Christopher Hitchens does a great interview with The Onion's AV Club about atheism. I particularly liked this quote
And my challenge is this: "Can you name me a good action done or a good thing done by a believer that couldn't have been said or done by a non-believer?" I've offered this challenge now in print hundreds of times, and on the air, and on the Web, and in public, debating with quite senior religious people. None of them have come up with an example. Whereas, if I say in front of any audience you can think of, "Can you think of a wicked thing said or an evil thing done by someone because of their religious faith?" Nobody needs you to get to the end of the sentence, they've already thought of an example.
I can't stand Hitchens' writing on foreign policy and his predilection for bombing brown people, but I love his pull-no-punches writing on religion.
I'm not going to pull any goddamn punches on this shit.
Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, gave a minute-long prayer, that he ended by saying:
"We pray this in the name and beloved power of our Lord Jesus Christ and for his sake, Amen."
You know what, fucker? Not everyone you represent is a fucking Christian. Not everyone in your district prays to Jesus Christ. Fuck not everyone you represent prays to anyone. By opening the Senate with this prayer you are pretty much saying a big hearty "fuck you" to anyone who isn't a christian or anyone who isn't a believer of anything.
So Senator Kruse, fuck you too.
so once again I've been gathering tabbed links in my browser with the idea of posting about them but it hasn't happened. So that means another Link Dump! You are excited, I can tell.
- Apparently crime really isn't as bad as people perceive it. Maybe people will calm the fuck down about all this panic over a "crime asploshun!!" in Indianapolis that really isn't. Although I doubt it. Because even though The Star carried this story, it won't stop them from sensationalizing crime themselves and contributing to the problem.
- I think I got about 100 IQ points dumber reading about the Scientific Proof For The Existence Of God!!!111eleventomgbbq!!. Really, if you have any sort of logical reasoning skills at all it's easy to decimate this thing into a million pieces. but I value my sanity FAR too much to actually read it again and do that in blog form. The best part is probably the uranium part. jeebus.
- A great find, CJ notes the appearance of Indianapolis in a new Marvel comic! Too bad they based the art on an old picture of the circle with the now non-existent Market Square Arena visible. Oops.
- God I hate the Pacers anymore. And not just because of horrible management decisions and blundered personnel. No, also because they still refuse to have any redheads on the dance team. Heathens!
- Schadenfreude, thy name is Ted Stevens Getting Raided By The FBI. I really hope they showed up in a BIG TRUCK! In honor of this amazing news, I went back and found the Ted Stevens internet speech techno remix.
- Nerds + Showbiz Pizza + The Rockafire Explosion + New Ms. Booty = AWESOME.
- This REALLLLY deserves its own post but damn if I have the time right now. So Thanks Mitch! Because you caved to the property tax whiners (of whom so many are people who have been paying far under what they should have been for years - I'm looking at you Meridian Kessler District) and put off the new tax evaluations Marion County is going to have a $52 million shortfall. Don't worry, Indianapolis is only the economic engine for the state you pretend to represent completely (but in the end you just end up representing road construction companies and people who believe your fake accent). A big ol' hearty middle finger to Mitchie Rich The Amazing Midget Governor.
- I've been posting more on CWAMB lately. I have a big post eventually planned for a what-if solution for the NBA: a 50-60 team league with three divisions and European-style relegation. Keep an eye out for it.
- Couldn't agree more with this at Tapped. The way our politics work, the short sighted politician who only spends money in time of disaster instead of spending money when there is no disaster gets rewarded. The latter just gets yelled at for spending tax money and *gasp* maybe raising taxes. Heavens to Betsy, noooo!
- This is horrifying. Dear Oklahoma, I enjoyed my time there for a national high school student council convention in 1995, but you are now dead to me.
- Mega-Kudos to FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. You couldn't be more right about the absolutely TERRIBLE broadband policy in this country. Making the link between this and the rampant media consolidation in the US is very nicely done.
I think that's it? I hope?
- Two related links: Ahhhhh the Bush Economy. To paraphrase Mel Brooks "It's good to be the CEO."
- The latest champion for those fed up with the direction our country has taken under arch-conservative George W. Bush: Lee Iacocca?
"You might think I’m getting senile, that I’ve gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don’t need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we’re fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That’s not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I’ve had enough. How about you?"
