Saturday, November 15, 2008

The first address

President-Elect Obama gives his first radio address, and his team has the video on YouTube.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Nader stays true

Yeah. Much as he has been doing for the past several years Ralph Nader seems to be more and more of a crank. Years of do gooding, and now this is what he choses to be at the end.

As Crooks and Liars (w/vid), and others have noted, Nader has chosen to unapologetically call Obama a potential Uncle Tom, if he doesn't do as Nader wishes. And he continued to hold to it on FOX News, leading Shepard Smith to actually stand up for President Obama. Smith has found himself in this role more and more, as McCain's camp has become harsher and more off kilter. And now this. Must be weird for Smith. But he might be getting a taste for it, and, maybe, he will continue into next with it...Maybe.

Krugman and the Monsters

Crooks and Liars points to a great piece by Paul Krugman on the Monster Years. Ah, those years of reality shaping.

I got chills reading this brief, but very truthful op-ed from Paul Krugman at the New York Times. Barack Obama's win last night was just one step into the future, lets hope Krugman's words ring loud and clear for future generations - Beware the Monsters...

Last night wasn’t just a victory for tolerance; it wasn’t just a mandate for progressive change; it was also, I hope, the end of the monster years.

What I mean by that is that for the past 14 years America’s political life has been largely dominated by, well, monsters. Monsters like Tom DeLay, who suggested that the shootings at Columbine happened because schools teach students the theory of evolution. Monsters like Karl Rove, who declared that liberals wanted to offer “therapy and understanding” to terrorists. Monsters like Dick Cheney, who saw 9/11 as an opportunity to start torturing people.

And in our national discourse, we pretended that these monsters were reasonable, respectable people. To point out that the monsters were, in fact, monsters, was “shrill.”! Read on...


Ever see the end of Return of the Jedi? The celebration on Endor in the original version feels like the way these election night parties usually go. The updated ending they have since added, with parties breaking out across the galaxy is the feel that exploded out last night. People were partying across the country and globe.

Crooks and Liars has video and pictures from Atlanta to Seattle. Parties sprung up everywhere, including on Pennsylvania Avenue. Fun times last night.

The Speech

A Victory Speech for '08

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes we can.

It is odd. I have been watching politics since Carter. I have seen too many close runs to not be skittish. Carter, Mondale, Dukakis. Then Clinton came, but Perot had an impact. Then I saw Gore have it taken away, and Kerry lose it and walk away.

So tonight. Democrats, liberals, progressives, and those hopeful of change, have a clear win. Someone who gives us a reason to be optimistic. And a surge in Congress to help.

Time for a good nights sleep and ready for the days, weeks, months, and years to come. Republicans have already been taking their shots and declaring failure for Democrats. Time to counter this. And it is time to prove them wrong.



Well after nearly two years, it is over.

Sen. Barack Obama has been elected. The threshold was crossed, and his count is continuing. McCain has conceded, though his audience was surly (I wonder why?).
But now we wait for Obama, President-Elect of the United States of America, to speak to America and the world.

Also the media has noted crowds are massing outside the White House. Ah, the neighbors. I think they want to help the Bush's pack.
A historic day.

Friday, October 10, 2008


And you can to.

Early voting is on, and hopefully everyone is registered and raring to go.

My Little Story, from earlier today.

Here is the county courthouse.

Here is the front door, inviting early voters in.

Here is me voting for change. Oh hell ya!

Get out and vote, when the polls are open next week.

This needs to be discussed more.

Crooks and Liars looks at Rachel Maddows interview with IAVA over McCain's abysmal support for veterans, for all of his talk.

Includes video.

Obama called it.

Here's a video showing Obama in July calling the Republicans on what they are doing now. Plus the McCain footage is spliced in at key points in Obama's speech tp punch the point home.

More from McCain's base

In PA, at a McCain rally. Feel the love.

Muslim! Commie! Terrorist! European!

I have finally heard someone ask it.

(So kudos to Matthews for questioning claims about Palin.)

Is Sarah Palin an energy expert? Well? McCain and his cohorts claim she is. But I have never heard support for it, except she is the governor of an oil producing state and been on a board dealing with oil production.

But is that make it takes to be an expert? Would you ask the CEO of IBM to fix your computer? Or someone on their board of directors? No. They have experts to do that. Plus, oil? If you know oil, you know energy. Does not compute.

So while McCain and Obama have actually spent years on these issues, which I would argue should make them informed, Palin can't claim this. But again. McCain has chaired a commerce committee in the Senate, and I have yet to find him all that informed on commerce.

Of course at this point Palin and McCain are standing on such a huge pile of BS that will anyone really notice this turd?


Have you seen the scary stories about ACORN? Voter fraud?

Josh Marshall of TPM gives you the gist of what is really behind the story, and its long history of being used to bludgeon Democrats in an election year.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

McCain-Palin base

Andrew Sullivan has been pointing to some interviews on YouTube, talking to Americans about Obama. They are instructive in showing just why they want to shout and repeat Obama's middle name, Hussein. And why they want to see him as mysterious. It sells to their base.

From a McCain-Palin rally.

I voted for Hillary Clinton!
He's an A-Rab.

This is not all of America, or, I hope, most of it. But whay portion of the populace is entwined in the thinking of either of these vids? How many of us stay uninformed, disconnected, and recessed in our little niches?

Double Points

David Gergen was speaking on CNN and seems to think that McCain deserves some credit for not bringing up Ayers during the debate.

Does he? He couldn't do it to Obama's face, not that he could bear looking at Obama much. And not like the polls the RNC was running didn't show that it was actually hurting him on the stump.

How about going on afterwards with Hannity to do it? Does he get double points for waiting to attack Obama with cheap shots until he got to the FOX news studio?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

WTF is going on with McCain-Palin

You have no doubt heard or seen the dipsy duo of conservative failure stoking audiences in the last week. They have been trying to imply and now outright say that Obama is...bad...evil...a threat to America. And in response the anger they have played on has risen to screams of "terrorist" and "kill him."

And now...

From NBC's FirstRead ...
As seen at recent McCain events, this afternoon's crowd was vocal in their support for McCain and their anger with Senator Obama. At one point one man could be heard yelling, "Off with his head," when McCain spoke about Obama's tax plan. That enthusiasm was even more present during Palin's remarks, and as other observers have reported in the past, today there was a sizeable number of people making their way towards the exit after McCain's running mate left the podium.
Like I said, I think it's going to take a few burning in effigies to catch people's attention at this point.
What are they trying to build to? What is McCain trying to wrought? Does he even care, if he gets a shot a winning? And where is the media at describing what these rallies are starting to now become? What is remotely pleasant, or positive? Is it not important to talk about? They are going after the media, and minorities in the media (shouting slurs at a black cameraman). Shouldn't they take a stand (Like in cases where news people are attacked in war zones. They complain and talk about it.)?

