Thursday, November 30, 2006

Carson Ugly #27: Nicole Williamson

Sometimes Carson is ugly for how it looks. Sometimes Carson is ugly because of what happens to the people who live there. A few weeks ago, a gas station attendant named Eduardo Roco, whom I've known in passing for four years, was murdered on his last day at work before retirement. Three boys killed him, along with Esther Arteaga, who was starting her first day. I’ve tried to take a pictures of the flowers on display near the place of their death. But, I can’t. I’m afraid I would not make a good journalist. I cannot take the picture. It makes me sad.

A few days later, I drove by a ubiquitous Nicole Williamson sign. I've seen them in the city since her murder in November of 2003. She was young woman, killed while talking to a friend in a car. It is unlikely they will ever find the young man who killed Nicole... and that is why I take Carson ugly pictures.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Atheist Experience

 The Atheist experience has joined Mojoey's Atheist Blogroll which I host here at Deep Thoughts.

The Atheist Experience is a weekly live call-in television show sponsored by the Atheist Community of Austin. This independently-run blog will feature contributions from current and former hosts and co-hosts of the show.

This is the same group that produces the outstanding non-profits podcast. I recommend it highly.


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Progressive Christians Respond to James Dobson's Inaccurate Statements...

James Dobson is starting to attract attention from normal Christians. Note, I define normal Christians as believer who are not trying to establish a theocracy or legislate what I do in the privacy of my own bedroom.  

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 /U.S. Newswire/ --James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, made a number of highly inaccurate statements on matters of faith, sexuality, liberalism and the United States Constitution in on CNN's Larry King Live, November 22, 2006.

The Institute for Progressive Christianity, a think tank comprising mainstream liberal Christians is issuing a correction of Dobson's crackpot assertions.

Source: Progressive Christians Respond to James Dobson's Inaccurate Statements...

Dobson says some dumb things:

KING: If the left gets glee, Doctor, does the right get glee over sexual peccadilloes on the left?

DOBSON: That's very possible. We're all inclined to look at other people. But it's interesting to me that those, again, on the more liberal end of the spectrum are often those who have no value system or at least they say there is no moral and immoral, there is no right or wrong. It's moral relativism.

Now I can say that Dobson is nuts - he cannot possibly thing the people on the other end of the political spectrum are without moral grounding.  When I point this out readers like to point out that I'm an atheist and that I can't possibly know the difference between right and wrong. I don't know where they get this inane bullshit idea from, but the love to send me emails telling me so. For a Christian to tell Dobson he is nuts... well, it takes on a whole new level of meaning (for my readers anyway).

"For James Dobson to claim that liberals do not know the difference between right and wrong is new twist on McCarthyism," said Frank L. Cocozzelli, a director of the Institute. American Liberalism, and particularly religious liberals have long been in the forefront in the battle against the greatest evils of our time, and active proponents for justice in the U.S. and around the world."

To offer but one example, the birthday of the liberal Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King is celebrated as a national holiday because he personified the moral center of the liberal Christian social justice tradition that led the nation to equal rights for African Americans after centuries of slavery and oppression.

"James Dobson's preposterous claim that liberals do not know the difference between right and wrong says much more about James Dobson than it does about liberals," said Stephen Rockwell Director of the Institute for Progressive Christianity.

"Dobson claims to be a follower of Jesus, but his calumny and his reckless coarsening and polarization of public discourse sounds much more like the Pharisees than Jesus Christ. Dobson owes liberals and all Americans a heartfelt and public apology," he said.

I love it - much more like the Pharisees. Yep, that James Dobson.


Low Normal - yes!

I took a music test to find out if I have musical capability. I scored 61.1%, which is low normal. It must be accurate, I can't plan a damn thing - except guitar hero! 

Try it yourself

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I have a small problem with this statement

Atheism Has Fueled Greatest Mass Murders In World History

The fact is that while religious wars have been fought for centuries, militant atheism has slaughtered more people than religious zealots ever have. The greatest mass murders in history have been committed not by Christians but by Communists Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung. More than 100 million have died at the hands of these militant atheists since the early 20th century.

First - the argument is used to oppose the assertion that religion has been at the root of many of history's darkest moments, which is meaningless because it is like comparing the Green River Killer to the Night Stalker. Both were heinous murders, both are equally guilty. One killing more than the other does not absolve either of the crime. So you can say, atheism has been a theme in the murder of millions, just as religion has been a theme in the murder of millions.

Second - Stalin, Mao, and Hitler were in the service of a larger calling - politics. Communism and Fascism suffer no competition. Religion was suppressed in the service of politics. Millions died in the name of ego and political philosophy, not atheism.

Third - religion was the state for centuries. A long hard struggle against religion resulted in successful secular governments who champion freedom. The United States and France are great examples. The long bloody history of the Catholic church and Islam are undebatable.

In the final analysis, it is true believers who are guilty. The true believer in religion, or the true believers in political theory, or the true believers in atheism for that matter.  Any choice, when taken to an extreme, leads to intolerance of opposing views, and ultimately violent suppression.


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Monday, November 27, 2006

Dawkins on Eugenics

When smart people say dumb things - Christians listen.

IN THE 1920s and 1930s, scientists from both the political left and right would not have found the idea of designer babies particularly dangerous - though of course they would not have used that phrase. Today, I suspect that the idea is too dangerous for comfortable discussion, and my conjecture is that Adolf Hitler is responsible for the change.

