Thursday, November 27, 2008

I have some good news and I have some bad news...

Disclaimer: When people mess with the well-being of children, it makes my blood boil. As such, even the "good news" section of this note results in a pretty strong rant. If you're faint of heart, keep reading - it'll be good for you.

Let's start with the bad: one last time, science is going to suffer at the hands of the current President before he is finally (and mercifully) sent packing back to that shithole we call "Texas."

Before he leaves, Dubya is filling federal positions dealing with science policies with the same type of people he has always appointed: those who are grossly unqualified. Needless to say, AAAS President James McCarthy is pissed:

"It's ludicrous to have people who do not have a scientific background, who are not trained and skilled in the ways of science, make decisions that involve resources, that involve facilities in the scientific infrastructure," said James McCarthy, a Harvard University oceanographer who is president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "You'd just like to think people have more respect for the institution of government than to leave wreckage behind with these appointments."


Ouch. This is coming from one of our most austere science organizations, and one that was slower than most to criticize ID for fear of offending people. Glad to see McCarthy pulling no punches over this.

So how bad could it be?

"In one recent example, Todd Harding -- a 30-year-old political appointee at the Energy Department -- applied for and won a post this month at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There, he told colleagues in a Nov. 12 e-mail, he will work on "space-based science using satellites for geostationary and meteorological data." Harding earned a bachelor's degree in government from Kentucky's Centre College, where he also chaired the Kentucky Federation of College Republicans.

Also this month, Erik Akers, the congressional relations chief for the Drug Enforcement Administration, gained a permanent post at the agency after being denied a lower-level career appointment late last year.

And in mid-July, Jeffrey T. Salmon, who has a doctorate in world politics and was a speechwriter for Vice President Cheney when he served as defense secretary, had been selected as deputy director for resource management in the Energy Department's Office of Science. In that position, he oversees decisions on its grants and budget."


Can we please get this dangerous, simpering git out of Washington as soon as possible?



Ok, good news to balance that out. A Florida court has overturned the ban on gay adoption, and has included us a wonderful paragraph of sanity:

"It is clear that sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person's ability to parent. A child in need of love, safety and stability does not first consider the sexual orientation of his parent. The exclusion causes some children to be deprived of a permanent placement with a family that is best suited to their needs."


Of course, we're already hearing "Judicial activism! Waaaaaaah!" from the religious other side. We're also hearing the same shit that came out of Arkansas a month ago:

"Everywhere in the law where children are affected, the standard must always be what is in the best interest of the child," said Stemberger, an attorney in Orlando. "What is stunning to me is that when it comes to dealing with gays, that standard goes out the window. Children do better with a mother and a father."


To quote my dad:

"They shovel that manure out as if leaving 2/3 of the foster care kids with NO HOME AT ALL somehow achieves that "best environment" and somehow doesn't "harm children in ways that show up later in life". How stupid and gullible can people be? Talk about shit for brains.

You have to hate and fear homosexuals a lot to pass a law that hurts both children and heterosexuals in order to "get the gays". I think it is both disgusting and pathetic that people would use children as expendable pawns in their culture wars."


You know what? Statistically, kids to better with rich parents than they do with poor parents. They also do better with educated parents than with non-educated parents and better with white parents than they do with black parents (statistically speaking), but any laws prohibiting those demographics from rescuing a child from a fucking orphanage would rightly look cruel and retarded (as long as we're talking about throwing standards out the window, jackass)

And as usual, what's the culprit? Faith. Not stupid people who happen to be religious, but faith. The culprit is the very notion that believing in things (and hence formulating your world view) without evidence and clinging to that belief no matter how ridiculous, discriminatory, or malicious is not only a good thing, but the best thing. It's the only way that people could divorce themselves from basic human empathy to such an extent as to harm children to get a group of people that want to help the children. And it's the only way people could so eagerly spit on the products of our 21st century understanding in order to do so.

