Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If You Thought Airport Security Was Bad Before...

Not sure if you noticed this from the news yesterday but it seems that Al Qaeda has developed a new tactic for their suicide bombers.
To get his bomb into this room, Abdullah Asieri, one of Saudi Arabia's most wanted men, avoided detection by two sets of airport security including metal detectors and palace security. He spent 30 hours in the close company of the prince's own secret service agents - all without anyone suspecting a thing.

How did he do it?

Taking a trick from the narcotics trade - which has long smuggled drugs in body cavities - Asieri had a pound of high explosives, plus a detonator inserted in his rectum.

At least the TSA already has a large supply of rubber gloves...

New Rule - You Might Be Nuts If You Are Bill Maher

Stealing a line from Bill Maher. New Rule, just because you are a vocal critic of religion doesn't mean that on other subjects you can't be batshit crazy (ok some might think that is crazy as well). Case in point is the comedian and skeptic Bill Maher himself and his outright crazy ideas on medicine.

I first became aware that something didn't seem right when he sent this via Twitter the other day.
If u get a swine flu shot ur an idiot.

Okay, was I missing the joke somewhere? Did Jenny McCarthy hack Maher's Twitter account? Then I find out that Maher has less than traditional ideas about medicine in general.
Maher is as loopy as they come on medical matters. He's a conspiracy theorist who blames Big Pharma for controlling health care, thinks modern medicine is a failure, and promotes 'alternative' therapies that don't work. It is a serious embarrassment.

Apparently that is not all as he is also sympathetic to those in denial about AIDS/HIV and rivals the nutty Jenny McCarthy in his anti-vaccine views as evident by his appearance on Larry King a few years ago which ties in with the swine flu tweet I mentioned earlier.
MAHER: I'm not into western medicine. That to me is a complete scare tactic. It just shows you, you can...

KING: You mean you don't get a -- you don't get a flu shot?

MAHER: A flu shot is the worst thing you can do.

KING: Why?

MAHER: Because it's got -- it's got mercury.

KING: It prevents flu.

MAHER: It doesn't prevent. First of all, that's...

KING: I haven't had the flu in 25 years since I've been taking a flu shot.

MAHER: Well, I hate to tell you, Larry, but if you have a flu shot for more than five years in a row, there's ten times the likelihood that you'll get Alzheimer's disease. I would stop getting your...

KING: What did you say?

MAHER: That went better in rehearsal but it was still good. Absolutely, no the defense against disease is to have a strong immune system. A flu shot just compromises your immune system.

And finally we have this concerning his views on "alternative medicine" from his show last week starting at the 50 second mark.


Who would have known?

(h/t - Respectful Insolence)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Open Records Taken Too Far?

I will be the first one to agree that government employees must give up some of their privacy when they agree to be paid with taxpayer money, but how much loss of privacy is too much? The reason I ask is because of a story about a now former cop in my old home town that appeared in the local paper last week that documented line by line why the 18 year vet was fired including his trip to alcohol rehab.

To be fair I must state that I personally know the individual in question having gone to school with one of his sisters but how much personal information is too much? Does John Q Public need to know dates and times that a patrolman on the local police force was absent? Is it any of our business that the officer has been treated for any illness or addiction? The officer broke no laws and was fired for attendance issues. Should anything more than that be public information?

On one end you have South Dakota where you just about need to sign away your first born to get any information about what goes on in state and local government and apparently in Ohio everything seems to be fair game no matter what is does to the individual involved. Somewhere in between is where it should be.

Friday, September 25, 2009

You Know That Spelling Thing...

Just one day after I wondered aloud about why the lunatic fringe seems to have issues with spelling, Steve Hickey posts on the dictionary definition of lunatic fringe, Orly Taitz. It seems the lawyer behind all the Obama birth certificate lawsuits, who was recently warned to quit wasting the court's time with frivolous birther lawsuits, is coming to "Sue Falls" for a little chat with some of the locals here in our fine state.
On Saturday I will fly to Sue Falls South Dakota and give a presentation atSheraton. 16 State Representatives and Senators RSVPed.

If you are interested to attend, please contact Garland Peterson

Is it any wonder that even among some in the "birther" crowd, Taitz is considered out there? I do wonder though which 16 members of our state legislature will be showing up to hear her talk. Any guesses?

Riling Up The Troops Once Again

The next big issue on the minds of the lunatic fringe seems to be the 2010 Census. Their paranoia ranges from claims that the data collected will be used to round up all the government critics to worries that the Census numbers will be manipulated to stack Congressional districts in favor of the Democrats. We've already seen some of the results of that paranoia with the successful campaign to defund ACORN and we might have seen another result with the recent hanging death of a Census worker in Kentucky.

