Quick Notes: Dan Halloran, Highway Druids, and that Secular Cross

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Just a few quick notes for you this Friday to start off your weekend.

Halloran Won’t Be Running For Congress: Conservative New York City Councilman, and out Theodsman, Dan Halloran has decided he won’t be challenging Democratic Rep. Gary Ackerman in November. According to Halloran, it all came down to money.

“After seriously weighing a congressional run against Rep. Gary Ackerman, Republican City Council Member Dan Halloran has decided to take a pass on the race—at least until 2012. Halloran said he had been in talks with the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) about how much money they could provide for the race, a key factor given that it is already mid-May and he has not begun fundraising for a Congressional campaign. According to Halloran, the NRCC last week offered him “hundreds of thousands of dollars” but “less than a million”—not enough for Halloran to run against Ackerman and his $1.1 million war chest, he said. Halloran declined to name the exact amount the NRCC had offered him. Still, Halloran said the fact that the NRCC offered him any money was an indication of his potential viability running against a 14-term incumbent.”

The NRCC denies offering Halloran any concrete amount of money for the race, and says that their contact with the potential candidate was “brief”, and “months ago”. This final decision came after months of “will he or won’t he” starting in March when rumors of a Tea Party-fueled candidacy first arose. He at first said he was “content” being a city council member, but then changed his answer to a “maybe” in April, citing anger over health care reform. But now he’s definitely out, and the NRCC are backing a candidate that isn’t Halloran, so it seems that the matter is settled. At least until 2012, as Halloran says he’s “definitely not precluding running in two years”.

Druids Reduce Highway Deaths: Austria’s Motorway Authority have apparently been hiring Druids to cleanse “blackspots”, places on the highway where accidents are concentrated.

“Motoroway bosses in Austria secretly hired a full-time team of druids to drain ‘negative energy’ from accident blackspots. The team is said to have reduced fatal accidents at one notorious crash site to zero after restoring its “terrestrial radiation”. Chief engineer Harald Dirnbacher from Austria’s motorway authority ASFINAG explained: “We were really sceptical at first and certainly didn’t want people to know what we were doing, so we kept it secret.” But now the trial results are so impressive officials are spreading the scheme nationwide.”

I would love to know which Druids these are. Part of a larger organization? A small local group? I also wish I could see the data verifying their results. How many years did they measure the effects of this “negative energy” drain? Was this effort coupled with more secular engineering solutions? Inquiring minds want to know!

The Return of the Revenge of the Secular Cross: So first the Supreme Court said that a WWI Christian cross memorial on public lands could be a secular symbol honoring soldiers of all religions, then someone stole the cross, prompting outrage. Then the vandal released an anonymous statement on the matter, and now someone has anonymously put up an replica even bigger cross.

“There is a twist in the case of the missing cross. Mysteriously (or miraculously?) a cross has arisen at the spot in the Mojave Desert where a large one at the center of a dispute over church and state disappeared this month. The new cross, about six inches taller than the seven-foot one stolen from the rock it sat on since the mid-1990s, was discovered Thursday by National Park Service workers.”

However, one illegal act doesn’t cancel out another illegal act, so that cross will be taken down. In fact, it’s an open question if the cross can be replaced at all until the legal appeals regarding the land-transition deal are heard. No doubt there will be a lot more in the case of the secular cross in the weeks and months to come.

That’s all I have for now, but before you go, be sure and check out an interview with yours truly over at Patheos.com.

Have a great day!