So you've probably heard that the Pope has been given last rites by the Church.
I'm not sure what to feel about this one, but I suspect part of that is due to my near two decades as a Roman Catholic. It's a case of wanting to like the old man still, even though I know that many of the policies of his Church lead to needless suffering around the world (because, remember, pain makes you beautiful, just like Jesus - and if you think a naked, tortured Arab on a cross is beautiful, well, I'll never buy the dirty magazines you publish).
So, here's a compromise. I hope he gets better. I hope he also has a change of heart from his brush with death. If he dies, I hope he realizes the error of his ways before he goes into that dark night. We're only here once, folks - let's try not to make it miserable for others.
I also hope that the first person to make some insane Pope John Paull II / Terri Schiavo "Martyrs for the God they Served" comparison is hit by a bus. Twice.
Update: So, who will be the third? I bet Laurence has some ideas.
Uh, it looks like we probably have a sibling for the wee Fiona on the way.
Update: OK, two at-home tests, made by different manufacturers, say the same thing:
Ask for a raise, because you're going to need it.
Terri Schiavo has died.
Update: And the crazy people have their say:
Jacobson, who has been playing religious and patriotic music outside the hospice for the past three days, said he didn't really believe that Terri was dead.Yes, I'm sure he will. Righty-o.
"I'm not believing the report of man," the bearded man said. "God will raise her from the dead, and all the world will see it."
After the announcement, Mike Stafford, of Hollywood, Florida, stood before police, who had arrested more than 50 people trying to bring water to Schiavo, gave the Nazi salute and shouted "Heil Hitler."At which point someone screamed "Oh my Godwin's Law!" and everyone went home.
Harvest Bashta, 15, of Chicago, Illinois, sat on the grass outside the hospice, her face buried in her hands, tears rolling down her arms and splashing on the open pages of her Bible. After hearing of the death, she said the passage, "Whose report shall we believe," kept running through her mind....She then contemplated the contradiction in an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good God having his desires thwarted. Her head then imploded.
"It grieves my heart to know that God's heart is grieving. God's desire's never to have death happen unjustly," Bashta said.
My prediction: There will be much gnashing of teeth about this from the right-wing until next week when some gay person asks to be equal.
When the big three religions aren't busy looking for reasons to kill one another (or someone else), they can at least agree on one thing: they really don't like gay people.
Let's hear it for world unity!
Been quite a full day.
I promise to try to write something offensive to some large segment of the population before bedtime.
Update: OK, I lied.
Update 2: When an intellectually dishonest and logical-fallacy-lovin' dimwit calls you dumb, is it supposed to hurt? Or make you laugh?
Because I'm laughing.
Like most of you.
Update 3: Closing comments is one thing, Paul, but making them disappear? Tsk tsk, and just because you were getting taken to task again?
Hi, my name is Paul. You might know me as the dishonest wanker one-third of Wizbang. Be sure to tune in next week as I show how science is bad because it can't explain gravitation - but look, when I drop it ball, down it goes! How does it know to do that?Update 4: In unrelated news, I watched blogger Rae's appearance on the Larry Elder show. In short, it was strange to see a "virtual friend" on television.
In long, even though Rae and I disagree on many things religious and scientific, her ability to effectively engage and challenge the "opposing side" on the show displayed a skill of which Paul can only dream (when he's not dreaming of strawmen and having nocturnal emissions everytime a meteorologist gets a forecast wrong).
Yes, that entire last paragraph was simply to poke fun at my new, favorite dolt.
Ruling that juries cannot turn to the Bible for advice during deliberations, a divided Colorado Supreme Court threw out the death penalty for a convicted murderer because jurors discussed Bible verses.For the moment, let's overlook the fact that these individuals willingly gave up their ability to think for themselves, and instead turned to a book written by ignorant, ancient peoples who thought that it was just groovy to kill homosexuals and that virgins made fine spoils of war (but put the men and boys to the sword, ye faithful).
Harlan was sentenced to death in 1995, but defense lawyers learned that five jurors had looked up such Bible verses as "eye for eye, tooth for tooth," copied them and discussed them while deliberating behind closed doors.
OK, so we've overlooking that.
I'm more interested that these Christians didn't know the stance their own holy book takes on a pretty broad issue. I mean, this isn't something small, like how women have no business teaching men anything - this is the big DP, the death penalty.
Granted, the Bible is kind of mixed on the matter, what with the whole "eye for an eye" and "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" stuff, but that's more of a reason for these yahoos to avoid their book of silly myths than to consult it.
From the comments at Wizbang, the erudite Just Me responds to this:
"Is God trying to trick us? Did something happen during the Flood to cause smaller creatures to be buried first, the opposite of expected results? What exactly is going on here?"....with this sage bit of wisdom:
Okay, just a hypothesis, but larger animals generally have legs and can run faster, and run to higher ground. So just guessing, maybe the larger animals got to higher ground, and weren't caught up in the waters where the silt and other stuff was burying all those smaller things. Then they got covered up by the water, and rotted away, leaving very little behind to get buried.Just Me is either a very, very convincing satirist (which, perhaps, make him/her a poor satirist at that) - or one of the most simple-minded creationists I've had the pleasure of reading.
Hey, Just Me - go just here and just learn something.
Update: Other winning comments from Just Me...
Also, please come back to me, when those mosquitos turn into something that isn't a mosquito anymore.I ain't never seen no fish turn into no monkey!
It's almost like he/she didn't bother to read much of anything, as speciation events have been covered over and over and over.
A question for Just Me: does being so obtuse come easily or do you really have to work at it?
"We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture," he said....Indeed. We'll try to be dumber in the future so you don't feel so inadequate.
The husband of brain-damaged Florida woman Terri Schiavo has ordered an autopsy after she dies to silence allegations his plan to cremate her body is aimed at hiding something, his lawyer said on Monday.Because the best way to hide the fact you abused your wife is to engage in lengthy court battles that take the public spotlight. Uh huh, got it.
God bless. Or whatever.
On CNN today, this headline:
As killer gunman approached, teacher prayedAnd underneath that...
Victim praised for her dedication to American Indian studentsPerhaps it's just me, but the second one seems a little more important - and relevant - than the first. Especially in light of this:
"God be with us. God help us," 15-year-old Ashley Lajeunesse heard Rogers say after she told students to hide as gunman Jeff Weise fired through a window and marched into the room.A miracle! Prayer works!
"He walked up to that teacher with the shotgun, and he pulled the trigger, but it didn't fire," said Chongai'la Morris, 14.
"Then he pulled out his pistol, and he shot her three times in the side and once in the face."...just not very well.
Hey, I think it's great that she dedicated her life to helping these needy students. Very admirable indeed.
