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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Grey Ghost & Lying Nikki

So lying douchebag "Psychic to the Stars", Nikki Pezaro says that there might be a ghost on the Grey's Anatomy set. Yeah, I know. Not only that, but he's:
a heavyset man, balding … he may have been a janitor or facilities manager who worked in the area in the past.
I think she made that stuff up. She's such a crazy lying liar type person, changing her website to delete inaccurate predicitons or just being vague enough to write horoscopes for the Star.

My absolute favorite part of the Grey's article is this gem:
“I believe there is a serious negative energy on that set,” she (Nikki) said. “It’s not a curse, because those don’t really exist, but there is a hostile force at the location of their filming."
"Curses? Oh hell no. Those are silly, why would you believe in such foolishness. Now pay attention while I explain about the dead fat fella roaming the halls that the black homophobe brought in because of his childhood daddy-got-murdered issues."

Irony Meter...Straining...She Canna Take Any More, Capt'n!

Catholic bishops now have a problem with reiki, in addition to safe sex and charitable organizations. Watch as the hilarity ensues. The Bishop's Association said:
...the therapy "lacks scientific credibility" and could expose people to "malevolent forces"...for a Catholic to believe in reiki presents "insurmountable problems".
I may die. Hearing a Catholic bishop say something is not feasible because it "lacks scientific credibility" is amazing. "Yeah, that reiki shit? Not a way in H-E-double hockey sticks, fella. But virgin birth and dude flying into the sky, I'm all over that."

Oh, and then there's this:
"A Catholic who puts his or her trust in reiki would be operating in the realm of superstition, the no man's land that is neither faith nor science. Superstition corrupts one's worship of God by turning one's religious feeling and practice in a false direction."
Oh man, I'm seriously going to have a fuckin' aneurysm if these dudes keep it up. "Operating in the realm of superstition"?! Was that a joke? That's a joke, right? Oh man, that's rich....

Oh, and if you were wondering about the mindset of the reiki practitioners and the "evidence" they present, "Reiki master Judith White" said:
Reiki balances energy in the same way as acupuncture or reflexology.
I can write no more. I have a pain in my chest, like an elephant sitting on it. My left arm tingles. My jaw hurts. I must go. The Irony-Meter on my desk looks like the clocks in Dali's The Persistence of Memory. Too good. You guys should be on a stage, man. You the real deal!

(h/t to DJ Grothe and his Facebook linking!)

Monday, March 30, 2009

What The Hell is Up With Calgary?

First it's the stupid-ass bishop cutting funding to a charity organization, now it's another guy, this one an obvious brain-surgeon, who left his 21 month old son in the car while he played casino games. Did I mention is was -8 outside? Yeah, it was -8 outside. The anus even put blankets over the windows of the car so no one would see the boy - or maybe he was trying to try to keep him warm...but since the kid wasn't dressed properly, I'm guessing the former.

The line that makes me the most angry is this one:
"Fire crews gained access to the vehicle and removed a 21-month old male child from a rear child restraint," police said in a statement. "The child had vomited on his clothing, very lightly dressed with no shoes or socks. He was cold and crying."
Bear in mind that I have a 23-month old daughter, so retards who do this to a kid just make me want to have him slain by an amature swordsman. How the fuck do you justify this behavior? Was dude drunk? Everyone who reads this story and thinks, "Holy shit, that guy sucks", should get to punch in him the face.

I weep for humanity.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Catholics - You're Making It Too Easy

Jesus christ, this is getting to be like drag-racing some retard on a tricycle. In Calgary, the Head Idiot in Charge (HIC for short, "Catholic bishop" to the flock) put a stop to a teacher's fundraiser for AIDS in Africa. Why, Mike? Well, take a fucking guess.
...a parishioner went to Bishop Fred Henry with concerns about the fundraising for the group, which promotes the use of condoms as part of AIDS prevention campaign...
The group in question is the Stephen Lewis Foundation which lists as it's mandate:
*to provide care at the community level to women who are ill and struggling to survive, so that their lives can be free from pain, humiliation and indignity;

*to assist orphans and other AIDS-affected children in every possible way, from the payment of school fees to the provision of food;

*to support the unsung heroes of Africa, the grandmothers, who bury their own children and care for their orphan grandchildren;

*to support associations of people living with HIV/AIDS — courageous men and women who have openly declared their status - so that they can educate themselves and share information with their broader communities on prevention, treatment, care and the elimination of stigma.
They also have abstinence and fidelity as part of their program, but they include condom use because condoms...um...what's that phrase...? HAVE A 90% EFFECTIVENESS RATE AND ARE FUCKING REALISTIC! Lewis himself commented on the issue saying:
I think the bishop is making a mistake in allowing doctrinal dogma to overtake common sense...
Ya think? The article says that the decision has "divided the teachers' union" because, apparently, only some of the teachers can see what a tremendous penishole the bishop is being. What kind of asshole takes away money (last year it was $45,000) from needy people because they're using the most effective way of saving their lives? Jesus, that's like not helping a drowning person because they were clinging to a piece of wood.

