Well, someone they thought was their own, which is more indicative of a failure of imagination on their part or a lack of reading comprehension (something quite common among wingnuts and moonbats, I've found).
This is a prime example of what classical liberal / libertarian-types deal with in the blogosphere: the barking moonbats think you're a jack-booted thug; the praise-jeebus wingnuts think you're a flaming liberal.
And you know they're both idiots.
Keep it up, Glenn - you're doing something right!
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- As parts of flooded New Orleans slip into chaos and Gulf Coast communities struggle to deal with the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana's governor is declaring Wednesday a day of prayer.Right-o. Since God apparently couldn't be bothered to listen to all those prayers for saving the city, there's good reason to think he's going to listen now.
In declaring Wednesday a day of prayer in the state of Louisiana, Blanco asked residents to ask "that God give us all the physical and spiritual strength to work through this crisis and rebuild."
"As we face the devastation wrought by Katrina, as we search for those in need, as we comfort those in pain and as we begin the long task of rebuilding, we turn to God for strength, hope and comfort," Blanco said.
The tenuous grasp on logic that exists in the mind of many when it comes to their religious beliefs is sad. If the hurricane misses the city, they thank God. If it hits the city, but it doesn't flood, they thank God. When the levee breaks, but they survive while others drown, they thank God. When the whole damn city is underwater, with untold numbers dead, with civilization breaking down in the Big Easy, they still look for some reason to believe.
Here's an idea: there is no God. Or, if there is, he really doesn't care about you. All we have is each other.
Governor Blanco, your state and her people might be better served declaring a day of "Get Out and Help Those Affected Rather Than Talking to the Sky." Something about hands that help being better than lips that pray...
You stop thinking about buying that Mazda RX-8, the one you rationalized could easily handle two carseats courtesy of its suicide doors, and instead think... Hey, that Hyundai Sonata is pretty well-reviewed and comes in quite affordably, even when loaded. And, hey, it's practical!
Huh? Hyundai? Practical? When the heck did I get practical?
Or perhaps it's because the car is made at the new Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama, and I've long been convinced that the city is a sucking vortex from which there is no escape. Apparently it is now a sucking vortex with ... tentacles.
After talking about the ignoble actions of some in the Big Easy, perhaps we should take a moment to reflect on their betters, those among us who are exemplars of charity and humanity and kindness. Those who step beyond their own selfishness to embrace something higher and more profound.
You know, something like Lindsay Lohan kissing on Ashlee Simpson:
Lindsay Lohan and Ashlee Simpson made up for the cameras backstage at this year's MTV Video Music Awards. Both singers - who are reportedly feuding over Lohan's ex Wilmer Valderrama - were nominees for best pop video (Lohan for "Rumors" and Simpson for "Pieces of Me"). Both were beaten out by Pop Singer Kelly Clarkson reports People Magazine.That's simply... beautiful. How people with so much money and nary a want can overcome petty jealousies always leaves me, well, touched.
Bravo to you, Ashlee Simpson! Bravo to you, Lindsay Lohan!
Maybe I'm just insensitive, but if the cops see someone looting something other than food and drink, the necessities of life in a disaster, just go ahead and plug'em. Bang bang bang.
If the disaster didn't clean up the gene pool, maybe we can pick up the slack for it.
For every story of heroism and valor that shows us just how noble we humans can be, there's some worthless piece of human poop who thinks he's going to be airlifted out of New Orleans with that 27" television he just stole.
Some of those assholes might even be cops:
Some officers joined in taking whatever they could, including one New Orleans cop who loaded a shopping cart with a compact computer and a 27-inch flat screen television.What, if you can't beat them, join them?
Officers claimed there was nothing they could do to contain the anarchy, saying their radio communications have broken down and they had no direction from commanders.
“We don’t have enough cops to stop it,” an officer said. “A mass riot would break out if you tried.”
Speaking of assholes, how about Mike Franklin?
Looters filled industrial-sized garbage cans with clothing and jewelry and floated them down the street on bits of plywood and insulation as National Guard lumbered by.Oppressed? I'm sorry, is slavery still legal in New Orleans? I'm sorry, does being poor entitle you to take the property of others? It's all whitey's fault! Right, Mike?
Mike Franklin stood on the trolley tracks and watched the spectacle unfold.
"To be honest with you, people who are oppressed all their lives, man, it's an opportunity to get back at society," he said.
Can someone maybe shoot Mike too? You know, if he's white, if he's Da Man, then he's just as guilty as the rest of us. If they kill him, to be honest with you, people who are oppressed all their lives, man, it's an opportunity to get back at society.
Update: Chris Clarke, self-appointed champion of those who see themselves as oppressed despite reality, says in the comments:
Funny thing: I'm a hell of a lot more disgusted by this post than I am by 99 percent of the looters.What's the other 1%, Chris? The looters that shot the cop? So it's ok to take non-essential items so long as you don't try to kill a cop?
Please make a note that my comments apply to those who are not simply trying to survive but to those who are taking advantage of the situation, the sickening opportunists whose ethics washed away with the waters of Ponchartrain.
Unlike Mike Franklin - and Chris Clarke - I'm not willing to make excuses for them.
People need bread and fruits and Twinkies and soda and water to survive until help arrives. They don't need CD players, designer jeans, and laptop computers (unless the Professor is out there building one that runs on coconuts and pedal-power).
I don't care if they are black, white, purple, or whatever; put a band-aid on your bleeding heart long enough to call the opportunists what they are: thieves.
A note to Chris Clarke's neighbors: should disaster ever break out, be sure to guard your house closely, as Chris might stop by and take your DVD collection. Hey, it's not like you're going to need it or anything.
Update 2: Will Collier, over at Vodkapundit, seems to agree with my sentiments.
The hurricane is gone, but the situation continues to worsen. A complete evacuation of the city has been ordered, while a breached levee slowly floods the entirety. The storm itself may not have been as bad as feared, but it looks like the aftermath is as tragic or worse.
If you can spare a few dollars for the American Red Cross relief efforts, please click here.
If you know of a blogosphere effort to fundraise, please let me know and I'll link it up ASAP.
And if Travis Sisson, most recently of Slidell, LA, happens to read this, please e-mail me and let me know that you guys got out of there before it became the Lake Ponchartrain annex. Hope you, the wife, and kids are ok.
Update: Michele is looking for good news among all the bad.
I don't know, I found this television ad somewhat amusing. James Dobson's "One Million Moms" campaign disagrees.
DISH Network commercial teaches kids to use crude languageWhereas if your children read the Bible they'll only learn about wanton destruction, murder, mayhem, and mauling, not to mention some saucy erotica courtesy of the Song of Solomon. I guess, given that most Christians probably have never read more than select bits of the Bible, they feel they can gloss over that detail.
DISH Network (EchoStar Communications) is airing ads that repeatedly use the phrase "sucks" to describe how cable TV compares to their DISH Network.
I'd comment on how One Million Moms suck, but the suggestiveness would probably send Dobson and company into fits.
Reports indicate that a section of the Superdome has peeled away, with rain and wind now entering the structure. It doesn't sound serious... yet.
P.S. Are any of you wondering what a "Beignet" is? If so, you truly haven't lived.
Update: Photos here (of the hole in the roof, not of beignets).
Update 2: Photo of beignets and coffee. Mmmm.
Those of you praying for the good people of New Orleans (and other areas affected) to be spared from the wrath of Katrina, maybe next time could you pray that the hurricane magically vaporizes with a polite, little "poof?"
I don't know why God messes around with silly signs like Mary in an office window or in the stains of an underpass when something cool like that would be a great recruiting tool. If dude can flood the world, then surely he can make a go at not flooding a city or two.
While watching the coverage last night of thousands trying to get into the Superdome, I saw an interview with a woman who said she was relying on her faith, that God was going to let live whom he wanted to live, and let die whom he wanted to die.
I notice she was hedging her bets by taking shelter.
These people probably wouldn't like the fact that I drive 35 miles to work each way:
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- When the United States declined to ratify an international treaty that would impose limits on emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases, four twentysomething Pittsburghers decided to take action.They once tried to hold a central World Carfree Network festival, but nobody made it there in time.
