Sunday, July 31, 2011

Violating Republican principles

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)

So it seems that less two days before the US was due to default on its massive levels of debt, President Obama and Congressional party leaders finally reached a tentative accord (which still has to pass larger Congressional approval). In my casual skimming, I came across this quote from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that I just had to share:

Mr. Boehner called the compromise “pretty much the framework we’ve been operating in” and that “there is nothing in this framework that violates our principles.”

Let that last bit sink in for a moment. “[V]iolates our principles.” This, coming from the leader of the Republican Party, aka the Party of No; the Congressional clusterfuck that has done more in the last few years to tear the country apart than any terrorist organization could ever dream of; the conglomerate of clowns, asshats, liars and demagogues that’s done its utmost best to turn every single political act into partisan trickery; the motley crew of perpetually self-victimizing malcontents that insists on detouring every issue, every matter of importance, and redirecting it to somehow show how, despite now holding a majority in the House of Representatives and rallying up increasingly fervent (if not outright deranged) voter bases across the country to thwart virtually every sensible Democratic initiative, they are still the real victims in all this, forever persecuted by those all-pervasive “elites” (a group they are all a part of to begin with) while their every act inevitably ends up penalizing and oppressing various groups of people for being poor, or female, or gay, or of a different religious faith, or of different socio-political beliefs altogether …

… but at least, finally coming to an exceedingly belated agreement with their Congressional peers on the subject of not letting the country’s economic status get deliberately hurled down the tubes in a purely partisan ploy …

… doesn’t require them to violate their principles.

Republicans: The only people who can successfully pander about ideals, integrity and sound policy whilst simultaneously doing all in their power to tear down their country’s elected leader – and bragging about it.

Michele Bachmann: The Movie?

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) at podium reading “Michele Bachmann For President”
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

It wasn’t enough to pollute the airwaves with the epic failure that is Sarah Palin’s hagiography. Another conservative group is now pushing ads for another thinly veiled propaganda film, this one starring the perpetually clueless Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN):

Conservative organization Citizens United will hit Iowa airwaves next week with advertisements touting its film about Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who’s already sitting toward the top of most polls in the first-caucus state.


The 30-spot pictures Bachmann speaking about Americans losing their rights — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As she speaks, images of President Barack Obama, burning money and angry crowds of people flash on screen.

“Government is treading on very dangerous ground,” Bachmann says. “The sense is coming over us that something is terribly wrong.”

Always funny to see elected officials rail against a government that they worked and demagogued so hard to get elected into. Especially when said official is in every single objective manner a part of what is wrong with it to begin with.

But, wait – there’s more:

[CU president David] Bossie said Citizens United is already in pre-production for a movie about President Barack Obama. The film is scheduled to be released during spring, next year, he said.

Barack Hussein Obama: Rise of the Kenyan SociaAntichrist, coming soon to a theater near you.

(via Infidel753)

Romance in Afghanistan

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Rafi Mohammed, 17, in juvenile prison
Rafi Mohammed, 17, in juvenile prison

Love knows no bounds. Unfortunately, neither does hatred:

HERAT, Afghanistan — The two teenagers met inside an ice cream factory through darting glances before roll call, murmured hellos as supervisors looked away and, finally, a phone number folded up and tossed discreetly onto the workroom floor.

It was the beginning of an Afghan love story that flouted dominant traditions of arranged marriages and close family scrutiny, a romance between two teenagers of different ethnicities that tested a village’s tolerance for more modern whims of the heart. The results were delivered with brutal speed.

This month, a group of men spotted the couple riding together in a car, yanked them into the road and began to interrogate the boy and girl. Why were they together? What right had they? An angry crowd of 300 surged around them, calling them adulterers and demanding that they be stoned to death or hanged.

When security forces swooped in and rescued the couple, the mob’s anger exploded. They overwhelmed the local police, set fire to cars and stormed a police station six miles from the center of Herat, raising questions about the strength of law in a corner of western Afghanistan and in one of the first cities that has made the formal transition to Afghan-led security.

Thankfully, you can always rely on the safety offered by your family …

Ms. Mohammedi’s uncle visited her in jail to say she had shamed the family, and promised that they would kill her once she was released. Her father, an illiterate laborer who works in Iran, sorrowfully concurred. He cried during two visits to the jail, saying almost nothing to his daughter. Blood, he said, was perhaps the only way out.

