Monday, November 30, 2009

Cute kitteh is cute

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Damn. I so could’ve sworn my little Kaylee was this small just last week … *is nostalgic*

*Peek-a—* … oh, forget it.

(via Pharyngula)
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I dunno this Donny Deutsch guy but I think I like him

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The CNBC commentator (I just looked him up) is apparently well-known for holding few punches back, and this is a good and enjoyable example of such. On the subject of a recent poll that places the Republican All-Star Cranks League (Limbaugh, Beck, Cheney and Palin) at the top of the list of the most influential conservatives in America, he proclaimed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that this is very good news for Democrats as they are “circus acts” who are virtually unelectable, and then finished with calling Lou Dobbs a racist. Wham-Bam!

WILLIE GEIST: ‘There’s a new 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll that asks the question, “Who is America’s most influential conservative voice?”. Rush Limbaugh by a long shot, 26%; Glenn Beck, 11%; Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin, tied for 10%.’

DEUTSCH: ‘That’s an impressive foursome. That tells me if I’m a Democrat, I’m very happy.’

JIM CRAMER: ‘I’d like to use book sales as a better measure, because this is not [?]. Sarah Palin just rocked the whole book industry. This was incredible. This is the first book I’ve ever seen where they were unprepared, there weren’t enough made. Really extraordinary …’

DEUTSCH: ‘Jim, there is a difference between being a popular media figure and an electable candidate, and you’ve gotta start to make that distinction. These – these are all entertainers, they’re circus acts, and will they be elected? No.’

CRAMER: ‘Is Lou Dobbs acceptable as a candidate?’

DEUTSCH: ‘Uh, I don’t think so, actually. I don’t think so. Maybe because he’s a racist is pretty much the reason why, so …’

He’s exactly spot on. The RASCK (yeah, I’ve got a acronym for the Republican All-Star Cranks League, now) are kooks and twits whom the majority of the population, conservatives included, wouldn’t vote for with a ten mile voting pole, which effectively leaves the GOP without a head. No wonder Democrats are so fond of the League – they make their wishes come true when they make conservatives and Republicans come across as insane, irrational loons.

Geist summarizes it all with this little bit:

‘The problem is the people who excite Republicans are not the ones who’re capable of being elected. Barack Obama excited Democrats, and of course was capable of being elected.’


(via @todayspolitics)
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You mean that religion is behind homophobic inhumanity in Uganda?

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Just over a month ago, I commented on how Uganda was considering passing an “incredibly filthy piece of work”, the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009, which goes a long way to reverting the country back to an Idi Amin-like state of brutality and oppression. Under this legislation, any gays would face imprisonment at best and execution at worst, and anyone caught trying to help gays would be punished nearly as cruelly.

Naturally, there has to be some religious influence behind this thing (general rule of thumb: there’s always a religious root to any inhumanity), and of course, this has been confirmed. It is now revealed that David Bahati, the Ugandan Parliamentarian who first proposed this vile bill, is a core member of the Family, a highly secretive and extremely influential Christian extremist political group already known for operating the notorious C Street house on Capitol Hill in Washington – and for some of its members getting some extra on the sides (see Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC), Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS)). To give you a brief idea of the Family’s ideology: they believe that God favors and blesses people based on their importance and political power, rather than their good-heartedness or lack of sins. Yes, this does effectively include individuals like Hitler, Mao, Lenin and the likes. Cheery thought, eh?

Disturbing and appalling, this is indeed. But, surprising? No, not so much.

(via @todayspolitics)

Monday Grainy Cuteness: *Sniffle* He's MY stuffed toy!

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Puppy with stuffed toy

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A hint of Islamophobia in Switzerland?

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I neglected to comment on this singularly weird bit of news when I heard it yesterday because I simply didn’t know what to make of it. First of all, I trust you know what minarets are, right? … Yeah, I didn’t either until I Googled it. It turns out, that’s what they call those tall, thin spires that are so distinctive to Islamic buildings and mosques, with either cone- or onion-shaped tips. Here’s a representative image:

They’re rather harmless structures, really – I mean, okay, it would be a bad idea to stand next to one should an earthquake strike, perhaps, but I don’t see anything wrong or negative about them. They’re a symbol of Islam as a religion, just as the crucifix is a symbol for Christianity and so on. If anything, I think they look rather good, from an aesthetic, architectural point of view (though they would admittedly look a little incongruous in the midst of a modern urban setting).

But that doesn’t seem to be the case for a majority of Swiss voters, though, seeing as a nationwide referendum – ie. popular vote – has just elected to ban minarets across the country.

Swiss voters have supported a referendum proposal to ban the building of minarets, official results show.

More than 57% of voters and 22 out of 26 cantons - or provinces - voted in favour of the ban.

This was done through a population-driven initiative, so even the courts can’t overrule it. As if this wasn’t unsettling enough, the reasoning behind the vote gets even more lopsided:

The proposal had been put forward by the Swiss People's Party, (SVP), the largest party in parliament, which says minarets are a sign of Islamisation.

The government opposed the ban, saying it would harm Switzerland's image, particularly in the Muslim world.

But Martin Baltisser, the SVP's general secretary, told the BBC: "This was a vote against minarets as symbols of Islamic power."

Look, I certainly am all for banning anything that symbolizes oppression, inequality, bigotry or injustice in any way, shape or form (from the horrid Sharia law to the burqa). But banning minarets simply makes no sense. They are a symbol of Islam itself, not the sign of an invading religion or religious oppression. Claiming that the minaret is a “sign of Islamisation” is no more sensible than accusing every crucifix-adorned Church of engaging in “Christianization”. While I happily engage in the criticizing of silly falsehoods and religious superstition (and encourage others to do the same), I’m not at the point where I’d choose to ban anything that symbolizes or evokes any particular religion. That should be up to the people and believers themselves, in the sense that rather than forcing something to disappear through a vote, we should just let the tide of change run its course until people simply aren’t interested anymore.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dysfunctionality | “Filthy Politics”

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This entry has been removed from Preliator and can now be found over at Creativitas. (See here for more info.)