They formed Car Free Pittsburgh, which promotes walking, bicycling and public transportation. The group is part of the World Carfree Network, a loose-knit coalition of more than 40 groups that believe cars hurt the environment, the economy and society.
Somehow I missed this NASA footage from earlier in the month, showing dust devils on Mars. Amazing stuff, courtesy of our lil' rover pals, Spirit and Opportunity, still making their way around the Martian surface* more than 500 days into their mission.
* Or a Hollywood soundstage. I mean, Mars? Yeah, right!
I've been watching the streaming coverage from WWLTV for a fair bit of the day; it's certainly more point-of-interest and timely than the major cable networks who have sent their crews down to be on sight for the destruction. Additionally, the cams I linked earlier in the day were back up (some of them) as of a few hours ago.
Bottom line: it's not looking good. Katrina is still moving N-NW, on track to devastate the New Orleans area.
I've not been to the Big Easy since moving out West, but have been known to spend more than one weekend of debauchery in the French Quarter. And, uh, one of not-much-debauchery when our in-laws went along with us. It's sad to think of the loss of life and property that may unfold over the next several hours.
Again, good luck to all of you down there (even Paul from Wizbang).
Mayor Ray Nagin ordered an immediate mandatory evacuation Sunday for all of New Orleans, a city sitting below sea level with 485,000 inhabitants, as Hurricane Katrina bore down with wind revved up to nearly 175 mph and a threat of a massive storm surge.Seriously though, this may be the storm that New Orleans has known would someday come for the city. There could be significant loss of life and flooding that would foul downtown for months to come. It could be a disaster of tremendous proportions, but it's an American city and it will come back, of that I have little doubt.
I hope everyone who could get out has done so; I always shake my head at people who decide to ride out a storm when the option to leave is available. Trite but true, you can get another house, but you can't get another you (unless you have a twin or something, but that doesn't really help when you're the one that is dead).
For those unable to leave due to being tourists, lack of transportation, or (as I have heard) nowhere to buy fuel, good luck over the next 48 hours. I'd offer to pray, but, well, the net effectiveness of that strategy is about zero. Que sera, sera - let's hope it's much less worse than feared.
Update: You can find a list of NOLA blogs here. I'm not sure if any of them are riding it out, but will peruse the list later today.
Update 2: Or perhaps not, as the list hasn't been kept very up-to-date (saw one blog that was still active, and another that hasn't posted since 2002, and then another with the all-too-common "I'll post something substantial next time" message, with nothing else ever posted).
Update 3: Live coverage from WWLTV New Orleans here.
Update 4: Webcams here, so long as they are functioning. (note: As of 3:34MT, the site is unreachable - perhaps it was brought down in anticipation of the loss of power.)
Update 5: Another webcam, still active, from WDSU.com. It's looking... dark.
Apparently following the lead of the Intelligent Design movement, the state of California has decided they can't be bothered with that pesky thing called science:
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has filed a lawsuit to force top makers of potato chips and french fries to warn consumers about a potential cancer-causing chemical found in the popular snacks.To my knowledge, acrylamide has only been shown to be toxic at extremely high-doses in test animals. You know, like many other substances where they find that if you were to consume 800 gallons of it, you might (surprise!) not benefit from it. The low-levels in fried foods strike me as neglible, and if you're eating enough to actually do harm, you could probably stand to cutback on the junk food anyway.
The suit asks manufacturers of these products to identify the dangers of high levels of acrylamide, a chemical that studies have found is created when starchy foods are cooked at high heat.
In 2002, scientists found potatoes and other starchy foods cooked at high temperatures contained low levels of acrylamide. Other studies have discounted the potential toxicity of acrylamide to humans.
Let the lawsuits begin.
Just reading about all the Vioxx lawsuits (in particular, the one that settled for $250 million plus) and, I wonder, Mrs. World Wide Rant took Vioxx a few years ago for an apparent allergic response she was having, one for which they couldn't determine the cause.
It didn't kill her or cause heart failure or anything like that, but it did make her ankles swell up. Do you think she could win a couple of bucks for a condition soon to be known as "Vioxx ankles?"
Do you know the stress it caused our family when I would come home to find that she had the most obvious case of Vioxx-induced cankles known to man?
Argh! The horror!
I think that ought to be worth a dollar or two. Don't you?
Was just watching NBC Nightly News and they had a story about Iraqi police entering a village and asking for help in identifying insurgents in the area. Many people cooperated, named names, pointed them out.
Those people, those who would help us, were then taken away, tortured, and murdered.
The police were apparently Iraqi insurgents wearing police uniforms, available in Baghdad markets. To make it worse? American soldiers were on the scene, watching the "police" conduct their interviews, thinking they were legitimate Iraqi police.
So much for communication. The insurgents' bold, new tactic paid off, with the death of 22 Iraqis on our side of the war.
There's a video link over at MSNBC, but it doesn't seem to be working for me. Anyone got a link to a text article perchance?
I came across these lines in the novel I am currently reading and liked them, particularly the last one. I thought I'd share. I have no idea why.
The true terror, Jonah thought, the true mystery of life was not that we are all going to die, but that we were all born, that we were all once little babies like this, unknowing and slowly reeling in the world, gathering it loop by loop like a ball of string. The true terror was that we once didn't exist, and then, through no fault of our own, we had to.Hey, I could be posting my MP3 playlists for you instead.
- You Remind Me of Me, by Dan Chaon.
Oh what the hell: Here's an MP3 playlist.
Uh oh: OK, so the playlist plugin server is shut down due to overload. Well, crap. Oh well, right now, I'm listening to "Mystic Buzz" by the Freddy Jones Band.
Did Lance Armstrong use performance-enhancing drugs earlier in his career?
I sure don't know, but I bet we could get John McCain to waste even more government time looking into the matter for us.
Perhaps I'm mistaken - it happens, but not often - but isn't your doctor supposed to tell you how to cure what ails you?
ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - As doctors warn more patients that they should lose weight, the advice has backfired on one doctor with a woman filing a complaint with the state saying he was hurtful, not helpful.I'm more concerned that the state medical board thinks the complaint has merit than that the woman would be offended enough to complain. We often don't like to hear the truth - one look at my hairy palms will tell you I never kicked a certain habit, despite the protestations of the Church; however, this is just silly.
"I told a fat woman she was obese," Bennett says. "I tried to get her attention. I told her, 'You need to get on a program, join a group of like-minded people and peel off the weight that is going to kill you.' "
Her complaint, filed about a year ago, was initially investigated by a board subcommittee, which recommended that Bennett be sent a confidential letter of concern. The board rejected the suggestion in December and asked the attorney general's office to investigate.
Bennett rejected that office's proposal that he attend a medical education course and acknowledge that he made a mistake.
Note: Welcome AOL News readers. Please, have a look around. Whether you're conservative or liberal, I'm bound to disagree with you on something you consider very important. Ah, the fun we'll have!
Adding to the idiot pile-up is Pat Robertson. Nevermind whether you approve or disapprove of his encouragement of knocking off Chavez, the man simply can't keep a story straight, even with the help of video:
Conservative religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Wednesday that his remarks about the removal of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez were taken out of context and that he never called for the killing of the Latin American leader.Oh, really?
"I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces should 'take him out.' And 'take him out' can be a number of things, including kidnapping; there are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted by the AP, but that happens all the time," Robertson said on "The 700 Club" program.
"If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it," said Robertson on Monday's program. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war."You see, he meant "assassinate," as in "kidnap." And when he tells you to pray to "Jesus," he means a "cuddly little guinea pig."
Now, when I say "Pat Robertson," I mean "pointy-eared hobgoblin with theocratic aspirations." (update note: I mean what I say)
Are we clear?
Update: Robertson has apologized. As always, kids, remember: saying you're sorry means you never have to change.
And, trust me, Robertson won't.
Even if the next attack comes tomorrow, it is worth pondering that we've gone 47 months without the savages being able to mount another terrorist attack in a country virtually designed for terrorist attacks, a country where we search the purses of little old ladies so that recent immigrants from Saudi Arabia named "Mohammed" wearing massive backpacks don't get singled out.Ann, darling, perhaps you've missed all of the terrorist attacks that have gone on around the world since September 11, courtesy of al Qaeda. It's interesting that pundits like Ann will argue that this is a war against the West (and I agree), but then quickly discount attacks anywhere but the United States.