“What we would ask is that the government should kill both of them,” said the father, Kher Mohammed.

… unless they’d rather their own flesh and blood be slaughtered to appease a degenerate mob bound by abhorrent traditions.

As it is, the two lovers are stuck in separate prisons and are awaiting further judgment and sentencing. Governmental and human rights groups have pledged to keep them safe, though it’s impossible to say whether such protection will amount to anything worthwhile, given the inhumane climate that permeates the region.

But, hey. At least they’ve been liberated, right? Or, as commenter perlhaqr succinctly summarizes my sentiments over at The Agitator:

I respect their right to hold their ignorant, goat-fucking barbarian views about how people should behave. My tolerance ends when they attempt to enforce those views with violence.

(via The Agitator)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Daily Blend: Saturday, July 30, 2011

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Taser MAUL
Taser MAUL
  • Phil Plait blows a gaping hole in recent Forbes climate denialist article.

  • Meet MAUL: Taser Intl comes up with a brand new way to shock people at a distance, shotgun-style [pictured].
    (via The Agitator)

  • Also, new research reveals Taser Intl’s safety tests were skewed into unreliability. Shocking.
    (via The Agitator)

  • WorldNetDaily is shocked – shocked! – that scientists would change their minds after finding new evidence. My friend Diaphanus nails it: “Science can't win with those people. If it changes, it is an unreliable dogma and is no better than those obsolete religions, and therefore is no good. If it stays the same, it is a dogma just like religion, and therefore is no good.
    (via Diaphanitas)

  • Creepy old man with camera in a kids’ park turns out to be grampa taking pics of his grandson.
    (via The Agitator)

  • 18 things you need to believe in to be a Republican.

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Fail Tweet of the Day: Homocon hypocrisy and liberal tolerance

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Something about the tweep’s handle just makes it blog-worthy:

Tweet by GayPatriot (@GayPatriot) [07/29/11]: “I saw the dumbest, childish T-shirt ever today. “Legalize Gay”. Dude, get over yourself. Or move to Iran. #TCOT #LGBT #p2 #gay”

And to top it off, this reply they sent a little while later:

Tweet by GayPatriot (@GayPatriot) [07/29/11]: “TODAY'S LIBERAL TOLERANCE! --> RT @ordinarygayguy: I think the US would be a better place if YOU moved to Iran - plus you'd fit right in.”

Utter obliviousness must be a genetic trait amongst conservatives.

(via Joe. My. God.)


Judge removes San Francisco anti-circumcision ballot proposal

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“Should I circumcise my newborn son? → No.”

I suppose it never had any real chance of passing, but it’s still disappointing to see the San Francisco ballot initiative to ban circumcision on boys under 18 being struck down before it even came to a vote:

A judge on Thursday struck a measure from the city's November ballot that called for a ban on most circumcisions of male children, saying the proposed law violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom and a California law that makes regulating medical procedures a function of the state, not cities.

The ruling by Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi confirmed a tentative decision she issued a day earlier and came after she heard arguments from proponents of the ban, which would have made San Francisco the first U.S. city to hold a public vote on whether to outlaw the circumcision of minors.

And as if to exemplify just why this measure is needed:

"It is up to parents to make the choice whether or not to have their baby boys circumcised," said Abby Michelson Porth, associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council. "We did not want to have Mr. Schofield legislating our religious traditions."

Fuck you. It is not up to the parents to decide whether or not to slice off bits of their children’s genitals. Males have every right to undergo circumcision if and when they choose to do so; conversely, no-one has the right to force it upon them at a time when they are unable to resist, or even understand, what’s being done to them.

This is why those arguments about “religious freedom” just don’t hold any water in cases like this. We’re not talking about prohibiting believers from practicing their faith, or from engaging in whatever rituals they want, themselves or with other consenting adults. We’re talking about preventing them from forcing these beliefs and rituals upon those too young and weak to defend themselves. Male circumcision may not be the most dramatic of procedures, admittedly, but that is wholly besides the point. It’s all about the principle: You don’t get to do something, especially anything permanent, to someone else unless they A) know about it and B) accept it, conditions that are entirely absent when it comes to infants.

Sadly, it seems that San Francisco, as with the world at large, is not yet able to comprehend this.

(via Joe. My. God.)

Palate cleanser: No, not the puppy!

