Monday, July 30, 2012

Vox Day really doesn’t like President Obama

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Theodore Beale (aka Vox Day)
Vox Day

I tend to avoid our dear friend Theodore “Vox Day” Beale’s WorldNetDaily columns like the plague because, well, he’s Vox Day and it’s the WND, which really tells you all you need to know. But upon recently realizing that Joseph Farah’s repository of far-Right wingnuttia might not be the choice venue for intelligent and substantial discussion (as much as those terms apply to anything Vox has ever written), he’s apparently decided to appeal to the lowest common denominator around with a new column that’s entirely about how President Obama is so bad, bad, bad in every way, and it’s just way too amusing to pass up.

For instance, consider the very opening paragraph:

Obama is bad. Not in the reverse meaning of the term, by which one indicates that an individual is actually cool or intimidating or otherwise superlative in some manner, but in the simple and straightforward negative sense. He is a bad president. He is a bad black man. He is a bad socialist. He is a bad peacemaker. He is a bad American. And most of all, he is bad for America and the world.

I’m not sure whether that second sentence was meant facetiously or whether it reveals just how disconnected the man is from any kind of reality, but it definitely sets the tone for the entertainment that follows.

Now, to be fair, I’ll be the first to admit that Obama has been anything but an ideal President, especially taking into account the enthusiastic hopes I and others originally shared as he first took office. The man has been a persistent and utter disaster on issues of civil liberties and executive power, and he’s been even worse overseas, where his approach to fighting supposed terrorism has long reached levels of bloodthirsty warmongering.

That, at least, is (in part) why I consider Obama to have been such a massive disappointment in so many regards, his undeniable progress on social issues aside. Now, what are the reasons why Vox thinks he’s been a sub-par head of state?

Even many of those who supported Obama and who voted for him in 2008 will agree that he has been a bad president. Contrary to his grandiose claims during his successful presidential campaign, the oceans have not begun to recede and the planet has not begun to heal despite the fact that we have entered the fourth year of his presidency. Of perhaps more interest to Americans is that the national debt has not begun to recede and the U.S. economy has not begun to heal, either.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Study: Lazy thinking leads to conservatism?

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The Thinker

As usual, my abject ignorance about the proper manner to conduct and examine studies hinders my ability to assess the reliability of this new report, so I post this with naught but a quiet cough:

The authors test the hypothesis that low-effort thought promotes political conservatism. In Study 1, alcohol intoxication was measured among bar patrons; as blood alcohol level increased, so did political conservatism (controlling for sex, education, and political identification). In Study 2, participants under cognitive load reported more conservative attitudes than their no-load counterparts. In Study 3, time pressure increased participants’ endorsement of conservative terms. In Study 4, participants considering political terms in a cursory manner endorsed conservative terms more than those asked to cogitate; an indicator of effortful thought (recognition memory) partially mediated the relationship between processing effort and conservatism. Together these data suggest that political conservatism may be a process consequence of low-effort thought; when effortful, deliberate thought is disengaged, endorsement of conservative ideology increases.

I’ll leave it to my scientific betters to say whether this is a result worth putting any trust in, so for now, allow me to indulge in some psychobabble.

From my perspective, these findings do seem to make some sense. Using myself as an example, I’m aware that moments where I feel more apathetic, tired, angry and otherwise unable (or unwilling) to engage in deeper thinking are also where I’m more likely to speak and act more from gut feeling – short-sighted, quick-response shallow thinking that mostly ignores larger ramifications and even some of the ideals I try to hold myself up to. After all, what good peacenik hasn’t occasionally found themselves shouting in bloodlust when feeling particularly emotionally upset, even when their calmer, more level-headed selves are the first to decry such behavior?

Of course, I’m not using this subjective example as a representation for what happens to everyone else who does engage in such knee-jerk reactionism on a more regular basis. After all, there certainly are plenty of intelligent and deep-thinking conservatives out there, even if their voices are increasingly eclipsed by the rabid dung-flingers who’ve been taking over more mainstream politics over the last few years. I’m fairly certain no-one can reasonably say that popular Right-wing hubs like and Townhall are bastions of meaningful and intelligent discussion. (And the less is thought about Fox News and the WorldNetDaily, the better.)

In the end, maybe it’s just a matter of principles, a set of standards in behavior and modes of thought that some people feel are worth trying to live up to, and others who don’t.

(via @todayspolitics)

Daily Blend: Saturday, July 28, 2012

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‘The Dark Knight Rises’ [2012] poster

A few quick updates:

1) I’ve synched all Blogger platform comments into Disqus and vice-versa (which resulted in over a thousand notification emails being deluged into my inbox in twenty minutes, holy farkballs), so any comments both past and future left on either platform should also appear simultaneously on the other, in case Disqus ever fails or some such.

