Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mosque Wars Rage On

NYC construction worker Andy Sullivan has made a name for himself with his public opposition of the WTC "Mosque."  He founded the Hard Hat Pledge, where construction workers pledge to not work on the construction of the Mosque/Community Center.  Now he's moving on to promoting a boycott of teen pop star Justin Bieber, who had the nerve to voice support of the mosque project in an interview with Tiger Beat magazine.

In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, taxpayers are footing the $75,000 bill for legal fees in the doomed-from-the-start legal challenge of the planned construction of a mosque that was approved by Rutherford County earlier this year.

Once again, Evangelical Conservatives remain the largest threat to religious freedom in this country.

Harry Potter A Christian?

Harry Potter is a good guy with a strong value system, so therefore he must be a Christian.  This is the connection Episcopalian author Danielle Tumminio is making in her new book "God and Harry Potter."

Her reasoning:  “I see him best as a seeker in a world where Christianity is not the vocabulary. I see him best as a seeker trying to live a life of faith in the same way a Christian seeker tries to live a life grace,” Tumminio told CNN.

So in a world where Christianity doesn't exist, she sees Harry Potter as a Christian? 

The Harry Potter series has been seriously criticized by conservative Christians, even to the point where it ranks first in the American Library Association’s Top Banned/Challenged books from 2000-2009, and the Salvation Army banned Harry Potter and Twilight toys because they aren't in line with Christian principles.  You can donate a toy gun, but not a figurine of a boy wizard. 

Tumminio argues (correctly) that the Christian stance against Harry Potter is "very narrow," and that criticism of the books "wasn’t just doing the books an injustice, it was doing Christianity an injustice. First of all I was astounded so many of (the critics) hadn’t read the books.”

Personally, I think her argument is a little too narrow.  Christian criticism is not unusual and reserved solely for the Harry Potter series.  Christians are known to take a hard line stance against supernatural things that aren't about Christianity.  And just because Harry Potter is the hero who's always trying to do what's morally right, that doesn't make him a Christian.  In fact, I find the implication that all good people must be Christians even more offensive and narrow minded than Christians rejecting a book series that's supernatural.     

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Broadway Musical I Want To See....

I would brave the bedbugs of NY City to watch this musical by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Avenue Q's Robert Lopez.  The Book Of Mormon opens in March, and I'm sure it will be hilarious and offensive.  According to Advocate.com (which quotes Vogue), the musical is "the story of a pair of teenage missionaries who get sent to Uganda, where can-do Mormon pep meets its match in disease, starvation, and warlords who shoot people in the face." One of the lead characters in the show is gay and will attempt to contain his sexuality.

In my search for photos from the South Park episode "All About The Mormons," I came across a Mormon website called "southparkmormon.com."  This website compares the portrayal of the Joseph Smith story on South Park to what Mormons actually believe.  Their "truth" is just as crazy, that's for sure, but you've got to admire the Mormons for being so opportunistic and diplomatic with this approach. 

Better Than Bad, It's Good...

photo from "lifeincatalonia.com"
Here's a strange Christmas ritual for you.  Caga Tio means "Poop Log" in Spanish, and the Catalonians have a tradition of beating on a log wrapped in a blanket with a stick until it shits out gifts.  They also sing a song about how they don't want any herring, but they only want candy, so they order the log to shit candy out instead of herring.  I'm hoping to adopt this tradition next year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

FCC Net Neutrality a Joke?

The FCC passed their Net Neutrality standards yesterday, and nobody seems to like it. 

The gist is that the new rules allow the FCC to step in and investigate disputes about how internet service providers manage their networks if they think the ISPs are violating their rules.  The problem is, the FCC hasn't even posted the rules yet for the public to see, or hadn't at the time of this post.  So we only have a vague idea of what's going on.  What we do know is that the rules differ slightly between fixed ISPs and wireless providers.  At least for now.  But with Internet service trending more and more towards wireless providers, this doesn't look like true "net neutrality" to me. 

I was kind of waiting to read the rules for myself before I posted, but I'll just have to follow up when they finally do.

Al Franken calls this issue the "most important free speech issue of our time," and I'm kind of starting to agree with him (though every free speech issue is very important).  "...This principle is called 'net neutrality' -- and it's under attack. Internet service giants like Comcast and Verizon want to offer premium and privileged access to the Internet for corporations who can afford to pay for it.
The good news is that the Federal Communications Commission has the power to issue regulations that protect net neutrality. The bad news is that draft regulations written by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski don't do that at all. They're worse than nothing."

I really appreciate the last line in that quote, but I'd like to reserve total judgement until I read the actual rules.  Anybody have any interesting insights or specific concerns about this? 

Palin's Anti-Anti-Obesity Stance...

Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign is nothing new.  Bill Clinton campaigned on Nickelodeon in 2005 to promote physical fitness and healthy nutrition to children, only a year after his quadruple bypass surgery.  George W. Bush urged Americans to improve their health through exercise, proper diet, and regular doctors visits.  Ronald Reagan issued an Executive Order on Physical Fitness and Sports in 1982 "in order to expand the program for physical fitness and sports."  The program that he referred to is the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which has been around since 1956. 

From 1989 until 1993, Arnold Schwarzenegger was appointed as Council chairman, and traveled to all 50 states to personally advocate the importance of daily physical education in American schools.  Was this considered "interfering with parental freedoms," or "big government telling us how to live our lives"?  Imagine any of George HW Bush's critics complaining about the Council on Physical Fitness, and how Arnold and Bush were "telling us how to live our lives."



But suddenly now, Sarah Palin seems to have a serious problem with Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign.  In a twisted misunderstanding of the campaign itself, Palin has labelled Obama's efforts as an attack on personal freedom.  I don't even really want to quote the dumb bitch.  All I can say is WHAT THE FUCK?  I can't wait to hear this rhetoric thrown my way sometime soon by a fat, bible thumping conservative who can't wait to defend his/her right to commit gluttony...

And just before I blow my top, along comes Mike Huckabee to calm me down and remind me that Evangelicals aren't always irrational about the same things.  From politicsdaily.com:  "With all due respect to my colleague and friend Sarah Palin, I think she's misunderstood what Michelle Obama is trying to do," Huckabee said. "Michelle Obama's not trying to tell people what to eat or force government's desires on people. She's stating the obvious: that we have an obesity crisis in this country."  It's great of Huckabee to side with reality here, and his comments will definitely prevent many Evangelicals from falling for Palin's divisive tactics, but don't forget that Huck believes that Dinosaurs and humans roamed the earth together.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baby Jesus And A Half...