Further, the first attack on the World Trade Center was in 1993. The towers became mangled steel and concrete in 2001. That's somewhere around 96 months, Ann. Ninety-six, as in "more than twice 47."
As in, "our enemies are patient." Pat yourselves on the back for a job well-done, sink into complacency, and watch as Chicago or Los Angeles becomes the next 9-11.
As Republicans were saying repeatedly – captured on Lexis-Nexis for a year before it showed up in a Frank Luntz talking-points memo in 2004 – the savages have declared war, and it's far preferable to fight them in the streets of Baghdad than in the streets of New York (where the residents would immediately surrender).Ann, you sickening puke, were you asleep on the morning of September 11 and in the days, weeks, and months that followed? Did you somehow miss the response of the people of New York to the tragedy that befell them?
Christ, if that's immediately surrendering, then may we all be giant wusses when it's our turn.
I'm sorry, does anyone still take this woman seriously?
Oh, they do?
Idiots, the lot of'em.
(via Plum Crazy)
Looks like Slate picked up my gay marriage comments below in today's round-up of blog chatter.
Except they called me "left-leaning." I'm not left-leaning am I?
I mean, sure, on some issues... but I supported the war in Iraq... I happily defend the Second Amendment... I believe in small government and decreased government spending (not that Republicans do, of course)...
Sigh, I'm a man with no ideology but that dictated to him by reason and conscience. For shame.
Update: In case I wasn't clear, a hearty thanks to Slate for the mention!
Charlie from This Is Going To Be BIG just watched "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and asks:
In ESSM, Jim Carrey has to bring every single item that reminds him of his ex into an office to help get rid of her memories. What does that bag look like for you? Do you keep anything you should probably get rid of? When I had my wallet stolen, I had a ten year old Winterfresh gum wrapper in it. What's your item? In the spirit of forgetting, and maybe, in turn, appreciating, that's the topic of today's call for comments back. Name the item you keep from a past love that you should probably get rid of.Wait, we're only allowed to keep one item?
In my basement, there is a cheap trunk, tucked behind the computer desk and buried under blankets and bedspreads (it gets cold down there in the winter, and we like to keep our guests toasty - and toasted - whenever possible). Inside of that trunk are various memories from my life: all of my yearbooks from junior high through high school, letters from friends that have fallen away, newspapers from Desert Storm and 9/11, my Finnish bus pass and bank card, videos of college road trips. All kinds of stuff that probably looks like junk to you but is a 3'x2'X1' summation of a life (or at least the last 2/3 of it).
I got the idea from those stories and movies in which the grandkids find a trunk in the attic and ooh and ahh over the contents, getting to know their grandfather (or, in the sense of fairness, grandmother, as no sexist am I) better than they had in all their years of growing up. However, as Stephen King once said:
"The most important things to remember about backstory are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn't very interesting."So, allow me to apologize in advance to my grandchildren for the yawnfest* that is my trunk.
Back to the question, though.
What items do I have from a former love? Primarily pictures and letters and postcards. I suppose some significant others get nervous when one keeps around the crumbled debris of past failures, but - hell - success or not, joy or sadness, it was my life and it has made me who I am. I'm not throwing that away.
Besides, if the wife is cool that I still sit around the house in a pair of maroon boxers my ex gave me, pictures and letters should be nothin'. I might have left that relationship with a broken heart, but at least I got some comfy underwear out of it.
That counts for something, surely.
* But not so much as a Coldplay song.
A California Court has ruled that gay parents are, well, going to be held responsible for being parents:
In the latest ruling to recognize rights of same-sex couples, the California Supreme Court has said gay and lesbian couples who raise children are lawful parents and must provide for their children if they break up.While some aspects* of the earlier decisions strike me as questionable, if you want the benefits and joy of being a parent, you don't get to turn around and drop the child like an unwanted dog. You have a responsibility to your child.
The state's custody and child support laws that hold absent fathers accountable also apply to estranged gay and lesbian couples who used reproductive science to conceive, the high court ruled Monday.
However, some people don't see it that way:
However, groups opposing gay marriage decried the justices' actions.That's right, in order to keep up their bigoted campaign against gay marriage, they will sacrifice the well-being of children and refuse to hold people accountable for their actions and choice.
"Today's ruling defies logic and common sense by saying that children can have two moms," said attorney Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel. "That policy establishes that moms and dads as a unit are irrelevant when it comes to raising children."
Hey, aren't the right-wingers the ones who continually harp on, oh, saving all the unborn children and demanding people take responsibility for themselves?
Why, yes, until it's inconvenient to do so.
* Such as, if you're dating and shacking up with a woman with a child long-term, the Court could apparently decide that you are a parent de facto, and demand you support said child after a break-up. However, I'm more interested in the response to the decision, as it says nothing about this aspect and focuses only on the icky icky homo love.
Hey, do you know that Coldplay song?
Yeah, you know, the one that sounds like a whiny Bono monotoning at a sleep clinic?
Oh, no way, you mean the whole album sounds like that?
Are you watching it?
You should be.
So far, it's been - in my opinion - a balanced look at the events and failures that led up to that September day. I found it odd that they felt they had to put a warning at the beginning of the show, saying it contained images that might be disturbing ... would you expect puppies and choco-puffs?
Update: It's horribly frustrating to watch the replays of the impacts, to see the second plane coming in, to know the outcome you're about to witness, and to hope that maybe somehow you can change it.
You know, as if maybe you're Patrick Duffy on Dallas and the last four years have been a dream. Time to wake up.
Please excuse my lack of posting. After getting home around 3am, staying up until 4ish, and then sleeping until noon, I have found myself the victim of one cat nap from 2:30 to 4pm, and feel another one coming upon me.
They're sneaky, those catnaps.
Update: Some details on last night's shooting...
The second homicide happened around 1:30 a.m. near the intersection of 10th and Broadway.I saw them interrogating someone who they think knew something. He must not have been too much of a risk as he wasn't cuffed and was given smokes. I did hear them say to the young man something like "You'd rather have us call your momma than you tell us what you know?"
Police responded to reports of a shooting in the area. When they arrived, they found a man suffering from gunshot wounds to the head. The victim was transported to Denver Health Medical Center, where he died.
An investigation has revealed that the victim was involved in an argument with an unknown suspect before being shot.
Police have not arrested anyone for the crime, and are still searching for a suspect.
I wonder if a threat like that works. Jail? Fine. Call my momma? Oh hell no!
So, the RMBB 4.5 is over... got to spend some time with some fine folks... drank some wonderful beverages...and capped off the evening by watching a shooting victim be loaded into an ambulance, most likely having shuffled off this mortal coil. Yay fun.
At least I have a beer.
More blogging later...
Update: Stupid ass words out of London:
In Sunday's interview, [Sir Ian] Blair stressed he had apologized for the killing and was concerned for the de Menezes family.Oh, they apologized for it. Well then, all better, hugs and kisses.
"But what concerns me is that this part of the story is concentrating on the death of one individual, when we have 52 dead people from all faiths and communities in London and from abroad," he said.
"We have four dead bombers and we have to concentrate on how we find the people who are helping or thinking about planning further atrocities," he said. "It seems the balance of reporting is in the wrong place."
And, yeah, Mr. Blair, I think most of us would agree we need to concentrate on how we find the people who are helping or thinking about planning further atrocities... I would also think that part of that is making sure we don't gun down innocent men simply going about their daily business.
The continued lack of acceptance of responsibillity disgusts me.
Another update: Oh, and no one got shot at the RMBB. We're good folk.
An interesting article in the Washington Post regarding the social safety-net of Finland (Suomi, as they call it). After pointing out the successes of Finnish society and education (they have the best students in the industrialized world), the author asks if we can just copy them the Finnish model in the United States:
I found Finnish society beguiling on many levels, but in the end concluded that it could not serve as a blueprint for the United States. National differences matter. The Finns are special and so are we. Ours is a society driven by money, blessed by huge private philanthropy, cursed by endemic corruption and saddled with deep mistrust of government and other public institutions. Finns have none of those attributes.There's more.