However, standing up to pray in the face of a madman with a gun tends to get one shot in the face. It was a bad decision, no better than standing their and pooping oneself - hiding with the kids sounds like a better option to me.
But then we wouldn't have such a Jesus-cheese-tastic headline. Would we?
(end of message)
P.S.: Here you can find "Ten Reasons to Believe Christ Rose from the Dead" if you - uh - already believe that Christ rose from the dead. Otherwise they just sound kind of silly.
P.P.S.: He Is Risen!
Fresh off the skinning of Paul over at Wizbang, I decided to poke around Google News for the latest evolution headlines.
Here's what I found:
In a stunning example of evolution at work, scientists have now found that changes in a single gene can produce major changes in the skeletal armor of fish living in the wild.This, of course, flies right in the face of what one commenter at Wizbang said.
The surprising results, announced in the March 25, 2005, issue of journal Science, bring new data to long-standing debates about how evolution occurs in natural habitats.
To paraphrase, he suggested that it's easy to believe that selection pressures might result in, say, a faster cheetah - but that a development like the arising of body armor was something else (nevermind that this is simply an argument from incredulity).
One more nail in the heads* of the anti-evolutionists.
Update: We can sit back and laugh with mocking derision at people like Paul all day long, but we really need to step up the political fight against their nonsense, particularly in light of a headline like this:
* I'd have said coffins, but maybe if we put some extra holes in their heads something might be able to sink in.
...of Scientific American. An excerpt:
In retrospect, this magazine's coverage of socalled evolution has been hideously one-sided. For decades, we published articles in every issue that endorsed the ideas of Charles Darwin and his cronies. True, the theory of common descent through natural selection has been called the unifying concept for all of biology and one of the greatest scientific ideas of all time, but that was no excuse to be fanatics about it.Read the whole thing.
Where were the answering articles presenting the powerful case for scientific creationism? Why were we so unwilling to suggest that dinosaurs lived 6,000 years ago or that a cataclysmic flood carved the Grand Canyon? Blame the scientists. They dazzled us with their fancy fossils, their radiocarbon dating and their tens of thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles. As editors, we had no business being persuaded by mountains of evidence.
Moreover, we shamefully mistreated the Intelligent Design (ID) theorists by lumping them in with creationists. Creationists believe that God designed all life, and that's a somewhat religious idea. But ID theorists think that at unspecified times some unnamed superpowerful entity designed life, or maybe just some species, or maybe just some of the stuff in cells. That's what makes ID a superior scientific theory: it doesn't get bogged down in details.
(h/t once again to Michele)
Paul, from Wizbang, on the subject of evolutionary science is:
(a) a complete
fucking retard idiot beyond comprehension
(b) see (a).
Answers in the comments, please.
Update: Upon further reflection, I realize that the use of the term "retard" was not the best choice of words, and was an insult to those who have no choice in their having diminished mental capabilities.
As I give Paul more credit than that, assuming the lump of grey matter between his ears is fully functional, his willful ignorance or outright intellectual dishonesty (as has been described here and elsewhere multiple times) should not be used to inadvertently insult those who are truly mentally handicapped.
So, I've modified the pop quiz to reflect this.
I'm also now going to close the comments on all of these threads because, quite frankly, I've grown bored. Watching Paul argue has reminded me very much of a certain Monty Python character, and the best approach in dealing with him is to simply keep on walking.
Thanks to everyone who contributed - it was fun!
Update 2: If you're interested in watching Paul get thrashed some more, go here.
OK, One More: How do you know when Paul has lost? When he starts deleting comments and refusing to answer questions. Awww, po' widdle boy.
More on Paul's rampant dishonesty here.
Little else can explain why the Wizbanger continues his intellectually dishonest tirade against people who know more about the subject matter in question than he does.
In short, Paul - you are not a gentleman, nor a scientist, nor an honest member of valuable debate.
You are a liar, a fool, and a goddamned idiot beyond belief.
Update: Paul tells us that theologians are fools.
I thought this was a rather odd, ironic song choice for a local radio station to play on Good Friday.
Although, you know, it is a good song - and having the child singing, particularly the final two lines, always struck me as powerful. And creepily haunting. But mostly powerful.
Uh, yeah, so anyway, happy Jesus-rose-from-the-dead-and-danced-around weekend to you and yours.
But if this ever changing world
In which we live in,
Makes you give in and cry...
(doo doo doo)*
* Yes, these are lyrics from "Live and Let Die." No, the linked article isn't about Terri Schiavo.
** About as dumb as the Democrats who couldn't figure out a butterfly ballot.
As issues from the war in Iraq to the Schiavo right-to-die case surely inspire more and more of our young people to follow a path into politics, expressing their desire to help shape our nation to their own visions, the World Wide Rant Committee for Partisan Hackery has put together this helpful guide for them.
As time permits, new items will be added. Feel free to leave your own in the comments.
Sounds pretty, doesn't it?
Go on, do it again.
Two weeks later, after all the hoopla is over, be sure to espouse the value of federalism and state's rights.
Almost half the nation will nod their heads as if what you said just made sense.
No one can ask them.
Because they're dead.
Unless it's something to do with baseball. Because baseball, by God, is as American as Mom, apple pie, and Chevrolet!
Submitted to the Beltway Traffic Jam, 'cause it'd be neat-o-spoleeto to break 1000 hits today. And because I like to share.
A couple of blogs I'm enjoying these days since so many of the formerly-interesting ones all went apeshit off the deep-end during the Schiavo story.
A Writer's Life - tales, reflections, and snark from a screenwriter and novelist...
A VC - tales, reflections, and not much snark from a venture capitalist....
Both have been, in my opinion, consistently interesting reads.
Claim: Beer* does not make people drunk.
You'll want to read the post below, follow the links, joy, joy, joy to get a better understanding of this post.
Suffice it to say that Paul from Wizbang seems to think he can define evolution however he sees fit, knock over that cute, little strawman he just built, and then claim that evolutionists are faith-based zealots.
Sorry, Paul, doesn't work that way. Go take a debate class and then come back.
* The nomenclature will get you everytime. I'm not talking about "beer" in the sense of the amber-colored alcoholic beverage. I'm talking about "beer" in the sense of a large bowl of gravel.
So sayeth Wizbang!
My argument about evolution* is and will always be, that all you loud mouth people who accept as some sort of fact etched in stone that man evolved from some primordial ooze are just as religious as the people you bash.Now that you've read the above, go read article in question and marvel at how it looks remarkably like nothing Paul said above. Lazy, unable to read, or dishonest? You be the judge.
The truth is --though you are loath to admit it-- that we don't know jack about the origin of the species. If there is indeed some mechanism built into organisms to repair flawed genes, the whole theory -which is already mathematically astronomically improbable- is now a few dozen more orders of magnitude more improbable. There is something other than DNA that apparently carries some sort of genome and we don't even have a name for it yet, much less understand it!