I love the blog "Hyperbole and a Half," and there's finally something on it that's relevant to Cram and Ballwell.  Just in time, because I'm working on a post idea for tomorrow and I needed some filler for today.

Today's post is called "The Year Kenny Loggins Ruined Christmas," and it's an absolute riot.  Do yourself a favor and check it out.  The author recalls her first experience with the story of the Nativity, and how she attempted to improve the story as a 6 year old.  As usual, the drawings are just as funny as the story.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Conservatives Fear DADT Repeal Harms Religious Freedom....WTF?

One thing we can count on is that bigots will usually make themselves heard.  There are atheists in fox holes (Pat Tillman), but there aren't many wallflower bigots.  The rest of us have to be the unofficial bigot police, enforcing our own unwritten "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding bigotry.  The rule goes like this:  "You can think whatever you want.  You can feel however you want.  But when you say something that reeks of hatred or intolerance, it's our responsibility to point it out and ridicule it.  Especially when your voice makes a difference."

How in holy fuck does the repeal of DADT threaten the religious freedoms of Christians in the military, especially Chaplains?  Can anybody on the religious right explain this to me in a way that doesn't sound bigoted?  Cathy Lynn Grossman points out that "Chaplains care for all Service members, including those who claim no religious faith, facilitate the religious requirements of personnel of all faiths, provide faith-specific ministries, and advise the command," but, "A large number of military chaplains (and their followers) believe that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination, and that they are required by God to condemn it as such."  The Chaplains are afraid that if they preach against homosexuality, they'll be punished for "hate speech."  I wonder if Chaplains still speak out against interracial marriage?  I wonder if chaplains still speak out against divorce?  Aren't there already plenty of non-believers in the military?  They need to adapt to it, just like religion has always (reluctantly) adapted to society.

John McCain is really going crazy about this DADT repeal.  "Today is a very sad day," he said on Saturday before the Senate passed the legislation, calling it "great damage" to the military, despite the Pentagon's study suggesting otherwise.  I really hope this harms his career as much as it should, but we'll have to settle for knowing that it will be an ugly black mark on his legacy in the long run.             

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Beefheart steps out of a triangle, into striped light

Captain Beefheart finally cashed is tropical hot dog paycheck, and we at C&B are truly sad. If you ever need a little help remembering that it's okay to be different or just truly strange and weird, listen to some Beefheart and smile. It's dangerous business to walk around thinking that everything has to make sense, that everything not classifiable is odd and unpleasant. If you need a reminder, listen to Beefheart.

Atheist After Dark...

I know this is a total cop out of a post, but this Youtube video by atheistafterdark has all kinds of interesting updates on current happenings that we skeptics would be concerned with.  The most recent installment:  SF DMV worker proselytizes to a transgender woman, Salvation Army throws away toys that are "evil", Texas mega-church launches campaign to publicly shame stores not celebrating Christmas, some Glenn Beck ranting, Macy's Santa fired for questionable judgement.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Possible HIV Cure

A German man received a bone marrow transplant to treat his Leukemia, and it looks like it ended up curing him of HIV.  The result has baffled scientists and doctors, and obviously could lead to big developments in the search for a cure.  It should be interesting to see how this develops, and if the result can be reproduced.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

Letter from Atheist Jesus





Why are people so surprised this was created by an atheist?

Display creator Jenelle Embrey clarifies in a comment on the news site that posted this that most of the text was found online by an unknown author, and she found it worthy to post on a sign at the courthouse.

Don't Buy Breast Milk Online....

Every once in a while, I read something in the news that opens my mind to worlds that were previously unknown to me.  This article about the online breastmilk market is a really good example of that.  This seems like something I'd see in a John Waters film, but it's not.  Mothers are actually purchasing breast milk online from other women via online classified ads. 

According to the article, the FDA says that purchasing breast milk on the internet from sites such as onlythebreast.com is not a good idea, and mothers should instead purchase from approved sources, such as the Human Milk Banking Association Of America.

The idea that people would purchase milk from an unknown person over the internet is absolutely dumbfounding.  Is formula really a bad option when compared to the idea that your baby could potentially be drinking the milk of a drug addict, or a person with a contagious disease?  How do you know if this stuff is even human milk?
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards Deserves To Rest In Peace

Elizabeth Edwards will be buried tomorrow here in Raleigh, NC.  She has been an unfortunate target this week of a bunch of religious nuts who want to criticize her for not being godly enough.  Aren't Christians supposed to refrain from passing judgement?  Isn't God supposed to be the only one who knows a person's heart?  I've argued with Christians about what it means to "pass judgement."  It seems to be a wild card that Christians throw out there when they're defending people they like.  Eddie Long is excused by some Christians (definitely not all) because "the facts aren't out there yet," and we "don't know his heart."  George Bush, Sarah Palin, and company are given the benefit of the doubt, simply because they say that they're Christians.  I'm not arguing that they shouldn't be believed, but I think that same courtesy should be extended across party lines by the religious right.  That's certainly not been the case when it's come to Elizabeth Edwards.  It could be because she was a lawyer, or because she had strong convictions that helping the less fortunate is more important than the wealthy getting tax breaks.  Either way, political affiliation does not constitute a person's level of religious conviction.

By now we've all heard about the Westboro Baptist fuckers who plan to protest at the funeral.  But that sort of lunacy has come to be expected from them.  It would be nice if the irrational criticism of a person's belief system ended there, but it doesn't.  This horrible shit of a man is questioning her faith, and her spiritual capacity:  "Still, at her death bed and giving what most folks are calling a final goodbye, Elizabeth Edwards couldn't find it somewhere down deep to ask for His blessings as she prepares for the hereafter? I guess that nihilism I've been discussing reaches up higher into the hard-left precincts than I thought."  Donald Douglas, you are a serious piece of shit.  Too bad there's not a hell for you to burn in.

For those of you who don't know Edwards' personal theology (which none of us truly do), she has been quoted in the past, saying "I have, I think, somewhat of an odd version of God. I do not have an intervening God. I don't think I can pray to him -- or her -- to cure me of cancer....I don't believe that we should live our lives that way for some promise of eternal life, but because that's what's right. We should do those things because that's what's right."  This is what some Christians are angry about?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cold War On Christmas, 2010

It's finally time to reignite the imaginary war on Christmas!  Atheists everywhere have received their top secret orders in the mail, billboards have been erected that dare to challenge Christian beliefs, and businesses everywhere are wishing people "Happy Holidays." 

