Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanks for Proving My Point

The Universe called, buy me this coat.
religion, christian, christianity, holy spirit, bible, jesus, atheism,

Ken Pulliam, PhD, wrote on the Witness of the Spirit and the Burning of the Bosom, which are, respectively, evangelical and Mormon names for the same thing. (Though either group would accuse the other of not experiencing the correct metaphysical phenomenon.) In case you aren't familiar with these concepts, they refer to the "knowledge" one gains directly from god, in the absence of any real proof. Or logic. Or reason.

Mr. Pulliam states the obvious in his post: there is no difference between a Christian receiving "knowledge" this way, and a Mormon receiving "knowledge" this way. (Or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a pagan, or an atheist for that matter. I could claim that the universe spoke directly into my soul this morning and told me to tell you to buy me a puffer trench coat from Target, so get right on that. You can't tell me I didn't feel the presence of the universe in my soul. Black, XS.)

The Christian response, is, well, nonresponsive.

Nothing can disconfirm Darwinian thinking either... I guess he means accepting the reality of evolution. "nothing can disconfirm your insane belief in gravity, either, can't you see the rocks just floating around as we speak?" You don't seem to realize that all of life is based on faith. so . . . i brush my teeth, blowdry my hair and put on my shoes through faith alone? yeah, that's just crazy. There is a reason Christianity is the largest religion in the world. really good PR? Christianity promotes the reality of love. No other religion including atheism NOT a religion promotes true, eternal unfailing love. This belongs to Christians alone Christianity is the religion of love like Islam is the religion of peace.

In fact, you could know the love of God through faith. how else could one know such a thing? When you know the love of God, you never turn away from that which you know to be true. you mean like Mr. Pulliam, who did indeed turn away from that which he knew to be true? I smell a Scotsman!

Christianity can be falsified though. is he . . . what? It could be falsified if the body of Christ had been discovered. well, then, I'll just hop in my time machine and go back in time and see. The evidence if overwhelming for the ressurection it is? people say so and that's "overwhelming"? there's way more evidence for evolution, my dear. so we we would need overwhelming evidence that Christianity was not true which would be the body of Jesus. so, the only thing that could possibly convince him that his faith is misplaced is the body of a 2,000 year old dead guy. i do admire the height of your bar setting.

The godless worldview has no way of being falsified sure it does: prove god. all god has to do is show himself and i'll believe. simple as that. and appears to be a blind belief. it may not be, appearances can be deceiving. If you really accepted the scientific method, you would also be an Christian since the hypothesis that Christ was the Son of God has been tested and confirmed. BWAHAHAHAHAHA. where's the lab results on that one?

God Bless...

Take That, Christmas!

The entirety of my Christmas light display. I can't tell you how happy those deer make me. I giggle every time I see them. (If you want to pick up Christmas decorations cheap, go the day after Christmas. Those deer were $5.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

We Are Them

iran, united states, evil,
There's been so much hysteria concerning Iran and nukes and islamofacists lately that I did a little digging, and realized, much to my horror that Walt Kelly was right:

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Iran isn't the crazy, nuke-hoarding, war-mongering evildoers.

That would be the United States of America.

Yeah, that didn't make me happy, either, because I like to think nice things about myself and my fellow citizens, but we're the evil. Us, not them.

Iran hasn't been involved in a war since 1796. Since 1796, the US has been involved in 10 wars (not including the Civil War, because we were fighting ourselves): The War of 1812, The Mexican-American War, The Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (the names of those last two make me throw up a little in my mouth).

Iran has never detonated a nuclear weapon. In fact, it's debatable as to whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapon. The United States is the only country that has ever actually used a nuclear weapon for its intended purpose. We have nukes and satellites and spy drones and fancy jets and we've proven ourselves more than willing to use them.

Look at the world through the eyes of a citizen of anywhere other than the US and ask yourself, who is more dangerous? Who is more violent, more likely to destroy? Who has proven, through current events and over 200 years of history, to be the one to fear?

Yeah, kids, that would be us.

Friday, November 27, 2009

No Such Thing as Consent

makarios, religion, christian, liar, pornography,
[triggers: rape, pornography]

If you ask most anyone what the difference is between sex and rape, you'll get a simple answer: consent. In the former act, both parties agree to participate, the latter act involves only perpetrator and victim.

Unless you are Makarios, in which case women of any age are incapable of consent, and pornography involving consenting adults is exactly the same thing as kiddie porn.

Do I like pornography? Not particularly. Do I want my niece to be a porn star someday? No. Do I think adults have the right to engage in legal activities if they choose to, even if I don't like or agree with those activities? Yes. Is there a difference between what consenting adults do together and what is done to a child? Absolutely.

First of all, Makarios commits libel by suggesting that Tristan Vick supports child pornography. Mr. Vick does not support child pornography. Makarios, you see, conflates pornography involving consenting aduts with child pornography, which, by its very nature, involves at least one nonconsenting party. One party, in fact, that cannot consent.

The comments explode with "how can you say that?! Mr. Vick supports porn not kiddie porn", to which Makarios replies:

Ah, so you make a distinction do you? Adult porn good, child porn bad? Is that the way it works in atheist world?

Yes, in the real world, that is how it works. People who are capable of consent get to consent to what they wish, people who are incapable of consent cannot. Makarios knows this. He knows we don't let minors enter legal contracts or drink alcohol, not because these things are inherently
bad, but because we have decided that there is a point at which you are simply incapable of making decisions, i.e., consent, so we won't let you do it.

This gets pointed a few times, to which Makarios replies:

Thanks Gorth. The atheist with selective morality indicates that “consent” is the measuring stick between good and bad. And at what age Gorth? You think that a 12year old can’t give consent? How about a 10 year old? He's offered 10 dollars that will supply food for his family. All he has to do is let some filthy jerk take pictures of him giving someone a blow job. You think that 10 year old can't consent to making 10 dollars?Does it differ from country to country, Gorth? You think that a 14year old in America is as mature as a 14 in Taiwan?

Never mind all that. What you are saying, in your profound ignorance is this. A child who has been emotionally, and sexually abused grows up and "consents" to further degradation and abuse as an adult and that makes it all ok - because, according to Gorth, she can give consent. I say shame on every one of you. Once again it is the Christian who alone is trying to defend women from those who live by survival of the most powerful. Atheists, giving verbal support for the degrading of those most damaged by life. Priceless.

Ignoring the "all Christians do this and all atheists do that" element of it, yes, a certain age of consent is fairly arbitrary, and does not address each individual person's actual ability to consent. Some people may well be capable of consent at 14, some people may never reach that point. However, it is simply impractical at best to try to determine whether each individual person is capable of consent at each and every point they may want to consent, so we draw a line in the sand: 16, 18, 21.

Also, the 10 year old in the above example is not being asked to consent to earning $10, they are being asked to consent to sexual activity. 10 year olds are not capable of this.

Makarios then makes the argument that adult women are not capable of consent, particularly if they were abused as children.

Makarios knows? I know exactly what the hundreds and hundreds of prostitutes and those in the porn industry with whom I've worked have told me. And I can tell you absolutely that their "consent" is no consent at all. Because of childhood sexual and emotional abuse all these women know is sexual degradation at the hands of men. All they know to survive is to allow men to use them and abuse them sexually. And here you are, the free thinking atheists in all your wisdom, actually believing that porn has something to do with freedom. Even the women who post here are willing o turn on other women. If it might help make a case against a Chistian, anyone is expendable. I find it disgusting.

"Hundreds and hundreds of prostitutes"? Really? I'm not sure that in 34 years I've even met hundreds and hundreds of people, let alone hundreds and hundreds of prostitutes. And "those in the porn industry with whom I've worked"? Did you work in the porn industry?

