Monday, December 31, 2007

Wi-Fi Tee From Heaven

I'm a little bit of a geek. Okay, I'm a rather big geek. Which is why this tee from Think Geek is something I will probably own very, very soon.

Wi-Fi Tee from Think Geek
Here at ThinkGeek we're pretty lazy when it comes to technology. We expect our gadgets to do all the busywork while we focus on the high level important tasks like reading blogs. That's why we hate to have to crack open our laptops just to see if there is any wi-fi internet access about... and keychain wi-fi detectors, we would have to actually remove them from our pockets to look at them. But now thanks to the ingenious ThinkGeek robot monkeys you can display the current wi-fi signal strength to yourself and everyone around you with this stylish Wi-Fi Detector Shirt. The glowing bars on the front of the shirt dynamically change as the surrounding wi-fi signal strength fluctuates. Finally you can get the attention you deserve as others bow to you as their reverential wi-fi god, while geeky chicks swoon at your presence. You can thank us later.

2007 into 2008 - Be Change Now

Happy New Year's Eve, folks. has done some great things this year, the least of which was to get deeply embedded under the skin of such windbags as Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, and FOX News. Here's a retrospective featuring some of the members: people just like you and me.

We have way too many people in America snugged comfortably - ass-print and all - on Apathy's couch, the thought bubble reading "Doesn't matter what I do" and floating above their head like a stubborn, stagnant, fetid fart. We need to lead by example: mobilize, volunteer, get involved. Do something. Ghandi said "we must be the change we wish to see in the world," but putting that in the signature of your outgoing emails doesn't actually make you the change; it makes you complacent. "Do or do not; there is no try."

I don't care what party you are a part of: get active. Be a part of the process, whether it's political or environmental or humanitarian or Drewish. Find something that makes you want to tear open the shutters, throw up the sash, and scream your fucking brains out. Then do that.

When you are standing on a street corner with a protest or concern sign, when you're attending a rally - whether ten or ten thousand strong, when you're writing letters to your elected officials and getting out there with your vote to back it up, that's when you're in it, that's when you're doing something. Then do more. Think. Act. Emote. Aspire.

Let's make 2007 cry like a little schoolgirl because it's so jealous of 2008's progress. Let's show Americans what America can be. Let's make it count.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Bush Wants to Bring Bhutto Suicide Bomber to Justice

Yesterday, after it was mostly understood that a single suicide bomber opened fire at former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and then 'sploded, President Bush announced "Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice ..."

Note to President Bush's speechwriting team: you might want to explain to him that the person responsible is dead. Suggested intervention script based on the most recent information: "See, this t'rr'rist dinna like Bhutto, so he got close and shot at her, but'e missed. But'e's wearin' a bomb too and blowed 'imself up. When he 'sploded, part a da bomb hit'er in the head, killed'er dead. Heh." Explaining that you're not talking about Buddha is on you.

Priest v. Priest: Fight!

Stupid Priests Fight
AP Photo

Just in time to eschew the symbolic sanctimony of the Birth of Christ:
Feuding Christian sects have attacked each other in a flurry of fists and brooms at the Bethlehem church where Christ was reputedly born, leaving four people injured.

The fight took place at the ecumenical Church of the Nativity, where priests from both the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic orders had been cleaning up after Christmas celebrations earlier in the week, the BBC reports.

It is understood the fracas began when a Greek priest placed a ladder in a part of the church known be under Armenian jurisdiction.

Up to 80 bearded holy men wearing dark robes became embroiled in the fight, many wielding brooms.
There's not much to say about that. WWJD? Probably kick their stupid asses out and raze the church for its symbolic idolatry. You'd think the keepers of the faith would be the ones to understand the importance of the spiritual over the physical. Alas, thus is the path of organized religion.

And if that's not all three slices of crazy in one day, here's another dose of UN-Christlike behavior:

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bill O'Reilly's War on the War on Christmas

For your Christmas hangover, here's a little Bill O to make that vein pop out in your forehead. "Every company in America should be on its knees thanking Jesus for being born!" Amen, Bill.

And as a bonus, a new site: Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O'Reilly International.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Onion's Soldier Holiday Greetings

May not be around until Christmas. Enjoy this from The Onion News Network:

Our Troops Send Holiday Wishes For Peace, Goodwill, And Body Armor

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Huckabee's Phantom Cross

Everyone's talking about it, so here it is:

Huckabee says it's just a bookshelf.

I'm an actor of 20 years with both film and television in my background; I have a solid understanding of what happens during a shoot and in post-production. Two possibilities here:
  1. The production team hired to film a national commercial for a leading presidential candidate cleverly lit part of a bookshelf brighter than the Christmas tree or even Huckabee himself to in order to not-so-subtly bring a cross into the image to reflect the message of God Bless and Merry Christmas, and everyone is lying about it.

  2. The production team hired to film a national commercial for a leading presidential candidate are talentless, legally-blind hacks who errantly lit a bookshelf and, according to the Huck's story, not only didn't notice a blaring cross during the shoot, but didn't notice it in post-production, and only oh-my-gosh'ed when the public saw it.
I don't believe for a second that it's the latter.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holy Nintendo!

Who likes Nintendo? You do. You know you do. You miss the old school nostalgia of the 8-bit walking pixelations and furiously blowing into the cartridge, then the system, then the cartridge.

You can have it again! is your new friend. Here's 100 games, played through the magic of Java, right in your browser. Then click ALL and behold the all-some.

From Astyanax to Bionic Commando to Shadowgate to Zombie Nation (seriously, try it - whacked). Not safe for work because you will not work.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Digging into the Kucinich Blackout

Still no real answers, but plenty of questions.

[Alternative YouTube Link]

Because Ocelots are Friggin Sweet

I did this up for a search engine experiment for my real job. If it works, I'll report back in on the boring techie details. Just something tasty for Monday.

Search Engine Ocelot Grooming

Friday, December 14, 2007

Know What I Love About Wal-Mart?

12-year-old Chinese children working 15 hour days, 7 days a week, at $0.26 an hour to make Christmas ornaments for the Big-Box Monster. That's the holiday spirit!

From Mother Jones:
With the help of the National Labor Committee—the American outfit famed for shaming Kathy Lee Gifford for her line's exploitative labor practices—the teenagers have brought to light yet another scandal with big implications. Turns out the Guangzhou Huanya ornaments factory in Guangdong, where the high school students worked, employs children as young as 12, who are forced to work 15 hour days, 7 days a week to make Wal-Mart's Christmas ornaments in time for the holiday season. It might come as no surprise that the wages paid by the big box behemoth's manufacturers are paltry, but these kids earn only half of China's minimum wage—just 26 cents an hour.
Anyone else just want to throw up? If you haven't figured it out yet: It doesn't matter how good the deals are; stop shopping at Wal-Mart. If words won't do it for that shopping itch, the whistle-blowing teens were able to get some pictures:

Children Labor for Wal Mart

What is anyone still doing shopping there?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dennis Kucinich Axed in Iowa

It's starting to happen with more severity and urgency: The media is shutting down anyone who is not at the head of their personal popularity contest. The last two debates we were told that Mike Gravel was not important to be heard. Today, as noted by Kate, Dennis Kucinich was added to the ranks of the uninvited.

From the Kucinich campaign:
The highest polling Democratic Presidential candidate among the Party’s progressive, grassroots, activist base, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, has been excluded from the Des Moines Register-sponsored Presidential debate here on Thursday because his Iowa field director operates from a home office rather than a rented storefront.

