Global Warming, Tom Tancredo style September 25, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in bigotry, News and politics, wingnuts.
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When looking over the candidates positions on global warming, it’s interesting to note that none of the top tier candidates even among the Republicans are willing to deny global warming. But among those less known candidates desperately pandering to the base, denialism (now expressed through “we don’t know what causes global warming”) runs rampant.
No one, though, comes close to the idiocy of Tom “Fear the Brown People” Tancredo:
I have no doubt that global warming exists. I just question the cause and what we can do to ameliorate it. But I wonder why the Sierra Club isn’t going crazy about the environmental aspects of massive immigration into the U.S. The fact is, Americans consume more energy than anyone else, so if a person moves here from another country, they automatically become bigger polluters.
That’s right, folks: Americans consume too much, and so we shouldn’t let people immigrate here to help us consume it. And lest you suspect he actually cares about the environment, rather than just enjoys hating on brown people, he has this to add:
First of all, the whole issue of global warming, for every single scientist that tells you it’s happening and that it’s our fault — and they’ll stack up to here in this reports — I can stack up another group of reports that say just the opposite. I don’t believe that — well, I’ll tell you this, I don’t know whether or not we are responsible, we the human race, are responsible for global warming.
So, Tom, if you don’t think humans are responsible for global warming, why would you use it as an argument against immigration? Could it be because you’re a hypocritical, lying scumbag who would use any dishonest argument to support his racist agenda?
In which I advise Vox Day on how to look less racist on the Jena 6 September 25, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in bigotry, News and politics, wingnuts.
No doubt my readers will be shocked that “Christian Libertarian” Vox Day thinks we should totally
lynch convict the Jena 6 for having the gall to attack a white boy:
The interesting thing is the way in which so many people are upset about “excessive charges” because the six thugs were forcibly prevented from killing their unconscious victim. And yet, when these barbarians end up killing someone – probably another black man – or raping someone – even odds that it’s a white woman – many of the people now complaining about the supposedly excessive charges will lament the fact that nothing was done the first two, or three, or four times that the thug was convicted of committing a violent crime.
Oh, “thugs” and “barbarians” mixed with a healthy does of Fear of a Black Penis. So the Jena 6, who Vox absolutely knows were trying to kill the white kid, also are going to grow up to be rapists and murderers. Yeah, nothing racist about that.
What’s really great, though, is Vox’s very next paragraph:
I don’t know if the six barbarians of Jena were trying to kill the kid or not. I wasn’t there; neither were any of those who are publicly proclaiming that attempted second-degree murder charges are excessive. And while there are many good reasons to distrust the U.S. system of justice, it is beyond ludicrous to argue that numerous black men are involved in an attempt to judicially lynch a violent gang of young black men.
Let’s compare the brilliant Vox’s analysis: “the six thugs were forcibly prevented from killing their unconscious victim [. . .] I don’t know if the six barbarians of Jena were trying to kill the kid or not.” Brilliant.
Just a tip, Vox: if you want to argue that the Jena case isn’t about race, avoid first claiming that the accused are soon-to-be-rapists who were attempting to commit murder, then turning around and claiming you don’t know what they were trying to do so you can attack those who are fighting against racism.
And, for that matter, if you don’t want to look like the bigot you are, it’s probably best your rhetoric not mirror David Duke’s so closely:
Whites are increasingly victims of Black racial violence and hate crimes. In fact, a White person is 40 to 50 times more likely to be a victim of Black gang violence than a Black is likely to be a victim of White gang violence.
The rhetoric is the same: try to convince people that African Americans are just “barbarians” who are out to hurt white people. The only difference is that Vox claims to support the Black community while engaging in his racist attacks: Duke at least is somewhat more honest.
While we’re on the topic, It’s worth noting that Duke has connections to Jena: the white residents there “voted overwhelmingly for him when he ran unsuccessfully for Louisiana governor in 1991.”
Those who claim that continued racism in Jena isn’t a factor in this case are lying, and they know it. Voting for white supremacists and throwing nooses over trees are not the actions of the non-racist.
The Jena case comes down to this: excessive charges are brought against Black students, who are then tried by white juries in an overtly racist town. Then people like David Duke and Vox Day rush in to try to use the violence as proof that Black people are evil. Racism spawned the violence in Jena and perpetuates it, and those who claim racism is not at the heart of the matter do so to further their own racist agenda.