I've posted more of my own thoughts over here.
Anti-evolutionists are funny.
Update: Welcome Wizbang readers! I apologize if Paul's confusion over abiogenesis and evolution, his creative excerpting of a rather well-explained article, and his inability to see that the article doesn't imply what he seems to think it implies has brought you here and left you scratching your eyes out.
Update 2: No, I'm not going to engage in a massive defense of evolution here. You can learn plenty here.
Update 3: My pal and yours, Michele, who shares a common ancestor with modern day apes, points out that Paul from Wizbang has called me a "wingnut."
In related news, the Pope called me Catholic.
Update 4: Be sure to visit Wizbang and read the initial post and the post dedicated to show just how dumb I am. Trust me, it's well worth it as you get to watch people who actually understand evolution taking off Paul's head and shoving it right up his tight, ignorant ass. It ain't pretty.
OK, maybe it is.
Update 5: From Pharyngula:
This is all thick-witted anti-evolutionist garbage, and it just gets worse: the joker makes several more misguided posts defending his absurdities, and hoo boy, you should take a look at the comments—it's like concentrated stupid people.Heh - "like concentrated stupid people." That's beautiful.
Update 6: Thursday morning and the onslaught of science against nonsense continues unabated over at Wizbang. Paul, strangely enough, has seemed to have removed himself from the conversation, instead lamenting the decline of Buick (which he seems to define as "a line of cars made by GM," but - with Paul - definitions are tricky, so be careful).
Hmm, I don't know how I overlooked it, but I just noticed that Terri Schiavo's parents have the last name Schindler. And, look, there they are, trying to save her from those nasty Nazi secularists!
Verily this is the work of a creative God showing us the path between right and wrong!
Or just completely irrelevant, unless you're a nitwit who has a hard-on for slippery-slopism.
Update: Corsair the Rational Pirate finds someone who seriously believes something even nuttier.
Sean Hannity, chuckleheaded monkey that he is, apparently is easily distracted by shiny objects.
Too bad it was just fool's gold.
(h/t to Michele, who probably would have posted about this herself but was too busy suffocating her child who had a mild illness - because that's what we Nazi secularists do, y'see.)
Questions for the diehard "save Terri" crowd:
I don't know if Terri should live or die - do the damn MRI and let's find out what's left of her brain. However, I can almost guarantee that if it shows that Terri's cerebral cortex is destroyed, this fight will not be over.
I promise you, if I ever end up in a situation like this, with a living will telling the doctors to send me on my way, and because of you good people they refuse to pull the plug, I will find a way to rise out of my hospital bed, attack you, and eat your brains like the living dead.
The good folks over at Evangelical Outpost, apparently too busy praying to invisible people who don't exist to pay attention to what I'm actually writing, said:
Many bloggers, for instance, appear to believe that human worth is based on functional criteria – specifically mental functions.No, I said that whether or not someone has "a life," as opposed to being merely alive, is based on functional criteria. That says nothing about the worth of Terri Schiavo's life, because it implies that - if her brain is destroyed beyond a certain point - then she is effectively dead.
I've never said one way or the other whether or not she is capable of having a life or whether her body should be allowed to die. So, please, stop reading into things what you want the big, bad enemy to say - you're just looking silly (even more so than usual, what with talking to invisible people who don't exist).
Andy and Ditto even complain that religious people are standing in the way of allowing this "mercy killing."Um, no. Once again, you need to learn to both read and comprehend what one has read.
I merely said that the argument that only God has dominion over life is refuted everytime you go to the doctor and take medicine. End of story.
Gosh, next you'll be portraying me on posters as vermin, like the Nazis!
Classy! Hey, maybe Mark Shea is hiring ghost-writers.
If mental functioning is the criteria for determining whether life is worth living then why should we not also be “merciful” and kill those who suffer from incapacitating mental defects such as Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, or Down syndrome?Because, once again, you've not been paying attention, reading into things what you want to read into them.
And I haven't the patience to explain it to you. Go back and read what I and others have written. When you have a clue as to that of which you speak, maybe we can chat.
A fifth-grader's family is suing the Cumberland County school system because her teacher used a Christian text that preached creationism and encouraged children to proselytize for Jesus.Read the whole thing. It only gets better.
The suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Raleigh, says that a teacher at Sunnyside Elementary School in Fayetteville assigned students readings that included the lesson "Scents Make Sense."
"God's word tells us about a kind of odor only Christians have ...," the lesson read. "Christians carry forth the fragrance of Christ wherever they go by the way they live; that is, they remind people of Him.
"Could someone find Christ by the scent trail you are leaving behind you?"
In principle, I think it is a just punishment.
In practice, I think people are the problem:
A former prosecutor's claim that he conspired with a judge to keep Jewish jurors off a death penalty case will be the focus of a court hearing scheduled for Tuesday.I figure it's about time for a national moratorium on capital punishment. Yes, some people do indeed deserve to die for their crimes; unfortunately, it's too likely that someone who doesn't, will.
The California Supreme Court ordered the hearing in San Jose to investigate the sworn statement of John "Jack" Quatman, who said he and other lawyers in the Alameda County district attorney's office routinely used peremptory challenges to keep Jews and black women off juries in capital cases.
If Terri Schiavo is as responsive and aware as her family indicates, why don't we just ask her what her wishes are?
Is it because a fixed-smile, monotonous head turning, and laugh-like sounds unrelated to much of anything wouldn't really constitute an answer?
CNN reports on a miracle!:
A turtle that was the only survivor of a pet shop fire may have emerged with a hellish memento.Asked for comment, a large gathering of Christians said:
Owner Bryan Dora now says he sees an image of Satan's face on the critter's shell. He can spot lips, eyes, a goatee, shoulders and a pair of pointy horns on Lucky's back.
"The marking on the shell was like the devil wanted us to know he was down there," Bryan Dora said. "To me, it's too coincidental that the only thing to come out unscathed would have this image on it."
C'mon, now. That's just dumb.They then returned to kneeling in prayer before a chemical-stained office window bearing the image of the Virgin Mary.
P.S. Must be a slow news day over at CNN.
Your body could soon be the backbone of a broadband personal data network linking your mobile phone or MP3 player to a cordless headset, your digital camera to a PC or printer, and all the gadgets you carry around to each other.The downside, of course, is that doing so electrocutes everyone involved.
Using RedTacton-enabled devices, music from an MP3 player in your pocket would pass through your clothing and shoot over your body to headphones in your ears. Instead of fiddling around with a cable to connect your digital camera to your computer, you could transfer pictures just by touching the PC while the camera is around your neck. And since data can pass from one body to another, you could also exchange electronic business cards by shaking hands, trade music files by dancing cheek to cheek, or swap phone numbers just by kissing.
