Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pro Life?

Updates below

This news is still breaking and speculation is running rampant right now but it appears that another abortion doctor has been killed because of his willingness to perform abortions. This time around controversial late-term abortion provider  Dr. George Tiller was gunned down while attending church in Wichita, Kansas.

I now will sit back and watch the circular logic sure to be used by anti-abortion groups to justify his murder especially if the killer's motive revolves around Tiller's abortion practice.

UPDATES: vjack has what I am sure is just the beginning of the responses I was expecting from what he calls the Christian terrorism that occurred in Kansas today.

Karma is a beautiful thing. Cheers to the hero who sent George Tiller where he belongs...straight to hell.

And our local anti-choice zealot Paster Steve over at Voices Carry of course had to chime in with his "insider news" on the fate awaiting Dr Tiller in that imaginary place in the sky, or in his opinion, somewhere a little South of there.
It really doesn't matter what we say about Tiller. It matters what God says. And the left can delude themselves into thinking Tiller is receiving heaven's reward right now. We don't know what that "reward" is but we do know the Bible says in this case it'd be better for Tiller to have had a millstone tied around his neck and thrown into the depth of the sea that to have done what he did in this life… keep children from LIFE.

And finally homophobe extraordinare Fred Phelps and his wingnut Westboro Baptist church congregation took time out from hating gays to celebrate the murder and announce that they will be picketing a Tiller vigil.

Sun., May 31, 2009, 7:15-8:00 pm
Old Town Square, North Mosley & East
Douglas Ave., Wichita, Kansas

Bloody Beast Obama and his vampire-like cabinet member Kathleen Sebelius are to blame for the murder of Dr. George Tiller! They use their power and platform to enable him and others to kill millions of unborn or just-born babies. Tiller has killed some 65,000 babies, and thought he could do that with impunity. He could not have done this without the lying, slimy big mouths of these two evil little horns.
Can you feel the love?

The Cheney Doctrine Debunked Again, This Time By A Cookie

With each passing day, Dick Cheney's use of fear and deception to justify the old administration's use of torture comes unraveled a bit further. I have already documented that just about everyone that has been on the receiving end of waterboarding deems that it is torture and now the old administration's chief military mouthpiece, General David Petraeus, admits it as well.

In a recent interview Petraeus admits that he believes that not only did the US violate the Geneva Conventions with their torture program, the "doomsday" scenario they used to defend the harsh practices was BS as well because the standard Army interrogation techniques were generally enough.
The head of the US Central Command, General David Petraeus, said Friday that the US had violated the Geneva Conventions in a stunning admission from President Bush's onetime top general in Iraq that the US may have violated international law.

Asked about a "ticking time bomb" scenario -- which is often employed by torture's defenders -- Petraeus said that interrogation methods approved for use in the Army Field Manual were generally sufficient.

"There might be an exception and that would require extraordinary but very rapid approval to deal with but for the vast majority of the cases our experience… is that the techniques that are in the Army Field Manual that lays out how we treat detainees, how we interrogate them, those techniques work, that's our experience in this business," he said.

He also acknowledged that the US prison at Guantanamo Bay has inflamed anti-US hostility.

Oh and about that cookie. It seems that one of the interrogation techniques employed by the US that worked involved the use of a sugar free cookie.
Abu Jandal had been in a Yemeni prison for nearly a year when Ali Soufan of the FBI and Robert McFadden of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service arrived to interrogate him in the week after 9/11. Although there was already evidence that al-Qaeda was behind the attacks, American authorities needed conclusive proof, not least to satisfy skeptics like Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, whose support was essential for any action against the terrorist organization. U.S. intelligence agencies also needed a better understanding of al-Qaeda's structure and leadership. Abu Jandal was the perfect source: the Yemeni who grew up in Saudi Arabia had been bin Laden's chief bodyguard, trusted not only to protect him but also to put a bullet in his head rather than let him be captured. (See pictures of do-it-yourself waterboarding attempts.)

