Sunday, September 30, 2012

California officially bans “gay-to-straight therapy”

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“Pray the Gay Away”

It’s a slightly better day for gay youths in California today, as Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has just signed into law a bill introduced earlier this year to ban thoroughly discredited “ex-gay” therapy on minors:

The bill, SB1172 by Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance (Los Angeles County), bars mental health practitioners from performing so-called reparative therapy, which professional psychological organizations have said may cause harm. Gay rights groups have labeled them dangerous and abusive.

"This bill bans non-scientific 'therapies' that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery," Brown said in a statement to The Chronicle.


Under the new law, which will take effect Jan. 1, no mental health provider will be able to provide therapy that seeks "to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex."

Mental health professionals who violate the law, which applies to therapy for patients younger than 18, will be subject to discipline by whatever group licenses them.

Specifically, the bill bans this “treatment” from being inflicted on anyone under 18, while adults who choose it will be required to sign an informed consent form that includes a stern disclaimer explaining how every reputable mental health organization under the sun sees “gay deconversion therapy” as a harmful and repeatedly debunked exercise in futility.

This is exactly the right call to make. I don’t think even this quacktastic garbage ought to be banned outright, nor any other. People should be free to believe in whatever brand of pseudoscience they like and to act accordingly (so long as doing so doesn’t affect anyone else without their consent). What matters is education so people can make properly informed decisions, and restrictions from imposing these fake treatments to non-illnesses on those who are more vulnerable, such as children and teenagers who often aren’t able to disobey their regressive parents’ demands.

Consider the inevitably ensuing cry of outrage from homophobes everywhere as a fresh sign of victory.

(via Joe. My. God.)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

This Week in Doggycide

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Dog chalk outline

Welcome to the very first installment of my brand-new format for doggycide posts. Having grown tired of trying to devote an entire post to every single incident that crosses my news ticker, I’ve decided to compile them all into weekly digests for your reading (dis)pleasure, sparing only the exceptionally infuriating or bizarre cases for stand-alone entries. And so, here are the reports I’ve collected this past week:

  • Riverside, CA (August 23): Family sues for $75K after an officer shoots and kills Brad Pitt the pitbull in his own backyard. Cops can’t even decide whether the cop shot the dog “to gain access” to said yard, or because the dog allegedly attacked.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Rochester, New York (September 4): Two pitbulls are shot and killed (and a third injured) during a drug raid that finds numerous dogs, possibly used for dog-fighting or to guard illegal activity. Article also reveals that 80 dogs have been shot (and a third of them killed) by Rochester Police since 2009 – all of which were “justified”, of course.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Oxnard, California (September 6): Officer shoots and kills unidentified dog after it allegedly runs out of an open gate in his direction. The dying animal reportedly bit a witness who tried to grab it.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Lubbock, TX (September 08): Dashcam video reveals cop “breaking up” dogs who appear to be play-fighting in a supermarket parking lot by casually shooting the “pitbull” in the head and then kicking it while it dies in agony. Another officer shows up and kicks the other dog twice for no reason whatsoever.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Starke County, Indiana (September 15): Deputy goes to serve civil court papers, ends up shooting and killing Boz the English Pitbull for being “vicious” – despite having already jumped to safety on the hood of his car. Owner claims the dog was never aggressive.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Ocoee, Florida (September 18): Cop shoots and kills Laila the boxer for allegedly biting him, though family and witnesses – who were only feet away during the shooting – claim the dog only barked and pawed at him. Investigation ongoing.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Friday, September 28, 2012

    Infographic: Debunking the “fundamentalist secular humanist”

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    Keep this handy for the next time you’re accused of being a “fundamentalist” for arguing that religion should stay out of government:

    Infographic: Debunking the claim that secular humanists are “fundamentalists” who try to force their views on everyone else
    Transcript: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []


    ONE EXTREME: Endorse religion on money, in the pledge, etc. (“One nation, under God”) / Only straight people can get married.

