Friday, April 30, 2010

FAIL Quote of the Day: Just plain vile

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You disgust me
Except, not in such a cute, kitty-softened way

Right from his post title being “When rape is comedy gold”, you can tell what to expect from this piece by everyone’s favorite misogynistic thug, Vox Day, in response to a piece from a woman trying to shine some light on the high levels of rape in Haiti and who ended up being sexually savaged herself:

Yes, it's always a tragedy when a sex tour goes awry.... Compounding the humor here is the way in which the grateful rapee believes it is the fault of "the [white] man" that violent, savage black men rape silly white women who believe in the myth of equality. We can only conclude from this that she believes black men and white women alike are non-sapient animals incapable of making their own decisions or controlling their own behavior. It's probably just as well that this dimwitted woman happened to choose race relations over the environment as her cretinous crusade. She is clearly that special sort of environmental activist that ends up eaten by bears.

Look, it really doesn’t matter what he’s responding to, or even if he’d just been kicked in the balls and ass-raped (repeatedly) by a rabid feminist with a strap-on. If this sort of repulsively hideous and hateful crap doesn’t make your skin crawl somewhat, there’s most likely something quite wrong with you.

But, yeah, tell us again how your brand of morality is better than others’, Vox. Go ahead. Loathsome wanker.

Pagan secularists will destroy the world!

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The Stupid, It Burns
Will also destroy scalps with pagan fire

Or, at the very least, merely the “fabric of civilization”. And how so? By ruling that it’s plainly wrong for a professional relationship counselor to deny therapy to same-sex couples because this is supposedly “against his beliefs”. But, you may ask, how does the latter lead to the former? Well … hey, it has to make sense somehow. After all, Vox Day said it, and he’s got teh smarts, so it must be true:

You can always count on the fact that some idiot in authority, somewhere, is going to try to destroy the fabric of civilization:

Lord Justice Laws condemned any attempt to protect believers who take a stand on matters of conscience under the law as “irrational” and “capricious”. In comments likely to set the church on a collision course with the courts, he claimed that doing so could set Britain on the road to a “theocracy”, or religious rule. His comments came as he dismissed a legal challenge by a Christian relationship counsellor who was sacked after refusing to offer sex therapy sessions to homosexual couples because it was against his beliefs.


Every intelligent individual, religious or irreligious, should be able to see the very clear danger involved in declaring the right of the state to override conscience and that "no religious belief itself could be protected under the law 'however long its tradition, however rich its culture'". This is overt totalitarian madness and is a direct conceptual strike at every cherished freedom of Western civilization. If there is no room for the law to respect religious beliefs, there is no room for it to respect beliefs of any kind and it rests upon a foundation of nothing more than the law of tooth and claw.

So, declaring that religious beliefs shall not be accepted as a valid excuse for denying care or service(s) to others because their choices or inherent nature might be “offensive” to some, or might be contradictory to their particular brand of delusion, is actually a totalitarian move to destroy modern society as we know it. Got it.

Secularists should beware of celebrating this form of superficially secular form of jurisprudence, as it isn[sic] not indicative of a movement towards a rational and progressive secular humanist society, but rather the unlimited state power formerly seen in ancient pagan societies.

Only in the heads of Vox Day and other such supporters of theocracy does this sort of argument make any sense.

Daily Blend: Friday, April 30, 2010

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Daily Blend

Just had a lengthy discussion with my mother about our beliefs. It went better than I had expected; turns out she’s pro-choice when it comes to abortion and doesn’t subscribe to antivax, vaccines-cause-Autism or other forms of pseudoscientific bullshit. (Whereas Dad does, sadly enough.) But then, she does believe in The Secret, along with telekinesis and so on … *le sigh*

  • You thought what the Itawamba school board did to Constance McMillen was pathetic and bigoted enough? At least they didn’t just erase her from existence in the school’s yearbook solely for being a lesbian. Ed Brayton has the absurd details. Stories like this is what you get in combining bigotry, mulishness, ignorance and dumbassery. A perfect combination.

  • WTF, CNN? American media at it best.
    (via @jakiking)

  • Pretty awesome: the city of New Orleans is declaring next Thursday, May 06 – ie. the (supposedly struck-down) National Day of Prayer – to be a “citywide Day of Reason”, filled with good food, games and plenty of secular fun.

  • Disclaimer: I’m not cheering the fact that he fell gravely ill or that he (reportedly) nearly died. Still, though, the fact that notorious quack and bullshit-peddler Gary Null got hoist with his own petard is just ironic beyond words.
    (via Respectful Insolence)

  • [NSFW] Okay, this is horribly catchy. (Motherfucker.)
    (via Pharyngula)

  • Greta Christina defends Boobquake from attacks by other feminists. It’s plainly apparent how most of these “dissenters” (you figure out who) are either A) disappointingly humorless or, for some, B) using their feminism as a cover for their thinly-veiled misandrogynistic leanings. When it comes to the point where even such transparently facetious and light-hearted retorts such as Boobquake are construed to be sexualized, anti-feminist and patriarchy-dominated events, there’s a serious problem with someone’s grip on reason. Same as having a uterus does not make one submissive, having a dick does not make one part of the problem.
    (via Diaphanitas)

  • Hawaii House of Representatives passes civil unions bill, sending it to Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. I can’t find any info on Gov. Lingle’s stance or record on the issue, so let’s keep our fingers crossed this half-assed half-measure will go through, maybe opening the door for some real equality legislation some future day. Like gay marriage.
    (via @todayspolitics)

As always, if you have any story suggestions, feel free to send them in.

Friday Canine: Stupid birds, think they so good ’cuz they can climb a cactus and I can’t …

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

New demotivational posters: for all you story-readers out there …

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I couldn’t find any similar to this, so I made it myself. Some might find it handy now and again.