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Time to wash out the unpleasantness of that last post. Here be two cute mutts fooling around, and the younger one seems to be at least part possum:

My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

Two dogs run around and play with other. Larger dog bites the smaller one around the throat playfully, and the younger pup comically keels over and lays still for a few moments before bouncing back to its feet and resuming play.

(via The Agitator)


Fox News viewers respond to atheists’ suit against “Ground Zero Cross”

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As you may have heard, the group American Atheists is now locked in a lawsuit to prevent a piece of cross-shaped wreckage, dubbed the “Ground Zero Cross”, from being installed at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum on grounds of separation of church and state. I don’t know the specifics about how the law applies in this case, so I really can’t comment on the legal validity of the lawsuit, though it’s obvious to anyone (who’s not a Christianist) how a sectarian symbol might not be the most appropriate choice for commemorating the victims 9/11.

Of course, reactions have been flooding in from all sides regarding this latest attack on Christianity by those evil puppy-kicking atheists, and while most people go from either respectful approval to measured disapproval, one can always expect the denizens of the far-Right to make things more interesting. Here are some of the reactions garnered from the comments over at Fox News, before they were deleted by moderators:

My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

Paul Altum: “i say kill them all and let them see for themselves that there is God”

Bob O'Connell: “Shoot them. Shoot to kill.”


Joseph Sneckenberg: “thats easy shoot them”

Casey M Jones: “Shoot em. At least we know where they're going, waste of oxygen”

Mike Holeschek: “Nail them to that cross then display it”

Chris Dunn: “I think we should hang the leader of that group on the cross with nails through their hands and feet, place a crown of thorns upon their head, RAM a spear through their side all after being whipped and beaten publicly! Just so they can endure what Christ did so they understand the sacrifice behind what that cross symbolizes.”

Bob O'Connel: “They're atheists so it won't matter if you kill them.”

Tim Allison: “KILL THEM.”

Raylene Ingmire: “Here's my solution, kill the group..just kidding, you figure it out. I'm so sick of people that pick and choose when they want to truly be American. They can go to Hell oh wait they will.”

Sindy Clock: “stupid atheists, I hope God kills them all.”

Sindy Clock: “I love Jesus, and the cross and if you don't, I hope someone rapes you!”

Eileen Rourke: “Any court or lawyer who takes this case should be hung!!!!!! If you look at some of the people who are atheists they are all miserable looking because they don't have any faith in anything. You all should go live in another country. You have taken enough of my rights away.”

Hans Anderson: “atheist has no rights a snail has more rights than a atheist has i say throw them out to the sharks let them eat them like the ate bin laden”

Michael Perri: “these people are f'ing scum of the earth. can we start killing them now? few people are filled with more hatred than athiests.”


Patrick Alley: “Kill em all...let God sort em out. Guess what Atheists....”

My favorite is how Michael Perri declares that “athiests” [sic] are all filled with hate … right after expressing his desire to murder us.

Stay classy, Christianists. Stay classy.

(via @todayspolitics)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Daily Blend: Friday, July 29, 2011

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Kelly Thomas
Kelly Thomas

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Jon Stewart slams watered-down 9/11 Health Care Bill

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This must be a running theme. Every time you think Congress has finally accomplished something halfway decent, they still manage to fuck it up through sheer incompetence at some point afterwards. At the end of 2010, it seemed that Congress had finally gotten its act together and passed the Zadroga “9/11 Health Care” Bill to provide free healthcare services for the first responders who fell ill after sifting for survivors through the fuming mess of toxic rubble at Ground Zero. This was, of course, majoritarily thanks to The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart for his tireless campaign in support of the bill when it had become clear that demagogues left and right were doing their best to screw it up.

Well, wouldn’t you know it

My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

JON STEWART: Remember this bill?


ANCHOR: A deal has been reached in the Senate to pass a 9/11 Health Care bill. The legislation will provide free medical care to first responders who are suffering health problems after working at Ground Zero.


STEWART: It took nine years of committed legislators working tirelessly with first responder advocates – some of them sadly passing away before the bill’s signing – to bring much-needed relief to those who gave so much down at Ground Zero. [jokey air] Funny story. As it turns out, as part of a political compromise to get the bill passed, the bill does not cover cancer treatment!

Which brings us to our new segment: I Thought We Already Took Care of This S@#t.

