Friday, February 29, 2008

Liberals Hate The Troops

I'm an uppity college liberal who hates the troops, yup, hate my friends so much that I tried to prevent them from being dragged into an unwinnable conflict. Now with the help of the revolutionary wing of the leftist media (everything but FOX) we can target individual soldiers whom we hate. Case in point, that prince fella from England. Not really sure why but I hate that bastard too, probably just because he's rich and powerful and yet he wants to go to war anyway. Doesn't he know that one of the many perks of being rich is sending other people to die for you? I mean even Ozzy understands that. Those silly brits need to take another lesson from us, just look at our president, he knows better than to allow his kids in harms way. And he's at least theoretically accountable to the people, England's monarch can't be impeached why are they kissing the poor peoples asses? So when William decided to go fight we knew we couldn't allow it, if a prince can fight they might start expecting other rich people to make sacrifices in a time of war. So the liberal media did what it does best and pulled a Plame on him, first they yelled and screamed when he was about to go to Iraq, and so he didn't. So the cheeky bastard snuck off to Afghanistan, where there is apparently some other war going on, when no one was looking. Then bribed the media not to tell. Luckily the champion of the people outed him like a queer republican senator. Boo-ya!

Wait what? It wasn't a liberal that put Prince Harry in harms way? It wasn't the New York Time? Oh my it was actually The Drudge Report. But that goes against all those claims of supporting the troops. Does this mean Drudge is a raving hypocrite? Maybe.... It's also possible there was some sarcasm in this post, but who knows for sure?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Don't Cry Over Spilt Oil

Exxon-Valdez the words alone send my mind reeling back to countless images of horror as people fought to save the lives of maritime creatures. 1,200 miles of coast ruined. I can recall those images like they were yesterday, but they were in fact 19 years ago. I would have been 6 or 7 years old and living thousands of miles away, but I will probably never forget those images. Others memories must have faded a bit as the court case is STILL pending. It's now in front of the Supreme Court and disturbingly it sounds like they want to cut the monetary settlement, which was already cut in half. Its still 2.5 billion dollars were talking about, not exactly chump change, unless of course you're Exxon who earned 40 billion in profit last year and are still battling over about three weeks worth of profit. Er. I don't have time to say how pissed this shit makes me so just read the article and assume I'm angry.


I'm driving home today! Oh, my vehicle has been dead for almost a week now and I just got it running again so I'm excited. It's not even close to actually fixed, but its drivable. The only problem is I can't start it from inside the car, I gotta pop the hood and touch a couple wires together. Over rated luxury anyway.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Book Meme

I don't normally do Meme's partially cause no one likes me so I never get tagged and also because I don't like them. I think its weird to want to have a blog where you can write about what ever your heart (brain) desires and then turn around and do Meme's where someone else tells you what to write about, but whatever sometimes they're fun. I actually think this one is particularly lame as it has you re-write something from the book closest to you. I peeked at my nearest book and I said, "Damn" thats a good line. Ok the meme goes like this, grab the nearest book, open to page 123, skip the first 5 sentences, then type the next 3. So here goes.
Given its own highly compromised history, it is hardly surprising that when Ford dived into human rights, it defined the field as narrowly as possible. The foundation strongly favored groups that framed their work as legalistic struggles for the "rule of law," "transparency" and "good governance." As one Ford Foundation officer put it, the organizations attitude in Chile was, "How can we do this and not get involved in politics?"
And because I'm not doing the Meme right anyway I'll finish the paragraph.

It wasn't just that Ford was an inherently conservative institution, accustomed to working hand in hand, not at cross purposes, with official U.S. foreign policy. It was also that any serious investigation of the goals served by the repression in Chile would inevitably have led directly back to the Ford Foundation and the central role it played in indoctrinating the country's current rulers in a fundamentalist sect of economics.
Thats from The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. And I'm going to tag... no one. I told you I don't like Memes.

Fuckin' Classy

Nice T-shirt. I still like this one better, sure its racist and sexist at the same time, but I'd rock it.