(found via Gut Rumbles)
Just noticed that Wild Oats (a healthy-type, organic, ain't-Boulder-great? kind of store) has a recipe section online.
Remember: just because hippies stink doesn't mean their food has to!
Muslims in the Middle East on Saturday angrily denounced a mixed-gender Islamic prayer service led by a woman in New York as a violation of their religion.Hey, what's the problem? After all, the Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:11-14:
11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.If anything, sounds to me like our good American Christians have turned their back on God rather than the Muslims doing anything wrong*.
12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.
14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
* Or maybe both the Bible and Koran are full of poo. I wonder...
I wasn't going to jump into the debate of Terri Schiavo, but - oh - what the hell, why not?
Here's my take:
If her brain damage has resulted in her being forever incapable of having a rich inner life, that ability to converse internally and appreciate the now and remember and dream that seems to make us distinctly human, then there is nothing immoral in ending her life now.
If she is capable of having "a life," as opposed to simply "being alive," then to end her life would be immoral.
That said, if the goal is to end unnecessary suffering, then to allow her to starve to death strikes me as immoral. If the decision is that her "life" is over, and that she is merely "alive," then there's no rational reason not to actively move to end her biological life through lethal injection or the like.
I see plenty of religious people, usually right-leaning Christians, around the blogosphere who are claiming that only God has the right to take a life. First, if that is the case, then allowing her to starve is allowing the natural course of events to be fulfilled - in effect, God is taking that life. Second, if only God can be the one to take a life, then everytime we provide medical care to anyone, we are actively interfering in God's efforts at taking that person. Of course, consistency of thought isn't the hallmark of the Bible or Christianity in general.
So, what do we have?
Either Mrs. Schiavo is simply alive, or she is both alive and capable of "having a life." That should inform our decision of the most moral course of action.
Update: Peggy Noonan, apparently wanting to demonstrate that she has no shame, reminds the Republicans that this is about politics.
Update 2: In the comments I'm informed that Radley Balko says similar things... and more.
Update 3: Apparently the Republican leadership has no shame either:
Republican leaders believe their attention to the Terri Schiavo issue could pay dividends with Christian conservatives whose support they covet in the 2006 midterm elections, according to a GOP memo intended to be seen only by senators.Sickening.
The one-page memo, distributed to Republican senators by party leaders, called the debate over Schiavo legislation "a great political issue" that would appeal to the party's base, or core, supporters. The memo singled out Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who is up for re-election next year.
Update 4: Terri Schiavo's mother apparently doesn't watch the news much.
"There are some congressmen that are trying to stop this bill," she said outside her daughter's hospice. "Please don't use my daughter's suffering for your own personal agenda."Sorry, but - as indicated above - that's exactly what the Republicans are doing. For some of them, clearly, this isn't about life, isn't about Terri, and isn't about right and wrong; it's about votes.
From the same article comes the story of a
glory hound brave, brave token protest:
Guabe Garcia Jones, an attorney from Washington, said he's been on a hunger strike since the tube was pulled Friday, only drinking water for the roughly two days he has spent in a tent outside the hospice.That's right - he'll stand right beside her until the very end. Or until he gets really fucking hungry. Whichever comes first.
"I'm not going to eat until she can eat - or I break down," said Jones, 26.
Soldier on, good man, soldier on.
Update 5: AgingWithDignity.Org has a downloadable living will form called "Five Wishes." It costs $5.00 if you're interested (and live in one of the 36 states where it is considered a valid living will).
Update 6: It looks now as if the Republican memo may have been a Democratic dirty trick. Peggy Noonan, however, still has no shame.
(holds up three fingers)
Yep, that's right - the World Wide Rant is officially three years old today. Oh, sure, we're not as wrinkle-free or as sprightly as we were way back in yesteryear, but we think we've accumulated some other good traits along the way.
Let me get back to you on what they are.
So, everyone, raise a glass of your favorite beverage. A toast to the continued very modest success of this blog! Huzzah!
That was fun. Let's do it again next year.
For those of you who are really bored, I've got plenty more questions just begging to be answered. Begging, I tell you. Arf arf!
Taking a break from all of their smoking, drinking, cursing, and fornicating with near strangers, several Springbreakers jumped to the defense of Jesus.
A large, shapeless mound of sand was all that was left Tuesday evening from a sand sculpture of Jesus that might have been the cause of a large beach disturbance.Irony is so wasted on the young.
Some witnesses said the brawl was started by people who intentionally walked on the Jesus sand sculpture, but others said the work of art was a casualty of the violence.
(tip o'the hat to my pal Michele)
Hey, people who are visiting here for the first time from either Vodkapundit or via the evil machinations of the search engine juggernauts, you'll want to scroll down a bit to see where I get insulting and offensive to some folks and their beliefs (all while maintaining the good humor and wit the regular readers have come to love*).
* Or hate, if they happen to be on the receiving end of things.
Her site is here (and her birthday was yesterday - belated wishes!). Her questions to answer are below:
Coming soon - questions for someone else!
In light of this discussion, I present a cover song for the ages:
Dodgy Lesbian Girl's 1999 cover version of Steve Perry's "Oh Sherrie" in multi-tracked a capella style.
After you're done suffering, I'll tell you how the DLG is actually just comprised of me and (former frequent WWRanter) Tom.
And lots of beer. Loads of it.
...over at some tiny, insignificant blog that gets like maybe 1 or 2 hits a day.
The Catholic Church is taking a stand against bad fiction!
The Roman Catholic Church in Italy has spoken out against what it says are "shameful and unfounded lies" in the best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code.In an unrelated story, people with imaginary friends are railing against Fight Club and bug-like aliens are aaallllll kinds of pissed about their portrayal in Starship Troopers.
No word on when the bulk of humanity is going to get annoyed with the Torah, the Bible, the Koran for bullshitting our origins and a whole lot of other stuff.
From Denver's ABC7 comes this heart-healthy scientific tale:
Here's some positive health news for those of us living in Colorado. If you want to live longer and lower the risk of heart disease, a move to the mountains may help.Sounds good so far, doesn't it, my fellow Coloradans?
[Greek] researchers believe it's because of increased exercise from walking up mountainous terrain, which gives the heart a good workout and enables it to cope with lower levels of oxygen.
However, the closing of the article once again reminds me that, more often than not, journalism and science don't mix so well:
People in all three villages [in the study] had similar lifestyles, with the men involved in farming or breeding animals and the women generally working in the home.Because, you know, when I think about the common Colorado lifestyle, I'm thinking animal husbandry.
Or perhaps not.
Special Bonus: Those of you interested in animal husbandry in Colorado can locate some fabulous alpaca farms here. Because, you know, I Love Alpacas (dot com)!
