Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Morality Recession

sally, kern, united states, theocracy, democracy, recession, stupid, bible, homophobia, homosexual, same sex, debauchery
State Representative Sally Kern (R) of Oklahoma is apparently all ten shades of crazy, as evidenced by her explanation of the recession. (Hint: it does not involve securitizing mortgages or lack of oversight of financial markets.)

The “Oklahoma Citizen’s Proclamation for Morality” includes this language about the Democrats and the president:

WHEREAS, we believe our economic woes are consequences of our greater national moral crisis; and

WHEREAS, this nation has become a world leader in promoting abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse, and many other forms of debauchery; and

WHEREAS, alarmed that the Government of the United States of America is forsaking the rich Christian heritage upon which this nation was built; and

WHEREAS, grieved that the Office of the president of these United States has refused to uphold the long held tradition of past presidents in giving recognition to our National Day of Prayer; and

WHEREAS, deeply disturbed that the Office of the president of these United States disregards the biblical admonitions to live clean and pure lives by proclaiming an entire month to an immoral behavior;


This isn't just crazy because she's blaming a recession on debauchery, it's crazy because most of the things on that list aren't even vaguely true.

The United States is not the world leader in abortions, Russia is. Russians have twice as many abortions as Usians. In the US, conservative states consume the most pornography, but Germany hosts the most online porn. As for same sex marriage, the US lags behind Belgium, Canada, South Africa, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden. I have no idea why she thinks the US leads in sex trafficking, but that's not even close to true. Approximately 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year, with 14,500 to 17,500 trafficked into the U.S.

Child abuse certainly occurs in the US, but we by no means rule the world in child abuse. The US does not engage in child labor, female genital mutilation, child marriage, nor do children serve as soldiers in the US.

Next on Kern's list o' teh crazee is the old saw about the US as a Christian nation, which I'm sick of dealing with, followed by the biblical admonitions to live clean and pure lives. I highly doubt Kern follows any of those admonitions aside from the one about homosexuality, and that's only because she happens to be hetero. Does Kern really not eat shrimp or pork? Kern never wears clothing made out of mixed threads? The list goes on and on, and I doubt Kern is familiar with any of it.

Two theocracy posts in one day. I live in the US, people.

Has Iran Taught Us Nothing?

theocracy, iran, jesus, god, bible, christian, atheism, atheist, liberal, democracy,
If you learn anything from the events in Iran, it should be "theocracy sucks". Given the graphic examples of the full suckage of theocracy available to us, why do so many USians yearn for a theocracy of their very own?

The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission defames itself with its latest awkwardly titled post Reclaim Christ's Crown Rights, by Dr. Gary Cass.

I didn’t get the memo really? I sent it . . . oh, looks like we have your old address, sorry about that, but apparently a lot of people did. Here it is: Jesus Christ has abdicated his throne in heaven because of the last election. when did we vote on the throne in heaven? At least that must be what the memo said after looking at some ministries around the nation. if you're not actively working towards theocracy, you hate jesus!


Ministries that are otherwise sound in doctrine have in practice determined to surrender all but a small slice of life and culture to radical atheists
we want your children, too. they're tasty!, so called “secular progressives,” and to the liberal, apostate religious left. This is as dismaying as it is foolish. it's also surprising, since i was unaware that i was in control of life and culture now. who sent out that memo?

Perhaps you noticed the atheists and liberals did not throw in the towel on the larger culture when their movement was struggling or when their leaders were inept. ummm??? They kept plugging away and when they had opportunity they were ready and prepared to act. by releasing our cyborg . . . oh, wait, is that still a secret? They seem more committed to advancing their godless utopian schemes is that in the updated Atheist Agenda? I haven't gotten it yet. than Christians are to furthering the Kingdom of God.


Because of the last election cycle
i believe we call that a GOP loss, bichez!, many who say they believe that Jesus Christ is Lord have retreated. past the Maginot Line? They have effectively reduced Christ’s kingly claims to matters of personal piety, family and church life. wait, isn't that exactly where they belong? oh, right, theocracy. But our apostolic faith says that Jesus Christ is Lord of all (Acts 10:36). The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) oh, sure, we should definitely give up on democracy and set up our very own theocracy on the basis of 5 words taken slightly out of context. sure. we'll get right on that.

Many Crowns
Perhaps what is most frustrating about the retreat from the cultural mandate on the part of many ministries is that it is so unworthy of Christ.
i'm thinking we should just drop Dr. Cass off in Iran and let him experience the "worthiness" of theocracy.


When Christ is revealed in His glory, He is portrayed as the invincible King of Heaven
you mean in artists' renderings? you get those are made up, right? seriously, have you seen a Middle Easterner? yeah, they don't look like Nordic conquerers., and on His head are many crowns (Rev 19:12). a dubious fashion statement, to be sure. These crowns are not merely decorative symbols of his majesty, but reveal the full extent of His Lordship over all His creation. uh, yeah, according to you, he's freakin' god. he needs crowns to get that across to people?


Theses
lulz crowns, with all their rights and privileges, the crowns have rights and privileges? and why exactly would god need crowns to grant him rights and privileges? were bestowed on our Christ for His perfect obedience and sufferings. Therefore, God has declared him to be the Son of God with power by raising him from the dead (Rom.1:4). On the cross, Christ conquered all of God’s enemies, both visible and invisible i defeat invisible enemies all the time. i'm doing it right now. you just can't see.(Col.2:15). He will rule and reign until he makes all his enemies, even death itself, his footstool wait a minute, did you just say that he already conquered all of god's enemies? did he do it or not? (1 Cor. 15:25; Heb. 10:13). This is our confidence! good for you, now leave my democracy alone.


To exclude any sphere of authority from the Lordship of Jesus Christ is a grave misunderstanding of both His divine nature and His meritorious work.
oh, well, then, here have my country. As very God of very God what?, Christ rules over all the affairs of men and upholds the world by his Word that explains the giant hand you can see holding up the earth in all those pictures from the moon . . . (Heb.1:3). As God the Son, all the nations of the world are His inheritance. (Psalm 2) and when he shows up in all his crowned glory to claim his inheritance, we'll talk.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, it is not for victory that we preach the gospel and declare the rule of Christ. Rather, it is from His victory that we dare defy the wicked powers and principalities of this world i think that's us guys. us and Obama, both visible and invisible. that reminds me: whoever has the atheist invisibility cloak, it's my turn now. With the first martyrs of the church we declare that Jesus Christ is Lord and will not bow to any earthly Caesar. We are unabashed, unapologetic Christocrats.

Matthew 22:21- Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's I think that's a pretty clear statement that christians should not be doing what Dr. Cass is promoting. Do any of these asshats actually read the bible?

oh, and "Christocrats"? seriously?




Nor will we water down and stop declaring the gospel of the King.
is anyone asking you to? you are more than welcome to declare anything you want, you just can't set up your own theocracy. In His name we will sue all of Christ’s rebellious enemies for peace. betcha the Supreme Court doesn't hear that one. The price for peace with God is unconditional surrender to His Son. Having once ourselves been at enmity with God, we have been humbled by God’s grace and must urge all to find mercy while it can be found. so, you got to choose, but you'll force it on the rest of us?


Because all sinners need to repent
can you stop with the unproven assertions now?, therefore we urge all people everywhere to reach out and touch the golden scepter of Christ’s grace. Nor will we stop confronting the injustice and unrighteousness of our day. you'll be helping the Innocence Project? We will warn the kings of this world that King Jesus rules the nations with His rod of iron and will judge the world in righteousness. Kiss the Son lest he be angry with you! with tongue, or without?

What part of "theocracies don't fucking work" don't these people get?

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Opine Editorials Support Incest!

incest, homophobia, homosexual, marriage, same sex, stupid,
Probably not, but op-ed, in all his fucktarded glory, made it appear that another blogger does by cleverly replacing the word "GLBT" with "incest" in his comment. (I actually had to go read the original comment to make sure the guy wasn't seriously promoting incest. Disgraceful, op-ed, just disgraceful.)