    THE OTHER EXTREME: Don’t use the government to promote any religious views. / Everyone can get married.

    This gives them certain advantages. It allows them to say things like:

    “You’re just as fundamentalist as I am.”

    “You’re trying to force your views on everyone else, just like me.”

    However, our views aren’t the other extreme. They’re the neutral stance:

    ONE EXTREME: Endorse religion on money, in the pledge, etc. (“One nation, under God”) / Only straight people can get married.

    NEUTRAL: Don’t use the government to promote any religious views. / Everyone can get married.

    THE OTHER EXTREME: Endorse atheism on money, in the pledge, etc. (“One nation, without God”) / Only gay people can get married.


    Once again, I am amazed at how people can actually accuse us of being the nosy fundamentalists for telling religionists to stay out of other people’s business.

    (via Rob F)

    Another anti-feminist atheist has no idea what “equality” means

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    Gender equality

    I am continually perplexed by the almost pathological inability of anti-feminists and “Men’s Rights Activists” to grok some of the simplest concepts known to humanity. Here’s one of the most common anti-egalitarian fallacies out there, as reiterated by W.F. Price at The Spearhead in a tedious post about the supposed incompatibility between (his caricature of) feminism with (his blinkered brand of) atheism:

    However, there’s another issue here that is being ignored. Atheism is the rejection of religious fictions, but the entire premise of feminism is based on a religious fiction: equality.

    Try asking someone to defend equality in rational terms, and watch them stump themselves. There is simply nothing about the idea that makes sense from a rational perspective. In fact, equal only makes sense in math, because no two things are truly the same. Although both are athletes, is a baseball player equal to a football player? Is a german shepherd equal to a poodle? These questions don’t really make any sense, because the idea of equality is a human creation to describe some quality that can’t actually be defined.

    I know I’ve repeatedly asked this, but what is it with these people and all their ridiculous strawmen? Do they subconsciously recognize their dearth of any credible arguments and resort to ridiculous depictions of their opponents in a desperate attempt to make them look stupid? Or are they just pure-bred liars through and through? It’s honestly difficult to tell, though I’m not sure the difference really matters; either way, they’re still blithering idiots who can’t recognize reality when it smacks them on the nose.

    I mean, really. ‘Equality’ is not the same as ‘identicality’. I don’t even know how many times I’ve said this, now. It’s in the dictionary and everything. Wanting for men and women to be treated equally doesn’t mean expecting society to pretend that both genders are physically and psychologically indistinguishable. Contra the risible delusions of anti-feminists, egalitarians know that men and women are different. The point is that we also know that this doesn’t constitute any good reason for treating one gender any better or worse under the law than the other. I’ve still yet to receive a halfway decent explanation for why women’s physiological or behavioral makeup somehow excuses the professional, economic, legal and societal disadvantages that hundreds of millions of them continue to face around the world.

    The day that an MRA comes up with an argument for why men and women shouldn’t receive equal treatment in the eyes of the law and society that isn’t completely ridiculous to anyone with a rational mind is the day there will no longer be a “Men’s Rights” movement, at least not as the thinly veiled refuge of misogynist creeps that it is today.

    (via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)

    Arab leaders believe in free speech, except when they don’t

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    President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt
    Pres. Mohamed Morsi of Egypt

    President Obama addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday and delivered an unequivocal (if only slightly hypocritical) defense of free speech in the wake of the notorious anti-Muslim video that (among other factors) sparked continued violence throughout the Islamic world. His argument was simple and clear: However heinous and gratuitous certain forms of expression may be, it’s imperative that they be protected under the law in order to preserve true liberty for everyone – or, to paraphrase, that hurt feelings are no good reason for stripping someone else’s freedom, even if they’re a total jackass.

