Oh, yeah, baby - I'm a-livebloggin' this, for you, my peeps. I want you to know that I take this duty seriously and I only hope I can live up to your expectations.
7:04pm: Brian Williams just said it's hard to believe that the Bush presidency is down to 1000 days. Uh, Brian, that's nigh on THREE YEARS. What are you talking about?
7:05pm: Via Steve, I see a report that Cindy Sheehan has been arrested. She is, however, still a self-aggrandizing suck-up to leftist kooks. And no arrest will change that!
7:09pm: Here comes Dubya. About damn time. Does he think I have enough beer to last all night? Well, fine, maybe I do.
7:10pm: Brian Williams just said that the walk down the aisle could take five minutes. You ought to go pee if you feel the urge. We'll wait.
Also reporting that Cindy Sheehan has been removed from the premises. Cindy has left the building!
7:12pm: Had to change channels as NBC's HD feed froze on a particularly unflattering shot of Bush, with no sign of getting going again. So, went to CBS.
But CBS has their audio all crazy and it was coming out from all the wrong surround sound speakers. So, ABC it is.
7:14pm: Bush just used the word "rostrum" properly. I'm impressed!
7:16pm: Steve still hasn't linked back to me. The nerve. See if I ever buy him
another a first drink.
7:17pm: It's a democracy booty call to the people of Syria, Zimbabwe (I think), Iran... hey, did you see Flock of Seagulls on that lame Hit Me Baby One More Time show?
7:20pm: "There is no peace in retreat." I like it.
7:21pm: Hmmm, apparently Steve linked to me a long time ago. Now I feel bad. Steve, baby, you know I love you.
7:23pm: Sorry, was answering e-mail. Missed that.
7:24pm: So, uh, Democrats who don't stand when Bush says "we're in this fight to win and we are winning" -- uh, are you in it to lose?
7:25pm: "Second-guessing is not a strategy." Ouch.
7:28pm: I almost wish Cindy Sheehan could be there to see the response to the Clay family. Maybe she'd learn something.
7:30pm: Uh oh, he's just brought up Palestine and the Hamas victory. OK, so maybe democracy doesn't always work for liberty... but usually it does. Some people vote themselves into bondage.
7:32pm: Wee Fiona is crying, please hold.
7:37pm: Bush is defending his NSA surveillance troubles... "we will not sit back and wait to be hit again." Nice.
And Hillary is smiling? Is she impressed at how he just pulled that off?
7:38pm: Now lil'Ewan is crying. They should warn you about this before you have kids.
7:41pm: Four years of uninterrupted economic growth? But, wait, I thought the Bush tax breaks would be the end of mankind?
7:43pm: Bush talking about savings through cutting government spending is painful. Yes, you're cutting some programs - but which ones are you building up on the flipside?
7:43pm: It'd be nifty if he mentioned Porkbusters. But, uh, he won't.
7:44pm: So, what are you drinking?
7:44pm: Democrats applaud that they know better how to save your money for you than you do. Sickening.
What's a good libertarian atheist to do when the Republicans are religious nitwits and the Democrats are economic nitwits?
7:49pm: "America is addicted to oil." And love.
7:50pm: A change in the direction of energy research in the government. No mention of the price tag on that.
7:51pm: "We must change how we power our automobiles."
7:52pm: Bush talking about giving our kids a grounding in science... this from the man who thinks Intelligent Design creationism should be in the schools? Maybe we can teach flat Earthism in Geography class too.
7:55pm: I dunno, Dubya, to listen to your base talk, our culture certainly is doomed. You might want to have a word with them.
7:58pm: A ban on human cloning? I don't think so. And how does cloning devalue human life? We can make embryos a lot faster and cheaper by humpin' like bunnies... sounds that like would cheapen things, no?
We're told that all human life has value, but then they say that cloning will devalue human life. How does that work again?
8:00pm: Blue eyes... baby's got... blue eyes... (tinkling of a piano)
8:02pm: Well, crap, lost my last entry. No matter, must go tend to my ill wee daughter.
This morning, after taking part in my daily constitutional, as I stood, I bumped the handle on the wee Fiona's Winnie-the-Pooh potty trainer. Suddenly, the bathroom erupted with the sound of applause and a cheer of "Hey, good job!"
You know, we don't hear that nearly often enough about important things, let alone our bowels, so - hey - Winnie? Thanks for noticing, friend.
I really hate the wobbly teeth dream. Don't you?
Grand Junction authorities say a group of several people attacked a 62-year-old man with a large rock last Tuesday while trying to steal a wallet.My question is this: if the old man had a rock, why didn't he use it to fend off his apparently unarmed attackers?
This completely anal moment of grammatical joy was brought to you free of charge.
Currently listening to the audiobook version of The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank, which got me interested in the 1927 United States Supreme Court case of Buck v. Bell.
Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927), was the United States Supreme Court ruling that upheld a statute instituting compulsory sterilization of the mentally retarded "for the protection and health of the state." It was largely seen as an endorsement of negative eugenics—the pseudoscience to improve the human race by eliminating "defectives" from the gene pool.Writing for the majority, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said:
"We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind."Charming.
Is it wrong to teach your late-talking two-and-half-year old that the word for her privates is "hoohah?"
She's rather limited in what she can say and I thought "stay away, boys, I have teeth down there" might be a bit difficult for her.
Covey: "Challenger, go at throttle up."And then it was gone. A huge white cloud; a rain of tumbling debris; and two renegade boosters flying wherever physics took them.
Scobee: "Roger, go at throttle up."
But, the school day had to continue, and so it did... although I'm pretty sure I didn't pay much attention. I was in 8th grade at the time, and the Space Shuttle had been a deep interest of mine (I still have all of the slides I made for a 6th grade presentation on the wonder of it all).
I spent the rest of the day and evening in front of the television, watching the Big Three anchormen pointing at scale models of what used to be Challenger. Here's what we think went wrong. Here's how it unfolded. Here's how they died.
