Monday, May 31, 2010

Tulane Professor Proves God Exists With Bible

So crazy it must be true! So this professor, Frank Tipler, has proven that God exists because the Bible tells him so.
"God is the cosmological singularity, out of which the universe sprang. God created the universe, he will guide the universe, and until finally the universe will recollapse into him. The final singularity which is the same as the initial singularity. The cosmological singularity at its fullest extent is, in fact, God."

He claims that his math coincides with Exodus in the bible, describing god referring to himself as "I am that I am" meaning that god is referring to himself as both past and future tense. By his logic this proves that god is with the universe from beginning to end.

First of all, the cosmological singularity is not god. I have never understood the propensity for some of these religious loons to say "oh no, I call the point at which the universe was an infinitesimal point and began a rapid expansion god" or "oh no, I call the laws of nature god". I don't care what you call it, I care about what the actual definition is.

Second, I am not sure I grasp what the second paragraph even means. His math coinciding with Exodus is kind of like saying my math coincides with the baked chicken I had last night for dinner. It is nonsensical.

I wasn't sure if this guy was real. After all, I did read about this as an unsourced story from Rant/Rave. So I did a little digging (by typing this guy's name into the Google search bar) and I found Professor Frank Tipler's website, which is devoted to a book he wrote called, I shit you not, "The Physics of Christianity." I can only surmise that this is what the writer from Rant/Rave got his information and I have to tell you, it is chock full of warm, nausea-inducing, bizarre 'stuff'.
Tipler begins by outlining the basic concepts of physics for the lay reader and brings to light the underlying connections between physics and theology. In a compelling example, he illustrates how the God depicted by the Jews and Christians is completely consistent with the Cosmological Singularity, an entity whose existence is required by physics. His discussion of the scientific possibility of miracles provides an impressive, credible scientific foundation for many of Christianity's most astonishing claims, including the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and the Incarnation. He even includes specific outlines for practical experiments that can help prove the validity of the "miracles" at the heart of Christianity.

Wow. This guy is a one man show. This is proof positive that just because you are a professor doesn't mean you can't be bat-shit-crazy. I can only imagine being in one of this guy's classes.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Giant Cross In Ill. Is A Giant Waste Of Money

I think that goes without saying. Anyway, there is a giant cross in Bald Knob, Ill. that stands 11 stories tall and is in dire need of repair. So the group "Friends of Bald Knob Cross" have been raising money so that it can be restored. Huge waste of money, effort, and time. But who cares? It's not like the state has put any money into the project. As long as it is a private project with private money on private land, there isn't much to be said.

An outspoken Chicago-area atheist who successfully fought Illinois' "moment of silence" in public schools has threatened to sue a group restoring an 11-story cross on southern Illinois' highest point if it doesn't repay $20,000 it got from the state.

Oh. Wait, the state gave them $20,000 for this piece of crap? So, when the state, and the country in general, is facing a huge deficit, public service sector layoffs, and school closing, this group of wayward hillbillies has taken $20,000 of Illinois money to pay for a giant cross?

I think we can find something better to do with the $20,000, like painting all of the trashcans in Alto Pass a darker shade of green.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Karl Giberson Whines About Atheists

Karl Giberson whines like a 5 year old. He seems to have a problem with the "new atheists" criticizing scientists that are religious.

The 90% of Americans holding beliefs incompatible with science include Charles Townes and William Phillips, who won Nobel Prizes in physics in 1964 and 1997, respectively. It includes many in between. It includes Francis Collins, who received venomous attacks from atheists when he was nominated to head the National Institutes of Health. Sam Harris described Collins' personal religious journey, unfolded in his best-seller The Language of God, as an account of "nothing less than an intellectual suicide." Harris, who finally completed his Ph.D. in neuroscience at UCLA, apparently believes that neurons used for religious belief simply won't work if applied to science. And no amount of scientific achievement by believers will convince him otherwise.

No one is saying they can't "do" science. What Harris is saying is that these people have to go through some serious mental gymnastics to connect science, which is something that exists and can be studied, to belief, which is something that exists all in a persons head. And that bit about neurons not working, how about the scientists using those neurons for science instead of wasting them on myths and thought-communication with a non-existent being.

There is something profoundly un-American about demanding that people give up cherished, or even uncherished, beliefs just because they don't comport with science. And the demand seems even more peculiar when it is applied so indiscriminately as to include religious believers with Nobel Prizes. What sort of atheist complains that a fellow citizen doing world-class science must abandon his or her religion to be a good scientist?

I am going to let the un-American things slide, since not every citizen of the world is an American. The real problem is that when you have people like Francis Collins (who can effect the way money is distributed for scientific research) that hold beliefs contrary to science, then you leave open the chance that science is going to be funded based on what that person believes instead of what is scientifically provable. The problem is not with the "world class science", its with the people who effect policy that hold beliefs contrary to science. To say that this doesn't happen is an outright lie.

Karl did a great job of building his straw man, but it only takes about 2 minutes of thought to set a match to it. This guy is nothing more than a whiner who won't be happy unless everyone who claims to "do science" is allowed to peddle their nonsense unchallenged.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We've Got Crazy In NC

I don't think much can be said about this story about Tim D'Annunzio, GOP candidate in the NC-8th. If this guy didn't actually have a chance of getting elected, this would be hilarious.

"In Hoke County divorce records, his wife said in 1995 that D'Annunzio had claimed to be the Messiah, had traveled to New Jersey to raise his stepfather from the dead, believed God would drop a 1,000-mile high pyramid as the New Jerusalem on Greenland and found the Ark of the Covenant in Arizona," the Associated Press reported.