I'll say it again for the hard of hearing and I wish I had Garrett Morris to translate. If you still call yourself a Catholic now, stop it. You're well beyond embarrassing yourself and you're into brain-deadery.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Circumcision Study

A new study out of Kenya and Uganda says that circumcision (in men) significantly reduces the risk of HIV and HPV as well as genital herpes. "Significantly" in this case is shown here and said to be "up to 60%" for HIV.

Of course, all the Cut The Babies! people are raising their voices to implement circumcision programs everywhere because of this new information. The Save The Babies! people are saying that it's one study and not worth getting riled up and changing the recommendation of the American Acadamy of Pediatrics - which is that there is not enough information to justify circumcision.

I'm firmly in the Don't Cut The Babies camp, but this is interesting stuff. My opinion is that (a) why do we have to apply this data across the board? Uganda and Kenya are not Canada, the United States or any country in Europe. While the operation may reduce HIV risk by up to 60%, proper and regular condom use makes that number shoot up to 90%. A combination might be better (provided the fucking pope doesn't open his asshole mouth) in these African countries.

Then (b), in Canada we're using the HPV vaccine that seems to be effective to well above 90% (although some parents are sketchy on giving it, mostly for *surprise!* religious "we have to keep cervical cancer as a threat to keep our girls from premarital sex" reasons) plus condom use and good sex education which keeps HIV infection rates low (0.3% for adults - from here). Circumcising babies still seems like a barbaric non-solution to a problem that is being handled through other, more logical and humane avenues. Commenter Mark Lyndon on the original Science News article makes a good point:
Babies aren't going to be getting any STI's before they're old enough to decide for themselves whether or not they want part of their genitals cut off.
This cuts to the heart of the issue for me which is, don't permanently alter someone else's body when they're unable/unfit to choose. Saying that babies should be circumcised because of religous, cultural, or worst of all, asthetic reasons is to make an argument on extremely thin ice.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Islamic Declaration of Human Rights

Before I start, I want to say that I almost got Poe'd by Christwire. That "Amber" chick - if it is a chick - is a good enough satire writer that she pulled me in, until the vampire article. I suggest you read it for some hilarious Poeitude. Poe-itry? Poe-verty? I'll stop.
Main Entry:
blas·phe·my
Pronunciation: \ˈblas-fə-mē\

Function: noun

Inflected Form(s): plural blas·phe·mies

Date: 13th century

1 a: the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God b: the act of claiming the attributes of deity2: irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable. (from here)
Sadly, it's on to something not nearly as funny. The Islamic Declaration of Human Rights (IDHR). Now, technically, Canada still has an "anti blasphemy law" in its books. Check it out, from the Criminal Code of Canada:
Blasphemous Libel

Offence

296. (1) Every one who publishes a blasphemous libel is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Question of fact
(2) It is a question of fact whether or not any matter that is published is a blasphemous libel.

Saving
(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section for expressing in good faith and in decent language, or attempting to establish by argument used in good faith and conveyed in decent language, an opinion on a religious subject.

R.S., c. C-34, s. 260.
So we're not one to really be throwing around the holier than thou talk. Of course though, this archaic "law" has been swallowed by article two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (CCRF), which starts with the stomach-churning line, "Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:". Um, how about no? Can we take out that "supremacy of God" bit, please? At least they separated the law and God. Small things. Ok, the CCRF says:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

a) freedom of conscience and religion;
b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
d) freedom of association.
So, there's that with my bolding. The thing that I find bothersome about the IDHR is article XII which states:
XII Right to Freedom of Belief, Thought and Speech

a) Every person has the right to express his thoughts and beliefs so long as he remains within the limits prescribed by the Law. No one, however, is entitled to disseminate falsehood or to circulate reports which may outrage public decency, or to indulge in slander, innuendo or to cast defamatory aspersions on other persons.

b) Pursuit of knowledge and search after truth is not only a right but a duty of every Muslim.

c) It is the right and duty of every Muslim to protest and strive (within the limits set out by the Law) against oppression even if it involves challenging the highest authority in the state.

d) There shall be no bar on the dissemination of information provided it does not endanger the security of the society or the state and is confined within the limits imposed by the Law.

e) No one shall hold in contempt or ridicule the religious beliefs of others or incite public hostility against them; respect for the religious feelings of others is obligatory on all Muslims.
All my bolding, obviously. The idea that this lame-duck document would even attempt to make people (me) stop poking fun at ludicrous and dangerous ideas like religions is laughable. You think a guy rode to Heaven on a winged horse, for fuck's sake. I don't even HAVE to make fun of that. It's like listening to a homeopath or young-Earth creationist try to sound scientific - it's hilarious enough to just sit back and hold my aching sides against the stitch that will eventually double me over in convulsions of mirth.