2) Relatedly, I’ve managed to fix the long-broken “Total Comments” counter script (bottom-right sidebar), which now informs me this blog has received roughly a third of a comment for every post I’ve published. Huh.

3) A great big thanks to the surprisingly many of you who’ve taken the time to fill out the Preliator 2012 Survey! Seven responses in only a few hours (which is still about 500% the response I got for my last survey). W00t!

4) Finally, I just saw The Dark Knight Rises. A great film and a powerful and fitting finale to the trilogy, though the number of new characters made them a little tricky to keep up with, and the references to the previous films felt a wee bit forced. But again, highly recommended.

And now, your links!

  • The cities of Philadelphia, Boston (or maybe not) and Chicago all declare Chick-fil-A persona non grata over its president’s evangelical homophobia. While the partisan simpleton in me originally smiled, it now strikes me as scary how local governments think they can banish private organizations solely because of the views (no matter how retarded) of one of its executives. Always remember: Free speech cuts both ways, and anyone who doesn’t believe in giving bigots their First Amendment rights doesn’t really believe in free speech at all.
    (via @jbarro)

  • The 4 Most Meaningless Arguments Against Gun Control. Or, why is growing increasingly awesome.

  • Mitt Romney, aspiring Dunderhead-in-Chief. I can imagine their thoughts: “Hang on – this is the bloke those Americans are honestly debating whether to elect as their head of state? Srsly?”

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

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

    Here, have some Canuck music

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    Where does the best rock music come from? Canada. That is fact. You may not contest it.

    We rule so hard.

    Preliator turns 3! (So take the Preliator 2012 Survey!)

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    Birthday cake with three candles and three cupcakes

    I feel old, and not only because this little repository of snark and meandering is now 1/6.66th my age (a sign?). I actually managed to skip right past this here blog’s third anniversary last Wednesday the 25th. That’s right – I’m so antiquated, I can’t even remember when my blog was born (despite having written it on my calendar eons ago). Egads.

    Compensation is thus in order! Every year (previously around February/March), I launch the Preliator Survey, a simple little questionnaire intended to give me a halfway decent idea of just what kinds of people frequent this particular hole in the virtual world. I decided that this year’s would be offered on Preliator’s blogiversary, and I’d also be moving to the simpler Google Docs platform, which doesn’t limit my question and answer choices (unlike some people). The result will doubtlessly be a bit less shiny and neat, but at least I can now ask all the queries I’ve got in mind. (I’m nosy that way.)

    And so, without further ado (and because the darn thing was too wide to embed here, dagnabbit):

    [The Preliator 2012 Survey is now closed. Big thanks to all who participated.]

    All answers are completely anonymous, and unlike previous years, all questions are optional and most of them include free answer choices (under “Other”), so don’t feel obligated to reply to all questions if you feel some are too personal. Just answer what you can! Any information is just fine.

    The Survey will end exactly one month from now (er, from last Wednesday, rather) on August 25. I will keep a reminder at the top of the blog for those who miss this post until then.

    Please note that this survey is intended for readers who are at least generally well acquainted with this zone, so I would like for newcomers to please familiarize themselves with the blog and its content before responding, if they wish. I know I have no way of enforcing this, so I simply leave this humble request. Thank you.

    Now … who’s up for that cake?

    Lolcat: Cake with four candles and cat raising paw: “I'z this many now.”
    Four? Cats are the WORST at counting.

    It’s been a fun ride so far, and despite the present lull in content-making (Paint Week goes on!), it ain’t over yet, baby.

    SMBC explains why we aren’t being probed by aliens

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    You know who doesn’t want aliens visiting Earth and anal-probing its moderately evolved citizenry? The aliens:

    Two-panel excerpt from SMBC comic for 07/28/12
    Transcript: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

    PANEL 1:

    ALIEN 2: You do know the humans are like… 25 light years away, right? It’ll take at least 30 generations to get there.

    ALIEN 1: Then our descendents will CONSUME THE HUMANS.

    PANEL 2:

    ALIEN 2: The humans evolved separately from us. They probably won’t be tasty or nutritious, and they might be poison.

    Go forth and read the rest – and don’t forget to hover your mouse over the red button*. So very true.

    (via Pharyngula)

    * Wait – a little red button that provides otherwise secret enjoyment if one knows the quasi-secret method for interacting with it? I mean, come on.