Special Bonus Side Thought: Since it is International Eat an Animal for PETA Day, does anyone have any tasty alpaca recipes they'd like to share?
I've just been informed by a commenter over at A Small Victory that a blog is no place to discuss the existence of God.
Discussing the existence of God, let alone the nature of God on a blog is like discussing Calculus with a 6 year old that's just learned addition.Of course, said commenter never bothered to let us know what would be a suitable place to discuss God, so I guess we're kind of stuck with the blogosphere (in addition to e-mail and various chats over pints of beer).
Apparently blogs are only suitable for updating your peeps on your happenings, and maybe bringing down a television news anchor every once in a while.
So, that in mind, as I'm no longer allowed to talk about the existence of God, what would you like to see me expound upon? If I can't talk about the irrationality of belief in god, I'm going to have a lot of free blogtime...
The Man UpstairsTM keeps on working his voodoo magic in spooky ways. Today's installment comes from Georgia, where Ashley Smith, held hostage by courthouse-killer Brian Nichols, says the spirit of God was moving across
the waters Buckhead, down the highway, and right into downtown Hotlanta.
I said, "Do you believe in miracles? Because if you don't believe in miracles -- you are here for a reason. You're here in my apartment for some reason. You got out of that courthouse with police everywhere, and you don't think that's a miracle? You don't think you're supposed to be sitting here right in front of me listening to me tell you, you know, your reason here?"Shooting a court reporter? 25 years to life.
I said, "You know, your miracle could be that you need to -- you need to be caught for this. You need to go to prison and you need to share the word of God with them, with all the prisoners there."
Shooting a judge, deputy, and customs agent? Three consecutive life sentences.
Having Jesus tell you your reason for being via a self-help literature-lovin', Bible thumpin' woman you've kidnapped and tied up in a curtain? Priceless.
No offense to the mentally handicapped, but it takes a special level of retardation to think that your god wanted four people to die violent deaths just so you could give some down-and-out waste of skin a boost to his self-esteem.
With friends like god...
Update: Michele has similar thoughts.
Update 2: Interesting what people can read into things (see Crosblog's comment below or some of the comments at Michele's site) isn't it? I said nothing about the woman's actions, only her beliefs. I think it's great what she did - I just think her claims to pretty much being the Earthly hands of Jeebus are silly.
If she had claimed publicly that Binky the Magic Space Clown had guided her, I can almost guarantee that each and every one of you would be rolling your eyes at how nutty she is. But, oh, she said it was God, a being with no more evidence of its existence than Binky, and suddenly you want to defend her beliefs?
God, as always working in one or more of his mysterious ways, sees fit to save recreational mountain climbers:
FIVE climbers survived by an 'absolute miracle' after one plunged down a snow- covered gully and took the others with her......but doesn't seem much concerned with his active flock:
The five came to rest among boulders at the bottom of the climb. John, of Killin Mountain Rescue Team, said: 'It's an absolute miracle that nobody was killed.
In a minute, a quiet church service at a suburban Milwaukee hotel turned into a bloodbath.Problem of evil? Pshaw... more like "Evil? No problem!"
Terry Ratzmann (search), a buttoned-down churchgoer known for sharing his homegrown vegetables with his neighbors, walked into the room and fired 22 rounds from a 9mm handgun.
... was Saddam Hussein a threat or not? Oliver Willis can't seem to make up his mind.
I guess those looters were steailing imaginary equipment.
Rae has five questions for me. You'll find them and the answers below...
Answer:I must admit that my apparent fascination crosses the line between monkey and ape. I'm just as happy to talk about a rhesus monkey as I am to watch B.J. and the Bear. I have no idea why I like them like I do other than the fact that there's just something funny about them.
You know, until they attack.
Answer: Well, like everyone else, I entered the world as an atheist. As I grew up, I was readily indoctrinated into Roman Catholicism and pretty much stuck with it until college.
Ah, college, the evil leftist training camp! Oh my! Seriously though, I started taking classes in philosophy and - for the first time in my life - really started examining the things I had simply taken as "the truth." From the flaws in Pascal's Wager to the Problem of Evil, theism just made less and less sense. After a few years of being a lukewarm Christian, doubting what I believed, and feeling bad about it, I one day realized that - you guessed it: I was an atheist.
It's my experience that makes me want to punch the self-righteous Christians who claim atheists are just mad at God, or don't want to obey authority, etc. To realize that a belief system that comprised a sizeable chunk of your identity has been wrong for so long is not an easy change.
But that's a story best told over many beers.
Answer: We watched Shrek a lot.
OK, not really. We weren't having much luck agreeing on names, although we both wanted something that was somewhat unique without being made up. For example, "Shatauneequalamalamadingdong" was not going to work.
Additionally, as the wife is British and I'm an American of (some) Irish descent, we both liked names from the region. Somehow we hit on the name Fiona, without recalling that it was in Shrek - I promise - and loved it immediately.
Answer: Either something in the fine arts (writing, I would imagine) or something in the sciences (biology, astronomy) - very similar, I realize. Why? Because I feel like those are two areas that I neglected, to varying degrees, growing up and that I only began to take seriously later in life. It's not that I wasn't interested, it's more that most school subjects came to me very easily and I did very well without much effort - so why apply myself excessively when that leaves more time to do fun stuff?
If I had pursued either one, it's hard to say what I'd be doing. I suspect that the liberal arts angle would have ended with me teaching... and the science degree with me... umm... teaching (after discovering a massive asteroid destined to destroy life on Earth but then working with Bruce Willis to blow it up).
As it turned out, though, I went the business degree route and have done pretty well for myself that way. I still would like to end up teaching at some point.
Answer: Our desktop computer tower, as it's the present location of much of our record of Fiona's life to date. Thanks to the advent of digital photography, it contains hundreds and hundreds of photos from the moment she was born to this past weekend.
Second item would be a very large basket containing Eddie, Sydney, Newcastle, and Mog, because we can't let our pets die! And let's just ignore the fact that Eddie and Sydney combined weigh 110 pounds or more.
If anyone wants five questions from me, just ask. I'll be sure to make them as bizarre as possible.
So sayeth Sibeal:
Andy is probably my favorite atheist in the entire blog universe, if not in the entire universe. I absolutely adore him. It’s either because I’m the most atheist Christian he knows or he’s the most Christian atheist I know....I'm flattered. Honestly. I figure I'm going to have a hard time pulling my undershirt over my inflated head tonight.
You would be hard-pressed to find a more honorable person than Andy, and much to the chagrin of many of the “Christians” who insist on debating him, he has a better grasp on how to be a moral person than many of them do.
However, I'm flawed like any other sufficiently evolved mammal.
I just pull it off with more panache.
