Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lesbian biker gangs have infiltrated the schools!

There's trouble a-brewin' in Florida:
A Florida high school is "trampling the First Amendment rights of students who support equal rights for gay people", according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union.

In its lawsuit, the ACLU describes what it calls an atmosphere of fear and censorship at Ponce de Leon High School, where the school board's attorney allegedly has said that expressions like a rainbow sticker may mean students are members of an "illegal organization."

Well, sure. You have to be worried about those shadowy lesbian gangs.
The ACLU sent a letter in November to the school board's attorney on behalf of Gillman, asking for clarification as to whether a variety of symbols and slogans, such as the rainbow flag or "I support my gay friends," would be allowed at the school.

The school district replied that it would not allow any expressions of support for gay rights at all because such speech would "likely be disruptive." The district then said that such symbols and slogans were signs that students were part of a "secret/illegal organization." according to the ACLU.

Typical homophobic rationalization--we've seen a lot of it coming from the hyper-homophobes in Israel. The homophobes will attack the gays for daring to acknowledge their own existence, therefore the homophobes with authority declare that gays who admit their own existence are a safety hazard. It's those nasty gays' fault that other people attack them, therefore they must be punished.

And look, the principal is already on the case!
ACLU lawyer Benjamin Stevenson wrote in the complaint that Gillman's cousin, an admitted lesbian identified as "Jane Doe," complained to [Ponce de Leon High School Principal David] Davis about being harassed by students on Sept. 7.

"He explained that Jane Doe should not be gay and she should not tell people she is gay," Stevenson wrote of Davis. "Defendant Davis also told Jane Doe the 'gay pride' was a disgrace to the school."

Way to create a safe, healthy environment for all your students where they can get an education in peace!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The brief may have a more compelling argument, but I doubt it

Republican homophobes in Iowa are joining the battle to overturn a lower court ruling that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional and stupid.
Attorneys representing five Republican lawmakers have filed court documents asking the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn a Polk County judge, who struck down a state law banning same-sex marriage in August.

The Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based organization that defends religious liberty, filed a friend of the court brief Tuesday for Representatives Dwayne Alons, Carmine Boal and Betty DeBoef and Senators Nancy Boettger and James Hahn.

The brief says Judge Robert Hanson abdicated his duty to be fair and neutral in considering a legal challenge to a 1998 state law filed by gay couples.

Well, sure. Hanson pointed out that the law was unfair to gays and their kids--in his own words, "So far as this court can tell (the law) operates only to harm same-sex couples and their children." Therefore he stopped being fair and neutral?

Or perhaps by being "fair and neutral" they really meant "imposing the bigotry of the majority onto the defenseless minority." That does seem to be the Christian, Republican version of fairness.

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

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) welcomes the Interior Ministry's decision to withdraw its petition challenging a 2000 High Court ruling and register adoptions by same-sex couples performed abroad. The decision, the latest achievement in ACRI's lengthy battle to force the state to recognize same-sex couples as dual parents, will finally allow same-sex couples and their children in Israel to live as families before the law, after the state's petition froze the process for many years.

At the same time, ACRI opposes limitations listed in the Ministry's position, such as the condition that adopted children must be the biological offspring of one parent. In addition, ACRI also demands that the Ministry update its software to be able to register these changes - the same-sex couples who had adopted children in Israel and abroad are currently listed as single-parent families because the Ministry's computer system cannot register two mothers or two fathers.


Since the Berner-Kadish family's original petition, the Supreme Court ruled in 2005 on the right of a lesbian woman to adopt her partner's biological child under Israeli adoption law. In light of that decision, ACRI asked the Court to dismiss the Ministry's petition because it became irrelevant.

Hm. Maybe I should've posted about this in 2005, then.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Our states is learning!

In addition to these states, we can now welcome Arizona into the reality-based community:
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) is telling the Bush administration that the state does not want $1 million in federal funding for abstinence-only education because the programs don't work.

The move makes Arizona the 16th state to reject the federal money.


Since 1996, the federal government has spent over a half a billion taxpayer dollars on abstinence-only programs.

A 2006 study by the independent Society for Adolescent Medicine called the programs "scientifically and ethically flawed".


Tuesday Fake Racist Blogging: C.H. Dalton on the Concept of Race

Probably not the greatest of the lectures, but I think my brother will get a kick out of the line "these critics, mostly P.C. types and tree-hugging Jewish homosexuals--some Wiccans".

Buy the book.

"The only cure is bedrest! Anything I give you would only be a placebo." "Where do we get these placebos!?" "Maybe there's some in this truck!"

What the hell?
Dr. Jiu Jia Wen specializes in alternative medicine. Herbs and acupuncture. And while he also practices conventional medicine as well, his true miracles have occurred through holistic therapy.

Really? Given that acupuncture doesn't work in people, I have no reason to believe it would work in animals. I suspect any evidence of "true miracles" would be unreliable, random anecdotes rather than controlled, scientific studies.

At least, that's what I thought when I started the article. But it's even worse than that.
I came to Dr. Wen when my own dog, Jack, was diagnosed with bone cancer a year-and-a-half ago.


I started Jack on herbs that day. He unfortunately was very resistant to the amount required since he was never a great "pill taker" anyway. Well it was really difficult for me to try to disguise the herbs in every form of delicious food I could come up with, and Jack was becoming more resistant and distrusting of me every time I would try to feed him.

Needless to say this was not working for Jack. Then to my shock, I noticed Jack's tumor in his leg was growing and my heart stopped. It went from horrible to a true nightmare, when Jack ended up suffering a pathological fracture due to the tumor eating away at the bone.

At that point I was given no choice but to amputate my beautiful dog's leg to save his life. But conventional medicine for Jack was a true blessing. Eighteen months later, after his amputation and chemotherapy, Jack's cancer is in remission and he's living a beautiful happy and healthy life.

And as you may know, he is now the "ambassadog" of hope for specialized medicine. He is a true miracle.

...what the hell? Maybe I misread this, and it was the woman who was sick and not her dog, because how else can one explain this enormous leap of logic?

Let's try and summarize this woman's position: Her dog had bone cancer. She took him to this quack instead of a real vet, who prescribed herbs... herbs, to fight cancer. Well, if it works....

Except that it didn't work. The cancer didn't get better; it was the other one--worse. The tumor grew to the point where it fractured the poor animal's leg. And then she went and used actual medicine (namely, chemotherapy) and--miracle of miracles--the dog got better! Who knows; maybe if she had the brains to do that in the first place, her dog wouldn't have had to get its leg amputated.

So to sum up: altie medicine did absolutely nothing to help her dog, whereas real medicine did. And from this she concludes that "holistic" medicine somehow works? That it's a "miracle"? That pet owners should treat it as a viable alternative to actual science?

This woman is insane. More than that, what she did is criminal. Her dog was dying of cancer, and instead of getting it help, she force-fed it useless herbs. She--and that vet--should be arrested for animal cruelty, not given a platform to spread this nonsense.

The comments on the post are even more dismaying. It's pretty much more of the same--people who tried "alternative" medicines for their pets, which predictably did nothing, and yet there they are on that blog singing hosannas about how wonderful these scams are. For example, the first comment reads:
Our beloved young lab, Tiki, has been diagnosed with sublingual squamous cell carcinoma and we have been told she has about a month to live. I started her on holistic therapy as soon as she was diagnosed, and she is an otehrwise healthy, energetic dog, except for the tumor in her throat which will eventually strangle her. The supplements I have been giving her have greatly improved her health, and I would like to learn more about more ways to possibly prolong her happy life. I am a strong believer in holistic therapy; I can see the results right here laying beside me!

Yes, it's such a miracle that the "holistic therapy" is doing nothing to combat the tumor that will kill your dog. Hallelujah!

I find it horrifying that the blog post describes just how this woo did nothing for her dog, and yet scores of woo-woos show up in the comments asking how to get in contact with this fraud, Dr. Wen.

"By the way, the word 'colored' still flies down there, so get your fill."

I don't read Feministing as often as perhaps I ought to, so I just found this:

I don't know why they didn't just cut to the chase and use the slogan "Negroes have big dicks."

Honestly, how does "abortion as birth control" even make sense?