First of all, the difference between incest and homosexuality is simple: incest produces nasty genetic diseases. You can see it with purebred dogs and you can see it with the royal families in Europe and the whole hemophilia mess. The Playful Walrus argued that not all marriages produce children, but you have to be prepared for the fact that heterosexual sex will produce children even with the careful use of birth control, so suck it, TPW.

Secondly, editing someone's comment so they look like a disgusting pervert purely to prove a point that has been debunked ad nauseum is sleazy at best. At best, op-ed. You should not be proud of this.

I'm gonna go bathe now.

Pimping Dead People for Jesus

jesus, heaven, hell, michael jackson, farrah fawcett, ed mcmahon
I've seen this sort of thing more than a few times in the last week, and I think it's disgusting.

I don't know where Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon will be spending eternity.

In heaven??? Or hell???

Wherever they are...I'm sure that they are crying out for you to get reconciled with Jesus.

If you don't KNOW that your eternity is secure in heaven then you can be certain that it's not!

Jesus said we can know that we are heaven bound.Not wish or hope, but literally know.

The Holy Spirit confirms and convinces us.

Where will YOU spend eternity?*


I shouldn't have to tell anyone this, but Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon all have families and others who loved them. Those people are hurting right now, and it is incredibly disrespectful and disgusting to pimp the recently deceased for Jesus.

Plus, can you imagine reading the above about your not-even-cold-yet loved one? Are they in heaven, are they in hell- who knows? If I believed in such things, I would be enraged and hurt to see someone speculating that my loved one might be burning in hell for all eternity.

Just another case of "Jesus makes me immune to normal rules of civility", I guess.


*click the link for a look at the posters psychotic unusual use of font sizes.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shiny, Happy People


Beachballs- his very favorite thing. I'll have to figure out how to post a video of the two of us playing volleyball.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Apocalypse Is Now


This is the view from my deck.

Iranian Voices

iran, neda, resistance, election, Moussavi, khomeini
Arash Hejazi, the man who tried to save Neda, gave an interview to Paulo Coelho. The interview is well worth the watch, but it is the comments from Iranians that tug at my heart.

Sarah: (note: the blog is in Farsi, but the pictures are excellent)

dear paolo coelho

I agree with this opinion. but i think i live in backward country with this government, because majority of the people in Iran try to change a result of election but the government attention was not given to people protests and suppressed with force.this government only want to reach the power.thanks alot for sympathetic.I'm your fan in facebook. but facebook was filtered and i can't leave message for you.pleas don't alone us because we decide to go on Neda's way.I offer my thanks to Arash hejazi for this interview.

regards, Sarah from Iran

I can't imagine Sarah's life right now. I would agree that your government is backward, but the people of Iran are not. You are beautiful and brave.

dear sir

I really appreciate your help. thank you very much.

they closed most newspaper, sites and even they make satelite unreachable. shame on them
:( . we don't access to news. we just say "allho akbar" to show our resistance.

omid from iran

Shame on them, indeed, Omid. It's your voices we need to hear.

It makes me tear up to see comments from Iranians. I wonder if they are still alive as I write this. Are they well? Are they hurt? Are they scared? I hope Omid and Sarah are defiantly shouting "allho akbar" right this minute. I don't believe in god, but I do believe in the Iranians.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Vast Amounts of Atheist Money

mariano, atheism, atheist, morality, morals, ethical, ethics
The same people who can't shut up about Jesus just can't seem to understand why atheists might want to advertise their viewpoint. I will give them this: the motivation is different. Atheists aren't really hoping you'll convert to atheism, we just want to let other atheists know they're not alone, and it's okay to believe or not believe as you will.


Atheists live in a world that rejects us, even demonizes us, at every turn. Speaking as a US citizen, god is on my money, in my pledge, the reason for a Federal holiday, and permeates the language and culture. Belief is the assumed default, to admit that one does not believe can generate any reaction from stupid misunderstanding (one person actually said to my nephew, "so, you're Jewish?") to outright hostility. Everyone in our culture thanks god for the great and the small, speaks of miracles and prays for us.


It can be a little lonely.
Mariano, who declares that atheism is dead (we'll categorize this under "demonize"), adds a little extra stupid to his outrage over the bus ads.
Yes, they are at it again. Having nothing better to do with vast amounts of money more atheist bus ads are being purchased.
Okay, where is the vast amount of atheist money, and how do I get some of it?
What has Mariano's panties in a bunch? The idea, as shown in the above picture, that one can be moral and ethical without god. The truly ridiculous thing about Mariano's outrage is that this is an undeniable fact. Arguing about this is like arguing whether or not water is wet. Secular societies have lower rates of violence and teen pregnancy. Atheists are better at marriage. Atheists make up the tiniest portion of the prison population. Sorry, Mariano, Jesus doesn't make you better than me.

Why We Need Universal Health Care - Part Infinity

health care, hospital, socialism, obama
Yesterday I wake up at 5am with a hideous pain under the bottom of my ribs on the left side. Bad enough to wake me up out of a sound sleep. I wait around for a while for it to go away, it doesn't. The pain gets worse. I drink a cup of coffee and have a piece of toast. (The coffee is important later.)

Finally, at 8am, I decide I can't wait for my doctor's office to open at 9:30 and go to the ER. They actually got me into a room in record time (about 45 minutes) and then . . . nothing. An hour goes by. A nurse comes in, takes blood, records heart rate, blood pressure (145/62) and temperature. At this point, I'm thirsty. I've been up for almost 5 hours and I've only had a cup of coffee. The nurse says that since I have stomach pain, I can't have anything to drink.

Another 2 hours go by. I complain of being thirsty 2 more times, and the nurse comes into the room with a bag of saline and leaves. Doesn't hook it up, just leaves. A physician's assistant student stops in, does the worst exam in history (why yes, if I have bad menstrual cramps and you press on my uterus, it will hurt. Not a freakin' medical mystery.), and tells me the tests were normal (I had to pry out of her that they tested liver and kidney function), then tells me there isn't anything in that area (you know, other than my spleen, for starters), then goes to find someone who can hook up the bag.

Another hour goes by, and at this point I feel like I've run a marathon through the Sahara, and I'm getting really floaty. I leave, go home, drink four 12 ounce bottles of water in 20 minutes and go to sleep. My SIL, who works at that hospital, stops by and I tell her what happened and she tells me the dirty, not-so-secret of the ER, you know, that place that is to millions of people their only access to health care?

ER's are only required to stabilize vitals: blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. If those are stable, they can, and will, "street" you: kick you out of the ER. If you die in the parking lot, that's not their problem. You were "stable" when you left. This is obscene. You can have a heart attack, and have perfectly normal vitals. You can be bleeding to death and have perfectly normal vitals right up until the end. You can have a stroke and have perfectly normal vitals.

This is health care in the US. ERs are overwhelmed with sick and suffering people who have nowhere else to turn, and the ERs don't have the capability to help them. So, the ERs kick out all but the most obviously sick (i.e., bleeding everywhere), and risk killing people in the process. I can't predict the future and tell you exactly how well the planned reforms will work, but I can tell you that what's going on now isn't working.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What Are They Doing?

iran, elections, protests
What are they doing in Iran? To their own citizens? Why?

An Iranian gives her eye-witness report on today's atrocities carried out against non-violent protesters on the streets of Tehran. Further accounts online paint a similar grim picture. From persiankiwi's excellent twitter page:

all shops was closed - nowhere to go - they follow ppls with helicopters - smoke and fire is everywhere #Iranelectionabout 4 hours ago from web

ppl run into alleys and militia standing there waiting - from 2 sides they attack ppl in middle of alleys #Iranelectionabout 4 hours ago from web

saw 7/8 militia beating one woman with baton on ground - she had no defense nothing - #Iranelection sure that she is deadabout 5 hours ago from web

they were waiting for us - they all have guns and riot uniforms - it was like a mouse trap - ppl being shot like animals #Iranelectionabout 5 hours ago from web

I see many ppl with broken arms/legs/heads - blood everywhere - pepper gas like war - #Iranelectionabout 5 hours ago from web

Nico Pitney relays from Facebook:

"In Baharestan we saw militia with axe choping ppl like meat - blood everywhere - like butcher . . . Fighting in Vanak Sq, Tajrish sq, Azadi Sq - now . ."

