Sunday, December 30, 2007

But it's not about change, it's about shame

Too little attention has been paid to the nature of sexual orientation in women as opposed to men, but from what little I know of what little is out there, it's generally a lot more fluid in women. I remember having a conversation with a classmate of mine back in college. She identified as bisexual, but said that over time the degree to which she was attracted to the sexes had changed--it used to be around 75% attracted to other women and only 25% attracted to men, but at the time we talked she said it was the opposite. And a new book coming out by Lisa Diamond seems to suggest that's not uncommon:
She followed dozens of women for 10 years, as they graduated from college, worked their first jobs, fell in love, changed their minds, and tumbled into the arms of new partners. Most women's behavior had little to do with the "gay for life" story. Some switched their sexual identity many times. In fact, when asked to define themselves as "gay," "straight" or "bisexual," a number of women refused to take any label at all. Others invented their own labels; for instance, one interviewee called herself a "reluctant heterosexual."

Something that's very important to point out, though--which Ms. Diamond does stress and all the Christian bigots out there who'll leap on anything to excuse their homophobia ignore--is that even if sexuality is more fluid in women, that still doesn't mean that it's something they can control. Ms. Diamond says,
I want to make it clear that just because some women exhibit fluid sexual attraction, it doesn't mean that sexual orientation is a "lifestyle choice."

Quite right. A person's height changes over time, but that doesn't mean that it's under our control. We don't send short people to camps so they can "learn" to be taller. This is something that the ex-gays don't seem to understand. Even their horribly-flawed studies that show a paltry few gays "getting better" still don't show that ex-gay camps are responsible for the reported change in orientation. Claiming that "change is possible" is a far cry from "willful change is possible".

Saturday, December 29, 2007

"Christians don't carry out such wicked acts - they're not aloud to"

Christians are never bad people. Just ask--they'll tell you so themselves. And, since they're not bad people, they wouldn't lie, so you know you can trust them when they say so.

So when Christians commit acts of terror, it's obvious why it wouldn't be called "terrorism"--because they didn't do it. Because they're such good people.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Christ Was Born in Bethlehem Edition

I'm given to understand that some famous guy had a birthday this past Tuesday. And, like most famous guys in history, this one was a racist.

Don't take my word for it! Hear, listen to Charles Carroll tell you all about this Jebus character:

[I]nstead of accomplishing this great mission, and thus fulfilling the just expectations of God the Israelites "were full of the evil doings that were common among the Canaanites." [Josephus.] They disregarded the teachings of scripture, and lived out in their daily lives the teachings of atheism; they forgot the warnings of God and violated His law by descending to amalgamation with the Negro and with the mixed-blooded nations by whom they were surrounded and with whom God forbid them to intermarry; and in the course of time the mulattoes were as plentiful in Judea as they are in any of our southern states. They "defiled" "the land" and "filled" Israel, God's "inheritance," "with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable things." Not only this, but captivated by the obscene rites, and the more or less promiscuous intercourse between the sexes, which usually characterises the worship of idols, they renounced God, abandoned His worship and embraced idolatry.

God then visited his curses upon them in the form of war, famine, pestilence and disease, in order to force them to abandon their criminal course and return to their duties and to their allegiance to Him. God even devastated their country, laid their magnificent temples in ruins and sent them captives to a foreign land and enslaved them. He sent prophet after prophet among them to warn them of their danger and of the terrible judgments that would be visited upon them; but these at best only achieved a temporary success, while in many instances they were maltreated and even killed. God then determined to make a final effort to redeem man from the clutches of atheism, amalgamation and idolatry, that triplet of crimes that has destroyed and damned nations and even continents, and He sent Jesus Christ, His only begotten son, and he shared the fate of many of the prophets who preceded him.


Rather than abandon their criminal relations with the Negro, and the mixed-bloods they killed the Savior as they did the prophets.

Thus it is shown that sin entered the world through man's sociality with the Negro, and that this led to amalgamation, atheism and idolatry; and that God has made every effort even to the sacrifice of his son, to eradicate these evils. It is also shown that every prophet of antediluvian, as well as those of post-diluvian times came to induce man to renounce these destructive crimes, and return to their allegiance to God; and that this was the mission of the Savior.

--Charles Carroll, The Negro a Beast, pp. 243-7

So, yeah. Gay marriage may have been responsible for Sodom and Gomorrah, Hurricane Katrina, the California wildfires, and the fall of the Roman Empire. But miscegenation killed a god! And yet we let them do it freely!

I say we get Seaborn Roddenberry out of the grave and back into Congress and amend the constitution to prevent any more deicides!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Who's more progressive than the U.S. this week?

Uruguay on Thursday became the first Latin American country to recognize gay civil unions, after President Tabare Vazquez signed a law granting certain legal rights to cohabiting couples of any gender.

The new law guarantees heterosexual or homosexual couples who have lived together continuously for more than five years social benefits enjoyed by married couples such as joint property ownership and hereditary rights.

The text recognizes "two people -- of any sex, identity, orientation or sexual option -- who maintain an emotional relationship sexual in nature, that is exclusive, stable and permanent, without being united in matrimony."

It's not perfect, but it's a start, and still a damn sight better than what we've got here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day Fake Racist Blogging: A Review of A Practical Guide to Racism

I've been plugging C.H. Dalton's A Practical Guide to Racism for four months, ever since I found out that the website was on-line. Well, today I finally received--and voraciously read--my copy of the book.

Having watched the videos and read the missives he puts on the website, I was prepared to read a hilarious book; having read this lukewarm review of the book, I was braced to find something less entertaining. I am happy to say that I found the book far funnier than did Mr. Harvilla. It may not be skin-tinglingly offensive, but that's because it was never meant to be--if Mr. Harvilla wants to be offended, he can spend his time lurking around VDare or Stormfront. A Practical Guide to Racism is meant to highlight the absurdity of racism, the broad and arbitrary division of the races, the various harmful stereotypes that are applied willy-nilly to the various races, and the horrified objections that many whites have to trying to repair these mistakes through, for instance, affirmative action. In this regard I believe it succeeds handily (I was chuckling at most every page, and guffawing on quite a couple). It also manages to get in a few shots at the Iraq war, the Arab-Israeli conflicts, the Minutemen, the objection to gay marriage, Guantanamo Bay, and other such political brouhahas.

The book is written in a Stephen Colbert-style shtick, with the author being professor of ethnography C.H. Dalton. Given this and how often it subverts pop culture, history and law to make its point, sometimes it is difficult to tell what is real, what is real but taken out of context / switched around, and what is completely made up. However, because of the catholicity of material it draws upon, the book can be enjoyed by people more familiar with pop culture and less familiar with dead racists than I. Then again, a passing familiarity with racism both contemporary and historical would help you understand some of the material, as Mr. Means did quite a bit of research into the subject before lampooning it.

It is a short read, coming in at 200 pages, which include the seven appendices. By the way, if you are tempted to avoid reading those, resist that urge. The appendix which lists racial and ethnic slurs is hilarious; he gives the slur, which racial group it's applied to, and a fake etymology. I only wish there were more slurs for Merpeople in there.

Some of the material used in the video lectures is lifted directly from the book. So I'd say that if you enjoyed those videos, definitely buy the book. Also, Dan Bakkedahl does a perfect C.H. Dalton. I found myself reading certain paragraphs in his character's voice, and it may add a certain enjoyment to hear those sections in that tone.

In short, buy the book. It comes out tomorrow and is only $20.

Since he doesn't believe in the 1st amendment either, this is even more worrisome

In addition to Huckabee, Brownback and Tancredo (even though he dropped out of the race), it seems that Ron Paul also doesn't believe in evolution. Ed Brayton has a video, but I'll provide a partial transcript here, after being asked -- I think -- about the time at the Republican debate that the candidates were asked whether they believe in evolution and whether it should be taught:
Well, first, I thought it was a very inappropriate question, y'know? For our--for the presidency to be decided on a scientific matter. And I, uh, I think it's a theory--theory of evolution. And I don't accept it. Y'know? As a theory. But I think the creator that I know, uh... y'know, created us, every one of us, created the universe. And the precise time and manner, and, uh, and all.... I-I just don't think we're at a point where anybody has absolute proof on either side.

Well, no. Nobody has "absolute" proof. But then again, that's an completely unreasonable goal, and a standard to which no other field of science is held. So no, we don't have "absolute proof". What we do have is a brobdingnagian amount of evidence, including thousands of fossils, showing time and again gradual changes between species; the similarities in form and genetic make-up that all point to common descent; countless studies and published and peer-reviewed papers; innumerable predictions that would be expected if evolution were true and were later confirmed.

And on the other side? We have a bunch of whining twits who've elevated a millenia-old book of fables to the flawless template from which all knowledge must be stamped, and whose biggest objection to evolution is that they don't understand it.

Gee. I wonder which one we should teach our kids?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tuesday Fake Racist Blogging: C.H. Dalton on Food

Buy the book! It comes out on Thursday.

And here is Professor Dalton's recipe for hobo stew.

Heathen's Greetings, y'all!

Happy Dies Natalis Solis Invicti!

Monday, December 24, 2007

And from here it's only a small step to hunting the snakes

This is cool beyond words:
California ground squirrels and rock squirrels chew up rattlesnake skin and smear it on their fur to mask their scent, a team at the University of California Davis reported.


Barbara Clucas, a graduate student in animal behavior, watched ground squirrels and rock squirrels chewing up pieces of skin shed by snakes and then licking their fur.

That is just too freaking awesome.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I take my victories where I can

Awesome--the U.S. is facing sanctions!
The US faces $21m (£10.6m) in annual trade sanctions as a result of its online betting ban, the World Trade Organization has ruled.

Antigua and Barbuda was awarded the right to impose sanctions that target US services, copyrights and trademarks.

Laws passed in the US in October 2006 effectively made it illegal for foreign internet gaming firms to trade there.

But in March the trade body delivered a final ruling saying that the US online betting ban was illegal.


Last year the US stopped US banks and credit card companies from processing payments to online gambling businesses outside the country, effectively killing off the market for overseas gambling firms.

About half of the world's online gamblers are based in the US, and the market is estimated to be worth $15.5bn.

The WTO ruling said the US was breaking trade law by targeting online gambling firms, without equal application of the rules to US firms offering online betting on horse and dog racing.

Earlier this week, the EU said the US would offer its member countries trade concessions as compensation for its refusal to lift internet gambling laws.

Granted, $21 million is practically a drop in the bucket to the U.S., and it remains to be seen whether they'll actually pay up. Still, it's nice to remind the United States that they can't do whatever the fuck they want. And it's nice for the rank hypocrisy and two-faced nature of these laws (banning on-line gambling because it's "bad" but keeping lotteries and allowing bets on dog- and horse-racing) to be pointed out at this level.

Let's put Mithras back into Christmas!

Remember about a month ago, when scholars found the place they believe Romulus and Remus were nursed? Well, Andrea Carandini believe that a church was built nearby to co-opt this site of pagan worship for Christian purposes, such as Christmas:
A few feet from the grotto, or "Lupercale," the Emperor Constantine built the Basilica of St. Anastasia, where some believe Christmas was first celebrated on Dec. 25.