Yet it's "disrespectful" for people like me to point out how indescribably stupid those beliefs are. Tough shit, your religion is false. Your religion, the only motivation there can possibly be to discriminate against these normal people given the findings of science is false, so you can stop believing it. There are no talking snakes, witches, or pernicious gods that get pissy when people work on the wrong day (and there never were), and dredging the moral imperatives of times before Christ into the 21st century based on believing such nonsense is the very definition of pious idiocy. At the very least you deserve to be mocked for being so gullible, even for the minority of voting Christian voices who don't let their credulity turn them into bigots.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sarah Palin Turkey Interview

Sarah Palin is a retard. Proof: she conducts an interview with local media right in front of a farmer slaughtering turkeys. *Warning*-Graphic turkey slaughter action.

Surfing teh Interwebs is Good for You!

A new study has proven that surging the internet is good for teenagers.

Not a teenager? Not to worry! It turns out that surfing the web is just as good for everyone else, too.

Each volunteer underwent a brain scan while performing web searches and book-reading tasks.

Both types of task produced evidence of significant activity in regions of the brain controlling language, reading, memory and visual abilities.

However, the web search task produced significant additional activity in separate areas of the brain which control decision-making and complex reasoning - but only in those who were experienced web users.


Yay for not ending up like this guy!

If 'God' had a Facebook page:

Well, what do you know, College Humor actually comes up with something not involved half naked chicks or booze. Kind of.

Behold, the 'God' Facebook page!

Here's a little taste of what it's like (but I highly recommend going to the page and reading it all):

Sweet Map Action

So, I was listening to NPR the other day I learned about World Mapper. This guy, Mark Neuman, and his team of super nerds have come up with an alternative mapping method which re-sizes areas on a map according to a certain subject of interest.

For example, here is the normal election map that is sectioned out by state:



This map can seem somewhat skewed because it seems like, due to visibility alone, that Montana would have more influence over New York because it appears larger on the map. However, New York has more electoral votes because of the larger population, which this map doesn't show.

Check out Mark's alternate version:



Freakin' cool! The areas are skewed to properly show how much influence each red or blue state has.

More maps can be found on World Mapper and they are all pretty awesome.

Friday, November 21, 2008

They are Coming to Your Town...

I hate to pull down the level of the posts lately. JT has been doing a great job keeping the posts up to a high intellectual standard.

But this is just so funny...



You can buy the FIVE PACK TODAY!!!

Note: I just read a beautiful little piece over on the Friendly Atheist's blog on this video. Very well done. =)

Chuck Norris should shampoo my crotch

I've seen this letter from Chuck Norris circulating around the intertewbz, including the blogs of two good friends of mine.  So I figure I need to say something about it.

The first seven paragraphs are the Association Fallacy, trying to insinuate that a few isolated incidences are indicative or approved of by the whole of those supporting equal rights. 

No, almost all of us condemn violence.  If this logic works, then all Christians pray their children to death, hate science, and are members of the Ku Klux Klan.  If that sounds absurd to you, then Chuck is not off to a very good start.  Chuck's whole letter depends on asserting that something is the case when it's not the case.  The instances of violence are rare and are an exception to the rule - yet Chuck, for his spiel to work, has to invert reality and convince us that most protesters are shoving old ladies.  This is dishonest and wrong.  Rather, throughout the protesting we are seeing stuff like this:

"Throughout the entire event demonstrators were thanking the police," said Long Beach Police Sgt. David Marander. "It wasn't an adversarial event, except for the few who were there to cause trouble."

"Other than a smashed police car window, there were no reports of property damage nor injuries."

Or this:

"A similar protest took place in San Diego, where around 11,000 people demonstrated peacefully despite an attempt by anti-gay marriage activists to disrupt the march, police said. One man was arrested for attempting to incite violence before being released."