I loved my year in Finland and really do need to get back for a visit (my last trip was in 1998); however, as I've mentioned before, the safety-net isn't selective, and for all the people in temporary need of help that get assistance, there's always a group of drunkards in some park spending your tax money on olut (beer). Despite the claim of equality, there's a definite undercurrent of racism at work, hardly unexpected in such a homogenous nation - but that doesn't make it right.
On the other hand, you might also manage to have a co-ed sauna visit.
Finland, for me, does have many special qualities and living there made me evaluate the United States from a different perspective. There are parts of our culture and way of life that I love. There are parts that I could do without.
But I wouldn't trade it for the world.
You can read the rest of the WP Finland Diary over here.
Less than 24 hours until the Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash 4.5.
I suspect I won't be blogging again before sometime Sunday, unless something very interesting happens in the world prior to then.
Have a great weekend. Join us for drinks if you can. WinAmp playlist posing as content follows.
The Phantom Professor is conducting a writing workshop, with audience participation via the comments. Assignment one results to date are here. Join in and add your own (and maybe I'll get around to it as well).
And I apologize for the craptacular title to this post. It's early (at least it is for someone who went to bed at 1:30am).
When I saw that the Beeb was running an article on whether or not the American dream still exists, I was immediately prepping to shred it, especially as I read the first bit:
I had come to Seattle because of a recent survey by the Centre for Economic Performance in London, on how easy or difficult it was to get rich in different parts of the world - or if not rich, at least move out of poverty.My first thought was that this leaves open the issue of what percentage of these people actively worked to get out of poverty.
"If you are born into poverty in the US," said one of its authors, "you are actually more likely to remain in poverty than in other countries in Europe, the Nordic countries, even Canada, which you would think would not be that different."
I know people from all walks of life, some at the bottom of the economic ladder. I also know that they are effectively there by choice: they refuse to continue their education; or they buy themselves needless toys rather than saving; or they're always looking for the quick win, the easy way out, rather than being willing to work to change their lot in life.
Sure, it's anecdotal, and I realize that not everyone who tries is going to succeed, but you have to at least try before you'll have my sympathy (or my help).
In America, you're mostly expected to improve your own circumstances. In Europe, the government dictates them to you via handouts and safety-nets, resulting in old Finnish men spending their days drunk in a city park, all on my dime (at least for the year I lived there).
Uh, yeah, so anyway - I held out little hope for the article after reading that. But it got better. Honest!
In Europe or just across the border in Canada, they would get social security, but this was America, where society is starkly divided into winners and losers....and...
Strangely, though, there seemed to be little resentment or blame of government. American culture is about self-reliance and the individual fighting a way through.
In Europe, the government is entwined with a lot of what we do, yet in America, I felt a sentiment that the more say the government has over you, the more you carry a sense of failure....finally wrapping up with this, which I think says it all.
"Why do you want to live here and not in Europe?" I asked a young woman from Ethiopia [at a swearing-in ceremony for new citizens], who tipped back her Seattle Mariners baseball cap and looked at me as if I were completely mad.Indeed. Unfortunately, it seems that our immigrants are the ones who truly understand the promise of America, whereas too many Americans are now looking for a ride on the gubmint gravy train.
"Europe," she said disdainfully. "What do they ever hope for in Europe? Here they have a law that you can dream to be happy."
I recall one night in Finland when I met a young Ethiopian man on the bus. We got to talking (after some Finns were done heckling him for his color) and I asked him why he chose to live in Finland, especially in light of what I had just seen. He told me that it was his way to make it to the United States, that it would be easier for him than trying from Ethiopia, and that he looked forward to maybe, someday, living life as an American.
Sure, our country has its flaws, but his words reminded me of the great promise our land makes to her people... if they're willing to chase the dream.
So, let the pundits abroad and the malcontents within talk about how despised the United States is, how horrible we are. Let them badmouth us at every turn and predict our "inevitable" decline.
Who the hell cares?
There are millions more who want to live here, who want to be one of us, who lie in bed at night, a lone tear streaming down their cheek, as they listen to Neil Diamond sing "America" (ok, I made that one up - does anyone listen to Neil these days?).
The dream is alive. Some folks just need to wake up to that.
The latest on the London shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes:
Leaked documents appear to contradict the official account of how police mistook a Brazilian man for a suicide bomber and shot him.It continues to look more and more like an unfortunate, and possibly preventable, tragedy.
The documents, including witness statements, also suggest Mr de Menezes did not hurdle the barrier at Stockwell tube station, as first reports previously suggested, and was not wearing a padded jacket that could have concealed a bomb.
The latest documents suggest Mr de Menezes had walked into Stockwell Tube station, picked up a free newspaper, walked through ticket barriers, had started to run when he saw a train arriving and was sitting down in a train when he was shot.
The more we learn, the more I wonder why the police allowed someone they had "positively identified" as a terror attack suspect to walk into a Tube station, particularly if they thought he was wearing an unusually bulky jacket. Crowded, enclosed places and suicide bombers do not a lovely mix make. Fog of war or ass-covering? Who knows?
Many of the blogs I read, after the initial cheerleading of one terrorist dead (from bloggers or commenters), seem to have let this story drop. Someone made mistakes. Someone should be held accountable. Else we shouldn't be surprised if something like this happens again.
(more at Hit and Run)
And that's all I'm going to say about the matter, until one of you in the blogosphere says something really dumb again.
Update: Ok, one more word. Two really. "Intelligent Falling."
(link sent to me by Copygodd)
Bill runs the numbers on RU-486.
The final result?
Malkin and Hewitt are either (a) dishonest or (b) very poor at math.
Look: pro-choice, pro-life, Democrat, Republican, I don't care what your politics are in this respect: when it comes to shoehorning science and medicine in order to fit an ideological agenda, misrepresenting risk and utilizing hyperbole, you're doing the public debate a serious disservice, doing your readers a disservice and emulating the worst flaws of the mainstream media: combining a distorted ideological narrative with superficial analysis of complex issues.Perhaps they've been taking a lesson from the creationists of late...
Anyone remember that Scorpion's song "Wind of Change?"
Help me out here. What the hell is a "glory night?"
Just wondering. Foreigners singing power ballads just mess with m'head.
Say, any of you out there have experience with any Six Sigma Black Belt training programs? I'd also be interested in hearing about any Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training experiences you might have.
I've got several years experience in process improvement, quality management, and organizational development, as well as having been through Motorola University's Green Belt program a couple of years ago. Now I'm looking for a more rigorous program to expand on my skillset and increase my value to the organization for which I presently consult internally (possibly courtesy of my very kind employer).
I've heard one good review of Villanova's Six Sigma certificates online. I learned quite a bit in the Motorola program, and thought my trainer was top-notch.
Anyway, comments welcome and maybe I'll have to start a process improvement/consulting category on the WWR, unless that would bore you all to tears.
Harvard University is endowing a team of scientists with $1 million per year to study the origins of life:
The team of researchers will receive $1 million in funding annually from Harvard over the next few years. The project begins with an admission that some mysteries about life's origins cannot be explained.Good news, indeed. I hope it will prove a wonderful counter to the millions of dollars that the Discovery Institute spends to make things up and misinform the public.
"My expectation is that we will be able to reduce this to a very simple series of logical events that could have taken place with no divine intervention," said David R. Liu, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard.
The Creationist-in-sheep's-clothing movement has come to Colorado.
DENVER - Colorado high school students may soon find their biology curriculum at the center of a debate at the State Capitol.Alas, the article doesn't indicate if she'll also introduce a measure to allow the teaching of "magical invisible elves holding it all together" in addition to gravitation in any class discusing the physical sciences.
A State Representative says when lawmakers return to work this winter, she will introduce a measure to allow teachers to teach about intelligent design in addition to evolution in any class discussing the origin of the species.
"I think we are limiting our students' capacity to sort out information for themselves," said Rep. Debbie Stafford (R-Aurora) who is also an ordained minister. "I think that as in any other educational debate, looking at many different theories and pieces of information regarding a subject is wonderfully stimulating for a student's mind."There's just something inherently disturbing to me about teaching children to sort things out for themselves by force-feeding them the lies of Intelligent Design. Next we'll teach them about personal safety by saying it's not important to look both ways before crossing the street.