    Of course, not everyone shares this belief that people shouldn’t have to fear imprisonment for saying things that others don’t like. Enter the newly elected leaders of Egypt and Yemen, both borne from the Arab Spring protests, who are part of the worrying international chorus that seeks to ban certain kinds of speech under the pretense of shielding people’s precious religious sensibilities:

    [Egyptian President Mohamed] Morsi flatly rejected Obama’s broad defense of free speech at the U.N. a day earlier, saying that “Egypt respects freedom of expression, freedom of expression that is not used to incite hatred against anyone."

    “We expect from others, as they expect from us, that they respect our cultural specifics and religious references, and not to seek to impose concepts or cultures that are unacceptable to us," said Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    On Tuesday, Obama laid out a lengthy defense of the right of free speech as a universal value. But Morsi and other leaders signaled that such a right could only go so far.

    So, in other words, Morsi doesn’t “respect freedom of expression”, at least not when it makes some people clutch at their pearls. And what’s with that nonsense about “impos[ing] concepts or cultures” on anyone? President Obama’s speech was hardly an attempt to force other nations to adopt the United States’s approach to free speech protections, but rather a declaration of a universal standard that others ought to try to emulate if they actually do give a damn about freedom. Evidently, it’s only too obvious that most of them don’t, especially those who try to spin their calls for censorship into an ode to free expression.

    Thursday, September 27, 2012

    Daily Blend: Thursday, September 27, 2012

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    Bryan Fischer (Director of Issues Analysis, American Family Association)
    Bryan Fischer
  • Keith Kloor at Slate explains why those fear-mongering about GMO food aren’t any more credible than climate change denialists.
    (via The Agitator)

  • Former inmates abruptly freed after spending up to six years in federal prison even though they were "legally innocent" are coming home with less help than the government typically provides the guilty after they are released.
    (via The Agitator)

  • Bryan Fischer [pictured] apparently thinks that repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” somehow makes it perfectly legal for servicemembers to rape children.

  • I already posted a Headline of the Day, so here you go: “Buddhist "Iron Man" Found by Nazis Is from Space

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

    Ray Comfort is horrified by moral deterioration as evidenced by “effeminate” and “weird” kids who listen to crappy music

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    Ray Comfort
    Ray Comfort

    God-botter extraordinaire Ray Comfort recently visited a mall and was so unimpressed by the boringly grotesque appearance of kids these days that he took to his blog to describe how they’re a sign of the coming moral apocalypse (or something):

    In front of me was a mother and son. She was kindly buying a music CD for her boy. He was about 15 years old—the age where peer pressure, music, and fashion are strongly influential in his search for identity. It was evident that he was finding it, with his effeminate-look, weird hairstyle and his earrings. He was typical of millions.

    Oh noes, effeminate-looking hair and weird earrings? Clearly, this is a kid who’s lost his way in life.

    As we walked through the mall, I saw another youth. This one was wearing a T-shirt with a picture of two pretty girls kissing each other on the lips. Nothing unusual there.

    Yet somehow notable enough for you to feel the need to point out how wrong it is. For some reason. (Oh, wait – it’s because of that part in the Bible where God said that “thou shalt not lay thy lips upon the lips of another girl if thou also beith a girl”, right?)

    When I exited the mall I heard the familiar sound of booming rap music, thoroughly laced with what we now comfortably call the “F-bomb.” It was an uneventful day at the mall.

    Fear the …! Wait, actually, I hate that crap, too. Not because it’s overly profane or another sign of the impending doom of an increasingly godless humanity, but because it’s just a bad excuse for music.

    Of course, the solution to all this is obvious: Ray Comfort should stay away from malls from now on.

    Matt Barber lies, gets caught, defends himself with stupid

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    Conservative wingnuts are growing desperate in their efforts to pretend that the Romney campaign totally isn’t pulling a Titanic on them, and some have turned to their usual lying tricks. Enter this since-deleted tweet from inept attorney-turned-inept law professor Matt Barber:

    Tweet by Matt Barber (@jmattbarber): “Media report support for Romney dwindling. Media lie” (with photo of massive campaign rally)

    There’s just one small problem: That record-breaking 75-thousand-strong crowd actually turned up at an Obama rally in Portland, Oregon back in 2008.


