Thursday, September 29, 2011

top 10 signs you're a fundamentalist christian

10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!

6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."

3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.

2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. In addition, you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.

stolen outright from Allan

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

wait, did he say "trader" or "traitor"?

This is why the BBC is better than anything in the U.S.

BBC: Can you pin down exactly what would keep investors happy, make them feel more confident?

TRADER: That's a tough one. Personally, it doesn't matter. I'm a trader. I don't care about that stuff... We don't really care how they're gonna fix the economy, how they're gonna fix the situation. Our job is to make money from it. And personally, I've been dreaming of this moment for three years. I have a confession, which is, I go to bed every night, I dream of another recession, I dream of another moment like this. Why? Because, people don't seem to maybe remember, the 30s Depression, the Depression in the 30s, wasn't just about a market crash. There were some people who were prepared to make money from that crash. And I think anybody can do that. It isn't just for some people in the elite. Anybody can make money, it's an opportunity.

Bear in mind, these are the same people who make millions in corporate donations these days. But what is their motive for those donations?


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

quote for the day

"For every complex problem there is a simple solution. And it's always wrong."

H. L. Mencken

Sunday, September 25, 2011

sunday funny

exhibit no. 38 for Why People Suck.

Yes, it's a cartoon.
Yes, it's sadly true, too.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

saturday matinee

Every Argument Every Couple Ever Has EVER. from Casey Donahue on Vimeo.

Every argument every couple ever has EVER.

quote for the day

So I’m watching this documentary about the White family in West Virginia, & it’s mostly focused on the trials and travails of members of this one infamous family. Its interesting, & kind of sad. There’s this “look at the strange ways of poor white people” tone to it. And then there’s the comments from local officials on the family dynamic (words like entitlement culture come up a lot), as well as one official admitting that West Virginia and its citizens are routinely exploited by outsiders who own most of the state and exploit its resources. He drew a comparison to the exploitation of people and resources to Africa & America’s history of slavery that was almost genius, but then he either backed off, or they cut away because it didn’t go far enough. Watching this it is very clear (again) that the real underpinnings of fostering racism in America isn’t about any real belief in white superiority.

It’s really about making sure each group is fighting for a very tiny slice of the pie & having to do so much just to survive is blamed on easy pre-made targets. Keeping up race as a barrier to communication means that the conversation is eternally about fighting each other instead of the people who poison whole populations, enslave them in deed if not word (paying miners in scrip, forcing sharecroppers to use credit in a way that leaves them eternally in debt, importing labor & taxing their pay only to blast them for wanting to be treated as citizens in the country where they work etc.), and use their money as a club to stay in power. Again, I wonder if we ever do get to be post racial what kind of world will we live in? What kind of economic system would be implemented?


Friday, September 23, 2011


Yeah, I know it's friday, sue me.

- Oh yeah, America's ready for the future. Not.

- Dr. Arthur Fuckingham-Wallaces' Geographical Obscenity Compendium

- It's like Photo Realism, but isnt: Alexa Meade. (via)

- I cant even begin to explain this. Bill vs. Betty. (via)

- Are you a Stalwart? (via)

- An interview about the bailout with historian Howard Zinn, with more available. (via)

- A gift idea.

- The Circus of Distraction (via)

- Of mice and men. And real estate. (via)

- Someplace to think about for vacationing.

- Would you like to take (your camera for) a ride, in my beautiful...

- 15 words with no English equivalent

- "Americanisms". Seriously, English may have originated in Britain, but they need to let it go already. (via)

- a happy ending for an otherwise disgusting story. (let's hope it doesnt get worse later) (via)

- On the Historicity of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. They prove it to be true! (via)

- Everything You Know About the Collapse of the Soviet Union is Wrong.

- Cover me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

summer can kiss my ass

This year there really were no nice days of summer. Okay, maybe one or two. And another 70 days that were 100 degrees or more.

Last day of summer. Last day of a brutal summer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

lies, damned lies, and...