Stupid Quote of the Day x2: What to do about those useless hungry people?

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Sometimes, I wonder if the forces of heartlessness and callousness have universally chosen the conservative way of thinking as their host. For example, I’ve never heard a liberal ever say something as downright cold as what John J. Miller wrote in the National Review about welfare and food-stamps (which currently help feed 1 in 8 Americans, including a quarter of American children):

Seems like there ought to be a stigma attached to the use of welfare. A little bit of shame can go a long way toward encouraging people to find jobs. The federal government may think it's doing people a favor by providing them with access to food, but it's doing them a disservice if it also robs them of the motivation necessary to break free from dependency.

Yeah! Those stupid lazy hungry people! Let’s shame them so they starve even more, and that’ll give ’em the incentive to get a job all the more! After all, who cares about unemployment in America reaching over 10%, the highest since WWII? Surely, those lazy welfare-addicts can snatch up one of ’em nonexistent jobs anytime they want if they’d only stop moping about how poor and jobless and empty-stomached they are … right?

Mind you, this post could also be entitled “Hypocritical Quote of the Day”, considering:

Allow me to point out that John J. Miller lives off the hand-outs of hard-right cranks and wealthy ideologues. He writes for The National Review, which has never turned a profit (founder William F Buckley once said that NR had lost over $25 million dollars over the years). Miller's latest book was a paean to a big-money right-wing foundation, published by another big-money right-wing foundation.

Perhaps if there were a bit of stigma attached to being a clown who earns his keep off of wingnut welfare, it would discourage Miller from being so dependent on the generosity of others. Parasite.

(via @todayspolitics)
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Stupid Quote of the Day: Let’s destroy science and call that science

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Few blogs are such sources of blatant ignorance and stupidity as is Vox Day’s, and here is yet another shining example as to why:

As for peer review, it is little more than an editorial charade that transforms science into a political exercise and should be eliminated entirely. As one observer inaccurately but aptly commented, Einstein began his career in science at the post office, not Princeton. (It was actually the patent office, but the point stands.) Science is too important to be left to scientists.

The Stupid, It Burns

Dang, Vox, how can he keep piling so much dumbassery into single paragraphs? He sure does make my job easier. I suppose I should thank him for that.

We have a trifecta of stupid, here. His first argument is that we should simply do away with that bane of his, peer-review. Yeah … let’s remove the entire fact-checking process from science. Let’s allow scientists to publish absolutely anything they want without the bother of having to submit their research to other experts from various fields who more often than not find the sort of faults, mistakes and inaccuracies that, let rampant, would destroy any and all reliability and efficiency modern science has come so far to attain. Also, let’s allow rotten apples, kooks and cranks to publish their bullshit along with others’ reputable findings, thereby letting them come across as actual experts when they are no more than shameless hacks.

While we’re at it, why limit the removal of fact-checking and quality control to science? Let’s take it everywhere else, too! Buh-bye, copy-editors! See ya, quality control in food markets! Ciao, newspaper editors! Arrividerci, software testers! Au revoir, building construction superintendents! Yeah! Let’s just let anyone publish, do, manufacture and sell anything they want! Now that is a free market, eh? No more oppression from that oh-so-annoying reviewing, revising, cross-checking tedium – free range for everyone!

I’ve just hurt my brain with that.

Secondly, about that Einstein quote: once again, any statement or claim that can be proven wrong by 90 seconds of research time on Wikipedia is not a good one to use. Yes, Einstein worked at the patent office as an assistant patent examiner during the early years of his scientific career, during which he published a few papers and such. The problem with this example is that it entirely misses the point, and for two key reasons: first of all, Einstein was not yet a recognized, accredited scientist per se, and few experts would’ve held any real interest in taking the time and effort to cross-examine a young lad like him’s works. Peer-review didn’t even really apply to him until several years later on.

Atheists: yes, we’re intolerant, and proud of it

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Only, the difference between us and actual bigots is that we are intolerant towards intolerance, ie. racism, homophobia, sexism, antisemitism, and etc.. In his latest video/rant, Pat Condell illustrates this point perfectly. His language and imagery may admittedly be rather harsher than anything I generally use, but the basic meaning is the same.

Damn, I wish I had his eloquence.

I think this is blatantly obvious, but just in case: yes, of course, that bit about atheists being “intolerant towards intolerance” is a general statement and does not apply to all. Though, it certainly is something people, atheists or not, should aspire to. There’s nothing wrong with loathing the irrational and pervasive hatred of others for no reason.

(via Diaphanitas)
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The old “porn causes natural disasters” gambit

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Indonesian Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring
Indonesian Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring [pic via]

You’d think that with a title like Communication and Information Minister of Indonesia, the man who fills that function would at least be marginally rational, no? Well, judge for yourselves: the man is now blaming the recent string of disasters to hit Indonesia, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, on examples of “people’s immorality” and their “rising decadence” such as the ubiquity of pornographic DVD sales. It’s yet another study in everyone’s favorite logical fallacy (with a fancy Latin name), post hoc ergo propter hoc:

Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring said that there were many television programmes that destroyed morals.

Therefore, the minister said, natural disasters would continue to occur.

His comments came as he addressed a prayer meeting on Friday in Padang, Sumatra, which was hit by a powerful earthquake in late September.

He also hit out at rising decadence - proven, he said, by the availability of Indonesia-made pornographic DVDs in local markets - and called for tougher laws.

I can’t tell which disturbs me most, here: the fact that this kook (whom I can only presume is religious) is following in fellow cranks’ footsteps by blaming all of his country’s misfortunes on societal “immorality” like television shows and pornography, or the fact that this guy is actually Indonesia’s Communication and Information Minister. This paints a rather sad image about their hiring standards (or lack thereof), I believe.

(via Pharyngula)
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As denialists laugh, Global Warming looks on with a leer

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The fact that biased and misinformed humans refuse to believe in what is so obviously true does nothing to change facts and reality, and Anthropogenic Global Warming is one of them. GW denialists may be partying at the moment with the outbreak of the latest silly and annoyingly overblown climate pseudo-scandal, known as “Climategate”, but that doesn’t stop actual scientists with real data, evidence and facts from knowing and proclaiming: we’re still in deep trouble.