And we know the rest. We know how the investigations turned out. We know how NASA's flawed policies and culture created an environment in which this could occur. We know it wasn't simply an unavoidable accident, and certainly wasn't an intentional act, instead residing in a tragic place somewhere between the two.
But no matter.
Today should be about remembering and honoring the seven crew members: their dedication, their passion, and their sacrifice. As then President Ronald Reagan said:
The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.And through continued Shuttle missions, the International Space Station, and all the way to our nascent private-enterprise efforts to reach space, indeed we have.
Oh no, say it ain't so: American Idol runner-up, Clay Aiken, just might be gay.
As first reported here on January 23rd, singer and former American Idol star Clay Aiken has been “outed” by a popular supermarket tabloid.This is positively - positively! - shocking. To someone. Somewhere. Someone who has never seen Clay walk, talk, or pose for the television camera. I guess.
The new issue of the National Enquirer features a story about the 27-year-old singer’s tryst with 38-year-old former U.S. Army Ranger John Paulus.
Paulus, who was paid for his story, tells the Enquirer he met Aiken online just before Christmas....Yes, nothing says "role model" like unprotected sex in a hotel with a near-stranger you met on the internet just days ago. We should all aspire to such great heights of responsible behavior.
The two allegedly set up a meeting at a North Carolina hotel and, according to Paulus, spent the night having unprotected sex with the singer....
"I hope he comes out of the closet because he'd be a great role model for the gay man."
According to the Enquirer, Paulus provided text messages that the two exchanged and passed a lie-detector test. The tabloid adds that Paulus saved a washcloth with Aiken’s DNA.I'm betting it isn't a lock of hair stuck to that washcloth. Well, maybe, but more likely it's the glue holding it on.
The New York Daily News reported Friday that Paulus insisted a week ago that he wasn’t going to "sell out" Aiken. The paper quoted him as saying: "They couldn't pay me enough to have my pics on the supermarket stand. I am not the type of guy that would make life difficult for anyone."Apparently it wasn't that hard to find his price.
But, wow, Clay Aiken is not the studly, tuna-diving hunkmeister we all imagined. I'm so disenchanted by celebrity now.
(thanks to Jon for the heads-up)
Well, that was interesting: chasing a drunk driver (whose truck is pouring out smoke from the brakes) at high speeds from interstate to surface roads, calling the police to box us in and stop us, and then finding out the drunk is tied to a solid hit and run several miles away.
Scary, upsetting, and somewhat rewarding once the shivers of the lane-changing, curb-hitting, dust-kicking idiocy were brought to a halt.
Enjoy the jail time, loser.
Update: Despite all the jokes about cops and doughnut shops, within 90 seconds of my call to 911 three police units converged on us from three different directions. Impressive. Unless we now need jokes about cops and naps on side streets.
Update 2: Retropolitan, no cape this time. I was in "Captain Underpants" mode.
However, pretending to be a brown woman is a bit weird:
Pop star Michael Jackson was spotted out shopping in Bahrain wearing traditional women's attire.Very odd. Michael Jackson is usually such a fine example of normality in all other aspects.
He was out with his three children when he was seen wearing the veil, abaya and gloves typically worn by conservative Bahraini women.
Note: Does this mean we get to call him "Miss Jackson" if we're nasty?
Apparently, The Freddy Jones Band has gotten back together and will be playing Denver in March. Hurrah!
Musically, I'd say they are similar in some ways to Phish and Widespread Panic, except they have that quality we all love: "being listenable." Seriously though, some jam bands elements, mixed with pop and rock, all swirled into something I dug and continue to dig.
You can check out their downloadable stuff right here. I personally like songs such as "Better Tomorrow," "Wonder," and "Mystic Buzz." Enjoy (or not).
And, now, I should really get to bed. Craptastic amount of work ahead of me in six hours.
Whilst following the link from a Google search that brought some unfortunate web-traveler to this site, I came across this page from the Catholic forums.
Satan is very Busy in Baltimore and my parents have a very old house that is always uncomfortabley cold and messy. Be on the look out for Holy water becoming discolored shows that a demon my be lurking nearby. Holy water should always be clear....and...
About two decades ago,I prayed to God that I will start reading the entire bible the next day (my very first).That night, I encountered demonic spirits in my dream and experienced the sleep paralysis phenomenon.I thought then, that I was gonna die that night, as it was very frightening and feaky! I,then became a believer that evil do exist....and...
Sure, I will pray for you. How did you sell your soul? A silly fleeting thought does not consitute seeling your soul. Christ has triumphed over the evil one. Ask St.Michael for his intercession and I guarantee you he will protect you from the wiles of Satan....and...
The "wedgy" game was NOT a game. From your description of it it would be called a "OUIGI BOARD" in the United States. This came, originally from Gypsys and witchlike mediums. DO NOT USE IT! Why?....and...
From St. Thomas Aquinas we know that the only spirits that roam the earth are either True Angels or Demons. [there are no ghosts of human dead] . The Demons and Satan were cast down to the earth, so they are here. Niether Angels nor Demons can real your mind, but if you "open the door" by talking to them, they can effect not only your imagination but your interests. Ouigi Boards are notorious for summoning demons. Do not do it.
Do you think that it was really Satan or one of his demons? I ask because unlike God, Satan can not be in multiple places at once.Oh, well, of course.
As a former practicing Catholic who never really had much of a taste for the communion wine, can I say that I'm thankful for that? They're clearly slipping something into it.
You. People. Are. Nuts.
According to one idiot, Dr, Mary Holley, it's atheism:
Dr. Holley said the people who are hooked on methamphetamine needed to "heal their spirit and then heal their addiction." She said people are making meth their idol, just as they do money, sex, television and pleasure. "Drug addiction is a form of idolatry. Users will sacrifice everything they own at the altar of meth," she said.Yes, let's overlook that whole brain/body combination of physiological and psychological dependence that leads to addiction and instead blame it on a lack of belief in fairy tales. And let's also not look behind the curtain to see that Dr. Holley's approach is essentially trading one addiction for another; I've known several people who, in loooking for meaning in their lives, have turned to others, to alcohol, to drugs, to God, never once pausing to think that maybe the meaning is something they determine internally from their own fortitude... and so, their search continues.