Islamic nations seem to be trying to use this anti-blasphemy declaration to, possibly, keep the death penalty for apostates around and have a legal leg to stand on when questioned by other member-states. I could be wrong, but weirder things have happened. Like not having the goddamn word blasphemy until the 13th century. I'm just sayin' that if he's the Master of the Universe, he should have gotten his shit together sooner.

This document would make the baby Jesus cry, if he was real. Mike out!

Am I Tired of Slamming the Pope Yet? Nope.

How funny was it that the Pope told Africans to "shun witchcraft"? Pretty funny. The photo in that piece of Ratzy kissing the boy is amazing. That kid looks like he's as scared as a Catholic altar bo...oh, right.

Well, it seems now, after the whole "condoms will make AIDS worse" thing, the Vatican is sorta tired of taking the hundreds of Is-the-Pope-fucking-retarded? phone calls and would very much like you to stop picking on the Joey! Jesus christ!

It's impossible to not make fun of him. I know that it's almost mean to make fun of a (as Hitchens calls them) maladjusted elderly virgin, but please - he's begging for it! I'm here to oblige.

(hat-tips to both PZ and Skepchick)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why I'm a Dana White Fan

He's an MMA fan himself and loves the sport and hates it when douchebags start to fuck with it. I know this is from October of '08, but it's fantastic. Check it out.

Bill Schulz - Too Stupid To Know Better

Most people by now have heard the painfully unfunny and insulting "commentary" on Red Eye, some throw-away show on FOX that's in the oh-so-watched time-slot of 3am. Basically a group of morons spouted off and ragged on the Canadian military for potentially taking time off at the end of the current mission. Calls and emails abounded and half-assed apologies were issued - all worthless. Especially noteworthy, however, was what one panel member, Bill Schulz, said on his Twitter account:
"To all canadians that keep emailing me: R u really from the land of SCTV and jim carrey? Lighten the fuck up."
All misspellings and text-slang are his, obviously. Those extra four letters and three capitals take time to include and he's clearly got a lot of dicks to suck. Time is money, bitches.

See, this is why people hate you, Bill. Not just you, by the way, I'm referring to the grand "you"...as in all of you...as in Americans. You say stupid, ignorant, insulting, fucking brain-dead bullshit, then get called on it - but then you can't even muster the goddamn humility to say you're sorry in any meaningful way. You get smarmy and fuckish about it, making everyone go from hating you to wanting you to die in a car fire.

Oh, and yes, "jim carrey" (sic) is from Canada (we capitalize proper nouns up here, not that you'd know that or what a proper noun is), but we knew that his lame dick and fart jokes, retreaded movie ideas, and penchant for woo-woo bullshit would make him fit right in down there with you folks. Enjoy him.

Oh, and we're Canadians, not canadians. No wonder your economy collapsed if you can't even string a fucking sentence together. Grade five called; they'd like their certificate back.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Fucking Douche-Pope Again

Oh for fuck's sake. Hearing the goddamn pope call for Africa - the whole fucking continent - to rid itself of corruption is like Lindsay Lohan showing up and saying, "Hey, you're looking a little thin. You should have a sandwich or something. Jesus, I can see your ribs, for crying out loud. What do you live on? Semen and blow? Fuck...."

You know, that joke would be a lot funnier if a proportion of Catholic priests' diet didn't include goddamn semen.

And how the fuuuuuuuucccccck can this asshole call for, "...respect and promotion of human rights", and then, six (hopefully labored) breaths later, say that abortion is never an option, even when the mother's life is in jeopardy, and that, "...abortion (is) not a health issue." I've coughed up shit that has said smarter phrases than that. How does this guy show up fully dressed?

Any Catholic who dies in Cameroon or Angola of AIDS over the next 10 years should be considered a victim of this fucking anus. He should be charged with crimes against humanity in the Hague. Or just dressed in Under Armour and sent into a burning building.

Jamie Kennedy's "Heckler": a movie review

"Paris Hilton's the reason I got fired from VH-1's Best Week Ever...In fact, this will show you how unprofessional I am, 'cause it's a fuckin' easy job...You just make fun of people you think should be dead, like Ben Affleck and Lindsay Lohan, I mean, who can't do that?...So they set you up with leading questions like, 'Hey Patton, Paris Hilton's writing a book.'

And I would go, 'She's a cunt who should die of AIDS.'

(nervously) 'Ah ha ha, OK! Heey!! Alright.. Um, OK, follow-up question, she's releasing a line of handbags,'

'As long as she gets AIDS, that's fine with me. If she could get cancer of the AIDS of the leukemia of the eyes, that would be awesome. If like, a biker could just fuck that into her skull...'