Suddenly Christian

Oh no, not me, just a website, but thanks for your concern. The fellas over at UTI had a link to a proselytizing christian, but an alright one. He tries to engage non-theists in honest discussion, he even gently criticizes those christians who are rude to those they're trying to convert. Good for him. I don't think he's going to convert me but I can respect his style. There was one part I found ugh, cool or uplifting or some emotion like that, he had been asked a question and it was one he had previously answered in a book so he just cut and pasted his answer, no problem there its his book. He then defends his book which is written in the first person as if written by god, he said some christians have been offended by this premise, to which he says that it wasn't written for christians it was written for non-theists who generally aren't too touchy about such things. I like it, he knows his audience. There was more to his defense, namely that its been done before, to which I'd say, "yeah some dudes named John Mark Luke and some others wrote a long ass book like that." But then again I'm an asshole.

Anyway if you'd like to have a civilized conversation with someone who may have a very different world view than yourself, this guy seems like he might be a good option. Thanks, because the world needs more dialog.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pissing Off Friends

Ok so my roommate is going to massage school, one of the highest rated in the country I'm told, and he loves it. I think he likes the idea of helping people, he also likes the idea of touching mostly naked women all day. He's become good friends with the only other person from school who lives in our town, and therefore I've become friends with her too. And she's the shit, just a really chill really nice caring person. The tricky part is that she's very into like astrology, tarot cards, and shit like that. We've talked about religion and stuff a few times and I try really hard not to be condescending towards people beliefs but with pseudoscience its really hard. I try to frame everything from the perspective of simple curiousity which is partially because this allows me to question a persons beliefs without insulting them because I'm just trying to learn, and its easy because I'm just a curious person. But I can't fake the fact that underneath it all I think that stuff is crap, and she knows it. There is often a talk of energy but its never defined. If I continue with this its going to ramble, oh but look at the name of this site, try to bear with me. This bodily energy is often intermixed with universal energies coming from beyond. Now I should also say that I'm far from a scientist surely not an expert but I know a little bit about science. So when she says something like everything is made of energy, I say, "yeah sorta." I'm thinking of E = MC squared so mass can be converted into energy which is sorta like being made of energy. And it seems like we keep breaking particles down into smaller and smaller bits so I'm not confident to say what matter is really made of. Or another way to say that for the sake of conversation, "yeah." But I take serious issue when these ideas with no evidence at all are being TAUGHT to students. I'm still of the ilk that as long as you're not hurting people believe what you want, but I'm not sure how to define hurt. Does believing homeopathy hurt anyone? Not directly no, a bottle of water or a placebo isn't going to hurt anyone, but what if the person avoids treatment that works because they believe in something that doesn't? I honestly can't decide. There is a libertarian side that says, "fuck 'em if they're too stupid to find out if they're being duped." But my liberal side reminds me why my libertarian side always loses. If we had a society that was adept at disseminating truthful information then fine, fend for yourself. But there is SOOO much bad info out there that maybe we do need to protect the gullible. I need to back up for a sec. I guess I never looked into homeopathy before, holy skull-fuck batman do people really believe this stuff works????? I wonder how many people who buy into it even realize how the numbering system works? In most modern situations saying something is 30x would imply 30 times more than original, but oh no not in homeopathy, in homeopathy less is more 30x means that the original 10:1 solution has been cut thirty more times! 10:1 equals 1x, 100:1 = 2x, 30x = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000:1. Then it really gets silly 200C, ha! I'm not going to explain it here, just read this, but lets just say once your ratios are getting so big they compare them with the number of atoms in the known universe, you're probably in trouble. Anyway I was so blown away by what I just learned about homeopathy that I've lost the will to talk about anything else. I need to go warn people. Oh and none of this changes my opinon about my friend, shes still a great person, plus I don't know her stance on homeopathy. I just don't know how Im going to be able to not insult the shit out of this stuff. I suppose could just keep my mouth shut...

I'm screwed.

Should be Interesting - Zeitgeist

Hope this doesn't upset the person involved, I won't use her name, but they'll know who its about. The same friend who recommended "What the Bleep" has recommended another film. I want to start by apologizing to said friend because I did make it seem like she believed the things in What the Bleep,which is not why she recommended it. She simply said that she found the movie entertaining. I know how that is, I enjoy watching some of the 9/11 conspiracy movies, or UFO specials, it doesn't mean I believe them, it means it can be amusing.