How did we not include cancer? The bill does cover coughing, laryngitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, but not cancer. “You get scurvy, no problemo. These limes are on us. But the one disease that you seem to disproportionately be getting? Yeah, we can’t help you there.” Is this gonna be fixed?


FOX NEWS’S RICK LEVENTHAL: The administrator said that they will continue to do periodic reviews for cancer as new research and findings are released.

CNN ANCHOR: If and when scientists can prove a link between 9/11 and the cancers, then they will be covered by the fund.


STEWART: [incredulous] “Prove the link”? “Sir, clearly, you have cancer. And clearly, you spent a heroic amount of time sifting through a smoldering smorgasbord of carcinogens in search of your own loved ones and colleagues, and the loved ones and colleagues of others. But how do I know your cancer isn’t from dental X-rays and red M&Ms? [audience laughter] So, if you just give me 20 years, I think we’ll be able to have some statistics that [gibberish].”

You know what? I have an idea about this. WHO GIVES A [bleep]? [audience cheers] The worst case scenario, here, is we accidentally treated a 9/11 responder’s cancer, even though his cancer may not be proven to have its genesis on 9/11. How ’bout everyone who worked down there on The Pile gets a pass on the exact origin of their personal tumors?

So, if you’re someone who spent time on The Pile, I don’t care if you ate 200 Sweet’N Low packets a day, sprinkle on your favorite cereal, TumorOs, while wearing a cellphone suit and smoking Chernobyl Lites unfiltered, while making regular stops to your regular snack joint, Agent Orange Julius. You get cancer, we cover it!

Damn straight. It’s always curious to see how misaligned Congress is with the rest of the people.

Friday Canine: Yummy ear, om nom nom

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wil Wheaton blames media piracy on entertainment industry

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Wil Wheaton
Wil Wheaton

The Lord Geek speaketh: Wil Wheaton was interviewed at Comic-Con and asked about his feelings regarding online filesharing (ie. “media piracy”), and he promptly and rightfully put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the entertainment industry for failing to provide enough decent alternatives to online filesharing technology:

Wil Wheaton: As soon as the entertainment industry provides an alternative to bit-torrent -- or an alternative to piracy -- that makes it easy for honest people to get access to the program, then the piracy dries up.

Gabe Newell​ [CEO of Valve] says that pirates provide better customer service. How many times have you paid for a DRM license for something and the server goes down, or you travel across the border? I rented some episodes on Amazon of Doctor Who: when I went to Canada -- I paid for them in America; I live in America -- they say “you can’t watch it anymore because you’re not in America anymore.” That made me angry because I was being honest; I was an honest person. If I had stolen it, I would be watching it.


Then there’s people that will pay for something -- and want to. You just have to make it easy for them -- and reasonable.

Of course, there will always be people who simply refuse to pay for anything as long as there’s a way to get what they want for free. But, for the majority of “pirates” (myself included), online filesharing through BitTorrent and other methods (such as FrostWire or whatever) only provide a way for us to acquire content that is otherwise unavailable to us, either because it’s too expensive, or simply because the choices in service offered to us are crap. As Wheaton noted, the idea that you would have to pay several times to see the same show in different regions is one such example of a ridiculous limit; you already paid for it, it should therefore be yours forever and everywhere.

Of course, even offering the very best services and products won’t completely halt online piracy; for one thing, it’s simple human nature to want everything now and with as little cost (monetarily or otherwise) as possible, and anyone with a functioning synapse would know that fighting human nature itself is forever a doomed endeavor. You might as well try and get people to stop breathing. There are also cases where people would be happy to pay for something, but lack funds to do so (which was my case for the longest time). And, just as they do, I don’t believe these folks should be expected to hold out on getting something they want just because they don’t have the money for it if they do have an alternative method of acquiring it. (Again, human nature.)

Daily Blend: Thursday, July 28, 2011

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Shirley Sherrod
Shirley Sherrod

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Daily Blend: Wednesday, July 27, 2011

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Bradlee Dean
Bradlee Dean

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Anders Breivik is a Christian terrorist

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Anders Behring Breivik
Anders Behring Breivik

And ’round we go again. There was a terrorist attack in Norway, perpetrated by (if not amongst other as-of-yet unknown entities) a deranged Christian. So, naturally, the ever-reliable US Christian-Right has been only too quick in its denunciation of Anders Breivik’s crimes against humanity self-professed religious beliefs. Because, of course, no True ChristianTM would ever commit mass murder. And because he never said he was “killing in the name of Jesus” (unlike all those Muslim terrorists who kill in the name of Allah!).