Despite being the top-ranked Presidential candidate in polls conducted by Democracy for America (DFA), Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), and one of the country’s leading progressive publications, The Nation, Kucinich was not invited to participate in the debate because “It was our determination that a person working out of his home did not meet our criteria for a campaign office and full-time paid staff in Iowa,” according to a statement from the newspaper’s top officials, including editor Carolyn Washburn.
What? Are you serious? A storefront? Who even ...what? I didn't watch the debate, but I also heard that CNN applauded the exclusionary move. This is the type of story that makes me sad and makes me angry and makes me lose faith in our system of government.

Who likes to make noise? Feel free to contact the Des Moines Register.

Editor Carolyn Washburn (515) 284-8502.
Laura Hollingsworth President and Publisher (515) 284-8041
Randy Brubaker Managing Editor (515) 284-8590
Randy Evans Assistant Managing Editor (515) 284-8118
Letters to the editor e-mail:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Blog

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, has a blog. It's been up since August of 2006 and it covers some Where in the World stuff, American meetings, and the "freedom and liberty" enjoyed by Iranians in a non-inflammatory and rather boring tone, especially with the "In the Name of Almighty God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate" heading off every entry. It would've been better if it were actually "frank" as is apparently his aim. And if he posted more than 5 times in the last year.

Fav excerpt? The "Hay GuyZ!1!" tone in defense of the time he is spending on the blog.
Since my last post on the blog, a few months have passed. But this doesn't ‎mean that I have not been keeping my promise of spending fifteen minutes per week ‎on it. As a matter of fact, I have spent more than the allocated time on the blog. The ‎magnitude of the reception and acclamation from the viewers was beyond ‎expectations.
Oh, quit your bitchin'!

At first I thought this was a Fake Steve Jobs kind of thing, but then I realized how absolutely lacking in creativity, humor, and content Mahmoud's site is.

Kudos to the first infidel who can trade blogroll links with Iran's President!

God Sends Gunman, Defender to Church?

On Sunday, December 9th, a man armed with "an assault rifle, two handguns and a backpack with more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition in clips" dropped a smoke grenade at one entrance to a Colorado Springs megachurch, circled around, and opened fire at the exiting crowd, killing two people. Twelve hours earlier, he had killed two others at a missionary training school in Arvada.

He then entered the church, took a couple of shots, and was gunned down by security guard Jeanne Assam. Jeanne's take on the situation? "It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God," she said.

I'm sorry, Jeanne, but God was not anywhere in the vicinity that day.

It was just you and a home-schooled kid who had become entrenched in the pseudo-religio-society that is megachurch Colorado Springs and was subsequently ostracized from his reality when he was booted from the Youth With A Mission school a few years ago (Space cadet check: Police said 3 years, the school said 5, and the church affiliated with the program? "Senior Pastor Brady Boyd of New Life Church said the gunman had no connection to the church.").

In the actual definition of "begging the question," God in the world of the extremely devout works something like this: Why does everything happen for a reason? Because God is infallible. What proof do you have that God is infallible? Everything happens for a reason.

He's got a pretty good racket going. Win the lottery? God's blessing is upon you! Have an addiction or horrid money problems or both? God's just challenging you to make you strong. Jump out of your burning apartment, break both your legs, and watch your mother die by immolation? God's blessing you survived and Jesus needed Mommy in Heaven.

And in this case, the security guard attributes her trained ability to fire a weapon at a target to God when the result of it was the taking of a human life in the house of God.

I understand the role of religion in people's lives, but blind, unquestioning faith and using God as a tool of rationalization is simply turning 'living a life' into absurdity.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Soulja Boy's "Crank Dat" Not So Appropriate

As my 11-year-old daughter (and the rest of her 6th grade class) is in love with the song "Crank That Soulja Boy" by Soulja Boy, I was keeping up with propriety and checking the artist out to make sure that it was something appropriate for an 11-year-old. I ran across a fan site that had the lyrics.

From the song:
I'm Jocking On Yo Bitch Ass
And If We Get The Fightin
Den im cockin on ya bitch ass

And then there's the song "Bootymeat."

Needless to say, the music is not appropriate for my daughter. What surprised me more was:

Soulja Boy Caught Magazine Cover

"A Positive Direction for Young America."

Isn't this kind of the opposite of that?

Nebraska Shooter Caps 8, Saves One for Self

As a man of sometimes-supreme excess, I spend most of my work-from-home day listening - that's right, listening - to Headline news or some other network iteration of force-fed prioritized reality. Yesterday was no exception, and CNN Headline News was the source of my information as the shooting in a Nebraska mall was rippling through the newsosphere.

Early, but the last point I was paying much attention, the live afternoon anchor stated that the shooter was wearing a green army jacket. Then: "the shooter is an African-American male."

Hawkins, not a black guy

Wait a second: that guy isn't black!

Perhaps a poor man's rendition of Tom Cruise in Risky Business, but he's no Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Wait a second: black people don't wear green army jackets! Wait a second: there's no black people in Nebraska!

Ah, but I jest.

Two questions rattle the brain cage:
  1. How did grunge teen angst with the bouffant a la Journey get described as an African-American male?

  2. Why can't these people just go down with their own ship? Someone plese spread this generalization: suicide is a private event.

  3. When will there be broad recognition that antidepressants can actually cause depressed people to drop even further into depression?

  4. Do any black people live in Nebraska?
Okay, that was more like 4 questions. You know.

At least there's LOLcats.

Monorail Cat, LOL Cats

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I Don't Think Anything Predated Christians

"I Don't Think Anything Predated Christians."

That's what Sherri Shepherd said on The View. Check the clip here until it's yanked, but be forewarned that for anyone with any sense whatsoever about history will be in physical pain after the 42-second exchange, not just for Shepherd's idiot comment, but for the complete lack of certitude used to contradict her statement:

And this is television on your planet? Yes, Mr. Alien, this is television. (That's longhand for being embarrassed for humanity.)

(h/t to Phil at Bad Astronomy)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

TV Stations Sites: Can I See Some ID?

I was going to mention this story about a man who was shot with a taser as he stepped out of his bathtub. The man was deaf.

But I became increasingly frustrated at the website as I glanced and scanned and checked it out: where the hell are we?

In a world of ever-growing, worldwide internet presence, I'm continually surprised by how lacking local news stations are in one very simple item: city and state. I can tell you KWCH is west of the Mississippi River, and reading the entire article places the deaf man in Wichita (call letters are similar), and working through the menus shows me we're in Kansas. But are we? I've gotten this far by a lot more deduction than I should be expending simply trying to figure out where the station posting the article is based.

Summary for every local news station in America-

Your Local News Internet banner should contain the following:
  • Your call letters
  • Your city and state
  • The pretty faces we would see were we living locally and turned on the news
  • A generalized, trite, non-descriptive slogan that you think sets you apart from the rest of the local news stations in your market (optional)
So hurry up and get your web guy/gal on it! And while you're making phone calls, call the cops and tell them to stop tasing deaf and/or pregnant people.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Kucinich 2008 - Fundraising Push December 15th

Dennis Kucinich is focusing a blast of fundraising on December 15th, the historical day on which the Bill of Rights was adopted by America.

Are you tired with the War in Iraq? Support Dennis.

Do you support equal (not separate) rights for same-sex couples? Support Dennis.

Are you tired of corporations running America? Support Dennis.

Are you tired of struggling to pay ever-increasing premiums as the insurance companies the world over post record profits? Support Dennis as the only candidate who proposes universal, not-for-profit health care.

We (and that includes me) sit around our dinner tables or barroom tables and we shoot barbs at the system or talk about how we need to take action and change America. This is our chance to do just that: stop bitching about the itch and scratch it for God's sake!

"But Ricky, Davis says $100 in the video and it's almost Christmas and...." You know better than that. Is $100 ideal? Yes. Would the Kucinich campaign raise their noses at $50 or $10. Hell no. Every piece helps. Do what you can.