She said atheism has become the national religion, and people are saying God is a fairy tale, you shouldn't suppress your urges and that addiction is inevitable. She said drug users often get mad at the whole world and at God.
Now that, ladies and gents, is what we call "sound science."
Makes you wonder which diploma mill gave Dr. Holley her pretty piece of paper to frame in order to get a medical license, doesn't it?
You know, I think that a priest, like Father Rich Danyluk, who comes out to his congregation as a celibate homosexual during his homily like so:
He grasped a large book in his hands, raising the ornate Gospel over his head....should be admired. He took a risk, exposed himelf to ridicule, but also happily proclaimed the love and acceptance of his God for himself and for all who fall short of the glory of the God in which he and his flock believe. It's a message of powerful forgiveness and the depths of God's love for mankind.
"This good news is for everybody or it is for nobody," he told his congregation.
The Gospel has to be for his aunt, too. For all lesbians and gays, the priest said with conviction.
How did he know?
The answer was simple.
"I'm one of you," Father Rich Danyluk said.
Now, let's put aside the small facts that God doesn't exist and that homosexuals tended to get stoned in the Bible (without the help of some good weed). Willing dispensation of disbelief, stay with me.
So, this priest is up there and proclaims the good news for all men, using his own life as the example (something many of the priests in the churches I attended for nigh on 20 years also did) - and how does popular Catholic blogger Mark Shea respond?
Lesson: Homosexuality is the source and summit of all that is best, truest, and most noble in the Catholic Church.Well, Mark, if it takes a gay priest to properly convey a strong message of powerful love and forgiveness and acceptance, then maybe, yeah, that's just about right, and heterosexual Catholics could learn a thing or two.
Like how not to be a bigoted asshole.
Just a thought.
Well, the Supreme Court of the United States might not give a pooty-poot-poot about your property rights, but one Southeastern bank does:
BB&T Corp. (BBT.N: Quote, Profile, Research), a large U.S. southeast bank, on Wednesday said it will not lend to commercial developers that plan to build projects on land seized from private citizens through eminent domain.Indeed, but - oh - it's not just for private use; it's for filling the city tax coffers while screwing the little guy who lacks the resources to do a damn thing about it. Private companies (fully deserving of a spanking with the shame stick for such antics) are just the means to the end.
The policy change by Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T, the No. 9 U.S. bank, covers lending for such projects as condominiums and shopping malls.
"The idea that a citizen's property can be taken by the government solely for private use is extremely misguided," BB&T Chief Executive John Allison said in a statement. "In fact, it's just plain wrong."
Kudos to BB&T for their stand in the taxman's door.
Well, statistically speaking, I suppose... and discoveries like this are good news indeed (unless you happen to think that Earth is uniquely created by a divine power to harbor a poorly-designed, intelligent mammal with penchants for love and beauty and destruction on massive scales).
Astronomers on Wednesday announced the discovery of what is possibly the smallest planet known outside our solar system orbiting a normal star.However...
The newfound planet, named OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, is probably too cold to support life as we know it, astronomers said. With a surface temperature of 364 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-220 degrees Celsius), it is nearly as frigid as Pluto.So, not evidence of life somewhere out there, but evidence that smaller, rocky planets and sufficiently distant orbits are not unique to our solar system.
I think they're out there... and I bet they have blogs.
Much like taking driving lessons from Ted Kennedy or marriage advice from the Donald, one is inclined to wonder what kind of Catholic will listen now that the Pope has come out against loveless sex:
Pope Benedict XVI warned in his first encyclical Wednesday that sex without unconditional love risked turning men and women into merchandise.At that moment, millions of young Catholic boys all over the world ceased their behind-the-bedroom-door wanking and envisioned the nirvana of a hot chick shop-o-rama, where they could mix and match to build their perfect fantasy in the flesh. Realizing that it was but a pipedream (and that their mom might be home any second), they quickly went back to the task at hand (right, left, or switching twixt the two if they happened to be ambidextrous).
Don't get me wrong, good people of the blogosphere: sex with love is an amazing and wonderful thing (unless, you know, your partner just doesn't know what goes where or how and gives you a sore belly button). Sex without love, as the saying goes, is still pretty good (given the same caveats as before).
That said, asking a celibate man (most probably, actually, but certain proclivities of various priests lead one to ponder such things) - anyway, asking a celibate man, one who has never married and who doesn't stick his wee willy winky in the hidey hole, about relationships, the sex act, and the comingling of the two, just strikes me as about as sensible as writing Michael Moore for healthy eating tips.
Sure, to his own mind, he means well, but I don't look to my plumber for medical advice or to my doctor for ways to keep sinks unclogged. If you want to know about love and sex, look to people who have experienced love and sex, or at least those who have studied it in depth - not those who take their lead from a 2000 year old book and proclamations made by other celibate, unmarried men.
And the award for best performance in tonight's San Francisco auditions episode goes to:
Paula Abdul's cleavageCongratulations, you two!
I never thought I'd use the words "blogger friend Rae" and "angry vagina" in the same sentence, but I guess I just did.
Next it will be David J (formerly Zombyboy) as the "undead penis."
No, this has nothing to do with my old car.
It has to do with food, and my aversions to some of the food universe.
Tonight's dinner is the easy standy-by, Parmesan-crusted Chicken Breasts, with roasted new potatoes and green beans. Simple.
However, while watching the Fine Living channel last night, we caught an episode of Pairings with Andrea in which she prepared a quick-and-easy tapas of Garlic Mushrooms. My wife loves mushrooms. Loves'em.
I hate them.