In defense of Christmas, brave Christians everywhere are pulling out all the stops, occasionally even casting aside their very values in a last ditch effort to save the season.  Long ago, the baby Jesus and Santa Claus were nearly enemies.  Christians often believed that Santa detracted from the true "reason for the season."  Now, the two are forever joined together, thanks to all of the believers who insist that rampant over-commercialization and holiday consumerism be done in the name of Christ.  "Don't you dare wish me Happy Holidays as I trample over people to purchase this animatronic Sesame Street toy." 

Conservative talking-heads are jumping in eagerly, as is expected.  For eleven months out of the year, they loyally defend the rights of the corporations and businesses.  Raise minimum wage?  Not fair to the business owners.  If you want more money and better benefits, then you should search for work elsewhere.  Scrutinize businesses for not hiring enough minorities?  No way!  These businesses have the right to hire whomever they want, they argue.  But this is war, and sometimes war demands sacrifice.  And sometimes that sacrifice is consistency in values.  Company-wide standards are no longer considered the prerogative of upper management, so long as those standards omit Christmas decorations.  Instead, it's proof of a conspiracy to kill Christmas.  Public offices and buildings that don't allow citizens to decorate their grounds with trees and nativity scenes aren't refraining from favoring a religion, instead they're denying people their rights to celebrate Jesus.

Sometime in the spring...

...Now, in December
The Grinch thought he could stop Christmas by stealing decorations and gifts, only to find out that it's the spirit, attitude and good cheer that make the season so special.  But that's just a story, and this is WAR in the real world!  Holidays only mean what those who celebrate them say they mean.  It appears that Christians fear that Christmas can be taken away exactly how the Grinch planned to, so maybe it really can?                    

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bank Takes Down Tree, Christians Shit Pants On Cue...

A Chase Bank in Southlake, Texas was ordered to take down their Christmas tree last week by their central office.  The tree was provided and decorated by a friend of the bank's manager, Mr. Antonio Morales, owner of the local Bellagio Day Spa who is known throughout the town for his tree decorations.  The people in town are predictably shitting their pants about it, and so are Christians everywhere (just read the comments at the end of the story).

For some reason, every article I find on this seems all too anxious to point out that Mr. Morales annually puts up a Christmas tree in a Jewish friend's office.  A Jewish man who owns his own business certainly has the right to decorate however he wants.  The article I've linked to seems to be the only one that even attempts to explain the fact that Chase Bank has a policy that their banks only use corporate provided decorations.  Maybe somebody complained about allergies?  Maybe somebody was offended?  Who cares, and that's not the point.  Chase bank can do what they want with their decorations, and their branches have to honor their wishes.  That's just the way it is.  This isn't an assault on Christmas.

Cram and Ballwell plan on writing more about the "assault on Christmas," so stay tuned.  

Monday, December 6, 2010

Televangelist Cheats On Wife, Thwarts Extortion Scheme


This is hardly news anymore.  We may as well change our blog name to "Televangelist Watch" with how often this happens.  This time, at least it's a heterosexual affair. 

Reverend Marcus Lamb of Daystar Television Network admitted to an inappropriate sexual affair on the air last week with his wife Joni (above, as "Cockatoo" from Zoobilee Zoo) by his side.  Lamb claims that three people threatened to expose the affair if the couple didn't pay them over $7 million.

Phil Kammer of Stumpreport.com wrote an interesting piece from a concerned Christian's point of view that's worth reading, if you can get through all of the typos.  Kammer makes some relevant points that you'd hope every Christian would make, but unfortunately many do not:

...This has left the Church with many pastors and leaders who have gotten away with their deeds only to teach our youth that the Grace of Christ is best used to cover our tracks...Mr. Marcus has almost successfully gotten away with adultery on his terms.

Kammer also brings to attention some more interesting dirt that's sprouted from the aftermath:   
  
...Jeanette Hawkins the Marketing Director for Daystar filed suit against her employer Daystar because the situation became so outrageous that she was no longer able to respect her work place...In a effort to protect Daystar and Mr. Lambs reputation a counter suit was filed against Ms. Hawkins which almost forces me to question what is going on.  Do Christians act in this fashion?

It is also emphasized in this post that Christians are getting tired of defending their leaders to the world.  But isn't your leader supposed to be Jesus Christ?  Isn't the bible supposed to be your guide through your personal walk with the Lord?  Don't Christians always condemn people for "putting their faith in man" rather than Christ?  If the millionaire founder of a television network is considered one of your "Christian leaders," then how do you expect the rest of us to take your spirituality seriously when you're suprised that he's lacking the integrity you expected from him?    
  

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cheney the original Nigerian E-mail Scammer!

The biggest unapologetic asshole in the world will soon be charged with bribery by the Nigerian government.

The corporate and government secrets site "WikiDrips" has revealed that Cheney is actually the original Nigerian E-mail scammer! Here's the leaked bribe attempt:

Dear Mr. Clement Okon,

First, I must solicit your strictest confidence in this transaction request, as you are a man of G0d. I am the CEO of Halliburton, a the biggest and most important corporation in the whole world, as I'm certain that you are aware. Good man, we are literally seconds taking over the entire free western world, and as you are a man of "faith" and "knowledge" with big, clean hands that can both build and take apart (as has been proven), we require your assistance in what is surely YHWH's plan. The following requires your full attention, just as Moses required of the populace when he read the Ten Amendments.

As you are a man of great "wisdom" you already know that my lesbian daughter (I ask, humbly, as a forgiving man of Christ, to look beyond that painful fact that nags at me like a burning bowel) is trapped in your country, being held ransom by the Smokers. I do not need to tell you who the Smokers are, as you not a man who would be so foolish as to ignore the warnings of Waterworld. These Smokers do not wish us to build our natural gas plant because they believe, stupidly, the fire of their cigarettes would cause them to explode. As our files indicate you already agree that "science" is nothing but rubbish to entertain bird-like men with small hands while they make unimpressive "Business" in the "toilet." So then you certainly agreed long ago that the Smokers' claims are preposterous.