    But hardly content with humiliating himself only once today, Barber then issued a “correction” of sorts and bravely tried to spin his flub into a shot at Obama:

    Bryan Fischer is clueless about evolution. Movie at 11

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    Here’s how the American Family Association’s Crank-in-Chief Bryan Fischer responds to new findings that a large number of intellectual disabilities may be due to random genetic mutations rather than inheritance:

    The minimally educated observer may note both the crank’s characteristic knack for using a tangentially related topic as a sloppy attack on a subject they don’t like, and also, said crank’s remarkably brazen display of scientific illiteracy.

    The reality (something Fischer would never be caught dead living in) is that mutations can be good or bad in terms of how they affect one’s chances for long-term survival and reproduction. Mutations that increase an individual’s physical or psychological abilities are thus more likely to be passed on to future generations, whilst mutations that impair an individual physically or psychologically are less so. Evolution is unable to give a damn about which of these genomic changes end up helping or harming a given population; it’s a blind, directionless, stochastic process that’s driven by the laws of nature.

    But, of course, cognitive shrimps like Fischer are unable to grasp such nuanced and complicamated principles, regardless of how fundamental to science and even life itself they may be.

    (Onion) Headline of the Day: More sad results of Islamist unrest

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    Oh, noes!

    (via The Agitator)

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    Daily Blend: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

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    Mike Rowe
    Mike Rowe
  • Mother Jones report decimates the Right-wing trope that armed civilians could help prevent mass shootings.
    (via Media Matters for America)

  • Mecklenburg County, Virginia Republicans want you to know they’re still a bunch of bigoted jackholes.

  • I have mixed feelings about seeing my beloved Mike Rowe [pictured] (of Dirty Jobs) endorse Mitt Romney. He seems to do it in the same tepid manner as Clint Eastwood: “All I really care about is the general people, and I’m a bit confused about Obama’s role in all this, so I’ll go with the other guy, whoever it is.” As long as he and Eastwood don’t turn regressive wingnut, I’ll still love ’em and enjoy their shows/movies.

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

    Obama gives solid defense of free speech at U.N.

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    U.S. President Barack Obama (addressing the U.N.)
    Pres. Barack Obama

    During yesterday’s U.N General Assembly, which focused mostly on the violent manifestations around the Middle East, President Obama undercut the “appeasement” rhetoric of wingnuts everywhere by presenting a clear and unapologetic defense of people’s right to free speech in light of the blame being attributed to the horrendous Innocence of Muslims video:

    I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. Moreover, as President of our country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so. Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views – even views that we disagree with.

    We do so not because we support hateful speech, but because our Founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views, and practice their own faith, may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can become a tool to silence critics, or oppress minorities. We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech – the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.

    I know that not all countries in this body share this understanding of the protection of free speech. Yet in 2012, at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete. The question, then, is how we respond. And on this we must agree: there is no speech that justifies mindless violence.

    There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy. There is no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan.

    It’ll be interesting – by which I mean predictable and tiring – to see far-Right cranks continue to accuse Obama of appealing to the sentiments of extremists, given his record of continually not doing that. Of course, one should note that the President’s stirring defense might be the slightest bit undermined by his administration’s transparent attempt to get YouTube to yank the aforementioned inflammatory video, so it’s anyone’s guess just how committed to free expression the man truly is.

    Nonetheless, the fact remains that for all of the Obama administration’s many grave faults, the U.S. Government as a whole (particularly the judicial branch) has generally been excellent in protecting people’s right to speak their minds openly and freely. Kudos to that.

