Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Oklahoma: Filling in the Blank

May 1, 2014

So why am I even here in Oklahoma? Why do I continue to live in a state that can’t even kill people on purpose cleanly, accept federal dollars to improve the health care provided to its citizens, resist electing the most extreme kind of dumb-asses the country has to offer, etc?

It’s simple: I was born here, my kids live here and if I were to just write the state off… well, the terrorists would win.

It wasn’t but a year or two ago when a co-worker came to me to ask if it wasn’t true that “Obamacare” required that children be injected with a microchip (“the Mark of the Beast”). 70+ percent of the voters approved a statewide referendum to prohibit ‘Sharia Law’ here. As many people that claim, nationally, their belief that the Hebrew God created the world less than 10,000 years ago, I’d bet that almost twice as many Oklahomans believe the same. If a plurality of my statesmen aren’t home-schoolers that are ‘hooked on phonics’, they wish they had the patience/resources to be.

Oklahoma’s people are largely an ignorant and fearful folk: they fear negroes (especially the President), non-European immigrants, change, secular anything,  books, the commie United Nations, most new ideas and the Big Scary World.  Believe me, I know about Oklahoma. I was born here, grew up here and stayed here.

Believe me: it was not always this FUCKING STUPID A PLACE TO LIVE.   No, the Dark Flame of Ignorance has been carefully tended and stoked to make Oklahoma a Beacon of Idiocy:

  • Governor Mary Frick’n Fallin, the adulterous darling of the Tea Party, has been paid to oppose damned near everything that could make things better for this state while her spoiled brat daughter openly mocks Native Americans
  • Senator James Mountain Inhofe, who has for years been a global laughing-stock over his conspiratorial thinking on human sexuality, climate change and the dang-nabbed 20th Century in general
  • The numb-skull state representative that put a 10 Commandments monument on the grounds of the capitol but couldn’t get the spelling right
  • Another cretin on the state payroll that campaigned against using human fetuses in food products
  • The list goes on and on!

So why am I still living in Oklahoma?

Some amazing things have happened here.
I have fond memories of ‘liquor by the wink’.
Once upon a time, we had the highest per capita membership in the Communist Party in the nation.
Cannabis was once the number one cash crop.
The musicians are amazing here.
The state bird, the scissor-tail flycatcher, is cool.
Gas prices are low.
Maybe I’m too lazy to move and if I did only the Crazies would be left!

Fuck Governor Fallin and all her kind.
Fuck the followers of Oral Roberts and his fellow travellers.
Fuck the Koch Brothers and their veinal scheming.
Fuck all the manipulators of well-meaning Okies! Their hearts are pure, but —

I’m staying here to fill in the blank, the blank that they told me to erase and write something else in (but I won’t!).
I’m staying here to remind them of every time they are so terribly wrong that they pretend like they weren’t.
I’m the fly that stays clear of their patent medicine ointment.
I’m no Tom Joad, but for crying out loud, if people like me left this state, what would be left besides the easily led?
I am an Oklahoman, and I’m  staying here whether they like it or not: I want to rub them the wrong way.

Maybe I’m staying just to annoy the rest of ‘us’… because ‘we’ need to be annoyed.
What they’ve done to us shouldn’t be forgiven or forgotten or excused.
Those bastards did it for money and power and greed, straight up.
I wanna be here to watch the payback, if it ever comes.

 

 

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A Quiet Sunday Post

April 13, 2014

{Much has been in transition here at Elwood Manor: a job change, obligatory after-work coursework of an unhelpful nature, various demands on my limited resources and some general readjustments. These have conspired to limit my inane stream of posts, but I’ve caught up on things (for now at least), so here’s a meager offering of tidbits I’ve found interesting of late}.

Slate’s feature on Your Inner Fish looks at why religious nutjobs Creationists hate the Tiktaalik. This Devonian example of tetrapod evolution had both lungs and gills, could probably do push-ups and had a face only a mother tiktaalik could love.  Is it because it’s a prime example of an organism transitioning between life in the water and life on land, or that it was discovered pretty much where geology and evolutionary theory predicted it would be that pisses them off so?

In other news of the backward, they’re still trying to overturn the consensus that the Earth orbits the Sun. You can’t make this stuff up… which is what makes a parody like this one so damned cutting! It only hurts because it comes out of Kansas!

