The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Mommy T, Unwelcome Titties, and Brit's Cooch.

I apologize to the people out there who have been jonesing for a Heathen bitch session, but life got in the way the last couple days and it's been pretty slow in the news. That being said, I did find this article about Albanian Muslims getting their turbans in a knot (aren't they already?) over a proposed statue of Mother Theresa.

Albania is approximately 70% Muslim and the rest is Christian, but religion was actually banned there for 27 years. Mixed marriages are common and faith is rarely something that is brought up. Now, however, the proposed statue is getting some Islamic backs up because the location is on public land. "If there must be a statue, let it be in a Catholic space", was the quote from Muslim religious leader, Bashkim Bajraktari.

Yeah, no religious statues or monuments on public land. I totally agree. I did find this book that talks about the Islamic monuments in Albania which would seem to suggest that it's just the majority there not allowing a minority to express their beliefs and/or remember their heros in public, but what do I know? I'm surprised I'm allowed out of the house unsupervised most days. I'm telling ya, when religious superstitious nonsense gets into governments, it's never a good thing. Ever. Of course, "Mother" Theresa is not one of my favorite people and has been taken apart by a couple of writers, most notably Christopher Hitchens.

Now, switching gears radically, I have to mention two quick entertainment things. Basic Instinct 2 opened recently and I'm in absolute shock that something that literally made me cringe with ickiness got green-lit for a sequel. I mean the first movie was a showcase for Sharon Stone's tits and by the fifth time she whipped them out, you could actually hear the audience's collective moan saying, "oh man...again?!" You know as an actress that you've worn out your screen welcome when you undress and the men in the crowd all yawn and reach their moistened index fingers for the cheese-dip indent in the nacho tray.

Yes, the quick pussy-glimpse was new back then, but it's been so parodied now that there's not even any point in trying to relive it. Let it go, Sharon. Seriously, unless you've grown a huge '70s bush and are planning on having Verne Troyer stick his head out and flip everyone off, keep your 48 year-old Laurence of a Labia in your pants.

And then there's this. It's called "The Birth of Sean Preston" and I'm sure you've all seen it by now. It is supposed to be Britney in the act of squeezing Mini-Fed out her "not a girl, not yet a woman" orifice. I'm curious as to why no one is showing the other side of the statue - they say that you can see Mini-Fed's head "crowning", but I'm assuming that just means you can see the shaped bill of his trucker-hat poking out.

I long for the days when all women can have the natural child-birth experience of being planted doggie-style on a bear-skin rug to make dropping a kid off a little more pleasant. Then you can hire nannies to look after the little cabbage while you go out and laugh at midgets you hired to bring the cake to your greasy useless husband on his birthday.

I have to go drink several beer and mourn the state of our species. I'll be back tomorrow.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Brand Spankin' New Skeptic's Circle!

Over with Abel at Terra Sigillata, there's a brand new pink screaming Skeptic's Circle! Get your fill of ass-slapping good writing, in a mostly non-sexual way.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fifty Million JebusFans CAN Be Wrong

In an article posted today, Tom DeLay comes out swinging at moderate Supreme Court Justices, particularily Ginsburg and O'Connor. He also comes across like the right-wing fundie assclown he tries to keep hidden. Check out these quote from the piece:

"All wisdom doesn't reside in ... people in black robes,"

"Our faith has always been in direct conflict with the values of the world,"

"We are, after all, a society that provides abortion on demand, has killed millions of innocent children, degrades the institution of marriage, and all but treats Christianity like some second-rate superstition."

If I may, I'm going to look at these individually. The first is just DeLay throwing a hissy fit because the two women Justices are acting normally when he obviously enjoys the controlling retardedness of Scalia or Thomas. "Roe v. Wade? Fuck Roe." No, Tom, all wisdom does not reside in black robe-clad folks. All wisdom does not reside in anyone; or any one book, for that matter. Which brings me to the second quote...

Yeah, your faith has been in direct conflict with the values of the world. I wonder why? Maybe it has something to do with the 22 bible verses that talk about stoning people or oxen to death. Sort of like Numbers, verses 15:29 - 15:36 where it talks about people not from the Village of the Crazies being subject to your silly fucking ass-backward rules and being stoned to death for "collecting sticks on the Sabbath". Sort of like that? Your faith is WAY in conflict with my values.

The last quote begs to be torn apart. Our society does provide abortions. The U.S. and Canada have some of the most permissive abortion laws out there. If you'd care to look here you'll see the countries in the world that have the most restrictive laws, some of which don't even have a stipulation to allow abortion to save the woman's life. Raped? Fuck you. Incest? Fuck you. Gonna die because of the fetus? Fuck you hard. I'd like you to notice, Tom, that two of the countries on the "most restrictive list" are Afghanistan and Iraq - you know, the ones you've been at war with in the last four years. I'd also like to know how many of those countries you could point out on an unmarked map of the world.

No, we don't kill "millions of innocent children", you silly fuck. A fetus isn't a child. If it was, we'd call it a child. I know that an 8 week fetus looks like a tiny person, but what do you think it's supposed to look like? It's the size of a grape for fuck's sake. You're more concerned for a little grape-fetus than you are about the woman trying to make ends meet, working three jobs with four kids already? Shut the fuck up, Tom.

Moving on to "degrading the institution of marriage". Howzabout you talk to Britany Spears about her 12 hour marriage, Liz Taylor about her eight marriages, or Billy-Bob Thornton about his five. The "institution of marriage" is not worth the stature that no one cares religion puts in it anyway. Gay people don't fuck up marriage, straight people do, and apparently at least one website thinks God is ok with it.