Ahmadinejad: this is a big deal? September 24, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in News and politics, wingnuts.
As you no doubt know, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University today, to the ire of any number of breathless people.
I must say I don’t get it: we don’t need to silence the views of extremists. We should get them out in the open, where they can be properly rebuked. Ideas are silenced by those who are afraid of them. Ahmadinejad said their aren’t gay people in Iran, for god’s sake. Let him make a fool of him self. God knows our President goes abroad and does that often enough.
Responding to Rand: the Bible is wrong about bats. September 23, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Religion, Science, wingnuts.
This post is in response to Rand’s comment.
it is also noteworthy that while you claim I harassed poor souls, you make no mention that I was the one who was mocked, cursed at, and nearly beaten (yeah… yeah… I know… I must have it coming). Your hypocrisy is worthy of a position on network news.
You set out to provoke people. I know you think that you’re doing them a favor, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are hoping they react strongly to you. Whining when they do so is ridiculous. I don’t approve of violence, of course, but you’re foolish to attempt to goad people and to be surprised when they take the bait.
I thought long and hard before commenting here. There is a duelism in the book of Proverbs concerning answering a fool. It could be profitable (Proverbs 26:4), and can also be quite unprofitable (Proverbs 26:5) . . .
As for that “dualism” in proverbs: how odd that the same book offers directly conflicting advice. Seems like it might be less than inherent.
All three articles you provide have the same basic defense: the hebrews wouldn’t have known any better. They didn’t know that bats are mammals and are very, very distantly related to birds. They didn’t have exact measurements, so their mistake about pi was understandable.* Hares seem to chew their cud, so it’s no okay that the Bible says they did.
These would be great defenses if you were arguing the ancient hebrews were doing the best they could with what they knew. If the writer of the Torah were just tribal writers doing the best they could with limited knowledge, that makes perfect sense.
But if they were being divinely inspired by an all-knowing God who set out to write an inerrant book, that God would have been able to tell them their measurements were wrong and so they would not have recorded them incorrectly in a book that is supposed to have no errors.
That same God would have known that bats are not birds, and that flight does not make something a bird. He would have known about flightless birds. He would have known bats are much more closely related to rats than to birds, and would not have made Himself look foolish by having his scribes record incorrect information.
That same God would not have pointed out that hares chew their cud, when in fact they do something similar but not identical to chewing their cud. Surely the all-knowing Lord of the Universe understands what is a ruminant and what is not.
“I” am the one who is quite at ease with not having anything to do with “you”… “you” are the one obsessively out to show “your superiority”)
(Side note: why do ultraconservatives use quotation marks incorrectly?)
The only “superiority” I claim over you, Rand, is that my worldview is superior: when faced with evidence that indicates that ancient writers didn’t know bats weren’t birds, I assume they had incomplete knowledge. When faced with that same evidence, you twist to try to say “it wasn’t really wrong, because it made sense to the ancients.”
I’ll say it again: the God you claim wrote the Bible could have ensured these details were correct. That He didn’t means either a) the Bible was not inspired by God, b) it may have been inspired by God, but it was written by humans and so cannot be expected to be correct in matters of science which they were unaware, or c) God did not intend it to be correct on matters of science, and wrote it as a spiritual guide, so we should not expect it to be correct where spiritual things are not concerned.
I’ll note that many Christians understand that the Bible can’t have been meant as a scientific tome, and so don’t try to read it as one. If you’d made that argument, you could have followed the lead of those scientist-Christians who understand that just as science cannot prove or disprove the existence of God, religious books aren’t what we should rely upon for our scientific facts.
You’re a scientist, Rand. You must understand, at some level, the value of following the evidence where it leads. When the evidence points to a supposedly inerrant book containing mistakes, omissions and errors, a rational person admits that book cannot be considered entirely factual. You have started with the conclusion that the Bible must be right, and in your defense of it, you have proved my point: the writers of the Bible didn’t know any better than to make these classification mistakes! God did not care enough about the accuracy of his book to tell them the correct information.
*Or, their measurements were so exact that the measurement was to the inside edge, which was apparently .14159… cubits away from the other. No matter–no reason I should ask for consistency, eh?
[edit: fixed a typo.]