This game is as boringly predictable as it is mind-numbingly stupid, not to mention transparently hypocritical. For the first few hours of media hysterics over the then-burgeoning nightmare in Oslo, the media (particularly right-wing factions) was only too quick to lay the blame at the feet of Islam and its adherents, even before the Norwegian police itself had any idea who was behind the attacks. “It’s gotta be an Islamic terrorist! It has to be some Muslim (probably a brown one, eh?) who had to be chanting something with ‘Allah’!”

And yet, the very second we learn the culprit was a non-brown non-Allah-chanting non-Muslim, even a stoplight doesn’t flicker from yellow to red as fast as the Rightist punditry went from blaming it on one particular religion to fervently denying it. “No, it can’t be a Christian! Christians don’t kill! (Not in the name of Jesus, anyway!)”

Let’s get one thing straight: Anders Breivik is a Christian terrorist.

The point that everyone feverishly decrying the man’s Christian beliefs is missing (among others) is that it really doesn’t matter whether or not Breivik did what he did “in the name of Jesus” (or God, or any other substitute that falls within Christian cannon). One can be a Christian terrorist, or an Islamic terrorist, or an atheistic or Buddhist or Jewish or Taoist terrorist, without acting “in the name of” whatever supernatural entities they believe in. One only has to be a Christian/Muslim/atheist/Buddhist/Jew/Taoist. “<type> terrorist” can mean either what someone is acting for, or simply what someone believes in. That’s simple English grammar for you. Denying it isn’t merely dumb or dishonest; it’s ignorant to the point where it gives license to third graders to mock you.

And what is it that makes Anders Breivik a Christian? Himself. He has openly and (very) repeatedly stated that he considers himself to be a Christian. Ergo, he’s a Christian. People (and not just in this case, but in general, on all sides) need to stop bullshitting about whether someone is or isn’t of a particular faith. If you say you are a Christian, you are a Christian. If you say you are a Muslim – or an atheist, or Jew, or a liberal or conservative or anything else that revolves around ideology*, particularly a specific religious belief – then that is what you are. Anyone who claims otherwise is only kidding themselves, or trying to pass the buck by denying some potential religious or political affiliation with whoever it is they’re railing against.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Black student denied valedictorianship over motherhood?

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Black student with diploma
(Not Kymberly Wimberly)

It broke all over the blogosphere this morning (notably in my Daily Blend): Kymberly Wimberly, a Black 18-year-old student in Little Rock, Arkansas with the highest GPA of Class of 2011, was allegedly denied valedictorianship by school administrators in favor of two other White students with lesser academic achievements:

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AR) - A high school southeast of Little Rock would not let a black student be valedictorian though she had the highest grade-point average, and wouldn't let her mom speak to the school board about it until graduation had passed, the graduate claims in Federal Court.
     Kymberly Wimberly, 18, got only a single B in her 4 years at McGehee Secondary School, and loaded up on Honors and Advanced Placement classes. She had the highest G.P.A. and says the school's refusal to let her be sole valedictorian was part of a pattern of discrimination against black students.
     Wimberly says that despite earning the highest G.P.A. of the Class of 2011, and being informed of it by a school counselor, "school administrators and personnel treated two other white students as heir[s] apparent to the valedictorian and salutatorian spots."

This seems rather damning from the get-go, especially given McGehee School District’s track record of not having had a Black valedictorian since 1989, despite the school’s racial demographic being 46% Black. As PZ Myers notes, this certainly sounds like a case of subtle racism on the part of the administration, if the allegations against them are true.

However, a little deeper in the article, we find this [my emphasis]:

"Because of defendants' continuous disparate treatment of African-American students, defendants' actions toward the plaintiff can properly be classed as intentional," the complaint states.
     "Defendants did not support African-American students, and did not want to see Wimberly, an African-American young mother as valedictorian.

So it seems that young Wimberly has hit the perfect duo – she’s Black, and she’s a barely-past-teen single mother. To the fainting couches!