Well, I guess I have made fun of South Carolina and Texas enough. Now it's our turn in the spotlight; the one that is shinning from the top of the hospital for the criminally insane.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rand Paul And The Christian Nation™

Rand Paul has finally found the problem with America. The problem is the laws we use. The Constitution is crap and so is the government. I know, he is running for office so that he can work in the government that he wants to abolish, which is a little like pimping yourself out to end prostitution. But why the hell should that stop him?!

Getting back to the point, our laws are the problem. What would really make this country run great is if we were all Christians. Why? Because Christians have the monopoly on Morality™.

I'm a Christian. We go to the Presbyterian Church. My wife’s a Deacon there and we’ve gone there ever since we came to town. I see that Christianity and values is the basis of our society. . . . 98% of us won’t murder people, won’t steal, won’t break the law and it helps a society to have that religious underpinning. You still need to have the laws but I think it helps to have a people who believe in law and order and who have a moral compass or a moral basis for their day to day life.

That is the dumbest point I have ever heard made. Where does he get these facts? Since we don't need any actual research to back up our numbers, I will say that 98% of the population won't murder people, won't steal, and won't break the law. I will also say that 100% of the people that vote for or agree with Rand Paul are bigoted idiots who want nothing more than a great white anarchist America.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Afghanistan: Falling Down

McClathcy did a great article about how the campaign in Marjah has become an utter failure.

The operation in Marjah is supposed to be the first blow in a decisive campaign
to oust the Taliban from their spiritual homeland in adjacent Kandahar province,
one that McChrystal had hoped would bring security and stability to Marjah and
begin to convey an "irreversible sense of momentum" in the U.S.-led campaign in

Instead, a tour last week of Marjah and the nearby Nad Ali
district, during which McClatchy had rare access to meetings between McChrystal
and top Western strategists, drove home the hard fact that President Barack
Obama's plan to begin pulling American troops out of Afghanistan in July 2011 is
colliding with the realities of the war.

There aren't enough U.S. and
Afghan forces to provide the security that's needed to win the loyalty of wary
locals. The Taliban have beheaded Afghans who cooperate with foreigners in a
creeping intimidation campaign. The Afghan government hasn't dispatched enough
local administrators or trained police to establish credible governance, and now
the Taliban have begun their anticipated spring offensive.

"This is a
bleeding ulcer right now," McChrystal told a group of Afghan officials,
international commanders in southern Afghanistan and civilian strategists who
are leading the effort to oust the Taliban fighters from Helmand.

don't feel it here," he said during a 10-hour front-line strategy review, "but
I'll tell you, it's a bleeding ulcer outside."

We have got to get out of Afghanistan. We are spending lives there that will never be recovered. This article coupled with the fact that we just crossed the 1000 mark in troops killed in Afghanistan is like a giant flashing "WARNING" light.

Progess Towards Ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

The President signed onto a deal today that would allow Congress to vote on repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" only after the 'study' from the Defense Department was completed on December 1.

This may shock some of you, but I am not thrilled with this compromise (does Obama know any other word than compromise?). This is set to take place after the November elections. There is a chance out there that the Democrats will lose their majority in at least one of the chambers of congress. It's hard to pass or repeal legislation when the opposing party is the equivalent of the Knights Templar.

Also, why would you compromise with the people who would rather see gays dead than being comfortable in their own skin? What you do is grab your party by their collective balls and tell them what they are going to do. Exercise some goddamn party discipline!

This antiquated bill needs to be struck down. If you want to wait until December, then at least write a directive that will stop all prosecutions under DADT. I think part of the article is very telling of how DADT is looked upon.

Already this year, the administration has taken significant steps toward doing
undoing the policy; just last month, the Secretary of the Army, John M. McHugh,
said he was effectively ignoring “don’t ask, don’t tell” and had no intention of
pursuing discharges of active duty service members who have told him they are

As he should.

Religion Grows Into Sectarianism In Zimbabwe

A rift has developed in a Zimbabwean church over two sects of the Mudzimu Unoera Apostolic Faith. This church has broken into the sect of the board of directors and the “girl Jesus”. They call her the “girl Jesus” because she resembles the founder of the religion and fulfilled the prophecy that the leader would be reborn after three years.

"That is why we decided to split because the other faction still awaits the
resurrection of the old Dzangare which means they did not understand the
teachings of the founder," said Mr Mupura.

Sound like anything else? Maybe like Judaism and Christianity? Or any other religion with their sectarian fighting? How long are we going to continue killing eachother over whose imaginary friend is better?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It Could Be Worse, You Could Live In Texas

The Texas Board of "Education" passed their changes to the history curriculum the past Friday. I think we are all firmiliar with the changes that are taking place, such as glossing over Thomas Jefferson and Ted Kennedy, putting a larger emphasis on Ronald Reagan and the Moral Majority™. They are also going to paint Joe McCarthy in a more positive light and to teach more about the Christian history of our nation.

I have no problem with teaching about Reagan, the Moral Majority™, and the Christian people that have influenced our country so much. However, what the BOE has done is to make it look as if they are just broadening the scope of what history they are going to teach when what they are really doing is putting their conservative spin on the past.

History does not have a bias. Joe McCarthy was possibly suffering from dementia, which lead him to do some crazy things and ruin the lives of a lot of people. That is not a liberal position, that is a fact. Ronald Reagan was the president for eight years, and should receive the attention he deserves. However, making him out to be the cowboy that saved the world from communism fails to also take into account the failed policies of cutting taxes (which he later raised) and "trickle-down economics", which tended to stop trickling once it hit the pockets of the richest people in the nation.