Nobody wants to be caught agreeing with that monster, even in a single particular. The spectre of Hitler has led some scientists to stray from "ought" to "is" and deny that breeding for human qualities is even possible. But if you can breed cattle for milk yield, horses for running speed, and dogs for herding skill, why on Earth should it be impossible to breed humans for mathematical, musical or athletic ability? Objections such as "these are not one-dimensional abilities" apply equally to cows, horses and dogs and never stopped anybody in practice.

I wonder whether, some 60 years after Hitler's death, we might at least venture to ask what the moral difference is between breeding for musical ability and forcing a child to take music lessons. Or why it is acceptable to train fast runners and high jumpers but not to breed them. I can think of some answers, and they are good ones, which would probably end up persuading me. But hasn't the time come when we should stop being frightened even to put the question?

Source: From The Afterword (from Sunday Herald)

The spectre of Hitler, the monster, the creator of the master race - No, somehow I don't think 60 years is enough distance to put between the evils of his inhumanity and the prospect of picking up his work.

What is the moral difference between breeding for musical ability and forcing a child to take music. My guess it is the same as the moral difference between breeding soldiers and drafting volunteers - that is to say - it violates the free will of the individual to have these types of choices made for them by other men. If you are bred for soldiering - you will die a soldier. If drafted, at least you have the option of fixing airplanes.

I prefer the following philosophy:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Source: Specialization is for Insects - Robert Heinlein

Specialization is for Insects - who died and made you a god?

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Fundie dinoworld set to open

Coming to a fundie near you - a museum where one must suspend all rational thought. Kind of like when you visit Alice in Wonderland at Disneyland.  

The world's first Creationist museum - dedicated to the idea that the creation of the world, as told in Genesis, is factually correct - will soon open. Stephen Bates is given a sneak preview and asks: was there really a tyrannosaurus in the Bible?

Source: Stephen Bates is given a sneak preview of the world's first Creationist museum | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

My favorite quote:

But what, I ask wonderingly, about those fossilised remains of early man-like creatures? Marsh knows all about that: "There are no such things. Humans are basically as you see them today. Those skeletons they've found, what's the word? ... they could have been deformed, diseased or something. I've seen people like that running round the streets of New York."

This guy is from Australia - can we send him back? I'm sure BeepBeep can handle him.


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Geek Tools: Argument mapping software

Rational is argument mapping software. This is good stuff; a killer app if you are into productivity, rational thinking, logic and reason. Plus - the tutorial is FREE and worthy of a few minutes of your time even if you don't own the software.


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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Nutball Alert: Brokeback America

I was following a link to an article on the Libertarian National Committee when I found Brokeback America. As fundie website's go, this one is over the top. Strike that - as hate filled paranoid fundie website's go - strike that too. Brokeback America is a website so totally NUTBALL that I pressed the "flag this" to indicate that it contains objectionable (something I've never done before) - this site is over the top. The author describes himself as:

A Free Thinking, Scots-Irish, heterosexual, Christian homeschooling, gun owning, pro-life, politically incorrect male veteran... with INTENT TO BREED! In other words: An American "Enemy Combatant".

Source: Brokeback America
WARNING - Visit at your own risk.

What is he really? A racist homophobe - and apparently totally nutball crazy too.

And.... Can somebody please tell me how this guy can describe himself as a Christian?


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Blue Gal: An open letter to James Dobson

It would seem that a few Christians have a problem with how Dobson treated Ted Haggard. 

Dear Reverend Dobson:
I'm just one self-professed Christian here. We both know that you don't speak for me, and I don't speak for you.
I'm disappointed that you are too busy to help Pastor Haggard with his little gay problem, though I suspect he's far better off without your "help." The drug problem has to be addressed first, since it's a symptom, in my opinion, of the self-hatred he's inflicted since who knows when.
Watching you throw him under the bus told us much more about you than about him, anyway.

Source: Blue Gal: An open letter to James Dobson

In Mojoey's Ten Commandments, #3 is: Never turn your back on a friend.

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James Dobson Identifies Cause of Homosexuality

 News Flash:

Dr. James Dobson, leading light of the Christian right, says people are neither born gay nor choose to be gay.  They’re just mama’s boys.

Source: Truth - A/V Booth - James Dobson Identifies Cause of Homosexuality

Now I don't want to sound too skeptical, but could this be another case of a Christian warping his personal opinion around weak, non-peer reviewed science. Because, Dobson actually says "No, it’s clinically true, but it’s controversial", which is the same as saying, I believe it, but rest of the scientific community thinks I'm insane.

Come on now James - aren't we all just mama's boys at heart?


Saturday, November 25, 2006


I realize I'm late on this issue - It's almost ancient history. But...

I've had this discussion before. Christians will tell me that their is no way a teacher will teach religion instead of science in public school unless it is permissible to do so. I usually responds with, "Teachers teach whatever they can get away with." Which is the case in Kearney High School  where history teacher and Baptist preacher does his best to witness to local  school children.

...He [Matthew LaClair] said Paszkiewicz told students that if they didn't accept Jesus, "you belong in Hell." He also dismissed as unscientific the theories of evolution and the "Big Bang."

Paszkiewicz, a teacher at the high school since 1992, didn't return phone messages left for him at the high school; school principal Al Somma declined to comment.


Young mister LaClair tape recorded Pastor Paszkiewicz as he violated the law. The LaClair busted pastor Paszkiewicz when he lied about it in a school meeting. Now the recording is online.

hat tip Pharyngula - for the link to the online recordings.