Support Dennis Kucinich.

It's time to make a change in America. And that starts with me and you. So shelve the plans for la Résistance for a minute and let's see what we can do through Dennis.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Religious Hatred for Islam from Muslims

Last week, British teacher Gillian Gibbons was convicted of religious hatred for letting her Sudanese class name a bear "Mohammed." Last I heard, while Mohammed is a popular name for males in Sudan, it's not to be used for an animal. Or, apparently, a stuffed animal.

Guy with a knife is crazy

In a related story that I just made up, the Sudanese people were also convicted of religious hatred because mobs of people, some wielding large knives and other weapons, calling for the execution of a Brit, make the rest of the reasonable world hate Islam.

As a liberal, I am more than willing to give religions the benefit of the doubt in the depth and breadth of the belief of their followers. Unfortunately, when a mob forms about giving the name of a prophet to a stuffed bear, and they want to kill not the namer but the off-nationality teacher who let it happen, I have to say to Sudanese mob: Hey, you! Get your shit together! You are making Islam look very, very bad and irrational to a world that is already open to that interpretation!

And I don't even like exclamation points.

The Sudanese government needs to either rein in this catastrophe or give the hidden Gillian time served for surviving hiding out and let her go home.

No, I don't like whackjobs of any flavor.

UPDATE: Either the folks in Sudan read my blog or I write unquestionable reason and common sense that needs not be read to be understood: British teacher pardoned. Or, as is true in most of the world, a bundle of whackjobs does not the masses make, much like a Bill Donahue and a Pat Robertson, while inflammatory and offensive and even representative, do not stand for the compassion that many of their followers hold dear.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Pope Benedict Criticizes Atheism in Encyclical

This past Thursday, I railed against Pope Benedict for paying lip service to preventing AIDS - one day before World AIDS Day - when Catholic doctrine is strictly against the use of condoms.

Today I almost sharted when I read the story about Pope Benedict's Encyclical attributing the "greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice" ever known to atheism, citing Marx and Lenin. It is followed-up by the Pope's "self-critique" of Christianity:
"We must acknowledge that modern Christianity, faced with the successes of science in progressively structuring the world, has to a large extent restricted its attention to the individual and his salvation," he wrote. "In doing so, it has limited the horizon of its hope and has failed to recognize sufficiently the greatness of its task."
Yes, that piss-poor, job-interview-esque "what's your greatest weakness" of an answer is what the Pope considers "self-critique" of Christianity.

I reiterate what I wrote to the Pope concerning condoms and AIDS: How fucking dare you?

How about the treatment of non-Christian Romans after Constantine adopted Christianity? How about the Spanish Inquisition? How about the burning of witches? How about Hitler was raised Catholic and did continue belief in Christianity during his killin' days? How about that self-critique? And since Popehat is specifically targeting atheism, how about all the wars in the history of the world that were fought, not because the other tribe or ethnic group or country didn't believe, but because they believed something different?

I'm not very fond of organized religion, but I recognize the value it has in billions of lives and the potential good that it can do. And while I see Catholicism specifically as an anachronistic, non-bending, slowly sinking ship in the 21st Century, Bill Donahue take note: I do not hate the Catholic Church. But for the Pope to state that atheism is the cause of pain, war, tragedy, and horror in the world past and present is like King Henry VIII of England berating Bill Clinton for his indiscretion, and is way beyond the scope of pot/kettle territory.

The Encyclical, appallingly entitled "Saved by Hope," can be viewed online at the Vatican website.

So shame on the Pope and shame on AP Reporter Victor L. Simpson for (writing the article and) blindly being his mouthpiece.

I-35: Holy Highway to Batshit Crazy

I-35 goes from Loredo, TX to Duluth, MN. And due to a "series of prophesies, dreams, and visions," many Midwest ministries believe I-35 is the road mentioned in Isaiah 35:8 (it's even Isaiah 35 - OMGLOL!!1!): "And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness."

This 5 minutes may not make you dumber, but you may sustain some damage banging your head against the wall after watching it. The man presiding over the insanity he calls a "report:" none other than the deliciously batshit crazy Pat Robertson, prime backer of Rudy Giuliani.

Ironically, watching this video makes me want to pray for our country.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Putin's Little Soldier

In a rare and candid moment, Russian President Vladimir Putin admits that his penis is, in fact, quite small.

Putin's Tiny Penis
(image source was Drudge front page, unaltered - Russians wear the wedding ring on the right hand)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Notes on the Republican CNN YouTube Debate

Last night I sat through the mental poo-bomb that was the Republican debate and yadda, yadda, let's get on with those notes.

Republican CNN YouTube Debate (AP)
  • Approximately 3000 questions were asked for the YouTube Democratic Debate; 5000 for the YouTube Republican Debate. This is probably attributed to everyone from the first debate, 1900 new Democrats desiring to zing the Repubs, and 100 Republicans who were able to figure out a camera, Windows MovieMaker, and the YouTube on the internets.

  • I thought Anderson Cooper looked rather dapper in his black satin tie, but then again I've always found him a handsome man.

  • The sparky exchange that started out between Giulianai and Romney left Giuliani defeated and looking like a fool for his comments about Romney's workers and wide-open for his non-answer of New York as a sanctuary city. And he was the first booed by the audience.

  • Every boo in this debate was an ecstatic spark of schadenfreude.

Jesus Has Nads!

Yesterday I focused on a talented group of people making art out of balloons in the name of Christ. Today I show you why we can't have anything nice.

Jesus Has Penis

Yes, I just did that.

And even Hillary is talking about it.

Pope Promises to Do Nothing About AIDS

December 1st is World AIDS Day. From the Vatican Information Service:
At the end of today's general audience, which was held in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope launched an appeal for everything possible to be done to halt the spread of AIDS.

"December 1," he said, "marks World AIDS Day. I remain spiritually close to everyone suffering from this terrible sickness, and to their families, especially those who have lost a loved one. To everyone I give assurances of my prayers.

"Furthermore, I wish to exhort all people of good will to increase their efforts to halt the spread of the HIV virus, to combat the disdain which is often directed towards people who are affected by it, and to care for the sick, especially those who are still children."
Unfortunately, since the use of condoms (or any contraception) is strictly against the ever-aging doctrine of the Catholic Church, we have an insulting, damaging non-message here. And without the suggestion of the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS, I have one brief message to send to the Pope:

How fucking dare you?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Balloons For Jesus!

Looking for a new way to glorify The Lord? Me too!

How about balloons for Jesus? That's right, balloons for Jesus! Over at, you can find "a place to learn and share ideas with others involved in gospel balloon ministry." Do I kid?

I was at first mildly amused with the routines on the site, specifically the clever slight-of-hand of turning balloon lightning into a balloon cross. And then I found the sanctum sanctorum: the Gallery of Biblical Balloonery and "mildly amused" turned to "Holy shit!"

Jesus and Cross made of balloons
Yes, that is none other than Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Made of balloons. Hauling a balloon cross. But isn't a balloon cross defeating the symbolic message of the weight of our sins?

Noah's Ark Balloon Display
(Click for Bigger)
Didn't the rainbow appear after the flood was over as God's promise that He wouldn't ever ever do that again? Sheesh.

Aside from my snarky comments, I have to hand it to anyone with that much dedication and talent, even if it is spreading the Word with balloons.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Kucinich and a Wrap of the November 15th Debate

35 Percenters. Always worth the watch.

[Alternative YouTube Link]

But We Don't Impact the Environment

Since the fallout of Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize (and by "fallout," I mean the sour grapes green envy wrapping itself around and enlivening the deniers of pollution and global warming), we've been treated to a gross swelling of the subcutaneous fart bubble that is the ignorance of right wing talk radio and others that claim - unequivocally - that we don't impact the environment and that to argue such is foolhardy.