An excellent series of articles from BBC by Michael Blastland about statistics. He discusses the various ways in which statistics can be used to manipulate or outright lie by the people who present them to you. Topics include surveys, counting, percentages, averages, causation, and doubt*.

They remind me of the book Double Speak by William Lutz, a depressing book which I've never had the heart to get all the way through.

props to Jeff at Have Coffee, Will Write

* which, sadly, I cant find the link to

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


There’s a story about an elderly, world-class pianist who is approached by an admirer after a concert. “I’d give my whole life to be able to play like that,” she gushes. He replies, “I have, Madam, I have.”

playing with numbers

Okay, so I was doing some calculations:

In 1998 the nation had about $37.5 trillion in wealth.
In 2007 the nation had about $49 trillion in wealth.
In 2009 the nation had about $54.5 trillion in wealth*.

In 1998 the National Debt was $5.5 trillion.
In 2007 the National Debt was $8.95 trillion.
Today the National Debt is close to 15 trillion, or almost twice the wealth held by the bottom 80% of the nation.

In 1998, the bottom 80% of the nation held 16.6% of the wealth (about $6.23 trillion).
In 2007, the bottom 80% of the nation held 15% of the wealth (about $8.18 trillion).

That means that between 1998 and 2007:

The wealth of the bottom 80% of the country went up $1.12 trillion.
The wealth of the top 20% of the country went up $10.38 trillion (an increase larger than the total holdings of the bottom 80%).

Assuming the same distribution of wealth was held by Americans in 2009 as in 2007**, then between 1998 and 2009:

The wealth of the bottom 80% went up $2.55 trillion.
The wealth of the top 20% went up about $14.45 trillion.

Doesnt that last number look familiar? Just sayin'.

* I use 2007 mainly because of it's commonness in statistics - 2009 numbers are rarer and so involve a bit of assuming on my part here.
** Though it's a good bet that the top 20%'s share got larger.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I just took this personality test based on Jung and Briggs Meyers.

My Type is: ISTJ

Introverted: 89%
Sensing: 1%
Thinking: 75%
Judging: 1%

ISTJ type description by D.Keirsey
ISTJ Identify Your Career with Jung Career Indicator™
ISTJ Famous Personalities
ISTJ type description by J. Butt and M.M. Heiss.

I am, apparently:

* very expressed introvert
* slightly expressed sensing personality
* distinctively expressed thinking personality
* slightly expressed judging personality

I ought to point out that I suspect that the results would be very different if I had someone else answer these same questions about me, rather than doing it myself. I'm not sure how much I trust tests based on my own self-opinion.

for International Talk Like A Pirate Day

quote for the day

"If you stick a knife nine inches into my back and pull it out three inches, that is not progress. Even if you pull it all the way out, that is not progress. Progress is healing the wound, and America hasn't even begun to pull out the knife."

Malcolm X.

Yeah, I realize he wasnt talking about Republicans, Tea Partiers or Obama. Or anything else modern (except the treatment of African Americans, which I suppose is still relevant, but anyway...). Still, the beauty of quotes, the reason we like them, is that a piece of wisdom, however old (or new) can be applied to other, similar situations, thus lending its authority to the new situation.

Which, if you think about it, is kind of absurd.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

saturday matinee

This is the CN Tower in Toronto, which has a glass floor at the top. The tower is 1,815 feet high (553 meters). That’s almost 3 times as tall as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis (630 ft). Now, apparently, you’ll be able to walk outside around the tower when the EdgeWalk attraction debuts. Here’s a video taken during the construction of EdgeWalk.

This makes my balls tighten up.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Would you like me to tell you what's wrong with America? I can, in one simple sentence:

America no longer values work.

I'm not talking about work like Republicans are, when they talk about "hard work" in their speeches, almost always to groups of actual working people, those who work in factories owned by Republicans, who've not had a real raise in several decades, even as executive compensation at those same companies have multiplied to astronomical levels.

