Monday, August 31, 2009

Why Are You An Atheist?

I mentioned in passing yesterday how recent polls have shown a marked increase in the number of people that identify themselves as non-believers. One study shows that the number has doubled in the past 2 decades with 15 percent saying that they do not identify with any religion, the only group that has shown increases in all 50 states. Why this growth?

I can only speak for myself but that information got me thinking as to why I became a non-believer.

Obviously, everyone is born a non-believer, often only becoming a believer in one form of religion or another after years of indoctrination by their parents and/or the environment they grow up in. I am no different having been raised Protestant going to Sunday school and Sunday services without fail for most of my formative years.

All through those years while going each week without complaint outwardly, I felt that what was being taught didn't make any sense and the older I got the stronger that feeling got. After leaving home for the military I stopped going to church altogether and to be honest never gave religion any more than a passing thought for the next 20 years or so.

Recently I began wondering why religion held no place in my life especially considering that I now live in the heart of the Northern Bible Belt where "clinging to guns and religion" is not just a slogan and where there is a church on almost every street corner. Given the fact that I grew up indoctrinated in Christianity, why then did I shun it despite being in a perfect position to continue the faith?

I've done a lot of reading on this since then and I've heard many stories from other non-believers. Many often revolve around the person in question not being able to get around the contradictions in the bible or the unprovable nature of religion in general, the latter reason is especially prevalent with those holding high opinions of science. I myself think that both of these probably contributed to why I have long been a non-believer, the stories in the bible after all are quite hard to believe. But this is certainly the same thing all but the staunchly (aka blindly faithful) religious deal with daily, it isn't called "faith" for nothing now is it?

Then I read something somewhere, and hopefully whomever said it will forgive me for not remembering where I saw it, but this one quote explains perfectly why I have decided to be more than just a quiet non-believer and complete my conversion from a Christian to an active Atheist.

"The biggest reason for the increase in Atheism is Christians..."

Think about that for a minute, I did.

I honestly believe that I would have gone through the rest of my life just ignoring religion as I had for the first 20 years after leaving home. Then recently I began noticing a whole new phenomenon from my perspective (I know, it's always existed). Christian fundamentalism.

Of course as Americans, we have been exposed to fundamentalism for most of our history and we got a re-enforcing lesson in the craziness of religious fundamentalism in spades on 9/11 but to me it wasn't us, it was them. Now though I was noticing more and more some of the same type of intolerance, hypocrisy, and downright hatred of others being exhibited by my neighbors, it was no longer just them to me, it was us as well.

In the past decade we have had a horrible child abuse scandal come to light, perpetrated by the Catholic Church. We have had a President, George Bush, using the biblical mythology of Gog and Magog as one reason for invading a foreign country not to mention his willingness to use religion for political gain and policy decisions. We've seen states like Texas attempting to re-write public school text books using the bible and we are witnessing the downfall of the party of Lincoln because of, I believe, the strong influence of the religious right. (It's amazing isn't it, the party that quotes the Constitution like scripture is likely hurting because of their ignorance of it?).

These are just a few examples of many that motivated me and this post has been a long time in the making for me. It took me 25 years to come to the self-realization that I have always had the "foundation" so to speak to be an Atheist only needing religious fundamentalism to trigger my complete religious de-conversion. Now that I have come to that conclusion I can honestly say that I am more content than I can ever remember and remarkably I can thank Christians for that. Apparently religion is good for some things after all...

If you are a non-believer or a doubter, what if anything motivated you?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Funnies - Passion In Strange Places



(via atheistcartoons.com)

Abortion By The Book

I have my own thoughts on the subject but I will leave that debate to the usual suspects here locally but I did find this post highlighting some of the biblical references to abortion enlightening to say the least.

The God of the Bible is pro-abortion...
God will punish women by aborting their fetus through a miscarriage.
Give them, O LORD–what will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.

Hosea 9:14

God teaches the use of a bizarre ritual using cursed “bitter water” to abort a fetus who was conceived through infidelity.
Numbers 5:11-21

God orders Moses to kill every Midianite woman who was no longer a virgin. (many of these women would obviously have been pregnant)
Numbers 31:15-18

God promises to destroy the infants of Samaria and rip open the stomachs of pregnant women.
The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.

Hosea 13:16

God allows the pregnant women of Tappuah to be ripped open.
At that time Menahem, starting out from Tirzah, attacked Tiphsah and everyone in the city and its vicinity, because they refused to open their gates. He sacked Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women.

2 Kings 15:16

God commands the killing of infants and nursing babies.
Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.

1 Samuel 15:3

God repays your enemies by destroying their babies.
Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us. He who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

Psalms 137:8-9


I know, I know, all of the above are Old Testament stuff and as I have been told, cherry picking from the Old Testament should be left to those that have been doing it for most of their lives, those professing to be faithful.

Pope: Atheists Responsible For Global Environmental Changes

Just blame the Atheists for everything.
Is it not true that inconsiderate use of creation begins where God is marginalized or also where his existence is denied? If the human creature's relationship with the Creator weakens, matter is reduced to egoistic possession, man becomes the ‘final authority,’ and the objective of existence is reduced to a feverish race to possess the most possible.”

So the wingnuts go from denying climate change to blaming Atheists for it. Is there any wonder that the number of non-believers is growing every day? Intolerance and hypocrisy will do that...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Penn And Teller Have Catholic's Panties In A Bunch - Again

I came across this release from the Catholic League last week in regards to an upcoming Penn and Teller Showtime show, Bullshit!, that takes aim at the Vatican. Of course knowing that the Vatican is well known for their sense of humor (yes, sarcasm) I wondered what could have them in such an uproar.

The Catholic League was calling for Showtime and CBS (Showtime's parent network) to cancel their contract for the show due to Penn and Teller's history of being less than nice to the Church and it's leaders.
CBS management has spoken to the Catholic-bashing duo before, but to no effect. Though we are not calling for CBS/Showtime to cancel the upcoming episode, we are saying that the time has come to pull the plug on their show; their contract should not be renewed.