Your Thoughts Create Your Reality

 I don't know what this guy is talking about, but I tried the blue leaf exercise described below anyway:

You are going to create reality. I borrowed this reality creation exercise from Pohaku (HunaTrainer), which he borrowed from a wonderful little book titled Illusions, by Richard Bach. If you read that book, you may recall how Richard meets Donald Shimoda, a modern day messiah that teaches that miracles are nothing more then understanding the universe. He tells Richard that he can have anything he wants simply by imagining it. He tells Richard how to visualize an object. Richard first wants his dream woman, but Donald tells him to start small so Richard chooses a blue feather. A few days later Richard finds his blue feather on a milk carton.

The exercise I am asking you to do is to manifest an object. You can pick anything you want. The important factor is to start small. To do so, just pick something unimportant to you, with little pre-conceived value. That makes the exercise a lot easier. The variation I suggest is to pick and manifest a blue leaf. This is how it works: for the next day or so, think about a blue leaf as often as you can. Keep that thought in mind; visualize it in your meditations, write “blue leaf” on post-it notes and attach it on your computer’s monitor, etc…

If you do so, a blue leaf will appear in your life soon. Most likely it will appear within 24 hours, but if it takes longer don’t panic. It will appear. I guarantee it. When I did it the very first time with a blue feather, it took about 12 hours. When I did it the second time with a blue leaf, it took 2 hours.

Source: Your Thoughts Create Your Reality » Reality Seeds

It's 24 hours later... no blue leaf. Wait.... maybe it was not a blue leaf I visualized after all, but just a leaf, ya ya, something smokeable, yes! I can visualize! Now, think prime rib....

Feed the Muse: Chris Lim

A friend of my son, Chris Lim,  has starting making HDR pictures. Photography is a newly acquired skill for Chris. By the look of things, he is well on his way to making an impact.


Link to Stanley Park in Vancouver

Link to Chris Lim's other HDR pictures

I'm impressed and more than a little jealous.


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"you are here" on the Tree of Life

Have you ever wondered where Homo sapiens fit on the Tree of Life? This outstanding graphic representation is a great tool for homeschooling and for teaching science. Plus, it would make an outstanding poster too.

Created by: David M. Hillis, Derrick Zwickl, and Robin Gutell, of the University of Texas.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

How to tell a good fundie from a bad fundie

I try not to bring up religion to often at family functions. It can cause unnecessarily awkward moments and ruin the mood of a festive occasion. However, I'm not above breaking the rules when fundies speak. There is something about pseudo-scientific statements issued with moral authority that gets under my skin. Take this statement for example:

"Condoms are not safe, they allow enough transmission of the AIDS virus -to cause infections." - Uncle fundie

I heard this inane statement last night. I did not let it pass. I explained that short of abstinence, condoms are your best protection. Of course, the 13-year-old fundie boy who heard this statement was beyond reason. He actually spouted "scientific" data supporting the fundie uncle's claim.

"Condoms come with microscopic holes that allow up to ten microns of the AIDS virus to pass through. They cause infections" - 13-year-old fundie

I can't reach fundie boy, he is firmly under the influence of fundie uncle and fundie dad. But I can and do confront his rhetoric whenever it pops up. After all, my son could hear - he needs to know there is religious truth, which is subjective and subject to interpretation, and scientific truth - which is the highest order of truth we have.

Fundie boy and fundie Uncle continued to proclaim fundamentalist half truths to those of us sitting around the table. The collection of family "marry ins" listened and laughed at the oblivious nature of blathering chatter. However, at one point in the evening the conversation turned serious. Fundie uncle points to me and says (in reference to James Dobson and the Christian Nationalist movement),

" need to understand that not all fundamentalists are like James Dobson. Dobson represents only the top two or three percent of fundamentalists. Most of us are not like that."

Of course, this was after telling me Dobson was doing a "great job" and that Dobson was not "political at all". I told fundie uncle that I did indeed know Christians that were respectable, trustworthy, and not out to legislate morality. Just that, I did not know very many of them to be fundies.

In fact, most of the people I know who claim to be Christians are in fact socialized as "religious" people. They attend church regularly, live normal upright lives, but... are not actively out actively planning to install a theocracy. They are my neighbors (except the guy with the church in his garage), my parents, in-law's, most friends, and a few people I know from work. Many are duped by grandpa Dobson, but most do not follow his every word. A true fundie is much harder to find. But... there are tests.

  • Ask if they believe in gay marriage. if they answer in some way "no", then ask what they think about domestic partnerships, when they tell you gays should not be granted any special rights, then you most likely have a fundie on your hands.
  • Ask what methods could be be deployed to prevent the spread of STD's. When they answer "abstinence", ask about condoms. When they respond that condoms help spread STD's, then you can be pretty sure that you have a fundie.
  • Ask if the Theory of Evolution should be taught in public schools, when they tell you "Darwinism is not the only scientific explanation for creation", then you can be sure you have fundie.
  • Ask if they think religion is under attack in America. when they tell you that secularism is destroying America - point out that Bush is a fundie, and that he is destroying America in the name of his religion, when they finish their verbal barrage, then you will have overwhelming proof that they are indeed fundies.
  • The final question - ask if America was founded by and for Christians, when they restate history to paint America as the home of Christianity, then you know have a fundies.

Is there a difference, between fundie uncle, fundie boy, and James Dobson? - not really. A difference comes when a fundie rejects the political aspects of their religion in favor of a personal relationship with their God, it comes when they accept peer reviewed mainstream science as the only way to explain the natural world, and it comes when they are willing to confront the hypocrisy that James Dobson and his ilk represents.

American's have the right to believe what they want - fundies included. however, I will fight until my last breath to ensure that people like James Dobson and his fundie empire do not come to power because they what to take that right away. In fundie America, like Fundie Iran, or fundi Saudi Arabia, there will only be one "True" religion. Truly, this is an outcome that is untenable and worth a fight - or an argument over dinner.