Palin on

As the election proceeds, Palin and McCain seem to have decided to that it is best for her to not face the press. Some people think it would be best for her to head back to Alaska, but who's listening to that. But it is interesting to see that is the path they have chosen to take.

As Andrew Sullivan notes:
This is how Putin behaves. It is anti-American. It has never been tried in modern times before. It is a chilling attack on an open society and the accountability of its leaders to the people they serve. The press has a duty to stand up against it - and to care more about the process than its own precious reputation in the mouths of Hannity, Steyn, Palin and the rest of them.

And as many have noted, why does the media acquiesce? They give her full and unvetted coverage when ever she speaks. What more pressure is there on her?

But Palin is nice enough to have a history and connections ripe enough to weave dandy conspiracies.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Go ahead. You don't need that tax exempt status.

Amato at Crooks and Liars has a good point.

There has been a move by a certain group of religious leaders to remove the shackles of the law when it comes to them backing candidates from the pulpit, or any other spot of authority. There has been talk for awhile, and a plan to have a mass of civil disobedience. The hope is to force the Supreme Court to strip the expectation that tax exempt organizations cannot be political backers of candidates (though I wonder how they feel about exempt organizations on the other side acting). They hope the court will back them up. Now they have had 33 ministers take the step and back John McCain. I had thought they had wanted to be bipartisan in this move.

But I agree with Amato.

They want this to be an issue. Just remove their tax free status (preceded by a lengthy, expensive audit) and be done with it for all those that break the law.

I have been all for taken away the status from these groups. But the audit...hadn't thought of that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Polls and Credit

Reaction to McCain's plan is not so rosey.

SurveyUSA has just completed a snap poll on response to John McCain's request to cancel or postpone the presidential debate.

Several questions. But two key ones.

What to do about debates?

Hold as Scheduled 50%
Hold with Econ Focus 36%
Postpone 10%

Suspend Campaigns?

Suspend 14%
Continue 31%
Refocus on Fin. Crisis 48%

Would canceling the debates be good for America? 14% say

Even FOX News results are not supportive.

And as was noted by insiders, via TPM:
A plugged in reader who's a Democratic lobbyist writes in with a good point:
The deal on the "bail out" is 98% done. Treasury has capitulated on almost every point. A draft is circulating on the Hill now. No one needs McCain to help do the remaining 2%....except the White House who has no standing on this matter on the Hill with either Democrats or Republicans.
So he may try and swoop in at the end and grab credit. And then avoid questions about how he helped get this trouble started. Stay classy.

McCain wants to step back...for America...right.

McCain seems to want to suspend campaigning and also the coming debate. He apparently wants to lead his party in talks. Of course, until now he hasn't particularly felt the urge to lead, last month, last week, yesterday...

Could it be the coming debate?
What's changed today in the financial crisis other than John McCain's poll numbers tanking? Isn't this the campaign equivalent of faking an injury when you're down late in the 4th quarter? Note too that McCain was in the midst of debate prep when he made this decision.

Look at what appears to have happened. Obama reached out to McCain privately to agree to a shared set of bailout principles. McCain went off the handle again and tried to use the crisis as a way to call off the debates.


And as AMERICAblog notes, "McCain "suspends" campaign only after he finishes his campaign events tomorrow." Yeah, he'll stop for the rest of the week, after he finishes campaigning midday Thursday. Then all the rest of Thursday is off, and Friday...oh, gosh and he won't have to debate...Shoot. Why call for this later on Wednesday? And why an emergency...go one campaigning into the next day. Would it be rude not to? It smacks so soundly of a PR stunt.

And AMERICAblog also notes, "McCain to Osama bin Laden: I'm really busy, tired, a bit confused of late, and down in the polls, so please postpone your attacks for a while." Obama also just noted this. As president you actually have to multitask.

Can't help that their is traction on the story of his campaign manager's business getting a nice monthly check from Frannie and Frannie up to August. For what is unclear. But it doesn't look all that clean.

Plus the polls are turning on McCain. People are not feeling as sure about him.

Guess it was just time for a patented John McCain gut check and pivot.

Econ Woe

This situation is serious. So it is hard to read governmental reaction. It is particularly hard in a crisis, to read hyperbole as legit or not. And it is hard for the people. How many times do you face hyperbole that backs lies and misinformation and still buy it. The distrust people have now is almost heartening, as I wondered if all the Palin-McCain lies would have impact. But it is important to be clear. This is a crisis.

But what does the White House want? No questions. No accountability. Again, that sounds uncomfortably familiar to those of us with a memory that goes back at least 6 years.

Crooks and Liars:

Don’t you find it interesting that Paulson asks for this huge government bail out as Bush’s term winds down? We all know Paulson and Bernanke just didn’t stumble onto this problem. If Congress was informed of this months ago, the fat cats wouldn’t have it so easy and there could have been enough time for a real debate to take place. Now, the sky is failing and you better sign off or we’re all doomed. We heard it during the run up to the Iraq war too.


The White House was dealing with this crisis for months. They knew, they stalled bringing the debate to the rest of government. And once the dam burst, they dropped their plan into Congress' lap and want them to just take it and pass it.

Even with Section 8. Which gives Paulson absolute control and no accountability. Again, echoes of Iraq. Can they try a new play book, please.

It is also troubling that the deal is such a sweetheart one for Wall Street. They will get paid for losses at a premium. No they won't be asked to take losses. That would be unfair. And more...

These crooks are the most unpatriotic, America-hating people we've
seen. They are sending their friends and lobbyists to Washington to ask for what
could be a $1.8 TRILLION bailout to save the problems they created, yet no,
they're not willing to cut back one single penny. Not one. They still want their
hundreds of millions in annual bonus money and they still want their elite
lifestyle as though none of this ever happened. For Wall Street as well as Bush,
Paulson and Bernanke, it's perfectly acceptable that middle class Americans foot
the bill in terms of cut backs and higher taxes so America's royalty on Wall
Street can live well. Yep, they want you to pay for their mistakes as if they
had nothing to do with it.


So this plan as it, is poor. Dodd has some good idea, like he did at the tail end of his presidential run. I hope they use his ideas as a framework.