Ok, not being much of a fan of the Catholic Church myself, I was really wondering now what was going to be on the show that had the church so worried, especially considering that by the wording of the press release, it was obvious that they had not seen the latest episode in question. So being the good little non-believer that I am, I setup the Tivo and recorded the show when it aired on the 27th and below I've summarized the 4 main points Penn and Teller hit on. (I have the video but looking around the web it is apparent that unlike Bill Maher and HBO, Showtime doesn't see the benefits of allowing clips of Bullshit! to go viral on the web)

First they look at the story of an Italian comic who criticized the Pope and his staunch stand against homosexuality in her act. She said some obviously less than nice comments about the Pope meeting up and spending time with some large gay men in hell (use your imagination from there). The Vatican as you can imagine wasn't laughing and pressured Italian authorities to press charges against the woman who for awhile was in danger of spending 5 years in prison for expressing her opinions.

The Italian courts eventually dropped the case for obvious reasons and to make the story even more bizarre, the Catholic Church then tried to spin it to their advantage by saying they had forgiven her despite the fact she still uses that bit in her act to this day.

They next went into the homophobia exhibited by the bunch of old men with the funny hats that make up the rules for the millions of Catholics worldwide. Specifically they discussed how in 2008 the Vatican opposed a UN resolution that would have decriminalized being gay. Even in the 21st century, 81 countries actually put gays in prison for no other reason than that they are gay and 7 of those still put them to death. Hypocritical? Considering the church does not consider homosexuality a sin (sex out of wedlock is and they are against gay marriage so gay sex is a sin by extension) and that some studies have anywhere between 20 and 50% of all Catholic priests being gay, I would say yes.

In the 3rd segment, Penn and Teller then went after the obvious hot button issue whenever the Catholic Church is discussed, the ongoing sex abuse scandal and cover up. Specifically they touched on the recent revelations from the release of the "Crimen Sollicitationis" written in 1962 that told church leaders how to handle all accusations of child abuse by clerics which provides proof that as far back as 1962, the Vatican has been trying to cover up the hobbies of some of their priests.
"The document thus imposed absolute secrecy on the conduct of the trial, even after it had ended and its verdict, favourable or unfavourable, had been put into effect. An oath of secrecy was to be taken not only by the members of the tribunal but also by the person or persons denouncing the priest, by the witnesses, and by the accused priest himself, who was free to discuss it only with his defence counsel"

Cardinal Ratzinger, now known as Pope Benedict XVI was not immune in this scandal either. It seems that before he was the Pope, he was the "Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" and issued a confidential order that all sex abuse investigations were to be held secret for at least 10 years after the victim had reached adulthood, again under penalty of excommunication.
This letter reminded them of the strict penalties facing those who revealed confidential details concerning enquiries into allegations against priests of certain grave ecclesiastical crimes, including sexual abuse, which were reserved to the jurisdiction of the Congregation. The letter extended the prescription or statute of limitations for these crimes to ten years. However, when the crime is sexual abuse of a minor, the "prescription begins to run from the day on that which the minor completes the eighteenth year of age."

Of course despite this damning information, Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict will never be prosecuted in the US because in 2005 President George Bush granted him full immunity from prosecution. Nice...

Finally, Penn and Teller delved into the Vatican's unwavering condemnation of birth control, specifically Casti Connubii, the Encyclical written in the 1930's that among other things bans the use of birth control including condoms and diaphragms. More hypocrisy? You mean the fact that those that have vowed never to have sex are still making rules on sexual activity for those that do? Absolutely...

This strict adherence to the Casti Connubii isn't just affecting the size of the average Catholic family, it is killing people. One needs not look any further than parts of Africa where 1000's of women die each year from AIDS and birth related complications. These deaths are due at least partly to the Catholic Church's ridiculous stance on birth control making condom availability and use almost non-existent among the mainly Catholic population.

There you have it, the Bullshit! episode in a nutshell that has the Vatican, via the Catholic League, upset. Of course I left out most of the f-bombs and snide comments like how "being a gay Catholic seems like a Jewish Nazi to us" that Penn Jillette is known for but I am sure you get the idea.

It is obvious why the church would be upset with this show but my question would be to them, like it or not is any of this false? Did Penn and Teller make this up or is it a somewhat embellished satirical look at the true recent history of the Catholic Church? I am leaning towards the latter and would hope that Showtime and CBS do the right thing and give the Catholic League's protests all the attention it deserves. Throwing it in the circular file...

UPDATE: Here's the video for however long it stays up

Friday, August 28, 2009

An Now For Something Completely Different

Ok, not really as quitting unreliability seems to be an everyday occurrence in Sarah Palin's world but considering how she rarely seems to follow through on a commitment, one would have to wonder why she still has such a large following willing to book her for anything in the first place (maybe they are puppies following their master)? This time she reportedly failed to show up for an event right up her alley, a rally promoting an Alaska ballot measure aimed at making it illegal for teens to get an abortion without telling their parents.
Organizers of an Anchorage event that has been billing Sarah Palin for weeks as a star speaker were left scrambling Wednesday after learning that the former governor won't be there for tonight's event and claims to have never been asked.

It would be at least the fourth time in recent months that an anticipated Palin speech has fallen through after Palin and her camp disputed they had ever confirmed it. That includes the brouhaha over whether she'd speak at the annual congressional Republican fundraising dinner in Washington, D.C., this summer.

Democrats can only hope that she runs for the White House in 2012. Her doing so will do more to further their chances for 4 mores years than just about any other reason and the fact that the right wing holds her in such high regard is a big reason why they are where they are now. Now if they can just further the WorldnetDaily crowd's unexplainable love affair with Chuck Norris, the Democrats could have their ultimate 2012 GOP dream ticket, Palin/Norris.

His Congregation Must Be So Proud

Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church talking to Alan Colmes.
Colmes: Everybody who is gay is a predator?

Anderson: Well, if you disagree with that, that's fine. But every gay person in the Bible was a predator, from Genesis to Revelation.

Colmes: Well, I don't know about the Bible, but do you believe that every gay person in the world is a predator?

Anderson: That's what I believe, yes. And every gay person that I've ever known personally has been a predator ...

Colmes: Define "predator." What do you mean by "predator"?