Abu Jandal's guards were so intimidated by him, they wore masks to hide their identities and begged visitors not to refer to them by name in his presence. He had no intention of cooperating with the Americans; at their first meetings, he refused even to look at them and ranted about the evils of the West. Far from confirming al-Qaeda's involvement in 9/11, he insisted the attacks had been orchestrated by Israel's Mossad. While Abu Jandal was venting his spleen, Soufan noticed that he didn't touch any of the cookies that had been served with tea: "He was a diabetic and couldn't eat anything with sugar in it." At their next meeting, the Americans brought him some sugar-free cookies, a gesture that took the edge off Abu Jandal's angry demeanor. "We had showed him respect, and we had done this nice thing for him," Soufan recalls. "So he started talking to us instead of giving us lectures."

I don't think we'll be seeing this on Cheney's list of approved techniques anytime soon, no pain involved.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Why Do I Continue To Blog?

From time to time I ask myself this question and for a time I really couldn't come up with a good answer so I took a break and refocused.

While I am back with this all new endeavor, I still ask myself that question almost daily. I certainly don't make any money and in fact since I am self hosted, it costs me money. It doesn't bring me any fame as I choose to blog somewhat anonymously (though my secret is out) and even chose to give up my spot on KELO's local blogging project. So why do I go through the hassles of doing this on a somewhat regular basis?

I do it because of the well known extremists in our local blogosphere that say things I just can't let go.

I do it because our local blogosphere isn't well represented when it comes to atheists and agnostics.

I do it because I still enjoy politics and political discussion.

And finally I do it because we have idiots like Ray Comfort and his buddy Kirk Cameron (yes that Kirk Cameron) who once tried to prove that god existed by using a banana. The same Ray Comfort who now tries to infer that evolution is false, not for any reason our local bible thumpers would use, but because Adolf Hitler believed in it (okay maybe they would use that reason as well).

That's why I least for now.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rush Doesn't Listen To...Rush

Now I am sure that few will be surprised by this but considering Rush Limbaugh's constant railing against Barack Obama's pick for the Supreme Court, it is fitting.

As Right Wing Watch notes, Limbaugh has yet to have a kind word to say about Sonia Sotomayor calling her everything from a bigot to a racist to an anti-constitutionalist. But interestingly Limbaugh somehow forgot his comments back in 2005 when the Republican's were the ones trying to get Supreme Court nominees confirmed.
I'm tired of these Democrats acting like they won the election. Somebody needs to stand up and say, "When you win the election, you pick the nominees. Until then, shut up! Just shut up! Just go away! Bury yourselves in your rat holes and don't come out until you win an election. When you win an election, you can put all these socialist wackos, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, all over the court, but until then, SHUT UP! You are really irritating me."

Ok Rush as you so aptly said just 4 short years ago, SHUT UP! You are really irritating me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sign Of The Day

I am sure that if you have visited any of our fine(?) local bible thumping homophobic blogs since yesterday you have already discovered that much to their glee, the California Supreme Court has done a complete 180 and upheld the state's Prop 8 ban on gay marriage.

While this certainly isn't the best news for those wanting equal rights for all, I honestly believe that this is only a temporary setback. With that said though, this protest sign certainly seems fitting right now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Again Thank You Mom And Dad

I pretty much thank my parents daily for providing me with a loving environment growing up along with the freedom to think for myself. After all I could have lost the parent lottery and grown up with the fanatics behind this letter to Ann Landers daughter, Margo Howard's advice column.
Dear Margo: Our daughter started college a year ago, and we’ve noticed during her visits home that she’s not the sweet, innocent girl we sent away for higher learning. We raised her with strong Christian beliefs, but lately she’s saying that she’s joined an atheist club on campus and is questioning everything we taught her. Now my husband refuses to let her in the house and is threatening to turn her in to the FBI. I’ve tried to cure our daughter and reconcile with her, but nothing seems to work. I’ve prayed over her at night while she sleeps, enlisted friends in a phone prayer tree and even spoken to my priest about the possibility of an exorcism. I’m at my wits’ end. How can I recover my daughter and keep her from hell? — God-fearing

Appropriately Ms. Howard basically tells this fanatical mother to chill out and let her adult daughter think for herself for maybe the first time in her life but I am curious as to how long the FBI would have stayed on the phone talking to this girl's father before they threatened to arrest him for wasting their time?

I must remember to give mom a call tonight and thank her again.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Say What Leslie?

