My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.A Connecticut-based animal cruelty task force is leaping into action after six beheaded chickens were found in a parking lot. Some speculate the animals were the results of a Santeria ritual.”The eight-member Task Force on Animal Cruelty and the Circle of Violence will consider a growing number of animal abuse incidents in the state and their relationship to domestic violence, child abuse and other types of aggression, said Rep. Diane Urban, D-Stonington, who chairs the task force The group hopes to report back with possible policy changes including tougher consequences that could deter animal cruelty, by late this year, Urban said … ‘There is a lot of information that indicates those who display this kind of behavior might escalate it toward wives and children.'”While actual animal cruelty might be a warning sign for escalating violence, there is no basis for making the same claim regarding ritualized animal sacrifice in a religious context. A point seemingly lost on Rep. Urban, who conflates sacrificing chickens with dog fighting.”Whether it’s beheading chickens or dog fighting, it is an alarming sign of people not recognizing the sanctity of an animal’s existence.”In reality, proper animal sacrifice pays very close attention to the sanctity of that animal’s existence, something your local KFC can’t claim. It should be interesting to see how this unfolds, and if the task force will target ritualized animal sacrifice in the interest of stopping animal cruelty.The Chicago ABC affiliate reports on the publishing of “The Funniest One in the Room: The Lives and Legends of Del Close”, and recounts some of the exploits of this seminal improvisational comedian.