Archive for December, 2006

Nifong: Throwing Lies at the Wall

Sunday, December 24th, 2006

to see which one sticks:

To press forward in the Duke University lacrosse case, District Attorney Mike Nifong must rely on scanty evidence while deflecting serious questions about whether he broke the law or violated the ethics rules governing prosecutors.

Nifong has acknowledged that the case now hangs on what the accuser says from the witness stand in a hearing scheduled for February.

Perhaps the accuser could just cycle through the 492 different variations of her story while on the stand. They raped me in every orifice! Well, ok, maybe just two of them! I didn’t have sex with anyone in the days leading up to the attack! Oh, that “DNA” in my panties and my hoohah? Uhhhh. Why isn’t their DNA anywhere on me? It’s a Christmas miracle!

If they found 12 people dumb enough to let OJ walk, surely they can lock up three privileged white devils. I mean, screw ethics when Nifong’s good name is on the line, right?

Going, Going, Gone

Sunday, December 24th, 2006

While it might have negatives such as being becoming a surveillance-based nanny-state, there’s some good news out of the UK:

An overwhelming number of Britons believe religion does more harm than good while non-believers outnumber believers by nearly two to one, an ICM poll suggested.

Also of note:

Writing separately in The Sun tabloid, the Church of England’s second-highest cleric, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, was optimistic about the implications of Christmas church attendance.

“People are waking up once more to the true meaning of Christmas and making space in their lives to feel a part of it,” he said.

“Something is bringing people back into church and I have a great hope it’s because people are beginning to look past the commercial message of Christmas.”

But in general, The Guardian survey confirmed the overall decline in religious observance in recent years, particularly in Christian denominations: only 13 percent said they visited a place of worship at least once a week.

Forty-three percent said they never attended. Non-Christians attend religious services most regularly (29 percent).

Looks like Archbishop Sentamu isn’t just taking his God on faith; he’s taking an increase in British religiosity on it too. I would bet he’s capable of believing six or more impossible things before high tea.

The Santa Delusion

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

by Richard Dawkins.

(Ok, not really, but it sounds quite Dawkins-esque).

Found via PZ Myers.

Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland: Update

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

It’s 3:15pm and the storm has only gotten worse.

Denver International Airport (DIA) has halted all flights for at least the afternoon.

The Interstate between Denver and Kansas is closed to all traffic (this is more of a blessing than a curse to Denver, actually).

Even the tiniest of drivers have found themselves stuck:


stranded.jpg

And it looks like it’s about time for me to head out for my second round of snowshoveling. I learned my lesson in 2003 when I just rode out the storm and then spent hours upon hours moving 3 feet of snow from my driveway. A few 15 minute sessions will make the final cleanup considerably easier (snow, unlike Michael Moore, is deceptively heavy).

A Fundie by any Other Name

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

is just as nutty.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has predicted that Britian, Israel and the United States would eventually disappear from the world like the Egyptian pharaonic kings…

“Today, it is the United States, Britain and the Zionist regime which are doomed to disappear as they have moved far away from the teachings of God,” he said in a speech in the western town of Javanroud.

Wow, with crazy talk like that, move him to Virginia Beach and he could be the next evangelical Christian superstar.

Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland*

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

Should you want to laugh at our meteorological misfortune, you can check out the 9News web cams to see the winter storm rolling across the Denver metro area this morning (and, we’re told, all through the day… and into tomorrow).

Update: Lots more CDOT cams.

Update 2: So, I went out of the house this morning to find the garbage can had snow on top of it.

The problem, you see, is that my garbage can is in my garage.

From somewhere up high, snow is blowing in to the garage. I assume either some flashing has pulled away, or some shingles, or maybe – this being a cookie-cutter house – the whole damn garage has sunk away from the main building ever so slightly. I suppose I’ll have to wait a few days to find out.

Update 3: The view from my house at 10am… and the weather dude said the fun has just begun. Huzzah!


balmydaydenver.jpg


* Because driving isn’t much of an option at the moment.