As for the Christian foundations of our nation, I would only say show me where the Ten Commandments, god, or Jesus are mentioned in the Constitution. And please, don't pull the Sarah Palin/Glenn Beck bullshit of conflating the Declaration of Independence with the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence told King George to go fuck himself. The Constitution is what we actually base our laws on.

Again, I have no problem with being all inclusive when it comes to history. However, when you spin what happened, either liberally or conservatively, then you are not teaching the story of what really happened. I already have to teach my daughter things like the pilgrims were not these happy people with buckled-hats who were friendly with the natives and that there was a lot of blood and hatred that went into building our country. She also goes to a private school (non-religious), so imagine what happens in the public system where there is less choice in what is taught.

There needs to be an educational boycott of Texas. No other state should accept any curriculum that was developed in Texas. You Texans should be ashamed of the BOE, and you should protest until the board is forced to revise their standards. If you allow the BOE to continue on like they are, then you will become an even bigger laughing stock of-a-state than you already are.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Prayer Comes To Greensboro, NC

Greensboro Mayor Bill Knight has decided to replace the moment of silence before city council meetings with prayer. He is being inclusive and offering to let people of many faiths offer the invocation.

He took office in December and said the prayer is an opportunity to exercise faith without tying government to religion.

I have an idea: practice your faith all day long, then when you come to a city council meeting, conduct actual business. Why do Christians have to have some semblance of religion in every aspect of their lives? And why do they constantly feel the need to force a prayer on everyone else?

Look, prayer is not effective. It does nothing but make some pious Americans feel good about their ridiculous beliefs and piss off everyone else. How about we use the time at city council meetings to actually do business. I, for one, am sick of Christians trying to make every building they enter into their church. Come into my house and pray. See what happens.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Draw Mohammed Day!

I didn't draw it, but I thought it was funny. Happy Draw Mohammed Day!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Catholic Church Continues to Make Catastrophically Crazy Calls

Here's an infuriating story to rile up your blood pressure. Sister Margaret McBride, who is a nun and hospital administrator, was just excommunicated for approving an abortion for a woman who would likely have died had she continued her pregnancy. The church's position, of course, would be to let both the woman and fetus die.

On NPR today, Rev. John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix, compared Sister McBride helping save a woman's life to priests molesting children:

"She said 'Yes you can kill that unborn child.' That's a heinous act. And I'm not gonna make a distinction between what's worse, you know---they're both abhorrent."

This is just so disgusting it's almost unbelievable. You can't make this shit up! Why does the Catholic church keep doing this to themselves? And to date, no pedophile priests have been excommunicated. Keep protecting the child-raping priests. But a nun who okays an abortion for a woman who would otherwise die---nope, get rid of her evil ass!

Nun Excommunicated For Allowing Abortion

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Miss USA-envy

The new Miss USA, Rima Fakih, has drawn the ire of the public, whoever that is supposed to include, for being involved in, and having pictures taken of, her during a poll dancing competition. Are you serious? A person involved in a competition that involves some very beautiful and sexy women who are paraded around like meat and participate in a new lingerie portion of the Miss USA pageant is being criticized for being beautiful and sexy?

I don't get it. Is it jealousy? Is it anger? Why does it matter that she was in a poll dancing competition? I think that anyone who is angry over this needs to 1) reevaluate your boring-ass life, 2) grow the fuck up, and 3) stop worrying about someone who has nothing to do with anything.

The Miss USA pageant is not a cabinet position in the government. It isn't a world-leader position. But even if it was, how does it effect the lives of people in the world that a group of women who are known for being beautiful and sexy do things that are considered sexy? WHO CARES!

Girl Fired Over Facebook Status

A local pizza restaurant Brixx in the uptown area of Charlotte has fired a waitress because of her Facebook status. It needs to be made clear that she updated her status after work, so this has nothing to do with theft of company time.

What happened was she complained on her status about some customers she had that basically camped out at her table for 3 hours, causing her to have to stay an hour after her shift was supposed to be over, and then only gave her a five dollar tip.

When she got home, she went on Facebook. "Thanks for eating at Brixx," she
wrote, "you cheap piece of ---- camper."

Now, I think people are too quick to assume they deserve a tip. Who don't know the whole story. She may have given horrible service. I have worked in the food service industry and know how easy it is to neglect your customers. However, that has nothing to do with her being angry. She didn't spit or scream or hit the customers. She waited until she got home and and vented on her Facebook account.

You can't fire someone for exercising their 1st Amendment rights. So for that, I will continue my boycott of Brixx, which started because they have shitty Pizza.

Where Being Gay Is Illegal

A couple in Malawi have been found guilty of gross indecency and unnatural acts and could serve up to 14 years in prison. They must have done something horrible to have received such a conviction. Was it some sort of child-related act? Bestiality? Sex with a lawn ornament? No, they were convicted of these crimes because they are gay. Two consenting adults who loved each other enough get married are being sent to jail because they both have a penis.

At least there has been some outrage by the doner-countries that keep this 11th century country alive. I suspect if the country were to pull there funding, Malawi might be persuaded to join us in the 21st century. Either that or they could pull a Nigeria and tell everyone to 'fuck off'.

I wouldn't toot America's horn too loud since we regularly discriminate against gay people. However, at least we don't imprison people anymore for being gay. Although, I am sure that if the homophobic right had their way, Malawi would be considered a model country.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ultra-Orthodox Jews Deliver Proportional Response

There are graves in Israel that need to be moved because they are in the way of what is going to be a bomb-proof emergency room. The orthodox became very upset though, because it is against their religion to move grave sites, for any reason. So, as they do, the Ultra-Orthodox Jews began to set fire to things. Did I mention that the graves are not Jewish, but Christian and Pagan?

Religion makes you crazy.

