Americans holding rallies in praise of terrorists June 18, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in constiutional issues, reproductive rights, wingnuts.
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The above headline is not hyperbole or even a mild exaggeration. It is the correct assessment of “Paul Hill Days” (check what Archy has to say: I’m not linking to a hate-group’s website), where right-wing nuts praise murdering terrorist Paul Hill and reenact his assassination of a doctor and his escort outside a clinic. Their reasons?
George L. Wilson of Children Need Heroes and Drew Heiss of Street Preach are planning to honor Paul Hill in a series of events called “Paul Hill Days” in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 26th – 29th — “to honor him as God’s man and our hero.”
On July 29, 1994 Paul Hill, who sought to set a good example for Christian theocratic revolutionaries, assassinated abortion provider Dr. John Britton and James Barrett one of his escorts, and seriously wounding another, June Barrett, outside an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida.
Archy is of course correct to point out that this is nothing less than an event to use the threat of terrorism to intimidate doctors from performing legal and medically valid procedures, and to frighten women away from making choices about their own bodies.
If things like the Terrorist Watch List really meant anything, we wouldn’t be randomly sticking thousands of people with Muslim names on it. Instead, the FBI should keep a close eye on a rally designed to praise terrorists.*
* And yes, these people have a right to free speech. But if they say anything designed to insight violence–and you can bet they will–they can and should be charged.
Charles Darwin’s Thesis June 14, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in language and lit, Origins, Science.
Steven Jay Gould was a harsh critic of two opposing schools of thought about science. The first claims that science came exclusively from evaluating the evidence, as though no scientist ever developed a theory until that theory was necessarily thought to be true. The second claims that science occurs through “eureka” moments, where a brilliant mind suddenly and in isolation discovers that which was hidden. The first idea does not account for how human minds actually work, and the second gives to much credit to special genius.
So how does science actually function? Through a combination of personal insight and evaluation of the evidence, a theory is formed. That theory is then subjected to rigorous testing, and if it withstands those tests, it gains acceptance. As an example, I note what Charles Darwin wrote in his Introduction to The Origin of Species:
Although much remains obscure, and will long remain obscure, I can entertain no doubt, after the most deliberate study and dispassionate judgement of which I am capable, that the view which most naturalists entertain, and which I formerly entertained — namely, that each species has been independently created — is erroneous. I am fully convinced that species are not immutable; but that those belonging to what are called the same genera are lineal descendants of some other and generally extinct species, in the same manner as the acknowledged varieties of any one species are the descendants of that species. Furthermore, I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification.
In addition to being good science, this is excellent argumentation: it acknowledges the complexity of the situation, explains opposing positions, and stakes out a specific claim which can be defended or destroyed on the basis of reason and evidence. That the claim was thoughtfully and rigorously developed one can see by the astonishing general accuracy of Darwin’s predictions.
Arkansas voters should have the opportunity to vote on whether gay people and unmarried couples who live together should be allowed to adopt children or serve as foster parents, said Jerry Cox, executive director of the Arkansas Family Council.
How ludicrous this argument is should be obvious if you reverse it, as so:
Arkansas voters should have the opportunity to vote on whether straight people and married couples should be allowed to adopt children or serve as foster parents, said Evil Bender, executive director of Support America’s Families.
Civil Rights must not be dependent upon a vote. We have a Constitutional system in place precisely to protect people from the Tyranny of the Majority.
But the fundies will never admit that. Homosexuality is, for them, their number two fear, behind terrorism. Which leads me to this gem:
“The Reverend Philip Wilson, pastor of the First Christian Church, says he thinks the new service by the city is at odds with the town’s image as a Victorian village. He has taken out newspaper ads expressing his concerns that recording same-sex unions will make Eureka Springs, as he put it, ‘a homosexual Mecca’.
Wearing his fears on his sleeve a bit, isn’t he? He’s just terrified of the invasion of Muslims spreading Teh Gay.
Dobson endorses sermon decrying “lesbian sex” June 7, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in bigotry, News and politics, sex, wingnuts.