In Time Magazine's report, "Peak Possibilities," it states that "In July 2006, the world's oil rigs pumped out crude at a rate of nearly 85.5 million bbl. a day" (current goal is 100 bbl. a day). To put this in perspective (at 42 gal/bbl), at peak, we were pulling the equivalent of 7 and a half Giants Stadiums - full to the brim - out of the ground. Every day. Even now, every three to four hours on this planet, we are extracting a Giants Stadium worth of crude. How does that not affect our planet?

But idiots still say global warming is a scare, that we're not impacting the environment.

I guess if we're taking, we should talk about putting back. And we put back like hell. But, again, we're going to need something of relevance to convey the staggering numbers. How about the Sears Tower? It weighs 440 million pounds or 220,000 tons.

Let's look at some numbers from Wikipedia on Pollution:
Millions of Tons of CO2 per year:
  • United States: 2,790
  • China: 2,680
  • Russia: 661
  • India: 583
  • Japan: 400
  • Germany: 356
  • Australia: 226
  • South Africa: 222
  • United Kingdom: 212
  • South Korea: 185

US Specifically from 1970 to 2006:
  • carbon monoxide emissions fell from 197 million tons to 89 million tons
  • nitrogen oxide emissions fell from 27 million tons to 19 million tons
  • sulfur dioxide emissions fell from 31 million tons to 15 million tons
So according to the previous numbers, the United States alone pumps 12,682 Sears Towers into our atmosphere. The top 10 polluters together pump 37,795 Sears Towers into the air.

And please do not forget to mention carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide. Combined, the United States pumps out 559 more Sears Towers into the air. Yes, those are even more dangerous - to us - than carbon dioxide, and that's the same air we breathe.

I know; it's hard. Imagine the Sears Tower in Chicago. Imagine it being launched into the air and dissolving into breathable particles. Now do that 558 more times: almost twice a day every year.

But we're not impacting the environment.

The numbers, even with the relative, real-world comparisons, are still hard to imagine, but what is very real and very apparent is that we're affecting our environment by pumping out of the earth and into the atmosphere at a terrifying rate. And we're breathing it in.

And we're still wondering what's causing increasing rates of breathing problems and disease as our medical establishment slowly rises to the concern. And that doesn't include the filth corporations are dumping into our water supply by error or effort, the hormones and antibiotics that are in our source water that aren't checked for in water treatment plants, and how those things affect the sad animal casualties of nonchalance and ignorance.

And there are still those saying we're not impacting our environment.

I guess my only question is one of threshold: what the fuck has to happen before some of these whackjobs will admit "Eh, yeah, maybe we're screwing something up."?

Maybe when they can't be connected in a Six Degrees of Corporations game?

Wal-Mart Digs Deeper into Depravity

Most of us are aware of the unfair business practices of Wal-Mart forcing many of its providers to produce in China so it can take advantage of the unregulated, unjust working conditions, as well as the consistent lack of a living wage for its US employees and the secondary "small business killer" service it provides. From Mother Jones we have a new low:
Just when you think that Wal-Mart had already exhausted every last possible strategy for screwing over its employees, here comes this story in the Wall Street Journal. Deborah Shank, a Wal-Mart employee gets into an accident with a semi and ends up permanently brain-damaged a few years back. Her Wal-Mart health insurance paid her medical bills, but she also sued the trucking company for damages. She wins $700,000, which after legal fees and expenses, nets her about $400,000, which was put in a trust to pay the nursing home she now lives in.

But Wal-Mart gets wind of the settlement and turns around and sues Shank for $470,000, the money its insurance company paid for her care from the accident. Now, the woman is reliant on Medicaid and Social Security and Wal-Mart apparently got a much needed windfall.

Wal-Mart isn't alone in such behavior. Insurance companies seizing lawsuit winnings from catastrophically injured Americans is a common practice that gives lie to the notion that anyone gets rich off a personal injury lawsuit these days, as insurance companies often get first dibs on any judgment or settlement in such cases. But Wal-Mart's cruelty, as always, is extreme in this case. Not only is Shenk profoundly disabled, but while her family was fighting off the company in court, her son was killed while fighting the war in Iraq. Not even bad PR like this, apparently, can eke out a drop of compassion from the retail giant.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bill Donahue Loves Hate

Bill Donahue, president of the conservative Catholic League, known for spouting against Harry Potter and those durned gays, was on CNN this weekend spouting off against atheism and the upcoming movie The Golden Compass:
It's very bad to get up in the morning and knowing that you have to go out and hate somebody as part of your job.
Aside from the cringe-worthy, toddler-level mastery of the English language exhibited here, this is textbook pot/kettle fodder; Bill Donahue is best known for how intolerant and hateful he is towards anyone who is not a straight, pro-life Catholic bigot like himself. Media Matters has a lovely collection of his hateful ignorance. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ronald Reagan's Reminder

For all the crazy deity worship that the Right surrounds the memory of Ronald Reagan with, the man had some good ideas. Ideas that are being completely ignored by Republicans.
We are free to speak our minds, to enjoy an unfettered and vigorous press, and to make government abide by the limits we deem just.
(emphasis mine)

Lest we forget, we, the people, control this nation.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Green Team!

Will Ferrell is my Jesus.

Reasonable Christians: Jesus is a Little Bit Gay

No, the book is not nearly as good as the cover in this case.

This bursts out of Britan's UK Gay News, gay Jesus flames rocketing it across the pond. It appears that the BBC aired a staged version of "Jerry Springer - The Opera" (yes, I was as surprised as you - not in my town yet?). Someone watching was horribly offended by someone saying "Jesus is a little bit gay" and filed a lawsuit of blasphemy.

Whatwhat? A lawsuit of blasphemy?

You betcha:
Blasphemous libel claims can still be brought against the publication of any matter that insults, offends, or vilifies Christ or the Christian (principally Anglican) religion – whether the publication intended to be blasphemous or not.
Whacked. But the point of this post was to mention that "The Christian think tank Ekklesia has today renewed its call for the repeal of the UK’s archaic blasphemy law."

I spend a great deal of time butting up against some of the more archaic beliefs of organized religions, specifically sects of Christianity. I just want to recognize a completely reasonable group of Christians making all the rest of them just look good.

Sesame Street: Back in the Day


Virginia Heffernan has an excellent piece in the NY Times about Volume 1 and 2 of "Sesame Street: Old School" being released on DVD, focusing primarily on how non-PC those original episodes were, and how those characters got from there to where we can still see them today (e.g., Snuffleupagus could be seen by everyone in 1985 as not to exacerbate Big Bird's condition into full-blown mental illness).
What they did to us was hard-core. Man, was that scene rough. The masonry on the dingy brownstone at 123 Sesame Street, where the closeted Ernie and Bert shared a dismal basement apartment, was deteriorating. Cookie Monster was on a fast track to diabetes. Oscar’s depression was untreated. Prozacky Elmo didn’t exist.
The only part of the article that didn't ring true to the spirit was a single snippet on the first page:
Live-action cows also charge the 1969 screen — cows eating common grass, not grain improved with hormones. Cows are milked by plain old farmers, who use their unsanitary hands and fill one bucket at a time.
The point of running through the grocery list of "atrocities" was to show how PC we've become, but the single farmer's careful handling his organic milk is something that rings PC/"social conscious" true in the light of today's Big Box stores and farm factories.