Also nice to see that Rep. Stafford is as clueless as most when it comes to what constitutes a theory in science and what constitutes "patent nonsense."
C'mon, admit it, there's a talking points memo that is getting handed out to creationists, isn't there? The appearance of the "theory" line is almost as reliable as many of the religious folks who visit this site and trot out Pascal's Wager as if they've just revolutionized apologetics.
On a brighter note, there's some sanity left at the state capitol:
"When you try to cloak an attempt to impose some sort of religious orthodoxy in the language of science, it becomes misleading and it becomes problematic," said Rep. Terrance Carroll (D-Denver), who is also an ordained minister. "This is an effort to undermine science as we know it."Yes, it is. And it must be stopped.
My e-mail finger is itchin'. Time to write some representatives on the matter. I do realize, however, that convincing the pro-ID crowd that they are wrong will be as challenging as convincing U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo that not all Mexicans are drug dealers (they all do have recipes for positively delicious sopapillas, though - just ask!).
John Cole follows my lead and takes the creative low road, simply slapping up links to all kinds of goodness.
And a rhino in a thong.
Update: Speaking of strange animals, did you see Sam the Ugly Dog?
If you can imagine Stripe, from the movie "Gremlins," after his first dip in the fountain, you don't need to click on through to the other site.
That would be the usual suspects:
America's most powerful judges are "unelected, unaccountable and arrogant," Focus on the Family founder James Dobson told the thousands of people who packed a Nashville church for "Justice Sunday II," a rally televised for broadcast to churches across the country.Unelected? Yes, just like the Constitution says.
Unaccountable? Nope, the Constitution also says they can hold office only so long as they have "good behavior."
Arrogant? I think that's what we call "projection," you goblinesque theocrat wanna-be.
Many of the speeches targeted the Supreme Court's power and what the writers of the Constitution intended the justices' role to be.Indeed it is, Rep. DeLay. Indeed it is.
"All wisdom does not reside in nine persons in black robes," House Majority Leader Tom DeLay told the crowd. "The Constitution is clear on the point that the power to make laws is vested on Congress."
However, the Constitution also says, in Article III, Section 2:
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority....Pulling some meat from the bone, we find "all cases arising under this Constitution." It seems clear to me that the ability to declare something unconstitutional is well within their given powers.
If you don't like it, amend the constitution - or try to anyway. The founders made it a difficult process for a reason. I like to think that it keeps the inmates from running the asylum.
Dobson... DeLay... and those like them dream of an America that has never existed, of a return to a time that lives only in their stunted imaginations. I can only guess that they look around and hate the America that they see: one that, while our founders might not have envisioned it, they certainly - and intentionally - gave us the map to build.
We owe them our thanks for their wisdom.
We owe Dobson, DeLay, and their Constitution-hating cohorts little but derision, scorn, and mocking laughter.
Of course you would, but I can't help you there. However, if you're interested in being in a book (my friends need not apply as they will all make an appearance in my own novel when I get around to writing it), then these auctions might interest you...
Some of those participating:
Peter StraubAnd several more, all for a good cause (you know, defending that pesky First Amendment that liberals and conservatives alike would die to defend until it doesn't help their argument on whatever issue they happen to be discussing).
What he's offering:
"The name of a minor character who will appear in my next full-length work of fiction, which will probably be published in 2007. Bidders are asked to submit their own names only, preferably without middle name or initial, and should be advised that the fictional person who winds up bearing his or her name may be of dubious moral character."
What he's offering:
"One (and only one) character name in a novel called CELL, which is now in work and which will appear in either 2006 or 2007. Buyer should be aware that CELL is a violent piece of work, which comes complete with zombies set in motion by bad cell phone signals that destroy the human brain. Like cheap whiskey, it's very nasty and extremely satisfying. Character can be male or female, but a buyer who wants to die must in this case be female. In any case, I'll require physical description of auction winner, including any nickname (can be made up, I don't give a rip)."
What he's offering:
"An utterance by Sunny Baudelaire in Book the Thirteenth. Pronunciation and/or spelling may be slightly 'mutilated.' An example of this is in The Grim Grotto when Sunny utters 'Bushcheney.' Target publication date is Fall 2006."
What he's offering:
"Your name or a name of your choosing will appear as a fictional character in my next novel. The character will be portrayed in a good light. My next novel should be published either in 2007 or 2008. The name you choose cannot be that of a real person other than yourself."
What he's offering:
"My next novel will be called THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. It's a children's novel, and will be published, er, when it's published. Maybe in 2007 or failing that, 2008. It will have lots of gravestones in it. Your name, or the name of someone you love (who won't mind) can be on a gravestone."
What he's offering:
"The winner will be featured in a strange illustrated story I'm working on called The Journey of the Fishes Overland. The winner, or someone of her/his choosing, will be encountered by the traveling fish in question, as they travel over land. It could also be a family, a house, an address, whatever. I get to decide why the fishes see this person/place, and what's said by/to or done by/to the person/place. This story will be finished and published in the fall. The name/s have to be tasteful and be undisruptive to the narrative. I reserve the right to refuse using a name I find offensive."
It's like those "your child's name in a book" advertisements, except that your name (probably) won't be printed in a font and type size completely different from the rest of the book. The one I had involved Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and something about me and Dopey saving the day. No nudity. Rated G for all audiences.
(found over at Neil Gaiman's journal)
During the recent blogospheric debates involving evolutionists vs. people who are wrong, a recurring theme seemed to be that the Cambrian "explosion" somehow disproves evolution. Sadly, for them, that simply isn't the case.
Our energies are probably better used arguing with people who know their ass from their elbow. After all, these are usually the same people who don't understand the difference between how the word "theory" is used by the layman and the scientist, and who seem wholly incapable of grasping that the Big Bang was not an explosion, per se, but rather the actual inflation of the universe from a singularity.
However, there are certain benefits to knowing one's ass from one's elbow, particularly when the urge to poop comes around. So, let the debate rage on.
So, where were we? Ah, yes, people who are wrong who like to use the Cambrian explosion as a weapon against evolutionary theory, which (based on what you're about to read) is akin to attacking Mecha-Godzilla with a very stern frown and wagging finger.
An obvious mistake, which even a layman like myself came up with all on his lonesome through the miraculous act of reading about the topic, is that they fail to appreciate the time scale of this "explosion:" millions of years, not some miraculous design event where you fall asleep and wake up to discover yourself in a bathtub of ice, your kidneys missing, and new lifeforms crawling around you.
Although, dude, that would be cool, huh? I mean, aside from the kidneys thing. Nothing a little faith healing couldn't fix, though, I'm sure of it.
As for other reasons they are wrong and why the Cambrian explosion is more an example of evolution than a counter-argument, go visit our pal Pharyngula.
I've had many creationists try to use the Argument from the Cambrian Explosion as a fait accompli against evolution (most recently, just this week). It's actually an argument from ignorance, though, since the data certainly does not fit a sudden creation by divine or alien fiat. It does fit with the idea of the appearance of these animals as a product of prior history, though…even though there are many mysteries about the details, the big picture does not require miracles or the supernatural.In summary, we know quite a bit about it and it's just sad, intellectual dishonesty to say that "we don't know" is equal to "God did it!"
Go on, read the whole thing. It's even got pictures.
As promised, the exciting details on tonight's dinner.
I used a large-ish top sirloin in place of the T-bones, as that is all that was on-hand. I also left out the jalapeno peppers. Why? Well, Fiona was eating it too and I didn't want to draw the short straw when it came to changing that diaper.
So, not fiery-hot, just a slight, lingering mouth burn, but delicious all the same.
Served with a 2003 Crios de Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon (88 points from Wine Spectator).
About to cook dinner for the wife and wee Fiona. Details and possibly other blogging to follow. In the meantime, the music that is accompanying me (updated in near real-time, 'cause that's the magic of the interwebs!).
(bumped to the top for an update)
You are correct, sir!
It's time once again to gather bloggers both local and far-flung to our fair city for a night of conversation, carousing, and whatever else happens which we either cannot remember or willingly choose to forget.
So far, all we know is that the date is August 20 - location and time to be determined, but we're leaning toward somewhere in downtown Denver, and, going on past experience, the party usually gears up sometime around 7 or a little after.