New demotivational poster: “SEQUEL: I demand it!”
[click for full size]

Trashing sophomoric Greg Gutfeld

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Greg Gutfeld
“Hey, c’m’ere, lemme give you bad examples of humor and argumentation”

Greg Gutfeld, host of Fox News’s Red Eye, has already been the focus of this blog’s scorn once or twice due to the fact that his preferred method of debating or arguing is resorting to ad hominem swipes so remarkably pathetic that they make part of your brain shut off and die. Now, just for kicks, check out what his grand riposte is to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom for banning official city travel to Arizona and declaring that the state’s new Draconian anti-immigration law is “unacceptable”:

Which leads me to explore what Newsom finds acceptable:

Exhibit A: Turning the world's most beautiful city, San Francisco, into a sprawling toilet with a half-billion dollar deficit.

Being S.F.'s mayor should be a dream job. It's like being King of Gumdrop Village on Rainbow Island. It's packed with great food, tourists, amazing scenery and fun people. But Gavin has left the city oilier than his own pompadour. If one block doesn't smell of excrement, it's because it smells of feces and vice versa. Gavin has taken a jewel of a city and pooped all over it.

Which leads me to:

Exhibit B: Letting panhandlers rule. I'm from the Bay Area, and spent a lot of time wandering S.F.'s streets, either working or drunk. Now, no way.

The last time I was there, my 85-year-old mom was surrounded by the most aggressive panhandlers I've ever seen — walking over others, apparently napping. Instead of worrying about the potential ramifications of a law in another state, Gavin should address the heaps of humanity that litter his own streets.

Exhibit C: Banging your pal's wife. It's true, Newson slept with the wife of his close friend and campaign manager, who then resigned. Maybe there aren't enough women in S.F., but you're the mayor and you've got hair. Either you're too lazy or you lack character — probably both.

Bottom line, Gavin: Before you crap all over Arizona, clean up the crap in your own yard.

Now, first of all, I will admit to knowing very little about the state of sanitation in San Francisco, and a Google search didn’t provide any useful info. So, I cannot judge whether the city actually is a few steps short of a sprawling pigsty such as Gutfeld claims.

However, even if Frisco is a filthy hive of litter and panhandler-infested streets – which I will allow myself to doubt somewhat strongly, given Gutfeld’s record of veracity thus far – so what? Is that really the best Gutfeld can do? Instead of taking Mayor Newsom to task over his declaration that Arizona’s new anti-immigration law is “unacceptable”, not only does he support that travesty of a law (as most conservatives do, naturally), but his best comeback is comprised of lame poop jokes, insulting Newsom’s (perfectly fine) hairstyle, and finishing with some more juvenile attacks on the guy’s character.

I know how petty it seems to devote a blog post to something as insipid from an idiot like Gutfeld, but this was just too amusingly ironic (and pathetic) to pass up. Greg Gutfeld is the last person who should even consider telling others off about their dirty linens.

Daily Blend: Thursday, April 29, 2010

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Daily Blend

Off to spend the next few days watching all seven seasons of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit!. Go bad-mouthed skepticism!

As always, if you have any story suggestions, feel free to send them in.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FAIL Quote of the Day: Typical Republican, typical dumbass statement

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Duncan D. Hunter (Jr.)
Duncan Hunter Jr., True Republican
[source: TPM LiveWire]

Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA), teabagger and an avid supporter of the notorious recently-passed Arizona anti-immigration bill, apparently thinks that arresting and deporting illegal immigrants is too soft and passé. His brilliant idea? Deport the children of illegal alienseven those who are natural-born American citizens.

At a tea party rally in Ramona in San Diego County over the weekend, Hunter fielded a question about the issue.

"Would you support deportation of natural born American citizens that are the children of illegal aliens?" a man in the audience asked.

"I would have to, yes," Hunter said.

He continued:

You can look and say, 'You're a mean guy. That's a mean thing to do. That's not a humanitarian thing to do.' We simply cannot afford what we're doing right now.

Note that he doesn’t just want American citizens who are the (alleged) kids of (allegedly) illegal immigrants to be rounded up and carted off outside the border. Instead, he just wants to have their citizenship rights revoked. … And then rounded up and carted off outside the border. It’s completely different – after all, you can’t say he’s deporting American citizens if they no longer have citizenship, right? That fixes everything.

(via @todayspolitics)

Daily Blend: Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Daily Blend

It gets mildly vexing when I find myself busting my self-imposed bedtimes because I can’t put a leash on my writing … yet also quite satisfying.

  • What’s that stench? Oh, it’s a resurgence of McCarthyism.
    (via @todayspolitics)

  • Post-Apartheid South Africa is renown for several things. Being the rape capital of the world is one of them, due heavily to the region’s intensely macho culture. Here’s a video report shining some light on the horrifying (and growing) phenomenon of “corrective rape”, where (allegedly-)lesbian women are targeted to try and basically “rape them straight”. Heartbreaking.
    (via God is for Suckers!)

  • There’s a new report being trumpeted by Fox News and the WorldNutDaily (so you know how credible it must be already) that Noah’s Ark has been found. (For the umpteenth time.) PZ Myers is not impressed. At least the evangelists who parade this “new” “discovery” are finally using carbon dating to tentatively date the “remains” back some 4,800 years ago. And yet, said carbon dating method is still too unreliable to use on other ancient fossils …

  • Recognizing the Hubble space telescope’s 20th anniversary in style on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

  • While our children are caught up in gutter Rap, trashy Hip-Hop and generic Pop, Finnish kids indulge in the transcendent quality of … Heavy Metal dinosaur bands.
    (via friend Chris)

  • Who is this Canada you speak of, Prime Minister Harper? My Canada is pro-choice, particularly in its humanitarian efforts.

  • The enigmatic ‘Teardrop’ by Massive Attack – yes, the title song for House, MD.

  • Once more blurring the already fine line between ardent religiosity and mental illness: I’d feel sorry for this girl if I didn’t find that mess so … absurd. Psych help, anyone?
    (via Pharyngula)

As always, if you have any story suggestions, feel free to send them in.