Our favorite abstinence nut is in the news again this time telling us that she never wanted to "suck on the government teet" and is happy to be rid of the restrictions that came with public funding. Obviously after hearing that most did a double take and Cory over at the Madville Times puts that "say what!?" moment into words.
I cannot conceive of telling lies as big as the ones Leslee Unruh is willing to put in the press. To lie that big, I would have to abandon any sense of a coherent, integral self.

Leslee Unruh has actively lobbied to win federal funding for her preferred social programs. She has praised such funding. And now she says she never liked that federal funding. Nothing describes this turn of phrase more aptly than one word: lie.

What's next from Leslie? She is for womens rights? Abstinence education works? She doesn't wear any makeup? Whatever it is I am sure it will be just as comical.

How Stupid Are Democrats?

The Republicans in Congress including our own Republican Senate hypocrite John Thune, beat back President Obama's latest attempt to fulfill a campaign pledge to close Guantanamo Bay by scaring Democrats and the American public into backing down.


They simply played on the fears of many in regards to putting these Guantanamo Bay terror suspects on US soil.
The American people don’t want these men walking the streets of America’s neighborhoods,” Sen. John Thune, R-S. D., said Wednesday. “The American people don’t want these detainees held at a military base or federal prison in their backyard, either.

Of course they wouldn't be walking around free in our neighborhoods as Thune suggests, in fact what is rarely mentioned is that they would be joining the numerous terror suspects that are already here and rotting in our prisons...
But the apocalyptic rhetoric rarely addresses this: Thirty-three international terrorists, many with ties to al-Qaeda, reside in a single federal prison in Florence, Colo., with little public notice.

Detained in the supermax facility in Colorado are Ramzi Yousef, who headed the group that carried out the first bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993; Zacarias Moussaoui, convicted of conspiring in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; Ahmed Ressam, of the Dec. 31, 1999, Los Angeles airport millennium attack plots; Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, conspirator in several plots, including one to assassinate President George W. Bush; and Wadih el-Hage, convicted of the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.

The GOP sure has the fear technique down don't they? Warrantless wiretaps, torture, closing Gitmo...all they need to mention is "terrorist" in front of a patriotic picture and we are putty in their hands (and our Constitution becomes simply a piece of paper with fancy writing on it).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dick "Torture Is Good" Cheney Debunked

Human Rights First has released a fact sheet debunking many of former VP Dick Cheney's assertions from his speech at the American Enterprise Institute that claimed "enhanced interrogation techniques" otherwise known as the US torture program used at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay were successful.
FACT SHEET: Vice President Cheney Debunked

Today, former Vice President Cheney continues his pro-torture public relations tour with a speech at the American Enterprise Institute.  His listeners can expect to hear more arguments for the use of torture and abuse.  What they won’t hear from Vice President Cheney is that national security experts overwhelmingly disagree with his assessment about the value of resorting to abusive policies.  Those with experience conducting interrogations, leading forces in the military, and doing the work of keeping America safe overwhelming reject the use of torture.

Vice President Cheney says torture prevented attacks following 9/11. Repeatedly, Vice President Cheney has said that information gained by torturing detainees has been crucial in helping the government “defeat or disrupt all further attempts to strike the homeland” (ABC News, Dec. 16, 2008). He says without torture, “we would have been attacked again” (, Feb. 4, 2009). Cheney even goes so far as to say that removing the ability to use torture is making the nation less safe. He said Obama is making choices that “raise the risk to the American people of another attack.” (CNN, March 15 2009.)

  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: FBI Director Robert Mueller says that isn’t the case. When Vanity Fair asked if torture prevented additional attacks, Mueller said “I don’t believe that has been the case.” (Vanity Fair, Dec. 16, 2008).

  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: Interrogator says the use of torture has led to American deaths in Iraq. Military interrogator Matthew Alexander says that it is torture that is recruiting for the enemy: “I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq… It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse.” He goes on to quantify the costs of torture: “The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans.” (Washington Post, Nov. 30, 2008)

  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: “This war will be won or lost not on the battlefield but in the minds of potential supporters who have not yet thrown in their lot with the enemy. If we forfeit our values by signaling that they are negotiable in situations of grave or imminent danger, we drive those undecideds into the arms of the enemy. This way lies defeat, and we are well down the road to it. (Charles Krulak and Joseph Hoar, Washington Post Op-Ed, May 17, 2009)