Ignoring the issue of what motivates people to work in the sex industry, those people are consenting adults. They may be making very bad decisions for utterly tragic reasons. They are still adults with every right to make those decisions. We cannot revoke a person's right to consent because they make bad decisions. First of all, everyone makes bad decisions occasionally, but also because the right to make decisions is not dependent on the decisions you make. We're not going to have anyone left to make decisions if we remove consent based on what you do with it. Obviously, if you choose to commit crimes, we do remove your right to make decisions, but that's an entirely different issue. Porn stars are not committing crimes.

By your own measure, Makarios, you are not capable of consent, because you have used your decision making privileges to commit a disgusting, illegal act: libel, in accusing a completely innocent man of supporting child pornography. We call this being hoisted by one's own petard, btw.

Brining Confirmed

Tip for next year: brine your turkey!

The problem with cooking a turkey, as you probably already know all too well, is that the dark meat takes longer to cook than the white, so the white meat ends up dry, sometimes to the point of flakiness. Brining completely solves that problem. It's quite simple, just soak the turkey overnight in 2 cups kosher salt and cold water, rinse and cook. I've never heard people rave about the turkey before, and we had far fewer leftovers. I even took a bite out of curiosity (I'm a vegetarian, not a true believer), and I have to say, juicy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Biggest Loser

biggest loser, fat shaming, bigotry,
I hate that show. I end up watching it quite a bit because Teh Hubby is obsessed with it. I hate it all the more for that.

[trigger warning: this post is about fat shaming and weight loss. please to avoid if you are dealing with ED or in any way find such discussions upsetting.]

You see, Teh Hubby is by the medical definition obese: more than 20 percent over his ideal weight*. I know women are supposed to be the ones obsessing about every extra ounce while morbidly obese men parade about in Speedos, but not so much in my house. For all I know, Teh Hubby showers with a shirt on, because I never see him without it. Every bite of something tasty- chocolate, cake, etc.- is immediately followed by "I shouldn't eat this". And we get to watch Fat Shaming For Dummies, otherwise known as The Biggest Loser.

Now it turns out that all the weight loss Teh Hubby was coveting was unhealthy where it wasn't simply water loss, which is dangerous and impossible not to regain. This makes my blood boil because shows like The Biggest Loser don't just fat shame, they set up Unrealistic Expectations. Which in turn sets up Guaranteed Failure.

Now in its eighth season, “The Biggest Loser” is one of NBC’s most-watched prime-time programs besides football, drawing an estimated 10 million viewers each week, according to Nielsen. It has clearly tapped into the American obsession with losing weight, as more than 200,000 people a year submit audition videotapes or attend open casting calls for the program.
It also has spawned a licensed merchandise business that will generate an estimated $100 million this year.

The series also highlights the difference between the pursuit of engaging television and the sometimes frenzied efforts of contestants to win, perhaps at the risk of their own health. Doctors, nutritionists and physiologists not affiliated with “The Biggest Loser” express doubt about the program’s regimen of severe caloric restriction and up to six hours a day of strenuous exercise, which cause contestants to sometimes lose more than 15 pounds a week.

. . .

JD Roth, an executive producer of the series who created its current format, said that while the show was extreme, “it needs to be extreme in my opinion.”

“For some of these people this is their last chance,” he said. “And in a country right now that is wrestling with health care issues and the billions of dollars that are spent on obesity issues per year, in a way what a public service to have a show that inspires people to be healthier.”

If you start exercising a little more, and eat a little healthier (maybe replace some of your soda with water and eat more fruit) you can expect to lose a pound or two a week. This is a Reasonable Expectation, and entirely beside the point. Exercising is good for you. It can improve mood, alleviate depression, strengthen muscles, improve your sex life and even relieve constipation. Eating healthy foods is good for you, they contain vitamins and minerals, proteins and carbs and even fats your body needs to do its job. Hydration is important as well, and water is the best way of getting there.

Funny how you never really hear it put that way. Only one doctor has ever said to Teh Hubby, "Hey, you have MS. You need to get your body as healthy as you can so that the effects of MS will be easier for you to withstand. It doesn't really matter whether you're overweight or not, you need to get exercise and eat nutritious food." That's a reasonable and logical goal: control your health as far as you are able. Good advice whether you have MS or not. Every other doctor says, "Hey, you're fat! Stop that! Fat is bad! Why should I sympathize with you if you're so fat?"** (As if excess weight causes MS. Hell, I'm underweight and have heart problems. Don't pretend a little adipose is the only cause of illness.)

But no, weight loss isn't good enough unless it's Biggest Loser worthy: dramatic, sudden and not even slightly real. Teh Hubby expects to lose 20 lbs in a month, when he loses 5, he gives up. Because the goal isn't being healthy, it's being skinny. I'm to be envied my slimness even as my health deteriorates.

These fuckers have sold shame to Teh Hubby, and millions upon millions of others, and then fat shame some more to excuse themselves. "We're saving the fatties, can't you see that? Pissing blood is so much better than being fat!"

Fuck you producers of The Biggest Loser. Go piss some blood.

*Extremely horrible people masquerading as polite members of society have actually asked me things like "Doesn't that bother you?", "Was he that heavy when you met?" and "How do you have sex?" The real answers to those questions are no, yes, and on every item of furniture in my house, including the kitchen floor. The answer such people usually get is "Fuck you, you horrible bigot."

**True story: one such doctor, in the same breath he used to fat shame Teh Hubby, turned to me and said, "And what about you? Do you have some sort of eating disorder? That's very unhealthy you know." I couldn't decide whether to laugh or slap him.

Definitely not Post Racial

neonazi, republican, george hutchins, wingnut, teabagging,
At first, I thought this was a website so hilarious, it deserves its own Wiki entry.

(My computer saves pictures in black and white, but the actual website is positively psychedelic.)

George Hutchins is an actual candidate for Congress. He "invites all black, white, spanish and asian voters" to join him. I guess those of Native American or Middle Eastern descent can go fuck themselves. I'm not sure why, but he invokes Jesse Helms repeatedly, and pictures of Ronnie Raygun are liberally sprinkled throughout.

He also wants you to remember the Alamo, or a movie about the Alamo.

"The November 4, 2008 U.S. President Election, to include ALL North Carolina state elections of 2008, was the ALAMO of the U.S. Republican Party in North Carolina, and the ALAMO of the U.S. Republican Party Nationwide !!! "

"During the 2008 U.S. Elections, as a Campaign STAFF member, of the FRED SMITH for North Carolina Governor Campaign during the NC Republican Primary, a volunteer for the U.S. Senator ELIZABETH DOLE Campaign, and Veterans For John MCCAIN MEMBER, I FOUGHT with all legal methods to STOP Obama - Nation."

"As I was FIGHTING 'Obama - Nation' in 2008, Fence-Riders and RINO'S RAN for their lives, while these same RINO'S attempted to silent my Honorable Efforts."

"In addition to MASS VOTING FRAUD, it was these same RINO'S, and same Fence-Riders, which caused the Republicans to lose big during the 2008 elections, in both, North Carolina, and Nationwide."

"These same Fence-Riders and same RINO'S, while UNJUSTLY claiming to be Conservatives, FALSELY believed 'Obama Supporters' would also vote for them, or the Republican Candidate, which they supported, in North Carolina, during 2008."

That's just a mess of ungrammatical teabagging dog-whistling and inappropriate war analogies. It should prove quite popular with the wingnut set.

To stop the OBAMA-NATION Socialists in Washington DC, we must first go to the root of the POISON TREE, which created all them.

This POISON TREE, is the "Social Engineering" located within the so-called 1964 Civil Rights Act, to the U.S. Constitution.