Zombyboy is hosting not only a nasty rash, but also the RSVP list. Not that you have to RSVP, but it does help us give the management of the establishment an idea of how many people are about to disrupt the peace.
See you there. Be there or be square. Over and out. Ten-four good buddy.
Update! We now have a location - the Minturn Saloon near downtown Denver - click on over to Zombyboy for the details.
Offered without comment.
According to Sonic Wall's content filtering service:
Category 41 - Society and Lifestyle
Almost makes it sound like this is a site about swinging...
Hey, maybe there's a niche I could go after.
(h/t Pharyngula, who only rates as boring "web communications." He needs more bad words, me thinks.)
Change the words "happy hour" in the post below to "ocular migraine" and "doctor's office."
What I really want to know is how the man had a gun downtown, given Denver's laws against concealed carry. Maybe Publicola can help us out.
He's discovered the joys of owning a penis. For the last few days he's been looking at his with intense interest and giggling. Today he asked if he could play with it. "Er, sure," I said, "just go to your room and play with it." "Okay," he said, and trotted off to his room. A few minutes later he came out. "I'm finished playing with my penis now," he said casually, and carried on playing cars.Yeah, I wonder how much fun those cars will be when God punishes him and makes him blind! Did you think about that, Mr. Tony?
I didn't think it possible, but lil'Danny makes Paul look like a frickin' genius.
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens talks sense on the death penalty.
Stevens stopped short of calling for an end to the death penalty, but he said there are many problems in the way it is used.I agree completely. Once upon a time, in my stupid youth, I was a strong advocate of the death penalty.
Recent exonerations of death row inmates through scientific evidence are significant, he told the American Bar Association (search), "not only because of its relevance to the debate about the wisdom of continuing to administer capital punishment but also because it indicates that there must be serious flaws in our administration of criminal justice."
I got better. It's funny how opening your eyes and seeing the world for how it really works will do that (it's also a good remedy for creationism and Intelligent Design, but that's another argument and one I'm not going to start here even though I just poked all of you with a stick, but it's my blog and I can do that - muwahahahaha).
Sure, there are some crimes that warrant a forfeiture of the offender's life. I just don't think our justice system, maybe no justice system at that, is capable of distributing the ultimate punishment with anything approaching equity or certainty of guilt.
Cuban singer, Ibrahim Ferrer has died at the age of 78.
Many of you probably don't know of this talented man, and that's a shame. After seeing him and many other forgotten Cuban musicians performing traditional "son" music in "Buena Vista Social Club," I kept tabs on his career, picking up his new releases along the way.
He's the third member of the BVSC to have died, following Compay Segundo and Ruben Gonzalez into the great nothing that lies beyond.
Time permitting, I'll try to get an MP3 or two up this afternoon for you to check out.
It's the only reason I can think that my life is so plagued by people incapable of logical thought. You know the ones, they say things like "evolution was invented as an excuse to disbelieve in God!"
The mind boggles at how they ever learned "socks then shoes." Hell, what do I know, maybe they didn't.
Of course, the worst part is that you can't identify them just by looking at them (unless they have socks over their shoes). You have to wait until they open their mouths, and then it's too late to avoid them.
Life is cruel, oh so cruel.
Update: More wise words from the one who gave us the "evolution as an excuse" line.
The thing about Creationists, is that we learn to think for ourselves. Evolutionists know only how to regurgitate the mantra of their religion.Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
Excuse me. I do believe I've just wet myself.
Update 2: Gabriel asked a question which, boiled down, asked if I saw myself as a missionary. I thought it would look nifty added to a scene from the movie "The Mission."
I'm not sure "missionary" would be the right word, as I'm not out to forcibly indoctrinate anyone while giving them new and exciting diseases like the good Europeans of old.
Today, WorldNetDaily provides a fascinating article by Police Sgt. Samuel Blumenfeld, detailing how he want to a Walgreen's, bought a fake plastic badge, and then felt he knew everything there was to know about crime scene investigations.
Oh, oh, sorry - my mistake - that would be Dr. Samuel Blumenfeld, who got an honorary doctorate in law from that esteemed institute of higher education, Bob Jones University*, and then felt he knew everything there was to know about the science of evolution.
To wit (or nitwit, as in this instance):
Also, there is no factual basis to key tenets of evolutionary theory. The fossil record shows no intermediary forms of species development.Dr. Blumenfeld, since I've read what an advocate of education you are, may I recommend some light reading?
The fossil record is replete with transitional forms, and to claim otherwise is indicative that one is, as I like to say, unintentionally ignorant or willfully stupid. Which is it, doc?
No scientist has been able to mate a dog with a donkey and get something in between.OK, the safe money is now riding on "willfully stupid." People think I'm being over-the-top when I mock creationists as saying things like "I ain't never seen no fish turn in to no monkey!" I'm just being a realist (although, granted, even I am amazed that someone - especially with a "doctorate!" - would say something so idiotic).
But homeschoolers, although not affected by what the court forces on government schools, should know how to refute the fairy tale called the Theory of Evolution. Justice Brennan called it fact, which simply indicates the depth of his ignorance.I think you have that back-ass-wards, Herr Doktor.
First, what exactly is the Theory of Evolution? For the answer, we must go to the source: Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species," published in 1859.Right, just like if you want to understand modern physics, you rush to grab a copy of Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Absolutely nothing has been learned in the last 350 years, not a thing.
Blumenfeld then goes on to attack this strawman as if he were Dorothy's little dog Toto (with a doctorate, no less) humping the Scarecrow's leg with wild abandon. Squeech squeech squeech squeech ahhhh, sweet release!
After a satisifed smoke, he moves on to praise Dembski's ID ideas with the same kind of insightful brilliance you've come to expect in the last 45 seconds:
Dembski proves that design is "empirically detectable," because we can observe it all around us. The birth of a child is a miracle of design. The habits of your household cat is a miracle of design.Babies born with only half of their brain are miracles of design. OK, more like "half miracles," really.
Stillborn infants are God's precious little gifts, like puppies at Christmas, except someone forgot to poke an airhole in the box. Poor puppy. Jesus loves you!
All cats do the same things. These are the inherited characteristics of the species.Clearly, doc, you're not a cat owner. We have two of them and they're no more alike than Laurel and Hardy.
Now, I'm not arguing that species don't have inherited characteristics because, well, that'd make me look as dumb as you looked with the fish/monkey comment. I'm more making the point, doc, that it's got poop all to do with your argument.
The idea that accident could create such complex behavior passed on to successive generations simply doesn't make sense. The complexity of design proves the existence of God.Apparently in Dr. Blumenfeld's academically rigorous (and imaginary) doctorate program, they didn't touch on logical fallacies such as the argument from personal incredulity.
Intelligent Design is certainly proven by the fact that every living organism lives through a programmed cycle of birth, growth and, finally, death.Yep, because nothing says "God made and loves us" like being shoved through a birth canal too small for our heads and finally ending up with the bulk of us dying from painful heart failure or the agony of cancer. Thanks again, G-dawg!
That very specific program is contained in the tiniest embryo at the time of conception. The embryo of a cow probably does not look any different from the embryo of a human being. But each has been programmed differently: one creates a cow, the other a human being.Uh... yeah... it's called DNA. You might want to look it up sometime. Given that your science library apparently stops right around the original publication date of On the Origin of Species, you might have missed it. It's one of those pesky "scientific advances" you hear so much about (except from creationists).
But wait! It gets better!
In the case of the latter, that tiny embryo contains an incredibly complex biological program that causes the individual to be born, pass through infancy and childhood, develop into maturity, middle age, old age and, finally, death – a process that takes sometimes as much as a hundred years. How can an accident know what is going to happen 100 years after it has happened?I don't even know where to begin with this one.
I suppose I'll now have to believe that invisible elves manipulate every gravitational effect we see; after all, how can a ball know to fall to the ground everytime I drop it? That's either one smart ball or here there be elves!
Yes, ladies and gents, this is the guy who is going around consulting on how to best educate our children. I'd laugh were it not so freaking sad.
But since Intelligent Design infers the existence of a designer – God – it is likely that evolutionists will resist any change in their views, since the acknowledgment of the existence of God is too nightmarish for them to contemplate.Thank you, LaShawn. I never knew you were a white man! You look so... tan... on your blog!