But remember, action is needed.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Obama's response


The Obama campaign's response to Sarah Palin's speech, from spokesperson Bill Burton, acknowledges its clearly successful delivery but seeks to highlight its slashing and partisan nature in hopes of taking the gloss off her a bit:
""The speech that Governor Palin gave was well delivered, but it was written by George Bush's speechwriter and sounds exactly like the same divisive, partisan attacks we've heard from George Bush for the last eight years. If Governor Palin and John McCain want to define 'change' as voting with George Bush 90% of the time, that's their choice, but we don't think the American people are ready to take a 10% chance on change."
The speech was harsh and negative but we highly doubt that it'll be received this way, and this suggests one reason she was chosen. McCain needed someone who could go on the attack while simultaneously striking an every-mom pose that might galvanize Republican women and perhaps appeal to aging white female Hillary voters while reinforcing McCain's efforts to cast himself as far more culturally in touch with ordinary Americans than Obama is.


I have to agree with Josh Marshall's thoughts on what is next.

... Not only has their party been in power for 8 years. But every policy pushed by John McCain is the one embraced by George Bush. Economic policy, tax policy, Iraq policy, social issues, Bush style politicking, everything. I'm not sure how many people agree with me. ...

... And they say they're bringing reform? Smack it with ridicule and an undertone of contempt and it will fall right apart.

Obama has it right. Agreeing 90% of the time with Bush is the way to change? He seems pretty happy with so much of the current state of things. Sounds like status quo to me.

Palin analysis

Some moment by moment analysis of Palin's speech.


Andrew Sullivan

Is Sarah Palin really comparing herself to Harry Truman since he only served as vice president for a few months?


... I've seen political events that I totally got and others that I thought I got but was totally wrong about. So who knows? But take this as a sign that the McCain campaign has abandoned an effort to compete for swing voters and go back to the base energizing strategy that worked for President Bush in 2004. ...

And just to remind you of the blatant and disproved garbage she was tossing about, a picture of her promoting the bridge to nowhere.

Slashing away...

She is mentioning she slashed at the wasteful helping teen moms. Should I mention she has a line item veto. That means she has the power to take a bill, and cut only parts out, not just veto the whole thing.

So she went into a bill saw this aid to young girls, pregnant and in need of help, and thought...screw 'em.


You know, the one she campaigned for to win the governorship. That she was happy with, until the ethics issues arose. Then she took all the money she could keep to use, and not return to the Feds. The money she couldn't keep she spent under the rules and law. So it is that brave stand.

Man I thought she would just let it slide...but she put it there for us all to point at and call her a liar. THANKS, Sarah! Your the best.

How dare they!

Talk on Palin's family is juvenile. Particularly when her records, thinking, and claims give one a vast arsenal, especially when cross tabbed with McCain, his records, thinking, and claims.

So why, in the quest for privacy, is her daughter and son-in-law to being used as props? As TPM notes, they both got dragged to a meet and greet at the Minneapolis airport, where McCain got to lay hands on the guy and approve of him...just weird. And it points to the truth of this. The pregnancy and the ignominy are just grand tools to be used by McCain. Most of these mean stories on Palin are coming from Alaska and from Republicans. Yet McCain's campaign want to play these garbage as dirty tricks from Obama. How is this not desperation?

So for the real arsenal. TPM notes a good, physical, example of the earmarks Palin sought, got and bragged about. Then there is Palin's old church, which looks to have just wiped all the old sermons from their websites. Guess the antisemitic stuff might have come off ass...I don't know...negative?

Better still, because it has McCain going out to spout this garbage, is her foreign policy skills. He has followed his campaign's, and wife's, lead in declaring the proximity to Russia as proof over know how. Is that how desperate he is? It is sad.

So how about saying how dare her eagerness for earmarks be pointed out, or the sad grab for claims of experience be noted?


Almost not forget about Ron Paul. I don't care much for him. But he is running a counter convention in the Twin Cities. He's rallying his supporters. It looks like Bob Barr hopes to grab some of them. So when it is claimed Reps are unified, they are as a rule, but the cracks are there, and a number in key states look tempted to make a point. McCain is embracing the Religious Right and the Neocons, for some Republicans that may just be too much. Of course the Log Cabin has just seen the Religious Right write the parties platform, and then endorsed McCain and it, so who knows how or when they start thinking for a second on their own.

Convention night

Another night of RNC with the RNC.

TPM notes the Mittmentum.

Massachusetts venture capitalist and governor Mitt Romney is lashing out
against the "eastern elite".
Now demanding change from the liberalism of the last eight years.
Calls Democrats party of Big Brother after embracing torture and domestic spying.
"Tyrannosaurus appetite of government unions" ... rolls off the tongue.

So, among other things, the last 8 years is because...of the liberals. Those years of a conservative prez and congress...nothing? And Dems are the big brother party...Huckabee also hit on big gov't = Dem as well. So the guys who want expanded powers for the FBI, to peek into your life, who want say over reproduction...they aren't the ones seeking absolute power...right...

As noted on AMERICAblog:

Well, hope you're all enjoying the rerun of the 1988 Republican convention - is there a single speech that you've seen tonight that couldn't have been given back in 1988?


Party of change and new ideas? Who really believes that?

I'll tell some who don't the Conservative punditry. Look what they accidentally said on open mics.

Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphey (Mike was making smug comments at the DNC last week, like after the Clinton speeches he said that both would be voting McCain, then he sat back hoping to provoke a fight and disrupt the analysis.) show just how much they are loathing the state of things. Delicious!

Here is the transcript from TPM:

And if you're interested, the transcript ...
Chuck Todd: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we'll see if Steve Schmidt and the boys were watching. We'll find out on your blackberry. Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin and she will get the chance to show voters she's the right woman for the job Up next, one man who's already convinced and he'll us why Gov. Jon Huntsman.

(cut away)

Peggy Noonan: Yeah.

Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys -- this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it's not gonna work. And --

PN: It's over.

MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.

CT: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.

PN: Saw Kay this morning.

CT: Yeah, she's never looked comfortable about this --

MM: They're all bummed out.

CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?

PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --

CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.

MM: I totally agree.

PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it.

MM: You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical.

CT: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky.

MM: Yeah.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


It seems McCain very little time into vetting Palin. Let us see the troubles that have arisen.



* The news that Palin once backed the Bridge to Nowhere went national.

* It emerged that Palin has links to the bizarro Alaska Independence Party, which harbors the goal of seceding from the union that McCain and Palin seek to lead.

* The news broke that as governor, Palin relied on an earmark system she now opposes. Taken along with the Bridge to Nowhere stuff, this threatens to undercut her reformist image, something that was key to her selection as McCain's Veep candidate.