*** Note to COTG 55 Readers *** My post for this issue was supposed to be A Meyers under the skin

Muslim Creationism

Further proof that their fundies are worse than our fundies...

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A lavishly illustrated "Atlas of Creation" is mysteriously turning up at schools and libraries in Turkey, proclaiming that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is the real root of terrorism.

Arriving unsolicited by post, the large-format tome offers 768 glossy pages of photographs and easy-to-read text to prove that God created the world with all its species.

At first sight, it looks like it could be the work of United States creationists, the Christian fundamentalists who believe the world was created in six days as told in the Bible.

But the author's name, Harun Yahya, reveals the surprise inside. This is Islamic creationism, a richly funded movement based in predominantly Muslim Turkey which has an influence U.S. creationists could only dream of.

Source: Creation vs Darwin takes Muslim twist in Turkey | Science&Health | Science |

(For those of you who will send me hate mail; yes - I know there are Muslims in America, and yes - I know there are Christians in Turkey, so don't bother hammering that point home.)


Thursday, November 23, 2006

New Dollar Coin Hides "In God We Trust"

And no, it is not a secular conspiracy to remove religion for money - although it should be!

The new dollars are set to feature the past Presidents of the United States in order from George Washington to Richard M. Nixon. Instead of a textured or ridged edge, the smooth rim will now hold such features as the mintmark, the date of striking, and the mottos “In God We Trust” and "E Pluribus Unum.” The design change is intended to allow space for larger portraits of the Presidents on the obverse side, and the Statue of Liberty on the reverse.

Source: New Dollar Coin Hides "In God We Trust" And Will Feature Nixon And Others @

I'm sort of a coin geek. I have a million wheat backed pennies for instance. The thought of collecting these gives me a shiver or two of anticipations. Except that they are worth a dollar - I think I'll spend the Nixon coin on diet coke.



James Dobson's boner frog

 well... This is just odd.

My fellow Americans, I discovered that Dobson created a family of cartoon frogs... with units. Cartoon frog genitalia. No photoshopping involved -- this is horribly real. I give you Dobson's boner frog:

Source: The Blog | Bob Cesca: Tell Cavuto And Beck About James Dobson's Cartoon Porn... For Kids | The Huffington Post


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Fundie Quotes: Eric Keroack

"People who have misused their sexual faculty and become bonded to multiple persons will diminish the power of oxytocin to maintain a permanent bond with an individual," - Dr. Eric Keroack

Dr. Just-Say-No might just be a nutball


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rangel: Bring Back the Draft

Shame on New York Congressman Charles Rangel (D). Just two weeks after an election where America spoke out against the war, a clueless Democrat strokes the fires of war.


New York Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel, himself a decorated Korean War veteran, says he'll reintroduce legislation to bring back the military draft as early as next year.

Source: Rangel: Bring Back the Draft

Commonsense prevailed - Nancy Pelosi said no, and that's going to be the end of that.

Rangel appears to be motivated by a desire to spread the misery among all classes. He seems to forget that the services are an all volunteer force - American from all walks of life serve. Even the privileged. Of course, Huffington post spins it differently.

Where recruiters usually don't bother going---and often aren't even allowed to go---is to elite private high schools and colleges.

Source: Huffington post - Lost Honor: Charles Rangel, the Draft, and why Bush should resign.

News flash: "private" means not open to the public. It is their right to stop armed services recruiters from entering school grounds. Perhaps they should look at the armed services officer corps. I think they will find a wide range of public and private universities have contributed people to leading our military.

What is a libertarian to do? Well... calling attention to the folly of Rangels suggestion is a good start. Rangels next election should be heavily apposed by a libertarian minded anti-war Republican, or by a viable Libertarian candidate. This should be Rangel's last term in office.


Exchange Student meets Fundamentalist

The results are embarrassing.

Things began to go wrong as soon as I arrived in my new home in Winston-Salem, where I was to spend my year abroad. For example, every Monday my host family would gather around the kitchen table to talk about sex. My host parents hadn't had sex for the last 17 years because -- so they told me -- they were devoting their lives to God. They also wanted to know whether I drank alcohol. I admitted that I liked beer and wine. They told me I had the devil in my heart.

Source: Spiegel - My Half-Year of hell with Christian fundamentalists.

I had to look into the story to make sure Spiegel was not pulling my leg. But no, its real. Fundies signed up for an exchange program, tried hard to "save poor Michael Gromek", failed, and then turned their collective backs on him. Fundies are incomprehensible. 

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Monday, November 20, 2006

oh ya - sexy

Bush Choice for Family-Planning post a fundie

And the worst kind of fundie too - one who attempts to misuse "science" to support the outlandish evangelical claim that contraception in some way harms women. 

The Bush administration has appointed a new chief of family-planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services who worked at a Christian pregnancy-counseling organization that regards the distribution of contraceptives as "demeaning to women."

Eric Keroack, medical director for A Woman's Concern, a nonprofit group based in Dorchester, Mass., will become deputy assistant secretary for population affairs in the next two weeks, department spokeswoman Christina Pearson said yesterday.

Source: Bush Choice for Family-Planning Post Criticized -

Bush has appointed a man who does not believe contraception is ethical in charge of delivering contraception services to the nations poor and needed woman. Eric Keroack will guide family planning services in the direction of abstanace programs. Abortion rates will rise needlessly, and it will be Bush and his fundie friends fault. What the hell is he thinking? Did Bush think nobody would notice this travesty of an appointment?