FAIL Quote of the Day: In which he really uses every excuse to attack the President

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Rush Limbaugh
He’d attack Obama for breathing if they didn’t sadly share the same air
[source: Vexedinthecity’s Weblog]

Yesterday (Monday), President Obama launched a video message in which he encouraged young, minority (such as Black, Latino and Asian) and female first-time voters to get active again in the November mid-term elections. Three guesses how everyone’s (least-)favorite odious gasbag responded to Obama’s encouragements.

[Rush] Limbaugh, on his Monday show, castigated Obama for targeting voter groups. "This is the regime at its racist best . . . He is asking young people, African-Americans, Latino and women to reconnect, to fight who? Who is this fight against?" Limbaugh said.

Yes, because encouraging first-time voters to participate in the country’s political future is really just “playing the race card”, after all.

Limbaugh asks who Obama and other voters are fighting against. I’ll tell you exactly who, Limbaugh. You. Scoundrels like you, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin; all of you decidedly unpatriotic, ignorant, imbecilic, arrogant, slandering, simpering, dishonest and cowardly fools. Every last damn one of you.

(via @ebertchicago)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And thus the Constance McMillen saga concludes in style, thanks to Westboro

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Constance McMillen
Constance McMillen

For some, knowing that they’ve irked some of the most insane bigots around into provoking them to come picketing might be taken as a badge of honor. In what is most likely a very fitting final chapter in the case of Constance McMillen, the lesbian student who ardently fought for her right to attend prom with her girlfriend in the face of overwhelming bigotry from her entire town of Fulton, MS., the ever-odious Westboro Baptist Church has announced its plans to picket Constance’s graduation from the Itawamba Agricultural High School on May 22, apparently unable to refrain from seizing upon such an event to act out as the hate-filled ghouls that they are.

“WBC will picket the graduation of Itawamba Agricultural High School to remind the parents, teachers and students of this nation that God said 'Thou shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind, it is abomination,'” the church said in announcing the protest.

“This generation has been raised to believe that they can live for the devil and still go to heaven, that God has no standards and the biggest lie of all – that God loves everyone.”

“The parents of Fulton, MS feign outrage that a filthy dyke wants to parade her 'girlfriend' around at their night of fornication called a prom,” the church added. “They had a duty to teach their children what the Lord requires of them. They shirked this duty.”

Stay classy, Westboro.

Unfortunately, the bad news here (because frankly, I don’t really consider the WBC’ picketing as bad news, merely an exasperating irrelevancy) is that most of the town of Fulton has already shown itself to be a cultural swamp of ass-backward bigots, the kind who were all more than happy to set up a segregated prom just for Constance, her girlfriend and other “different” kids (including two “special needs” students). It’s likely that many locals would probably rather join Westboro rather than protest their abhorrent gospel. Either way, this ought to make for one heck of an interesting graduation.

Oh, and I know it’s been said before, but: Constance, dear, once you’ve graduated and got your diplomas and everything, get the fuck out of that retarded hellhole. You deserve immeasurably better than what any of those degenerates have to offer.

(via Diaphanitas)

Make that a defeat for abortion rights in Oklahoma

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Abortion rights
Not according to self-righteous lawmakers, it ain’t

I just knew it. Last Saturday, I commented on the report that Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry (D) had vetoed two ghastly bills aimed at restricting abortion rights, one that would’ve had pregnant women undergo a highly intrusive ultrasound method whilst being lectured at length about the fetus, while the other intended to shield doctors from lawsuits should they neglect to inform expecting parents about any potential birth defects in their unborn offspring. As if this weren’t all good enough, the bills didn’t even carry any exceptions in cases of rape or incest. So: didn’t mean to, y’know, get raped and fall pregnant with your aggressor’s seed? Yup, you still get to have a big, cold probe stuffed up your privates and receive a sermon on the wonders of that parasitic blob of cells in your womb and how wrong it would be to get rid of it. (And, of course, if your doctor decides to leave his ethics at home one day and “neglects” to tell you that your fetus is carrying some potentially disfiguring or lethal defect, you can’t do a damn thing about it.)

It’s a breathtaking relief that these atrocious pieces of legislation were prevented from becoming law by Governor Henry … or, at least, it would’ve been – had the Rethuglican-dominated legislature not acted on their promise and overwhelmingly voted to overrule Gov. Henry’s veto, effectively ushering these travesties against basic reproductive health and civil rights into becoming law.

Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, vetoed both bills last week. The ultrasound law, he said, was flawed because it did not exempt rape and incest victims and was an unconstitutional intrusion into a woman’s privacy. He painted the other measure as immoral.

“It is unconscionable to grant a physician legal protection to mislead or misinform pregnant women in an effort to impose his or her personal beliefs on a patient,” Mr. Henry said.

The Republican majorities in both houses, however, saw things differently. On Monday, the House voted overwhelmingly to override the vetoes, and the Senate followed suit at 10:42 a.m. Tuesday, making the two measures law.

It makes one wonder what the bloody point in having a rare conscientious lawmaker as Governor is if his legislature of thugs and cranks can go right ahead and cut his legs out from under him like that. Ah, the wonders of modern politics.

(via @nytimes)

Chimpanzees, death and mourning

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Last October, I blogged the touching story of Dorothy, an elderly chimp who passed away at a rescue center from natural causes and was led away to her burial in a wheelbarrow – but not without her “wake” being silently and mournfully witnessed by the other chimps at the center. (If you haven’t seen this story yet, check it out now. That photo is worth a thousand words.)

Recently, scientists were able to catch another glimpse into chimps’ moral sense and recognition of death, in the form of this video footage showing an aging chimp, Pansy, dying peacefully of old age at a British safari park, her ailing body presided over by three other adults until she expired.

Three adult chimpanzees gather around Pansy as she dies peacefully. Video: Anderson et al/Current Biology

Pansy, a female who died of old age at Blair Drummond Safari Park at the end of 2008, was one of four chimpanzees being filmed by Anderson's group. When she became ill, vets paid regular visits to give treatment, while her companions – her daughter, a male and another female – looked on from a distance.

