Saturday, April 30, 2011

Inhuman Soundtrack | Evicted [deprecated]

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

Inhuman Soundtrack | 04: Human in the Infirmary [deprecated]

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

Daily Blend: Saturday, April 30, 2011

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William Lane Craig
William Lane Craig
  • William Lane Craig [pictured]: Murdering babies is fine, because they get to go to Heaven. Greta Christina and PZ Myers do a good job of eviscerating this.
    (via Diaphanitas)

  • Um, no: Bryan Fischer says many vile things, but he’s clearly talking about killing Islamists who “threaten [Americans]”, not Muslims who refuse to convert.

  • Fox Nation reaches: President Obama is a narcissist because he said “I’ve never seen devastation like this” [my emphasis] about the recent tornado outbreak.
    (via Right Wing Watch)

  • Warm and fuzzy opinion post at The Washington Post asks about why Americans still dislike atheists.

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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Two random British royals get married, the media goes crazy

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The kid’s got it right.

3-year-old Grace Van Cutsem covering hear ears poutily at Royal Wedding

I mean, seriously. Look, I’m happy the two of them got married, and I wish them as happy a marriage as possible. But could the media have chosen a single less relevant or interesting matter to slobber over for the past weeks?

(via Joe. My. God.)

Daily Blend: Friday, April 29, 2011

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Judy Buranich (“Judy Mays”)
Judy Buranich (“Judy Mays”)

Whoops, I do seem to be running late. Blame the horses. Pretty, pretty horses.

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

DC appeals court overturns stem cell research funding ban

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Stem cell research

Last August, I wrote about how a Christian group had gotten a judge to block a planned expansion of federal funding for stem cell research (using the usual bunk arguments, of course). I now come bearing good news on the matter:

A federal appeals court said the federal government can continue to fund research involving human embryonic stem cells, a victory for the Obama administration in an area of medical and ethical debate.

The 2-1 ruling overturned a trial judge's injunction in August 2010 that barred funding for the research.

The kicker: All three judges were Republican-appointed. Oops.

(via @todayspolitics)

Friday Canine: He’s probably seeing food

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why Birthers won’t be silenced

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McClatchy cartoon for 04/28/11: (On the release of Obama’s birth certificate) “The critics are silent” / “He’s still Black …”
McClatchy cartoon for 04/28/11 (by Joel Pett)

Of course, not all Birthers doubt President Obama’s eligibility because of latent racism. Some of them are just stupid as bricks, misinformed, or delusional to the point where they actually believe that an impostor could have somehow waltzed his way into the most powerful office of the most powerful country in the world right under the collective noses of the Secret Service, CIA, NSA, FBI, Homeland Security, and every single other security and intelligence agency, court, and investigative journalist out there. (Oh, right, they’re all in cahoots together. Tens of thousands of random individuals, all keeping their little secret without a single leak or mistake. Right.)

(via Political Irony)

Peter Sprigg just doesn’t get it about LGBT youth suicides

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Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council
Peter Sprigg

From a long-winded piece by Family Research Council Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg, where he reacts to the recent survey revealing the wholly unsurprising fact that LGBT youths in more conservative areas tend to be more depressed and more likely to attempt suicide:

That’s right—the homosexual and bisexual teenagers were five times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexuals—a difference that far overwhelms any difference caused by the “social environment.” [original emphasis]

Oh, really? And what basis does Sprigg have for asserting such a thing? (Hint: Exactly as much as other bigots have for claiming that it isn’t their fault that these kids actually are killing themselves in the first place. Or that groups like his aren’t actually “hate groups”, as designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

To intrinsically social creatures like us humans, the social environment is everything. It has a broad and powerful influence on how you feel about yourself and others, both like you and otherwise. And it’s even more important in determining how you’ll be treated by those around you. When you spend your days being insulted, denigrated, humiliated and ostracized – and that’s when you’re not physically attacked – it’s inevitable that you start to feel shitty. And the shittier you feel, the grimmer your outlook on life becomes. And any individual can only take so much torment and abuse before they start thinking that there’s no other way out of it than to end their lives.

There’s really nothing difficult about this to understand. The fact that hateful assholes like Sprigg and the rest of the anti-gay Right don’t speaks volumes about how they’ve let their bigoted beliefs cloud their judgment and empathy, to the point where they actually have the gall to deny that persecuting others for no good goddamn reason might actually lead to bad consequences for them.

But just in case you didn’t think he was quite clueless enough:

Therefore, the logical take-away from the study would be this: the most effective way of reducing teen suicide attempts is not to create a “positive social environment” for the affirmation of homosexuality. Instead, it would be to discourage teens from self-identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. [original emphasis]

Because the best way to stop gay kids from feeling bad about themselves is to … stop being gay.