Democrats, if you are listening - draw the line in the sand and let NO PERSON Bush appoints assume any role in government. He did not get the message. It is time to resend it.

The blogsphere is erupting:

Folks - we need a new President.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

And Tango Makes Three

Some "concerned parents" are concerned that a book might influence their children to become gay.

A picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin is getting a chilly reception among some parents who worry about the book's availability to children — and the reluctance of school administrators to restrict access to it.

The concerns are the latest involving "And Tango Makes Three," the illustrated children's book based on a true story of two male penguins in New York City's Central Park Zoo that adopted a fertilized egg and raised the chick as their own.

Source: Gay penguin book shakes up Ill. school - Yahoo! News

"Concerned Parents" - I'm willing to be they are fundies, or evangelicals, or the new breed of super fundievangelicals.  Either way, I smell a rat.

And what is the books overtly gay content?

...intrusions from the zookeeper, who remarks that the nuzzling males "must be in love," strike the narrative's only false note.

Start the bonfires! Ring the town bell. This book is an obviously attempt to subvert our youth - or not. I'm going to rush out and buy a few copies for the grandchildren I don't have yet.


Fundie Quotes: James Inhofe

Now look, God’s still up there. We still have these natural changes, and this is what’s going on right now. New science comes out...

...They said (with regard to Global Warming) the warming is due to the sun. - James Inhofe


Source: Think Progress » Inhofe: Don’t Worry About Global Warming Because ‘God’s Still Up There’


Friday, November 17, 2006

Fundie baby cult

Just when I thought fundamentalizm had swung as far to th right as it could go, they found a way to take a step further - a fundie cult raising its children to be warriors for Jesus in a way that is way too close to how Muslim mothers raise their children to become martyrs.

But Wolfson, Moore and thousands of mothers like them call themselves and their belief system "Quiverfull." They borrow their name from Psalm 127: "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Quiverfull mothers think of their children as no mere movement but as an army they're building for God.

Source: AlterNet: 'Arrows for the War'

How can you tell they are fundies?

Quiverfull women are more than mothers. They're domestic warriors in the battle against what they see as forty years of destruction wrought by women's liberation: contraception, women's careers, abortion, divorce, homosexuality and child abuse, in that order.

Nuff said.


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Thursday, November 16, 2006

It's what you don't see

This is not a mouse cage.

His three friends are.... well dead already.

In 5 seconds Mr. Snakey finds him.

And my son takes his picture cause he's cute.

And to the young at heart...

Somebody put the whole Wizard of Ozz, Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon Sync up on google video. It's a good waste of an hour and forty one minutes.

Now, where did I put that window pane...

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R.I.P Milton Friedman

Nobel-prize winning economist and influential Libertarian Milton Friedman has passed away from heart failure at the age of 94. 

Friedman died in San Francisco, said Robert Fanger, a spokesman for the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation in Indianapolis. He did not know the cause of death.

Source: - Nobel-Prize Winning Economist Milton Friedman Dies at 94

Milton Friedman is a hero to most Libertarians, myself included, he held that the government's role in the guidance of the economy should be severely restricted and promoted many other key libertarian ideas.  A little known fact about Friedman was that he did not consider his economic work to be his greatest achievement. He felt it was his contribution towards ending the draft in the 70s. I would be proud of that accomplishment too.

I spent a great many long and frustrating hours learning about Friedman and his economic policies in Graduate School. He gave me headaches and a new appreciation for the power of economics, and the futility of my desire to understand it.

R.I.P. Milton Friedman


Nutball Alert: O.J. Simpson writes confession

It's been all over the local Fox channel lately. O.J. Simpson has a "book" coming out. O.J. Simpson: If I did it here's how it happened

O.J. Simpson is back among us.  The smirk is unmistakable. It’s a smirk of false modesty and exaggerated insult.  As it seeped back onto our television screens a few days ago it felt like 1994 all over again. Take that huge head, the raspy voice, and the eyes that definitely seem to be hiding something. O.J. Simpson is back among us, taking a break from his twelve year search for the real killers on the world’s greatest golf courses. This time, he will be featured on a 2 day FOX-TV interview plugging his new book: “O.J. Simpson: If I did it here’s how it happened.”

Source: National Ledger - O.J. Simpson Stars in O.J. The Ripper: The 2006 Edition

Apparently, his book is a hypothetical confession. You know... written "as if" The Juice had actually killed Nicole Brown Simpson - wink wink. I don't know what he is thinking. His only possible motivation is money.

Yo O.J. - There are very few people who don't understand exactly what you did. We've all been waiting for you to have a heart attack and pass into history as an embarrassing footnote to pop culture. Why resurface now?


Fundie Quotes: Ann Coulter

"The media yawned when Condoleezza Rice became the first black woman secretary of state," writes Coulter, "[b]ut when Nancy Pelosi ... achieves the minor distinction of becoming the first female speaker of the House, The New York Times acts like she's invented cold fusion." - Anne Coulter

Source: The Raw Story Coulter rips Pelosi, writes of Bush cabinet's 'synchronized menstrual cycles'

That's funny - I remember being very proud of Condoleezza Rice.

Marines reject Jesus doll

The 2006 version of the "war on Christmas" is heating up. According to the Associated Press, One2believe donated 4,000 talking Jesus dolls to the Toys for Tots. I'm sure One2believe was acting from charity. They had 4,000 dolls that they could sell to the faithful for $49.95 + $14 S&L, so they selflessly donated the evangelical action figures as "toys" for underprivileged children. I am sure that the fact that Jesus spouts Christian dogma had nothing to do with their decision. 