When Pansy lay down in a nest that one of the other apes had made, the rest gathered around her and began grooming and caressing her. Shortly before she died, all three crouched down and inspected her face very closely. They then began to shake her gently. "It is difficult to avoid thinking that they were checking for signs of life," said Anderson.

"After a time, it seemed that the chimpanzees arrived at a collective decision that she had gone. Two left immediately, but one, the other adult female, stayed and held her hand," said Anderson. "That evening, her daughter came back and stayed with her mother all night long. She was trying to sleep, but was clearly very disturbed. All three of them were."

Makes one reflect, doesn’t it?

(via @RichardDawkins)

Daily Blend: Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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Daily Blend

Let’s see … no significant quakes in the last 24+ hours. Does that mean … that human activities can’t magically influence natural events and disasters? That the likes of Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh and more recently, Islamic cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi … are completely bonkers and wrong?

As always, if you have any story suggestions, feel free to send them in.

Monday, April 26, 2010

FAIL Quote of the Day: Another example why I hate teabaggers

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Sue Bican at a Mille Lacs “Tea Party Patriots” rally in Milaca, Minnesota
Bigoted asshole Sue Bican at a party of likewise bigoted assholes
[source: Mille Lacs County Times]

I’m scrambling to get ready to watch back-to-back House and 24, so here’s a quickie piece of odiousness from a teabagger rally in Minnesota, making an oft-heard yet not-oft-enough decried comparison:

Members of the Mille Lacs Tea Party Patriots held the second annual Tea Party rally on Thursday, April 15 in Milaca. Roughly 60 people turned out for the event in which Sue Bican told attendees they must resolve to become active, to do something. "If we do nothing, we are no better than the Jews who stood in line for the gas chambers, Bican said.

Yes. Because being white Republican teabaggers in America is just the same as Jews being kidnapped and hauled off to extermination during the Holocaust.

You know, I bet Minnesota is actually a nice place. Too bad you wouldn’t know it from bigoted assholes like these.

(via Pharyngula)

The infallible, inerrant and non-contradictory word of God

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… is just about anything but. Cue NonStampCollector’s latest exposé of the Biblical (har) levels of inconsistencies and downright contradictions in the so-called “Good Book”.

(Note: before anyone attempts to criticize this vid – or especially, me for posting this vid – on the grounds that these contradictions actually aren’t, read the vid’s description.)

(via Pharyngula)

Daily Blend: Monday, April 26, 2010

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Daily Blend

So, today’s Boobquake, right? So, when will the earth start sha— hey, whoa! Did you feel that? The ground just shoo—! … Oh, that was just a semi barreling down the street. False alarm. Drats.

As always, if you have any story suggestions, feel free to send them in.

Sometimes, you really wish this stuff had been made up

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My demotivational poster: “Stupidity: Sometimes, the only thing you can do in response is weep like a little kid”
My demotivational poster: “Stupidity: Sometimes, the only thing you can do in response is weep like a little kid”
[created with Big Huge Labs’ Motivator | click for full size]

Sometimes, I despair for humankind. Sometimes, the amount of seemingly impossibly stupid things that fill this world is just too much. And sometimes, I read stories like this

[Blind man] Ian Jolly, 57, was barred from dining at the Thai Spice restaurant in May 2009 after a staff member mistook his guide dog Nudge for a "gay dog," a tribunal heard this week.

A statement given by restaurant owners Hong Hoa Thi To and Anh Hoang Le said one of the restaurant's waiters said that Jolly's partner Ms. Chris Lawrence stated "she wanted to bring a gay dog into the restaurant."


At an Equal Opportunity Tribunal conciliation hearing Friday, the restaurant agreed to provide Jolly with a written apology and attend an Equal Opportunity education course, in addition to paying him $1,500.

"The staff genuinely believed that Nudge was an ordinary pet dog which had been desexed to become a gay dog," a statement from the hearing said.

… and I feel like sobbing uncontrollably for a little while.

(via Fark)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

When your worst enemy is the one you created

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“For Dummies” books parody: “Jihad for Dummies”
Except, for kiddies
[source: Samuel at Gilgal]

If you ever wondered how or why the intense militant Islamic movement in the Middle-East could have spawned so relatively quickly over the course of only a few decades, it turns out the US may need to shoulder some of the blame, if not even a large part of it. According to this March of 2002-era report from The Washington Post, the US apparently had a policy during the Cold War era where they spent many years, and many millions of dollars, supplying Middle Eastern schoolchildren with textbooks that incorporated propaganda about jihad and Islamic fundamentalism and filled with war-themed imagery such as guns and tanks. Apparently, the government (or whatever small faction – that is, I’m hoping it was a small one – that launched this campaign) thought that this would be a good idea in the long run as it would increase the area’s anti-Soviet resistance efforts, all in the US’s best interests, of course.

What could possibly have gone wrong?

The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system's core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books, though the radical movement scratched out human faces in keeping with its strict fundamentalist code.

As Afghan schools reopen today, the United States is back in the business of providing schoolbooks. But now it is wrestling with the unintended consequences of its successful strategy of stirring Islamic fervor to fight communism. What seemed like a good idea in the context of the Cold War is being criticized by humanitarian workers as a crude tool that steeped a generation in violence.

Last month, a U.S. foreign aid official said, workers launched a "scrubbing" operation in neighboring Pakistan to purge from the books all references to rifles and killing. Many of the 4 million texts being trucked into Afghanistan, and millions more on the way, still feature Koranic verses and teach Muslim tenets.

There is so much that is purely and utterly wrong with this story that I scarcely know how even to react. I don’t know which is worse, here: that the geniuses in the government actually thought this was a good idea; that such an insane measure was actually green-lit, presumably by top-ranking government officials, and carried out; or that apparently, no-one in charge realized how very badly such a strategy would invariably turn out and put an end to it before it was too late. After all, filling impressionable kids’ heads with pro-war, pro-violence and pro-radical Islamic teachings when the region was already about as peaceful and stable as, well, the Middle East – yeah, great idea!