Anderson: A predator as in someone who tries to molest other people, to force people into things that they don't want to do ...

Colmes: So, let me get this straight, every homosexual in the world forces other people to do be gay?

Anderson: I believe that every homosexual in the world is a deviant, is evil, and is a predator that is out to recruit others through molestation, through rape. It's in the news.

It seems quite obvious to me that this guy is so lost in his delusional beliefs that he would be too afraid to ever get to know a homosexual in real life so all he can do is forward the fundie stereotype.

I'm not sure who I feel more sorry for, the homophobic preacher of the sheeple that follow him. Ok, neither really. They deserve each other and should really think about merging with Pastor Mahan and his St Timothy’s Lutheran church...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Golden Crockoduck

Ignorant people trying their best to ignore or cherry pick science to fit their creationist worldview now have an award. The winner last year was Kent Hovind and some of this year's worthy nominees are profiled below. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No Heath Care Reform For You!

Taking a thought from Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi", South Dakota's version of that character, John (no Democrat authored reforms for you!) Thune, has finally come out and said what we pretty much knew from the beginning. Comprehensive health care reform will happen over the GOP's dead body.
In a conference call with reporters, Thune argued that an incremental approach to health care reform is "the only way to end up with a bipartisan bill." But he warned the greatest hurdle to such a solution could end up being Republicans' unwillingness to trust Democratic leaders to not use the conference process to rewrite a rifle-shot bill into a fully comprehensive bill.

Ted Kennedy's death, the Democrat's missing spine disorder, and the GOP's puppet masters otherwise known as the health insurance industry have all but signaled that comprehensive health reform is itself on the verge of being taken off of life support unless the Democrats grow a pair and kick this time wasting bipartisan crap. (who won the election anyhow?)

Considering the Democrats' unwillingness to pursue torture crimes and 4th Amendment violations committed under the previous watch, I am not holding my breath so please excuse me while I look to get a second mortgage to pay for next years health insurance premiums and excuse Thune while he looks to spend the $1,206,176 he reportedly received from the health care industry...

So Who Should Be More Embarrassed?

St Timothy's Lutheran church in Charleston, WV, is making news after learning of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) convention vote to allow monogamous gays and lesbians to have larger roles in the church including serving as pastors.

Richard Mahan, pastor of the church first covered the "Lutheran" on his church's sign and then delivered this message to his congregation, most of whom apparently agree with him.
"I asked that be done because I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed of what the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has done to a church I've loved for 40 years," Pastor Richard Mahan told his congregation during last Sunday’s morning service. According to Christian Today news service, St. Timothy typically has 300 to 400 members in attendance each Sunday. So the minister used the sermon to teach his congregants about homosexuality, adding that "We welcome the sinner, but we do not welcome the sin."

Since the ELCA vote specifically leaves the determination on whether to have gay leaders to each church and local synod, the question is who should be more embarrassed over their outward display of homophobia? The pastor, who one would think would know of tolerance, or his congregation that are basically sheeple in the larger flock?

Pastor, maybe you and your congregation should just convert to Catholicism, their gay priests are usually "on the QT" and must remain celibate either way (would not being able to be with the one you love anymore be a deal breaker Pastor Mahan?) so you won't have to deal with those monogamous gays anymore. Plus I hear they are always looking for collection plate fillers to pay for pedophilia lawsuits members so you and your congregation should fit right in.

Ted Kennedy Dead At 77

Edward (Ted) Kennedy joined Mary Jo Kopechne when he passed away from brain cancer last night at 77.
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died late Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77.

"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," a family statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice."

President Obama learned about Kennedy's death at 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to a senior administration official. Obama later called Kennedy's widow to offer condolences.

In a statement, Obama says: "An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time."

The death of one of the champions of the current heath care debate also marks the end of the Kennedy dynasty in American politics. Rest in peace

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Get Ready For The Rapture

When the Rapture comes, what will be happen to your pets? Well worry no more, a group of Atheists have you covered for a small fee with their new company Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA.
You've committed your life to Jesus. You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes what's to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.

We are a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you've received your reward. Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus.

We are currently active in 20 states and growing. Our representatives have been screened to ensure that they are atheists, animal lovers, are moral / ethical with no criminal background, have the ability and desire to rescue your pet and the means to retrieve them and ensure their care for your pet's natural life.

Unfortunately for those patiently waiting to be collected by Jesus and taken to heaven here in South Dakota, you will have to wait a bit longer as they haven't made it here yet. If on the other hand you have a nice muscle car or Harley you'd like taken care of though, I'm your man and I'd be willing to do it for free...

(via Dvorak Online)

No Doubt Here

If there was really a hell, this guy would have covered all the bases needed to get there.
A Nebraska man who stole a painting of the Virgin Mary to finance an abortion for a teen he raped has been convicted of first-degree sexual assault and felony theft.

(h/t - The Invisible Pink Unicorn)

Ten Signs You Are an Unquestioning Christian



(via Proud Atheists)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fanatical? Ann Coulter Should Know

Many who do not subscribe to the tin foil hat crusade against Barack Obama's birthplace, often wonder why he doesn't just release any document that these wingnuts want just to shut them up. This is why.

Ann Coulter, the queen of crazy back handedly called Joseph Farah, founder of WorldNutDaily and a card carrying member of the Birther movement, nuts over the Birther obsession by the far right. She didn't mention him by name of course, she isn't stupid enough to bite the hands that feed her, but she does lament the craziness of the Birther's on Farah's own web site.

And of course Farah is hurt.
The attacks from friends, which I consider Ann to be, always hurt much more than attacks from adversaries. My skin is thick. It has to be in this business. Coulter's comments were scathing, and she painted with a broad brush. I was grateful she didn't make it personal in her comments on TV and in her WND column – the place where more people read Coulter than anywhere else. Nevertheless, I noted that her statements on this subject were much less informed than is her usual standard.

Furthering Farah's defense of his position, he says that Coulter should know that she is off base, not because of any evidence, but because of who else thinks that Farah and his Birther movement are just plain nuts.
I still respect, admire and love Ann Coulter. But she couldn't be more wrong on this issue. The fact that she is in agreement with Geraldo, Olbermann, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and the entire mass media slime machine should provide her a clue that she's way off the reservation. It's one thing to ignore the story. It's another to impugn the motives of those who don't.