    (via Friendly Atheist & John Hoover)

    Headline of the Day: Oh, Florida

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    From the same folk who were last heard saying “what could possibly go wrong?”:

    (via @radleybalko)

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Daily Blend: Tuesday, September 25, 2012

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    Whitney Kropp
    Whitney Kropp
  • Antivaccinationists can revel in their latest victory as a record-shattering outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) sweeps through the United States. 14 are already dead, most “among infants younger than 3 months of age”.
    (via Rob F)

  • Today’s crack Daily Caller exposé: Retired military official posts his opinions about government corruption on the Internet! Also, he likes Keith Olbermann, so he’s obviously a hostile operative.

  • Carrie with a happy ending” [pictured]: Michigan high school full of losers trumped by small farm town full of awesome.

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

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    Daily Blend: Monday, September 24, 2012

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    Richard Dawkins
    Richard Dawkins

    Fun: Being enthralled by a great book. Not fun: Returning to mundane reality afterwards. *le melodramatic sigh*

  • It’s come to the point where U.S. Islamic leaders are trying to discourage impressionable loners from terrorism whilst the FBI pushes them to commit it.
    (via @notjessewalker; RT: @radleybalko)

  • Meanwhile, it’s getting difficult to take Richard Dawkins’s [pictured] complaints against accusations of Islamophobia seriously when he uses unreliable statistics about beliefs and attitudes in Pakistan to imply that “most Muslims” around the world aren’t “moderate”. It’s like he’s never heard of selection bias before.

  • And finally, this parting thought from Phil Plait: “I’m not sure I want to trust plans for NASA from the same guy who wonders why airplane windows don’t open.

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

    Why you should use Blogger: A neat infographic

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    Amanda Kennedy at Blogger Buster has been an invaluable resource for tutorials and reference guides regarding customizing Blogger blogs, with the vast majority of my knowledge originating from her many tutorials. She’s now come out with a neat (if somewhat cluttered) infographic detailing just why it continues to be one of the most popular blogging services out there, and by far my favorite:

    Infographic (excerpt): 76.8 million Blogger blogs; 100% uptime (over last year); completely free service; fully customizable HTML/CSS; intuitive and simple; etc.
    Click to view the rest

    Not to go all shill and stuff, but seriously, anyone looking into starting a blog should definitely check it out. Speaking as someone who’s tried out a few other free blogging platforms (including, the free variant of the self-hosted, nothing else comes even close to the level of control that Blogger grants its users right from the start, especially with the utterly countless third-party add-ons available like widgets, javascript functionality, Disqus/IntenseDebate, etc.

    (It’s also nice knowing your blog is hosted on a massive server farm that would require nothing short of a well-placed meteor to disable, wannabe hackers be damned.)

    Police inexplicably subdue aggressive dog without shooting it

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    Pitbull eating raw meat
    Meat: It’s the new bullets

    Scenario: A “mean-looking pitbull” has taken to a Chattanooga, Tennessee family’s front porch and refuses to leave, holding them captive inside. Police are called in. What happens next may shock you:

    The family said they had repeatedly called the McKamey Animal Center for help. A police officer had the police dispatcher try to get through to the animal center.

    Meanwhile, the family was able to hand some meat to the officer and he used it to lure the pitbull to his patrol car. When the dog jumped in the back, he quickly slammed the door.

    McKamey officers then arrived and collared the fierce dog. Neighbors said they do not know where the dog came from.

    That’s right: Officers got rid of a legitimately aggressive animal – a pitbull, to boot – without unholstering a single firearm or spilling even one drop of blood, canine or otherwise.

    Maybe they ought to give a seminar for other police departments. I’d vie for mandatory attendance.

    (via The Agitator)

    Headline of the day: Wingnuts disproven yet again

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    If this isn’t enough to destroy marriage, how are gays supposed to do it simply by stepping up to the altar?

    In a way, the actual story is even weirder.

    (via The Agitator)

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

    Catholic goobers rail against gay marriage in France

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    Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger)
    Pope Benedict XVI

    France has a same-sex marriage law in the works, planned to be introduced to Parliament next year. And Pope Ratzinger is not happy about it:

    The Pope thus raised three points: Firstly saying that marriage between man and woman is a ‘fact’ of nature and ‘threatened’ by other forms of marriage which are ‘proven’ to be ‘defective’.

