Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Anti-Gay Marriage People are Idiots


Bob MacCready's already written to Canadian Liberal MPs who support allowing gays to marry, telling them he thinks it's against God's own law and everything that's decent.

Because, y'know, nothing screams indecency and blasphemy like allowing two people who love each other to get married. Personally, I always thought Jesus had a lot more to say about hypocrites and judgmental people--but hey, I was raised by a Witch. What do I know about morals?

MacCready's married daughter lives in London, Ont., with his four grandchildren and he once considered moving to Canada to be close to them.

"We're very concerned about the way things are going there," he said in a recent telephone interview from his home in Media, Pa. "How is it going to be for my grandchildren growing up?"

I'm really not sure where to start on this one. "How is it going to be for my grandchildren growing up" if gays are allowed to marry? What the hell kind of a question is that? What does he expect to change?

"The United States is the great nation it is because of its moral code. Canada isn't even considered a Christian nation anymore and they seem OK with that. It's more of a melting pot. That doesn't make any sense to me."

Wow. Mrs. Wyman, I--just wow. Give me a second to get my bearings....
Okay. So the United States is a great nation because of its "moral code", whatever that's supposed to mean. This is supposed to be contrasted with Canada because... they're not Christian? What? Morality is not the same as Christianity, lady. But if you can't even comprehend the idea of a secular nation, with a diversity of religions, I can't really put much faith in your mental prowess.

"You'd be surprised how many people consider it kinky and think it's the beginning of a rotting in this society," said Wyman.

"The economy is going to fall apart. Once the morals start to go, then health care is going to go."

This is a highly effective method of arguing: blurt out statements so bizarre, so ridiculous, so completely non-sensical, that it stuns the brains of your opponents and they can't reply. Just how is gay marriage supposed to be linked to the economy? Why do you think that allowing gay marriage means getting rid of health care? She says she's contemplating moving back to Ohio--down to a country ruled by a party that wants to get rid of gay marriage and health care.

"It's corrupt. I don't know where [Prime Minister Paul] Martin's getting this authority."

Here's a hint: he's the Prime Minister!

But in support of these lunatics we hear, from PlanetOut via Yahoo! News, that the Pope has declared gay marriage "evil".

He also likens abortion to genocide, which didn't make any sense when I heard it the first time.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Wayback Machine: It's Not Just for Sherman Anymore

Hey, remember Afghanistan? Y'know, that last country we "liberated" from a tyrannical regime we set up in the first place? Ever wonder how they're faring with all that new-found freedom and democracy?

As it turns out, not so great. From the New York Times:

Three years after the United States drove the Taliban out of Afghanistan and vowed to rebuild, the war-shattered country ranked 173rd of 178 countries in the United Nations 2004 Human Development Index, according to a new report from the United Nations.

It was trailed only by a few countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Burundi, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Sierra Leone.


"The fragile nation could easily tumble back into chaos," concluded the authors of the study, led by Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh, the report's editor in chief. "The basic human needs and genuine grievances of the people, lack of jobs, health, education, income, dignity and opportunities for participation must be met."

Huh! Y'know, from the sounds of that, it almost sounds as if they're no better off for our bombing their country, torturing their suspected terrorists (read: farmers and children), and destroying their infrastructure. Surely there must be some mistake! Oh, here:

More than 54 percent of school-age children are enrolled, including four million high school students. The economy is making great strides, with growth of 16 percent in nondrug gross domestic product in 2003 and predicted growth of 10 to 12 percent annually for the next decade.

Take a good look at that last sentence. Notice how they slip in the word "nondrug" in there? That's cause over a third of the country's economy is from opium.

"Well, sure," you say, "but even so, a 16 percent growth in the rest of the economy is great. Those guys must be rich over there!" As it turns out, not so much. According to the AP,

most of the country's income is being mopped up by warlords with strong political and military connections, creating a dangerous gap between rich and poor and between the cities and the countryside. Half of all Afghans are poor, it said.

"Well," you might say, "what about those wonderful schoolchildren? Surely having a little over half of their children in school is a good thing, right?" And I might agree with you. Except if you read on again in the NYT article, you'll see this little tidbit:

Afghanistan now has the worst education system in the world, the report concluded.

I'm not so happy for them now. How about you?