Lots of sturm und drang over a scrap of ancient papyrus in which there is discussion of Jesus’ wife. My reading of the fragments makes it sound more like a hypothetical discussion, for what it’s worth, though I seem to remember Sunday School discussions indicating that Jesus wouldn’t have been called ‘rabbi’ (teacher) unless he was married. So He could walk on water, but marriage is a bridge too far for some? Given the Paulian attitude toward women (and sex in general), it’s amazing that this religion found any foothold at all.

Of course you don’t have to be a backwoods snake-handler to screw with science, as Greg Schiller can attest. He’s the science teacher at LA’s Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts who was suspended in February because some idiot thought two of his students’ science projects looked “dangerous”. Maybe it’s only a coincidence that Greg Schiller is also the teachers union representative at the school and had been dealing with disagreements with administrators over updating the employment agreement under which the faculty works? Parents and students are rallying around Mr. Schiller. Let’s hope they can overcome the LA school system’s apparent stupidity and/or duplicity.

The Heartbleed bug in OpenSSL is one of the really big software DOH!s in recent memory. XKCD gave the best quick explanation out there. Heartbleed.com has a long-form exploration.   Bloomberg reports that the NSA had exploited the bug for years, but the NSA denies it (predictably). We all know that the NSA never lies and is always right, right?

 

Ambitious Failure and the Knights of the Sci-Fi Ghetto

December 5, 2013

Hoo! and Ha!! Mysterious Universe gives us an appreciation of the flawed masterpiece that was the movie adaptation of “Tank Girl”.  “Ambitious failure is worth a hundred mediocre play-it-safe blockbusters”.  

And, yeah, speaking of Malcolm McDowell, nominations are open for the  “Knights of the Sci-Fi Ghetto“. Does anyone else remember David Warner’s “Quest of the Delta Knights“? Or Donald Pleasence in “The Mutations“? Films like these make you a working actor!

This Is Chest Hair. In The Shape Of A Cat. Oh, the horror!

This Canadian Mountie fights for the right to smoke (medical) cannabis in uniform. Nothing to see here!

Published in 1547, A Caveat or Warning for Common Cursetors describes the complex hierarchy of miscreants and ne’er-do-wells in 16th century England. Dark Tongues: The Art of Rogues and Riddlers, by Daniel Heller-Roazen, is a much later work taking a crack at the cryptolects (secret languages) of beggars, rogues and other tradesmen.  For instance, a specialized dialect of Jewish cattle-traders called Loshen-Koudesh, appears to have persisted into the 20th century Orange County, N.Y.

Paleofuture looks back on how newspapers wrote about the Internet in 1988. The rear-view mirror effect, reversed sorta.

The Satanic Temple is planning to donate a monument for the Capital grounds in Oklahoma City, next to the 10 Commandments rock. Hey gang! I’ll chip in! We sacrifice to Thee, Oh First Amendment!!

Faith, baby! Almost naked, with no food or fresh water, Harrison Okene survived almost 3 days inside an air pocket in a sunken tug boat under 100 feet of water.

2,000 dead mice equipped with cardboard parachutes have been air-dropped over a United States Air Force base in Guam in order to poison brown tree snakes.

Who you gonna call when you need a really artistic, custom cave carved by hand?

U.S. fast food workers strike for higher, living wages. The executives giggle and order another round of champagne.

Merry Zappadan, all!

Selecting for Extremophiles

December 2, 2013

Missed delivery note of the future, thanks to Amazon Prime Air.

SPACE BUGS! Say hello to Tersicoccus phoenicis, “isolated in two different clean rooms, and nowhere else”. It’s so genetically novel they are calling it a new bacteria genus. And it’s prossibly already hitched a ride to Mars.

Theres a nice bit on selecting for the uber-woodchuck. NPR interview with William Alexander  about his book, The $64 Tomato.

China’s “Jade Rabbit” lunar rover is on it’s way! Packed with a ground-piercing radar, cameras, spectrometers and plutonium-powered heaters, the rover lifted off at 1730 GMT (12:30 p.m. EST) Sunday.

The new ‘flying jellyfish’ drone video just reminds me of a film I saw in health class as a child.

For the first time, genetic information has been copied inside a simple synthetic cell designed to mimic primordial life. Happy/scared time!