Constantine ended the frequent waves of anti-Christian persecutions in the Roman empire by making Christianity a lawful religion in 313. He played a key role in unifying the beliefs and practices of the early followers of Jesus.

In 325, he convened the Council of Nicaea, which fixed the dates of important Christian festivals. It opted to mark Christmas, then celebrated at varying dates, on Dec. 25 to coincide with the Roman festival celebrating the birth of the sun god, Andrea Carandini, a professor of archaeology at Rome's La Sapienza University, told reporters Friday.

The Basilica of St. Anastasia was built as soon as a year after the Nicaean Council. It probably was where Christmas was first marked on Dec. 25, part of broader efforts to link pagan practices to Christian celebrations in the early days of the new religion, Carandini said.

"The church was built to Christianize these pagan places of worship," he said. "It was normal to put a church near these places to try to 'save' them."

Via Dispatches from the Culture Wars.

And here's the Wikipedia page on Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the Roman festival stolen by Christians.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Dysæsthesia Æthiopica Edition

Today's post is a sequel to this one. You see, in the same article in which Samuel Cartwright discussed the disease causing slaves to run away, he also discussed another disease that bizarrely only affected blacks. This one was responsible for dulling both the body and mind of blacks. The effect this imaginary disease had on the mind made a black man dull, sleepy, and lazy; yet also somehow made him fitful--prone to tearing things up--and argumentative, prone to raising disturbances with overseers "without cause or motive." This also explains why when you beat them for the previously-described uppity behavior, they don't seem to feel pain.

So essentially, Cartwright took the common stereotypes of blacks as slothful layabouts that need whites to force them to be productive, and of blacks as being incapable of feeling pain, and called this a "disease." In fact, even though he tries explaining the physiological process by which this "disease" affects blacks, he never explains what is different about whites that they are not susceptible to it.

Cartwright also claims that this "disease" occurs mostly in free blacks, and only in slaves who live like their free counterparts. Which really means, just like his discussion of drapetomania, that slavery is good for blacks, as long as you don't treat them too well. In fact, his entire closing paragraph is dedicated to drilling this point home--abolitionism is stupid, he says, because freedom, while good for whites, is very, very bad for blacks.

This particular, ah, legacy of Cartwright's also seems slightly less well-known than drapetomania. I've seen that disease come up in blog comments and apparently is also in one of my brothers' psychology textbooks, but I don't think this one has such renown.


Dysæsthesia Æthiopica is a disease peculiar to negroes, affecting both mind and body in a manner as well expressed by dysæsthesia, the name I have given it, as could be by a single term. There is both mind and sensibility, but both seem to be difficult to reach by impressions from without. There is a partial insensibility of the skin, and so great a hebetude of the intellectual faculties, as to be like a person half asleep, that is with difficulty aroused and kept awake. It differs from every other species of mental disease, as it is accompanied with physical signs or lesions of the body discoverable to the medical observer, which are always present and sufficient to account for the symptoms. It is much more prevalent among free negroes living in clusters by themselves, than among slaves on our plantations, and attacks only such slaves as live like free negroes in regard to diet, drinks, exercise, etc. It is not my purpose to treat of the complaint as it prevails among free negroes, nearly all of whom are more or less afflicted with it, that have not got some white person to direct and to take care of them. To narrate its symptoms and effects among them would be to write a history of the ruins and dilapidation of Hayti, and every spot of earth they have ever had uncontrolled possession over for any length of time. I propose only to describe its symptoms among slaves.

From the careless movements of the individuals affected with the complaint, they are apt to do much mischief, which appears as if intentional, but is mostly owing to the stupidness of mind and insensibility of the nerves induced by the disease. Thus, they break, waste and destroy everything they handle,--abuse horses and cattle,--tear, burn or rend their own clothing, and, paying no attention to the rights of property, steal others, to replace what they have destroyed. They wander about at night, and keep in a half nodding sleep during the day. They slight their work,--cut up corn, cane, cotton or tobacco when hoeing it, as if for pure mischief. They raise disturbances with their overseers and fellow-servants without cause or motive, and seem to be insensible to pain when subjected to punishment. The fact of the existence of such a complaint, making man like an automaton or senseless machine, having the above or similar symptoms, can be clearly established by the most direct and positive testimony. That it should have escaped the attention of the medical profession, can only be accounted for because its attention has not been sufficiently directed to the maladies of the negro race. Otherwise a complaint of so common an occurrence on badly-governed plantations, and so universal among free negroes, or those who are not governed at all,--a disease radicated in physical lesions and having its peculiar and well marked symptoms and its curative indications, would not have escaped the notice of the profession. The northern physicians and people have noticed the symptoms, but not the disease from which they spring. They ignorantly attribute the symptoms to the debasing influence of slavery on the mind, without considering that those who have never been in slavery, or their fathers before them, are the most afflicted, and the latest from the slave-holding South the least. The disease is the natural offspring of negro liberty--the liberty to be idle, to wallow in filth, and to indulge in improper food and drinks.

In treating of the anatomy and physiology of the negro, I showed that his respiratory system was under the same physiological laws as that of an infant child of the white race: that a warm atmosphere, loaded with carbonic acid and aqueous vapor, was the most congenial to his lungs during sleep, as it is to the infant; that, to insure the respiration of such an atmosphere, he invariably, as if moved by instinct, shrouds his head and face in a blanket or some other covering when disposing himself to sleep; that in sleeping by the fire in cold weather he turns his head to it, instead of his feet, evidently to inhale warm air; that when not in active exercise, he always hovers over a fire in comparatively warm weather, as if he took a positive pleasure in inhaling hot air and smoke when his body is quiescent. The natural effect of this practice, it was shown, caused imperfect atmospherization or vitalization of the blood in the lungs, as occurs in infancy, and a hebetude or torpor of intellect--from blood not sufficiently vitalized being distributed to the brain; also a slothfulness, torpor and disinclination to exercise from the same cause--the want of blood sufficiently vitalized in the circulating system.

When left to himself, the negro indulges in his natural disposition to idleness and sloth, and does not take exercise enough to expand his lungs to to vitalize his blood, but dozes out a miserable existence in the midst of filth and uncleanliness, being too indolent, and having too little energy of mind to provide for himself proper food and comfortable loding and clothing. The consequence is, that the blood becomes so highly carbonized and deprived of oxygen, that it not only becomes unfit to stimulate the brain to energy, but unfit to stimulate the nerves of sensation distributed to the body. A torpor and insensibility pervades the system; the sentient nerves distributed to the skin lose their feeling in so great a degree, that he often burns his skin by the fire he hovers over without knowing it, and frequently has large holes in his clothes, and the shoes on his feet burnt to a crisp, without having been conscious of when it was done. This is the disease called dysæsthesia--a Greek term expressing the dull or obtuse sensation that always attends the complaint. When aroused from his sloth by the stimulus of hunger, he takes anything he can lay his hands on, and tramples on the rights, as well as on the property of others, with perfect indifference as to consequences. When driven to labor by the compulsive power of the white man, he performs the task assigned to him in headlong, careless manner, treading down with his feet or cutting with his hoe the plants he is put to cultivate--breaking the tools he works with, and spoiling everything he touches that can be injured by careless handling.--Hence the overseers call it "rascality," supposing that the mischief is intentionally done. But there is no premeditated mischief in the case,--the mind is too torpid to meditate mischief, or even to be aroused by any angry passions to deeds of daring. Dysæsthesia, or hebetude of sensation of both mind and body, prevails to so great an extent, that when the unfortunate individual is subjected to punishment, he neither feels pain of any consequence, nor shows any unusual resentment, more than by a stupid sulkiness. In some cases, anæsthsiæ would be a more suitable name for it, as there appears to be an almost total loss of feeling. The term "rascality" given to this disease by overseers, is founded on an erroneous hypothesis, and leads to an incorrec [sic] empirical treatment, which seldom or never cures it.

The complaint is easily curable, if treated on sound physiological principles. The skin is dry, thick and harsh to the touch, and the liver inactive. The liver, skin and kidneys should be stimulated to activity and be made to assist in decarbonizing the blood. The best means to stimulate the skin is, first, to have the patient well washed with warm water and soap, then, to anoint it all over with oil, and to slap the oil in with a broad leather strap; then to put the patient to some hard kind of work in the open air and sunshine, that will compel him to expand his lungs, as chopping wood, splitting rails, or sawing with the cross-cut or whip saw. Any kind of labor will do that will cause full and free respiration in its performance, as lifting or carrying heavy weights, or brisk walking; the object being to expand the lungs by full and deep inspiration and expirations, thereby to vitalize the impure circulating blood by introducing oxygen and expelling carbon. This treatment should not be continued too long at a time, because where the circulating fluids are so impure as in this complaint, patients cannot stand protracted exercise without resting frequently and drinking freely of cold water or some cooling beverage, as lemonade, or alternated pepper tea sweetened with molasses. In bad cases, the blood has always the appearance of blood in scurvy, and commonly there is a scorbutic affection to be seen on the gums. After resting until the palpitation of the heart caused by the exercise is allayed, the patient should eat some good wholesome food, well seasoned with spices and vegetables, as turnip or mustard salad, with vinegar. After a moderate meal, he should resume his work again, resting at intervals, and taking refreshments and supporting the perspiration by partaking freely of liquids. At night he should be lodged in a warm room with a small fire in it, and should have a clean bed with sufficient blanket covering, and be washed clean before going to bed: in the morning, oiled, slapped, and put to work as before. Such treatment will, in a short time, effect a cure in all cases which are not complicated with chronic visceral derangements. The effect of this or a like course of treatment is often like enchantment. No sooner does the blood feel the vivifying influences derived from its full and perfect atmospherization by exercise in the open air and in the sun, than the negro seems to be awakened to a new existence, and to look grateful and thankful to the white man whose compulsory power, by making him inhale vital air, has restored his sensation, and dispelled the mist that clouded his intellect. His intelligence restored and his sensations awakened, he is no longer the bipedum nequissimus, or arrant rascal, he was supposed to be, but a good negro that can hoe or plow, and handles things with as much care as his fellow servants.

Contrary to the received opinion, a northern climate is the most favorable to the intellectual development of negroes; those of Missouri, Kentucky and the colder parts of Virginia and Maryland having much more mental energy, being more bold and ungovernable than in the southern lowlands; a dense atmosphere causing a better ventilation of their blood.

Although idleness is the most prolific cause of dysæsthesia, yet there are other ways that the blood gets deteriorated. I said before that negroes are like children, requiring government in everything. If not governed in their diet, they are apt to eat too much salt meat and not enough bread and vegetables, which practice generates a scorbutic state of the fluids and leads to the affection under consideration. This form of the complaint always shows itself in the gums, which become spongy and dark and leave the teeth. Uncleanliness of skin and torpid liver also tend to produce it. A scurvy set of negroes means the same thing, in the South, as a disorderly, worthless set. That the blood, when rendered impure and carbonaceous from any cause, as from idleness, filthy habits, unwholesome food or alcoholic drinks, affects the mind, is not only known to physicians, but was known to the Bard of Avon when he penned the lines--"We are not ourselves when Nature, being oppressed, commands the mind to suffer with the body."

