Gonzo gone at last: open thread August 27, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in News and politics, wingnuts.
Gonzo has resigned. When Ashcroft left, I didn’t think we’d ever see an AG with more contempt for the law. But it turned out Ashcroft opposed Gonzo’s unconstitutional bullshit, and Gonzo pressured him to change his mind while Ashcroft was in the hospital, and went on to trample over rights in any number of other ways.
So my question, dear readers, is this: is it possible that Gonzo’s replacement will be even worse than he is?
Worst University in the Country? August 27, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Humor, News and politics, wingnuts.
The Rev.BigDumbChimp put me on to this one: Radar Online’s list of worst colleges in the country. The methodology is a bit sketchy (low SAT scores, for example, play a big role, as do acceptance rates) but it’s hard to argue with the results. Liberty University beats out a tough group of competitors for Worst Christian College (I wonder how Pensacola Christian College fared), and the University of Bridgeport wins out for best overall. This is notable because it’s being run by Moonies:
In the mid-’90s, this tragic university was about to go belly up when it was rescued by an unseemly savior—Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church. Though the Moonies have been accused of fraud, high-pressure recruitment tactics, and wrenching troubled kids from their parents, the cult’s $100 million “endowment” secured the Moonies’ leader, Neil Salonen, his position as the university’s president.
That’s right, folks: a university run by a cult that ranks up their with Scientology in pure creepiness. Given the choice between this place and Liberty University–
–well, I’d reluctantly take Bridgeport. At least then I wouldn’t risk seeing Rove at alumni events.
Further evidence that “reporting” now means “mindlessly repeating demonstrable falsehoods” August 27, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in constiutional issues, Religion, wingnuts.
North Carolina’s News and Observer has an article about Southern Baptists leaving public schools because they (the schools, not the baptists) are too secular. That shouldn’t surprise you: wingnuts have been bailing on public schools for that reason since long before I was born. Neither will it surprise you to learn the Southern Baptists are lying:
“In the public schools, you don’t just have neutrality, you have hostility toward organized religion,” said Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.
There’s no hostility to religion, and certainly not in the south. “Hostility” toward people like Akin, means that they don’t get to use the public school as a platform to inflict their religious beliefs on others. What are Southern Baptists so upset about, you ask?
They say public schools have long demonstrated a commitment to teaching evolution over creationism, world faiths over Christianity, sex education over abstinence, moral relativism over Christian claims of truth.
So public schools teach science, compare religions in comparative religion classes, and teach kids how to avoid STDs and pregnancy. Oh noes!1!! As for “moral relativism,” that’s just a catchphrase which to fundies means “non-Christian.” I defy Akin to explain to me how schools are teaching relativism–or how they are teaching students about morality in anything but a comparative religion/philosophy class. I won’t hold my breath.
But what really gets me upset here are not the lying fundies, it’s the media’s completely credulous reportage of their lies:
Poor Kirk Cameron! August 26, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Humor, Religion, wingnuts.
That’s right, everybody’s
vote for most annoying favorite sitcom star turned wingnut is back again, and this time he’s upset that people don’t want to hire him to be in productions not funded by Tim LaHaye:
But Cameron says his priorities are very clear: God, family, career — in that order.
He says those decisions have had negative consequences for his career.
“I had one producer in a meeting discussing a movie say, ‘So I hear you’ve got content issues.’ You know, absolutely I’ve got content issues,” Cameron says. “What I would say is I’ve got convictions. I’ve got priorities. If someone was asking me to do something that would compromise my relationship with my wife I wouldn’t do that; if that’s going to hurt my marriage, I’m not going to do that. If it’s going to hurt my kids, I’m not going to do that and I take it a step further and say if this is going to hurt someone else’s kids, I don’t want to be a part of that.”
“It’s about personal integrity,” he says, “that’s all.”
Cameron says he’d love to do non-religious films and TV again, but at times it’s difficult to convince producers that while he has found Jesus, he hasn’t lost his sense of humor.
One is tempted to say lack of talent might have some part to play in this too, but Lindsay Lohan keeps getting work, so maybe that’s not fair. But why would Cameron suspect that people think he’s lost his sense of humor? Maybe because of the bullshit lies he tells about those for whom he wants to work:
Free video from our friends at WayOfTheMaster.com clearly outlines how Hollywood hates Christianity… and Christians pay them to do it
So, he accuses Hollywood of hating Christianity* and then turns around and laments that Hollywood producers don’t want to give his fundamentalist ass a job? In related news, spitting on your would-be employer during a job interview isn’t a great way to get work.