A common wingnut objection to abortion is that these women--filthy whores, every one--use abortion as a form of contraception. Because abortions are so much easier to get than condoms, you know? The logic is flawless.

But it's still wrong:
More than half of Australian women who unexpectedly get pregnant are either on the pill or using condoms at the time, a survey has found.

The report into unplanned pregnancy by sexual health organisation Marie Stopes International shows that 43 per cent of women were on the oral contraceptive pill when it occurred.

A further 22 per cent were using a condom and 21 per cent of the women using contraception were on more than one method.


And one third of women who were not using contraception at the time of their unplanned pregnancy had not been planning or expecting to have sex.

Well, yes. People like sex and have sex, and they cannot always set down every act of coitus on their calendar in advance. There is such a thing as spontaneity, and this is not a bad thing, nor should they be punished for it by forced to carry a pregnancy to term.

More than that, though, this survey strikes down the notion that women who get abortions use it as a form of birth control. In addition to spontaneity, accidents also happen in real life. Even if you do prepare for every sex act you ever engage in your entire life, birth control sometimes fails. And in that case, again, women shouldn't be forced to give birth to a baby because a condom breaks.

As the article ends:
The World Health Organisation states that even if couples use contraception correctly 100 per cent of the time, there would be six million unplanned pregnancies each year.

Cait Calcutt, coordinator of Queensland-based unplanned pregnancy counselling service, said the research showed women were not using abortion as a form of contraception, as many people believed.

"When unplanned pregnancy does occur it is vital that women have access to the support necessary for them to make a real choice - everything from paid maternity leave to safe and legal abortion services," Ms Calcutt said.

At least in Australia. I suppose it's still potentially feasible that women in America use abortion as birth control, except that's an incredibly stupid idea.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Negroes Women aren't 'citizens'

At least, not in the Zapotec villages in Mexico:
...Eufrosina Cruz, 27, decided to become the first woman to run for mayor — despite the fact that women aren't allowed to attend town assemblies, much less run for office.

The all-male town board tore up ballots cast in her favor in the Nov. 4 election, arguing that as a woman, she wasn't a "citizen" of the town. "That is the custom here, that only the citizens vote, not the women," said Valeriano Lopez, the town's deputy mayor.

What wonderful traditions you have. I can see why you're so eager to uphold them.
[T]he male leaders are refusing to budge. "We live differently here, senor, than people in the city. Here, women are dedicated to their homes, and men work the fields," Apolonio Mendoza, the secretary of the all-male town council, told a visiting reporter.

Cruz has received some support from older men, who by village law lose their political rights when they turn 60. Some younger men also say the system must change and give women more rights.

At a recent meeting of several dozen Cruz supporters, most of them voteless, women in traditional gray shawls recalled being turned down for government aid programs because they weren't accompanied by a man.

Martina Cruz Moreno, 19, said that when her widowed mother sought government-provided building materials to improve her dirt-floor, tin-roofed wooden home, village authorities told her, "Go get yourself a husband."

As a woman, Eufrosina Cruz is not only barred from being mayor, but from participating in the "community labor" that qualifies male villagers as "citizens." Those tasks include repairing roads, herding cattle, cleaning streets and raising crops.

Well, that seems fair. Prevent women from participating in the responsibilities that qualify them as 'citizens', and then prevent them from voting because they're not 'citizens'. It's like the obstacles some gays face adopting in the U.S.--prevent them from marrying each other, and then tell them they can't adopt because they're not a married couple.

All of this is, officially, illegal in Mexico:
The law states that Indian townships may "apply their own normative systems ... as long as they obey the general principles of the Constitution and respect the rights of individuals, human rights, and particularly the dignity and well-being of women."

But so far, every level of government that Cruz has gone to hasn't done a damn thing about it.
"The congress upheld the vote out of sheer laziness, to avoid stirring up the village or causing a conflict there," said Rep. Perla Woolrich, a Oaxaca state legislator who supported Cruz's cause. "In the past, use and customs represented something positive, but by now it violates people's constitutional rights. Use and customs have to reviewed, and those practices that violate rights have to be thrown out."


But they're junkies, so their lives don't matter

From the same people who think that not dying from cervical cancer encourages people to have sex, we have the rule handed down from on high that not dying from drug overdoses encourages people to shoot up.
[Dr. Bertha Madras, deputy director of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy,] says drug users aren't likely to be competent to deal with an overdose emergency. More importantly, she says, Narcan kits may actually encourage drug abusers to keep using heroin because they know overdosing isn't as likely.

Madras says the rescue programs might take away the drug user's motivation to get into detoxification and drug treatment.

"Sometimes having an overdose, being in an emergency room, having that contact with a health care professional is enough to make a person snap into the reality of the situation and snap into having someone give them services," Madras says.

She'd rather let people die than let them do something she doesn't approve of. That's compassionate conservatism in a nutshell.

Via Pharyngula.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Turnaround Isn't Fair Play Edition

A while back, I did a Friday Dead Racist Blogging post that examined the double standard inherent in fear of miscegenation. Therein I discussed how whites viewed black women as so sexually wanton that they could not be raped, because they were always willing.

So when I found this, I couldn't pass up posting about it:
In 1951, for example, when Japanese citizens accused black GIs of the rape of Japanese women, Ebony published a reader's letter denying such claims by arguing that Japan was a sexually promiscuous culture. Therefore, this reader suggested, it was unlikely that Japanese women had been raped. According to Private Frank Topsail, "If you will check on the birth rate in Japan, you will find that most of the girls of Japan are very sexually overtrained. The birth rate is one of the highest in the world. . . . I really cannot believe most of those rape cases, if so, are on the soldiers' part." A similar argument concerning Japanese women's sexuality was presented in Jet when the magazine asked, "Is Vice Menacing Our GIs?" The article argued that black GIs were being duped into fathering children. "In Japan, for example, where Negro GIs reportedly have fathered one-third of an estimated 200,000 illegitimate babies, police and citizens alike have long accepted open prostitution. Rarely do police bother to make volunteer arrests among the 80,000 prostitutes in Japanese brothels."

--fomr Alex Lubin, Romance and Rights, p. 116

"Compassionate conservatism" = "Blaming the victim"

TBogg highlights compassionate conservatism in action.
The evidence that the poor are forced into buying potato chips rather than apples by their incomes is pretty underwhelming. As Mixner says, the food is cheaper per calorie, but that's the point--they buy things that have a lot of calories, when there are at least equally cheap foods available per serving that have fewer calories. You may have to buy chicken wings instead of breasts, but you don't have to bread and deep fry them.

Sure. Junk food is omnipresent in America, whereas fruit and vegetables are much harder to come by, but it's really poor people's fault that they're fat. After all, they deep fry everything they get their greasy, outstretched paws upon! They're fat because they make bad decisions, and they make bad decisions because they're stupid. And we know they're stupid because they're poor!

I'm not sure if this is better or worse than this example of compassionate conservatism. I suppose they're equally stupid and disgusting.

Go Maryland!

Forty-nine lawmakers have signed on to bills allowing gay marriage in Maryland.

Sponsors of the bills introduced in the House and Senate on Friday said they have seen more support for the idea than ever before.


The bills would remove gender definitions in state marriage law. They would also include the caveat that religious leaders would not be required to perform or recognize the unions.


"Why shouldn't I and other gay Marylanders be afforded the same rights as everyone else?" said Delegate Ann Kaiser.

It's interesting. The House has a bill that would allow gays to marry in Maryland, whereas the Senate has a bill that would amend the constitution to prevent them from marrying. The House Bill ("Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act") has 40 sponsors (out of 141 Delegates), and the Senate Bill ("Maryland's Marriage Protection Act") has 8 sponsors (out of 47 Senators). I have no idea how this will play out, but it's thrilling to see them trying.

Contrasted with, say, Iowa.
Petitions with over 6,000 signatures were delivered to the Iowa legislature Thursday demanding lawmaker impeach a judge who last year struck down a state law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Social conservative Bill Salier and his organization, Everyday America, say that Polk County Judge Robert Hanson violated the state constitution in his ruling.