From cautiously advising that man-made, heat-trapping carbon gases would disrupt Earth's climate system, mainstream scientists are increasingly convinced that the first signs of change are already here.

Following are the main indicators, reported in the scientific press over past three years:

RISING SEAS: Sea levels have risen in tandem with global warming, according to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The global average sea level has risen since 1961 at an average rate of 1.8mm (0.07 inches) per year, but accelerated from 1991 to 3.1mm (0.12 inches) per year. The IPCC estimated sea levels would rise 18-59 centimetres (7.2-23.2 inches) by 2100. But added runoff from melting land ice is accelerating. According to Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the global sea level is likely to rise at least twice as much as projected. If emissions are not curbed, "it may well exceed one metre (3.25 feet)."

SHRINKING GLACIERS: Mountain glaciers and snow cover in both hemispheres have widely retreated in the past few decades. One of the most closely-observed sites, the Cook glacier on the southern Indian Ocean island of Kerguelen, has shrunk by a fifth in 40 years. Around 1.3 billion people depend on the water that flows down from Himalayan glaciers, which in some places are falling back at up to 70 metres (230 feet) per year. The snows capping Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest peak, could vanish entirely in 20 years, US experts reported this month.

SHIFTING SEASONS: Some species of birds and fish are shifting habitat in response to warmer temperatures. The range of 105 bird species in France moved north, on average, 91 kilometres (56.5 miles) from 1989 to 2006. Average temperatures, however, shifted northward 273 kilometres (170 miles) over the same period, nearly three times farther. Twenty-one out of 36 species of fish in the North Sea migrated northwards between 1962 and 2001 in search of cooler waters. Anecdotal evidence from commercial fishermen says once-exotic species of fish from warmer latitudes now inhabit southern British waters.

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION: The acidity of the seas is rising as oceans absorb more carbon dioxide (CO2), with an impact on coral and micro-organisms, marine biologists say. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, the protective calcium shell of amoeba-like organisms living in the Southern Ocean called foraminifera, a vital link in the food chain, has fallen in weight by a third. "Within decades," acidification could severely affect biodiversity and fisheries, 150 marine scientists jointly warned last January.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Next they should do a ‘Hannah Montana’ intervention

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It’s not really a great achievement to punk Twilight fans, seeing as they generally have the brains of a doped-up retard needed to enjoy such drivel. But, that doesn’t make seeing it happen any less vindictively hilarious. Watch, below, as a group of Twi-fans (urgh) attend what they believe is the premiere … and instead end up in a Vampire Intervention!

‘This is a vampire intervention, seeing as you clearly have no clue what the [fuck] a vampire is. A vampire does not look like he belongs on a WB show! A vampire does not look like 20 guys came in his hair and he left it in as leave-in conditioner! A VAMPIRE HAS FANGS, PEOPLE! It does not look like a roving Fallout Boy Cover Bear!’


Sorry. Their primitive speech patterns seem to have rubbed off on me for a moment, there. But, that underlined quote is seriously the best Twilight description of all time, period.

(via @VeritasKnight)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Regarding the latest media frenzy on Global Warming …

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Unless you are blind and deaf or have absolutely no contact with the outside world (raising the question as to how you’re reading this now), you will no doubt be aware, at least to some extent, of “Climategate” (also known as “Hackergate”). Earlier this month, a hacker broke into servers owned by the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia (UEA) in England. Thousands of eMails and other confidential documents were stolen and disseminated across the Web. Why this is more significant than if it were just a random hacker attack, is that these eMails allegedly contain evidence that shows how some scientists supposedly fudged some data such as temperature levels over the years.

Naturally, this has sparked yet another apocalyptic shitstorm throughout the Anthropogenic Global Warming/Climate Change debate, and – naturally – Global Warming denialists are screaming themselves breathless about how this is Teh PoofTM that Global Warming is nothing but one huge fraud, a scam, a hoax, and how scientists are lazy ignorant elitist idiots who must not be trusted to tell their shit from food.

I really only have one thing to say in reaction to this affair …

AGW/CC denialists have found their Haeckel’s embryos.

Congratulations. And now, the scientific community – and anyone with any brains or rationality left – will spend the next few months, if not years, painstakingly repeating over and over (and over) again, to the point of nausea and beyond, how the fact that a handful of scientists skewed a small amount of data is irrelevant compared to the rest of the vast body of scientific evidence that points so clearly and incontrovertibly to Global Warming being an unpleasant but very real fact.

Just great.

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Trinity, help! He’s shooting big plastic Lego bullets at me!

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Heehee … neat.

Maybe next, they could do the Burly Brawl from The Matrix: Reloaded.

(via The Daily Grail)

Effects of governmental censorship

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It’s a study in contrasts (click for full size):

Google Images search for “tiananmen square protest” reveals on two platforms reveals Chinese censorship effects
[Click for full size]

The Great (Fire)Wall of China at full effect.

(via The Daily Grail)

Atheist discrimination in the Australian government?

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Next March, the 2010 Global Atheist Convention will take place in Melbourne, Australia, with presenters such as Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion, among others), PZ Myers (of Pharyngula fame), Dan Barker (founder, Freedom From Religion Foundation), and many other high-profile members of the atheist movement. This will be the biggest atheist event in Australian history (cool), with world-class academics swooping in from around the globe to talk about reason, humanism, science, and (of course) godlessness.

Now, naturally, such an impressive event takes a lot of moolah to set up, and therefore the Atheist Foundation of Australia, who are behind the whole event, have approached the government with a request for $270,000, which is actually rather modest in comparison to financial demands made by other conventions. The government neglected to confirm the money, though, and kept dragging its feet for a long time without ever really saying yes or no.

That is, until it flatly refused the funding. Now, okay, that would be quite a sting, but nothing to really get bent out of shape over – after all, times are tough and perhaps the government is just trying to conserve its funds. But then, such an excuse is quickly revealed as bullshit seeing as the Aussie gov’t has happily handed over $2.5 million to the Parliament of the World’s Religions, a religious convention also billed to take place in Melbourne early December ’09?