But, being the kind and generous soul that I am, I decided to surprise her by preparing them as an appetizer. This, of course, involved buying mushrooms, paying good money for them, and then bringing them into my home, betraying every culinary sensibility in my head (or insensibility, depending upon whom you ask).
I feel dirty now.
I'd go take a shower to scrape off the nubby-gubbies, but there's other food to eat... and the rest of a bottle of Spanish fino sherry to finish off with some homemade Parmesan crisps.
Note: Simply because I've been told that adults try everything put in front of them at the dinner table, I decided to give the mushrooms a go. Blech. The taste was probably ok, but the texture of mushrooms makes my skin crawl, and my tongue is so busy flipping the nasty bugger around to stop from feeling it that I don't get to taste much. No thanks.
So, on a whim, I checked out the website of the Ford dealership where I bought my Ford Fusion. I clicked on the "pre-owned inventory" link and pulled up a list of the Mazdas on their used car lot.
And, lo, there she was: my ex. My Mazda MX-6.
She's rebounded nicely; looks even better than the day I walked out on her, traded her in like so much damaged goods. Now she's all glint and shine and refurbished beauty, looking like she's never felt better.
Makes me wonder what might've been had I not been so selfish. Makes me wonder, indeed.
At least until tomorrow morning when I'm back in the saddle of my new girl. Then it'll once again be, "Mazda who?"
Should I be concerned that the wee Fiona just went to my bookcase, withdrew a book, clambered up beside me on the sofa, and held it out to me, upon which I saw that the book was Machiavelli's The Prince?
(On the flip side, she was bored midway through page 2).
You know, Denver may not go to the Super Bowl, but at least they were nice enough to let that high school team play for them today. Big hearts, fellas, big hearts!
Dave J is watching the game as well.
Yeah, this is why I love football.On the bright side, it's a really pretty day here in the Mile High City.
Update: Or I could be wrong. Ouch.
Update: Well, when the Broncos had the big return at the top of the 4th, I fired up the laptop to say, hey, maybe it's not so bad. Maybe they could do something here.
Of course, the high school quarterback went and threw an interception.
Update 2: Ah well, at least the high schoolers can look forward to graduation parties in the Spring. Wild times!
* Actually, I've got no horse, Bronco or otherwise, in this race; however, I'd like to see Denver win just because I live here and it would mean parties and stuff.
PZ Myers is too cool for words*.
I got an autographed copy of Dawkins' latest book, The Ancestor's Tale, when he came through Denver to support the book's release, but it wasn't free and it was only signed because I said "uh, could you, uh, sign this?"
Update: Courtesy of the comments over at Pharyngula, if you'd like to download a BitTorrent file for both episodes of Richard Dawkins' Channel 4 series "The Root of All Evil," here are the links:
You'll need a BitTorrent client, such as BitLord.
Here's a little more about what you'll be seeing:
In this two-part Channel 4 series, Professor Richard Dawkins challenges what he describes as 'a process of non-thinking called faith'...And knowing Dawkins to be the atheistic firebrand that he is, this should be some good viewing (although I'd prefer PBS or someone air it rather than watching it on my computer, but I doubt any American network will touch this puppy).
He describes his astonishment that, at the start of the 21st century, religious faith is gaining ground in the face of rational, scientific truth. Science, based on scepticism, investigation and evidence, must continuously test its own concepts and claims. Faith, by definition, defies evidence: it is untested and unshakeable, and is therefore in direct contradiction with science.
In addition, though religions preach morality, peace and hope, in fact, says Dawkins, they bring intolerance, violence and destruction. The growth of extreme fundamentalism in so many religions across the world not only endangers humanity but, he argues, is in conflict with the trend over thousands of years of history for humanity to progress – to become more enlightened and more tolerant.
Update 2: Just in the middle of watching the first episode and it pains me to think there is such a bastion of ignorance and rampant kookification a mere 70 miles south of me.
* You know, overlooking some of his political views. When it comes to science and atheism, though, he's a'ight by me.
A segment of the anti-war effort displays its general dishonesty, lack of respect for those in the Middle East who risk their lives to speak their minds, and loathing of foreign hotties.
It's fine to be against the war, and there should be no shame in it. However, being a big fat lying bunch of manipulative and duplicitous hacks is something else.
Nearing a diploma, most college students cannot handle many complex but common tasks, from understanding credit card offers to comparing the cost per ounce of food....then we might just be a little optimistic in the expectation that the average person is ever going to grasp the essence of the many arguments for evolution. Hell, a lot of people think that credit cards are magic money, so why wouldn't they believe in magical biology as well?
Those are the sobering findings of a study of literacy on college campuses, the first to target the skills of students as they approach the start of their careers.
More than 50 percent of students at four-year schools and more than 75 percent at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks.
So, so many of you people auditioning for American Idol... what the hell were you thinking? Really, tell me. I simply must know.
If your friends told you that you have a great voice, I recommend buying new friends (of course, having been the American Idol would have given you the money to do just that, but since you'll never be the American Idol, you'll just have to scrounge for change in the sofa instead).
Errr... not that I'm actually watching American Idol or anything. That Simon, he's just too rude for someone like me, someone nice as pie and sweet as can be, with nary an ill word to say about anyone. That's me.
Scarlett Johansonn never asks me to squeeze her breasts.
Oh, life, thou art so cruel indeed!
California executed its oldest death row inmate early Tuesday, minutes after his 76th birthday...
Clarence Ray Allen was pronounced dead at 12:38 a.m. at San Quentin State Prison...
Allen, who was blind and mostly deaf, suffered from diabetes and had a nearly fatal heart attack in September only to be revived and returned to death row, was assisted into the death chamber by four large correctional officers and lifted out of his wheelchair.
When the rights of our fellows Americans are being denied, we should always wait patiently for the wheels of representation to turn, for the majority to see the error of its ways, for the minority to be equal on a timetable that suits the rest of us in our bigoted ways, and curses be upon those damnable activist judges and their so-called interpretations of the law.
