Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Van Morrison!

David Thompson -- His Greatest Hits

Culture and ideas blogger David Thompson, whom you may click through to here or over there in my blogroll, had recently put together a meta tag for some of his best old posts. This was kindly done at my request, at the cost of quite some time. He then informed me of his favorite brand of spirits, to which I reply that he really ought to put this greatest hits link in his list of categories, on his sidebar. :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Crossroads Generation - "The Poster"

Late night ADHD linklets

This Long-Lost Nintendo Knitting Machine Would Have Let You Make Sweaters With Your NES

She said: 'We got talking about skulls and the next day he turned up with this skull. He said it was Ned Kelly's skull, and told me to "put it in the bottom of your bag and wrap it up".'

Astronomers observe waves of gravity in space-time itself

Genome of mysterious extinct human completed, scientists say

CIA balked at chance to kill bin Laden in ’99, Polish ex-spy says

Taqiyya, Iranian style...

Compare and contrast:

Iran's Khamenei: Nuclear arms use "unforgivable"

UN nuclear agency confirms Iran has shrouded site, says its probe ‘significantly’ hampered

Lying to infidels is permitted under their version of Islam, remember.

Bruce Springsteen is "Howard Zinn with a guitar"

Washington Diarist | The New Republic

Leon Wieseltier labels The Boss thusly in the above-linked article.  This is of course incorrect.  Bruce Springsteen is "Studs Terkel with a guitar."  He was the prominent Chicago journalist and radioman, and prolific compiler of hard luck stories for book publication. For him the year was forever 1930, just as for modern radicals the year is forever 1968, and for Springsteen it is forever the recession year of 1974.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Booming Business of...Creationism?

Alarmingly, yes!

The New Jersey group behind the website Creation Science Hall of Fame is putting its efforts into opening a brick and mortar creationist attraction along Interstate 75 in northern Kentucky, according to the Courier-Journal.

Progress in Kentucky will be determined by how much and how quickly the group can raise capital through donations. Terry Hurlbut, secretary and treasurer of the group, told the Courier-Journal that they're hoping to raise $2 to $3 million to begin construction. [...]

Answers in Genesis, the group behind the Creation Museum, is planning an equally ambitious exhibit named Ark Encounter, a Bible-themed amusement park complete with a 500-foot by 80-foot depiction of Noah's ark.

Though the Creation Museum saw a dip in attendance last year to 280,000, down from 404,000 visitors when it opened in 2007, the group was still able to obtain $43 million in tax breaks from the state of Kentucky based on projected attendance.

In the same year, nearly $50 million in funding was cut from public education in Kentucky, notes Forbes.

funny gifs

Sookie takes a good gander at the future of science education in America.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Glenn Greenwald on MSNBC

From The Guardian earlier last week...too late to leave a comment at the article, so thought I'd blog it here.

All of that is fine and largely unobjectionable: given Fox's existence, there's no reason Democrats shouldn't have their own television gathering place, for the sake of balance if nothing else.

Eh? The Democrats have every other network, don't they? MSNBC is just more open about it. Collar any journalist at any non-Fox network and ask them: What party did you vote for in the last ten elections? Or if they're too young, ask them what party did their J-school professor vote for? It'll be either the Democrats, or something even further Left. This is of course not to say that there is some liberal conspiracy, or that liberals can't be good journalists. It's just simply to observe the otherwise noncontroversial fact that birds of a feather flock together.

They flock together so much so that perceptions sometimes get warped. Let there be one non-liberal TV news channel (Fox). Let there be one non-liberal national newspaper editorial page (The Wall Street Journal). Let there be one predominantly conservative pre-digital media format (talk radio). What does that mean in the minds of liberals, to have these conservative outposts existing? Why, it means that liberals just can't get their message out! Vilification and de-legitimization of the non-conforming voices must commence, over and above any disagreements over matters of actual fact. And that is an early warning sign of the fabled "totalitarian temptation", when you feel threatened if your opinion isn't held unanimously. In dictatorships, the line must always be unanimous.

Pakistani Christians attacked during a land grab

Pakistani Christians attacked during a land grab

If you search Christians Attacked, no quotation marks, in google's news aggregator, you will almost always come up with a story about Christians being brutalized by Muslims in Pakistan.  This is why I have no patience for American Muslims whining about how oppressed they are in the U.S.  "The tree is known by its fruit."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Creationist groups deletes unbiblical passages from Bible

From the Patheos blog...a super satire by James F. McGrath

At their 2025 annual meeting, a well-known young-earth creationist organization decided to finally take the step of removing Genesis 1-3 from their canon of Scripture.
“It was long overdue,” said the organization’s longstanding president (who changed his name to an unprintable squiggle after discovering that his surname referred to a meat outlawed in the Bible). “We accepted Genesis 1-3 for a long time, emphasizing that it doesn’t mention evolution. But recently, it was drawn to our attention that neither is it as staunchly anti-evolution as we expect from a truly Christian text. Most of our arguments, in fact, are absent from Genesis 1-3. And so we had to draw the conclusion that it was an inadequate depiction that does not deserve to be considered inerrant Scripture – unlike our own writings on this topic.”

When asked for examples, he listed the following: “It never mentions God making the 2nd chromosome in human beings look like it resulted from the fusion of two chromosomes inherited from a primate ancestor, to test our faith. It never mentions God creating starlight en route to Earth 6,000 years ago. It even uses ambiguous language, sounding as though it could be saying that God commanded the Earth and sea to bring forth life, rather than creating them directly. And in Genesis 2:2, the literal wording talks of a day in which God made the heavens and the earth. Being at odds with our literal six-day creationism, we decided to remove it from our Scripture, lest anyone be confused by it or led into error.”