Yeah! How dare that judge apply the constitution equitably to gay people! That's a total violation of the constitution--don't they teach about the "no fags" exception in law school anymore?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I probably shouldn't have copied the entire article, but it was short

What? Gay couples as devoted as straight ones? Impossible!
New research shows that gay and lesbian couples are just as devoted in their relationships as straight people and that while being denied marriage or civil unions doesn't affect their happiness, it does diminish their likelihood of staying together, Reuters reported Tuesday.

In two new studies published in the journal Developmental Psychology, scientists compared same-sex and heterosexual couples and assessed their happiness. The first study, released by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that as the level of commitment increased, so did the ability to resolve conflicts, disproving the myth that gay couples are weaker than straight ones, according to the study.

"Among the committed couples, there were very few differences that we were able to identify either in terms of how satisfied these couples were, how effectively they interacted with one another, or how their bodies responded physiologically while they were interacting with one another," Glenn I. Roisman, one of the researchers, told Reuters.

A second study focused on whether the legal status of a relationship affected its quality. Researchers from the University of Washington, the University of Vermont, and San Diego State University concluded that gay couples -- with and without civil unions -- found their relationships more fulfilling than straight married couples. Same-sex couples without civil unions, though, were more likely to end their relationships.

"I think it's very hard to make the case, as has been made, that these same-sex relationships are fundamentally different from opposite-sex relationships in the presence of data like these and other data in the developmental literature," Roisman told Reuters.

No no no! Don't they understand? It doesn't matter whether they look happy, act happy, or tell you that they're happy--secretly, gay people are consumed by a soul-devouring inner anguish, because homophobes say they must be. How could they possibly find happiness in committed relationships with people they love, when the person they love has the same naughty bits? It's inconceivable! Everyone knows that love is a matter of the groin, not the heart.

And as for this whole claptrap about same-sex relationships being the same as opposite-sex relationships... well, who cares what a bunch of scientists say, with their data and their actual studies? Homophobes know that same-sex relationships are fundamentally different from opposite-sex relationships because both the people are men! Or sometimes, both are women! And, well, you can see... totally different!

I mean, if you don't have one man and one woman, how are they to know which one is supposed to be master of the household and lord himself over his better (yet inferior) half? You'd have two men trying both to be master over each other, or you'd have two women waiting for a big strapping man to tell them what to do! Anarchy!

Or so the homophobes tell me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Anyone who didn't know this, raise your hand

Let's file this under the "no shit" file:
A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

The website, by the way, is here.

And the Bush administration's response? More lies, of course!
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.

That's why when we went in we had the backing of the entire rest of the world, right? You remember that, right?
The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."

"In short"? That's not short at all. This is short:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday Fake Racist Blogging: C.H. Dalton and A Message for the Kids

Buy the book.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Family values for the win!

The district attorney who defended the Texas law criminalizing homosexuality before the US Supreme Court is desperately trying to keep his job following the discovery of e-mails containing sexually explicit videos, racist jokes and what is described as torrid love notes to his executive secretary.


Rosenthal who is married and portrayed himself as a "family values" candidate ended his re-election campaign last week after the sexy emails to his secretary were discovered. His current term runs out at the end of 2008.


[I]n 2002 it was "family values" Rosenthal who argued before the US Supreme Court that the Texas law against sodomy was upholding the moral values of the state and was in place to protect families. The case was Lawrence v Texas.

Such a morally upstanding young man. We need to protect our family values from those dirty gays--family values like cheating on your wife with your secretary.

Via Ed Brayton.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Homer Simpson Syndrome Edition

In the lecture I posted this week, C.H. Dalton remarks near the end that "it's a little-known stereotype that Roma children actually have exceptionally hardy skulls." It certainly is a little-known stereotype--I certainly hadn't known about it before Professor Dalton came along. Why, I thought it was just blacks and Indians.

Thomas Norwood wrote, in his Address on the Negro,
His cranial formation will remain a fixed characteristic, and with it will continue the rapid thickening of the walls of the skull at the age of puberty, when his apparent intellectual equality with white children ceases, and the animal or cerebellum takes possession and continues through life. This thickness of the skull has always been known by the negro, as he has used it as a weapon of attack by butting for untold centuries.

In The Color Line: A Brief in Behalf of the Unborn, William Benjamin Smith listed the 14 chief points in which blacks were closer to apes than to real people, among them
(8) Exceedingly thick cranium, enabling the Negro to butt with the head and resist blows which would inevitably break any ordinary European's skull.

That same list was also regurgitated by Theodore Bilbo in his book Take Your Choice: Separation or Mongrelization. It also was brought up in Congress in 1909, when Senator William Milton introduced a bill to ban interracial marriage (see Betrayal of the Negro, p. 363).

In The Negro a Beast, Charles Carroll quotes Alexander Winchell as saying
The [Negro] skull is very thick and solid, and is often used for butting, as is the custom of rams.

But my favorite example of this stereotype comes from Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, who described Native Americans as
naturally lazy and vicious, melancholic, cowardly, and in general a lying, shiftless people. Their marriages are not a sacrament but a sacrilege. They are idolatrous, libidinous and commit sodomy. Their chief desire is to eat, drink, worship heathen idols, and commit bestial obscenities. What could one expect from a people whose skulls are so thick and hard the Spanish had to take care in fighting not to strike on the head lest their swords be blunted.

From Race: The History of an Idea in America, p. 12


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yet another Paul post

James Kirchick has another article up providing excerpts from the Ron Paul newsletters over the years. I particularly am interested in the final section, "Newsletter Authorship":
The masthead of March 1987 Ron Paul Investment Letter lists "the Hon. Ron Paul" as "Editor and Publisher" and "Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr." as one of several contributing editors.

An undated personal solicitation letter--signed by Paul--asking the recipient to subscribe to his newsletter in anticipation of (presumably) the 1988 Libertarian Party Presidential nominating convention.

The April 1988 Ron Paul Investment Letter lists Paul as Editor.

The May 1988 Ron Paul Investment Letter lists Lew Rockwell as Editor. It also advertises books by the far-right conspiracy theorist Gary Allen, who was a contributing editor to the Ron Paul Investment Letter.

Let's just add this to the pile along with Ron Lawl´s observation that 10 years ago Paul was not denying authorship of these newsletters.

Via Orcinus.

Work is their cocaine!

Uh... wow.
I am so proud to be from the state of Minnesota. We're the workingest state in the country, and the reason why we are, we have more people that are working longer hours, we have people that are working two jobs.

Yes, Michelle Bachmann is proud that people have to work two jobs just to get by. And they don't do it because of a horrid economy, no--they do it because they love to work.

I guess Minnesota is occupied by Doozers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Can we call him a theocrat yet?

As well as hating women, gays, and science, Mike Huckabee hates the Constitution:
"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."

He doesn't say what exactly that means. One can only assume that God's standards involve what's in the Bible, so there'll have to be constitutional amendments that declare you have to murder your entire family if they ask you to convert; that you have to slaughter an entire town if they let people preach other religions; that you have to murder your children if they're uppity; that if a woman is not a virgin when married you have to kill her; we'll have to repeal the 13th amendment and replace it with the rules God intended us to follow in treating our slaves.

But that's the price we'll have to pay for living in a land of freedom and opportunity.

Tuesday Fake Racist Blogging: C.H. Dalton on Ranking the Races

I tried to make out the entire list of races on the blackboard, but couldn't. So I asked Professor Dalton. Here's my letter to him:
Professor Dalton,

In your latest video, "Ranking the Races", I'm afraid that I can't quite make out the list of the lesser races. Here is my guess as to what you've written on your blackboard:
1. Whites
2. Blacks
3. Indians
4. Arabs
5. Hispanics
6. Asians
7. Jews
8. Merpeople
9. Gypsies
10. Cablinasians
11. Gays
12. Women
13. Bratz
15. The elderly
17. Muggles

I'm afraid that I can't quite make out 13-17, and without this knowledge, how am I to know whom I should scorn worse? Could you please provide the full list?

Thank you.

And here's his reply:

Yes, I'm afraid the Jew-run Internet doesn't provide the kind of resolution needed to show all the subtleties of my video scholarship. The end of the list should read as such:

13. Bratz
14. Sasquatches
15. The Elderly
16. Draculas
17. Puggles

Muggles are merely "non-Wizards," and therefore not a race. Nor are Wizards -- it's really more of a skill set.