51 year old Census worker Bill Sparkman was found hung near a cemetery in rural Kentucky on September 12th with the word "Fed" written across his chest. The FBI is still investigating whether the death was a homicide or suicide (who writes "fed" on their chest before hanging themselves?), but it begs the question. With over one million Census workers poised to start canvasing the neighborhoods next year, is this latest scare campaign by the wingnuts going to lead to incidents of violence similar to what might have happened to Sparkman?

As always, Fox News seems to set to mood for the wingnut right and below is some of their early work with everybody's favorites Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann along with some goodies found on YouTube from folks fearing the Census.

(h/t - Right Wing Watch)

Did They Really Need A Forum To Figure This Out?

The University of South Dakota apparently felt the need to figure this out once and for all when they hosted a forum on Wednesday to settle the question, "Is the Obama/Hilter comparison valid?"
The U.S. is the only industrialized nation without a universal health care system, Wymar said. If Obama is compared to Hitler because he favors universal health coverage, that would make the leader of nearly every other leading nation also like Hitler, Wymar said.

“Are they all Hitlers?” Wymar asked. “Maybe they should have a conference of Hitlers."

Obama and Hitler have tremendously different backgrounds, said Don Pryce, a retired USD history professor.

Whereas Hitler dropped out of junior high, was homeless and didn’t hold a full-time paying job until he became chancellor of Germany, Obama worked his way up the ladder, Pryce said.

Hitler was abnormal in his ability to love or his ability to work, Pryce said. Hitler reportedly had sexual obsessions, including relations with his niece who later committed suicide, he said.

“On the other hand, Obama is married to a woman of intellect, poise and charm, and they have two children,” Pryce said.

The two leaders also have different governing styles, Pryce said.

“Hitler had a mindset. He had a view of how the world works, and how to bring it about,” the professor said. “He had a significant refusal to compromise. He ideology was victory, not consensus. Win, not lose.”

Hitler’s politics had a sense of absoluteness, filled with hatred, intolerance and inflexibility, Pryce said.

“In contrast, Obama seeks bipartisanship, cooperation and global understanding,” the professor said. “Unlike Hitler, genocide is not part of Obama’s goal.”

Hitler symbolizes the ultimate evil, leading to the deaths of million of people, Pryce said. “His 12 years in office was marked by a self-destructive impulse,” the professor said.

Hitler exhibited strong anti-Semitism his entire life, Pryce said. Hitler expounded on his hatred of Jews in “Mein Kampf,” his autobiographical manifesto on socialism.

“In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote, if the Jews win, all life would be doomed. There would be no life left if the Jews won,” Pryce said.

“If the wrong race won, Hitler was sure that life would surely come to an end. He needed not just to save the human race, but life itself.”

Hitler saw a struggle of the races, Pryce said. War was necessary, with the need for the superior to enslave the inferior, he said.

Ironically, Hitler suffered from an inferiority complex, Pryce said. Hitler’s rabid anti-Semitism was rooted in his own fear that he was part Jewish, he added.

“It was a sign of extremism and distrust,” Pryce said. “What (Hitler) thinks and knows was the only truth, and he had to win. He was the savior of all life in the universe.”

There, aren't you glad that they settled that question?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

GOP Senator Falls Asleep During Healthcare Debate

Apparently Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning was all burned out after doing his best to derail Max Baucus' latest Heath Care reform proposal. He was so tired in fact that he decided to take a nap right in the middle of the Senate Finance Committee meeting in which the latest proposal was being discussed.

From the Washington Post:
The Senate Finance Committee was barely an hour into its consideration of health-care reform on Tuesday morning, but Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) already knew where he stood.

"I do not support a government takeover of the health-care system," he railed. The proposal "confiscates more money from the taxpayers," he went on. "It tramples on American freedom and liberties."

After this vigorous display of open-mindedness, Bunning was spent. About an hour later, spectators noticed that the senator, who had been resting his chin in his hand, had fallen fast asleep. As giggles rippled through the chamber, an aide shook Bunning, who woke with a start.

Not exactly what I would call working towards a bi-partisan compromise would you?

Atheistic Bigotry

Some surveys show that Atheists are among the most hated groups there is. The video below takes a look at that disdain (some would contend bigotry) and provides some insight and statistics on that subject including comparing Atheists to Theists in several different societal categories.



Take particular note of the makeup of the prison population especially if you, like most fundies, believe that Atheists are immoral, it might surprise you, and then again it might not...

Re-Enforcing What We Already Knew

Most except for the crowd that already questions everything coming from the science community probably knew this anyway, but a review published earlier this week based on a 2007 Intelligence Science Board report discusses the science which suggests Waterboarding in particular and torture in general doesn't work.
[Shane]O’Mara derides the belief that extreme stress produces reliable memory as “folk neurobiology” that “is utterly unsupported by scientific evidence.” The hippocampus and prefrontal cortex — the brain’s centers of memory processing, storage and retrieval — are profoundly altered by stress hormones. Keep the stress up long enough, and it will “result in compromised cognitive function and even tissue loss,” warping the minds that interrogators want to read.