The next time some asshatting teabagger talks about "taking America back", smack them. Hard.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

If Things Were Different, They Wouldn't Be the Same

evangelism, witness, atheism, atheist, stupid, christian, god, bible,
It's really amusing when fundys try to prove god using science. It would be like me trying to convert someone to atheism using the principles of Shintoism. Absurd, but fun.

carrieb, from Rapture Ready, tries to convert us all with the observation that if things were diferent, they wouldn't be the same.

18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1:18-20) Random bible quotes, always good when attempting to convert those who don't believe the bible is the word of god.

I have been thinking to myself that God, in some ways, is the author of simplicity but in others, he's the author of complexity, that his glory has been made so obvious, so clear, that atheists and non-believers have completely overlooked what is plain in His creation. if it's that obvious, that plain and clear, how could we possible have "overlooked" it? "ignore" I could see, but "overlook"? I believe that He has made his being known so immediately, so eloquently, so transparently, step away from the thesaurus! that the pride of intellectual pursuit inhibits these people's ability to see Him because He is right before their eyes - can't see the forest through the trees. first of all, can't see the forest for the trees. secondly, yeah, yeah, yeah, liberal elites, we get it. The most obvious characteristics of our earth and our existence speak volumes of the power, care and glory of our God. really? is there a signature somewhere i haven't heard about. We have a brilliant white light moon, no, we don't. the moon reflects the sun's light. it is not in and of itself possessing of a brilliant white light. one powerful warming sun and a vision into our starry night sky that resounds in the thought of eternity. the sky? Each of these things is a magnitude of two contrasts - it is? it is in these two contrasts that God so plainly displays his invisible attributes. if they're invisible, they're not plainly displayed. one or the other, folks.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies declare the work of His hands" (Psalm 19:1) it's weird how much the bible says god exists. i wonder if there's a reason for that?

Imagine for a moment that we live in an entirely different kind of landscape and still have a similar human existence. so, we live on an entirely different planet, but we're still exactly the same? you know that's basically impossible, right? you know that life evolves in reaction to the environment it's in, not some other . . . oh, yeah. It's not difficult to imagine that we could be living on a planet with a permanent heavier cloud cover where we are constantly drenched in mist and where there are 8 orange and dark gray moons orange and dark grey moons? why are they orange and dark grey? you really think the moon has its own light, don't you., where we orbit a two star system wherein there is no distinct contrast between day or night. well, actually, there wouldn't be day and night in that situation. there'd be day and day. Beyond those fixtures in our gray sky, wait a minute, we have 2 suns, but no sunlight? okay. no other glimpses into the heavens are available to us. It could be a planet of constant environs where there is no change of seasons, no balance between ice and heat - everything is simply maintained in a weatherless lukewarm wait a minute, wouldn't "weatherless lukewarm" be the balance between ice and heat? and why are there no seasons? seasons are caused by our orbit and the tilt of the planet, why are there no seasons? and damp state and yet human life is viable. well, sure, but human life as we know it is very unlikely in that scenario. None of these contrasts of Light and Dark when did we start capitalizing those words? and wouldn't it still be dark in a cave or building? would exist and it seems to me, that on that landscape, God might be seen as silent of His majesty. seriously? without our exact setup god is impossible? really?

But on this earth, we are clearly given the two: Day and Night, Dark and Light, White and Black, Dead and Alive, Sleep and Awake - (1) on the other planet, there would still be dark and light, black and white, dead and alive, sleep and awake. (2) what about grey and all the other colors, what about all the in betweens that exist in all of those states? having 2 suns and 8 moons gets rid of all that? all of these are the bare-bones declaration of eternal life with and without God. dark and light prove eternal life? how? To go even further, God created a moon that fits the outline of our sun so perfectly in eclipse - where we see only the shining corona of its power - hope you didn't have your StupidMeter(tm) plugged in for that one. the eclipse is a function of the positions of the moon, earth and sun at certain times, not the other way around. the exact details of size of our moon and sun, their distance from the earth is extraordinary - this is not by chance! and any other details wouldn't be extraordinary? why? does this make sense to anyone?

We're also given a view of space that stretches to infinity, manifesting the glorious handiwork of God, displaying his power for limitlessness - a hint of eternity. sure, whatever. Astronomers will be very quick to say that our placement in the galaxy is one that seems designed for a clear view of the cosmos no, they won't. astronomers are surely appreciative of the view, but they don't claim we were placed right here for some viewing purpose.- we are without space dust clouding our view, and the exact location of our solar system is one that is uncluttered by the glare of close stars. This lends us the full view of other galaxies and stars millions of light years from us. And the more astronomers discover, still more of God's glory is continually revealed to our amazement. or the more scientific discoveries we make.

Our whole existence here is marked by the contrast of two distinct things. and every other thing in between. I'm sure the list could go on forever, but here is the list of contrasts that I considered that directly speak of God's invisible attributes to us every day of our lives. The list of contrasts that the atheists and non-believers "can't see". must not be that obvious then. You'll note that a vast majority of these are the same ones used in the bible to describe all of us - the quick and the dead. wtf?! I'd love to hear of more if you can think of any. stop abusing the word "think". it did nothing to you.

dark/light day/night wet/dry washed/dirty really? those are opposites? alive/dead white/black i like colors, personally saved/unsaved puhlease land/water oh, yeah, nothing in between that. up/down truth/lie that's a matter of interpretation, my dear love/hate that's right, because the two are never combined holy/unclean holy/unholy or clean/unclean pure/tarnished i love this one. the opposite of "pure" is "impure" not "tarnished". pure silver tarnishes very quickly, asshat. inside/outside in the doorway time/eternity beginning/end first/last good/evil hot/cold warm sleep/awake blind/seeing bad eyesight.


sorry, carrieb, your complete misunderstanding of both science and the english language has failed to convert me. better luck next time.

I'm Not Selling Out

I'm buying in.

Yes, the ads are a little . . . off topic. But would it kill you to click on an ad for 1,600 prolife products? Is a Jesus belt buckle really that unfashionable? And what about your career? You could totally have your master's in 16 months- online! Who doesn't need that kind of personal and professional advancement?

Besides, I've earned $0.41 this week. Three more weeks, and I can have a coffee from Dunkin' Donuts.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Redefining Logical

profanity, obscenity, curse words, jesus, atheism, atheist, muslim, islam, mahdi, shi'a
Chris Geiser, at Food for the Soul, has redefined "logical", proving the existence of god, Jesus and hell via profanity.

Yes, profanity.

(note: Mr. Geiser does not feel the need to waste time dividing his posts into paragraphs. I do.)

I just saw a trailer to a movie called Drag Me to Hell. It looks really scary. A while ago I visited the movie's website and it is rather eye opening. It has one of the better website flame graphics I've seen, but I'm not sure I would call it "eye opening". Maybe it's the way all the text isn't jammed into one tiny space that Mr. Geiser finds eye opening.

When secular people atheists! go to see that movie and have heard to the? whole gospel preached to them before wow, who's letting that happen? i mean, the whole gospel. yeah, it's long., I am sure they will probably think about what they heard from the faithful believer who told them the good news. no, no we won't. we don't stop to think about these things while enjoying harmless entertainment. hello, just a movie!

Hell sure seems like it is the real deal. uh, it does? have you been there? wouldn't that be a better post than this one? And it is because it is logical and biblical. hell isn't really biblical, nor is it particularly logical. though thanks for the chuckle. I think that if God, Jesus, or Hell didn't exist, people wouldn't be using God or Jesus Christ's name as curse words when they are mad or scared nor say "What the H-ll" when they are made made what? made scared? what? or scared, either. allow me to explain the nature of profanity to you, Mr. Geiser. it's cultural. the entire purpose of profanity is to be offensive and shocking. in a nation of christians, profanity invoking christian themes will be popular. atheists use those words because everyone else does. this does not reflect any belief in god, jesus or hell. what do you think "fuck!" is all about anyway?

let me put it to you another way: if people found blinking as shocking and crass as mentioning defecation in public, then "oh, blink!" would be the sort of thing you say when you drop a heavy box on your foot.