Of course, to anyone who stops to think for more than two seconds, this only makes it doubly clear how Wimberly deserves the honor of being valedictorian. Not only has she scored the best grades in the entire school, but she actually managed to do so while being saddled with a child to boot. Even with the difficulties she must face in a country rife with undercurrents of racism and disenfranchisement for young mothers, she still pulled the feat of kicking the rest of the student body’s collective academic butt. If that doesn’t show her to be a person of utmost courage and moral character (not to mention academic brilliance), then not a student in that school deserves to be valedictorian, period.

(via @blanchebeecham)

‘Preliator’ turns two! (belatedly)

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This is what happens when I don’t pay attention to my calendar. (You’d think that would be difficult, what with it being right in my face all day long, but …) As it is, I managed to forget that yesterday, July the 25th, marked the second full year since this little place took to the Internets and unleashed my boundless wit and unmeasurable knowledge. (Shut up.)

Cupcake with two candles: “It’s my blog’s birthday!”
<insert cleverness and/or wit here/>

And as a birthday present, I’m just about ready to post a new song I’ve been working on for a while! (Wait, shouldn’t I be the one receiving gifts …?)

Daily Blend: Tuesday, July 26, 2011

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Raquel Nelson
Raquel Nelson
  • Raquel Nelson [pictured], charged with vehicular homicide after 4-year-old son was killed by drunk driver, gets probation and offered new trial.
    (via @radleybalko)

  • Woman tragically kills her infant son with crystal-meth-laced breast milk, so obviously, she’s now being treated facing jail.
    (via The Agitator)

  • Little Rock, Arkansas high school ignores Black student with highest GPA, instead chooses two White students for valedictorian address.

  • Radley Balko nails PZ Myers’s simple-minded animosity towards anything remotely libertarian.

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Monday, July 25, 2011

D.C. Douglas exposes Andrew Breitbart

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Humoristic voice-over artist D.C. Douglas tackles that bastion of journalistic relevance and integrity that is Andrew Breitbart [possibly NSFW due to some star-spangled penis imagery]:

My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

NARRATOR: The 21st Century has seen the erosion of American political discourse.

[VIDEO: Bill O’Reilly and guest in heated argument]

NARRATOR: A nation of diversity has been polarized into two factions, Libtards and Repugs, and the media is to blame. But one man is healing America in a big way: by reviving “objective journalism” and amplifying through an “asshole prism”. Andrew Breitbart is uncovering the lies through almost award-winning journalism.

With the help of his [?] boy wonder, James O’Keefe, Andrew the ACORN child slavery plot – [FX: video rewinds] – rather, ACORN’s tax-evasion-for-pimps plot – [FX: video rewinds] – uh, I mean, Congress-was-clueless-in-defunding-them plot.

He followed that up with his painstakingly vetted story revealing Shirley Sherrod’s racist views – [FX: video rewinds] – rather, Shirley Sherrod’s rejection of racist views – [FX: video rewinds] – oh, come on! Uh, revealing the Obama administration’s fear of the Fox News cycle.

But the media elite still refused to embrace the poor, oppressed kid from Brentwood, California.

[VIDEO: Someone asks Breitbart if he is “credentialed? Press?”. Breitbart laughs nervously.]

NARRATOR: Until, that is, a dude on Twitter with a wiener obsession sent Andrew Breitbart a crotch shot. Breitbart rode that penis picture to the top, dragging the media from superfluous stories about war and the economy to a story of grave national importance, and finally, claiming the mantle of accidentally-lucked-into-a-real-news-story journalist.

Andrew Breitbart. [VIDEO: Breitbart says “you’re disgusting”] Elevating the national discourse – [VIDEO: Breitbart yelling ‘Are you insane?’] with the new addition – [VIDEO: Breitbart tells someone ‘you’re the most despicable life form I’ve ever seen’] – to his blog reign of kind understanding. [VIDEO: Breitbart shakes his head, saying ‘I don’t understand what you’re talking about!’] – [VIDEO: Breitbart yells ‘It means nothing!’] – wherever an errant politician’s penis roams, Andrew Breitbart will be on top of it. [VIDEO: Breitbart says ‘put your dick back in your drawer.’]

You know what they say about dicks and assholes [NSFW]

(via Joe. My. God.)

Sarah Palin hagiography bombs at box office; news at 11

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‘The Undefeated’ poster

In what is less surprising than a bullshit-laced Fox News report, reports are in that the Sarah Palin “documentary”, The Undefeated, is slated to become the biggest box office hit bomb of the year:

With its Sarah Palin documentary "The Undefeated" increasing its playdates by 40 percent this weekend, only to watch box office revenue decline by more than 63 percent, distributor Arc Entertainment announced Sunday that the film will soon be available on pay per view.