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    Anti-feminist’s threats excused because Norwegian court doesn’t understand how blogs work

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    Eivind Berge
    Eivind Berge

    Remember Eivind Berge? The proudly and virulently “anti-feminist” Norwegian chap whose contributions to the blogosphere include denying the existence of female rapists because he totally would’ve loved it if a teacher had molested him as a teenager, and that women are horrible selfish harpies ’cause they’re the sole gatekeepers of the world’s reserves of teh secks, among several other nuggets of classy brilliance? Ah, thought you would.

    Well, I haven’t paid him any mind since Personal Failure pointed me in his direction for that aforelinked blog post, so it’s news to me – of the entirely unsurprising sort – that dear sweet Berge has apparently been naughty boy. As in, he’s openly blogged about his titillation at the idea of police officers being murdered as a coup against the evil feminist-sympathizing overlords, or something. And for some reason, local law enforcement took notice [Google translation of original Norwegian article]:

    There were items including Police Security Service said were calls to the police homicide and specific threats, which triggered the arrest of Berge three weeks ago. Some of the most controversial statements was:

    • "I wish men as a group the police inflicted such losses that the community was forced to calculate that the most hateful feminist laws are worth enforcing"

    • "Do malice that even a Norwegian cop hell is killed. How should it be done when the cops come to your door "

    • "(...) attack on the police is something that blends in 100 percent of everything I stand for. Other supports murder I did not. "

    Berge also wrote that he "planned" to attack a policeman with a knife on a Saturday evening at Torgallmenningen in Bergen, and in police questioning, he confirmed that he supports the killing of police officers as a tool in the fight against male feminists.

    - He has encouraged and glorified the killing of policemen. The police see this as an immediate threat . We feared that he would do serious of threats within a short time, said police lawyer Rudolf Christoffersen of after his arrest.

    Previously, Berge has also attracted attention by seeming to give support to Breivik.

    "I had no idea that a formidable activist named Anders Breivik Behring already for years had been a meticulous planning of an attack that would show the world what the Vikings are made of," wrote Berge, who later denounced the attack and Utøya stressed that there were police officers his aggression was directed against.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Daily Blend: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 – Catch-up edition

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    Savannah Dietrich
    Savannah Dietrich

    Howdy there! Live from my paint-reeking, half-patched-up bedroom, here’re a few quick links to keep y’all from dying of missing me:

  • Update: Teenage girl [pictured] no longer faces prison for revealing the names of the boys who sexually assaulted her on Twitter.
    (via @BreakingNews)

  • “You are the Osama bin Laden of this travesty”: Washington Times columnist blames Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan and Hollywood at large for Aurora, CO shooting. Had to happen eventually.
    (via @owillis)

  • Antivaccination crank Meryl Dorey reconsiders the appropriateness of pestering grieving families, reminds us all that she’s a reprehensible ghoul.
    (via @BadAstronomer)

  • Wall Street Journal crony bullshits all over the history of the Internet to try and reclaim it for anti-government conservatives.

  • And finally, here are five restaurant chains to avoid. I find it amusing none of them even exist near me (except for Domino’s, which is also best avoided just in general).

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

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Church Sign of the Day: Shades of literary damnation

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    Odd, I always figured him for a burgundy type:

    St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church & School sign: “SHADES OF GREY ARE THE DEVIL'S FAVORITE COLORS”

    (via Joe. My. God.)

    Daily Blend: Sunday, July 22, 2012

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    Savannah Dietrich
    Savannah Dietrich

    I’ll be helping to paint the apartment (under duress!) for the next few days, so blogging may be light to nonexistent until the place looks like the ruddy rainbow my mother apparently wants it to be. (The fact that I’m also beginning work on a brand-new Minecraft castle whilst being simultaneously hooked on Burn Notice – all the curses to Zon! – has nothing to do with it. Like, at all. Nope.)

  • Anti-vaccination propagandists help create the worst whooping cough epidemic in 70 years.
    (via @mims (@ebertchicago)

  • 17-year-old [pictured] publicly outs the boys who sexually assaulted and humiliated her, now faces jail time.
    (via @radleybalko)

  • “You still eat with your hands?” Oprah Winfrey visits India. India wishes she wouldn’t.
    (via @ebertchicago)

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

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    Daily Blend: Saturday, July 21, 2012

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    Freethought Blogs logo
    Now a yearling!

    Off to the Loto-Québec fireworks. No pics for you! (Because I’m lazy. And my shots make photographers want to hunt me down.)

  • The only reaction to the Aurora, Colorado shooting worth reading.