Excuse my literary nitpicks. Read the article. It's worth the walk down memory lane and stuffed full of things I was never aware of concerning a show that helped me grow, read, write, and eventually become this blogger that you're reading right now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Notes on the Vegas Democratic Debate

Here we go again. Without further adieu, those pesky notes:
  • If anyone missed it, Campbell Brown's husband is an adviser to Mitt Romney. Would you like a side of conflict of interest with that?

  • Without the spelling of the Pavillion right in front of us, it's just funny to hear Wolf Blitzer say "Cox."

  • Starts with "fireworks," and Biden nicely shuts it down with what everyone was thinking, although not necessarily as well-focused: Shut up and talk about the actual issues.

  • Did Edwards just call the ticker at the bottom of the screen a "troll?"

  • Did Richardson just say Give peace a chance?

  • Did Edwards just allude to the controversy of Hillary Clinton's planted question with a smug chuckle? Dick.

  • Dear Kucinich: I love you; don't waste your breath arguing the semantics of "illegal immigrants" when your message is so much stronger. Then again, I think PTSD should still be called "shell shock."

  • Kucinich gets shut down "That's why I'm up -". The only noticed mic cut.

  • Biden brilliantly answered the Pakistan question, wrapping by poking at Wolf for letting everyone else not answer the question.

  • Edwards suggests that the only way to secure peace is to rid the world of nuclear weapons. By throwing them into the sun. Lettering-writing initiative to secure Superman for the task to begin tomorrow.

  • Kucinich was skipped over for the "down the line" Pakistan question ("Hello? Hello? You skipped me.") and is subsequently ignored when he calls everyone to task, to take responsibility for their voting record.

  • Speaking of which, I sadly shook my head as almost every other candidate sanctimoniously blubbered about how what China is doing is not what was expected. Stop pretending; we know it's not on you top 25 list.

  • Campbell quaintly asks Hillary what she meant by the "boys club." I would venture to go as far as mention that the first 43 leaders of the United States had penises. Perhaps Campbell should spend some time on Wikipedia. Studying gender inequality. And penises.

  • Clinton's Eyebrows

    Best eyebrow image I could find: I spent the first third of the debate wondering how she got the two-tiered "Comet" look to the eyebrows, the second third wondering why she would do that (and why, oh why the gray fitted jacket?), and the last third wondering about Botox because the lower brow is actually pronounced eyelid crease.

    (Image note: I must've been in the bathroom when she actually explained to Campbell about the Boy's Club.)

  • Edwards? Boo! Obama? Hiss!

  • The mother of a 3-tour Iraq veteran had legitimate concerns over the war drums and Iran. Wolf bastardized the question, ruining it for the mother, and Hillary sounded like a heartless monster: Your "fear is unfounded." No, it is not; anyone who can turn on a television or read a newspaper knows that.

  • The Kucinich Hat-trick: voted against the Patriot Act "Because I read it," asked us to imagine having a president "who's right the first time," and ended with the delicious "Impeach them now!" Hells yeah.

  • No surprise, but Clinton, Obama, and Edwards ended up with the most questions and the most leeway when it came not only to avoiding directly answering the question, but the time Wolf gave them to do it.

  • I've said it before and I'll say it again: With a name like Wolf Blitzer, you'd think he'd be cooler. And sexier.

  • Hillary handled herself well, Obama bumbled where he should'nt've (although coming along nicely avoiding "um"s), Kucinich managed to get in a couple pops (although generally ignored), and I though Biden was the most entertaining and well-spoken for the time he did get to speak.

  • Final note to Democrats: You've got less than two months to the primary, but are still spending a great deal of time talking about the one man who is not going to be on the ballot next November. Stop attacking Bush and start hitting Romney, Giuliani, and McCain. You don't have to tell us why you'd be better than Bush; at this point we realize that a sloppy drunk Jar Jar Binks with a light saber would do less damage to our national identity.

  • Rush Limbaugh decided to spread lies on Friday.

Thanks for your time.

Crossposted on ATD.

Rush Limbaugh Rapes Accuracy on Debate

I've mentioned in posts before that while I get frustrated by the false sense of humanity that exudes from the timbre and tenor of Sean Hannity's voice, Rush Limbaugh absolutely makes my skin crawl with his errant hypocrisies in claiming the Democrats are misinforming the public while violently and egregiously altering the facts to fit his drug-addled sense of reality.

I listened today. And I was enraged, but not disappointed.

In reference to Thursday night's debate, in his Friday, November 11th radio show, we had the following lies:
  1. In a spoof of Bill Clinton leaving a message for Wolf Blitzer to the Godfather theme, "Bill" mentioned not following up with Hillary about the illegal immigrant driver license issue. But it was a noted point in the debate, specifically notable because Barack Obama flubbered all over his answer to the question.

  2. Rush proclaimed that the audience was "stacked" with liberals after saying repeatedly that the audience was comprised of "registered independents." As noted by Wolf Blitzer at the beginning of the debate, the audience was, in fact, comprised of "undecided Democrats."

  3. Later, with a significantly agitated - almost unstable - caller, Rush feigned outrage at the question in the debate that asked what was more important: national security or "the civil rights of terrorists." He then asked for confirmation from the infirm caller, who apparently also watched the debate, and he agreed that that was "exactly" the question. The question in question was actually in relation to the complicated situation in Pakistan, with Wolf making the assumption that making nice with Pakistan is necessary for "national security" and that arguing for the civil rights being withheld from Pakistani citizens would be in direct opposition to our national security. It was a poorly contrived question that cannot be answered in one word any more than "Did you stop beating your spouse?"

Rush Limbaugh fires me up, not because of intellectual stimulation and opposition to the beliefs I hold strong, but because he purposefully misinterprets or plain lies about basic facts that the average listener, holding him as scripture-esque, will never know the truth about. But I guess it doesn't matter how he rapes the truth every day, as long as his mindless followers hate liberals as much as he does.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Noun, a Verb, and September 11th

As we prep this afternoon and evening for the Democratic debate, here's a reminder of what, exactly, we're up against.

No clips were repeated in the making of this film.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dad. Kid. Coke. Mentos.

I spent too much time watching videos today. Yes, I would probably do this too.

Dad Puts Mentos In Coke Bottle - Watch more free videos

Paris Hilton News Release

From The AP:
GAUHATI, India (AP) - In a Nov. 13 story, The Associated Press incorrectly reported that Paris Hilton was praised by conservationists for highlighting the problem of binge-drinking elephants in northeastern India. Lori Berk, a publicist for Hilton, said she never made any comments about helping drunken elephants in India.
I don't believe this needs further commentary.

SNL Christmas Box Special

SNL A Special Christmas Box - Watch more free videos

Classic. Because I thought we needed a little pick-me-up this morning.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Name That Drug Video: LSD

Check out the Name That Drug site. Fun, yes, but more interestingly, accurate without being preachy. The included video is frighteningly accurate. Granted, your own personal mental mindstate paired with the quality of the acid, environment, and support will more accurately reflect the positive/negative morphs and general experience; here is LSD:

Obviously the personal experience is subjective, but this is a nicely generalized, realistic version of what happens with a mirror (although the audio is a little stretchy).

Pray for Rain

The governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue, is worried about the drought in his state.
As Georgia descends deeper into drought, Gov. Sonny Perdue has ordered water restrictions, launched a legal battle and asked President Bush for help. On Tuesday, the governor will call on a higher power.

He will join lawmakers and ministers on the steps of the state Capitol to pray for rain.
The governor also has an extensive letter-writing campaign planned for the day after Thanksgiving to petition Santa Claus on behalf of all the needy children in his state.

One day we're running a modern, civilized state. The next: appeasing the thunder gods and dancing for caribou.

I guess it's one way to avert a riot.

