Good news from Kansas March 27, 2009Posted by Evil Bender in Kansas, reproductive rights, wingnuts.
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We’re about to get buried under a freakin’ snowstorm here, but at least there’s some good news:
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — One of the nation’s few late-term abortion providers was acquitted Friday of misdemeanor charges stemming from procedures he performed, but moments after the verdict was announced the state’s medical board announced it was investigating similar allegations against him.
Prosecutors had alleged that Dr. George Tiller had in 2003 gotten second opinions from a doctor who was essentially an employee of his, not independent as state law requires, but a jury took only about an hour to find him not guilty of all 19 counts.
But naturally the assault on women’s bodily rights will continue:
Soon after the verdict was announced, the state’s Board of Healing Arts made public a complaint against Tiller on allegations similar to those at issue in the criminal case. The complaint was filed in December but not released until Friday.
The board, which regulates doctors, could revoke, suspend or limit Tiller’s medical license, or fine him.
And of course what this is all really about:
Tiller said he is one of three doctors in the U.S. who currently perform late-term abortions. The others are in Boulder, Colo., and Los Angeles, he said.
You see, anti-choicers love the tactic of getting women to delay abortions until they’re “late-term” and then make it impossible to procure them. And they’re protected in this by a Supreme Court that’s decided women don’t know what they want and need a bunch of men to make them carry pregnancies to term.
Still, in the short term, this is a definite win. Nice to have some good news on a Friday.
Death from the Skies (Short) Review March 27, 2009Posted by Evil Bender in language and lit, Science.
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Unfortunately, I don’t have the time at the moment to write a full review of Philip Plait‘s excellent Death From the Skies!, but if you’re reading this blog, you probably already know about Dr Plait’s excellent work, and I can say with confidence that people who enjoy this blog will enjoy DFTS. If you’re new to all things astronomical, you’ll learn a lot about the amazing wonders of our universe–and how many of them could kill us. If such things are old hat to you, you’ll still learn a lot about how to communicate science to non-scientists, and even most of us who keep abreast of science will learn a lot.
I particularly appreciated Dr Plait’s look into the long-term future of the universe, which stands as easily the most accessible general-audience description of our universe’s fate that I have ever encountered.
If you have science fans in your life, or if you want to learn more about how to communicate science to a wide audience, you need to read Death from the Skies! It’s well worth the effort.
(P.S. you can still get a copy from JREF, and support a good cause while you’re at it!)
Michael Steele took money from, gasp, TEACHERS! March 23, 2009Posted by Evil Bender in News and politics, wingnuts.
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I think this pretty well sums up the current state of the GOP:
Michael Steele has been taking a little heat for the RNC’s accepting $15,000 from the National Education Association, the biggest teachers’ union in the country, with a candidate for Governor of New Jersey, Steve Lonegan, demanding he return it.
“What’s next? Accepting money from the National Abortion Rights Action League, Handgun Control, Gay Marriage PACs and George Soros?” Lonegan asked.
If the GOP’s list of overblown or imagined boogeymen gets any longer, they’re going to have to buy bigger closets.
I’ve seriously lost track of how it works now. Is it B. Hussein Osama, in a secret Gay Wedding with George Soros, officiated by ACORN backs NARAL and Planned Parenthood’s play to Abort All Christian Fetuses while NEA members pistol whip children who mention God and force them to learn they’re descended from monkeys, while roving games of Lesbians take away everyone’s guns and force straight men to violate one another, while Hillary Clinton burns the Constitution and the UN takes over the country with black helicopters and English professors, in collaboration with Unions and Satan, put all the Galts up against the wall?
What have I missed? Where do the Reverse Vampires fit in?
Evil Bender’s Top 10 Buffy Moments March 22, 2009Posted by Evil Bender in arts and culture, Blogging.
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LQ and I just finished watching the entirety of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series. I’d seen the whole thing before, but it was LQ’s first time through.
Rewatching the series was a real pleasure, and more than justified my decision to own the entire thing on DVD. Buffy remains my favorite dramatic series in TV history. Which brings me to the topic of this post: the most memorably Buffy moments of all time (I thought about calling them my favorite moments, but many of them are actually hard to watch: they’re just incredibly well executed, so “memorable” it is). These are, of course, purely subjective, and I hope you’ll leave yours in the comments. SPOILERS below the fold.
Shorter Vox Day March 20, 2009Posted by Evil Bender in Science, Skepticism, wingnuts.
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- When scientists tell you vaccines are safe, they’re making pointless appeals to authority. Clearly they’re wrong, and I would know, since I paid $40 for a chance to get a piece of paper telling me I’m S-M-R-T.
[h/t to the always-keen Orac]
Dear Pope Ratzi March 17, 2009Posted by Evil Bender in Morality, Religion, reproductive rights, wingnuts.
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Go Fuck Yourself. And please remember to use a condom while doing so:
Pope Benedict XVI said on his way to Africa Tuesday that condoms were not the answer in the continent’s fight against HIV, his first explicit statement on an issue that has divided even clergy working with AIDS patients. [...]