  • Happy birthday to Freethought Blogs [pictured]! May there be many more years of vitriolic muckraking ahead.

  • And finally, today’s offering from our Feline Overlords: Meowbify.
    (via Pharyngula)

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

    The Second Amendment scoreboard

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    Posted without comment (other than to note the ever-growing incongruity of a legal right originally intended to empower the populace to deal with the eventuality of a tyrannical government in an age where a massively overgrown federal military would make any attempt at rebellion utterly futile):

    I’m not for gun prohibition, but I sure as hell am for reasonable gun control. Roger Ebert lays it out plainly – and I can practically hear the Breitbart baboons a-hollerin’ over it already.

    It’s always amazing how so many Americans love to blame these shooting tragedies on everything except guns.

    (via Joe. My. God.)

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    Headline of the Day: Aurora shooting is Obama’s fault

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    Hey, you know who’s really to blame for today’s shooting in a Colorado movie theater? That’s right:

    Gateway Pundit headline: “Breaking: Colorado Shooter Had Difficult Time Finding Job in Obama Economy” [by Jim Hoft @ 07/20/12 4:49 PM]

    ’Course! Obama’s the President → inherited a shitty economy → pissy Republicans continually throw sticks in his wheels → recovery slows down → economy remains bad → unemployment remains high → many people can’t find a job → some dude chooses to kill time in between jobs by killing a bunch of innocent people instead. Makes sense, see?

    Really, if you’re planning a race to the very bottom, just trawl around wingnut sites and throw your catch into a barrel. They’ll be clawing their way through the bottom before lunchtime.

    (via Joe. My. God.)

    Fail Tweets: Stupidest reactions to Colorado shooting

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    With a fresh tragedy on the news, you had to know it would only take so long before some idiot said something vile and baseless. We’ve already had several wingnuts make the Colorado theater shooting about the U.S.’s supposed lack of Jesus, but supposed conservative comedian Patrick Schroeder on Twitter is the (un)lucky asshole who makes today’s Fail Quote installment:

    Ha-ha-ha! It’s funny ’cause it’s … it’s … Wait, it’s actually not funny at all. It’s fucking demented.

    And upon being called out:

    “No, no, dig up, stupid!”

    Not content with limiting himself to being a slimy bigoted asshole, he’s also offensively stupid:

    Because gun violence between civilians and armed conflicts between military troops = totally the same thing. Duh.

    But hey, half-bit comics aren’t the only ones making asses of themselves:

    I think my brain just squeezed out through my ear and is hiding under the couch.

    UPDATE: 07/20/12 3:00 PM ET —

    Just as I post this, Celeb Boutique retracts their tweet and apologizes for “misunderstanding” the “#Aurora” trending topic. Benefit of the doubt?

    (via @VeritasKnight)

    Poll: Record heat wave pushes global warming acceptance

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    Global warming

    People are such a fickle breed, with everyone but the True BelieversTM changing their minds about virtually anything the moment they catch wind of conflicting evidence. For example, though an approximate and tepid 65% of poll respondents said they believed in anthropogenic global warming earlier this year (correlated here), the recent record-shattering heat wave that turned large swaths of the United States mainland into a drought-stricken wildfire arena has since pushed that number up to 70%:

    In a poll taken July 12-16, 70 percent of respondents said they think the climate is changing, compared with 65 percent in a similar poll in March. Those saying it’s not taking place fell to 15 percent from 22 percent, according to data set to be released this week by the UT Energy Poll.

    Following a winter of record snowfall in 2010, the public’s acceptance of climate change fell to a low of 52 percent, according to the National Survey of American Public Opinion on Climate Change, which was published by the Brookings Institution in Washington. After this year’s mild winter, support jumped to 65 percent, the same as that found by the UT Energy Poll in March.

    Of course, those midwinter poll results would’ve been quite different if people actually understood that extreme cold weather is just as much a sign of man-caused climate change as extreme hot weather is in summer. There really needs to be more of an effort to dispel the notion that global warming is all about warmer weather, given how the point is that gradually rising average global temperatures will lead to extreme swings in weather in both directions on the thermometer. Then again, scientists are having a hard enough time even convincing people that global warming is a reality at all, so maybe this is more of a mixed blessing.

    And as always, it’s all about politics:

    The latest University of Texas poll also found a sharp divide between political parties, with 87 percent of Democrats saying climate change is taking place compared with 53 percent of Republicans. In March 45 percent of Republican respondents said climate change is happening.

    Among independent voters, those saying temperatures are rising jumped to 72 percent in July from 60 percent in March.