"I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again" - the talking Jesus doll

One2believe's vision statement is "Teach 10 Million Children 50 Bible Stories by 2007".  Their promotional video tells the real story  - "The real motivation of the dolls is to teach and share the gospel to children."

Factoid - David, of David and goliath, has kung fu grip.

Now call me a skeptic,  but... One2believe seems to have seized on an opportunity to spread their faith by exploiting direct access to children through a well known secular organization. Is this ethical? Is this something to be proud of?

At least the Marine Corps has the good sense to reject these toys.

Toys are donated to kids based on financial need and "we don't know anything about their background, their religious affiliations," said Bill Grein, vice president of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, in Quantico, Va.

As a government entity, Marines "don't profess one religion over another," Grein said Tuesday. "We can't take a chance on sending a talking Jesus doll to a Jewish family or a Muslim family."

Source: - Toys for Tots rejects talking Jesus doll

I found this story via a fellow Atheist blogger.

The Marine Reserves’ Toys for Tots program was setup by a religious-based company that sells talking Jesus dolls, among other biblical figures. They tried to “donate” 4000 of these dolls to the Toys for Tots program and Toys for Tots declined the donation...

Source: Buridan's Ass - The Toys for Tots setup

And via an email link to another blog.

I’m all, “Semper Fidelis!” right now.

According to the L.A. Times, the Marine Reserves’ Toys for Tots program acted in favor of the state and rejected a group’s attempt to push religion.

Source: durante vita » Blog Archive » Church: 0; State: 1

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What Does Fact Matter?

“Let me answer your question with two questions,” he replied. “One. Who says it has to be fact to be true? And, Two. What does it matter if it’s fact?”

Source: Klaas Acts: What Does Fact Matter?

Another jewel from the CotG # 53. Facts matter, facts matter so much.

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A weird way to find my blog

So... apparently if you type nude pictures of gay skinhead guys with goatees in Google, Deep Thoughts is a top 10 hit.

I get plenty of odd search queries - this might be the oddest yet.

Haggard cruised adult bookstores

Hat tip to my favorite nutball fundamentalist Dani

Mike Jones wasn't the only one to get regular visits from Art.

Dani noticed an article by Patricia Calhoun published on November 9th, 2006. The article alleges that Haggard visited an infamous Denver adult bookstore called the Crypt.

...where "Art" was a regular customer, spending a couple hundred dollars a month on sex toys, according to a former clerk. He bought "mass quantities" of cock rings, the clerk remembers, as well as an electrical unit designed to stimulate the urethra. One time he wanted some "very graphic and gay" videos, but the store was out of the titles, so "Art" left a number where the clerk could reach him. The number is the same one that Jones called last Wednesday to warn Haggard that they needed to talk.

Source: Denver Westword - Mike Jones wasn't the only one to get regular visits from Art.

OK, so this is not what I would call creditable at this point. Let's just call "Art's" activities alleged. It is one of those things that we want to believe, because it sounds right, but could just be additional rumor and innuendo. It actually seems less likely to me because it too public and Haggard is well known. The chances of Haggard frequenting an adult bookstore without getting caught are pretty slim.

Always a skeptic!


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The American Taliban

 Fundie quotes from the American Taliban

Yes, religion and politics do mix. America is a nation based on biblical principles. Christian values dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office." - Beverly LaHaye


"I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." - George Bush




Fundie quotes from the Real Republican Marjoity


"I don't think it works. I think it's harmful to women, I think it's harmful to our society to have a society that says that sex outside of marriage is something that should be encouraged or tolerated, particularly among the young. I think it has, as we've seen, very harmful long-term consequences for society. So birth control to me enables that and I don't think it's a healthy thing for our country." - Rick Santorum


“What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time and one state at a time. I honestly believe that in my lifetime, we will see a country once again governed by Christians...and Christian values." - Ralph Reed

So many fundies, so little time.

hat tip Johnny Crow.


Republicans move to the right

There is continual talk in the mainstream media about Republicans "getting the message" from their dramatic defeat in the 06 elections,  and democrats understanding the need for compromise. I don't believe either story. The Democrats have been kicked around for six years and are spoiling to settle the score, and the republicans.... Well, just look at the appointment of Mel Martinez to Chair the RNC.

Martinez, 60, will replace current chairman Ken Mehlman, who will leave the post in January at the end of his two-year term, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting a formal announcement.

Source: BREITBART.COM - Fla. Senator Mel Martinez to Chair RNC

What do you get when you replace one fundie with another? Well...more of the same old right wing fundamentalist BS.

What do we know about Mel Martinez?

  • He's strongly apposed to abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. His objection is on "moral grounds", which if fundie code talk for "it is against his religion".
  • He supports a Constitution ban on same sex marriage and is rabidly homophobic. His senatorial campaign was the very definition of the hate filled "defeat the homosexual lobby"  campaign that was so successful in the previous election cycle.
  • He thinks religious displays, like the ten commandments, should be allowed  in our court rooms, and in our public spaces.
  • He was behind the Terry Schiavo talking points memo that suggested using Schiavo as a issue to appeal to the Republican evangelical political base. He was also behind the point unanimous vote on the Senate floor.
  • Perhaps the most damming thing about Martinez's appointment is that he is Karl Rove's puppet. His rise to power and eventual election were orchestrated by Rove. His allegiance is to Rove and Bush, and his priorities so closely match the outgoing Ken Mehiman, they might as well have kept Mehinman on.  