Color me both impressed and confused. A world where Lee Iacocca has become outraged with Republicans is a strange world indeed.
- I've been meaning to post a full entry on the rediculous Indiana "In God We Trust" license plates but I never seem to get around to it. TDW has done it instead. And better than I would have, too. I'd love to go into the BMV and ask for an "In No God We Trust" or "In Allah We Trust" plate sometime just for the reaction.
- All that scarrrrrry voter fraud that made the Indiana Voter ID law 'necessary'? Ummm yeah. Turns out there's not so much of it. Nationwide. We're talking since 2002, when they made it EASIER to get vote fraud convictions, a grand total of 86 convictions nationwide. Wow. It's a good thing we got that Voter ID law!!!
- "Watermelon" Dan Burton has been outraised by his GOP primary opponent by nearly 3x in the first quarter of this year. I certainly don't know what sort of crazy challenger John McGoff is bringing, but it can't be as much crazy as ol' Watermelon Dan brings.
- You know, I was waiting for the first post of this flavor about the horrible shootings at Virginia Tech today. I just didn't expect to see it said so soon that if only all those students had guns this wouldn't have happened. As CJ said in IM about this, "If every VT student were carrying guns, do you know how many fights would have turned into shootings over the last few years? How many drunken disagreements would have ended in fatalities? You don't? Then please come back to planet Earth from Unprovable Counterfactual Land and join the rest of us, mkay?" The Happy Pony Libertarian Land where everyone is armed to the teeth and responsible and happy and safe doesn't exist. Yes, I believe in the second amendment but I also think rampant guns all over the place aren't exactly making anything safer. There's this... I dunno... gray area between the black and white of "guns or no guns!" that actually exists. Even in the minds of *gasp* liberals!!!
A non-politics link dump will follow later.
I've gathered some links and videos, some political, most silly. Lazy blogging.
So to me Global Warming is like Truth or Dare:
TRUTH: We can either keep Global Warming in the news and convince people the truth is the planet is warming and we as humans might be causing Global Warming by pumping tons of CO2 into the atmosphere daily so let’s keep the momentum going to educate people about this problem and slowly eliminate the use of fossil fuels.
Or DARE: We can do nothing and DARE to find out what happens if we don’t fix this problem.
By the same author: Global Warming News
Identification requirements often sound simple. But some types of paperwork simply aren't available to many Americans. We saw this with the new Medicaid proof-of-citizenship requirement, which led to benefits being cut off for many longtime citizens. Some states insist that voters provide photo IDs such as driver's licenses. But at least 11 percent of voting-age Americans, disproportionately elderly and minority voters, lack the necessary papers. Required documentation such as naturalization paperwork can cost as much as $200. By contrast, when the poll tax was declared unconstitutional in 1966, it was $1.50 ($8.97 in 2007 dollars).
A student has been suspended from school in America for coming to class dressed as a pirate.
Bryan Killian says that he follows the Pastafarian religion, and that as a crucial part of his faith, he must wear 'full pirate regalia' as prescribed in the holy texts of Pastafarianism.
If you thought the Kirk Cameron/Bananas Are Proof Of God video was funny/ridiculous/frightening, get a load of this - Peanut butter is proof that evolution isn't true:
I... there's so much wrong with this it's difficult to even begin. But the comments on the YouTube page are marvelous.
"They need to do a Wonder Bread segment. Then we could discuss the whole peanut butter and banana sandwich trinity. Anyone?"
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the Earth was made of peanut butter 3-4 billion years ago."
"wasn't that was the reason for the Peter Pan Recall?
"When they fill the peanut putter can with a dense soup of hydrocarbons with a layer of dense carbon dioxide laden atmosphere above, zap it with large bolts of electrical energy regularly, and let it sit for a couple billion years, then we'll talk."
And now to the silly...
Let's take a look into the mind of the Christian Right*. Courtesy of the letters to the editor to Nuvo newsweekly (an alternative paper in Indianapolis) in response to this article remembering the recently deceased Democratic State Senator Anita Bowser.