'Alright, funnyman Patton Oswalt. Let's go to the Sizzler...'"
From Patton Oswalt's, Werewolves and Lollipops
Let me say this right up front: I fucking love stand up comedy. Love it. Patton Oswalt is one of the most hilarious mofos on the planet, as far as I'm concerned. The other comics in the Heckler DVD are of varying quality, but there's a lot of amazing comedic talent piled up in there.

The first section of the documentary deals with asshole hecklers in comedy clubs and all of the comics hate them. Universally. As Joe Rogan says, "The thing about hecklers is, 100% of them are douchebags." In this I totally concur. There's not much I hate more than some drunken fuckhole screwing up a person's set. In this way, hecklers would be akin to a painter in his or her studio doing a canvas and some random douche yelling, "You suck! You call that impressionist?! Go die in a stairwell, Warhol!" Don't fuck with an artist while they're doing their art.

The problem I have with the film is when it transitions into the second and third sections where the "hecklers" are film critic and bloggers. One of the criticisms (especially of internet critics) is that they use pseudonyms and have no return address so their attacks can't be rebutted. As illustrated in my opening quote, this is exactly what a lot of comics do night after night. When Bill Hicks went after Jay Leno, it was so intense that my wife had to literally stop listening. When Patton says that he thinks Ben Affleck and Lindsay Lohan should be dead, he's not criticizing their work, he's going after them.

Now, I'm not saying that I don't approve. If it's funny, which it was in both the Hicks and Oswalt cases above, everything's good. The fact that you *don't* do it to the target's face is ok, because it's your act. The critic going after the performer is part of their act, as long as it's funny. Heckler had one part where some asshole was reading what people wrote about her to Paris Hilton and she looked like she wanted to cry - I actually felt sorry for her.

Yes, everyone has bad days and if you have a shit day at work, then someone cuts you off, then you shart in your thong, and THEN some dickhole decides to make it his job to read bullshit internet troll quotes about you to your face, it's going to suck. We know. So either don't read the critics, tell them to fuck off if they do it to your face, or tuck your fucking vagina in.

I enjoyed the film, but when Kennedy and some others started to moan about critics and bloggers, the hypocrisy was a little much at times.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blame It On The Shame...Yeaaah Yeah...

Remember Milli Vanilli? Yeah, those two guys who had an album or two with some hit songs back in the day, then got outed as fakeass lip-sync douches. They gave their Grammy(s?) back, lost all of their sizeable fan base, fell into obscurity, one killed himself and the other is still fucking around in shit nightclubs trying to remake his image and career. Anyone asked would likely say, "Oh yeah, I remember them. I used to like them until they got caught faking." Then there'd be that weird moment where the guy tries to talk but have his lips not match the words and you'd do that awkward not-laugh thing and then silence would come....

Ok, so what about the Catholic church? It used to be in a position of power, few questioned its authority, but then you found out that nice Father Patrick who gave you your marriage classes and taught you about relationships - regardless of the fact that the fucking guy barely even talked to women his entire life - got caught balls deep in the neck of an eight-year old. Then the Bishop moved him to another parish so he could ass-rape and mentally destroy seven other pre-teens while being fully aware that Patrick was a pedophile. This isn't an isolated incident and you are now cognizant of that fact.

Now the fucking pope goes to Angola where they've been (thankfully?) somewhat spared from the 20% AIDS infection rate of countries like neighboring Namibia by a 27-year civil war, however there is still rampant poverty, a 16% AIDS infection rate in the south, AND two-thirds of women give birth before age twenty*. What genocidally stupid thing does the goddamn pope say? "Condoms won't help the AIDS crisis...they'll make it worse."

After this, how can anyone out there look at themselves in a mirror and say that they're a Catholic? You should be somewhere in the range of infinitely more embarrassed than a still passionate Milli Vanilli fan. Fuck, I'd blow the still-living guy rather than join back with the Catholics. Seriously.

* numbers from here

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stupid Science Experiment on Homeopathy!



Yeah, I know, it's lame - but it's the first attempt at a video blog (or 'vlog' as the kids say). Fun stuff and maybe more to come. We'll see.

(Edit: as per the much-more-intelligent-than-me commenter Paul, the above video should actually be making a 5X anti-drowsiness potion, not more potent alcohol. As you can see, I'm still awake at the end, so the point still stands, I'm just a moron...and we already knew that, right? Thanks, Paul.)

Nail on the Head

As usual, Canadian Cynic hits it. Goodyear might want to start yelling and bullying now...seems to work for him.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

MMA Minute - BJ Penn

BJ "Baby Jay" Penn is a tremendous crybaby and a whiny little fucker. So says I and I back it up by telling you that, in his accusation against Georges St. Pierre for applying Vaseline to his back during their match, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) told him that the issue is over and he lost. Penn then brought him mommy to the hearing and she was allowed to give a statement. Outcome = Penn still lost and he needs to tuck his vagina in and go home to Hilo.