Sorry, but for a great number of reasons humans aren’t at all likely to be chimp-pig hybrids as a kooky paper claims. PZ Meyers has thoughts on the MFAP Hypothesis. The peer-review process hangs it’s head in shame!

South Park provides this amazingly concise explanation of evolution:

Humans are extremophiles too, my friend! Listen to Rick Santorum make a First Amendment argument in favor of religious discrimination and be amazed!

Here’s a mashup of GOP trogs citing the Bible to deny climate change, featuring Oklahoma’s gift to comedy, Sen. James Mountain Inhofe. Kind of explains a lot, don’t you think?

And Jeb Bush confirms he hasn’t the honesty or reasoning skills to be president by accusing that Socialist Kenyan president of closing the Vatican Embassy in retaliation for Catholic opposition to the ACA. Ironically, the process of moving the embassy from its current location to the compound at the U.S. Embassy to Italy began under Jeb’s brother, President George W. Bush and will save $1.4 million a year. IT’S TRANNY!

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, this little amusement for you:

Gods and Monsters

October 18, 2013

Dark Horse has launched a new comic book series where atheist superheroes protect the Earth from supernatural forces they don’t even believe in.

Here’s 11 horror movies that are incredibly scary because of what they say about humanity. I thought they all were!

Rare non-face palm news out of Indian Territory! The first 24 hour automated library in the U.S. has been installed in Norman OK!

The robot apocalypse has been postponed! In front of dozens of journalists yesterday in Hong Kong, DARPA’s 330 pound Atlas robot lost its balance and broke its ankle during a demonstration of walking.

Law of Urination: all mammals empty their bladders over the same duration.

A new study published in the American Journal of Medicine finds that heavy pot smokers tend to be slimmer than former marijuana users and non-smokers. So that’s what happened to my 30 inch waist!

Poor children are now the majority in American public schools in South, West. Standardized testing won’t fix that.

Yes, Evil Knievel endorsed a scooter-chair in his declining years. Sad, isn’t it?

Authority > LeadershipAuthority in the Village from Italy to Ireland“.

There’s an interesting “sedition petition” that’s got over 40,000 signatures.

At a loss for words? Try the Tea party Insult Generator! It’s powered by actual insults spewed on John Boehner’s Facebook wall!

Beloved Imbeciles

“The righteous hates falsehood, but the wicked brings shame and disgrace” – (Proverbs 13:5). Yea and verily, my own district’s Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Pekoe and Orange Pekoe) issued the following statement on his vote to continue the government shutdown Wednesday night:

I voted ‘No’ on the bill to raise the debt ceiling without any spending controls and fund the government without providing any relief to millions of Americans being harmed by Obamacare. The President’s policy of funding all of the government or none of the government violates the principles of a representative republic and is devastating to a nation historically governed by consensus.

Yep, them Obamacare casualties are just littering the streets, aren’t they?  This kind of hyperbole, coupled with the fact that Bridenstine is known to be able to both read and write, is why I conclude that he is a very lazy liar that just doesn’t care to sound even a little credible. Because, hey, TYRANNY!, right?

Mr. Bridenstine doesn’t seem to comprehend that, under the Constitution of this representative democracy, there are just two ways to undo the Affordable Care Act (since the Supreme Court has already killed the “declare it unconstitutional” gambit):

  1. Pass a bill in congress to overturn the ACA, and have the president sign it into law, or
  2. Pass a bill in congress to overturn the ACA, have the president veto it, then override the veto by two-thirds vote in both houses of congress

It’s a little odd to have to explain this to a congressman, even a spurious ‘wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross‘ rookie like Bridenstine, but he’s just a mendacious little tool and not an overly bright one at that. Go Okie voters!

Rep. Tom Cole was the only member of Oklahoma’s all-Republican delegation voting to re-open the government. I’ve lauded Rep. Cole in the past for being the most pragmatic member of the Oklahoma delegation, by far. We might not agree on much, but with Cole you won’t get an argument about the sky being “up” or 2+2 being equal to 4. This sets him head and shoulders above the rest.