The ONLY REASON, the so-called 1964 Civil Rights Act passed, was due the fact, Lyndon B. JOHNSON, had many political debts owed to him, in 1964.

=> During 1964, if one did NOT repay their political debts, when they were called due, such a politician's political career was over.

=> Lyndon B. JOHNSON called all his debts in 1964.

To DEFEAT OBAMA-NATION, we must take a close look at all of the "Social Engineering" contained in the so called 1964 Civil Rights Act, and take legal steps to remove this "Social Engineering" contained in the so-called 1964 Civil Rights Act.

"Social Engineering," includes FORCED DIVERSITY, FORCED RACIAL INTEGRATION, Affirmative Action Quotas Based on Race, and all Privileges Based on Race, which are influenced by the so-called 1964 Civil Rights Act to the U.S. Constitution.

We must use all of our resources NOW, to prevent ALL future U.S. Generations from suffering under the same bondage which were forced upon all of us, due to the so-called 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Well, it took me about 5 seconds to discover that George Hutchins is a Neo Nazi. Also good to know that Neo Nazis like Fox News. The GOP, btw, doesn't support or even acknowledge George Hutchins. I suspect he calls himself republican because "Neo Nazi for Congress" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Imagine That

bible, religion, justice, poverty, religious, right,
I'm not sure why I'm supposed to be shocked by this:

Only 13 percent of Americans surveyed by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Bible Society was able to correctly credit the Bible as the source of Proverbs 31:8-9, the Contemporary English Version of which states: “You must defend those who are helpless and have no hope. Be fair and give justice to the poor and homeless.”

I do not think this is an example of the sort of ignorance that keeps people from correctly identifying their own country on a map. I think this is a direct result of decades of the Religious Right villifying welfare, food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, immigrants (legal and otherwise), blacks, gays, and anyone else not them.

Right now, 45,000,000 of their fellow countrymen lack health insurance and are suffering for it. And the Religious Right lies about death panels and rationing. Bring up the poor and you'll be treated to a tirade about welfare queens. They froth at the mouth when gay rights come up and have equated law-abiding gays with pedophiles in TV ad after TV ad.

All this and they expect us to associate fairness and justice with the same Bible they're beating us over the heads with? Good luck with that.

I Normally Wouldn't Suggest This

catholic, politics, religion, first amendment,
but I guess we shouldn't elect Catholics for public office anymore. At least, that's the argument Reverand Thomas Tobin seems to be making.

“Any Catholic in public office – his first commitment has to be to his faith. Not just for a Catholic but for a member of any religious community, no commitment is more important than your commitment to your faith, because it involves your relationship with God.”
This is a secular country, with clear separation of church and state. Any politician, no matter where or how small an area (s)he represents, represents a variety of people: atheists, theists, deists, Catholics, Christians of every other stripe, muslims, hindus, buddhists, pagans, etc. But according Reverand Tobin, politicians shouldn't be concerned with the people they represent, they should be concerned with what the priest said in the homily that Sunday- and nothing else.

The last time the Catholic Church was in charge of countries, we had Crusades and Inquisitions. I just can't wait.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tell the Teabaggers Exactly What You Think

health care, hough,wojtowicz, teabagging, stupid,
(h/t to Hell's Senior Canadian Correspondent, Joe-ay)

Teabaggers mocked a grieving mother at a November 14 town hall meeting in Oak Lawn.

Mocked. A. Grieving. Mother.

The family, Dan and Midge Hough, of Chicago, spoke in favor of health care reform and in support of U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) at a Nov. 14 town hall meeting in Oak Lawn.

Their daughter-in-law, Jenny, and an unborn grandchild died recently due in part, they believe, to a lack of health insurance. They said Jenny was not receiving regular prenatal care and ended up in an emergency room with double pneumonia that developed into septic shock. Her baby died in the womb, and Jenny died a few weeks later, leaving behind a husband and a 2-year-old daughter.

Catherina Wojtowicz, of Chicago's Mount Greenwood community, an organizer for a Tea Party splinter group, Chicago Tea Party Patriots, falsely claimed that the Houghs fabricated their story. In an e-mail, she called them operatives of President Barack Obama who "go from event to event and (cry) the same story."

When the Houghs spoke at the Lipinski event, some Tea Partiers ridiculed them. They moaned and rolled their eyes and interrupted. Midge Hough began to cry.

I think we should all tell Catherina exactly what we think of her behavior, though I would prefer we all keep it polite. As much as I would like to tell her what a stupid fucking . . . fucking . . . teabagger* she is, I think we should stick with something more polite. And, if Catherina has the nerve to tell you that she thought the Houghs were "operatives", I think you should introduce her to the word "research", though not "fucking bitch". You should probably keep that one to yourself.

Catherina Wojtowicz
Chicago Tea Party Patriots
(312) 662 8666
Chicago Tea Patriots

*I will now accept "teabagger" as a worse obscenity than the "c word".

Pronoun Confusion

this is not salvation
god, jesus, prayer,

In the spirit of angels dancing on the head of a pin, we have pronoun confusion:

I was praying for a friend's salvation early this morning and I wanted to ask that my friend came to know Him (Jesus). But since Jesus is God, would I refer to Jesus as "Him" or "You"? Does it matter? Is this a silly question?

So, god knows everything, but if you use the wrong pronoun, he gets confused? Say "him" instead of "you", and your friend meets Tom Jones instead of Jesus? Oops, sorry, no salvation for you, your friend should have been more specific.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Words Have Meaning- Coulter Edition

coulter, diversity, insane,
Normally, I avoid Ann Coulter like I avoid being on fire, but today I was angry at my brain. It wouldn't let me get to sleep last night, so I punished it with some Coulter.

I've recently noticed that it's a common tactic when arguing a bizarre point (if evolution is true, where are the blobmonkeys?) to completely redefine previously well understood words. Ann Coulter entirely redefines "diversity", and robs me of the previously enjoyable phrase "jumps the shark" in At the End of the Day, Diversity Has Jumped the Shark.

As long as the general has brought it up: Never in recorded history has diversity been anything but a problem. Look at Ireland with its Protestant and Catholic populations, Canada with its French and English populations, Israel with its Jewish and Palestinian populations.
Or consider the warring factions in India, Sri Lanka, China, Iraq, Czechoslovakia (until it happily split up), the Balkans and Chechnya. Also look at the festering hotbeds of tribal warfare -- I mean the beautiful mosaics -- in Third World hellholes like Afghanistan, Rwanda and South Central, L.A.

Except that none of those are examples of diversity. Those are, in fact, the opposite of diversity. "Diversity", in the parlance of which she speaks, represents not differences, but acceptance of differences. Ireland is now a diverse society, in that Catholics and Protestants accept their differences and don't kill each other over minor theological disagreements any more.

Every example she gives is an example of the exact opposite of diversity, and Ireland in particular is a bad example, because acceptance of differences, i.e., diversity, has saved them, not doomed them.

Bad examples abound, however. I'm not sure why Canada is on a list that includes Israel, Chechnya and Rwanda. Joe-ay, my dear: is there a lot of sectarian violence/terrorism/genocide going on in Canada right now? Also, at what point was South Central (a neighborhood in California) ceded to a third world country? Oh, right, they're black. Any place black people live is automatically third world.
We should start making up other nonsense mantras along the lines of "diversity is a strength" and mindlessly repeating them until they catch on, too.
Next time you're at a cocktail party, just start saying, "Chocolate pudding is dramatic irony" from time to time. Eventually other people will start saying it, without anyone bothering to consider whether it makes sense. Then we'll do another one: "Nicolas Cage is a two-cycle engine."