Vice President Cheney says that crucial information has been revealed through torture. “Well, I would say that the key to what we did was to collect intelligence against the enemy. That’s what the terrorist surveillance program was all about, that’s what the enhanced interrogation program was all about.”(CNN, March 15 2009)

  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: Experienced interrogators says torture doesn’t “work”. Fifteen former interrogators from both the CIA and FBI stated in a statement that “the use of torture and other inhumane and abusive treatment results in false and misleading information, loss of critical intelligence, and has caused serious damage to the reputation and standing of the United States.” (“Top Interrogators Declare Torture Ineffective in Intelligence Gathering,”  June 24, 2008)

  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: Even Jesse Venture knows that the information revealed through torture cannot be relied upon. As Jesse Ventura, former Governor of Minnesota, puts it, “You give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.” Jesse Ventura has in fact been water boarded in preparation for his service in Vietnam. He says, from personal experience, that it constitutes torture. (CNN, May 12, 2009)

  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: Abu Zabaydah said he gave up false information simply to stop being tortured. In his Combatant Status Review Tribunal, the tribunal president asked him: “So I understand that during this treatment, you said things to make them stop and then those statements were actually untrue, is that correct?” Abu Zubaydah replied: “Yes.” (Combatant Status-Review Tribunal” at Guantánamo, March 27, 2007)

Vice President Cheney claims that a “wartime situation” justifies torture. Cheney says that after 9/11, methods of law enforcement were no longer applicable. After 9/11, he said it was a “wartime situation.” Such a situation, according to Cheney, justifies using all your “intelligence resources, your military resources, your financial resources, everything you can in order to shut down that terrorist threat against you.” According to Cheney, the wartime situation justifies the use of torture. (CNN, March 15, 2009)

  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: General David Petraeus rejects torture. In a letter to his troops in Iraq, General Petraeus clearly states that torture is not only illegal, but also not useful and not necessary: “Some may argue that we would be more effective if we sanctioned torture or other expedient methods to obtain information from the enemy. They would be wrong. Beyond the basic fact that such actions are illegal, history shows that they also are frequently neither useful nor necessary. Certainly extreme physical action can makes someone “talk;” however, what the individual says may be of questionable value. In fact, our experience in applying the interrogation standards laid out in the Army Field Manuel (2-22.3) on Human Intelligence Collector Operations that was published last year shows that the techniques in the manual work effectively and humanely in eliciting information from detainees.” (Letter to the Troops, May 10, 2007).

Former Vice President Cheney’s daughter, Liz Cheney, justifies torture in the context of a ticking time bomb situation. She says “We are talking about a situation when there are imminent threats against the united states so if you to me, this guys has got information that is going to save your kid’s life and my kids’ lives, that is going to keep this country safe, but we gotta water board him to get it, I got no problem with that.” (MSNBC, May 12, 2009)

  • Liz Cheney Debunked Ticking time bomb situations are fictional, according to a former CIA officer. A retired senior CIA officer said in an interview with David Rose that “Nobody in intelligence believes in the ticking bomb. It’s just a way of framing the debate for public consumption. That is not an intelligence reality.” In his article, Rose reported that the officer said that inside the CIA, “there was hardly any argument about the value of coercive methods” (Vanity Fair, Dec. 16, 2008)

Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C. Human Rights First believes that building respect for human rights and the rule of law will help ensure the dignity to which every individual is entitled and will stem tyranny, extremism, intolerance, and violence.

Thanks to vjack for the link

Can You Hear Me Now?

Verizon claims to have the best coverage in America and you would think that excellent coverage would come in handy when trying to find a missing Verizon customer. It probably would be useful unless of course the missing Verizon customer in question just so happens to be behind on his bill that is.
Williams said he attempted to use the man’s cell phone signal to locate him, but the man was behind on his phone bill and the Verizon operator refused to connect the signal unless the sheriff’s department agreed to pay the overdue bill. After some disagreement, Williams agreed to pay $20 on the phone bill in order to find the man. But deputies discovered the man just as Williams was preparing to make arrangements for the payment.

Luckily the man was found and ended up being ok but I am guessing this would be one exception to the rule about all publicity being good publicity. Do you think the following quote from the local Sheriff Dale Williams will be appearing on Verizon marketing literature anytime soon?
“I was more concerned for the person’s life,” Williams said. “It would have been nice if Verizon would have turned on his phone for five or 10 minutes, just long enough to try and find the guy. But they would only turn it on if we agreed to pay $20 of the unpaid bill. Ridiculous.”