But perhaps I’m being unfair to Cameron. Maybe he does have a sense of humor. After all, his “bananas are proof of God’s existence” bit was the funniest thing I’ve seen in years.
*Why is Hollywood always a unified block for these people? I can’t imagine it has anything to do with stereotypes about Jewish people.
“The Politics of God”: Lilla’s missing the point August 19, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Morality, News and politics, Religion.
add a comment
Mark Lilla’s piece in the NYT, “The Politics of God,” isn’t entirely objectionable, but it seems to miss the point entirely. In Lills’s eagerness to explain the religious roots of current western thinking, he has completely ignored the political realities of the solutions he proposes. quixote over at Shake’s pad points out that he’s ignoring the roll of power in political theology, which is quite true. I’m going to extend the argument and suggest that Lilla’s worldview is as dangerous as that which he fears.
You know there’s trouble from the beginning. Describing the difference between the west and Islamic nations, Lilla says
On one shore, political institutions are conceived in terms of divine authority and spiritual redemption; on the other they are not. And that, as Robert Frost might have put it, makes all the difference.
A good idea is to avoid using allusions one doesn’t understand. Frost’s point was ironic: no real difference exists between the paths. The error is telling, as Lilla wants to create a binary, as though the only political realities avaliable are Sharia law and completely secular society (glossing over America’s recent messianic governance in the process). It gets worse:
add a comment
The Lizard Queen has a must-read post exploring Hillary Clinton’s “reassurance” about her pro-choice credentials, assurance that basically calls for appeasement of those who want to ban abortion. Check it out, already. I’ll wait.
Back? Cool. Says Clinton:
HC: I’ve been saying the same thing for as long as I can remember: I believe abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. I do think women should have a choice but also that women should be making responsible decisions. I think people who have been pro-choice have basically gotten lazy about it. There will be a concerted effort by the Supreme Court to try to push as far as they possibly can [last spring, the court upheld a ban on so-called partial-birth abortions], and if they go all the way and either repeal or overturn Roe v. Wade, then it will become a political issue again in the legislatures of every state, and people will find themselves having to be politically active. When you’re part of a group that cares deeply — as the anti-choice people do — you get organized, and you vote on that issue, whereas people who are pro-choice vote on a lot of different issues. I bet a lot of people among your readers voted for George W. Bush because they concluded that he was more likeable or whatever. But if [abortion rights] is the most important issue to any of your readers, then it has to become a voting issue.
LQ Correctly notes that
Second, as to the alleged laziness of pro-choicers: are you fucking kidding me?? It has to become a voting issue?? Senator Clinton, what exactly do you think women like me have been doing since we turned 18? Voting for the candidate most likely to give us a pony? Failing to get to the polls on election day because we were getting a manicure?
In Clinton’s defense, I’m only interested in pro-pony candidates.
In truth, I don’t understand what Clinton is trying to do here. Despite her faults, she’s always been savvy at delivering her message, and this is a jumbled mess. Why accuse your supporters of laziness? And how does saying “we might lose abortion rights” reassure them that you’re really with them on the fight? I see two possibilities–either Clinton really is backing off support of reproductive rights, or she’s really saying “responsible decisions means making concessions to those who don’t want women to have control over their own bodies.” I could charitably add a third possibility, that she’s arguing the left doesn’t fight hard enough, but if that’s the case, she’s a huge fucking hypocrite given her recent stance-softening.
So I don’t think this was an attempt to reassure–if anything, she was “reaching out” the other way, to people who aren’t staunch bodily rights defenders. What else is the “laziness” and “responsible” talk, and all the gibberish about “the most important issue” is basically signalling that she won’t fight hard for abortion rights until she’s sure it will win her the election.
Clinton just doesn’t get it: she’s realized the left are less single-issue than the far right (whose issue is whatever their leaders tell them it is), but she thinks that means her stances don’t mean as much. What she doesn’t get–and what might hurt her come primary season–is that we might not be about only one issue, but we’re not going to forget where you stand politically. As Clinton continually betrays her base’s values–on the war, on torture, on domestic wiretapping, on gay rights, on bodily right–in a desperate attempt to shed the “liberal” label, she signals to all of us “lazy” folks that she doesn’t really care about us. And we’re not the block that were suckered by Bush’s “kinda slow frat boy” routine, so her public persona and debating skills won’t save her once the left realizes what she’s really about.