They really just don’t get it. They never will.

(via Right Wing Watch)

Daily Blend: Thursday, April 28, 2011

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Bunnies in Easter eggs
Pictured: Prosecuted!

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Harry Potter 7 Part 2 official trailer. That is all.

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No reason for posting this, other than man-SQUEEEEEEEE

As expected, it hints at lots of stuff that weren’t remotely in the book … though I really wanna see that bit with Harry and Voldy on the tower top.

(via @jennifurret)

San Francisco to ban childhood circumcision?

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Sea otter holding its face
I wanted to post a pic about circumcision. I got this same reaction.

Normally, I’m firmly against any government intrusion in parenting, as if politicians had any say in how responsible adults raise their kids. But, as with every rule, there are exceptions. And when parents think that it’s okay to mutilate young boys’ genitals before they can ever consent to it, and all because of some stupid and irrational religious or cultural fashion, then I have no problem with laws being enacted to put a stop to it. And this is exactly what’s happening in San Francisco:

A California group opposed to male circumcision has gathered enough signatures for a ballot initiative to bar the practice in San Francisco.

Legal experts, however, said even if such a measure were to pass, it would likely be quickly overturned as an unconstitutional attack on the grounds of religious freedom.


San Francisco officials say Schofield's group submitted about 12,000 signatures supporting his proposed ban, which is more than enough to get it on the ballot in November.

The measure, which would only apply in San Francisco, would make it a crime to circumcise a boy before he is 18 years of age, regardless of the parents' religious beliefs.

Sadly, it’s rather unlikely this law would stand up to any legal challenge on a basis of infringement on parents’ “religious freedom”. I’m all for the free practice of whatever you believe in, but I think it’s only commonsensical that when your beliefs include painfully and permanently altering someone else’s physical appearance when they are completely unable to object or defend themselves (which is rather needless to say for infants), you really rather shouldn’t. If you really want your boy(s) circumcised, then you can wait until they are old and mature enough to make the decision for themselves, with or without your influence. I would think that’s only fair.

If anyone really objects to that, I invite you to present your arguments. I haven’t found any good ones.

(via Joe. My. God.)

Catholic adoption agency prioritizes anti-gay discrimination over child well-being

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Catholic Care logo

This is sadly nothing new. The English adoption agency Catholic Care is declaring that they’d rather give up on finding loving homes for children than be forced to stop discriminating against same-sex couples:

A tribunal has thrown out a Catholic charity’s bid to be exempted from equality laws which make it illegal to discriminate against gay couples who wish to adopt.

Leeds-based Catholic Care have said they will have no choice but to end their work finding homes for children if they are forced to comply with the new equality regulations which prohibit discrimination against same-sex couples wanting to adopt.

The case went to the High Court last year before being referred to the Charity Commission, who would not back Catholic Care’s position. And the Charity Commission’s stance was upheld today by a first-tier tribunal which dismissed the appeal.

Although the tribunal acknowledged that the potential loss of any children’s charity was a negative thing, the threatened closure from Catholic Care – which is not certain – had to be balanced against “the detriment to same-sex couples and the detriment to society generally of permitting the discrimination proposed.”

Once again, more proof that religion and child-care do not mix. Never have, never will. There can only be one winner, and it won’t be the side that actually needs protection and devotion.

(via Joe. My. God.)

Stewart rips into Congress for asking sick 9/11 rescue workers to confirm they aren’t terrorists

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It’s not only Republicans who are capable of the most vile and idiotic legislating in Congress; Democrats are perfectly capable of going demagogue, too. Here’s Jon Stewart from last night, ripping into those “dickish” lawmakers who actually took the time to insert an amendment into the Zadroga “9/11 Health” Bill (passed a few months ago, thanks primarily to Jon Stewart, himself) that would ask sick rescue workers receiving such financial aid to ensure that they aren’t terrorists. A requirement that isn’t asked of anybody else, from Medicaid patients to Libyan Rebels the US is trying to arm.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Daily Blend: Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate
Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate

Oh, dear. I think I may be falling for a girl. A sweet, beautiful, delightfully kinky … 16-year-old. (Oh, shut up. I’m only 19, and it’s legal!)

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

Supplemental tags:

Next Media Animation takes on the Trump

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We just can’t get enough of these wacky Taiwanese animations, can we? Here’s Next Media Animation’s take on Donald Trump’s presidential run and the fact that Democrats are collectively jizzing their pants at the idea of him seriously becoming the GOP’s top candidate:

You’d almost think the Dems had planted him. There’s just no better wrecking ball than someone who’s so crazy that even conservatives can’t tell if he’s for real.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Random Music Post: Most beautiful romantic song ever

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If anyone ever wondered why is it I love James Horner, this is all I have to say. Or, uh, post. (Whatever, shuddup.)

