Saturday, October 31, 2009

Misbehavin’ pumpkins! (Mildly NSFW)

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My godfather just sent me an eMail with funny Halloween pumpkins, and I thought it was worth a post. Think of it as my little “Happy Halloween!” to y’all. =) (Some of them are mildly naughty, so this qualifies as a NSFW post.)

Large green pumpkin eating tiny orange pumpkin
*Nom nom nom*

Green squid pumpkin eating orange clam pumpkin
A certain atheist professor and Scienceblogger from Minnesota might enjoy this one …

Jon Stewart *eviscerates* Faux Newz

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This aired a few nights ago and I’ve desperately been trying to post it here ever since, yet I couldn’t thanks to Comedy Network sucking balls at a professional level. Yet, once again, I can thank my lucky stars for Media Matters for delivering my heart’s desire. So, here you go: watch The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart as he lands a total, unequivocal and devastating smackdown to Fox News by calling it out exactly as it is: an unfair, unbalanced, wingnut-operated hive of rank dishonesty and moronic reporting.

Oh, how I luvs me some good BBQ Fox.

(via @todayspolitics)
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Quote of the Day: Dunn on Palin

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Geoffrey Dunn at HuffPo writes about a new book, Going Rouge: Sarah Palin, An American Nightmare, which is basically a foil for Palin’s own sure-to-be-shitty memoirs (Going Rogue), and ends with this brilliant bit:

One thing is certain: You will read far more about the real Sarah Palin in Going Rouge than you ever will in her own memoirs, being published by (who else?) Rupert Murdoch. If there is a single consistency in the Palin canon it is that she is an inveterate liar and motivated by a reckless ambition that has left a trail of collateral damage from Wasilla to Washington, D.C. Going Rouge is full of golden nuggets about Sarah Palin. Judging from her past performances, her own book will most certainly be riddled with deceit.


(via @todayspolitics)
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Friday, October 30, 2009

Stupid Quote of the Day: Glenn Beck on net neutrality

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Our favorite conspiracy theorist is back, and (once again) says something that’s almost outrageous in its sheer stupidity:

Beck: Anyway, you may remember, FreePress is the group pushing for Net Neutrality, which would take the Internet out of the private hands of private business and into the hands of the government. It would create a level playing field. It would help diversity. It would destroy the free market that created the Internet.

Except that, first of all, the free market didn’t create the Internet. The government did. And second, net neutrality is the exact antithesis of controlling or restricting the free market. It is, in itself, the very thing that allows the market to remain neutral to all – hence, “net neutrality”.

Sheesh, what an idiot.

(via @todayspolitics)

This is why I wanna see ‘2012’

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I could care less about bogus science, ancient mythologies and silly prophecies: it’s all about the fuckin’ sweet-ness of those f/x.

Tell me that ain’t worth selling your mother for.

Et tu, Vatican?

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The Vatican is apparently afraid of the corruption and immorality that (they believe) follow in the wake of everyone’s favorite yearly Scary Movie Night:

The Holy See has warned that parents should not allow their children to dress up as ghosts and ghouls on Saturday, calling Hallowe'en a pagan celebration of "terror, fear and death".

Whereas they set an example of dressing up as Renaissance-era clowns whose religion (also rooted in paganism, as with every other religion in human history) is a celebration of bigotry and intolerance, willful ignorance, blind faith, wanton violence against other faiths, and authoritarianism and fascism …

I think I’ll stick to eating cheap candy (or pizza, if the stars align) in front of an even cheaper horror flick.

(via @religionnews)
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Ed Brayton’s Guide to Avoiding the Gay Agenda (2010 edition)

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Each year, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation releases its Corporate Equality Index, which tracks how corporations across America are faring in the battle for equality for LGBT people. What started as a tiny listing of only 13 companies in 2002 that attained a 100% rating, has since grown into a commendable 305 perfect-scoring corporations for 2010. This is wonderful news for all … except homophobic bigots, of course, who are going nutz, as is evidenced by this fabulous WorldNutDaily headline:

WND Exclusive: “America's pro-homosexual giants: 2010 (Companies offering most support for 'gay,' lesbian, transgender workers)”

The article lists all the 305 corporations that attained a perfect 100% rating, which of course makes them corrupt hotbeds of immoral sodomy for the conservative family values-espousing Christians (ie. pearl-clutchers) who read the WND.

Now, back to Ed Brayton from Dispatches, who details how difficult life must become for all the Righteous who wish to avoid encouraging the Gay Agenda in his revised Guide to Avoiding the Gay Agenda (HRC Corporate Equality Index 2010 edition).

You can't fly on American Airlines or US Airways, both of which scored a perfect 100. You might also want to avoid United, Southwest, Delta, Northwest, Continental and JetBlue; all scored above 80. In fact, you can't even fly on Sarah Palin's Alaska Airlines, who got a perfect score this year. Who can you fly? Well, you could try Nepal Airlines, the faith-based airline that sacrifices goats to appease God. On second thought, that won't work either. Nepal Airlines has two planes, both of them made by Boeing; Boeing got a perfect 100 too. Go Greyhound!

In fact, you might want to start boycotting the military too. Most of the major defense contractors scored very well. Honeywell, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman all scored a perfect 100. Lockheed got an 85. Who would have guessed that our good ol' red-blooded and (presumably) straight American fighting men are using weapons that advance the gay agenda? If you don't ask, we won't tell.

Shopping could be a problem too. You can't shop at Abercrombie and Fitch, The Gap, JC Penney's, Macy's, or Nordstroms. Can't wear Levis jeans or Nike shoes. And even that staple of middle American fashion, LL Bean, scored a 79. Ah well, there's always K-Mart. And in a pinch, you can always wear a plain white sheet.

Seriously? This is what anti-pot activists have sunk to?

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If this video is a true indication of how pathetic opponents of medical marijuana legalization have become, then I think it’s a fair bet the battle may already be over in advance. (For the good guys.)

Joint Cause Commercial from Wil Wells on Vimeo.

Stereotyping mixed with lame humor is never effective, only affective. Negatively.

(via The Agitator)
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“I just want to know what her problem is”

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In case you hadn’t cringed this morning, here ya go:

LANGLEY, B.C. -- Police in Langley are investigating after a woman kicked a man in the groin so hard he lost a testicle -- the latest in a series of similar assaults.

"I just want to know what her problem is," victim Anthony Clark, 22, said this week. "People like her shouldn't be on the streets."

Mr. Clark was walking in the Brookswood area of Langley in early September when he passed his assailant on the sidewalk.