People treat Christianity like a second-rate supersition because that's exactly what it is. I'm sure if you saw someone mumbling incoherently at a statue of Zeus, you'd think they might have had too much Ouzo; well, in my example here, you've had the Ouzo, and we're you. Put down the bottle and join the rest of us in sobriety without any invisible people telling you what to do. There's no "war" on your buddy because he's not there. You're just a little bit crazy. We're here to help, but not if you're going to be a douche about it.

That's the whole message. Don't be a douche.

Great Link from VJack

It's always nice to find a great link. When another writer says something you agree with and puts it the way you'd like to think you could have, it's a pleasure to read. Over at Atheist Revolution, VJack has linked to a great article that can be read here.

In the same vein as the oft refrained, "you do whatever you want, but leave me the hell alone" chant that we atheists promote, Malene Arpe points out how she really feels about religion (that it is destructive and pointless and childish), but also that in a free society it is the right of everyone to believe in whatever destructive, pointless, or childish things they want. Just don't think we won't call them by name

I feel a small tinge of pride that Ms. Arpe writes for the Toronto Star. I have no connection other than that I live just outside the city, but still. No use squandering coolness by association. It's hip to be godless! (Wasn't that a song by Huey Lewis and the News?)

Monday, March 27, 2006

You Seem to Have a Dent in Your Brain Chakra

I was watching television yesterday for the sole purpose of getting myself pissed off enough to write a blog entry. Somedays life is too good and I have to remind myself that I'm incredibly lucky by watching crap on TV that highlights the weirdos and charlatans that take advantage of folks.

One such show called Unexplained Mysteries was about "Psychic Healers" and whether or not they're real. Due to the fact that I'm writing this, I'm sure you can guess the answer they gave. The show talked, in part, about a man named Henry Rucker, who is a "healer" that seemingly works with people's "energy" to fix what ails them. He was backed up by a man named Dr. Norman Shealy who had worked with Henry for years and years. I took the liberty of looking up Dr. Shealy on the interhole and found this tidbit of information.

How many "doctors" that you know endorse something called, "Magic Oil" or "Sacred Water"? Seriously, take a couple of minutes and read through that linked page there - it's worth it just for such gems as, "(T)his Sacred Water acts like a lubricant. It seems to detoxify the body... Super Water, Holy Water, Sacred Water. We may well be on the verge of discovering the Fountain of Youth", and, "Magic Water is the basic liquid found in the origin of life, and compares to the vital liquid of embryonic fluid". And the show I watched used this guy as a credible resource.

Oh, one last note on Shealy; he uses this little phrase in all seriousness: "...if you have accepted your mortality, if you are planning to grow old and die, then these products should not be incorporated into your life, as they may seriously interfere with your graceful aging and demise. He likens a living organism, such as the human body, to rechargeable batteries, noting that if it is maintained at peak operating efficiency, it will last a very long time, and theoretically forever."

Yeah, maybe he should hook up with Douchepak Chumpra and just start saying "quantum" every six seconds in the hopes that someone will take him seriously. Also, check out the Skeptic's Dictionary entry on DHEA.

The show also did a segment on "psychic healer" Dean Craft (Kraft?). After searching for him a bit I found that the most information I could dig up was on sites about Laverne and Shirley where viewers were asking about how to find him (Cindy Williams, who played Shirley, was "healed" by Dean and gave a ringing endorsement - is there anything that C-list "celebrities" don't know? Also, Henry Winkler produced the show - Fonzie, you've dropped so low...). Surprisingly, it seems that Kraft (or Craft) charges $750/session and is quite hard to find.

I'd think that if I could cure ALS with mind power, I'd be yelling pretty loudly. Maybe Dean is just shy.

Next up is Roger La Borde, who claims to contact coma victims. If you go to his site, you'll see the usual stuff (there's the obligatory Einstein quote about "mystery", and of course it's called "shaman's door"...of course it is), but you'll get an intersting view of him in the "Roger" section under "Door Swings Open". There it describes his life falling apart prior to his "discovery" of entering the "shaman's world". It has been my experience that people who think they have special powers usually have had something in their lives go horribly wrong, most times it's having their spouse leave them, thus making them feel worthless. They need something to make them "special" again.

There was a woman who came to talk to our massage therapy class in our graduating year, and I apologize that I can't remember her name, but she claimed to do "energy work" and proceeded to do the standard sideshow tricks of pushing down on the arm, etc. She said that, "...the body cannot tell a lie", and used the arm trick to diagnose problems. I remember asking her that if the body can't lie, basically you should never make an incorrect diagnoses because all you'd have to do is play 20 Questions to narrow the illness to its specific name, then treat accordingly - so why do we need all these expensive imaging machines and such? She danced around that question and then said that she guides people through past-life experiences to heal them. Did you get that? Past life regression therapy. Man....

My point about her is that she also related a divorce story where her husband left her before she "discovered" her gifts. Seems to be a common trait. A man on the Unexplained Mysteries show who had been in a horrible accident and wasn't supposed to walk again was "healed" by a special person, then proceeded to become a "healer" himself. Tragedy + belief + placebo effect = new healer.

Lastly, I have to tell you that one Russian woman was actually "proven" to be effective by use of...wait for it...Kirlian photography. No foolin'. I never fail to be amazed at the rehashing of debunked crap, its steaming carcass flung on the public for one more sniff. Hey, let's prove psychics are real by using phrenology!

We need a bigger skeptical presence on television to call these people out and show them for what they are - disillusioned, dishonest, or fraudulent. Please can I be on the show with John Edwards? Please!? Man, I hope that guy gets a papercut.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Little Love for Saturday

I would like to take a second and say "congratulations" to Dr. David Dolphin. He's the 2005 winner of the Gerhard Herzberg Award (which is Canada's equivalent to the Nobel Prize, named after the 1971 Nobel Laurate in Chemistry) who's work on porphyrins saves the eyesight of hundreds of thousands of people.

