Monday, November 28, 2005

Pastor Blue Balls

The "pastor" has new artwork for his blog. And it's totally not gay.

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!

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!

And then I thought, "You know, he kinda has a point. These are just a few little words printed on our money, after all. No harm done, no matter how I might feel about them." And then I got thinking some more. "These aren't horrible words," I thought to myself, "but I think I know of some I like better. And I'm sure that Doug Hagin won't be offended. After all, if I were to change maybe one little word, it's not like Doug Hagin's rights are being violated or he's being forbidden to attend church or something." So I did.

It's hard to write that small
And then I got thinking even more, and I thought it might be cool to have customizable -- even vanity -- mottos on money!

perhaps even sponsored mottos to raise revenue 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!

I would've written more but that was all I had in my wallet

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)

Nitwit Tidbit

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."
--Gregg J

*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
Brilliant Blog

Monday, November 07, 2005

Pastor Damocles

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.

"I don't claim, and have never claimed to be 'straight'."

-- "pastor" D.L. Foster, Sept. 19, 2005*

(*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.)

yes, that lumberjack

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.

Pastor Zombie

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.

Hey baby, touch Lazarus Jr. and raise him from the dead.

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.

Further reading:

  • Red Tory has excellent posts on the "pastor" D.L. Foster here, here and here.
  • See also RadPurple's entry which points up the capricious nature of the posting policy at the Foster Home, despite a list of rules.

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). 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?

Have a seat?
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."

D'ya think this is what he had in mind?

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.

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."

The joke is, there's a Creationist screed called Icons of Evolution.

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.