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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 See Dick Shred

Preparing for the Democratic takeover, Mr. Vice President?

See Dick Shred. Shred Dick, shred!


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 Your fundie neighbor planning a brainwashing assault on your children tonight

Check out the latest fundie bullshit regarding Halloween:
Bruce Watters used to simply hand out candy on Halloween, just like his neighbors in St. Petersburg, Fla., until he decided the holiday's ghoulishness really didn't jibe with his Christian beliefs.

But rather than skip the neighborhood ritual, he's put a Christian stamp on it. For the third year in a row, kids will leave his porch with a piece of candy, plus a religious tract - a concise, colorful handout telling how to attain salvation through Jesus Christ.

It is your solemn humanistic duty, Dear Reader, to TP the house of anyone abusing your children like this. Alternatively, print some copies of the Humanist Manifesto and hand them back to your fundie neighbors!


Blogger CR UVa said...

Abuse? You have a funny definition of the word abuse. As a parent, you can always take anything away from the kid (within reason to be sure). TPing a house is rather juvenile, and handing out the Humanist Manifesto is simply a knee-jerk reaction and petty vengence.

All I can say to you sure do seem to concern yourself with some thing that you would have a lot of conrtol over. I do not know if you have kids now or will in the future, but it would be truly interesting to see how you would interact with them if they were ever to become Christian. And do not try to tell me it could never happen, because it has happened in odder situations.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

Ah yes, how I love pointing out conservative double standards... handing out xtian tracts is harmless, but handing out humanist tracts is petty vengeance.

I myself was raised Catholic; my children are growing up Unitarian. They will be intelligent enough to choose their own paths. I would urge caution on how you raise your own kids. If you merely teach them to do as they are told (by a book, priest, etc) that is all they will know how to do as adults. It isn't atheists that get seduced by cults: it is the feverently religious.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous TrvlnMn said...

I'm not a christian at all. But that's a great idea for Halloween! Pass out one of those creepy "you're going to hell" jack chick bible tracks with the the candy. Some of those things are worse than the holidays they protest against.

When I was a kid someone gave me a few of them and I had nightmares for weeks. So naturally now the idea appeals to my warped sensibilities.

Maybe next year. I generally skip the kiddie holidays. Hope yours is a good one though.

3:36 PM  

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 Republicans now preaching abstinence FOR ADULTS

The federal government's "no sex without marriage" message isn't just for kids anymore:
Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.

The government says the change is a clarification. But critics say it's a clear signal of a more directed policy targeting the sexual behavior of adults.

"They've stepped over the line of common sense," said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that supports sex education. "To be preaching abstinence when 90% of people are having sex is in essence to lose touch with reality. It's an ideological campaign. It has nothing to do with public health."

Abstinence education programs, which have focused on preteens and teens, teach that abstaining from sex is the only effective or acceptable method to prevent pregnancy or disease. They give no instruction on birth control or safe sex.


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Thursday, October 26, 2006

 Governments say they follow U.S. on jail treatment

From the Department of I Told You So, which is on That Didn't Take Long Street:
Some countries try to refute criticism over their treatment of prisoners by saying they are only following the U.S. example on handling terror suspects, a U.N. human rights expert said on Monday.

Manfred Nowak, the U.N. investigator on torture, told a news conference that "all too frequently" governments respond to criticism about their jails by saying they handled detainees the same way the United States did.

"The United States has been the pioneer of human rights and is a country that has a high reputation in the world," Nowak said. "Today, other governments are kind of saying, 'But why are you criticizing us, we are not doing something different than what the United States is doing.'"

He said nations like Jordan tell him, "We are collaborating with the United States so it can't be wrong if it is also done by the United States."

Nowak, along with other U.N. human rights officials, has criticized U.S. policies against terror suspects, including secret jails, harsh treatment and the lack of due process. He turned down a visit to Guantanamo Bay because he could not interview detainees and prison officials in private.

He has argued that if there is evidence against detainees, after years in jail, it should be presented to the usually "efficient" and fair civilian courts rather than military tribunals.

Aren't you proud to be a shining beacon to the rest of the world?


Blogger CW said...

And imagine what will happen if an American citizen is detained (for whatever reason) in any of those countries, and subjected to torture. Would there be an outcry?