Porphyrins are donut-shaped colored molecules like heme or chlorophyll with a metal in the middle (like red and iron, or green and magnesium respectively for these). The cool thing is that when you shine light on them, they make oxygen toxic for two thousandths of a second in a localized area. Oh, and when you put these molecules in someone with a cancerous tumor, they love to go to the area where angiogenesis is happenin' to feed the bastard. This means that these porphyrin thingys destroy tumors.

Just so we're clear on what's going on here, this guy and the scientists who work with him are taking molecules apart and, with a great degree of accuracy, destroying malignant tumors and allowing people to see again after they suffer macular degeneration. You can read all about him and his work here.

And there are some people out there who still blather on about auras and "energy" pathways. Once you see what real science is all about, hearing rubbish like homeopathy, liver cleansing, crystal "therapy", and ear candling is just sad and embarrassing.

Congratulations once again to Dr. Dolphin.

Friday, March 24, 2006

A Little Hate for Friday Morning

Peter Popoff. I was watching TV this morning, waiting my turn in the shower, and fucking Peter Popoff was on "healing" people and hawking "miracle spring water" that makes crippled people run around and brings you money. Sort of ironic that he's making money off regular old "miracle" water, since he does nothing and is a complete fraud who was exposed on national television. On The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, nonetheless.

One thing you should never underestimate is people's gullibility. We want to believe so badly that there's someone out there with super powers who can just shake our heads and cure what ails us. Anyone remember Jonas Nightengale from Leap of Faith? Yeah, he was pretty much based on Popoff. Great movie - check it out if you haven't already.

The fact that this scumbag Jerkoff is still alive is a testament to the fact that there is no god anywhere. Seriously, how can Carl Sagan be dead and Jerkoff be still out there taking advantage of people? When lunatics snap and start shooting random subway commuters, why is Peter never in the fucking crowd? How come he's never picking up his kids when a depressed fat guy goes beserk and starts tossing home-made grenades around? I mean, fuck, where's a good car fire when you need one?

So now we have to deal with Jerkoff selling $90 "Divine Transfer Kits" consisting of 10 books he's most likely got overstocked and is trying to unload, four audio CDs of him spouting bullshit, a "divine transfer bracelet" that's most likely a fucking Q-Ray, and my favorite, a cross "from Israel filled with Holy Land soil and water". How much do you want to bet the dirt is from his parking lot?

So you have to spend $90 to get a "Divine Transfer" of money to you? If this isn't the lottery run amok, I don't know what is. Spend $5 on a lotto ticket for a chance at $5 million, or spend $90 so god will give you money. Personally, I'll take a shot at the 1 in 15 million odds the lotto gives me. That's way better than some con-man schmuck claiming a cingular wi-fi connection to the creator of the universe.

What a fucking putz.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Someone's been doing some conspiracy reading or hanging out with David Icke. Charlie Sheen now thinks that something is fishy about the 9/11 attacks and, after his "research", it seems like the "worm is turning".

This guy couldn't get any weirder if he covered himself in cashew butter and ran naked through an onion patch screaming about his aversion to Viking helmets. He said that the collapse of the towers seemed like a "controlled demolition" - as opposed to...what, exactly?

You know, Charlie, when we need someone to put on a rubber chest-piece and "act" like a fifth rate comedian imitating Sly Stallone, we'll give you a ring. If you keep mouthing off about stupid shit like this, if I may quote Jeannie Bueller, "you lose a testicle".

Fuckin' weirdo.

Put 'Em In Your Mouth and Suck 'Em

Well apparently, I may owe Isaac Hayes an apology. Seems he may have had a stroke and due to his recouperation, may not have issued the "I'm leaving South Park because of their intolerant attitude towards religions" statement. It may actually have come from a source inside Scientology World Domintaion Headquarters.

All that drama did not stop Trey and Matt from sending Chef off in a most South Park way in the new season opener. The best touch was that they obviously liked working with Hayes and are only pissed at Scientology for fucking him up and controlling him.

The episode's "Super Adventure Club" was a fitting nod to Scientology, although the link to raping children might get some feathers ruffled. I'm excited to see such an open fight between a supposed religion and a couple of "nothing to lose" comics.

I was a bit weirded out to see stick up for Scientology a bit saying, "They are, after all, a club that helped many a conflicted little fruit kick their dangerous anti-psychotic medication habits, resolve their past-life issues, and maximize their life potential", referring to a line in the episode.

The "kick their...medication habits" bit refers, no doubt, to Narconon, the program that Tommy Cruise is so pumped about. Does it work? Sure, for some people. The problem is that the tools in Scientology who run the course exaggerate the success numbers to the point where you can't trust them. If you'd care to read about it, check here or here. By the way, if you Google "Narconon", three of the first six hits are anti-Narconon sites. That should tell you something.

Love South Park, hate Scientology, hope Isaac Hayes gets his head straight and comes back. Fingers are crossed, children.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Annotated Ranter Rips a New One

I was just wondering the other day when the Annotated Rant folk(s?) would bitch-slap someone else. Well, wait no more because the religious, anti-choice assnuggets in that lovely State that's been in the news of late is in the crosshairs. Fuck South Dakota.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Tales

It seems that Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said recently that creationism should not be taught in schools as an alternative to evolution. Hooray for him. He seems like a reasonably normal fella and even was quoted as saying, "I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories."

Wow. A man of the cloth who trumpets the scientific definition of "theory". How cool is that? I mean, he says that the creation of the universe (and, by extension, Earth and us) should be talked about and discussed, but that happens all the time anyway and no one is pissy about that. The only time folks get their back-fur all pointy is when religious types try to say that their mythological fairy tales should be talked about in science class.