To put it into perspective: a religious organization was blithely given nearly ten times the funding that was itself refused to the atheist convention. If this doesn’t absolutely reek of hypocrisy, I dunno what does – just check out the government’s silly excuses:

[Atheist Foundation of Australia president David Nicholls] said the State Government, after five months of discussions, informed him on Monday that, as his event was "already secured," the Government would not pay to attract it to Melbourne.

Government spokesman Luke Enright said: "The decision not to fund this event has nothing to do with religious ideology – the convention just doesn't meet the criteria required to receive government funding".

Oh, really? Pray tell, which requirement wasn’t met? The one where it needed to be a religious event, perhaps? I dunno about you, but the only word coming to mind when I read this is “bullshit!”.

Friday Canine: See? I can be scary like a wolf, too!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Beck & co. show their true spirit of patriotism

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To be a patriot doesn’t simply signify being loyal to your country’s people and government, to fight for civil rights and freedoms, and to ensure justice for all of your own. You also have to stand up for, and fight for, the very ideals and principles upon which your country was founded. For the United States, these ideals were those such as fairness, tolerance and justice in the eyes of the law for one and all. And so, it is thus in this respect that one can definitely state that Glenn Beck and folks like him are most assuredly unpatriotic, if their idea of “justice” is to … court-martial American soldiers for not shooting captured terrorists in the head.

[Referring to how a captured terrorist was given a “fat lip” by one of the soldiers who captured him]

BECK: ‘I’m disappointed that all three of them didn’t punch him in the face. I’m disappointed they didn’t do more than that.’

CREW: ‘I would be – I would be willing to court-martial them for not doing more.’

BECK: ‘They must be being court-martialed for not shooting him in the head. That’s exactly what our troops need to do: shoot them in the head.’


BECK: ‘I have news for ya. If I was the – if I were the President; if this was the culture that I was living in, that would be my directive: shoot them in the head.’

Which is exactly why cranks like Glenn Beck will never be more than simple-minded, hate-filled, irrational and demagogic insta-pundits.

(via @todayspolitics)
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What do children know of evolution?

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Well, what better way to know than to ask ’em? Which is what Charlie’s Playhouse, a company that teaches Evolution to kids, did for their “Ask the Kids!” project. Here’re the answers they received. (Music’s a little too loud, but the answers are understandable enough.)

You don’t hear the average Creationist giving such an accurate (or even coherent) answer. How telling. (My favorite bit has to be the little girl at the 1:50 mark. Now that is a kid I hope her parents are proud of.)

(via Friendly Atheist)
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Owl! Duck!

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No, not a freaky mutant; rather, a cool vid of an owl swooping down for the kill with those crazy talons.

Anyone else felt their legs squeeze together at the end?

(via Bad Astronomy)
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Richard Dawkins calls Ray Comfort an “idiot” on television

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In other news, Québec is snowy in winter. (Well, used to be, anyway. Thank you, Global Warming!)

Here’s an interview with Dawkins where he discusses Evolution, Darwin, and responds to some questions from viewers.

Comfort’s response statement is – to stay in theme – idiotic. When Dawkins advised students to rip the Creationist introduction garbage out from the books Comfort and his ministry handed out, he meant that this would remove the “tarnish” from the book itself. Of course, students can (and even should) read the introduction if the wish, as it would give them a better insight on just how ignorant Comfort and fellow Creotards really are.

(via Ray Comfort’s blog)

The religious right has the real reasons why Will Phillips won’t stand for the Pledge

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Matt Barber, the hilariously pathetic lawyer from the Christian legal group Liberty Council, knows exactly why 10-year-old Will Phillips is making a stand against injustices towards LGBT people by staying seated during the Pledge of Allegiance at his school. And it has nothing to do with the kid’s own beliefs and principles, of course.

Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel believes the boy has been "utterly manipulated and exploited by adult moral relativists who are indirectly using him and other children as political pawns in the burgeoning culture war that is reaching a boil."

Barber further finds that "it's really a testament to the level of success that liberal and secular and homosexual activist propagandists in Hollywood and in our public schools and in much of our elitist establishment organizations have enjoyed."

The lesson this incident sends, according to Barber, is that it is time for parents to responsibly teach their children the correct, Christian message concerning homosexuality.

Yeah, let all the little ones know about how many of their friends, fellow classmates and (later on) colleagues are abominations unto the Lord who shall rot in Hell for being born gay – ie. for being “as God made them”. There’s irony for ya …

Hemant Mehta at Friendly Atheist has the perfect analysis of Barber’s tripe:

So, to recap, the culprits for Will’s beliefs are:

– Parents using Will as a pawn
– Liberals
– Atheists
– Gay activists
– Hollywood
– Public schools
– Elitists

The culprits for Will’s belief are not:

– Christians who persecute LGBT people and lead the fight to deny them equal rights.

Got that straight?

Yup. Clear enough.

Amidst the horsecrap, the article does provide one interesting bit of info I hadn’t heard before:

It’s the Convergence! Run! Ruuun!!!

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It’s all coming together and the end of the world is nigh – here’s proof!

A Sarah Palin look-alike fan at a Palin book signing
Brain matter will flow through the streets into the gutters of inanity

The world as we know it cannot possibly survive two Sarah Palins. We’re DOOOOOMED!!!!11!!1!

(via The Agitator)
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Robin Williams: still great

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Robin Williams appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman last Monday night, supposedly to promote his new film, Old Dogs. Instead, he spent the first 2 minutes or so mocking that symbol of the Republican party, Sarah Palin. Great stuff, as usual.

‘It’s wonderful. I went looking for her book, and I found it in the fantasy aisle – but you get the real thing. With Sarah, you get the feeling that in High School, she was voted “Least likely to write a book and most likely to burn one”. It was like, “What happened? What’s going down, girl?”. You look at her and you wonder, “Where did they find her, Project Running Mate? Is that how they got her?”.’ […] ‘I love the fact that they thought that Katie Couric was like “ambush journalism”, with “ambush questions” like “What do you read?”. “Oh, that, that’s a trick question!” “Not if you read, no, it’s not, really.” Caught her off-guard with “Do you read?”’