Mel Martinez has been added to my fundie watch list. If history is any indication, he will work tirelessly to further the Christian Nationalist agenda.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Let the Republican purges begin

 The evangelical right wing of the Republican party lost big in the election. When you are in charge and you lose big in politics, you lose power too. Now the Republicans know that the only way to regain power is to move to the center, away from the religious right. The Real Republican Majority is leading the way by highlighting the foibles of religious Christianist within the Republican party.

The new website, asks voters to stand up and be heard and let Party leaders know where the GOP majority stands on critical issues. Tools of the site include:

- Pander Alert – Gives users access to weekly pander alerts explaining how various politicians have pandered to the extreme right wing.

- Real Republican of the Month – A “Real Republican of the Month” will be chosen as someone who embodies the principles of big tent government and personal freedom associated with the real Republican Party.

- Files from the Far Right – Is a growing collection of outrageous and out of touch statements from the far-right extremists.

Source: Real Republican

I love the Pander Alert. I think the next two years are going to be great fun. I wonder if these guys will take the services of a libertarian atheist muckraker?


Evangelical leaders knew Haggard was gay

In the interest of politics, evangelical leaders did nothing. Can there be any worse hypocrisy then selling your soul for political gain?

Then, as if things could not get worse, there was the disgrace of Sheldon’s own friend and colleague, Rev. Ted Haggard, the Colorado mega-church leader and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an even bigger pillar of Republican support on the Christian right. Sheldon disclosed that he and “a lot” of others knew about Haggard’s homosexuality “for awhile ... but we weren’t sure just how to deal with it.”

Months before a male prostitute publicly revealed Haggard’s secret relationship with him, and the reverend’s drug use as well, “Ted and I had a discussion,” explained Sheldon, who said Haggard gave him a telltale signal then: “He said homosexuality is genetic. I said, no it isn’t. But I just knew he was covering up. They need to say that.”

Source: Jewish Week: Christian Right Agenda in Shambles After GOP Defeat


Cosmic Variance: The God Conundrum

I am one of the minority of atheist bloggers who do not buy into the Dawkins line that Atheism must replace religion. I know deep down that this view is flawed, arrogant, and just as intrusive as the evangelical dominionism I rail against. It is nice to find another voice saying some of the same things. Cosmic Variance's The God Conundrum is worth a read. 

...Nevertheless, there remains a spot of controversy — it would appear that Dawkins’s rhetorical force is insufficient to persuade some theists. One example is provided by literary critic Terry Eagleton, who reviewed The God Delusion for the London Review of Books. Eagleton’s review has already been discussed among some of my favorite blogs: 3 Quarks Daily, Pharyngula, Uncertain Principles, and the Valve (twice), to name a few. But it provides a good jumping-off point for an examination of one of the common arguments used against scientifically-minded atheists: “You’re setting up a straw man by arguing against a naive and anthropomorphic view of `God’; if only you engaged with more sophisticated theology, you’d see that things are not so cut-and-dried.”

Source: The God Conundrum | Cosmic Variance


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Debunking Christianity: Carnival of the Godless 53

Carnival of the Godless 53 is up at Debunking Christianity - and it's a good issue.  


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Sunday Sunrise

I spent the whole day at work today. I hate working on Sundays. Leisure time is a premium, once lost it is hard to regain. I had one chance to shoot, 5:55 AM a few moments before the start of my long shift in front of a computer. I needed a tripod to do this right, but it captures the mood.

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Blue Skinned Libertarian

For further proof that running any idiot who wants to run for office under the Libertarian banner is bad for the Libertarian party brand, one need look no further than Stan Jones of Bozeman, Montana. Jones ran as the Libertarian candidate in a hotly contested Senate race where Democrat Jon Tester won by just 2,565 votes. Jones's vote count of 10,324 was more than enough to cover the difference between the Republican and Democratic candidates. By virtue of his ten thousand vote pull, Jones is being given credit for shifting the balance of power in the senate. It is an honor he does not deserve. Was the notoriety and press coverage generated by Jones good for the libertarian party? I don't think so.

He is also a man who accidentally turned his skin blue by drinking a homemade antibiotic laced with silver.

He first took the medicine in 1999, he said, fearing that the year 2000 would wreck computers, spread terrorism and disease, and make prescribed antibiotics unavailable. He concedes now that he miscalculated.

Source: - A True Blue Libertarian

One: He has blue skin because he thought the world would end in 1999.

Two: he makes his own antibiotics and uses himself as a test subject.

Jones is a quirkily conservative kind of libertarian -- opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage

Three: He holds positions on important issues that are counter to core Libertarian values.

Since 2000, he has run twice for governor and twice for the Senate.

Four: He's a perennial losertarian. He takes up space on the ballot but offers little in the way of content.

Until the next Senate race rolls around in 2008, Jones said, he and some libertarian buddies are planning to place a series of initiatives on the state ballot to enforce the literal meaning of the U.S. Constitution.

"We plan to organize the constitution police," Jones said, breaking into a broad, bluish smile. "We are going to drive the secretary of state crazy."

Five:  Jones is apparently crazy too. Wasting time on fighting the constitute is a complete waste of time. With no political power, the fight is pointless.

During the senatorial debate held on October 9, 2006, Jones stated that a conspiracy of the European Union and North American political elites was on the verge of forming a "one world communist government".

Source: Wikipedia - Stan Jones

Six: He actually thinks there is a conspiracy to form a communist world government.

I'll ask again: Was the notoriety and press coverage generated by Jones good for the libertarian party? NO! We look crazy. His messege is the wrong message: Libertarians are crazy, they are against abortion, they are against gay marriage, and they dream crazy conspiracies while the rest of us worry about the economy and the war.