Speaking of conspiracy's the latest recommendation might fall into that category. Now I haven't seen the film yet, but its free on the internet so I probably will at some point soon. The movie is called Zeitgeist, and it covers three topics. The Federal Reserve Bank, 9/11, and the question of a historical Jesus, in the opposite order. I'll star by saying that I know very little about The Fed, I know that some question its legality and some question if its done more harm than good. As for facts about it all I know is that the Fed sets the interest rate at which banks can borrow money which in turn influences how much money the banks loan to the public. This has huge implications for the economy. Honestly thats about all I really know, well that and the fact that I should learn more. I look forward to seeing that part, but with my usual degree of skepticism. How about the 9/11 conspiracy's, I've seen a few of these, they raise some good questions, they also raise some stupid ones. I don't expect to see anything new here. And finally the big one J.C. is he a man, a god, or a story? The person who recommended this was clearly most interested in this portion, which isn't surprising as it calls into question a pretty damn important tenet of christianity. I've seen some of this debate before, its an interesting question but I seriously doubt we will find an answer which will satisfy everyone. The skeptics claim that there is no evidence for a historical Jesus, and they have a point. There are quite a few non-biblical references to Jesus, their just doesn't seem to be any from the time he was alive. At the same time theres an awful lot of talk of Jesus as a person from within 30 years of his death that it seem odd that his myth became believably personified that quickly. I'm not sure if I worded that in a way that makes sense but I'm not sure how else to say it. My personal view is irrelevant but its my damn blog and you're reading it so here goes. My assumption is that there was a guy named Jesus, he was a rabble rouser back in the day when dissent meant death, his followers embellished his story to make it more powerful, today we call that creative license. If suddenly we found new evidence for or against a historical Jesus it wouldn't change my world view, although finding out he was a myth would reinforce my atheism. But I try hard to be skeptical of claims that agree with my world view, its tough, its easy to hear something and agree with it because of its agreeable implications, all I can say is that I try. Anyway, should be an interesting flick.

My Tribe, Our Tribe

I was just reading an old post from The Disgruntled Chemist about a meeting by a young republicans college group. It was from the time of the infamous danish cartoons that sparked the violent reaction from muslims. The event quickly spiraled into outright racism, they broke Godwins Law and even had a statement about the KKK. Cops needed to remove a couple of people from the meeting. All the while the college muslim group had a protest outside because the group inside was going to be showing the danish cartoons. None of this sounds like fun to me but the Chemist stuck it out so he could report it to us all. I bring this up because it made me think of something. In the comments there was mention of tribalism.

Humans are social creatures. In the past, which is very very recent from an evolutionary view, our community would have included many relatives, possibly being related to every other member to varying degrees. Therefore you defended your community as you would your home. Today we still have these tribal impulses which where we want to defend our tribe against outsiders. Many consider xenophobia an evil, and it is, but it needs to be understood if we wish to overcome it. It also needs to be said that it is going to take a great many generations to remove xenophobia and until then we will need to consciously work against it. My thoughts on the matter are fairly simple. We used to be small communities because we could only communicate within very limited range, with a little outside contact. Now its just as easy to talk to someone on the other side of the globe as it is to talk to your sibling who's down the street. Our tribe is no longer just those contained within the imaginary boundaries of our Granfalloon. Today we live in a global community, wither we like it or not we live in the global community, there are certainly those who would prefer to stay huddled in the safety of the known, they're scared of those with strange customs. To those people, I'm sorry but thats no longer an option, the world has changed, here we are their's no going back. what I'm saying is that tribalism is not going to leave our sub-conscious anytime soon so lets embrace it, just remember that your tribe is the Human Tribe, we are all part of the same community and when anyone threatens a member of that tribe we must all stand up to the attacker for no matter where in the world they are fighting they are fighting my brother. Be kind to your tribe. Peace.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Nader '08

Please don't do it Ralph. I'm against this for several reasons, not because of anything against Nader, hell I voted for the guy in 2000, but because I firmly believe it will do more harm than good. We've already had a little conversation about this over at UTI. I support Nader's positions, if it weren't for my state having closed primaries I would probably be registered as a Green.