In order to commence this business, we solicit your assistance to enable us to transfer into your account the $6,180,000,000 required to secure her release and build the plant. You will be able to keep 3% of these funds following the transaction. Please send us the name of your bank and your checking account number as soon as possible so that we can accomplish this before YHWH strikes us down for not following His plan. This transaction is 100% safe and guaranteed by the full faith and credit of Jesus Christ himself, of whom you are already aware is a member of our board. (Leviticus 6:23)

In Christ I service you,
Richard "Dick" Cheney, A Man of God (A.H.B.P.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Honoring The Tradition Of Thanksgiving...

We hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving.  We know we did!  Billy Cram and I decided to follow the REAL traditions of Thanksgiving this year.  We consulted the holiest authority on American Christian holidays, the "BuyBull".  The BuyBull is really a great source of knowledge and guidance in this modern and lost world.  Where else can you find information on exactly whom to stone in this day and age?

As you're well aware, there are some minor translation differences between the many versions of the BuyBull.  The BuyBull was written in several variations of the ancient language "Bull," and since nobody really speaks these dialects anymore, we have to consult the expert's divinely inspired best efforts when we decide to take the BuyBull literally.  We looked at both the King Blames Version, and the New Interesting Version.  The New Interesting Version has been recently updated just this year, and so we'll be quoting from the latest and greatest good news, ALRIGHT! 

The King Blames Version states:  "Mount up on thine large and rare beasts, my people.  Kill the manna which I have provided unto you, and eat upon it with thanksgiving in your hearts."

The New Interesting Version is somewhat different:  "Ride on the backs of what one day will be known as dinosaurs, and go kill a turkey.  And then, eat the turkey and call this Thanksgiving." 

 This newest version proves that not only did Dinosaurs walk the earth with humans, but they're also an important part of the Thanksgiving celebration.
Photo from the Creation Museum, borrowed from capitalistliontamer.wordpress.com
Dinosaurs have since become extinct, obviously because they weren't smart enough to build their houses out of those meteor-proof turtle shells like in the movie "Enemy Mine," so we clearly can't mount up on their backs and hunt turkeys.  Therefore, we decided to honor them symbolically, by adorning ourselves with dinosaur hats whilst hunting our manna.

After killing our birds, we compared them, and decided to keep only the best one.  We need just one turkey after all, so no need to be wasteful.

We came back home and prepared the meal according to the scriptures:  "And I command thee, baste thy turkey in his own fluids, and stuff his bowls with bread and other small bits of things.  Drink and be merry, and toss your old and unfit foods of yesterday about thine house in sport, and prepare only foods thou hast killed or ripped from the earth."  And so we did as the scriptures commanded.  We threw our leftover pasta all over the house and Cram rode his "Christ Cycle" around the den in praise.


"...and the elders of the word of the lord shall gather at the table together, and they shall eat and share amongst themselves."  So we gathered together and ate with the inspired voices of the lord:  our fat friend Jerry Falwell, the 1950s version of Billy Graham, the-rent-is-too-damn-high man, and Gargamel.



But Mr. Falwell did not want to share the gravy, so we threw mashed potatoes at him.  When we quoted the King Blames Version that one should "smite thy self, should ye be given to gluttony," Falwell replied with a quote from the Fat Christian's Version of the good book that "All sins are equal in the eyes of the Lord, except for gluttony, which is kind of a secondary offense that can only be combined with a serious offense, and isn't really punishable by itself."  

gif animator

But the best part of Thanksgiving is that we can finally start looking forward to Christmas!  Like it says in the New Interesting Version:  "Render unto Walmart the things that are Walmart's, and unto Best Buy the things that are Best Buy's.  For the birth of our lord shall mean more to man than mere salvation, and shall be personified here, at these sacred grounds.  The lord born as a man shall cause the multitudes to praise his name from the very tops of the markets.  When the rooster crows three times, there shall be hoards among you scattering to praise his name with your tithing not spared!"  And as the old hymn proclaims:  "holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!  Early on Black Friday, we stand in line for thee.  Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and mighty!  Beat them with purses,  blessed spending spree."  This scripture, and this hymn represent the true meaning of Christmas to all believers.  Don't people understand that it's sacrilege to remove the name of Christ from this holy and overly commercial holiday season?  More on this at Christmas time.... 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Supreme Court Foils Penguin's Plot...

Remember all of those demands for President Obama's birth certificate?  Tons of angry old bigots, grasping for a loophole in a last ditch effort to maintain power in the White House.  Anyhow, you can thank Charles Kerchner Jr. (AKA, The Penguin, below) for not letting it die.  Kerchner had sought a trial in a federal court in which he hoped to force President Obama to produce documents regarding his birth and citizenship. 

 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Priest Attempts To Quiet Victim With Hit...

A defrocked Roman Catholic priest offered his neighbor $5,000 to kill a boy that he raped 2 years ago at gunpoint.  The neighbor was understandably suspicious of former priest John Fiala after the proposition, and called the police.  The cops then staged a conversation with Fiala in his home where Fiala made a deal with an undercover officer to have the boy killed. 

Fiala was indicted on four counts of sexual assault against the then 16 year old boy this past September, and had reportedly threatened to harm the boy and his family several times since the transgression.  What a loser asshole: 

Monday, November 22, 2010

His Holiness on Condoms...

The Pope has declared condoms acceptable to prevent the spread of disease in certain cases, such as with male prostitutes. But condoms are still no good for Catholic families.  I guess if you're already sinning, you may as well go for the double, but don't swing the bat if you're pure.  Some people have praised the Pope for making a "bold leap into modernity," which is a fucking dumb thing to say when you think about it.  This man is supposed to be god's sheriff, divinely clairvoyant of the lord's will, yet nearly all of us can acknowledge that his ideals are drastically outdated.  Praising him for "coming around," even in the slightest bit, or "kick-starting a debate" that's been exhausted for a century is kind of like congratulating an 83 year old man for learning how to use the toilet on his own, and then bragging about how smart he is and celebrating his example that you probably figured out yourself when you were 3.  But many Catholics aren't happy about it, and they like their Pope better with poop mashed between his diaper and his wrinkled taint.  After all, he's toed the party line of pant shitting his whole life, and there are a lot of Catholics with shit in their pants because of it.  



Facebook Banning Pastor and the Oyster Parable

Pastor Cedric Miller of the 1,100-member Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in New Jersey submitted an ultimatum last week to 50 church leaders telling them to close their Facebook accounts or resign.  Miller claims that Facebook has led to marital problems in his congregation, and therefore it should be avoided.  Shortly after, it was exposed to the media that the reverend and his wife participated in three way and four way sex with a church assistant and his wife.  The incident happened several years ago, and Miller claims to regret it. 