Mind you, the rest was pretty sweet, too. I don’t understand all the animosity I see aimed at the guy; he’s brilliant without being crude, something altogether too rare these days.

(via @todayspolitics)
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Help stop the Right’s angry poo-flinging against Primate Change!

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Highly reminiscent of my latest takedown of Vox Day’s anti-science idiocy, this comic pretty much says it all as far as depicting how the anti-science crowd and those with actual facts and evidence deal with each other on an all-too-regular basis.

The K Chronicles by Keith Knight

Brilliant. The Joe “You Lie!” Wilson allusion was just perfect.

(via Pharyngula)
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Stupid Quote of the Day: I like this alternate reality you live in, Ms. Perino

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There comes a point where one surpasses the level of “kook”, “crank” or “wingnut” and simply becomes utterly delusional. For example, I seriously wonder which world Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary, believes in to be able to go on Fox’s Hannity and straight-facedly assert that [Americans] did not have a terrorist attack on [their] country during President Bush’s term. I presume a lot of crack was involved, or a serious case of anterograde amnesia.

Dana Perino, two words for you: “eleven” and “nine”. Now, put them in order, and you get …?

The rest about the Fort Hood shooting being a bona fide terrorist act was dumbass as well (though just less so). Admittedly, “terrorism” has become an exceedingly loose term these days, being applied so readily and thoughtlessly to any massacre, but terrorism has a strict definition: it can only be applied to an act that A) was perpetrated by actual terrorists; B) was no “normal” crime, and C) had clear socio-political goals behind it. Terrorists don’t just kill any random people for no reason; it’s always to push an agenda, to destabilize people for a specific reason. Even if Maj. Hasan (the accused Fort Hood shooter) was himself a terrorist (and I seriously doubt it, myself), his act was a standard shoot-out like any other (not to diminish the impact or horror of the event). Not a terrorist act. He was obviously motivated by no more (or less) than anger and desperation, not some political upheaval. To claim otherwise is to assert facts that no-one knows.

(via @todayspolitics)
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

“Are you [bleepin’] kidding me?!”

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This may just be the best political ad ever: style, coarse language, rightful outrage, and a man who promises to put his career on the line. Vote James Perry for Mayor of New Orleans.

(via @todayspolitics)
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An exercise in talking points, empty words, and hot air

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If you ever wanted a lengthy analysis of what Sarah Palin fans are like, just watch this video. I don’t think there isn’t a single right-wing stereotype that isn’t being fulfilled, here.

The vid’s description and analysis from YouTube is spot-on:

On November 20, 2009, Sarah Palin visited Columbus, OH as part of her book signing tour for "Going Rogue." When her supporters were asked broad questions about why they why they thought she should be president, the responses were vague: She's "real." She'll "stick up for America."

It has been said comments that you would find similarly talking point-driven, substance-less supporters at an Obama rally, and we agree. But no politician has emerged on the national stage as undefined and unqualified as Sarah Palin, and her public persona--which is anti-intellectual by definition--discourages substance. Instead, we get winking. One could hardly imagine her giving a complex speech about race in America, or speaking eloquently about our country's relations with Islam. Not just because she couldn't write such a speech (Obama has speech-writers, of course) but because she wouldn't--such necessarily academic discussion is antithetical to the persona she's created for herself and that her supporters have come to love.

Can’t put it better myself. These people would want to see Sarah Failin’ become President, despite her knowing nothing of actual politics (or much of reality) – and they, themselves, don’t even know anything about her and her policies (or lack thereof). The mind doesn’t just boggle, it sizzles.

(via VeritasKnight)
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Shouldn’t cops have something better to do?

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What, has the real world run out of actual criminals and dangerous offenders or something? Or are these cops just a little too fond of the Big Brother scenario?

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student Adam Bauer has nearly 400 friends on Facebook. He got an offer for a new one about a month ago. “She was a good-looking girl. I usually don’t accept friends I don’t know, but I randomly accepted this one for some reason,” the 19-year-old said.

He thinks that led to his invitation to come down to the La Crosse police station, where an officer laid out photos from Facebook of Bauer holding a beer — and then ticketed him for underage drinking.

The police report said Bauer admitted drinking, which he denies. But he did plead no contest in municipal court Wednesday and will pay a $227 fine.

He was among at least eight people who said Wednesday they had been cited for underage drinking based on photos on social networking sites.

And people whine about teenagers (people who love computers in general) having no lives. Figures.

(via The Agitator)
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Stupid Quote of the Day: Multiple points of FAILure

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From Vox Day (yes, again):

[…] if anthropogenic global warming is subsequently proven to be real, then those who believe there is no God or believe in evolution by natural selection can quite reasonably argue that the opinion of the unscientific masses on the matter should be at least somewhat influenced by the opinion of the self-appointed scientific elite. If, however, it is subsquently proven to be false, any attempt to argue that the unscientific masses should pay any attention whatsoever to the latest way the winds of scientific consensus are blowing can and should be ridiculed.

This is stupid for a number of reasons. First of all, Vox once again demonstrates his ignorance of basic scientific principles when he writes about man-made Global Warming being “proven”. No theories are ever truly “proven”; scientific theories are not mathematical formulas. Even theories like Evolution or Gravity have not been “proven”. Regardless of the scale and quality of the body of evidence supporting a theory and the lack of evidence contradicting it, no theory will ever be foolproof or immune to obsolescence.

Second, there is no “self-appointed scientific elite”, which is certainly a phrase ever heard from the mouths of anti-scientific ignorami. Scientists are simply people, folks like you and I, whose job it is to study the world to try to find truths and facts. The rest of us, who usually do not have their intelligence, education or skills, therefore rely on them to tell us what really is. It’s merely their jobs to provide information, not to rule us, or look down on us as snobs.