* The news broke that Palin's 17-year-old daughter became pregnant out of wedlock at a time when the conservative base had finally started rallying behind McCain's candidacy.

* Barely moments after McCain advisers put out word that McCain had known of Bristol Palin's pregnancy, the Anchorage Daily News revealed that Palin's own spokesperson hadn't known about it only two days ago.

* A senior McCain adviser at the Republican convention was forced into the rather embarrassing position of arguing that McCain had known about the pregnancy "last week" -- without saying what day last week he knew about it.

* It came out that Republican lawyers are up in Alaska vetting Palin -- now, more than 72 hours after it was announced that she'd been picked.

* Palin lawyered up in relation to the trooper-gate probe in Alaska -- a move that ensures far more serious attention to the story from the major news orgs.


Add to that that she ran a 527 group to back up Ted Stevens (You know, the guy she has routed out...sure.). Plus she has left huge debts in her wake and also grabbed up huge earmarks from the federal government. How great was that "Bridge to No Where"? She eventually did block it...taking the money anyway to use. Yet it is not noted that she did finish part of the bridge project. A road to the water. Why? The government was going to take that cash from her anyway if it wasn't used as expected, so she used it. Reformer?

And ties to Secessionist? How is that good?

Here is her friendly welcome to a group, that at least her husband was a member of.

And I do not care for getting into her families business.

It is hard to deal with surprise pregnancy. It is a personal issue.

The only trouble I have not commenting comes from the issue as it goes back a year or so now. Back to Jamie Lynn Spears. Remember her? Got pregnant, family said she was keeping it and getting married. And the Religious Right cheered.

Like now they talked of the brave and wonderful decision and choice. Decision. Choice. Gosh, ain't it nice when you get to choose? When you can decide? It must also be nice when your wealthy and well placed, makes it all the easier to handle.

With that I no longer care about her family, I only care about Sarah Palin's and the RNC's politics. Choice. The mutual goal here is to strip away the choice. Their is also talk of privacy, yet that is also to be striped away for the government to be involved. And if this absolutism of law were not enough, we have abstinence only. The charming idea of just telling kids to not have sex. Along with that you lie to them about how unsafe safer sex is and try to scare them. Guess what? It don't work. It just doesn't. Fails horribly. But has that stopped the Religious Right? Hell no. So there will be no recourse if a young girl or women becomes pregnant, and be sure emergency contraceptives will be out damn quick as well. So no options. And before that no education. Warning of the risks of sex, but also how to avoid illness or pregnancy.

Ignorance and Intolerance I believe they are both planks for the RNC aren't they?

So sure celebrate the wonderful choice, until you can strip all women of it. That is was the RNC is all about, outside of POW stories, 9/11, and fear?


Sorry I forgot a bit of crap irony from Palin I was going to add.

Andrew Sullivan:

She cut funding for a group that helps teen mothers.

Nice to rich, huh? I guess, as conservatives often think, it is something for the Church to handle.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Goodman arrested.

Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, was arrested in St. Paul this afternoon.

PZ Myers:
Events are off to a great start at the RNC: Amy Goodman, host of the TV/radio program Democracy Now! and a well-known activist for peace and human rights, has been arrested in St Paul by our power-mad authoritarian servants of the Rethuglican Party. Apparently, she was defending two radio producers who were being arrested on the charge of "suspicion of rioting", which sounds dubious right there. She has been charged with "conspiracy to incite a riot".


This is truly horrid! (The following is a release from Democracy Now!)

Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her. ...

Apparently now she has been released, as have her people. I guess, maybe they weren't rioting...ya think?


Friday, August 29, 2008

Oh, yeah the embarassing stuff.

Seems I forgot something. Her skeletons in the front closet.

She has some trouble with her state troopers. There is also video from a news report.

As mentioned earlier, Gov. Palin is embroiled in her own trooper-gate scandal up in Alaska. In short, she's accused of using her pull as governor to get her ex-brother-in-law fired as a state trooper. The brother-in-law is embroiled in an ugly divorce and custody with Palin's sister. And after his boss wouldn't fire the brother-in-law, she fired the boss. Palin originally insisted there was nothing to the story. More recently, she was forced to admit the one of her top deputies had pushed to get the guy fired.

Here's one our recent reports on the story. And we'll be bringing you an updated report shortly.


If it actually proves true...Maverick? Reformer? Wait, she is a Republican? No one is going to care.

And then there is her campaign for the governorship. Do you know who supported, campaigned, and did a commercial for her? Ted Stevens. You know the one being pursued for corruption and criminal activities. TPM notes that she has had the ad with her and Stevens. In it he praises here and declares people need to vote for her to continue his legacy...Gosh I wonder if he will be invited on the trail?

Well, she expunged the ad from here web page. Not that it took long for TPM to find it on YouTube.

Gosh. Why wouldn't she like people to watch this?

A choice made.

McCain's choice is in, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska. She's young and less than half-way through her first term as governor, out of being mayor of a smallish town, and before than a city council member. She's a conservative, anti-choice, anti-gay, and looks ready to follow McCain's lead.

I suppose it is also of use to note she is a woman. Not a big deal to me, but it is something historic to note, the second VP nominee that has been a woman. But I am not thrilled with her politics. Her sex is immaterial. So before getting into that, let us chat.

Sigh. Yes, she is a woman, a Republican, and quite quite conservative.

But that doesn't clear you to be an ass online. Already in going around and looking at reactions on different threads and blogs I am seeing...well, what we all usually see when guys get ticked at a woman online...offensive language. To start their are the ones that, for some reason, are calling her a bimbo. It doesn't make any sense. And from there it escalates, up to comments on her sexuality. Why? How does it help, promote discussion, justify, counter, or do anything of value? It is just stupid. It was stupid when it happen to Hillary Clinton, when it is happens to Pelosi, or Secretary Rice, or even Ann Coulter. Just fucking stupid. "Oh, those close-minded and mean conservatives nominated a $!#$#@#..." How dumb do you look? And it is said when it is tossed at people like Obama as well. All I can say is grow up. Look at CNN where an idiot asked if she can care for a child with Down Syndrome and be the Veep? And as the other reporter there pointed out, that is just the type of stupid point that McCain's people, like Bay Buchanan, will use to rally anger. Because no one would ask if the child's father could do the job. So, reporters, analyst, pundits, bloggers, asshat thread you'll listen...

Now looking at Gov Palin.

This is the end of any serious claim that experience trumps change. Though conservatives are still trying to claim that she is very experienced and surpasses Obama...We'll see how that pans out.