"I was looking down and then I took a passing glance and saw her walk up to me," he said.

That's when the young woman inexplicably kicked him in the groin hard enough to send one of his testicles into his abdomen.

Mr. Clark said he wasn't aware of the severity of his injury until later that night when he "noticed something was missing."

He consulted his doctor and a specialist, both of whom believed his testicle could be brought down again with surgery.

It wasn't until he woke up afterwards that he discovered the doctors were wrong - the force of the assault had caused his testicle to rupture. It had to be removed and will be replaced by a prosthetic before Christmas.

"My doctors say I will still be able to have children," Mr. Clark said. "But at 22 that's not something I want a stranger, this woman, to decide."

Embarrassed by the situation, Mr. Clark didn't go to the police until nearly four weeks after the attack.

Constables have told him there have been three or four similar assaults on other men, Mr. Clark said.

Langley RCMP said they would like to speak to other victims, although there have been no official reported incidents, spokeswoman Const. Holly Marks said.

The suspect is described as a Caucasian woman, in her late teens or early 20s. She was between five-foot-five and five-foot-seven and 130 pounds with a slim build and brown hair.

Hope none of you have fallen out of your chairs in sympathetic pain. Me, I’m just covering them protectively for a moment.

One guess would posit that she may be part of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement … but another, more plausible one, suggests she’s a crazed nut with a bit of a problem with men.

(via The Agitator)
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Friday Canine: Hmm … smells nice

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Beautiful arctic wolf with blooms
(via Historic America)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A cowardly surrender or a clever parody?

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Glenn Beck Halloween mask from ‘Forbes’ magazine
No, he doesn’t look less stupid in real person

Glenn Beck already has a bit of a history as a thin-skinned crybaby (no, I’m not referring to his fake crying on the air), illustrated by examples such as when he tried to pull the plug on a parody website because it uses the exact same rhetoric and style as he does (only, against him). Here’s the latest example of Beck pouting in the face of anything that’s less than praise: Forbes magazine announced its picks for its “scariest people of 2009” bit, which includes other controversial names such as Roman Polanski, the Gosselins, Bernie Madoff and Rod Blagojevich. Beck himself had the (dubious) honor of being at spot #1. As the magazine says of Beck:

This cable-news demagogue commands big ratings, an army of fans and crocodile tears on demand.

Perfect. Except, not for Beck himself, who then whined to the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Steve Forbes himself, as he interviewed him on his show. Forbes subsequently apologized to Beck, and then, even corrected the article to be nicer to Beck.

However, pay attention to what Forbes says – and especially, how he says it. Here’s the exchange during the interview on Beck’s show:

FORBES: It was a mis — it was a miscommunication. We were going to put you on the most admired, most beloved, most reasonable, most enlightened list.

BECK: Right, right.

FORBES: But we figured if we did that, it would yeah, we wanted to put a mask on you so you wouldn’t get killed by the liberals.

BECK: I mean, here’s the competition: Rod Blagojevich, Bernie Madoff, Michael Jackson, David Letterman, Michael Moore, Roman Polanski. You’ve got a rapist who is nine slots lower than I am ….

FORBES: We normally would put you on the 400 list but we respect your privacy.

And then, here’s Forbes’ correction to the article:

By Steve Forbes
I hereby amend Halloween Masks -- The Scariest People Of 2009
"Glenn Beck is the scariest person to big tax; big government; big spend; and weak defense liberals."

Naturally, most see this as Forbes plainly bowing down to the whiny demagogue in posting a seemingly less offensive description below his Halloween mask. But – honestly, I think this appears to be a clever bite back at Beck. I mean, just look at what he tells beck – that he was “gonna be” on the “most admired, most beloved, most reasonable, most enlightened list”, that he would’ve been put on the “400 list”, and that he is one of the “scariest people” to things like “big tax, big government”, and most notably of all, to “weak defense liberals” …

I dunno if it’s just me, or wishful thinking (or both), but this sounds more like Forbes is actually taking the mickey out of Beck, though on a level that he – and, perhaps, most – would be unable to tell it as such. It certainly doesn’t sound very serious an apology and amendment to me.

(via @todayspolitics)
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Another atheist billboard defaced, another revelatory act

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Religious bigots do like to shoot themselves in the foot. This is rather self-explanatory:

Vandalized atheist billboard: “Keep [Religion] *FAGS* OUT of Government”

Need I say more?

(Although, granted, it is possible this was just a case of bored stupid youths looking for any reason to scribble “fags” somewhere.)

(via Friendly Atheist)
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This almost makes me wanna be a molecular physicist

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Ever wondered how small an atom was? Or different viruses or cells? Well, here ya go.

Never have the words “fuckin’ sweet” ever been more appropriate.

(via The Agitator)
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If you don’t like ’em, just get rid of ’em or kill ’em

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Heinous and unwarranted persecution of sex offenders, a tiny number of whom pose any real threat to anyone and a majority of whom haven’t even done anything remotely wrong at all, never stops. Now, the American Family Association is concerned with the Silver Sage Girl Scouts group in Twin Falls, Idaho, who have decided to move their headquarters when they discovered that – *gasp!* – 50 sex offenders live within a one-mile radius of their current location. Here’s what the AFA has to say about it:

The problem is, there's no place for them to move. Their new location, it turns out, is smack dab in the middle of 23 registered sex offenders. We clearly must do something more permanent with sex offenders - either lock them up for life or put them to death if they are guilty of the rape of a child. If either sex offenders or the Girl Scouts have to be inconvenienced, I vote for sex offenders.

Such thinking is abhorrent (which has become typical of any organization espousing conservative family values these days). First of all, as Ed Brayton explains:

There are about 700,000 people on state sex offender lists at the moment. But in five states, that includes someone who is arrested soliciting a prostitute. In 13 states, that includes someone arrested for urinating in public. In 29 states, it includes teenagers who had sex with other teenagers. In 32 states, it includes someone arrested for streaking or flashing, something every frat boy has done from time to time during rush week.

In one study of the Georgia sex offender list, the review board that oversees that list determined that 65% of the more than 17,000 people on the list were not a threat to anyone at all. Only about 100 of them were actually classified as predators. That's just over one half of one percent of the people on the list.

So, you’re right, American Family Institute (in particular Bryan Fischer, the writer of this tripe). We need to make sex offenders’ lives even harder and more miserable than they are now – after all, preventing them from getting any halfway-decent job, home, any chance at a relationship, or any real future at all, isn’t enough. We need to throw them behind bars to rot for the rest of their evil lives – or better yet, fry ’em all.