9:09 PM  

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

 Why there almost certainly is no god

Richard Dawkins explains why there almost certainly is no god:
Either Jesus had a father or he didn't. The question is a scientific one, and scientific evidence, if any were available, would be used to settle it. The same is true of any miracle - and the deliberate and intentional creation of the universe would have to have been the mother and father of all miracles. Either it happened or it didn't. It is a fact, one way or the other, and in our state of uncertainty we can put a probability on it - an estimate that may change as more information comes in. Humanity's best estimate of the probability of divine creation dropped steeply in 1859 when The Origin of Species was published, and it has declined steadily during the subsequent decades, as evolution consolidated itself from plausible theory in the nineteenth century to established fact today.

The Chamberlain tactic of snuggling up to 'sensible' religion, in order to present a united front against ('intelligent design') creationists, is fine if your central concern is the battle for evolution. That is a valid central concern, and I salute those who press it, such as Eugenie Scott in Evolution versus Creationism. But if you are concerned with the stupendous scientific question of whether the universe was created by a supernatural intelligence or not, the lines are drawn completely differently. On this larger issue, fundamentalists are united with 'moderate' religion on one side, and I find myself on the other.

Great stuff. Check it out.


Blogger CR UVa said...

The problem with this argument is that few Christians want to know the "how" when it comes to Jesus. They are looking for the "why". I know this can be hard to understand for some non-believers, but going after the "how" rarely is effective. If you think that you can be more effective at proving that Jesus was not here to save us from our sins, then you might actually be able to convince a few people (though certainly, I still do not think you would be particularly effective there).

1:28 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

You're right, I wouldn't be very effective, because science doesn't disprove anything. I challenge you to disprove Zeus' existence. Or Thor's. Or garden faeries. I imagine you are an atheist with respect to those deities. I just go one deity further.

2:38 PM  

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Monday, October 23, 2006

 Google giving to GOP

So much for Google's motto of "Do no evil". Time to switch to the Ask.com web search engine.


Anonymous dang said...

Well, in the article, it also says:

"Out of 145 contributions from Google executives and employees in the past two years, all but four went to Democrats and liberal groups including moveon.org, according to data from Political Money Line, which tracks money in politics."

9:12 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

I know -- but do NO evil means giving NOTHING to the theocrats ;)

9:13 AM  

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

 More trust Dems on terror, values

Great news:
For the first time since 2001, the NEWSWEEK poll shows that more Americans trust the Democrats than the GOP on moral values and the war on terror. Fully 53 percent of Americans want the Democrats to win control of Congress next month, including 10 percent of Republicans, compared to just 35 percent who want the GOP to retain power....

Meanwhile, the president’s approval rating has fallen to a new all-time low for the Newsweek poll: 33 percent, down from an already anemic 36 percent in August. Only 25 percent of Americans are satisfied with the direction of the country, while 67 percent say they are not.


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 German kidnapped by CIA testifies on torture

Man tells Spanish court of torture, secret flight to jail in Afghanistan:
A German citizen testified Monday in a Spanish court that he was kidnapped and tortured by U.S. intelligence agents in 2003, then flown by the CIA to Afghanistan where he was imprisoned and abused for five months....

Al-Masri, a former car salesman and a father of five, said he was abducted on Dec. 31, 2003, at the Serbia-Macedonia border while on vacation. He said he was taken to a hotel in the Macedonian capital of Skopje where he was imprisoned and tortured for 23 days before being flown to Kabul, Afghanistan.... He said he was released in Albania in May 2004 after the CIA discovered they had the wrong person.


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Monday, October 09, 2006

 Yet another BushCo f-up on security

Clinton success, Bush failure again:

North Korea's probable test of a nuclear weapon on Monday has triggered the second nuclear crisis in 13 years on the Korean peninsula.

In 1993, North Korea announced it would pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, leaving it free to divert nuclear material from its energy reactors to make a nuclear weapon and setting off a round of crisis diplomacy led by the Clinton administration. The result was the so-called agreed framework, which - in return for supplies of fuel oil to North Korea - froze most aspects of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme for the rest of the decade.

The agreed framework was in effect consigned to history when the Bush administration came to power in 2001. The new administration argued that although the road to a plutonium-based nuclear bomb had been frozen, the North Koreans were cheating by attempting to develop a uranium-based bomb that was not explicitly addressed by the agreement.

That five years later, North Korea has tested a nuclear weapon will be widely interpreted as a sign of the failure of the tougher approach favoured by the Bush team.


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Saturday, October 07, 2006

 How low can the republicans go?