Once again, evangelical mathematics just don't add up.  Facebook = road to infidelity, while group sex with the congregation = the pastor is fit to advise everyone on marriage. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ricky Gervais on Acts of God...

This is HILARIOUS!  I saw this posted on friendlyatheist.com and I had to share it.

Ricky Gervais is great.  I've been a fan of his for years.  His hollywood movie "The Invention Of Lying" is critical of the idea of god and religion, though it's certainly nowhere near his best work.  If you haven't seen his show "Extras" you're really missing out.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

NIV Bible Changed; Sheds Light on Translation Problems

The New International Version of the Bible has been re-translated and is going back towards its old ways.  The 2005 version of the NIV, Today's New International Bible, was apparently too gender neutral for today's Christians, and so it's been changed to adhere to a more traditional, socially conservative perspective.  The intention is that it's returning closer to a true translation of the ancient texts. 


Here's an example of this versions changes:  John 1:4 according to the 2005 version says "In him was life, and that life was the light of all people."  The new version has it as "In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind."  This is closer to the 1984 translation which used "...light of men."


But there are some verses not regarding gender that remain a loose translation of the original NIV, including the very next verse, John 1:5, which originally states "the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it," and in each of the two most recent versions it reads "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."  These versions could mean two entirely different things.  The original translation makes more sense metaphorically, as John 1:10 states He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  So it would make more sense if the darkness could not "understand" the light, if it's meant that the darkness represents the world, and the light represents god.


You can't really blame Christians for wanting a return to a more accurate translation.  After all, if you believe in the bible, then you recognize that the entire bible ends with the verses: 
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.  And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book...  Of course, that's what it says in the NIV.  It's slightly different in every other translation.  


The fact that the bible has several different translations really reinforces how pointless it is to follow it literally.  Unless you plan on learning Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek, you'll never be able to understand the bible word for word.  Some things naturally don't translate perfectly.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Is Circumcision Necessary?

The city who banned the Happy Meal may now try to ban circumcision.  Lloyd Schofield of San Francisco has created a ballot initiative to ban all circumcisions in the city, even in cases of religious belief. 

This issue is something I've researched in the recent past, because I want to be ready to make this decision in case I have a baby boy some day.  For all of the reading I've done on circumcision, it seems that the pros and cons of each perspective are pretty balanced and the worst case scenarios equally horrifying.  I've read stories from each camp that will keep you up at night.  Adhesion is a major concern in either situation.  An uncut foreskin that is too tight could potentially adhere to the glans and become infected, leading to gangrene and potential amputation.  Yet on the other hand, adhesion is still a problem for circumcised babies and can lead to "bridging," and other problems.  Severe mutilation and botched circumcisions are a real danger as well.  If you want pictures, here you go, but they aren't pretty and are definitely NSFW.  

According to the article, The American Academy of Pediatrics task force on circumcision has been reviewing recent research before it issues an official new position on the issue, probably next year, one panel member said....The American Academy of Pediatrics currently holds that there is evidence of circumcision's potential benefits, but not enough to recommend routine newborn circumcisions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

here's the thing

I've never been much of a media conspiracy guy, nor one to watch Dancing With the Stars, but doesn't it just seem like DWTS is rigged to allow Bristol Palin to win it, so she can be the little unwed teen mother starlet that the tea party wants her to be? Everyone I know who has a superboner for the show says that she can't fucking dance at all. This man is with me. He killed his television when she advanced. Fucking brilliant.

Cape Coral Commandments Conundrum

Check out this dumb shit.  Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan wants to remind Cape Coral residents, and people everywhere, that there is a moral decline in this country.  He's decided to place the Ten Commandments in council chambers to send the message that we need to hop back on the straight and narrow.

Mayor Sullivan, among his religious books collection.
 Sullivan got the idea from local Jesus advocate Dick Kalfus, who faxed Sullivan and members of the council calling for public acknowledgement of the decalogue.  Kalfus' quote in the article exposes him as nothing short of superstitious:  “This isn’t about religion; it’s not political.  This is a moral issue, creating a strong moral foundation for the city of Cape Coral.  It will help revitalize the entire economy.”  Oh, it's like a deal with God, I get it.  Somewhere in a jungle there's a virgin being tossed into a volcano for similar reasons.  Kalfus also reveals dillusions of this issue being a litmus test to separate the wheat from the chaff:  "It's good versus evil.  People who are good will not hang their hat on this being a political or religious case.  They will side with morality."  So I guess all opposed are evil?  Hmmm...I've got another idea:  let's throw the ten commandments into a river, and if it floats it's not evil.       

Mayor Sullivan seems to share Kalfus's viewpoint, referring to moral decline:  "People don't want to be held accountable.  They don't want to be responsible for what they do...People just don't have the same principles they did 40 and 50 years ago."  And I guess willfully violating the letter and spirit of the constitution and expecting everyone to quietly accept it is a good example of a person with principles who's ready to be held accountable for his actions?

Crazy Talk

Here's a funny cartoon I saw on atheistcartoons.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Court Shoots Down Pledge Change...

Another attempt by the Freedom From Religion Foundation to remove "under god" from the pledge was shot down by a US Court of Appeals judge.  Craig James, author of "The Religion Virus" makes an excellent point on his blog about the courts flawed logic that led to their decision.  The court's claim:

"It takes more than the presence of words with religious content to have the effect of advancing religion, let alone to do so as a primary effect," the judge wrote. "The Pledge and the phrase 'under God' are not themselves prayers, nor are they readings from or recitations of a sacred text of a religion. Here, the words 'under God' appear in a pledge to a flag – itself a secular exercise, accompanied by no other religious language or symbolism."

James' point: 

"...for all of the Court's complex (and sometimes convoluted) reasoning, there's a simple and obvious test that shows that their decision is wrong. Even they should have seen it. Consider this:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation without God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Doesn't this also meet the Court's definition of "secular"?

Or how about this:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under Allah, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Surely that too meets the Court's definition of 'secular.'"

Another Reason Not To Golf...

A guy in New York is suing his friend for hitting him with a golf ball and failing to yell the customary warning of "fore."  Apparently, the victim was hit in the head, and it has caused him to lose his vision in one eye.