Democratic Debate: Vegas, Baby!

As I mentioned in my last coverage piece on the Democratic Debates, I really don't know how excited I am to sit down and do this again. The claws are getting sharper, but the candidates are getting caught up in the nuance of attack, of fixation on the minutiae, and the message is getting lost. And the variations of the message, those calling for the most change, are beginning to be silenced; Mike Gravel is being excluded from this debate as well.

But pining for enthusiasm aside, take your gander Thursday, November 15th, at 8pm on CNN. As Wolf Blitzer so uninspiringly and unoriginally spouts during the promo: "What happens in Vegas ...will not stay in Vegas." (No, you asshat, it won't because it's being internationally televised.) It was quickly followed with "Stop chewin' my shorts and let's go to the rave music fest!"

At least it's a reason to sit on the couch, drink a bottle of wine, and be clever. Cheers!

Fleetwood, Kucinich, DiFranco, Oh My!

Videos to pimp! A new video from the 35 Percenters, a message to Iowa:

And as I previously posted about Davis Fleetwood, our ascended video blogger, here is his premiere, introducing Kucinich and transitioning into Ani DiFranco who was there to discuss Dennis and perform in Boston.

I give him the time here because he won't get it Thursday.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Right to Bear Arms All Over

Busted Tees Second Amendment
Busted Tees

Early this morning I read about the buzz surrounding a court case quickly climbing the ladder to the Supreme Court. And it's about the 2nd Amendment.

Specifically, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said D.C.'s 31-year ban on handguns violates the Constitution. And now it SCOTUS will announce, possibly Tuesday, whether or not it will hear the case.

If the Court hears the case, they will set precedent: does the 2nd Amendment specifically allow for the right of individuals to bear arms or is its only designation to allow for the formation of state militias. It's an iffy one, and I'll be keeping a close eye on it. As liberal as I can be at times, I don't like the government being able to say that I, as a law-abiding citizen, am not able to own a handgun at a time that the government - because of the lackadaisical enforcement of accountability of weapons dealers - has allowed our country to be overrun by criminals with handguns.

Should I decide I need to protect myself, I should be able to do so. Do I need an automatic weapon to hunt elk? No. That's about where that line should be drawn.

And in related news, an Oregon teacher has lost her fight to carry a handgun to school.

For the most part, I agree with this. See, I first heard about this story on the Sean Hannity radio show. It was brought up many times, mostly in relation to the whack right thought that gun-toting teachers would be able to stop school shootings. It was often to the effect of "She's got a license, she wants to protect herself." He never mentioned that she was trying to protect herself from her ex-husband. Of course.

That added a small kink, but what's the other side? Allow any teacher to tote a gun to school? Just in case? That doesn't sound sane on any level.

The whole idea, on both issues, is very interesting and should generate a lot of debate. Have at it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sesame Streets

Because sometimes it's time for a new view of what we're used to.

4Parents No Good 4 Kids

In a rather rare case of Ricky Shambles not going all the way down the rabbit hole, back when I posted the "Talk to Kids PSA," I neglected to investigate the reference made at the beginning that noted the video was in response to

What is
You can help your son or daughter make healthy choices, including deciding to wait until marriage to have sex. can help you talk to your child, pre-teen, or teen early and often about waiting to have sex, what happens as he or she grows, and other important topics.
So 4Parents is a resource for parents to talk to their kids about sex? No.

It is a poorly conceived and designed site with content focused around why sex is bad, why sex is risky, and - if you don't heed your mother's words - why all contraception will fail you. Yes, seriously. Check out the Birth Control Chart and subsequent verbiage. In other words: this is an abstinence site.

Who is is part of a national public education campaign to provide parents with the information, tools and skills they need to help their teens make healthy choices, including waiting until marriage to have sex.
As noted, this site is actually about not talking about sex. is sponsored by the Office of Public Health and Science, Office of Population Affairs, and the Public Health Service. "Teen Chat," and "Parents, Speak Up!" guides are the result of a collaborative effort between the Administration for Children and Families and the Office of Population Affairs, Office of Public Health and Science.
And you probably guessed this from the whole ".gov" thing, but this is a United States Government website.

What does science say about abstinence-only education?

From the AP:
The study found that while abstinence-only efforts appear to have little positive impact, more comprehensive sex education programs were having "positive outcomes" including teenagers "delaying the initiation of sex, reducing the frequency of sex, reducing the number of sexual partners and increasing condom or contraceptive use."
A spending bill before Congress for the Department of Health and Human Services would provide $141 million in assistance for community-based, abstinence-only sex education programs, $4 million more than what President Bush had requested.

What's the big deal?

Abstinence-only education is and has been the focus of this administration from the beginning because of President Bush's repeatedly revealed religion-over-science agenda. As the above-noted and other reports have stated, abstinence-only ed does not work. But having sex before marriage is a "sin," so government websites that purport to help parents and government programs aimed at educating children centralize around the ineffective church tactic of ignoring reality and attempting to scare kids away from sex.

The problem is in the repetition, with Bush consistently Jesus-izing government spending at the peril - and sometimes direct interference - of real, hard science. The Administration is failing parents and their children across America. And they're doing it with our tax dollars.

And that should be a pretty big deal for all of us.

Write congress. Stop the spending.

Friday, November 09, 2007

A Note to Republicans

This is a screen capture from the GOP Website front page:

Republicans: Are you retarded? Do you really have to hear this from a liberal? That this man is president is sinking your party (Democrats picked up even more seats in state governments on Tuesday). He will be no one in 14 months. Don't celebrate him. Jettison!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bush: I Don't Know Nothin' 'Bout Birthin' No Oil...Iran!

From an AP transcript of the Bush-Kozy lovefest:

Q: Mr. President, with oil approaching $100 a barrel, are you concerned that your hard words for Iran on its nuclear program are helping drive up oil prices, which can end up hurting the U.S. economy?

BUSH: No. I believe oil prices are going up because the demand for oil outstrips the supply for oil. Oil is going up because developing countries still use a lot of oil. Oil is going up because we use too much oil. And the capacity to replace reserves is dwindling. That's why the price of oil is going up.

Now, I believe it is important for us to send clear signals to the Iranian government...
Blah blah blah... we need to attack Iran!

While dry-humping the new, Georgie-lovin' President of France in Washington this week, President Bush alluded to his complete ignorance of how our world works. Oil prices go up, in part, because of a basic supply/demand structure, but our recent surge is tempered in the forges of energy forecasters and traders.

All you have to do is watch the morning news and hear "Oil prices took a leap today because of fears of a possible storm in the North Sea" or "...because of fears that Bush may attack Iran" or "...because of fears that Wonka Bar production may move to Oompa-LoompaLand." Jumpin' Jesus on a pogo stick!

But the President is very good much sexy friends with people who make shit-tons of money all over the world trading in the everyday affairs of regular citizens and wants to make sure that when his caustic second term is over that he can jump back in the pimped out money pool with all the folks he allowed to benefit from his two terms in office. Between horrendous military contracts, education tomfoolery, and allowing Big Oil to rape America, he's going to be one of the richest bastards in the world by March of 2009. As long as he doesn't invest in the dollar.

Or he's just - really - mentally retarded and doesn't even have a basic understanding about how the world economy works.

I'll accept arguments from either end. To paraphrase a British punk paraphrase: America is Dead...Long Live America!

The Adam and Eve Puzzle

Blue Gal had this image posted in that she actually worked on it with kids. I don't know how she held it together.

Adam and Eve Puzzle

The joy of this image is several-fold in that it occurs in the fiction-lover's Latin in media res, or, "in the middle of things," where a story begins not at the beginning but beyond the expository events.