So the first problem is the obvious one. There is a chance that Nader will take enough votes from the Democratic candidate that the republicans could take the election. This is a huge reason to fear a Nader run. If the repubs were putting up the huckster or mitt, then we'd have enough wiggle room for a third party, no problem. But McCain is polling shockingly well at this point essentially even against either Dem with Obama doing slightly better. Now I know there were many reasons for the 2000 election going the way it did, but it still cannot be denied that even with all the other problems Gore may have won, he lost by less than a thousand votes and Nader received 97,000. If only one percent on Green party voters had voted for Gore he would have been our president. Or at least Bush would have needed to work harder to steal it. So the idea of a third party spoiler is a very real concern.

I also think its a waste of resources for the green party which is not exactly swimming in money. I really think that given the rise of environmental awareness the Green Party could turn itself into a legitimate threat to the two established parties. I would love to see that day. I think the best way for this to happen is to do exactly what every political organizer preaches, think globally act locally. They have been slowly but surely building up a roster of lower level wins. They need to move up the ladder incrementally. Keep working on local and state offices. They haven't been able to crack the door to congress why are they wasting what little money they have on presidential campaigns? I would really like to see at least a three party system where the republicans are off to the right where they already are, the democrats will be centrists of various forms like they already are and for the true liberal we'll have the green party. This would also mean that no party would have a majority alone meaning they would be forced to work together in order to solve problems. So again I love the idea of a powerful green party, but sending Nader our year after year to get crushed is only making them into a joke.

So for the sake of the country, please Ralph, don't run. Theres plenty of good you could be doing, but losing major elections is not one of them. Sorry bro.

UPDATE: I wrote this a few minutes ago and I've got more to add. I'm not alone in thinking this is a bad move, the Decrepit Old Fool agrees. And for reasons you'll need to read to understand I'm going to call Nader a Trim Tab, a term that can be in reverence but in this case I fear our trim might let us veer straight into an iceberg, all ahead full. Aw crap I think I just tagged myself for a meme, that'll have to wait.

Peace, I'm out.


Another good dinosaur comic. Thats All Folks!!


This is obviously one of if not the hottest of the the hot button issues. There are many who see this as the single greatest moral issue of all. I think reproductive rights are important too, but I have bigger concerns. If I was a woman this would be higher on my list.

For work I was asked to look up some information about a disease, I do this quite often for the nurses I work with, but this one was different. Normally its a fairly benign ailment that they need to explain to a client. This time it was not. I honestly don't know who the person was as they were not a client, but they apparently talked with one of our nurses who then wanted more information about the disease. I won't get into what the disease was because it could in theory disclose personal info. Anyway its a horrific genetic disease and this persons child was afflicted with the worst type. The life expectancy of the child was three days. They would have been severely retarded with a host of other debilitating problems which would have made life excruciating for mother and child alike. The chances of living a year were very slim and while those with less severe forms occasionally reach their teens, adults with this disease are exceedingly rare, and this child had the most severe form.

The mother chose to terminate the pregnancy. Even with all these reasons for an abortion I'm sure this mother struggled immensely when faced with such a choice. But how can we as a society tell this young woman that she cannot make this decision for herself? How can we tell her that she must carry this baby despite the fact that there is no hope for a good life for the child? There is no way I can convey the true weight of emotions attached to this issue so I'll just state my views. I want every child who is brought into this world to be loved the way that they deserve. I believe an important part of this is that pregnancy happens with committed parents who desire to have a child. Drunken adolescent sex that results in a pregnancy is not the ideal start for a life. Sure there are success stories but if a child can excel under those circumstances imagine the same child growing up in a home where the parents had planned on a child. Sex education is the key to making the choice a premeditated decision to get pregnant instead of getting pregnant and then deciding if they should continue the pregnancy. But even with a planned pregnancy there is always the chance of things going wrong, in these cases the parents must have the right to say I do not want to bring a child into this world which has no chance of a happy life. I mourn for those who are faced with this decision, there is no easy answer. So thats how I feel, how about you?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Crazy Ass World

Ok the last post was why I respect scientists, in short because they'll congratulate someone who proves them wrong. Now I want to say why I love science. Science just shows us the universe as it really is, its not saying thats the way things should be it just says thats the way things are, at least from the evidence so far. Kinda Machiavellian but what can ya do? But the truly amazing part is the stuff thats going on out there.