Thirdly, Vox’s claim that proving or disproving[sic] man-made Global Warming would decide whether the common masses should or shouldn’t pay attention to what scientists say is pure stupidity (and is again heard only from the side of the scientifically illiterate). According to Vox’s thinking (or what it appears to be), if scientists make a mistake and screw up on Global Warming (which, however dubious I believe it to be, I concede is certainly always possible, as is anything else), then they void any shred of credibility they have and no-one should ever listen to them ever again. Y’know, despite the fact that scientists making mistakes now and again is actually a strength of science’s, given that it is a self-correcting, self-advancing discipline.

Yeah, that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Ignore those with the actual facts and information, those who actually perform the research, experimenting and development of new technologies and knowledge that make our lives what they are today.


Finally, on those two mentions of Evolution and atheism: A) Evolution hasn’t been scientifically contested in any real way, shape or form in 150 years, and B) what atheism has to do with science, scientists or the public’s view and/or acceptance of science, is known only to Vox Day and cranks of his sort. Atheism is a set of beliefs (or, rather, a lack of them) in the supernatural and metaphysical; it is not a scientific discipline anymore than is religion, or believing in aliens.

As I said … “Moran”.

How Obama really earned the Nobel Peace Prize

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It’s actually quite different than anyone expected.

Slowpoke comic: Obama saves mankind by becoming President

So that’s how he did it! Always knew those iPhones were up to no good. Addictive little bastards.

(via @todayspolitics)
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How to return a parking ticket and get arrested for terrorism

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This is one of those stories that almost make you wonder if the people in it weren’t just totally stoned off their asses to make such insane judgments. It all started when a Purdue University, Indiana, student received a parking ticket and had a wheel lock placed on his parked car for apparently displaying a parking permit that wasn’t his. Okay, a bit foolish of him, but permissible. Unfortunately, Parking Services wasn’t open yet, so rather than wait around pointlessly, the student instead packed the parking ticket, the money fined and the wheel lock in a box, which he left outside the Visitor Information Center.

You’d think everything was fine … until Purdue Police absolutely freaked out, arresting the student on preliminary charges of “terroristic mischief”, evacuating the building and bringing in a portable X-Ray machine to scan the package and make sure it wasn’t a Weapon of Mass Destruction.


According to a press release, around 7:50 a.m. Thursday, three college-aged men left a suspicious box in a hallway at the center, located at 504 Northwestern Ave. Police evacuated the building and used a portable X-ray machine to examine the box’s contents. Inside of the box there was a wheel lock, a Purdue parking ticket and $20. Police re-opened the center at 9 a.m.

“Everything is fine,” said University spokeswoman Jeanne Norberg. “They evacuated the building, X-rayed the box and discovered that it had the wheel lock and a parking ticket and $20.”

Police arrested 21-year-old Roy C. Sun of Andover, Mass., on preliminary charges of Class C felony terroristic mischief and possession of stolen property, a Class C felony.

Norberg confirmed Sun is a senior in the College of Engineering.


Terroristic mischief is when a person knowingly or intentionally places a device with the intent to cause a reasonable person to believe it is weapon of mass destruction, according to the press release.

Seriously? A WMD, at Purdue? Are these twits completely off their rockers?

Chris Matthews bitchslaps interfering anti-abortionist Catholic bishop

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There may be something to dislike in how Matthews behaves more like an attack dog than an actual news anchor or commentator, but then, what do you expect from the host of a show entitled Hardball? Watch as Matthews brutally takes down Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin, who famously denied Rep. Patrick Kennedy from receiving communion based on Kennedy’s pro-choice stance, on abortion rights and the Church’s knack of meddling in lawmaking, the one place the Church has absolutely no business putting their nose in.

Matthews may seem like he’s rather frothing at the mouth over this, but he’s absolutely right on every count. The Church simply has no business whatsoever meddling in politics in any way, especially when it comes to so-called “moral” topics such as abortion rights. In denying Rep. Kennedy his communion just because of his pro-choice stance, Bishop Tobin has violated this exact principle. He can’t even defend himself properly; it takes him a curiously lengthy amount of time before he stops pussyfooting around Matthews’ question and gives a straight answer.

(via @todayspolitics)
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Random FAIL

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Something is wrong with this picture:

Mission Christian Church sign: “‘Darwin says to tell you he was wrong’ — God”

That’s so stupid. Of course Darwin can’t tell God to convey the message that he was wrong – he’s in Hell!

Oh, wait – can Darwin pass a message to God from Hell? Or, if he says he was wrong, does that mean he’s repentant and is in Heaven now? Damn, now I’m all confused.

(via Ray Comfort’s blog)
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Apparently, a Senator who votes for healthcare reform is a “whore”

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Teabaggers are just full of class, aren’t they? After hearing about the Chicago Tea Party “Patriots”[1] heckling and mocking a grieving mother who’d lost her daughter and unborn grandchild due to lack of healthcare coverage, I now get wind of the two Teabaggers-in-Chief, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, calling Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) a “whore” for voting to advance the healthcare reform debate into the Senate.

Here’s Beck’s bit:

‘We’re with a high class prostitute. That’s what we’re with. You’re not at Motel 6 with this. No; you’re not sittin’ there in a back alley and sayin’, “Hey, whaddaya say? Five bucks?” No, no, no. This one comes to your Four Seasons hotel room and does it right. It doesn’t dress really slutty; it dresses nice. You might even think she’s the wife of the CEO […] There’s nobody that’s gonna look at her and say, “Oh my gosh, that’s a tramp/whore!”. No; you’re gonna look at her and say, “Oh, wow, look at that”. And then, when somebody whispers, “She’s a prostitute”, you’ll say, “Okay, yeah, but she’s not cheap”.’

Then, Limbaugh’s bit:

‘That may be, folks, that may be the most expensive prostitute in the history of prostitution, and she braggin’ about it. Mary Landrieu, bragging about $300 million payoff from Dingy Harry to get her vote on this healthcare scam on Saturday night.’

Monday Grainy Cuteness: Being a mother must be hard on the knees

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Baby opossums on mother's back

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A new low for Sheriff Joe

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County, the self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff”, is the incarnation of all of the problems with today’s police forces in one: bigoted, stupid and vile, and with an ego the size of two Mount Everests (and a sense of entitlement and superiority to match). He is well-known for his brutality towards Latinos in the U.S.; he reportedly arrests over 600 of them each year, whilst less than half of those are actually there illegally. The outrages he causes are innumerable and short in between.