After all, we wouldn’t want teh children to be exposed to such soulless mind-corrupting evil as peeing in public, or other kids consummating their love. Nah – that’d be horrible.

(via Dispatches From the Culture Wars)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My, he really will splutter over the tiniest things

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There is perhaps no better illustration of the Christian Persecution Complex sufferer than everyone’s beloved purple-faced crank, president of the Catholic League Bill “Jackass” Donohue. And, here is a perfect example to bring credence to such an illustration. Below is the text of an eMail alert sent to everyone on the Catholic League’s mailing list (taken from PZ, with original colors):

On Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 8:45 am ET, Catholic League President Bill Donohue will appear on Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends."

He will discuss the recent attack on Jesus on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

First of all, just in case you’re curious, here’s the clip- (and “attack”-)in-question:

Okay, so that was a bit lame at times, but it was okay overall. I’d say I was far more amused at just how ironically realistic it was – the idea of something so stupid and silly (and otherwise readily explainable) being declared a bona fide miracle and then used to draw crowds of the credulous – than at the piss-on-Jesus’-face bit (or even hanging off the ceiling by grabbing onto the girl’s muffin-top. Though, if that doesn’t push girls to be more self-conscious, I dunno what will). Unless that’s what the show actually had in mind, in which case … nah, still wasn’t that funny. (Props for cleverness, though.)

Thankfully, there is nothing in Earth, Heaven or Hell that could possibly get me to watch Fox and Friends as long as I am of my own will (unless perhaps U2 made an appearance), so I suppose I’ll miss out on Donohue’s furious blathering about how a single drop of wee on a painting of Jebus makes the hearts of Catholics worldwide shrivel up in despair and agony, but I’m sure it’ll be of some entertainment value to some. You masochists, you.

(via Pharyngula)

Bill Maher and the Year of Ridiculous Republicans

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Ah, Bill Maher. Whilst there are plenty (bordering on “many”) of things to despise about him – his support for anti-vaccination lunacy and homeopathy, affiliations with PETA, and etc. to name a few – you gotta love it when he starts ripping into kooks and nuts who deserve it so very much. In this video, he truly bares his wonderfully acerbic fangs when it comes to some of our most beloved (or hated) wingnuts, such as Dick Cheney, the teabaggers, Michelle Bachmann and others. Talk about ending his final show of the season in style.

If, for any reason, you are such an unlucky bastard that you can’t even see the vid above, you just have to enjoy these select quotes:

[About Republicans rallying around Dick Cheney] who, for a while, popped up on TV more often than the GEICO lizard, to demand he be given proper credit for torture. Not that I’m comparing Cheney to the GEICO lizard. One’s a cold-blooded reptile and the other is the GEICO lizard.


Yes, the teabaggers, who started a movement and in the process, sullied the name of a perfectly good gay sex act. That’s right; when the year started, “teabagging” was a phrase that referred to dangling one’s testicles in someone else’s face, and they managed to turn it into something gross and ridiculous.


[On Michele Bachmann] The floor of the cave called; it wants its batshit back.

Seriously, though, the vid is chock-full of these gems. Get it/them.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)

Sure, let’s celebrate the far-right, anti-government, president-hating wingnuts

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Teabaggers thanking God for Glenn Beck
Being wrapped in an American flag gives the illusion of patriotism, see

From the realms of “Are You Freakin’ Kidding Me?” comes the report that there is currently a House resolution being introduced that would officially give thanks and convey the legislative body’s “gratitude and appreciation” to those moronic “Tea Party” protesters who marched through Washington, DC for Glenn Beck’s horrible “9/12 Project”. And no, I am not shitting you.

Republican Rep. Tom Price, of Georgia, has introduced a House resolution that would, if passed, express the legislative body's "gratitude and appreciation" to Tea Party members who marched on Washington on Sept. 12 to "show their love of liberty and their grievance with recent government actions."

The proposed resolution is co-signed by more than 70 members of the House.

Click here to read the full text of the resolution.

The proposed resolution would single for praise the "hundreds of thousands of American patriots, who refuse to sit idly by as the Federal Government advances skyrocketing deficits, taxpayer-funded bailouts, pork-barrel projects, burdensome taxes, unaccountable policy czars, command-and-control energy policy, and a government takeover of health care, came to Washington, D.C., to show their disapproval ..."

The proposed resolution has been referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Rep. Ed Towns, D-N.Y., for any action on the proposal. Or not.

“Or not.”. I love that. Let’s hope it’s true. When the American House of Representatives is trying to pass a motion that would give condonance and appreciation to the insane, delusional hicks who accuse the government of turning America into a socialist empire and who would love nothing more than to see their “Hitler” president overthrown, you know that this shit has gone seriously out-of-whack.

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I wish I had a photographic memory, too

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Stephen Wiltshire, an autistic Londoner artist blessed with a photographic memory (the ability to recall any image perfectly, down to its smallest details), is undertaking a 20-foot panoramic sketch of New York City, from nothing but the visual memory of his one-time 20-minute helicopter flight above the Manhattan skyline. I can’t find any larger images, but you get the idea (tantalizingly):

Steven Wiltshire sketching New York City from memory


Delivering a smackdown to demagogues who claim hate crimes bill will lead to religious prosecution

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For so long now, the religious right (and the right in general) have been wailing hysterically about how the new hate crimes bill (named the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act), which would do nothing more or less than offer severe punishments to criminals who attack others on the grounds of them being a minority (whether it be ethnicity or sexual orientation). They claim that it would lead to, amongst other things, pastors being arrested and prosecuted for hate speech against homosexuality and gays. This is an abominably stupid claim, and there is no better expert on the subject to explain exactly how and why these fear-mongers are dead wrong than Charles Haynes, one of the most renowned senior First Amendment scholars in the country. Take it away:

To illustrate their fears, religious conservatives cite cases in Europe and Canada where a few pastors have been prosecuted in recent years for “hate speech” after they spoke out against homosexuality. These prosecutions are indeed insidious attacks on free speech and free exercise of religion – but they all occurred in countries without a First Amendment.

In my view, it can’t happen here. Americans have, after all, lived under hate-crimes laws, federal and state, for decades – and some of the state laws already include sexual orientation. In all that time, religious leaders of various stripes have preached controversial beliefs about race, religion and national origin without ever being charged with a hate crime based on the content of their speech.

Thanks to the First Amendment, we enjoy the strongest protection for free expression in the world. In a society where even white supremacists, anti-Semites and anti-gay hatemongers like the Rev. Fred Phelps are free to speak, local pastors need not worry about being prosecuted for preaching the Gospel as they understand it.