Once again, I have failed to merit a position on the Forbes list of the richest Americans.
I say, let's show these rich fatcats somethings next year! Let's put a blogger on that list!
Who is with me?
OK! Great! Now, click on the PayPal link to your left; if every daily visitor to this site gives $2,857,142 I might just crack the bottom* of the list.
* Note: "crack the bottom" - figure of speech. Don't get excited, Jody.
In the time-honored tradition of scheduling these things with haphazard abandon, it's once again time to come together, right now, and drink. That's right, boys and girls and hermaphrodites of all ages (21 and up to imbibe), the RMBB 4.0 is upon us.
Join us, converse with us, debate with us, or - should the spirit move you - buy rounds of really strong stuff and then write about what you saw Vodkapundit and Walter doing to that llama in the bathroom.
Do you blog? Well, come on down!
Do you read blogs? Well, come on down!
Do you think Ward Churchill is an upstanding American fighting the fascists in our government? Probably safer if you stay home.
Just kidding, the worst anyone will get is mocking derision. The best anyone will get is an alcohol-induced blackout.
So, who's in?
Skip on over to Zomby's and RSVP, won't you, dear?
Today, Spain marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic Al Qaeda train attacks that left 191 dead and more than 1,500 wounded.
Their loss is our loss. The victims, like thousands of our own on September 11, must not be forgotten.
Three days from now, on March 14, the Spanish will be mourning the loss of their national backbone and resolve. Or they should be.
Yep, it's Thursday night and that means The Apprentice and that means this.
And that means, hello!
Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code:
Brilliant author beyond compare, so shut yo mouth, boy
Marginally talented novelist with an even worse editor who got lucky by making fun of Jesus and causing a stink?
This will go on your permanent record.
So, the doctor's office called today and informed me that the biopsy performed on a little patch of skin on my nose was, indeed, superficial basal cell carcinoma (sBCC): skin cancer. It's no big deal; sBCC tends to remain localized, not making a habit of jumping into the blood and taking up residence in vital organs.
I've had it before - in the same spot, actually.
Gimme gimme more more more »
Way back in 1995 or so, I got to go under the knife for it, getting a quarter-sized chunk of skin taken off my nose, and then being sewed back up by a plastic surgeon. It left a bit of a scar, but nothing too serious, just enough for me to claim it gave me character and make up bullshit stories about how I got it saving a small child from a pack of mad dogs.
Oh, man, the chicks I bagged with that one.
Anyway, I figured that this latest incarnation was also sBCC and was dreading having to go back onto the operating table. Primarily this was because I didn't like the choice between either taking a week off from work or going back to the office shortly after surgery, ending up cornered by my former friends, and having to yell "I am not an animal! I am a human being!"
Of course, getting slashed again wasn't really high on my list either.
But then, lo, it turns out they have a new cream for the treatment of sBCC. Hooray, thought I: no knives, no going under the gas, no feeling like Frankenstein's monster!
That cream? Aldara.
Its primary use? The treatment of genital warts.
Hoo-doggy. Can't wait to go to the pharmacy tomorrow.
Also of interest is that they have no idea why or how it works in relation to sBCC:
The mechanism of action of Aldara Cream in treating superficial basal cell carcinoma (sBCC) lesions is unknown. An open label study in six subjects with sBCC suggests that treatment with Aldara Cream may increase the infiltration of lymphocytes, dendritic cells, and macrophages into the tumor lesion; however, the clinical significance of these findings is unknown.Neat. I feel better already.
« That's plenty, thanks!
My favorite lines of the fisking:
To be fair, all libertarians do believe freedom is the only important thing. Most of us will often skip meals and instead eat big warm servings of freedom. This is why so many of us are so skinny. And dead.Nothin' like a piping hot bowl of freedom. Nothin' at all.
Except for money, land, power, and sex. They're all pretty swell too. And beer. Beer is good. And oxygen. Love me some of the O-little-2. And cushiony-soft toilet paper. And playful spanking.
Among other things.
But mostly freedom.
(found via Walter in Denver)
Muslims in Spain have issued a fatwa against Osama bin Laden:
ON THE eve of the anniversary of mainland Europe’s bloodiest terrorist attack, the Spanish Islamic Commission issued a fatwa yesterday against Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader.Of course, it doesn't go as far as the fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, which called for his death just for poking a little fun at Allah. Apparently that's a graver sin than killing thousands of innocent people. The gods are so fickle.
The commission, a government-backed umbrella group of Islamic associations, made the announcement as Spain prepared to mark the first anniversary today of the Madrid trains massacre with a five-minute silence to remember the victims.
But, hell, it's a start, even if it is the Islamic equivalent of a UN resolution put forth by, say, Saint Lucia.
The Spanish Islamic Commission went on to say:
It also urged imams to publicise a document designed to “thank the Spanish people and the Government for their attitude towards Muslims” in the past year, in particular for not taking “disproportionate” measures similar to those which the September 11 attacks prompted in the United States.Thankfully these days we Americans are only enaging in over-generalized and bigoted Photoshop pictures.
God bless America.
Update: This entry was posted before RWS and I had a lengthy back-and-forth on the topic. You can read the full exchange in the comments at her site in the link above. I don't think RWS meant anything offensive by the poster, but that doesn't mean the poster isn't inherently offensive.
That some people think the Adam and Eve story is a literal truth?
I shit you not.
It's a scary world.
Also: Did you know that some people think communism and socialism are workable economic models?
They tend not to be the same people as above.
But they're kind of creepy-scary too, huh?
Londoners face water shortages within a decade unless action is taken to stem leaks, a report warns today.Pssst... hey... you live on an island. You're surrounded by the stuff.
The capital loses almost one billion litres of water each day before it reaches the customer - 40 per cent of the national total.
Note: Yes, dumbass, I realize it's salt water. Go along with the joke, would you?
Oh, over here, fighting the good fight for Michele.
Hey, did you know that putting up a proper and rational defense of godless morality means that you're a "pretentious ass backward [sic] dickless little fuck?" It must be true because an anonymous coward said so!
Man, I love me some internet.
Update: And bacon sandwiches. They're nifty too.
The Carnival of the Godless has come to town.
Bill Quick, the Daily Pundit, lost his father last week. He lived what were surely 97 interesting years; we should all hope for as much time in this life.
Bill was one of the first "big dogs" of the blogosphere (a word he coined, incidentally) to link to the World Wide Rant. Why not stop over and wish him well?
OK, the guest login is closed. Thanks to all who played along!
Bobby at ProgressNow has a good write-up on the history of the "establishment clause" in the First Amendment. It was based on a law that Thomas Jefferson had previously written in the Virginia legislature.
Jefferson recognized that the greatest threat to religious liberty is religious tyranny, and his bill sought to proscribe any form of religious compulsion. Freedom of religion, to Jefferson, meant freedom from religion.