Afterward, he admonishes us to accept the will of the majority.  This is a means of circumventing the discussion about whether or not what the majority wants is moral.  Consider the following paragraph:

"The truth is that the great majority of those opposed to blacks marrying whites are not bigots or hatemongers. They are American citizens who are following 5,000 years of human history and the belief of every major people and religion: Marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman of the same ethnicity. Their opposition to Loving vs. Virginia wasn't intended to deprive any group of its rights; they were safeguarding their honest convictions regarding the boundaries of marriage."

Sounds pretty stupid, doesn't it?  "We weren't trying to be bigoted, we just think you should have to abide by our tradition when choosing who you should marry."  That would be downright hilarious if people weren't serious when they used that argument leading up to 1967, when people of different races were finally allowed to marry.

First, it doesn't matter if it's your tradition - if your tradition is exclusionary, if it insists that others abide by your tradition while forsaking their own, it's bigoted and hate-mongering. 

Second, Chuck doesn't seem to know much about the history of marriage, even within his own faith.  It has not always been between one man and one woman.  Hell, if the tradition had never changed, marriage in the Christian faith would not even be about love. 

Third, Christian marriage is not the only marriage.  Many religions recognized by our government will, and always have, married people of the same gender.  To insist that people abide only by your ideal of marriage is, wait for it, ignoring and suppressing the traditions of other religions.  All the same, why does years of tradition matter?  I just fasted for 20 minutes and had a revelation that Zothar the Lizard King is the one true god (tm), and I am now forming a religion and starting my own traditions which include marrying people of the same gender and forbidding marriage to somebody of the opposite gender.  If my faith gets the nod governmentally, I'm not being a hatemonger - I'm just adhering to my own tradition.

Wait, my tradition is needlessly discriminatory?  Shit...

Or, try this paragraph:

"Nevertheless, bitter African-American activists simply cannot accept the outcome as being truly reflective of the general public. So they have placed the brainwashing blame upon the crusading and misleading zealotry of those white-skinned and religious villains: the Catholics, evangelical Protestants, and especially Mormons, who allegedly are robbing the rights of American citizens by merely executing their right to vote and standing upon their moral convictions and traditional views on slavery."

The fact that slavery was once the overwhelming will of the American public, endorsed by their moral and traditional views, never made it moral.  The majority was wrong then, and you can bet they used arguments like this to circumvent the argument of whether or not what they wanted was right or fair, even as they asserted that they were being moral, just like Chuck is doing.

Other people who have been unable to accept the majority's traditional views on morality have been Susan B. Anthony and Dr. Martin Luther King.  Yes, the majority had spoken, but as Dr. King once said (from a jail cell, no less), "It is the duty of every decent man to disobey unjust laws."

On protesting black churches, it's hard to protest a race.  A race is not a belief-set.  Even if 70% of voters with brown eyes had supported prop 8, protesting people with brown eyes would just be silly.  However, those people who attend churches (and voted for it by a clip of 86%) which donated tens of millions of dollars to the campaign to get prop 8 passed, they are clearly culpable and should be protested.  That being said, gay rights people should be protesting "black" churches - but because they are churches that contributed, not because they are "black."

The rest is more conflating those upset about losing their rights with "violent thugs," including Chuck's quote of Colson.  Yes, we are begging Americans, particularly those on the religious right, for tolerance.  You can't really be surprised when we don't buy your insistence that those of us being intolerant of the discrimination you voted for are themselves the intolerant ones.  Tolerance of intolerance is not tolerance.

The rest of it is Chuck pissing and moaning about violent protesters that make up a few isolated incidences and have been condemned by virtually every gay rights organization both in CA and nation-wide.  If you buy this, you are neither reading nor watching the news.

So, here's a brief recap of Chuck's arguments:

1.  Majority rules.

Yes, it does, and now we are bound by the law.  That doesn't make it right, and to invoke this is to avoid the argument about whether or not it was right.

2.  All/most of the protesters are violent.

Anybody who glances at the news in the morning will know this is bullshit.  Yet, people believe it when Chuck says it without doing any fact-checking.  These people vote.  Ug.

