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Friday, January 26, 2007

Working In Mysterious Ways

A zoo in Manchester England is celebrating the hatching of some new Komodo Dragons. But not just ANY baby Komodo Dragons! These are special, because the mother lizard has never had any male contact. Yes, it is a lizard virgin birth. A miracle.

My spy sources snapped this photo. According to the article (click the link) other reptile species reproduce asexually in a process known as parthenogenesis. But Flora's virginal conception, and that of another Komodo dragon in April at the London Zoo, are the first documented in a Komodo dragon. DNA test prove that Flora The Dragon is the mother and father. But the babies are not exact clones. Strange huh?

The male dragons at the zoo are reported to be relieved that they are not the baby daddy. A zoo lizard does make a lot of money, so having half their paycheck garnished is not something they want. But at the same time, they are understandably upset. A pregnant virgin dragon is every male dragon's worst nightmare.

Now onto the next strange item of the day! Authorities investigating a 29-year-old sex offender suspected of repeatedly enrolling in schools as a 12-year-old boy said Thursday they seized a video showing him engaging in sex acts with a child. It seems the man was able to pass himself off as a 12 year old boy to two other adult sex offenders (who thought he was really a 12 year old boy) AND to staff members at a school. He attended school, enrolled as a 12 year old boy, for 50 days before being dropped for lack of attendance. During that time he raised no concerns.

WHAT THE CRAP!?!? Nobody caught on to this ruse? You would think that a "12 year old" who can do the Safety Dance would raise just a few concerns. I would be all like "Hey - how the hell do you know about Men Without Hats and Devo?". But whatever. This guy will have a good old time in jail! He will get passed around like the cold.

Finally, it seems that cab drivers at the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport are refusing to accept passengers who are carrying alcohol. It seems that about 3/4 of the 900 cabs licensed to service the airport are Muslim, and according to their faith they are forbidden from drinking, transporting, or buying and selling alcohol. They believe that if they accept a fare who is packing booze, they are sinning. As a result, some passengers have had to wait up to 20 minutes as cab driver after cab driver passed them by.

Airport officials are not sure what to do. At this moment, the CNN internet poll of 20,971 people (you CAN vote more than once - so how many of these are duplicate results is unknown) resulted in 14% (2872) saying "yes" and 86% (18099) saying "no" to the question "Should cab drivers be able to refuse passengers on religious grounds".

I can see both sides here. One one hand, we have freedom of religion in this nation. People are free to worship however they see fit - and (in theory) nobody can harass them for their beliefs. So if transporting alcohol is a violation of your religion - then that is the way it is! You have a right to ban alcohol from your car. And what if I own a store? In Florida, if I place a sign in the window that says "no concealed weapons" then guess what? Even if you have a permit to carry - you can not do so in my store. I suppose I could also refuse to allow booze in my store. What I CAN NOT do is ban people based on race, color, national origin, religion, height, weight, hair color, age, or whatever. But I CAN ban objects - so long it applies to everyone without regard to race, religion, national origin, etc and so on.

So can a Muslim cab driver ban alcohol from his "place of business"? Well, it is his cab.

But then again, I would be pissed if I was at the airport and the cab driver said I could get in, but not the duty free alcohol I had bought.

So I do not know what I would do either. What a mess for the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport people. Glad it is them and not me! There is no easy way for them to get out of this one. Religious freedom VS customer service. Forcing cab drivers to allow passengers with alcohol could result in a law suit. Banning Muslim cab drivers would be illegal. But pissed off passengers is also not good.

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Blogger Steven Novak said...

COuld that Komodo be the second coming? ;)


Blogger Victoria said...

Parthenogenesis, aw yeah! This made my day.

Blogger Senor Caiman said...

The Lazy,

I'm pretty sure President-elect Obama plans on killing all the white Christians and most others right off so I don't see this being a long-term problem.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Steven - Komodo Dragon ancient prophesy speak of a virgin Dragon giving birth to a batch of babies that take over the world and enslave all primates. We better watch these hatchings.

