Friday, May 16, 2008

Chris Matthews Skewers An Idiot

I laughed my fucking ass off watching Matthews slam this right wing jackass!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Am Evolution by Holly Dunsworth

From NPR:

I believe evolution. It's easy. It's my life. I'm a paleoanthropologist. I study fossils of humans, apes and monkeys, and I teach college students about their place in nature.

Of course I believe evolution.

But that is different from believing in evolution.

To believe in something takes faith, trust, effort, strength. I need none of these things to believe evolution. It just is. My health is better because of medical research based on evolution. My genetic code is practically the same as a chimpanzee's. My bipedal feet walk on an earth full of fossil missing links. And when my feet tire, those fossils fuel my car.

To believe in something also implies hope. Hope of happiness, reward, forgiveness, eternal life. There is no hope wrapped up in my belief. Unless you count the hope that one day I'll discover the most beautifully complete fossil human skeleton ever found, with a label attached saying exactly what species it belonged to, what food it ate, how much it hunted, if it could speak, if it could laugh, if it could love and if it could throw a curveball. But this fantasy is not why I believe evolution — as if evolution is something I hope comes true.

After all the backyard bone collecting I did as a child, I managed to carve out a career where I get to ask the ultimate question on a daily basis: "Where did I come from and how?"

If our beliefs are important enough, we live our lives in service to them. That's how I feel about evolution. My role as a female Homo sapiens is to return each summer to Kenya, dig up fossils, and piece together our evolutionary history. Scanning the ground for weeks, hoping to find a single molar, or gouging out the side of a hill, one bucket of dirt at a time, I'm always in search of answers to questions shared by the whole human species. The experience deepens my understanding not just about what drives my life, but all our lives, where we came from. And the deeper I go, the more I understand that everything is connected. A bullfrog to a gorilla, a hummingbird to me, to you.

My belief is not immutable. It is constantly evolving with accumulating evidence, new knowledge and breakthrough discoveries. For example, within my lifetime, our history has expanded from being rooted 3 million years ago with the famous Lucy skeleton, to actually beginning over 6 million years ago with a cranium from Chad. The metamorphic nature of my belief is not at all like a traditional religious one; it's more like seeing is believing.

So I believe evolution.

I feel it. I breathe it. I listen to evolution, I observe it and I do evolution. I write, study, analyze, scrutinize and collect evolution. I am evolution.

Sometimes, like now, additional comments are unnecessary.

The Republican Backdoor Power Grab

I received the following information from Democracy for America and decided to pass it along in the blog today:

Republicans can't win elections based on their failed philosophies, so, they've latched onto a new plan: make it as hard and expensive as possible for people to exercise their constitutionally protected right to vote.

Since the Supreme Court decided two weeks ago to uphold a draconian law in Indiana that requires citizens show a government issued photo ID to vote, Republican legislatures across the country have started moving fast to pass their own version of this horrible law.
And just like the poll taxes and literacy tests of the past, Republicans hide their real purpose under the banner of preventing possible voter fraud. But these laws are really about stopping senior citizen, low income, and newly registered Americans from voting. Why? Because they typically vote for Democrats.

We must stand together and protect every American's right to vote.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Smack Her Again, She's Dating Outside Our Religion!

An Iraqi immigrant attacked his daughter for religious reasons, Wellington District Court heard yesterday.

Ishak Ishak, 59, pleaded guilty to assaulting his daughter in April.

Judge Susan Thomas said Ishak, a Syrian Christian, went into his 20-year-old daughter's room and confronted her about going out with a Muslim.

He hit her three to four times which only caused slight bruising to one of her hands, Judge Thomas said.

Ishak immigrated to New Zealand from Iraq in 1995.

His lawyer, Sue Earl, said there were "huge cultural issues" and much shame was brought to a Syrian Christian family if members married a Muslim. Ishak's daughter would have been excommunicated from the family, Ms Earl said.

The shame in the community of his daughter marrying a Muslim would have been worse than a conviction.

Judge Thomas said no matter how shocked or shamed he was it did not excuse assault. She convicted Ishak and ordered him to appear for sentencing if called within nine months.

Yet another example of religion having such a calming and peaceful impact on humanity.