What’s more, tortured suspects might not even realize when they’re lying. Frontal lobe damage can produce false memories: As torture is maintained for weeks or months or years, suspects may incorporate their captors’ allegations into their own version of reality.

The “ticking time bomb” argument has been used to justify torture in situations where the information it retrieves could immediately save lives. But it will be “difficult or impossible to determine during interrogation whether the information a suspect reveals is true,” writes O’Mara — and the bomb will continue to tick.

It may not work but who cares right? At least it makes some among us feel better because of the pain inflicted on the bad guys. An eye for an eye is taught in the Bible afterall.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Origin Of Stupid

On November 19th, everyone's favorite nut case Ray Comfort will be distributing 100,000 copies of Darwin's "Origin of Species" to 100 universities to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of it's publication. Of course Comfort couldn't leave it at that so his version will include a 50 page introduction attempting to explain everything from how there is a direct connection between Darwin and Hitler to how evolution supposedly has no support. The pdf version of Comfort's introduction is linked below.



This latest campaign by Comfort has again brought out another infamous wingnut from Comfort's past. Kirk Cameron, who cut his crazy teeth as part of the famous banana video has made another video for Comfort, this time in support of Comfort's 50 pages of inconsistencies, lack of facts, and other assorted falsehoods all which were quickly picked apart all throughout the blogosphere. So instead of me adding to the parade, I figured I would just post this video from Cristina that does a pretty good job for me.








(h/t - Pharyngula)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pot Meet Kettle The Cable "News" Edition

You gotta love the faux outrage, this time from CNN's Rick Sanchez over a Fox News ad calling out his network for not covering the teabag activities in DC.



Of course Sanchez is correct, Fox "News" is blatantly biased and stretches the truth a "teeny" bit to fit their agenda, duh! How many so-called news networks can claim ownership of a political protest march of any kind but come on Rick, look in a mirror sometime. Cable news, especially in primetime, has become nothing more than partisan political theater with Fox on the far right, MSNBC on the far left and your little network chiming in quietly somewhere to the right of MSNBC.

Many know the biases and watch their network of choice all while knowing that what is being said should be taken with a grain of salt. Unfortunately I said many. Where things have gone terribly wrong in this country is when people start hanging on every word being spoken by the radio and cable news talking heads believing it is the gospel according to Beck/Olbermann/Limbaugh. That is a subject covered here almost daily.

So Rick get over it. Cable news is nothing more than entertainment coming in a step or two above "Dancing With the Stars". Fox has buxom blondes in short skirts doing their best Sharon Stone imitation during the day with Beck and O'Reilly riling up the troops at night, MSNBC has the Olbermann/Maddow primetime twosome, and you guys have the dapper Anderson Cooper and the wacko Lou Dobbs.

It ain't news Mr Sanchez it's partisan entertainment with a little news thrown in from time to time which is why I watch Comedy Central. At least they get the joke...

(h/t - Dvorak)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Carrie Prejean At The Values Voter Summit

The former Miss California continues using up some more of her 15 minutes of Right Wing fame at the Values Voter Summit.

Watching this was strangely reminiscent of fingernails on a chalkboard and of course there is no hypocrisy in Ms Prejean's rant about the intolerance of some people that she has had to deal with right?

If At First You Don't Succeed

Would this be considered cruel and unusual?

A convicted child rapist and murderer in my old home state of Ohio is fighting to not be executed for the second time. His first execution failed when executioners gave up when after 2 hours and 18 pokes of the lethal injection needle, they were unable to find a usable vein.

Friday, September 18, 2009

If You Want To Rile Up The Religious Right...

One sure fire way to get the Fundies going is to nominate a GLBT for anything. If you really want to get their panties in a bunch, nominate a GLBT for a commission that is responsible for equal rights in employment. Barack Obama did just that when he nominated Chai R. Feldblum, a shhhh, Lesbian, to join the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Not long thereafter a group called The Traditional Values Coalition pounced with an article titled "If You Hate America You Have a Lawyer — Chai Feldblum".

Here is their objections to putting this woman on an employment equal opportunity commission (or in their minds, proof that she hates America):

- She has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign Fund and she founded something called the Moral Values Project, a "gender equity" group meant to sound like something conservative.
- Professor of law (gay studies) at Georgetown University
- Primary author of the pro-gay/transsexual bill known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)
- She is also a strategist for gay activists.
- In her paper, “Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion,” Feldblum argues for legislative and judicial “outcomes that will allow LGBT people to live lives of honesty and safety in today’s society.”
- She believes that eventually, many jurisdictions will have “modified their laws” so that gays will freely marry or have civil unions with the same benefits as marriage
- She also believes that religious people who run businesses or operate other institutions have no right to deny services to gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgendered persons.
- In short, she wants the gay agenda to trump the First Amendment and religious freedom to impose the gay agenda on all Americans

Noticing a trend? If not I highlighted it for you.