This case has sealed it for me.  Not only do I suck at golf, but I've come close to hitting people a few times, and I never yell "fore" because I think it's too cliche.   

Four Lions...

Has anybody seen this film?  It looks very funny and right on. 

Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
Four Lions tells the story of a group of British jihadists who push their abstract dreams of glory to the breaking point. As the wheels fly off, and their competing ideologies clash, what emerges is an emotionally engaging (and entirely plausible) farce. In a storm of razor-sharp verbal jousting and large-scale set pieces, Four Lions is a comic tour de force; it shows that-while terrorism is about ideology-it can also be about idiots."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Humanist Ads Face Criticism

Last week, the AHA launched an ad campaign aimed at those in our society who don't associate with any religion.  The ad is intended to reinforce to these people that religious affiliation is not needed in order to live a good life.  It's also intended to create a little stir that will hopefully lead to irrational defenses of the religions criticized in the campaign...

BINGO!  The Boston Globe and USA Today have come to the defense of the "good" book already. 

Jeff Jacoby, an op-ed columnist whose twice-weekly essays grace the pages and bits of the Boston Globe, claims that it will take more than this campaign to prove that "God and the Judeo-Christian tradition are not necessary for the preservation of moral values and that human reason is a better guide to goodness than Bible-based religion."  Jacoby basically argues that we can only be good without god now because our cultural morals have already been established on Christian influence, and therefore we now have the luxury of being able to take god for granted.  It's nothing short of mind boggling how anybody can accept the idea that morality and things like "you shouldn't kill people for no good reason" have to be divinely inspired.  We are capable of comprehending the idea that it's not good to kill people, are we not?  We are capable of understanding the idea that we should not rape people, are we not?  Yet we aren't capable of originating those ideas in our own minds without help from the bible?  That's basically the same logic that leads idiots to believe that aliens must have taught complicated mathematics to the Egyptians so that they could build the pyramids.  The aliens and Egyptians idea actually makes more sense to me, since I can't wrap my head around a lot of complicated math, yet it's very easy for me to understand why I shouldn't just go killing people.   

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another Bush Execution Fail

It looks like Texas killed the wrong guy again.  Hair evidence that was used to convict Claude Jones of murder was proven through DNA testing to not be his own.  Jones requested a stay of execution before his December 2000 execution, but was denied by then Governor George Bush.  Jones was the last of over 130 executed under Bush's reign as governor, far more than any state over that same 5 year stretch. 


Bush's execution record regularly comes under criticism, and rightly so.  In this article written in June of 2000, it's pointed out that in one-third of all death penalty cases heard during Bush's stretch as governor, "the lawyer who represented the death penalty defendant at trial or on appeal had been or was later disbarred or otherwise sanctioned. In 40 cases the lawyers presented no evidence at all or only one witness at the sentencing phase of the trial.
In 29 cases, the prosecution used testimony from a psychiatrist who -- based on a hypothetical question about the defendant's past -- predicted he would commit future violence. Most of those psychiatrists testified without having examined the defendant: a practice condemned professionally as unethical.
Other witnesses included one who was temporarily released from a psychiatric ward to testify, a pathologist who had admitted faking autopsies and a judge who had been reprimanded for lying about his credentials."


It's not just Bush who's slipped up in Texas.  SkepticalJuror.com has estimated that Texas has executed roughly 54 innocent people since 1976.  Only 2.4% of death row convicts have been exonerated in Texas, compared to 14.1% of the rest of the nation.



Friday, November 12, 2010

Remembering Kurt Vonnegut

Yesterday was Kurt Vonnegut's Birthday. I'll never forget the shameful eulogy that Faux News shat out, referring to him as nothing more than a "despondent leftist." Watch for yourself and prepare to be enraged all over again.

Tea Party Blowhard Connected To Bomb Threat

Apparently, saying things like "...if ballots don't work, bullets will" actually does inspire dumb rednecks to do crazy things.  Those are the words of Joyce Kaufman, a tea party radio host in Florida who was expected to take over as Allen West's Chief of Staff. 


From examiner.com:
Yesterday a man emailed a south Florida local radio station threatening to bomb a government building, or possibly even a school.  The threat was taken so seriously that the entire Broward County school system went into lockdown.  Over 230,000 had to stay locked in their classrooms until the warning was lifted at 1:30 pm yesterday.  A Fox affiliate is now reporting that the writer of the email said he was inspired by Kaufman.  Two other newspapers in south Florida are suggesting that the threat-maker may have been trying to defend Kaufman against the negative press she has recently received.
The email reportedly threatened, "I'm planning something big around the government building here in Broward County, maybe a post office, maybe even a school."

How many people can honestly say they're surprised by this type of thing?

No Place For Free Speech In Islam

PZ Meyers has a sad post on his blog today that emphasizes how grossly free speech is shat upon in Islamic countries.  These people are ignorant assholes, and their religion is a terrible farce.  It's too bad hell doesn't exist, because some of these people deserve it. 

A woman in Pakistan is sentenced to death for blasphemy against Mohammed, and a Palestinian blogger is subject to a life sentence for his atheist blog.

In Hockey: Talent, Dedication, Teamwork Replace Faith

I'm a big hockey fan.  It's my favorite sport.  I probably like it even more after reading this article which states that hockey is the major professional sport least affected by evangelical Christianity.  The article states that a large percentage of European and Canadian athletes contribute to the lack of outward celebration of Jesus in the sport.  There are more Canadians and Europeans in the NHL than there are Americans, and that seems to be the biggest reason.  Only 20% of Swedes, for example, embrace religion.  But the article itself spirals into stupidity when it recommends that the NHL "market" their Christian athletes better, in order to appeal more to American Christians.  Just what we need, another NFL.  

Football seems to be the sport most consumed with Christianity.  We're all used to hearing football players blab on and thank God for their success, as if they've got a secret deal worked out with him that their competition doesn't.  But are teams crossing a line when they profess their faith using publicly funded stadiums and arenas as their pulpit?  According to Tom Krattenmeyer, Christian author of Onward Christian Athletes (quoted from an interview with Hemant Mehta), they aren't adequately representing the diversity of American faith:

"it’s high time we start asking these questions and holding sports accountable to the public when it comes to religious practices. Nothing against the religious athletes and their faith — I affirm the right of anyone to practice and express their faith — but pro teams have a responsibility to the religiously diverse communities that support these franchises."