    Secondly, he warned of that the consequences of legalising gay marriage would harm society, perhaps a critical reference to the right to adoption by same-sex couples.

    Thirdly, by saying that ‘defending the family and life is [prophetic]’ and not ‘regressive’, he is in fact calling upon the French Catholic lobby not to shy away and take a more active stance against the government’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage.

    To which I’d like to raise three counter-points:

    Firstly, how, exactly, does allowing two men or women to marry “threaten” anyone else’s heterosexual unions? Will comets come down and smite straight couples everywhere? And especially, where is this “proof” that gay marriage is “defective”? Is he referring to all those loving couples with stable marriage and divorce rates and who may actually make for better parents on average than straight people do?

    Secondly, how, exactly, does allowing two men or women to marry “harm society”? It would be interesting to see which examples he might point to, considering that every nation that currently has gay marriage legalized is faring perfectly fine, if not even prospering (I happily point to my own motherland for reference).

    Thirdly, how, exactly, is it not “regressive” to cling to outdated norms and archaic tradition in order to excuse the treatment of millions of perfectly decent, caring and loving people as second-class citizens who don’t deserve the same basic civil right to a marital union and the accompanying social, legal and economic advantages and protections that everyone else is offered from birth?

    Ultimately, though, the better question may be why anyone in this modern age would pay the slightest mind to the empty pontification of the withered representative of a corrupt, morally bankrupt and rapidly collapsing organization that has committed more harm upon humanity in its long, blood-soaked history than all other criminal organizations combined.

    Cardinal Philippe Barbarin
    Card. Philippe Barbarin

    But the Holy See isn’t the only one keen on embarrassing himself on the global stage:

    [Conservative leader of French Christian Democratic Party Christine Boutine] was joined by the Catholic Cardinal of France, Philippe Barbarin who warned that same-sex marriage will lead to ‘a breakdown in society.

    ‘This could have innumerable consequences. Afterward they will want to create couples with three or four members. And after that, perhaps one day the taboo of incest will fall.’

    Seriously? They’re still resorting to that boring old slippery slope? If their desperate adherence to antiquated dogma isn’t enough to reveal their irrelevance, the fact that they lack the imagination to come up with any new moronic arguments after all this time should certainly prove the point.

    (via Joe. My. God.)

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Daily Blend: Thursday, September 20, 2012

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    Ken Ham (President, Answers in Genesis & Creation Museum)
    Ken Ham

    Happy one-year-anniversary, totally and predictably non-apocalyptic repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell!

  • Today in schadenfreude: Biblical Creationists [pictured] are stompin’ mad that modern science says dinosaurs were actually quite feathery.
    (via @rdfrs)

  • Proud Christian man wants everyone to know that he got married “the right way” and that the rest of you are just floozies and losers.

  • And finally, here’s an awesome map of the awesome latest xkcd strip, ‘Click and Drag’.
    (via Rob F)

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

    This month in doggycide

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    I had been planning to keep tabs on the latest police-shoot-dog cases as they came up, but there’s been so bloody many of them that they’ve become impossible to keep up with. So, in an effort to cleanse my slate a little, here’s a rundown of only some of the incidents (that we’ve heard of) that took place around the United States in the last twenty days alone.

  • Shadow (4yo pitbull)

    September 03: Horry County, South Carolina officer chooses to shoot and kill a potentially “dangerous” pitbull after it escapes through a hole in the fence, despite having been warned beforehand and being equipped with non-lethal repellants. Angry owners plan to file a complaint.

  • September 07: Oakland Park, Virginia off-duty K-9 officer shoots and wounds a Great Pyrenees that allegedly “attacked” his police dog. Owner denies any aggression took place, and now faces a court date for having his dog off his leash (even though it was in his fenced yard and only escaped when his 4-year-old accidentally left the gate open.)