I'll never cheer for you again, BJ. Rich, whiny fucker.

Letter to the Prime Minister

Will it do anything? No. Will Goodyear have a job tomorrow? Yeah. Did it feel good to write the thing? Hell yes. You should write one too; send it to pm@pm.gc.ca.

Dear Mr.Prime Minister,

It has come to my attention that your minister of state for science and technology, Mr. Gary Goodyear, seems unqualified for his position.

Recently, two news reports highlighted his unprofessional behavior and his questionable scientific credentials; the first link is to a Globe & Mail piece about Mr. Goodyear yelling and being abusive to members of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) who were meeting with him regarding the federal budget (here). The second link is to another Globe & Mail article, this one about Mr. Goodyear’s treating of a question about evolution as “religious” (here).

Now, because he is your minister of science and technology, I would expect him to be at least minimally versed in the basic ideas of modern biology, coming as he does from an ostensibly health-related profession (although, arguably, not so much). Saying, as he did today that the question about evolution was “irrelevant” is to dodge a basic fact about our world and put his understanding – and therefore, fitness for his job – in doubt. The fact that your government has cut research funding by 147.9 million shows a tremendous lack of respect for the advances that university science programs give to Canadian citizens and perhaps shines a light on why you chose Goodyear in the first place.

As a federal minister, it is also shameful to resort to yelling and bullying when confronted with a legitimate question of budget priorities as Goodyear did with the CAUT representatives. If Mr. Goodyear is not able to do his job in a professional manner, then he should step aside or be removed from office to allow another, more competent person to fill the void. I ask that you do this for the good of Canada and our reputation among first world nations as one that puts integrity and science in high regard, contrary to what your party is showing in your budget.

Yours,

Michael W. McCarron

Gary Goodyear has Got to Go! Now!

Question: Mr. Goodyear, do you believe in evolution?
I'm not going to answer that question. I am a Christian, and I don't think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate
What the fuck?! Um, Gary...that's a question about science, asshole. If you don't "believe" in evolution, then you're not qualified to be the fucking federal Minister of State for fucking Science and Technology. When did religious numbnuts get the reins of science in Canada?
“It is the same as asking the gentleman, ‘Do you believe the world is flat?' and he doesn't answer on religious grounds...Or gravity, or plate tectonics, or that the Earth goes around the sun.” Brian Alters - founder and director of the Evolution Education Research Centre at McGill University
Exactly. Write letters immediately to get this fucking asshole out of that office. Let him go back to chiropractic where ridiculous ideas are par for the course.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Need Another Reason?

Just in case the Catholic Church hasn't made you writhe in outrageous fury of late, Poop Benny decided to up the ante recently by reiterating the brain-dead idea that condoms are bad for Africans and won't help fight AIDS there. This fucking mook actually said:
"You can't resolve it (the AIDS problem) with the distribution of condoms...On the contrary, it increases the problem.
How the FUCK does it increase the problem? Explain that to me as though I were sitting on the floor eating my shoe, because that's the level of retarded you'd have to be to buy into the Church's explanation. "Well, if you use a condom, you're preventing a life and you'll go to Hell" - what a bunch of fucking wankers.

Here's a great example of the Catholic idea of "helping" regarding the economic situation in some not-so-well-off African countries:
...the church does not propose specific economic solutions, it can give "spiritual and moral" suggestions.
Great. Spiritual and moral guidance from a group of old pedophiles who live in a giant mansion thousands of miles away and are so fucking out of touch that Supreme Leader still wears a goddamn dress and whose election to office was announced to the world by way of a fucking smoke signal. Yeah, these are the cracker-jack group of douchebags you want advising you about how to restore your spiritual wellness.

Would you like one last bit? Ok, here you go. This is an example, a crystal-clear example of just exactly how far gone are Benny's faculties. Regarding the recent holocaust-denying biship scandal, Poopy said:
...he was saddened that he was criticized "with open hostility" even by those who should have known better.
You want "open hostility", motherfucker? You have no idea what "open hostility" is. The criticism you've received so far is going to seem like a warm hug and a cup of cocoa on a cold winter's night after this blows over. Shit, just from my crappy blog you're going to feel the waves of hatred pour over your head like tapioca made of cream, rice, bile and the shattered lives of the huddled masses.

Douchebag.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Separation of Church and State!", Yells...wait, who?

So when it's about them getting their books handled by responsible and over-sighted (if I may) public officials, the Catholic church gets its panties all up in a bunch. But when Rev. Richard Ryscavage wants to, "...provide religious coordinators for immigration detention facilities of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security" (from here), which, last I checked was a U.S. Federal government agency, well, that's just fuckin' kool and the gang, baby!

