Monday, December 31, 2012

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The hyperthyroid harpie's recent tirade against Mitt Romney and his campaign has gotten a lot of attention for the way she clawed at his spokesmodel. But I think there is another point here that deserves everyone's attention.
Watch what Ann shouts at 00:35, while Hannity desperately tries to get her back on message after she tells the handful of big money donors bankrolling this whole carnival of clowns they should cut off their funding for Romney:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

But what the Founding Fathers called corruption, depravity, viciousness, and vice, many of us would call freedom. During the War of Independence, deference to authority was shattered, a new urban culture offered previously forbidden pleasures, and sexuality was loosened from its Puritan restraints. Nonmarital sex, including adultery and relations between whites and blacks, was rampant and unpunished. Divorces were frequent and easily obtained. Prostitutes plied their trade free of legal or moral proscriptions. Black slaves, Irish indentured servants, Native Americans, and free whites of all classes danced together in the streets. Pirates who frequented the port cities brought with them a way of life that embraced wild dances, nightlong parties, racial integration, and homosexuality. European visitors frequently commented on the “astonishing libertinism” of early American cities. Renegades held the upper hand in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Charleston, and made them into the first centers of the American pleasure culture. Rarely have Americans had more fun. And never have America’s leaders been less pleased by it.

progress in baby steps

Monday, December 17, 2012

Several weeks ago, a ground-breaking study on religious belief and social well-being was published in the Journal of Religion & Society. Comparing 18 prosperous democracies from the U.S. to New Zealand, author Gregory S Paul quietly demolished the myth that faith strengthens society.

Drawing on a wide range of studies to cross-match faith – measured by belief in God and acceptance of evolution – with homicide and intimate behavior, Paul found that secular societies have lower rates of violence and teenage pregnancy than societies where many people profess belief in God. 

Top of the class, in both atheism and good behavior, come the Japanese. Over eighty percent accept evolution and fewer than ten percent are certain that God exists. Despite its size – over a hundred million people – Japan is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world. It also has the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy of any developed nation. 

(Teenage pregnancy has less tragic consequences than violence but it is usually unwanted, and it is frequently associated with deprivation among both mothers and children. In general, it is a Bad Thing.) 

Next in line are the Norwegians, British, Germans and Dutch. At least sixty percent accept evolution as a fact and fewer than one in three are convinced that there is a deity. There is little teenage pregnancy , although the Brits, with over 40 pregnancies per 1,000 girls a year, do twice as badly as the others. Homicide rates are also low -- around 1-2 victims per 100,000 people a year. 

At the other end of the scale comes America. Over 50 percent of Americans believe in God, and only 40 percent accept some form of evolution (many believe it had a helping hand from the Deity). The U.S. has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and homicide rates are at least five times greater than in Europe and ten times higher than in Japan. 

All this information points to a strong correlation between faith and antisocial behavior -- a correlation so strong that there is good reason to suppose that religious belief does more harm than good. 

At first glance that is a preposterous suggestion, given that religions preach non-violence and intimate restraint. However, close inspection reveals a different story. Faith tends to weaken rather than strengthen people’s ability to participate in society. That makes it less likely they will respect social customs and laws. 

All believers learn that God holds them responsible for their actions. So far so good, but for many, belief absolves them of all other responsibilities. Consciously or subconsciously, those who are "born again" or "chosen" have diminished respect for others who do not share their sect or their faith. Convinced that only the Bible offers "truth", they lose their intellectual curiosity and their ability to reason. Their priority becomes not the world they live in but themselves. 

The more people prioritize themselves rather than those around them, the weaker society becomes and the greater the likelihood of antisocial behavior. Hence gun laws which encourage Americans to see each other not as fellow human beings who deserve protection, but as potential aggressors who deserve to die. And hence a health care system which looks after the wealthy rather than the ill. 

As for sex… Faith encourages ignorance rather than responsible behavior. In other countries, sex education includes contraception, reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancies. Such an approach recognizes that young people have the right to make their own choices and helps them make decisions that benefit society as a whole. In America faith-driven abstinence programs deny them that right -- "As a Christian I will only help you if you do what I say". The result is soaring rates of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. 