On the June 4 edition of his Focus on the Family radio show, Focus on the Family founder and chairman James C. Dobson broadcast a sermon by John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, titled “A Nation Abandoned by God.” In the sermon, MacArthur said America had forsaken God and engendered the “wrath of abandonment” as a result. MacArthur declared: “You know a society has been abandoned by God when it celebrates lesbian sex.” MacArthur further argued that as a result of America’s abandonment, the destruction of a major U.S. city “could happen” and that “God would be just in any calamity he brought upon us.”
DOBSON: Some of our listeners are not going to agree with what he [MacArthur] has to say, but it’s going to make you think, and it’s also going to be somewhat disturbing. And I happen to agree with what John MacArthur was saying on this day, and I want to thank him and his team and Woodman Valley Chapel for allowing us to share this message. It needs to be heard, especially at this time in our nation.
It must be tough for Daddy D to figure out how anyone could have sex without the mighty phallus or, worse, have a phallus that isn’t attached to a genuine testicle-bearing man. Women might be getting off. Worse, they don’t need boys to do it.
For this God should kill millions of people, according to Daddy D. He’s all class.
No matter how terrible you are, there are always people willing to defend you, Vox Day edition June 7, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Blogging, language and lit, wingnuts.
It seems that someone named “Dudesky” has got his panties in a twist that I had the nerve to suggest that Vox Day’s terrible fiction is, well, terrible. Funny: if he wanted to make the case that Vox’s fiction was good, there are better choices than “everyone who criticizes Vox must be a bad writer.” I’m sure Vox is flattered to have mental giants like this rush to his defense:
Let’s see his stuff. Oh, but he’s a published poet, so copyright prevents us from being amazed by his artistic brilliance. People who call themselves poets are generally artist wannabes.
Ouch, it burns. How will I ever recover from someone I don’t know criticizing work he’s never seen? Maybe I can take comfort in this opening from one of Vox’s novels:
Jami stared intently at her Bible, but she was not reading any of the words on the tissue-thin paper. She was instead trying to keep a surreptitious eye on her brother, who was sitting on his couch two people over and looking as if he was about ready to explode.
That’s from Chapter 1, “The Ides of March.” Ouch. But maybe I’m not being fair to mock Dudesky for his poor taste. He’s probably got a lot to recommend him. Oh, wait. This is his response to Sean Carroll’s point that “science has established beyond reasonable doubt that humans evolved via natural selection”:
If I’m doubting it, given how long people have made the case for evolution, then it must not have been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. I’ve shown I’m independently minded, unlike establishment players like Sean Carroll.
I wonder, would Dudesky then argue that the flat earth society is evidence that earth is a globe is not well established? After all, some people believe it so there must be a “reasonable doubt,” right?
Given Dudesky’s rigorous analytical skills, maybe I won’t loose too much sleep over his “criticism.”
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Yup, Cheney wrote a letter explaining to the judge how great a guy and how ethical Libby is. In related news, I wouldn’t recommend having OJ Simpson claim you were an ardent pacifist.
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The key finding emerged from ancient DNA extracted from one of the chicken bones.
“Being that these are the only pre-Columbian chicken bones that are known, they are very valuable,” said lead author Alice Storey of the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
With that in mind, the team started with just one bone, which they broke apart to extract the remaining DNA.
They compared this chicken’s DNA with the DNA of ancient chickens from archaeological sites across Polynesia and Southeast Asia.
The results show that the chicken was from Polynesian stock, since it had genetic mutations not seen in chickens brought to the Americas by the Europeans.
Ah, science. They also did some cool dating on the chicken bones to confirm when they had been buried–evidence which was in line with other findings at the site.
Now my question is this: given genetic evidence that demonstrates where this chicken was from, how do Creationists continue to pretend that natural selection does not explain biological diversity? Some of them will say that evolution can occur within “kinds”–a word with no precise meaning–but they can’t explain how evolution can serve to make chicken populations genetically distinct across continents yet cannot accumulate changes to create new species.