On the other hand, in the Senate, crazy old Tom Coburn (R-Rampant Lesbian) was among the 18 senators who voted against the measure. Sen. Jim Inhofe, recovering from surgery to remove a scientific hoax, was unable to vote but released this statement:

The president has taken care of his pet projects while letting the most foundational elements of the Constitution — from budgeting to national security — sit on the back burner. Because of his leadership, we have operated from one crisis to the next. It happened once again when he and Majority Leader (Harry) Reid held Congress hostage with the debt ceiling in order to forge a deal that falls short of anything worthy of conservative support. It’s time this ends and my colleagues face the overdue discussion on the scope and size of federal government.

Does that parse as being as disconnected from reality to you as it did for me? Maybe it was only the Demerol talking, though with Inhofe how would you ever know?

Behold the glory of Goat Week

September 17, 2013

You didn’t miss it this year: GOAT WEEK is finally here! It’s like Shark Week only safer but… beware the Maryland Goatman!

Kitchen Time Machine: A Culinary Romp Through Soviet History. Very good interview about memory, food and the struggle of the urban proletariat!

Though the scientific conclusions of the study remain valid, Tufts University announced on Tuesday that one of its researchers broke ethical rules while carrying out a study of genetically modified “Golden Rice” in China.

Excerpts from The Mad Scientist’s Handbook: The Human Recipe.

“Will it fly?”: yet another skeptical overview of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. ‘Build a plane, fly a plane, find a flaw, design a fix, retrofit the plane, rinse, repeat’.

So size does matter! Research suggests perception of time is linked to size, explaining why insects find it easy to avoid being smooshed.

Traditional aboriginal interpretations of the Aurora Australis: the Sky Deity’s anger or the campfires in the Land of the Dead?

Deny them your Essence!! Conservative noise chamber declares ‘water’ a commie plot.

Crazy Caucus gives ‘Science Laureate’ notion the kibosh because Science is their enemy!

Wait, book-learning ain’t nuthin’ to fear! Science confirms: Politics wrecks your ability to do math.

Annual Pre-Samhain freakout!

The NSA, black helicopters, guinea pig orgies

August 21, 2013

Notorious  Sen. Ted “Canadian Candidate” Cruz (R-TX) was heckled at an anti-Obamacare town hall with chants of shouting “you have health care so can we.” Indeed, socialized health care must be just too dangerous for non-senator Americans. Of course, irony has no effect on his kind!

But nothing is more dangerous than Truth, it seems. Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison over the WikiLeaks disclosures.

Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian‘Sending a message’: what the US and UK are attempting to do. And, yes, a British official did actually use the phrase “We can call off the Black Helicopters” while destroying hard drives in the basement of the Guardian. It all sounds a bit taken right out of “Brazil“!

The Wall Street Journal’s full article is pay-walled here, but their interactive graphic of how the NSA scours internet traffic in the U.S. is quite nice.

Human activity is almost certainly the cause of climate change and global sea levels could rise by several feet by the end of the century, according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report leaked to media.

A Georgia man is in custody on Wednesday after police said that he shot a 3-year-old relative during an argument with another family member. If only there had been more guns there!

Court orders university to silence wild guinea pig orgies.

From the “It’s about time” department: the Internal Revenue Service was unable to suppress a lawsuit over its failure to audit thousand of churches that allegedly violated federal tax law by engaging in partisan advocacy.

The king of dinosaurs — Tyrannosaurus rex — certainly was not designed to be a carnivore, according to the totally scientific and utterly serious Paul Taylor of Creation Today.

(Pre) History speaks in tongues!

August 21, 2013

“Ya-bando-ba-ba-basoya!”. Speaking in tongues was mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, but it died out until the 20th century.

In 1971 a book hit the shelves suggesting human evolution was driven by cannibalism. The book is The Beginning Was the End by Oscar Kiss Maerth. Yes, Virginia, we’re all DEVO.

A team of scientists say they have uncovered evidence of early humans in China dating back at least 1.6 million years, the oldest signs of early humans in North China.

The megalithic enclosures of Gobekli Tepe (Urfa, Turkey) are the most ancient sacred structures of stone known so far, dating back to the 10 millennium BC. It turns out that they may have been originally constructed to celebrate the appearance of a new, extremely brilliant star in the southern skies: Sirius.

The earliest known iron artifacts, 5000 year old funeral beads from Egypt, were made with meteorite iron!

The Hall of Ma’at has many papers debunking “alternative archaeology”, but I’m not giving up on the Solutrean Hypothesis just yet!

Could a blood test predict whether a person is at risk of committing suicide? For the first time, a set of proteins in the blood have been linked to suicidal behavior.