The counterpoint in this story comes from the British version of Dwayne Gish, the asshat named Sir Peter Vardy. He's a sponsor of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation, which teaches creationism alongside evolution and "lets the children decide". Please see my previous post on Intelligent Design for my opinion on what "teaching the controversy" is probably like.

Basically I just wanted to stop for a second and say, "cheers" to the ol' Archbishop for showing sense and rationality in the face of obvious obfuscation. He is still a man who champions faith based schools, but you have to expect that from him. I'm sure I'd fight with him about a lot of things, but this is one time I have to give credit where it's due. Hear hear.

Believe or Die

Afghanistan. Some guy converts from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago. He moves to Germany. Now he returns to fight a custody battle for his kids and is arrested, charged with apostasy and is now awaiting his death sentence. For converting.

If ever you want to see an insecure religion, check out Islam. If you are a Muslim, then leave, you're dead. And I don't mean the Stephen Colbert, "you're dead to me", dead...I mean literally. Under Sharia law (which is pretty much a huge contradiction in terms), if you leave Islam, you are threatening them, and thus you must be killed. No real wiggle room in this one. Renounce the Prophet, fuck you and your sucking chest wound.

I'm not really sure if there's the same debate about Muhammad as there is about Jesus with respect to whether or not he actually lived, but regardless, I'll go on record here to say that there was no one flying anywhere on any winged horse. That's just something children would think up. Anyone else thinking Pegasus? Let's throw Hercules on top there just for fun.

You know, it's not a case of the Emperor not having any clothes with Islam (or any other religion, for that matter), it's that there is no Emperor. We're just making shit up. And now with Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger calling for a United Nations of religious groups, you'd think maybe they'd talk about, oh, I don't know, maybe "opposition to any killing in the name of religion", and solve this silliness. Nope. The biggest problem with a meeting of religious "minds" is that they won't think for themselves, because they're not allowed.

Killing someone because they've stopped believeing in your invisible friend and retarded know, in the dictionary under "insecure"....

Sunday, March 19, 2006

...Long As I Got My Plastic Jesus...

In San Angelo, Texas, in a little place called Tom Green County, they got themselves an idea. What if we got ourselves a prison? They asked for proposals and only one group stepped forward to show off their idea. A firm called Corrections Concepts wants to do a "faith based prison" to help inmates get their lives back on track. It would be a volunteer program that the incarcerated go to for the last two years of their sentence. Sort of a, "let Jesus slap your ass as you leave for good luck" thing.

The good folks who want this say it, "could influence prisoners' lives through religion, and create jobs." This leads into a funny story about statistics and, oddly, President Bush.

See, this is not the first time a faith-based prison has been tried. Funnily enough, Bush's favorite initiative when he was Governor deep in the heart of Texas was something called InnerChange Freedom Initiave, a Christian Prison Program started in 1997 (and including Iowa from '99, Kansas from '00, and Minnesota from '02) that boasted dramatically reduced recidivism from a control comparison group. My favorite thing on their site is the FAQ:

"Q: Are inmates who practice other faiths able to participate in IFI?
A: Yes, if they're willing to actively participate in a Christ-centered, Biblically based program.
Q: Do IFI participants have to be Christians?
A: No. Each IFI participant is not required to be Christian, but they must be willing to productively participate in a program that is explicitly Christian in both content and delivery."

So basically if a prisoner is a Muslim or an atheist or whatever, he can be in this program as long as he accepts Jesus Christ as his personal savior (that is, "productively participates"). Anyone else see a problem in there? Oh, and the main peeve was that the people reporting on the group fudged the stats (and by "fudged the stats", I mean they ignored the people who didn't complete the program, were kicked out, or got early parole - you tend to get great results when you don't count the failures). If ever there was an appropriate use for the term "Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy", this is it.

I know, you're shocked that a program championed by Bush would get statistics wrong. Me too. We have to get over our collective flabbergastedness to realize that these guys will ignore contrary results and keep saying how great Christian prisons are, how they've helped people in the past, and how now that he has a job, Bobby the 120 pound ex-con who had handlebars tattooed on the back of his hips by the Aryan Nation is a model citizen (with only a slight rectal prolapse problem).

More religion is not the solution to crime. Check the part of the Faith Based Fudging article that says the participants in the Jebus program actually did worse than the control group. Fabulous. Let's keep the plastic Jesus on the dashboard or in Cool Hand Luke's pocket, and out of the jailhouses, k? K.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Shock and Awwww

In a twist that should not have been unexpected, after their episode of South Park attacking Scientology was taken off Comedy Central, Trey and Matt have declared war on the supposed religion. Isaac Hayes left just in time....

"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun!...Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies...You have obsructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail!", was the quote from the pair in Daily Variety today. Trey and Matt rock and if I ever see them, I'll buy them a beer (or something of equal monetary value that they like).

Apparently, Tom Cruise said that he wouldn't promote Mission Impossible 3 if Comedy Central aired the show again (and Comedy Central caved, supposedly because Viacom owns both the funny network and Paramount, which shoves action fare like MI:3 down our gullets). Cruise's people wouldn't confirm anything, but if jumping on the couch and trying to stare down Matt Lauer are any indication, Tommy is pretty passionate about his aliens.

You know, for an alien-believing, couch-jumping, ultrasound-buying, weirdyass, Tom certainly has some power in TinselTown. Why is that? When a person is so obviously off his rocker in most other jobs, he'd be canned. If a plumber came to your house to install a pedestal sink, and then started rambling about how much he loved his teenage wife and that the Powder-Blue Fairy was going to make her nightly visit to his mind so the purple turtle in his brain could keep doing pirouettes, you'd probably snatch the glass of tasty lemonade from his meaty hand and show him the door. But Tommy gets a pass because people want to see him save the world and do endo-wheelies on a Kawasaki Ninja while shooting European-homosexual-undertone villians.