There’s a quote I often use, from Lisa in The Simpsons: “You can’t create a monster and then whine when it stomps on a few buildings.” I do believe the bitter irony, here, has just exploded to astronomical levels. In dealing with terrorism and Islamic extremism, all we’re doing is trying to mop up a mess that, as it turns out, is largely our own. Brilliant.

(via @ahtripp)

What does it mean to be an atheist?

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Atheism/Godless ambigram
Still the coolest atheism logo ever

I started writing this post a few days ago at the end of a long bout of brainstorming. I’ve been wanting to post something about atheism and what it means to be an atheist in this modern society, but it’s been on the backburner for a while. I recognize that most of this will be little more than preaching to the choir, which is why it’s intended for anyone not really aware of what atheism is and what is entailed in living without God.


“Godless”, “skeptic”, “agnostic”, “humanist”, “secularist”, “rationalist”, “freethinker”, “bright”, and of course, the infamous “atheist”, along with the unfathomable number of possible combinations in between: the labels used (by themselves and others) to identify those who do not believe in God and/or gods are astonishing in their numbers and variety. Which truly is all the more fitting, considering the equally astonishing variety present amongst those of us who live without a belief in any one or more deities. The godless are a very fractured, disorganized and truly random bunch, including people from just about every role and position in society: liberals and conservatives, the rich and the poor, the young and the old, the intelligent and the not-so-bright, the hairy and the bald, etc. There is very little cohesiveness between godless folks; they really are just average people living average lives and spread across all ranges of all ideological scales.

ATHEISM: “Atheism is to religion what bald is to hair color”
“Atheism is to religion what bald is to hair color”: in refutation of the common ignorant claim that atheism is in any way a faith or religion

Of course, some may see this lack of unity as a weakness, as a sign that godlessness is either waning or has never held much ground to begin with. However, those who believe as much are simply wrong: our lack of a singular definition or purpose is above all a strength. It means that we godless people can be, and already are, anywhere and everywhere at once: in your workplace, in your favorite tea house, on the road and everywhere else, including in a home near you. This gives godless folks that much more presence and reach, making the group’s impact that much more influential.

However, with all this variety and disaccord, there has to be something that holds true to all atheists, something that we can all hold onto. What is it that unites us, that spurs us on to believe what we believe and do what we do? What’s it all about? What does it mean to be an atheist?

First of all, what even is an “atheist”? Quite simply, an atheist is someone who adheres to atheism, which is the lack of any belief in one or more god(s). It’s also important to note that atheism is not anti-theism, ie. the affirmative belief that gods actually don’t exist. Atheism is simply the lack of a positive belief, whereas anti-theism is a negative belief in something’s inexistence. They are similar in some ways, but still distinct.

Daily Blend: Sunday, April 25, 2010

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Daily Blend

Only one day ’til over a hundred thousand semi-exposed mammaries across the globe make the earth tremble … (You know, if that idiot cleric is right and all.)

  • Look, there are ways to make decent rap music about politics and ideology. But, conservatives: please, stop trying to rap. You can’t do it, guys. Really, you just can’t.

  • The Ohio Medina County Republican Executive Committee now considering overt misogyny as a campaign tool: fliers were sent out to about 15,000 homes with the message “Let's take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen!”. Bonus: Committee chairman claims the fliers were meant as “educational”. Your interpretation is as good as mine.
    (via @todayspolitcs)

  • China’s infamous one-child rule may be on its way out. </insert obligatory mildly humorous and politically incorrect “as if there weren’t enough already” comment here>
    (via @todayspolitics)

  • So your 5-year-old daughter cussed, bites her nails, knows she was delivered via cesarean and you cuddled her for 10 minutes before dropping her off at daycare? Congrats, you now have to flee to Ireland, and later Dubai, to escape Nanny State UK’s social services who have now labeled you as an abusive parent. (Note: before anyone starts nagging that this story comes from the Daily Mail, it’s also in the Times Online and the BBC.)
    (via Fark)

  • And they say porn stars don’t care about their customers. (Also: how fucking stupid did the prosecution have to be not to know that Little Lupe, a particularly renown smut actress, was of legal age in all her films? Worse still, how heartless and incompetent do they have to be not to spend five fucking minutes making some calls or Googling on the Web to find out whether the actress was indeed legal, as opposed to relying solely on some charlatan’s bullshit testimony? Christ, it scares the shit out of me how so many innocent people can be prosecuted and have their lives ruined for absolutely no reason other than due to sheer incompetence and dishonesty on the prosecution’s part.)
    (via Fark)

  • Every straight Internet male (and possibly lesbian)’s dream woman, fer realz. Well, except me. Because I’m a realist. And so lonely.
    (via Fark)

  • If you cut off my ponytail in school as a prank, trust me, you’d be lucky to get away with no more than an arrest, buddy.
    (via Fark)

As always, if you have any story suggestions, feel free to send them in.

For all you pearl-clutchers out there …

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I doodled this this morning and only just finished digitizing it. A few finishing touches later, and here you go: my first step in the realm of a satirist. (Or something.)

“Fragile beliefs”
T’was either “fragile” or “sensitive”
[click for full size]

If I have to explain any of it, I’ll blow myself up. (Ooh, I went there …)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Don’t attack a comrade just because they have a sense of perspective

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The Stupid, It Burns

So, I assume you know the basics of what promises to be the greatest mammary-related event of the year (or, at least, the following week), so I’ll skip the introductory details. Naturally, people’s reaction towards Jen, particularly from feminists, is not solely comprised of unabashed approval; several have come out against her silly little joke-turned-explosive Internet phenomenon on various grounds. (Though, as usual, you can safely expect the majority – though not all – of them is due to a mere lack of a sense of humor.) However, some reactions really are just plain stupid, and I just had to laugh as I came across this absurd take from Jill at I Blame the Patriarchy:

Says McCreight, wishing to deflect feminist fury:

“I just want to apologize if this comes off as demeaning toward women. To be honest, it started as silly joke that I hurriedly fired off since I was about to miss the beginning of House. I never thought it would get the attention it did. If I would have known, I would have spent more time being careful about my wording.”