Serious People said that budget deficits hurt the economy. So we increased taxes so deficits are wayyyyy down. Now the Serious People are saying that taxes hurt the economy. Maybe the Serious People don’t know what they are talking about?

Officials in Tennessee say that a father and his 12-year-old son died over the weekend after an AR-15 rifle accidentally discharged, causing a fire and a series of explosions in a room full of ammunition in their home. If only they’d had more guns!!!

Guns don’t kill people, boredom does: Oklahoma teens charged in Australian baseball player’s killing. Slap an NRA sticker on that coffin, why don’t you? Oh, right: that would require some perspective on things, yeah!

Mars needs food! Earth needs jet-packs!

August 15, 2013

What could possibly go wrong? Last year was the 50th anniversary of the ‘Starfish Prime’ nuclear test, which detonated a 1.4 megaton nuclear warhead 260 miles above the Pacific.

A similarly cunning yet misguided scheme: The Forgotten Cold War Plan That Put a Ring of Copper Around the Earth.

In 1944, three years before writing and five years before publishing 1984, George Orwell penned a letter detailing the thesis of his great novel.

Hundreds die in crackdown by army in Egypt. Thank goodness they didn’t have a coup!

It’s an ill wind that blows no good: Stroke Victim Malcolm Myatt Happy to Lose Ability to Feel Sad

A federal judge on Wednesday denied a motion to dismiss a crimes against humanity case brought against evangelical pastor Scott Lively of Massachusetts. The lawsuit alleged that Lively aided the persecution of LGBT people in Uganda over the past decade and inspired notorious anti-LGBT legislation known as the “Kill the Gays” bill.

The 150 Things the World’s Smartest People Are Afraid Of, #23: “I’ve given up asking questions. l merely float on a tsunami of acceptance of anything life throws at me… and marvel stupidly.” –Terry Gilliam

John Stuart Mill said “Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives”. Following the last election, 49% of GOP voters nationally said they thought that ACORN stole the election for President Obama, an amazing accomplishment for an organization that disbanded in 2010.  That fact hasn’t kept House Republicans from voting 12 times to block federal funding for ACORN even after the organization ceased to exist.

Hoppin’ down the bunny trail…to Hell!

Everything you know is wrong: 5 Myths About Illegal Drugs You Probably Believe

Warm up the cat-detector van! Cat DNA database created to help solve crimes. Seems that cat fur is a pretty effective tracking taggart.

What the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) experiment taught us about FOOD IN SPACE!

This week, New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft became certified to take what it calls “the world’s first practical jetpack” out for a series of manned test flights.

Science, security and secrecy

August 9, 2013

In 1974, President Richard Nixon announced his resignation, effective the next day, following damaging new revelations in the Watergate scandal… and the world was a brighter place.

Following the shutdown of Lavabit (alleged to have been Edward Snowden’s secure email provider), Silent Circle has preemptively ended their secure email service as well, citing the lack of security inherent in all ‘store-and-forward’ email protocols. The general upshot is that all U.S. based ISPs are under the thumb of a surveillance police-state, with no ethical way to claim that your communications are secure.

New reconstructions of ancient proteins have provided clues to the habitat and origins of life on Earth. The resurrected protein, a version of the protein thioredoxin, is thought to have existed almost four billion years ago in single-celled organisms linked to the earliest ancestor of all life. The ancient thioredoxin survived temperatures of more than 110 C, as well as being stable in acidic environments.

Bloody typical: of course the new Mars Explorer Barbie wears pink space boots.

U.S. researchers reported on Thursday that an experimental malaria vaccine proved highly effective in a small, early-stage clinical trial in people. The vaccine tested is delivered intravenously and not through injections, which could be impractical for use in a widespread vaccination program, but it’s a HUGE step forward.

WiredThe Most Bonkers Scientific Theories (Almost) Nobody Believes Anymore.

It’s not ready for the next Terminator movie yet, but it’s pretty danged neato anyway: a Gauss machine-gun!

Narconon Arrowhead in  McAlester OK has lost state certification. After four deaths and several lawsuits I should certainly hope so!

Actress and recent Scientology refugee Leah Remini has filed a missing-person report for Scientology leader David Miscavige’s wife, who has not been seen in public in six years. Maybe she’s just working in the No-See Org?