...John McCain's central and best argument in this campaign is that Barack Obama simply lacks the experience to be President of the United States. And now John McCain, who is a cancer survivor who turns 72 years old today, is picking a vice presidential nominee who has been governor of a small state for less than two years and prior to that was mayor of a town with roughly one-twenty-seventh of the citizens that Barack Obama represented when he was a state senator in Illinois.


How determined is McCain to have a wise adviser on the wars we are in, and ready to jump in and take the reigns and handle being C-n-C? Guess it is not that big an issue now.

So, what does she bring?


First up, she's super anti-choice. The forced-pregnancy crowd is thrilled today! (She recently had her fifth child, who has Down's syndrome.) She's against marriage equality and supports a federal gay-marriage ban, but has made sure to note that she "has gay friends." Though she has signed on to same-sex partner benefits. She believes schools should teach creationism. She's also pretty terrible on environmental issues, and is a huge advocate of drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. ...
Oh yeah. Palin is great. And she is a creationist to!!!

Here was an early Obama camp response.
“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same,” said Bill Burton, Obama Campaign Spokesman.

So why not one of the other conservative women, who actually bring some experience?

Watching Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) this morning - a woman who would have been eminently qualified for VP (for a Republican) - trying to talk positively about Palin was almost painful to watch. Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Condi Rice, even Christine Todd Whitman would have brought more to the ticket for McCain than Palin.

This is a complete desperation move on McCain's part, trying to hold the base together in a weak attempt to pull off some Hillary voters. It's not going to work. Palin doesn't come close to sharing the values of Hillary voters.


Here is further analysis of this choice.


The pick of Palin is dripping with transparent condescension, the notion that the enthusiasm behind Hillary was simply the result of her being a woman, that it had nothing to do with what she actually stood for, and in that sense it's equally sexist. Palin is essentially a hard right ideologue, and therefore nothing like Hillary as far as substance is concerned. It's not very different from running Alan Keyes against Barack Obama in 2004. The conservative media reaction has already engaged in paternalistic language, with FOX News reporting on television that "McCain broke the glass ceiling," implying in fact, that the pick had nothing to do with Palin or her qualifications, but merely her gender. It's fitting that the party positing affirmative action as a program that picks people exclusively based on race or gender rather than qualification should do something similar given an opportunity for political advancement. ...
And I note this from Firedoglake:

The good news is that women's issues are going to become front and center for this campaign. I haven't seen enough of Palin to know how well she could do against Biden in a debate, but I'm not sure it matters. If she doesn't make some horrible gaffe, what she stands for symbolically will be more important than anything she says.


Yes. On the one hand with her and her conservative stand on women's issues, perhaps she and her party can be drawn into a debate on women's issues. But she is being portrayed as green and youthful. The media and dems will play on that hard. But that means the level of expectation on her will be amazingly low. Remember GW and the debates in '00 and '04? He got pass after pass. Why play into that trap? If they lose sight of the issues she represents it will be bad. Just like letting McCain be the war hero, and not the guy with bad policy is deadly.

Obama's speech video

Here is the video out of TPM.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why Vaccinate?

Dr. Novella looks at some new outbreaks of old diseases in places that are not suitably vaccinating people. Thanks kooks!

Measles Outbreak - Thanks, Jenny

First Measles Now Mumps

The McCain Solutions

Solution Number 1: REDEFINITION

Crooks and Liars:

The McCain campaign likes to tell us we’re a “nation of whiners” complaining about a “mental recession,” so it should come as no surprise that their solution to the health care crisis is to simply have the Census Bureau redefine the term uninsured. Seriously. Let John Goodman, McCain’s point-man on health care issues, explain:

“I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime,” Mr. Goodman said. “The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.


And now there are no UNINSURED. Then you REDEFINE the homeless as criminals, and HOMELESSNESS is fixed (Stole that from Babylon 5.). Wow, it is great when you aren't confined by reality. How Orwellian.

Obama's speech

It was a great speech, a powerful speech, and it seems that the Republcians are little stunned for the moment, at least all they are saying right now is the standard autopilot remarks, not to worry tomorrow the BS will be flung. But tonight he stepped up in front of America, and on McCain's foot. John McCain is on notice, he better be ready for a real campaign for the presidency.

TPM has Obama's speech to read, while we wait for the video to get out.

Gore's speech today

Former Vice President Al Gore

Wednesday night speeches

Wednesday had some great speeches.

Senator John Kerry

President Bill Clinton


Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rending the bloom from the flower

Crooks and Liars is looking at the odd move by many of the news shows to inundate their air with conservatives tearing down the speakers and mood. Apparently each and every speech has been a failure and a disappointment, and the delegates are about to break and never talk least if you listen to some pundits.

Every time I turn on the TV and watch CNN and FOX (my hotel doesn’t get MSNBC) every Republican operative controls the dialog and direction of the panel discussion and it’s disgusting. Just one example—Hillary Clinton gave a brilliant speech last night, but every Amy Holmes-type talking head throws as much cold water on the speech as he or she can. The result is that the Dem talkers spend the rest of the time disputing the outrageous claims made and thus the GOP controls the entire framing and the entire segment. It’s shameful that the networks are allowing this to happen. I saw Jeffrey Toobin tell Amy that she was out of her mind with some of her comments and the discussion continues to that end. Soledad O’Brien comes back and says “well, that was a lively discussion.” Oh, no it was not. It’s a calculated ratf&@k. This is going on all day and all night.


Will the
Democratic talkers be allowed to do the same to the Republican Convention? I think not. It will be viewed as being an incredible event.
Yeah, apparently the Clinton speech was a failure. Soledad was down playing it on CNN. And Joe and Mika were in shock and disbelief anytime someone said otherwise. That is Mika was playing along with Joe and playing lackey until he started to mock a female analyst they were talking to and she was a little pissy until after the commercial break. That was slightly funny as she was gesturing and mirroring and agreeing with everything Gold Old Joe was saying then he started mocking the woman and she snapped out of her role (Really, you could see her straighten up, get serious and quiet and just stare at him.). She should try doing that more often and on the big political issue.

But the dumbest stuff is getting being made into something. You have heard about column-gate, right? Apparently it is really big news that Obama may have some columns behind him when he gives his acceptance speech. I did say it was BIG NEWS... Granted it is not clear if these were just frames for another structure to be put on or actual columns. But the conservatives and the media always eager to chase the red ball are salivating.

And the news coverage all strangely ignores the GOP's own love of using columns in speech backdrops.