So to summarize, the Fundies object to someone getting placed on the EEOC whom is a law professor who worked for the ACLU and co-wrote the Employment Non-Discrimination Act? If one ever wondered why there was a need for the EEOC and for people like Chai Feldblum to be a member, The Traditional Values Coalition article shows us why.

Maybe The Traditional Values Coalition article should have been titled "If you hate gays, join us", it would have better fit their real agenda.

Another Birther Smackdown

Certainly not surprising.

Queen birther and wingnut lawyer Orly Taitz has lost again in her truly ridiculous crusade to disprove Barack Obama's citizenship. This time the judge chimes in putting Taitz on notice, quit wasting our time!

U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land tossed out on Wednesday a complaint by an Army captain fighting deployment to Iraq by questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama.

Land also put attorney Orly Taitz, who represents Capt. Connie Rhodes and is a leader in the national “birther” movement, on notice by stating that she could face sanctions if she ever again files in his court a similar “frivolous” lawsuit — a document that at one point the judge states that a middle school student could find irony in.

“(Rhodes) has presented no credible evidence and has made no reliable factual allegations to support her unsubstantiated, conclusory allegations and conjecture that President Obama is ineligible to serve as president of the United States,” Land states in his order. “Instead, she uses her complaint as a platform for spouting political rhetoric, such as her claims that the president is ‘an illegal usurper, an unlawful pretender, [and] an unqualified imposter.’”

UPDATE: Orly Taitz on MSNBC this morning

Friday Follies - The Race Card



Thursday, September 17, 2009

Son Of "Pro-Life" Protester Killed in Michigan: My Dad Just Hated Women

Podiatrist son, Dr. James M. Pouillon says (spelling errors and all) that his father, James L. Pouillon, shouldn't be a martyr in the pro-life movement as he just used it to further his hatred of women.
It will be impossible for some to believe, but my dad really didn't care about aborton. He did this to stalk, harass, terrorize, scream at, threaten, frighten, and verbally abuse women. He had a pathologic hatred of women: his mom, my mom, everyone.

After my mom finally left him and he lost his favorite punching bag the violence and abuse that was always contained within our 4 walls was unleased on the people of Owosso.

My dad used the pro-life movement and 1st Amendments foundations to defend him, support him, and enable him. He fooled them all.

He was at the high shool because my niece was there, and female family members were always his favorite targets.

Again, my dad didn't care about abortion. He wanted to hurt people, upset people. He enjoyed making people suffer.

His goal was to be shot on a sidewalk. His goal was to make someone so angry, to make them feel so terrorized, to make them feel the only way they could make him stop was to kill him.

His pro-life stance was the most perfect crime I personally know of. He hid behind the 1st Amendment and was allowed to stalk, terrorise, harass, be obsene, ect. These things are crimes. Offending people isn't a crime, and having different political views isn't a crime, but he committed several crimes over the last 20 years and got away with it.

UPDATED - Added names of son and his murdered father that I had initially omitted

Just Wondering

So why are issues that were supposedly just peachy with Conservatives just a short nine months ago like non-Senate confirmed advisors (Czars) and government run healthcare (similar to Medicare) suddenly no longer Constitutional? I mean if you have no problem with our government torturing prisoners and performing wiretaps without warrants on US citizens on US soil, what could you possibly have against these issues?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Truth About Czars

Taking my queue from Sibby (though unlike him I will use blockquotes), I will cut and paste the White House's response to Glenn Beck's latest attempt to fire up the sheeple over Obama's "Czars" without comment. From the White House blog:
Take a look at the facts below – the truth about "czars":

Rhetoric:  Critics have claimed the Obama Administration is filled with new and unchecked czars.

Glenn Beck Claimed There Were 32 "Czars" In The Obama Administration. "The Brainroom counts 32 czars in the Obama administration, based on media reports from reputable sources that have identified the official in question as a czar." [Glenn Beck Website, 8/21/09]

In Sunday’s Washington Post, Sen. Hutchison Claimed There Were An "Unprecedented 32 Czar Posts." "A few of them have formal titles, but most are simply known as "czars.’ They hold unknown levels of power over broad swaths of policy. Under the Obama administration, we have an unprecedented 32 czar posts (a few of which it has yet to fill), including a ‘car czar,’ a ‘pay czar’ and an ‘information czar.’" [Washington Post, 9/13/09]

Reality: Many of the arbitrarily labeled "czars" on Beck’s list are Senate-confirmed appointees or advisory roles carried over from previous administrations. Others are advisors to the President’s Cabinet Secretaries.  Beck himself says on his own website, "Since czar isn't an official job title, the number is somewhat in the eye of the beholder."

