Friday, March 07, 2008

Home Schooling: Bane of Reason

Holy shitbox stormfront! Ladies and gentlemen, we've got a full-fledged, four-alarm Conservative dichotomy!

Let's start by chewing on this from SFGate:
A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.

The homeschooling movement never saw the case coming.
I don't care about the abuse case that brought the issue to light; my initial and overall reaction is: it's about fucking time.

My first experience with a homeschooled kid was when I was working at a movie theater at 16. To all appearances, he was a normal kid. Unfortunately, 5 minutes with him showed him to be completely, socially retarded. When children are very young, they come to a realization that not everyone has the same ideas and thought processes that they do. I don't think he ever got past that.

Watch the movie Jesus Camp. All those kids? Homeschooled. Why? Because public schools teach the Devil's lies of evolution.

So back to the four-alarm dichotomy. I'm listening to Sean Hannity rail against the story and it hit me like a tire iron in the xiphoid process: Conservatives have been screaming about the quality of education for years (because NCLB itself is crippling America, in actuality) and screaming about getting rid of tenure and teacher's unions and making quality assurance a mandatory part of a teacher's life - who is paid dirt and works twice as hard as many full-time employees - to guarantee that our children are receiving the best education possible.

Amen: knock out the unions, pay them a minimum of 50K a year, and implement a fair rating system.

But how do you go from "We need full reform of the education system because teachers are not qualified enough to teach our kids" to "Moms with no educational background, formal post-secondary education, or accreditation are the best teachers evar?" Someone tell me how that fucking logic even remotely works!

Here's the logic: It's okay - in the conservative world of rainbows and unicorns and intelligent design - for conservative parents who don't want their kids to learn actual science - to keep them home and teach evolution instead. This, in and of itself, is a root problem; if you can't pass a general science test because the teachings being tested were written by the Devil, there is a serious problem.

Which is why this whole issue is long overdue. If you want to teach your kids at home, more power to you, but you better be held to the same bullshit NCLB tests that every other kid is held to, and you better damned well have at least a college degree.

If not, regardless of how this story is labeled or ignored by the media, we are dis-servicing the future of America and guaranteeing a continuance of idiocy and ignorance.

But maybe that's the plan. Ignorance breeds complacency breeds compliance. And that's what those in power would like to see every day; they love it and kiss it and dry hump their tailored-pants-clad chubbies all over it.


Bumblebee Beats Optimus Prime

This is very high-qual stop-motion animation showing Bumblebee kicking OP's ass. Color me impressed.

Marine Motari Tosses Puppy Into Ravine

Our armed forces kill human beings every day of the week and we just shrug our shoulders and watch the number get bigger - if we even care to look at the numbers. U.S. Marine David Motari chucked a puppy into a ravine and everyone flips their shit.

Haven't seen the video? Here you go (looks like original came from

On one hand, it screams "gimmick!" On the other hand, some fucked up shit can happen during war time. Maybe they really thought that was funny. When you put justifications on lowering the value of human life so you can fill people with bullets, would the value of puppy life remain the same?

Either way, the canine community was not pleased: - Watch more free videos

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Keepin' Out Those Canucks

Virtual border fence with Canada

The Department of Homeland Security is moving forward with plans to erect a virtual border fence between the United States and our docile neighbors to the north.

Rather than use solid walls the Canadians could breach with a Zamboni, Secretary Michael Chertoff from the the Department of Homeland Security outlined the following measures: "We currently have a combination of infrared seismic sensors which are in the ground, remote and local video surveillance systems, and then of course at the ports of entry we have radiation monitoring devices." Unmanned aerial vehicles may also patrol the area. Similar tech, developed by Boeing, is employed along the US-Mexican border and has met with heavy criticism for the sensors' poor results.
Let me get this straight: Congress passed a law to build part of a big-ass fence on our southern border which we have not built and now we're looking at blocking the Canadians and their funny accents and absurdly-clean cities with unproven technology? With that thing above that looks like it was built by a meth-head in their garage with Gorilla Glue?

Hells yeah! This is 'Merica!

Separation of Church and State Event

From First Freedom First, safeguarding the separation of church and state, protecting religious liberty:
Actors, musicians and comedians will join church-state community members across the country on Wednesday evening, March 26, 2008 to put church-state separation on the national agenda during the 2008 election season.