Before you know it, liberals will react to news of a mass murder by muttering, "Well, you know what they say: Nicolas Cage is a two-cycle engine," while everyone nods in agreement.
Yes, only liberals would repeat nonsense. Ah-hem: death panels, ACORN, abortion tax, Kenya, secret muslim, pallin' around with terrorists. *deep breath* Socialism, facism, communism, FEMA camps, mark of the beast, antichrist, two million teabagging and counting.
But liberals celebrate diversity only in the case of superficial characteristics like race, gender, sexual preference and country of origin. They reject diversity when we need it, such as in "diversity" of legal forums.
PF's BRAIN SAYS: Please, for the love of quarks, stop it! She just called military courts for terrorist suspects "diversity"! I swear, I'll let you sleep right now, just stop!
There better be sleep tonight, or it's Rush Limbaugh tomorrow, Geneva Convention be damned.

The Catholic Pez Dispenser

jesus, eucharist, pez, dispenser,
It's the Jesus Pez Dispenser! Need I say more?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pics or It Didn't Happen

what really happened to the dinosaurs
creationism, evolution, darwin, ray, comfort,

In case you hadn't heard (I'm not sure how), Ray Comfort is distributing mangled copies of Origin of the Species across college campuses nationwide. By mangled, I mean missing 4 chapters. I defy you to take 4 chapters out of any book and have a book that makes sense, but I digress.

UPDATE: Apparently, the 4 chapters are back in, but the forward written by Comfort that was supposed to be out is back in. The last version of the forward that I read blamed Darwin for racism and eugenics.

Someone at Just Truth participated in the giveaway, and had this to say about it:

I saw a post where an atheist said “arguments” were everywhere, which is sadly a mistake. I had one or two conversations with some VERY intelligent people who presented their case very well, sadly my communications skills were not such that I could properly convey my questions to them. My question was “how can evolution cause everything to evolve at the exact same rate? Where are the monkey/men and the blob/monkeys? For evolution to be true it would have to be a continual process.. However it seems to have stopped, even in the species alive today” the “best” answer I got was directed at theistic evolution, which isn’t what the Bible teaches. I have the utmost respect for the people we spoke to, I am certain they think we’re delusional, and we think they simply MUST not know the truth. I think they have had evolution thrown at them from the time they were old enough to watch TV, and taught it is fact. And sadly the parents, even most of the Christian ones don’t make the effort to combat that lie. Christians depend on the church to do it, when it’s not the churches job. It’s ours…. But that’s a rant for another day!

There is so much wrong with that it's hard to know where to start, but I would like to note that it seems to point to several serious misunderstandings about the Theory of Evolution that it might be worthwhile to note. (Whether those misunderstandings are deliberate or not is another post.)

1. Everything is, or should be, evolving at the same rate.

This is a rather odd statement on his part, in that it entirely ignores the fact, well documented fact at that, that not everything evolves at the same rate. Some things, like sharks, have hardly evolved at all, while other things, like pepper moths, have evolved in very short periods of time.

Evolution is not some sort of constant like the speed of light. Sharks have no need to evolve, they survive and reproduce quite well just as they are. Since evolution is simply the changes that accumulate leading to better survival and reproduction, if you don't need to change, you won't. Lighter pepper moths, on the other hand, were being wiped out due to their coloring, so darker pepper moths survived and reproduced, leading to darker pepper moths over all in a very short period of time.

2. It's not evolution unless some dramatic change occurs.

At least I assume that's what the "blob/monkey" comment is about. (Blobs? What the hell is a blob, anyway?) Evolution is change. Changes within a species that do not result in an entirely new species are still the result of evolution. You have to entirely change the definition of evolution to state that unless a new species is formed, there is no evolution going on. If we can do that, then you're not reading this on a computer, you're reading this post on a toaster. Words have no meaning! Bagel printing sow more certain ensure effect courts!

3. I can't see evolution happening in front of my eyes, so it isn't happening.

You can't see the rotation of the earth around the sun, either, and that's happening. You can't see gravity, yet you aren't floating.

Sarcasm aside, shave your head. Take a picture of your head every day for 30 days. At the end of 30 days, you will have 1/2" of hair, yet day to day your hair will look exactly the same. Multiply that effect by a few million years, and you have evolution.

Food Insecurity aka Hunger

hunger, food insecurity, america, poverty,
1 in 7 Americans suffer from food insecurity, which I think is what we're calling hunger these days.

I know I am, what about you?

I go to the grocery store and salivate over things like fresh fruits and vegetables, peanuts and almonds, even prunes (which can't replace chocolate, but who needs gummy bears when you've got nummy prunes?). I salivate, I don't buy. Which is a shame, because those foods are all good for you, packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

It's cheaper to buy offbrand vitamins at Walmart than pomegranates and plums. My donut in the morning is cheaper than a healthy breakfast, and forget about lunch. Most days I don't even eat lunch anymore, and if I do, it's a candy bar. $0.89. Healthy veggie soup, at least $4.

That's hunger in America, in case you haven't experienced it: alternating hunger pangs with stuffing your face with crap.

Btw, I actually swallowed my pride (having gotten sick of swallowing my hunger) and applied for food stamps. I didn't qualify. I feel truly sorry for those hungry enough to qualify for food stamps.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Solstice Celebrating Freaks (War on Christmas Part Three)

christianity, christmas, solstice, kwanzaa, stupid, asshat

I would like to start by saying that anyone whose blog looks like this doesn't get to use the word "freak" to describe anyone else.

There is so much wrong with blackandgoldfan's* rant about Gap's latest Christmas commercial that it's a little hard to know where to start, and frankly, I'm still a little distracted by the look of the blog.

I was watching t.v. the other night when a Gap commercial came on. At first, I found myself grooving along with the hip-hop beat of "Go Christmas...go Christmas..." Then I hear "Go Hanukkah..." Not an issue. The two holidays do overlap, and Hanukkah has a legitimate basis in religion. It was when I heard "Go Kwanzaa" and "Go solstice" that I got my panties in a twist.

So your precious Christmas gets a nod and all is good. The Jews get a shoutout and we're still okay. Kwanzaa and solstice gave you a wedgie. Why? It's not enough that Christmas is celebrated, we have to stop celebrating other holidays? Since you're going to bring up the Establishment Clause, I'd like you to point out exactly where it says "Christmas good, Kwanzaa and solstice offensive".

Can anyone tell me where the hell the idea of Kwanzaa came from??? When I was growing up, black children celebrated Christmas side by side with white children. Who was it that decided to separate the blacks from the whites by inventing a holiday? That seems pretty racist, don't ya think? I mean, what was so wrong with people of all color celebrating the birth of our Savior (and I don't mean BHO)? It was a common bond that has since been broken in the name of black separatism.

It's called google. Use it. Kwanzaa has its very own website. Kwanzaa has nothing to do with black separatism, whatever that is. Kwanzaa is not, contrary to wingnut opinion, a new holiday. It has roots stretching back to ancient Egypt. That's right, before Christmas. Asshat.

Not to leave out the atheists, the idea of celebrating the winter solstice has become popular in recent years. What is there to celebrate about the one day that heralds in nasty weather until March? I, for one, despise the winter solstice in large part because I know it means bone-chilling temperatures and dangerous driving conditions. And these freaks want to celebrate this crap?

I don't actually know any atheists who celebrate solstice. Solstice celebration is a pagan thing, again stretching back before Christianity. In fact, Christianity stole Christmas from the pagans. Spleenweasel. If anyone has a right to complain about the whole winter holiday thing, it's the pagans. They have a right to complain about you. Asshatting spleenweasel. And just because you don't like winter, doesn't mean nobody does. Enjoying winter does not make one a freak. Oh, and that term has a long, ignominious history, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't use it anymore.