But just to be certain that the legislation will not be misused, sponsors of the hate-crimes bill have added language to ensure that “nothing in the Act shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech.” Further, “nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating of espousing such beliefs.”

The only speech affected by this bill is speech that has no constitutional protection now, such as speech that directs people to commit violence, in a manner likely to incite imminent lawless action. Bias-motivated acts of violence are the target of this legislation, not speech protected by the First Amendment.

Talk about batting it out of the ballpark. I dunno if it’s just me, but really, it is always so very satiating to hear an expert who actually has a clue come out and prove how dishonest the religious right is. (And, again, the right in general.) I believe it is abundantly clear that, considering how obvious all of this is, these lying cranks know very well that there is nothing to argue over, nothing to debate about, when it comes to the passing of hate crimes bills. They’re not interested in honest discussion, they never have been. All this is is pure demagoguery for the sake of attention – and getting the gullible and ignorant to open their wallets.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)
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On the irony of torture and punishment

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If this doesn’t throw into relief the inequality in the justice department towards criminals and their crimes, I dunno what does. Get this: a group of five people in Glendale, California, are being accused of committing “felony torture” against two loan-modification agents whom they believe defrauded them.

The couple, Daniel Weston and Mary Ann Parmelee, and three other people are accused of luring their two victims to an office where the men were tied up, held for hours and beaten, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney said.

Police were called after one of the victims managed to escape, said the spokeswoman, Shiara Davila-Morales. The incident occurred on Wednesday in the town of Glendale, just north of Los Angeles. Weston, Parmelee and the three other defendants each were charged with two counts of torture, two counts of false imprisonment by violence and two counts of second-degree robbery, according to a criminal complaint filed against them.

Now, here’s the harsh sentences they face:

Each count of felony torture, defined as inflicting "great bodily injury" for the purpose of "revenge, extortion, persuasion and for a sadistic purpose," carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. Defense lawyers were not immediately available for comment.

Now, I have nothing against these criminals rotting in jail for a long time for their vicious acts (though I do think a life sentence is a bit much – maybe rather 30–50 years or so). But still, lemme get this straight: if you’re a civilian and you lock some people up in a room and beat them for a few hours, you get charged with torture and face up to a lifetime in jail.

Whereas, if you’re a government official and you submit criminals to hundreds of sessions of waterboarding, slam them into walls, manhandle and abuse them, play on their phobias, keep them awake for days and days on end, subject them to hypothermia, and etc. … then you don’t even get charged with torture, and much less do you pay for it.

Is it just me, or does this picture seem horribly lopsided, here?

(via Dispatches From the Culture Wars)

Well, at least they’re against it

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The Obama administration has come out strongly against the U.N.’s resolution to prohibit “defamation of religion”, a concept so very vague and loosely applicable that anything remotely critical of faith or that offends pearl-clutchers would be criminalized and punishable by law. Now that they oppose it, how ’bout they do something about it?

"Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called anti-defamation policies that would restrict freedom of expression and the freedom of religion," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters. "I strongly disagree."

Clinton said the United States was opposed to negative depictions of specific faiths and would always fight against belief-based discrimination. But she said a person's ability to practice their religion was entirely unrelated to another person's right to free speech.

"The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faith will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions," Clinton said. "These differences should be met with tolerance, not with the suppression of discourse."

Glad to see they still have some common sense in these matters. Anti-blasphemy laws are never acceptable. Religion is not immune or superior to criticism, and should not be treated as such. In fact, if anything, criticism of religion should be actively encouraged, if it gets people to open their eyes and realize what a crock of gator turd it all is. I’m sorry, but if your faith is shaky enough to be rattled and you to be offended by mere (and honest) criticism, then you deserve to have your beliefs mocked and exposed as the silliness they are, if it snaps you back to reality.

(via Pharyngula)
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This is why I love the Governator

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has to be my favorite Republican in office. The guy makes others of the GOP look like incompetent assholes (which so many of them are), and quite frankly, with his reasonable and open-minded policies (he himself is pro-choice, pro-stem cell research, supports gay rights, has lax views on the death penalty, etc.) he is about as liberal a Republican as I’ve seen them in recent years. Another thing I like about him, is that this guy’s got balls, to put it plainly. Here’s just the latest example of such: he recently vetoed yet another unnecessary bill and, fed up with the legislature constantly ignoring larger issues he wants to see dealt with, he slipped in a little message to the California State Assembly:

Vetoed bill with special message

Hot damn. I think they just terminated his patience. [ducks]

(via @todayspolitics)
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“Who needs fact-checkers if you don’t need facts?”

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Thus is Hardball’s Chris Matthews’ astute observation on the latest bit of Rush Limbaugh idiocy. Limbaugh was originally duped by a piece of satire that was a fake college thesis supposedly written by President Obama, which claimed that the Constitution needed to be altered to allow for a “massive redistribution of wealth”. This, of course, played right into Limbaugh’s wingnuttery and he broadcast the fake thesis live on his show without even realizing it was a fake, claiming that this was just more evidence showing how Obama was an “anti-constitutionalist”. This, coming from someone who behaves as though he believes the Fourth Amendment should be burned and have its ashes danced over. Maroon.

Finally, when this information about it all being satire was pointed out to him …

So we stand by the fabricated quote because we know Obama thinks it anyway.

Of course! Who needs actual quotes and facts when you can just make shit up and call it accurate, on the grounds that you believe you know what the guy thinks?

And this is why Republicans are such a friggin’ joke these days. Too stupid to recognize satire and fakery, too dense to accept that what they say is false, and too proud to admit that they are wrong.

Or, maybe they’re just fundamentally dishonest. Yeah … that’s it.

(via @todayspolitics)
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John McHugh also wants DADT thrown out of the military

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It’s always fun to hear a Republican say something sensible. Secretary of the Army John McHugh says that the military would be ready to remove Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell if both Congress and Obama decided it was time to let openly gay soldiers serve their country with pride and honor.

McHugh speculated that gays might be allowed to serve in some units but not others, while also stressing that no such plans had been discussed. More importantly, he told the Army Times there was no reason to believe major disruption would ensue in the army if the ban was lifted.

"Anytime you have a broad-based policy change, there are challenges to that," he said. "The Army has a big history of taking on similar issues, [with] predictions of doom and gloom that did not play out."

Exactly. But then, the same is true with dissenters and doomsayers of all realms, not just the military. How many times was America supposed to become a commie-ridden socialist empire with internment camps, forced abortions, massacres of grandparents and a forced flu vaccinations …?