First I'll start small, very small, just a single cell. I can't help but think of some of our doomsday scenarios of nuclear holocaust and I've had some tell me nothing will survive and I've always said yes something will, maybe not people but life will go on. Deinococcus radiodurans will survive. 10 Gy will kill a human 5000 Gy won't kill Deino shit an instantanous blast of 15,000 Gy will only kill some. Rugged bastard.

Now to astronomy where shit really gets crazy. Anytime pulsars come out you know good times will be had. I'm not even going to explain this one, just go read about it. Still don't believe me? the post is called Vampire Star.

Respect for Science

This little post says a lot about why I have respect for science and not for religion. With the ever present exception of Buddhism, religions don't like change. Someone decided long ago what the truth was and thats all that matters, nothing that happens today can change what was decided to be true. Science on the other hand is always changing and expanding. People who are used to dogmatic world views see this change as proof that science is a fraud because what science considers to be true can change. Isn't it better to search for the truth, to test what you know and throw out that which is proven wrong, than to blindly accept? Oh sure its much easier to just accept, to read a single book and say, well that all I'll ever need to know. I guess I'd just rather be sure. I bring this up after reading a post at Bad Astronomy, which said that scientist found a new way to measure the thickness of our galaxy. When they did they found it to be twice the thickness they previously thought. (I'm over simplifying because its the general precepts that I care about) Those who like to bash science will say this proves that scientists don't know what they think they know. Scientists don't notice because they're excited about being wrong, that means that theories will need to change, debate will be sparked among the new hypothesis and eventually we will know more about the ways of the universe than we do know. Sure they may have to throw away previously held ideas but its another step in the infinite journey of knowledge.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


early forecast says the weather isn't going to be good for eclipse watching...

hope they're wrong


Top 15 Misconceptions about Evolution. First off a quick thank you to PZ, thanks! A good list, I just wanted to save the link in case I ever need it to explain evolution to anyone. It's worth a read if you do happen to have questions regarding evolution. It's got clear concise answers, they're even short. Enjoy.


I'll admit that there are certain words, actually just one, the big one that I can't say and have told certain friends that I'd appreciate it if they don't say it in front of me. But at the same time I love using terms that are supposed to be racist against white people, my AIM name has the word honkey in it, I love the phrase cracka' ass cracka' it brings a smile to my face every time. I'm actually happy that black people can and do use the N word, it dulls the blade to be used, and while even a dull blade can cut I can foresee a day when that word will be capable of nothing more that a scratch.

This does run into problems though, some phrases have horrible histories but are also common phrases, in this case the blade may be dull at some points along its length but quite sharp at others. This is my round-a-bout way of defending a republican accused of being a racist, a spot I'm not exactly accustomed to. In the end I think he probably is a bit racist but we must be careful when we throw that phrase around to, because that is a phrase that we must not allow to lose its edge. Being seen as a racist needs to be among the ultimate degradations of a persons character but if we use it unscrupulously then it will soften until it becomes another general purpose insult. In this case the original term he got in trouble for useing was, "This baby is black. . . . It's a dark, ugly thing." Obviously that can be taken as racist, and maybe it is I don't know the mans thoughts, but I honestly can imagine someone saying it with no thought to it being racist. The term dark or black is often used to describe evil, goth kids and metal heads wear black to look evil, villains in movies wear black people wear black to funerals and grooms wear black at weddings. The point is that as a society we do equate evil and bad with the color black, that does not mean we always equate the black race with evil and bad. In perfect irony to the article there is an ad just to the right (it might change) of the article trying to sell the new Toyota Matrix, saying "get in touch with your dark side" I don't think anyone is going to say thats a racist ad, so why are we assuming this politician meant it any differently?

At this point a simple, "Oh shit, I didn't even think of it that way" would have done wonders. Keep the Oh Shit too thats how they know you were genuinely surprised by the allegation. What you shouldn't do is claim that a "lynch mob" is after you. Lynch mob also being a phrase that has lost much of its edge, at least in places far from actual lynchings like Utah. These phrases have spread into the consciousness of the country and most people don't ever think about there real meanings. There are lots of morbid phrases that we use without second thought, try watching children sing ring around the rosy after knowing its meaning without shuttering, so I think that either of these phrases on their own can easily be considered just the use of a phrase that maybe we shouldn't use, but we do. Unfortunately my ability and will to defend him ended when he refused to meet the NAACP with media present, and when he referred to the NAACP as "those people" another phrase than should be avoided. I don't know if the guy is a racist or not, but now he's screwed, although on reflection it is Utah, I'm guessing the NAACP isn't the most influential of constituents. As for the NAACP, pick your battles. Ask for an apology and move on to the serious problems race related and otherwise.