*Pittsburgh Steeler's fan, for my nonAmerican readers, or those who don't follow American football.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Amazing, Just . . . Amazing

patriotism, pledge, allegiance, arkansas,

The controversy: A 10-year-old in Arkansas decides that he doesn't want to say the Pledge of Allegiance, because liberty and justice are not truly for all in this country. The teacher completely loses her shit, boy gets a little disrespectful, principal gets involved, mom gets called, media gets informed, and here we are.

The Supreme Court decided 40 years ago that children have the right to refuse to say the Pledge of Allegiance on moral or religious grounds. (Jehovah's Witnesses won't say the Pledge, for example.) So the teacher's insistance that the boy say the Pledge was totally inappropriate.

As are the comments to the article.

Proving that the First Amendment is not for everyone:

The words coming out of this childs mouth are his parents......for what ever reason....they are teaching him disrespect and I hope that he is removed from the school and his parents are ran out of the country. What a disgusting example of parenting. They can take their brat child, their gay rights, their disrespect for our country and leave, give up their citizenship as they must do and rot in another country. Be gone with you and your disrespect for our country.

Using your freedoms is attention-seeking:

He said it the whole school year up until now. Of course his mother put him up to this for the attention.Everyone is going around exercising their rights, getting on the news and in papers and internet. Another bunch of attention seekers. His mom should be kicking him in the a$$ to be an American.


America is a free country, but we are taking so much for granted in this free country. Yes, we have rights, but why would we want to not pledge the awesome red, white and blue, that so many have laid down their lives for. Even the gay ones that don't ask don't tell in our armed services. I am sure there have been gays killed in our wars, so why wouldn't they want to pledge the flag? This child has been led to believe more about the rights of gays, then the gays that have lost their life for that flag too. I do not support the gay life style, God forbids it in the Bible. But, sadly there are gays in our military, and that flag stands for our free American that all have fouhgt for. That kid is being led astay and his mom just likes the publicity she is getting through all of this. Which is so sad.

A child shall lead us- to hell!

It is completely awesome thats some little sh1t thats still sucking snot can down grade everything that our forefathers fought and died for and whats better yet is the fact that his parents support him...
America as I once knew it is GONE !!!

Constitution be damned- support our troops!


The Pledge has won wars! Lots of them! Read books, you'll see!

This has got to be one of the saddest stories I have ever read. Not only did this child disrespect his teacher, it is being condoned by his parent. The news anchor laughed at the child for using such disrespect to his teacher. One thing that might be helpful to both the father and the child is to go back and read some history books....if it were not for American soldiers who not only pledged allegience to their flag, but actually walked the walk, this country would be very different today...we would probably be living in a country with very few if any rights. America is the greatest country in the world. For those who do not understand just how great this country is, perhaps it would be a valuable learning experience to travel to some other countries where people really don't have any rights...why do you think so many people want citizenship here?until one is well traveled and well read, it is difficult to understand what a great country we live in. It is easy to sit in your den and believe everything that is being reported on television rather than seeing for yourself and to take for granted what our soldiers have sacrificed to keep our country great.

Oh noez, someday he'll be voting for Democrats!

The little prick needs to move to some third world communist nation if he thinks its so bad here. Its rif raf like this thats grows up to be liberal trash polititions that want to CHANGE everything. F'ing sickining!

We'll end with questioning the sexuality of a 10-year-old:

c'mon people either his dad is gay "notice his mom not with them" or the little boy is gay its a given you can totally tell....

Now I've Heard Everything

galileo, catholic, church, heresy, science,
The Catholic Church has been around for a very long time, and wielded enormous power for a large portion of that time. As a result, the Catholic Church has a sordid past. (And a sordid present, but that's another post.)

I've heard the official Catholic response to the Inquisition before (not that many people died), but this interpretation of the Catholic Church's response to Galileo's discovery that the earth revolves around the sun is bizarre.

The Politically Incorrect truth is that Galileo found himself in the predicament he was in, not because he said the earth was not the center of the universe but because he said it without sufficiently arguing the scientific case against geocentrism. Among the problems with the theory as presented by Galileo was he said the tides were responsible for the earth's motion and he never answered the geocentrist argument involving stellar parallax. Tycho Brahe, who could hardly be called an enemy of science was unconvinced by Galileo. So it really wasn't, as is the popular myth, that the Church was/is against science. But rather the "sin" Galileo was guilty of was bad science and his insistence that the Church take seriously a theory still in its infancy. A theory if you will, that had not yet learned to walk.

So, it's not that the Catholic Church was against any position contrary to their own, it's that the Catholic Church was so concerned with science that they were deeply offended by Galileo's somewhat incomplete theory- and tried him for heresy as a result.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Kids Are Alright

children, gay, marriage, traditional, same sex,
For all the traditional marriage advocates' hysterical shrieking about The Children, it turns out the children of gay couples end up the same as the children of hetero couples. Much ado about nothing, as usual.

In most ways, the accumulated research shows, children of same-sex parents are not markedly different from those of heterosexual parents. They show no increased incidence of psychiatric disorders, are just as popular at school and have just as many friends. While girls raised by lesbian mothers seem slightly more likely to have more sexual partners, and boys slightly more likely to have fewer, than those raised by heterosexual mothers, neither sex is more likely to suffer from gender confusion nor to identify themselves as gay.

Reality: infinity, Traditional Marriage Advocates: 0

I Get Offers

atheism, mormon, lds, atheist, evangelism, witnessing,
Yours, Sincerely, whose name cracks me up because I sign about two dozen letters a day "Sincerely yours", has thrown down the gauntlet. Well, more like gently laid a velvet-covered gauntlet disguised as a rose on the table.

Hey PF, thanks for visiting my blog recently.

That's probably not sincere, because well, you can read for yourself. (I wasn't outright rude or anything, but I can't believe she truly enjoyed that.)

I sincerely hope you are feeling better and on the mend.

I will grant the sincerity there. Just because we totally don't agree on anything doesn't mean she wishes me physical harm or suffering. So, thanks for your good wishes, I'm doing quite well.

Please don't take this as sarcasm on my part when I say that I find your challenges (perhaps that's not the right word, but can't think of anything better) with the issue of God, quite interesting.

As every good pitchman knows, start your pitch by buttering up your target. I'm "challeng[ing]" and "interesting", and by implication, quite smart. Tell me more!

You are very good at pointing out the inconsistencies between Holy Writ, and human behavior (you know--when avowed Christians behave in a manner inconsistent with their professions of faith, or when their interpretation of Holy Writ is inconsistent with logic).

She's Mormon, which involves believing that the Native Americans are descendents of the ancient Isrealites, that horses were in the Americas prior to the coming of Europeans, and that a con man heard the voice of god. Or an angel. Or something. So, like every other belief system, entirely devoid of logic. The Mormon response to logic is simple: ignore it. So, yes, let's discuss logic, shall we?

I also notice you spend a fair amount of time grappling with the issues of the Justice of God, versus His mercy, and how to reconcile the two. I'm curious, do you really want answers to your questions, or have you irrevocably made up your mind? Regards~

This last is the gauntlet and framing the argument all at once. If I find her beliefs illogical and ridiculous, I'm being close minded. And who wants to be close minded? The only way to prove myself as smart as she implied I am is to agree that the entire human genome is lying.

Give it your best shot, I suppose.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Poor People as Bargaining Chips

catholic, church, gay, marriage, poverty,
I really didn't think the Catholic Church could disgust me any further after the "we hid pedophile priests and enabled them to gain access to even more victims" scandal, but the Church has apparently rededicated itself to the disgrace limbo.