(via @VeritasKnight)
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Amusing Quote of the Day: Vox on – surprise! – his grandeur

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Vox Day (Teddy Beale) with a flaming sword
Yes, that’s Vox with a flaming sword. You be the judge.

Damn is this guy entertaining, much in the way any regular crackpot with (incredibly) deep-seated delusions of superiority is entertaining. Here, just because I felt like highlighting something of moderate interest, a message Vox sends to “ankle-biters”:

On this fine afternoon, I find myself contemplating just what, precisely, could possibly be the purpose for your collective existence, which to the observer appears to testify against intelligent design and natural selection alike. I don't pretend to understand what sickness of the soul causes you to repeatedly bash your heads against the unforgiving wall of my logic, or what compulsive disorder drives you to put yourselves in a position to be humiliated over and over again by my superior knowledge and intellect, as no sooner are you shot down than you rise, with all the sublime, shambling grace of a mindless zombie, and stumble back into the fray.

Are my ankles so sweet that you cannot resist snapping at them? Do your psychological scars run so deep that you cannot control your masochistic longings for brutal correction?


Except for all those times he’s been proven incontrovertibly wrong, has spouted incredibly stupid silliness (over, and over, and over again), revealed his incredible ignorance regarding pop culture, and even once tried to bite back at me for some of my criticism, yet failed absurdly by misconstruing everything I said and resorting to the usual baseless claims he uses on his opponents …

… And that’s just the stuff I’ve come across.

Vox Day is not a superintelligence ([pedant] this term applies only to AIs and artificially modified human brains [/pedant]), and nor is he even vaguely possessing of ulterior knowledge, a master of any real philosophy, or showing the fundamentals of common sense. Vox Day is little, if anything, more than a boor and an Internet troll. A highly sophisticated one, admittedly, but a troll nonetheless. His methods of “debating” are comprised of nothing more than obscurantism, making wild claims without a lick of evidence to back them up (and whatever evidence he does use is assuredly twisted and false), referring to abstract concepts as though they had any relevance, using ridiculous rhetoric and insanely convoluted logic to the point where he “wins” debates, not by actually having the upper arm in intelligence and logic, but merely because his opponents cannot stand his bullshit any longer … and, of course, those core traits that define the very person of Teddy Beale: empty ad hominem attacks by the shitload, constantly debasing others’ intelligence like a four-year-old, and – of course – his complete and utter inability to stop himself from trumpeting how very very smart he is, looking like both an incredibly needy attention whore and perhaps the most prominent specimen of arrogance, delusion and sanctimony incarnate that has ever walked this Earth.

He is a living example that old saying: that one can be a true intellectual genius with an IQ higher than the clouds, yet be so completely devoid of common sense and reason that to listen to them give their opinions and understanding of the world leaves one wondering whether they’re talking to an utter dumbass. This, I think, is why Vox is so entertaining, almost intriguing: he is the living embodiment of the term “clever idiot” (or whichever is the proper one).

… Yeah, that was fun to write. =P I wonder what it would be like if he tried to refute what I said again – oh, the promise of hilarity is daunting. (Plus, it would give me a little boost in pageviews, which is always appreciated. Heehee.)

Hannity FAILs at understanding how polls work

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Recently, the Washington Post held a poll that showed a 57% of responders being for a public option as part of health care reform, with some 40% against it. It’s uncertain as to whether these numbers are reliable or not, but in any case, they do sound encouraging. Like Americans are finally waking up and smelling the bullshit and demagoguery being spread around by the right-wingers and kooks.

But, Sean Hannity isn’t happy about this poll. And, in attacking it, he further reveals, once again, that he has no idea what he’s talking about:

With the exception of Fox News, the other networks, they're receiving gold stars on their White House report cards, and the latest case in point is the Washington Post/ABC News poll that shows that 57% of Americans support a government health care takeover and only 40% oppose it.

Now a closer look at that poll explains why. Now get this: They polled 13% more Democrats than Republicans. Now that explains a few things.

Let’s ignore his silly comment on a government takeover of healthcare when it’s merely concerning a public option (which, in the new proposed healthcare reform bill, states can even opt out of) and focus on the meat of his argument. He claims that the results are skewed because 13% more Democrats were polled for these results. What twit Hannity doesn’t get, is that this is actually a sign that the poll is accurate and was conducted according to the rules, for the simple reason that there are roughly 13% more self-proclaimed Democrats than self-proclaimed Republicans in America. Idiot.

The poll would’ve been skewed had there not been a higher percentage of polled Democrats in its test group. Which shows us all, again, that Hannity really needs to shut off his fake outrage machine and to actually get a clue.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)
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Sign the petition to free Sarah Kruzan!

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Sarah Kruzan headshot
Sarah Kruzan

One thing I love about having connected this blog to twitter via Twitterfeed is that I sometimes have my post tweets mentioned or commented on. Such as now: @NooYtTwoFive3 has just sent me a tweet with a link to a petition to free Sarah Kruzan, the girl who was sentenced to a life sentence without parole when she was only 16 years behind bars when she shouldn’t have spent a single damned one.

Please, take a few moments from your day and sign the petition here. (Hey, you can even see my comment, #980. Neat.) We all know petitions aren’t exactly the most influential of things, but it would be far worse not to speak out against this gross miscarriage of justice.

There is also a second place you can sign your name, here at this letter. I believe it only applies to Americans, so I’m unfortunately not able to sign, but please, do so if you can.

(via @NooNyTwoFive3)

I don’t think Joe Wilson understands teh Internetz very well

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Rep. Joe Wilson
Rep. Joe Wilson

Recently, there has been some debate over the issue of net neutrality and the proposed federal legislation that would ensure the continuation of equal shares across the Web. Naturally, plenty of Republicans are against it for reasons that make as much sense as … well, none at all, naturally. Perhaps epitomizing this incoherent silliness is the opposition speech given by Joe “You Lie!” Wilson, who makes some of the strangest non-sequiturs I’ve ever heard:

Before we move forward with new regulations on the Internet, we must weigh the consequences. We need to ensure we do not disrupt the necessary flexibility that has led to a vibrant marketplace, one which continues to foster new technology around the world, helping liberate people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran. In conclusion, God bless our troops, and we will never forget September the 11th in the global war on terrorism.”