If it came down to it, I would support Clinton over the current crop of Republican candidates, since, on balance, she’s less offensive than they are, but there’s no way in hell I’d support her in the primary.
I just hope the primary voters in the states that have some say (I’m not one of them) express their dissatisfaction with her pandering to the right. I strongly suspect they will.
Diebold now Premier Election Systems August 17, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Blogging, News and politics.
add a comment
When you’ve produced a crappy product prone to failure and fraud, when you’re so deep in bed with Republicans that you have to cuddle after each election, and when you’ve been caught editing your Wikipedia page, what are you to do?
Engage in the work necessary to clean up your corrupt, useless systems? Nah, that’s too much work.
From now on, Diebold will be referred to on this blog only as
Diebold Premier Election Systems. Any comments that don’t reflect that change will be edited to include the change. Repeated offenses will result in comment bunnyfication. That is all.
I’d like to see the anti-immigrant apologists explain this stuff August 15, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in bigotry, constiutional issues, Faux News, wingnuts.
In case you ever believed that anti-immigrant policy was about anything but racism, I submit two exhibits to demonstrate that you were wrong:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday he is “sickened” that President Bush and Congress went on vacation “while young Americans in our cities are massacred” by illegal immigrants. […]
Gingrich said that the “war here at home” against illegal immigrants is “even more deadly than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
I know Gingrich is desperate to appeal to the far right, but isn’t he undermining their rationale for the war on terra? He is, unless it’s really about Imperialism. And we have our answer.
Thanks to the BBC’s new emphasis on this crisis, Europe may finally wake up to the reality that its culture is on the verge of extinction. With global birth rates plummeting, the concern over saving the earth may soon be replaced by concern over whom we’re saving it for. As the traditional family declines, fewer children are being born to replace and support the world’s graying society.
Oh no! The human race is going to die out–oh, wait, no, global population is increasing. It’s just white folk that they’re worried about. My God! If we don’t do something soon, there will be even more brown people.
Yeah, good luck with that August 15, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Religion, wingnuts.
add a comment
Oh Noes!!!1! It seems the smiting will begin anytime.
If only fundamentalists of every stripe would waste their time praying that God smite their enemies, instead of actually waging “holy wars.” Which is totally what they’d do if they truly believed their own rhetoric. Why does the almighty need them to smite his enemies, anyway? Seems like he should handle that.
We’ll just wait and see if massive localized tragedy strikes Americans United, eh? Any takers on that bet?
It’s no secret that creationists quote mine the hell out of basically everything in order to make it seem like evolution isn’t well-supported by the evidence. In the vein of conspiracy theorists everywhere, they believe every new discovery undermines evolution, if only the evolutionists would simply admit it.
Generally speaking, one can demonstrate they’re a bunch of liars by simply reading the context of the quotes they mine, as I shall now demonstrate. Keep in mind I am a layperson, and no expert on evolutionary theory. But I am capable of a) reading comprehension, b) critical thinking and c) being honest, all of which gives me a huge advantage over creationists. So it won’t be hard even for me to demonstrate they’re being hugely dishonest.
Let’s use as the example the post which was headlining Uncommon Descent as of this morning: “It Seems Frontloading* is Everywhere“:
It seems like every other day there’s an article where scientists are discovering the presence of genes thought to have arisen late in evolution to be already present in ancient forms, so-called “living fossils”. In this case what we see in this particular “living fossil”, the shark, is the presence of genetic activity that is associated with ‘digit formation’ in limbed animals. Previously, scientists thought that there was some late phase additional activity which, we may say, was ‘added onto’ fin development.
Here’s a quote: “We’ve uncovered a surprising degree of genetic complexity in place at an early point in the evolution of appendages,” said developmental biologist Martin Cohn, Ph.D.”
As I say, these types of articles seem commonplace, yet NDE keeps on chugging along as if all of this fits in nicely with Darwinism. Just think, ‘limb-like’ genetic activity before ever there was a limb. And, so, would it be rude if we asked our Darwinist brethren: “So how did it evolve when it was present before ever it was needed?”
Here’s the article from PhysOrg.com. It’s a quick read.
Rather than waste the time of experts with this trash, I’ll answer his question.