You just have to shake your head in awe of the testicular magnitude of a group who bitches and complains about getting their goddamn books done by a non-priest and then this comes flying out of the article to hit you in the face like the...well, balls of a priest hitting the chin of an alter boy:
It comes at a difficult time for Catholics in the U.S. Northeast. Facing dwindling congregations, shifting demographics and a drain on cash from settling sexual abuse lawsuits, many churches face big strains on their finances and have been forced to close across the region.
(emphasis all mine, sugarlumps)
Seriously, does anyone have sympathy for these fuckers? The Catholic church should be taxed to goddamn death solely BECAUSE they raped children for so long. Screw separation of church and state, how about a "you lose all privileges once held in this country, douchebags, for harboring a vast sea of pedophiles in your ranks" tax. I could get behind that.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

Charles "Mask" Lewis

TapouT's co-founder, Charles "Mask" Lewis, was killed in an apparent street-racing accident in California early Wednesday morning as reported by numerous sources. I enjoyed their show and quite like their clothing, finding it for the most part to be better and less retarded than most other companies.

From watching them, it seemed like he really supported MMA and the fighters, going to the small shows as well as the large UFC events. Personally, I'll miss hearing him laugh on TV. Hopefully the company will do a Mask tribute shirt. I'd buy it.

Serioulsy, Did Anyone NOT See This Coming?

I guess all of us are psychics now. That's right, kids, Bristol Palin, that cauldron of teen hormones run amok, has split from her baby daddy. Aw, that's almost as sweet as Britney's fifty-five hour marriage.

So I guess abstinence education works - provided you're talking abstinence from marriage. Or abstinence from being tied to a redneck motherfucker. You might say that the young couple was Tripped up.

Hahahahahahahaha! Stop, I'll pee! Hahahahaha!

No, seriously. Stop.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

...Especially If Your Country is Full of Brown People

Today I listened to a lecture by Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA bin Laden unit and the author of Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq. It was interesting but disturbing. Let me elaborate a bit; when I start to listen to these lectures, I'm rarely aware if the speaker is normal, crazy, skeptical, or a fucking nutbag. Once the talk is about twenty minutes in, the listener can usually judge, but with Scheuer, it was a bit more difficult.

He is very knowledgeable about the world and about international affairs. His mindset is reminiscent of John Bolton, another well-versed yet rather over-the-top personality. I found myself nodding along when listening about how the United States should stay out of foreign wars, but disagreeing adamantly with his hard-hearted, America-centered view of humanity.

An example: during the Q&A, Scheuer was asked about his "don't go anywhere to help/fight unless there are American interests. He mentioned Afghanistan:
"If it's in our interest to be involved, as it was in Afghanistan, we should have been, and we should have left the message in Afghanistan with whatever it took in terms of body count and smoldering buildings - 'don't screw with the Americans'."
He also said that the coalition was holding American back from "winning" there. Here's the quote:
What going to Afghanistan with an alliance did was to limit the amount of savagery we could apply
He's big on leaving giant holes in countries, in case you didn't pick up on that. Also, in case the "stay out unless we can get something" attitude wasn't obvious, here's what he said about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur:
"There are places that really doesn't matter what happens. Darfur is the perfect example of that. If it bothers your conscience, then everyone's free to go be an NGO or join a convent or whatever you want to do...I don't think it's a commitment to cost American lives to sort out a civil war in the Sudan."
I remember when the Rwanda genocide happened in 1994 thinking, "Why the fuck don't governments go there and stop that? They're fighting with machetes and clubs, for chrissake, it's not like it would take a ton of troops/peacekeepers to achieve a cease-killing." At the time, however, I was naive about our nature and about the political systems of the "first" world. No one cared.

There's a great line in Hotel Rwanda where Paul Rusesabagina thanks Jack for shooting some horrible footage, and the reply is, "I think if people see this footage, they'll say Oh, my God, that's horrible. And then they'll go on eating their dinners. " Likely more to the point is another from that same movie where the UN colonel Oliver explains why no one is going to help them: "You're black. You're not even a nigger. You're an African."

The truth in that hits pretty close to the bullseye - or the back of a Tutsi skull, depending on the metaphor you'd like to use. It is what Scheuer seems to have in the back of his mind. There's nothing in Sudan for the United States, therefore why help? By that logic, if he and his family are walking down a street and on the other side, in an alley, he sees a woman being raped and beaten, he would not intervene in any way because, hell, what's she got that he needs? Fuck her (quite literally, in this case), and off we go to the movies!

Well, Mr. Scheuer, some of us like to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning and we would also like to think that our leaders would help when genocide is happening. It is understandable to have the "let's clean up our yard first before helping someone else" mentality, but the yard in North American countries is fucking spotless compared to both Rwanda and the Sudan.

The idea that other countries engaging in wars should be essentially spectator sports is understandable to a certain degree, but where diplomacy can be used, it should be and that extends to becoming a mediator for countries who either hate each other so much that they can't wrap their heads around negotiating, or who, if they had a war, would upset a regional peace that would effect trade and international relationships on a grand scale.