Republicans have supported these positions in the past. When asked on Fox News if he had opposed any of President Bush’s "czars," Rep. Darrell Issa admitted "No we didn’t." In fact, the Bush administration had many of the same officials and advisors now described as "czars,"  including Afghanistan czar, AIDS czarDrug czarFaith-based czar, Intelligence czar, Mideast Peace Czar, Regulatory Czar, Science Czar, Sudan Czar, TARP/Bailout Czar, Terrorism Czar, and Weapons Czar.

Of the 32 "czars" on Beck’s list, nine were confirmed by the Senate:

Deputy Interior Secretary David J. Hayes ("California Water Czar")
Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske ("Drug Czar")
OMB Deputy Director Jeff Zients ("Government Performance Czar")
Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair ("Intelligence Czar")
OMB Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Cass Sunstein ("Regulatory Czar")
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and OSTP Director John Holdren ("Science Czar")
Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Herb Allison ("TARP Czar")
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Ashton Carter ("Weapons Czar")
OSTP Associate Director Aneesh Chopra ("Technology Czar")

Many of the same critics who are decrying these roles have applauded or even pushed for them in the past. Sen. Robert Bennett has criticized czars as "undermining the Constitution,"  but reportedly prodded President Clinton to appoint a Y2K Czar.  In a 1999 CNN appearance, Sen. Bennett said "I think John Koskinen has been superb. I wrote the president six months before John was appointed, recommending that he appoint a Y2K czar." At  a 1999 National Press Club luncheon, Bennett told reporters the Koskinen was "there to help, prod, give information, and make analyses and reports"  and said he spoke with the czar to ensure "we maintain the kind of bipartisan and across-the-government sort of communication that this never becomes a political issue."

Senator Lamar Alexander has also criticized President Obama’s "czars," calling them "an affront to the Constitution."  But during remarks delivered on the Senate floor in 2003, Sen. Alexander said "I would welcome" President Bush’s "manufacturing job czar."  That same day in the Senate, he also expressed support for President Bush’s AIDS czar Randall Tobias.

When asked on Fox News if he had opposed any of President Bush’s "czars," Rep. Darrell Issa responded "No we didn’t," despite previously claiming that czars "undermine" transparency and accountability.

In fact, last year, 176 House Republicans, including Issa, voted for a bill that would create an "Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator" that would advise the President and serve in the White House. By the time the bill passed the Senate, it was co-sponsored by 20 additional senators, including Sen. Alexander.

Ok I lied, I will make just a few comments.

The idea of a czar is not something dreamed up by Obama which seems to be the perception of the delusional Beck followers. The first permanent "Czars" were appointed by Nixon in the early 1970's when he created the Energy and Drug Czar positions and the "Czar" has been around in US politics since the Roosevelt Administration in the 1940's. And just for some perspective, George Bush supposedly had even more "Czars" than Obama does.

Do I need to Google that for these folks as well?

Bush Legacy

I heard about former George Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer's new book last night on one of the cable news shows and besides his documenting Bush's less than flattering opinions on Sarah Palin's qualifications to be Vice President, one Bush quote really made me laugh.

"Look, I know this probably sounds arrogant to say, but I redefined the Republican Party."

Isn't that one of the truest things Bush ever said? After his 8 year reign atop the GOP, his redefined edition of the Republican Party might need to spend just as many years redefining itself again into something that isn't irrelevant.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trailer Parks In The South Must Have Been Empty Last Weekend

Glenn Beck has to be proud. Just about every one of his talking points is represented in this video, a couple of times they even managed to put most of them into one sentence.

I know that most of the people interviewed here would probably be considered the fringe of the movement but it is scary just the same. And for those having a problem grasping the differences between some of the various world views, let me Google them for you.

Socialism

Communism

Marxism

Fascism

Was that so hard? Now where did I put that Kenyan birth certificate I made acquired for Joseph Farah and Orly Taitz ...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Come On Joe, I Can't Hear You!

You might have heard something about a "Tea Party" march on Washington DC last Saturday that depending on who you listened to had anywhere from 60,000 to 2 million people in attendance (me thinks somebody can't count). While a DC Fire official roughly estimated it at between 60-75,000 people some on the right say somewhere between 1-2 million showed up so who knows for sure.

You may have also seen the photo below used to support the huge attendance claims by many of those same folks on the right.



Wow, that is a lot of people!

Only one small problem, it appears that this particular photo was taken long before the "Tea Partiers" descended on Washington, like up to 10 years earlier.
There's another big problem with the photograph: it doesn't include the National Museum of the American Indian, a building located at the corner of Fourth St. and Independence Ave. that opened on Sept. 14, 2004. (Looking at the photograph, the building should be in the upper right hand corner of the National Mall, next to the Air and Space Museum.) That means the picture was taken before the museum opened exactly five years ago. So clearly the photo doesn't show the "tea party" crowd from the Sept. 12 protest.Also worth noting are the cranes in front of the Natural History Museum (the second building from the lower left of the National Mall). According to Randall Kremer, the museum's Director of Public Affairs, "The last time cranes were in front was in the 1990s when the IMAX theater was being built."