We’ve all said stupid things on the Internet. But when you say stupid things about encouraging women to protest oppression by capitulating to Dude Nation’s fondest desire, and then blame it on a compulsion to watch a stupid misogynist TV show, all I can say is, ewww.

I think my brain just melted.

First, nothing about what Jen wrote was in any way “stupid”. Words that might fit include “silly”, “facetious”, “light-hearted” “funny”, and perhaps even “childish”, but her main (if not sole) point – that such ridiculous, stupid (there’s a good use for that word) and insulting remarks as those by the Islamic cleric are best dealt with by employing snark and mockery – is absolutely sound. Failing to see this indicates either a lack of a sense of humor, or a deep-seated issue with the fact that some women are casual and open regarding their bodies and breasts. Boob jokes may at times be a form of humor ranking just above the toilet variety in terms of sophistication, but in this case, it was simply perfect.

However, the second part of Jill’s claim above, the insinuation that Jen is really just caving in to “Dude Nation” (God, I do so hate those who coin idiotic terms such as that) in showing her cleavage is just abysmally stupid. Submitting to the perceived patriarchy would have meant Jen just sitting down and not saying or doing a damn thing in response to the cleric’s remarks. That she is doing something about it – particularly, that she’s spawned (even if inadvertently) such a massive and international movement focusing on the decidedly non-earthquake-triggering features of the female anatomy – may in reality be the ultimate feminist response. Quite simply, what this is saying is: “Cleric, you are an idiot, and in showing cleavage (and getting others to do the same), I not only demonstrate how idiotic and wrong you are, but I am also mocking you, your absurd beliefs and your mindset and culture’s absolutely anti-feminist views.”

FAIL Quote of the Day: And yet they’re polar opposites

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Michele Bachmann
Either very very stupid, very very ignorant, or just very very confused. (Or possibly all)
[source: Cinie’s World]

From the village idiot of politics, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), on Hannity’s show:

‘Oh sure, that's all they have left now, is they use pejorative terms, hateful terms, against those who are carrying the message. So whether they're attacking conservative talk radio, or conservative TV, or whether it's Internet sites -- I mean, let's face it, what's the Obama administration doing? They're advocating net neutrality, which is essentially censorship of the Internet!

‘This is the Obama administration advocating censorship of the Internet. Why? They want to silence the voices that are opposing them.’

Okay … Either she doesn’t understand that net neutrality is actually the exact opposite of Internet censorship, or she believes that “net neutrality” actually means forcing neutrality (ie. political correctness), such as some sort of Internet version of the Fairness Doctrine.

It’s now evident how she can confuse fascism with socialism all the time (along with all other teabaggers). Hey, it’s okay – I sometimes get my polar opposites mixed up, too.

Actually, no, I don’t.

(via Dispatches From the Culture Wars)

Bill Maher on cutting down the deficit

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And he’s got a damn good point: that $12.8 trillion national debt that America is stuck with won’t get any better if we continue spending, even on services we’ve come to love and (think we) need. Lots of compromises have to be made, none of which are pleasant and all of which are necessary. Or will be soon.

Here’s a representative excerpt, from The Huffington Post:

Everything that goes into defense costs us about a trillion dollars a year, most of which goes into fighting the Russians in 1978. Fighter planes for all those dog fights we get into with the Taliban, submarines to foil their evil plot to blow up our ships with car bombs, and space lasers to shoot down their exploding underpants...scream about handouts, this is what they should be protesting.

Damn straight.

(via @todayspolitics)

Daily Blend: Saturday, April 24, 2010

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Daily Blend

I went out to breakfast this morning, so I spent my time doodling away an anti-religious cartoon. Conclusion: I need to get out more. (Heh heh.)

  • Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (Rethuglican, of course) signs a Draconian anti-illegal immigrant law that enables cops to demand anyone they suspect of being in the US illegally to present identification papers, and even arrest them for “probable cause” of being an illegal immigrant. For an apt response, I direct you to Forever in Hell’s PersonalFailure’ evocative post on the subject.

  • A good write-up at the New York Times on The Daily Show’s constant hammering of the ever-dishonest Faux News.
    (via @nytimes)

  • Considering their relationship was deemed “consensual”, I choose to hold my judgment as to whether or not the kid was feeling coerced, or is now bragging about it to his friends.
    (via Fark)

  • After choosing Ben Stein for their commencement speech last year, Liberty University sets out to correct their mistake – by picking Glenn Beck for this year’s speech. Next year, the retar-demon child of Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michele Bachmann. Because only then could they top themselves again.
    (via Pharyngula)

  • Your brother serves you the wrong brand of beer. Do you: C) chuck a knife at him, watch him duck, then have the knife strike and seriously injure a 3-year-old girl in the head?
    (via Fark)

  • Leave some caricatured anti-religious posters at an airport, get slammed with an Anti-Social Behavior Order, six months in jail, 100 hours of community service and €250. Ah, the Nanny State of Britain, where religious beliefs come in a metaphorical box labeled “FRAGILE”.
    (via @religionnews)

As always, if you have any story suggestions, feel free to send them in.

A victory for abortion rights in Oklahoma

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Abortion rights

In the midst of a couple of states passing retarded and immoral bills that are no more or less than infringements of basic civil rights, it’s always nice to see someone diverge from the path and prevent atrocious new laws from being implemented. I now turn you over to Oklahoma, where Gov. Brad Henry (D) just vetoed two ridiculously harsh abortion bills that would have made seeking and obtaining an abortion in the state as intrusive and demeaning a process as abortion rights opponents could make it. One would have required that ultrasounds be done via a vaginal probe, which is about as pleasant as it sounds, and would have forced the unfortunate woman to endure a lengthy lecture about the cute li’l misshapen blob of undeveloped tissue and how abortion is wrong. The the other bill pretty much axed the “ethics” department altogether in that it would’ve “prohibited pregnant women from seeking damages if physicians withhold important information or provide inaccurate information about their pregnancy”. Which is just Draconian. (Actually, “Draconian” doesn’t sound bad enough to express the disgust such a measure evokes in me.)