According to unaltered physiological laws, negroes, as a general rule to which there are but few exceptions, can only have their intellectual faculties awakened in a sufficient degree to receive moral culture and to profit by religious or other instructions, when under the compulsatory authority of the white man; because, as a general rule to which there are but few exceptions, they will not take sufficient exercise, when removed from the white man's authority, to vitalize and decarbonize their blood by the process of full and free respiration, that active exercise of some kind alone can effect. A northern climate remedies, in a considerable degree, their naturally indolent disposition; but the dense atmosphere of Boston or Canada can scarcely produce sufficient hematosis and vigor of mind to induce them to labor. From their natural indolence, unless under the stimulus of compulsion, they doze away their lives, with the capacity of their lungs for atmospheric air only half expanded from the want of exercise to superinduce full and deep respiration. The inevitable effect is to prevent a sufficient atmospherization or vitalization of the blood, so essential to the expansion and the freedom of action of the intellectual faculties. The black blood distributed to the brain chains the mind to ignorance, superstition and barbarism, and bolts the door against civilization, moral culture and religious truth. The compulsory power of the white man, by making the slothful negro take active exercise, puts into active play the lungs, through whose agency the vitalized blood is sent to the brain to give liberty to the mind and to open the door to intellectual improvement. The very exercise, so beneficial to the negro, is expended in cultivating those burning fields of cotton, sugar, rice and tobacco, which, but for his labor, would, from the heat of the climate, go uncultivated, and their products be lost to the world. Both parties are benefited--the negro as well as the master--even more. But there is a third party benefited--the world at large. The three millions of bales of cotton, made by negro labor, afford a cheap clothing for the civilized world. The laboring classes of all mankind having less to pay for clothing have more money to spend in educating their children, in intellectual, moral and religious progress.

The wisdom, mercy and justice of the decree, that Canaan shall serve Japheth, is proved by the disease we have been considering, because it proves that his physical organization and the laws of his nature are in perfect unison with slavery, and in entire discordance with liberty--a discordance so great as to produce the loathsome disease that we have been considering, as one of its inevitable effects,--a disease that locks up the understanding, blunts the sensations, and chains the mind to superstition, ignorance and barbarism. Slaves are not subject to this disease, unless they are permitted to live like free negroes, in idleness and filth--to eat improper food or to indulge in spirituous liquors. It is not their masters' interet that they should do so; as they would not only be unprofitable, but as great a nuisance to the South as the free negroes were found to be in London, whom the British government, more than half a century ago, colonized in Sierra Leone to get them out of the way. The mad fanaticism that British writers, lecturers and emissaries, and the East India Company planted in our Northern states, after it was found by well-tried experiments that free negroes in England, in Canada, in Sierra Leone and elsewhere were a perfect nuisance, and would not work as free laborers, but would retrograde to barbarism, was not planted there in opposition to British policy. Whatever was the motive of Great Britain in sowing the whirlwind in our Northern states, it is now threatening the disruption of a mighty empire of the happiest, most progressive and Christian people, that ever inhabited the earth--and the only empire on the wide earth that England dreads as a rival, either in arts or in arms.

Our Declaration of Independence, which was drawn up at a time when negroes were scarcely considered as human beings, "That all men are by nature free and equal," and only intended to apply to white men, is often quoted in support of the false dogma that all mankind possesses the same mental, physiological and anatomical organization, and that the liberty, free institutions, and whatever else would be a blessing to one portion, would, under the same external circumstances, be to all, without regard to any original or internal differences inherent in the organization. Although England preaches this doctrine, she practises in opposition to it every where. Instance her treatment of the Gipsies in England, the Hindoos in India, the Hottentots at her Cape Colony, and the aboriginal inhabitants of New-Holland. The dysæsthesia æthiopica adds another to the many ten thousand evidences of the fallacy of the dogma that abolitionism is built on; for here, in a country where two races of men dwell together, both born on the same soil, breathing the same air, and surrounded by the same external agents--liberty, which is elevating the one race of people above all other nations, sinks the other into beastly sloth and torpidity; and the slavery, which the one would prefer death rather than endure, improves the other in body, mind and morals; thus proving the dogma false, and establishing the truth that there is a radical, internal or physical difference between the two races, so great in kind, as to make what is wholesome and beneficial for the white man, as liberty, republican or free institutions, etc., not only unsuitable to the negro race, but actually poisonous to its happiness.


Who's more progressive than the U.S. this week?

Nepal's Supreme Court Friday ordered the government to enact laws to guarantee the rights of gays and lesbians, who have long complained of discrimination in the highly conservative Himalayan nation.

"The government of Nepal should formulate new laws and amend existing laws in order to safeguard the rights of these people," the judges said in their ruling.

"Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex are natural persons irrespective of their masculine and feminine gender and they have the right to exercise their rights and live an independent life in society," the judges said in the ruling, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

The court also ordered the government to form a committee to study existing laws and provisions of foreign countries on same-sex marriage and prepare laws to give it legal recognition in Nepal.


Still better than Mitt "I want to double Gitmo" Romney, I think

Huckabee's saga of denying reality in favor of convenient and comforting fairy tales continues:
"The inmates there [in Guantanamo Bay] were getting a whole lot better treatment than my prisoners in Arkansas. In fact, we left saying, 'I hope our guys don't see this. They'll all want to be transferred to Guanatanmo.' If anything, it's too nice."

Huckabee has said Guantanamo is more a "symbolic issue" than anything else since the detainees are treated better than prisoners in the US.

If we treat the people in Guantanamo better than the rest of the prison population, then we've got a hell of a lot bigger problems than I thought.

Although I like that Huckabee, who bases his campaign on his being Christian, is insisting that we ought to be meaner to people. I seem to recall something about loving your enemy, although I'm sure any Christian worth his salt can go through a tortuous exegesis to conclude that "love" in that passage really means "waterboard."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It does get ridiculously convoluted

An interesting and handy summary for those of us who don't really follow economics: Mark Chu-Carroll explains the sub-prime crisis.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Man, God's pop quizzes are murder

The pastor at the Colorado megachurch that was the locale of a recent shooting has declared it was all a test:
"Last weekend was a test ... but we are passing the test," said the Rev. Brady Boyd, New Life Church senior pastor, on a bright, sunny day when snow-capped Pikes Peak could be seen from the church grounds.

Really? What exactly is being tested? The cliché boilerplate is that such crises are tests of "faith", as though faith somehow acts as a bulletproof vest.

So the church is passing the test. The two teenage girls who were murdered, though, apparently failed. Probably their fault; they didn't have enough faith.

And this is somehow supposed to be a sign that God loves these people.

The conservative point of view

Sara at Orcinus explains some truths about the world:
When conservatives tell us that we need constant surveillance to make us secure, what they're telling us is that they themselves are prone to criminal behavior if they think nobody else is watching. The fear of exposure is the only force keeping them on the right side of the law -- and that's why it's the only form of "security" they understand. Bear this in mind if you decide to do business with them.

When they tell us that our future depends on supporting a military that's bigger than the rest of the world's fighting forces combined, what they're telling us is that they can't handle chaos, complexity, change, or being out of control. The whole world is a threat; the only solution is a bigger gun. Bear this in mind if you find yourself in conflict with them.

When they tell us diplomacy isn't an option, they're telling us that it's not an option they understand. Words, agreements, treaties, and contracts mean nothing to them. Brute force is the only option they comprehend...or are likely to respond to themselves. Bear this in mind before you negotiate with them.

When they tell us that homosexuality is a threat to American families, what they're telling us is that homosexuality is a threat to their families. As in: if they ever dared to admit their own sexual interest in other men, their wives would leave them, and take the kids. Bear this in mind when they hold themselves up as moral paragons.

When they tell us the Islamofascists are a threat to our way of life, they are quite correctly pointing out that there are fascists threatening our way of life. They're just deflecting their own intentions on to brown people far away. Bear this in mind before assuming they share your belief in constitutional democracy.

When they accuse reality-based folks of promoting "junk science," they're telling us they basically think all science is junk. Bear this in mind before attempting to present them with convincing evidence of anything.

When they tell us to support the troops, what they're really saying is: You better, because we won't. Bear this in mind when you evaluate the real costs of the war.

When they tell us the government can't be trusted, they're telling us they can't be trusted to govern. Bear this in mind every time you step into a voting booth.


Tuesday Fake Racist Blogging: C.H. Dalton On Dark Alleys

Buy the book.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mitt Romney: Making Huckabee look good

When I write lengthy lists of the flaws of certain politicians like Ron Paul or Mike Huckabee, I don't mean to imply that they don't have their good points too. Mostly I just like being contrary and persnickety.

Huckabee, for all that he's a Biblical literalist, creationist, and general science-hater, has some good things going for him. He appears to recognize that pissing off the rest of the world isn't a good thing. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is outraged by such an insinuation:
[Y]esterday ... [Romney] blasted Huckabee for calling Bush's foreign policy arrogant and indicative of a "bunker mentality."

"That's an insult to the president, and Mike Huckabee should apologize to the president," Romney said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Within hours, Huckabee dismissed Romney's criticism.

"I don't have anything to apologize for," he said on CNN's "Late Edition." "I've got to show that I do have my own mind when it comes to how this country ought to lead, not only within its own borders but across the world."

Romney was seizing on an article Huckabee wrote for the January/February 2008 issue of "Foreign Affairs" magazine, in which the former Arkansas governor asserts that "American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out."

"The Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad," Huckabee wrote. "My administration will recognize that the United States' main fight today does not pit us against the world but pits the world against the terrorists."


Huckabee, who has been criticized for his relative inexperience in foreign affairs, said that while the United States should have "the strongest possible military on the face of the planet," it should also recognize "that we do better when we are partners with the entire world standing against the threat of Islamo-fascism than when we simply say that we're going to do it our way, and if you don't want to do it our way then we brand you as being with the other side."

That sounds... close to sane, really. France isn't our enemy, despite what you may have heard. It makes no sense to try and ignore the rest of the world, force them to do things our way, in order to meet our goals. We should work with other countries.
Romney told crowds in Iowa on Saturday that Huckabee was talking like Democratic presidential candidates John Edwards and Barack Obama, not a loyal Republican.

And here the authoritarian nature of the modern GOP shows through. Romney isn't trying to say that Huckabee is wrong, or naive, or ineffective, or anything. No, he's saying that he's disloyal. Huckabee's not showing the proper amount of fealty to President Bush, therefore you shouldn't vote for him. In Romney's mind--and unfortunately the mind of much of the GOP constituency, I fear--criticism of the president is tantamount to treason. (At least until we get a Democratic president)

Huckabee at least seems to realize that this is bullshit. On the other hand, if Huckabee's best point is that he sounds like a Democrat... then why not just vote Democratic?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Jesus died, and so should you

PZ linked to a top-10 list of reasons not to vote for Huckabee. Several of them I've already covered, but there are a few ones new to me--trying to cover up his son's gruesome murder of a stray dog; lying about having a theology degree; and expressing his belief that "all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy". That last one may not be so bad, since he says "The holy Bible . . . has truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter", so that statement could be taken to mean that the Bible is totally true as regarding spiritual matters, not scientific. But given Huckabee's other uses of religion to dismiss science, I wouldn't be so sure.