I swear, some songs just seem to transcend physics and emotions and reach into the heavens.

Demon Pig Spirit Exorcism!

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Is it wrong of me to feel nothing more than derisory amusement at watching this?

Well, okay, I do feel something more.


(via Joe. My. God.)

Kitties take care of lost infant boy

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Pictured: Infant caretakers

Time for a little pick-me-up after that last story. Now, Uzza calls them “Demo-cats”, but they are obviously “Socatlists”:

(Newser) – Police in Argentina recently found a 1-year-old homeless boy being cared for by wild cats, the Daily Telegraph reports. A policewoman on patrol noticed an unusually large cat gathering which, on closer inspection, was surrounding the boy. Doctors believe the eight cats snuggled up to keep the child warm on cold nights that would have otherwise been fatal.

“The boy was lying at the bottom of a gutter,” the officer said. “There were all these cats on top of him licking him because he was really dirty. When I walked over they became really protective and spat at me.” The cats also apparently foraged for the boy's food. Police later found his homeless father, who said cats have always been protective of his son.

Though, we both agree they aren’t Republicats. They would obviously have bartered the baby for fish, or possibly denounced him as a freeloader.

(via Uzza's Notes)

Eight horses killed in anti-gay arson attack [updated]

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Spray paint on side of burned-own barn: “FAGS ARE FREAKS”
[full size (640×480)]

When bigots become terrorists:

Seven adult horses and one foal died as a result of an arson fire at 874 West Richards Road in McConnelsville just after 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. Owner Brent Whitehouse said he woke to discover the barn engulfed in flames and immediately called 911, but it was too late.

"I couldn't get the door open I could still hear the horses kicking and I tried as hard as I could to get them out and I just couldn't get them out in time," he said.

Those who know Brent believe this was a hate crime, explicit words relating to his sexuality were spray painted in large white letters on the side of the barn before the fire was started.

"They obviously don't know him very well, because he's a sweet-hearted person and how he lives his lifestyle is nobody's business but his own," said Friend Bobbie Nelson.

Except, of course, those who make it their own. And then cast suffering upon the innocent, human and otherwise.

May the sick fucks did this be caught and rot in prison for a long time. If not, then this is one of those rare times where I think vigilante justice would be perfectly morally justified.

(via Joe. My. God)

UPDATE: (04/27/11 2:00 PM) – Local insurance group the Blue Ribbon Arson Committee has put up a $5,000 reward for anyone who can help identify the culprit(s).

(via Joe. My. God)

Another anti-pot lawmaker busted for pot possession

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Rep. Robert Watson (R-RI)
Rep. Robert Watson (R-RI)

In which we are all surely very shocked:

In February, Rhode Island State Rep. Robert Watson said that his state had its priorities right "if you are a Guatemalan gay man who likes to gamble and smokes marijuana." Big surprise: He just got busted for marijuana possession.

Watson, the Rhode Island House minority leader is, as far as well can tell, not Guatemalan, nor gay, nor a gambler. But he is, according to Connecticut police, a marijuana-smoker!

The East Greenwich Republican was driving in East Haven, Conn. when he was stopped at a police checkpoint. Officers say they smelled pot and booze; a search uncovered "a bag of suspected marijuana and a wooden pipe in Watson's pocket," though Watson did pass a breathalyzer test, coming in at 0.05 BAC—below the 0.08 threshold.

His excuse? His office issued a statement saying "he was in Connecticut to help a friend move and was driving home from dinner when he was stopped." If only he had been in Rhode Island, which is far more friendly to Guatemalans, to gays, to gamblers, and, yes, to pot-smokers.

Yet another Republican hypocrite exposed.

Is it time to make this kind of hypocrisy illegal yet? I can’t think of a faster way to clear out 90% of the Republican Party.

(via The Agitator)

Hannity to hold seminar “special report” on media bias

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Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity

I’d love to get all snarky, but Ed Brayton nails this one so well, any further comment just seems superfluous:

From TPMlivewire:

Sean Hannity To Host Special Report On Media Bias For Fox News

That's as ridiculous as the idea of Bristol Palin giving speeches against teen pregnancy. Or Rush Limbaugh criticizing gays for destroying marriage. Or Newt Gingrich prosecuting Bill Clinton for an affair while having an affair. Or David Vitter talking about family values while paying hookers to dress him up in diapers. Or Larry Craig soliciting gay sex in an airport men's room while celebrating his 100% lifetime rating from the Christian Coalition.

Wait, those all happened too. Maybe the GOP should rename themselves the Irony Party.