That makes the picture at least a decade old. (We'll update this item if we find out when exactly it was taken.)

Admittedly the the counting of crowds is difficult at best and impossible at worst and many who published this photo have since backed down, but since the Conservative right seems to be in the mood for calling out bullshit whenever they see it, I though I'd give Congressman Joe Wilson, the GOP's official bullshit detector, the first chance to call it out in this case, come on Joe let me hear it...

A Tale Of Two Administrations

The current Presidential Administration is being ripped at every turn while trying to bring the country back from the brink of a depression and making access to healthcare for everyone more affordable. The previous Administration on the other hand continues to get a pass for things like this:
Jon Krakauer's newest book reveals how the Bush administration turned the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan into a propaganda victory. "Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman" follows the story of Tillman's life through his death at the hands of his platoon to the smoke and mirrors orchestrated by the Pentagon and White House, reports ABC News and the LA Times.

Krakauer includes passages from Tillman's diary that show a keen awareness of the propaganda that would follow his death. While on his first mission as an Army Ranger, Tillman was sent to rescue Pvt. Jessica Lynch, a soldier who had been captured by militants in Iraq. Lynch was falsely characterized by the Pentagon as a military hero who had gone down with guns blazing. She later testified that she had not fired a single bullet.

"This mission will be a P.O.W. rescue, a woman named Jessica Lynch," Tillman wrote. "As awful as I feel for the fear she must face, and admire the courage I'm sure she's showing, I do believe this to be a big Public Relations stunt. Do not mistake me, I wish everyone in trouble to be rescued, but sending this many folks for a single low ranking soldier screams of media blitz."

A year later, Tillman was the center of another public relations stunt when the Bush administration said he died fighting the Taliban, rewrote eyewitness testimony, awarded him a Silver Star, and broke its own law by announcing his death within 24 hours of his family learning of it.

So who is the liar again Joe? For some reason I can't find any evidence of you calling out George Bush during any of his appearances in front of Congress...

(h/t - Dvorak Online)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Banning Divorce

My BS meter is going off on this little tidbit from California but I believe it brings up an interesting question which is why I mention it.

A ballot initiative supposedly being circulated in California is an obvious response to the ongoing fight to legalize gay marriage in the state which would seek to ban all divorces. Why? Because as the homophobes like to say in regards to gay marriage, divorce is destroying the "sanctity" of marriage.
People who supported Prop 8 weren't trying to take rights away from gays, they just wanted to protect traditional marriage. That's why I'm confident that they will support this initiative, even though this time it will be their rights that are diminished. To not support it would be hypocritical.

I obviously think this is satire (if it's not, I can't wait to see it hit the ballot) but it does make one wonder. Other than staunch Catholics, how many Californians who voted to ban gay marriage would also vote to ban divorce? I'm guessing that their hatred/fear of gays is far greater than any hatred of divorce they might have, so probably not many.

I do love this quote from the website of the initiative though:

Jesus still loves you if you get divorced - just not as much

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11: An Annual Reminder Of The Dangers Of Religious Fundamentalism

As we remember those that died on this day 8 years ago and those that have died since as a result of our fight against those that were responsible (and unfortunately some who weren't), we should also use this day to remember something else. The attack on 9/11/01 should be a lesson on what often happens when religious fundamentalism of all stripes is allowed to fester like an unchecked open sore.


Joe Wilson's Diarrhea Of The Mouth

Sorry Joe, I really don't have much of an issue with your outburst at President Obama's speech the other night. After all the First Amendment gives you the right to do so (along with having to live with the repercussions from exercising that right which is what you are dealing with now). What I have a problem with is the fact that you are wrong. Nothing in HR3200 gives illegal immigrants more access to healthcare than they already enjoy. In fact it specifically restricts them from benefiting from it. (though enforcement of such restrictions is questionable)

Section 246:
Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.

If you are so dead set against illegals having access to healthcare at our expense, feel free to change the law that currently requires hospitals to treat patients no matter what their citizenship, all thanks by the way to GOP hero Ronald Reagan.
Illegal immigrants are already eligible for emergency care through the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, signed by President Reagan in 1986. This emergency care is often paid for by Emergency Medicaid, private insurance if the patients have it, out-of-pocket, or it's written off as bad debt or charity care by the hospital.

Again, I have no problem with one's voicing their opposition to any legislation. The problem I have is if you are going to set a precedent by interrupting a Presidential address, please have the courtesy to be correct. If you don't want us paying for the healthcare of illegals, introduce legislation to override the 23 year old law that allowed it in the first place instead of calling out the President because of your overactive imagination.

