are stapled to the bag,’ said Dr. Ruth Parker, an internist who treats patients at the large public hospital associated with Emory University in Atlanta. ‘What they will sometimes do is look at the label.'” (New York Times )

"Mission Accomplished" Dept. (cont’d.)

U.S. military deaths reach 2,000 in Iraq: “A U.S. Army sergeant died of wounds suffered in Iraq, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. The death — along with two others announced Tuesday — brought to 2,000 the number of U.S. military members who have died since the start of the Iraq conflict in 2003.” (Boston Globe)

BTW, I heard that Bill O’Reilly said something on his radio show along the lines of, “The bombings will continue as long as the American presence does.” Although he was saying it to attempt to inure the public to the continuing death toll until we “complete our mission” (as Dubya always puts it) it is actually, precisely, an argument for the opposite, of course. And it also eerily reminiscent of that old saw about how “the beatings will continue until morale improves”…