He also tales Justice Scalia to task for claiming that separation of church and state is what brought Hitler into power. It's a good read, with lots of juicy links (Mmmmmmm....juicy links......Aaaagh) to follow.
Open mic night, eh?
May I take this moment to say that God is real, Jesus is alive, the Bible is true and I though I dearly love Andy, he's wrong, but that doesn't keep me from praying for him anyway.
P.S. Andy, dear, you know I couldn't resist. :D
P.P.S. It's really only midnight; what's up with your time thingy?
Background on the Drilling to Hell story
"I must confess that I laughed when I heard your account... I did not believe one word of it, and commented to my friend that Americans sure were gullible to believe that hell could be physically located to a hole in the ground. I cannot even begin to tell you what a shock it was to me when I returned to Norway and found the newspapers full of reports about this incident. I knew immediately that if there was a hell, I for sure would end up in it. A tremendous fear took hold of me, and for two nights I dreamed about fire and screams until I surrendered to God and committed my life to his hands for safe-keeping."
Silly man. Everybody knows that there is a hell and it's in Norway.
It's been a while since I opened up the blog to guest posts, so - if you're so inclined - knock yourself out. No porn, no pedophilia, and no needless idiocy (necessary idiocy, though, is a-ok). Say what's on your mind, promote your own site, or whatever.
For some reason other parents find this weird: the wee Fiona's favorite music for dancing is either Eminem or Medeski, Martin, & Wood. I think it's pretty cool, much better than if she went around boogeying to Barney or Teletubby songs.
Update: Speaking of the wee Fiona, a couple of photos: one as a Scottish lass and another as an extreme daredevil, Wee Knievel.
The way to a man's heart is through his stomach*; with some women it's also the way into his pants.
* Yes, I know the most direct route is right through the sternum, but think of your lovely carpet.
Let's think through this, shall we?
The Italian journalist wounded by American troops in Iraq after her release by insurgents rejected the U.S. military's account of the shooting and declined Sunday to rule out the possibility she was deliberately targeted.Ms. Sgrena, I am of the belief that, had the American forces specifically targeted you, you would not be here today to continue spewing your anti-American nonsense.
And, you know, I really do hate to engage in any sort of conspiracy-theorizing, but this entire section of dialogue:
"I remember only fire," she wrote in Il Manifesto, which fiercely opposed the war in Iraq. "At that point a rain of fire and bullets came at us, forever silencing the happy voices from a few minutes earlier."...sounds a whole lot like someone who has been rehearsing just what to say, to dramatize, to stir emotions.... to manipulate in spite of the truth. But, then again, she is a journalist, for a communist rag no less.
Sgrena said the driver began shouting that they were Italian, then "Nicola Calipari dove on top of me to protect me and immediately, and I mean immediately, I felt his last breath as he died on me."
Suddenly, she said, she remembered her captors' words, when they warned her "to be careful because the Americans don't want you to return."
Were I in that situation, I think I might at least make mention that I'm glad to be alive. Odd, huh?
Update: I have it on good authority that Ms. Sgrena is actually upset because an American bullet put a hole in her Che t-shirt.
Uh... anyone else in the Denver or Colorado area having trouble with their T-Mobile service today? "Trouble" being defined as: no service at all. No signal. No nothing. Nowhere from the north to south end of the Metro area along the I-25 corridor.
I just rang customer service and it says they are experiencing longer than normal hold times... so I figure it's not just me forgetting to pay a bill.
According to Broadcasting and Cable (subscription only -- sorry), new Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez told the Hoover Intsitution on Monday that he'll give the same priority to cracking down on obscenity that he'll give to fighting terrorism.Emphasis mine.
Ponder that for a moment.
Stupidity sole property of Alberto Gonzalez.
I promise only to use my power for good:
AdvancedOr I just might keep using my power to talk about beer and boobies and how there is no god. I'm undecided.
You scored 100% Beginner, 93% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 72% Expert!
You have an extremely good understanding of beginner, intermediate, and advanced level commonly confused English words, getting at least 75% of each of these three levels' questions correct. This is an exceptional score. Remember, these are commonly confused English words, which means most people don't use them properly. You got an extremely respectable score.
Found via my MP3-lovin' pal Rae.
I just don't get it. Do you?
Something else from Drudge:
A Braxton County middle school teacher is in police custody after allegedly confessing to sexual misconduct with five of her students.Even more tragic, all five of the students were apparently blind.
They had to be.
I mean, really.
Update: Or drunk.
At last call.
Update 2: Sorry, I meant drunk and blind.
From Drudge comes this:here.
Brent chimes in on the active euthanasia discussion.
Why didn't anyone tell me I'd been mentioned by U.S. News & World Report? Granted, it was nigh on a month ago, detailing the exciting live-blogging of the State of the Union by myself and others, but - there I am - in print!
Apparently I'm a "prominent blogger," a "pundit," and also "capable of lifting bowling balls with only my tongue."
Update: For those keeping score at home, this means the World Wide Rant has been mentioned by U.S. News, TechCentral Station, Reuters, the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News (err...I think), 5280 magazine, and a variety of Chinese people, surfing in smoky, crowded internet cafes, who really dig on the monkey logo.
Update 2: Despite all of the above, this whole endeavor barely pays for itself. In other words, I've kept my day job - and a ferret in my underpants.
Update 3: See update 4.
Update 4: See update 3.
Sounds like the John Kerry School of Political Philosophy to me: Chomsky believed in liberty until he was against it!
Stupid, stupid people.
Howdy from the Denver Press Club, where I and Zomby are taking in varying quantities of fermented sugars in a variety of forms.
Yes, that means we're plotting something - something like a party.
There seems to be a growing consensus around the globe that godlessness is in trouble.Quite possibly true, but - thankfully - advances will still be made by those among us who aren't waiting for a fish to turn into a monkey.
Atheism's "future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its habitat," he [Alister McGrath] wrote in the U.S. magazine, Christianity Today.Mr. McGrath neglected to mention that he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. Atheism, at least in my lifetime, has never been an overwhelming part of the public domain; rather, many atheists keep quiet about their lack of belief because the public domain doesn't take so kindly to those who don't latch on to its special brand of irrationality.
I suspect that Mr. McGrath is making the same logical error that so many others who wish to impose their religion on the rest of us do: conflating a secular public domain with an atheist one. If one cannot see the difference between remaining effectively neutral on the existence of god (that is, making no statement about its existence) and actively stating that god does not exist, the one is (and I'm being blunt here) a big ol' dumb doodyhead.
Two developments are plaguing atheism these days. One is that it appears to be losing its scientific underpinnings.Two developments are plaguing journalism these days. One is that journalists just like to make shit up.