However, this new one might just be his most outrageous atrocity yet. Claiming that she was an illegal immigrant, Joe brutally detained a 9-months pregnant woman, who subsequently went into labor whilst under arrest. The chilling details of how she was treated, below.

The most recent atrocity committed by the self-proclaimed "America's Toughest Sheriff" involves a woman who was detained while 9-months pregnant. Alma Minerva Chacon's case has been receiving media attention due to the brutality with which she was treated. The very same night of her arrest, Chacon went into labor and found herself afraid and alone, being rushed to a local hospital with her hands and legs chained in shackles.

Once she reached the hospital, nurses repeatedly begged the Sheriff's staff to allow them to unchain the mother, but they refused and Chacon was forced to give birth while still shackled to the bed. At one point, the nurse asked for them to release her so that she could be escorted to the bathroom for a urinalysis, but even that request was denied. But the worst came once Chacon gave birth to her baby girl.

Still chained to the bed, Arpaio's police staff refused to allow Chacon to hold her newborn baby and then warned her that if no one came to pick up the child within 72 hours, she would be turned over into state custody.

Disgusting. Just loathsome. If there was one asshole who ever deserved both to be kicked off the air and have his ass thrown behind bars for a good long time, Sheriff Joe would be a prime candidate.

There is also a video of an interview with Chacon by Telemundo 52 (Spanish only) where she tells her side of the brutal story. Also, be sure to sign this petition to Attorney General Eric Holder to demand a formal investigation be launched into the the Sheriff’s countless civil and humane rights violations. (It’s an other American-only petition so I couldn’t sign, sadly.) Indeed: Sheriff Joe Must Go.

(via The Agitator)
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A confession from a Senate bigot?

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Despite his virulent bigotry, it appears that Sen. Chris Buttars (R-Utah) may be, himself, gay. Don’t take it from me – read his own words:

I meet with the gays here and there. They were in my house two weeks ago. I don't mind gays. But I don't want 'em stuffing it down my throat all the time. Certainly not in my kid's face.

So … he does want ’em stuffing *it* down his throat some of the time! See? Told ya.

Well, either that, or he really is just a dumb bigot. Hopefully, his kid will turn into one of those pesky “open-minded”, “tolerant” people who actually accept gays – hell, maybe he’ll even turn out to be gay himself, or have gay friends. Imagine the look on his Pop’s face then.

(Imagine that, he lets gays into his home! I bet he even lets them use his bathroom, too.)

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)
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Yes, teabaggers would sink so low as to heckle a grieving mother

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Not that anyone needs more proof that the American “patriots” known as teabaggers are a pathetic bunch of classless lowlives, but in case you were asking for another chance to get rightfully riled at them, here you go: watch as they publicly heckle, taunt, and even laugh at, a grieving mother who denounces what lack of healthcare coverage did to her daughter, who died from an easily preventable illness along with her unborn child. From the town hall meeting held by Congressman Dan Lipinski on November 14, which was unfortunately attended by the Chicago Tea Party “Patriots”:

The family, Dan and Midge Hough, of Chicago, spoke in favor of health care reform and in support of U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) at a Nov. 14 town hall meeting in Oak Lawn.

Their daughter-in-law, Jenny, and an unborn grandchild died recently due in part, they believe, to a lack of health insurance. They said Jenny was not receiving regular prenatal care and ended up in an emergency room with double pneumonia that developed into septic shock. Her baby died in the womb, and Jenny died a few weeks later, leaving behind a husband and a 2-year-old daughter.

Catherina Wojtowicz, of Chicago's Mount Greenwood community, an organizer for a Tea Party splinter group, Chicago Tea Party Patriots, falsely claimed that the Houghs fabricated their story. In an e-mail, she called them operatives of President Barack Obama who "go from event to event and (cry) the same story.

When the Houghs spoke at the Lipinski event, some Tea Partiers ridiculed them. They moaned and rolled their eyes and interrupted. Midge Hough began to cry.

They openly insult, shout at and laugh at a mother whose daughter died with her own unborn child, due to lack of appropriate healthcare.

How much lower can these fuckwits sink?

Some argue that they (teabaggers) were simply exasperated after hearing tragedy after tragedy. Yes, admittedly, it must be difficult to bear hearing the heartbreaking stories of fellow civilians who go through terrible hardships, suffering and death as a result of the sort of shitty healthcare system the teabaggers are all too happy to have and keep around. But nonetheless, if they truly were just tired of hearing the same sob stories over and over again, is it really hard to find a way to express said discontentment, without actually heckling a grieving mother? For fuck’s sake?!

(via @todayspolitics)
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

U2 – Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own

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Quite possibly my favorite U2 song ever. Just felt like it merited a posting, here. Enjoy. (I personally prefer the album version, but the only good one I can find has disabled embedding. Poop.)

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Message to right-wingers: STOP RAPPING. NOW.

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Because they really, really suck at it. I’m no fan of rap/hip-hop/crap at the best of times, but this sort of stuff just makes my ears bleed. For one thing, any rap that includes a line like “Patriotic people throw your hands in the air, and wave them around like you just don't care!” should be made illegal for excruciating lack of cleverness and novelty.

I think I know, now, what people mean by “White boy rap”. I made it through the first two minutes or so; I’m gonna need some good waterboarding to be inclined to watch the rest.

Just another reason why I loathe these cretins.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

God is incredible! … No, really!

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That makes better sense when taken in a literal sense. Example:

“God is incredible!” – in both senses of the word
[Click for full size]

Hey, whaddaya know? Looks like theists and non-theists all agree after all.

(via Friendly Atheist)
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Maybe if he printed it onto high gloss paper …

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This isn’t just a science FAIL. It’s just plain FAIL all around.

“How to turn a computer into mirror? Scanning a mirror doesn’t work.”

(via Forever in Hell)
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What exactly makes it so Holy, then?