At the same annual meeting, the organization also decided to change the name of their organization to Answers in Genesis 4-50.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

Who is ever going to undo the damage wrought by creationist science education?  Bill Nye reassures his audience that creationism will fade over time.  But now it seems to be in flood tide, as more and more parents reject science and get their legislators to do so also.  Whatever follows, it probably won't be like creationism was never here.

Help fight the fight by staying up to date at watchdog sites like, for instance, The Panda's Thumb.  Although I notice that there is too much going on for them to keep up with anymore.  You can make a newsfeed for "creationism" with Google's news aggregator, also.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Michael Mann defamation lawsuit against National Review

Being likened to Jerry Sandusky is fightin' words, whether or not it's legally actionable. I've always admired and enjoyed Mark Steyn, but I think he stepped in it this time, as anyone who runs his mouth for a living will inevitably do, occasionally.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Louisiana's Loch Ness mythology" | NCSE

"Louisiana's Loch Ness mythology" | NCSE

Dear God, the poor Louisiana children...It's like there's a rebellion against rationality convulsing the country, when it comes to evolution.  Dear fellow Christians:  Think of all the love and blessings and favor you have experienced in your lives.  Do you really think that's all going to just poof and go away, because evolution is true?  Honor the Bible, but don't worship it!  Worship belongs to God only!

Virginia Dare at 425 years old

August 18th is the 425th birthday of Virginia Dare, the first infant born to English parents in North America. She vanished along with the rest of the Roanoke Colony, her fate as unknown as the rest.

If she survived into adulthood, she might have intermarried with the Indians along the coast. Centuries later, her descendants might have intermarried with the runaway slaves, who sought shelter among the Indians in the coastal swamps and forests. So, if she has any descendants in the present day, they would most probably self-identify as black. So, why her name was appropriated by certain white supremacists for their website, I don't know. They probably didn't think it through that far. Seems like a cosmic joke to me, though.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Internet Hates Progressive Insurance.. But Should It?

Reblogged from The Maryland Injury Lawyer Blog.  This guy sound knowledgeable, and so it might be worthwhile to read this and see if there's more to the story than has come out in the blogosphere so far:
The Internet Hates Progressive Insurance.. But Should It?

An email he received from Progressive is here.

Still no answer to why Progressive was litigating against their own customer, though.  Bad, bad, bad visuals, that. I've had to leg-wrestle with my own insurance companies several times, but it was usually due to simple muddle & not malice. Glad I've been spared this scenario...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Swiss Member of Parliament Has Had Enough!

I'm actually proud that Bill Clinton saved those Yugoslav Muslims from extermination, but other than that this is spot on.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Random Rock Bloggage

I completely missed news of the passing of hard rock keyboardist Jon Lord, a couple of weeks ago.  RIP to him, and thanks to his shade for all the great thrills!  Here's a quote, from guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, about the Deep Purple song "Highway Star":

"Jon Lord worked his part out to mine. Initially, I was going to play my solo over the chords he had planned out.  But I couldn't get off on them, so I made up my own chords and we left the spot for him to write a melody.  The keyboard solo is quite a bit more difficult than mine because of all those 16th notes. Over the years, I've always played that solo note for note--again, one of the few where I've done that--but it just got faster and faster onstage because we would drink more and more whiskey.  Jon would have to play his already difficult part faster and faster and he would get very annoyed about it."
        -- Ritchie Blackmore

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jesse Jackson at Wisconsin Sikh temple?

I was watching CNN this morning, and they were interviewing members of the Sikh temple which was attacked by a white supremacist. In a few shots I saw Jesse Jackson in a black do-rag. Why in the world is the old camera whore crashing in on the Sikh's grief? Other than that he's an old camera whore, I know that much, having observed him photo-bombing various events since the 80s.

Related story here. Still wonder who invited him.

Here are some photos I took of Jackson when he came to town in 1995, to protest Republican electoral victories in Congress.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Viking Pundit: Non-Cherokee Elizabeth Warren lies about policies ...

Eric the Viking Pundit pens one of his rare long-form expositions, and it's an opposite field, upper deck home run:

Viking Pundit: Non-Cherokee Elizabeth Warren lies about policies ...: Non-Cherokee Elizabeth Warren lies about policies too Living in Massachusetts, I'm not accustomed to the barrage of political ads that mus...

The poor Sikhs...

Brutalized by a racist skinhead--his military service is beside the point.

I remember in the weeks after 9/11, bumping into some Sikhs. One was an elderly shopkeeper, who had a big patriotic sign about Sikh-Americans behind his counter. Another was working the deli counter at a boutique grocery. He had an American flag sticker on his food service cap. Just tonight I transacted some business with a Sikh woman--so I surmised from her surname. I should have said something....

Wisconsin Sikh Temple Gunman Was Not A “Crazy Vet”

Wisconsin Gunman Was Not A “Crazy Vet”

Over at ROK Drop, GI Korea fillets the emerging news media narrative.  It's still early, with many details yet to emerge.  But, just as with the Tea Party smear in the Aurora theater shooting, it's vital to keep the journalists honest, no matter how hard certain memes fit their presuppositions.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Actual justice needn't wait on cosmic justice

Adam Wheeler Went to Harvard | Jim Newell | The Baffler

In brief, someone profited by committing fraud against Harvard University, and this publication objects to Harvard seeking restitution and punishment.  The author presents what he imagines are hypocrisy-illustrating examples of larger crimes going unpunished.  To which I say, "Everybody does it" is an adolescent's argument.