Saturday, February 19, 2005

What I like to think of as "Die Hard: the Musical"

Friday, February 18, 2005

From Editor and Publisher:

He [James Guckert, aka Jeff Gannon, aka whoring shill] criticized the MSNBC show Hardball and radio host Don Imus for doing segments in the past two days on him without seeking his input.

"I wasn't even given a chance to respond. Chris Matthews' show didn't make any effort to reach out to me, which is disturbing," he said. "He asked Pat Buchanan to comment on some things [about him] that that Pat Buchanan has no information on."

When reminded that he had made a point of saying to E&P that he would no longer talk to the press, Guckert said that should not have stopped those shows from seeking him out of journalistic fairness. "Does that mean they don't try to talk to me?" he added.

Two things come to mind when reading this pabulum.
First: Why does this guy think he's fit to preach to actual reporters (or at least credentialized ones) on how they ought to be doing their jobs?
Second: What the hell does he expect? He refuses to address the accusations by with a flippant "I'm not commenting... because there's just so much stuff out there", he makes a point of saying he won't talk to the press, and then he thinks that they should come and ask him what he thinks? Why? So he can once again refuse to answer any relevant questions?

Gannon is considering suing those who uncovered the story for "political assassination".

AMERICAblog's response? "Bring it on."
Robo-Toddler Learns to Walk Like a Human

However, for the sci-fi paranoids among us (we know who you are), there's this reassurance that our society shan't become as foretold in Gattaca.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

My chest hurts.

"Extremists using Iraq for recruitment and training, CIA chief says"
No! Really?
I'd always thought they were just having festive get-togethers.

"Oh, Ahmed, darling, you simply must try the gyros. It's divine!"
"Only Allah is divine! Apostate!"

Then there's the gem of a fact that the newspapers keep reporting that the Palestinians are accusing Israel of breaking the cease-fire. Never mind that there have been multiple mortar strikes, thwarted suicide bombings, and other attacks already perpetrated by Hamas, Fatah, and others.

From "Fables"

SON: Is it a parade?
MOM: I don't think so. Maybe a demonstration?
DAD: No, they're all too white to be black pride, or Latino pride, or Asian pride.
MOM: They're all well-dressed. Could they be gay pride?
DAD: I doubt it. Their suits are way too conservative.
SON: And they have all those guns.
DAD: Oh my god! You're right! It finally happened! It's the Young Republicans!
DAD: They're marching in--taking over New York!
MOM: Just like when they marched on Paris in '39.
SON: Weren't those the Nazis?
MOM: Is there a difference?
Moses was the first terrorist

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Tunak Tunak Tun

Tunak Tunak Tun
Tunak Tunak Tun
Tunak Tunak Tun
Da Da Da

Dholna Vajje Tumbe Vaali Taar
Sun Dil Di Pukaar
Aaja Kar Layieh Pyaar


Duniya Yaara Rang Birangi
Na Eh Bheri Na Eh Changi
Sun Yaara Bole Ik Taya
Mehndi Da Yaara


Dholna Kadeh Mere Nal Hass
Mainu Dil Valli Dass
Nahin Taan Teri Meri Bass


Dholna Tu Chann Mein Chakor
Sadde Varga Na Hor
Rab Hath Saddi Dor


Repeat *


Love, it seems that the strings of the Tumbe are calling
Listen to the cry of my heart
Come here, I love you

My love...!

In the world, many things arise
There may be good things, there may be bad things

Listen to this (the tombe's) sound,
Friend of Mehndi!

Love, it's time to laugh with me
Please teach me this feeling
Your feeling of uncertainty comes between us

My love...!

Like the moon in the night sky
No one can replace you
We two are in the palm of God's hand

My love...!


Thursday, February 10, 2005

Hate them so much....

I am filled with a churning loathing.

[Edited to update a dead link]

A Funny Thing Happened at Dinner Tonight....

At the dining hall in which I usually partake of comestibles, there is a carousel for putting our trays, laden with our dishes and utensils, before we leave. For what I imagine to be aesthetic reasons, this contraption is hidden behind a large wall, creating a tunnel one must pass through to surrender ones platter. In order to maintain an orderly procession through said tunnel, the powers that be have declared one portal as the entrance, and the other portal as the exit--one must not enter through the portal declared the exit, say them.
Yet no-one listens. So they have resorted to various measures, including: stationing a person at said portal, ensuring that none pass through in the incorrect direction; taping a sign with the words "Do Not Enter" on the wall adjacent the portal; and, most recently, taking a metal stand with pictures of road signs saying "DO NOT ENTER" and "WRONG WAY" in the midst of said portal. And the fools flout the sign. They pass directly by it as they break the commandments set thereon.