Victoria - glad to make your day with this 100% true story. It is on the BBC and CNN.

Caiman - good thing I am agnostic huh? Think President-Elect Obama will hook a white brother up with a job? I could be Ambassador to some VERY white nation. Like The Netherlands for example.

Blogger Cheesemeister said...

The virgin birth thing is a great idea. Cuts down on the divorce rates from female Komodo dragons getting into bad marriages with generally unsuitable mates just so they can have babies.
I don't think it's particularly smart of the cabbie to ban alcohol from the cab. As long as it isn't an open container. But what do I know?

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Not only would Dragon divorce rates be lower, but Dragon Court would not have to issue nearly as many restraining orders. You know, Komodo is not a very large island!

Blogger Kristen said...

That guy posing as a 12-year-old seriously bugs me. He's got to be the worst kind of evil to try and pull that off.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Kristen, I have a feeling his booty hole will not be able to hold anything back after being in jail.

Blogger Fuzz said...

What if you are carrying the booze internally ?

Blogger Michael said...

Wow, Jesus is a lizard. The theoligical implications are stunning...

About the cab drivers at the airport, they are making a mountain out of a non-issue.

I live in the Galil, northern Israel, where 50% of the population is Muslim. At least once a week, I'll get in a taxi while carrying a bottle of alcohol (Shabbat wine), and there is a 50/50 chance that I'll have a Muslim Arab driver.

I have never once had a problem because of the alcohol.

I've been laughed at for my bad Hebrew, been offered bourekas, gotten harangued on politics, and learned all about one guy's kids, but never once has a Muslim driver had a problem about alcohol in the car.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Well you know, if a taxi is a "place of business" then I suppose a cab driver has a right to set the rules. As long as those rules do not violate any laws.

So, saying "that guy is just a little too dark, I will not let him in my cab" is wrong. But banning alcohol is not in violation of any law! Not that I know of. As long as it is applied to everyone it is not discriminatory. If you are was white as me, or as dark as Al Sharpton - and you have alcohol - no ride. However, letting me in with alcohol and NOT letting Al Sharpton in with alcohol would be illegal.

What I want to know is how do the cab drivers know who has booze? How do they know what is luggage?

I would just lie. And I do think it is BAD business practice.

Blogger Michael said...

Lazy Iguana:
There are, I think, two issues with the cab drivers:
One is, can they ban alcohol in their cabs? Depends on who owns the cab... many cabbies own their taxi license, but drive a company car. In that case, it's not their car to ban the booze from, and they are forcing their religious beliefs on everyone.

If they own the car, they have a point.

Second issue is, Are they simply trying, like many Islamists worldwide, to push Shari'a on everyone else? And this where the debate gets sticky.

The main thing, though, is that most states have laws to govern taxi service, and under those laws, it is illegal to deny a fare, unless the driver believes his life to be in danger or the passenger to be under the influence of drugs.

I agree with your last point completely: it is a bad business practice.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Here in the USA we still have the first amendment which protects religious freedom. It is a good amendment, I would not mess with it at all.

Now if the cab drivers are claiming it violates their religion to carry alcohol in their cab, and the cab company forces them to do it anyway - there could be a law suit. It could become a first amendment issue.

I believe that cabbies do own their cabs. They pay "rent" the the cab companies for the right to paint company logos on their cab. The cab companies also offer 24 hour logistics support to the drivers. Radio dispatch, taking calls, etc.

The danger here is that they COULD loose the gravy train that is the airport. The airport authority may just issue more taxi permits and have two lines. One line for alcohol and one line for no alcohol. Passengers would have the free choice of what line to get in. I do not see how this would be discriminatory as it would be a free choice system. Any cab driver could get into any line.

I think that the cab drivers that refuse to allow people with alcohol would loose so much business to the other drivers that the issue would just end. The free market would, in this case, solve the problem quickly and fairly.


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