The District of Columbia is considering allowing same sex marriage in the District. While no church in DC would actually have to marry gay couples, they would have to extend benefits to spouses of both straight and gay marriages.

No, really, that's what the fight is about. Extending benefits to spouses. No, the Catholic Church is not fighting this on financial grounds. If they would end up employing so many married gay couples that extending benefits to the spouses would bankrupt the Church in DC, I might understand the argument, but apparently, giving health insurance to a gay man's husband (not the gay man himself, they're already doing that) will land you in hell. Or something.

What was the Catholic Church's response? Threatening to cut off charitable services to tens of thousands of DC's most desperate citizens. These poor people have absolutely nothing to do with what DC's governing body intends to do. In fact, the poorest of the poor are those least able to influence policy.

The Catholic Church will spank them anyway. During the worst economic climate in years, in the midst of terrible unemployment and rampant foreclosures, the Catholic Church finds it moral to punish the least of its brothers for the actions of others.

I don't understand this at all. I find it despicable, repugnant, disgusting. And I'm the immoral atheist. Huh.

God as Man is Absurd

god, omnipotence, omniscience, jesus, trinity, bible, christianity,

The humanity of Jesus, when combined with his supposedly also being god , was always a problem for me in my believing days. How can one be human in the truest sense of that word, and also be god? To be human is to have both a defined beginning and a defined ending. To be human is to be nonomniscient, to be nonomnipotent. This is the essence of humanity.

We, all of us, will end someday. As someone famously said, "On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." This is the essence of humanity. Do what you must, what you wish, what you dream, now, because 2 seconds from now is no guarantee.

We can only know a very little bit of what there is to know. Therefore, words like "believe", "trust" and "faith". I can never truly know how those I believe love me really feel, therefore I believe that they love me, rather than know. I trust that they are telling me the truth, I have faith in their good intentions towards me.

We can only affect a small portion of the world, as well, leading to words such as "attempt" and "try". I can try my best to make the world a better place, I can attempt to feed the hungry, but I can't end hatred or hunger. It is this attempt in the face of impossible odds that defines greatness, but only the greatness of the limited, not the greatness of the omnipotent.

God, on the other hand, as imagined by the Christians*, doesn't believe anything, he knows. God does not trust or have faith, and thus is entirely inhuman. God also doesn't try or attempt anything, he simply does. And is unutterably inhuman. Forget the rock so big he can't lift it, how does an eternal being, with neither beginning nor end, understand the plight, the struggles and dreams, of the truly limited?

In this context, God as man is nonsensical. Even the concept of a portion of God** trapped in human flesh makes no sense. It's still God. It's still omnipotent, omniscient, eternal. It's still absolute inhumanity in a human shell.

*God as imagined by Jews isn't quite the same, or perhaps as imagined by the ancient Israelites. Read Genesis. God wandered through the Garden of Eden wondering where Adam and Eve had gotten to. That's not omnipotence.

**The closest I got to understanding the Trinity was that Jesus represented a small portion of God in a human body, but that doesn't make any sense either. How can something eternal be apportioned?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Better than Levitation and Teleportation?

natal, xbox, inventions
I thought this was hilarious.

(For those of you don't game, Natal, pronounced nah-tahl, is the upcoming controller free game controller. Instead of holding a controller and pressing buttons to play a game, you will use your own body to play.)

From IGN:

Microsoft's upcoming Project Natal motion control system has been named to Time Magazine's list of the 50 Best Inventions of 2009, beating out such strong competitors as the AIDS vaccine and teleportation to come in at a respectable No. 5.

Natal also beat out tweeting by thinking, levitation, and the Eyeborg.

I'm a huge gamer, but I don't care how fun Natal is, I don't think it beats the AIDS vaccine, teleportation or levitation. Seriously, levitation.

Reaping What Others Sow

hatred, bigotry, traditional, marriage, gay, same sex, dna, ufi,
Since the beginning, traditional marriage advocates have claimed that preventing gays from marrying has nothing to do with bigotry against gays. "We like the gays! They're our friends! We just don't think they should get to marry."


Now that bigotry is law in Maine, the true face of traditional marriage has come out into the open. It's not pretty.

goinbroke of kingfield, ME

Nov 11, 2009 9:37 AM

Does anyone know where we can get window stickers that indicate that this particular business is not homosexual friendly? think of it as an anti-rainbow flag. It's about time we "came out" and let the homosexuals from away know how Mainers feel about seeing their sick side show act in our cities and towns.

See above, goinbroke. We did that for many years in this country, to blacks, hispanics, and the irish to name a few. It's something we used to be ashamed of. We still should be ashamed.

Chinook of portland, ME

Nov 8, 2009 9:41 PM
goinbroke of kingfield, ME Nov 8, 2009 8:51 PM

Bob, ... ...Also the next time you are in a business or a resturant and are waited on by some flaming gay guy or lesbian, ask for another server. Simple enough as the customer has the right to be "uncomfortable" as they say. Nothing personal just go away. Mainers can vote with their pocketbook and the homosexuals will get the message and leave. This happens all the time in San Francisco.----------

(What does a "flaming lesbian" look like? I'm unable to picture that.) So, people in San Francisco leave restaurants when the waiter is gay? All the time? Nobody eats out in San Fran, I guess. Also, if you ask for another server in that situation, I sincerely hope the cook wipes his ass with your food, because spitting in your food doesn't quite seem enough.

I very much fear that gays in Maine will soon be reaping what people like the DNA, UFI, the Catholic Church, the Mormons, et al. have sown: hatred. The bigots have won, and now they feel free to put up "No Gays Allowed" posters and refuse to interact with them in public. We can all guess what happens next, and I will be holding each and every one of you bigots personally responsible.
UPDATE: Are you missing valuable opportunities to express your bigotry while barbecuing, walking your dog or just breathing? Then buy one of these lovely MAN + WOMAN ONLY tshirts, aprons or doggy shirts!
Somebody keep me away from the internet before I do myself harm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bigger Bullets, Maybe

war, christmas, christian, stupid,

The War on Christmas continues. Today's exchange involves the Gap and "thousands of consumers".

The American Family Association said that despite “tens of thousands of consumer requests to recognize Christmas” and requests by the organization, San Francisco-based Gap Inc. has refused to use the word.

“Christmas is special because of Jesus,” maintains AFA in its e-mail newsletter. “It’s not just a ‘winter holiday.’ For millions of Americans the giving and receiving of gifts is in honor of the One who gave Himself.

You're buying tshirts at the Gap to honor Jesus? Really? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Oh, noez, I used the maniacal laughter too soon!

"This year millions of Americans will join us to help save Christmas," he said. "If a government entity censors Christmas in violation of the Constitution, then we will first seek to educate but, if necessary, we will litigate. If retailers choose to profit from Christmas while pretending it does not exist, then we will patronize their competitors."

I was unaware the Constitution demanded that the government wish us all Merry Christmas. The little-known Grinch Amendment, apparently. The litigation threat really makes this piece complete, though. They could be using their money to feed the homeless or give poor children a present and a Christmas dinner, but no, they'll be suing the government for not sending out religious-themed Christmas cards. Classic.

Just Because You Can Do Something . . .

pc, rude, asshat, christian,

PC = Totalitarianism

The evil of "political correctness" – the totalitarian manipulation of thought, foisted on us by twisted elitist sociopaths who hate America and everything our soldiers have fought and died for over the last two centuries, and continue to fight and die for – has to end. Now. It's over. This nation must rise up and defy the insane thought control that is destroying our country right before our eyes.

You know what the insanity is here? That Gretchen, the author of this post, thinks that the right of various groups to define themselves, and to demand that others stop using derogatory language towards them, is "insane", "twisted", "sociopath[ic]" and an insult to dead soldiers. (I'm guessing that's a Veteran's Day tie in?)