In movie theatres in 25 cities across the nation, interested citizens will gather to learn about the threats to church-state separation and to demand that candidates for elected office answer questions about key issues dealing with individual freedom. Ten questions to ask candidates that have a direct impact on Americans’ lives will be featured.
You can see a map of locations at that link. I hope someone is going to webcast the event - Columbus is relatively close, but I don't know if I'll be able to make it on a Wednesday.

Rock Out With Your Clock Out

Cocks and Clocks are totally different things

Just a reminder that Daylight Savings Time begins again this Saturday, March 9th, at 2:00am. And if you remember Spring forward, Fall back, you will realize that this is that dreaded day that at 2am it suddenly becomes 3am, so the bartender will be taking your beer at 1:30am (in Ohio, last call is usually at 2am and legally all bottles must be out of customer hands by 2:30).

You'll have to wait for November 2nd for that magical evening when at 2am it suddenly becomes 1am and bars are open that extra hour.

How is it I didn't have an alcohol tag until this post?

Update: I have a "drinking" tag. Wii Taw Dead.

Which reminds me of one of my favorite Onion articles: I'm Like a Chocoholic, but for Booze.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

In Short: That Whole Darn Bible Thing

That big man, Jesus H. Christ (middle name Hussein...?), once said something that defined Christianity - yeah, the Big C - for all time when asked about the greatest law of all in Luke 6:31: Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Wow. That's deep.

So deep, in fact, that it's been a theme of all civilized time, many years before Jesus himself:
Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.

Confucianism. Mencius VII.A.4
Yeah, that was way the hell before Jesus.

And yet, despite this as one of the most sacred laws/guideposts of Christianity and beyond in all of history, no candidates on either side will immediately cease all war.

So do all the candidates for President of the United States denounce Christianity or simply accept that by doing unto others - killing them in a war - do they accept that others will be trying to kill us?

Fuck excuses, fuck examples, fuck postulates and sidewinding. This is basic belief stuff, basic action stuff.

Where are our candidates on this?

Sweet, Sweet, Political Lovin'

Just in case you've been voraciously reading and wondering about the density of my delicious, political snark and where it may have relocated to, here's a list of the last 3 days of posts I've made over at All Things Democrat:

Same as It Ever Was: Bush, McCain BFF

Limbaugh Stratigeries for Tuesday II

Notes On Superduperlicious Tuesday II

Oh, What the Hell Now? A Darker Obama?

My Primary Voting Experience in Ohio

Oh, the Conservative Confumanity

That Matt Santos Quote

FCC Official Wants Probe of “60 Minutes” Blackout

Party Jumping, Sham Voting in Ohio
Stop on over and say hello!

I got fancy and linked those directly. Yes, dance class is still just the deal of Little Shambles.

Wanderin' the Desert, Trippin' Balls

The Burning Bush
Dude, that guy's not even on a mountain! I'm so fuckin' high!

From Reuters:
The biblical Israelites may have been high on a hallucinogenic plant when Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, according to a new study by an Israeli psychology professor.

Writing in the British journal Time and Mind, Benny Shanon of Jerusalem's Hebrew University said two plants in the Sinai desert contain the same psychoactive molecules as those found in plants from which the powerful Amazonian hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca is prepared.
Some biblical scholars were unimpressed. Orthodox rabbi Yuval Sherlow told Israel Radio: "The Bible is trying to convey a very profound event. We have to fear not for the fate of the biblical Moses, but for the fate of science."
Exactly, because 4000 year old stories, originally passed on orally then written and copied and translated are much more plausible than quantifiable, proof-worthy reality. Every damn time, you dirty, measuring, meddling scientists!

McSame as Bush

Pulled from Think Progress, and as good as the title.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Primary Pundits: Shut the Hell Up

It's almost 5pm here in Southern Ohio. The polls don't even close for two and a half hours here. But I've been listening to who and what and how and what if since 7am this morning. And it's only going to get worse.

Today's Ohio's Primary (along with Texas, Vermont, and Rhode Island).

In general, the right wing radio nuts are all over the place criticizing Obama and Hillary and McCain, with lots of "what's wrong" and not so much on the "here's what we need to do." I've heard their listeners admit to voting Hillary, Obama, Ron Paul, Thompson, and even Zell Miller. Heads in asses, all of them, and what will be the root cause of much poll reading confusion later in the evening.

Us crazy Liberals are split between Obama and Hillary. Advantages, disadvantages, meh. It's probably going to swell in one direction or the other, but which way it will go depends on thousands of undecideds across the state of Ohio making that decision while standing in the booth, based on some mix of psychology of what font the names are printed in matched with memories of their last impression of each candidate.