It was as if an Occult Hand had written this post

Ha, I like the premise of this group. The phrase wouldn't have been my first choice but its absurdity makes it a challenge. Sounds like some friends at college who I assume were journalists decided that the phrase, "It was as if an occult hand had...." was funny and they would try to sneak it into legitimate news stories. Thats it, that was the club. Absurdity for absurdities sake. I like it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stuff White People Like

Call it reverse racism, or just racist if you want, I call it fucking funny, and they call it Stuff White People Like. I think part of the reason I like this so much is because of racist jokes. Society tells me I'm not supposed to like racist jokes but the problem is I love to laugh, therefore I like jokes, even though most jokes are at someones expense. In the case of racist joke they are usually based on stereotypes or otherwise degrading. But they're still funny, or at least some are. The only problem with racist jokes is that theres a lack of white people jokes. It's easy enough if you break white people into smaller groups like redneck jokes or polish jokes or irish jokes but the search for general white people jokes has always left me wanting. While this site isn't exactly a list of white jokes, it is to an extent. I guess I just think that its only acceptable to laugh at inappropriate joke if you're willing to laugh when the jokes on you. We had a perfect example of that ne day after a concert. I have a friend who can seriously go for several hours telling racist and otherwise inappropriate jokes, but as soon as he ran across one that happened to include a girl in the group, she was deeply offended. She then rattled of an insane list of things which couldn't be joked about because she was somehow connected to them. So being the sensitive people we are we pointed out that if you can only laugh at other people then you're the racist then proceeded to insult every group she told us to avoid until she left. Fuck her.

Oh and a big thank you to Pandagon for giving props to SWPL

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dinosaur Comics

I'd heard of this comic a few times but it just seemed weird so I never really gave it a chance. Dinosaur Comics. I'm not sure when I started thinking weird was a bad thing but I'm back to thinking weird is great. So heres some weird comics about dinosaurs, that aren't about dinosaurs at all. This one really had me going.

UPDATE: for some reason this amuses me too, maybe because it invented the term homographic homophonic autantonym. Pretty sweet right?

Life of Hypatia

Not too long ago I mentioned reading Cosmos by Carl Sagan, one part that I found fascinating was the early history of astronomy. The shit people figured out by observing the skies and taking really good notes just amazes me. One of the sadder stories was of Hypatia, which I think is a beautiful name, a scientist, teacher and philosopher and was the last great to work out of the Great Library of Alexandria. The sadness comes when she is killed by an angry mob of christians. Why I mention this again is because UTI mentions that the life of Hypatia may soon be made into a movie, with a hotty in the lead role no less. So a big thank you to UTI for bringin this to my attention. Thanks guys!

Real Legislation

Now this is a proposition I can support. Proposition 3-17. Its to make St. Patricks Day into a national holiday. You might think that supporting a religious holiday goes against many of my beliefs, and it would, except have you ever been to a St. Patricks Day celebration? This holiday kicks ass and it has nothing to do with religion these days. Its also unique as far as I know to being a cultural celebration that truly embraces everyone. I've never heard anyone say, "everyone is mexican on cinco de mayo." The other thing I like about this is that it's sponsored by Guinness, in and of its self thats not a good thing. Legislation should not be brought forth by businesses but thats the way things go, no what I like about it is that they are open about the fact. I think anytime a business writes a law they should be named as the author, HR 1342343, brought to you by Halliburton. At least it would be more honest. Now raise a Pint its Friday!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


If you're ever wander aimlessly about the internet, and seeing as your here I'll assume your doing that now, you need to check out Its a perfect example of what Mark Twain said, "It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." Fark is simply a daily collection of crazy shit in the news. All real news stories, its not satire, its just insane, because people are insane. Heres a quick example, this is Fark's headline, "A cop that arrested a firefighter who wouldn't move the fire truck must pay $18K for being a douchebag. Your dalmation wants $9K. (With arrest video)" and so much more.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Birthday to Two Great Men

Wow, I'm just not sure which order to put them in. I think I'll go by height, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were both born on this date. Charlie is the inspiration for this post and he'd be 199 today, meaning next year we're going to need a big party, I mean a bigger party. Today is Darwin Day, Abe already has a day. So Happy Darwin Day everyone!