But the most interesting is probably this statement on the death penalty (from CalGeorge in comments at Pharyngula):
Shortly before a triple execution in Arkansas in Jan. 1997, a caller called into Huckabee's show on Arkansas Educational Television Network and asking how he squared his Christian teachings with his support for the death penalty. As the Arkansas Times reported on Jan. 22, 1997:
"Interestingly enough," Huckabee allowed, "if there was ever an occasion for someone to have argued against the death penalty, I think Jesus could have done so on the cross and said, 'This is an unjust punishment and I deserve clemency'."

Jesus, though, did not ask for clemency. Therefore, according to Huckabee's logic, Jesus must have been in favor of capital punishment.

Nope, Jesus never said that. However he did supposedly say "all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." So how about this, Huckabee: you can kill me if you let me kill you. Eh? How about it?

But no, this is brilliant reasoning. A supposedly-omnipotent, omniscient, immortal being willingly gave up its life, therefore we should all be so willing. Besides, everyone knows that the death penalty is only temporary--a mere three days! Basically a slap on the wrist compared to years in jail.

And by this logic, shouldn't Huckabee be promoting crucifixion as a means of capital punishment now? "Crucifixion was good enough for Jesus--are you trying to tell me you're better than Jesus?"

Is our states learning?

This was sent to me by my brother: it looks like ten to twelve states this year are rejecting federal money for abstinence-only sex education.
The number of states refusing federal money for "abstinence-only" sex education programs jumped sharply in the past year as evidence mounted that the approach is ineffective.

At least 14 states have either notified the federal government that they will no longer be requesting the funds or are not expected to apply, forgoing more than $15 million of the $50 million available, officials said. Virginia was the most recent state to opt out.

Two other states -- Ohio and Washington -- have applied but stipulated they would use the money for comprehensive sex education, effectively making themselves ineligible, federal officials said. While Maryland and the District are planning to continue applying for the money, other states are considering withdrawing as well.

Until this year, only four states had passed up the funding.

Huzzah! It looks like they're waking up to the fact that abstinence-only sex education (aside from being an oxymoron) just plain doesn't work.

Not everyone is pleased, of course. The government that offers the money isn't happy:
"We're concerned about this," said Stan Koutstaal of the Department of Health and Human Services, which runs the program. "My greatest concern about states dropping out is that these are valuable services and programs. It's the youths in these states who are missing out."

They're not happy, and they're not too bright. The youths in the states that are forced to have abstinence-only education are the ones missing out, because educating teenagers on how not to have sex doesn't work. The youths in the states that know that are also missing out because you won't give them money for a proper sex-ed course. But they're going to get something, at least, which is better than before.

The anti-sex crowd also are miffed:
"We're talking about the health of millions of youth across the United States," said Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association. "We know abstinence education offers the best for them. Now is the time to put more emphasis on that message, not less."

Yeah... "we know abstinence education offers the best for them. We don't have any proof of that, and we don't even have convincing arguments to wave away all the evidence that it doesn't, but we know it! We know it in our genitals. Thinking--that's what genitals are for, right?"

But wait, there's more from Huber!
"Our critics would have governors believe that these programs are just somebody standing in front of the class wagging a finger and saying, 'No. No. No. Don't have sex.' That's not what these classes entail," Huber said. "They are holistic. They include relationship-building skills and medically accurate discussions of sexually transmitted diseases and contraception."

Oh? Such medically-accurate discussions of STDs as "HIV ... can be spread via sweat and tears"? Or such medically-accurate discussions of contraception as "nearly 1 in 3 will contract AIDS from infected partner with 100% condom use"? Or such relationship-building skills as telling kids that "any same sex 'sexual experimentation' can be confusing to young persons and should be strongly discouraged"? Yeah, that sounds exactly like it's the best thing for children to hear. (See here for more information on what abstinence-only education really teaches kids)

The states who opted out had some encouraging things to say:
"The governor has often stated that abstinence-only education does not show any results," said Gordon Hickey, a spokesman for Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who announced plans to give up the funding last month. "It doesn't work. He's a firm believer in more comprehensive sex education."


"Why would we spend tax dollars on something that doesn't work?" asked Ned Calonge of the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. "That doesn't make sense to me. Philosophically, I am opposed to spending government dollars on something that's ineffective. That's just irresponsible."

I'm pretty sure we won't be hearing anything of the sort from Gov. Sonny "Let's pray for rain!" Perdue anytime soon, unfortunately.


Isn't the army supposed to be "moral" and "upstanding" (aside from, you know, killing people)

The army can't let gays in its ranks because it can't condone immorality, according to General Peter Pace.

But a vast epidemic of cheaters? Perfectly acceptable.

For eight years, the Army has known that its largest online testing program - which verifies that soldiers have learned certain military skills and helps them amass promotion points - has been the subject of widespread cheating.

In 1999, testing officials first noticed that soldiers were turning in many tests over a short period, something that would have been almost impossible without having obtained the answers ahead of time. A survey by the testing office showed that 5 percent of the exams were probably the subject of cheating. At the time, soldiers were filing roughly 200,000 exams per year.

But it wasn't until June of this year, when an Army computer contractor complained about a website providing free copies of completed exams, that the Army acknowledged that it had a problem.

A five-month Globe investigation has since found that by then, hundreds of thousands of packages of completed exams had been downloaded by soldiers over many years.

But the Army never prosecuted anyone for cheating - which is a violation of three sections of the military code of justice.


"As long as the Army, which has been well aware of this rampant problem for years, continues for one more day to use these exam results to award more money to soldiers [through promotions] the Army is promoting fraud," said Lisa Conklin, a former enlisted soldier in Germany. She was one of dozens of soldiers and former soldiers who contacted the Globe expressing concern about cheating after stories appeared last summer.

Conklin said that cheating was "almost universal" in her unit, and that she was told it was none of her business when she tried to report it.


During the eight years of Army inaction, the cheating problem grew steadily. The Globe investigation found that the cheating epidemic has involved tens of thousands of soldiers. Computer records from one site, called ShamSchool, created by the soldier who was the subject of news reports in July, show more than 200,000 downloads of packages containing the answers to multiple exams in just the 11 months from September 2006 to this past August. They included:

42,839 downloads of a package of engineering tests, covering subjects including explosives and demolitions, detecting mines, building trenches, and other forms of combat engineering;

19,570 downloads of a package of what the Army calls "interschool" exams, covering attack helicopter formations, chemical detection and contamination, and infantry field hygiene;

18,891 downloads of air defense artillery examinations; and

13,282 downloads of the course package for the Quartermaster Corps.


Under the military justice system, alleged criminal violations are investigated by the unit of the soldier who is implicated. So whenever testing officials heard about evidence of cheating, they referred it to the soldiers' units, said Connie Wardell, the civilian official who has overseen the testing program since 2005.

The individual units, however, balked at taking action. Interviews with dozens of soldiers - some of whom did not want their full names disclosed for fear of retribution - suggest that cheating was tolerated by commanders, who didn't want to engage in time-consuming and unpopular investigations.

In fact, the testing office acknowledged, there is no evidence that any violators were formally punished by the different units between 1999 and this fall.

"As much as we ask what happened [to the suspected soldier], we often never hear anything back," said Marilyn Hicok, a testing official at Fort Eustis.

Why does all this matter? Well, these tests are used to accumulate points that help one get promoted--and recently, the tests are counting for more and more:
The Army sergeant is the first leader that an Army private encounters in boot camp. Sergeants train soldiers to operate weapons, build fortifications, and go into battle. Sergeants also handle desk jobs, from dispensing Army paychecks to keeping the troops armed, fed, and clothed.

The Army maintains an elaborate process for selecting its sergeants, what it calls a "values-based, merit promotion" system.

Soldiers can gain promotion points for competence, military bearing, leadership, training, and responsibility and accountability, based on the assessments of the soldiers' commanders and a separate promotion board. Candidates also can get points for weapons proficiency, awards and decorations, and civilian education.

But soldiers can also gain up to 200 points from the correspondence courses. And lately, those 200 points, obtained through online exams, can count for more than half the points needed to become a sergeant.

Each month, the Army Human Resources Command forecasts the number of vacancies and adjusts the number of points required for promotion.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - with a near-constant demand for sergeants - have driven down the point totals necessary for promotion in certain specialties.

For example, only 386 points were required for a specialist to be promoted to an infantry sergeant in October, down from 424 in September, records show. The numbers of points to qualify for the position of staff sergeant in a Patriot missile unit dropped from 662 in September to 502 in October, according to Army data.

In addition, the required points for sergeants in the signal corps, tank units, and intelligence branch have all been lowered dramatically because of personnel shortages.

Soldiers have been quick to note that the points gained from online tests take on greater importance as the total points needed for promotion decline.

Which means that we're getting people promoted based on knowledge that they don't have, that they in fact faked having. And in the army, not knowing something that you're supposed to could get you--and the people around you--killed.
The report added: "In the Army, the consequences of training compromise can be severe. For example, soldiers considered qualified to perform a task may not be, increasing the chances of 'human error' during an operation."

But all that's okay, apparently. Sure, it's immoral to cheat, but it's not gay sex, so no-one cares. And they're promoting people who don't have the qualifications to fulfill their duties while kicking out well-qualified soldiers, but those latter are gay so they hardly count.



Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Edition

Now if that title didn't make you wonder, I'm not sure what will. What's it all about?

Well, in this post I gave a lengthy list of Bible verses that are used to prove that God hates miscegenation. This list, as I noted at the time, was cribbed from a single book, Whom Has God Joined Together?, and so it doesn't really list every verse used to justify racism or some bizarre race theory, just those that the author examined in that book. So I figured I would post about one Bible verse in particular that wasn't included in Jackson's book: Revelation 6:1-8.

Some of you who know that verse or clicked on the link or remember the title of this post may be scratching your heads now. "What the hell do the four horsemen of the apocalypse have to do with racism?" Well, Watson F. Quinby seemed to think they were stalwart examples of the different races, as he explained in his work Mongrelism:
Away off in the North of China, is Mongrelia, the land of the Mongrels. Well would it have been for the world, if Mongrelism had been confined to this land.

I mean by Mongrelism, the mixing of the blood of the different races of man. For there are, at least, three distinct races of men, having different origins; the red, the white and the black.

The red, white and blue, in national ensigns, are typical of this face; united, but not mixed.

These races differ not only in color and general appearance, but in qualities of mind, and natural habits. The characteristics of the races are succintly given in the book of Revelations.

"And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals,
"and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four
"beasts, saying, Come and see.

"And I saw, and behold, a white horse: and he that sat
"on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and
"he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

"And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the
"second beast say, Come and see.

"And there went out another horse that was red: and
"power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from
"the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there
"was given unto him a great sword.

"And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third
"beast say, Come and see.

"And I beheld, and lo, a black horse: and he that sat
"on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a
"voice in the midst of the four beasts say, "A measure of
"wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny;
"and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine."

This indicates the result of the peaceful labor of the black man. The Mongrel is well described also.

"And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the
"voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

"And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and his name
"that sat on him was Death, and hell followed with him.
"And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the
"earth to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death,
"and with the beasts of the earth."

The white man is represented as a conquerer, with the bow as his symbol. The bow is now in use by all the races, but was originated by the white man. It passed into the hands of the other races, just as the gun is passing now.