I hope this clears things up for you. Use the list in good health.

Once again, buy the book. Don't make me hurt you.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hooray for Zoidberg!

Over a thousand visitors in six weeks!

Congratulations (and thanks) to the person from Shallotte, North Carolina, who at 12:19 today read this post after I left a comment at Orcinus--you're my thousandth visitor!

I'd like to take a moment to review some of the stranger phrases that people have Googled and come out at my blog:
genesis verse 29 segregation
ku klux klan in visalia, ca
john van evrie     [I'm probably gonna do a DRB post entirely on John Van Evrie at some point]
how were slaves mistreated in united states
charles carroll
biblical intermarrying of israelites with foreigners
miscegenation god
atavism black child
judaism and race mixing

I hope these people were just doing research, and I hope they found my posts useful.

But the one that freaked me out the most was probably the guy who googled '"a practical guide to racism" skemono'. Wh-why are you googling my nick? What do you care what I have to say about that book?

Well, this is informative

U.S. intelligence chief Mike McConnell has admitted that waterboarding is torture--at least, if it were done to him.
U.S. intelligence chief Mike McConnell said in a magazine interview that waterboarding would be torture if it was used against him personally, but stopped short of condemning the controversial interrogation technique.

McConnell, Director of National Intelligence, was quoted in the New Yorker edition released on Sunday as defining torture as "something that would cause excruciating pain."

Asked if waterboarding -- the practice of covering a person's face with a cloth and then dripping water on it to bring on a feeling of drowning -- fit that definition, McConnell said that for him personally, it would.

"If I had water draining into my nose, oh God, I just can't imagine how painful!" McConnell said in the article. "Whether it's torture by anybody else's definition, for me it would be torture."

But he rejected a suggestion that he personally condemned the practice.

That's American policy for you in a nutshell: "it's okay if we do it to them."

I suppose because those brown people don't feel pain like normal people.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: 'Tis But a Scratch! Edition

In this post, I mentioned a "common stereotype ... of blacks as being incapable of feeling pain". Y'all may not actually be aware of any such stereotype--it definitely wasn't as common as the idea that blacks were dumb and smelly brutes.

But here's an interesting an interesting quote regarding blacks' supposed insensitivity to pain:
Negroes can also bear pain better than whites. "I have amputated the legs of many negroes," White quotes a surgeon as saying, "who have held the upper part of the limb themselves." The logical conclusion is, of course, not that such Negroes are brave but that they are insensitive to pain.

--Race: The History of an Idea in America, p. 49. Here Gossett was quoting Dr. Charles White's An Account of the Regular Gradation in Man

[Edit 3/10/2008] And here's another person apparently quoting the same surgeon, so you can get the surgeon's name, a longer quote, and evidence that more people were spreading this idea than just one.

Uh... that's nice?

I don't think I blogged about it at the time, but a while back some guy was taking the Massachusetts bar exam and failed it. So he decided to sue because, he said, he failed because he refused to answer a question about gay marriage.

Well, now he says he's gotten over it, and has publicly apologized:
"After speaking with numerous members of the gay community, including my own friends, I began to empathize with their denial of basic human rights and how they feel discriminated against," Stephen Dunne said Thursday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Dunne, an Irish immigrant who first came to the United States in 1998, said the change also was prompted in part by racism the Irish once faced in the U.S., his six-year stint in the Army and the war in Iraq.

"Members of the gay community are in combat and dying for their country and yet they're being denied the basic human rights they are fighting for," he said.

Dunne first apologized for being an "instrument of bigotry and prejudice" in an e-mail published in the Jan. 3 edition of Bay Windows, a weekly Boston newspaper aimed at the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

In the letter, he said his "misguided" lawsuit "regrettably perpetuated intolerance and animosity towards my fellow Americans."

Well... some people in the article seem to think this was all a hoax to get the man some publicity, but if it's genuine, that'd be great. I'd like to think that the virulently homophobic can one day become normal human beings. But I'm not really counting on it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

One more Paul post

I don't really want to continue posting about Ron Paul's racism, but I found this article just now. The second page has this colorful quote:
In the Speaker's Lobby, Paul describes the federal airline security system as an extra-constitutional affront to civil liberties, and thinks security should be handled by the private sector. Then he takes a rather un-presidential jab at the appearance of many TSA screeners, a workforce heavily populated by minorities and immigrants. "We quadrupled the TSA, you know, and hired more people who look more suspicious to me than most Americans who are getting checked," he says. "Most of them are, well, you know, they just don't look very American to me. If I'd have been looking, they look suspicious ... I mean, a lot of them can't even speak English, hardly. Not that I'm accusing them of anything, but it's sort of ironic."

Right. They're non-white, therefore they are immediately suspect--they just "look suspicious." What's more, they just don't look very American to Paul. Because in Paul's head, only white people qualify as Americans.

And this time he doesn't have any ghostwriters to blame.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Another group joins the bandwagon

Incensed that the commission that's looking into whether Vermont should allow gay marriages hasn't swallowed their cockamamie bullshit about how gay marriage will pollute marriage, defile women, eat babies, and generally bring about the downfall of western civilization, a bunch of Vermont homophobes have created a new group to... well, warn people that gay marriage will pollute marriage, defile women, eat babies, and generally bring about the downfall of western civilization. Surely with a snappy name like Vermont Marriage Advisory Council, people will have to listen!
Gay marriage opponents who believe a state panel studying the issue has its mind made up went on the offensive Tuesday, announcing the formation of a new group they said will educate Vermonters about the benefits of man-woman marriage.
more stories like this

The Vermont Marriage Advisory Council will hold forums and drum up interest through a Web site in hopes of enlightening people about the pluses of traditional marriage, especially those relating to children, whose stake in the controversy has been overlooked to date, according to spokesman Stephen Cable, of Rutland.

Wait, what? Let's read that again:
The Vermont Marriage Advisory Council will hold forums and drum up interest through a Web site in hopes of enlightening people about the pluses of traditional marriage, especially those relating to children, whose stake in the controversy has been overlooked to date, according to spokesman Stephen Cable, of Rutland.



It's not bad enough that you have to vomit forth lies about how creating a healthy, stable environment that happens to be led by gay people will somehow damage kids--now you think you're clever for coming up with these lies? You think that you've struck upon a new argument that no-one has ever used before? Every other sentence out of a homophobe's mouth is about how gay marriage will somehow hurt children! (The other half of their sentences are fixated on anal sex--homophobes just can't get enough of anal sex.)

I mean, wow. I don't know whether these people live under rocks, or whether the rocks live inside their heads. They're supposedly forming this group as a protest of the Vermont commission, which they think has already made up its mind. That's because the commission has already dismissed these puerile arguments.
"In the last seven years, since civil unions (began), what we've discovered is that there's a tremendous amount of new information about traditional man and woman marriage and the social goods that it provides.

"Marriage is so important an institution to society that any slight change in the law concerning marriage can have a profound impact on the social goods that it provides," said Cable.

Uh-huh. You didn't seem so concerned about the "profound impact" that "any slight change in the law concerning marriage can have" when you insisted that the laws concerning marriage be changed to exclude gay people.

But since you haven't offered any evidence at all for your homophobic crap, I'm not too worried about these profound impacts.

And on a side-note, I'm pleased to notice that the word "education" in the Boston Globe headline is in scare quotes. Because, honestly, it's not education they're after--it's indoctrination. Despite the fact that they declare on their webpage that their first goal is to make sure that the gay marriage debate "is factually-based", you're certain never to hear the fact that children raised by gay couples are just as healthy as those raised by straight couples. But that kind of factually-based argument they can do without.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

But hey, he's against the War, right?

One of the five pillars of the feverish, slavishly devoted Ron Paul supporters is that Ron Paul is the only genuine, straight-talking candidate out there. He's honest and votes his convictions, instead of voting whatever way the political winds are blowing. He's written so much about his political thinking that you can be sure you know what he'll do and why, and he does this because he's the only open, honest candidate.

Which makes me wonder: if he's so damned open and honest, why doesn't he release copies of his old newsletters?