I couldn't agree more.  Until then, I'm sticking to hockey, where I can relate to a buch of ginger bearded, atheist swedes quite easily. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Humanist Ad Campaign Launches...

From CNN.com:

The Bible and the Quran contain "horrific material, and to say  you get your morality from there" is a problem, the head of the American Humanist Association said Tuesday as the group launches what it calls the  largest, most extensive advertising campaign ever by a godless organization.
The group is putting ads in newspapers across the country - and  advertising on NBC - in the $200,000 campaign, AHA head Roy Speckhardt told  CNN.
The point, he said, it to "challenge the fundamentalists" who "spout  their backward ideas," he said.
The target audience is people who may not realize they are humanists,  Speckhardt explained.

"We're targeting for criticism those who read the Bible literally, not those who pick and choose what they like," he said. "We're telling (people who  pick and choose), 'You're more like us.' Biblical literalists and Quranic  literalists are holding us back.
"We know that you can be good without God, but many folks in America don't know that," he said.

I Remember Mike Warnke

I was scanning the web for some info on scandals involving religious figures when I came across the blog Unreasonable Faith, specifically the "Pillars Of Faith" series.  The series is a brief overview of 29 (and counting) religious leaders and the scandals that reveal their true colors and motivations.  Decent stuff.  It serves the purpose to catch you up on people like John Hagee and Benny Hinn, who you may otherwise not know about.

While I was scanning the list, I was thrilled to see that Mike Warnke was profiled.  Warnke was at one time the most successful Christian comedian ever, selling millions of recordings and books.  He found success when he wrote "The Satan Seller" about his "history" as a "Satanic high priest," and his conversion to Christianity.  I didn't think of it when I was a kid, but I now find it very interesting how a guy who claimed to have sacrificed babies and raped women didn't peak the interest of legal authorities enough to warrant an investigation. 

I used to have a couple of his cassette tapes when I was in elementary school.  He was on Oprah, he was considered an "expert" on issues involving Satanic ritual, he spoke out against Halloween, and he possessed one of the most righteous fupas you'll ever see on a guy.  He was effectively the spark plug that ignited the "Satanism" scare of the 70s through the 90s.  He fanned the flames of Christian paranoia and evangelical obsession with "Satanism" that peaked with the conviction of the "West Memphis 3" and is still smoldering red-hot today.  more after the jump...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cardinals To Meet, Discuss Rampant Sexual Abuse

Pope Been-a-dick XVI has summoned Cardinals from all around the globe to meet next week to discuss the clerical sex abuse scandal, among other things.  The meeting comes as awareness of the scandal has peaked over the past few years, with abuse survivors marching and protesting at the Vatican last week.  When the Pope was previously Cardinal Ratzinger, he had numerous opportunities to act on abusive clergy, which he time and again failed to do citing "what's best for the church," but he now promises action. 

He took no action on a priest who molested over 200 deaf boys over  20+ year span, even though Cardinals wrote directly to him requesting action.  Ratzinger failed to act on their request, but did grant the aging offending priest his request when he asked to be allowed to "live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood."

He also failed to defrock an Oakland priest in the 1980s, even though the Oakland diocese recommended that the man be defrocked.  Oakland's Bishop even warned that a scandal would certainly arise out of inaction, while acting quickly to defrock the priest would certainly avoid a scandal. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Heterosexism: Calling A Spade A Spade...

I've always had problems with the term "Pro Life."  It implies a much bigger spectrum of "pro" than it really covers.  For a group of people who see things in such a black and white way, pro lifers seem to accept a very grey idea of what defines being "pro life."  Are they against abortion?  Yes, of course.  Are they against euthanasia?  Absolutely.  But that's pretty much the extent of it.  If you don't believe me, ask a pro-lifer.  They don't protest against the death penalty.  They don't protest against war.  Considering yourself "Pro Life" when you're really only anti-abortion and anti-euthanasia is like considering yourself a rabbit because you eat carrots and ejaculate quickly.  This is why I choose to refer to "pro lifers" as anti-abortion, or anti-euthanasia.  They haven't earned the title of pro life, they've merely convinced everyone to call them that.     

I think it's only fair to apply that reasoning to other political and ethical stances, descriptions, and movements.  An example of this would be to limit the use of the term "homophobic" to those who are truly afraid of homosexuals.  I'm definitely not suggesting that people lighten up on criticism of the anti-gay, but I am saying that we should take the time to call things what they are.

Andrew Belonsky on Change.org suggests that we use words like "heterocentric," and "heterosexist" to replace the overused "homophobia" and "anti-gay."  But while "pro life" may be too broad of a description for those who oppose abortion, "homophobic" may not be a broad enough description for those opposed to homosexuality.  Belonsky explains:
more after the jump

The Christian Right in Context

Richard T. Hughes, a professor of religion and author of Christian America and the Kingdom of God, has put together a comprehensive four-part series on the Huffington Post entitled The Christian Right in Context. Part 1, which was posted yesterday, is the most clear and concise telling of the revisionist history the Christian right has been blasting for a third of a century. He even sheds light on how the founding fathers felt about Muslims: In light of the current hostility toward Muslims and the many recent attempts to ban their mosques and restrict their religious freedom, the Founders' stance on Islam is instructive. Jefferson, for example, argued that America should extend complete freedom of religion not just to Christians but to the "Mahamdan," the Jew, and the "pagan" as well. And following passage in Virginia of his Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom (1786), he reaffirmed the bill's intent: "To comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan." This guy seems to be peddling the straight dope. Has anyone read the book yet? I intend to shortly.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

West Vagina: Two Guys, A Gal, And A Knife...And A Fucked Up Conclusion...

Almost heaven, West Virginia.  Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River.  Life is old there, older than the trees...Where none smell worse than Melissa Lee's.  


On October 22, Melissa Lee Williams barged into her estranged husband's door and ordered him and his friend to "eat my pussy."  The husband declined, because he'd been there, done that, and increased his chances of throat cancer before, but his buddy was all like "fukin' rite," and agreed to give it a go.  Melissa Lee proceeded to drop trou, and as the man approached “he became overwhelmed by horrible vaginal odor emitting from Melissa Williams" and therefore “declined to proceed any further.”  That's right, those words in quotes are from the official police report.  Also in the police report is what happens next:  Mel Mel totally loses it, pulls out her knife, and exclaims "somebody is going to eat my pussy or I'm going to cut your fucking throat."  The cops came, took her away, and she had to post $3,000 bond and is awaiting trial.  What a psycho, right?  
More after the jump



Friday, November 5, 2010

Olberman Suspension Good For NBC?