Or the Party of We Got Ours So Fuck You.

Daily Blend: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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Chrissy Lee Polis
Chrissy Lee Polis

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

Monday, April 25, 2011

Whiny Quote of the Day: The real victims of the WikiLeaks Gitmo disclosures

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Sure, WikiLeaks just released scores of classified papers revealing all sorts of legal tyranny and various human rights violations going on (and largely ignored) at Guantanamo Bay, where the vast majority of captives are held without any semblance of due process and are only there in the first place because of extremely flimsy evidence … but they are not the real victims, here. No, those who suffer most are brave martyrs in the government such as Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell, who tweeted thus:

Tweet by Geoff Morrell (@PentagonPressSec) [04/25/11 ~ 11:00 AM]: “Thx to Wikileaks we spent Easter weekend dealing w/NYT & other news orgs publishing leaked classified GTMO docs”

Thy heart, it positively bleeds for you.

(via @ggreenwald)

Today in Vox Day logic: It rained, ergo, atheists are wrong

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Theodore “Vox Day” Beale
Vox Day

Mocking the “Internet Superintelligence”’s mocking of the (purportedly mocked) mocker:

Mr. PZ Myers unwisely elected to mock Texas governor Rick Perry's prayer request for some much-needed rain in the face of a drought:

Texans, you have my sympathy. But don't worry! You have a dynamic governor and a responsive legislature that will do everything it can to aid drought-stricken farmers and parched cities. They will provide the Republican solution.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and have officially caused the Seal of State to be affixed at my Office in the City of Austin, Texas, this the 21st day of April, 2011.

Isn't that helpful?

Based on the empirical evidence, the only answer one can provide is, apparently, yes.

Mother Nature gave the hundreds of firefighters battling the Possum Kingdom Complex fire an Easter Sunday blessing in the form of rain. On a day that Governor Rick Perry had declared a "Day of Prayer for Rain," 2 to 3 inches of rain fell over Possum Kingdom Lake. Along with heavy rain and pea-sized hail, the storm brought with it a Tornado Warning in Palo Pinto County that later expired without incident. The much needed rain was a welcome sight to the hundreds of firefighters working to contain the fire.

And yet some dare to say that God doesn't have a sense of humor. One of the things I most appreciate about God is the apparent enjoyment He takes in mocking His mockers.

And here, we have another gleam into Vox Day’s contorted mind. As always, it’s virtually impossible to tell whether or not this is his idea of sarcasm, but given his repeatedly proclaimed stance on such issues, he most likely truly is conflating correlation with causation yet again in actually declaring that because it rained subsequently to PZ’s mocking of Gov. Gerry’s absurd proclamation, ergo, God.

Yes … “superintelligence”, indeed.

Daily Blend: Monday, April 25, 2011

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Guantanamo Bay detainees
Guantanamo Bay detainees
  • This latest WikiLeaks release of classified files on hundreds of Gitmo detainees [pictured] makes it even funnier whenever the Obama administration denounces other countries’ human rights violations.

  • Four months, 916 bills. But, hey, small gubmint!
    (via @todayspolitics)

  • Dumb: Cops arrest wrong man in child porn possession case. Dumbass: With a SWAT team. FFS: Because of an unprotected wireless router.

  • What the House of Representatives should look like with equal representation.
    (via @todayspolitics)

  • Of course, the best question is how they even speak English.

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

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Maybe about 500 …

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Does that make me more fun than Easter?

Beulah Baptist Church sign: “EASTER COMES ONCE A YEAR / HOW OFTEN DO YOU”

(via Joe. My. God.)

Michigan senator wants foster kids to shop at thrift stores only

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Sen. Bruce Caswell (R-MI)
Sen. Bruce Caswell (R-MI)

Republicans love kids and poor people so dang much, they wanna make sure that they’ll never be exposed to the ills of expensive new clothes. Michigan Senator Bruce Caswell (R) wants to make it so that government money intended for the purchase of clothes for foster and underprivileged children can only be used at second-hand thrift stores:

He says they should get "gift cards" to be used only at Salvation Army, Goodwill or other thrift stores.

"I never had anything new," Caswell says. "I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army, and his comment was -- and quite frankly it's true -- once you're out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes."

He never had any new clothes as a kid … so now, he wants to make sure that no other poor kids get any, either. There’s a word to describe this kind of attitude, and it isn’t ‘compassionate’.

Humanitarian workers aren’t happy, either:

"Honestly, I was flabbergasted," Jacobs says. "I really couldn't believe this. Because I think, gosh, is this where we've gone in this state? I think that there’s the whole issue of dignity. You’re saying to somebody, you don’t deserve to go in and buy a new pair of gym shoes. You know, for a lot of foster kids, they already have so much stacked against them.”