    Partisan affiliation is the best predictor of someone’s belief in climate change, [U-MN Prof. Barry] Rabe said.

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Daily Blend: Thursday, July 19, 2012

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    James O’Keefe
    James O’Keefe
  • Savannah, Georgia police disable man’s device to help control his Tourette’s, then beat him with “amusement” for having Tourette’s.
    (via @radleybalko)

  • Professional lying twerp James O’Keefe [pictured] is still making Breitbart’s ghost proud. Even I don’t understand why anyone, even conservatives, still takes this little bugger and his cronies seriously.

  • And finally, here’s lookin’ at you (cutely):
    (via @s_tostevin4567)

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

    Edit (07/19/12 10:54 PM ET) – Added a missing link, again. (via Gene Burmington)

    Canadian Islamic cleric plays the blame-the-rape-victim game

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    Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana
    Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana

    Someone didn’t get the memo that it’s growing increasingly uncool to blame the victim for the actions of the aggressors. Here’s a letter sent to the Toronto Sun from an Islamic street preacher who really doesn’t like them womyn having the right to dress as they want – because it puts them in danger, you see:

    I wanted to mention that the reason why these sex attacks are continuously happening is because the Canadian laws, which gives too much freedom to women, are the cause of these sex attacks. It has been revealed that every 5 seconds a woman is being sexually assaulted in North America. Women in North America are falling victims of the Democratic Freedom that you they passionly believe in. The reason why a woman gets raped is because of the way she dress. Women dress so provocatively so much that they receive too much attention for themselves and that attention at times leads to death.

    I gotta hand it to him – this guy plays the blame game well. It’s all the women’s fault, not those poor, unwilling rapists who are just so powerless to resist the temptation of that devilish skirt-and-blouse combo. Nothing to do with the aggressors’ lack of decency or empathy, of course, or their zeal for dominating helpless victims, or the fact that women are attacked just as often regardless of whether they’re clad in skirts or business suits, or even the insidious aspects in our society that continue to excuse and even promote these acts of sexual aggression – it’s all about those sluts and how many square inches of bare skin they show.

    Our dear concerned citizen proposes this modest solution:

    If the law enforcements and the Canadian politicians were very serious about solving this problem, they would introduce laws that would make it illegal for women to dress provocatively in the streets. It is true that many people would object to this if that were to happen. and this will definitely create protests and opposition. However by arresting sexual predators is not going to solve the problem because as long women continue to dress like this there will always be perverts and rapist who will continue to remain on the loose.

    Because what better way to promote peace and justice than by removing people’s protections and freedoms, amirite?

    I am suggesting that Toronto becomes the first City in North America to introduce laws that would make it illegal for women to dress provocatively. If we do this the other cities would follow.

    Or the entire civilized world will laugh at you. Could go either way, really.

    And of course, what we really need is a good role model:

    You should take your example from the way Muslim women dress. Why does Muslim women who wear long dress and covers her head aren’t targeted for sex attacks? Why is it that Rapists and sexual predators only target women that dress so provocatively? Because Muslim women have nothing to show in regards to her body.

    Because Muslim women are never raped, of course. I’m telling ya, those burqas and cloaks really do wonders in preventing all those wayward penises from getting too close to their targets. Then again, there’s the fact that they make women look like roving Grim Reapers, and no-one wants to risk dicking anything with a scythe, right? Total protection guaranteed.

    You know, I do think this country is entirely too good for some people.

    (via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)

    Gotcha: Liberal reporter caught socializing with husband!

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    Connie Schultz
    Connie Schultz

    An (unfortunately) unnamed crack Right-wing journalist unveils a disturbing secret: Liberals have spouses, too!

    Email from conservative blogger, dated July 9, 2012:

    Dear Ms. Shultz,

    We are doing an expose on journalists in the elite media who socialize with elected officials they are assigned to cover. We have found numerous photos of you with Sen. Sherrod Brown. In one of them, you appear to be hugging him.

    Care to comment?


    Response, dated July 10, 2012:

    Dear Mr. [Name Deleted]:

    I am surprised you did not find a photo of me kissing U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown so hard he passes out from lack of oxygen. He's really cute.

    He's also my husband.

    You know that, right?

    Connie Schultz.

    July 17: Waiting, I'm waiting....

    Might be waiting for a while, there. Or at least for the time it takes until they figure out teh Googles.