Presumably because they're filled with stuff that would make David Duke green with envy that he didn't write it first.

Thomas E. Woods Jr. ... is a founder of the League of the South, a secessionist group, and the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, a pro-Confederate, revisionist tract published in 2004. Paul enthusiastically blurbed Woods's book, saying that it "heroically rescues real history from the politically correct memory hole." Thomas DiLorenzo, another senior faculty member and author of The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, refers to the Civil War as the "War for Southern Independence" and attacks "Lincoln cultists"; Paul endorsed the book on MSNBC last month in a debate over whether the Civil War was necessary (Paul thinks it was not). In April 1995, the institute hosted a conference on secession at which Paul spoke; previewing the event, Rockwell wrote to supporters, "We'll explore what causes [secession] and how to promote it." Paul's newsletters have themselves repeatedly expressed sympathy for the general concept of secession. In 1992, for instance, the Survival Report argued that "the right of secession should be ingrained in a free society" and that "there is nothing wrong with loosely banding together small units of government. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, we too should consider it."

This furthers my views that Paul is not a libertarian, as people would have one believe, but rather a states' rights hyperfederalist. If the states are infringing on your rights, he really couldn't give a damn. The southern states want to keep slaves? Hey, it's not something the federal government should do anything about! Let 'em!

I also want to point out that Thomas Woods' book (along with Woods himself) were reviewed here. Not the sort of work or person I would expect anyone sane to be citing with approval.

Anywho. Given his apparent love for the Confederacy, what would you expect his views of blacks to be? ... Well, you'd be right:
Take, for instance, a special issue of the Ron Paul Political Report, published in June 1992, dedicated to explaining the Los Angeles riots of that year. "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began," read one typical passage. According to the newsletter, the looting was a natural byproduct of government indulging the black community with "'civil rights,' quotas, mandated hiring preferences, set-asides for government contracts, gerrymandered voting districts, black bureaucracies, black mayors, black curricula in schools, black tv shows, black tv anchors, hate crime laws, and public humiliation for anyone who dares question the black agenda." It also denounced "the media" for believing that "America's number one need is an unlimited white checking account for underclass blacks." To be fair, the newsletter did praise Asian merchants in Los Angeles, but only because they had the gumption to resist political correctness and fight back. Koreans were "the only people to act like real Americans," it explained, "mainly because they have not yet been assimilated into our rotten liberal culture, which admonishes whites faced by raging blacks to lie back and think of England."

Uh, yeah... it was the government that created "black tv shows" and "black tv anchors"? Right.

But I am endlessly amused by his denigration of "civil rights"--what, blacks think they have rights now? Not in Ron Paul's America! After all, they're not "real Americans" like the Koreans he mentions.

Hell, they're hardly human!
In June 1991, an entry on racial disturbances in Washington, DC's Adams Morgan neighborhood was titled, "Animals Take Over the D.C. Zoo." "This is only the first skirmish in the race war of the 1990s," the newsletter predicted. In an October 1992 item about urban crime, the newsletter's author--presumably Paul--wrote, "I've urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming."

Oh... and I've avoided talking about it on my blog, so some of my readers might be unaware, but Ron Paul has a large following among the racist, far, far right-wing organizations out there. He's been criticized for refusing to distance himself from them, for refusing to return money they've donated to his campaigns, and so on. Some leap to Paul's defense by claiming that it's not his problem that some loathsome individuals are supporting him--you'd probably find some truly sick people supporting any of the candidates.

The problem isn't necessarily that they support Paul. It's that he supports them:
[T]he newsletters had kind words for the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke. In a passage titled "The Duke's Victory," a newsletter celebrated Duke's 44 percent showing in the 1990 Louisiana Senate primary. "Duke lost the election," it said, "but he scared the blazes out of the Establishment." In 1991, a newsletter asked, "Is David Duke's new prominence, despite his losing the gubernatorial election, good for anti-big government forces?" The conclusion was that "our priority should be to take the anti-government, anti-tax, anti-crime, anti-welfare loafers, anti-race privilege, anti-foreign meddling message of Duke, and enclose it in a more consistent package of freedom." Duke is now returning the favor, telling me that, while he will not formally endorse any candidate, he has made information about Ron Paul available on his website.

Oh, and there's more! Paul also hates gay people.
In an item titled, "The Pink House?" the author of a newsletter--again, presumably Paul--complained about President George H.W. Bush's decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite "the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony," adding, "I miss the closet." "Homosexuals," it said, "not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities." When Marvin Liebman, a founder of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom and a longtime political activist, announced that he was gay in the pages of National Review, a Paul newsletter implored, "Bring Back the Closet!" Surprisingly, one item expressed ambivalence about the contentious issue of gays in the military, but ultimately concluded, "Homosexuals, if admitted, should be put in a special category and not allowed in close physical contact with heterosexuals."

The newsletters were particularly obsessed with AIDS, "a politically protected disease thanks to payola and the influence of the homosexual lobby," and used it as a rhetorical club to beat gay people in general. In 1990, one newsletter approvingly quoted "a well-known Libertarian editor" as saying, "The ACT-UP slogan, on stickers plastered all over Manhattan, is 'Silence = Death.' But shouldn't it be 'Sodomy = Death'?" Readers were warned to avoid blood transfusions because gays were trying to "poison the blood supply." "Am I the only one sick of hearing about the 'rights' of AIDS carriers?" a newsletter asked in 1990. That same year, citing a Christian-right fringe publication, an item suggested that "the AIDS patient" should not be allowed to eat in restaurants and that "AIDS can be transmitted by saliva," which is false. Paul's newsletters advertised a book, Surviving the AIDS Plague--also based upon the casual-transmission thesis--and defended "parents who worry about sending their healthy kids to school with AIDS victims." Commenting on a rise in AIDS infections, one newsletter said that "gays in San Francisco do not obey the dictates of good sense," adding: "[T]hese men don't really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners." Also, "they enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick."

I rather enjoy that: a man posing as a libertarian complaining about people insisting that they have personal rights. Nuh-uh, skippy; everyone knows that you don't have rights if you're black or gay.

The article also has a link to another article, which has PDFs up of several of articles from Paul's newsletters that it mentions.

Via Orcinus.

[Edit] Since the histrionic fanatic followers of Paul insist that none of what was written in Paul's newsletters can be used against him, I'm going to link to this page, which shreds most of their arguments.

Tuesday Fake Racist Blogging: C.H. Dalton on Video Games

Probably my favorite lecture so far.

Buy the book.

Men have abortions in about the same way Dimmesdale had a scarlet 'A'

Uh, wow. This is profoundly disturbing:
Abortion is usually portrayed as a woman's issue: her body, her choice, her relief or her regret. This new movement — both political and deeply personal in nature — contends that the pronoun is all wrong. "We had abortions," said Mark B. Morrow, a Christian counselor. "I've had abortions."

You know why abortion is portrayed as a woman's issue? Because it is. Women are the ones who get pregnant; women are the ones saddled with a developing parasite for months; women are the ones whose lives, futures, and reputations all can be ruined by pregnancy; women are the ones who actually get abortions. The moment all that changes, men can have a say in it too.

And if Mr. Morrow can provide evidence that he truly had an abortion, I think that would probably earn him a Nobel Prize. I eagerly await his articles which will revolutionize our knowledge of biology and anatomy.

Monday, January 7, 2008

"It's not a tumor!"

A fitting sequel to this post, a new study has found that racial disparities exist in treatment of cancer, too:
U.S. blacks continue to get inferior cancer treatment compared to whites, researchers said on Monday in a study showing that disparities first documented in the early 1990s persist despite efforts to erase them.

The researchers assessed the type of treatment given to more than 143,000 Americans over age 65 for lung, breast, colon, rectal and prostate cancer from 1992 to 2002 under the Medicare government health insurance program.

Black patients were consistently less likely than whites to receive the recommended types of treatment, the study found, and the problem was just as bad in 2002 as in 1992.

The findings were published in the journal Cancer, published by the American Cancer Society.

"What we found was that the racial disparities did not change during that 10-year time interval," Dr. Cary Gross of the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.