Let me explain something to you, Gretchen. You have the right to hate whomever you please. You also have to right to use whatever disgusting, bigoted language you wish. The First Amendment does indeed guarantee your right to be an asshole.

However, I have a right to react to what you say, and add my own opinion to the mix. So, when you refer to blacks as "ni**ers", women as "c*nts" and those with Down's as "damn retards", I have the right to call you a racist, misogynist waste of flesh who should have been drowned at birth.

I am guessing, however, that Gretchen has no desire to call blacks "ni**gers" or insult those with Trisomy 21. My guess is that she's pissed that when she calls people "f*gs" and "towel heads" other people say, "What is wrong with you?!" and stop inviting her to lunch. How dare they? She has First Amendment rights to be a complete asshole, we don't have First Amendment rights to react to it- no, wait, we do.


What really bothers me about this is the utter rudeness of it all. If a wheelchair user asks you to stop referring to them as "confined to a wheelchair", simple etiquette demands that you respect their wishes, even if you don't understand the sentiment behind the request. I know, I know, being "PC" requires one to be thoughtful and carefully consider one's words, motivations and understandings of the world and the people who occupy it, but is it really too much to ask that we extend a little empathy to our fellow humans? Really?

(Note: Yes, I do understand that this can get a little ridiculous. For some reason, I have morphed from a secretary to an assistant, which is just silly, but I'll take it if it means people start holding their tongues a little before speaking.)

Islam Doesn't Hold the Patent on Crazy

jewish, judaism, murder, israel,
Unless you consider killing nonJewish babies normal behavior.

Just weeks after the arrest of alleged Jewish terrorist, Yaakov Teitel, a West Bank rabbi on Monday released a book giving Jews permission to kill Gentiles who threaten Israel.

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement, wrote in his book “The King’s Torah” that even babies and children can be killed if they pose a threat to the nation.

Shapiro based the majority of his teachings on passages quoted from the Bible, to which he adds his opinions and beliefs.

“It is permissable to kill the Righteous among Nations even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation,” he wrote, adding: “If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments - because we care about the commandments - there is nothing wrong with the murder.”

Several prominent rabbis, including Rabbi Yithak Ginzburg and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, have recommended the book to their students and followers.

That's not going to end well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yee-hah! The War On Christmas Is On!

war, christmas, christian, stupid,

Yes! It has finally arrived, that magical time of year when atheists arise from their subterranean lairs to take on the mantle of Saint Dawkins, pick up the fabled Sword of Myers and begin again the dread War on Christmas. Let the children weep as we slay Lil' Baby Jesus in his manger at the Courthouse, silence carollers in our public schools and force the shopkeepers to acknowledge both the Christian and the not in their cheery greetings!

We shall remove every manger scene from every home, stop private institutions from singing religious songs and presenting religious plays, and verily this year you would not be allowed to attend a worship service on Christmas morn . . .

Wait, what?

You can totally do all that stuff in the second paragraph? What's the Sword of Myers for then, anyway? The Constitution takes care of most of that stuff in the first paragraph. I gotta say, Atheist Takeovers are never close to as much fun as Saint Dawkins makes them sound in the newsletter.

'Twas The Month Before Christmas (not the 'holidays')


Twas the month before Christmas*

I have no idea why every line is followed by an asterisk. Also, the original is a delightful candy-apple red font against a burgundy background. And this blog has background music! Classy.

When all through our land,*
Not a Christian was praying*
Nor taking a stand.*

Oh, yes, all those special "month before Christmas" prayers that used to be prayed. or something.

See the PC Police had taken away,*
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*

The PC Police? Really? When was the last time anyone was arrested for being a douchebag misogynist, homophobic, racist, ablist asshole? Oh, right, never.

The children were told by their schools not to sing,*

You mean like every other day of the week, when they're not singing about their milkshake and the yard?

About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*

"and things"? I'm fairly certain angels have wings, which would have rhymed with . . . oh, fuck it.

It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*

to get the shoppers, the cash/checks/credit or the floor? really unclear use of a pronoun.

CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
Something was changing, something quite odd! *
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*

1995 called- it wants its pop star back. and which retailer is promoting Ramadan? Which ended in October, btw. And promoting Kwanzaa? You mean by selling Kwanzaa merchandise? Like they do with what other holiday?

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*

Staples? The office supply store? and upside down trees? what. the. fuck.

Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
Are words that were used to intimidate me.*

Di-ver-si-ty intimidates me, too. It has all those scary dashes.

Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*

Who's Darden? And where's the Antichrist Obama?

At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*

To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter*

Separation of Church and State. bichez.

And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*

if the cashier at Target doesn't say "Merry Christmas" to you, you aren't Christian anymore? I see the answer to all my problems here!

Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*

Doing it right now, I think.

The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*

The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*

2,000 years ago? Mary had an abortion? That must be some translation of the bible I missed.

So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*

Dream Tree?

Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*

Starbucks=evil? What do have against sugary coffee-based beverages?

Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*

Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,not Happy Holiday !*

I thought Dan Rather prevented you from doing that.

I do so enjoy the War on Christmas. I'm glad it started it early this year.

Let's Hear It for Begging!

libertarian, health care, charity, fail

There's no zealot like a new zealot, and renaissanceguy is indeed a zealot. A Libertarian zealot. Honestly, I'll take the freaks over at Rapture Ready over Libertarians. A belief that Jesus is going to descend from the sky on a white horse shortly after Kirk Cameron converts in a public restroom is way saner than the Libertarian answer to poverty and need, which can be summed up thusly:

Beg, beg and beg some more.
Beg until you can beg no more!

Recently a commenter named Personal Failure asked:

What happens when private help isn’t available or isn’t enough? What then? My husband has MS. He needs medication, tests, doctors and treatments, but he was rescissed by his insurance because he failed to disclose a blow to the head as a child. (Does not cause MS.) He can get his MS meds free from the company, but those meds are known to cause liver damage, and he can’t get liver function tests for free, so he can’t take the meds. So there he is on the couch, too dizzy to walk the dog, let along work. Libertarianism works great- until you can’t work.

I have thought long and hard about an answer. Here is part of the answer below. More is coming, but I try to keep each post around 500 words.

I do not want to minimalize the situation that you find yourself in. It stinks, plain and simple. My heart goes out to you and your husband. I hope that he has the remitting kind of MS and that he enters remission soon. I would first like to ask a series of questions and then conclude with a comment about your last sentence.

Note 1: MS comes in 6 varieties, the most common being Relapsing/Remitting. R/R however, does not mean that you go from symptoms to total lack of symptoms. The disease may go into an inactive state, but the damage from the active state may very well remain. The dizzy? It's not going away. That's permanent now.

Have you sought a legal remedy against the insurance company? It sounds like they have violated their contract. Libertarians are against anyone’s doing that.

ZOMQF! That's hi-fuckin-larious. People are recissed every day in this country, and people die because of it. Recission is immoral and unethical, but it's not illegal.

Have you asked your friends and family for help? Perhaps each of your close friends and family members would be willing to pay for one liver test per year.

Basic social understanding fail. On two levels, actually. (1) I'm poor. Generally, if you're poor, all your friends are poor. I have no idea where rich people hang out, but it's not where I do. (2) If you want to find out exactly how many friends you have, get sick and stay sick. You probably have 1 or 2 friends. Oh, and begging? As if MS weren't bad enough, now we've got to beg?

Have you asked a church or other religious body for help? In my hometown there is a network of churches known as the Community Ministries that provides all sorts of resources to people in need. Maybe there is something like it where you live.