Abstinence programs rest on the same weak intellectual foundation as creationism and intelligent design. Faith discourages unprejudiced analysis. Reasoning is subverted to rationalization that supports rather than questions assumptions. The result is a self-contained system that maintains an internal logic, no matter how absurd to outside observers. 

The constitutional wall that theoretically separates church and state is irrelevant. Religion has overwhelmed the nation to permeate all public discussion. Look no further than Gary Bauer, a man who in any other western nation would be dismissed as a fanatic and who in America is interviewed deferentially on prime time television. 

Despite all its fine words, religion has brought in its wake little more than violence, prejudice and intimate disease. True morality is found elsewhere. As UK Guardian columnist George Monbiot concluded in his review of Gregory Paul’s study, "if you want people to behave as Christians advocate, you should tell them that God does not exist." 

I might express that another way. The flip side of Monbiot's argument is that God would be an 

"Correlation is not causation but it sure is a hint." --> hint hint

stupid + insane = doing it again

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein(attributed)
US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955) 

Before the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School took place, two things were predictable:
  • that another mass killing was inevitable, given the increase in their frequency over the past year, and the fact that no measures had been taken to prevent them
  • that right-wingers would see in such a dreadful event an opportunity to promote their paranoid vision of a perfect America as one where every citizen is armed to the teeth, and trembling in awe of their vengeful God..

Friday, December 14, 2012

its the guns stupid

gee maybe if one of those five year olds had had a gun they could have sot back eh..please stop your insane.. sick.. childish excuses.. you know that your selfish irresponsible .. gun culture is responsible.. you did the NRA .. you put the gun in the baby killers hands .. happy now .. this is the result of your sick vision of freedom.. the same sort of moronic man boy reasoning that freedom is the right to smoke in a  hospital or drink beer while you drive a car... wont someone be the adult and stop this madness ?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

What better way for a small child to escape into an innocent fantasy land than to...pretend to be a cashier at McDonald’s?

fantasy land

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Did Neanderthal Genes Cause the Advancement of Human Civilization?
Let's look at the facts: modern humans made basically zero progress for over 163,000 years. They didn't invent much. They didn't develop any significant societies. They didn't build much of anything. They were basically hunter-gatherers that did not make any technological progress for 163,000 years. To put that in perspective, virtually all of human progress has been made over the last 37,000 years.
The traits of modern humans could be summed up as very traditional, stable, with a low capacity/tolerance for risk, innovation, change and progress. In short, they were temperamentally too stable and too disinclined towards free thought or creativity to make any recognizable progress over the first 163,000 years of their existence on this planet... Modern humans were also trapped mostly in Africa because their rivals -- the Neanderthals -- occupied Europe and Asia and could basically kick the living crap out of them if they ever dared to venture into this Neanderthal territory, because Neanderthals were extremely combative, powerful, and skillful warriors. In fact, Neanderthals were the total opposite temperament of modern humans. Neanderthals were wild and relentlessly creative to a fault. They were innovative, but because they couldn't stop innovating, battling, and moving on to the next new thing they could not maintain any progress. Think of a tribe that was 100% ADHD and bipolar -- no stability -- complete and utter madness. Without any stability their abundant creations, breakthroughs and innovations would be short-lived and forgotten by subsequent generations. Their attention could not be held for long enough to create a lasting legacy. Neanderthals were Uprisers -- radical change agents who couldn't stop changing.
Just as easily as they would rise up against other tribes -- they probably rose up against each other at the expense of their own progress...Neanderthals & Modern Humans Collide: Technology Explodes.
Then something miraculous happened. About 37,000 years ago Neanderthals likely intermingled with modern humans, because boom - all of a sudden there's a new gene in the human genome, the DRD4 7R gene -- which has been a prime suspect for originating from Neanderthals for some time now. This gene is associated with risk-taking, sensation-seeking and novelty-seeking, and correlated with openness to new experiences, intolerance to monotony, and exploratory behavior -- you know... Neanderthal stuff. (According to the human genome the DRD4 7R gene suddenly showed up about 37,000 years ago, spread due to natural selection and is unlikely to be of modern human origin, due to the "highly unlikely recombination mutation events required" to generate the 7R version from the modern human 4R version of the gene according to a recent Yale School of Medicine publication.)

4 day work week