This shall not stand! declared I.

So when next I espied such a criminal displaying his contempt for the law and literacy, I ran up to him. Upon reaching his location I gripped the metal pole and brandished it at him, that he might not be able to feign ignorance of the rules. And then I began to swat him with the sign, shrieking the slogans printed thereon amidst my slanders directed towards his visage, ancestry, intelligence, and likely end in life.

Long story short, I am now barred from ever setting foot in that building.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Arkansas Drug Bust Crashes Kid's Birthday

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Police on a drug raid burst into a home during a toddler's birthday party, startling children who were getting ready to eat their cake when the gun-toting officers crashed the party.


Monday, February 7, 2005

Israel: the only country to have a Secretary of Chutzpah on its cabinet

From Pravda, Israel acknowledges the capture of top SS official in Buenos Aires.

Reading into it, you find that they finally acknowledge having done this in 1960, when they kidnapped Adolf Eichmann. Up until yesterday they maintained that it had been carried out not by the Mossad, but instead by "a group of Jews living in Argentina without ties with the government".

It's like refusing to admit that they have nuclear weapons, even though everybody already knows they do. What are press conferences in Israel like?

"So, I'll field some questions now. Ah, yes, Jim?"
"Yes, thanks. So, uh, how advanced is our genetic engineering program?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"You... you've got four arms, sir. And a--"
"And a bar code on your forehead. Would you care to comment on that?"
"It's a skin condition. Doctors say I'm progressing nicely, thank you for asking."
"And the arms? You've got four of them."
"I can't confirm that."

What a mensch

From the Sydney Morning Herald, Farewell to the Rabbi of Tolerance:

Resurgent religious fundamentalism may have had a role in this rise of intolerance. "I've sometimes said that I think religion is a bad thing," he says, "and people look at me and they think: 'What's the matter with this religious leader? Is he off his rocker?' The answer is no. But what worries me very much is the use which is made of religion. There's a great paradox. You see there are some people who have just enough religion to hate others, but not enough religion to love others.

"And if you are so adamant that you have to impose your religion on me, then maybe I have a right to reciprocate and impose my religion on you."


Having politics and religion too closely linked is dangerous in any
country, Apple believes. "This does not mean to say that I'm
against religious people trying to bring spiritual and moral
insights into public life, but I think that it dirties religion to
turn it into a political platform. Politics has to consider the
wellbeing of the total community and it should not be subject to
manipulation by little religious groups."


Sunday, February 6, 2005

Republicans have been saying the same things about Social Security since 1936 in their efforts to dismantle the program.

Saturday, February 5, 2005

Originally from the New York Times, Experts Dispute Bush on Gay-Adoption Issue:

"Studies have shown," Mr. Bush said in an interview with The New York Times, "that the ideal is where a child is raised in a married family with a man and a woman."

But experts say there is no scientific evidence that children raised by gay couples do any worse - socially, academically or emotionally - than their peers raised in more traditional households.

The experts, who cross the political spectrum, say studies have shown that on average, children raised by two married heterosexual parents fare better on a number of measures, including school performance, than those raised by single parents or by parents who are living together but are unmarried.

But, said Dr. Judith Stacey, a professor of sociology at New York University, "there is not a single legitimate scholar out there who argues that growing up with gay parents is somehow bad for children."


Friday, February 4, 2005

Mazel Tov

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Saw this on the webpage for the school newspaper



I don't have a television, so I didn't watch the State of the Union last night (and I was busy doing a lab for my math class). Fortunately, Think Progress has recorded the important bits.

And speaking of important (if not so well-advertised) speeches, here's one by Kansan state Representative Paul Davis (found on filkertom's blog [yes, that's Tom Smith] and originally from here):

Mr. Speaker:

My core beliefs and my conscience call me to this podium today. Every
day, this body makes important decisions that affect the lives of many
Kansans. We make decisions about whether an elderly person will
receive home health care, we make decisions about how much in taxes a
businessperson is going to pay, and we make decisions about whether a
highway worker is going to have a job next year. But very rarely are
we called to make decisions about the fundamental rights of our fellow
human beings.