Monday, February 11, 2008

What the Bleep

A friend recommended this movie to me, as we've had a few talks about science and religion. I was curious to see it but I'm glad I didn't read the reviews beforehand. The quick version is, its not very good, in fact its quite bad from the standpoint of explaining quantum physics which is what the goal seems to be at the start. But then it moves to bio-chemistry which isn't terribly mysterious. Then it gets into some stupid shit like how thoughts affect the pattern of a snowflake. Quite possibly the best moment is at the very end of the movie when it explains the credentials of the people interviewed, if you want to know why its great you'll just have to go here. Its a way better review including the problems with the limited science thats included and an amazing screen shot, without which you wouldn't believe this persons credentials....

Friday, February 08, 2008

IRS v. Scientology

I can't tell exactly whats going on here so I might be WAY off the mark. It sounds like the federal government initially said Scientology wasn't a "real" religion, so Scientology sued and was specifically named as being tax exempt. Now other people are claiming that Scientology is benefiting unfairly.

I don't know exactly what going on but heres the deal. The government cannot favor anyone religion, thats the establishment clause. Personally I'm not sure why religions are tax free but thats a different debate. The question is does this law favor scientology or simply put it on the same standards as the others? If its just putting them in the same category as the other cults, er religions then why should it even be named? If its putting them in a different category then other religions wither for better or worse then its illegal. I'm no judge but that seems simple, now the only question is if this puts scientology into a different tax group than other religions, for that you'll need someone who knows what they're talking about.

UPDATE: Commenter clears things up, Thanks!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Obama vs. Hillary

I was hoping Obama would do better than he did but he's still very much within striking distance. Whats fucked up is it seems Obama is actually beating Clinton by the slightest of margins in pledged delegates. Unfortunately the unelected super delegates are swinging fairly strongly to Hillary. If you don't know what super-undemocratic-delegates are don't feel bad I had to look it up just now, heres an overview. Another question, why does California seem to have no regular delegates? Unless I'm missing something it appears Cali has the same political influence in this election as Arizona which has just under a tenth the number of voters. Representative Democracy with a splash of Orwell (some are more equal than others).

Anyway theres still a long way to go. Go Obama!

1st Amendment Time

Kid walks down the street singing a crappy rap song by Lil' Boosie, I don't know this particular rapper but the statistical likelihood of being crap is exponentially greater when the name begins with Lil', which contained profanity. This kid (19) happened to walk past some younger children, who are usually kept inside tupperware to ensure their safety, and may or mat not have heard the offensive language, so this menace was snatched up by the police for his heinous crime of singing a shitty song. Now personally I think it would be great if we could get rid of crappy music by just arresting anyone who sings shitty songs, sure we'd have our jails over crowded with rednecks singing country but hey nothing comes cheap, and I'd be concerned about who deems music shitty enough to be arrest worthy....

Wait what? He wasn't arrested for singing shitty music but for swearing? How the fuck does that work? Are you telling me that there are still words you can't say in public? I understand not being able to scream fire in a theater, but not being able to say certain words in public when no bodily harm is imposed upon anyone? I'd love to be that attorney, You're honor just to be clear so my client does not end up in this situation again, which words exactly are we not allowed to say in public? Are we going by George Carlins list? Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits, advertisements for drugs can say Anal Leakage but I can't say, "Aw shit I forgot my wallet"? Who decides what words are ok and which words aren't, the judge I guess. So I don't see it as unreasonable to ask the same judge exactly which words are not ok? Is it the actual words that are unacceptable or is it the concepts that aren't allowed? If he walked around loudly talking about, Vigorously thrusting his penis into the ladies vagina, eventually secreting seminal fluids from his gonads all over her large sweaty mammaries. Maybe throw in some anal exploration just for good measure, would that be illegal? No dirty words were used so its ok to say in public right?