How low can the republicans go? Quite fucking low:

Eleven House Republicans on Thursday told Democratic leaders they want them to appear before the House Ethics Committee to answer questions about what they may have known -- and failed to disclose -- about former Rep. Mark Foley's communications with congressional pages.

That's right. The fucking fascists are investigating leading democrats over a republican scandal. Unconscionable, but not surprising.

Feel free to caption that photo ;)


Blogger CR UVa said...

And what if the House Ethics Committee finds that these Democratas were aware of Foley's actions before they were made public?

3:05 PM  
Blogger CR UVa said...

Rather, I meant Democrats, not Democratas.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

Riiiight. That's logical. In a criminal investigation start with people who had no motive to cover up. Put them in the public hotseat too. Makes sense to me.... NOT. Chief Wiggam would be proud.

4:18 PM  
Blogger CR UVa said...

Geez, what is up with you Democrats in denial? Certainly, there appear to be some Republicans who have made some mistakes. Is it that hard for you and so many other Democrats to believe that perhaps Republicans are not the only ones who made a mistake here?

Then again, why am I asking? I know the answer. Of course Democrats would never believe other Democrats are guilty of any crimes.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

By your logic, the FBI should question YOU about Jon Benet Ramsey's murder. After all, even though you didn't have motive, you might know something.

You and your republican buddies are drowning in your own shitstorm. America is appalled at the hypocrisy of a party that persecutes homosexuals (not to mention Clinton) in the name of family values while covering up for a homosexual sex-pest of its own.

10:28 AM  

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

 The Enabling Act of 2006

We are so fucked:
[M]ake no mistake: Just as the 1933 Enabling Act created the context for dictatorship, so does this one. The German legislature told the executive that it had the power to make law and ignore the constitution. If Congress passes this bill, the American legislature will second the motion.

It is just one bill, you may object; it only applies to terrorists, you may say; we are not Nazi Germany, you may insist. And yet. The forthcoming FISA bill extends Enabling Act thinking to additional unreviewable executive powers. The slippery slope has been well-oiled. The Niemöller poem stands waiting.

It is probably unrealistic to expect bright lines to be obvious at the moment they are crossed. But they don’t get much brighter than this: Congressional leaders have agreed to suspend habeus corpus, grant the President of the United States the power to torture, and allow the executive branch to operate beyond judicial review.


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Via MakingLight:


You are not required to obey an unlawful order.

You are required to disobey an unlawful order.

You swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

The Constitution states (Article VI):

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Here is article 3, the common article, to the Geneva Conventions, a duly ratified treaty made under the authority of the United States:

Article 3

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.

The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.

The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.

Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions is straightforward and clear. Under Article VI of the Constitution, it forms part of the supreme law of the land.

You personally will be held responsible for all of your actions, in all countries, at all times and places, for the rest of your life. “I was only following orders” is not a defense.

What all this is leading to:

If you are ordered to violate Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, it is your duty to disobey that order. No “clarification,” whether passed by Congress or signed by the president, relieves you of that duty.

If you are ordered to violate Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, this is what to do:

1. Request that your superior put the order in writing.

2. If your superior puts the order in writing, inform your superior that you intend to disobey that order.

3. Request trial by courtmartial.

You will almost certainly face disciplinary action, harassment of various kinds, loss of pay, loss of liberty, discomfort and indignity. America relies on you and your courage to face those challenges.

We, the people, need you to support and defend the Constitution. I am certain that your honor and patriotism are equal to the task.


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Monday, October 02, 2006

 How torture works

Warning: this is very disturbing.


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 Help enforce WalMart's obscenity policy!

There's a teriffic online petition asking WalMart to stop selling the Bible based on the companies own policies of not selling indecent material.

Not only is it amusing, it's well written and accurate. Go read it and sign it!


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 Why the hell is this election "competitive?"

Raindogzilla at God is for Suckers sums up exactly what I am feeling:
I blame religion, the lack of intellectual curiousity that allows people to swallow the bilge that emanates from the likes of Dobson, Robertson, Ted Haggard, Ron Luce, and Becky Fischer, that lets thirty-five, or so, percent of Americans take the divinity of George W. Bush’s presidency seriously- or, at least, support him like they do. I blame so-called “Christians” that can reconcile corruption, incompetence, hatred, bigotry, intolerance, and even torture with their supposed Prince of Peace.... Oh, and next time you see a car with that insipid “W” sticker, rear-end the sons of bitches.


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