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…

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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)

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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.

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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?

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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)

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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?

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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?

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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…

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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.

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