But, hey, at least they’ll be free from the threat of impoverishing themselves further from blowing their sparse food money on chic new threads!

Oh, and of course:

Caswell says the gift card idea wouldn’t save the state any money.

Naturally. Very little of what modern Republicans do is ever about the budget (or jobs) – it’s pure, heartless ideology and nothing else.

(via @ebertchicago)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Daily Blend: Saturday, April 23, 2011

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Haylee Fentress (14, left) and Paige Moravetz (14, right)
Haylee Fentress (14, left) and Paige Moravetz (14, right)

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

Cop tries to steal man’s cellphone on his own property

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Here’s another case of a police officer apparently forgetting that recording on-duty cops without interfering is perfectly legal, and all caught on video:

(From what I can tell from the confusing footage and the description: Vallejo, California man starts filming from inside his garage with his cellphone as cops pull over a car and force everyone (3 males, one female, all Black) out at gunpoint. A cop then walks up to him on his property and demands he turn over his phone as “evidence”, threatening him with jail if he refuses. Guy apparently passes his phone off to a friend behind the cop’s back, and video ends. The car occupants were later released under claims of false identity.)

Plenty of bad things happen in this video, but none of them are committed by the bystander. As usual, it’s the cop who overstepped his authority, especially in threatening the man with a prison sentence for actually trying to defend his legal rights. Good on him for standing up to the badged thug in a calm manner.

Of course, it’s only too bad the cop won’t receive the slightest sort of reprimand – if his superiors even hear about his actions at all. If anything, they’ll berate him for not stealing the phone and “accidentally” deleting the embarrassing footage. Thank God for YouTube.

(via @todayspolitics)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Arizona also wants to adopt an official state gun

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Colt Single Action Army Revolver, potential Arizona state gun

Last March, Utah became the first state to designate an official state gun, choosing the Browning M1911 pistol to represent its … well, its gun nuts, really. But, not to be outdone by anyone else in redneck craziness, the state of Arizona is now also on its way to adopting a firearm as a symbol:

The Arizona House early Wednesday narrowly approved the Colt Single Action Army Revolver as the state's official gun. The bill had been rejected earlier in an all-night session, the AP reports, but it eventually won approval by a 32-25 vote.

It’s a little ironic that they should choose the very gun that allowed their ancestors to settle in Arizona in the first place … if only by widespread slaughter of the Native-Americans who once dwelt there.

(via Joe. My. God.)

Idaho governor kills Medicaid, throws state into financial ruin

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Gov. Butch Otter (R-ID)
Gov. Butch Otter (R-ID)

I’m no expert, but if I’m reading this right, then Idahoans are about to face some seriously grim times, and all thanks to their dumbass Republican governor and his anti-Obama zeal: He’s just signed an executive order stating that the state will not comply with the new healthcare reform laws, which effectively ends Medicaid in the state, among other disasters. From ThinkProgress [links removed]:

Medicaid is an entirely voluntary program in which the federal government provides generous grants to the states to administer a health program for their low-income residents. Yet Otter’s executive order forbids state agencies from implementing “any provisions” of the ACA, and it provides that “[n]o executive branch department, agency, institution or employee of the State shall accept or expend federal funds to implement the provisions of the []ACA.”

The reason why this is problematic is because, starting in 2014, the ACA requires states participating in the Medicaid program to offer health coverage to all persons under the age of 65 who earn up to 133 percent of the poverty rate. In return for expanding Medicaid, the federal government will provide each state with the lion’s share of the funds required to do so.

Otter’s order forbids his state from complying with these new requirements to remain in the Medicaid program, and it also forbids Idaho from taking the federal funds that will allow it to pay for expanding Medicaid.

And it gets even better:

To be fair, Otter’s order also provides an onerous process allowing Idaho’s Medicaid program to seek a waiver from the prohibition on implementing the ACA. If such a waiver is not granted, it will completely blow up Idaho’s state budget. Presently, Idaho receives over $1 billion in federal grants to administer its Medicaid program — an amount that equals approximately two-fifths of the state’s overall budget. If the state gave up this money, it would have to chose between eliminating health coverage for the 223,198 Idahoans who currently depend on Medicaid or implementing similarly draconian cuts such as slashing its public schools budget by 85 percent.

In other words, in his zeal to strike a political blow again President Obama’s most important accomplishment, Otter has endangered the health of over more than 200,000 Idahoans and forced financial ruin upon his state.

I invite y’all to make your own cracks about the heartless zealotry that is the modern Republican Party. I’m afraid I’m as empty of new insults as the Idaho state coffers will be of funds before too long. Though, you can expect to see a boom in the funeral home business any day now.