Nobody uses Allah, Buddha or Mother Nature as curse words. i dunno about that. different cultures do consider different things offensive. actually, i looked up Arabic profanity and got a very amusing list of insults and obscenities. most of them would be equally insulting to an english speaker, but some of them are distinctly different in flavor. Rooh fi siteen alf dahya, for example, apparently means get lost in 60,000 disasters. i guess 50,000 disasters isn't quite enough, but 70,000 is excessive. I know people don't say ,"Mary mother of G-d" as a curse word anymore but they did when? as far back as my grandmother that was an expression of surprise and fear, not an insult or an attempt to be offensive...and why did they, if the whole story of Jesus coming to earth through the virgin Mary wasn't true? i'd just like to say "duh."

I would like to note something else. Muslims, or at least Shi'a Muslims, do believe in Jesus, just not as god. They believe Jesus was born of a virgin, was an important prophet, ascended bodily into heaven and will return at the end of days, some time after al Mahdi. Yet they never invoke Jesus as a profanity, thus disproving Mr. Geiser's theory that we profane what we believe in.

No one thinks of those things when they aren't born again because they are blind and must be gently told that they are wearing someone else's eye-glasses. what? what does that even mean? am i blind or merely wearing the wrong prescription? and how would i not notice that i had someone else's glasses on? trust me, wearing the wrong prescription is immediately obvious. Condemnation awaits them John 3:18, not only from their own doing but because Satan has a play in it too. damn satan, always fucking things up. Satan's work can be destroyed through the light of the gospel in a dark place. so, not in the rather overly lit room i am in right now? guess i'm screwed. Revelation 21:8. John 3:16.

Get Off My Lawn

tanner, liberal, agenda, gran torino, gay
James Tanner, at Comments on the Contemporary, makes me laugh. When he's not exposing the Gay Agenda(tm), his posts can all be summed up one way: Get off my lawn!* He's that stereotypical, grumpy old man from every bad sitcom you've ever seen- with a blog! It's awesome!

This week, Mr. Tanner exposes yet another victim of the Liberal Agenda: geography.

By the time I went through grammar school (now a misnomer) and high school, they (the radical liberals) had managed to eliminate geography as a subject . . .

Absolutely priceless.

Previously, I greatly enjoyed a screed against those young people and their internets:

I do know younger adults who are computer professionals. They have on the job experience with networks and Internet connections. They can set up a computer and connect it to a network, but often don't know what to do with it past Facebook and or MySpace.

We should let grandpa get to his nap now, kids.



*and I don't mean that in a cool, Gran Torino kind of way, either.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Iranian Doppleganger

iran, Moussavi, protests, tehran
The woman in the middle, holding up the picture of Moussavi, behind the woman in the white and blue scarf, looks just like me. She's my Iranian doppleganger (I wonder if there is such a word in Farsi), and in this picture she is happy and hopeful. In this picture, my Iranian sister thinks that her vote can change the world, or at least her little corner of it.


I wonder if she's still alive.
Pay attention to her, and all the other Iranians like her. They're changing the world.

Beauty Everywhere

assassin's creed, video game, beauty,
Even if you don't play video games, this is beautiful.


Another Day in Paradise


My xbox broke. I turned it on and got the dreaded "red ring of death".


This is my fourth xbox since the original I bought when it launched. The only good thing I can say about this is Microsoft does replace them, every one, free of charge. I don't even pay shipping to send the broken one back.


However, 3 weeks without an xbox does not a happy PF make.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ideology Gone Awry

abortion, prochoice, prolife, tiller, baby, faith,
Prolifers like to say that every late term abortion Dr. Tiller provided was "frivolous". No, they weren't. The story of Baby Faith is the story of prolife ideology gone horribly awry.

The Story of Baby Faith Hope is a blog written by a 23 year old woman who discovered she was pregnant with an anencephalic baby. Anencephaly is a neural tube defect which results in a baby that is missing most of its brain. In fact, such babies are missing most of their heads and are born without the top of the skull. You can see some pretty horrifying pictures of you search "anencephaly pictures". These babies have no hope for survival, the only possibility for them is suffering and death. It's a tragedy, plain and simple.

My name is Myah Walker. In about 8 weeks from now I will be giving birth to my little girl, Faith Hope. Faith was diagnosed with anencephaly at my 19-week ultrasound on September 12.

Anything after 20 weeks is a late term abortion. Thank whatever you want they are legal in such circumstances, because I can't imagine being faced with this sort of news and then being forced to rush about trying to get an appointment for an abortion within 5-7 days.

Myah is staunchly prolife.

When given the option to either carry her to term or terminate the pregnancy, I immediately told the doctor that I wanted to carry her to term. It was not a decision that I had to think about. For some reason I had to give the doctors my decision over and over again, which was frustrating. One doctor asked, "Can I ask why you want to continue this pregnancy?" I guess some people are baffled by unconditional love.

No, sweetie, like me they were baffled that you would want to put yourself and a baby through such pain unnecessarily. I can't possibly judge you, the position you were in is unthinkably cruel, but I can't imagine making the same choice, nor should I or any other woman be forced to.

What happens next, however, is even worse. After giving birth, Myah believes that baby Faith has some chance at a normal life. At one point, she describes baby Faith as "advanced". She does everything possible to keep her alive, feeding baby Faith through a tube because she can't coordinate sucking and swallowing, giving her medication after medication for her breathing difficulties, trying to find a pediatrician for her.

What's truly cruel is that Myah blames herself for her baby's death.

On May 23rd, 2009, Faith passed into Heaven. She died of a gastro-intestinal bleed. She did not die of anencephaly, as predicted. She died of a stomach ulcer... something that may have been prevented if we had found our Pediatrician a little sooner. It breaks my heart to think that if we had done things differently, that Faith might not have suffered the way she did. But I have peace knowing that she is safe in Heaven now, living a beautiful pain-free life.

No, Myah, you did not kill your baby. No pediatrician could have saved her. Yes, the medication she was on caused the ulcer, but without the medication, she would have died sooner. She had no chance at all. You did nothing wrong.

To make matters even worse, prolife groups published fairy tales about Baby Faith's short, painful existence.

When the baby was born, she was apparently able to both see and hear and suffered no health problems other than anencephaly. No medication was required in Faith’s daily care and she was able to breastfeed, although she also received nutrition through a tube.

That's an outright lie.

When the baby was born, she had half a skull. Almost every post after Baby Faith was born chronicled her health problems, from constant breathing difficulties to eye infections and bleeding ulcers and she took medication every day of her life.

If Myah had had an abortion, she could have moved on. Instead, she gave birth to a doomed child, came to believe she was not only normal, but advanced, and now blames herself for her baby's death. This is the malignancy of prolife ideology, and ideology that forces innocent women and children to suffer horribly. I can hope that baby Faith couldn't feel pain, but I doubt it. She could open her eyes, she could make noises and move her limbs, she could probably feel pain.

This is what "no abortion ever" forces upon its victims. It is evil.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What Socialism Looks Like





Yes, kids, that's what full-blown socialism looks like: the little bitty 0.21% of the graph. Political science teachers everywhere are probably checking themselves into psychiatric hospitals en masse by now.


I highly suggest clicking the link, btw. I've never heard of Conor Clarke before, but he is just priceless.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Oh, I Get It

racism, obama, birther, biden, citizenship, united states, president,
For a long time now, I've been wondering what exactly it is Birthers hope to gain. (In case you are not familiar with the term, Birthers are wingnuts absolutely convinced that Obama is not a natural born citizen. They hope to remove him from the presidency based on this "fact".)

For the sake of argument, suppose that (despite the claims being repeatedly debunked) Obama did turn out not to be a "natural born citizen" and was impeached or resigned. What happens next? It's not like McCain or Palin or Reagan's ghost become president, Joe Biden does. How would that be any better from the wingnut point of view? Joe Biden is, if anything, more liberal than Obama. He is however, an old white guy . . .