So, uh, yeah. White men are conquerors. Red men apparently destroy peace and murder each other. Black men are "peaceful laborers"--i.e., slaves. And finally, multiracial men are death incarnate. He says a few paragraphs later that "the Mongrel is a destroyer."

This sounds like something from C.H. Dalton, doesn't it? It's so damned hard to parody these lunatics.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Just a bit more information on that Christmas / Chanukah kerfuffle. CNN reports:
Friday's altercation on the Q train began when somebody yelled out "Merry Christmas," to which rider Walter Adler responded, "Happy Hanukkah," said Toba Hellerstein.

"Almost immediately, you see the look in this guy's face like I've called his mother something," Adler told CNN affiliate WABC.

Two women who were with a group of 10 rowdy people then began to verbally assault Adler's companions with anti-Semitic language, Hellerstein said.

One member of the group allegedly yelled, "Oh, Hanukkah. That's the day that the Jews killed Jesus," she said.

By their fruits you shall know them!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dogpiling on Huckabee

I have (deservedly, I feel) picked on Ron Paul a bit. So let's jump on the bandwagon and pick on Mike Huckabee!

Mike Huckabee hates Mexicans.

And gays.
I believe to try to legitimize that which is inherently illegitimate would be a disgraceful act of government. I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.

And ducks.
[W]atching ducks land on a lake in Arkansas in the winter is about the closest to Heaven as you can find on this earth... and as someone who believes, according to my faith, I will go to Heaven when I die, I am pretty sure that there is duck hunting in Heaven!

And women.
_ Rejected the idea of women in combat "because of my strong traditional view that women should be treated with respect and dignity and not subject to the kinds of abuses that could occur in combat."


_ Said he believed no one has a constitutional right to an abortion and supported requiring minors to obtain parental consent. Huckabee also said he supported requiring doctors to discuss abortion alternatives and a waiting period.

Yes, those poor women need protecting from that scary real world.

And, uh, more women. Or more hatred. Via
A full-page ad in USA Today Aug. 26 voiced the affirmation of 131 evangelicals to the Southern Baptist Convention that "you are right!" in holding forth the Bible's teachings on marriage.


Among those signing the USA Today affirmation are ... Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet ... .


The SBC article describes marriage as "the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime." It also notes, "The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. ... A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. ... A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ."

Mike Huckabee also hates science.
Huckabee says his campaign is like the flight of a bumblebee.

"It's said that, according to the law of aeronautics and the wingspan and circumference of the bumblebee, it is aeronautically impossible for the bumblebee to fly," he says. "However, the bumblebee, being unaware of these scientific facts, goes ahead and flies anyway."

He really hates science.

I mean really, really hates it.
Oh, I believe in science. I certainly do. In fact, what I believe in is, I believe in God. I don't think there's a conflict between the two. But if there's going to be a conflict, science changes with every generation and with new discoveries and God doesn't. So I'll stick with God if the two are in conflict.

He also hates logic and gays and anthropology and history.
I don't think the issue's about being against gay marriage. It's about being for traditional marriage and articulating the reason that's important. You have to have a basic family structure. There's never been a civilization that has rewritten what marriage and family means and survived.

That goes double for the history of the U.S.
When our founding fathers put their signatures on the Declaration of Independence, those 56 brave people, most of whom, by the way, were clergymen, they said that we have certain inalienable rights given to us by our creator, and among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, life being one of them.

He hated Bill Clinton enough to free Wayne Dumond, who celebrated his freedom by sexually assaulting and murdering another woman.

But he loves God! And God loves him!

[Edit] Um, wow. Huckabee loves God, but he doesn't seem so fond of the whole "thou shalt not steal" bit:
In the 1992 contest with Bumpers, Huckabee used campaign funds to pay himself as his own media consultant. Other payments went to the family babysitter.

In his successful 1994 run for lieutenant governor, he set up a nonprofit curtain known as Action America so he could give speeches for money without having to disclose the names of his benefactors. He failed to report that campaign travel payments were for the use of his own personal plane.


In the governor's office, his grasp never exceeded his reach. Furniture he'd received to doll up his office was carted out with him when he left ...

Until my paper, the Arkansas Times, blew the whistle, he converted a governor's mansion operating account into a personal expense account, claiming public money for a doghouse, dry-cleaning bills, panty hose and meals at Taco Bell. He tried to claim $70,000 in furnishings provided by a wealthy cotton grower for the private part of the residence as his own, until he learned ethics rules prevented it. ...

...Finally, unbelievably, Huckabee once sued to overturn the ban on gifts to him.

Also? In case you weren't aware of it, Huckabee hates women, gays and science. Because the Bible tells him to:
Ask the retarded Fort Smith teenager, raped by her stepfather, who sought Medicaid funding for an abortion as federal law required. Huckabee stood in the hospital door, at least figuratively, to prevent state funding. Ask the gay people belittled by his cracks about "Adam and Steve." Ask the scientists who've seen evolution virtually disappear from the textbooks and classrooms of Arkansas with his administration's acquiescence.


First blood in the War on Christmas

Woe for those poor, oppressed Christians:
Four Jewish subway riders who wished other people Happy Hanukkah were
pelted with anti-Semitic remarks before being beaten, New York police and prosecutors said. The incident was being investigated as a possible hate crime.

The four were on a train in Manhattan on Friday night, during the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights, when they were approached by a group of 10 people who offered holiday greetings. The victims responded, Happy Hanukkah and were assaulted by the larger group, police said Tuesday.

What were they supposed to do after having their religion and cherished holiday so brutally attacked by those vicious Jews? "Happy Hanukkah"? They might as well have said "We're going to take your blood for our matzah--just like we did your precious messiah!" After all, Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ. Telling somebody that it really isn't... well, there's only so much one man can take. Those Christians just had to assault those Jews for daring to have another religion in America.

And those pagans.

And those atheists.

Via Atrios.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday Fake Racist Blogging: C.H. Dalton On Stereotypes

Buy the book, people.

Monday, December 10, 2007

There's still racism in the U.S.

Whoda thunk it?
The United States is rife with racial discrimination and the authorities have an "abysmal" record on promoting equality, according to a report by a coalition of 250 civic groups published on Monday.

The U.S. Human Rights Network, which groups non-profit organizations, released its report to counter the findings of a U.S. government report in April to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

The network said U.S. minorities including African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics and Muslims face discrimination in a range of areas including voting, policing and education. Immigrants are often unfairly treated, as are women and children from ethnic minorities, it said.

A disproportionate number of minorities are arrested, charged, prosecuted and convicted compared with whites, and minorities are over-represented in U.S. prisons, said the report titled "Turning a blind eye to injustice."

Schools in areas with high concentrations of minorities often lack adequate resources and, as a result, students score poorly in federally mandated examinations, it said.

Minorities are "unfairly victimized" by racial profiling, a practice in which police can stop and frisk people based on their appearance. Muslims have been targeted particularly since the September 11 attacks by al Qaeda militants in 2001, it said.

But... but... but... racism ended in the '60s, didn't it? I mean, we said we're not going to be racist anymore, therefore everything is good, forever!

Irony, like god, is dead

A Vatican astronomer, while decrying intelligent design, had this to say:
"Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality," Brother Consolmagno said-- "to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism."

Yeah, without creationism there's no superstition at all in religion. Purely rational, it is. How could anyone ever doubt the existence of an invisible wish-granting beefed-up Santa Claus in the clouds?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Drapetomania Edition

In order to alleviate their consciences and their gods, slaveholders had to concoct all sorts of theories to justify their pernicious lifestyle: God is okay with slavery; God in fact cursed blacks to be the slaves of other races; blacks weren't capable of coping with freedom; blacks actually didn't mind slavery; etc.

But wait... wouldn't that last one be easily disproven by the existence of runaway slaves? Well, slaveholders could always invent ways around that. Slaves who ran away, they said, were being corrupted by outsiders--Northerners and abolitionists; but left to themselves slaves were happy. Or you could take the route Samuel Cartwright did, who invented a word that I don't think ever really caught on: drapetomania. Drapetomania, he explains, was "the disease causing negroes to run away."

Well, although that's the subtitle for the article where he talks about it, in truth he's just saying that if you're neither too lenient nor too harsh, slaves will have no reason to want to run away. Despite this, Cartwright (who you may recall had some problems with logic) declared it a madness when they did.


Drapetomania is from δραπέτης, a runaway slave, and μανια, mad or crazy. It is unknown to our medical authorities, although its diagnostic symptom, the absconding from service, is as well known to our planters and overseers, as it was to the ancient Greeks, who expressed, by the single word δραπέτης, the fact of the absconding, and the relation that the fugitive held to the person he fled from. I have added to the word meaning runaway slave, another Greek term, to express the disease of the mind causing him to abscond. In noticing a disease not heretofore classed among the long list of maladies that man is subject to, it was necessary to have a new term to express it. The cause, in the most of cases, that induces the negro to run away from service, is as much a disease of the mind as any other species of mental alienation, and much more curable, as a general rule. With the advantages of proper medical advice, strictly followed, this troublesome practice that many negroes have of running away, can be almost entirely prevented, although the slaves be located on the borders of a free state, within a stone's throw of the abolitionists. I was born in Virginia, east of the Blue Ridge, where negroes were numerous, and studied medicine some years in Maryland, a slave state, separated from Pennsylvania, a free state, by Mason & Dixon's line--a mere air line, without wall or guard. I long ago observed that some persons considered as very good, and others as very bad masters, often lost their negroes by their absconding from service; while the slaves of another class of persons, remarkable for order and good discipline, but not praised or blamed as either good or bad masters, never ran away, although no guard or forcible means were used to prevent them. The same management which prevented them from walking over a mere nominal, unguarded line, will prevent them from running away anywhere.

To ascertain the true method of governing negroes, so as to cure and prevent the disease under consideration, we must go back to the Pentateuch, and learn the true meaning of the untranslated term that represents the negro race. In the name there given to that race, is locked up the true art of governing negroes in such a manner that they cannot run away. The correct translation of that term declares the Creator's will in regard to the negro; it declares him to be the submissive knee-bender. In the anatomical conformation of his knees, we see "genu flexit" written in his physical structure, being more flexed or bent, than any other kind of man. If the white man attempts to oppose the Deity's will, by trying to make the negro anything else than "the submissive knee-bender," (which the Almighty declared he should be,) by trying to raise him to a level with himself, or by putting himself on an equality with the negro; or if he abuses the power which God has given him over his fellow-man, by being cruel to him, or punishing him in anger, or by neglecting to protect him from the wanton abuses of his fellow-servants and all others, or by denying him the usual comforts and necessaries of life, the negro will run away; but if he keeps him in the position that we learn from the Scriptures he was intended to occupy, that is, the position of submission; and if his master or overseer be kind and gracious in his bearing towards him, without condescension, and at the same time minsters to his physical wants, and protects him from abuses, the negro is spell-bound, and cannot run away. "He shall serve Japheth; he shall be his servant of servants," on the conditions above mentioned--conditions that are clearly implied, though not directly expressed. According to my experience, the "geny flexit"--the awe and reverence, must be exacted from them, or they will despise their masters, become rude and ungovernable, and run away. On Mason and Dixon's line, two classes of persons were apt to lost their negroes: those who made themselves too familiar with them, treating them as equals, and making little or no distinction in regard to color; and, on the other hand, those who treated them cruelly, denied them the common necessaries of life, neglected to protect them against the abuses of others, or frightened them by a blustering manner of approach, when about to punish them for misdemeanors. Before negroes run away, unless they are frightened or panic-struck, they become sulky and dissatisfied. The causes of this sulkiness and dissatisfaction should be inquired into and removed, or they are apt to run away or fall into the negro consumption. When sulky and dissatisfied without cause, the experience of those on the line and elsewhere, was decidedly in favor of whipping them out of it, as a preventive measure against absconding, or otherwise bad conduct. It was called whipping the devil out of them.