So if everyone but you believe that something is false, they are the crazy one's? Farah then goes on to promote his one and only defense of his position.
It still comes down to one question: "Where's the birth certificate?"

Besides the fact that Obama has had to do just about more than any other President in history to prove his citizenship, I put forward the reason why he doesn't give the Birther's the "proof" they want is that this obsession by the crazy wing of the right all but destroys any credibility they might have had on any issues going forward.

Fanatical? If anyone on this planet knows what that is, it is Ann Coulter.

Senility, Stupidity, Or Just Covering Your Butt?

Oh how John McCain has fallen. He was the man I once thought was the future of the GOP who at one point had the earned reputation as a true maverick, a real moderate Republican that seemed destined to live in the White House. Then came his sucking up to Jerry Falwell and the religious right followed by his selection of the empty headed Sarah Palin as his VP, and now he continues his downward slide by pushing Palin's "death panel" agenda.
STEPHANOPOULOS:  The president also says that the debate has been infected by falsehoods.  And probably the most notorious one is the one made by your former running mate, Sarah Palin, who said that his bill would encourage death panels that would encourage euthanasia.  He called that an extraordinary lie and he is right about that, isn't he?

MCCAIN:  Well, I think that what we are talking about here is do – are we going to have groups that actually advise people as these decisions are made later in life and …

STEPHANOPOULOS:  That's not in the bill.

MCCAIN:  But – it's been taken out, but the way that it was written made it a little bit ambiguous.  And another thing …

STEPHANOPOULOS:  I don't think that's correct, Senator.  The bill, all it said was that, if a patient wanted to have a Medicare consultation about end-of-life issues, they could have it at their request and the doctor would get reimbursed for it, no panel …

MCCAIN:  There was a provision in the bill that talks about a board that would decide the most effective measures to provide health care for people, OK?  Now, we had amendments, we republican have said that in no way would that affect the decisions that the patients would make and their families.  That was rejected by the Democrats and the health committee.

STEPHANOPOULOS:  But that's not a death panel.

MCCAIN:  So what does – what does that lead to?  Doesn't that lead to a possibility, at least opens the door to a possibility of rationing and decisions made such are made in other countries?

STEPHANOPOULOS:  Well, every single independent group that looked at it said it just wasn't true.

MCCAIN:  Well, then why did the Democrats turn down our amendments that clarified that none of the decisions that would be made by this board would in any way affect depriving of needed treatments for patients?  I don't know why they did that then.

STEPHANOPOULOS:  So you think Sarah Palin was right?

MCCAIN:  Look, I don't think they were called death panels, don't get me wrong.  I don't think – but on the best treatment procedures part of the bill, it does open it up to decisions being made as far – that should be left – those choices left to the patient and the individual.  That's what I think is pretty clear, which was a different section of the bill.

John, we can only hope that you are regretting your choice of Palin as your running mate at least in private but that doesn't mean that you have to further erode what is left of your credibility by continuing to defend her in public does it? Or do you really believe the snow job that Palin and the wacky right is trying to pass off as fact in order to undermine health care reform?

I do guess though that if you actually do believe that the Democrats want death panels, it is probably a good thing that you did pick Palin as your running mate. Picking someone with any political chops (or any intelligence at all) might have actually led to you winning the election...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sam Harris On Real Time

Sam Harris from the Reason Project on Real Time with Bill Maher discussing Atheism, Bush and his Gog and Magog defense and the contradictions between science and religion.

Now They Are Just Being Mean

BOMySpaceAs if the Birther's needed more "evidence" to feed their paranoia that Barack Obama isn't eligible to be President, someone with access to his MySpace page is giving them more. The supposedly official MySpace page for Obama has his age listed as 52, not the 48 that has been listed as his age from the beginning further fueling the WorldNutDaily crowd.
A new wrinkle in the dispute over his birth – and whether he is eligible to be president under the U.S. Constitution's requirement that the president be a "natural born" citizen – appeared today when Obama's official MySpace page declared his age is 52, thus placing his birth year at 1957 instead of 1961 as has been claimed.

That would mean he would have been born during the archipelago's time as a territory of the U.S.,  the islands' status from about 1900 until statehood in 1959.

The birth year also conflicts with campaign and other White House information that have discussed his 48th birthday this month.

So one question, is this an honest mistake or is someone in the Obama camp just being deviously mean to the tinfoil hat crowd?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy 50th to Hawaii

On August 21st 1959 the territory of Hawaii became the 50th state in the union which makes today the 50th anniversary of it's statehood. Of course if you are a Birther and the tightness of your tin foil hat doesn't allow you to believe Barack Obama was born in the US, Hawaii is really still only 49 because for part of August 1961 it was called Kenya.

Speaking Of Idiocy

While a Minneapolis Baptist minister claims that god is punishing Lutherans for considering giving gays more recognition within their church, our fine leaders in Rapid City are trying to figure out how to word their new discrimination policy so that they can continue to avoid mentioning them at all. (emphasis mine)
In other business, the board also approved a first reading of a new nondiscrimination policy. To comply with state accreditation rules, the policy will add "pregnancy" and "student marital status" to the list shielded from discrimination.

The current policy says the school in dealing with staff, students and the public will not discriminate based on race, gender, religion, national background, handicap and other human differences.

The board earlier this month had anticipated "other human differences" would be replaced with sexual orientation, but administrators did not propose the change at Thursday's meeting.

Other human differences? What, do they have the local homophobe advising them on their policy?

Why bother.

Wrath Of God?

In case you missed it, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has been holding their convention in Minneapolis for the past few days and one of the topics they were discussing was the possible "liberalization" of their policies on homosexuality.

Of course god would certainly not approve of any of that gay talk from his sheeple so according to local Baptist preacher John Piper, that same "merciful" god sent a tornado through the area in Minneapolis where the ELCA was holding their unholy discussions as a gentle reminder of his disgust.
Piper, who has been a leader in a surge of Calvinism in America, wrote Thursday on his blog that the tornado was a "gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin." Piper added one caveat, citing Jesus' teaching about the tower of Siloam in Luke 13:4-5: All calamities, whether "in Minneapolis, Taiwan or Baghdad" should be viewed as warnings to repent.