Finally, I have to comment on Scheuer's quote about the tentativeness in Afghanistan. He was upset about Colin Powell's assertion that it was:
...more important to keep the coalition together than to protect America by winning.
I hear that phrase all the time, "winning", and he used it after the above quote about "limiting the savagery" as well. What does it mean to "win" the War on Terror? We're so used to thinking of war as nation against nation, coalition of nations against rival coalition of nations, but that's not what this is. This is a coalition "of the willing" against a scattered group of religious joined-yet-separate factions. Thinking in terms of "nation-war" in this case will only serve to drive so many previously uninvolved and on-our-side Afghanis and Iraqis into the waiting arms of Al Qaeda. There is not too much that would make suicide-bomber recruiters happier than a ton of "smoldering buildings" in an Afghan or Iraqi suburban area. I don't understand the fascination with destruction some of these guys have.

I'm tired and going to bed now. Apologies for the heaviness of this post. I'll write about monkeys and penii tomorrow for a break.

25 is the new 22

Here's a copy of my stupid "25 Random Things" from facebook. Enjoy.

1. I just bought a new mouse. It has a laser. I shall call it the Alan Parsons Project.

2. The first cat I had was named Daisy and she was fucking insane.

3. I bore of lists quickly.

4. I'm bored already.

5. I don't eat enough fish.

6. I would very much like to go to Nepal and hike to the Everest base camp. I'll keep you all posted.

7. I manscape.

8. I think Oprah is a shitty, terrible, awful influence on far far far too many people.

9. It's sad that more people know who's left on American Idol than can name one Nobel Laureate. In any category. Seriously, we're going the way of the dinosaurs.

10. I quite like the words "svelte" and "meander".

11. I have started to "twitter" for no reason. No one cares about the minute to minute goings on in my life. No one.

12. Not even my mom.

13. You should never reply to a letter from Publisher's Clearing House. Never.

14. I had a bit of a hangnail today but I got rid of it. No need to worry.

15. I have eaten raw chicken on purpose. Yes, it sucked.

16. Snow sucks and summer should be the season for the whole year. If you disagree, you're wrong.

17. There is no such thing as "alternative medicine". There's medicine that works and medicine that doesn't or is unproven as of yet. Once it is proven to work, it's just medicine.

18. Any "therapy" that involves "energy", "chakras", "meridians", or "auras" is fucking retarded and you should run away from anyone who practices, suggests, or likes it.

19. Watching rodeo cowboys, people who run with the bulls, or circus trainers get the hell stomped out of them by animals is hilarious. Period.

20. I'm learning how to play acoustic guitar. Presently, I'm terrible.

21. I love to fish. I do, however, pinch all the barbs down on my hooks so it's easier to release the fish. Bit of a softie, I am.

22. Louis CK, Dave Attell, Bill Hicks, and Carlin are great comics. You should listen. But not in front of children.

23. I met Liam Neeson. He was drunk. He would not remember me.

24. I was Mr. September, 2008 in a nudie pin-up calendar for Skeptical Bloggers. Tasteful nudity, people. Tasteful. It was for this site. No, you can't see the picture.

25. I can cook. My pasta rocks. Carbonara. Bring that shit on, son.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Dear Believer - Acupuncture

Take a needle, any needle. Now shove it into your arm, leg or face. Likely, this will cause a physiological response i.e. tremendous pain

Acupuncture began in...let's say...Xingmau province in the year 786 B.C.E. (that's completely made up, but does it really matter? It's imaginary, so it's like saying that the Tooth Fairy lives in Stockholm and has regular dinner parties in her new condo. Try and disprove it, fucko).

I know that all the TCM weirdos and people who have been "healed" by acupuncture will come out of the damn woodwork now to say how "closed minded" I am and that I can't argue with 2000 years of results.

Yes, I damn well can.

Time and time again we see clinical trials that are ill-designed showing ambiguously positive results, only to be examined critically and found to be so much more than wanting. In fact, to call some of these "wanting" is sort of like saying, "Micheal Phelps...he can swim pretty good, right?"

Acupuncture is an elaborate placebo and placebos only work if you believe in them (therefore the "treatment" is meaningless). You can bitch and moan all you want, but the bottom line is that acupuncutre has had 2000 years to convince people it's effective and it's failed. You show me a well-controlled, blinded, placebo trial where acupuncture out-performs sham and no treatment, then maybe we can talk.

During masage college, I took a pregnancy course. It was a week long and dealt with the aspects of pregnancy that were relevant to RMTs. Part of one day was spent talking about acupuncture and the instructor handed out needles in clear plastic sheaths. They told us that the fleshy part between your thumb and index finger (on the back of your hand) was a point used to reduce, I think, labor pains.