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.Indeed. I'd break into a round of "We shall overcome...," but that would be cheesy and my falsetto might make some of you anti-gay bigots think I'm gay and you'd just want to beat me up or something.
Not that I can even do a falsetto. I just wanted to poke fun at the anti-gay bigots.
Actually, I have no idea how good my falsetto might be...
(found via Pharyngula)
And here we go:
TAYLORSVILLE, Utah -- Singing to the choir, Sen. Chris Buttars sought support at the Eagle Forum annual convention for his proposed legislation on teaching intelligent design and banning high school gay/straight support clubs.Good! The more our children learn about the world and how it really works, the less likely they are to fall prey to superstitious mumbo-jumbo chock full of bigotry and hatred all in the name of the God that is Love.
Teaching evolution while leaving out creationism "hurts young people," Buttars said.
He cited a mother who said her two daughters were told by a teacher that they evolved from animals, and, "It totally destroyed their faith."
However, let's get something straight, State Idiot Buttars: We didn't evolve from animals. We are animals. Aside from our complex thinking capabilities and cultural artifacts that follow, little else differentiates us from the animals - we're all made of meat and goo and poo and piss and procreative urges.
Buttars has not yet revealed the language in his bill to ban gay clubs in public schools. But he said that two constitutional lawyers say it will pass muster in the courts.I've heard, rumor of course, that they have their hands in the cookie jar. And our underpants. That tingle you feel? No, it's not just random jollies - it's psychokinetic wanking courtesy of the homosexuals.
"This gay issue is everywhere -- they're getting into everything," he said.
Buttars accused gays of changing the landscape of morality in America.Exactly. The minute you realize you're gay, you immediately approve of murder, rape, lying, stealing, and butt-humping barnyard animals (without lube, even!).
"Their definition of morality is to have no morality," he said.
That there are supposedly educated politicians walking among us, representing Americans, and spouting off such blatant bigoted idiocy is a sign that we have a long, long, long way to go in the battles for secularism and equality.
Although the majority of ID advocates propose their defense based on the universe's inherent complexity, I propose that intelligent design exists based on the indisputable, scientific similarities between physical light (or photons) and descriptions of God (throughout the world's religious literature).Hey, aside from his general ignorance of mythological archetypes, properties of photons, evolution, and the Cambrian period of the fossil record, I'm sure he's on to something.
Consider then: Is it pure coincidence that science and physics experiments have also shown that physical light, similar to descriptions of God, is omnipresent and omniscient? These properties arise from the fact that light, like God, exists outside of space and time. Even evolution (as strictly defined by Darwin) was long ago deemed impossible as displayed through the Cambrian fossil record.
Or on something.
He's out of this world - no! out of this universe! - just like light and photons and any sign of reason in Mr. Baumann's head!
Now, let me be the first to say that I'm always interested in new theories regarding the nature of the universe. They can be fascinating. However, when the genius behind the theory says:
My aim is not really to convince existing scientists that this is true (though we live in hope!, history shows that humans are creatures of habit, both in their thoughts and actions, which are difficult to change). Instead, it is to allow a new generation to at least be exposed to this new knowledge, such that they may view both sides of the question with impartiality.That's right, it's not about science or scientific inquiry - it's all about the Google PageRank, baby!
To achieve this it is necessary to get these pages on the Wave Structure of Matter into the top ten in the Google search results on the internet (which now clearly dominates the evolution of human knowledge).
Nothing says scientific validity like Search Engine Optimization.
Of course, GoldenEagle also supports the backdoor pseudo-science of the IDiots, so his ready embracing of this should be hardly surprising. You know, dumb folk are kind of like that sometimes.
I'm positive that the research done here will be as rigorous and exacting as anything in the Intelligent Design movement:
Iran, whose president has declared the Holocaust a myth, announced Sunday it would hold a conference to examine the scientific evidence concerning Nazi Germany's massacre of the Jews.I can hardly wait to hear their findings. I suspect that they might end with "...regardless, it's time to finish the job."
“It is a strange world. It is possible to discuss everything except the Holocaust. The Foreign Ministry plans to hold a conference on the scientific aspect of the issue to discuss and review its repercussions,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.
A long, long time ago - way, way back - over the hill and far away - on November 11, 2005, I said the following about Pat Robertson:
I think ol' Pat would be well served to issue, every morning, an apology for anything stupid he might have said the day before, because it's a sure bet he has.Had he taken my advice, we might have seen this a little sooner:
Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson has sent a letter apologizing for suggesting that Ariel Sharon's massive stroke was divine punishment for pulling Israel out of the Gaza Strip.Now, I'm not one to cast aspersions upon the motivations of our favorite theo-hobgoblin, no, sir, not lil' ol' me. But...
Robertson's comments drew widespread condemnation from other Christian leaders, President Bush and Israeli officials, who canceled plans to include the American evangelist in the construction of a Christian tourist center in northern Israel.Something about "the love of money...."
All most likely a coincidence, I'm sure, because - as you may know - Pat followed the example of Jesus and his disciples, giving up the material things of this world to spread the good news of the world to come.
On a happier note:
Despite the apology, it was doubtful Robertson would be brought back into the fold of the proposed Christian Heritage Center in the northern Galilee region, where tradition says Jesus lived and taught.It would appear that the Israeli government, unlike the unthinking masses that follow Robertson and his cronies, knows an insincere charlatan when it sees one.
Other Pat moments:
Flashback: August 24, 2005, Robertson apologizes for something else stupid he said.
Oh Ye of Little Faith: Prayer for thee but not for me.
Clearing the Bench: Pat prays for a little divine retribution.
I think it might be just about time for another Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash.
Anyone else got that feeling?
In a speech on Tuesday regarding the war in Iraq, President Bush said the following:
"It's important that Sunnis who abandoned violence to join the political process now see the benefits of peaceful participation," the president said, in a message clearly directed at the Shiite majority.You know, unless it's something icky like gay marriage or evil like recreational drug use. In that case, tyranny is kind of nifty-keeno with Dubya and his followers.