From: Voice Of America
From: BBC

Forever In Prison

AMENDMENT 7: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

AMENDMENT 11: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

When the Supreme Court makes a decision that effects the rights of all citizens and the voice of reason is coming from Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, you know something is seriously wrong.

In what can only be seen as yet another mistake by cowardly judges who are scared of being seen as pro-child molestation, the court passed down a 7-2 decision that says that a person that has been convicted of "sexually violent conduct" can be held past their sentence that was handed down by the court, possibly indefinitely.

I know that a lot of people will latch on to the group of people that the decision targets and applaud the court. But just stop and think about what they are saying. They are saying that a person that has served their time can be held indefinitely for no reason, other than they are deemed 'dangerous'. Who decides what is dangerous behavior? What are the guidelines for how this will be executed?

If you don't think this is a problem, look at the War On Terror™. You have a broad war on some ethereal idea. Then you broaden the definition of what a terrorist is (someone who commits an act of terror) to drug dealers, drug users, and now a 14-year old autistic boy who drew a stick figure of him killing someone.

We all know that the 'slippery-slope' argument is a logical fallacy in the world of logic. However, this is politics we are talking about. Logic doesn't enter into the equation. When this broad, and obviously overreaching, power is given to a small group, it will always be abused and it will always be broadened to the largest group possible.

I have a feeling that those constitutional purists that form the Tea Party will be sure to protest the hell out of this decision. I eagerly await the outrage.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In Arizona We Trust

Gov. Jan Brewer has enlisted the help of Sarah Palin to help dress up the image of Arizona's new immigration law. What they had to do first was divert the blame from the governor to someone else. Take a wild guess who the blame is being placed on.

Jan Brewer and Palin blamed President Barack Obama for the state law, saying the measure is Arizona's attempt to enforce immigration laws because the federal government won't do it.

"It's time for Americans across this great country to stand up and say, 'We're all Arizonans now,'" Palin said. "And in clear unison we say, 'Mr. President: Do your job. Secure our border.'"

I think we can all agree that our immigration system needs to be reformed. However, when you pass a state law that supersedes federal law and is also explicitly racist, you have lost all credibility in calling out the president for his lack of action when it comes to immigration.

Of course Palin and Brewer are upset that the rest of the country is recoiling in horror at the mere thought of racially profiling people. But according to the governor, that is not at all what they are doing.

Obama and some city, state and foreign governments have condemned the law, which critics say will lead to racial profiling of Hispanics. Brewer on Saturday reiterated her assertion that profiling is illegal and will not be tolerated.
So how in the hell do you intend to implement this law? What would tip the police off that someone was an illegal immigrant? It couldn't be that they had brown skin.

Now the AFL-CIO and the LCCHR have written a letter to DHSS Janet Napolitano urging her to cut homeland security ties with the state. I think that is a great idea. If Arizona wants to make their own version of federal law, then I say let them. Cut all federal funding. Let them rely on the good people of Arizona for their continued survival. Then, when the racist utopia of Arizona is created, all of it citizens can raise their voices together and chant "In Arizona We Trust." But it will only be one group of people that have that trust.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Draw Mohammed And Piss Off Eboo Patel

In what is a great coincidence, "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" will be held on my birthday, May 20. So please, don't forget to mark your calender and draw some Mohammed. In fact, draw me a Mohammed for my birthday. Maybe some crazed zealot will threaten my life and make it a great birthday.

The question remains: why do something that pisses off Muslims? It obviously makes people like Eboo Patel cry their little eyes out. He recently wrote a 'piece' for the Huffington Post in which he claims that drawing Mohammed isn't actually protected by free speech.

He starts with same old canard that the crazy Muslims are a fringe group who don't really represent real Islam. We hear this time and time again, yet we don't hear anyone repudiating things like the oppression of women in Muslim countries and intolerance of gay people. Not to mention the scores of people who celebrate when people like Lars Vilks are attacked because they... wait for it... drew Mohammed. Or what about Theo van Gogh who was murdered for criticizing how women are treated in Islam. But yeah, tolerance is rampant in Islam.

The article then devolves into a series of straw men that he tears apart pretty easily; like drawing a picture of Mohammed is the same thing as wearing black-face or hating someone because they are black. However, since he isn't addressing the reason that people are drawing Mohammed, I will go ahead and point it out for him. People are drawing Mohammed because there are agents in the world who try to put a cap on freedom of speech because they are offended, and they are willing to use violence to do so. One thing Eboo doesn't seem to realize is that the freedom of speech does not guarantee someone the right to not be offended.

On the upcoming "Draw Mohammed" day, be offended. But understand this: when you get all worked up into a lather over something like a stick figure with the name "Mohammed" written under it, you show yourself to be either emotionally fragile or in need of anger-management therapy.

So, I wish you a happy May 20th. I think I will celebrate early.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Buying Stock In Jesus

Recently a Vatican-approved stock exchange, called the Stoxx Europe Christian Index, was launched. Now you can buy stock with the knowledge that Jesus would approve.
Meaning no profits from porn, gambling, weapons, tobacco, or birth control. Oil, on the other hand, is OK.

Of course oil is OK. If it wasn't for oil, there wouldn't be any companies on their index. However, I do find it interesting that Exxon and BP are doing great on this exchange. It seems that Jesus has truly become a capitalist, oil loving, ocean polluting fiend.

Thanks Jesus.

Arizona Bans Ethnic Studies

This past Tuesday, Arizona nutjob governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law which basically bans ethnic studies classes throughout the state, sending Arizona further down the dark spiral towards complete teabaggery chaos. It's just so skeevy the way it was done because the language of the bill makes it almost come across as hand-wringing political correctness---if you were only half-reading it, of course.