Oh, I get it.

Good for Me, but not for Thee

evangelism, fundamentalist, fundamentalist, evangelical, christian, reiki
And the winner of the Most Clueless Fundy Award goes to scrappergirl for this comment on her friend who is into reiki:

funny story, though. one of my friends went to a Reiki thing and became a certified Reiki practitioner a couple of years ago, and shortly thereafter she came over and was gushing about this Reiki thing (i knew very little of it at the time) and it was shortly after I was in a car accident (that i still suffer from the effects of today) and was in pain. She tried SO hard to let me let her Reiki me. She was like "I don't even have to touch you" and i was like, "well then how will that help me?" and she was talking about the energy, etc, and i was like "well, where does that energy come from?" and she was like "from God". I go, "well how do YOu know that?". It was the craziest thing, bc she was so adamant about how it would make me feel better, etc, and i was not going to let her reiki me! It was practically like she was trying to pressure me into it...kept bringing it up.


Would that be in any way similar to the way evangelicals just won't let the whole Jesus thing go, scrappergirl? Just a teensy bit? Not even a little?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Recission aka if You Need Insurance, You Can't Have It

health care, public, private, bayh, recission,
Steve Benen at Political Animal did an excellent post on the health insurance industry and recission.

Recission is the practice of dropping people from coverage once they sick, even though they were paying their premiums and obeying all the rules. Oddly, that's quite legal. Oh, health insurance companies will occasionally give some justification for recission in an especially egregious case, but it's always ludicrous.

One executive said rescission is about "stopping fraud and material misrepresentations that contribute to spiraling healthcare costs." So, for example, when a woman in Texas was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, her insurer dropped her coverage because the company found an instance in which she visited a dermatologist for acne, and didn't tell the insurance company about it. This, the insurer said, was an example of "fraud and material misrepresentation."

Wtf does acne have to do with breast cancer? Nothing. It was just an excuse, and a bad one at that. In fact, it's the sort of excuse that makes one suspect that insurance companies aren't particularly concerned with being called on their behavior. Why should they be?

From the desk of Evan Bayh:

That my wife Susan is being paid $337,000 a year to be on the board of directors of Wellpoint is not a factor when I insist that there be no 'public option' for health care reform.
It is a matter of deep personnal conviction that I believe that if people are going to get sick and require health care, the investor class of our country should be making a profit from it. True reform will be requiring every American to purchase medical insurance thru a for-profit corporation, preferably Anthem or Blue Cross or Blue Shield which are owned by Wellpoint.


Yeah, no conflict of interest there.

Let's not forget what health insurance executives get paid for condemning sick people to suffering and death (unless you think the health care fairy stopped by and cured that woman from Texas?).

*United Health Group
CEO: William W McGuire
2005: 124.8 mil
5-year: 342 mil*

Aetna
CEO: John Rowe
2005: 22.1 mil
5-year:57.8 mil*

Cardinal Health
CEO: James Tobin
2005:1.1 mil
5-year:33.5 mil*

Cigna
CEO: H. Edward Hanway
2005:13.3 mil
5-year:62.8 mil*

Humana
CEO: Michael McAllister
2005:2.3 mil
5-year:12.9 mil*

McKesson
CEO: John Hammergen
2005: 13.4 mil
5-year:31.2 mil*

PacifiCare Health
CEO: Howard Phanstiel
2005: 3.4 mil
5-year: 8.5 mil*

Well Choice
CEO: Michael Stocker
2005: 3.2 mil
5-year: 10.7 mil*

WellPoint
CEO: Larry Glasscock
2005: 23 mil
5-year: 46.8 mil*

Oh, yeah. We don't need a public option. We need to keep paying William W. McGuire $124,800,000 a year to kill people. I honestly feel like grabbing some recissionees and congregating outside his office, chanting "Hey, hey, WWM, how many cancer patients did you kill today?"

I'm Prolife, So You Must Die

abortion, irony, prolife, prochoice, stupid, tiller,
Peter Heck, guest columnist for OneNewsNow, offers us The Tiller Ironies, a compilation of illogic and irrationality that when viewed by Irony, immediately caused a massive brain hemmorhage. Congratulations, Mr. Heck, you killed Irony.

Though predictable, it was no less despicable. Just a day following the heinous murder of the country's foremost practitioner of infanticide ummm, the legal medical procedure known as abortion?, George Tiller, radical anti-human rights activists on the left yeah, that was me. i hate human rights. stop breathing! were already condemning the entire pro-life movement for facilitating the incident.

Left-wing websites like the Daily Kos blamed conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck for causing it, the Huffington Post deemed it a morally outrageous hypocrisy, and PBS's abortion fanatic what? she attended abortions with a big foam finger and a flag that said "we're number 1!"? Bonnie Erbe went so far as to characterize the entire pro-life movement as a breeding ground for domestic terrorists. Of course rational people you actually know rational people? oh, of course, the nice people at the psych ward. recognize that it borders on clinical insanity to rail about the moral outrage of killing a single human being while simultaneously defending and advocating the wholesale slaughter of millions of others. i don't consider a fetus to be equal to a living, breathing human being. jackass. And just to make sure that there is no confusion on this point, let's be clear on what Tiller did for a living. you mean help real women with real problems? probably not. look, just to be clear, all this crap about "frivolous" late term abortions is just that: crap. abortions past 20 weeks are heavily regulated. you can't get one just because you changed your mind about having a baby. you can only get a late term abortion because your life is in danger or the fetus is severely ill or has a genetic abnormality that will make life impossible.

I will skip the graphic, and possibly untrue, descriptions of late term abortions. you are welcome to read them if you wish.

Again, these are full-term, completely viable infants capable of living outside the womb with totally developed life systems no, they're not. they're babies with no brains (NSFW), babies with severe genetic disorders that offer only a brief, brutal life– including the ability to experience pain. In short, Tiller practiced infanticide no he practiced medicine– and the left defended it. the practice of medicine? yes. Hearing these leftists now lament the taking of human life is disgracefully stomach turning. you know what, when you can carry a fetus for 9 months that will die immediately after birth, you come talk to me about stomach turning.

Notice then the irony of the situation. The only people in a position to truly express outrage over Tiller's murder are those that the left is attempting to blame for it. But this is just one of the numerous twists surrounding this tragic situation. i see. so, if i'm prochoice, i can't be outraged about murder. apparently, if someone comes along and kills my entire family, Mr. Heck expects me to walk away humming a cheery tune.

And then we get something that is irony, but not for the reason Mr. Heck thinks it is.

For instance, consider this irony: those that claim to be outraged by Tiller's murder will be calling for a lighter penalty than those they condemn for causing it. When Tiller's murderer is brought to justice, it will be those of us who oppose abortion that will be demanding his execution. The intrinsic value of human life (which, paradoxically, Tiller assaulted) is so great that anyone who violates it forfeits his own right to live.

so, being prolife automatically means being pro death penalty? ummm . . . do you not see the contradiction there, buddy? really? "i hate murder so much, I'll kill over it" doesn't set off any bells for you?

Meanwhile, it will be those on the left who proudly defended Tiller's life work that will call for a softer sentence. They consider the death penalty barbaric and find pro-lifers who advocate capital punishment inconsistent. "You can't be pro-life and pro-death penalty!" they shout. yeah. you spent paragraphs excoriating Dr. Tiller as a murderer for his legal medical practice, but you're all about the death penalty?

Evidently to them, being pro-abortion and anti-death penalty is somehow better?! Is there anything more ethically offensive then those who defend the right to life for convicted, murderous felons, yet strip that right from innocent newborn babies? yeah, it's not abortion if the baby is born. that is infanticide. step back from the rhetoric and actually read what you're writing. It is astonishing that anyone can be so blinded by their own self-righteous pomposity it is awfully bright over here that they fail to see this blatant moral incongruity. and now you're stealing my lines.