Seriously though, Fake Doctor Blumenfeld, you are aware that there are plenty of evolutionists that are Christians, right? One would think that an educator might actually engage in picking up a book every now and again (maybe something by Dr.Kenneth Miller as a start). Learning's a beautiful thing, you know.
In closing, allow me to modify an earlier question I put to Dr. Blumenfeld:
Are you simply ignorant, willfully stupid, or utterly dishonest? It's one of the three.
* How cool must it be to be able to reply, when asked where you attend school, "Oh, BJ University." Sweet. Speaking as a man and previous recipient of said two-letter acts, I'm all in favor of opening a college to teach the art.
So, mea culpa. I thought he began with a moral premise marred by inconsistent application; it turns out his consistency in application is unblemished, beginning as he does with the thoroughly monstrous premise that some human lives are less equal than others.OK class, here we go.
You're walking by the banks of a raging river when you hear a scream for help - make that two screams. One comes from your mother, bless her drowning soul. The other comes from me.
You only have time to save one of us before the other is swept off to a choking, watery death, soon becoming a bloated floater bobbing in the ocean.
So, are you gonna save me? What's it gonna be, boy? Come on, I can wait all night. What's it gonna be, boy, yes or no?
Whomever you choose, you just placed a higher value on that life than the other. The loser's life clearly was "less equal" than the one who gets saved, at least to you. Theory, meet practice.
Don't you feel dirty?
And why'd you go and let me drown like that? I look awful in sea-bloat!
Update: Lesley has an even better example in the comments:
Fireman in a burning lab. Chooses to save 10 frozen embryos over a doctor who subsequently burns to death. Hands up, those who think the fireman did the right thing and won't be punished for letting the doctor burn to death?Lesley apparently has not yet learned that the every-sperm-is-sacred crowd is impervious to logic. Neither have I, judging by how often I entertain their nonsense on the blog.
Right. That's what I thought.
Update 2: What, no one caught the Meatloaf lyrics in the middle of the post? How sad are you people, huh? What do you mean "look who's calling whom sad?"
Saturday night, hubby and I had the awesome privilege of leading our six year old, Joshua, to accept the gift of salvation! Join us and the angels in rejoicing!Absolute and total nuttiness. Good lord (small L, take note).
A six-year old can't decide if he'd rather be a football player, an astronaut, a doctor, or a fireman - hell, maybe all four if he's feeling good about things - but the wacky contingent of Christians will exult and exalt in his accepting the gift of salvation?
I bet that poor kid spent all night thinking "OK, so where is it? I wanna play with it!"
Were I a religious type, I'd thank the gods that my wee Fiona will be spared such insanity.
While talking to a fellow blogger about MI5, I decided to Google for their homepage; however, when I click on the link in Google, it informs me that:
ForbiddenI'm sorry, but Google is deciding what I can and cannot see?
Your client does not have permission to get URL /url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A//www.mi5.gov.uk/&ei=PuDyQpTiGoGaYNzAjPoL from this server.
When I bypass Google and plug in the MI5 URL of http://www.mi5.gov.uk/, I am taken to the site.
Update: Apparently some people can click right on through to MI5 just fine. I guess Google has deemed them as "probably not the parents of the future iron-fisted benevolent ruler of all mankind, Fiona!"
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A leading Republican senator allied with the religious right differed on Thursday withOf course, he still equates homosexuality with humping your dog, but this is progress.
President Bush's support for teaching an alternative to the theory of evolution known as "intelligent design."
Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, a possible 2008 presidential contender who faces a tough re-election fight next year in Pennsylvania, said intelligent design, which is backed by many religious conservatives, lacked scientific credibility and should not be taught in science classes.
Santorum sided in part with intelligent-design proponents in saying that there were gaps in the theory of evolution.He'd also be siding with evolutionary scientists who are seeking to fully understand the mechanisms behind evolution (but who don't doubt that evolution has happened).
I'm afraid, though, that if you asked Santorum which holes should be taught, he might say something like "you know, there's an 'o' in evolution - two of'em - and each one's got a hole right there in the middle."
"As far as intelligent design is concerned, I really don't believe it has risen to the level of a scientific theory at this point that we would want to teach it alongside of evolution."Holy crap, there's hope yet. In his admission that ID is not a scientific theory, he showed more grasp of the matter than 90% of the yahoos spewing their ignorance across the blogosphere the last few days.
The way this is going, next we'll find out he likes a little rear-attack action with boys* in leather.
Let us pray.
(found via Reconstitution)
Update: For those of you wondering, no, I don't believe Santorum has changed his mind. I think he's pandering to moderates who, I hope, are smart enough to see this for what it is.
One need only look back to 2002 when Santorum said:
"Research has shown that the odds that even one small protein molecule has been created by chance is 1 in a billion. Thus, some larger force or intelligence, or what some call agent causation, seems like a viable cause for creating information systems such as the coding of DNA. A number of scientists contend that alternate theories regarding the origins of the human species — including that of a greater intelligence — are possible.Yup, as always, Santorum is full of crap.
Therefore, intelligent design is a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes."
Update: Santorum also hates personal freedom. There's a way to win the moderates over, ya idiot!
* Note, "boys" here is not meant as "children," but rather as "young men."
100 Words or Les Nessman got picked as a Yahoo site o'the day today, meaning it showed up on every (I think) My Yahoo page viewed today. Traffic has been raging (compared to the usual couple of hundred hits per day).
I suppose I should get off my ass and write something.
Update: Not that I write with my ass. Out of it, maybe, but not with it.
Courtesy of Plum Crazy, still more than you ever wanted to know about me.
Your humor's mostly innocent and off-the-cuff, but somehow there's something slightly menacing about you. Part of your humor is making people a little uncomfortable, even if the things you say aren't themselves confrontational. You probably have a very dry delivery, or are seriously over-the-top.
Your type is the most likely to appreciate a good insult and/or broken bone and/or very very fat person dancing.
PEOPLE LIKE YOU: David Letterman - John Belushi
|Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on OkCupid Free Online Dating|
LaShawn Barber, demonstrating she's never had an original thought in her head, decides to fall back on a classic kooky-creationist canard in response to why we don't want Intelligent Design in the schools:
Not too difficult to figure out, Bryan. The ungodly are afraid that God might really exist.Yup, you nailed it LaShawn, nailed it better than a Roman soldier with a deity to crucify. I also hate God's authority and like having a wee God-shaped hole in m'heart, lass!
It is amazing that someone so popular can be so immensely stupid. Unless, of course, she's popular with people who dig stupid, I suppose.
Daily Dose of Irony Update: You might remember that LaShawn, after informing us that all Muslims wanted to kill us, previously declared how little she cared what people thought, and then spent almost 500 words, uh, defending what she thought.
Well, she's at it again.
I noticed a trickle of visitors coming from the blogs of bloggers who, for whatever reason, no longer like me. If I were in middle school, the world would be ending right now.Instead, you're utilizing your inner strength as a mature adult to ignore it all and move on. Oh wait, no you're not. Amusing!
They’ve linked, en masse, to this post. Of all the important things happening in the world, they’re blogging about…me!Blogging can only be about important things? I can't draft up a quick post or two about thick-headed bigots with intensely unfounded superiority complexes?
I somehow doubt that Drudge is going to pick up one of my recipe or music posts, but readers seem to enjoy them, judging by comments and e-mail.
I do agree, LaShawn, that you're largely unimportant. However, watching you and seeing just how looney you'll be this week is fun.
I have reason to believe these people are either envious of my ranking (who cares?) and don’t want me to be there, or can’t figure out why I’m there in the first place. Here’s the irony: because of their boredom/pettiness and links, I’ll rise even higher over the next few days. The ranking is based on links.Boredom? Pettiness? LaShawn, you said something stupid. You made a blatant mischaracterization directed toward all secularists, as well as public educators.
Unlike Jesus, we're under no obligation to turn a cheek and ask for more. Apparently neither are you because you keep opening your trap, letting idiocy usher forth, and asking for a pile on.
Thanks, kids, but I’m not worth your precious time. Contribute something to the blogosphere that doesn’t revolve around what another blogger is doing or writing. It’s boring.So boring that you keep writing about what other bloggers are doing. Uh huh. I see.