This is Republican America, folks. But then, you should know that; a majority of you voted for it.

(via @todayspolitics)

Rush Limbaugh proclaims himself “the nation’s morale officer”

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It’s not always clear when Rush Limbaugh means to say ‘moral’ or ‘morale’ in this clip, but regardless, if he’s the “morale officer” of the United States, then I’m the Chief Justice Superintendent of Canada:

My transcript:

Now, I realize, folks, that I am the nation’s morale officer. That is just one of the things that accrues to me. It’s my default. I, El Rushbo, am many things [that, you are …], including the morale officer of this country.

And I really do believe that we’re gonna prevail in the long run. The only problem is, the long run keeps getting longer! Which is gonna require an even longer commitment on the part of everybody on our side. But we will prevail. The other side will collapse of its own moral corruption, as it has everywhere else it’s been tried. The key is to speed along the collapse borne of their own moral corruption.

This is coming from a sophophobic* racist who blames Native-Americans for tobacco deaths, calls crucial and hard-working non-profit employees “lazy idiots” and “rapists in terms of finance and economy”, and who only recently called supporters of President Obama “walking human debris” who “savage” conservatives because “they can’t find willing mates”. (And that’s just a few cases that I chose to cover on this blog.) And he’s declaring that liberals are suffering from “moral corruption”.

Could he be any more of a lame joke?

* sophophobia: “fear of learning” (ie. anti-intellectualism)

Fail Quote: Obama’s obtuseness about Bradley Manning

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Alleged WikiLeaks source US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning
Pfc. Bradley Manning

During yesterday’s San Francisco presidential fundraiser, which was spectacularly interrupted by a group of singing protesters decrying the wretched detainment conditions of alleged WikiLeaks source Pfc. Bradley Manning, President Obama actually spoke with one of the protesters and revealed that the concept of due process and “innocent until proven guilty” don’t really seem to matter to him. Here’s a rough transcript of the nearly undecipherable exchange, courtesy of Emptywheel at Firedoglake:

OBAMA: So people can have philosophical views [about Bradley Manning] but I can’t conduct diplomacy on an open source [basis]… That’s not how the world works.

And if you’re in the military… And I have to abide by certain rules of classified information. If I were to release material I weren’t allowed to, I’d be breaking the law.

We’re a nation of laws! We don’t let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate. He broke the law.

[Q: Didn't he release evidence of war crimes?]

OBAMA: What he did was he dumped…

[Q: Isn't that just the same thing as what Daniel Ellsberg did?]

OBAMA: No it wasn’t the same thing. Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified in the same way.

We’re a nation of laws! Just not one that applies those laws fairly and equally, or who even follows them when they prove annoying and cumbersome to our zeal at crushing those who reveal how full of it we are. But, still, laws!

And he’s right about Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg’s material not being “classified in the same way”. Those were rated Top Secret, whereas Pfc. Manning only released Secret material, which, given the absurd ease with which Manning was (allegedly) able to find and disseminate it, is roughly one step up from leaving it on bulletin boards with little “please don’t read this if you shouldn’t” post-it notes on them. And yet, Manning is being prosecuted (and persecuted) ten times worse than Ellsberg ever was, even though his crime is objectively (by the Pentagon’s own rules) lesser by comparison.

Rationalize that one, Mr. President.

(via @ggreenwald)

Daily Blend: Friday, April 22, 2011

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Planned Parenthood logo
  • Indiana Senate passes bill cutting off all government funding to Planned Parenthood of Indiana [pictured], bans Medicaid patients from visiting clinics.
    (via Blag Hag)

  • Not a war: President Obama now approving the use of armed unmanned drones in Libya.

  • Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) urges Texans to pray for rain.
    (via Right Wing Watch)

  • Paging all conservatives: A handy guide on how to insult President Obama without resorting to racism.
    (via @jennifurret)

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

Friday Canine: Grooming the brood

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spanish court bans atheist march on Holy Thursday

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Spanish atheist symbol

The Spanish courts apparently don’t believe much in freedom of expression at the expense of a few clutched pearls:

Madrid (AP) - A court has barred atheists from holding a march on Holy Thursday, saying that would be offensive to Spanish Catholics who mark Easter with processions of their own.

In Wednesday's ruling, the Madrid Superior Court of Justice upheld a ban imposed last week by the Interior Ministry office for the Madrid region.

That office had argued among other things that the march planned in the Lavapies district of Madrid would pass by several Catholic churches and could trigger clashes with conservative Catholics. The court also said it is necessary to "protect the tourist image" of the city.

The Madrid Association of Atheists and Free-Thinkers, one of the march organizers, said the ban shows there is no separation of church and state in Spain, a largely Catholic country.