What Is Happening In Kentucky?

Have they built some kind of water pipeline from Texas to Kentucky lately? The reason why I ask is that the state that hosts Ken Ham's creation "museum" is making news involving something other than dinosaurs wearing saddles and in each case, it rivals anything happening in Texas and isn't pretty.

2 weeks ago a state Circuit Court finally ruled that Kentucky must remove a plaque from the state Office of Homeland Security that cited a belief in an imaginary god as an essential tool in fighting terrorism (actually such beliefs are a big reason for the terrorism in the first place). Obviously removing anything which in effect gives the appearance of governmental preference to any particular religion is a good thing but now the state's Attorney General has stated that they will fight that ruling, using tax dollars in the process.

Last week a football coach in, you guessed it, Kentucky felt that taking a bus load of his players to a church revival was a good idea. That trip resulted in 8 or 9 players being baptized without parental consent to which at least one of the players is now saying he was pressured into participating. Of course being Kentucky, neither the coach or the school district sees a problem with this.

Finally from our favorite Commonwealth, a Louisville church is planning to ordain a new priest. The gentleman in question just happens to have an interesting past, as a convicted sex offender.
A convicted child molester is to become an ordained minister. A Louisville, Kentucky church plans to ordain registered sex offender Mark Hourigan, guilty of sodomizing and sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in 1998. The pastor of City of Refuge Church says the man deserves a second chance.

I bet members of that church, especially those with young boys will be lining up on Sundays to listen what this guy has to say.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Obama's Prepared Speech To Our Kids

The White House has released President Obama's prepared speech to our school kids that has all the right wingnuts' panties in a bunch. And as hard as I tried, nowhere was I able to find health care, cap and trade, or even socialist. But I will give them this, it will certainly be offensive to some. You know study and work hard, do your homework, and this little tidbit:
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

Oh wait, that god thing is the one subject they do want taught in our schools and probably the only part of the speech that many of the loudest complainers won't object to because the rest of the message is obviously so bad.

Now please get back to your regularly scheduled tin foil hat wearing duties that will insure that the GOP will be even more obstructionist in the future. I am sure there are many more policies aimed at helping American's that you can kill with your sky is falling scare tactics, it's not like the Democrats will ever have the balls to stop you...

2009 Golden Crockoduck Nominees Part Deux

More ignorant people trying their best to ignore or cherry pick science to fit their creationist worldview. Part 2 of the 2009 Golden Crockoduck awards is below for your Labor Day laugh.

If you missed the first video showing some of the 2009 Golden Crockoduck nominees, it is here.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Appropriate? Maybe In A Theocracy

Religious Right poster child and sometimes mentioned GOP Presidential candidate, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, is catching some heat for his choice of rides to Church. Apparently he sees no issues with using taxpayer money to pay for his helicopter rides to churches in Northern Louisiana at a cost of approximately $45 grand and counting.
Between March 2 and July 20, Jindal traveled to churches, mostly in north Louisiana, on a state helicopter at a cost to the taxpayers of about $45,000, according to State Police records.

In May, June and July, there was rarely a Sunday when Jindal did not fly a taxpayer-funded helicopter to church services in a remote part of the state. Two aides usually accompanied him along with his security detail and pilots.

And despite catching criticism from all sides including national religious organizations, Jindal doesn't see what the problem is and in fact thinks that his taxpayer funded church visits are appropriate.
Jindal said he visits with congregations after church services and listens to their comments, suggestions and concerns.

He said he also combines his church trips with meetings with local officials.

“It’s appropriate. You can’t do this job from Baton Rouge alone. The state is bigger than Baton Rouge and it’s important for me to travel across the state,” Jindal said.

So if those visits are indeed used to meet and greet state residents (so are you instead admitting you are then using tax money to campaign?), when will you be visiting Synagogues and Mosques instead of the Churches that you have been visiting exclusively to this point. Or do their comments, suggestions and concerns not matter?

Sunday Funnies - Resolving Doubts

comfort

The only way Ray Comfort and his idiotic followers/ideas should be presented, as silly cartoons...

(via Cectic)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wordpress Under Fire

Just a friendly reminder to readers here that also run their own blogs. It seems that older versions of Wordpress are under a particularly nasty "attack". If you are running an older version of Wordpress than the current version (2.8.4 as of this writing), you need to upgrade now! From Lorelle on Wordpress:
Otto42 of OttoDestruct, a key WordPress developer and supporter, reports that there is an “attack” on older versions of right now. The number of sites hit by this is growing every hour. Protect your WordPress blog now: UPDATE NOW!!!Update your WordPress blog before you continue reading this post. That’s how critical this issue is.

There are two clues that your WordPress site has been attacked.