Abyss of Eternal Damnation
Mar 14, 2007
I read your write-up of the Ten Commandments-hating, fag-loving promoter, Anita Bowser (shit be upon her) (News, “Remembering Our Favorite Rabble-Rousers,” March 7-14). She may have been nice, personable, whatever. She was a servant of Satan and I have no room for pity on her soul. No doubt, she is currently roasting in the Abyss of Eternal Damnation where she rightfully belongs!
She was a clueless demagogue spreading disinformation through her tenure as a professor, to inculcate (READ: brainwash) students into pro-fag, anti-American, anti-Christian philosophy.
I’d personally like to urinate on her grave, and while I’m at it, in your face!
James M. Baker
Now, I may be an atheist and not entirely boned up on my Bible, but will someone please show me the parts of the bible that promote and endorse this sort of pure, vile, unadulterated hatred? Count me in with "the Ten Commandments-hating, fag-loving, ... anti-American, anti-Christian"s.
Oh, and dear Mr. James M. Baker: Go fuck yourself. Seriously. Take your unadulterated hate and stuff it up your ass. It doesn't belong in what truly is America.
*I don't think all Christians are like this at all. There are plenty of perfectly sane (and even liberal) Christians in this country. But those who support individuals, writers, pundits, talking heads and radio talk show hosts who speak like this and those who vote for politicians who speak like this or tacitly approve of this sort of hate-speech are just as bad as those who say it themselves.
they are going to repeat the lead segment (the part with the ostracized atheist family), and then instead of showing the bumbling bigot panel, they're planning to replace that debacle with a new interview with Richard Dawkins. That's tonight, Thursday, at 8PM EST.
I'm going to try to stop by my apartment to set the Tivo for this on my way to DL, but even if I don't I bet it will show up on YouTube by tomorrow.
It's hard to believe their letters because they were all attacking me for my appearance on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now," a week ago. Yet, each letter claims the sender just watched me on CNN. First of all, the video of that segment appears nowhere on the net. Believe me, if it did, I'd link to it.
What, like this?
I'm surprised these atheists would be so obedient to a higher power that told them to e-mail me since, after all, the one thing they're supposed to have in common is a lack of belief in a higher power. Well, no-one ever said atheists are consistent or immune from hypocrisy.
Ummm yeah. What? So because atheists find you offensive and bigoted and decide to call you on it, we all "obey some higher power"? Wuhh? Wow, this is already starting off as some great logical deduction.
I don't mind receiving the atheist hate mail, since I know that in a few years, these same people will either be Muslim extremists (redundant) or helping the country fall further in its fight against the creep of Islamic imposition on America . . . or both.
Atheists are one step away from eventually becoming Muslim? I had no idea that Islam was so close to Atheism that the conversion was that easy... oh wait, never mind, that's just a complete straw man. I mean it's not like she has proof of any sort.
Look at famous atheists and what happened to them. Adam Gadahn a/k/a Azzam Al-Amriki--now a top Al-Qaeda video "personality"--was raised by his hippie Jewish father and equally bizarre gentile mother as an atheist. And look how he turned out. Ditto for hippie-spawn John Walker Lindh.
So two people who supposedly (according to Ms. Schlussel with no documentation to back it up) were atheist later were Muslim terrorists, that means all atheists become Muslim extremists. Wow. I can't even wrap my mind around the vapidity of that logical deduction. My cat can construct logical arguments better than that. Let's explain this with the wonder that is a Venn Diagram:
If you don't believe in anything, you'll fall for virtually nothing.
I couldn't agree more. Oh. Wait. Did you mean fall for virtually anything Debbie? I could argue the merits of that statement as you meant it. I mean, who are the ones falling for invisible omnipotent cloud beings, magic and zombie saviors? But that's being an angry attacking atheist I suppose....
That's why Europe is so quickly turning Islamist--because atheism dominates and Christianity is rapidly dying there.
Statistics please? Proof? Anything? Oops. Forgot. Blind conjecture unsupported by facts is the hallmark (get it? hahaha) of your trashier and more well known idol Ann Coulter. Follow in her footsteps, babe! Maybe you'll be a washed up junkie-looking megapundit someday too. Opps. There goes my attacking atheist ways. Shame on me.
So to you hate-filled atheists a/k/a future Muslim extremists (redundant), your e-mails have no effect on me.
I wouldn't expect anything to have an effect on someone with the deductive reasoning skills of a chipmunk anyway.