He added: "Sunnis need to learn how to use their influence constructively in a democratic system to benefit their community and the country at large." And the Shiites and Kurds, he said, "need to understand that successful free societies protect the rights of minorities against the tyranny of the majority."
Not that I would ever watch any sort of softcore anything on cable, but I have a question:
Did you ever notice that when they show a couple engaged in the act, both standing, man behind woman, it seems more likely that he's giving her a lumbar puncture than anything pleasurable?
Are they assuming that the majority of their audience is comprised of virgins who wouldn't know better?
Well, damnit, I know better!*
You know, not that I'd watch that stuff. Please. Jesus frowns upon it!
* And, rumor has it, I am not a virgin either.
So, some 486 miles in, here they are:
The Fusion's acceleration is sufficient for a car in the class, although it could stand another 20 horses (note that I have the 221HP V6). Off the line, the transmission has a tiny lag time while it seeks the best gear ratio, but, once you're moving, accelerating and passing are simple and transparent. More than once I've looked down to find that my 65MPH somehow became 80MPH without my really noticing (aside from suddenly passing everyone).
The Fusion handles very well and is much more nimble than I expected from a sedan of its size (coming to the Fusion from a Mazda MX-6). The speed-sensitive steering is set where it should be, allowing for easy lane changes or quick darts between vehicles when needed, while also ensuring that the car goes just where you aim with little effort even at low speed.
The Fusion's ride is better than my MX-6, with the independent suspension eating up most bumps with ease. You're going to know when you take a speed bump too fast or hit a pothole six inches deep, but - for the most part - the ride is gentle, mostly quieted from the annoyance of road- and wind-noise, and still communicative enough to let you know what's going on under the tires.
Life inside the Fusion: it's quite comfortable in the heated leather seats. They don't offer as much support as the sport bucket seats I had before, which were - quite possibly - the most comfortable seats ever designed for long hauls, but they do the job admirably.
The automatic temperature controls work well, although if there's a large disparity between internal and external temps, the fan will kick into high gear, which just annoys me, as I'd rather be a little cold for a few minutes and still be able to hear my music clearly. Music uber alles (and, um, beer too... and Kirsten Dunst).
Sound system... I opted for Ford's Audiophile 8-speaker upgrade and, for my mid-30s listening needs, it's more than enough. Plenty of bass for me, as I'm not trying to lure fertile young women to the window while cruising 120th Avenue. The Fusion's in-dash 6-CD system works just fine and plays MP3 files on home-burned discs as well. As before, I wish it would shuffle between discs, but that's a minor kerfuffle, one to be resolved when I get a PhatBox or other similar hard-drive system shoved in the trunk.
Other things I like: six cup holders spread throughout the vehicle, a fold-down console for rear passengers, the aftermarket sunroof is nicer than the standard although I lose the drop down sunglass storage, the dash has class, I love the color of the car, blah blah blah.
Other things I'm not crazy about: the rear window could stand to be bigger, or at least allow some downslope view of the trunk. As it is, it's hard to tell where the car ends should you need to back into a space or, say, back over a blogger who does nothing but whine. I suppose experience will inform that bit of knowledge, though.
Honestly, so far, that's my only real complaint. As of today, I'm still diggin' the Ford Fusion. Of course, being some $21K in the hole for it might influence my opinion... a little.
After a year or so of meaning to read James Frey's A Million Little Pieces, I found myself with a couple of Audible book credits to burn before my next subscription month began, so I grabbed it last week.
Now, I see this:
But a six-week investigation by The Smoking Gun reveals that there may be a lot less to love about Frey's runaway hit [A Million Little Pieces], which has sold more than 3.5 million copies and, thanks to Winfrey, has sat atop The New York Times nonfiction paperback best seller list for the past 15 weeks.It's bad enough that James Frey apparently decided just to make up a huge chunk of his life, offering it up as a lesson for us all, but - crikey - had I known that Oprah had picked A Million Little Pieces as her Bon-Bon-eating book-of-the-month, I'd have stayed far away.
Police reports, court records, interviews with law enforcement personnel, and other sources have put the lie to many key sections of Frey's book. The 36-year-old author, these documents and interviews show, wholly fabricated or wildly embellished details of his purported criminal career, jail terms, and status as an outlaw "wanted in three states."
You live. You learn.
"The Cat's Meow" (2001), directed by Peter Bogdanovich. Starring Kirsten Dunst, Edward Herrmann, Eddie Izzard, Cary Elwes, and Jennifer Tilly. And others. On a boat. Where a murder mystery unfolds. Or begins. Whatever.
My summary of important points:
I have yet to find a role where Kirsten Dunst is not drop-dead gorgeous (you know, once she came of age and got her boobies).
I have yet to see Jennifer Tilly not play some loopy batty fruitcake.
And Eddie Izzard looks older than he is... maybe he ought to stick to wearing make-up.
But, yeah, that Kirsten Dunst is somethin'.
Cy, short for Cyclopes, a kitten born with only one eye and no nose, is shown in this photo provided by its owner in Redmond, Oregon, on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2005. The kitten, a ragdoll breed, which died after living for one day, was one of two in the litter. Its sibling was born normal and healthy."Hey, I'm batting .500, so that's not half bad. Well, ok, it is, but it's also half good!" said God.
Update: PZ Myers has some more examples, and talks about playing God. That's kind of cool.
The war in Iraq is all about oil and cronyism and lining the pockets of George Bush's friends courtesy of the blood of young American men and women. Right?
Uh, looks like the enemy has a different view:
Al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said in an audio tape put onto the Internet on Sunday that rockets had been fired at Israel from Lebanon last month "on the instructions" of the network’s overall chief Osama bin Laden...Oh, I see.
The Iraqi Al Qaeda leader then laid down two conditions for giving up the jihad. "First, chase out the invaders from our territory in Palestine, in Iraq and everywhere in Islamic land. "Second, install Sharia (Islamic law) on the entire earth and spread Islamic justice there. The attacks will not cease until after the victory of Islam and the setting up of Sharia," he swore.