It's also notably ironic that the same ideological movement that demands we not castigate all Muslims for the actions of a few is so quick to violate its own precepts when it comes to this issue. We aren't hearing the throngs of Hollywood activists shouting that "most pro-lifers are peaceful," or seeing Democratic congressmen thumping their chests while proclaiming that "revenge against the pro-life movement for the actions of this one radical will not be tolerated." first of all, leave the muslims out of it. they weren't involved. secondly, was somebody planning a war against prolifers? what "revenge against the prolife movement"? oh, noes, we're being mean to them, horribly mean! it's just like the war in Iraq!

Indeed, the ironies surrounding the murder of this murderer are plentiful to say the least. But perhaps the most tragic of them all is that in the end, George Tiller met a brutal demise at the hands of someone who exhibited a blatant disrespect for the intrinsic value of human life...a lesson that Tiller – with the left's blessing – dedicated his life to teaching.
I see. Dr. Tiller was responsible for Dr. Tiller's death. do you also ask rape victims what they were wearing, Mr. Heck?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Ripped, Crumpled Gift

sex, misogyny, feminism, feminist, purity, chastity
The thing that bothers me the most about purity or chastity movements is their inherent misogyny. It's always women that need to remain pure (as opposed to filthy, I suppose), women that need to remain chaste. Oh, sure, more modern groups will pay lip service to the idea of male purity, but it's always women that get compared to cows and gifts.

From the Pure Love Club:

"I choose to be pure because that's what God, my future husband, and I want. I know God wants it because he says so in his word. I know my husband wants it because it is such a special gift. A friend once used the analogy that purity is like a beautifully wrapped present. If too many people are allowed to handle it, or open it, by the time it gets to the one its meant for, your future mate, its ripped and crumpled. And even though your future mate will accept it, he/she will probably be disappointed it wasn't as beautiful as it started out as. I want to stay pure because I want to be able to give myself wholly to my husband and have no regrets. Those are the reasons I want to stay pure. Not only for myself, but also for God and my future husband."- Michelle

Well, by that logic, Michelle, you should seal yourself in a small closet to prevent your ever interacting with anyone, seeing anything or hearing anything that might crumple the delicate tissue paper that is your hymen soul. We wouldn't want experiences to rip your perfect purity, we want you to remain hermetically the same, forever and ever.

Who we are is an amalgam of our experiences, of where we've been and what we've done and who we've done it with. This notion that women should not change, that we should remain innocent little girls forever, first to be protected by our fathers, then by our husbands, but never by ourselves, is misogynistic at its core. I am perfectly capable of charting my own course and making my own decisions, and my experiences do not make me less, they make me more.

We will end with a story about ripped and crumpled gifts.

Our second Christmas together, the Hubby was attending school full time and I was the only one working, and we had no money. Once we were done buying presents for everyone else, we had no money left for ourselves. I managed to scrape together enough for a pack of guitar strings, but it didn't seem like enough. If you live with a guitarist, you know that guitar picks end up everywhere: behind, in and under furniture, under rugs, etc. So, I scoured the house and came up with a handful of picks. Half of them were probably useless, as the tips of picks get ground down by the strings after a while. I wrapped it all up in white printer paper.

I handed the Hubby that sad, battered gift Christmas morning* and he loved it. He loved it because I gave it to him and because sometimes it is the thought that counts. The moral of the story is, if you choose to share** yourself with someone, they should appreciate it, no matter what's gone on in the past. Anyone who doesn't appreciate the beauty of you isn't worth sharing with anyway. To put it bluntly, do you really want to spend your time apologizing for the past you can't change? And why should you want to change it? It made you who you are. And that's worth loving.

Check out the Cynical Nymph for an excellent tangentially related post on women's bodies as public property.

*Hubby wrote me a song. I love that song.

**You can share your sexuality with someone, you can't give it to someone. It's not an ipod.

Quote Vandalism

ray, comfort, atheism, atheist, quantum, physics, liar, stupid,
If I have taught you anything in my time blogging, I hope it is this: when you see a claim that seems extraordinary, you should investigate it. Obama's bust to be added to Mount Rushmore immediately led me to discover that a large bust of Obama has been traveling the country, and will end up at a park near Mount Rushmore, for example.

Another good example of this is Ray Comfort's latest post, which reveals nothing but Ray's inherent dishonesty:

"[Ray wrote] 'If you think that's bad, try this: there are crazies out there that truly believe that women are related to primates, and those primates came from nothing.' "All women, and all men, are primates by biological definition. Acceptance of this biological definition is not evidence of mental instability, thus your accusation that such individuals are 'crazy' is wholly unfounded. Who, specifically, holds a belief that primates emerged from 'nothing'? Please identify specific individuals, and cite statements from these individuals." Dimensio

He asked:

1. "It is now becoming clear that everything can -- and probably did -- come from nothing." Robert A. J. Matthews, physicist, Ashton University, England

I found the article. Matthews was talking about the habit things have of appearing out of nowhere at the quantum level, which is a well established phenomenon.

New theoretical work on the nature of matter suggests we may now have to regard even ourselves to be manifestations of the quantum vacuum.

All atoms are made up of electrons plus a far more massive central nucleus, made up of clusters of particles called quarks. It seems obvious that the mass of the nucleus must be the sum total of the masses of its quarks – but that reckons without the effect of the quantum vacuum. It turns out that the quarks account for only a tiny fraction of the total mass of a nucleus. By far the bulk comes from the subatomic “glue” that binds its quarks together. And this glue takes the form of vacuum particles flitting in and out of existence.

2. "Space and time both started at the Big Bang and therefore there was nothing before it." Cornell University "Ask an Astronomer."

Typical of Ray, I had to supply the link. Here's what Karen Masters, whose name Ray didn't even bother to post, had to say:

We can define the universe as everything there is, so in that case there is nothing outside of it. We also say that space and time both started at the Big Bang and therefore there was nothing before it.

Another definition for the universe is the observable universe - which is the part of it that we can technically see. We cannot know what is outside of that (since we can't observe it), but we think that physics works the same everywhere and so we think that it should be very similar to the observable universe. We actually think that the universe might be infinite in extent, and so goes on forever, even though we can only see a finite part of it.

We can speculate in meta-physics or in religion about what was before the Big Bang, but again, we cannot use science to tell anything about it as physics as we understand it breaks down at that point.

3. "Some physicists believe our universe was created by colliding with another, but Kaku [a theoretical physicist at City University of New York] says it also may have sprung from nothing . . . " Scienceline.org

What existed before the Big Bang?

Armed with string theory, Kaku and others speculate that before our Big Bang, there were simply more universes. “Our universe could have either popped into existence or collided with another universe,” he says. Imagine a bubble bath where each bubble represents a universe. In this multiversal tub that existed before our Big Bang—and still exists today—universe bubbles are colliding, popping, budding new bubbles, expanding and contracting. If this scenario really exists, “Big Bangs happen all the time,” says Kaku.

Some physicists believe our universe was created by colliding with another, but Kaku says it also may have sprung from nothing: a completely empty eleven dimensional universe with no spin, no charge and no energy. This seemingly tranquil nothingness universe was actually unstable and some physicists believe that a fluctuation in the vacuum caused our universe to pinch off from its empty existence without time and space to a universe that was large enough to expand. Like a bubble in a bath, our universe had to grow instantaneously in order to survive and escape the collapsing fate of small bubbles.

This “quantum leap” involved four of the dimensions of the empty universe, which now frame the universe we live in. Expanding suddenly, this event sparked the Big Bang and caused the further expansion which created matter and continues to push the galaxies apart today. Meanwhile, the seven remaining dimensions shrunk to an almost inconceivable size, much smaller than an atom.

4. "Even if we don't have a precise idea of exactly what took place at the beginning, we can at least see that the origin of the universe from nothing need not be unlawful or unnatural or unscientific." Paul Davies, physicist, Arizona State University

Yet another treatise on the oddities of quantum physics that Ray clearly does not understand:

Mostly, quantum events occur at the atomic level; we don't experience them in daily life. On the scale of atoms and molecules, the usual commonsense rules of cause and effect are suspended. The rule of law is replaced by a sort of anarchy or chaos, and things happen spontaneously-for no particular reason. Particles of matter may simply pop into existence without warning, and then equally abruptly disappear again. Or a particle in one place may suddenly materialize in another place, or reverse its direction of motion. Again, these are real effects occurring on an atomic scale, and they can be demonstrated experimentally.