The movie played in 14 Tea Party-friendly locations this weekend -- up from the 10 in which it opened last week -- but grossed just $24,000.

Starting September 1, subscribers to DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner can see the true Horatio Alger story of an Alaska woman's rise from self-described "hockey mom" to gubernatorial dropout to conservative cable news bastion talking head, all in the comfort of their own home.

B-b-but what happened to that “strong” opening with all them “packed theaters” and the box office “victory”?

(via Joe. My. God.)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Irony-blind church sign of the day

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It’s becoming harder and harder to believe that churches ever proof-read what they put on their signs … or that they simply have any clue at all:

Sign for Hodges Church of God: “A PLACE FOR HURTING PEOPLE”

True in both senses, though their intended meaning is misleading, seeing as conflicted individuals only become moreso once they realize the sort of crock they’re being offered as “guidance”.

(via Friendly Atheist)

Daily Blend: Sunday, July 24, 2011

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Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Just saw Harry Potter 7½. Excellent finale to a wonderful series based on another terrific series. Had a great sense of epicness throughout, the battle was riveting, and I loved the due respect Snape was given.

  • Battlefield 3 launch LAN party combats sexist asswipes by banning them women.
    (via Blag Hag)

  • Great article about Internet trolls and anonymity, aka “deindividuation”. My take: Anonymity’s lack of direct criticism simply allows people to reveal their true natures, for better or worse.
    (via @flipcritic)

  • Think Donald Trump [pictured] is an asshole? You (probably) don’t know the half of it.
    (via @PersonalFailure)

  • PZ Myers explains why he doesn’t believe in gods. I swear he plagiarized my thoughts.

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bryan Fischer says only losers call other people “Nazis”

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Bryan Fischer (Director of Issues Analysis, American Family Association)
Bryan Fischer

Hide your irony meters, folks. The American Family Association’s über-bigoted Bryan Fischer, who often goes so far that even the AFA itself is compelled to censor him, is now saying that only pathetic losers without an argument would call their opponents “Nazis”:

[…] Fischer kicked off the program by stating that somewhere on the internet, someone had referred to him as a "Nazi gas bag" ... and claimed that when people start calling you a Nazi, it is proof that they do not have any legitimate arguments to make:

[embedded audio player; see it at source article]

And by the way, ladies and gentlemen, this is a clear indication that the Left has lost the argument and the debate in public policy. Because name-calling is the first refuge of a man who does not have an argument. As soon as someone starts calling you names, then realize they're out of ammunition, they're out of arguments. They can't reason with you any longer, they don't have facts on their side, they don't have reason on their side, they don't have logic on their side, they don't have history on their side, they don't have research on their side, they don't have science on their side so they start calling you things like a "Nazi gas bag."

Of course, this is coming from a man who would make Glenn “Nazi Tourette’s” Beck proud. Here’s Fischer just two months ago openly and unequivocally declaring that gays are Nazis:

I mean, ladies and gentlemen, they are Nazis. Homosexual activists, when it comes to freedom of speech, are Nazis. When it comes to freedom of religion, they are Nazis. There is no room in their world dissent, there is no room in their world for disagreement, there is no room in their world for criticism. You criticize homosexual behavior, they tag you as a bigot and a homophobe and then they got to work to silence you just like the Roman Catholic Church did in the days of Galileo - it's no different; it's the Spanish Inquisition all over again.

Ladies and gentlemen, they are Nazis. Do not be under any illusions about what homosexual activists will do with your freedoms and your religion if they have the opportunity. They'll do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany.

As the writer quips, “Bryan Fischer is a lot of things ... but self-aware is not one of them.” Then again, Fischer’s not necessarily wrong; he did just say that only people who don’t have “reason”, “logic” or “arguments” call their ideological opponents “Nazis”. He just doesn’t understand how right he is.


“Little girl, do you want some candy? (Memorize this Bible verse first)”

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Angeline Crowe (9)
Angeline Crowe (9)

Preachy religionists do love going after children – start ’em young, after all, when they’re not yet able to rebuff them – but this Canadian group may be going past irritating and well into the territory of “creepy”:

An Edmonton mother is outraged after members of a local church approached her daughter on a playground - offering a Bible verse, candy and a promise that if she memorized the passage they would give her more treats.