Well, Duh

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

It’s not really news to anyone that the Bush administration has, over the last six years, be the topic Iraq or gettin’ yer freak on, found ways to lose touch with the American people:

Most Americans, regardless of their political leanings, favor comprehensive sex education in schools over abstinence-only programs, researchers reported Monday.

Currently, the federal government champions the abstinence-only approach, giving around $170 million each year to states and community groups to teach just-say-no sex education. This funding precludes mention of birth control and condoms, unless it’s to emphasize their failure rates.

Much as with a certain ongoing war, in which the bad guys have been on the run and corners are being turned, while thousands continue to die and George Bush holds onto the belief that if he really wishs super-duper hard he’ll get that pony he wants for Christmas and peace in Iraq… the reality on the ground (and in our beds, and on our kitchen tables, and in the backseats of cars) is a little different:

More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past.

“This is reality-check research,” said the study’s author, Lawrence Finer. “Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades.”

The vast majority of Americans, of course, have known this too. We’re an odd society: we love sex and yet are uncomfortable with it. The broad influence of religion in America might have given us the Protestant Work Ethic, but it also gave us cognitive dissonance when it comes to wee-wees and hoohahs.

Naturally, some people – namely those that sleep in separate twin beds like Ricky and Lucy, all the time wondering why they can’t make their own Ricky Jr. through some form of budding or mitosis or stork delivery – remain unconvinced:

However, Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America, a conservative group which strongly supports abstinence-only education, said she was skeptical of the findings.

“Any time I see numbers that high, I’m a little suspicious,” she said. “The numbers are too pat.”

It was four surveys of 38,000 people over the last 20 years, the majority of whom were women (although 5,000 men is also much more than enough for statistical validity if sampled properly).

My personal opinion is that society has long pressed women to be (or appear) more chaste than men, thus with 87% of the respondents being female, I’d be inclined to think the percentage that actually hooked up with Buster Hymen and the Penetrators is higher than reported (see: Americans are all wonky weird about sex).

I wonder if Ms. Crouse had sex before marriage. Someone should ask.-

Hollywood Newsflash – Must Credit WWR!

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

David Zucker used to be funny, sometime around “The Naked Gun.”

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

Actually, there’s nary a snowflake snowflaking, and the sky over my house is a clear shot view into deep space. That, however, appears to be about to change:

A storm is expected to sweep into Colorado and give the metro area a dose of heavy snow starting late Tuesday night…

Marty says there will be a couple of inches of snow by Wednesday morning and the storm should intensify throughout the day. There could be 10 or more inches of snow by Wednesday night.

Whee.

Fun.

Yay.

Hooray.

My.

Commute.

Is.

30.

Miles.

Update: Yay, just got the call that our office is closed for the day. An upgrade to “blizzard conditions” with 24 inches of snow expected can do that I guess…

Darwin’s Alright, Mutation’s Alright, They Just Seem a Little Weird

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

Surrender, surrender….

ATLANTA – A suburban school board that put stickers in high school science books saying evolution is “a theory, not a fact” abandoned its legal battle to keep them Tuesday after four years.

The Cobb County board agreed in federal court never to use a similar sticker or to undermine the teaching of evolution in science classes.

In return, the parents who sued over the stickers agreed to drop all legal action.

It’s one more battle down, but the war is far from over. There are a lot of ignorant people out there, armed with the righteous fury of their own delightful brand of mythological nonsense, and they’re raising an entire generation of children to believe in it too.

Granted, a small number of them will grow up to become self-loathing homosexuals, leading large churches under the guise of being well-adjusted straight men that love Jesus (but who don’t love Jesus), only to fall from grace and be stripped of their influence, but that’s a mere drop in the sea of dumb.

However, as this follows on the heels of the Dover decision, maybe the tide in this country is turning away from the dark ages.

Update: PZ Myers notes:

I will make my by now familiar disclaimer: this is very good news, but no minds will have been changed by this decision.

Oh, my mind has been changed that maybe there’s hope for humanity yet… but I know what he means. When you have millions of people that blindly put rambling, ancient texts above the sum of knowledge in the biological sciences, I think we might actually be overgenerous in saying they have minds to change.