While all that is kinda funny it's actually irrelevant to the situation. The first amendment protects freedom of speech there are limits to protect the rights of others but not being offended is not a right. I find the speeches of George Bush highly offensive, does that mean I can have the cops go arrest him? Absolutely not. I can't have the evangelical on the street corner arrested and I don't want them to be. You don't change peoples attitudes by arresting people you disagree with, no you you change peoples attitudes by have discussions with them, and by your actions, but without the absolute protection of freedom of speech we cannot have the conversations this country needs to have. Freedom of speech is not a nice cozy comforter, its confrontational it can be vile and angry but it must be there or we have nothing, without the first amendment our claims to liberty are a sham. Yeah the kid should have shut the fuck up for a sec while the young 'uns meandered by but its not illegal for him to continue, and if they're going to claim it is then I want the print out of what I can't say, just so we're all clear.

If I walked down the street singing Anal Sex Balls Deep, is that ok, does it help if I pause for the F word?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Blackwater Arrests

Yeah, not what you'd think (I hope).
I'm saving this for later, no comment at this time.

Super Fat Tuesday

Yippie, I voted today. Tonight I'll toss some beads around and watch the results of the primary, wild and crazy times.

Go Obama!

Gitmo for the Whole Family

Capture a 15 year old Canadian kid fighting in Afghanistan, keep him locked up for the next 6 years, try him as an enemy combatant instead of the juvenile he is. I can see why they hate our freedoms....

I'd have more to say, but really what can be said? It's news reports like this that make me ponder the downfall of western society, and wonder if its happening fast enough.

The Audacity of Hope

Great timing, I finished Obama's book just in time to go vote for him today in the primary. Shitty timing is that I then started reading Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass an American Slave. Obama's book is good, it really is, at least in the sense that while I don't agree with all of his policies I can respect the fact his opinions. I also know that said opinions were the result of thoughtful deliberation. Unfortunately I don't think any modern American could tell a story quite as riveting as Fredrick Douglass can by simply telling his life story. I like to think that Fredrick would sing with joy at the prospect of a black-man in serious contention for the presidency. I mention the singing because Douglass mentions a horrific misconception that slaves sang for joy, when in fact they were singing of sorrow, and the deeper their sorrow the more they sang, hence the eventual evolution into the blues.

It is quite interesting though to juxtapose the two books, perhaps they are separated by more years then they should be, but the fact that the second book was even written is a testament to the work of the first. The part thats most interesting to me is that despite all that has changed in society in the time between these two books there is one universal truth, if you want to move out of your pitiful station in life there is but one path, education. For Douglass it meant learning to read and write, today we need more but there are those who struggle even with that task. I'll stop now about the older book as I'm only half way through it and its Primary Day here in NY and I get to vote in my first primary today.

Obama, I like the guy. For the same tired reasons as every other young liberal. Sure I wish he'd be more willing to take on military spending. Actually I'm having trouble coming up with anything besides military stuff that I had any qualms at all with him. I don't think he'll do enough to limit the power of corporations but anyone who would go as far as I'd like to see (abolishment of corporate personhood) would have no chance of winning an election. So I can't hate the guy for that. He's also too pro-union for me, but he's a democrat so he pretty much has to be. But then to the stuff I like, first seeing as I've got that big A to the right I'll point out that while he professes to have considerable religious faith (christian) he repeatedly mentions protecting religious freedom, including those of no faith at all. He talks of growing up in a non-religious home with a mother who still felt religious education was important so she taught him about all the worlds major religions. As an atheist I have great respect for that mother, and if I'm ever with children I'd like to think that I'll do the same. So while some atheists have slung a bit of mud at the man for his personal outpourings of faith which many assume is pander to the religious I being an optimist, and a minor fanboy, assume that the religious sentiment is genuine but he feels strongly about the separation of church and state. More importantly though is his perspective, he spend a considerable part of his childhood in Indonesia, a country that has been on the receiving end of plenty of US influence. He has the advantage of being an American who has seen our country from the eyes of the outside world, a view thats not always pretty. He acknowledges the harm imposed on the third world by corporate America which leads me to believe he will do as much as he thinks he can get away with towards reversing the influence of corporations.

I'm just happy to be voting for someone, and not against the other guy (or girl). It should be an interesting evening.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Nothing Nice to Say

The Worlds FIRST online punk comic. And so far this is my favorite, but expect updates as i giggle some more.
UPDATE: Told you there'd be more. Lots more, fascist. And because I like to laugh at myself too...