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As of late, Christians have been scurrying around trying to find ways to limit the risks of H1N1 (Swine) flu contagion during their beloved rituals. Now, an Italian man has come up with a solution for that pesky, potentially infected Holy Water: an automatic electronic dispenser!

These gadgets that operate with the help of an infrared "eye" that detects the presence of the faithful's hands and squirts out a bit of H2O that's been blessed by the bishop, first turned up in a Roman Catholic parish in the northern Italian town of Fornaci di Briosco near Milan.

Clever Catholic inventor Luciano Marabese created the electronic holy water dispenser -- a terracotta wall-mounted urn with a sensor-controlled spigot underneath -- after hearing that fellow Italians, wary of contracting the swine flu, were afraid to dip their fingers in the holy water fonts at the entrance of their churches.

"After all the news that some churches, like Milan's cathedral, were suspending the use of holy water fonts as a measure against swine flu, demands for my invention shot to the stars," Marabese told Reuters.

Marabese says he's now receiving orders from all over the world.

Just tell me one thing – if your Holy Water could potentially be full of earthbound germs that could leave you sick or dying, then what, exactly, makes it so special and different from normal water? If God can’t even provide sacred rituals that are free from such mundane threats as germs, he doesn’t sound all that powerful to me. Just sayin’.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Stupid Quote of the Day: Vox fails at science – QED

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Sometimes, you really don’t need to say or write a whole lot to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about. Cue Vox Day, who illustrates his massive ignorance in one short sentence:

"Peer-review" is just a sciency name for what is more commonly known as "editing".


Wow. To take the whole practice of peer-reviewing, which involves countless hours of cross-examinations between equally countless experiments, by experts of a multitude of varied fields – and that, in itself, is a major oversimplification – to try and come down to the very core of any study or research, to make new discoveries and find new truths … and to equate it all to mere spell-checking and copy-editing …

Why don’t I equate the universe of economics and finances, of models and theories, of forecasts and rates, to getting money from an ATM, then?

I truly have yet to see any evidence to disprove my theory (no, not “hypothesis”) that Vox Day is a complete and utter dumbass parading around as a pseudo-intellectual. If the above quote of his doesn’t unequivocally and incontrovertibly prove how he knows nothing of science, with this level of shameless and cringe-worthy bastardization, I don’t know what would.

I wonder if I would even do a double-take should he use the word “scientician”.

Saying that labeling children is wrong = FASCISM!!!1!!

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There’s been an exponential rise in atheist advertising these past few months; it’s all chronicled at Friendly Atheist, where you can follow the dozens of atheist bus ads, subway ads, billboards and the likes that appear across America and the world. The overlying theme present in all these ads (or, at least, 99% of them) is how very non-confrontational, inoffensive and really quite benign these messages are; all they do is tell people not to worry about a God who “probably doesn’t exist”, or let other atheists know that they’re not alone in their godlessness. And yet, naturally, religious nuts still find a way to get their panties in a twist over them. After all, they can’t admit that godless people exist, and can be good and moral people without religion, can they?

The latest of these ads, from the British Humanist Association, is arguably the most agreeable of them all:

British Humanist Association “Please Don’t Label Me [children]. Let Me Grow Up And Choose For Myself.” ad
[EDIT: 01/10/13 7:57 PM ET – Fixed broken image.]

One of the larger points of contention atheists share, I included, is how there is no such thing as “religious children”. To label a child as a “Christian child”, or a “Muslim child”, or even an “atheist child”, is blatantly unfair. A child cannot subscribe to a faith (or a lack of one) if they aren’t even old enough to understand what faith really is. This sort of labeling is unfair and needs to stop – which is where the aforementioned ad comes in.

Notice its subtle brilliance: not only does it decry the use of terms such as “Catholic child”, “Protestant child” and “Sikh child”, it also includes others like “Libertarian child”, “Anarchist child” and “Marxist child”. This drives the point home: children can and should not be defined by a religion, no more than by a political ideology, or any ideology of any sort. The point couldn’t be clearer or more self-evident: let them grow up and decide for themselves. Who could possibly find anything to complain about in such a message?

Well, Ed West did in this profoundly stupid article at the Telegraph, where he makes any number of dumbass errors and assumptions in between being a general twit in his November 18 article, entitled ‘Stay away from my kids, Richard Dawkins’.

But Dawkins’ latest piece of propaganda is just sinister. With a picture of two smiling children, it proclaims “Please don’t label me. Let me grow up and choose for myself.”

The Richard Dawkins-led anti-religious movement in many way resembles the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, on both Left and Right, which hated religion as rival sources of loyalties, and sought to drive it out.

Wow. That was fast. Barely a single paragraph in, and already the equating of a peaceful message about not unfairly labeling kids to fascism has begun. Talk about getting to the point – and saying something stupid – in record time.

Friday Canine: Looks like one cute bean-bag chair

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Music is the path to liberation for the oppressed

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That’s what Islamist parents in Kuwait seem to think, anyway, considering they’re trying to ban the “Satanic” matter from schools altogether.

"Music is not part of our tradition and religion, and we totally reject it," Qatar's Gulf News quoted parent Salih al-Khalid as saying. "What will our sons gain from learning this Satanic course?"

Other parents said music had no benefit and elicited the wrath of god.

The issue of music education has been a hot topic in Kuwait, with Islamist lawmakers pushing for a total ban on such studies in school.

Mohammed Hayef, one such legislator, said music education would lead to schools becoming breeding grounds for dancers. He has threatened to push a bill through parliament to enforce a ban, saying the classes were forcing the Gulf state to undergo "Westernization."

One more reason why to stay the hell away from Islamist countries like Kuwait. If music (and dancing) is the soul of a people, then it would certainly explain why they tend to be such godforsaken shitholes.

(via @religionnews)
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How to explode with cuteness overload

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Step 1: watch this video of Sidney the baby otter playing around with toys.

Step 2: there is no step 2. You have splattered cuteness over your walls, now. (Looks like rainbows and stars and pretty pinks.)

(By the way, otters are illegal to own as pets. This one belongs to a professional animal caretaker who works at a marine park, so the vid’s description says.)

(via The Agitator)
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