Then you have Brian Williams expressed opinions that Obama's history is bizarre. Apparently a Kenyan - Kansas - South Pacific story is freaky. From a person with a Midwestern - South American story, Brian Williams you are a waspish ass. Thanks for calling all of us kids of diversity feel...special.

Tuesday at the Convention

Here is Clinton's speech.

And this afternoon's move to make Obama the nominee.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Isn't that sweet.

Feministing looks at a charming new book that seeks to scare and shame women away from sexuality.

If I didn't know better I would think it was my birthday - because it's not often that an anti-feminist organization gives you a gift like this one.

The Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute* has put out Sense & Sexuality, a handy little anti-feminist guide to sex by none other than Miriam Grossman, author of the slut-shaming book Unprotected (not to be confused with the similarly titled slut-shaming book Unhooked).

Seriously, every page is priceless - so it's hard to know what to highlight. But here are some of my favorite tidbits.


What is the message?

Looking at the Olympics on TV we all missed something. Cheerleaders. Yup. The Olympics had Cheerleaders. You didn't see them on TV. Wonder why. Take a look at the image on Feministing to see them, and the fans.

Guys hanging giddily over them. Yeah that is what was missing from the Olympic story. Sure we had the dreams made and broken. The athletic endeavors. The small countries showing their colors and taking glory. But we needed more scantily clad women to ogle, apparently.


But this something that is continuously dealt with. Look at Comic Con this year. There is a history with the conventions for women to ogle. The booth babes. That trend is diminishing. But it exists to some extent. But it is odd how it holds on to this day around comics, where they want at times to be more family friendly, or draw in women, or be for a wider age range.

Then Marvel does a fashion show for a new line of Halloween costumes. Guess if they are for men and women, or for one sex. Yup. Something for the ladies, by which I mean something for ladies to put on and please guys. And Marvel Comics put on weird little show at Comic Con. Check out the vid and pics of the show put up by Marvel Comics.

Fans at the Marvel booth were privy to this extravagant event as they gazed upon the catwalk, where models strutted their stuff while wearing costumes inspired by Venom, Captain America, Black Cat and many more! Judging by the reaction, the fashion show hit it big with the Comic-Con attendees.


If you liked what you saw, than you're in luck! Look for this special new Marvel line of costumes hitting stores during Halloween 2009! Check out the video and photos below to get a taste of what's to come!

The many more are Emma Frost and Spider-Man. And yes, it is not a joke. So we have a Black Cat, a women usually played as kinky character in revealing outfits in Spider-Man. Then Emma Frost, a women usually played as a kinky...well like the last sentence, but in the X-Men. Though ironically, Frost actually looks more covered in this group then she often does in comics, but it could just be the company here. Then the rest are all male characters turned into women, like some weird fanfic. Plus, their is a female version of Captain America in the M2 universe of Marvel. And their is Spider-Girl. And the Venom could have been the Spider-Woman. So it is odd, like ladies want to dress like a male character tarted up to be a female (which means revealing flesh in the costume world). Or that guys want girlfriends to dress like Captain is weird. Still, at least American Dream, Spider-Girl, and Spider-Woman were not sullied in this stunt.

Still it is sad. This is how Marvel is thinking? Sexy outfits for girls? How about ones to make the ladies out there I remember as a kid getting a cheap Superman costume at Halloween. I ran all around in it and lept on to the bed like I was flying. I felt a thrill. But these costumes? What is the message? Plus, no male costumes. So what is the message? It was first and foremost a Victoria Secrets show. To give the fanboys a thrill. To give them a bit more. Is this what Marvel is selling now? And is this how they see there female characters?

i09 also shared some thoughts.

Check out the flash vid from the designers, it makes it clear just what they are selling...

More charm from the evangelical pulpit

From Feministing, Hagee and the stay at home dad.

Apparently they are sinners and damned to hell for not helping and taking care of the family. I hope you notice the word NOT. Being at home, raising kids, and taking care of the house is not a useful function. Well, I guess we can imagine what the think of moms, hmm.

Yeah...great to go to church and feel that love...yeah.

Ahhhh...Sunday Heroes

PZ Myers is pointing to some funny Brit skits called Sunday heroes. There is a series so check them out on YouTube.

Here are some of them.

The Last Supper and the eucharist

The Vintage Owner and the suspect concept of heaven

Lazarus and the trouble with resurrection

Judas and the crap job

And, I don't know about you, but the Prodigal Son story has always been a really dumb story to me. It is great with the idea of last minute redemption. But it seems to suggest that you can blow off doing any good until the last minute. Really, it is like the reverse of the story of the grasshopper and the squirrel.

But these guy do a great retelling that lays out the story's logic. HILARIOUS!!!

First Night speeches

Key speeches from first night of the DNC convention.

Jim Leach

Ted Kennedy

Michelle Obama

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Maddow is finally in.

After too long a wait, it looks like Rachel Maddow is finally being given her own spot in prime time cable news. As Crooks and Liars and now Olbermann are pointing out, she is going to replace Dan Abrams as the post-Olbermann host on week nights.

Hard not to be thrilled for her. She has been doing a great job on Air America for years now, and her time on MSNBC has given us all great moments of her shutting up the likes of Scarborough and Buchanan with sound arguments and hard facts. I can't wait to see what she does.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Charming arguments from the moral

Feministing looks at a new article from Peter...not Christopher...Hitchens. I learned about him thanks to a discourse between the 2 brothers (P and C are siblings) that Reasonable Doubts podcast covered. It is interesting. Chris is the godless one, more liberal on social politics and more conservative about defense and foreign policy. Peter is a very religious and moral fellow who is more a liberal on foreign policy and antiwar, but a social conservative.

I find this interesting to note as many skeptics and atheist tend to forget for long spells what an ass Chrissy is about Iraq and war in the Mid East. But, in turn, I can see many liberals and progressives loving that his own brother is less in love with his ideas. But to remind you of what you often get with social conservatives, antiwar or not...


Peter Hitchens (yes, they're related) writes that a rape victim that was drunk "deserves less sympathy.

Wait, it gets worse. As Melissa at Shakesville points out, Hitchens makes flat out false statements like "women who get drunk are more likely to be raped than women who do not get drunk," and that rape is "the inevitable result of the collapse of sexual morality." (You know, because rape never happened before free love, per-marital sex, feminism, etc)

Lovely. Rape is the outcome of the...collapse of sexual morality? What does that mean? You mean we don't live the way you tell us to and rape happens? Has this guy ever read the bible? ...Oh wait, of course he has. What an asshole.

You sir, have the moral high ground indeed.