“Public school pupils should be taught to treat and value each other as individuals and not be taught to resent or hate other races or classes of people,”

This bill bans any classes that advocate “the overthrow of the United States government,” “resentment toward a race or class of people,” “are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group” or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.” Ironically, these things all describe most of the "classes"at teabagger homeschools and private Christian schools but anywho.

Apparently governor Brewer and others have a problem with students learning about American history: that the founders committed genocide, enslaved and tortured whole races of people, and built this country with greed, inequality, and violence. They also think they can keep Hispanics from learning that Republicans hate them. This is laughable, really---I am actually laughing right now---that they think they can pull that off. Too late!! You might have wanted to try a different technique than ARREST ALL THE BROWN PEOPLE, STAT!

It's also hilarious that a state official is actually trying to rewrite history because he's pissed off that the white people of this country have been the assholes for the majority of their involvment. Tom Horne said, "It's just like the old South, and it's long past time that we prohibited it," Uuuh, what the fuck is he trying to say? I actually have no clue. I am seriously confused on this one. Because the last time I checked, we used to own black people down here. So I'm not sure how students taking a class where they learn that white people used to treat them like shit is "just like the old South" and needs to be prohibited.

The Politico article also points out that neither the governor nor any supporters of the bill have identified a single example of a course that advocates overthrow of the US government.

Arizona bans 'ethnic studies'
Arizona gov. signs bill targeting ethnic studies

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sanford Loves Argentina

It's been a busy night. My TV finally took a dump on itself. So, after spending three hours at Best Buy, I have a new TV. However, that left me little time to produce a good post tonight. So instead, I leave you with a love story.

When ever I think it is bad living in North Carolina, at least it isn't South Carolina. Christian values, my friends.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sarah Palin And Bill O'Reilly Ramble Like Crazy People

I watched this video all the way through (impressive, I know) and felt it necessary to time stamp my comments. I didn't have the energy to write a 60 page paper on the idiocy of this 5 minute conversation.

00:13 Bill gets the first amendment wrong. Who would have guessed? It actually says
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
We all know that in legal terms, words mean everything. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. I would argue that the National Day of Prayer is in respect to just about all religions.

00:47 Sarah says "Don't believe me." That is the best advice she has ever given.

01:23 Someone please give this lady a clue as to what irony is. There is no controversy. The nation was not founded on Judeo-christian beliefs.

01:45 I love Bill's line of reasoning. The founders based the constitution on what they thought was right. They knew what was right because of the 10 Commandments. Therefore, the Constitution was based on the 10 Commandments. I think Bill needs a class in logical fallacies and what "REASONABLE DOUBT" is.

02:00 I guess they only use the word "evolved" in California. It is off limits everywhere else in the world.

02:35 She thinks that the founders and their documents were based on God and the 10 Commandments. Right, because I remember "Worship Christian God and Jesus", "Stone you children when they disobey", "don't eat shellfish", and "murder the rest of the world" being the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th amendments.

03:08 "Yay! Welcome to America!" Am I the only one that goes cross-eyed when she talks?

03:32 Mutual Tolerance? So, we have to tolerate their beliefs and they have to tolerate us imposing Jesus into every aspect of their lives? Nice.

03:47 The NDP encourages people to be spiritual? What if we had a day that encouraged people to believe in pink unicorns that healed the sick with their rainbow piss? Sound sane?

05:10 Bill says "We can only trust God in our homes." Matthew 6:6 "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father MORE?"

Sarah thinks it is ironic how the secular people are trying to rewrite history. Well, get an education in constitutional history that doesn't come from the University of Glenn Beck and then tell me who is trying to rewrite history. Or would that burden your head too much?

New Book by Mary Roach: Packing for Mars

Mary Roach has a new book coming out! If you don't read her, you really should, because she's only the funniest science writer ever. Yesterday I saw this facebook post of her new book cover, and this is what she had to say:

"It’s the usual Roach shenanigans, with all bodily fluids liberally represented. There’s even a cadaver chapter. (He’s wearing a space suit.) It’s about the bizarro astronaut life, but also about the surreal and geeky-cool world of simulated space travel. Because space is so hostile and weird and unpredictable and expensive, and because zero gravity turns everything on its head, every single object and undertaking that eventually happens in space gets rehearsed here on Earth. So you can sort of visit space without leaving Earth, which is more or less what I’ve been up to the past couple years."

Can't wait!

Monday, May 10, 2010

File Under "Vile"

This is so sad and disgusting. Roger Ebert tweeted about some ignorant schoolkids who got sent home for wearing ridiculous uber-American garb on Cinco de Mayo. This was his oh-so-offensive jab:

"@ebertchicago Kids who wear American Flag t-shirts on 5 May should have to share a lunchroom table with those who wear a hammer and sickle on 4 July."

Pretty freakin' clever, actually. But woe be unto that asshole who suggests that kids of opposing opinions should try socializing with each other. The Tea Party morons descended upon Ebert to really give it to him for making that absolutely out of line comment. This was just one guy:

This giant dab of dick cheese is named Caleb Howe. I won't waste any more carpal energy typing about him. One only has to read the comments above to see where everything went horribly wrong. UPDATE! This asshole lives in Charlotte. OF COURSE HE DOES.

How fucking low do you have to get to insult someone who has lost their jaw to cancer? Trust me, I have a grave sense of humor, and I'm the one who always pisses people off by insisting that everything is funny, to someone, no matter how wrong. But making fun of someone's facial deformity? How could you live with yourself? A flock of conservatards descended on the comments of the article to huff and puff about "the real story" being covered up, tin foil hat, conspiracy, JESUS, but the whole point in this instance is not about the kids or their stupid flag bandannas or "what really happened."