NBC suspended Keith Olberman without pay today for contributing to 3 Democratic campaigns with his personal money.  NBC has a policy where anchors have to inform the network of any money they intend to donate.  While Olberman may have a point that the network is overracting, I think it's a smart move by NBC to set the precident that they hold their anchors to a higher standard than FOX.  Personally, I avoid both of them most of the time, but I think this could be great for the public perception of NBC, even if people initially attack them for denying Olberman his right to spend his money how he wants.   

In contrast, I wonder how much money Fox folks have donated to campaigns during this election?  According to this article, more than 30 Fox newsers have raised money or contributed to campaigns in 600 instances this midterm.  All Republicans.

So like I said, this could go down as a victory for NBC.  Their popular guy contributes to a campaign and he gets suspended, while Fox seems to hold themselves to a lower standard.  But will Olberman help people to see it this way? 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mega Church Pastor Jim Swilley After Coming Out...

Bishop Jim Swilley, founder and pastor of the Church In The Now in Conyers, Georgia recently came out of the closet this week, famously declaring that "being gay isn't a choice."  This is one of those times when we all get excited that a person of faith finally acknowledges something that the rest of us have known for some time.  That being said, Swilley is a savvy veteran of the mega church industry, and he realizes the challenges that lay ahead.  On his blog this week, Swilley took time to thank all of the people that continue to support him, and advertise a little about his church.

Whether or not you agree with it, the reality is that these massive mega churches need a lot of money to sustain what they've built, and they count on the contributions of their thousands of members to pay for everything.  One of the big risks that Swilley has made by coming out is the reality that he could be risking his congregation, and therefore his 43 acre "worship center" that looks a lot more like a roadside attraction than it does a church.  At a time when much attention is focused his way, Swilley is opportunistic enough to post an 18 paragraph summary of his church, their mission, their future aspirations, and an explanation that the church needs to grow in numbers in order maintain what they've built.  He also takes the time to thank atheists and agnostics for their "beautiful messages of support," which is nice.  He says the experience has led him to see God's love like he never has before.  

I'm wishing Swilley the best, but I remain critical and skeptical of mega churches and their true aspirations.  Though Bishop Swilley claims to have always preached an accepting message, I maintain that the message of secular humanists is supremely accepting.  Every time a church preaches an accepting message, they're considered enlightened, but as I said earlier they're usually a few steps behind the rest of us.  Don't forget that they still believe that we're going to hell, as that is an uncompromising position amongst Christians, however accepting they may be.  

Maybe the overwhelming feeling of "God's love" that Bishop Swilley is experiencing is really a genuine love and empathy that humans are capable of?  Maybe these sentiments he's experiencing are nothing more than the accepting attitudes and encouragement of good people?  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Complete Waste Of Time...

Oklahoma voted yesterday to officially declare that Sharia law not be considered by courts when making decisions.  Question 755, or as it was called the "Save Our State" (fucking please!) constitutional amendment was overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday, but critics say that it's completely unnecessary and unfair to target Islam when the US Constitution already protects us from such things. 

Never before in the history of Oklahoma has Sharia law been enforced in a courtroom.  This is obviously not a threat, and even if the state were overrun with Muslims, the US Constitution would override any such decisions.  I'm surprised that they didn't just go ahead and throw in an amendment that protects people's rights to specifically criticize President Obama.  Or the right of Fox News to report on anything they want, however they want to report it.  Or that "nobody will eat babies" (thanks to my wife for that one).  Those freedoms and limitations already exist in a much broader scope.  Sharon Angle must have been the substitute teacher on the day Oklahoma learned about civics.     

San Fran Happy Meal Ban

San Francisco has made it so that fast food meals must meet nutritional guidelines in order to include a toy, meaning that kids are going to have to accept healthier food in order to get their pvc Barbie or Matchbox car.

I definitely think this sucks major balls.  If you don't want your kids eating McDonald's and drinking soda, don't take them to McDonalds!  Take them to Subway, where you know they'll order a turkey sub on white bread with nothing but mayonaise and cheese.  Don't make it so that Augustus Gloop can't get his burger, greasy fries, and Shreck toy (even though Shreck sucks balls too).  This is one of those few times where I'll justify something simply because "this is the way it's always been."  That being said, an apple, some water, some vegetables and a bag of nuts wouldn't have kept me from the awesomeness of skateboarding baby Kermit or big-wheeling Gonzo. 



The news may be sad, but all of this Happy Meal talk is making me reminisce.  Remember the Berenstain Bears Happy Meal?  Or the Ghost Busters school supplies Happy Meal?  I loved that one because it felt like a sneaky way to get a toy into class with me.  What are your favorite Happy Meals from your youth?  C'mon people, if you can't contribute to this conversation, you have no soul!  Or your parents fed you too much granola.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Russell Simmons On The Election...

If you didn't already know, Russell Simmons has been blogging on Huffington Post now for 5 years.  He's got some very interesting things to say about the significance of this election:

"Make no mistake: this is a civil rights election. If you're black, brown, Latino, moderate, gay or lesbian, if you're a scientist seeking facts, a Christian with compassion, an economist who wants to avoid the next depression by keeping the government working during a fragile recovery; a journalist who wants the truth; a moderate who wants America to lead the world in education and freedom - you are the target. Vote or suffer the consequences."

Fighting Back Against "God Hates Fags"

Here's a really good article/interview about a student group from George Washington University that's decided to fight back against the Westboro Baptist shit fuckers in a way that doesn't bring them what they want:  media coverage to spread their message of insanity and hate.

The students have a website called transcendhate.com where people can donate to causes that the WBC would absolutely hate.  WBC plans a protest on the GW campus, as well as at Arlington Cemetary on Veteran's Day this year.  The students emphasize donation as opposed to a physical counter protest, which they claim will only bring WBC more attention.  They certainly don't need anymore of that!  The money raised is split between 4 charities which "advance causes that the WBC has explicitly targeted in the past."

I like this approach much better than yelling at the WBC idiots, or waiving signs that say how nearly all of us already feel.  It's a good thing that nearly everybody thinks these people are crazy, but it's even better when those sentiments translate to helping wounded soldiers, or people with aids, or suicidal gay kids, or Israeli victims of terrorism.