Among patients with early-stage lung cancer, blacks were 19 percent less likely than whites to get surgical removal of the tumor. Blacks with rectal cancer were 27 percent less likely to get additional chemotherapy to get rid of any remaining cancer cells after surgical removal of a tumor. And blacks with colon cancer were 24 percent less likely to get such chemotherapy.

Among breast cancer patients who had a lumpectomy, black women were 7 percent less likely than whites to get radiation therapy. And black men diagnosed with prostate cancer were 11 percent less likely to get surgical or radiation treatment.

"It documents the inequities in our society more so than documenting racism among individual providers," Gross said.

But hey, the free market will fix it, right?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bush must go!

So says George McGovern:
Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly "high crimes and misdemeanors," to use the constitutional standard.

From the beginning, the Bush-Cheney team's assumption of power was the product of questionable elections that probably should have been officially challenged -- perhaps even by a congressional investigation.

In a more fundamental sense, American democracy has been derailed throughout the Bush-Cheney regime. The dominant commitment of the administration has been a murderous, illegal, nonsensical war against Iraq. That irresponsible venture has killed almost 4,000 Americans, left many times that number mentally or physically crippled, claimed the lives of an estimated 600,000 Iraqis (according to a careful October 2006 study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and laid waste their country. The financial cost to the United States is now $250 million a day and is expected to exceed a total of $1 trillion, most of which we have borrowed from the Chinese and others as our national debt has now climbed above $9 trillion -- by far the highest in our national history.

All of this has been done without the declaration of war from Congress that the Constitution clearly requires, in defiance of the U.N. Charter and in violation of international law. This reckless disregard for life and property, as well as constitutional law, has been accompanied by the abuse of prisoners, including systematic torture, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

I have not been heavily involved in singing the praises of the Nixon administration. But the case for impeaching Bush and Cheney is far stronger than was the case against Nixon and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew after the 1972 election. The nation would be much more secure and productive under a Nixon presidency than with Bush. Indeed, has any administration in our national history been so damaging as the Bush-Cheney era?


Another shocking perversion has been the shipping of prisoners scooped off the streets of Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other countries without benefit of our time-tested laws of habeas corpus.


As former representative Elizabeth Holtzman, who played a key role in the Nixon impeachment proceedings, wrote two years ago, "it wasn't until the most recent revelations that President Bush directed the wiretapping of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) -- and argued that, as Commander in Chief, he had the right in the interests of national security to override our country's laws -- that I felt the same sinking feeling in my stomach as I did during Watergate. . . . A President, any President, who maintains that he is above the law -- and repeatedly violates the law -- thereby commits high crimes and misdemeanors."


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Spreading freedom and liberty as only Americans can. Or at least only as Americans do.

We invaded Iraq to give them freedom!

Except, of course, for the gays:
The Iraq government is considering the release of some 5,000 prisoners but a spokesperson said it would not include terrorists or homosexuals.

The Iraqi government has about 20,000 people in custody, while the U.S. military holds about 25,000.

Homosexuality itself is not illegal in Iraq, but police regularly arrest gays on other charges often trumped up.

The amnesty bill drafted by the Shiite-dominated government falls far short of Sunni demands. About the only thing on which the two sides agree is that imprisoned gays not be freed.


Death squads imposing strict Islamic law are reportedly responsible for the murders of hundreds of gay men across Iraq.

Last year the leader of an exiled Iraqi LGBT rights group told a London conference on homophobia that that militias blamed for the murders of hundreds of gay men and women are sanctioned by the government and the US-led coalition is doing little to stop the killings.

Ali Hili said that the Badr and Sadr militias - the armed wings of the two main Shia parties that control the government of Iraq - are routinely rounding up men and women, primarily in Baghdad, suspected of being gay. The men and women are never heard from again.


In 2006 the Iraq government strongly criticized a U.N. report on human rights that put its civilian death toll in 2006 at 34,452, saying it is "superficial" because it included people such as homosexuals.

Well, actually, it doesn't appear to be quite as bad as all that--they just objected to anyone insinuating that gays ought to have rights. Like they're people or something?

Although to be fair, I don't know what was the situation for gays in Iraq under Saddam's rule, and have no reason to believe it was any better... except that I don't think Hussein allowed roving gangs of militiamen on his watch.

Via Ed Brayton.

"Phony psychic sentenced..."? As opposed to all the "real" psychics?

Stories like these are why institutions like the JREF are important:
A phony psychic who fled prosecution in Seattle and ended up on a wanted-fugitive list in Canada was sentenced Friday to 1-½ years in prison nearly nine years after tricking a lovesick woman into turning over her life savings to win back her boyfriend.

In sentencing 79-year-old Sophie Evon to a sentence longer than the standard three- to six-month range, King County Superior Court Judge Nicole MacInnes said she was unmoved by Evon's plea of guilt once she was finally caught after years on the run.

Prosecutors had asked for the exceptional sentence because of the amount of money involved and the victim's vulnerability.

But Evon's attorney said his client accepted responsibility by pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree theft in October and had already cut the victim two $5,000 "good faith" restitution checks.

Wow! Two "good faith" checks, totaling $10,000? That's a lot of money! Who wouldn't be happy with that?

Well, I'm certainly not. And with good reason:
Prosecutors said Evon and her daughter-in-law, Sylvia Lee, met the victim at a video store in the summer of 1999 and persuaded the woman that she needed a $300 "spiritual cleansing" to help her win back her ex-boyfriend.

Evon and Lee — who then ran a business called Ms. Lee's Psychic and Astrology Readings — told the distraught 26-year-old that her ex-boyfriend had been cursed by his former girlfriend, police and prosecutors said.

Over the next couple of days, Evon and Lee persuaded the victim, a recent immigrant from China, that she could free her boyfriend from the curse and be reunited with him by allowing them to pray over all the cash she could get her hands on, prosecutors said.

Despite her "doubts," the victim withdrew more than $200,000 cash from her savings account and her parents' retirement account and entrusted it to the two.

When the victim returned for an appointment with Evon and Lee two days later, she found the psychics and the money gone.

Yep--the victim (who remains anonymous) gave over $200,000 to these people. And they think returning $10,000--a mere five percent of that--is a sign of "good faith"?

This woman was swindled out of not only her savings, but her parents' retirement fund, because she was emotionally distraught. The perpetrators of this scam are leeches, feeding off of desperation and naivety and loss. They, like Sylvia Browne and John Edward and all these other frauds, trick people whose only crimes were to have lost someone and to believe in the false hope that these abominable hucksters offer them. My contempt of these emetic swindlers, who take advantage of grief and pain to rob people of money, cannot be understated.

But the worst part of it all is that, while these two individuals were arrested (even though I think 18 months is a slap on the wrist for stealing $200,000), people who do just the same are allowed to continue their business because they make lip-service to God. Even Peter Popoff, who was proven to be a fraud and a charlatan by James Randi, is back in business, getting gullible people to send him money they can't afford to--one lady only stopped sending Popoff checks when she had no money left for food. But he can't be taken in for fraud because he's got God on his side.

These people are the shit of the earth.

Wait, if Obama wins it's because people are afraid of blacks?

You'd think it was the other way around, but not according to Jonah Goldberg. Glenn Greenwald highlights a portion of one of his articles that's making the rounds in the conservative hemisphere of the... ah... blogosphere.
I think it's worth imagining a certain scenario. Imagine the Democrats do rally around Obama. Imagine the media invests as heavily in him as I think we all know they will if he's the nominee -- and then imagine he loses. I seriously think certain segments of American political life will become completely unhinged. I can imagine the fear of this social unraveling actually aiding Obama enormously in 2008.

Translation: if Obama becomes the Democratic candidate for president and loses in 2008, blacks will riot (because blacks are unruly, savage beasts, dontcha know). Fear of black people becoming violent is therefore going to cause some people who normally would never consider it to have oral sex with another man vote for Obama.

Be sure to follow the link; Greenwald's third update has screenshots of some of the commenters at these conservative blogs eschewing Goldberg's indirectness and his coded language in favor of being as blatantly racist as they can.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Why don't they just stop all the bull and go straight for the constitutional amendment declaring the U.S. a Christian nation?