3.  We're not bigots, our faith is just different than yours and so you have to abide by ours.

...really?

The most overt Chuck Norris joke seems to be Chuck Norris himself.

On the notion of tolerating intolerance, as Chuck is asking us to do, Mark Morford once said it better than I ever could.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Space - we're tackling it a little bit at a time.

It's been such an exciting time for Astronomy lately. We've discovered water on Mars, which means that microbial life is probably there. The next rover we send over there should be able to determine this for sure. The Garden of Eden had quite the extended reach, it seems...

Also, we have our first images of exoplanets orbiting other stars. We have discovered over 300 planets now that orbit stars outside our solar system, and that number is perpetually growing. So far, we've found no Earth-size terrestrial planets, although there's the possibility of one around Gliese 876.





These images are huge news! And, if it's huge news in Astronomy, you know Phil Plait will have to have to weigh in.

You'll notice that not once did we ever have to pray our way to these results - nor is this information found anywhere in the bible between instructions on how to keep slaves and sacrifice animals. This is the accomplishment of mortals, period. Let this be a lesson to all of us: we can pray for things to change, or we can use that time changing them by taking in reality for what it truly, and beautifully, is.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gay Marriage: the Arguments



This is a collection of all the arguments I have heard against gay marriage, and the reason why they are factually errant, logically vacuous, cruel and without empathy, or a combination of the three.

In order to get into some of these arguments, we all need to be on the same page about marriage's development. Historically speaking, the notion of marriage is a nebulous concept that changes constantly. While marriage traditions differ greatly from culture to culture, marriage within Jewish culture and subsequently Christian culture was seldom an issue of love, but rather a means of producing children, securing bloodlines, and managing property rights. This is why a widow was made to marry her husband's brother. Also, throughout much of it, women were considered chattel, which was a different way of saying "property" (the word itself being derived from "cattle").

The History

Polygamy.

"Although [polygamy] was lawful among the ancient fathers: whether it be lawful now also, I would not hastily pronounce." ~ St. Augustine, The Good of Marriage

Indeed, even Martin Luther, the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation from which we derive what would become our Christianity, wrote "I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict Scripture."

In 1650, the parliament of N├╝rnberg decreed that men could take up to ten wives for a brief period, and the Catholic Church adopted it.

Religious philosophers, starting with Augustine in the 5th century, debated the issue of polygamy for centuries. However, it was the Roman Catholic Church that put an official end to the practice in the 12th century.

Endogamy.

Marrying only within a particular social group (the opposite of exogamy, which is marrying outside your particular social group). Many Muslim groups still engage in this, as do some Christian groups. Until 1967, Christian groups opposed exogamy in the form of marrying somebody of a different race (thus supporting endogamy). Names for these types of laws were often similar to Virginia's "Racial Integrity Act," and they werejustified as defending the traditional meaning of marriage. They did this citing passages from the bible, the most frequent of which was Phinehas and the curse of Ham. It should be noted that these laws would have prevented the marriage of Barrack Obama's parents.

Arranged Marriages.

These have been prevalent throughout history. We owe arranged marriages to the Hebrew edicts that marriage preserve property rights, as well as the tradition of marriage to tackle primarily financial issues. Often these marriages were conducted by proxy, in which somebody stood in for the groom. It is this tradition of marriage as a financial matter that gave us the idea of a dowry.

It was the troubadors of the 12th century that introduced the concept of romantic love to the notion of marriage, and begun to emancipate us from marriage, both in the religious and political sense, as an economic institution.

The list of assundry changes to the idea of marriage could quite literally go on forever, but this should be sufficient for arguments I'm about to make.

The Arguments

It is plain to see that any argument against gay marriage is merely bigotry dressed up as an argument, and if we are to be moral, good human beings with sensible moral imperatives, we must oppose bigotry wherever it rears its devout, ugly head.

We cannot "redefine marriage."