Feministing reminds readers:

Hitchens can't seem to get his head around the idea that
rapists rape women, rather than women magically "getting themselves" raped. There's so much more to say, but really, it's impossible to unpack all of the idiocy in this article (including the charming accompanying art above). So I'll leave that you, lovely readers, in comments.

It all just reminds you of how while the two brothers are different they have a lot in common...such as when the are wrong they manage to accomplish it while being raging asses.

Family trait?

Goin's to the conference

Rosenhouse, of EVOLUTIONblog, was kind enough to go to this years Conference on Creationism so you didn't have to.

Usually I write these accounts in strict chronological order. I will break from that tradition this time since one of my most interesting experiences at the conference came right near the end. I had made a pest of myself during several of the Q and A's after the talks, meaning that by the third day of the conference I had a bit of a reputation. Late in the day a pleasant enough fellow approached me in the bookstore, and we had a conversation.


Sunday, August 03, 2008


Another snarky infomania is out.

Best of all that means more Sarah Haskins, and birth control.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Piling on the last post

If that last post doesn't worry you, I am sure you will be cool with this.

McCain on making the cities of the US safer.

Crooks and Liars: (w/ audio)

Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) spoke to the National Urban League, a group “devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream.” When an audience member asked him how he planned to reduce urban crime, McCain praised Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s efforts in New York Cirty before invoking the military’s tactics in Iraq as the model for crime-fighting:

MCCAIN: And some of those tactics - you mention the war in Iraq - are like that we use in the military. You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control. And you provide them with a stable environment and then they cooperate with law enforcement, etc, etc.

Now, beyond the so so results this has given in Iraq, or the fact crime has not been ended in places like Baghdad...doesn't this smack uncomfortably close to a...police state?

Privacy? What's that? And who will be doing this? Will it be national guard, the army, or the police? And seeing as McCain is planning to severely slash spending, taxes, and government involvement, who is going to be paying for this? Or will this go on the same magic credit card the Iraq War is on currently?

You don't need this computer, right?

I heard about this months ago, and was worried. Hearing about it again makes me all the more perturbed.

PZ Myers:

As someone who takes his laptop everywhere, this is chilling news about the ongoing erosion of our rights:

Federal agents may take a traveler's laptop computer or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed.

Also, officials may share copies of the laptop's contents with other agencies and private entities for language translation, data decryption or other reasons, according to the policies, dated July 16 and issued by two DHS agencies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


Not to worry though. We are told this WILL NOT affect your privacy. And the government, especially this one, telling me that just makes me feel...all the worse.

What is this? They can just take my computer from me? Just for the heck of it? How is this right? How about they do a better job at surveillance, intel work, and law enforcement. And not just set up laws to allow them to randomly grab private property, just in case, or tap every phone, just in case.

Now, most of us are not involved in crime, that we know of. But why are we asked to surrender or personal property like this? At what point does this invasion of privacy not okay? Dogs sniffing, X-raying, open bags, no shoes, where is the line? At what point is too much being asked for us to function comfortably as a society. I was a little weirded when they started check laptop for any substances on them. But I let it slide, as long as I can see the computer and know it is safe, like I do when I place my wallet and bag on the belt.

And now they want to just up and walk off with the laptop, if they feel the need. How long 'til someone takes advantage of this policy for a quick buck?

I am just wondering how this will work in court? If you take someones computer and happen to find something criminally related (fraud, child pornography, illegal downloads, etc.) can it be acted upon, how is it different that grabbing into a persons coat, or bag, and lucking into something illicit. That is supposed to be inadmissible. So how is this going to work.

I went back to the original story at the WP. This is an issue now as the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the policy in April, so people are more aware of it now.

So, this is not new. But it is there to be used, widely. With the Drug War it has a use, with the War on Terror added uses. This ridiculous policy is just so wide open it is just a way to ignore the law on a whim...which defeats the point of drafting LAW! Ahem.

And while it is a not new policy it is getting used more and more. Again, a reason to not leave crap policy in the books to be abused.
Civil liberties and business travel groups have pressed the government to disclose its procedures as an increasing number of international travelers have reported that their laptops, cellphones and other digital devices had been taken -- for months, in at least one case -- and their contents examined.
So if a company is a threat to US business, grab one of their computers. If a political party or group is causing a given White House trouble, take their cellphones or blackberries and go through them. How are Republicans okay with this? Oh, right. They are in power. And civil liberties are not a big deal...yet.

And to close let us not forget how wide this policy is in materials that can be seized.

The policies cover "any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form," including hard drives, flash drives, cellphones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes. They also cover "all papers and other written documentation," including books, pamphlets and "written materials commonly referred to as 'pocket trash' or 'pocket litter.' "

May I remind you the current government is spying on Quakers as a potential threat. How comfortable are you to go to an airport?

Trouble on the Net

I was worried yesterday when many of the sites I went to wouldn't work. Messed up my research. But the answer is out know to why.

PZ Myers:
I've been getting a volley of complaints that Pharyngula is crashing Internet Explorer. It turns out that this is a problem all over the web, and is Sitemeter's fault. I've changed the code in a way that I hope will fix it — let me know if it doesn't. (←cunning ploy there…if you're still crashing, you may not be able to read that!)


He also mentions you should use Firefox. But not everyone cares for Firefox, Safari, or Opera. So, nyah.

Keeping on with CNN

Well, the show ended, and it shows the devote and devoted believers in DL worshipping and fighting on. Poor job, just an hour of Free Tibet.

And now Larry King is on now, which means its time to dumb down for the night. They had on the Ufologist to bash scientist, the psychics to sell their ware, and tonight right off the bat clips from What the Bleep Do We Know? I smell a crappy hour of TV.

But Larry has been clear in the past. He isn't in it for the journalism, the truth, or facts. He's in it for the flash, sound, and entertainment. Oh, I forgot a few weeks ago when he had the vaccine deniers on to crap on science and medicine.

Larry? You suck.

Just saying.

On Tibet

CNN is doing a show now on Buddhist Holy Warriors.

I am interested to see what they talk about. So far they have a very friendly view of Buddhist and the Dalai Lama. They do point to the fact that Tibet was under Chinese control for ages and had some autonomy for a number of decades after the Chinese cultural revolution,while the new Chinese governments interest were elsewhere. I do like that they are going further than most coverage goes, where the Chinese domination back into the dynastic days is glossed over. But Amanpour, who I deeply respect, seems to have a soft spot for the DL. But most people seem to. They don't talk at all about how the Tibetan government worked, the treatment of people, the abuses, the punishments of troublemakers, etc. Though when asked if he is a reincarnated figure he seems to say he no, or rather that he is first a human and second a monk. It seems like an answer that could leave leeway when with another audience. He also says he is willing for stay under China, but that Tibet should have autonomous rule under them. What that means is unclear, a government of the people or of the monks? And in talking about donations given, they note most is given away to the poor. Most, what percent? I would like to see the books, just out of curiosity.