A typical quantum process is the decay of a radioactive nucleus. If you ask why a given nucleus decayed at one particular moment rather than some other, there is no answer. The event "just happened" at that moment, that's all. You cannot predict these occurrences. All you can do is give the probability-there is a fifty-fifty chance that a given nucleus will decay in, say, one hour. This uncertainty is not simply a result of our ignorance of all the little forces and influences that try to make the nucleus decay; it is inherent in nature itself, a basic part of quantum reality.
The lesson of quantum physics is this: Something that "just happens" need not actually violate the laws of physics. The abrupt and uncaused appearance of something can occur within the scope of scientific law, once quantum laws have been taken into account. Nature apparently has the capacity for genuine spontaneity.


It is, of course, a big step from the spontaneous and uncaused appearance of a subatomic particle-something that is routinely observed in particle accelerators-to the spontaneous and uncaused appearance of the universe. But the loophole is there. If, as astronomers believe, the primeval universe was compressed to a very small size, then quantum effects must have once been important on a cosmic scale. Even if we don't have a precise idea of exactly what took place at the beginning, we can at least see that the origin of the universe from nothing need not be unlawful or unnatural or unscientific. In short, it need not have been a supernatural event.

5. "Assuming the universe came from nothing, it is empty to begin with . . . Only by the constant action of an agent outside the universe, such as God, could a state of nothingness be maintained. The fact that we have something is just what we would expect if there is no God." Victor J. Stenger, atheist, Prof. Physics, University of Hawaii. Author of, God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist

I can find that quote on Ray's blog, and other Ray related websites, but I can't find it anywhere else, including numerous site devoted to Stenger. This, and the ellipses, make me very suspicious. Oh, and "atheist" is not a title, any more than "Jew" or "Christian" are titles. Unless you are in the habit of introducing people as "Mr. ibn la Ahad, Muslim", don't use "atheist" that way.

6. "Few people are aware of the fact that many modern physicists claim that things --perhaps even the entire universe -- can indeed arise from nothing via natural processes. Creation ex nihilo -- Without God (1997), Atheist, Mark I. Vuletic

Would you like to see what the very next sentence is? This document is an attempt to compile quotes that explain how all of this is supposed to work.

followed by: Eventually, I would like to write an article assessing the value of quantum vacuum fluctuations as a means of producing universes, but for the time being, I will just let the scientists speak for themselves and leave evaluation to the reader.

Again, proof that Ray doesn't understand that quantum physics is a very different thing from the world we interact with every day. Yes, in our world "everything from nothing" seems like a ridiculous proposition. In the world of quantum physics it's business as usual.

7. "To understand these facts we have to turn to science. Where did they all come from, and how did they get so darned outrageous? Well, it all started with nothing." --"Fifty Outrageous Animal Facts," Animal Planet

Animal Planet? srsly?

8. To the average person it might seem obvious that nothing can happen in nothing. But to a quantum physicist, nothing is, in fact, something." Discover Magazine "Physics & Math/Cosmology"

I'm surprised Ray didn't include the name of this article: Guth's Grand Guess, by
Brad Lemley.

Start, Guth says, by imagining nothing, a pure vacuum. Be careful. Don't imagine outer space without matter in it. Imagine no space at all and no matter at all. Good luck.

To the average person it might seem obvious that nothing can happen in nothing. But to a quantum physicist, nothing is, in fact, something. Quantum theory holds that probability, not absolutes, rules any physical system. It is impossible, even in principle, to predict the behavior of any single atom; all physicists can do is predict the average properties of a large collection of atoms. Quantum theory also holds that a vacuum, like atoms, is subject to quantum uncertainties. This means that things can materialize out of the vacuum, although they tend to vanish back into it quickly. While this phenomenon has never been observed directly, measurements of the electron's magnetic strength strongly imply that it is real and happening in the vacuum of space even now.

9.* "It is rather fantastic to realize that the laws of physics can describe how everything was created in a random quantum fluctuation out of nothing, and how over the course of 15 billion years, matter could organize in such complex ways that we have human beings sitting here, talking, doing things intentionally." (Alan Harvey Guth theoretical physicist and cosmologist). Discover Magazine, April 1, 2002

From the exact same article as No. 8. Clever, Ray, but you're talking about quotes by the same person in the same article.

And what about the conservation of energy? According to Einstein's theory of relativity, the energy of a gravitational field is negative. The energy of matter, however, is positive. So the entire universe-creation scenario could unfold without breaking conservation-of-energy laws. The positive energy of all matter in the universe could be precisely counterbalanced by the negative energy of all the gravity in the universe.

This also is more than theory. Observations are consistent with the idea, and calculations totaling up all the matter and all the gravity in the observable universe indicate that the two values seem to precisely counterbalance. All matter plus all gravity equals zero. So the universe could come from nothing because it is, fundamentally, nothing.

"It is rather fantastic to realize that the laws of physics can describe how everything was created in a random quantum fluctuation out of nothing, and how over the course of 15 billion years, matter could organize in such complex ways that we have human beings sitting here, talking, doing things intentionally," says Guth, leaning, if possible, even farther forward.

None of those quotes means what Ray thinks they do. You and I understand that Ray is, essentially, a liar. I don't truly believe he is stupid enough to put up those quotes without reading the paragraphs they are in, or the ones immediately preceding and following them. However, for all that Ray clearly doesn't understand quantum physics, he does understand his audience. They don't care what the truth is, as long as their faith is confirmed for them. And if that means quote mining or outright lying on Ray's part, they don't care.

*originally, this post had 10 quotes in it, but two of them were exactly the same. i guess someone pointed it out to Ray and he fixed it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Why It's Not a Joke

depass, racism, black, michelle, obama,
One of my nephews is black, in the same way President Obama is black: one parent is white, the other black.

He's a teenager, a talented artist, a fantastic comedian, and generally a really great kid. He's kind and warm and generous to everyone he meets. You'd be lucky if you ever met him.

I saw him at Thanksgiving last year and asked him what he thought of the first black president. He said he was thrilled that Obama had won, but was sorry that he ever ran. I thought that was a really strange sentiment, so I asked him what he meant.

My beautiful nephew told me that Obama's candidacy taught him exactly how racist this country really is. He recited all the racist things politicians and pundits had said during the election and then he rattled off every horrible word for black he had learned during the election. Then he shook his head and said the saddest thing I've ever heard anyone say, "It won't matter if I become the most famous graphic novelest of all time- to a lot of people I'll only ever be a porch monkey!"

That's why what GOP activist Rusty DePass said about Michelle Obama was not a joke, and why his apology is not enough.

Commenting on a report posted to Facebook about a gorilla escape at a zoo in Columbia, S.C., Friday, longtime GOP activist Rusty DePass wrote, "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless."

Busted by South Carolina political blogger Will Folks on his FITNEWS blog, DePass told WIS-TV in Columbia, "I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."

Then he added, "The comment was hers, not mine," claiming Michelle Obama made a recent remark about humans descending from apes. The Daily News could find no such comment.
Read more:

It's not a joke to compare a black person to monkeys, Mr. DePass. It's standard racist rhetoric. It's also not an apology when you don't say you're sorry. I'm sorry if I offended anyone is not an apology. Oh, and it's her fault anyway makes it less an apology.

You can go fuck yourself, Mr. DePass.

Atheists Shouldn't Be Allowed to Vote

conservative, republican, obama, abortion, prochoice, priest, catholic, voter, atheism, atheist,
George W. Bush once famously said that atheists (probably) aren't citizens of the US, and certainly aren't patriots.