    (via Pharyngula)

    Fail Quote: Limbaugh thinks ‘Batman’ villain’s name is liberal attack on Romney

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    Rush Limbaugh
    Rush Limbaugh

    I’m again breaking my sorta-rule of not reporting on Rush Limbaugh’s ceaseless bilious flow out of amusement at his latest overly moronic conspiracy theory:

    Have you heard, this new movie, the Batman movie -- what is it, the Dark Knight Lights Up or something? Whatever the name of it is. That's right, Dark Knight Rises, Lights Up, same thing. Do you know the name of the villain in this movie? Bane. The villain in the Dark Knight Rises is named Bane. B-A-N-E. What is the name of the venture capital firm that Romney ran, and around which there's now this make-believe controversy? Bain. The movie has been in the works for a long time, the release date's been known, summer 2012 for a long time. Do you think that it is accidental, that the name of the really vicious, fire-breathing, four-eyed, whatever-it-is villain in this movie is named Bane?

    … “Lights Up”? Really?

    Of course, I’m sure Limbaugh also has a perfectly reasonable explanation for how Bane could be an attack directed at Romney’s vulturistic firm despite the fact that the character first appeared in the Batman universe in 1993, almost two decades before anyone even heard the name Bain Capital. Then again, maybe Limbaugh realized how stretched his line of unreasoning was, given that he then frantically tried to backpedal the very next day.

    You know, that may well be the very first time El Rushbo’s ever let those “facts” things decide what he should or shouldn’t say on the air. And even then, his only attempt at righting his remarkable wrong is to try and deny that it ever happened in the first place. Don’t ever change, Rush. (You might just eventually lose your job that way.)

    Cartoon: “Rush at the Movies”

    Transcript: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

    PANEL 1: (Batman) “Not only does ”Bane” represent “Bain”, but the hero is the “Dark Knight.” Dark. Like President Obama?”

    PANEL 2: (Superman) “America’s greatest superhero is an illegal alien? Good luck convincing me that’s not a liberal plot!”

    PANEL 3: (The Hulk) “So he gets angry, dumb and destructive. It’s an obvious Hollywood liberal diss of the Tea Party.”

    PANEL 4: (Spiderman) “Mary Jane loves Peter Parker, but is engaged to John Jameson and kisses Harry Osborn? What a slut!”

    Edit (07/18/12 5:26 PM ET) – Fixed “a decade” to “two decades”.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Daily Blend: Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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    Monsignor Charles Pope (Archdiocese of Washington)
    Msgr Charles Pope

    Some days, you just don’t give a crap about what idiot said what stupid thing. This is one of those days. Oh, lethargy, how I’ve (not) missed you.

  • Vaccines are probably the most studied public health intervention in history. That’s why we know, beyond any doubt, that there is no causal connection between vaccines and autism.
    (via @BadAstronomer)

  • Hemant Mehta responds to Catholic goober [pictured] who isn’t happy about hearing the truth about his faith (and how adherents are leaving it in droves).

  • Finally, while I sympathize with frustrations about outsider changes to classics, I can’t help but love how ever-so-pissed Vox Day is with the addition of a female character in the upcoming Hobbit.

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

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Daily Blend: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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    Dr. Marty Klein
    Dr. Marty Klein
  • UK court: Someone actually has to mention you in order to commit defamation. (Davy Vara, take note.)

  • Therapist Marty Klein [pictured] at The Humanist thoroughly debunks the myth of “sex addiction”.
    (via The Agitator)

  • Boy Scouts of America reaffirm their homophobia.
    (via Joe. My. God.)

  • Finally, Clint Eastwood’s dog wants you to get off his lawn:
    (via @DannyDutch)

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

    Louis CK explains he wasn’t defending Tosh’s rape joke

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    Here’s a bit of good news for those who’ve been paying any attention to the “Daniel Tosh made a terrible rape joke and the Internet kinda blew up over it” affair (henceforth referred to as ToshGate). One of the more galling aspects of the debacle was how several prominent comedians immediately rushed to the aid of their stinging comrade with excuses that varied from merely egregious to the outright sociopathic. There is one bit of relief, though, as one of the first and most prominent apparent defenders of Tosh’s sick attempt at humor, Louis CK, went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night and explained that he was not, in fact, defending Tosh’s remark, nor was he even aware of it at the time:

    Non-US readers: Click here to learn how to enable Comedy Central videos
    Transcript: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

    (Trimmed for brevity.)

    JON STEWART: You got in hot water over the …

    LOUIS CK: Well, I had this weird thing that happened this week. I was on vacation, I was in Vermont, being in the green of America.

    STEWART: Were you teaching them how to get sap out of trees in an easier way?