In this case, for those of you not up on your Genesis, this image is dramatic irony at its most dramatic. Dramatic irony is when what the character(s) thinks to be true and what the reader (or viewer) know to be true are contrasted.

In this case, we are in media res of the Fall of Man: Eve has already been tempted by the serpent, who is looking happily upon the couple coming together; Eve holds the "fruit" to help share the temptation with Adam, which we know is destined to happen; a large confluence of animals in Eden have come together to smile with their child-like innocence in preparation of this "who-knows-what'll-happen" event.

In reality, according to the Christian faith, this is the most destructive moment in the history of the human race and - in some denominations - the very reason God must send Jesus to redeem humanity by being crucified.

And there the kids are, putting a puzzle together. Wasn't there a Ouiji Board (that glows in the dark!) they could play with?

Oh, the humanity!

FOX Attacks: Decency

Oh, my gawd, tha whores! Change the channel! FOX Attacks has put together another film. This one is FOX Attacks: Decency.

And you, too, can sign the petition to demand a la carte cable viewing. So that you don't have to pay for FOX's smut.

Personally, I'd pay for FOX for the same reason I'm a Hannity Insider: Know thy enemy. But not everyone's as masochistic as I am.

Glenn Beck: Unrelated

[Note on this Unrelated note: This note was originally appended to a previous post, but as it was unrelated to anything being said in that post I felt it should have its own post, which makes it either completely related unto itself or completely unrelated in its ostracization.]

[Unrelated note: I'm listening to Glenn Beck's TV show and he's decrying Hollywood for "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" in their treatment of war. 1. Isn't that the definition of what we're apparently doing in Iraq and why it's not working? 2. The trite, mishandled, misquoted, mis-attributed saying is a representative symptom of Glenn Beck being a tremendous douchebag.

Like I said, unrelated.]

[Unrelated unrelated note (could we quit with the brackets already?): A few weeks ago I was out on a lunchtime jaunt and heard Rush Limbaugh spout that if global warming was to blame for the forest fires in California, it should also put them out because global warming causes flooding. That's right: flooding in the mountainous, forested regions of California. This is the twisted idiot junk science that we hear repeated and why the words out of Rush's mouth are a disease, spreading through the ignorant masses like the clap. Rush Limbaugh is also a douchebag, which, I guess, doesn't make this note so unrelated as I had anticipated.


Davis Fleetwood Kucinich Announcement

Davis Fleetwood ( has something to say:

I offer him congratulations and envious awe. Woohoo!

So now, just like me, you're going to have to subscribe not only to the Davis Fleetwood YouTube Channel, but the Kucinich 2008 YouTube Channel as well.

And then you'll be the coolest.

Best Vader Evar

This is quite possibly the best Darth Vader fan video I've seen. All clips, all James Earl. Hilarious. I laughed until I stopped.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

6 Televangelists, Properly Probed

From CBS:
CBS News has learned Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is investigating six prominent televangelist ministries for possible financial misconduct.
According to Grassley's office, the Iowa Republican is trying to determine whether or not these ministries are improperly using their tax-exempt status as churches to shield lavish lifestyles.

The six ministries identified as being under investigation by the committee are led by: Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Three of the six - Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar - also sit on the Board of Regents for the Oral Roberts University.
It's about time.

How long does it take to watch thousand-dollar suits wearing thousand-dollar jewelry driving absurdly expensive cars to say "Hey, while these people may be occasionally helping others in the name of Christ and 'their church,' where do we draw the line when they directly benefit from the money their followers generate?"


Jesus wouldn't purchase lavish homes (that's plural), lavish cars, jewelry, and outfits. "At once they left their nets and followed him" (Matthew 4:20) apparently does not apply to the messenger, just the listener, so that more can be turned into the fold, that more can donate almost everything they own, and more megachurches can be built to generate more income. Rinse and repeat.

And while there are those that give hope appropriately (like Joel Olsteen who doesn't take a salary from his parish but has a very successful book following), there are those, like Benny Hinn, who finds his prey by lack of hope and gives them nothing more than his version of mass-delusional, "witch doctor" healing. Benny Hinn needs to be figuratively crucified (by the government). Here's some crazy to back that up:

Benny Hinn, for real:
(Note: "Suicide Nerve" is not a valid reference.)

Benny Hinn, Let the Bodies Hit the Floor:

(Note: all the video of this "healing man" is real. But the music gives it perspective.)

I'm a very big believer in the power of the human mind to monitor and fix what's ailing you, but this man is a psychological-religious predator, and he is shredding the actual message and healing power of Jesus in what is little more than a glorified (and subsidized by the government) freak show.

Want to go crazy? This man is either feeding on the mass psychological group dynamic or he's channeling some source of electromagnetic shutdown that makes people drop by interference of their brainwave patterns. Like I said: crazy.

And he eats money like the devil eats souls.

Jesus wept.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Talk to Kids PSA

Some days, when the martial law of Pakistan as an off-site dry run of what Busheney is planning to do to America gets you down, you can always turn to viral video. In this case, high quality viral. It's a "Talk to Kids" PSA. And it made my day. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Life, Liberty, and the Fursuit of Happiness

Thank you and damn you BoingBoing.

And yes, I will watch this when it comes out.

This, Too, Be the Internets

I have never pretended that Cause for Concern is high-end or hoity-toity. For as much time as I spend on the internet, it is not uncommon to wander down a shady alley or, in this case, into a fifty-acre circus of energy-drink-induced, brain-scrambling wonder.

This is Reymon14's video entitled this is true. No, you will not get these ten minutes of your life back.

And if you should have some time to spare, Reymon14 has 284 more videos posted, most of them teetering across the chasm of 10 minutes.

Ay, here there be monsters. I venture so that you need not.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Moonbatty Malkin Shuts Down Motivation, Inspiration

Michelle Malkin thinks that showing kids that it's okay to march to the beat of a different drummer, that empowering children and showing them that they can make a difference in the world is liberal, commie indoctrination. Especially if this devil indoctrination comes from Nickelodeon.

Then again, Michelle Malkin also thinks that anyone who doesn't chin-up and open wide for the Bush-Cheney teabag is a traitor to America. She has trouble accepting that bloggers have power, let alone children. You see, bloggers and children and Americans should know their place.

Sweatshops, torture by America, absurd standardized tests, circus animal cruelty, and the tragedy of displaced children in Iraq are the highlights of the video in the above Nickelodeon link. And kids are making a difference. This is not something to rail against but to be inspired by. I have an 11 year old daughter and am far more worried about her watching piss-poor sitcoms than watching something that might get her interested in the world around her, something that might allow her to see beyond herself and get out in the world to change it for the better.

If Michelle and her cadre of goons doesn't like Nickelodeon or kids effecting change to stop suffering in the world then they can pay attention to what their kids are watching for once and change the fucking channel. Pop some popcorn, put in a copy of Jesus Camp, and revel in the indoctrination and brainwashing you condone.

(h/t to Blue Gal)

The Bastard's Bastion: Out of Context!

Larry Craig played footsie under an airport bathroom stall in the hopes of fellating some man meat, or having his meat fellated. Then, when it turned out that his courting overtures were directed towards a man of the law, in order to cover it up, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. At least that's what the devil liberal media says. Obviously, his actions were totally taken out of context (and that's okay because the GOP has decided that under the rug and back in the closet is good enough for them - despite a conviction - good enough for America, and good enough for earmarks).

Rush Limbaugh made an outward, generalized claim that any member of the U.S. Military - past or present - who was or is against the war in Iraq is a "phony soldier" (complete transcript and audio). But this is even more of an outrage: the liberal media is not only taking it out of context but is just plain lying.