There are strange additions to the pretty permalinks, such as example.com/category/post-title/%&(%7B$%7Beval(base64_decode($_SERVER%5BHTTP_REFERER%5D))%7D%7D|.+)&%/. The keywords are “eval” and “base64_decode.”

The second clue is that a “back door” was created by a “hidden” Administrator. Check your site users for “Administrator (2)” or a name you do not recognize. You will probably be unable to access that account, but Journey Etc. has a possible solution.

This only affects self hosted Wordpress sites not Wordpress.com blogs. If you have already been hacked, they also have some suggestions for fixing it. Again, upgrade now.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Man That Is Some Kool Aid They Must Be Selling

koolaidThe latest scare tactic coming from the GOP talking heads has got to be the most ridiculous yet. (Ok, probably not as they can get quite ridiculous)

On September 8th, a day in which the majority of US children will have already gone back to school, Barack Obama has scheduled a television back-to-school address in which he plans to talk to the kids about the usual stuff like study hard, stay in school, and basically just be a good student. The Department of Education has even produced an activities list that they provided schools that would allow them to make his speech a classroom project.

So what is the problem?

Apparently some on the right have some spare time on their hands in between promoting death panels scare tactics and now want us to believe that Obama's speech is actually another way for him to promote his Socialist agenda by getting the kiddies involved.
But already, some conservatives are crying foul. The chairman of the Florida Republican Party is condemning Obama's speech as an attempt to "indoctrinate America's children to his socialist agenda."

"The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power," Chairman Jim Greer said in a press release.

So Obama is really going to talk to 2nd and 3rd graders on the benefits of single payer health care system, cap and trade, and bank bailouts? How tight does one's tin foil hat have to be to think that for one, a 7 year old would pay attention for more than 10 seconds during such a conversation, and two that such a tactic would be of any benefit?

Of course no one would be stupid enough to believe this right? Next they'll want us to think that Obama isn't really eligible to be President...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Something That Won't Be On Steven Anderson's Shopping List

Infamous homophobe and all around creep Steven L. Anderson from the Faithful Word Baptist Church likely will not have this new flavor of Ben and Jerry's ice cream on his shopping list the next time he heads to the store.





The flavour formerly known as Chubby Hubby will be sold under the playful new name for the length of September.

Ben and Jerry's has developed a reputation for social activism – and smart publicity stunts – since being founded by two former hippies in Burlington, Vermont in 1978.

The firm has striven to retain its freethinking reputation despite its 2000 sale to food giant Unilever, and earlier this year marked Barack Obama's election as US president by renaming one of its nutty ice cream flavours "Yes Pecan".

The state of Vermont's decision to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples, which came into force on Tuesday, was deemed suitable grounds for another celebration.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Scandal That Does Some Good For A Change?

South Carolina is in the heart of the bible belt so news of sex scandals are rare right? Well of course they are as long as you ignore their Governor, Mark Sanford. Oh and then there is their now former State Board of Education Chairwoman.
Kristin Maguire, an Upstate evangelical and one of South Carolina’s most respected social conservatives, has been one of the governor’s closest education policy advisors for years.  She’s also Sanford’s appointment to the S.C. Board of Education, which last year elected her its Chairwoman.

What else is she?

The prolific author of hardcore erotic fiction on the Internet, according to documents provided to the governor’s office earlier this summer and later obtained by FITS.

And
That part of Maguire’s life is now facing intense scrutiny – especially in light of the way Sanford’s office appears to have helped put a lid on the information being leaked about Maguire.

For example, several sources have related to FITS an incident involving Maguire and Scott English at a Columbia area bar at the end of the 2004 legislative session.

“She was giving him a lap dance,” says a witness at the bar. “There’s no other way to describe it.”

Another former Sanford staffer tells FITS that Maguire once unbuttoned her blouse and hiked up her skirt in front of him to show off her see-thru, light blue underwear.  This incident allegedly occurred not at a bar, but inside the governor’s office – at the unoccupied desk of First Lady Jenny Sanford, no less.

Now to be fair, FITSNews isn't known as the most unbiased of sources especially considering their tag line "Unfair. Imbalanced." and Ms Maguire has not confirmed any of the allegations instead stating that she resigned because of popular dodge the real reason excuse of "Family Reasons". But to me the real story is how this woman was even put in the position she held in the first place.

Until Maguire's resignation, the head of the South Carolina Board of Education:

- Thought so much of the state's school systems that she felt the need to home school her own 4 kids.
- Was a vocal anti-evolutionist
- Supported abstinence only education (interesting position for an alleged erotic fiction author isn't it?)

So putting aside her as of yet unconfirmed sexual escapades which don't amount to much anyways (other than the hypocrisy), would anyone other than your garden variety Fundie want this woman making decisions on what is taught to your kids?

It appears that the children of South Carolina will actually benefit from a scandal for once, they aren't in Texas after all...