Well, this is disheartening. Congressman Randy Forbes has submitted a bill, H.R. 888, that basically is an attempt to codify right-wing historical revisions into law. It has a list of 75 "Whereas" statements, nearly every one of which is a falsehood, a misrepresentation, a twisting of reality, or a blatant lie--all designed with the intent to change reality and proclaim that America is, historically has been, and was originally intended to be, a Christian nation. Here are the actual resolutions of the bill:
Resolved, That the United States House of Representatives----

(1) affirms the rich spiritual and diverse religious history of our Nation's founding and subsequent history, including up to the current day;

Well, it says "diverse religious history", but in reality it only means Christianity. They don't even try to hide it in the clauses leading up to this, trying to claim how important the Bible was in the founding of the country (it wasn't), talking about supposed government funding of churches or missions (lies), and so on. Here's one of the "whereas" clauses that demonstrate clearly what they really intend by this bill:
Whereas the United States Supreme Court has declared throughout the course of our Nation's history that the United States is 'a Christian country', 'a Christian nation', 'a Christian people', 'a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being', and that 'we cannot read into the Bill of Rights a philosophy of hostility to religion'

And back to the actual resolutions....
(2) recognizes that the religious foundations of faith on which America was built are critical underpinnings of our Nation's most valuable institutions and form the inseparable foundation for America's representative processes, legal systems, and societal structures;

Mmm... nope. Religion and faith have absolutely nothing to do with our "representative processes [or] legal systems." Remember Article 6 of the Constitution says explicitly "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." How much more plain can they make it? Elections, division of powers (the three branches of government), the entire concept of representative government--none of that has any basis in the Bible or in religion.

And our legal system? This is probably more of the typical dreck that our laws are based on the 10 Commandments--which is patently absurd. Most of them wouldn't even be Constitutional, so how could our legal system possibly be based on them? Even if he didn't mean the ten commandments specifically, I think a similar point would still apply to near any list of biblical injunctions you would care to name.
(3) rejects, in the strongest possible terms, any effort to remove, obscure, or purposely omit such history from our Nation's public buildings and educational resources; and

Except that "such history" as was described in the 75 "whereas" clauses is completely and utterly false (be sure to go read that page; Chris Rodda specializes in debunking the lies of Christian historical revisionists). We should do everything we can to avoid having these shameless lies anywhere near our schools, not codify into law that they have to be there.
(4) expresses support for designation of a 'American Religious History Week' every year for the appreciation of and education on America's history of religious faith.

What, National Bible Week isn't enough for you twits? Although I find it cute that you're continuing the pretense that you have any desire to give equal time to other religions aside from your own.

The shame of it all is that this bill currently has 31 cosponsors. Hopefully it will die, but who knows anymore?

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: How Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth Edition

As bad as his science was, Samuel Cartwright's theology was probably worse--if you can say that any interpretation of the Bible is "worse" than any other one.

For quite a while, Cartwright believed in the Curse of Ham, where God curses Noah's son Ham (or his grandson Canaan, depending on who you ask), declaring that he shall be a servant to Noah's other sons, Shem and Japheth. So people, eager to come up with any bullshit that will justify their decisions, decided that this meant black people (descendants of Ham) were ordained by God to be servants of white people (descendants of either Shem or Japheth, depending on who you ask). In several accounts the curse actually transformed Ham into the first black person, explaining where different races came from after the flood.

You can recall in his discourse on drapetomania, Cartwright quoted the Bible to say "He shall serve Japheth; he shall be his servant of servants." That was in 1851, so at that point he seemed to be a believer in the Curse of Ham. Nine years later, though, someone had apparently introduce Cartwright to the concept of polygenesis, and he decided to embrace that instead. Thus we find him writing "Unity of the Human Race Disproved by the Hebrew Bible", in De Bow's Review, vol. 29, August 1860. Polygenesis alone is one thing, but... well, read what Cartwright had to say:
Fifty years ago, Dr. Adam Clarke, the learned commentator of the Bible, from deep reading in the Hebrew, Arabic, and Coptic languages, was forced to the conclusion that the creature which beguiled Eve was an animal formed like man, walked erect, and had the gift of speech and reason. He believed it was an orang-outang and not a serpent. If he had lived in Louisiana, instead of England, he would have recognized the negro gardener. Eve was a new comer, and had evidently been questioning, out of curiosity, the gardener about the tree with the forbidden fruit. The ophidian Bimana begins his reply to her question with an exclamation of astonishment, rendered aye! in our version, equivalent to "Is it possible." Can it be that Elohim has said you are not to eat of every tree in the garden? Ye shall not die, but in the day you eat thereof you will be as gods, knowing good and evil.

We are told, in the 19th verse of the second chapter, that all the creatures were brought before Adam to receive names, and that what he called every living creature that was the name thereof. What these names were, appears afterward. The names he gave very often contained an abridged history of the thing itself shut up in the name--a sealed book to those who did not know the thing, and intended so to be, until, perhaps, thousands of years' experience had enabled man to acquire the key of knowledge to unlock and read the book. The first one of these names, enclosing within the name a history of the thing named, occurs in the 1st verse of the 3d chapter of Genesis. It is Nachash. That is the name of the creature which beguiled Eve. The history of the creature is enclosed in the name, under cover of a bundle of ideas, so incongruous and disconnected as not to be understood until, in the revolutions of ages, sufficient knowledge of the thing named had been acquired by experience to furnish the key to unlock the book. We see around it the serpent--the charmed--the enchanted--watching closely--prying into designs--muttering and babbling without meaning--hissing--whistling--deceitful--artful--fetters--chains--and a verb formed from the name, which signifies to be or to become black. Any good overseer would recognize the negro's peculiarities in the definition of Nachash, and the verbs connected with it, if read to him from a Hebrew lexicon.


The seventy-two who translated the Bible into Greek, rendered the word Nachash by Ophiz, a serpent. There were so many meanings to the word, they were puzzled to tell which to choose. Dr. Clarke thought that orang-outang would have been a better choice than serpent, for the name of a black creature, formed like a man, with the gift of speech and reason, a great deal of cunning, yet playful and good-natured, walking erect, a sorcerer, and a slave to something that charmed it. If the seventy-two had lived in our day, they would have rendered the word Nachash, as the great Hebrew scholar of the East, but now of the West, C. Blanchard Thompson, has rendered it, by the word negro.


When at work in the fields, they do not stoop like white people; their heads being thrown back, their knees bent, their legs bowed out, their feet flat, hips thrown upward, their abdomens are brought parallel with the earth, as if moving over its surface on their bellies. "Upon thy belly shalt thou go," said Elohim to the Nachash. We have only to look at them eating the bread which they prefer to all other kinds of bread, the ash-cake, and to witness their fondness for the ashes, and eating dust by the handfuls, to see re-written upon living negroes, a translation of the Hebrew word, "and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life."

So, yeah. Cartwright believed that the serpent in the Garden of Eden was a Negro. Amazing, innit?

End of an era

Sadness! The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) has for nearly ten years offered $1,000,000 to anyone who could demonstrate supernatural abilities under controlled conditions. For ten years, this has been a thorn in the side of charlatans like Uri Geller, Sylvia Browne, John Edward, and others--even though most of them simply refuse to take the test.

Even before it was the Million-Dollar Challenge, Randi would offer $1,000 or $10,000 checks to people who could perform these demonstrations of their alleged talents. This challenge dates back to 1964, and yet despite all the claims of psychics, mediums, and other woo-woos, no-one has ever passed the test.

Unfortunately, Mr. Randi announced today that he'll be discontinuing the challenge in two years:
The James Randi Educational Foundation Million-Dollar Challenge will be discontinued 24 months from this coming March 6th, and those prize funds will then be available to generally add to our flexibility. This move will free us to do many more projects, which will be announced at that time.

This means that all those wishing to be claimants are required to get their applications in before the deadline, properly filled out and notarized as described in the published rules.

Now, we're sure that there will be those who will offer all kinds of objections to this decision – though they could have simply applied and won the prize. There will be accusations that the JREF is concerned about the safety of the prize money – which was never any sort of concern, I can assure you – and there will be more claims that the money was never there in the first place. I can see the professionals out there sighing in relief that they no longer have to answer questions about why they won't take the prize, and they'll just wait out the remaining period that the prize is available. All that's to be expected.