I think it's time to take Tom's lemonade away.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Irshad Manji Rocks - Religion Still Silly

I'm reading a great book at the moment. It's called The Trouble With Islam Today by Irshad Manji, the former host of Queer TV. She's pretty much the woman a lot of hard-core Muslims hate - an outspoken, smart, lesbian Muslim. She is willing to stand up amongst the throngs and allow her head to stick above, questioning the base tenents of their faith. Many admire her, flocks hate her, but you can't ignore the questions she asks. Well, actually, if you are a person of faith, you certainly can ignore them because ignoring inquiry is bred into you from the time you are a blastocyst.

I am really enjoying this book. That said though, I have to say that it's difficult for me to keep my objectivity. Allow me to explain: I am obviously an atheist and I have been away from any type of organized religion for more than a decade now. Being apart from religion and reading science books and trying to learn about the world around me has taken up a large amount of my free time to the point where I don't pay attention to any religious goings-on. Not a trace of "faith" remains in me.

What that leads to, at least in my case, is that when I now hear about religions and their creation myths...they just sound fuckin' retarded. I mean, really silly. It's as if you are a newcomer to a neighborhood and at the "welcome party", everyone tells you about the Green Fairy that comes into your room at night and either punches you in the face or leaves you a shiny quarter, depending on her evaluation of your performance that day.

Of course, there are the "we all deserve a punch in the face" Green Fairy folks who are quite militant and if the Fairy doesn't give out the punch, they'll do it for her (because you have obviously done something worthy of a punch). Then there are the "quarters for everyone" Fairy people who just thoroughly enjoy the nice aspects of the Fairy's behavior and can't understand the "puncher's" rationale for focusing on the negative parts of their faith.

Ms. Manji, rational as she is and as necessary to her faith group as she is, still to me sounds like the person who says, "Ok, well let's examine the books about our beloved Green Fairy and see what it precisely says about quarters and punching. Then we'll be able to give equal rights to all people and get past all this societal backwardness."

Do you see the problem I have? Debating on the worthiness of an entirely silly subject makes me crazy. It's having a serious debate about the number of twists in a unicorn's horn. There are no unicorns and no answer will have any basis in reality, so can we just stop it please? To paraphrase an old quote, "Arguing about religion is like competing in the Special Olympics - even if you win, you're still a retard."

I highly recommend the book (apart from all my whining) for anyone who wants a great, objective look at Islam.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Suck on my Chocolate Salty Balls

Isaac Hayes, best known as the voice of Chef on South Park, has quit the show. In his own words, "There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins ...(R)eligious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored...(A)s a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."

I could not disagree more. When you believe something that is ludricrous, it's the job of your friends to say so. There is absolutely no grounds for respecting dumbass beliefs, not to mention that questioning and making fun of stupid shit is how we move past it.

Matt Stone brought some clarity to the situation: "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem -- and he's cashed plenty of checks -- with our show making fun of Christians."

Truth hurts, eh Isaac? Sucks to be called out for what you really mean by someone with a brain. I can't wait for the episode where Chef dies a horrible, embarrassing death next season. Please please please let Jesus kill him on his talk show.

How much do you want to bet Isaac does't give any of his paycheques back in "protest"?

Douchepak Chumpra Redux

As I've said in previous posts, I'm a massage therapist. This field has some great people in it who work, generally speaking, with physiotherapists or other health care professionals to help patients recover from accidents or injuries. Others work in spas taking care of stressed people or just folks who need a break.

That being said, there's a lot of fluffy retards in this line of work. People who just spout bullshit about auras and chakras and crap as if any of it were real. Check out this passage from Douchepak Chumpra's "spa" area on his site:

Gandharva Therapy (gaan-darva)
65 minutes $185
Everything in the universe resonates at an optimal frequency. The chakras, bones, organs,etc. in the body all resonate at a different frequency. The body is in a healthy state when each cell resonates in harmony with the whole being. When there is a blockage, the frequency of the body part in question is altered. This vibrational disharmony in the body allows illness to set in. Sound and hands-on energy work can help break up, release and even dissolve the blockages that originate in our etheric body. Gandharva Therapy also affects the brain wave activity, allowing the recipient to experience alpha states as in meditation.

I mean, fuck me. Where do I begin? Let's start with the first line. What the fuck is an "optimal frequency"? How does anyone know what's optimal for me, as opposed to anyone else? If there's a vibration, why can't we measure it with an instrument? And don't even get me started on "chakras", Shirley. Sorry, no evidence equals no such thing. Once you prove that you can actually detect these things reliably under scientific conditions, then you can move on to working with "blockages".

Speaking of "blockages", what, exactly, is being blocked? The chakra again? An "energy pathway"? How, precisely, does "vibrational disharmony" allow illness to set in? Are you saying that as people get older and develop, say, Alzheimer's Disease, it can be controlled by the patient themselves? People don't have to get sick? Fuck you and your "it's your fault you get old and sick" mentality.

If I hear anyone talking about "energy work" in my presence anytime, there's going to be one seriously crying "healer". I almost pity the next person who brings this shit up around me. What the fuck are you talking about when you say "energy"? No one in the health field defines the term. In case you were wondering, not too many of these flakey motherfuckers has read this - especially the part about "forms or types of energy". Surprise, "vibrational" isn't one. I like the section on "non-scientific energy" as well. Good reading.

Let's move on to, "...blockages that originate in our etheric body..." What the hell is an "etheric body"? I realize that if Douchepak was here, he'd talk all condescendingly to me about how I am, "failing to grasp the nature of the universe and the quantum ideas that have been revealed through spiritual study", but that sort of talk only wows people like Oprah. Real people need answers and there's not one in Douchepak's drivel.