  • Smokey (6yo German Shepherd)

    September 16: El Dorado, Illinois officer shoots and kills a German Shepherd he claims “attacked” him. Despite being chained in its backyard. Better: Officer came to the wrong house. The case is now under investigation.

  • September 12: Waianae, Hawaii officer shoots and kills a large bulldog after it reportedly jumped a fence and scared a man and his young grandson. One eyewitness says the dog wasn’t being aggressive. Owner is angry that the cop chose to kill his pet rather than use non-lethal force. Oddly, the local humane society says that “police shooting dogs is extremely rare”. In Hawaii, perhaps.

  • Griz (pitbull)

    September 15: Newton, Iowa police are investigating after shooting dead a family pitbull who slipped his leash and allegedly allege attacked them and another man. The owners deny the dog showed any such supposed aggression.

  • September 17: Hamlet, Indiana officer guns down a pitbull/boxer mix puppy in panicky “self-defense” after it allegedly attacked him. Owners and neighbors angrily disagree.

  • And here are two bonus additions:

  • Penny (1½-year-old English Bulldog)

    August 09: Albion, Iowa deputy shoots a bulldog in her own yard because he “felt threatened”, though the owners (who saw the whole thing) say the dog was only barking at him after he showed up unannounced. Penny was too gravely injured and had to be euthanized.

  • And finally, two supposedly “aggressive” dogs (including a brown Labrador Retriever) were shot & killed when police responded to false home alarms in Shelbyville, Kentucky and Smyrna, Georgia.

  • Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a good book I desperately need to get lost in.

    (all reports via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

    Romneybot flip-flops on own skin color

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    “Terminator” T-101 head
    1040 head (prior to bodily attachment and sans organic covering)

    The Cyberdyne Systems Model GOP-1040, codenamed “ROMNEY”, currently on loan to the U.S. Republican Party and programmed to try and win the presidency, appears to have a number of A.I. faults that prevent it from becoming accepted as genuine amongst human ranks, thus critically hindering its mission. The most glaring of these is an apparent loose switch in the 1040’s neural decision-making cortex, which has the unseemly effect of making ROMNEY appear to change its mind on any given issue, no matter how fundamental, in order to pander to whatever fickle audience may be present at any given time.

    But more worrisome is the latest incident, which occurred during yesterday’s presidential forum hosted by Latino broadcaster Univision, when a particularly severe system glitch appeared to affect ROMNEY’s very self-identity, causing its own flesh pigmentation matrix to cater to his audience’s perceived desires by morphing from “White” to “Hispanic”:

    Comparison: Mitt Romney during previous speech vs. Mitt Romney at Univision forum (with noticeably “browner” facial skin)
    Session note: Model 1040 also needs corrective training regarding awkward, overly “robotic” posture.

    The astute observer will note that possible claims of lighting tricks or other optical illusions are belayed by the color composition of ROMNEY’s hands, which somehow retained their original pale pigmentation setting, thus creating a sharp contrast with its facial covering.

    The 1040 is expected to be returned to Cyberdyne headquarters ASAP for emergency recalibration.

    (via @todayspolitics)

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    Daily Blend: Wednesday, September 19, 2012

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    U.S. President Barack Obama
    Pres. Barack Obama

    Quick notes: Firstly, in correspondence with both popular (or so) demand and my increasing weariness, I shall henceforth relegate most doggycide incidents to Daily Blend mentions and reserve individual posts to only the more brazen gob-smacking cases. Secondly, I’m retiring my “Fail Quote” tag as it’s become largely redundant.

  • Obama administration fights to keep the right to indefinite detention (that Obama [pictured] said he’d never use because it’s totally wrong).