And to further his point, Piper provided 6 points to back up his claim
1. "The unrepentant practice of homosexual behavior (like other sins) will exclude a person from the kingdom of God. 'The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.' (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

2. "The church has always embraced those who forsake sexual sin but who still struggle with homosexual desires, rejoicing with them that all our fallen, sinful, disordered lives (all of us, no exceptions) are forgiven if we turn to Christ in faith. 'Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.' (1 Corinthians 6:11).

3. "Therefore, official church pronouncements that condone the very sins that keep people out of the kingdom of God are evil. They dishonor God, contradict Scripture and implicitly promote damnation where salvation is freely offered.

4. "Jesus Christ controls the wind, including all tornados. 'Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?' (Mark 4:41).

5. "When asked about a seemingly random calamity near Jerusalem where 18 people were killed, Jesus answered in general terms -- an answer that would cover calamities in Minneapolis, Taiwan or Baghdad. God's message is repent, because none of us will otherwise escape God's judgment. Jesus: 'Those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.' (Luke 13:4-5)

6. "Conclusion: The tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin. Turn from the promotion of behaviors that lead to destruction. Reaffirm the great Lutheran heritage of allegiance to the truth and authority of Scripture. Turn back from distorting the grace of God into sensuality. Rejoice in the pardon of the cross of Christ and its power to transform left and right wing sinners."

No word yet from Piper as to what was behind the tornadoes in Wisconsin or Iowa around the same time but one school of thought would be that god was warning the ELCA members that had yet to arrive in Minneapolis and happened to be on the road in those areas at the time. But if you ask me though, the more likely reason is that Piper is just plain loony toons.

UPDATE: Good for the ELCA. Today they voted to allow individual churches and pastors to bless monogamous, same-gender relationships and to allow pastors who are in monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as pastors. They better watch out though, Hurricane Bill isn't that far away...

So Who Should Be The Angry Group Again?

I know that Conservatives hate Bill Maher about as much as everyone else despises Rush Limbaugh but this spot from a recent show makes you think. Maher had Dana Gould go to 2 different places, a health care town hall and a free health care clinic set up at the LA Forum recently and one thing stood out.

Why exactly are those that for the most part have decent health care screaming and yelling in anger at Town Halls across the country while those that have to resort to standing in line for hours just to have access to health care services normally reserved for 3rd world countries so calm? See here for possible reason why...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Spelling Not Required

Luckily for this woman, correct spelling isn't required at your local heath care protest meet-up.



Though a pubic option sounds strangely interesting, I am guessing she probably doesn't want the public option either...

(h/t - Dvorak Uncensored)

Quote Of The Day

With Democrats waffling on healthcare reform giving back more daily and wingnuts showing up at heathcare Town Halls with AK47's, this quote from Bill Maher pretty much sums up the current political climate quite nicely.

“The Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved to a mental hospital.”

Oxymoron

PZ Myers came across an interesting event that surely has the Websters Dictionary folks scrambling to update their definition of oxymoron.

It seems that the Creation Museum is taking applications for the "Creation Museum Science Fair" which is open to kids in grades 7-12. The only requirement for applying is that you agree to sign a form saying that you are willing to pretty much ignore all science because of course using real science kind of defeats the creationism worldview doesn't it?

Some highlights:


  • All projects should be clearly aligned with a biblical principle from a passage or verse.

    • The student should be able to explain why the verse or passage selected relates to their project. (Students should read the article “God and Natural Law” by Dr. Jason Lisle for an explanation of this concept.)

      • Students should consider the context of the verse(s) they are using.

      • The verse chosen does not have to directly apply to the project topic (e.g., Scripture does not directly address radio waves), but may simply relate the project to the Creator of the universe.

      • Students should read the article “God and Natural Law.”







  • Students should be able, with a clear conscience, to sign the AiG Statement of Faith, which upholds the belief in the creation of the universe in six, twenty-four-hour days about 6,000 years ago by the Creator God as revealed in the Bible.



2 things are are painfully clear from this.

First they should rename the event to the "Anti-Science" Fair as no science will be evident and second, after reading their "Statement of Faith", shouldn't it really be called the "AIG Grand Canyon Sized Leap of Faith"?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Religious Reference Manual

MadAtoms compares elements of some of the more popular religions.

[caption id="attachment_1177" align="alignnone" width="650" caption="Click to Enlarge"]Click to Enlarge[/caption]

Monday, August 17, 2009

Maybe They Should Have Kept Their Mouth Shut

Our neighbors to the Southeast, Iowa, have been going through an advertising campaign nightmare made better or worse depending on your perspective by Governor Chet Culver and some intolerant locals.

It all started simply enough when a small group from Iowa Atheists & Freethinkers (IAF) purchased the following ad to be run on transit buses in Des Moines.

Within days that seemingly innocuous ad was drawing the ire from some residents including Governor Chet Culver who feigned offense over the obvious, there are actually people in Iowa and elsewhere that don't believe in god.
Gov. Chet Culver weighed in on the controversial Des Moines bus ad that has been yanked after multiple complaints.

“I was disturbed, personally, by the advertisement and I can understand why other Iowans were also disturbed by the message that it sent,” Culver said.

The question will likely become a legal battle, Culver said. He deferred questions of whether the group deserves the same free speech rights as Christian organizations to advertise on the buses to the Iowa Attorney General.

Culver also declined to answer if he would also have gotten off the bus had he been a rider, but noted that he would have been offended by the ad’s message.

I wonder how he feels about other obvious facts like the sun rises in the East?

Well anyways the faux outrage had the desired effect and the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority promptly yanked the advertisements several days after they went live using an equally ridiculous reason. Somehow the ads were put up by mistake and were never authorized to go live in the first place. End of story right?

Not exactly.