    LOUIS CK: That’s right. And so, I was in Vermont and I was watching TV in a hotel room, and Daniel Tosh’s show comes on, Tosh.0, and it’s making me laugh; it’s a funny show. So – I wasn’t reading the Internet at the time, that’s how I go on vacation, I really hate the Internet. So, I just stopped reading. But I was watching TV and Tosh was making me laugh, so I wrote a tweet saying, “your show makes me laugh,” and then I put it down, and then like two days later, I come home and I read these, like, bloggers and, like, Hollywood Reporter, “Louis CK Defends Daniel Tosh Amid Rape Joke Controversy”. I had no idea!

    He got into some trouble for making some jokes about rape, and I didn’t know about it, and – so I’m a “defender of rape”. That’s what everybody says, now. And then, I read all this stuff, like “shame on you, Louis CK” and “I’ll never watch your show” – “You’re a rape apologist”! I’ve been called a “rape apologist” ’cause I said ‘hi’ to a guy! ’Cause I said, “Hey, nice show,” to a guy who everybody was mad at. So …

    STEWART: You know the lesson, here: Never go to Vermont.

    LOUIS CK: No, it’s dangerous. […] But here’s the thing. This is like a fight between comedians and bloggers, which is – we’re all just hyperbole and garbage that comes out of those two places.

    STEWART: Very similar groups.

    LOUIS CK: Yes. Just uneducated, unfettered, just “blargh” –

    STEWART: Say whatever pops into your head, like “blah!”

    LOUIS CK: Yeah. It’s also a fight between comedians and feminists, which are natural enemies […] Stereotypically speaking, feminists can’t take a joke and – stereotypically speaking – and […] on the other side, comedians can’t take criticism. Comedians are big pussies. And they can’t – So, to one side, you say, “If you don’t like the jokes, stay out of the comedy clubs,” the other side says, “If you don’t like criticism, stop Googling yourself every ten seconds.” Just – nobody’s making you read it! It’s positive! To me, all dialogue is positive.


    LOUIS CK: I think you should listen when you read – If somebody has an opposite feeling from me, I wanna hear it so I can add to mine. I don’t wanna obliterate theirs with mine; that’s how I feel. Now, a lot of people don’t feel that way. For me, any joke about anything bad is great. That’s how I feel. Any joke about rape, the Holocaust, the Mets, aargh! – any joke about something bad is a positive for me. […] But now that I’ve read some blogs during this whole thing that have made me enlightened about things I didn’t know. This woman said how rape is something that polices women’s lives, that they have a narrow corridor. They can’t go out late, they can’t go to certain neighborhoods, they can’t dress a certain way, ’cause they might get – That’s part of me now that it wasn’t before, and I can still enjoy a rape joke.


    LOUIS CK: But here’s the last thing I wanna say about it. This is also about men and women. ’Cause a lot of people are trading blogs and things about this with each other. They’re fighting about Daniel Tosh and rape jokes. […] That’s what I’ve been reading in blogs. But they’re both making a classic gender mistake. Because the women are saying, “Here’s how I feel about this,” but they’re also saying, “My feelings should be everyone’s primary concern.” Now, the men are making this mistake; they’re saying, “Your feelings don’t matter, your feelings are wrong, and your feelings are stupid.” And if you’ve ever lived with a woman, you can’t step in [shit] worse than that, than to tell a woman that her feelings don’t matter.

    So, to the men, I say, “Listen, listen to what the women are saying about this;” to the women, I say, “Now that we heard you, you know, shut the [fuck] up for a minute.” And let’s all get back together and kill the Jews.

    A classic CK-ian response if there ever was one (or so I’ve read). I do think he somewhat bungled his defense in making it sound like both sides were being equally unreasonable (has he seen those vile defenses from his fellow comedians and other, actual apologists?), but still, I can’t help but feel relieved to learn that one of the very few comedians who I actually find amusing wasn’t, in fact, being a rape-apologizing douche. It would’ve been nice if he had given his actual opinion on Tosh’s rapey comment (he instead chose to talk about the reaction it garnered), but then, the Rolling Stones did say that you can’t always get what you want, so let’s just move on.

    This wet koala wants to eat your soul

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    So, you like koalas, do you? I can fix that.

    Snarling, wet koala

    You’re welcome.