How, exactly, has the Internet “liberated” Afghanistan, Iraq, or Iran? Or anyplace else? And most of all, what in the name of Holy Freakin’ Jesus has the issue of net neutrality got anything to do with 9/11, or that huge pile of bullshit once known as the “War on Terrorism” (and now known as “Why The World Used to Hate America Until A Few Months Ago”)?! What has any of this got to do with fair sharing of bandwidth?

Though, of course, it’s a bit more than likely that this is no more than pure and simple demagoguery. Typical from a Republican asshat.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Remind me why anyone looks to Faux Newz for reliability or accuracy?

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Not that sane, rational or intelligent people actually watch Fox for real news. Which does, of course, explain how and why its ratings supposedly are at an all-time high these days, as a seemingly unstoppable plague of ignorance, paranoia and stoopid spreads through America. Think Progress has the details on just one example of Faux Newz intentionally twisting statistics and spreading misinformation to try and advance its far-right agenda:, the official website of the Fox News anti-Obama propaganda network, is promoting what it calls the Obama Change Index.” The index purports to chart “the impact of policies promised by President Obama,” and conveniently graphs Obama’s progress on a scale of 0-700. It appears that Fox’s change index is tabulated by asking one Democratic, Republican, and Independent pundit what they think of Obama on 7 different issues: budget, stimulus, homeland security, foreign/military affairs, social issues, dealing with Congress, law and justice. While Obama’s favorable ratings have been going up recently, Fox News’ index unsurprisingly shows Obama tanking. Reddit user KingBeetle writes of the index, “I can’t even figure out what it means, but for some reason this week, Obama is down 271 points.” It’s now 282 points:

Fox News’ falsified “Obama Change Index”

A couple of interesting observations from the “Obama Change Index”: On the week of 9/16/09, Obama scored a zero on Homeland Security for no apparent reason. Similarly, Obama scored a zero on “social issues” the week of 6/30/09 because he “tried to placate the gay community.”

“Fair and Balanced” must mean something entirely else in the loonisphere wherein Faux Newz inhabits.

(via @todayspolitics)
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Senator Franken FTW on healthcare bankruptcies

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You just gotta love him, he’s so damn good. Watch Al Franken squash the ignorance out of, and subsequently humiliate, a healthcare dilettante by demonstrating how all those other countries with that evil socialized medicine are all unanimously faring so very, very much better than the U.S.:

Dang, that’s almost cruel. But still, so very good. If only there were (many) more like him.

(via @VeritasKnight)
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Extraordinarily Stupid Quote(s) of the Day

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Ray Comfort. The mere mention of the name brings either chills or derisory laughter to the hearts of rational, sane people everywhere. And when he says things like this …

I think that the theory of evolution is the most unscientific, faith-based, fundamentally brainless idea that ever had the misfortune to come out of a human mind. To compare it to true science is a joke. There is nothing even slightly scientific about it.

… and this …

Look at the intellectual embarrassment of where it leads. Richard Dawkins says we are related to bananas: "It is the plain truth that we are cousins of chimpanzees, somewhat more distant cousins of monkeys, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips." Let’s get this straight. Dawkins mocks me for believing that the banana was designed, and yet he believes it is one of his cousins!

… it quickly becomes evident why.

Holy big sonuva …!

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One of PZ’s readers sent him a pair of photos that demonstrate, with stunning clarity, why you don’t want to strike a moose with your car:

Here’s a hint: that’s not a dirt footpath. It’s a single-lane road.


(via Pharyngula)
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Sarah Kruzan deserves freedom, now

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Let me start by saying that I do believe that killing another human being is inherently wrong. (Uh … duh.) Of course, there are certain extreme scenarios in which killing someone can be forgiven, or even encouraged, such as in self-defense, or as perhaps such as in another scenario I mused about a little while back. But generally (ie. in 99.9% of cases), any person who commits murder – that is, the “Intentional homicide (the taking of another person's life), without legal justification or provocation”, as per the legal definition – deserves to be punished, and as harshly as possible, without resorting to capital punishment (which I do not believe is ever justified, except in some extreme, and extremely rare, cases). In such cases where a murder takes another person’s life for no valid reason other than malice, or greed, a lifetime of imprisonment is just the thing I’d recommend.

However, I am far from happy to learn that this is the sentence handed down to Sarah Kruzan, a 16-year-old girl in California, for killing her pimp. The video below tells it all.

Let’s set a few things straight:

1) Life sentence for juveniles and anyone under 18 needs to be abolished. Under that age, you are simply not mature, experienced and responsible enough to fully comprehend the full scope of your actions. Any juvenile who commits a crime, no matter how horrible, should not have the rest of their life stripped from them forevermore without a chance to earn their freedom later on by repenting and reforming.

God help the gays in Uganda

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The African country of Uganda seems ready to revert into an Idi Amin-like state of oppression and inhumanity with the introduction of the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009. This is one incredibly filthy piece of work:

The proposed bill would:

  • Reaffirm the lifetime sentence currently provided upon conviction of homosexuality, and extends the definition from sexual activity to merely “touch[ing] another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.”
  • Create a new category of “aggravated homosexuality” which provides for the death penalty for “repeat offenders” and for cases where the individual is HIV-positive.
  • Criminalizes all speech and peaceful assembly for those who advocate on behalf of LGBT citizens in Uganda with fines and imprisonment of between five and seven years.
  • Criminalizes the act of obtaining a same-sex marriage abroad with lifetime imprisonment.
  • Adds a clause which forces friends or family members to report LGBT persons to police within 24-hours of learning about that individual’s homosexuality or face fines or imprisonment of up to three years.
  • Adds an extra-territorial and extradition provisions, allowing Uganda to prosecute LGBT Ugandans living abroad.

As if this could get any more horrific, take a look at how far-reaching the inhumanity would reach (that is, of course, apart from homosexuals themselves):

Let us think for a moment of who — quite apart from the homosexuals it claims as its target — this bill puts at risk:

  • any parent who does not denounce their lesbian daughter or gay son to the authorities: Failure to do so s/he will be fined Ush 5,000,000/= or put away for three years;
  • any teacher who does not report a lesbian or gay pupil to the authorities within 24 hours: Failure to do so s/he will be fined Ush 5,000,000/= or put away for three years in prison;
  • any landlord or landlady who happens to give housing to a suspected homosexual risks seven years of imprisonment;
  • any Local Council I – V Chairperson or Executive member who does not denounce somebody accused of same-sex attraction or activity risks imprisonment or a heavy fine;
  • any medical doctor who seeks to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS through working with what are known as most at risk populations, risks her or his career;
  • all civil society leaders, whether in a Community Based Organisation, NGO, or academic institution; if their organisations seek to have a comprehensive position on sexual and reproductive health, they risk seeing their organisations closed down;
  • any human rights activist who seeks to promote an understanding of the indivisibility and inalienability of human rights would be judged to be promoting homosexuals and homosexuality, and be punished accordingly;
  • any religious leader who seeks to provide guidance and counselling to people who are unsure of their sexuality, would be regarded as promoting homosexuality and punished accordingly;
  • any Member of Parliament or other public figure who is sent a pornographic article, picture or video will become vulnerable to blackmail and witch-hunts;
  • any media house that publishes ‘pornographic’ materials risks losing its certificate of registration and the editor will be liable to seven years in jail;
  • any internet café operator who fails to prevent a customer from accessing a pornographic website, or a dating site, could be accused of ‘participating in the production, procuring, marketing, broadcasting, disseminating and publishing of pornographic materials for purposes of promoting homosexuality’; their business licence could be revoked and they themselves could land in prison.
  • any Person alleged to be a homosexual is at risk of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and, in some circumstances, the DEATH PENALTY

Remind me … what year is this? Pre-1700s?

Unbelievable. Thankfully, the Act has not passed yet; a coalition of 22 Ugandan professional and civil rights advocacy groups have joined forces to oppose this monstrosity. Join me in hoping that they succeed.

(via Dispatches From the Culture Wars)

Monday Grainy Cuteness: Spreading his wings – via an intermediary

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Small bird hitchhiking on larger bird

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Ed Brayton gambles with fools

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No, this isn’t a report on one the ever-wonderfully abrasive blogmeister at Dispatches’s Poker nights. Rather, it’s about an amusing bet Ed made to Matt Barber, the idiot who created a pseudo-scandal when he was fired from Allstate after writing an anti-gay column (Google around, details are scattered here and there). “Bam-Bam” Barber went into a paranoid frenzy (along with all other religious-right kooks) over the passage of the oh-so-notorious hate crimes bill, screaming that pastors would be jailed for hate speech and so forth.

And as for pastors? "There is a very weak exemption in [the bill] which is totally illusory, and a religious exemption is not going to protect pastors," responds Barber. "Renegade prosecutors and politically correct leftists in positions of authority can subjectively determine what is or is not a hate crime." And then move on to prosecution, he adds.

Here’s the offer Ed has made:

I am willing to bet that not a single minister will be convicted in this country under the hate crimes legislation for preaching against homosexuality. And since we can't have such bet be open-ended, here are my proposed terms. We start with $100 for the first year. At the end of the first year, if someone has been convicted of such a "crime" I'll pay up. If not, you can either up or go double or nothing on the second year.

Every year that goes by without such a conviction, the amount of the bet doubles. You can bail out at any time, admit that you were wrong and pay the accumulated money owed. And if, at any time, someone is convicted merely of speaking out against homosexuality in this country, I pay up whatever amount of money is currently on the line based on the above formula. At the end of ten years, the loser pays up and the bet is concluded.

And if I win, you can pay the money to a charity of my choice. If you win, you can keep the money. Deal?

Of course, Barber won’t take the bet, even if he does hear about it. Either he’d be too cowardly, or more likely, maybe even he would realize he would most likely lose a shitload of cash. As a commenter says it:

Ed, you realize Matt's just going to die owing you $10 million or so, right?

I LOLed at that one.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Post-racist America? Not according to the Secret Service

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Portrait of President Barack Obama

The next time someone comes up to you and tells you that racism in America has gone out the window, point them to this morbid report: the Secret Service is so overwhelmed with death threats to President Obama that they’re not even able to function efficiently anymore, as the menace has increased by 400% since Bush’s time in office.

The Boston Globe reports that a new internal Congressional Research Service report and government sources say there are an unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama -- and that the Secret Service is insufficiently funded and staffed to deal with them.


In total, the Secret Service regularly protects 32 people and arranges security for high-profile events. But the election of Barack Obama has increased threats against the president's life by 400 percent from his predecessor, according to "In the President's Secret Service," Ronald Kessler's account of presidential security. The Secret Service has looked into a number of race-based threats since Obama took office, and a Facebook poll that asked "Should Obama be killed?" President Obama also had a Secret Service detail 18 months before the election, the earliest of any Presidential candidate.


The Southern Poverty Law Center issued a report back in August that found that the number of white supremacist militia groups has spiked by 35% since 2000. The Secret Service has, in turn, increased its employees from 6,700 two years ago to a projected 7,055 in the coming fiscal year, almost entirely devoted to protecting national leaders. But that's a staff increase of just 5.3 percent -- nowhere near the 400 percent increase in threats to the president's life.

We now live in a post-racist America with the election of the first Black president …” My hairy white ass. A country’s people that has become non-racist does not pose a threat to its own president solely due to the man’s skin color.

But, dear right-wingers, do keep on telling us how wingnuts and lunatics are a tiny, imperceptible minority, how they haven’t overtaken the right-wing movement, and how they don’t pose any sort of real threat to anyone (and much less the President). Yeah. We believe you.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)
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Backdoor medical examination humor, part II of II

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Continuing from my previous post, taken from a joke eMail I received from a friend, here are 13 of the best comments one physician reportedly received from patients undergoing colonoscopies:

On the subject of Colonoscopies....
Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous..... A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:

1. 'Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before!'

2. 'Find Amelia Earhart yet?'

3. 'Can you hear me NOW?'

4. 'Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?'

5. 'You know, in Arkansas, we're now legally married.'

6. 'Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?'

7. 'You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out...'

8. 'Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!'

9. 'If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!'

10. 'Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.'

11. 'You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?'

12. 'God, now I know why I am not gay.'

And the best one of all:
13. 'Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?'

My favorites are numbers 2, 5, 6, 10, 11 and 13. Which made you bust a gut?

Okay, enough backdoor humor for now. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Backdoor medical examination humor, part I of II

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A friend just sent me another funny eMail, and again, there’s no way I could resist showcasing it here. It’s a bit of dirty humor, even by my standards, but it’s funny as shi— uh … as hell. Yeah. Oh, and it’s written by Dave Barry. Of course.

Colonoscopy Journal:

I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.

A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis.

Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner.

I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'

I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America 's enemies.

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous.

Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor.

Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.'

This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but, have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

Damn, they shoulda kept the old one

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For all you pearl-clutching Christofascists who are so offended by the recent atheist ads on buses, subways and billboards, count yourselves lucky: it could’ve been a whole lot worse for you.

Cartoon of old and new atheist ads

Unfortunately, this cartoon is just a little too close to reality to truly be hilarious.