It truly is a blessing that these bills were thrown out; however, not all is perfect. For one thing, Gov. Henry’s reasoning behind his veto seems to leave a certain amount to be desired:

Henry said that legislation is flawed because it does not allow rape and incest victims to be exempted.


Henry said "it would be unconscionable to subject rape and incest victims to such treatment" because it would victimize a victim a second time.

"State policymakers should never mandate that a citizen be forced to undergo any medical procedure against his or her will, especially when such a procedure could cause physical or mental trauma. To do so amounts to an unconstitutional invasion of privacy," he said.

It’s not exactly clear what his reasoning is; if he vetoed the bills on the grounds that they, especially the first one, would “[amount] to an unconstitutional invasion of privacy”, then I have no problem with this. But, if he only rejected these bills because of a lack of exemptions for rape and incest victims and therefore had no objection to women seeking voluntary abortions enduring such procedures, then there really isn’t all that much good to be said about his rationale.

Still, though, good news is good news, and I’ll gladly take his rejection of these bills even if it may have been for the wrong reasons.

There is another problem, however; naturally, the anti-abortion legislators who spawned these bills are promising to carry out an override vote to try and cancel out Gov. Henry’s veto “as early as next week”. In addition, anti-abortion legislators in the state have a history of succeeding at doing just that: Gov. Henry vetoed “similar legislation” back in 2008 but was indeed overridden by these idiot lawmakers, and only a last-minute court decision that the bills were in violation of the Oklahoma state Constitution stopped them from being becoming law. There’s no telling what will happen this time; with a little luck, the Oklahoma legislature will have gotten a little more progressive since then and votes in favor of overruling the governor’s veto will lack. The 2008 precedent is still discomforting, however.

All in all, you can smile but be sure to keep your fingers crossed nonetheless (so to speak).

(via Fark)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Good news regarding YouTube and copyright trolls

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YouTube logo

Having just bemoaned how copyright trolls constantly get perfectly legit videos yanked from YouTube by filing bogus copyright infringement claims, @cyrilthefish in the comments points out what seems to be a bit of very good news:

Google has improved highlighted its ContentID copyright enforcement system for YouTube, a "fair use" button for people who've had their videos taken offline (like all those people who created Hitler/Downfall parodies). The way the new system works: after your video is taken down by a copyright complaint, you have the option to contest the complaint, either because you dispute the copyright claim itself, or because you believe you have a fair use defense. Click the button, and your video goes straight back up (and the people who sent the original takedown have to go to court to get it taken offline again).

If this is true – that restoring an unfairly yanked video is as easy as a mere click of a button (literally) – then this is a splendid move on Google’s part. Of course, an even better approach to the copyright trolls problem would be to require anyone who submits a copyright infringement claim to present hard evidence that their target video truly is infringing on their (or someone else’s) “intellectual property” – AND that it isn’t, in fact, protected by the Fair Use doctrine. Still, though, this is a brilliant feature that everyone ought to know about, particularly those who are frequent victims of bogus copyright infringement claims against their legit videos.

Hitler has it right (on copyright)

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At least, in this, yet another parody of the infamous Downfall angry-Hitler scene, he does.

YouTube may indeed be the de facto video hosting website these days, but that does not excuse them for being utter spineless cowards when it comes to standing up for their users’ legal rights, especially concerning bogus claims of copyright infringement. You’d think their status as an Internet giant would at least enable them to acquire some decent legal advisers who could tell them how badly they’re fucking up that whole “Fair Use” thing.

(via Vox Popoli)

Secularists shouldn’t go on Faux News

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Even religious ones. For example, just look at how the Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, gets treated by Fox News’s America Live anchor-bimbo Megyn Kelly when he argues in favor of the recent (yet long-awaited) court ruling that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. It’s just another example of how “Fox News” and “Fair and Balanced” should really only be used in the same sentence if you’re being facetious.

In addition to the (typically) profound historical and legal ignorance displayed by the airheaded Kelly – hell, she’s practically the personification of the “dumb blonde” archetype (which, granted, could be extended to most other women working at Fox, creepily enough) – the sort of scorn and disrespect she heaped onto the Reverend Lynn, as though the bona fide ordained minister were some type of baby-Jesus-stabbing anti-religious zealot or something, only serves to beautifully illustrate how and why no rational – and especially, no secularist – person should ever go on Fox News unless they actually enjoy getting treated like crap by the brainless idiots who pass as “journalists” there. (This, of course, is apart from the amusingly stupid anti-atheist smears she made sure to include during her “interview”, remarks that I’m sure I have no need to point out and much less excoriate.)

Keep fucking that chicken, Fox (and Megyn Kelly).

(via @todayspolitics)

Daily Blend: Friday, April 23, 2010 – Afternoon edition

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Daily Blend

Damn this Boobquake! It has sucked all attention across the Internet to Jen, leaving none for anyone else. What else could explain the lack of comments I’ve been getting these past few days …?

Also, congrats to Jen for her exploding Internet celebrity status and all that. *grumble*

As always, if you have any story suggestions, feel free to send them in.

You don’t mess with South Park and walk away unharmed

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Especially if you’re a radical Islamic website that launched threats against the South Park creators and forced Comedy Central to cave and censor their episode. Here’s Revolution Islam’s new face-lift at the time of writing this:

Hacked Revolution Islam website defaced with inflammatory depictions of Mohammed
[click for full size]

May whoever did this be blessed, for they have the spirit of EPIC PWNAGE with them.