Over two centuries ago, our founding fathers in declaring their
independence from the King stated that "all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
They also said that it is the responsibility of Government to secure
these rights. However, this Government, the State of Kansas, that was
empowered by our founding fathers to protect the rights of all
citizens, is now proposing to strip away the liberty of a segment of our fellow

I must confess that I have reservations about the concept of allowing
people of the same sex to enter into the time honored institution of
marriage. This is a question that I have struggled with. However,
subsection (b) of this resolution troubles me greatly. Like many in
this Legislature, I have gay and lesbian friends. I've worked with
gay and lesbian persons, gone to school with gay and lesbian persons,
and worshiped in a church with gay and lesbian persons. Are they a
little different from us? Yes they are. But fundamentally, they are
human beings, just like everyone of us.

Woodrow Wilson said in 1912 that "the history of liberty is a history
of resistance.....a history of limitations of governmental power, not the
increase of it". What is being proposed today is a governmental
infringement upon the liberty of a segment of our fellow human beings.
By disallowing them the ability to share insurance policies, rights of
survivorship and other benefits that a heterosexual couple may obtain
by entering into the civil contract of marriage, we are in essence saying
"you are second class citizens". And make no mistake, that is
the message that this Legislature is saying to the thousands of gay and
lesbians that live in our state.

There are reasonable people on both sides of this issue. I do believe
those in this chamber who have brought this issue to the House floor
have good intentions. They want to do what they believe is right for
their state and their communities. But this vehicle is sorely
misguided and the result has prayed upon the worst of all human characteristics:
Hate. The hatred for homosexuals that I have seen displayed in the
many emails and letters that I have received is beyond belief, particularly
in this day and age. I hope this Legislature will see fit in the
future to promote policies that bring people together and help us all
understand and appreciate the differences among us, instead of
exacerbating the chasms of intolerance. We would be wise to heed
the words of the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spiniza, who said "the
object the government is not change men from rational beings into
beasts or puppets, but to enable them to develop their minds and bodies in
security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing
hatred, anger or deceit, nor watched with the eyes of jealousy and injustice.
In fact, the true aim of government is liberty".

When I walk out my front door, I frequently see the lesbian couple, who
have an adopted child, that live across the street from me. They are
delightful people, good parents and I'm proud to have them as my
neighbors. Whether a gay person lives in your neighborhood or not,
they are all our neighbors because they share in this place we call Kansas.
And we must always remember what the gospel of St. Matthew teaches us
"thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself".

In 1924, the Virginia Legislature enacted a law saying that only
persons of the same race can enter into marriage. 43 years later, the
Supreme Court of the United States said this act violated the Equal
Protection Clause of the 14th amendment to the Constitution. I think
it is safe to say that we all look upon this act of the Virginia
Legislature in 1924 as being morally wrong. This is a judgment that
history has made as we have evolved as a society. I have no doubt that
we would all feel some degree of shame if it was our father or
grandfather who served in the 1924 Virginia Legislature and voted for
this Act.

As you cast your vote today, make sure it is one that your conscience
can live with. And make sure it is one that your children and
grandchildren can live with, because history will be judging this vote
more than any other you will cast.

And as long as I'm putting up various things, some of you will find this exchange amusing:
Heh, so I was complaining to moshez about how annoying studying Talmud is.

SKYBSUNNY (3:06:00 PM): no idea wtf is up with these old rabbis
SKYBSUNNY (3:06:06 PM): cant they just agree on anything?!
themoshez (3:06:28 PM): dude
SKYBSUNNY (3:06:31 PM): every two lines, there's another machloket
themoshez (3:06:33 PM): we invented the flamewars
themoshez (3:06:46 PM): did you ever see two jews agree on anything?

Haha. Jews inventing flamewars. Oddly, it fits.

Rabbi 1: I declare these figs holy.
Rabbi 2: Are you kidding? Those figs aren't fit to wipe a mule's behind.
Rabbi 1: Your mother looks like a mule's behind.
Rabbi 2: Well, I'm excomminucating you.
Rabbi 3: Stop spamming my flist. I'm defriending you.


Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Minesweeper is NP-Complete

Which means that I might have an infinitesimal chance of solving the problem after all.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Information I did not have regarding Republican attempts to remove all obstacles to their power.