We cannot redefine marriage for whom? Marriage exists in many cultures and many faiths differently than it exists in yours. There is not a single definition of marriage, and the United States government recognizes several faiths as legitimate religions that have a different definition than yours. Many of these faiths will marry people of the same gender. To recognize one religion over another legally is an abrogation of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

By saying that we cannot redefine marriage, you are simply saying that the country must recognize your idea of marriage and grant you the monopoly on the concept. This is flagrantly discriminatory and for no good reason.

We must keep the traditional value of marriage.

Again, you do not seem to grasp the notion that there is no "traditional" value for marriage. The term is broad, and even marriage in your faith changes constantly (historically speaking). You really just want to force others, with their own notion of marriage (which is just as legitimate as yours) from keeping with their tradition. So in reality, it is you who is ignoring other cultures by demanding that they adhere to yours.

Also, as we've seen, tradition is a very poor measuring stick for what is fair. Traditionally, the United States allowed you to keep slaves (until we broke from that wicked tradition). Traditionally, blacks were not able to marry a majority of the citizens in the United States who didn't share their ethnic minority. We rightly eliminated those laws - far later that we should have. Tradition should be eliminated if it conflicts with compassion. There is no need to maintain a practice from a dated society with different needs than our current one, that conflicts with modernity. To do so could only be called regressive and stupid.

My brother put it very well once:

"I hear there are some voodoo hoodoo tribes in Africa where it’s a passage to manhood to rip some poor sap’s still-beating heart out of his chest and eat it raw while prancing about on a bed of hot coals and whacking off with their free hand. I hope they get rid of that tradition – that one sucks.

Some traditions should be flushed down the proverbial toilet, or at least be given a few rigorous wipes to make them applicable to modern society."


Homosexuality is a life-style choice.

Even if it is...who cares? Your traditional marriage once forbid marriage to a non-believer, which is certainly a choice. Why should whether or not loving somebody of the same gender is a choice even matter?

The following is a non-sequitor, since whether or not it's a choice is irrelevant.

Our most prestigious batteries of medical minds say it's not a choice. This is from the American Psychological Association in response to the question of whether or not homosexuality is optional:

No, human beings cannot choose to be either gay or straight. For most people, sexual orientation emerges in early adolescence without any prior sexual experience. Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed.


All credible medical bodies are in concert with the APA on this subject. In order to part ways from them, you must have a good reason to deny the consensus of the experts. What is it?

Marriage is for the production of children.

Your idea of marriage may be. But, once more, you do not hold all the rights to the notion of marriage. Nobody is insisting that you must alter your particular set of tribalistic rules to accommodate groups you want to exclude, so nobody wishes to alter your concept of marriage. It is you who wants to forcibly exclude other ideas of marriage from their protection under the first amendment because those ideas do not mesh with yours. If you can do that, what prevents others from doing the same to you?

If marriage were for the production of children, we would have laws against impotent couples (which make up about 15% of marriages), we would take away children from single-parent homes, and we would make procreation requisite for marriage. We do none of the above. We tried to do so in 2007 with Washington Initiative 957. Initiative 957 or the "Defense of Marriage Act" would have required a couple to prove they were capable of having children in order to be married, and it would have annulled their marriage if they did not produce offspring within three years. The measure failed and rightly so - because marriage is not exclusively about producing children in the eyes of our country.

If you want your definition of marriage to be about producing and rearing kids, great. Nobody is saying you cannot do this. But to insist that others forsake their traditions, religious or otherwise, and abide by yours is tyrannical and wrong.

Even if it were about raising children, adoptions happen (many of the orphans coming from straight-marriage homes), and gay people are certainly capable of handling that responsibility. The American Medical Association, perhaps the most austere medical organization on Earth, supports gay people raising children:

Our AMA will support legislative and other efforts to allow the adoption of a child by the same-sex partner, or opposite sex non-married partner, who functions as a second parent or co-parent to that child.