Now Euripides puts for the notion that atheists shouldn't be allowed to vote. Well, Edmund Burke apparently said it, but according to Euripides:

Edmund Burke is considered the father of conservatism. He spoke and wrote during the 18th Century during a time of great political upheaval in Europe and in the Americas. His views, though dated according to his own time, can still shed light on the conservative impulse and lead us to understand what it means to be conservative and to stand for conservative values.

I take this quote from a speech he gave, entitled Reflections on the French Revolution. This appears in the book, The Works of Edmund Burke.

When the people have emptied themselves of all the lust of selfish will, which without religion it is utterly impossible they ever should, when they are conscious that they exercise, and exercise perhaps in a higher link of the order of delegation, the power, which to be legitimate must be according to that eternal, immutable law, in which will and reason are the same, they will be more careful how they place power in base and incapable hands. In their nomination to office they will not appoint to the exercise of authority, as to a pitiful job, but as to a holy function; not according to their sordid, selfish interest, nor to their wanton caprice, nor to their arbitrary will; but they will confer that power (which any man may well tremble to give or to receive) on those only, in whom they may discern that predominant proportion of active virtue and wisdom, taken together and fitted to the charge, such, as in the great and inevitable mixed mass of human imperfections and infirmities, is to be found.


This is a lengthy quote but one well worth reading and understanding. Here's the basic idea: When electing a person into political office and giving him political power, we should only elect someone through our own careful thought and moral wisdom and choose leaders who have active virtue and wisdom.

I would think that we would all agree that in the 21st century United States that politicians are not performing some sort of holy function, for a whole host of reasons that should be immediately obvious to the casual observer. I'm sure this was an acceptable, and perhaps even a true, remark in the mid 1700s, but times, they have a changed.

Although if mid 18th Century thought still prevails in the conservative movement, that would explain a lot. It would certainly explain the GOP attitudes toward minorities and women.

At the risk of being pedantic, a risk he's always willing to take let me break this down step by step. Burke first considers those of us who put people into power. voters. one word. i am indeed the queen of pithy. We have a duty and responsibility to rid ourselves "of all the lust of selfish will." 18th century prose is good for some pretty amusing turns of phrase. Electing someone to power must not be a selfish act, not one based on our own lust for power. We are to act without selfishness, for the good of the whole. In other words, instead of asking "What can this candidate do for me?" we should, instead ask "What can this candidate do for the country?"

and here we have the basis of conservatism: convincing people to vote against their self interest. it amazes me to see people who have no chance of ever making 250k a year (it would take me over 10 years to make that amount), getting all up in arms about a tax on wages over 250k. here's a clue: rich people didn't get rich by raining it down on the rest of us.

as for single issue voting, like abortion, when are people ever going to get that issues are never that simple? example: the local bishop declared that any catholic who voted for obama must confess and be absolved before they can take communion again. the reason? obama is prochoice. a local priest was "relocated" because he gave an interview to the paper in which he stated that he voted for obama to reduce abortions. the priest's logic? 8 years of republican control of the country had not reduced abortions one whit, so clearly, voting republican doesn't solve a thing. he then did some research (i know!) and discovered that abortions are closely tied to the economy. the economy goes up, abortions go down and vice versa. so, he voted for the candidate he believed most capable of repairing the economy in order to reduce abortions.

Getting rid of lust and selfishness is a tough task, impossible, actually. no one is entirely selfless. no one is entirely without greed (the use of "lust" in this situation). and that's a good thing. trust me, if you don't look out for yourself, no one else is going to. see: caregiver burnout. one in which, according to Burke, religion plays a significant role. wait for it. As he states, "without religion it is utterly impossible they ever should [be rid of lust and selfishness]."

a) no one is ever rid of lust and selfishness. b) one can reach nonmalignant levels of lust and selfishness without religion or god. c) he just stated, in a rather roundabout way, that atheists shouldn't vote. one shouldn't vote out of lust and selfishness. one cannot remove lust and selfishness without god. atheists do not have god. ergo . . .

Here is a key to conservatism that atheists suck?, belief that we should serve a higher purpose than our own base lusts. gee, i think that, too. without god. it's called the common good, asshat, and you don't need god for it. well, maybe you do. For "when they are conscious that they exercise,...the power, which to be legitimate must be according to that eternal, immutable law god, in which will and reason are the same, they will be more careful how they place power in base and incapable godless hands."

here we have it, the key to conservatism: vote for the best interests of rich people the country, and godgodgodgodgodgodgod atheists suck!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Arguments, They're Getting Weird

homophobia, traditional, marriage, gay, same sex, stupid, dna,
It's almost like the antigay (traditional) marriage crowd has run out of vaguely logical arguments and debunked science, and have been forced to choose between two courses of action: really weird arguments or yelling FAG! at the top of their lungs.

From Euripides we have Some Guy in a 3,000 Year Old Poem Said Stuff:

I was reading Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath's book Who Killed Homer? and found this gem. Odysseus, the hero of the Odyssey encounters a young woman, Nausicaa, on the beach. In speaking with her, he gives a speech about the values of married life:

Nothing is better, he suggests, than when a husband and wife share a house and their hearts, "a great pain to their enemies [the ill-minded ones] and a joy to their friends [the well-minded ones], and they themselves are highly esteemed" (p. 191).
I haven't read the Oddysey in a while, but how many times did Oddyseus cheat on his wife? I can think of Calypso and Circe right off the top of my head. Beyond that, marriage among the ancient Greeks had about as much to do with modern US marriage as a firefly has to do with nuclear power.

From PomegranateApple we get Marriage Fills Chairs (and we wouldn't want empty chairs, now would we?):

My friends always laugh when they walk into the house where I live. There are so many chairs. (You can’t see the rest of the room. There are more chairs.) Way more chairs than we need in the house. I mean, it’s funny.

It normal to me, because growing up, whenever I visited my grandparents’ house: they were never enough chairs.

Ummmm . . . marriage doesn't fill chairs, people do. I guess gay people can't get a roomful of people together to fill up chairs?

The every amusing Opine Editorials gives us a title and a link. When Young Men Are Scarce, They're More Likely to Play the Field Than to Propose. In other news, if the only ice cream available is vanilla, I'll take vanilla. If there are 31 flavors available, I'll probably pick something else.

The good here is that these arguments make for amusing reading. The bad is, soon they'll be left with nothing but yelling FAG!

Nothing at All

death, christian, theism, atheism, atheist, fear,
Death.

It's the main difference between atheists and theists of any stripe, I think. Tell a Christian, for example, that you think death is the end, that there is nothing more, that people just cease to be at that point, and you're likely to end up getting a frothing-at-the-mouth lecture on heaven and hell. In fact, I suspect that there are a certain percentage of theists that don't really believe in supreme beings at all, but they're terrified at the idea of there being nothing after this.

It's almost impossible to express to someone that attached to the idea of an afterlife how not frightening atheists find the end to be. (Christians, btw, demand more heroic measures, and spend far more, in the last month of life than other groups*. I suspect this does not mean they don't believe in heaven, but rather that their belief in heaven is a symptom of their fear of death. I also don't think that atheists fear death less, but rather that people who fear death less are more likely to become atheists.)

Let me put it this way: Once you die, you're done. It's over. There's no more thinking, no more feeling, nothing. I know it's almost impossible to imagine nothing, but do you suppose a rock misses its family? Does your chair bemoan its fate as it gets moved about the room? Once you die, you're meat. Brisket doesn't complain.

I think people conflate the grief they feel at losing someone with what that someone might be feeling. Death is easy for the dead, it's hard on the living. Funerals aren't for dead people, dead people couldn't care less. Funerals are for the living, to help in their grieving. I am mystified at people that plan their own funerals, or demand this location or that song. I've always told my family to do whatever makes them feel better. I'll be dead, I won't be capable of caring. If they want to play country music, dress me up like a 70s disco queen and read the entire bible at the funeral, more power to 'em. I won't be there.

*wish I could find that link.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lesson in Quantum Physics

Old but not Wise

We are talking about the animal that prefers to drink from the toilet, after all.

And no, he is not missing a leg, he just likes to sit with his leg tucked under his body for some reason.
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Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at foreverinhell.blogspot.com.