Archive for the 'Politics' Category

11
Nov
14

Anti-GMO is the left’s climate change denial, and Vani Hari is an idiot.

Idiot x Twitter followers x Retweets ≠ Smart.

Here’s a FoodBabe quote from her blog on air travel tips:

“The air you are breathing on an airplane is recycled from directly outside of your window. That means you are breathing everything that the airplanes gives off and is flying through. The air that is pumped in isn’t pure oxygen either, it’s mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50%. To pump a greater amount of oxygen in costs money in terms of fuel and the airlines know this!”

Wow. I don’t even…*head explodes* How can she be this stupid and put her pants on in the morning without help? Where to begin? The Earth’s atmosphere is about 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen. Apparently she thinks it’s pure oxygen and that there’s an airline consipiracy to dilute the oxygen to save money. THAT RIGHT THERE should be enough to discount everything else that comes out of her oxygen deprived brain. (And I’d love to know how exhaust is supposed to reenter the cabin when it’s left behind at 3/4 Mach.)

The rest of the article is just as absurd. Here’s another one:

“When your body is in the air, at a seriously high altitude, your body under goes some serious pressure. Just think about it – Airplanes thrive in places we don’t. You are traveling in a pressurized cabin, and when your body is pressurized, it gets really compressed!”

Jesus wept. Air pressure in a pressurized cabin is LESS THAN it is at sea level, it’s roughly like Denver. You’re not being “compressed” (unless you’re from Bolivia or Peru). Where does she pull these “facts” from? Has she ever attempted to self check anything she posts? Does her audience even care that she is pretty much straight up lying constantly?

Tetrodotoxin, cyanide and ricin are GMO-free, natural and organic, and only slightly more dangerous than this woman having access to the internet.

– See more at: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3AcLdyyHM8XS4J%3Afoodbabe.com%2F2011%2F08%2F23%2Fno-reason-to-panic-on-the-plane%2F+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us#sthash.eNVecKPB.dpuf

19
Aug
10

I’m not OK with Islam. Just sayin’.

About six times this week, over on Facebook, I’ve had someone in my group of friends post or comment on a link to Keith Olbermann’s bit about how the “Ground Zero Mosque” isn’t really at Ground Zero, and isn’t really a mosque. Alright. Granted. So it’s not a mosque and it’s not really at Ground Zero. That still doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I wouldn’t be happy about a new Islamic center being built waist deep in Everglades muck either. I’m just not all that stoked on Islam at all.

Lest we forget. This is the religion that kills cartoonists and made similar threats in my own back yard, recently! I just cannot abide a religion without a sense of humor. This is also the religion that tries to blow planes out of the sky every so often, and would succeed more often if they could figure out how to get electronic fuses on-board. I don’t like religious nutjobs of any stripe, but it’s not Ted Haggard or Fred Phelps that I’m worried about at 30,000 feet. When I’m traveling in Asia, it’s not Christian missionaries that make it so I have to stay in a hotel guarded by men with machine guns. It’s not Jews, and it’s not Hindus, or Mormons, or Sikhs or Buddhists…

Yes, I know that there are “radical” Muslims and “moderate” Muslims and probably some “really nice” Muslims. I don’t give a shit. Religious tolerance is just the thin end of the wedge. We’ve been entirely too tolerant of religion, all religion, for far too long. We’ve been too eager to embrace religion and give it a place of privilege outside the law. Too hesitant to criticize, even when it’s deserved, out of our desire to uphold the protections in the Constitution. But the Constitution exists to protect our individual rights as well. I fail to see how indulging intolerant religions leads to more individual freedom.

In the UK and elsewhere, Muslims are demonstrating because they don’t feel they should be bound by the law of the land, but by God’s law. Isn’t that the same as establishing a parallel theocratic government? I find that terrifying. And they will likely get their way because people are afraid to be accused of suppressing religious freedom. Who is willing to stand for secular freedom and the freedom to not be bound by any irrational religious law?

I do not want my art, music, fashion, commerce, speech, literature, sexual practices, food or social interactions to be restricted to the subset that is acceptable to a certain branch of Islam (or Christianity for that matter). I’m not interested in being stoned to death for speaking to a married woman. I’m not interested in having my future daughter’s face mutilated because she committed some offense against an imaginary deity. I would like to retain my freedom to be as far away from Islamic law as humanly possible.

There are very good reasons – rational reasons – why we should closely scrutinize the people involved with the construction of this religious center in Manhattan. (Can we be sure they won’t offer “study abroad” courses at sister schools in Pakistan where you can major in subjects like Roadside Electronics and Exploding Underwear?)  This doesn’t mean I’m hopping into bed with Newt and Sarah – I don’t agree with their theatrics and false outrage; this doesn’t mean that I’m going to start demanding my own copy of Obama’s birth certificate, or that I think the earth is 6000 years old. I’m writing this in part because this debate seems to be taking shape along familiar left/right lines, and I don’t see it that way. It’s going to take a hell of a lot more than Keith Olbermann’s accusations of nationalist extremism to make me think that I’m being too hard on Islam. Go ahead and build your church…er, community center…but I’m still free to be pissed off about it. For now.

23
Jan
09

Barack Obama on secular government

This is an old video, but it’s worth viewing if you haven’t seen it already. It’s our President talking about religion and government, and why you shouldn’t mix the two. I’ve often joked that Obama is too smart to be a Christian, but in all seriousness this video does a good job of pointing out some of the nonsense inherent in the Bible. He explains in simple terms why it would be grossly irresponsible and impractical to even attempt to adhere to the letter of the scripture in private life, much less incorporate Biblical law into our government.
It really gets to the core of why I am so staunchly and outspokenly atheist.

07
Dec
08

Atheist sign stolen…later found in ditch.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation placed a sign in the Washington state capitol near a nativity scene. The sign read:

At this season of the winter solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

So of course some douche comes along and steals the sign and tosses it in a ditch. Someone recovered the sign and took it to a country radio station in Seattle, which is about 2 hours from the Capitol. I have no idea what possessed them to take it to a country radio station that far away. I have to wonder if their hearts were in the right place, or if they figured that a country radio station would be able to provide the maximum amount of derision and ridicule toward the sentiments expressed on the sign.

This tool over at Political Machine posted and article saying that he’s glad the sign was stolen, and a bunch of dittoheads chimed in agreement in the comments.

Excerpt:

What irks me about the atheists’ display is that its sole purpose is to be dickish. That’s really my problem with atheists, too. They are every bit as annoying as the guys who ring my doorbell and try to sell me a creepily-drawn comic book masquerading as a magazine.
An Atheist believes there is no God, which is about as useful as believing there is one. Both sides insist that they know something that is currently unknowable. That’s why it’s called a belief, because you don’t know. But atheists will tell you all about their belief, whether you ask them to or not.

Another person exclaimed that atheists had “gone too far” with their sign.

I responded with the following:

I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. This isn’t “dickish” and atheists have not gone too far. Believe me, you’d know if we had. Have you seen an atheist group claim responsibility for a terrorist attack lately? Have atheists bombed any clinics near you, or shot any doctors who they disagreed with? Have atheists forced any legislation down your throat?
The nativity should never have been at the Capitol, period. That constitutes an endorsement of religion by the government. Put it on your church lawn. We had every right, and in fact the Constitutional responsibility to respond. I was not a part of this sign, but I fully endorse it and its message. If you want to call something a dickish move, how about we examine how Christians try to urinate a circle around every secular building with their marketing displays? THAT is a dickish move.
You are correct that no one can know for certain that there’s no God, or that there is, but that isn’t how we operate in the real world. You don’t know for certain that there isn’t a dragon who lives on the far side of the moon that controls Chinese people with telepathic waves, but you can be reasonably sure because there’s no proof. That’s all atheists are saying. Let reason prevail. There’s never been any proof of a God, so let’s assume there isn’t one, rather than guiding our lives and public policies around a being that in all likelihood doesn’t exist.

But then again, I’m just a dick that way.

-sJ

31
Oct
08

Atheists “lowest of the lows” according to Kay Hagan

“This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it.” – John Adams, President and Founding Father

Why am I so outspoken on atheism? I feel that I have to make a vigorous stand in the face of the erosion of our Nation’s secular foundation. Atheists get a bum rap. In a certain respect, we’re lucky. There are no visible signs of atheism. We’re not a different color and we don’t have public behaviors that are easy to spot. We can stay under the radar if we choose. The one thing we cannot do is run for office. Not if we want to win, at any rate. An atheist can’t get elected dog catcher. Well, that’s not exactly true…you can in the most despicable and godless of all districts, The Bay Area. To date, there has been exactly 1 openly atheist congressman, Rep. Pete Stark D-CA. I am convinced there are many more secret atheists who have made a devil’s bargain, if you’ll pardon the pun, in order get elected. As Hemingway said, “all thinking men are atheists” though I suppose that could be taken a number ways depending on your view of Congress…and Hemingway. At any rate, it is politically safe to express contempt toward atheists in a way that we no longer tolerate when it comes to gays, or blacks or Jews or filthy awful Scotsmen.

The reason I’m writing about this now is that atheism is becoming a central attack theme in the race between Elizabeth Dole and Kay Hagan for Dole’s NC Senate seat. Dole is running attack ads calling Hagan “godless” for taking campaign money from the Godless Americans Political Action Committee. Dole’s people had this to say about GAPAC:

“Kay Hagan attended a fundraiser event in Massachusetts in September held in the home of two anti-religion activists, Wendy Kaminer and her lawyer husband, Woody Kaplan,” Dole’s attorneys said in a letter to Hagan’s lawyer.

They described Kaplan as a founder and advisory board member of the GAPAC. The letter said Kaplan and Kaminer were advisory board members of The Secular Coalition for America, which it described as “the national lobby for atheists, humanists, freethinkers and other nontheistic Americans with the unique mission of protecting their civil rights.”

Protecting your civil rights is a “unique” mission now? Weird. I thought everyone wanted their civil rights protected. Those rotten godless sonsofbitches! How dare they demand to be treated with the same rights as everyone else.

Alright, so Dole calls Hagan “godless” like it’s a bad word, and Hagan responds by calling this attack “the lowest of the lows”. Hagan claims to be Christian, and judging by the fact that she took thousands of dollars from a secular rights group and then threw them under the bus, I’d say she probably is. Lowest of the lows – really? Worse than a terrorist? Worse than a genocidal dictator? Worse than a serial killer? Child rapist? Wall street swindler? Worse than a wife beater? A drunk driver? Worse than someone who borrows your stuff and doesn’t return it? The religious tyranny in this country, and particularly in politics, is swirling into a furor that will likely result in witch trials if we don’t get a handle on it. This country was founded deliberately secular, and for the safety of freedom of its citizens it needs to remain that way. I’m tired of watching politicians try to out-pious each other. Our Founding Fathers would be supremely pissed off about this, if they were here to see it.

Speaking only for myself, and not on behalf of any political party or organization, it’s my view that people should be ashamed of their religion, not proud of it. Religious belief is proof of a flaw in ones ability to think rationally, not a virtue. People should feel a certain amount of embarrassment in admitting that they think the Earth was created a few thousand years ago by an invisible man in the sky who then destroyed it with a flood because he was angry but saved all the animals by ordering one man to collect breeding pairs on a homemade boat. You’re kidding, right? We can all agree that Norse or Greek creation myths seem far-fetched, but this is somehow plausible? And I should take comfort in electing someone whose belief in this nonsense is more steadfast than their opponent’s?

Clinging to superstition puts us all back in the dark ages. We have 99.999% of the answers that religion used to provide. We know the history of the universe going back several billion years. We know how the sun will one day destroy the earth, a few billion years from now. We know how mankind evolved from out of the muck. We know about heredity, and DNA. We know germs cause disease, not demons. We know about schizophrenia, rather than possession. We can make wires a single atom wide. We have vaccines and heart transplants. We have computers that can perform billions of calculations per second – while communicating with satellites – that fit in your pocket. What have you done for me lately, religion? There are a few dark corners where we still have to guess, but religion provides nothing better there either…just more unanswerable questions. Who created the Big Bang? God? Then who created God? We can endlessly regress these questions like toddlers pestering our parents, or we can accept the reality that there might be some questions that will just go unanswered, and emerge into the intellectual adulthood of our species.

Being godless isn’t a bad thing, and atheists aren’t the lowest of the lows. We’re just ahead of the curve.

24
Oct
08

B is for Bullshit: McCain “sticker attack” a lie.

I’m sorry, but I have to call bullshit on this one. A woman claims to have been attacked for sporting a McCain bumper sticker. This is a blatant hoax. This is an attempt by the McCain campaign to suggest that Obama’s supporters are unhinged knife wielding thugs. (In Pittsburgh, PA no less! A state where the polling spread has narrowed a bit.)

Supporting facts:

The woman declined medical examination. – That’s because a doctor would have seen what is plain to see in the photo, which is…

This is a fake injury. – The “B” mark on her face is not a knife wound. It’s not even a scratch. Any teenage girl who’s cut herself for attention could tell that from the pic. It’s also backward because the girl drew it on in a mirror. The black eye isn’t swollen and there’s no damage at all to the blood vessels in the white of the eye. Hmmm…how could someone fake a black eye only a few days before Halloween? The caption on the photo is from “sarahsarmy.blogspot.com”. Does that sound like a reputable source for a photo? It does not say “AP” or “GettyImages” or “Reuters”.

There is no police substantiation of any part of the story. – In fact they seem to be distancing themselves from the story. They basically said “We’re only saying what she told us, we can’t corroborate any of this.” I would expect this investigation to unravel very soon.

The alleged attacker fits the McCain/Palin base’s fear archetype a little too well. – A scary, angry black man robbing a white woman.

Both McCain AND Palin have already exploited the “attack” for a photo op. – The campaign says they’re refusing to release more details out of “respect for the woman’s privacy”. Why? Details would be helpful, wouldn’t they? How about a sketch? And where’s the ATM videotape? How about…this is total racist bullshit designed to sway those people who are just now getting over their fear and prejudice of blacks and voting for Obama.

So blatant. So obvious. We have to get a doctor out there and expose this woman for the fraud she is. Next up, a white woman will be gang raped by a group of “dark skinned” men chanting “Yes We Can!” Right? F*** you, McShame. You’re fooling no one.

By the way, the blog mentioned above as the source of the photo also carries a “prediction” about Barack Obama being assassinated after the inauguration. Call the FBI.

Update: She confessed! I love being right!

21
Oct
08

Palin’s “factor” is all hot air, too.

CNN recently posted an article about how the “Palin Factor” could save McCain.

Let me make something clear. Sarah Palin couldn’t save a duck from drowning in a bathtub if she had a floatation ring in one hand and the drain plug chain in the other. Sarah Palin is good at exactly one thing, ok maybe two things if you count reproduction as one. She can get ignorant rednecks whipped into a state of semi-erection. That’s it. Ok, so that’s still just one thing then. That’s her magic touch, and her gift to the Republican party.

She’s been yelling out “Socialism!” on the campaign trail, but I’ll bet she couldn’t write a paragraph on what it means. We have a phrase for this kind of uninformed rhetoric. It’s called, “talking out your ass”. Let’s talk about the other McCain/Palin buzzword for a second. “Wealth Redistribution” is apparently only a bad thing when the wealth is going downhill. They’ve been perfectly fine with redistributing wealth uphill for the last 8 years. The American Dream (Classic Version) says that you work hard in school, get a good job, work your way up and accumulate wealth and prosperity for your family. That’s becoming an increasingly unrealistic aspiration. The reason has to do with the folks in the top 1% taking 25% of the nation’s wealth. This is not wealth creation that helps anyone, it’s just hoarding. It’s wealth sequestering. That money is going into bank accounts that will never recirculate or stimulate the economy, and for no other reason than status and greed. Inflating the top tier while wages at the lower tiers decrease or stagnate actually stifles Capitalism because it takes away the incentive to work hard and to innovate. There are thousands of us out there working as hard as we can every day, only to watch our wages decrease and our jobs leave for foreign shores. If the American Dream becomes unavailable to us, then we’re going to have to deal with the desperation of the American Nightmare. Capitalism cannot survive in a completely unregulated “whatever we can get away with” environment. They’re poisoning the well they drink from. The rest of us, the other 99%, are the engine that makes it all possible. Is it so much to ask that OUR work be rewarded as well? We are not beggars. We just want someone to take another look through the rule book and make sure that there’s still a way to win through hard work. Barack Obama understands this. John McCain married rich, and Sarah Palin is used to getting what she wants by winking at men. Moving on…

“It may well be that there is … a group of people out there now who find it politically incorrect to be for Sarah Palin in public, but they’re going to vote for her in the privacy of the voting booth,” said David Gergen, a CNN senior political analyst.”

Yeah, right. Closet rednecks. Never heard of one. It’s more likely that there are millions out there who can’t say they’d vote for a black guy, but are scared shitless that their job is going overseas, or that their husband won’t come home from Iraq, or that their savings will be worthless, or that they’ll lose their reproductive rights, or that their health care won’t cover their preexisting condition.

And then there’s this:

“I think Sarah Palin is still very popular among the conservative base,” said Rick Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine. “There are other conservatives, the conservative intelligentsia, who have peeled off and think maybe it was a mistake.”

The article referes to these conservatives who are bright enough to reject Palin’s thin qualifications as “elite Republicans”. Elite isn’t a bad word. Neither is intelligence, for that matter. I find it jaw-droppingly disappointing that CNN’s Ed Henry would propagate the “smart=elitist=out of touch” meme. We need smart leaders right now. Anyone who says Sarah Palin is a woman of sufficient intelligence to lead the country knows in their heart that they are a liar. Let’s invent a new term of derision for the dumbasses who never aspired to educate themselves, yet think they’re qualified to lead: illiterati.

One final side-splitter and then I’m done:

“Palin could emerge as the woman who almost saved John McCain and become his heir apparent in 2012 — and represent the future of the GOP.”

Sarah Palin represents the future of reality TV, nothing more. “Let’s see what happens when we take a woman who can’t stop squirting out God’s Little Miracles, her promiscuous daughters, her variously failure-prone sons and her Eskimo Earnhardt husband and stick them in the middle of arctic nowhere! Tune in next week when Track and Trig take on a grizzly!” Sarah Palin couldn’t lead a group of first graders out of a one room schoolhouse if they all had their little wrists tethered together. Total incompetence. If she truly represents the future leadership of the GOP, then things are looking very VERY bright for the rest of us. As long as we can provide enough drool bibs and Doritos we should be able to run the country without much interference.