If treated kindly, well fed and clothed, with fuel enough to keep a small fire burning all night--separated into families, each family having its own house--not permitted to run about at night to visit their neighbors, to receive visits or to use intoxicating liquors, and not overworked or exposed too much to the weather, they are very easily governed--more so than any other people in the world. When all this is done, if any one or more of them, at any time, are inclined to raise their heads to a level with their master or overseer, humanity and their own good required that they should be punished until they fall into that submissive state which it was intended for them to occupy in all after-time, when their progenitor received the name of Canaan or "submissive knee-bender." They have only to be kept in that state and treated like children, with care, kindness, attention and humanity, to prevent and cure them from running away.

Being robbed of their freedom, you see, wasn't enough to warrant "sulkiness and dissatisfaction." Surely there was some other cause than being reduced to chattel.

But as you can see, there's not really any argument here--certainly nothing medical or scientific, despite his proclamation to have discovered a "disease" and its "cure." It's really just the same old assertion that Genesis 9:25 means that it's okay for whites (Semites, or sometimes Japhetites) to enslave blacks (Hamites). Yet by defining the desire to be free as a mental disease, Cartwright could shift the debate (such as it was). Under this view abolitionists would be Pestilence, trying to spread a disease to these poor, defenseless negroes who can't really cope with freedom anyways. It was just another trick to try to proclaim moral right by setting up slavery as not only a Biblical but a biological and medical good.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

After having read so much about him, I hate Uri Geller now

In one of his latest commentaries, the Amazing Randi stated:
For those of you who are casting about for a project you might enter into to help the JREF, I think that I have a dandy. For years now, I've been encountering quotations from Uri Geller in which he firmly disavows any ability as a magician – that is, one who does tricks rather than genuine miracles. He has repeatedly stated that he doesn't do tricks, doesn't know how to do tricks, and has never done tricks, and has also said repeatedly that something he's just done is "not a trick."


I'm looking for similar statements, spoken or written, preferably with dates, in which Geller has denied doing tricks, or has said that he has "powers."

Compiling a list of documented quotes is something I think I do quite well. So--eager to be of assistance in this cause--I searched Nexis and for any references to Uri Geller and browsed all of the articles they had for quotes where Geller claimed to have "powers", denied being a magician, or other such things. I tried to avoid quotes where the article asserted that "Geller says he's psychic" or something of a similar nature, preferring statements directly from Geller's mouth. However, I think there are a couple of quotes like that in here, just because I thought they were too good to give up.

Source: WENN Entertainment News Wire Service
Date: January 22, 2007
Article title: Geller slams accusations of trickery
But Geller has hit back at the criticism, insisting, "I keep my powers mysterious. The cynics and magicians who have come out against me have done a great job worth millions. It has made Uri Geller more mysterious and has created a mystical aura around me."

Source: Agence France Presse -- English
Date: January 21, 2007
Article title: Uri Geller TV show spooks Israeli magicians
"I am not a magician and have never been one," Geller said in his Tel Aviv hotel suite. He once claimed he could see in his mind a drawing scribbled by a passenger aboard an airborne jet.

"I keep my powers mysterious. When I was young I used to say I had supernatural powers. Today I tell people 'you make up your mind. I won't deny or confirm anything'."

Source: The Jerusalem Post, p 24
Date: December 13, 2006
Article title: Charm school
"I have a simple explanation for these phenomena and my explanation is this: you think you are sitting in a solid room you can touch it. It feels solid to you but you're dead wrong. This is not a solid room; neither is the table the computer or me. I'm not solid and neither are you. We are energy ... Everything is energy. I think I learned how to manipulate that energy."

Source: Daily Record, p 13
Date: April 20, 2006
Article title: Save our spoons, pass the ballot
THIS week's P.I.S.H. (Psychic Is Searching Holyrood) award is flying through the cosmos to Uri Geller, who announced our dodgy-beamed parliament building "appears to be cursed and could be haunted.

He added: "I will use paranormal and supernatural techniques to investigate. Exorcism can be used to remove negative aspects."

Source: The Mirror, pp 4-5
Date: October 12, 2005
Article title: Psyche out the Swiss; Bring your spoons & stir boys in green to victory tonight
He said: "Ever since 1996 when I used the power of my mind to move the ball away from Gary McAllister as he took a penalty in the game with England, teams have come to me for help. I have the power to influence matches.

Source: Agence France Presse -- English
Date: February 9, 2005
Article title: Spoon-bending Geller vows to prove he really is psychic
Spoon-bending entertainer Uri Geller was set to appear before the august Oxford Union debating society Wednesday to prove he really is a psychic, the union has announced.

Geller, 58, has offered to fix, under the watchful eye of a special camera, any broken watches that members of the union may have, in order to convince skeptics that he is a true psychic.

Source: The Mirror, p 27
Date: January 20, 2005
Article title: Mr Showbiz: Mind Games
When Uri mentioned that he'd once moved the ball with his mind during an England match Nolan retorted: "It was probably the wind Uri, and had nothing to do with your brain."

Uri, below, who has already had one bust-up with Nolan, snapped: "Of course not - it was definitely my psychic powers, anyone could see that."

Source: The Australian, p 12
Date: October 28, 2004
Article title: Letters to the Editor
IT is typical of the prejudice that beset the career of Jacques Benveniste (Time & Tide, 27/10) that you drag in the name of a magician James Randi. You then credit Randi with "unmasking the cutlery-bending tricks of Uri Geller". Quite apart from the fact that my ability with metal is a partially understood phenomenon of physics and not a trick, both Randi and I are irrelevant to Benveniste's life story.

Source: The Independent (London), p 3
Date: January 14, 2004
Article title: The world according to... Uri Geller Psychic
Where do you think your power comes from?

I believe in God and that we're attached to each other with invisible spiritual thread that can evoke supernatural powers. If you're intuitive, you can open yourself to gifts. In the spaces of infinity there's a God and everything comes from him.

Source: The Weekend Australian, p 7
Date: September 7, 2002
Article title: TV survival is all mind over matter
"Before I went on the show I promised that I will never use my psychic powers because that wouldn't be fair for the others," Geller told The Weekend Australian.

Source: The Independent (London), p 6
Date: August 31, 2002
Article title: Spoonbender who took Michael Jackson to Exeter City is lining up Brazil for his next trick
Geller smiles. "You know, I met all the team, pulled out a spoon, and said to them: Now, I am going to bend a spoon for you. It is the only time you'll see it because I will never do it again for you. This is not about spoonbending. If ever I see you in the dressing-room it will be about motivation and inspiration. With all my powers I can't make you win, but I can make you feel more positive about yourselves, and more positive about the team'."

Source: Financial Times (London, England), p 3
Date: August 17, 2002
Article title: Metal guru - Was it wise to let Uri Geller, spoonbender and potential world conflict mender, loose in a room full of cutlery?
"I've done a lot of work for the CIA - mainly in Mexico," he says in his whiny, heavily accented voice. "I sat next to two KGB agents on an aeroplane and erased their floppy disks with the power of my mind."

I bring up his disastrous appearance on the Johnny Carson show in 1973 where a team of magicians were enlisted as consultants and for once Geller's spoons refused to bend.

Geller's eyes flash angrily. "It is 29 years ago and still you are bringing up the Carson show. Some magicians tried to debunk me - they tried to set me up. They glued things down, they gave me a very thick spoon." He shrugs.

"But so what? I'm controversial and that's great. A minority of sceptics and cynics say, 'Oh, he has chemicals on his hands', but they have always been my unpaid publicists.

"Besides, they have made me so much money from lawsuits because I simply won't take their damaging lies. I'm not going to force you to believe in Uri Geller, but if I see a libellous word I will sue you." Libellous words include "charlatan" and "magician". "Nobody has ever been able to prove what I do is magic. It is a mystery of the field of the paranormal. By the way, are you enjoying your food?"

Source: The People, pp 28, 29
Date: February 17, 2002
Erase all cynicism from your thinking - for the secret of success is really believing that these things can happen. This is not a trick or publicity stunt. I have been using my paranormal powers since the age of four when I first bent a spoon.

Source: The Guardian (London), p 23
Date: November 8, 2000
Article title: Letter: Geller: I can bend metal
I can say with absolute certainty I do not cheat. I am not a magician.

Source: Sunday Mercury, p 4
Date: September 17, 2000
Article title: It was me, says Uri as torch stalls
The 54-year-old celebrity said last night that he had concentrated his mind to make the giant cauldron of flames stall on its journey to the top of the stadium after being lit by Cathy Freeman.

Source: The Times (London)
Date: September 8, 2000
Article title: One of a kind
Sir, On yesterday's front page you call me "the Israeli magician Uri Geller". I am not a magician - my powers are not based on conjuring tricks.

Source: The Independent (London), p 7
Date: August 16, 2000
Article title: You ask the questions: Uri Geller
I have written my question and placed it in an envelope which is being kept in Glossop in Derbyshire. What is the answer to that question?

Richard Fair, Glossop

Why do people constantly want to test my powers? Even walking down the street I am mobbed by ordinary people asking to have their mind read or their spoon bent. I constantly have to prove myself and I'm sick of it. I've been tested and studied in dozens of laboratories around the world: the University of London, Stanford University, the Max Planc Institute - the list goes on and on. It would be a huge task for me to know what's in the envelope.

Source: The Age (Melbourne, Australia), p 8
Date: January 7, 2000
Article title: Backpage
As for his miserable perfor-mance with Johnny Carson all those years ago, Geller said:

"It just proves to you that I'm not a magician, I'm not a machine. But today, everyone was really positive, and Jay [Leno]'s a really nice man and things worked."

Source: The People, p 8
Date: December 26, 1999
Article title: I'll stop Big Ben reaching midnight vows Uri Geller
PSYCHIC spoon bender Uri Geller plans to prevent the next Millennium from reaching London. He will stand in front of Big Ben and use his psychic energy to stop the hands of the clock from reaching midnight.

Uri says: "I'll be standing underneath the clock and asking everyone to shout STOP! I intend to show that even the Millennium is subject to psychic force."

Source: The Jerusalem Post, p 25
Date: December 3, 1999
Article title: Bent on Uri Geller
"But," he said, "there were bullies at school and I had to be careful whom to show my powers to."

In a matter of 10 days, he had performed for over 10,000 people. Magazines were touting his talents, and people were hauling in their broken watches and appliances. Looking at each abject object, Geller would say "Work!" - and it did. He became an international success, living in the lap of luxury.