It's that a bunch of crybaby assholes made fun of a man because his face is deformed. YOU CAN'T DEFEND THAT SHIT. This is who the tea party is, unfortunately. People who think it's fair game to be monsters to their fellow humans because they disagree with their political opinions.

But Roger got in the last (sane) word:

"Dear TeePee Tweeters making fun of my cancer: You want ugly? For that, you have to look at a mind, not a face."

Tea Party Turns on Roger Ebert, Mocks His Cancer

Sunday, May 9, 2010

As Always, Our Rights Are Under Attack

I found a great article on TPM today about how the Obama administration is spear-heading a "robust use of Miranda." What Atty. Gen. Eric Holder is saying is that since there is no judgment of prior-use in the case of the Public Safety exemption, there could be an unlimited amount of time that a suspect could be held and questioned before having their Miranda Rights read to them.

We are falling down a rabbit hole. First, you have the war on terror. Then, you have administration officials, past and present, declaring drug dealers and gang members in the US as terrorists. Now, you have the Obama administration trying to extend the use of the Public Safety exemption. There should be no question as to someone being Mirandized when they are suspected of committing a crime on US soil.

This is supposed to be some sort of 'compromise' between right-wing police state proponents and people who actually think the Constitution is worth something. I suppose that the administration is looking at this to appease the likes of Joe Lieberman and Scott Brown, who wants to revoke the rights of citizenship to anyone who is even suspected of terrorism.

Why does the administration continue to kowtow to these anti-American conservatives? Where is the Tea Party in all of this? Why aren't they screaming at the top of their whiny voices about this blatant disregard for the Constitution that they supposedly hold so dear? Why do we, as American citizens, allow this administration to continue the efforts of Dick Cheney to deny us our rights and freedoms?

When you take our laws to the point that anyone can be declared a terrorist and refused their rights, then we have surely arrived in 1984. Change you can believe in, indeed. Fucking pocket change.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spontaneous Human Gayness

If it weren't for the Catholic church, I would have nothing to write about. Archbishop Dadeus Grings has discovered something about human nature that no one else ever know: kids are spontaneously gay. I am trying to picture how this would happen. One day, your playing with some G.I. Joe toys and out of nowhere, cock is awesome.
"We know that the adolescent is spontaneously homosexual. Boys play with boys, girls play with girls," he said. "If there is no proper guidance, this sticks. The question is — how are we going to educate our children to use a sexuality that is human and suitable?"

What the hell is he talking about? So, when little boys play with other little boys, they are building up a gay friction, about to spontaneously explode in gayness. That is fascinating. Anything to take peoples eye off of the huge child-raping lot of priests that infect one of the most disgustingly opulent and oppressively backwards empires in history.

Faith-Healing Catholic Insanity

A priest in Australia tried to heal a mentally handicapped girl by laying her out on the alter and commanding her to walk. I have this image of some addled old man standing over some screaming girl going "Walk, damn you! Walk!" There were some very interesting observations made by Monsignor O'Loughlin, though.
Monsignor O'Loughlin said Westerners had a more logical outlook and tended to turn to the spiritual when they could not understand concepts in other ways.

You mean to tell me that people turn to the supernatural when they don't understand how something actually works? No shit.

However, as funny as this may seem, there is a part of this story that angered me a great deal.
"Then the priest just left her there and went back to the microphone and the wailing went on for at least 15 minutes."

The people in the church let this mentally handicapped girl lay on the alter and scream for 15 minutes? What kind of sick bastards are they? Did they get some sort of sick pleasure out of having this girls screams fill the church? I am pretty sure I would have knocked this old man down and taken the girl out of the church. But I wouldn't be bat-shit crazy enough to have my child in a church, especially a catholic church.


The last guy was doing it wrong. Here is a guy in Kentucky that is healing people in his church all the time. Someone call the hospitals and let them know that they can close their doors. They are not needed now that we have a "real" faith healer.
He says faith healing was like a "calling within a calling." As a young priest in 1972, Father McAlear was asked to pray over a very ill woman in Buffalo, NY. Her family begged the priest to actually heal her.

Father McAlear recalls, "I gave her a blessing, I touched her head, and darn if she wasn't healed -- instantaneously, miraculously in front of my eyes."

Instantaneous healing? That is awesome. It would be even better if it weren't a total load of shit. This is a great example of throwing out random prayers over huge amounts of people and when, by coincidence, a person gets better,then it must have been Gawd.

It is interesting that these people never give specifics on these supposed healings.
It would be an exercise in futility to attempt any kind of statistical analysis or investigation of father McAlear's results. It is quite literally a matter of faith. You either believe it or you don't.

No, it isn't a matter of faith. It is either a fact or it is not. It is either true, or it is not. It is either a lie, or it is not. Guess which way I am leaning.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Republican Purge?

We were watching Real Time the other night, with guests Chris Matthews, who alternates between screaming and laughing like a really happy baby, some frisky economics lady who couldn't get to her point, and fucking asshat Ross Douthat who needs to die in a freak Vespa accident. Anyway, they talked about stuff. The thing I wanted to talk about that they talked about was governor of Florida Charlie Crist, who will be running as an Independent this fall instead of a Republican. Matthews and Maher think that the Republican party is purging moderates; this guy that I randomly found (at Newsbusters, so beware nutjobbery, oh it is there) think they're morons. Crist is not alone: Tom Marsh, running for governor of Connecticut, jumped as well. Not that running as Independent really means much; it's really just a cover mostly for people (white dudes) who consider themselves conservative but don't want to be seen with the mouth-foamers and be racist by association.