I'm an atheist, but even so, my local churches are totally overwhelmed with the need for food and shelter. There is no church medical charity in my area. For those counting, this is beg #2.

Have you held fundraisers or, better yet, asked a close friend or family member to hold fundraisers on your husband’s behalf? That is often done for people with chronic illnesses.
Is your husband a member of a support group? Perhaps they know of a foundation or private charity that could help him out.

And beg #3. Oooh, I have an idea. Let's take my desperately ill husband and parade him around for strangers to point at and feel sorry for. Not that every gas station in town isn't already filled with little donation jars for this person's house fire or that person's leukemia.

Has your husband thought about ways that he might still be able to make money from home, perhaps part-time? If that is not possible, please forgive my even asking the question. Last year I was struck with a debilitating condition that I thought would make it impossible for me to work anymore at my job. I told my wife that I might have to stay home from school and try to write a book or offer private music lessons or private tutoring to struggling students. Fortunately, my condition is under control–at least at the moment.

Oh, you know just how I feel. You almost had to maybe have a conversation about working from home. Hey, asshat, you never even tried to work from home, so you have no idea if that's possible or not, and, Teh Hubby did work from home. Before he got too sick to work.

In the meantime, I have no problem with you and your husband availing yourself of any government programs for which you qualify. You helped pay for them, after all. Although I would like to see most public welfare programs reduced or abolished, you might as well benefit from the ones that are operating now.

Oh, it's so nice of you to let us try to get disability/medicaid in another 3 months. You know, before you try to get rid of it. That's so sweet.

It is not fair to discuss whether or not Libertarianism would work in light of or current situation. The United States of America is not currently operating under anything like a Libertarian-type government. I believe that both you and your husband would be better able to withstand the current crisis if Libertarian principles were enacted.

Orly? You haven't given me one example of a Libertarian principle that would help in this situation, probably because their aren't any, you whingey spleenweasel.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dragon Age Origins

Best. Video. Game. Ever.

So, I'm sitting here playing a lot of Dragon Age Origins, and yeah. There's so much to say here.


It's beautiful. Endlessly beautiful. Every place you go is beautiful. The ugly places are beautiful. My only complaint is that all children look exactly alike- waifish, 10-year-old British boys every one. It's a little odd.

Sound: The voice acting is superb. Every character is unique, every conversation is natural and no offhand comment is wasted. In fact, at one point, you'll have a party of about 9 people, though you can only take 3 with you out of Party Camp. Try to put together opposing personalities, because the background conversations that result as you wander around are hilarious.

The music is gorgeous, as well, and not overbearing.

Play: Could go on forever if you took all the side quests. I recommend saving often, because the fighting takes a while to get used to. I also recommend playing as a mage your first time through. I am not, my friend is, and he is having a far easier time than me. Technically, Dragon Age has a turn based combat system, but not really. You fight in real time, enemies react in real time. Because you are always in a group of 4, you fight swarms of enemies at a time, and it can be challenging to say the least. The AI is smart, and vicious, and I highly recommend reading the manual, which leads us to . . .

Tactics: the coolest feature of the game. You can set your group members to perform certain actions in battle based on simple [if . . . then] statements. If ally's health is less than 50%, heal ally. If enemy's health is less than 25%, perform Finishing Blow. (The AI does preset your allies for you, but you will want to tinker as you find the flaws in their fighting.) This will come in more handy than you realize. You don't have to play all the time as your created character, btw. You can be any member in your party. In fact, if your created character dies in battle, you will automatically switch to a surviving party member. I recommend familiarizing yourself with each ally's fighting moves for when this happens.

Hyperrealism: Ferelden suffers from racial tensions and misogyny, about on the level with, say, stereotypical Alabama. I'm playing as a female Dalish elf. When people meet me, they can't decide whether to question whether or not Grey Wardens even come in female, or ask why, as an elf, I'm not currently serving my slave owner.

Summary: Got $60? Buy this game. Now.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sympathy for the Devil

hasan, evil, mental illness
the fact or power of sharing the feelings of another, esp. in sorrow or trouble; fellow feeling, compassion, or commiseration.

It's hard for most to feel sympathy for a person who has done a terrible thing, for someone like Major Hasan. I understand why. He ended and ruined so many lives, and were he alive there is no explanation, no apology he could give, no action he could take to undo or make up for what he did. No matter what or who he was before he started shooting up Fort Hood, the Fort Hood killer is what he'll always be from now on.

And yet, I sympathize. I wonder what drives people past the brink. What is it that motivates a man who lived peacefully for over 40 years to commit such terrible mayhem? Was it madness? I understand that.

Psychosis is not an uncommon side effect of porphyria. I don't like to talk about it, but I had a psychotic break shortly before being diagnosed. I remember those 3 days as fear, wave after wave of raw terror with never a moment of relief. Had someone put a loaded weapon in my hands, I probably would have blown my own head off to end the fear, but maybe not. Maybe I would have tried to kill everyone who was scaring me, which was everyone at that point.

The dirty little secret of psychiatry is that it is a profession with a very high suicide rate. It's hardly surprising. Psychiatrists act as psychic garbage disposals, constantly absorbing the misery and pain of others. It's hardly surprising when the line gets clogged.

Then there is the concept of the "trigger", wherein a sane person simply experiences more than they can bear and snaps. Some will argue that this is nonsense, that they will never snap, and they point to all the people who never do as proof. I think this is perhaps an unwillingness on their part to confront the evil within, the evil in all of us.

I am a gentle person. I am loathe to hurt another person in any way, physically or emotionally. I feel tremendous guilt when I accidentally hurt another person's feelings, so the concept of me, in my right mind, killing other people is ridiculous. Except it's not. Push me the wrong way, hit enough of the right triggers, and I know, though I don't want to think it, that I could do something terrible. We all would.

The difference, the only difference, between any of us, so safe in our peaceful sanity, and Major Hasan, is that his triggers were pushed, hard enough and often enough. Perhaps his triggers were easier to push, but we all have them.

So sympathize with the devil, because only then can we hope to prevent such tragedies in the future. We need to learn from these events, and we can't unless we sympathize.

Our servicemen and women are hurting. They come back from war quite predictably changed, and what do we offer them? Very little. "Go home, get a job, thanks for all the kills" and then they go back home, often unrecognizable to their loved ones, and can't get bombs and blood and horror out of their minds. We spend tens of thousands of dollars training them to kill, and very little training them to live again. Major Hasan was trying, and well, we know what happened there.

Sympathy is the only hope we have. Unfortunately, it seems to be in quite short supply.

Friday, November 6, 2009

From the Hospital: Notes on Fort Hood

(This is a friend of PF's. Her roommate is watching Fox News nonstop and she wrote this out for me to post for her. She's doing okay, btw. They might let her go home today. What they thought was an infection at the surgical site turned out to be an allergy to the coating on the stitches, which will make the scar heal badly, but it won't kill her.)

The tragedy at Fort Hood was just that: a tragedy. A man went over the edge as people occasionally do and now innocents suffer. I understand the fear and confusion and anger that are the aftermath of such events. However, if I hear "Muslim" mentioned one more time . . .

Timothy McVeigh blew up a building and killed innocent children, and nobody spent a moment pontificating on how dangerous white, Christian men are. The Fort Hood shooter does not represent every Muslim everywhere, he represents only himself. Intimations or outright shouts to the contrary should be called out as the bigotry they are.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Please enjoy this brief intermission

PF is briefly MIA due to blush almost killing her. Ya, rly.

All is hopefully on its way to being well, but please send positive energy out to the Quantum Field, and enjoy this photo of one of PF's favorite animals, the behbeh sloth:

courtesy of CuteOverload

-- Anon
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