The Buddhist group shown as more aggressively opposing China seems to find DL naive. They don't like the Chinese in Tibet. They also seem to think that they were free before. And they believe armed conflict is acceptable to free their lands. No matter what the tenets are. I have wonder what they would think if the monk ruling system also returned? Would they fight then to?

The show has a strange view about Buddhist and violence. The show wants us, or assumes, we will be shocked that a Buddhist worshipper might pick up a weapon and kill another. Have fun with this. How long does it take you to look up a general, soldier, or dictator (the DL doesn't count for this) that also happens to be Buddhist. What's more they seem focused on Buddhist warriors who fight for freedom and democracy, not the ones fighting to take land, money, power, etc.

Perhaps as the show goes on they will show the other side, but it seems they are embracing the classic view. Like the stereotypes of the British. Where they are either in bowler hats with umbrellas or have spiked pink hair and piercings. I am a little disappointed. But I will watch the rest and see if they cover more.

I do have some sympathy for the DL. He comes from a line of despot rulers, who held people as serfs. But he has been without a kingdom, and not as isolated as his predecessors. He has seen the world, seen new things, and new ideas. To say the least, he has been given a chance at a more rounded world view. So I hate to hold the whole history of cruelty he is a part of on him in total. He is a part, a leader, and a proponent of a broken system. But he seems smart enough to, maybe change things. Trouble is that I don't see him bothering to. Nor is he coming out, that I have seen, to change some of his outdated stance, like denouncing homosexuals. He has the opportunity and time to prove his critics wrong. Let's see him rise above earlier DL's and impress us.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Going after your own

Cause sometimes you have to.

Atheist Experience did this with a guy who is proud of being an atheist and who is proud to have gone on a rather loud an obnoxious attack. He went after a stupid bumper sticker on Ray Comforts site and made the stupid threat of a lawsuit over it.

That makes us all look good, huh?

And as the Atheist Experience noted, even though they agreed and removed the product, they now have a new series of shows. About how mean and psycho atheist are over a bumper sticker (And, yes, the irony will be lost on them.). About how understanding they are and how their all know the schtick.

So it is just ammo for evangelicals with no return, no real point or argument for reason. Empty.

So the guy deserves a smack to the head.

Now, he is free to do what he wants. But we are free to think him a schmuck.

Wiccans, the problem?

Yes, the picture is unfair to Wiccan.

Personally, I have no problems with Wiccans, pagans, know those people, as vague a collective as most people care to draw out. In fact they can be quite interesting. I was reading through an IMDB thread on a light romantic comedy involving witchcraft being shown as not being bad. It was interesting, Christians raced in to denounce the movie, Wiccans, and all things not like them. And various people, including a number of Wiccan countered. On philosophy, they try to have a positive view, and no interest in conversion, pressure, or political power.

In turn like atheist, and other non-Christians, Wiccans do get picked on. In fact, the only the Church of Satan fits more perfectly into Christian sights as evil. Sure you might think Atheist would be premier, but Christians think that we are Satanic Witches, so we are just sandwiched in there.

Look at this story PZ Myers points to. Apparently Harry Potter is part of the big plan to sell those evil beliefs.

I would quote it, but I can break it down to this. The bible is true. Anything fantastical, even fiction, is evil. To let kids use their imaginations will lead kids from God. You are a bad parents if you let your kids enjoy fantasy.

So, yes, these are blowhards. Humorless and boring.&

This article also uses a site I visited way back, but lost the link in one of my PC meltdowns. Witchvox, which is a site for Wiccans and for information on them. It is interesting to look at some of the articles, particularly the ones on the attacks on the belief system by evangelicals and the Church. A couple of examples.

Breaking the Spell: The Hidden Traps of Wicca - look at Focus on the Family writing on Wiccans

The Cycle Continues - on the continuing risk and temptation to witch hunts

It was interesting to read to see these claims and attacks on this group. It is nice to see the other side to the Church screeds. Back when I was a church goer I saw some of this. In college my Roleplaying group went to a Campus Crusade talk on cults and claims about cult crime, to see what they were claiming. And as an atheist and a supporter of secular society, I see lots of stupid claims. These church groups spout a lot of garbage.

So, while I do like Wiccan, and sympathize with them, when it comes to the actual "magic" of the belief system, I part ways. Sorry. I don't pretend with that eucharist, the Jewish magic candles story, or...well, etc, etc, etc. So when I saw this story, I laughed.

Atheist Experience looked at one funny story.

Latest nugget of 40-carat irony from the irrational world (emphasis added):

A woman accidentally stabbed herself in the foot with a 3-foot-long sword while performing a Wiccan good luck ritual at a cemetery in central Indiana.

Better luck next time...

Funny. Some were upset about being picked on. But the people with Atheist Experience pick on all religions. So to complain is silly. A luck ritual led to being stabbed in the foot. Comedy. Like when Christians get themselves crucified on Easter then get illnesses from the nails put through them. You have to see this coming.

And to be fair. It should be appreciated that your being treated exactly like Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindi, Buddhist, etc.

And, as enjoyable group as Wiccans can be, their beliefs are up for scrutiny when a claim in made. Just as when Christians and others make wild claims about them, I am happy to laugh in there faces.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sad to see...

But I had to see it coming.

Oh South Dakota. You never cease to amaze.
Starting Friday, doctors in South Dakota must tell women seeking abortions that the procedure ends a human life and may cause them psychological harm, the state attorney general said.

...The 2005 law requires doctors to tell women "that the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being." Women also would have to be told they have a right to continue a pregnancy and that abortion may cause them psychological harm, including thoughts of suicide.

So basically, they have to provide patients with false information. Nice. Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota is fighting back. "We remain optimistic that, in time, the court will find that the law is unconstitutional," says PPMNS President and CEO Sarah Stoesz. To find out how to get involved and counter the anti-choice agenda in South Dakota, check out PPMNS's action page.

Related: Ann blogged about the politics of "informed consent" when the court decision came down last month.

And, as noted, it is only compounded by the fact the statement Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls, the only facility in the whole state, which has to fly a doctor from Minnesota on certain days (which just lets you know how big an issue and how important this was to get into law), is a partisan non medical statement. And there is nothing less than chilling then have courts and representatives dictating the functioning of medical practices.