About this time, the small transit bus ad campaign initiated by an equally small group of maybe 125 people in Des Moines, Iowa became a mini national story gaining traction on blogs, Twitter, and news outlets. Also as predicted by Governor Culver, the ACLU got involved questioning the legality of pulling the ads which not only generated more publicity but ended up getting the ads re-instated.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) got involved in the conversation questioning the legality of the actions of DART. After a meeting between the transit authority and the atheist group, the ads went back up. Although IAF was asked to change their ad, they refused and the ads went back up as they were

So instead of a small unoffensive ad campaign proposed for the sides of transit buses running for a few weeks in the middle of nowhere and fading into obscurity, it ends up getting national attention and doubling the membership of the group responsible for the ads. All because a few people cannot deal with reality and allow others to exercise their 1st Amendment rights by keeping their collective mouths shut for the couple of weeks the ads were scheduled to run. As for the ad campaign's success? I  would say "Mission Accomplished!"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Metamorphosis Of Health Care

Jon Stewart documents the metamorphosis of heath care as told by Glenn Beck. When he was with CNN, America's health care system was absolutely horrible and miraculously by the time he made it to Fox news it suddenly became the best in the world.


















The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Glenn Beck's Operation
www.thedailyshow.com








Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance



Other than who signs his paycheck, what changed? Please move on, no bias here

Friday, August 14, 2009

So That Is Why The GOP Is Against Healthcare Reform

It is against god's plan!
The Minnesota Family Council says that Obama’s plan for health care reform is against God’s design and, according to its president, God has created government to do certain things. When we reject His design for government, in a sense, we’re rejecting Him.”Pritchard goes on to explain that Obama expects people to trust government, not God and socialist models are against the laws of God and involve rationing and waiting periods for care.

And If you think it is just one fringe group we have this as well
The Christian Coalition of America has a similar message, warning Christians about Barack Obama’s health care program as alien to God and Christian teachings. They maintain “that reform of health care would “provide care to illegal aliens, while rationing care to elderly and disabled American citizens.” This pits seniors against immigrants in the health care reform debate. They also declare on their webpage, “Stop the takeover. Visit our action center.”

Other groups gathering to make an assault on health care at town hall meetings include Americans for Truth, The Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family specifically requests members to attend town hall meetings and “demand that abortion funding be explicitly excluded from any reform bill.”

Isn't it nice to know that god is looking after our welfare this way? I wonder if he will help me pay the $1000 a month that my company and I now pay for my health insurance or if he will look out for me if that same insurance company that is collecting my money turns around and tells me that they will not cover a future medical issue?

As usual I am betting the answer will be no.

UPDATE: Speaking of leaving healthcare to god, haven't we already seen numerous examples of what happens when we do that?
Last year, Kara Neumann died of juvenile diabetes. Her death was slow and painful, and entirely unnecessary — her parents believed in the power of prayer and allowed her obvious symptoms to go untreated except for entreaties to an invisible and inert god. They weren't opposed to technology in general, since they did sent out an email to an online ministry requesting 'emergency prayer', but they did neglect the only technology that mattered, a simple injection of insulin.

Would This Be Considered Nanny Statism?

Some on the right have issues with our government telling business what they can or cannot do within the walls of their establishments. I wonder if this latest intrusion will draw the ire of the admittedly stereotypical right-wing prudes that usually scream the loudest about government regulations being placed on business?
The Meade County Commission has passed a second reading of a revised ordinance affecting adult-oriented businesses.

Commissioners say the ordinance is in line with state law.

Any business owner who knowingly allows nudity without a license could be subject to fines or jail time. And businesses that are close to schools and churches might have problems obtaining a license.

Venues that are likely to be most affected are those that cater to patrons during the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally.

Somehow I doubt it seriously.

Advertisers Leaving Glenn Beck In Droves

Most sane people have long since come to the realization that Fox News' Glenn Beck was batshit crazy and now it seems that his advertisers are realizing it as well. Apparently his latest comments towards President Obama were the final straw.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- In what is shaping up to be one of the more effective boycott campaigns in years, advertisers are abandoning the "Glenn Beck" show on Fox News following the host's incendiary comments that President Barack Obama is a "racist" and has a "deep-seated hatred for white people."

Among the advertisers to pull spots from the popular cable talk show are Geico, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway /quotes/comstock/13*!brk.a (BRK .A 101,800, -450.00, -0.44%) /quotes/comstock/13*!brk.b (BRK .B 3,330, -24.87, -0.74%) ; Procter & Gamble /quotes/comstock/13*!pg/quotes/nls/pg (PG 52.01, -0.29, -0.55%) ; Sargento Cheese; and Progressive Insurance /quotes/comstock/13*!pgr/quotes/nls/pgr (PGR 16.26, -0.17, -1.04%) , according to the companies and Color of Change, one group that is organizing a campaign against the program.

So how will we survive if we lose Beck's wonderful perspectives on politics like those from the video below?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Exercising One's Right To Protest Is One Thing...

Stupidity is something else altogether.

What does this idiot think was going to happen after his little one man protest was seen by the Secret Service?



Exactly
A man who was holding a sign reading "Death to Obama" Wednesday outside a town hall meeting on health care reform in Hagerstown, Md., has been turned over to the Secret Service.

Washington County Sheriff's Capt. Peter Lazich said the sign also read, "Death to Michelle and her two stupid kids."

Lazich said U.S. Secret Service agents took the unidentified 51-year-old man into custody Wednesday afternoon after deputies detained him near the entrance to Hagerstown Community College.

What Exactly Is Judeo-Christian Science?

So what exactly is Judeo-Christian science? Is it some faux science class taught at Liberty University or maybe a correspondence course put together by Ken Ham? More importantly, at least to those involved, why is this woman using it in her run for Mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma?
Republican mayoral candidate Anna Falling said Tuesday that putting a Christian creationism display in the Tulsa Zoo is No. 1 in importance among city issues that also include violent crime, budget woes and bumpy streets.

"It's first," she said to calls of "hallelujah" at a rally outside the zoo. "If we can't come to the foundation of faith in this community, those other answers will never come. We need to first of all recognize the fact that God needs to be honored in this city."

Falling, who has founded several Christian nonprofit groups and is a former city councilor, also said the next mayor needs to appoint people to boards, authorities and commissions who will "honor God."