After reading the reaction to President Bush's statement on the teaching of intelligent design, I think the biggest takeaway for me has been this:
A whole lotta people know a whole lotta nothin' about evolution.Until they update their knowledge of the topic beyond creationist crib sheets, I feel I might just have to laugh at them rather than argue.
Or both maybe. Yeah, both.
Ever heard of it?
I haven't, but apparently the only reason I've not seen it is because handicapped people, particularly giant ones on a big screen, make me uncomfortable.
The movie "Murderball" has all the makings of a big hit: Tough guys, violence, a little sex and a U.S. sports team overcoming long odds. Reviews have been fabulous.Or it could be, you know, that your marketing sucks. Or it could be, you know, that just because the critics love something doesn't mean normal people will too. Or it could be, you know, that I've never heard of your movie!
So why aren't more people going to see it?
"Murderball" is the true story of the U.S. wheelchair rugby team, and the stars are real-life paraplegic athletes. Their sport, also called quad rugby, is as much demolition derby as anything...
"The only explanation is that people don't want to see something about handicapped people. There is some resistance," said Mark Urman, head of the theatrical division at the New York-based THINKFilm.
Everyone's a victim these days. Sheesh.
Pretend this is content.
Baby Torres, I wish you the best. May your life be one of loving and learning and living this life to its fullest.
Oh, oh, does this mean I have to turn in my Evil Atheist Baby-Killing Card?
Determined to prove that his grasp of biology is on equal footing with his grasp of the conservative principle of smaller government, President Bush has gone on the record regarding the intellectual tar pit that is Intelligent Design.
President Bush waded into the debate over evolution and "intelligent design" Monday, saying schools should teach both theories on the creation and complexity of life.I was going to entertain you with another one of my genuine, "fine Corinthian" anti-idiocy screeds, but Pharyngula already did an admirable job of it.
In a wide-ranging question-and-answer session with a small group of reporters, Bush essentially endorsed efforts by Christian conservatives to give intelligent design equal standing with the theory of evolution in the nation's schools.
Bush compared the current debate to earlier disputes over "creationism," a related view that adheres more closely to biblical explanations. As governor of Texas, Bush said students should be exposed to both creationism and evolution.
On Monday the president said he favors the same approach for intelligent design "so people can understand what the debate is about."
Here's what the debate is about.Ouch. Spot on.
Scientists have established the fact of evolution with thousands of lines of evidence and the work of hundreds of thousands of researchers. This idea is based on material evidence and repeated experiment, extensively documented in the scientific literature.
This evidence flatly contradicts literal religious accounts. Religious conservatives have mounted a long running social and political campaign to get their falsified dogma treated as the truth, despite the absence of any material or logical support for their position.
This debate is not about assessing the evidence, but about getting faith-based bullshit taught as science.
Leonard Clark, a soldier blogging from Iraq, apparently provides details on troop movements and counter-insurgency tactics, is demoted and told to knock it off by the military, and the far-left kookity-kooks call it fascist censorship.
If the allegations are true, then this "loyal patriot" with a habit of making unsuccessful runs for public office put himself and other troops in danger, potentially provided valuable information to the enemy (al Qaeda loves them some internet, you see), and fulfilled, with amazing skill, the definition of "useful idiot."
I never really took seriously the line about "not just against the war, but on the other side" that was tossed around so carelessly by many on the right side of the aisle, but damn if some of you far lefties don't seem to fit the bill. I figure some of you might buy the man a can of red paint to put targets on our men and women in Iraq.
If you're against the war, so be it. Protest. Vote. Donate to your cause. But to knowingly support an effort to bring defeat to our troops? To think you're some great progressive if you can help bring another casket home draped in our flag?
Screw you and everyone like you.
On the other hand, Osama bin Laden tells some jokes over there too.
Tonight was Lemon-Oregano Chicken with Vegetable Stacks with a Tandoori Potato and Onion Casserole. To drink, a 2004 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc, nothing fancy but an easy-drinking good value from the wine world.
I've not been cooking very often of late, and that's got to change. I forgot how much I enjoy it (probably more than the actual eating).
Bloggers keep on breeding!
Well, not so much we get mail as I get mail, seeing as how the other contributors to this fine institution have long since quit contributing. It's all Andy, all the time! Yeeha!
Anyway, so I got mail, in response to this post, from Mary Cantell (who, aside from being the subject of said post apparently also likes to Google for her own name with wild abandon!).
Sorry to appear "brainless," But to quote the Creator, "The wisdom of men is foolishness to God."I see that Mary's reading comprehension ranks right around the same level as her grasp of science. Dear, sweet Mary, my love, I never said you were brainless. I never said that you appeared brainless.
(The told Noah that he was brainless, too.)
I said you were wasting that wonderful gray matter in your head (a part of the body often referred to as "the brain," hence supporting my previous defense of my statements).
However, given your penchant for quoting "the Creator" and for thinking Noah was a real person, I might reconsider my position on the existence of your brain, if you think it'll help you sleep at night.
From the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, an ensemble of ignoramuses. First up, a model extraordinaire of scientific ignorance, Bill Nitardy:
Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, a world-class scientist, has challenged the world's 45 leading evolutionists and 16 leading organizations, universities and the ACLU that support evolution. He has asked them to present their case before a superior court judge. They were challenged to present scientific evidence that supports evolution against the scientific evidence supporting creationism, with each side putting up $10,000. Scientific evidence is limited to that which is objective, valid, reliable and calibrated.Leaving aside for the moment that the "world-class scientist" in question has degrees in kinesiology and human physiology, it might be more important to point out that scientific truths are not decided in the courtroom (or on government websites, despite the best attempts of the Bush administration, but that's an argument for another day).
He has had no takers. The people and organizations that support evolution won't even stand behind their position.
There is no reason for scientists to show up for a dog-and-pony show in which a non-expert judge will be asked to decide the truth of a subject about which his knowledge is, most probably, far less than that of those defending evolution. Asking a judge to decide the scientific truth of evolution would be like asking your dry cleaner to surgically install your head in your ass (a condition which it would appear has afflicted Bill Nitardy since birth).
Up next, Ron Melquist, Sr.
Now here's a challenge for you: If you took a perfectly created Swiss watch apart and put the pieces in a box and shook it, how many times would you have to shake it for it to become a perfectly created watch again?Three.
How many times do you think you'd have to knock Ron Melquist upside the head to give him even the most basic understanding of how evolution works?
I'm betting it's more than three. Now on deck, Richard McMahon:
Yes, many scientists still cling to evolution by natural selection because it is a naturalistic explanation. But naturalism is an unproven scientific dogma.Whereas supernaturalism is just a given. Oh wait, since anything supernatural is, by definition, outside of nature, it lays beyond our ability to sense it, identify it, measure it, or otherwise know anything about it. Why, it's almost the same as if it simply didn't exist.
It might make you feel better to believe in Ooga Boogas from Dimension X, but that doesn't mean you're not kind of dumb.
Now, walkin' up the street to expose her lack of scientific edumacation is Elizabeth Austin:
Here is one sound scientific reason why the theory of evolution should be dismissed. Isaac Newton (who was an avid Bible reader) said that objects don't organize themselves without a force acting on them. The question evolutionists fail to answer is, "What is the force that has organized the universe?"Elizabeth Austin (who is an avid Bible reader) (who doesn't know the difference between evolution and cosmology) (whose grasp of science apparently stalled somewhere around the 18th century) isn't worth the bother, really.
Of course, neither is John Cook, who - while pulling out all the stops on the creationist nonsense bandwagon - closes with this death blow to evolution!
Evolution runs counter to established laws of science. For example, the law of entropy, also known as the second law of thermodynamics, states that everything runs inexorably from order to disorder and from complexity to decay. Obviously this runs 180 degrees counter to evolutionary theory.Obviously, in John Cook's world, snowflakes don't form, buildings don't get built, children don't grow into adults, and the human brain never achieves its majestic complexity (at least within the confines of Mr. Cook's head, as evidenced by his inane statements).
Were I not the kind and gentle person I am, I might write a post about how God must hate the Boy Scouts - or at least the gay atheist ones posing as dutiful Scout leaders.
But I'm better than that.