On Wednesday morning, Fox and Friends Brian Kilmeade blamed the sexualization of children on I Dream of Jeanie: "Barbara Eden lowered the bar by wearing that sexy outfit, traumatized me as a child and then every kid wore the Barbara Eden outfit, and that's when times were good." Jon Stewart poked at Brian Wednesday evening. Thursday morning, the FnF trio chuckled about how the Liberal Media has an agenda to take FOX out of context. Brian, after admitting to getting Jon Steward's "traumatizing myself" joke only after hearing it for a second time remained sheepishly silent about the previous day's comment, as those taken "out of context" are generally prone to do.

Also on Wednesday, it was revealed that when Arnold Schwarzenegger said that marijuana was not a drug, you guessed it, it was taken out of context.

Thursday, Dog the Bounty Hunter was heard (or beeped, at least) repeatedly dropping the N-bomb in a message telling his son to break up with his black girlfriend, Monique Shinnery, ironically because he doesn't want her "drunk" ass hearing him say "nigger" and going to the press (it's an ugly word and I do not hide behind euphemism). Preliminary reports emerged that the phone message was taken out of context.

None of the previous instances of heinous misinterpretation were, in fact, misinterpreted. But the right wing is slowly dissolving the idea of context as a whole. Out of context is the new black, and unless we try to counter-act this trend, context will eventually be another casualty of a dying system of accountability.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Notes on the Philadelphia Democratic Debate

I swear that with each debate my resolve to cover debates weakens just as my consciousness falters relative to that single pint of blood on donation day. We keep turning to issues that are not issues and leaving the real issues to hold up their hands crying "hey, pick me, pick me! Awww...."

Note on this week's non-issue related issues: Mike Gravel didn't have enough money, so MSNBC wouldn't put him on TV, and GOP disses black voters, yes, again.

So without further adieu, those notes:

  • Barack Obama says he's like Rocky and Hillary's Apollo Creed. There is five more times the significant symbolism in what he said than in reality. Really, Barack, this is not that epic.

  • Obama, on Iran, discusses the "carrots we can provide," delivering a new dimension to the America as Master of the World language that the President loves and that some of us thought the Democrats were not going to embrace.

  • Hillary Clinton, not to be outdone by Obama, declares sanctions as a form of diplomacy and touts "both carrots and sticks," simultaneously ramping the rhetoric up to Team America status and raping the analogy of "a carrot on a stick." Ms. Clinton, if you're beating Iran with the stick, there is nothing to support the motivating carrot they're never going to get.

  • John Edwards: why was his mic fuzzy? Why did Glenn Beck have John Edward of real-life mysticism and medium fame on his show the day after the debate? I call shenanigans.

  • First audience applause: Kucinich as the only voter against Iraq and Iran is not an option.

  • And Joe Biden says Pakistan is way the hell out of control. Wait, what? Aren't we talking about how we shouldn't...attack...huh?

  • Obama is still having a lot of trouble banishing the UMs and is easily the worst public speaker on stage. Clinton, while not nearly as pause-y, has minimized it even further by going with AHs.

  • Bill Richardson: You're no Jimmy Smits. Even if you saved a guy in Iraq who's sitting in the audience. If you were Jimmy Smits, you'd be in the middle of the stage and you'd be asked many more questions.

  • Could we have one single debate without something stupid to distract us from the already-distracting format of "hump the front-runners?" While MSNBC's font graphics were informative and stylish, did we really need the "whoosh/shwoosh" extension noise for each one? As I was trying to focus on audio, this was even more distracting than the flashy lights in the FOX Repub debate.

  • Edwards: Attack, attack, attack, um, just don't vote for Hillary.

  • Clinton says we don't just need to turn the page but "throw the whole book away" on the Bush/Cheney administration. This was easily the best line in the "why I should be president" category as opposed to "this is why everyone else shouldn't."

  • Obama speaks, but everyone is staring at Hillary drinking a glass of water. What did he say about special interests? Hilarious.

  • I'm guessing many of these male candidates are uncomfortable around a strong woman as Bill Richardson stuttered through some of his delivery like his mom was watching over his shoulder. It was only Hillary.

  • Joe Biden says that everything Rudy Giuliani says is a noun, verb, and 9/11. Overall most delicious line. Tru dat.

  • Hillary, yet again, during her answer about the Alternative Minimum Tax, owned Tim Russert.

  • Bill Richardson says teachers should have a $40K minimum salary. Awesome. At least someone is talking about education.

  • Dennis Kucinich follows up with the huge strides we could make in education if we ended our waste in Iraq and moved even a small amount of that money into teaching our kids.

  • Clinton makes a good point in that our first teachers are our parents.

  • Dodd: Did you just say "accident of birth?" Yes you did. Ask Gravel to save you a seat in the pub for the next debate.

  • Clinton says a driver's license for illegal immigrants sounds like a good idea. This is a slippery slope, but bhfrik has some reasonable understanding of the issue.

  • And yes, Dennis Kucinich said he saw a UFO. But so did Carter. Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't think this is crazy. Remember: our current president says he talks to God.

In Post
- The language and the ticker focused on attacking Hillary Clinton. Did I sit on the remote? Is this FOX?

- For as much filth as I've heard in the last two days, I didn't think Hillary Clinton did poorly at all: she was easily the best speaker on the stage and maintained a command of the debate despite constant attacks.
- Chris Matthews should keep a keen eye on the spit on his lower lip. Gross.
- As I said, I'm becoming disillusioned by the whole debate schedule, especially when it comes to the Democratic Party; I want to hear about the issues I care about (besides the war, because they're relatively clear on that): education and health care. The candidates need to stop attacking Hillary and start attacking the issues.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

GOP Says "Meh" to Pesky Black Voters

Last month, you may remember that the GOP frontrunners decided not to appear for the African-American voter forum in Baltimore, putting into action the oft-cried "unfair" stereotype that white bread Republicans don't care all that much for the affairs of African-Americans.

Well, the crazy Whitey GOP is at it again. From the Huffington Post:
The Congressional Black Caucus Institute announced in September that it had scheduled a debate for November 4 on Fox News for Republican presidential candidates. But a spokeswoman for the group confirmed to the Huffington Post that it has now been postponed, with no new date set.

"The debate will not take place on November 4, and we're still considering the debate schedule," said CBC Institute spokesperson Georgella Muirhead.

Republican candidates have cited scheduling conflicts in resisting new proposed dates, Muirhead said.
There's really nothing more to say about this except it neatly coincides with the the report on Dick Cheney and his priorities:
A proposal to help the poor or sick would be presented at a White House meeting, but Vice President Cheney’s office or the budget team or some other skeptical officials would shoot it down. Too expensive. Wrong priority.

Sidenote: The Democratic boycott of the CBC forum (due to its airing by FOX) was quickly rescheduled on CNN for January 17th.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lego Jesus and the Lego Bible

Only in Sweden:
Stockholm - A Swedish pastor has urged members of his congregation to help collect pieces of Lego, plastic toy bricks, in order to build a statue of Christ, reports said Monday.

Pastor Per Wilder believes some 20,000 Lego pieces are needed to build the man-high statue, based on a model by Danish artist Bertel Thorvaldsen from 1839, the VLT newspaper said.
At first I read this and thought "What kind of wacky shit?" and then I hunted down the statue they're trying to copy.

Thorvaldsen's Christus

If they can pull this off, that would rock something fierce.

And then I did some more searching and discovered something not entirely new but massively impressive and thorough: The Brick Testament.

Brick Testament

From Genesis to after Jesus, I'm amazed by the detail and thorough work.

I say Thumbs Up to Lego Jesus!

UPDATE: Thank you dear readers. New post on the completion of the statue is here.