"We will also look for people who want to characterize the origins of both man and animals in a way that honors Judeo-Christian science that proves God as the creator," she said.

When asked whether she meant that she would recruit Christians to serve the city, Falling said she was talking about "people committed to their churches." When asked whether she meant Christian churches, she said, "churches, yes."

Can you say scary? Her number 1 priority would be to put a creationism display at the zoo? Above violent crime, budget woes and bumpy streets?

All I can say is if the city of Tulsa puts her into office, they will get exactly what they deserve and in honor of Ms Falling and her priorities I thought I'd post a neat little chart that displays one of creationism's latest attempt to shoe horn their worldview into science that might be showing up in a zoo near you.



I guess if you believe in creationism, you have to fit all those variations of human evolution somewhere into the story...and apparently into Tulsa politics.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Healthcare Debate?

I am currently on the 3rd day of a 4 day trip to western South Dakota in between the minutia otherwise known as my paying job and a couple of thoughts on the so called debate on healthcare have come to mind while reading through my RSS feeds.

I have no idea on how the final version of the healthcare reform bill will look nor am I ready to say I am for the current legislation (it is over 1000 pages long afterall). What I can say at this point is that I have no doubt that there are some real serious issues that need to be discussed and worked out by both sides (Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin where are you?).

With that in mind I can also say that:

- If your reasoning for being against it revolves around something Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, WorldNetDaily, or Chuck Norris (come on you must be kidding, Chuck Norris?) is preaching, please go back to looking for Obama's Kenyan birth certificate.

- If your doubts on the health care reform legislation has something to do with anything Sarah Palin has to say on her facebook page, i.e. "death squads", maybe you should start listening to what Rush/Hannity/Beck have to say as it would be a step in the right direction.

Finally read the bill (pdf alert) or at least the sections that you think you have issues with, turn off the conspiracy theory mindset, and read. Once you are open to at least understanding what is really in the bill maybe you will then be able to see the ridiculousness of statements like this by someone who is so blinded by their disdain for government involvement that they can't see the irony:

It involves the government telling free Americans how to live their lives, how to spend their money (as it takes their money to pay for this abomination), dictates what doctors they can see and what health care procedures they can have.

Hint: Substitute "insurance company" with "government" and read it again.

Issues as important as fixing our broken healthcare system need to be discussed and debated openly and honestly. It should  not be rushed through in a couple of months as the Obama administration had pushed for or thrown away completely because of misinformation brought forward by those whose motives are at best suspect.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Morning Funnies - Now That's A Clunker!

I'll be on the road for work for a few days and posting will be light to non-existent so I'll leave you with this from Time to enjoy while I'm gone.

Palin Clunker

Sunday, August 9, 2009

In The Name Of The Children

Shame on me update below

You really have to hand it to some folks. When they find something that offends their religious sensibilities, they often complain on the behalf of their children thereby hoping that society won't catch on to their stupidity.  After all it is for the benefit of the children right?

The latest case in point involves a large sculpture at UC Berkeley of a DNA double helix which also just so happens to be somewhat close to an elementary school. That proximity to the school is just the opening the wingnuts needed.
Although DNA Sculpture has been on display in various public parks and playgrounds, Jenny Garrotte, Claremont Park PTA president, said she found it distasteful and verging on obscene, and e-mailed parents Wednesday morning, asking them to file complaints with Pegro and with Alameda County Code Enforcement.

“Everybody is entitled to their own opinion regarding what art is,” said Garrotte. “If this piece weren’t visible to passersby and available for children to play on, I would not have a problem with it.”

And (emphasis added)
“My daughter suggested that it was funny,” said John Copeland, whose 7-year-old daughter attends summer camp there. “She shouldn’t be talking to me about this. Now I’m forced to explain genetics to her, and why the Bible doesn’t say anything about it.”

Ok so the children must be having a problem with this unholy work of science mixed with art and generating a lot of questions/complaints for the faculty at the school right?
Still, Terence Lythma, a teacher in the school’s summer program, said he has not heard any of the children talking about the piece.

“It’s the parents who have been talking about it,” he said. “The children don’t really make an issue of it.”

Oh so it's actually the parents that think DNA is offensive and not the children? Knock me over with a feather!

I think that maybe these parents should be attending elementary school alongside their children, they might learn something as I hear they have this new thing called science. Apparently schools now have a class teaching this science phenomenon and it covers that twisty looking thing called DNA which is not some unholy monstrosity that should be kept away from children.

Are we sure this story isn't really from Texas?

UPDATE: Actually as Kristen so nicely mentions in the comments (nicer than she could have been by the way), this story is apparently satire based on this story about nude statues not in California or Texas, but in Florida. I've been punked by my own failure to pay enough attention to the source...Feel free to chastise me in the comments.

Sunday Funnies - Because The Bible Says So

bible-circular-logic

Circular logic at its finest.

(via the Beattitude)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Irony When Atheists And Creationists Meet

By most accounts that I can find, the tour of Ken Ham's creation museum yesterday by a group of Atheists went off without any serious problems. The only issue I have seen involved a student, Derek Rodgers, who was told to turn his t-shirt inside out or leave because it had "there's probably no God, so get over it." written on it.

That phrase is not what one would consider hate speech or particularly offensive I would think but reading a story on the event from ABC News, a couple visiting the museum apparently told Mr Rodgers something different about his t-shirt.
"One family of religious people told me that I had ruined their trip, and they drove all the way from Virginia," said Rogers.

So they were offended by that were they? I wonder how they would feel if they were made to pledge allegiance to a god they didn't believe in, or maybe swear an oath to said god when in court? How about seeing faux stone tablets with a moral code attributed to some make believe god placed in government buildings all through town and praises to an invisible deity plastered all over their currency?

Somehow I think a t-shirt with "there's probably no God, so get over it." is quite tame in comparison and think that maybe they should really get over it.

UPDATE: I've been told in the comments section that Derek Rodger's t-shirt actually read "There's probably no god, now stop worrying and enjoy your life" which is as equally unoffensive if not even less controversial than the slogan reported by ABC.

Either way here is Derek Rodgers explaining the incident.

Part Of The Problem Or Part Of The Solution?