Oh, and one last thing - notice the price. It's $185 for about an hour. I do believe I went into the wrong program. Now I know how Chumpra can afford to drive that Jag and live in his 2.5 million dollar house; fuck me, I charge just under $70 for an hour. This guy is more than doubling my price for shit that won't do anything. For a dude who left actual medicine (I'd guess because he got tired of not getting a huge paycheque and then realized that spouting bullshit and doing nothing was a way better gig...that is, he's a pansy) and delved into stupid crap like Trancendental Meditation, Ayurvedic "medicine", and seriously misguided physics study, he sure knows how to sling the talk.

Of course Chopra never debates anyone well versed in physics (if you google "Deepak Chopra debate" you only get hits for the back-and-forth he had with Michael Shermer where, if I may say, Shermer made far more sense). That would be suicide for him.

For a nice piece on Douchepak, see the entry in The Skeptic's Dictionary. Stop listening to this babbling idiot and save your money. He is a...what's the word..."douche".

Saturday, March 11, 2006

"Fuck them gays...", says Catholic Charity

Once again, get me 5cc's of adrenaline and keep the helium balloons behind your back, because I'm going to die of not-surprise.

The Catholic Charities of Boston decided to stop doing the adoption work they've been managing for more than a hundred years. Why? Well it seems that Massachusetts has this pesky law that prevents discrimination against homosexuals.

See, it's more important to keep children away from gay folks than it is to actually help them. As Denzel Washington said in Philadelphia, "...explain this to me like I'm four years old..."; it's not ok for two gay men to adopt a child who is in a horrible spot in life and provide for that child a loving environment and a place to come home to, but it's ok for a priest to abuse trust and get an alter-boy to blow him? All you do to that priest is relocate him to a new parish? Really? Doesn't that sort of make the priest not only gay, but a pedophile asshole, and thus he should be eternally (by your rules) kept away from children forever? Stop me when I go outside your party line here....

So in the religious game of rock, paper, scissors, hate trumps love, love trumps not paying taxes, and not paying taxes trumps hate, right? As long as you hate gays for religious reasons, you don't have to love kids; as long as you don't love kids for religious reasons, you don't have pay taxes; and as long as you don't pay taxes for religious reasons, you can hate whoever the fuck you want. That's pretty fancy circular logic there padre.

How much stupidity will it take before the people will rise up as one and slay these dipshits? Where's a good ol' revolution when you need one? Sadly, the kids this move leaves behind will not be getting too much cake.

(Hat-tip to Rebecca over at the SkepChick Blog for the article link and the inspiration)

All Life is Equal? Bullshit.

The former leader of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, was found dead in his jail cell today. Please excuse me while I don't cry or act upset in any way.

Accused of sixty-six counts of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide, I'm pretty ok with the fact that this jerkoff is no longer hanging around using my oxygen. People often say that every life is of equal value - I couldn't disagree more.

Recently here in Toronto, a police horse named Brigadier was rammed by some angry assface at a drive-thru ABM, breaking his front legs and making it necessary to kill him at the scene. If you can't control your frustration to the point where you'll drive into a police horse with a cop on top, you have serious problems and I don't think I'd like to be at Tim Horton's when they run out of your favorite flavor of donut. Had I the choice, both Milosevic and the dipshit who hit Brig would have been shot in the face and that horse would still be out there helping Const. Kevin Bradfield fight crime. Brigadier's life was much more valuable.

Say what you want, that's my opinion.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday Double Slap

Two items for Friday:

The first is that Noah's Ark has potentially been discovered on Mount Ararat in Turkey. Pardon me if I don't rev up my bible and start lassoing heathens with my rosary, but if you look at something big enough for a long enough time with the intention of finding something specific, you'll eventually find something that looks like what you're looking for. Take the stupid "face on Mars" as an example - there's no face there. Low res images showed that some of us pattern-recognizing humans interpreted a fuckin' hill as a sign of intelligent life. Brilliant!

Sadly, a lot of us know that there's barely intelligent life here on Earth, let along on frickin' Mars. The Thumpers know that Mr. Two-by-Two's flood-boat is supposed to have come to rest on Ararat, so anytime one of them sees something that looks vaguely like a boat, everyone freaks out.

Just so everyone knows, the Noah myth is probably a compilation of several other floodish stories, most notably one from around 2900 BC when the Euphrates overflowed its banks after a rare six-day thunderstorm. A Sumerian King named Ziusudra jumped his ass on a loaded barge and floated away, eventually grounding in the Persian Gulf. He then offered a sacrifice on top of a man-made hill (later mistranslated as "mountain") to the gods, thanking them for his life.

So sorry, you don't get the two-slice toaster, there probably was no Noah.

I'll bet no one follows up on this story to see what the hell is actually up on Ararat. Probably a rock shaped like Pauly Shores' nutsack.

Item two is Tennessee. It seems that the short-bus has made its way to the more southern states and is now freely giving out oppression rods for beating women into submission. Sen. David Fowler introduced a bill that is similar to the one recently passed and bitched about here in South Dakota. He was quoted as saying, "I regret this will cast me as being hardhearted, unsympathetic and unkind but that's not who I am..." No Dave, you don't seem hardhearted, you seem like a religious douchebag who is trying to push your ridiculous beliefs on everyone else.

I think, as Marcellus Wallace said, "I'm gonna call me a couple hard, pipe-hittin' niggas to go to work on the Holmes here with a pair of pliers and a blow-torch..." after anally raping him, of course. Guys like this make me so mad I can't even stand it.