Point being, everyone has an opinion about how to read what's going to happen tonight. But there are too many variables. And while I secretly salivate at the potentials and permutations in reality that this evening may bring, it's all gibberish. I would get as much insight to the process and results as if I glued myself to the PS2 for the next 3 hours.

Anyway, it's about 5pm right now. Time to watch that ass clown Tim Russert. Cheers!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Ricky's Wisdom Today - 3/3/08

While volunteering my time with Mrs. Shambles this past weekend at Little Shambles cotillion (basically, a bunch of 5th and 6th graders dressed up and dancing simplified versions of classic ballroom dances), I was reminded about this quote which I first read in one of my favorite books of quotes, The Dark Side: Thoughts on the Futility of Life from the Ancient Greeks to the Present
When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.

- Eric Hoffer

Whorelore: A Warcraft-Inspired Porn Series

Did you just say -? Yes. Yes, I did.

Whorecraft: Warcraft-Inspired Porn

I don't often write about the adult film industry, but when a well-known industry man named Dez starts Whorelore: Swords, Sorcery, and Sex (Whorecraft was *cough* contested), my elfin ears perk up. Who doesn't think elf chicks are hot - I mean, this is high art?

Who am I kidding? This is Dungeons and Dragons porn at it's ...only? Looks like it. The YouTube preview is teasingly scantily clad, but safe for work in that it's void of nipples, dicks, asses, and clits.

There's not much more I can say about it without sounding kind of creepy. I have not actually watched the series and have no plans to do so. But I thought it was interesting enough to post about, you know, as a service to you, the reader.

Interview with the filmmaker at Village Voice via BoingBoing. (Thank you!).

The Most Spoiled Girl in the World

Yes, this is real. I guess my daughter's not even close to spoiled.

Andrew Wilkow: My New Pain in the Ass

(Actually, it's more like my new aneurysm.)

As I've mentioned repeatedly, I listen to the right wing radio folks because, well, it's important to know what they're up to (e.g., Rush Limbaugh is pushing for Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton tomorrow, March 4th [all primaries are some form of "open"], to keep the competition going and force a crippling rift in the Democratic party with no majority at the convention.)

I thought I'd been seasoned by Limbaugh and Hannity, tempered by Savage and Levin, but Mrs. Shambles got me Sirius Radio for my birthday (*kiss*) and with it came something I was not prepared for: Andrew Wilkow.

The first time I listened to The Wilkow Majority on channel 144 (Noon - 3pm), I could only listen intermittently. After two weeks, more often than not I can make it through all 3 hours. I don't know if the show is more audacious because Wilkow's trying to prove he's one of the big boys or because he's on uncensored radio, but when he's done at 3 and Sean Hannity comes on, I am tremendously relieved; it's like I can breathe again.

Why is Andrew Wilkow burnin' my biscuits? Some of the stuff is the same: Global warming is a sham (featuring "Stop Global Whining" by the Right Brothers), and liburlz r devuls, and general ignorance spouting like Hey, Nazism is a left wing thing and we want to take Israel dry so Repubs can't even be racist; Democrats don't care about the Blacks. But that's just a paraphrase.

Today's rantings were especially egregious and prompted the post because of two things. Let's start with the quote while talking about ethanol:
Mexicans can't afford their tortillas anymore. ...guess they'll just have to eat Wonder bread like the rest of us.
Who the fuck talks like that?

The other notable remark was the automobile ignorance that I thought died ten years ago: 'Merican cars are made in America and if you buy foreign cars, th'r takin' r'jobs! This is such bullshit. Specifically, Andrew was talking about how an Obama sticker on a foreign car is an oxymoron because he makes sure all his stuff is American-made, blah-blah, self-aggrandizing autoerotica.

The truth is that it is impossible to find an "American" car in which all the parts of that car are manufactured and assembled in America. And if you're talking just about the actual assembly of the vehicle, let's talk about Toyota for a second, where plants are located in Huntsville, Alabama; Georgetown, Kentucky; Princeton, Indiana; San Antonio, Texas; Buffalo, West Virginia; and a new one being built in Blue Springs, Mississippi. Heck, some of those are actually shipped back over to Japan! So there are clearly plenty of "foreign cars" that are manufactured and assembled right here in the good old USA.

And I'm sure there is more ignorance to follow, more thinly-veiled bigotry to come, and more reasons for me to pop a Motrin or two in the middle of the afternoon.