A CEO, a Tea Partier, and a union member…

…are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies. The CEO reaches over, takes 11 cookies, looks at the Tea Partier, and says, “Look out for that guy, he wants a piece of your cookie.”

Last American WW1 vet dies

Frank Buckles, America’s last surviving WW1 veteran, died yesterday at 110.

Born in Missouri in 1901 and raised in Oklahoma, Buckles visited a string of military recruiters after the United States entered the ‘war to end all wars’ in April 1917.

He was repeatedly rejected before convincing an Army captain he was 18. He was only 16 and a half at the time.

He said: ‘A boy of (that age), he’s not afraid of anything. He wants to get in there.’

The great governor of Maine

Thought of the day

There seems to be quite some confusion around the word “bigot”. I encourage its use where appropriate because, why give undue respect to people? Call a bigot a bigot. Naturally, this brings with it some issues.

Now, I use the term when referring to foes of gay marriage. But I’m being general right now. I’m actually a little more specific than that: I use it for people who advocate against gay marriage. I have one friend who believes homosexuality is wrong and a sin and blah blah blah. But as a California resident he was against Prop 8. Right or wrong, gays have rights. That belief and his voting record absolves him from bigotry. A little more than half of his fellow residents, however, are active bigots. The same goes for my state. To deny a group rights because one simply dislikes that group is bigotry. This isn’t that hard.

The next issue is that people think they can throw the term around willy-nilly. Disagree with a position? Do it with little respect? Do it with aggression? Why, that’s bigotry, of course! Except it isn’t. If that was the case, every instance of revolution or social upheaval, regardless of context, would be a bigoted endeavor. A “bigot” isn’t just someone who thinks what you believe is stupid.

Random posts

I’ve added a widget to the right hand side titled “Random Posts”. As one might guess, clicking the link under the category title will go to a random post.

For my fellow WordPress bloggers out there, just add ?random to the end of your blog URL if you want to do the same thing.

Arguments I detest

There are a few arguments I hear that I just hate. Very simply, it’s because they’re plainly awful. Just awful. So in no particular order:

Once you have kids, your views on spanking will change. I hate this one because when I say parents should not spank their children, I’m making an argument about right and wrong. If I was making an argument where personal experience mattered at all, then sure, throw it in my face that I don’t have kids. But that isn’t what is being discussed. It’s just a condescending point that isn’t even remotely relevant. Coupled with this is usually the argument that spanking is effective. I don’t give a shit. Shooting a baby in its face will make it stop crying, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay.

Atheism leads to moral relativism and has no place for happiness. What really irks me about this one, aside from how common it is, is how ignorant it is. I’m plenty happy, just as millions of other atheists are. Furthermore, atheism does not lead to moral relativism. It removes an ultimate objective basis for morality, sure, but that is definitely not the same as moral relativism. And finally, as if there wasn’t already enough wrong with this wanker of a position, it’s just an Argument from Consequence. ‘Oh, atheism leads to these bad things? Then it must be wrong.’ It’s typical religious logic.

The rules are there for a reason, so follow them. This is rule internalization and it’s stupid as hell. Yeah, the rules usually have some sort of reason. And many times it is best to defer to them. But they will sometimes transgress their very point. Or their very point won’t matter in a given context. When that happens, it isn’t the rule that matters, it’s the reason. For instance, the speed limit is there for a reason, right? It keeps people safe. Unless you were recently shot in the leg. In that case you’re probably less safe if you don’t speed to the hospital. The rule can go to hell; I care about the reason.

Hilter was an evolutionist atheist. Nope. He was a creationist Christian. He declared his Christianity and rejection of evolution in Mein Kampf over and over, long before he came to power. Besides, the point of this dishonest argument is just to say that atheism and evolution lead to bad things; it’s another Argument from Consequence.

Al Gore uses X amount of energy to do Y. The point of this one is to discredit Al Gore in his campaign to get people to use less energy. It’s a dumb attack. First, it isn’t usually based on fact. Second, even when he does use a lot of energy (i.e., private flights), he’s delivering a message that will help to get a large number of people to use less. Third, even if he buys oil and throws it on baby dolphins while he dines on polar bears and pandas, that doesn’t mean global warming isn’t happening (and because of man). It’s a bad argument; it has many different forms – ‘So-and-so is a hypocrite, thus her message is invalid’ – but Gore is one of its the most popular subjects.

I believe everyone has the right to express his or her opinion. This starts out so many points and it’s such a waste of time. Yes, great, you aren’t a fascist. Thanks for letting us know – even though no one was going to assume your argument was premised in the idea that people shouldn’t have free speech rights. But no, no. Thank you so much. I really hated having that 5 seconds of my life.

Your turn.

Truth on FOX Noise?

I’m amazed. FOX Noise actually let someone say that the happenings in Wisconsin are only about busting unions, not balancing a budget.

God is criminally liable for abortions

Rep. Bobby Franklin of Georgia wants to hold women criminally responsible for miscarriages if they are unable to prove there was no human causation.

Under Rep. Franklin’s bill, HB 1, women who miscarry could become felons if they cannot prove that there was “no human involvement whatsoever in the causation” of their miscarriage. There is no clarification of what “human involvement” means, and this is hugely problematic as medical doctors do not know exactly what causes miscarriages. Miscarriages are estimated to terminate up to a quarter of all pregnancies and the Mayo Clinic says that “the actual number is probably much higher because many miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy that a woman doesn’t even know she’s pregnant. Most miscarriages occur because the fetus isn’t developing normally.

As one may easily guess, Franklin is a religious nutbag. So if we take his buggered perspective on reality, all these fetuses that are getting aborted naturally the fault of God. Thus, under his bill, God is a baby murdering fiend, responsible for more baby deaths than any human. Ever.

So I have to cheer on Franklin’s attempt to take down the most evil character that has ever existed in all of fiction. Sometimes symbolic justice is important. Go Franklin!

Thought of the day

Tax breaks for the wealthy add to deficits, don’t create jobs, won’t help in this economy, only serve ideological goals, and they weaken the middle class.

Stop making inappropriate comparisons

Between Glenn Beck/FOX Noise comparing everyone to Nazis and the media saying Madison, Wisconsin is like Cairo, Egypt, I can’t take it. These comparisons are just offensive. And I don’t mean they’re offensive because they might undermine how horrible WW2 Germany was, or because they do a disservice to the struggles of people under a 30 year dictatorship. I mean they’re offensive because they’re so fucking stupid. Just fucking stupid. And on that note, I welcome Providence, RI into the fray:

Providence, Rhode Island Mayor Angel Taveras is sending layoff warnings to all 1,926 of the city’s teachers…

“This is beyond insane,” Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith told The Providence Journal’s Linda Borg. “Let’s create the most chaos and the highest level of anxiety in a district where teachers are already under unbelievable stress. Now I know how the United States State Department felt on Dec. 7, 1941.”

Yes, this is exactly like when the U.S. was attacked and entered a massive world war. I can’t see where there are any differences. Steve Smith really hit the nail on the head this time.

God damn it.