  • Boy Scouts takes a leaf from the Catholic Church’s book, tries to cover up hundreds of cases of child molestation.
    (via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)

  • Doggycide in Bennington County, Vermont: Deputy resigns during an investigation into the shooting death of his neighbor’s escaped pitbull. Details are mostly anecdotal for now.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • Doggycide in Elyria, Ohio: Police kill an “extremely aggressive” “pitbull” by shooting it eight times with a rifle. So many questions that this one-sided police release fails to address.
    (via Dogs Shot by Police | Facebook)

  • It seems New York State has some of the worst sex ed classes ever. (At least they’re illustrated!)
    (via @pzmyers)

  • Conservative wingnuts whine about how the media doesn’t treat the Romney “47%” video with the same suspicion they reserve for serial hoaxer James O’Keefe’s bogus “stings”.

  • And finally, here are some awesome, touching and generally badass photos of military dogs.
    (via @ebertchicago)

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

    Fischer compares bisexuality to pedophilia & bestiality

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    I was going to mention how Berkeley, California is the first U.S. city to officially recognize September 23 as Bisexual Pride Day in this evening’s Daily Blend, but instead, I find myself mentioning how the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has been, and always shall be, an irrepressibly bigoted asshole:

    This makes the second post in a row devoted to Fischer’s douchebaggery. Can’t you just feel the man’s Christian LoveTM seeping through your screen?

    (via Joe. My. God.)

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    Fail Quote: Fischer says it’s “no wonder” (allegedly) gay Libyan ambassador was (allegedly) molested

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    From American Family Association spokesbigot Bryan Fischer:

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

    BRYAN FISCHER: And by the way, this Christopher Stevens, it turns out that this guy was a well-known homosexual, and Hillary Clinton sent a homosexual to a Muslim country, to a place that executes homosexuals. And she sent him there to represent us. And so, it’s no wonder that he was sexually when they were hauling him out of the consulate and doing whatever they did to him in the street.

    Of course, it turns out the late Ambassador Stevens’s gayness is only “well-known” within the far-Right crankosphere, where bigots are tripping over each other to repeat this latest fantasy from Hillbuzz’s Kevin DuJan, a conspiracy nut whose broken gaydar reportedly inspired WorldNetDaily Birther King Jerome Corsi’s present obsession with proving that President Obama is secretly gay.

    But hey, I’m sure the rioting mob had much better sources. Why else would they target an American representative with violence, if not to rape and murder the gay out of him?

    (via Right Wing Watch)

    ‘The Oatmeal’ on the paradox of dogs

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    Canine companions are a living contradiction. Just consider the following:

    “Every now and then I accidentally kick him while he’s underfoot / and he responds by apologizing to ME.”

    See? Weird. (Then again, my little kitty Kaylee – dammit, I still miss her – reacted much the same way when I accidentally rolled my computer chair over her paw, the poor thing. Maybe pets are just both stupid and overly devoted.)

    The rest of the comic just makes me want to give my pets a hug. Until I remember that I don’t have any. *le sobs*

    (Meanwhile, why isn’t The Oatmeal in my RSS feeds? That is so getting fixed.)

    (via @ggreenwald)


    Monday, September 17, 2012

    Daily Blend: Monday, September 17, 2012

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    Karen Handel (former Vice-President of Susan G. Komen for the Cure)
    Karen Handel
  • Wait, you mean the Islamic world is mostly pissed off because of all the U.S. bombings and military invasions? And here I thought it was all because of one stupid Internet video.
    (via The Agitator)

  • Karen Handel [pictured], former Komen for the Cure VP who orchestrated the short-lived defunding of Planned Parenthood, becomes the latest Right-wing bully to accuse her victim of bullying. (Includes bonus childishly bad book title.)

  • Dear U.S. secularists: Please stop using these fake Founding Fathers quotes. You really don’t need to be using tricks from the religionist playbook.

  • Scientology lawyer publishes ineptly outraged letter over a Vanity Fair piece about Tom Cruise. Streisand Effect strikes again, baby.
    (via @ebertchicago)

  • On the other hand, a Jack Daniel’s lawyer sets an example with the friendliest cease-and-desist letter ever.
    (via @the_yamen)

  • And finally, Denmark gives us the most epic public transportation promotion ever:
    (via Joe. My. God.)

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