NOTE: I’m not necessarily condoning or encouraging hacking websites (or anything else), of course. But seriously – this is just too damn badass not to cheer over. Assholes richly deserved it.

(via Fark)

Friday Canine: Sweet kisses for mommy

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Obligatory “d’awww!” picture of the day

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Overly cute and sappy photo of a fox kit stuck in a cricket net (he was released unscathed moments after). How much more “right up my alley” could this get?

Cute fox kit entangled in a cricket net
[source: Daily Mail]

That face is irresistible to boys and girls alike.

(via Fark)

Pope Ratzi and Vatican sued!

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Pope Ratzi/Benedict XVI
[source: BrightsOnline]

And so it begins: in the first of what will hopefully develop into a very long line of such occurrences, a federal lawsuit has been filed against Pope Ratzi and the Vatican itself on behalf of one of the victims of Rev. Lawrence Murphy, the priest who stands accused of molesting over 200 deaf boys at a suburban Milwaukee, IL school for the deaf. However, don’t get the party gear out just yet; the accusations aren’t quite as damning as you might think at first. From the Associated Press:

MILWAUKEE — A federal lawsuit alleges that Pope Benedict XVI and senior Vatican officials covered up allegations of child sexual abuse against a Wisconsin priest who is accused of molesting at least 200 deaf children from 1950 to 1975.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Milwaukee by St. Paul, Minn., attorney Jeff Anderson says the unidentified plaintiff was a student at a suburban Milwaukee school for the deaf and an alleged victim of abuse by the Rev. Lawrence Murphy.

The lawsuit says the accuser, who is from Illinois, sent two letters to the Vatican in 1995 reporting the abuse and asking for help but he received no response.

The lawsuit seeks the release of confidential Vatican files detailing clergy abuse allegations and unspecified monetary damages.

Basically, the plaintiff is alleging a cover-up in his specific case due to a lack of response from the Vatican after he’d sent a couple of letters denouncing his molestation at the filthy hands of Rev. Murphy. Now, don’t get me wrong; I certainly am not defending the Church in any way, especially if these allegations are true. The Vatican certainly ought to have responded in one way or another – preferably by investigating Murphy, and more preferably still, by throwing him out of the clergy and letting secular law enforcement deal with him from then on. I’m just saying that the fact that they failed to respond is not a clear sign of a cover-up. It’s quite possible that the letters were simply accidentally forgotten discarded. (Or, also likely, perhaps they were forgotten in the flood of such accusatory letters that I presume they must’ve been receiving at the time, particularly now that the whole affair has been blown wide open.) A failure to respond does not equate to guilt.

However, given the Church’s known history of covering-up just this sort of thing, it’s still by far the most likely scenario: the plaintiff’s letters were read and subsequently cast aside and the case covered up by the hierarchy. That is, if they were even made aware of it. (Ha, you didn’t seriously think that I’d be arguing for the Church’s innocence in this matter, right?) This lawsuit is only the first one we’ve seen so far – hell, it’s quite possibly the first time the Pope’s been legally sued in, to the best of my knowledge, ever – and we can only hope that it’s the first of many to come. It’s time to expose the Vatican as the cult of child-molester-shielding liars that they are.

On the Christian Right’s taking back of their America (that never existed)

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Sarah Palin wrapped in a US flag and holding a cross
This is so perfect for this post, it almost scares the crap out of me
[click for full size | source: MotiFake]

Ray Garton over at God is for Suckers! has published what has to be one of the best write-ups on the nature of the United States of America, and what the growing Christian-Right party would want to see happen to the great country. I felt it merits its own post.

On Friday, April 16, Sarah Palin spoke at the Women of Joy Conference in Louisville, Kentucky to a group of women who, like Palin, believe in a religion based on human sacrifice that regularly engages in symbolic cannibalism. During her speech, Palin said, “Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state, our founding fathers, they were believers. And George Washington, he saw faith in God as basic to life.”

As tempting as it may be, I will not discuss Palin’s abysmal syntax because that would be like complaining because a duck quacks instead of singing arias. Nor will I go into a lengthy explanation of why these remarks are enough to make little jets of blood shoot out of the eyesockets of any informed American familiar with the Constitution of the United States. There is an abundance of information readily available that proves Palin to be flat wrong. Rather than dissect the mind-blowing inaccuracy of Palin’s statements, I want to address the attitude on display here. It is an attitude Palin shares with her admirers.

According to these people, America is a nation of the Christians, by the Christians and for the Christians. It was founded by the Jesus-loving faithful to be populated by Jesus-loving faithful and its laws and Constitution were based on the bible. Some seem to believe that the Constitution was simply copied out of the bible word for word. These people want prayer to be mandatory in public schools and civic functions – not just any prayer, but prayer to their specific god, the victim of their beloved gory human sacrifice (as depicted in Mel Gibson’s popular 2004 homoerotic BDSM porn film), their lord and savior Jesus Christ. This reveals not only their unfamiliarity with the Constitution and the intent of the founding fathers, but also their unfamiliarity with the bible, which claims Jesus Christ himself told his followers not to pray in public, but to go to their closets where they wouldn’t be seen or heard and wouldn’t make arrogant spectacles of themselves (Matthew 6:5 – 8). Of course, it’s much easier for one to believe the bible is the infallible revealed word of god if one doesn’t know what’s in it, just as it’s much easier to believe the Constitution says whatever you want it to say if you simply choose to ignore what it really says.

Daily Blend: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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Daily Blend

It’s only fitting that my TV remote died last night when trying to partake in my nightly routine – watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, and then gently let myself off to sleep on the thoughts of funnymen in suits carrying eighteen times the weight of most news networks combined – and having changed the batteries this morning, it’s now only natural to find that the twits in charge of programming and scheduling kindly set the timing back about 20 minutes, thereby ensuring that 3/4 of The Daily Show plays during The Colbert Report’s lot and that, subsequently, 3/4 of Colbert is missing. Bloody fucknuggets. Why do the fates hate me?

As always, if you have any story suggestions, feel free to send them in.