I'm saying that if you are a person in America who does real, actual work - be it assembly or teaching or ditch-digging - your labor is considered nowhere near as important as the "direction" given you by those who "manage" you. This attitude is often true even of those who are doing the labor. This lack of importance is reflected both in the pay (or lack thereof) and in the contemptuous manner which our "representatives" treat almost all policy and programs which directly affect working Americans.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Reverse Graffiti: instead of using actual spray cans some artists are just cleaning dirt off of certain areas to make their masterpieces. Kind of brilliant.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Rick Perry - secret flip-flopper

Oh, if only Rick Perry had enough humility to flip-flop.

Really, fuck Rick Perry.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Well, I applied the previous post to Test Your Blog's Reading Level. It gave me a rating of 8th grade. 8th grade! I tried several others, and that seemed to be the verdict. I am not amused.

Is your blog smarter than a fifth grader?

Created by GiftRocket

sunday schooled

My wife read this somewhere, though she cant remember where, but I'm going to repeat it anyway because it's so wonderful:

Rick Perry prayed for rain, but all he got was fire.

Seriously, religious people never think that they are being punished by God, only that others are. How much clearer does it need to be? Hurricanes are avoiding Texas, the last one to hit us disappeared within hours of coming aground. And there is no rain in the forecast to speak of.

ten years

I really dont want to do a 9-11 post. There are plenty of excellent things out there already, including a bunch on NPR. It was a terrible, criminal act, which our leadership picked up and has been threatening us with (not directly, of course) ever since. That morning made me sad, our response made me angry. Everything changed on 9-11 alright, but only because we made it so.

Friday, September 09, 2011

today's chart

Atheism: believes in no gods
Theism: believes in one or more gods
Gnostic: believes we can know whether or not gods exist
Agnostic: believes we cannot know whether or not gods exist


Thursday, September 08, 2011

maybe Rick Perry can blow me

Seriously, do Republicans go out of their way to look like morons? Is it not enough that they spew complete idiocy from their pieholes, do they also feel a burning need to be total fucktards visually as well as aurally?

Classic. Texas gains some serious points in the Stupidest State Olympics just for having this lunkhead as governor for over 10 years.

quote for the "controversy" that would not fucking go away

"We’re still trying to figure out why people in a country where the divorce rate is above 50 percent are so concerned with gay marriage. Clearly, heterosexual marriage is not taken seriously in this country, so why the obsession with gay marriage? Perhaps heterosexual folks should expend that energy on fixing and maintaining their own marriages instead of worrying about gay marriage, which is none of their business. As my late grandmother, who was married to my grandfather for 55 years, used to say, they’re focused on the wrong thing."

Nsenga Burton, speaking about controversy over same-sex marriage in the USA


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

welcome to the new school year, kids

O, the children, the poor children!!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

quote for the new school year

"The erroneous assumption is to the effort that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence....Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues, and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else."

H.L.Mencken, The American Mercury, April, 1924

Monday, September 05, 2011

quote for the day

Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.

- Allen Ginsberg

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Here's a question for conservative Christians:

When you die, and you stand before God for judgement, suppose Jesus should chime in and ask, "In what manner did you treat the least of my brothers?" How will you respond?
"Well Jesus, I denied them as much help as I could, thereby teaching them the valuable lessons of hard work and personal responsibility".
"Oh my," Jesus'll say, "Good job!"

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Friday, September 02, 2011

quote for the day

"But what we've seen is always going to be a very small cup dipped out of a very big ocean, and turning your back on the ocean to stare into the cup can't change that."

Linda Holmes, on the nature of being "well read".


Thursday, September 01, 2011

aint touchin it

Those of you who use Blogger, have you seen the new link on your control pages? It says "Try the updated Blogger Interface". Now, while I would love to "try" it, it's my experience with Blogger that once you click a button like that, there is no going back, and while I could certainly think of improvements to the current controls, there's little guarantee (or chance, even) that Blogger has made those changes. I am familiar with the controls as they are, and while I'm sure that at some point Blogger will force me to accept the new ones, I see no reason to help them do that.