Somehow I doubt it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Yogi Better Watch Out!

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn thinks that besides saving us from predatory credit card companies, the Credit Card Bill of Rights signed today by President Obama should also ensure that some of the safest places in the country, our National Parks (1.65 violent crimes per 100,000 national park visitors in 2006), should be allowing visitors to pack heat.
Introduced as an amendment to the credit card reform bill by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), the provision allows owners of licensed firearms to bring them into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as they are allowed to do so by state law.

Coburn’s amendment is intended to prevent the implementation of a March 19, 2009 preliminary federal injunction blocking a George W. Bush administration regulation that allowed concealed weapons to be carried in national parks and wildlife refuges, subject to state law. The regulation is currently under review by the Obama administration.

“The Federal laws should make it clear that the second amendment rights of an individual at a unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System should not be infringed,” states Sen. Coburn’s amendment.

So come February when the new law is scheduled to go into effect (unless Coburn can sneak it into another bill taking effect sooner), Yogi and Boo Boo will need to be more careful when choosing which picnic baskets to steal.

On a side note, how hard of a vote was this for our Congressional delegation? They had to choose between protecting the predatory credit card companies that serve as the backbone of our state's economy, and keeping up their NRA cred which is so important to South Dakota's 2nd Amendment crazed population.

They chose the predators that hire people for 10-12 bucks an hour.

Mancow Calls Waterboarding What It Is...Torture

Chicago right wing talking head Mancow thought he would show us all that waterboarding really isn't torture. He lasted 6 seconds before changing his tune.

Too bad Dick Cheney has yet to be man enough to put his denial on it being torture to the test.

More Bad News For The Catholic Church

The hits just keep coming for the Catholic Church. The latest news coming out on the Catholic Church comes in the form of a 2600 page report documenting more priestly misdeeds at church run reform schools in Ireland.
After a nine-year investigation, a commission published a damning report Wednesday on decades of rapes, humiliation and beatings at Catholic Church-run reform schools for Ireland's castaway children.

The 2,600-page report painted the most detailed and damning portrait yet of church-administered abuse in a country grown weary of revelations about child molestation by priests.

The investigation of the tax-supported schools uncovered previously secret Vatican records that demonstrated church knowledge of pedophiles in their ranks all the way back to the 1930s.

What was so telling in the article (besides the fact that some priests apparently still do not think that their vow of celibacy applies to little boys) was that even after all the abuses by priests that have been documented over the past decade or so, the church still resisted the investigation going so far as to issue religious orders to shield known pedophiles. Of course that was surprising until you read about another Catholic priest in the news this week as well.
In the early years of the sex abuse scandal in Milwaukee, retired Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland says in his soon-to-be released memoir, he did not comprehend the potential harm to victims or understand that what the priests had done constituted a crime.

"We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature," Weakland says in the book, "A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church," due out in June.

Weakland said he initially "accepted naively the common view that it was not necessary to worry about the effects on the youngsters: either they would not remember or they would 'grow out of it.'?"

Does he really want us to believe that he didn't know that abusing children would have a long term effect or that abusing children in his care even required thought over the consequences?

I guess it is safe to say that just about nothing the Catholic Church does these days should be a surprise anymore. The only thing that still makes me go hmm is how people can still support the church with their money considering how much of it used to payoff the deeds of pedophiles.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Debunking Evolution?

With arguments like this, it is not hard to figure out why creationists are having such a hard time getting their beliefs into the school systems (besides not having any physical evidence that is).

Hmm. So the Grand Canyon was not formed by the Colorado River running through it over millions of years but instead by Noah's flood. Wow...

It's A Budget Buster

Traditional Conservative arguments against gay marriage haven't been working as well lately so RNC chair Michael Steele decided that it's time to change the argument. The new conservative attack on gays will now borrow from the same argument famous in Republican circles for most every other issue they oppose, "It is bad for small business!"