    (via The Agitator)


    Anti-doggycide in Baltimore, Maryland

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    The obvious and unfortunate effect of the maxim that bad news will always be louder than happy news is that we tend to seriously underestimate just how much good there is in the world, even when we can’t go five minutes without hearing about the latest robbery, defrauding … or household pet being slaughtered by police under suspicious circumstances. Speaking of which, here’s a much-needed uplifting tale to illustrate that there are good and competent cops out there, such as Ofc. Dan Waskiewicz of Baltimore, who sent this email to the pitbull advocacy blog, Modified k9, describing his recent encounter with an allegedly “vicious” dog:

    Ofc. Dan Waskiewicz being licked by rescued pitbull in his cruiser


    I'm a Police Officer in Baltimore City. I am originally from Wilkes-Barre, and I am a fan of your organization and Pit Bulls. Today I received a call while on duty about a vicious dog chasing kids. When I came on the scene, I noticed people yelling out their windows at the dog. I followed the dog into an ally to see how it was acting. Going on my own approach, being a dog lover, I got out of my car and called the "vicious dog" over to me. The dog came over with it's tail between it's legs and panting. I grabbed my water bottle and the dog sat down next to me and began licking my pants. I started giving the dog water. I brought the dog over and waited for the pound to show up. My partner was not a fan of dogs and was startled by my approach. I suggested to him that this dog cannot be put down, and should be taken to a shelter. We took it upon ourselves to take the dog to the shelter, and transported it in the back seat in the back of our patrol car. Then I decided that I wanted to keep the dog, and spoke to the shelter about the steps to take to adopt it. The dog was originally kept outside and was filthy, and now it just might have a new home. I know you like positive pictures so I have attached a few. Have a great day and keep up the good work!

    Officer Dan Waskiewicz
    Baltimore City Police

    Now this is how it’s done. No rash judgment, no shooting on-sight based on unreliable random witnesses, and best of all, no knee-jerk prejudice against an animal for belonging to a particular breed. Just a calm and rational approach with a perfectly happy outcome. Not to tell other cops how to do their jobs – wait, that’s actually exactly what I’m doing – but they really need to start looking at their more level-headed peers for guidance. There might just be a few less cadavers in the end.

    Keep up the good work yourself, Officer Waskiewicz. Meanwhile, be sure to head over to the original post to see all those heart-tingling pics of the (very happy) pooch and his rescuer.

    (via @radleybalko)

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Daily Blend: Monday, July 16, 2012

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    David Barton
    David Barton
  • An antidote to my recent post: 10 comedians who don’t think rape jokes are totally awesome.
    (via @GertyZ)

  • Fox News, brazen mythomaniacs.

  • Same for David Barton. [pictured]

  • Finally, it is with some amusement that I see Vox Day is starting to realize his beloved WorldNetDaily may not be a suitable venue for intelligent discourse.

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

    Pathetic bigoted owner of horrible little blog doesn’t heart me

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    So, a couple days ago in my next-to-last post, I wrote about a (now-confirmed faked – more below) screenshot of a sexist comment supposedly written by Penn Jillette, a picture that I casually noted was traced back to some random pothole of sexist idiocy that featured it in a post without attribution or further comment. Well, it seems that said pothole’s owner, Geoffrey Falk, is quite peeved at me for dubbing his bigoted cesspit a “horrible little blog” (which he misread as “terrible”) and really wants everyone to know that he’s totally more popular and awesome than little ol’ moi:

    If you missed it yesterday, this “terrible little blog” got pointed to by a “liberal skeptic” out in Baboolie-land … one who foolishly thinks that Ophelia Benson is a “brave woman,” no less.

    The same liberal skeptic is “stuck in a rut in Québec [diacritical mark = native French-speaker],” while the author of this “terrible little blog” has written a book which is on Sam Harris’s current reading list.

    The same liberal skeptic spends his time “composing, writing, drawing,” but has he created anything even one-tenth as good as my CD, or my EscalatorGate play?

    The same liberal skeptic harbors “a layman’s passion for science and technology,” while I work full-time in I.T. as a software developer, averaging around $45/hr.—the fair-market value for my wide range of skills, from hard-core coding to client-facing requirements gathering and technical document creation for sign-off.

    The same liberal skeptic “get[s] angry at social injustice,” and detests the libertarianism of Penn Jillette.

    Okay, I can’t be the only one who laughed out loud reading that. I’ve seen silly attempts at self-aggrandizement before, but this is just a marvel of its own. When most people realize they have nothing more than ad populum to stand on, they at least have the sense (minimal as it is) to try and make their point about something. All this guy does is trumpet how he’s got a book that some other dude plans to read and how he’s conjured up a CD and found some website willing to sell it. Oh, and he’s got a job in I.T., which I’m sure makes total sense as a rebuttal to what I said – or my little bio – in that Bizarro World of his. He doesn’t even try to critique any of my works (not that they’re stellar, mind you), much less my arguments, which would at least give some hint of credence to all this hilarious posturing.

    But the best is the rest: