Saturday, December 24, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
The Nicest Gesture for the Naughtiest Reason
So, this guy, who leads something called a "musclehead revolution" but has the outward appearance of the recently lobotomized, wants to piss off the ACLU because he's a right wing nutcase and has nothing better to do. How does he propose to piss off the ACLU? By sending them Christmas cards. To wit,
...please be kind, even cheerful in sending the card. Trust me - kindness will produce more smoke out of their ears than anything untoward you could think of anyway...That's right. This dork has lurched drunkenly at the coattails of Bill O'Liely and his goofy War on Christmas and come away with eggnog all over his face. For it seems that these tidings of goodwill have not been interpreted as the affront to godless heathenism as expected. In fact, it seems that The New York City ACLU is displaying the cards in their reception area and in the windows. And now the aforementioned yo-yo has a particularly pathetic plea to hear if anyone has "filed a complaint" for being "offended at these wishes of good cheer".
Of course, he could have saved a lot of time and energy by simply visiting the ACLU's website and viewing this page. But then he wouldn't have gotten his F-MoF (fifteen minutes of fame) which is notable only for the hilarious B-roll footage they decided to run over Mr. Musclehead's spiel.
So, even two thousand years ago Mickey could find the happiest place on Earth?
Posted by Fantod at 11:15 PM
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
From Conservative Dialysis, I came across a post titled "Air Marshalls Prove Their Metal." Strangely, the title was greatly misleading. Now, I realize that misspelling is common enough on the internet (when I googled her, I got 878,000 hits and this is almost six years after the final episode of 90210) and the Flying Spaghetti Monster knows the stuff I write is probably riddled with typos, but I just thought that the verbiage in that title was so egregious that I just had to say stop. STOP! STOP! STOP! It's just one of my pet peeves when people do this to words because such a small alteration changes the meaning entirely and makes the writer appear so stupid I imagine they are wearing a brimless, conical hat. And this is one of the worst examples I have ever seen. So, allow me to present the title as it should appear: "Air Marshals Prove They're Metal." There. Doesn't that look more intelligent?
Oh! This is supposed to be about words of wisdom so here's the pearl prized from that meddlesome oyster: "Never, never let someone who is bi-polar and is off their medications to go out in public. It can only lead to trouble." That's right. Medical advice from a man who is conservative with his dialysis.
Doug, over at Stones Cry Out (what ever are they doing to those poor stones?) has a problem with these darn reasonable, scientific-minded types when it comes to whether Intelligent Design should be taught in schools. Or, rather, not "whether" but "how." That stoner, Doug, quotes several proposals much like the one I have in my "My Amazon Rejection" post and countless others have made, namely, that ID or similar creation theory could be taught in schools in a class that would explore many different creation myths/stories/theories. So what's the ace up Doug's sleeve? Perhaps yet another yawner about how ID really is science-y and also a theory just like Evolution? Oh no. Doug cries out that no one will be interested enough in Intelligent Design to learn about it! That's right. An ID apologist is saying that we would have to force the students to take ID as a required class rather than an elective because otherwise they would be too busy flocking to real science that's applicable in the real world that will help them get into good colleges. He thinks this is a useful way to define the debate.
How ironic, then, that Doug apparently has no problem with the very site he writes for making such distinctions between science and Intelligent Design. Right there on their home page, they're in separate subject categories.
Where to Hold the ID Debate
So thus we have a whole host of people giving a reasonable-sounding suggestion yet which has an absolute zero chance of happening. Religion class? Forget it. Philosophy class? Perhaps as a low-attendance elective.
Any other suggestions? I mean, ones that have a snowball's chance in Havana of actually happening.
My main point here (and I'll admit, it's a little opaque) is that if you don't think ID has any place in school, just say so. That's a debate worth having. But if we're just going to get suggestions that could never happen in today's educational climate, that's not really a debate.
The final word of wisdom comes from our favorite bigot, the "pastor" D.L. Foster. It's not so much a word as it is a monosyllabic grunt. It seems that the "pastor" is very excited about a new print ad paid for by the Aryan Family Association or something, promoting the removal of sexual orientation from hate crimes laws because (they claim) such laws protect gays, but not ex-gays. After all, according to the ad, "the only true justice in America is EQUAL justice under law." So, presumably, the "pastor" would be willing to remove religion from such legislation, too, because it protects the religious but not the ex-religious. So does he?
Which shows yet again the mettle of the man and helps to confirm my suspicion that not-straight ex-gaiety is not a sexual orientation.
Posted by Fantod at 11:45 AM
Monday, November 28, 2005
Friday, November 18, 2005
Nitwit Tidbit II
This is from the blog Harry's Soapbox, the post titled "Fred Phelps -- Sodomy Advocate" (Harry's not being ironic, by the way; he's actually serious about that claim). A visitor's comment:
"I agree, Phelps is a double agent. I refuse to even mention him because I dont want to stand before God and have to suffer for that sin." -- "pastor" DL Foster
Fuck, I know what you mean! That's the same reason I refuse to swear!
This has been Nitwit Tidbit! Goodnight!
Posted by Fantod at 8:15 PM
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Whatsa Motto, You?
Michael Newdow is back in the news after announcing recently that he plans to sue to have "In God We Trust" taken off of U.S. currency. And by "back in the news" I mean back as a target for bloviating righteous indignation from right wing hacks.
Take this fellow, for example: Doug Hagin who has a commentary on the newest Newdow doings titled, Atheist fanatics--Stalin would be proud! And that's the nicest thing he has to say. Now, debunking his little screed would provide mild amusement, I'm sure, but countering such obviously stupid -- and factually wrong -- statements like, "Now, emboldened by his victory on the pledge, [Newdow] is back to broaden his campaign of religious genocide..." would probably be considered attacking a straw man, even by the standards of, say, the ironically named Intellectual Conservative which regularly carries Hagin's column. I mean, by the time I got to this statement from the halfwit I found him much more funny than threatening: "The ugly truth about Newdow, the ACLU, and those who foolishly support their Stalinist ideologies is that they despise God."
But then, there was a passage that I went back to re-read.
Is anyone really being treated differently because those words are on our money? Are Atheists being given different voting requirements? Are they being denied the right to fair trials? Are they being forced to attend church? Are they being forbidden from attending religious services?Exactly what Constitutional rights are being denied Atheists?
The answer of course is zero, none, and none at all! Newdow and his cohorts must be living under the demented assumption that feeling a certain way is protected by the United States Constitution. Simply put [sic] the words "In God We Trust" on money does nothing unconstitutional, no matter how many crocodile tears Newdow and the ACLU shed!
Just Imagine! A whole rainbow of mottos -- the collective whim, wit and wisdom of this great melting pot of society... a shuffled poem in your wallet. All thanks to the insight of an accidental genius, Doug Hagin! Thank you, Doug Hagin!
Posted by Fantod at 5:33 PM
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Texans Are a Bunch of Bible-Hating Tinky-Winking Salad Tossers
Or, at least the three out of four of them that voted for Proposition 2 are. Prop.2 author Rep. War On Jism called the proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution a biblical issue. Here it is:
"The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage."Why, I don't see one word that mentions the Bible! Do you? Didn't Rep. War On Jism (or is that Warring Jism?) have the conviction of his faith needed to write a truly biblical proposal? He fucking wimped out. What a chickenshit. And shame on all those Texans who passed this pathetically anemic amendment. Congratulations, now it's a part of your constitution until the end of days. And speaking of which, what are you going to say to Jesus when He comes back to see that you had a chance to really do something to protect marriage -- to make it a biblical issue -- but the godless liberals conned you into settling for this!?
Well, whether it be due to Rep. Warring Jism's weak-kneed heathen-appeasing or the sheeple mindset of today's voters, you've lost that one battle. But you have another opportunity to do right by the Right! As we speak, Senator Sam Bareback of Kansyass is revisiting the Federal Marriage Amendment so now is the time to act. I have here a truly biblical marriage amendment proposal that I received through email. I did not write it and so cannot claim credit, though I'd love to. Copy this and send it to your representatives in Congress.
The Presidential Prayer Team is currently urging us to: "Pray for the President as he seeks wisdom on how to legally codify the definition of marriage. Pray that it will be according to Biblical principles. With many forces insisting on variant definitions of marriage, pray that God's Word and His standards will be honored by our government." Any good religious person believes prayer should be balanced by action. So here, in support of the Prayer Team's admirable goals, is a proposed Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage entirely on Biblical principles:
A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women.(Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5.)
B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives.(II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)
C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)
D. Marriage between a believer and a nonbeliever shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)
E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)
F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)
G. If an unwed woman is raped, she shall marry her rapist. (Deut 22:28-29)
Posted by Fantod at 2:51 PM
From Pundit Review Radio:
"No other ancient writing of any kind anywhere rests on as solid a foundation as does the Bible. In fact if we were to throw out the Bible as being textually uncertain, we would have to do away with all ancient history- and would have to say we know absolutely nothing about anything that happened in the world prior to 1000 AD."
*cracks open Bible*
*reviews the parts about ancient Maya civilization*
This has been Nitwit Tidbit! Goodnight!
Update: This post was voted "Best Comedic Post" for November 2005 by the Order of Brilliant Bloggers
Posted by Fantod at 12:28 AM
Monday, November 07, 2005
The "pastor" D.L. Foster is a self-identified "ex-gay" who is the Founder of Witness Ministries, dedicated to ministering to men and women trapped in unwanted homosexuality. No word on what they do to help those trapped in unwanted heterosexuality. Since he is married, with five children, one might reasonably assume he is now straight. One would be wrong.
(*Yes, I'm going to put the word pastor in quotes every time it appears before "pastor" D.L. Foster's name. So get used to it.)
"I don't claim, and have never claimed to be 'straight'."
-- "pastor" D.L. Foster, Sept. 19, 2005*
This twilight zone of not-straight ex-gaiety helps to explain why he has a blog devoted completely to gays. Or, that is, dedicated to overblown rhetoric, distortions, and lies about gays. You see, the "pastor" D.L. Foster walks a razor's edge and the slightest slip-up could slice off his "ex" and suddenly he's just a plain ol' garden variety not-straight gay. And what better way to prove your not-straight ex-gaiety than through standing up to a non-ending torrent of persecution? Sort of kick-the-dog syndrome, but in this case it's kick-the-strawman. For these made-up incidents cannot be veined with degrees of nuance. No shades of gray are allowed -- the attack must stand out vividly against the background because not a moment of doubt or introspection can be allowed or the whole house of cards collapses. Such mental gymnastics requires the intellectual equivalent of a lithe, 14 year old on the Women's Olympic team. Fortunately for us, the "pastor" D.L. Foster has all the grace of a ham-handed lumberjack trying to knit with railroad spikes. Thus, gays are just like the Ku Klux Klan, they are terrorists, and any protest which includes gays is portrayed as intimidating and threatening.
The "pastor" D.L. Foster loves the biblical story of Lazarus as a metaphor. He has written a book called Touching a Dead Man. "Styled after the Biblical Lazarus, Foster is a modern day Lazarus, who is out of his tomb...and you don't want to miss what he has to say!" If you guessed it must sound something like "Arrrggghhh! Gaaarrrggghh! Mmmmffffppppth!" you wouldn't be far off the mark. And what's with the touching? Well, I 'm not about to buy the book to find out, but this entry on his blog references it. And leaves more questions than it answers.
"Anyway, as the story goes, Jesus calls Lazarus from his grave of four days and in front of all the traditionally correct (tc) Jews he told them to 'loose him and let him go.' This was akin to saying 'Go eat 3 slices of bacon'. Levitical law stipulated that to touch any dead thing would instantly defile. But Lazarus was alive wasn't he? He was, but not to the traditionally correct. So they had a BIG problem with that."At the risk of over-interpreting this goofy account, I might guess that "traditionally correct" is code for "politically correct" which he equates with liberals, i.e. gays. Hey, if the "pastor" D.L. Foster wants to be ex-gay I wish him the best of luck. Really. I just wish he'd realize it's not okay to continue with the constant denigrating of gays. And what's up with the invitation to touch him? With that and the pork reference, things are looking a little homoerotically suspicious. So how does he conclude this muddy thought? "Get my book for the full Monty." Oy.
This logic of identifying with Lazarus is also a little iffy because the "pastor" D.L. Foster also says that "Lazarus got sick one day and died. The Bible doesn't say what his illness was which is great because it allows you to self identify with him by inserting your own 'illness' into the prognosis of the riveting story." Now, there's no two ways about it. He is clearly implying that his former gayness is an illness that was cured, and yet he claims to never use the word cure in this manner. I guess it does make a certain (non)sense that a non-life ex-death that doesn't-cure an ex-illness would lead to not-straight ex-gaiety.
Well, that should serve as an overview. Be sure to check back for further and more detailed debunking of this bigot to see how he massages his ego in order to prove to himself (and his "god") just how not-straight ex-gay he really is so that he can rest easy in the knowledge that the combination to his fart locker is safe for one more day.
Posted by Fantod at 6:40 PM
Michelle Malkin's Panties
I'm worried about them. She gets them in a bunch. In fact, I think they are continually in a bunched state. But the other day her already-bunched panties became so much more bunched that you could fairly see the Victoria's Secret label peeking out her nostril.
Why? Professional jealousy. Released at about the same time as her whiny wad of tattletale notes to teacher was Al Franken's new book, The Truth (With Jokes). Amazon.com honored it with it's own little online video/advertisement. They didn't for Malkin's limp pamphlet. So, she found fault with the video. In fact, she found outrage with the video. Seems she got all worked up about Al pretend-breaking a stool over a pretend-reviewer's head because the reviewer gave Al's book a pretend-bad review. In all of her outrage over this apparent condoning of violence against conservatives, Malkin failed to note one thing. That Al was beating up someone who gave his book a bad review. That was the joke. And it's funny! I mean, the guy admitted that he didn't even read the book, but gave it a one-star rating anyway. What author wouldn't want to pretend-beat up someone like that? Michelle? Ever been there?
Oh lordy! Look at Al's face! It cracks me up!
But that's not really why I felt the need to write about this now. That point has been made by others. What I wanted to address was a bit near the end of her blog entry. Just eight little words:
"... O'Reilly wouldn't dream of making such a video ..."
Of course, the implication is that Bill O'Reilly would never entertain the notion of joking about harming those who disagree with him. Under any circumstance. Right, Michelle?
Well, apparently neither Michelle nor her panties saw Bill O'Reilly threaten Jeremy Glick, whose father died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. He didn't sound like he was joking, either, when he said, "Get out, get out of my studio before I tear you to fucking pieces!" Say, Michelle, is it only outrageous when the person is making threats in a joking manner? Real threats are a-okay? Is that how it works?
Granted, that happened off camera and Malkin is talking -- in the case of Al's hilarious video -- about a public display. So perhaps she missed O'Reilly's appearance on The Daily Show when he threatened a member of the studio audience: "And you -- I'm coming up there."
Or perhaps she'd like to update her entry after O'Reilly's October 28th show when he got a caller who suggested a good source of information might be Media Matters. O'Reilly's response was, "Anyway, we get another nut on the air. That's the worst part of doing this. Ninety percent of the callers are good, and then you get nuts. Now, we should go to their house. We should all go because I can get their addresses when they call in. We can trace them back, and we should all go over and surprise them."
Now, before you go saying, "Well, Fantod, you just proved her point. O'Reilly really can't joke about physical violence without you, Take Back the Media, and Media Matters expressing outrage!" I'll stop you and say this. First, I don't believe the Jeremy Glick threat was for humorous effect and so, yes, I think that's pretty damning evidence for the nutty personality of O'Reilly. Second, Media Matters recorded the incident of Oct.28 but without editorial comment, so I hardly think that reaches the level of "outrage." And third, I couldn't care less if O'Reilly wants to joke about doing violence to those who disagree with him. I find him to be singularly unfunny to begin with and am not offended by that sort of humor, even from him. Remember, the point of my post is that Michelle Malkin claims he "wouldn't dream" of doing the things I just showed him doing. I think he would, has and does.
Posted by Fantod at 2:49 AM
Friday, November 04, 2005
My Amazon Rejection
The following is a book review that I wrote for Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea. Amazon rejected it as being off-topic. I rather agree with them -- I went on a little bit of a rant.
Let’s try this little experiment: hold a piece of paper towel by one edge and lower it partially into some water. Hold it steady, and what happens? The water starts to travel up the towel, against the pull of gravity! We’ve just proved there’s no such thing as gravity! I doubt that even a creationist would agree that capillary action falsifies the theory of gravity and yet the same kind of twisted reasoning is used against evolution with charges of "special pleading" and "begging the question." In fact, one reviewer below, in a fit of apoplexy, decrees that evolution apparently defies physical laws. I’m skeptical of such truly unfounded generalizations, especially now, after reading Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea.
As Carl Zimmer so concisely points out in the book, no scientific theory can ever be directly proven. But a theory generates hypotheses that make predictions, which can be tested. Zimmer, delivering the most up-to-date information on the scientific consensus, shows that evolution has amassed over a century’s worth of such testable predictions. He explains evolution’s global journey, getting right to the point and illuminating with representative examples along the way. Zimmer also delivers a brilliant knockout punch to Intelligent Design, exposing it as repackaging of the irreducible complexity argument. It used to be thought that the eye was far too complex to have developed in a step-by-step process. Take away any part of the eye and, like taking a cog out of a clock, it becomes useless, right? As it turns out, there are many examples of "partial" eyes in nature. I love how the editors have boldly used this icon of creationism on the cover of the book. Zimmer even gives examples of how complex biochemical reactions evolved, like blood clots, which depend on a cascade of different interactions, any one step of which, if missing, will cause the process to fail. It seems proponents of irreducible complexity must keep reducing the area defined as "too complex."