The other is the historical experience of hundreds of millions of people worldwide that atheists are in no position to claim the moral high ground.The other is that atheists have not killed in the name of "there is no God," while theists have continually killed in the name of their god.
Stalin and his friends apparently liked to drink a lot, but this doesn't mean they killed in the name of "beer is good." A communist regime seeks to eliminate a belief in a power higher than the state; theists have sought to eliminate those who believe in a higher power other than their own angry sky god. Again, failing to appreciate the difference makes you a big ol' dumb doodyhead.
Writes Turkish philosopher Harun Yahya, "Atheism, which people have tried to for hundreds of years as 'the ways of reason and science,' is proving to be mere irrationality and ignorance."Well, if Harun Yahya says it, it must be true.
I'm sorry, who? Appeal to authority with no evidence of the authority's expertise: logical fallacy.
As British philosopher Anthony Flew, once as hard-nosed a humanist as any, mused when turning his back on his former belief: It is, for example, impossible for evolution to account for the fact than one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica put together.Argument from personal incredulity. Logical fallacy.
Flew still does not accept the God of the Bible. But he has embraced the intelligent design concept of scholars such as William Dembski who only four years ago claimed to have been mobbed by pro-evolutionist colleagues at -- of all places -- Baylor University, a highly respected Southern Baptist institution in Waco, Tex.Scholar? Appeal to authority. Logical fallacy.
The stunning desertion of a former intellectual ambassador of secular humanism to the belief in some form of intelligence behind the design of the universe makes Yahya's prediction sound probable: "The time is fast approaching when many people who are living in ignorance with no knowledge of their Creator will be graced by faith in the impending post-atheist world."No, the defection into irrationality of one man nearing the end of his days is by no means an indicator of the future of religious belief or atheism. Appeal to authority and poorly disguised argument ad populum. Logical fallacies.
A few years ago, European scientists sniggered when studies in the United States -- for example, at Harvard and Duke universities -- showed a correlation between faith, prayer and recovery from illness. Now 1,200 studies at research centers around the world have come to similar conclusions, according to "Psychologie Heute," a German journal, citing, for example, the marked improvement of multiple sclerosis patients in Germany's Ruhr District do to "spiritual resources."Ah, the power of positive thinking... too bad that even researchers from prestigious universities make mistakes in the design and analysis of experiments. Too bad that sometimes studies on prayer contradict one another.
And let's not even get into the idea that it's a mighty petty god who only heals someone when they have enough people asking for it.
Atheism's other Achilles heel are the acts on inhumanity and lunacy committed in its name.See my earlier notes on why this statement is, quite simply, bollocks.
As McGrath relates in Christianity Today: "With time (atheism) turned out to have just as many frauds, psychopaths, and careerists as religion does. ..."People are people. Big surprise. Apparently, in light of this, one should choose to believe in god because... errr... wait, I'm sorry, McGrath didn't actually give a reason to believe, did he?
"With Stalin and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, atheism seems to have ended up mimicking the vices of the Spanish Inquisition and the worst televangelists, respectively."See my previous notes on why this, too, is bollocks.
John Updike's observation, "Among the repulsions of atheism for me has been is drastic uninterestingness as an intellectual position," appears to become common currency throughout much of the West.Well, that seals it for me! I should believe in god because it's just so interesting.
I mean, look - do atheists have a global flood? No. Do atheists have people turning into pillars of salt? No. Do atheists have to twist their mind around an omnipotent, omnibenevolent god who seems to be anything but? No! A thousand times, no!
God is interesting! Atheism is so humdrum.
Party on, Jesus.
I'd continue shredding that pile of dung passing for a newspaper article, but I think you get the idea.
So, what are you good people wearing and who is feeling saucy?
No one? Well, fine!
Teenagers in Orlando, Fla., are leaping between 80-foot high public parking garages in a new trend called "garage jumping," according to a Local 6 News investigation....How the City of Orlando is supposed to correct the error of Tim Bargfrede being a complete fucking idiot is up for debate.
Tim Bargfrede told Local 6 News that he was following friends when he attempted to garage jump and did not make it to the other side. Bargfrede fell six stories and was knocked unconscious on impact....
D'Assaro [the dumbass kid's attorney] is filing a lawsuit against the city of Orlando and the private garage owner for making little effort to correct a potential deadly risk.
Update: Jeralyn Merritt, of Talk Left, says - according to unnamed sources - that she'd refuse to represent such a client if only I would spank her soundly on her firm, firm bottom.
As always, I don't make this stuff up.
Can I get an "amen?"
An interesting debate going on here, with your host playing Devil's advocate.
So, what level of misery is it where we decide that a person's life is no longer worth living, that killing them is doing them a favor?...I honestly haven't made up my mind on the case in question, nor do I think I ever will (to my own satisfaction), simply because I've never been in the situation discussed (that situation being the British case of Andrew Wragg).
It's a horrible thing to watch someone you love suffer. It's even more horrible when it is a heavy burden of responsibility on your own shoulders, as with a parent and child. Worse, though, is to murder your own son and call it mercy.
So far, the opposition ranges from snap judgments of Mr. Wragg's motive followed by angry condemnation, to thoughtful views on the nature of life and the responsibility of the living. Feel free to add your own thoughts.
Say, anyone want to buy me this?
From The Volokh Conspiracy comes news of students at my alma mater, the University of Alabama, fighting for their right to free speech:
The Student Senate resolution, sent to UA President Robert Witt and Faculty Senate President John Mason, passed unanimously on February 24, 2005. Authored by Student Senator Pat Samples, the resolution states that "[f]ree speech is absolutely vital to the mission of any university, where new and often controversial ideas must be discussed openly and rationally in order to make advances in knowledge" and proclaims that "[b]y defending free speech for all students, one in no way condones any kind of hate or intolerance; [o]n the contrary, one is promoting tolerance of others despite their differences, especially their differences of opinion." The student resolution also warned that adopting a speech code would be a legal liability for UA and would "greatly tarnish its public image." The resolution's call for free speech for all students directly opposes the Faculty Senate's "hate speech" resolution passed last September.Exceptions to the necessity for free speech will be made, however, for any fraternity or sorority member who dares to go against The Machine for a slot in the student government.
The great irony of The Machine is that, given that only 25-30% of the student body belongs to a Greek organization, the indepdents could easily sweep each and every student government election if they'd act with even half the unity (and none of the intimidation) of the fraternities/sororities. As it stands, though, the GDIs* are like Dorothy, wandering through Oz, never realizing she's had the power to go home the entire time.
The SGA isn't skewed at Bama simply because the process is flawed, but because the electorate, much like the general American populace, is too apathetic to vote, but very willing to complain.
* Goddamn independents, like yours truly.