So, it's - uh - not about Iraq? Or oil? Or anything of the sort?
It's about our very existence, our civilization, and the Cindy Sheehans and Michael Moores and Jesse Jacksons of the world want us to capitulate? They declare these people to be brave freedom fighters, veritable Minutemen? How exactly does one get the title of "freedom fighter" when your cause is to enslave not just a people, but a planet?
I'm usually not very blunt or impolitic on this blog (in fact I pride myself on being a paragon of civility and kindness), but some of you out there are really, really, really dumb.
Somewhat Related Observation: Reuters, in reporting the same story, left out the bit about wanting to take over the world and implement Islamic law. Wouldn't want to make the terrorists look bad, I suppose.
Related Update: Brave freedom fighters and minutemen strike another blow for liberty:
A freelance writer on assignment for The Christian Science Monitor was kidnapped Saturday in western Baghdad, and her Iraqi interpreter was killed, the newspaper said Monday.Onward Islamic soldiers!
...called Smack the Creationist.
Bonus points and such to docdave, though, for invoking the Second Law of Thermodynamics and "I can't believe it happened, so it must not have" in his arguments against evolution. Looks like somebody got their book of Mind-bendingly Ignorant Creationist Talking Points!
I didn't do much of an update on Ewan, did I? Odd how once the scary bits pass you slip back into life as it was just prior.
Ewan was discharged from The Children's Hospital on Friday afternoon after his latest blood work was clean, his oxygen levels remained good, and his heart was no longer racing like mad. His heart murmur (of the ventricle septal defect variety) is still there, but it's a in a section of the heart wall where it's best to have such things, if one must have them, not that one would choose to do so, but - then again - you never can tell with some people. So, in short, they're not concerned about it just yet and think it should close up as his heart grows.
Mrs. WWR spent both nights at the hospital with our boy, so I can only comment in general on the hospital itself: they had free wireless G throughout, the cafeteria food was sufficient but not fantastic, and they had some of the best looking nursing staff I've seen since "A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors." Sadly, none of them ran around sans clothing (as in the link above), but happily none of them turned into Freddy Krueger either.
Dokken, however, did offer to write up a cheesy theme song for Ewan's stay, but we politely declined. You know, 'cause - it's, uh, Dokken.
So, we're all back home, the in-laws left back to England today, and it's all quiet on the WWR front. Thanks again for your thoughts, support, prayers (hey, you mean well, I know you do), and general good viby-ness directed our way.
Insisting that God "certainly needs to be involved" in the Supreme Court confirmation process, three Christian ministers today blessed the doors of the hearing room where Senate Judiciary Committee members will begin considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito on Monday.While their actions are harmless, one has to wonder how well the Capitol is being protected, even if only from crazy people who think oil has magical properties beyond its use in petroleum and plastics and cooking (and, er, sensual massage, but this is a kid-friendly zone).
Capitol Hill police barred them from entering the room to continue what they called a consecration service. But in a bit of one-upsmanship, the three announced that they had let themselves in a day earlier, touching holy oil to the seats where Judge Alito, the senators, witnesses, Senate staffers and the press will sit, and praying for each of the 13 committee members by name.
"We did adequately apply oil to all the seats," said the Rev. Rob Schenck, who identified himself as an evangelical Christian and as president of the National Clergy Council in Washington.
I'm also idly curious if things would have been handled differently had they not been obvious right-wing Christian kookity-kooks, but, say, left-wing moonbats in anti-Bush garb. You know, just wondering. Idly so at that.
The three ministers insisted they weren't taking sides in the Alito debate. "This is not a pro-Alito prayer," insisted the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition. With abortion, public prayer, gay marriage and right-to-life issues among those topping public debate, however, "God…is interested in what goes on" in the nomination hearing, Rev. Schenck said.Verily I say unto you, you are absolutely freakin' nuts.
The two men, along with Grace Nwachukwu, general manager of a group called Faith and Action, read three Psalms outside the committee room, knelt to say the Lord's Prayer and marked a cross in oil on the committee door before leaving.
No word if they saw the face of Jesus in the woodgrain of the committee room table (although I once saw Marty Feldman in a tub of cream cheese).
(found via Pharyngula)
So, let's say it wasn't supposed to get below freezing last night, so you held off one more day on blowing out your sprinkler system, and - well - that was a mistake.
So, let's say a small rupture appeared in an above-ground pipe feeding the sprinkler main, and - well - that was a bad thing.
How much water per hour do you think a 1.5 inch break in a 1-inch copper pipe under pressure could spew forth?
This should be neat.
Hugh Thompson, Jr., one of the men that bravely intervened in the 1968 My Lai massacre, has died.
Hugh Thompson Jnr, a former US military helicopter pilot who helped stop one of the most infamous massacres of the Vietnam War has died, aged 62.And his thanks?
Mr Thompson and his crew came upon US troops killing civilians at the village of My Lai on 16 March 1968.
He put his helicopter down between the soldiers and villagers, ordering his men to shoot their fellow Americans if they attacked the civilians.
"There was no way I could turn my back on them," he later said of the victims.
But Mr Thompson was shunned for years by fellow soldiers, received death threats, and was once told by a congressman that he was the only American who should be punished over My Lai.I hope that in the last forty years we've changed the military culture such that heroes like Thompson are the rule rather than the exception.
No, lefty moonbats, that's not your cue to chime in with anti-soldier blathering, and - no, righty wingnuts, this is not the point where you break into Lee Greenwood songs.
psychic big fat lying hack, Sylvia Browne, must be getting her psychic education from John Kerry. Why, she knew those miners were alive before she knew they were dead!
Controversial TV psychic Sylvia Browne made a major mistake about the West Virginia miners tragedy on a Tuesday night radio show....Whoops.