(via Friendly Atheist)
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Stupid Quote of the Day: Hannity on NYC subway atheist ads

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From everyone’s favorite clueless twit comes this shining quote of ignorance, referring to the NYC subway atheist ads that are due to appear tomorrow (Monday, October 26th for a monthlong campaign):

Can you imagine the outrage if a Christian group put pro-God ads in the New York City subways? What outrage.

Uh-huh. Except that there are Christian ads in NYC subways, and have been for years and years. Here, for example, courtesy of Subway Sights:

The problem with this thinking is that Christians have been putting up pro-Christianity ads in the subway for years and nobody cares.

[…] There are ads for all kinds of competing churches, each offering their own flavor of Christianity and their own path to salvation.

The blogger adds this own pic, which he took himself, for an apt clincher:

Christian ads in NYC subway

And, of course, this is all brought to a *headdesk*-provoking conclusion when one notes that Hannity doesn’t take the subway, which is yet more proof that the twit simply has no idea what he’s talking about.

(via Pharyngula)
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Candidate for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize: the MRFF

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Great services and honorable contributions to the amelioration of people’s lives should always be recognized, and this is one bit of news that shines a ray of sunlight into my heart. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which ardently fights for the rights of oppressed soldiers and military servicemen and -women and seeks to prevent and punish the numerous atrocities seen within the ranks of the Christian American military, has been nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

One interesting thing about this, is the identity of the person responsible for submitting the MRFF for candidacy:

The nominator of MRFF for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize is identified as a Senator from a foreign nation, which is an ally of the United States, and the only Christian legislator in the upper chamber of that country’s national parliament.

Figures that it took someone from another country to realize how so many of America’s honorable fighters are going through hardships and need recognition, and justice.

Below is the whole letter sent to the Nobel committee (activate full-screen view for convenience):

It’s a bit of a long shot that they would win the Nobel … but then, so was them being submitted into candidacy in the first place. Hey, if Obama won the 2009 Peace Nobel when he has barely accomplished that much (and especially if his candidacy was submitted only a few weeks after he entered office to begin with), then anything’s possible. I would definitely keep my fingers crossed on this one. The MRFF and Mikey Weinstein deserve all the credit, recognition and honor they can get.

(via Friendly Atheist)
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“Damn Straight” Quote of the Day: Gabler on American exceptionalism

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From Neal Gabler in the Boston Globe, who truly rips through the silly case for American superiority:

There is nothing wrong with self-satisfaction or national pride. But the incessant trumpeting of our national superiority to every other country in the world is more than just off-putting and insulting. It is infantile, like the vaunting of a schoolyard bully that his Dad is better than your Dad. It is wrong.

Exactly. America has so many problems plaguing it, that to claim it is the bestest country in the world is overzealous at best – delusional at worst.

(via Dispatches From the Culture Wars)

Happy Birthday, dear Earth. Now, who wants to buy 6,000 candles for the cake?

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I kinda forgot to mention, but nonetheless: let us join in celebrating the fact that our planet has completed one more orbit around the Sun – its 6,012th, to be precise. You see, we know that the Earth is exactly 6,012 years old, all thanks to the genius of 17th-century Anglican Archbishop James Ussher of Armagh (now Northern Ireland), whose revolutionary, Bible-based calculations pinpointed the exact date of Earth’s (and the universe’s) Creation on October 23, 4004 B.C., at 9 AM sharp.

Several are already partying, such as PZ and Jen, so go ahead and join! (Jen’s even made delicious-looking, Asia-and-Antarctica-hating brownies for the occasion.)

… Dunno about you, but I’m saving my cheers for Earth Day. Seems more … I dunno … sane.

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How ’bout you just follow the rules?

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Here’s a silly story for ya. An ex-Home Depot employee is now whining because he got fired for breaking explicit dress code policy by wearing a pro-Christian American button.

Keezer says for 19 months, ever since he started working as a cashier at The Home Depot in Okeechobee, he’s worn a button with an American flag on it that reads: “One nation under God, indivisible.”

Keezer sees the quotation, taken from the pledge of allegiance, as his way of supporting American troops at war, and of expressing his Christian faith.


For more than a year, Keezer says none of his managers mentioned the button on his Home Depot apron, except one supervisor who commented she liked it.


Then, last month, when he started bringing his Bible to work, Keezer says his manager confronted him about the button.

“That’s when I was told it had to come off, or I would be sent home. So they sent me home for six straight days without pay. And then today they terminated me,” he said.

Craig Fishel, a spokesman for The Home Depot, said he could not comment on specific personnel issues, but added, “The company’s dress code policy states that we do not allow noncompany buttons, regardless of their message or content.”

Fishel says Home Depot has a “proud history” of supporting the military, and that it sanctions several of its own buttons for employees to wear, including one that reads: “United We Stand.”

Keezer said he preferred to wear his button because “you can’t have country without God. Every pin they showed me had no ‘God’ on it or anything.”

Fishel says the company gives employees several warnings when they violate the dress policy before terminating them.

But Keezer says, “It never crossed my mind to take off the button because I’m standing for something that’s bigger than I am. They kept telling me the severity of what you’re doing and I just let God be in control and went with His plan.”

This seems like a non-issue to me. If the guy was wearing something that was clearly against his dress code, he shouldn’t be wearing it, plain and simple. The only strange thing is how the manager allowed this to go on for over a year. Seriously: he’s bringing a Bible to work. How ’bout some enforcement of those supposedly secular rules?

The rest of the article is nothing but demagogue-esque twaddle:

Here’s some disturbing etymology for ya …

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Stop using the term “cover artist” or “cover song” for musicians or works that reinterpret older songs. If you don’t, you’re a racist:

Don McLean on the incorrect use of the term “cover”:

Back in the days of black radio stations and white radio stations (i.e. segregation), if a black act had a hot record the white kids would find out and want to hear it on “their” radio station. This would prompt the record company to bring a white act into the recording studio and cut an exact, but white, version of the song to give to the white radio stations to play and thus keep the black act where it belonged, on black radio. A “cover” version of a song is a racist tool. Many examples can be found from “Sha Boom” to “Good Lovin’” It is NOT a term intended to be used to describe a valid interpretation of an old song. In that case every pop singer is nothing more than a cover artist (a derogatory description if ever there was one). I am not a “cover” artist and I do not do “covers”. The Crewcuts were cover artists.

Great, so we’re all musical bigots, then. Dang. (Though, I do wonder: what do we say instead of “cover”, then? “NRRP”s (Non-Racist Repeat Performances)?)

(via The Agitator)
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