The American Psychological Association follows suit:

Studies comparing groups of children raised by homosexual and by heterosexual parents find no developmental differences between the two groups of children in four critical areas: their intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment, and popularity with friends. It is also important to realize that a parent's sexual orientation does not indicate their children's.


According to the Department of Human Services in my home state of Arkansas, on any given day there are about 3,700 children are in foster care with only about 1,100 foster homes ready to take them. So even if gay people cannot produce children (a fact that is irrelevant for the purpose of denying them marriage), they can still adopt and provide a child with a loving family they wouldn't have had otherwise.

If you are denying gay people familial rights that currently, in states like Arkansas, prevent them from adopting children, your policies are hurting children even as you pose as defenders of our progeny. If you are doing this, you should be ashamed of yourself.

The slippery slope argument.

The idea is that if we let gays get married we must also let polygamists get married. I have also heard other wretched comparisons used with this argument, like if we let consenting adult gays get married we must also let pedophiles marry their prey or let people marry animals.

This argument was also invoked by pious Christians leading up to the landmark 1967 decision to allow interracial marriage. If we let blacks marry whites, what next? The correct answer is, nothing. Each issue must be weighed on its individual merits and for fairness of its own account. If the slippery slope argument is to hold, what keeps us from slippery sloping in the other direction? What keeps the government from saying that you can't marry whomever you choose based on your income, or some other arbitrary measure?

In the case of gay marriage, you are not protecting anybody. These are consenting adults, who have found happiness in each other's arms. There is no harm. There is no danger. Why do we need to have laws against this? Who are we protecting by doing so?

The one-size fits all approach to marriage.

The idea here is that gay people have the same rights as straight people: they can marry somebody of the opposite gender. This is really just another way of saying that your particular idea of marriage (out of tens of thousands on Earth) should be the only one, and that people somehow have full rights because they can adhere to your sense of marital propriety.

That's just stupid.



Outro

This is a growing document, so I will be perpetually adding facts to it and addressing new arguments as they arise. If you have anything to contribute, please e-mail it to me at jteberhard@gmail.com or leave a comment.

All of us know what it is like to be discriminated against for one reason or another. If you would prevent that unpleasantness from being visited on perfectly normal and perfectly good people for no good reason whatsoever, speak out.

While life may not be fair, the unfairness does not have to come from us, as compassionate human beings. If you have a sense of justice, and want to wash your hands of unethical treatment of others, speak out.

If you want to be somebody who views us as a single race trying to share happiness on this rock we call Earth, rather than an agent of a balkanizing tribe, speak out.

In short, if you have empathy, and truly want to transcend the vagaries of our different cultures. to share yours and acknowledge others', you cannot sit silently on this issue - and you must not let any of the terrible arguments that allow people to ignore the well-being of others to advance.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Am A Figher of H8

Fight the H8 in Your State
This Saturday, at 12:30pm Central time, people are rallying across the nation in protest to California's passage of Proposition 8. Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriage in the state that only month's before had begun to allow same-sex marriages. 18,000 same-sex couples had been married in the state when the Supreme Court's decision was overruled by that Prop 8.

So, we're speaking out. There are rallies all over the country. Specifically in Missouri, there are rallies in St. Louis, Kansas City, Cape Girardeau and here in Springfield. I urge you to attend one of these rallies.

I, along with others of the Juggernauts, are helping with the Springfield rally. We need all the support we can get. It is a peaceful protest, so leave your angry words and Fuck You signs at home. Please come and support equal rights for everyone.

I Am A Fighter of H8
Nationwide Rally Against Proposition 8
Saturday, Nov. 15
12:30pm
Park Central Square in downtown Springfield


For other rallies in other cities or states, visit this website.

Keith Olberman rules all

And here's the proof:



Oh, and, p.s.-

"Country First" my ass...