Just how old is the earth, anyway? September 22, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Origins, Religion, Science, wingnuts.
Our friend Rand’s most recent post has managed to be more than usually offensive, and so I must respond. It’s full of his usual: his weekly harassing of strangers, attempting to tell them they’re going to hell if they don’t share every point of his doctrine, hating them and calling it love. But this time he added bad science to the mix:
The other man then took up the fight his friend had started claiming that it was proven that the world was millions of years old so my faith in the Bible was ludicrous. I asked him what he did for a living and he, after a long pause, said he was a geologist (an obvious lie). I then told him I was a biologist/biochemist and that I had not seen this irrefutable proof that the Earth was indeed millions of years old.
Rand can’t bring himself to claim the evidence supports a young Earth–since it clearly does not–but he does move the goalposts, demanding “irrefutable evidence” when he knows damn well he wouldn’t accept any evidence but what he thinks the Bible says.
If Rand is a scientist as he claims he is either a) keeping himself willfully ignorant about the true age of the earth, or b) refusing to admit what the evidence says. Either way, for his sake I hope he conducts himself with more rigor and honesty in his work than he does when his faith in in conflict with reason.
To test Rand’s intellectual honesty, I will ask one question. If he can answer it in a way which does not appeal to mysticism or the unknown, I will retract my above words:
Rand, if the Bible is inerrant, why does it claim that bats are birds, pi = 3, and that hares chew their cud?
I wish Rand had the honesty to admit that he doesn’t care about the evidence, for when it conflicts with his preconceived notions, he will reject that evidence. Then at least he could honestly answer the above question. But I’m not holding my breath.
Bush: up yours, children! September 21, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Dubya, health care, Morality, News and politics.
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As you probably know, Dubya is set to veto a bipartisan bill which would reauthorize and expand the hugely popular children’s health care bill. What would be so objectionable that Bush would veto a measure designed to make sure kids have health insurance?
Instead of posturing by sending him a bill they know he will reject, Bush said, the Democrats should embrace fiscal and social responsibility and pass a bill that provides for reasonable increases in spending on health insurance for uninsured children without veering toward the “federalization of health care.”
Somehow this makes me more angry than Bush’s lies about Iraq. I’ve had years to get used to that, but it’s hard for me to imagine even Dubya opposing health care for kids. And for the least fiscally responsible President in recent memory to complain about an increase in the cigarette tax to pay for health care is beyond laughable. And “federalism” is code for “don’t worry, my extremist base, I’m in favor of helping my rich buddies with no-bid contracts while screwing over children of poor and middle class people.”
But unlike on Iraq, the Dems don’t seem ready to roll over for Bush on this one:
“The president hides behind the word ‘federalization’ because his political base opposes doing what is decent and humane,” said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
Where was that kind of clear thinking and courage when Kerry was running for President?
Naturally, Bush feels differently:
“What I’m describing here is a philosophical divide that exists in Washington over the best approach for health care,” Bush said. “Democratic leaders in Congress want to put more power in the hands of government by expanding federal health care programs. Their … plan is an incremental step toward the goal of government-run health care for every American.”
Simply put, Bush is lying again. This isn’t about a difference of opinion for how to provide health care: Bush is offering no alternative plan. It isn’t like these kids are being moved from private health care to publicly funded care. They’re without health insurance and the plan is designed to fix that. So the “difference of opinion” is only this: should children have access to health care? Even most Republicans are behind this plan.
George W. Bush, meanwhile, would rather watch children go without health care than pony up $35 Billion to help them.
Meanwhile, the Iraq war cost has surged past $450 Billion dollars. Lying to get into a war and botching rebuilding is “fiscally responsible” but helping kids is “federalism”–from a state-administered program, no less.
The next 486 days can’t go by fast enough.
Creationist BS, shiny flash webpage edition September 21, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Origins, Religion, Science, wingnuts.
Gmail’s add feature brought Out of Thin Air to my attention. The webpage has very little detail, but is run by a fundie outfit out of SoCal. It’s “thesis”–if a tiny, pathetic claim can be so defined–is to show that National Geographic was wrong by saying Darwin was right. How exciting! So what is their grand evidence?
Well, it turns out we don’t get to find out. To do that, you need to attend the four-day conference. There isn’t one near me, so I can’t go, but I’ll predict I know what they’re going to say already.