“You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms,” the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane headed to Yaounde. “On the contrary, it increases the problem.”
Let me make this clear to you, My Dear Pontiff: Condoms only “increase the problem” if the choice people are making is safe sex vs no sex. Since correct use of condoms is vastly safer than unprotected sex, and since problems of AIDS in Africa aren’t going to go away by wishing everyone would approach sexuality the way you do (that is, to personally eschew it and to attack anyone who doesn’t fit your narrow views of what it should be), the choice isn’t between safe sex and no sex: it’s between safe sex and unsafe sex.
The choice is between safe sex and continued expansion of the AIDS pandemic. And your backward ass comments endanger the lives of millions.
So much for your “consistent ethic of life,” you hypocritical fucker.
Dear Anti-Choice Catholics March 5, 2009Posted by Evil Bender in Religion, reproductive rights, wingnuts.
Go Fuck Yourselves. Seriously.
RIO DE JANEIRO – A 9-year-old girl who was carrying twins, allegedly after being raped by her stepfather, underwent an abortion Wednesday despite complaints from Brazil’s Roman Catholic church.
Fatima Maia, director of the public university hospital where the abortion was performed, said the 15-week-old pregnancy posed a serious risk to the 80-pound girl.
“She is very small. Her uterus doesn’t have the ability to hold one, let alone two children,” Maia told the Jornal do Brasil newspaper.
But Marcio Miranda, a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in northeastern Brazil, said the girl should have carried the twins to term and had a cesarean section.
“It’s the law of God: Do not kill. We consider this murder,” Miranda said in comments reported by O Globo.
Demanding a raped 9 year old girl give birth to twins and describing her abortion as murder: I’m sure Jesus would be real proud of you fuckers.
The next time someone tells me atheists are immoral, it will take all my restraint not to superglue this story to their forehead.
Christian Salt? SRSLY? March 2, 2009Posted by Evil Bender in News and politics, wingnuts.
I really want to make fun of the idiot who’s decided the world needs Christian priest-blessed salt, but given the popularity of Christian business models (not where people act like Christians, sadly, but more generally where they go out of their way to promote themselves as “Christian” and thereby gain the market sector of people who will pay more for anything with a fish slapped on it), I suspect he’ll make a fortune.
Retired barber Joe Godlewski says that when television chefs recommended kosher salt in recipes, he wondered, “What the heck’s the matter with Christian salt?”
By next week, his trademarked Blessed Christians Salt will be available from seasonings manufacturer Ingredients Corporation of America. It’s sea salt that’s been blessed by an Episcopal priest.
If I was less ethical, I’d either a) claim to be Christian to make lots of money off the gullible, or b) advertise myself as a psychic. Either way, money in the bank.
How not to write a movie review: Watchmen edition March 2, 2009Posted by Evil Bender in arts and culture, Comics, Watchmen.
To be absolutely clear: I have no idea whether Watchmen will be a good film. Zach Snyder hasn’t convinced me he has anything to say behind his visual sensibility, and I have lots of reasons to think that the film might fail.
But I’m absolutely certain that if Watchman is a disaster, it isn’t for the reasons laid out in this horrible review. It seems Anthony Lane doesn’t like the film, but wants to be absolutely clear that he Knows His Comic Books. Otherwise, why include the embarrassing-attempt-at-street-cred-slash-opening-salvo?
The world of the graphic novel is a curious one. For every masterwork, such as “Persepolis” or “Maus,” there seem to be shelves of cod mythology and rainy dystopias, patrolled by rock-jawed heroes and their melon-breasted sidekicks.
Comic book fans will know that mentioning Maus is a requirement for anyone wishing to demonstrate that they Really Understand Comics. Persepolis is a close second in this regard.*
Having now established that he is a Serious Person Who Should Be Taken Seriously, Lane proceeds to make silly mistakes (i.e. mocking one character for being a ripoff of Batman when that was precisely the idea, as anyone familiar with the material should surely know), and stumbles his way through a few potentially valid criticisms, to end on what might be the single most embarrassing line from any review I’ve ever read:
Incoherent, overblown, and grimy with misogyny, “Watchmen” marks the final demolition of the comic strip, and it leaves you wondering: where did the comedy go?
I can’t wait until Lane explains a) how a film could be a “demolition of the comic strip” (any more than claiming that Cruel Intentions marks the destruction of the novel) or b) why he expects his film-criticism-turned-amateur-hour-comics-criticism to be taken seriously when, for all his posturing, he clearly indicates to understand comic books every bit as well as the bitter man at the poetry reading, objecting that “real” poetry rhymes.
But I suppose we should suspect nothing less from a man who thinks the description “not quite as enjoyable as tripping over barbed wire and falling nose first into a nettle patch”** is either an enlightening or clever descriptor.
*Both laudable works, mind, but Lane’s rhetorical move here is the equivalent of starting a review of a metatextual film by assuring the audience that you have indeed seen Citizen Kane.
**That’s Lane’s recap of V for Vendetta, a review which tells us nothign about the film, and far too much about Lane’s sense of humor.
[Update: fixed typo.]