Anti-evolutionists always want to have their cake and eat it, too. They see debates between evolutionists as proof of the theory’s imminent demise and yet also make the contradictory claim that evolution is dogma with no dissenting voices allowed. Often, they make the concession that small genetic changes can and do occur in populations (micro-evolution), but somehow fail to concede that small differences, accumulating over time, eventually result in big differences (macro-evolution). Zimmer explains why you can’t have the former without the latter. In reference to intermediate forms, Zimmer says, "Creationists used to get enormous pleasure out of the lack of walking whales, for example. That was before paleontologists started gigging up whale feet."
Creationists, in the interest of free speech, lobby for equal time for their views to be expressed in schools (perhaps in response to so many evolutionists demanding equal time during church services?). I think there could indeed be an appropriate forum for discussing creationism in a school setting – say, in a theology class where many points of view could be explored, not just Christian creation. But perhaps this is no longer seen as reasonable. Even though many creationists clamor for "equal time," this appeal to a sense of fair play is disingenuous, for their true goal is to eliminate the competition altogether – not through superior reasoning, but by stifling the free exchange of ideas. Pat Robertson’s 700 Club recently posted an article about how Patrick Henry College was denied academic accreditation because the faculty must submit to the school’s official policy that states that "evolution ‘theistic’ or otherwise will not be treated as an acceptable theory." Tellingly, the college is appealing the decision on religious freedom grounds (I guess at Patrick Henry College you can’t have both freedom of religion and freedom of speech). This tactic prompts me to wonder: if creationism is supposed to stand on its scientific merits, why must the school resort to what they recognize as a religious justification? At any rate, Patrick Henry president Michael Farris said teaching evolution in a science class and creation in a religion class would lead to "intellectual schizophrenia." Now the creationists are calling themselves crazy!
It’s understandable why Farris would have a hard time reconciling evolution and creationism. Evolution – like all scientific theories – is dynamic: it is not simply one of many equally plausible explanations, but the single best explanation for the evidence, open to refinement, testability and falsifiability. Creationism is stagnant: it is an absolute that cannot be reasoned with, deriving its truth from theological authority rather than testable or falsifiable methods. Acolytes of creationism travel an inward turning spiral of self-deception that rewards ignorance and unquestioning capitulation, circling ever closer to an intellectual void barren of critical thought. If creationism is allowed equal time in scientific discussions without being required to meet the same rigorous standards of proof as evolution, then down that path lies a vast wasteland strewn with the tatters of reason and the howl of intellectual privation on the wind – nothing short of a new Dark Age. Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea goes a long way towards avoiding this fate.
Posted by Fantod at 2:14 PM
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Top Ten Reasons Gay Marriage is Wrong
Courtesy of this post from craigslist.
01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.
02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.
07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.
09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.
Re-post this if you believe love makes a marriage.
Posted by Fantod at 7:25 PM
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Michelle Malkin's Halo of Stupidity
What's in a name? Well, in the case of the Crescent of Embrace, if the proposed memorial simply had been called something instead of "crescent" -- say, "arch", "arc", "colonnade" -- I can't help but think that the neocons would have totally missed this golden opportunity for manufactured outrage. I especially love the rants that blame liberals for intentionally planning a tribute to the terrorists. Now, I must say, the designers certainly showed a lack of imagination in not predicting this reaction. And now, what looks to have been a beautiful site is bound to end up with a bland designed-by-committee look.
And speaking of lack of imagination, Michelle Malkin has a handy animation to show that one crescent looks just like another! How helpful!
So, in this vein, I decided to start a campaign to change the shape of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. I mean, what more blatantly pro-heart attack symbol could there be?
Honoring the McGripper?
Upon closer examination, I believe that the neocons only appear to be mad at liberals and Islam. The actual hatred runs deeper. And predictably, it's really the French who are the true object of derision.
Here's my proof:
It faces east -- right at France!
Food for thought, anyway.
Posted by Fantod at 11:43 AM