The shrieking about Obama’s election has still not ceased from the losers of this last election. In fact, it seems as though so many of them are emotionally invested in the failure of Barrack Obama, even two months before he has taken office. This strikes me as odd, since President-elect Obama can only possibly fail if the nation fails. That is the measuring stick for Mr. Obama. If you want our nation to excel, you must want Obama to excel. Likewise, you cannot uncouple yearning for his failure from yearning for the failure of America. And we know which one you’re doing, you’ve made no bones about it. Country first…yeah, right.

No, if Obama succeeds, and the nation thrives, it means that you were wrong…and you can’t have that, even if it means the return of our nation to the prominence it enjoyed about eight years ago. It’s the same reason you can’t let gay people get married. If you do, and the world doesn’t crumble, it means you and your silly book were wrong.

I can think of very few people I know, especially “liberals,” who opposed our entrance into Afghanistan when Bush wanted to chase Osama Bin Laden. We may not have voted for Bush, but we stood behind him – we wanted him to be right, for the sake of our country. We turned on him when he turned on us with his ridiculous invasion of Iraq. We absolutely did give Bush a chance. We took on the role of the loyal opposition, and we stood behind him as our President when he rightly reacted to the horror of Sept 11th.

He asked America to put the sword in his hand and trust him, and that is exactly what we did. But we also expected him to do the right thing and he didn't. He said he would use the power we handed him only if it were necessary…and he lied. It was then and only then that we questioned his judgment and actions and started speaking out about it.

With that in mind, I call on those of you who opposed Obama to at least give our new President a chance. Refusal to do so is just not the American way, and it belies your giddy anticipation for each time the United States might stumble over the next four years – only because it would make you “right,” even at the expense of our country.

You droned it for over a year: “Country first.” Time to own up to it.

Thanks to my father and a friend for the inspiration, and portions of this blog.

Playing Chess With Pigeons

The Title of this blog made me giggle. I'm sure it will have the same effect on anyone who's ever attempted to debate a person of faith.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Umm...

Jesus-fuck-nuts.

Now we are blowing shit up in other countries, without telling them, who we claim we aren't at war with???

The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States.


I knew this shit was probably happening. But it still is startling to see it in the Times today.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Awesomeness

This should happen in Springfield

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/28/reverse-graffiti-activist_n_138621.html#

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oh California...

After the rather shocking (to me, anyway) pass of Prop 8 (which bans gay marriage) in California, I was happy to learn that thousands are protesting and rallying against such blatant hatred.

Favorite protesting signs include, "Stop the H-8" and "Would You Rather I Married Your Daughter?"

Additionally, Arizona and Florida passed similar laws this past election. Arkansas banned gays from adopting children.

This proves that we still have a long ways to go, people.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh, Hai

P.s., everyone....

OBAMA WON!

*ahem*

Back to rocking faces.

Monday, November 3, 2008

VOTE - Carly Ann's Thoughts on the Issues

Please vote Obama! Here are my other endorsements:

*Please note that these are only MY endorsements and not the endorsements of the entire Juggernaut team. I have no idea how they are voting on any of these things. Except they better vote for the renewable energy proposition or I will cut a bitch. :) Love you guys!

Sara Lampe is running for State Rep in the 138th district, which is my district. Nancy Hagen is running for State Rep in the 135th district, further south in Springfield. Both women are endorsed by PROMO, Missouri's only Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender advocacy organization. And they don't give out endorsements lightly. So I will be voting for Sara, but if you are in the 135 vote Nancy Hagen!

No on Amendment 4. It's confusing, it has special interests in mind and it's not worthwhile in any way from what I've heard.

No on Amendment 1. What's the point?

No on Proposition A, casino tax to schools. I don't think it's what they're making it out to be on the commercials. Check this blog for more info.

Yes on Proposition B, home health care.

Yes on Proposition C, renewable energy ftw!

Jay Nixon for governor.

Check out SmartVoter.org if you would like to see what will be on your ballot before you go and double check the wording on the issues.
Hey! It's me, yeah, you're friendly local neighborhood Juggernaut. Just wanted to drop by and tell you that, believe it or not, the Presidential Election is tomorrow and you should go vote.