Science kicks ignorance’s ass again, and as usual the truth is far more compelling than the lies we choose to believe.
Mike S. Adams is a murderer, and he admits to it June 5, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in bigotry, constiutional issues, Morality, reproductive rights, wingnuts.
Mike S. Adams, venomous hate-bag and all around unpleasant person, has decided to call all feminists murderers. (PZ links to him: you can find the link there if you must.) I will get into the rest of his “argument”–if a collection of lies, anecdotes and fallacies can truly be so called–below the fold. First, though, I will demonstrate that by his own logic he is personally responsible for the death of more than 3,000 American troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
Given that a) feminists who defend abortion invariably fall back on the “right to control her body” argument and, b) this argument is invariably motivated by nothing more than lust, the following re-definition of feminism is in order:
Feminism is a minority social movement, whose members murder innocent children in order to obtain sexual gratification.
Those who would quibble with my assertion that all feminists commit murder do so based on the mistaken assumption that a woman must have or actually perform an abortion to commit a murder. That isn’t so.
Charles Manson never actually stabbed or shot any of the five people at the Tate residence. Nor did he stab either of the LaBiancas the following evening. His conviction on all seven counts of murder was due to his choice to enter into a criminal conspiracy with the very people who did, in fact, directly commit the murders.
Whether they have ever had or performed an abortion themselves, all feminists today are voluntarily involved in a movement whose principal issue/goal is abortion on demand. And this meeting of the minds renders the term “baby killer” equal applicable to both the committed and casual feminist alike.
Now, the only possible reason Adams can be arguing this is to offer a not-so-subtle endorsement of violence against any “feminist.” After all, of what other possible use could this rhetoric be? Allow me to demonstrate precisely how offensive this rhetoric is:
Mike S. Adams and his buddies at town hall are voluntarily involved in a social movement–neoconservatism–that has worked for more than a decade to get us into a war with Iraq, which lied to get us into that war, and which is keeping us in that disastrous war in order to fulfill its own lust for power and oil. Adams, by supporting Bush’s deceitful and disastrous politics, is by his own standard responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands.
What, do you think that by labeling every contemporary conservative a murderer, a killer of our troops and of Iraqi babies, I’m being extreme? Then don’t tell me about it–tell that fuckwad Mike S. Adams.
And of course, this is me being generous, because no feminist goes around trying to kill babies: protecting a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices is not even remotely analogous to tricking this nation into a war. Adams is, unlike the feminists he so despises, actively supporting a policy which results daily in the killing of innocents. And he does so while branding as murderers those who would protect individual rights.
That said, let’s get to the rest of his “argument”:
Anti-choicers real motivations June 4, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in reproductive rights, wingnuts.
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I know that some of my readers are among that mass of anti-choicers who believe they are doing the right thing and who–in many cases–even think they are somehow pro-women in denying women their reproductive rights. But what they need to understand is that their leadership understands the real nature of the fight and that when their leadership speaks honestly, they really want women to choose between giving birth and risking death.
“The old procedure [standard D&E], which is still legal, involves using forceps to pull the baby apart in utero, which means there is greater legal liability and danger of internal bleeding from a perforated uterus. So we firmly believe there will be fewer later-term abortions as a result of this ruling.”
In case you are paying attention, SCOTUS ruled to ban this procedure despite medical evidence of its necessity. But when the extreme right–in this case Focus on the
Fetus Family–as soon as they think we’re not listening, they outright say that they want to put women at risk.“Pro-life my ass.
Good times for Evil Bender! June 4, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Blogging.
Today I received some great news: come August, I’ll no longer be a corporate shill–at least, not so directly–and I will be back doing what I love: teaching.
In the short run, this means that I’ll be busy continuing to work my current job, spending time with my friends in town, packing and moving across the country. That means things might be slower than normal here at my pad. But in the long run, that means more blogging and more stories about the classroom. Expect things to pick up in a couple of months.
Meantime, consider this an open thread. What’s on your mind?