All I have been hearing from Republicans (and certain Blue Dog Democrats) from the beginning of the health care debate is cries of socialism, whining over the perceived loss of health care choices that will supposedly occur (what choices will you have with no insurance?), and lately the outright ugly new tactic of the shouting down of elected officials during town hall meetings. What you rarely hear from them any of these detractors are their ideas for reform.

During the Clinton years, Bill and Hillary tried and failed miserably to get some kind of reform passed mainly due to Republican shenanigans and admittedly poor execution. After that, the GOP had the White House and both Houses of Congress for all but 2 of the next 8 years and we heard nary a whisper from them on health care.

Fast forward to now and we are again back trying to fix an obviously broken system that has gotten increasingly worse since the last reform attempt but instead of working on the problem we have idiots with a TV pulpit or a blog spewing often ridiculous talking points and lies (forced euthanasia? Are you really that dumb?). Then we have members of Congress like our own Senator John Thune, who is enjoying the benefits of government run health care at the same time he is railing against that very same system all while accepting big contributions from the health insurance industry. What's wrong with that picture?

So with all that said, what exactly do all these detractors have for an alternative? What ideas can they present to help the millions that truly want health insurance but either can't afford it or who can't get it because of pre-existing conditions? What will the GOP say to those that need preventive health care because of a scary family health history but can't afford it and can't get insurance to cover it? Too bad about your luck? And finally what does Senator Thune and Mr Limbaugh suggest as a fix for the soaring costs of insurance for those that still can somewhat afford it but soon might not be able to because those costs are rising way faster than any increases in wages? (And please don't try and suggest Thune's new "Protect Healthcare Freedom" blog is any kind of an attempt to fix the problem)

You say you don't like the current proposals floating around in Congress? Fine, I can understand that but if you actually want to be part of real health care reform versus just being some robot repeating Rush Limbaugh Hitler comparisons, what is your solution? As things stand now, anything other than the status quo, which is a miserable failure, is a move in the right direction.

UPDATE: I asked above if anyone was really dumb enough to believe the crap being bandied about by the far right and lo and behold their queen didn't disappoint. From Sarah Palin's Facebook page:
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

When it comes to finding ignorance in politics lately, Sarah Palin never disappoints.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Atheists Invade Creation Museum

As I wrote about awhile ago, noted Atheist blogger and scientist PZ Myers and approximately 285 of his friends are scheduled to visit Ken Ham's ode to creationism in Kentucky this morning for what will surely be a great time. If by chance you are interested in this visit and are also on Twitter you can follow it here.

If you are wondering why they would spend their time at Ham's Creation Museum looking at saddled dinosaurs, I would recommend you watch what happens when the tables are turned and creationists visit a science museum with a group of home schooled children.

This is what they are fighting against and what Ham's museum promotes.



UPDATE: Apparently the Flintstones exhibit at the museum, otherwise know as the dinosaurs with saddles, had coincidently been removed for "maintenance" before the tour but just happened to be spotted on a trailer by a van load of folks heading to the museum and was photographed. From PZ Myers' Pharyngula

dinosaddle

Pick A Party Steffi

I came across this cartoon and immediately thought of Stephanie Herseth Sandlin who during the ongoing health care debate again proved that the "D" after her name is often questionable to folks like myself.

And while some South Dakota Republicans might say that she is just voting on issues the way her mostly Conservative South Dakotan base wanted her to do, a new Gallup poll reported on by the Hog House blog shows that statement might not be quite as true anymore.



South Dakota leaning Democratic? Are pigs flying? Of course I'll believe that when the votes are counted in 2010 but one thing I do believe. If Steffi continues to piss off South Dakota's growing number of Democrats and Independents, the shrinking number of her Republican supporters angry from many of her other votes might make her re-election, which has been a sure thing until now, not so sure. That is of course unless the GOP puts another Bruce Whalen clone on the ballot to challenge her...

Oh and Steffi, you are off much of this month but for some reason you don't seem to be doing any public meetings to allow us to question your votes, what's up with that?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Face Of A Movement?

If you've spent even a few moments in the blogosphere the past few days I am sure you've come across the MSNBC video of David Shuster's interview with the queen of the birther movement, Orly Taitz. Taitz was appearing to discuss her release of the quickly debunked Kenyan birth certificate which supposedly showed that Barack Obama was born in an alternate reality that among many issues, had Kenya being a country months before it actually was. Of course when Shuster pointed out that her "evidence" was an obvious forgery, the interview became something else entirely.



The above video obviously doesn't do much to promote the birther movement (as if a movement promoted by WorldNetDaily and led by Taitz, Wiley Drake, and Chuck Norris has any credibility to begin with), but to put an exclamation point of the fact that Taitz and others in her group are nothing a bunch of tin foil wearing kooks, a crawl on the video that appears at the 6:03 mark all but seals the deal.

"Ann Coulter calls birthers "cranks""

If the Websters definition of kooky calls you crazy, you pretty much have no defense...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

So How Do You Figure Out Which Parts Of The Bible You Are Supposed To Believe Again?

Some hilarity from chaser on biblical cherry picking and as is usually the case, most humor has a strong basis in reality.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Definition Of Insanity?

One might define insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I think this just might fit that definition.
Since the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge two years ago, state transportation officials have awarded more than $55 million in contracts to URS Corp. and Progressive Contractors Inc. -- the two companies it now holds largely responsible for the disaster.

Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) records show that it gave the two companies contracts for projects across the state in those two years, including work to predesign other bridges. At least one of the companies played a small part in building the new I-35W bridge.

And

In its lawsuit, the state accused URS of failing to adequately inspect and analyze the 40-year-old steel-truss bridge and of failing to detect that the bridge's gusset plates were underdesigned and inadequate. It collapsed Aug. 1, 2007, killing 13 people and injuring 145 others.

In May, the state filed a legal claim against Progressive Contractors, saying that the construction company whose workers were on the bridge the day it fell did not tell MnDOT the details of its plan to place heavy equipment and materials on the bridge.

Surely sounds like a company I would want working on the roads I travel on, how about you?

Smut For Smut?



Quite an interesting addition to some of the other popular trade in programs don't you think?

(via lilhappyheathen)