Jon Stewart explains:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Gay Marriage Is Bad for Small Business

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You've Gotta Love Jesse

Living in a state that neighbors Minnesota, I have been exposed to Jesse Ventura, their former Governor, for years. That exposure has shown that he has many opinions and he isn't afraid to express them. His latest "Jessieism" came during his appearance with the yenta's from ABC's The View the other day and covered his thoughts on the US waterboarding terrorist suspects.
“If waterboarding is okay, why don’t we let our police do it to suspects to learn what they know?” he asked to a chorus of applause.

“That’s an interesting question,” Hasselbeck said. “I understand that question.”

“If waterboarding is okay, why didn’t we waterboard [Timothy] McVeigh and [Terry] Nichols, the Oklahoma City bombers, to find out if there were more people involved? What’s your answer to that?” he asked. “We only seem to waterboard Muslims.”

Hmm...maybe that's why Christians seem to be the group expressing the least amount of problems with the United States' use of torture? Who cares right? It's only those mean old Muslims being subjected to these "special interrogation" techniques.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Right And Wrong

Being someone that doesn't believe in the superman in the sky, I have been asked several times how it is possible for me to know the difference between right and wrong. How can one possibly have a moral compass without guidance from a work of fiction and the fear of eternal damnation in a mythical hell if you do not conform?

Of course the over simplified answer from me to that over simplified questions is that I ask myself "how would I feel if the act in question happened to me or someone I know?" and then if that still doesn't answer my question I just follow laws that have been codified over hundreds of years.

As to the question of needing some sort of hellish place that some feel is required to keep one in line, I guess there is always the fear of being Bruno's prison bitch if I fail to follow those rules. That would be pretty hellish wouldn't it?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Why Won't They Just Leave Her Alone?

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Our favorite wingnut and former VP candidate Sarah Palin just can't catch a break. The latest "incident" revolving around the Alaska Governor deals with the domain Apparently the owners of that domain decided to play a prank on Governor Palin and for a time set it up so that it re-directed to Palin's official website.

For some reason, Palin's peeps didn't get the joke and filed a cease and desist against the owners to which they did finally adhere to but not before it became sort of an internet classic.

On a related note, Palin did have some good news to report. Her unwed mother daughter, Bristol, who pretty much threw a monkey wrench in Palin's credibility on the viability of abstinence only education during the campaign, did manage to graduate from high school last week ensuring that she will finally have that diploma to hang on the wall of her doublewide in Wasila once momma's political career comes to an end. Congratulations!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Future Preachers

As Western South Dakota recovers from their encounter from one "well known" preacher, Greg Laurie, this little beauty documenting a few from the younger crowd that are vying to take his place down the road seemed quite fitting. And just a little bit scary.

(h/t - Unreasonable Faith)

What Is Going On In Texas?

Is anyone really suprised that in Texas, whose State Board of Education is led by a new Earth plagiarist dentist who tried (and barely failed) to effectively get the teaching of science taken out of Texas classrooms, is now dealing with a school district that permits Bibles to be put out for students?
There is a book battle of sorts taking place in Frisco schools. This isn't about a textbook — it's about the "Good Book."

The district permits free Bibles to be put out for students; but there's a fine line between non-school literature that's "put out" and "given out."

Debbie Lutz has two children in Frisco schools. "How is that allowed?" she asked. "It makes me very mad."

Gideon volunteers have visited both her children's campuses with Bibles in tow. It's part of the Frisco ISD's rotating schedule that permits the religious group in some schools for one day.

As you can imagine though, not everyone thinks this is a bad idea.
Wilks tries to read the Bible daily, and is stunned at the outcry of negativity. "It's not like it is in the curriculum," Wilks said. "It's not like we're making them take Bible classes."

But Wilks says offering — not pushing — the Bible should be fair game. "I believe in freedom of religion, but I think there are people from the other religions who would like to completely stifle the Christian side of it," she said.

What wasn't asked though I wish would be in stories like this is whether people like Ms Wilks, you know those good Christians that see no problem with their religious material being distributed on school grounds, would feel the same if it wasn't the Bible but the Koran or some other non-Christian religious material being distributed? I am guessing that they wouldn't be as tolerant.

Maybe we should allow Texas to secede as their Governor and 1/3 of their population believe is their right. The Constitution already seems to be a thing of the past there anyway...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Excellence In Broadcasting?

Rush Limbaugh has a Twitter account with over 23,000 followers but has yet to make even one tweet. Sounds just like his radio show...lots of listeners and no substance.