Maybe Crist is intentionally abandoning what everyone knows is a dying party; maybe he did have his funding pulled and was forced out. Whatever the case, it does seem pretty obvious (and this is mentioned in the Real Time episode) that the Republicans who are in power, with what has been going on in Arizona , Nebraska, etc, are completely alienating Hispanics, women, gays, other growing minority groups, hell, pretty much everybody except fat white xenophobic guys that cling to their guns with Cheeto-encrusted fingers.

Not that I'm upset about that---go for it guys! Destroy yourselves! The faster you go away the better.

A GOP Purity Test?
Charlie Crist to GOP: Drop Dead

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nuns Being Investigated By Child-Raping Catholic Church

Three groups of nuns in Washington are being investigated for the horrible acts of “feminism and activism.” Well, I guess that the Catholic Church have fixed the whole priests-raping-children problem and can move on to the important things like nuns who don’t want to be treated like shit anymore.

How long are we going to have to suffer these fucking idiots at the Vatican?

Gays Infringe On Chaplain’s Freedom Of Hatred

The conservatives are arguing that if we were to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, then the religious freedom of military chaplains will be “muzzled.”

If the chaplains are preaching about hatred of gays, then I want them muzzled. Here’s the deal, gay people are already serving in the military. I should know. What the chaplain corps is wanting is for the gays to stay closeted so that they can continue openly discriminating against a group of people.

If that still sounds good to you, substitute the word “gays” with “blacks” and see what it sounds like. If you can’t apply a rule or a law to any group of people without it sounding like some sort of phobia, then it should not be applied to anyone.

The Lord Cometh... All Over Your Face

An Israeli man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of rape, sodomy, indecent acts, and fraudulent acquisition. You wanna know why? Brace yourself.

Nissim Aharon, who was employed by the Defense Ministry, was being paid a lot of money by women for his healing services. His healing services: he claimed that his semen was holy and could heal people. Let that sink in for a bit.

He said he could “cleanse” their bodies. Oh yeah. That’s about all that needs to be said.

Asteroids Are Awesome!

1. There was a very interesting article in the journal Nature that talks about water and organic material being found on a asteroid. A research team at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University found that the asteroid contains water ice and organic materials (in the form of hydrogen-carbon bonds).

This is a fantastic find and will help us better understand how life got its start. It also proves that not all asteroids are dry, rocky pieces from the early solar system. Some of the asteroids out there still contain ice and organic materials. It also blurs the lines between what is a comet and what is an asteroid. I love blurry science!

2. Remember the announcement that life had been found from Mars back in 1996? I remember it and how exciting it was to think that we had proof of life other than on earth. Well, the researchers kept studying the material and are sticking by their original findings all these years later.

The problem that I see with this is that the central problem in 1996 was that the researchers didn't prove that the fossilized bacteria was not a product of contamination from bacteria that was already on earth. The researchers say that they have found other Mars asteroids with the same bacterial fossils on them which supports their case. I think the key word there is “on”, not “in”. Since this was found on igneous rock instead of in sedimentary rock, the evidence would seem to point to a post-collision contamination scenario.

This is a genuine conflict that will be fun to watch over the next few years.

The National Day Of Prayer Marches On

The president, working against the ruling by a judge in WI, has details decided to go ahead and proclaim a national day of prayer.

In a proclamation from the White House, the president stated that in the past, when the going got tough, Americans prayed. Just because people hit their knees to pray when things got bad doesn't mean you have to proclaim a national day in which to chant at the sky. Here are some other things Americans do that don't get a proclamation: when we get horny, we have sex; when we get mad, we fight; when we get hungry, we eat. Who cares?

Just because Americans do something stupid when events go south doesn't mean you celebrate it. The wall between church and state is beginning to look a lot like wall between the US and Mexico: just move 20 miles away where the fence has a giant hole in it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Skepticism and the Religious Brain

An interesting study at a university in Denmark has new light to shed on the brain of the religious believer and how it evaluates information. This was the gist:

"Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Schjødt and his colleagues scanned the brains of 20 Pentecostalists and 20 non-believers while playing them recorded prayers. The volunteers were told that six of the prayers were read by a non-Christian, six by an ordinary Christian and six by a healer. In fact, all were read by ordinary Christians."

Not surprisingly, the brains of the "Pentacostalists" (?) responded differently than the rest: when they heard the prayers read by what they were told was a healer---someone with power and authority in their world---parts of the brain that help them figure out what is good and bad information literally turned off.

"Parts of the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, which play key roles in vigilance and scepticism when judging the truth and importance of what people say, were deactivated when the subjects listened to a supposed healer. Activity diminished to a lesser extent when the speaker was supposedly a normal Christian."

I'm always fascinated by these brain studies. It makes me think back to when I was a Christian, and all the crazy tricks the mind can play. It is interesting how, in modern Christianity especially, most of the communication is oral (no snickering); what I mean is everything happens in ideas and things spoken between people. Their beliefs are based on a 2000-year-old collection of letters that have been re-and-mis-translated a zillion times, there's no one of real authority to interview, there's nothing to test or measure or base facts upon, it's all this nebulous, invisible thing that exists solely in the realm of people. So obviously our brains have a lot to do with it.

I don't think there's really anything good you could say about a supposedly productive activity that causes parts of your brain to shut off (unless you're talking about trying to lessen pain, etc.). That's kind of a no-brainer. Ha! A pun too!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Tea Party Defined

I often wonder what goes through the mind of a Tea-Partier. Do they actually have any viewpoints; are they a one-issue group; do they ever think anything through before they speak? These are all valid questions that many other than myself ask ever day. I got the answers to my questions recently.