Live your life, stay the fuck out of mine.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

101 Dalmations, 102 Pedophile Priests...

Well set the defibrillator to 200 and keep the confetti in your pocket because I'm going to die of not-surprise. A recent article in USA Today says that 102 Irish priests are suspected of abusing 350 children since 1940.

Ok, let's address the obvious issue. There are 2800 priests that have worked in the Dublin thingy over the past 66 years and most of them were just a little douchy - probably actually doing some good while unintentionally misguiding many non-molested children. Great.

So what about those 102 fucknuggets who actually touched kids inappropriately? Well, in my correct opinion, we should have to prove the abuse, then they'd be punched in the face by Chuck Norris, then their limp bodies would be thrown into the jackel compound in the Dublin Zoo. Just my two-cents.

I get really tired of the church just announcing shit like this. How many kids have to give a confessional blowjob before people start realizing that this is not a healthy way for people to live? At the very least, let the priests have relationships with women. Then they can get drunk on "holy wine" and get arrested for domestic abuse like proper social misfits.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

South Dakota Abortion and Madonna

Ok, two things. Gov. Mike Rounds of South Dakota signed legislation that bans just about all abortions in that state. Unless the health of the mother is threatened, no abortion for you. Even in the case of rape or incest.

So, Gov., wouldn't you say that the woman's life was in danger while she was being fucking raped? Doesn't that count for something? Some dickless piece of shit drags her into an alley and punches her around a bit, then sticks his Keebler Elf-sized dick in her and happens to get the woman pregnant. You expect this woman to keep that fucking thing?

How about this: we send you to prison where we allow the Aryan Brotherhood to rape you in the shower. Afterwards, you and your bleeding asshole are going to be dragged to a cell where some guy will tattoo a picture of a fetus on your stomach in bright red ink. Now, do you think you should be allowed to go and get that tattoo laser-removed? I don't. Nope - your life is not in danger now, is it? You should have to respect that piece of art for the rest of your life. It's art, Mike! Come on!

I believe that should be the fate of every douchebag man who votes that restricting abortions for women who have been raped and/or had their fuckwad relatives rape them is the right thing to do. Women who vote for this assholic law should have all their money taken away so they can't pay for a trip to Sioux City, and then their daughters get to meet the local motorcycle gang after-hours. Let's see how keen mom is to have child-of-Satan's Minions kicking around the house for the next eighteen years.

People who are that in favor of children have no perspective and no respect for the lives that are already here. Fuck the fetus, save the potential of my wife's life, my daughter's life, my mother's life.

Section II

Quick thing about Madonna here. It's a bit of a slow week, news-wise, but I saw this and have to comment. Apparently, Lourdes asked her mom about the Britney kiss and Mrs. I-Can-Deep-Throat-A-Pop-Bottle said:
"I am the mommy pop star and she (Britney) is the baby pop star. I am kissing her to pass my energy on to her."

Yep. Just to refresh that last bit, it was, "...pass my energy on to her." Well, what sort of energy was that, Madonna? Chemical? Mechanical?

I hate that silly-ass, new-age speak that people like Madonna and Douchepak Chumpra spew all the time. If I hear Douchepak talk about quantum physics as if he understands it one more time, it's gonna be on. Me and him in a charity Ultimate Fighting Championship. Let's see if his $25 brass "healing" bracelet will give him strength.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Scientology in Rolling Stone

The new issue of Rolling Stone magazine has a lengthy article on Scientology that is quite fascinating. Anyone who in interested in the more in-depth rituals and details of this weird religion (some would say "cult", but I would apply that adjective to all religions) would do well to read this piece.

Most people are unaware of just exactly how fucked in the head this religion is. When the South Park episode (scroll about a third of the way down) aired and they described what the church folks believe, my wife was flabbergasted. Once again, the order is 1. brainwash and then, 2. (in the manner of Professor Frink) tell about the evil aliens with the throwing in the volcanos and the spirits and the GllayVen!

Reading the article, I was taken aback by the outward anti-gay and anti-racial mixing message. Check out these quotes:

Of homosexuals - "No social order will survive which does not remove these people from its midst."

Questions on a "security check", which is adminsitered to OTs every six months - "Have you ever been involved in an abortion?" "Have you ever practiced sex with animals?" "Have you ever practiced sodomy?" "Have you ever slept with a member of a race of another color?" "Have you ever had any unkind thoughts about L. Ron Hubbard?"

Seriously, what the fuck does that have to do with anything if you're not in the KKK? This comes off sounding like a weird cross between the Klan and ultra-right-wing fundamentalism. And you thought Tom Cruise was fucked up before.

Oh, speaking of celebrities, here's that bastion of clear thinking, Madonna, speaking near the end of last year to Rolling Stone about Cruise:

"We're both in the take-a-lot-of-shit club together...I don't really know what Scientology is, and because I don't know, I'm not in a position to have an opinion about it. But I don't think anybody else knows, either." Of Kabbalah and Scientology critics? In her enlightened words, "(T)hey need to shut the fuck up."

Really? Nobody else knows what Scientology is, so we should all shut the fuck up? There, ladies and gentlemen, is a true scientific mind, willing to go to great lengths to find out the answers to what it is she does not understand. Can we please keep these asshats relegated to their area of expertise? Please?

For a group that has such a non-frightening outward appearance, Scientology is deeper and more controlling than many many people realize. This article is required reading for anyone curious about the inner workings of a cult (segregation, separation from family, rigorous indoctrination, physical confinement, psychological manipulation, and information restriction are all hallmarks of a brainwashing cult). I expect the Xenu fans to freak out and start boycotting Rolling Stone after this breaks out wide.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Missouri Loves Baby Jebus

Can you believe this shit? Wow. To once again quote Bill Hicks, "Jesus, what balls! He must have a specially fitted uniform in which to place those huge testicles..."