Now, who wants to bet that all those Christian-Rightists who constantly decry supposed Christian persecution in Europe will remain curiously silent about this specific instance of actual religious discrimination? Because stopping others from expressing their contrarian beliefs is wrong … that is, so long as they aren’t contrarian to your beliefs, specifically.

(via Right Wing Watch)

Hypocritical Quote: Dearborn, MI mayor wavers in his commitment to the Constitution

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Pastor Terry Jones
Pastor Terry Jones

World-renown Quran-burning nut Pastor Terry Jones of the Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center church has been making the rounds lately, and his reputation, which is currently about as shiny as that of Fred Phelps and his motley Westboro Baptist Church crew, has led to a number of interesting free speech debates wherever he pops up. The latest is in Dearborn, Michigan, where Mayor John O’Reilly, Jr. released an “open letter” wherein he tries to stint Jones’ free speech rights with this nugget of cognitive dissonance:

"Our commitment to the Constitution is unwavering, not merely convenient, which makes your hyperbole about Sharia Law being practiced in the courts or civil law of Dearborn nonsensical," O'Reilly wrote. "So, you are coming to protest against an imaginary threat that doesn't exist in our community. Not in our courts, not at our City Hall, not on our streets and not in any of our places of worship."

You hear that? Mayor O’Reilly will protect and uphold the constitution to the very best of his ability … unless you wanna say something he doesn’t like, in which case your First Amendment rights no longer apply, sucker.

He is right, of course, about Pastor Jones being utterly delusional about any supposed threat of creeping Sharia in Dearborn – or anywhere else in the United States. But even so, that doesn’t make any sort of a credible argument for stripping Jones of his right to spew any kind of bigoted idiocy he wants on public grounds. It seems that, as with so many others like him, Mayor O’Reilly doesn’t quite comprehend what’s in that document he claims to be “commit[ted]” to.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)

Daily Blend: Thursday, April 21, 2011

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Tyler Clementi (left) and Dharun Ravi (right)
Tyler Clementi (left) and Dharun Ravi (right)

Problem with Québec being so liberal is that it’s also a hotspot for New Age/“natural remedies” quackery. And Mom just bought me a Pur Noisetier hazelwood necklace to combat my chronic canker sores (along with heartburn, gastric reflux, teething, arthritis, osteoarthritis, constipation, migraines and cavities!) by purportedly sucking excess acidity right out of your body. And now, she throws a little tantrum because I refuse to wear a bloody stupid wooden necklace that is A) medical bullshit, and B) ugly. But, of course, it’s all my fault, somehow, I’m sure.

  • Virginia social services board votes 7-2 against gay adoptions following state AG Ken Cuccinelli’s (R) condemnatory “advisement”.

  • When Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and even crazypants Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) declare that Birtherism is ridiculous, it may be time to move on.

  • Dharun Ravi [pictured], Rutgers U. student who pushed roommate Tyler Clementi to suicide after secretly filming him having sex with a guy, now indicted for “bias intimidation” (ie. committing a “hate crime”) and trying to destroy evidence. I still don’t agree with “hate crimes”, but good enough for now.
    (via Joe. My. God.)

  • Jonah Goldberg: Every now and then, a jockish bully needs to grab some small scrawny little kid and beat him to within an inch from death, just to show everyone he means business.

  • Auckland, NZ’s St Matthew-in-the-City church actually looks like fun. Which explains why American fundagelicals are quick to condemn it.

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


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Here’s one of the most eloquent and passionate poem recitals I’ve ever seen, and it’s about a boy who so desperately wants everyone to stop thinking of him as a girl. Beautiful, touching, and so true.

You can read the lines on the vid’s YouTube page.

(via Joe. My. God.)

The TSA is gonna grope you, and you’d better pretend you like it

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Sign with person being groped: “TSA checkpoint”

CNN has released a list of factors (Daily Mail warning) that TSA agents use to judge who gets to undergo “enhanced security screenings” (which I assume include being strip-searched, interrogated, and being put under Legilimency), and to probably nobody’s surprise whatsoever …:

Most of the indicators on the list are behaviours which could suggest stress, deception or fear, characteristics likely to be exhibited by potential criminals.

One of the factors reads: 'Very arrogant and expresses contempt against airport passenger procedures.'

You folks are gonna take being groped and questioned about your unmentionables, and you’d better act like it isn’t an utterly pointless and humiliating experience, or you’re gonna regret it.

More than just ludicrous, though, this is also rather infuriating to anyone who thinks about the implications of surrendering even more fundamental rights (freedom of expression, anyone?) in the name of maintaining this fundamentally absurd security theater. (Which, again, even experts declare couldn’t stop a mountain troll from strolling through. Or a celebrity with a pantsfull of razor blades.)