"It was not magic, it was real," Geller stressed to the Alyn dinner guests.

"I want to believe that my powers are a gift," Geller told the Alyn donors.

Source: Sunday Times (London)
Date: November 28, 1999
Article title: Witch Hazel
Geller says: "The public like to see demonstrations of my psychic abilities, but these days I prefer to use my energies for more productive purposes," he says.

How are such things possible? "Through the power of the human mind, which is capable of far more than most people realise," says Geller.

Source: Financial Times (London, England), p 3
Date: November 6, 1999
Article title: Perspectives: The weirdest thing about lunch with Uri
I ask if he gets upset when people think he is a fake.

"If you think I'm just a good magician. Fine. That's your opinion." He leans towards me, looking at me intently. "But don't libel me. Don't damage me, or else you'll end up in court. I had to put a stop to these libels. In the end, the lawyers got all the money. But I achieved one thing. People are very careful what they say about Uri Geller today.

Source: The Express
Date: October 27, 1999
Article title: What I Believe
I only discovered these powers were unusual when I started at school and began to be bullied because some kids thought I was a freak. I would do things like make the clock jump an hour ahead so that the teacher would let us out early. Or I would read minds or copy work from other pupils using telepathy.

I don't know yet if my powers have been passed down to my own children.

Source: Canada AM
Date: October 15, 1999
Article title: A New Book from the Famous Spoon-Bending Mentalist
MATHESON: Now, what is it that you have that we don't have? What is it? What do you call it? How do you shape it? How do you feel it?

GELLER: Okay, first of all, I don't think I'm unique. I think we all have what I have. And I discovered this 30 years ago when, as you said, I stood on television and I looked into the camera, I held the spoon. And at that time I was amazed because I thought I was emanating, I was sending some type of a vibration through the airwaves and it was bending people's spoons at home. But I was wrong. All I was doing is I was triggering some kind of an energy -- apparently it's a dormant power, it's a dormant force that we all have in our mind. And it wasn't me that was bending the spoon, it was the person at home. Or the fixing of the broken watches. You realize I've had millions of people around the world experiencing a broken watch come alive.

Source: Mail on Sunday, p 34
Date: May 30, 1999
Article title: A piece of my mind
Because of my powers, you could say I didn't have a normal childhood.

Source: The Sunday Herald, p 4
Date: May 16, 1999
Article title: on the line: uri geller
Why does the spoon bend?

"Nobody knows. There are three theories: it's either something we all have and it's something to do with quantum mechanics, or it's either a gift - I'm a religious man so maybe it's from God - or maybe it's an energy which comes from outside me."

Source: The Independent (London), p 10
Date: September 26, 1998
Article title: Motoring: Uri's car crosses the world; world famous paranormal practitioner Uri Geller recalls his worst car
IT WAS the first big money that I had earned from my paranormal work, and I decided to invest that in a brand new car.

Source: Sunday Mail, p 15
Date: May 31, 1998
Article title: TV PLUS; Uri, you're a marked man
Discussing the 1996 European Championship match between Scotland and England, when the ball moved just as Gary McAllister took THAT penalty against David Seaman, Geller said: "I made him miss.

"I'm an England fan, and I moved the ball by telekinesis."

Source: The Guardian (London), p 35
Date: May 1, 1998
Article title: The analyst on your couch: Twister; Raj Persaud visits Uri Geller, whose Berkshire house is filled with Dali sculptures, innumerable gifts he will never throw away and a pervading sense of mystery.
He admits that he cannot fully explain their effect, but then again, he doesn't really want to: 'I would hate it if, during my lifetime, physicists finally came up with an explanation which showed how I am able to alter the molecular structure of objects, like bending spoons. I prefer it to remain a mystery.'

Source: The Times
Date: March 21, 1998
Article title: Where spoonbenders fork out
"I take my responsibilities seriously. I believe in God and under God anything is possible. My energies come from an outside source and I can share them. I never say, 'Let me take away your cancer', rather 'I can show you how to trigger your impulses positively'."

Source: The Mirror, p 17
Date: August 26, 1997
Article title: I'll sue over trickster slur says psychic Uri; psychic Uri Geller threatens to sue tv show which branded him a fraud
Psychic Uri Geller last night vowed to take legal action after a TV show branded him a "trickster."

Uri, 50, said he was "hurt and upset" after Channel 4's Equinox questioned his powers in a 90-minute documentary on Sunday.

US psychologist Ray Hyman - who watched laboratory controlled tests with Uri - said: "He could bend minds better than metal."

David Marks, from Middlesex University, said: "They prove no evidence of his powers."

But Uri, who lives with wife Hanna and two children in Berkshire, said: "I am not a trickster or a magician."

Source: The Jerusalem Post, p 2
Date: May 16, 1997
Article title: Special Delivery
Furthermore, the description of myself as a "self- proclaimed psychic" is also false. My abilities have been tested and validated in dozens of important and prestigious laboratories; many were published in scientific journals, including Nature magazine.

Source: Sunday Mirror, p 64
Date: March 23, 1997
Article title: Football: Beyond Belief! Now spoon-bender Uri wants to buy his own club
Geller added: "This challenge would test my powers once and for all. I would use them to help my [football] club go on to win the FA Cup, Coca-Cola Cup or even the Premiership.

Source: Daily Mirror, p 1
Date: April 25, 1996
Article title: I'll stir your team to victory; interview with Uri Geller
"My one hope is that all these powers will be accepted by all - even scientists - around the world," he says.

"Everybody has the power to do what I do. They just need to tap into it."

Source: Evening Standard (London), p 23
Date: April 10, 1996
Article title: Guess who's bending reality
On sale next week, the kit (£19.99) consists of a tape, a slim volume with the Frost encomium called the Mind-Power Book embellished with a photograph ofGeller wearing an expression that says 'look into my eyes I am going to screw you' (calculated to seduce every woman from gay band groupie to Lady Thatcher), a hypnotic orange disc on a white ground, and a rock crystal to dangle from the neck (supply your own chain).

The book is in emphatic print, for the naive rather than the blind, with such statements as 'We all have incredible willpower', 'The orange dot is fully charged with my psychic powers', and 'Crystals have amazing powers' writ even larger than the rest.

Source: Daily Mail (London), p 30
Date: July 7, 1995
Article title: Is Yuri round the bend
'I met Margaret Thatcher at a garden party given by David Frost. She said to me: 'Uri, you really must change your act. You must stop bending spoons and try something new.' She was right, but I couldn't change. I am not a magician and never was. I can only do certain things and once that stopped being a surprise, there was nothing I could do.

Source: The Times
Date: October 31, 1994
Article title: Unpoetic Uri Geller has musical bent
Mr Geller, dark, slim and with an unquenchable flow of prestidigitator's patter, replied to recent scepticism about the scientific validity of his tricks. He said: ''In the long run criticism does not hurt, because scientific tests will eventually justify me. If you do not believe in what I do, that is your problem. No matter what they write about me, so long as they spell my name right, that's good.''

Source: The Jerusalem Report, p 46
Date: September 8, 1994
Article title: A life of the mind
"There were a few times when I did perform such tricks,' and I have admitted it," Geller says today. But he insists his subsequent refusal to follow this path is the very reason he eventually left Israel. "Israel is so small that the same audiences started to come and see me two or three times, each time expecting to see something new. But I am not a magician who can constantly come up with new tricks, and how many times can you see a spoon being bent? So I had to go abroad to find new audiences."

As our interview winds down, Geller gamely attempts another psychic experiment with me. I draw a small picture of a mountaintop, and without seeing it he tries to read my mind to determine what I have drawn. After a minute, he gives up.

"Like I told you, I'm not a magician," he says. "If something isn't working, I don't try to guess."

Source: Evening Standard (London), pp 30, 39
Date: March 2, 1994
Article title: Bending to life's little luxuries
These days 6ft 3in Geller rarely performs in public, saying the extensive tests wore him out and that he was sick of being treated like a freak. In reality the people who filled theatres to watch his act dwindled away until he finished up playing to half-empty auditoriums in dingy nightclubs. The reason? 'I'm not a magician and I couldn't change, I only had one act so I realised that my career in that direction was over.'

Source: CBS This Morning
Date: September 10, 1991
Article title: Psychic Uri Geller discusses lawsuit against James Randi
Zahn: Have you ever found a credited scientist that will say that whatyou do is paranormal?

Geller: If I have ever found--I--I think that I am the only psychic--andif I may so say without hurting other psychics--I'm the only person thatgave myself to scientifically controlled laboratory experiments allaround the world. I mean, they've studied me at Stanford ResearchInstitute, at Kent State University, at Max Planck Institute of theUniversity of London. I can go on and on and on. Now let me tell youthis--that I--I have an ability that I cannot explain.

Source: St. Petersburg Times (Florida), p 11A
Date: September 1, 1991
Article title: Look out, NASA Mentalist Uri Geller has eyes on your satellite
One thing about which he is not happy is what he believes to be libelous and defamatory remarks made about him by James Randi, a magician who claims that Geller and other mentalists are fakes. Geller says he has filed suit against Randi, both in Washington and 6 in Japan.

"For 20 years I turned away from people who challenged my ability and powers," he said, "but I have changed my strategy in the way I behave toward people who aggressively dislike me.

Source: The Washington Post, p C1
Date: August 29, 1991
Article title: A Case of Mind Over Matter; Psychic Uri Geller's Defamation Suit in Court
But he conceded that bending spoons in court could be tricky.

"I cannot summon these powers all the time," he said. "Onstage, I'm more relaxed. I don't have to prove anything. . . . In court I don't know if I'll be able to perform or not. If I'm in a bad spot, I'm in a bad spot. These are powers beyond my control."

Source: The Times (London)
Date: May 13, 1989
Article title: Give it a run for the money
'I have been accused of being a magician, a fake. So what. I know what I am, what I can do, and so do the companies who employ me [to tell them where not to drill for oil].

Source: Courier-Mail
Date: August 10, 1988
Article title: Geller bounces back with a mind-bender
"I don't mind when people refuse to believe me," he said. ""It maintains the enigma that is Uri Geller. ""But psychic phenomena is a reality. Everyone has felt a sense of deja vu. How many cases have there been of a mother who knows her son has been hurt when she could not possibly have the evidence? You cannot deny that ESP exists. ""I possess it more than others, perhaps, but it is there."

Source: The Associated Press
Date: April 3, 1987
Article title: Debunkers' Group Targets 'Trance Channeling,' Uri Geller
Geller, reached by telephone in New York, insisted his powers are real and said he "loves" CSICOP "because they're my free publicity department.

"I will always be happy and glad to hear their comments about me and my powers as long as they promise to spell Uri Geller correctly... I'm rich and famous because of them."Geller's book includes a section about the skeptics "and exposes their lies," he said, adding, "in the long run, the truth always wins."

Source: Courier-Mail
Date: December 6, 1986
Article title: Expoliting [sic] the art of natural psychic energy
The phenomena accepted, however, Geller is unable to tell us anything new about ""my powers". The process he describes _ visualising a blank screen in his mind and waiting for an image to appear, concentrating his thoughts when wishing force to flow outwards, the rapid draining of his ""pool" of psychic energy _ will be familiar to clairvoyants and healers.