Browne, who had just announced that John McCain would run against John Kerry in the next presidential campaign, was relieved to hear from Noory that all but one of the miners was alive.
Noory: "Had you been on the program today, would [you] have felt if — because they heard no sound — that this was a very gloomy moment — and that they might have all died?"
Browne: "No. I knew they were going to be found. I hate people that say something after the fact. It’s just like I knew when the pope was dead. Thank God I was on Montel’s show. I said, according to the time, it was 9-something and whatever Rome time was. And I said he was gone, and he was."
However, this will do nothing to teach "true believers" a lesson, that psychics aren't real, that no one is trying to talk to you from the other side (because, you know, there's no evidence that there is an "other side" to any of this). Superstitious belief isn't about facts or evidence or a fair assessment of the data; it's about magical thinking in spite of everything that says you are wrong.
Oh yeah, picked up my 2006 Ford Fusion today, looking all kinds of lovely and adult in its tungsten silver clearcoat.
The short version: Love, love, love the car so far. My only complaint as of yet is that the 6-disc in-dash CD/MP3 player doesn't seem to shuffle play between MP3 discs... but that could be operator error.
And none of that will matter once I have my PhatBox installed.
So, uh, yeah - sweet car. Very pleased all of six hours into ownership. Stay tuned.
Among the entire body of words a parent never wants to hear with regard to their child, I believe you'd find the following:
But, at one time or another over the last 48hours, we've heard all of them concerning our little Ewan Quinn. Cutting to the chase, the end of the story is better than the beginning, but it's been an emotional roller-coaster of wondering and guessing and not knowing and worrying and feeling powerless while watching doctors do what they get paid the big bucks to do.
I could bore you with the last couple days of drama, but the Cliff's Notes version is as follows:
My boy Ewan has a hole in his heart (and, no, despite Extreme's crooning, it cannot be filled by only you). It's a ventricular septal defect (VSD), a small one, thankfully in a place that should fill in in the next couple of years as the muscle tissue in his heart grows and strengthens.
He also may have a bacterial infection. I have no idea how he might have gotten one, and it could very well be viral, although one blood culture indicates otherwise. Combined with the heart murmur, they want to be sure to prevent any damage to his wee heart and lungs, so he's on antibiotics, oxygen to help him with some slightly labored breathing, and will be in hospital until Friday afternoon.
So far, he's had a few chest X-rays, an echocardiogram, an electrocardiogram, blood drawn at least twice, a urine sample taken by catheter (ouch!), and a couple of spinal taps to examine his spinal fluid for meningitis. We're waiting on the results of those with fingers crossed (praying is so very 16th century, whereas finger crossing is the hallmark of reason and intellectual stoicism).
I thought about smearing lamb's blood on the front post of the patio, but, really, where am I going to find lamb's blood this time of night?
It's looking like Ewan will be ok in the long run, but it's been a nervous couple of days and, courtesy of Google and PubMed and Medline, I know more about congenital heart defects than I ever thought I would. The blog doctor is "in."
So, that's what's been on my mind, among other things, and will continue to be until Ewan is back home where he belongs.
It can't be soon enough.
When I went to bed late last night, it looked like 12 of the 13 trapped miners had been found alive. I thought it amazing and unbelievable, but it was good news indeed.
Now, the good news has turned tragic:
Joy turned to sorrow in three short hours Wednesday for relatives of a dozen men found dead in a West Virginia coal mine. "Miscommunication" spawned early reports of their survival.Offered without comment:
Casto said the tragedy has shaken the faith of some in the community. "We have got some of us ... saying... that we don't even know if there is a Lord anymore," she said. "We had a miracle, and it was taken away from us."A learning experience, then. Yeah, maybe it's a bit improper of me to point that out, but I've got enough going on in my own life right now to show that if God exists, he's a half-assed intelligent designer and a general poophead. Of course, we're all just living at the unguided whim of the universe going through the motions.
John Casto was at the church when the false report arrived and later, the terrible news. After the first report, "they were praising God," he said. And after the second "they were cursing."
It's been a while since I've done this, and my dear friend Matt was begging for it (uh, so to speak), so here we go:
So seriously - is someone going to read this? If they do, how would they know about it in the first place? I just felt like finding a place where I could write whatever and allow anyone to read it if they like; however, I wouldn't announce to the world the site exists. Rather, I will see how many just stumble on it....my guess is that I make unique visit number two. Perhaps you should have announced your site, or - again - perhaps not.
Yup, I did it. I bought a new car.
Specifically, as mentioned before, a 2006 Ford Fusion. I was initially thinking of the black clearcoat with the charcoal interior, but ended up talking to a couple of other dealers*, found one to offer me a considerably better price (and a higher trade-in value for my MX-6), and bought the tungsten silver clearcoat model you (sort of, courtesy of Ford's photoshopping talents) see in the photo.
It doesn't have a sunroof, but will by midday tomorrow, and - from what I'm told (of course) - it will be nicer than the one that Ford ships with their vehicles. I'll let you know how that turns out.
So, by tomorrow evening, I'll be driving a loaded 2006 Ford Fusion SEL. It's one of the least expensive features of the car, but damned if I don't love me those heated front seats! I might just go out to the car on cold days solely to toast my bottom.
You, naturally, are welcome to raise your glasses and toast my bottom anytime the mood strikes.
I'm taking a risk in buying a new model vehicle before it's had a thorough road test, but every review I read had mostly positive things to say, and it's built on the frame of a Mazda6, which has done pretty well I think (and the Fusion is tweaked and tuned to be even more driver-friendly and responsive).
I'll let you know my impressions after a few weeks of road experience.
* The surest way for a dealer to make me not trust them is to whine to me about how they are only making pennies off the sale at the price they offer. It also helps when another dealer then undercuts their offer by $1000.
If you're in the Denver area and looking to buy a Ford, let me know and I'll send you to my dealer; you get a decent deal and I get something free, although I've since forgotten just what that would be. It's good for both of us!