Enough of this crap - Kick the Stan Joneses of the world out of the party, tear up their membership cards, and publicly disavow their pointless political games.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

How Hubble Killed God

Via Parallel Divergence

March 9, 2004: NASA releases a single image taken by the Hubble Space telescope that proves a fatal blow to the concept of God, but despite the compelling evidence, many simply don’t comprehend the significance of the image. 

According to interpreters of the Bible and the Book of Genesis, there is proof that the Earth and Universe is only 6,000 years old....

Read it all. it's good.

Source: How Hubble Killed God… « Parallel Divergence

Sometimes science gives me the chills. Looking at galaxies billions of light years away fills me with wonder at what mankind has yet to learn. God is not part of equation.


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Only in Texas: The Fundie Governor

John Hagee gave a rousing sermon to his sheeple recently, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry.  Hagee preached that all non-Christian are condemned to hell. Hagge is always on message - his Christian fundie philosophy is far to the right of the religious spectrum, and for some reason it appeals to broad cross section of Texans.


Gov. Rick Perry, after a God and country sermon attended by dozens of political candidates Sunday, said that he agreed with the minister that non-Christians will be condemned to hell.

"In my faith, that's what it says, and I'm a believer of that," the governor said.

Source: Evangelical Right: John Hagee Archives

It is no big deal for John Hagee to condemn the non-fundie world to hell. He does it all the time. In fact, he spends a great deal of time trying to bring about the end times so he can play with his make believe god, fundie Jesus. For Gov. Rick Perry to endorse the position publicly is the height of inappropriate behavior for a public official. Of course, it happened in Texas, so... nobody really cares.

People ask why I care about this kind of thing. It is simple really. Throughout history, people like Hagge and Perry have turned a belief that people like me, who are already condemned to a life burning in hell, are suitable for discrimination, seizing property, and in the most extreme cases, burning at the stake. I like to eat barbeque, not be barbequed.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Haggard's a catcher

Mike Jones gave an interview to Jack E. Jett of RADAR. It is an interesting read. Jones claims haggard was on the receiving end of the relationship. Jones also thinks Haggard is gay.

ted-haggard-02.jpgIs it safe to assume that Haggard's a bottom? Maybe a power bottom, but a bottom nonetheless.

When people see him, the first impression is, Oh my god, he looks gay. When they were having the service at his church and reading his apology letter, all the reporters that were there came back to me and said, "You know what, Mike? It's really strange. All the guys that were up on stage were young, good-looking men."

Bottom, or power bottom?

Well, let me just say ... yes, bottom.

Reverend James Dobson, of Focus on the Family, basically said he didn't have time to help save this man, who had been one of his closest friends—

Dobson doesn't want any connection with him. Since this happened, lots of people have asked me if I think [Haggard] is gay. My answer to that is yes.

Source: Features : Radar Online

Its all kind of base, discussing the sexual proclivities of a fallen pastor, but it is relevant. Haggard appears to be a gay man living a lie.

On another note, Mike Jones does not appear to be the brightest light in the window. He complains about being unemployed - ah.. hello, literary agent.


Some good comes from Haggard's fall

Jesus Camp will be closed! Becky Fischer is pulling the plug in part because of the role Haggard played in the documentary about the evangelical brainwashing summer camp located Bismarck, North Dakota,. Jesus Camp was also closed in part because of the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the film (Fischer actually thought people would think highly of her efforts), and local vandalism blamed on reaction to the documentary.

In one scene, directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady visit Haggard's 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. He tells the vast audience, "We don't have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It's written in the Bible."

Then Haggard looks into the camera and says kiddingly: "I think I know what you did last night," drawing laughs from the crowd. "If you send me a thousand dollars, I won't tell your wife."

Source: The Seattle Times: Pastor will shut down controversial kids camp

Thanks Ted!

Rick´s radar - rocks

I followed a link from one of my posts on Ted Haggard to find the excellent and sarcastic blog - Rick's Radar. Rick writes about some of the same things I do, albeit for slightly different reasons. Plus, he's into Shelties (I'm into Min Pins) so, he must be good guy.

Here are some interesting posts

Anyway... A good blog by a thoughtfully fellow. I wonder if he is an atheist? He would make a good addition to my atheist blogroll if it were so.


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Fundie elected to Congress in Minnesota

Republican Michele Bachmann defeated Democrat Patty Wetterling Tuesday to take the 6th Congressional District in what can only be characterized as a loss for separation of church & state, abortion rights, gay rights, and science. Bachmann lives in that far right of far right places normally reserved for the likes of Rick Santorum and James Dobson. In short - a fundie.

The Generation Joshua cult played a significant role in Bachmann's election - Gen J kids were drafting kids to get people to vote for a woman who wants to teach creationism as science.

One group called Gen J, or Generation Joshua, rallied middle school and high school students to pass out campaign literature and call voters for Bachmann.

Patrick Henry College (Virginia) journalism senior Adrienne Cumbus is a volunteer leader for Gen J. Originally from Houston, she said she came to support Bachmann because the candidate doesn't try to appeal to everyone - instead, she knows her own values.

Source: Bachmann wins U.S. House seat in 6th - Minnesota Daily

This election cycle is not all good news. As people like Rick (Darth) Santorum leave, people like Michele Bachmann have arrived to take up the standard of Christian Nationalism - the good news is that the Dems will have none of it, at least for the next two years.

Meth and Man Ass

A tribute to my favorite homophobic hypocrite pastor Ted Haggard. Meth and Man Ass by Paul Hipp at the Huffington Post.

Meth and Man Ass the video is due out next week. Stay tuned!

Hat tip: Beep Beep! It's Me


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