(h/t - RtPt)

Friday, May 15, 2009

#TwitterFail On California's Prop 8 Being Overturned

The California Supreme Court has just overturned Proposition 8 allowing gays to marry once again!

Sound like a major story? Well it was on Twitter but unfortunately it has no shred of truth to it as apparently someone, accidentally or not, sent a tweet out with a link to an LA Times story proclaiming the overturning of Prop 8 and it has been spreading like wildfire ever since. Unfortunately the article was dated May 16th, 2008!


UPDATE: Guess what, apparently it was the LA Times themselves who were responsible for the errant Tweet. Double Oops...

If You Haven't Bought Your Extended Warranty Yet, It Might Be Too Late

I must have received 5 or 6 calls in the past few months urging me to extend the warranty on my car, heck my 13 year old daughters have even been called by these guys, but if you haven't acted yet you are probably out of luck.

According to ars technica, the FTC has finally filed lawsuits against 2 companies that have supposedly been placing up to 1.8 million robocalls a day and used offshore shell corporations in an attempt to avoid the FTC.
If you live in the US, you've probably received illegal telemarketing calls claiming that your car warranty is about to expire—even if you don't own a car. The brazen "extended warranty" scam has now been busted by the Federal Trade Commission, which filed a pair of federal lawsuits to take over the companies behind the calls.

So if you were like the guy on KELO the other night who said he would have probably bought one of these warranties if the robocall hadn't come when he was too busy to act on it, you have probably missed your chance. Hopefully though maybe someone will call him soon with some swamp land in Florida that they are willing to sell.

I Guess Pigs Do Fly

I never thought I would see this but it appears that the face of religious homophobia, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, has decided that he and his ilk are politically helpless and has raised the white flag after the House passed the hate crimes bill that included protections for those "darn" gay people.

So why is he giving up?

Because those damn radical Liberals who for some reason think that no one should be discriminated against aren't listening to him of course.
I've been on the air for 32 years and I've never seen a time quite like this. It just illustrates what happens when we don't have what the Founding Fathers referred to as checks and balances, where the excesses of one party or one branch of government limit the reach of power hungry and self-serving people and keeps them form doing things that are harmful to the country. That's the way the system was designed. We have 2 major political parties in this country, not one. And bipartisanship is a media creation that's designed to promote one point of view instead of the debate that should occur. And that's why media doesn't talk about bipartisanship when conservatives are in power...

...[today] the radical left controls the executive branch through the president, and the Congress... and the Judiciary through the courts... now they control it all, including every department of government. As a result, the legislation that should shock the nation, if people were paying attention, is being rushed into law.

Wow, I wonder how bad he must feel realizing that the hate and intolerance he has believed in and preached most of his life is now slowly starting to fade from our society.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Would Jesus Torture?

Of course not says former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer (I assume no relation to Jack), because duh, he's the son of God. But Bauer, who is affiliated with several right-wing Christian groups does think Jesus would be just fine with his followers doing so especially if they were terrorists.
"There are a lot of things Jesus wouldn't do because he's the son of God," he said. "I can't imagine Jesus being a Marine or a policeman or a bank president, for that matter. The more appropriate question is, 'What is a follower of Jesus permitted to do?'"

Bauer said the answer is "it depends" — but the moral equation changes when the suspect is not a soldier captured on a battlefield but a terrorist who may have knowledge of an impending attack. He said he does not consider water-boarding — a form of interrogation that simulates drowning — to be torture.

Not only does Bauer think it is ok, he thinks that we might actually be morally suspect if in fact we don't use torture.
"I think if we believe the person we have can give us information to stop thousands of Americans from being killed, it would be morally suspect to not use harsh tactics to get that information," Bauer said.

Looks like we have another distinguished graduate of the Dick Cheney school of morality. Where does the right wing find these guys?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jon Stewart And The Miss USA Wanna Be

Again, it looks like the comedy guys get the news right. Jon Stewart on Carrie Prejean:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
The Pageant of the Christ

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The only things more ridiculous than Perez Hilton asking the gay marriage question (hmmm wonder what his motive was?) at a beauty pageant was the publicity generated from Miss California Carrie Prejean's answer and the religious right's attempt to make her the poster child for the issue. Because we all know American's always look to beauty queens for answers to our morality questions right?

