When Wiley Drake Comes Marching In

Illustration by Bob AulDue to a boycott by moderates, the crowd was much smaller at this year's Southern Baptist Convention and Jug Blowin' Hoedown last week in New Orleans. One Netizen reported, “There were so few people in the Superdome it looked like a Saints game from the '70s.” Ouch! As a result of all the crap the church has taken for the homophobic, wife-submitting, Bible-as-infallible-history-book proclamations from past conventions, this year's tried to come off as more inclusive and less controversial. But one motion put forward on June 13 suggested asking President George W. Bush to declare June Heterosexual Family Pride Month, instead of Gay Pride Month as President Bill Clinton did. It quickly died on the floor. Who was trying to be the fly in the baptismal ointment? None other than Wiley Drake, pastor at First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park.

POT HEAD VS. POT BELLY Just days after it was revealed that the U.S. government withheld data on the cancer-fighting powers of marijuana, a study appeared in a scientific journal on June 11 purporting that pot users may be able to smoke and eat all they want without gaining weight. Think about it: How many heavyset potheads do you know? Okay, besides that Deadhead behind the counter at the corner record store. Other than him, nobody. The research out of State University of New York at Buffalo found that herb indulgers are “consuming more alcohol, smoking more cigarettes, eating fewer fruits, eating more food with sodium and drinking more soda” and still keeping the pounds off. They might've added that the best bud is still cheaper than Jenny Craig.

BE IRONIC “Representative Christopher Cox, California Republican, rose on the floor of the House this week to commemorate 'Irrelevant Week,'” the Washington Times' Inside the Beltway column reported on June 15. Irrelevant Week is an annual deal in which rich white guys in Newport Beach throw a weeklong booze fest for the player picked last in the NFL draft. What caught our eye was the headline over the short item in the Moonie rag: “Be Irrelevant.” And ironic. Despite reams of priceless PR in The Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, Newport Beach-Costa Mesa Daily Pilot and OC Metro over the past dozen years that have proclaimed Cox a “rising young star in the GOP” who is “poised for greater things,” he's been denied anointments, uh, appointments, as U.S. senator (three times), speaker of the House (twice), vice president (twice), CIA director and, most recently, federal judge. Yep, Chrissie's the perfect politician to carry the water for irrelevance.

THE PRICE OF FREE TRADE “Winning Under NAFTA” was the banner headline over a June 15 Register story about a Newport Beach businessman who successfully sued Mexico for $15.6 million under the North American Free Trade Agreement because the Mexican government illegally seized his hazardous-waste treatment plant due to environmental concerns. Reg editorials have historically supported all things NAFTA. We wonder how the paper that's “on Orange County's side” sits with the nearly $1 billion a Canadian company that manufactures MTBE is demanding from U.S. taxpayers under NAFTA. The crime? California's ban on the cancer-causing gasoline additive that has leached into the state's drinking water. The case will be decided by a secret tribunal whose decision will be final and binding. Yeah, that's fair.

IF YOU'RE SICK, GO TO THE HOSPITAL The June 15 Denver Post showcased a product that will surely sweep the nation: filtered underwear. But you have to feel sorry for the wife of 62-year-old Pueblo, Colorado, inventor Buck Weimer. He told the Post's ample readership—and, thanks to wire services and the Internet, the entire world—that he created Under-Ease because of his wife, Arlene's, monster farts. Arlene may now wear airtight undies with a replaceable charcoal filter that removes bad-smelling gases before they escape. Jeez, Buck could've at least blamed the dog.

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