So....

GO VOTE!

Photoshop N00b

While this picture could have been photoshopped better, I thought it was worth sharing anyway.You can find the original here.

Letter to the Editor 11/2/08

Submitted to The Standard:

My Vote is a Weapon

How is it that when a child needs health care it’s “redistribution of wealth”, but when Sarah Palin is redistributing money directly to the citizens of Alaska it’s not? How is it that when we want more money for education it is socialism, but a $5,000 tax credit for health care is not? Exactly how stupid do you think we are?

You have also selected Sarah Palin as your running mate. Never in the history of our political system has such a flagrantly inadequate person been within reach of such an important office. No single person possesses the spectrum of knowledge required to lead this country, this is why they have a panel of various experts (their cabinet). This is why the most important facet of a candidate is their judgment. How better off we’d be if George Bush had appointed somebody competent to the head of FEMA rather than his friend, Mike Brown? By choosing Palin, McCain has approved of her qualifications to feasibly sit at the helm of the most powerful army on the planet. The appointment of Sarah Palin is McCain’s first appointee on the Presidential playing field, and it should rightly be his last.

Your campaign admitted that if it continued to talk about the economy, Obama would win. That’s not a good sign, sir.

We live in a technological age in which we are dependent on the findings of science. Look around you – see the light bulbs, the air planes? Like medicine when you’re ill? Like the fact that we can wrest the paths of hurricanes from a mute nature? Science is far and away our best weapon for surviving in an indifferent, pitiless universe, and your campaign is thoroughly anti-science. You have taken a running mate who believes in witches, thinks the Earth is thousands of years old, speaks in tongues and worse, all while she derides scientific research. This is unacceptable.

You have made an issue of Obama sitting on an education board with a professor from the University of Chicago. You have also tried to tie him to Rashad Khalidi, when you are the chair of the International Republican Institute that funded the Palestine Center, which had Khalidi on the Board of Directors at the time. Anybody who has done a little bit of homework will catch you when you do things like this. It follows that you must be counting on voters not to do their research. That is what you think of us.

To all you voters, ask yourselves what you want with this election. John McCain’s campaign has depended, at every turn, on you being uninformed and eager to make this very important decision based on 30 second sound bites without doing any fact-checking. He has played to your prejudice, he has played to your fear, and he has counted on your ignorance in order to accomplish both.

I am better than that and so are you. Today, the last eight years will come to a merciful end. Today, my vote will be a weapon.

Gonna go vote tomorrow morning... WoOt...

We all know about the "Bradley Effect". People say they will be voting for a black candidate, but just can't pull the lever when they get into the voting booth.

An interesting possibility is being discussed that this might shift in this election. Perhaps the individual racist tendencies of one person will be overrun by the self-interest for that person. Yes, Obama is (half) black. But he is going to help the economy, get my son out of Iraq, help the working man, and try to improve healthcare.

Sure, they may be racist, but at some point self-interest may override the racism.

An article over at Salon recently referenced a canvassers experience:
A man canvassing for Obama in western Pennsylvania asks a housewife which candidate she intends to vote for. She yells to her husband to find out. From the interior of the house, he calls back, "We're voting for the nigger!" At which point the housewife turns to the canvasser and calmly repeats her husband's declaration.


Something similar happened to Ryan this weekend when we were canvassing. Seems it may be a common trend.

You know... I am 1000% opposed to prejudice. But it does make me happy that people are beginning to look past it, if only for their own self interest.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ah, Evolution, it's super awesome


Photo: Sharon Hill


Scientists have recently discovered a new species of Vampire Moth in Siberia. There is evidence that this is a species on a 'new trajectory'...meaning they're evolving.

Evolution at work! Who knew?

(Suck it, conservatives!)

Sarah Palin Disney Movie Trailer!

Remember what Matt Damon said about Palin's story being like a bad Disney movie? Well someone made a trailer for that bad movie.