Whatever happened to the good old days when all Miss USA's ever wanted to do was achieve world peace during our lifetime?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What A Short Memory Some Of Us Have...

Popular South Dakota blogger Pat Powers from the South Dakota War College re-posts in his almost daily Stephanie Herseth Sandlin hit piece an ad from the NRCC that rips her support of the $787 billion stimulus package. Today's target from the stimulus bill was $800,000 that went towards funding a rural Pennsylvania airport in Jack Murtha's district.
Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin voted for the $787 billion so-called “stimulus” package, $800,000 of which has been used to fund the Murtha Airport in rural Pennsylvania that serves about 20 people per day. Each plane ticket in and out of this airport is subsidized by American taxpayers’ dollars to the tune of approximately $100. In total, Jack Murtha has racked up a $150 million bill for the “airport for no one” boondoggle – all on the taxpayers’ dime.

Of course what is absent from the Powers/NRCC rant is a little funding bill that our esteemed Junior Senator John Thune pushed through last year for another tiny airport a little closer to home.

You see Brooking Regional airport in Powers back yard had been receiving approximately $1 million a year in taxpayer supplied Essential Air Service (EAS) funding for years so that a handful of people (10-12 per day) could fly out of Brookings instead of driving 50 miles to fly out of Sioux Falls. That funding equated to a $677 per passenger handout at our expense.

Last year, Brookings and several other airports had their EAS funding removed from the federal budget and Senator Thune was the first in line to cry foul and introduce a bill restoring the $1 million waste of taxpayer dollars.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., argued on Tuesday that air service is truly essential to Brookings.

"Ensuring access to communities like Brookings strengthens the local economy, provides consumers with choices and makes the entire commercial airline network more valuable," Thune said in a statement announcing his bill to restore subsidized services to all three towns.

So could Mr Powers or anyone else explain to me why it was ok for Thune to push through a bill specifically designed waste $1 million of our tax dollars in Brookings but it's the end of the world when Herseth Sandlin votes to restore $800K as part of a $787 billion stimulus bill? (I think both are a huge waste of funds by the way)

Oh that's right, she's a member of the wrong party and it isn't of the tea variety.

As an aside to this, while Thune was able to restore EAS funds for Brookings, they haven't been able to get commercial flights going again so even though they got the funding, no one is using it.

So apparently it really was essential funding Senator Thune wasn't it.

Now That's One Big Piece Of FOD

FOD for those unfamiliar with the term means "Foreign Object Damage" and is used to describe objects that can be sucked into and through jet engines often causing catastrophic failure. It appears that this Japan Airlines jet at LAX came across one big piece of it in the form of a stray cargo container.

All 245 on board this plane were uninjured and didn't even need divine intervention but the engine on the other hand will likely be in need of some help...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Here But By The Grace Of...Insert Your Deity Of Choice Here...Go I

Being a non-believer myself, I am still able to give thanks in one religious context. That would be giving thanks to my parents for not subscribing to the religious beliefs of this child's family.
Hauser, whose son was diagnosed in January with Hodgkin's lymphoma, said conventional treatments such as chemotherapy conflict with the family's religious beliefs. She said they prefer natural remedies such as herbs and vitamins.

Asked where she learned about the alternative healing techniques, Hauser said, "on the Internet.''

Muslim extremists are not the only ones committing suicide in the name of their god.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Should Creationists Be Seeing A Doctor?

Bill Maher wonders whether those that don't believe in evolution should be seeing a doctor when and if they contract swine flu and should instead be asking God to heal them. Afterall isn't a virus a perfect example of evolution?

(h/t - Friendly Atheist)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Origins Of This Year's Swine Flu Outbreak

After tireless investigation by the CDC and the World Health Organization, we now know how this year's outbreak of the swine flu began.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="604" caption="Some Petting Zoo In Mexico City..."][/caption]

Friday, May 1, 2009

Do Unto Others?

Why am I not surprised?
The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new analysis.More than half of people who attend services at least once a week — 54 percent — said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified. Only 42 percent of people who “seldom or never” go to services agreed, according the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than 6 in 10 supported it.

Oh and how about those non-religious folks, you know the ones who supposedly have no moral base?
People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only 4 in 10 of them did.