I, of course, being a douchebag, started sticking my needle in my wrist on the palm side of my arm, then in my forehead between my eyebrows; places that I figured must be important for something.

Other students came up to me after the session to ask what I was doing and where I was "trained". I told them I had no idea what I was doing and that I was just sticking the needles in where I thought might have some effect. Nothing happened, in case you were wondering. Just so you know that the "between-the-eyebrows" point is important, here's a small blurb about it from Yin Yang House.com:
Chinese Name Yintang
English Name Hall of Seal

Location: Midway between the medial ends of the eyebrows

Actions & Effects:
Calms the spirit - insomnia, anxiety, stress.
Frontal headache.
Sinus issues - congestion, sinusitis.
Tong Ren/Tam Healing System: Eye and sinus issues, useful point for building the energy in the head during qi gong.

from here
See, I wouldn't lie. Oddly enough though, by my saying "nothing happened", I mean that none of the listed effects in any way were felt by me.

Maybe a trained charlatan has to stick the needles in. Maybe I didn't twirl them enough. Maybe my spleen chakra was influenced by Saturn with Neptune rising which resulted in my 5th meridan being clogged with glowing scroat hairs. It's hard to say.

Acupuncture does cause a physiological response. I won't argue. But, to be fair, getting stabbed in the small intestine causes a physiological response too, it's just not usually therapeutic.

To Understand, You Must Sift the Poo

There's something to be said for sifting through feces. Most times it's just a chore that has to be done like taking out the recycling (do I repeat myself?), vacuuming, or perhaps cooking a nice pasta carbonara.

For researchers in Madagascar, fine-toothing some primate poop led to an interesting discovery about their lifestyle and patterns. They learned that the sifaka, a large primate that lives high in the tree tops, was more intelligent and community-centered than previously thought. Hooray!

Maybe they could check out the poop of Keanu Reeves and finally see what most of us have apparently missed for the last decade.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

MedPod101 Repeats Standard Line

I listen to MedPod 101 - it's a podcast on medicine that is quite often dorky with silly voices and skits, but there is usually quality information in there. Recently, however, they've been doing some shows on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) with more leniency that I'm comfortable with. Their show on homeopathy was alright, but it ended with the presenter saying that he'd refer to a homeopath if he thought that his patient could benefit from a placebo. He said that he'd be responsible and tell the patient that there's no scientific evidence to support homeopathy, but it might be something they'd be interested in checking out. If the patient proceeded to go and try it, so be it, and hopefully they'd benefit from the placebo. After all, as Andrew Weil said, "a placebo won't harm anyone."

I hate that line. The old what's the harm canard. I hope the medpod folks go to that site and read about the harm that believing in fairy tales can do. I find it staggering that the students in med. schools (and the graduates who are practicing on people) buy into something as ludicrous as homeopathy. It saddens me.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Dr. Seuss

I've read his books while in my bed
I've read them with pillows under my head.
I've read them to my little girl
She listened and gave her hair a twirl.

Today is the birthday of the rhyming doc,
So read a book (or take a walk)
Just make sure to shut the door,
And remember this day from nineteen-o-four.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

How Would You Make Milk with Nothing?

Genius. If I were not hip to 80's posterkid and converted "atheist", Kirk Cameron and his NAMBLA-looking, banana-loving Master, Ray Comfort, I'd think that this site were a tremendous Poe.

Seriously, take a look at this little video - a preview from the new season of Way of the Master:
You can always count on Ray Comfort to push the dumbest possible "argument" on people and then claim victory. See, Ray has to do the ambush technique because he knows most people don't spend much, if any, time thinking about religion or retarded questions like, "How do you make honey from nothing?". He knows he can catch people off guard and that's when he makes them look silly for not having a coherent answer for his nonsensical, drug-addled homeless person, unquestions.

How do you make milk from nothing? The correct answer is, "What's your real question, asshole?" He would then have to revert to something like, "Why is there something instead of nothing?", or, "Do you believe that there is an Intelligent Designer who made the universe and everything in it?"

At least that would stop him from wasting your time. Then you could say, "No. I don't. Go blow Kirk."

At 2:23 of the video below (it's painful, so maybe just let it load and skip ahead), Kirk says that he, "knows there's a God" because he's living, he's breathing, and he's standing here. Brings back the ol' "I know there's a God because, well, just look at that pretty sunset." It's about as childish as pooping in your pants, only a bit harder to clean up after.

Then Ray, at about the 3:00 mark says that atheists "hate God". *sigh* Such stupidity is hardly worth countering because it's like explaining that hating Lenny the Flaming Sabre-Tooth Apple Fairy doesn't make sense. You can't hate Lenny, Ray. Sadly, Kirk-n-Ray can't see the how ridiculous these videos make them look and that their sites are most popular among atheists because of the tremendous amount of humour we get from watching them flounder about in their wet-toilet-paper-deep philosophy.