Day 1: Does God Exist? Absolutely! And we know this because the Bible, which God wrote, tells us He does. Flawless!
Day 2: What is the secret of our ancient past? That the world is 6,000 years old–and so some 190 thousand years after the emergence of homo sapien.
Day 3: What happened to make all those fossils? A giant flood that just happened to bury everything in perfect order.
Day 4: What is answer to life, the universe, and everything? 42. I mean Jesus. (Rumor has it day 5 would reveal the question to be”which religious figure is most likely to appear on my bagel?” but they ran out of time)
Why am I so confident? Because I know creationists. No new arguments, no real research, just “come to our seminar and hear the same discredited lies over and over.”
If anyone finds a conference synopsis of has one near you, I’d like to hear how it goes.
Friday Poetry: William Stafford’s Report to Crazy Horse September 21, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Poetry.
The poem is below the fold. Since I know my readers to the thoughtful critics of issues of poetry and politics, I’ll begin with a question: is is acceptable for Stafford to take on this voice? Why or why not? I would love to know your thoughts.
Remembering September 11th September 11, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Morality, News and politics, Terrorism.
As others have pointed out, one of the great tragedies of this anniversary is that the man responsible for the 2001 attacks remains free, and Dubya doesn’t give a shit. Him and his Republican war-monger buddies couldn’t care less about actually stopping terrorists. They’re too busy pushing their Imperialist project in Iraq.
Which brings me to the real subject of this post: the other September 11th attack: September 11th, 1973. For those of you who don’t know, in 1973 the US, through the CIA, covertly sponsored a coup which resulted in the death of democractically elected Chilean President Allende. As the US has done repeatedly in left-leaning democracies, we ensured the destruction of the democracy and brought to power a vicious dictator who was more sympathetic to our militaristic agenda.
The facts aren’t in doubt, but you’ll rarely hear anyone talk about it, any more than you’ll hear about how the US trained and armed the Taliban or how we backed Saddam Hussein against Iran.
None of these actions make sense as actions to support Democracy, and they can only be understood as Imperialist actions, where the US forcibly attempted to protect its economic and military interests abroad even–perhaps especially–at the expence of democracy.
Simply put, US foreign policy since at least the advent of the cold war has been aimed at increasing US influence, often at the direct expense of liberty.
We should mourn the deaths of those who died on 9/11/2001, but we must also remember to mourn the many who have died as a result of the US’s misguided and evil foreign policy which propped up religious extremists, dictators and murderers and tore down genuine democracies.
Remember 9/11/1973. If we hope to truly defeat the terrorists and make the world a better place, we could start by supporting true democratic values abroad. If we choose to live up to the values we profess, rather than enforce what seems most politically advantageous, we will not train any more bin Ladens, will not prop up any more Husseins, will not murder any more democratically elected leaders–in short, we might truly be a force for good in the world, rather than a perpetuator of evil.
Memo to Bill Donohue: refusing to praise a being you don’t believe in isn’t hate speech September 11, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in News and politics, wingnuts.
Bill’s panties are wedged high up his ass this time. He’s upset becaus Kathy Griffin didn’t assume Jesus Christ was personally responsible for her winning an Emmy:
In her speech, Griffin said that “a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.”
She went on to hold up her Emmy, [said "Suck it, Jesus," then proclaimed] ”This award is my god now!”
Wow. How dare she have an opinion contrary to every athelete who’s ever thought God was personally responsible for the points they just scored? Naturally, Donohue is his natural asshole self:
The comedian’s remarks were condemned Monday by Catholic League President Bill Donohue, who called them a “vulgar, in-your-face brand of hate speech.”
In Bill’s mind, disagreement is hate speech. Griffin’s observation was timely, especially in the wake of Michael Vick’s “come to Jesus” moment. Donohue thinks that anyone who disagrees with his hate-filled Catholic dogma, or even anyone who doesn’t believe in his God, is practicing hate-speech. Sweet Sucking-it-Jesus, Bill Donohue never disappoints when it comes to insane wingnut ranting. He’s bitten off more than he can chew, this time, though: Griffin is more famous than he is, and (unlike Bill’s previous targets) isn’t working for a presidental campaign, so he won’t be able to bully anyone into firing her. And as we all know from the playground, when a bully can’t push someone around, they’ve got nothing left.