(via The Agitator)

New Live Poll Allows Pundits To Pander To Viewers In Real Time

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(via The Agitator)

Daily Blend: Wednesday, April 20, 2011

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Rep. Kristin Hansen (R-MT)
Rep. Kristin Hansen (R-MT)

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vox Day: Atheists who brag about their IQ = Nazis! [updated]

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Theodore “Vox Day” Beale
Vox Day

This must be the most desperate anti-atheistic argument I’ve seen in quite a while. Still determined to prove how atheists are really just a bunch of snobby dummies or something, Vox Day now goes ahead and declares that atheists should stop trying to praise their superior intelligence (which they don’t) because, hey, many high-ranking Nazi officials were smart, too. Seriously:

Not that it is likely to, but the results of the IQ tests performed by an American Army psychologist at the Nuremberg Trials should put at least a slight damper on the often-heard atheist appeals to intelligence. Especially since at 121.72, the average IQs of the National Socialist leadership was more than a standard deviation higher than the 103.09 mean IQ reported for atheists:

IQ of Nazi leaders, cited from: Gilbert, G. M.: Nuremberg Diary. New York: Signet Book 1947, p. 34; Wechsler-Bellevue

Hjalmar Schacht, Reich Minister of Economics: IQ 143
Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Foreign Minister of Germany: IQ 141
Hermann Göring, President of the Reichstag and Reich Minister of Aviation: IQ 138
Karl Dönitz, Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine: IQ 138
Albert Speer, Minister of Armaments and War Production: IQ 128
Alfred Jodl, Chief of the Operations Staff of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht: IQ 127
Alfred Rosenberg, Commissar for Supervision of Intellectual and Ideological Education of the German National Socialist Workers Party: IQ 127
Rudolf Hess, Deputy Führer: IQ 120

In other words, if we are to take seriously the idea that the reported 5.95-point IQ advantage enjoyed by the "not-at-all religious" over the "very religious" means that we should be inclined to reject the theistic perspective [something that no atheist has ever said, you dishonest ass —JM], then surely the 18.63 advantage of the National Socialists proves we should all convert to Nazi atheism.

Yep; in Vox Day’s world, those who (supposedly) brag about their intelligence are really no better than Hitler’s cronies. Which, of course, brings about some rather glaring implications into play, considering the fact that Vox Day’s about as big an intellectual blowhard as they come … not that he mentions that.

Malaysia sends 66 Muslim boys to anti-gay camp for being “effeminate”

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Anti-gay Muslim Malaysian students hold placards during a protest against U.S. glam rocker Adam Lambert's concert in Bukit Jalil, outside Kuala Lumpur, Oct. 14, 2010. (Getty)
That’s not a culture to be proud of, hun

In which the Malaysian government further exposes its homophobic cluelessness:

(AP) KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia- Malaysian authorities have sent 66 Muslim schoolboys identified by teachers as effeminate to a four-day camp where they will receive counseling on masculine behavior to discourage them from being gay, an official said Tuesday.

Gay rights advocates decried the measure as a symptom of widespread homophobia in this Muslim-majority country where gay sex is illegal.

The boys between 13 and 17 years old reported Monday for what is officially being called a "self-development course" after their schoolteachers in Terengganu state identified them as students who displayed effeminate mannerisms, said Razali Daud, the state's education director.

They will undergo religious and motivational classes and physical guidance, Razali said. He declined to give further details.

The camp is meant "to guide them back to the right path in life before they reach a point of no return," Razali told The Associated Press. "Such effeminate behavior is unnatural and will affect their studies and their future."

Uh-huh. Tell me, Mr. Education Director: Which is “unnatural”, here – kids exhibiting ingrained behaviors that make them comfortable with who they are, or being forced to adapt new, more “manly” and “socially acceptable” mannerisms through conditioning and brainwashing?

This is more than just reminiscent of all those Christian “gay deconversion therapy” groups that so many Americans are coerced into attending by intolerant environments; it’s virtually the exact same thing. And, just like their American counterparts, these people apparently fail to comprehend the fact that it’s not being gay, or “effeminate” (which, to be frank, is a trait a few more guys ought to exhibit now and then), or in any way non-heteronormative, that makes so many LGBT youths (and adults) miserable about themselves and society as a whole. It’s exactly this sort of bullshit persecution and stigmatization, leading them to believe that they’re unnatural/immoral/perverted/etc. when all they’re doing is expressing their feelings in ways that the blind society around them dictates aren’t okay.

That is what’s “wrong” and “immoral”.

(via Joe. My. God.)