Kudos to Arlen Specter and the Patriots Suck!

Sen. Arlen Specter wants an independent investigation of the Patriots’ taping of opposing coaches’ signals similar to the Mitchell Report on performance enhancing drugs in baseball.
Specter again criticized the league’s handling of the investigation and threatened the possibility of revoking the NFL’s antitrust exemption during a news conference Wednesday. The senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee met with former New England video assistant Matt Walsh a day earlier.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell indicated he considered the investigation over after meeting with Walsh on Tuesday.

“Everybody pooh-poohs it,” Specter said. “It’s ridiculous to make that kind of contention.”
Specter, from Pennsylvania, cited the fact a Patriots attorney sat in on Walsh’s meeting with Goodell as proof the investigation has not been impartial.

He repeated his disapproval of Goodell’s decision to destroy the notes and tapes confiscated during the initial investigation last fall.

“That sequence is incomprehensible,” Specter said. “It’s an insult to the intelligence of the people who follow it.”

If the NFL condones cheating, Specter said, it encourages others to cheat. “They owe the public a lot more candor and a lot more credibility,” he said.

Now, I'm not usually a big fan of Congress getting involved in sports, but I want to extend a big thumbs up to Arlen Specter for continuing to doggedly pursue this. The NFL wants this to go away because their favorite golden boys in Boston might be tarnished. Well, the Patriots are cheaters. Big fat, filthy cheaters and they should be punished severely - not just the little slap on the wrist of losing a draft pick. The Patriots did not just cheat in one game against the Jets, but consistently and regularly. And guess what, if you cheat it is easier to win Super Bowls.

If the NFL doesn't punish them then the US Congress is well within in its rights to rescind the antitrust exemption enjoyed by the NFL.

Go, Arlen, Go!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bob Barr

Bob Barr, a Republican and former US congressman, announced plans today to run for president on the Libertarian Party's ticket. The move by the 59-year old Barr, could hurt John McCain's chances come November.

Barr, who played a key role in the congressional impeachment of former president Bill Clinton, said there was not "currently or anywhere on the horizon" any candidate who understood the need for fiscal conservatism and America's founding principles.

He added that if McCain fails to win the presidency, "it will be because Senator McCain did not present, and his party did not present, a vision, an agenda, a platform and a series of programs" for the American people.

Good luck to you, Mr. Barr. I hope a whole gaggle of right wingers vote for you and help to give the presidency to Barack Obama.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

On the Efficacy of Prayer on Oil prices

At a Shell gas station in Washington, Rocky Twyman and an unusual group of activists were mad as hell about soaring fuel prices.

"Last week, this station was 3.51 dollars. Now it's practically 3.60. So it's gone up nine cents in one week," Twyman said as he pumped five dollars' worth of gas into his thirsty American car.
"Someone's making a lot of money and it's really, really wrong," added Twyman, who founded the Prayer at the Pump movement last week to seek help from a higher power to bring down fuel prices, because the powers in Washington haven't.

The half-dozen activists -- Twyman, a former Miss Washington DC, the owner of a small construction company and two volunteers at a local soup kitchen -- joined hands, bowed their heads and intoned a heartfelt prayer.

"Lord, come down in a mighty way and strengthen us so that we can bring down these high gas prices," Twyman said to a chorus of "amens".

"Prayer is the answer to every problem in life... We call on God to intervene in the lives of the selfish, greedy people who are keeping these prices high," Twyman said on the gas station forecourt in a neighborhood of Washington that, like many of its residents, has seen better days.
"Lord, the prices at this pump have gone up since last week. We know that you are able, that you have all the power in the world," he prayed, before former beauty queen Rashida Jolley led the group in a modified version of the spiritual, "We Shall Overcome".

"We'll have lower gas prices, we'll have lower gas prices..." they sang.

I'm sure these prayers will be answered in much the same way that the prayers imploring god to reanimate the dead gramma on the shitter in Wisconsin were answered. In other words, they won't be...

I'm sure I'd just laugh at these fucking idiots if they were praying at a gas station where I was filling up my tank (but I might take my business elsewhere if the gas station allowed such nonsense on its property). As Penn Jilette might say, "Sweet Jesus, the Jew, what a load of bullshit!"