Update: CJ does some great internet sleuthing (okay, he just used Google. But if someone of Ms. Schlusser's stature can't do it, it must be hard work) to find that Adam Gadahn never was an atheist. In fact, he was homeschooled and involved in Christian fundamentalist homeschool groups. CJ's conclusion is perfect:
I’m afraid there’s only one conclusion we can draw from all this. Using Debbie Schlussel’s own logic, which says that if one member of group X becomes a Muslim extremist, all members of group X will inevitably become Muslim extremists, we have no choice but to ban fundamentalist Christianity and homeschooling. As Adam explains, it was his exposure to the deranged world of homeschooling and fundamentalist Christianity that led to his conversion to Islam, and thus eventually his radicalization. I call on Debbie Schlussel to back up her previously stated beliefs with action, and speak out against this dangerous practice and ideology. After all Ms. Schlussel, America’s very survival is at stake.
Indeed, Ms Schlussel. When will you speak out against the enemies of America being trained in Christian homeschools? Unless... you admit your logic is deeply flawed?
I won't hold my breath.
Alright, when Stephen "Screamin'" A. Smith is the most sane person on a CNN panel about discrimination against atheists, I really don't know what to think. My entire worldview has been altered. Up is down. Black is white. Rex Grossman doesn't suck.
There is so much wrong with what those women are saying I don't even know where to begin. All atheists need are some hallmark cards? What more do "they" want? I won't even get into the fallacy that "this is a Christian nation." (just because it's majority Christian doesn't mean that the nation should be run to the every whim of the majority at the expense of the minority's rights).
When Zahn asks Debbie Schlussel [Update: Ooops, I got them mixed up. The person I thought was Ms. Schlussel was instead someone else. The blonde is Debbie. See my follow up post for the crazy that is Ms. Schlussel] if Atheists should keep their beliefs secret, she just says "what's their belief? they believe nothing!" and then the blonde woman says she just agrees 100% and that the actual discrimination by atheists against Christians. (Oh and that high school in Michigan? Michigan has one of the largest Muslim communities in the country and I bet the high school in question has a high percentage Muslim population).
In what world are the poor poor majority Christians so put upon? and really.... HALLMARK CARDS? "They need to shut up."?!!! This from a woman whose parents and grandparents fought for equal rights and treatment. And telling atheists to just "not pray" when their kids are in school, surrounded by prayer, being made to feel like they are required to pray, is stupid. Ugh.
It's also too bad no one was able to respond to the blonde woman's charge that Europe is more hateful than America because we have more "good Christians" and Europe is full of atheists and Muslims. Ugh. And people wonder why I get pissed off and feel like atheists are among the last two groups (the others being homosexuals) that it's okay to discriminate against and hate. Among many things, as I've asked before, could an out atheist run for office and win in today's America (all other credentials being equal)?
These women seem to be doing the standard "I don't have a problem with atheists.... but they should shut up and not be heard."
Reminds me of "some of my best friends are black/gay/jewish/insert discriminated minority here."
But yeah, I gotta thank Stephen A. Smith (whom I never liked when he did sports commentary on ESPN) for being the voice of sanity here.... as much as it feels like my grasp on reality is now crumbling.
So I'm slumming it and reading through the WingNutDaily. Oh what a collection of crazy that is.
Theres the review/recommendation of a book that sets the creation of the earth at Octover 23rd, 4004 B.C. (Never mind that pesky "elements decay at a steady rate and it's physically impossible for the Earth to be that young" thing). I don't know about you, but all science and learning since the 1650's can be ignored easily </sarcasm>
There's the crazy talk radio host who's talking about assassinating members of Congress. That's not illegal at all. Not crazy either. Nope. perfectly sane. Nothing to see here. What, there's a brown person who said something negative about the assistant to the secretary of the assistant secretary of housing and urban development? LOCK HIM UP!!!!
Oh and hey, can't forget the raving lunatic conspiracy theories of a North American Union. Love the "highlights" of the article that really are just questions from raving racists and xenophobes and no real proof at all about anyone actually wanting this, let along planning it. Reminds me of the old "New World Order/UN/Black Helicopters" conspiracy theories. Good times!!
Ahhhhh WND, I can count on you to make me remember that there are people in the world that are certifiably crazy yet somehow function in their daily lives.