Kathleen Crowe says her nine-year-old daughter Angeline was playing in MacEwan park last week when she was approached by a couple from the Victory Christian Center who gave her candy and a Bible verse. Angeline was also promised more candy if she memorized the verse.

"What if the next person who offers her candy doesn't have the same intentions as the church? That's always a fear in the back of every parents mind," Crowe said.

City officials say that the church does have the right to interact with children in the park, but apparently not in such an overtly proselytizing manner. Am I the only one who’s hoping for these parasites to get V& as a warning so that they can learn to mind their own business and leave kids alone?

(via Pharyngula)

Daily Blend: Saturday, July 23, 2011

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Lareko Williams (21)
Lareko Williams

My deepest sympathies to all those directly and indirectly affected by the ongoing nightmare in Oslo, Norway.

  • Charlotte, NC police suspends all use of tasers pending a safety review after second death [pictured]. Wish more departments did this.
    (via The Agitator)

  • Victory! Notoriously anti-science Texas State Board of Education unanimously votes (8-0) in favor of scientifically accurate textbooks over Creationist-backed bullshit. Sounds almost too good to be true.
    (via Right Wing Watch)

  • MIT researchers teach computer to play (and win at) Civilization by reading manual, prove most humans really are stupider than a machine.
    (via The Daily Grail)

  • Russia launches biggest radio telescope ever: 30× bigger than the Earth, image resolution 10,000× higher than Hubble’s.
    (via The Daily Grail)

  • Template for nearly every atheist/theist debate in history.
    (via Friendly Atheist)

If you have any story suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments or send them in.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Arizonans outraged at weatherman’s use of Arabic word

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Sandstorm (“haboob”) over Khartoum, Sudan
This is why you shouldn’t mock ‘haboob’

When I hear the term ‘haboob’, my usual reaction is to ask for a dictionary. But, when some people hear the term for a sandstorm, the only thing their fevered brains jump to is “ARABS!”:

PHOENIX — The massive dust storms that swept through central Arizona this month have stirred up not just clouds of sand but a debate over what to call them.

The blinding waves of brown particles, the most recent of which hit Phoenix on Monday, are caused by thunderstorms that emit gusts of wind, roiling the desert landscape. Use of the term “haboob,” which is what such storms have long been called in the Middle East, has rubbed some Arizona residents the wrong way.

“I am insulted that local TV news crews are now calling this kind of storm a haboob,” Don Yonts, a resident of Gilbert, Ariz., wrote to The Arizona Republic after a particularly fierce, mile-high dust storm swept through the state on July 5. “How do they think our soldiers feel coming back to Arizona and hearing some Middle Eastern term?”

Diane Robinson of Wickenburg, Ariz., agreed, saying the state’s dust storms are unique and ought to be labeled as such.

“Excuse me, Mr. Weatherman!” she said in a letter to the editor. “Who gave you the right to use the word ‘haboob’ in describing our recent dust storm? While you may think there are similarities, don’t forget that in these parts our dust is mixed with the whoop of the Indian’s dance, the progression of the cattle herd and warning of the rattlesnake as it lifts its head to strike.”

I’m confused, though. If it’s so horrendous for them to hear words of Arabic origin, then why aren’t they also kvetching over such terms as “algebra, pajamas, khaki, coffee, giraffe, lemon, orange, mattress, zero, and alcohol”?

Oh, wait. They’re only against words that sound Arabic. Okay, then.

(via ThinkProgress)


BREAKING: DADT repeal certified, officially ends September 20

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“D.A.D.T. / Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

After all the waiting, the court rulings and legislative actions, it’s official: President Obama and the Pentagon have now certified to Congress that the US Military is ready to accept the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”:

After consultation during a Friday meeting at the White House, Obama — along with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen — issued certification to Congress that the armed forces are ready for open service.

“Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality,” Obama said in a statement. “In accordance with the legislation that I signed into law last December, I have certified and notified Congress that the requirements for repeal have been met. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will end, once and for all, in 60 days—on September 20, 2011.”

Another months-long delay? Haven’t we had enough of those?

Eh. No real complaints. It’s done – certifiably so, even – and all that’s left is to start planning for that victory dance in two months’ time.

Yes, I know I can’t dance. Shuddup.