Source: Pacific Stars and Stripes, pp 13-14
Date: April 3, 1983
City: Tokyo, Japan
Article title: Psychic power: It's the mind over a matter of disbelief
A question about detractors, those who call him a fraud: "There are people that can duplicate with trickery some of the things I do. I do it real. . . the field is controversial. But I look at Galileo. They wanted to kill him when he said the world was round."

Dr. James McClenon raises his hand tiying to get Geller's attention. McClenon is a University of Maryland sociology professor whose book, "Deviant Science: The Case of Parapsychology," will be published this year. He asks Geller:

"Some magicians say they have seen you cheating. Do you ever cheat?

"No," Geller replies quickly.

Source: Indiana Evening Gazette, p 11
Date: April 6, 1981
City: Indiana, Pennsylvania
Article title: Spoon-Bending Psychic -- Is He A Fake?
[Geller] conceded that magicians can appear to duplicate his metal bending, but added, "It's like putting a Picasso next to a fine copy. You can't tell the difference, but one is a fake."

Source: Newsweek, p 9
Date: January 28, 1980
Article title: A psychic turns to word power
"I think we're entering an era where powers like mine will be believed," says controversial Israeli psychic Uri Geller. "The masses already believe, but the scientific community still thinks I'm just an extremely good magician."

Source: Lockhart Post-Register, p 1B
Date: November 8, 1979
City: Lockhart, Texas
Article title: Uri's strange power
Geller, who became a household word in his native country, the United States, and Great Britian, could not explain his "powers." He said: "I just feel it must come from some external source... Perhaps everybody has got this within them, but it requires a certain power to trigger it of. I am sure, though, the power must come from an intelligent form of energy."

Source: Sentinel and Enterprise, p 10
Date: November 18, 1977
City: Fitchburg, Massachusetts
Article title: Uri Geller Doesn't Know Source
"Magicians can use trickery to reproduce many of the things I do," Geller said. "I am not a magician. I don't know the tricks they use. I just have these powers."

Source: The Athens Messenger, p 10
Date: July 22, 1976
City: Athens, Ohio
Article title: Geller on 'Options'
"They're laughing at me now, but years from now everyone will have the power to bend keys," says Uri Geller, who claims to have a variety of psychic powers. But according to the Amazing Randi, a magician who also bends keys, "Geller is a trickster, pure and simple."

Source: The Herald-Palladium, p 18
Date: May 5, 1976
City: Benton Harbor, Michigan
Article title: Their Watches Ran
More than 1,000 people called a Detroit television station following a broadcast in which Israeli psychic Uri Geller told viewers he could make their broken watches start running again. Geller appeared this week on the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news shows of WWJ-TV in Detroit. He told viewers to hold on to their broken watches and to concentrate on making them run. Many of the callers told the station Geller had brought new life to their old watches. "I believe we all have this power," said Geller. "I'm triggering this in people."

Source: Gastonia Gazette, p 6
Date: May 2, 1976
City: Gastonia, North Carolina
Article title: Uri Geller: Fake, fact?
Q. If you don't use sleight of hand yourself, why do you continually perform feats that can be accomplished by sleight of hand?

A. Look, everything I do can be duplicated by tricks. But nothing I do can be duplicated by magicians under scientifically controlled conditions. I'm famous for what I did in laboratories around the world, not for my stage performances.

Q. Couldn't you close the controversy by simply pulling something off on TV that is beyond the ken of any magician?

A. Maybe I can't.

Q. Then why should we believe you have paranormal powers?

A. I couldn't care less who believes me and who doesn't. As long as I and the scientists who tested know the truth, I don't care about the people who are fighting me.

Source: Kingsport Times-News, p 18
Date: April 3, 1976
City: Kingsport, Tennessee
Article title: Psychic Uri Geller: fraud or phenomenon?
Handsome Geller, who says he isn't ashamed of using his "powers" to make money from personal appearances, his book a record album and an upcoming movie of his life, says these so-called powers "baffle me."

He says he believes:
— Absolutely in God
—In a huge cosmic connection
— In exlraterrestial intelligences and UFOs
— That his "power" or "forces" come from "somewhere under God."
— That the "power" or "forces" cannot be used for negative or harmful demonstrations.
— That what some might consider silly demonstrations for such "powers" or "intelligences" are simply coming as proof to open up man's mind.
— That if he continues to work with scientists, "One day in the future there will be enough scientific evidence that the human race will have to change its mind."

Source: New York Times, p 59
Date: December 13, 1975
City: New York City, New York
Article title: Magicians Term Israeli 'Psychic' a Fraud
"I couldn't care less," Geller said in a telephone interview about the new books [including Randi's The Magic of Uri Geller]. He added that the books contained lies about him but later said that he had not bothered to read them. "I know that what I do is real and that is enough," Geller said.

Source: Corpus Christi Times, p 36
Date: November 13, 1975
City: Corpus Christi, Texas
Article title: Ultimate Mind may bring harmony
My feeling is that we all have these powers, and that science is just now confirming this in important physics labs throughout the world.

Source: Daily Review, p 4
Date: September 6, 1975
City: Hayward, California
Article title: Geller--psychic wonder or fraud?
Well, Uri Geller admitted to me in the presence of two witnesses that in his days as a stage mentalist in Israel he had cheated. But the question is: Does he cheat all the time?

His critics say, of course. Uri says, no.

Source: Pacific Stars and Stripes, p 4
Date: August 30, 1975
City: Tokyo, Japan
Article title: Telepathist Ticks off Watchmakers
"I'm not the only one who has these powers," he said. "My energy didn't fix all those watches. Many people have the power. All I did was awaken it in them. I challenged that power to come out.

"There is inexhaustible energy in the minds of people."

Source: The Bee, p 1
Date: August 25, 1975
City: Danville, Virginia
Article title: 'Witches' Holding Congress
Geller told of his powers, which he said were first evident when he was 4 years old, of ancestral links to Sigmund Freud and said he was "certain that some higher power beyond the human is triggering" what he and other people do with para-sensorial faculties.

Replying to a question, he said "the CIA or the FBI have never contacted me personally trying to use me, but some American agencies appear to have financed some of the scientific probes made to test my powers."

Source: Newport Daily News, p 5
Date: August 22, 1975
City: Newport, Rhode Island
Article title: 'Freud descendant' has strange powers
Geller, a 6-foot male-model type in a boldly printed Italian shirt that bares his hairy chest, attempts to explain his extraordinary, if controversial powers:

Geller, who believes he is a distant cousin of Sigmund Freud on his mother's side, claims he cannot be more explicit. "All this is impossible to explain," he says.

"Criticism doesn't bother me," says Geller, who won't touch alcohol because of its "distortive" qualities and the possibility liquor might impair his powers. "All negatives expressed verbaly or written, create public controversy. Without controversy, it isn't possible to be internationally famous. Despite the fact that some people have labeled me a quack and a charlatan, I continue to pursue my work. Respected scientists have admitted that I defy accepted concepts. And, really, that's the point of my existence."

"Nobody can tell me what to do. I have many strange powers. But I cannot be forced to unlock my energies. I must be free — totally, uninhibitedly, uncquivocably free. That means being able to do what I want to do.

Source: Oakland Tribune, p 3
Date: July 13, 1975
City: Oakland, California
"Magicians are hardest to convince," he says, "because they think they can duplicate what I do." But he has performed feats that even they have been unable to explain. He has mystified audiences and scientists in one country after another.

While he cannot explain such happenings, Geller has his own theory. He feels he is merely an instrument through which higher forces or intelligences are operating, for some reasons he has not yet worked out.

"When everything is added up, I don't really know what the intelligences want," he says.

"If I know one thing, it is that these intelligences are working and communicating, no matter how hard that is for anyone to believe. My theory is that energies are coming through me from a higher source. I am not talking of God here. I'm talking about things under God. Still, I don't understand all the things that are happening to me, or through me."

He thinks it is important for the world to know about the intelligences, "because they are real and they are going to prove out, even if it takes time."

Source: The Times, pp 21-22
Date: June 18, 1975
City: San Mateo, California
Article title: The Strange World of Uri Geller
"You see." Geller explains, "everyone has this power . . . I somehow seem to trigger it in some people. I ask only that the skeptics forget for a brief moment about skepticism and try to believe — and see for themselves what happens."

He says. "I don't want anyone to think of me as Jesus No. 2, or as a fraud or faker, or magician. How could I take your key on your chain and do this?" he asks. "How could what happens outside there happen, if it were not some great force and power around us?"

Geller frankly says before any demonstration. "I don't know if this will work. Sometimes it does not. It helps when people don't work against me. when they think with me, so we can do this together. . . . Sometimes if an interviewer is hostile. I walk out. I know what I do is real. I don't have to defend myself. Things I have done are very strange, and some of the things that have happened to me are hard to believe. It was hard for me to believe, but they happened I hope it never happens to me again."

Source: North Hill News Record, p 8
Date: November 14, 1973
City: Warrendale, Pennsylvania
Article title: He bends metal with his mind
Geller told us that his psychic gift is called psychokinesis.

Besides being able to bend keys, he says he can transport objects great distances without touching them. He can do mental telepathy and he is clairvoyant.

He can't explain how he does these things other than saying, "There is an intelligent power coming through me from some other place.

Source: The Lima News, p 38
Date: August 5, 1973
City: Lima, Ohio
Article title: Eerie Psychic Can Break Forks With His Eyes
"There's an article in there with Time magazine calling me a magician and saying I left my country in disgrace. That's ridiculous . . . No one leaves Israel in disgrace. What do you want to know?"

For starters, I wanted to know why Time magazine said he was a magician.

"Ach," he said, as only an Israeli can ach. "I don't know. It's ridiculous, but you'll see. Esquire is coming out with the whole story in December. You'll see. I'm no magician. What I do
is real...."

"This is it. This is what I can do. I don't know why exactly but I do know it's a power.

"But it's not my power. I'm just an instrument of a power that is coming through me — I think the force is an intelligence that causes things to happen through me."

Source: The Lowell Sun, p 105
Date: June 10, 1973
City: Lowell, Massachusetts
Article title: Israeli paratrooper bends metal with his mind
Ask Uri Geller what he does and he calls it a power which flows through him from some outside source. And that source?

Ah, that's a secret he isn't willing to reveal — yet.

Source: San Mateo Times, pp 23-24
Date: May 30, 1973
City: San Mateo, California
Article title: Israeli Mystic Thrills Crowd
Whence comes this "power'' beyond normal — the extension of senses beyond the common perceptions?

Uri Geller told his audience simply, "My theory is that what I do here on the stage or when anything happens around me — every little of that is under my control. Today a fork split in half (Geoffrey Smith, Ph.D. at Stanford, had earlier shown the spoon that bent and the fork that split at luncheon. He had witnessed it).

Geller explained. "I don't control it . . . How this power works around me, I don't know . . . But I do believe a great, intelligent power operates through me.

Skeptics remained skeptics. Those who want to believe that the paranormal is simply an extension of the "normal," and those who did their best to keep an open mind left with a question mark.

Geller said, "Even if you don't believe what I have done — believe that there are as yet unexplained powers — without you all here wanting it to happen, it could not have happened."