Ten years is long enough to wait. The hundreds of poorly-constructed applications, and the endless hours of phone, e-mail, and in-person discussions we've had to suffer through, will be things of the past, for us at the JREF.

Those who believe they have mystic powers now have two full years to apply... Let's see what happens.

I understand that a million dollars added to their budget could help them immensely, but it's still sad to see this go. The existence of this challenge has been a constant annoyance to the purveyors of supernatural dishonesty for decades, and it is a shame to see it pass.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Obama and Huckabee!

Well, the Iowa caucus results are in; and, as I'm sure you know already, Obama won on the Democratic side, and Huckabee won on the Republican side. Here's the breakdown by percentage:
Barack Obama 38%
John Edwards 30%
Hillary Clinton 29%
Bill Richardson 2%
Joe Biden 1%
Uncommitted 0%
Chris Dodd 0%
Mike Gravel 0%
Dennis Kucinich 0%

Mike Huckabee 34%
Mitt Romney 25%
Fred Thompson 13%
John McCain 13%
Ron Paul 10%
Rudy Giuliani 3%
Duncan Hunter 0%

Man, Giuliani totally bombed in Iowa, didn't he? Even Ron Paul did better.

Oh, and looking at the exit polls for the Republican caucus show an interesting result--around 60% of the voters described themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians, and they overwhelmingly voted for Huckabee. Further, 2/3 of those polled think it is "somewhat" (31%) or "a great deal" (36%) important that their candidate share their religious beliefs, and those people also overwhelmingly went for Huckabee. So can we say that Romney did as poorly as he did because of good old-fashioned American religious bigotry?

[Edit] And Matt Nisbet tells us what we can expect now that Obama won in Iowa: shrieks not to vote for him because he's black and possibly a Muslim. Essentially, more of the same.

"Someone owes science an apology."

Nature has a brief compilation of the various candidates' stances on science issues. Well, actually, it's just three categories: Climate/Energy, Biomedical/Stem cells, and Space.

The Democrats all appear to have similar positions. All of them want to reduce carbon emissions drastically, and all of them support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. There are differences in the details of their plans, of course, especially with their plans for renewable energy. And they have some differences on space exploration--Obama wants to take $18 billion from NASA to fund education, and Kucinich wants NASA to spend time working on technological innovations for life on earth instead of exploring space. That's an admirable goal, but... come on, it's the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. That's not its job.

As for the Republicans, it's a lot more varied, so just go read it. I'll just say that it's not surprising that Ron Paul says there are "reputable scientists on both sides of that argument" over global warming.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Nice to know we're appreciated

Pft, gay marriage. Next you know they'll wanna vote!

--Carter Pewterschmidt, You May Now Kiss the...uh...Guy Who Receives

Jim Talent, current adviser to Mitt Romney, on his man's attitude towards gays:
He's always had the same position as to regards to the gay agenda. Look, he wants to know, people to know he values gay people as people, okay? But he doesn't want the militant gays to be able to change the cultural institutions of the country.

Sure, he values them as people--just, you know, lesser people than straights. But still people! A step above atheists!

Yes, Mitt Romney values them so much that he'll protect them from the horrible stress of a committed relationship, and the pain of divorce. He values them so much that he won't let them serve in the military. Anything for our precious, precious gays.

And on a side-note, who are these "militant" gays? Are they the lesbian biker gangs Bill O'Reilly warned us about? Or, like the "militant" atheists, are they people who dare to admit that they exist and who have the audacity to speak up? Honestly, it's like they think they have rights like free speech or something.

Happy New Year, you're all doomed to burn in hell

For some, New Year's Day is a time to look forward to the future--to plan, to ponder, to embrace.

For others, though, it's a time to reaffirm your commitment to sticking to the past.
England's senior Roman Catholic leader used his New Year message to criticize the British government's gay equality laws.

That's the way! Nothing underscores your message of "Happy New Year!" like a footnote saying "except for the fags."
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said the traditional family is central to society's well-being and that most parents did not want their children to be taught that marriage was just "one lifestyle choice" among many.

"Most parents do not want their children to be taught that marriage is no more than one lifestyle choice among many," he said. "They do not want to expose their children to the risk of becoming promiscuous or indulging in drug and alcohol abuse."

Many parents also don't want evolution taught--that doesn't change the fact that it's true. Marriage is just one path in life among many. I should think a celibate priest would understand that better than anyone. And really, I find it disgusting that schools would try to indoctrinate children with the message that marriage is the one true path to take in life. I mean, what's next after that? Teaching them that the only path for a woman is to be a housewife, doomed never to leave the house except to buy groceries?

And as for the last sentence there, cardinal, I don't quite understand why you would think that a gay rights law would mean that children would be taught to be promiscuous or to indulge in substance abuse. Maybe it's nothing more complicated than that you're another homophobic moron who doesn't understand that gays are simply people, and that there's no gay "lifestyle" that involves 400 sex partners a year and sticking needles in any part of your body that's not already stuck with a penis. That certainly seems the most likely option. But in case you think Paul Cameron is a valid

But okay, cardinal, I can compromise when I need to. You don't want children taught about options other than marriage? Then the solution is to let all children marry when they grow up--including the gay ones. I mean, you couldn't really be so sadistic as to insist that everyone must get married in their lifetime to be whole, foist this message on impressionable children, and then refuse to marry certain people. Right? The only solution then is to let gay couples marry like anyone else.
"Yet it is equally true that we are rapidly moving the very structures on which society is built and on which humanity depends; we are gradually destroying the 'ecosystem' that supports the family," he added.

Any evidence for that? It's nice that you recognize that global warming is a problem, but see, your analogy falls apart when you take into account that we know global warming is a problem because there's massive evidence to that effect. And for your contention that we're destroying the "ecosystem" that supports the family? Not a jot of evidence.

Canada has not fallen into anarchy since they allowed gays to wed; Massachusetts' families have not all dissolved; the Netherlands has not become a bevy of people marrying box turtles and dogs. Creating new families that happen to have two people of the same sex as their heads is the opposite of destroying families.

If you or anyone else could possibly give a rationale as to how allowing same-sex couples to wed would destroy the family, society, and humanity itself (or any one of them; I'm flexible), I'd be willing to listen. But remember that merely asserting the platitude over and over again does nothing to show the link you assume to be there.

Racism touches every facet of life

Including medical care:
Emergency-room doctors are prescribing strong narcotics more often to patients who complain of pain, but minorities are less likely to get them than whites, a new study finds.

Even for the severe pain of kidney stones, minorities were prescribed narcotics such as oxycodone and morphine less frequently than whites.

The analysis of more than 150,000 ER visits over 13 years found differences in prescribing by race and ethnicity in urban and rural hospitals, in all U.S. regions and for every type of pain.

"The gaps between whites and nonwhites have not appeared to close at all," said study co-author Dr. Mark Pletcher, of the University of California, San Francisco.


Linda Simoni-Wastila, of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Pharmacy, said the race-gap finding may reveal some doctors' suspicions that minority patients could be drug abusers lying about pain to get narcotics.

The irony, she said, is that blacks are the least likely group to abuse prescription drugs. Hispanics are becoming as likely as whites to abuse prescription opioids and stimulants, according to her research. She was not involved in the current study.

The study's authors said doctors may be less likely to see signs of painkiller abuse in white patients or they may be undertreating pain in minority patients.

Patient behavior may play a role, Pletcher said. Minority patients "may be less likely to keep complaining about their pain or feel they deserve good pain control," he said.

Racist stereotypes are ingrained into people from birth, and as long as they persist there will be disparities between how people of different races are treated in this country. Passing a law saying "Don't discriminate" isn't enough while we're bombarding people with the message that certain races are more criminal than others. People are left with the impression that these stereotypes are real problems--despite the fact that they have little to no basis in reality, as the above idea that blacks are more likely to abuse painkillers--and that they are therefore justified in doing their own racial classification.

It's especially a problem because people don't necessarily make these decisions and connections consciously, but they're there nonetheless.
"If anybody argues they have no social biases that sway clinical practice, they have not been thoughtful about the issue or they're not being honest with themselves," [Dr. Thomas Fisher] said.