This past Thursday on NPR, there was a story titled “The Tea Party: A Modern Movement.” I was hoping to hear something worthwhile and was not disappointed. The problem is that it didn’t make me see the Tea Party in a better light. The first caller really summed up the whole movement and left little to the imagination of what the Tea Party is all about. I thought a few parts were telling.

CONAN: What is the mischaracterization that you hear about Tea Partiers on media or from other people that bothers you the most?
MAGGIE: That bothers me the most? Well, that's hard because we're called rednecks. We're called uneducated. We're called stupid. We're called racist. And it's probably the racist label that really, really bothers me the most, because it is simply not true.
You can disagree with the president because of his policy, and his race or his religion play absolutely no part in your disagreement. And it seems, starting last summer, if - to disagree with President Obama was to not want a person of color as president.

As soon as this question was asked, I knew what the answer was going to be. The Tea Parties are quick to dismiss charges of racism as offensive. But what proof do they give to the contrary? I think the point that the caller Maggie said “his race or his religion play absolutely no part in [our] disagreement”, which is demonstrably false and a backhanded comment, showed the exact position of the Tea Party.

The host asked nothing about religion, but she still felt the need to stick the issue in there anyway. This goes to show you that these people still think he is a Muslim. He has professed to be a Christian and I see no reason to question him on that. It is a little disturbing to me that he goes to such a great length to show that he is a superstitious as most of the country. I, personally, expect more out of the leader of a country, especially in a time in which religion is becoming more extreme. I would rather have a president who is smart and doesn’t pander to the lowest common denominator.

No one has said that if you disagree with the president then you are a racist, contrary to what you may hear on Fox News, who seems to be the largest purveyor of this myth. I disagree with the president’s policies almost every day. Does that make me a racist? Not at all. What does make you a racist is when you challenge the legitimacy of the president because you think he was born in Kenya, or when you have pictures of the president in some kind of tribal garb. When you use code words or just come out and say (ala Rush Limbaugh) that the president is going to give reparations to black people, trying to work the honky crowd into a lather.

CONAN: There are, there have been at least some signs at some Tea Party rallies that some people say, wait a minute, that's over the line.
MAGGIE: Well, I've seen that, I've seen that - you saw it with Bush. I mean there were movies - there was at least one movie about, you know, fantasizing about Bush being assassinated. There were numerous anti-war rallies where both Bush and Cheney and other members of the administration were demonized, literally and figuratively. But there wasn't this (technical difficulties) that's so over the top, we can't allow that. You know, that's dangerous talk, but when it comes from the conservative side of the political spectrum, then it becomes (technical difficulties) then we can't allow it. And I think it's a complete - I think it's complete hypocrisy.

Of course! Remember back in 04’ when we started the “Kill Bush” party? I don’t remember that either. The movie that she is speaking of, “Death Of A President” was made by a British filmmaker, not a Democratic Party TV host. The film was also roundly criticized by both sides of the political spectrum in the US, with Hillary Clinton calling it “despicable”. How much of an outcry has there been from the right when Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly, and Limbaugh routinely call the president a communist, socialist, fascist, racist, and a Nazi? I am still waiting.

I love how Maggie compares the anti-war rallies to the Tea Party movement. To think that these two groups share anything in common would require mental gymnastics that would break part of your brain. The anti-war rallies were speaking out against the US sending our troops into a country for no reason at all. Good people died in Iraq and Afghanistan that should have never been near a warzone. We were sent into a war with no plan, no armor, and no reason. That is why there were anti-war rallies. The administration was demonized with good reason. The Tea Party, on the other hand, is speaking out against issues and problems that don’t exist. The difference between the two groups is that one was protesting against a war and the other is protesting against a lie. The anti-war protestors weren’t bringing guns to rallies and talking about seceding from the union.

If the Tea Party really cared about the country and the “out of control spending”, then why aren’t they protesting on Wall Street? If they think that the stimulus was a bad idea, go protest the people that took the money and paid themselves with taxpayer funds. This is where the base problem with the Tea Party comes to light. The Tea Party is a group of people who are being manipulated by the Republican Party to work in the interests of the corporations that they shill for. They look like a bunch of fools when they stage protests against the Inheritance Tax when there is no way in hell that 95% of them will ever fall under that portion of the tax code.

Just another day in the Republican Party, getting the poor to do your bidding.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

When People Don't Mind Their Own Business

Today, my wife and I took my parents to lunch for their anniversary. After dropping my wife and daughter off at the front door of the restaurant, I had to find a parking space which happened to be near the end of the parking lot. On my walk towards the restaurant, I passed a lady who said to me "a socialist t-shirt?!" I was, in fact, wear my t-shirt that says "Socialist" in big, red letters across the chest. My only reply was "yep", then I continued to walk inside. My wife was passing my at the time because she had left her jacket in the car. My wife asked the lady "what is wrong with his shirt?" to which the lady replied "if you don't know, then you don't have the time in the day!" I guess it would have taken the lady that long to explain the ills of socialism to my wife. The lady continued to her car and left.

After I talked things over with my wife and parents, it was obvious I should have confronted the lady. Not jumping down her throat, but more of a confrontation of "what's it to you?" Why is it that people can't keep their comments to themselves? I have seen many people wearing shirts or sporting bumper stickers that say horrible things against socialists, liberals, democrats, whatever isn't tea-baggish. I don't way a word to them because it is their prerogative to wear whatever they please.

This reminds me a lot of the atheist billboard campaigns of late. It is OK to post up billboards that speak of people going to hell and how god doesn't like group X for Y reason. However, as soon as a billboard is put up that says basically "Atheists exist", a reign of fire is brought down. It is clear that the groups out their like the tea-baggers and the religious (is there really any difference?) only want freedom of their speech and to hell with everyone else.