How, precisely, the fuck does a douche like David Sater get a motion like this entered into public discourse? What does it mean when it says that the bill is meant to, "protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs"? Who doesn't have that right? I have to, at this point, repeat my question from my previous post - how many, exactly, retarded politicians can be in elected office at one time in a country?

Christians need to get a fucking life and realize that no one is throwing them to lions anymore. They can go to church, pray in church or in their homes, recite their silly-ass "under god" pledge every fucking day, look at "in god we trust" on your goddamn money, and wear a cross around their neck. No one gives a shit if they do any of those things. Making a Christian State, however, is not so - shall I say - kosher.

If you want to live in a theocracy, head towards the East and stop when you reach Iran. See how well it worked out over there.

What a bunch of douchenozzles....

Harry Potter Needs an Old Priest and a Young Priest...

Three thousand exorcisms later and Father Gabriele Amorth's mind is obviously uncluttered with reason or common sense. He's the 80 year-old priest who is saying that Harry Potter will lead to the Devil.

Yep, just like Pope Benny before him, Amorth says that the popular books will lead children to magic, from which it is, "a simple step to Satanism and the Devil." Surely David Copperfield, Penn and Teller, Criss Angel, and Lance Burton will love to be in such esteemed company. In Amorth's words, "...magic is always a turn to the devil."

Yeah, I know, the crazy old exorcist is talking about "real" magic. I'm confident that if you ask him, he'll tell you tall tales from his three thousand exorcisms about shit flying around the room, possessed people talking in languages they never learned, and vomitting pea soup. You know...magic.

Pope Benny said that the books can, "...distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly." You know, if the Hitler Youth can't distort Christianity, Harry Potter must be one powerful motherfucker.

See, magic the way amature putzes like me do it and the way the Las Vegas types do it encourages critical thinking. We like to figure out how to do shit, and when we see someone else do something super cool, we try to figure out how they did it. Because of that, we get really good at detecting bullshit when we see it. Religion is FULL of it. Miracle? Not so much. Statue bleeding out its eyes? Hardly.

When a book like the Potter series encourages kids to think and learn about magic, the church sees it as a threat to their indoctrination process because these kids will have something they shouldn't: questions. Questions that some douchebag 80 year-old exorcist won't be able to answer without a heaping helping of the smelly stuff.

Three thousand exorcisms? I call bullshit.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Great, Now I Have to Hate Domino's

Seems that Thomas S. Monaghan has a bit of a bee in his bonnet for religion. Of course, he had to get some money together to finance his plan by selling pizza to people first. Now that he is a multi-billionaire due partly to the 'Noid, he can afford to spend a paltry $250 million on a Catholic town called Ave Maria near Naples, Florida.

Apparently, it's "God's will".

God, so it would seem, doesn't like condoms, Playboy, birth control, or any sort of shenanigans like that. These things, then, would not be allowed in Ave Maria. This sort of goes against the whole "separation of church and State" thing that is so well-established in the U.S. (can I get a huge "NOT"?) With Bush and his faith-based vouchers, his Middle-East crusade, and his prayer meetings with psycho Ted Haggard, I don't have too much hope that religion will be losing any ground soon.

The ACLU is freaking on a leash. See, Monaghan wants people to buy their home property, but he will own and control all the commerical land, thus allowing him to insert provisions on what to sell that will align the stores to Catholic ideals.

Oh, and just to state the obvious - Gov. Jeb Bush was at the groundbreaking and is ok with all of this. Answer me this, if you would... Exactly how many retarded politicians can be in power in a given country at any given time? It's a rhetorical question, but still....

29th Skeptic's Circle

Head on over to Huge Entity and check out the best of the web's skeptical writing of the last two weeks! C'mon, all the cool kids are going...there's gonna be cake.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Rape-Daddy, Take 2

I thought I'd turn this comment into a full post here on my site. Big tip o' the hat to Frank the Financially Savvy Atheist.

Mississippi has made a law, much like South Dakota recently, to severely restrict abortion - even in cases of rape or incest.

"A bunch of little congregated cells inside a woman isn't a person. You're not a person until you're in my phone book. There, my hat is now in the political ring."
Bill Hicks

Whether you believe that or not, in the case of rape or incest it should be an obvious no-brainer that abortion should be allowed. I'd be interested in how many woman were on the panels that decided those rulings (none that I read of in the case of the Mississippi article cited above).

I'll bet a lot of cash that sixteen years from now in the states that have outlawed abortion, there will be a spike in violent crime. The reason is that outlawing abortion won't stop the rich kids from getting them - it'll stop the poor, single mothers who drink and/or use drugs. Just the type of households that, statistically speaking, supply the criminals. I tell ya, Freakonomics was a very good book.

We really need to get over this notion that we're special. We don't need to reproduce like we're lemmings or sea turtles. No one wants to say why these Southern folks and religious folks are so anti-abortion, but I have a theory.

See, religions usually tell their congregants to go forth and multiply. Why do you suppose that is? I think the obvious answer is so that there will be more of them. Oh no, not people; but people who believe what they do. If you're a fundamentalist Christian, well you'd like there to be a lot more of you kickin' around. Same if you're a fundie Muslim, a Hasidic Jew, or a Roman Catholic. Keep makin' those kids so we can indoctrinate a new generation.

Religious folks don't realize that by restricting the rights of people to have abortions, they are making it impossible for the poorest and least able in society to keep up and raise that family. They are enabling the increase in crime in the future that they will undoubtedly, in a decade and a half, blame on the people who are and were, for abortion.

Abortion is fine. We're not special. We're nearing seven billion people on this planet and we seriously need to start cullin' the herd.

There, my hat is now right next to Hicks'.